Saturday, 25 August 2018

Confidence is a choice

Many people think that the only way to be confident is to be successful.  While it is easier to believe in your abilities when you have proven success, it is not the only way to feel a sense of confidence. Confidence is a choice. It comes from choosing to focus on your strengths and knowing that you are good.  It comes from choosing to be positive with yourself.  It comes from focusing on what you need to do rather than uncontrollable, situational factors. My friend Christeen Lewis always tells me, "Focus on what you can control."   Confidence comes when you're not worrying about being the best, but focusing on being your best.  But how can I start, how will I do my best?

True source of Confidence

Most importantly, confidence comes from the Lord your God who created you, gave you the skills, knowledge and strengths.  As a consumer, are you not choosing the product based on the brand or who the maker is?  When you buy from a tested brand, you are confident that it's good quality.  What more about our Creator, we are wonderfully made. If you believe that the same God who gave you the confidence before, will do the same today, what else could go wrong?  I remember my old motto,  "I will do my best and God will do the rest".  We hold on to His promise in Proverbs 3:6 - In everything you do, put God first and He will crown your efforts with success

How can I create confidence?

The first step in creating confidence is Preparation.  In sports, champions are not created overnight. If you fully engage physically and mentally in practice, you will feel more prepared in competing.  Focused practices allow you to trust that you did everything you could to enable yourself to perform your best.  Even if in my mind, I know what I'm going to say for a meeting I'm facilitating or a training to deliver, I still prepare a cheat sheet, and practice many times  -in front of a mirror, in front of my kids, or record myself in a video or audio recorder to see how I can build more confidence and improve on the delivery. Do you think that the Hollywood actors or even your favorite stars can execute perfectly what the scripts say in one reading or sitting? Practice makes perfect and build confidence.

Second, it is important to Act Confidently.  Our mind reacts to what our body does.  If your head is down, your muscles are tense or your shoulders are hunched, your mind will sense your self-doubt.  So always make sure that your body language and your communication with yourself and others portrays confidence. Even when you don't feel confident, act confidently.

Finally, realize you don't need other people to tell you that you are good. Back to the athletes example, many of them wait for their coaches to tell them that they are good in order to believe in themselves.  You may want others to tell you that you are good, but it's not something you need.  Believe in yourself and believe in the One who created you and destined you to be great.  Set your mind that you have that confidence within.  Whatever your mind conceives, the body achieves.

Choose to be confident.  You have a reason to be.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Keep Calm I'm turning 50

Wow, how time flies. I am so thankful that I have reached this important milestone in my life - fifty years! I am a Golden girl, it's my year of jubilee.

In the Bible, the year of Jubilee occurs after seven sets of seven yearly intervals (49 total) are completed. The fiftieth or "liberty" year is proclaimed on one of God's annual feast days known as the Day of Atonement.
This fiftieth (Jubilee) year is sacred — it is a time of freedom and of celebration when everyone will receive back their original property, and slaves will return home to their families . . . If one of your brothers becomes indigent and has to sell himself to you, don't make him work as a slave. Treat him as a hired hand or a guest among you. He will work for you until the Jubilee . . . (Leviticus 25:10, 39 - 40).
As I am celebrating and blowing my trumpet for my year of jubilee, I am sharing my list of 50 blessings that I am thankful for (lifetime ito).

