This week, we are talking with Courtney Sewell. She is a mom of three and a Moms Making Six Figures business partner with a serious passion for health and wellness. Courtney uses her social media platforms to highlight popular wellness topics and has found the balance between being a full-time mom and an entrepreneur. Read More!
We’re excited to share some new features on our website! We’re here to encourage you and share the day to day life of a Momsmakingsixfigure mom. This will be a place for sharing it all. In line with our mission to come together to enhance our lives… we want to encourage you through the transparency and authenticity of team! Check back weekly for new photos and stories. Thanks for stopping by and please if you want more information don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We would love to talk you. Visit our online contact form here.
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Happiness. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it?
Many of us are chasing it, in one way or another. From that coworker who is always so cheerful in the morning to the teenager trying to find their path in this world, we’re all just trying to be happy.
You’ve probably heard people say, “I choose to be happy.” They make it sound so easy! Surely we would all choose to be happy if we could? But if they can do it, what’s stopping you? Let’s dig into the science of joy—and how to make happiness your choice.
Joy and the Brain
According to an article by Dr. Marianna Pochelli, the brain has several chemical systems that contribute to “feel good” emotions such as optimism and relief from guilt, regret, shame, anxiety, and agitation. Some of these hormones include dopamine (the reward hormone), endorphins (natural pain relievers), and serotonin (the mental relaxation hormone). Although there are many drugs—both legal and illegal—that produce similar effects, there is no single chemical for joy in the brain or in the pharmacy.
So, if you can’t trick your brain into releasing a chemical for joy, what can you do to start feeling happy today?
How to Live More Joyfully
The key to living more joyfully now is to make a conscious, continual decision to not only engage in mood-boosting activities, but to think about things that make you happy. Yes, there are a few frustrations in life (like walking into the messy living room you just cleaned—thanks, kids!), but one technique is to try to avoid any negative thoughts or activities that bring you down.
According to neuroscientist Rick Hanson, our brains are wired to pay attention to negative things more than the positive. That’s how we evolved—and survived. That means that one has to make a conscious effort to feel happy. To rewire one’s brain, in a way. Some people have to work harder at it than others, and of course what makes one person feel happy might actually be hell on earth for another. Here are a few suggestions for living more joyfully:
1. Stay Away from Negative People
Misery loves company, so you may have to reevaluate your friend circle. Avoiding people who are not only negative but who drain your energy as well will go a long way in ensuring your happiness. Set boundaries and keep those people at a distance as much as possible. Spend time with those who make you smile and feel good, and nurture those relationships. You want to surround yourself with people who add value to your life.
2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
It’s easy to let day-to-day stresses affect your life, but chances are these things won’t matter in the long run. One mantra to live by is, “If it won’t matter a year from now, don’t let it bother you today.” Admittedly, this mentality may take a while to adopt, but staying focused on your long-term goals should help keep your mood upbeat.
3. De-Clutter Your Space
How could cleaning up your home make you feel more joyful? Well, do you ever just look around your home or office and feel a sense of dread, frustration, or disgust? Every moment you experience those feelings is a moment you are living without joy—and considering the amount of time we spend at home or in the office, that’s a lot of non-joyful moments in your life.
4. Focus on the Silver Lining
Sure, certain aspects of our lives can get us down: a stressful job, debt, unsuccessful business ventures, or the kids’ looming college tuition. While you work towards fixing your problems, try to focus on what’s going well in your life. Do you have loving family and friends? Do you have a job with great benefits? Are you healthy? Incorporate gratitude into your daily routine for the good things in your life.
Choosing Joy: Mindfulness is Key
Mindfulness means focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while being conscious and accepting of one’s thoughts and feelings.
Yoga or meditation might be your thing, or it might not. But you don’t have to meditate to practice mindfulness. You can, however, wake up 15 minutes earlier (I know every minute of sleep is precious for us moms!), or take 10 minutes in the shower to stay still and be aware of your thoughts and feelings (if your toddler isn’t barging in).
