I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Do your molehills become mountains?

Do you have a bad habit of making a big deal about nothing?  Do you turn minor issues into major issues?  Do you exaggerate some things way out of proportion?  If you do, you are making molehills into mountains.  Moles are small furry creatures that tunnel under the earth and the dirt from these holes are named mole hills because they are deposited in piles on the top of the ground.  Making these tiny hills into mountains would be a huge task and this is often what we do with our problems.  We make something small into something big and it takes a lot of energy.

Life is difficult and there are always problems to deal with.  Some of these are big and some are small.  What we have to do is determine which ones need to be addressed and which ones need to be dismissed.  If we aren’t able to do this, we end up wasting a large part of our lives dealing with unnecessary problems.  When we encounter difficult situations in life, we need to stop and not react immediately as this can often result in doing or saying something we will soon regret.  Then we should ask ourselves a few important questions:

  • How much does this issue really matter?
  • Will it matter tomorrow, next week, next year?
  • How will my reaction impact the people involved?
  • Should I just ignore it or do I need to address it?
  • How should I address the problem?

Making a big issue out of something that is not really a big deal, can easily result in communication breakdowns and hurt other people, even ourselves.  It can even cause a small problem to become a big problem. A mole hill does not have to become a mountain.  Learning to stop and think before reacting can help us live a happier and less stressful life.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.


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What does Christmas mean to you?

For many people, the Christmas season means weeks of stress leading to a short peak of excitement, then a feeling of emptiness.   We spend all our time planning a family celebration, preparing food, shopping and wrapping gifts.  Then we have one or two days to share with family and friends; sharing gifts, eating and making memories.  Too soon it is all over and the stress takes its toll leaving us exhausted and let down.

Christmas is supposed to be a season of celebration – a time of peace and joy.  Instead of rushing around buying gifts that don’t last, we should be spending time with family and friends, making memories that will last.   Taking a walk with a loved on to see the Christmas lights or inviting a friend over for coffee shows you care much more than just quickly handing them a gift.  Taking the family to an outdoor event or to the park to play in the snow shows you value them more than buying them a pile of gifts.  ‘Presence’ is worth so much more than ‘presents’.

Money does not buy happiness but money does buy debt.  Don’t make Christmas the season that causes you pain throughout the rest of the year.  Make Christmas the best time of the year and make meaningful memories by showing love to everyone around you.

May God bless you during this wonderful time of year!

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A Christmas checklist

What is on your Christmas checklist?  Buying presents, preparing for guests, creating a tasty meal plan, attending special events?  These are certainly things that need attention but when we get caught up in all the excitement, we can end up feeling stressed and full of anxiety.

There are a few important things that you should have on your Christmas checklist.  These include:


  • HELP  Get family and friends to help.  Think of an aunt, cousin or friend who is bored and would like to help you wrap gifts, clean the house and prepare meals.  Things go faster and are more fun when you have help.
  • FAMILY TIME  Spend time with your family.  In our attempt to create a perfect Christmas, we often neglect our family.  This certainly won’t create a feeling of love and peace in the home.
  • GIFTS  Don’t buy gifts at the last minute.  Watch for special sales all year and pick up the rest early in December so you can get them wrapped and under the tree.
  • SHOPPING TIME  Organize shopping so you aren’t running around in all directions or going out every day for wasting time running out for just one item.  Combine gift shopping with your regular errands and make plans to go several places in one day.
  • DIET  Make sure you eat properly.  When you are rushing around, it is easy to grab fast food or go without meals.  Your family also needs proper meals, so take time to prepare something healthy.
  • RELAX  Book time to relax in your schedule.  Make sure you spend at least an hour each day relaxing.  Read a book, take a bath or just sit and meditate.
  • SHARE LOVE  There are so many lonely, unhappy people, especially at this time of year.  Spread some love around by smiling and saying hello to everyone you see.  You might just get a smile back!

If you want Christmas to be a joyful event, you need to make sure you are not focusing all your attention on gifts and glitter.  Focus on what is important and what the Christmas season is all about.

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks






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Are you teaching your children to worry?

Let’s face it – life IS difficult and there are so many things that we can worry about – our families, our jobs, our friends, our finances, our future.  However, what value does worrying have?   The answer is – absolutely none! Worry doesn’t make anything better and it won’t resolve any problems.  Worry is just a major cause of stress and we know that stress can kill us.

So if we are worrying about everything in our lives, then we are impacting everyone around us, especially our children.  Think about it – our children are watching everything we say and do and will likely pick up any bad habits we have, like worrying!  We are giving them a terrible gift, one that will harm their health and possibly destroy any close parent/child relationship.

Are you teaching your children to worry?  If you are a worrier, take some steps to change this bad habit.  Write down your worries and try to change your perspective on them.  Ask yourself why you are worrying so much.  Try to focus on a positive solution and have faith that things will usually turn out okay.  The fact is, about 95% of the things we worry about never happen!



