Archive for the ‘Life Design’ Category

It’s Time to Light a Fire! And Not Just Because It’s Fall

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It’s getting close to the time of year when the weather is cool and we can light a fire to stay warm and cozy. But when is the last time you felt a different kind of fire? I’m talk about a burning passion – for work or even just for life? For many of us, it’s been a while since we felt that fire. I can tell you that’s true because that’s what has happened to me. Just a few years ago, I was burned out, stressed out, and wrung out. I knew I was at a crossroads where I was either going to revamp everything about my company, or I was going to throw in the towel. We’ve all been there at some point, right?

But I sat down and really thought about what sparks that inner fire for me, what drives me, what’s at the core of who I am, and what I really have to do to do. And that reinvigorated me and led me to new ideas and a new passion for my work.


My passion, and the thing that I HAVE to do is to help others achieve their dreams. That’s true in every part of my business, from designing homes that make my client’s happy and fulfilled, to coaching other designers to find their own paths to success.

So now I want to help YOU. I want you to find that same fire, that same passion. Ask yourself what it is it that’s at your very core, the thing that you know is the most true thing about you. There is something that you can do that NO ONE else can do. So what is that one thing?


I promise you that if you can answer that, and if you can begin to build your life around that fire, you’ll be more fulfilled, more filled with energy and excitement, and more successful than you ever have been before!

You have to have a spark or two to build a good fire, though, right? And I’m about to give you two of mine. One is the book Fires Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. It’s a life-changing book that points out that we must all live to our core – that our core feelings should be at the center of all of our intentions. So smart!

The second spark for me was Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. He says that we must all ask ourselves WHY we are doing anything – why are we in business, why do we get up in the morning? If we can answer that, if we can define our WHY, then it will fuel our passion and give us a sense of fulfillment. But it will also help us stand apart in a crowd.

I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about today – I really want to inspire you to dig deep, and to light that fire that I know you have in YOU!

Let me know in the comments section below what your spark is, and how you plan to live your passion!









It’s My Birthday…Let’s Celebrate!

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It’s my birthday. Yippee! A day for celebrating all the many blessings in my life. 42 years worth of blessings to be exact.


Today I get to celebrate with my 2 favorite girls in the world – my daughter and my mom. We have a lunch date. What a treat! Yes, time with these lovely ladies will be good for me. A day filled with love, laughter, and fun. What more could this birthday girl ask for?!?!


The older I get, the more I love my life and the more I appreciate it. I say this every year, but I am happier today than at any other time in my life. With age comes confidence and calm – two things we can all use more of.


Yes, age is just a number and life is privilege. A privilege worth celebrating!


So this afternoon I will be celebrating AND keeping calm while relaxing at the spa. I happen to think massages are better than cake!

See you all tomorrow. You’ll recognized me as the girl who is older, wiser, and very relaxed. 😉


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Motivational Monday: The Tobi Olympics and what it takes to win the GOLD!

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Want to hear possibly my biggest epiphany of 2013? It happened just a couple of weeks ago in my bi-monthly health session with Julianne, my holistic health and nutrition coach. She has a way of pulling out big, shiny ideas from me during our time together and it never ceases to amaze me. This one happened at the perfect moment (as these things tend to do), just in time for 2014. This a-ha is all about going for the gold, and ironically the Winter Olympics are this February, so they will inspire and remind me to make a new “Olympic-sized” habit a priority. Let me tell you what I mean.

So Julianne and I were talking about my life and in particular my busy schedule. And we were discussing what I wanted for myself in 2014 and how I would make it all happen. I confessed my desire to shine BRIGHTER than ever before this year, which was followed by a dose of overwhelm, frustration, and some whining because “how can I do it all?”  And wise Julianne’s response?…”Ok, what are you going to let go?”


My next words went something like this…”WHAT? Let go? What do you mean let go? I’m not letting go of anything, thank you very much! These are my dreams and oh that stuff I have to do that isn’t a part of my dreams, well I HAVE to do those. I don’t have a choice. I can get rid of them. They may be the dirty work but they all have to happen to help me accomplish my goals! So the answer is NOTHING! Nothing can go. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Nothing, Capish?”

So after closing my eyes, catching my breath, and calming down (while she waited patiently with a smile like she always does), I came around to the epiphany. Are you ready? Here it is…

We were asking the WRONG question. In fact, I had been asking the wrong question for years. The question is not what has to go? The question is “What has to be added in?” Seriously??—I am already “too busy” and the question is what needs to be added in. Well, yes. The answer is yes and the question is “What needs to be added in?”



