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“1 A Week” Challenge – Save a Life!

We Rise By Lifting Others

“1 A Week” is an honest to goodness force of nature out there challenging everyone to to reach out.  Together, we can make a difference.  We have to.  And kindness is the answer…simple, yet profound.

“If someone had smiled and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I know I would have begged them to help me. I would have told them everything and asked for help. I would not have jumped. I just was unable to ask for help myself.” These are the words of suicide survivor, Kevin Hines.

Hines, like many people who attempt suicide, feel as though they are alone in this world. With no sense of purpose and a feeling of loneliness, it can be hard for anyone to believe that their life is important. When hitting this point, a simple smile or, “hello,” could be enough to make someone feel like life is worth living.

What if you were to do even more than smile? What if you could do something that not only helped someone else, but made you feel good about yourself too? Even get reciprocated for your good deeds?

“1 a Week,” is an organization that raises mental health awareness and spreads positivity, through random acts of kindness. Encouraging everyone to share their acts, with a participant receiving a gift for their gesture each week.

The name, “1 a Week,” came about with the thought that while one good deed a week is very manageable to complete, you can still have a positive impact on many lives. It all starts with just one! The ripple effect that can occur starting with just one person, one random act of kindness, is limitless. Say you complete your 52 acts throughout the year, for 52 different people. Of those people, twenty of them take on the challenge themselves and complete another 52 deeds. Each of those twenty people, get another twenty, and so on, and so on. Do you know how many people that is, spreading the love? A whole lot, thats how many!

“But I don’t have a lot of spare money to perform any acts of kindness! I don’t have much spare time either and to top it all off, I don’t have any good ideas of what to do.”

These are some of the most common reasons people have for not getting in on the fun of giving. Here is the thing, to be kind doesn’t have to take any money, much time, or a lot of creativity. You can leave encouraging notes around town, give up your seat on a bus, pick up litter, shovel your neighbors walkway. There are endless possibilities! You do what you are capable of and as Kevin Hines pointed out, the impact doesn’t necessarily correlate with how big you go.

So how about those gifts you can receive?

“1 a Week,” teamed up with a few sponsor companies that want to do their part in spreading positivity giving. A month of online personal training? Top quality t-shirt or hat? Positive social interaction card game? A watch?? All gifts that are being sent out to the participants of the challenge.

So let’s get to the details of how to participate. There are two ways to share your acts. You can share it to the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/1aweekchallenge, and if you wish to remain anonymous, just send a private message, and it will be shared for you. You can also post it to your Instagram, tag @_1aweek in the post, and/or use the hashtag #1aweek. A recipient for that weeks gift is selected every Sunday night, announced on Monday.

There are plenty of statistics you can find throughout the internet about the positive mental effect an act of kindness has on the person performing it, not just the one on the receiving end. So if for no other reason, do it for your own health!

THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION! This is your call to help make a change in not only your life, but the life of many others. Check out the, “1 a Week,” pages, get inspired, and get going!

Random Thoughts on Taking Out the Trash

Taking Out the Trash

For Real This Time…

I don’t know how many of you are Mac Users (I’m a Mac, not a PC), but there is a little to-do item that I sometimes forget about, but it’s very important to do especially on my laptop where I do all my work so there isn’t a lot of disk space to mess around with.  It’s a little chore called, “Empty Trash”.

I delete stuff all the time on my computer!  From emails to tossing out documents or photos of videos.  Memes I’ve downloaded and used and then no longer need.  Photos of items I’ve put on Craigslist and sold…months ago.  Screenshots I’ve taken for a specific purpose and now that purpose has passed.  I created a word document for a to-do list and now that chore has passed so I toss it out.  I put it all in the trash.  Out of sight, out of mind.

But just like the trash we throw into our trash cans outside for the garbage man to take away, it’s not like that stuff just disappears.  In the case of our household trash, it ends up in a landfill doing damage to our planet earth. And the files in my computer?  They sit in the trash until I go take one more step and EMPTY THE TRASH!