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Use your energy to build confidence

Everything we do takes energy.  It takes energy to get up, get dressed, go to work/school, cook, eat, clean, take care of the family and the list could go on and on.   How we feel about ourselves also uses energy; emotional energy.  Feeling good about ourselves is positive energy and it will give us the confidence to move forward in life.  Feeling bad about ourselves and looking at life with a negative perspective takes an enormous amount of energy.  It literally sucks the energy right out of us and destroys our confidence.

Do you have positive energy or negative energy?  Answer these questions:

  • Do you complain a lot?
  • Are you critical about yourself and others?
  • Do you blow little things way out of proportion?
  • Do you look for the bad things instead of the good things?
  • Do you believe that you can’t change or control your life?
  • Do you blame others for what happens to you?
  • Do you feel like nothing ever goes right in your life?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you have negative energy. Your confidence and self-esteem could use a good boost.  This can be done by changing your perspective.

Instead of using your energy to dwell on your problems and feel bad about yourself, use your energy to work on building confidence and increasing your self-esteem.  It takes the same amount of energy to feel good or bad about yourself but the results are much different.  Feeling bad results in stress.  Feeling good results in peace.  Try to surround yourself with positive people, places and things and focus on what is good in your life, not what is bad.

Visit my website at for ideas on how to build confidence and increase your self-esteem.


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What is a habit?

A habit is a behaviour that you do repeatedly until it becomes automatic.  Once you have done the same thing over and over again for a period of time, you don’t even think about it anymore.  We develop good habits and we develop bad habits.  The good habits push us forward so we can enjoy a happy and successful life.  The bad habits are the ones that hold us back and cause problems in our lives.

If you want to stop your bad habits, you need to:

  • clearly define your bad, negative habits
    • make a list
    • number them in priority sequence starting with the one you would like to change the most
  • determine what new, positive habits you can develop to overcome your bad habits
    • stopping a bad habit is hard unless you have something to replace it with
    • thinking about new habits will fill up your time with positive energy
  • create an action plan
    • decide which new habit you are going to work on first and the steps you need to take
    • write down the steps in a journal, daybook or calendar for 21 consecutive days (research shows it takes about 21-30 days to develop a new habit)
    • each day, follow these steps until you feel confident your habit is well established
    • if you slip backwards or miss a day, keep going and don’t give up
    • at the end of 21 days if you haven’t reached your goal, continue for another 21 days until the habit is set
  • celebrate your successes
    • at certain points (weekly, biweekly, monthly) reward yourself with a small treat or special event as a motivation to yourself

Do you know what your bad habits are?   Maybe some of these sound familiar?

  • being late for work, school, appointments, meetings
  • hitting the snooze button more than once before getting up in the morning
  • procrastinating on paying bills, filing taxes, keeping house clean, working on projects
  • talking instead of listening
  • not spending time with family, friends
  • forgetting important dates and occasions
  • not returning phone calls and emails
  • not eating proper meals
  • avoiding regular exercise
  • not keeping promises
  • answering cell phones and texts continuously
  • surfing the internet, playing video games
  • trying to control everyone around you
  • biting nails, tapping fingers

Changing a bad habit can be very difficult but also very possible with commitment.  Developing new, positive habits can transform your life.   Replacing bad habits with good habits will improve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.   Having good habits will increase self-esteem and help you overcome:

  • feelings of worthlessness
  • fears and insecurities
  • addictions
  • poor behaviours
  • pressures and stresses
  • depression and anxiety



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Is it your birthday or your birth….day?

Have you ever thought about your birthday as being a birth…day?  I mean, the day you were born it was your birthday, but it was also the birth….day of your mother.   She celebrated the birth of her amazing child – YOU!!!

Every year most of us celebrate our birthdays with our family and/or friends, enjoying food and presents.  But do we celebrate the day that our mother gave us birth?   I know, we have a special day set aside just for mothers.  We celebrate Mother’s Day every year and I think this is silly because we should cherish our mothers every day, although it is good because it reminds us.

I think we should have a celebration on our birthday for our mothers who spent hours in labour and years taking care of us.  Mothers are seldom appreciated the way they should be and this is often the reason that they become stressed and burnt out.  If children would take the time to show love and appreciation for their mothers, it would help mothers feel worthy and valued.

This year on my grandson’s 3rd birthday, I wished my daughter a happy birth….day.  She went through a lot to bring her wonderful son into this world and she deserves to be appreciated.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It has a positive effect on people.  Show appreciation for the people around you and watch the results.   Even if you have never been given appreciation before, there is no time like the present to get started on your own mission of appreciating others.

