Making decisions…

Greetings from the Lake! The sun is just rising here… there’s so much beauty and peace at this time of day… 

Even so, I’m only compelled to get up with the birds when we’re at the lake. 😉

But I do treasure these early mornings at the water, with my journal, sometimes a book, oftentimes just my thoughts – and my coffee. 😉

It usually takes me a couple of weeks to fully decompress and relax into the summer’s ease… but I’m already starting to feel things loosening.

People often tell us how lucky we are to spend the whole summer at the lake – but I always tell them, it’s not luck. It was a decision to do so a long time ago and then taking action to make it happen.

The first summer we were here for 2 weeks, and last summer we were here for 13. We just kept adding weeks every year until we were staying from Father’s Day to Labor Day.

But it all started with a decision. I knew what I wanted and I decided to make it happen. And this is our 12th summer doing so.

What decision could you make in your life or your business that would bring you more peace, joy, ease, freedom, happiness, laughter, wisdom, abundance?

I’d love to know – please share with me in the comments.

Until next time…

cheers,

Give more to be more…?

Ever have a project due or a deadline looming
that really stresses you out?

Well, that was Chloe’s shark project for her science class.

This girl had a vision, and she made it come alive, but wow – what it took to get there was some serious time reconfiguration, lots of that time spent in the Fabrication Lab at school during lunch, recess, and after school when she wasn’t at musical rehearsal, and lots of support, though she did all the work herself.

This photo is her completed project, and I have to say, from it coming home in many separate pieces to 4 hours later to completion – I’m impressed.

I’m even more impressed that she had a really great attitude about it all – even when she had to go back to store at 7:30pm to get less strong magnets! (Thank you, James, for taking that trip with her.)

But something she said while she was hot glue gunning struck me (I admit, with a tad bit of unease)…

I commented that she didn’t need to do something, that it was fine the way it was, and she just smiled at me because she was going to do it her own way anyway (she is so my daughter) and said, “But Mom, I’m a perfectionist.”

Yikes!

From a recovering (almost) perfectionist, I cringed a little. But I also recognized that part of the reason this project was stressing her out wasn’t just the limited time she had to work on it, but because it’s really important to her to do well.

In this case, she saw clearly what she wanted and she went for it – focused, determined, and yes, it took more because she wanted it to be more.

And that’s not a bad thing at all.

And it made me think, where in my business could I give more so it could be more?

You?

I’d love to know your thoughts…

Cheers,
~ A

Wiping out overwhelm bit by bit

The next two weeks are a bit overwhelming with so much going on, both personally and business-wise, so I took time yesterday to clear the decks.

I boxed up a ton of old binders and notebooks to go to the recycling center. I started filling my ‘summer bin’ mostly of books I want to read over the next few months. And I’m about 75% through my inbox as I head to zero before we leave for the lake.

I walked into my office this morning feeling considerably lighter and more energized to move forward.

I also made a list of exactly what needs to happen when over these next few weeks. Now I just need to focus on that list. 😉

I share more about wiping out overwhelm here:

http://aliciaforest.com/how-to-wipe-out-overwhelm/

Enjoy!

Cheers,
~ A

How To Wipe Out Overwhelm

How often do you find yourself in this scenario?

It’s Monday morning and you’re all geared up for a productive week ahead. You’ve got your to-do list (massive as it is) at the ready and you sit down at your desk to start checking things off.

As you begin to read down your list, you start to feel something in your gut. It’s not a physical pain necessarily, just a feeling of something heavy starting to grow. You ignore it and continue reading your list, making stars next to the things that seem to be the most important to get done that day.

But the more you do this, the heavier that feeling gets, until it starts creeping up to your shoulders and finally settles in your head. All that enthusiasm you had when you first sat down is gone and the only thing you feel now is utter and complete overwhelm.

Sound familiar? I’ve been there, too, so I understand.

And it’s not that all the tasks on your list aren’t wonderful and/or doable. There are simply too many of them – and they all seem important right now – to expect that you can accomplish them all in the hours you have to work in any single day.

So what happens? You do a little of this, a little of that, and you really never complete a single project!

But you don’t have to let another week pass without really accomplishing anything. Simply create a Priority Card.

A Priority Card will help you organize all your tasks in a way that will SHOW you every day what you should focus on.

There are a lot of details that will threaten to take your mind off your priorities (this is where a virtual assistant can be of immense value), but those details are not necessarily what will move you forward in your business. To do that, you need to consistently focus on completing the projects that will move your business ahead big-time.

You can create a system for helping you focus on your priorities in a number of ways, but I’m going to give you mine. I only work about 15 hours a week on my business, so adjust your own plan accordingly.

At the beginning of each week, I choose 3 projects with looming deadlines (self-imposed as they may be) from my master task list (which really is so massive that has it’s own notebook).

For example, at the moment, I am working on a sales page, content for a program, and a new offer.

On a colored index card, I write down those projects and prop the card in a standing clip holder, right in front of my computer screen. When I start to feel that sense of overwhelm, or when I find myself getting distracted by new ideas or other tasks (all of which seem important), I remind myself to look at my Priority Card and focus only on what’s written there.

Once I started using my Priority Card, my own business growth leapt forward ten times faster than when I was doing a little of this and a little of that, working on a dozen things, but taking much too long to actually complete just one project.

