This post is the first in series I'm starting called the Good Vibes Series, taking one day a week to let you into the more personal side of this business: Me! I want to share tidbits of how I make it happen as a solo businesswoman, stories of my friends and family who have pushed and supported me and tools that may just help you on your journey. Whether you're a photographer, a student, a parent or my family (hey guys!), I believe that part of having a platform of sharing online comes with the responsibility to put positivity into the world. We can all use good vibes, a strong community of support and an extra dose of gold glitter fun, right?
Back in December, I started doing some goal tending work for 2017. Historically, I love New Years Eve - the promise of a new year, a fresh start, the gold (surprise surprise!) and the excitement of a NYE kiss ... all so fun!
I'd make goals every year too. Maybe your goals look something like this?
- Run more
- Eat fewer sweets
- Get more steps in per day
- Build my business
- Learn to love winter
The thing is, these goals weren't specific. They weren't very quantifiable. What exactly is "more" when you're a former marathon runner? Fewer sweets in relation to like 5 donuts a week? How exactly was I going to build my business? When it's -20 for 5 days straight and you're stuck inside, how do you love winter?
I turned to Lara Casey and her Goal Setting series on her blog. Confession: I still have a set of undated PowerSheets from 2013 that will be broken out in the next couple of weeks ... Like I said, great at setting goals, but not so awesome at tending SPECIFIC goals. You can find the series here. It was super helpful to me and I realized a couple of specific goals that I'll lay out in a future blog post, but one thing I found I need to cultivate?
Wow. When I wrote that in my notebook, it was like a bell starting ringing, the choir started singing the Alleluia chorus and I felt such a sense of freedom. All from writing the phrase:
I matter. I need to spend less time spreading myself to others and more time spread to me.
Next, I wrote that I wanted to do my self-care in small doses every day. To choose activities or reflections that awaken gratitude, light, breath, sweat, smiles, laughter and generally, make my gold-glitter heart beat faster!
I shared this nugget with my good friend Elizabeth and she said she was starting a gratitude journal as part of her self-care regiment for 2017. She challenged me to do the same, since gratitude was #1 on my list of things to awaken. I purchased the Five Minute Journal (here on Amazon!) and I started it on January 4. You do not need to purchase this journal to start feeling more grateful, friends! This is just what works for me!
My morning and evening routine have changed drastically. These dark January mornings, I drink 15 ounces of warm water with lemon and sit in my Great-Gram's rocker (re-covered and fabulous, as seen above!) and I write out the morning portion of the journal.
The first few days I did this, I came to the Affirmations section and I thought, THIS IS TOTAL CRAP. I have no clue what to write! So I started writing this mantra of "I am capable. I am doing good work. I am strong. I can do the work that is hard and grow." I had no clue where the mantra came from; I wrote it down anyway! Then I'd shut the book and go on my day.
This week, I encountered a situation where I encountered a few opportunities that left me thinking: "this person does not realize how amazing they are!" So I told them! "You are strong, brave and capable of doing good work! You can grow from this experience."
When I went home that afternoon, I sat down and had another a-ha moment. That person who didn't realize their potential? Was me like 30 days ago.
#RealTalk: I've always heard my friend Elizabeth telling me I needed to start believing I'm doing well for myself, I'm strong and capable of doing hard work (that mantra!). I kept telling her it was total crap. Until she called me on that! I suddenly realized that my humble nature was turning into a feeling of low self esteem and self worth. Pushing aside other's positive comments toward me in disbelief.
Today? 16 days into the 5 minute journal and I'm so happy to say I'm on the other side of this feeling of inadequacy. It really is true that recognizing gratitude in your life totally turns your thought process on it's head!
When Luis tells me I'm beautiful, I say "thank you! I sure am!" which makes both of us laugh, because it's something I've never told myself before. When a client sends me great feedback, I repeat the mantra to myself: You did a great job! You are so creative! Sometimes, I even read the feedback out loud to myself, three times.
The self-care goal? Still in place.
To revisit, I wrote that I want to make time for those activities or reflections that awaken:
- gratitude (the 5 Minute Journal!),
- light (waking up early enough to see a glimpse of sunrise!),
- breath (reminding myself to breathe in deep during workouts, even at the grocery store!),
- sweat (I'm part of an accountability fitness group working on exercise, diet and lifestyle changes),
- smiles (looking at photos of our friends and family smiling in our apartment makes me smile!),
- laughter (Luis takes care of this, usually!)
and generally, make my gold-glitter heart beat faster!
This is still a work in progress, friends. I'm not perfect. Sometimes, I fall asleep before I write in the evening portion of the journal. Sometimes, I miss the gym or I eat more donuts than I should. But, we're just people. We're just human and for as much patience as we ought to have with each other, we should give just as much to ourselves.
All this to say: You're doing a great job! Keep up the good, hard work! You are strong, brave and capable. Good things grow, little by little and you can make good happen. YAY!