Striving for Imprefection

Scott Q Head ShotHere come the holidays!

Even if you look forward to the holidays all year long,  they can ratchet up the stress level considerably.

On top of everything else you have to do, you need to carve out time to shop; you might be traveling (always a source of stress); or  family members might be staying at your house.
  Then, there's the additional costs involved in buying gifts and special foods.

When you're on the road (or have guests), you try and be on your "best behavior" of course. But you're not in your own place. Things aren't where we expect. That increases stress, which can sometime cause conflict.

Of course, if you're trying to stick with a diet or stay on some sort of fitness program, it sometimes feels darn near impossible during the last two months of the year.

Again, it might be a joyous time, but the reality is it can also bring its own difficulties.

Two great ways to get through the holidays
and enjoy them more are included in this newsletter.

As always, I have a special author this month, but before I provide you with that information, I want you to know that I am doing a FREE conference call entitled "Getting Through the Holidays." No charge, gratis.

This call is not just about weight, it is for anyone who is trying to stay on track during the holiday season.Whether that means diet, fitness, or just trying to stay calm with all the additional tasks you face during this time of year, it will be worth your while.

 To find out more, click on the image or the link below it.

Free conference call
  • You can jump to information about this exciting opportunity by following this link
  • BTW, my diet tips booklet is market down 30 percent! Find out more here.

Our special author, Dr. Michelle May, M.D.
Eat What You Love Book Cover

I met Michelle at my first National Speaker's Association convention. She is the founder of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program and the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle (available here).

I have been following her on Twitter and via Facebook, and although I get lots and lots of information about healthy eating, I think hers stands out because it's not the usual stuff about "eat less" or "be more active." Rather her "mindful moments" are holistic observations  so brilliant, yet so simple,  that it's like being hit by a lightning bolt of enlightenment. It's just wonderful. Whether you need to lose weight or not, you'll enjoy her offering this month and will want to sign up for her newsletter and read more from her. (As always, you'll find lots of links to do that at the bottom of her article.)

  • To read a column I wrote on "Giving Thanks in Difficult Times," follow this link.
  • To read a column I wrote on "The Eating Season," follow this link.
  • To read information on holiday depression, you can follow this link.
  • In my last issue, my dear friend Rich DiGirolamo wrote a great piece on enjoying work. Since then, he has also produced a free downloadable pdf on how to be a good manager or a good employee. You can find it by following this link.

Lots of Other Stuff For You Too

Elsewhere in this issue:
  • If you're interested in attitude, you can see what's going on with the  International Inspiration Index, now in its sixth month. Click here to jump there.
  • Two Words magazine is getting ready to release issue three! (click here to find out more about the magazine) Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to write for it. Its theme is "United Together." You can find out more about the concept by following this link.
  • I've marked down my dieting tips booklet to only $3.50. Click here to jump to the details.
  • A link to a the video of the month. It's very touching. It's about family. You will love it.
  • I was interviewed on Parenting Unplugged Radio. You can download the interview at no charge by following this link. You can find out more about Parenting Unplugged radio by following this link.
That should keep you busy -- and give you some "oomph" to start off the holiday season! Of course, if I can be of service to you in any way, don't hesitate to get in touch. Thank you for reading my newsletter.

Treat yourself special,

my signature
Scott "Q" Marcus
THINspirational Speaker & Columnist, Recovering Perfectionist
Playfully increasing productivity & morale for individuals & organizations facing challenging times

P.S. If you have missed any of my newsletters, or you'd just like to see what I've done, you can follow this link.
_________________________________________________________What's In It For ME?

A Special Note: 
I am setting up my 2010 calendar. If you know anyone who would be interested in my playful, motivational, upbeat keynote or workshop on increasing productivity and morale during trying times (called "What's In It For ME?"), please get in touch.

Dr. Michelle MayRichLeave the Stuffing for the Turkey:
Try Mindful Eating Instead

By Michelle May, M.D.
This holiday season, experience maximal pleasure from all the wonderful food and special occasions. By eating mindfully you'll eat less and enjoy it more. The key to mindful eating is to notice the details. Pretend you're writing an article about your Thanksgiving or other holiday meal for a gourmet magazine.

The following tips are from Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle (which you can find here). 
  • Focus on the people you are sharing your meal with. Engage in interesting conversations. Ask questions and really listen to your companions.
  • Notice how hungry you are. If you aren't hungry yet, become aware of the reasons you feel like eating anyway. If it's for social reasons, then be social for awhile longer, then eat when you get hungry.
  • Decide how you want to feel when you're done eating. Stuffed and miserable? Or comfortable and content? Fill your plate or order accordingly.
  • Mentally describe the table setting and the ambiance. Notice the aromas, colors, textures, and presentation of the meal.
  • Before eating, take a moment to be truly thankful about where your food came from, including all the people who invested their time, effort, and talent to get it from farm to plate.

To continue reading this article  go here..
(You'll also find a link on her site that will allow you to download the first chapter at no charge!)

You can sign up for her newsletter by filling in the information at the top of this page.
You can read and download more articles from Michelle here.

Her main website is here.
Her Eat What You Love blog is here.

You can purchase products from Michelle here.
You can follow her on twitter here.

As a physician, keynote speaker, writer, workshop facilitator, and consultant, Dr. May has shared her powerful and innovative approach with thousands of workshop participants, health care professionals, and organizations across the country. She also trains health care professionals to conduct workshops in clinical, community, and corporate settings.

She can be reached at 480 704-7811 or here.

VideoOfMonthVideo of the Month
I started doing the "Video of the Month" a few months and it got so many hits that I figured I'd do it every month.

The government of Singapore commissioned this video; it's a beautiful three-minute ad about what matters most about our loved ones. Famed Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad created it. She was known for making commercials with humor and heart. She died of a stroke in July. This video is a great and touching example of her work.

Beautifully Imperfect

Click on the image above or follow this link; it's not an embedded video. Rather it will take you to where I have posted the video and you can view it there.
Ay! How Ya Doin'?
Latest  Results from the International Inspiration Index

The purpose of the I3 (The International Inspiration Index) is to get a feel for how people are feeling, what's bothering them, and their outlook for the future. It started in late April, 2009. Due to a great deal of traveling during September and October, I was not able to update it for almost two months so we now have completed one year.

August and September combined

The last month analyzed was July. So, the graph below will show what has happened over the last two months.

The Complete Overview (click to enlarge)

Question #1: How's your attitude - as well as those around you

The highest month for personal attitude so far was July of 2009 with a 4.1o. The highest month for your perception of others' attitudes was August with a 3.60. That said, the overall trend for both still seems to be upwards. As always, my standard disclaimer is that so far the samples are not very large (averaging 38 a month - and growing) and the survey is self-selecting so we don't know how accurate it is.

Factors influencing the I3 during the last few months

Starting in August, I have been making a note of major international and international events that could be influencing the collective attitude. Following are stories I considered to be significant:

For August, 2009

-Health care debate moves forefront with congress people heading to their districts
-Town hall meetings about health care
-Edward Kennedy dies

-Afghanistan starts getting much worse

-Lower than expected unemployment

-Stock market starting to climb

  • If you would like to read the remainder of this month's report, plus a complete analysis of how people are feeling -- with my humble analysis, you can go here.
  • If you would like to take the survey, follow this link. Once you have completed the survey, you'll have the option to see the results. (Feel free to tell friends and neighbors to go there too.)
  • If you would like to follow the complete history of the I3, you can click here.

CoolStuffSpecial Sale on "151 Diet tips" booklet!

151 Easy Things to Lose Weight
TipsBookTrying to Lose Weight -- or Keep it Off?
Over the five years that I've been writing my column (find older issues here), I have received tremendous advice and ideas from loads and loads of people. I finally decided to put many of those ideas into one place and came out with "151 Easy Things to do BEFORE you Give up on Your Diet." It's a quick tips booklet; fits in a #10 envelope and available for purchase in single units or multiples. I've been told lots of people pick a number between one and 151 each day, and simply turn to that tip for a suggestion.

And it's on sale!

Normally $5 a copy, now only $3.50 per copy (plus $1 S&H). Only through this newsletter. Order now and stay motivated through the holidays!

Buy Now

Want daily weight loss tips from twitter? Follow my weight loss tips on twitter by following this link.
You can download a truncated demo version of it by (right) clicking here.
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Complimentary Downloads For You:
Limited Edition eBook (pdf) of Scott's First 52 Columns
Shade of a Tree eBook
GratefulTaking Time to be Grateful
As always I like to close my newsletter by
thanking a few groups and individuals who have been supportive and helpful to me since my last mailing. I hope you'll take some time to do the same to the people in your life who have helped you.
  • Tammy Baumann and the Oregon Parks and Recreation department for bringing me out to speak to them
  • Phil Storre and Perfect Contribution Solution for sponsoring me at that event
  • All the folks involved in bringing me to the Louisiana Notary Association's annual conference - as well as for their incredibly warm reception
  • City Transport in Eureka for bringing me  back to train their staff
  • The almost 800 people who follow me on twitter at either @bestdietingtips or @scottqmarcus
  • My wife - always