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!

Do You Want to Fall in Love with Your Business?

I know you are thinking…. “why be in business, especially direct sales, if you don’t love your products and your company, right?”  Most of us get into direct sales because we fell in love with the product, not because it was “easy money”.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post about “Parent Your Business” where I shared what I learned in a seminar with Caryn Chow.  She talked about the need to parent our business with the acronym meaning:

P = Patience

A = A lot of Love

R = Resilience

E = Endurance

N = Nurture

T = Time Out

During the month of February our theme is LOVE, in all areas of our life.

 

Today we are going to talk about how your business is much like a marriage or a relationship (if you aren’t married, there are still some good tips so keep reading). Not only do we need to PARENT our business but we sometimes we need to fall in love all over again.

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On a leadership call this past week, I was taken back to a time when I had a vision of my goals.  An emotional link to them.  As the story of my journey to leadership was shared, I remember the passion and the emotions tied with reaching the desired goal.

So, here is how your relationship with your direct selling business mirrors a marriage. You have a passion for the products and the company. You are committed for the long haul. You are emotionally attached to the vision and the people. BUT just like a marriage, it’s easy to take your eyes off what you fell in love – maybe the company changes their compensation plan, discontinues your best selling product or your team stops producing which effects YOUR paycheck.  Life happens and the road gets bumpy….

Some will jump ship to another company thinking the “grass is greener” on the other side. Others will continue a downward spiral until their sales are gone, their team is lost and they just quit.  Then there are those who desire to find the spark.  Those who want to ignite the passion in their business.  Those who want to cast their vision into the world and see what happens. Those who want to fight for their business, no holds barred.

Staying in love with your business requires the awareness and determination. How often take stock of how you ‘feel’ about your business?  Negative Nellie is a sneaky devil and she usually shows up when you least expect it.  When the shine begins to dim in your love affair with your business, it’s time to take intentional action.

Here are five things you can do to fall in love again:

  • Create a list of 100 reasons to be grateful for your company. I know it sounds like ALOT.  It is BUT if you push all the way to 100 – you will see something happen.  Believe it or not, the final 25 will be the ones which truly touch your heart.
  • Make a list of all the people who have come into your life through your business. No matter what your reason for joining a direct sales in the beginning, the “sisterhood” is what is a big part of why people remain with their company.  It is a blessing many of us never expected or thought of.  Take time to ponder what “the sisterhood” has added to your life.
  • Review the income you have earned.  Remember, you are in this to make money.  So make a list of all the things it has provided for your family or you were able to pay as a result of the income you earned.  Kids activities, credit card debt, school loans, household bills… get the picture?

  • Look around your home and notice all the places you find your products. Consider how they make your life and your family’s life better.  Remember you are a walking billboard of your business.

  • Make one more list, “How I have grown and changed through my business.”  This one is HUGE for me.

Take time, preferably an entire day, to appreciate your business. When you do, you will remember WHY you fell in love.  Then you will be able to count the many reasons to renew the love affair. You will be refreshed with a renewed passion and ready to get back to work!

My love affair with my business may waiver when Negative Nelly stops to visit.  BUT I am cashing my eyes on my vision and ready to put a plan in place.  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

New Year’s Eve 2017

It is New Year’s Eve Day……Since it’s the weekend, I’m sure some will start the celebrations early.  Others are eagerly preparing to celebrate. Somewhere in the midst of all of the craziness, there is always the talk of New Year’s Resolutions, right? Most people pick a resolution because of a plaguing problem (sometimes for years) and vow to change it.

Has resolutions worked for you?

New Year's Resolutions, list of items

Here is usually how it goes:

January – motivated, committed and on track to keep resolution

February – some motivation, mostly on track

March – motivation gone and Resolution forgotten

Does this sound like you? It was me for many years.  Until a challenge in 2013 became a new way of approaching the New Year.  This past year (personal and business) had some great lessons in it and I found a word to sum up my plan for 2017 (I’ll reveal it tomorrow)!

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The “One Word” experiment helped me to move from the long list of changes to ONE WORD.  The addition of an acronym last year helped me stay on track.  My one word has helped me to take all my big plans, and narrow them down to a single focus.  When things got tough, when Doubtful Debbie and Negative Nellie visited; I went back to my ONE WORD and gained focus.  Usually somewhere around March is when I need a refresh. It isn’t always easy but it helps me focus on the goals for the year. Notice I didn’t say resolutions, I said goals.  No more resolutions for me!

Here are the steps I recommended by “the one word experiment”:

Step 1: DETERMINE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BECOME

The first step is to simply take some time and decide what kind of person you want to be at the end of the year. This goes beyond simply being healthier and wealthier, but it must drive deep into your soul. What about the condition of your heart? What about the person God Himself has created you to be?

Step 2: IDENTIFY THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERSON

Picture the person and then simply identify their major characteristics. Is the person gentle? Is the person generous? What are the qualities of the person you want to become?

Step 3: PICK A WORD

Once you have a list of the characteristics, simply pick a word. There might be fifteen things you want to change, but you must resist the temptation to promise you will do them all. Instead, simply commit to ONE WORD.

Step 4: MAKE IT AN ACRONYNM

Now you have a word, add steps for each letter of the word.  Not only will the word help you to focus BUT when the struggles come, the words or action steps attached to the word will help you persevere.  This doesn’t mean you add “goals” or another word, it is all about reminding ourselves of the positive steps to take to achieve our dreams.

