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Having a baby changes everything. Whether you decided to go back to work or stay at home with your babies, either decision requires a transition because, let’s face it, NOTHING is the same once our tiny humans enter the picture. While some debate the pros and cons of each, I am of the opinion that there is no right or wrong answer. The decision is inherently personal based on each individual’s situation. Some go back to work because they have to, others because they want to. Some become stay at home moms when prior to the baby’s arrival, they could never see themselves doing so. Regardless, it is moms who face the most transition in relation to maintaining a work-life balance when the little ones come along. The goal shouldn’t be to have it “all.” Instead, the goal should be to find your voice, tell your story, and live a life that allows you to use your purpose to create change in your families and community.
Every person has a longing to be significant; to make a contribution; to be a part of something noble and purposeful. John C. Maxwell
8 ACTIONS FOR MOMS IN TRANSITION: PURPOSE TO PAYCHECK
1: BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU ARE DOING
First and foremost, believe in the decision you have made. Nobody knows your situation better than you, and you do not owe an explanation as to why you have decided to go back to work or stay at home. The most important thing is to honor YOUR priorities and do what is best for you and your family.
2: IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION
Each one of us has gifts and talents that are unique to us. There has never been and never will be another YOU. You have something amazing to offer this world. The more you deny the world of your story, the more you are not living in alignment with your purpose. In the past 3 years, I have discovered that I have a passion to help other women identify areas where they are stuck so that they can move forward. These are motivated, confident, talented women. Tapping in to your passion will impact all areas of life. You’ll get up earlier. Be more creative. Crush your to do list. Plus, the right intention leads to the right action and creates crazy results!
2: OVERCOME LIMITING BELIEFS
Limiting beliefs are the small voice in your head telling you you can’t. Once you identify the source of those limiting beliefs, you can crush them and kick fear to the curb. We all face fear at one point or another, but when it holds you back, that is the problem. Acknowledging that fear does not come from love can help you face it. Instead of letting fear stop you, you should be willing to learn through the fear and embrace the love that the world has for you. Embrace where you are at this point in life and use it as s tool to move you forward.
3: CAPITALIZE ON THE SKILLS YOU HAVE LEARNED AS A MOM
Conflict management. Budgeting. Management. Inventory. Multitasking. Teaching. Social planning. Scheduling. These are all amazing skills we moms use in the blink of an eye every single day. These skills are transferrable. Talk them up!
4: UTILIZE THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
The law of attraction is powerful stuff! We live in a world of negativity and gloom and doom. When you think about negative things, that’s all you’ll see. When you focus on what you DO want to have happen, it’s funny how things can start to align for you. Start a daily gratitude journal to record the GOOD things that you are happy for each day. The more you focus on the good, the more it will appear in your life.
5: LEARN TO SAY NO AND FOCUS ON KEY PRIORITIES
Identify your key priorities and use those as the gauge against which you base your decisions. There is no utopian balance to achieve. Truly, having it “all” isn’t realistic, and, quite frankly, would leave us feeling overwhelmed. Every choice has a sacrifice. Get comfortable with uncomfortable feelings (guilt for not being home for dinner, fear of not doing it right, discomfort of being judged for a messy house). You can have it all but not all at the same time.
6: IDENTIFY OBJECTIVES CLEARLY SO THE UNIVERSE CAN DELIVER
Crystal clear goals get results. Vague hopes don’t. Be realistic about your goals and how much time you actually have to attain them. If you have 4 hours/week to devote to yourself while your child is in daycare — don’t expect to do all your errands, exercise and look for a job. If you haven’t worked for a while, you may need some time for pure self care before you launch into the job search.
7: TAKE A CHANCE
And trust that an opening will occur. Sometimes to achieve great things, we need to act before we know how to “do.” Think about riding a bike. The best way to learn how is to do it. All the instruction in the world won’t help you in the actual act of riding the bike. Instead of waiting until the time is right or the kids reach a certain point, take action toward your goals now. You can’t know the end before you begin. Even if you don’t know what’s next, there is something powerful in having faith and taking the leap. That’s when greatness occurs.
