This Day in History

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Outlook for 2010

As 2009 comes to a close, we look forward to the New Year and everything trendy that it will bring. Today, TEC’s Research Analyst Round Table discusses the outlook in technology for 2010. We will touch on:
• Social Networking
• Social Product Development
• Business Intelligence (BI) for the Masses
• Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
• Software Integration vs. Niche Players
• Mobile Commerce (M-commerce)

Social Networking – Sherry Fox
Over the last five years, social networking—in the form of intranets, wikis, messaging centers, blogs, and more—has changed the way many organizations handle many of their day-to-day operations. Some of the more popular social networking sites organizations are using include LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter—to name a few. Social networking has become such a hot trend that many vendors have now begun offering enterprise social networking as part of their product functionality.

But social networking is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination. Knowledge sharing and collaboration have been around for years in the world of learning management. Long before LinkedIn and Twitter hit the scene, learning management system (LMS) vendors were bringing people and knowledge together through the use of discussion boards, live chats, etc.
Today’s collaboration networks help provide businesses with instant and continuous feedback from employees (whether they are in management or not) in the areas that are important to the employee personally as well as to the organization. While these sites are useful for sourcing job applicants, reaching out to potential customers, and fostering a feeling of community within the company, they can also decrease productivity and increase security risks. As such, there has been an increased need for companies to create or “beef up” their internal HR policies.
For some more trends for 2010 in the HR space, please see my article Top 5 Trends in HR Technology.

Social Product Development – Kurt Chen
Having collective wisdom from the crowd in shaping new products isn’t a new idea within the product lifecycle management (PLM) approach. However, technological limitations have hindered the theory of social product development to be put into practice—until the prosperity of social computing tools. Generally speaking, Web 2.0 technology is the major enabler of social product development. More specifically, in 2010, I would like to see the following advancements:
• Better product information visibility and interoperability, especially for three-dimensional (3D) content. For many products, the 3D model is an intuitive and efficient vehicle for two-way communication during the product development process. More people (including consumers) should be able to access 3D content at a very low cost or even for free.
• Finer granularity in collaborative content and knowledge generation. The current granularity level of product definition information and process documentations has kept many users away from more convenient and effective product collaboration. The ability to see through the “black box” of content and related processes is expected to be improved.
• More efficient ways to hear the major voices from the crowd. Voices are countless when a company opens its door to the public during the product development phase. Analytical tools (e.g. sentiment analysis as Jorge Garcia discussed) are needed in order to navigate through the many inputs and filter the most valuable ones.
Social product development is still in the early stages but it will make progress steadily, and companies will be able to include more stakeholders in
their product life cycle loop.

BI for the Masses – Jorge Garcia
In 2009, the BI industry—despite the search for better, more suitable, and more advanced technology for BI applications—had special interest in finding the “true usability” of BI applications. Users want BI to be not only faster and better, but also easier to use. The vendors want its use to be extended to more people—the search is on for a real mass use.
In 2010, this search will be encouraged extensively. Many software providers have already launched specific products like Microsoft with PowerPivot or the MicroStrategy free reporting tool. Some are tackling the midmarket segment with specific products like Cognos Express by IBM, or SAP Business Objects Edge BI.
Due to the economic crisis in 2009, open source providers like Pentaho and Jaspersoft had the option of expanding in the BI space. In 2010, these BI solutions will take advantage of the opportunity to expand.

ERP and SaaS – Aleksey Osintsev
The economy fell into a recession in 2009. This new reality forced companies to save as much money as it could by reviewing its spending, including IT expenses.
I believe this was a major reason why the public interest in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) concept of business software delivery became so evident. In many business areas, SaaS seems to be a strong alternative to the traditional on-premise way of software deployment. However, in the ERP systems market, I don’t see many alternatives to traditional on-premise manufacturing ERP systems among vendors who offer SaaS ERP products. Even the leader–SAP– is still struggling with their Business ByDesign product, even though it is lighter in functionality compared to SAP ERP.
Let’s be optimistic, though. Hopefully, in the upcoming year we will have an opportunity to see and review great SaaS-based ERP products with commensurable levels of available functionality, flexibility, and security. In turn, I welcome ERP software vendors with their SaaS ERP products to contact us and we will definitely inform our readers of any news on the promising SaaS ERP market segment.

