Monday, June 30, 2014



The 4th of July is right around the corner. It might be a little bit more relaxed of a week as you slow to a long 3 day weekend. Briefly stated, the 4th of July is the day that the US declared independence from the UK. Americans take this day to be proud, wave flags, and celebrate with families.

But every day that goes by, we are independent, we are free we are American. Work hard to not forget that. You can make your life a celebration with family every weekend or day off that you have. Many times we spend our days off running errands, cleaning, prepping for the following week, etc. Take this 4th of July weekend, and at least 2 other weekends each month for the rest of the year, off, from errands and racing around.

Celebrate 2 day weekends with your family by grilling out, jumping in the pool or going to parks. Our race, race, rush, rush, world has instilled a habit in us to not stop. We take this habit right into the weekend, and don’t stop.

Instead of complaining on Sunday night that you wish every weekend was 3 days long, accept that it is rarely 3 days long and set it up so that you actually feel refreshed Monday morning.

You have to get to work Monday morning regardless, so why not be refreshed for it? Plus, the stronger and more positive and productive your Monday is, the better the rest of your work week will be.

Here are some tips on getting more relaxation and family time in on weekends that are not 3 days long:

1.       Break up your chores during the week. Sunday is traditionally laundry day, but it’s not the law. If you can do a few smaller loads during the week so that your entire Sunday is not a day of cleaning clothes, do that.

2.       Do grocery shopping after work on Friday. Yes, I know you want to relax after a long week. However, just push for 1 extra hour, and then grocery shopping won’t be on your mind all weekend, nor will you have to waste your Saturday or Sunday morning doing it.

3.       Get outside early. Instead of putzing around the house Saturday morning, only to then look at the clock and realize it is 1, putz around in the evening or late afternoon. Get outside first thing. Feeling the summer on your skin early in the morning will change your whole day. Planning an early beach or park day will get you up and out with family before putzing around consumes your day. Once you are out, chances are, you will be outside for the day.

4.       Don’t waste a Sunday. Sunday’s we often spend planning and organizing for the week. Then, we complain that tomorrow is Monday and “we never have time on the weekends.”  A day of planning and complaining is mentally and physically exhausting. Instead, spend Sunday for what is was meant to be, a day of rest and no work. Take some of your work day on Friday and plan for Monday. How often do you take breaks at work, gossip, check social media, etc.? Take back that time, and instead use it to plan for the following week.

This week is a good week to transition to a new schedule that frees up time on your weekend. Because you have 3 days off, try to edit your planning, laundry, grocery shopping and chore days this week. Then, this weekend, take all 3 days to just enjoy what life, freedom and independence has to offer you. The following week, try out your new found schedule again, so that your 2 day weekend is a bit more of a celebration.

Challenge: This week, think about 1 activity that feels like work that takes up a lot of your weekend time. Then, try to complete this work-like chore over your week instead of on your weekend. See if this makes your weekend more of a celebration!

Happy 4th of July!



Monday, June 23, 2014



Why are you at work today? If the sole reason is because you need to pay rent and buy food, you are probably not completely satisfied with your work. In fact, you might be the office gossiper or the negative Nancy of the office.

Why do people leave a job that they are making 80K per year at with great benefits, only to branch out on their own, risking their families, income and sanity? Perhaps, they can’t stand working for someone else, they can’t stand not living in line with their values and/or they want to change the world.  

Most people think those who venture outside of societies norms are crazy or are setting themselves up for failure. But whether you are making a leap in your business or personal life, you have to realize that doing things the same way day in and day out is not only boring, but that is the real risk.

I am not saying to quit your job today, or to up and move to your dream tropical island in the Caribbean, but after a calculated risk and research about what you are doing, it might be worth it.

But why is there such a risk in leaving a job or up and moving to that Island?

People don’t always know why they are doing what they are doing. You might know what you are doing and how you are going to do it, but you don’t know why you are doing it. Once you can identify the why, then you can determine if the leap is the right thing to do.

