Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Wake Up Call


Monday Wake Up Call:
Your Motivation, Inspiration, & Direction for the Week Ahead



The Power to Make People Feel Special
Halloween is just a week away! It’s so much fun to see kids all dressed up trick or treating. I love to see the cleverness of the costumes and what kind of spooky mischief some of the neighbors put into their house decorations. I remember as a child, some of the houses were especially scary, and feeling scared as we approached the door made it even better.

We all remember what we feel far longer than what we see. A great quote about what we feel by Maya Angelou is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This applies to all areas of life. Think back to your school days. Which teachers come to mind? The ones you remember are the ones who made you feel special!

Something to Think About
When you’re on a listing appointment, how do your clients “feel”? Do you place an equal amount of emphasis on the feeling they get, or is it just about the presentation? When you follow up with your clients after the sale, what is the feeling they get? Take some time this week to think about your presentation as well as your delivery. You know what they say: It’s all in the delivery!

Weekly Challenge
Each day this week, look for an opportunity to make someone feel special. There’s always, always a way to help make someone’s day. From client to family member to friend or even a total stranger, being the force that lifts people up in today’s sometimes chaotic and draining world can make all the difference.  Be a light in the world. The world needs more of that!

Words of Wisdom
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down, and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” – Booker T. Washington

“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out, and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift.” – Pablo

“Our legacy is not found in all the ‘stuff’ we’ve accumulated on our life’s journey. It’s written in the memories of those whose lives we’ve touched along the way.” – Justin Young

“Who do you want to surround yourself with? People who can pull you up to their level of greatness? Or people who will happily pull you down to theirs?” – Dan Pearce

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Wake Up Call


Monday Wake Up Call:
Your Motivation, Inspiration, & Direction for the Week Ahead



Have S’more!
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? As we head out of another month, it’s awesome to sink into the heart of autumn, isn’t it?

A favorite fall memory-maker is to sit around a campfire with friends talking about random things, sipping hot cocoa (or wine) and roasting marshmallows. Of course, you can’t roast marshmallows without making s’mores!

Thinking about s’mores, my curious mind suddenly had a desire to know when the first s’more appeared and how it came to have that name. As you know, a s’more is a traditional campfire treat consisting of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. S’more is a contraction of the phrase “some more.”

The earliest s’more recipe was published by the Campfire Marshmallows company in the 1920s and was called a “Graham Cracker Sandwich.” In 1927, a recipe for “Some More” was published in Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts in reference to the graham cracker sandwich. The term “s’more” appears in a recipe in a 1938 publication aimed at summer camps. After that, it appears to have adopted the name, which makes sense because if you eat one, you will likely want “some more”! Betty Crocker even published the recipe in her 1957 cookbook.

Something to Think About
Certain traditions take us back to our childhood. Why do we continue those traditions? Because it’s fun to go back and experience those precious moments but, even more important, we want our children to grow up with those same memories.

Weekly Challenge
Invite some friends to your home, build a campfire or fire up your fire pit, make s’mores, sip your favorite hot drink, and make memories!

Words of Wisdom
“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.” – Unknown

“Don’t make a permanent decision for your temporary emotion.” – Unknown

“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” – John De Paola

“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” – Zig Ziglar

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.” – Doug Larson

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Morning Wake Up Call


Monday Wake Up Call:
Your Motivation, Inspiration, & Direction for the Week Ahead



Christopher Columbus
Happy Monday! Today in North America, we are celebrating two holidays. Canadians are celebrating their Thanksgiving, while those in the states are celebrating Columbus Day. Most people think that Christopher Columbus discovered America in the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria and also – while he was at it – proved the earth wasn’t flat. Not true, according to historians.

Kids in school have long been taught that when Columbus set sail in 1492 to find a new route to the East Indies, it was feared he would fall off the edge of the earth because people thought the planet was flat.

However, as early as 6th century B.C., Pythagoras — later followed by Aristotle and Euclid — wrote about earth as a sphere, and historians say there’s no doubt that the educated in Columbus’s day knew quite well that the earth was round. Columbus, in fact, owned a copy of Ptolemy’s book, written 1,300 years before Columbus set sail. The Sphere, written in the 1200s, was required reading in European universities in the 1300s and beyond.

What about the names of the ships? Experts say that Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria are probably not the correct names. The Santa Maria was La Gallega, meaning The Galician. The Niña is now believed to be a nickname for the Santa Clara, and Pinta also was probably a nickname.

