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Happy March! I can't believe we are starting our third new month of the year. Can you feel my excitement?!

I love new beginnings.  

February is behind us. Whatever happened is in the rearview mirror. What's in your windshield? What's coming up? What do you need to plan for, so you aren't rushing around last minute? What goals do you have and what do you want to accomplish?

Or maybe the last two months has been rush, rush, rush or filled with unexpected challenges and you need to take this month to reset, recuperate and recharge. There is nothing wrong saying no, staying home, and taking time for yourself and lightening the load, so that as you go into Spring and Summer you can enjoy the long hours of daylight and warmth.

For me, I'm taking a break from speaking this month. It's been a whirlwind January and February, and my mind needs a break. I'll be editing my second book, The Gratitude Challenge, preparing my taxes and getting back on track with my diet and exercise regimen, as both fell by the wayside the last couple of weeks.

Comment below with what you have cooking for March. How can I support you? Pray for you? I'm here to listen and cheer you on. Let's do life together, making the most of each day!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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


My hands sweat and my heart races every time I watch the TEDxCalvin video spotlighting me as one of the speakers.

I keep telling myself, "God gave me this opportunity, He has gone before me and will be on the stage with me."

The only way I can get on this stage is by His strength. I can not do this alone. 

You may be thinking, "Stephanie, you get on a stage all the time and speak, why is TEDx any different?"

No notes, no slides. 

My entire talk is memorized, which in all the years I've been speaking, I've never done.  

I don't read from my notes but they are a guide to help me stay on topic, order and so everything flows.

With that said, I've put in the work. 

I've been working on my talk since November. I've rehearsed it no less than seven times each week. When I'm in the car, I turn down the radio and give my talk. When I'm soaking in the tub, I give me talk. And some mornings, I shout it out in the shower! 

I've recorded my talk and practiced it in front of a few friends. 

I'm prepared. 

A TEDx Talk has been on bucket list for years. And this is definitely one that I couldn't just show up and check off. 

The preparation for the talk also made me realized I don't have to be a procrastinator which I've proclaimed to be for…oh…my entire life. 

It's a label I've given myself and lived up to on many occasions. But I've learned through this process, we have the ability to change. 

The event is on March 2nd. If you are the praying type, please add me to your prayer list. I'd really appreciate it. 

Thanks for all your love and support!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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


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.

Sign-up for a Charity 5k

The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and greenery is peeking through the dirt giving me hope Spring is around the corner.

Warmer temperatures not only mean a changing of the seasons but charity 5ks are popping up everywhere.

Here are seven reasons you should sign-up for a 5k:

1. Raise funds for a worthy cause.

2. Physically showing support for the nonprofit and/or family.

3. It's fun! Nothing like gathering with hundreds/thousands of people for one purpose.

4. Opportunity to get in shape.

5. A family event that gets you outside, active, and disconnected from technology.

6. You'll learn something about yourself. I've been running 5ks for 25 years and each race I increase my mental toughness.

7. Snap a few pics and share your experience and the charity on social media. Nonprofits love to see their message spread!

I believe in giving to others and to yourself. 5ks are an opportunity to do both!

Which race will you register for today?

P.S. Today's challenge is in memory of Roger Bannister. He was the first person to break the 4-minute mile. He did so much for the sport of running. Today the running community lost a champion.

Blessings,

Stephanie

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

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

Support Small Businesses and Shop Local

Did you know there are over 28 million small businesses in the United States?

I've found small businesses to be more personable and are what help make a community great. Many small businesses are also involved in philanthropic initiatives in their communities

If you are in Northwest Indiana, I love Extra Mile Fitness Company for my running shoes and Aster + Gray for a gift or home items.

Also local to NWI but available online is my favorite face cream Pelle by Lauren and homemade soaps by BUN’s Soapbox.

I not only love all these products but I made new friends with the owners.

Today if you are out and about, stop and support a local small business! You never know, you may make a new friend!

Blessings,

Stephanie

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

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

⭐️ Be Positive on Social Media ⭐️

Can you believe it’s March? If you scroll back through your feed in February were you positive and encouraging or do you have a little work to do this month?

I love the start of the new month as I feel they can be a new beginning in our life.

You don’t have to wait for a new year to make changes, start now!

Blessings,

Stephanie

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

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

Several years ago Joellyn bravely stood up in one of my dream board workshops and shared a dream she'd never shared with anyone.

She wanted to write a book. She had zero experience but it was dream God laid on her heart.

After the workshop, Joellyn signed up for my coaching. As they say, the rest is history.

We've been working together ever since!

After we met, life threw her a curveball when her son was diagnosed with dyslexia. Joellyn didn't just become an advocate for dyslexic children but went on to become a dyslexia specialist.

