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Health

The right priorities

And why am I always putting out fires?

Priorities… Everybody has them but everyone’s priorities are personal. While I cannot tell you what your priorities are, I can help you find them. And I can help you work on them more intentionally.

If I were to have you list out your top 5 priorities and then your top 5 time-consuming activities, they probably wouldn’t match up very well. Because the truth is that while we usually know what our priorities are, we struggle to find time for them.

Why? Because we are putting out fires, that’s why!

Let me demonstrate this to you using Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Priority Matrix. This is not new to you, but how we are going to approach it probably is. Continue reading How can I tell if my Priorities are Right?

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3 Tips for Conquering Writer’s Block

Are you a blogger, podcaster, or vlogger? Then you have surely faced writer’s block at some point along your journey. Especially, if you are committed to publishing new content on a consistent schedule, such as weekly, or even daily.

Writer’s block is real. You pull out a fresh sheet of notebook paper or pull up a blank blog post screen, and it screams at you, “You have NOTHING to say!”

writer's block

However, that’s just not true. You have plenty to say; it’s just that your mind has gone blank for a moment. The problem is when that moment stretches into an hour, a day, or, heaven forbid, a week. Continue reading How to Conquer Blog Post Writer’s Block

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surprising discoveries

My surprising discoveries from 2016…

The end of the year is a time of reflection. Did I reach my goals? Did I stretch myself? Did my relationships grow? As I have been reflecting on 2016, I realized that I learned 5 surprising things about myself, my business, and the world around me.

Here are my surprising discoveries:

1. We are capable of so much more than we think we are.

We shortchange ourselves all the time. So often, we hold limiting beliefs about ourselves that simply are not true. Here are just a few of my limiting beliefs that I’ve held over the years: Continue reading 5 Surprising Things I Learned in 2016

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just-start

So, start before you are ready!

If not now, then when? If not you, then who? Because it’s more about progress than perfectionism. Perfectionism is just a nicer word for… well, you’ll see…

This video is about an Ah-ha! moment I had this weekend. Sometimes we just have to start before we are ready, or we will never do the thing that we know we should be doing. You don’t have to wait until you are thinner, prettier, or more knowledgeable. Just start. Remember, we are aiming for progress, not perfection!

What do you need to start today?

  • Do you have a book that you need to begin writing?
  • A room full of memories that you need to clean out?
  • An exercise program to start?
  • A morning routine to set into motion?
  • A letter to write?
  • Forgiveness to request?
  • A business to start?
  • A new habit to form?

Comment below and tell me what’s holding you back. I wasn’t going to start my video series until I had lost a few pounds (like 30!). But I was encouraged to just start and walk into my fear. Maybe it will be a little less scary next time. 🙂

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I recently heard someone say, “Your brain is not an effective storage solution.” That is becoming more and more true for me. For two reasons, I think…

  1. I’m getting older, so perhaps my memory is not as sharp.
  2. There is more and more to remember. We are on information overload.

Today, I recited my 14-digit library card number from memory. I memorized that number about 20 years ago and my brain still holds on to that information for whatever reason, even though all my kids have their own cards and I only use mine about once every three years. How does that work?

Our brains are really incredible at holding on to some information, but not all information. Our brains are selective, but it’s hard to figure out what it’s going to select. And what it is going to forget!

But no matter how our amazing brains work and do what they do, one thing has become increasingly clear… my brain loves to be freed up to focus on creative, intellectual, and relational information. And the best way I know how to free up my brain to function at its maximum potential is to release it from carrying around thousands of bits of information that it doesn’t need to. And here’s how…

Continue reading My Digital Brain

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Your routine can set you up for success.

It’s a new year, full of hope, promise and opportunities ahead. But in order to see the hope, claim the promises or jump on the opportunities that come your way, you need to be centered, or grounded, in who you are (or whose you are), what matters, and what you have been put on this planet to do. That is what a morning routine can do for you. Plus, it sets you up to succeed in the things that matter.

A morning routine sets you up for success.

A morning routine sets you up for success.

I find that a solid morning routine not only makes my days flow smoother, but also contributes to a better attitude, sense of well-being, and purpose in my life. Maybe this sounds like a bunch of hogwash, but I challenge you to give a morning routine a try to see if it makes a difference in your life.

Now, most likely, you already have some sort of morning routine. At the least, you get out of bed each day, get dressed, eat breakfast (I hope), teach school. You may incorporate a great deal more into your morning routine – things like chores, exercise, etc.

I am going to lay out my morning routine for you below. It’s far from perfect, but it’s getting better and better as the months go by. I am looking forward to adding a few more things to my AM routine in the coming months. You might see something here that you want to add to your mornings on a regular basis, but it’s important that you only add one thing at a time, or you might sabotage yourself. As humans, we are only wired to accept a certain amount of change in our lives. Continue reading A Morning Routine Sets You Up to Win

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Follow along and I’ll show you how!

typewriter2

It’s a new year and time for a new project. I am ready to write a new book!

