Personal Development

  • 20 Ways to Cope with Anxiety – Mom and Teen Tested

    Green plants next to a stepped waterfall with text overlay: 20 Ways to Cope with Anxiety - Mom and Teen Tested


     

    Anxiety is something often ignored, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood. It’s normal to feel anxious at certain times and everyone does, but when anxiety begins to interfere with your life, it’s most likely an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety is something several members of my family cope with (me included!), but it wasn’t until my middle child was diagnosed that I began to understand that there are effective ways to help ourselves deal with it.

    National prevalence data indicate that nearly 40 million people in the United States (18%) experience an anxiety disorder in any given year. To learn more about anxiety and anxiety disorders: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety

    Over the years, through research, professional recommendations, and testing ways to cope with anxiety by my children and me, we’ve collected over twenty different effective ways to cope with anxiety. We find they can stave off, lessen the impact, or at least shorten the duration of our anxiety. It’s all about living as normal a life as we can. (I often remind my teens, and myself, that “normal” is a subjective term!)

    All of these are good coping skills for anxiety, but choose a few to get started and add more along the way.

    This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Check with your doctor or mental health professional.

     


    Twenty Ways to Cope with Anxiety – Mom & Teen Tested

    1. Control your breathing

    Controlling your breathing will help you feel more in control of yourself and your reaction to the way your anxiety makes you feel. It helps give oxygen to your brain, relaxes your muscles, and encourages you focus on something other than the thoughts that are causing the anxiety.

    2. Positive affirmations

    Clear out the negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Get into the habit of repeating a few of them several times a day, especially in the morning and before bed. They help align your thoughts on healthier ideas. (I know they have a kind of cheesy reputation in some circles, but saying kind things to yourself is a good for you, and much better than the negativity that’s rattling around in your mind.) My favorite app to use is ThinkUp, but you can check out others in a Top 10 list here.

    multi-colored trees next to a wooden bridge with text overlay If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. Amit Ray

     

    3. Meditate for mindfulness

    I was late to the game in using meditation, despite many friends, professionals, and research telling me how great it was. Meditation has been shown to help anxiety, can actually change the brain, and a whole host of other benefits, and it’s been something that my teens and I enjoy doing together. Our favorite guided meditation app is Smiling Mind. It really does make a difference for our overall day-to-day, so don’t be like me and wait any longer.

    4. Do yoga

    The benefits of yoga include better mental focus, increased balance, burned calories, and stretched tight muscles. Controlled breathing is usually a part of it, which is something it and meditation have in common, therefore it also can be calming for anxious thoughts. I have truly lost a lot of flexibility and balance over the years, and it’s been a challenge, but I’m seeing real improvements and benefits from it. If I can do it, you can, too.

    5. Get out into nature

    There’s a lot of scientific research to show that nature is very calming, and that our brainwaves settle into better patterns when we spend time there. Some research says 10 minutes is enough, others say 20 minutes should be the target time. I say that if the effort has been made to get outside, get in as much as you can. And this doesn’t mean you have to go to the middle of the deep woods. Go to a park, sit under a tree, or walk around your own back yard. It’s the perfect time for #6.

    6. Engage your senses

    We often go about our days mindlessly. This skill helps us be mindful. It’s also a great way to distract attention from negative thoughts. The technique is to choose five things you see, four things you hear, three things you feel (touch), two things you smell, and one thing you taste (in my family, we imagine tasting chocolate if there’s nothing else available). Take a few minutes to be mindful of your surroundings.

    Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

    7. Take a warm shower or bath

    This is a classic way to relax and calm your thoughts. I find that the process of taking a shower or bath is often enough to disengage negative thoughts. The bath or shower is a great place to be alone with your thoughts, however, and sometimes that’s not what we want when feeling particuarly anxious. My family members have playlists of upbeat music they use during that time. (Parents: Having timed playlists also helps eliminate overlong showers or baths.) In any case, the warm water is soothing and it gives you a chance to relax.

    8. Use essential oils

    This section could also be called “Things that smell good and make you feel happy”, which is exactly what I use essential oils for. Citrus oils are used liberally around my house because the bright scents are uplifting for us. For others, it might be warm cinnamon or floral blends. Find the scents that you enjoy and use them to help create a pleasant environment.

