Category Archives: Reaching Goals

A new idea to help you stay cheerful about your goals

Life doesn't happen to me. I make life happen. I'm learning to look out for myself at I recently gave up a great job because it wasn’t a good fit for my family’s needs. I am a single mom to two little ones, and every time they got sick, I couldn’t take them to daycare. I had nowhere to turn and no one to help me out on short notice. Plus, I struggled to make various doctors appointments and other events. Most importantly, I felt like I was missing life! So, I took the plunge to quit my job and be completely self-employed. I had been working from home quite a bit on multiple business ideas, and they were slowly growing, but I decided now was the time! I haven’t had a job in two months, but my business goals are sustaining us and growing quickly now that I’ve made my part-time dream a full-time reality.

There’s Not Enough Time: . . . and other lies we tell ourselves.

I love that I can stay home with my kids when they get sick without worrying about losing my job or losing pay. I love that I can live my life during the day time and work on my own terms at night. I have so much more freedom! But…I also have stress. Starting a business takes devotion and I have three great ideas in the fire right now. Plus, I’m still the only parent and breadwinner. I’m the housekeeper, the pet caretaker, the driver, the cook and more. So, I’m super busy, and it’s important that I get things done without procrastinating. It’s a struggle to balance my time and make the most of it.

Lately, I’ve been trying new ways to work everything in each day and still have time to relax at the end. It’s working well! I usually have a long to-do list, and I check off the things I get done. But, the to-do list is always growing with new things to replace what I get done.

So…I have a new idea to help stay encouraged! At the end of the day, I am taking the time to list what I DID get done. No more stressing about only what didn’t get done, but also taking the time to appreciate what did. As I look at my list, I think “wow,” I really did well today, and it inspires me for the next day. It is a good way to keep a clear view of what I’m accomplishing and how I’m getting ahead. It keeps me from getting down in the dumps thinking about how I “failed” for the day.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

This sort of reminds me of one of financial adviser Dave Ramsey’s tools. He recommends that people pay off their smaller bills first, so they can gain a feeling of accomplishment at being able to see their progress. A lot of financial advisers say to pay off your bills in order of highest interest rate, so you save money on interest, but Ramsey claims it’s more important to get the joy of watching your progress as you cut out the bills. I think there’s something to that. It’s easy to lose hope and give up a bit when you aren’t seeing clear rewards.

Much in the same way, you can give yourself a pat on the back by reminding yourself what good things you’ve accomplished each day…which motivates you to keep going the next day. At least it’s working for me! It’s always more positive and inspirational to focus on the pros instead of the cons. Even if you don’t actually write down what you did, just take a moment to think it over in your head. For example, I did some major house cleaning this weekend–not just the regular things, but little details as well. At the end of the day, I looked around, thought about everything I did, and felt really good about my progress. It reminded me that, even though I am super busy, I CAN do this! I can do all of my “work” work and all of my house work and all of my mom work. And, I can end my day with a sense of achievement.

Free eBooks on Amazon June 6, 2015

I haven’t read any of these, but I go through the free Kindle books on Amazon from time to time. Right now, all of these are free and sound like they could be helpful! If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the program for free to read on your computer.


Sometimes the prices on free books go back up, so make sure you check to see if it’s still free before you download.

Learning to look out for myself

Life doesn't happen to me. I make life happen. I'm learning to look out for myself at When I first started writing this blog, I decided I was going to review the self-help books that were helping me. I realized that I was too passive, too fearful, lacked boundaries and just wasn’t getting as much out of life as I should. So, I started reading and learning about a whole bunch of topics that were helping me become the person I wanted to be–happy, fulfilled, successful, productive and a good mom. I picked the title “Life As You Make It,” because I wanted to focus on how we can all MAKE our lives the way WE want them to be instead of just letting life happen to us, because, as I go through life, I’m realizing how true that is, and how many opportunities I’ve missed by being passive.

I have learned so much, not just from reading the books, but by processing my thoughts, considering my life patterns and writing about what I learn. It’s therapeutic, it opens my mind to change, and it makes me feel like I’m really finding my path in life.

The old me was afraid to speak up about my wants and needs, but the new me looks out for myself.I came at this blog as a survivor of a bad childhood and an incredibly abusive relationship. My mousy ways made me a magnet for predatory people. But, they also kept me from meeting good healthy people, finding and advancing in the right career, and looking out for my own best interests in every day life. I don’t mean looking out for myself in a selfish way, but in an assertive way, where I speak up for my rights and voice my needs and wants. The very qualities that were attracting abusers were also keeping me from being fulfilled.

I’ve just been writing about things that inspire me, good books I read, chapters that are exciting, research that makes me think and tips that help me. There isn’t one single topic because it’s about getting the best from life in all areas that matter to me. And I’ve finally realized what I am doing:

I am learning to look out for myself!

