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Kids’ Entrepreneur Series: Vision Boards

Kids Vision Board

One of the first things Kayne and I did for our Kid’s Entrepreneur Series was make vision boards.

I just love making vision boards, don’t you?

I’m a visual person, so I like to see my goals in color, in different fonts, in pictures.

And I wanted my son to have a clear vision of what we were working for. It’s not just to make money for money’s sake. We set goals for a reason.

Otherwise, what’s the point of having a business and making money?

Here are the final products:


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Mine’s all “Do work that matters” and “Let’s find our way with words” and “Let’s elevate the moment” and “for the love of leaves” with Scripture dead center.

Meanwhile, Kayne’s is all tractors and girls and dogs.

It cracks me up a little. Clearly he’s a boy and I’m a girl. And clearly there’s a value difference.

We’re still working on the materialism with him.

But I think the main point here, the main point of creating vision boards, is to set goals and to give yourself something to work toward. To give real visible life to your dreams. To provide motivation.

For a good half of my life, at least, I never really sat down to figure out what I wanted. I didn’t know what to “want.” I didn’t really know I had permission to “want.” Now, they are the driving force of so much that I do!

All of my “wants” are pretty abstract and value driven, but they are very clear and this vision board so perfectly represents them.

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I want my son to dream. And pursue dreams. Right now they are to “have a girlfriend,” “being rich,” “having 100 cats and 100 dogs,” and “be a rockstar like Dierks Bentley.” And apparently…tractors. Who didn’t have those kinds of dreams when they were 8?

It’s an exercise in dreaming as big as you want to.

I’m still working on “values” with him. We’re learning about setting aside money to give back and being generous. We’re also learning about how much work it takes to build a business. We’re learning about practical money saving ideas. Not everything can be about fast cars and girls (sorry guys!).

This is such a fun, eye-opening project to try with the kids. It’s a great way to get their imaginations going and start creating some goals with them. It’s also an illuminating project for you to do alongside them to bring your own goals into vision.

Here’s something to distract you. This Pinterest board is all things Vision Boards if you really want to get into it.

So, let’s hear it…

When’s the last time you created a vision board? Did anything stand out to you?

How the First Hour of the Day Can Transform Your Life

Success Habits for the First Hour of the Day

Ok, this post is a little bit different take on the “Change Your Life on Your Lunch Break” series, but this topic is super important.

What you do in that first hour upon waking will set the tone for the rest of the day.

Most of us wake up, snooze, wake up, snooze, finally get up, shower, coffee, off to work, meanwhile wondering exactly how you got to work because you can’t quite remember your drive in. Right?

That, my friends, is exactly what they mean by “life on autopilot.”

But you don’t actually want to live on autopilot, do you? You want to live with purpose!

What you could do instead is be more intentional about that first hour of your day to really transform then way you enter life day-by-day, over the course of a lifetime.

You can change your entire mood, your vibe, your drive, everything, if you do it correctly.

I did my first Facebook Livestream on this subject. Have a listen:

 

 

Success habits for the first hour of the day:

Light therapy or sun: I am drawn to the sun. I think we are wired to be drawn to light. There’s got to be a reason why light and mood are so interconnected. In the winter, I do at least 10 minutes of light therapy or sit in a sunny window to stay ahead of my anxiety and depression.

Daily devotions: God comes first, always. Instead of trying to fit God into my busy schedule, I need to build my schedule around God first. So, I try to make sure I get my nose in His Book every day with guidance from a daily devotion reading.

Workout: I work out 6 days a week religiously: 3 days of cardio, 3 days of strength training. Fridays are usually barre and Saturdays are a long run. Working out immediately in the morning wakes you up, pumps you full of endorphins, and makes you feel ready to take on the day. Working out improves everything about life.

Journaling: my “adult” type journaling consists of asking myself questions about what I need to work on, focusing on my goals, and really stretching myself. The repetitive nature of doing this every day is important so that goals don’t just get ignored like when they’re written on a note posted to my computer.

Water: We all wake up dehydrated, so getting water into your system first thing gets the motors all greased up and running.

Apple cider vinegar shots: I use Tone It Up’s Bombshell Spell from their nutrition plan. I’ve seen so much research about apple cider vinegar. And for some reason, even though acv is harsh, the way they make the spell is addicting.

Self Development: filling your mind with thoughts of potential and empowerment will make you a better person. This was a habit I picked up from my network marketing days. One of the three essential habits was personal development and I really felt like it was powerful. If you can make yourself just a tad bit better every day (read The Compound Effect), you will be amazed how far you can go after a year, or even a few months.

 

***Another thing I didn’t mention on the video is music. I have several playlists on Spotify that are meant to lift my spirits. They’re all songs that personally make me feel inspired and uplifted. My favorite thing to do right now is to listen to “Rebel Beat” by the Goo Goo Dolls while I journal. That song is like my theme song right now. I also like to listen to upbeat music while I’m working out. It changes everything! The difference between a silent workout and a music-ified one is drastic!

