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Mindy Lee M. Lipsky

Certified Business Coach
Certified DISC Practitioner

 

610-705-3526

 

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Business Essentials

These blogs will help you with your small business needs! Learn organization, technical and practical tools and tips to run a successful business.

Mindy’s Comfort Zone Adventures: NYC edition!

If you read my social media or blog posts regularly, I am sure you have heard me talk about comfort zones before.  My tag line is “open the door to empower your future!” When I say “Open the door”, I mean the door to your comfort zone.  I practice what I preach!  I find some way to step out of my comfort zone weekly if not daily!  I am always trying a new networking event where I don’t know anyone or driving to a place I have never been before.  It is usually something mildly anxiety filled… except when I travel to NYC!

 

I have been to New York City a lot for leisure, but that has always been on an organized planned trip and with family or friends.   I have travelled to a few times this past year to visit my business coach.  I first travelled there for business in July of 2014, again in December of 2014, and again this past Wednesday.  For some reason going for business makes me so nervous.  I don’t know if it is worrying about being late, going alone, or getting lost… I just get very anxious at the thought of going to NYC.  My friend Emi travelled with me this time as we were attending the same event.

 Mindy & Emi

 

We started our day before the crack of dawn leaving our houses by 4:30 AM!  We drove to NJ to catch the NJ transit.  All was going well when we heard “Penn Station next stop” So we started to get off but I quickly realized this was not New York Penn Station but NEWARK Penn Station!  My first thought was… OH MY GOSH we got off at the wrong station… I proceeded to push everyone out of my way to get back on the train!  Not how I usually behave but I was in a panic!  We get back on the train and someone was in our seat!  AHHH!  We scurried to 2 open seats.  I just stared at the tickets in our previous seat wondering if I should have grabbed them.  I sat there thinking, “who names 2 stations the same 1 stop apart??!”  Then the conductor comes by and asks us for our tickets!  YIKES!  I stammered… “We were sitting there and got off at the wrong stop…” he saw the panic in my eyes, chuckled and moved on.  He must have thought “Rookies”!  Whew, crisis averted!  Emi and I decided we were just on an “adventure” and boy was I glad to be with her on this adventure and not alone!

 

We finally get to the correct stop and decided to get Starbucks for the 1 mile walk to the workshop site.  I have my Grande Flat White in hand ready to start walking.  I turned the GPS on my phone to pedestrian and we set out… of course we walked the wrong direction at first but I redirected us and we were on our way… 5 minutes into the walk I realized I was squeezing my cup so much it was spilling all over me!  UGH!  A slight panic attack followed, but I finally got that under control.  We arrived safely and on time… only took me about 20 to 30 minutes after that to calm down fully. 

 

I don’t know if it is the rushing, the sheer giant size of everything, the honking, the lights, the chance of getting hit by a car or taxi at every corner… I am just not a city girl… BUT I KEEP GOING!  I step out of my comfort zone into massive discomfort to grow myself and my business.  I keep showing up even when I don’t want to!  As a matter of fact, I am going back this weekend for TWO days!  I doubt I will like it, but it is important for me to keep doing it!  So tell me… where are YOU stepping out of YOUR comfort zone… go ahead… open the door… let the empowerment begin!

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Will you do “Whatever it takes?”

Before each laser coaching session, my coaching clients are asked to fill out a Session Prep Questionnaire to help us zero in on where our focus should be for that session.  One of the questions is, “What action/changes are you ready to take now?”  I often get the answer… I’ll do anything!  Only to find when we come up with some ideas they also come up with excuses as to why that won’t work.  Well, that only works once with me… I nip that in the bud right away.  You have to get uncomfortable to grow!  That’s why they are called growing “pains”!  I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and “try something on” for a week or 2.  Find ways to develop baby steps to ease into the changes where you can.  You will most likely find that the expectation was worse than the action.  Are you buying into the excuses… it cost too much, I don’t have time, I could never do that, I don’t like the phone…

Whatever it takes

How long are you going to let the excuses stop you from reaching your greatness?? Get out of your own way and just do it!  If you need to, find an accountability partner or coach to help you and support you through it!  Say you will do whatever it takes and mean it!  It takes practice, but when you push yourself, reach and stretch amazing things begin to happen.  Tell me what you have been putting off.  Will you do whatever it takes?

