Challenge Yourself to Learn Something New

Let me ask you something…

When you start learning a new skill or pursuing a new activity, do you hesitate to share that information with your closest friends or family members?

You do? Phew! I was afraid it was just me!

Why do we do that? Why do we hesitate to share the exciting parts of our lives with others?

And few things are as exciting as the adrenaline rush of exploring a new passion!

Do we hesitate¬†because we’re afraid we’ll fail at the new skill? Are we afraid that people will laugh at us and tell us “that is so NOT you”? Are we afraid that we’ll have to justify our interest in an activity that may seem frivolous to others?

Whatever the reason, sometimes we hold our interests and goals close to our chests. We don’t let the universe help us and encourage us.

Today, I encourage you to change that mindset by sharing with you a personal challenge that I am undertaking.

Here’s the background story: I know it’s too late to keep this short, but I’ll try not to make it too long. ūüôā

Part of my grand plan for my business (see how I’ve grown? I’m actually calling my blog/podcast a business now) is to create short video clips of encouraging messages.

Sounds easy, right? What’s the problem?

The problem is that I don’t like having my picture taken. I don’t like seeing myself in videos.

Yikes! That’s a big mindset block!

So how does one deal with a conflict between the present reality and the future vision?

One gets to work on changing the present reality!

This week I challenged myself to record and publish one short video message each day. My goal is to become comfortable talking to a webcam.

Today, I’m sharing three short videos that I recorded this week.

Yes, it’s scary to show them, because they are far from perfect. What they are, though, is a start!

And like most things I do when it comes to goal achieving–I am looking for progress, not perfection.

I will add Thursday and Friday’s videos to this post as they are recorded and uploaded to YouTube.


One of the cool things about learning a new skill is looking back after a period of time and recognizing how far you’ve come. These first videos will be *fingers crossed* future laughable moments.

I like the idea of spending time each day to practice this new skill of becoming comfortable talking to a camera. Daily exposure helps keep the stress and anxiety levels a bit lower for me.

What about you? How do you approach learning a new skill or improving a current one?

Would a daily challenge help you make quick progress toward improvement? Give it a try and share your challenge AND your results with the people in your world!

I would love to help support and encourage you as you pursue your dreams and achieve your goals. My Facebook group Start Today and Continue Tomorrow is a great place to start! Join me today!

Ep014: Being in a Constant State of Letting Go

Anger, hurt, frustration, and confusion are just a few of the emotions that can linger and fester after we’ve experienced a traumatic or disappointing event in our lives.

These feelings may even creep in when we are not directly impacted by the event. We share the pain and emotions of friends and family members when they experience trauma or disappointment.

I don’t deny that life can throw some tough stuff at us. Believe me, I’ve experienced my share. In today’s episode I briefly talk about one of the most devastating things a parent can experience.

Yes, life can be hard.

Although it can be easy to get trapped by the feelings of those moments, allowing ourselves to let those feelings linger and fester, will only slow down or completely stop our forward movement toward our goals.

Sometimes, Disney gets the message right. Sometimes we have to Let it Go.

A Goal Tracking Logsheet

One of the secrets to successful goal achieving is tracking your progress. Always being aware  of what you plan to do and how you are doing following that plan, helps you stay focused on your goal.

Many years ago (and I mean many years ago), I created a tracking form called the DIDI Form.

DIDI stood for “Did I Do It?” — clever, eh?

I handed out copies of this form when I taught goal setting classes or workshops. The feedback I received from participants was wonderful.

People liked being able to put this form on their refrigerator or bedroom mirror. They liked the easy visibility and consistent reminder the form provided.

Yes, that was before the digital era when people still left themselves notes on the refrigerator.

Anyway… I scoured the files on my old Windows XP laptop, but couldn’t find it.¬†I thought this DIDI form was gone forever.

I thought about trying to recreate it, but everything seems to be tracked electronically now. People want a cool app they can open on their smartphone, not a piece of paper they need to print out and *gasp* use an actual pen to write on it.

And then one day…


If you’ve been listening to my podcast, Reflections of a Recovering Ugly Duckling, or read some recent blog posts, you know that de-cluttering my home has been one of my focuses in recent weeks.

During one of my clutter-busting sprees, I sorted thru three file boxes filled with loose papers, and notebook binders filled with papers.

In one of those binders I found a copy of my precious DIDI form!

As I looked at it with the¬†much older eyes–but we’ll call them the “eyes of wisdom”–I thought it looked a bit overwhelming and a bit busy.

So I spent a couple of hours reworking and transforming the concepts of that DIDI Form into an updated version.


I don’t know if people nowadays will use such a tracking form, but I printed out a copy for myself. It’s hanging on my refrigerator with my four focuses for the month. Let’s see if this gentle, visual reminder helps me stay on track with my goals this month.

Of course, it will help if I can remember where I keep a pen!

If you’d like to try old-school goal tracking, you can download your copy of the DIDI Form here.

Give tracking your goals a try. See if it helps you to stay focused on on task.

Let me know what you think in the comments box.


Ep013: The Importance of Having a Cash Emergency Fund

Did you grow up hearing that you should always have money set aside for a rainy day?

Do you have money set aside for a rainy day?