1. My relationship with my Lord and Saviour - Jesus Christ
2. My Papa P - Pogi - (in English  - my handsome) husband Lito and how each day is valentine's day
3. My 3 sons who are equally smart and handsome as well - Aloysius, Kyle and Lex
4. My parents - Naty and Rolando who I am indebted for my life, the good life, life lessons.
5. My siblings - Wendy and Roty and our unique relationships
6. My other siblings, nephews, nieces in the Philippines.
7. My church - Church on the Queensway who keeps us growing in the knowledge of the Lord
8. My other church family - Servants of Christ Ministries for starting our walk in the Lord in Canada
9. My challenging but rewarding career
10. My current employer - MCBC who gave me opportunities to work and travel to the following places:
11. MCBC UK - Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, UK
12. London
13. Windsor
14. Cambridge
15. Stonehenge
16. Roman Baths
17. MCBC HQ Denver, CO
18. MCBC Golden Brewery
19. Hiked and reached the top of North Table Mountain at Golden, CO
20. MCBC Montreal
21. Manor Saint Sauveur, QC
22. ADEC Innovations / AMDATEX who gave me the opportunities to work and travel to the ff:
23. Rockwall, Texas
24. Irving, Texas
25. Binghamton, Upstate New York
26. Deposit, New York
27. New York City
28. San Francisco, California
29. RFM Corporation and the exposure to IT and dealing with challenging personalities
30. SGS Philippines for the multinational environment experience and for meeting Lito there
31. SGS Far East Limited for the travel to Southeast Asia
32. For all my officemates who also became close friends and mentors until now.
33. To my old church - Lighthouse Community for introducing God to my children in their young age.
34. To all my lifelong BFFs from Grade and High School, whom I shared with all joys, pains and successes ever since.
35. To all my relatives whom I share all my childhood memories.
36.  For coming here to Canada and becoming a resident and adopting us as citizens.
37.  For letting us explore the beauty of nature in and around the corners of Ontario - falls, beaches, ostriches and beautiful lakes
38. For the travels in other cities in Canada with family and friends like:
39. Ottawa
40. Kingston
41. Old Quebec
42. Old Montreal
43. for all the other planned trips in the coming months - Money and time to do this:
44. Disneyworld Florida, Philippines plus Japan or Seoul side trips
45. for the invention of TV and letting us watch all Korea Drama and TFC series
46. for the invention of social media - like FB, IG etc. for keeping me updated and connected with friends online
47. Music and all the perks in listening to it, any genre - bring back all memories
48. The opportunity to be with, work and sometimes disagree with people. The joy of being human and learning about the different kinds of people and how to deal with them.
49. for all the wisdom and lessons in life, the errors committed to correct and have room for improvement, the capability to adapt to change
50. for the life filled with hope, faith and love that comes from something supernatural - God.

I would say I have lived the life I wanted to have, the blessings are bountiful and I believe there is more to come.  Thank you Lord for the true love, joy and peace that I believe will only come from You.

Happy birthday to me, it's time to blow the trumpet and consecrate the fiftieth year. It shall be a jubilee for me, because God owns everything, this is the year when a man's possessions would be returned to Him.  My time is His, time to give back time - volunteer work to be used for His glory.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Are you ready to die?

There are only 2 permanent things in this life - change and death, we cannot escape both.  I have written about change and managing it has become a day to day activity at work. It is challenging and inevitable.

Death on the other hand is an avoided subject. No one wants to talk about it or even prepare for it. I just realized that it's about time that I write all the thoughts that I have been setting aside because we need to be ready as death comes like a thief in the night.

Today, my sister Wendy told me a story about how her husband witnessed a car accident and how the victim's last minutes in life were spent in Carter's arms. Carter responded and gave the victim CPR to save his life until the ambulance arrived but it was not successful. He died. Wendy and I wondered about how that morning went before the accident happened, has that man spent his morning with the wife and children? Did they have a good breakfast or good conversations? Were they happy? Did they kiss the dad goodbye before they parted ways? Were the memories about his life during those last minutes all good, positive and fulfilling? What if they are not? What about you? Do you want to die in bitterness, pain or regrets?

Life is too short and it could end anytime. We are all going to die anyway so why don't we live life as if it is our last days - all positive, no regrets. What do you want to be remembered while you are here on this earth? I remember a manager officemate and our odd moments together. One time, she saw me and my other friend who is her direct report in a small cafe that only a few people know, only the managers frequent.  When she saw me and her staff, she asked “What are you two doing here?” with the look that says only ”Managers” are allowed to eat here. Dumbfounded, we stood there waiting until another manager said,”they have the money, they can eat here, so let’s go.” The first manager had a sudden death and while most of the staff were sad of her dying, I was sad in another way because she died with my last memory of her as condescending to Marlyn and me.   Do you want to be remembered like that manager?  Be joyful, hopeful, loving and forgiving, kind and helpful.  No room for negative thoughts, no mumbling, complaints, worries, fear, anger or pride.  Just live happily and at peace with our Creator. We will all come to see HIM in judgement day anyway.

Now, if you are a planner and want to prepare before that time comes, here are some ways to give you that peace of mind and also your loved ones even if you leave:

1. Purchase a life insurance - term or not, find out about your options from your insurance broker.  It is important to indicate the beneficiaries so they will not have financial problems when you leave.

