Daily Affirmations

I like my whole house

A few years back, a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video of an adorable young girl named Jessica chanting and singing into the mirror about everything she likes about her life. The video is titled “Jessica’s ‘Daily Affirmations’” and was all over social media. Many of you probably saw it. This 4-year-old girl captured our hearts because she was so fearless in proclaiming how much she liked her haircut, her pajamas, her family … the list goes on and on. Every once in a while, the video pops up somewhere again and I watch it, and every time I am left with a smile on my face.

I recently noticed that someone had made a “10 years later” version of the video, where Jessica is now 14 and complaining about everything, including her haircut, her pajamas, and her family. It made me chuckle (I remember those 14-year-old feelings), but also made me realize that the 14-year-old me tends to have a stronger presence than the 4-year-old me in my daily thoughts, and that just will not fly.

We all need to work a little harder at keeping our inner 4-year-old alive and well. I don’t know that we all need to go stand in front of the mirror and sing about all the awesome things in our lives (although it does sound really fun), but we should at least write them down and remind ourselves. And, after we write those things down, we should share it with a friend. Because feeling awesome about things in our lives is something we need to celebrate. Jessica celebrates a lot within a 50 second video on YouTube, so imagine what we can each celebrate just by taking a couple of minutes and thinking about (or singing about) what we love about ourselves and our lives. I am starting my list today, and making a point to keep that list growing. I hope you will do the same!

If you haven’t seen the video, or want to watch it again for inspiration, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

“I love my whole house!”

-Allison A

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

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It’s that time of the year… Award Ceremonies. There are graduations, annual dinners, end of the year banquets, celebratory picnics and the list goes on. To me, these are such strange events. They are so important and yet they seem to fail in so many ways…

It’s important to recognize the accomplishments of our peers. To celebrate our group and individual successes. They are worth celebrating! Too often we forget to acknowledge how far we’ve come and an award ceremony lets us celebrate that distance we covered on our life journey. We need to celebrate how GOOD at life we really are and how FUN life really is!

Yet, just as often as we are lifting up one of us, I often wonder if the people that lift up others realize how important and deserving they are of an award. Are we leaving out the most important people by lifting up a person who is the face of the work? Many of these individual accomplishments were far from individual successes. They aren’t an individual’s dream, they are the dream of a team. The success of the individual is the result of a sustained body of work of a team over time. Each success is comprised of sweat, work and planning from a whole team of people that believe in the dream.

If you graduated this year, how do you let those teachers, administrators, tutors, coaches, relatives, and friends know that your diploma is the culmination of hours of their hard work? Did they get a thank you, an award?

If you were MVP, how do you let your teammates, coaches, trainers, family, and friends know that your success is thanks to them? Did you write them a note, post it on Facebook?

These people aren’t participants, they aren’t deserving of a passive “Participant” ribbon, they are active workers, shaping your success, their success, and the success of the group. So before, during, and after our award ceremonies this year, let’s not forget to equally acknowledge that it takes TEAMWORK to make the DREAMWORK!

-Jennifer S.

DREAMS

dream

I have DREAMS and they are BIG.  They are deserving of capital letters.  They involve changing the world, making an impact, being the best that I can.  They are exciting.  They keep me from sleeping at night and they eliminate the need for coffee in the morning.

Much like Lauren, I set New Year’s resolutions every year.  But mine blur the lines between resolution and goal.  Mine are small steps for the year that help me get closer to my DREAMS.  I break those resolutions down into things that need to happen each month, each week, and each day.  It’s doing the small things often that help me achieve my resolutions and ultimately my DREAMS.

The beginning of the year is always filled with excitement.  I redraw my DREAMS.  I can see them more clearly.  Each year they seem closer, more achievable.  The things that I need to do don’t sound so daunting.  Anything can be accomplished.

Then today comes around…the middle of January.  Momentum is waning.  My DREAMS are still as exciting, but my resolutions are starting to stretch my comfort zone.  My goals are hard.  My DREAMS seem too big.

So how do I face today?  Today I remind myself that I don’t have to complete the whole goal in one day.  My DREAMS will be a compilation of my life.  If I can move 1 foot forward, that is as much of a success as if I move 1 mile forward.  If I move 1 inch forward, I have still moved. The world has felt my impact.  I have stretched.  My 1 inch today is 1 inch I don’t have to go tomorrow because I’ll already be there.

Today I take advice from this blog.  I ask my friends for help.  I work to refrain from putting my fears into words because I don’t want to give them power.  Instead I redraw my DREAM for others.  I let them share in the excitement.  I ask them to journey with me during this part.  My DREAM is not their dream but we can share this part of the walk together.  We stand in the bathroom with our arms up in the air forming a power pose and laugh at ourselves but gain confidence.  We pretend we are a great leader and only do what we think great leaders would do in this situation.  We retrain our thinking by changing the words we are using. We compliment each other and boy do we give good compliments.  We thank everyone, for everything.

But most of all, I allow myself to move just 1 inch then I celebrate that inch, because today, I have succeeded.

-Jennifer S.