Creating a plan to make a leap isn’t the most important aspect to changing something, it is actually determining the why. Why isn’t the plan. The plan is in the what and how of what you are about to do, the why will stem from your values and beliefs.

In business, the theory is that if you want to be successful, you have to know why you are doing something, and it can’t be, “because I need money.” Money is a result, it is not a why. A why for a business might be “My dream is to reduce the stress in the American household, so that families can have more opportunities to enjoy each other.” This doesn’t say much about what I do or how I do it, but it is why I do what I do. Then, people who believe in my belief systems and values will support what it is I sell, because they too, personally, believe in the why. This leads to success. If all I have is a what and a how for my business, I am setting myself up for failure. Everyone has a plan, not everyone has a why. This is the reason that those with a why are often successful.

When it comes to your personal life, you have to know why you are doing something, too. If you are chasing an end result like money, fame or pleasure, you might be acting outside of your beliefs and find that you are never really feeling that “success” feeling.  Besides, an end result, like money, is an outcome, not a why.

If you are doing something to be spiteful, hurtful, or vengeful, it might not be a good idea to make that leap in your personal life. Stop working to create only a plan, and first define why you are doing something, then work your way out from there. If you want to make a major life change so that you can regain a positive and healthy mindset, you are on the right track. Beginning something with a negative why can result in a personal failure, whereas beginning something with a positive why that follows your belief systems generates more of a chance of success.

This week’s challenge is to identify why you are doing what you are doing in business and your personal life.

Reflection and Tip: Are there any challenges, risks or leaps you want to take in the near future? Before you take the leap make sure that you have a strong why behind what you are about to do.




Monday, June 16, 2014

Authenticity, Core Values and Balance


Authenticity, Core Values and Balance

Authentic means to be real.  The more authentic you are with yourself, the more fulfillment you feel in life. Not being true to yourself or others keeps you at a consistent imbalance. Living a lie takes energy, time and emotion. In the case where you are not being authentic to yourself, you may find that you are taking on too many life roles and acting like you can manage them. You may be pushing down pain but fronting a smile every day. You may engage in activities that you don’t like in order to gain acceptance or likability. You may be hiding issues regarding hurt, money or love with a partner. Living untruthfully to your values or beliefs systems will put the mind and body out of balance. The mind knows what is right, but the body is not acting accordingly.

In the healing and balancing process, authenticity is most important. To gain more self-awareness, you have to know the real you. You have to be open to identifying your faults and what you want to improve on. You have to identify your biases, your grudges and weak spots. The more you are in tune with your core values and imperfections, the more you can identify what is off and how you can get back into balance.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you identify values and note imbalances. Be sure to be authentic as you answer the following:

1.       What are my top 5 core values?

2.       What am I doing in life that I am not happy with? Why?

3.       How do the activities that I am doing in life that I am not happy with out of line with my core values?

4.       How can I stop engaging in these activities or how can I make them in line with my values?

5.       What areas of my life am I living most authentically?

6.       Do I hold grudges?

7.       Can I be vengeful?

8.       To whom can I give more support to?

9.       When do I tend to give up my control?  

10.   What do I try to control that I can’t? How/When can I stop?

This week’s challenge is to answer the above questions. Be authentic and real about your responses so you can see exactly where you are not in line with your core values. As you identify your deficits note the direction you want to start moving in. Then, begin creating a plan to get back in line with your values.    


Monday, June 9, 2014

Forget that Excuse

Forget that Excuse

If you tell a child that he is stupid over and over again, soon he will believe it or live up to that statement, even if it is very far from the truth. The power of the mind is incredible. In fact, some research actually suggests that our perceptions in life have the power to take a higher value than our genetic inheritance does. In certain instances, research shows that you have the power to change your genetics. So, get rid of all the excuses you might have that are inhibiting you from moving forward.