Software Integration vs. Niche Players – Gabriel Gheorghiu
Software integration through mergers and acquisitions (M&As), or development happened a lot in the past years—and 2009 is no exception. More and more vendors (or alliances of vendors) offer packages or suites that cover functionality for manufacturing, sales, accounting, human resources (HR), etc.
Still, despite the fact that large software vendors can basically do everything, they realized that in practice that’s not such an easy thing to do. Small niche vendors are taking advantage of the situation and are building very specific solutions that combine different types of needs (e.g. business intelligence for workforce management, customer relationship management (CRM) for automotive, software for printing and media companies, etc.).
These niche players can successfully compete against large vendors because they already have a product created specifically for that segment of the market and they also have extended experience in that specific field. Of course, large vendors could do both, but the investment is not always justified by the demand or the size of the market.
Dozens, if not hundreds of these vendors already exist, and more of them will fill the gap that large software vendors created between their offering and their customers’ needs. The application exchange model—where you can only buy and use what you need—will be used more and more, especially by small- and mid-sized companies, who start to understand that big vendors are not always what they need.

Mobile Commerce (M-commerce) – Khudsiya Quadri
With mobile phones becoming a necessity for consumers, it’s only a matter of time before m-commerce will also become a necessity.
There will be a shift in consumer behavior as consumers become accustomed to mobile phones’ ease-of-use for finding information. A study conducted by Deloitte concluded that mobile phone usage for shopping will be greater this year than traditional Internet usage.
Despite the fact that m-commerce is still in its early stages of development, many retailers will need to adapt to the change in consumer behavior.
Retailers need to understand that the launch of an m-commerce site is not enough. The most important factors to consider are the design and functionality of the site and what experience it creates for the consumer. Consumers who shop on a mobile device require quick answers and precise information in a click—they don’t have time to look around.
M-commerce sites need to work together in order to provide the user with the best shopping experience. For example, the transaction needs to happen in a seamless manner as it happens in the online shopping world. The applications running on the mobile device needs to be robust and able to integrate with retailers’ applications to make m-commerce a reality for mobile shoppers.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Communication for the IT Geek

I by no means claim to be a communication expert. However, in the course of my job, my communication skills are often called upon.

1) I am a developer. I am required to communicate with the user to determine their needs/wants/desires. After designing an application, I am required to communicate with the users to determine if those needs/wants/desires were met as well as communicate with users when they run into problems.

2) Being part of a small IT team (there are only three of us), I am required to communicate with users when my cohorts (particularly the guy who handles most of the helpdesk requests) are not around.

So, imagine if you will, a System Administrator (completely hypothetical, see disclaimer): he plans his infrastructure, he administrates said infrastructure, and what he says goes. He feels no need to communicate with the users. They will use the system he provides, end of story. You don’t like it? Tough. See this guy, I’ll wait, it’s worth it. (While hysterically funny, this should be an example of what NOT to do. Due to his own poor communication skills, he actually creates more work for himself!)

While that is an enjoyable attitude to have, let’s face it, if there were no users, we would have no jobs. So, some communication must be doled out to users.

Communication is good. Really, it is. I promise. If YOU can send out the appropriate information, in the appropriate format to the appropriate people, you will have to interact with end users far less than you currently do and those interactions will be far more tolerable, even possibly enjoyable.

So, on to the tips:

Try to think like the user (I know it’s hard, just try). They have NO idea what you do, they just want their stuff to work. They have 25 bosses yelling at them to get their TPS reports done. Are you designing an app that requires them to click through three screens to get to something they use several times and hour? Do you take down the server at noon to install an update?

Don’t be condescending. It doesn’t help anyone. The user will feel angry and frustrated. In all likelihood, the user will walk away. YEAH! You think. However, the next time they have a problem, they won’t report it and it will fester until it goes from a relatively small helpdesk problem into a large crap-this-will-take-me-hours-to-fix problem. Or they will report you to their boss and their bosses boss and who knows who else will come tromping into your office to tell you to be nicer to people. So condescending does not help in the long run (even though it feels good sometimes!).

Be PROactive more than REactive. If you are going to take down the server in the middle of the day, communicate that fact to your users at least 30 minutes beforehand. Too little time and they won’t be able to save their work and exit. Too much time and they’ll forget when it’s happening, or that it is happening at all.

