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My First Blog Post

Just Be Brave….

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

GOAL SUCCESS – WHAT’S IN MY TOOLBOX?

It’s the third week in January and my goals for 2022 are set. I’ve already been busy pursuing my goals with the help of a few tools in my toolbox. My question to you, is what’s in your toolbox?

You see, I am very well aware of one of my flaws – procrastination! Because of this, I need a certain amount of accountability, beyond my own willpower, to achieve my goals. In fact, I think most people would agree that without accountability, we all tend to “slack off” or make excuses.

To combat my propensity to “put things off”, I have developed of few strategies or “tools” that I use to stay on track. Here are some of things in my toolbox.

My Planner

Writing down your goals is the first step toward achievement. When we write things down, they become more firm or “fixed”. Also, I am a visual learner, so I need to see it in order to follow it.

One of the ways I do this is with my daily planner. Yes, I still use a paper planner. In fact, I use a custom planner from Agendio that is already set up to help me track my goals weekly. My planner is also understood to be the “MASTER PLAN” in our household. Robby knows to check the planner before making plans and if he ever wonders where I am, the planner will tell him!

My custom planner allows me to track my exercise, cleaning and “to do” list as well as appointments, etc. I even have blank pages for my long and short term projects. Every Sunday afternoon, I take time to look at the week ahead and plan my “to do” list and carry over anything that hasn’t been completed.

My planner pic

This may seem like a lot of work but visually seeing what I both need and want to do each week helps me move them to “to done”!!! Nothing makes me happier than marking something off the “to do” list.

Oh yeah, I also have a typed one-page document setting out my 2022 Goals that I keep in this planner. I purposefully read it each week to keep my goals fresh in my mind. I know, I’m a true “nerd”! LOLOL

My Phone/Computer

Because I’m a little “old school” with the planner, you may think I am not a fan of technology. That is definitely not true. While it may seem like overkill, I use the “Google” calendar on my phone and computer to track my appointments, commitments and things I need to do as well.

Yes, it takes extra time to put entries into both my planner and phone/computer, but it is definitely worth it. Since I don’t carry my planner around with me but I do carry my phone, I can easily see what’s on my agenda anywhere, anytime. This is convenient for making appointments or plans when I’m not at home.

close up photography of woman sitting beside table while using macbook
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Another benefit of using the electronic calendar, is that I can send important dates to my family to put on their calendar. As an empty nester, I can easily keep our adult children “in the loop” regarding our travel and other important events. Robby finds it very helpful when I send him calendar notifications that he needs to keep track of as well.

Apps

While we are talking about technology, another tool in my toolbox is Apps. I currently use two apps that help me track my goals. One of the apps I use is the free Health App provided on my phone. This app helps me track my health/exercise goals.

I use this app to track my daily steps, weight, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and stress. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes each day to read and log in my health levels and it automatically keeps up with my steps/activity. I can easily see daily how I’m doing and every Sunday I receive a weekly report. Love it when I meet my goals and get rewards!!!

Another app I use is Asana Rebel. This is a paid app ($30 for year) that provides yoga/pilates type exercises and all kinds of motivational and calming music as well as guided meditations.

One of my goals was to add a different kind of exercise to my daily walking routine. This app helps me do that. I am able to choose the length and difficulty of yoga/pilates sessions whenever it is convenient for me.

As an introvert, I am simply not going to attend a class, so having access to these sessions in my own home is ideal. Of course, an app is only helpful if you use it. This app gives me daily prompts to take action. It’s kind of like having a digital personal trainer. So far, I am really enjoying it!

Final Thoughts

Fully believing that “nothing drifts toward excellence”, the tools in my toolbox are vital to my success in achieving my goals. My tools help me stay accountable and measure my progress.

My hope is that by sharing what I do to stay accountable will encourage others to take action to achieve their goals. We have never lived in a time with easier access to people and resources. Take advantage of those resources and fill your toolbox with with the right tools to help you reach your goals.

I would love to hear what’s in your toolbox. Drop me a line in the comments!

Best Wishes! Leigh

FRESH NEW YOU – SKINCARE 2022

The new year is the perfect time to assess your routines and decide what “stays” and what “goes”. Your beauty routine is a great place to start. Here are some tips for skincare 2022.

A Little History

I have wanted to write this post for a while but have struggled with the thoughts of keeping it humble. A beauty expert I am not, but I have learned a few tricks over the past 4 years that have improved my skin.

