Time to celebrate with your personal “Ta Da” list

It’s time to begin celebrating your triumphs. This is the fifth year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  Today is the 186 day of 2016, which is just past the halfway point.  It is the perfect time to celebrate you and your life by creating your very own “Ta Da” list.  The Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da” list is much more fun than a “To Do” list, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility? (Feel free to include anything you have ever accomplished – this is the time to toot your horn.)

What new trails have you blazed?

What have you found the strength to face?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

What teeny, tiny or wondrously huge steps have you taken in the direction of your dreams?

I think that since folks will be celebrating today with parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Start now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Complete your “Ta Da” list to light-up your life by counting your successes.

Most of us spend way more time thinking about what we haven’t done, than what we have done. It’s time to change all that and make 2016 your year of the have’s not the have not’s

Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

fireworks-180553__180Don’t be shy – this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2016 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead. Let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride just for you.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable Ta Da List .  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too. 

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2016!

wishyright

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To gain “The Happiness Advantage” in 2016, click here.

To “Like” Wishful Thinking on Facebook, click here.

Time to celebrate with your personal “Ta Da” list

It’s time to begin celebrating your triumphs. This is the fourth year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  Today is the 183rd day of 2015, which is the halfway point.  It is the perfect time to celebrate you and your life by creating your very own “Ta Da” list.  The Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da List is much more fun than a “To Do” List, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility? (Feel free to include anything you have ever accomplished – this is the time to toot your horn.)

What new trails have you blazed?

What have you found the strength to face?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

What teeny, tiny or wondrously huge steps have you taken in the direction of your dreams?

I think that since folks will soon be celebrating with parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Start now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Complete your “Ta Da” list to light-up your life by counting your successes.

Most of us spend way more time thinking about what we haven’t done, than what we have done. It’s time to change all that and make 2015 your year of the have’s not the have not’s

Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

fireworks-180553__180Don’t be shy – this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2015 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead. Let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride just for you.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable Ta Da List .  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too. 

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2015!

wishyright

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To gain “The Happiness Advantage” in 2015, click here.

To “Like” Wishful Thinking on Facebook, click here.

Celebrate Independence Day with your personal “Ta Da” list!

This is the third year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  Normally, I post on July 1, but I missed doing so this year. You see, July 1 was the 182nd day of 2014, which is the halfway point! 

Why am I bringing this up now? So you can begin celebrating your 2014 triumphs to date, of course!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility?

What new trails have you blazed?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

What teeny, tiny or wondrously huge steps have you taken in the direction of your dreams?

I think that since folks are celebrating with parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Don’t be shy, this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. If you aren’t ready to shout to the world what you’ve accomplished, no problem, let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride for you this year.

Start planning now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Light-up your life by counting your successes. Most of us spend way more time thinking about what we haven’t done, than what we have done. It’s time to change all that and make 2014 your year of the have’s not the have not’s! Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2014 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable “Ta Da” List. A “Ta Da” List is much more fun than a “To Do” List, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too.

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2014!

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To gain “the Happiness Advantage” in 2014, click here.

To “Like” Wishful Thinking on Facebook, click here.

 

Celebrate with your personal “Ta Da” list!

This is the second year I’ve posted about this timely topic; I love creating blog traditions!  July 1 is the 182nd day of 2013. There are 183 days left, which means today at 12:00 noon, we are at the halfway point for 2013! 

Why am I bringing this up now? So you can begin celebrating your 2013 triumphs to date, of course!

What have you accomplished this year that just six months ago seemed impossible or a distant possibility?

What new trails have you blazed?

What promises have you kept?

What chances did you take?

What teeny, tiny or wondrously huge steps have you taken in the direction of your dreams?

I think that since folks are already planning parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July, it’s a fantastic time to combine our patriotic triumphs with our personal ones – and celebrate them all!

Don’t be shy, this is the season for aiming high and lighting up the sky. If you aren’t ready to shout to the world what you’ve accomplished, no problem, let those bright lights and loud booms ignite a sense of personal pride for you this year.

