Category: Reaching Your Dream

Start Today

start-today-sarah-ban-breathnach

 

Life never calms down long enough for us to wait until tomorrow to start living the lives we deserve. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Where Has Time Gone?

Here we are at the end of January.  Last week I found myself wondering where the month went. It seems like yesterday we were ringing in the new year.  Suddenly spring is in reaching distance.

Are you like me, telling yourself you will start that new book, lose weight, learn to paint, next week, next month, this summer?

Start Today

Well my friends, it is time to start today.  This is that moment you promised yourself months ago to start something you’ve always wanted.  Pushing it off another week is telling yourself you aren’t worth it…and you are.

There will always be something more important on the front burner, but you don’t want to get to an age where you regret the things you never did.  If the year is moving so quickly, you must take advantage of this moment right now to begin the life you deserve.

Take The First Step

Spend a few quiet moments this week imaging such a life. Imagine what it is filled with. I love to journal.  If you do to, write all those things down.  Now look at your schedule and begin planning in the first step.  If you want to learn to paint, maybe this week you go to the library and get a book on painting or sign up for a class or even go and buy the paints. Then plan your next step. It doesn’t have to be big to move you in the right direction.

Soon you will notice that time expands to meet your needs. I promise.


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You Can’t Get Tulips From Zucchini Seeds

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Snowy Tulips

We’ve had a wonderful end to winter and early spring.  Then it snowed, April 4th.  My early-sprouting tulips were covered with several inches of snow.  Yuck!

As we week progressed, we went from snow to rain and finally to sunshine.  You could feel the tulips shaking off the chill and re-positioning themselves to soak up the warmth of the spring sunshine.

Would a zucchini have the same resistance?  I venture to guess if you planted zucchini seeds in the fall as you do tulip bulbs, you would not be seeing zucchini sprouts in April.  Even if by some strange chance they did sprout, 4 inches of snow would seal their demise.

Right Season Right Plant

All of this seems common sense, but how many seeds of ideas do we sow at the wrong time.  How many times have we wished for something that we actually weren’t prepared to achieve.  I think about my own business and although several years ago I would love to have the success I enjoy today, truth is I wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

As you stretch yourself this spring, think about the seeds you want to sow.  In the non-gardening world these would be goals, projects, etc.  Are they realistic for this time in your career or in your business?  Are you prepared to endure the potential snow storm that may befall them.

When you plant the seed at the right time, provide it with what it requires and nurture it, you are blessed with a fruitful harvest.  When you plant to early, you only experience frustration, exhaustion and regret.

Will It Be Tulips or Zucchini This Week

This week review your goals from the beginning of the year.  Visualize yourself achieving the goal today.  What does it look like?  How does it feel?  Do you have the systems in place to make things run smoothly?  Do you have the time and energy to sustain them?

Use this time to revise your goals if needed.  Perhaps you scale back to make them more realistic.  Perhaps you ramp them up because you know you can do even more.  Whatever your situation, it is important to review our goals in real time to ensure we have what it takes to not only enjoy the tulips now but reap the zucchini later this summer.

Clear Out Your Priorities

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I finally cleared my garden this weekend. It feels like yesterday when I carefully put in the baby tomato plants that now I pull out with vigor ready for Fall’s squash and apples.

As we grow older, our lives seem to move faster.  What I realized today, is the pace doesn’t change, our attention changes.  With age we become distracted.  Whether it is with the daily to do list, or the worries about family, friends and business, we seem to fritter away our precious minutes, thus time appears to move faster.

My tomato plants don’t mourn that it is fall.  They don’t bemoan the upcoming winter season.  Instead they continue to cherish each ray of sunlight and rain drop until it is time to sleep.

We give so much of our time…ourselves away every day.  We over commit.  We push through.  We forget to cherish the sunlight, golden trees and even the rain.

After a day in the garden my priorities seem sorted once again.  Although I’m sure tomorrow I will feel sore, my garden brought me back to the present.  It felt more like two or three days instead of one.

This week notice what brings you into the present.  Is it spending time with your kids?  Is it cooking a fabulous meal in the middle of the week?  Is it walking through the woods?  Whatever it is, note it and remind yourself to go back there often.  You can recapture and slow time once you move into the present.

I’m off to make tomato jam (one of my newest discoveries this summer).  Enjoy your week!

