2015 A-Z Blog Challenge: Theme Reveal

Well…here I am AGAIN…another bout of being single…

  • “better alone than in bad company”
  • “just think of all that time you have back”
  • “now you have time to write again”

Yes…ok…the last one pulls me forward, perhaps the others should but he wasn’t always bad company and when he was good company he was great company. I loved being with him and his kids (they are really great kids, I love them). However sometimes love is not enough, sometimes, years of poor communication techniques and bad dating habits snuff out the love and desire. I love him, my heart is broken, but sometimes there are deal breakers that cannot be ignored.

So why am I writing about this on the 100 Smile Challenge…because smiling can be a challenge when we go through changes that we don’t necessarily want or choose. I chose this change, although it was in response to something consistently and increasingly going wrong in our relationship. So I chose this change, I need this change, but I would have so much preferred things to have worked out and to be honest I really hope someday we can at least be friends again in a whole and healthy manner, but that is not possible today and I need to be whole and healthy every day.

Writing has always been a source of therapy for me. I started this blog several years ago because I was really down (not depressed, but down), had a growing interest in Positive Psychology (the study of what is right about individuals), and a passion for the written word, especially in blogs. Through the years I have learned a lot and shared a lot. Although I have not been writing much recently I still have a small but consistent stream of people telling me how they have enjoyed my writing and found it helpful when they need a smile ignited.

So my A-Z Blog Challenge for 2015 theme is Getting Back Up When Life Has Knocked You Down. Everything I write I will have put, or be putting, into practice. This Challenge will be about recovery and resilience when the worst thing in the world has not happened, but we would have so much preferred a different outcome in our current situation. It will be about the importance of taking care of ourselves, when we feel alone or someone we thought cared about us has left a void. If you have gone through an upset and need to heal or simply regroup, then please join me, together let’s stand back up, dust ourselves off, explore what ignites our smiles, and demonstrate our resilience.

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Ripple Effect: The Art of Compliments: Day 1

Finally let’s get started with creating a ripple with compliments. I have to admit sometimes I think this may be a slightly silly thing to write about but typically just after thinking that someone completely fumbles through a compliment and I think “I should write this series for you”. That being shared a compliment is much more than just putting the right words together, before we get our words together we need to increase our awareness of others.

As I write this I am on the train to a meeting in NW PDX instead of my Nike Golf Office. My attention is going into my phone. I am certainly not alone many of us are giving our phones our full attention.

In order to create a ripple with a compliment we need to look up and notice others. We need to interact with others in the real world. We can virtually compliment, but I encourage you (and me) to make our compliments eye to eye.

So as we build habits that create positive ripples today lets increase our awareness, look up, say hi, and simply notice other people.

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2015 Theme: How to Create a Ripple Effect of Smiles

This year on the 100 Smile Challenge Blog I am adjusting my perspective.  In the previous years of this blog the writing has been about How to Ignite Our Own Smiles.  In 2015 I would like to extend the focus to How to Create a Ripple Effect of Smiles.  Each month we will explore personal actions that not only ignite our own smiles but ignite the smiles of those around us.  I truly believe a bit of positive energy shared with others is infectious, not to all people, but to many people.  And at times if it is just one other person that needs a bit of our magic then our purpose is fulfilled.

Each month we will strengthen and create positive energy giving habits that create ripples of smiles all around us.  I will combine research on the topic of the month with the best habit forming research to help us create positive habits that transform our world.  As we turn these ideas into actions we will create a ripple of positive energy around us.