8: EMBRACE THE HARD
Being a mom is hard work. Stay at home mom—hard work. Working mom—hard work. Single mom—hard work. Being a mom isn’t easy, but it’s also really hard to lose touch with your purpose. Embrace the journey of motherhood without losing YOU in the process. That’s the hardest part. Turning our purpose into a paycheck so we can contribute to our family and live out or purpose with passion-filled days is beyond rewarding! Now is the best time for mompreneurs to build a business – doing what they love while being present for the ones they love most.
Look. I’m guilty. I’m guilty of procrastinating. Guilty of “learning” for the sake of learning. Taking in TONS of information. But, then I stall. I have so much info rolling around in my brain, that it freezes me. I have to remind myself that I KNOW what to do, I just have to DO IT (you know–like the whole Nike thing says!).
The number one catalyst for change is doing SOMETHING.
If there is a situation in your life you want to change or a goal you want to reach, but you’re not doing anything about it and still expect it’s going to change, that’s a PROBLEM.
In order for change to happen we have to do something different. We have to try something different. Sometimes, we even have to become the person who CAN meet the goal, which requires GROWTH.
And growth can be painful. However, if you think back on your life, anything big requires some pain to bring it to life.
Being uncomfortable, failing, being embarrassed: these are all signs that you are growing.
Change occurs is by taking action. However, too often, we talk ourselves out of taking that action because of fear or feelings of inadequacy. Somewhere along the line, we begin to think we aren’t good enough. How dare we dream that big?
Ask yourself this: what is something that keeps popping up on your mental “I should do that” list. We all have have those thoughts and ideas that are subtly floating around in the back of our heads. Lingering there calling to us. Think back to what you wanted to be when you were a child. We ask kids that daily, and we give them permission to DREAM. What were your dreams when you were a child?
Me, I wanted to be a teacher, a dental hygienist, and a cheerleader on the weekends. While only one of those came to light, I clearly had unrealistic expectations. Or did I? I most definitely am a teacher. It is the core of who I am. And, I like to think that I’m a pretty good cheerleader for the people in my life. (And as a mom to twins–the whole keep your teeth clean thing is high on my list!). The point is, at some time in our lives, we have all had these amazing, crazy ideas we wanted to try.
Nobody ever told us, “Oh honey, you can’t do that.” Think about your kiddos. When they tell you they want to be astronauts, you buy them books about the moon and watch shows about space. We encourage that curiosity. Why, then, do we stop doing that when we are adults?
So think about what’s on your “should list.” What do you want to do? Who do you want to become? What do you want to achieve?
What is that kind of nagging thought that’s in the back of your head and keeps showing up?
If you aren’t doing anything about it you’re doing a disservice to yourself and denying yourself to reach your FULLEST POTENTIAL.
Whatever is nagging at your soul, I am going to challenge you today to take action. Do SOMETHING to push you closer to what your dream is. START TODAY.
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I wrote this a year ago, but somehow with losing my father this week and nearing my 45th birthday in two weeks, it seems fitting to share again.
I’ve decided that being 40-ish is a little like being a tween or a teenager. (please know this reflection comes from waking up covered in sweat the past two nights and wondering if “the change” is slowly creeping it’s way into my life). I can remember when I was teaching that there was a big difference between 6th and 7th grade and 9th and 10th in terms of development. I even saw it when I taught 3rd grade–another transitional year. Seriously, puberty happens for a lllooonnnggg time.
40-ish is a bit like that. You’re a grown up, but you aren’t young and you aren’t old. Perspectives change (and I say these things knowing that when I’m 50ish I’ll see things differently as well). It’s funny because when you are a teenager, in your mind you think you are an adult. When you are 40-ish, in your mind you are 20 something.
But for ME, at 40ish you start really thinking about things like retirement, the kids college, the kids future. Truly, it does become less about you and more about them in many ways. Most of the decisions we make center around “what will this mean for the boys” and what we want for them. The memories we want to create. The options we want available for them.
For me a real positive about being 40ish is feeling like I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. There’s a greater sense of self that I didn’t have when I was in my 20s or 30s. There is a confidence that comes from having made mistakes and bad decisions and knowing that it all will turn out ok when you are willing to learn from those mistakes. There is also a satisfaction in being able to look back at some of the really great things you have accomplished, created, and done.
