Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Did you start humming the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”?  I do every time I see or hear this line.  Have you ever wanted some of the “pink kool-aid” people who are alway happy take?  You must know someone who always seems to be happy, I have one or two people I know like that.

When I am not having a MS flare up (of the depression kind), I am pretty much a happy go lucky kind of gal.  Yes, I have times of sadness, anger, frustrate – don’t we all? I mean if we didn’t have a variety of emotions we would be “like a wet noodle” or a “block of stone”.

I will be the first to admit, on days when depression hits I enter a black hole where there sees to be no way out.  It can last for an hour, a day, a week and sadly there are times when it can last for longer.  You know those times when even the simplest word will make you cry.  Key the song “Cry Me a River”. LOL.  Thank you to “Modern Day Girl” for inspiring this post.

1. They don’t dwell on the past.

I know I do especially on a bad day.  The shoulda, coulda, woulda kick in and the path into the black hole gets deeper.  What happens when you start with the stinkin’ thinkin’? Things get worse instead of better, right?

So how do you stop yourself from dwelling on the past? Remember “It takes 21 days to make or break a habit”.  So you need to change your mindset.  Your mind is a powerful thing and you can control how you think, and it’s not hard either.  When you focus on the here and now, it becomes easier to get rid of the old bad habits.

FIRST, recognize you’re dwelling on past situations. I know, easier said then done.  When you spend time being more aware of your thoughts, it is easier to change your mindset. Like a new habit, once you start it becomes easier over time.  When you’re aware you are dwelling on thoughts of the past, you can work on ignoring them, or replacing them with focus on the here and now.

2. They focus on the here and now

When you get rid of the thoughts from your past, you can dwell more on the here and now.  I have been told meditation helps and will teach you how to focus on your breathing and what is around you.  I haven’t mastered this yet but I haven’t given up.    Here are some ways meditation and yoga (still need to try this) can help:

  • When you’re focusing on the past, you’re distracted.
  • We miss moments in our lives which may have been the happiest.
  • When we let our thoughts control us , we feel unbalanced
  • When we’re aware of our surroundings, we feel more empathetic towards others, have high self-esteem, and can reduce impulsivity (reducing mental health issues – Psychologytoday.com)

So, if meditation and yoga aren’t for you, find a way to focus on the here and now.  Journal your thoughts.  Take a few minutes to “zone” out.  I like to sit outside and watch the clouds float by, imagining it is all of my past floating away.  I guess my own form of meditation.

3. They recharge

Recharging is something we all need to do.  For happy people, it is part of the every day life.  Not sure what this means? Well, it means different things to different people. Think about what you like to do in your spare time? I know, what spare time, right?  I’ve been there.  The truth is having a chronic disease has helped to me identify when I need to recharge.  It is usually a SMACK but I am learning to stop and rest.  Maybe one of these will work for you:

  • A good book and a cup of coffee
  • A nap
  • Exercise of some kind
  • Drawing
  • Writing/scribbling
  • Painting
  • Spending time in a spa
  • Eating chocolate in front of the TV
  • Pretty much anything that makes you happy

The truth is, we live our lives in overdrive, always rushing to the next thing.  Our bodies need time to relax and recharge. How happy are you when your schedule is jammed full with no time for fun?  Probably not very, right?

If you feel like you don’t have time for yourself, make time. I know it’s hard, believe me I get it.  I was a single mom working full-time but you need to schedule time.  Maybe when the kids are napping, grab the book you’ve been meaning to read. Or on your lunch break at work – read your favourite magazine (whether online or paper).

Happy people value their time and know cultivating happiness is important.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Listen and Be Still

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Listen, be still and wait,

You’ll hear all kinds of things:

A moth up on the windowpane,

Whir of birds on the wing.

Listen, be still and hear

The language of the wildflowers.

Be serene and patient; wait

For new sounds every hour.  – Mami Oaburn Odum

These are the words I needed to hear this morning because I forget to LISTEN and BE STILL.  My mind is always racing 100 miles ahead of where I am – letting moments pass by, letting frustration creep in, and worse of all letting Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie land for even a moment.  Patience has never really been a strong point for me.