A few ideas for the series are:

  • Perfect the Art of the Honest Compliment – A compliment could be described as an intentional ripple, done with honesty and a bit of artful design a compliment is typically endearing. Let’s perfect the art of the heartfelt compliment.
  • Optimistic Living – The positive energy in genuine optimism is infectious. Let’s explore optimistic living from a genuine perspective.
  • Bring in Beauty – Beauty creates a ripple of its very own and takes so many forms. Let’s explore how we can bring more sustaining beauty into our lives.
  • Socially Connect – From a simple “hello” and smile for a stranger to our most intimate love connections, our social connections are the inner rings of the ripple we create. Let’s explore how to strengthen our connections so our ripples multiple.
  • Express Gratitude – Expressing gratitude is probably the easiest and most often overlooked method of creating a ripple effect of positive energy in our own life and the lives of others.
  • Follow Your Heart – So often our best intentions never turn into action, what if for 30 days our best intentions did turn into actions. What would happen?

I am not completely abandoning the How to Ignite Our Own Smiles, this new series will certainly do this for us, our smile combined with action will be what starts the ripple into motion.  While I am creating these new series I will also be completing the previous series to turn those into e-books, e-journals and other resources.  Each of those series are packed full of important information, ideas, and activities for transforming lives, I hear all the time about how the writings have helped people going through difficult times or just looking to enhance life so I want to make sure those are available to anyone who needs to ignite their own smile going forward.

Please join me in 2015 for How to Create a Ripple Effect of Smiles.

Ripple Effect_How to Header

Thank you,


Chief Smile Igniter

100 Smile Challenge Blog

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Quality of Life Month: Create the Mindset that Allows More Joy in YOUR Life

The amount of joy you have in your life depends more on your mindset than on your circumstances.  When your mind is set on more of the positives in life and less on the negatives you will find more joy and fulfillment entering your life:

Martha Washington Mindset Quote

Last Saturday night I received the scariest phone call of my life.

“Jodi, Shianne has been hit by a car.

Get to the corner of Erickson and Allen right now.

Don’t ask questions, just get here.

She will be ok.”

 Shianne is my daughter. 

On the phone, my boyfriend, Eric. 

Shianne, a fitness enthusiast, wanted to go to the gym to work out, but due to the holidays the gym was closing early, so she set out with the dogs for a nice long walk.

Eric took some back roads to my house and got lost (after 4 ½ years of dating he got lost on the way to my house) but ended up driving by the accident scene seconds after it happened, recognized our dogs and my daughter, pulled over and called me before helping out in every way he could.

Before the call was over I was in my car headed to the scene…with a fear I had never felt before.

Over the next few hours my daughter was taken to the emergency room via ambulance, CT Scanned, X-rayed, and all abrasions cleaned up.  She had clear CT Scan results, no broken bones, and abrasions that needed no stitches.  Within four hours of the incident she was home in bed to let the healing begin.  She is bruised all down the left side of her body, an abrasion on the left side of her forehead, a blackened eye and cheek, on-going headaches and neck pain, and a knee that is swollen, locks up and makes walking difficult.  But we are hopeful all will heal with time and a bit more medical care.

This was a situation that could have been so much worse had a few factors been slightly different, so we are extremely grateful that if this had to happen it was as it was and no different.  Is it possible that this horrible incident was perfectly orchestrated for the benefit of all involved?

Over the last few days Shianne and I have noticed that our mindset is what is getting us through this situation in a way that surprises us.  And today as I was considering what to write I was happy to realize we are living these tips I encourage.  I share these not to try to brag about us, but to demonstrate that when we consider these and truly desire to bring these strategies into the world we get the opportunity to do so and learn for ourselves their value.


Mindset Tip 1:

Ignite Gratitude

The simplest way to form a positive connection with the people and things     around you is to ignite your sense of gratitude.  When trouble is bringing you down, you     have lost your sense of connection, and life seems to not be flowing in     your favor reverse the current by getting into a state a gratitude for all     the blessings that are surrounding you. 

Mindset Tip 2:

Practice Positive Thinking

Your mindset can be influenced by your environment.  Replace the negative influences with     positive and uplifting people, events, and environments.  Nourish your spirit and see things in a     positive light.  Even if the positive     light is just a spark it can be transformed into a flame when fueled.