2. Purchase a service that will take care of everything - viewing, casket (style, colour) funeral, cremation, cemetery, church, eulogy? etc. You don't want to leave your family the trouble of deciding about all these while they are also grieving. The cost of these services are also more expensive when you need it right away compared to pre-planned and pre-paid or lay-away.

3. Make a will. What do you want your loved ones to do when you get sick, when you are in a coma, when you get into an accident? Do you want to donate organs? Do you want to be resuscitated? Do you want them to pull the plug of the life support machines? Until when do they need to wait for you to wake up? Who decides? Who will be the custodian of your children? There are decisions to be made and  it will be easier for the family to cope if these decisions are already stated in the will.

It is important that your assets and properties are indicated in a will so that your family will not fight over those assets later on or worse, go to an estate. My friend gave me an example of what's in her will. She took photos of all her jewelries and asked her children to choose which one they would like to have when she dies. The outcome of the exercise are indicated in her will.  Now she will not worry who will get more or less because the children are the ones who chose. The same should be applied to cars, real estate properties, investments/stocks, companies. Well, more valuable assets need to be assessed and financial values / equal distribution need to be considered. 

4. Write letters to your loved ones. While most of those who are left behind will get over the loss and move on, there are a significant number especially children/teenagers who are greatly impacted and will have difficult time recovering.  Tell them your deepest thoughts in the letter and prepare them to be strong to face the situation. Words of hope and reminders of great memories will help them move on. Make birthday letters especially milestones so that they will still have your influence and memories when they turn 10's,20's,30's, etc. This is a perfect opportunity to remind them about seeking God's wisdom in making major decisions like a career, a ministry or lifetime partner, purchasing a property etc. It will be nice for them to remember or think about "What would ___ do if still alive?"

5. "Proverbs 22:6 -
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.."  The perfect legacy that a parent can give to their children is showing and teaching them the way they should go. Good habits, Christian elements like going to church, reading the bible and praying are essential. They will continue doing it if it has become a natural habit. Being responsible and holding them accountable is not only taught but also shown. You prepare them and make them experience the joys and pains of doing manual work themselves and not depending on someone. You can start training them with household chores, doing menial jobs. A boy doing a girl's thing like budgeting, marketing, cooking, laundry is challenging but also rewarding. These chores are life's essentials.  The earlier they learn and do all these, the earlier they become more independent and the less pain to experience when you are gone. They also add value to their community. You don’t want the children to be a burden to others, they need to learn how to survive and move on.

6. Make memories. Travel, enjoy doing things together. The pictures that show where you've been and the special memories from that place will remind them about how you spent your time with them. It could be the many falls you experience during the first ski trip, or completing the scavenger hunt on a mountain hike or it could be a simple memory of playing a game board or a movie marathon watching together. The laughters will echo and will surely bring back the happy times.

7. Express your affection.  Do not cease saying "I love you" "I'm sorry", "Thank you, I appreciate you". Do not be embarrassed to show your affection even in public - kiss, hug, hold their hands or just look lovingly in their eyes - smile. Those moments are what you surely want to be captured in your memory and want to play back over and over again until your last breath. 

8. Get ready to face death and surrender your life to The Creator. The most important preparation- settle everything with The Lord now while you can.  Do you know that God formed us from dust and gave us life by breathing into it? He gave us life and can take it back anytime. But it doesn't end there. He loved us so much that He gave us His Son - Jesus. His promise is whoever believed in the Son will have everlasting life.  The life here on earth is temporary. If we experience God here, it will be easier to face death because we know that we will see Him face to face. We have settled our life and all its issues with Him while on earth that we can smile and assured of an everlasting life after. 

If you haven't yet, please surrender your life to The Saviour. Jesus is the only Way, the Truth and the Life. 

Life is short. Celebrate it.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Travelling for business (there’s more to it than meets the naked eye)

LMS Project for Canada. When I first heard about the project, I really wanted to be part of it because that is the heart of my job – the tracking of training and development in our brewery.  But because I was not a Manager and they had somebody else in mind, I just accepted the fact that I will not be in the project.  The National Manager left and it opened an opportunity again so I tried and sought to be part of the LMS project team.  I was initially chosen as an SME and my manager is going to be the representative but when the actual workshop date was decided, my boss schedule had a conflict, he couldn’t go and so I was sent instead.  I am so grateful because I know the Lord made it possible for me to go to Denver Headquarters to represent not only the Toronto brewery but the whole Canada region.   It was a whirlwind turn of events as my circle of connections just become bigger and wider.  I am thankful that God gave the knowledge and expertise that I can execute and deliver per the team’s expectations.
Adventure. This is my second business trip in Molson and same in UK, I maximize the time by exploring the city and really made friends with my counterparts in the US.    Food, Beer, People are expected but it was also a different experience to be travelling close to Christmas time where the places I visited are all festive and jovial.  It was also cold but I consider it normal and the same temperature from where I came from.

