Archive for December, 2012

December 31, 2012

6 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy Life

If you’re like me your Facebook timeline is probably riddled with posts of people bashing those who are making New Year’s resolutions. They usually say something like this:

“People swear their life is going to make a turn when the clock strikes 12. In reality nothing changes. Who are they trying to fool?”

“I can’t stand all the “New Year, New Me” statuses. Why not change now.”

“Everyone is sitting there making resolutions like they’re not going to give up on them by February.”

“Why wait for January 1st to change? If you are really serious about it, you’d change now.”

While I agree that you should never wait on the perfect moment to change because the “perfect” moment doesn’t exist until YOU make it perfect, I disagree with the sentiment of knocking people who are trying nonetheless to improve their lives. Regardless of the day they chose, it says a lot when someone recognizes there is room for improvement.

Image courtesy of "FrameAngel"

Image courtesy of “FrameAngel”

All that aside, let’s not sugar coat the fact your attempts of saving more money, losing weight, and getting out of doubt have all come up short. It’s not because you failed to plan or organize. And it’s not because you are destined to be a failure. It’s because all your resolutions missed the bigger picture. All of the resolutions you’ve created in the past are all created in the hopes of one major thing: to live a happier, better quality of life.

So instead of creating all those roundabout resolutions that completely miss the point, I’ve taken the liberty of penning several potential resolutions that hit the nail on the head and will get you straight to the point of living that happy life you’ve been longing for.

1. Vow to do one thing that scares you everyday.

I know pledging to scare yourself on a daily basis is an odd route to take when trying to live a happy life. However, it’s one that I find very important. It’s completely normal, but we have a habit of settling. We settle when it comes to lifestyle, jobs, goals etc. The problem is, when we settle, we don’t grow and end up wondering “what if.” That is definitely not the best way to live a happier life. So I challenge you to scare yourself a little everyday. It could be eating a new food, applying for a specific job, or simply reaching out to a friend you’ve lost touch with. Whatever it is, allow yourself to be scared and then conquer it. Each day you conquer a new fear, the more you will restore faith in your ability and continue to grow. Besides, you never know what opportunities will be revealed as you continue on your own little ” 2013 fright fest.” Six Flags has nothing on you!

2. Vow to live simply

Eliminate the drama, the shiny and the flashy and what’s left is all that you need. When you consistently strive for the big and extravagant, you forget to be thankful of what you already have. Like my mother always said, “Everything is simple. We make it difficult.” It’s about time we get back to that so we can live blissfully. Once you vow to live simply, you’ll find your budget will finally take order, your health will improve and your heart will be lifted.

3. Vow to give a lot

The statistics have been saying it for years. The more you give, the happier you are. Be selfless, donate your time, and reach out to someone for no reason at all. Your heart and spirit will sing.

4. Vow to change your thoughts

Stop the worrying, the doubt, and the self-hate. Have faith in yourself and your ability to conquer all challenges. Remember, worrying does not empty tomorrow of it’s weaknesses. It empties today of it’s strengths. Once you change the quality of your thoughts, you change the quality of your life for the year to come.

5. Vow to trust yourself

It’s something I have to remind myself everyday. Stop second guessing yourself. You know more than you think you do. If your instincts are sending you a signal, just go with it. You don’t need to justify it. That’s the thing about intuition. It doesn’t need to have a reason to make sense.

6. Vow to write down every good thing that happens to you in the new year and revisit as needed.

Having an overall good year doesn’t stop you from experiencing a few hardships and struggles on the way to pure bliss. On those days, where happiness is at it’s peak make not of it and place it in a jar for safe keeping. Then, when you start feeling down again revisit that jar of “2013 goodness” to lift spirits and get happy once again.

What are your 2013 resolutions? How do you plan to be happy in 2013?

TERRIfic Quip: You don’t need to have it all figured it out to move forward.

December 25, 2012

A Christmas Poem in Honor of Newtown

I can’t take credit for this poem. It’s been circling the internet for a while now and was passed on to me by my parents. Though it makes me tear up, it certainly helps to lift spirits and rekindle the fire this Christmas. Enjoy!

