Small Steps Make a Big Difference

th A Harvard economist conducted a study to determine whether offering rewards to children was an effective way to motivate them to do well in school. Interestingly, some of the findings suggested that students who broke goals down into smaller steps—which were immediately under the control of the student, such as “Read one book this week”—had greater academic success than their peers who had goals but no clear plan to achieve them.1

Remember, you don’t have to be an expert in every step toward achieving your dream. Many women give up because they don’t think they can get there alone. I have news for you: you don’t have to go it alone! Think of a chef creating a delicious gourmet meal. If she can’t locate a key ingredient, does she throw out everything and order takeout? Of course not. She goes to the store and asks someone for help.

If you’re a mom, you probably already know how to ask for help. If your little one needed medical attention at midnight, for instance, you would call someone regardless of the time or inconvenience. You wouldn’t care how you looked to others, either, because your child is more important to you than someone else’s opinion of your parenting skills.

Here’s an exercise I practice when I am feeling overwhelmed. I break my to-do list down into small steps, I think about what my possible needs might be. Then I jot down the names of everyone who can guide me along the way. For me, this includes individuals who could help with specific steps such as putting together my website, writing my manuscript, and learning about the publishing industry.

I refer to this as a Master Resource List, which is an essential component in achieving the steps necessary for success in all areas of your life. So pick up your pen and get to work on your own Master Resource List . Tomorrow I will discuss how to use these resources to accomplish your Master Action List.

Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips
http://www.michellephillips.com/book/

Your Hobbies Can Boost Your Success!

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The more hobbies you have, the more likely you are to gain greater social power, influence, and advantage, according to sociologists in Britain. Researchers there are studying the power of hobbies to effect upward mobility in society.

If you don’t have the means to enjoy one of your top ten activities, you need to get creative. For example, taking bubble baths is on my list, but when my kids were very young, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without a little one in the room with me. A relaxing bath (alone!) seemed impossible. My simple solution was to plan it ahead of time on my calendar. I’d make “spa appointments” with myself and stick to them.

You can do it, too. Perhaps you’re a single mom who’s craving some alone time but doesn’t have the resources to hire a sitter. You could make Thursday evenings your special time after the kids are tucked into bed. Take out a book, light a candle, and make yourself a soothing cup of tea. Your inner spirit needs this attention. Nurturing your soul (doing what you love) strengthens your core (your foundation) and increases your ability to achieve your dreams.

I also wrote on my list that I love to travel. Do you like to travel, too? Well, for most people (including me), finding the time and money to plan a trip isn’t always doable. This is where you once again need to be creative. Why not pack your own lunch for work and cut back at the local coffee shop? You’ll save at least $50 if you do it for a month. You could then treat yourself to lunch at a hip café and visit a museum you’ve never been to before. Get my drift? Start doing things now that make you smile and feel good. Lifting your spirits will help you make positive changes and reach your goals much quicker.

Keep in mind that if you always deny yourself the happiness you deserve, life seems so much harder. You feel down, and are less resilient and motivated. So many women rely on medication, food, or alcohol to suppress the pain of a depleted spirit. Pleasure, not suppression, is the solution. Put your top-ten list into practice and let your authentic self come alive!

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips
http://www.michellephillips.com/book/

Enjoy the Rewards!

Many people want to change but aren’t willing to do the work. When you have faith that the difficulties you face can be healed and fixed, our wonderful minds begin to use their subconscious energy to create solutions, there are physical effects as well. Frown lines begin to soften, worry lines disappear, mindless eating stops, and quality of sleep improves. We can breathe deeply and laugh more often. As life starts to look brighter, our faces do, too.

Affirmation :I am courageous and strong. I face the truth in every area of my life, and I reap the rewards.

Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips

Getting Rid of Judgments

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The next time you find yourself criticizing someone, ask yourself: Do I really know what is triggering or motivating her choices? You can even say, I’m sorry she made that choice. Something is going on with her. This is a powerful way to model true beauty to the women around you.

When we criticize an individual, we are also identifying with him or her in some aspect. A client once told me, “When I look at my ex, who was horrible to me, I realize that I have the capability of being just as angry and mean to others. If I’m going to be free, I have to bless him and wish him well, and not permit any negativity to remain in my heart.”

By refusing to cast judgment, we help ourselves live in true beauty. We’re breaking the cycle of fear and anger. It’s also vital to remember that we influence everyone around us, especially our children, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and so on. Young girls need positive role models! We women must teach the next generation how to lead truly beautiful, authentic lives.
Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips

It’s A Mind-Set

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As a beauty expert and stylist, I’ve seen it over and over again: a woman projects externally what she feels internally. If you want to achieve a genuine transformation, one that changes your appearance and impacts your relationships, you need a positive mind-set. Beauty and growth always come from unconditional love and support. Negativity blocks lasting change and tears down beauty. When you’re loved, you feel beautiful. When you’re supported, you grow.