Colorado State Capitol

I enjoyed the walks in the downtown area.  BTW, there is a free bus ride in one street (16th Street Mall) and around the area during rush hours.  What caught my attention are the homeless people in the streets.  I felt sad and worried for them during the cold nights.  I realized that I really matured in my thinking when I would usually say “Ewww, kadiri, ang baho (I don’t want to get close to them, they stink) and now would think about their welfare.  I usually will bring with me a fruit from the hotel where breakfast is free and at night when I would eat out, I will bring the leftover  to give to these homeless people.  My heart would sink every time they will thank me and tell me God bless you.  I will usually leave them with spark in their eyes, hopeful and thankful that God gave them their manna for the day.  I am also teary eyed with joy as it slowly sinks in me that I was an instrument of God’s blessing.
There are a couple of more trips after this one and I always look forward to sharing some food to the homeless.  Of course, the challenges of being a jetsetter (being away from your family, getting in and out of airport security and waiting for delayed flights) are compensated with experience of knowledge sharing (from brain draining activities) and of course, free food, beer and laughter from friends after a long day.  I couldn’t ask for more.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

As I look back and reflect this past few days,  I thank the Lord for the year 2017.  Not all the plans I made and listed in my first blog post in 2017 transpired but there were twists and turns that made the year still something to be grateful for.

I didn't take my driving tests, nor took classes at U of T or even pass the PMP designation exam.  In early November, I was already considering this year not as fruitful as the previous ones but I think God intended it to be that way to show me that He's got better plans for me.

First Volunteer Experience
When I planned for the family to go on a major trip to the Walt Disney World on my birthday, it didn't materialize.  Funds were not enough and the Ordaz family was not yet ready to go too.  Because I already booked my birthday week as my vacation days, I ended up volunteering for the daily vacation bible school (DVBS) that my kids also volunteered / attended.  It was a fruitful experience. I saw that there are lots of opportunities to see how God works in a person's life - be it the volunteer, the adult or child attending.  Aloysius had the same opportunity and I was glad he agreed to take on a leadership role.  This was a great character-building experience for a first-timer as he was able to test his patience with children.

Career Turnaround
The last quarter of the year at work was a whirlwind of training activities.  I was getting bored with the routine and also frustrated with the culture or very slow pace of change.  At some point, I decided to do something to change that scenario.  With determination and a prayer for guidance, I sought to be part of a global project that will make an impact to people development in our organization.  I was not chosen at first but miracle happened and in December of this year, I ended up going to our headquarters in Denver, Colorado to represent not only Toronto but the whole Canada for the project kick off and process reviews.  I made it to the project team and this was not the only trip but also the start of many business trips scheduled in 2018.  God is really good with surprises.

I believe that there are reasons why you are put in a certain role or situation or why you met a person.  You are there because you have a mission.  I think I was able to figure out why but only after the fact.  It could be something to do, say or show and to prove that your presence has an impact.  I am sure that my relentless reminders, to do lists made someone achieve something or sharing inspiration and hopeful comments brighten some else's day.  I didn't realize this until some of them just came back to tell me they were grateful that I was there - to give a little encouragement, or a little push or shed light to something they were unsure of.  I too have met people who inspired and gave me hope and I'm thankful. I just want to pay it forward and I told them to do the same.  Maybe this is my calling, even if I could not make it in a management role but if the work I do will have a great impact to the people, it will be phenomenal.  Whatever or wherever God wants us to do, we'll just do it because we will be blessed so it's important that we seek where God wants to lead us.  This is done through prayer, reading the bible and having a personal relationship with Christ.  I hope you will see the people around you through the eyes of God - to touch their lives as how God touch yours.