    9. Self-care

    Stress is something we all deal with, but anxiety can cause a stressful situation to blow up out of proportion. Self-care can help alleviate stress. Personally, having time alone is essential for me and it’s something I have to go out of my way to create. But, I do it anyway. Whatever you consider for your own self-care, choose something and do it regularly. Paying quality attention to yourself isn’t selfish or a waste of time. It’s healthy and important.

    10. Eat healthy

    This really is another form of self-care, but eating healthy is so important in all areas of your life. Managing your anxiety will be more difficult if your body isn’t healthy, and that includes your brain. We pay special attention to sugar in my family, and here’s why.

    Woman in workout clothes stretching with woods blurred in background and text overlay You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you. Dan Millman

     

    11. Get moving

    Go to the gym, go for a walk, turn on some tunes and dance, attend a yoga class, take a ride on your bike, or any other way you choose to get moving. All that motion helps distract the anxious thoughts, and the resulting endorphins are our body’s way to reward us for the exercise.

    12. Get your Zzzzz’s

    Getting enough rest is important for your mind and your body. But anxious thoughts often keep us awake or wake us up in the night. (I’ve seen my share of 3 a.m. wake up calls from my anxious brain.) A good and consistent bedtime routine is a must, and for that, or to get back to sleep, I need some help. I’ve found using an audio app to be the best solution. My choice is Relax Melodies. I use the free version, but the premium has so many cool features that I intend to upgrade to take advantage of them. (Unpaid review – it’s just that good!)

    13. Limit your social media

    There’s nothing like comparison-itis, family or friend rants, or negative news posts to stir up anxious thoughts, and social media is a prime culprit. If you find that the obviously perfect lives of your contacts (they’re not, of course), online arguments, or troubling world news trigger anxiety, then do yourself a favor and limit your time there. This is equally important for teens.

    14. Be productive

    Diverting your attention from your anxious thoughts to accomplishing something, however small, is a great way to cope with them. Choose something off your to-do list that you can complete quickly. Once you’ve done that, you can tackle the jobs on the list that are making you anxious, since you’re on a roll. (Right?) Another way to help alleviate anxiety and something that causes it is clearing the clutter. Again, set yourself a small task, like clearing a table. It’s a start, and embracing decluttering is going to make your environment less stressful.

    Yellow and pink flowers with text overlay Anxiety is the worst use of your imagination. Creativity is the best. Deepak Chopra

     

    15. Get creative

    Creativity is a great outlet for stress and anxiety. If you don’t have hobbies, I recommend getting one. Being creative doesn’t necessarily mean painting or adult coloring books (although those are great), but it could mean doing crossword puzzles, gardening, sewing, building computers… Really, the list is endless. In short, use your imagination for something positive and creative.

    16. Listen or watch uplifting podcasts or videos

    I’m a big believer in keeping things positive and feeding my mind with only the best ideas. If you haven’t listened to podcasts or videos like TedTalk, you should give it a try. Here’s a few links to get you started.

    17. Spend time with someone who loves you

    Whether this is a friend, a family member, a spouse/partner, or your pet, spend time with someone who is non-judgemental, caring, and helpful in relieving stress, not causing it. My daughter will often come to me for a hug and snuggle when anxiety starts. There’s nothing like laughing, having an engaged conversation, or loving touch to help melt stress and anxiety when they start.

    18. Keep a journal

    Using a journal will be helpful in a couple of ways. First of all, it will allow you to say what you want to vent in a safe place and to get things off your chest and, hopefully, out of your mind. Secondly, it will allow you to keep track of things, times, people or situations that seem to trigger anxiety. By recognizing a pattern, you may be able to avoid an anxious time for yourself in the future.

    Rough brick wall corner with blurred woods behind it text overlay Owning our story and loving ourselves through that proscess is the bravest thing we'll ever do. Brene' Brown

     

    19. Let it go

    Anxiety is often characterized by recurring negative thoughts, and there’s nothing like rehashing an old hurt or disappointment for the gazillionth time to get things stirred up. Forgiving and forgetting can be difficult, but getting anxious about the past on a regular basis is tough, too. Working through those feelings will be beneficial. We can’t change the past or what happened, but we can change what and how we think about them, and, consequently, our reactions.

    20. Talk with a professional

    There may come a point when the coping skills you’re using are enough. There are certainly others that can be incorporated into your daily life. I’m happy to say that the stigma of seeking counseling is less than what it was in the past, and there are programs for all income levels. It’s a logical next step if your anxiety is interfering with your life on any regular basis.


     

    My teens and I may have anxiety, but together, and incorporating these coping skills, we’re happy and healthy individuals living great lives.

    If you’ve benefitted from this article, write your comments below. Save any or all of these quotes and Pinterest-ready images. And please share this article with someone you think could benefit from it.

     

    Wishing you all the best and good living,

     

     

     

    listing of 20 anxiety coping skills

     

     

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  • Five Power Quotes from Strong Women Role Models

    gradient background with text overlay: 5 Powerful Quotes from Strong Women Role Models

     

    This is a collection of powerful quotes from women who are influential role models for women and girls all over the world. If you’re looking for a shot of inspiration, these five women deliver. But, there are so many quotable and impressive women role models out there it was hard to choose, so I’ll be featuring more of them really soon. (Subscribe so you don’t miss them!)  Read on…


    Maya Angelou

    black and white mountain and sky scene with a text overlay: I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass. Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry. Maya is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. source

    Maya has an innate ability to cut to the chase, while still bringing a nurturing feeling to the conversation. I’ve always thought of her as a no-nonsense mother figure.

     

     

     

     

    Dolly Parton

    Sunset with wispy clouds with text overlay: If your actions create a legacy that inpires others to dream more, learn more and become more then you are an excellent leader. Dolly Parton

    Dolly Parton is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist,record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist. source 

    She should be an inspiration to anyone wanting to become something “more”. Dolly’s truly her own creation, and the life she’s built when faced with so many challenges in her early life is remarkable. Read up on her if you aren’t familiar with her story.

     

     

     

     

    Diane Mariechild

    Flowers with a big sky shown with text overlay: A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.

    Diane Mariechild is an insightful author and leads workshops and lectures about women and Buddhism. She helps expand women’s mind through spirituality.

     

     

     

     

    Iyanla Vanzant

    sunset over a lush mountain top with the text overlay The way to achieve your own success is to help someone else get it first. Ilyana Vanzandt

    Iyanla Vanzant is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, spiritual teacher, author, life coach and television personality. source 

    She’s a powerful speaker, a spiritual leader and an influential visionary.

     

     

     

     

    Oprah Winfrey

    night sky full of stars with text overlay saying Surround yourself with only people who will lift you higher. Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. source

    Honestly, you didn’t think I wouldn’t include her in this list? Whatever your personal opionion might be of her, her productivity and influence are forces to reckon with. She’s an empire-builder and we love her for it.

     

     


    These quotes from influential women role models are powerful. Use them to inspire and motivate you, and don’t ever forget you’re an amazing woman with plenty of strength, influence and passion to make your mark in the world.

     

     

     

    Want more quote graphics? Check these out:

    Quote of the Day – Powerful Woman

    Quote of the Day – Your Best Project Is You

    gradient background with text overlay saying 5 power quotes from strong women role models kelligoldin.com
  • Quote of the Day – Your Best Project Is You



    Close up of woman smiling with text overlay - The best project you'll ever work on is YOU.

     

    The best project you’ll ever work on is you.



    Do you treat yourself as your best project, such as…

    • Invest in yourself with your time, energy, focus?
    • Make actual financial investments in yourself, such as a personal fitness coach, an empowerment coach, or a financial advisor?
    • Read anything lately or attended a workshop to broaden your mind?
    • Choose to travel?
    • Or even make an update to your wardrobe?

     

     

    How to do it

    There are many ways that you can be your own project. Choose a big project and work on it throughout the year, or (more likely to get done) choose a smaller one to achieve every quarter. Or even better, something to tackle every month.

    To give you examples and maybe some inspiration, here’s my personal projects:

    1. MonthlyAttend local networking meetings. As a solopreneur who works at home, isolation is a real thing, even with social media. It’s already created new connections, client leads, and support for me and my contribution to the groups has been appreciated since I offer those to others, too.
    2. Quarterly – Read a new book about personal &/or business development. I realize that four books a year is a little thin, but I only read two last year, so there’s improvement. Since I’m still very actively growing my businesses, my time is limited. But, I’m committed to expand my thinking, so four will be my minimum. (Note: I didn’t mean that I will only read four books this year. HA! I was referring to personal or business development. Thanks to those that were concerned and surprised.)
    3. Yearly – Weight loss AND fitness. This isn’t much of a surprise I think, since about 83% of Americans (I made up that number, but I bet it’s close) say they want to get fitter and thinner. My weight struggle is due to a couple of autoimmune issues, and lately, to a knee injury I had 6 months ago that still bothers me. It’s imperative that build up my strength and I lose the extra I put on plus more. I’m really tired of the knee pain. And I have a milestone birthday coming up. (Plenty of motivation, in other words.)

