Daydreams & free resources = success in 2019

New Year

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019! 

Now, let’s fast forward to January 2020!

Picture yourself one year from today, excited and thrilled about what you accomplished in 2019! I realize the year has barely begun, but one of the best ways to move forward is to have a clear picture of yourself feeling satisfied and grateful about what you have accomplished – before it is done!

Picturing the life you want makes it feel real, which releases all sorts of chemicals in your brain that will relax your body and expand your creativity and positivity by creating new neural pathways. It’s science, but feels like magic!

Picture it done!

Create a positive, rewarding outcome for your biggest dreams and then sit back and enjoy a movie-like mental reel highlighting how your personalized success looks and feels. Daydream your way into the vision of yourself you want to see and be.

 

Prime your brain by envisioning yourself celebrating your future success. Perhaps you are telling your friends just how wonderful it feels to be 10 pounds lighter and how you did it; how thrilled you are for sticking to your running schedule and the difference it has made in your life; to be so close to finishing school and planning your graduation; how scared you were to start writing your book, but how good it feels to be in the editing stage; how wonderful it feels to be in your new home for the holidays or how beautiful Paris is in the spring.

Don’t be afraid to visualize your dreams. 

Include as many details as possible to fully experience your personalized magic carpet ride. Daydreams are all about imagination – go for it. (Don’t worry about how your dreams will come true, believing they can is the key.)

Help is just outside your comfort zone, but never outside of your reach.

  1. To reinforce all those rich and wonderful thoughts and feelings, use the Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da” List 2018 to record all the good things that happened in your life in 2018 – big or small! Writing our successes reminds us good things are possible, reveals patterns about what matters to us, and is another great way to prime your brain for happiness and success in the months ahead. (Did mine and it was great way to relive the highlights of 2018. Made me dig deep and remember worthwhile experiences I might have otherwise passed over. Truly rewarding activity. I plan to keep adding to it over the next few days. Don’t pass up the good feelings in store for you when you fill out your 2018 Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da” List.) 
  2. Now create your Wishful Thinking Works “Ta Da” List 2019 ! Record all your dreams for the 2019 as if they are already done. (I added prompts for you to get you started!) Add a sentence or two on the back of the sheet or in a journal sharing how good it feels to have brought such happiness into your life. (I just finished mine and it feels fantastic to put my dreams on paper. Freeing and rewarding all at once.)
  3. If you know you want your life to be different in 2019, but don’t have a specific goal or if you don’t know where to start, use Wishful Thinking Works Change Circles to help you define what type of change you want to see this year.
  4. If you are letting your past, worries about the world around you, or the scale of the changes you want, scare you; take a break and use the Wishful Thinking Works Courage Diet to get you back on track.
  5. Then use the Wishful Thinking Works Real Deal Change Wheel to move past and lingering hurdles or stumbling blocks.

There is absolutely no reason to face change alone. I designed all of these free Wishful Thinking Works resources for you. Use them to make your dreams come true in 2019.

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Measure what matters

Knowing what matters to you and focusing on it can make your holiday season richer, more memorable, and way more fun!

Unfortunately, many of us have a tendency to fill our holidays with strife and worry and thoughts of who gets what and who doesn’t; who gathers where and who doesn’t and what gets done and what doesn’t, we drown out much of the joy of the holiday season before it even has a chance to surface.

We layer our lives with so much stress that when magical moments appear – the kids playing quietly in front of the lit Christmas tree at dusk, an unexpected card or gift from a loved one, watching a child help a grand parent, a heartfelt hug or the mention of how much we mean to someone or even the kind gesture of a stranger – we barely notice or bother to savor them.

The good news is, studies show that what we focus on tends to grow. Therefore, if we focus on what really matters to us, we can increase the likelihood that those things will move center stage in our lives because we will be more likely to notice and enjoy them.

Start by asking yourself what really matters to you.

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? Religion? New Experiences? Traditions? Food? Fun?

Once you know what matters it will be much easier to notice those things and begin planning ways to integrate more of them into your holiday plans. And, with practice you will soon be sloughing of the stress and slights that normally occupy your mind.

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, use one of these suggestions.
    • 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. (Next year to spread the joy, you can make gift jars or chain supplies for other family members and share them in November or early December!)
    • 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 life is moving 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 was adapted from an previous year’s Wishful Thinking Works post, because I loved it so much and it was a great holiday reminder for me!