The funniest fact is that Columbus didn’t “discover” America. In fact, he never set foot in North America. During four separate trips, starting in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands, including the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. He also explored Central and South American coasts. But he didn’t reach North America, which was already inhabited by Native Americans. You may remember that it is believed that Norse explorer Leif Erikson reached Canada perhaps 500 years before Columbus was born, and there are some who believe that Phoenician sailors crossed the Atlantic much earlier than that.

Knowing all of this, Columbus doesn’t seem like a man we would celebrate. He committed atrocities against native peoples on the islands and decimated their populations while also terrorizing Spanish colonists, according to the biography Columbus by Laurence Bergreen. If all of this is true – and it appears to be – why do we have a special day to celebrate Christopher Columbus? It’s a tradition started in 1792 to honor Italian-American heritage. Then in 1937, President Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 to be Columbus Day, a national holiday. It was later changed to the second Monday in October.    

For various reasons, many places have changed the name of the holiday. Berkeley, California, replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992 to honor the original inhabitants of the islands where Columbus landed. In 1989, South Dakota started calling the holiday Native American Day. Alabama celebrates a combination of Columbus Day and American Indian Heritage Day, and Hawaii calls it Discovery Day.

Something to Think About
With all of that being said, why do many Americans celebrate Columbus Day? He was an ambitious sailor with an insatiable thirst for exploration. His adventures and early travels sparked exploration to many who marked a time that forever changed the world. Plus, it’s a great time of year for a three-day holiday, allowing us to enjoy the autumn foliage. Next year for Columbus Day weekend, let’s celebrate all of the people who should be celebrated on this date. You decide what you will call it, but let’s keep the tradition of a long holiday weekend in the states!

Weekly Challenge
Share today’s story with friends and family.

Words of Wisdom
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” – Andre Gide.

“Riches don't make a man rich, they only make him busier.” – Christopher Columbus

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert Kennedy

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John Shedd 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Morning Wake Up Call


Monday Wake Up Call:
Your Motivation, Inspiration, & Direction for the Week Ahead



Welcome, Fall!
Welcome to Monday! Fall has officially begun. I love the vibrant fall colors, the pumpkin lattes, the hot apple cider and the warmth of a fireplace. Did you ever notice that everything in fall seems to have the same colors? Leaves, pumpkins, cider and squash are all shades of orange, brown, yellow and deep red. Are you looking forward to all of those pumpkin-inspired dishes that we all love to prepare and/or eat?

There’s no doubt that autumn is upon us. The start of this new season provides a wonderful opportunity for us to renew; it’s a time to discover which parts of yourself you’d like to embrace and expand upon and which parts of your summer skin you’d like to shed. Bring on the turning leaves, cozy sweaters and that nostalgic chill. I’m ready!

Fall is officially September 22 through December 20. And while people may agree on the season, they don’t all agree on its name. Fall was originally called “harvest” in the 1200s, but 300 years later people were using the term “autumn,” from the old French word autompne. The term “fall,” from “fall of the leaf,” gained popularity in the 16th century. The British eventually chose to continue favoring “autumn,” while North American explorers – later, Americans – used “fall.” Which term do you prefer?

Something to Think About
Just as the fall season represents the end of the year, it’s also a time to reflect on the seasons of your life. What thoughts and memories will you embrace as this season comes to an end? When you reflect on your life in 2016, what new experiences did springtime bring? What part of your life blossomed in the summer? What will make you feel as warm as a cup of cider in the fall? What memory will remain in your heart as you enter a new season? Fall is a time to prepare to release the old and embrace the new.

Weekly Challenge
Make a “letting go” jar. Cover it with burlap and fun fall colors. Be creative with the name or type of jar. Think of things in your life that you need to “let go of” or allow to end. Write each one on a piece of paper, and put it in the jar with the date. Other family members can join in too! Then seal the jar, and put it away. Years from now, when you open the jar and read what seemed to loom over your life at the time, you’ll find those things all but nonexistent. Another option is to put them in a jar, then set them on fire at the end of the year. You choose!

Words of Wisdom
“Accept the fact that you will grow apart from people you’ve had significant relationships with. Understand when someone no longer positively affects your life. Let them go. Don’t hinder your growth.” – Unknown

“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” – Melody Beattie

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse

“Remember, you can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.” – Unknown

Monday, September 26, 2016

Townhouse or a Single Family Home: Perspective for First-time Buyers

Buying a home is an exciting venture, especially for first-time buyers. In today's market, a big question is whether to purchase a townhouse (attached) or a single family home (detached). The answer, of course, depends on what you're looking for. Keep these points in mind as you consider your options.