Err on the side of too much communication. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain when I’ve given them “too much” information. If it is too much, they ignore it. Fine. At least that lets them decide. Too little information and once again, you have frustrated users. Worse, they can often fill in the gaps with their own made up info. Example, the T1 line goes down, so external email is not being delivered. Without any information from you, the user assumes Lotus Notes is down and IT sucks. If you communicate the information (the T1 is down and external email will not be delivered until the T1 provider fixes the problem) AHEAD of anyone complaining, you will have far less user frustration and misconceptions.

However, too much communication shouldn’t mean “tech speak”. Throwing out a bunch of technical terms just to get users off your back doesn’t count as communication, see the paragraph about being condescending. Have you ever had to sit in on a marketing meeting? Lots of industry jargon. It can be frustrating to sit there not understanding a word people are saying, can’t it? Don’t do that to people.

Don’t be afraid to speak to users in real life. Too often we rely on emails and IMs. In the daily barrage of information we all receive, these can often (always) be ignored.
Frequently, tone and intent can quickly be misread in email or IM. When things start to get out of hand or have too many back and forths, stop, get up and speak to the user in person.

Bottom Line. Communicating with people is a good thing. Communicating well is even better. Even just trying to be better at communication shows an effort. Believe me, you will be rewarded. When I communicate effectively with users and management, I have less work to do and WAY less frustration. You can too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FOREX Management

What is Foreign Exchange (FOREX)?
Foreign exchange involves exchanging money to facilitate the transfer of goods and/or services in one currency for another traded on foreign exchange markets.

What are the risks involved in FOREX?
Foreign currency transactions are sensitive towards fluctuations in the exchange rates. A price agreed with a customer or supplier on one day could rise or fall if the exchange rate changes. Changes in the value of currencies worldwide will affect organisations engaged in international transactions and businesses.

Some of the foreign exchange risks faced by organisations worldwide can be summarised in the following broad categories:

i) Accounting/Translation Exposure
Occurs on consolidation of financial statements of business units/subsidiaries in foreign countries as a result of the change in the value of currency of the business units/subsidiaries when translated to the domestic currency of the parent company.

ii) Transaction Exposure
Represented by the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on present cash flows as a result of importing and exporting, borrowing and lending in foreign currencies, inter-firm fund transfers, etc. This will affect the organisation’s revenues, costs, cash flows and profits.

iii) Real Operating Exposure
Changes in exchange rates alters future operating revenues and costs streams of an organisation. The changes in future cash flows as a result of the changes in exchange rates represents the real operating exposure of an organisation. Ultimately, this will affect the overall competitiveness of an organisation against its competitors.

Factors affecting risks
• Economic - Domestic & International
• Political / Country Risk
• Regulatory
• Spillover
• Other untoward events

Identifying Risks
• Strong information system for Currency exposure
• Continuous flow of information, review of factors affecting risk
• Continuous process involving reading, interaction, experience etc.
• Prediction extremely difficult

Objectives of FOREX Management
• To reduce costs involved in foreign exchange
• To contain and minimise losses in foreign exchange transactions
• To optimise potential foreign exchange gains
• To protect the operating profit of the Company/Group
• To achieve Company’s budgets and targets

How to achieve the objectives of FOREX Management
i) Determine the nature of exposure
ii) Evaluate the risk and rewards
iii) Decide on targets and appropriate strategies
iv) Formulate policies for day-to-day operations
v) Strong MIS Reporting System
vi) Periodical review of performance and strategy
vii) Single treasury concept for FOREX & money market

Key factors for an effective FOREX Management Strategy
• Management’s attitude towards risk
• Type of exposure – Tenure & Cost
• Firm’s willingness to devote the amount and quality of resource to exposure management function
• Access to various markets & instruments such as forwards, options, futures etc and there implications
• Choice of currency - Dollar / Non- Dollar
• Gross or Net Exposure to be managed

Management’s approaches towards FOREX Management

1) Conservative Approach
• Hedge the exposure as it arises
• Yields and costs of transactions are known
• Less risk of cash flow destabilization
• Less of management time and effort required
• Unlikely to yield optimum results
• Any opportunity arising in the market cannot be encashed

2) Moderate Approach
• Partial/Selective hedging
• Scope for taking advantage of opportunity gains
• Helps in averaging out total cost
• Management time and effort required

3) Aggressive Approach
• Active trading in currency
• Continuous cancellation and rebooking
• Aim is to treat treasury as a separate profit center
• Active treasury and management efforts
• High Risk :High Reward scenario
• Proper evaluation of risk extremely important bearing in mind risk-taking appetite of the company.

