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5 Ways to a Brighter life by Crafty Chica

I’ve been thinking about this post for weeks, my five ways to lead a brighter life! More quality in all things! These are things I’m doing for myself and I thought I’d share them with all of you. Aside from celebrity deaths and an emotional election, 2016 rocked. So many terrific opportunities, new friendships, evolving and growing!

Life wasn’t always like this. There used to be a time when I lived happy for each day, yet I feared the future and “prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.” That lifestyle and mindset is draining! About a year and a half ago I made the choice to really be involved with my destiny – guiding it, nurturing it, believing in it. As opposed to going through each day and hoping nothing bad happened.

These days I’ve learned that what I do is called “setting intention.” I’ve actually been doing it all my life in smaller ways. It goes like this – before I start on ANYTHING I picture the end result that I want. No matter what life throws at me, I hold on to that image in my head of my desired outcome. It’s like setting the GPS destination in my brain.

This helps me stay soooo focused. Even when distractions arise or tempting opportunities. I think back to the picture in my mind and ask myself if it will help me get there. Now that I’m a bit older and wiser, I don’t have time to play around!

Just like life, nothing is guaranteed 100%, neither is this practice, but it sure helps and increases the odds! Just know that wherever you focus your energy, that is where you will see activity! You can choose to focus on petty stuff that won’t matter in the long run, or invest in yourself for the big picture!

Alrighty, here we go!

  1. Put your health at the top of your list. If you are like me, my health is always on the sidebar of my to-do list, never in the top five. Then as I’m busy working on all my goals, I don’t have time to cook, and I eat fast, unhealthy foods. What good is meeting goals if I don’t feel well on the inside? I’m soooo happy I’ve lost a chunk of weight last year. I’m down a pant size and top size, but now it’s time to focus again for another round!  Join me! If we can get our health in check, we will be able to conquer anything, and have so much more energy. And if you have kids, it will set a great example for them. I’m carving (pardon the pun) out an hour each week to seek and print recipes. I bought this planner from a local bookstore, and I’m using it to stay on track! Excited to do this!

2. Make a timeline of your goals. Sit down and think about what you want out of life. We are all too special to be a slave to work everyday. When we look back on our lives twenty or thirty years from now, will we say “Wow, awesome I paid all my bills on time!” Wouldn’t you rather say, “I did almost all of the things I wanted to do, and even some that I didn’t know I wanted to do!”

Let’s say you want to write a book. Instead of just having an idea and stopping because you need to find a book agent – research how to self-publish, or heck, just start writing. Although, for any goal, I suggest researching the path you need to take to get there so you don’t waste time. Outline that sucker first. Maybe you want to travel. Research the places, hotels, come up with the cost so you know how much you need to save. Want to draw or paint? Check out YouTube videos or online classes and work on it a bit each day.

Every year I choose three, maybe four, topics that I’m going to focus on. Then I come up with smaller goals that I spread out over the four quarters of the year. If a new opportunity comes that I want to go for, I’ll schedule it in my timeline. WRITE IT ALL DOWN. Writing it down allows you to look at everything and make decisions. Weigh out each goal and the timeline to know how to proceed.

I’m not only talking about big goals, think about smaller aspirations. Declutter that desk this weekend, purge out your closet, list that camera on eBay, etc. Make a list of all these smaller tasks and schedule them, stick to it. You will feel so great crossing them off the list.

And know that not all goals are material. Maybe it’s spending more time with your family, or meditating. My main point with this is to stop waiting/looking for a sign or the perfect time and CHOOSE SOMETHING AND GET STARTED. What is that talent or skill you know you have that you want to grow? Make it a goal and work it into your daily life. You’ll feel much fuller and it will make you a much more interesting person. Keep in mind, nobody is perfect at first, allow cushion for failing, restarting, trying, polishing, developing, learning, practicing, all of that!

3. Ditch the dead weight!

 – The haters. Ugh. This is a biggie. Do not settle for allowing people to bully, belittle, talk down to you, do not respect you or build themselves up by trying to make you look/feel dumb. People who show no grace, don’t talk with you, but at you, and only come around to critique. Stop making excuses for why you are keeping them in your life. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them, or even if they are a family member. Maybe it is acquaintances on social media. Just know you have the power to enable your glitter bubble and shut them out. Even if you have to see them everyday, you can still keep your distance. Let me tell you, it makes life so much less stressful.

Your life, mind, spirit, energy are all precious – so be protective of YOU! And in the same token, show grace and strive to learn to grow and be the example. Even if you slip up, I know I have, get back on track to be a good example of treating people how you want to be treated.

– Unnecessary stuff. This weekend I spent hours cleaning out 2,000 emails and unsubscribing to lots of mailing lists that I never opened. I cancelled magazine subscriptions, cleaned out my art room, purged a bunch of things I never used, clothes I stopped wearing. Just because you’ve kept something for a decade doesn’t mean you have to keep it another decade. Ask yourself why you need it, and why haven’t you done anything with it

– Food, medicine, make up! Go through your cabinets and fridge and clean them out. Look for things that have expired, or you’ve never used. If you can’t donate or recycle, pitch it in the circular file.

4. Change your view of money. Rather than think “I want to be a millionaire! I want to win the lottery!”I’ve made myself understand that money is a resource to reach my goals, not the main goal. Instead, be specific with how much money you need and why. Believe that any amount you choose is attainable, all you have to do is work and dedicate time and energy. And sometimes sacrifices. If you have a business that is not working, but you want to make more money, you may need a new plan. That’s where people get turned off, they want the dolla dolla billz to fall out of the sky, or come into a large amount without effort. I’ve been there and I learned it doesn’t work like that! I recently read an empowering book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life and wow, it changed my thinking. Author Jen Sincero talks about people who always say, “I’m broke.” or “I suck.” It’s a form of manipulation, because people feel sorry for them and buy stuff for them. They live up to their words. They are never held to higher expectations to take risks or to succeed. We don’t want to be people like that! We want to kick butt! So, ok, money! Dedicate an hour each week to read finance articles, start a side hustle, watch YouTube videos. LEARN! Work out your budget, how much you make and see how you can bring in more income. KNOW you can do it, put your mind to work to make a plan. It’s been awhile since I realized all this and it sure has made a difference. It brings peace of mind and the ability to hit those goals, right in the center!

5. Listen! If you can get through the top four tips and incorporate them, hopefully your mind, spirit and heart will be lighter. It will free up time and space to build healthy relationships, inhale the beauty around you, live in the moment, experience wonders big and small… and hear fascinating stories! Connect with friends or find ways to make new friends. When we are super busy or stressed with our problems, it’s easy to not really bother or listen to people. Or maybe we fall into the “how does this apply to my life?” train of thought.

Here’s a challenge – Rather than listen to reply, listen to hear and absorbs the other person’s words. Allow yourself to step into their shoes and see it from their perspective. With each encounter think about the takeaway from that person, what inspired or motivated you. Maybe a lesson learned. Appreciate their energy and think how you can give back? Look into their eyes and make a connection. We’re all here together sharing the same space, everyone deserves respect, even the haters (we will always send them good wishes, right?), might as well make every moment count!

I hope these tips aren’t too syrupy for you, I really do mean them from my heart! Did I miss anything? Share in the comments! And if you know of someone who could use these tips, please pass this along!

Love & light,

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