Artistic Adventures
52 Weeks Forward
Marketing

There is nothing like visiting with old friends to be reminded that time is an illusion. Oh there is indication that time has passed (I believe we may be morphing into our parents)… but really it felt like no time had passed at all.

Old FriendsTodd and I graduated from Duncan MacMillan High School in June 1993. That may have been the last time I laid on eyes on him.

Saturday we met at Stone Mountain Park for an afternoon of catching up and adventure. I was excited to meet his wife Tamara. We are friends on Facebook, but had never actually met in person. I love searching through her posts to read up on policies and politics, especially since like me, it’s filtered through the experiences of a Canadian living in the US.

Todd is in the military, doing exactly what he always said he wanted to do. That makes him a double hero in my book. I’m fascinated by those who know their place in the world and do it with such passion and grace. Not only does he stand on guard for thee – Canadians and hockey fans will see what I did there – he is also living his dream. And to top it all off I love that he and Tamara are giving their kids the gift of travel. Stationed in the mid-west, they have been using vacation time to visit every nook and cranky of the good ole US of A. An activity which has brought them to my neck of the woods.

And speaking of kids, our young-ins became fast friends and the park gave them plenty of opportunities to bond. Peyton is devastated they will not be back through anytime soon. It is a big country after all and there is a lot more to see!

SkycourseHopefully it won’t be another 22 years before we see one another again!

Have you connected with an old friend recently? Did it feel like no time had passed?

If you haven’t maybe now is the time to reach out. Social media it’s easier than ever!

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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Metrics are a way to monitor our efforts. We are over a quarter of the way into our journey and now we should talk about how we are tracking it.

Metrics

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We all want to see progress. A year from now we want to know we started and that we are getting somewhere. So how to we check in on our goals? How do we measure the progress of change?

Now is time to go back to the Planning for a 52 Week Journey sheet.

A smart goal (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related) is one that we can measure. If your goal is to loose weight, secure a promotion, finish a course, complete a project, etc tracking may seem pretty straight forward. But what if your goal is to be happier, less stressed, have more time than how do you track this progress?

One of the easiest ways to set a metric is to do a simple rating of 1-10 on how you currently feel.

Now give yourself a rating of where you’d like to stand at the end of the year.

Checking in on a regular basis means tracking your ratings and also the activities that are making a difference.

  • Are you working out on a regular basis? (yes or no)
  • Are you removing candy bars from your diet? (yes or no)
  • Have you spoken with your boss? (yes or no)
  • Have you created a weekly date with yourself? (yes or no)

You activities may not be so cut and dry, but every goal will have action items and we need to find a way to track them. Seeing your progress can be an extremely motivating.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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And the fears that once controlled me, Can’t get to me at all” Let it Go, from Frozen written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

Let it go

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Let it go isn’t just the hook for a Disney block buster. It’s a way of life that can help move you forward.

Thinking about the past is normal, dwelling in the past can feel a lot like being stuck. Past events can become anchors, and if we let them, keep us from living the life we desire.

Are there things that keep you stuck? People, expectations, habits, desires, ideas, relationships, conversations, judgements, memories…

Now is the time to let them go. Here are a few exercises to help.

Spell it Out

Last week we talked about journal writing. This week let’s explore our anchors. Putting pen to paper can be tough. Really laying down the ideas that swirl through our heads and take up a lot of space is a mindful exercise. It mean slowing the thoughts enough to write them down. To purge them from your mind and give yourself a moment to truly connect to your emotions.

No comes the most important part. Let it go. Watch it go through a shredder, dig a hole and bury it, or my personal favorite, burn it. I know it sounds incredibly goofy, but if you haven’t tried it and you’re still feeling stuck, what do you have to lose?

Find Support

If the thing is bigger than you. If it’s an addiction or abuse find a support group, consult a trained therapist and source help. You don’t have to hold on to this thing any more. Know that letting go and moving on doesn’t mean forgetting or even forgiving. It means you are taking back the power – your anchor does not own you and you need to stop giving it permission to keep you from your dreams.

Dwell on the Good

What are you grateful for? Sometimes we just need to re focus our thoughts. That doesn’t mean we don’t deal with our anchor. Ignoring the anchor is not going to make it go away. But understanding that there is a balance is an important step in being able to let go of whats holding you back.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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It’s B-School Season

I love this time of year. No not winter, B-School Season!

It took me a few years to sign up to B-School. I had financial concerns because it was a big commitment at the time, but mostly I was wishy-washy about making a decision. I’m truly great at finding a million reasons why I shouldn’t do something… which is why I’ve spent so much time learning how to execute that one reason why I should do something.

Last year I sat down with my mentor, showed him B-School and asked for his thoughts. I was surprised at how short the conversation was. He simply said, “go for it”.

Here’s the thing. He was always up for education and learning in any form or fashion. And when it was about business he thought you couldn’t go wrong. I learned a lot from that quick meeting. It launched me on a year of self discovery and clarity that has changed everything.

