Mid-Year Check Up

 

OMG!  The minute you look at the calendar and realize we are half way through the year? I love my “passion planner“!  Each month it helps me to reflect on the past 30 days and plan for the next based on my goals.  When I turn the page on Saturday, it is going to have me look at the last 6 months and honestly, I’m not sure what it will reveal.

The year is half over and it is a great time to check in with yourself (and your goals) – a chance to celebrate your accomplishments or get back on track.  Here are four questions to ask yourself as you head into the second half of the year, courtesy of Valerie Burton:

1. What accomplishment are you most proud of so far this year?

I usually breeze through my accomplishments without acknowledging what it took to achieve them.  I looked back on the las six months and realized, I have done A LOT  personally and professionally.  It can be as small as a shift in your thinking (slamming the door on Negative Nellie) or reaching a major goal, either way, take a minute and answer this question: What are you most proud of in the last six months?

I’m sure you are all tired of hearing it but for me, the biggest accomplishment was earning the Leadership Incentive Trip from Thirty One.  The second accomplishment was earning a spot in the 2K group based on consistent sales.  My mantra has been “I am a successful CEO” and I am speaking it into the Universe every day!

2. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far this year?

It isn’t always the goal you achieve but the journey on the way to the goal which is the most valuable.  As we work towards goals, we learn lessons we might not have learned otherwise. The lessons help to shape you for the rest of your journey which helps you to set and reach meaningful goals.

My biggest lesson has been “embrace the season I am in”.  Health issues have made for some interesting days and resulted in some days of depression.  I am grateful for an amazing upline and friend who gave me permission to “be where I am” without judgement.  Yes, I needed permission.

3. What is the most meaningful milestone you could accomplish by the end of this year?

We set lots of goals, but it’s important to understand the goal which will be most meaningful and gratifying to you. Maybe it is about your business: the numbers, or a earning a trip, or growing your team or making a difference in the lives of others.  Maybe it is something personal (confidence, declutter, losing weight, etc.).  It is not just looking at the resolutions (or goals) you wrote down on New Year’s Day, it is about digging deeper. It is when you ask yourself, ‘if I could accomplish just one thing the remainder of this year, the one which holds the most meaning for me, what would it be’?  Understand totally why it matters so much to you. The deeper the meaning, the more likely you are to push through no matter what to reach it. So, why is it so meaningful?  What will it mean to accomplish this particular milestone?  How will it feel?

Honestly, I’m not sure what it is.  I need to do some deep digging but I am leaning towards  hitting my goal weight.  My weight issues are linked to so many other things for me – personally and professionally.

4. What would make it easier for you to reach this milestone?

You have set a goal – one which matters the most to you, right?  The reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they haven’t set themselves up for success.  What are the things holding you back from reaching this goal?  Did you know your chances will decrease in reaching your goal unless you remove or reduce obstacles which are in your way?  So ask yourself: What can I move out of the way? Who can I invite into the process? Or what can I drop from my schedule to free up some space, energy and time.

Can I move ME out of the way?  I went back to Weight Watchers because I know I can’t do it on my own – Step 1.  The problem is ME!  Old habits linked to fear, doubt and lack of confidence keep me in the yo-yo game of reaching goal.  OUCH!

So, here is my challenge to you:  Do a quick mid-year review of your progress and establish your focus for the second half of the year.  Think about the four questions and write the responses down.  Be honest with yourself.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

What Does Your Success Look Like?

Success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose” and is something different to everyone.  The true meaning of success is up to YOU.

A new year at Thirty One allows me to reflect on my accomplishments, where I stand on my goals for the year and define (or re-define) what success will look like for me.  When you think of success, you probably think of more money, maybe another car, travel – all tangible things, right?  In the past, I always said success was being debt free. I still want to be debt free, who doesn’t, right?  But will it alone get me up in the morning?  For some the answer would be yes.  For me, no.

