Thankful Thursday: Dreams

Dreams are defined in two ways:  #1 – a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. and #2 – a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.

I will admit I don’t often remember the dreams I had when I am sleeping.  I guess it is part of the MS or maybe I don’t dream.  But there was a time when I had goals – dreaming big for success in my professional and personal life.  Of course, I’m not sure I really knew what success was.

What do you dream of?  Exotic vacations?  A successful business? A romantic relationship?  Kids? Friends?  What did you dream about doing when you were little?  I don’t remember much of my childhood so what my dreams were, I don’t know.  I have glimpses of past dreams – some of which I met.  Those glimpses come with the help of others who remind of my successes.  Now, my dream is to wake up one morning with memories (all of them) and not have MS.  I dream of being able to process thoughts and have feelings again besides the extremes of sadness and joy.  It’s more wishful thinking than anything, but who knows, if not today, maybe tomorrow. There’s always hope for tomorrow.

I never grew up dreaming I would have a life with a chronic illness filled with body weakness, loss of memory and pain. I don’t think anyone ever does. Cancer took many of my family members so I actually figured one day it would take me…..but I stuffed the thought and lived my life.  I’m not sure what my choice would have been on career day but I’m sure MS wasn’t an option.  I remember wanting to be a lawyer and ended up in the casinos. Then addiction and recovery changed my life.  I went from the casino to being a social worker.  Something which might have been God’s plan all along.  I loved helping people and it became my calling.  I am grateful for the pictures and the memories others share with me of those many years making a difference in the live of others.  I love creating things – angels of all types and sewing.

Now, because of MS, my thoughts get jumbled and the words I’m thinking aren’t always the ones that come out.  I don’t remember people so remember details about their life is a struggle.  Helping others is more difficult since I can barely help myself some days.  I trust others memories of my hopes and dreams.  I  rely on them to help me remember my past.

I may not talk a lot in public since my worlds get jumbled BUT I do love writing. Writing my thoughts down gives me enough time to pause in order to keep from jumbling words up too bad. I still make a ton of writing errors, but they are easier to correct than losing my train of thought in the middle of a conversation.  It’s really funny when I jot something down and then go back and read it later – I am usually puzzled wondering what was I thinking.

Creating my angels has become therapy.  It takes a lot longer than it used to but I still love spending the time using those creative juices.  The colors may not always work, the design may be a bit off but the end result is a unique angel design.  I have to be more patient with my hands when they won’t stay steady. Or the numbness/tingling causes me to drop things.   That makes it a challenge, but somehow I still get things done.

Because of MS, I have learned to appreciate the things I am still able to do. I can’t let the fact that I can’t do something now get me down. There’s always a way if I get creative enough.

Have you given up on a dream?  Maybe it is because of a chronic illness.  Maybe it is because life showed up and things got detoured.  Don’t loose hope in succeeding in finding your dream. Never stop pursuing your dreams just because something gets in the way.  Life happens.  Dreams keep us going and yes, they do change.

Never lose the ability to dream – for me, it just means writing them down.  It means not “thinking” the passion will keep the dream alive because the truth is, by tomorrow I will forget what the dream was.

Remember…Go out there and conquer your day today.  Reach for your dreams – large or small. taking one step closer to them every day.

Have a blessed day!

How To Get Unstuck

We are at the end of the first “J” month.  In direct sales, June is one of those dreaded months where business can slow down.  Does it really slow down or do we loose our focus?  For those with kids, the summer means juggling activities and keeping them busy.  For others, it means nice weather so trips to the beach, barbecues and just enjoying time with friends and family.

Did you know, when you allow a summer slowdown, you are really forecasting what your business will be like in September and October?  What you do now will effect your business in 90 days…….It will be like restarting your business all over again when everyone else is gearing up for the busiest shopping time of the year.

Here is a simple three step process from one of my favorite business coaches, Julie Anne Jones. to get you unstuck.

Step 1:  Focus On What You Want

I know I am not alone because as  human beings, we naturally focus on what’s wrong and try to fix it, when things aren’t going our way.  The key to changing your mindset is you need to look for a solution instead of focusing on the problem itself.  I have talked about positive affirmations before – bringing the “good” into your universe, right?  One of the easiest ways to do it is to use these to get your mindset working for you.

Grab a sheet of paper or a journal and answer this question:

If the perfect outcome to your problem magically appeared, what would happen (be as specific as you can. Add details and remember to stay focused on what you want to happen, not on what you don’t want to happen). Doing a thorough job during this step will make the next two easier.

Step 2: Activate Gratitude

When I am feeling down or on the “pity pot”, I take a gratitude walk.  Sometimes it is outside enjoying nature but when it isn’t possible, I start writing a list.  Gratitude is the quickest, and easiest way to change your mindset from the negative to the positive. It’s hard to stay stuck when you’re focused on everything in your life you’re grateful for.