I’m not sure why we have to throw out the trash twice, but we do.  Of course, in the case of our household trash, I try to limit what goes into the landfill.  I try to reduce, re-use, and recycle as best I can so the impact I have is less.  And on my computer, I try to make a habit of regularly taking out the trash so that stuff is not just out of sight, but permanently gone.

Where is all this headed?  Sometimes we need to mentally take out the trash.

First, IT IS a good idea to simply reduce, re-use, and recycle the mental garbage.  Trying to put better things into our creative and mental space is definitely the first line of defense.  Do watching scary movies give you nightmares that keep you up at night?  STOP WATCHING THEM in the first place!  Stuck in a bad habit or need to simply create a new one like flossing twice a day?  Take the first step towards either one.  Remember that it takes baby steps…moving forward however small is the key.

Second, we may think that we have taken out the trash but just like my EMPTY TRASH button you may need to permanently take it out.  Setting it aside is not enough.  Sometimes we need to take that extra step and permanently let it go.  Here are a few examples:

You’ve quit coffee, but still own a coffeemaker and coffee is still in the cupboard.  You’ve forgiven a friend, but are still hanging on to hurt feelings that we can’t quite release.  You were in a horrible relationship, got out of it, then are still mentally bashing that other person or worse, ourselves for being in the relationship in the first place.  How much mental space are you taking up by not permanently deleting the trash?  By taking that extra step to let go for real this time?

I’m not saying it’s easy, but this blog is just about awareness.  If you are in a situation where you haven’t permanently deleted your trash – you are the only one who truly knows.  If you read this blog and instantly thought of something in your life that this applies to – then this article is for you.  Do some mental decluttering, some soul-searching, some meditation, whatever does it for you to start taking baby steps towards healing – and EMPTYING THE TRASH.

Would love to hear from you!  Please comment below and let’s start some chatter!  Have a gorgeous July and see you next month!

#Recess #PlayDate #Ideas #SelfLove

5 Ideas for Self-Dates!

It wasn’t until I read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron that I truly embraced self-dates.  And to tell you the honest truth, the first one stunk.  It was supposed to be for 2 hours and I don’t know why, but I chose to go to the beach and people-watch.  I don’t even like the beach.  I live 15 minutes away, but I’m more of a mountain girl.  I sat on that beach for 2 hours!  Doing absolutely nothing!  Lame, but lesson learned.

I was so mad about my first date going so horribly wrong that I was determined to make the 2nd one more fun.  I planned a trip to Ojai which is about 30 minutes from my home.  I went on line and picked two new stores to check out and then had lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant called Hip (highly recommend it!).  The first store turned out to be closed, but the second one was an open air bookstore – really!  An outdoor bookstore and I bought more Louis Lamour books – it was fabulous!

As of this writing, my 17-year old has now taken herself on her first self-date.  She got treats for the movies and watched Wonder Woman at the theater.  Dollar treats, bargain day at our local theater – perfect for the teenage budget!

I truly recommend self-dates!  The ultimate would be once a week, but if you can pull off once every two weeks or even once a month consider it a huge accomplishment as you will have gone from zero to something!  Here are 5 Self-Date Ideas to get you started.  Re-instate #Recess for Adults!

The 5 Senses Date

#1  One of my favorite self-dates was last month when I decided to enlist the 5 senses and create a date around it.  Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight, and Hearing.  Start by making a list of your 3 favorite in each category and then pick your favorite from each one.  Here is how mine played out:  Touch – my favorite comfy afghan my oldest daughter made for me while dressed in my night shirt and slippers.  Smell – wild orange essential oil in a diffuser to remind me of the orange blossoms in the local orange groves.  Taste – what else?  Sweet Potato Fries from Veggie Grill, of course!  Sight – sat in my favorite room of the house and grabbed my favorite book by Josi S Kilpack, The Vicar’s Daughter.  Hearing – gonna love this one…I ran the dishwasher.  Weird?  It is a childhood sound that I love because whenever we went to bed, my mom or dad would start the dishwasher – love that sound!  Best date ever!

Traveling Exhibit

#2  This one was simple.  I live on a University Campus with a beautiful library.  There was a traveling exhibit featuring this area’s local agriculture history.  Other than the one gentleman who talked my ear off for about 30 minutes, it was fascinating and I even toured the library for the first time after living here for the last 6 years!  Check your local library or museums to see what’s on exhibit now or coming soon.