Mindset Tip 3:

Eliminate Self Imposed Limitations

Nothing binds us more than the chains we bind ourselves with.  Our patterns of speech, our choices, the     risks we take or refuse, and the way we view the world all create the     limitations we live within.  Our     self-imposed limitations keep us safe, but also keep us from changing our lives for the better. 

Mindset Tip 4:

The Power of Choice

Our lives are the results of our previous choices.  If we want things different and better,     we have to make the choices that align to our true desires and take full responsibility for those choices and their results.


Ignite Gratitude

When I arrived on the accident scene and spoke with my daughter I realized things could have been so much worse.  The car was low to the ground so Shianne went onto the hood of the car instead of being knocked down and under the car.  The car was moving at a low speed, turning onto the road instead of moving at a higher speed down the road, and the driver stopped and was cooperating in any way he could instead of leaving the scene or trying to blame her.

Practice Positive Thinking

This situation was scary, no doubt the fear was the most prevalent thought in my soul, but I know we can make this situation worse by turning to the negative or make it the best possible by keeping a positive tone.  I firmly believe the most powerful aids to healing are rest or sleep and a positive belief that full and complete healing will take place.

Eliminate Self Imposed Limitations

An easy place to go to in this situation is to blame the driver for the pain, suffering, and inconvenience he has caused my daughter, our dogs, and me.  It would be easy to make him the source of my frustration and bind myself up in anger, but I know he was also greatly impacted by this situation.  This was in no way an intentional act; it was an unfortunate and perhaps careless act.  He too is suffering.

The Power of Choice

One of the things I was fully aware of in this situation was the impact I could have on all involved with a careless response or a caring response.  In spite of all my emotions I think I chose the caring response, even sending a message to the driver after Shianne was released from the hospital letting him know that she was released with no injuries to her brain, no broken bones, and no stitches.  His response was the same and his insurance company accepted liability without any issues.  We all chose the high road.

Develop Your Intuition

This was one of the great self-lessons of this situation.  Shianne’s horoscope pointed to this incident, she even commented on it a few times since the beginning of the month and avoided driving at times because of the horoscope.  After Shianne had left for her walk I had a thought that she was going to be hit by a car and Eric would be there.  I brushed the thought off, there was nothing I could do with the info, but it prepared me to handle this emergency and all it involved in a way I could have only hoped for. I now look at the power of intuition in a new way, our intuition is often there to prepare us for the path we are about to take.

Accept Yourself and Others

Maybe this is what this blog post is primarily about…my own self-acceptance of me.  I did well in a situation that put me to the test.  The universe demonstrated that we all do the best of our abilities in all our situations.  This may be the beauty of emergency situations; the only preparation is how we live before and the values we hold dear, how we behave during the emergency is a testament of those values.


Mindset Tip 5:

Develop Your Intuition

You know you.  You know what you need better than anyone else.      Intuition is not for the clairvoyant only; we are all equipped with an internal navigation system. We just need to learn how to listen and     develop our skill to follow our intuitive self. 

Mindset Tip 6:

Accept Yourself and Others

When thinking about yourself does your mind flood with the many     positives that make you amazing or does your inner critic drown out the     good with what could be better about you and your life.  Learning to accept the amazing creation you are and those around you will allow you to radiate with a happy confident glow.

Mindset Tip 7:

Captivate Your Soul

When the soul is touched it is as though God has reached out and     embraced us.  We all need a spiritual practice that connects us with a higher power.  May that be God or simply the workings of the universe, it is important to appreciate, connect, and relish in the greatness of the world we live in.


Captivate Your Soul

As I write I write with a new recognition of the importance of my writing for my soul.  This is where I explore the bigger concepts of the world around me.  My writing is where my soul is captivated, where God greets me, speaks to me, and speaks through me.  This is my spiritual practice.

