If you could choose one word to sum up what you’d like out of your year ahead, what would it be?
Maybe it’s a word that describes how you want to feel? Or something you wish to accomplish?
I’ve been choosing an annual theme word for the past few years. I usually just go with my gut instinct – whatever seems to be calling me.
Then I write it down and hang it somewhere visible, as a steady reminder. I also write it in my journal and put it on a sticky note next to my computer. I’ve sometimes made a bookmark featuring my word of the year which I transfer across to whatever I’m reading each month.
And you know what? I really think it makes a difference! Here are some examples.[more]
When my cousin and I were teenagers, we were hanging out at my grandparents farm in Minnesota, dreaming about how great our future lives were going to be.
My big plan involved living in California with an ocean view, driving a convertible and working in Hollywood.
I’d never even been on an airplane in my life, much less visited California…
He was going to start a business, be his own boss, and design and build his dream house with his own two hands.
Our uncle overheard us from the other room and came in with a suggestion. Why didn’t we write our dream predictions down so we could see later if they turned out? He then taped our predictions to the back of the picture hanging above the kitchen table where we were sitting.
Fast forward several years. I’m in my early 20’s and I’ve just arrived home from work. Sorting through a pile of mail, I find a letter from my grandmother in Minnesota.
She writes to tell me that while the farmhouse kitchen was being repainted, they discovered the notes my cousin and I had written.
I looked up from her letter and gazed out my living room window. An enormous orange sunset was dipping into the Pacific Ocean.
I’d just driven home from work in my Volkswagen Golf convertible. My job? Working as Johnny Depp’s press assistant in Hollywood.
Meanwhile, my cousin had started his own successful heating and refrigeration business and had just designed and built his dream house.
This woke me up to the amazing power of having a dream and writing it down like it’s really gonna happen!
The second pivotal moment in my goal setting journey came along soon after that.
Johnny Depp decided to leave the TV show that had turned him into a teen heartthrob sensation. I thought he was nuts [more]
I’ve always thought of introverts as being wallflowers. Shy, quiet and preferring their own company.
I’m certainly no wallflower. I’ve got plenty of friends, have a very loud voice and have been known to dance on tables after a few tequilas.
But I’ve got introverted tendencies that have taken me years to understand.[more]
Anyone else go all weak at the knees about stationery? Highlighter pens, Post-It notes, paper clips and notebooks – I’m a kid in a candy store in a shop that sells funky, colourful supplies.
Combine that with my love fill-in-the-blank worksheets and I’m in my own kind of bliss.
The concept of this very website came out of my idea to create a binder folder with colour coded tabbed sections for each area of my life.
I figured it was kind of like project managing a new house build with organised sections for plumbing, electricity, interior design and outdoor landscaping.
My life needed sorting out in so many different areas, so I broke it down into – family, health, personal growth, fun, money, etc.
I felt a Project ME coming on….
Naturally I headed off to buy some supplies![more]
Are you lacking meaningful friendships? Do you miss having friends you can confide in? Or ones you can let your hair down with and just have a good laugh?
Maybe you’ve moved somewhere new and are starting all over again with making new local friends?
Did great friendships feel easier to come by when you were younger?
Back then, those crucial ingredients for making close friends were all in place: proximity, repeated, unplanned interactions, and a setting that encourages you to let your guard down and show your true self. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends at university. (There’s nothing like a keg party to bring people close together!)
Once you get married and have kids it’s easy to get caught up in family life and let old friendships take a back seat. In many cases jobs take us away and replant us in new places where the process of making local friends means starting over from scratch.
Meaningful friendships are vitally important. Experts say that friendship has an even greater effect on health than a spouse or family member. Having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness and those with who have supportive friends are more likely to lose weight, get a new job or pursue their goals.[more]
These days Business Masterminds are the big thing. But what about a Personal Mastermind?
Getting together with a friend regularly for the ‘soul’ purpose of goal setting, brainstorming and supporting each other through life’s ups and downs is one of the most positive ways to take action and move forward in life.
This can take place in person over a coffee, or even online using Skype or Google Hangouts.
Seven years ago I formed a Power Posse with my friends Suzie and Anna. They didn’t yet know each other but we’d all attended a series of life coaching workshops and wanted a way of keeping on top of the changes we’d begun to make. We were looking for accountability – and boy did we find it.
We had no idea then that we were onto something so life changing.[more]
Think about the friends you spend the most time with and how you feel directly after seeing them.
Buzzing and elated, still smiling from something funny they’ve said? Inspired to try something they’ve recommended? Grateful they’ve been a good listener and helped you gain some perspective on a problem?
Or were you the sounding board for their latest life drama? Did they draw you into gossip? Criticise you, make you feel stupid? Or maybe you didn’t get a word in edgewise (again). Did they ask you for yet another favour? (Which is rarely returned.) Or did they flake out on you completely?
Research shows that the quality of your friendships is one of the most important factors in determining your happiness and overall mental health.
With family stuff taking up so much of your time and energy, you need to invest in the friendships that nourish you and spend less time and energy on those that don’t.[more]
It’s easy to let the demands of motherhood tip you in one direction, leaving other parts of your life sitting on the back burner.
You don’t realise you’re neglecting your self care – even when you become overwhelmed and short fused. You don’t see that your man needs attention, until you start drifting apart. Without enough fun, friends or personal growth – you get into a total rut. Take your eye off the ball with finances, organising or cleaning – and suddenly you’re in a deep mess.
So how can a busy mama find a better balance in life when there’s always so much that needs attention?
First you have to know, balance is not about giving the same amount of energy to all areas of your life simultaneously. It’s more about being aware of what needs your focus at any given time and recognising the symptoms of feeling out of balance before things get out of hand.
It’s all too easy to let some areas of your life fall off the radar completely while you’re too busy with everything else.
The good news is, I have the key to helping you get back into balance fast. [more]