Charting YOUR Course with Nicole Ratner

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In life, we often wait for something for us to be happy. We wait for the money to pour, we wait for a partner, we wait for the right job, thinking that if these
came we would eventually be happy. But what we often forget is we always have a choice, and we can choose to be happy, right away, at this moment, we can. So ask yourself what makes me happy? Then muster up the courage, build up the strength, and then just do it! Believe that good things will follow after this decision, and it will come to you.

Nicole Ratner is an award-winning Certified Meeting Professional and author of the Cruising with the Family website that’s led to her first published book, Choose to Cruise. But before all these blessings came in her life, she was like other people stuck in a job, unhappy and in an unhealthy environment. But all that changed when she decided to pursue her happiness and passion in life.

  

 
 
 

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Here are so follow up questions I got to ask!

How/why did you start your business? 
I come from a 'corporate' background in the Association world. I took a step back because I didn't like the toxic environment and I just had my 2nd little girl so the universe told me it's time. And it was an awful departure that being said. I focused on what else I knew I had in my life like my family. Fast forward to about 2 years ago now I wanted to start a blog because friends and family and people I didn't know would ask me how we travel so much and get great deals on cruising. So, this little idea for a blog turned into: I want to write a book. I want to get back to doing some of what I loved in HS and college. So, I focused more on the book which officially published in December of 2019. I had planned on a full launch and publicity around the February time frame. Again, going back to the I am where I am meant to be at this moment my future sister in law became ill and we found out it was brain cancer. So my husband and I and the girls took in our 5-month-old nephew at the time and were tending to him, helping her and my brother when COVID happened. So in May, their beautiful family was reunited full time, I had my family back and so I am slowly building up the business again. I've kept with it as I could but gave myself grace for not going as quickly as I had originally planned.
What makes your business unique? 
I offer unbiased opinions and facts about the cruise industry. I am a resource and most of the time you'll find someone who is giving tips and hints and niche in the travel industry happens to also be an agent. I didn't want to do that. I love to travel, my mom was a travel agent for many years! I also hold the CMP credential which stands for Certified Meeting Professional. With this credential and in my past 'corporate' life I would do many site selections for hotels, venues, and locations to host meetings, board retreats and you name it. I have a higher standard than most when it comes to vetting properties and I've been fortunate to travel the world. I also did several group cruises as well. And I'm also a mom making sure that I can combat myths around cruising.
What impact do you want to have in the world or change you want to see or make happen? 
There are so many things in our world these days that aren't right. Injustices on so many levels. For me thinking more about my love of travel and the ocean, I want to make sure that my kids and future generations have a beautiful ocean to travel on and beneath. This includes helping clean the shores and the sea. This means being smart with what I pack and the lines I sail to make sure they are caring for the environment.
Are You Happy with your business, What makes you happy, And What Would You Change? 
I love my business and it gives me joy when I'm in it. I think we can all agree that sometimes we feel guilt when we can't be doing what makes us happy. I love talking about cruising and the future of the industry. For me, if I could change anything I'd have more dedicated time every day--guilt-free! After all, I am a mom!
Did You Experience Failures? If So, What Did You Learn From Them 
Our other company that we have has seen a lot of changes and I wouldn't call it a failure more of a recognition that I wasn't in the place that I wanted to be in. So, while that might feel like I failed....in all honesty, it's a success and we usually find success in our failures. While I feel like I've failed on my launch this year...I haven't had one so there isn't anything to fail at! I think it's really all in our minds.
How Did You Handle Adversity And Doubt? 
I've never really had doubt over what direction I want to go. If there is something I want to accomplish, I'm going to try. I did last year's doubt when the book would be completed because I had come down with shingles and wasn't able to do much work on my computer for a couple of months.
Do You Plan On Growing Your Business? How? 
Yes....barring any other crazy pandemics--I had hoped it would happen this year though going back to my utmost belief that I am in the place I need to be right at this moment....my moment isn't just yet! So, I can take this time to truly prep and plan so that I can grow and keep up with the ever-changing times.
Do you think self-love and trust are important in running a successful business? Why? 
Absolutely. You have to trust your own instincts to know if what you're doing is right. To love ourselves is to care about what we put our energy into and focus on.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting their own business? 