This step is fun…create a “Gratitude List” of at least five things you’re grateful for RIGHT NOW.  It can be as simple as “getting up this morning”, or having a roof over your head.  Keep writing for about 10 minutes.   See what happens when you focus on what you’re grateful for and how quickly things turn around for you.

Step 3:  Create Affirmations

Affirmations are positive “I am” statements about the outcomes you want.  You state them in the present as if they have already happened. Here are some examples:

  • I am attracting the perfect clients in my business and love helping them succeed.
  • I am making enough money to pay my bills
  • I am booking parties and love helping people get FREE products
  • I am at my goal weight and am enjoying eating healthy

Can’t wait to hear how your summer turns out…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

On My Way…..NOT!

Today’s blog post has been re-written many times.  First filled with the excitement of earning the Leadership Incentive trip and heading on a FREE cruise with my daughter.  Then it was about the delayed cruise and spending some time in NC with Belinda.  This morning, I am re-writing again…
The Leadership Incentive Trip has officially been cancelled. Irma entered our lives and changed everything!  No, I don’t mean the cute clothes from LuLa Roe.  I mean the devastating hurricane which is leaving its mark every where it lands.  Devastating the Carribean as it makes it way to Florida and the US.  
I will admit, I had a pity party last night.  I long for some quality time with my daughter but sadly if Irma continues on the projected track, they will be in its path.  I have weathered many a hurricane but at the ripe old age of 60, I decided staying home was probably a better idea.  
Since the blog posts are already written for the next week while I was supposed to be traveling, I will still be sharing some of my top bog posts from the past.  Some may be tweaked but others will just be “throwbacks” of my most popular ones.  I have been reflecting on the earning period for the Leadership Incentive trip and why I was successful this time when I hadn’t been in the past.
If you are trying to change an aspect of your life, here are some tips which helped me – thank you Patty Lennon

1. Decide to succeed.

There is a goal you are striving for right now which is deeply personal and vital to you. Remove the possibility of NOT succeeding from your mind right now. This means each time you fall down, you get back up because any failure is temporary.  I will say, utilizing this mindset every month has helped me reach my monthly goals even during the dreaded “J” months.

I wanted to earn this trip as a gift for hubby for our 5th wedding anniversary.  I wanted him to experience my “pink bubble” so he would understand why it is so important to me.  So, in my mind success became inevitable. I was no longer willing to NOT succeed. Which leads to …

2. Get Support.

When you are reaching for a goal you have not achieved before whether it’s growing your business to a new level, changing your health or improving your relationships you will do far better if you have help.  Who can support you in achieving your goal?

I have been sharing my monthly goals with everyone – my team, my customers and basically anyone who would listen. They celebrated and encouraged me every step of the way.  When Negative Nellie stopped for a visit, I looked for someone to help me kick her to the curb.

3. Don’t Give Up.

Whatever goal is most important to you right now it is critical you not give up, especially if the goal is related to your business. The truth is most things fail the first time  around especially in business – whether it’s a new message, promotion or marketing campaign. It is NORMAL.  Everyone falls down. Your choice (and the choice which defines those who succeed) is whether you get back up.  Everything is possible when you make the decision to succeed. No matter what happens do not give up!

With my first LIT earned, what is next for me and my business?  I will admit planning for September has been a struggle.  A holiday weekend led into getting ready for a week away.  I was hoping earning the trip would keep me motivated but the truth is, Vacation Veronica is knocked on my door. As I ponder what to do this week, I am setting my goal for September and am working on a plan to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip again next year.

Using these tips has helped me in my business so I am I am going to apply them to my weight loss journey to see what happens.  I am just 7 pounds away from being back at goal weight so it is non-negotiable.  I want to celebrate reaching my goal and not look back.

The truth is “the Divine will light your path with miracles to make it easier as you go.”  Send your positive energy into the Universe.  What is your goal?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Suffer From Goal Fatigue?

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WOOHOO!  Happy Friday……

I have been talking with friends over the last week about our goals for the year and it seems like some have run out of energy?  They are getting close to their goal and their desire wains.  They are losing steam.  Crazy, right?  You would think the closer you get, the more excited you get.  Unfortunately, it is not always the case and there are some solid reasons for it.

I get it, though, we are just two months from the end of the earning period for the Leadership Incentive Trip and I am getting distracted.  I saw the same thing happen on my weight loss journey as I got closer to goal weight the first time.  I believe it is our inner gremlins of fear and doubt but there are some other theories on the subject.

When we start out, we are motivated. Then distractions pop up and our consistency drops off.  When we have LOTS of goals on the table sometimes they take more time and energy than we first thought.  Before you know it, you feel scattered and don’t know what the next step to take is. So you STOP – not taking any steps.