 Through life, I have not done a good job of looking out for myself or standing up for myself. I didn’t know the life skills that come naturally to some people. I’ve just drifted around settling for relationships or jobs that didn’t make me feel good and didn’t make my life better. I was not looking out for myself at all! I would be extra considerate of others, but never myself. That is now changing!

I don’t want to be vulnerable to predators anymore.

I don’t want to be the woman who is looked over for promotions anymore.

I don’t want to be the person who is afraid to speak up anymore.

I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out on the good stuff anymore.

And I am ready to take charge and re-invent my life the way I want it to be!

I am excited about learning from others, learning from my own mistakes, and sharing my journey with others. It’s a great feeling to know that I am in charge of my life and to know that, even when bad things happen to me, I am gaining the knowledge to bounce back and take care of myself better than ever before. Especially for other abuse survivors, I want you to know, it does get better. I didn’t enjoy the trials I experienced, but I realize now that they happened to give me the epiphany I needed to snap out of my passive lifestyle, and change my life for the better. I am a doormat no more, and I want others to know that you can recover and thrive. It all starts with the decision to learn.

The importance of a mentor and networking for helping you in your career

Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out
I’ve been reading a lot lately about the importance of having a mentor or a life coach, as well as a good network to help you get on a good career path. It’s something I’ve never though of before, because I thought I could just work really hard and be independent to get ahead. I’m quickly learning that it’s not so easy, and that the viewpoints and help from others can really help launch us into the right direction.

I bought this book Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out a while back because the story sounded really impressive! The author claims that he was a millionaire before he turned 14, and he has a long list of major companies and networks that recommend his books and commend his achievements. Wow! Now that is someone I can learn from, right? After doing some internet searches, I’m learning that his background story might be a little shaky, so I’m reading the book with a critical eye; however, even if the stories are exaggerated, there are some good tips that I have heard from other recognized professionals and career coaches. Judging by his Facebook followers and book sales, he’s doing something right!

One of the book’s chapters is specifically about building a mentoring team, and a later  chapter is about networking, which is another career idea I’m reading a lot about lately. One of my favorite career advice sites Classy Career Girl promotes the same ideas and that writer’s background is really impressive as well, (and verified.) I hope to take one of her coaching courses one day, because she really knows what she is doing. She emphasizes the power of networking, and Gray in particular writes about his mentor who helped him get started and pointed him in the wrong direction. When Gray was a kid, he used to call his mentor for help and advice–and that advice helped make him rich without taking anything other than time from a mentor who was happy to help him. So between these two writers, as well as other sources, I’m really starting to see how important mentors and networking are–far more helpful than just throwing out resumes and trying to do everything alone.

Some ideas I’m learning that never crossed my shy, independent mind before:

It’s okay to reach out and ask for advice or help.

It’s good to reach out and find others who can work with you towards inter-working goals.

It’s smart to watch what your career idols do and learn from them.

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

So much of moving ahead in your career and your life is about learning from others, working with others, and helping others. But, it’s important to get out there and learn from the right people who are connected where you want to be connected. If I want to be a movie star, then networking with UPS drivers, or seeking advice from a math teacher might not help so much.

So, I’ve been trying this with others who are working in areas to where I want to work. I started reaching out to people that I admire, and sincerely letting them know how helpful they were, and what I appreciated about their work. I let one person know that I enjoyed her insight, and asked a couple others to help share the word about the home business I’m trying to get off the ground. It worked! I saw a HUGE difference in my business views and revenue. And it was all sincere. I didn’t go looking for someone to help me. I reached out to others whose ideas I was already a fan of. I basically opened my mouth to express my positive thoughts instead of keeping them to myself. What a learning experience! Plus, I feel good, as though I’m part of a community.

Since I’m naturally shy and introverted, asking for help and turning to others is foreign to me, but I’m really seeing and believing how important it is. There are paths to success out there, and it’s so important to be open-mined to learning from others who went before us or are going the same way now.

Wasting time keeps you from reaching your dreams!

Don't waste time on the wrong things. It will only keep you from getting to the right things.  Don't be afraid to let go of things that aren't right for you!I’ve been thinking today about wasting time. Not wasting time as in procrastinating, or being lazy, but wasting time as in staying in situations that are pointless. How many of us have stayed in a bad relationship, or an unsatisfying job, or continued doing things we didn’t really want to do just because we were used to doing them and didn’t know how to change…or worse, were afraid to face changes? I know I have!

