Past, Present & Future – How to Make Time for All Three

Goal-setting is exciting business to me. So is looking back and reflecting on my actions and behaviors. Both of these involve focusing on either my future, or my past, neither of which is bad, but if I’m not careful, I may forget to give my now, appropriate attention. All three of these work together, and spending too much time outside our Present can get us into trouble.

The Past – Each bit of time we spend reliving or replaying something from our past is Present time we’ve lost. Some past puzzles will never be figured out, and only you can determine when it’s time to put a puzzle away. Ask yourself if your reflection on the past is bringing you joy or helping you to understand a situation better. If it isn’t doing either of these, you should probably consider letting it go. Often, reflections on the past help us to keep a memory alive. This is great if it’s a positive memory, but less so if it’s a negative one, like when someone did us wrong, or we screwed up or missed an opportunity. Replaying these do little to nothing to improve our Present or our Future, so consider moving on. Time in our Past is best spent on things that bring us joy, or situations we can learn from to improve our Present or Future.

The Present – This period of time is so often taken for granted until it’s gone. There is so much goodness to be found in the Present. It can also be very peaceful when we force ourselves to focus on it. This is often precisely what I have to do when I’m walking. When I’m on a walk, I often replay things from the past, or envision my future. However, then I’m missing my beautiful surroundings. Recently, while walking, I was thinking of a situation that really irked me. As I was walking, I was both replaying this situation (Past) and imagining the different ways it could turn out (Future). When I pulled my attention back to the present, I realized I had walked by beautiful flowers and trees without even noticing them. I tuned out the sound of the birds chirping and the light wind on my face – I was completely ignoring all of these gifts from Mother Nature while playing in my Past and Future. Moments, I’ll never get back. Focus on finding the good in your Present. It’s there – just look. Being grateful for what is in your Present life is a great way to prepare yourself for good things in your Future life.

The Future – I geek out over goal-setting! That feeling of progress and accomplishment provides its own high. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or large goal – it’s fun to be reaching for something. The Future is important because it gives us something to work towards and strive for. Life may throw curve balls our way, but we can deal with those in our Present. The future is all about what we desire and making every effort to make it happen. This, too, requires reflecting on both our Past, and taking action in our Present.

Making time for reflection on our Past, appreciation for our Present, and goals for our Future is important. Check-in with yourself each day to ensure you are spending quality time in each area, while striving to spend the majority of your time in the Present.

Share in the comments how you make time for each of the three – Past, Present & Future.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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The Art of a Well-Delivered Apology

We all screw up. It’s part of the human condition. But skipping or flubbing an apology can cause more damage than the original offense. However, delivering one well, can not only redeem you from a slip-up, but can elevate you in the eyes of the recipient. There are a few necessary components to a great apology, so if you owe one to someone, or you expect to screw up again at some point in your life, you may want to take note of these.

  • It’s not about you – I know many people who need to commit a federal offense in order to give an apology, and even that’s not guaranteed. These people often think apologizing lowers them in some way. They confuse apologizing with groveling (which is sometimes necessary, depending on the “crime”). A well-delivered apology, however, considers how the other person feels, and has little to do with you. The recipient is not thinking less of you for apologizing if it’s necessary.
  • Show you understand – While “I’m sorry” is a good start, a top-notch apology takes it a step further. It demonstrates that you understand why an apology is necessary in the first place. Let’s say you had to cancel last-minute on an outing with your girlfriends (again). Sure, “I’m sorry” may soothe some irritation, however, “I’m sorry, girls, I know how frustrating it must be to have be bail out last minute (again). It may not seem like it, but I do respect your time and our relationship, and I’m so sorry to have to do this again. I promise to explain everything when we get together again.” This lengthier apology shows that you understand how the other party must feel, and you’re sorry for that.
  • Apologize for the result, not the intent – This is the piece that can get people tangled up. In the example above, the friend that had to cancel again may be caring for a sick parent or child, and isn’t about to apologize for that. They are apologizing that the last-minute cancellation resulted in their friends potentially feeling unvalued and disrespected.
  • Make a peace offering if necessary – If you know words just aren’t enough, offer something to help show you are sincerely sorry. This could be buying the first round of drinks at the next get-together, or some other gesture that would benefit the recipient. This is important, also, because you don’t want to give someone license to keep holding a small transgression over your head.
  • Big mistakes take time to forgive – even with the most heartfelt, genuine apology, big mistakes will require time to forgive. Respect this if you find yourself in this situation. Giving an apology is like giving a gift to another person. They may or may not accept it, but the simple act of giving one should, at the very least, ensure you can sleep easy knowing you did what you could.
  • Don’t be a professional automaton – If you owe someone an apology, even in business settings, don’t be hyper-professional and offer a cold “please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.” This does not come off as genuine or sincere. Be human, speak human. If you promised a salesperson an hour to share their proposal with you, and after driving 3 hours to see you, the meeting is cut to 15-minutes, sincerely apologize, acknowledging their 3-hour drive, and offer to connect via a phone conference, webinar, or by inviting them to return for another meeting in the future, with lunch on you.