Know you won’t be able to stick to this process 100% of the time, but even 80% will help you make dramatic strides in your business growth. You’ll actually finish the projects you set out to do, and you’ll not only feel great about doing so, you’ll be inspired to do it again, and again, and again. Once you make this shift, you’ve learned the secret to wiping out overwhelm for yourself and your business!

How to Unhook from the Future

Chloe has a children’s book (which is now a movie) titled Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman, which really simplifies the concept of living in the present moment, and how the practice of that will, for the boy in the story, eliminate fear and worry.

I wanted to explore that as it pertains to your business, with a slightly different slant. I wonder if you, like so many of my clients, and myself as well from time to time, are so hooked into the future that we’re missing the NOW and not fully enjoying the journey?

So how do we unhook from it to allow what we truly want to come to pass without always feeling like we’re striving for it?

Here are 5 ideas:

1. Let go of the goals that take you away from the present.

Let me say first that you can have everything you want – and there’s no judgement here on what those things are.

That being said, do you want a mansion, to be the #1 speaker in your market, to be the one with the biggest email list in your market, to be a New York Times bestselling author, to make a million dollars? There’s nothing wrong with any of those lofty (yet completely attainable) goals.

And, what happens is when we’re so focused on the sexy dream we tend to get ourselves so riled up about getting there that we miss all the amazing stuff happening NOW.

What I’ve noticed is that people get impatient, sad, frustrated, and even angry when they’re so focused on the future goal that the present seems uninteresting at best, despairing at worst. The antidote? See #2.

2. Polish the present

I want to encourage you to stop striving so hard and thrive in your present. What I mean is that if you make what you already have better, and polish what’s already good and working, you uplevel your life without expending that energy on something that doesn’t exist yet.

Yes, it’s about appreciating what’s already good and right in your world and in your business AND it’s about how you can make what’s already there fulfill you even more. It’s true that if you make the most of what you already have, you’ll get more and better of it with a lot less effort on your part.

3. Don’t plan so much

I’m all about having the big picture plan down to the day-to-day details, and yet I know that most of the time, the plan changes.

One of the reasons we – as business owners – plan so much is because it gives us a sense of control and it helps to alleviate the fears and doubts we have about knowing what we’re doing.

So have the plan and be willing to be flexible with it. Let it be a guide but not the only way. If you get wrapped up in THE PLAN you’ll actually hold yourself and your business back from being able to adapt quickly when things change – and they always do.

Assess if you spend more time planning than doing – and if you do, stop right now. And if you tend to fly by the seat of your pants more often than not, you might want a lightly-built framework around you to give you some sense of stability.

4. Get out of the striver’s club

Stop trying to acquire a better future with others who are striving. It’s just too exhausting. I’m not saying to surround yourself with lazy folks, but get out of the overdrive club if you want to relax into a currently compelling present instead of an exhausting still ‘out there somewhere’ future.

5. Get off the ‘if/when’ rollercoaster

I admit this is a pet peeve of mine. Not from people who are decisive, but from people who use it as an excuse to not be happy now. When you make ‘if/when’ statements, you’re living in the future. Dreaming and visioning is one thing; otherwise it’s a holding pattern for you but even worse, you’re not enjoying where you’re at right now!

Now take and implement these five ideas to unhook from the future so you can enjoy the present – I promise you’ll thank me for it. 🙂

I’d love to hear you thoughts on this – please comment below…

Hitting the Refresh Button in Your Business

If your business feels stagnant or you’re just not as enthused about it as you want to be, some of the things to look at are if your current look and feel, messaging, and model are aligned with who you are and the work you most want to do.

Often times, a simple ‘refresh’ of what we’re doing, that’s more closely aligned with who we are today and the work that makes us light up inside, can move the energy and rekindle your enthusiasm.


Here are 3 simple ways you can hit the refresh button in your business today:

1. Look and Feel

When you look at your website, what does it feel like to you? Does it make you smile? Does it give off the energy you want it to? Does it work the way you want it to? Do you love it?

When you look at your marketing materials, ask yourself the same questions. If you’re not feeling it with your stuff, chances are that your target market isn’t either.

As you grow personally and as your business grows, your look and feel should change to reflect more accurately your current state of being.

Where in your business can you refresh the look and feel to more accurately reflect where you are in your business today?

2. Message

Think about the main message you deliver to your market. Is that message still accurate? Has it changed over the last year? Does it feel like it needs to change to more accurately reflect who you serve and how you serve them?

As you become more clear about what it is that you do and to whom you do it for and with, you’ll want to adjust your message accordingly.


For example, my message for many years was about mentoring women entrepreneurs to break through to 6 figures and beyond so they can live the life they ache for. And while that is still true, it became clearer to me what really matters
is not the 6 figures necessarily, but what really matters to them personally – and that’s will be reflected in my current messaging, which touches on it NOT being about the money.

3. Model

Take a mini-audit of your offerings. What parts of the work that you do do you love to delivery and in what way? What parts could you let go of and feel really great about?

For example, after two years of year-long coaching programs, I reduced them to 8-month programs. When I restarted a monthly membership,
I changed from live teleclasses to pre-recorded ones. I now offer virtual retreats in addition to in-person retreats. All of these changes better suit my chosen lifestyle and resonate with my best clients as well.

What changes can you make in your business model to better serve you?

Designing a business that you love around your life is one of the pillars on which I stand and teach. Learn how to do this for YOUR business (and life) at my annual live event here.