Lessons From My Dad

 
My dad got custody of me very young. He would tell you that we grew up together. Here is what I learned from him:
 
You have a choice on how you turn out, despite your childhood.
 
When crappy things happen to you, get help and talk about them so that they don’t bog you down throughout your life.
 
Every child needs a pet to grow up with. They teach you unconditional love.
 
My dad grounded me when I was a teenager and had me work with him in his garage; but it was not for my benefit, it was for his. He wanted us to spend time together. He knew that the most precious thing a parent could give was their time and attention.
 
If you wanted a Volkswagen of your own, you had to help build it. (This was also a ploy to spend time together.)
 
If your dad didn’t like your boyfriend, he wasn’t a good guy. Dads seem to have a way of knowing this.
 
Don’t lend money to your kids, make them earn what they want because it means more and instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in them.
 
Everyone needs to know how to change their own oil.
 
Being a mechanic meant that you did a job that most didn’t know how to do. The customer who would be rude to my dad didn’t even know how to change his own oil.
 
When your 16-year-old girl calls you to tell you that her tire is flat, you tell her to change it herself. You empower your children when you allow them to figure things out on their own.
 
When the police bring them home from a party, you save the lecture for the morning.
 
When they leave home at 18 years old, you let them go. You never let them know how hard it was for you.
 
Always say "I love you".
 
Happy Father’s day!
 

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Umma

I first ran this story in 2011 and wanted to share it with you again.

My mom and I never had a perfect relationship. But is any relationship perfect? We had a rough start. My mom got pregnant with me at 16 years old. My dad raised me in the early seventies. My mom remarried twice, had a family of her own and I only saw her on holidays. I always wanted to be closer to my mom but it was like we never knew how to be close. When I was pregnant with our first child 18 years ago, I knew I needed to talk to my mom about my feelings. I had never had a real conversation with my mom. I was so worried I would bring some of my unfinished "10%" feelings into my own motherhood role. I really did want to be closer to this woman I felt I hardly knew.

I invited her for a visit and a walk. I was very nervous as we started walking and I told her that my hope for this walk was to be closer to her. I wanted to get to know this woman and hear her side, something I had never heard. We walked for hours. For the first time in my life, I was having a real conversation with my mom. She told me stories of hard it was to leave me, her fears when she lost her leg in a motorcycle accident and her journey with breast cancer. We laughed, we cried, we fought and we bonded. I will never forget that walk.

Shortly after, she sent me a letter saying she would try hard to be my mom, but to be patient because she really didn't know how to be. She wrote she would give as much as she could but didn't know how much that would be. I wrote back promising her that I would try not to have unrealistic expectations. I would meet her where she was at, not where I wished she would be. I would see her through my 90% lens. It was the start of a much closer relationship. It wasn't always easy being her daughter...but sometimes it wasn't easy being my mom either.

That summer was the best. I have never felt so close to my mom. Our visits were full of love and laughter. Watching all of her amazing grandchildren in her yard made her the "happiest woman in the world". Her grandchildren all called her "Umma". I never left our visits without a hug, I love you and she ALWAYS said, "You know I am very proud of you right?" I left our last fun summer visit with a bag full of unripe tomatoes from her garden and I feeling like I was finally connecting with my mom like I always prayed I would.

A week after our last summer visit my beautiful mom died suddenly. She was only 59 years old.

There are layers of lessons I could write about. A lesson in communication and how important it is to be brave enough to say what we need to say to those we love. And a lesson in expectations. Sometimes we expect a relationship to be how we want it to be; in the meantime, we miss out on all the 90%s. A lesson in forgiveness. I wrote in my book that "My mom taught me forgiveness. Life is too short to carry around the burdens that do not bless your life or the life of others". Every time I came home from our visits this summer I would say, "Wow that is the best visit I have ever had." Thank God for those peaceful happy memories.

I went my mom's funeral feeling that nothing was left unsaid. I came home to her unripe tomatoes. My girlfriend said, "If I could choose the way I might leave this world and my loved ones, it would be with nothing left unsaid and tomatoes ripening on the counter."

Happy Mother’s day!

