Give up Complaining

As you start to think about the New Year, what if we gave up complaining?

If you are blessed to live in Canada, I think every news reporter should end their report on other parts of the world like this, “Thank you all for listening to the news today. I am sure it is a reminder to all of us that many do not have the life we have. Be grateful for this beautiful safe country we get to live in.”

What if rather than complaining about the weather we were grateful for no war, no grass to cut and no malaria. Instead we enjoyed the cozy nights in our warm safe homes.

What if we didn’t complain about our job? Many do not have a job. No matter what you do for a living, you have a choice on how thankful you are. Often the people I know who complain about their job actually really enjoy what they do. When I challenge them on why they complain, they say, “I don’t know – it’s just what we do.” It’s a habit. Let’s change that habit.

What if we didn’t complain about the negative people around us? It always surprises me when I hear about the “negative Nelly’s, the evil force, the naysayers” in workplaces. When I get to the staff event, it is only ever a small table of people! Sure we work with negative people, everyone does but why do we complain about them? When we talk about them, we give them our power and they win. I guarantee they don’t go home and complain about you.

What about your friends? It seems far more interesting to get together and gossip and complain. What if for 2018 we didn’t? Instead we talked about all that we are grateful for and all we are doing to improve our lives. What if you ONLY posted things on Facebook that you are grateful for.

What about those you love? What if we didn’t walk in the door and see the backpacks and the dishes in the sink. What if we didn’t complain about everything that wasn’t done and were grateful for what was? I know the day will come where backpacks won’t be at my door anymore. I know I am going to miss that.

Put a post it note on your desk right now that reminds you, “NO COMPLAINING.”

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

Growing up, my favourite ritual was the search for the perfect Charlie Brown Christmas tree with my dad. He and I would bring it home in his Volkswagen Beetle, with the top down, and set it up in our tiny little house. Funny I don’t remember a single present I ever received, but I sure remember these special times with my dad.

What do you want?

In the book, “Change your Brain Change Your Life”, Dr. Amen asks two questions when it comes to all areas of our life, “What do you want? “ and “Does your behaviour get you what you want?” So I have been thinking about the answers to these two questions during this Christmas season.
“What do I want?” I want a stress-free, happy, peaceful Christmas. “Is my behaviour getting me what I want?” 90% of the time… yes.
I want ….
Fun, stress-free, happy, peaceful meals at our home. So my behaviour has changed. I don’t do it all anymore. All the meals I host are huge potluck adventures. I will cook a dish or two but the visiting family members happily contribute big portions to that meal so I am not stressed out cooking it all. No one minds contributing! Just because your mom could do it all, doesn’t mean we have to.
I want to visit with the people I love and are in my home visiting.
My behaviour is… Paper plates are a must. They have beautiful Christmas ones. I promise I will help the environment in many other ways but I would rather visit after than wash dishes all night.
I don’t want to be going store to store trying to find the perfect gift.
My behaviour is …. Gift cards replace 90% of the gifts we still buy. And I stay home in my warm house.
I want to feel charitable and give back for my life.
My behaviour is… I donate money instead. We have eliminated most of our gift giving and have replaced that money spent with donations to charity.
I don’t want to bake.
My behaviour…. I buy all of my baking. I know some of you still really like to bake but is this behaviour adding stress or peace?
I want to be known as a loving person to visit.
My behaviour is to choose to see my family members through my 90% lens. I know Christmas can bring together 10% people you don’t necessarily want to spent time with but if you “want” a peaceful Christmas only you can change your behaviour to make that happen.
Merry Christmas!

No Stress!!

I have been gathering what others think makes Christmas stressful. Here are the top five stresses – the “10%’s” of Christmas – and some “90%” ideas. I know some of you love the busyness of the season but for those of us who do not, here are some ideas:

#1. The season never seems long enough.
Start it earlier. Because of my colourful childhood, I have many families to celebrate with. We decided that trying to cram it all into one weekend was too stressful. So now we start in November and spread the family visits over many weekends. Trust me – that makes it feel longer! By mid-December, the only Christmas left is Christmas morning when Santa arrives.

#2. There is too much to do.
Stop doing so much. Take a good look at your list of things to do and ask what you can eliminate or delegate. Consider buying your baking, giving gift cards, and letting your children wrap the presents.

