Before you bring on 2019, do this ONE thing.

Photo by Tessa Rampersad on Unsplash

Happy Friday!

The Christmas music is still playing off in the distance.

The last morsels of turkey made for yet another delicious cold turkey lunch.

There are half-eaten boxes of chocolate in the pantry, an impressive amount of empty wine bottles, and the recycling boxes are full to the brim with cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, greeting card envelopes.

All evidence points to a lovely holiday of entertaining and enjoyment by all.

And that it was indeed.

And now we enter into this weird time when a part of you is likely still in festive mode, a part of you is back thinking about or diving deep into work, and yet another part of you is busy looking ahead and strategizing all for 2019.

I’m not quite sure where I am, but I did show up at my girlfriend’s house this morning in my Christmas onesie with breakfast pastries and one last gift, trying to hang onto this special holiday for as long as possible! (also learned a valuable lesson… if your gift requires batteries, you better be sure to have them in tow! Clearly an amateur!)

For me, this time of year has always been about spending time with friends and family and all loved ones, and likely always will be.

And so somehow I can justify my procrastination on the overflowing inbox and strategy sessions by surrounding myself in good company.

At the same time, however, my mind can’t help but wander to a few days from now, where I’ll likely be watching the ball drop, toasting with a glass of bubbly, and if I’m lucky enough enjoy a few kisses and cheers with some of the special people in my life.

And all of a sudden it will be a new year.

A new start.
A fresh opportunity.
A blank page.

And as much as I love thinking and dreaming up all the possibilities for the year ahead, I also tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to have all of these ambitious goals figured out and planned out exactly what it is I want my year to look like before it’s even arrived.

Well, I’m not quite there yet.
And you may not be, either.
And that’s okay.

Because before we jump ahead to dreaming and scheming up the sensational storm that will be 2019, it’s important to do this ONE THING:

Pause and Reflect. 

It sounds simple enough, but it’s not always easy.

All too often we’re in a rush to get to the next thing before reflecting on what just happened.

We experience a breakup, and we’re back on line or swiping left looking for a new mate within days (or even hours!)

We arrive home from a trip, and before we’ve even unpacked we’re thinking about the next one.

We leave our job or position for whatever reason, and we’re jumping into a new project or applying for a new position almost immediately.

When was the last time you took the time to actually pause and reflect on what just happened? On your learnings? On how your perspective may have shifted? On what you want to be different next time? On what worked, and what didn’t?!?

Before we look ahead to 2019 – and all we want to experience, achieve, and feel – let’s first take some time to properly pause and reflect on this past year.

Now there are lots of questions out there and journal prompts and workbooks available for you to complete, but the last thing I want to do is add another something to your to-do list.

So I’m sharing 10 questions with you here… of which you may choose to answer all or one or even none. There is no right or wrong, nor does it matter if you answer with fancy gel pens in a fancy new journal, or simply in your head while enjoying a bubble bath. But I do suggest you at least read the following… as even doing just that will allow you to pause and begin the reflection process.

(And then stay tuned, as next week I’ll be offering my annual ‘Intentions, Resolutions, & Goals, OH MY!’ workshop to get clear on all we want in 2019. Good news? It’s going to be taking place ON LINE… so all y’all can join! *Registration opening soon.)

Reflection Questions for 2018:

  • What are your BIG celebrations?
  • What were your proudest accomplishments?
  • What were the highlights? Lowlights?
  • What is the most important lesson(s) you learned?
  • What do you want more of? Less of?
  • Where were you playing smaller than you know you could have?
  • Who were the big cheerleaders and supporters in your life? (and how will you acknowledge them?)
  • How did you stretch yourself to live BIG in 2018?
  • What do you need to let go of in order to live even bigger in 2019?
  • Who did you need to become to get here, and who do you need to grow into to get where you want to go? 

May you take a moment to properly reflect on 2018… all that it was, and all that it wasn’t. All you experienced, and all you learned. How you grew and who you became.

Take a moment – if only a moment – to pause and reflect, celebrate, grieve, acknowledge, accept.

(And then please share some of your reflections in the comments below! I want to share in them with you.)

And when you do, you truly will be ready to ring in, and bring on 2019.

May it be all you desire and more.

xo,

 

 

 

P.S. THANK YOU for being an important part of my year… your reading, following, supporting, and commenting means more than you know. And I continue to be honoured and grateful to be in this together…

Cheers to continuing on the journey in 2019!

 

25 Easy Ways to Make More Merry This Holiday Season!

Happy Friday!

Still on a high from an incredible CAPS convention in beautiful Vancouver, BC, learning and connecting with fellow speakers from all over the world… however there is no rest for the wicked, especially at this time of year!

After a serious leak from the condo above, I’ve had all new floors and baseboards put in, and the whole place repainted. So I’ve had no home for a few weeks (thank goodness I do love hotels!) and was finally able to move back in. Just in time, too, as I’m co-hosting a Christmas party tonight for the amazing Dovetail community of female entrepreneurs, and throwing a tacky Christmas sweater party for other friends and colleagues tomorrow night… because, well, why not?!?

I do love this exciting season, however perhaps you can relate to the to-do lists taking on a life of their own?

So I’m reminding myself, and you, to take a moment to slow down, and connect with what this season is really about.

And as I’m all about small, do-able, fun activities that can make a BIG difference both for you and for others, and we’re now knee deep into this festive season, I have some ideas for you!

Here are 25 easy ways to add a little extra merry and joy to you and yours and others this holiday season:

  1. Make a snow angel ❄👼❄ (ideally right on the sidewalk for all to see!
  2. Donate to your local food bank or fill a Shoebox for The Shoebox Project
  3. Send yourself a Christmas Card 📭 (why not?!?) and then give your postman (or postwoman!) a card while you’re at it 
  4. Buy yourself a poinsettia
  5. Shovel a neighbour’s driveway or sidewalk
  6. Invent a Christmas Cocktail
  7. Spend a day in your robe and just do nothing 
  8. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line ☕ 
  9. Get a sparkly festive manicure 💅
  10. Go to the movies to watch a vintage holiday classic 📽 (or stay in your jammies and watch Love Actually!)
  11. Learn a Christmas tune on the ukulele or the nose flute (talk to me if you’ve never heard of the nose flute, and I’ll introduce you to my good friend David Gouthro, who also happens to be the founder of the Vancouver Nose Flute Ensemble!)
  12. Treat yourself to a comfy onesie… be it a cheesy Christmas themed one or a snuggie!  
  13. Go to a fancy store, and try on a ridiculously expensive fuzzy, furry item… just ‘cause! (Or go to Value Village and buy a tacky Christmas sweater!)
  14. Build a Snowman ☃
  15. Visit your local Children’s hospital or hospice and enjoy some meaningful moments
  16. Buy chocolates for an old teacher, a mentor, or yourself
  17.  Go ice skating ⛸ or tobogganing 🛷 !
  18. Put on a pair of reindeer antlers and walk around town as if all is normal.(Maybe even make some ‘neeeiiigghh’ sounds!)
  19. Indulge in an obnoxiously large and fancy hot chocolate or other holiday beverage (I’m talking like Venti Gingerbread Latte styles!) 
  20. Bond with a stranger and turn them into a friend
  21. Spend some time out in nature. Go for a walk and if you’re lucky to have snow where you are, listen to the crunch sound under your feet as you walk
  22.  Bake cookies 🍪
  23.  Make an easy holiday craft (I always found reindeer candy canes the easiest!)
  24. Get a few friends or neighbours together and go Christmas Caroling 🔔
  25.  Crank up the 🎶 Christmas tunes 🎵 while driving, while cooking, or whenever… and get your belt on! 

 

Lots of ideas there… I hope you take on just ONE this week!

And then please do share your stories  below ~ and also feel free to add your ideas to the list! Always on the lookout for new fun things to do.

