Empowering Women, Reflection, Tips, Work/Life Balance, Working Women

#3. Create Good Habits

Creating good habits…so much easier to say than to do, but it certainly depends on one’s definition of good habits.

From last week’s blog I would share that for me a priority good habit is being kind to myself. Taking it easy and letting go of angst, anger, and drama. Balancing my time and being less focused on work outcomes and more focused on defining who I am and searching for the definition of my new future.

Eating well, exercise, reading more are all part of what I try to incorporate into each week. But I am also creating a positivity practice whereby I can see goodness, kindness, and love in the world. Starting most days with a positive intention of how my world will be and what the universe will bring forward.

Many of us start each New Year with resolutions – a strict practice of what we will do (diet, exercise, school, etc). Let’s begin the journey differently this year with a focus on good habits. Creating good habits is a journey – not an act of perfection or rigid focus. Be kind as you bring a new habit into your life – be healthy and choose wisely. Celebrate yourself and your progress…….

Remember Goal #2 – Let Kindness Rule – especially when it comes to YOU.

Challenges, Empowering Women, Leadership, Reflection, Work/Life Balance, Working Women

#2. Let Kindness Rule

Being kind is an important way of bringing meaning to our lives and the lives of others. Being kind allows us to communicate better, be more compassionate, and also be a positive force in people’s lives. Kindness has its source of truth within each of us. Some people are innately kind and yet it’s something that everyone can cultivate by choice.

How can one begin a “kindness practice”? Begin by being kind to yourself. Many people make the mistake of trying to be kind to others while at the same time not focusing on being kind to themselves. Ask yourself what you think it means to be kinder to yourself. Recognize your gifts, embrace your uniqueness, and shine the light of kindness on yourself.

I do participate in “random acts of kindness” but for 2018 I am working on the practice of intentional kindness. Like anything, some days are better than others. When I lose my patience in traffic (which does occur) – I try to shift my thought to what is perhaps the cause for an aggressive driver. Are they enroute to the hospital to see a loved one? Late for work and perhaps worried about an attendance issue? I shift my thinking away from myself to the other person.

Life has a way of shifting us to a place where kindness matters – an intentional practice of kindness is work (for some of us that is) and when that skill is practiced, life becomes calmer.

Let kindness rule……in a world where kindness can be fleeting…..let’s be what we seek in the world and in the workplace.

Challenges, Empowering Women, Reflection, Work/Life Balance

#1. Guard Your Time

Sounds easy enough right? How many of us overcommit? Say yes to things when we want really want to say no? Feel pressure to join a board? Attend an event? Volunteer? Meet for lunch? Squeeze in one more meeting? One more conference call?

Guard your time – what a concept. Time is so precious and for so very long I made certain I filled every moment of the day. I said yes to social events, volunteer gatherings, commitments to mentor, etc. even when I truly didn’t want to say yes. I felt pressure to be available and do what others wanted me to do, never fully taking the time to do what I wanted. I did get better at this later in life. Mark and I would always make time just to do what we wanted – movies, sporting events, our endless list of activities. But there was always an overlay of expectation both personally and professionally to commit to things. On some level there were some things I really didn’t want to do but did them anyway.

Guarding one’s time is a key to balance. A key to focused priorities. A key to putting yourself first, making yourself a priority. Guarding one’s time means not being afraid to say no and to own your time and how you spend it.

Let’s practice guarding our time – preserving moments for ourselves for the things we choose to do. I have started this practice and have had two opportunities to say no to things and to do something for myself. It is difficult at first – guilt and pressure (real or perceived) can invade our thoughts. Practice will make perfect.

Empowering Women

2018 Goals

These are my goals for 2018. Instead of New Year’s resolutions that never get kept (by me anyway) and given the year I have had, I have decided that in the spirit of brilliance and my commitment to practice brilliance in 2018 I am going to use the above goals as the topics for my blog posts over the next 8 writings. (If you have no idea what I am referring to when I mention brilliance – read my previous blog 2017 A Year in Review). These 8 goals above are what I believe will help me continue to navigate the journey of recovery from grief and will also help guide me as I continue to lead a major transformation at work. The goals and rigor that I will build into each one will, I believe, help me both personally and professionally. Thank you in advance for taking this journey with me. Happiest and healthiest of the year ahead.

Empowering Women

2017 A Year in Review: Understanding Brilliance

2017 was a year of change – the year started with a new job; a new home; a new beginning………and is ending in the most surreal and unbelievable tragic experience of my life. Every year is an opportunity to reflect and embrace the moments of happiness and learn from the moments of challenge.

I was truly challenged to even consider writing to wrap the year. But writing is therapeutic. I have been writing a series of conversations to my husband which has helped me travel a journey of grief in a personal and private manner. But in my effort to continue to be transparent and hoping that pieces of my life’s journey can serve others, I am obligated and committed to write.

I think about my life in total and the constant throughout my adult life has been Mark. Through the good, the bad, the challenges. Through our single life; our married life; our married life with children; our married life without children – and every moment in between. Mark was truly my first leadership coach – the man was an incredible people leader. He was the most amazing father and friend.

In a year filled with such polar opposites of experiences and emotions I find myself focusing on the word brilliance. Brilliance is defined as the intense brightness of light and vividness of color. Mark was the brilliance of my life (and the lives of so many others) – the lives of his children; his family; in the lives of the people in the many places he lived his life – whether it was work; volunteering or the dry cleaner. He cast a bright light and made every experience vivid in color – his brilliance was a beacon and sought out.

Mark could take a difficult situation – a challenge at work; an issue at home; a social view – and turn them all into moments of rightness and with a kinder flavor. Some of what I remember him sharing with me – often:

“Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it meanly”

“Always do what is right, even if it isn’t popular”

“Step back, reflect, consider, resolve and then move forward”

In the lesson of brilliance each of us can learn how to be the bright light for ourselves and for others.

In the end – it is all about kindness and truly being kind at work, at home and in life.

Thank you Mark for your lessons in brilliance. My commitment for 2018 is to practice brilliance and even in the most difficult circumstances to try to be kind. I think I will begin with practicing brilliance with myself.