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These are challenging times, and I'm not going to gloss over the fact we all are dealing with unprecedented times. I'm grateful that I've worked from home since 2008, so my daily life really hasn't changed. It's gotten busier.

But for many, maybe even you, they are going a bit stir crazy. Over the past week, I've stumbled upon various activities that might help you and your family to keep your body and mind active and healthy.

  1. Want to learn a new language? Rosetta Stone is giving away free lessons for students. Maybe it's an activity for you and your child can do together.
  2. Spending more time on the couch than you'd like? Beach Body is offering 14 days for free. This program could help jump start moving your body and getting on a healthy food plan. This is one I'm seriously looking at taking advantage of. 
  3. You know I can't have a list of activities and not include giving!  The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has these notes that you can print, fill-out and leave at your neighbors' door. Let's all get through this together!
  4. Scholastic, oh does that word take me back in time. I loved their book fairs!  If you have kiddos at home, they have great free resources to keep children reading, thinking and growing.
  5. Ever want to go to an Ivy League School? It's never really been on my list, but I just might have to add it after reading about the Science of Wellbeing course at Yale. It started on March 29th, but I think you can still sign up. If not, check out another free course from Coursera.
  6. Put up Christmas lights. I don't know about you but twinkling lights always make me feel better. Maybe decorate the tree for Easter or spring! See how others are spreading cheer through their lights.
  7. Have you always wanted to watch a Broadway Musical?  If so, Broadway HD is offering a 7-Day free trial. Just remember to cancel so you don't get charged. My favorite musicals: Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. The music is spectacular!
  8. Are you a fan of the arts? Travel and Leisure have compiled a wonderful list of Museums around the world that are offering virtual tours. Which museum will you visit?
  9. Got a young girl in your household? Cisco Networking Academy is offering free Girl Power Tech courses. I'd love the take the entrepreneur class!

Check back with me and let me know what activities you enjoyed!

Stay healthy,

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”

P.S. I'm not affiliated with any of these programs. They've just come across my path over the past week and I thought one or more of the offers might be helpful to my friends and followers. 

Quarantined.

Never had it on my dream list but now it seems like an adventure I should add and then check off in a couple of weeks.

Over and over this past week I've heard God whisper, "Don't waste this time."

For me, much hasn't changed during the week because I've worked from home since 2008.

And I'm grateful that my job has continued, when many jobs are uncertain, on hold, or lost.

If you know me personally or have followed me for any amount of time, you know I don't waste much time.

Outside of my corporate gig, I write books, speak, life coach, read a lot of books, set and work on goals, love to organize, and find ways each day to give and make a difference.

Over the years, people have stated the following to me,

"I'm jealous you read so much. I'd love to but don't have the time."

"I'd love to clean out my closets and cabinets and donate the items I don't use or wear, but I don't have time."

"When do you find time to write? I'd love to write a book, but I don't have time."

Well friends, for many of us, time is all we have right now.

Our excuses of "I'm too busy," is gone.

This is where the rubber meets the road.

If you really want to get organized, find ways to give, write a book or read one, now's the time.

My bookshelves are overflowing with books I've read. Many I've donated to Little Free Libraries, but others I've been clinging onto in hopes of "someday" giving them away to my online community.

Well someday for me has come.

Over the next weeks and months, I'm going to give away some of my book collection on Facebook. Follow-me if you aren't so you can get in on possibly getting free books!

There are many ways we can look at this time of uncertainty, right now I'm choosing to look at it as an opportunity to do the tasks I've been wanting to do. What about 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"


It's Christmas Eve and I'm shutting down for the remainder of the year. I hope you are also.

I recently attended Oolapalooza, in Las Vegas. In short, it was a goal setting experience for 2020. The event was challenging, fun and stretched me outside of my comfort zone on numerous occasions. 

In 2020, I'll be brining you a new program to help you with your goals, work through challenges and accelerate creating and living the life you want to live. 

One of the most meaningful exercises I participated in was the "Year in Review."  

Grab a warm drink, find a quiet place and take a moment between now and December 31st to reflect on 2019 and answer these questions. Feel free to share with me any revelations you had during this process.