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Connect with Thanksgiving Tales

thanksgiving-2872964_960_720Oral traditions are almost as old as mankind. Telling stories has been bringing families and communities together for thousands of years. Writing them has been going on for hundreds of generations.

The type of stories we tell, shape our relationships and our realities.

Why not start a new Thanksgiving tradition by sharing a short personal story about someone or something you are thankful for as you sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner? Many Americans will be sharing what they are thankful for, but why not expand the moment and the feelings by telling a story?

Your story does not have to be long or earth-shattering, just real and heartfelt.

We are much more inclined to complain about our lives and the trials and tribulations we face than we are to celebrate the moments that make life and magical and memorable. And, yet, most of us have lives filled with touching tales – small moments or momentous events when something or everything went well or turned-out right, or someone reached out to us at just the right time.

What better time than Thanksgiving to share simple, sweet, touching tales of who we are and why others matter to us?

Here are few of my tales to get you in the storytelling mood . . .

 I often think of Mrs. Grace Weidenthal and how her kindness and support helped me get a women’s group scholarship for “Older Returning Students”, which led to my finishing college and eventually my Masters. (I was 28 at the time!)

I will never forget the kindness shared to me as a child by my mother’s friend and one of my younger brothers’ godmothers. When Mrs. Werner brought my brother a gift for his birthday or a holiday, she always made sure to include something smaller, but no less special, for the other siblings closest to his age. A small gesture on her part, but one that filled my heart and head with pleasure and promise! I knew I would be included, and looked forward to her visits with anticipation, not only for her gifts but also to her boisterous and booming voice as she bestowed our treats upon us. She spread joy and generosity with gusto.

I often think of the help Professor Potteroff at Cuyahoga Community College gave me. Without the time he spent tutoring me, I am not sure I would have had the confidence to finish his Algebra class or to later take, and fall in love with, statistics.

I love it when someone does something small and kind, like holding a door, pausing to let me or others turn left, or slows a bit to let me enter a lane. Friendly cashiers can also make my day!

Sharing tales of positive moments in our lives might take some getting used to or may seem a bit awkward at first, but all great traditions must start somewhere, why not this Thanksgiving?

Here are 5 tips for starting your Thanksgiving storytelling tradition:

  1. Keep it short.
  2. Keep it positive! No fair, sharing tales that shine a less than stellar light on anyone – no matter how funny or memorable the tale might be! Besides, sharing your happy moments, increases the odds other will be happier, too. (Happiness is contagious.)
  3. Suggest a lead-in or place slips of paper with printed lead-ins at everyone’s place or in a basket to pass. (Creating the slips and basket is a great pre-Thanksgiving task for kids. Let them use their creativity on the leads and the method of sharing. If you are short on kids, simply print them on paper and cut them up.)

1)    “I will never forget . . .”

2)    “I love(d) it when . . . ”

3)    “It felt really good when . . .”

4)    “I was so excited when . . .”

5)    “I often think of  . . . “

6)    “When I was a kid . . .”  Only use this lead in if what follows is strictly positive and not shared to teach a lesson or illustrate a point.

  1. Make sure you or one of the most outgoing children go first, this will “warm-up” the crowd.
  2. Really listen when folks are sharing; make sure they have the floor. You can even provide something fun to pass as the “Speaker’s Sharing Tool”. Anything related to the holiday will work; ceramic turkey, battery-lit candle, serving spoon, etc. The sillier or sentimental the item is, the better. Remember to thank each person who shares, before moving on.

Hopefully, reading this post has already brought good memories to mind and gotten you into the Thanksgiving spirit. If not, no problem, you still have plenty of time to think of a thankful tale or two, and to get things ready for your guests to share in your new tradition.

Have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Moment (5)

30 Days New – Day 12 & Day 13

“30 Days New” – Day 12

Easy peasy, second day of new qigong practice! I am counting it as a “New” because it is the first habit I have chosen to create as a result of “30 Days New” practice. That’s a first, which is just as good as a “New” to me.

Day 12 Results –  Sense of peace and calm while doing the practice, and curiosity as to what it will add to my life.

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“30 Days New” – Day 13

Day thirteen turned out to be very lucky for me. Today I meditated for an hour.  It seemed like about 3 hours, but no matter, I did it!

