My Dogs Do Not Recognize Daylight Savings Time

dinner timeThis weekend was the dreaded day of setting our clocks ahead an hour.  Oh, the horror of loosing an hour. Whatever.


Even worse having to actually, physically change all the clocked that are not electronic and do it on their own.  I normally forget to reset one of the manual ones and don’t figure it out until a couple weeks later.


This change seems to get everyone up in arms and very grumpy.  But the one thing that is not affected by the time change – dinner time for the dogs.


My dogs know nothing about springing forward and falling back – they know that at a specific time in the evening their bowls are to be filled with the crunchy stuff.  They don’t care what the clock says, they don’t care if you are in the middle of anything – it is their time – period.


It is like extreme habit.  No matter what the circumstance they have this inner voice or clock that at that time goes off like an air raid siren.  You try telling them that dinner time has changed.  It is like, as my friend Nancy said, trying to describe the smell of the number nine.


I wish I had that same internal drive for some things.  Like working out, eating healthy or keeping a immaculate house.  No matter what the circumstance I would just be able to hop right out of bed at some ungodly morning hour and work out.


I’m still waiting for that to happen.  That, and to grow another five or six inches taller, world peace, every single sock being matched with its partner right out of the dryer and Shemar Moore to deliver the winning lottery check with my name on it to my front door.  A girl has to dream.


In the meantime I have to practice what I preach.


When coaching clients during job searching we talk about setting goals, habits and actions. There is no sense taking action without setting a goal.  You must know what you want and they what you are willing to do about it.


Rarely is there a goal that doesn’t take work and come with an element of pain.  You may be uncomfortable talking to people about your job search, but without networking you will be missing out on some of the most important opportunities.


Once you start tackling those painful steps then they more easily become habits – but that doesn’t mean that they become natural.  They just become easier.


Not in a sense that you have done it so often that it is old hat; rather in a sense that once you have done it consistently for a bit you can look back and see progress.  You already have that positive reinforcement so that helps get you through on the days that you just don’t want to.


With that in mind, the treadmill and I made friends again today.  I will never have the internal drive at 5 am to pop out of bed and work out; however, I can condition myself to get up a little earlier by looking back to feeling winded after playing with the pups and to where I will be in being able to outlast them.


You may never be completely at ease talking to complete strangers about what you can do and how you can help them, but you can get enough practice that it is far less painful that it was when you started.  You can also find that you made a friend or two along the way and possibly even a new job.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


Making a Switch In Your Head

During the course of our life we have certain jobs that either teach us or present us with the opportunity to develop certain skills.  At that time those skills serve us very well, they make us very successful in those positions.


But then life happens.  The job changes, new management comes in, we lose the job or decide to move on to something else.  We end a relationship and start a new one.  All very grown up of us and very progressive, how very proud we are of ourselves.


We learn to adapt and move forward.  But what happens if in moving forward you are actually being held back, you are seen as a weak link or out of touch?  What happened to utilizing those fabulous skills that made us a rock star?


They turned into baggage.


Well, that’s just not fair!  Who changed the rules?? Your grown up self is asking.  No one changed the rules – you just failed to read the fine print in accepting the newly acquired skills so long ago; which was:


these will serve you well in a certain environment, in a certain situation but they are by no means the end all be all of skills that you will ever need to learn and quite possibly will become outdated as soon as you feel confident and all grown up.


Well crap!  Now what?


First acknowledge that you no longer a rock star and second: learn to retrain your brain.


Ugh!  That sounds like a lot of work!  I don’t wanna!  Tough – suck it up cupcake.  If you want a successful relationship you have to have some skin in the game.


Retraining your brain is not easy.  We have become comfortable with our way of doing things.  They worked before we want them to continue to work now.  I understand, but life doesn’t work that way.


First recognize the habits, skills or attributes that you need to change.  For me it was the process of analyzing; actually over-analyzing.  I’m an analyzer.  I want to know the how, whys and possible outcomes.  As a former Compliance Officer this served me well.


After I moved on from this position that attribute did not serve me as well as a primary means of operation.  It was still a good quality, just not one that I needed to use all the time.  I had to retrain my brain to take it down a notch.


This was a hard process for me; mainly because I over-analyzed the process of retraining to death: the pros, the cons, the ease, the challenges, blah, blah, blah.


In retraining it is important to recognize when the old skills start to kick in.  When I would start to analyze something unnecessarily I would literally stop what I was doing and take a breath.  Making a conscious decision to stop and recognize was a major factor in being able to retrain my brain.


With some clients I give them a rubber band to wear around their wrists.  When they find themselves starting to employ a past behavior they are to give themselves a flick.


Once I recognized it and stopped admonishing myself for analyzing I could then talk myself through employing the type of behavior I wanted rather than the over-analyzing.


It is also important to recognize what you can and cannot control.  My actions, reactions and behaviors are all on me.  These are the things I own, these are the things I have control over.  I cannot control other people’s behavior, wants, needs or actions.


I had to learn to let go of ownership for other people’s crap.


When a situation would come up that triggered a negative response or overanalyzing then I had to, again, stop myself and literally say to myself:


Self, as much as it should – the world does not revolve around you nor do you rule the world.  What can you control in this situation, what is your contribution? 


I would then answer myself honestly, to which myself would then say:


Than that is the only thing that you are to focus on and take ownership of – period.


The last key to retraining was remaining positive.  I knew I could modify this behavior – after all I mastered it before so I can master the art of modifying and adopting new behavior.  I gave myself permission to be positive and stopped beating myself up when I slipped.


I still slip now and then.  My wonderful friends will tell me when I am overanalyzing in their kind and gentle way; but when I do I do not berate myself or feel as though I am loosing ground.


What is the old saying: it only takes a moment to learn a bad habit but a lifetime to break?  Being able to change habits becomes much easier when you take ownership of only what you actually control, remain positive and continue to employ the new behavior.


“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” – Calvin Coolidge



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.