2 Woo-Woo Moves & 2 Practical Steps to Reaching Your Dream this Year

 

What’s your dream?
 

If you haven’t spent a few minutes thinking about, visualizing, writing, or creating a vision board about what you want to bring into being in 2019, take at least a few minutes today to do so.

Mine is to complete my manuscript of Book #2. 🙂

Truth be told, that’s been on my dream list for more than a few years (and at least since my first book was published in 2014), but as much as I wanted to write my next book, I wasn’t really doing anything about it.

Do you have a dream like that too? Here’s what I’m doing that’s helping me stay on track that may help you too.

1. Write it down

Write down your dream every single day. I’m serious. Add this 10-second ritual to your morning to support you in achieving your dream. And handwrite it – that makes all the difference.

I write, “I’m a NY Times Bestselling Author” every single morning. Will Book #2 get me there? Who knows? But I’m setting my intention and sending it out to the Universe every single day. I won’t be surprised when it happens – giddy, but not surprised.

2. Create a container for your dream

In my case, that’s Scrivener. Scrivener is a word processor and project management tool created specifically for writers, but that really doesn’t even come close to covering what it actually can do. In my case, it gives me a separate place to write my book. Not jumbled up with Word or Pages, which creates just one long document.

Scrivener works the way my brain works. When I wrote my first book, I created a table of contents, chapter headings, and some of the front and back matter in Word. I printed those out, 3-hole punched them and put them into a physical binder. Then I would add pieces of content I’d already written by printing them, punching them and adding them to the binder wherever made the most sense. I’m a visual person and if I can see how something fits together, it’s much easier for me.

But Scrivener does that for me! I created a binder and I add chapters as I go, that I can easily re-organize however I want. And the best part is the cork board, where I can stick post-it notes of content I want to be sure to include in my books somewhere – stores or tips or concepts I want to expand on.

What container do you need for your dream? Is it specific software, or a course, or an artist’s date (like in The Artist’s Way) with yourself once a week to work on it? Is it a coach or mentor or a friend who holds you accountable? What will support you in moving steadily towards your dream?

3. Ask for help

Ok, now I’m going to get pretty woo-woo on you. I’m going to share something I learned from Christy Marie Sheldon many years ago called What Would It Take. Now, I don’t know why this works, and honestly, I don’t care. But it works for me and when my clients embrace this, it works for them too.

Here’s what you do. Think of your dream. Then ask this question to the Universe.

“What would it take for <fill in your dream>”?

An example of one of mine is: “What would it take for me to become a NY Times bestselling author?”

Now, here’s the trick. You’re NOT asking for the HOW. You’re putting it out to the Universe to send you the HOW. That may look like an idea that pops into your head, an email that shows up, the course or program or book or a conversation with someone that will help you move closer to your dream.

Sidenote: If you have a hard letting go of the HOW (like, ahem, me), this is an excellent practice for you.

I ask my WWIT when I’m getting ready in the mornings (I actually have WWIT written on my bathroom mirror to remind me) and it’s not the same every day. I ask about what’s the priority for me in that moment, so it might be “WWIT for me to manifest an extra $20k before my birthday?” or “What would it take for us to be awarded enough financial aid for the kids to stay at their school?” or “What would it take for us to find the right next cottage to book for the whole summer?”

By the way, those were ALL ones I’ve put out there and here’s what happened: I made/manifested (pick your preferred word) $22k in 6 weeks (10 weeks before my birthday). We received an award package for the kids’ tuition that was way beyond what we could have ever expected. And we’re heading into our third summer at the perfect ‘next’ cottage.

I don’t question it, I just do it. And perhaps the lack of attachment to the outcome helps too. 😉

4. 15 minutes a day

Now to get back to the practical… I work on my current dream for 15 minutes a day. I write for 15 minutes in Scrivener, usually early morning, though sometimes it happens later in the day. But I can always find 15 minutes to write even if the muse is missing and the writing is crap. Writing from a blank page is always hardest. Rewriting is easy. But you can’t rewrite it you don’t get something down first.

Sometimes I write longer than 15 minutes but never shorter. We’re 21 days into 2019 and I’m at 9069 words. At this pace, I will end up with at least 100k words by the end of this year, which roughly equals about a 210-page manuscript, which is more than enough to publish it.

How can you chunk down your dream in 15 minutes a day?

If you’re not sure, ask yourself what’s ONE thing you can do today to move forward towards your dream? If you’re still not sure, do a mind-purge of all the things it’s going to take for you to achieve your dream and keep it handy. Look at it every morning and pick one thing. Even if that one thing can’t be completed in 15 minutes, you can at least get started and keep working on it in your 15-minute dream-achieving time, right?

