Day 63 of Michelle’s Transformation

Michelle checks in after a conversation with entrepreneur coach, Jeff Hellenbrand. She talks about taking care of herself and making time for herself. She’s taking the time to be good to herself and experiencing all sorts of little rewards. She also has an update on where they’re at with the lease!

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From Jeff:
“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She chose the Total Transformation one-on-one VIP coaching package and she’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.”

Day 1: Taking Care of the Goods: Self Care in the Trenches

I’m kicking off the Simplify Your Summer series by talking about how to take care of yourself during wedding season. It’s way too important to gloss over and it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. Check out the intro video:

The foundation: Minding the Self Care Trinity
You’ve got to take care of these basics, first.

  • Sleep
    • Quality is just as important as Quantity
    • pre-sleep downtime (no screens 30 mins before bed!)
    • shut out light with better blinds or curtains
  • Fuel
    • See food for what it really is: fuel for your mind and body
    • Baby Steps: Now is NOT the time to start that new fad diet. Make small changes instead.
    • Eat healthy stuff first (before the junk)
    • Out of sight, out of mind
      • Hide the processed, bad-for-you, tempting snacks behind the carrots and other good-for-you foods
  • Exercise
    • Put it on the calendar
    • Work out with a buddy (for the extra accountability)
    • Make it fun! Do things you love like hiking, swimming or kayaking
    • Incorporate it into your day (for example: make some phone calls while you go for a walk)

Now that you’ve covered the basics, create a plan for those inevitable stressful moments. I know it seems daunting when you’re already busy, but the alternative is that you’re stressed out and burned out. By making time for yourself, you can stay on your A-game and make sure that you’re at your best for yourself, your clients and your family. Remember that when you win (at self care) everyone wins.

What are your Pressure-Relief Valves?

  • Make a list of five things you can do to de-stress and recharge
  • Consider things like yoga, meditation, running, deep-breathing
  • Do nothing! Schedule 1-2 hours each week where you have no obligations
  • Be creative: What do YOU love to do that recharges you?
  • For example: have a campfire, dinner with friends, improv classes, garden, read a book

Cool Apps to help you

Get the rest of the Simplify Your Summer expert tips delivered straight to your inbox and get access to the live Q&A with Jeff Hellenbrand on May 20th at

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 13

On today’s Meh to Marvelous transformation, Michelle checks in, with a little help, about what she’s up to. Anyone who knows her knows that her kids are a really big part of her life. They’re the reason she decided to go into business for herself and they’re her motivation to be successful. Success to her, in part, means being able to spend LOTS of quality time with her kids.

What does success mean to you? What are you doing all of this for? Take a look below and share your thoughts in the comments:

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.”

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 8

In today, Meh to Marvelous post, Michelle talks about her great experience with a local yoga instructor. For a long time, she has been meaning to do something good for her and her body and this was just the ticket. She even got a pleasant surprise in the process – take a look!
Have you been neglecting yourself in an effort to “get it all done?” Well, cut it out! Ask yourself how can you be really kind to yourself and maybe even treat yourself this week. Also think about what might be one cool surprise you get out of taking that step?

What to do when “Working Smarter” Doesn’t Work

NBC shows the stark change in technology use in the last seven years.

Are you a productivity junkie? I am, or at least I was. Since college I’ve been obsessed by finding the best life hacks, web apps and productivity tools to automate my life, be effective and efficient and simply get more done in less time. I love learning about this stuff, but I’ve lost interest lately. Let me tell you why.

I’m experiencing the law of diminishing returns. When you start learning how to be more productive, you can shave hours off of your work day. After years and years of research, though, the improvements keep getting smaller and smaller. Because I know that the likelihood of discovering a technique that will have a huge impact on my productivity has been dropping steadily, the hope and excitement have started to wane. Continue reading

Tuesday Tech Tip: Turn it Off

if you can read this somebody stole my iphoneDo you have a hard time disconnecting from technology? Do you find yourself getting distracted by incoming emails, texts and calls? Most of us do.

