Happy Almost April! 

A fresh new month is around the corner and Spring is in the air. Can you feel it? Maybe, like me, you’ve been called to do a bit of slowing down and reflecting as we head into the second quarter of the year.

I confess, I’ve been feeling extra introverted. The thing is, whenever I feel the need to cocoon more, there’s always another part of me that feels like I should be doing more. I have to consciously remind myself that MORE isn’t always better. Also, that SHOULD word is my red flag that I’m listening to my ego instead of my spirit.

Take a moment right now and ask YOUR spirit what it is calling for more of? Less of? Go ahead. Just stop reading for a second, close your eyes, and see what comes up for you.

This is the perfect time of year to do a little inventory of your life. What’s working? What isn’t? What is your vision for the next 90 days and what inspired action are you going to take? And of course, how are you going to hold yourself accountable for the things that you want to create in your life?

Whatever your spirit is calling you to put energy towards this Spring, I’d love to support you. I have some Spring Coaching specials just for you. I encourage you to take inspired action and book a productivity, time, + energy coaching session with me today!

P.S. Pua and I have a fun episode of our Best Life Ever podcast coming out Sunday morning called “How to Reboot Your Body, Brain, and Heart” that I think you’ll love. Take a moment to subscribe so you don’t miss it! Lots of ideas to reset, refocus, and reenergize for Spring!

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The Power of Stillness

stillnessAs we gear up for the holidays, here is my #1 strategy for making the most out of the holiday season:

I create time everyday to be quiet and still long enough to hear my inner wisdom.

Simple, but powerful. Our inner wisdom, guidance, and inspiration are like butterflies. All we have to do is be still enough and they will land right on our nose.

The crazier, and louder life gets, the more we forget that we get to create our reality and that we have access to guidance and support any moment we choose to slow down, take a deep breath, and listen.

You don’t need a 90 minute yoga class or a meditation retreat to access your inner guidance system, frankly all you need is 5 minutes on the toilet or in the car. Your inner wisdom doesn’t need any fanfare or fancy rituals. Simply get quiet and ask for guidance. That’s it.

Lately my inner wisdom has been encouraging me to take sexy BOLD action, to express myself out loud (my fears, my wishes, my gratitude), and to take more unplugged walks with the dog in nature.

Start with just a few minutes of stillness and watch how this one small commitment transforms your day and your holiday season.

For more holiday hacks, stay tuned for our next Best Life Ever podcast episode releasing tomorrow morning! Subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode

P.S. My inner wise self has also guided me to create a HOLIDAY BONUS for anyone that signs up for coaching with me now through December 15th. Whether you book a package to use now at the start of the new year, I’m adding in a 1-hour 2017 Big Vision Session (in person or by Skype or Zoom) to help you create your bold, badass vision for the new year – one that excites and energizes you!

Book your complimentary session with me today to get a taste of my coaching style and find out more about my programs. I have limited spots for my coaching, so reserve your spot for 2017 now! I’d LOVE to help you make 2017 THE year! 

It’s Time!

 

Hey there, it’s OCTOBER, friends! If you have goals you want to hit by the end of 2016 AND if you want to make this coming holiday season extra sane and spectacular, LET’S TALK! My goal as a Success Coach is to help you achieve MORE with less effort and more freakin’ fun. I want to help you work smarter, not harder to reach your personal and professional goals.

Register today for a complimentary 25 minute coaching session. We’ll hack your current challenges and I’ll give you a few tools you can use right away to make this your best holiday season EVER.

Happy Summer!

Are you ready for your BSEI am SO getting into Summer! Pua and I have been cooking up some serious SUMMER FUN plans over at Best Life Ever and it’s changing my world! Our big plans were hatched after a conversation about how we’ve been all hustle and no play lately. You see, the thing is about having a company called “Best Life Ever” is that we have to keep checking in to make sure we’re living what we preach.

Often the challenge for entrepreneurs is that we can get so into the inspired grind that we forget to incorporate restoration into our schedule. Without the structure of a typical work day/week (and because it’s just so darn FUN to work on what you love) we often end up “burning the candle at both ends” as my mom says. When you are your own boss and even if you’re not, there is always more work that can be done, there are always new ways that you grow your business, there are always new ideas and projects and tasks and s@#% that you could do, so it truly takes conscious effort, not to mention effective habits and systems, to create downtime.