There you have it. This is how I make stuff happen. A little woo and a little practical equals a lot of dream-achieving. Try it, and let me know what happens!

 

2018 – A Snapshop Review

This year was another “float” year. After my Dad’s passing just after Thanksgiving 2017, I didn’t realize how much that would take out of me, emotionally, mentally and physically, and I spent most of 2018 just trying to hold it together, be there for my family, and stay afloat in my business.

I’m grateful that my business did stay afloat, especially because I didn’t have it in me to do all the things I planned to do. After our summer at the lake, I finally started to feel like I had my feet back under me, and was emotionally and mentally able to get back in the game, which I know is what my Dad would have wanted.

Out With The Old, In With The New

I had decided after my last live event that I needed a break from it. I had been leading a 3-day live event every year since 2010, and even though I tightened it up to 2 days last year, I really just needed to let it go for a year, re-evaluate it, and decided if it was really something I wanted to do anymore. I realized that I had been doing it for a couple of years just because the attendees wanted it (which is not a bad problem to have) instead of it being enough of a return on my investment as well.

Instead, I decided that I was finally going to launch my Lively Biz Business Club membership in November. I started seeding it and pulling together all the launch details, building the wait list, and developing the membership site itself. I put a ton of time, energy and effort into this launch, especially during the open cart week, and it paid off. I also got a lot of comments on how impressive the launch was, and I share that only because it was a live launch, where I literally was going live with the videos and emails every day – it wasn’t a polished and queued-up kind of launch. Although it was scary to decide not to do my live event this year (because it did bring in a big chunk of revenue for me), not doing it was absolutely the right decision for me.

Shifting Gears

Much like not doing my live event, I also knew I needed to work with less clients one-on-one or in smaller packages, so that I could truly serve them with the capacity I had while I moved through the grieving process.

I renewed private client contracts with those I truly love working with, and basically only offered short-term packages to new clients, like my 3-hour Business Breakthrough virtual retreats. I’ve been consciously lowering the number of clients I work with 1:1 over the last few years, from 12 to 8 to 5, because I’ve wanted to tip the scales back to being able to serve a lot more people in the membership. At the moment, I’m only working privately with two clients, which gives me the capacity to focus on the Lively Biz Business Club members and the growth of the membership – and that combination feels really right.

Looking Ahead

I’ve heard (via IttyBiz’s astro guide) that 2019 is going to be a great year for getting things off the ground and growing, and after 2018 being such a drag, I’m jumping on this bandwagon!

For Lively Biz, that means hitting 100+ members in the Club before summer, a full Lively Biz Accelerator program (we’re almost there already), a handful of openings for Business Breakthrough virtual retreats, my second book written and published (I’ve already written 8776 words!), a reboot and fresh launch of my podcast, hiring another team member to help with back-end stuff, and three brand-new virtual workshops. It also means continuing to tip the scales back from 1:1 to 1:many so that I can inspire and inform a lot more women business owners with creating their own priority-based and profitable online business in less than part-time hours.

I’m spending time during this pause between Christmas and New Year’s in a more in-depth review of business – and life – and I invite you to do the same. There are things I want to acknowledge, thank and release from 2018 – a lot of things actually – and things I want to bring into being in 2019.

When James lights the fire as we get ready to ring in the new year, I’ll be ceremoniously burning a list of those things I’m ready to release, while posting the things I most want to welcome in my office where I can see it every day as I do the work – both inner and outer – of continuing to create the lifestyle business I most desire in the year ahead and beyond.

In the meantime, know I’m wishing you and yours all good things in 2019!

cheers & xoxo,
~ A

Are you being pushed or pulled to grow?

(click play to listen)

Mo chara (my friend),

Have you ever taken the time to notice the plot twists of your life?

Those defining moments that change everything – either a lot or a little.

We all have them – some of those moments for me were when my mom surmounted a childhood belief that she wasn’t wanted and chose instead to value her own existence, even in the face of danger; when a treasured mentor disappeared unexpectedly from my life only to return 7 years later at a place neither expected the other to be; the letting in of someone who was destined to break my heart, but being able to recognize the soul connection anyway; a breakdown on a street corner in Helsinki when I finally realized I was the only one responsible for my life; finding out my father had cancer the first time – and all the other times since; being fired from my last job and taking the leap into entrepreneurship; the saddest moment of ending my first marriage even though it was right for both of us; saying yes to another man with the absolute knowing it was for a lifetime; deciding to have a child and the heartbreak and stress of it taking so damn long to conceive, then having another and it NOT taking any time at all, all while learning how to be a parent…

Every single moment happened because I needed to grow – and the Universe was going to either push me out of the situation or pull me forward into something else to make sure it happened one way or another.