It’s really all about taking the time and making a conscious decision to think joyfully. Easier said than done—but as with all things in life, practice makes perfect.
“If you own this story, you get to write the ending.” – Brené Brown
Do you ever feel like your life is getting away from you?
We often get caught up in the routine of life, and as moms, we’re pulled in so many different directions—a demanding job, the kids, your spouse, extended family and friends—there’s a lot going on. We go through the motions and get comfortable in the passenger’s seat, feeling like there must be more and complaining all the while. But we never really make the effort to take control of the vessel that is our lives. When something goes wrong, we’re quick to blame outside forces, seldom taking responsibility for our part in it.
Does this sound like you?
Guess what? The reality is, many of your own life decisions got you here! But what would happen if you did take responsibility? Not just when things are going well but when things are going terribly wrong. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? But if you really think about it, there’s freedom in that. Essentially, it means you are in control, and you can steer your life in the direction you want to go.
We all want freedom, and although you can’t run away from your responsibilities (at least not forever), taking ownership of your life, your decisions, and your situation can steer you towards that freedom.
What is Personal Responsibility?
“Response-ability.” Your ability to maturely react to the many difficulties and conditions of life. This means that you have the ability to stop being the victim, and instead become the purposeful creator of the life you want. Here’s how.
1. Identify Your Priorities
How will you know where to steer your life if you have no vision for where you’re going? That’s why it’s important to set goals—for 1 year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now. But first, figure out what your priorities are—after all, the goals that you set for yourself should reflect the things that matter most to you.
Start by asking yourself: “What matters in my life?”
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. As a mom, number one on your list is your children and your family. So start there, then add 9 others things that matter most to you right now. Some of the chart-toppers for me are:
Looking at your list, are you prioritizing the right things in your daily life? The mere fact that you can feel something is off with your life right now means that your actions aren’t aligning with your true priorities.
2. Change Your Mindset
It’s time to grab some war paint, put it on your face, and adopt a can-do attitude. Even though changing your lifestyle and habits might be difficult, it’s possible. Remember, you’re a strong, successful mom! If there’s anyone who can do it, you can. All you need is the right attitude.
Many of us let worry and negative thinking guide our actions and behaviors far too often. Instead, try to focus on gratitude. Think of your priority list: what are you grateful for related to each of the 10 priorities on your list? Write your gratitudes down and convert them into a daily affirmation that you can read to yourself as a reminder of what’s most important to you.
Emphasizing gratitude has the amazing effect of shifting your mindset to more positive thinking. And just getting rid of the negative thoughts, the what-ifs, and the doubts will do wonders to help attract your ideal reality to you.
3. Create a Vision Board
Visualization is a powerful thing. The key to creating a vision board is to focus on how you want to feel. Of course, including material things on your board won’t hurt (wanting material things is not a bad thing), but focusing on how you want to feel 5 to 10 years from now gives you a better chance of actually bringing it to life.
Your vision board might include pictures of:
A happy work-at-home-mom, playing with the kids
Symbols of professional success (Corner office? Speaking podium? Satisfied clients?)
A family doing something fun
International travel (I have Australia on my board!)
Day-spas (signifying relaxation time)
Other images that invoke memories of times that made you feel good
Remember, there are no rules. Your vision board may look completely different than someone else’s, but that doesn’t mean you’ve done it wrong. As long as it tells your story in a way that inspires you, that’s all that matters!
4. Take Action and Make it Happen
When you begin this journey of taking personal responsibility for your life, you may not know exactly what you’re doing, and that’s okay. Take it one step at a time. Set big goals and then break them down into smaller milestones, starting small.
Let’s take an example of a corporate woman who wants to achieve a certain lifestyle for her family. She wants freedom—freedom to do what she wants, when she wants, and not be controlled by the status quo, a boss, or financial obligations. After discovering that a non-traditional career with unlimited income possibilities will enable her to achieve that, she makes working from home her big goal. In order to work towards it, she sets the smaller goal of devoting one hour each day to research how to successfully work from home.
