Sunday, August 28, 2016

Teaching our children to avoid being "passive bystanders"

Doing Good Together shared both of the articles below.  They were tough (in a good way) to read. Both the Huffington Post article and the DGT newsletter talk about how easy it is to be passive bystanders in our lives and the impact of modeling that to our kids. In some ways it's easier to reach out to others during a structured volunteering activity, but it may even be more important to focus on ways we can reach out during everyday experiences.  I really liked the practical tips and advice that were shared in each of the articles.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Growing kindness and mental toughness while on vacation?

This last week was a little different for training sessions on the bike or in the pool, no organized volunteer activities...just a wonderful vacation to Leavenworth, Washington and Mount Rainier (where Jeff proposed 15 years ago).

I was thinking the week would also be a vacation from Project Becoming Our Best...we had almost no cell phone service and were, well, on vacation.

However, opportunities to talk about topics relevant to Project Becoming Our Best came up in surprising places and at unexpected times.  There's something about being in the backcountry, having to pump all of your water through a filter and having to carry all of the food that you plan to eat that leads to natural conversations about conservation and caring for our planet.  Similarly, there's something about feeling the burn in your 7 year old and 10 year old legs that comes with hiking uphill with a pack for the first time that easily flows into conversations about the mental toughness that is so necessary in endurance sports.

Opportunities to teach kindness and learn the skills necessary for endurance sports seem to be everywhere, if only I can stay in the moment and keep my eyes and ears open.

In case you're interested, below are some highlights from our trip.  For even more pictures (the views were amazing!!  We saw the summit more times in our 3 days than we did in our 2 weeks there 15 years ago), click here.

Trip Highlights:

"Mini-golf" that was part of the Enzian Inn where we stayed in Leavenworth:

Icicle Brewery 

Renting one HUGE paddleboard and one small one and taking a trip down the river

Awesome "free" breakfasts with made-to-order omelettes and a spectacular view at the Enzian Inn

Backpacking to Glacier Basin and spending a night in the backcountry

Camping and hikes at Sunrise and Paradise that truly had me in heaven

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mindsets that help us become our best

This article has great tips for sticking with any goals that we set on our journey to become our best.  Not only do I love how Doing Good Together tied together the articles mention of triathlon goals with the key ingredients for growing kindness in our families, but I really like the focus on the the "growth mindset":

We can help ourselves adopt a growth mindset—and it’s particularly important to do so when beginning something new. If you go out for a run and find that you can’t jog for longer than a minute (like me!), resist the instinct to say, “See, I knew I wasn’t meant to do this!” and head back inside to sprawl on the couch. Instead, use a growth-mindset response. Tell yourself, “I’m on day one of getting stronger and faster. Go me!” It’s important that you’re patient and kind to yourself. You’ll be making serious progress before you know it.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Our family wants to volunteer for a cause you believe in!

Want our family to volunteer for your favorite cause/organization? For any donation of $20 or more made by Aug. 20, 2016, to Little Helping Hands or Doing Good Together, our family will do a volunteer project for a cause/organization you select. 

Click and/or to make your tax deductible donation. Remember to indicate it's for the "Schmidt Ironman" and note the cause/organization you'd like us to support (e.g., environment, senior care, animals, poverty/hunger, education, health-related, etc.). If this isn't a good time for you, there will be other opportunities :) .

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Avoiding the "Othering" of Need

I feel that the topic of this article, written by Jenny Friedman of DGT, is critically important when working to develop empathy and kindness, not only in children, but also in adults.

30-Day Kindness Challenge

What a great way to establish a kindness habit in our families!  I love how easy and accessible the daily activities are in this 30-day kindness challenge that Doing Good Together posted.  We're going to get started on it today!