And every single time, it was scary as hell.

If your current situation feels something like this, it’s probably time for a new level of growth for you too.

Maybe this is not a new feeling for you. It’s likely this has been nudging you – or eating at you – for awhile.

And maybe you’re scared. That’s normal. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’… as cliche as that sounds – it’s also true.

And whenever these pivotal moments happen – whether they are put upon us or we make a conscious choice that changes things, it’s also normal to worry that things are going to get worse instead of better, that it won’t be positive growth, but a downward spiral to something else you don’t want in your life.

And sometimes that does happen – it does get worse before it gets better.

That afternoon in Helsinki when I realized I was truly on my own, I had to go dark for about a year. I barely connected with my family or my friends. I had to go inward, to see if I had it in me to stand on my own two feet, to face ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ so that I knew, in the depths of my being, that I would be ok, no matter what.

And all of that was necessary in order for me to grow into the woman who could, in fact, stand on her own (and then had to learn how to let someone else help her again – thank goodness for a patient and secure husband), who could make choices that were her own, not someone else’s, to be a successful entrepreneur, to be a significantly better wife the second time, a reconnected and loving daughter again, and a pretty good mom most of the time.

But how do you know when it’s time for this kind of a shift?

You know. You know right now reading this if it’s time for you. Don’t you? 😉

But if you’re unsure, check in with how you feel. Think of the current situation where you feel it might be time to move things in some way. How does its current state make you feel?

For example, if you’re feeling stuck and stagnant in your business, is it because you need to just take some time away to regroup and refresh so you can come back with renewed energy?

Or is it more than that? Has the feeling of being stuck and stagnant, fairly unmotivated, less creative, all-around less jazzed about your business been poking at you for some time now?

Does your brain say ‘keep the status quo’ but your heart says ‘dear one, it’s time to move on’?

If this is resonating at all, you already have one foot on the train to the next stop on your soul journey.

And if other people are noticing that something seems different, whether they can put their finger on it or not, that can be an indicator that it’s time to get your train ticket to your next destination. And, it needs to be said that even if they don’t like it, remember that it’s not theirs to be bothered about – it’s yours. Your life, your heart, your spirit, your business, your body, your everything.

If this is landing, it’s probably time to take a gentle jump forward. By gentle, I mean, be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. By jump, I mean into some thing or some way of ‘new’.

The first thing that came to mind to you just now is what what you need to do.
Yeah, you say, sounds great, Alicia, but what about the FEAR?
Well, you know what I’m going to say, right?Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Because that’s the only way.

The fear is always going to be there, it’s always going to try to keep us safe and in status quo, in our comfortable minimum.

But the only way we’ll ever live the extraordinary lives we’re meant to is to recognize it for what it is – fear – and move forward regardless.I remember when I left my last job, making $43k a year with benefits, and going out on my own, with no safety net. I was also deeply in debt, cut off from my family by choice, and living with the constant stress of not enough of anything.

But I also knew if I held onto that little spark of hope, I could do anything. Somewhere deep inside, I knew I would be fine. If I just kept at it, kept putting one foot in front of the other, and keep moving through the fear, all would be well – eventually.

And through it all, I rose. And I’m on the cusp of the next rising. And so are you.

You’ll need to take a deep breath, give your fear a nod, and step forward towards the next place in your journey.

Is your desire bigger than your _______?

It’s a very windy and wavy day at the lake today – I’m about to get blown off the beach here!

But I’ll take it over the oppressive humidity of yesterday. YUK.

Which reminded me of a moment that happened between James and I during the summer almost 10 years ago…

He was up for a job in Georgia… and he’d often tease me that he couldn’t move me below the Mason-Dixon line because I’m not a fan of the heat or humidity.

But we were seriously considering that move – we’d already enrolled Chloe in a Montessori school in Athens, GA, in fact.

But there was one conversation we had that made the final decision for us. We were here at the lake, and out to a rare dinner alone while my parents babysat.

He said, “I can take this job OR I can believe in you and your business.”

My business was a fledgling at the time, and even though my desire was bigger than my doubt, I still had my moments of uncertainty.

It was his utter belief in me that cemented it for us – and as you may know, we didn’t move to Georgia. And my business became quite successful over the next couple of years.

My point?

You have to truly believe in your ability to make your desire your reality AND it helps immensely to have someone who believes in you too – especially when you’re just starting out or when it’s hard or scary.

If you don’t have that utter belief, if your desire is not bigger than your doubt, then there’s some work to be done – and I invite you to consider joining me at Simplify & Amplify so I can help you with that.

Click here to learn more…

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

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