I don’t think 40 is “middle aged.” But, I do think you are far enough up the “hill” to be able to see both sides and know they are equally as beautiful. 40ish means you don’t have to worry about being “cool” because those things don’t matter. Sure, there are still “cliques” and groups and such, but you don’t care about that, at least I don’t. 40-ish means being able to see the value in learning from those younger than you and those older than you. There is a peace in knowing that the journey is what makes things so amazing. 40ish means knowing you can speak your mind and it’s ok. You don’t have to get along with or agree with everyone to be friends or respect them. It’s OK to think differently.
40ish means that you’ve started to lose people pretty important to you. Grandparents, friends, parents, other family members. You know that life can be both sucky and equally amazing at the same time. You know that people are brought into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It means that you’ve probably been in a relationship for a long time and know what people mean when they say marriage is “work.” You don’t make it 20 years without any problems or hiccups along the way. But, there is a beauty in the journey because you grow as individuals, a couple a family all the while learning about yourself along the way.
So…….not sure what led to all of this coming out other than the darn night sweats. It’s one of those things you don’t think will happen to you (like chin hairs, gray hair, varicose veins, reading glasses, etc.). But, to those night sweats and other changes like that that are slowly coming, I say suck it. Yep. You heard me. Suck it. I’m stronger now than I have ever been. I feel better. I have more energy. My mind is clearer. So all in all, I have to say 40ish is a pretty awesome place to be. My mid-life “crisis” has been pretty amazing and wonderful and life changing. Looking forward to bumping it up another notch in March when I hit 45!
Day 30 FINAL DAY:
Today marks the end of my 30 Day Miracle Morning Challenge. This was a challenge to me. A commitment to me. A push to find the focus I know I can have.
What I’m left with after committing to this process is a feeling of purpose, priority, and productivity.
Before this challenge, I have to admit that I was feeling lost. Lost in the sense that I was trying to do EVERYTHING versus doing the ONE thing that would make the difference. The ONE thing each day that would drive me forward.
Through the use of The Miracle Morning SAVERS (Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing), I have found a way to start my day in a positive mindset. While waking between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. can present challenges, on the few days where I slacked off, I could tell a difference in my focus throughout the day. And, given the fact that I started this in an effort to find focus, it became clear to me early on in this process that I can’t afford to NOT start my day this way. Other than the occasional mornings when the kiddos were up at the same time as me, there is a peace that comes with starting your day in silence.
I have started filling my head with positive thoughts and daily affirmations of my worth. It is so easy to let the voices of others cloud what we know to be true about ourselves. Likewise, it’s easy to let competition or other people’s accomplishments make us feel less than. Filling my head with affirmations every day has made me focus on me and what I can do vs. what others have done. Likewise, visualizing my goals and how it will feel once they are achieved has spurred me into greater action.
In the past 30 days, I have read The Miracle Morning, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople, and The ONE Thing, and I have created two freemiums for my website, created three landing pages, created a team all access coaching event WITH my team, blogged several times a week, started another 66 day challenge to reinforce the importance of getting my ONE thing done each day, starting my teaching job (which puts us on a path of purposeful savings and one of the HUGE items on my vision board), completed The Miracle Morning each day, consistently completed my business Power Hour even when other events could have been an excuse to NOT do it, and I’ve created systems that will help keep me moving forward.
I can’t wait to see where I will be in another 30 days.
I’m left with this final thought from “The ONE Thing,” (a book I have read almost twice during this process) “A life lived on purpose is the most powerful of all— and the happiest.” ~ The ONE Thing
This morning I felt the effects of staying up too late last night. I must do a better job of going to bed by 10 p.m. each night. But, even with that, I was ready to get up at 5 and get my day started.
I am really enjoying the new-found focus I feel as result of doing the Miracle Morning each day. It truly has become a new habit and almost something I look forward to. Instead of starting the day rushed and hurried and behind, I start the day with an intentionality.
Today’s take aways from The One Thing:
“Extraordinary results are achieved by this negotiation with your time.”
- It’s not about having more time. It’s about making more of the time you do have. There is always going to be someone busier than you still finding time to do more than you. Most of the time, when we say we can’t do something, we are making an excuse versus finding a reason WHY we actually can.
