Live Well
by Lori Girard on May 28th, 2015

Happiness is the treasure…but where’s the map?  How do I get there? How can I stay there longer, get there quicker?  Once found, where are the keys?  Here are 10 Keys to enjoying true happiness - long-term.
It’s NOT a secret… Happiness IS a place of rest and joy you CAN discover and live in.  There are a few secrets though that as we allow them to be revealed, and we decide to live out those principles (the secrets) – we then experience the elusive, wonderful state of ‘happiness’.   Bliss, joy, contentment, peace, the giggles, laughter, wholeness, well-being…  however YOU describe happiness.   Now it’s your turn, give it a shot… write down some words that describe happiness to you. 
Our usual pursuit of happiness most often has us obsessed with our external circumstances.  However our circumstances only account for about 10% of our happiness. 
Happiness based on circumstances doesn’t last.  Deep down, I’ll bet we ALL have experienced that.   We achieve the goal, we get what we want but the joy doesn’t last.  We hear all the time of someone who ‘has it all’ but isn’t happy. The search is so elusive it’s confusing and we just keep doing the same thing over and over.  Media tells us this is the answer – it’s not.
When we spend all our time & effort & focus pursuing the things that we think make us happy, we are missing out on the things that do.   
According to research done by Dr. Henry Cloud and described in detail in his book ‘The Law of Happiness” 10% of our happiness comes from external circumstances (but doesn’t last).  50% of our happiness seems to come from our genetic make-up, you know, the internal stuff, the natural bent towards pessimism or optimism.  The great news is that rest of our happiness comes from the things that are directly under your control:  our behavior, our thoughts and the intentional things/habits we do in our lives.   Fascinating stuff. 

40% of our happiness is under our control!!!

10 Keys to Happiness

  1. Gratitude – If you haven’t been purposeful in the area of gratitude, this is something you just have to try.  Ann Voskamp has a great resource for this IF you dare… it’s called the JOY DARE.  Documenting 1,000 things you are grateful for.   Or start a gratitude journal that you write down one thing a day that you are grateful for.  Pick it up & journal daily or once a week – whatever works for you.  It is a good habit to establish though – to be grateful in all seasons – so a daily project of gratefulness will be much more relevant and useful.
  2. Generosity – When you see a child sharing, naturally and enthusiastically…doesn’t that just warm your heart?  What does it feel like when you give?  It’s an amazing feeling that is sometimes hard to describe.  Sometimes enhanced by the enthusiasm & gratitude of the receiver but never-the-less even if the receiver is unaware or ungrateful…it still is a wonderful place to be.    Are there areas where you can give more?  Is there a way to implement regular giving into your life?  Can you determine to be more spontaneous in your giving?
  3. Positivity – “Every single day, happy people are thinking thoughts that help them to be happy, and unhappy people do the opposite ”The Law of Happiness” pg. 111   So – where do you have some negative thinking lingering in your thought life?  Begin to identify negative thoughts – sometimes these will seep out in behavior or in our words.  Take notice and pull up that root.  Identify the truth (if it’s a lie you are believing), establish an opposite phrase or word that begins to breakdown the negative stronghold you just un-earthed.  Be purposeful in establishing new habits in how you think.   If you need some help here, get a coach or collaborate with a friend.
  4. Goal oriented – The attainment and pursuit of goals causes us to dig deep into what our dreams & desires are (which nails what really matters to us) and as we are pursuing them and attaining them, joy is the reward.  Life is not mundane, it’s challenging, new & changing, it’s fun & it’s rewarding.  
  5. Connection – Who do you trust and depend on?  Who trusts you?  Are you connected enough that people/friends/family can trust you?  If your answers are no-one, or you can only list a few.  It’s time for deeper connection.  People who are happy connect.  People who are happy depend on others.  They aren’t stand alone hero’s who haven’t got a clue what’s happening in another persons life.  They have compassion, they connect & they care. 
  6. Faith  – Do you have a faith? Does God’s existence make a difference in your life?  Coming to the realization that God isn’t just there, He is there for you will turn your world around!   According to Dr. Cloud there are numerous studies that document the fact that people who have a faith recover faster after tragedy, they live longer and their physical health is often better. Faith (relationship with God) assists in coping and being victorious despite tragedy, it gives you a depth of purpose and calling, and it certainly helps us forgive and heal when there are wounds that are too painful to deal with ourselves.  Partnering through life with a God who cares for you tips the scale of happiness in your favor. 
  7. Boundaries – Examining where you have lost boundaries & need to learn to implement them can be a tough process. (particularly for those of us who have allowed our boundaries to be overridden.)  Happy people have learned to keep healthy boundaries, addressing them quickly with tact and grace.  They don’t put up with repeated patterns of hurtful behavior.   They learn what infringes on their personal ‘boundary line’ and make changes to live that out.  Happy people respect the boundaries of others and don’t fight to have control of those around them.  Ask yourself, what are some boundaries that I need?  Where have I lost my sense of self & personal identity?  What can I do to begin to implement the boundaries that are important to my happiness?
  8. Calling - Do you have a job, a career or a calling?   Most people I talk to want to have purpose to what they do everyday.  From young adults who are investigating their future career, to mature individuals who are tired of just working and not having any meaning in what they do.   I think everyone wants to have impact in some sort of way & finding a way to have a career that uses your talents in a way that serves others, brings a deeper sense of satisfaction and joy to what you do everyday!   However you may find yourself in a career that you know and are great at but doesn’t have a lot of purpose to it… what then?  Finding a way to have impact outside of your career can be as equally fulfilling.  Take the time to investigate your purpose and calling in life.  Make a move to begin to walk that out and make it a part of your life.
  9. Wholehearted – Dive-in to whatever you are doing and whatever relationships are important to you.  “But waaaaaait… I can’t be fully engaged in EVERYTHING!”  Yes – you are probably right, however if you can’t be wholehearted about your career for example, maybe it’s time to examine ‘why?’  Do you need a career change or is fear keeping you from jumping in with both feet.  If you have too many things on your plate, take the time to determine which things fit in with your values surrounding life.  Eliminate some things and become fully engaged in the things that matter.  Happy people live life wholeheartedly.  What is coming to mind as far as areas where you are not fully engaged but should be? What can you do to change that?
  10. Forgiveness – Happy people forgive.  Easy to say – harder to do…however it is possible.  Examine your self-talk and if you notice criticalness, cynicism, negativity and maybe that you are struggling to be kind for example, you most likely need to take a look at why. Begin to purposely let some things go and experience the miracle of forgiveness.  When you hold on to a hurt (and most likely a very valid one), it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.   When you don’t want to forgive because ‘that would let the other person off the hook’… that hook has actually caught you and forgiveness takes the hook out of yourself.   Forgiveness releases you.  Forgiveness is freedom.  Ask yourself, ‘Who do I need to forgive?’  ‘What do I need to let go of?’  Take inventory – purposefully speak forgiveness towards them or the situation.  Guaranteed – you WILL be happier if you can implement forgiveness as a consistent lifestyle choice. 
This is NOT just the principle of  ‘thinking positive and positive comes your way’.  Although there is truth, relevance and proof to the concept of positive thinking. There is more than just the law of attraction.  It’s more than living life positively.  It’s more than forcing greatness by speaking and thinking positive things. 
It’s learning to live greatly in the depth of being happy and being YOU.
A life well lived will embrace these 10 secrets and make them a natural part of personal character. 
So now you have the clues that get you to your destination, your treasure.  Follow them, use them, live them.  Happiness is just around the corner!

