So, what have you done recently to prepare yourself to participate in the ritual of giving and receiving that’s happening right now? I would imagine most of us have done some shopping and some planning. The more organized of us have done some wrapping and some baking and the procrastinators are going to do it all on Christmas Eve.
What I’m really wondering about is what have you done to be ready to RECEIVE the gifts your friends and family are so lovingly purchasing and making for you?
My guess is that you haven’t given it even one thought. Most of us don’t, I hadn’t until a couple of days ago. Have you thought about what to say when someone gives you a present? More than the obligatory thank you? Have you paused to ready your heart for the expressions of friendship and love that are coming your way? And by pause I mean made room for them, landing places, pages in your heart where you can treasure and fully absorb the gifts?
When my kids were little I used to clean out the toy box before Christmas to give the new things a place to call home. This is what I’m asking you to consider…have you made room in your house or, more importantly, room in your heart for the expressions of love you will receive? If not, now is the time to clear the clutter in your mind and be ready to say more than the obligatory “thank you”.
How can the givers give if no one is willing to receive their gifts? The simple answer is, they can’t. When I talk about giving I am not just talking about material things, I am also talking about emotional gifts, spiritual gifts, gifts of time, and gifts of presence (ha!).
Personally, I am much better at giving than receiving. I suppose the reason for that is that giving and receiving have certain connotations for me (and in our culture at large):
*Giving means I’m in my power and receiving means I’m weak.
*Giving means I have abundance but receiving means I am in lack.
*Giving means I am NOT “the needy” and receiving means I AM “the needy”.
But I want to put those notions on their head, I don’t really believe those things and I certainly don’t want to live them out. So, here’s the beliefs I’d rather have:
*Receiving is just the other half of giving, the essential other half.
*Receiving means that I get to partake of the wonderful things other people bring into the world that I can’t.
*The vulnerability of receiving is beautiful and powerful.
*To allow myself (or yourself) to be given to is as much a gift as the gift itself.
Without receiving there is no real giving (just giving to make us feel better about OURSELVES)
So, spend a few minutes with yourself before you celebrate Christmas and decide what kind of receiver you want to be. Do you want to be polite or do you want to really take in the gift? If you want to really take in the gift how will you act? My suggestion is this:
1. Clear the mental clutter around being deserving of gifts – you are valuable
2. When you receive a gift, material or otherwise, take a few moments to really let the love in. Focus on the person who gave it to you and their intentions. Really “feel” the gift as an exchange.
3. Honor the person who gave you the gift with an expression of thanks from the heart. Tell them how they’ve impacted you.
4. Before you go to bed on Christmas take 5 minutes to really revel in how much you are loved and treasured by all those who gave to you. Keep your mind on the spirit of the giving you received (not an item)
If you follow these steps your Christmas will be an amazing one, I’m sure of it. You will experience the fullness of being a true receiver which has benefits you can use in the year to come. Imagine the power of receiving impacting your daily life…the possibilities are awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you stop giving to others, not at all! What I am suggesting is that you develop your capacity to receive which will make the giving and the givers all that more fun (and meaningful).
Merry Christmas to you, go forth and receive!
Welcome, fellow entrepreneur! The holidays are fast approaching and you are seriously buried in your work, dying for some time off to spend with family and get some well-deserved rest. You're already aware that you have some evil little minions (anxiety, fear, well meaning friends or colleagues) that could get in the way of your rest and family time
If you continue to let the minions run your life and stay buried here’s what might happen:
You'll burn the midnight oil to keep things going and the holiday season is no exception. In fact, depending on your business the holidays could keep you busier than ever. You could choose to continue to work at the breakneck pace right through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Year’s Eve…that would be easy, wouldn’t it? Just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep working through dinner and stay distracted with a list of to-do’s running in the back of your mind. But, wait, what’s the point? That’s not the holiday season you are dying for! This is one of your favorite times of year and it’s become a big drag since you started your business.
Help is here! Your stress less for success coach has a few tips for you to have the Holidays and rest you really crave and to keep those minions at bay:
- DECIDE that the holidays are important to you (or not important as the case may be)
In order to have anything we really want in life we have to choose it. Think of your life…maybe you have a spouse, kids, a dog, or a college degree and you definitely have a business. No matter what you’ve got there was a moment in time you decided to make it happen
. This is no different. In order to have a stress less holiday season you must decide to make it that way. So take a minute and decide. Do you want a stress less holiday season, yes or no? If the answer is no you can just stop here, you know what to do next, the same old same old. On the other hand, if you decided “YES! I want this” then, read on.To support you in following the steps outlined in this blog I've created a "Minion Defense Plan" that you can use to personalize the tips. Just click here and it'll be in your inbox before you can say "minion!".
