Create Negativity for a Beautiful Life?

 

As some of us are gearing up for the holiday season, we are all pretty busy but also looking forward to maybe a little downtime before the new year.

I hope you’re finding time for reflection and thinking big for yourself in this next phase. Personally, 2016 was a building year for me – I met a lot of awesome people, made a bunch of new friends, and learned a heck of a lot about myself and business in general.

I’m soooo ready to take what I’ve learned and create some fantastic stuff in 2017 (and I can’t wait to share it all with you-soon!)

But right now, I too am in busy busy mode: wrapping gifts and wrapping up with clients for the year (see what I did there, lol!).

However, I’ve also left an nice meaty, chewy chunk of space, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to just… BE.

And, man, it’s hard to turn off sometimes. It’s become a world where it feels like if you’re not online, you’re off your rocker.

But I’m gonna try, cuz I need some space.

Maybe for you it’s not about a social media fast – maybe it’s something like going on a complain fast, or just taking some alone time for taking up a new hobby, just to challenge your brain in a different way.

The idea is that you’re creating some negative space, just like a painting.

For those of us who aren’t artists, it’s probably been a long time since we’ve heard any art theory terminology. So, just as a refresher…

Negative space is the non-painted or non-object area of a piece of art. It should always be taken into account when observing a piece because it can be as interesting as the piece itself or the painted portion itself. In other words, it’s not as negative as it sounds – it’s actually a really good, and really important part of creation.

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And, of course, I’m gonna say that it’s the same in life.

The part where you’re being creative, planning your strategies for success, taking action, celebrating achievements, raising kids, paying bills etc. is all the positive space – the obvious stuff that everyone sees.

In life, using your negative space is more like creating something other than your main ambitions to colour and fill in your life, all the way to the edges.

It’s the life you lead maybe when no one is watching and the life that you’re doing and not getting paid for. It might be some of the best stuff, actually.

So where in your life have you left space for the best stuff?

Where is the breathing room and the space to just BE?

Where have you created a beautiful space that makes you feel even more amazing?

This can be anything you conceive it to be, from your environment and the people you choose to keep around you, to the space you leave on your calendar for ‘movie and a pizza’ night.

Because, while it’s great to have a full calendar, it’s also important to leave some space to allow what you’ve created to stand on its own and be remarkable.

Without downtime and a step back at what you’ve done, it’s hard to see what amazingness you’re doing.

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And while it may seem important to ‘get out there’ and surround yourself with lots of people until you find ‘the one,’ or ‘the perfect client,’ it’s also important to be surrounded by great people that light you up.

That’s the job of the negative space – to highlight the positive.
(And, yes, that works for a lot of other areas in life too – cool, huh?)

So this year, when you’re reflecting on your 2016 and looking into 2017, ask yourself where can you see room to beautify your negative space and make it as interesting as the positive.

Where can you surround yourself with more love and beauty, more relaxation?

Where can you weed out some bad notches that never seem to bring out the best in you?

I’d love to know more about how you’re clearing your space and surrounding yourself with the more interesting and beautiful in this upcoming year. So leave a comment below or on the Facebook page.

And speaking of which…

I will be leaving some negative space between now and the New Year to refresh and recharge. I will still be keeping in touch with a weekly post and you can find me on Facebook and Twitter but the blog will resume in January 2017.

Thank you so much for reading this year, thirtysomeone. I love and appreciate all of your support and I’m honoured to be part of your crazy-amazing journey through your thirties.

Now, let’s cheers to this year and get ready for even bigger and better things in 2017.

Cheers!

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As always, you can find out more about me and what I do at ashewoodward.com. And to help you make solid goals for 2017, got to ashewoodward.com/downloadables to get your copy of The Thirtysomething’s Guide to Successful Goalmaking. It’s YOUR guide to a great year ahead.

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🙂

Don’t Finish 2016 Without This

Today was supposed to just be “Tree Decorating Day” but it also turned into “Eggnog and Rum Day” in our house (see the pics on Facebook).

While feeling a little “happy” my husband and I sat and did a little informal review of 2016 – what we did, liked, hated (note: not being prepared for our mortgage to be renewed made the  “never do again” list – live and learn!).

I personally see this and exercises like this as super-critical, especially in our thirties. Our thirties are generally viewed as the years where we build away like busy, busy beavers: reputations, relationships, careers, our savings, families.

And compared to our twenties, our thirties are when we really get down and dirty with creation – we know it’s crunch time and we’re ready to grab life by the you-know-whats and paint ourselves the beautiful picture we all dreamed life would be when we were younger.

The thing is, we can fall into the trap of building, building away and not taking a step back from the canvas to see what it’s all becoming.

Yes, our thirties are when we’re building and establishing a lot of things BUT we’re also accomplishing a great deal too.

That’s why, when you hear everyone (including me!) advising you to review and list all the great stuff you did this year, don’t roll your eyes or say you’ll do it later and never do…

Really take a moment to count up your wins.

This really is most important for us thirtysomeones because if we just continue to toil away, push and push, build and build, we’ll burn out.

And that’s when mistakes are made.

That’s when we make poor decisions and later have to start all over again. And I don’t know about you, but I ain’t got time for that s#*t!!

We’ve got our big dreams here AND we want to see them come to fruition IN our thirties, not waaaaaay in the future, right?

