CAREER VS CALLING

career-vs-calling Do you have a career or do you have a calling? When you're asked what do you do - do you respond with shameless or defeated I-wish-I-was-doing-what-I-love tone or do you respond with a proud I'm-so-glad-you-asked tone?

I can't count how many times the response I get is the former rather than the latter. Whether you're the leading marketing consultant at a bigwig firm and believe it's too late to follow your dreams or you're an overworked waitress that feels helpless on making a living as a musician - the feeling is the same. Fear of failure, feeling unequipped, negativity and the unknown control you.     

Today you can change that. Just a shift in thinking and focus can help you start living a life bigger than yourself.

Here are 3 tips to make that shift today:

1. Positive Thinking - "Believe you can move mountains and you will" was a quote a read years ago and thought - yeah right, move mountains? I was missing the point - if you believe you can do something and that anything is possible then you have half of the game figured out. If you don't believe you can ever make money as an illustrator, designer, consultant, business owner or singer, than you never will. But once you start believing, something begins to happen. The universe hears you, it hears you're ready. Things begin to shift, mountains move, the path becomes clear and everything begins to fall in place.

2. Goal-Setting - Dreams are goals with a deadline. Do you dream of starting a business that allows you to work from home so you can be closer to your children? Do you wish you could make money creating watercolor paintings all day long? The only way dreams will over become a reality is if you get it out of the head and onto paper. Just writing your ideas down is a huge start, but following through is another. Easy-to-do tips on how to successfully goal-set here and here.

3. Grow - If you're not growing you're dying. Are you dragging your feet, wishing for more but don't know how to make it happen? The most successful people I know are constantly growing, learning and moving forward. Take a class, read a book, attend a conference - anything to keep you growing, expanding, learning and inspired.

So would you rather live a life full of impressive titles, promotions, long hours and salaries. Or live a life doing what you love, that professionally fulfills you, that's intrinsically rewarding so you feel like you're contributing to a higher purpose?

4 WAYS TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

4-ways-to-accomplish-your-new-years-resolution Writing a resolution is like a contract to myself that I will live my dream and accomplish everything I set my heart to. So when the end of the year approaches I get all giddy about writing my next year of goals.

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a resolution is actually identifying your goals and writing them out. But to me the hardest part is following through with them.

So to prep for the New Year here are 4 tips on how to write a killer resolution for 2014 so you can reach your goals, grow, make more money, find balance and live your dream.

1. WRITE IT DOWN

Probably the most important step of all is to write your goals down. If you don't write it down, it'll never get done. It will swim around in your head with all of the other ideas you have until you inevitably forget about it. For the past 5 or so years, I have a dedicated journal where I write out my resolutions, That way every year I can look back and see what I've accomplished. Get some more tips and download a goal-setting worksheet here. 

2. SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS

Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals.

Specific: Be as detailed and precise as possible. If you're looking to grow your expertise, how do you plan to do that? Sign up for a ecourse or read for 30" a day? Whatever the goal, be specific.

Measurable: If you can't measure it, you'll never know if you've reached it. For example, when you set a goal to write a book, include the amount of pages you want to write, how long you want to write per day and so on.

Attainable: Our goals come from our daydreams, brainstorms and ideas and sometimes they can be lofty. In order to reach your goals, they must be attainable. For example, if you want to blog 4 times per week, but really only have time for 3 days a week, set a goal that's more realistic for you.  You can always over achieve your goal.

Relevant: Always make sure your goals are aligned with your vision. If you're accepting new wedding clients, but your goals is to work with creative entrepreneurs then you find yourself off course, bitter and burnt out because you're doing work irrelevant to your vision.

Time-bound: I religiously use google calendar, iCal, my iPhone and my notebook to track all of my goals with their specific dates. Over and over again, if I add a goal to my list without a deadline, it never gets done. So when you write a goal down, give it a date of completion and try to stick with it.

3. PLAN IT OUT

Starting with your last goal of 2014, work your way backward. Imagine you have accomplished all of your goals for 2014, ask yourself how did I get here? Begin by writing down your last goal of 2014, then asking what did I do just before this, and what did I do just before that and so on. Continue to work your way backward all the way to the present. Here's an example:

5. Become a best-selling author (last goal for 2014)

4. Tour the US promoting my book

3. Publish my book

2. Write my book

1. Create outline and gather ideas for my book

Once you have those steps in place, you can fill in even more steps in between each one, like:

3. Publish my book

  • submit draft to editor
  • identify my readers
  • research how to publish a book

2. Write my book

4. SHARE IT WITH OTHERS

Being held accountable by others is powerful. Several studies like this one proves that when you share your goals with others, you're more likely to follow through with them. So talk about what you want to do in 2014, share it with you friends and family, on your blog, email, newsletter or social media. Maybe once a month or every other month you want to share your goals and how you've accomplished them. Whatever makes sense to you, share wherever you can. That way when you're feeling doubtful, fearful, unsure or uninspired you have your tribe to hold you accountable.

I have just a few slots left for the 4 week Creative Coaching Package for $275, normal price is $550. Treat yourself to this 4 week plan that helps you get organized and plan out your resolutions, create a strategy for success and hold you accountable so you can make more money and start reaching your goals. Learn more about the package here  and email me for more information and to reserve your spot. Price is good till January 1, 2014.

What do you want to accomplish in 2014? Writing a book (if you couldn't tell) is one of my goals.

( PHOTO )

LIVE YOUR DREAM | CREATIVE COACHING GIVEAWAY

Live-your-dream-creative-coaching-giveaway As my favorite time of year approaches, so do new resolutions, ideas, goals, and ambitions. Starting 2014 with a clean slate, renewed energy and a whole new set of goals inspires and motivates me to get all of those things I've been meaning to do, done.

