We are a group of Dental Consultants who offer, improved practice morale; a happier, more profitable patient base;and improved home life; increased collections. (And yes, our average is 35% in year one.)
I usually write posts about being positive and positive work choices. In celebration of the holidays here are some recipes that I thought I would share from the Farmers' Almanac. Recipes were from My Recipes, Martha Stewart and Cooking Light.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Store the mixture in an airtight container.
For individual servings, pour 1 cup whole milk into a
microwave-safe mug, and microwave on high just until hot. Add 2
tablespoons of cocoa mix, and stir to dissolve. For a larger batch of
cocoa, warm the milk in a saucepan set over medium-low heat, taking care
not to let the milk boil; as it warms, stir in 2 tablespoons of mix for
each cup of milk.
Christmas Breakfast Sausage Casserole:
Ingredients: Makes 8 servings
1 pound pork sausage
1 teaspoonmustard powder
4 Eggs Beaten
2 cups milk
6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
8 ounces of mild cheddar cheese, shredded
Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown; drain.
In a medium
bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage,
bread cubes, and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased
9x13 inch baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours,
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
bake 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F
(165 degrees C). Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set.
Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies: Ingredients
1 chai tea bag
1 (17.5-oz.) package sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup melted butter$
1 large egg$
4 tablespoons eggnog, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove tea leaves from tea bag; discard bag.
2. Stir together tea leaves, cookie mix, butter, egg, and 2 Tbsp. eggnog until well blended.
3. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking
sheets. Flatten dough slightly with bottom of a glass dipped in cinnamon
4. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove
from baking sheet to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 10
5. Whisk together powdered sugar, nutmeg, and remaining 2 Tbsp. eggnog until smooth. Spoon over cooled cookies.
1. Weigh or lightly spoon 2.25 ounces (about 1/2 cup) flour into
a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 2.25 ounces flour and
almonds in a food processor; process until finely ground. Weigh or
lightly spoon remaining 5.25 ounces (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
flour into a dry measuring cup. Combine almond mixture, remaining 5.25
ounces flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, stirring well with a
2. Place granulated sugar, butter, and rind in a large bowl; beat
with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Add egg yolks; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually
add flour mixture; beat just until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out
onto a sheet of plastic wrap; knead lightly 3 times or until smooth.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions; wrap each portion in plastic wrap.
Chill 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350°.
4. Roll each dough portion into a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured
surface; cut with a 2-inch rectangular cookie cutter with fluted edges
to form 36 cookies. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion; use a
1-inch rectangular fluted cutter to remove centers of 36 rectangles.
Arrange 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, 1
batch at a time, at 350° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly
browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.
5. Spread center of each whole cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon
preserves. Sprinkle cutout cookies with powdered sugar. Place 1 cutout
cookie on top of each whole cookie.
Butterscotch Bars Recipe
1 cup packed brown sugar$
5 tablespoons butter, melted$
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten$
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)$
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk$
1 1/4 cups butterscotch morsels (about 8 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla and
egg. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a
knife. Combine flour, oats, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a
bowl. Add oat mixture to sugar mixture; stir with a fork until combined
(mixture will be crumbly). Place 3 cups oat mixture into the bottom of a
13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray; press into bottom of
pan. Set aside.
3. Place sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch morsels, and 1/8
teaspoon salt in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or
until butterscotch morsels melt, stirring every 20 seconds. Stir in
walnuts. Scrape mixture into pan, spreading evenly over crust. Sprinkle
evenly with remaining oat mixture, gently pressing into butterscotch
mixture. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden
brown. Place pan on a cooling rack; run a knife around outside edge.
At some time in our life we will all face challenges. We have to accept this fact. When faced with an inopportune problem however, you can see it as a challenge or an opportunity. Opportunities provide, "favorable juncture of circumstances" while challenges halt progress. Opportunities give you solutions while challenges build mountains.
When we hit an adverse situation we need to dig deep and look for how it will help us grow instead of allowing this problem to hold us back from the true opportunity that is waiting for us. "The Positive Dog," suggests asking yourself three questions to help turn your situation into a positive situation. Jon Gordon, "The Positive Dog." 1. What can I learn from this experience? 2. How can I grow from it? 3. What do I do know?
It is what we do with the information and the situation that turn your life around.
"Rich and successful people are solution-oriented; they spend their time
and energy strategizing and planning the answers to challenges that
come up, and creating systems to make certain that problem doesnít occur
It is easy to lose sight of what you are working for when you come into work everyday and spend your time putting out fires. Or if you are just trying to get through the work day.
In order to improve your office, vision or your job in general you should try visualizing your dreams everyday. Spend time thinking about what you want. Create a collage and place it somewhere you look often to remind you of what you are trying to achieve and where your future is headed.
Visualize yourself achieving the goal. Lee Iacocca said, "The
greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their
lives by altering their attitudes of mind,"(Lee Iacocca).
When you're tired, frustrated or unfocused use your collage to get you back on track. People who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. Create pictures of what your life will look like when you achieve your goals. How will it feel? What will be different in your life?
Commit to achieving the goal by writing down the goal. Lee Iacocca said, "The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen."
Writing your goals down helps you become committed to the goal. It holds you accountable and helps remind you of what it is that you are working towards. When you first create the goal you are attempting to achieve you need to create a plan. Your step number one should be you writing down your goal on paper.
You have probably heard people tell you if you want to change how you feel just smile more. But a fake smile does not give you the benefits that a real smile gives you. How do you produce a genuine smile? Well, one way according to, "The Positive Dog," is to laugh. Author Jon Gordon suggests you find things to laugh about everyday all throughout the day. His story of a dog in the pound who receives special advice from a, "positive dog," brings the special touch of teaching a dog how to change his reality by creating a positive dog. When we feel down or negative it can be harder for us to find moments for us to laugh and smile about.
In order to accomplish this goal, you must find jokes that make you laugh. Find a lot of them you can read over and over in order to enjoy life. You may even want to make a board of jokes that surround your office or your bedroom. Cover your bathroom mirror with them in order to get that laugh in first thing in the morning.
5. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin
In order to smile more, you have to make it a habit. Everyday remind yourself to find something funny or something to smile about. Pretty soon it will be a part of who you are and you will find a shift in your world.
Perspective is the reality we create for ourselves.
Depending on our perception of a situation will depend on the choices we make
in our life.If we have a negative perception
of events then the outcome or the reality we create for ourselves is a negative
one. However, if we create a positive perspective of events in our life it will
create positive opportunities for us.
Being positive and looking at life through the glass is half
full view isn’t something I’m very good at. It wasn’t that I didn’t want
positive things in my life. I did. I would look around the world and see what
others had and say to myself one day I will have that. Instead of, I’m going to
achieve that now and this is how. I would read books on how to be positive and
I wore shirts with positive sayings but soon a situation would happen and my
positive shirt would quickly be buried under the pile of negativity.
But then I read a book that truly changed my life. It is
called, “The Positive Dog.” Although this book is short its message is powerful
and a book that has the ability to take you to a different place if you are
open and willing to hear its message and to implement its lessons.
The premise of the book is about a dog that has been placed
in a kennel. And he spends his time complaining. Families do not want to adopt
him and he finds himself sad and angry. One day another dog comes over and
helps teach him lessons to change his life around. One of the many lessons Matt (the dog learns)
from Bubba (another dog) is to, “tell yourself positive stories,” (The Positive
Dog, pg. 27)
You can come to work everyday and have a confrontation with
co-workers. You can believe that people do not have the money to spend in your
business or that your boss is being mean when he asked you to fix something. However,
when you feed yourself negative stories and thoughts you create a reality of
negativity that keeps you trapped.
This story further tells us that, “how you see the world defines
your world.” It determines your reality, beliefs and reactions to every
situation you encounter.By changing the
stories you tell yourself, you can change the world you live in.You can create a business of positivity and
In our world it is easy to look around and focus on the negative. Maybe, you're at a job you don't love or maybe you're feeling a lot of pressure. No matter the reason, you may not be able to change your working environment however, you can change your attitude towards work by taking a few steps.
A few years ago I worked as a one-on-one assistant in a special needs classroom. The first year I worked at the school the teacher I worked under was amazing. She encouraged me to be independent, asked my opinion on items with this particular student and encouraged my leadership abilities in the classroom. The next year, I was placed with a different teacher but worked with the same student.
It was evident early on in the year, that the expectations with this teacher were very different than the teacher the year before. However, it quickly became personal. The teacher made negative remarks about me as a person not me as a worker. I became frustrated, negative and withdrawn. Getting up to go to work was an extreme chore.
Then, one day towards the end of the school year a friend of mine invited me to a women's bible study. Although, this was not something I would usually attend I decided it would be a nice change of pace. The lady that was running the session, started by discussing a job where she was in a similar position as I. She told her story of how her job was affecting everything in her life. And how she finally realized she needed a change.
She began the necessary work to change her attitude and the way she felt towards her employer. She put in the time to change her outlook towards things in her life. She worked on thinking positive thoughts. She completed activities that helped her find balance, such as Yoga and women's groups.
A short amount of time had passed and she woke up early in the morning, excited to go to work. She entered work everyday with a smile on her face.
When she reflected on things a year later she realized nothing had changed except her attitude. Her boss treated her exactly the same. Customers still complained. Her job was the exact same as it was before. But she changed by changing her negative thoughts to positive thoughts.
Here a few suggestions to help change a negative attitude to a positive:
1. Wake up every morning and before you open eyes think of something that makes you happy.
2. When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought about your job turn it into a positive and then move on.
3. Spend time with positive people at your work place.
4. Smile, even if you don't feel like it.
5. Make a habit of leaving work at work and enjoy your outside time. It can help you feel refreshed when you are there.
Wow, I can't believe that we are already on week 11. I am so glad you
have continued to work with your group up to this point. If you are
just joining us, hope you look back and review the weeks before. This
week we will be focusing on reality and facing the future.
this week by telling yourself that it is, "time for a reality check."
When we are in a current position we may not be facing the reality we
are in. We need to stop and face reality in order to ask ourselves the
tough questions. However, once you do this it can help you map out the
future of where you are going. This chapter in Monday Morning Choices
suggests talks about a manager who went to his Vice President and asked
for a new opportunity as a sale representative he was told no because he
didn't use his, "slack time productively." Once Carl faces reality he
has options in order to help him chart the next course of his life.
Facing reality will give us the building blocks we need in order to face
today what we need to change for tomorrow to create the reality we
want. Checking in with reality can be a change.
reality can cause some uncomfortableness in your world for a short
time. However, there are rewards for facing the reality you are in. For
example, you learn more about yourself, you can step out of the rut you
"Choosing reality takes courage. It takes strength of conviction and a passion for progress," (David Cottrell, Pg. 159)
in with reality is active not passive. Things that David Cottrell
suggests, "that you can do to check in with reality is to check in with
reality everyday. Look for truth all around you and in every situation.
Reality may not always be the easiest path."
This week we will finish up by focusing on, "The Legacy Choice... Give Your Gift."
Our Final Week with Monday Morning Choices has arrived. I hope you have found this segment helpful and renewed yourself in your career and your life.
It is important for anyone to succeed that they at some point in their life have a mentor to help them out. It is just as important that you give back to the world by becoming a mentor as well. You can do this in a variety of ways, through your community or boy scouts, where and how does not matter. Being a mentor is what matters.
A mentors responsibility it to bridge the gap between past experiences to help support future decisions. Without people who are willing to become mentors to those around them individuals would not have access to important information. However, don't give to others because you want some thing in return, David Cottrell says, "give because it is the right thing to do," (David Cottrell, Pg. 167).
You do not have to make large sweeping changes you only have to start where you are. Be nice to the people around you, help a co-worker in need or support your boss when they make a difficult decision.
Your legacy is sacred and you do not know when or who it will help. Take the time to pass on your wisdom to others. David states that your, "legacy is priceless." It is a gift that should be cherished and shared with the people around us because they deserve to have people around them that have been in the same place as they have.
"Your legacy is your gift to pass on."
Find people who spark your inner fire.
Thank you David Cottrell for you 12 weeks of wisdom.
It can be lonely at the top because there is always someone who is willing to criticize you. However, this section in the book suggests that criticism can give you what you need to rethink a position you took.
However, this section is not talking about analyzing the criticism that people may make about the way you look or other trivial items. Criticism isn't always a bad thing and can be the catalyst needed for change to happen. When analyzing criticism or when trying to figure out the importance of the criticism you must first ask yourself some questions. For example, who is the person offering the criticism and are they trying to hurt or help?
Criticism is a part of our lives and it is important that you use it to your benefit and not as a hindrance. However, you need to protect your self-esteem as well, do not let people attack your self-esteem. Learning and moving forward from the advice can help take you to where you want to be. It is important that you allow yourself to here the suggestions around you because although, one way may work it may not work for everyone.
Welcome to week #9. We are rounding down are Monday Morning's and I hope that you have found this information valuable. I also hope you continue to work with your group to refine and reflect on your choices throughout the year.
The Relationship Choices.... Connect with Success.
This weeks work starts out with a story about bees. They survive in the winter because they all work together. While a bee is not always in the center of the ball warm, the entire hive works together in order for everyone to be successful. The point, success cannot be achieved without the work of everyone and you cannot achieve long term success without help.