The Magic 8 Ball!

I remember as a kid I had one of those Magic 8 ball toys.  You know the one… it has that multisided cube-like thing floating in the blue “water”… you asked it a question then flipped it over for an answer.  This was THE hottest thing to help a pre-teen predict the future or make a decision… “Should I wear my “Jordache jeans”, “Forenza Sweater” or “Swatch Watch” to the dance on Friday?” (Ok I’m sure I just dated myself!) I remember sitting in my bedroom with my best friends asking question after question.  It was a lot of fun, but we soon found out it was just “fun” and not reliable at all!  Now we are all grown up, and we need more than a magic 8 ball to make decisions.

Magic 8 Ball

As an entrepreneur you will have a LOT of decisions to make on a daily basis.  Are you a decision maker?  If you want to be successful in business you need to be!  When faced with a decision there are many ways to handle it.  You can do some research, ask a friend for advice, make a Pro/con list, and on and on… But ultimately the bottom line is… you must make a decision!  Sitting on the fence is NOT comfortable! I have been there.  In the past I have been faced with a big decision and dragged on and on… it can get exhausting! 

Decisions

I’m not saying you should rush into decisions, but I do encourage you to take a look at what is holding you back from making a decision.  Is it a lack of information? Has someone burst your bubble? Most often it is simply FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). I LOVE to work with decision makers!  Best of all… when you do make a decision you can see how it goes and make a NEW decision with more information!  What decision will you make today?  It just could be the one that makes ALL the difference!

Are you living the “definition of insanity”?

We have all heard the quote by Albert Einstein (or Benjamin Franklin, or Mark Twain or Rita Mae Brown) where he states … “The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”.  Having a background in psychology I understand this really isn’t the “true” definition of insanity, but it sure does bring up a great conversation point!  When you are trying to improve or change but don’t change your actions the results can’t come to fruition.  Are you living this definition in your life or business?  Are you trying to grow or change your life or business in some way but keep thinking the same thoughts, setting the same goals, making the same plans, doing the same things?

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Often times we are stuck in a routine or afraid to make the changes necessary because they carry some risk.  What if I fail? What if I don’t recoup the funds I have to put out to try? What if I actually succeed? Gasp! More importantly… what if I don’t know HOW to change?  I invite you to take a good look at what you are doing.  What pops into your head as something you have avoided trying?  I challenge you to go for it!  Step out of that comfort zone, Feel the fear and DO IT ANYWAY

Start small… Pick something to change… Set a NEW goal, make a new plan, DO IT, then evaluate the results.  Figure out what worked, what didn’t, make some tweaks and do it AGAIN!

I work with clients on a daily basis helping them NOT live this definition and find growth in leaps and bounds!  If you need help let me know!  I’d be happy to help you too!

“Fake it ‘til you Make it” – it’s all about confidence!

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Fake it ‘til you make it”.  If you Google the term you will find articles and blogs showing many various points of view.  Some discuss how it is done, some say what a terrible idea it is, some tell a success story around it. I can see all points of view, but I have to admit when you use it in regards to mindset it can be a VERY powerful tool on your journey to success.

 

Over the years the interpretation has gone too far in the wrong direction at times.  For example, you want to “look” successful in order to feel confident.  You interpret that as being rich with lots of lavish items. So, you decide to live the life before you earned it by “faking it” buying a bunch of things on credit you can’t afford. There is a huge difference in changing your mindset by believing vs. buying!  It’s one thing to exude confidence before you fully believe it.  Merely “looking the part” by wearing expensive clothes, driving expensive cars, and living in a large home is not going to get you there.  Success and confidence is much more than THINGS.