- The next step in your journey to this great holiday season is to GET CLEAR ON YOUR WHY.
Remember when we were talking about your dog and that you chose
him? There was a why behind it. Maybe your kids had been begging you for years to get a dog, this one was hypo-allergenic, and looked at you with big sweet eyes. Those are the why’s behind the decision to get that particular dog.
It’s the same with your decision to have a great holiday season…why do you want that? Maybe you’re looking forward to really enjoying your mom’s pumpkin pie or the sledding down a snowy hillside. Perhaps making cookies with your kids is really important to you or you’re looking forward to putting your feet up in front of the fire and enjoying a hot toddy. So, I’ve given you several of examples and you probably have some ideas of your own. Now, get really clear on what they are in your mind. It’s important because you’re gonna need that clarity in order to stick to your guns.
- Lastly, you need a PLAN TO STICK TO YOUR GUNS.
Your laptop will keep you up way past your bedtime saying “just one more email” or “you can’t let that go” and you’re going to need a compelling reason to log off despite the temptation (there go those minions again!). The strategy you’ll deploy is based on your DECISION
and your WHY
. Draw on your conviction in your decision. You are a strong and decisive entrepreneur, use that tenacity here. Don’t go back on your decision to enjoy the holidays…it’s only cold cider, frustration, and maybe a little evil laughter on the other side. Come up with a list of all the sneaky saboteurs (those evil minions real and imagined) that could hatch a plot against you and rehearse your defense. That way, you’ll be ready for the midnight cooing of your website and be able to silence it quickly. You might say something like “I could stay up and work but what will that cost me? Maybe it's a little self-respect for not following through and cancelling a cookie baking date with your kids because you just won’t have the patience. No matter the details, PLAN TO STICK TO YOUR GUNS.
Since I know that things usually go much better when we make a plan on paper, I have created a worksheet I call a "Lock It In! sheet" for you to download so you can map all this out. All you have to do is put your name and email address into the form to the right of this post and it will show up in your inbox like magic, lickety split. The Evil Minion Defense Plan 101 worksheet will help you get super concrete on your DECISION, your WHY, and how you will PLAN TO STICK TO YOUR GUNS. Plus, I’ve included a bonus idea for you in there to boost your success. Click here to get it.
If you’re wondering where part 2 of this formula is - I’ve put it into a webinar. There’s just so much great stuff to share it would not all fit into a blog post. On the webinar I’ll be explaining specific strategies that you can use to take that time off that pick up where this blog post leaves off. It’s called “An Entrepreneurs Guide to Taking Time Off During the Holidays (without losing momentum)” and you can register for the webinar here: register
. I’ve got some SUPER SPECIFIC strategies you’ll want to implement right away in your business so you stay on track and enjoy the holidays.
Do you ever feel like your day is just a repeat of yesterday, last week, or last year? I know I do sometimes! Get up at the same time, deal with the same issues, see the same people, feel the same crappy feeling.
It's time to shake it up sisters (and brothers)! If you have the "Same Crap Different Day" feeling find at least one small thing to change that brings you joy. Buy a great pen to write with, meet a new person for lunch, decide not to be a victim anymore - whatever it is.
I promise, you'll thank yourself for getting out of the rut. Even if it's just a smidge.
Once you've got that smidge down, do one more small thing. It will add up over time. Pretty soon, you won't want to say "same crap, different day" anymore.
Warning: don't do too much change at once, it won't stick. Take it slow and steady and in the end, you'll be glad you did.
Resilience is the capacity to be authentic, be emotionally flexible, cope with stress, and live with intention.
That’s a lot to consider, so let’s break this down. First, we’ll define capacity and then we’ll talk about how capacity relates to resilience.
A person’s capacity is their ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice. Take reading, for example. There was a time in your life when you were not able to read. You were a small child; you were busy playing and eating goldfish crackers. Your parents may have read you simple books and fairy tales. One day, you began to be interested in reading the books yourself. You looked at the pictures but you couldn't read the words. Then, you went to school, and learned your alphabet…you increased in your capacity for reading the words but you weren't reading quite yet. After much practice, with the letters and how they all went together to make words, you began to read all on your own. You built a capacity for reading, yay!