Start planning now to make this Fourth of July your personal Independence Day. Light-up your life by counting your successes. Most of us spend way more time thinking about what we haven’t done, than what we have done. It’s time to change all that and make 2013 your year of the have’s not the have not’s! Celebrating success builds confidence, which moves us forward faster and makes us happier along the way!

List everything you have accomplished, big and small, and then, when you are watching “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” congratulate yourself on your 2013 accomplishments thus far, and all the exciting ones that lay ahead.

To get started, click here for your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable “Ta Da” List. A “Ta Da” List is much more fun than a “To Do” List, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!  Don’t forget to share with family and friends so they can begin celebrating, too.

Have fun, and here’s to a perfectly positive Independence Day in 2013!

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To gain “the Happiness Advantage” in 2013, click here.

“Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again,”

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today will be the shortest day of the year, which is known as the Winter Solstice. The sun will be directly overhead at “high noon,” but we will have the fewest hours of sunlight. Sound depressing? It doesn’t have to be!

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Set your phone today to 12:00 as a reminder to reflect at ‘high noon”.

The winter solstice is a great time to give yourself a mini-mental break by pausing for a moment to look up at the sky and send a heartfelt message to someone, who is near and dear to you.

A sincere and simple “I love you” or “Thank you for all you have done for me.” is guaranteed to send positive emotion producing hormones and neurochemicals racing through your brain. A few deeper thoughts and moments of joyful contemplation will spread their positive affects throughout your entire body.

If you extend your heartfelt thoughts to just 3 minutes of pleasant reverie and gratitude, the results can lift your mood for 6-8 hours.

If you later share your thoughts with the person your are thinking of, the good feelings they create for both of you, may last for days and even weeks.

And, if you are lucky enough to be out and about in nature, while sending your sweet thoughts, you may receive even greater physical and psychological rewards.

Pausing just long enough to truly absorb the sights, the scents and the scene around you can deepen and extend the beneficial and life enhancing responses to the sensations you are experiencing. You can become your own “breath of fresh air”.

heart-snow-1159461__180 Give yourself a very special winter solstice gift this holiday season – celebrating the moment, the goodness and the love in your life can make a world of difference in your mood and spirits in the busy days ahead.

Happy Solstice! Enjoy!

 

Gain “The Happiness Advantage” in just 21 days!

Positive Psychology studies show happy, positive people are healthier and enjoy more creativity, success and have better relationships. Are you interested in adding more happiness to your life? Would you like to gain a “Happiness Advantage”? If so, keep reading to learn about Shawn Achor’s 5 Steps for creating your Happiness Advantage and to get a free copy of my Wishful Thinking Works tracking sheet to make the process just that much easier!

Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor “graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. For seven years, Shawn also served as an Officer of Harvard, living in Harvard Yard and counseling students through the stresses of their first year. Though he now travels extensively for his work, Shawn continues to conduct original psychology research on happiness and organizational achievement in collaboration with Yale University and the Institute for Applied Positive Research. . . . By researching top performers at Harvard, the world’s largest banks, and Fortune 500 companies, Shawn discovered patterns, which create a happiness advantage for positive outliers—the highest performers at the company. Based on his book, The Happiness Advantage (2010 Random House), Shawn explains what positive psychology is, how much we can change, and practical applications for reaping the Happiness Advantage in the midst of change and challenge.”

Shawn understands “The Happiness Advantage” and has created “The 21 Day Challenge” to help each of us get started on a positive future. The 5 steps of the Challenge are free and easy to do. (Please note: Shawn’s notes are in bold and are from a Huffington Post article he wrote in 2011. My notes are in italics.)

1)    Bring gratitude to mind

Write down three new things you are grateful for each day . . . Research shows this will significantly improve your optimism even six months later, and raises your success rates significantly.

You’ve probably heard it from Oprah and by now from dozens of other sources, but do you do it? If not don’t worry, you can start today. For more info on gratitudes and savoring them, click here, here, and here.

