Holiday Love

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to send a short holiday season message. I do celebrate Christmas but I love on everyone, regardless of their cultural or religious traditions.

This is a reminder of love for the holidays. All year long you should be focusing on cherishing and loving the important people in your life (including yourself), but this time of the year I think it’s especially important to focus on remembering that. Not because it’s a holiday, but because it’s so easy to forget when there’s so much going on. There’s gifts to be bought, parties to attend, crafts to be done. food to be bought and cooked, and on and on the list goes, but the focus needs to stay on the people we are doing all of this for. If we’re buying the perfect gift while ignoring and alienating our spouse or best friend or ourselves, then what’s the point. You aren’t showing love with a super expensive, hard to find gift purchased out of obligation or anger.

My kids and I were making a gingerbread house the other day and I had to work really hard on this while we were doing it. I wanted the kids to feel involved in the process but the icing was not cooperating and the house was falling apart. So I flipped for a bit and got upset. Fortunately, before I really got frustrated, I caught myself. I took a breath and realized that it was ok that I build the house and then they could decorate it. They wanted the house to be standing too. I gave them a little direction on things that they could help with but I mostly built it and then they had fun decorating and putting random things all over. We did end up having fun, getting a bit of a sugar rush and the house stayed up.

So, take the time to linger, to cuddle, to play, to ask for help, and just relax and enjoy the people we have surrounded ourselves with. Love on others and let them love on you. (Kid and pet cuddles on a cold day are AWESOME!!!.)

Lots of love and Merry Christmas from me to YOU!

P.S. This will make you feel much better too, not just others.

Friends and Family Love

You may be thinking this doesn’t exactly seem like a post that’s related to success and achieving your goals but you are wrong. We can get no where in life without our support systems. Some people choose to use these people instead of working with them. They “climb the ladder” by leaving broken and battered bodies in their wake and I, personally, feel that there can be no true satisfaction in this. I’m not saying you should be a doormat and you shouldn’t be strong and fight for yourself and believe that you deserve a promotion over someone else, what I am saying is make friends, develop teams and partnerships and have fun with who you are. These qualities give you leadership skills and show your superiors that you “play well with others” 😘. You are ahead of the pack here.

But this post is about those people in your life that aren’t directly related to your business or career success. You are not your job or business, those are a reflection of you not you of them, which means you have to have an identity outside of the office. There are a number of people that contribute to your successes in life that have nothing to do with your goals. There’s your spouse, your children, your friends, your extended family, your acquaintances, etc. you get the idea. You need to maintain a connection with these people and build them up, be there for them and they’ll be there for you, otherwise when the sh*t hits the fan (and it will, it always does, that’s how we get stronger) you’re going to be left there alone picking up the pieces of your shattered confidences.

These people, also, contribute to your sanity, your confidence, and your general mental health. You get to relax, vent, brainstorm, and, just plain, unwind. And, they will love you, support your ideas, give you more ideas, be honest, sometimes tell you the hard truths, hang out with you, listen to you, act as a sounding board, and sometimes tell you to shut up and have fun. This sounds one-sided and selfish, like you’re doing this only to get something for yourself but, ultimately, our nature, as humans, is self-oriented so don’t feel bad for being human, we all are 💋. There is nothing more fulfilling than doing something for someone else and if it feels good we continue doing it. Don’t worry though, you’re not the only one benefiting from these interactions, your loved ones are getting boosted too, because you are returning the favour and doing those things for them too.

There are a lot of things you can do to acknowledge and invest in these people, you need to know what works best for you because this CANNOT be fake, you must, absolutely and completely, be authentic 😇. This is being a true friend and showing love in different ways. Here are a few ideas.

Go for a coffee or shopping date. Just chat about life and all that’s going on. The conversation will flow naturally so don’t force the subjects, the purpose of these get togethers is not to focus on you, but just being social. If the topic comes around to your current goals, that’s great, but if you try to make it happen you aren’t, really, being a good friend. I’ve had many of these over the years and I always feel fantastic and have a pep in my step for days to come.

Do random acts of kindness. Send a positive note to someone you know, praising or thanking them just for being them. You can drop off a plate of baked goods with a note to say you’re thinking of them. Offer to babysit their kids. Send them a gift card for their favourite store or a little gift  that you know they’ll love. Pay attention to their likes, dislikes, and needs, when you talk to people listen on a level deeper than, just enough so that when you have something to say it connects to the subject matter. Listen with the only intention of listening and connecting to the person you’re talking to. Don’t worry if they don’t respond or reciprocate, that isn’t the point, you are doing this to build up and encourage the people in your life. Today, I put a bunch of post-it notes in a place I knew my husband would see them when he got home from work. They were a love note to him telling him a bunch of reasons why I love him. I felt amazing doing this, my kids even got excited.

Get active. Go bowling or on a hike, take a yoga or a spinning class, if you can’t chat while you’re doing it, perhaps because you can’t breathe 😘, you can chat afterwards while you’re changing or travelling. Carpooling chit chat is great because there’s always someone driving who has to concentrate, so you can’t really go deep and it covers all the surface subjects so you’re able to move into the real stuff later, more easily.

Pick up the phone and just chat. Call up Grandma and catch up on what’s happening in her life. There is happiness to be found in connecting with your roots and your past. Never underestimate the value of the people in your life who have lived more than you have. They may not have the same technological understandings or anything like that but they have lived and learned and have so much to offer. Every time I talk to one of my grandma’s they teach me something new about life.

Find your true self and be that person, those that accept you like that are the people truly worth investing your resources in. Love on yourself and all the amazing people surrounding you, whether you have something to gain or not. ❤️

Being Creative with Visuals

To achieve your goals it’s important to have a variety of tools to draw from. Over the next while, I’m going to post about several different options for you to pick and choose what will fit best for you. Today it’s all about visual reminders, they are a great tool that you can really benefit from using when working to reach your goals.

One major visual reminder is vision boards. This is a really fun activity and this is when you’re allowed to be kind of selfish. You are thinking of you and what you want to achieve. (This may include other people like family, team members, etc. but you need to look at what you want not what others want for you.) This is great if you can get together with other people and do it as a social group activity.

So what is a vision board? This is a collection of pictures and words that represent your goals. You’ll pick pictures that mean things to you. So, for example, you want to take your family to Disneyland. Get pictures of the grounds or the castle or a ride and put pictures of your family on them. If you want to increase your income, you’ll print off a bunch of pictures of money. You want to get to a healthy weight, cut out pictures of the body type you want and glue your face on them.

Vision boards come in many different forms. My favourite is the traditional poster board on your wall because it’s big, in your face, and difficult to miss. This is where you’ve flipped through magazines or printed off pictures and arranged them in a way that inspires you. Another one, is to shrink it down and put it on index cards that you carry with you, one for each goal or portion of a goal. There is, also, the option of the vision journal, where you do pages in a book so it’s portable and can be added to. A great book to check out that gives great details on making vision boards is The Complete Guide to Vision Boards by Christine Kane.

On a similar note to vision boards, are smaller visual cues and reminders around your home and office. Post it notes with quotes or mantras, posters, words, all sorts of things. Decorate your space for both form and function. Get some beautiful wood letters that spell out DREAM or FAMILY or whatever resonates with you and put them on your walls or mantels. I have a collection of items on my bedroom wall. There is a poster, the letters DREAM, one of my mantras, and a picture I made (details below). They inspire me.

The picture I made is my “Word” for the year. There is an amazing book called One Word That Will Chang Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page (I am not getting any kickbacks for sharing these books, I just find them to be great tools). This book focuses on choosing one word that you are going to focus your attentions on for the year. It’s life changing. My word this year was Persevere and it helped me move from someone who gives up when things get tough and hides away from the world to someone who grits my teeth, swallows my fear, and approaches or attacks my problems. I’ve grown so much this year. This is a quick, easy read and you can either buy a hard copy or an ebook. This is one you will read every year.

And never under estimate the power of tracking charts. They can be on a poster board on a wall or a spreadsheet on your computer, but the power that comes from marking off portions of your goals as complete is so totally exciting, I can’t even explain. What do I mean by tracking charts? An example of these would be those thermometers at stores where they mark off money they are raising for charities. Consider your financial goal for going on a trip. Set up a chart with squares going from $0 to however much you need to save and break it down into $20s or $100s, depending on your goal. As you add to your savings account you fill in more and more of those squares and you’re seeing your vision become a reality. Now, what if you have a goal in the number of people you reach out to each week, networking. Your chart would be a square for each person and as you make contact with them you fill in a square with their name or if you do a seminar you get to fill in several for every person that enrolled in your mailing list. It breaks down your goal into “chewable bites”.