  • wives appreciate your husbands
  • husbands appreciate your wives
  • children appreciate your parents
  • friends/co-workers appreciate each other
  • employees appreciate your boss
  • bosses appreciate your employees

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”   ― Voltaire


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De-stress your life

Cmas mouse and candy caneChristmas can be a stressful time of year.  People rush everywhere trying to get things done and by the time Christmas Day comes, they are so exhausted and stressed out that they don’t even enjoy the holiday.

Stress is a normal part of life and can affect us in a positive or negative way.  When stress motivates you in a positive way, it can fill you with positive energy.  However, when stress motivates you in a negative way, it can literally suck the life right out of you.

Since it isn’t possible to eliminate stress from life, it is important that we learn how to control it.   It is important to determine what causes the stress in your life and learn ways to minimize or eliminate it.  When you are stressed, try the following STRESS method:

  • S top what you are doing.
  • T ake note of the situation in your journal or notebook.  Outline what is causing stress in your life.
  • R eview your notes.  Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.
  • E valuate your reaction.  Was it proper, logical, realistic?
  • S ituation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated.  Yes  No  How?
  • S et-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up.  Write it down to help you remember it.

Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook.  Use the above STRESS method as a guideline.   Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What situation causes the most stress in your life?
  2. How do you react in this situation?
  3. Is it possible to change, minimize or eliminate this situation?     Yes      No    How?
  4. Could you change your reaction to the situation?         Yes      No     How?

Try to figure out what causes you the most stress during the holiday season and make some positive changes.

  • check your to-do list and cross out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary
  • spend less money on presents and spend more time with your family and friends
  • get help putting up decorations
  • share in meal preparation and cleanup
  • get rid of any grudges that you have about anyone
  • lower your expectations about a perfect Christmas
  • show love to everyone you meet
  • relax and enjoy yourself during the holiday season


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Time is precious

sitting on top of hourglassDo you realize how precious your time is?  From the day you were born until the day you die, you only have a certain number of years here on this earth.

Most of us spend our time working, eating, spending money and sleeping.   There isn’t anything wrong with that unless that is all we are doing with our time.

Do you spend time with your family, especially your children?  Do you take time to build strong relationships?   Do you stop to help others?   Do you just take some quiet time for yourself?

When we are young, we are swept up in this fast paced world, trying to achieve everything all at once.  We work hard and make lots of money, not paying much attention to our physical, mental and spiritual health.  We don’t always take the time to relax and we end up getting stressed and depressed.  Life passes by quickly and soon we are in our later years wondering where all our time disappeared to and thinking about all the things we missed out on.  At that point we would gladly give back all the money we made in exchange for more time and good health.

Remember how precious time is.  Once a day is gone, it can never be re-lived.  Make sure you use your time to build good relationships and great memories.

What are you going to do with the 24 hours ahead of you?


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How do you stop from thinking negative thoughts?

holding stop signMost people tend to have more negative thoughts than positive thoughts and this is what causes problems in their lives.  Negative thoughts result in negative words and actions which result in negative results.  On the other hand, positive thoughts result in positive words and actions which result in positive results.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this concept.  So which would you rather be – positive or negative?

Negative thinking can cause anxiety, fear and stress about situations in life.  In order to feel positive and peaceful, we have to work on changing those negative, anxious thoughts into positive, peaceful thoughts.

Here are 6 steps for stopping negative thoughts.

1)  Be aware that you are having a negative thought.

2)  Choose a way that will make you stop this thought.

  • Say ‘STOP’ (out loud or in your mind)
  • Keep a rubber band on your arm and snap it gently
  • Picture a bright red stop sign
  • Put your arm out in front of you and say ‘halt’(out loud or in your mind)
  • Shake your head and say ‘no’ (out loud or in your mind)
  • Stop moving and stomp your foot

3)  Consciously change the negative thought with a positive, peaceful thought.

4)  Say your positive thought out loud if possible, or in your mind.

5)  Keep focusing on that positive, peaceful thought by repeating it until the negative thought is completely gone.

6)  Do this every time you have a negative thought.

Think about the things that make you anxious or stressful.  Here are some common issues:

  • meeting new people
  • your future
  • talking with friends
  • what you look like
  • performing in front of others
  • your athletic skills
  • religion
  • being asked out/asking someone out
  • money
  • whether or not people like you
  • your body
  • illness or injury

What makes you anxious or stressful?  What things bring out negative thoughts?  Make your own list.

Then determine what you could use as a peaceful thought to overpower that negative thought.  Here are some ideas:

  • say a positive statement or affirmation
  • play with a pet
  • listen to music
  • go for a walk or run
  • watch a sunrise or sunset
  • watch a funny movie
  • talk to a friend
  • take a nap
  • read a good book
  • go shopping
  • sing or dance
  • meditate
  • write in a journal
  • exercisesmile1
  • draw or paint a picture
  • admire some beautiful scenery

What would make you feel positive and peaceful? 

Cram your head and heart full of positive, peaceful stuff and you will crowd out all the negative, anxious thoughts.