by Lori Girard on February 7th, 2015

​WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS... Unless you write them down, goals are often lost in the shuffle and excitement of new problems & challenges.
I have been impacted so strongly by this recently as I just came across a sheet where I had brainstormed & written down all the things that really mattered to me, where I wanted to have the most impact & ideas about my new future.
About 5 years ago I found myself throwing out my 10yr goal binder. WHY?  Because life had thrown me a curve ball & I needed to start over.  For a moment that was a devastating move... it was drastic move, chucking that binder in the garbage can.    Yes - I could have just gone dumpster diving and re-vamped them to suit my present circumstances.  But I wanted to start fresh from my core desires, dreams and values and see what I came up with.  I had a new fresh opportunity to re-create my future.  Woot woot!  
BE SURE YOUR GOALS ARE YOUR GOALS If your goals are influenced by the expectations of others or copied from someone else & are not from your heart... DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME.  You won't have the spirit or passion to achieve them.  They won't be YOURS and your subconscious will not enlist itself to help you achieve them.  You won't be emotionally invested enough to make it happen.  
MAKE SURE YOUR GOALS ALIGN WITH YOUR VALUES  Don't sacrifice your core values for a goal that isn't worth it.  I was careful to dig deep and line-up my ideas, desires & goals with what my values and mission were.  It took some time, but I set aside a quiet moment to really create some depth to my dream-sheet.  
5 years ago I wrote down 3 ideas for what I thought I would love to be doing.  
1. Life Coach  
2. Missions trips  
3. Have life-long impact on young people 17 - 21yrs old  (yes - I was THAT specific.)  I had also written down all the things I would like to teach these young adults. 
I am now doing all 3 - I didn't even really know you could get 'Life Coach' training at that time... but guess what came my way?   In regards to Missions trips... I am not only making that a regular part of my yearly plan, I am part of a National Missions board who are an integral part of sending and preparing missionaries for ministry abroad.   When I was asked to be part of this team - I KNEW it fit with my goals and values.  It lined up with what I love and fits with what I do.  So it was easy to make that decision.  And in regards to the young adults I want to influence... I am heading up a Leadership Development Internship at my church.  And EVERY SINGLE TOPIC I wrote down 5 years ago is on the 'Teaching list'!!!  What was surprising to me was that the teaching list was not entirely developed by me and I discovered the old list well after the year of teachings were established.  I think THAT is what shocked and impacted me the most from all I had written down 5 yrs ago.  But BONUS.... It also confirmed to me that I was in the right place, doing the right thing.  
I tell you this because it is an example of the strength and power of writing down your goals.  It is a reminder that your goals need to be yours and that your goals need to align with your deepest values.  (hey - you need to know what your values are - so starting there is a good place).  It isn't JUST because I wrote down my goals that they happened.  It's also because I dug deep and recognized what I was being called to do and be.  
May I challenge you to set aside some time to discover your calling, your values, your mission.  Get a coach or a friend to help you.  Begin to set yourself on a course of successful living. 

by Lori Girard on February 1st, 2015

What Story Are You Writing?

What are you creating?  We constantly are creating.  We were created.  Our lives were given to us by the Creator to create our own unique story.  Each day we have an opportunity to create something new for ourselves and those around us.  
Chapters, paragraphs, sentences, words & punctuation!  Each day is an opportunity to start a new chapter. (sometimes sooooo thankful for the opportunity to start a new chapter!  Other times new chapter just happen) 
Each of our stories has lessons we are learning, and often our lessons are also lessons for others who read our book.  Sometimes we get stuck in a 'never-ending' chapter that we desperately want to get out of!  Life brings extremely interesting things that make each of our stories valuable and exciting.  There is life & death, drama, lessons, anger, frustration, mystery, fear, success, failures, love, heartbreak, forgiveness, discovery, joy, gratitude, excitement.  Sometimes you get a surprise chapter, a new turn in the storyline... but we always have a choice of how we will respond. How will you write that chapter?  Will it end in failure or gratitude?  Will it launch you into the highlight of your life?  Sometimes we have to ask ourselves why we feel stuck in a chapter.  You do have a choice to start a new one!  YES - you choose.  Sometimes that simple reality that you can choose to change the situation is a hard one to face, or we are just so stuck in the middle of it that we don't know we are stuck.  Unlike a real book, we can't erase or rip-out pages, nor can we make millions of copies!  You may have a chapter you would like to rip-out... try and learn from it, forgive, ask forgiveness, allow it to shape you and create character that is admirable yet humble.  You and your story are unique.  I want to challenge you to write a beautiful, creative, life giving story. Create a story of impact & influence.  What's your story? 

by Lori Girard on January 31st, 2015

Kindness is cheap…costs so little yet yields so much. 

