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"I think it's the height of patriotism to continue to exercise your right as a citizen and to hold your government to account. Isn't that what the very essence of democracy is about?"
– Valerie Plame  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 7 July 2019  

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Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
  Maintaining momentum
  By Mark Stoller

   Mark Stoller is a nine-year resident of Colorado. He and his wife, Andra, both U.S. Air Force veterans, moved to Falcon in 2007 and are now raising their three teenage daughters in Latigo. They enjoy their home on the prairie with plenty of room for their six adopted dogs, bagpipes & Celtic Festivals and beekeeping. Mark enjoys the privilege of his wife and daughters being his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate.

   We made it through the month of January! Maybe it’s just me, but I find January to be a challenge after the 40-day marathon of Thanksgiving –- Christmas –- New Year’s. There is a huge, tiring crescendo of activities and expectations around the holiday season. I find I dig deep in to reserve energy to plunge into a new year.
   That said, I have managed to begin and maintain a groove of self-improvement. Some folks have asked whether I follow my own advice and accomplish the things I write about. Honestly — I try everything.
   As mentioned last month, I wrote down every good event from 2018, figured out what I didn’t accomplish, and then I started something new. I implemented Mel Robbins’ free program called #MindsetReset.
   Following her directions, I moved my phone from the nightstand to another room. This ensures I get out of bed when the alarm goes off and deny myself the snooze button.
   An interesting fact — your body operates on roughly 90-minute sleep cycles. Every time you hit the snooze button, you invite your brain and body to slip into the next sleep cycle even though you need to roll out and get after your day. The only way to escape from another sleep cycle is taking a cold shower.
   By setting an earlier morning alarm, I have afforded myself the quiet time to establish a routine where I plan out the priorities of my day utilizing a very simple journal template.
   One priority is to make up for not being in better shape. I committed myself to physical fitness and being more deliberate in eating nutritious foods. Following my first meeting at work, I have a cup of coffee and then head down to the company exercise room.
   We have all found there is no quick path to getting healthy. It takes hard work. The discipline to be consistent in eating right and exercising is starting to show positive results.
   When I turned 50, I identified what I still wanted to learn and accomplish on my vision board. Getting serious about physical fitness lends itself to my new undertaking — earning a certification as an emergency medical technician.
   My last tour in Iraq was especially brutal. To honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service, I have committed to doing something worthy with my life. The EMT academy began in October, and I’ve re-learned anatomy, body systems and medicine. We are currently learning to treat and package trauma patients.
   This March, I will earn my certification and quid pro quo volunteer with the fire department that included me in their academy. I might apply as a volunteer with Falcon Fire Protection District after their new ambulances are put in to service.
   Working full-time, attending EMT academy, taking care of my family, fulfilling our commitments at church, writing columns/articles and staying true to my new routine all requires very serious time management and organization.
   I learned about the Progress Principle to avoid getting stressed by my “To Do” list. Put simply — harness the power of small wins. My morning routine for planning and goal setting involves selecting the one project/task I will move forward to completion each day. It has truly helped diminish feeling overwhelmed.
   Admittedly, there are times when I am just not feeling it. Two quotes get me off my butt and moving forward: “It’s not that you can’t do it — it’s that you don’t” and “As the precious seconds of life go by, you are either building or losing ground.”
   I hope by sharing my progress it will help you maintain the momentum to reach this year’s goals!
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