How to Use These Tips to Cultivate Your Mindset and Improve Your Quality of Life:

I used my own tips as a self-assessment of my own mindset and how it is serving me.  This has been a great way for me to work through this recent experience and the emotions of it all.  As a result I am proud of the woman I have become, excited about the woman my daughter is, and thankful for the people who come in and out of my life regardless of the situation.  I know the research and application of this topic has shaped me and those who surround me.

What is happening in your life?  Would a similar exploration of your mindset be beneficial for you?  It will show you areas where your mindset is serving you very well and other areas where you can learn and explore a bit more.

Think of your mind as fertile ground to be cultivated into something that serves you, guides you, and allows you to create an amazing life.  Left unguarded it can fall victim to whatever moves in.  Now is the time to start bringing in and acknowledging all the positives this life is offering you.  The more you can cultivate your mind and create a positive mindset the more positive experiences you will create and attract.  The more positive experiences you have, the more smiles you will also have.

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Quality of Life Month & The 100 Smile Challenge

A simple definition of the quality of life is the state of being gratified or satisfied. This month is the International Quality of Life Month so I decided to jump on board with an exploration of quality of life from the 100 Smile Challenge perspectives.

Over the last few years I have been fascinated with the field of positive psychology, the study of what makes us happy. Through the study and application of its principles I have transformed my life from cynicism, fear, and lack of confidence to one of gratitude, opportunity, and joy in the moment. I have enhanced the quality of my life by the application of the topics I write about in this blog. The specifics of what makes each individual happy are specific to the individual, but I think I have captured the key areas in the following categories:
The basis of this blog has been how to identify and do more of the things in life that bring smiles to our faces, the ultimate indicator of a good quality of life. This month let’s dive into the 6 areas and the variety of tools available for increasing the quality of our own lives and the lives of those around us. Smiles are contagious, the more joy we create in our own lives the more smiles spread into the lives of those around us.
Join me this month for a reset and assessment of our own quality of life.

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Savoring Life Week 1 Recap

Dog on a BenchEvery Sunday during this series I will provide you a recap of the week’s posts. It is a great opportunity to brew a fresh cup of coffee and snuggle up with a journal and these posts. I encourage you to take some time and note your thoughts on this topic. Savoring life is simply extending the joy we experience in life. As we learn to savor and make simple changes that allow us to savor more, we life happier lives.

Savoring Life Introduction
We savor life when we allow our positive experiences to create an upward spiral of experiences, emotions, relationships, mental capabilities, etc. When we extend the positive experience by positively anticipating it, fully engage during the event, and/or prolong the memory of the event we embrace a savoring of life mindset.

Idea Generator
We only change our life for better when we decide to take specific actions that lead to our desired results. We can increase the joy we have in life when we create a savoring life habit. The Back to the Future Exercise can lead to a powerful perspective shift that can create huge energy and clarity with regard to how to extend positive experiences. You get advice and ideas from an older you and a younger you. Then you can narrow down the ideas shared into a new habit for the month that will have you savoring life more fully.

Savor Blockers vs. Savor Igniters
When it comes to drawing maximum joy from the good events of our lives our perceptions of how we should experience joy and our beliefs of how much joy we deserve will either block or ignite our savoring abilities. There are also times when doing what we think we should do robs us of the joy we truly deserve. In this post I share with you four of the most prevalent Savoring Blockers and provide you their antidotes, so you can increase your awareness of how these are playing out in your life and perhaps take some simple actions to refocus your life on more joy.

Me Time
Fridays are days where I am often tired and my energy is draining from a week of work. Feel Fabulous Fridays was set up to counteract that energy drain with simple strategies to bring my life to Friday. Part of Savoring Life is learning how to focus on you and embrace all the good that is happening through and around you. Sometimes life gets us moving a bit too quickly and/or others need our attention so we forget to pause to give ourselves the attention we need. This post is a reminder to pause a bit and savor YOU.