#3. It costs too much.
Stop spending so much. We only buy for the small children in our immediate family. Set spending caps with your families and stick to them. My friends and I do not buy for each other’s children. At the beginning of the year, start a Christmas budget and save a small amount each month. Teacher gifts are small donations to charities. Teach our children to be grateful for what they have by being grateful for what we have.

#4. Family dynamics come into play.
Don’t let them. I grew up around five different families and all the excitement that comes with that. It was very interesting for me to watch how people would park their differences around the holidays. Husbands could pick up children from ex-wives and still come by to have a drink with their new family. Put your hand on the doorknob of the house you are about to enter this season and choose to see the 90%s of the people on the other side. Before you enter, breathe deeply and choose love first. Change your family dynamics by changing yourself. Don’t drag the past to every family gathering.

#5. It needs to be more meaningful.
Make it more meaningful. Traditions do that, so create more traditions. We celebrate LangMas on the first snowfall by ordering supper and watching a Christmas movie. The Christmas tree goes up in November. We buy a new ornament that reflects our year, and celebrate our religious traditions. These will be what our children remember.

Have a wonderful stress free Christmas!

Wrap It Like You Care

December 2017 – Attitude Booster

I love downtown this time of year – with the Christmas decorations and trees wrapped in lights.

Recently, I found myself watching a young man wrapping lights around the first of many trees in a row outside of a local business. He looked very bored. He was wrapping the lights half-heartedly and they weren’t turning out very nice. Further down the row, I noticed another man wrapping a tree perfectly and with such attention to detail.

The man approached the one who was having trouble. The young man asked (with very little enthusiasm, I might add), “So how do you do this?”

The older man’s response made me stop and pay attention. He said, “Wrap it like you care.”

Wow. Five simple yet powerful words.

As he walked away, I watched the young man smile to himself. That reminder seemed to spark a fire inside him, and he started wrapping the tree with a new level of enthusiasm.

This made me think, regardless of what we are doing or who we are with, do we care?

This Christmas, what if you think about how much your family and friends mean to you and wrap their gifts like you care? What if you come through the front door and say, “Hello, how are you?” like you care? What if you start a conversation with them at the table and listen like you care?

Caring more means we make the world a little bit brighter and, especially at this time of the year, all of us can use a little more light in our lives.

Merry Christmas to you and your family,


I could not be more proud to live in Regina Saskatchewan and the quality people I get to work with. I have to say that during my time with Coop Refinery Supervisors yesterday I was treated so kindly. I know going to training is not everyone’s favourite thing to do but this group was just great to work with. Something that really stood out to me was how many people thanked me for coming to speak to them BEFORE I even started speaking! That is a wonderful way to make someone feel special.

Before you say anything else to your customers, thank them first. Thank them for banking with you, shopping in your store and sitting down in your restaurant to eat! It leaves such a positive first impression.

Thank you Coop Refinery!

The words Thank You written on yellow sticky notes

Co-op Refinery

Thank you Kevin and team for hiring me for the Coop Refinery today. So glad we were able to re-book after the power outage. I spoke with a group of leaders today who have a very important job of leading others in a tough physical job.

When a group of leaders and I get to share an afternoon together I like to remind them that great leaders need to do remember to:

• Tell the story of their work from a 90% lens. Make sure the words they use at work and at home are positive. The impression we leave are the words that we use. We have to be careful to talk about our work in a positive way at work, at home and at the BBQ around strangers we haven’t met.

• Lead by example. If my entreprenueal friends say my staff are not happy I ask them; “Are you?” Are we showing up happy and grateful for our work so that we can empower them… by example…to do the same

• Let people know they are good. Some of the people that I have employed/ been on my team have never heard they were good. They didn’t hear it their dinner table growing up, in their marriage or for the last leader they worked for. Its important people are told they are doing a good job.

• Send people home happy to their families. Work is only one part of our employees lives. Their family life is far more important that what they do at work all day.

I Hope You Are Having a 90% Day Today.

It is absolutely beautiful in Regina, Saskatchewan today. The sun is shining and it is an unseasonably warm +3 degrees which makes for very messy, slush like roads and sidewalks. So many people who I run into are complaining about their messy yards and vehicles. It could easily be -30 Celsius this time of year! Whenever they complain, I gently and lovingly remind them; “I am just glad it isn’t -30 with a wind chill!”

Complaining is a habit, lets change that habit.