Posts Tagged ‘Happy’

The Joy of Quitting

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Yes, you read that blog title right. Sometimes it is a JOY to quit things–to just decide you will not do some things in your life anymore. Whether it’s things on your to-do list or your bucket list or maybe it’s some of your business services or social media–quitting can feel great. And oh my yes, don’t we want to quit social media sometimes?! Being a part of too many things is exhausting. I so relate to the quote above. It’s funny but for me, it’s also very true!

There are many things that most of us need to quit. And believe it or not, sometimes it’s relationships…the toxic and draining ones that only take and don’t ever fill you back up. Or maybe even ones that aren’t really taking anything from you much, but you feel guilty for not being able to give them more time. Anything that brings guilt needs to be reconsidered. And then there are all those hobbies and exercise classes and social groups and bible studies and charity boards and the PTA. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you shouldn’t be an advocate, a philanthropist, a friend or be spiritual or religious. I am just saying that it’s time to take a look at the particular groups or activities you are currently in and see if they are still the best fit for you.

But I have to tell you, quitting is one of the hardest things for me at times. It is often harder than saying no to new opportunities. As kids we were taught not to quit, right? You’ve heard all the sayings…”Don’t be a quitter”. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”. But you know what? That is a myth, and a dangerous one at that. It is often the reason that we become overloaded, stressed out and unhappy. Because we keep adding new things, exciting things, things that seem like they will make our life better, but we don’t quit things to make room for the new. So we just cram it all in there like our days are going to magically become longer than 24 hours if we just keep stuffing more into them. Surely they will have to stretch like our stomachs do when we keep cramming food in, right? Ha! But unfortunately, our days never do.

I have learned that I have a lot of core beliefs from childhood, from my parents, from teachers, from society that are not healthy for me. It’s not that people didn’t have the best intentions when they were teaching me these ideas, it’s just that they are outdated thoughts. They don’t fit my grown up life or my goals or my health plans. They are beliefs that have become obsolete, but for some reason, we don’t get new beliefs when they stop working for us like we get newer models of cars, TVs, phones and computers. Think about it, how effective would we be if we were still using a phone or computer from 1970 or 80? Not very, right? And how many of us would look our best if we are 45 and still dressing like we are 16 or 20. Probably not many of  us. But we will continue trying to make beliefs, ideas and life lessons from our childhood or youth fit where we are today. That just doesn’t make any sense.

Not being about to quit is one of these outdated rules for me. It no longer serves me well as a core belief. I think that is true for many people including children today. When we were told not to quit, we didn’t have a schedule like a high powered CEO at age 10. But children today are expected to act and work like an adult, keep a schedule that would exhaust any grown up and they have so many choices of activities it makes their heads spin, but we still associate failure or embarrassment with quitting. So they just stay over-loaded or we let them quit, but shame them for it. Why? Why not let our kids, or us for that matter, sample something–try it on for size–and see if they/we like it? And if we don’t, then why not quit and keep looking until we find the right sport or interest or school or career or relationships that are a good fit?

As I continue on my quest this year for my 2 resolutions…1) finding more joy and 2) loving myself more, I am realizing more than ever that there are a lot of things I need to quit to be happy and healthy. And this doesn’t mean I will quit being a consultant or a designer or a mom or a wife, but there are parts of each of those things that I need to quit if I want to be the best version of me. And it doesn’t mean I will quit every group I am in or quit eating, but there are some things in my life and diet that definitely need to go if I want to feel good.

I love how Arianna Huffington says in her book Thrive that she decided just to take a bunch of pressure off of herself by simply striking a ton of things off her bucket list that she really didn’t need or want to do. She realized if they were that important to her, she would have already done them by now. What can you wipe off yours? There are several things that I am striking from my bucket list this year and a ton of things off my to-do list, and I feel great about it!

I have to remind myself that some things run their course in life and that’s ok. Some relationships come to an end and that doesn’t necessarily mean they were a failure, they just ran their course.  Some careers or business services had a great run but now it’s time to do something different with your time and resources. That’s not a bad thing. In fact its a good thing. Some exercise routines or hobbies you have tried to make stick for years need to go. They aren’t right for you or you’d be a pro at them by now.

