Create Your Best Life at Any Age
First of all, click here to grab this workbook that I made you! “Create Your Best Life”[Click to download]
To get the most out of it, print it out and write on it or download it to your tablet and write on it with your stylus.
It may be tempting to just read it and move on with your life, but if you do, you might not get the transformation you deserve.
I know you are really busy today, so don’t worry, it’ll only take a few minutes and you’ll get so much out of it.
When you want to change your life, sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start.
Between the kids, the house, the job, and the bills - you are stretched thin and stressed to the max. How can you be expected to “find your purpose” when you can’t even find a minute to yourself?
I’ve been there. And I can tell you that it’s possible to make huge shifts in your life using tiny bits of time.
...during your commute,
…during 10-minute breaks at work,
...even while doing the dishes!
You name it, I’ve done it! And I can show you what works.
I can show you how to push through the millions of excuses that pop up when you try to change your life.
I can save you the time and energy of looking for the processes and mindset-shifting strategies so that you can get to the business of creating your dream life.
Have you ever been so determined to make something happen that you persisted at all costs? You have an idea in your head so vivid, so clear, that you know exactly what the finished product will look like. All you need is help clearing the mental roadblocks that come up along the way.
Have you ever felt like this?
...You can “see” the book you want to write, but you keep thinking “no one wants to read what I have to say”, so you procrastinate and never finish it.
...You hear about people living the debt-free life you wish you had, but you don’t feel like you could ever pay off your mountain of bills.
...You have an image of the peaceful home that doesn’t require your constant attention and work, but when you open your eyes, the mess all around you makes you want to go back to bed.
...You fantasize about having the calm, totally-in-control demeanor and grace under pressure you see in other leaders, but someone comes into your office with yet another fire for you to put out and you can instantly feel your blood pressure rising.
From what feels like “the outside” looking in, people who have done the things you want to do or have the things you wish you had must be born with something special. But they aren’t; every skill and talent is available to you with the right help. You can totally do this. Yes, you! YOU CAN.
For the next few days, I’m going to send you messages with steps that you can take toward your dream life. These steps will literally take you less than ten minutes.
Do you already know what your life’s purpose is, or what big dream you want to pursue? Hit reply and tell me; I can’t wait to hear it!
Everything will change the moment you decide to change. And it’s never too late to take the first step.
It's Time to Turn in Your Busy Badge
You know the feeling - cheeks burning, knot in the stomach, lips tightening.
Our old friend, the Thief of Joy.
We wait patiently and uncomfortably while someone brags about how busy they are, how long they work, how early they get up in the morning and we just feel, well... less than.
Have you ever noticed how our culture promotes being busy like it’s a good thing?
Well, it’s not. And I’m here to help you stop glorifying busy-ness.
It’s time to turn in your Busy Badge. Hand it over. This isn’t the Cub Scouts. We are adults now.
Has this ever happened to you? A manager or coworker starts telling you that he works until 8pm on weeknights and comes in on Saturdays. You begin to feel very small and shameful because you have been hurrying out the door every day at 5:01 pm. Maybe you have a long commute. Maybe you have small children. Still, you start to compare yourself to him and somehow feel that something must be wrong with your work ethic. To be honest, maybe you start to feel like something must be wrong with you.
This happened to me before. Oddly enough, a few months later, the coworker came into my office to vent about his family. It seemed that his children were now teenagers and he was having a lot of problems in his relationship with them. He ended by telling me to spend as much time as I could with my kids while they are little, because I wouldn't get the time (or influence) back.
I felt very sorry for him as he appeared sincere. But, believe it or not, a few days later, he was bragging about his long hours again!
I don’t think you need my permission, but I’ll give it to you anyway: You are now free to STOP glorifying busy-ness!
As a matter of fact, you can do what I've started to do: Come up with a different reaction to someone who is bragging about their Busy-Badge.
That’s right, before you start to compare yourself to them, start thinking about what you would be giving up if you took on their schedule.
You can even ask them, “When are you resting?” Or, “What do your kids think about that?” If you want to hear the real impact of their choices. Just be prepared, if you ask these questions, they may never share their Busy-Badge stories with you again. Which may be a good thing. Just be prepared.
More importantly than stopping a braggart in their tracks is for you to prioritize your own mental health. Instead of internally comparing, remember that overwhelm is preventable. Our choices determine whether we live in peace or if we live in overwhelm.
So, step one: stop giving an audience to someone who makes you feel like doing ALL THE THINGS is normal. Because it's not.
Has this ever happened to you? Hit reply and let me know how you deal with people telling you how busy they are like it's a badge of honor.
How Did We Get Here?
Do you know what I did when I realized that I had over $500k in debt? I totally freaked out! Seriously!
My initial reaction was to feel like a victim. Isn’t that what we do? We try to blame everyone we can think of for our bad money management. If you have a ton of debt, you may be thinking:
- It’s your family’s fault for not teaching you how to save. You are the victim of a generational curse!
-It’s society’s fault for cultivating a “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. Society’s expectations made you buy all those things you didn’t really need, and couldn’t really afford, just to impress the people you didn’t even really like!
-It’s America’s fault because of the culture of consumerism and commercialism. If advertising weren’t so tempting, you wouldn’t have bought the latest super-gadget-happiness-machine!
-It’s your partner’s fault for not being rich. You should have married for money!
-It’s the federal government’s fault for not doing something about the student loan crisis. And while they are at it, why are taxes so high anyway?!?
Even if we are high-earners, we can be big-spenders and get into trouble.
At this point, you may be thinking that I’m going to say that it is your fault and you need to fix it.
But I’m not.
I wholeheartedly believe that all of these factors played a role in getting you into debt. It is not your fault.
But you do have to fix it.
While it isn’t your fault, it is your problem. After you play the blame-and-shame game (and ugly-face crying, if you are like me), it’s time to get down to paying off the debt.
You might be tempted to declare bankruptcy, hire a credit repair company, learn how to use spreadsheets, teach yourself to budget using YouTube videos, or get a job that offers loan repayment.
But if you do that, you are committing yourself to spend much more money for an even worse outcome, wasting a ton of time and creating a huge headache trying to reinvent the wheel, or working at a job you hate.
There is an easier (and quicker) way. When I look back over my own debt-payoff journey, what made the greatest impact was 1) having a guide to walk me through it, 2) getting organized, and 3) changing my money story.
The result was that I paid off my super huge debt (half a million, anyone?) without feeling stressed or overwhelmed. And it only took me 14 months.
Quiet the Chatter and Remove the Distractions
You can’t fool anyone. I know that you have voices in your head. How? Because I do, too!
And no, I’m not talking about a mental illness. I mean the constant chatter that keeps you from getting as much done as you are capable of. And the squirrel-brained, shiny-object syndrome that keeps you from getting any of your projects done.
How many times has this happened to you?
You have an idea - a great idea.
You get excited about it. You gather all the supplies. You even go to 2 or 3 different stores (Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Home Depot...just me? Okay)
You get started, but about halfway through it, you get another idea. Hot-diggity-dog you are an ideas-machine!
The new idea pushes its way to the front of the line and before you know it, you’ve lost interest in the original idea and you are on your way back to the craft store.
One day, you look around and realize that you are surrounded by unfinished projects... and feeling really overwhelmed and disappointed in yourself.
Not a crafter? How about this one…
You sit down to work on something that requires focus but it takes you like 30-45 minutes to get in the zone because everything on your to-do list interrupts your thoughts. You are ready to construct the annual report, but first! (says your brain) don’t forget to pick up bread rolls on the way home...and your child needs to be picked up, and the car needs an oil change, and you need to talk to your partner about the invitation you got for next weekend… and on and on…
The interesting thing about your brain is that it does not operate in the appropriate context. Meaning, when you are face to face with your partner, you won’t remember to talk about the invitation. And when you are in the grocery store, you will pick up everything except the bread rolls. Hey squirrel-brain, where are you when I actually need you!?!
This is a real thing and there is a cure. The chatter in your head is your brain’s way of reminding you that it is designed to process information, not to store it.
So, while you may be an ideas-machine, you need a place to store those ideas and organize them until you are ready to act on them. Having a safe place to store your great ideas will allow you to complete the project you are working on before moving to the next one. And having a to-do list that works for you will help to put the things you need to remember in context, making it more likely that you will remember them when you actually need to.
Here’s the first step: look around the room you are currently in. Write down on a piece of paper all of the tasks that pop up for you simply by looking around. If you are up for a challenge, walk around your home and create a giant master task list. Replace curtain rod, take items to Goodwill, call for carpet measurements, take shoes upstairs...
Believe it or not, simply sitting in a room with unacknowledged tasks is using valuable brain space, making it difficult for you to concentrate. It’s hard to believe until you actually acknowledge the tasks and notice the difference.
Although you may not be able to complete the tasks in this moment, getting them out of your head and onto paper will help you focus.
Have you created your giant task list? When you do, hit reply and tell me how you feel.
What's Your Inner Critic's Name?
Yesterday my friend told me that she named her inner critic “Samson”. He’s the mean voice in her head who works to hold her back when she tries to pursue her purpose.
Although I don’t have a name for mine, I could totally relate to that. Have you ever caught yourself thinking…?
“I’m such an idiot.”
“I have a bad memory.”
“I never finish anything.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“No one will listen to me because I didn’t finish my degree.”
When we were children, we absorbed the lessons around us like sponges. We didn’t pay attention to context. Often, situations were not explained to us in any way, and we created our own conclusions because we didn’t know the questions to ask. As we got older, the lessons became our belief system and served to keep us safe. In mid-life, as you find it necessary to pursue your purpose, this belief system may actually limit you.
The self-talk that once kept you safe and secure in your comfort zone has now become a hindrance to your growth and change.
When you decide to write a book, the limiting belief of “no one will want to read this” may keep you from completing your manuscript.
When you want to create art, the limiting belief of “I’m not good enough because I don’t have an MFA degree” may stop you from showing anyone your work.
When you want to start a business, the limiting belief of “rich people are greedy" or "selling to people is sleazy” may keep you from making offers and making the money you deserve.
Words have power.
Your success in any task begins as an idea. The thought in your head becomes the words that you speak. The words will empower (or dis-empower) your action by affecting your motivation and belief in the possibility of your results.
Whenever you speak about yourself, speak power over yourself.
It takes practice, so don’t expect to be perfect on day one. Each time you hear yourself say something like, “I can’t do anything right”, change it to a powerful phrase like, “I don’t know everything but I’m a quick learner.”
Negative self-talk can significantly slow your progress. Start noticing these thoughts and words and be sure to correct them out loud. You deserve to hear the good things you say about yourself!
Are Your Lentils Talking Smack?
Have you ever noticed that when you are about to move, and almost everything is packed up and out of the house, that you suddenly feel a change of heart and want to stay?
Or when you rent a vacation home that’s perfectly staged and you feel like you could stay forever.
Cluttered rooms make us feel anxious. And empty rooms can make us feel peaceful.
It’s the same reason that we call some clothing patterns “loud”. The more visual stimulation, the more information for our brains to process.
When it comes to our homes, we actually go a step further to torture ourselves.
Your belongings are “talking” to you. Not out loud, don’t worry, but everything in your space is sending a message to your brain about its place there.
In some cases, it's a sweet and beautiful message but in many cases, it’s very negative and can rob you of your peace.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that in your pantry, you have a crockpot. When you see it, your brain thinks “time-saver, awesome”.
But you also have a package of lentils. Now, you don’t eat lentils, but you took a nutrition class at church and they said that you should eat lentils so you bought some.
They were disgusting so you never cooked them again. But every time you open the pantry, the lentils are sending a message to your brain “You should feel so guilty! You aren’t eating the healthy food recommended by your church!”
Let’s go into the living room, shall we?
When you see your TV, it may send a message to your brain “Netflix is so relaxing after a hard day”, which reminds you to make a mental note to watch Gilmore Girls re-runs this weekend.
But over the fireplace, there’s a weird bronze sculpture that was given to you by a relative on your wedding day.
The sculpture sends a message that says “I know you hate me but what if Aunt Clara comes over unannounced again? I have to be here. Everyday. All. Day.”
Your home is your refuge. It's the place you retreat to after the world has taken shots at you. The last thing you need is some smack-talking lentils or Aunt Clara’s Gilded Shrine of Guilt staring at you, making you want to sell your house.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a challenge for you today. Don’t worry, it will only take 3 minutes.
Look around the room. Remove any object that gives you bad vibes, guilty feelings or a stomachache.
Hit reply and tell me what you're getting rid of and how you feel in that room after it's gone. Seriously, do it. I dare you. I double-dog-dare you to bring peace into your space.
Why is it that we have trouble getting rid of gifts that are in our space when we don’t even like them?
We spare Aunt Clara’s feelings yet we torture ourselves every single day. Sorry Aunt Clara, but it's true - we don’t share your taste in decor.
Let’s take our space back and reclaim our refuge!
Are You in a Supportive Community?
Do you ever feel like no one understands you? Is your family tired of hearing about your new business? Do your best friend’s eyes glaze over when you start talking about the latest personal development book you’re reading?
The most frustrating thing about personal development is that, as you grow, you find fewer and fewer people excited to grow with you. In fact, some people just want you to shut up about it.
This happened to me for several years before I got the message and started my online community.
I finally realized that I needed to connect with people who were on a journey of self-improvement with me and that those people were likely spread all over the world, not just in my family or my town.
Let’s face it, people on a personal development journey speak a different language. And we tend to have “unrealistic” and “idealistic” thoughts about changing the world and living up to our fullest potential.
You deserve a place to grow with like-minded people who can come alongside you for the ride of your life.
People who celebrate your wins, read your book, subscribe to your blog, and laugh emoji at your meme comments.
You are a Rock Star and you should travel in a pack of Rock Stars. We make each other better.
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Don't forget, everything will change the moment you decide to change. And it’s never too late to take the first step.
Until next time, my Lovely Friend... Stay Cool