The Best Solutions Come From Love

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“The best solutions will be found through loving thoughts and perhaps a good cup of coffee.” ~ Jen Vondenbrink

What I’ve found to be true is the best, most creative solutions have come when I’ve given up the “have to” thoughts and instead focused on loving thoughts.  When the solution presents itself, I find myself saying, “Of course, that is the right way to go.”

Loving thoughts are those that have no agenda but the good for all concerned.  In the business world, this may be called a “win-win” solution.  No one loses.  Everyone gains.

When you engage in thoughts that are not loving when trying to find a solutions, you will arrive at a very long to do list that feels overwhelming.  Literally your heart will not be in it.  As you proceed, you begin to dread each action.  Soon what seemed like the perfect solution, ends up being pushed to the side, ignored or faced with obstacle after obstacle.

I’ve seen this in my own personal life with my financial goals, weight loss or even relationships.  The more I solely focus with my head, the more off track I become.

I’ve also seen this in corporate and business goals.  At the beginning of the fiscal year, anything seems possible.  Budgets are refreshed.  Outlooks are positive. Goals are set with heads.  By this time of year, panic sets in because you haven’t looked at those goals in months.  When you do, you realize you are off the mark.  Then you spend the rest of the year trying to make up the difference.

I fall into this trap.  Every year I dedicate a notebook to the following year’s goals.  I engage my brain in what logically makes sense.  I write plans.  I write calendars.  When I look at this year’s notebook, sure I’ve accomplished some of those objectives, but the women’s retreat I’m planning for October wasn’t even on my radar.  That solution came strictly from my heart and it has been a joy to work on.

If you have a problem you are struggling to solve, grab a cup of coffee, tea or your favorite beverage.  Find a quiet spot and engage your heart in a solutions discussion.  If doing this is new, you will need to pay attention to the small whispers.  They won’t seem like much, but capture them for they are the seeds of something great.

Journey’s End

Hemingway quotes - Journey's End

 

 

Set your goals with the journey’s end in mind, and then focus on the journey.

Possibilities – Letting Life Unfold

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 Possibilities in the New Year

Here we are on the brink of another year.  I love to take this week and not just reflect on the previous year, but also explore the possibilities of the next.

Notice I didn’t say set resolutions.  I said “explore the possibilities.”  What happens next year has much more to do with what you think than what you resolve.  Your thinking will always over ride your resolutions if they are not aligned. Why not create new thoughts about the possibilities to come.

One thing I’ve learned is that when I hold too tightly to goals, not only do I have a hard time achieving them, but honestly, it’s no fun.

When I set my goals on possibilities, as Benjamin Zander says, “set the context and let life unfold” I receive much more than I originally planned.

As we wrap up 2014, spend some time this week thinking about the possibilities of 2015.  What possibilities do you see for yourself, your family, your career, your business?  Did that exercise make you smile or what?

Happy New Year, my friend!

 

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Expect The Best

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“Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now”  ~ Eileen Caddy

An Inspiring Lunch

I lunch with a friend to catch up on stuff including our businesses.  I found myself talking about all I wanted to do in the future, and the obstacles holding me back.

My friend revealed he recently flipped his business model upside down.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I realized in the next 5 years I want to retire.  I still want to work, but I also want to travel. My current business model wouldn’t let me do that as easily as I wanted.  I decided why wait.  Why not start to shift my focus now.  I’m reinvigorated, and busier than ever.”

Expect The Best Today

It’s easy to think about how great life will be someday.  I know you’ve said the same things as I have, “When I save enough…When I lose weight…When the kids are gone…”

What if you looked at what you want in the future and then started living it today? What if you changed your business plan, life plan, health plan, family plan?  How would that affect your life today?

If you expect wonderful things to happen in the future but not taking action now, you are wasting the moment.  If you expect wonderful things to happen now, joy enters.

Don’t Put Off Today

This week, I want you to listen to your thoughts.  Are you putting off something for the future?  Can you start working toward it now? Can you start to expect the best today rather than down the road?

That future you keep waiting for may never come.  Take advantage of this moment and expect wonderful things today.

 

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You Can’t Do It Alone

You Can't Do It Alone | Appetite for Life

photo credit: Kerri Lee Smith via photopin cc

Learning To Paint

Years ago, I wanted to paint.  I had visions of me at an easel or standing on a sandy beach painting the sunset.  It was a lovely dream.

But, I never picked up a brush.  All I did was think about how much I wanted to paint.  Finally I took an informal painting class.  That was the first time I held a brush in my hand.  I loved it.  I not only learned from the teacher, but also the class.