 

Even if you aren’t buying a bunch of stuff you can’t afford, you can still make “Fake it ‘til you make it” backfire and feel icky!  Faking it is very different than stretching the truth or even flat out lying.  Before someone will work with you or buy from you they need to Know, Like and Trust you.  If you are being authentic they will know it… if you are NOT being authentic, they’ll know that too!  If your confidence quest is costing you large sums of money or worse yet your integrity… it’s not going to work in the long run.  Eventually your confidence will be squelched by the overwhelming reality of debt, lies catching up with you or the loss of your ability to be trusted.

 Confidence

How to “fake it” like a pro!

Like I have said… “Acting as if” or “Faking it ‘til you make it” is a mindset.  Changing how you think will change your level of confidence.  Growing your confidence is a process that doesn’t happen overnight.  You need to practice.  You practice by putting yourself in situations where you NEED to use confidence. Over the past year I have gone to many, many networking events.  Most of these events I had to drive in places I have never been by myself depending on my GPS.  Then when I arrived I would walk into a room where often times I didn’t even know one single person there.  The first few times I thought my heart would jump out of my chest!  But as I practiced and changed my thinking, it got easier.

 

Getting rid of thoughts like “what if” or “maybe” or “I hope” will help reduce doubt creeping in.  Find where even a small amount of confidence lies within you and build on that.  Simply saying, “I can do this” can change your outlook in a situation. Did you know fear and excitement have exactly the same physiological reaction?  They do! Think of it… your heart beats faster and you may feel butterflies in your stomach.  It is our mind that decides how we interpret what that feeling is.  With some training you can change your interpretation of fear to excitement.  Replace your negative thoughts and feelings with positive ones.  When you find yourself in a negative spiral, take a deep breath and reframe it.  Change the thought process to a positive one full of positive expectation.  Instead of saying, “Oh gosh, I don’t know anyone here!” reframe it to “Wow, I get to meet some great new people tonight!”

 

From time to time, when meeting someone new in our mind we focus on what we don’t know instead of the vast catalog of what we do know and are passionate about!  This can cause unnecessary angst and worry. When meeting with someone talk about what you are excited and passionate about.  Tell them what you CAN do for them and feel confident about that.  If you are asked about something you don’t know… say you don’t know but you will find an answer for them and get back to them.  As you practice your confidence will grow and so will your knowledge base and experience. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake or even fail at something.  We can learn a ton from mistakes if we take the time to see the lesson in it and grow from it.

 

Being able to be outwardly confident even when you aren’t feeling it is a learned skill.  It takes practice.  But, with practice you can step out of your comfort zone into a place of confidence and begin to grow beyond your wildest dreams!  If you want tips on growing your confidence or help with this, give me a call to set up an appointment!  I’m holding the door to your comfort zone open so you can step into your empowered future NOW!

Multitasking and the “Almost” Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I have been known to be a great multitasker… to the point that a former employer actually gave me 12 out of 10 on multitasking in a review and listed that as one of my biggest assets! Multitasking seems to be a necessity and a sign of the time. Mompreneurs especially need to be efficient multitaskers. But there are times to multitask and times when that is not the best or most efficient idea.

Yesterday I was making lunch for my mom and myself. Since it was a dark, dreary, and damp day I thought grilled cheese sandwiches and soup would be perfect! Now, I have made grilled cheese sandwiches many times. Through trial and error I have discovered how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. You know, the kind that is perfectly golden brown and buttery on the outside and the perfect amount of gooey melted American cheese on the inside? I know my stove, I know exactly what temperature to set it to, what pan and what lid to use, and how much time on each side (2 minutes 45 seconds on the 1st side, 1 minute 15 seconds on the 2nd). I KNOW all this… yet I keep screwing up the darn grilled cheese sandwiches! The reason why is… grilled cheese sandwiches need to be watched, yet since I am prone to multitasking I am not paying enough attention. I figure… Hey! I have 2 minutes and 45 seconds I’ll just reply to that email really quickly or I’ll just do these few dishes while I wait. But EVERY TIME I do something else, even if I set a timer, the sandwich burns on one side or the other! However, if I stay and watch it… I can see then the edges of the butter has melted on the upper side and know it is time to flip it or I can see more steam coming from the bottom and know it will soon start to get too dark and I better flip it. When I DON’T multitask while cooking a grilled cheese sandwich… I tend to get the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. If I DO multitask at all… I get either a burnt sandwich or an “almost” perfect sandwich, but not quite.