If you have a reason that something disables you to move forward, it is an excuse, even if the diagnosis/genetic issue/etc. is legitimate and true. Knowing that you have the power to change some things can help you move forward.

The most common self-diagnosed excuse I hear from people is “I can’t focus, I am ADHD.” Half of the people I talk to who “have” ADHD were never even really diagnosed with this. This continual type of self-talk minimizes their ability to engage in something and advance in a particular area.

For those people that are diagnosed with ADHD, I tell them to pretend that they don’t have it. If you are required to take medication, don’t stop. That is not what this is about. The point is, don’t use your diagnosis as an excuse to not do something, especially something that could move you forward in life. Don’t let a diagnosis ruin all the things you can have in life.  

For example, instead of saying “I can’t focus on my morning routine because I have ADHD,” try something like, “I am struggling to focus on my morning routine. What plan can I come up with to fix this?” Then, implement this plan. Perhaps you can write out a checklist and put it up in the bathroom for you to visually see each morning. This will help your mind not to get in the habit of creating excuses. Often when we use an excuse in one area of life, we use it in multiple areas. Don’t brain wash yourself with reasons why you can’t do things.

Here is another example: Perhaps you have severe leg pain and can’t work out. Instead of hitting the gym for 60 minutes running, try sitting on your couch and using light weights to tone your upper body. As we have discussed in the past, do not think in all black or white. Find a way to make things happen.

Your treatment might be medical, but please note, that in any case, treatment includes the power of the mind, too. Positivity and a strong mind set to move forward might not heal you completely, but it will certainly change your perception on what life is and generate happiness and progress.

Everyone is facing some issue, some inhibitor, some diagnosis, some pain, some excuse. Instead of letting these issues hinder our ability to move forward, let them empower us. If you have been diagnosed with any disorder, psychological or medical, be empowered that you have the information on what is troubling you and now create a plan and engage in treatment. Don’t let this become a reason why you can’t do things in life that make you happy or move you forward. You may have extra steps to take, you may have a longer journey than most, you may not be able to do everything you used to do, but don’t let a diagnosis stop you from moving forward or being fulfilled.

This week’s challenge is for you to identify 3 excuses that you use when it comes to completing certain activities or projects. How do these excuses impact your mood and overall happiness? How have these excuses held you back in certain areas of your life?

This week do not use ANY 3 of these excuses for any reason.  (Again, you might have physical/mental pain, lack of focus, depression, etc. These are a real pains and concerns, but your challenge is to not allow yourself to use these issues as a reason to not move forward. Instead acknowledge the issue, and design a plan on how you can still engage, live or move forward in some manner.)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happiness is a State of Mind

Happiness is a State of Mind
If you are having a rough day today, change your perspective on what you are seeing. Happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is not something you buy or earn. If you spend your life trying to work to get something or someone that will make you happy, chances are you are wasting a really good life that you don’t know you have. You passed up and overlooked a lot of personal happiness.

You are probably spending so much time chasing and dreaming of what could be that you are forgetting about all the small and big things occurring right now that could make you happy. People and things alone, won’t make you happy. You make you happy. You know the saying, “All that glitters is not gold.”

Some of us sit back and say, “if I only had that house, that car, that man/woman, that body.” What about the people who are sad that have all those things and more? How could they be sad? That’s because the big house is glittery, but not necessarily gold. Gold is happiness, not house, not car, not person. It is a state of mind.

The best thing about happiness is it is free. You don’t have to have a savings account to be happy. You don’t have to pay monthly dues for it.

How to be Happy Quick Tips:

1.       Stop dwelling on the past

2.       Forgive yourself and/or the person you are upset with

3.       If giving into immediate gratification is hurting you, stop giving into temptations

4.       Start looking at what you do have and not what you don’t

5.       Reframe bad situations and learn from them

6.       Take control over your mind and actions

This week’s challenge is to pick at least 3 Tips off of the “Quick Tips” list above and enact them for the full week. Be sure to note all positive changes to your happiness.