Morning Routines of Highly Successful People

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I love to read about and know how entrepreneurs become successful.  I’m an entrepreneur in the first five years of my business and busy mom of a ten year old.   Is there a magic formula? Is there something in the water where they live? In all the lists I read and reviewed, I’ve distilled it down to my top 5 favorite things they do first thing in the morning.  It seems that they all have a morning routine. Not necessarily the same one but A morning routine.

1. Highly successful people  wake up at the same time every morning.  Whether it’s 5am or 7am, even on the weekends and holidays.  This way your body is used to that time.

2.   They start their morning with meditation.  Even 5-10 minutes of meditation can cause the pituitary gland to secrete endorphins associated with positive emotions and experiences.  Meditation also can help combat anxiety and slow down the busy mind. I try my best to meditate every morning and have found using the Calm app really helps.

3.  They exercise in the morning.  There are a million reasons to exercise such as it helps you sleep better, it’s good for your heart but when you do it first thing in the morning you can ride the endorphin wave all day long.  Whether it’s a 30 min walk, bike ride, swim or yoga class but moving your body every day is key to a more productive, clear-headed day.  I’m not always able to exercise in the morning but when I am, I love energy it gives me all day long.

4.  Highly successful people eat a good breakfast in the morning.  Your brain needs fuel to do your best work and think clearly.  This one is my favorite because I love to eat a big breakfast. Sauteed greens with eggs and avocado is my go to and tends to keep my fueled for hours.

5.  They start their to-do list with their highest level thinking tasks first.  Especially if you’ve meditated, exercised and had a good breakfast, you’ll be at your peak first thing in the morning.  You can leave the smaller lower level tasks that don’t take as much brain power for the afternoon when you have your lowest amount of energy.  And if you can knock out a large project in the morning, you’ll start your day off with a win!

What morning habits/ routines do you swear by?  Have you noticed any changes when you stick to them vs. not doing them?  If you’re wanting to find an extra hour in your day to incorporate anything new I’d love to help you. If you’d like to schedule a call with me click here.



Olive Oil and Vinegar Separation Party

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I am not an event planner but I’ve been known to plan a party or two.  There were of course birthday, graduation (my own when I completed my Master’s), anniversary and an inauguration party where the candidate was not slated to win. She went on to be mayor for 8 years.

The most interesting party I’ve planned to date was my own separation party.  My ex-husband, Randy and I split-up when my son, Asher, was one. I wanted to acknowledge  the occasion with a meaningful event that showed we were separating thoughtfully. Randy and I had been through a lot together but we still had/ have so much love for each other and for Asher, who is now 10.  This was way before celebrities started “consciously uncoupling”. We knew no other way.

One of our favorite places to eat breakfast was next to an olive oil and vinegar place that was the perfect size.  After talking with the owners, they had the idea that everyone could also learn to taste both olive oil and vinegar.   As my mom would constantly remind me, “You know, you’re the vinegar, right?” The learning to taste would turn out to be the most fun part of the party.

In many ways, the party was simple.  Love would be at the core of everything done.  We decided that we would only invite people we were both friends with, so the list was kept to about 30.  The food was simple, delicious and from many of our favorite places. Hand made samosas from the sweet lady at the corner market, macarons from our favorite French bakery and the meats and cheeses from the great Italian breakfast place next door.

I gave a simple toast to our love and though it had morphed and changed into a new love it would continue to engulf each other, Asher and our friends.  A love that was still strong and true, just different. I was honored and humbled to have a friend tell me it was more meaningful than some weddings he had been to.

I’m proud to say, that 9 years later, Asher’s dad has a new partner and baby girl.  We are a truly modern family. Though we aren’t perfect (quite messy in fact), we are one that knows only love for Asher and all our really good friends.

Organization spills into every aspect of my life, especially the gatherings I have for friends. What’s the most meaningful, fun, unique gathering you’ve planned?


2 Step Desk Purge

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Happy New Year! If  cleaning up your desk didn’t quite make it on to your New Year’s Resolution list, don’t worry.  Let’s tackle it now. Together.

A clean, clutter free desk will inspire you to work, write, and get things done that you’ve been putting off.  

If you need extra motivation imagine your work area...

...a streamlined,

...organized

....   with lots of white space that will feel zen and light.

Plus, it’s an easy 2-step process.

Before we start purging,  what is your desk used for?  Working on?  Holding financial and household paperwork?  A catchall? Hopefully, it’s not this last one because if it is, let’s change that.  The ultimate goal will be a streamlined desk that is inviting and whispers to you, “come work here”.  

  1. Go through your desk and starting with the top, remove anything that does not belong there.  Like dirty coffee mugs, kids toys and maybe junk mail that you just never got around to opening. Put things back where they belong.  File things that need to be filed. In no time, you’ll be able to see your desk again.

  2. Make a list of essentials for your desk.  Do you have the basics?  Sticky notes, stapler, tape?  Or maybe you don’t use any of these things?

And the results will leave you breathless!  You'll feel lighter, more clear-headed and less stressed.  Not to mention the time you'll save in finding things you've misplaced.

