How to Stretch Yourself

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?  Be honest!  I don’t mean putting your toe out, finding it was too hard and giving up.  I mean really stretched yourself?

Honestly, I can’t remember when I last did.  To do it, I would have to BELIEVE in myself.  Hmm, I don’t know about you but I struggle with it.  On the outside many see a CEO of her own business who lives life on her terms.  The truth is most days I struggle to believe in myself!  Okay it is out there and I can’t take it back……

I always find when I stretch myself beyond my comfort zone, I am surprised it really isn’t as uncomfortable as I thought it would be.  As I stay in the “new zone”, I get more and more comfortable.

The last 60 days have been filled with lots of changes for me – personally and in my business.  All good things but things which needed to be done.  Clearing out the clutter to make way for more blessings!  One of the first things I wanted to do was create a list of goals.  I’m great for lists.  When we step out of our comfort zone, too many BIG goals can be so scary we retreat.  So I am working on being inspired.  I know vague, right?  Definitely not a SMART goal but I am working on one.  I am going to set a goal which stretches me and as a result will excite me enough to move into action.  I have been told a “stretch goal” will develop your character by tapping into your strengths.

Since MS seems to have wrecked havoc on my memory and my thought process, I struggle with figuring these kinds of things our.  I know the answers are all in my head, it is just getting them out and on paper.  Thank you Valerie Burton for these questions to help me (and you) find your stretch goal.  Answering these questions will help you (and me) find the inspiration to forge ahead and stick to the goal.  Who is ready to join me?

1. What vision feels just beyond your reach?

Are you great at helping others see their vision but you can’t see it for yourself even if you want it?  Yup, I’ve been there.  Do you want to double or triple your income?  Maybe you want to  explore your romantic streak or event your fun side. Do you dream of eating healthy, exercising and being at goal weight? The purpose of this goal is to not choose something realistic, but to choose something which feels beyond your reach — the one you think is as not really possible.  The truth is “it is possible”.  Do you have the faith to believe it? A stretch goal forces you to reach higher than you think you can. If you don’t have to stretch for it, it’s not big enough for this exercise.

2. What specific, measurable, and time-sensitive goal would bring you closer to that vision?

Now for the fun part where we get specific about the goal. Make it vivid. Describe it in a way you can measure your progress so you know when you have reached the finish line. And most importantly, give yourself a deadline. You know what happens when there’s no deadline, right? It’s always something you’ll start tomorrow. Before you know it, a year has passed and you set the same goal again!   Sort of like those New Year’s Resolutions.  We make them at the beginning of the year with no specific time frame in mind.  A year is a long time when you don’t have a plan.  Here is an example: “I’m going to have more fun and truly enjoy my life rather than treating every activity like a burden” is a great vision (not mine). You could break it down by saying, “I am going to travel for pleasure more. Once every three months I am going to take a fun trip, even if it’s just a weekend road trip somewhere adventurous. And my first trip will be four weeks from now.”

3. Who will you tell?

Make yourself accountable.  Don’t keep your vision and goal to yourself. Tell somebody. Actually,  tell EVERYONE who is a supportive person in your life. Negative people may throw water on your passion and excitement: “Are you sure?” “That sounds hard.” “You’ve never done that before!” You don’t need doubters to fill your head with negativity.  Find someone encouraging, they might even want to join you. Chances are if you keep it to yourself, you will  quietly drop the goal if you don’t achieve it. Commit to it. Declare it out loud. When we  share our plans with others, it is far more likely you’ll actually carry it out.

So, are you going to stop playing it safe?  Are you going to STRETCH????  Share your goal with us, so we can celebrate and encourage you along the way.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Consistency is the Key to Success

The most often question I hear from members of my team revolves around maintaining and growing their business.  What do you do when you have exhausted your family and friends?  Where do you turn, how do keep your business?