    OK! It’s your turn. What are you doing to make yourself your best project? Accountability is key, so make it official and tell me in writing in the comments below.

     

    Love quotes like I do? Check out these past posts:

    Quote of the Day – Powerful Woman

     

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  • 10 Things You Can Start Today | Set Up For Success

     

     

    This is the second post in a Personal Development Series. This article gives valuable tips to set yourself up to be successful in business, in achieving personal goals… really in anything you want to pursue.

     


    woman leaning against a wall with an orange shirt that reads Slay Mode

    Personal development is about taking time to make changes in ourselves or our lives. It’s an investment of time, energy, thought, emotions and intentions to improve ourselves and our lives

    Sometimes we want to be successful with something so badly, but get stuck in the early stages. There are times when we work hard but need some help. And how do we know that we’ve done something successfully? 

     

    Here’s 10 life hacks to help set yourself up for success and you can start today!

     

    Establish your goals.

    First, make your goals reasonable. Like planning to run a marathon in a year rather than in 3 months when you’ve never run more than a mile.

    Secondly, make them measurable. If you’re trying to lose weight, you have a number in mind. A blogger will look for pageviews or subscribers. A sales rep keeps track of new accounts.

    Lastly, goals should be very specific. Break your big goals down into the essentials. I like to think of breadcrumbs leading me along the way to success. There are systems, apps and programs to help you do that if you don’t know where to start. (Trello is a new-to-me program I’m trying out.)

     

     

     

    Commit to your success.

    If you’re going to take on something, it’s going to mean you’re 100% behind it. This is not the time to be wishy-washy. Save yourself the time and heartache. Write down what you want to accomplish. Plan it out. Make it as detailed as you possibly can to see the way clearly. BUT, don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis”. Write it down and edit it later if things change.

     

    Establish your “why”.

    I’ve heard this so many times over the years and it’s such solid advice. There will be rough patches and pitfalls, bad days and setbacks, and when the going gets tough, recentering your focus is so helpful. Remembering your “why” will give you the strength and resolve to keep on.

     

    Do some solid networking.

    Whether you’re looking for success for personal or business reasons, a strong network will help set you up with anything from good advice to resources to mentoring. Surround yourself with people who have already had the success that you’re working towards. 

    Check out Facebook groups that have members that can help you and that you can help. For offline/local networking, check out Eventbrite for meetups, workshops and events.

     

    Two women dressed in business clothes, one standing, the other sitting, looking at a computer screen

     

    Get a support network established.

    Whether you need a walking buddy to make sure you show up everyday, or a partner to take on more of the chores to free up more time to work, having someone (or several people) to step in from time to time is going to helpful. It’s OK to ask for assistance, especially when other things are demanding your attention.

     

    Continue your education.

    Read blogs, books, articles or papers to keep up on the latest in your interest or field of work. Learn a new skill to give more value to what you’re going now. Forecast or even get ahead of new trends to position yourself as an expert.

     

    Maintain your health.

    There’s nothing more distracting than health issues. Don’t derail your progress by something you mostly have in your control. Make better choices in your exercise, eating and sleeping habits. 

     

    Keep a positive attitude.

    Visualizing your success is a powerful way to achieve it. What will your life look like when you have success? What will change? Fleshing out as many details as you can when you envision it will make it more real and attainable. (I’m a big believer in positive thinking and what it can do for you.)

     

    Quiet your fears.

    Of course, there will be days when things go wrong. There will be setbacks. Some things will be in your control and a few might not be. Letting your fears of failure sneak in won’t do you any favors. This is not the time for “hope for the best and expect the worst”. Keep in mind that mistakes or misfortunes are great ways of learning things and can make us stronger. Keep your focus on moving ahead and don’t get bogged down by “what-ifs”.

     

    Celebrate your success!

    As I said before, your success is going to get accomplished in stages. Each stage will probably be broken down into smaller ones. Take the time to recognize your little accomplishments. Get excited about your progress. You’re on your path to success!

     

    Hack your life today. Create more success quicker and easier. Smash those goals!

    A background image showing a path through pink roses with 
text overlay: 10 Things You Can Start Today to set up your Success

    Personal development kind of your thing? Check out the first one in the series – 10 Things You Can Start Today – Work & Life Balance.

