Turning Over a New Leaf

As we approach the new year just a few hours away, I want to encourage you to include on your list of to-dos for the new year a new take on your relationship with your kids (and parents).

be open

be honest

communicate

be thoughtful

be a great listener

be fun

be loving

There’s a lot of pressure in family situations, typically because we were given our family, and didn’t get to choose them, like we do our friends.  I’ve seen a lot of different family situations and the one thing I know is that you’ve got a choice.  You can decide to make good decisions, try to live at peace, do your best to communicate clearly and explicitly, and approach things from an attitude and lifestyle of love. As we close out 2010 I encourage you to look at your family relationships and discuss ways you can all work together better in 2011.

What will you do different in 2011 with your family?  What success stories do you have from changes made in 2010?  Share your stories and thoughts below.

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Hope for the New Year

The new year offers many great opportunities.  The first is a fresh start and a hope for a better result than last year if your past year wasn’t great, or even if it was.  I hope you are inspired by today’s quotes, and encouraged in the face of the new year.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” Christopher Reeve

“Hope is necessary in every condition.  The miseries of poverty, sickness, of captivity, would, without this comfort, be insupportable.” Samuel Johnson

“Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.” George Weinberg

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” Maya Angelou

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King Jr

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Dale Carnegie

Which of these quotes inspired you?  Share your thoughts below.

Leadership for 2011

As we’re entering this new year, I thought I would help you write your new year’s resolutions and daily goal sheets.  The first thing you should put on those lists is to be a better leader.  Why, you ask?  Simply because leadership makes or breaks a company (a family and a person).  It makes customers, employees, suppliers and others want or not want to do business with you.  Feeling a little concerned?  Check out these 3 topics that will head you in the right direction to have a fantastic 2011.

Books to read:

John Maxwell has tons of leadership books (Leadership 101, The Difference Maker, Failing Forward etc.)

Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis, and Annie McKee: Primal Leadership

Stephen R. Covey: First Things First, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Wayne Dyer: Being In Balance

Jeffrey A. Krames: What the Best CEO’s know

Leaders to follow:

-John Maxwell: John Maxwell, Giant Impact, INJOY

-Lisa Nirell: Energize Growth

John Assaraf

-Chris Howard: Academy of Wealth and Achievement

-Greg Habstritt: Engage Today, Engaged Entrepreneur

Stephen Dinan/Shift Network

Sean Stephenson/Time To Stand

Actions to take:

-be supportive

-communicate clearly, frequently and with detail

-hire those who support and understand your vision

-work with suppliers who have not just great prices but great business ethics too

-smile

-be friendly and welcoming

-give back to the community

These are just some ideas to get you started.  What are your thoughts on leadership for 2011?  Share them below.

True Meaning of Christmas

Every year there is a “battle” that ensues between Santa, Baby Jesus and all other Christmas/Holiday traditions.  I believe that it’s completely unnecessary and totally makes us all miss the point of the holidays.  Today I’m sharing the TRUTH about the holidays, regardless of what you celebrate.

The holidays are about:

Love: Even if you can’t give anything else, give love.  Although it is the hardest thing for many people to give, it’s also the most valuable.  Love isn’t just about the fuzzy warm feeling you get deep down inside, it’s about sharing how special someone else is to you.  Don’t be afraid to let your heart grow 3 sizes larger (just like the Grinch’s did).   A bigger, more loving heart is a better heart.

Family & friends:  This is such a special opportunity to spend with family and friends.  Whether you have big gatherings or just go out for coffee, spending time with these important people is extra special in the holidays.  Instead of dreading these occasions, always find the good in them, and be cheerful even when others aren’t.  (Don’t forget to be extra patient with schedules and planning things!)

Special feelings: Whether you call it the magic in the air, or the special feeling from God at Christmas, most would agree there is something extra special about this time of year.  Don’t ignore those feelings, embrace them and let them fill you with that Festive Spirit.  (Think Ghost of Christmas Present from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)

Community: Giving back is easy in the holidays.  There are Santas seeking donations at many food stores, community drives for food, and even some outreaches to the homeless community you could assist with.  Even though you’re busy with family and other commitments, don’t forget to attend a Christmas play, Holiday choir concert, church service or other festive gathering in the community.

