Must Read Books For Inspiration & Encouragement

We are in the 2nd month of 2017. How has the new year been going for you so far? I would say it has been going good for me. Last month I discussed self care and shared my self care kit.  Reading can be a form of self care so I have been upping my reading game.  3 books completed in the month of January. Hooray!! To be honest, I didn’t think that I could finished 3 reads in a month but it happen. I started with one and work my way to the third one.  I would say the content of the books played a significant part in the completion of this goal.  Here are the 3 that made the cut for my January’s reads.

Uninvited

Have you ever felt rejected or unloved? Lysa uses her life experiences  to help you see how rejection had impacted her as a person and how it intertwined in the beliefs and thoughts she had about herself.  You are able to take the journey with her and along the way you find yourself relating through your own life experiences.  She shows you how she finds healing through wisdom from biblical scriptures and helps you see how you can find your healing too.  Throughout the book, you will find yourself stopping, digging, and self reflecting.  Through this process, you are able to find your road to healing. I will say to have a journal or notebook ready.  I used mine a lot. I enjoyed Lysa’s writing and this is a book that I will read again.

Jump

My sister got this book for me and I am happy that she did.  Do you find yourself stuck or stagnant?  This is a good book to read for MOTIVATION and ENCOURAGEMENT. I had to put them in all caps because Steve does a wonderful job motivating & encouraging the reader to go after their goals in life, whether it be career, entrepreneurship, or relationship wise.  Jump can be applied to many situations.  I mean, you will want to take the jump after reading.  Through his life experiences and faith in God, he shows how jumping, taking a chance, & not giving up got him where he is today.  He doesn’t just share the not so good moments when he started out but he shares the not so good moments after he achieved success and how he made it through them.  When I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Each chapter kept me wanting more. This is a must read.

Grace Not Perfection

Do you find yourself constantly in the hustle and bustle routine? Do you ever slow down, simplify things, and enjoy life moments? Do you just keep going going and going? Emily shares through some of her life experiences how it is important to slow down and simplify things.  She shares how it takes giving yourself grace to be okay with doing this and utilizing the word “No.”  I especially enjoyed the chapter on giving your person or spouse grace also.  She also shares very helpful organization and planning tips.  Overall, I enjoyed the book and love that there were pages filled with worksheets.  This book gave me the opportunity to look at my life and see how important it is to give myself grace. I did realized that I do not give myself enough grace and I need to work on that.  And for that I am grateful.

I didn’t want to say too much about each book but I have been inspired by all of them.  Did you read any books in January?

 

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Sunday Night Session-Reflecting & Planning

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Hey loves, how has your weekend been? Hopefully relaxing, fun, & somewhat peaceful.  Mine has been relaxing.  Time went back this weekend.  Did you enjoy your extra hour this morning? I think I did. I was ready able to get ready for church earlier than usual.

I hated to see the weekend go. I would love a day in between Sunday and Monday but wishful thinking huh?   Anyways, I like to spend my Sunday night planning with a cup of chai latte, relaxing music, & a scented candle.  This momma gets in her zone and reflect on last week and plan for the new week.

During reflecting, I journal moments and things that are still on my mind.  Writing them down helps to clear up space in my head because I am one of those people who will dwell on something a while if it stays in my head. This is not healthy and may create all kinds of stress.  By reflecting weekly, it helps me to pay attention to what is really going in my mind.  I call it thought maintenance.  When I write it down, I feel like I have release it. It no longer has a hold on me. And I can start concentrating on new things or moments (not always new but other things that may need my attention).

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During reflecting, I also examine goals that were or were not accomplished for the week.  I write out my goals and tasks to accomplished them. This is the time that I adjust some tasks to help reach goals not accomplished and to add new goals if I am able.  Sometimes life does not go as plan but it is good to have an idea of what you are working towards even if you have to adjust it.

Ready to tackle the week!

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Hope In A Hopeless Place

 

hope-can-be-found-in-a-hopeless-placeAs I look over at this beautiful decor sign “hope” while I get ready in the morning, it triggers the thoughts of thinking positive.  I picked the “HOPE” sign up at Marshalls a few months ago and decided the best place to put it was in the bathroom.  You may wonder why? Well, because that is the first place I visit in the morning.  As I am looking in the mirror getting ready I can’t help but to see it.  Life, or should I say situations in life, has a way of taking our ability to have hope away.  It may not be all the time but sometimes things or events can happened and we lose hope.  I don’t want to be in the state of mind thinking that there is no reason to have hope.

Because despite it all, having hope can help through everyday life struggles. Why?  Remember the situation or event that you thought was going to be the worst and it seemed like you couldn’t see how you were going to make it through,  look back on it and see how you made it through it.  It may not have been how you want it to but you got through it.

I know the desired outcome that we want for certain situations do not manifest but that does not mean that outcome will be for situations to come.  I don’t want a couple situations to let me give up hope because living in a hopeless state is unhealthy and it causes me to miss the time or appreciate the time when I did or will get the desired outcome.

