These are blogs pertaining to life, balance, happiness and inspiration. You will find tips, stories and tools to help you navigate life’s ups and downs
You may have heard my story before about running. If not here’s the short version… In 2009 I was told by 3 doctors that I would never run again. I had the beginnings of stenosis of the spine, “crunchy” knees due to 5 surgeries from an ACL injury in High School and I was overweight. I am the type of person that if you tell me I can’t do something I am going to prove you wrong! So I began to lose weight and then in January of 2010 I started the couch to 5K program. Long story short I ran my 1st 5K on April 10th 2010 and continued to run races until my ultimate race in October of 2011… The Hershey Half Marathon!
There will always be people who tell you that you “can’t” or you’re “crazy”, “stop “dreaming”… I’m here to tell you that you CAN, you’re NOT crazy and NEVER stop dreaming! I first heard this poem at a Mary Kay event probably around 1998… I still love this poem and I hope you enjoy it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
The Race by Dr. D.H. “Dee” Groberg
“QUIT! GIVE UP! YOU’RE BEATEN!” They shout and plead,
There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.
And as I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene.
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; now I remember well.
Excitement, sure, but also fear; it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope. Each thought to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they went, young hearts and hopes of fire.
To win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead and thought, “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,
And mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.
So down he fell and with him hope. He couldn’t win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done – behind a bit, that’s all,
And ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself to catch up and to win,
His mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quite before with only one disgrace.
I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.
But, in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
That steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race.”
So, he jumped up to try again. Ten yards behind the last.
If I’m to gain those yards, he thought, I’ve got to run real fast.
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
There’s no sense running anymore – three strikes and I’m out – why try?
The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had flew away.
So far behind, so error prone, closer all the way.
I’ve lost, so what’s the use, he thought, I’ll live with my disgrace.
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low. “Get up and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here, get up and win the race.”
With borrowed will, “Get up,” it said, “You haven’t lost at all,
For winning is not more than this, to rise each time you fall.”
So up he rose to win once more. And with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been.
Still he gave it all he had and ran as though to win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he’d rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner as he crossed first place.
Head high and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.
But when the fallen youngster crossed the line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud;
You would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his Dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me you won,” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”
And when things seemed dark and hard and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy – helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and down and all,
And all you have to do to win – is rise each time you fall.
“Quit!” “GIVE UP, YOU’RE BEATEN.” They still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says, “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!”
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.
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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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?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
And without further Ado… Part 2!
Productivity: How to Make Work Time More Productive!
Tip #7 – Figure out if you are an Early Bird or a Night Owl! Get up an hour or 2 early or stay up an hour or 2 late! Make that time work for you. I am a Night owl… the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn makes me shutter! BUT I can be super productive late at night! Schedule work time in where you can be productive while the rest of the house is asleep. Either early or late! YOU choose! If you are a night owl be very careful to not work so late that you don’t get enough rest!
Tip #8 – Dress the part! I’m not saying wear a business suit around your house all day! However, PJ’s won’t make you productive… just comfy and most likely tired! Dress for successful productivity! Well at least for a pop in visitor or a quick errand! Get up, get dressed, put on your “face” and be ready to take on the day! I’ll be writing a blog post ALL about this in the upcoming days to be sure to check it out!
Tip #9 – Have a defined work space! It’s nice to be able to have the flexibility to work in the kitchen, on the couch, in bed, etc. But you will be MORE productive when you have a set place to work. It is not always realistic to have a dedicated room with a door to close… but you should carve out some space for your “office”. This is helpful (especially with younger children) to set clear guidelines and signals for your kids so they know when they need to be quiet or when you are working and cannot be interrupted. My kids know a hand signal that lets them know I am on a conference call and they cannot make noise. Make a List of Do’s & Don’ts during Mommy’s work time and share it with your kids. Maybe let them make up the signal if they come in the room and you need to let them know you are on a call. I am blessed to be able to have a dedicated office in my home, however I do not have a door. So hand signals come in handy and my kids “get it”. You will want to make sure you have systems in place so you CAN work around the house if needed. A laptop, a wireless connection, a cordless phone, and a wireless printer are all helpful in keeping going if you need to be relocated around the house.
Tip #10 – Put your kids to work for you! My 9 year old LOVES this and now my 7 year old is getting intrigued! Find small things they can do… put stamps or address labels on mailing, filling product orders, filing paperwork, stamping your info on your brochures or labeling your products, etc. Let them watch you work or set up a table in your office as their “desk” and give them small tasks to do. As they get older you can negotiate payment if you feel that is appropriate. If your kids are like mine they love to “help”.
Tip #11 – Plan special “Independent Time” Avoid the “We’re Bored!” dilemma with planned activities they can only do while you are working on something where you cannot be interrupted (unless, of course, it is a true emergency!). Find age appropriate things your children can do on their own independently. This can be educational, crafty or just plain fun! Find learning game websites, stock up on some craft kits from the local craft store, have a stack of printable pages with puzzles or coloring from online. The possibilities are endless! Be sure to pay attention to the amount of time you allot… younger kids can’t do 60 or 90 minutes, but maybe older kids can! If you need a larger chunk of time… plan something special (no more than once or twice a week to keep it special!) Find a movie/DVD and serve a “special snack”. Note: don’t plan for things that they could need your help or that they need to be supervised. These should be items they can do on their own, feel accomplished and grow! BONUS TIP: You know your kids… are they a morning, afternoon or evening kid? When do they thrive, when do they have their meltdowns. When do they need you? Look for their pattern and plan accordingly.