You’ll soon find that achieving smaller daily goals will motivate you to keep going and will set you on the course to establishing new, healthier routines that steer you towards freedom.
And the beauty of it all is that you set the course!
We at Moms Making Six Figures want to help you take personal responsibility for your life. We’re here to support you as you take charge, set your own course, and steer your own ship towards freedom. Visit our website www.momsmakingsixfigures.com or contact us at (858) 837-1505, and together we can help you live life on your own terms.
Are You More Productive When You’re Busier?
Do you ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day?
As working moms, our days are stacked with responsibilities—pick up and drop off the kids, make that work meeting, finish a work project by the deadline, cook dinner, and more. With all this stuff to do, we’re always too busy, and productivity tends to fall to the wayside. All our energy is focused on the day-to-day tasks just to get the bare minimum done.
Being “too busy” becomes a regular excuse—a crutch to avoid the hard tasks that might actually bring about positive change in our lives. We get caught up in an endless cycle of being busy, stressed, and exhausted as we just try to make it through the day.
No shame, moms. There’s nothing wrong with being busy (it’s kinda hard to avoid it with all the multi-tasking we do!). But if we shift our mentality from “busy” to “productive,” we can get a lot more done and be happier while doing it!
Busy People are More Productive
According to recent studies conducted by researchers from Columbia University and three other institutions, keeping busy helps keep people motivated, despite time limitations.
Think back to the last time you missed a deadline—not because you were too busy, but because you simply were too tired or lazy to do it. You probably felt pretty bad about it, but you didn’t necessarily make an effort to follow up on the task. According to research, the busier you are, the more likely you are to feel like you’re using your time effectively, even if you miss deadlines. And if you do miss deadlines, you’re more likely to return to those tasks sooner and actually get them done.
So, if you really want to tap into those mom superpowers (you know you have them!) and get more stuff done, you need to stay busy and productive. This doesn’t have to involve stress, though. All you have to do is change your mindset and get organized.
How to Be More Productive
1. Write a Daily To-Do List
This list is strictly for things that absolutely have to get done today. Do your best to write out the list the night before. And don’t make the mistake of adding more items. Forget about what you want or wish to do. Focus only on what must be done, but what will bring you closer to your goal.
Let’s say your goal is to leave your job and start a business from home. Something you could put on your list is, “research how to become a work-at-home-mom.” This is something that’s steering you towards your goals. You don’t need to write down “pick up the kids” since that’s something you were going to do anyway.
2. Work Smarter
Working harder is good, but if you want to be productive you have to work smarter. But how?
Up Your Time Management Game: Apart from writing a list, get rid of distractions. Switch off (or silence) your phone (okay, you still want to be available in case of an emergency, so settle on a reasonable amount of time to go without checking your phone and set an alarm reminder to check for urgent messages at each time interval). Disable your social media apps. And minimize multi-tasking! While multi-tasking can be unavoidable at times, focusing on one thing at a time will help you accomplish tasks more efficiently, which in turn will reduce stress.
Take Frequent Breaks: Working hard can be draining. Take time to refuel and refocus. Do fun stuff with the kids. Go for a walk around the block. Giving yourself a break will leave you feeling energized and motivated. Why keep plodding along for three hours when you could take a 5-minute break, return to the task at hand, and be done in one hour?
Be Flexible. Keeping a list and planning things out meticulously is great. But life happens, especially when you’re a mom. You’ll soon find that being rigid with your plans will not result in productivity. Be willing to modify your day if something unexpected arises, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Similarly, if you’re making great progress on a task and you can afford to invest another hour into it, don’t stop because you’ve hit your original time limit. Use that momentum to your advantage!
Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
Productivity is something we all aspire to, but it can sometimes feel daunting. When we set our minds to do something but fail to accomplish it, we often become demoralized and abandon the goal altogether. Don’t give up so easily!
As working moms and corporate women, we have a lot on our plate. Remember, you’re already doing a great job—don’t discredit yourself. Spend a little time getting focused, and soon the days of “I don’t have time” and “I’m too busy” will be behind you!
