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Trailblazer Tuesday: Avoiding Broken Resolutions

Trailblazer Tuesday: Avoiding Broken Resolutions

Trailblazer Tuesday: Avoiding Broken Resolutions | Holding Yourself Accountable

Did you know about 2-3 weeks into the New Year 48% of people give up on their New Year’s resolution.
80% of people give up on their resolution by the second week of February.
Leaving only about 8% of people who follow through with their resolution to the end of the year.

Today we are going to discuss a simple method to hold yourself accountable on your resolution(s)!

Shaving In Memory Of A Loved One

Shaving In Memory Of A Loved One

Eight years ago on 3-15-2009 my mother, Pamela Wenning, lost her battle with cancer.  There have obviously been so many moments filled with grief since that day, but we all realize how lucky we were to have such a caring and selfless mother for as long as we did.  We were truly blessed!  There is one tradition that still connects me with my mother and her battle with cancer that I try to carry on today.  On March 15th of just about every year, I shave my head in honor of my mother and her long and hard fought battle with cancer.  When mom first started her chemotherapy, which infamously causes someone to lose their hair, she was so concerned about how she was going to look.  It was at that point I decided I was going to start shaving my head in support of my mother.

She loved it and that is why I try to carry on that tradition to honor my mother.  My hope is to also bring some awareness to cancer and to let those who continue to fight, who have survived the fight and those families that have lost loved ones know, they are not alone in their battle.  RIP MOM 3-15-09

Personal Planning – A Fulfilling Life Beats A Happy Life Every Time!

Personal Planning – A Fulfilling Life Beats A Happy Life Every Time!

To-do-listDownloadable Tool: The 4 Step Guide To A Fulfilling Life.

Every year, at least for the last 10 years, around this time I do a little life planning.  I’ve found it to be EXTREMELY helpful, so I thought I would share it.  It’s not terribly ingenious, but it takes some time.  If you are honest with yourself, it will probably be very helpful.

Most successful businesses develop business plans.  I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “Most people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan”.  So some years ago I was working on a business plan when I suddenly realized I had never applied those planning principles to my personal life.  I did it, and have never quit.

I’ll try to to give you a brief overview, but you need to download the guide above. It has much more detail and suggestions.

Step 1: Discover what you were created for.

A fulfilling life beats the crap out of happy life, every time! What gets you up in the morning?  If you were guaranteed success in a perfect world, what would you do all day long? Be passionate about something.  Life is too short to live in desperate mediocrity.  You don’t have to set the world on fire, but life is better when YOU are on fire.

Step 2: S.W.O.T.

Define your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats…and then there is the Bonus Question!

Step 3:  Define your roles – where do you really make a difference?

We can only do so much so we need to know what we need to do and what we are are good at, and what we like to do. It’s one of those things that once you think about it and do it, it will add a lot of clarity to your life.

Step 4: Pick 2 or 3 goals, make a plan, and get going.

Don’t overdue it, but challenge yourself.  Decide on a few steps that will get you started on each goal.  Now put the paper somewhere you’ll handle it regularly.  Mine is my screen saver and at the top of my prayer journal.  Plan on looking at them every 3 months and see where you are on your goals, change your steps, or pat yourself on the back.

It’s that simple.  Now get excited, get growing, and get going.

Downloadable Tool: The 4 Step Guide To A Fulfilling Life.

 

What’s The Story With Those Pink Flamingos?

What’s The Story With Those Pink Flamingos?

MPL slider image 4“What the heck is the deal with all those flamingos?”  We get the question all the time, and its a great question with a fun answer.

The story starts in 2012 when Preferred Insurance was celebrating our 100th anniversary. As part of that celebration, we decided to make 2012 the “Year of Giving Back”.  We started Quotes4Causes (giving $10 to charity for every quote we give) and vowed to get more involved in our great community and raising money for local charities.

One of our favorite charities was and still is Serving Friends And Families Ministries, and we were looking for a way to raise a little money for them.  Hillary Staugler was doing an internship with us at the time and I asked her to look for some ideas.  She surfed the web for a little while till she found something crazy enough to get my attention.

Flamingo Flocking Is Born

Or this is what Hillary came up with!