Something Old, Something New

#3  When I went up to Ojai, I picked my favorite restaurant Hip because I was familiar with it and then coupled it with something new in visiting the outdoor bookstore.  The restaurant made me feel warm and comfy and the bookstore made me feel adventurous.  Is there something you can couple with something old and familiar and still taste some adventure?

It’s Elementary, My Dear

#4  This one seems silly at first blush, but it is oh so fun once you’re into it.  Collect at least 10 magazines and grab your scissors and a piece of poster paper from Michael’s or Target.  Cut out anything that you like or strikes your fancy and then paste them with a glue stick on to the poster paper.  Proudly hang it up in a prominent place in your home for as long as you can!

Sacred Space

#5  Sometimes you just need a solid time-out.  What is your sacred space?  A temple, synagogue or church?  Perhaps the library or a special place on your favorite hike?  There is a choice of a couple of things you can do.  One is that you just go sit and be.  Take this time to simply be still, quiet, and savor the silence.  Two is that before you head out to your sacred space, write down a burning question to take with you.  Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket.  Once in your sacred space, open it up and lay it beside you.  Don’t overthink this.  Don’t make yourself think about it, just knowing it’s there will help.  Is there a solution or at least a next step that comes to mind?  I will tell you that the times I’ve done this, I either think of a solution or a next step OR I get a feeling of peace that I just need to be patient and that the answer will come in time.  Either way, I feel immensely better for having taken this time for myself.

Pick a date, set the time on your calendar, fulfill the date, then come back here and comment to let me know what you’ve done.  Others will appreciate hearing back from you and get more ideas – remember, we are all out to help each other!

Playlists! I Share my Favorite Playlist – Bike!

I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my music that I have collected for years and cultivated into so many playlists.  I have lots of music and lots of playlists!  Motivate, Meditation, Melancholy, Bike, Gym, Run, Smile, Time to Sing, and Work Faster!

Not only do I have lots of songs and lots of playlists, but the songs within each playlist are about as random as you can get!  When I hear a song I like, I buy the song.  Not the album, just the song.  It’s just my method and I like it.

I collect songs about as randomly as the playlist itself.  Shazam is my go-to app.  I bust it out at movies, during bike videos on YouTube, in restaurants, or stores.  Shazam doesn’t cost a dime…try it out!

Today, I’d like to share my favorite workout playlist with you:  Bike!

Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That by Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Boom, Shakalaka, Boom Single (Instrumental Only) by Stigmata Party

Shake ‘Em On Down by North Mississippi All Stars

I Bought My Eyes by Ty Segall Band

Reservoir Park by The Dutchess & The Duke

New Blood by Zayde Wolf

Thunderstruck by AC/DC

True Believers by The Bouncing Souls

Born This Way by Lady Gaga

Viper Rims by Marc Adamo & Tico Zamor

Bad Reputation by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Get-Together by Tim Myers & Serengeti

Do Your Thing by Powerman 5000

Ya Mama by Fatboy Slim

Shatter Me (featuring Lzzy Hale) by Lindsey Stirling

Cashbox by Big Head Todd & The Monsters

Random Hearts by Tom Gabel

Send Me a Postcard by Shocking Blue

Immortals by Fall Out Boy

Write It All Down for You by Elliott BROOD

On the Floor (Featuring Pitbull) by JLo

The Rhythm Method (Move!) by Flobots

Roundtable Rival by Lindsey Stirling

Greenlight (Featuring FloRida & LunchMoney Lewis/TJR Radio Mix) by Pitbull

Bad Girl (Featuring Marilyn Manson) by Avril Lavigne

Run Boy Run (Instrumental) by Woodkid

Back In Black by AC/DC

Love Don’t Die by The Fray

Right Place, Wrong Time by Dr. John

Let Spirits Ride by Black Mountain

Lose Yourself by Eminem

Howlin’ for You by The Black Keys

The Monster (Featuring Rihanna) by Eminem

Cobrastyle by TeddyBears featuring Mad Cobra

Sabotage by Beastie Boys

E-Pro by Beck

Dougou Badia (Featuring Santigold by Amadou & Mariam

The Core by Uppermost

Cloverland by Ki:Theory

Geronimo by Sheppard

Come With Me Now by KONGOS (one curse word in this one)

Daybreak by OVERWERK

Eyes Down by Eels

Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys

My cycling coach I hired last year commented that he thought I was a good Christian girl and was surprised to see all these songs on my playlist, but I assure you other than one sh** in the one by the KONGOS, I only bought clean versions of these songs and they’re awesome!