I have been wanting to try meditate on my own for an hour for more than a decade. (Who knows why it took me so long, but seriously not important at the moment.) I use a variety of 25-30 minute guided meditations, including Yoga Nidra and self-hypnosis, both are very satisfying and I will continue to use them, but excited that today I took the leap to 60 minutes on my own.

I can’t honestly say I loved meditating for an hour and it was not an earth shattering experience, but it took commitment and a great deal of patience. I like that. I also like that since I have meditated for an hour, 30 minutes on my own is much less daunting. I know I can do it regularly and that makes me very happy.

Day 13 Results –  Sense of accomplishment, mixed with pride and the overwhelming urge to give myself a sticker of some kind! Woo-hoo, I gave it a try and I did it! 

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

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Summer pick-me-up

One of the easiest and quickest pick-me-ups is to remember the special people in your life. Numerous psychology studies have shown that reliving positive moments or time spent with the special people in our lives is a great way to recharge our hearts and souls.

Why not use the power of your imagination to spark a summer day dream about the folks you love or admire? A lazy summer afternoon or those peaceful moments while waking or falling to sleep are the perfect times to bring them to mind. 

  • Who has filled your heart with happiness?
  • Who has made you feel better about yourself or the world.
  • Who has shared special moments or helped you create special times in your life?
  • Who has made you laugh or jump with joy?
  • Who has stood by your side through think or thin?

Why not give them a special seat in your mind?

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Take a minute this weekend to picture your special somebodies with you as you relive all of their kind and generous, hilarious and spontaneous or supportive and caring ways.

I promise you a few heartfelt minutes of revelry can fill your mind and body with warmth and positivity. (It is a neurological fact!) If your mind wanders, simply bring your thoughts back to who you want to share a chair with this summer and the wonderful role they play in your life. (This technique even works if you are remembering a extra helpful clerk or a thoughtful stranger.)

If you are short on people to share your chairs with, simply get yourself comfortable in a cozy spot and picture who you would like to see in your life. Spend a few minutes creating in your mind the memories that you would like to create with them. Be bold, be descriptive, be brave!  (Wishful Thinking Works – just picturing the moments you want to bring to your life can give you a flood of good feelings and, if repeated often, the confidence to move forward with those dreams.)

The best part of this sweet and relaxing practice is that the time you spend picturing positives automatically decreases the time you spend worrying about real or imaginary woes. We so often worry about the worst, why not simply spend a bit more time each day remembering or imagining the best?

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, pull up a chair in your mind, offer the others to those who have made a difference in your life and enjoy your time together!

Feel free to post about who will be sharing your chairs. The more ways you reinforce your thoughts the more positive the impact will be for you. (No need to limit your thoughts to four folks, simply add more chairs – the number, style and setting is your choice, as well.)

PS These lovely chairs and the amazing folks who own them, are an important part of my life and thinking about them always creates a flush of fabulousness for me!  Sharing this photo with you reinforces those feelings and has left me smiling and feeling happy and energized. Go for it. Daydream your way into a summer pick-me-up!

Are you ready to create the life your really want? Start today! 

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Smiles for the summer of 2026

Make the summer of 2018 one of the most memorable of your life.  

Get started by reading the following post, which I wrote and shared eight years ago.  I’ve made a habit of rereading it every year to keep me on track and smiling inside and out. I thought you might enjoy it, as well.

sunset-681749__180Writing and reading it helped me conquer a number of personal fears; experience adventures near and far and to enjoy colorful sunsets, majestic sunrises and quiet afternoons watching leaves dance in the wind. But, best of all, it reminds me to relive and to savor the most touching and heartfelt moments of my life.

I hope it inspires you to explore your dreams and become aware of all the things that make your heart sing. After you give it a read, let me know your thoughts and any plans you have for this summer. (Sharing them in a public way increases the odds that you will actually do them!) My goal is to give you something special to smile about in 2026 when you realize the summer of 2018 was filled with inspiration and joy.  

“Thinking ahead . . .” published on Wishful Thinking Works, May 28, 2010

I never read the obituaries, well practically never, but I have a sister who does, and one morning after I had a wonderful visit with her, I flipped though The Fort Myers News Press and discovered the life of Vera Jane Clapper-Richter.