Nike says it best...Just do it! No sense in wondering what could be. Align yourself with a great support group to help and put it out into the universe.
 
 
If you would rather read the interview, feel free to check out the full transcription below!
 
Trusting your intuition will lead you to create a passionate and joy-filled life. Are you ready to get turned on to a new way of thinking? Are you ready to meet people who have conversations that speak to the things that truly light you up? What if you had access to a podcast that featured women, just like you, who shared stories that empowered you to let go of a lifetime,
to others' expectations and to start living in the now with passion and joy, I'm Jacqueline Rodriguez, founder of your intuitive light coaching owner of enlightened styles, holistic salon, and your host of the intuitive light podcast for the enlightened entrepreneur. My goal is to help women recognize how tightly they are tied to negative thoughts and other people's expectations so that they can fully embrace and become the untethered CEO.
They've always wanted it to be. You're about to meet some amazing women who will inspire you to untether yourself from any fears, the negativity that you carry, and become the untethered CEO of your life. This podcast is for you woman champion, warrior, entrepreneur, mother, phenomenal. Hello everyone. And welcome back to your intuitive light podcast and show. I am your host Jack Rodriguez.
And thank you so much for being here again this week. I am very happy to have Nicole Ratner, a good friend of mine today, and she is an award-winning certified meeting professional and author of the cruising with the family website. And that has led her to publish her first book or her published her book choose to cruise. And I am so happy to have her here.
And thank you so much for being here again this week. I am very happy to have Nicole Ratner, a good friend of mine today, and she is an award-winning certified meeting professional and author of the cruising with the family website. And that has led her to publish her first book or her published her book choose to cruise. And I am so happy to have her here.
We have known each other for quite a while and without further ado, let's bring on Nicole. Thanks for having me welcome. Thank you so much for being on. I'm excited to hear all about your story and you know, we've known each other for quite a while, and I absolutely like you've got a great story and you are such a powerhouse in all the things that you do.
So that's so funny. I feel like when you hear that word, it's like a powerhouse, maybe I'm doing too much. I shouldn't be no. You know, sometimes we, we have our hands in a lot of things and uh, you know, I really can't say anything cause I'm, that's like my specialty is having my hands in a lot. I know.
And mine too. I think so. You know, um, well, I guess I can just tell you a little bit of background and we'll start there for your listeners And viewers because we do know each other. Uh, so, um, I came from a corporate background and so my background is in association management experience as a former national executive director and certified meeting professional.
So, uh, you know, I ran everything from foundations and boards to membership, to marketing, to finance, to HR, to the meetings. Uh, it was, it was a lot, uh, I loved it and it was great, but it started to become toxic. Right? And, and sometimes you don't realize when you're in it so long,
you know, it almost takes something else happening to realize like this isn't where I need to be. And I think it was after my second daughter was born that I just realized time's going so fast. I'm not happy. This isn't a good and healthy environment. I think I've done all I can do where I'm at now. And so I tendered my resignation.
It was very difficult. Um, it was just a hard time in general, you know, especially for our family too, right? So we went from, you know, two and a half, you know, incomes really, because I also had a side job down to one and a half, but then literally about a month after that, I lost that other half income cause that company had closed.
So it's like the weight of the world, right? You try to make these great decisions and then it's all these other things happen. And so basically long and short of it is after some really good discussions with my husband, we decided, you know what, we're going to sell our home in Alexandria. We're going to move further out. We're going to buy a smaller house.
We're going to have more quality time together. We're going to be closer to family, uh, and he'll deal with the commute in. And so that's what we did. So I think that Almost four, Four or five years now, roughly around that. And, uh, and it was great and everything was going well, except my husband was not happy commuting into DC.
So I've had some tough commute. That's, you know, that's four hours total. When you think about it, two hours in two hours out and he drove because just got a parking spot that was covered and paid for. Right. So it's like, why would we spend the money to do public transportation when it's free? Right. So, um,
one day he came home and said, you don't think I can do this anymore. I am going to quit my job. And I said, okay, I love it. I don't know if I could have been like Pretty sure, even though I might've said, okay, I'm, I'm pretty sure there was a lot of other stuff going on in that brain that it was like,
Oh my God, this is not going to be okay. But you know, we weren't those people that planned to not have jobs to plan, to go into work for ourselves that had all of our debt paid off, that ha you know, all these people, you know, that they make a list and they're like, I gotta do all these things before I can do this.
