Archive for December, 2015

My Year in Review 2015

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Celebrate every tiny victory! (1)

Wow! What a year 2015 has been. I have this tradition of writing about all the amazing things that happen each year on the last day of December to help me to remember to stop and smell the roses – to celebrate all that I have accomplished. For super-driven, Type A people like me, it’s so easy to just move on to the next thing without giving cheers for the hard work and rewards my team and I have achieved this year. Taking the time not only to celebrate, but more importantly taking an opportunity for me to thank all the people that were part of my year, is very important to me!

So I hope you will be inspired to do the same for your accomplishments and to take just a minute to remember all that you did this year before closing the books on it and moving into 2016. Thank you for indulging me as I look back on all that made 2015 great for me and thank you for being a part of it all!

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2015 was an amazing year defined by big product launches for me. In fact, in this calendar year, I launched 4 new licensed collections with 4 amazing partners; CR Laine Furniture, Soicher Marin Art Company, Woodbridge Furniture, and Duralee Fabrics.

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What a dream come true to work with these fantastic partners to make beautiful and functional products to help make your home all you dream it to be. But product design was not all I did this year so let’s take a look…

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In January I had another very exciting dream come true. I launched Tobi U – my online learning center for interior designers. It’s where designers and creatives everywhere can get my classes and courses right in their own homes from their computers. This was a fabulous way to start off the new year!

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I also was honored to be featured on the cover of At Home in Arkansas’s The Design Issue as one of the Top Interior Designers in the state. What great company I was in. Thanks, At Home in Arkansas, for this fabulous recognition!

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January also brought one of my favorite projects ever to the pages of Rue Magazine. My Riverside Penthouse looked great in all its dramatic color and it garnered rave reviews. Thanks Rue for the fab feature!

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I had a fabulous time as one of the presenters at the Arts Awards in Dallas. Thank you Dallas Market Center and the Arts Awards for inviting me to be a part of your prestigious event! And congrats to my friends and vendors who won Arts Awards in 2015!

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New York City was the site of my design meetings in January with Duralee to develop my upcoming fabric collection. What fun I had with the Duralee team!

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February was also full of travel including seeing my CR Laine prototypes for the first time. Here I am test driving what would become my Elle chair.

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We had our first Tobi Fairley Mastermind Event of the year in February in Atlanta and were honored to have Suzanne Kasler, Brian Patrick Flynn, and Richard Mishaan as presenters at our event. It was so inspiring. Thank you Suzanne, Brian, and Richard for being there!

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And I jetted off to Sarasota, Florida, and started framing my 120-piece collection for Soicher Marin to get ready for our April launch. Thanks for being such a great collaborator Soicher Marin!

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Plus, Real Simple Magazine asked me to join other fab designers like Nate Berkus and Thom Filicia in giving my Best Design Advice. Thanks, Real Simple!

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In March, another visit to CR Laine’s Hickory, NC, factory over Spring break with my family brought taste-testing a few goodies for the big April High Point Market, and seeing more finished product from my furniture line.

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And an exciting inclusion in House Beautiful’s color column with one of my favorite shades of orange happened in March, too. Thanks HB!

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April was when things really got exciting. Two big product launches at High Point’s Spring market and a showroom space to design for CR Laine were challenging but rewarding achievements! Thank you CR Laine and Soicher Marin for believing I had something new and creative to bring to your product lines. There are no other partners I would rather have than you and our launches were perfect!

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These launches were made all the more special because I had my mom, my aunt, and my daughter there with me. And they loved seeing the pieces of furniture I named after each of them. What’s all this hard work for if I can’t share it with those that I love, right?

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Then in May, the first of many exciting accolades for my product launches started to roll in when Furniture Today named my new collection for CR Laine as its Best of Market. Thank you, Furniture Today!

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And Home Accents Today featured my Bullseye Art for Soicher Marin. Thanks so much, Home Accents Today!