I have both given and received really crappy apologies, and they tend to only exacerbate an already awkward situation. I hope these help you to avoid that. Mistakes happen, it’s how we handle them that shows what we’re made of!

Your turn, which of these tips have helped smooth over a screw-up you, or someone else, made? Share in the comments section.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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Accomplishing Big Things One Step at a Time

You may have heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That’s typically used as a metaphor for achieving goals. Looking at the journey to the end result (a huge elephant in this case) can be overwhelming and cause us to quit before we even start. It’s the baby steps we take along that way that eventually get us where we’re trying to go. I have finally accomplished a goal I’ve been working on for 28 years. Granted, I took some breaks along the way, but I finally finished. I began going to college at eighteen, and after some stops and starts to have kids, change majors (several times), build my career, start a business, and start over again, I have finally earned my degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies. The past seventeen months, in particular, have been grueling at times, but I did it. There have been some key steps along that way that I’d like to share with you:

  • It has to be YOUR goal – One of the most important components to a goal, is that in order to truly enjoy achieving it, it has to be YOUR goal. I was asked so many times why I decided to return to school. My answer was because I wanted to finish something I started so long ago. Obtaining the degree, in and of itself, wouldn’t change anything significantly in my life, accept the personal pride I felt in achieving a goal that was personally important to me.
  • The struggles make you stronger – The beauty of accomplishing such a long-term goal is the sense of pride you feel for sticking it out. The trials and struggles become so worth it. Of course, it’s only after you’ve pushed through the tough times that you realize you’re stronger for it, but you WILL be stronger for it and likely thankful for the challenge.
  • Focus on one step at a time – I knew if I focused too intently on all I would need to accomplish and sacrifice over this time, I likely would have quit or taken a break again, prolonging my time to the finish line. By focusing on one step at a time helped me to stay the course. I focused on each daily step – each homework assignment, project, and test became my focus. Each class became my goal post.
  • Build a support team – Only my inner circle of people knew about this at first. But I couldn’t have achieved the goal without their support and encouragement.
  • Be proud of your journey – I shared this goal of mine with very few people actually.  It was only as I got closer to my goal, or needed to explain why I couldn’t go out, meet for drinks, or take on an additional project, that I began sharing the goal with others. Initially, I think I felt a bit ashamed that it had taken me this long to achieve my goal. A goal most of my peers had accomplished over 20 years ago. But as time went on and I built my confidence, I became proud of this personal journey I was on and how each day brought me closer to achieving my goal.

Maybe obtaining a degree is not your goal, and that’s fine. But you HAVE a goal. You have something you’ve desired that may seem just outside your reach. It’s just like the old Alcoholics Anonymous adage, “one day at a time.” Whether you are striving for a particular level of profitability for your business, a high-ranking position in your career, impacting a certain number of people in your volunteer work, or running a marathon, I want you to know you can do it. Maybe not quickly, in fact, probably not quickly, but you can get there. Focus on the baby steps, the small “bites” you need to take. Keep the goal in site, but focus on the now. I guarantee you will underestimate what you’re capable of, which will only make it feel sweeter when you accomplish your goal.