4) Indifferent Approach
• No conscious decision to manage exposure
• No hedging - everything left to chance
• Risk of destabilization of cash flows very high
• Merit – ZERO investment of time and effort
• Worst approach – Highly speculative

Tools for Hedging FOREX Exposure
• Financial Engineering Products:

i) Forwards - contract to sell/buy specific amount of currency at a future date against expected receivables/payables at a pre-determined rate.

ii) Futures - simultaneous right and obligation to buy/sell a standard quantity of a specific financial instrument at a specified future date and at a price agreed between parties at the time of contract.

iii) Forward Rate Agreement - This is interest rate agreement for future dates between two parties on London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR)/London Interbank Bid Rate (LIBID)

iv) Options - A contract between two parties which gives them the right but not the obligation to buy/sell at an agreed price at a future date.

v) Swaps - is an agreement between two parties to exchange their liability. Primarily can be categorised as Interest rate swap (exchange of periodic interest payments - no exchange of principal. E.g. from fixed rate of interest to floating rate and vice versa) and Currency Swap (exchange of interest and principal in two different currencies.)

vi) Others

• Internal Hedging Strategies:

i) Netting – receivables/payables can be netted out by matching amount. It reduces the amount of exposure to be covered hence reducing the banking costs.

ii) Leading and lagging – shift the timing of exposures by leading or lagging payables or receivables.

iii) Invoicing – choice of currency for invoicing

iv) Asset and Liability Management - e.g. increase exposed cash inflows in stronger currencies and vice-versa

v) Price Variation

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

EQUAL Insurance Broker System (EIBS)

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Direct Insurance / ReInsurance:
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2. Broking Slip (Motor / Non Motor)
3. Confirmation Slip (Motor / Non Motor)
4. Endorsement (Motor / Non Motor)
5. Debit Note (Motor / Non Motor)
6. Credit Note (Motor / Non Motor)
7. Debit Note Listing
8. Credit Note Listing
9. Void Debit / Credit Note Listing
10. Premium Summary Listing
11. Premium Register
12. Renewal Listing
13. Audit Trail Listing

and others..

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Red more about EIBS @ Virtual Lab

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why Chose JD Edwards Enterprise One (JDE vs. SAP)

ERP EDI Solutions
Excellence in Computing

Why Chose JD Edwards Enterprise One
(JDE vs. SAP)

Jon Steel

1. JDE has core functionality in Financials, Distribution and Manufacturing. Payroll and HR do exist, although they really didn't become stable until after Peoplesoft had purchased JDE (i.e., from 8.9 onwards) - and realistically most of the stability is in the 8.11 and 8.12 product in these areas. If you're running any version prior to that, then I agree, it’s not a very stable product. Note, therefore, that the product HAS been revamped - many times - over the past five years.

2. JDE is an object-orientated architecture. Data and Logic are treated as indeterminate objects, and can be moved around "magically" in the enterprise architecture to improve scalability and performance. The standalone "demo" of JDE is not a cut-down version for example, it’s the entire product with everything mapped locally. SAP on the other hand is very much host-centric, requires a huge hardware investment - and cannot be solely run on a single workstation.

3. JDE is platform independent. No other ERP system can truly state this. Even in the midst of production, it is possible to add additional logic servers, database servers and "map" logic and data onto these servers - even custom logic - without the users being impacted. A migration from AS/400 to SQL server or Oracle, for example, can be done with the simplest of ease - taking no more than a couple of days of testing and migration to achieve. Try doing that on SAP. Not only that, but support of a new database or platform is easy for JDE - the proprietary middleware is adaptable and is separated from the business logic. Supporting Solaris, for example, took 4 weeks; same with UDB. If there is demand for Apple OS-X as a platform, it would take 4 weeks for the company to support the platform. It’s a future secure product.