One thing I would like to remind you of, none of this works without action, so don’t get caught up in the details of perfectionism. Yes, you want these to look great and inspire you but if you spend all your time focused on make the perfect visuals, then you will never work on the vision. Make your project, be happy with what you’ve done, and get cracking. This is your vision and your dream, there are no rules other than what you decide to follow.

Love to yourself and have an amazing and creative day. 🎉❤️

Frustrations and Setbacks?!? What Now?

Frustrations and set backs are going to happen, if they don’t then you aren’t challenging yourself enough. So, it’s not about being prepared for if they happen, you need to be prepared for when they happen.

I’m going to share a bit about a day of frustrations that I had this week. I didn’t want to deal with it, I wanted to flip my sh*t and curl up and cry. I was working on a project that I’ve never done anything like before and it’s not related to my passions, so I don’t easily get excited about it, but I thought I was totally prepared for it so I was excited to move forward. Boy, was I not. I’ve found out there are a lot of people in the world that I would not choose to work with. Inconsiderate, disrespectful, and entitled. Let me be clear, I love people and I really believe that everyone operates with the best intentions but that doesn’t mean that everyone has the same idea of what the best intentions are. But anyway, moving on, by the time my day was half over, I was at the grocery store buying one thing and ready to sit down and have a melt down. But you know what I did … I smiled, joked about the situation, got myself to my car, sat down and breathed. I tuned out all the distractions that seemed to be swarming around me and focused on myself and my breathing and meditated for a minute.

These were all the things you could see on the surface of how I dealt with the chaos, but that doesn’t cover what I had to do on the inside to give that presentation. One important part of setting your goals and realizing your dreams is preparing for when things don’t go just right. Here are some great ideas for dealing with stress and anxiety.

Have a visual reminder with you of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Figure out your “wanna”. Everyone wants to make money, have success, and feel happy but everyone has different reasons for why they do that and what those things mean to them, so sit and think for a minute, “Why is this important to me?” then put it into a visual, like an index card or business card in your wallet that you carry with you all the time. It could be a picture, a saying, or a combination, whatever works best for you. My “wanna” is my kids and giving them the best life possible and my kids were with me at the time so I focused on being a role model of what I would like them to do in a similar situation.

Learn a meditation or a breathing exercise that’s quick and easy. Here is a link to a great meditation option that can be done in a moment One Moment Mediation. This really helps me a lot.

Take a break. Sometimes you need to shut down and get out of the world for a few minutes. I had about 100 more things to do that day and I didn’t think I had time for a break but that was exactly what I needed right then. I wouldn’t have gotten anything done successfully that day had I kept “pushing through”. You need to take care of you first or you’re going to run out of energy for everything else. Get to a place where you can have a little physical space, for me it was my car. I could put my kiddos in their seats and even though I could hear them I had a little breathing room. Grab your phone or book or whatever you choose and tune out for a couple minutes. I like to pull out my phone and play a couple rounds of solitaire. Each game is pretty short but it lets me focus on something that doesn’t matter, win or lose, I win 😉.

Venting. Don’t spend too much time on this because what you focus on is what you’ll produce. But it is important to unload. I sent a text message to some people that were involved in the project and just putting the words out there helped immensely. I realized I wasn’t being unreasonable in my expectations nor was I the only one with these opinions.

Start your day off right. If you set the right precedence for the day then it’ll make things much easier to process. I start my days by reviewing my plan for the day, then visualizing my day and my goals, and I spend a few minutes meditating (here are a couple good ones to use: Positive Mindset Mediation, Declutter Your Mind Mediation, and Centering Meditation). Adding a 15-20 minute workout to your morning routine is great too.

All of these combined tools are a great start to your plan for dealing with stress. If something works for you then add it to your plan, also, share it in a comment here so we can all try it out. And don’t forget to use these as teaching moments. A couple things I learned from my adventurous day was to take my word seriously and keep my boundaries. Also, that my time is valuable and if the person I’m working with doesn’t value it then they aren’t worth my time.

Love to you all and know, you have everything you need within you to achieve everything you want. 💋