Self-care is essential

Self-care is essential to mental health wellness and overall productivity.

Self-care is so much more than a warm bath or spa day (as nice as those are!). Self-care is a unique routine and set of goals that encourages overall wellness, reduces stress, and promotes your unique balance and clarity.

Self-care is:

  • Rest
  • Organizing & prioritizing your schedule & responsibilities
  • Nutrition that is best for you and your dietary needs
  • Setting boundaries
  • Enrichment
  • Journaling
  • Being creative
  • Expressing gratitude
  • Exercise & meditation
  • Building healthy relationships
  • Making time for what nourishes you
  • And whatever brings you peace and balance

Setting a goal is a form of self-care that is unique for everyone. Your personalized goals should support your unique mental and physical health. Organizing a hectic schedule so you can incorporate goals & dedicated time for self-care is essential (and actually a form of self-care, especially if it reduces stress and helps you be more productive).

Please take care of yourself and commit to your goals and daily care regimen. Find your happiness.

How do you make time for self-care? What does your self-care goal-setting plan look like?

Thank you so much for following, reading my posts, commenting, and connecting via Instagram for additional tips, quotes and updates!

To encourage self-care, self-love and goal-setting I’ve expanded my love of the vintage typewriter and wax seals by creating unique gifts! Each creation is unique and can be displayed as a daily reminder to focus on your unique self-care and goal journey.

My creations are now available for sale! Please contact me with questions and/or personalized orders.

With Love stamp and unique quote

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

Set goals that support well-being

As you may know, I set a fiction reading goal this year. I’m also excited to be working toward a healthier more active lifestyle. These goals are personal to me and support my well-being. By choosing goals that are personally realistic and of interest to me (bring me joy) I allow myself to focus on accountability and by tracking my progress, I can focus on incorporating a little more to each goal as time allows and I feel comfortable.

The rule with goals is…there are no set rules. Sure, there are the basic steps, but goals are just as unique as the individuals setting them.

Even if a million other people set reading goals the process and reason could be entirely different for each. The start date and dedicated time are most likely different. For some January 1 is a great energetic day to begin a new goal, but if you have a job or other responsibilities that are hectic during that time then it might seem like the worst date to start. Dedicating time in the morning may work for you or a long lunch or before bed.

Goals should:

  • Help you accomplish or incorporate something into your life that brings you joy
  • Create happiness
  • Balance your responsibilities, self-care, and personal growth
  • Bring you closer to a bigger goal
  • Support your overall wellbeing

Focus on a personal goal:

  • Start by defining a goal or a positive habit that you know will bring you happiness and encourage a positive well-being
  • Dedicate time daily that works with your unique schedule
  • Celebrate progress and adapt as needed

What does your goal-setting look like? How do your goals encourage positive wellness?

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.

I’m working on setting the date for my first goal-setting small group workshop!!! More on that soon!

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

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Small steps for goal success

Since committing to my reading goal I have actually been able to focus on other goals that I typically try to work on throughout the entire year. I think that is the amazing thing about focusing on what may seem like a small goal…it triggers the desire to focus on more. My fiction-reading goal has helped me relieve stress, clear my mind and has made it easier to determine what goals are most important.

I love encouraging others to determine their goal focus and define the goal(s) they want to focus on right now, so I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts and goal focus.

My overall wellbeing is always important to me and on my mind. I have incorporated several changes to my diet over the past few years. I set time aside to meditate. One area that I struggle with though is physical activity. In the past, I made time for the gym, walking, swimming, yoga, etc. With three surgeries in four years, I have not really been able to find my groove or get back into a routine that works for me. I sit most of my workday. It’s been difficult to set a schedule to workout.

This past weekend I shifted my thinking. It might be difficult, but it’s not impossible. My last surgery was almost 7 months ago…I feel I’m still in a bit of the healing process and dealing with some other minor health concerns that have been part of my life for several years…again…it’s not impossible to focus on my physical health though. I realized this weekend that focusing on ‘starting’ a new routine based on my past ability was not fair to myself.

So what happened this weekend? I shifted thoughts from ‘how can I get back to where I was’ to ….where can I start NOW? What small step could be taken right then and there that would get me started? I got up and went to the closet…I had purchased a peddle / under desk cycle about 3 years ago (yes, THREE years ago). I used it now and then…but it had been put away for months and months. I pulled it out of the closet, dusted it off and sat it right in front of my chair. I did a few stretches and then sat down and started peddling.

I started peddling! Sure sitting and peddling isn’t where I was a few years ago when I was walking 3 to 5 miles any given day…but it was a start. I cycled for 16 minutes. I did some more stretches and started my day. I seriously felt more energetic…just 16 minutes and a different mindset and I felt better…Then another 16 minutes that night with a few more stretches. Yesterday was the same routine (two sets of 17 minutes and stretches). I cycled this morning for 17 minutes before work. I have been up out of my seat more today during my work morning. Oh and I even picked up my 5-pound arm weights and used them while cycling!

It’s a start and I’m celebrating my start. More so than the actual physical benefit, right now I am more positive and focused and excited about ‘starting’. A small step…a start…and who knows by this time next month I may have added workout aspects…six months from now I might be adding miles and intensity. Right now I’m moving. I’ve started. I’m excited and not allowing my thoughts about ‘where I use to be in a workout routine’ diminish where I am right now.

Small steps to my goal to better health

  • Cycle at least 15 minutes each morning and each evening while adding stretches before and after.
  • Get up and walk around more at work; use the restroom on the second floor so I’m walking up the stairs at least a few times a day.
  • Stay focused on my diet, cut back on some sugar.
  • Use light arm weights periodically
  • Define my why – Why do I want to workout/increase my physical activity? Because I want to feel better…I want my muscles to strengthen and not ache as much, I want to have more energy, I want to be more active with my nephew…

What small steps are you taking today?

Also, I’m excited to announce that my goal focused journal is now complete & available in small batch printing!!! This planner even has a section to record your weekly goal focus and record your daily focus (wellbeing, 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!

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

steps-everyday

Goals encourage self-love

Recently, I defined the words self-care, selfish and empowerment. Continuing with that theme I’d like to encourage more self-love through goal-setting. Why goal-setting? Because it’s the first step to encourage action toward what brings you joy! Once you set a goal you can start taking the steps to make that goal a reality. Focusing on your passion/dream/goal is the best way to create peace and empowerment. It allows a process to start in motion and brings opportunities for accountability and accomplishment. It’s got self-love written all over it πŸ™‚

Goals typically fall in a few broad categories. My personal categories that I use are:

  • 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, caregiver, 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 you define your most important goal and research the first few steps needed to make it a reality, dedicate time to accomplishing it and celebrate each progress…life will change; you will change…you will be giving much self-love to yourself and trust me, you’ll thank yourself for doing so!

I personally benefit from keeping a journal/calendar to track my progress and keep my to-do lists organized. I’ve been working on a project slowly for a couple of years and look forward to sharing it with everyone very soon! Hint hint…it’ll be giveaway time worthy! I’ll announce that soon! (So excited and giddy, I can hardly hide it).

What goal are you focused on right now? Do you have time dedicated to it daily or maybe weekly? How empowered are you feeling right now?? Comment below or send me an email.

 

Heart spark

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!

 

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Categorize your goal

Goals are easier to focus on when you can categorize them and have a ‘why’. The ‘why’ is what you envision your future being once the goal is accomplished. I have listed some categories below.

For example learning to decorate cakes could fit into the Spirit category as a hobby or creative outlet. The ‘why’ could be to personalize a celebration cake for a birthday, shower, special anniversary or as a positive outlet since you already enjoy baking and want to expand that skill. This goal could even turn into a new full-time or part-time career.

Once you have a category and a ‘why’ it is easier to prioritize and focus on the steps. Using the example above, decorating cakes, the first step might be to research cake decorating classes, estimating cost, timeframe and what supplies might be needed. Another step could be saving for the training, purchasing supplies and organizing your home so you can hone your skills after the training. A future step might be researching the requirements for starting a small business or working for a baker.

Prioritizing and accomplishing a goal can encourage you to explore more and offer endless possibilities.

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?

ENDED – The May giveaway announcementI’m offering a FREE goal categorizing session to the first five people to contact me that are interested in creating a beginner’s goal priority. We will work through a few questions via email focusing on a goal you’d like to make a priority with suggested first steps. Email me if interested! successencourager@gmail.comΒ 

Thank you so much for reading! What goal category is your focus right now?

 

Enthusiasm at work. Why?

What’s the point? I’ve heard this question in small groups and at a recent conference I attended. Let me boldly tell you the short answer to this – YOU, you are the point.

Of course, an employer benefits from your professionalism, enthusiasm and productivity, but your own well-being benefits much more. In a fast paced deadline driven world it’s time to view a job well done as a benefit to one’s self. Your performance is an opportunity for you to express yourself while sharing your original skills that got you the job in the first place. Be enthusiastic not just about the duties you perform, but about your own performance and amazing offerings! Once this is realized and accepted your entire work environment will change and your well-being will improve!

How so? There have been numerous studies relating mental and physical illnesses to stress. Taking care of yourself is no longer a luxury or an option, it’s a requirement. And one very important way of doing that is self-care and decreasing stress. Options include meditation and exercise, but there are also many other ways to reduce stress including positive attitude and affirmations. Bringing that positivity to your job empowers your entire being. Go ahead let your inner brightness shine blindingly. Be awesome, it benefits you no matter where you choose to shine (current position, promotion, at home, new position, volunteering, or while meeting with your trivia buddies).

Think of the last time you were stressed at work. Was it a stressful, day, week…full month? Next, break it down. Was it stressful because of another person’s view of the situation, was it work overload, maybe major changes occurring? Or possibly being too focused on the negative aspect of ‘what’s the point‘? Ask yourself how could the situation have been different if you had focused on personal care & reflection with a more positive outlook?

Aligning your goals both personally and professionally encourages you to be more confident at work, acknowledge the skills you possess and were hired to share while keeping a positive attitude that flows through your work hours and at home. I know my day flows much better when I start my mornings with meditation, self-reflection and visualization. When a stressful situation occurs at work I can focus on the actions needed to fix it while staying positive.

With a self-care routine you can…

  • Let go of the negative thoughts that creep in during a stressful day
  • Reconnect with your inner awesomeness; your personality shines through even if your position or company changes
  • Not dwell on being a good employee, but instead concentrate on bringing your unique skills to a job that craves your originality – achievement will undoubtedly come

You are not just an employee; you’re an entire being that spends a certain amount of hours providing your experiences to a work team. No matter what your title is, you contribute to a team by being yourself, sharing your skills and recognizing your offerings.

Your offerings consist of several attributes…

  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Training and/or education (institutionally or self-paced)
  • Demeanor
  • Professionalism and so on – share and embrace each one!

By carrying your offerings into your work environment you become more connected with yourself and deal with change in a more positive way by not letting it change the core of who you are. This allows you to confidently share ideas, maintain a positive reaction to negative situations and view your position as one with many opportunities that you can control, create and accept.

What offerings do you share with your team that brings joy to you professionally and personally? Do you have a morning routine that makes your day less stressful?

Thank you so much for reading. You’re awesome.

Check out more about me & the professional services I offer on my ABOUT ME 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.Β 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 itΒ  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.