Archive for the ‘Sanity Savers’

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.

Audio Mini - Staying the Course: How to handle life’s interuptions

Mini #94
This is an audio mini you can download onto your computer or mp3 player or listen to online.

It has been said that, “Life is what happens while you are busy making plans.” Often when we create a plan or chart a course, shortly after our first few steps “life interrupts.” Sometimes these interuptions or unexpected changes are easy to adapt to. Sometimes they are overwhelming, life-changing, and seem like an insurmountable hurdle.  Losing a job, an unexpected change in finances, the end of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a pet, an unforseen health challenge, a legal issue, a move– there are just a few examples of big life changes that can shake our foundation. Then there are many smaller-scale challenges that happen more often: a two-week illness that leaves you tired, a disagreement, new demands on your time that interfere with your plan, something breaks that you did not budget to replace–I am sure you can add a few of your own.

The truth is these challenges are part of life. As long as we are living we will have unforseen and unwelcome changes come our way. In order to thrive and get the most out of life, we need to build our resilience and skillset for handling unexpected twists and turns.  In this audio Mini I share a handful of examples on interuptions from my own life, strategies for maintaing healthy thinking during times of change, tips for keeping events in perspective, and exercises you can use to put things back together when they seem to be falling apart.

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.

Coupon Collecting - Spend Smart

Mini #90
Available 9/3/09

In Mini #85 we completed a Master Spending Diary to help consolidate information and begin taking control of spending. In this Mini we will work with your Master Spending Diary to find the best deals, clip smart, and organize coupons. You will also learn some “coupon collecting secrets”–such as manufactuerer’s coupon lists, printable online coupons, online-swaps and more.

Since this Mini refers to terminology from #85, it is strongly recommended you complete #85 first, or in conjunction, or you will not have the tools to make the most of this Mini.

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!

Selling Off Stuff: From Garage Sales to Consignment to Ebay

Mini #87

Perhaps it was the recent move that made me realize just how much “stuff” we acquire! WOW! As I looked at going from 6,000 square feet to 1,500 it became apparent that at least 75% of our home contents would need to be donated or sold. In this Mini I have put together information to help you maximize “selling your stuff.” We will look at online options like Craigs list, Ebay and lesser-known sites as well as specialty sites. You will also find tips for consignment and resale shops as well as garage sales. Lastly, tax information is included for items you donate. (For many items, donation is the best choice–saving time and money.)

Shop Smart: Building a Master Spending Diary

Mini #085

One of the best steps we can take to save money is to learn to shop smart on life’s essentials. Most often when we think of curbing our spending we look to extraneous purchases or luxury items. While there is no harm in evaluating those habits, it is important not to overlook the everyday necessities to make sure we are getting the most bang for our buck.  A master spending diary can help us

  • purchase smart
  • take advantage of sales
  • look for better alternatives
  • avoid over-buying
  • avoid excess trips because we “ran out”
  • find out which store has the best deal

In this Mini you’ll complete a template to create your Master Spending Diary.

Let’s Get Movin: Stepping Our Way To Better Health

Mini #82

With our busy schedules, it is often difficult to find time to work out every day. Walking is one of the easiest ways to be physically active and can be done almost anywhere.  Recent studies recommend we take a minimum of 10,000 steps each day. It is also scientifically proven that people exercise more efficiently when they record their progress every day. Therefore, the benefits of walking can be amplified when we wear a pedometer to track our progress.   This mini will help you determine how many steps you are currently taking and help you to set and meet your personal walking goals.  With only a good pair of shoes and a pedometer you will be walking your way to better health before you know it.

Conquering Electronic Clutter

Mini Makeover #76

13 pages

While electronic clutter does not pile up on our desktops like paper clutter, it can impede our effectiveness and ability to take action. This Mini will help you to work through creating an effective file storage system for your computer. This Mini covers creating effective file trees within folders on your computer to locate different types of information easily.(It does not include email routing, since each person may use a different email program–although the premise could easily be applied to email as well.)

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.