Next time you listen to these songs just picture me out on my mountain bike trying to grind up hills and not crash bombing downhill!

How do you collect songs?  What is your favorite song you’re listening to today?  I would love to hear from you!

Negative Self-Talk – Reminders!

In April of 2015 I wrote the following article on Negative Self-Talk:

Negative Self-Talk

Listen to Your Best Friend

It took some practice to put this theory into motion for me, but like I always say, “if I can do it, anyone can do it!”  I have issues with negative self-talk about my weight.  I am not overweight, but I am hyper-conscious about my body shape.  I am a grandmother after all and body parts that were once perky are now sadly stretching for the ground and have declared gravity as their best friend.  As a friend of mine used to say, (who has since passed on, losing her battle with cancer), “I used to be a 36D, but now I’m just a 36Long”.  Once I applied the “best friend advice” theory – it made me see myself as my Heavenly Father sees me.  As a daughter of God who is beautiful.  Let’s try it out, shall we?

Take the first thing that pops into your head when it comes to your own personal negative self-talk.  It could be anything, but usually you are able to think about it right away because it has been your constant companion for as long as you can remember.  Now I want you to imagine that you’ve graciously gifted this negative thing or idea to your best friend.  She is now you.  (This works great if you do this in front of your mirror).  Your best friend is now telling you that she hates the shape of her body and that dimples are only cute on baby bums, and that rolls are meant to be eaten not worn.  What do you tell her?

I recently did this exercise in a group of about 40 women and I had the leader of the group play the part of “best friend”.  She was telling me how she was overweight and hated the way she fit in her clothes.  I then asked the audience what advice should I give her?  I panicked as the silence dragged on for just a little bit longer than anticipated.  I worried that people would actually start giving advice on weight loss ideas, diets that never really work, to fast, or to exercise like a maniac.  One woman in the front row saved me with the perfect answer:  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!  There have not been a lot of perfect moments in my speaking career, but this one I will always remember.  She said the answer that I had written down in my notes and she said it out loud and clear:  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Ladies, try it out right this second.  Take that negative self-talk and hand it over to yourself as your own best friend.  What advice would you give that best friend?  It changed the way I view myself forever.  I am beautiful.  And not in some egotistical way, but truly beautiful inside and out.  Why?  Because that is how my Heavenly Father sees me, how my husband sees me, how my children see me, and how my best friend sees me.  My best friends would all come and tell me the same thing – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Reminder of Negative Self-Talk

The Power to Change

I had two reminders this week from gals that are awesome!  My friend, Allie Steele holds periodic bootcamps that run for 4 weeks, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and I usually cannot attend, but this one worked in my schedule!  So this last week I have sweat like crazy and walked around like I had a corncob up my butt with how sore I was on more than one occasion.  But I digress…the point is that during one of the workouts I let out a jokingly, “I suck” and was immediately told by my friend and another participant in the class to not think that way!  I was capable of hard things, I was strong.

I was a bit taken aback when that happened and realized that I indeed needed to change my self-talk to more positive words.  And then something else happened!  I was having lunch with a friend of mine from out of state, a surprise visit!  She was asking about how my business was going, speaking gigs, my writing and I must have been on overwhelm because she said, “I’ve never seen you so down about your work.”  What??  I’m the positivity queen!  I don’t get down about my work!  Hogwash!

Why was I having a poor attitude or negative self-talk?  I really thought about it quite a bit and realized that I was comparing.  Comparison is damaging.  If I compare myself to one out of the fifteen women attending bootcamp and focus on her doing things better than I did I create negative thoughts.  When I compare myself to other people who were already accomplished authors, writers, speakers, podcasters, I create negative thoughts.

