I’m ready to kick off 2019 with my ONE WORD – COURAGE!
By definition “courage” is “the ability to do something which frightens you.” It is the mental or moral strength to venture out, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The history books are full of social activists, like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who spoke out against injustice at great personal risk. Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, who took financial risks to follow their dreams. They are like modern-day knights, exemplifying the rewards courage can bring. Courage can range from physical strength and endurance to mental stamina and innovation.
So why did I pick this word? Believe me I didn’t pick it, God placed it on my heart many times over the last few weeks. I have A LOT of things which frighten me… In being “courageous”, I have begun planning for 2019 – stepping out into some fearful territory. Check out some of the NEWNESS coming…
- The expansion of Rays of Hope – Angel Connection
- Monthly mystery themed “pink boxes”
- Monthly random acts of kindness to those who are struggling
- Applying for disability and learning to live with and accept my MS struggles
Looking back over my “one word”, I realize God is answering my prayers, in his time not in mine. My vision is to make a difference in the life of others but I need to know my limits. My life has always been an open door so I can help others. Over the years, I have stopped sharing those experiences – it is time to have the courage again to share the good, the bad and the ugly.
My first year selecting “one word” was In 2013 and my word was FAITH. Faith to believe when the way is rough and faith to hang on when the going is tough will never fail to pull us through and bring us strength and comfort too. Helen Steiner Rice. “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20
FAITH led me to my word in 2014 which was EMBRACE. The goal was to EMBRACE all of the blessings God had in store for me. I needed to have FAITH before I could EMBRACE the me everyone else saw – confident, thinner, and some might even say fun. I learned to EMBRACE challenges as blessings without a visit from Doubtful Debbie or Negative Nellie.
Having FAITH and moving forward as I EMBRACED the blessings in my life, I had to learn to TRUST in 2015! Learning to lean on God for ALL things and TRUST him to direct my path was probably the toughest for me. I had to learn to stop taking control when things didn’t go my way. God is in control and I TRUST he will direct my path. I grew in my FAITH, knowing God will provide for my needs.
The inner gremlins were rearing their ugly head so in 2016, my word was CONFIDENCE! I needed CONFIDENCE to believe when the way was rough and the going was tough. CONFIDENCE as I learned to live with my recent diagnosis of MS. CONFIDENCE as I squashed the inner gremlins which had haunted me all of my life.
Then in 2017, it was all about being ACCOUNTABLE. Being accountable meant in all areas of my life not just my business. It meant watching what I ate, working my business as a business. Most of all, it meant being fully transparent in my relationships which was scary as HELL!
In 2018, my goal was to be intentional in my words and my actions. It started off a bit rocky but at the halfway mark, I was being intentional and making thoughtful choices in my life. Was it easy? NO! Did I struggle? Without a doubt. I learned so much over the year as I started to grow as a person. You would think when a person hits the age of 61, they have learned. Sadly, many old behaviors had crept back into my life and I needed to face them before I could move forward. I can say, I ended the year by no longer doing things by the “seat of my pants”. I plan and actually bounce things off of other people to get their input before I take action. A new concept for me but one which reaped many benefits.
All of these lead me to this year of COURAGE!
Whatever your word is for this year, I wish you a safe, healthy and Happy New Year. May this year bring you everything you desire….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Thank you Carrie Wilkerson for these AWESOME tips on how to spend less….
- If you want to make more, spend less. #truestory
- If you’re complaining about being broke, spend less.
- If you’re stressed about minimum payments or juggling dollars, spend less.
- If you’re mad at yourself or your spouse or fighting about money, spend less.
- If you’re jealous of other folks because of ______ then spend less.
- If you want more choices about where to live, what to drive, where the kids go to school, quitting your job or having some options… SPEND LESS.
It all starts with SPEND LESS! I know, I have been there. We struggle with wants versus needs especially during the holiday season. YES – we can make more with our business. YES – we can still work to change our circumstance- but first we need to SPEND LESS.
Trust me, I know this is NOT the time you want to do this. BUT this is the exact time you need to do this before we get caught up in the holiday craziness.
Evaluate EVERY expense. Is is NECESSARY or just something you ‘deserve’? Is it a want or a need? What if you did ‘without it’ for a few weeks/months? Would it change your quality of life?
How do you do this? First, print out 3-6 months of credit card and debit card statements. I know it will be scary. Take a deep breath and jump in. You can do it!
- Highlight EVERY recurring charge.
- Highlight EVERY disposable thing.
- Highlight EVERY spontaneous purchase.
- Highlight EVERY expense for something you don’t wear/play with/use/cook with/read or watch anymore.
- Highlight EVERY unlicensed therapy expense (meaning you were self medicating with food/shopping/movies/girl time/drinks/etc.
