My 2016 Word of the Year

Last year, I joined many others by choosing a ‘word of the year’ that would motivate me and help shape my year.  I enjoyed the process and this year and last, I used Susannah Conway’s program for choosing a word.  My word last year was flourish.  I was starting a new business…which created much change in my life and I felt the need to flourish in this new lifestyle.  It was a good word and served me well.

This time around the word did not come as easily to me…well, that’s not true.  The word came easily to me, I just didn’t like the word at first.  It is definitely my word for 2016…but I had to really think on it for two weeks before I decided to keep it.

I followed Susannah’s process and did all the writing prompts and this word just kept showing up…and I didn’t like the word one bit.  I didn’t like how the word sounded on my tongue…didn’t like that the word wasn’t obvious like flourish but this is my word, I kept telling myself.  I even tried the process again to see if I could find a new word….no, this is my word.

Mostly, I think the word scares me and intimidates me…but that’s a good thing, I decided. This year I need to be stretched and challenged, I need to do more than just flourish! In 2016, I want to help people…help my clients, my family, my friends…I want to be there for people. So…in the end, this word was perfect for me.

My dad’s (and one of mine) favorite quote from Zig Ziglar is: “You can have everything you want in life, if you will just help other people get what they want.” The older I get, the more this quote makes sense to me.  If I want to grow my business (and I do!), I need to help others get what they want.

So, my word for 2016 is RADIATE: “to emit energy, to extend, to project or glow with cheerfulness and joy”

word of the year

Do you have a word for 2016 yet? I’d love to hear yours in the comment section!

xoxo

Hello December

HelloDecember!Wow, another year is almost over. It’s true what they say…the years do fly faster when you get older.

December is one of the best months of the year even if it is the last month.  So much to look forward to with holiday fun.  It’s also a great time to reflect on the past year, plan for the new year and set goals.

I’m not a big resolution person but last year I participated in the ‘word of the year’ plan and really enjoyed figuring out my word (flourish) and trying my best to intently live that word all year long. I think I did ok.  I look forward to my new word in 2016.

I love technology as much as the next person and could not live without my Apple products….however, I also love paper.  I love all the beautiful paper.  I especially love a paper planner and this year I found my favorite planner of all time…the Passion Planner.  My new one should be here any day now and I can hardly wait to start planning for the new year.  Filling out a new calendar seriously makes me giddy with excitement!

The new year will bring many changes to my life.  My son will graduate from high school and head to college.  {I’m not ready}  I’m not one of those parents who joyously kick their 18 year old out of the house and start their empty nest life.  I would be happy if my son lived with me forever…but that’s not going to happen.  Like any normal 18 year old…he’s ready to bolt.

This year will be my second year running my own business.  The first year was fun, scary, exhilarating, stressful, and eye opening.  As I would expect my first year on my own to be.  I learned SO MUCH.  I am grateful for all the lessons and knowledge that I learned.  I’m grateful for the people who helped me along the way and for the people I get to work with each day.  The Twiggs Group…full-steam ahead into 2016.

How do you feel about December? Take the time to enjoy each day and reflect on the high notes of 2015.  Start planning for an even better 2016.

xoxo

The Proust Questionnaire

marcel-proust-I have always loved reading the last page of Vanity Fair magazine when a celebrity answers the Proust Questionnaire…I think it’s a delicious glimpse into the real psyche of a celeb. When James Lipton asks his Proust questions at the end of an interview on Inside the Actors Studio…it’s always the best part of the entire interview.

Reading this article on Medium, 6 Years of the Proust Questionnaire, gave me a great idea.  She answers the questionnaire each year and keeps track over the years…I plan to do the same.  What fun!

So, here are my answers to the questionnaire and I challenge you to answer your own Proust Questionnaire…I’ve even made you an evernote document with the questions to make it easy for you to get started. (I used the actual questions from Vanity Fair)

Without further ado:

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting on my patio in the fall, with my favorite people…having a real conversation. 
2. What is your greatest fear? Dying before I’m ready. 
3. Which living person do you most admire? My son, Spencer. 
4. Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could sing well. 
5. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Oh my God.
6. What is your greatest regret? Not becoming a basketball coach.
7. What or Who is the greatest love of your life? David
8. What is your most treasured possession? my iPhone
9. What is your favorite occupation? working for myself
10. What is your most marked characteristic? my ponytail 
11. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? exhaustive discussions on things that do not matter
12. What is the quality you most like in a man? great hands
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? loyalty
14. What is the trait you most deplore in others? insecurity
15. Who are your favorite writers? John Grisham, John Connolly, and John Sanford 
16. Who are your heroes in real life? my parents
17. What is it that you most dislike? intolerance
18. What is your favorite journey? motherhood
19. On what occasion do you lie? when talking about my weight
20. How would you like to die? in my sleep at the ripe old age of 90 with my hair in a pony tail
21. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? I’d like to come back as  a Park Avenue dog. 
22. What is your motto? ask, believe, receive