I want my legacy to be more.  I want to know I have made a difference in the lives of others.  I want the ability to give to those in need.  Success to me isn’t about just being debt free, it is about what I can do with the money.  Don’t get me wrong, part of the reason I have debt is because I give to those in need and try to make a difference in the lives of others even when I don’t have it.

Do you have tunnel vision when it comes to what your  successful life will look like?  Are you focused on the tangible things or are you creating a legacy?  I have heard it said often “people may not remember the day you were born or the day you die but they will remember how you lived your life (or made people feel)”.  What will they remember about you?

Success isn’t a destination—it’s a progressive realization of a worthwhile dream or goal.  What is your dream or goal?  Dream BIG!

Years ago, I had a dream of opening a house – a place where those infected/affected with HIV/AIDS could come and enjoy life forgetting about their life struggles for a moment.  In the early days of my work in HIV/AIDS, I created a place like it.  For some it was my office to get help with problems, for the kids it was a place to play and get snacks, and for others it was just a place to forget for a moment how cruel life could be.  The last time I was in Bridgeton, I drove by what used to be “Hope’s House”.  The small office, long since closed and moved to a new location, brought back some memories I thought were lost.  I honestly didn’t know what I was creating.  I didn’t know I would make a difference but my passion to help others showed through all I did.

As I moved from HIV work to working with struggling addicts, chronically unemployed and single moms – the dream faded slightly but my desire to make a difference in the life of others was still there.  Since retiring from social work, almost 6 years ago, I’ve been searching to find the dream and the passion.  Despite my best efforts, the MS beats me up and steals my passion as a result of stealing my memory.  Some days I feel like it is an excuse while other days I embrace the reality and enormity of it all.

Do I still dream of making a difference?  YES!  Do I know what it looks like?  NO!  Success to me is seeing a smile on the face of a single mom struggling to provide for her children.  It is seeing a struggling addict believe in themselves if even for a moment.  It is seeing a smile on the face of someone enduring the pain of treatment of a chronic disease. In today’s busy world, I’m not sure how my view of success fits in.  I’m the eternal optimist, seeing the good in everyone and looking for a place to make a difference.  What is your dream?

While I continue to search for a place to connect, I will continue to give back in small ways.  This month we are again doing our FIGHT HUNGER campaign.  A chance for YOU to make a difference in the lives of a child.  You can sponsor a thermal tote which I will fill with healthy snacks and school supplies.  These will be delivered to children in need in the local area to bring a smile to their face.  My Thirty One team, the Rays of Hope, will be collecting thermals all across the country and delivering them to children in their area to make a difference.

Remember you can also help me to make a difference by nominating someone on my “Give Back with Me” page.  Each month, a someone special will receive a Thirty One product and words of encouragement.  Do you know someone who needs some “loving on”?

I know I squirreled.  When I started today’s blog, it was about defining success in your life and I’m not sure I have helped you to do it.

I challenge you to take a moment and think about what success means to you.  Think about what people will say about you when you are gone – how will they remember your life?  I would love to hear your definition of success….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

What is YOUR Brand?

A few weeks ago I walked into a vendor event to hear “are you the angel lady that sells Thirty One?”.  It took me a minute but then I said “yes”.  I was totally surprised by the question but grateful the two things were linked together.

Obviously you know I am a Thirty One consultant BUT I also love to make and share my angels.

I have found the perfect way to combine my two loves to make a difference in the lives of others.  My traveling angel pins allow individuals to buy an angel and send one to a person who needs some encouragement.  Know someone who is struggling?  Let me know and I will send them a pin.

Where is all of this leading?  I have (accidentally) branded myself as “the Thirty One angel lady”.  Is it a bad thing? No! But I am grateful to have created my own niche of making a difference.

1. Realize branding does apply to you.

No matter what you do, branding can take your career or business to the next level.  Your brand reflects your reputation — what you’re known for (or would like to be known for). What was once called a reputation is now called a brand.  Don’t we all want to be know for something?