How had that little bugger of negative self-talk sneak into my way of thinking?  I don’t know, but it’s about to get a swift boot along with an immediate eviction notice.  Now, I know that it will not be that simple, but awareness is the key.  I am practicing daily mantra’s that will bring a more positive light into my life.  Here’s two from Rebekah “Bex” Borucki (Check out her interview on my podcast here.) that I really like:

I say “no” when I don’t want to.  I say “yes” when it feels good.  I take care of myself through movement that makes me feel wonderful.  I eat foods that make me feel fulfilled.  I have relationships with people who love me as I am.

It is not my job to be in control.  My purpose is to be at peace and to be happy with who I am in this moment, to be loved, and to inspire love.

Want to learn more?  Bex has a 21-day Mantra Challenge that is Free!  Just click here and enjoy more positivity in your life, a break from the negative self-talk, a relief from stress, and experience more gratitude.  Listen to your self-talk this week…what is it saying?

I’m a Crazy Vegan! Are You a Crazy Vegan, too?

Vegans run the gamut from strictly raw, only eating eggs or fish oil supplements, SOS-free (salt, oil, sugar), paleo-type vegans to those who do this crazy vegan thing for health, the planet, or the love and welfare of animals.  There is so much debate out there on what the right thing is from the science to the popularity.  And there is so much shaming going on!!

The vegan who is earth-loving, tree-hugging, no-leather, won’t eat at a restaurant that even serves meat, never drinks from a plastic bottle…you get the idea who is shaming the vegan who is trying to just go meatless on Meatless Mondays.  Today’s blog is to declare my stance on veganism from what I eat to what I wear and tell you that wherever you are in your journey, you are loved and you should be proud of the steps you take daily to do the best you can by you and your family, period.

I did not become vegan to save the planet or rescue animals…at first.  I was in it for purely selfish reasons…I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself.  Looking back, it was a small step by small step journey.  It started with cutting our red meat and pork.  I then learned that chicken was just as bad or even worse so it was back to being a vegetarian which I had dabbled in before coming pregnant with my last child a million and a half years ago.

Vegetarian was pretty easy.  I was what they called lacto-ovo-vegetarian.  I didn’t miss the meat a bit, but I was still eating dairy products and using eggs.  It wasn’t until I read Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive that I began to believe that it was possible to eat only plants and do what the book suggested…THRIVE!  I’ve told this story before and remember lying in bed reading and leaning over to my husband and saying, “I think I need to do this” and him replying, “I don’t think I can go there with you” and I couldn’t blame him!

The thought of going vegan was scary!  I could cook and I mean COOK!  Chicken-fried steak with incredible gravy, white chocolate cheesecake with macadamia nuts and a pastry crust, key lime pie, quiche, pancakes…you name it!  I later learned that this was the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) and it was killing us and most of the US population at large. What would I feed my family?  How would I cook without dairy and eggs?

But Brendan Brazier wasn’t just an ordinary Joe like you or me, he was a professional Ironman Triathlete who was quite literally THRIVING on a plant-based diet without any animal products whatsoever.  I continued to learn and found Scott Jurek, author of Eat & Run who was thriving on a plant-based diet and running ultra-marathons and 24-hour races – crazy!  If those men could do it with the expectations they had on their bodies, I could most definitely do it!

The research began.  Trust me when I say that I flubbed up A LOT!  Some nights were disastrous and some were big hits, but I kept plugging away and never looked back.  That was 5 years ago.  I’ve learned a lot since then!  I was certified in The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall and started teaching vegan cooking classes along with the science to back it up.  I received a certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from eCornell University, and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.

I have taken classes from Chef AJ and began a Facebook page called VeganMormon that has almost 1000 followers that get posts from me daily.  I joke that I should have named it VeganMormonRepublican because then I could offend just about everyone.  Let’s face it…when it comes to conversations that ignite a defense mechanism almost immediately…let it start around food, religion, or politics!  Right??