 

“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.” Marcel Proust

 

Re-Charge Your Battery

Work is stressful. Sitting all day at a desk is slowly killing us. Work-Life balance appears to be a cruel joke. Traffic is terrible. All the food we love is bad for us. There’s just not enough hours in the day to get our to-do lists completed. We do not take all of our vacation days. Not to mention, we are in the midst of a very grueling election cycle.

With ideas like these surrounding us daily, we might need a break!  Find a day during the week and take off…not a weekend but a Monday-Thursday day.  It’s a delicious feeling to take off during the week.

I took off on Monday…it was a beautiful Fall day and I needed to get outside. Mondays are so much nicer when you plan ahead to protect your day.  I purposely don’t schedule meetings on Mondays because it’s my day to organize the week, schedule social media and set meetings for the week. It’s made a huge difference in how I view Mondays in general and it makes my week more productive to know that I’ve saved the first day of the week to plan.  I realize not everyone has this luxury but if you can…give it a try and make Monday your organization and planning day.

Regardless of whether you take a day off or protect your Monday…you periodically need to re-charge your battery.  It’s good for you, your co-workers and your family.  Much like anything that runs on batteries…if it’s running down it’s not much good to anyone.

Maybe you can’t take a whole day…then find an hour each week to do something just for you. Walk through a museum, meditate, walk outside during your lunch hour, read a mystery novel…any of these ideas will give your battery a jumpstart and make the week that much better.

I hiked to Whitaker Point on Monday and not only was it a breathtakingly beautiful view but I got in a lot of exercise too.  I felt completely re-charged and ready to tackle the week once I got home. (I even found time to write a blog post!) 

I hope that you will take time this week or next to re-charge your battery…flu season is upon us and you don’t want a weak battery heading into that crud.

Just Say Yes

This is going to seem confusing to some because I am a big believer in saying no.  I know several justsayyesfriends who are overwhelmed in their daily lives because they cannot say ‘no’ to anything and therefore find themselves obligated to a lot of activities.  In the last few years, I have worked very hard to say no to things that deep down I just really didn’t want to do.  In this effort, I have protected the time in my life to do the things and spend time with the people that really matter to me.  If you are having trouble with this…I urge you to learn to say no!

However…there are times when you should just say yes. Those times when you are a little bit scared of the request because it might stretch you or push you a bit…those times, say yes.   Maybe you think you won’t know anyone at a networking event but you really want to hear the speaker…say yes! When you are offered to choose a book for the book club but you’ve never chosen before and you are afraid that no one will want to read your favorite author…say yes! Or when your boss wants you to present a project to the board but you are not sure you are ready…say yes!

There are times in our work and personal lives when we need a little push off the high dive. My high dive moment came last week when one of my favorite people, Paulette Nieuwenhof with the Poultry Federation, needed an emcee for her Ladies Luncheon and she asked me to be the emcee. I immediately thought NO WAY but the more Paulette and I talked the more I realized I needed to say yes.  I have no problem speaking in front of a crowd, I’ve attended this luncheon four times in the past so I know what the emcee responsibilities are and I cannot say no to Paulette.  But more than that, I needed to say yes to push myself and expand my comfort zone a bit.  I’m running a business for goodness sake, I can surely emcee a ladies luncheon…right? Right!

So, in a couple of weeks, because I said yes, I will be honored to emcee the Poultry Festival’s Ladies Luncheon, A Garden Party.  

When was the last time you were nervous to say yes but it turned out fine? I’d love your reassurance to hear your story!

Put Down Your Phone

FullSizeRenderTrust me, my family and friends won’t believe the title of this blog post…I have a hard time putting my phone down.  But even I admit that there are times when we need to unplug.

Two weeks ago, I was so lucky to attend the Hozier concert in Tulsa.  The concert was at the Brady Theater which is one of my favorite music venues.  It’s intimate and the sound is great.  My good friend Whitney secured us great tickets which put us about 30 rows back but dead center with Hozier himself. He was amazing in person.  I took a few pictures of him but for the most part, I put away my phone and just listened to his amazing voice.

As I was swaying to the music and singing along, (sorry to the folks sitting near me) I was amazed at how many people were more concerned with their phones.  Either taking photos of Hozier or selfies or videos of the concert (is that legal?) or just texting -snapchatting- tweeting-instagramming.  We were in the same room as Hozier, people pay attention! 

This advice isn’t just great for concerts…it’s great for dinner tables, sporting events, car rides, conferences…wherever you find yourself with another human being who is doing something amazing…put down your phone and take it all in.

My Word for 2015

IMG_5424 2I don’t know where this practice has been all my life but I am so glad Jackie wrote about her word because I am now obsessed with the process of having a word to lead me in the new year.  I used Susannah Conway’s process to help me find my word even though I thought I had my word already.  (I wanted to make sure it was the perfect word for me.)  It was surprising that in Susannah’s process I had to do some writing and then circle words that stood out to me…some of those words are in the definition of my word.  Spooky!

I am a huge believer in setting intentions and finding ways to be positive every day, so this idea of having a word to focus on all year is right up my alley! I know without a doubt when I hit bumps in the road or when I am flying high, this word will remind me to keep working hard and stay humble.   In 2015, I want to grow my new business, The Twiggs Group, grow as a person and I want to focus on my health.  So without further ado, my word for 2015 is:

IMG_5422

 

to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. (synonyms: grow, thrive, prosper, do well)

 

 

Do you have a word for 2015?

Giving Thanks

Give ThanksThanksgiving is upon us and it’s always a great reminder to give thanks in our lives.  I try very hard to give thanks every day of the year but this week really puts it on notice.  I am a huge believer in the power of gratitude and I believe in giving thanks not only for the blessings in our lives but also to give thanks to the people in our lives.  Do we say thank you enough to the people who really matter to us?  I hope we do.  Do we say thank you enough to those people on the peripheral of our lives, postmen, wait staff, nurses, retail clerks, mechanics etc? Probably not, but we need to.

Here are a few ideas for giving thanks:

1. A handwritten note: I cannot say it enough…taking the time to write a note in your own unique and special handwriting, is a gift all by itself.  Throw in beautiful stationery and you’ve really made someone smile.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort to write a note of thanks from the heart.

2. Give a great book: When you read a really good book do you think of the people in your life who would enjoy the book as well?  Then make it a habit to either pass along the book or buy a new one for someone who would really benefit from the message in the book.  I love to give books as gifts.  Include a thankful message inside the book and it’s the perfect way to give thanks.

3. Pay it forward: We were recently in our favorite brunch spot, The Farmer’s Table, and we learned that the folks before us bought our breakfast.  This was such a treat! We decided to keep it going and buy the next person’s breakfast as well.  In line at Starbucks, or drive through at McDonald’s, make yourself happy by paying for the person or car behind you.  When you have a really great wait person…tip a little more, especially during the holidays.  This is a great way to give thanks.

What are your favorite ways to give thanks?

Wish Lists

If you know me or have read even a few of my blog posts you know that I am a huge believer in showing gratitude.  I have many gratitude journals, lists and gratitude practices.  Almost everyday on the drive to work or home I do a 10 finger gratitude list.  Yep, it’s very scientific, you count on your ten fingers ten things you are grateful for that day.

Much of my gratitude is about what I am grateful for in my life.  The other day I was writing about how grateful I am for my circle of girlfriends and how much they mean to me.  I started thinking about what I would ‘wish’ for them…what does each of my girlfriends need in their lives and could I send this to them through gratitude.  So…I started a list in Evernote called “Wishes for my Girlfriends” and I write down each of their names and put a wish into the universe for them.  It was very refreshing to think about gratitude for someone else and make a wish for their happiness.

Here are examples:

My wish for (insert name) is for her to follow her dreams.  No matter how big or small, I want her to take the road less traveled, step off the edge and focus on her true north.  I want (insert name) to be immensely happy.

My wish for (insert name) is vision.  I want her to always know something great is out there for her and that she’s making a difference everyday even when she doesn’t think so.

I cannot tell you how good this felt.  I always feel great after doing a gratitude exercise, but there was something about making wishes for someone other than myself that felt even more gratifying.  I encourage you to give this a try, it can be really uplifting for you.  I have only shared my wishes with a couple of my girlfriends, for the most part, I want it to be my secret.  Just someone out there wishing great things for their life without them knowing it.

Discover

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain