Ready Set September

Languid, less scheduled August has given way to September. Ah, September. It is a time for new beginnings and making plans. In addition to organizing your children's school and extra-curricular activities, many of you are sketching out and loading up on things you want to accomplish in the months ahead.

Although this look-forward attitude comes with a sense of renewal and excitement, it can quickly lead to overwhelm if your let your life accelerate unchecked. Now is the time to arm yourself with tools to ensure you obtain your personal best this season.Many busy working moms tell me the faster they go the less they experience. Sounds counter intuitive doesn't it? But the truth is if you don't take time to slow down and live in the moment, you may be productive but not necessarily happy. You might feel a sense of accomplishment crossing a number of items off your daily to-do list, but are you getting the most joy and pleasure out of your day?.

Living in the moment, in other words being fully present to yourself and others, has become an acquired skill for many women in our harried, hurry-up society. Here are four simple strategies to help you start living your life instead of letting the best parts of it pass you by.1. Breathe When you first wake in the morning, instead of rolling out of bed and jumping right into your day, just lie there. Lie there for a full five minutes.

Just breathe and think of your day ahead. Think of one thing you can do that day that will be joyful for you. Breathe.

Connect with yourself. Breathe again.2.

Be Intentional An intention can best be described as an aim guiding an action. What you intend, what you truly focus your energy on, will in some form be realized. Make a promise to yourself that you will experience the best of your day?that you will create a significant memory of the day. When you are intentional about seizing the moment, it will happen.3. Slow Down Okay, here's the tough part for us over-programmed, multi-tasking women.

Let's face it we pride ourselves on our ability to juggle. Attacking several tasks at once may get them done faster, yet our focus can be so scattered that we experience nothing. Cooking your favorite meal, talking to a close friend, playing a board game with your child are all wonderful activities. But the power of each to soothe your soul is greatly diminished when done simultaneously. Give yourself permission to slow down and do one thing at a time. Really feel the nuances and subtleties of your own experience.

4. Be Present Your mind is in two (or more) places at once. You may be outwardly listening to your teen ramble on about her high school politics, but that work project due tomorrow is speaking to you as well. You're watching a video you've wanted to see for weeks, yet you are running through an earlier heated conversation in your mind. Living in the moment means being present to what you are doing. Stay focused on that task, rather than fragmenting your thoughts forward to the future or backwards to the past.

By shifting your focus to the present you allow yourself to be consciously aware of and involved in the doing and being, in the daily minutiae and moments of life. It is here that bliss is found. Copyright 2006. Lisa Martin. All rights reserved.

.Lisa Martin is a certified coach who inspires working mothers to achieve success that's balanced. Author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers' Lives, Lisa is a sought-after expert and speaker on work-life balance issues. Known for her very personal and practical approach, Lisa coaches working mothers to know what they want and get what they want.

With 20 years of entrepreneurial and corporate experience, Lisa is also the founder and president of The Briefcase Moms Group ? a work-life coaching and training company that helps organizations attract, engage and retain working mothers. A mother herself, Lisa's powerful presentations and programs have helped thousands of women define success and balance on their own terms.

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By: Lisa Martin

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