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Friends, can you believe we are in the last quarter of the year? Two and a half months, and we will be ringing in a new year. Yippee!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas, and often all that comes with closing out a new year, we lose sight of our goals, get off track, and may ditch them altogether and say, "I'll just start on January 1st."

I know the feeling. I've been heading that way with my health goals. I also have my 5th book that is almost finished, but it's just been hanging out there, waiting for me to open the file and finalize the last few edits. 

So how do I get moving? How can you get moving? One action.

Yes, break it down to one action you'll take each day. Not 3, not ten things on your to-do list. Just one activity each day that moves you closer to accomplishing your goal. How do we do this?

It's easy!

In the morning, grab a notecard or sticky note, and think about the next step you need to take. For example, for my book, I need to find some notes I took I my phone. The next day, see notes I wrote in a notebook. The next day, type notes into my draft. 

You might think, "Stephanie, couldn't you do all these one days?" 

Well, I could. And maybe when I sit down to work on the project, I might, but sometimes I get bogged down by the details. So if I just do one thing, I get a dopamine hit when I accomplish that small task.  

And guess what? By the end of the year, in three short months, my book will be done and to the printer!

What goal do you want to work on from now until the end of the year?

And then what action will you take tomorrow? 

Consistent actions each day will help you gain momentum going into 2022!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”

The post from @rubiofuerte (and I have no idea why I'm following or how I came across him, but I digress) stated:
Nobody cares:

  • What you almost did.
  • What you want to do.
  • What you say you'll do.
  • What you didn't do.
  • What you could have done.
  • What you did a long time ago. 

Just take action!

Yikes! I'd consider myself an action taker and a doer, but this post reminded me to pay attention to my words. Am I holding myself accountable for the things I've committed to doing? Are there activities I'm talking and talking about but never seem to be making progress on? If so, I need to stop talking about that activity or take steps to move me forward. 

The list above is a great reminder to make sure we live life and not just talk about living or living way, way in the past. 

Over the next week, take inventory of the experiences you are chatting about and bounce them against the list above. If you almost did something, want to accomplish a goal, etc., ask yourself why aren't you making progress?

A few weeks back I discussed when it's okay to delay a goal. You may have a legit reason. But if the reason is more of an excuse or downright fear, jot down one action you can take this week that will move you out of the talking phase of your goal to walking that goal forward to accomplishment.

I talk a lot about running and physical challenges, but I haven't done a challenge since February 2020. My spider bite/infection delayed my progress, so I'm committing to you by next week; I'll be signed up for a half-marathon. Let the training begin!

Kick butt this week,
Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”

Friends, what a wild ride I have been on since being bit by a brown recluse. For those of you who do not know, they are venomous spider, with no anti-venom available for treatment. I got an infection, and since then have been struggling with side effect after side effect from the various antibiotics I have had to take.

This past weekend I was scheduled to deliver three keynotes at a women's retreat. I am grateful to share that by the grace of God, I walked onto the stage and shared what God laid on my heart. 

Getting to the stage was not easy. The event team totally understood if I wanted to back out. But I remained focused on the goal. 

So how did I get across the finish line of accomplishing my goal to speak at the retreat when most of the time I felt miserable?

  1. I focused on the opportunity and the impact. It's been a year since I've been live on a stage. I had prepared quite a bit prior to the spider bite, and I didn't want to forgo such a great opportunity. 
  2. When I felt well, I didn't waste that time. In the pockets of time that I felt good, I used the time to continue to prep, work on my notes, and slides. 
  3. I gave myself grace. I knew that how I prepared for this event wasn't as extensive as I had prepared for other live speaking engagements. I did the best I could, with the energy I had, and showed myself grace in the moments I got disappointed with the lack of preparation. 
  4. Think short term. I focused on one talk at a time, instead of thinking of three talks together. Breaking our goals down in bite size goals, gives us quick wins, to then move onto the next goal. 
  5. Fake it. I truly felt incredible on Friday night for my first keynote. By Saturday, I wasn't feeling so hot. I'm not a fan of faking it but sometimes we have to put on a smile, muster up some energy, and go out and shine. I paid for it later, and slept until 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, but the goal had been accomplished!

There are various reasons we may struggle with our goals but as long as we keep battling for them, we are never out of the fight.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”

Can you believe the first quarter of the year is over? Three months down and nine to go before we begin another new year.

Now is a fabulous time to reflect on the year and decide if we are moving in the right direction. It is never too late to course-correct.

Here are five questions of reflection:

  1. Is there one change I could make in the morning that would improve my day?
    Maybe it is getting up 15 minutes earlier to sit in the quiet. Or what about reaching for your Bible first versus the phone. For me, I started drinking a glass of water before my first cup of coffee. It feels like a small win as I tackle staying hydrated each day.
  1. How did I give to myself?
    Oh, this could be a tough one. Are you looking back and do not remember any time you spent on yourself? I know for me, I usually get a monthly massage, but they fell off my radar. Massage helps me in so many ways. Guess what I am doing today? Scheduling a massage! What do you need to book on your calendar for you?
  1. Did I stick to my budget?
    You might say, "Stephanie, I don't even have a budget!" No worries, review your expenses from January-March, look at your incoming income. Do they match? Can you save? Are there areas you need to cut back? I recommend the budget exercise monthly, but each quarter is good if you do not have time for monthly. Something is better than nothing.
  1. What goals did I set in January? Am I on track? If not, why? And what step do I need to take to get back on track? If yes, yippee! What do I need to do to keep the momentum?
    My physical goals are half and half. I have been physically working towards them, but I haven't signed up for any of the events. Registration is a priority for me in April!
  1. What am I grateful for over the past couple of months?
    Gratitude is always a great tool to reset our mindset and attitude. Let us begin a new month with an attitude of gratitude!

Let me know, did you like this exercise? Was it helpful? Would you like me to create a couple of pages you can download and fill out?

Here's to a fabulous second quarter!

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"

Do you remember the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg? It was a big hit several years ago. All the rave. I thought I would pull it off the shelf for International Women's Day. 

Here are five takeaways from the book:

  1. "Career progression often depends upon taking risks and advocating for oneself." 

My question to you, are you taking risks at work and advocating for yourself?

  1. "I believe that all of us - men and women - should acknowledge good fortune and thank the people who have helped us. No one accomplishes anything alone." 

Who has helped you in your career? Who can you thank?

  1. "An internal report at Hewlett-Packard revealed that women only apply for open jobs if they think they meet 100% of the criteria listed. Men apply if they think they meet 60% of the requirements." 

Women, next time you see a job opening that interests you, go for it! Even if you do not meet all the requirements. 🙂

  1. "One study showed that women who found mentors through formal programs were 50% more likely to be promoted than women who found mentors on their own." 

Do you have a mentor?

  1. "Done is better than perfect."  

I couldn't agree more! What are you holding back from releasing out into the world because it's not perfect? Wrap a bow around that project and send it out my friend!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"

Two years ago, today I keynoted a women's giving circle event.

All the women in the room had one mission, to give back to nonprofits in their community.

I miss speaking.

As I type this, I should be keynoting a women's retreat, but it got canceled due to weather.

I could look at…

  • what I do not have right now.
  • the money I am losing in my business.
  • the opportunity to meet and connect with others in person. (FYI, Referrals are the number one way I book speaking gigs.)
  • the drop in books sales, as I sell lots of books at events.

Yet I am making the choice to look at the opportunities to work on because I have the "extra" time.

There are several fun projects in the works that only came about because I was not speaking.

If you are doubting where you are in life, or life does not look like what you've had planned, don't worry, God knows exactly what He is doing. His timing is always perfect.

I am reminded of His timing by reading Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

With gratitude,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”

What's the snow situation where you live? I know for me, an inch here, an inch there has accumulated to a foot with other areas nearly two feet.

This weekend I slid into my snowshoes and hit the trail. When I'm out on the trail, my mind declutters, and thoughts, ideas, and motivation flow freely.  

Sometimes I'll make a couple of quick notes and then be on my way. This weekend I felt led to record my thoughts. I ended up making four recordings. 

This week begins my trail series. Enjoy the stories, lessons, and scenery.

With gratitude,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"

Finish, it is my word of the year for 2021.  I don't know about you, but I begin a lot of projects. A LOT! I get a good idea, dump the energy I have into it that is propelled by the excitement of the idea, the vision of the impact, and then as the work gets difficult, I fizzle out, put the project on a shelf, and bounce to the next project.

I have found over the years, having one word to focus my efforts, has been incredibly helpful. The year I picked Intentional, I no longer told friends, "Hey let's get together sometime" but instead said, "Hey let's pull out our calendar and figure out when we can get together."  

See the difference? 

Practicing being intentional for a year, changed my mindset, which carried on throughout the year.

What is your word for the year?  

Do you need to focus?

What about being more grateful?

Or being discipline with positive habits?

Whatever word you choose, write it down and post it where you will see it daily. Let that word push you into giving your best life.

Speaking of giving your best life, that is the title of my podcast, and we will be creating our content and transforming our facebook group to focus on ways we can give our best life, in giving to others (and ourselves), gratitude, and goals.

Click here to subscribe to our podcast and click here to join our facebook group to stay on track with your goals, focused on giving and practicing gratitude.

Here's to a fabulous 2021!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"

Happy fall! I used to say fall was my favorite time of the year, but my opinion has evolved. I  have come to welcome all the seasons, as they not only bring changes in temperatures and colors, but new adventures. 

Each season I like to look into the future of the next three months and ask, what can I only do during this season of the year? It's a great question to ponder. The question helps us to not just move through another three months of life with no direction, but helps us stay focused, have fun, and maybe embark on a few new adventures. 

I challenge you to look at the next three months and ask yourself, what you want to do, what do you want to see and experience, where do you want to go, and who do you want to spend time with and soak in the beauty fall offers us.

For me, I'll be attending a family fall day at my parents, hosting a girls weekend, fall decorating, buying homemade apple cinnamon donuts for me to eat and give away from Anderson's Winery, visiting an apple orchard, and live in a tree house. Yes, you read that correctly, a tree house!

What's on your list?

Blessings,
Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"

I can't believe I did it. This past week I did something I've never done before. I took an entire week off work, ten days straight if you count weekends, for no reason at all!

I wasn't traveling to the Caribbean, or jet-setting around the country. Nope. I stayed home the entire time and I think only left my house once or twice. 

Friends, the time off was glorious, minus the poison ivy and my back almost going out. 

I don't know about you, but my burnout meter was flashing bright red. I needed to step away from my day job to fill up my cup. Even though I spent most of the time kayaking, organizing, reading, writing, and working on my business, the work around the house, that I love, gave my brain a break from the stresses of my day job. A change of pace of not having to hop from virtual meeting to virtual meeting.

If you feel your burnout meter creeping dangerously to the top, make yourself a priority and check out of the office for a couple of days. I can assure you; the work will be there when you return.

Send me a check in, let me know how you are doing. I'd love to hear from you!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”