Why is downtime important? Because it creates SPACE. Space for healing, reflection, creativity, innovation, problem solving, energy building, and mood boosting. That’s what this Summer is all about for me and that’s the mission of our Best Summer Ever Virtual Summer Camp.

I hope you will join us for Best Summer Ever and if you’re looking for some extra support in creating more ease, joy, productivity, and FOCUS in your personal and professional life, I currently have SPACE in my Best Life Ever Coaching program to help you crush your 2016 goals over the next 6 months. Book a complimentary session with me today to get you started!

Wishing you a Summer full of sunsets, s’mores, and sandy drawers 🙂

Hot Better Poppin’!

Kimi and Pua

Just a quick update for y’all! Our podcast “Hot Better Pop Radio” (formerly known as The Secret Sauce Podcast, is now live! We release a new episode every Tuesday morning and we (me and the super amazeballs Pua Pakele&Cabot) are having a freakin’ blast!!!!!!! Seriously, words can’t begin to describe what it feels like for us to go from just an idea to a real life podcast! We are learning so much as we go/grow and keep pinching ourselves everyday – can it really be this fun, joyous, and magical?! The answer is YES!

You’ll be hearing from me again soon, either here or on HotBetterPop.com or both, but until then, follow your intuition, follow your heart, and follow your joy…it will never lead you astray. Your dreams are never too big. Get out there and make shit happen (Hot Better Pop is here to help – reach out!). You are supported, you are loved, and you are limitless.

Subscribe to Hot Better Pop Radio on iTunes! 

Fun photo by KelliBullockPhotography.com

20 Ways to Improve Your Gift Giving (and Receiving) Skills

O.K., friends, with the season of giving upon us, it is a great time to talk about some gift exchange etiquette and guidance. We all know that the whole holiday gift thing can be super awesome or super awkward depending on the situation and the skills of the giver or recipient. As you give and receive this year, bring more joy and planning to your holiday season by considering these thoughts on holiday gift giving and receiving:  

When giving…

1. Do start with a list. Do a brain dump of everyone that might be on your gift list. Consider doing this on your computer with a program like Evernote or Google Docs so that you can easily refer to it next year (or even refer to it for birthdays, etc.). Don’t forget to include things like “stocking stuffers” and “Santa gifts”. You may want to organize your list by family, friends, coworkers, service providers (e.g. hair stylist), and kids. As you purchase things, write it next to their name so that you can refer to it next year and remember what you gave and to whom. This year, I’m loving the iPhone app The Christmas List

2. Do create a budget. Once you have your list, set a budget for how much you plan to spend on each person (you can use excel, Google spreadsheets, or an app with a budgeting feature like The Christmas List). This will shape your list and your gift choices – don’t be afraid to trim down your list.  Gifts purchased out of guilt or obligation, especially when we are on a budget, leave us financially AND emotionally depleted. Having a clear budget will reduce your stress by making sure you still have enough to take care of your regular monthly expenses. With your budget in mind, next year you can plan to put a little aside each month in a special savings account just for the holidays. 

3. Do take some time to really think about what would make someone’s life easier or bring them joy. What do they love? What do they struggle with? What do they talk about but not do for themselves? The holidays are a great time to really LISTEN to people. Make it game to play detective; observe and take notes about the things your friends and family are talking about and admiring.

4. Do think about what YOU love. For gift inspiration, look at your daily routine and find those items or little things in your life that you can’t live without. Think about your favorite coffee, snack, lip gloss, lotion, pen, book, service etc. that you could share with others. 

5. Do keep some small gifts on hand for hostess gifts and people on your list that you may have forgotten. Keep a bin of these types of gifts that you can add to all year round. This is a great way to re-gift little things that you won’t use or aren’t your style…just remember who gave them to you first to avoid the embarrassment of giving back what someone gave you! Consider doing a “re-gift swap” with your closest friends as a fun and free way to do some holiday “shopping”. 

6. Do put some thought into the presentation. Unwrapped gifts, plastic grocery bags, ratty old used bags (especially the ones that say “To” and “From” someone else) give a message that your gift was a last minute thought. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a simple brown paper gift bag with a holiday label or sticker and the recipient’s name shows that you put some thought and effort into the gift.  

7. Do reduce your stress by simplifying and optimizing your shopping. Having a theme for all your gifts (stress reduction, farm-to-table, fitness) and buying the same thing for multiple people can help you to feel less overwhelmed and reduce decision fatigue as you shop. Batch your shopping errands together and avoid peak shopping/traffic times or avoid the crowds altogether by shopping online. 

8. Don’t focus on cost, focus on value. You don’t have to break the bank holiday shopping. Write someone a heart-felt letter about what makes them special. Check out Pinterest for DIY gift ideas. Give the gift of experiences. Gifts given from the heart are the most memorable and appreciated. In fact, being over-extravagant can make people feel uncomfortable if they can’t reciprocate.

9. Don’t call yourself a “bad gift giver”. No one needs to know about your gift-giving insecurities. It’s hard to get excited about getting a gift from someone who is telling you they plan to disappoint you. This gives someone the impression that you don’t care enough to really take the time to think about what you would like. 

10. Don’t pump it up too much either. On the other hand, don’t go on and on about how amazing the gift you got someone is. You might be actually be a terrible gift giver or maybe you got them something they already have, so don’t put someone in the position of having to pretend to be as excited as you. Let the gift speak for itself. 

11. Don’t tell people what you got them. You’re not five years old. Keep a secret and don’t ruin the surprise because of your lack of self-control. Share your excitement but don’t be an impulsive bean-spiller. 

12. Don’t say, “Just tell me what to give you.” It’s really just no fun and puts someone in the uncomfortable position of having to ask for a gift. Awkward.

When receiving…

13. Do savor the moment. Remember everything you were taught as a toddler. Read the card first. Take your time to admire and reflect on the gift before hurriedly moving on to the next. Make eye contact. Say “thank you”. Be present and savor the moment.  

14. Do write down what people gave you. This is a nice way to keep track of who you exchange gifts with on a regular basis and will give you the opportunity to write them a thank you card or just express your gratitude for their thoughtfulness. You can add this to your same holiday shopping list so that you can refer to it next year. 

15. Do focus on intent, not the gift. Someone thought of you enough to give you something. It doesn’t matter what it is. Before you even open that gift, express your gratitude and appreciation of their thoughtfulness.

16. Don’t say, “I have this already”. Not cool. Even if you have a dozen exactly like whatever it is, keep it to yourself and just say “thank you.” 

17. Don’t say, “I didn’t get you something.” This takes the wind out of the moment and puts the attention on you instead of acknowledging the thought and intent of the gift giver. Giving feels good, so don’t take that away from someone when they present you with something by making it about what you did or didn’t do. People don’t typically give because they WANT something in return and saying, “I didn’t get you something” makes you look like the kind of person that is keeping score. A simple, “Thank you so much” is sufficient. 

18. Don’t tell someone you are giving them something because they gave you something. If you do decide that you want to reciprocate a gift that was given, don’t say, “Here, I got you this because you got me something and I felt bad.” All the gift giver is going to hear is, “I felt bad” and that was NOT their intent when giving you something. 

19. Don’t tell people what you want. Unless you are a kid, presenting people with your Christmas list is pretty tacky. Allow yourself to be surprised and focus on giving instead of receiving. That being said, the holidays are a great time to practice the fine art of subtle hint dropping. Admire things openly, talk about what you love, etc. Kids are great at helping with this (“If anyone asks, this is what mommy really wants for Christmas”).

20. Don’t allow gift exchange angst to taint your holidays. Above all, gift giving and receiving should be FUN and MAGICAL! Don’t be a grinch! Remember that every time we give or receive a gift, it is an opportunity to express gratitude and love and inspire others to do the same.

Wishing you a fun-filled, stress-free, warm and fuzzy season of giving! May your heart and the hearts around you grow three-sizes this year! 

Looking to bring more joy, order, productivity, and simplicity your holidays and 2015? Join me this Sunday, December 7th at 1:30pm at Happiness U for my 90-minute Time and Life Optimization class! I’ll be sharing bonus materials for a fun, efficient, and organized holiday season!

Artwork by niallers on Fiverr – so cute, right?! Sign up for Fiverr here and GET A FREE GIG! 

Essentialism, Online Coaching, Easy Cash Exchanges, and Pinot Tracking

Happy November 1. What are you working on this month? I’m committing to more writing, more sleep, more joy, and more quality time with friends and family. I’ve really been inspired lately by multiple podcast interviews I’ve heard with Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism, the Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  Here is a description of the book:

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s not about getting less done. It’s about getting only the right things done. It’s about challenging the core assumption of ‘we can have it all’ and ‘I have to do everything’ and replacing it with the pursuit of ‘the right thing, in the right way, at the right time’. It’s about regaining control of our own choices about where to spend our time and energies instead of giving others implicit permission to choose for us.

