Report Card

How Would You Grade Yourself?

If you were to give yourself a grade on how well you did last year (or so far this year) in different areas of your life, what would it be? Let’s look at some areas of your life so you can honestly evaluate yourself. Give yourself a grade for the areas that apply to you.


__ Career / Business
__ Friendships
__ Income / Money Matters
__ Health and Fitness
__ Education / Lifelong Learning
__ Parenting
__ Financial Management
__ Self-Promotion
__ Key Projects
__ Spouse / Key Relationship
__ Balance / Stress
__ Family / Immediate and Extended
__ Hobbies / “Me” Time
__ Travels / Adventures
__ Appearance / Image
__ Volunteer / Charity
__ Attitude / Demeanor

Figure out your GPA to see how you are doing overall and note which areas you need to bring your grade up.

Report Card


Pocket Reminder

List all the good things you have in your life (many that you may take for granted) and fit them all on a card you can carry in your pocket or purse. To laminate the card for durability use packing tape on both sides.


Remain Relevant

It’s easy to feel like we are being left behind, especially if we aren’t in our twenties any longer. Our parents hardly saw half of the changes we have. Back then, to stay informed they read the morning newspaper, listened to the radio in their car, and watched the evening news–much the same as their parents did. Our kids can get the news from a zillion different places.

One way to remain relevant is to keep up with technology, training, and trends. Another is to use our experience to our advantage. Lastly, learn what the underlying rules are so that even when mediums and methods change (the how), the basics stay the same (the why). Back to the news as an example. A good news story still has a grabbing headline, leads with the best information, and is supported with a photo accompanied by a caption.

Remain Relevant

The Gift of Gab

Small talk can lead to big business and sales. Although starting up a conversation looks like it comes easy to some (myself included), the truth is many people are introverts and have to learn how to be comfortable talking to strangers (me again).

This is my advice if the gift of gab is not a gift.

1. Know a little about a lot of things. I know, how shallow. But if you can speak for just a few minutes about something that interests the other person, they can take over the conversation and all you have to do is listen–which you should without interruption.

2. Find your inner Sherlock Holmes. “Most people look, but they don’t see,” said Sherlock Holmes. Pay attention to details that can provide clues about what to talk about with a person you don’t know well by using your powers of observation. Notice the type of phone they use, what they’re wearing, or the kind of car they drove up in as ideas for conversation starters.

3. Be the center of attention. If you have a hard time talking to strangers, put yourself in a position where others want to talk to you–and approach you first. If you have to stand and say a few words about yourself, have a clever “elevator pitch” that is unique or provocative. Volunteer to help set up, greet, or speak at an event as a way to get people’s attention and catch their interest.

The Gift of Gab

What The Duck?

“Love the uniforms,” Amanda said to Mel. “Thanks for handling it all.”

“No worries. Since our team name is The Ducks, the yellow jerseys with orange shorts make sense,” Mel replied. “Otherwise, it would just be weird.”

“With our first game two weeks away, we should wear our uniforms out and about to promote the team and the league,” Amanda said, holding a jersey up to get a good look.

“I agree. Not many people expect or realize there’s a woman’s flag football league with six teams in it.”

“Made up of moms, I might add.”

“I had the company that made the uniforms create some imprinted rubber ducks we can give away as well. Help me open the box,” Mel said.

The two teammates ripped open the box and each pulled out a duck and just stared at it. Amanda spoke first, “What the duck is this? This duck has two beaks.”

“ I don’t know how that happened! This is a disaster.”

“Maybe not,” Amanda said staring at the odd looking little duck. “This could be promotional gold. Think about it, we can get people saying, ‘What the duck?’ when they see them, which is kind of what they’re probably thinking when it comes to a flag football league made up of moms—both are unexpected.”

“So what you’re saying is this is a blessing in disguise. We’re going to make lemonade from lemons—or try to pass of these freaky looking ducks off as normal.”

“Not normal, but unique. Special, even.”

“If you say so.”

“I do.”

The strange looking ducks were a hit. There were duck races in the bay as a fundraiser, “What the Duck” T-shirts were made and sold to raise money, and a “Support the Ducks” campaign landed Amanda and Mel on the local news—which then went viral. When the season started the women’s flag football games were the hottest ticket in town.

[Editor’s Note: This story is purely fictional, but the fact is sometimes “mistakes” make for the best outcomes.]

What The Duck?

Beat Yesterday

I have always loved the idea of trying to be a little bit better every day. How about a little faster every day, too? Since there are a host of things we have to do, it would make sense to try to do them faster so we have more time left for the things we want to do. If you time yourself doing a task one day, and then try to beat that time the next day, you will likely do them better and faster.

I’ve been mowing the infield of the baseball field where I coach for two years. The first time I mowed it took me 75 minutes. Each time I’ve done it since I have found ways to do it faster (and better) so that now I can get it done in under 20 minutes–and get my cardio in as well. If I didn’t care about my time it would probably have leveled off at an hour, but now I have an extra 40 minutes each week.

Beat Yesterday

Do What Comes Naturally

What are you so good at you don’t even have to try and you do it well? What are you doing when time flies and you don’t even realize it’s been an hour or two? What comes so naturally to you it seems like you were born to do it? The more we do what comes naturally to us, the easier our lives become.

We should work with our natural tendencies instead of fight against them. Where to store stuff and organize our workspace should be based on how we think things should be and not what others think. The types of tasks and projects we work on should (if we have the choice) be things that bring out the best in us and align with what we like to do. We are who we are, maybe we should embrace our quirks and use them to our advantage.

Do What Comes Naturally