I have been challenged.  Challenged by a little book called The 10 second Rule.   Challenged to be kind and sometimes do the unexpected and the inconvenient.   Or rather - do the unexpected and inconvenient more often than sometimes.  Maybe all the time.  

Imagine that.

What a great day that would be!!  Oh... and be kind right away... within the first 10 seconds that you get the 'impression' or 'idea'.

What does it take to be kind?
- Putting my agenda to the side momentarily
- Being self-less
- Forgiving - thus enabling me to be kind to someone who may have wounded me.
- Listening, watching for opportunities...and going for it. 
- Taking Risks. 
- Putting aside my opinion & reaching beyond that - to be encouraging.
- Identifying my un-kindness and changing.
Ok - maybe kindness isn't cheap, for some of us it actually may cost a lot.  Still I challenge you to try it.  Rock your world.
So - What are the results?
- You MAKE someone’s day... they may be inspired to pay it forward & thus you have started a chain reaction of ongoing kindness around the world!
- You instill a new belief in the character of someone.  You speak a positive truth they need to hear that launches them to a new level of belief in themselves. 
- You save a life... just maybe your actions, your words gave them hope.
- You change your workplace, home or school environment.  YES simple acts/words of kindness can change an entire business. Family environments can be turned right-side up.
- You change YOUR mindset.  The reward is not only for the receiver... kindness has a way of paying it right back.  Making us feel great.  
- You give someone something they don't deserve... i.e.; a negative or mean co-worker may very well deserve the same treatment.  But you turn things around by responding kindly.  (Plan ahead how to respond to a chronic negative person.  Keep your initial desire to respond in check and THINK before you respond.) 
- You create an environment of positivity. 
- You have impact on your world.  Very simply by being kind.

Check-in with your attitude.
I had to ask myself... how do I make people feel? Am I kind?  Am I negative?  Am I cruel or just a little mean?  Do I make fun of people?  Honestly, I dug deep & I was convicted about my attitude in some situations.  Ask yourself the same questions.  We could all improve our Kindness levels! 
Look for opportunities.
I now look for opportunities to be kind.  I have it in the forefront of my mind.  "what is next?" 
Some of my experiences are;
- The cashier who is super slow and I, being in a rush, would like to let her know how inconvenienced I am.... "hold it Lori - speak kindly, say something positive".
- The friend who comes to mind when walking by the floral dept.  "pick up those flowers for ______." "add a note of encouragement to them".  (I haven't always been obedient to that prompting... thinking 'oh they will think that is weird." But I finally did it and the reward was amazing!)
- The neighbor (I don't know very well) who is struggling with a new serious health challenge.  "ask her out for coffee to hear her story and struggle at this time"
- The teen who is quiet and awkward in social situations...yup - offer to be a grown-up friend they can talk to. (even if they don't talk much....after a while they will. Win them over)
- The Starbucks barista who is always upbeat and happy... take her for coffee and hear her story.  Tell her how she inspires you.
- The work colleague who is often negative, offer to listen & look for a word of encouragement for them.
- The homeless person who asks for money... take them for lunch. (or buy them a meal or a hot chocolate)
- I know this one is weird, but if I dream about someone, I often look for a way to encourage them the next day. 
- I did a month of texting a different friend every day with words of encouragement.
- I prayed for someone in the middle of Costco who had a tumor (she was a stranger, but had shared with me her health situation) Yes... that one was risky!
- When a young mom can't buy the groceries she just shopped for... and in tears walks away... pay for them.
- Pay for the persons Starbucks order behind you when you are in drive through... so they can't thank you & maybe they will do the same for someone else.
- Drop off groceries anonymously at someone’s home who needs them.
Set a goal.
I am always looking for new things and ways to be kind.  My goal is to purposely extend new ways of kindness to someone every single day. (If you are in a negative environment 8hrs a day... you will have many many opportunities!!)  You may have a goal of being kind everyday to the same person.  

Have a reminder.
I have a reminder because I easily get caught up in my own agenda.  I don't like being inconvenienced and I need stretching in that area!   A wrist band hanging off my key ring, and a sticker on my computer remind me that I have a daily goal.