4. The code is adaptable, AT RUNTIME. In effect, you have the ability to change process flows, workflow and adapt the business AT WILL. Changes to how a program should be used can be deployed with NO impact to production - additional business units; chart of accounts can all be modified live in a production environment if wished (obviously its important to test these changes first). Everything can be adapted to suit the business requirements first and foremost. SAP requires yet another "implementation" to do this.

5. Change the software to match the business. While SAP requires that the business changes to its "default" models - this is not necessary under JDE. In effect, this means that the software is totally adaptable to any company’s process flow - no matter how horrible it might be! Of course, it’s preferable to adapt certain models when a company implements - and JDE might not have been proficient in the past for providing such models - but EnterpriseOne can match ANY company’s requirements.

6. You get the SAME toolset as the software company - together with ALL the source code for all business logic. Obviously the code is proprietary, and I couldn't post the source code to Sales Order Entry here, for example - but if you own JDE, you own the source. You can modify the code at will or create your own code with exactly the same toolset. SAP and other ERP solutions provide different tools for different tasks - but it’s not possible to change the default functionality easily. I could, if I wanted to, delete ALL my functional code and create my very own ERP functionality just using the toolset!

7. JDE code is 100% deployed to the web. Now, this is an interesting one. If you take a look at how the toolset works, you'll see there is a "form design aid" for example. In here, you'll develop your form and the logic behind the form - and when you deploy that form - it will instantly deploy both to a windows client and to a web server. The functionality is identical, just the interface is different. If JDE wanted to support a new type of GUI (for example, python) - then they change the "transmogrifier" and instantly add another GUI to their support. SAP has to come out with an entire release to support a different GUI.

8. Upgradeability. Because the business objects are written in a form that is version independent - upgrading to a new version is fast and relatively easy. In fact, the "tool" release (the code that customers DON'T get the source for - the middleware and presentation-generating logic) takes less than a day to adapt to. New databases, for example, can be supported in a very minor upgrade. Again, an entire release and a very lengthy "upgrade" are required with SAP and other products. In fact, customers can "pick and choose" what "flavor" of the product to which they want to upgrade; a very powerful option for the customer (but not great to try and support!).

Those are the points on top of my head. Its very VERY rare you EVER hear of a customer moving successfully from JDE to another ERP system. Once they get JDE, they stick to it. On the other hand, I've been involved (as you are currently) in many companies that have migrated FROM another ERP system (such as SAP) to JDE.

EnterpriseOne is technically the most advanced ERP system out there. Certainly the functionality might have had issues in certain areas - but over the past few years, this has been improved to the point where I see customers applying very few customizations to go live.

JDE is revamped EVERY DAY. There are improvements to functionality in the system - bug fixes, performance improvements - that are released, literally, EVERY day. Today, for example, more than 30 changes have been released for certain products. Whether a company needs to implement those changes is another matter.

Jon Steel
EnterpriseOne Technical Specialist
(904) 382 5701

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How To Spice Up Your Company Meeting: Ten Tips for Planning and Success

Are you the planner of the monthly or periodic company or department meeting?
They can be deadly dull if you're not careful. You know the drill. A bunch of talking heads line up to give people company information. People are interested, but the most effective meetings woo their attention with thought-provoking questions and answers, audio-visuals and participation.

These tips bring you success. Here's How:

1. Start your meetings, presentations and training sessions with an ice-breaker or warm-up activity. In a large meeting or a short meeting, the icebreaker can be a single question that gets people thinking and talking with their neighbor. As an example, ask a question that causes people to raise their hands. The length of the ice-breaker depends on the length of your meeting, so plan wisely.

2. Diversify your presentation methods. If every speaker talks to the audience, in lecture format, even interested heads soon nod. Ask people to talk in small groups. Use audio-visual materials such as overheads, Power Point presentations and pictures. If you're talking about a new painting process, show your employees before and after parts. Pass around positive customer surveys and comment cards.

3. Invite guest speakers for audience participation and excitement. Your customers have lots to say to your workforce about their needs and quality requirements. One client organization that partners with non-profit, charitable associations features guest speakers from the organizations that receive their donations. Speakers from organizations your employees support financially are dynamite.

4. Encourage questions to get a dialogue going. Ask people to write down their questions in advance of the meeting and during the meeting. Allow time for questions directed to each speaker as you go. If you can't answer the question immediately and correctly, tell the people you'll get back with them when you have the correct answer. If questions exceed time, schedule a meeting on the topic.

