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This is a guest blog post from Tess Denton, Author and Future Facilitator

Where to begin? Where to begin? For many, 2017 has been a challenging year, so HOPE for the coming year is a very tall order. To get my outlook and energy related to 2018 in order, I have taken this last week of December off from work. I have been practicing quiet and solitude. As part of the process, I have taken a break from watching television news. I admit that I have peeked, a few times, at some of my favorite news sites on my cell phone, but I am not watching any videos or advertising, or ‘in-your-face’ summations about this year. It is heaven! I must remember that all of the news and noise impact my outlook.

As a result of my week for me, seeds of HOPE are sprouting in my heart and head. I feel as if my everyday optimism has surfaced just in time for the New Year.

In preparing for this blog post, I polled people about what they Hope for in 2018. I was not surprised to find a theme of being exhausted by 2017.
 
 
 
 
Here is a sampling of what people had to say:

• Hope for 2018… It’s a hard one. Personally this last year I faced few challenges other than living in a country divided. For 2018 the usual clichés don’t apply.  My personal hope is to go on an epic walk, I am grateful to this planet and my life on it. I want to live each day with my eyes open taking in the beauty that surrounds me.

• Hope for 2018… This past year has been full of challenges and stress. I’m looking forward to a new year and am hopeful that things will be better. I’m also hoping that I can take better care of myself and keep my priorities where I want them to be.

• Hope for 2018… I definitely hope the divisive politics simmer down. I’m SO sick of the finger pointing. I’m hopeful that we won’t take backward steps in dealing with gender politics and sexual harassment.

• Hope for 2018… Oh, oh I know! I HOPE FOR HOPE.

These and other responses indicate to me that we need to begin with simplicity and curious listening. Where and how to begin: Given our over-scheduled culture and zany weather patterns, how and where might you tune in to find your seeds of hope?

• In between the hopeless spaces, if that’s where you begin.

• In the non-commercial, if all of the buy-buy-buy messaging tires you out.

• In the non-technology zone, if you have difficulty turning off the outside world.

We are all connected all of the time, it seems. From sunup to sundown, with alarms set to get out of bed, with buzzers at the baggage carousels, with booming club music at the gym, with the incessant chat, chat, chatter at the Starbuck’s.

My recommendation is that in order to find and plant the seeds of HOPE for 2018, you should begin in a quiet space. You can quickly appreciate the value of silence and get in touch with what’s important to you, one minute at a time.

Quiet spaces are out there. Which ones can you choose?
•The library
•An empty church
•An empty train station
•An empty classroom
•The car
•The park
•A museum
•And if you must use technology to get there, Apps and sites such as Gaia, Calm, Daily Om

Let’s take a trip to the physical and mind space that can lead you to HOPE for 2018. Take a journal or pad of paper with you as you head out the door. Drive, walk, bike or take transit to one of the quiet places you’ve identified. Once you are there, scout out a spot where you won’t be disturbed.  Set your belongings beside you, silence your phone, and close your eyes for a few moments. When you have a sense of calm, begin the following exercise:

Sit quietly for one minute (you could use your phone’s timer on vibrate, or bring a watch with a second hand). Do this three times.

Where did you find that your thoughts wandered in those one-minute increments? You might have loved the silence, you might have felt agitated, and you might have noticed your energy level. Make a mental note of your mental state as you step away from your everyday.

Now, let’s combine the quiet with some questions. We’ll call these ‘one-minute moments’

1. “What do you appreciate, in this moment?”
Jot down what it is that you appreciate.

2. In this moment, What do you wish? Be honest.
Jot down what it is that you wish.

3. What do you want?
Jot down what it is that you want…

4. What do you Hope will happen in your life in the next week or month?
Jot down what it is that you Hope for.

And just like that, you now you have HOPE in hand as you move into January, with longer days, more light and time to hibernate and take steps toward expanding this HOPE you have identified.

I suggest putting your notes from this exercise into a little zipper case that you take with you in your purse or backpack? To maintain and deepen your sense of hope,  try reading the news only once each day, give yourself some one minute pauses, and still the chatter by engaging in making a good strong cup of tea. Watch the water boil, bob the teabag in the cup, grab a biscuit and settle in. Reread the notes that are in your purse or bag and let the outside world wait a few minutes. It will survive without you.

On a final note: Before you know it, February 15th will be here. You could choose to take this “time out” for yourself and see how your results compare to today.

Wishing you a Happy and Hopeful New Year!

~ Tess Denton
 
 
© Copyright 2018 TessDenton.com – All Rights Reserved
 
 
tess denton Tess Denton is a Future Facilitator. She helps people and companies create a powerful vision for success.

Engage your imagination in creating your best future by reading Building a Powerful Vision Board, Your Path Achieving Your Goals and What You Want In Life.

The Vision Board process is great fun, and the book is informative and engaging. By learning how to create powerful Vision Boards and developing a roadmap to achieve your vision, you can create the future you want for yourself.

Enjoy your journey!

To read more about Tess Denton, her books and programs you can go to her website:
Building a Powerful Vision Board

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I have to admit, I can be a worrier. I can sit and worry about things that may happen in the future and things that have happened in past. I can worry about things I didn’t do. I can worry about things I should be doing. I won’t bore you with more, I’m sure you’re getting the picture. I wouldn’t call myself a worry wart, just a worrier.

What a waste of time and energy to sit and worry!

worry less

With my confession made public, I’ve come up with some ways to eliminate my “need” to worry.

1. We eliminated television. Yep, we don’t have a TV in the house. It was a negative drain on our time and energy. During the past year I’ve found very few things to watch that were uplifting and empowering.

2. My husband and I began having monthly and weekly planning meetings. I’m more focused and organized when I know what needs to be done and by when. This is our way of not assuming the other person knows what’s happening during the month.

3. I ask myself “How many ways will I…” It takes a bit of time, but I sit with pen and paper and brainstorm solutions to challenges. How many ways will I has proven to be a powerful phrase for me – it starts my proactive juices flowing

4. I meditate, visualize and pray. Sometimes you have to give it over to a higher power. I still take action and am proactive. I’ve learned over the years to not always worry about how something will happen, but believe and expect the best solution will be found.

5. I’ve learned to focus on what I want and not on what I don’t want. Instead of focusing on the negative, I turn it around and affirm a positive outcome. For example focusing on what I don’t want might go something like this: I hope it doesn’t rain the day of our trip. Focusing on what I want: Our trip is going to be fun and relaxing.

Today I am an empowered problem solver.

Please share what you would add to this list or any words of wisdom for our readers. It’s about women supporting women!
 

 
 
 
 
Sharon Michaels
Author – Blogger – Coach to Women Entrepreneurs, Women Writers and Women Authors
Owner of WomenWhoWantToSuccessfullyWorkForThemselves.com
 
 
P. S. If you’d like to coach one-on-one, join a MasterMind group or become a guest blogger on this blog, please email me at – coaching@sharonmichaels.com or use the Contact Sharon form on this site.
 
 
© Copyright 2018 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved
 
Focusing on the Positive bookcover
 
 
Be sure to purchase your copy of my Kindle ebook, Focusing on the Positive: 52 Weekly Affirmations to Build Self-Confidence available on Amazon.com
 
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com

I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page

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Where has this year gone? Seriously, this year went by so quickly it’s practically a blur. This morning instead of going to the computer and getting right to work, I decided to sit down and reflect on the past year.

Some people think “dwelling” on the past is a waste of time. I don’t want to dwell on the past…
• I want to learn from both the successes and challenges I experienced this past year,
• I want to remember what brought me joy and contentment,
• And, I want to decide which things I definitely do not want to repeat during the coming year.

I looked through my calendar, journals and writings for the last twelve months and here’s some of what I discovered:

sharon michaels selfie

1. My business changed and evolved during the past year. I found myself writing more and coaching less. I’m still coaching women in business and loving it. I started coaching women writers/authors and am loving that too. Empowering women is a huge part of my life. The biggest “aha” for me was that I wasn’t charging enough for my coaching and classes. Based on my years of experience and expertise, I was selling myself short. That was/is a hard thing to admit.
 
 

2. I self-published three cozy mystery fiction books. I’ve always wanted to write fiction, but never actually committed to sitting down and writing stories. After publishing those three books and having a few more in the works, I discovered how much I truly enjoy writing fiction! Why didn’t I do it sooner?

3. It took many filled garbage bags and several months to clear out the paper clutter from my closets, storage bins and file cabinets. Some of the papers were from the 1960’s – seriously. I decided it was time to release old energy and make room for new projects. Going through all that paper was tedious and sad at times, but a huge relief when it was finished.

4. My husband and I realized we didn’t need television. We cancelled our cable service. We don’t even have a television in the house. I didn’t go through withdrawal and I don’t miss TV. If I want to know the news, I can watch it on my computer. I now have more quality time and less distractions for reading, writing and being with my husband.

5. I’m walking more and eating healthier. We are making more homemade organic and gluten-free meals and eating out less. I’m becoming quite the baker. Sometimes the baking comes from a box and sometimes from scratch.

6. This was the year I fully embraced the realization that the only person I can change is myself. I can influence. I can mentor. I can coach. I cannot make anyone do anything – I can only suggest and encourage.

7. I need, and mean need, to make more time for myself. I’m going to carve out more time during the coming year to relax and unwind. I realized l always have to be doing something or I don’t feel I’m doing enough. I’ve started to chunk out quality time for myself – reading, walking, napping or whatever I decide will help rejuvenate me in mind, body and spirit.

Last year was a year I expanded my comfort zone and took a few scary leaps of faith. It was uncomfortable at times. I’m one who likes the security of the tried and true. Publishing three fiction books was way out of my comfort zone, but I did it. This coming year I’m going to expand my comfort zone even more – I’m not quite sure how yet, but I’ll be trying new things.

I hope sharing my look back at the past year encourages you to do the same. It’s not about dwelling on the past, it is about going forward next year. The past is the past, we can learn from the past and with the lessons learned, head positively toward the future.
Here’s to making all your awesome goals, dreams, hopes and plans reality during the next twelve months.
 
