Aug 18

Living and Loving the Simple Life…Getting back to the basics

Virtues of Living Simply

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by your life that you wish you could just chuck it all and live a simpler existence?  Life does not have to be as complicated as we sometimes make it.   We all want to live a life that is fully enriched in what we are passionate about, but very few succeed in doing so.  We fill our days with work we hate, mortgages we can’t pay, and relationships we could do without.   The question is…why do we do this?   We are programmed from a young age to believe that having more bring happiness.  It’s not until we become older and wiser that this view tends to diminish for some of us.

What’s fascinating is there are so many ways you can alter your life to make it easier for you and your family to enjoy everything that life has to offer. Living simply encompasses many positive qualities.

Whether you quit your job as an accountant and buy your own little bed and breakfast inn or move closer to the office, sell your car and walk to work, the possibilities are endless in terms of how you can live a simpler life.

Here are some ways that living simply can benefit you:

 

  1. You’ll save money. When you restructure your life to live more simply, it usually involves spending less money. The impact of saving money is great if you’ve got children who’ll be going to college. Also, the money you don’t spend due to living simply can be banked for your own retirement.
  2. You’ll spend more quality time at home. When you make an effort to simplify, you clear away the chaff. Eliminate activities from your schedule that don’t benefit you. Your spare time increases when you live a simpler life.
  3. The things you truly enjoy will be at your fingertips. There are certain items you love and others you can clearly do without. Get rid of the items you no longer have a use for.
  • For example, maybe you love your iPad, books, and drawing utensils, but you no longer need your fishing poles, the trampoline, and a closet full of outdated files.
  • Living simply gives you quick and easy access to the things you love without having the clutter and mental baggage around you of the things that no longer benefit you. Plus, it will leave more space for the items and activities that bring you pleasure.
  1. Your surroundings will be more comfortable. As you adapt a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll find yourself rearranging your home exactly the way you’ve always wanted. You’ll focus on comfort. A good reading light, a cushion behind your back, and a long afternoon to spend in your beloved home may be exactly what you seek to feel the comfort you’ve been lacking.
  2. You’ll experience more serenity in your life. After all, when you have fewer personal belongings, there’s less to worry about, clean, and take care of. Tranquility is the end result.
  3. Your children will grow up to be less focused on material goods.  When you live minimally and raise your children in the same ways, they’ll learn about living a simpler lifestyle. You’ll introduce them to an easier, less frivolous way to live, grow, and prosper.  This will allow them to see the world through different eyes and help guide them towards what is most important.
  4. It’s less important to follow the crowd or keep up with the Joneses. As you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of going through the motions just because others do, you’ll eventually arrive at what’s actually the main elements of life for you and your family.   As Dave Ramsey, author of “The Total Money Makeover” says, “We buy things we can’t afford, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.”   Sad…but true.  It’s time to stop the cycle.
  5. Your health will likely improve. If you simplify by buying more locally grown produce and fewer processed foods, your family’s health will improve. More fruits and vegetables and fewer canned and boxed items will reduce unwanted sodium and chemicals in your nutritional diet.
  • Remember, there’ll be more time for exercise when you step away from the rat race a well.
  1. Your life will revolve around your priorities. What’s important to you? When you simplify, you’ll surround yourself with things that matter to you and participate in activities that have meaning to you.

 

The virtues of living simply are countless. Depending on how you decide to simplify, you’ll begin to experience more joy and serenity.

 

Cutting out the extra junk in your life will pave the way for you to live exactly the way you want, with a life that’s brimming with activities and things you love. Discover the deeper meaning and purpose of a life lived simply.

Jun 07

The art of following through with what you start

 

How to Finish What You Start

At the beginning of any big project or decision it’s easy to get completely focused and put all your time and energy into making it happen.  You feel sure of yourself, and can visualize the end result with high hopes.   However, somewhere in between starting, and finishing we get to a point where we lose our mojo.    When this happens, your cherished goal loses its glow. Plus, you now have some other things you need to work on. Gradually, the project you were all excited about gets put on the back burner. Before you know it, months have gone by and you never seem to have the time or energy to go back and finish it.