5. An often-overlooked, but very important, successful meeting tactic is to ask each speaker to repeat out loud every question he or she is asked. The person asking the question then knows the speaker understood the question. Other people attending the meeting can hear and know the question, too, not just surmise the question - perhaps incorrectly - from the speaker's response.

6. Set goals for your periodic meeting. You can't present every aspect of the company's business at a one hour meeting. So, decide the important, timely issues and spend the meeting time on them. Take into consideration the interests of the majority of the attendees as well. Remember, you have other methods for communicating company information, too. It does not have to take place at the meeting.

7. Formulate the agenda carefully. Identify the needs and interests of the majority of the participants. Start with good news that will make the attendees feel good. Vary the order of the speakers on the agenda each month. You don't want people bored by sameness. Distribute important items across the agenda so people don’t tune out the end of the meeting, or think the final items are less important.

8. An article in the Wall Street Journal, several years ago, stated that U.S. managers would save eighty percent of the time they waste in meetings if they did two things correctly. The first was to always have an agenda. The second was start on time and end on time. I'll add that you need to allot each speaker the amount of time necessary to cover their topic. Hold them to their time limit - nicely.

9. Organize the physical environment so people are attentive to the meeting content. No one should sit behind or to the side of your speakers. Make sure there are seats for all attendees, and if taking notes is required, a surface to write on, too. Make sure visuals are visible and that people can hear. You may need to use a microphone. You can pass props or samples around the room for viewing.

10. Never underestimate the power of food at a meeting. Food relaxes the atmosphere, helps make people feel comfortable, helps people sustain positive energy levels and builds the camaraderie of the team. Ensure you meet the diverse needs of your group with the food you serve. As an example, offer fruit and yoghurt in addition to donuts. Offer vegetarian and kosher hot dogs with the regular franks.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Importance of You - Value Yourself!

Are you the type of person who looks after everyone else and puts your needs at the bottom of the list?

How many times have you said "Oh, I don't have time to do that for myself, I have too many other things to do?

Recently I overheard a conversation between a manager and an employee regarding a professional development event.

The employee wanted to attend something which related to self care. The manager said that the workshop needed to pertain to the job.

Initially I thought "that makes sense". Then I realized that taking care of you relates to any and every job. If we don't take care of ourselves, who will?

One of my clients often spoke about how she always felt rushed. She agreed to make a list of all her commitments and then realized the reason she felt so overwhelmed. She worked full-time, was married and had 3 kids who were involved in various extracurricular activities. She was quite involved with her church, was a class parent and was involved in a fundraising project for a local charity. Her parents were getting older and had some health issues which she often had to attend too.

She recognized that there weren't enough hours in the day to do everything and that she rarely had time for herself or her relationship with her husband. She began to evaluate her priorities, practiced saying "no" to requests and learned how to delegate.

She became more energized and clearer about what she wanted and recognized that it was time to start valuing herself.

If you have ever traveled by plane you have heard the spiel about putting the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child. Often it is instinctive to put yourself last.

Let's examine ways to put the oxygen mask on you first.

Make a list of all the commitments and responsibilities you have. Consider what you can eliminate and delegate. How much time would that free up for you? If you are having trouble with this, you might need to ask for help in order to make some changes.

The next step involves you considering yourself and what your needs are. What gives you pleasure and energy? What are the things in your life which excite you?

Many of my clients have been out of sync with themselves so long time that this question initially stumps them.

What do you do for fun? How often do you incorporate fun into your life? If you are having difficulty identifying things, think about what you did as a child that you enjoyed and relished.

The last step is to take Action!

Do 1 or 2 of the things that you have identified.

Notice how it makes you feel both physically and emotionally. What impact is it having on your life?

Here are the guidelines for you to begin to place greater value on yourself:

Clarify - Write down a list of all things you'd like to do or want to try. Don't eliminate anything, no judgments, just write for 5 minutes.

Action - Peruse the list and choose two things that you want to take action on.

Schedule yourself time to do it within the next week.

Ideally do it in the next two days. Just do it!

Create supportive environments - Our intentions are often good, but we tend to slide back into the old habit of putting yourself last. What or who could support you in taking action? Tell at least two people your intentions so that they can help you move forward. Have fun!!