“No matter how hard you try, there will always be things left undone at the end of your day, week, month, year, and life. Trying to get them all done is folly.”
- This is a pretty powerful shift in thinking for this perfectionist at heart. But, I will say that it is freeing to let go of the need to get everything done. Instead, I have been focusing each day on the one thing I need to do to drive my business forward toward my goals. It feels really good to know that the number one priority is and make sure that what I do each day pushes me in that direction.
I did NOT want to get up this morning. Everything in my body said, “Just push snooze—just once.” However, my brain told me to get my butt out of bed, so that’s what I did. Once up, I did lie on my office floor in the dark for a few minutes just soaking in the silence of the morning.
Today’s take aways:
“The brain makes up l/ 50th of our body mass but consumes a staggering 1/ 5th of the calories we burn for energy.”
- This is INSANE to think about. Our brains burn 1/5th of the calories we burn for energy. Honestly, I should be the size of a pencil of the rate of my brain activity has anything to do with it. My mind never shuts off.
“Foods that elevate blood sugar evenly over long periods, like complex carbohydrates and proteins, become the fuel of choice for high-achievers— literal proof that “you are what you eat.”
- The key to fueling our brains comes from complex carbohydrates and protein. Put in GOOD clean fuel and get out more energy.
“When our willpower runs out, we all revert to our default settings. This begs the question: What are your default settings?”
- My willpower runs out late and night. My default settings are snacking in the kitchen and wine. So, instead, I try to reach for hot tea. I just need the satisfaction of “something” after the kids go to bed.
“So how do you put your willpower to work? You think about it. Pay attention to it. Respect it. You make doing what matters most a priority when your willpower is its highest. In other words, you give it the time of day it deserves.”
- I love the idea of respecting our willpower. We all have it. We just need to understand in and plan for those times when we know our defenses will be down (tired and hungry!)
The Miracle Morning looks different on Saturdays, at least is does for me. Saturdays are the ONE day I can kind of sort of sleep in around the edges. Today, I did just that. I’m exhausted after the first week of teaching, and I think it’s important to allow ourselves to enjoy an unhurried morning when we get one.
I’m on day 3/66 of my personal business challenge. Yesterday, I made myself get the task done right after school and before heading out for an event with the hubby. Today, I knocked it out first thing. It’s actually liberating to do something you dislike first thing because then everything else seems easy after that.
Today’s take aways from The ONE Thing.
“Everyone has one person who either means the most to them or was the first to influence, train, or manage them. No one succeeds alone. No one.”
- When I read this today, I immediately thought about my teachers. I know the number one reason WHY I became a teacher is that, for me, teachers were the adults who took time to connect with me. With them, I felt safe and cared for and challenged. As a child, I always enjoyed spending time with my teachers versus time with my friends. I always wanted to help them grade papers and do tasks in the classroom. After this first week of teaching, I feel exhausted and filled up all at the same time. I simply LOVE being in a classroom with kids. Their outlook on life, their willingness to be silly, and their way of thinking about things all keep me on my toes and challenge me to think differently too.
“Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working at it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results.”
- I feel like in the course of the past two years I have found a passion that allows me to teach in a new way. As I was reading today, it hit me that my passion isn’t fitness. I know that sounds strange coming from a health coach. Instead, my passion is people. It’s that personal connection that fuels me. I love connecting with someone and helping them see that they are capable of achieving their goals. They can quit negative thinking. They can dream and set out to achieve those dreams. Fitness is a tool to help people do those things. Fitness helps people feel better. I know it is a simple shift, but I think I’ve been trying to focus on fitness and that’s not my strength. My strength is helping people find ways to feel better. My focus is the healthy happy part, and healthy doesn’t mean just fitness.
So, instead of looking at others and trying to be a coach like them, it’s taken me two years to realize that I need to be a coach like me. That is a freeing thought to finally get to.
On Sundays, my Miracle Morning happens in the car while I’m waiting on the kiddos during their religious education class. I love the silence of the car. It’s like I’m in my own little bubble.
Today’s take aways:
“The ONE Thing becomes difficult because we’ve unfortunately bought into too many others— and more often than not those “other things” muddle our thinking, misguide our actions, and sidetrack our success.”