  1. The three best things that happened to me in 2019.
  2. My three fondest memories in 2019.
  3. The three "not so hot" memories of 2019.  (I want you to write them down, and if you are struggling with something that happened in 2019, make a goal to move forward in 2020. 2019 is in the past. Focus on the present and your future!)
  4. Three goals I accomplished in 2019.
  5. Three goals I missed in 2019. (Maybe jot down why you missed these goals.)
  6. The greatest lessons I learned from my "not so hot" and missed goals.
  7. The three most influential people in my life in 2019 (note if they are good influences or bad).
  8. What one thing would you do differently in 2019?
  9. What word best describes your year in review?

I hope you found this exercise helpful. I look forward to serving you in 2020. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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, I'm so excited to share with you that my fellow authors and friends, Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett are holding a FREE Platinum Faith Conference.

Dates and times: Tuesday, Nov 12 – Thursday, Nov 14 starting at 7 PM Eastern each night

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The event will also take place on that website and details will be emailed to registrants. There will be a live chat happening each night during the playing of our interviews. 

CLICK HERE to Join the Facebook Group

The Facebook Group is where there will be engagement, discussion, and guest speaker giveaways. 

For the main event, Bethany and Michelle have created six special gift boxes they are giving away live – two each evening. You will need to be present to win.

Schedule lineup: 

Each interview runs between 28 – 32 minutes – ish – and in-between each interview will be a short-short "commercial break." 

Tuesday, Nov 12

  • Cheryl Pullins
  • Erica Wiggenhorn
  • Laine Craft
  • Nakia Kelley

Wednesday, Nov 13

  • Stephanie Jones
  • Ammie Bouwman
  • Lacey Buchanan
  • Victoria Duerstock

Thursday, Nov 14

  • Jane Rubietta
  • Wendy Fitzgerald
  • Tiphany Adams
  • Patty Wyatt

I hope you will join my friends and me for a wonderful event that will fill up your cup.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life"

Do you have a goal you've been working on, but you've haven't made progress in a while? Or maybe it's not a goal, but you feel stuck where you are in life.

Over the past couple of years, as I work with coaching clients, I've discovered that many times, excuses are what is holding my client back.

For example, several months ago, I met with a client and she shared a goal she'd been working on for years. But every time the opportunity became available to move forward, something tragic always happened, or so she made it sound that way.  

As I listened, I realized, one of two things, either she didn't want her dream as bad as she said she did or two, she created excuses so if she did take a step forward, she didn't have to face the possibility of rejection.  

The latter is quite common.  

We don't even show up, for if we show up, we may fail. But if we don't show up, there is no disappointment and we can, in fact, continue to lie to ourselves, about why we aren't progressing like we think we should.

One powerful way to move forward is to be brave enough to step over an excuse. But how do we do that?

First, we must be real with ourselves.  I'll give you an example. I'm training for a Disney running challenge. In February, in three days, I'll compete in a 5k, 10k and marathon.  If I want to enjoy the races, I need to train.

I have a training schedule printed and so far, I have been sticking to the plan. But on Saturday, excuses started to bubble up to the surface, to skip my training run.  

Excuse #1: I spent longer at the post office than I intended. My run would have to be shortened from thirty to twenty minutes. Since I can't run the amount of time I wanted to run, I should just go home. EXCUSE!

Identifying the excuse is the half the battle. If we don't recognize when we are making excuses, we can't move forward on our goal or becoming unstuck.  Ask yourself, is what I'm telling myself an excuse or is it a fact?

I knew questioning the time was an excuse. Twenty minutes is better than zero minutes.  Move forward.

I drove to the park and when I got out of the car, the wind sliced through my long-sleeved shirt.  It's not that cold out here I told myself and I started to run. I didn't even give the wind time to make an internal debate, I just got moving.

But guess what happened? Moving didn't help. As I ran, I pulled up the weather app on my phone and the temperature felt like 37 degrees and the winds were 20 mph.  I thought, "I should go back to the car, it's too cold out here." Excuse #2!

Yes, it was cold, and the wind gusted around me, but I was already out on the trail, and I've ran in colder weather.  I talked myself into continuing my run. All I had to do was make it another ten minutes. I'd survived the first ten minutes, I could survive the last. 

