“A man without a plan for the day is lost before he starts.”
Lewis K. Bendele

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I know that I am meant to do this with my life, but with all the things I have to do, when will I have the time?” Sometimes, the real challenge is not finding your dream, but finding the time to dedicate to your dream. Our lives are full with work, family, friends, technology and more. De-cluttering your day may be just what you need.

De-cluttering your day is not a lot different from de-cluttering your closet or your desk. You have to go through all the ‘stuff’ (or in this case, ‘stuff that needs to be done’), get rid of the stuff that no longer serves you, and streamline/organize the rest. It may mean that you let go of obligations that no longer make sense for you. It may also mean that you let some things go.

Maggie was in a small, cozy book club. Several women from work got together once a month to have a glass of wine and discuss the current book. It was fun, but Maggie wanted more time to pursue her dream to paint. Giving up book club would not end contact with anyone in the group, so Maggie told her friends she would be moving on, to take a painting class. Her decision was met with complete support. “I was nervous that they’d be somehow insulted or hurt, but ‘the girls’ have cheered me all the way. They even came to my first art show in the city.” Maggie is on her way to earning a full-time income from her painting, and her friends are very proud of her.

Chores take time too, and they just won’t go away. I’ve checked, and there is no ‘laundry fairy’, but that doesn’t mean we can’t streamline things a bit. Start with the tasks that are your responsibility within your family, work, etc. Are your kids old enough to take on more responsibility at home? Maybe it’s time to delegate a few tasks at work to someone who would like more responsibility. If finances allow, it may even be time to hire a little help. According to Dr. Donald E. Wetmore, time management expert and author of Beat the Clock, “Hiring a college student to do routine tasks (grocery shopping, yard work, household chores, etc.) will free up as much as 20 hours per week for the average person to devote to more productive uses.”

Take a long hard look at how you use technology as well. Tell the truth — how often do you check your email? How much daylight are you burning on social networks and forums? It’s important to be in touch, but not to the point that you can’t get things done.

Spend some time this week paying attention to how you spend your time. Find those ‘lost minutes’, gather them together and use them for the important work that is your life.

Expect the best from people, situations and plans, and watch your attitude, your results — even your life — change for the better.

Expecting positive outcomes puts you one step closer to manifesting what you truly desire. Why not give it a try? Day by day, expect the best and know that you can have it all.

After all, don’t you deserve it?

Two weeks ago, I cleaned out my garage with a client who’s a professional organizer, and I told her how I’m making room for a convertible next Spring. We laughed a bit, but after a few giggles, and the look on my face, she knew I was serious.  We emptied out all kinds of boxes, and made several trips to the dump.  We measured the space where the car would go, and I told her how I made the decision to have  a jazzy convertible, and how I “felt” driving it, without it even being here.  We talked about the wind blowing in my face, described the kerchief on my head (and how the curls would look), and even talked “shop” a little on what kind of car I might like, perhaps an older model Mercedes, but I wasn’t sure of the color.

When I mentioned this “desire” and “subsequent clean up” to my Abundance Group the following week, a woman approached me with a smile. One of her friends who was a guest at the same meeting told me about her boyfriend who was selling his car, a 1985 Mercedes convertible, all restored, and ready for some “lovin”. I couldn’t help but smile to myself,  knowing that the “Big U” does listen.

Today, my new friends Bonnie and Tony drove the car from Maine to Boston, and I took it for a test drive. Naturally, I took a picture of the car  in my driveway. I even measured it to see if it fit in the garage. I smiled knowing that if you ask, if you listen, if you’re open to receive, you can manifest.

Manifest On, Big U!  Seeing it is believing!

Now, whether to buy. I’ve always looked good in red!

“Being an optimist after you’ve got everything you want doesn’t count.”
Kin Hubbard

Have you checked your general outlook lately? Do you catch yourself expecting the worst of situations? Do you have faith in others? It may be true that failure is a better teacher than success, but, it’s important to keep a positive outlook on life.

According to the Mayo Clinic, your outlook on life –- whether you are optimistic or pessimistic -– can affect your quality of life in many ways. Optimistic people enjoy longer lives, less depression and distress, higher levels of psychological and physical well-being, better coping skills, healthier hearts –- even a higher level of resistance to the common cold!

Have you noticed that people who are optimistic seem to get more done? Maybe a little part of it is because they live longer and they don’t get sick as often, but think about things like body language, tone of voice, vocabulary. When you believe that things are going well, it is reflected in your posture, the words you say –- even the amount of eye contact you have with others. And, because people tend to reflect what they get, your optimistic outlook ‘rubs off’ on them. When you believe in yourself, others believe in you too.

So, what can we do to increase our optimism? According to the pros at the Mayo Clinic, it’s important to pay attention to your self-talk. Do what you can to remain positive -– if you’re telling yourself, “I’ve never done this before”, remind yourself that you have an opportunity to learn something new. Give it a try, and expect a good outcome. Be willing to laugh at the situation -– or even at yourself. Surround yourself with positive people, and encourage others every day. Fuel your body with beautiful, healthy foods and clean water, and energize your outlook with exercise. With a little practice and a little time, you really can become more optimistic.