I think back to when some of my favorite TV shows (Sex in the City, Castle, Downton Abbey) went off the air and how sad I was. But it was always better for them to go out on a high note leaving me with fond memories instead of waiting until the last possible minute, far past their prime, when they really left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth or mind. So what in your life or your business is like that? What are you tired of? What has run it’s course? What do you find yourself dreading every time you start to do it? What needs to end so you can make room for new, exciting and better offerings to your family, your friends or your customers? What should go so you can create things that are more in line with the season of life you are in right now? Again, my list is pretty long and it will take courage and guts to make changes. That’s true for us all, even when we know it’s the right thing to do, it’s hard to change.

I’m here to tell you, there is a lot freedom and a lot of JOY in quitting. Scary? Yes! Worth it? Absolutely.

If you need help deciding, read this great little book by Seth Godin called The Dip, when to quit and when to stick.  It even tells you that there are some things you should quit and quit fast! Don’t linger. And I agree. Every day you wait you are keeping yourself from more joy. And the good news is most things aren’t absolute. You can usually go back in some form or another, and maybe even a better version if you quit and regret it. So don’t let fear hold you back.

Happy Quitting, friends. I hope it brings you as much peace and JOY as it is bringing me. Think of how happy we will all be with all those weights lifted from our lives!

Joyfully yours,




Happy Fourth!

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Wishing you and your family a fun and fabulous Independence Day!







Come On, Get Happy!

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joyI’ve said it before – and it still holds true – running a business is hard. Really really hard. But it shouldn’t be so hard that you resent it, or even hate it. It shouldn’t become a grind that you dread every single day. Otherwise, why do it at all?

Yes, there are stresses, there are problem clients or employees, and there will be times when you wonder where the money will come from to keep the doors open. But that shouldn’t be every single day. There should still be moments (days, weeks) of joy! There should be some (or lots of!) fun and laughter – or none of your hard work is really worth it.

If you find yourself caught up in the grind, or unable to see the pretty forest for all the mean trees, then I have 10 tips to help you get your happy back!


1. Schedule joy. While you’re setting your schedule and packing it full of meetings, remember to schedule something fun in there, too. At least once a week, put a fun item on your calendar. It can be as simple as going to a museum or picking your child up early from school for an ice cream date. But put it on your calendar and don’t move it off for any reason.

2. Turn it off. It’s a proven fact that our electronics cause us stress. If the election is making you crazy, don’t watch it on TV. If your phone buzzes all the time, turn it off so you can get some work done. And stop scrolling through Facebook. You may think that you’re just connecting with friends, but when you’re under the gun, those photos of someone on vacation may give you some serious guilt/envy.


3. Simplify. Put only 3 things on your “have to do” list for each day. If you keep making super-long lists of things to do, you’ll only make yourself feel like a failure if you don’t accomplish them all. It feels so good to check things off your list, so make your lists achievable!

4. Take care of you. Why is it that we seem to push our own self care to the back burner? We are our company’s best asset, so why in the world do we come last in most cases? You have to eat right, get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and be mindful of how you’re moving through your life. It’s critical to your personal life and your professional life. Make the time to take care of yourself.

5. Have a gratitude attitude. I keep a gratitude journal every single day. I always write down the things that I’m grateful for in my life, or that happened that day. It reminds me of why I started my business, of what life is really all about. That’s so important. And celebrate every single success in your business! We tend to just push towards the next goal without really celebrating, and that is a real thief of joy.


6. Laughter IS the best medicine. You should find the humor in something every single day, even in some mistakes or challenges. Sometimes it’s either “laugh or cry” so choose laughter! And really, if you ask yourself how much something will truly matter in a year, in most cases the answer is that you’ll barely remember it.

7. Meditate. I can hear you say, “How in the world am I supposed to schedule joy, make time to exercise, AND now meditate? I’m too busy!” I get it. We get caught up in the whirlwind and we think everything is so critical that it just can’t wait. But you know that isn’t true. You can take 10 minutes to do some yoga poses. You can have that phone meeting while you’re walking. And you can definitely take 5 minutes to be still and breathe. It’s been proven to reduce stress levels AND to help you focus!

