Pageant Queen Principles for Productivity

You don’t have to be Miss America to use pageant queen principles to prioritize your life. These principles will help you organize your time, manage your business and get things done!

Pageant participants realize that only one girl will walk away with the crown. While it is a competition, the true competition is with themselves; being the best they can be. All the preparation they put into the competition helps them focus on their strengths and passions preparing them to seize all of the opportunities that cross their path whether they are awarded a sash and crown or not. They understand they are always wearing an invisible crown and operate accordingly.

So how do pageant queens manage to juggle school, jobs, oftentimes a small business, community service which can number in the hundreds of hours, family and relationship obligations, all while maintaining a health and wellness routine giving them the confidence to cross a stage in a swimsuit?

Balancing all of their responsibilities requires preparation. They prepare in 4 areas that are pretty consistent across various organizations and I have identified them as Being, Body, Brain, and Success. As a result, I set my planning routine around these major categories and coach others to do the same.

I like to start with Success.

Pageant Queens understand that a “crown” merely provides a platform for delivering their message. In order to have a successful pageant season they must identify their passion and purpose which will drive and motivate them to reach their goal. Then they envision reaching their goal by employing the strategy of visualization. They dream of seeing themselves standing on stage, hearing their name called out, walking in their evening gown with new sash, crown and flowers while waving to the audience and thanking the judges. They even practice their “I can’t believe I just won” face…why?

Studies show visualization improves motivation, coordination and concentration and has been understood since Aristotle described the process over 2,000 years ago, “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”

Once she has the vision, a Pageant Queen will assess her strength, weakness and resources. She will create a plan of action to reach the crown and set up a system for tracking her results based on her identified passion and purpose.

Since titles are passed on to a new Queen each year, her deadline is clearly defined and she can set up a timeline for reaching mini-milestones that will all take her to her ultimate goal. Sharing her vision with others…that journey may or may not result in a crown and she knows that. Her actions align with her purpose.

Mini-milestones are defined in three major areas of Being, Body and Brain. Her planning routine is broken down to reflect this all while moving her towards her intended goal … the coveted crown.

Being covers her spiritual house, so to speak. Her relationships with others and is also known as her network. It includes her platform, also known as her community service, and how she intends to make the world a better place. She will need to track sponsor relationships and fundraising in addition to her volunteer hours.

Body covers her physical house. Her health and wellness, nutrition and fitness routine and trackers for maintaining an appearance ready physique and giving her the confidence to stand tall, smile and shine the light of her crown on what matters most to her: her goal of helping others.

Brian covers her mental house. This is her scholastic focus and personal development and may include entrepreneurial goals.

As you can see, each of the identified areas allow a framework for creating a self-management system that is flexible enough for Pageant Queens to tailor but structured enough to provide a guide for reaching her potential. This empowers her to prioritize her life, organize her time and manage her business and it can do the same for you.

To watch the video of how I am currently using this planner, visit my YouTube channel.

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DOTK – Peaceful

Thank you for joining me for this “experiment”  !!!

DOTK_Peaceful_printable

Download the “Peaceful” printable by clicking on the image and saving to your computer.  Then, watch the first Virtual Bible Study video in this series as I created the art to illustrate this verse:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 

God. spoke this verse over me near the beginning of the season of my life that was marked by headaches, hospitalizations, and cognitive impairments and it helped me focus on Him and not the anxiety I was experiencing.  Yes, I still felt and exhibited the signs of anxiety, however, I knew He was with my and I was not alone.

How to make a Western-themed, Altered Book Junk Journal

STEP 1 in this series, after deciding on my inspiration pieces was to decide how to alter the book … trust me this was a hard one as it was not the typical book I take apart.  

I like to choose books that are falling apart or have had the pages damaged in some way, however, I could not pass up the title, theme, and condition for a gift that will be given away. 

In this video, I show how I remove some of the pages and glue them back together creating journalling pockets.  

I plan to use the removed pages to create embellishments and journalling spots for the book.  I am excited to try my hand at this style of junk journal as I have never made an altered book.  My preferred style is to remove the entire book block and create signatures.  I may use some of the other books, that I found while out “antique/thrifting” to try some other styles.  Stay tuned for the next installment in the “Western Junk Journal” series!

Digital/Virtual Bible Study – DOTK

This past year brought a lot of healing and a lot of new things.  One of those ‘new things’ was using the computer to create images that I used in my devotions.  The result is a journal that I can use for sermon notes, journaling, Bible study or a springboard of inspiration.

I have been praying about the next steps with this project and have finally felt lead as to the direction to go and recently shared it on my channel.

You can watch the video here …

 

Also, I decided to make the first printable available to download.  My goal is to have one printable as a FREE download with each Digital/Virtual Bible Study video and will have a link in the description box to the download.

Thank you for joining me in this new Bible Study devotional series.

Pageant Queen Principles of Health – Exercise

Are you swimwear ready? Whether you are a pageant contestant, current titleholder or not, your personal style begins with good health and fitness.   

The Pageant Queen Principles of Health and Fitness begin with exercise.  Physical activity is an important part of every morning routine. Studies show exercising first thing in the morning followed by a healthy breakfast is best for elevating the metabolism after a good night’s rest. A higher metabolism throughout the day not only continues to burn calories keeping You appearance ready but also helps you stay energized for all those appearances.

Additional reasons why it is a great idea to work out first thing in the morning include:

  • Leaves time for other priorities: Now that your workout is done and over with first thing in the morning, you have the rest of your day to complete other tasks.
  • Increased energy levels during the day: Exercise has been proven to increase energy levels and focus throughout the day. By working out first thing in the morning, you are getting a head start on your day.
  • You’ll be less likely to skip your workout: It can be easy to get distracted at various points of the day that might sabotage your workout (less motivation, fatigue, overdue school work). By working out first thing in the morning, when your mind has very few things to concentrate on just yet, you will be less likely to skip your workout later. (Source:NIFS)

*BONUS: For every 1 lb. of muscle you gain, your body will burn an extra 6 to 10 calories per day at rest. Gain 10 lbs. of muscle and you could be burning an extra 100 calories while at rest (Source: BuiltLean).

Self-Care Strategy: Volunteer

Miss America Serves Day is April 7th this year and titleholders, contestants and volunteers will be serving their communities through their personal platform in addition to raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH).

My personal platform is raising awareness of cognitive impairments and the importance of self-care to decrease the effects of stress on the brain. Volunteering is one form of self-care that I have identified as it helps me to focus on the needs of others and how I can help them.

Volunteering is good for your mind and body as it provides many benefits to both your mental and physical health.

Volunteering combats depression.

Reducing the risk of depression is an important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering helps you make positive connections, eliminating isolation, and can contribute to your overall happiness.

According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.

Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. High blood pressure is an important indicator of health because it contributes to heart disease, stroke, and premature death.

This week, during Miss America Serves week, consider ways to improve your health through volunteering. If you would like to help me make miracles with CMNH, you can donate here. All funds raised go to the local CMNH hospitals.  Whether it is $1 or $100, every dollar counts and can make the difference in the life of a child or the family of a child who is in the hospital.

Visit CMNH to learn more about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

How to make successful daily steps forward using good habits with your planner

Let’s break the title of this article down into manageable sections.

“How to…” – I do not claim to be an expert at productivity.  The opposite is true, actually. I am very well versed in the art of failure and as a result, have learned numerous ways of how to and how not to do things.  My aim is to show you how to move forward with your goals using a planner.

“…successful…” – After much trial and error, I have learned that the first step to success in setting and reaching goals is identifying the end result.  I set values-based SMART goals which allow me to able to focus in on the tasks I set for myself.  Who am I?  What do I believe?  What do I stand for? Hopefully, you have identified those values for yourself.  Assuming you have, you need to ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?”  Be specific. How will you know when you have achieved it? Set a standard by which you will measure your progress. Document your starting point. Once you have identified your starting point and your end goal, ask yourself, “Is this attainable?” Are you able to reach this goal in one effort or do you need to break it down into smaller goals? Is this a realistic goal to work towards? Or do you need to gain additional skills or resources before you can start working towards it?  What is the timeline for reaching this goal? When do you want to reach this objective? Remember, a goal without a deadline is a daydream.

“…daily…” – Repetition is key.  Once you have established your goals it is easy to determine if you should begin a certain project or not.  Will it help you reach your values-based goals? If yes, it is time to identify the daily tasks that will create momentum and do them.

“…steps forward…” –  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!

“…good habits…” – Whether you realize it or not, you are already engaged in habits.  And while they may not be BAD for you, they may or not be serving your purpose of helping you achieve your goals.  Each time to watch television or eat a meal or sit down at your computer, ask yourself, “Is this helping me reach my goal?”  If the answer is yes, repeat it daily. If the answer is no, stop doing the thing that is standing between you and your goals and replace it with one that will help you reach them.  

“…planner.” – Show me your calendar and I will tell you what your values are.  A planner is more than a calendar. A planner houses your calendar, for deadline specific events and tasks, and your project management system.  Project management can be as simple as a list of to-dos for your annual spring cleaning or as elaborate as a forecast and analysis of your instances of headaches to days of rainfall.  Planning systems and styles are unique to each individual, but I have identified the two major categories of planners based on learning styles: left and right brain. Most people are either a logical list-making, left-brain planner or an intuitive, creator-designer, right-brain planner. Some are a combination of the two and utilize what I call a “Bilateral Planning” approach.  I use this style of planning and it has revolutionized my life…this is not an understatement! Seems simple, but you would be surprised how many people struggle with using a planner to organize their hopes, dreams, and wishes into actionable projects. If you think you would benefit from bilateral planning, check out my YouTube to learn more.

For the sake of this article, let’s set a SMART, values-based goal.

“I will let ten pounds go by summer.”  

One of my values is to be healthy, strong and flexible. The goal is specific.  It is measurable, as I can stand on my scale and record my starting weight and in 3 months, at the end of my timeline I will stand on the scale again and record my progress.   Since summer is 3 months away, this is an attainable goal and realistic because I do have ten pounds I could give to the universe. (Notice I didn’t say lose, because I have no intention of finding these ten pounds after they’re gone.)  Now what? Pray that the scale moves in three months? No! I must set a plan of action in place and create tasks to help me in my endeavor. I will call this my Summer Body Project (“Body”).

Within the project section of my planner, I will have a section tabbed “Body” in that section I will list out all the actions that will need to take place in order to reach my goal.  

  • Diet – What kinds of food will I/won’t I eat?  How often will I eat? Will I intermittently fast?
  • Exercise – What kind of physical activity will I participate in? How many days a week?
  • Rest – When will I schedule my body time to recover?

Once I have determined all the components necessary to reach my stated goal, I will add at least one task to my calendar, daily.  At the end of each day, I will review how I did and what worked for me/what didn’t and either repeat the days action or make an improvement.  At the end of each week, I will gauge the outcome of my efforts and decide how I can improve for the following week. When I reach my deadline, I will evaluate my progress.  Did I reach my goal? Did I fall short? Did I surpass it? What will I do moving forward?

What planning and organizational style do you employ to manage goals in your planner?  Tag me (@theorganizedmiss) on social media with your goal planner and use the hashtag #bilateralplanning!  

Happy Planning!  

Need a way to track your health and wellness goals? Check out how I track my fitness goals!

Goals – How to set and reach them

Ask people closest to me and they will tell you that I am a highly creative person and have a ton of great ideas.  In fact, someone very close to me, my brother-in-law, made the following statement yesterday. “This is the first time I have ever known you to complete something you have started and you have been staying on task for the past year now.”  True statement. Starting one project after another is not a challenge for me…it never has been. What has been a challenge in the past was completing those projects and accomplishing those goals. So what is different now?

One word…organization!

I have found the organizational system that works for me.  Oh, I have tried so many ways (think Franklin Covey) to stay organized in the past but to no avail.  Why? Because I was trying to think the way someone else thinks and therefore I failed every time. I didn’t fully understand how my brain worked and as a result felt I like a failure.  My daughter pointed out that I have taught her how to fail and keep trying again. Each failure was a lesson in what doesn’t work for me.

The challenge then became about learning what would work for me.  We are all different but there are some similarities we can focus on when determining how to set and reach goals.  I am a highly creative individual who thinks outside the box and needs an organizational system that works with my thinking style. My brain vacillates between a left and right brain thinking styles so I am not predominantly a left brain, list making planner, nor am I predominantly a right brain, visual planner – rather I am a mix of the two and fluctuate on a daily basis and therefore need to have separate systems set up to help me stay on task when my brain changes gears.  ←- This was a HUGE “aha” for me!

Because I didn’t understand that I needed the two different styles, I would fail to reach objectives when using a left brain, list-making logic-based approach and my brain starting thinking in its creative right hemisphere.  Now, I have a planning system, Bilateral Planning, that allows me to alternate between the two formats as quickly as my brain shifts gears…that can be pretty fast…and I am able to stay on task and reach my goals.

Are you a predominantly left brain, list maker who needs to see everything, structured and in black and white, or in digital form?  Are you predominantly a right brain, creative who needs a lot of real estate on your paper to doodle, draw or color code? Or, are you like me and need a combination of the two?  Knowing this one aspect of yourself, how you think, will help you tremendously in your goal setting process.

Learn more about Bilateral Planning and receive a FREE printable to help you start designing your own organizational system!

My Go Bag

… and tools I use to STOP the madness!

Today I found myself walking around the house in circles. By that I mean, I was going from room to room, picking up one thing at a time, then thinking of something else only to change directions and start another task. WHY? First I need to back up.