I spent nearly all of my twenties dating someone who was perfectly nice–someone that I got along with really well…but I had no romantic feelings for him. I knew I wanted to get married and have kids one day, and I knew it would not be with him, but I just kept staying even though I knew I wanted more. We were extremely compatible and had all of the same hobbies, so I feared moving on and losing what I did have. I thought it was easier to keep dating that person and continue having a built-in partner for social occasions than it would be to become single and look for someone I did have romantic feelings for. In many ways, it was. In fact, I still haven’t found someone that was such a great match for sharing all my interests. But on the other hand, I haven’t found someone that was a good partner either. Sometimes I wonder, did spending so much time in a dead-end platonic relationship seriously hurt my chances to meet the right person for me? While I was wasting time, were all the smarter women marrying the men I would have liked better? I have a sneaking suspicion that I wasted many good years that would have been better spent single and meeting a better match for me. Not that life is over and I’m ready for the retirement home or anything, but did I miss out? I definitely didn’t make much progress towards my real goal!

I feel the same way about many areas of my life. Did I waste time switching my college major a few times? Did I waste time at jobs I didn’t like? Did I waste time staying at home instead of working on a career when I was married? While I did have many good experiences, I knew I was unfulfilled, and I just stayed that way instead of taking steps to get what I really wanted. I think the journey through life is very important, but…you have to be ON that journey instead of sitting in the rest area while your goals are still waiting down the road!

I want to live a life of movement towards my dreams instead of being stagnant. Every moment we are feeling unhappy and not doing anything about it is a moment wasted…a moment that isn’t being spent doing the things we want to do with the people we want to be with. It is time to make changes and reach for what we want instead of just waiting!

Are you really “behind” your peers? Or just on a different track?

laymileaf1Some of us take longer than others to get on the right track in life. We don’t know what we want to do when we grow up, we are hampered by rough beginnings, we make dumb choices…and we end up far behind out peers when it comes to our careers, education, families and other areas of our lives. We see people our own ages who are doing so much better and we see younger people who are surpassing us as well. Not going to lie…it’s depressing!

I have had that problem. And I think, even though I now know my life purpose, I’m a good 15 or 20 years behind. My much younger sister makes more money than I do with hardly any work experience! I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time and I’m going to have to work hard to get back on track. But can I catch up when I’m this far “behind?”

And does it really matter? Am I truly behind? Or just different? Many of my former classmates have good paying careers, nice homes and established marriages. I’m not too far from where I started when I was leaving high school. And at the same time, since I’m not a fresh college graduate, I am watching much younger people get promoted ahead of me because I was not on the right track to begin with.

Sometimes I worry about this. But, then I start thinking and remembering that I have had some really unusual life experiences and have learned some lessons that most people will never have the opportunity to experience or learn. For one, I was once on an album cover. Who out of my peers can say that?! But on the other hand, I am twice-divorced–both times from abusive men with the second being an actual sociopath. Oh yeah, I learned something there! Let me say, I did NOT like that lesson. But, I have learned the power of introspection as I’ve uncovered why I attracted and was attracted to narcissistic men. And I am no longer naive to false charm; I know to look at actions instead of just hearing words. Plus, I learned how to help my children avoid ending up in the same position. I married abusers because I was raised in an abusive home, but it has made me alert to understanding how children and personalities develop…as well as what we all need to feel secure and not fall prey to pretty charmers. There are a whole slew of life lessons and there is a whole book’s worth of wisdom in my head. As a bonus, I’m aware that I need to learn more and I am open to doing so.

Does that really leave me “behind” my peers? Maybe in some areas, but perhaps not in the life areas that truly matter.

I think my life’s trials have given me a lot of understanding and critical thinking skills I might never have learned without having endured bad things. They helped me find some of my life goals, and they have prepared me to fulfill my plans. Most importantly, they have given me fire and inspiration to succeed!

And it’s okay to play “catch up.” There are plenty of admirable people who didn’t find their way until later in life. Did you know that the renowned wedding dress designer Vera Wang didn’t begin her design career until she was 40? Now she’s a HUGE name in her industry! Or how about comic book creator Stan Lee? He was almost 39 when he found success. Now his creations are legendary. Famous actor Samuel Jackson didn’t hit it big until he was 43 and comedian Rodney Dangerfield was 46. Charles Darwin didn’t write “Origin of the Species” until he was 50–the same age Julia Child was when she wrote her first cookbook. Now both of them are known as visionaries in their fields. And one of my heroes–Laura Ingalls Wilder–didn’t publish her first “Little House” book until she was 65.

I finally have a life goal and a plan that has been growing for the past few years. I’m closing in on 40 and I’m not doing as well as my peers, but that’s okay. I am in good company….

For more stories and information about people who found their success later in life….

20 People Who Became Highly Successful After Age 40

Complaining lets us get stuck instead of appreciating what we have and pursuing what we want

Stop Complaining: Guide to Living Life Instead of Complaining About It

I was reading a short article in Reader’s Digest called “Why I Stopped Whining” and found an interesting quote. The point of the story is that when you complain, you waste time and miss out on appreciating what is good.