My actual diet has been refined and after speaking with leading experts in the field of nutrition realize that I am not alone.  We are all constantly changing our minds on what we want to tweak next, but I do stand behind ZERO animal products.  My diet is pretty simple these days.  Delicious, but simple.  No oil, no sugar, no processed food of any kind.  I limit my flour to almost nothing to help with brain fog and my hypothyroidism.  I just eat food…real food.  Rice, potatoes, beans, greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, avocadoes, seeds…all amazing and wonderfully yummy foods.

Since becoming vegan I have watched powerfully moving films and documentaries like Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and What the Health?  I have subscribed to nutritionfacts.org with Dr. Michael Greger (even had the pleasure of speaking with him at a conference here in California..he is awesome!) and continue to read books and articles that will help not only me, but my audience on their journey.  Try out the 21-Day Kickstart program with PCRM – uh-mazing!

I don’t buy leather products, but I didn’t throw out what I already owned because that just seemed silly to me.  I know there are those out there that will judge me for that, but that’s on you.  I don’t buy down pillows because I have seen how the down is “collected” and it’s gruesome.  I don’t buy anything wool because despite what you may think about it not harming the sheep…guess what?  It does.

I am not perfect as I still buy plastic containers or water bottles sometimes, but by me not eating meat or animal products I truly feel like a super-hero and that I’m saving the planet!  Not to mention, saving a crazy amount of water!  Where I was once vegan for purely selfish reasons, I am now out to save the world!  By not consuming anything from an animal, I am more healthy for sure, I am not harming any animals, and I am quite literally helping to save our dear planet earth.  Will you join me?

Wherever you are on  your journey, I encourage you to soldier on.  Keep up the good work and know that you have a safe place here to talk about it.  If you are further along in your journey, DO NOT SHAME OTHERS because of where they are on their journey.  Only reach out to help them with love, compassion, and kindness.  If I had been shamed by others in the beginning there is no way I would have made it this far.  Be encouraging.  Be loving.  Be careful with your words.  Do your best and then help others to do their best.

Have questions for me about my vegan journey?  Send me a message and I would be happy to answer, but please be kind!  Bringing others down is not my goal and I don’t want to fight about it.  You’re either in and curious, or you’re not and you stay silent. Don’t argue for argues sake.  I will answer any questions that are respectful, curious, and can be helpful.  Good luck wherever you find yourself on this crazy vegan path!!

Are you stuck in traffic?

Are you stuck in traffic?

I’m writing today’s blog from the back seat of my awesome Xterra that’s wrapped in Lauri’s Lemonade Stand advertising and on our way to the Sea Otter Bicycle Classic in Monterey, CA.  (If you read last week’s blog you can see how much I LOVE CYCLING!)  My hubby is driving and our friend Mitch is tagging along from our infamous Brew Crew that rides mountain bikes every Thursday afternoon and we are stuck in Santa Barbara traffic – it’s something we’ve learned to just count on and figure into our driving time with every trip through this area.

And there’s the hook for this week’s blog 🙂  Traffic in the form of delays, setbacks, brake lights as far as the eye can see, even some serious accidents.  Accidents that can cause bumps, bruises, or even death.  You can relate to that, right?

Sometimes there are short delays and we just get off course a bit.  We went a little off our budget and need to re-adjust the next month to make up for our over-spending.  We spoke harshly to a loved one and need to make amends.  Some delays are much longer – you’re delayed for an incredibly long time – I’ve even had moments where they’ve shut down the freeway and we’ve been sitting for hours!

Examples of Life Traffic Delays

In life, the delay can be months or even years.  In my life, a great example is me not graduating high school as a teenager and then graduating as an adult in 2012!  (Hey, don’t judge…when I got my diploma I felt like Super Woman and it has propelled me into awesome, amazing things these last 5 years!)

Graduating high school was not only a delay, but felt like I was looking at miles of brake lights and that it would never end.  I never felt like I missed out of anything by missing prom and only slightly sad that I didn’t become a huge basketball star, but not getting my diploma really stuck with me throughout my life.  But when it was finally a time where it could be corrected, a time where I could focus on it, when it became a priority…I did it!

Delays are Inevitable

One of the things I’ve learned throughout my life is that delays are inevitable, period.  Small ones, medium ones, big ones and everything in between.  You know what else I’ve learned?  There is ALWAYS an end to the delay (setback).  Even when it is something as drastic as a death in the family…time heals and we live on.