Chore and Reward Systems that Work


A family functions at its finest when all participants contribute and take responsibility for at least some of the maintenance work required…. but… that concept and reality often collide. Getting kids to help routinely can be challenging and quickly turn into an area of tension (spouses included!). In this Mini I share a new chore and reward system I created that creatively encourages responsibility and encourages kids  to excel with rewards or recognition in direct proportion to contribution. This system works for all ages and can be used regardless if you are trying simply to instill responsibility or looking for a system for fairly basic monetary rewards. The system can be created with simple supplies such as scissors, index cards and a stapler.

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.

Mind Mapping

Mini Makeover #70

8 pages

I have used Mind-Maps for the past 18 years for various purposes.  Mind Maps can help us

break through creative blocks
discover solutions and new approaches to challenges
facilitate thinking outside the box
take notes (great for right-brained learners)
help us break down a project into manageable parts

What is a Mind-Map?
Wikipedia defines a Mind-Map as: “a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.”

Mind-Maps are most often used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making. Buzan, a pioneer of the Mind-Map, claimed that the mind map utilizes more of the right and left brain hemispheres. The process of using words and diagrams utilizes attributes of the brain that are often not found in standard writing. This technique has been successfully applied to note-taking for students and brainstorming for companies.

In this Mini we will work through a general mind map and then look at ways to apply the technique to the aforementioned areas.

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.

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.

Refueling: Creating an Energy Map

Mini Makeover #60

6 pages plus
Energy Log Worksheet
Energy Mapping Printable
Online Sleep Quiz

Tired or being tired? Wondering how to give your energy a tune up? This Mini will show you how to track 17 different energy-influencing factors to see how they impact your day to day energy level.

The Mini begins with an Energy Log Worksheet. This daily inventory provides the basis for determining how to improve your energy. The second part of the Mini shows you how to convert these logs to the Energy Map–which is the fun part. The Energy Map works like a graph chart, quickly showing the trends in the highs and lows of your energy.  We wrap up with an Energy Map plan to continue collecting information to create a solid foundation for enhancing your energy.

Adapted from the online course: High Energy Living

Reality Routines

Mini #57
Includes Reality Routine worksheet

Please note this Mini will not be available until November 7, 2008.

Recently I have had quite a few conversations with women about their Master Task Lists. I found that many women assumed I followed my Master Task List to a tee.  In one conversation I began explaining that the Weekly list is what is most important to me and receives 90 percent of my energy. The 2x a month tasks, monthly tasks, and quarterly tasks are all those I hope to get to (and often do) but they are not my focus. By focusing on a solid weekly routine the longer term tasks tend to be much more easy to manage because my life is managed. I may not get everything done, but I get what is most important done.

Then there are the times when life goes haywire. The unexpected trip, or unexpected guests. The overtime at work or the problem with a close family member.  The unexpected illness or the emotional rollercoaster. During these times a solid weekly routine is one tool that can help us keep our sanity and stay above the chaos.

This Mini takes you step by step through building your weekly “Reality Routine.” This is not a routine based on everything you WANT to do, but based on the “anchors” that help you stay sane, maintain balance, and feel good about home and self. By the end of this Mini you will have created a solid routine and run it through the reality test.

An Attitude of Gratitude: Keeping A Gratitude Journal

Mini #53
Please note this Mini will not be available until November 7

“Gratitude turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie

Developing a thankful attitude, goes a long way toward developing a more resilient, confident, and appreciative self, while also dramatically influencing life joy, contenment and inner peace. In this Mini we work thorugh practices for keeping a Gratitude Journal to increase your attitude of gratitude.

This Mini includes printable Gratitude journal pages, exercises, and prompts to help you discover the magic of this timeless tool.

From “To Do” to Done: How to Effectively Break Down (and manage) a Project

Mini #51
In the Make Today Matter Toolbox we learned about projects and tasks. Projects require multiple action steps to complete and often stretch out over a period of time or require the involvement of others. Learning how to break down a project into realistic action steps is the first key to accomplishing that project.; learning how to give your plan a “reality check” is the second key and the third key is implementation and revision.

In this Mini you will be ecnouraged to choose a project you are currently working on and then work through a series of assignments to break that project down and learn the project management tools to get it done.

This Mini is perfect for….

  1. Anyone who has a lot of project management as part of their personal or professional life.
  2. Anyone struggling with all the paper involved in a project
  3. Anyone who finds they tend to “stall” on projects and need proven techniques to keep them moving forward