Create a Savoring Habit
Consistently building new habits allows you to establish or add to your track record of success and demonstrates that you can do anything you set your mind and intentions to. Even if your habit is to make your bed every morning the process of turning this from a challenge to a success will show you that you can obtain anything you set your mind to. Every time you see that well-made bed you will consciously or subconsciously tell yourself that you are successful and will apply those same success processes to other areas of your life. This month we will apply those principles to create a savoring habit that will lead to more smiles in our lives.

Next week we will jump into the perspectives and the strategies of savoring. I will also provide more guidance on creating new smile inducing habits.

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Savoring Life: Create a Savoring Habit

Starfish in SandAt different times in my life I have focused on creating new habits that support the life I want to live. As a result I have transformed various areas of my life. For example I would set up a morning routine that had me eating breakfast, walking the dogs, and leaving for work with a made bed and a folded load of laundry. Each one of those events was a simple action that practiced over time became an auto-piloted activity.

Developing a new habit is about putting a small piece of your life on auto-pilot. As we consistently perform a new activity we start to move a behavior from consciously telling ourselves to perform an activity to an unconscious process. We build new neuro pathways in our brain that incorporates that new habit automatically. All of a sudden we stop beating ourselves up for not having our act together and notice that we have (and can build more) processes that sustain us. And most importantly we develop a track record of success.

Consistently building new habits allows you to establish or add to your track record of success and demonstrates that you can do anything you set your mind and intentions to. Even if your habit is to make your bed every morning the process of turning this from a challenge to a success will show you that you can obtain anything you set your mind to. Every time you see that well-made bed before starting the rest of your day will consciously or subconsciously tell you that you are successful and will apply those same success processes to other areas of your life.

This month let’s take the same process that get us making a bed, consistently folding laundry, or walking 3 miles with the dogs and apply them to savoring life. This week I asked you to consider a simple act that if done on a daily basis would have you savoring your life more. What are some of the ideas you came up with?

For me I am cooking and baking more, consistently providing real food for my daughter and me. That means I cook or bake something every day so we depend less on take out, packaged, and processed foods. This is not a daily 5-minute habit, but probably a daily 30-60 minute habit. This is me slowing down and reprioritizing my time to create better life experiences for my family. And each time I develop or duplicate a successful recipe I will certainly be savoring the results.

Each Saturday of the month of October I will share a tip or a few about how to create habits that support you. I will also be sharing how I am doing at creating the cooking and baking habit in my home so you can see a real example put into practice.

What will you do this month to either more fully anticipate future events, fully engage in current events, or better recall the past events of your life?

Please join me for a month long experiment of creating a new savoring habit that will have you living life more fully.

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Savoring Life: Me Time

Garden Water CanIt is Friday…or Feel Fabulous Friday! Today let’s talk about Me Time. Part of Savoring Life is learning how to focus on you and embrace all the good that is happening through and around you. Sometimes life gets us moving a bit too quickly and/or others need our attention so we forget to pause to give ourselves the attention we need.

Today I am here to remind you to give to YOU. If you are not giving yourself a bit of a break to tend to your own needs and simply acknowledging all the good around you, you are missing out on opportunities to increase your joy and be richly blessed by your amazing life.

Today take at least 20 minutes of ME TIME. Do whatever your heart desires and your soul needs.

This morning I baked a new recipe for pumpkin cream cheese muffins while drinking coffee and eating my breakfast. It was so nice to just relax and put around the kitchen.  Next I am out to work in my garden.

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Savoring Life: Savor Blockers vs. Savor Igniters

Wedding Couple on BeachWhen it comes to drawing maximum joy from the good events of our lives our perceptions of how we should experience joy and our beliefs of how much joy we deserve will either block or ignite our savoring abilities.  There are also times when doing what we think we should do robs us of the joy we truly deserve.  Today I want to share with you four of the most prevalent Savoring Blockers and provide you their antidotes, so you can increase your awareness of how these are playing out in your life and perhaps take some simple actions to refocus your life on more joy.