The reason I want to share my “secrets” is that I frequently get compliments about how “smooth” or “pretty” my skin looks. This has become a running joke between me and my husband because he knows the good, bad, and ugly about my skin.

During most of our marriage, my skin has behaved more like a 13-year-old girl than an over 50 woman. Breakouts, oily skin, and makeup sliding off my face were constant problems. That is until I changed a few key habits and products.

Before we get to the tips, let me say that I am not promoting or affiliated with any of the products in this post. I simply want to share what I do in hopes that it may help someone else improve their skincare 2022.

Clean Face

The first tip is to clean/wash your face every night. I know it seems silly to say this, but there are so many women who go to bed still wearing their makeup. If you have problem skin like me, then this is a huge NO-NO!!

Even in my younger days, I always washed my face before bed. The difference now is the wide variety of products available to do this. A dermatologist recommended Cetaphil Oil Removing Foam Face Wash for my daughter’s acne, so I decided to try it myself.

This product was a game-changer. It cleaned my skin thoroughly without causing dryness. In addition, I also use makeup remover wipes to remove the bulk of my makeup before using the Cetaphil. The two-step process is easy and leaves my skin nice and clean.

Clean Face – No Makeup

The Power of Serum

The second tip for women of any age is to use a serum at night. After turning 50, my wrinkles began to become more noticeable. I was hesitant to put moisturizers on my problem skin, so I began searching for a solution.

I discovered No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum several years ago at Target. This product has had a major impact on the look of my skin and the appearance of fine lines. To my surprise, this serum greatly reduced the size of my pores and fine lines on my forehead and eyes. And, it did not cause any breakouts.

The price point is reasonable and it is easy to access. I am not a big fan of pricey hard to find products, so this one is perfect for me. The use of a serum will absolutely change the look of your skin for the better. If you do nothing else, I highly recommend that you find one that works well for you.

Primer First

The third tip is to use a primer first. I certainly did not know the power of a primer before applying your foundation. My daughter is the one who talked me into giving it a try. This one step has been the key to how my makeup looks on my skin.

Because I have sensitive oily skin, keeping my makeup looking fresh has always been a challenge. It would often take excessive applications of powder to keep the “shiny” nose at bay. Now I only have to touch up my makeup once or twice a day thanks to my favorite primer.

The primer I use is Stay Matte by Rimmel. It controls the oil without clogging my pores and provides a smooth surface for my foundation. The best part is that this product is relatively inexpensive and can be found anywhere that makeup is sold.

I even use the primer on days that I am not wearing makeup or only using a tinted moisturizer and powder. It controls the oil and keeps my pores from becoming clogged. Obviously, this helps prevent breakouts.

Makeup Finished
Dressed and Ready

Final Thoughts

I certainly hope that you find these tips helpful. These three steps have transformed my skin from problematic to clear and smooth. I am including before and after pics as well as a pic of all the products I use so you can see the variety and the fact that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look great.

Pic of my favorite skincare 2022 products
My Favorite Products

If you are ready to try a new look, then I highly recommend considering a good cleanser, serum, and primer for your skincare 2022 routine. It’s never too late to start taking better care of your skin.

Would love to hear your skincare tips as well. Leave a comment and let me know your favorite products. Best Wishes! Leigh

LEGACY LIVING

The last book that I completed in 2021 was a devotional named The Maxwell Daily Reader, John C Maxwell, 2007, Thomas Nelson, Inc. On it’s final page was the daily devotion entitled “The Law of Legacy“. Basically the law states that we all leave a legacy, either good or bad. The choice is ours. This was the first time I have considered legacy living.

What Is A Legacy?

First let’s define legacy. The Webster’s Dictionary defines legacy as property or money left behind when someone dies. It can also refer to something that comes from someone in the past such as a legacy of love or respect.

In short, it’s what you leave behind. It is the summation of the richness or lack thereof, of someone’s life. The achievements and impact of a person on their family, friends and the world around them.

Now, the question for myself is what do I want the story of my life to say?

Intentional

Being intentional is a word that I have heard a lot this past year. As someone who loves to have a plan, being intentional comes fairly naturally. However, in the case of legacy living, I really had to give this some thought.

You see, I’ve never really thought that “little ole me” would leave a legacy. Only powerful or famous people need to worry about that. But the reality is that one day those who love me will summarize my life and I want to be sure they have something worthwhile to say.

My desire is to have a positive personal impact in my sphere of influence. Doing that requires action – intentional and purposed action.

Legacy living quote from Pericles

Investments

Knowing what we believe and living our lives accordingly matters. How, what and in who I invest my time, money and experience is so important. One of my core values is to strive to leave people and things better than how I found them.

This means investing in others like family, friends, organizations and time with God. The past year has offered me several opportunities to get involved in my community and I said “yes”. Stepping out of my introverted comfort zone hasn’t always been easy, but the return on investment is priceless.

You simply cannot leave a legacy without giving of yourself! This brings about the question “where are you investing and what are you growing?”

Final Thoughts

The world is a crazy place right now and 2021 taught us to “expect the unexpected” along with a few “mutations” (COVID humor attempted, LOL) My hope, however, is to be more mindful of legacy living in 2022.

While I don’t expect to attain fame or position, I do expect to make a difference. Making a lasting investment in the lives of my children, grandchildren, friends and those I’ve served means being generous with my time, wisdom and yes, my money too.

When the day comes, I want it said of me that I lived my life with purpose and enjoyed the journey. And, that the people in my sphere of influence knew they were loved. So for now, I will say “yes” more often, drink the glass of wine, eat the chocolate, enjoy my family, love my life and live the legacy I want to pass on.

I would love to hear your thoughts about “legacy living”. Share in the comments what kind of legacy you want to live in 2022.

CHRISTMAS 2021 – TIME TO REFLECT

Well Christmas 2021 has come and gone and now it’s time to reflect. As I put away all the gifts and Christmas decor, I also take time to think about the past year. While I don’t make “resolutions”, I do set goals for myself each year. And what’s the point of goal setting if you don’t take time to see how you fared.

The Goals

In 2021, I set four main goals for myself. Three of these goals were areas in which I wanted to “grow”. The fourth goal was to lose some weight. It’s not hard to guess where I was the most successful!

For the past 6 years, I have taken this task very seriously. I put the goals in writing and keep it in my planner. It’s not enough to simply set goals. You also must establish a plan of action. Without developing ways to pursue and measure your progress, the goals are nothing more than words on paper.

Pic of planner

In Pursuit

One of the ways I pursued growth was through reading. In total, I read 25 book in 2021. My goal was 20 books, so this was definitely a win. The topics of the books related to spiritual growth, leadership development and writing.

I love to learn new things and really embraced the books as tools to help me grow and improve in my weakest areas. As a social introvert, I am not naturally strong in the leadership department. I learned concepts that were completely new to me and was able to put them into practice and see the fruits of my labor.

Hopefully the things I learned about writing have helped improve my blog content. If nothing else, I definitely find it easier to put a post together! Pretty sure this goal will carry over to next year as well. There is so much more that I still need to learn!

In addition to reading, I attended several virtual training events, seminars and masterclasses. I even took a few mini-classes to further grow my knowledge base. I know, I’m a true “nerd”!

Losing weight has been my biggest challenge. I did not meet my goal, however, I did lose some weight and improved my overall health. Menopause has been “kicking my butt” in this department. I’m going to blame it on the hormones and continue to pursue eating more whole foods along with adding some variety to my exercise routine.

Setting New Goals

For me, self assessment is something I enjoy. Taking time to reflect and recognize my areas of weakness doesn’t cause me to feel bad about myself, rather, it gives me a goal to work toward. After all, no one is great at everything.

So, in 2022, I will continue to work on the things that don’t come naturally. My reading goal will be 25 books. The topics will remain the same, but I plan to add a few biographies of successful women for encouragement.

Currently I have a leadership role in two small groups, so continuing to grow my leadership skills is a must. Being task driven makes me a terrific manager of processes, but leading/managing people takes a different skill set.

There is also plenty of room for growth with my writing skills. Improving and further developing my writing style will definitely go on the 2022 goals list. Perhaps a creative writing class will be in my future!

As for losing weight, I will continue to “fight the fluff”. Eating more whole foods and smaller portions is step one. Step two is to continue my daily walking routine and add some kind of low impact weight training. Adding some variety will hopefully help me achieve my goal.

Final Thoughts

Some may ask “why go to all this trouble?” My answer is that nothing drifts toward excellence. Purposeful pursuit gets you where you want to go.

Here’s a reality check, my lifetime isn’t increasing and I want to be intentional with how I use my time and abilities. A great life doesn’t happen by accident, it is created through the choices you make each day.

I hope that you too will take time to reflect and I would love to hear your goals for 2022!

Happy New Year!