Right. We were people that were like, we're just going to do this. And we'll just see what happens. And that's what we did. We took a huge leap of faith. We started our own company and we did really well. And we still do well. We've just tailored it because through that time, I've realized again, that I wasn't in a place where I was happy.
So that's where I started utilizing my skills as a certified meeting, professional and writing has always been a passion of mine and travel as well. And so I dovetailed that into starting a blog about two years ago, about specific to cruising and with the family, because I was asked so many questions, like, how do you cruise? Like two to three times a year with your family?
I can't believe you go on a cruise with you. I can't believe you took your one-year-old daughter on a cruise, right? Or like, aren't you scared? I mean, like, I can't go, I'm going to get sick. And it, like, it was, it was a little annoying cause it's like, well, that's not true.
And so I realized it was, I needed to be the voice, right. That could at least guide people and tell them what their experiences were like. And I wanted to be that resource. So that's what I am. I look at myself as a resource. I'm not an agent. I'm not trying to market any particular company. I'm not trying to sell you on anything particular,
but I'm going to tell you exactly how it is. If you want to know really when it comes to taking a cruise vacation with your family. And that's the thing people need to know is how do we do these? And they need guidance because there are so many options out there. There are so many different things that we can look at. And we can definitely go down the whole Google rabbit hole so quickly.
But I know for me like if I'm getting ready to do something, I want to know somebody who's been there. Who's done that with kids and with business and with whatever, like all the moving pieces to it. And how do you put them together? And someone you can trust, which is the most important thing, you know, we tend to buy based on referral.
Right. We all know that it's the word of mouth referral. And usually, only we're usually really vocal on negatives. Right. And, and so that's what you tend to hear the most or in my industry, when I talk about the cruising industry, I mean the mainstream media does not do a very good job of really putting out there everything that somebody should hear.
Right. Because they just don't. And so that's where I can kind of come in and be like, okay, that might be what you saw, but let me break it down a little bit further for you, you know? So, you know, there, there's just so much out there and that rabbit hole of Google is yes, it's crazy.
And I've gotten lost in it many times. I think we all do. And then we get to a point where, I mean, I know for me having someone help me and figure things out, it's priceless, especially being that serial entrepreneur that I am, I've got my hands in, all kinds of goodies and things going on. I don't want to spend countless hours.
Like I might want to know some things on my own and you know, we're all going to Google things, but then if I can trust somebody else to help me with the pieces and put it together in such a form where I don't have to stress, then that's priceless, especially because we're always so busy and everything. So I think that that's a big part of it.
Yeah. And I think that that's perfect for our conversation today. You know, when we talk about charting, your course, you know, there's so much there to it and you know, things change. And I mean, look at where we are today. Like every day is a different day, right? One day life is what we consider to be normal.
And then the next it's not normal. And now we're going to have to figure out a new normal, right? Like there's just, and we have to be able to go along with the flow. And I think most importantly, everything that I've learned over the years from going from the full-time executive, um, you know, a powerhouse in my industry, you know,
award-winning in my industry is that you know, I have to be like, I have to be happy and are my seasons changed. Right? Like, and if we don't honor those seasons changing, sometimes we're either stuck in a job that we really aren't happy with just because when the best thing is pro could be to let go and find something else that comes in and,
and fulfills you and does bring you that joy. And for me, you know, it was realizing that I wanted to be, that's just going to sound terrible. I wanted to be with my kids. Like I think I thought for the longest time like I did not want to be a stay at home mom. Like that was the truth. When I had my first child,
I, you know, I had no intention of quitting my job or my career or anything. And, you know, I made it all work and I balanced it, but it was the second. And then I was like, wow, this is going by fast. And these kids are super fun and I don't want to miss out on this now,
now, you know, I want to be here. And then, and then you think about it too, like, Oh, well I can go back to the workforce like one day, like no problem. Yes. And, Oh my gosh, I don't want to miss them when they're teenagers, like I whole other season. Right. Most definitely.