Now for the hardest part – STOP spending on those things!
This part, may be a little easier….Evaluate insurance, credit card rates, cable plans (unplug it), phone plans (downgrade) and new clothes (seriously. stop buying them)
I love how Carrie shares her story of getting ahold of her sloppy financial habits (a process, she has used to pay off boatloads of debt MORE THAN ONCE #slowlearner). Her story helps me to remember, I am not alone. I have done it too. Paid off debt, then got sucked in with the thought “I can manage it”. WRONG! My addictive behaviors come back in the form of spending money. So here I am again paying off some debt.
We need to put the blinders on and here is how Carrie did it:
- UNSUBSCRIBE from email ‘sales and newsletters’ – you can’t buy what you don’t see!
- THROW AWAY catalogs that come in the mail. Don’t bring them INTO THE HOUSE. Do NOT fool yourself ‘I’m just getting ideas, I’m making a wishlist, I’m just planning for when I can afford it.’ – NO NO NO NO – THROW IT AWAY. It will still be available for purchase when you can afford it. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SALE.
- Do NOT click on Facebook ads (they follow you around, wearing you down until you can’t help but buy. STOP IT)!
- Do NOT attend home parties or demonstrations or trade shows or craft fairs or open houses or garage sales or ANYTHING WITH THE CHANCE TO BUY. This is a tough one for me since it is part of my business. How I manage this is I don’t take any money with me or my cards!
- TAKE THE APPS off your phone… Amazon, Starbucks, Instacart, ZigZag, Macys – ALL OF IT — OFF THE PHONE. If we can purchase with a click and without a brain, they WANT THAT. STOP THE MESS. TAKE OFF THE APPS.
- During commercials on TV pick up a project. Tidy the sink or move a load from washer to dryer or go outside with the dogs – AVOID MARKETING MESSAGES. It is extreme but so is debt, financial stress and possibly bankruptcy.
- SHOP your CLOSET. Sounds silly, right? Try it and see what happens. See an outfit you like on someone else or on FB, go into your closet and drawers to put together something similar. Or do without.
- Grocery shop ONCE a week and plan meals ahead of time to avoid mealtime meltdown and drive through overspends.
- Use cash instead of cards. My hubby swears by this!
What if you were to think of every purchase in terms of the effort it takes to make the money to purchase it? For example, “how many xx do I have to sell or hours do I have to work to pay for this delivery pizza instead of doing a frozen pizza?”
Many of us are victims of marketing messages, bad habits, lack of will power and deserve levels. We play the comparison which usually results in spending more.
- Think of what you what MOST (financial stress-lessness and freedom) instead of what you want NOW (cute shoes or a top).
- Think of WHY you’re so quick to spend and what you are self-medicating about or delaying…
Carrie suggests a spending freeze at least once a year. It’s wot be fun, I’m sure BUT it may help to keep you in check. I know you are thinking NOW, it is the holidays….
but HONESTLY it is the MOST EFFECTIVE time of year to do it! If you wait until JANUARY… how many more THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS will you have overspent??
Change your habits.
Change your life.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Monday morning – the moment many dread as they head to their job wishing for a longer weekend. I am blessed to be able to work from home and make my own hours. I have been working with a coach and an amazing group of women doing “31days & 31 ways to Jumpstart Your Abundance”. My second go around and new things are coming to light.
We have been talking a lot about core values and our core desires. Maybe it is the MS and memory issues or maybe it is the inner gremlins who take joy in squashing my hopes and dreams but this is a struggle for me. Whatever the reason, I’m sure I’m not alone.
Let’s take a minute to focus on our life – our definition of success, and how we can find purpose, fulfilment, and joy by letting the things which truly matter guide us. I know a heavy topic for a Monday morning but give it a try!
How many of you struggle with the noise, and “norms” of society which make it difficult to stay connected to your core desires.
I have been trying to focus on my core desires in my work and my life. These are the things which help me to focus on how I will prioritize and spend my days, how I define success, and how I will show up in my life. Here is what I came up with:
I never thought much about being financially independent. It was always about paying the bills and having “things”. As I have gotten older, health challenges have come to light, I want to feel stable, secure, self-sufficient, and be independent financially. It goes beyond wanting a roof over my head (hubby takes care of all the household stuff) and food on the table. I want to feel happy and at peace by making mindful, intentional, and responsible decisions when it comes to finances, and by showing up wholeheartedly for my business too. It means paying off credit card debt. This is such a huge change for me from just “winging it”.
Emotional & physical well-being
Living with a chronic health condition has taught me to pay more attention to my health and well-being. I can’t change the struggles my health issues sometimes cause, but I can control how I get through them. Feeling emotionally and physically healthy is something I have been prioritizing in my life this year. I try to honor the needs of my health in my business, and how I support my health in the lifestyle choices too.