So today, I am giving away a 4 week Creative Coaching Package that will help you get organized, clarify your vision, make more money and achieve your creative goals.

What is Creative Coaching? We all know or at least have an idea of what life coaching is, right? Well imagine that, but instead of focusing on your life, we focus on your creative work. Another words, Creative Coaching helps you move forward and grow in the direction you desire with your creative work. So if you have a goal to make 120K in 2014, we work together to help get you there. Or maybe your goal is to start a new business or maybe even tour with your band for 6 months - whatever the goal - big and small - we work together to make it happen.

Who is Creative Coaching for? Creative Coaching is for artist, musicians, designers, photographers, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives looking to grow their expertise, build an incredible career, connect with their dream clients, make more money and reach their goals.

What exactly will we be doing for 4 weeks? Beginning in January, we will meet for 1 hour each week, for 4 weeks (via Skype). Each session, I will give you my complete attention, guiding you through exercises and equipping you with tools that allow you to daydream, achieve your goals and clarify where you want to go.

How do I enter the giveaway? In order to enter, follow these 2 steps:

  1. Like my Facebook page (if you already like it, go to my Instagram and follow me there)
  2. In the comments below, share your business name and 1 goal you have for your creative work in 2014.

The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Monday 12/16/13. Good luck!

(PHOTO, PHOTO, PHOTO)

MY DAILY ROUTINE

my-daily-routine Do you find your days full of emails, meetings and the requests of others leaving you no time for yourself and what matters most?

This was me less than a year ago. I would check and send emails at any hour of the day, I'd work until my husband dragged me out of office (metaphorically, not physically). I would fill my day with work projects and let my personal projects and goals slip yet again. There were even moments that I found myself so busy and stressed out that days would pass before I went outside. I was too stressed to go for a run, hike or do yoga - all I could think was "if I just spend one more hour on this or that, then I can get it done and I not think it about any more - or If I take on one more project than I can make that extra money - or If I just check my email one more time, I could do...". I was a victim of my own terrible self-discipline and I felt drained and a slave to my work.

Something had to give, I couldn't let work rule my life. So, I made a conscious effort to plan each and everyday with my work goals AND personal goals. I wrote down what I wanted to do for myself, then what projects I had to work on, then how long each goal would take, and it's rank in priority. This more simple and precise, the easier and more accomplished my day was. I use a very simple and approachable technique that I talk about HERE and have a free download for HERE.

I started to make time for meditation and reading each morning, I scheduled in time for exercise, I made an effort to get outside at least every other day, I scheduled in my personal projects and I stopped working on the weekends - no exceptions.

I feel pretty lucky to have the ability to make my own schedule, especially now that I have a handle on it. I feel more accomplished, clearer and healthier.

I started to read this book Manage Your Day to Day and have found some great tips and inspiration - like creative triggers. As Mark McGuinness suggests in the book "Stick with the same tools, the same surroundings, and even the same background music, so that they become associative triggers for you to enter your creative zone." That's all I needed to create a Morning Routine mix on Spotify, you can listen to it here.

Here is an example of what my daily routine looks like:

  • 8:00am - wake and make tea
  • 8:15am - mediate
  • 8:30am - read and drink my tea
  • 9:00am - confirm my day
  • 9:15am - go for a run or do yoga
  • 10:15am - shower
  • 10:30am - eat breakfast (which usually is a nutrient rich shake)
  • 11:00am - I start my work day with the most pressing projects (this is a recent change in my schedule that I am testing out, typically I blog before I start my projects)
  • 1:00pm - write & blog
  • 2:15pm - return emails
  • 2:45pm - lunch with the hubby
  • 3:15pm - meetings
  • 4:30pm - social media
  • 5:00pm - personal projects
  • 6:00pm - return and send any last emails
  • 7:00pm - finish work, start cooking dinner
  • 7:30/8pm - dinner
  • 9:00pm - my hubby hangout and typically t watch some TV or movies
  • 11:15pm - I start to wind down and head to bed

I am so inspired by reading other people's daily routines, especially this one here. So what does your daily routine look like? What can you do today to make your routine better? What tip or victories have you discover that make your day-to-day awesome?

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

acknowledging-your-accomplishments I was catching up with a friend the other night and she asked me how business was, more specifically, what I was currently working on. So, I answered.

I started off with the one project that I thought was most exciting and notable. Then I continued with another project that was also very exciting, then I started to share the next project and again, equally a very exciting project. At that very moment, I realized something. I realized that all of the projects I was currently working on were all equally notable, exciting and exactly what I wanted to be doing. I was working with my dream clients (other creatives and entrepreneurs) on projects that fill my mission, heart and soul.

After we said our goodbyes I felt like I was on top of the world - my world. I was doing what I love and loving every moment of it. Later that night when I shared this realization with my husband, I reflected on the conversation my friend and I shared and found and an abundant amount of gratitude, contentment, accomplishment and most importantly I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Yep, I was proud of myself and ok with admitting it.

I enjoyed that moment so much, that I had to share what I learned with you. So, my challenge to you is to write your accomplishments down in your notebook, journal, blog or even here in the comments below…anywhere. Just make sure you write them down and give yourself some credit for all of the amazing victories you've tackled.

Tell me, what accomplishments you've had lately? What projects are you working on that excite you? What goals have you reached?

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Ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to travel the West Coast. I recall several films that captured breathtaking views of the land feeding my desire to go see it for myself. It wasn't until this summer that I finally saw it in person. My husband and I took 2 weeks to explore and drive up the entire West Coast to fulfill this dream of mine. We started in San Diego and drove all the way to Seattle, WA. One of those days we camped just off the beach near Big Sur, California where this picture was taken. Moments after I snapped this image, we saw a whale pass by.