But the thing that you did so well is your honor, that you were able to take a look at a situation that, I mean, face that we have things, like you said, seasons, that it's okay to want to change. Even if you are at the top of your, um, the, the business that you're in. And if you're award-winning and you're doing all of the things that everybody looks at you and says,
I want that, it's okay for you to say, I wanted that. I did well with that. And now I want something different. And I think so many people get hung up on that loop of, well, I worked so hard to get here and now I'm just gonna like, quit, give it all up and you're, don't give it up.
And your no, to realize that yeah. That, you know, if you kind of, Do you give that up though, you know, there's a lot that goes along with it, and it's really important when you say to honor it and mourn it. And that's what I realized because I did lose friends. You know, I lost colleagues.
I, you know, the people that I used to spend the most time around was now no longer fit into the life that I have, You know? So it, it, it really is so important to, to really Kind of think about what makes you out. Like, I totally believe in happiness. Like, I mean, I'm not one for money.
I mean, I, I would love a scratch-off lotto ticket that netted like a million bucks. Like, I will, I will lie, but like what mattered most to me was my family's happiness and that we worked together. And As long as we were healthy and happy and together, and my husband and I were strong. Yeah. Knit, like nothing, would be impossible.
Nothing. Yeah. And you were able to see that and make that change and do it together and really step into this beautiful alignment within yourself that I teach a lot of my students that that's where we need to find that happiness and that joy, whether it is doing what we're already doing and how do we get more of that, or if we're stuck in something that really just brings us down,
how do we make that transition? Because it doesn't always have to be like, Oh, I wake up one morning and just decide. And then, you know, we switch everything. Cause that's kinda what people think. I think sometimes like, they're really, they think it can be a scary thing, but if you, if you plan it out the way you need and you set things into motion,
then it can be so good for you. And so much can be on that other side that you wouldn't have expected before. Yeah. So Yeah, sugarcoat it. I mean, we have struggled and, you know, we've had our ups and we've had our downs, but we still did it our way. And even with the negatives, we captured,
you know, four years together, you know, before, uh, he just recently went back to full-time work actually. And it was something we had talked about because again, the season's changed. We now had both daughters in school. So there was time for now where if he wanted To go back to work, he could. And I mean,
we're very thankful. He started in February before chaos hit. It was sad when he left to go to a job. And then literally within a month he's been home again working. So it's kind of nice for all of us, cause we are all back together again. So he's got the full time, but he's just working from home now. Yup.
Yup. Yeah. Well, and the timing, I always believe in all of that too. I really believe that the things that are supposed to happen for us happen in such a timely manner, him getting that right before all of that hit and then being able to be home and do his full-time job from home, what a blessing he's, he's very fortunate and he's kind of on the front lines a little bit cause they deal with grocery stores.
And so it's really, uh, it's been eye-opening for us, you know, to see that industry and what they've gone through a kind of on the backside of things, you know, and to see how important, you know, you, you start realizing the important things I think. Right. But the things that really matter. And I, I feel like maybe this time has become a time where hopefully people are realizing more of the things that are important versus,
you know, those needs and those wants, and um, you know, don't get me wrong, I need a vacation and I need to cruise again. I also want to do it when it's the right time and when it's safe and when, you know, the world is in a better place. So yeah. Yeah. And I think that this time,
um, it's been one of the things that I've stressed upon. Like I know that there have been terrible outcomes from all of this and a lot of people are suffering, but I, as I said before, I believe in the timeliness of everything. And I do believe that our country as a whole really needs it to take a step back and realize what was important because so many people just do that daily grind and they're miserable,
absolutely miserable. And it doesn't have to be like that. And it's so important for me to teach people and to help people see that bigger picture and to realize that we can dream bigger and be happy, absolutely doable. And it doesn't take more than like five minutes of somebody's day, like either, you know? And I think that's the beauty of it because I don't think I would have felt this way.
It took me a long time, you know, though all the decisions I've made since, you know, that was probably like 2000, I don't even know. Oh my gosh, that's ridiculous. Uh, probably what like 2013, 14 timeframes, all those decisions I've made since then. I wasn't happy about them at first necessarily. Do you know? And I mean,
I went through all the emotions, you know, anger, You know, and I was sad, you know, sometimes I was happy, you know, uh, but I think, you know, my self now looking at it is different. Right. And I love that you put that up for everybody to see because I have always believed that my path is not a straight line.
I think I thought that you know, when I was in college, perhaps like, okay, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to do this, this, this, this, and this, you know, down to even getting married and having kids. But then you realize, okay, well getting married means a shift here. Right.
And then having kids as a shift here, and that's not a straight line. So it's really important to just go with the flow and do absolutely whatever makes you happiest. I see my life ping pong. Okay. And you go up and you down and you hit huge milestones and then you have something else happen. Exactly. Like, and it really is like that.
It doesn't mean that that's bad. I mean, I think that we all have these amazing things. And the other thing that just popped into my head of that analogy is like, it comes down, but we always have the chance to go right back up and hit those amazing, huge goals and milestones, but we don't know exactly which direction that's going to go.
And we just have to be okay and accept that and honor that things don't have to go the exact way. We plan it out in our heads. And you know, it's really important to figure out what you enjoy and why you like it. I mean, not just what you enjoy, but why, why does it make you happy? Do you know?
And it can be selfish reasons. You know, I had a business coach once told me that before, you know, if you want to be an actress on stage, you know, and it's because you like, people clapping for you. Like that's good. Like that's yes. Write that down and, and, and own it. And so I think that's important.
I think also, um, focusing on like the affirmation talks and things like that are so important. Um, I think, um, the one that I say, um, which is here every day, uh, and it didn't start until late last year that I started saying it, but that I am in exactly the place that I meant to be right now.
And that was a really hard one for me to actually believe, because it was like, why, but why, like last year I got very sick and I had, um, I know, you know, the story, but I had shingles in my eye and, and it has, it has done its damage. It has run its course, but it's,
it's still in me and it's a virus it's still in me and it could come back at any time and I could have other effects. And I kept wondering like, why, why, why like, why, why should I be here right now? And this is like, really what, what purpose does the survey? But then I realized, you know,
that particular virus is one that has, you know, ties to autoimmune issues. Okay. I need to get to the doctor and I need a full workup. Right. And stress and fatigue. Okay. I'm being told like you got arrest and you got to take care of you because something here is not working. And so ever since that day,
I've, I've had to really try to retrain like the negative aspect of it into Nope. This is where I really need to be right now. Do you know? And, and our family in general suffered some serious issues at the beginning of the year. My, you know, my sister in law has brain cancer. And so when I thought in my season that I was going to go full force on a book launch and I was getting ready to do so many things,
media-wise around the book, I had to pull back the reigns on that because I was then taking care of my five-month-old nephew at the time so that my sister could be the kick-butt that she is, and just go and tackle this so she could be home and reunited, you know? So I, I put, I put all that on hold and it was again,
I had to like, we go back to honor like I had to be okay with it's. Okay. You know what? I wrote a book, I'll launch it at another time. It's really not. It's in the grand scheme of things. It's okay. There'll be another time for it. There will. And there's something so beautiful in honoring that,
even though it is, I mean, cause we all, we all go through things where we wonder like, why, why does this have to happen? And how am I supposed to be okay? And accepting of this? Um, I know that the things that I've gone through, which we'd be here all day if we go through that. But if,
when I go through things and, and the most recent example, being able to honor who I am and where I'm supposed to be and accepting that, even though I can't see the outcome or why this would be happening, I know that there's a reason, no matter what the shutdown, I mean, I own a brick and mortar. We could've easily
like I could've easily gone into panic mode and stressed out and all of that. Instead, I honored the fact that this was something that needed to happen. And I changed the way I thought. And I looked at the situation because it's all about perception. How do I want to perceive this happening? I can perceive it to be negative and it can drown me,
or I can perceive it to be what I need right now. And try to look for those silver linings. I love that. You said that because I couldn't agree more. It's definitely a negative situation. There's no doubt about that, what we're dealing with. But if you feed into that and you don't try to make something positive out of it, you know,
it can, it really can eat at you and me, and I feel the same way about my kids in school. Like, no, I don't really want them home every day. I, I, I am not, I'm not a teacher. I'm not, I grew up with a mother who is, and God bless her for it, but I am not.