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The moral of the story is… use multitasking carefully. There are some tasks that allow it and others that don’t. You will know when multitasking isn’t working… when you aren’t getting anything finished or you burn the sandwich so to speak! Some tasks need your full attention! For example, a phone call with a client. FULL ATTENTION!! They will know if you are checking email or not fully paying attention and it will hurt your credibility or even the relationship… they won’t feel important. Scheduling time for different tasks can help you stay focused. For example, you can schedule yourself to do your social media scheduling on Mondays from 9 am to 10 am or you can schedule your bookkeeping tasks for Friday at 1 PM. Then when you think of those tasks at another time, you can say to yourself, “I don’t have to worry about that now… it is scheduled for Friday at 1pm”. Planning your schedule by including tasks can lead to feeling more in control of your schedule. If you need help with this let’s chat! I can show you how I can help!

Now go make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich… You know you want to. 

Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway!

FEAR

I have to admit… I am not afraid of much of anything.  That doesn’t mean I never get nervous, but a true fear of something is rare for me.  That is until you want to touch my nose!  I have suffered from almost daily nosebleeds for 5 years.  A simple 20 minute visit to the ENT could have stopped it long ago. However, FEAR stopped ME in my tracks!  I had an unfortunate instance with a student nurse during an ER trip where she practiced inserting an NG tube on me for the very first time.  Needless to say she wasn’t very good at it her first time (I guess that’s why they have to practice).  The experience caused a full blown panic attack for me that I can still replay in my mind in full detail (and just about give myself a NEW panic attack while doing so!)  So, I lived with the nosebleeds because I was AFRAID. 

 

I have heard fear described as False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R).  Often times what we imagine will happen is not nearly what actually happens.  We make up a scenario in our mind of how it might play out.  We fear rejection, we fear failure, we fear pain, we fear being uncomfortable, we fear we can’t handle a situation, we fear embarrassment, and on and on and on.

 

The sad part about it is that we buy into our own fear.  We buy into the scenario our mind MADE UP!  It’s not REAL. Yet we treat it as “truth” stopping us from completing tasks or enjoying experiences… sometime even meeting people. In my case it stopped me from getting medical treatment that I needed.  Today I felt the fear (and boy did I feel fear!) and DID IT ANYWAY!  Only to find out reality wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. 

 

We are all fearful of something.  Some are rational… but MOST are NOT. I find this to be true especially in business.  We fear going to a new meeting or group where we don’t know anyone.  Therefore we miss out on building relationships and growing our exposure and reputation.  We fear offering our service because we are sure they will say no or that it is too expensive or whatever excuse we made up in our mind for them.  We don’t try a new idea because we are afraid it won’t work and then we “fail”. So we just don’t do anything.  Where does that get us?  Nowhere and fast! 

 

Life is full of risks.  Some work out, some don’t.  My husband often says, “It doesn’t hurt to ask… we are already at no.”  So, when you get a NO that simply means nothing changes.  So I challenge you today… do something you have been afraid of… something you have been putting off.  You will either realize it’s not so bad, you will realize it is not worth the risk and can move on and stop thinking about it, or you may surprise yourself and find a fantastic solution to a problem!

 

What are you living with because you are afraid or fearful?  What are you missing out on because of it?  What would you do right now in your business if you KNEW you couldn’t fail?? Share with me!  I can’t wait to hear what you OVERCOME today!  Feel the FEAR and to it ANYWAY!  

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan!