The last few weeks have been a struggle, I have found myself undergoing a range of emotions or should I say reactions which are not always pleasant.  I can be down right mean sometimes – yes, it happens.

I have asked Hubby to point it out to me when it happens.  Okay, I didn’t say it was the best decision but with brain fog happening more and more – I need someone to help me remember.   Just the other day.  We were having a great morning when all of a sudden – this gray cloud came over me and I was “snappy”.  I know hard to believe, right?  LOL.  I actually found myself stopping for a moment , keeping QUIET and saying the Serenity Prayer.  Within an hour – gray cloud gone and sunshine prevailed for the rest of the day.  I so which I could understand why the gray could comes out of no where.  I don’t know where they come from BUT I do know what makes them go away – listening to and signing my favorite songs, asking God for help instead of demanding help; keeping quiet, appreciating my surroundings and being grateful for all of the many blessings God has given me.

I find myself having one sided conversations with God (or anyone else who will listen) and then when I need to BE STILL, I become impatient because I want an answer NOW!  My time, not God’s time.

So JUST FOR TODAY in a day filled with activity, I will make sure I take a few moments to BE SERENE, BE STILL and LISTEN.  I have a dream and goals but I need to know if they are the same as what God has in store for me.  The only way to know is to LISTEN.  Get off the computer. Avoid the IPAD.  Get away from the phone.  UNPLUG, communicate with people, LISTEN and watch for the doors that God is opening for me.

Will you unplug with me and PLUG into God’s beauty which surrounds us?  What are you thankful for today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Is Your Facebook Group a Flop?

Do you have a direct sales business?  Are you trying to reach new customers or maybe just get your name out there?  Or do you have a customer group and all you hear is crickets?

Truth be told, I hear crickets ALOT.  There are days when everyone is joining in the fun (like for a contest or to give an opinion) then there are days when I can’t even get a “like” on a picture.

I have been looking for the right mix to keep things going in my group.  It is a lot of trial and error. So, I have been on the hunt for tips to get things moving again…

I started my VIP group because everyone does in direct sales, right?  Facebook is crazy! Who can figure out who is going to see what post?

#1 – Get to Know Your Tribe

I thought I knew my tribe – women who enjoyed hearing about the products I sell along with tips on how to use them. Some days I wonder.  You need to get to know them better. This way you can have conversations and get to know how you can better serve them.

#2 – Market Research

Okay, I am not talking about a full research study.  Listen to the questions being asked and the conversations happening. Then create your posts around those questions. It’s what your audience wants and you are just answering the need.

#3 – Accessibility

Being active doesn’t mean you are obsessed with posting and responding to your group, you are just accessible to your followers.   Check in periodically during the day so when they ask you a question, you can send a comment, and as a result they feel more connected to you.

#4 – Be the Authority

Having your own group will make you an authority in your own niche. Don’t let it scare you – if you don’t know, find out.  You want to be the go-to person and viewed as an expert in your field.

#5 – KLT 

You want to build your know-like-trust factor.  Being in business,  we know you are genuine and likable, so it will be easy to build your know-like-trust factor just by being you and providing AMAZING value to your tribe.

#6 – Promo

Believe it or not, your main goal is NOT to promote your offers, but it is a nice perk.  Your captive audience, know, like, and trust you so they will take you up on your offers. Just don’t slam them every day!

#7 – Help Others

This is the most important thing as far as I am concerned – you get to help your tribe. You have the chance to help out wherever and whenever there is a need. Someone asks a question, you can help by giving advice.  Maybe they need to vent about something (anything).  You get to be the listening ear.  I love being able to help so many on a daily basis.  Above all else, provide value for your audience.

Of course, once you get to know them, you will need to know how to get them to engage in the group.

The best advice I go was to have a customized URL for your Facebook group. I love saying, “Come join us on Facebook at Hope’s Purse Closet”.  Potential members can search for the link and it pops right up.