If I asked you right now what your current delay was, what would you say?  This is usually a no-brainer – you think of it immediately as soon as I pose the question.  Is it a small delay?  Is it one with brake lights as far as the eye can see?  How do you feel when I ask the question of what your delay is?  Is it something like how you feel in actual traffic?  Anxiety, frustration, stress, maybe a few added curse words to boot?  Or if it’s the long delay with miles of brake lights – it may just be a feeling of depression and sadness that you just can’t shake as you’ve accepted the fact that you’re going to be stuck for awhile.  Either way, there is hope and it will end.

Don’t Give Up

Gordon B Hinckley has a saying that says, “Don’t worry, it will work out.  Things will work out.”  I know that it is hardest to see the end of a delay when you’re in the middle of it.  But I want to re-iterate the resounding word of  Gordon and say that it WILL WORK OUT.  Our delays can be used as learning tools if you let them.  The old cliche’ says there is always a silver lining and I believe that’s true.  Whenever I have come through a struggle or delay, my 20/20 hindsight vision ALWAYS sees that it made me a better person when it was over.

Where Are You Now?

You are in one of three places right now.  1 – You are in the middle of a delay right now.  If this is you, what is your attitude?  Can you find something positive about your situation?  Is there something you can be grateful for right now?  2 – You can see the end, but you’re not there yet.  Hang in there!  You’re almost there!  Start really thinking about the lessons you’ve learned and how you will come into your next delay – can you change something now that will help you better handle your delay next time?  DELAYS ARE INEVITABLE…but how we handle those delays are a testament of what we were and are willing to learn from them.  3 – You’ve made it through the delay – you’re done!  You’re out!  Gear up – because your next delay is coming.  Celebrate your wins, reflect on your lessons learned and take a moment – maybe even in meditation – to contemplate how you’ve grown and what you can do better next time.

You Are Loved

Wherever you are in your journey, please know that you are loved – right here, right now – just how you are.  Please also consider that you never know what other people are going through.  Be kind in your gestures and words to others.  You might make a difference in someone else’s life just because you chose to smile instead of grit your teeth.  Here at Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, you are in a safe place to be loved, feel love, and share love.  If you need love, please reach out.  If you are full of love right now, share it with others.  If you are part of this community – you are already receiving and sharing love.  Spread it, take it…whatever you need.  We are here for you!

Goal Posts 4 of 4 for 2017

 

Accountability

Hello, Lemonader’s!  

This is the last post of my Goal Post Series for January.  I’ve liked having a theme forthe month.  Do you?  If so, let me know in the comments so I can plan more themed parties for us!

The last piece of the puzzle is Accountability.  This is a new one for me this year, but I have so many goals that I wanted to report to someone so my goals wouldn’t get lost in the melee of my big, beautiful life.  At the end of my list of Promises for 2017 I added one more new category:  Giddy-Up Goal Celebrations.

I wanted to be able to celebrate all of my small wins and be encouraged in my journey.  I ended up with 4 accountabilities (of course, you can have as many or as little as you like!).  I have a Podcast Accountability group with two other awesome women that keep me on track with my podcasting goals.  We meet via Skype every Tuesday.  I have a Book-Writing Accountability team member who we simply email each other every Wednesday on our progress and encourage each other.  I have a Speech accountability that I do every Thursday with guess who?  Myself!  I was challenged by one of my podcast guests, Whitney Johnson to do 10 FREE Speeches during 2017 and I am sending pitches out to whomever will listen to get my message out there.  And last, but definitely not least, I “hired” my best friend, Lizzie to check in with me monthly and then quarterly on my entire goal list.

And guess what?  She is making me a gold star chart!  How cool is that?  She is most definitely a mom and wanted to make some sort of chart to show my progress and we giggled about gold stars, but then thought…why the heck not?  It will be fun and you can bet I’ll be fighting for each of those earned gold stars!!

Goals are great.  Goals written down are in a much higher percentile to actually happen and get accomplished.  Goals that you have to report back to someone??  Over 90%, baby!  I’m adding this element to rock my Promises for 2017!

