2 simple steps toward a more successful and happier life!

It’s Thursday night at 9 pm.  I was “supposed” to have something posted for you all to read this morning.  I was also “supposed” to have something posted for you on Tuesday morning.  Neither of those things happened.

Why?  Well, I could tell you that my family and I have been sick.  That IS true.  I could also tell you that I have been crazy busy.  That……not so true.  I mean, I have been busy; but not so busy that I couldn’t have had things prepared for you to read.

tomorrowSo what is the real deal?  I did not make the time to do it.  It’s not that I didn’t have time.  I procrastinated, dragged my feet, and/or dubbed around as my father would say.

The last couple of weeks have been really productive for me.  I participated in a seminar on how to create the life I want; I completed Jack Canfield’s 10-day online success series; I had blog articles set to post ahead of time; I interviewed an amazing young woman and wrote an article about her; I am getting ducks in a row that I didn’t even know I had!  And then I got sick.  My allergies flared up after doing some work in a home that I was helping to clean and organize.  Nothing too serious but annoying enough to make me feel drained.

Suddenly it was like I didn’t have the energy or desire to do anything.  I know, from reflecting upon my past, that this tends to be a pattern of mine.  It’s almost as if I am afraid that the next step I take is really going to be life changing-so I do nothing.  Makes perfect sense huh?

I have done this a lot.  I’m going to be honest-I just changed that last sentence because originally I wrote ‘I do this a lot.’  I am working on changing my perspective on things and using self-supporting words rather than self-defeating ones.  I need to recognize the fact that I have done this, a lot, but I am not going to let it define me by saying I DO this a lot.  Sorry for going slightly off-topic there.

I put things off all the time and it’s not just what you would expect: the bills, of course (who pays them as soon as you get them?!), doing the dishes, folding laundry, but things I also ENJOY doing!  Watching the latest season of Glee on Netflix-I want to see it so badly but am putting it off because I know I won’t want to stop watching until it’s over (what is wrong with me??), creating my dream board, reading a book, and writing for my blog are all things I am currently procrastinating about.  I want to do these things, so why am I NOT doing them???

I believe a large portion of this comes from a lack of structure in my life as well as my being prone to distraction…..hold on, I have to check my 7 Facebook notifications……..

Okay, I’m back.  Structure, or lack thereof, that’s where I left off.  In my adult life, I have always worked, been a mother, or worked AND been a mother.  I was always extremely busy and constantly on the go.  Two years ago, I had to get done my job for personal reasons.  I loved my job working in the local veterinary clinic.  I was good at my job.  I felt productive and like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, you know-whatever that is.  Not having a job outside of the home was an instant financial kick in the pants but I really think it was what needed to happen.

My divorce was less than 6 months old and my children needed me.  I had the ability to spend a lot more time with them and that would prove to be the best thing for us all.  The following two years would hold a lot of heartache, unbeknownst to us at the time.  My father was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).  My family relations were strained due to the divorce and the choice I made to stand up for myself, find consciousness, and discover love again.  Family relations went from strained to non-existent as more and more of my family peeled away from me and chose to stand with my ex-husband; a choice that, to this day, I can’t wrap my mind around.  Court dates over custody and visitation battles lasted for over a year.  My father’s health rapidly declined and the family drama that surrounded everything finally culminated in his death and my being disowned by most of my family.

It was all SO much that I don’t know how I would have kept a job if HAD one.

As I write this, it has been about 6 months since I committed to focusing on my future, my little family’s future, and stopped letting the negativity eat me alive.  More on that in a future post!

Here I am now, forging a writing career and working from home for the first time.  The kids are in school all day, so like I said, it’s not that I don’t have time to write-I’m lacking a routine.  Sure, I’ve tried writing down different schedules but I think my expectations were too high for starting out.  There’s no way I am going to get out of bed at 5 am to work out.  People do. That’s great!  Not me.  I know this about myself so why did I even think that would be a good start to my routine?  All it did was set me up for failure and if I didn’t get the day started just the way I wanted, well what a great excuse to let everything else slide!  Then at the end of the day, nothing I wanted to get done is actually done and I have even more added to my To-Do List!I did it today!(1)

So when does “I’ll get to it tomorrow” become “I did it today”?  For me, it’s when I can’t stand seeing the piles of work on my desk, the dishes all over the counter, the laundry falling out of the basket onto the floor, enough dog hair in the corners to make a NEW dog, and I become Super Frustrated Mom.  For the record, she’s NOT cool.  She’s not the mom I would like to be and certainly not how I want my children to remember their childhood.

Super Frustrated Mom crashes the party!

Super Frustrated Mom crashes the party!

Super Frustrated Mom goes through the house on a rampage; cleaning and throwing away things like crazy.  Once that is done, then I can sit at my desk, create a schedule, and feel like I can accomplish something.  Just a couple of problems, the house NEVER stays clean and that schedule-what a waste of my time.  What I am really struggling to find is some semblance of balance between the things I want to do and the things I have to do, and enjoying them equally as much.  Equilibrium, if you will.  Isn’t that what we’re all striving for?

I tell myself I work well under pressure, that’s why I put things off.  It’s true, I do have a history of good outcomes under pressure, but at what cost?  As I said earlier, letting things pile up causes me great frustration, anxiety, and loss of patience.  So I going to tell myself something new!

I’ve been participating in a 21-day meditation for “Manifesting  True Success” and what I have learned is that success starts within.  It starts with what we tell ourselves and what we believe to be true about ourselves.  If I believe that I can’t put together a routine and follow it consistently, guess what?  I won’t.  But if I love myself enough to be gentle and make small changes that add up over time, I will be more likely to truly succeed.  I created this handy ‘Law of Intention’ graphic because I am a visual person and I like to have things pinned up around me for motivation.  This ‘Law’ is something I have also learned in the meditation course.

Law of Intention

My intention is to create a  more fulfilling and successful life and the choices I make based on that intention will bring my goals to fruition.  I just have to believe it and take action.

Action is the foundational key to all(1)Here’s my short list of actions I am going to take.  I hope that if you relate to any of what I have said, that you will take action as well.  We deserve it!

  • I am going to change the way I talk about myself, and what I am capable of, to myself and others.
  • I am going to set goals and review them often.
  • I will make sure that all my choices line up with my desired outcome.
  • I am going to create a schedule that is reasonable, flexible, and works for me.
  • I am going to just do it.  Whatever “it” is that I am avoiding doing.
  • I am going to stop buying into my fear of success.
  • I am going to take control of my life and my choices.

Here is the simple schedule I came up with for myself.  Daily Schedule  It is truly nothing special, but I like it.  I can clearly see how the day is broken down and just when I will have time for the things I want to do after I have marked down the things I have to do.  I will sit down on Sunday nights and fill in the days according to what I have marked on my calendar.  I really feel like this is going to help bring a sense of stability to my life.

Here's what my partial schedule looks like.

Here’s what my partial schedule looks like.

The other thing I am going to do is start treating my writing like a job, because it IS.  It is far too easy to stay in my jammies all day and be relatively unproductive.  I want to be taken seriously, so I have to take ME seriously.  I am going to set office hours for myself and stick to it.  I am even going to dress professionally.  Most importantly, I am going to stick with it because these choices will help me build the life I want.

There it is.  I have made a public declaration; called myself out on the internet.  Not many people are willing to do that.  There’s no going back and I could not be more excited to see what the future holds!

 

 

A Very Special Weekend Kick-off!

This weekend my beautiful daughter turns 12!  I can hardly believe it!

So in her honor, I have put together a play list of some of her favorite songs (ones I don’t actually hate!) and one that I hope shows her just how much she means to me.

I love you the best, best, BEST kiddo!  ❤

Have a great weekend everyone!

Weekend Motivation!

I received great feedback on last weekend’s playlist!  Thank you all so much for listening!

This is fast becoming my favorite post.  I’m having a hard time limiting myself to just five songs!

Here’s another fun set!

Enjoy and have an awesome weekend!

 

 

 

Bulletin Board Themes

My previous post centered around creating the Community Corner and today I would like to share some of the themes I have used.  The kids look forward to the first day of the month because they know I will have made something cool and personalized!

I made a promise to you, my readers, that I would keep things real here and the reality of this post is:  I have lost some of the pictures I had of my finished bulletin boards.  I have no idea where they are since I had been saving them directly into my blog photos file.  It happens.  But to be honest, the ones I lost weren’t my best work!  I was just starting out and the more I do it, the better and more in depth they get.  I did make a really awesome one with hot air balloons that I no longer have a picture of and that makes me sad, but I guarantee you I will make a better one!  I already have an idea in mind!

So what follows is what I do have.  I hope you will find inspiration to do something similar in your own home.

I am going to attach the templates I used as well.  I tend to be a perfectionist, so when I made the rainbow  for the March board, I cut out the entire shape and traced it onto a piece of construction paper and then proceeded to cut out each stripe from the template and trace it onto the corresponding color.  I glued each color on individually.  I did the same thing for the leprechaun!  Even  the gold buckle and the black center is cut out separately.  A lot of people would probably use some fancy machine, like a Cricut, to do this.  I don’t have the money for one of those and I like to use what I have.  Crafting tends to be therapeutic for me anyway.  There’s something amazing about that crunch construction paper makes when cut by sharp scissors!  Yes, I have special craft scissors and I better not catch anyone using them for ANYTHING else!

If you would like to use one of the templates I have included, you will need to open up the gallery by clicking on it, next you will need to right click on the image, and choose to save it.  Depending on the size of the space you will be using, you may need to enlarge/reduce the size.

I will add new months as they come and repost!

 

Community starts at home!

Chaos reigned in the months after my 2012 divorce.  I lost sight of disciplining and as many parents often do, I felt guilty (a common theme in parenting!).  My daughter was fast approaching “tween-dom” and my son had just turned 4.  I saw the problems lying ahead but I felt bad for what they were going through.  I knew my daughter was hitting puberty with all the raging hormones that entails and they both were struggling to see where they fit in with all the changes.  I had just returned to work a few months prior to the divorce after having stayed home for nearly 3 years and we were all trying to get into the groove of a routine.

To be honest, I felt beat down and beyond tired.

Flash forward a year and a half…

All those problems I saw coming but ignored?  You guessed it!

There are HERE!

I don’t like it one bit but I have no one to blame but myself.  I think “blame” may be a bit too harsh.  I was doing what I thought was right at the time with the limited information, resources, and support I had.  And that feeling of being beat down and tired?  That seems to have multiplied with the ongoing struggle for power in our house.  I can remember a line from comic D.L. Hughley where he’s talking about his relationship with his children.  It goes something like “If I’m paying your bills, I ain’t your friend!”  How true is this?!  But how many of us have lost sight of that for one reason or another?

We tried taking toys and privileges away for bad behavior, rewarding chores, making lists of acceptable/unacceptable behavior, and yes, yelling.  Nothing seemed to work or last very long.

With an extreme lack of team feeling, my husband and I have been trying to come up with a plan to reconnect with the children and get this train back on track.  During one of our brainstorming sessions, my brilliant husband came up with the idea of a Community Corner.

Immediately, we thought “YES!”  What better way to teach being a part of the bigger picture than to show the kids that community begins at home!  All these thoughts of the bulletin boards at the grocery store starting popping into my head.  How could I make something like that and have it suit our needs?  I began looking around our home for things to re-purpose or re-use.  In our family, we are BIG on re-using things things and throwing away as little as possible.  I found a broken picture frame kicking around and some unused shipping boxes from the post office along with plenty of craft paper, stencils, and miscellaneous other items.

What we came up with is something I think the kids are going to enjoy because it gets us ALL into the game of life and we are focusing on positive instead of putting so much emphasis on the negative.  Our idea fosters involvement and has us all feeling like we are an important part of the team.

While we are still the parents and VERY much in charge of the household, it feels great to empower the children and get them working toward common goals with us.

It took me about a week to get the corner put together the way I wanted.  I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist.  But once it was installed in the kitchen, I felt very proud that we are taking steps in the right direction for our family.

When we sat down with the kids to discuss this Community Corner, it was after dinner and nearing bedtime, so it didn’t go as beautifully as I had imagined.  Things seldom go the way we plan for them to in our head.  I have to remember this won’t be a one time conversation.  For it to really take hold and make change in our lives, we are going to have to discuss it daily, keep it fun and fresh, and most importantly, not give up!

Below is a detailed outline of how I created our Community Corner!

**NOTE:  I originally wrote this article nearly a year ago and since then we have had ups and downs but our issues are much more manageable now.  Our family isn’t perfect, but whose is?!  We try to hold monthly family meetings to discuss what we find in the suggestion box and how we can work them into the schedule.  We have recently added chore charts, behavior/reward/consequence charts, and  an internet rules and expectation chart.  I will create posts for each of these along with my monthly bulletin board ideas.

Click the pictures to enlarge and open the gallery.

Get the weekend started right!

Yay!!  It’s the weekend!

If you know me personally, you know I love music.  I love all kinds of music and I believe there’s a song for every emotion.

The other day I was listening to music as I was writing and the idea to have a weekend kick off post dedicated to music popped into my head. The songs I choose will be a mix of genres and artists, some will be new, some will be older, but I guarantee they will upbeat and FUN!

I hope you feel motivated and happy after listening!

So here it is!

*Caution:  The last video drops the “F” bomb but I think it suits the song very well.