I have been in that place too many times to even count.   I would start numerous things only to lose interest and never follow through.  This happened with classes I would sign up for, books I started to read, hobbies, sports, you name it.

 

Would you like to change this recurring sequence of events? Imagine your feelings of pride and accomplishment as you begin to finish your projects – one after the other. But how can you turn things around to where you can consistently complete your projects?

 

Try these strategies to help you finish what you start:

 

Prioritize. Before you jump in and begin something, ask yourself whether it’s really important. One key to finishing what you start is to not begin something that has little relevance in your life.

 

Assess timing. Ask yourself, “Is this the right time to start something new?” Any other big things going on in your life will take time away from new projects you hope to do.

 

Commit yourself. After determining that a project is important enough to start and it’s the right time, commit to it. When you make this type of commitment, write out exactly what you plan to do.

  • Write down each step. Plan to finish all steps within a time frame that’s acceptable to you. Plan your project and then go forward with each step according to your plan.
  1. Evaluate your energy level. If you’re working and taking care of your family, everything else you do is extra. Are your energy reserves built up enough to take on another project and see it through to the end? You be the judge.
  2. Consider your end result. If you finish the project, how will it affect your life? Will your everyday life be better? Will it be mostly unchanged? Will you feel a sense of pride and completion? Spend some time reflecting on the experience of finishing the project.
  3. Be realistic. Be honest with yourself about all of the above considerations. The more realistic you are when making the decision to start something new, the more likely you are to finish the task.

 

Finishing what you start can be a real challenge, but being detailed in your planning will help. Setting realistic goals will allow you to have the confidence and the discipline to follow through and accomplish numerous things throughout your life.

May 28

Design Your Life….Live Your Dreams

Design the Life You Desire With a Life Plan

When you engage in active planning, you’re highly likely to be more successful in life. You know what you want and how you intend to get it.

Maybe you already have your life all planned out. Maybe you don’t. Either way, these tips will help you devise or tweak your Life Plan so you can move forward toward realizing the joy and fulfillment you deserve.

Take some time to answer the following questions about what you most desire. Who knows, you may have a detailed Life Plan before the week is done!

 

  1. What are your dreams? Allow yourself some “dream” time to clarify to yourself what you really want. Be as over-the-top as you like. Then, write them down. 
  • There’s no limit to the number of dreams or how large they are. Life provides opportunities to let go of certain goals and add new ones. Infuse your Life Plan with all your dreams and goals.

 

  1. What’s important? Whatever you feel is crucial to you should be reflected in your Life Plan. Maybe you’ve always wanted to have more education. Perhaps you’ve wanted to travel but haven’t the time or money to do it. If you grew up in a rented home, owning a home might be the single most important thing in your life. If it’s important to you, include it.

 

  1. What do you want to accomplish? What deeds do you want to achieve? Now’s the time to write down what you want to do with your life. Is working on a church mission something you aspire to do? Do you want to win an award in your career for your work performance?
  • List what you want to attain in the personal, professional and educational areas of life.

 

  1. What standard of living do you desire? Your answer will describe the life you want to lead. Do you want to live in a high-rise apartment in the city? Do you want to own your own farm in the country? Maybe you prefer to live simply and pick up and go wherever you want.
  • Perhaps you want to earn more money, live in a large house, drive an expensive car, and enjoy wearing pricey clothes. In essence, you seek the high life.
  • Thoroughly investigate what standard of living you want so you can include it in your Life Plan. Search your soul. There are no “wrong answers” when you’re developing your Life Plan.

 

  1. Do you have fun? Maybe, to you, having fun means locking yourself in your study to write romances all day. You might find training and running a triathlon to be the time of your life. Activities such as bowling, practicing yoga and traveling to Europe also qualify – whatever brings you joy.
  • If you answer this question with a “no,” it’s time to get serious about your fun. You’ll require some time to cogitate about activities you might enjoy. When was the last time you kicked up your heels? List activities that you love to do. What is life without some fun?