Whatever that goal is for you, no matter how much dust it’s collected in your mind, I want to encourage you to pursue it. Today. Do one small thing today that will get you closer to achieving that goal. For me, it was researching degree programs. That was my first small step. It was getting excited about committing to taking a step. Just one. It was getting excited about becoming the version I wanted to be. You deserve that, too.

Your turn! What is something you did that took many, many baby steps to accomplish? Share in the comments section.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for your goal, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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Don’t Give Up

When I think back on all the tough times in my life, it was always so much easier to give up. But when we press on, wonderful things happen. Nowhere is this more true than in our own personal development. No matter what area of our life we are trying to improve, our confidence, health, communication skills, or any other area, it will always be easier to give up. But don’t confuse “taking a break” with giving up.

Sometimes we are not quite ready to take action on the information we have. Don’t beat yourself up over these moments. They happen. I quit smoking multiple times before finally giving it up for good 15 years ago. I knew it was bad for me, but it wasn’t until I was fully ready to take action and tough out the days, weeks, and months ahead that I finally met with success. That’s true for virtually every challenge I’ve faced. Sometimes I needed to hear the message multiple times before it clicked. But it always eventually clicked, and each time I went back at, it I was more prepared and ready to accomplish it.

I’ve seen far too many people see the challenge and immediately think it would be too hard to overcome, so they quit trying. Yet how many success stories have you read that at some point say, “if I can do it, you can do it”?  We know in our hearts this is true. It doesn’t matter how many times you feel you failed. You will get a clue each time that will make you a little more likely to succeed next time. As Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Practice makes perfect, and isn’t that precisely what we are all doing with our lives? We are practicing every day. There is no shame in that game.

Try a new approach, a new technique. Take a break and rest, but do not quit. Don’t give up on yourself. You will get where you’re going AS LONG AS you keep getting up, dusting yourself off, and getting back in the ring. You are worth the effort. Don’t let the stops and starts discourage you. Keep growing that seed until you are ready to bloom.

Okay, time for you to share some inspiration. What’s something you FINALLY accomplished because you didn’t quit? Share in the comments section below.

The first round of my free online course, All About You – Rebuilding a Relationship with Yourself is wrapping up today, but it’s not too late to join. This course is self-paced, so you move through it as you see fit. It’s two weeks worth of content to help you plant the seed and bloom within. Click HERE to join.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for your goal, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Letting Go of Your Past Mistakes and Forgiving Yourself

Why is it that mistakes we’ve made just seem to haunt us? Like we just can’t leave them behind. Those who are taking my FREE 14-day online course are at the half-way point. But one topic has been particularly “sticky” for participants – Self-Forgiveness. This topic has invoked tears, released pent up guilt, and started a healing process for many of the participants. While I won’t give away what’s in the course (it’s not too late to hop on, just click HERE) I do think it’s worth sharing the importance of forgiving ourselves our sins.

We have all screwed up. We know that it’s human, but there are productive ways to handle mistakes, and unproductive ways to handle them. Let’s look at both:

When Thinking of Our Mistakes is GOOD:

  • Reflection – When we reflect on our actions and consider how we could handle future situations better, this is beneficial. This is planning for better choices in the future.
  • Lessons Learned – The lesson learned is the only (internal) price we need to pay for our mistakes. If we can see where we went wrong, and how we could have handled it better, our emotional debt has been paid.
  • Making Amends – Sometimes we hurt others, and would like their forgiveness as well. We can’t control if we are forgiven, but we always have the ability to make amends in some way. Saying “I’m sorry,” can go a long way when delivered sincerely. When this isn’t possible, there are still ways to make the world a better place. This is one reason so many speak of their wrongs publicly.  They may not be able to undo the damage they did in the past, but they can spread a positive message to try to prevent others from making the same mistake.