I’m sure I am not alone when I say “I often think I can accomplish more than I can”.  Maybe it is the comparison gremlin or being an optimist or some would say I am just clueless.  Whatever it is, the size of my goals usually exceed the time frame in which I can get them done.  How many goals or New Year Resolutions did you make? The truth is, when we set too many goals, we are usually sabotaging our ability to reach any of them.  And sometimes, the problem isn’t setting too many goals, but not recharging and celebrating between goals. Yup, I’m guilty of it!

This is my vision board for this year…..I was inspired by my accountability partner to just draw it instead of cutting out pictures from a magazine.  Of course, we don’t have many magazines so it was always a good excuse not to do one.  Drawing it made it real to me.  I carry a copy of it in my planner so I can look at it when fear and doubt creep in.vision-board

Okay, so back to “goal fatigue”.  Researchers talk about your emotional and personal resources getting depleted as you travel on your journey to the finish line of your goal. Believe it or not, the discipline and mental energy necessary for you to reach a goal are finite, even if your ambition is not. Now, it doesn’t mean you stop setting goals what it does mean is narrowing your focus.

When you set too many goals (or New Year’s Resolutions), your finite energy is spread thin instead of concentrating on one or two things.  Yes, you can still exhaust your personal energy when you have only one goal.  The key is to replenish it before you jump into the next goal.  Here is where some self-care and celebration comes in once you reach a goal.  Otherwise, you begin your next journey with a less energy available to help you reach the next goal.

I know, narrowing our efforts is hard.  We all want to reach our goals as quickly as possible!  Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare?tortoisegoingdown

Be consistent and strategically plan knowing each step you take is getting you closer to your goal.  Be sure to nurture and replenish your energy.  Embrace the process because when you do, you will get there faster and actually enjoy the journey.

I am keeping it simple and learning how to take time to re-energize.  Here are some questions to help you figure this all out, courtesy of Valerie Burton:

  • What is your most important goal right now?
  • What other goals and activities are depleting the personal resources (discipline, time and mental energy) you need in order to reach your goal?
  • What adjustments are you able and willing to make to give you more personal resources to reach the goal?

Share your vision board with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Do You Really Want?

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I love seeing the different things that Thirty One carried in their earlier catalogs.  Yes, we sold bird feeders.  #tbt

An article by Team Conections resonated with me as I transform my business this year (Thirty One’s year) to a heart to heart business.  The title of the article was “What do you Really, Really Want?”.  How many of you are humming the Spice Girl’s song?  Be honest!

I always wonder where I have failed as a leader when my team’s performance is inconsistent.  As a Leader, my goals not only depend on me but also on the performance of my team.  This is true in most direct sales companies.  As consultant, we achieve a level of success based on our own merits.  When we move into leadership, our success is not only measured by our personal success but also on how well we encourage, motivate and inspire our teams to follow our lead.

Here are the 3 steps that were suggested to figure out what you REALLY, REALLY want (yes, I am still humming!).

Step One: You, the Leader

What do you really, really want? What are you willing to do to achieve it? Each goal-setting season begins with some soul searching. It is helpful to get away and spend some quiet time writing the answers to these questions:

  • What do I want for my family?
  • What do I want for myself?
  • What do I want my team to achieve?
  • What am I willing to do to achieve these goals?
  • What must I sacrifice to make them happen?
  • Who must I get involved?
  • Who needs to know my goals to support me in their success?
  • Is my team in place to realistically achieve these goals?

Step Two: Your Team Members

What does each team member really, really want?  What is he or she willing to do to achieve it? Find out by talking to each of them! Ask them the questions that you have pondered yourself.  Building relationships is the key and one I have struggled with over the years.  Pretty funny since as a retired Social Worker that was what I did every day.  Yet, somehow I have a hard time translating those skills to my personal life and to my own business.  It is now time to explore with your team and help them match up what they want with what they are willing to do.

Step Three: Match the Goals of the Leader to the Goals of the Team

Once you have an understanding of what your team wants and what they are ready and willing to do to accomplish their goals, you can realistically set your own goals.Take some time to put numbers to your team’s goals. What does each of their individual efforts add up to? How many are looking to promote? What are their sales and recruiting goals? If each one achieves their goal, what does that mean to you? Once you have added up the results of what will happen if each of your team members meets their personal goals, take a good look at how it matches up with your own goals.

If things line up, it’s time to support your team in achieving their dreams as you follow through on your personal goals. If they don’t, what must you do to fill in the gap? Will you recruit more to find that next leader? Sell more to make up the team sales goal? Invite more people into your leadership promotion system? Perhaps you will adjust your goals to line up with the team. Maybe their dreams are bigger than you expected and it’s time to stretch your goals higher!

Do you really, really know who wants to be one of your new leaders this fall?  These three steps may be what you need to get started.  One of the most important keys for having a successful team is promoting new leaders.  You want to find and support those who want to grow a business just like yours.  Promoting new leaders starts with you!

 

So, what do you really, really want?  Share your thoughts with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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