If you were to fill this card with words and mail it to your future self, what would you write?
I love greeting cards, especially unique ones. They draw me in and take all my money. I could spend hours in a shop like Papyrus. Yesterday morning I was out shopping and came across this card...
It was Monday morning and it was the exact message I needed to help me reframe the week. I admit I was dragging my feet a little bit, feeling a little overwhelmed by what was ahead of me, when I saw this card. Instant reframe. So much so that it now is living on my bulletin board over my desk to remind me each and every morning about my Happy New Beginning.
If you were to fill this card with words and mail it to your future self, what would you write?
Resolution Shmez-olutions. Any chance you are feeling that way? January 1st came and you had all the right intentions. You set your goal. You made your resolutions. You created a plan. You made the space in your calendar for it to happen for the first couple of weeks. You were so commitment / excited / ready-to-go / (insert emotion here).
Then it happened...
We have officially hit that point in January where the beginning seems SO long ago, and then "Hey! This is routine!" seems so far away...
So how do we keep ourselves on track with our 2015 resolutions / goals / plans ?
This is when you need help from those around you, and you need it now! Don't wait, SMS / Phone / email that person now!
Who can you count on to hold you accountable? Think of a person who will be there to keep you on track until this is officially a habit (and not so much hard work anymore!)
A couple qualities you might consider in this person
Once you have selected that person. Arm them with the ability to help you. Tell them the answer to these key questions:
1. What is your resolution or goal?
2. Why is it important to you?
3. What support do you need from them to achieve it?
4. How do you want them to help you get back on track when you begin to deviate?
Can't wait to see all your hard work pay off in 2015 and new habits form!
Yesterday was World Gratitude Day, and I was travelling home from a week working in the rural North West region of Bosnia-Herzegovina during some major flooding. As I sat in transit home from the airport I felt surrounded by gratitude. I was grateful for everything I saw around me, everything I heard, everyone I saw, and for the week I just had.
Sometimes life can get in the way, we can allow ourselves to get caught up in the negative, but there truly is, "...always something to be thankful for."
What are you grateful for? How can you channel that when you feel yourself getting pulled in a more negative direction?
Last week my husband and I both had to travel for business during the same three days. Due to some hiccups in plan A, B, and C, we ended up with plan D, my daughter accompanying me on my trip. All four plans took a lot of creativity, and admittedly we were "high fiving" ourselves for sorting through it.
As travel day arrived and we pulled onto the highway, about 10 minutes from our home, she was sick to her stomach. For her, sometimes being rushed in the morning does that, so a quick pull over, some water, a change of clothing and some cuddles later, we continued on our way. As I pulled from the service centre back on to the highway, it happened again. This wasn't morning rush, this was a bug. All planning and juggling was slowly crumbling around me... I felt tears welling up in my eyes, pulled over, tidied her up, and headed for home, which turned into a few more stops along the way.
Now what? What I wanted to do was cry, stomp my feet, and be disappointed, so I gave myself thirty minutes to do it in. When my alarm beeped, thirty minutes was up, and I needed to reframe the situation I was in. My reframe, "Hey, I came up with this super, awesome creative solution in the first place, looks like I have another challenge waiting...GO!"
So I sorted it out through email, conference call, Skype, FaceTime, and file sharing. I was able to get everything done that needed to be done, while taking care of my first priority, my daughter.
So, as it says, "If Plan A didn't work. The alphabet has 25 more letters! Stay cool." Rise to the challenge, reframe the situation, get creative, because you can always make it work.
Oh yes, and don't forget on those days when you are into plan B, C...S...Z, carve some time out that evening for you - a bath, a book, a seat in front of the fire, whatever it is give back to yourself and recharge.
I get into cooking ruts. Anyone else? I find when I am excited about what I am cooking it feels like me time, but when I am cooking the same old it feels like a chore.
My favourite kind of mail is snail mail. I love letters. The paper they are written on. The handwriting. The excitement you feel when you see what has arrived.
The very best kind of letters are the ones we write to ourselves; in moments of strength, bravery, excitement, positivity, to be read during in the moments we need help to find that strength, bravery, excitement, and positivity.
One of my favourite The Mamma Return's activities is letter writing. Mammas are asked to write themselves a letter for: their first day back, their best day back, and their worst day back.
Imagine arriving back at work and seeing that letter sitting on your desk? You open it and the words you need to hear flow out and surround you. How would that make you feel?
Not a letter writer? Try post-it notes. Put one in your lunch, under your keyboard, in your locked drawer to find. Short, sweet words to lift you up and keep you going. Perhaps as simple as 'You are Awesome.'
Prefer an image? Hide some pictures or a beautiful scene or person to find.
Recently I left myself a post-it message in a book I tend to pick up when I want to reign in a 'no good, very bad day.' Finding that note was all I needed to jump up out of my chair with a new perspective.
You know best what you need to hear in those moments. Get writing!
Image Source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Last night I participated in Good Night Sleep Site Halton's Sunday Night Sleep Clinic (Check it out on Facebook - every Sunday from 8-9pm EDT). A thread was open and available for your transition questions for an hour, and I received a great question around reducing the guilt and anxiety around that first daycare drop off.
Here are a few of my tips...
(1) Prepare to show up as your most confident self. How do you feel your most confident? For me blowdrying my hair can make a world of difference! Also, for me, taking time to eat breakfast helps. When you have to tackle a transition, being your most confident self will take you far!
(2) Build in some special time before and after daycare with your little one. You can carry those special moments throughout the day with you, and look forward to the end of the day together.
(3) Give yourself permission to feel. Try writing yourself a permission slip, like the many you will write for your children in the coming years. What permission do you need to give yourself to make it through drop off? What about the work day? Write it down on a scrap of paper, post-it note, or back of a receipt and put it in your pocket. When those emotions surface during the day, pull it out and remind yourself. An example? " I give myself permission to cry today." or "I give myself permission to drop off at daycare today and walk away."
(4) Plan a celebration for the end of the first day of daycare, or the end of your first work week with daycare. Research shows us the anticipation of an event is even more powerful vs. actually living it. Plan that time you have next weekend now, so you can begin thinking about those great times you will have with your family.
What are your tips for managing that first daycare drop off?
When I visualize key moments in my life I often find a soundtrack begins to play. Music for me can be white noise, it can be healing, it can provide answers, and it can be an escape.
Today as I was climbing a rather steep hill on my morning run, ready to give up, Colbie Caillat told me through her lyrics to keep going, and so I did. Often during my runs music is white noise for me, but in that moment, the perfect moment, I tuned in and heard what I needed to. Music was able to push me forward.
I remember a drive from Toronto to Sault Saint Marie to visit a friend. For the entire 8-hour drive I played, on repeat, a CD I had made and I sang along at the top of my lungs. It was a true healing journey.
How does music motivate you? How does it help you heal?
I think of my drives to the office, sometimes I loved the music on the radio, other times I was so frustrated with the stations - flipping through all my presets trying to find what I needed in that moment. Our commute time is important time. It sets us up for how we will feel upon arrival at the office, and upon arrival home.
What if you put together a playlist for your commute to work and a playlist for your drive home. What type of music would get you ready for the workday? What type of music would get you ready to arrive home as your best self? How can music help to bridge those daily transitions?
In the words of Hans Christian Andersen, "Where words fail, music speaks."
Happy Labour Day!
Tomorrow marks the start of another school year. I fondly remember my back to school days. A couple weeks in advance my parents would begin to add more structure, routine and earlier bedtimes. They would take me back to school shopping to get a fresh supply of pens, pencils, binders, and paper, and don't forget a new outfit or two. We would get haircuts, new shoes, and spend extra time together the weekend before as a family.
Back to School time in my house was refresh time. It left me feeling confident upon my return.
As I entered the working world, there was no annual refresh time anymore and so it got neglected. I got a haircut here and there, bought a new top time and again, but I don't remember every having that full refresh feeling I did as a child. I recognize that it gave me the opportunity to start school feeling great about myself, having reassessed my style, having the dead ends of my hair cut off, and feeling rested and ready to go.
For those returning, what if we treated the return as that first day back at school? A structured routine in advance, get the sleep you need, trim off those dead ends, get an outfit for that first day back, and do something extra special on the days leading up with your family...
For those who aren't returning, or have already returned, how can this 'back to school ritual' be inserted once, twice, or three times a year into your family routine?
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The Mamma Returns
The Mamma Returns is a boutique coaching firm for Mammas. We offer executive, life and transition coaching services. In addition, we offer programs for Mammas returning to the workforce post-parental leave, and self-guided programs to explore priorities, boundaries, goal setting to name a few.
Megan is an optimistic, enthusiastic Mamma who strives for a balanced, intentional life. Megan believes in planning for the best case and preparing for the worst.
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