New year, new you – right?
With the new year already upon us, the season of goal setting has arrived. We all have a list of things we want to achieve in our lives, and the new year always seems like the perfect time to start. While our intentions are good, achieving these goals becomes another task altogether.
If only it were as simple as saying, “I will.” Maybe then we’d go to the gym for the entire year instead of stopping in February. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. The purpose of setting these goals is to actually achieve them—and in a way that will have a permanent, positive effect on our lives.
Setting goals, whether long-term or short-term, is always a good idea. They help you focus, give you direction, and can be used to gauge whether you’re actually making progress in your life. The reality is, though, that unless you put a concrete plan into place and have some accountability to hold you to that plan, it’s unlikely that you’ll actually achieve those goals.
It’s time to take your new year’s resolutions to a whole new level. This time, you can and will achieve your goals! Here’s how.
The Art of Goal Achieving
1. It’s All in the Planning
First things first: set goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound). If you’re like me, you’re probably all too familiar with this concept in the business world—you may even apply it often in your corporate position. Why not apply it to your life goals as well?
Apart from setting goals, you actually need to develop an action plan for achieving them. For example, as busy corporate women and mothers, one of our main goals may be to spend more time with our children and spouses. Although it may be truly what you want, and ultimately your end goal, what steps will you take to make it happen? Take your goal and break it down into smaller, actionable steps to help you visualize how you’re actually going to achieve it. For example, you might:
Hire a babysitter once a week for date night with the hubby
Schedule regular outings with each of your children to enjoy dedicated quality time with them individually
Institute a family game night with a media-free zone to keep you and your kids off their phones for an hour or two of old-fashioned family fun
Plan a 5-day family vacation and actually use some of your vacation days
Look at setting SMART goals as the what and planning them as the how. Knowing what you want is easy, but the key to sticking to and achieving your goals lies in the planning.
2. Find an Accountability Partner
Sometimes, the mind is willing but the flesh is weak. Telling someone your goals and plans to achieve them can go a long way in ensuring that you actually reach them. It’s much easier to give up on a goal when no one else knows about it. That said, there are also times when you may be too hard on yourself. Holding yourself accountable can be a tough job when it comes to achieving your goals, and that’s where an accountability partner can help:
Review Your Progress: What did you do well this week? What went wrong? What did you learn? Answering these questions in a conversation with your accountability partner can help you refocus, and your partner can provide advice and suggestions, gently pointing out your areas of weakness and helping you find ways to overcome them.
No More Excuses: When difficulties arise or laziness sets in, many of us are great at coming up with reasons why we can’t stick to our plans. For example, if part of your goal of being more organized is to meal prep the kids’ lunches the night before but you’re feeling a little too lazy, you may end up telling yourself you’ll do it in the morning. If you have an accountability partner to answer to, you’ll think twice before abandoning your plan so easily—and you can even call them when you’re feeling tempted to go rogue!
Someone to Celebrate With: It’s not about pointing fingers and making you feel ashamed of yourself. Your accountability partner is also there to help you celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small. The road to achieving your goals should be motivating and fun, so let their enthusiastic support build you up along the way!
3. Don’t Be Limited by Your Options
Sometimes, when faced with difficulties, it can be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when we tend to give up on our goals. Instead of abandoning your dreams altogether, take the time to explore other ways around the obstacle you’re currently facing. For example, say your goal of spending more time with your children is being jeopardized by your demanding corporate job and it seems like there’s nothing you can do about it. Have you considered leaving your corporate position and giving a completely different career path a try?
Goal-Achieving and Being a Mom
As moms, we often put the needs of our family before our own. This frequently results in our own aspirations falling by the wayside.
You CAN achieve your family goals and individual goals.
By making the change to working from home, you’ll enjoy infinite benefits—including the ability to pursue personal goals and family goals. One aspect of your life no longer has to suffer because of another.
If you’re interested in seeing your goals through from start to finish, Moms Making Six Figures can help you get there. Visit our website momsmakingsixfigures.com or call us at (858) 837-1505.