Archive for the ‘Joy and Purpose’

Audio Mini: Working with Routines

Mini #102 - Audio Mini 30-45 minutes

One common thread can be found in the hundreds of women Brook has coached– the desire for effective, sustainable, routines to help life go smoothly. In this Audio Mini, Brook reviews the routines covered in the MTM Toolbox and covers tips for refining, honing and maximizing their use to create the life you desire. Topics include: Building balanced routines, the Nightly Reflection, Good Morning, and Priority Planning.

Hosting a Cookie Exchange & Stress-Free Entertaining

Mini #98
15 pages

In this Mini we explore how to host a cookie exchange along with Stress-Free Party Tips & Ideas for entertaining during the holiday season. We start out by exploring 8 holiday theme parties and practical strategies to make entertaining stress-free. You’ll discover free resources to manage invitation lists, how to plan the right amount of appetizers, and more. Then we turn our attention to planning a cookie exchange. A cookie exchange is a gathering where each guest prepares a designated number of their favorite cookies prior to the gathering. The day of the gathering, each guest receives a dozen of the each attendee’s cookies, and gives each attendee a dozen of
their own. Recipes are also attached so that your family can add new holiday favorites to your repertoire. Typically, at the gathering, the cookies are sampled, stories
are shared, and fun is to be had by all. The cookie exchange is a great way to have some fun holiday time with the girls, have many cookie types without preparing each one on your own, and enjoy the stories and recipes of others.

Celebrate Thanksgiving

Mini #97
14 pages
*November Featured Mini *

Note: If you are taking the 10 Weeks of Christmas course you will receive the information in this Mini in the week’s prior to Thanksgiving. If you are not taking that course and would like to visit and choose CLASSES or visit the Member Link in the Library for your exclusive MTM Discount.

When I was younger, I was not nearly as enthusiastic about Thanksgiving as I am today. When I was younger, I thought Thanksgiving paled in comparison to the fanfare and excitement of hristmas (and my birthday, which falls in December). As I became a young woman, Thanksgiving soon became one of my favorite holidays. An entire day edicated to being thankful and celebrating the joys in our life!

I don’t know about you, but I have made a few observations. (1) A lot of people like to complain – they almost seem addicted to complaining, chaos or negativity.
(2) Often we are too busy to just “stop” and be thankful! (3) Being thankful around the actual Christmas celebration, can be more challenging because there is so
much going on!

Having a day devoted to gratitude, without the stressors of presents, high expectations, and the like, is a welcome relief. It reminds us all to STOP and
celebrate what is here. In this Mini we will explore ways to celebrate thankfulness throughout the month, activities and ideas, ways to involve children, a Thanksgiving Menu and shopping list, and a thanksgiving prep-checklist.

10 Steps to Jumpstart Your Job Search

Mini #100
Guest Mini Leader: Sara Pattow
(See Also Mini #84 Resume Writing)

Over 6,000,000 Americans have found themselves looking for work unexpectedly over the past year. Keeping motivated during times of unemployment is difficult. When we are faced with looking for a new job because of a forced separation – layoff, termination, company closing or elimination of your position, it can lead to depression, anxiety,  and a lack of self-worth or esteem. The stress of finances, security and family expectations force individuals to deal with a great deal of emotions while also trying to focus on the future and next steps.

During a job loss, we often lose a sense of self purpose during this time and it is critical to make sure that you find a new purpose to move you forward. The good news is that you have decided to take proactive steps by taking this mini. In this mini, we will explore 10 tips to jumpstart your job search and make it more effective.

FM: Managing Your Moods

Mini #95
A Faith Matters Study

It is no secret that women tend to experience a wide variety of emotions. Within a single day we can go from upbeat to discouraged and then some. Inviting God’s presence and God’s word to guide us can enable us to increase positive, growth-providing emotions and decrease those that are harmful and limiting to both ourselves and those around us. This Faith Matters Study will guide you through self-reflection, insight from scripture, and finding God’s wisdom for managing your moods and emotions.

Creating Your Holiday Notebook

Mini #93

A holiday notebook can be a great organizer, celebration enhancer and stress-reducer over the holiday season. Each year you can organize and plan your holiday celebrations in a notebook, creating a quick-reference guide for common holiday tasks, activities and plans such as: sending cards, entertaining, gift ideas/sizes/likes, recipes, favorite stores (best deals), games and entertainment, favorite memories and more.

In this Mini you are provided templates for building your holiday notebook and tips for using each template.

NOTE: If you plan to take the 10 Weeks of Christmas Course (starting October 12) you will receive this information throughout the 10 week course.