2. State who and what you are (not what you’re not).

Remember positive brings positive into your Universe.  Your branding should be consistent from beginning to the end.  Showcase your accomplishments and expertise but don’t overinflate to the point you can’t follow through.  Authenticity is the key.  I am all about giving back.  Hubby says my tagline should be “I will never be Rockefeller (rich with money)” because I am all about giving to others.

3. Honestly, ask yourself what is your value.

When was the last time you wrote down your core strengths. Prepare a list. Ask yourself what your top 5 accomplishments have been in the past 5, 10, 15 years. Which ones stand out as the most value to your business or your company?

Branding is all about impressing others not ourselves, right?  So, why not ask others what they see as your most positive attributes (family, friends, or colleagues). I know this can be scary BUT you may be surprised to find out how others perceive you. You may actually be surprised to see what things come to the forefront as your areas of expertise.

4. Understand developing a brand takes time.

This is HUGE!  I have been with Thirty One for 6 years.  I have done many things to try and “brand myself” but with the help of Desiree Wolfe, I found my niche.  

What does it mean? Every day, I share things which bring my brand (Thirty One and angels) into the spotlight.  I want to make a difference and I try to do it every day in some small way with everyone I meet.  Remember developing a brand is about adding value which results in you being seen and heard. It’s about distinguishing you from your competitors.

5. Create a blog and write what you know.

I hear the groans of those who say “I can’t write”.  How often are you asked the same question by almost all of your customers?  Maybe it is about a situation or a product or a service.  Guess what?  You answer the question a million times, why not write about it and share the answer.  It’s simple – choose a hot question in your field and just start writing by answering it in an article or blog post.  You have now proven you know what you’re talking about.

6. Interact more than less.

I’m still getting the hang of this.  I don’t want to be spammy or pushy or salesy. I do want to gain attention to me (as the brand) then my products and services which leads to more sales.  I may blog daily but I don’t consistently post comments on Facebook groups or on other blog posts.  You need to decide what works with your schedule and time ability.

Your online identity is a priority in today’s busy digital world. I heard “your online branding as a #digitaltattoo which is so true.  Once it is out there – it stays out there. Wonder where you stand right now?  Google yourself, your brand, or your product/service.  See what comes up.  The biggest compliment I have received is when someone I know as an acquanitence tells me they Googled a subject and I came up.

My angels help me stand out with my Thirty One customers.  The angels help them to remember me!  What is your brand?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How Do You Measure Your Worth?

“The better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off.” ~Robert Hand

Do you remember the first time you were gripped by fear?  Maybe it was wanting the perfect score on a test?  Maybe it was vying for a promotion and thinking you were not good enough?  Regardless of what the scene was, maybe you felt like if you didn’t do XYZ perfectly, then you were worthless.

For years, I strove to be the best. From wanting to be in the popular crowd in school to wanting to achieve the top spot in my chosen field.  Each time I added something to my list of achievements, I felt a surge of worthiness.  I felt good about myself…. the cycle of tying my worth to my achievements had started.

As I look back on my high school years, from my teen pregnancy on, I felt unworthy. Unworthy of love.  Unworthy of the promotion.  Never measuring up despite the positive accomplishments in my life.  Then the years in my addiction caused more feelings of unworthiness.

When I got clean, I was forced to redefine my idea of self-worth. I realized chasing my worth based on one accomplishment after another was making me miserable. The truth was I was caught in the comparison game. I had to learn I am worthy simply because I exist, and nothing more.

Do you want to overcome the need to base your worth on accomplishments? Here are so tips to help you:

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1. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself be sure they have nothing to do with an achievement.

Silly?  Hard?  Absolutely! The first time I did this, nothing came to mind except my accomplishments.

Slowly, I embraced the fact I love how giving I am. I’m compassionate and sensitive, which I love about myself.  I’m a good listener. The list keeps flowing as I sit and reflect.

Having a hard time? Ask your loved ones or a few close friends to tell you what they love about you. It is a wonderful way to remind you; you are more than what you do.

2. Redefine your idea of success.

How did you feel the last time you perused social media and saw your friends accomplishing seemingly great things in their life. They looked successful, and I felt unsuccessful as a retired social worker with my own business.

