Tips for Finding Your Word of the Year and Making It A Reality

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word of the year

With the new year here I am hearing a lot of people talking about a “word of the year.”  This word of the year may be viewed as a mantra, or an inspiration, an alternative to a New Year’s Resolution. How can one word encompass or inspire you to do all that you want to accomplish in the next 12 months? If you are picking a word of the year here are some tips for not only finding your word of the year, but making it a reality.

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Tips for Finding Your Word of the Year

  1. Write down your goals, but be broad. Instead of a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, how about a goal to be healthier. That may mean losing weight, or exercising more or eating better. Think in terms of what you want to be instead of what you hope you will do.
  2. Brainstorm words that inspire or motivate you. Choose words that are dynamic. I found that nouns and adjectives worked best for me. You can always add to the word, for example achieve or achievement. Which “version” of the word works for what you want to accomplish? Use those words to create list of words that encompass what you would like to see in your life. For some it maybe health. For others it may be balance. Choosing just one word does take some time and thought.
  3. Define the words you have selected. Include synonyms and antonyms.
  4. When reviewing the words and their definitions remember that it’s a characteristic, not a behavior. It’s not how you plan on conducting yourself but how you want yourself to be and do better. Here’s an example of the difference.  New Year’s Resolution: I’m not going to drink products which contain caffeine.  Word of the Year: Health which encompasses all aspects of your health from making sure to self-care, to getting regular check ups to eliminating certain things from your diet. It also allows for more growth as you make changes across the board but also is more forgiving when you don’t do exactly what you resolved to do.
  5. How do the words that you have selected affect your life? How will living this word support you not only for the next year, but in a more long term aspect? The perspective shifts now from one aspect of your life to all aspects. How will “determination” affect your family, business or other relationships? Maybe it means creating the determination you need to not over extend yourself, which in turn leaves you open to exciting new opportunities.

Now that you have your goals in mind, words that match those goals and an idea of how you want to improve your life it does become so much easier to narrow your selection down to one word which can make a big difference.

Word of the Year Inspiration

Need some inspiration for a word of the year? Here are 100 word suggestions to help you get started.

word of the year

 

 

 

Turning Words into Action

word cloud

I have my Word of the Year but what now?  Tips for making your Word of the Year a reality.

  • Consider making it a screen saver on your smartphone, iPad, laptop or desktop. Use a font you like as well as a engaging and noticeable background.
  • Create a word cloud. What are some words associated with your Word of the Year? Create a Word of Art that you can save as a screensaver, print out and place on your vision board, or place in a picture frame and set it on your desk. Why not do more than one of these so it is with you during all parts of your day.
  • Create a vision board with the word featured front and center. Then surround it with visuals which will inspire and motivate you to make the word an action(s).
  • Create a playlist of music which encourages or evidences your Word of the Year.
  • Read books about your Word of the Year. This can be biographies, autobiographies or even fiction. A search of the word “Confidence” on Amazon brings up the following items “Tips and Tricks on How to Gain Self-Confidence,” “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness,” “Wire Your Brain for Confidence.” See how others encourage or live your Word of the Year and use those stories to help you live it too.

Now you have a WORD, not a to do list. Take small steps and ask yourself “Does (activity, thought, action) further my goal of my Word of the Year? If it doesn’t it offers you the opportunity to not participate in that activity. A word of the year is more all encompassing, yet more flexible, so instead of checking items off your “to do list” you are taking the opportunity to make a series of changes that can help in many different aspects of your life.

 

 

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Free printable: Blogger at Work

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Blogger at Work

One of the joys of being a blogger and content writer is being able to work from anywhere, but most especially from home. However it can also be one of the “cons” as there are so many interruptions. If you family likes mine comes into the office with regularity it may be time to hang out your own “shingle.” But in this case it’s a free printable for your home office door. Insert into a lightweight photo frame and use twine to hang from the door knob. Or simple tape it to the office door so they know now is NOT a good time to interrupt.

Related content:

(Free printable) Perfecting your post: The ultimate blogging checklist

Working at home: Not so friendly friends at family

A beginners guide to shorten URls

14 reasons to love being a work at home parent

 

 

Free Printable Blogger at Work

 

 

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Blogger Spotlight: Jenn Park of Jenn Unplugged

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Jenn Park of Jenn Unplugged

 

I met Jenn Park, writer and owner of the blog Jenn Unplugged, while we both doing a Disney press junket for bloggers. We had an amazing time learning about Halloween Town at Disneyland as well as some of the great planning and creation that goes on in movies and television like Star Wars Rebels, Alex and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day and more.