My plans for the day included another person who had either changed their plans without informing me, had forgot, or was still asleep…during our scheduled time together. As a result, I was filling my time with small, one off tasks, that were not on my daily schedule…basically busy work. I didn’t feel at liberty to engage in an activity that would tie me up if the person I was waiting on finally returned my call…I started to feel anxious.

Has that ever happened to you? You want to be productive with your waiting time but in order to get in the flow, you need to have the time to complete the tasks. If you are like me, while waiting on someone else the thought of starting a project that could be interrupted causes anxiety as does the lack of feeling productive “in the waiting” … so what do you do when you are time dependent on another person who, for whatever reason, does not seem to be respectful of your time?

Unfortunately, my pattern is that I find myself going in circles from small task to small task, not actually feeling accomplished. While yes, those items needed to be taken out of the living room and moved back into the office, I was not planning on doing it at that moment but at a later time … when I could not accomplish the things I had planned. See a theme? PLANS! Making and keeping them.

Eventually I catch myself going in circles and I tell myself to STOP! Take a breath and pray. Once I am in a state of calm…or semi calm, I follow a routine (yes I just said routine) that I created to help me break the pattern of being stuck.

Feeling stuck is a common human condition, but staying that way is not. Being aware of and recognizing your condition is only half the battle, the other half is being prepared with a plan you can implement any time you find yourself stuck, going in circles.

I use a “Go Bag” and have a video telling you how and why it originated and you can watch it here

In my bag are the tools I have collected and developed over the years which help me. Your tools may vary slightly, and if you need to borrow a tool from my bag, feel free. I only gained mine because I had to learn the hard way or, in some cases, someone special introduced me to them along they way.

Before you find yourself going in circles, designate your own “Go Bag” … if you are already feeling anxious or overwhelmed, STOP what you are doing and take a deep breath and say a silent prayer. Then check out my tool box for dealing with anxiety and overwhelm.
Fill it with the items that can help you … see What’s in my Tool Box for suggestions
Create a “get unstuck” routine – Have a go to place that you can go. Take your bag and go somewhere different. Changing your physical environment takes you out of the situation that is either causing or contributing to the feeling of anxiety/overwhelm/stuck and can have a major impact on your perception of events and can help you think differently about a current situation. Some places to consider are your local library, a restaurant or coffee shop, a bookstore or a park.
Pay attention to your body and your thoughts. When you notice you are going in circles, feel stuck, anxious, tense or aggressive, or find yourself having negative thoughts, implement your routine.

I would love to know the tools you put in your “Go Bag” … tag me on social media with #GoBagTools

What’s in my Toolbox

What comes to mind when you read the words, tools and toolbox?  Perhaps images of hammers, wrenches, stud finders and other construction related equipment?  What I am referring to when I mention tools are skills to aid you in times of stress or other emotional difficulty.

None of us are issued a toolbox full of tools when we enter this life but have the opportunity to gain and learn how to use them as we grow.  We gain our initial toolset from our family.  They could have a highly developed set of tools and therefore pass those on to you…kind of like a super computer.  They may have antiquated tools that no longer serve you well…kind of like an abacus.  It was highly sophisticated instrument when it was first developed but if you need to solve a difficult problem, using the abacus will keep you in the dark ages.

Some tools are literal, like planner/organizer, pens, paper, laptop, iPad, and cell phone.  Other tools are more abstract like prayer and meditation, choosing to love unconditionally, nonjudgmental listening, seeking to understand so you can then be understood, being intentional, looking for the positive perspective, making the next right decision…the list goes on and on.

The tangible tools I keep in my “Go Bag” to help me get unstuck can vary but the consistent items are my bible, a pencil bag filled with various pens, pencils, highlighters, page flags, washi tape, and scissors, at least one planner (usually my goal planner to help me focus on what’s important), an iPad or laptop, a protein bar, an essential oil or fragrance that is relaxing to me, CBD oil & lotion, TENS unit, list of self-care strategies, and Altoids…you’d be surprised at how centering it can be to take a moment and enjoy a peppermint!

The intangible items are always with me.  It takes intention to focus on and use them but the more I do, the more readily available they are to me.   Using them, refining them, and replacing when I find a new one that serves me better, helps me to reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm and allows me to focus on implementing the techniques to help me get unstuck.

This list is no by means exhaustive, as the items do change from time to time, but this is a very representative list of what I like to keep on hand when I need to change my scenery and get a fresh persepective.  I hope they have given you insight into some “tools” you can gather for your Go Bag.