Throughout life, we learn new ways to cope and deal with situations and events.  It is like we have a maintenance kit  composed of tools we have acquired along this journey of life to deal with different moments attached to us that we just have to remember that it is there and use it.  Sometimes, we don’t give ourselves enough credit.

So that time that was difficult and seemed hopeless and you made it through, what coping skill or helping tool did you pick up from that and added to your maintenance kit?

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Unplugging (Rooftop & Chai Latte)

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“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.” Anne Lamott

This past weekend, I found a beautiful and relaxing view (Paramour) with my favorite cup of deliciousness and enjoyed the moment of unplugging with peace. I took time out to enjoy nature, birds’ chirping, the sound of the wind moving through the trees, etc.  I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend!

Don’t forget to unplug.

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Freeing Up My Time With My To Do List

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Hey loves, it is near the end of the week already and this year is half way gone.  Where is the time going?  Fall is just around the corner and I am excited.  I always get happy about this season but that is for another post.  I have been thinking of ways to free up my morning and add more time for peace.  I love peace in the morning. It is relaxing.  It helps me start my day off on a good note.

I usually would get my cup of deliciousness (coffee or tea) and write out things for the day in the morning. It has been a part of my morning routine for a while so it may be good to change something in my routine. It reduces the possibility of getting comfortable, bored, or developing the feeling of just going through the motions.

Before I go further, I have to talked about how obsessed I am with stationery.  It seems like I can not go to a store without eyeing this section of the store.  Isn’t my list pad beautiful?  It is by Lady Jayne Ltd.  Okay, now  back to how I am freeing up some of my morning.  I started thinking about my evenings and decided that it may be a good idea to write  out my to do list in the evening or at night for the next day.  I always find extra moments during these times to do none productive things, so adding my to do list wouldn’t hurt.  I am going to try this for a couple weeks and see how it goes.  Who knows? This may work better for me or I may not like it at all but I will not know unless I give it a try.

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Word For The Year

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It is always great to start the new year off on a word that would be the focus point for your goals. It has taken me some time to come up with my word. I finally decided on “transform” towards the end of February.  At first I was caught between choosing transform or intentional. I was going back and forth about which word to choose.

Then, it hit me. To be able to participate in transforming effectively, I will have to be intentionally with my actions. These words work hand in hand. What do I want to transform? Every since I began this blog, my thinking process has change. It has cause me to think about things in a certain way. I have grown deeper in my relationship with God and I have learned to take time out and enjoy not only the big moments and things but also the little ones.

Sometimes, we find ourselves constantly moving until we miss out on things that will give us a moment to literally feel the breathing that we do. I mean we know we breathe daily but do we really take time out to realize the breath that we are blessed to take. The moments that we let slip by because we were so busy constantly moving.

My thinking process may have improve last year but I am still a work in progress. So, I want to work on transforming my thinking process more to take time out to enjoy life moments.  I want to continue to transform my health, my family life, & my business. I have to constantly work on myself because just because I know some coping skills or mechanisms to use in times of struggle doesn’t mean that I don’t get distracted sometimes with negative thoughts or situations. I do, and this is why I constantly work on myself to keep myself in check.

I also do not want to be just existing in life. I feel that in order to not exist, we must set goals and accomplished them. One goal should be to enjoy life moments.  I think we leave this out from our goal list but it just as important and it can be easily neglected or look over while we are playing our roles in life.  Even if we don’t accomplished all of our goals, we will have a roadmap to go by in life and will not just be existing.

I am looking forward to the growth that will come with my goals this year.

Have you found a word to help you focus on your goals this year?

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3 Simple Ways To Regain Focus

3 Simple Ways To Regain Focus

As I was looking through my notification, 100th post popped up.  It took a minute for me to process that I have actually hit this milestone.  When I began blogging, I didn’t have a clue as to actually what blogging was all about.  I had heard of it but didn’t know what it really entail.  All I knew is that I wanted to create a platform that would encourage others.

 My husband has been very supportive.  I had doubts about blogging but he was and still is my number one encourager/cheerleader along with my sister.  They consistently encourage and motivate me.  If I were to say that this journey has been easy, I would be lying but it has been rewarding.  It has cause me to grow as a person in all areas of my life.  I have met some wonderful people through blogging and for that I am grateful.

With all that being said, sometimes you can lose focus when working on accomplishing goals.  Life happens or you are bombarded with additional duties in life.  Since I blog about inspiring, motivation, and encouragement, I have been learning how to stay in check with my inner self.  In a perfect world, focus would be on point all the time but this is not a perfect world.

Lately, I recognized that I had lost focus.  I don’t know exactly the moment it happened but it did.  I found myself in a blank zone standing still without direction.  I didn’t know what to do next.  I didn’t know what to write next.  I just didn’t know.

