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Archive for March, 2011

How often do you get to accept an award before you have even had your first cup of coffee in the morning? For that matter while still in your pj’s?

That was my joy this morning as I sat down to check my emails before really getting my day started!

*happy dance*

I’m am so thrilled. Where do I make my long-winded acceptance speech? Oh. Here huh? Okay. Well I’d like to thank my manager..but I dont’ have one. I’d also like to thank my dog Charlie who keeps me on schedule (his) but there isn’t much point. As much as I know he loves me he never reads my blog. So instead I’ll thank the lovely Hajra for awarding me this.

Wait…RULES! There are some rules I appraently must follow when accepting this award and they aren’t even about walking the red carpet! What? No red carpet? Oh there will BE a red carpet! You simply cannot have an award ceremony with no red carpet. Can’t be done (pretty sure).

There, that’s better. Now back to these rules. Alrighty first I must share 7 random things about myself. 7? Hmm..how very fairy tale-ish. Another good reason for the red carpet.

  1. I’m a firm believer in eating something for breakfast. Especially if that something is homemade apple pie.
  2. I love to drive. Road trips are FUN.
  3. I like to joke around by playing on words.
  4. My motto in life is Life is short so eat dessert first. Literally and figuratively I live by this.
  5. I am a passionate animal advocate and yes, I’ve been to a rally or two.
  6. There are days when if you pricked me with a needle I’d probabaly bleed coffee.
  7. I loved, loved, LOVED university. The joy of having my mind opened, real discussion about issues…just awesome. If I coud afford not to work I’d gladly be a professional student. My only regret was that I couldn’t take more classes outside my major.

The second rule is my favourite part..you know right after getting all dressed up and accepting this award in front of millions of adoring fans. I get to share this award with 7 people I think are also worthy! These are folks whom I love to follow myself, I have learned from and are super creative bloggers. Hence the award.

  1. Roy Ackerman, Ph.D., EA, at The Adjuvancy
  2. Melanie Kissell at Solo Mompreneur
  3. Tambre Leighn at Coaching by Tambre
  4. Sweepy Jean at Sweepy Jean Explores the (webby) world 3.25
  5. Steve Weitzenkorn at Find, Fullfil, Flourish
  6. Jessica Swanson at Shoestring Marketing
  7. Sandra Ahten at Reasonable Diet

How’s that for fun? The hard part was trying to decide on only seven bloggers. There are so many great ones out there! That and I keep thinking of more random things about myself and wondering if that fact is more interesting. I am going to secretly add one here and that’s I like to find ways around rules I’m not a fan of. (see what I did there?) It’s true.

I will now take my bow and begin looking forward to other people’s happy dances because they also got an award!

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People are interesting creatures.  We like to make sense of things and we do not like to leave things as unknown.  This is a brilliant way to go about life especially when you are a child..I mean, that’s what childhood is all about right? Figuring things out. 

There is this one little problem that we have when doing all of this ‘figuring out’.  We don’t always have all the pieces to the puzzle or the understanding to put it together in a correct fashion and yet, we often still declare it complete. At least in our own minds!

We use past experiences, personal knowledge and that pesky thing called personal perception.  How we perceive the situation can make all the difference.  We often make assumptions in order to figure things out based on our perceptions.  Unfortunately..we also often get it wrong; or at least parts of it.  It’s cute when we do this as kids.  I love the story my friend told me about her 4-year-old suggesting if mommy and daddy needed money just go to the bank machine because it gives it away. She had no sense that you must have money in an account.  The machine just gives money to you right? (I wish!) This was a story she formulated in her own mind, with her limited experience about how one goes about getting money.

The thing is, we kind of continue with assuming things as we become adults.  That and we tend to pretty pessimistic about it.

One of my favourite examples of this is the story of the very popular, very pretty girl in high school.  Everyone assumes she must have a ton of requests for dates or lots of offers of things to do on the weekend because she is so pretty and popular.  Due to the assumption, this very lovely girl sits at home most weekends because no one asks her out or bothers to include her…they think she is already so busy and wouldn’t have time for them.  It seems very ironic and some might even say amusing, but in fact it is a reflection of how we often make these assumptions and end up missing out.

Take that surly old neighbour down the road.  Sure you said hello to him the first few times you saw him as you walked by his house, but got no response.  Your very human nature decided he must be grumpy and why should you bother. What if the fact is he was partially deaf and his eyesight wasn’t so good. Or perhaps he was confused? Or on oxygen so cannot shout back a hello. Why would a good chunk of us jump to the negative assumption that he’s just grumpy or it’s personal right away? Habit? Possibly; but I want to suggest that it is in fact a learned behavior. One that can be unlearned.

What about your own story?  What do you assume about YOU? 

We do that too you know.  Stuff we’ve learned about ourselves early on in life may or may not be true now (or ever).  I wrote a post about the two most powerful words “I am” a while back.  Your “I am’s” define you. They tell your story.  The thing to consider is how you might be limiting yourself or even just flat-out bs-ing yourself. Here’s the real rub..we tend to be the MOST negative about our own stories.

You can change your story. 

You start by taking time to listen to it.

Question yourself when you are creating stories about the why’s and how’s in life.  Do you have negative stories that you could change? Like why the barista at Startbucks wasn’t super happy and flirty with you today.  Or the reason two people in your office went for lunch but didn’t invite you.  Next post I’ll be talking about how we can change up these stories and lose some of the stress they bring!

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This is something a bit new. I’m trying out for the first time this week so please leave me some feedback on what your thinking. Every other Friday I want to share some of the Fabulous Finds I’ve come across during the past 2 weeks.

I occasionally do review a book, tool or product in my monthly newsletter and I get a lot of feedback around that from people who enjoy hearing of new exciting things. The types of things might vary but they will all be related to improving our lives and making them more fabulous! You know I love to share great stuff! Oh and if you have something you think I should take a look at I’d love for you to email the idea to me!

1. Livestrong – The Daily Plate

What is it and who’s it for? Simply put this is a tool you can use to help yourself get healthy (free!). There is a TON of stuff on this site but I am in love with My Daily Plate. It helps you determine the calories you eat and the calories you burn through exercise and keeps track for you. It’s easy and actually kind of fun. I have been using it for a while now and have learned a lot about my own eating habits.

There is also a fairly large community for support, ideas and even recipes! I can also add that there is an app for your smart phone so you can keep track as you go. One of the first things I advise all my clients is you have to know what is really and truly going on before you can try to change it. This goes for time management, relationships and health. I was surprised by a few things myself regarding what and how often I was eating.

2. Club Creative Studio

Veronica is fun and fabulous. Her beautiful art reflects that. Now if you know me at all, you know I love things that are not only beautiful but unique and one of a kind and you’ll find all of that with Club Creative Studio. Pieces that are sure to make you stop and take notice. You can also follow Veronica’s engaging blog. She can introduce you to some much related to creativity. I especially loved her post on “mashed potato brain syndrome!”

3. Starbucks Digital Network.

While this might be old hat for a few of you it was news to me and I think it’s awesome! Basically you can access via the localized network in Starbucks stores, free content such as news, entertainment, events etc. all while waiting for your Cafe Mocha! Discover new books, movies and what’s happening around you. There are a variety of topics from wellness to business channels. Check out this article for lots more details. I thought the free wi-fi in all the stores was pretty awesome but this just kicked it up a notch!

4. Kiqlo

This is a place where you can buy or sell digital media. Anything from pdf e-books, poetry, audio and my favourite pictures! An easy to use site for someone on a tight budget, but who wants to share their stuff with the world. I actually discovered this site when looking for pictures for my book. Very inexpensive to buy them here and lots to choose from. Definitely worth a little look if you are interested in having a download available. They do not charge to use this site. What they do ask is that if/when you start to make money you donate. The community seems very supportive and helpful.

These are some fabulous finds for this Friday. Let me know what you think of the concepts and any of the finds!

Keep on being your fabulous self, after all, no one does it quite like you!

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In the past I have been the self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination. Big project to do in University? My house was never cleaner. Time to study for exams? My friends loved that time because I made all kinds of pies, casseroles and such.
Today, I’m much better at dealing with my desire to put off things by finding other things to do and I’m much happier for it. Still from time to time, I struggle against putting on my crown again.
I decided to ask some of the best bloggers, business owners and fabulous people I know to share their thoughts on how to beat back the procrastination monster. The responses were awesome! Thanks again to the TCLclub for their input! Please add your tips and thoughts too!

 

1. Becky Kimes @RebeccaKimes, Becky’s Blog “Spirited Marketing Coach”

This one will be different LOL. Procrastination is usually because by some kind of resistance. So FEEEL the resistance in your body. Actually sit there and notice, or ask yourself, where is this resistance in my body. And then fully eng…age all your attention on feeling that feeling. Experience it in totality. And be willing to be with it until it shifts or moves, without judgment. There could be a valid reason for the procrastination..like something that needs to be done before the task you are procrastinating. Or a limiting belief that want to be addressed. This is an inside out approach. To many times we try to force something into happening..to take action when what we really need to do is see and experience what is going on internally.

2. Roy A. Ackerman @RAAckerman, Roy’s Blog “The Adjuvancy, LLC”

There are no tricks of which I am aware. However, I do make a list of things that need to get done EVERY night. It becomes my nightly screensaver- so it’s the first thing I see in the morning.

3. Kristen Robinson @KRDMarketing, Kristen’s Blog “KR Design”

My tip for procrastination is to break up the task in little pieces. I usually procrastinate b/c the task is daunting to me. By breaking up in a little pieces it doesn’t seem too bad and I can be productive.

4. Melanie Kissell @melaniekissel, Melanie’s Blog “Solo Mompreneur”

To alleviate ‘blogging’ procrastination: Create a weekly or monthly editorial calendar. Seeing your topics/titles and a few bullet points for each in front of you will keep you from scrambling around at the last minute for ideas.

5. Veronica Campos-Hallstrom @ClubCreativeArt, Veronica’s Blog “Club Creative Studio”

A check list with a prioritized category. It will get you moving when you see a short important “to do” list instead of a long list that seems to never end and gives you a feeling of defeat before you even get started. And if you promise yourself a reward, it makes you want to earn your treat… be it a well-deserved afternoon nap or a candy bar!

6. Leanne Chesser @WAHMSolution , Leanne’s Blog “WAHM Solution

My best tip is to listen to your inner knowing and deal with the underlying issues or beliefs (very much like what Becky shared). Another tip is to focus on the “why” or the vision that doing the task will help you move toward.

7. Lisbeth Tanz @LisbethTanz , Lisbeth’s Blog “Your Words, Your Voice”

Understand if your procrastination is because of a real issue (don’t have the resources, research isn’t complete, etc.) or due to a mindset issue (It will take too long, I don’t know how to do it, I have other things that are more pressing,… etc.). If you can identify the true source of procrastination, you’ll be in a better place to deal with it. It it’s external (not enough research), then schedule time to do the research. If it’s an internal mental block, look more deeply as to why you’re allowing this to prevent you from moving forward. Why are you staying stuck?

8. Paula Lee Bright @almost60really , Paula’s Blog “Almost 60, Really?”

For those who are TRUE procrastinators like me, nothing short of setting an appointment with ME works best. I cut myself the slack while I think over the post for a day, but know that at noon tomorrow I start.
Then, at noon,… NO EXCUSES. It works for the times when I’m falling behind.

9. Martha Giffen @MarthaGiffen , Martha’s Blog “Martha Giffen. Helping you through the maze of online marketing”

I use another human being! It has come in the form of an accountability partner, a mastermind group and also a personal coach. But,seems like once I put the project out there and say it to one of those, they tend to hold my feet to the fire. OR is it that once I SAY it, that brings it into existence? OR I don’t want to disappoint THEM? Who knows? I could get sorta deep with the thought train! LOL

10. Tambre Leighn @tambreleighn, Tambre’s Blog “Coaching by Tambre”

Identify the underlying purpose to each task. Connecting to the core value the task is related to or the feeling that the task generates will help you move into warp speed, past any procrastination blocks. For example, if your goal is to lose weight and your task is to go to the gym for an hour three times a week, then identify what completing the task will give you…more energy, better health, stress reduction. If these things mean something to you then you’ve identified a core value and will be more inspired to get into action on it.

BONUS Check out this great video on procrastination by Lynn Brown of Learn It to Earn It

Do you have a tip, trick or way to climb over that wall of procrastination?

Did one of these tip really hit home for you?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

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I need more time! 

Where does the time go?

Time sure flies doesn’t it?

We are really obsessed with time aren’t we?

All these little comments reflect our way of dealing with the fact that our time is limited. As I’ve said before you only get 60 mins in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. No more, no less (excluding that pesky daylight savings time!). On one hand we feel the need to experience as much as possible and on the other hand we want to take great pleasure in our here and now. Quite a push-pull situation.  One that can cause a fair bit of internal stress actually. 

To resolve this you really need to start spending time on what matters.  I know I wrote about time being like a gift card and lots of people loved that analogy.  The question keeps coming back to how do I know where to spend my time to get the most value?  Listen carefully to that question to find your answer.  “The most value” you asked for?  There’s your clue!

You need to be fully aware of your core values and learn to base your life choices on these.  So many of us base it on what we perceive we ‘should’ want/feel/do.  If that worked I’d be out of a job and we’d all be happy and content.  One of my favourite examples is what I went personally went through recently–replacing my car!  Now I was smart enough to do a little research (or so I thought).  I started off knowing what I needed in a car. By the time the marketers and savvy commercials worked their magic I found myself stretching my budget to get something I didn’t really need; but wanted.  Or did I? When I took a breather and the magic of the new car smell wore off, I realized I’d rather not spend that much per month because I really wanted to save for a vacation. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I coughed up all that money for a car.  Sure it’s fun to drive, but that bit of fun wasn’t worth giving up the experience of travel for me.  The bottom line a fancy car isn’t what I really value in life.  So, it’s back to the drawing board with a written out list of needs, a money cap and a much calmer outlook. 

I was able to make this choice because I am very aware of what my core values are and I am basing my car buying choices on these.  This is a very simplistic example of how living from your values can save you time, stress and focus your life on the right things for you.

Your values can help you with all kinds of decisions.  It is what I do with my clients for amazing and life changing results. 

 

If you know what really means something to you AND you spend your time in that arena rather than one that means little to you,

 chances are the feeling that you are wasting time will diminish or disappear. 

 

Quick! Can you list your ten most important values?

 How about five?  

If you can’t do that pretty quick you might want to take some time to delve into discovering your core values.  Here is the perfect companion for this!

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My number one secret to finding your happiest life? Gratitude.

I’m certain we all know that we ought to say thank you to waiters, someone who holds a door or things like this. That’s just basic manners right?

But to find happiness you need to begin to use conscious appreciation. Believe it or not when you experience feelings of gratitude your brains release all kinds hormones that make you feel good and that reduces your responses to stress.

Not a bad deal right?

The problem is after a rough day it can be pretty tough to choose to focus on the things we are thankful for rather than what has made us frustrated or ticked off.

This whole attitude is one that can be learned. It just takes some practice and over time becomes a habit.

Spend time reflecting on your daily pleasures, personal gifts, skills you are developing, and kindnesses shown to you.

Spend time with your grateful heart.

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Where to start?

First lesson of time management is usually the most surprising. 

You cannot manage time.

There, whew, it’s over.  Okay? Still with me?  Confused? Don’t be.   Time is intangible; it is at the same time infinite and finite.  Exactly what magical wands do you possess that you think you can actual manage or somehow alter that?? (cus I’d love to borrow it for a day or two if I may)

Here’s the trick to understanding this.  You can only manage yourself.

Think of your day like a gift card.  Yes,  a gift card.  Everyday we get this gift of time and everyday the gift card expires.  Don’t worry…a new one comes each day!

When you go shopping with a real, in your hand, store gift card, how do you handle that?  Would you head into Macy’s and just start buying whatever you see first?  In fact why not forget style and don’t even bother trying it on for fit!  Would you hit the kids section and buy up all kind of cute tiny sleepers even though you don’t actually have a child at home? Or perhaps some patio furniture and you live in a condo? 

Do I sound ridiculous? Of course I do. We know the card is limited and so we carefully judge what it is we really want to spend our money on. But if you think about it we often waste our gift of time in much the same way and yet don’t realize how crazy that is as well.  We have the choice to spend our gift of time carefully and in a well thought out manner.  Yet, we often end up spending our precious time on things that don’t matter, don’t fit our life goals and end up frustrating us as we find we never have ‘time’ for what we really want to do.  Sound familiar?

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