 

Facing Your Fears

It's my 50th birthday! And the first 50 years have been a true journey of finding the 90%s. The most important thing I have learned is to face fear. Not only have I faced fear, I have kicked its butt.

Fears in your business will hold you back. I bought my first company when I was 24 years old. They told me I would fail. They said I was uneducated. They said I was too young and too female to run my own tuxedo store. Instead of listening to them, I trusted myself. I believed I could fulfill my dreams and I transformed my fears into action. I became a student of great business owners. I asked great questions. And guess what? I started two more businesses that same year.

What if I never gave up the number one fear of most people — public speaking? I was simply terrified the first time I spoke. So I read, watched speakers, choose mentors and learned to face that fear head on. Had I succumbed to the fear, I would have missed a truly epic 26-year career.

Talking to the difficult people in your life and having critical conversations is a fearful thing to do. Once you work on your self-love and the belief that you deserve to be treated better, it will give you the voice you need. Toxic people rarely change. We have to change. We need to overcome the fear of talking to them and, sometimes, we need to walk away from them. Imagine how disappointed I would have been to look back on the last 50 years and know that those 10% toxic, unhealthy, narcissistic people won?

I had very fearful experiences as a young woman that could have paralyzed me from taking action. This is the biggest fear I have kicked. I have taken self-defense classes and learned how to be safe traveling alone. Overcoming those fears has allowed me to help our daughter grow into an independent, young woman who has moved out, is working late and traveling solo. If my fear creeps into my mind when it comes to her decisions, she will say, “Mom, you are projecting on me.”

Childhood fears can manifest into how we treat ourselves, how we treat our children, and how we treat other people. Get the help you need. Heal your wounds. I tell my teenagers, “You should be grateful for all the money I have paid for therapy, now you don’t have to pay for it later on!” (They only agree with that statement 90% of the time.)

I felt a lot of fear during my husband’s depression, our daughter’s health challenge and our son’s anxiety journey. I faced those fears one at a time and got help when I needed it. I did not let them run my life. I did not let them ruin my life. Each member of my family had to deal with fear in their own way and each of us continues to do so.

I have a reminder at our front door that says: “Let your faith be stronger than your fear.” In our household, we believe in bravely facing what life throws our way. Let your courage be stronger than your fears.

Cheers to the next 50 years!

P.S.: My second book "Living the 90%" will have an entire chapter on fear. It will be released in May 2019!

 

Living the 90%

Since March is International Happiness Month, I felt it was the perfect time to share with you the Top Nine Ways to be happier!

1. Pick a job that you love. Focus on the 90% parts of your job you DO like. It is human nature to complain and have meetings over what isn’t working. If you start to focus on what you enjoy and talk about it more, it will change the way you see your job. In turn, it could help shift the morale where you work. One person does make a difference. Be the person who makes a 90% one.

2. Avoid toxic people. I know easier said than done but, where you can, avoid the 10% people who are toxic and unkind. It has been my experience that negative people rarely know they are they problem, and quite often, they just don’t care. Believe you are worth being treated way better than the way they treat you.

3. Ask constantly, “What is still good”? Even in the darkest times of my life, I have been able to dig deep at what is still a 90%? Start with the fact you are alive and live in the greatest country in the world.

4. Deal with your 10%s. I have my three times complain rule. Throw yourself three pity parties and then lay out what you need to do to heal and get better. Find new ways to accept your current reality and your new normal. Resistance doesn’t solve anything.

5. Make someone else’s day. This is an instant way to make yourself happier. I am always looking for opportunities to put a smile on someone’s face. People deal with so many issues and traumas, they need to feel cared for and loved. By helping others, you help yourself.

6. Take ruthless care of yourself. Yes, ruthless care! We all lead enormous lives, we can’t do it all on an empty tank. Sleep well, eat well, exercise and ONLY listen to, read and watch positive 90% media. We all know how to be healthier but the bigger question is,”Why aren’t you taking better care of yourself?”

7. Change how you talk to yourself. Self-talk is so vital to being happy. See yourself through a 90% lens. Come up with great positive nick names for yourself. NEVER tell yourself you are stupid. Forgive yourself. Be gentle with yourself. You’re human. You will make mistakes and will not be perfect at everything. Nobody is.