When Thinking of Our Mistakes is NOT GOOD:

  • Mental Beat Down – Walking around thinking how much we suck is not healthy and not even remotely productive. Okay, you screwed up, maybe in a pretty big way. Mentally berating yourself repeatedly isn’t going to change the fact that you screwed up. Pull yourself together, stop wasting time beating yourself up, and go do something good.
  • When Our Mistakes Become Our Identity – This happens. People replay their mistakes over and over on loop in their minds. This then becomes their identity. They are officially a screw-up who deserves nothing good. Then, the Power of Suggestion shows up and proves just how “right” they are in their thinking. Again, this is wholly unproductive. You are NOT your mistakes!
  • Impacted Health – I don’t think it’s news to anyone that our mental health (or unhealth) often manifest into our physical health (or unhealth). Guilt and regret take a toll on our physical health over time. The stress hormone, cortisol, courses through your veins each time you replay your transgression. Long-term effects of cortisol are dire. Stress like guilt and regret can also raise our blood pressure and put unnecessary stress on our hearts and central nervous system. All of this equals more fun visits to the doctor for you.

If you’ve done all the Good listed above and reflected on your actions, learned your lesson and will do your best to not make the same mistake again, and have made every effort to make amends, and/or make good come from it, it’s time to let it go. Seriously. Let it go. Do something productive and make the world, or your part in it, a little better. It’s time to forgive yourself and move along your journey to a better you.

In the comments section, share your thoughts on the topic and tell me which of the “GOOD” or “BAD” ways resonate most with you.

Like I said, it’s NOT TOO LATE to sign up for the FREE 14-day online course All About You – Rebuilding a Relationship with Yourself.  You’ll enjoy two weeks of daily recordings (about 15-minutes each) to start your day on topics like Toxic Relationships, Quieting Your Inner Critic, Comparing Yourself to Others, Dealing with Criticism, and more!! Click the image below to enroll!

Five Days to a Better You

While the title may sound like it, this isn’t a diet plan. So how could you be a better version of yourself in just five days, you may be wondering. By spending more time with the most fascinating, wonderful person in the world – YOU. Life gets us so distracted from ourselves. I know, that probably sounds a little crazy, but that’s exactly what happens. We get so busy focusing on others, and getting our to-do list checked off, that we forget to spend important time with ourselves. Our thoughts, our feelings, where our life is now, where we’d like it to be…things like that. Alright, alright, so what does this have to do with five days?? I’ll tell you. Shortly. First, let me describe these ideal five days for you.  If I were to plan an itinerary for you to spend time with yourself, this is what it would look like.

Day One – Owning the Fact that You’re Worthy of Love

This would be your first stop. To believe that you are actually worthy of love and happiness and good things. I’d ask you to think about your early experiences and to self-assess where your self-esteem is at. Do you feel good about yourself? Confident? I’d share interesting stories about why self-esteem is so important and where it starts and how you can improve yours. I’d strongly encourage you to think about what makes you special and wonderful. In fact, I’d require you to! Then I’d let you relax and just think about your awesomeness.

Day Two – Quieting Your Inner Critic

The next stop on your imaginary vacation with yourself would include a stop at Corporation You. This corporation includes all the “employees” who run your life, make your decisions, and help you decipher right from wrong. Kind of like your own internal Charlie & The Chocolate Factory tour. You’ve GOT the Golden Ticket! The only problem is your inner critic is being a real buzz kill. I would provide you with tips and techniques to quiet this little bugger. I would help you to keep your mistakes in perspective and not blow them out of proportion. I’d even share a video that would make you think and reflect. Then I’d give you the keys to unlock your own Personal Bragging Rights party.

Day Three – Forgiveness

On this day you’d spend time forgiving yourself for anything crappy you’ve ever done. I’d let you swim in the pool of guilt for only about 5 seconds, before dragging you over to the hot tub to relax and release all that regret. I’d probably share a personal story about a load of guilt I carried around for YEARS! Before I let you go on with your day, I’d force you to turn that frown upside down and share the lessons you gained from mistakes that are still haunting you.

Day Four – Comparing Yourself to Others

You knew this would have to be an excursion! This nasty little habit of comparing ourselves to others is a total mind game that we play on ourselves. I would make you take off those comparative glasses and replace them with some beauties that only allow you to see…well…you. I suspect I could find a real eye-opening video to share, too. I’d let you back into the deep end of the Pool of You where you could swim in all the things that make you so wonderful!