Do you know what happened, it got windier and I just kept plugging along? And I didn't just run twenty minutes, I ran thirty minutes, completed my original workout and when I got home, was still able to stay on the schedule I had planned for the remainder of the day.

Guess how I felt when I returned home? FABULOUS!!!

Guess how I would have felt if I would have gone home after my trip to the post office? Guilty, disappointed, a little overwhelmed that I was off my training schedule, and dinner out wouldn't have been as enjoyable as now I wasn't too concern about the mash potatoes I consumed.

Do you know what else battling through excuses helps use accomplish? Our mindset starts to change, and our confidence grows. You see, the next time it's thirty-seven degrees outside, and not windy, I can tell myself, "Stephanie remember the day you ran thirty minutes, in the same temperature, but the wind was blowing 20 mph? This run will be a walk in the park."

Also, identifying and working through our excuses gets us one step closer to accomplishing our goal or becoming unstuck. The more running workouts I accomplish, the easier running the 5k, 10k, and half marathon are going to be.

What's the excuse you've been using that is stopping you from living the life you were meant to live? Take the power step to move past your excuse and get to tackling the goal you've wanted to pursue.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life"


Do you get overwhelmed thinking about all you have to do in the upcoming week, month, or even the remainder of the year? I know I do.

I wear myself out scrolling through my calendar and looking at all my upcoming travel, events, and projects. And in the past, this is where I'd shut down. Instead of spending my time wisely and take actions to ensure I'm prepared and meet deadlines, I'd plop my butt in a chair and veg out–numbing my feelings with sugar. 

Repeatedly, I've seen people give up on amazing opportunities because looking at the end, and then thinking about all the work it would take to get there seemed like an impossible mountain to climb.

Speaking of mountains, have you ever climbed one? Several years ago, my mom and I skidded down Sleeping Bear Dunes in the sand, only to get to the bottom, and look and up and be nearly paralyzed at the climb ahead.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, is in the top ten for number of rescues at a National Park, and at the top, there's a sign that states, "Enjoy the view from here. Don't risk injury and rescue fees by going down-or the two hours it may take to climb back up!"

Why do so many people quit, when just moments earlier they were excited to climb the mammoth dune? 

Because anytime we discover something new and shiny, we get a burst of energy that gets us started. But as we start to climb, muscles ache and it's painful. What we originally thought was going to be fun, has been littered with hurdles one didn't expect.

That's how the dune was for me. Instead of looking up at all I had to climb, I put my head down and took one step at a time. And in under thirty minutes, I'd reached the top.

If you are looking at the week, month, or year ahead, and you are wondering, how will I ever get everything done?

Take these steps:

  1. Make a list of all you must do. 
  2. Prioritize what needs to get done today. 
  3. Remove frivolous time wasters. 
  4. And start on one item, completing that task and moving on to the next.  
  5. Once that day is over, start all over. 

I've lived by this method for years and it's how I work a full time job, write books, speak around the country, coach clients, and yes, take time for myself to have a little fun!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life"

I'm a sugaraholic. Is that even a word? If not, add it to the Webster's dictionary, as I know many people that would join in me a Sugaraholic Anonymous group.  Three weeks ago, my friend Kelsey texted me and asked if I wanted to give up sugar with her. Initially I said no, because I was headed to San Jose for a Coaching Summit. I knew they'd have yummy sweets and I didn't want to miss out. But I slept on the request and the next morning I woke up and realized, I'm always going to have travels. I'm booked out traveling and attending events until mid-November and then the holiday season begins. The next day, I sent her a text, "I'm in!"  

It's been three weeks with no refined sugar, I'm still eating a fruit or two each day, but otherwise, no chocolate, cupcakes, pie or cheesecake. Boo!  Within days, my aches and pains cleaned up. Here I am three weeks later, and I'm sleeping better, more energy, no cravings, and I've lost five pounds. 

If you are struggling with sugar, join me in cutting the sugar, and start the path to a healthier life.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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

I'm a recovering workaholic.

When my husband worked the afternoon shift, I'd work all day and late until the evening. 

If he worked weekends, so did I. At times I worked 80+ hours a week.  

I said yes to every request. If I wasn't working, my evenings were filled with meetings, dinners and volunteering. Many times, doing things I didn't like, with people who sucked the energy and life out of me.