Jenn blogs about life with honesty and humor, recipes, reviews, her kids, travel and entertainment/Disney. Come see what she has to say about life as a blogger and offers up some advice from her experiences in this interview with New Creative Media. 

Why do you blog?

It started as a hobby. I wanted to be able to stay home with my children and earn money in order to help take care of my family, in addition to my husband’s salary. The rest fell into place and I love being “my own boss”.

What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?

The freedom to write and experience things I may not have been able to otherwise.

What is the hardest thing about being a blogger and what you do to deal with those challenges?

Time management and balance. Take deep breaths, make lists and use my planner.

What’s three of the most important things you have learned about social media marketing or blogging? 

There is always something new to learn. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Know your worth.

What advice would you like to give to other bloggers?

Be yourself. Blog from the heart. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it, don’t write about it or feature it. Something more fitting will come along at the right time.

Jenn has had the honor of being invited to 3 media trips, 2 being Disney related. She is proud of my site and what it has provided, and continues to allows for and how it provides for her family.

Head over to Jenn Unplugged and find out more about her life, family and travels.

Thanks so much Jenn for taking the time to talk to us today!

 

 

 

 

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14 Reasons to love being a work at home parent

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Picography / Pixabay

Picography / Pixabay

 

Being at home and earning money seems like the perfect job doesn’t it? Well, for some moms and dads it does, for others it doesn’t. If you are thinking about starting a life as a WAHM or WAHD, you’ll want to consider the good and the bad, the advantages and the challenges. This is what I love about being a work at home mom.

I am available to the family. In sickness and in field day. It is so much easier caring for a sick child when you don’t have to call in sick at work. It is also a lot more fun to being able to attend those special events at your child’s school. No, I can’t do it all the time, but quite frequently I can change my schedule. I also avoid the stress of waiting for repairman and service providers with demands on my work. I simply work until the minute they arrive and work after they leave.

Yes, sometimes I work in my pajamas. It’s true. But trust me I also have to get up, get ready and become professional when the occasion calls for it. And, no husband wants to come home to a wife in her pj’s.

I set my schedule, even if that means working late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

I do what I love, not everyone can say that about their job.

When I have an idea that could possibly make things better I can explore it. Of course, if I mess up, then I have the sole responsibility of fixing the mess too. But that’s something I love, being responsible for my mistakes, but no one else’s.

I don’t have to call in sick or beg for vacation time. In the past I have had some employers who thought that vacation time was just something that you accumulate. One did so much work travel apparently she couldn’t understand why I would want to actually use my vacation time as, well, a vacation.

I don’t waste time sitting in my car commuting to work. I simply enter my office after the kids go to school. Of course I have a child at home still, so it’s not as easy as it looks sometimes. However, my husband often has an hour commute for a 19-mile drive.

Most of the time there is less stress and anxiety. Since I am the one responsible for my mistakes, I don’t have the politics that often came with working outside the home.

Some days I am much more productive in a lot less time. There are days where I can accomplish more in four hours than I ever did in eight- or 10-hour workdays.

I get sick less. Yes, it’s true. No one comes in sick to the office because they are worried about using a sick day or falling behind when you work at home. I also save money on doctor’s visits since I don’t have to run to the doctor for antibiotics or prescription strength medicine to get through the week.

I save money, on business clothing, lunches, gas, parking and all the other expenses associated with working outside the home.

More time with my family and I know my dog loves the extra time to take walks and go outside, and he isn’t left home alone for long days.

I am in control of my business. Of course that means both the successes and the failures.

I learn from my mistakes, but I also learn a great deal more about the business of my business. I don’t depend on others to fix the copier, or anything else. This makes for a more well-rounded, self-sufficient mommy and a more confident one both on and off the job.

While there are many advantages, there are also many challenges — be sure to subscribe to us to find out the top ten challenges to being a work at home mom too. It’s important to consider both sides of the work at home situation before you quit your job and set up shop at home. What do you love about working at home?

 

 

 

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5 Finance factors to consider before deciding to work at home

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Image By Flickr Creative Commons: Dustin Moore

The decision to stay home or return to work after having children is one hot topic. Not only do people talk about it a great deal, but there are also some very strong feelings offered up to both men and women as they consider becoming a stay-at-home parent. In our case, it was sort of an easy answer to the question of staying home. A nice salary from a university position, didn’t offset the cost of two young children needing daycare, which would cost approximately $2500 a month in child care and made our decision somewhat easy. But there are also many other factors to consider before parents make a final decision about staying home. The most important one may have to do with money. Here are a few finance factors to consider before you write your two week notice.

Beware of your budget. Childcare is not the only expense to consider. You may also need to make some tough decisions about your lifestyle choices, vacations or even dining out. Do you have some payments like the mortgage that simply couldn’t be met if one parent or the other stays home? If so, you may need to consider downsizing or cutting back on your other expenses, if you do decide to stay home.