A study completed by, Carnegie Foundation found, "that 85% of a person's success is determined by what the researchers called ability to deal with people and attitudes (David Cottrell).
Most individuals are looking for a variety of things from their relationships with others and you may have learned about relationships from a variety of people in your life. This however, does not matter. What matters is that you have strong healthy, positive relationships with others.
Cottreell in this chapter mentions that trust is a very important component in a relationship. However, communication and a caring for other people's dreams and goals are also important in building strong relationships with others.
In our lives we our like the five people we spend the most time with. This is not always a positive thing. Hang out with people who are achieving or desire the same success you desire. Building relationships and keeping strong relationships take time and effort. If you are not willing to put in the time, chances are that relationship will not be a sustainable one.
This week focus on who you spend the most time with. Ask yourself how you foster this relationship and what you could do to improve the relationship.
It doesn't matter who you are, how old you are, male or female or your political views at some point in time you have come up against adversity. But what you do with this makes the difference between success and failure.
"The difference between successful people and average people is that successful people make a conscious choice to spend their time attacking the problem."
We always have a choice. What choice will you make next time you are faced with adversity?
You can look around at your friends, co-workers or family and pick out which ones have faced adversity and overcome it and which ones let it take over their life. If you want positive rewards you have to make the choice to let the past be the past and move forward with the future no matter what situation you are facing.
This week focus on moving forward one positive step at a time.
Chris Novak, in the book conquering adversity suggests you do six simple things to overcome adversity.
Take inventory of what you have lost and what you have left. Don't get into the mind set that you have lost it all.
Don't focus on the why, focus on what you are going to do to move forward.
Believe that the people the around you can help and don't be afraid to ask them for help when you need it.
Don't stop, move forward.
Take people with you on your journey forward.
Find time to celebrate in order to restore your sense of hope and positive energy.
This is week #7 of, "Monday Morning Choices." I believe this is one of the most important sections you will read. Without a positive attitude other changes cannot occur. If you look in the face of negativity and pessimism you believe the changes you have made to this point are not working. You may revert back to your old self because you have not enjoyed the weeks of success. Or you do not see your change as benefiting you.
It does not matter what happens in your life or what other people do to you because you have the power to chose your attitude. I'm sure many of you have heard about the, "The Fish Philosophy." There is a fishing company in Seattle, called the Pike Place fish market. The company started by asking themselves who they wanted to be, how they were going to get there and what it meant once they were there. What they decided was that they wanted to be, "World Famous." And although, some might see working with fish boring and gross the employees there see it another way. And they live by three philosophies. One of them is, "choosing your attitude."
Choose to be enthusiastic in everything you do and choose to be around people who live there life that same way. In the book, Monday Morning Choices," he challenges you this week to think about people you admire, do any of them have a negative attitude? The answer is that there probably isn't anyone because successful leaders are ones that have positive attitudes.
Yes, bad things in life happen and sometimes we are overwhelmed with those bad things. But we can choose how we react and we can choose the attitude that takes us to the next choice we make after those bad things happen. How quickly you recover from the negative in your life is a direct choice of the attitude you choose to have.
"The Force Multiplier"
Positive, enthusiastic people give energy to the people around them. While negative people take away the energy from their co-workers and their work environment. You want to stand next to the people that are passing out positive energy and helping you to build on your positive attitude. If you are unable to find these people in your work force, then you must become the person that is handing out positivity.
You must chose optimism all the time. David Cottrell states, "it's easy to chose optimism when times are good." However, you have to chose this state all the time and remember when there are setbacks they are only temporary and you can overcome them. With optimism comes choices and with choices you can be back on track before you know it.
This week focus on your attitude in good times and bad. Reflect what goes well this week and what didn't go well. What was your attitude in each of those situations? And how did you feel after the setback.
We cannot choose the events that happen to us, but we can choose to smile at the opportunity we receive when the wind stops blowing.
Welcome to choice 6 of Monday Morning choices, you are know halfway through changing your life.
This week we will be focusing on, "The Persistence Choice... Learn from Failure."
It is okay to fail. We can learn as much from our failures as we learn from our success. And it is important to preserve through our failures in order to find what we seek at the end of our journey. We will not find success in a day or two. It takes time and it is what we do everyday over a long time that determines whether we will actually succeed in our goals.
Fear is a natural emotion that everyone feels at some time in their life. This is okay. But you should not let it hold you back from making choices or from moving forward. Have the courage to face your fears and move through them.