Remember, it’s not about simply adding more to your to-do list, rather to offer a fun respite of sorts, and get re-connected with what this holiday season is really about.

Have a FAB time making merry this week!

 

 

 

 

P.S. My friend Warren Leppik at Cognition Productions made a holiday card on my behalf for y’all… check it out HERE!

3 Ways to Deal With Rejection.

Photo by Rhendi Rukmana on Unsplash

 

This week, I got rejected. Like, I’m talking FULL ON rejection. By a guy.

Walking off the stage at MoMondays, I was on a bit of a high, as I normally am after giving a talk. And after the final words of the night were spoken, and the applause and the dancing died down, my friend and I walked towards the bar for a glass of wine.

(Yes, it was a Monday evening, however I do like to celebrate after my speaking engagements, and it sometimes involves a glass of vino!)

On our way, I got stopped by a nice looking gentleman, who paid me a lovely compliment about my performance. 

‘Thank you!’ I responded politely.

Shortly thereafter he walked over and joined my friend and I, and soon the three of us found ourselves in a pretty interesting discussion. He was also with a friend, who mine ironically recognized, as the two of them had briefly dated. Small world! Eventually the 4 of us began chatting, and then the two of them, and the two of us. 

And while it was far from ‘love at first sight…’ I was enjoying the conversation, he seemed to have really good values, and maybe in part due to the glass of wine, I thought, ‘hmm… he’s actually pretty cute!’ (I will admit he did have beautiful blue eyes!) He was pretty engaged, or so it appeared, and I kinda thought maybe he thought I was kinda cute, too. And so, I found myself jumping way ahead of the game, and decided  that should he ask me out, I’d more than likely say yes. 

Now I did give him some push back when it came to his ideas on balance, and some grief when he ‘cheers-ed’ without looking me in the eye (that’s a big thing for me… luckily my friends and family all oblige this interesting idiosyncrasy of mine!), but I was also being kinda flirty.

Well, before we knew it we were closing down the place, although it was barely 11, and my friend announced she was going home. It was about that time, even though I almost assumed we’d be continuing the conversation. 

He then asked if she’d be alright, and if he could walk her home. Now at first I thought it was a tad weird, but quickly replaced that thought with the idea he must simply be a gentleman as he appeared to be. So I figured we’d all leave together, and even offered to drive her home. So we all squeeze into my mini and off we go. And then as she gets out, so does he, as he begins to say ‘I was actually hoping to ask for your…’ as my passenger side door gets slammed shut. 

My initial reaction? ‘Did that really just happen?!?’

I guess he was into her the whole time! And in that moment, I not only felt stupid, I also felt FULL ON rejected. 

Clearly I read the signs all wrong! Maybe he had been talking to me because he was more scared to talk to her. Maybe he wanted to get in good with me as her friend so I could put in a good word. Maybe he was only talking to me because I was talking to him. 

At first I kinda chuckled, but even though it was a guy I just met, and I knew there wouldn’t be any wedding bells in our future, in that moment, my ego and my pride were totally crushed.

And so, I did the healthy thing to do! I came home, I made popcorn, I had a little ‘woe is me’ Netflix binge-watching session.

Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Carol, totally justified! Why didn’t you throw a little ice cream into the mix?!?’

And you know what, I can’t even remember the last time I watched Netflix, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

But it also got me thinking. How do I handle rejection in other areas of my life? And the truth is, not always very well!

And I know I’m not alone. 

Did you know that fear of rejection is one of the BIGGEST fears experienced by humans? 

And this fear is often what prevents us from raising our hand, sharing our big idea, or putting our name out there for a new position, a promotion, or a raise. 

And so, we often don’t even put our name into the mix at all.

If we don’t try, we can’t get rejected, right?!? 

Well yes, that’s true. And, it also means we’re likely not taking the risks required to go after what we truly want. 

And that’s not what living BIG is all about, and not what you’re all about!

So seeing as how bringing on the biggest you is going to sometimes mean rejection, let’s look at 3 ways to face it, combat it, and win over it.

1. Feel all the feels

Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid of the discomfort. You have to sit in it, in order to work through it. So, find your coping mechanisms. Be it ice cream, Netflix, calling up a friend, going for a run, putting on some loud music and dancing in the kitchen, taking a bath, retail therapy, journaling. And, I might also suggest putting a timeline of sorts on it! You can wallow for a while, heck even throw yourself a little pity party, but after a few hours, it’s time to move on!

2. Get REAL, dig deeper

Ask yourself what’s really going on. Beneath the rejection there is almost always a thought or a believe that is being triggered. Is it your pride, is it an old story coming up, is it an expectation being thwarted? Get honest. Name it, and bring it to the surface. You gotta first get clear on what’s happening at the core before you can be ready to move on. 

3.  Reframe

Take the thought or belief that’s creeped its way into your head, and choose a more powerful one. Instead of ‘No,’ choose to look at it as ‘Not right now!’  It may also be beneficial to reframe how you look at the entire event. Instead of living in a binary world where there’s either success or failure, right or wrong, good or bad, look at every action you take as an EXPERIENCE (check out a previous post where I explain all about the power of getting into the EXPERIENCE ZONE) Because when you look at it as an experience, you’ve already won. And there’s no chance for failure or rejection! 

When you take the time to go through these steps, you’ll be ready to jump back onto the horse in no time!

And because you’re all about playing bigger, living bigger (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now!) you gotta be willing to put in the work. 

It’s not always going to be easy. Rejection, and the fear of it, ‘aint going anywhere any time soon. So you gotta be willing to put yourself out there in spite of it.

And if you think about it, the alternative is you failing by default by your lack of trying. 

As my wise father used to say: “A no you already have, a yes you can get. 

So go for it. Take the action. Ask for the number, apply for the opportunity, share the big idea. 

You never know what could happen!

(And then share what action you’re going to take this week In SPITE of the fear of rejection below!)

Have a FAB week!

 

How to Achieve ALL Your Dreams in 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“New Year, New YOU!”

“Let’s make this your BEST YEAR YET!”

“Achieve ALL your dreams in 2018!”

No doubt you are bombarded with messages like these at this time of year. (and my apologies, as that last one came from ME!)

While it makes sense – as we have a blank slate, a fresh page in front of us – it can also be pretty overwhelming!

And even though I love setting goals and making resolutions, I don’t always stick to them, and there is a scary stat that states 90% of people who set resolutions fall off the bandwagon by February. EEK! Continue reading “How to Achieve ALL Your Dreams in 2018”

The ONLY Message You’ll Ever Need to Hear.

MY WEEK IN PICS: Connecting with friends (and making new ones!) and learning a ton at the CAPS (Canadian Ass. of Professional Speakers) Annual Convention… and honoured to sit on a panel following a talk with the amazing Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Executive Director for UN Women, and the founder of HeForShe movement; Christmas lunching with friends…

There are some pretty important messages out there, however there is only ONE big message you’ll really ever need to hear. 

It may sound like a pretty bold statement, and it’s true.  Continue reading “The ONLY Message You’ll Ever Need to Hear.”

It’s not about buying presents, it’s about being present…

My week in pics: Family wedding, catching up with girlfriends and amazing members of the women living big – Tribe community, attending the CAPS Christmas party, and taking in the magic of this time of year… 

Happy Friday!

If you’re anything like me, you love this time of year. However as exciting as the hustle and the bustle and the lights and the Christmas Carols can be, it can also be a tad stressful!

This week I’m keeping it short and sweet, simply wanting to share some important reminders as to what this time of year is really about.  Continue reading “It’s not about buying presents, it’s about being present…”

Got triggers? 3 Ways to Learn (and Grow!)