Check the credit. While couples can add their non-working spouse to a credit card, usually this means that the stay at home parent won’t be building up their own credit. That can cause long term financial problems in the event of a death or divorce.

Insure your insurance. Is the prospective stay at home parent the one with health insurance coverage? If so will the same level of coverage be available for a similar premium, from your company? Will there be additional copays or deductibles? You will also need to consider where in the year that these insurance changes, such as taking on a new policy or changing an existing one will happen. In some cases you must wait for a determining factor or an enrollment date.

Return on retirement. You know that 2-5% contribution that your company has been depositing for you in your IRA account? While it may not seem like much, but at least it was something going into your retirement fund. As a result, staying at home can mean that your retirement money may not grow old with you, unless you can find a way to continue to make some contributions.

Respect responsibilities. With one parent staying home there may be some thought that now all the household decisions and work like cooking and cleaning is done exclusively by the stay at home parent. Where once before you may have had a housekeeper, use a dry cleaner or have someone to care for your pool or lawn, your decision to stay home may mean that those expenses need to be cut from the budget. You may have to start doing these chores. However, staying home is a job too, and it is just as hard if not harder some days that going out into the workforce. Make sure that you and your spouse discuss how the chores, cooking, cleaning and transporting the kids after work hours will be handled and find a way that works for you.

The decision to stay home isn’t one that can be decided easily. There is a great deal to consider and discuss with your significant other or spouse. Money is one of the main topics of disagreement in many relationships so it’s important to consider the impact that your stay at home decision will make, not only on your finances but on your relationships too.

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Staying home sick with the kids

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Here I am trying to balance a work day with a child home from school sick day.  I’m not the only one.   At 7 a.m my phone rang and a friend wanted to know if I would be around in case of emergency as her son was home sick with the babysitter.  As cold and flu season approaches many parents may be faced with the dilemma of what to do when the children are sick for school or daycare.  There are options and alternatives to missing work while taking care of your family.

 

 

Working while you wait.   When my oldest was young I would have no choice but to take off work and stay home with him to wait for him to get better.  But now with all the technology available to parents we can actually work quite a bit while we are home waiting for them to get better.   Use your email, smartphone, fax machine, laptop or iPad to their fullest and get as much done as you can while caring for your child.   Consider putting the documents you need most frequently on a flash drive or see if you can set up access from home to your office or companies server.  Your employer will appreciate the extra effort and you will have a lot less work waiting for you when you return.

Go for the grandparents.   Oh, how I miss those days.   My parents used to live just 20 minutes away and if they weren’t working and the illness was just bad enough to stay home from school but not bad enough that that grandma or grandpa would worry about getting sick too then it was time for grandma (usually) to be in charge.  After all she worked in a hospital emergency room, if she can handle that she can fight off just about any cold or flu that my kids may bring home.

Related content: Six Creative Childcare and Babysitting Options

Trade time.  Do you get personal or sick days?  Does your spouse?  Trade your time personal time or sick days in for time with your sick child and if possible trade off illnesses with your partner or spouse. One time you take time off, the next he or she does.  Sure, sometimes a sick child wants mom or dad, but usually they don’t really mind which one is caring for them as long as they have their parent.

Make it up.   Talk to your employer about possibly coming in over the weekend or during an evening once your spouse gets home.  If you are at all like me, I can get twice as much work done during those “down times” in the office as I can when there are people coming in and out and phones ringing.  It is also difficult for a supervisor to be upset about the lost day or days when you are offering to make them up.

Make a backup plan.  There are several different backup plans you can put into place.   Some cities have “sick child” daycare options, for those little illnesses, when they are too sick to go to school but not quite sick enough for you to be at home.   There are also a number of different service providers both on-line and off, likes Care.com or Sittercity that can help you with finding in home care for your children.   Maybe a friend or stay at home mom could help in a pinch.  But remember that if they can’t it’s not because they don’t want to, it is usually because they have scheduled to keep to too or children home that they don’t want to get sick.  When choosing a backup plan make sure they know all the facts and make sure you do your homework to ensure that your sitter is qualified to care for your sick child.

Related content: Avoiding drop-off daycare drama

It doesn’t have to be a bad sign when you wake up to a sick child or getting that phone call and see the schools’ telephone number on your caller ID.  Maybe it is really a call to take a day and just slow down.  But if it is not, you do have options.   Take advantage of them, or take advantage of the chance to have a day at home with your children.

 

Related content: How to take the work out of parenting: Children and chores

What do you do when your child needs a “sick day?”

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