- Throughout the process of the Miracle Morning, I have realized that I have been trying to do too much and as a result not done the things that need to be done. I have made a readjustment to my approach to my business, and, for the first time feel laser focused in regards to what I must do each day. I have a list of things that would be “nice” to do and prioritized it in order of importance and connection to the ONE thing I know I must do each day.
“A to-do list is simply the things you think you need to do; the first thing on your list is just the first thing you thought of. To-do lists inherently lack the intent of success.”
- I am completely guilty of feeling like I need a list to keep me on track. The problem is, I fill the list with things that are truly just distractions keeping me from doing the things that SHOULD get done each day vs. the things that are fun to do. There are a lot of thing that are fun about my business, but not all of the fun things drive growth forward.
“Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list— a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results. To-do lists tend to be long; success lists are short. One pulls you in all directions; the other aims you in a specific direction.”
- This is simple and straightforward. Instead of creating a list of endless things that would be really nice to get done, we should be making daily lists of the top one thing that must be done. When we do the one thing that will move us closer to the next one thing, that’s when the magic starts to happen.
Monday mornings have take on a different meaning now that I’m teaching again. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all. It’s just that the realization that I CAN’T sleep in has hit me, which makes getting up and doing the Miracle Morning all the more important to help me get off to a strong start for the week.
I’m now on day 21 with 30 days to go in the challenge. With that said, day 31 will simply mean that I stop blogging about the experience. I will absolutely continue with the Morning Miracle routine.
Today’s take aways:
“Multitasking is a lie.”
- I have been so guilty of this for so long. I have an “I can do it myself” attitude and try to do everything. Instead, I wind up not doing ONE thing well (yep—I’ve totally bought in to the idea of The ONE thing). Since starting Miracle Morning, I have installed an extension on my computer that puts a focus welcome screen on a new tab. It’s called Momentum and is on Google Chrome. Instead of a blank Google search screen it asks “What is your main focus for today?” This has helped mindless searching and scrolling come to a screeching halt.
As Steve Uzzell said, “Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.”
- This is so very true. When you try to do everything, you wind up doing nothing well. My new goal is singular focus each day. It has actually become liberating to get my one thing done each day vs putting it off because it scares me.
Chronic multitaskers develop a distorted sense of how long it takes to do things.
- Again, I know this one to be personally true. I have found that my daily Power Hour, the hour where I focus on getting my daily vital business activities done, has been far more productive when I start with the One Thing mindset.
When I read The ONE Thing the first time, I remember reading this chapter. But, holy cow——reading it the second time was like having a brick dropped on my head. When I think about discipline in terms of my business, I know that I have been disciplined in being “busy.” There hasn’t been a day where I didn’t somehow work on my business. However, I haven’t been focused.
This quote jumped out at me like a neon light today: “Success is about doing the right thing not about doing everything right.”
I have been spinning my wheels trying to do everything right vs. doing the most important thing well. This particular definition is freeing for someone like me who tends toward perfectionism.
Other takeaways from today’s reading:
“The truth is we don’t need any more discipline than we already have. We just need to direct and manage it a little better.”
- I know that I have the discipline. When I think back to the times when I was working full-time and going to graduate school finishing the degree in one year, I KNOW I can do what needs to be done. Period. It’s time to tap in to that part of me again.
“When we know something that needs to be done but isn’t currently getting done, we often say, “I just need more discipline.” Actually, we need the habit of doing it. And we need just enough discipline to build the habit.”
- I am so guilty of this. While my excuse may not be that I need more discipline, I am good at excuses. They help justify why I haven’t done what needs to be done. The problem stems from the fact that I have been trying to do everything versus doing the one thing that must get done daily.
“Sustain the discipline long enough on one habit, and not only does it become easier, but so do other things as well. It’s why those with the right habits seem to do better than others. They’re doing the most important thing regularly and, as a result, everything else is easier.”
- Now on day 22 of the Miracle Morning and on day 6 of my 66 day personal business challenge, I am already feeling somethings are becoming easier. For example, I got up today at 4:30 because I have to be at work early. NOT doing my Miracle Morning wasn’t an option for me. So, I adjusted and got it done!