One Word will provide you with a lens to see the changes you need to make as well as a way to determine whether or not change is actually happening. Understand this process is hard, but staying focused on your word will help you to struggle in the right direction so you can actually see God working in your life.

I have my word for 2018 and despite my best efforts to move to a different one, God has continued to bring this word up.  I can see how this ONE word will be my guide as I strive for the goals I have for 2018 in my personal, professional and business life.happy-new-year-wishes-quotes-20161What is your ONE WORD for 2018? Or are you still in the “resolution list” mode? Either way, share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Content?

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It is the last day of November and the panic of the holiday season is about to start (if it hasn’t already).  My calendar is full with lots of business activity over the next 14 days which is exciting so this morning, I took just a moment to STOP!  A mixture of emotions have been flowing through me as the holiday approaches.  I am struggling with being content and not wanting more.  More money to pay bills.  More money to spend and give to others.  More time with my daughter.  More time to spend with family. More business.  More recruits.  More weight loss.  All of these things are attainable with prayer and thanksgiving.

I saw this and it made me think about my contentment…

Being content in our lives takes work. Contentment is not something which just happens. Far from it actually because we are a needy people. We always want something more. We always work harder to get the things everyone else has. We all have even been guilty of commenting on our lack of satisfaction of our life placement. It is once again one of those pesky human nature things.

We wonder why some people are successful or have what we want.  The grass is greener on the other side syndrome takes over in my case (more often than I would like to admit).  I forget to be content in God’s blessings. I forget to be content in the things God has given me. I forget to trust God is going to give me everything I need but maybe not when or how I want it. I simply forget.

Contentment is possible. It simply takes work. It takes commitment on our part to not complain about the things we do not have. Instead we need to focus on the things we do have. Focusing on the pure grace God has given each and every one of us. This contentment is important so that we can in fact continue to praise God the way that He deserves……

Today, as I reflect, I am content.  Content in my business.  Content in my marriage.  Content in my life.  I know God will continue to bless me if I remember everything I have is a gift from him.

Are you content in your life?  Are you struggling to find the positive when there only seems to be negative?  PAUSE and give thanks for everything – no matter how small.  You will be amazed at how this “gratitude walk” will change your outlook.  If we practice this each day, Negative Nellie will find a new home.   We will be content and happy in our lives.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Will You Shift Your Thinking to Change Your Life?

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls.  One minute all is wonderful and the next we are slammed with challenges which can send us into a black hole.  On this Monday morning, how will you see the world?

Will you be ready to charge into the week or are you already thinking how behind you are or how bad it will be?  You have a choice and what you decide can make the difference in a good week versus a bad week.

I love how my Thursday morning Weight Watcher meeting messages tend to relate to my everyday life.  The topic of “shift your thinking” hit me hard.  Why?  I am continuously guilty of the failing prey to the negative inner gremlins.  I talk a good game but I have moments too when those curve balls send me down the dark path of doom and gloom

So, on this Monday morning when I am headed home from an amazing visit with my daughter in North Carolina – I am fighting the inner gremlins.  I have decided to slam the door on them.  Yes, I may have eaten (and drank) more than normal.  Yes, I may have gained a little weight (or not).  Yes, I may have taken the focus off my business for a little bit.  BUT instead of thinking of the negatives of the trip, I will focus on the positives.  I got to spend an awesome 5 days with my daughter so we could reconnect.  I got to meet new people.  I got to clear my head and get creative in my business.  I got to rest.  All positives I will focus on as I head home.

Your mindset is not set in stone.  Think about how many times during the day you switch from a positive to a negative mindset.  Believe it or not, we do it ALOT!  There are two areas in our lives we need to switch from a “fixed” mindset to a “growth” mindset – our weight loss journey and our business.  What’s the difference in the two mindsets?

A growth mindset lets us see new experiences and challenges as a chance to grow – to learn, to improve and benefit.  I like to think of this a the positive inner gremlins beating the negative ones.

A fixed mindset is when we are not open to new things.  We tend to except things as they are.  Negative thoughts stick in our brains and setbacks seem like mountains we are unable to climb.  As a result, we continue to do the same thing expecting different results.

When we are ready to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, we unleash positive powerful changes.  The weight starts to come off, your business starts to grow.  We develop skills which will help us to not only make healthier decisions but will also help us to succeed in life!  Our growth mindset allows us to reflect on our slips or mistakes and learn from them while moving forward.

Why do I relate the two – weightless and growing your business?  Because  the journey for me has been linked to the same negative inner gremlins.  If I am feeling bad in one area of my life, the other seems to suffer as a result.

So, how do we shift to a growth mindset?  We need to stomp to the inner gremlins and here is a way to do it:

Fixed Mindset:  “I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this (lose weight or make money in my business).  It’s so hard!  I don’t think I can keep going.”  See the negative inner gremlins feeding and growing stronger.

Reality Check:  “This is a challenge and I’m not sure how long I can keep going, but I won’t ever know if I stop now”.  This is where we make the conscious decision to try.  To give it one more day/week/month to eat healthy.  To give the business one more month to see if I can make money.

Growth Mindset:  “This challenge has been tough but if I continue to make small changes and try to keep going, I know I can do it”  Focus on the accomplishments – big or small.

I challenge you to start this week with a growth mindset, will you accept the challenge.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!