Day Five – Toxic Relationships

While you’d still be floating from all the goodness of you, I’d talk about how to handle those in your life that may be…ummm…well let’s just say it: Toxic. These fun-suckers could blow your five-day joy jam if you let them. So, I’d prepare you to deal with these. Sometimes these wolves in sheep’s clothing can be a little hard to spot, but I’d give you all the clues to see them for what they are. This is still a trip with yourself, so before I’d let you get back to whatever it is you do all day, I’d have you self-assess to be sure you aren’t contributing any bad juju to your relationships.

If only, right? Could you imagine how much it would cost to have a five-day trip like this?? Thousands maybe. Tens of thousands even.

Hold up Lovely Reader! What if I told you that you could take this trip for FREE??? Oh yeah, and what if I told you, you wouldn’t even have to take any vacation time to do it? And what if I told you that this little trip would only take up about 15 minutes of each day, but give you the rewards All. Day. Long.

How?  Ha! Ha! I’m so glad you asked!! Here’s how: By enrolling in my FREE All About You – Rebuilding a Relationship with Yourself online course! Yes, I said FREE! No gimmicks, no tricks, no fine print. It’s free. And, it’s not just a 5-day trip…it’s a 14-day trip! 2 glorious weeks of…All About You!!

There is zero risk. No one can see your stuff, you get to watch or listen to awesome content for about 15-minutes each day WHEN IT’S CONVENIENT FOR YOU! Anytime. Is 7am your time – great! 3pm? Perfect! 2am (in your underpants)? That works, too!

You get fun and free exercises to download each day, cool stories, but most importantly, a better you each day you do the inner work.

The website is user friendly – nothing fancy to worry about and help is available if you need it. Plus, you can interact with me through your comments anytime.

What are you waiting for? Sign up at http://authentic-life.thinkific.com/courses/all-about-you-rebuilding-a-relationship-with-yourself

Have questions about the course and how it works? Pop ‘em in the comments section or email me at April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com and I’ll get right back to ya!

You deserve this, so click HERE and hop on board. Your intro video is waiting for you and the official modules kick off tomorrow, July 10th!!

I hope to see you there!!

The Slippery Slope of Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem is a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value1. But think about when you know someone has low self-esteem. What are you likely to start doing? “Oh, Karen, you look AMAZING in that dress” or “Jeff, I can always count on you to fix the things I break.” We lay on the compliments. If only they could see what we see, they’d have a perfectly healthy self-esteem, or so we think. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

In order for self-esteem to be healthy, we have to believe it for ourselves. Trouble is, we often go looking elsewhere for it, which only perpetuates the problem. We may try to fit in, look all put together, and just generally be accepted. But even when we are, we find ourselves suffering from Imposter Syndrome and feeling like a fraud. This is the price of looking outside of ourselves for a positive self-esteem.

So, what’s the solution? We have to dig deep and recognize our own worth. It’s an “inside job.” This means we have to get better at fostering a healthy relationship with ourselves. This starts by accepting who you are right now. Not who you’re trying to be, but who you actually are today – flaws and all.

The benefits to having a healthy self-esteem are many. When we recognize our own self-worth, failures don’t knock us down. Sure, they don’t feel very good, but they don’t impact our sense of worth and value. They don’t change who we are. When we don’t rely on approval and validation by others, we can take risks, be open, and accept ourselves and others. We are also more forgiving and resilient.

You may be wondering exactly what to do to improve your self-esteem. I can tell you that there is no quick fix for this. Improving your self-esteem and building a better relationship with yourself takes work and on-going practice. But, I also have a great way for you to get started. I will be launching an online course next week. This free 14-day course will give you tools and techniques to get better acquainted with your awesomeness. The course will help you combat the challenges that get in the way of a healthy self-esteem, like quieting your inner critic, toxic relationships, dealing with criticism, your everyday habits, and more. You’ll get video and audio recordings, motivational quotes, downloadable PDF’s for reflection and journaling, daily micro-goal setting, and mantras for each day’s theme. Each day will have a maximum of 30-minutes of content because, well, you’re busy.

Click the image to join my mailing list and get all the FREE course details (plus a free e-book)!

If you would like to sign up for the course, which starts July 10th, click here to get on my mailing list and I’ll send you all the details (plus a free e-book).