Tip #12 – Get your home and office organized! If your office and home are cluttered you are wasting time. PERIOD! Take the time to create systems and de-clutter! You should have systems in place to help keep your household and office running smoothly. There are all kinds of organization ideas and checklists online. If organization is not your thing…ask for help! This is something worth spending some time on to help increase productivity in the long run. I have a blog post about quick clean up tips in the works so be sure to check back for that one!
Tip #13 – Don’t be a slave to the Phone or e-mail! When the phone rings you DON’T have to answer it. That was one of the most freeing changes I ever made in my life! Of course if you are expecting an important business call be ready to answer. Use your Caller ID… you have voicemail or an answering machine… they can leave a message and you CAN call them back when it is a more appropriate time for you and your family. There are very few business emergencies that can’t wait for a better time to be handled when you are more plugged in and ready to handle the call. Same goes for e-mail… DON’T get caught up in constantly checking your e-mail. Turn off that little sound that chimes when a new message comes in. Have a system for when and how you will check your voicemail and e-mail messages. If you know when you will do it you are not constantly thinking about it wasting productive brain space. Bonus Tip! If you have a business line in your home… teach your kids to NOT answer the phone. It is much more professional for the machine to answer than a cute 5 year old. When your kids are old enough… teach them to use the caller ID… if it is their friend they can answer away. If they don’t recognize the number they should let it go to the machine. Bonus tip 2! Take the time to teach your children phone etiquette. Teach them how to answer, how to leave a message and how to ask to speak to someone. This skill will go a LONG way in life!
So there you have it! Do you have any Productivity tips to Share? Post them in the Comments below! Stay tuned for Part 3 Coming Soon!
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!
Our mind is powerful… Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Similarly Mary Kay Ash said,” If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.”
This past weekend I was out running and some guy in a maroon car yelled something No-so-nice to me out his car window as he drove by. In the moment it REALLY hurt my feelings. But in the moment I didn’t understand why. I walked the final mile home, choking back tears and letting some flow. I walked in my door, sat down at my computer and wrote this Facebook post:
“To the A-hole who yelled “get moving Fat Ass” to me at mile three of my four mile jaunts… if your intention was to hurt my feelings… you succeeded, BUT only for a moment. Yes, I choked back tears for the rest of my run. I am aware I am painfully slow and I realize I am fat… thanks for the news flash. However, I refuse to give you my power or my confidence. I will be back out there tomorrow and the day after… running at MY pace FAT ASS and all! At least I am OUT THERE! I suspect that if you EVER ran a mile that you didn’t HAVE to you’d have more RESPECT than to yell something like that. Now back to paying attention to people that I care about and that MATTER.”
That post got 19 Likes and 39 comments – all supporting me and bashing that moron for being rude. Thanks Guys! **Blush**
Even though the purpose of me posting that in my mind was to get it out and move on, instead I found myself harping on his words and how crushed I felt in that moment. While I ran today (the exact same route) I continued to process this… At about the same place in the workout that the guy in the maroon car had yelled out at me, I had a new epiphany! I realized that his words were so hurtful to me that day because he was reinforcing what I was telling MYSELF that entire run prior to passing him in his maroon car. My “self-talk” that day was not kind. I was beating myself up for gaining weight, for letting myself fall out of shape after completing a half marathon in October of 2011, for being “painfully” slow, for my clothes being tight, etc. etc. etc. If I had heard anyone speaking to someone the way I was talking to myself in my mind I would have told them how rude and disrespectful they are!
Yes, today I ran the same route, however the “self-talk” was different. I ran the 4.21 Miles in the exact same amount of time, on the exact same roads, in the exact same direction, but this time I felt lighter and enjoyed the run MUCH more. I reminded myself where I came from. I took the time to look around, enjoy the buds on the trees and the sunshine on my face. I listened to my favorite band (Bon Jovi) and sang along in my head. When my legs hurt I said to myself, “you got this! Just go to that tree up there” I sort of made a game out of it. It was the same course but it felt completely different!
What do you say to yourself? Are you getting in your own way? I think we sabotage ourselves much more than we realize.
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. ~ Buddha”
We should be paying attention, because what we say to ourselves has a direct impact on our success – or failure. Controlling our self-talk takes practice and discipline. Even when we think we are doing well… that little voice of doubt sneaks in when we least expect it to. The negative talk slowly takes over and becomes our new, unwanted mantra. Before we can eliminate the negative self-talk we must first be aware of it!
The most common form of negative self- talk is “I Can’t” I challenge you to pay attention to when you speak or think the words “I can’t” and then ask “Why can’t I?” Use this awareness with any negative thing you want to replace… change the word or phrase to something more powerful and positive! You can even go so far as to create a positive affirmation. Use ALL your senses…Visualize it, even cut out pictures if you can, Say it out loud in a powerful voice, imagine how it will feel, etc. This works with ANY goal!
By being intentional about what we are thinking and paying attention to how we talk to ourselves, we can create a mindset to achieve the life we are after – whether it’s something personal or something professional, we’re likely to do better and most importantly, feel better about what we are doing.
I’d love to hear some of YOUR positive affirmations… Comment below with an affirmation you’d like to share! And don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when new blogs are posted!
My Name is Mindy Lipsky and I am so excited to introduce you to Innovative Coaching Services, LLC! I will be bringing you tips, tricks, tools and inspiration through my Blog about both business essentials and lifestyle essentials! I can’t wait to begin this Journey with you! I am happy to meet with you if you feel you need help through coaching! I look forward to hearing from you and sharing my expertise with you!
Business and Life Coach