A couple of years ago I hit rock bottom. I'd done two keynotes and was scheduled to give the sermon at church. When Sunday morning rolled around, I stayed in bed as long as I could without missing the service.

That was the beginning of May and it wasn't until August I started to human again. I took the entire summer off. I said no to almost every request and even though my team at work doubled in size I learned to scale back and shutdown the computer.

I spent almost every weekend kayaking, reading, napping and doing activities that didn't require much physical exertion or mental work.

I think the way I lived my life is how many others live. They just don't know how to gain control of an out of control life. They are hanging on by threads on an unraveling sweater. And before they know it, the small snag is a gaping hole and they start to unravel.

The crazy thing about the crash, is months before, my doctor warned me it was coming. I'd spit saliva in tubes and the hormone test, especially the cortisol warned of what was to come. But I ignored the warning from both the test results and my doctor. Don't we think we are invincible? Well we are not.

Ever since that summer of regaining and taking charge of my health and schedule, I've reprioritized my entire life.  

In the past, I'd feel guilty for sitting on the dock, reading and well, accomplishing nothing on my to do list.

And especially feel guilty if I just came back from a vacation, which I did on Wednesday.

But my June is crazy! Starting today, I'm out of town 13 out of the next14 days.

So, guess what, this past weekend, I'm relaxed at the lake. I sat on the dock or in the boat while my husband is fished. I kayaked. I took a nap. And yes, I did a little work, as I have commitments I've made and deadlines to hit.

If you're at the edge of your thread, there is hope, but it's not easy. It's a lot of work, not to work, to free up one's schedule, but it can be done. 

Trust me, I've lived that crazy life for years and what I've discovered is the less busy I've become, the happier I am.
If you need help reclaiming your life, email me at stephanie@GivingGal.com, to schedule a complimentary coaching session. Let's work together to set your priorities and a plan to decrease your stress and increase your happiness.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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

Do you remember the sitcom Three's Company? Sunday evening, I got sucked into a celebrity spotlight show on John Ritter. I only knew John as an actor but hearing costars and friends talk about him made me think about the legacy we leave.  

His friends never mentioned him partying, his wealth, the materials possessions he owned such as a mansion or sports cars or the awards we won. Over and over they genuinely shared stories on his generosity on the set, his kindness to all he encountered and how he made people feel, the gratefulness he had for the opportunity to act and do what he loved, his passion as a father, and the joy he brought through his smile and making others laugh.

After all these years after his passing, he still made an incredible impact in the lives he touched, and many gave them credit for their career and how he still influences their craft today.

So, how will people remember you? Will it be for the gifts you gave that money can't buy? I sure hope so!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

"The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life"


I went with a friend to the range in college and well, let's just say it didn't end so well. I whacked the guy next to me with my golf ball. And I'm pretty sure I whiffed the ball more than I hit it. Did I mention golfing hurt my back? Overall, the outing at the range wasn't fun and from that moment on, I haven't wasted my time learning to golf. Girls, got better things to do with her time… lol!

With that said, I couldn't help but notice all the buzz on Sunday with Tiger Wood's Masters win.  Pretty incredible if you ask me. Think about, 2005 was the last time he won the masters, 14 years ago when he was the best of the best. Top of his game. Through a series of poor choices, addiction and injuries, he went from number one to not even being able to compete. Yet through all the trials and tribulations, he never quit. Tiger was made to golf. It's his passion. And even when everyone counted him out, most likely even himself at times, he kept swinging.

You know what else was interesting about Sunday's Masters? There was a guy who placed an $85,000 bet, that Tiger would win. The odds of winning were 14-1.  Guess what, his bet paid off and he won close to $1.2M, history's largest golf-related payout. I'm not a fan of gambling, but this man's bet on Tiger reminded me that we only need one person to believe in us. One person that says, "I'm willing to take a chance on you and your talents."  

My questions for you are, one, is there a dream you put aside and through a series of tragic events appears to be at the bottom of the pond on hole #3? If so, take a dive and fish the dream out. And two, who can you get to take a chance on you? Who will give you a little confidence and hold you accountable to putting in the work and then acting on your dream.

I think my new saying will be, "Your dream isn't dead until you stop swinging!"

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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