I love the quote “A goal without a plan is just a wish” Yet I find many women in business don’t really have a plan.  They may think they know what they want… but they really don’t have a method to get there.  Mary Kay (and many other direct sales companies) year goes from July 1st through June 30th!  Did you end up where you wanted to be?  Either way… Happy New Year!  It’s a fresh start, a clean slate, a crisp white page!  What are you going to write in your next chapter?  Where will you be this time next year?  Now is a great time to evaluate, dream and most of all PLAN for success!

Reflect: Take some time to look back on the past year (or few months) in your business. What did you do that worked?  What didn’t?  If you had a goal poster or a goal list, pull it out and check off what you accomplished!  Look back and remember the highs (and the lows) and reflect on what you learned!

Review: Take time to REALLY review your business plan, your business systems and your business budget.  If you don’t have these NOW is the time to create them!  These 3 pieces are critical to growing your business.  All of these should be fairly detailed.

Re-set:  What do you want in the next 90 days? Next 6 months? Where do you want to be this time next year?  Take time to Dream BIG!  Nothing is off limits! Make a new goal poster with dates!  Give yourself deadlines.  More importantly define your WHY… why are you working toward these goals? Make Daily, Monthly, quarterly and annual goals… Eat that elephant one bite at a time!

Revise:  You’ve looked at what worked and what didn’t and reviewed your business plan and business budget.  You’ve decided what you are working toward and why! Now revise your systems!  Do more of what worked and revise what didn’t.

Re-evaluate: If you carry inventory now is a great time to do a re-count.  You are required to do a physical inventory count at the end of the year for tax purposes, but now is also a good time to check in and make sure your physical count matches what your expectation is.   If you have an inventory management program be sure your virtual shelf matches your physical shelf.  Note what is moving quickly and what is a little dusty.  Look for expired product and be sure you are rotating your product (1st in, 1st out).  Next re-evaluate what you want to keep on hand.  Do you have too much on your shelf or not enough?  Decide what your goal is as far as product on hand goes.  Stay tuned for a 2 part blog on what to do with expired product and how to stay stocked with the new items and what your customers want.

Re-Schedule:  The beauty of working for yourself is you get to make your own schedule.  Take some time to re-visit your work schedule and make changes.  Set a schedule of when you will be working.  Plan what you will be doing.  Include Income Producing Activities (IPA’s) as well as the business management tasks that need to be done.

NOW you are ready to Rock!  Taking a small amount of time to plan can make all the difference, but only if you work that plan!

Share with me your #1 goal for this year AND your ULTIMATE S-T-R-E-T-C-H goal below in the comments!  Dream BIG!

Money Saving Tips to Surviving Seminar!

Fireworks

HAPPY MARY KAY NEW YEAR!  Congratulations to all who achieved their Mary Kay Seminar goals AND to those who worked to the last minute even if you fell a little short!  I’m sure you are all starting to feel the seminar “buzz” already. It’s going to be a magical year celebrating 50 years as a company!  I thought it would be appropriate to share some tips on how you can attend Seminar, have FUN and still stay within your Business Budget.

You gotta get there! If you need to fly…look for tickets NOW (if you haven’t already).  The longer you wait the more expensive it usually gets. Shop around.  Have a little flexibility in WHEN you can travel…this can help bring costs down as well.

You gotta stay someplace, right? Find other consultants or directors to room with. The cost of the room can be a fraction when you share the cost with your Mary Kay sisters! Check with your director or National to see if there are consultants looking to share a room.  See the Seminar tips below from NSD Linda Toupin!  Wise words indeed!

Linda Toupins Hotel Guidlines!

Once you’re there you gotta get around! Use the Mary Kay provided transportation. Cabs can get expensive. Mary Kay Corp provides a shuttle service. Yes you may have to wait, but think of all the wonderful women you can meet and share success stories with while you do. Bring your walking shoes and your patience and you’ll see that cab fare isn’t really worth it.

You gotta eat! Your registration includes some breakfasts and lunches. Take advantage of the meals the company provides. You can even be just like Mary Kay herself and pack some food you can eat in your room to save money. There is no need to go out for an expensive dinner if you don’t have the cash for it! You can make sandwiches, have energy bars, you name it…get creative!

You gotta stay connected! Bring your cell phone or if you don’t have one get a pre-paid calling card. It will be MUCH less than using the hotel long distance services!

You gotta stay comfortable! First up SHOES! Yes those 4 inch heels are THE BOMB!  But it may be wiser to wear a stylish but more sensible pair of shoes.  At the very least tuck a cute pair of flats in your tote bag.  Bonus Mindy Tip:  Even Sensible shoes may cause blisters or raw spots.  I usually try to bring 3 different styles of shoes so that they rub in different places!  Blisters may be inevitable, but nothing is worse than already having a blister and having to wear the same shoes that caused the blister and limp around all day.  Rotate the shoes each day and you may be more comfortable.  Bring blister relief pads or special Band-Aids that will stick better than regular Band-Aids.

Now that we have the shoes covered… 2 more things to remember… 1. Bring a light sweater or wrap.  It gets chilly in the Arena and in the classrooms as well!  2. Bring a stylish tote bag that is comfortable to carry (not too big, not too small!)  You really just need to carry a notebook and pen, business cards, product labels with your contact info to easy entries for contests or vendors, a change of shoes, a water bottle, some snacks, and tissues!

You gotta buy stuff!  OR do you?? Speaking of Vendors… Avoid impulse buying…Yes those vendors are wonderful and oh so tempting. Be a collector or catalogs. IF you still like the item when you get home you can always order from their website. At least you’ve given yourself time to think it over. You’ll find that once you get home you may not have NEEDED that sequined tank top after all!

You gotta PLAN your spending! Make a spending plan BEFORE you go. Think about all you do in Dallas.  If you have never been there before take a seasoned consultant for coffee and tips and some pre-Seminar dreaming!  It is very beneficial to try to predict what you will need to spend money on and set limits for yourself.  Once you are there, carry an envelope to collect your receipts and write down what you have spent. At the end of the day check in with yourself to see if you are on track or if you need to make adjustments. This might help keep you on track!

There are TONS of great benefits and reasons to attend Seminar…with a little pre-planning of HOW you intend to spend your hard earned money… the trip doesn’t have to break the bank!  Have a fabulous time in Dallas!

What is your best Tip for Seminar?

Part 3! 20 Tips for Working from Home with Kids During the Summer! The 3 P’s – A 3 part series!