I Can Do It Myself Thank You

Maybe it’s because I’m an oldest child, but I have a hard time asking for help.  I think I can do it all myself.

Well, the reality is I can’t and neither can you.  Yes, the ultimate action comes from you, but you need teachers, guides, mentors, coaches to help you along the way.

Open Up To Learning

Reaching out to others opens you up to learning.  When you learn you grow.  Others have skills, knowledge, connections, experiences that will help you on your journey.

If you don’t think you can afford the luxury of involving others, first I say you can’t afford not to.   Then would remind you there are many ways to learn from others that doesn’t cost money such as reading biographies of successful people, having coffee with a friend, going to a local class like I did.

Stop dreaming about all the things you want to do.  Stop fretting about all the things you can’t do.  Instead today take an action.  Contact at least one person who can help you.  Be open to the conversation.  You never know where it will lead.

Back To The Easel

As for my painting, it did go on hold for a while, but I’ve set up a studio in my basement now and am exploring the world of color again.

 

Four Simple But Effective Decluttering Tips

Decluttering Tips for 2014

“New ideas are only born when there is space; physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise.”

A Cluttered Space

I don’t know why I accumulate clutter, but I do.  If you looked at my desk right now, I have piles on piles.

There is a sense of busyness with piles.  I must be doing something if there are piles around.  Right?

Is Your Energy Stuck?

Actually piles are stuck energy.  They are things waiting to happen.  The busyness you feel is the energy swirling around in your head about all you have to do, rather than doing the work.

In order to have new ideas show up, you need to create space for them.  The best place to start is in your physical surroundings.  Once you create physical space, you start to create mental space.  All the swirling stops.  New ideas are welcome.

Decluttering Tips – Start Small

Here are my favorite decluttering tips based on the David Allen’s Getting Things Done technique.

  1. Start small.  Choose one space; your desk, a drawer, a closet.
  2. Put everything you have to clear out or to do in one pile.
  3. Go through the pile one thing at a time.  Decide to do it, ditch it or recycle it.
  4. If it’s something you can’t do now, have your calendar ready and put down when you will do it.

Other to do’s will pop up while you are going through the pile.  That’s normal.  Have a pad of paper and a pen to capture those thoughts.  When you are done with your pile you can start on your list.

If paper is your nemesis my friend Anne Langton has 5 simple decluttering tips to help you get started.

Your Time Is An Investment

These decluttering tips will take time at first.  Once you get going, though, it moves faster.  Think of it as an investment in the future.

When the space is cleared notice how you feel.  Celebrate the lightness. You’ll be excited to choose your next space.

 

Intentions For A New Year

2014 New Year Intentions

photo credit: http://www.firefinesse.com/

What an amazing start to a new year.  A beautiful serene morning.  Hot coffee.  Breakfast baking in the oven.  Dog curled up by my feet.  I couldn’t ask for any more.

Setting Intentions Rather Than Resolutions

I don’t set resolutions for the new year.  Instead, I set intentions.  My intentions help guide my decisions through out the year.  They refocus me when I get off track.  They also remind me of this clear fresh start of the new year every time I read them.

My intentions for this year are:

To respect my body.  This means eating foods that support my body not hinder it.  It also means exercising again in a way that supports my body not damage it.

To write creatively.  This has been a pull since the end of last year.  This year my intention is to write creatively every week.

To read more.  I set a goal in July of 2013 to read 50 books by the end of 2013.  I achieved reading 30 which is way more than I would have if I’d not set a goal.  This year I intend to read 100 book.  In order to write you need to read.  They go hand in hand.

To grow my business.  I am grateful for the growth we saw last year.  We went from just Life Simplified to creating a new division LS Business Solutions.  Life Simplified is the overarching business and LS Business Solutions focuses solely on helping businesses adopt new ways of thinking, managing and marketing their companies.  I want to set the stage for other divisions to be created this year as well.  Very exciting stuff.

To allow more love and gratitude into my life.  I can get caught up in the day to day stuff like anyone else.  I know when I get off track and this year my intention is to stay focused on love and gratitude.  This goes for my personal life as well as my professional life.

Intentions Lead To Possibility

I see so much possibility in these intentions.  I’m giddy with excitement to start.  First things first, clear out the old stuff.  Stuff that no longer serves me has no place in this new year.  Off it goes to serve others or to be recycled into something more fantastic.

What are your intentions for the new year?  Whether you are reading this on January 1st or September 1st, there is never a wrong time to set fresh intentions.

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