 

Most of these morning habits can be done simultaneously. For example, I’m usually listening to music and drinking water while I workout. Then, I use my light box while I’m getting ready or doing my devotions. Journaling takes about 10 minutes, while I’m listening to Rebel Beat. And then self development is typically ingrained in every part of my day. When I have my ear buds in at work, I’m typically listening to some type of personal development content.

If you layer your day this way, and remain intentional about what you’re doing with your body, what you’re feeding your mind, what you’re surrounding yourself with, how you’re feeling, you can see how this would elevate just about everything, right?

And I know when I’m starting to feel crummy about something, all I need to do is turn to this list to refocus and elevate my mood again.

Once all these things are out of the way in the morning, the feeling is euphoric! These habits put everything into perspective and give me a compass for the rest of my day that leads straight toward fulfillment.

Add value to your life by being intentional with the first hour of the day.

 

Let’s hear it…

Do you have specific morning habits that you do to start your day?

Does this inspire you to try being more intentional about your mornings?

Do You Leave Things Better in Your Wake?

Better Every Day Quote

When Hubster and I bought our first house, it was in a bit of disarray from the people who left. The upstairs carpet was just…beyond. The doors were horrible, like literally one of them fell apart at the hinges. The walls were marred by crayon hand prints and the like.

But the structure was sound. All the problems above? Were just superficial and easily fixable. That’s how I knew that house was perfect for us. I could see through the superficial to the underlying structure.

So, the first thing we did was hike up our pants and got to work, painting walls, installing carpet and brightening up the entire place. Over the years, as we went to fix things, we found that many things in the house were rigged. The dishwasher was hooked up all wonky, the front corner of the house wasn’t even resting on a stud, I could go on…

With each and every project, we took the time to repair them correctly. Even when we could’ve likewise just rigged them back up and ignored the underlying problems.

We installed a really robust fence, repaired the roof, installed soffit/fascia/gutters that were all missing. We fixed ‘er up. Even when the improvements didn’t quite match the quality of the neighborhood.

This is happening now in our new home. We’re slowly phasing out the old white appliances for solid stainless steel ones. We’re redoing outdated counters. We’re fixing troublesome wiring problems. We’re removing dumped garbage from the back corner of our lot. We’re making it better.

By the way, I have to say, we would’ve been the type of renters that any landlord would’ve dreamed of. We would’ve left their rooms nicer than when we moved in. Something that probably never happens.

But I carry this over in other ways in my life as well.

My mantra, and the guiding principle of this entire website and business is “better every day.” I try to better myself every day. I try to make my environment better. I try to make other people’s lives better. I try to workout better. I try to be a better mother and wife.

That’s just who I am.

Are you that way too?

Aren’t there so many ways that we can make things better, to fix what’s been left broken? To pick up the discarded napkin on the ground that everyone else is ignoring as “someone else’s fault/problem.” To leave friends feeling better after having been around you. To turn a weedy overgrown thorn meadow into a glorious fruitful garden. To leave a borrowed car with more gas than there was when you got in.

Isn’t that such a cool thing to aspire to? To leave things better than they were when you walked in?

So many people in this world walk around taking whatever they can, not caring about marring things as they pass through, and leaving things for the next person to clean up. Like discarded napkins at a picnic. Like tenants who lose their security deposit and then some within months of moving in.

Don’t be one of those people. We need more beautifiers and elevate-ers in this world.

Not only does this make the world a better place, but by being an elevate-er, you become a person that attracts more good things to you. You’re a builder and therefore become more built.

~Better every day~

 

So, tell me are you the rare type that actually leaves things better in your wake?

Let’s Talk About New Years’ Resolutions

But it’s only December 15!!! Right?

Well, I propose that you start drafting your new years’ resolutions right now. In fact, I propose you even consider starting on them right now. The reason is simple: ANY DAY is the right day to start following your dreams.

What is the direction that you want your life to go? That is the most important question you could consider when it comes to exploring your life’s purpose. And the question takes a lot of consideration and brainstorming to answer.

So, get out a pen and paper and start. Give yourself a solid 30 minutes to 1 hour to really dig in. Write out a list of the things that you value most: your family, God, your home environment, helping people, etc. Write out what your goals are as they pertain to each of your values. Your goals and values should be aligned so you’re not just starting new projects arbitrarily. In other words, don’t adopt another goldfish if your life’s ambition is to travel and don’t spend an extra hour at “work lunches” every day if your family life is a priority for you to cultivate.

The benefits of defining your goals right now is that you’ll have a head start come the new year. You can get all the details prepared, you can “test” out your resolutions and refine them, you can narrow your focus, and you can build up your excitement and motivation.