For each SAVORING BLOCKER below I follow it up with the SAVORING IGNITER, consider the igniter the antidote to the blocker.  For example, the Savoring Igniter SIMPLIFY is the antidote to the Savoring Blocker of EXCESS.

Savoring Blocking #1:  Excess.   We only have so much time and attention.  When our lives fill with too many time commitments like excess work, too any volunteer activities or even time wasters we find we move from one event to the next with such velocity we do not have time to acknowledge or bask in the good things we just achieved.  The same happens when too many things fill our lives.  Things take our attention and time, we want a large house with a large yard, but find we either need to spend time in the yard or hire others to work in the yard.  We want the largest clearest TV we can afford, well then we need to watch it, protect it and probably share it with others.  All is good, but the excess we create prevents us from savoring the good.

Savoring Igniter #1:  Simplify.  Stop keeping up with the Jone’s, this is your life, claim it and live it to its fullest.  If your job has taken over your life and prevents you from having dinner with your family start with a small change that will help you progress to a new boundary.  Choose 1 night a week to have a family dinner, even if it is Sunday afternoon.  To increase the anticipation, plan a menu or RSVP at a restaurant that everyone likes.  To increase the pleasure in the moment set a no phone rule during dinner so everyone is engaged and participating in conversation.  To prolong the memory take a family photo and post it to a Facebook.  This is just one example to show how a small change that aligns to your values can have a big impact on the joy you experience.



Savoring Blocker #2:  Stress.  Worrying about the future or staring down a massive To-Do List can be stressful.  A few years ago I realized I was addicted to stress, the adrenalin it caused really was my drug of choice.  Once I came to the realization that I was the cause of my own stress filled life, and promoting stress in others, I started to make large and small changes that allowed me to live more intentionally.  Even now when I feel stress I know it is because I am allowing the day to run me instead of me running the day.

Savoring Igniter #2:  Live In the Moment.  The only thing we can truly affect is now.  Worrying about something is not going to change it.  Doing something now that impacts our future may change it and should calm our nerves.  Worry is not a viable action; it is a form of procrastination.  Action today is an investment in your future.  If you feel worried about a situation take one action to move it forward or resolve it now and know that the universe will send you the next inspired action when the time is right.  Most likely if you are worried about a situation, it is because you are not taking the inspired action the universe has already delivered you.



Savoring Blocker #3:  Wasting Time.  There is no joy in mindless TV.  Now I have my favorite TV shows just like the next person, but I typically watch those on-demand so I can watch only that and not get sucked into the “best of” whatever is on.  We all have our time wasters or ways to unwind from a busy day or intense situation, some of that is ok, but it is important to look at those with a discerning eye.  Are they ways to relax when you need it or are they wasting your time and steeling your joy?

Savoring Igniter #3:  Flow.  There is a state of mind and productivity referred to as flow.  You have experienced it.  It is that very rewarding time you spend completely absorbed in a project, activity or conversation.  You are so absorbed in it you lose track of time, you are thoroughly engaged and excited or at peace, and, perhaps most rewarding, the best of you is surfacing.   When you are in a state of flow there is no such thing as wasted time.



Savoring Blocker #4:  Dampening.  Dampening is a strategy used by those with a low self-esteem.  There was a time in my own life where I used this more than enough.  When dampening we neither like or value ourselves so we see unhappiness as a state consistent with who we believe ourselves to be.  Instead of using any of the many strategies to savor life and increase our joy those who dampen deliberately mute or distract themselves from positive feelings.

Savoring Igniter #4:  Savoring.  Savoring is the anti-dote to dampening.  If you find yourself frequently or occasionally in the dampening state, this series will change your life if you apply some of the savoring strategies I share with you.  Learning to savor life will show your value and help you acknowledge the good happening in your world.  It will also help you see the good that is a result of YOU being engaged and mindful of the positive realities taking place around and through you every single day.


