Identifying your unique happiness

Your happiness is unique to you and so are the goals that encourage that happiness. Setting unique goals that put you closer to your positive future self without knowing every single outcome takes bravery. Be brave. Trust yourself. Make a commitment to your personal process and dedicate time to your goals and self-discovery.
Once committed, you will discover you are so much stronger than the limits you put upon yourself.
Identifying why a goal is important to you, the happiness it will bring, and the first few steps needed to get started will lead to your self-defined future. Identification of your happiness is a form of self-care and helps you create a goal-setting action plan unique to you.
Pause – Take a moment and think about actions in life that bring you the most joy.

Are your actions incorporated into your daily or weekly routine? What is keeping you from dedicating more time to those actions? How can you dedicate more time?

Set goals that challenge you and encourage you to define and identify your happiness.

Both professional and personal goals require commitment and dedicated time. Take a few moments to write out your typical daily and weekly schedule. Seeing your schedule in print will help you identify timeframes that work best for your unique situation and help you focus on your discovery.

What main goal focus will encourage more happiness and growth? I’d love to hear what you are focused on and how you stay focused. Connect via Instagram (successencourager), email me or comment below.

Thank you so much for reading and following!

2019 Happiness defined

How to be you

The simple phrase ‘be you‘ can seem quite complicated. It’s a phrase, mantra, and question that is asked so often and encouraged in daily social media quotes. I am a huge fan of the phrase, it’s simple to say….yet it’s a bit more time consuming to define. I have had several conversations with several personality types that struggle with this ‘simple’ phrase, including myself.

So just how do you ‘be you‘?

  • Goal-setting is unique to you. I have talked about a week-long process for goal defining and setting in past posts and strongly encourage self-discovery through goal-setting. To set a goal means you realize what you want to accomplish and what will bring you joy. Even if you do not have a concrete action plan in place exploring what makes you happy is a huge accomplishment and process. Defining yourself through unique goals brings you closer to being your authentic self.
  • Focus on self-care. I believe goals and self-care go hand and hand. Self-care is acknowledging your mental, emotional, and physical well-being need attention. Overall health and happiness are keys to being yourself.  When you embrace the areas in your life that need your attention, you can ‘be you’ comfortably. Part of self-care that encourages ‘being you’ is meditation and focusing on your thoughts; being mindful.
  • Surround yourself with a supportive circle. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support? Does this circle embrace and encourage your unique self? Do you encourage uniqueness in return? Find a support circle that is a good balance of a unique group.
  • Learn. Expand your knowledge by researching and learning about what you find of interest. Study and perfect certain hobbies or professional development. I encourage you to reach beyond your comfort zone and learn something new as often as you can. Learning helps you express your uniqueness and builds confidence.

There are several tips shared via articles, blog posts, social media discussion boards, etc. I think the four above sum up the basics and are realistic to incorporate without getting too time-consuming or complicated. I’d love to hear how you focus on being you! Send me an email or comment below!

Also, I’m excited to announce that my goal focused journal planner is now complete & available in small batch printing!!! This planner even has a section to record your weekly recap, current read and daily focus (wellbeing, spirit, etc.)! My excitement about seeing a completed goal in print form is beyond measure and my gratitude to all of those encouraging me and supporting me extends to all visiting my sites! The planner is currently 25% off.

Questions? Comment below or email me – successencourager@gmail.com

 

your unique goal

 

Goals are not complicated or stressful

Setting a goal should feel encouraging, empowering, renewing! A goal should not cause stress. Pushing your limits can feel a bit uncomfortable, but should not be so stressful that you dread doing it. A goal or positive habit should bring you closer to your self, promote self-care and self-love. Goal setting is not about searching out the most popular goal trend and following it. Goal setting is a form of soul searching!

Get excited and discover what truly makes you happy, brings you joy and fills your life with purpose. Then incorporate steps that are doable with your current lifestyle allowing those steps to evolve as you evolve. Listen and be in tune with your wellbeing and allow your goals to encourage that focus.

What goal are you setting to focus on your wellbeing?

2018 Heart quote pic self love

Take action to create you

In another post, I defined the word empower and a few other words. I’ve been asked to give more details and focus on the actions needed to accomplish goals. Taking action toward a goal that will bring more joy to your life is how you create the future you truly want. Your goals create you. Taking action empowers you. As simple or grand as your goals may seem they are uniquely yours; uniquely you.