Trust me when I tell you that success in your 30s is more than a dream – it can be a reality. But recognition for all your hard work, your baby steps in the right direction, your effort to get out of your comfort zone are all fundamental to the foundation of whatever amazing creation you’re working on.

And because I think it’s so grave, I’ve created a downloadable plan that will help organize your thoughts for both December and January! Get it HERE

I’d love to hear what happened for you this year and what you’re continuing to build.

Post it here or on the Facebook Page, where we can get the conversation started. This is the place for you if one of your goals is “meet more like-minded people.”

So dream big and review hard!!

And if you’re already beginning to make your goals for 2017, this guide is a MUST!

Download The Thirtysomething’s Guide to Successful Goal-Making 

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And get in touch for a FREE coaching consultation to create a plan for all of your DIG DREAMS to come true in 2017. Get in touch at support@ashewoodward.com

What Kind of ‘December Person’ Are You?

I don’t need to tell you that this is a stressful time of year – crowded malls, Christmas music on loop, and getting in the last morsels of the year before we start all over again.

But beyond the shopping, headaches and travel, there might also be another source of anxiety on your mind…depending on what kind of person you are.

Maybe you’ve noticed it too, but it seems that depending on how ambitious you are or how serious you are about your goals, at this time of year, everyone falls mainly into two categories at the beginning of December:

  • Person 1 will focus on the holidays and family but also use this busy time as an excuse for why she has let her dreams and goals shift to the back burner. She just doesn’t have the time.
  • Person 2 isn’t slowing down. This kind of person aims to get it all in and not only achieve most of what’s on his resolution list, but also may push himself so far that he “doesn’t have the time” to find the perfect gifts. By January 1st he has many of his goals achieved and is ready to amp up his performance in 2017.

You may be thinking that you really wish you could be like Person 2, but you may want to think twice.

Sure, Person 1 seems to be making excuses, giving up and giving in. This could inevitably stall momentum at a great time of year for doing business. If you have a product or service, this is the best time to advertise your stuff as gift ideas or as ways to start off the new year just right. And even if you don’t work for yourself or in sales, you could always do just a tad more than the guy beside you so you grab the boss’s attention at the holiday party for promotion considerations ASAP for next year.

But, this is also supposed to be the time of year for reflection and connection. To push past or rush the holiday season like Person 2, would be to miss the whole point of our cleverly designed yearly cycle. We (well, our ancestors), designed our year to have a beginning and an end, with certain celebrations strategically placed because we crave ups and downs, endings and beginnings.

To rush past the ending would be a waste of the whole year. It’d be like watching the new Gilmore Girls series and just stopping at “summer”! [Note: No spoilers, but seriously, get past “Summer” because Rory has a big moment in “Fall”].

Person 2, however, does have the right idea in some ways – using December to achieve what you promised yourself last January – that’s part of having integrity and loving yourself.

But there needs to be balance. I don’t usually use this vague word but here I think we get it. Our two portraits are extremes but very present this time of year. It’s our job to see which qualities we have in ourselves and make a point of taking a page out of both books.

It’s also integral to success in the future that we take the time now to reflect on what’s been achieved up to this point. Regroup. Celebrate. Acknowledge your support system. And use the reflection (not the stress and the pushing yourself to the limits all month long) to inspire your January 2017.

Let me say that again: use the reflection on 2016 as the fuel to your fire in 2017. Rushing to complete your goals now is possible, but not essential to your success next year. You’ll be more successful if you can acknowledge what you learned in the past year and be grateful for your wins, as well as the people around you.

Sure, there may be some other sub-categories of these two types: I for one can be more like a crazy Person 2 on steroids because not only do I try to overachieve in my career and goals, but I also try to find the perfect gifts thanks to my A-type personality. This usually causes a bit of overwhelm at this time of year.

So a couple years ago, when I noticed this cray-cray behaviour in myself, I committed to having my shopping done before December 1st. I’ve fallen only a little short this year with two people left on my list, but that’s what the Internet is for. The rest of the time I’ll be focusing on my goals, reflecting and celebrating with “special” eggnogg.

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Like all things, it’s about finding a balance and knowing your priorities. It’s sometimes very hard to do it all and get it all in BUT do try these 5 main tips for a more enjoyable and successful holiday season:

  1. Don’t blame the holidays or your relatives for your unwillingness to find time. It’s like I always say, ‘Beyoncé has the same amount of hours in the day as everyone else.’
  2. Buy gifts online to save time. I have some recommendations if you’re curious. Click Here.
  3. Buy thoughtful gifts to thank all the people around you that enrich your life and keep you going.
  4. Reflect on 2016 and use the positives to light you up for the upcoming year.
  5. Draw up your priorities for 2017 based on what you think you were lacking this year. Don’t beat yourself up, just promise yourself to get ‘er done next year.

And don’t worry! I’ve still left plenty of time for new clients this month so you don’t have to go it alone. December is a great time to get started – we can reflect together and plan out your success for the new year together with a solid and strong 2017 success strategy.

Never hesitate to get in touch! Email me your questions at support@ashewoodward.com and find out more at ashewoodward.com.

And for added inspiration when creating your 2017 goals, be sure to have this guide handy!

Download your FREE copy of The Thirtysomething’s Guide to Successful Goal-making

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