 

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38                        A Christmas Poem for Newtown
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

December 19, 2012

The Best Christmas Gift of All: Encouragement

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So there’s six more days till Christmas and you’re a little panicked. I would be too if I still couldn’t find the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop for family member. Plus there’s no guarantee I would receive online orders in time for Christmas. At this point, most people would tell you to channel your creativity while you make shallow and pathetic attempts to make something. But for those of you who are really desperate and know you’re as coordinated and creative as your children’s math homework, I’m going to tell you the one gift that is even more meaningful than any DIY project or store bought gift.

One word. Encouragement.

You’re probably scratching your head right now. But the truth is, so few know how to be truly encouraging. When encouragement is offered, it always seems to come with some kind of stipulation.

“You want to be a writer. That’s great. You should do it. I just hope you’re not a starving artist.”

“Oh, you’re starting a business? Congrats! Be prepared for some loss. You should do it though.”

“Training to be a chef is so hard. You can do it as long as you take it seriously.”

“Good luck with paying all your student loans this year. You’re gonna need it. It’s practically impossible.”

While these phrases may be said with good intentions, (or so we hope) they carry doubt and the dreaded “but” with them. And even when attached to encouraging words, that “but” can really put a damper on the receivers spirit. I know because I’ve been there before. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, “Good for you. But you can’t make a living from that that.” or “Wow I can’t believe you’re writing an ebook! I think you should do it. They are much harder to sell than traditional books though.”

Of course, hearing these things definitely bothered me for a bit. Luckily, writing was something I knew I always wanted to do whether or not I had anyone’s approval. However, I did have the approval and encouragement of my parents. I remember the day, I told my mom that I wanted to quit my job to be a writer. I was still living in my parents’ home, struggling financially, and had a bunch of student loans to pay for. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous telling them my plans. Much to my surprise, I got words of encouragement rather than words of concern and non-support. The words my mom uttered, meant the world to me.

“Go for it. I always said you can create your own opportunities.” 

There wasn’t a hint of doubt or a shadow of disbelief – only genuine encouragement as I took on the biggest risk and scariest chapter of my life. She could have said to me that writers never make it. Or she could have also reminded me that I must still find a way to pay back my loans. But she didn’t. Somehow, she knew I was well aware of what I needed to take care of. But she knew that I needed her support more. Little does she know  that small phrase is one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. I take her words with me every time I need to conquer a new challenge or each time I’m faced with a business related fear. And my father has been just as supportive since I’ve started this journey.

No, their encouragement wasn’t a Christmas gift per se. But it was a much needed gift at the time. I recommend it, because it is the one gift that can change a person’s world forever. Encouraging words have the power to last a lifetime if you do it right. They won’t die if the battery runs out of life, and it won’t break if you drop it. Deliver it with love and it will stay in the receiver’s heart forever.

So how do you do it? Eliminate the doubt, slash the “what if’s” and sprinkle it with loads of love, sincerity, and pure belief. Do all that and  you’ve got the making of a Christmas gift that would go down in history.  Best of all, it’s priceless!

What was the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received? Have you ever been on the receiving end of true words of encouragement?

TERRIfic Quip: Don’t wait for it. Create your own opportunities.

December 11, 2012

On Your Way to Success? Get Organized!

Many of us have big dreams of owning new businesses, losing tons of weight, making lots of money, and becoming famous

PIcture from thatbaglady.miche.com

PIcture from thatbaglady.miche.com

dancing in our heads. We are  determined and dedicated to getting it done, but then we recognize all that is involved. Yet, we never lose hope and are dedicated to tackling each aspect necessary for claiming success. After taking a quick perusal of our goal’s requirements, we draft a plan and quickly start on track. And then things start to go wrong. You recognize that you routinely forget your bottle of water before your morning jog. Your spending journal got left behind in your other purse and you are constantly forgetting who you needed to call to confirm that business meeting.

Don’t feel bad. It happens to the best of us. The truth is the road to success requires a bit of sacrifice, determination, and organization. While many have no problem mastering the first two requirements, they seem to fall behind in the organization department. There is no way you can keep track of your meetings, diet requirements, and important tasks without a little bit of organization. Trust me. I tried it and it didn’t work. So because I want all of you to succeed, I decided to let you in on a few products and strategies that have helped keep me organized on the right track towards success…

Stickies on Desktop or actual Stickies – You all know how I love using post-it notes to lift my spirits and remember motivational quotes, but what you didn’t know is that I love it for keeping track of tasks, bills to pay, etc. I usually leave them on my refrigerator or computer screen. From time to time, they’ll pop up in my wallet to remind of things. For the high-tech people, you can utilize the popular Stickies program for Mac. It allows you to type up notes and “stick” them to your desktop. You can stick them according to priority and  they dissappear as the task is completed.