8. Keep your eyes on your prize. Don’t look at what others are doing and think they have some magic sauce that you don’t. You don’t know what their struggles are (and they definitely have them), so don’t be envious of what you think others have. Keep the focus on you.


9. Delegate. It can be tough to shoestring a budding business, but you definitely need help. Don’t try to build your own website, don’t try to do your own books, don’t try to take on every task by yourself. You’ll burn yourself out! You should focus only on what makes your company money – that’s it. Outsource anything and everything you can – and if your budget for that is tiny then just pick one thing that someone else can help you with right now.

10. Don’t blame your business. Your business is not there to make you happy. It can help you get to goals that will eventually make you happy – but it can’t be the entire source of your happiness or your life. That’s expecting way too much from your company. Look outside your job for other sources of happiness to help get you through the stressful times at work.

Try these 10 tips to get you back on the happy train! You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll get done when you’re feeling more upbeat – and at how much you enjoy it!







My 2015 Word of the Year

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It’s time for me to select my word of the year. The word that will define or underwrite the year ahead. My word of the year is like a litmus test for what to say YES (and NO) to. It’s a guide for how I run my company and my life. It is a word I turn to when I am feeling unmotivated, burned-out or overwhelmed. It’s a where I find my inspiration. It helps me stay true to what makes me HAPPY! So getting just the right word is really important to me.

Looking back at my word of the year for the last three years and seeing what I have accomplished in those years is exciting

Last year my word was Action and boy did I take Action.

Tobi U

In 2013 my word was Inspire and I did a lot of work that inspired others and it really led to major growth in our consulting business. It laid the groundwork for my new partnerships and licensing agreements and my new online learning center that I announced this week, Tobi U.


In 2012, my word was Discipline and I got more disciplined than ever that year with my finances and my health. More than my bank account benefitted. My physical and mental health were in a great place as a result too.

tH april 14

So what about this year? Well I have accomplished a LOT in the 15 years that I have owned my company, especially in 2014. Many of the things I have been working towards like magazine covers and licensing deals are happening and it feels SO good.

I am a goal-setter. I am an achiever by nature. In fact the Strength Finders 2.0 test tells me my top 5 strengths are Activator, Achiever, Futuristic, Maximizer and Significance. Activator means I produce results quickly. And Achiever, as you can imagine, means that I am more persistent, unyielding and energetic than many people and that I spend as much time as I need, to reach a particular goal and produce quality results. So Activator + Achiever means I’m Persistent and Unyielding at reaching goals QUICKLY. Yep! That sounds like me.


But after achieving so many of my big goals (and trust me I am really enjoying those achievements) I am ready to dig deeper. I am ready for more meaning. I am ready for more time with my family, time in my home, time at my office. I am ready to go after even bigger dreams–the kind that you find in the inner-most part of your being. The kind you are afraid to tell people about. The kind you are almost afraid to even admit to yourself.

I am ready to create and build some of the things that can only happen once you have marked off all the things you are “supposed to do” to be successful and you really turn inward towards your heart’s desires.

elle and me

I am going for things that don’t just make me Happy but that bring me JOY!  It’s a bit hard to explain because all the things I have achieved so far have made me happy. But with the job of achieving them came a lot of pain too. Pain of being away from home. Pain of working crazy long hours.

Danielle tobi

Just last week I was listening to The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and she asked “Why do we believe that pain is supposed to be part of our goals?” As in “Short term Pain, Long Term Gain” or “It’s Painful but it will all be worth it when I achieve my goals”.  Danielle posed the question, “Why can’t we achieve our goals while feeling good?” Why that’s a GREAT question, Danielle!

And Danielle went on to say that after “goal-chasing” for a while, we would probably hit a point where we are tired of “working so hard” and we start to question if it’s worth it”.  Hello Danielle? Are you there? In my head?

saying no tobi

I then listened to a great podcast by Ali Brown and she said some really profound things too. She was talking about how early in your career, you say yes to everything because you feel like you “have to” and thankfully it usually does pay off for a while.  But after you reach a certain level of personal and financial success, it’s time to say NO! No to some things (or a lot of things) that have been a big part of your life. You reach a point where you would rather stay home more or go after your heart’s real desires. You are finally able to give up your “FOMO”–fear of missing out.  And this allows you to start making decisions based on what you WANT, not what you feel obligated to do.