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On on the interiors front, May was the month that At Home in Arkansas featured one of my favorite projects for some favorite clients! Thank you At Home and thank you to my lovely clients who are so, so easy to work with!

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HGTV magazine featured my Crestwood Project in their What Color Is That? feature. Thanks HGTV magazine. It’s so fun working with you!

hgtv mayAnother exciting collaboration happened in May when I was named brand ambassador for Thermador and given the opportunity to write blogs and create exclusive video content for this brand that I love so much!

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And speaking of Thermador, next came June and my Tobi Fairley Mastermind event was perfection at the Thermador headquarters in Orange County, CA, thanks to the gorgeous showroom and fantastic hospitality of the Thermador team. And we were so honored to have Timothy Corrigan as our special guest presenter. Thank you to Thermador and to Timothy for one of our best events yet!

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In June, more accolades for my product designs rolled in when my Soicher Marin art called “What Do You See?” was featured in Home Accents Today. Thank you again Home Accents Today!

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And June brought more excitement in the way of product design when we announced my upcoming line of case goods for Woodbridge Furniture, including the Ellison cocktail table pictured below.

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July started with a BANG when my new Izzy chair for CR Laine was featured in Traditional Home in all its gingham glory! Thanks again, Traditional Home. You are too good to me!

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And a favorite project of mine appeared on the cover of Southern Cottage Magazine. Much appreciation to you Southern Cottage!

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And in July, more exciting recognition, this time for our online presence when Design NJ named my website one of its Top 15 Places to Click Online. Thanks so much Design New Jersey!

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House & Garden UK featured one of my favorite kitchen projects. Thanks H&G. I love being featured in European shelter magazines, especially yours!

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And in July, hard work began on new lines for High Point Market including my encore collection for CR Laine and my new launch with Woodbridge Furniture. Wow, did my team and I work hard this year creating products for the home!

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July was a big month, and my Alexander chair for CR Laine was featured in Modern Luxury Interiors – Texas. Thank you Modern Luxury. Such an honor to be on your gorgeous pages!

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The readers of Arkansas Times named me Arkansas’s Best Interior Designer. Thank you to Arkansas Times and all its readers!

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And a fun surprise when my Riverside Penthouse project was featured in Robb Report’s Home & Style. Thank you Robb Report, thank you Tracy Hiner the creative genius behind that gorgeous wallcovering I used in the entry of this chic penthouse and thank you to my adventurous clients who leapt with me to make their home uber-sophisticated and unique!

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Traditional Home was at it again in August when they featured my Hampton Chaise from CR Laine in a feature on snakeskin. My chaise in fabric “Hissy Fit” and its gorgeous lucite legs looked fabulous in this feature. Yes, I will say it again…Thank you Traditional Home!

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You know how I love to cook and entertain, so it was fun being featured in an outdoor entertaining ideas piece in Southern Living. Thank you so much Southern Living!

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Then came September, and was it ever exciting when Veranda featured my Stella screen from CR Laine with its Starburst details in a story about “High Society” and Hollywood Glamour. Thank you, Veranda!

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Design NJ gave me more praise this time for my Sheridan daybed from CR Laine. Thank you twice Design New Jersey!

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We hosted another fabulous Mastermind event, this time at the New York Design Center, featuring outstanding designers Rob Passal and Tilton Fenwick, PR guru Andrew Joseph, and the Editor of House Beautiful, Sophie Donelson. This event was stellar! A huge thank you to all these talents who made our event so succesful and also to our amazing Mastermind members!

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Editor at Large is also so good to me and in September they featured the buzz for my new Woodbridge launch at High Point Market. It was one of many features they did on me this year!  Thanks for all your support all year long, Editor at Large!

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In October, my first ad for my CR Laine collection appeared in Traditional Home thanks to my fabulous partners at CR Laine. How exciting to open the pages to see my collection in all this glossy gorgeousness! Thank you CR Laine. You’re the BEST!

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Traditional Home couldn’t get enough of my CR Laine collection and featured my Sheridan Daybed in its October issue. And Traditional Home I can’t get enough of you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

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And one of the most anticipated parts of the year kicked off in October, too. I moved out of my home and started a major renovation. How thrilling to knock down those dated kitchen cabinets with a sledgehammer myself! Woo hoo! Thanks Richard Harp Homes for being my top-notch contractor on this project!

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Plus, October was when I won the ASID 2015 Design Ovation Award for Best Residential Project of the Year for my Riverside Penthouse project, as well as two gold awards and one silver award for other design projects. Wow! Did the Riverside Project have a great year this year! A huge thank you to all my clients, the best clients in the world I might add, for allowing me to bring to life my creative ideas in your homes!

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And if October weren’t exciting enough, my brand new launch with Woodbridge Furniture happened at the High Point Market. And this little beauty, my Sarah chest, was Woodbridge’s top-selling piece!  Thank you, Woodbridge. You are a joy to work with! And thank you to the Trim Queen for making those gorgeous tassels!

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My new additions and new interpretations of my CR Laine collection also took High Point market by storm in October. My Elle chair in leopard print (called “Catitude”) was a huge seller! A big thank you to Fromental Wallcovering for partnering with me in the CR Laine showroom. Your wallcovering made my space look so totally chic and I thank you!

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My friends at Harper Howey interiors hosted my first retail event in October to introduce my CR Laine and Soicher Marin Collections. Thank you Harper Howey and all your fab customers for a great event!

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In November, my home and my mom’s were featured in Southern Cottage’s Holiday Issue with our Christmas secor. Thank you again Southern Cottage. You were really good to me this year!

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And one of the most exciting and unexpected things of the year happened this month when Restoration Hardware selected 10 of my Soicher Marin collection pieces for their new RH Modern catalog and put them into 4 of their Flagship Retail Stores. Thank you to Soicher Marin for making this happen and to Restoration Hardware for selecting my work!

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In December, my Sheridan Daybed was featured by House Beautiful.com, thanks to a gorgeous room design by Shay Geyer for the One Room Challenge in her daughter’s Kate Spade inspired space. Thank you Shay and House Beautiful. It’s an honor to be a part of this gorgeous room!

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December rolled in with my Elle chair for CR Laine in its new Nickel finish, being named Best of Market by Home Accents Today. Thank you once again Home Accents Today!

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And I was named Designer of the Month by Wayfair which was a fun honor. Thank you Wayfair for this great feature!

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Maybe the most exciting part of this month was my launch of my new line of fabric for Duralee at the Showtime Fabric Show in High Point, NC. I have been working on my collection with Duralee for almost 2 years and it was thrilling to see my 79-piece fabric collection all finished and getting fabulous reviews from Duralee’s customers. Thank you Duralee for a great experience. You are a dream to work with and I am so proud of what we created together.

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Thanks to Elle Decor for including me in their top Christmas Decorating Tips.

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And thank you to this neat Russian magazine called Home & Family who also featured my holiday designs. International press is always so exciting!

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And just this week, a fun inclusion by the Wall Street Journal in their Top 5 Design Trends for 2016. Thank you Wall Street Journal, I’m honored to be included in this annual piece on what’s hot and what’s not!

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And if all these AMAZING things weren’t enough, I’ve also had fabulous features this year from many other blogs and publications including Martha Stewart, Huffington Post, Lisa Mende, Kandrac and Kole, Decor Mentor and Lisa Kahn Allen, Linda Merrill in her fab new book, The Zhush, Home Goods, many features from HGTV.com, Shutterfly, Carmen at the Decorating Diva, Ruth and Ollie, Domino, Westchester Magazine and so many, many more. I thank each and every one of you so much for your support and recognition. I am truly humbled by all the response to my work and my products this year! If I missed any of you who were a part of my success this year, to you I also say thank you!!

So there is it. An unbelievable year that I am closing the books on. It will go down in my memory as one of “the Big Ones!”.

Thanks again for being a part of it and Happy 2016 to you!

Wishing you a new year of prosperity, health and happiness.

xo,

Tobi Signature

 

 

 

 

 

What Is That Color? Dreamy Blue

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It’s almost 2016 and Pantone has named one of their 2 colors of the New Year as Serenity which is a soft and lovely blue, not unlike the color I selected for this relaxing bedroom. It has just a hint of Periwinkle in it which I’m crazy about!

There is a reason that blue not only excited me but is the most popular color in the U.S., and around the world! It’s about the only color that can seem happy, calm, serene, and inviting, all at the same time. So for me, it’s the perfect color for a bedroom. In my Shadow Valley project, I selected Sherwin-Williams Krypton, which is a lovely shade of pale.

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And when paired with Sherwin-Williams Creamy on the trim, it gives the effect of stepping into a piece of Wedgwood china. It also paired perfectly with the floral fabric I chose from Schumacher, which was key to creating that dreamy effect I wanted.

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I love the way the blues are layered in, with shades from sky to cobalt. It made this master bedroom into the perfect getaway for my clients.

Do you love blue, too? How would you use the color in your home? Tell me in the comments below!

Colorfully yours,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Shopping Guide

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During this, my favorite time of the year, I am busy preparing my goals and resolutions and plans for an exciting 2016. I am giddy with excitement about moving closer to my best self in the coming months. And I am working on making the New Year my best year yet.

To be the best Me I can be, I have a major goal of putting myself first next year. This is something I find really hard to do, do you? Well in that spirit of self-care and healthy living, here is my shopping guide for a fabulously healthy 2016. These are the things I need to be my best and I hope they will help you be your best too!

Meet me back here later this week for my tips on writing resolutions that work, goal setting and my word of the year for 2016.

Happy (and healthy) shopping friends! xo,

Tobi Signature

 

 

 

 

 

1.Columbia Fleece Vest–Layers are a must for working out in Arkansas weather. It can be 70 degrees at Christmas like this year and 20 degrees in March. You just never know. So having some great Columbia fleece vests in my favorite colors are perfect for layering on cool mornings or freezing afternoons for my walks. I got a white one for Christmas and can’t wait to wear it.

2. Northface Thermal Leggings–To be my best and most healthy self, I have to have a “no excuses” mentality for exercise. And thanks to these awesome Northface leggings, even on cold days I am hoofing it to stay in shape.

3. Fitbit Charge–Take your fitness to a whole new level with the fitbit Charge. I have been using a fitbit for years but this new model has all sorts of amazing features including a clock so you no longer have to double up your fitbit and your watch, they are now all in one. And if you get the Fitbit HR, you can keep track of your Heart rate too so you ensure you are exercising at your optimum level.

4. Nike Leopard or Snakeskin Running Shoes–How do you make exercise fun? Well for me it’s by wearing fun workout clothes and shoes (yes I am a shoe girl even when it comes to athletic ones!) So why not jump on the trend of leopard and Snakeskins we are seeing all over the runway and bring it to our workout gear. They even have the leopard print in sizes for your kids so you can keep them active and healthy too!

5. Massage Bolster–In a moment you will see my great link for an in-home massage table in fabulous fashionable colors. And if you go the route of having a massage room all your own, a bolster for propping up your ankles and knees is the best way to make your at-home experience seem like a professional one.

6. The Best is Yet to Come Journal–Journaling has been a lifesaver for me to relieve stress and get in touch with my innermost self and writing down what I really want out of life. That’s why I love this encouraging quote from old blue eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Because I really do believe that the best is yet to come for us all, so why not remember that in your daily journaling exercises!

7. Pebble Journal with 3-ring Binder–I love to keep one journal for my thoughts and another for my gratitude for all my many blessings. I am crazy about this 3 ring journal because you can add pages to it. So when you have boundless blessings like I believe we all do, you can add more space to write them down.

8. Pajamas–one of the most important parts of healthy living is getting enough sleep. I think a great pair of Pj’s is the perfect excuse to go to bed earlier this year and these pretty black and white ones will help us sleep stylishly.

9. Sleep Mask and Memory Foam Pillow–Being comfy and relaxed is an important part of your sleep routine too. How about this fabulous Memory Foam pillow so you are comfy and wake up feeling great? And it’s paired with this fab sleep mask with built-in headphones. They’ll keep it dark in your space any time of day and allow you to listen to relaxation yoga or meditation tunes so you drift off easily to your happy place and stay there all night long.

10. Yoga Bolster–Yoga has been a life saver to me. Particularly Yin-style yoga. I get my cardio by walking out in nature and breathing in fresh air and for me yoga is about stretching and restoration. So for that I need great props like this oversized rectangular bolster.

11. Yoga Blocks–Getting into some of my favorite Yin yoga poses require the help of yoga blocks. So add these to your tools for staying healthy this year. You can also do some amazing before bed stretches and release all the tension from your neck with a great yoga block ensuring you get a restful night’s sleep.

12. Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel–Nothing annoys me more than slipping on my yoga mat. That’s why I love my Yogitoes Yoga Mat Terry Towel. It makes your mat comfy and slip resistant all at once. So now you can Nama-“stay” on your mat!

13. Calypso Massage Table–Massage is a must for my healthy lifestyle. I try to get at least one a month and more if time and budget allow. Having an in-home massage table and home massage space is one of the ways I squeeze massage into my busy lifestyle. So when I can’t get to the spa, my massage therapist can come to me.

14. Yoga Strap–To really get deep stretches for my hamstrings to counteract all the sitting at the computer that I do (and sitting on airplanes too) a great yoga strap can really help. I’m not as young and flexible as I used to be so my yoga strap is one of my BFF’s these days! 

15. Personalized Yoga Mat–And to add a little fun to your yoga time, how about a personalized yoga mat. I love the idea of having my name on it, but even better an inspirational quote that makes me want to be on my mat everyday. Whatever it takes, right?

16. Yoga Blankets–If restorative yoga sounds good to you, creating a sanctuary for your practice is a must. For me that means a lovely and quiet place, lots of candles and several cozy blankets for helping with stretches or covering up during Savasana and lingering just a little bit longer than usual.

17. Massage Table Sheets–Making your massage table especially soft can help you get to your happy and relaxed place faster that normal. I love these high thread count massage sheets from Wamsutta that really help me have sweet dreams while getting my massage on!

18. Massage Table Electric Warmer–I don’t know about you but I get chilly easily. I am known to use an electric blanket on a chilly summer night (even if it’s chilly because my hubby is blasting the A/C), and I am the same way during my massages. So having an electric warmer for your at-home massage table is the perfect way to make sure you are cozy and relaxed every time.

19.Fitbit Scale–I’ve been using a Fitbit cardio step counter for years. But now I am ready to take Fitbit’s capabilities to the next level with their scale that measures weight, body fat and BMI. It can be programmed for up to 8 different users so my family can use it too. I am thinking this might be one of the things that keeps me most accountable in the new year!

20. Vitamix Blender–Oh how I love my Vitamix. It’s the way I get my fruits and veggies in everyday with my regular morning Green Smoothies. I have tried other blenders and trust me, there is no comparison with the Vitamix. So if you haven’t tried this amazing blending machine, I highly suggest you do. It will help you get your smoothie on all year long.

 

 

 

 

Defining Resolutions for 2016

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Starting a new year is so exciting for me! It makes me feel like I did growing up when starting a new year of school – with that anticipation of the fun to come, new friends, and new adventures but most importantly a chance to set new goals and have a clean calendar and a clean slate. I love to sit down around this time of year with a brand new journal, a fabulous pen, and a great cup of coffee to start my list of goals and resolutions for the coming year.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I believe in the transformative power of resolutions, and the importance of starting your year with a vision, a plan, and a clear intention. When I sit down to begin my goal- and resolution-setting, I always remind myself of the relationship between resolutions and goals. For the most part, this is pretty obvious, but here is a clarification, just in case:

  • A goal is an endpoint you desire. This makes me think about the other common use for “goal,” and that’s in sports: it’s a score, a target, something strived-for and earned. When you set a goal, you are choosing the destination of a journey (or at least one major progress point along the way).
  • A resolution is an intention that you set for your life; an invitation to the kind of energy and actions you want to manifest. You are resolving to do something (or NOT do something), either with the intention of creating a new habit forever or in order to jumpstart a big change. And many times our resolutions allow us to achieve our goals. To push our journey metaphor a little bit further, if a goal is a destination, then a resolution is a choice you make about what you want the trip to be like, how you want to live the journey you’re creating.

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If you want goals and resolutions for your life to really stick and to begin to transform your life, you can’t allow your critical or negative self-talk to drown out your hopes and dreams for your life. My best advice is to give yourself the gift of not judging any of your instincts and feelings as you sit down to write your own list for the year. And let go of that inner mean girl as you move through the year and work toward your goals. These should be intentions for you and you alone – and not a reason to beat yourself up.

Also, you should never make goals and resolutions that you believe would please someone else but that you don’t really want at your core. Trust you gut. You know what goals are authentic to you and which ones you are writing down because your mom or your spouse or your children think you should.  What good is setting goals others want for you going to do? NONE. So don’t give-in to the temptation to try to set the “right” intentions; these are YOURS, and feeling passionate about your goals is all you need to make them the right ones for you. Your goals will not be graded except by you. You will be the one holding yourself accountable to yourself. So let go of the A+ student inside who wants to earn praise from others and lean into to what you really want in your innermost self.

If you work or own your own business, be sure to set both business goals and personal goals. I truly believe that only by being your very best self will you achieve your ultimate potential and reach your true joy! And when you set those goals to help you be your best, each and every one of them needs to have a step-by-step plan. Later this week, I’m going to tell you what my year in review looks like (a peek back at all I accomplished and enjoyed this year), and there is no way I could have achieved any of the goals I set without a plan in place for each one of them.

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For each goal and resolution, I define a series of steps, with deadlines and dates attached! If I get to one of the dates and haven’t quite gotten where I need to be with my goal – but I’ve made some progress – I don’t beat myself up. I just tweak that deadline a bit and keep plugging away at each of the steps. Any action is always better than no action and some things just take longer than we think they will. But moving towards our goals each day is the most important part.

I have done a ton of reading and studying in 2015 as I do each year. And I have learned some exciting tips and thoughts on goal setting. In fact, this year I have a couple of all new approaches to help me stay on track with my goal setting and also to help with the setbacks that we all face. I will be bringing you those new ideas in just a few days to help you have success with your goals in 2016, so be sure and check back with me in the coming days to learn these exciting new tips. But for now, start thinking about your goals and intentions for 2016 while you are relaxing and enjoying the last few days of the year. I find my best ideas and most authentic wants and goals come when I am relaxing and not forcing anything.  So no pressure yet. Just dream about what 2016 will be.

If you already know your goals and resolutions for 2016, hooray! Put a few in the comments section below so we can all cheer you on! It’s always easier to achieve a goal or resolution when you put it out to the universe, right? I’ll see you back here with more goals and resolution ideas soon!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

Wishing You a Merry Christmas!

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Well my friends, another Christmas celebration is coming to a close. My heart and my tummy are full and I am feeling very blessed.

I have to say that this Christmas was one of the best ever for my family and for me, full of health and happiness. I hope you shared so much love, laughter and delicious holiday meals with your family and friends too. And I hope Santa left you a fabulous present under the tree.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

xo,

Tobi-Signature