Category Archives: New Years Resolutions

My To-Do List for Today…

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This photo was on Facebook today and it just really resonated me from a personal and professional standpoint.  I seem to be so very busy lately with all sorts of projects, but which ones really speak to me?  I work freelance to be able to have the control over my business and my life.  The kind of freedom that people stuck in their cubicles dream of.  Am I being true to that?

Are you true to yourself?  That’s an interesting question.  It should be the kind of question we all ask ourselves and then have the luxury to be able to live.  Sadly though, many either can’t, choose not to, or even worse, don’t even know that it’s an option.  I fortunately have the option and can, but am I?

The great thing though about life, is you get a choice.  No one can make you do anything.  The “gun to your head” scare tactic…you still have a choice.  “I had no choice” is never an excuse.  And I’ve decided to make some choices to help me get back to being true to myself and what my goals are in my career and my life.

They are not easy choices.  Nothing really truly great in life is an easy choice, an easy decision.  But you know it’s a great choice, a great decision when once you make it and act on it, you feel a release off your shoulders, a spring in your step, an excitement each morning when you awake to face the day ahead.

I have an extremely odd way of making those tough decisions.  I use a Magic 8 Ball.  Yes, that’s right.  I ask my question, swirl the ball around and let it reveal the answer.  BUT, I don’t look at what the Magic 8 Ball says for my answer, I get more philosophical than that.  When I read the answer, I focus on my immediate gut reaction.  Do I feel relieved?  Or do I feel like I was punched in the stomach.  That first, immediate reaction is sub-conscious and can’t be faked.  By honing in on that, it allows me to make those decisions that I know I need to make, but I keep rationalizing both sides of it.

Regardless of the strategies to help make choices, important decisions in your life, they must be made.  Waiting in limbo for too long may make your life stand still, but time is still passing, time that you can not get back.  Time spent worrying, rationalizing, stagnating.

This photo had me thinking about the decisions that I’ve had to make recently that I had been stagnating on.  Those choices that I need to make to get back to who I am, to be true to myself.  Those choices that once made, will drastically improve my personal and professional life because when you are living and working on your purpose, you feel invigorated, alive and most importantly, happy.

La Rentrée Quickly Approaching!

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La Rentree, the “re-entry” into life commences every September.  As vacations wind down, work projects amp up and school starts again, life goes from the lazy days of summer to the more organized, scheduled time of fall.  It’s my favorite time of the year.  It’s a renewal, a rebirth.  It’s New Years and its resolutions without all of the pressure.

Each year I make my “la rentree” gameplan for work and home.  I write out my goals, create a master to-do list, break that down into more mangeable and less intimidating chunks (can you tell I’m slightly OCD?   Ok, maybe a little more than slightly.)  🙂

I am usually very excited about la rentree.  But not this year and I’m attributing it to the fact that I don’t feel like I’ve really had that relaxing summer experience.

It starts with the fact that my kids are on a year-round schedule at school.  So our summer vacation doesn’t start until the third week of July, so right there I’m four weeks behind.

Sure I started the summer vacation with with a four day trip to Las Vegas, but immediately upon return (an hour after I got home actually!), I was thrust into a huge work project.  And it seems like it’s been one large, time-consuming project after another, all summer long.

Our pool has only been used a handful of times.  My unread magazine pile actually has issues in it from as far back as April!  I have no tan what-so-ever and I’m even writing this article from indoors.  I am definitely feeling the stress of it all and a sadness.  As if I might actually miss my chance to enjoy a carefree summer experience this year.

But all is not lost!  I am an optimist after all!  I have one week left before September starts!  And I’m going to stuff all of summer into it!  I have a weekend full of social engagements and I fully intend to relax and enjoy them!  Next week I only have two short work meetings (both early morning) and I am not going to schedule any more!  That’s what the first week of September is for.  I’m not going to give myself a guilt trip about “where I could be” in my business if I work next week.  I’m going to do the bare bones of housecleaning all week (actually, starting NOW!).  These are all things that will still be there in September.  But my carefree summer won’t be.

I’m going to enjoy my last week of August!  Relax, chill out, veg.  Read my magazines.  Read a book.  Lay out in the sun.  Float in my pool.  Drink cocktails with lunch.  Cook a yummy and fresh dinner each night (this is actually a big de-stressor for me!).

We need that “unplug” to be able to not only have the energy, but also the mental clarity to have a strong and successful September.

So my pledge to myself (and my challenge to you) is to enjoy the end of summer.  Regardless of what you have planned for the next week, find some time, any time, even if it’s only for ten minutes, but find the time to unwind a bit, unplug and revel in the pure joy that is summer.

Busy, Busy Bumblebee!