Living & telling my truth
I struggle so much with accepting who I am, yet, I am willing to share my strength, hopes and experiences with everyone. I continue to work on accepting who I am – the good, the bad and the ugly. I am learning to embrace my strengths and weaknesses. In my business, I want to inspire others never letting pride or fear hold me back from showing up, supporting and encouraging others.
I crave meaningful and joyful work. I long to make a difference and am always searching for my true purpose. It isn’t about the money I make, it is about what the money can do to make a difference. I love when customers feel comfortable enough to share their story, their fears, their joys, and their desires with me. My heart swells with joy, when I see someone smile who is struggling. I want to honor this desire by never losing sight of what matters most to me in my work, and never letting money be bigger than the “why” behind what I do.
To be of service
Whether it’s in my business, in my relationship, friendships, and with my family, or how I contribute to the world, I always want to be the positive in the lives of those around me. Yes, I want to live a joyful and fulfilling life, BUT I don’t want to always be looking at my own needs.
I long to feel connected to what matters most to me, to the people in my life who I love and adore, to my business and the work I do. I try to stay aligned with my core values, desires, and intentions, by carving out time for my favorite people, by interacting in and engaging with the world around me, and by getting outside of my comfort zone. YIKES! A tough one but so important in staying connected with the world to find ways I can play a small but positive part in it.
What are you core desires in your work and your life? What are they and are you honoring them in your work and daily life? Share with us….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
The year 2017 has become the year of “positive mantras” for me. I am stomping on the inner gremlins and growing in confidence. Confidence + Consistency = Success! There is nothing to stand in the way of me reaching my goals….. but me!
I have those days…. the days when the inner gremlins wake me up in the middle of night telling me how horrible I am or beating me up for not being as good as someone else. It has been awhile since I have talked about my inner gremlins. WHY? Because silly me thought they were gone. I was feeling confident, positive and ready to conquer the world.
So what happen? Life…. yup. Nothing earth shattering just every day normal stuff. Got lots of Nos instead of Yes’s from people I asked to book a party. Wasn’t I working on a 100 No Challenge? Didn’t hit the mark on my daily steps. The numbers on the scale not going down fast enough for me. Income (sales, etc) not where I would like it to be to keep chopping away at old debt. Oh, then the pancakes where a little thick. I know, silly right? But the truth is, I am not alone. There are many of us who give those inner gremlins a crack in the door and they come barreling through. Who is with me?
How many of you have let those little bumps in the road effect your entire day or week or month? Those inner gremlins see an opening and they RUN through eager to help beat you up from the inside. The rest of the world is like “no big deal”, “things will be okay” or “have patience” while we are in crisis mode beating ourselves up.
This year, I have been taking a stand. I am working hard to stay out of the funk and slam the door on those nasty gremlins. I mean if you are going to have a snowball of emotions, wouldn’t you rather it be positive then negative?
‘When you face a compelling opportunity to take action, fear lulls you into inaction, enticing you to passively watch its prophecies fulfill themselves.’ ‘Your fears distort your reality. Under the warped logic of fear, anything is better than the uncertain.’
WOW! Deep, right? But how many times have you had an opportunity to move forward toward success – your success – and fear came calling so you stopped in your tracks? I think all of us have been there no matter what life stage we’re at.
Our fears, our critics, our heroes, our villains are all just our excuses, our rationalizations, our shortcuts, and our justifications. We need to choose to see through them. Or will you let fear paralyze you from going after what you want?
We need to hold ourselves accountable for every moment, every thought, and every detail. You need to see beyond your fears. Recognize your assumptions. Harness your internal strength. Silence your inner gremlins. Correct your misconceptions about success. Accept your strengths and your weaknesses, and understand the difference. Open your heart to your bountiful blessings.
For me, it comes with positive mantras every morning. I will admit, the “train your brain” concept was often lost on me. I LOVE Dana Wilde BUT I always let fear and doubt overrule the training in my brain. I borrowed some of Dana’s mantras, some from others I admire in business and some I wrote on my own. I have found when the inner gremlins come knocking, I go to my office, read my mantras, take 5 minutes to feel them and visualize where I want to be personally and professionally. It works!
So here are some of my mantras:
- I am a successful CEO
- I am making a difference in the lives of others
- I am confident and strong
- My incoming money far exceeds my outgoing
- I am a blessed child of God
- I am at my goal weight and easily maintain it
These words of wisdom may inspire you:
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. ― Bruce Lee
The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised. ― Norman Vincent Peale
The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it. ― Thomas S. Monson
Don’t count the days, make the days count. ― Muhammad Ali
Life’s a marathon, not a sprint. ― Phillip C. McGraw
What will be your mantra as you reach for your success?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!