If you are in the mood for a traditional (Jesus) Christmas, check out my other Christmas post.

Share your truths about the Holidays below 🙂

Making a Contribution

It’s definitely the holidays, with the celebration of Christmas being only a few days away.  A major part of celebrations all year-long is gift giving and celebrating with friends and family.  One of the things I love best about holidays is how everybody comes together and contributes to each others holiday cheer.  For today’s post, I’m sharing ways to make a contribution whether you own a business, have a family, or just like to share with others in the world.

1. Blog: it’s definitely the way to go if you enjoy writing. I’ve loved writing since I was young and I find blogging to be a great way to share all the thoughts and inspirations that buzz around in my head with the world, as well as remember them and be re-inspired when I look back years later.

2. Newsletter: now, just because I suggested having a newsletter, it doesn’t mean you have to be in business.  I had an inspirational newsletter for years before I started my business.  It was my way of sharing my inspiration with friends and family.  It doesn’t have to be much, just share from your heart.

3. Twitter: making a positive contribution is easy to do on Twitter.  You can share quotes or help answer other people’s questions.  Passing along Tweets you enjoyed is another way to contribute.

4. Facebook: Facebook is a great place to connect and contribute. It’s super easy to discuss things with people through posts and pages as well as share articles and other bits of interesting news.  One of the things that makes Facebook so cool is how well it connects everyone and encourages contributions.

5: Community/church group: joining a community or church group is a great way to really participate and grow with others.  In this world of digital and online connection, it’s even more special to contribute and connect with people through these groups.

6. Business/website: Starting a business or even just a website to share your contribution with the world is a great idea.  It isn’t hard and just about anyone can do it (contact me if you’re interested).  A business is a great way to not only positively contribute what you can do, but also help and support others in their lives as they make their contributions.

7. Be considerate: this is the simplest and often the most profound way to make a contribution in society and just person-to-person.  Holding open doors, smiling, or helping someone pick something up are simple yet very impactful ways to contribute.

How will you contribute to someone’s life today?  Share your thoughts below.

Organizing your Mind

With the holidays it’s easy to lose track of things, forget things or misplace things.  Today I’m sharing some tips for helping your brain work better and assist you better.

Simple things to do to help you help your brain:

Make lists: making a list is the easiest and most practical way to keep track of all the things you need to do now, and need to do soon.

Use technology to remind you: there are many technologies out there, from calendar reminders on your phone to different internet tools that will help you with your productivity.

Use a timer: setting a timer for a particular amount of time can encourage you to do one thing at a time and really get it done.

Take a nap: the occasional, brief nap is known for its restorative properties.  If you’re feeling stuck or frustrated, try laying down for a bit.

Ask for help: sometimes the best thing you can do is get help.  Delegate some activities, and ask for assistance with others.

Ways to improve your brain:

Listen to good things: listen to teleseminars, uplifting/meditative music and inspiring speeches. This will help your brain grow and create new pathways.

Watch minimal news: news watching is notorious for depressing people and helping them focus on the wrong stuff.  Do your best to limit your exposure to negative news.

Eat brain foods: check out this list from WebMd and this one from BrainReady.

Read: reading books, nonfiction, fiction, biography etc, especially those with educational topics, can really help to keep your brain working well.

Sleep: while the jury is still out on the number of hours we each need every night, all scientists agree that sleep is essential for your brain to work best.

Meditate: doing meditation or other spiritual practices is known to help improve your brain, as well as other areas of your life.

Subscribe to inspiring blogs/newsletters: this ties into reading books and listening to good things.  Check out the newsletters I offer, including one that features other inspiring newsletters.

Keep learning: do your best to learn something new each day.  Watch educational programs on TV, visit museums and attend seminars and engage with people in discussion.  If you’re learning, your brain can’t get lazy.

~What do you do to keep your brain in top condition? Share your thoughts, resources and ideas below!

Holiday Date Night

Get ready!  It’s time for that amazing holiday evening just for the 2 of you! I’m encouraging you to splurge a little, but have included a few suggestion for those making holidays happen and happy despite circumstances.

-Got to a special restaurant like the Melting Pot

-Eat in, watch a movie, share dessert, and make sure to send the kids to a grand parent’s house or a friend’s (and offer to watch their kids for their date night)

-Do dinner and a movie

-Check into a hotel for the night, or for a few hours

-Visit a big city near you to see their holiday displays (ie NYC & Rockafeller Center/Bryant Park)

-Go to a coffee house, have some drinks and catch up on each other

-Play in the snow.  Go tubing, skiing, snowboarding or any other fun snow activity.

-Walk around the mall (no shopping allowed! unless it’s for each other)

-Do pottery, painting, or any other creative, hands on activity

-Go see a Christmas play

-Have a spa day, or get a couple’s massage

-Just have dessert

-Go on a sleigh ride

I hope you take time for just the two of you this holiday season!  Share your favorite dates and ideas below!

 

 

Be Your Best This Christmas

The holidays are notorious for filling schedules and draining checkbooks.  If you haven’t checked out my blog post about giving yourself some holiday cheer and reducing some stress, I encourage you to do so.

Today I want to share some thoughts about what love is with you,

“Love is a feeling directed at someone which acknowledges their goodness.” Dr. John Gray

Love is “The willful intent to serve the well being of another” M. Scott Peck

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Bible

“Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away.” Dorothy Parker

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.” Love Actually (movie, 2003)

I could share pages and pages of quotes with you today.  But my aim is not to expose you to two dozen perspectives about love.  Rather, my hope is that you will be reminded of what it feels like deep inside to love yourself and love others.

I strongly encourage you to think of and act on one way you can show love to yourself today, and one way you can show love to another today.  And don’t just do it today, do it everyday!

Feel free to share what you are going to do for yourself and for another below!

Celebration at Work

Today I’m sharing some thoughts for celebrating the holidays in your home office, or with the whole crew!

  • play Christmas music
  • use only red/white /green pushpins
  • change your computer desktop to be festive
  • sign all your emails with a Christmas/holiday greeting
  • wear your santa/elf hat, Mrs. Clause wig, or reindeer antlers while you’re working
  • have a creative holiday decorating contest with your coworkers or associates
  • serve holiday cookies
  • give gifts! (support homemade artists and shop etsy.com/artfire.com, as well as green companies)
  • wear your red plaid pj’s or holiday sweatshirts/sweaters
  • share holiday related tweets and Facebook posts
  • get holiday ball ornaments and lights to decorate your office
  • wrap items before you put them in the box to mail them
  • send holiday cards to your coworkers, associates, vendors and clients
  • gift yourself with some uplifting seminars or , books, and some pampering
  • use festive envelopes to mail all your bills and statements
  • use stamps, scrapbook ideas and other creative tools to share holiday cheer with guests, coworkers, and clients

Share your ideas for having fun and celebrating the holidays in your business or office below!

Christmas Cookies!

Today I have the blessing of sharing some sweet and savory cookie recipes with you! There is nothing better in the holiday season than gathering the kids in the kitchen and baking up several batches of your family’s favorite cookies and bars.  Maybe one of these 30 recipes will become part of your Holiday cookie traditions!

Snowflake Cookies

Crunch Peanut Butter S’more Cookies

White Peppermint Snowball Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Cherry and Almond Cookies with Vanilla Icing

Peppermint-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Turtle Graham Bars

Citrus Trio Butter Dipping Cookies

Chocolate Covered Snow Peak Cookies

Raspberry Cake Bars

Candy Cane Cookies

Stained Glass Wreath Cookies

Coconut Peanut Cookies

Spoon Cookies

Mazurka Bars

Pistachio Melbas

Paradise Macaroons

Cinnamon Star Cookies

Moravian Spice Cookies

Rugelach

Chocolate Nut Cookies

Biscotti

Christmas Crunch Cookies

Almond Pastry

Nut Butter Ball Cookies

Five Layer Bars

Mini Linzer Cookies

Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Coconut Cranberry Macaroons

Shortbread Cookies

Share your favorite cookie decorating memories below, as well as your favorite cookie recipes!