Read the book.
The 10 Second Rule by Clare De Graaf

Don't do it alone.
Encourage a friend to do this with you.  Check-in regularly and share your experiences.  This will not only be encouraging but it creates accountability to keep it going.

What's your goal?
What is your reminder?
Share some stories!

by Lori Girard on January 15th, 2015

There are no limits!

Big Dreams bring adventure, challenge, excitement, fun, & maybe a little disapointment at times!  Nevertheless, dreaming BIG is always worth it because we grow and learn and accomplish great things.  Whether it's a great thing deep inside our character or a great thing that impacts and influences others... it's still totally worth the risk.
Dreaming BIG is risky - yup, requires us to think bigger than just us, think outside the box & usually collaborate with others to make our dreams happen... but it's ALL good!
Some of us are natural visionaries - yah, makes it so much easier...but everyone can dream big.  I want to challenge you to start a list.  Set aside a little time to brainstorm, grab a pen and paper.
It's easy.  If you have done this before... do it again.  Dream bigger.

So IF money is no object, IF your current situation/education/job does not stand in your way.... start with the title; 'Unlimited Dreams'.  It's very important not to impose any limitations - real or imagined - such as money, age, sex, race, children, family, education, past experiences etc. on our Dream Big List!  Suspend all judgement of whether or not you can achieve your dream or whether you are worthy of it.  Just write it down!

Here are some prompting questions:
What do you want to be?
What extraordinary things would you like to do?
Who would you like to help?
What kind of impact would you like to have in your job?
How could you turn one of your hobbies into a business?
Is there something new you would like to learn?
What do you want to share?
What do you want your net worth to be 10 yrs. from now? When you retire?
Where do you want to travel?
What crazy adventure would you like to take part in? Or lead?
What kind of family life do you want?
What kind of home would be your dream home?
How healthy do you want to be?  
What goals can you set to help you achieve some out-of-the-box fitness achievements?
What charity's would you like to support? How much? Maybe you would like to start a charity and change lives that way!
What really really bothers you?  Can you do something to change it?
What silly things would you like to do?
What new things would you like to learn?
What one great thing would you dare to attempt if you knew, if you absolutely knew you could not fail?
Be sure to include goals that embrace every area of your life: family & home, spiritual, health, fitness, relationships/social, career/financial & your own personal development.   Have fun, let loose! (pretend no one is ever going to see your list...don't let anything limit you)   This list is just the beginning - but once you have dared to dream, choose one and begin to set some serious steps in place in order to achieve it!  Choose a timeframe, put up a picture, share the goal with others (accountability) and begin your journey.

Here is another empowering idea, surround yourself with others who dream big and are visionaries.  Whether you are a 'visionary' or a 'let's get this project done' type of person or an 'I don't know where to start' kinda person... we all need each other to accomplish our dreams & goals.  Be excited for others who are living out their accomplishments & allow it to motivate you.  Learn from them, be a friend who rejoices with them... some of that dream big mentality will rub off on you!  

IMAGINE...your life could be filled with adventure and be significantly different in a few years, just because you dared to dream big!

by Lori Girard on January 13th, 2015

Choose Joy

Breathe -  purposely breathe-in life.  You are alive... that is a huge source of joy!
As I travel throughout my life, the ups and downs... the surprises & challenges, I have found that gratefulness brings joy, it truly does.  I know that in the middle of a mess, it's hard to see the joy.  In the middle of grief and tears, it's hard to feel joy.  But being grateful for healing and friends and life, brings joy.  Choosing to focus on the positive or even just the good in my life brings me joy.  Connecting with our Creator brings true joy, even in the midst of our deepest pain. I don't know how we can have moments of joy in the midst of grief, but we can, He makes it possible.  It is a gift.  A grace filled gift of LIFE - Joy filled life. 

 I am living 'Plan B' and can relate to deep disapointment and trying to make sense of life.  Consistantly choosing negativity and focusing on what hasn't happened in our favor will eventually take over.  Bitterness, unforgiveness and anger will steal your joy.