One form of action is to learn as much as you can about what your passion and what brings you joy. Ask yourself:

  • What hobby or activity brings me the most joy and/or peace?
  • Do you feel relaxed when you create? What is your favorite creative outlet (writing, drawing, baking, crafting, etc.)?
  • Is there a class or online tutorial I can take to advance my skills even further toward this hobby or activity?
  • Are there clubs or groups that I can join to help incorporate this into my daily routine and become even more comfortable with it?

Another form of action is to set goals that promote your own well-being. Questions to ask:

  • What life category do you feel is the most important right now at this time your life? For example, if Spirit is the most important to you right now have you set aside time to meditate, journal, stretch or truly unwind at the end of each day? What goals can you set and easily fit into your current daily routine that promotes your own well-being? What time of day can you dedicate to accomplishing this goal or these goals?
  • Do you have someone in your support circle to set this goal with that is encouraging?

Action empowers you to create the life you want to live. First defining your goal focus and then creating just one step daily that gets you closer to that focus gives you control to accomplish what is most important to you. Check out my week-long process in my previous post if you need to define your main goal focus.

I’m very excited about my newest project and I will be giving away a copy of my goal journal very soon!!!

Keep goaling and reach out and let me know what goal you are focused on right now!

 

to do list.jpg

Taking care of yourself – Empowering

I think there are some misconceptions about what self-care truly means.

Self-care is defined as “self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated,” by Wikipedia.

And ‘selfish‘ is defined as “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others,” by Merriam- Webster.

While we are on definitions I’d like to confirm one other one; Empower – “to encourage and support the ability to do something and to give someone official authority or the freedom to do something,” according to dictionary.cambridge.org/us.

SO how better to empower ourselves and others than through self-care?

  • Learn as much as we can about what we are passionate about.
  • Set and accomplish goals that will promote our own well-being so we can either care for others or encourage others to focus on their own well-being
  • Create art, resources, tips and guides, and shrae it all with others

How is any of that selfish or self-centered? It’s time to focus on goals and empowering not only yourself, but those around you and those seeking information and encouragement.

Thoughts?

This is your sign

It can be difficult to take a leap and begin the work needed to achieve a goal. Any type of goal can be life changing; focusing on your health, changing careers, starting a relationship or business, writing a novel, etc. Even a chosen change can bring on a bit of stress. Goals are fluid though, they change as you need them to, they do not happen overnight and you have complete control.

This is one of my favorite quotes – You can’t edit a blank page. As a writer I have sat in front of many blank screens and notepad pages and felt renewed when the page becomes alive with thoughts translating into words, paragraphs and scenes.

You don’t need to be a writer to understand a blank page cannot be edited. A goal cannot be achieved or adjusted if it’s never started. I’ve shared some realistic daily steps for goal setting here. If you are looking for a sign to get started, I hope this provides some encouragement as you read. You have the strength and willpower. Anyone that says you can’t do something simply sees their own limitations and fears.

Goals are personal, even if it seems like a common goal such as get healthier or start a business, no one starts this goal focus for the exact same reason or achieves results in exactly the same way.

  • Find your why; the reason you want to focus on your goal and the future you envision. Keep that ‘why’ close to you throughout your journey.
  • Dedicate time to your goal and the steps needed; small steps are still steps!
  • Embrace your reason, your way, and your uniqueness.
  • Find your circle of support!
  • Take care of yourself no matter what type of goal you work toward, support your own mental and physical wellbeing. Caring for yourself is never selfish

What is your focus? What are you filling your page with? Remember, you’re capable, you’re unique and you have the willpower!

 

edit a blank page

Turning resolutions into lifestyle

Even if you work full-time and average 8 hours of sleep each night you have about 6 hours each day to dedicate to your goals and passions. I’m going to share a schedule that I personally use to create a lifestyle I choose, I feel excited about and can help me achieve any goal! I have a lot to share so I will break it down over the next few article posts.

There are several popular articles with great tips on keeping resolutions and setting personal and professional goals. A simple google search will provide several!