When I was in the downward spiral of my depression, a friend suggested that I try attending his church. I told him that while I appreciated the suggestion, I wasn’t a very religious person. I considered myself more “spiritual.” He assured me that his church was different and that the person giving the sermons was less of a preacher and more of an inspirational speaker.

Since I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, when the following Sunday rolled around, I picked up my mom and we went to my friend’s church. I listened to the speaker and hung on her every word, tears flowing down my face the entire time. Although there were some 500 people there, I felt as if she was speaking directly to me. Most of all, I felt like I was home.

I started attending regularly, and the sermons would lift me up and carry me through the week. Since I was becoming a familiar face there, I also stepped into a beautiful circle of new friends. The church became a constant source of unconditional love and support.

You don’t have to go to a church to experience this, though. Go online or visit your local community center and look for clubs or organizations that are of interest to you. You might even be able to find a women’s club in your neighborhood. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website (www.MichellePhillips.com) for ongoing support, love and encouragement.

Love is all around you! Identifying the beauty surrounding you can be a revelation. It can change the way you feel about your current challenges as well as how you view any future hardships or mishaps that come your way.

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips

Uncovering Your Foundation

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At one point, I was enjoying great success in my career and accepting many exciting opportunities . . . but I wasn’t confident. Something didn’t feel right, and I finally realized that I didn’t know who I was. I knew I was successful, but that wasn’t what I identified with the most. I was making dreams come true, but what if they weren’t my dreams?
As I continued doing makeovers, I saw that many other women struggled in the same way. It seemed the busier the woman, the more confused she felt. What was going on? One makeover helped me find the answer.
My team and I were doing a makeover on a beautiful young mother. We gave her a new hair color, a fantastic bob that highlighted her bone structure, and a gorgeous makeup application. We fine-tuned her appearance in every way, and she looked dazzling! However, her body language told a completely different story.
This lovely woman wanted to hide more after her makeover than before! She looked amazing but didn’t feel comfortable. Her new look wasn’t her. She was stunning on the outside but miserable on the inside, and it showed. I immediately wanted to figure out what went wrong.

It turned out that she was a huge sports nut. She loved physical activity and hitting the gym. When she moved, she felt alive. When she competed, she felt beautiful. What my client needed was a makeover that affirmed her values. We could enhance her beauty only after we uncovered her foundation.

This experience helped me learn why most makeovers disappoint women or leave them feeling empty. So, my clients work through all of the steps before we address their appearance. In other words, I don’t talk liquid versus powder foundation until I understand a woman’s true foundation. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is . . . but it’s also a lot of fun. This is where the real you emerges! What feeds your soul? What nourishes your authentic self?

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips
Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1401931731/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=3525344955&ref=pd_sl_qdo7p6n55_ee

Dream A Beautiful Future

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The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul.” — CARL JUNG
While flying cross-country recently for an appearance on a morning talk show, I was seated next to a young man in his mid-20s. Clean-cut and friendly, he didn’t seem to be in need of any type of life advice or coaching whatsoever.
As we settled into the flight and exchanged pleasantries, it became clear that he wanted to talk more. As we struck up a conversation, he told me that he was an architect by day and a bartender at night. He came from a prominent family and was well educated. I noticed that he was writing or doodling while he spoke, and when I asked him about it, he remarked that he often drew when he told stories. In fact, he shared that when he’s bartending, he sketches on napkins and leaves them in front of each customer so that he’d know where he left off in his conversation with each person. I casually mentioned that he was obviously a creative person.
He replied, “Yes, but being an architect doesn’t pay very well—that’s why I’m also bartending. I’m hoping to make enough money so that I can have the option to try something else.”
“What is it you want to do?”
“I have no idea.”
I rephrased the question. “If you could wave a magic wand and create your perfect life, what would you be doing?”
“I’d build boats!” he answered immediately.
We talked about his passion for boats and his dream of designing and building them one day. As we parted, I urged him to go for it, and I really hope he does. Within that dream lies the true beauty in his life; and his chance to leave behind a wonderful, rich legacy.
I found it interesting that outwardly, he seemed like someone who had it all together. It was only when he spoke honestly about what he truly wanted that he came to realize he wasn’t following his heart. I think he left our conversation acknowledging that no matter how great he is at architecture or bartending, he’ll never feel totally fulfilled until he builds that first boat.

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillip
To Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/The-Beauty-Blueprint-Building-Dreams/dp/1401931731