 

  1. Are you spending time with friends and family? Generally, those who are the happiest make time for their family and friends. If this issue is important to you, include it in your plan.

 

  1. What do you do for your community? Giving back to your community cultivates feelings of gratitude, satisfaction, and fulfillment in your own life. Donating money, time, or energy for the good of others enables these positive feelings to be an inherent result when you write them into your Life Plan.

 

  1. Are self-improvements high on your list? Striving to excel helps keep you moving toward your life goals. Include short term achievements for many areas of your life.

 

Develop your Life Plan soon and feel free to change it as your wants and desires evolve. Having a Life Plan keeps you focused on all your goals and will motivate you to reach for the stars.

May 09

Blogging your way to success

These days a blog can be started by anyone who has internet access and a small desire to write and get their voice heard in the cyber world.   It’s truly not that hard to start a blog, but there are things you need to consider before you begin.  A few questions you may ask yourself are:

  • What is my reasoning behind starting a blog?  Reasons can be personally, professionally or a little bit of both
  • What audience am I trying to reach?  (and please…..don’t say everyone….it’s not possible, and even if it were I highly doubt an 85 year old woman from Texas would have the same interests as a 35 year old executive in New York)
  • What is my topic/niche going to be?

It’s important to nail down those facts before moving on.  It will make the process much easier as you go along.  When I first started thinking about doing a blog I had no idea what to do.   I had never tried to create a website and didn’t know how much or how little went into it.  I did some research, and realized there are TONS of resources out there which can both help and hinder your progress.  Since there is so much information, it’s hard to know what path to follow.  I have narrowed down a few helpful websites that might make your start a little easier.

www.wordpress.org – when I first began I had no idea what wordpress was but I quickly learned it was a vital platform to my website and blog.

www.thinktraffic.net – Once you start a blog, the next step is making sure you are getting traffic to your site.  Corbett Barr had designed this site with the most up to date, helpful info to get your site noticed.

www.smartpassiveincome.com – I’ve mentioned this site before and highly recommend checking out the video “How to build a blog in less than 4 minutes and write your first blog post”  -  very simple

Blogging is another way to get your voice heard and when done correctly can be the foundation of your online success.

 

 

Apr 22

Create your own path

Even if I take a wrong turn, I can find another route to success.

If I steer my vessel in the wrong direction, I can find a map and chart out a new course. Stopping is not an option. I will find my way as long as I keep my eyes on the prize.

Success is a journey, not a destination. That is why I strive to make each step count. Make each action count. A positive attitude helps me move forward and, even when I am unsure of where I am, I am not lost. Instead, I choose to become a trailblazer.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Do not go where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” The generation coming behind me will have access to another route thanks to my resolve to stay the course and forge a new path. When I come to a fork in the road I trust my intuition to guide me.

Being spontaneous in this way helps me release my inner self and experience success in a new way. Spontaneity gives me freedom. Missing a turn causes me no panic because I know that I have countless options; I am not limited to only one way. A wrong turn may lead me to find a new way. We will all fail at some point in our lives…but the true test is in how many times you will stand back up after you fall.

The opportunity to explore the unknown excites me. Although it feels daring to get off the fast-paced highway of life and take the scenic route, detours can be worthwhile because they lead me to discover the beautiful things in life that I otherwise may have missed. The road less traveled is filled with the most stunning sights. Flexibility allows me to prosper despite failure. Being flexible gives me the strength to keep going when I would rather stop.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What happens when you reach a bump in the road or a dead end?

2. How can I live my life in a more flexible way?

3. What changes can I make to ensure that I enjoy the journey itself and not be completely focused on the end reward?

Live your life with purpose….we only have one shot…..enjoy the journey.