I would also strongly recommend going through Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Push to refine your goals. It’s a free online program that will push you toward your life’s goals. It will help give aim to your ambitions.

Now, if you have fitness goals for this year, please contact me and I would love to help you reach them.

Stick Chest Stretch

Maximizing Life

It all started with a book I picked up from the library. Hey, Chalene Johnson wrote a book? Cool. What I thought was a book about fitness turned out to be a book about making every goal in your life you’ve ever wanted to achieve happen. This led to me signing up for Chalene Johnson’s 30-Day Challenge, reading Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog (a reference Chalene uses), reading Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan manifesto, and re-reading The Art of Nonconformity. The universe is trying to tell me something I think.

Out of nowhere everywhere, all these resources starting coming at me and they all seemed to have a common synergy. And they all seemed to pick up on my desire for personal progress. I’m feeding my ambitions with all of these resources and you can too.

Here are some of my favorite FREE resources for maximizing your hours, days, and life; melding your passions with your talents until you’re unstoppable; making your dreams a reality; and being more productive. These are not the new-age-y send-positive-vibes-into-the-universe-type resources either. These are legit, human psychology- and science-backed strategies.

Bubble.us: free thought bubble mind map software. Here’s a peek at my thought bubble. I broke it down by life priority and then by goal within that priority. My biggest priorities are God/Spirituality, Relationships, Health, Environment/Home, Career/Financial, Giving Back, Hobbies and Writing/Blogging. You MUST break down your life by priority in order to figure out where to best spend your time, with intention. If you’re not giving time to the things you value most, you’re not going to feel well-balanced.

List-making apps: Chalene strongly recommends using your smartphone for your daily list-making. I do find that when I make lists, I get more done in a day. I’ve used Astrid before and am currently looking into Evernote, Wunderlist and Remember the Milk. List-making sounds like such an unnecessary habit, but those of us that are most productive know just how magically motivating those lists really are. They perpetuate your goals.

Chris Guillebeau’s A Brief Guide to World Domination. Also check out The Art of Nonconformity from your library if they have it. You do not need to approach life in the conventional way, the way mom and dad taught you. Dare to be different. And if you can travel hack like Chris does, then you’ll be well on your way to every continent on Earth.

Michael Hyatt’s Creating your Personal Life Plan manifesto (see his sidebar). I like the way Michael takes a different approach to charting your future, by starting with your death. Michael also takes a Christian approach to life planning, which I strongly identify with.

O magazine: Finding your Passion. If you like pretty charts and worksheets, you’ll love this, my diligent little worker bees. If you don’t know where to start with any of this, start here. You need to know what your passions are before you can embark on pursuing them.

Self Magazine: Creating a 5-year plan based on your passions, dreams and goals. This isn’t the type of 5-year plan that the black suits ask you about in job interviews. This is the type of 5-year plan that makes you feel all giddy to get started.

Erica House: How to Architect your Own Happiness. Check out the mind map Erica uses. You could do that with Bubbl.us listed above. Just doing concept maps makes me happy:)

The Leap: I found this little gem when I was writing reviews for a local bookstore. The case studies of people in this book that went from ho-hum jobs to giant successes are so motivating, it’s hard to sit still. In the most general terms, Rick Smith talks about finding the overlap between your deepest passions and your best talents. Then, you take baby steps to get there, testing the waters first before you make that leap. No need to live in the poor house while you work on your startup!

You can read them all or read one or two. They all boil down to getting your priorities aligned, making steps each day toward your big life plans, and keeping to-do lists to find your happy. The only caveat to this reading list is that you can spend a whole lot of time reading without actually doing anything. Make sure you’re actually putting your plans into action in some small (or big) way every day. Use these materials to give you momentum while you’re charting your future.

Start today. Figure out what you’re meant to do on this Earth.

Birthday Banner DIY: Tassels

I love a good tassel. I’m not a fan of tasseled shoes or curtains, but give me some pretty yarn tassels in a bunting banner, and I just might swoon. I’ve seen some tassel DIY’s out on the interwebs, but I just wanted something really really simple. So, I decided to create my own DIY.

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First, cut and gather a handful of 12″ strips of yarn. Let’s say, about 10 strips total for a thinner tassel. Add as many more strips as you’d like to beef up the effect.

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Fold the strips over the top of what will be your hanging string.

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Then, take one side of the tassel, wind it around the other tail,
and form a knot around the banner string.

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By wrapping one tail around the other, versus just tying a knot at the bottom, 
you create the tassel-like effect seen here:

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Continue making and attaching tassels until you get the desired effect.

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I then made a “happy birthday” banner overlay using alpha stencils and matching scrapbook paper.
*Brushes hands together* That’s it, my friends! Another birthday celebrated in handmade style.
Check out my other birthday banner creations:

Current Obsessions

Every once in awhile I become completely obsessive over someone or something. The objects of my obsession all relate to my deepest passions in life in one way or another. I love studying people who are doing exactly what I want to be doing or things that trip my heart a little. Here are some of my recent and past obsessions:

1. Sylvia Plath: her intelligence, way with words, and desire to follow her writing dreams. I don’t like to delve too deep into the dark side, but I think her writing is genius. I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to reading scholarly articles that analyze her works, just don’t tell anyone.

2. JK Rowling: her background story is riveting. Her keen intelligence and humbleness makes her oh-so-likable. The way her ingenious, detail-driven mind works is astounding. I love how protective she is of her own creation too. She will never sell out to anything that doesn’t completely match her vision. I never hear ego when I hear her speak, I just hear a passion for her creation.

3. Creative, playful, self-driven girls making their own ways in the world like Ginny, Amy, Elsie and Rachel. I have to go back and read earlier posts just to soak up as much as I can. I find that when I steep myself in all their charm, beauty and creativity, it jumpstarts the inspiration in my own life. A big thanks!

4. Zee Avi music: my soul does a happy little skip when her voice comes on my Pandora channel.

5. I somehow can’t soak up enough podcasts about thinkers, ideas, literature, big dreams, fitness, and weird science. I will be a student until the day I die.

6. Diana Vreeland: I can’t help it, but I’m hooked. I read her biography, researched her life and fell in love. Yes, there’s the arrogance, but she has no apologies for it. I just think it’s riveting how she pretty much inspired fashion in her time. She didn’t just track fashion trends in Vogue, she actually dictated fashion to the world. She knew exactly what she wanted and never wavered even a smidgen. I got stuck on Jackie O for the same reason–she had vision. I like that.

7. Mad Men: A friend and I started watching the series at the same time just because we thought it looked neat. “Looked neat” is such an understatement, no? The clothes, the interior design, the juicy plots, the inside look at the advertising world (I’m a copywriter, I can’t help it). I’m in a love/hate relationship with the moodiness, but it’s better than frothiness if you ask me.

8. Christian Hedonism: I’m reading Desiring God by John Piper (bless him!). I want to lap up every last drop. Who knew Christians were really supposed to be that happy? My spirit is growing from having a solemn attitude (which has its place in certain contexts) about faith to a downright giddy one. It’s exciting!

9. Oprah’s LifeClass: I’m not going to be trite and gush about how Oprah has changed my life, but you have to respect the woman for her self-built empire and unprecedented gallery of information. That said, I’m finding the LifeClass immensely groundbreaking for curating a life built upon my deepest, most pure potential. Even some of those listed above have been creative, lifestyle role models and have helped me realize some key things about myself and what I want to accomplish.

Fuel for the Fire

I told my husband this past weekend that the bad things that people do to me are “fuel for the fire,” so to speak. Each time I’m ignored, overlooked or have been snubbed by someone, I use that experience as ammunition for pursuing my passions. I’ll write extra pages in my novel, try to outshine myself at work, or create a goal that surpasses anything the villain has ever done. I’ve adopted sort of an “I’ll show them” attitude.

This is just how I am. I don’t think it’s good to only be motivated by someone else’s actions, but I do think that this is a very productive way to turn something unfortunate into something positive. Even if I don’t “show them,” I’m using that madness to spur myself in a positive direction.

Next time you’re faced with a snub, insult, admonition or bad review, visualize the success of something you’re working on. Place all that extra energy, emphasis and irritation you’re filled with into something productive. Instead of punching a hole in the wall, direct that energy into your passions. It also happens to be very cathartic.

I swear Honey, my book about gaming widows is going to be a best-seller!

Strong Internal Desires

Have you ever had that feeling like you were meant to do something profound? Like trolling along through your day-to-day life wasn’t nearly enough? Like you were missing something you were supposed to be doing? I’ve been having one of those days…months…years really. I feel this strong internal urging to do something amazing, but am at a loss as to what that something might be. As silly as this might sound to some, I feel like with being on “this side” of 30, that prime time to shine is running out.

I don’t necessarily desire celebrity or barrels of money. I am not being lured by selfish desires. It’s not so much about status as it is about making some sort of impact for the benefit of others. I can’t turn this switch off, nor do I want to. I’m just trying to figure out where this internal drive is leading me.

The two magnetic forces that are attracting my “like crazy” are all things nature-related and writing.

But this also makes me wonder if everyone has the same pestering feeling. You watch all these people trying out for American Idol who enter the auditions completely convinced that they have what it takes to entertain the entire country and then they’re complete flops. Is this inkling a complete lie then? Are these people just completely crazy? Am I then crazy?

On the other hand, I’ve read about moguls of different niches that felt that strong push as well. Perhaps it’s just how in-tune we are to our real talents, not talents we convince ourselves we have, that determines whether we succeed or fail.