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.

 

 

Monday morning musings

A very special Monday morning

This is the first Monday of the spring of 2018! Isn’t that marvelous?

New beginnings are in the air. As nature begins to refresh itself , pushing through the layers that once protected it but are no longer needed, it is the perfect time to think about how we would like to blossom in the year ahead.

What do crocus-3226433_960_720you want to grow in your life? Peace, prosperity, health, love, new adventures?

What dreams are waiting for you?

Share your thoughts and motivate others to push through the life layers that bind them.

I am looking forward to developing new projects for Wishful Thinking Works that combine my retreats with travel. To expanding my speaking engagements and the services I offer, and to developing new resources and finding new and exciting ways to share them with all of you.

But most of all, I am looking forward to becoming more aware of my feelings and gaining more insight into myself. Each year I grow happier, stronger, more fulfilled and I am always joyfully learning new ways to embrace all of me – the good, the bad and the beautiful!

I wish the same and more for all of you this spring!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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The perfect Valentine’s Day gift

Would you like to make someone you care about happy this Valentine’s Day?

Would you like to become happier in the process?

If so, write a gratitude letter to someone special in your life.

Your letter can leave you and the recipient feeling happier for months. 

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Gratitude Letters

A few years ago I wrote and shared my first gratitude letter; I wrote my first to my Dad. I was a bit shy about doing it, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience for both of us, and since my Dad passed away a few years after I wrote his letter, the experience holds a special place in my heart.

I’ve been writing thank you notes for decades. I sent cards not just for gifts, but for experiences, past and present. I’ve written dozens of notes and cards to my aunts and to friends of my parents for their special acts of kindness to me as a child. One of my younger brother’s godmothers always had extra treats for us when she brought him a gift. Another of my aunts hosted weekly gatherings at her and my uncle’s farm each Sunday in the summer allowing my eight siblings and me to swim, dive, jump, ride, row, fish, and enjoy all sorts of other summer fun because they were willing to put-up with an ongoing stream of guests – our family and many others. Those Sundays were magic to me as a kid, and I wanted them to know.

Those letters and the memories they evoked are wonderful, but a gratitude letter is an even richer, more touching way to say thank you. Here’s why:

  • It’s longer – approximately 300 words.
  • It’s read in-person to its intended recipient, making it more of a gratitude visit with the letter as a hostess gift of sorts. The true magic of the visit comes from sharing your letter out loud and face-to-face with its recipient. (If you can’t meet in person, Skype or a phone call will work, but if at all possible go the in-person route.)
  • Dr. Martin P. Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology and one of the first and strongest proponents of gratitude visits notes the ritual is powerful, ”Everyone cries when you do a gratitude visit,” he says. ”It’s very moving for both people.”

Tips for making it work:

  • Write to someone, who holds a special place in your heart or who did something nice or kind for you, but you’ve never thanked, or thanked as much as you would have liked to.
  • Be detailed. Write the particulars of what you are thankful for. Let them know how their actions affected you. Include the whats, the whens, the hows, and the whys.
  • Let your recipient know you are up to something good! A funny thing happened when I read my letter to my Dad. When I finished, he made a joke about how I must have the wrong “Dad”, and then he told me he thought I was going to share something about what he’d done wrong – not right. (I was nervous about sharing my letter, and he interpreted that as seriousness or sadness. When I began reading from a sheet of paper he was sure there was bad news ahead.) We laughed about that, but to prevent any confusion, letting your host or hostess know the visit is well-intentioned is probably a good idea.
  • Leave a copy of your letter with your recipient. Don’t worry about making it too fancy, but using special paper can’t hurt. Laminating or a frame might be appreciated, or to others, seem a bit too much – go with your guts. Just don’t make the visit too much about what happens next with the letter; leave that up to your receiver.

The Ripple Effect

Another interesting facet of this simple and effective gesture is that it tends to grow and reproduce on its own. Recipients often end-up writing and sharing letters with folks they want to thank, and writers tend to write more letters to share with others.

Positive psychology studies show the good feelings can last for weeks, even months. I know firsthand that years later I’m still happy I shared a gratitude letter with my father. It is a sweet and happy memory, and one I can relive any time I want. Gratitude letters pack a huge dose of positive power!

Increased happiness for someone you care about is just a few pen strokes. Don’t let this free,  foolproof opportunity for joy pass you by – send a gratitude letter to someone special this Valentines Day!

PS This is my annual Valentine’s Day post . . . hope it inspires you to start writing to a special person in your life.

Change the world today

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Wake up with the intention of changing the world today!

Reach out.

Make the first move.

Hold a door, smile more.

Write an email or a check. 

Love more deeply and openly. 

Send those cards, make the call. 

Say thank you or I’m sorry, sit quietly. 

Change the world by sharing and caring.

Making it today’s priority, will make it happen.

Never underestimate the value of kindness and caring.

Small, but gentle gestures have the power to travel fast and far. 

Create a shooting star

of love. Let it go.

Watch it grow.

Share this post to share a bit of holiday cheer. Be part of changing the world today.  Spread the message – even the smallest gesture matters & kindness makes a difference.

 

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Thanks for sharing!

 

 

 

 

 

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