Monthly Payments

In many communities, townhouses sell for less than comparable single family homes. A smaller price tag is appealing, especially if it means borrowing less money. But typically, a townhouse comes with monthly homeowner association (HOA) dues that may reach into the hundreds of dollars. Some detached dwellings may also have HOA dues, but most do not. When calculating your monthly payments, add up your mortgage payment and your HOA dues to get the full picture.

Home Maintenance

With a single family home, you're responsible for all the upkeep. With a townhouse, however, the homeowner association is responsible for some or all of the external maintenance. That means that when it's time for a new roof or a fresh coat of exterior paint, your HOA will likely take care of it. A portion of the dues you and your neighbors have been paying will be used for exterior maintenance expenses. Check with the association to see which external repairs they are responsible for completing.

What About a Yard?

Don't overlook the yard when buying a home in Syracuse. A detached home can come with a sizable yard. An attached home may have a small yard, a patio area only, or no yard at all. If you want a huge yard for the kids or for entertaining, then a single family home is likely right for you. On the other hand, if you want just a small outside area that doesn't require much yard work, then a townhouse may be more your style.

Other Considerations

These are important points to think about before buying a home, but there are other considerations:
  • Are you comfortable sharing one or more walls with neighbors?
  • How much are property taxes and special assessments for each dwelling?
  • Will your family fit comfortably in the house?
  • If you have pets, are they allowed in the townhouse community you’re considering?
  • What might the resale value be for each property type?
  • How important is it to have your home close to schools or retail areas?

Weigh your options carefully. Each type of dwelling offers different benefits. Decide what’s important to you, and ask your realtor plenty of questions before buying a home.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call


Monday Wake Up Call:
Your Motivation, Inspiration, & Direction for the Week Ahead



Welcome to another Monday! I have a question for you: When you think of the person in your life who is most loyal, who comes to mind? What caused you to think of that person when you thought about the word “loyal”? We all have our own feelings about or definition of loyalty but, more important, we all have those people in our lives whom we love and admire for their loyalty to us. These are the people you can trust to have your back all of the time. They will never abandon you.
Think about how important it is to have those people in our lives. When we are weak, they carry us. When we are overwhelmed, they lighten the burden. When we want to talk, they listen without judgment. We need people in our lives who are loyal to us but, to attract those people, we must first be loyal friends and family members ourselves. It’s not always easy but, when you’re a loyal friend or family member, you should know that the gift of a loyal friend is priceless.
Something to Think About
In addition to the people in our lives who are loyal, pets also are very loyal, easy to talk to and love us unconditionally. If you’re ready to add to your list of loyal friends, perhaps it’s time to get a pet.
Weekly Activity
Write notes to the people in your life whom you consider to be loyal friends. Express what it means to you to have such amazing friends.
Words of Wisdom
“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” – Zig Ziglar
“Loyalty isn't grey. It's black and white. You're either loyal completely, or not loyal at all.” – Sharnay
“Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” – Albert Einstein
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Wake Up Call

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call:

Your Motivation, Inspiration & Direction for the Week Ahead


Increased Intelligence

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Did you do something to increase your intelligence? You’re probably thinking, “What?! Increase my intelligence?” That’s the response most people have, but did you know that there are many great reasons for intentionally increasing your intelligence?

Intelligence has been defined in many ways, including as one’s capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, planning, creativity and problem-solving. It’s your ability to perceive information and apply it to a specific project or objective.


Many clinical studies are currently looking at the effects of increased brain activity as it pertains to Alzheimer’s disease. Mental decline as we age appears to be largely because of altered connections among brain cells. But research has found that keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections. You could even generate new brain cells! Wow! As we get older, we can actually get smarter vs. losing what we’ve learned throughout life. What an exciting discovery! 


Something to Think About

Intellectually stimulating activities also may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. One large observational study looked at the impact of ordinary activities such as listening to the radio, reading newspapers, playing puzzle games and visiting museums. Investigators asked more than 700 seniors to describe the amount of time they spent doing these activities. After four years, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease was 47% lower, on average, for those who did the activities most often than for those who did them less frequently. A more recent study showed that older people with less education who engaged in activities such as reading, crossword puzzles and writing letters performed as well on memory tests as their better-educated peers.


Weekly Activity

Keep your brain active every day:

  • Stay curious and involved – commit to lifelong learning
  • Read, write and work crossword or other puzzles
  • Attend lectures and plays
  • Enroll in courses at your local adult education center, community college or other community group
  • Play games
  • Work in your garden
  • Try memory exercises

Words of Wisdom

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn

“Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw


“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius