Category Archives: life

100 Days to Christmas starts Today!

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I found this little gem of information and organization last year and posted it on my blog. Take it from someone who usually starts feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of October for the next few holidays around the corner, the orderly and organized bite sized tasks are easier to manage and less stressful.

I know it seems early, but 100 Days to Christmas isn’t just about Christmas, it’s a countdown that gets you prepared and through Halloween and Thanksgiving while preparing for Christmas as well. The strategy is to give you tasks everyday to prepare you and your home for the upcoming seasonal events and holidays in a timely manner, and avoid procrastinating certain things (that would be me) in hopes that you will feel less stressed which in turn helps you enjoy the holidays even more.

Last year we spent Christmas with my family in Texas, so I was able to somewhat omit quite a bit of the preparation. This year, we spend Christmas at home, so I will need to pull from this information even more.

For more information click here, you can get the ebook, or sign up for daily emails giving you the tasks you are to do that day. And don’t worry the first several days are fairly simple and you can easily catch up, or use the guidelines and go at your own pace.

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100 Days to Christmas starts Tomorrow!!

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Are you ready to jump on the bandwagon with me to discover what we can do in the next 100 days
to make the upcoming holidays more enjoyable?

I hope so! I’m actually more excited about this than I thought I’d be.
As much as I love the holidays, the stress starts to build immediately as they approach.
It’s usually because I bite off more than I can chew – which in turn creates havoc for me to get it all done.
And, when I do, I generally forget something key and important that pretty much negates all my hard work.
And then I deflate like a balloon.

But not this year, right? We are going to be organized and live to tell about it!!

We will “own” the holidays this year and enjoy them!!

Are you with me?!!

Okay first things first, if you haven’t checked out the 100 Days to Christmas website or the ebook, go here

Secondly, if you you haven’t check out the Facebook page, go here

Lastly, Join the Facebook Party tomorrow to kick off the start of 100 Days to Christmas properly, go here for the details

I hope to see you there!
Oh, and wish me luck ūüôā

I have a feeling I’ll be needing it, following an organized plan for 100 days may be quite a challenge for me!!

January: International Creativity Month

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*The last few blog entries were a bit deep and heavy (although very insightful and informative information we need to keep things rolling in our lives), but I must admit, I’m ready for something a little more light and fun!!

**Time has run short for me today and therefore I didn’t have the time as I would have liked to spend on this topic. So just know this was kicked out rather quick and fast, but that does not mean the information is less important!

National Creativity Month was founded by Randall Munson, a professional speaker and presenter who is notorious for using humor, magic tricks and creativity in his presentations to businesses and firms around the world (clients include Disney World, Microsoft, and IBM) as a means to inspire not only large corporations and business, but individuals to capitalize on the power of creativity and innovation.

The purpose of the observance was to give us more time actually spend on our goals and resolutions. To put more thought and effort in finding creative ways to re-energize ourselves and those around us, whether it be at work or at home with your family. When you think about it the family unit is like running an organization. We can find creative ways to improve our communications and our leadership skills (again parenting and running a well oiled family machine can benefit from such ideas.)¬†Let the family get together and have a “think tank” to come up with innovative ways to help everyone remember their tasks, or finding a new way to do their tasks.

Munson suggests that to we should all have a humor folder, and in that folder we put things that we find funny. Newspaper clippings of add or headlines gone wrong, or comics, pictures of signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc. that make you laugh. Have the folder in a handy, easily accessible place, and when you are having a particularly bad moment or the stress level is climbing, take out your humor folder and go through it. Soon things will calm because of the laughter factor ‚Äď laughing releases stress.

I highly recommend clicking here, and take some time to read some of his articles as you scroll down the page. I’m sure you will find something that not only makes you laugh, but very informative as well.

I found this interesting and thought it would be a good thought provoking closer:

“A center for creative learning studied the creativity of children and found that during the first five years 90% of children are highly creative. The next two years, ages six and seven, the percentage of highly creative children dropped to 10%. By age eight or nine, the percentage of highly creative children fell to only 2% and stayed about that level from that time on.”

Almost all of us were highly creative when we were little children. We were created creative. It’s time to unleash that creativity you were created with.” ‚Äď Randall Munson

Create Away!

January: Self Love Month

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Okay, so today we are winding down with our more introspective topics for January observances with something I feel most people would agree is important but not high on our “to do” lists, probably because it is one of those areas in life that require consistency and purpose on a daily basis, and that is Self Love. While researching, I really began to wonder why is it so hard for many of us? Here are my thoughts (for what it’s worth.)

It’s one of those dichotomies of the¬†human race: We are innately selfish, we are naturally driven by “self.” ¬†But for some reason when it comes to the “self” that involves overall evaluation or appraisal of one’s own worth¬†(liking and loving our selves) the drive is almost non-existent. It is a struggle to survive at a minimal, let alone, a healthy level.

As I was thinking this, I was reminded of the “id” (as I can recall from Freshmen year Psychology 101 way back when, and I’m sure I have it all wrong, so don’t quote me!) ¬†It’s like “id” versus “self-esteem.” The id is responsible for our basic drives and life instincts to survival: “It’s all about me” mentality. “I am,” “I want,” “I need” and I will do all I can to get what I want to survive comfortably. We may even walk on others, use others and sometimes abuse others for what we want or need to accomplish that.¬†But for some reason that drive to survive¬†in terms of our own personal worth and confidence¬†lacks severely. The ability to assess our own worth with positive self-related affirmations and¬†statements¬†is something most people constantly struggle with. It does not appear to be a natural, innate drive as is that of the “id.” Okay enough of my interpretation of the psychic makeup of the human race ūüôā

So, enter . . . Self Love Month:

Self Love, to me, is an umbrella phrase that encompasses self-esteem, self-image, self-concept, self-worth and self-care, and so on and so forth . . . During the month of January we are to focus on what is takes to develop a habit of giving ourselves positive affirmations to ensure a healthy “self.”¬†

I am sure we have all heard, or read, at some point the importance possessing these traits have in our lives. When when we can learn to love ourselves unconditionally and forgive ourselves of our mistakes, this fosters unconditional love and forgiving of others. This overflows into another aspect of our lives and that is, how you feel about yourself in turn has a lot to do with how others feel about you! Your perceptions of yourself has a lot to do with others perceptions of you.

It’s funny how many of us can feel guilty at times for showing a healthy confident esteem and self-love, and confuse it with being egotistic.¬†¬†Nobody likes people who boast about themselves, therefore many of us tend to be very careful to be modest and self-effacing at every possible opportunity and minimize our accomplishments.¬†We believe people should love us for who we are, not for what we do.¬†I think we all feel that the person who is constantly talking about himself is not someone who is filled with self-love. He is more likely someone whose self-love and self-esteem¬†is lacking and unhealthy. He feels the need to boast to boost it.

But to share one’s talents and gifts doesn’t require talking or boasting, and there is nothing wrong with being good at something and being recognized for it. I read somewhere that a flower wouldn’t refuse to bloom or a cat wouldn’t stop in the middle of an acrobatic leap out of concern that it might be considered showing off by others of its species, as it should be with us. When we realize our gifts and talents, and work and strive to¬†develop¬†them, we genuinely want to share and express them with others. It is not gratifying our own egos, but¬†a generous act of sharing. 

I came across some sites that you might find interesting. I took this Self Esteem Quiz and actually scored lower on it than I should have. It might be food for thought to take the quiz and see where you are. Of course they offer some information and tips on things we can do to change things around and improve our self-esteem.I also came across this book, How do I love me, let me count the ways by Daylle Deanna Schwartz, (which by the way is free to download.) If you go to her website she also has given us a challenge, 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge, that you might want to participate in as well. We still have the rest of the month to chime in.

I am just including her list of 10 commandments of Self Love from her website, but if you want to visit her website for more information, click on the book title above, or the picture of her book cover below:

DAYLLE’S 10 COMMANDMENTS OF SELF-LOVE

1. I shall lovingly accept myself as I am right now.
2. I shall appreciate all the beauty that makes me who I am.
3. I shall regularly give thanks for all of my blessings.
4. I shall trust in my ability to take care of myself.
5. I shall not criticize myself.
6. I shall not criticize others.
7. I shall forgive myself when I make a mistake.
8. I shall be kind to others, without sacrificing my own needs.
9. I shall take responsibility for my life.
10. I shall love myself to the best of my ability.

January: International “Change Your Stars” month & “Rising Star” Month

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*Today I thought we would take a trip along the borders of “new age” and hippiedom. Well, not really. The concepts I’m covering today are things we think about, even if we tend to be more of a realist, than a dreamer. These two subjects invite us to put more positive, motivational and inspirational thought and action in our lives on a daily basis.

International “Change Your Stars” Month:

While researching this “International “Change your stars” month, I came across a website changeyourstars.com that has an International “Change your stars” page. I found it interesting that the website was actually inspired by the movie “A Knight’s Tale” with Heath Ledger. I’m sure many of you, like me, have seen and have enjoyed this movie. If you haven’t I highly recommend viewing this movie, it’s very entertaining, throwing some rock music in with the tale that takes place in medieval europe. I feel I should add a brief description of the movie for those who haven’t seen it. I have lifted this description straight from the website:

If you’re not familiar with the story,
it’s about a poor thatcher’s son who sees a parade of knights
riding proudly through the city square and, while being propped up on a stock by his father, confidently says, “Someday … I’ll be a knight.”¬† A man locked up in the stocks below him overhears the boy and laughs, “A thatcher’s son?¬† A knight?¬† You might as well try to change the stars!” (more laughter)¬† The young William asks his father, “Can it be done, father?¬† Can a man change the stars?”¬† His father calmly replies, “Yes, William.¬† If he believes enough, a man can do anything.”¬† Young William becomes a squire to a knight and, through a twist of fate, gets his chance to prove he, himself, is worthy of knighthood.¬† Years later he returns home, finds his father, and affirms he has, indeed, changed his stars.


This site is for YOU!
If you believe enough,
you, too, can change the stars … YOUR stars!

The whole premise of the movie, and the observance of “change your stars” month, is that even if you weren’t born into privilege with the best of situations in your life, you don’t have to just accept it and live your life as dictated by your circumstances. As it was in the medieval times, whatever your surname, was what you did for a living i.e. Thatcher, and . . . you were not allowed to change your status in society, you were stuck in an underprivileged life.

Instead, the reality is that you can change your path in life, you aren’t stuck if you don’t want to be. It takes hard work, time and effort, and it’s not always easy (that’s why it’s often called “following your dreams” because it can seem impossible, and it’s so easy to give way to what you already know your life to be.)

Changing the stars: Your life is not permanently set like the location of the stars, therefore it’s not impossible to change (unlike the stars). You can change your path or destiny, and therefore, change¬†your¬†stars ‚Äď change your life.

It doesn’t hurt to have a dream and to try and follow it, although it takes continual input of positive, motivational and inspiring information. That’s why it’s so easy for us to give up. To get that inspiration and motivation you need to gear up for your year of changing your stars go here,¬†and find something to give you strength every day of the month for January, get the ammunition you need to go about changing your stars.

“Rising Star” Month:

So we talked about changing our stars and creating a new path for our lives, but how do we go about it.

Well “Rising Star” Month is all about urging people¬†to reach for the stars by designing a personal life plan. It takes place in January because that is the month that people normally review the past year and design, revise or re-design their life plan for the current year.

We are to take stock of and celebrate our past success and look forward to another year of success. The first year we celebrate the month (January) by developing a plan that considers family, friendships, work faith, education health, sports and entertainment.¬†Then every subsequent year we are to evaluate, modify and institute a revised plan. So, therefore every January people “reach for the stars” as they develop or revise their life plans. If we follow this process we will be making¬†the changes that will have long lasting effects in our lives, and avoid becoming stagnant in our goals. We must alway be moving forward.

I thought I better add some information about life plans and how to go about making one. I came across lifeoptimizer.org which gives good tips on how to make your own life plan. It gets you started by asking two questions: What is my destination?  How will I get there? It may be worth your time to click on the link and read through the steps so that you can ensure that your stars are not only being reached for, but changed as well!

One other thing I thought might be worth mentioning: Vision Boards

This where you paste pictures, drawings, and even sayings that convey your dreams and goals in a powerful visual way. And you put the board in a place where you will see it throughout the day. This will insure that your goals and dreams will constantly be in your mind’s eye, not out of sight ¬†‚Äď out of mind.

Another version of this is the vision journal. Instead of using a poster board you use a notebook to keep your images and writings one place. The book should be placed on your desk, night stand, coffee table or even in your purse (if you make a small purse sized one. I did this for a while for writing down ideas when they actually struck me, because many times I would forget the exact thought and only had fragments. I jotted down a sketch or whatever of these thoughts as they came.) Needless to say, you need to place it where it will command your attention and invite you to look through it often. You should be adding things almost daily if not weekly to your journal.

I found a good website (click here) by Christine Kane that has good ideas on how to go about making your own vision board or journal.

Feeling inspired? I am!

Go ahead and reach for the stars!


January: “Celebrate Life” and “Be on Purpose” Month

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*As we will see in the next couple of blogs, being the first month to start of the new year, January seems to be the “take stock and make dreams” month. Today we will introduce National “Be on Purpose” and “Celebration of Life” observances.
Now here are two subjects worthy of contemplation. Hmmmm.

Be on Purpose what does that mean?

It’s when we start putting our good intentions into action, personally and professionally, and to incorporate more clarity in our lives by focusing more on “meaning” and “purpose.”

What better time than the beginning of a new year to step back and take a good look at our lives, realize the distractions that are blocking our path, and weeding them out (or at least, spend less time on them.) I know personally how distracting the internet can become (you can surf for hours and not realize it!) or the TV, or just fluttering from one thing to the next around the house ‚Äď but somehow not really getting anything done ‚Äď it’s not using time purposefully.

We want to use our time well, put our energy towards things that truly matter, but when we step back and take an honest look at how we’re living . . . most of us are not satisfied. Maybe we’re spending too much time doing things that feel urgent, but in reality we’re just putting out fires and not allowing ourselves to spend the time we need on the things that truly matter. Maybe we find ourselves frequently being pulled off course by our feelings of fear, anxiety, or depression. Or allowing others in our family to dictate what it is we should be doing (You know, when the kids have a way of bringing us into their last minute homework or project crisis.) Or my personal favorite, procrastinating on doing what we know we need to do. Or maybe we’re just confused about what our purpose should be.

The goal is to bring more purpose, and less wasteful drama, in our lives!

“Celebrate Life” Month: ¬†How?

There are many things we can do to remember the importance of our lives and that even though we may not be where we want to be in life, or unhappy with certain aspects of our lives, we are alive! That is something to celebrate in itself. And if we want to be at a better place in life, now is a good time to contemplate where we want to be, is it a worthy aspiration, and what will it take to get there.

Personally I would like to laugh more, and enjoy more. I am easily annoyed and bothered by things that really¬†aren’t¬†worth it, I’ve become . . . grumpy . . .¬†(or that’s how seems to me. Okay ‚Äď no one needs to validate that) I would like to be how I used to be, a more fun loving person. So I will train myself to remember to celebrate each day of my life, and to appreciate everything (even the less positive experiences) because without the bad, you can’t appreciate the good!

The next round of milk and cookies are on me! Now go and celebrate your Life!!

Celebrate life everyday by doing these 3 simple things:

Laugh – We are all familiar with the power of laughter, how it triggers healthy physical changes in our bodies, strengthens the immune system, boosts our energy, diminishes pain, and protects us from the damaging effects of stress. The best part is, that it’s free, readily available, and easy to use. Have a good “guffaw” and/or “chortle” every day ūüôā

Write – Finding time to sit and write is a hard thing to do in our busy lives. But if we can give about 5 minutes a day to jot down the things that happen in our lives, good or bad, and remember to include something that you are grateful for ‚Äď showing gratitude has a way of making everything else in life seem better.

Learn – Discover a new word like prolix: |prŇćňąliks|adjective(of¬†speech¬†or writing) using or containing too many words; tediously lengthy:¬†he found the narrative too prolix and discursive. (Sound like a blogger you know?)

Increase your knowledge to celebrate your life.

We need to keep those synapses firing: (Synapse: the place where brain cells communicate with each other, they don’t actually touch but are separated by a space called the synaptic cleft where brain chemicals or neurotransmitters cross to stimulate the adjoining brain cells and trigger further electrical messages to be passed along forming neural circuits or pathways.) The lesson here, people, is that without synapses ‚Äď brain cells are unable to communicate to each other. And that’s not good!

So Stimulate that brain!! Try to do a word or sudoku puzzle, read, or find something that stimulates the brain (and no, coffee isn’t what we’re going for here) on a daily basis.