If you don’t, you are not alone. Many people think of their credit cards as their emergency fund. Unfortunately, using your credit card in emergency situations only adds to the pain of the emergency because you end up paying interest rates (sometimes significant in addition to the cost of the emergency).

In this week’s episode I talk about the peace of mind you can have by setting aside money to only be used in emergencies. I also talk about what is and what is not an emergency!

If you’d like help staying focused on your financial goals, join me in my Facebook group Start Today and Continue Tomorrow. It a group all about helping YOU achieve your more important goals.

Additional Resources

Simple Steps to Saving Money – as promised, here are more tips to help you save $1,000 for your cash emergency fund

$1 saving strategy РPut all $1 bills that have a chosen number on them, in your emergency fund.

Dave Ramsey – Babystep #1 – I read and followed Dave Ramsey’s advice in his book The Total Money Makeover. Easy read, easy concepts. Difficult to execute because YOU have to be responsible and make new choices in regards to your money. The results are all about you!

Dave Ramsey – Basic budgeting – Again, I’m going to send you to Dave Ramsey. His budget instructions are pretty straightforward. If you have questions,¬†ask in the comments box below.

More Tips to Help Declutter Your Home

“I need to declutter my home,” was a common statement among the women when I started¬†my Facebook group,¬†Start Today and Continue Tomorrow, last month.

I am so grateful to these women for opening my eyes to one of my own obstacles to success: Household clutter

In fact, it was such an epiphany that it was the topic for this week’s episode of my podcast, Reflections of a Recovering Ugly Duckling. (Click here to listen.)

I was so inspired, I then I went on to quickly research some basic tips for decluttering my home. I admit, the tips I found were not anything I hadn’t heard or read before. If you’re like me and you’ve searched for the secret to a clutter free home, they probably won’t be anything new to you, either. That’s why I called it, “21 Everyday Actions to Overcome Everyday Clutter.”

While doing my overly simplistic research (research has never been one of my strong points), I did discover the secret.

Are you curious? Do you want to know what it is?

The secret is that YOU must take action to restore order.

I know, what a let down, right? If you were hoping your fairy godmother would come and pick up your dirty socks or neaten your dresser or heaven forbid clean a closet, you will be sorely disappointed. She isn’t showing up.

Sorry to break that news to you.


The good news is that YOU have it in your POWER to restore order to your home. You have the SUPER POWER to maintain that order!

I will not dissuade you from donning a cape while you do these amazing feats of bravery, honor, and chivalry.
So, how do you transform into the Clutter Buster?
First, YOU must commit to putting things back where they belong.

Second, YOU must accept that other people’s clutter is not your responsibility AND learn to not let it steal your focus.

No one ever said being a super hero was easy!

Let’s put on our capes and start using our POWER for clutter busting good.

Let’s look at our first step:

YOU must commit to putting things back where they belong.

Start today. Right this moment.

Do you have something in your hand or on the table/desk/chair in your immediate area that belongs somewhere else? How many minutes would it take you to put it away? One minute? Two? Go do it!

If it is within 5-feet (2 meters) of where you are sitting or standing and you see something that belongs somewhere else, pick it up and put it away.

Did you do that?

Why not? You say it’s because you’re reading this post? You promise you’ll do it when you are done with it?

Sorry, Clutter Buster, that is not good enough. Something will distract you (it always does).

Stop reading and go exert your POWER over clutter! I know you may never come back to me, but this is for the greater good: your goal achieving focus!

You’re back? So it’s done? Yay!

Take a look around you. Isn’t that better? Doesn’t it feel better? Are you smiling? You should be!

Tomorrow, I want you to do the same thing (only stand in a different spot). Don’t fret about the larger clutter piles you see. Grab one or two items from the pile and put them away (or donate or recycle or trash). Each day the pile will shrink.

Doing this daily will help you develop the simple habit of putting things away when you are done with them. You’ll see that it really does not take much time or effort to put things in their proper spots.

This is a slow and steady way to reduce clutter without being overwhelmed by the task.

The second step is more challenging:

YOU must accept that other people’s clutter is not your responsibility AND learn to not let it steal your focus.

This two-part process may be really difficult to accept, but it’s vital to your success as a goal achieving Clutter Buster.

Many times, we women think keeping order in our homes is OUR responsibility and no one else’s. If we are fortunate, we have supportive family members who put their own stuff where it belongs and help keep clutter to a minimum.

But that isn’t the reality for most of us.

What can we do about it? We can continue to obsess/lament over the lack of help with home organization or we can call upon our SUPER POWER to shield us from the impact of clutter generated by others.

We don’t have to let other people’s¬†clutter encroach upon our peace of mind or our opportunities to spend time working on projects/tasks/goals that we’ve set for ourselves.

Your super hero blinders will help you stay focused on your own goals, without the distraction of someone else’s clutter.

Become your own SUPER hero today!

I¬†mentioned the following declutter tips ALL THE WAY at the top of this post, so here¬†they are again in case you didn’t take a peak at them:

Reflections of a Recovering Ugly Duckling podcast, (Episode 12: Declutter Your Home & Declutter Your Life.)

My free tip sheet¬†“21 Everyday Actions to Overcome Everyday Clutter.”

My Facebook group,¬†Start Today and Continue Tomorrow,¬†if you’d like some company and encouragement as you journey toward achieving your goals.