As Marie Forleo says “The world needs that special gift that only you have.” but the problem is that 9 out of 10 times, we don’t see it. How many times has someone said something to you like,“Wow, that is incredible!” and you’ve replied with something along the lines of “No, no. It was nothing. Really, anyone could have done it.” Yeah, me too.
That is why today I am going to ask you to step back and try and see yourself from other people’s perspectives. It is time to acknowledge that you are fascinating, talented, intelligent, wonderful and so much more. Let’s open your eyes and see that special gift that Marie keeps talking about!
Download the free workbook, it was designed to help you discover your gifts by having you answer some simple questions and getting feedback from those around you.
Hopefully, it will help provide you clarity on your gifts and help you see just how amazing you truly are.
The holiday season can be tough on children and adults alike. Toy manufacturers and retail outlets start their advertising campaigns early, and kids are increasingly bombarded with dozens of advertisements for the latest and greatest toys or gadgets they “absolutely must have”. Kids then begin their own campaigns with their parents. “Everyone will have this…” or “I’ll die if I don’t have that….” or the tried and tested, “Please, please, please, please.”
While most of us will assess their children’s requests and buy wisely and appropriately, we too can fall prey to the pressures of the season. Did you know, each Canadian spends on average almost $1,200 every holiday season? That’s not a problem if we’ve budgeted for our purchases, but most of us don’t. In fact, 20 percent of Canadians say they are not sure how they will pay for the season.
So, with a little planning, we don’t have to start the New Year in debt. Here are a few tips on how to stay on budget this year.
Make a list.
Write down a list of each person, family member you want to buy gifts for. Beside each name, write the maximum amount you are willing to spend. If your kids are old enough, have them create a similar list of their friends and siblings.
If your list is too long, get in touch with your family and friends and suggest secret Santa or drawing names to give one gift per person. Another way to bring the list down is to suggest to friends and adult family members that each of you just buy for each other’s children or buying a single family gift, rather than individual, gifts.
Set a holiday budget.
Look at how much you can spend this year without having to rely on credit. Include expenses such as gift wrapping, entertaining and charitable donations.
Set expectations for your kids.
Older kids often have unrealistic expectations, communicate with them about your budget. Let them know how much you intend to spend this year and what they can expect. I usually tell my boys, I am spending $XX per person – so, create a list that fits within that budget. I like to tell them the dollar amount less than my actual spending amount, this way there will still be a few surprises.
Give homemade gifts.
This is the time of year that you can channel your inner Martha Stewart and make gifts for teachers, friends, co-workers and neighbours. Bake cookies, knit sweaters, or make them gift baskets. Your children will enjoy helping while learning that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show your love and appreciation. Pinterest will be your best friend when it comes to DIY gifts.
Use cash whenever possible.
No, not as the gift itself but for your holiday purchases. Only use a credit card if you know you can pay it off right away.
Do not wait until the last minute!
Allow time for comparison shopping. Shop around to get the best price. Take your kids with you and make it a fun learning experience by having them keep notes on what store charges for each item.
Take the “I” out of the holiday season.
Cheesy, I know but think about it! A great way to teach your kids about social responsibility (and the true meaning of the holidays) and allow older kids to explore different causes, is to make a family donation to a charity. Ask the kids what charity they would like the family to “adopt” and why. Then have everybody give a certain amount to the cause.
Plan ahead for next year.
Reduce financial stress next year by planning now! Put a small amount into a savings account every week – even $5 a week will result in a tidy sum of about $250 come next December. Put in $25 a week away and you’ll have $1,300 by the time the holidays roll around again!
Finally, It is a good idea to shop for gifts throughout the year. This way you take advantage of great sales and avoid the holiday rush! These are just a few ways to make the holiday season less stressful and more enjoyable!
Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas!
Did you hear? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged! (Of course, you did. Unless you live under a rock or have successfully managed to avoid any and ALL forms of media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TV, radio, newspapers, or haven’t talked to another human in the last week.)
Before it was announced that she would be the worlds newest member of the Royal family, Meghan Markle was already an inspiration to women everywhere.
With America soon being able to lay claim to its very own member of the British royal family, it’s only natural that people are trying to absorb in as much information about Miss Markle’s life as possible. She is bound to be one of the most Googled women in the past year, however; I want to focus on one particular moment from her past that is making the rounds on social media. Her speech at U.N. Women’s 2015 conference.
This simple 9-10 minute speech and her story of how her actions made such an impact are truly inspirational.
I encourage you to watch this over and over again, I have, and use her words as inspiration for you to make an impact. For you to follow your gut, and be the change you wish to see in the world.
Oh, and I have to add, OMG she is marrying a real-life Prince! Who says you can’t be a feminist and still have your very own Prince Charming?
Meghan Markle at UN Women
Looking to surround yourself with more inspirational women?
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Starting Your Own Business
We all have those days where they just seem to drag on and on and are never-ending. It is an attack of the Drag-On Dragon – that beast sucks the inspiration right out of us!
Well – NO MORE!