And there you have it…4 blog posts on Dreaming Big, Reflection, Bite-Size Chunks, and Accountability.  Now get out there and get ‘er done!  I believe in you!

Goal Posts 3 of 4 for 2017

  • Bite Size Chunks
    • Now that you’ve Dreamed Big and had some time to Reflect, it’s time to set your actual goals for 2017.  This year I decided I wanted to make my goals more fun instead of stodgy.  I changed my goal title from Lauri’s Goals 2017 to Lauri’s Promises 2017.  I changed the Relationships category to Family Focus, Physical to Physical Well-being and Playtime, Financial to Abundant Wealth Prowess, Education to Cultivating Enlightenment, Spiritual to Soul Solutions.  I even added two new categories this year:  Creativity and my favorite?  Recess!
    • Not only am a adding in more fun this year, but I have two pages of promises and this might help you, too.  One set is a Promises Summary where it states my goals.  The second set (and this is where the bite-size chunks come in) breaks down those promises into actual action steps.  How will I accomplish my goals?  Let me share one with you so you get the idea.
    • Under my Recess Category I have a goal for a Weekly Date with guess who?  Me!  One my first set of Promises where it is a summary, it simply says, Weekly Dates with Myself.  On the second set I have it broken out to say that not only will I have a weekly date with myself, but I will alternate each week from an evening to a daytime date.  I have ideas written of a few dates I’ve done in the past and enjoyed and some I think might be fun.  Not all of my dates have been a hit, by the way.  Some felt as a downright waste of my time by the end, but consistency keeps me moving forward in the right direction so that I keep taking time for myself.  Last week I simply set a date to pull out all of my stamp collection, see how much they were worth right now and make a list of a couple of collections I’d like to complete and added it to my wishlist for friends and family for my birthday and Christmas (yes, I’m the OCD one when it comes to list and preparation…I always have a wishlist going! You should to!)
    • That means that now is time for the action step for you.  You’ve Dreamt Big, you’ve Reflected on past years goals that have and haven’t worked for you and where you are now.  You are ready to make your Promises, but more importantly, ready to break them down into “Bite-Size Chunks” so that you can actually see yourself accomplishing your goals.
    • Next week?  The last piece of the puzzle to help you accomplish your goals or promises in 2017 – Accountability.  I’ll tell you that I’ve never taken this step before until this year and what I’ve done to make it happen for me.
    • Please leave a comment below and share one of your promises for 2017.  I love hearing from you!

Goal Posts 2 of 4 for 2017

  • Reflections
    • One of the funnest things I did before actually writing my goals down for 2017 was reflect on my past years of goal-setting.  I have been printing out and posting on my bulletin board my yearly goals since 2010.  I kept them in a tidy little file folder tucked away in one of my office drawers and hadn’t thought much about them other than to put the old ones in at the end of each year.  Not this time.
    • It was so great to reflect on some of my goals and what I was into at that particular time.  How my physical goals have changed from running a half marathon and now I’m racing mountain bikes.  Saving for Boobs had been on my list, but 2 years later decided they would be a “BIG” pain and get in the way of my physical fitness goals.  How many classes I wanted to finish to gain my high school diploma and how that goal came true in it’s entirety in 2012 when I graduated!
    • From knitting a blanket (yes, it’s still on there after three years) to completing a Shutterfly book.  From spiritual goals that were met to eating right.  It has been wonderful to reflect and introspect and ruminate over goals accomplished, goals that turned out not as important as I had thought in the moment and just how I’ve grown over the last 6 years navigating my 40’s.  A crazy, mixed-up, wonderful, growth of a ride for sure.
    • What are some goals that were important to you at the time, but turned out less important as years passed?
    • What did you spend time on and wished you hadn’t?  Now vice versa…wish you had spent more time on, but didn’t?
    • Accomplished any bucket list items lately?  Can you add one this year?
    • Are your goals attainable in this year?
    • Now that you’ve Dreamed Big, and done a little Reflection, tune in next week to figure out how you can attain those goals by putting them into Bite-Size Chunks.
    • Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know all about your goals and how your reflection of past goals have been for you.  Love hearing from you!
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