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Dear Friend,

Hello! I’m Stephanie, aka, the Giving Gal. On January 1, 2011 I started my giving journey. I gave a gift for 522 days and that journey changed my life.

The giving journey led to me writing The Giving Challenge and now creating

The “Lent” Giving Challenge, starting March 6th.

Instead of giving up chips, wine or sweets, what if you gave away something each and every day for 40-Days, changing the lives of those you encounter and in the end, changing your life?

It’s easy to participate! Sign-up here.  

Once you sign up, you'll receive lots of fun tools to help you on your journey.

Each morning I'll send out a Giving Challenge via email and in my Facebook Group. You can take the challenge or create your own. Let's flood the world with intentional acts of giving!

You'll also receive and be able to download a Lent Giving Challenge packet that includes:

  • Impact Pages: Write down how many people you impacted and a few notes to review later.
  • Journal Pages: Take a few minutes to write about your daily challenge.

What are you waiting for? Join now and invite friends to on the 40-Day adventure with you!

I can’t wait to go on this journey with you. A journey of 40-Days to a more generous life!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

“The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life”

Learn more at GivingGal.com.

I'm preparing for my TEDx talk, and I give three steps to follow if you want to go on your own giving journey.

First, wake up in the morning and declare, "I'm going to give a gift today!"

Second, look for an opportunity to give.

And finally, and most importantly, act when you see the opportunity.

This morning my flight to Austin, TX was canceled. I called Southwest customer service, and the agent on the other end of the line was friendly and helpful.  When I told her the flight I wanted for tomorrow, she said, "There is one seat left."

"Praise the Lord!" I exclaimed.

She chuckled, and at that moment I received a nudge, "Ask her if you can pray for her."

I ignored the soft, gentle voice and continued to chat with the agent, asking her about her day. "Busy, but good," she commented.

This was my opportunity, but I was scared to act. I didn't follow through on giving this gift that the agent may have needed today.  So, if you are the praying type, will you pray for the nameless Southwest customer service agent? We don't know her name, but God does, and that's all that matters.

Again, the soft whisper, "Ask her if you can pray for her."

Blessings,

Stephanie


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About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com.

Happy February! Last week I talked about the importance of planning, tracking, and accountability as it relates to your goals. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of our daily lives can be too much. Can weigh us down. We look at the week or month ahead and think, how can I do everything? And then sometimes we shut down. Instead of taking action and getting done what we need to, we do nothing.

And by nothing I mean, sitting in front of the television, or mindlessly scrolling through social media. I call this out because it's what I do when I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

This past week, I'm blaming it on the sub-zero temperatures, as I could barely get myself to function in the evening. Usually, I'm fairly productive after work, but boy was I lazy this week. I did what I had to do to get by, including leading two national trainings and keynoting a private event. I felt like I was winging all three things, but due to the prior week's planning; I was prepared.

So how did I get out of this funk?

  1. I didn't beat myself up. I basked in the laziness, but I put a limit on to when I'd need to get back in the game.
  2. I knew my weekend was wide open, so I made a list of everything I needed to get done to get me back on track, and I committed to knocking everything out on Saturday and Sunday.
  3. I've talked about this in the past, but it's worth mentioning again. I looked back on what I'd accomplished this month and realized I was right on track for where I needed to be going into a new month.
  4. My evenings may have been a little unproductive, but every morning I kept up with my gratitude journal, daily devotions and reading creating small wins.

If you had a week like me, I'm sorry.  But hopefully, this week will be better. Hopefully, you'll be full of focus and get back to your fabulous self. If you had a fantastic week, yeah you!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com.

Was it all you dreamed it would be on January 1st when you were excited for all the new opportunities and restarts the beginning of a year brings?

I'm on track with some goals and others, like hopping on the elliptical for 30 minutes three times a week, not so much. But that's okay because it's not like I'm sitting around eating bon bons. Besides two twizzlers, a tootsie roll and a handful of chocolate chips, I've steered clear of sugar. A total win, as on most days I'd consider myself a sugar addict. Can you relate?

If January was fabulous for you. Congratulations! High fives all around! What's your plan for keeping the momentum in February? If January was a little depressing or didn't meet your expectations, that's okay, as in a few short days we'll ring in a new month. Slap the restart button and recommit to doing what you said you were going to do.

I attribute January's success due to planning, tracking and accountability. On Sunday night I write a plan for the week. I look at my annual goals and write the next one to three steps I need to take on each goal. I then print out the plan and throughout the week I x out and highlight what I've accomplished. The more marked up the sheet, the better. Finally, daily I check in and video chat with my entrepreneur bff and let her know what I need to get done for the day. And on Sundays I check in with my girls, giving a rundown of everything I finished, where I fell short and what I need to focus on for the upcoming week.