And here is what I mean. The real question if I am going to do ALL these things and I am going to give up nothing, is what would it take to get me in a condition to make it all happen? What can I change to be the change I want to be? What would it take for me to have the strength, health, stamina, and presence of mind to make it all happen?  It’s like training for a marathon. Or the Olympics. It’s the “Tobi Olympics”!!


What do the top Athletes do to condition themselves to be at the TOP of their game when they are dreaming of the gold? They train! They add in practices, self-care, training and rest. They add in to get more out. And if accomplishing all these goals and dreams that are on my list are the equivalent to winning the Gold Medal in my life, then what would it take to keep me in tip-top shape and give me the stamina to make it all happen?

It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s all about adding more in, to get more out. So what has to be added in? It’s not a mystery to me. It’s all the things I already know make me my best. It is yoga and meditation, healthy eating and exercise, vitamins and supplements. It’s rest and creativity. It’s time with friends and family to fill my cup back up when it’s depleted.


And the most important part of the equation is these things are NOT optional. There is no “I don’t have time to exercise” or “I don’t feel like meditating today” or “we’re too busy to spend time with friends”.  These are non-negotiable. I have to keep my eye on that shiny gold prize and do what I must even when I don’t feel like it. These things are part of the JOB. They are part of the equation that equals the gold medal. And if you think these are the things that are to be done if there is any time left in the day when everything else is done, then you won’t be standing on the winning platform at the end of the competition. You must make these choices all the time. You can’t wait until you have time for them. You must make time for them. Remember one of my most popular posts from last year 99% is a bitch, 100% is a breeze. Well to win your very own personal Olympics, it takes a 100% approach. No exceptions. Do you think Michael Phelps made training optional to win all those golds? Of course not. And neither should you.


So what do you think? What will you add in to your already busy life to actually get more out? Can changing your attitude about YOUR Olympic equation help you do more in your 24 hours than you have ever done before and instead of being tired actually be happier AND healthier? Are you willing, REALLY willing, to take this approach to reach your goals (and your GOLD) and live your dreams in 2014?

Leave me a comment and tell me what you think? Can you make this more is more philosophy work for you?


I know I am. See you in the Gold Medal club soon! 😉


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p.s. Want me to help you Go For the Gold in your business? Sign up for my 6-week Tele-course called Build Your Dream Business. To learn more about it, go here or to sign up, go here.  See you in the winner’s circle really soon!

p.p.s  Hey Design Lovers…Be sure to meet me back here tomorrow for a BIG surprise and it’s all about Design. 😉




Planning to Succeed in 2014

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Today is the day. The day I plan my success for 2014. The day I set all my appointments for the year to the hair salon, nail salon, doctors, dentist and the like. Then I put in time for family, friends, organizing, vacations for the entire year and then there’s the business obligations. And though it may be hard to believe, my 2014 is already about 90% booked in the way of work and work travel committments.

I also set my weekly schedule for exercise, yoga, meals and meditation for at least 6 months out. Ok, I am a little be anal with my scheduling. And you may think that living like this is just too much.


But I beg to differ. I firmly believe that the reason that I accomplish so much in my life and also the reason I am happier than most people, is because I plan and I organize my life. And yes, I leave “holes” in my schedule for spontaneous things or laying around with my daughter and watching movies. I am not a machine, but my life runs like a well-oiled one. And that actually brings me less stress and more satisfaction.


Planning and scheduling allows me to add in new things to my life, like more vacation. And it allows me to plan in the work and revenue streams to pay for the vacation. In fact, this year with the packed but VERY EXCITING business schedule I am keeping, I am taking a minimum of 4 weeks of vacation including a 2 week stint at the beach and I will actually probably take 5 full weeks for the year and another week’s worth in single days here and there that I am taking off with my daughter and my husband for long weekends at the River or the Lake.

So though I consider myself a work-a-holic in many ways, I take more vacation than most people I know. You can’t work this hard year after year and not replenish yourself and spend time with family if you want everyone to be healthy and happy.

And if I didn’t plan my vacations 6 months to a year in advance including paying a deposit on them so I can’t change my mind, I would never really take them. I would come up with one million excuses when the time came for why I can’t afford to be away.


And I don’t know about you, but to do all the things I am committed to doing in my life, I prefer to be as efficient as possible, so if planning now saves work later, I’m all in! Are you?


So just like this pretty pic above, I am hunkered down with my Mac, my planner, and a cup of Starbucks planning my success for 2014.