8. Do more of what makes you smile. Write down three things you love to do that are healthy and fulfilling. Find space in your calendar right now to do all three. Go for walk, go to the gym, do something meaningful with your children — do it now! Don’t feel guilty about taking the time to do these things!

9. Treat your family like you treat your best client. Do you want better balance in your life? Then you need to apply the first eight ideas. The choices we make all day affect what we have left for our families. Quit giving the people you love your leftovers.

I am writing my second book “Living the 90” — 9 ways to be happier, right now! It will be released this spring. Stay tuned.

Celebrate Life

As we sit down to eat at a restaurant with our friends Graham and Dionne, the woman serving us asks, “What are you celebrating tonight?” Dionne says with the biggest smile and great enthusiasm, “Life!” I smiled and thought “I wonder what she would think if she knew that Dionne has just started another round of chemo?”

Dionne has survived cancer nine times.

Have you met Graham and Dionne Warner? If you have, you will never forget that you did. They are two of the most loving, generous people I have had the pleasure of meeting. I first met them as we shared a stage in 2015. I was beyond honored to be chosen to speak to their staff. Both of these amazing people have had 10% challenges that most of us could not imagine, and yet I have never heard them complain. They consistently celebrate life in the biggest, grandest way.

As we ate our meal, I asked Dionne what percentage of her healing would she attribute to her positive attitude. Without hesitation she said, “110%.”

In this month of love, let’s learn from this dynamic duo. Let’s celebrate every day we have and let’s remember the powerful role our attitude has in our life. It can truly heal.

If you ever get a chance to meet Graham and Dionne, it will change you. It will remind you that nothing we complain about is that important. It will remind you to…. celebrate life.

Embrace

I stood at the front door and choked back my tears as I hugged our girl goodbye. Actually, I spent most of the holiday season choking back tears. After our daughter’s graduation last June, the plan was for her to go to university for two years then move away to go to school somewhere else. Sounded like a great plan. She went to university in the fall and it was a 10% for her. She quit university, packed her car and moved to another province to work. Wait…what?

It was at that moment standing at the door I knew what my theme for 2019 would be… “Embrace”. I am still working through embracing the 10%s of how much I miss her (and worry about her) and I am learning to embrace the 90%s of raising a simply remarkable, independent, young woman.

The same week our son started driving and I am embracing all that is new with a teenage boy driving. Why do they have to cruise around ALL the time?

I am embracing a new marriage with Darren. After 26 years together and 18 years of parenting, driving to and sitting at our children’s many, many activities, it has all come to a grinding halt. We need to embrace the new-found freedom we have in our marriage, make sure we keep our marriage strong and not get sick of each other!

In my work, I need to embrace all that is changing in the world of being a motivational speaker. Like you in your business, I am facing lots of changes in technology and how we do things in our office. I will spend time embracing and learning about what is new. There is no sense in fighting the things that are changing and complaining about it, just do it!

I will turn 50 this year and I am going to embrace all that goes with that.

Perhaps you had some changes in 2018. Some were great 90% changes and maybe some were not so great. Pick a theme that will help you move forward in a positive way, to adjust to whatever your new normal is.

Cheers to your theme for 2019!

Thank You Ed

Ed was my bank manager at the TD Bank — the bank that took a chance on a 24-year-old woman who wanted to buy a tuxedo store. One day, Ed asked me what I thought one of my secrets to being happy all the time was. I told him I thought we all had a magnifying glass in front of us and we had a choice what we focused it on, the positive or the negative aspects of our lives. He asked me, “What percentage of your life do you think is positive?” I replied, “About 90%.” He then asked, “Would you come and share that idea at my staff meeting?” That simple question changed the course of my life.”

I remember that first speaking engagement 25 years ago. I was wearing a light blue suit that my husband (then boyfriend) affectionally called the “Matlock” suit. I stood in the bank before it opened, and the staff gathered their office chairs in the open lobby. My back was to the counter and I was grateful for that. I thought if I pass out, I will fall against the counter. I wasn’t a shy person, but I had never done anything like that before. I was so nervous.

Afterwards, a man who worked at that bank told his wife about my presentation. She referred me to a service club she was involved in and as they say, the rest is history.

Ed and I have kept in touch over the years and last week, I had a chance to visit Ed and thank him in person. I kept it together while I was there and saved my tears for the car ride home. I could not be more grateful to this kind man who gave me my start. I have a beautiful blessed 90% life.

This Christmas season reach out to someone who has shaped your life and say thank you to them. Call them, write them or pull up your chair beside them at Christmas and tell them. You might not be where you are today if it wasn’t for them.

Merry Christmas!

Everyone Has a Story

Are you perfect? When I ask my audience members that question only a very funny person will put up their hand. What right do we have to see others through our imperfect judgmental, gossiping, labeling, prejudice 10% lens when we are not perfect? And did you ever notice that those who do the most amount of judging and labeling are actually the ones who need the most “work”? How you see others is how you see yourself.

One of my many missions in life is to encourage people to take the time to see people through a 90% lens — the non-judgemental, compassionate, sympathetic, understanding magnifying glass. People have big lives filled with personal, work and family problems. Don’t we all have a story?

Look for an opportunity to make someone’s day. Open a door, give a parking spot away, let everyone in in traffic, buy stacks of gift cards and give them away, tip hugely, replace Christmas presents with charitable donations, tell people they are good because some really need to hear that. I find someone everyday to tell that they are doing a great job.

Make it your mission to go out in the world and this busy Christmas season and offer patience, kindness, compassion and understanding. You never know someone’s story. We can judge others, but I was taught not to judge others unless I was willing to help them. I can’t wait for the most depleted person in the airport to sit next to me, I always hear the story to go with the depletion and I will offer them a word of encouragement.

I had the blessing of hearing John DiJulius speak and he shares this video in his presentation. What a great reminder that everyone has a story.

Go be kind to someone today.

October 2018 - Thanks "Taking" - Are You Taking Or Giving?

 I heard two guys talking the other day. “What are you doing for Thanksgiving weekend?” asked the one. His friend responded, “Well it's more like Thanks’taking’ weekend as I am 'taking' the day off, 'taking' the family to my dreaded mom's house, 'taking' time to visit my stupid in-laws and 'taking' the lawn furniture to the garage.” The first guy's response was, “Whoa you sure sound negative!”

I smiled behind them as I thought the same thing. Where did he learn to be so ungrateful for people who feed him dinner, a family to drag around and a house that has lawn furniture?

Thanks”taking” is seeing your life through a 10% lens. Thanks”giving” is seeing it through the 90% one.

What if we stopped taking from people and gave back? I know people who expect others to take care of them but rarely, if ever, do they give back. What if you took the time to thank those who have given so much to you?

What if your work place wasn’t the place that took from you but the place that gave you the life that you have? Even if your job isn’t your dream job, it’s a job. Some of the happiest people I met this week have shared stories of being unemployed.

Do you thank your employees? I see CEOS get up in front of staff and rattle off sales reports and strategic plans. As leaders, we have to stand in front of our staff and say “Before we start this meeting, the most important thing I can say to all of you is … thank you.”

Clients are tired of us taking their money and not giving thanks. When a client walks in say “Thank you so much for coming in today.” When they call, the first thing we need to say is “Thank you so much for calling our business.” Thank them again when they leave. I sign all emails, Grateful or Thankful.

Add “please” to yes and “thank you” to no. Try it, it changes how kind you sound. Anytime you say yes add “please”, if you say no add “thank you”. Apply this to every real conversation, email and text you send - at work and at home! This is something I taught our teenagers at a very young age. Yes and no on their own can be rude. Make it a rule.

Sometimes we give everything we have to the world and take from the people we love. Go home and give your best self.

Happy “giving”!

September 2018 - HAPPY SEPTEMBER!

It seems like almost everyone I have talked with this month is stressed. People are using words like “crazy, busy and insane”. What can we do to make September a happier month?

#1. Stop using words like crazy, busy and insane. Replace them with positive words. I know I am too damn happy but I say “blessed” a lot. When people say, “Oh you must be so busy!”, they are right, but my response is “I am and that is a blessing!” Feel grateful for the abundance of work and the luxury of going to school.

#2. Sleep and eat well. Every year, I enter September realizing the need for the basics to be done really well. You can’t possibly expect to have great outcomes at work, within our schools or in our homes if we don’t feel well. Look after your whole self.

#3. Make “today”, “this week” and “this month” lists. I still write everything down…old school. There is something euphoric about being able to cross things off. Just dig in and get it done!

#4. Avoid all toxic people. I know, easier said than done. Do all that you can do to protect yourself from anyone who has the power to rent space in your head. Negative people are in every workplace, classroom and community. They rarely change. Let’s get really good at making sure they don’t win and affect our performance.

#5. Look at what you are complaining about and ask yourself,” Is this something I knew would be a stressful part of my leadership role, job or schooling?” Chances are yes, you knew. Complaining is a habit, change the habit.

#6. Unsubscribe, direct deposit and don’t touch a piece of mail more than once. Look at every area of your life and ask, “Can I get rid of this?"

#7. Set serious personal boundaries. I could work 15 hours a day but I don’t. Set clear defined boundaries around when you are done work and when you take time to stop studying.

September in our office is flat out, back to work, speaking two or three times a week in different cities now until the end of year. Aren’t we blessed?

Happy September!

August 2018 - 4 Steps To Being Happier

Compass with needle pointing the word well-being. 3D illustration with blur effect. Concept of wellbeing or wellness

“The Science of Well-Being “is a course at Yale University and it is an overview of what psychological science says about happiness.It encourages four activities that align perfectly with my Focus on the 90% message: make lists of what you are grateful for, do random acts of kindness, exercise/sleep and meditate.

Make lists of what you are grateful for

This is focusing on the 90%! The ability to focus on what you are grateful for has changed my life. Some people think 90% is just too high of a percentage and I am just too damn happy. Fair. Whatever percentage of your life is positive, focus on that.

I am grateful for: my health, my home, my friends and my family — a husband who doesn’t think “happy hour” is where problems are solved and teenagers who are on such good paths in their lives, my pets and the list goes on and on.

Do random acts of kindness

Smile genuinely at everyone. Feed people you know are hurting. Leave gift cards for people who do a good job. Leave the coin in the shopping cart. Compliment people on their sweater, how kind they are to their children and their beautiful yard. Thank people for opening the door for you, their great service and for being your customer.

Text people and tell them you love them and why you are grateful for them. Give everyone who begs for money, money or food. Don’t judge through a 10% lens, just be kind. You don’t know their story. Leave people feeling better.

Exercise and sleep

I can trace every time I have focused on the 10% to being tired and depleted. Sleep is sanity for me. The times I try to function on little sleep prove to be very unhappy and unproductive days. I find myself being ungrateful, annoyed with people and then I start a vicious cycle of looking for caffeine.

Stop watching TV late, get off of your phone, no late eating, leave unanswered emails, walk over toys and housework and get some sleep! Quit playing martyr to your life and just go to bed.

The best exercise in the world is a walk with my dog, Holly.

Meditate

I tend to be very busy and live off of adrenalin. Years ago, a naturopathic doctor told me if I kept that up I would wear out my adrenals and I would suffer with poor health later in my life. Wow. I took that very seriously.

I take small pockets of time a few times a week to just sit, close my eyes, breath deeply and focus on one great thing. This form of mediation calms me right down. I do it on the airplane, while I wait for teenagers in the car and up early sitting on the deck. Calm adds a layer of genuine to people. Grateful you are a part of my social media world,

June 2018 - Congratulations Graduates!

I was honoured this year to be asked to give the toast to the students at my girl's Grade 12 graduation. As I thought about it, I realized my advice to these young people was very much like the advice I'd give to any one reading this post. So here it is - the four top lessons I have learned:

Pick a job that you love

I am sure if you asked the parents in the room, many of us are not working in a job that we thought we would be doing when we graduated. My hope for you is that you do something that you love. Many opportunities will be presented to you. Be open to them. No matter what you choose make sure you wake up and go to a job that will make you happy.

Surround yourself with only positive people.

I believe that your friends will determine your future. If you hang out with people who want to be better and be a better version of themselves, then you too will always strive to be better. Don’t hang out with people who make you feel bad for wanting to improve. Rid yourself of all toxic people and make a choice to only surround yourself with great positive people.

Remember you can’t please everyone.

No matter how hard you try you will never please everyone and you miss out on a lot of your life trying to please them. I have a quote in my office that says, “If someone says something unkind about you, live your life so that no one will believe them.”. Build God's armor around you and focus on the great people in your life.

Be kind.

You are a beautiful/handsome, talented, brilliant group of young people. That is wonderful and you have your entire life ahead of you. Do all that you do well but don’t forget to be kind first. Being wonderful is...wonderful. Being kind is everything.

Congratulations!

May 2018 - Feed You First

My friends say to me, “I can always tell when you are doing well because you feed us!” I love hosting people but I can’t feed you unless I have fed me first.

Sandy sacrificed so much to raise me — she is a saint! She has put up with so many 10%s over the years and continues to love unconditionally. She was the first person to teach me how to see the 90%s in my life.

Physically, I look after myself by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. I have to be rested, nourished and cared for to be able to care for others. I look after me, then two-legged humans and the four-legged dog and cat in my house. Only then can I reach out and look after and feed — you. That is why some weeks it is all I can do to feed me and those in my house and go on the road again.

This Mother’s Day feed you first. Even if your mother did not teach you how to take care of yourself, do it anyway. That’s an old story. Stop walking in the footsteps of people who didn’t take care of themselves. If we learn how to feed us first, we can then teach our daughters how do to the same.

Happy Mother's Day!

April 2018 - Don't Be A Putz

I am having lunch with my aunt and she says to me, “Don’t look up, I don’t want the guy who just came in to see us.” I asked her who he is and why don’t you want to see him?” She replies, “He sells to us on the farm and he is a total putz.” Just as she finished the sentence, he approached the table. I was excited as I wanted to see what gave him the title of “putz”.

Here is what made him a putz.

My aunt is not a loud person. Instead of matching his personality to hers, he was just his loud self. You could tell it was annoying her. He needed to read the room and adjust his levels.

He did not make eye contact with her. He looked around the restaurant as she was talking as if to see if there was someone more interesting.

He hit on our very good-looking waitress…with a wedding ring on his finger.

When introduced to me, he shook my hand overly hard and insincerely and did not make eye contact. And then he handed me a business card, which I had not asked for.

He did not pull up a chair, he towered over us the entire time.

When it was time for him to leave, finally, he said goodbye to my aunt and said, “Goodbye Tracy” to me.

Many of us are in the business of relationships and the impression we leave stays with our customers, no matter where they run into us.

If this guy had pulled up a chair, smiled, looked my aunt in the eye, focused only on her, asked a genuine question and remembered my name, it would have been a completely different experience.

Take a minute when you meet people to make sure you leave a non-putz impression. 

Genuine handshake,

Darci

March 2018 - What Makes You Happy?

Do you ever stop and think about what makes you happy? Take this moment to create a list right now of what brings you joy. Now look at what you wrote down and ask yourself, “When is the last time I did something on this list?”

After 25 years of being on stage, I have learned that happiness can’t come from the outside; it has to come from within. You have to tap into what makes you truly happy and find more ways in your life to make time for those things. I know that we all have 10%s in our lives and some of your 10%s are truly affecting your happiness. Trust me, if you start doing some of the things that make you happy again, it will help you reset.

I wrote my list and there were 35 things on it. Here are some of them:

  • Waking up at home (before everyone else) after being on the road for a couple of days
  • Sipping a cup of good green tea
  • Flipping through a fresh new decorating magazine
  • Decorating with anything turquoise
  • Spending time at home on Saturday preparing meals for the week
  • Buying garden fresh food—I have paid $4.00 for an heirloom tomato at the Farmers’ Market
  • Walking my rescue pup, Holly
  • Meeting my friend (with Holly) for a walk around our amazing Wascana Lake
  • An evening alone at home
  • Having one of our teenagers say, “Do you want to do something together?” (It’s rare and I will drop anything to do it)
  • Sitting at my desk, in my beautiful office, ready to start a work day
  • Going on a date with Darren that usually involves eating sushi, checking out a big box renovation store and then watching a movie at home
  • Enjoying epic summers in our back yard
  • Having potlucks, games nights and great red wine and food with friends

Happy International Happiness Day

February 2018 - Love You

Love Yourself Be You Self Esteem Confidence Encourage Concept

The most important thing I have learned in my 48 years of being a daughter, 25 years of being a wife and 17 years of being a mother is that you have to see yourself through a 90% lens first. Nothing in your life will change if you do not change the person in the mirror. Why is self-love so difficult for many people? It’s because we don’t think we’re worth it and nothing could be further from the truth.

The greatest gift that you can give yourself this Valentine’s Day is the gift of loving yourself. Here are three ways to kick start the self-love today:

Heal your wounds. I have spent a lot of money in counselling to heal the wounds of my past. Maryanne Williamson says the wounds we do not heal in our childhood will manifest themselves in the ugliness in our personalities. Do the hard work of healing those wounds. Many of you have EAP programs at work, use them.

Change your belief systems. I was told a lot of things growing up by teachers and family members. I was too short, I was too stupid and I came from a broken home. I learned that those thoughts were ingrained in me by depleted people who did not love themselves. I have since learned to let go of the 10% belief systems. I was also told a lot of great things, which is what I focus on.

Take care of yourself. We self-sabotage to avoid what we should be working on. Stop doing that. Even if no one at your dinner table taught you how to take care of yourself, do it anyway. Do the basics: drink enough water, eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise. We all know we should but the reasons we don’t are what we need to change. If you don’t take care of yourself, you end up depleted for the people you love, and what does that teach them about self-love?

This Valentine’s Day give yourself a card and write in it everything you are great at, your strengths, your 90%s.

Love

January 2018 - Celebrate

Success and team work concept. Team of business partners with raised up hands in light modern workstation celebrating the breakthrough in their company

Rather than a New Year’s Resolution I like to create a theme for the year, and this year my theme is CELEBRATE! I have had many years of themes that were about improving, and this year I am ready to celebrate all of my hard work paying off! Last year my theme was “Letting Go” and I had to let a lot go. Now I am ready to celebrate.

Celebrate your job/company. I will celebrate my 25th year speaking this year! Wow. It is rare these days to meet a group of staff that are not totally overwhelmed by the amount of rapid changes taking place in their companies. I think it is time to take a break from change and celebrate what is good in our businesses. What are your successes as a company? What are your strengths? Rather than constantly changing, let’s celebrate what is good. Host monthly 90% meetings where people come together and talk about what is great.

Celebrate your coworkers and clients. It’s time to celebrate the great people we get to work with. The 10% people take up so much of our time and energy. I am simply tired of dealing with the 10% people. I have tried to love them, care for them and change them but I have learned that negative people are like addicts, they have to want to make the change for themselves; unfortunately, most of the 10% that I meet never do. For 2018, let’s stop giving the 10% people our energy and letting them rent space in our heads. They win when we do that, and I am tired of them winning. It’s time to celebrate the great people.

Celebrate your friends. I have spent years building a circle of absolutely wonderful friends. I have many friends on Facebook but I have a tight circle of wonderful people in my everyday life, too. I celebrate my friends who are 90% people and who strive to live their lives fully. I have had to let a lot of toxic people go, and my life is better as a result.

Celebrate your family. I am celebrating a wonderful time in my life. I’ve shared 25 years with Darren and am watching our teenagers grow up to be incredible young adults. I am celebrating this season of my life. Our family has been through a lot over the years—it is time to celebrate how far we have come.

Celebrate yourself. Celebrate you and your 90%s—your strengths, your accomplishments and all that makes you great. Then pick one 10% thing that you need to work on and spend this year working on that. Make your theme this year what you need to do the most; Heal, Nourish, Cope, Grow, Let Go or Simplify. Spend all year applying your theme to your life.

Happy New Year!