Apr 17

The Comfort Zone Curse

Stepping in Quicksand

How many times have you found yourself wondering what life would be like outside of the cubicle?  Immediately after this you feel a little bad because you don’t really “hate” your job.  You list all the reasons out in your head why you should be grateful to be employed, the benefits of getting a paycheck every two weeks, etc. Just a heads up….you are in the comfort zone.  You have to be so careful when you find yourself here because it’s a very dangerous place to reside.  Before you know it you have been working in the same job for 20 years and find yourself wondering what you have really accomplished with your life.  Realizing you are in this zone is almost as important as getting yourself out.

Getting out and moving up

Look at it this way….is the job you have now something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life?   A majority of people would say no.  In fact, the thought of having one job throughout your whole career is pretty far fetched.   As Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive says “Job security is right up there with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy…..it doesn’t exist.”   It’s always important to have a plan B even when your in situation you don’t necessarily hate.  We are all blessed with talents and gifts even if we don’t realize we have them.  Our responsibility lies in digging down deep, finding those talents, and using them to better ourselves and the lives of people around us.  I am an introvert by nature, don’t like big crowds, and have never felt very confident in anything I do.  However, I’ve known for a while that I want to be the one in control of my life and I know I don’t want to be “stuck” for the rest of my life.  Creating this website and blog are the very first steps to reaching my goal of freedom.  Each and everyone of us has that inner drive to be free and to live life on their own terms.  It just takes awhile to wake up.

Taking the first step

Change is never easy.  In fact, it can seem nearly impossible depending on how we look at it.  But the journey, no matter how hard, is always worth it.  We’ve all heard the quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  If we ever expect to become more than what we are, or have more than what we have it is imperitive to take action.  Start by making a list of goals.  You can make these as small or as big as you want, just as long as you write them down. My 10 year old just came home with her list of short and long term goals.  My first thought was, either she’s getting sick of the goal setting talks we have, or maybe some of this is sinking in! :)  The point is, if a 10 year old can do it, so can you. No more excuses. Seriously.

You aren’t alone in this journey

If you are at all serious about making a change in your life, you don’t have to do it on your own.  As I’m finding out, there are so many wonderfully helpful people out there who want to see you succeed just as they have.  Connie Ragen Green is one of those people. Connie had been online since 2006 and has built a successful online business.  You can find her at www.hugeprofitstinylist.com, She recently wrote an article which touches on the “paycheck comfort zone” and I think you will find it very beneficial to read in the following link http://www.hugeprofitstinylist.com/quit-your-job/.  There are tons of resources that will help you find the inner courage to make a decision and make a change.

www.illuminatedmind.net - this website is for anyone wanting to lead anything but an ordinary life.  Jonathon Mead provides his audience with helpful information, encouragement, and the coaching necessary to cross the line between dreamer to doer.

Recommended books:

Quitter – Jon Acuff

48 Days to the work you love – Dan Miller

Crush It- Gary Vaynerchuk

What does your tomorrow look like?

Unless we are psychic, no one really knows what the future holds.  However, we can have a hand in determining how far we go or how “stuck” we will stay.  If you don’t try you will never know.  Living a life that provides a better future for yourself and those around you is a true measure of success.  How far will you go?

 

 

 

 

Apr 10

Positive self talk….a stepping stone to success

Using Positive Self-Talk to Conquer Any Goal

 Do you feel like you are always talking yourself out of success?  As soon as you start to set goals for yourself, do you suddenly have nagging thoughts about how you aren’t up to the task or how you simply aren’t qualified to carry it through?

If you have ever experienced either situation, you need to change the way you respond to your inner dialogue.  Instead of obeying your negative commands, you can use positive self-talk to counter the negativity and overcome nearly all anxious thoughts.

Setting Goals and Sticking to Them with Positive Self-Talk 

Are you initially filled with excitement when you first set goals for yourself? Are these thoughts then followed by self-doubt and self-defeating thoughts that stop you in your tracks before you even get started?  There have been so many times when I started a new project only to find myself giving up after a short period of time.  It’s so easy to jump into something with both feet, but when it comes to following through we find it much more difficult.