Months later I was thrown the same curveball, just much later in life. I'd always knew something was different with me, but most times I just thought I was stupid. Why could I not get things others kids got?

At age 39, I discovered I’m dyslexic. The roles reversed and Joellyn was now helping me! Our paths were definitely meant to cross.

We both have dreams of standing on a stage, sharing our incredible journey together. And guess what? We know it will happen!

This morning I sent Joellyn a text, “Good luck today! You’ll do fabulous!”

Several hours after that text, I sat at my desk, tears streaming down my face, watching my client, and friend, Joellyn, testify in front of the Indiana House Education Committee on her experience with dyslexia. What a moment!

I’ve spent years being one of her biggest cheerleaders! Who will you cheer on this week?

Blessings,

Stephanie

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

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

ENGAGE and INVITE YOUR FRIENDS to go on 40-Day Giving Journey!

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!

1) Each morning I’ll post a giving challenge on this blog, my Facebook page, The Giving Challenge Group and Instagram.

2) Share the challenge and tag a friend. Let’s flood the world with intentional acts of giving!!!

3) Take the posted challenge or create your own!

4) Not necessary, but I’d love for you to share your stories and challenges. It’s how others get motivated to go out and make a difference. It also gives your community great ideas. Let’s show our friends and family that giving is easy!

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

Blessings,

Stephanie

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

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

 

On January 1, 2011, I not only started on my giving journey, but I started writing a blog, 1 Making A Difference. You see when I set out to give a gift every day for a month, which turned into 522 days, I didn't have a goal of reaching the masses. I strived as one person, to make a difference, in another person's life every day. It was a journey that changed me, and I continue to live this goal every day.

I wrote on my blog, "1 Making a Difference™ shows how easy it is for one person to make a difference through daily giving of gifts. It is my goal to make people feel happy or moved when they read the gift giving stories. I want the ideas shared to motivate you to give and get involved. I want to stop being focused on self and strive to make serving others a priority. I challenge you to do the same. I believe one person can make a difference."

Today is Making a Difference Day. According to the website with the same name, this is a day with a single purpose: to improve the lives of others. It's one of the largest annual single-days of service nationwide.

I think it is great we have a day focused on Making a Difference, but I don't believe this is just one day. I think we should seek to Make a Difference every day. Yes, one day can make an impact, but the compound effect of making a difference daily can change the world.

I'll conclude with one of my favorite stories,

"An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean.

"Why do you bother?" the old man scoffed. "You're not saving enough to make a difference."

The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Giving Challenge: Celebrate every day as Making a Difference day!

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. She gives a gift every day and challenges others to do the same.

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

Down on my hands and knees, I'm almost in tears. How did I get to this point? It was January 1, 2017, and 14 months ago I ran a marathon. I ran all 26.2 miles. I didn't walk. I ran. Here I am, on the floor, out of shape with a little jiggle around my midsection. I've eaten way too much food over Thanksgiving, Christmas and the grand finale New Years Eve. This cycle is my life. Over and over I get in shape; accomplish a big goal, like a marathon, and burn out and crash. Feel my pain?

Fast forward to July, and I'm in shape and feeling great.

If you made a New Year's resolution to get in shape, most likely you've already given up. How do I know? I've been there. But for me, this year is different.

What changed? I joined Jesse Itzler's #WeDoHardStuff Facebook group. Now you might be wondering what a workout group has to do with giving.

Hang tight.

If you have followed me, you know I'm an author and avid reader. I also have a love for Navy Seals. Two years ago on my birthday, July 13, 2015, I had the opportunity to meet David Goggins. Using the term bad a$$ to describe him is an understatement. Meeting him led me to pick up and read the book, Living with a Seal by Jesse Itzler (psst..it’s on sale on Amazon). I didn't know anything about Jesse, but I was familiar with his wife, Sara Blakely. You know, the founder of Spanx. Come on, I know like me, you've shimmied into a pair of Spanx to fit into a dress that is a little too small. We've all be there.

Anyway, after reading Living with a Seal (the seal being David Goggins), I had 100% respect for Jesse. I followed him on FB as I like to surround myself with people making no excuses, living life and doing good things. I learn so much from people like Jesse, both how I can make improvements in my life both mentally and physically.

Fitlanthropy

At the beginning of 2017, Jesse announced a fitness and philanthropy group= FITLANTRHOPY! What? Two of my favorite things, especially the philanthropy! Each month there is a physical challenge, and Jesse donates money to a charity.

When I asked Jesse why it was important for him to incorporate giving into a fitness challenge he said, "This challenge is marrying two things I have a tremendous passion for, fitness and philanthropy."

