Sunday, January 31, 2016

Three steps left going into 11

January 2016 has come and gone. Did anyone else think that went by very quickly? Time is a matter of perception but to me, the month flew by! There are only 11 months left.

When I set my goals for 2016, most were pretty lofty. Today, I took some time to review them and see what kind of progress I have made and what behaviors lead to that success. I also identified what behaviors were counterproductive or slowed my progression. Rather than detail exactly where I stand with each of my goals, I want to help you see what process you can do for your goals.
Here are three key steps I have for making the most of the remaining 11 months in 2016.

Caroline's Cues | Three steps left going into 11 - how to identify successful behaviors

Three steps to identify successful behaviors

I am loving my Passion Planner for this year. It really forces me to do more than the usual "I'll just think about my goals" and writing them down. As I flipped through the past few weeks, there was one thing I noticed. When I succeed at a task or priority, I placed a checkmark next to it. There were quite a few left without checkmarks. This drives me crazy. However, this is the first step to identifying successful behaviors.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why you should not call it a year-end review

It was my first year-end review. I was not sure what to expect. I took some time the day and morning before to compile my year accomplishments and highlights, biggest challenges and weaknesses and areas of improvement for 2016. The plan was to meet my boss at Texas T-Bone for dinner and discuss these objectives. A couple of steaks and brief discussion would not take very long, right?

About three and a half hours later, lots of comments and feedback had been shared. My mind was running at 100 miles per hour (just a little faster than the typical 75 mph). I felt overwhelmed, excited, uncertain, frustrated and encouraged throughout the conversation. I was choking among my own flood of emotions.

It did not get easier from there.

Caroline's Cues: Why you should not call it a year-end review

My line manager is challenging.
I shall refer to him as "Mr. Manager" throughout this post, as his name is irrelevant. His actions are not. 

He asks the tough questions and expects answers. He seeks collaboration and ownership on projects. Above all, he wants me, as a direct report, to be successful and happy. He knows what drives me. Mr. Manager is a very talented at reading people, understanding them and using that knowledge to hold fruitful conversations. When I first started on his team, I was not sure how it would go. We are both very goal driven and results-oriented. But, besides that, our personalities differ. He is more blunt, outgoing and downright ornery. However, these characteristics combined make an insightful, charismatic leader.

Mr. Manager is one that does not necessarily follow a script. He develops something unique for each employee. He has demonstrated this through actions this first year. He also discussed it as we began our discussion of our year-end review.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Healthy Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread Recipe

I have a severe weakness for desserts. When you get chocolate or peanut butter as options, it becomes dangerous. Put them together, and, well, then I cave. The first time I saw this recipe for Cookies and Cups Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread, my heart skipped a beat. Her imagery is gorgeous and the bread looked divine.

I did not go back to that recipe for quite some time. Now that I am living a healthier lifestyle, I have been challenging myself to make "dirty, unhealthy" recipes "clean" options. Over Christmas break, my mom and I were in the kitchen and I had the urge to bake. Dad has always enjoyed mom's banana breads and he likes peanut butter and chocolate. The light bulb lit up! Here was the opportunity to help my mom and dad start using easy, clean recipes, while foods they would enjoy.

I scrounged through mom's cupboards to see what ingredients I could work with. Rather than add peanut butter cup minis like the recipe called for, I found some holiday M&M Crisps to incorporate.

Caroline's Cues Healthy Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread Recipe
Yum, happy holidays to my family! I ended up eating most of it though.

The best thing about this recipe is it will be naturally sweet thanks to the bananas and Greek yogurt. You can add some Stevia packets or honey for added sugar taste. Also, all the ingredients are easy to find or you will probably have them on hand already!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New approach; hold me accountable for 2016 goals!

I am trying a new approach.

I think back on my ag communications classes and internships. I wrote video outlines or storyboards for a lot of different things. It has been awhile since I have revisited those skills. Time to start experimenting with the idea of video blogs or vlogs. Below is my first attempt. What do you think? All thoughts and feedback are appreciated. It's all part of the learning process.

Otherwise, enjoy hearing more depth about my 2016 goals/New Year's Resolutions!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

5 tips to avoid "get rich quick" pitfalls in "lose weight quick" programs

"Can I get that to go?" "I needed that done yesterday." "But I want this done now?" "Sorry, I'm busy. I have other important things to do."

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? I know they do for me. I'll be the first one in a room to raise my hand if ever asked, "Who considers himself or herself extremely impatient?" It's hard not to be. There are so many things to do, people to see, errands to run that we as a human culture in America especially want immediate results.

We want things to be simple, easy and fast. "Get rich quick" schemes are found on the Internet, through telemarketing phone calls and face to face meetings with sales people. However, if you are like me and my family, you know these are too good to be true.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table for supper when the land line telephone would ring. Dad would answer, look at me, mom and my sister excitedly saying, "We could win a free trip to Hawaii!" Mom and I would look at one another, shake our heads and tell dad to hang up the phone. Sometimes, he would listen to their chatter for a few minutes to complete their "survey." However, he would then need to provide his credit card information, go on a website and provide bank information or make a purchase.

It was too good to be true.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there falling into traps of these "get rich quick" pitfalls. However, it isn't for a trip or money. It's for your health.


Social media is plastered with fitness, health and wellness tips, workouts, cleanses and "lose weight quick" programs. First, let me say I am glad people are becoming more interested in their health. I am even more pleased that people are starting to research more about food and agriculture! However, there is a fine line between facts and fiction.

What is good for one body may not be great for another.

One works well for one farmer might not work for another.

We are blessed with so many (sometimes, possibly too many) options! How do we avoid the "get rich quick" pitfalls that we might not know about? How do we make the most of our choices?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

"Most Changed" into 2016 & 4 Steps to a New Years' Resolution

The new year is upon us. Is it really 2016? Things can certainly change quickly and time flies! Most of us are in the midst of starting our New Years' Resolutions! Many of you may have already organized, categorized and wrote down your resolutions. Others might be doing the usual procrastination and will not formally write any, but keep some ideas tucked away in the cranny of their minds. However, we all must start with a little reflection.

When I reviewed my past year, I noticed a lot of change. New job, new customers, new challenges, new opportunities, new friends, and a new outlook on life. I am learning to be a better me. I want to grow and become the woman God has given me the potential to become. I think back to my senior year of high school. My 2010 senior class at Otsego High School always voted superlatives by class.

I was selected as most changed in 2010.