Unclutter Your Life

How Many Half Read Books Do You Have?

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I’ve noticed over the last few years, I have developed a bad habit – leaving books half read.  I was never a HUGE reader but I did and still do enjoy reading. Life was crazy as a single mom with a stressful job as a Social Worker but I did like to escape for a little while in a good book.  I am a fan of fiction and some self-help books.34050bf1607e60e550360e8fa9a4867d

My concentration level has drastically changed with the onset of MS symptoms. The MS has affected my memory so reading became difficult.  I would read something and within hours forget what I read.  It now seems like a great excuse for the many piles of books I haven’t started yet – or worse, half read and then forgot about. My Kindle app is full of books but the truth is, most of them are half read or have never been uploaded to my Ipad.  Collected for “some day” when I “have time”.

I love reading.  Books were my happy place.  A chance for me to get away from the craziness of life.  Now, reading requires lots of concentration – no music in the background just silence.  But on a typical day where I’m balancing my business, my home, my relationships, and my health, I seldom find time to carve out 30 minutes or so for getting lost in a good book. Of course, reading before bed is a definite no-no.  I am asleep before I have read the first page.

The truth is, I’m just not prioritizing reading.  Whether it is to help me grow my business, strengthen my relationships or just escape from life, I need to give it time since it is important to me.

I have similar experiences with my long distance relationships – my mom, and my best friend.  Our lives are all so busy, we’ve got into a bad habit of letting weeks go by before we are actually talking to each other.  Communication falls to texts and emails.  I know no matter what, in the long run – we’ll always be there for each other – but the truth is friendships or relationships can’t thrive without communication.

As for the books, I’ve made a promise to myself I will stick with a book from start to finish (unless it’s really bad) and actually give myself space and time to really take something away from it, instead of just dipping in and out now and again before bed.  So far, that is what I’ve been doing and reading is becoming enjoyable again.

Why am I sharing this with you on a Friday – the first Friday of the New Year?  I am being “accountable” for my actions, in all areas of my life this year.

So, what’s important to you?  Family? Worship? Friends? Reading? Work?  Do you realize there are always things we say are important to us but we’re not actually prioritizing them in our lives.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the things you say are important to you, you’re not actually making space for?
  • Dive deep for a minute and ask yourself: is this actually important to me? If so, why? If not, how can I let go of it?
  • For the important things, how can you dedicate more time to them? It’s totally natural in our busy lives to struggle to “do it all” – it doesn’t mean it’s not worth still making space for – but what can you put in place to make it easier for yourself to actually do the things you want to do?

For me? I’m going to finish reading “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.  Then I am moving on to a fiction book.  As for what is FIRST in my life, I’m going to put a date in my planner to hang out with my hubby, my mom and my best friend,

Comment below and let me know – how are you going to make space for what’s most important to you this week?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

 

So You Want to be a Leader?, Unclutter Your Life

Are You Taking Risks?

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Risk is defined “as exposing (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.”  Honestly, how many of us actually take risks?  The truth is we take some risk every day – we drive a car with only a yellow line separating us from the other car, we fly in planes, and I am sure the list could go on.  Most of us don’t think of these things as risks, right?

Often, my fear of failing stops me from stepping out into uncharted territory. Although I believe that you learn from your mistakes, I am often hesitant to walk on a path that is less traveled. Taking a risk can sometimes mean just stepping out of your comfort zone.

I talk a lot about stepping out of your comfort zone . I believe that many of us don’t and as a result, we are kept from reaching our full potential and our goals in life and in business.  So whether you are jumping into a new job, a new relationship, a new business or anything else that takes you out of your comfort zone, here are some tips to determine if you should take a risk or not:

  • Trust yourself. When you take a risk, you need to trust that you have the skills to reach your ultimate goal. If you lack self-confidence, the first step is identifying your weakness.  Then seek out others who can help you through the struggles.
  • Think creatively.  Being unique is wonderful.  Standing out or above the crowd allows us to shine.  Remember that when you step outside of the box, you don’t want to loose sight of your vision/goal.  You can be creative while still  using some of the tried and true ideas that have helped others be successful.
  • Know your field and product/service.  Love what you do and the rest is easy.  I have taken risks many times when it came to new jobs.  The secret to all of them was that I loved what I did.  I learned everything I could so that I could be an expert in that particular area.  If you are joining a direct sales company,  LOVE their products. Learn from those who have gone before you.  Take classes. Read books.  Network with others in your field and out of your field.

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  • Implement a support system and seek expert advice. When I stepped out of my comfort zone to join a direct sales company, I found an AMAZING support system in my upline and other Thirty One sisters. Find a network of professionals who you trust that can guide you in those areas where you are weak. Here are a few that have helped me:  Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women, The Desiree Wolfe, Eryka Peskin, JulieAnn Jones, Britt Bolnick and the list goes on personally and professionally.

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  • Show courage. Sometimes it just comes down to – Do I have the courage to step out of my comfort zone and take a RISK. “By showing courage, you are also showing good leadership skills” – I never really thought about that.
    Never give up. Stepped out and it didn’t work out?  Maybe you didn’t get the response you were looking for?  Maybe you it didn’t turn out like you planned? Okay – build a bridge and get over it.  Learn from this and move on.
  • Don’t listen to negatives.  Ignore Negative Nellie.  Stop talking to her since those negative thoughts will undermine your self-confidence. If she has taken up residence in your head – close the door on her and find some positive affirmations to keep the door locked. This is sometimes our biggest hurdle.

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Risk means there is a potential for loss. It means that we are stepping out of our comfort zone and walking in FAITH. If the risk is God-centered, then he will lead us through it. Even if it is not a success or is a flat out FAIL, there is a lesson that can be learned. Step out of your comfort zone, take a risk and see where it leads.  What will you do today to step out of YOUR comfort zone?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!