Listen to that self-talk this week. What are you telling yourself? How willing are you to step out from your comfort zone and try new things? Are you cheering yourself on, or talking yourself out of success before you even get started? Think about what you can do to increase optimism in your life. Spread enthusiasm, get lots of fresh air and look forward to all the adventures that await you.

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anaïs Nin

Sometimes, you realize you just can’t live the same way any longer for fear that you’ll blow up – or blow up at someone who happens to be near you. If you don’t “expand”, you might just explode! The explosive feelings are all about you. You’re ready – or overdue – for growth. On the up side, it can be an exciting time, but in the early stages, dealing with it is often a challenge.

Change doesn’t come to some of us very easily. It’s not tied up in a small box with a pretty bow. If we ignore repeated warnings to change, it can feel like the need to change now reared its ugly head out of nowhere. How many of us ignore those early messages, or don’t pay attention until it’s too late?

Although I have twenty plus years of business experience and a successful business with events and promotions – taking a leap and adding a new dimension is scary, even for me! Often, we have to have a breakdown before we have a breakthrough.

Breakdowns come in many forms and they show up as fear, uncertainty, risk and security issues. You may even hear your inner voice trying to talk you out of realizing your biggest dream. While that inner voice is trying to protect you from hurt, it can also limit you to a life that is safe, but not that fulfilling. That’s where this feeling that you must expand or explode comes into play.

Doing something that feels uncomfortable is often one of the hardest tasks. It’s a risk to make a change, and it takes discipline to stay the course and not give up. Moving forward fearlessly — despite the uncertainty — means saying YES to the unknown. This has been one of my lessons to learn, and I’m reminded of this lesson often.

Trust and faith play a huge role in moving forward when things get scary. It’s important to focus on what you know and to remember that you’re never given more than you can handle. Others have felt this fear and moved through it instead of away from it. Why, I bet if you look back over your own life, you can find places where you’ve moved through this fear to the other side too. Think back over those times, and do it – one more time! If it gets too hard or too scary, go somewhere private and have a mini meltdown — talk it through with a trusted friend, but keep at it. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Are you at a place where you need a change? Is life passing you by? Can you taste the possibility, but you’re afraid others will be disappointed by your actions? Worse yet, will others be jealous of your desire to have a better life? How’s that serving you? I’m offering a free 15 minute “Get to Know You” session. It may be just the jump start you need to start changing your world.

Give me a call – let’s talk – and Let’s Make You Shine.

Most of us work at least 40 hours a week, but our bodies (and minds) beckon us to rest.

Burning the candle at both ends can lead to burnout, so remember to take a break now and then.

Laugh, play, have a wonderful time — and come back refreshed and rejuvenated. You’ll not only find that you’re more productive — you’ll also have a sense of peace, and be ready for what life offers you next.

“Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for
life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good”
Lucia Capocchione

It’s summer. Hot, sunny, beach weather. And you’ve heard from me a few times about taking yourself to a new level in your business, or personally. Maybe you have the impression that it’s time to throw yourself, heart and soul, into realizing those dreams of yours. Well, it is time for that . . . but that doesn’t mean drudgery. Hard work and focus are part of building a life you love, but they’re not everything.

It’s important to move away from black-and-white thinking. Working hard does not mean that you never take a break. In fact, it means the opposite, because if you’re working hard at realizing your dreams, a break is necessary. It gives your mind, body and soul a chance to rejuvenate, and often, it takes care of the latest roadblock. It doesn’t have to be two weeks in the tropics either (hmmm…though that would be nice). An afternoon away from your routine — a mini-break — may be just the thing.

When it came to naming her business, Kendra was completely stuck. She made lists, asked friends, wrote ideas on pretty colored post-it notes, but everything eventually sounded, well, wrong. Dumb. Uninspired. The whole thing left her feeling the same way — wrong. . .dumb. . .uninspired. I told her, “I want you to forget this for a day and do something you love to do, but haven’t done in a long time. I promise that if you do, things will flow more smoothly when you get back to work.”

Kendra took my advice, and took a break. She gathered with friends at an outdoor concert. They had a great time together, full of laughter, dancing and fun. A few days later, she had a name for her business that she loves — she says it’s perfect — and inspired!

Your dreams are important, and the world needs them! You have to balance your day-to-day responsibilities, your life’s mission and yes — play. Play is important — crucial, in fact. Without fun, laughter and relaxation, really, what’s the point?

After a round of dedicated hard work, get out there and get your happy on. Have fun with friends, visit a new place, eat delicious food and listen to excellent music. Surround yourself with places, scents, colors and people that bring you joy. Let your soul (and body!) dance, and open up to laughter and fun. Whether you dip your toes in the water, sink your teeth into deliciousness or breathe in some high mountain air, you’ll come back refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Wishing you a joyful summer.