    Want to see more from me like this? Save this article to share it with others. Follow me on your favorite social media (links at top & bottom of the page).  Leave a comment. Subscribe. Any or all!

    Until next time… Kelli

    background with pink rose and silver ladies watch with text overlay: 10 Things You Can Start Today Personal Development Series, and Life Hacks to Set Up Your Success
    background of closeup of desk with a plant in the upper right corner with text overlay: 10 Things You Can Start Today to Set Up Your Success

     

     

  • 10 Things You Can Start Today | Work & Life Balance

    This is the first post in a Personal Development Series called “10 Things You Can Start Today”. This article focuses on the balancing act we all face between work and life.

     

     

    Personal development is about taking time to make changes in ourselves or our lives.  It’s an investment of time, energy, thought, emotions and intentions to improve.

     

    A little history

    Work-life balance was first talked about in the mid-80’s, when the trend of working more than 40 hours per week was on the rise. It became the norm for many people. Fast forward 30 years, and many professionals talk about a 50-hour work week as “taking it easy”. Clearly, the memo about finding work life balance didn’t get to everyone, but Millenials are beating the “more fun, less work” drums pretty loudly. It’s a concept with staying power.

    Finding work-life balance is about identifying the happy middle ground that allows us to feel successful in our work and engaged in our personal life. Like any balancing act, there’s always a little sway to one side and back to the other – some give and take. Keeping things entirely equal is impossible, but keeping things in harmony is the goal.

     

     

    Write down your priorities.

    Figuring out what’s important in your work and your personal life is the only way to put your focus on the things that deserve your time and energy. “Cut the fluff!” is something that I tell myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed. (Yes, I actually do say that. It’s fun. Try it.)

     

    Say “no” a lot more often. 

    If you’re the “go-to” person at the top of the list you’re doing a lot of extra work, either at your job or at home. Try delegating some of that, or at the very least, give yourself a break and just say “no” more often. If it’s important enough, someone else will pick up the task.

     

    Avoid distractions at work.

    We’re all guilty of procrastination from time to time, but loss of focus due to distractions is the biggest time waster. Don’t get lost in your browser, emails, updates or social media. Don’t get into long discussions with co-workers. Keep distractions at a minimum and your efficiency will increase, meaning less time spent at work finishing things up.

     

    Make a schedule and stick to it. 

    If you find that you don’t have time for things that you want to do, it’s time to schedule them in. You’ve prioritized, said no to extra work and minimized time-wasters, so you should have some newly found time to relax. If it’s on a schedule, you’re a lot more likely to do it, too. Treat your down-time as importantly as anything else on your schedule.

     

    Forget perfection.

    Let’s be realistic. No one can do it all, all the time. Let some things go. It’ll get done eventually, (or maybe not). If that’s really not your style, make arrangements for someone else to do it, either at work or at home. Outsource, delegate, hire a housecleaner or order takeout. It may be important for things to be done, but ask yourself if it’s really important that you do it.

     

    Get some exercise.

    I know from experience exercise is a great way to push the reset button when it’s time to switch gears from worklife to homelife (especially since I work from home). If getting an early morning or lunchtime walk or workout in is what works best for you, then do that. It’s a great way to reduce stress and improves both physical and mental health. Endorphins are good things.

     

    Have a social life.

    I know what constitutes a social life has changed over the years, but having contact with people is a good thing. There are a lot of ways to communicate and stay in touch with others, but human interaction is important, and that means face-to-face. If it’s been more than a month since you’ve seen anyone other than people at work and your family socially, surprise the heck out of a friend of yours and schedule a coffee date, lunch, movie, shopping… whatever works. No cancelling allowed!

     

    Unwind.

    Make your time away from work meaningful. Vegging in front of the TV isn’t adding anything to your life. Take advantage of the time you have to engage with your friends or family, get a hobby (sharing one with someone counts double), or get in some reading (not work-related) or music. Personally, cooking dinner every night is my unwind time.

     

    Unplug.

    Technology is such a double-edged sword, and it’s a time and attention thief. As mentioned above, turn off the television, put away the phone, turn off the computer and be present with your family or friends. Give yourself a break and leave work at work. You would probably think anyone who let their personal life interfere with their job was out of line. Treat your personal life just the same and stop checking your emails.

     

    Get some sleep!

    Better focus, better attitude, better health and better performance are just a few of the improvements you’ll see if you get regular and sufficient sleep. Make it a priority and a habit to get the best results.

     

    Hack your life today. Get more balance. Feel less stress. Be happier.

    light background with a computer and glasses on a desk with text overlay: 10 Things You Can Start Today to achieve Work & Life Balance

    These are the ten best ways to get more work-life balance into your life right away. By making changes to focus on what makes you happy and fulfilled, you’ll find that your worklife and your life outside of work will reap the benefits.

    What challenges are you having in living with more work-life balance?  Bonus points if you tell me what changes you’ve already tried and how they worked for you. Comment below.

     

    light background with a computer and glasses on a desk with text overlay: 10 Things You Can Start Today to achieve Work & Life Balance
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    woman in a yoga pose in the background with text overlay: 10 Things You Can Start Today Personal Development Series Life Hacks for Work & Life Balance
  • Motivational Monday – Move Forward

    Motivational Monday - Move Forward by Kelli Goldin | Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. - Steve Jobs

    We all have times when we feel stuck, and in my experience, it’s because we lose sight of our goals. There’s a disconnect between what we do and what we really want out of all of it. We get wrapped up in the little things that demand most of our attention. They count, too, but they sap our energy and drive. We get bogged down.

    Motivational Monday - Move Forward by Kelli Goldin | You are never too young to start an empire & never too old to start a new dream. - Asa Hutchinson

    That’s a terrible way to achieve what we really want, so sometimes we need to rethink what we really want. And we need some motivation and reminders to find the path again. To get back on track. And to move forward.

    Motivational Monday - Move Forward by Kelli Goldin | You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them. EJ Lamprey

    My recommendation? We need to find our why. Find a core motivation, and (if you’re like me) a mantra or a word to focus on. It’ll be the thing to read or say when things get tough and the way gets lost.

    You’ll find your way back. You’ll start to move forward again.


    Do you have a favorite quote (you know I love them) that gives you motivation and keeps you moving forward? I’ve shared a few of mine. Share yours in the comments below. Then share this post or pins with some friends you think could use some Monday Motivation.

    dirt road curving into the distance, surrounded by trees with sunlight shining through. Text overlay: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.
    sandy path with tall grass on either side, leading to a beach in sunset light. text overlay: You are never too young to start an empire and you are never too old to start a new dream.
    wooden platform trail curving into the distance in the woods with sunlight peeking through. Text overlay: Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow know who you truly want to become. Steve Jobs
  • What if your comfort zone isn’t comfortable anymore?

    I think, not that long ago, I could have been a poster child for sticking to the comfort zone. I had become very good at marching along to the same beat, and just zoning out anything that might shake things up. Maybe you have, too. It can be difficult to know when a safe place has become a hideout when it’s as familiar as your comfort zone.

    Things really hadn’t changed in my life for quite a while. As a matter of fact, it was downright status quo. But a few years ago, I found myself growing increasingly disappointed, unfulfilled and even angry with some aspects of my life. I realized that even though I was doing the same things I had done for years, it wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I was no longer content to let things be as they had been.

    Like the people described in this illuminating video I’m sharing below, I started making changes and then I started getting uncomfortable. Small changes could mean big changes were on the way. And then I could see them on the horizon, and that was really scary. That comfort zone was looking pretty OK for a while.

    I realized this was what was holding me back. Not that it was it was all that great to be there, anymore, but it was familiar. I had to get really brave if I was going to embrace this new path that was unfolding before me. Not everyone in my life was onboard, to be sure.  Even talk of change meant some upheaval for them, too.  Thankfully, I have a small, but supportive network that was a little shocked to hear how much I wanted to change my life, but stepped up and did what they could to help me on my way. Oftentimes, it is all that I could hope for. Sometimes, it isn’t enough. I really have to dig deep to be my own advocate. And the changes start to come.

    One if the areas I felt needed changing was my career. Even though I liked my job and the people I worked with were lovely, I started to question my place there. I wasn’t finding it fulfilling. I dreaded going in some days. I was having difficulty seeing it being a part of my life for the long haul.

    I began dreaming of being more autonomous and creative. It took root. Today, I find myself with that different career. One that suits me very well, since I can’t wait to get working every day and the hours seem to fly. There were times of fear, and uncertainty, and of wanting to give up because unfamiliar ground can be unnerving. I stuck it out, though, and now that I’ve come through, I know what’s in store for me when other changes need doing. That doesn’t mean that it’ll be easier. It does mean that I know it’ll be worth it.