It can be difficult to make the most of your life when you are constantly talking yourself out of being a success.  It can be frustrating and discouraging to have these thoughts constantly plaguing you. Many of us, in fact, don’t even realize we have them! All we know is that we don’t have the confidence to stick to our plans and reach our goals. Believing in these goals is one key to our success, but we have to believe in ourselves first.

Positive self-talk is an effective way to set goals and ensure that you stick to them, even if you have never been able to do this before.  The way this works is that you decide what goal is important to you, and then you plan the logistics of how you are going to attain this goal.  Create a list of possible obstacles and how you will deal with them.  When self doubt starts to kick in reaffirm to yourself the reasons you will be successful in reaching your goals.

Re-Programming Your Mind

Affirmations are essentially positive statements that re-program your mind for the positive. The moment you have a self-defeating thought you’d be able to counter the negative with a motivating statement. An example of a positive affirmation is: “I am worthy of great success,” or “I see myself in the winner’s circle.”  What this does is replace negativity with thoughts that will help you move toward your goals instead of further away from them.

Positive self-talk is easier to implement than you might think. You may not be aware of the severity of the negative dialogue currently within your mind. However, once you begin with positive self-talk, you will suddenly realize that you are self-sabotaging the goals you set for yourself from the minute that you make them. This process can open your eyes to exactly how much this inner conversation has been interfering with your life. You’ll feel hopeful that you can now set goals and surpass them.

Through positive self-talk you will be able easily set long and short-term goals for yourself. And when you use affirmations, you’ll have accessible tools to help you push yourself further than ever before. Learning to quiet negativity with positive thoughts is a great move toward setting and attaining future goals with ease.

 

Apr 05

5 Podcasts that will Inspire and Motivate you to take ACTION!

Podcasting has revolutionized the way in which we can market and receive information.  There is literally a podcast for almost anything you can think of.  This is one way to start building an online community and attracting an audience specific to the information being given.  Over the last year I have come across numerous podcasts in the areas of personal development, money, business, and internet marketing.  I feel that a few of these need to be recognized for the amazing content, the ideas they inspire, and the ways they motivate us to take action!  Please feel free to add to this list in the comment section…would love to learn about other helpful podcasts :)

* The Dave Ramsey Show – This is one of the first podcasts I ever listened to because of my desire to get out of debt.  Dave Ramsey is a finanical expert who gives his listener’s a no nonsense, take your debt and kick it out the door approach.  His sound financial advice and “blunt” honesty are refreshing in a day where self proclaimed guru’s are swarming all over the place telling you how to get out of debt….the wrong way.  The advice is practical, and not easy…but very much worth it in the end.   As I was going through the Financial Peace University program, this podcast kept me on track and motivated to do what needed to be done.  This is a definate “must add” to your podcast list if you are in debt and looking for finanical freedom and the steps it takes to get you there.

* 48 Days with Dan Miller – Dan Miller is the author of “48 Days to the Work You Love” and “No More Mondays.”   Along with being an author, he is a public speaker, and career coach helping individuals flourish doing what they truly love to do.   This podcast directs listeners to look inside themselves and become more open minded to the possibility of living out their dreams.  It is evident after listening to a few of the shows that people really are finding ways to escape the cubicle and find that passion within themselves.    I’ve read the book “No More Mondays” and recommend it for anyone that has even considered a career change.  Along with the podcast, Dan has created the 48 days community at www.48days.net which I highly recommend.  I just joined a few months ago and love it…come over and say hi! :)

* Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn - If you have never heard of Pat Flynn up until now, you have to check this podcast out.  Pat is one of the most helpful, young entrepreneurs on the net and as successful as he has been over the last few years, he never forgets his listeners.  He has an amazing connection with his audience because of his transparent nature, sharing so much helpful content it’s hard to believe it’s free.  This is a perfect place to start if you are thinking about starting an internet business, or are just curious about what opportunities are out there.  Podcasts are the perfect way to keep yourself going and constantly learning.  I emailed Pat recently and asked what kept him motivated when he was first starting out in business. He replied within the hour saying  ”One thing that helped me stay motivated was the success stories of others. Everyone has the same chance, and to see others do amazing things with their business motivated me because I knew I could do the same thing, but only if I executed and applied myself, of course. That’s the most important thing – not just reading or listening or educating yourself, but taking what you consumed and putting it into action.”

* MasonWorld Internet Marketing Podcast - Mark Mason is the “late night affiliate marketer.”  He provides his audience with helpful information on how to build your business working only a few hours each night, while still working a full time job.   This podcast is for anyone wanting to start a business but feels like they have no time, or energy left.   At the beginning of 2012 he started doing weekly podcast episodes jam packed with interviews, tips, and strategies even an internet business newbie could put into action. Definately check this one out if you work full time but still want to create a business on the side.

*Nicole Dean’s Online Success Podcast - Nicole Dean is a wildly successful internet marketer/work from home mom.   She is wonderfully charismatic with her guests and makes her audience feel like they know her personally.  These interviews are packed full of information that will make you laugh, cry, and most important take action in your own life and business.   Her motto is “making the world and the web a better place” which is something I think we should all strive for.  Nicole, if you ever read this, I hope you do more of these inspiring success stories in the future….love them all and would recommend them to anyone! :)

Apr 02

How to get past the fear of failure by realizing it’s going to happen

“Everything we want is on the other side of fear” – Farrah Gray

Fear is like a ball and chain holding us back from everything we could be.  We fear our success, we fear the unknown, but mainly we fear the possibility of failure.  There are some that never get past it and spend their whole lives wishing for something they will never have.  Fear of Failure is what keeps us from taking action and making that leap of faith into the unknown.  The comfort zone is a place where fear dominates and sucks us in like quicksand.  For some, being comfortable where they’re at is more dangerous than hating their current JOB.  It’s this type of thinking that keeps a person bound to the cubicle for 30 some years, all while they are dreaming of a day they can escape.  Seems hopeless?  It may be if you keep the same mindset.  However, there are a few ways you can work through this fear and ultimately get around it.

* Do your research -  Read or listen to any business success story you can find.  When you start to see that at least one or two failures are behind every story out there, it won’t seem so bad.  Every one of these people started in the same place…at the beginning.  They all messed up, started over, and eventually through trial and error made it to where they are at now.

* Pick your friends wisely – surround yourself with like-minded people who will encourage you to keep trying when you fall down.   These should be people who pick you up, dust you off and tell you to move ahead.   The one thing you don’t want at this point is discouragement.

* Join an online community in your area of business – forums and online communities are one of the best places to share ideas, get encouragement, and find people you may want to partner with.   These places are full of “newbies” just starting out and may need your help just as much as you need theirs.

* Educate yourself and take action – become the expert in your chosen area and begin to act on what you are learning. The more knowledge you have the better you will feel about taking a leap of faith.  You can never stop learning so keep up to date on training materials, books, podcasts, etc in your area of business.

Finally, keep in mind that if you never take action you will never get further than you are right now.   The future is wide open to possibilities. You just need the right mindset to accept that.  The only way to truly fail yourself is to do nothing.

Apr 01

30 Blog Posts….30 Days….Challenging myself to become a better writer

April 1 – This is the beginning of my 30 day challenge to write a blog post every day for the month of April.  Although I love to write, I always feel like there is room for much improvement in that area.  The main challenge for me is going to be finding the time, or more like MAKING the time to write each and every day.  This will probably be my shortest post as I am creating a list of ideas to blog about during the month.

Upcoming blog ideas:

5 Podcasts to Inspire and Motivate You to take Action…..

Motivational Mondays : Quotes and Thoughts that Drive me to be a better person

My first attempt at Affliate Marketing

3 Ways to De-Clutter your mind when starting an internet business

How to get past the fear of failure

Dump Your Debt…..Discover Freedom

Confidence boosters

The Comfort Zone Curse

Travel your way to Freedom

These are just a few of the upcoming posts…please comment on any other ideas or thoughts! :)

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.
Albert Einstein

 

 

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