Technology isn’t bad. The internet isn’t the devil. Like every human invention, it serves a purpose and it can be used for good or evil (and usually both). When people say that TV is all bad or complain about teenagers glued to their cell phones, I gently remind them that technology doesn’t have to own us. We can control it. But we have to choose to.

Technology is overrunning our lives and, for the most part, we have no idea what to do. Don’t just lay there. It’s time to fight back.

Here are three simple ways to take back your life from the grips of technology overload:

  1. Turn off your phone. No one needs to have their cell phone on 24/7. Except maybe doctors (and none read this blog). If you own a wedding business, turn off the damn phone, at least when you sleep.
  2. Put it on airplane mode. In an era of constant distractions, we must create our own sanctuaries if we are to have any hope of being productive. If you need to be creative for an hour, put your phone on airplane mode (if you can’t turn it off) and set an alarm to remind you to turn it back on to check messages.
  3. Turn off notifications. On my iphone, the only notifications I want are text messages and voicemail. If I don’t want those, I put the thing on airplane mode. You do NOT need to know every time an email comes in (read why in this post).

These three minor adjustments can mean the difference between feeling overwhelmed and feeling like you are in control. Build a little peace into your life and it will spread. Which one of these is hardest for YOU to do? How could you benefit from doing it anyway?

Beating Holiday Stress: Part 3

audre lordeCreate a Self-Care Plan

Okay, you’re starting to feel better about the holidays. You’ve assessed your button pushers and added some tools to your stress-busting toolbelt. If you’re anything like me, the second you get into holiday season, all of that goes out the window and you’re back in survivor mode: frazzled, hunting for last-minute gifts and beating back other target shoppers with your plastic basket. Don’t fall back into the holiday-stress vortex. This year, you and I are going to have a plan. And we’re going to stick to it.

Assess your button pushers. If you missed this post, read up here. Knowing what causes you stress this season will help you figure out how to beat that stress. Take an honest look at which people, places, pets and times cause you the most stress. Decide not to let them drive you nuts this year.

Match your stressors up with your tools. Part 2 of this series was all about creating your own tool belt. What can you do to prevent a meltdown at dinner? How can you ensure a good time (for yourself and others) around the fire this year? For each of your button-pushers, figure out the best tool. Make a list (no need to check it twice).
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How to Beat Holiday Stress: Part 2

20121123-004105.jpgBuilding Your Stress-Busting Tool Belt

As much as I love the holidays, they often bring a bunch of unwanted stress into my life. In Part One, we did some self-reflection on our button-pushers. Today, we’re assembling our stress-busting tool belts (don’t be caught without yours) on how to beat holiday stress. You don’t have to do everything on the list, just find your favorites. Let’s dive in!

Use visualization. Great professional athletes use this technique to make them even better. Try visualizing yourself in a situation that normally stresses you out. Instead of getting stressed, visualize yourself responding calmly and even having fun. Rehearse often for the biggest benefit.

Get super creative with exercise. I think one reason we stress during the holidays is that we stop doing things that are good for us. Working out isn’t just good for your waistline, it’s essential for your mental well-being. If it’s not realistic to hit the gym while you’re out of town for a week, get creative and find new ways to get exercise. Start a snowball fight, take a dog for a walk or offer to help bring chairs from downstairs.

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How to Beat Holiday Stress: Part 1

Know Your Button-Pushers

The holidays can be absolutely wonderful. Strangers showing kindness. Meals shared among family and friends. Drunk co-workers embarrassing themselves at the company holiday party.

But remember that lady that pepper-sprayed another Walmart customer on Black Friday in 2011? Yeah, that was crazy. Somebody pushed her buttons and she snapped. Here are some questions for you to consider so you don’t wind up in the slammer for assault-by-condiment:

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