Choose to focus on what you have, even if it isn't much.  Start a Gratitude list & keep adding to it.  I did this and at first it was easy, but as I kept having to find new things to be grateful for - it opened up my world to the multitude of things in life we have as gifts.  It made me think.  It made me grateful for the little things like a catapillar being discovered by a 2yr old.  I became even more grateful for big things like my health and my eyesight!  
Consciously choose to think of those who bring you joy.   Surround yourself with those people and limit your time with those who steal your joy.


Choose to forgive, even if you don't know how.  Start by wanting to forgive.  Forgiveness brings healing and joy.   We often can feel like forgiving let's the other person 'off the hook'... My friend Kathy described forgiveness as 'taking the hook out of ourselves'.   That was a huge wake-up call and God exposed another layer of forgiveness for me to process.  Another layer of joy to experience.  Deeper joy.

by Lori Girard on January 2nd, 2015

8 Gifts that Bring Joy!

It’s an awesome thing to give & live a life of giving.  As much as this might require a lot at times and throw a little selfless-ness in there…the reward is JOY. (and we all can use a little more JOY!)  Each one of these is an extension of our love for others.  Transform your little world by giving.   Allow giving to surprise you.  I also challenge you just to give… not expecting reward.  And - oh yes YOU do have something you can give.  

1. Give encouragement – speak into someone’s life.  Encourage them in who they are and who they are capable of becoming.  Write a note, call, text or encourage face to face.  Think about the possibilities!
2. Give your time – for those whose ‘love gift’ is quality time, (  this is vital to maintaining a great relationship.  Ensure it’s ‘quality’ by focusing on the other person and what their needs might be. 
3. Give a hand – identify those who are always helping and serving others… step in and help out.  Small things can be HUGE and easy to do.  People feel validated and loved when you give up your agenda and step up to help them with their agenda.  Take a risk and offer something.
4. Give a gift – a gift says; ‘I was thinking of you when I picked this up’.  ‘you were on my mind.’  ‘You are worth my time to make the effort to make or buy something you would like.’  It can also say ‘I am sorry, forgive me!’  Either one of these messages validates the relationship and is encouraging! 
5. Give space – oh what a great gift for those with full households!  Either share your quiet space with them or take on the entourage they live with so they can get a moment alone!  Listen to those closest to you as to when they need some time alone.  Provide opportunity & follow up with a hug.
6. Give your ear – Give-up your right to speak your mind and just listen.  Ask questions… listen – listen – listen!  Ask more questions.  Remind yourself that you don’t HAVE to tell your story or give your opinion.  Learn compassion by truly listening.
7. Give a hug – oh so simple and so life giving.  I have a young woman in my life who makes sure to give me a HUGE long hug every time she sees me.   Scientifically speaking holding a hug for an extended time lifts our serotonin levels, elevating our mood.  Bring it on!  Or should we say ‘Pass on the joy with a hug!’ (being this is about ‘giving’) 
8. Give Thanks - try it...really.  Every day find something new you are thankful for & live giving thanks.  I did this challenge - wrote it down or posted it & it transformed my thinking & attitude.  Such a simple thing.... yet so complex in transforming us.

Any one of these ‘giving’ challenges will make your world a better place.  Giving brings life & speaks life.  Who has transformed your life with what they gave?  What sacrifices have you made that brought joy to others through giving?  Live well & love life.