So, I had to make some steps toward getting myself back on track.  I had to regain my focus.  I used these 3 ways to help me regain focus.

1.   Turn off the noise.

2.  Feed my mind the nutrients that it needs.

3.  Identify my Why.

I had to find a time to just turn off the noise of life and give myself space to clear my mind so I can feed it what it was lacking. I began to set aside time for only step 2.   I realized that the most important thing that I was running low on was positive, inspiring, & uplifting words in my mind.  I started thinking about the body and how we are told to feed our body nutrients, positive and uplifting words are like nutrients for the mind.

If we don’t give our mind the necessary nutrients, we are not able to function at the best level.  I had to get a refill because I was near empty. Who am I kidding?  I was on “E.”  I went to my bible, back to blog posts that I had written, other blogs, inspiring books, &  encouraging quotes/words.

As I was getting my fill up, I began to feel renewed and rejuvenated.  This gave me a clear and embracing mind to identify and receive my “Why”.  Why am I doing what I am doing?  What am I trying to accomplish for me and my family?

100th post and 3 Ways To Regain Focus

After I finished the steps to regain focus, I was ready to regroup and get back on track.  I also looked back at the notification of the 100th post and I got excited!!

It doesn’t matter if we lose focus as long as we can identify it, regain it, and keep it moving.

How do you regain focus?

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6 Steps To Eliminate Excuses

This was originally posted on here 10/11/14.  I decided to republish it because I enjoyed it and it is a helpful reminder to not let excuses deter us

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Stumbling blocks have the potential to cause regression towards a goal.   Excuses are stumbling blocks that lead to failure or not even trying.  Phrases such as “I can’t” or “I don’t have time” should be toss to the bottom of the ocean without the ability to come back up when it comes to the betterment of your life.  Those phrases should be replace with I can or I will make time.  Anybody that has accomplished any goals in life did not give energy to excuses.    Excuses cause you to be stagnant.  Excuses are designed to demolish your hopes and dreams.

Excuses are tools that cause you to participate in self-defeat.  Who knew that you had the power to create damaging tools? Who knew that you  had the power to destroy your hopes and dreams?  I often hear individuals mention stumbling blocks from others but what about the stumbling blocks call excuses that they create for themselves.

When I looked back over my life and reflect on goals that I have accomplished, I noticed that I use some valuable tools  throughout the process but excuses were not a part of them.  There have been times when I said, I can’t or I just don’t have time but I had to push those negative thoughts (excuses) out of my mind.  When I let excuses controlled me, I didn’t attempt to try to accomplished goals.  I didn’t even really make goals.  I mean if I want something to change in my life,  I had to look at excuses for what they were (stumbling blocks).  So, I had to invest time in myself and put in the work.  I had to believe in myself.  When it comes to the betterment of your life, it is imperative to make time.  Your life is valuable.  You are important, you are special, & you deserve it.

It would be beneficial to sit down and create solutions instead of drooling in excuses. Excuses will take control over your life.  You may not even recognize yourself.  You may compare your life to others.  You may express how  you do not have as much time as someone else to get things done (that is an excuse sneaking in it).  It is not about anyone else time but about how you can work with the time that you have.  It’s about learning how to make your time beneficial for you.  It may be easier to blame others instead of understanding the responsibility you  have in the situation.  You have the power to take control back over your life.  Here is a process that I use to help eliminate excuses and move forward.  It may help whether it be work or personal related.

1.  Take a look at the situation and write down a desired outcome.  Write down the goals you want to accomplish.

2.  Conduct research regarding solutions concerning the situation. Invest time in yourself.  Ask for help if needed.

3.  Develop a list with solutions including the steps to go along with them.

4.  Create a schedule and time frame to complete the steps in the solution.

5.  Make time and follow through the steps. Sometimes you may have to adjust this process. That is alright.  You are a work in progress.  Never give up on yourself.  Make sure to celebrate your progression.

6.  Goal accomplished. You took control back over your life. You eliminated excuses by focusing on solutions. Celebrate. You did it!

So, the next time that inner voice says, I can’t, you tell it I can and I will.  I am important, I am worth it, and I deserve it!

By spending time on creating and progressing towards the solution, you will not have any time to entertain excuses.  You will have eliminated excuses out of your mindset by feeding the mind positive information regarding solutions.  It is important for you to remember to invest in yourself.  By participating in the process of creating and progressing toward solutions, you gain some positive attributes.  Three are positive self-esteem, confidence,  and hope.  These positive attributes will spill into all aspects of life.  You will find yourself having the courage to tackle and achieved more goals.

How do you eliminate or tackle excuses?  I would love feedback.

Let’s stay connected.  I would be honored if you check out my Facebook page and like it https://www.facebook.com/JcCeeWatkinsBarney

This has been shared on Link It To Me.

If you enjoyed this post, you may like 6 Ways To Say No To Negative Self Talk.

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