Everyone has their own system, but if you don't have one, try implementing the one above. A little direction, planning and accountability go a long way.

If you need help, just comment on this post!

Here's to a productive week!

Blessings,
Stephanie

Never miss a post

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com.

6 Ways to Get Your Giving Groove Back

Does your chest tighten thinking about purchasing gifts for picky, non-appreciative people? Is your bank account empty from pursuing your dream? Are you feeling scroogey about shopping, wrapping and giving when you have so much else to do? I'm going to let you in on two little gift-giving secrets. The purchase price of the gift doesn't matter and neither does the giver! Yes, you read that correctly. The gift – in fact, the whole holiday season and many of the stressors therein – is not about you. This means you can relax! Here are six actions you can take today to get out of the holiday funk and reignite your joy for giving.

1. Focus on the good.

Whether it is an annoying coworker, a family member who seeks attention (and not in a good way) or a friend who is a little too high maintenance, we let their faults overshadow their positive qualities. As they frustrate you during this season, remind yourself why you love and appreciate that person, then give them the gift of encouragement. Write a card, send a text, share in person, or pick up the phone and let people in your life know how you feel about them. They may be carrying a burden you don't know about, so for this magical time of year, choose to focus on the good.

2. Freely give with no expectations.

Too many times when we give, our gifts come with expectations. For example, we think the receiver will like, appreciate, and say "thank you" for the gift. Maybe your gift – if you get honest with yourself – has other expectations like a gift from them in exchange, or that they'll bury an old hatchet with you. The definition of a gift is giving something and expecting nothing in return. When you change your mindset on this, you'll start to find joy in giving. If you are giving a gift that fits your budget and you put effort into the purchase, don't worry if someone doesn't like or appreciate the gift. That's on them, not you.

3. Focus on what you can control.

Many times in giving, we get caught up in not only the recipient's reaction to the gift but also that of onlookers. We've all felt pressure during the show-and-tell portion of the holiday party or family gathering when each person takes a turn talking about what they received and from whom. This stress can also rise to the surface regarding holiday season volunteer work or charitable donations. Ask yourself why you're so stressed about a particular person's gift. If you put thoughtful consideration into your gift and the receiver doesn't like it or wants to exchange the gift, that is okay. If other people think it's too much or too little or too weird or too boring, that's also okay. You've done your part, now move on.

4. Find gratitude.

If you have watched any of my friend, Kelsey Humprey's interviews, you've heard leaders discuss a gratitude practice. For instance, Tony Robbins practices gratitude for 3-1/2 minutes on three things every morning. He says, "I pick one of them, and I make it really simple, like the wind on my face or the smile on one of my children's faces, so I don't just have to have a giant thing to be grateful." (Watch that clip again here.) If giving is stressing you out due to lack of funds, be grateful for what you can give. Get resourceful and creative. Find ways to give away your time or your talents and make a memories instead. If you're in a position to give at all, many would say you're #blessed. Try and remember that during the bustle.

5. Find some perspective.

Remember, it could be worse. If you are having a pity party for yourself because you're down in the dumps about the holidays, volunteer at the local food pantry, soup kitchen, homeless or domestic violence shelter. Talk with people and inquire about their story. You'll quickly learn the things you are allowing to ruin your holiday really aren't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life.

6. Fill your own gift bag, too.

I know I said giving isn't about you, but you can't be a joyful giver if you are stressed, tired and in a bad mood. Gifts for you could be an hour-long massage or the bargain set of brightly colored ballpoint pens that just make you happy.

Make the needed changes in yourself to find the good in others, give freely, and get most of this season of giving. Don't enter the New Year with regrets about how/what/ when or even why you gave. To be your best self means living and giving without regrets.

Happy wrapping!

Stephanie

My weekly giving challenge this week in the Giving Gal Gazette, is to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Okay, I'm a week ahead on this challenge, as Giving Tuesday is November 27th. I'm giving you a week to prepare. We've created "Giving Tuesday" gift tags for you to download and recorded a video to give you ideas on how you can give on Giving Tuesday. Snap a pic on the 27th and share it with me on social media! I'd love to see how you are giving.

Halloween is almost here! If you were thinking about sitting in your house with the lights off, hoping kids don’t stop at your home, you still have time to change your mind. I’m not a fan of all things Halloween, but I do believe it’s an opportunity to connect with our neighbors and those that live in our community.

Will you take the Halloween Giving Challenge?

  • Turn your porch light on and pass out treats.
  • Compliment the children on their costumes.
  • Dress up and have fun.
  • Set out a teal pumpkin (or sign) and have non-food treats available.
  • Chat with parents… get to know your neighbors and those in your community.

 

Have a happy Halloween!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven’t read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

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