Mar 17

Relationship Don’t Just Happen!

Relationships

Mar 12

Putting on Airs

Have you ever been to an airport lounge and listened to some of the conversations people are having on their cell phones?  The tone and verbiage used oozes and screams “notice how important I am!”  If you haven’t noticed this, you will now that I have brought it up.  You will hear things like the integration and amalgamation…enhanced communication structures…solidified the verbiage…in depth analysis…impeding the SOPs…circle back with me on the RFP…and many more buzz words or phrases that make the person sound important; well at least that is what they hope you’ll think.

The reality is most of us respect people who are genuine and communicate on a real level. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use descriptive words, just be natural in your communications. The use of airport lounge speak causes barriers to go up because you come across as “I’m better or more important that you”.  Connecting with people on a real level is key for creating relationships with staff, clients and coworkers. If you come across as arrogant you will jeopardize opportunities for career and business advancement.  The most influential people in the world are so successful because they are reaching people by being true to who they are and that genuine personal is appealing to the masses.

If you are having a hard time creating solid business relationships, take a step back and notice how you are communicating with people.  Chances are you are not projecting an authentic genuine you.

Mar 10

GDI ~ The Lighter Side ~ We Like It

Here are some links to posts from fellow bloggers that we came across this week and are recommending that you read.

Blonde and Balanced – Guest Post – Finding Work Life Balance – “It’s a tough one and it is all about being happy.”

Everybody Loves Your Money – Top 4 Credit Card Issuer Traps – “Brutal what they get away with.”

Enemy of Debt – Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Grocery Overspending – “Great tips.”

Frugal Rules – Losing Isaac Finding Life in the Death of a Child – “Wow, have your Kleenex handy.”

Have a post you want us to read? Let us know and we’ll give it a look!

Mar 08

Welcome to the wide world of books!

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to take a minute to thank both Leslie and Julie for inviting me to join them on providing some of my knowledge and opinions on the many books that are out there :-)

So tell me, have you ever had a moment where you have walked into Chapters store and thought “I am not sure what I am in the mood to read today”. Or better yet, “I heard these books were good but…”and are just not sure if they are going to be interesting to you?  Well, I have had these moments and I have read a lot of books.  It is my goal to provide you with some insight to what books might interest you, or your significant other or…..your kids.

From Shakespeare to Rowling and everything in between, we will do our best to give you an idea of what is out there and what you might find interesting.  This way, you won’t be caught saying “Captain underpants..who?” to your kids but instead saying “I can’t believe those two kids actually changed the teacher”

As I tell everyone I know, “If you have a book you are interested in but just aren’t sure about, let me know…I’ve probably read it:-)

Happy Reading,

Steph

Mar 05

Time & Money

time moneyHave you ever wondered where all the time has gone? How it already is the beginning of March yet it feels like Christmas was yesterday.  How you turned 40 when 30 was a blink ago.

What about money; have you ever deposited your pay cheque and after a week there is next to nothing left? You couldn’t possibly have spent it all?  Where did it all go?

These two things are very important yet easy to waste.  We theoretically can always make more money if someone is willing to pay us; however we can’t buy back any more time.  We need to treat these resources as precious as water is treated in Ethiopia.  Here are a few tips how:

Money

  • If you don’t use a budget, start. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just assign a percentage of your pay cheques to every area of your life (click here for more information on this).
  • Track what you are spending your money on – write it down, every single penny and then review every week.  You will easily tell where the money is going.
  • Make small changes to get spending issues under control (pack a lunch, make coffee at home and put in a traveler, walk more than drive when possible, bundle your services for additional discounts, etc (click here for more tips)
  • Are credit cards and not paying off balances an issue? If yes, get them paid off (click here for more tips).

Time

  • Become an effective time manager by using a schedule. Factor in not only work meetings and projects, but personal ones too.  Remember to factor in down time for you.
  • Plan meals for the week and do your shopping accordingly.
  • Limit drastically the amount of mind junk food activities – things like Facebook, Twitter, video games, television, etc. These are huge time suckers and do little to enhance your quality of life.
  • Eat well and exercise every day. This will keep you healthier (less sick time) and more energetic allowing you to maximize the hours in each day.

There are many other ways to utilize your time and money more effectively. Whatever format you choose doesn’t matter, just do something.  You’ll be glad you did.

Feb 28

The World According to Me

the world according to youAt times we need to look at the world through others eyes; but it is also important to look at it through ours as well!

So many people live life for others and never drive toward their own goals or aspirations.  Women especially fall victim to putting everyone else ahead of them.  So ask yourself, what is the world according to me?  Do you even know?  It has probably been so long since you’ve even asked yourself for an opinion on anything.  Time to tap into the one person that actually is responsible for looking out for you… you!

Challenge for today… take a look at the world through your own eyes.  Decide for yourself what you like, what you don’t, what you would like to change.  And then… do something about it!

Cheers to you!

Feb 26

Enjoying the Little Things

IMG-20130224-00352I am sitting here trying to figure out what to blog about this week.  Nothing big is really speaking to me.  Then I a thought popped into my mind…life isn’t about the big moments; life is best when we take notice and enjoy the little things every day.