Too easy? I know, clutter has a way of coming back once you’ve cleared it. Here are my top tips for  staying on top of an organized workspace:

  1. Set a weekly appointment with yourself to clean your desk area.  Maybe every Friday, the last 15 minutes of the day to tidy up so that you'll start work Monday with a clean desk.  

  2. Don't make piles but instead set limits. Instead of continuing to pile things on, put those things away, file them or throw them out! 

  3. Create zones, for example: a workspace for your computer, library for your books, storage area for supplies and filing area for your archives.  

What are you waiting for?!  Set an appointment with yourself to organize your workspace.  And if this isn’t your forte, give me a call, I love organizing desks!


Setting 2019 Intentions

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If creating New Year's Resolutions seems daunting to you, try this: reframe your resolutions as intentions. Resolutions sound like something you have to do while intentions are something you want to do.

I've decided that my intentions for 2019 are: to be more present, carve out more silence in my day and spend more time in nature. These last two I can pair together whenever I take a solo beach walk, hike or any other adventure in nature.

About 80% of New Year's Resolutions fail by February. People often set resolutions that are too difficult or don't really believe in the resolution they have set. They've chosen resolutions they feel obligated to choose like exercise more or eat healthier.

This year, listen to your heart for a change and set intentions that you'd truly love to stick to. You'll of course need to check in with yourself often and your intentions may change as you journey through 2019, that's ok, too!

Let me know how your intention setting goes!

Seeking Out Silence

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I consider myself a patron of the arts.  I’m a member of our local museum.  My son, whose 10, does at least two art camps every summer at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.  When I have the itch, we go to LA to see more art at the LACMA, MOCA, Hammer and beyond.  There is so much incredible art just 90 minutes away.

I’ve felt comfortable and at home in art museums ever since I was a little girl.  I’m drawn to the quiet.  The shhhhhhhhhhh of the guards when you’ve raised your voice a bit too much.  The raised finger to lips in the “quiet” position that everyone knows.

Growing up in DC I was spoiled with the Smithsonian museums as my playground.  As soon as we could drive my friends and I would spend the day in the city at a different building (maybe Air and Space or maybe it was an American History kind of day).  

All the Smithsonian museums are free. Free. FREE. The Smithsonian houses 154 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in all it’s collections.

It’s the quiet, most of all, that I’m drawn to in museums.  It’s my church.  The quiet that lets my brain slow down and think.  Think.  Think more slowly.  Gather my thoughts.  Then rearrange them.  We rarely make time for this in our lives. 

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If you are seeking out silence, consider swinging by a museum wherever you live (they even have free days) and spend even 20 minutes, I can’t recommend it enough.  The quiet.  And go a step further and put your phone on airplane mode so you have to be extra quiet.  You’ll be amazed at how many great ideas and how clearly you’ll be able to hear yourself think.

In this day and age we always want to listen to another podcast, read another book, take in more information. 

I encourage you to seek out the quiet space that is going to allow you to assemble your thoughts and let your own creativity to flow.

If it's not a museum, it could be a hike by yourself, a commute where you don'tlisten to anything, or even just 20 minutes of quiet time in the morning with your cup of tea or coffee. 

Think of it as freeing your mind. 

I would love to hear your favorite ways of creating your own quiet space in the comments below.

7 Tips to Help You + Your Biz Finish the Year Organized

As I was putting my son's Banksy costume away, I realized the New Year is almost here. I was thinking about how overwhelming the end of the year can be for some of us and I came up with a list of pretty small tweaks that you could do that would make your holiday season less stressful.

For Businesses:

If you want to finish this last quarter of the year on a strong note, here are a few things you can do now:

  • Take some time to do a desk purge. Even 30 minutes can make a huge difference in your work space. Take home the empty lunch containers and jackets that have been piling up. While you’re at it, make a list of the office supplies that have gone low. I’m always more excited to work when I have a fresh pad of sticky notes in a cool color.


  • If you use paper calendars or planners, do you need to re-order the inserts for next year? If so, do it now so you’re not scrambling those first few weeks of January.


  • How do you thank your clients? Do you send out holiday cards? If so, make sure you have a current list of clients to send to and order the cards before the rush.


  • Make tax season less stressful by organizing your expenses now. Whether you have loose paper receipts or use an app for your mileage, even 20 minutes of filing like with like and making sure you’ve input the latest information will save you time in the long run.


For Home Organization:

The holidays will be here before you know it! Here are a few things to do to help you prep and be more prepared for this time of year:

  • Make sure you and other family members have your calendars synced. You don’t want to miss an event or holiday party because everyone is not on the same page. Better yet, have a weekly 15 minute meeting every Sunday to prep for the week. When everyone is aware and onboard with the schedule, things will run so much more smoothly.


  • If your family brings gifts into the house during the holidays, why not do a mini-purge now? I like to think of it as less consumption when I can donate clothes, books and toys now to a good cause before more items are brought into the house. 


  • It’s not too early to at least make lists for holiday shopping. If your family decides not to do gifts, there are so many great causes to give to, especially local non-profits like See International and Direct Relief. Or maybe your family has decided to forgo gifts for a cool family trip together. Decide now where you’ll go and at least map out the rough itinerary.


Do you have any great tips for getting organized before the holidays? If so, I’d love to hear them.

If you need help getting organized at home or in your business, schedule a free consultation with me here.