Fashion___Bee_by_juliefofisssUsually when I write about bumblebees, it’s on my gardening blog (www.thefashionistasgarden.wordpress.com), but in this case, the busy bumblebee is not fluttering about my flowers, it’s me!!!

2013 is looking to be a BUSY year for me and I am absolutely excited about all of it!

Of course I’ll still be doing my “regular” work as a make-up artist with my business, Classy on a Budget (www.classyonabudget.com).  And let’s not forget my position on the board for FGI San Diego (www.sandiego.fgi.org).  Those two things alone will keep me busy this year, but I’m excited to share a little teaser on two other ventures I’m working on this year.

In addition, I’m in talks to get into the international fashion manufacturing industry which is so exciting!  Can’t share too much as we are still in the planning stages, but a great contact (through FGI as a matter of fact!) felt that what I could bring to the table would very much be beneficial to her and the company she is working with.  It will be very rewarding to finally take my education background and put it to good use in an industry that I’m passionat about.  Can’t wait to share more!  But that will have to wait until later.  🙂

The other venture involves me making my own formulations of certain skin care products and cosmetics that I use often in my work as a make-up artist.  Excited to create these products based off of what I want and need for my business in addition to the needs that those around me have expressed.  I’ve always wanted to make my own product, but have always let fear get in the way.  This is definitely the year that fear gets kicked to the curb!  I’m still in the planning stages for my line, but hoping to have some basic formulations ready to be tested by quarter two.  Guinea pigs anyone?  🙂

So, as you can tell, my 2013 is shaping up to be a HUGE one!  It’s the year of expansion.  It’s the year of “Yes I Can!!!”  It’s the year of “Good Bye Fear!”  Here’s hoping your year is the same!

The Joy of New Years Resolutions. (That’s right! I said JOY!!!)

Well, it’s that time of year for me again…New Years Resolutions.  I am one of the few people who look forward to this time of year.  I love new beginnings.  I love fresh starts.  I love clean slates.  My New Years Resolutions (NYR) give me the opportunity to shape and mold my life anyway I choose.

It’s true that the idea of NYR makes people curl into a ball and whimper.  Usually their resolutions entail things like “losing 150 pounds by summer”, “get my $2,000,000 credit card debt paid off by March” and “get the man of my dreams and marry him by Valentine’s Day”.  Granted I’m exaggerating those, but they do cut close to home for many people out there.  And it’s no wonder that NYR have the reputation of always failing.  Those types of resolutions are simply setting you up to fail.  I think that is the main reason why people simply don’t do them anymore.

I know my good friend was one of those people.  She had good intentions about her resolutions, but (in my opinion) went about it all wrong.  She visited me on a New Years Day a few years ago completely defeated.  She knew she had things she wanted to improve about her life, but she did not have any ideas as to how to make them happen.  She felt alone and hopeless.  Being it was New Years, I was working on my own resolutions and decided to share with her what I do every year.

I told her that I have NEVER had a NYR fail me.  EVER!  I have succeeded in every single one of them since I’ve been using this method.  And I promised her that if she followed it, she would succeed as well.

Curious as to what it is?  🙂  Let me first disclose that I am an extremely organized person.  I love lists.  I love the pleasure of crossing things off of my lists that are completed.  I love being able to look back on my lists and see all of the things I have crossed off, to see how far I’ve come.  If you don’t like lists, I don’t know if this will work for you, but I’ve found that most women are list makers.

Now, I first started this method quite a few years back after I attended a dream seminar by Marcia Wieder.  Listening to her speak really got me thinking about my dreams and passions in life.  Reading her book, “Making Your Dreams Come True” really helped as well and was the starting point for my methods.  Over the years, I’ve streamlined her processes and made them more accessible to others as well as more approachable for the everyday woman who has a house to take care of, a job to deal with and a family to keep happy.

So, here are the methods of my madness that I do EVERY year…

First, I get a beautiful journal.  I’m a sucker for gorgeous paper, but truth be told, you can do this on the back of your junk mail.  Write down the areas of your life that you want to improve.  Be general though!  Now is not the time to be specific or quantitative.

For example, instead of saying “I want to lose 50 pounds this year”, say “I want to be physically healthier.”  Past resolutions I’ve made have been to be more mentally balanced (Don’t laugh!  It’s true!), to have a career that inspires me and to have a home that I am proud of.  The idea is to make it something general, not specific.  Make it a dream, so-to-speak, rather than a goal.  Write it down even if it seems lofty and completely off the wall!  One of mine this year is to own a Chanel handbag.  No one is going to see this (unless you show it to them).  In fact, my friend was the first and ONLY person to ever see my NYR.  I haven’t even shown my own husband my NYR journals, past or present!  Make it your safe zone for your wildest and truest dreams.