Your business is fun and flexible but the work is NOT optional.  A reminder I keep on my wall from Carrie Wilkerson.  The key for me has been consistency.  Did it happen over night? NO!  But after consistently working my business intentionally a little bit every day, I see the results.  Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t still be doing direct sales for the last 7 years with the same company if I wasn’t making money, right?  Gotta pay the bills!

Here are 5 things you can do to be more consistent in your business and help you to  reach your goals.

1. Break your goals down into activities.

I can’t always see the BIG picture but I can focus on the baby steps.  I know, crazy, right?  Your daily activities are like gasoline for your car which gets you to your destination.  If you have a goal to reach $1000 in income every month, you need to figure out how many new contacts it will take each month, how many parties you need to hold, how many team members you need to recruit and what your team sales need to be. Then you can break it down to the activities you need to do on a regular basis to find those new customers, book those parties, recruit those team members and then help them build their business.  I know it sounds overwhelming BUT it is possible!  WRITE down your goal.  Now make a list of all of the things you could do (if FEAR was not a factor) to make it happen.  Those activities could include marketing, lead generation, events, follow ups, opportunity Facebook Live, or 1 on 1 team coaching.  You will be surprised what happens if you step out of your comfort zone just a little bit to complete some of these activities.

2. Focus on creating new habits.

I am all about lists.  I like to see things highlighted in my planner which means they are done or crossed off my list.  I even have a daily habits schedule because on those “rough days”, I could forget even the things I have done every day for months.  So let’s get busy.  It’s actually much easier to create new habits than to break old ones.  When we re-train our brain, it will become easier to complete the new tasks, routines and goals we have. What would an ideal day look like in your life and in your business?  What are you waiting for?   Begin working NOW to follow the new routine each day. Choose 1 area to focus on changing to allow your brain to adjust to the new way of thinking and being.  Remember the tortoise and the hare?  Slow and steady wins the race.

3. Evaluate your activities each day, week and month.

Do you review your activities?  Do you actually write down your successes, challenges and big ideas for the month?  The only real way to make sure you are making progress and staying on course is by evaluating what you do on a regular basis.  Create a daily or weekly task list.  Create theme days you use to keep yourself on track – Motivation Monday, Team Tuesday, etc. Then look at it at least once a week to see what is going well, what isn’t going so well and where you need to improve or adjust.  I review my week on either Saturday morning or Sunday evenings as I prep for the upcoming week.  A weekly check allows me to tweak my focus so I can reach my goals faster.

4. Seek Accountability.

I don’t know about you but I need to be accountable to someone.  Change can be tough but when I add in an accountability measure, it gives me an incentive, and encouragement to do the work.   Some share their goals with their family to get them on board. Some find a buddy in or out of their direct sales company to connect with on a regular basis. What works best for you?  Create a vision board to help you keep focused.  This can be done with magazine cut-outs or hand drawn.  I am part of an incredible Facebook Group called League of Audacious Women run by the AMAZING Desiree Wolfe which helps me stay accountable on a daily basis. Join a monthly group coaching or training program which provides support and accountability. Be willing to hold yourself responsible and learn from others who are further along the path than you are.

5. Celebrate your progress.

Do you wait to celebrate until you reach the final goal OR do you celebrate your accomplishments along the way?  The success is in the journey and not always the destination.  Your goal is a target for you to focus on to keep you moving forward BUT life happens. We get derailed or make mistakes.  Sometimes it takes us longer to reach our goal than we hoped for or maybe we never reach it BUT we need to continue to celebrate our progress.  Practice self-love and be our own biggest cheerleaders. Focus on progress not perfection.

Who is ready to get consistent?  What small step will you make to change the direction of your business and your life?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Celebrate the Little Wins

How do you feel when you hit a goal?  Maybe your goal weight?  Maybe you ran a marathon?  Maybe you hit your sales goals?  Whatever it was, do you remember how you felt?  The excitement of achieving something you have been working for – were you giddy with happiness, or are you like me and cry tears of joy?

Now, how did you feel working towards the goal?  Frustrated?  Overwhelmed?

There’s a reason why so many of us work hard in the pursuit of big bold goals – because it feels so good when we make them happen, right?  The truth is BIG wins don’t happen every day.  Sometimes not even every month, quarter, or year. Sometimes big dreamy goals take time, patience, and a whole lot of devotion to make happen. And it’s okay, it’s how it’s supposed to be.

But are we supposed to defer our happiness, our joy, and our contentment until those BIG dreams happen?  How many of you actually celebrate or give yourself credit for the baby steps you made on the way to your BIG goal?

Most of us (me included) forget to feel proud of ourselves in the here and now – in the moment BEFORE we reach the big goal. It is important for us to allow ourselves to enjoy the moment. We can make ourselves crazy if we continue to defer our happiness until some day in the future when we make those big dreams happen.

So what if we started to obsess over our little wins instead of the big ones?  What if we reconnected with the things which truly matter most in my life – the present, the here and now.  When we show up each day for our work and our life while taking care of ourself, our family, and our business – these are the things which truly matter most. The big wins are then the icing on the cake.  The little wins are the ones which truly shape and define a well lived successful life.

What do some of your little wins look like? Do any of these look like yours?

I paid my bills this month on time and am reducing my debt.  That’s awesome.

One of my favorite customer/hostess wants to host another party. That’s amazing.

I got 8 hours of sleep every night this week! Go me.

I gave myself time and space to read an incredible book this month.  Woo hoo!

I created and shared original posts on social media this month I’m proud of.  I sure did.

I embraced guilt-free rest this week whenever I needed it.  Yes!

So, what happens when you think about the little steps you took this week?  Were you energized, excited, and aligned?

Believe it or not, when you are focused on the little wins, you are less attached to the outcome.  You can feel proud of the hard work and devotion it took to make the BIG dreams happen without diminishing what it took to make the little, everyday wins happen too.

I’m challenging you to obsess about your little wins instead of the big ones.

What are five things you’re really proud of this week?  No matter what they are, embrace the positive feelings about the little wins.  Enjoy the feelings as you celebrate showing up each day and giving your life everything you’ve got.  Because it’s what really matters in the end.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

A Letter to Hope 2.0

As we close the month of February, I want to share one last thing in honor of International Boost Your Self-Esteem Month!

Remember you deserve to be happy, truly happy with a joy which comes from within.  Believe in yourself just as others believe in you.  See yourself through their eyes.  You are AWESOME. Feel it.  Believe it.  And know you deserve it.

I don’t know about you BUT I struggle with self-esteem – from the comparison game in my business to still seeing the 295 pound me instead of the new 175 pound me.  I practice visualizing, where you want to be every day, then take the steps to make it a reality.  It isn’t easy but I am determined to reach my goals even though they scare the HELL out of me!

Someone suggested I write a letter to the future me so I could see how far I have come.  It also helped me to visualize the future and how it feels to reach my goals.   Have you ever written a letter to future you?  Why not try it?  Make sure it contains positive affirmation of the goals you want to achieve.  Remember, the Law of Attraction?

Here is my letter to Hope 2.0 telling her how proud I was of all she has accomplished in her life:

Dear Hope 2.0:

I am so proud of all you have accomplished in the last 5 years:

  • Your office  is organized.  I am glad you finally have a part-time assistant to help with the busy work.  The family room looks AMAZING.  I know your team loves hanging out with you and learning all of your great business tips.
  • Where did you say your last cruise went to?  WOW!  I know hubby loves the fact you can take a vacation every year and you treat.  What a great way to say thank you to him for taking care of you every day.  Of course, those mini getaways are nice too.  You can never have enough of them.
  • Your team has grown by over 100 girls.  Having hubby there when they celebrated your accomplishments on stage was the best part.  I know you cried because he never wanted to enter the pink bubble but he was so proud of you.  He finally sees your business as a business and the impact you are having on others.
  • Your calendar is always full.  Your hostesses are scheduling their next party so they never miss out on getting on your calendar
  • Your Annual Hostess Appreciation party has become the talk of the town.  In 5 years, it is the must attend end of the year event
  • The many charities you have helped with your seasonal events for kids and families are a blessing.  Don’t forget the multiple fundraisers you hold every month.  Not only are you helping organizations find discretionary money but you are also helping people who are struggling. You never forget where you came from – a homeless, addict who just wanted to please everyone.  By remembering, you are able to encourage others
  • You have inspired so many on your team to reach for their dreams, to overcome their inner gremlins and as a result their lives are changed forever
  • Your willingness to share your office systems, your party ideas, presentations and even allow consultants to tag along with you whether they are on your team or not is a great example of a leader.

I want you to remember success is always within your reach.  There will be struggles but it simply means there are lessons to be learned.  Your  journey is yours alone but others can learn from it.  Comparison is not in the plan.

I am not there yet BUT I am on the road to being Hope 2.0.  I am not waiting for “when” or “if”, I am claiming the blessings NOW.  I have seen things change in my business since I did this exercise – thank you Eryka. Give it a chance, what have you got to loose.  You deserve to have all of the blessings waiting for you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your successes.

What about you?  What would your letter look like?  Share your thoughts with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Will You be Happy While?

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I am sure you are wondering what this blog is all about, right?  What does the bunny bin have to do with it?  They truth is I just think he is cute!

How many times I have you said or thought “I will be happy when (fill in the blank)?  Maybe it is when you lose weight or meet the perfect guy or get the perfect job.  Doesn’t all of that worry, wear you out?  I know it does me!  Then what really happens is I miss out on the here and now.

It’s an art to stay content where you are while you’re on the way to something better.  As you race to your goal, I’m sure you have heard it a million times “It’s the journey, not the destination.”, right?

What if you were to change the mindset and the words from “I will be happy when I get the new job/my kids graduate/I retire/I win the lottery.” to “I will be happy while I wait for the new job/my kids are with me/I’m blessed to have a job.”  Just a slight change in the mindset, allows you to enjoy the moment while you are racing towards your goal.

Here are a few questions courtesy of Valerie Burton to help you appreciate the value of the here and now.

1. What are you grateful for?

Contentment and gratitude are impossible to separate.  Gratitude empowers you to notice the blessings right in front of you.  It opens your mind to the possibility of what if the little blessings disappeared, they wouldn’t seem so little anymore. Stop talking, thinking, and complaining about what you don’t have and start noticing what you do have. SMACK!  I am so guilty of this but I am a work in progress so I am learning to be grateful for the little things.

2. What’s the most important lesson being offered to you right now?

When you’re too focused on the future, you can miss the lesson being offered to you today.  More important than reaching a goal is the person you become in the process of reaching it. What character traits are being developed? What destructive habits are being eliminated? What are you learning you would not have learned otherwise? Look for the lessons. Appreciate them. Embrace them.  Lessons can sometimes be hard, brutal even BUT without the lessons we would not learn and grow

3. When you look back on this time a year from now, what will you wish you had done?

UGH!  This question is HUGE!  I sometimes fall into the “what if” trap and believe me it doesn’t get me anywhere.  The frustration effects my attitude, and we most likely will make choices we’ll later regret. But when you ask yourself this question, you suddenly recognize the magnitude of the opportunity before you. What do you want your legacy to be? Rather than complaining or murmuring about how hard things are, you have an opportunity to face the challenges before you like a champion.  You can’t change the past BUT you can live in the moment and create your own future.

4. In what ways have you already made progress?

Are you like me – beat yourself up for mistakes you have made?  Stop taking yourself for granted. Maybe you (and I) haven’t made perfect progress, but who has? It is important we acknowledge what we have done. Focus on your milestones while they are happening. Celebrate them. Treat yourself. Tell the world. Life is happening right now. Rather than waiting to reach the finish line before you mark your progress, do it with every step you take.

I challenge you to be content where you are right now!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!