How many Facebook groups do you belong to?  Have you noticed, they all have a daily thread or theme days?  Some will take a topic to talk about, or ask a question, or allow others to promo their business. Daily threads work are great for participation.

Here are some ideas:

Motivation Monday
Tasty Tuesday
Ask Me Anything
Promo Day
Friday Free for All
Small Business Saturday
Sunday Self-Care

The key is to have a mix of general conversation starters, industry related threads, and promotional opportunities for the members.  To help things along, you will want to be the first to post a comment in the thread to get it rolling.

As the group grows, schedule a monthly rotation of the threads instead of weekly to keep things fresh.  I’m working towards this in my VIP group, just trying to find the right mix.

I believe in consistency in your posts so I use Cinchshare to help me keep consistent.  I have 2 posts a day in my group which are scheduled and then I add to it as I find random things.  I know, it kind of goes against the recommendations BUT I did say my group was a work in progress.  If you use a scheduler, be present in your group.  It doesn’t mean you should not stop in, comment or respond in a timely manner to comments.  I have alerts set up so when people comment, I respond in a timely manner.

I would love to have you share your best suggestions for getting and keeping your Facebook Group engaged.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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Are You Afraid to Say “No”?

Do you know what day it is?  It is WOOHOO Wednesday which means it is HUMP Day.  Today is when we take time for us.  Whether it is celebrating an accomplishment (large or small) or practicing some self-care or learning to step out of our comfort zone – it is all about becoming the YOU who YOU want to be.

The hardest word for me to say is “no”?  What about you?  I don’t mean the times when you have a scheduled conflict, I mean those times when you really don’t want to go or to do the requested task.  Do you get so anxious about saying “no”, you end up going against your better judgment and saying “yes” or just avoiding the conversation altogether?

I have been there more times then I care to count.  The proverbial people pleaser in me is learning to be more comfortable with the word “no”.  It could be because I am learning to “go for the no” in my business without taking it personally or maybe I am just feeling more confident in who I am.  Either way, I like the change.

Here are a few ways to help you when you really want to say “no”.

1. “Let me think about it.”

Sometimes, we’re just not sure we want to say “yes.”  Maybe it doesn’t feel right or it is a request you need to really think about.  Why don’t we just say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” This may be tough at first if you usually say “yes” much too quickly and then end up regretting it.  This statement can and should then become a habit.  It will give you some breathing space to process the request and build the courage to be honest in your response. Then, if the answer is “no,” one of the next three statements can be your follow up.

2. “That’s not going to work for me.”

Whether it is a conflict in your schedule or a conflict in values, “that’s not going to work for me” is a boundary-setting statement.  Of course my problem is I usually follow it up with an explanation, but the truth is there is no need to explain.  This statement indicates your decision is about your needs and/or boundaries.  If the request can be negotiated, it lets the person know the only way to get a “yes” is for them to adjust the request to meet your needs.  If they really want you to do something, they will adjust and ask again.  Saying this statement takes some practice.

3. “I wish I could say yes.”

Are your riddled with guilt by saying no?  Are you afraid the person will be upset with you?  Yup, I tend to fall prey to all of those things.  So, when you feel bad about saying “no,” you could say this statement.  It lets the person know you want to be able to help, but you simply can’t.  Of course, this could also lead to some negotiating from the person requesting so be prepared.

4. “No.”

Again, every time you say “no”, it doesn’t require an explanation. Try a simple, “Thanks, but no thanks,”.  How many times has your “no”  turned into a “yes” due to a long explanation?  Why not try saying “no” then stop yourself from saying anything else. No really is a complete sentence – event if we don’t think so.

Remember when the situation arises where you need to say “no,” tell the truth and just say “no”.  You need to trust things will unfold as they should.