In part 1 of this 3 part series there were 6 tips all about planning your work! Click here to see Part 1: Planning: There is something to be said for a routine! In part 2 of this 3 part series you saw tips #7 through #13 Click here to see Part 2: Productivity: How to Make Work Time More Productive! And now for the grand finale!   Part 3! Priorities: Remember what’s Important!   Tip #14 – The schedule is important, but take a break if needed.  In part one we talked about creating a schedule and sticking to your plan.  We’ve all had the unexpected melt down or needed to make a last minute change in plans.  That doesn’t need to derail your entire day!  Handle issues before they become a huge deal.  We’re looking for balance NOT perfection.  Go with the flow.  Have multiple plans ready and be ready to make another one if needed.  I have learned to be on plan “A”, but have Plans B through M in my mind if needed.  If you are frustrated with your work… walk away and take a break.  If your child is having a hard time, take a break and be there.  Just keep trying and do your best!  For me, sometimes a 5 minute break for a warm cup of coffee is enough to keep me going!   Tip #15 -Let your kids learn some responsibility and independence!  Your kids can and WILL grow in this time!  As they get older give them responsibilities around the house.  Not only will it help take some of the load off of you they are also learning really important life skills!  We have a chore chart! (See below for a downloadable example) The chart varies for different times of year, but they have consistent chores to help around the house and are customized around their activities.  Do they complain?  Yep!  But I feel it is important!  It helps them to learn responsibility, commitment and teamwork.  They can also learn discipline and work ethic from watching you work from home!  My kids have seen me work with a migraine, with a wicked cold and even with the flu.  They watch me make and keep commitments, and they watch me work when I don’t feel like it.  Give them something to feel accomplished about, but remember you don’t have to hover and control them 100% of the time. I grew up in the 80’s and didn’t see my parents ALL DAY while I played outside!  I know this is a different time and age… but our kids need to learn to be ok by themselves.  Let them learn to entertain themselves and be ok with some quiet alone time!  Let them learn how to problem solve and figure it out without running to you as soon as something doesn’t go their way.  Do be tricked into the Guilt Trip!  I’ve heard it before…“ Your kids need you! How could you leave them to figure it out on their own?”  Trust me!  Your kids will be better if they learn to be independent.  They can learn to handle things on their own and will learn valuable life skills! [gview file=”http://innovativecoachingservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Example-Chore-Commission-Chart.xlsx”]   Tip #16 – Don’t forget to take care of YOU!  When you take care of YOUR needs you are filled up and in turn are able to care for others.  Be sure to make the time to eat right, get enough rest, fit exercise in and pamper yourself even if for only a few moments.  Make a list of things that make you happy.  Then schedule some in daily!  Find time to read, pray, meditate, fit in a shower, 30 minutes of exercise, plan your meals, plan girlfriend time, etc. You will feel energized and have more to give to your work and your family!   Tip # 17 – Don’t be superwoman when you don’t have to be.  Yes we are AWESOME!  But we can’t do it all – all the time!  Figure out what you are good at and more importantly what you are NOT good at!  Hire help to get common tasks done or outsource to get an important task done that you might not be all that “good” at! Consider hiring a cleaning service or someone to update your website for you.  Maybe a virtual assistant service like Toni’s Office Solutions could help free up your time!  Check out their services here!  The bottom line is, you will need help from time to time… don’t be afraid to ask for it!   Tip #18 – Don’t neglect your spouse!  The fastest way to get an un-supportive spouse is to alienate them!  You and your spouse should be a team!  Communication (and a lot of it) is needed.  You should have many conversations with your spouse.  Dream together, plan together, pray together, hope together, and from time to time even cry together.  Know your boundaries & each other’s expectations.  When does your spouse need attention?  What chores can be shared? What makes them feel loved… and more importantly what doesn’t!  Talk about what you need and find out what your spouse needs.  Be willing to compromise.  Be sure to make them feel special, appreciated and loved.  I can make all the difference!

Dream Together - John Lennon

  Tip #19 – Have something to look forward to!  Good things come to those who wait (and work hard!).  What are you working for?  Take time to dream, goal set and have something to look forward to always!  When you are about to reach a goal – reset a new one immediately!  When you don’t have something to work toward you are much less productive.  We’ve had a great time being creative having something to look forward to.  Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spare… there is ALWAYS something you can find or plan to look forward to!  Go to a special park, cook a special recipe together, and find free community events to attend… the possibilities are endless.  When you DO have funds to spare… go for a special vacation or buy something for the house that everyone can enjoy!  Reward yourself for a job well done.  When you are working toward something it is much easier to continue when things don’t go as planned!  This is both true for YOU and for your kids!  Make a goal poster – Everyone!  Visually see what you are working for!  Have fun with it! Tip #20 – Focus on YOUR Priorities –not others!  People will always have an opinion and most are more than willing to share.  What you have to do is be true to you!  What is most important to YOU and YOUR family?  Don’t be afraid to change your mind, reset goals and refocus priorities.  You only have one life to live… live YOUR life how YOU want to!  Don’t be afraid to take time to really soul search what you really want and what is important to you.  Your priorities will change from time to time.  When I feel out of sorts it usually means I am in some sort of transition (or need to be!)  When you are true to you, life is SWEET!   Do you have any Priority tips to Share?  Post them in the Comments below!  I hope this series has been helpful to you!  Every family is different… find the combination that works for you!  Cheers to productivity!  Happy Summer!!!