Wow, were these ladies reading my mind or what?

Oprah tobi

So here we go…My word of 2015 is Significance.

Sig-nif-i-cance (noun)

:the quality of being important

:the quality of having notable worth or influence

:the meaning of something

:the quality of being statistically signficant

Synonyms: Meaning, Implication, Essence, Intention, Substance, Point, Consequence, Seriousness, Moment, Gravity, Magnitude, Sense, Force, Bottom line, Nuts and Bolts, Nitty Gritty

Related Words: Nature, Soul, Spirit, Acceptance, Core, Heart, Matter, Motive

Antonyms: Triviality, Meaningless, Insignificance, Unimportance

Don tobi

Interestingly, my 5th strength from Strength Finders 2.0 is Significance. But in that case it means a need for being Significant. Significant in my Industry. In the lives of others. In the world. And I would agree I do feel a need for that. It’s probably part of what drives me to reach my goals or even which goals to set and what to create like my Tobi Fairley Courses, Mastermind and now Tobi U.

rainy day with izzy

But for my Word of the Year I am going for Significance as in Intention, Meaning, Essence, Magnitude, Heart, Soul and Spirit. I want all the things I choose for 2015 to be “significant” or important–really important to ME. I want them to touch my heart and fill my spirit. It means re-prioritizing.  It means being brutally honest with myself about what I want and more importantly, what I don’t want. And it means having the guts to say no to things. It means asking myself with every single decision “Do I really care about this? Do I really want this? Is this significant for my family? Is this significant for me? If not, the answer will be no.

good vs great

Just this week a designer who has been to several of my classes and took my e-coaching course posted in our Facebook Forum this comment:

“Does anyone remember Tobi Fairley telling us that if you only accept the ‘good’, you might not have room for ‘great?’ Let’s go back to the Fall when I was trying to figure out how to work with a good project. I stood my ground (on some things) and we did not sign a contract. One month later I land the biggest job of my career, doubling my income from last year. The right client, the right fee, the ‘great!’ I might not have had room for this job, if I had forced the other. Thank you for all your support on this site!I want more time with my Family.”

Well it’s time I remember my own advice. It’s time I say no to the good and make room for the great. It’s time I make only the choices that are important or have “significance” to my dreams. It’s time I go for my heart’s desires.

What do I want this year?


I want less travel except for family vacations–I want more of those.

I want to read more books…in my bed…in my PJ’s that help me reach my goals.

I want to say (out loud ) my heart’s desires and lay the groundwork to make those things happen this year.


I want time at home for decorating, and nesting, and cooking.

I want to be in my office more, instead of on the road,  creating new revenue streams that change peoples lives including mine.

What will I do this year?

green smoothie

I will say yes to myself. Yes to my health. Yes to a schedule that feels good, and that looks like my “dream” day. And I will keep this schedule weekly, not just every once in a while. I will nurture my spirit and my soul.

I will give myself permission to make the decisions I want and that feel good. I will no longer believe that goals have to be painful.

I will stop waiting to be really happy “one day” when I have achieved things. I will be happy TODAY in case one day never comes. If I can’t be happy WHILE I achieve my dreams then I need to rethink those dreams.

I will stop doing things because I think I NEED to, if I don’t WANT to. I will say No to things that don’t excite me. I will listen to my gut.

I will say yes to Joy.

I will not feel guilty about my decisions. I will not feel like I am letting others down. I will be ok if people don’t like my No’s.

I will choose ME!

Significance. Importance. Spirit. Soul. Yes! Those feel right.

And as Oprah asks…What is one thing I know for sure? I know 2015 is going to be a pivotal year for me.


What will be it for you? What is your word? Leave me a comment and let me know.  And in case it inspires you…my 9 year old daughter just told me she has picked a word for 2015 too. Her word is “Chillax”.

She is my hero.

Happy New Year friends! I wish you a year of “enough” of everything your heart desires!


Tobi Signature

Merry Christmas to All!

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Tobi's Christmas Decor by Rett 010

Wishing you all a Christmas that is merry and bright! Enjoy a day of family, friends, and festive fun!

Peace be with you all, my friends!