Did you check reading off your “to-do list” forever the day you were able to read “Dick and Jane”? No, in fact, you’re reading right now and I bet you've read many other things this very day. You've probably read your email, the street signs on your drive to work, your calendar, and the list of things your spouse wants you to pick up on the way home tonight. And, you practice reading most days of your life. Your skill at reading has improved since you were small. In fact, if you've read novels, or poetry, maybe even Shakespeare, you have increased your capacity for reading way beyond the first grade primer.
We started by defining the term capacity because it’s central to building resilience. In fact, the coaching I do is called “resilience capacity building”.
So, now let’s discuss the capacity for resilience specifically.
It looks like this:
- The ability to be AUTHENTIC – when we live authentically we know our strengths and we live them out. We do not try to be someone else, excessively focus on our “areas of opportunity”, or squash our dreams. We are in line with our personal gifts, how we can leverage them to contribute to the world, and how to be happy. We are self-confident.
- The ability to be EMOTIONALLY FLEXIBLE – when we are emotionally flexible we acknowledge our emotions and the emotions of others in respectful ways. We are able to observe and reflect on our emotions in order to learn and create meaningful lives. We are also able to have our feelings without becoming overly attached to them as the only way of seeing things. We know that there are other valid points of view.
- The ability to COPE WITH STRESS – when we have good stress management skills we take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We know what recharges us and what drains us. We choose to actively manage our stress so we can live in service to our gifts and our life’s purpose.
- The ability to live with INTENTION – when we live intentionally we see ourselves as the designer of our life’s path. We are not reactive, letting events and circumstances send us to and fro. We are proactive and take the time to define what we want, who we want to be, and we create our lives from there. When the unexpected comes our way we don’t get lost, we reset. We use our intentions as our compass and find a new way to achieve our goals.
A strong capacity for resilience leads to lives and businesses that are fulfilling, rewarding, and significant. As you build your capacity for resilience, you are better able to cope with daily life challenges, navigate change, and meet difficulty head on.
If you want to build your capacity for resilience, contact me today. You’ll have skills you can use for the rest of your days.
Making a New Year’s resolution is a tradition that many of us take part in each year. Most of us want to create new habits like eating better and exercising more or we want to stop with those nasty habits like smoking and biting our nails. Either way, the New Year seems to hold promise of a clean slate and a fresh start. Did you know that 45% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution but only 8% of us actually achieve it? Kind of a bummer, huh?
Here are the reasons we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment:
· The goal/resolution is not specific enough – in order to know when we’ve arrived somewhere we need to know where we’re going. Goals that are generally stated like “In 2015 I want to spend more time with my family” seem nice enough but, how will we know when we’re on the right path? What does spending more time with my family mean? Does it mean having a family game night once a week or scheduling a date with my spouse on Friday nights? Choose a goal that fits you and those in your life so you’re most likely to achieve it.
· The goal/resolution is too large – when we set a goal that is lofty like losing 50 pounds we must work at it for a while before seeing success. Are we going to wait until we’ve lost all the weight to reward ourselves? Research says that’s a bad idea; we are more successful when we experience small wins and rewards and that these wins help us keep our forward momentum. It’s better to break a larger goal like this down into smaller parts, say 10 pound increments, and create rewards for each step along the way. Maybe you reward yourself with a new workout clothes once you’ve lost 10 pounds and save the new bracelet you want until you’re closer to your final goal.
· The goal/resolution lacks the “why” factor – often we fail to tie our goals to our values in a real way. Of course I want to be clutter free but why? What will it give me that I don’t have now? That’s the question we fail to answer for ourselves and it’s precisely why we lose our way. If I state in my goal that I want to get organized in order to create more free time in my schedule that’s much more convincing than telling myself “I just should”.
· We try to tackle several areas at once – having too many goals in different areas of life at once can sap our energy and focus. Contrary to popular belief we are not good multi-taskers and do better when we focus on one thing at a time. There’s enough going on in life that we need to keep up with: kids, work, dishes, laundry, etc. Change is difficult so set yourself up for success! Pick one goal (or a couple of smaller goals in the same life area), master it, and then move on to the next one.
So, go ahead, make those resolutions! Be sure they’re specific, attainable, tie into something meaningful, and address one life area at a time. See that 2015 is the year that you achieve your New Year’s Resolution! I have posted a goal template to help you out - it's just to the right of this post - happy goal setting and achieving!