So, where are you saying “yes” way too often and as a result getting overwhelmed?   What is the worse case scenario if you say “no”?  Is it really as bad as we make it out to be in our heads?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How To Boost Your Confidence

16427227_10158289271390220_6884375809304761406_nHappy Friday!  I’m excited because today I am picking my mom and my step dad up from the airport.  They have been in Florida soaking up the sunshine for about 2 weeks and are headed home.

It seems my Friday blogs have been centered on feeling good – about ourselves, our life and our businesses so I am going to call them “Feel Good Fridays”.

I don’t know about you but I have LOTS of inner gremlins.  Those negative thoughts which smack me alongside the head and send me into a tailspin.  The ones who make me doubt EVERYTHING.

Everyday we are hit with the way we should look, the things we should have, and what we should be doing by a certain age.  Body shaming has hit both those who are skinny and those who are “pleasing plump” as my grandfather would say.  As I get close to 60 (yes, this year), I have been doing a lot of reflecting about how these feelings have ebbed and flowed in my life.  There are days when I no longer feel the pressure to look or be a certain way. It takes work (I know I am still looking for the magic wand too!).  Then there are days when those inner gremlins win.

1. Release the pressure you put on yourself 

I have been told for years, “you are your own worst enemy“.  Yup, I (and countless others) put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves.  Perfection was replaced by progress.  Always striving for more.  The constant battle to be the best. This is when we get burnt out and it leads to us to being EXHAUSTED.  The end result is zero motivation.

The key is to block out time for yourself in your schedule no matter how busy a person you are.  The minute you make time for yourself (even 15 minutes of quiet time), you’ll feel better.  You will feel refreshed and inspired by taking a break.  You will get back your energy and believe in yourself.  Positive thinking is a very powerful tool to help you in all areas of your life.

2. Have a self-care day

I see the eyes rolling…. who has time for this, right?  Believe me, once you try it – you won’t want to live without it.  What makes you happy? Is it reading a book? Is it pampering yourself with face masks, wine and a bubble bath? Or how about spending some alone time at the park or somewhere quiet?  Whatever it is you enjoy, block out a day and do it. Turn off your phone (YIKES) and focus on yourself. It’s hard, I know. Full-time jobs/commitments make your time precious.

But remember you are precious too. Doing this will help you re-evaluate your needs and goals, rather than focusing on what others think.

3. Just say “No”

I feel like the anti-drug commercial of the the 70’s. but the truth is being a people pleaser, saying NO is hard for me.  I know I am not alone.  I would say yes to pretty much anything ignoring my own needs and wants.  As I learned to say no, I did it gradually.  I starting saying no to little things like choices in restaurants when going out to eat or an even bigger leap was saying no when I didn’t like an idea someone suggested.  Over time it becomes easier to say no more confidently. This is one of those things you need to practice to get better at….

4. Be whoever and whatever you want to be

Scrolling through social media, we find we can do pretty much anything we put our mind to. The internet makes everything possible which can be a blessing and a curse, right?  We begin to play the comparison game.  I could say stop looking at Facebook, Instagram or any other source of media source you are obsessed with but the truth is, it isn’t going to happen.

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If you struggle with your own inner gremlins, remember you can be whoever you wish to be because you are enough!   Think about and spend time on what makes you happy and you will improve your confidence and believe in yourself.  Set some goals and reward yourself when you reach them.  Gaining self-worth is something to be nurtured in order for it to grow and blossom.

5. The Inner Beauty Glow 

When you are not happy with yourself, how motivated are you to do anything?  If you feel ugly and hate yourself, you’re going to think very poorly of yourself. When you are feeling good about yourself, you are strong and confident, right?  Been there, done it and got the tee shirt.  It’s not easy believing in yourself and it takes a long time to reach a point at which you’re happy.

I heard for years, it is what is on the inside which counts – not what the outside looks like.  This was hard to swallow BUT when I started believing it, things happened. Your voice is important. Your personality is important. Your strength and resilience are so so important.  When you believe in yourself, your sparkle will begin to show on the outside.

keep calm and sparkle onSo, what do you think? Is boosting your self-confidence something you need to work on? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!