Here are 10 things going on around me right now that I am enjoying:

  1. A great cup of coffee
  2. The roaring fire in the fireplace and the warmth it throws
  3. My dogs curled up by the fire
  4. My 8 year old nephew laughing and talking to himself while he plays solitaire on my Ipad
  5. The smell of bacon cooking in the kitchen (being cooked by my hubby!)
  6. The beautiful blue jays eating in our bird feeder
  7. The light snow coming down outside
  8. The 3 deer grazing in our back yard
  9. The toe tapping music playing on the radio
  10. The Christmas Cactus beside me that is about to bloom again – photo included here

Challenge – take 5 minutes every day this week to notice the little things around you. Let us know if this helps you feel any better/different.

Feb 24

GDI ~ The Lighter Side ~ We Like It

Here are some links to posts from fellow bloggers that we came across this week and are recommending that you read.

Frugal Rules blogs about “Shopping at Wal-Mart” – “Don’t worry, I shop there too, but only for the non-important items.

Life Style Design Unleashed does a case study about “Blog Traffic” – “The single best article I have read about driving quality traffic”

Fearless Men blogs about “The Money Lies” – “I know a few people who do this or have done it

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff blogs about “Priorities” – “They are moving targets sometimes, but the really important ones stay at the top of the list

Have a post you want us to read? Let us know and we’ll give it a look!

Feb 19

Making 2013 My Best Year Yet

sunday-post-goalsIf any of you are following our tweets or Facebook posts, you’ll already know that I registered for a course with one of my all time favourite authors and speakers; Robin Sharma.  This course is designed to get you out of your own way so you can succeed at whatever goals you desire to achieve.  I’ve taken several courses such as this in the past and I contemplated for weeks about even signing up. I wasn’t convinced that this course was going to teach me anything I didn’t already know. In the end I decided to enrol because I have a lot of big work related goals this year that I really need to achieve and figured Robin would help keep me on track. The course has videos, podcasts, tutorials and conference calls.  Once a month I am going to write about what I’ve learned, what I’ve implemented and what I’m struggling with in an effort to share with you as well as have you hold me accountable for my progress.

Our first conference call was last week.  It was just under an hour and Robin interacted with us by answering our questions and concerns throughout the call.  As this was our first call, a lot of it was fairly introductory with respect to setting the tone for the course, instructions on how to get the most out of it as well as bringing to the forefront some mental obstacles we most likely will encounter.  Robin tied all of these things into our first lesson ~ New Science of Goal Achievement.  In a nutshell, we learned how science plays a role in both failing and achieving goals and the steps we can take to use this scientific knowledge to create behaviours and habits that will lead to success.  I have included the steps below but didn’t tie it into the science discussion as that is fairly involved. If you would like to know more about that part, let me know.

  1. Catapult forward to the end of 2013. If everything went according to plan, what would your life (work, personal, financial, health, spiritual…whatever area(s) you want to focus on most) look like?
  2. What 5 (not 4 not 6) goals/changes do you need to accomplish to reach your end of year vision? Write them down.
  3. Break those 5 things down into 10 smaller quarterly goals. Write them down.
  4. Break the quarterly goals down into smaller weekly goals. Write them down. This yearly plan needs to fit on one page. Forces you to keep things precise and simple.
  5. Do 5 small steps every day that will move you towards reaching your weekly goal(s).
  6. Plan your week every Sunday (should take about an hour). Must be written down.
  7. Review your previous week’s plan noting what victories you had and what actions you encountered obstacles with. Incorporate these into the upcoming week’s plan.
  8. Create your weekly plan that includes your 5 daily small steps into your upcoming week’s plan.
  9. Review your 1 page plan every day.
  10. Create the daily habit of the “holy hour”. The concept of the holy hour is to start your day off right by making the most of your mind and body’s strongest time of the day…early morning…5 AM to be specific. The hour is divided into 3 practices.  20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reviewing your 1 page plan and daily plan, 20 minutes of learning/education or journaling.

Reality check ~ how am I doing so far?

    • The 5 goals for the year are established.
    • Quarterly goals are roughed out.
    • Weekly goals are not so clearly defined.
    • Documented on a 1 page plan still needs to be completed.
    • Weekly planning habit – 3 weeks so far (this was part of a tutorial I read so I had a couple weeks head start on this one)
    • Holy hour – I get a big F on this one so far. I am not an early riser, so this is going to be a big challenge for me. I am going to baby step this one and aim for 6 AM as a starting point. I am doing the 3 practices (exercise, reviewing and learning), just not at 5 AM.

One of the questions on the call was how to not feel overwhelmed by all of the planning and action steps. Robin’s answer…small daily changes and steps will result in achieving big results.  Think about it, if you did 5 small steps a day towards a big goal, at the end of a year that would be 1825 steps…I believe that would equal big change.

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback. Or share any goals/changes you want to make this year.  More updates to follow.

Feb 17

GDI Book Club

Coming soon…

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