McKeown talks about the importance of doing a quarterly inventory of your life to identify what is truly essential. When we are trapped in the daily grind, we tend to feel like everything is essential and important, when in fact, very little actually is. He suggests that the quickest way to identify what is essential to you is to ask a few simple, but provocative questions: If you had only one week to live, what would you do? If you had only a month to live, what would you do? If you had only a year to live, what would you do? And if you had the rest of your life to live, what would you do? 

Try this exercise and you’ll quickly discover whether or not your lifestyle and the things you are doing each day are in alignment with your values and your heart’s desires. We tend to delay our dreams and the things that bring us true joy for a time when “things settle down” or “when we get through this or that”, but that day never seems to come and suddenly you realize much more time has passed than you had intended. Instead, see what non-essential tasks, obligations, or other stuff you can dump, delegate, automate, simplify, or optimize so that you can make space for joy TODAY. 

Don’t just think about what you want to achieve this month, this about how you want to FEEL. Commit to pursuing the RIGHT things for you. And as you do, here is a round-up of a few fun apps I’m loving right now that you can incorporate into your dream lifestyle. 

Lift and Lift Coaching Lift is a cool app and community that helps you to “put your goals into actions”. There are expert-led plans or you can create custom goals. You can use Lift to help hold you accountable and keep you focused on anything you are trying to achieve. There is a great story in the productivity/life hacker community about comedian Jerry Seinfield’s secret to success. He simply committed to writing jokes everyday, good or bad, and marked each day that he wrote on a calendar. Us humans have something inside of our brains that makes us not want to “break the chain”. Lift works in the same way. Psychologically we start by simply wanting to keep the chain going, and then eventually we’ve created new habits. I’m extra excited about Lift now because they have just launched “Lift Coaching” and there is code currently on the site for 2 weeks free coaching (otherwise it is $14.95/month). I just hired a coach to help me create a daily writing habit, something I’ve been really struggling with. She has already messaged me with great advice and the accountability factor of having someone checking in on me to see if I’m writing is exactly what I was missing. 

Cash by Square Inc. I learned about this cool app from Less Doing guru, Ari Meisel. I’m currently participating in his awesome 8-week Less Doing Bootcamp and I’m totally geeking out on some of the cool tools we’re learning more about. If you aren’t familiar with Ari’s work, drop everything and get his life-changing book “Less Doing, More Living” – the man’s a genius! The Cash app solves the mildly annoying problem of cash exchanges. In the past week I’ve saved myself the time and stress of having to run to the ATM or trying to remember that I have to pay someone back for something multiple times. You simply download the app to your smartphone and link your bank card to it (read all about Cash Security here) . The person on the other end does the same. You can request or send money. It’s similar to Paypal but it’s FREE. I’ve used it this week to send money to a friend collecting for a birthday gift, to pay an assistant, and to collect money for a Community Supported Agriculture bag of veggies that I front the cash for.  

Delectable Wine App  I love a good glass (ok, maybe a few glasses) of Pinot Noir once in a while. When I do indulge, I want to make sure I’m drinking something that I absolutely love, but I never really had a great system for tracking the wines that I fall in love with. I would take photos of wines I like, but then they would get buried forever in my iPhoto, meaning I end up buying the same 2 wines again and again. Enter, Delectable! This FREE wine app is like Instagram for wine lovers. You take a photo of the wine label and it will show you what other Delectable users have said about it and how they have rated it. You can use this app to track the wines by taking your own photos and note and you can also use it to help you determine what you want to purchase. You have the option to follow sommeliers and other users. You can even tag who you are sharing a bottle with and where you are so that you can remember special moments. My last Delectable post – A smooth and delicious Chilean Pinot Noir from Pinot Evil Cellars I discovered on sale at CVS for $5! I rarely trust cheap wines, but this one was outstanding and the reviews confirmed it. Here is one Delectable member’s take on it: “Clean, light raspberry nose. Dry, medium acidity, low tannin, light body. Flavors of raspberry and red plum, hint of damp hay. Short finish.” 

Cheers to your “Essentialist” November. Wishing you lots of mental space and time to design and create your dream life, full, but not too full, of the all the RIGHT things for you.