I don’t know Jane, nor do I know anyone who does, but I liked her immediately.  She is the kind of person I would want as a friend, and the kind Katherine Hepburn would play in a movie.

Jane died at 85 after a struggle with Alzheimer’s, but what struck me is not her death, but how she lived, which I quote, except for the links I added:

She was born July 6, 1924 to Maurice and Elizabeth Stover Teasdale in Brownsville, PA. Jane will be remembered for her feistiness tempered by cheery good humor. She was always up for adventure.

In 1960s, Jane, her mother and her daughter could be found at 2 a.m. hanging off the “wooden bridge” angling for snook with cane poles. Few snook were caught, but much beer was drunk.

Janie married “the boy next door,” Bob Clapper, in 1941 in Arlington, VA. They made it through the war years and, like everyone else, started a family. By 1951, they were ready for sunshine and fishing. After a brief stay in the Koreshan trailer park in Esterothey settled in Fort Myers.

Bob worked as a surveyor and civil engineer for Carl Johnson in Fort Myers and Cap Prewitt in Clewiston and Jane dived into community activities. She taught local Red Cross first aid classes, was Lee County Chairman of the Gray Ladies and worked with Veronica Shoemaker in the first Head Start program in Dunbar. Her pride and joy was her Girl Scout Troop 29, which she led from Brownies in 1954 until the girls graduated from Fort Myers Senior High School in 1965. She taught them outdoors skills and wilderness survival. Protective of her girls, she once used a flashlight to fight off a wild hog that tried to take over their Fisheating Creek campsite. The hog fled squealing back into the woods.

After Bob’s death, she pursued her dream of investing in real estate, buying and managing several rental properties, then married Clarence Richter, a retired federal air traffic controller, in 1983. She and “Ric” were active in the local chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and Save Estero. Ric died in 2005.

She was a friend of Bill W. for more than 30 years and will be remembered by the old timers at YANA. She’ll also be remembered by her pals on Memory Lane at Park Club assisted living, her home for the last few months, for her sweet helpfulness, lovely singing voice and fashion flair. On her, even at 85, a paper sack looked like Prada . . . Jane was predeceased by her two sisters.  She is survived by her daughter, grandson and granddaughter, both of whom helped care for her in her later years.

I hope this is not too morbid for you, but I think Jane’s obituary reflects a well-lived life, and whoever wrote it obviously loved and admired her.  Reading it got me thinking – ahead.

I decided that I am going to live my life for my obituary.  I wish I had thought of starting at the end and working backwards sooner, I would have been nicer, more courageous and much more interesting, and would not now be faced with having to cram so much stuff into so little time.  :-)

The reason I am bringing this up now, is summer is on our doorstep.  I know it doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, but when I was growing-up Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer, and I think summer is a great time to begin fully living the life I want.

This summer I will watch the moon rise and set from a mountain or a rooftop without interruption, or at least from my backyard with a really good friend.  I will also watch the sun rise and set at least two days in a row, and I will run through a sprinkler.

I will sleep on a front porch or a patio, in a tent or on a beach, and with the windows open more often.  (Yes, I know, it will be hot and sticky, and maybe I will sweat and the bugs may bite – but who cares, I will have more stories to tell and the teeny-tiny scars to prove them.)

I will spread more blankets out in the grass, and spend more time looking up at the trees, day dreaming and listening to the thoughts and wisdom of people under the age of 10.

I will ponder theories large and small – relativity, the chicken or the egg – without worrying about the answers.

I will be kinder and gentler; listen more and speak less; give more hugs, and send more hand-written notes.  I will give people what they want, not what I think they need.

I will read more books, light more candles, and sing out-loud more often.

If you are in the mood to join me, please do.  Summer is a great time to be a bit more courageous about being us.

This weekend find your sleeping bag, your bike, your racquet or your glove, your paint brushes and easel, the book you have been meaning to read or paper and pencil to begin the one you have been meaning to write.

Open an ice-cold beer or bottle of Coke, pour yourself a tall glass of sangria or lemonade, sip it slowly or with gusto, and then get started on the rest of your life.

Do what you think Jane might do.  Or better yet, what you would do, if no one was watching, or if they were and you didn’t mind – not one little bit, which come to think of it, might be exactly how Vera Jane Clapper-Richter lived.

The rest is all up to you, go for it.

Are you ready to create the life your really want? Start today! 

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