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positive change: daily feats

Believe in yourself()

We all want to believe in ourselves and our ability to overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way, but it's not always the easiest thing to do without some help and external motivation. Want help motivating yourself to change? Want to find a resource that will reward you for the small steps you're taking in the right direction? Today's your lucky day! I recently discovered a new community of motivation and inspiration called Daily Feats. The site's goal is to help people reach their potential every day by encouraging people to actively participate in what they call "the good economy," an economy fueled by doing positive, healthy actions every day to cause shifts in society for the greater good.

Daily Feats uses its site to change people’s lives through inspiration, motivation and sharing fundamental experiences. Whether its through mindfulness, eating more healthfully, or creating better relationships, Daily Feats inspires people to do all of the little things in life that build up to big change. The founders of the site realize that ongoing motivation, community support, and celebratory rewards can really help people create positive habits and meet their goals.

Available free at for web, iPhone and Android, DailyFeats guides you in doing small but significant actions, or "feats," that add up to big change. Along the way, you have the opportunity to earn points, share with friends, and treat yourself or others to real-life rewards (including gift cards from brands such as eBay, iTunes, and Safeway plus local savings and donations). There are feats in all sorts of categories, from food, fitness, and health to balance, family, and community.

If you have a goal you want to tackle (and who doesn't?!), why not sign up for Daily Feats and get that extra motivation you need to keep going? It's free to join and the inspiration and motivation is certain to keep you on track as you make your way toward your goal. And if you register using this bonus code: pospresent100, you'll start your account with 100 points!

Check out the site that, The New York Times, Shape, and so many other media outlets are raving about. Daily Feats is a way to take small, daily actions and create big change in your life. Check out the Positively Present Daily Feats page, use the bonus code mentioned above, and get started on making a change in your life today.

Did you pick up your free copy of the 2012 Positively Present Planner? If not, click here to download the PDF! 

positively present planner: a free ebook to kick off 2012!

2012 Planner

Want to get a jump start on 2012? I've got just the thing for you: the  2012 Positively Present Planner! I have a feeling 2012 is going to be an awesome year and this is just the thing you need to kick off the next twelve months.

So what’s this planner all about anyway? It’s an ebook that will help you jumpstart your year with tips, resources, and advice for making the most of 2012. And it’s also a great resource for getting started on those New Year’s resolutions—and tackling your life goals while you’re at it. And it’s a place to launch a year of personal and home organization (key ingredients for a positive life!). And it’s where you can find inspiration to keep you moving forward throughout the year. Yep, all of that in this little (free!) downloadable ebook. 

Over the years since I created Positively Present, I’ve learned a lot about living a more positive, more present life and, as a gift to my loyal readers and their friends (please feel free to pass this on to anyone who might need a little help kicking off 2012!), I’ve put together this ebook filled with some of the best ways to make the most of life.

My big life goal? Not to wait for someday to have a “happily ever after” ending. I’m striving to live happily ever after right now. Doing so isn’t always easy, but I’ve picked up some tricks and tips that inspire me to make the most of every day while striving to take my dreams and turn them into my reality—and I’m excited to share them with you in this ebook—the first one ever created by Positively Present!  

I hope these resources will help you kick off the new year and bring you closer to making the most of your 2012 dreams and goals! Happy planning! 


*Hurray! The issue with the links has been fixed. If you already downloaded the planner and want the updated version, click below and download again.*


   Download the 2012 Positively Present Planner!

wishing you a magical christmas!

Happy Christmas 2011(Photos from the 25 Day Photo Challenge: Christmas!)


Happy Christmas! After over a month of prepping, planning, and perspiring, the day is finally here and I'm thrilled to be celebrating it with friends and family. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you're having a wonderful holiday. If you don't celebrate it, I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday. For those of you who want to embrace the holiday today, below are some of my very favorite Christmas quotes. Enjoy! 


"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful." 
Norman Vincent Peale

“Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy,
is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
Calvin Coolidge

“Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us,
that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance.
It may weave a spell of nostalgia.
Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer,
but always it will be a day of remembrance –
a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.”
Augusta E. Rundel

“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts.
No matter how we may dread the rush,
the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given –
when Christmas Day comes there is still
the same warm feeling we had as children,
the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.”
Joan Winmill Brown

“I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things.
It’s about being good to one another,
it’s about the Christian ethic,
it’s about kindness.”
Carrie Fisher

"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Dr. Seuss

“What is Christmas?
It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.
It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal,
and that every path may lead to peace.”
Agnes M. Pharo

“Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making.
It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things.
The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving.”
J.C. Penney


"Words To Live By" is a segment on Positively Present that features my favorite quote or lyrics from the week. Every Sunday I post a quote or lyrics that have inspired me with the hope that they'll inspire you too. Comments will be closed on these posts, but feel free to tweet the post if you enjoy it or contact me via Twitter.  

festive online finds: holiday inspiration

Festive online finds()

With Christmas only a few days away, I've been really getting into the holiday spirit. I've been feeling extra festive this year and I've been fortunate to come across some great holiday articles and posts that have helped me amp up my holiday cheer (and cope with the less-happy elements of the season). Below are some of my favorite holiday links from the past as well as some new finds from this year. Enjoy the holiday reading! 

The Magic Christmas: Lessons Learned from My Holiday Tradition

Celebrate!: Issue #6 of Wild Sister

8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Relatives Over the Holidays

Galadarling's December Activity Guide 

There is Beauty in Believing

3 Ways to Make Your Christmas Special

Minimize Stress & Maximize Cheer Over the Holidays

Oh What Fun!: The Benefits of Being Festive

5 Ways to Stay Sane Over the Holidays

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer...