Today’s Simple Smile Igniter is to combine any discoveries of today with yesterday’s Idea Generator Exercise to come up with a simple new habit that will help you savor life a bit more every day.  On Saturday we will start creating a new habit that supports us as we use savoring strategies to bring more smiles into our lives.

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Savoring Life: Idea Generator

Knowledge is not power, action is power.

This month as we discover how to bring more joy into our lives by savoring our lives we will develop one habit that supports us in this endeavor. Now I understand I am putting the cart before the horse a bit here. We will discover how to savor life more over the course of the month so by the end of the month you will know specific actions that will help you savor life based on your perspective of savoring. But I always believe that we internally know of at least one action that will bring us to a higher level of positivity, we just don’t always pause to claim that knowledge or remember to take action on that knowledge.

This exercise will help you pause to claim that knowledge and every Saturday of this month I will support you as you take action on that knowledge. By the end of the month, if you stick with me, you should have a simple action that has become a new habit that leads you effortlessly to more smiles.

Today I want to share an exercise I have heard in various forms, but have adapted from the book, How to Have Kick-Ass Ideas by Chris Barez-Brown. This is an Idea Generator that pulls the ideas out of you.

BACK TO THE FUTUREMan and Child on Rocks

What is it?
The Back to the Future Exercise can lead to a powerful perspective shift that can create huge energy and clarity with regard to how to extend positive experiences. You get advice and ideas from an older you and a younger you.

Why it’s good.
We often get trapped in our routines, so much so that we lose perspective. Purely by remembering what is important and what makes a difference, we can break free from these self-imposed traps. Few perspectives are as powerful as those from near the beginning and near the end of your life.

Things you will need:
• Writing Paper
• Two Envelopes
• Pen or Pencil
• Crayons

Now Let’s Take Action.
Seat yourself somewhere comfortable and quiet. Imagine yourself to be much older and in the twilight of your years with most of your life lived. Now write a letter to you in the present time. This is a letter of advice, of perspective. Write whatever comes to you, whatever seems important. Don’t censor yourself, just write. Include a perspective on how you are living and enjoying life. Are there things the older wiser you advises you to stop or start doing? It will help to consider what you will be like by this age in your life, what you have experienced, and what you have learnt. When it feels complete sign off and put it in an envelope for the present you.

Now change rooms and kneel on the floor to write the letter from you as a child using the hand you don’t usually write with. Colored crayons can really bring this to life. Again, don’t edit yourself, but write from your heart, write from the younger you. Think about what is important to you as a child, what you love, what makes you tick. When you’re finished, hang out for a while, play a game, have some fun – you deserve it.

Take the letters into another room, pour yourself your favorite beverage, and read the letters. What ideas do these letters give you? Specifically in the area of savoring life, what messages from the older wiser you and the child within are you discovering? What are the simple daily actions that you could take that would help you extend the joys in your life?

Turn this Feedback into a New Habit to Create this Month:
If you are new to intentionally creating new habits, welcome. If you have gone through a new habit creation exercise with me in the past, welcome back. The older and younger you gave you some insight and advise into how you are living life currently and how you could change a few things to get the most out of the experiences you are having right now.

Identify three simple things you can do on a daily basis that would have you extending your positive experiences by positively anticipating them, fully engaging during the event, or prolonging the memory of the events of your life.

Here are some examples:

  • To Positively Anticipate Future Events: Spend 5 minutes each day planning your next vacation, party, family gathering, or some other anticipated event.
  • To Positively Engage During an Event: When at a meal with another person, put your phone away. Start jotting down notes of the things racing through your mind that distract you, once they are captured on paper your mind is free to engage in the current situation. Practice an active listening tactic until it becomes habit. Breathe.
  • To Positively Prolong the Memories of an Event: Start an on-line or physical photo album or scrap book. Journal the day’s events and highlight in yellow those events that bring you joy. Start a gratitude journal to record the great events of your life and review it on occasion.

Over the next couple of days narrow down your three ideas into one simple daily practice that will have you building a life savoring habit this month.

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