What is the Link Between Self-Esteem & Technology in Girls?

I am excited to tell you about a groundbreaking study of more than 10,000 U.S. girls which Thirty One Gifts cosponsored with Ruling Out eXperiences, Inc. (ROX).  It is the largest of its kind and revealed surprising information on the role of technology on girls’ self-esteem. I know we have all heard about cyber bullying or “the mean girls” on social media and for some, they say “it won’t be my kid”.  Well, I felt the same way many years ago, until I read something my daughter wrote about being bullied.  You can read the story on my very first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs The Invisible“.

The findings of this study is heartbreaking.  While they give us a glimpse into the raw truth about girls fifth through 12th-grade and their perception, it is also an opportunity for us to look for ways to be mentors and be a positive influence in their lives.

The mission of ROX (Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc.) a Columbus, Ohio-headquartered nonprofit organization is:

TO EQUIP GIRLS WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS NECESSARY TO LIVE HEALTHY, INDEPENDENT, PRODUCTIVE AND VIOLENCE-FREE LIVES.

ROX announced the findings of their study from The Girls’ Index: New Insights into the Complex World of Today’s Girls a few months ago.  This national survey was taken of 10,678 fifth- through 12th-grade girls with the sole purpose of capturing the girls’ perceptions and experiences around fitting in, body image, peer pressure, academics, friendships and relationships. The report is a comprehensive picture for parents and educators on the thoughts, beliefs and behaviors of girls across the country.  The demographics are from every walk of life – cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic of the school district, and the type for school for a broad spectrum of girls.

The findings of The Girls’ Index include:

#1 Most girls like to be in charge, but self-doubt can impact their pursuit of leadership.  A surprising 46% of the girls reported they don’t say what they are thinking or disagree with other peers.  WHY?   Because they want to be liked with 1 in 3 girls being afraid to be a leader because they don’t want others to think they are bossy.

#2 30% of the girls with the highest grade point averages (4.0 or above),  don’t think they’re smart enough for their dream careers. Despite their high academic achievements, they are still filled with confidence issues.

#3 Girls who spend the most time using technology (8 hrs./day) are 5x more likely to be sad or depressed nearly every day compared to the girls who spend four or fewer hours.  If this isn’t a reason to restrict technology time, I don’t know what is.  Technology and social media greatly impact girls’ relationships, achievement, confidence, mood and school engagement.

#4 By high school, sexting is common and prevalent with 2 out of 3 girls reporting by 12th grade they have been asked to send a sexually explicit photo to another person.  I am so grateful cell phones weren’t popular when my daughter was growing up.

#5  Girls who have strong and trusting friendships with other girls fare better and report significantly lower levels of sadness and depression.

ROX concluded “girls who have strong and trusting friendships fare better, it is crucial girls receive the opportunities and tools they need to forge the positive friendships which safeguard their emotions and experiences.

This study shakes me to my core.  I grew up lacking confidence.  I had friends but not the kind of strong trusting friendships which helped me to battle sadness and depression.  Those emotions and experiences traveled with me through my college years straight through to my years of addiction.  My goal was for my daughter’s life to be different.  She was blessed to have one or two strong, trusting friendships growing up yet on the inside she lacked confidence despite the outward strong appearance.

The bottom line is we as parents, teachers and coaches are missing out on at least half of what girls think, know and believe.  YIKES!  We are losing the creativity, contributions and impact these young girls can make on the world.

As these studies become public, as awareness grows, we have an obligation to do better and a responsibility to make the world a place where girls can feel confident and capable.

Thirty-One Gifts proudly partner with ROX to provide girls with opportunities to talk candidly and openly about their experiences, while arming them with tools to positively and safely use social media, navigate relationships and manage pressure to ultimately develop a positive self-concept. Learn more about ROX, including ways you can get involved, at rulingourexperiences.com.

Share some of the products from Thirty One’s URU collection.  The Be the Give! Littles Carry-All Caddy comes with a special message “Love who you were born to be”.   A great way to encourage and celebrate the young girl in your life for Valentine’s Day or Easter or just as a “thinking of you” gift.  It is also the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks and candy.

Won’t you help to make a difference in the live of a young girl?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How to Build Belief on an Unshakable Foundation

Thank you Encouragement for Today for today’s message….

What we believe shows in the way we act, the decisions we make, and the choices we pursue. Over a decade ago, I learned this important lesson from a winsome woman I met at a women’s retreat. Her name was Ruth.

Ruth stood out in the retreat crowd not only because of her lustrous gray hair but also because of the cluster of younger women around her. They were talking with her, doting on her, and soaking in every word she said, so I headed over to meet this woman who drew in like a magnet.After listening to this delightful woman talk for a while, I asked her, “What’s your secret? Over the years, how have you continued to grow in the Lord, stay positive and exude joy?” Her answer was simple yet profound,

“Be today who you want to be tomorrow.”

As she spoke, I remembered a conversation from a girls-night-out with some women from my church. Conversation flowed freely from one topic to the next as I got to know the women across from me. We talked about our kids, our homes and our work. Ironically, both women had done specialized nursing with geriatric patients.

I started to question them about their work and their patients. Finally I asked, “Why do you think that so many older people, particularly women, seem to struggle with negativity as they age?” Both looked at me in surprise and said that I was incorrect. They were unanimous in their theory of how aging affects personality.

“Aging only magnifies who you already are,” my friend said.

“Yes,” chimed in the other, “If you are kind when you are young, then you’ll be even kinder as you age. If you think positively when you’re young, then you will also have that habit as you age. But if you are a complainer when you are young, then you’ll get worse as you age. If you are unforgiving when you are young, then you’ll become very bitter as you age.”