Faith Matters: Love Is…

Mini #91
Available 9/3/09

One of my favorite Bible passages comes from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13: 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails

In this Faith Matters Study we explore what Love Is and how to live each day with love– love of God, love of life, love of self, love of others.

Creating a Month of Magic

Mini #88 - September Featured Mini
Available 9/3/09

Includes Audio
and Month of Magic Worksheets

Special online event with Brook Noel: Join Brook Noel from 7:00PM-8:30PM on September 23rd for a special chat event.

Often when we think of making change we think BIG. Sometimes SO BIG that we paralyze ourselves from taking action. This Mini is designed to show you how simple taking positive steps can be–and how a well thought-out plan can help you promote and maintain balance, contentment, joy and organization.

In this Mini you will create a special set of “10 Minute Cues” using a template that encourages you to give a little focus to several important life areas. These cues will then become a grab bag for creating a month of magic. Each day you will choose a 10-Minute Magic Prompt at random and paste to a calendar. You will be amazed at how much magic you can create in a single month with a little concerted effort!

Mapping Out A Creative Space

Mini #83

When engaged in the creative process, it’s common to find ourselves surrounded by creative materials. This is fine and natural—until we find ourselves surrounded by materials that have nothing to do with the project at hand. These “extras” soon take over our working space and we all too often succumb to the temptation of “scooping” them into a pile—or moving ourselves to a different space. This move-or-scoop process is then repeated—and goes on indefinitely—unless we take control of space and design a creative area that supports our project priorities.

In this Mini you will learn how to synergize time and muse to create a creative space and efficient system for organizing (and working on) your arts and crafts projects.

Overcoming W.A.D. Thinking

Mini Makeover #77
(W.A.D. stands for Worry - Anxiety - Depression)11 pages

It was once believed that depression or anxiety that made people think negatively, but psychologists and psychiatrists have discovered that most people who struggle with anxious or depressed feelings first had negative, pessimistic, distorted thoughts that pro¬duced those feelings.

This Mini is divided into two sections. The first section will help us to identify areas in your life where negative thinking may be immobilizing or harming you. The inventory we create in this section will serve as a foundation for the second section where you will learn about the 11 negative thought traps. We will examine how these traps have been working in your life and then take steps to free yourself from the traps that create anxiety, worry, stress and depression.

Beautify Your Home

Mini #73

Our homes serve us best when they are a sanctuary to relax, yet functional to meet the demands of our lives. As years go by, too often our homes become a depository of “stuff” that dictates their design versus our choices actively influencing the design. In this Mini we create a Home Beauty Book and work through the rooms of our home to design the space for both functionality and visual appeal. The Home Beauty Book acts as a depository for ideas, giving clear direction toward creating a home that matches the mood, ambience and needs of your family.  We explore focal points, arranging, color, patterns, lighting and much more.  The good news is that beautifying your home need not cost a bundle, very simple strategies can give a fresh look to a tired space. If you are looking to make your home more inviting, appealing, or a better “fit” for you–then this Mini will help you lay the foundation.

FM: Renew Your Mind

Mini Makeover #72
28 pages

In the Book of Romans we are instructed, “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When I first read these five words–the renewing of your mind– something stirred deep within me.

What does it mean to “renew your mind?” The answer can be found in the full verse: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

This verse was a springboard for me to ask some tough questions:
How often does my attitude and thinking align with God’s Word?
Am I a willing participant in directing my thoughts and attitude toward the will of God?
Do I let autopilot take over in my life?
Is my mind constantly renewed and fed with God’s Word or is holding onto unhealthy messages?

As I sought to answer each question, I realized that the best place to feed and renew my mind was with God’s Word. I began scouring the Bible for verses that address thought and attitude. In the end I compiled 21 verses to create a “Renew Your Mind Month.”  I plan to review this renewing twice a year as a compass to live in the light of God’s instruction.In this study I share the verses and reflection question to offer a path to Renew Your Mind.

How to Stop Negative Thinking

Mini #71
8 pages

Positive thinking, for whatever reason, doesn’t spiral at the same speed as negative thinking. I believe this is because most people are trained to prepare for the worst versus expecting the best. Because we live like that, or live around people who think like that, negative thinking has the power to build more quickly—like the first little snowball that is soon rolled into the belly of a big snowman. In this Mini we will look at how the mind influences our thought patterns and practical strategies you can start NOW to tune out the negative and tune in to the positive.

Creating a Mini Goal Grab Bag

Mini #68
6 pages

“Historically more than 80% of resolutions are abandoned by late February, Many women believe they are doomed before they begin. A resolution becomes another pressure in an already pressure-filled life.

As I waited for the clock to strike midnight this year, I was deep in thought about this challenge we face when reaching our goals. With statistics like these, it seemed creating a resolution is a way for many people to procrastinate on the very thing they resolve to do for another year.