Please, share your thoughts and comments with us. We’d love to hear from you.
 

 
 
 
 
Sharon Michaels
Author – Blogger – Coach to Women Entrepreneurs, Women Writers and Women Authors
Owner of WomenWhoWantToSuccessfullyWorkForThemselves.com
 
 
P. S. If you’d like to coach one-on-one, join a MasterMind group or become a guest blogger on this blog, please email me at – coaching@sharonmichaels.com or use the Contact Sharon form on this site.
 
 
© Copyright 2017 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved
 
Focusing on the Positive bookcover
 
 
Be sure to purchase your copy of my Kindle ebook, Focusing on the Positive: 52 Weekly Affirmations to Build Self-Confidence available on Amazon.com
 
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com

I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page

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We can learn so much from top business leaders and achievers by reading their “quotations.” Here are some of my favorite business-building quotations. Use these pearls of wisdom to help lead you, cheer you on and motivate you forward.

You have my permission to use them in your newsletters, your blog posts and on Facebook and Tweeter. All I ask is that you give credit to the person you are quoting – they deserve your recognition.

Here are few my favorite business-building quotations:

“A resourceful person can see opportunity when others only see obstacles.”
Garrett Gunderson

“Nothing, not even sheer ability, can make up for the dedication required for a successful business career.”
Ray Eppert

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you’re doing, you will be successful.”
Albert Switzer

Edison Quote“Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.”
Erin Bury

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.”
W. Clement Stone
 
 
“Giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”
Robert Donovan, writer

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
Maria Robinson

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Jimmy Dean

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
Helen Keller

“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!”
Amanda Bradley

“If you like your work, everyday is a holiday.”
Frank Tyger

“We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.”
Earl Nightingale

“Lost time is never found again.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Look twice before you leap.”
Charlotte Bronte

“I only want people around me who can do the impossible.”
Elizabeth Arden

“Doing more of what doesn’t work won’t make it work any better.”
Charles J. Givens

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Helen Keller

“People who are masters of time organization wear success blinders. They do not look to the left or the right.”
Paul J. Meyer

“Money is an excellent servant.”
P.T. Barnum

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”
Lloyd Alexander

“Income is derived by what value we can create for others, therefore do what you enjoy, do it the best, and this will allow you to create the most value.”
Garrett Gunderson
 
 
Please, share your thoughts and comments with us. We’d love to hear from you.
 

 
 
 
 
Sharon Michaels
Author – Blogger – Coach to Women Entrepreneurs
Owner of WomenWhoWantToSuccessfullyWorkForThemselves.com
 
 
P. S. If you’d like to coach one-on-one, join a MasterMind group or become a guest blogger on this blog, please email me at – coaching@sharonmichaels.com or use the Contact Sharon form on this site.
 
 
 
© Copyright 2012-2017 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

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On my Sharon Michaels Author Facebook page I posted a writing challenge. I took up the November 2017 challenge and here are my thoughts about gratitude.

November Writing Challenge

I want to start with a definition of Gratitude. Here is the Dictionary.com definition – The quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

I am grateful and thankful for so many things in my life…
Health
Coaching clients
The ability and opportunity to write
My wonderful husband, family and friends
The food on our table
And much, much more.
 
 
But when I think of my life as a whole, I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had I to make choices.

When I read about women in other parts of the world and in other cultures, I am reminded how very fortunate I am. I admit not every choice I’ve made was a good one, but I was free to make those choices.

Throughout my life I’m been free to learn and grow because of my choices. Looking back I wish I had been wiser about some of the choices I made. There was one point during my twenties and thirties when I kept making the same choices, achieving the same results and wondering why I wasn’t satisfied with what I was getting. I remember the saying: If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.

Sure, there were times when I felt stuck and my choices seemed limited or nonexistent. Choosing to feel that way was a choice. Choosing to complain was a choice. Choosing to give away my power was a choice. Choosing inaction over action, was a choice. Choosing to feel and act disempowered was a choice. I am grateful I’ve learned to think carefully about my choices. I’ve learned too that choices have consequences – even the smallest choice can impact the future.

I am thankful and grateful every day for my ability to be able to make choices. I am thankful and grateful for the lessons learned from the not so good choices. I am thankful and grateful for being able to appreciate and enjoy the rewards of my wise choices.

Thank goodness for choices!


 
 
 
 
Sharon Michaels
Author, blogger and success teacher
Owner of WomenWhoWantToSuccessfullyWorkForThemselves.com

P. S. If you’d like to coach one-on-one, join a MasterMind group or become a guest blogger on this blog, please email me at – coaching@sharonmichaels.com or use the Contact Sharon form on this site.
 
 
© Copyright 2017 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

Be sure to purchase your copy of Sharon’s empowering paperback and Kindle book, How To Give Your the POWER to Succeed on Amazon.com – Recognizing the things you’re doing that may be keeping you from the things you want.
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com
Sharon Michaels
 
I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page

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