Trips all over Ontario
This year was Canada 150th year and our family is so blessed to have enjoyed seeing some of the beautiful nature that is only found in Canada.   This year, our family went to these wonderful places:

1. Tobermory
2. Sauble Beach
3. Lion's Head
4. Elora Gorge
5. Parry Sound - Islands Cruise
6. Collingwood - Blue Mountain Resort
7. Niagara Falls
8. Cherry Picking at Cherry Avenue
9. Kelso Beach
10. Pingle Farm Hampton, ON

So that's it for 2017?  There's more - lots of blessings and miracles not only for myself, but for my family, my friends and we are all grateful. I hope you are too.  If you haven't figured out yet, let me remind you that God loves you, wants to bless you and will always be there for you.  May your new year start in that perspective.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Big hairy ambitious goals (BHAG) - an inspiration to dream, believe and survive

BHAG - this is big, hairy, ambitious goals and it could also be read as BIHAG in Pilipino which means captive or a prisoner.  I think I can consider myself both.  I am ambitious and also marked by complete attention to ambitions.  Don't get me wrong some people might think of this word as something negative, something that you will want to get, whatever it takes. It's all positive.  it could be about your career, your love life, your health goals, your showbiz dream, anything goes. Big, Hairy, ambitions and goals could also mean visions of what you will become in the future and at the time of the vision seemed impossible to reach.

When I was 10 years old,  I remember telling myself that someday when I will have children,  I will try my best for them not to experience what I'm experiencing.  At that time, potable water was a scarcity in our town and we had to fetch water from faraway places.  Being a small and thin girl, you could just imagine that my lean arms would be carrying 2 gallons of water and we had to walk kilometres to and from the source carrying those water containers.  It was improved 2 years later with a makeshift car (wooden cart) and I have to help push the cart carrying the water containers. At that time,  I had imagined myself in the future staring at a window while I fill up my glass with potable water from a faucet.  It was free to dream, right?  This was almost 40 years ago and I could just laugh and cry at the same time now because the vision has been fulfilled.  From farmlands in the Philippines to a City in Canada, that's a BHAG.

I am not ashamed of my past, I came from a poor family and just because my parents were industrious, faithful and ambitious, our lives improved.  The same as other families with OFW (overseas Filipino worker), we took the risk and sacrificed our being together as a family when my Dad had to leave to work in the Middle East starting when I was 12 years old until all of us (the 3 children) finished university degrees.   My young mind was exposed to drastic changes and great improvement initiated by big, hairy ambition.  It dawned on me that there is hope and everything is possible if you are focused and worked really hard to achieve your goals.  There were lots of sacrifices and out-of-comfort zone scenarios but they all paid off.  We were also faithful to God, we believed that He gives blessing to those who earnestly seek Him.  Do you remember my first Christmas prayer?

Now when I went to school, I didn't stop dreaming.  I graduated with honours in elementary but I was not a Valedictorian, not the top so that motivated me to dream bigger. I graduated as a little above average High School student (at least top 5% of class) because I enjoyed my youth and filled up my schedule with extra curricular activities, still not the top, more room to improve.
These activities (school paper, peer facilitating, Girl Scout, school librarian, leadership camps and lots of organization) in a university-like high school (6000 graduating class at that time) molded me and exposed me to becoming a leader at a young age.  It didn't stop me from envisioning my life to be better.  I was a working student in college, it was hard juggling school and work but the ambition was still there and it drove me to work harder and accomplish more.  My goal then was to be exempted for final exams and that meant getting good grades all throughout the term.  It was always a relief to find that despite not showing up in some classes because of work,  I still ended up exempted and getting good grades.

When I started working, I was blessed to have started my career in a service-oriented multinational company. The experience exposed and trained me to be quality-driven and taught me how to deal with foreigner bosses.  It also gave me a chance to travel and meet employees from same company in Asia.  My very first business trip was to attend a workshop in Singapore when I was only 24.  Would you believe that I was the youngest and I was the only female in that group?  At that young and ambitious age, I told myself that after Asia,  I dream to be sent to Americas then to Europe.  That dream was realized many years later when I went to the US (Texas and New York) with my American employer and now with another global company sending me to UK (to represent Toronto) and back again to the US (to represent Canada).

