Sept. 28 ♥ Do One Thing Every Day that Scares You

Why would anyone willingly do something that scares them? I can think of many reasons. Being scared certainly pushes you out of your comfort zone. Gets that adrenaline flowing. Wakes you from your lethargy. Puts some oomph in your day. It makes you feel alive. What if you were given the opportunity to do something scary? Would you respond with a “Yes, but…I like my life as it is. Why shake things up? I don’t have time; this is crazy; I can’t. I need a guarantee…” Ah, hello, fear! If you believe something is fearful, then it is – funny how that works. But that also makes the opposite true: believing you can overcome your fear makes things less scary! What if you broke out of the same-old, same-old and pushed your limits? What if you told your fears that you’re in charge and ready to step outside your comfort zone? There are many gifts here, with your name written on them in large, sparkly letters: I can do things I didn’t think possible! I am so proud of myself! I live life big! I can deal with fear! Don’t keep these gifts waiting. The party won’t last forever. Grab the chance to design your life the way you want it. All because you left your comfort zone!   Now It’s Your Turn What have you put off trying because fear got in the way? What small step could you take toward your fear? Who could you tap to support … Continue reading

Aug. 17 ♥ Say YES to Rewards and Watch What Happens

What is a goal? According to Merriam-Webster it’s something that you’re trying to achieve. Usually we determine a goal without much forethought, which often leads to frustration, incompleteness or failure. Remember January’s resolutions? How are those working out? Knowing the goal you want to attain is not sufficient to guarantee success. It’s important to do a reality check assessing how passionate you are about the goal, how certain you are that you will complete it and how committed you are to making it happen. If any of these are lacking, your goal is almost certainly doomed. So, let’s say your goal passes the above litmus test. How else can you increase the odds of achieving it? Here’s the process I recently followed that led to a successful personal goal. I outlined the various steps needed, chunking them into logical sections. And at the completion of each chunk I got a reward. If I didn’t complete the section, I got no reward. Simple. Up front I made sure that my rewards were motivationally juicy and that they would happen often, usually weekly. My rewards were predictable and outlined before I even began to work on a task. What I noticed was that I really looked forward to the upcoming reward. My brain wanted these rewards. I’m sitting here wearing adorable blue flats I earned by completing some tasks on my way to the goal. Every time I wear them I’m reminded that I followed through, training my brain to take me … Continue reading

Aug. 10 ♥ What Is Life Trying to Teach You?

Ever have one of those weeks? Nothing seems to be going right. You’re late for work. The kids dawdle on the way out the door. You run out of coffee. Your son neglects to put gas in your car. Your office feels like it has a swinging door. You’ve got back-to-back meetings, for days. Ah, yes. It can feel as if the world is conspiring against you. But is it? We’ve all had periods where life has felt endlessly overwhelming. And yet the truth is that we always have a choice. We can drown in the “omg, why is all this happening to me?” We can rant and scream and bemoan how hard life is. We can throw a hissy fit at how unfair it feels. We can believe the frustration and misfortunes in our lives are a cruel punishment for past misdeeds. Or… we can take a long, deep breath, step back and then recognize that life is not out to get us, although it can feel that way at times. Life just is. It’s how we react that’s important. Slowly I have come to believe that life is trying to teach us some lesson that we haven’t quite yet gotten. Over time I’ve learned that taking that perspective offers me have a chance at figuring out the learning experience designed just for me. And so my life lessons keep adding up. And maybe by the end of the week I might be a genius, although I think that … Continue reading

July 27 ♥ Don’t Throw Stones at Every Dog that Barks

Ever have one of those days where you’re distracted by everything? You know you have things to accomplish. You know you need to focus. Yet every shiny thought that flashes into your brain diverts you. Social media, phone beeps and dings, a steady flow of email, interruptions, random thoughts…all compete for our attention. Distractions are everywhere, and they’re not going away any time soon. As much as we we’d like to disconnect, that also isn’t feasible. So what are we to do? Here are 5 ways I’ve found to help reduce the distraction in my life. Empty the trash. Not the wastebasket variety but the mental kind. Take a blank sheet of paper, set a timer for 5 minutes, and then just write down anything that pops into your brain. No censoring. Just rapid writing. At the end of the time period notice how you feel. If you’re like me, you’ll probably feel cleansed. I find that such a brain dump pulls all of the detritus out of my brain, leaving room for the thing I need to focus on. Oh, and throw away the paper you wrote on – the final adieu to the distractions. Clear physical desk clutter. Remove the piles from your desk and keep only the one thing you will be working on. I often put the extraneous files and papers on the floor behind me so that they are effectively out of sight. Clear digital clutter. Only have one application open on your computer at … Continue reading

July 20 ♥ Why You’re NOT Selfish

I know that “selfish” is a loaded word for many of us. Too often we tangle it up with self-care, thinking that they’re synonyms. And we want to be anything but selfish. Long ago we were encouraged to perfect our nurturing side during our childhood years and so now taking care of others is just our knee jerk reaction. And, of course, if we’re constantly attending to the needs of others, we have little time for ourselves. And what’s the effect of that choice? Exhaustion. Crankiness. Short tempers. I know you get this. And yet that word, selfish, lurks in the background and gets in the way. Because if you don’t do the nurturing, the care of others, who will? It’s time to sharpen our understanding of the S-word. Being selfish is all a matter of degree. Here’s what Merriam-Webster says, “taking care of one’s own comfort, pleasure, or interest excessively or without regard for others. We so often miss that very important detail. Honestly, does that sound like you? Being overindulgent with yourself? That’s not what you’re about. You want to be there for others. You want to be generous. You truly want to nurture. Thinking only of yourself is just NOT in your nature. You really don’t know how to be “selfish” in the dictionary sense. Let’s agree that we’re not being selfish when we devote time to care for ourselves. Because who knows better how to meet our own needs? To restore us, to replenish our batteries, … Continue reading