What about you? Do you have any habits, practices, or rituals you use to plan your schedule and ultimately your success for each new year? If so, leave me a comment and tell me all about it. I am always open for new tips and techniques for making my new year better than ever.

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Falling off the Wagon is a Good Thing!

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Why is it that we fear falling off the wagon so much? Why is the worst thing that could ever happen to us that we take a few steps backwards?

cd010f668bd89a529545dc33cfdf32a7Maybe it’s that we don’t want to have to do the hard work again that we have already done once. Yes, that can be frustrating. But what makes us think things, fixes, solutions are permanent anyway?

Or maybe the reason we hate falling off the wagon so much is because of what other people will think of us. That we are lazy, stupid, fat, undisciplined, a bad business person or worse. Well you know what I think about what other people think of us, right?

Or maybe the real reason is that the person we will disappoint most is the face that stares at us in the mirror every day. Maybe the harshest words and biggest criticisms will come from inside ourselves and maybe we can’t possibly bear that pain again.


But I am here to tell you that some of my biggest positives, some of my game-changers in life, some of my most important break-throughs have come as a result of me falling off the wagon…again. Not once, but many times.


They say there is a silver lining to everything, and I would agree. In fact one of my favorite habits is finding the good, the lesson or the opportunity in challenges. And for me falling off the wagon whether in self-care, my diet, my parenting, my friendships, my relationship with my husband and even my client work, is one of the best things that could happen to me each time it happens. And you may say that sounds weird, like I WANT to not be at my best in all those areas or I hope I fall off the wagon again. And of course that isn’t true. My preference would be to be perfect all the time, but of course that’s not possible. And we are all going to back track in different parts of our life at any given time, so why fight it? Why not embrace it. Or as I love to say “Lean in” to it? It just might help us find our wings and learn to fly.


So here’s where the truth comes in for me. Over the last six months, I worked my buns off. I worked nights and weekends again like the old days which I swore I wouldn’t do again. I traveled like a mad woman and I neglected many things, myself mainly, in the process. I put on 10 pounds of the 40 I had lost, I stopped doing yoga to the detriment of my body, and I found little time for other practices like meditation and reading that really are the foundation of my healthy lifestyle and my happiness. But I also accomplished a TON of amazing things during that time.  Things that I am proud of. Things that in many ways were worth the price I paid.  Things that you will see in the coming weeks and months.


And here is the silver-lining…here is the lesson that will be a game-changer for me in 2014. If I hadn’t fallen off the wagon, if I hadn’t felt the pain of what not doing yoga, what not eating right and meditating, and what becoming disconnected from friends and family felt like, then I would NOT be even MORE committed than ever before to getting these things right in 2014.


I thought I had fixed all these parts of my life for good and somehow must have believed that with no time or attention they would stay fixed. But I now realize that even the most gorgeous and lush garden will die if you stop weeding and feeding and watering it, right?


So falling off the wagon this year came at the perfect time for me. It was a very welcome “wake up call” and I was able to get back on track faster than ever before. I took responsibility for the behaviors that caused my set-backs, and I honestly am grateful that I gained ten pounds not 40 pounds. So with this attitude of gratitude instead of abusive self-talk, I was able to plan and to get back on track with my healthy eating and exercise immediately instead of procrastinating or making excuses for why it would be too hard to diet during the holidays. And now I am already 8.5 pounds down this month, with less than 2 to go and they should be off by the new year. And trust me, I allowed myself a lovely plate of food for each of my holiday celebrations. So I wasn’t deprived. In fact I think that for me falling off the wagon before the holidays actually kept me from gaining more weight in the holiday season—another blessing. And now I am thrilled to be starting the New Year in a happy AND healthy place.


So what about you. Can you find the silver lining and opportunities in your life if you have recently fallen off the wagon? Can you resist beating yourself up and telling yourself how miserable your path is going to be for the new year because you have taken some steps back? And can you give yourself credit for all the other AMAZING things you did accomplish while you were not 100% in an area or two?


I learned 2.5 years ago when I first began my weight loss journey and getting healthy regimen that I had to forgive myself and love myself first with all my imperfections, at whatever weight I was before I could ever be successful at loving myself thin and staying that way.  It’s the same with relationships, your work or any other area you have experienced a set-back in your life. Acceptance and Love are the first 2 steps to success.


So what do you think? Can you make any area in which you have Fallen off the Wagon this year a silver-lining that will move you into your best year yet? Can you start today? I for one think you can do it. And I’ll be here rooting for your success.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my silver-living approach to life and how you think it will or already has worked for you.

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