So what does a successful life look like to me?  For me, a successful life is spending the day doing things I love. Having loving relationships. It would be making a positive impact, however small, in the life of others.  It isn’t all about the money.

Guess what I realized? My life is already a success. I spend my days working for myself and making a difference in the lives of others.  I have wonderful loving relationships.

When you are gripped with unworthiness, ask yourself what success would look like to you, and you alone. Are there ways you’re already living a successful life, based on your  own definition? The answer might surprise you.

3. Practice unconditional self-love.

Do you know what dogs (or cats) and babies have in common? They don’t have to do a single thing to deserve our love or be worthy of our love. They don’t try to prove themselves to us. We love them unconditionally simply because they exist.  So what if we applied the same principal to ourselves? What if we didn’t have to do anything or prove anything to be worthy of self- love? What if we deserved unconditional love, just like our pets or our children?

Practice extending unconditional love to yourself by forgiving yourself when you’re not perfect, and recognizing you deserve love no matter what you achieve.

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Letting go of perfectionism isn’t easy.  We are a work in progress.  Stifling the need to base our worth on external validation is a continual process. But, with time, we can begin to shed our layers of conditioning that taught us we are not worthy, and see ourselves for the beautifully deserving beings we are.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Comparison Game

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We have all done it sometime in our life….

We have compared everything—our husbands, our children, our churches, our cars, our jobs, our homes, our schedules, our finances, our blessings, and our burdens.  Admit it!  It is what women (okay, I’m sure men do it too) do in an attempt to measure up.  It is one of the most dangerous and destructive behaviors that we as women engage in.

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When we compare our life, our family, our stuff, our failures, and our accomplishments to that of someone else we brew a bitter cup of jealousy and resentment.  I will admit that I have drank my fair share of that bitter drink.

Our comparison is based on just what we see on the outside.  Maybe it is all of those “perfect” posts on Facebook.  It is like comparing apples to oranges.  We know the good, the bad and the ugly of our own situation. Yet, we only know one side of the person that we are comparing ourselves to.

It’s easy to listen to the voices (those inner gremlins) that say, “You’re not this, and you’re not that. You don’t do this well, and you can’t do that.”  Those inner gremlins would LOVE to get in your face and keep you down.  You were made to be you, and are called to be uniquely you.

There is nothing wrong with striving for excellence. And being aware of areas in our lives that need improvement is good.  God has a plan for each of us and we need to accept that we are right where we are supposed to be at this time.  The sooner that we ACCEPT who we are right now, the happier we will be.  I’ll admit that I struggle some days.

When I struggle, I begin looking for things that I am grateful for.  Writing a gratitude list helps to squash those inner gremlins.  Believe it or not, even though things in your life appear to be a negative (a divorce, a lost job, an addiction, credit card debt, etc), they can all be something that you can be grateful for.  No, I haven’t lost my mind.  It is all about re-framing our thoughts and moving forward.  For YEARS, I let the inner gremlins take control of my life – beating me up for all of my past mistakes.  When I started changing the way that I thought about those things, I slowly stopped comparing myself to others.

What about your accomplishments?  Can you list them?  I have achieved so much in my life and because I was busy playing the comparison game, I missed enjoying some of those moments.  I won awards for the work I did as a Social Worker.  I raised an amazing daughter.  I inspire women every day to look for that little bit of sparkle in their life.  I beat drugs and am staying clean for 25+ years.  I lost over 100 pounds.  I am CEO of my own business. I am fighting MS.

I feel so blessed to have made so many connections with like-minded women. When we aren’t playing the comparison game, we are open and ready to welcome new mutually beneficial relationships into our lives.  Whether that is to help you grow your business or for personal growth.

It’s time we quit chasing the interests of others and start pursuing the passions that were written on our hearts. God wants us to stop trying to measure up to everybody around us and be content in Him.

Need some help or just want to talk… reach out, I would love to talk with you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!