Next, get a notebook or paper with a divider for each one of your NYR/dreams.  Write the resolution on the top of the first page and underneath it write “Master To-Do List”.  Go to the next page and start writing down anything and everything that can help you towards your resolution, even the most minute things count here.  In fact, the more minute, the better.

For example, if your NYR was “to be physically healthier”, items you might write down could include:

  • Find an exercise that I enjoy
  • Find vegetables that I enjoy
  • Find fruits that I enjoy
  • Find snacks that I like and that are healthy
  • Find a support team to help motivate me
  • Find a workout outfit that makes me feel slammin’ (so I want to work out more)
  • Find nearby farmers markets to get fresh produce

Don’t worry if your list isn’t very long yet.  You will be adding to it throughout the year.  And it’s ok if you can’t think of anything to write.  If you can’t, then write “Google search ways to…insert your resolution here”.

Once you’ve brainstormed a bit, now scan through your list.  You will most likely see definitive and succinct things that you can do to achieve or rather work towards your resolution.  Write those things down on the first page under “Master To-Do List”.

Make this list your “specifics” list.  Choose things that have a definitive end.  This is your “to-do” list for that particular resolution.  You want to be able to complete an item and cross it off.  Any items that are not definitive and specific, think of ways that you can rewrite them to be specific.

Congratulations!  You now have a list of things you can do to help work towards that particular NYR.  Repeat those steps for every single one of your resolutions.  How many of them you choose to have is entirely up to you.  You can have just one, six, heck, this year I think I have about 10, but this is feeling like an entirely ambitious year for me.  🙂

Once all of your resolutions are in your journal, you now have a very powerful tool in your hands to help improve your life and the best part about it is YOU NOW CAN NOT FAIL AT YOUR NYR!!!

The first step towards any NYR is to have a game-plan.  And you just completed that!  Now it’s up to you how far you want to go with your resolutions.  Look at your “Master To-Do List” and pick something on one of those lists to do.  If you’re like most people, including myself, you’ll choose the easiest things on the list and that’s ok.  In fact, that’s the best.

Once you complete something on the list, enjoy the pleasure of crossing it off.   You are now even closer to accomplishing your NYR.  In our example, with each of the items that you cross off, you are physically healthier.  It may only be in tiny increments, but you are in fact successfully one step ahead of where you were.  Baby steps!

You might find that once you do a task, it lends itself to a lot more ideas of things you can do to work towards your goals and that’s the idea!  Write these new items down on your “Master To-Do List” and keep plugging away.  This is especially true if “Google search” was on your to-do list.

In our example, if you looked up local farmers markets, you now have a list of places you can visit.  Put on your list “visit place A”, “visit place B”, etc. and even add “after visiting all of the farmers markets, decide which one is my favorite”.

Your “Master To-Do List” should be a never ending list of things you can do to constantly improve yourself as you work towards your resolution (to be physically healthier).

In fact, whenever you have a great idea for one of your NYR (regardless of how outlandish others might think it to be), instead of talking yourself out of your great idea, write it down in the appropriate resolution section and add those steps to your to-do list for that resolution.  Make them baby steps.  Enough baby steps can accomplish any outlandish idea.  🙂

Whenever you are bored and don’t know what to do, pick something, anything on your to-do lists and DO IT!  Each item you cross off as completed means that you succeeded even more at your goals.  It can even get you motivated by thinking of even more things that you can add to your to-do lists.  Let these resolutions and lists build excitement and hope!  You can not fail.  As long as you cross off one item on each list, you succeeded in moving forward towards your resolutions.

Whenever you are down-in-the-dumps, re-read your NYR journal, paying special attention to all of the things you’ve crossed off your list already.  You’ll find that you’ll feel better once you’ve seen how far you’ve come already.  Or you’ll find one easy thing on your list to do which will help you back on that proverbial wagon.

At the end of the year, review and reflect on your NYR journal.  How far did you come this year?  Are you happy and content with where you are on that particular goal?  Or would you like to improve it even more?  If you are content, then as the Beatles say, “Let It Be”.  If you would like to improve it even more, then put that resolution back into the next year’s journal and continue your to-do list.  Improving yourself is never over.  The things you want to improve about yourself just change.

Using my methods, I helped my friend work through one of the resolutions that she was constantly struggling with and we worked out a short to-do list for her.  A list of things that were baby steps, super easy to do, but when you added them all together made a HUGE impact in her life.  Granted, she’s had her ups and downs since our discussion, but she now knows what she needs to do to improve any area of her life.  She doesn’t feel as lost or helpless anymore concerning that resolution.  She has hope and anyone who has hope can succeed at anything.

So, here’s to your New Years Resolutions!  May you succeed wildly in all of them!  Best of luck!  🙂

(The FABULOUS photo was courtesy of the AMAZING Natalie A. Stevens Photography.  Please “like” her Facebook page!)

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