My Week in pics… Visiting my cousins in beautiful Alicante, enjoying the festivities of the famous Ocean Volvo Race, running a 10k in honour of women’s cancer, taking in some glorious sailing sunsets, and finding some new fave cafes as I get more focused into biz re-vamping!

Got triggers? 3 Ways to Deal (and Grow!)

Happy Friday!

And greetings from Plaza de la Virgen, an old little square in the heart of old town, Valencia, that dates back to the Roman Times. With the Cathedral of Santa Maria behind me, the fountain of Neptune (surrounded by eight naked women – fun fact!) to my right, it’s a great spot for eating, drinking, and people watching.

Now I love people watching, but yesterday I found myself people watching in a whole new way. And while the experience normally leaves me feeling inspired, this one left me feeling icky.

In a nutshell, I got triggered.

Watch this week’s video to hear my story and learn 3 ways to learn (and grow!) from your triggers.

So next time you feel as though you’re being triggered, or one of your buttons is being pushed, remember these 3 tips:

  1. Acknowledge your buttons.
  2. Play the role of world’s greatest observer 
  3. Look for the lessons to be learned… 
Please share this video with someone in your life you think could benefit, and let’s keep the conversation going! I want to hear from you in the comments below!

And until next time, I’m Carol Schulte, and keep on dreaming big, playing big, and living BIG. 

Have a FAB week!

 

Why I Decided to Detach, Disconnect, and Detox… and why you should, too

My week in pics: Saying goodbye to new friends on board Sail Croatia’s Magellan, arriving in beautiful (& bucket list destination!) San Sebastián, Spain, and making the decision to embark on El Camino de Santiago…

Why I Decided to Detach, Disconnect, and Detox…
and why you should, too.

Happy Friday!

San Sebastián, Spain has been on my bucket list for over ten years. And so you can only imagine how excited I was to arrive there on Monday (especially as I was reconnecting with a special friend from back home!)

However, my time there ended up looking a little bit different than I expected.

Instead of hitting up the waves and going out on the town feasting on tapas and wine (it’s actually known as both a surfer’s and foodie’s paradise!) I found myself spending most of my time staying in my cozy little room in old town, with a small balcony looking out onto the action-packed cobblestone street below.

Why?

My luggage was lost (I know, right?!?) and I ended up watching an episode of Super Soul Sunday with Shauna Niequist, NY Times best-selling author Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living.

Watch this week’s video to find out what happened next, where I am at the time I shot the video, and why I felt the need to detach, disconnect, and detox.

WATCH IT NOW!

So, although a bit more of a personal reveal instead of a lesson to teach, I’d love to challenge you to look for how life may be speaking to you. Is it time for YOU to detach, disconnect, and detox from the outside, and perhaps re-connect with you on the inside?

I want to hear from you in the comments below!

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

I Had You at Hello! 5 Ways to Build Instant (& Lasting) Connection

How to have them at ‘Hello!’ : 5 Ways to Build Instant (& Lasting) Connection

Happy Friday!

So I am loving being here in Prague – it’s like walking in a story book. Every corner boasts a new beautiful building and houses so much history.   And although we were told that Czech people can be very reserved and cold, I haven’t found that to be the case at all. I’ve already made a few local friends, including Jacob and Anna, who have the ‘Cava house’ at the local farmers market, where I just enjoyed an iced coffee

However, one thing I find a bit frustrating? I don’ speak the language! And I hate – hate is a strong word – I strongly dislike when I can’t simply engage in conversation with those I meet as I normally do.

For me, communication is one of the ways I like to connect with people. And yet, it is not the only way! And I’ve had to rely on some others since being here.

Do you want to connect more easily, and more quickly, with those you meet and work with?

Listen to this week’s video and learn 5 ways to do exactly that.

Again, the five ideas are:

Acknowledge.

Learn their name. 

Be the first.

Speak their language.

Self-disclose. 

Test it out this week! I challenge you to connect just a little bit BIGGER this week! And then let me know it goes! Leave your comments below, or over on my YouTube Channel.

Happy Friday, and have a FAB week!