How do YOU Want to Learn?

How do YOU Want to Learn?

Hopefully I’ve convinced you to learn something new this Fall – that it can be fun and improve your life.  What’s great about our lifestyles today is that we don’t neccesarily have to go to a physical building to learn something new.  For people who weren’t fans of traditional schools this can be a lifesaver. There are so many different ways we can learn – truly something for everyone. It can also be really fun to learn with others.  Got some girlfriends who are up for fun?  Why don’t you get together and take a cooking or painting class?  Or create a book club or wine tasting club?  There are dozens of fun ideas for learning with friends. Maybe you feel the need to spend more quality times with your kids (hello working mom guilt!!!).  Find out what they are interested in and research that topic – check out books from the library or attend an event or museum together to learn more. Date night fallen by the wayside?  Learning something new as a couple would be a fantastic way to spend quality time together, have something fun to talk about and plan, and it would ensure you get out regularly. Might be that travel and learning combined would get you excited.  All you need to do is type in your topic and the world travel or tourism and see what you find.  I’ve seen trips for cooking, history and even some our local zoo offers around animal or ecotourism education.  Fun stuff! Of course there is also the good old traditional school.  Most colleges and universities offer adult...
Create a Happiness Jar

Create a Happiness Jar

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day craziness of life that we don’t take the time to do what makes us happy.  Think about that for a moment.  That is really sad – we don’t have time for happiness?  How in the heck did THAT happen? I don’t want this to be the norm any longer, so today we are going to make a visual cue so you won’t forget to add happiness to your life each and every day.  What better way to improve the satisfaction with your life than to be enjoying it? Got your happiness list from last week?  Get it out because we’ll be using it. Now find yourself an empty jar – doesn’t have to be pretty – in fact a Mason Jar works beautifully. On small slips of paper, write down ALL the things on your list that make you happy.  Fold them up and put it in the jar.  If you are crafty, feel free to make this as pretty or interesting as you’d like, but it’s totally not necessary – function is enough! Put that jar somewhere you will see it daily.  Some suggestions:  near the coffeemaker, your computer, your toothbrush. Each day, pull out a slip of paper.  If it’s something you can do that day, by all means DO IT!  If it’s something you have to plan, put it on your calendar so it’s coming up soon.  If it’s something you can’t easily do in the next few days, give yourself five minutes to think about it, remember it and how much you enjoy it. A...
Create a Joy Generating Routine

Create a Joy Generating Routine

How often do you wake up feeling TERRIFIC?  I mean  SUPER terrific?  Ready to jump out of bed and start the day just knowing it will be fantastic. It’s an amazing feeling when that happens, but for most people, that isn’t an everyday occurrence.  Even the happiest people don’t always wake up feeling fabulous. There are days you wake up grumpy, tired or just dreading another iteration of the daily grind.  Once you’ve started down this negative path, it can be really hard to turn your day around.  You find yourself without patience, snapping at other people and just not enjoying your life. If you want to start your days with joy, I have a basic recipe for you that I call my “Joy Generating Routine.”  It includes some movement, some gratefulness and some indulgence. Sounds lovely, right? The best part is that if you have a plan like this in place, you can invoke your routine any morning you are feeling down.   Short on time?  Make sure you have a shortened version at the ready too. Although this needs to be tailored for YOU, I’m sure you’d like to see an example.  Here is mine: My Ideal Joy Generating Routine: 20 minutes of yoga (Daily Yoga), a fresh, hot cup of coffee with a splash of my favorite vanilla creamer and 15 minutes of devotions/ writing a line in my daily journal with what I’m grateful for, and running a few drops of Joy through my hair.  If I can add in a ten minute walk outside in the fresh air the routine is perfection! My shortened...
Add Joy to your Relationships

Add Joy to your Relationships

February is the perfect month to think about relationships.  A healthy life includes solid and meaningful relationships, so it’s something we must focus on.  Since the oil of the month is Joy, I’m going to concentrate on adding joy to our relationships.  After all, who doesn’t want more of that? Regardless of what relationship you are working on this month (significant other, children, friends, etc.), there are a few guidelines to follow to help you improve, enjoy and add joy to those relationships. Some Don’ts: Don’t fall into the comparison trap.   This one can kill the joy in our relationships almost instantaneously.  It’s important to remember that when we look at someone else’s relationship, we are only looking at it from the outside.  We don’t know what really goes on behind closed doors, so it does us no good to compare ourselves to what we see as that isn’t the whole picture.  Also, forget about comparing your relationships to those in books or movies.  Those are imaginary.  No relationship can compete with someone or something that isn’t real – don’t even try. Don’t wait for later, enjoy today.  It’s common for us to think that things will get easier later – you know, when the kids are older, the schedule isn’t so busy, you lose ten pounds, whatever you are “waiting for.”  The reality is that your life is happening right now.  You aren’t even guaranteed that future whatever.  So why are you waiting for something that may never come?  Instead, make it a point to enjoy and grow the relationships with the people in your life NOW. Some Do’s: Look at the positive....

Goals 2017: Relationships

As I mentioned last week, this year I have a few very specific goals in each of the important areas of my life.  Goals I’ll be concentrating on and reviewing each quarter.  I’ve outlined nine areas, so I’ll cover three each week for the rest of the month.  I know many of us are hammering out our plans and goals for the year so hopefully this will spark some excitement or give you some good ideas on how to achieve the ones you’ve set. The first three goals are ones I believe ALL of us busy moms feel are important – they all center around relationships.  Now your relationship areas might be different than mine, but I’d be willing to bet you have some relationships in your life that are important to you and that you’d like to keep in mind and keep growing as 2017 unfolds. Spouse.  Why?  Pretty obvious I think, but especially now as our kids are in such a busy time of life – it’s very easy to get caught up in the “divide and conquer” method of parenting.  Efficient, yes, but also isolating.  So in 2017 I want to be intentional about making time for my spouse and not letting the busyness of this season take over.  How?  Weekly date nights, walking the dog together, making sure to talk for 10 – 15 minutes each evening (at a minimum and not about scheduling), and also Monday morning planning sessions to figure out who is doing what – that way that topic will hopefully not take over the other time we spend together.  Also at...

A Skill Every Busy Mom NEEDS

Feeling busy Mama?  I hear you!  We are deep into the school year and between work, kids and all the up-coming holidays if life isn’t crazy for you now, it soon will be. So what skill should you have?  Be Present. For the love of all that’s holy, please STOP multi-tasking.  You might think you are good at it, but you are NOT.  Even worse, it’s robbing you of the simple joys of life like noticing and appreciating what you are doing, enjoying the moment and creating lasting memories. If you are always on your phone while “watching” your kids play instead of paying attention when they yell “watch this,” what do you think they will remember?   Mom on her phone, not Mom watching me. Studies show we aren’t as productive when we multi-task as we think we are and in fact, it takes us longer to get things done.  (http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/09/health/your-brain-multitasking/index.html; http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/10/08/multitasking-damages-your-brain-and-career-new-studies-suggest/#6aa05caf2c16) If you are accustomed to being a “power multi-tasker” this isn’t going to be easy, so be gentle with yourself and start slow. A few ideas to get you started: When you catch yourself doing multiple things at once, stop one immediately Set yourself up for success. Put your phone AWAY when you are with the kids.  Or driving.  Or in a meeting. When working on a project, shut off distractions (Facebook anyone?) Don’t over schedule yourself Set a timer when you begin a task – it will let your brain know when you can stop focusing and move on to the next task. What do you think about multi-tasking?  I know for most of us it’s...

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