The Importance of Work

 This is an exercise from my personal development binder outlining the purpose of working and working hard/working smart. Of course, work can mean any way you contribute in life and does not necessarily mean work for pay.

This is only my particular exercise about my particular work life {again, the only life I know how to live is my own}. This is not one size fits all – everyone’s list would be a little different. This is a wonderful exercise though, and I thought it was worth sharing. It really gives my career goals some weight when I get down to the MEANING behind them.

Because this is real life, I do not necessarily give my very best every single day, but this a helpful reminder of why I should be committed to doing just that. This is a good page in my binder to turn to when I’m feeling unmotivated or discouraged, and it helps me remember why my career goals are so very important. It’s a good, simple way to renew my focus.

Essentially the exercise is to answer the following questions:

 why bother setting goals to succeed in my career? what is my motivation? why is it important to do my best at work?

Why I always strive to do great work:

To contribute to society: to participate in making the world better, to do something to help

For my loved ones: to contribute to our marriage by doing my part to help my husband, bear his burdens and make his life easier & to make my family & friends proud

For my coworkers: To make sure I am a valuable team member and the work load is fairly divided

For the clients: To be delivering a premium quality service for client satisfaction (and thus continued contracts)

For our financial freedom: to make money to finance our daily life and contribute to our financial goals/make our dreams come true

For my emotional health: To feel needed, to feel proud of the work I do, to relieve stress {“as a cure for worry, work”), to be confident

For my physical health: to be productive {which is essential for health & happiness}.

For my mental health: to keep growing and learning, to exercise my brain and stay sharp

To guard my character: I do my best work as a point of honor: to have a clear conscience, to sleep well knowing I have done my best, to honor my commitments, and to be glad to sign my name to my work reputation.

To show my gratitude: to make the most of this amazing work at home opportunity

To make the most of my time {don’t phone it in. we spend more time working than doing anything else- make sure that time is well spent}

To respect the training: to make my student loans and years of education count for something important

To invest in the future: so I will be prepared and qualified for and open to amazing future opportunities by growing my reputation, references, resume. {who knows what the future may hold?}


Happy Monday! What gives your work life meaning?


Work-At-Home Wear

This is kind of embarrassing: After way too long of working at home in yoga pants or sweats, a few months ago I finally learned the lesson that my appearance affects my ambition. guess what? lazy clothes make me feel lazier, and work clothes make me feel like working. Groundbreaking, I know.

A few months ago, a friend very graciously shared with me that she was reading this :

and after many half-hearted attempts since I’ve started working from home, I decided to give it a real honest effort. I was truly surprised by the difference it made! Unless I’m sick or truly having an off day (then I try to wear workout clothes instead of lounge clothes, at least they feel somewhat productive), I really do make an effort with my appearance now, and I feel so much better about myself, I’m thriving in my work, and overall I just feel better off.

Some days I get really invested and dress up in business attire or a pretty dress. Most days, though, (especially in this summer weather) I’m quite casual- still making an effort to at least put some cute jeans on, apply some simple makeup, give my sometimes-unruly hair a little love, maybe put on a piece of jewelry and some sandals. I also try to hang a blazer, cardigan or a cute pashmina off the back of my chair- even if it’s too warm to need an extra layer that day. The whole concept of ‘getting dressed for the day’ is obviously totally basic , but unless you regularly stay home all day, it might be hard to understand that ‘getting dressed’ for a long time felt optional to me! If I’m not careful, every day for me can feel like the ‘day off’ of someone who works outside the home.

Several years ago I worked at a call center where we had to dress business formal. like, suits. It sounds crazy, but the theory was that it came through in our attitudes and behaviors. And now that I am making an effort to dress for work at home, I think they were on to something. In all seriousness I work alone all day, yet I make more money when I wear a blazer. Kind of remarkable.

A few other benefits to ‘ dressing up to stay home,’ are that my husband gets to see me looking nice every day, and I have a truer sense of my current weight and of the clothes in my closet that fit best at any given time.

Now I know that many people who stay home during the day are busy parenting (which is some seriously important work) and this may or may not apply in that situation, I don’t know and it’s not for me to say. The only life I know how to live is my own {for the record, this sentiment applies to any and all topics discussed on this blog}, and I have no babies (yet) – just a home-based career that needs me to be focused and professional, and dressing for it helps me to do that.

work at home

{made with}

Cultivating GOOD Mornings

Anytime I’m out at the start of the day, I try to wish most people I encounter a Good Morning. I think it’s time I start wishing for Good Mornings for myself and working to have them.

This is an absolute work in progress, but here are some ideas that I like for going beyond the non-negotiable morning stuff ( It might be realistic to choose a few that work for that particular day and just purpose to be positive. I will probably never do all of these every morning. let’s get real! but I love having a lot of ideas to work with).

[disclaimer- I work from home, set my own schedule, and have no pets or children. These factors all greatly affect my morning routine. Take what makes sense to you and forget the rest. This is only meant to chronicle my own attempts to grow and improve. I’m only speaking for myself here- the only life I know how to live is my own.]

Ideas for cultivating good mornings:

: Carve out the time– I give myself extra time because my schedule allows it, BUT it’s not about how much time there is in the morning. purposing to do one or two kind things to start my day on the right foot benefits everyone in my life. it’s good to live a positive, happy life, and we all DESERVE that. In finance terms, we often hear of paying yourself first with automatic savings etc. This is that same concept but in terms of time management. Rather than leaving it to the end of the day and then having it not be given at all, it’s great if I can just give myself a couple of precious minutes to do something (anything!) on purpose, to start the day off right. Whatever makes me feel good!!

: wake up earlier to have time to start the day on the right foot, cultivate calm and lean into my day.

: smile (an act of gratitude for a new day) {it’s such a beautiful thing to smile just for yourself}

: make the bed. I read somewhere that “the state of your bed is the state of your life” I just LOVED that. Making the bed has become a MUST DO for me every single day {especially given that I work at home}, and it’s true… if the bed is unmade, my husband knows I’m having one heck of a day. It’s a small act of kindness to give to my future, “bedtime self” {kind of like cleaning the house before you go away on vacation, just because it’s nice to come home to}”

: open the blinds, curtains, windows. let some light & fresh air in.

LOVE this quote about that: “Every morning when I open my curtains for that first look at the day, no matter what the day looks like—raining, foggy, overcast, sunny—my heart swells with gratitude. I get another chance. When you think about it, it’s truly awesome: seven billion people finding their way in the world” -Oprah

: stretch,

: take a few deep breaths

: read and review my life vision (not just once a in while) {if it’s long then create a highlight reel (on a post it or an electronic version) to quickly review every day}

: read something positive (a favourite quote, etc.)

: write something positive (a post it note to myself, a quick note in a journal, etc.)

: check the weather to be prepared and plan the day

: a short meditation/ a spiritual moment

: drink water

: eat a healthy breakfast

: plan for success in my day : make a to do list for the day, prepare/pack healthy food, extra water bottles, etc.

: good music while getting ready

Here’s to GOOD MORNINGS and doing the work to cultivate a POSITIVE life!

Home Office Inspiration Board

I’m really fortunate to work from home. It is a unique set of very real challenges and very precious benefits, and I love it. It’s not always easy, but I totally believe this is where I’m meant to be.

I’ve been working on using vision boards and inspiration boards a little more, and I’m always striving to improve my home office- to make it a place that I love to be, a place where I really shine.

I used to make this inspiration board for my small, simple home office. It’s a work in progress- some of these things on this board are things I already have, some I’m still working on, but this is the direction I’m headed in: