Posts Tagged ‘habits’

My 2018 Word of the Year

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Happy 2018! It is here. A fresh start. This is the beginning of anything you want.

And I know what I want. I have been choosing a word of the year for the past 6 years, this year is #7. It’s one of my favorite New Year’s traditions and it’s instrumental in guiding my choices and path for the 12 months ahead. Over the years I have chosen the words Discipline, Inspire, Action, Significance, Focus and Joy. Each time I chose the perfect word and that’s not by accident, I go through a very thorough process to make sure I get the word just right.

This year, I am in a far different place than I have ever been. I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals in the last 19 years of owning my business and 15 years of marriage. Life is good. But staying in my comfort zone isn’t how I roll. So it’s time for some major shifts. Time to shake things up. Time to dial down on what I want. Change is super exciting to me, but also scary, which helps me know something big is happening in my life.

Maybe it’s my age. I will soon turn 46, on the downhill side of my 40’s. There is something about your 40’s and being at mid-life and having a teenager and all the other things that come with this season of life, that make you look at your world differently. I have a totally different list of what’s important to me than I did in my 20’s and 30’s.

In this season of life, my desire is no longer to make my mark, but rather to make a difference.

I am in a place of balance, a place of peace, a mindset of wellness, with a strong connection to home.  I am ready to serve and nurture and love. I am in a place of dedication to using my gifts and talents and knowledge. I am committed to making my biggest and best contribution to the world yet.

I want to focus on my company and it’s growth internally. I have spent a lot of time working to put my company on the map with social media and public speaking and getting published. Now I want to see where my business can serve people in the biggest way. Who can we help? What can we improve? How can we use our gifts, and talents and knowledge to help others live their best life? Where can we be more streamlined, more profitable, more effective? How can we simplify?

I want to focus on my family and our growth. What can we do to be our best? Who can we help more, serve more, love more? How can we focus more on what’s really important? What life lessons do we need to master this year? How much money can we save? How can we be better to each other, better to our friends, better listeners, better Christians?

I want to focus on myself and my personal growth. What areas still need improvement? What part of my life have I been ignoring? Where have I been holding myself back with fear, or lack of focus, or busy-ness?

And what word will help me stay committed to this streamlined and introspective and focused approach to 2018?  I considered connect, invest, essential, abundance, flourish, peace, balance, cultivate, contentment, mindful, aligned, renew, priority, purpose, shine, worth, value, heart and bloom. I strongly considered grace. And I knew that none of these words exactly captured what I wanted to feel this year.

Yes I am more intentional, more balanced, more simplified and more connected to my priorities than ever before. But I am not looking for a take it easy year. In fact I am looking for the opposite. I am as driven as ever to accomplish my goals this year, but my goals are just different than they’ve ever been. I needed a word that was active and aggressive and committed to the things that are most important to me which is family, health, wealth and joy. And for that reason, I chose…

My life will be different in 2018. I have spent the last 24 months downsizing my big 6000 square foot office to a home-based office, cutting my business expenses by 2/3, and increasing my profit margins by 200%. I have taken my marriage from so-so to on fire. I have gone from feeling like I had very little time for friends, to feeling so connected to more true friends than ever. I have gone from a workaholic who traveled constantly for work, to a mom and wife who is present and connected and my cup is overflowing because of it. The best thing that happened in 2017 is I overheard one of my daughter’s friends say their step-dad was a workaholic and my daughter (not knowing I was listening) said, “Oh my mom used to be one of those”. Be still my heart.

But these changes didn’t mean my business went away, it’s just more dialed in, it’s more intentional, it’s more profitable and it’s more fulfilling than ever before. I didn’t get rid of the important business stuff, I just got rid of everything else. I got rid of the distractions and the mediocre. In 2017, I looked at every potential opportunity under a microscope and the opportunity costs of each one. If it took me away from my family, there was one strike against it. If it made me a ton of money and was inspiring, I would still consider it. If the money or inspiration was marginal but it required travel, it was a no.

And you know what happened…I found that the things that make me THE most money and make THE biggest contributions to the world  can all be done from my home office between the hours of 8 and 3!! And this realization was life changing.

So now armed with my new knowledge for how to create balance, how to be a warrior protecting my schedule like my life depends on it (because it does) and a brand new way of prioritizing so that the things that really matter are where I spend my time, I am ready to THRIVE in 2018.

I will THRIVE :

as a Mom

as a Wife

as a Coach

as a Designer

as a Friend

in Health and Wellness

I am tired of just surviving. I am over barely keeping my head above water. I am done with saying yes to a whole bunch of things that may stroke my ego, but don’t really matter. You know what strokes my ego these days? Feeling rested, energized, connected, loved and helping others feel the same. It strokes my ego to THRIVE!

I believe 2018 will be a good year. In fact, I believe it will be GREAT.

In 2018 my family and I will THRIVE. What will you do?

Bring it, 2018. Let’s do this!



The Real Health of Your Company

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As we move into the new year, with our new list of goals and intentions (I’ll be sharing some of mine soon), let me ask you something. How is your health? I’m not talking about your financial health, I’m talking about your personal health, something that I really want you to think about as you read this blog.

If you think this is about Tobi’s “woo woo” ideas, think again. Business magazines like Forbes and Inc. are focusing on the direct correlation between healthy executives and healthy company bottom lines. Top businesses are realizing that they have to protect their #1 asset, and that is their CEO.

So what is your company’s biggest asset? That’s right – it’s YOU. How are you protecting your investment and your company?


I promise you this job is hard when you’re healthy. When you’re tired and dragging, it is doubly hard (or likely exponentially so). It takes huge amounts of energy to travel, have client meetings, be creative, and run a business while keeping erratic hours – and then do those all over again the next day. There are so many demands of the job and company that we often put ourselves on the back burner and that doesn’t even take into account all the family and other obligations that happen when our workday is done.

Add to that the fact that technology allows us to have constant contact with our jobs and makes it difficult to unplug. That means we can end up in pretty bad shape because we have no time to replenish our energy – mental or physical.  Yes, we often end up on a hamster wheel with no stopping point in sight. Stress also compounds the problems of our inconsistent exercise and diet. And there is PLENTY of stress in our jobs, isn’t there? It takes a strong effort, especially for those of us who own our own companies, to protect our own health.


Beyond the obvious benefits of being active and eating healthy, taking care of yourself is a sound business decision. With owning your own company comes intense pressure to succeed and to make more money. What we often forget is that the more fit we are, the better our job performance. These two things are linked – personal health absolutely influences professional performance. Let me say that again (it’s tweet-worthy)…personal health ABSOLUTELY influences professional performance!  Getting fit can help us excel at work, to be better leaders, and to perform with more energy, focus, and creativity.

What it comes down to is that the fitness of a company’s owner, leader, and CEO can determine the success of a company. Think about how costly it would be if you were out of commission for an extended time – could your company survive? Your health and your day-to-day productivity has the biggest impact on your company’s success. The ability to physically keep up with the fast pace and long hours that our industry requires is absolutely critical.

Celebrate every tiny victory! (6)

In other words, the simple benefit of being healthy and having more energy should be enough to keep anyone eating right and exercising, but if that’s not enough, remember your entire company is at stake. An unhealthy, disengaged CEO makes for an unhealthy, disengaged company.

So here is some advice as we enter this new year: You should put exercise sessions on your appointment calendars, give exercise equal billing with a client meeting! When you think you can’t afford to workout because you have to get to the office, THINK AGAIN! And you should think about how to have healthier meals on the go – maybe have someone prepare them for you, or get them ready and packed on the weekend. And while you’re at it, put a meditation app on your phone so you can settle your mind for 5 minutes every day or longer if you can commit to it. Even if it’s in your parked car outside the design center, meditation could change your life and your business. And don’t even get me started on yoga. It’s a game-changer for sure!

Remember you will be a better designer, and a better CEO, if you take care of yourself. You will be more productive and emotionally stable, and your mental, emotional and physical performance will improve. Let’s keep ourselves (and our companies) happy and productive this year! It’s my top priority for 2016. Will you join me? Let’s be the healthiest part of our companies in 2016!