If you have been discouraged by goals and set them half-heartedly or not at all, then the technique I present in this Mini offers a new approach for creating fun, Mini goals. You can use this technique to set goals for a week, a month, a quarter or an entire year. It is a great technique for regaining focus that flows with life.

How to Break a Bad Habit

Mini #67
13 pages
Includes positive and negative reinforcement worksheet, habit analysis, and obstacle exercise

Almost everyone has some habit in their life that robs their day-to-day life of a little (or a lot) of joy. Sometimes the habits are obvious—overeating, procrastinating, over-spending, drinking too much caffeine, smoking—other times they are less obvious like avoidance of health-enhancing behaviors (exercise), making excuses, spending too much time on a computer, blaming others, getting angry quickly, not taking care of ourselves… just to name a few.
Over time the word “habit” often becomes synonymous with “excuse.” We begin to feel that we cannot change an area because it is a “habit,” and stereotypically habits are hard to break. However, if we have the power to create a habit, then we also have the power to un-create it. How do we know if a habit needs to be broken? When it begins to negatively impact our relationships, self-esteem, finances, career, or any other area important to us, then a habit has become a hurt.
Habits are not formed overnight, but through repetition. Each time we repeat a behavior, whether positive or negative, we strengthen neuro-connectors in the brain. Fortunately, science has shown that we can “rewire” our connectors and thus rewire our habits. Breaking a habit takes focus, awareness and intention, since we need to turn off the “autopilot” we have created and make deliberate new choices.
In this Mini I’ll walk you through the science of breaking a bad habit. Of course reading the Mini is only the first step. Taking deliberate action on each step over a realistic period of time will be the key to unlock your life of negative habits.

Creative Play: Color Collage

Mini #62

How often have you caught your breath at the sight of a flowerbed in full bloom?
Most likely the gardener has arranged the flowers according to their color for
extra vibrancy. Have you ever seen a movie in which a coordinated color
scheme helps the film create a world unto itself? Color is light, and light is energy.
Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling
of warmth or coolness.

This Mini will enhance your knowledge of color, how you are influenced by colors,
how to use colors effectively for design, and to convey emotion in your visual
journaling pages, collage, treasure book or artwork.


We will explore how combinations of color create different visual impact through a combination of creative exercises.

Creating a Goal Poster

Mini #64

Many people think “day dreaming” is a useless exercise – they may be right – but I can guarantee that visualization is not a useless exercise. Visualization is the practice of vividly and clearly envisioning something you wish to manifest in your life. The clearer this image in your mind, the more likely you are to see it in reality.

Visualization in terms of our goals is very important. We must have a crystal clear vision of how it will feel to live this goal to get us through the obstacles that will undoubtedly surface. In this Mini we work through the process of creating a Vision Statement for your goal and then illustrating your goal with a goal poster.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Mini #63

Most of us are great at setting goals; in fact, we are goal-setting experts. We have set goals a thousand times or more. What we are not so great at is reaching them. In order to help ourselves reach our goals, we need to concisely state our goal and make sure it is a  S.M.A.R.T.Goal.

This Mini takes you through the five components of creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely; and helps you create a goal that gets the year off to a smart start.

#61 Faith Matters: A Reason for the Season

Beyond the big meals, holiday sweets, commercialization, and wrapping paper is the biggest gift any of us could ever receive — the gift of Christ and of God’s love. In this study we countdown to Christmas with a daily verse, study, activity, reflection or challenge to keep Christ in Christmas.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • The Meaning of the Manger
  • The Christmas Story
  • Give God the greatest gift
  • The Advent Tradition
  • Creating your own Scripture Countdown Calendar
  • The Nativity Story
  • A Star in the Night
  • Sharing the Meaning with Children
  • A Christmas Candle
  • Hymns of the Season
  • What we can learn from the Wise Men
  • What we can learn from Mary
  • What we can learn from Joseph
  • The Spirit of Giving

Easy & Economical Holiday Decorating

Mini #58

15 pages

Tis the season to deck the house and this Mini will walk you through quick, easy and economical ideas to create a winter wonderland.

Within this Mini we will look at:

  • 6 ideas for Creating Holiday Centerpieces
  • Cornerstones of Holiday Decorating
  • 4 simple necessities to add a festive touch
  • Christmas Cards as Decoration
  • Garlands Galore: 10 Creative Ideas
  • Often Overlooked Decorating Ideas: Sounds & Scents
  • Pomanders
  • Advent Wreath Tradition
  • Christmas Crackers

The Mini includes additional links and resources for celebrating the season!Adapted from the 10 Weeks of Christmas Course