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What is love?

Everyone knows what today is (the candy companies, florists and card makers won’t let us forget.) It’s Valentine’s Day.  It’s a day focused on love and hearts. For some, it’s a special night out on the town or a special delivery at the office. For others, it’s a reminder of the pain or loneliness caused by a failed relationship.

How about inslove-is-what-you-do_25586898902_otead of focusing on the word love, this year let’s focus on the actions of love. Love is not just what you say, it’s what you do.

Checking on an elderly neighbor. Buying breakfast for the car behind you in the drive thru. Saying thank you to a co-worker or classmate. Reminding your loved one to wear their seat belt or text you when they get home. Picking up the dirty laundry. Emptying the dishwasher. Reading a bedtime story to your child.

All of these are acts of love. Too many of my friends (probably yours too) over the years have focused on “the L word” rather than the actions associated with love. We “love” a certain restaurant. We “love” that outfit. We “love” watching our favorite tv show. We’ve all used the word in that way, haven’t we?  Let’s change that this year.

SHOW someone you love them today. And tomorrow. And the next day. I’m certain you’ll get an abundance of love in return.

Let me know how this experiment works for you. I “love” hearing back from you!

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It’s NEVER too late!

Ever wish you had started something earlier? (I’m not talking about the laundry! We ALL do that when we’re lugging a heavy basket back to the bedroom after midnight…) I mean earlier in life?  Maybe a college education, your family, a new career, collecting something of value, joining a church or civic group?

I think at one time or another we all wish we had started something earlier. But I’ve learned (the hard way) there’s a reason we didn’t. It wasn’t our time. At that time. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t your time NOW. Today. Or perhaps even tomorrow.

You see friends, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to finish what you shappily-ever-after_25407172270_otarted, to start something new, or even to start over. You just have to make the decision to do it. That’s where I am right now. If only I’d started (or actually finished) my book sooner..if I had left the corporate world sooner…if I had joined Rotary sooner…you never know. And you weren’t meant to. Everything happens for a reason. Listen to me…EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

I’ve been tested with that statement more times than you can even imagine, but I hold it as one of my truths in life. Don’t fail this test my friends…remember it’s never too late.

Whether it’s something small and simple or huge and bodacious, start now. Want some help? Share it with me and I will be your cheerleader, accountability partner and honest friend. (I’ll even let you ask me if I’ve finished my book yet……sigh……)

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New Year…Better Me!

So many people posting New Year…New Me! (Those are probably the same people who still make – and don’t keep – New Year’s Resolutions!) I have decided it is a new year, time for a BETTER me!

I don’t want a new me. (I kinda like the one I’ve gotten to know for the past 46 years…) But I do want to always be a better me. So this coming year, I’ve decided to work on improvements in my personal and professional life. Working harder AND smarter. Being better than yesterday.

I hope you’re sitting down when you read this, because I have big news. BIG news!  This weekend, I did something most of you will find VERY surprising… I joined a gym! Planet Fitness in fact, that just opened right here in Hendersonville a few weeks ago. I’ve already been for the first time, just to get acquainted and try a few things. (No need rushing into anything and overdo it, right??)

But my goal is to go back. Soon. It’s just one of many ways I plan to be a “better” me rather than a “new” me in 2017. I also want to join a new professional organization, write my first book, blog more, meet more of my online friends (you know who you are) in person, spend quality time with family and friends, finish my new website, and continue to serve humanity through the world’s greatest service organization, Rotary International.

But let’s be clear…these aren’t resolutions that I am going to abandon come mid-February. These are plans of action. If you still make resolutions, I hope yours can be kept. If you set goals, I hope you are realistic but willing to stretch. If you make plans, I hope you outline the steps you must take to finish them.

I’m counting on you all to hold me accountable (“How’s that book coming along, Tiffany?”) and also to help me grow and be better. Stay in touch  – let me know your plans (or goals or resolutions) if you want me to be one of your accountability partners. I’ll add you to my follow-up list.

We can’t do this alone, but together…wow we’re gonna be better than ever!

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Making (& Accepting) Change

Most people are afraid of change. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown or maybe it’s just a certain comfort level we associate with the status quo.  Either way, we must accept that change is a necessary part of life.

Why is it that if we come upon a detour on the highway, we take the new route (a change in direction) immediately. But if we are faced with the possibility of a new job, relationship or place to live, we allow stress and anxiety to take over. More often than not, we weigh our options again and again, invite self-doubt to enter our minds, and struggle with acceptance of what could be growth more so than change.

Several times a week, I gebutterflies_18504082774_ot notifications on my phone of upgrades and improvements to several apps I use on a regular basis. Without hesitation, I click “install” and the new software is updated.

For those of you who know me well, you know I am rarely without my phone or laptop. Technology is my co-worker. I know I’m way too dependent on it, but it’s a way of life for me. But ironically, I never question the need to update (change) the apps or software that I rely on daily. I am confident these changes will simplify or improve my life.

Why then do I question other changes in my life that could make things easier, more pleasant, or more productive?

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.

This week, I vow to embrace change rather than complain about it. When faced with the possibility of change this week, how will you respond?

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