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How to Be the Puppet Master of Your Own Life

How to Be the Puppet Master of Your Own LifeBy Janice Walker Pinnington

Having to manage your time and tasks can either be your closest friend or fiercest enemy, depending on your organizational abilities, discipline, and execution.

As a busy working stay-at-home mom, business owner, wife, friend, neighbor, sister, daughter, (and numerous other roles), there were many times in my life where I ran on pure, raw energy, jumping from task to task with no real (or clear) control over my day.

Much like a puppet on a string, I allowed my life to be controlled by an invisible force called responsibility. Let’s just say that Mr. Responsibility and I were NOT friends, and we clashed on many occasion resulting in stressful, joyless, and exhaustive days.

Fast-forward to 2015 and the snapshot of my life paints a much more balanced, happy, and controlled existence.

So what am I doing so differently today that allowed me to become a puppet master, pulling my own strings?

Below are some of the things I have implemented over the years, through trial and error, that allowed me to slow down, take a breath, and organize my day in a way to accomplish the things that needed doing. I hope you will find some inspiration in some of these ideas. (more…)

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Letting GO: Out with the Old and In With the New

Letting GO: Out with the Old and In With the NewBy Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC

As we wind down these final weeks of the year, it’s time to take stock and reflect on how this year went – what got done, what is left, and what is next over the course of the New Year. As part of this assessment, it’s important to really look at areas, activities, people, etc. that no longer serve you and let them go. You can’t welcome in the new if you’re hanging onto the old.

But how do you it’s time to move on, put it aside to come back to it later, or to keep forging on? Well, I think it starts with looking at your ‘To Do’ list and see what’s on there: if something has been there for weeks or months (years?) with no action or completion, then it might be time to let it go. If a task or goal gets worked on now and then, it might be time to let it go. And even if something has been working well, it still might be time to let it go in order to freshen it up or make room for the new.

Here are some steps to help you decide:

1. Take Inventory.

As I said earlier, one way is to take inventory of all the goals or desires you have had on your list; how many have been there for six months or more? How compelling are these to achieve in your lifetime? If you identify any that don’t excite you or won’t fit into your timeline, then delete it. Those that remain get scheduled for completion; this is ‘do or die’ time. (more…)

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5 Tips to Managing Holiday Stress as a Home Business Owner

Managing Holiday Stress as a Home Business OwnerBy Dawn Berryman

The holiday season officially kicks off soon, even though in many ways it feels as though it’s already here! Do you get stressed during the holiday season? Is it a bit overwhelming for you?

With family, children, gifts, cookies, parties, holiday orders and much more, it’s easy to understand why you might be feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment! It’s normal and I assure you, you are not alone!

Take a deep breath.

Here are five easy, straight-forward ways to help eliminate some of that stress you might be feeling as the holiday season approaches.

1. Don’t take on more than you can handle!

As mothers, we often have difficulty telling people no. It’s okay to do that, and sometimes you need to in order to maintain your sanity. Try not to feel guilty. Each of us has our limits and we need to know and respect them. The world will not end if you don’t send an extra treat to your child’s holiday party or if you don’t host the neighborhood holiday open house. If you feel the need to add something to your list this year, make sure your take something else off! (more…)

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5 Tips for Achieving Balance and Remaining Productive During the Holidays

5 Tips for Achieving Balance and Remaining Productive During the HolidaysBy Christy Schutz

Do you realize there are only 50 days until Christmas or, even more daunting, only 42 days until Hanukkah? Also, incidentally, there are only 23 days until Thanksgiving.

Let all of that sink in for a moment. And now I will give you a minute to curse me for bringing these facts to your attention.

Once Halloween is over, I usually blink and the next thing I know, I am knee deep in all the frenzy and chaos that comes with the holidays. I am stressed, miserable, and what’s more, I am less productive than ever. Well, in an attempt to take a pre-emptive strike against this negative state of affairs this year, I’ve decided to focus today’s post on 5 tips to stay balanced AND productive during the holiday season.

1.) Get it all out of your head.

If you are like me, you have a million things swimming around in your head. And I tend to remember things I have to do at the most inopportune times. I’ll be racing through this proverbial, never-ending “to do list” while chauffeuring my daughter to her latest activity, or while shampooing my hair in the shower. And as my stream of consciousness leads me to remember a task I just have to get done, I will feel this surge of anxiety and panic. Just as quickly, my mind will move on to the next thing I’ve got to take care of, and I’ll forget what I was just worrying about … and the pattern repeats itself. (more…)

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Being Brave Enough to Admit Your Own Deficits

Being Brave Enough to Admit Your Own DeficitsBy Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC 

“I’m terrible at interviewing for staff and I’m very disorganized. I suck.” Those were words I never fully expected to hear from a business owner I was working with; she had come to me for help to streamline her business which was taking off. However, this owner was not fully ready to take on the extra work. As we were exploring what was standing in her way, she blurted out those words.

While this business owner was feeling frustrated and in a state of chaos, I thought the admission of those words was a brilliant breakthrough to ending this state. I mean, how many business leaders would admit their deficits and without placing blame elsewhere? From my experience, not many. But I think that it is exactly what’s needed in order to move forward. When we try to do too many tasks in our business without asking for help – no, admitting we need help that is when we are open to making positive changes.

As a society, we are so focused on success that we overlook (hide) the fact that we all have deficits in some way; by hiding we reinforce them as being ‘painful’ or ‘shameful.’ This is what leads to poor self-esteem and “stuckness.” What a wonderful thought if we would be more open to our own failures – not the perceived ones – and admit them; I have one of my graduate students who gave an example that her organization encourages this type of openness, which starts with their CEO admitting an epic failure in his career. He relayed that this failure actually advanced his career which led to his current position. How refreshing!

Hiding our deficits only leads to brain chemicals getting released consistently, resulting in negative thoughts and mood. The bad news is that things could get worse and you could live in total negativity and going nowhere, like my client. (more…)

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