They explained that occasionally diseases that affect the brain will change a person’s personality, thinking and actions. Generally, however, through stories and comments of family members about the early days of their elderly patients, they had found that their original hypothesis held true. Ruth’s answer to my question about the secret to aging well was completely consistent with my friends’ observations. “Be today who you want to be tomorrow.”

I’d like to propose a corrolary truth to Ruth’s today:

What you believe determines who you’ll be.

Aging magnifies what we believe. If we believe that Jesus commands us to use words to build up, then we’ll develop the habit of encouraging words.

If we believe that God is good despite our circumstances, then we’ll develop the pattern of praise in the midst of hardship.

If we believe that He is the provider and healer, then we’ll cultivate patient, expectant waiting (without complaint…ouch!) as we wait for His provision and healing.

If we believe that the fruits of the Spirit given to us are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, then we’ll pursue portraying those traits.

Ruth’s beliefs shone brightly because of the kind of woman she had become. Who she had become reflected what she believed.

Do you desire to be a godly, older woman like Ruth? I do! Then, we’re called to pursue knowing Truth (belief is part of truly knowing!) and living the Truth. It really does change everything– including our aging.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Be Intentional!

WOOHOO!  The New Year has arrived…. some are nursing hangovers this morning while others are looking forward to enjoying another day off with friends and family.

I’m ready to kick off 2018 with my ONE WORD – INTENTIONAL!

So why did  I pick this word?  Believe me I didn’t pick it, God placed it on my heart.  Last year was all about being accountable. I will admit in being accountable I had MANY moments when things were done by the seat of my pants.  The end result always seemed to work out BUT I wanted this year to be different.

By definition “intentional” means done on purpose; something deliberate.  Intentional means you are purposeful in word and action. It means you live a meaningful and fulfilling life – whatever it is to you. It means you make thoughtful choices in your life. It means you actively interact and engage in your life.

In being “intentional”, I have begun planning for 2018.  Check out some of the NEWNESS coming…

  • The January Edition of my NEW Customer Newsletter is ready to go.
  • Monthly Customer Appreciation Online BINGO events are set up
  • New logo to “brand” myself and my business
  • Changes in blogging schedule (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday only)
  • Monthly themed Facebook Parties (mystery hostess)
  • Give Back with Me Monthly with random acts of kindness
  • Focus on Fundraising and Giving Back to the Community (especially kids)

Looking back over my “one word”, I realize God has been answering my prayers, in his time not in mine.  My vision is to make a difference in the life of others but I needed to grow personally before I could do this…

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!

All of these lead me to this year of being INTENTIONAL!

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!

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)!

wotypicv1-2-1

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!

Your Why Can Be Anything You Want

Happy Friday…. We are halfway through the month of December AND just two weeks away from the celebrating the New Year.  For many it will mean a list of New Year’s resolutions which may or may not be stuck to during the year.  For others, it means finding their one word which will be their focus for the year.  For others (like me), it will be making sure I am focused on my why.  Sounds kind of cheesy, right?

In the direct sales business, there is a lot of talk about “knowing your why”, about having a purpose and about letting your why lead the way.  It is wonderful when in fact you know what your why is and you aren’t playing the comparison game.

I believe knowing our purpose behind everything we do in our business is what bridges the gap between where we are now and where we truly want to be.  We need to know where we want to go if we want to actually have a chance at getting there.  Sometimes, we feel stuck, or overwhelmed, or even insecure when it comes to figuring out our why.

Not everyone wants to change the world.  Not everyone has big bold visions for their business and their work.  Maybe you have a message to share or a cause near and dear to your heart.  Maybe you just want to change your own world – pay bills, stay home with the kids, or travel. Yes, your why can be about creating a good life for you and your family, doing work you’re passionate about, while building financial stability and having a fulfilling career.

The truth is:

Your why can be whatever the hell you want it to be.

Many of us play the comparison game….. I know I am not alone.  We feel like our “why” may not be as important as everyone else’s or the shoulda, coulda, woulda gremlins start to bounce around in our heads.

The truth is no matter what your WHY is, it is valid, meaningful, and as worthwhile as anyone else’s.  You don’t have to try and change the world if you don’t want to.  Your why doesn’t have to be a big impressive thing.  Your why can be you and the life you want to build for yourself and your family.

The size of your why doesn’t really matter.  

What matters most is your why motivates and inspires you to show up, do the work, and take brave and bold steps forward in your work and life along the way.  I want you to ask yourself these questions (along with me) today so we can get to the heart of our why…..

  • What kind of work and life do you want to build?
  • What truly motivates and inspires you to pursue this path?

Then dig a little deeper to the heart of the work you do….what are your biggest hopes, intentions, and goals (for both you and your customers)?

Once you figure it out – OWN IT.  Be brave enough to keep moving in the direction which feels most true to you.  Trust you have permission for your why to be whatever the hell you want it to be.

For me, it is always about making people smile but some days I forget and get wrapped up in the craziness of worrying what other people think.  Do I want to pay off debt?  YES! Do I love making my own hours & not working full time?  YES!  The reality is those two things do not get me up in the morning.  Some days they will motivate me to push for higher sales but the truth is….I like to make people smile.

So whether it is helping a hostess get FREE products or sending happy mail to thank someone for an order or just a card to let someone know I care – these are the things which move me forward each day.  Some days the desire to pay off debt is much less important than the need to make someone smile but I am learning to balance the two – not always easy.

YOUR WHY IS YOURS – NOW OWN IT!

So as you start to think about the new year and your focus, what will it be?  Share your why with us as a way to start owning it…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!