“Complaining allows us to acknowledge the imperfect without having to take action–it lets us luxuriate in inertia. We all have grand ideas about what life would be like if only we had this, or did that, or lived there. Perhaps complaining helps bridge the vast yawn between these fantasy selves and reality.”

It’s just a short two-page article, and the author goes on to explain that she learned to accept that life isn’t perfect and to appreciate the things she has. But, the quote made me think of a whole lot more. Complaining allows us to be lazy. We can sit and whine and feel bad, but we don’t have to be brave enough to take the next step to change things. Sometimes change is scary and it feels “easier” to just stay semi-miserable than it would be to take a risk trying something new. It’s a “luxury” to sit around complaining and not doing anything.

We often complain because we don’t have what we want. And there are some things we can’t ever have, but we could put an effort towards getting the things we want that are possible. Even though the writer, Roxane Gay, was making a point about accepting and loving what we have, that particular quote reminded me of the reality that whining also keeps us from achieving what we could have.

So…have your moment to sit and pine and think about how imperfect things are…then accept the things you cannot change and find the courage to change the things you can!

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reputations and learning from people with good, (or bad,) reputations

So I’m reading this book again:
Click here to purchase 365 Ways to Become a Millionaire: (Without Being Born One)

I am still not a millionaire! But, I keep the book by my bed and I read through a little bit every few nights. Last night, I found a tip that really resonated with me. Number 102 says “If you want to see how powerful a reputation is, write down the reputations of several people you know personally. It will become clear why people either are attracted to them or avoid them.”

This is part of the chapter about building and protecting your reputation because it is the most important part of your career or business. I thought I’d like to take this one step further. I want to make a list of what is good and bad about those people’s or companies’ reputations, and learn lessons from them. Why is one person well-liked and another despised? Why is one person successful while the other one is stuck in a dead-end job. I know from experience that working hard is not necessarily the key to being promoted. There is more to it and I want to do what the successful people are doing and learn from them!

Success and happiness start with your thoughts!

Click here to purchase The Power of Positive Thinking

You can never overestimate the power of a positive attitude. There are dozens of self-help books about the benefits of positivity! Not only does it put you in a good mood, but it gets you in the right frame of mind to feel motivated to meet your goals, and it makes you more appealing to others who can help you meet those goals. Some authors go so far as to say we subconsciously attract the things we think about. No matter what, it is certain that your thoughts determine your happiness and your ability to succeed in life. Good or bad things happen to all of us, but it is our reactions to those things that determines where we end up. So many great authors and rags-to-riches entrepreneurs emphasize the power of positivity and determination. I think we can all learn from successful people and what they have to share with us. I want to share some quotes and pretty pictures to help us focus on reaching our goals–no matter what they are 🙂


Believe you can and you’re halfway there–Theodore Roosevelt

Sunflower Field with setting Sun in Background, nice Sunburst and Sunbeams

Change your thoughts and you change your world. –Norman Vincent Peale



What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. Plutarch

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson


A good survey site for earning gift cards

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

I’ve posted before about my experiences with using survey sites to make money. So far, my favorite is Inbox Dollars, (I’ve cashed out over $120 and have another $24 accumulated now!) I don’t follow very many survey sites because it’s hard to make enough money to cash out unless I’m more focused, so I stick with that one the most.
(Here are some links to my earlier posts about Inbox Dollars: one, two, three and four.) I also have a very small, (but hopefully growing,) Facebook group where I post some of the better surveys or incentives that come up. For example, I recently got $5 credit for ordering free business cards, and another $6.75 for ordering a very cheap double subscription to a magazine. Here’s that link: Making Money with Online Survey Sites

I also use Pinecone Research, but they don’t open for new members often, so you have to wait for that one. I’ve made $36 on that site. There aren’t a ton of surveys, but the ones you do get are well worth it and you can ask for a check any time.

Inbox Dollars sends a check and Pinecone Research has multiple options, including a check; however, this latest site offers gift cards. I’m a huge Amazon fan, and I use the site to buy books a necessities, (like diapers for my kids using Amazon Mom,) so this works well for me.

My newest one that I’ve found to be a good deal is MintVine. I haven’t done a whole lot on that site yet, but I’ve already earned a $10 gift card, (I used it for Amazon,) and I’m half way to the next one. I found that the points to cash out added up pretty quickly. I think it took maybe two weeks? You won’t get rich, but to click on a few surveys, it’s a pretty fair deal. There are incentives for referring people, for taking short surveys, for completing your profile and more. Plus, every time you are rejected for a survey, you get 5 points, (which equals 5 cents.) If nothing else, you could make 15 cents a day just to click on the daily poll and be rejected for a couple surveys.

Here is a referral link if you want to join MintVine. I think it’s definitely one of the better sites.

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