Mid Year Refresher

It’s hard to believe that August is right around the corner,  but, with August comes a feeling of a fresh start. Whether you have children in school or not, the beginning of a school year and the feeling of getting back into a routine feels refreshing. With this mid-year fresh start, I wanted to touch base with you on the concept of baby steps. I don’t know about you, but baby steps have kept me sane and moving forward through the twists and turns of life so far this year.

Foot Steps

Here is what baby steps have done for me this year:

Baby steps reduce pressure. Life is filled with constant pressure from work, family, friends, and probably the biggest culprit, ourselves. We all feel continual pressure, but when we can stop and ask ourselves “what small step can I make to move forward?”, it removes the enormity of the task and reduces pressure.

Baby steps allow us to move forward even when we don’t feel like we can. For me, this came to play in my physical health. There were times that my body felt tired and sore and I felt like I could not possibly do any more. When I reminded myself of baby steps, I would realize that I could, at minimum, take a walk or get up and stretch. Even though it was a small step, it was better than doing nothing. Baby steps kept me moving forward, no matter how small the step was.

Baby steps make life manageable. There is so much to do each day of our lives. When I focused on ALL that I needed to get done, I would quickly feel discouraged, even defeated. But when I broke up my day and what I needed to get done into small pieces, I would get one thing done, then another, then another. We know our “To Do” list will never be completed, but before I knew it, I had a few things marked off. My “To Do” list became more manageable.

Baby steps make goals achievable. Every day is a new day and a fresh start when it comes to baby steps. It is not about looking back, it is about looking forward and asking, “what small thing can I do today to move forward?” As I reflect on the goals I set at the beginning of the year, I realize I have not “arrived” at any of them. Today, I remind myself of what I wanted to achieve and ask myself what I can do to move forward. We can all achieve our desires as long as we keep moving forward.

In January, I sent out a video series on Baby Steps to help us get off on the right start this year. I spent some time watching them last night and I felt like you might enjoy a refresher as well. As a subscriber, I have included the link in the email you received for this blog post. If you are not yet a subscriber, you can subscribe to my blog on the right hand column and I will be sure to send you the link for the baby steps video series.

You all are amazing! Keep doing amazing things, one small step at a time! Here’s to living our BEST!

Start Talking!

In most cases, I am an advocate of listening over talking. I find my relationships are much stronger when I can focus on listening to others versus focusing on what I am going to say in response. There is one instance though that I am learning the importance of talking over listening and that is when I have dialog with myself.

Talk to yourself

Just recently, one of my blog subscribers, Pat, sent me an inspiring blog post from Jon Gordon entitled “The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard”. In the post, he shares an inspiring story of Dr. James Gills, a man in his fifties, who completed two triathlons back to back not just once, but six times. When asked how he did it, he shared some very wise words. He said “I’ve learned to talk to myself instead of listen to myself.” In the blog post he continued, “If I listen to myself, I hear all the reasons why I should give up. I hear that I’m too tired-too old-too weak to make it. But if I talk to myself, I can give myself the encouragement and words I need to hear to keep running and finish the race.” It’s the same way with life.

I have been putting some effort the past few weeks into paying attention to the things that I say to myself, the things that pop into my mind throughout my day. Here are some of the common themes and what I have done to start talking to myself instead of listen.

“I am tired!” I found this to pop into my head on a regular basis, even when I am not really all that tired. Every time this thought would pop into my head, I would start to feel more tired. Once I started to recognize this, I would ask myself if I was really tired. If I was, I would prioritize some rest, but many times I realized I was fine. I started to talk to myself by telling myself that I am fine, that I am not tired, that I have plenty of energy for my day.

“I don’t have enough time to get things done!” Well this is the truth, right? There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. What I found though is that when this thought popped into my head it would drag me down, it would make me feel like a failure. The thought that I have been trying to replace it with is two-fold. First, I have been reminding myself of all of the things that I have accomplished in that day, which is a ton! Second, I have been reminding myself that the time I have “is what it is” and to use the time that I do have, the best I can. Essentially, I tell myself that I am doing great and to keep going!

“Others think poorly of me and are unhappy with me.” In our busy lives we have periods of time when we don’t see our family and friends as much as we would like. It is during these times of absence that thought pop into my head that others are displeased with me. As I write this, it sounds so silly, but the thoughts do pop into my mind. I have to remind myself that these thoughts are not founded in truth, but if the thought will not go away, I take action. I learned a while back that the best way to remove a fear is to take action against it. If I am fearful that someone is unhappy with me, I take action and give them a call. They are usually as happy to hear from me as I am to call and talk to them. I quickly find out that the thoughts that had popped into my head were completely wrong.

Well, you have just gotten a glimpse of my thought life, but I imagine if you start to pay attention, you will find certain thoughts that pop into your mind on a regular basis. Start to recognize them, ask yourself if they are making you feel better or worse, make an effort to refute them, and start talking positive things into your mind and life.

Pat, thanks for the article you sent me which helped me tremendously, and will now help so many more.

Here’s to talking to ourselves more and filling our minds with positive, life-giving thoughts!

Be Energized!

I like to look at the energy that we have for each day similar to how we see money in a bank account. Sometimes we make deposits, sometimes withdrawals and sometimes our balance stays steady. If I had to guess though, I would say most days, our energy bank accounts experience more withdrawals than deposits. The question is, how can we deposit more and withdrawal less to live our best?

Pig BankIn my day job, I work within my strengths most of the time. I am very fortunate that my energy bank account does not get depleted there. I do have to admit though, that my day job generally does not make deposits in my energy bank account either. I end up with a pretty neutral balance. It all changes when I start to add in all of the “stuff” before work, after work, and on the weekends. I can suddenly find my energy bank account plummeting. How do we take control and produce more energy for our lives?

Identify withdrawals. What are the things in your life that drain you? These areas are specific to you. Pay attention to the times in your life that you feel drained. What is causing it? Identifying these withdrawals from your energy account is the first and most vital step.

One item I have identified that will drain me almost immediately, is to be forced to rush.  When I am forced to rush out the door or from one place to the next, I can feel the anxiety rise and the energy drain.

What are the things in your life that drain you of energy?

Reduce withdrawals. Once you begin to identify these areas that drain you of energy, it is time to ask yourselves if and how you can reduce these withdrawals. In my example of not wanting to be rushed, I have learned to build in a buffer in my day as much as possible which gives me time to move at the speed that works for me. Yes, I am forced to rush at times, but most of the time it is within my control to slow things down to the pace that works for me.

How can you begin to take control of the areas that drain you to reduce their draining effect?

Identify deposits. On the opposite side of the coin, what are the things in your life that replenish your energy? These things make you feel great when you are done. I am an introvert. What this means for me it that I fill my tanks by having “me” time. I have found a number of things that I can do by myself that replenishes my energy. You might be able to relate with me, or you might be the opposite and feel replenished by being surrounded by as many people as possible. Identifying the things that make deposits into your energy account is a great step towards living your best life.

What are the things in life that energize you?

Increase deposits. I think this is an obvious next step, right? Do as much as we can to add energy to our lives, but it is easier said than done. Life is filled with a lot of obligations and many of them zap our energy. The reality is that it is hard to find the time to add these positive things into our day. It is also hard, at times, because we tend to take care of everyone else and give ourselves what’s left over,  if there is any. Increasing the things that bring us energy in life will be a process, but remember we can do amazing things if we just focus on one small step at a time.

What small step can you take today to start to increase the positive, energy giving deposits in your life?
Learning to live our best life is a journey. An important things to remember is that we are in the driver’s seat. We have control of the breaks if we need to use them, we are in control of the accelerator, the steering wheel, but most importantly, the gas tank. Let’s make sure we are doing what we can to fill up our tanks so that the journey of life is the best it can be!  


I have to be straight with you, I have been struggling quite a bit lately. The transition from working from my home, for myself with all of the flexibility in the world to working outside of my home with very set hours, has been a lot harder on me than I could have ever imagined. I am not going to go into all of the details of the transition, but will share with you that I knew part of the solution for me was I needed a perspective change. I probably knew that I needed a perspective change for a good month before I was ready for it. I had to grieve, for lack of a better word, and work through things at my pace. But ultimately, I needed a perspective change.


My perspective change came right when I was ready for it. I read a blog post from a woman who has done some pretty amazing things in her life. In this particular blog post, she shared with her readers some very sad things that have happened in her life and in her marriage. My heart absolutely broke for her. She is picking herself back up, healing and moving forward, but what her blog post did for me, was to bring my life into much-needed perspective. My life is not perfect by any means, but it helped me to change my focus from all of my struggles to the things that are going well in my life, to all of my blessings. Now, I am not neglecting all of the tough stuff, because I think it is important to work through that stuff, but I am trying to be thankful for what is right in front of me, for the things that I do have in life.

My purpose for this blog post is to encourage you to be open to a perspective change. If life is tough right now, know that a change in perspective might be a part of your solution. When we are open to the idea of a perspective change, life usually serves one up for us.

Even when we do all we can to live our best, gook happens. Here’s to working through the tough stuff and embracing a perspective change when they come our way.