 

Invest some time in yourself, you’re worth it. It costs you nothing and takes less than 30 minutes a day. It will be a wonderful two weeks!! Plus, you’ll have access to all the modules for the life of the course. You’ll be able to go back and re-do any and all of them as often as you’d like. Click the course image above to get on my mailing list (and don’t worry, I’m anti-spam and will never share your info)!

Do you have a tip or technique that boosts self-esteem? Do you have questions about the course? Enter them in the comments section – I always respond!

 

1 – Cherry, K. (2016, August 31). How Do Psychologists Define Self-Esteem? Retrieved July 01, 2017, from https://www.verywell.com/what-is-self-esteem-2795868

 

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for improving your self-esteem, and you don’t think the course is right for you (even though it’s FREE) then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

 

 

Shake Up Your Routine

Last week I was vacationing in my happy place (Ogunquit, Maine), and stepping outside my daily routine really reminded me of how much I needed to step outside my daily routine. I asked my 24-year-old son what he thought I should write about this week, and this was the topic he immediately recommended. Looks like I wasn’t the only one who needed a break from reality.

We are all busy, busy people. Running from one thing to the next. Days blur into each other, and weeks begin to look the same. Sadly, our weekends often do as well. So much work to do before the fun can begin. In a flash, we realize an entire month has flashed before our eyes. We can dig ourselves into a rut without even realizing it. The best way to counter this is to shake up our routine.

Doing something different activates different areas of your brain, namely the hippocampus which helps us improve our memory. When you do this, you widen your perspective, consider new ideas, and let the overworked areas relax for a bit – just like in a gym workout. If you have the luxury of vacation time, please don’t pass it up. Take the time to step away from your reality. Even if this is a staycation, don’t get wrapped up in a week-long honey-do list. Do something different. This year on vacation, I changed my typical vacation routine and skipped the wine (and all alcohol for that matter), and opted to not sleep in. I awoke every morning to meditate, eat a light breakfast, and take a lengthy walk. Making these changes to my usual vacation activities made me enjoy this vacation differently than previous ones. I gained a new perspective, and you can, too.

If you’re a reader consider doing something unrelated to reading, or at the very least a different genre. If you have spent too much time indoors, get yourself outside. Visit a new town, hangout with a different group of people, eat a different type of food, the possibilities are endless. But doing this simple shake up can revive and refresh you, and give you a new sense of wonder and excitement.

Not sure if you’re in a rut? Ask yourself when you last felt wonder and excitement. Ask yourself the last time you tried something new and different. Ask yourself the last time you felt refreshed and revived. If it seems forever ago, start making a list of things you could do. Your health and well-being (and even your relationships) depend on it.

Okay, short and sweet this week! Now I’d like to hear from you. What’s something new and different you’d recommend others try or is on your bucket list? Share in the comments.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for keeping you out of a rut, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

How to Make Every Day a Great Day

As an unapologetic optimist, I generally have a really positive attitude starting each day. But recently, I’ve had a few First-World worries, so I have had to be more focused on good thoughts. When we are in this place of worry or frustration, it’s very easy to start noticing all the things around us that seem to be falling apart, or not working right. If we aren’t careful, we will step right into the shoes of Victim. This powerless place is no good, so I decided to take action to flip the script in my mind and set myself up for good thoughts and good outcomes.

Several days ago, I decided to challenge myself. As I got in my car to start my commute to work, I decided to watch for good things, tiny miracles, that would remind me how much goodness surrounds me. Well the Universe did not disappoint. With this “eye for good,” I noticed all sorts of wonderful things. The green traffic lights I seemed to keep getting, the unusually light traffic on my hour-plus commute, the pretty scenery on my route, the friendly wave and smile I got for letting another driver out in front of me. This continued throughout the day. Whenever I looked for goodness, as if it were hiding somewhere and I just needed to find it, it showed up. The temperature was just right for my daily walk, the leftovers I forgot about that meant I was off the hook for making dinner, the nice message I received from a student, and more. I just kept finding these treasures. Who knew that such an easy exercise would produce such glorious results??

Not long after, a classmate shared a routine she has with her young son every day. When she picks him up from school, or when they are eating dinner, they each share the best thing that happened to them that day. Simple, right? There is so much negativity in our world right now, and yet this simple act helps her and her young son to focus on the ability to always find something good. What a good practice to introduce into our day.

Lastly, what I realized in using these techniques is that by practicing them, I became more grateful and thankful. I lost count how many times I thought, “Thank you, God.” I started noticing more opportunities to be thankful. I started reflecting on how many things I have to be grateful for. And, as I’m sure you can imagine, I started worrying a lot less about those First World problems. I began to trust again that I would control what I could control, and God would take care of the rest. That’s a very freeing feeling.

Making every day a great day is not about the external events, but about our internal attitude.  This is true in all areas of our life – Career, business, relationships, and parenting. When we are on the lookout for good things, we will find them. Equally as true is when we are on the lookout for bad things. We’ll find those, too. They both exist, good and bad, but wouldn’t you rather seek out the good?

I’d love to hear from you! What’s something good that you’ve noticed today? Share in the comments.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for looking for the good to achieve the life you desire, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

5 Ways to Learn More About Yourself

All learning is important, but there is one topic that is truly more important than any other – you. Self-reflection and self-study are some of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. We often don’t realize how much we impact our experiences. Our perspectives, values, hang-ups, and insecurities greatly influence our circumstances. Being clear on our strengths and our “baggage” puts us on a path to improving our lives. When we shift the focus off external factors outside of our control (like other people), and put it on ourselves, we take back the wheel.

If you’re with me this far, you may be wondering HOW you can do this. Here are 5 ways to learn more about yourself:

  • Meditate – Even spending just 5 minutes a day observing your thoughts can provide wonderful benefits. This doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged in a quiet corner of the house (assuming you even HAVE a quiet corner in the house!). It can be a solo car ride with nothing but your thoughts along for the ride. Observing your thoughts can reveal if you jump to worst case scenarios or take a more optimistic approach to your circumstances. It can also highlight how you speak to yourself. Are you kind and loving, or harsh and judgmental with yourself?
  • Listen for Repeat Messages – Do you keep hearing the same thing from different people? Have you been told multiple times that “you just don’t listen”? When we initially receive negative feedback, our knee-jerk reaction is often to defend ourselves. Then we stew about the entire situation, or what a jerk the other person is. The problem is, when focused on these externals, we are missing the lesson. Pay attention to these patterns and be willing to explore the possibility that there may be truth to it. Consider how your life would improve if you could improve on this.
  • Ask if the Shoe Fits – When listening to a story about another person or some hypothetical scenario, ask yourself if you do that. For example, if someone is talking about their friend and saying how she only cares about herself and never asks about anyone else, ask yourself if that “shoe” fits for you. Is that something you could be regularly guilty of? Think back to your last few conversations with others. Did you only talk about yourself and not share the conversation time?
  • Get Clear on Your Values – What are the most important “things” in your life? Your family, friends, pets, car, Saturday yoga classes, house, Coach purse collection? Make a list and then ask yourself why they are important to you. When you know what you value, it brings you closer to your deeper values. For example, the reason your family is important to you may lead to how much you value loyalty, love or acceptance. Your Coach purse collection may lead you to see how much you value self-love and treating yourself to things that make you feel good, (although it could just as easily lead you to seeing how much you value what others think of you). Either way, get to the bottom of your values and make sure that’s who you want to be.
  • Journal – When you write about your thoughts and feelings, you tend to get some questions and answers you weren’t expecting. One of the benefits of writing is that it takes those thoughts out of your head where they just continue to circle. This frees up space for your mind to come up with solutions, suggestions, and even revelations. Often, when we see our thoughts in print, it helps us to put them in a different perspective than when they are just floating around in our head.

What’s important in our self-studies is choosing what is right for us. If you are perceived as tough-minded and that’s how you WANT to be perceived, don’t change. Even if some of your feedback is negative, you’ve got to be YOU. Living a life by design is about awareness and choice. If your naughty sense of humor is important to you and isn’t holding you back from the life you want to live, change nothing. The point is to be aware of who you are so you can continue to evolve into who you want to be.

Your turn! Share in the comments section how you study, reflect, and learn about yourself.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for using self-reflection and awareness to achieve the life you desire, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com