It is easy to give up and give in when you have failed over and over. However, it is the choices we make in the moment of failure that we can find the piece that is missing to help make a product more successful.
Train yourself to accept failure as a part of life and instead of dwelling on it and letting it hold you back, let it drive you forward into making the best decisions you can make to help you be successful in your business.
We are on week 5 and today we will be focusing on chapter called, "The Do-Something Choice... Don't vacation on "Someday Isle."
I'm sure you are all familiar with the phrase, "Someday, I'll be happy when I..." This is a place that doesn't exist so make choices not on when you are going to be happy or lose that 20 pounds but focus on what changes you are making right now.
Great ideas that move us forward or only great if we put them into action. It isn't enough to talk about change you have to be willing to put that into momentum and movement. Change is hard, but talking about change will not actually cause change to occur.
One of the important choices in this section, is making, "the choice to read everyday." David Cottrell states in the book, "the bigger houses have the bigger libraries and that this is not a coincidence. The more you read the more you learn and the more success you will have." You have to be a life long learner and in order to do this you must read.
Although, you may be limited by the people you meet you are not limited by the information you can learn from historians, business executives and great leaders when you pick up a book. The information you can now learn and grown from is limitless in a book.
David further suggests that it does not matter what you read, it just matters that you do it. Don't give up on learning right after you graduate make yourself a long term reader and learner to enjoy long term success in your life.
This week focus on making decisions to keep winning. Because, "winners keep winning." Just because you won an award once or were the top once it isn't enough. Keep do what you need to in order to keep winning over and over.
Communication is written language, how well you listen and how well you verbalize answers to questions. People make a judgement about you in the first six seconds. It is critical to make sure you are efficient in each communication area. If you are not you will want to find a class, book or group that will help you increase your skills in that area. You cannot be successful if you cannot answer a question sufficiently or if your emails contain spelling errors.
There is no try. You can create excuses why you couldn't get the project done or why you didn't make those important phone calls when you use the words, "I'll try." Instead eliminate this from your vocabulary and only use words about it already being done.
Begin your success today by making a change today.
Welcome to week four of Monday Morning Choices, Morning Choice # 4 .
Hope that last week was a successful week for your group and you were able to evaluate your enemies with an open mind. It's important to continue
meeting and making time for your conversations to happen.
"The Integrity Choice...Do the Right Thing"
Integrity is the fabric of who we are. It is important that we don't comprise this integrity. Here is a little exercise for you to complete this week.
"Write down the first five people that come to mind that you consider to be trustworthy. Now look at your list and evaluate with characteristics they have in common?" (Pg. 47)
Now make another list of the five people you don't trust. What characteristics do they have in common?
Our integrity is the most important trait we have in this world. It means we do what is right even if there isn't someone watching, a prize at the end or a bag of money. It means that we do what is right when no one is watching because at the end of the day all we have is our integrity. Some of our greatest hardships may have come from someone who proved that their integrity could be compromised. Do you know someone that values their own integrity above all else? Or a company that doesn't care what the cost is they always do the right thing?
Johnson and Johnson did, when they found out that individuals were poisoned they did what they needed to in order to protect society. They didn't worry about the millions of dollars they were losing they focused on the lives they were saving.
A final important point from this section, "Integrity is usually lost not by the big decisions but the small choices we make everyday."
Don't let the small choices change what you stand for today.
Welcome to week four of Monday Morning Choices, Morning Choice # 3 . Hope that last week was a successful week for your group and that now you are into the swing of your meetings. It is important to continue meeting and making time for your conversations to happen. Don't lose momentum.
This week we are going to focus on evaluating our friends while focusing on choosing the right enemies.
Values are the beliefs that we hold closest to us. Know your values and stick to them, because you will always have enemies. Your enemies according to, "Monday Morning Choices," are created because your values are in direct competition with their values or beliefs.
No matter what you do you will likely have enemies of some sort. Whether it's because your better at your job, prettier or more organized you will have people that stand on the other end of the line from you. It's important to make your choice on who your enemies are going to be by sticking to your values that you hold close.
This chapter suggests that you need to ask the question, "who are your enemies?" This will help you answer other questions, for example, why are they your enemies and who are they as individuals?
When I was growing up my parents constantly told me, "that who I hung out with determined who I was." I didn't believe them. I thought that I would be defined by the choices that I made, but it was not true then and it is not true now. Who you surround yourself with in the office will determine what path you are on. However, it may also save your work life.
We cannot make everyone like us all the time. You can chose your values, stick to them and then surround yourself with people who feel the same as you.