by Lori Girard on December 30th, 2014

Be Fearless

Or better said; "Feel the fear and do it anyway!"  Because if we are honest, being fearless - doesn't mean we don't feel fear - we are really pushing through the fear and 'doing it scared'. THAT is awesome!  We have all done it.  Just gotta do it some more!  So join me... erase fear and live successfully in whatever you are meant to do and be!
Fear is such an interesting emotion & often prevents us from being the best we can be.  I certainly haven’t mastered the whole 'overcoming fear' thing but have learned a lot about it and more often than not I 'do it scared'.  Funny thing is... as I push through the fear and 'do it scared'... after a while it isn't a fearful thing!  Gotta LOVE that!
Here are just a few interesting things I have learned about FEAR:
There are 2 core fears that most of us struggle with to some degree or another. 
The Fear of Success & The Fear of Failure.   If you have done any self exploration and identified some things you struggle with - you may recognize some of these;
Fear of rejection
Fear of not measuring up
Fear of confrontation
These are all a form of the Fear of Failure.  
How about these;
Fear of Commitment
Fear of Responsibility
Fear of Change
These are all forms of the Fear of Success.  
The fear of success is a hard one to wrap your head around, but simply put - someone who fears success would HAVE to take responsibility and stay committed in order to actually be successful.  Being successful means that you will have to continue to perform at a higher level and that would require change, sticking with your commitments etc.   Someone who fears success will often unconsciously self-sabotage their efforts along the way so they don't have to continue to perform at that 'perceived' or 'real' higher level or risk losing it all once they get there.   Self-sabotage will often disguise itself as someone else’s fault or something 'out of their control'  like circumstances, or sickness or lack of resources or their leader or..... (a multitude of possibilities here)
It's important to identify the fears you struggle with.  IF you don't - you will keep sabotaging yourself!
My personal struggle has been with the fear of failure.  I would often rather avoid something than risk rejection or not measuring up.  I haven't mastered pushing through this 100% of the time - but certainly have overcome this in a huge way (let's say 95% of the time!).  
My secret is 'FAITH' 
YUP - knowing who you are and WHOSE you are.  My personal relationship with Christ has enabled me to RISK because I have someone I can TRUST.
My FAITH gives me vision and enables me to move forward towards my goals and what God has called me to.
Persistence is so much easier when you have FAITH.  
FAITH is sometimes 'doing it scared' but trusting God to carry you, guide you, give you direction and wisdom.  
FAITH is allowing failure to be something we learn from not something we fear.
Fear not, take risks - experience freedom, breakthrough and success!

by Tammy Lapierre on November 15th, 2014

 Why does Working out always feel hard ?
Exercise is work. It elevates your heart rate, makes you somewhat breathless, and causes your muscles to burn. It's tiring—sometimes exhausting.
Yes, exercise does get easier with time, but it will never be "easy." If it were easy, it wouldn’t be exercise.

​You see, beyond just getting your body  moving (which is great but will only get you so far), exercise has to challenge you. You have to work past your comfort zone in order to train your heart, lungs, and muscles to get stronger and fitter. Over time, yes it will become easier to walk at the 3 mph pace you started, but once that becomes easy, it's time to walk faster, which brings me to another cold, hard truth: You have to work harder as you get fitter. Think of it exercise as a challenge to continuously improve on what you just accomplished.

by Lori Girard on February 23rd, 2014

Change your world.

Kindness... so impactful and life changing at times!  Think of how an act of kindness makes you feel.  Grateful, valued, special, relieved, not alone, wanted, encouraged, perhaps un-deserving or surprised.  It's just good.

The world has talked a lot of 'Random Acts of Kindness'  or 'Paying it Forward'.  Have you manged to insert that practice into your everyday life?  I havn't quite mastered a consistant, daily 'Random Act of Kindness' where one looks for opportunity to be kind to someone - even a stranger in a bigger way than normal,  but I would love to live that way!  Do you know of someone who does this regularly?  Perhaps you have been on the other end and experienced an act of kindness towards you.  Did it change you?

I realized a few years ago that kindness (or lack of) can seriously impact a life.  While leading at a youth camp, there was a student who was not enjoying camp at all simply because of someone who was not being kind & was focused on the winning of a silly game rather than how people on the team felt.  Maybe not that big of a deal - but for me it was a small life lesson I took to heart. I love success, I love winning, but at what expense?   I wanted every student to feel valued & LOVE being at camp.  THAT is now my goal... that they have fun & experience true kindness for that one week - all week!  Now opportunities fall into my lap for this constantly!  Yeaaaay!!!

I also then began to think about how I treat the people around me, not only the students I volunteer with but also my daughters...How did they feel around me?  Was I kind?  Do I make them feel valued, wanted, encouraged?  When I am frustrated or hurt or angry (yes I get angry sometimes) - do I still extend kindness?  I ask myself that question & bravely step through the emotions that are self motivated and extend kindness despite what I am feeling. Extending kindness to those closest to us requires selflessness, grace, and setting aside our own agenda's.  Wow - so hard to do at times - but so valuable.  So -Be Kind... change your world.