We created 10 flocks of flamingos and different volunteers at different charities were in charge of each flock.  They started by putting them in a few yards, along with a sign saying “You’ve Been Flocked!  Call Preferred Insurance”.  When the people would call in we would tell them that for a small donation of $20 to the charity, we would send out our “technicians” to remove the flamingos.  However, we don’t have any cages for the flamingos, so they needed to tell us whose yard the technicians should move the flamingos to…and the whole cycle would start over again.

That summer, with the help our great community, our lovely pink ladies raised over $3,000.  They also became our mascot and gave our agency a new favorite color – pink of course.  The flamingos still go “flocking” for multiple organizations every summer, and they pretty successfully annoy enough people to not be forgotten.

The neatest thing about this story however, is how the experience changed us, Preferred Insurance Center.  When 2012 –  “The Year Of Giving Back”  came to an end we knew it had been a great year.  All our fundraising and getting involved had given us a new purpose and energy.  We were better people, in a better agency, with a better attitude.  There was no going back.

From 2012 to the present (2015) our partners, clients, neighbors and flamingos have helped us raise or give over $75,000 to local charities.  Our new attitude has put smiles on a lot of faces, and we have grown from 6 team members to 13.  It’s been a crazy ride on an awesome pink rollercoaster here in God’s theme park we call Life.  If it sounds like fun, give us a call, we’d love to have you come along for the ride.  Just hop on, put your hands in the air, and scream like a girl till you’re stomach hurts from laughing.

Fill Your Happiness Bank

Fill Your Happiness Bank

Couple Old HappyThis is one of those things you read on the internet and you have no idea if the story is true or not.  The cool thing is that, in this case, whether the story is true or not doesn’t matter, the lesson is certainly true.

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffured and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.  After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.  “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied.  “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how thefurniture is arranged.. it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories  I’ve stored away just for this time in my life.  Old age is like a bank account: you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2 Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5 Expect less

7 Lessons Crucial To Leadership: # 1 Be A Surgeon, Not A Swordsman

7 Lessons Crucial To Leadership: # 1 Be A Surgeon, Not A Swordsman

swordsmanA surgeon and swordsman both use sharp tools to cut human flesh, but the similarities pretty much end there.  A surgeon uses a precise instrument to make the smallest incision possible in hopes of saving, or drastically improving a life.  A swordsman uses a macabe blade to cause horrendous wounds he hopes will kill, or completely debilitate a life.

You probably think you will never be either of these, but the truth is we are all at different times both of these.  You see, our words can be healing balms, and they can be sharp knives (scalpels or swords).  But our words are not normal balms or knives.  Once we let a word go it can never be drawn back in and we lose all control over its outcome. Whether our words are healing balms, or sharp knives, we can only choose them wisely and deploy them carefully, but once they are out, they are out.

All too often we draw out powerful words and throw them around with loud voices and strong emotions. We are like crazed Vikings in the heat of battle, drunk on adrenaline swinging our swords wildly at everyone around us. Our words tear and cut and kill and mame everyone.  And what is really sad is that the people most likely wounded are those closest to us – those we love and who love us.

Spreading a healing balm with the same drunken wildness is better than a sword, but still pretty ugly.  Imagine going into a room and throwing handfuls of Neosporin around.  Even if you mean to help people, most wouldn’t appreciate it much and you will likely waste a lot of valuable balm.  Worse yet, the next time someone is in pain, they likely won’t come to you for some Neosporin.

Do I really need to explain the surgeon’s difference?  His tool is sharper, but much smaller.  He is not allowed to perform surgery if he is emotionally upset, and certainly not when drunk on either wine or adrenaline.  He has thought about exacly what he is doing and is careful where he cuts, and how deep.  When he finished cutting, he is careful to do all he can to heal the wound.

So here is my advice regarding your words.  I don’t always follow these tips, I am human.  But I am sure, the more you follow them, the better off you and those you love will be.