Failing, but not quitting.

It's July, and I've competed in all the challenges. It would have been easy to quit after I failed the January challenge.

The challenge? 2017 of each...burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, chair dips and squats.

Remember in the beginning when I mentioned I was on all fours almost in tears? Well, day one of the January challenge caused it. How was I this out of shape? It was mainly the burpees. They got to me. Have you tried a burpee? They are killers. I finished the first day in a pathetic 45 minutes. I was doing 65 of each, which if I did 65 daily over the course of the month, this would equal 2017.

Day in and day out I completed my 65 of each exercise. When I traveled, which is hard to keep up a workout routine, I kept up. I did it. I was excited. Something happened. I was…

  • getting stronger.
  • knocking out the workouts.
  • dropping my time.
  • feeling great.

I joked with my husband, "I think I'm getting muscles!"

He disagreed.

It's was a short time, but I saw a big difference. An added benefit was I was eating healthier because I wasn't going to do all this work to then eat like crap.

As my luck would have it, January 16th I threw my back out. Now if you have followed me, you know back issues have been a struggle for me since high school. I've never been pregnant but have had two epidurals due to two herniated discs. I never let my back issues keep me down. I work hard and bounce back. On the 16th I couldn't walk. I nearly crawled my way into a chiropractor's office. It was not looking good. My back was in multiple spasms. I asked my chiropractor if I could still work out? With a tilt of his head, dip in his eyes, he said, "UM...NO!" Okay, okay... just thought I would ask.

I thought that was the end of #WeDoHardStuff, but I stayed involved in the group. I encouraged people in the challenge. I missed ten days in a

row. Every day I'd try to knock out an exercise, but my back would spasm and lock up.

I know what Goggins might say, "suck it up buttercup!" But sometimes in life, we have bigger goals than the ones we are currently working on. For me, I had an upcoming Jamaican vacation. I know the two worse things for my back are travel and sitting. My husband and I worked hard over the past year. I didn't want to be miserable on the getaway. Sure I could I have endured the pain, continue to pop Ibuprofen, ice, massage, and go to the chiropractor, but I also wanted to enjoy my vacation. Not able to walk, popping pills, and in constant pain is not a way to live. It's not a permanent solution.

I did not complete the January challenge. What did I learn from failing? Or did I fail? I still accomplished a lot in the month of January.

#1 I started eating healthier.

#2 I started exercising and getting in shape.

#3 I met incredible people that are now "internet friends." Sound creepy? Not really, heck I went to Alaska with people I'd never met in person, and we became great friends. I'm all about meeting and connecting to positive, encouraging people, who lift each other up.

#4-I learned that Jesse Itzler wasn't just a guy I'd read about in a book. He has a huge heart. I asked Jesse besides giving money and time, what are your favorite ways to give? As a daily giver, I loved his answer. "I like to give by just doing acts of kindness that are unexpected to friends, family, and strangers."

Hello! Jesse is living my book, The Giving Challenge!

Giving

Since the group started, Jesse, his friends and even some in the group have donated tens of thousands of dollars to these organizations:

*Special Operations Warrior Foundation

*Autism Hope Alliance

*Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation

*Special Olympics

*The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

*Pencils for Promise

Donations in July will go to the Malala Fund. Malala Fund wants to see the world where every girl can complete 12 years of free, safe, quality education. If you haven't read Malala's book, it's an inspiring and an excellent read.

Will you join me in the July Challenge? Click here now to join!!!

I'd never ask you to do something I haven't done. I've committed to the challenges for the first six months of the year, and it has changed my life both physically and mentally. Even though I failed in January, I stuck with it and completed February (see pic above: working out in Jamaica), March, April, May, and June!

If you want to make a change in your life or you want to improve health, now is the time.

No more excuses.

What I love about Jesse Itzler's #WeDoHardStuff is you can do the workouts from anywhere.

  • You don't need a gym or expensive equipment.
  • You have no excuse, not to exercise and take steps to get in shape.
  • An amazing community will encourage you.
  • Heck, you'll even get to interact with Jesse himself. I've been impressed by how active he is in the group.

Remember even if you fail at something. You are not a failure. Look back and evaluate what you can do differently, find the positive in the situation, and keep moving forward.

If you haven't read Living with a Seal, get the book now! Share this post and comment on FB and you'll be entered to win a copy of the book.

I look forward to seeing you in the group!!!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S.

Why the fruit in the blog cover picture? Jesse read Fit for Life back in 1992, and the book recommended an all fruit diet before noon. He saw amazing results, and all these years later he still enjoys a fruit until noon diet. Read more in Chapter 6 of Living with a Seal.

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. She gives a gift every day and challenges others to do the same.

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