I have not stopped making my BHAGs, every time my goal will be realized,  I moved on to the next.  Of course, there are always bottlenecks, detractors, blockage - something or someone to prevent you from achieving your goals or grabbing the credit from you or making you fail or real failures.  But that should not stop me.  I could have given up a long time ago - when a coworker would prefer another person to be in your spot, or when a Manager didn't believe in you, when someone stole the limelight from you because you are just a support or "you are a woman in a man's world", when someone tells you that "people of colour or a different accent will not make it in the boardroom" BUT I didn't give up. I also received cold shoulder, snobbish looks, backbiting comments.  I would set up meetings and nobody will show up or you will receive last minute bail out. In meetings, I experienced being thrown off the bus or my ideas ditched and told to my face it won't work, or "maybe in Asia but not here".  I just cried silently it's the natural reaction, grieve but only for a while.  Don't let it drown you and you will lose focus. 

Here are the things I remember doing:
1. While I'm down, admitted that I can't do it on my own- anchoring and drawing my strength in God's words. Pray for guidance and comfort.
2.  If there are still thoughts of it coming back, all those negative thoughts - brush it all off.
3.  Research and contemplate on the word "resilient".
4.  People - Rely on your support system. I owe a lot too to my family and friends who are always there, who continued to cheer,  encourage and inspire.  There are people who reminded me that if a door closes, a window opens, so do not give up, continue to do good, look for opportunities and deliver brilliantly.
5. Forget the past, look to the future - One day, your day will come, your light will shine and you will get there.

I admit I'm not there yet,  I didn't say I don't have a dream to become a CEO someday,  I'm not even a Manager yet but who knows.  Maybe my goal is to just become a catalyst or change-driver or someone who is instrumental in making a huge change a success.  Or maybe my ambition is to just sit in a boardroom from a high floor with global counterparts, making a decision  or new process for the global companies to follow.  Maybe my dream has been realized, or about to, who knows?  I'm not particular with positions, but with connections and with impact and how I can contribute to making a change and making an ambition become a reality - whether it is a global ambition or personal, I'm all for it and I should not stop now. In the same way as I've learned before even with hardships or blockages, just continue to dream, believe and survive.

Have faith in God, He made us to be great, believe that you can do it, and do not stop learning and excelling.  Once you are there, move on to the next!

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed " Proverbs 16:3

I could just sing this forever - "My soul, my soul magnifies the Lord, He has done Great things to me."

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

4 steps to Managing People firmly and fairly

I highlighted on the title to focus on developing people.  That way, I will attract and keep the audience interested.  Some people will consider this applicable only to workplaces and those with direct reports but the tips are applicable to anyone or anywhere.  Whether at home or in an organization, or a team or just one person, if there are set goals and you want to achieve results, the pointers apply.
Now let’s do it, you might want to try using the words motivating people or empowering people, makes more sense, right?  Here are the steps:
  1. Clearly tell the task; what you expect them to do.
  2. Give them a reason to do it - “whys’” and make them want to do it - “rewards”
  3. Make the job doable; provide tools and resources.
  4. Give Feedback - positive or corrective to encourage and omit recurring mistakes
My guinea pigs for all the concepts that I’m learning and application are my kids.  Like organizations, we also have OGSM and one of them is Feed Your Body.  That means, they need to eat the right kind of food to get the right nutrition to be stronger, healthier and live longer.  Feed body with value and not just any food to fill them up.  To illustrate the pointers, I need to tell the kids what to eat and the reasons why they need to eat veggies and fruits aside from meat and eat less sweet food.  We have a weekly checklist on who finishes all the tasks assigned to them including finishing all the food in the lunch box and at the end of the week, we give them “rewards”. Because they are big boys now, money is our reward.  It could be saving for something big like a game add-on or something else. Visual tools really help.  We have a Poster of the Canada Food Guide in the kitchen so they will be reminded on how many servings of these nutritious food they are expected to finish each day. We also have recently bought different containers to use for their daily servings. Lito and I are now starting to use the Bentology containers to get the right portions.
It’s always hard to implement at first but we need to be consistent so we will achieve our goals.  I ask the kids what they like and don’t like about the food (of course, they will always say they don’t like) but asking for feedback helps.  We made a list of all the healthy food that they like and I’ll try to repeat what I know will mean empty lunchboxes from school.
Be creative. If we fail the first time, we try again and get better at it. I just want to mention that I found out about cauliflower rice and made the kids eat the fried rice without knowing it’s not rice. Research and find more ways to get the person understand more so that he will change the mindset and do it.  Once you let him experience the rewards, he will do it on his own. Do not give up on encouraging.  Good luck and I hope we achieve our goals in no time.