Fun Tips & Hints
These are some life hacks to make y our personal life a little easier, and maybe more fun!
Today is Saturday! I just came in from sitting out back on my patio with my dog and a cup of coffee. The skies are DEEP blue, there is a cool breeze and the sun is bright and bold! Best of all, the humidity is VERY low and the temps are in the low 70’s. For me this is the perfect weather. I decided to do my morning meditation our there. Today’s guided meditation was about Abundance, Prosperity and Success. It was the perfect way to start the weekend!
During my mediation I had a light bulb moment… I choose to make this the summer of creativity! My 2 favorite ways to be creative are Baking/Cooking and Writing! SO my new goal is to work those in daily in addition to my meditation practice. I am finding my new normal after the death of my momma. To find my balance I want to incorporate the things I like to do in life, instead of just the things I “should” do.
I started Mediating on February 13th 2018 at the suggestion of my counselor. Today marks 146 days of consecutive meditation. Am I good at it… No. But who cares. Even if you do meditation “wrong” you still benefit. Does my mind wander. Yep! You betcha! However, I do have days where I am more focused and less wandering. I highly recommend trying it. If you are new… try an app. There are a bunch out there. I started with Calm and moved to Insight Timer. Insight Timer is the app that helped me to make it to 146 days. I suggest you try some out and stick with the one YOU love! If you are seeking inspiration, motivation, balance or just some “me time” I highly recommend trying meditation. It isn’t easy at first, but keep trying… you will learn how it can benefit you, even if you aren’t perfect at it!
A few days ago I started cooking and/or baking daily. I have always loved to be in the kitchen and try new recipes and perfect family traditional recipes! I baked Watermelon Cupcakes with my daughter, made funnel cake, made the Carnival Cruise Line Melting Chocolate cakes (YUM)!, and I even made up a recipe for Strawberry hand pies! I have been researching homemade bread, pizza dough, doughnuts and more! On the savory side, I have made pretzel roll hot ham and cheese sandwiches, my husbands family traditional Haluski (see the recipe here), and tried Goulash (one of my momma’s favorites! They all turned out great so far! For me, baking and cooking is relaxing. It has a methodology to it and an order to it that is calming for me. Cooking may not be your thing… but take a moment to stop and think of something that makes you happy!
And finally writing. Yes, I have a lot to say. I have always wanted to write a book. I have 2 book outlines made up, but so far I have not written the books! I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I am going to make a goal to write something every day. It can be in my journal, or a blog post or maybe a chapter of one of the books! I am going to just leave it at… I will write each day! I am excited to bring you topics about the things I am excited about, mad about, reminisce about… anything! So stay tuned! I plan to have some great content here in the coming days, weeks and months!
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.
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!
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!
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!!!
It’s summer! YEAH! Oh wait… what do I do with the kids when I am supposed to be working from home?? Yes, working from home gives us much needed flexibility, however flexibility is very different than NOT working at all. So I’ve compiled some tips on how to get your work done and still maintain that much needed time with your bundles of joy! I’ve categorized the tips into a 3 part series called The 3 “P’s” – Planning, Productivity and Priorities! The list looks long, however not all tips will work for all work-at-home moms (and dads). So browse through them and try some that look appealing. You can always come back to try more and more until you find the perfect combination for YOUR family! Better yet.. why not let me coach you through it? Ok… Let’s get to part 1 of the list!
Planning: There is something to be said for a routine!
Tip #1 – Plan, Schedule and Plan some more! You are going to need to make a plan, a schedule and get a little creative! Write a list of ALL tasks – work related, kids related, home maintenance related, fun related, etc. Start filling in a Weekly Plan Sheet (see below) or Make recurring appointments on a digital calendar like Google Calendar or even get a large paper or white board calendar you can fill in and post in the kitchen or some common area where everyone can see it. While you will need to be flexible you need to make the schedule and routine a priority.
Once you have a plan and a schedule you must be prepared to revise it… and often! As the seasons change and as your child(ren) grow, their needs will change. There are pros and cons to every age! For example… many infants nap! Instant productivity time! Elementary age children (like my 7 & 9 year olds) usually “need you” but on a different level. And Tweens and Teens… well your main goal is to keep them out of trouble! Kids of all ages thrive on a schedule with routine. Even during the summer you’ll find more peace when you have a schedule even if it is loose. The Key is… the kids need to “know” the routine (and so do you!).
Tip #2 – Sitters, Play dates and Summer camp Oh My! An hour or 2 of dedicated think/work time can be priceless! Don’t be afraid to hire a sitter or find a way to have a few hours of kid free time each day. Find out what summer camps are available in your area or schedule play dates for your kids a few times a week. A less expensive alternative to a baby sitter is to consider hiring a Mommy’s Helper… A Mommy’s Helper is usually a child not yet old enough to babysit on their own but are more than able to help entertain the kids and do light tasks around the house. This opportunity can help them to feel accomplished and get their feet wet before they are ready to babysit without a grown up in the building. The caution here is be careful not to hire a mommy’s helper that needs too much of YOUR help! You can also trade sitter time with other moms & dads that work from home. Don’t be afraid to pick the brains of others in the same position as you are.
Tip #3 – Three Words that can change your family life = Weekly Family Meeting. – We stumbled across this idea a few years ago and it has made ALL the difference. What is a family meeting? Well once per week we sit down as a family (you could sit at the kitchen table or get comfy on the couch or floor) and have a meeting. There is an agenda and everyone participates. We start with each sharing something we are thankful for or excited about. We next go around with concerns or something we need help with. Then we go over the schedule for the upcoming week. We find conflicts or where we need to make adjustments, and figure out who is driving who to where so that everyone is on the same page before the week starts… We wrap up with assigning tasks and going over the chore charts followed by everyone sharing what they are looking forward to most! IMPORTANT: Let the kids have input! This should be a conversation! Kids support what they help create! My kids get excited for family meeting night. Now when I say “week” it’s the “family week” so if your meeting is on a Wednesday your week goes from Thursday to Wednesday. J Give it a try! It is amazing!
Tip #4 – Make Meal Time a Priority! Family meal time is important! Sitting around the table and sharing a meal is quality time at its finest. I am blessed to have worked our schedule out so that all the family sits together for 2 meals a day (in the summer 3 meals from time to time!) In the summer when you make lunch important, sit together at the table and reconnect it gives you the chance to reset for the day. Talk about how the morning went and review what they can expect for the rest of the day. Take the time to connect and for the kids to feel important. You’ll be shocked at what a 30 minute connection over a meal can do for the rest of your day! Tell them about the 2:00 call you cannot be interrupted during and what they will be doing at that time. Dangle the carrot of the next Mommy/Child time planned for the day. We all do better with something to look forward to!
Tip #5 – Plan your meals like you plan your day! Have a meal schedule… no more guessing what’s for dinner! Planning meals save both TIME and MONEY! You can go to the grocery store once per week (or even less often!) Or better yet… make the list and have someone else go for you! You know what is for dinner so you can take things out to thaw in the morning. You can plan cooking time with the kids! In our family when we don’t plan we often end up eating out or getting take out… that cost much more money and is often less healthy.
Tip #6 – Multi-Task with Care! It’s a fact that moms have to multi-task… but you have to learn to be an effective multi-tasker. If you are doing 100 things and not doing ANY of them well what is the point? Learn your limits and if things are getting crazy take a breath and prioritize.
Do you have any Planning tips to Share? Post them in the Comments below!
Stay tuned for Part 2 Coming Soon! Part 2 – Productivity: How to Make Work Time More Productive!