Thursday, January 28, 2010

Your Wish List

Have you ever been disappointed because someone didn’t, in your opinion, listen and think about you enough to come up with a nicer gift? Whether it’s flowers or diamonds, yard work or massages, you don’t think you are so hard to give to if others would just put in the effort to think.

Which, I have to say is true, but not going to happen. The ultimate result you want is the gift, so why not help others out by making a list or chart. I’m thinking more on the lines of 5 things your spouse/friend/whatever-you-call-them can do for you each month. They get to choose one of the activities/gifts each week. It’s a win-win = you don’t know exactly what is coming but you know you’ll love it and they are sure to please you, which is what they are striving for in the first place.

Here are some examples:
FEB: 1. Volunteer for a charity
2. Go to a matinee
3. Breakfast in bed plus clean up
4. Draw a bath
5. Give CD or iTunes of favorite music

MAR: 1. Clean light fixtures and ceiling fans
2. Send a funny card
3. Tour “memory lane”
4. Bring you your favorite drink
5. Professional shampoo and style

APR: 1. Bring a friend to town
2. Do one of your chores
3. Play a board game
4. Buy/borrow a book
5. Massage

Feel free to repeat your favorite things on your list in different months. If you want flowers once a month, but sure to put it on there each time. Make sure the activities and gifts are within your budget and things that will really make a difference in your day and spirit. You don’t have to be typical. A friend of mine gets all hot when her hubby cleans the garage – no kidding! So make each choice count. You can give them more choices if you want each month if you are really creative but know that only one will be done each week (or whatever you as a couple decide the frequency will be).

You should make a separate list for birthday, Mother’s Day, whatever holiday you celebrate in December, that can also be shared with anyone else who might buy you something (Mom, In-Law, Sibling). Who knows, they may pick up something off season for a good discount, so put those Jimmy Choo shoes and trip to Paris on there without blinking an eye.

It’s not your job to worry about how they will accomplish the wish list tasks. You are only to be grateful each and every time you receive, and then pass along the overflowing love.

I know you are thinking, “But, I’m still doing all the brain work and they get off easy.” Okay, so what? You’re getting very little now so I can’t see how them following your directions is going to make you worse off. The only factor is the actual action. That you can’t do and if they can’t seem to get themselves together enough to show you appreciation in the exact manner you want to receive it, then there are other issues you need to address in your relationship. Either way, you’re going to know more about yourself and your partner.

Enjoy making your list. Be excited when you give it to your partner because you really are giving them a very personal gift….insight into your happiness.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Giving Praise

Last night I was running errands and stopped in at Sephora in JCPenney to pick up a free eye cream sample from the coupon I received in the mail. This was at 8:40pm and they were closing at 9. I had planned on just sweeping in to get my sample and bolting out to do more errands at Target. (Obviously, I had no children with me. Wed night is my night out to dink around.)

Well, I didn’t leave until 9:20. Julie, the wonderful girl at Sephora, was so pleasant and helpful that she and I chatted about skin care and perfume for 40 minutes! She answered all my questions about the Korres line (it’s all natural) and recommended other products for my beauty issues (like the lip gloss from Juicy if you have flakey lips – gives you a slight mint plump too) and which fragrances really stay on and which smell like your great grandma. All the while, Julie made up tons of samples for me to take home and try.

This was an example of super-over-the-top customer service! So today I called her manager, Kathy, at the store as well as left a compliment on the corporate website. I wanted those in charge to know how great of an employee they have.

We can all find the time to register a complaint, but how often do you take the extra minute to return the go-beyond treatment someone gave you? Whether the sales/customer service rep works on commission or not (Sephora does not) doesn’t matter. All people want to be recognized for their good work and money isn’t recognition.

When I worked at the Brass Buckle (now just The Buckle) in high school, I had the lowest sales on my team. I rarely ever made enough in sales to bonus above the legal minimum wage of $3/hr. But, I also had the lowest returns in the company. My customers were always very satisfied because I was nice and honest. I was proud when the company reports would come in…though I was told to try to sell more.

Your challenge for this week is to pay it forward with compliments. Look people in the eye, stop, and sincerely speak to them. Call or send notes to managers and corporate offices. Pass along this challenge to all your friends. Let’s lift the spirits of those who service us! Be the pebble that starts the wave!!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Core Training Bragging

On Monday of this week I started a Core Training class at the Community Center. On Mondays we do Power Yoga, Wednesdays are stomach and back strength training, and Fridays are whole body strength training. The crazy part is that the class is at 5:45am and it’s only 2 above zero right now here. I am NOT a morning person so this class is a huge commitment for me. And I’m excited as heck for it! I look forward to bundling myself up and driving to class with my red eyes.

I love taking classes with an instructor. Someone who can tweak my form and push me harder than I would on my own. Would I get up and go to the gym at dawn by myself? NO. But knowing I can rely on someone else to motivate and push me is a wonderful feeling. I love working out with other people. I didn’t love seeing how out of shape I was. My husband was very nice and said that was the point of the class, to show a marked improvement.

It’s been a week since many of you looked at 2010 and made new plans. How are you doing? Do you have someone to push and motivate you? Are you bragging to anyone?

(Screeching wheels) What? Bragging? You read that right. Are you bragging to your peeps about how great each step you are taking is going? If not, why? You can’t expect people to think you’re great if you don’t tell them what you are doing that is great. Let them take on the task of supporting you, giving you kudos, being excited about your new talent, telling you the wagon is better than the hard ground, distracting you from that cigarette…. Let them help you reach your goals.

Here are my brags for today:
1. I’ve arrived early to both my classes this week and enjoyed getting my butt kicked because I can feel the pain in my muscles and know I’m stronger already.
2. I painted stripes in my bathroom which needed many touch ups (I’m not a painting pro) but look fabulous now.
3. I spent last night reading all evening. No cleaning or chores, not even dinner….just me in bed with the new Dan Brown book not worrying about the blizzard outside. A rare treat I wasn’t going to pass up!

What are your goals? What are you going to brag about today? Toot your own horn (not your kid’s)!!! You deserve it. It will take some practice because women are not used to bragging about ourselves. It’s training we never received growing up, to our detriment. But this is a new year, a fresh start, and you can do it if you really want to. I really want to strengthen my muscles so it’s not an issue getting up this time. It’s been an issue the first 37 years of my life but this time is different in my soul. Be honest with yourself. You are made of greatness in your own way and we all need to know how wonderful you are. BRAG TODAY!