Here is a bit more from a Shawn Achor interview about why it works . . . “What they’re training their brain to do is to scan the world, not for the stresses, hassles, and complaints first, but actually training their brain, like an athlete, to look for the things that they are grateful for.  Now, you might assume that that advantage might only help them for about 45 seconds after writing down these three things that they are grateful for, or saying them out loud.  But what we found that after a period of 21 days, the pattern gets retained in the brain, it’s what I call the Tetris Effect where if an individual plays Tetris for five hours in a row, their brain retains this pattern where even when they’re not playing Tetris, it’s still parsing the world into how do I make straight lines, which is exactly what you do in that video game.”  

2)    Focus on the Positive

Write for two minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours.  This is a untitledstrategy to help transform you from a task-based thinker, to a meaning based thinker who scans the world for meaning instead of endless to-dos.  This dramatically increases work happiness.
This step really helps you key in on why something matters to you and can help you truly understand what makes you happy. Take time throughout the 21 days to review what you wrote about and see if there are any patterns emerging. 

3)   Exercise

Exercise for 15 minutes a day. This trains your brain to believe your behavior matters, which causes a cascade of success throughout the rest of the day.

In a TED Talk Achor mentioned 15 minutes of cardio a day, which is I shoot for since it gives the most bang for its buck – BUT getting into the habit is the most important part, so if you need to start with 10 minutes, do it! Walking, stretching, working with weights, go for it!  No matter what you start with, get started and keep at it until the 15 minutes of cardio is a regular habit.  Exercise increases your mood by increasing the amount of endorphins and decreases cortisol levels – the stress hormone. So any exercise is a good thing, but remember 15 minutes a day, of cardio will have multiple pay-offs.

4)  Meditate

Meditate for two minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out.  This will help you undo the negative effects of multitasking. Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time.  It also decreases stress and raises happiness.

Two minutes makes a difference! If you are meditating longer, keep it up. If you aren’t meditating at all or never have, get started by thinking about one of your positives/gratitudes and why it mattered to you and then simply close your eyes, breathe in through your nose, out through your nose, in long, slow, deep, belly filling breathes . . . and release . . . and inhale . . . and exhale . . .

I call this Step “Take 2”; it’s amazing how refreshed you will feel, and it can quickly become a healthy habit. Use it as many times as you like throughout the day. I love to “Take 2” before I start a new task, and find it particularly refreshing before meetings, presentations, and working with clients. It helps me focus and really enjoy the moment and to redirect my energy exactly where I need it!

5)  Send A Positive Email

Write one, quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising a member on your team.  This significantly increases your feeling of social support, which in my study at Harvard was the largest predictor of happiness for the students.

If you aren’t working, or run out of folks to email, no problem, share the love by including friends, family members or people from your past you think of, but have fallen out of touch with. The key is to reach out to those you care about in a detailed, positive way. And, if you are working, remember your “team” can include colleagues in your department or beyond, vendors, customers, etc.

Here’s the really great news about Achor’s 21 Day Challenge you can add all 5 Steps to your life for 21 days, or you can start by simply adding 1 Step to your life for 21 days, and then try another each new 21 day period! The choice is yours. And remember, any step in the direction of happiness will give you an advantage!

To make the process even easier I’ve created “Your 21 Day Happiness Advantage” tracking sheet. To receive your free copy, simply fill out the form below and I’ll email a copy to you. (Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends so they can gain the Advantage, too.)

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

To “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook, click here.

 

 

Capturing the holiday moments that matter

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!

heart-picture-1075034__340No surprise there, but they do seem to appear earlier and earlier each year. A couple of years ago I was faced with new challenges centered on blending our ever-growing and combined family’s holiday expectations and traditions. My husband and I were excited to be spending our first holiday together as a newly married couple when we quickly realized that having five sons and their wonderful families in two far-flung states, could make the holidays more complicated than ever.

My first thought was panic, my second and more sensible thought, was rather than worrying about how we were going to share the holidays with our respective kids and grand kids – we have 12, going on 14 – I would first figure out what truly mattered to me during the holidays, and then trust the rest would fall into place.

I had recently read a positive psychology article on the correlation between what folks value individually and what nations value and how we track both, when a thought resurfaced for me – what we measure grows.

You see, that which we deem important enough to measure, i.e. pay attention to, tends to grow. Ta da!

If I fill my holiday with strife and worry and thoughts of who gathers when and where, I was doomed before I began. BUT if I focused on what really mattered to me, perhaps I could increase the likelihood that those things would increase, or at least that I might be more likely to notice and enjoy those moments when they did appear. 

It worked!  Knowing what mattered and focusing on that made our first and subsequent holiday seasons richer, more memorable and way more fun!

Measure what matters

Christmas Holiday (2)

What do you want to celebrate throughout the holiday season? What are your personal beliefs and values related to the season? In simplest terms, what is most important to you? Family? Love? Togetherness? New Experiences? Tradition? Food? Fun? Religion?

I decided I want to pay more attention to love. I focused on and savored all the acts of love I saw – moments of tenderness and caring, gestures of kindness and sacrifices of any size made in honor and support of the holiday. I was so busy looking for love – that I ignored, or at least didn’t stew as long or as deeply about the less than stellar moments that occurred along the way.

 

How to make your season brighter

  1. Ask yourself what really matters to you. What do you want to hold in your heart this holiday season?
  2. Then capture every moment that matches what matters to you. Note and savor the moments as they occur.
  3. To reinforce your resolve and truly impact your holiday spirit, give yourself a helping hand by using at least one of the suggestions listed below:
    • Jot down your memorable moments in a journal. (You can start a special holiday journal, pack it way with the holiday decorations and have the fun of re-reading and adding to it each year.)
    • Write your moments on bits of paper and store them in a jar to read during or after the holiday. (The jar can be saved from year to year and enjoyed year- long or before next year’s holiday season.)
    • Write your moments on holiday-colored paper and create a paper chain throughout the holiday with all the moments you have enjoyed and want to remember.
    • Encourage your kids, spouses and even your guests to add their special holiday moments to your jar or chain and watch them grow along with everyone’s holiday spirit.
    • Take a few minutes each night before you go to bed or when you wake-up to review these special moments.
    • Or, simply put a penny in a jar or bowl to capture each moment and watch your “riches” grow.

Truth is, we are in control of the holidays ahead. I know it seems like things move way too fast, and that the gift lists, demands and commitments grow longer and greater each year, but in my case so has the love. And, the more I remind myself of that, the brighter my season shines.

Here’s to enjoying the holidays ahead!

Please note: This post has been updated from the original Wishful Thinking Works published in 2015.

 

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Change your life!

 

Free Meditation Series Starts Tomorrow

human-730213_960_720If you have never tried meditating, or if you meditate and would like to add to your practice, join us for Making Every Moment Matter Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s upcoming, free 21-day meditation series.

I have used Oprah and Deepak’s meditations in the past, and they are guided goodness and a refreshing way to calm your mind, comfort your soul and relax back into or find the real you!

The meditations are usually 15 minutes in length – a small amount of time that can yield big results. Here are some free samples to get you started.

  • There are thousands of studies showing the benefits of meditation.
  • You do not have to meditate for long periods to begin receiving the benefits.
  • Benefits include: reduced anxiety, easing pain, and improving sleep

To enrich your life and create new levels of awareness, insight and joy sign-up for their free meditation series, which begins tomorrow.

You can participate for free from anywhere!

Then join the free Wishful Thinking Works Meditation Facebook Group, which is designed to help you develop the meditation habit by:

  • providing accountability – studies how this is key when developing any new habit,
  • to celebrate your successes – also so important when trying something new,
  • and to give you a place to share your thoughts and questions with others going through the same process.

It’s a virtual support group for your new journey!

meditation-567593_960_720The Wishful Thinking Works Meditation Facebook Group is open to everyone, it is listed as “closed” on FB, but that just means no one but members can see your posts. You have nothing to lose and so much gain.

Join us to find more peace in your heart and happiness in your life. You deserve this and more, and it is all free!

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

FREE Group Meditation on the Beach

Earlier this month, I participated in the insightful and inspiring Mindfulness in America summit in New York City hosted by Anderson Cooper.

The benefits of meditation on our brains and our stress levels are well-documented in the scientific community. One of the seminar participants noted that even 8 minutes a day has immediate results, and over time will leave a positive, lasting impact on our brains.

One of the topics they discussed was the value of group meditation.  An organization called “The Big Quiet” is flourishing in New York City and their success motivated me to start a monthly Fort Myers Beach meditation for Wishful Thinking Works.  If you are in the area join us, if not check out this virtual meditation event!

We are gathering Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 9:30 am by Pincher’s Restaurant on Fort Myers Beach, FL.

How to participate:

• Bring a towel or blanket and an open heart and mind. If you prefer a chair and coffee, no problem, but still bring that open heart and mind! Everyone is welcome, so bring a friend or two.

• Head to Pincher’s Restaurant on Fort Myers Beach. There should be plenty of parking on a Sunday morning at this time of year.

• Then walk across the beautiful, soft sand to the water’s edge. I will be waiting for you.

• After a welcome and introductions, we will sit quietly together looking out at the sea for 20 minutes.  We will do 10 minutes of a guided meditation and 10 minutes on Individual.

• Afterwards, folks can share about the experience and talk a bit.

• If you like we can head to the restaurant for coffee or breakfast, or simply sit longer on the beach, or head home

Until then . . . here are some meditation links from “The Big Quiet” to get you started. This 5-minute mini-meditation is a gentle way to begin. 

Also, check out the Wishful Thinking Women FREE 21-day Virtual Meditation Meetup activity that begins October 30.

Join us to find a bit more peace in your heart and relaxation and happiness in your life.

 

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Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

Change your life!

 

62 days until Christmas, and I have a plan

IMG_4405Call me crazy, but I am one of those people who don’t mind that Christmas decorations and gift ads are popping up in stores and online. In fact, I love it.

I believe that happy is happy, and if seeing winter decorations and thinking about gift ideas makes people happy, go for it.

Connecting people to positive feelings isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it is exactly what our brains need. Knowing that peppermint lattes will soon be available everywhere warms my heart, and I don’t even drink them. They are just another part of the cozy feeling I get as the thermometer drops and the days get shorter. But, the true benefit of these sweet thoughts is the powerful punch of positive chemicals they release in my brain.

I don’t believe the problem is that we are bombarded with holiday “trappings” earlier and earlier, to my way of thinking, if there is a problem at all, it is that we don’t realize that we can only feel “trapped,” if we let ourselves.

Early exposure to the holidays does not have to reduce the fun and holidays themselves don’t have to equal stress, nor do bad holiday memories have to predict similar ones in the future. Except in extreme situations, we get to decide how our holidays unfold.  I know this to be true first-hand. Letting go of past hurts and trying times can be difficult, but creating and then letting new experiences gain top-billing in your mind is worth the effort, and so much more rewarding.

On the flip side, for those who love the holidays, you can let yourselves feel the same joy that special treats and trimmings bring at any time of the year. The misty-eyed, fuzzy feelings the holidays evoke can be found in any moment we choose, all we have to do is zero in on the beauty or joy around us and there we are smack dab in the middle of wonderful – even without the Hallmark version of a snow-filled screen, china and crystal table settings or a not so surprising reconnection with the love of our lives!

You have 62 new and potentially wonderful days ahead to embrace or ignore the holiday season. The choice is yours; do what makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. If you think it is too early for tinsel and lights, don’t let seeing them rile you. They are not worth the negative energy.
  • Yes, retailers want to get you in the mood to buy, but instead of focusing on their motives, and feeling trapped, think about the jobs that holiday sales sustain and create, and always remember no one but you makes the final purchasing decision. Not buying big or for as many people may be a change for you and your usual recipients, so let family and friends know ahead of time that you are cutting back, and then stick to your plan.

2. If you are all in, go for it. Enjoy and savor every special moment and feeling the holidays bring large and small.

3. To prevent any post-holiday blues, remember that those same rich and wonderful feelings can be felt throughout the year. Start now to connect to the joys of everyday life, focus on gratitude and learn to savor past and present moments that bring you good feelings to get in the habit of happiness.

Here’s to your best holiday season ever, however you choose to celebrate it.

Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

 “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

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