The minute I got home I opened up my email and found a message from Natalie MacNeil, founder of She Takes on the World, sharing her bonus and I was in.

I love how Marie Forleo has expanded her B-School reach by supporting other business leaders that complement her program. There were a lot of bonus programs last year, as you’ll find again this year, but for me, signing up with Natalie and the Conquer Club have been a match made in heaven. I don’t know how I found Natalie, but I had been watching her weekly videos for quite a few months when B-School came around again. I think I felt a connection because she was Canadian and I grew up in Nova Scotia, she was a media producer and I’m a short film producer. What ever it was I felt pulled in the most wonderful way to engage.

Why I Chose B-School

I spent two years working on a business that I loved, but struggled to find my voice within it, which is ironic given the fact the business is a voice over company for e-learning and web modules. The business is growing, but personally I am finding joy else where. My marketing and freelance non-business is growing faster, without effort, and I see daily impacts of how I am helping the businesses I am working with.

It is truly inspiring, but can it be a business when there are so many other business coaches and online gurus out there?

B-School and the Conquer Club showed me it could be. I spent most of last year clarifying Word of Mouth Media while continuing to work on freelance projects and acting as the Director of Marketing for Binders Art Supplies and Frames.

I’m a multi-passionate, multi-visionairy, multi-talented, lover of the creative life. B-School along with the Conquer Club has helped me weave a tapestry of who I am and develop a platform on which I can move all my businesses and streams of revenue forward.

I’m excited to start my sophomore year, share in the successes and aha moments of my fellow alumni and do my best to help those starting their first year. It’s going to feel overwhelming at times but know you’re making a decision that can change your life.

If you’re on the fence, let me offer you this bit of advice.

My mentor passed away in November. It’s been a rough transition, but everyday I realize he left me genius nuggets of wisdom that I find everywhere. When faced with a decision he’d make a list of pros and cons. Then he’d look at the con list and figure out a way to either move it to the pro side or cross it off the list. He just didn’t see problems. Not the kind of problems that stop us in our tracks and make us question everything. He always saw opportunities and if he didn’t see it as an opportunity he just didn’t do it. It was with this mindset that he could move on from his decisions without stress, what ifs or regret.

If you’re struggling to find your path, if you want to take your business to the next level, if you just want to find a way to communicate your vision, B-School can help and The Conquer Club will keep you engaged and focused for as long as you need. I’m sharing this because I believe in it. Because I did it. Because this year I’ll do it again. I receive no compensation for recommending B-School or The Conquer Club. I will however share this link for convenience. Get off the fence already… another year is a long time to wait!

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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“…(journaling) is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time…” – Mina Murray, Dracula

journal writing

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I’m a huge fan of journal writing. My nanny (my father’s mother) gave me my first diary when I was 5 years old and I’ve been writing down thoughts and ideas ever since. When technology changed blogging became a natural transition, but I still can’t beat putting pen to paper.

The very act of writing means that when inspiration strikes it will find me working.

Journeys are hard and change is difficult, by this point you may be somewhere on the path feeling a little overwhelmed and lost. Journaling can provide an outlet for emotions, track your progress and a year from now be a testimony to how far you’ve come.

Journal Writing Tips

  • Start where you are. Fully express your current space in the world. Where do you live? work? play? Are you where you want to be in life?
  • Use your journal time to write down your daily successes, inspiring quotes or moments of gratitude.
  • Listen to yourself. Write down a question. Take a deep breath. And then give your intuition freedom to answer.

If you don’t want to write that’s okay too.

Sometimes I doodle. In early January I picked up a book on Zentangle… it’s like meditating and doodling at the same time.

Sometimes I create collages with images I pull from magazines. It’s like Pinterest – old school.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

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We can reduce much stress, increase effectiveness and be generally happier if we make an effort to declutter our lives.

Declutter

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You don’t have to wait until spring to organize. It can be a mindful, all the time task. But I also know, that decluttering can be an overwhelming task that must be handled in much the same way you eat an elephant… one spoon full at a time.

A series of small focused steps can have a huge impact.

Since this year our goal is to accomplish specific tasks, its best to focus on that space first.

1. Clean. Remove everything, create a pile if you must. Admire the empty space and allow yourself to claim it.

2. Don’t let the pile haunt you, but don’t feel like you need to take care of it all at once. Pick one piece at a time and make a decision. Do you love it? Do you need it? If not, and know that 80% of the stuff we hold on to we never look at again, recycle it, donate it, or give it away.

3. Eventually you will have a pile of items you love. Organize a space for them. Give them a home. A place you can return them to.

This is important, but especially important if you only have a part time space or you need to share your space with others.

4. In some cases you’ll have a “maybe” pile. If you don’t touch anything in 6 months let it go.

The act of simplifying and organizing will do wonders for your stress level and motivation. Maintaining is a practice in self discipline.

The possibilities and YOU are limitless!

Blueskies!

Sharing inspirational tips on productivity, marketing, and a positive mindset – Join us!