First, I want to share my categories that help me stay focused when planning my day. I ‘assign’ a category to each part of my daily schedule to keep me focused. If I can’t find a category to fit it in, then most likely it isn’t necessary. For example, excuses and complaining do not have a category in my life (something I’m working on!). And all four categories are intertwined, so they can and should overlap, but separating them out helps me focus (which is what I personally need!)

My nourishment categories:

  • Well-being – Mental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?
  • Spirit – Self-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?
  • Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?
  • Productivity – Daily routine; work, volunteering, care giver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?

Once your categories are defined you can create a ‘schedule’ and fit it into a category. Seeing your schedule written out helps not only see how time is spent, but also provide accountability opportunities. You are the only one you need to be accountable to. This is your life, your future and remember your passion is worth your time!

Here is my schedule/routine and how my hours are spent. As you can see I have no excuses that should start with ‘but I don’t have time’. It’s right here in writing. Yes, I have time for me and my passions and goals. Excuses have no category!

Typical Monday through Friday:

  • 6:00 am – Wake up and shower
  • 6:30 am – Coffee in hand, reflection time begins, meditation (just 5 minutes), positive reading and quiet time with hubby
  • 7:00 am – Get ready for work (Makeup, hair, dressed, gather work meals to go)
  • 7:30 am – Start commute
  • 8:00 am – Clock in and begin morning work routine
  • 11:30 am – Lunch (eat, reflect, 1 minute breathing exercise via Headspace app)
  • 12:00 to 4:30 pm – Afternoon work routine
  • 4:30 pm – Start commute back home
  • 5:00 to 10:00 pm – Five evening hours. These hours include various activities such as appointments, errands and time with my mom, errands for my aunt, one on one with my husband, dinner/cooking, reading, writing, research, library events, creating lists, reviewing research and outlines, article writing and research, learning and anything unexpected that can pop up
    • between my hour or so in the morning before getting ready for work, my 30 minute lunch break and my five hours before bed, I have 6.5 hours a day I can plan just about any way I want
  • 10:00 pm (sometimes 10:30) – Bedtime

Typical Saturday (16 hour day, after 8 hours of sleep) :

  • 7:30 am – Coffee, reflection, couple time, positive reading
  • 8:30 to 10:30 am – Cook breakfast with hubby, conversations, reading
  • 10:30 am – Shower, dressed, prepare for day
  • 11:30 am – Review and/or create weekend lists, write out outlines for articles
  • 12:30 pm – Errands and drive time
  • 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Family time with my sister and nephew (and 45 minutes driving each way)
  • 7:30 to 11:30 pm – Couple dinner/cooking, conversation, reading, writing, research
  • 11:30 (ish) pm – Bedtime

Typical Sunday (about 15 hours after 8 hours of sleep):

  • 7:30 am – Coffee, reflection, couple time, positive reading
  • 8:30 am to 1:30 pm – Cook breakfast together, write outlines, writing research, read
  • 1:30 pm – Shower, dressed, etc.
  • 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Errands, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.
  • 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm – Cook dinner together, cleanup, conversations, lists for upcoming week
  • 8:00 to 10:30 pm – prepare work lunches/snacks, read, write, outlines, research, learn

I can easily fit each item into a category. For example reading and writing are spirit and productivity for me since my writing is a main focus and will continue to be (I like owning my future and goals..writing it  out helps me a lot!)

Obviously, some hours are not as flexible as others. If you work and have set hours to work or care for someone those hours are typically always the same, but several hours a day are flexible for me once I’m done at work and on the weekends. Seeing this written out helps me focus on accomplishments, not just goal setting!

I have a lot more to share, but this post is long enough! I appreciate your time reading it and I hope this encourages you to write out your current schedule/routine, so we can travel this journey together.

I encourage you to document how your spend your hours and think about how you want to spend them…If you have any questions please ask! Any additional tips? Please share!

Thanks again for reading!

 

Self-defining

There are those days or events in life that define you. Some of those events or days are accomplishments such as graduating, getting married, accepting an important invitation, changing jobs/careers, etc. while others are negative unexpected events or bad news. A few events are self-realization moments that could normally be considered average days. Each of us have our own moments and react to them differently so they uniquely define us when we acknowledge and embrace them.

I’d like to share one of the unexpected moments & my first experience with self-realization and definition. My high school had a ski team, even though we lived outside of Kansas City. I took an ‘elective’ class called Mixed Chorus. It was simply a choice on a piece of paper that worked with the time frame I needed, I had no idea that choice would be the first that led to such a defining life moment.

The mixed chorus teacher was the leader of the ski team club. One day during class he mentioned there were still openings for the trip to Keystone, Colorado that the ski team was taking in a couple of months. As a born day dreamer I blocked out everything else that he said after that. I visualized myself there (without realizing at the age of 15 what visualization was). I saw the mountains and snowfall in my mind. But when I came back to reality I knew my parents would not have the money. My mother was a stay at home mom most of the time and my father made enough to pay the bills, most months…with some help from family now and then. And I had just been given the gift of a baby sister a few months before the trip announcement.

Despite the possibility of me going seeming impossible, I talked about the trip to my friends for a couple weeks in between classes. My excitement grew. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I finally got up the nerve to mention it to my mom while I was helping with dinner one night. I did not expect her response. She looked at me and said “let’s see what we can do.”

I was shocked that it was now even a discussion topic, but after thinking back, I’m not shocked that my mom saw how excited I was about the mere thought of the opportunity and how much it meant to me. So with a mother’s love she talked to my dad and mentioned a temporary part time job she could work at night to help make this happen. Also, since I was not going to ski, it would be cheaper for me than the other students. The teacher/ski team leader assigned me as the point person for each team member to check in with at the lodge at designated times so I wouldn’t feel like a complete outcast!

Within the next couple of weeks we had paid the deposit for the transpiration and hotel, with a balance due the week of the trip. As my mom dropped me off at the school to climb aboard the charter bus, she gave me a tight hug and said ‘enjoy yourself’. I knew this was not only a financially difficult time, but also hard for her to let me go that far from home for the first time with ‘strangers’. I climbed on the bus and had one friend to sit with, the others were older and students I barely knew with a few parents as chaperones.

The bus had three, yes three, flats on the way out. We were way behind schedule. When we finally arrived at the hotel in Keystone, we were all so exhausted! We only had a few hours before we had to be up and meet the shuttle to the lodge/slopes. I had three roommates and we all just dropped our bags and quickly fell asleep. The early morning wake up call got us all out of bed with excitement about the day! One of my roommates threw open the curtains and the four of us stood in silence for several minutes at the view of snow covered mountains.

Once at the lodge, everyone was given instructions about checking in with me, I had my little notebook and was ready to just enjoy the views! I used some of my very limited meal money to buy a cup of hot chocolate and claim a comfy chair right in front of the large windows toward the slopes. I used my little film camera to take a few photos and read the book I had brought. This was me…It was the first time in my life I was ‘on my own’, I felt so grown up, so independent, I was enjoying some me time and I loved it!

That night we went as a group to a small shopping village that had an ice rink in the middle of the various shops. I browsed a bit in one of the souvenir shops and I purchased a geode key chain, that I still have on my keys to this day. My friend was still browsing so I walked outside. There were some tables around the outside of the ice rink and a hot dog vendor nearby. I got my hot dog and chips and sat at a small table near the end of the rink. I finished my meal and simply enjoyed the setting, taking it all in, reflecting on my life, my future…everything. It was a very surreal moment for me.

My quiet reflection time was interrupted by someone asking if they could sit with me. I looked up, and saw it was a male classmate that I had only spoken to a few times in my school life. He sat down and we made small talk about the ice rink, the lodge and the mountains. It all felt like a dream. We laughed and talked like we had known each other much better than we actually did. As we finished up one topic and looked out over the rink, it began to snow. The snow made the moment feel like a fairy tale. We sat awhile longer in silence. It’s one of those moments that I think back to as a ‘happy place’. We didn’t talk much after that, but sharing that moment confirmed it not just a dream.

The next three days and nights were spent similar to day one; views from the lodge, gatherings each night, and self-reflection. I learned a lot about myself in those quiet alone time moments. When I got back home I was different, maybe it wasn’t visible to others, but I was more me than I had ever been. I knew that personal reflection time was something I wanted to keep in my life even if I didn’t have a perfect mountain view or sit in the snow with a boy near an ice rink.

That trip allowed me to realize a few things about myself, that there was more to the world than a small country town and it helped define who I am today. I can’t imagine how differently my life would have been if I had chosen another elective or never had the nerve to talk to my mom about the trip. I would have missed out on a life defining moment just by making a couple of different choices or keeping my excitement to myself.

Life leads us where we need to be professionally and personally. Faith and hope allow us to embrace life’s crossroads and provides us with the tools and resources we need to make the decisions that define our future. We have to trust ourselves and take action toward our goals. If I want something or find myself daydreaming I think back to the courage my 15 year old self had and the obstacles that were overcome because I spoke up and had an amazing circle of support.

What moments have helped define you, your path, your career, your outlook?

Thank you for reading and allowing me share.

Self-nourishment

All of us are deserving of nourishment, but many find it difficult to discover and even more difficult to give oneself permission. Life can be so fast paced that comfort can become acceptable in chaos. At times, I find comfort in routine, even in hectic chaotic routines; projects, appointments, errands, chores, traffic, crowds, deadlines, unexpected situations…

How can we expect to keep finding solutions to those routine tasks if we are not taking time to nourish ourselves? I give myself permission to stop and focus on me once in awhile. It’s not selfish, it’s mandatory. Some days I blend my self nourishment and deadlines rather well…other days the whirlwind of chaos wraps me up and takes control. After a few consistent whirlwind days I know I have to self nourish.

I have read many articles, books, daily affirmations, and more to discover what works best for me…but I know it will always a work in progress. And I find that exciting.

I’ve been asked about my own routine and I’m happy to share it! No two people follow the same self nourishment journey. Everyone is unique with a unique daily routine. I have put together my personal top four main topics with a few suggestions; keeping it open to interpretation so you can find your own routine, goal focus or self nourishment regimen.

The topics can be part of a daily routine, focused on weekly or whatever works best for you! I feel each topic is a compliment of the next and work side by side with one another; they play well together.

Whether you have discovered a routine or new to the entire process I hope you find this helpful and encouraging!

  • Well-being: Mental and physical nourishment. Ask yourself ‘what are my health focused goals and what are my limits?‘ Suggestions – stretching, walking, exercise, yoga, meditation, nutritional supplements, healthy conscience eating, ensuring you drink enough water, get outside as often as you can. No matter what level you are at, movement and mental focus are important…there are some great online resources for various stages of exercise plans and the same for meditation and yoga. Personally, I’m still utilizing beginner videos and charts and find it very refreshing, renewing and nourishing. I linked a few above, but I’m happy to share more of my personal favs, if anyone is interested, just ask!
  • Spirit: Solitude and feeding your spirit/soul. Ask yourself ‘what do I want to do to feel more joy or how can I increase my self growth and love?’ Create, gratitude through journaling, making time for one or more hobbies, positive self-affirmations (I am…healthy, worthy, resilient, strong, enough, etc.) and reading/studying topics that bring you joy.
  • Support Circle: Mutual relationships; the balance and completeness of a circle. Ask yourself ‘who balances with me and provides a balanced mutually supportive relationship…who completes your circle and welcomes you into theirs?’ Give and receive support and encouragement, humor and care, sharing laughter and listening. This is a balance of family, friends, coworkers or other like minded groups (parenting, craft, recovery, book club, etc.). Provide positive praise, show kindness, feel safe and comfortable being yourself.
  • Productivity: Daily routine. Ask yourself ‘what is my current routine/schedule and what changes do I want for my future routine/schedule?’ This includes your career or the way you spend the majority of your days. If you are retired, focusing on your health, stay at home parent, homemaker…this could be focused on volunteering, implementing processes at home or work to ensure you find time for self nourishment and caring for yourself. Learn a new hobby or possible career change or supplemental income to help balance your budget. Focus on creating a daily routine that brings you joy, peace and steps to accomplish your personal specific goals. Setting goals helps with this process, both daily goals and long term focused ones.

One quote/affirmation I repeat to myself often is ‘I am exactly where I need to be, if not I’d be somewhere else.’ It makes me smile, it is simple…yet oh so true. It helps remind me I have control. I can focus on steps toward my bigger goal or I can re-evaluate my goals and take steps to learn something new. It’s all about what feeds me, where I find nourishment and giving myself permission to discover all of my unique interests.

We are all unique…embrace it through your self-discovery to a personalized nourishment journey.

I’d love to hear how others nourish themselves or answer any questions you have!

Thank you for reading. Have a great day!

For additional information and my professional services visit my ABOUT ME page!