47 Joyous Christmas Quotes to Brighten the Season

8 Steps for Being Happy During the Holidays

29 Ways to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a very happy holiday. Don't forget to stay present and enjoy the little things! The holiday sneaks by quickly and it'll be over before you know it. Be positive and be present to make the most of the festivities. 

And stay tuned for a special post-Christmas gift from Positively Present.

On Monday, each and every one of you lovely readers will have the opportunity to receive a gift that's sure to get your 2012 off to a great start! Wishing you lots of positivity and peace this Christmas! 

*Congrats to Ana S. and Shelby, winners of Tiny Buddha book giveaway!*

Christmas Photo Challenge

Participating in the 25 Days of Christmas Photo Challenge?
Only 3 Days Left!

Check out my photos on Flickr. Join the Positively Present Christmas Photo Challenge Flickr group. Share your photos on Twitter or Instagram using #PPphoto.


festive focus: 4 ways to stay present during the holidays

Every moment is a choice()

With less than a week until Christmas day, it's tough not to get caught up in the rush of the holiday season. Most people have tons of extra items to cross off their to-do lists and even more obligations and events than usual. It's always a fun to take part in the holiday festivities, but it can also be stressful too. This last hurrah before the holiday is often the time many of us dread though, in actuality, it's the time we've been building up to for the past month (if not longer!). How are we to stay present during a time that seems so stressful? How are we to make the most of this last rush of holiday spirit (or holiday stress) before another Christmas day has come and gone?

Yesterday I found myself in Target feeling as if I were being swarmed by an army of people. Everyone was rushing past me in a haste and the air was charged with a hurryhurryhurry energy. And don't get me started on the parking lot, which was more frustrating than a twisted tangle of Christmas lights! There was a moment when I literally stopped in the middle of an aisle to let others scurry past when I realized that this store -- this holiday chaos -- was the last place I wanted to be. I realized that this was one of those times that I didn't want to be present, that I wanted to be anywhere other than the moment I was in. Later, as I thought back on that moment -- the shopping carts pushing past one another, the furious pace, and the frustrated sighs of nearby shoppers -- in the calm comfort of my own home, I realized that I had a choice in that moment. I have a choice in every moment.

Rather than practically running out of the store and darting home to the comfort of calm, I could have stayed in that moment -- chaotic as it was -- and embraced it. I could have focused not on the negative things happening in that moment, but on the good things that were happening: the person who let someone with fewer items go ahead of her in a long line; the cheery Christmas carols pouring out of the speakers and causing a little old man to bob his head to the music while pushing along his cart; the sweet sight of a little girl staring in awe at a display of glittering ornaments; the laughter from a mother after her son said seriously, "But, Mom, I saw a commercial and it said we should ask for this toy for Christmas!"

There were many things about those moments I spent in Target that were good, but I didn't see them amid my frustration and flustration (yep, just made that word up!). And isn't that often how it seems to be during the hectic holiday season? Aren't there often good moments -- really sweet, special moments -- that we fail to recognize because they are overwhelmed by the craziness of the world around us? I know I'm not the only one who's experienced this feeling this year and I know I'm not the only one who will probably experience it again before the year is through. However, I want to make an effort to be more present during what's left of the holiday season. I want to focus on the "happy" in my holidays -- and here's how I plan to do it:

Four Ways to Focus on the Festive

1. Focus on the five senses. This is a tactic I use when I'm trying to fall asleep and can't, but I think it could also work when striving to preserve the festiveness of the holiday season. Whenever I find myself stressed or wanting to be somewhere that I'm not, I'm going to take a deep breath and focus on my five senses. Thinking about what I can hear, see, taste, touch, and smell will help to bring me back to the moment and remind me of the good things happening all around me.

2. Redirect negative attention. Just like in Target, there are bound to be some moments where my thoughts start to wander into negative territory. However, it's up to me to stop this from happening. As soon as I become aware of a negative thought (and I must stay aware of my thinking!), I'm going to redirect it in a more positive direction. For every negative thing I think, I'll strive to counterattack it with a positive thought.

3. Create good energy. Though others around me may be stressed and frazzled by the hectic holiday season, I have a choice about the type of energy I put out. I can either feed off of the stressed out energy of others or I can choose to put out good energy of my own. This means staying calm, keeping my bitch face in check, and withholding any (and all!) negative judgments. If I create good, good will come back to me.

4. Start off on the right foot. I have to admit something to you: I didn't go into Target with a positive attitude. I had a feeling it would be too crowded and people would be frantic so I started off my shopping trip on the wrong foot by thinking negatively. One of the best ways to focus on the present and stay festive is to not go into any situation (no matter what!) with a negative attitude. Starting off on the right foot will give even the most stressful situation a chance to be a positive experience.

If I'd tried these four tactics in Target, I'm certain I would have been able to enjoy my time there (or at least make it through without wanting to run from the place!). It's tempting to get caught up in the energy of others -- especially when so many people are fueled by the same so-much-to-do panicky vibe. Even though nothing on my list was imperative and I wasn't under any stress at all, I felt unusually stressed just being around stressed people. Despite the energy I was picking up on from others, I still had a choice to be positive in that moment. Even though I'd call my dashing from Target a fail in the "staying present" department, I'm not going to give up on being present this holiday season. Stress or not, I'm going to use the four tactics above to stay focused on the festive!

Christmas Photo Challenge

Participating in the 25 Days of Christmas Photo Challenge?

Check out my photos on Flickr. Join the Positively Present Christmas Photo Challenge Flickr group. Share your photos on Twitter or Instagram using #PPphoto.