Do you have a book rolling around in your brain that you would like to get out onto paper this year? Follow along with me on my journey and by this time next year, you should have in your hands (or more likely, on your computer) a complete manuscript ready for publication. Sound like fun? It is, but it’s also hard work. But you can do it!

Let’s get started… (ready? then roll up your sleeves!)

The first thing we need to get out of the way is scheduling a time to write. I mean, let’s face it, if you are like me, you have many demands on your time, several people that need you all day long, a house that doesn’t clean itself and cupboards that continually need to be refilled with trips to the grocery store.

And no, we are not going to write in the bathroom with the door locked and the shower running!

It’s time to take a hard look at your schedule. What do you spend time doing that doesn’t really need to be done? Um, Candy Crush? Exactly, those little time-suckers are the kinds of things I am talking about… the modern, young to middle-aged woman’s acceptable addiction. This is going to sound cruel, but trust me, I’m doing you a favor… Delete those addictive apps from your device! Just do it now while you are feeling strong. Besides these are the kinds of games (as fun as they are) that take more time than you want to give and more money than you want to spend. Get rid of Candy Crush! Or Facebook. Or Pinterest (ouch). Or whatever your little habit may be.

Second, look at how you spend your evenings and your mornings. I’d like to make a case that the ABSOLUTE BEST time to write is between the lovely hours of 5 and 7… AM! I’m serious and this is coming from a very NON-morning person. Read my 2-part blog posts on how I became a morning person last year after being a NIGHT person for 45 YEARS!

Becoming a Morning Person, Part 1

Becoming a Morning Person, Part 2

Okay, I think this is enough to think about for now. Here’s your assignment for the week:

1. Work hard at retiring early so that 5am feels wonderful, not dreadful.

2. Start writing during the early morning hours. Don’t worry about organization just yet. Write down what you want to write about. Write down what you think you know and what you think will require some research.

Next week, we are going to break down our projects into bite-sized chunks and begin tackling this project in earnest. For now, just get used to some new routines. If the blank page is intimidating you, then spend your lovely, lonely morning hours reading the Bible (or an extra chapter or two than you usually do) and praying/meditating. Write out a short to-do list for the day, brew up a pot of coffee for you and your hubby, or pick up that book that you wanted to read last night, but didn’t because you determined to go to bed early.

And I’ll see you back here next week as we break down your book idea into manageable parts to tackle in earnest.

Question: Are you ready to join me and say to the world next year that YOU ARE AN AUTHOR?

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(An espresso enjoyed along the shores of Lake Bled, Slovenia)

I have learned that ordering a large (venti) coffee “to go” from a drive-through window is a uniquely American concept. I did not realize this until I stepped outside of my own culture and entered another. Three things make this activity uniquely American and they are:

  1. 1. Driving to a coffee shop to buy your coffee.
  2. 2. Ordering coffee to take with you “on the go.”
  3. 3. Drinking more than 8oz of coffee at a time.

Since visiting Italy and Slovenia, I have come to understand that “going for coffee” is not just about the coffee. It includes three elements and they are… Continue reading Lessons from Coffee…

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I have become a morning person. I didn’t think that was possible after 45 years of NOT being a morning person. And you know what I have discovered? I actually like it.

Rising with the sun allows me to…

  • Write and review my goals for the day.
  • Read my Bible passage for the day while it is quiet.
  • Meditate on my priorities and my plan of attack.
  • Write a blog post, journal entry or a few pages in my next book.
  • Have a full conversation with my husband without interruptions.
  • Make breakfast for the family (okay, I still don’t do this very often).

Early morning is also a great time to exercise, but I don’t. I’m a walker and I prefer my 30 minutes outdoors when the sun is up and the air has warmed a bit. You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl.

Here is how I became a morning person: Continue reading Becoming a Morning Person, Part 2

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For most of my life, I have craved sleep.

I cannot remember a time when I have sprung out of bed.

When I was a teen, I can remember my mother dragging my feet out of bed, so that I was half-on the bed and half-off. I could continue to sleep that way just fine.

When we were newlyweds, my husband would try to kiss me awake. My mouth would try to say leave me alone and let me sleep, but my groggy head and limp body continued to doze on. Sometimes the smell of fresh coffee would bring me to my senses. Then the kisses were welcome and exchanged.

As a young mother, I never rose before my children. I always waited until I had to get up. That was usually when my husband Todd was leaving for work and the kids were up and raring to go. I simply couldn’t stay in bed any longer.


Then something changed.

I turned 40.

I couldn’t sleep well any more. Continue reading Becoming a Morning Person

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