Spending Tracker 1.3.1 MH Riley Ltd – We’ve all heard that having a spending journal can totally transform your financial situation. It starts out well, but then you soon find yourself forgetting to enter in a purchase when you get home or lose the receipt before you get to record it. The Spending Tracker app gets rid of that problem completely because it’s right on your phone! It allows you to record entire purchases, categorize, enter bills, and make memos for each expense by month. The best part is that you get a pie graph showing you exactly where your money is going once you turn your phone sideways! It’s amazing.

Dry Erase Calendar  – Keeping track of bills is difficult. No matter how good you are with money, it can be bit a of a challenge to stay on top of the student loan bills, mortgage, electric bill, car payments etc. And if you are like me, you probably hate making those “automatic payments” in which the company connects to your bank account. That’s why I like to use dry erase calendars to track payments. I keep it right on my refrigerator, that way I can’t miss it.

Miche Bag:  Ladies, how many times have you switched purses to match an outfit only to realize you forgot to switch your planner along with it? Or maybe it was some other important object needed for the day… Miche bags eliminate that problem. There is no need to switch purses completely for the purpose of fashion, because the Miche bag allows you to switch the outside appearance of them! Simply swatch the outside “shell” to match your outfit of choice. Now you no longer have to worry about forgetting your precious planner, cell phone, etc. in your other bag all in the name of fashion. The Miche bag is all you need!

Flexi File Organizer – Having a file folder for each important document isn’t enough. You’re bound to confuse placements of each file, and lose them. Plus, separate files folders usually result in more clutter. Instead, invest in a flexi-file organizer to keep all your important documents categorized in the same place. Things will never get misplaced, and you will be more inclined to take important documents when needed if it’s in an accessible and easy to carry file such as this.

What ways do you stay organized as you work towards success?

TERRIfic  Quip: The difference between want and need is self control.

December 4, 2012

Why Your Dream hasn’t Become Reality… You’re Full of Excuses

Image courtesy of Nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By now you probably know that I’m all about living your dreams and finding happiness. I believe more than anything that we are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for. Most importantly, we CAN do the impossible.

So you can probably imagine how frustrated I get whenever people tell me why they can’t do something to fulfill their dreams. The stories are always the same…

“I couldn’t draft my business plan because I got home late from work.”

“I didn’t finish my inspiration board because I had to drop my daughter off at dance class.”

“I couldn’t reach out to my mentor because I had way too much homework to do.”

“I never made it to the library because this week has been too busy.”

“It’s been so crazy at the house lately so I didn’t get a chance to draft my marketing plan.”

Warning: I’m going to be really honest with you and maybe a little brutal. But while those may sound like valid reasons to you, they sound like excuses from someone who doesn’t want success as much as he/she claims to me. After all, if it’s something you really want you would find away just like all those people jogging in the morning find a way to work out.

Do you really think all those people really like getting up at the crack of dawn to go once around the track before a long day at the office? Do you think they don’t lead busy lives and have schedules to manage? Chances are they do. The only difference between them and you is that they actually care about making it to the finish line. They aren’t waiting for the perfect moment. They go out and create it. Trust me, they have the right idea. The perfect moment isn’t going to just appear and there will never be a moment that just feels right when it comes to chasing success.

Those joggers in the early morning know that their time is now. They also know that their busy schedules will probably always be busy and life happens. But they took the right approach. They found a way to work around that busy schedule to inject some time towards making their dreams a reality.

Think about it. You will probably always have to make dinner for the family. Your daughter will never stop needing motherly advice. The bills will always need to be paid and you will always need to run weekly errands. So what makes you think free time will magically appear and you will suddenly be blessed with a wide open schedule to pursue your goals next week, or next month, etc? Do it now! Take a cue from those A.M. joggers and find a way to fit it into your schedule.

We need to stop blaming everyday facets of life and universal forces as the reason why you can’t take another step towards claiming success. Things will spin out of control from time to time and the universe will make you go crazy. Don’t let that stop you. Own it and work around it.

After all, there is never a better time than now to better your future. Repeat after me: “Today is the day I do the impossible!”

Do you often find yourself waiting for the perfect moment to work towards your goals and coming up with excuses?

Terrific Quip: If it’s something you want, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.