  1. We all grab the weapon or tools we are familiar with, so practice using balms and scalpels, leave the swords in their sheaths.  When we are in idle conversation, or reading, or listening to music or watching a movie…or praying.  Fill yourself with words of kindness, love and peace.  No one needs to use, or listen to, cuss words, ugly stories, angry songs or disrespectful banter.  Get it out of your vocabulary by not letting it into your mind and don’t put it in other’s vocabulary by speaking it.
  2. Do you best to never speak when you are angry.  Simply be quiet, or exit the situation by saying something like, “I have to think about that for a while.”  “Speak when you are angry, and you will give the greatest speech you’ll ever regret.” – Probably Groucho Marx but it’s debateable.
  3. When you must have a cutting conversation with someone, be like a surgeon.  Get the person’s consent.  Explain why you are speaking to them and how you want to do good.  Choose your words carefully and make the smallest incision you can.  Then hang around to help heal the wound, even when they complain about the pain.
  4. And lastly, when other’s swords a flaling around, the strongest person in the room isn’t the one whose sword cuts deepest or last.  The strongest person can absorb the blows and take the wounds. Without an adversary, the swordsman will tire and the battle will end, and others will be wounded less (no one is left unharmed), and perhaps the angry swordsman will learn a better way.

I’m guessing most of the people who know me are wishing I would take my own advice.  I’m trying, I promise.  In the mean time, if I wait till I’ve perfected myself to pass on the lessons I’ve learned, my body will be in the grave and spiritual soulmates will have already been transformed by Jesus.

2015 Cash for Cans

2015 Cash for Cans

Cash-for-cans-FB-Post-2015-CORRECTED

Its that time of the year again! As the holiday season approaches, we tend to get more into the giving spirit and helping others. Which is WONDERFUL! The holiday seasons, for most, are full of cherished time with family and friends. Unfortunately not all of us get to experience this “most wonderful time of the year.”

C.A.L.L. Food Pantry is a non-profit organization that distributes food to low income families in Mercer County based on their income level. C.A.L.L. receives no assistance from the government, which gives them the best opportunity to help those who are most in need, but that also means that they need even more support from the good people of our community. 

Justin Griesdorn is holding the annual Cash for Cans canned food drive to support C.A.L.L. Food Pantry in Celina, OH! This promotion, which was started by the late Randy Griesdorn, is meant to bring in nonperishable food items from the community that will then be matched monetarily by a handful of Mercer County businesses through donations. All of the canned and nonperishable food items and the donated money will go directly to C.A.L.L. Food Pantry.   

A handful of local Mercer County businesses are setting up collection stations for cans and other nonperishable food items from Monday, November 9th to Friday, December 11th. On Wednesday, December 17th, every food item that is received will then be taken over to Chief Super Markets in Coldwater to be scanned, and all of the businesses involved will then match the total dollar amount of the food in the form of a donation to C.A.L.L. Therefore, not only will C.A.L.L. receive all of the food that is donated, they will also receive the actual cash value of all the food collected, making your canned food donation all the more valuable.

We have six different collection centers set up all throughout Mercer County. See the above image for locations!

A special thank you to all who have donated in the past and those who chose to give this year!

Flamingos gather in formation | Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Flamingos gather in formation | Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast-cancer-awareness-monthPreferred Insurance Flamingos never disappoint!

Our flamingos have been busy at it and decided to help bring the attention to Breast Cancer Awareness! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!

The Breast Cancer Myth

Men do not get breast cancer; it affects women only.

The Truth

Quite the contrary, each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die. While this percentage is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians.

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola.  Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.

Life Insurance | Cost less than your cable bill!

Life Insurance | Cost less than your cable bill!

cable-bill“I can’t afford it.”

This is one of the most common reasons people give for not having life insurance. But the truth is: It’s less expensive than you think.

A $500,000 term coverage costs about $1 a day. It costs LESS than your cable bill.

People with no life insurance overestimate its cost by three times. And even those who have coverage, overestimate its cost by two times.

While it is an expense that you have to budget for, imagine what the financial impact would be for your family if something were to happen to you and you had no life insurance coverage at all.

There’s a policy to fit every budget, and a life insurance agent can help you find coverage that’s right for you.

Amanda Kremer is our Life Insurance specialist here at Preferred Insurance. Give her a call and see how affordable life insurance can be!

Request a free life insurance quote today! Affordable life insurance and peace of mind is just a click away