    I still have a lot in store for me. I’m not done following this journey of change. And I’m not exactly sure what will be at the end, since there are a lot of unknowns that need resolved. What I do know is that while it’s uncomfortable, I’m creating something that is truly my own. It’s going to be the best that I can make it, because I’m doing it consciously, strategically, and thoughtfully. One of my favorite quotes during this time of uncertainty gives me direction and a real sense of peace.

    woman laying on her back while reading a book. text overlay says You are the author of your own story. If you're stuck on the same page, remember that at any moment, you can write a new chapter.

    You can have this, too. You don’t have to settle for less, especially if you’re questioning aspects of your life. If you start to hear a little voice inside you challenging your status quo, listen. Scary? Maybe. Uncomfortable? Almost guaranteed. Worth it? Absolutely.

    I decided to share this rather private part of myself for a couple of reasons.

    1. Along my journey, I’ve found several people at different stages of change. Some of them are courageous and are really doing what it takes to see that change through to the end. I’m as supportive to them as I could wish someone would be to me. And if you’re on this path with us, let me know. Sometimes saying things makes them more real. At the very least, you’ve got an enthusiastic cheerleader in me.

    2. I know there are many more people out there that either haven’t had a wake up call, but dearly need one, or are just feeling really and truly stuck. If this stirs up something that could mean a happier end to their story, then it’s worth sharing my own experience.

    Be brave, take up the challenge of finding what you want or need, and a way to make it happen. Start your new chapter.

    At any given moment you have the power to say:

    This is not how my story will end.

    woman laying on her back while reading a book. text overlay says You are the author of your own story. If you're stuck on the same page, remember that at any moment, you can write a new chapter.
    woman sitting outside while reading a book. text overlay says At any given moment you have the power to say: This is not how my story will end.
  • Sunday Recharge: Avoid the Monday Blues

    There’s nothing like a morning where everything goes smoothly, the kids get off to school easily, and you get to work without any trouble. If it’s a Monday, it feels like hitting the lottery. Unfortunately, if you haven’t prepped for the upcoming week, the chances of this happening are about the same as you winning the Powerball.

    As tempting as it may be to stay in bed all day, or watch non-stop TV, or while away the hours on social media on a Sunday (or all of the above), if you haven’t prepared for the week ahead, you’ll probably be kicking yourself when you’re in full Manic Monday mode.

    Here’s my top 12 best ways to get ahead of the game and add a little of the “Sunday relaxation” feeling to the rest of the week.

    faded image showing a depiction of my idea of a relaxing Sunday, including a sofa with pillows, a magazine and coffee cup

    1. Take your time getting started in the morning. 

    Unless you’ve slept in and it’s already time for lunch, I recommend getting in a little coffee-on-my-own time, snuggling with a loved one (pets count), or just meditating for a little while before getting on with the day. You’ve probably had a week of rushing out of bed. Let it go today, if you can.

    2. Plan out your week. 

    Make sure your regular activities are on the calendar, planner, and/or phone, and check for any new events you’ll need to plan around. The more detail, the better. Collect any materials you’ll need in one convenient place.

    3. Get laundry done + plan your outfits for the week.

    Get an early start on this. (You can get in some of that TV time while you fold your clothes.) It’s easy to catch the weekly forecast, plan your outfits (and your family’s) around the activities you already know are happening for the week, and make sure there aren’t any panicked mornings because someone doesn’t have any socks to wear.

    4. Plan your meals for the week.

    Or at the very least, make sure there’s plenty of food in the house to fix and feed the family. I make a list of the dinners I’m planning, and there’s food for all the meals of the week, but that’s about as much of meal prep I get accomplished. Still, that saves loads of time and unexpected grocery store trips. (Kudos to the actual meal-preppers.)

    5. Make a meal together.

    Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, Sunday dinner or some other meal, share one with loved ones. Even better, get them in on the action and cook together. Sunday is my family’s usual day to do this. Trying new recipes the kids have chosen makes it extra special.

    6. Clean up the house. 

    Chances are that you’ve had a busy week and Saturday, so getting things tidied up will make the rest of the week more manageable. There’s enough going on during the week and facing a messy house just adds to the stress. Making it a family chore, with high-energy music in the background (like we do), almost makes it fun. And a timer helps, too.

    7. Make sure you don’t have “weekend regret”.

    There’s nothing like hitting Sunday night and realizing you haven’t done anything memorable. Check out Facebook events for your area if you’re stumped. Of course, if you usually have a full, busy weekend and you’ve chosen to do nothing, then that will memorable, after all.

    8. Reconnect with nature.

    If you haven’t had the opportunity to do it in the last week, you should do it on Sunday. Studies show that getting into nature, even for a short time, does amazing things for you.

    9. Pamper yourself.

    In my case, that means doing my nails with my daughter, or enjoying homemade sugar scrub (coconut oil, sugar, and your favorite essential oil), or soaking in the tub. Maybe you like to meditate, or swim, or get a massage. You know what indulgent pampering you enjoy. If you don’t, now’s the time to figure that out. You deserve it.

    10. Do a little work-related refresh.

    Yes, I know, it’s still the weekend and you still might want to deny that the workweek is coming, but getting in a little new knowledge will help make you more productive. Catch a podcast, read a blog, or do some research. Even learning new tips about how to be more organized, efficient or confident will add to your work arsenal.

    11. Check your email.

    Assuming you haven’t kept up on your email all weekend, you should check it before it gets too late. You’ll be able to address and plan for anything that might have come up, and you won’t get caught unaware on Monday morning. Just don’t get lost in it and use too much time. Set a timer or a limit to how many emails you will open, if needed.

    12. Engage your buffer zone.

    Give yourself around 2 hours before bedtime. You’re prepared for the week, organized, and well-fed. It’s time to completely decompress. Watch an entertaining movie. Get in some reading. Turn off the electronics. Get to bed at a reasonable hour (early, even!).


    Are you saying “How can I fit in 12 things all in one day?” Oh, yea. I used to think that, as well. But I’ve found that I can double up on a few and since most are less than an hour, it’s really not much of a stretch. Even though I work from home now, I face most of the same challenges that people who work outside of the home do. If you don’t get to all 12 at first, figure out what would help you the most and do that. And then do a little more the next Sunday. And repeat. Let me tell you, it’s worth it.

    I want to hear how your Sunday Recharge is going! Share your experiences and definitely share your tips, if you have any others to add. We’d all love to hear them!

    Woman on a deck with feet on railing, facing trees with text overlay 12 best ways: Prep for the week ahead with a Sunday recharge and avoid the Monday blues.
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  • Introspective Sunday – Professional Drive

    White fluffy clouds and blue sky with text overlay Let Passion Drive Your Profession - Oprah Winfrey - kelligoldin.com

     

    I’ve always tried to make sure that I have a good start to my week by going over the appointments, deadlines, and events that I have planned. But I find that I really need to “get my head in the game,” as well. I need a theme. A mantra. An inspiration. Something that I can lean on when things get hectic, come up unexpectedly, or just get to be a little overwhelming. (You know just what I mean, don’t ya?)

    I know I’m not the only one to do this (I’ve probably had this recommended to me by up to 10 people over the years), but just in case you need reminded, or haven’t taken the time to get your mind straight before going headlong into another week, or just haven’t had the people around you give you this good advice, here’s what I’m focusing on this week:

     DRIVE & PASSION

    It’s a funny word, drive. Both a verb and a noun. It’s also a great visual, because inevitably you think of forward motion. Of course, that’s the way we want our professions to go – forward. Accomplishing things (like finally getting over myself and getting a second blog post done, with 3 more in the works – go me!), putting check marks on the to-do lists, and most importantly, feeling like you’ve had a good week’s work.

    Passion is one of my favorite words. I envision so much emotion welling up inside – much more than might be showing on the outside. The word drive is two things, and passion is, too. It’s emotional feelings paired with physical feelings. And the two together? Wow. Really WOW!

    So that’s what I’m taking into this week. I’m feeling really powerful. Words are powerful, and knowing what they mean to you just activates it and fuels you up. And I’ll have it if (when) I need it this week!

    If these quotes hit home with you, make sure to pin them to your Pinterest Inspiration or Quote Board (you’ve got one, right?). If you want to hear more from me, you can subscribe to my blog, and/or follow me on Pinterest.

    So, now I’d like to hear from you! What do you do to get ready for your week? What’s your favorite quote (and why)? What’s some good advice you can give us all to keep us moving forward without distraction from the crazy that finds us during the week? Leave a comment below!

     

    Dark grey background with text overlay Passion equals drive, drive equals determination, and enough determination equals success. Anette Sandberg kelligoldin.com