And I, but you know what though, like, I, I choose to believe that I think this is making them stronger. Like I think they're becoming a little bit more independent. I think, I think there are skills that they're going to learn during this time that they may not have if we were, if we weren't going through it, if that makes sense,
you know, a hundred percent, it makes sense. Cause that's exactly what I've been doing with my kids. Yeah. Yeah. So I, you know, and I think, you know, yes, I'm not, I'm not gonna lie. I'm not happy that they're going to be home all the time, but you know what, we'll figure it out.
It doesn't, you know, it's really not going to be the, in the grand scheme of things. When you look at this timeline and we look back on it, right. We're going to be like this one year, like, ah, what a crazy year. Right. So, and we'll move on and with all of the craziness of this and what you've gone through and what everybody has gone through,
I'm sure every one of our viewers can have some scenario in their life where they can look at it and say, they're either going through it right now, or they've been through it. And it is a negative situation. But when we perceive things to just be what it is, and we don't put that negative loop in our head of that situation, it's amazing what,
um, gems we can actually find out of it. And we would never have done that if we kept focusing all of that attention on the negative, because, you know, I don't, I'm not a teacher by any stretch of the imagination, my four kids, but they've been home and I can teach them other things. I've been able to teach them entrepreneurship.
And so many other things that they would never have been able to have the time. And we were all crazy. I mean, go, go, go. This has given us the gift of time being closer together, learning new things, and shifting what makes us happy. Yeah. Yeah. I couldn't agree more. And I think it's also very important for everybody to understand too,
you know, whatever you going through, it's what you're going through. Don't you can't compare it to others. You know, your, you know, it could, you might feel like it's not worth being negative about because it's not as bad as somebody else's situation, but you can't compare it because it's your situation. And it's what you're dealing with at the time.
And I think that that's really important to make sure that you realize that, which is kind of a great segue into our next little tidbit that I can't wait to talk about with everybody. Because I think that so many times as busy moms, at least, you know, right. We do meal planning and we do list for the week and we know what chores need to be done and who needs to be where and when and all that fun stuff.
I think it's really important to chart your own course and to set yourself up for success on a weekly basis because it's also a way that you can celebrate the positives, but even more important is really acknowledging the negatives and kind of clearing them out. And I, I mean, Jacqueline, let's see, I mean, I will own this, right.
I'm the woman who used to maybe get into an argument with her husband. And I would remember that like he forgot to do something and then like a year later I remembered it and I'm like, Hey, remember that time that you did this, this and this. And he'd be like, never been in that situation ever go. Right. Because that was like just bad energy that I would hang on to.
And so I think that, um, being able to release that kind of on a weekly basis is really important. So we're going to share with your listeners and viewers today, just what I do on a weekly basis, uh, with my husband and I, I encourage anyone out there, uh, either do it on your own or find an accountability partner even better yet,
if you can do it with your significant other, uh, I believe wholeheartedly that it will, uh, bring, bring you closer to one another. Um, and I think it, I think for me anyway, I've been doing this consistently for almost two years now, next month I have missed three days only in those two years. And I can tell you what a negative effect it had when I wasn't doing this.
And that's like the crazy part when you can realize that, wow, this week really the big one and Oh, I didn't do what I normally do while there it is. Do you know? So, uh, there've been a couple of days where we might just shift the date by a day if something else has come up. But, um, yeah,
because you do it weekly, right? Yeah. So, so what we do is every week my husband, I get together, it's on our calendar and we meet on Sundays. And I think it's like at 10 30 in the morning, the whole process should take about 30 to 45 minutes. It used to take us a lot longer. And then we've just,
we've been able to go through it much quicker now, obviously, but I recommend everybody just start with like a notebook. I have, I keep just like a really small notebook here. And this is, I'm going to show you, this is mine from this past year. I don't see if I can get it in the camera view here. I do one page per week and it's full and I have two of them filled so far.
So, so yeah. So, okay. So to start basically all of this little heads, sorry. So all of this is timed. It's time to exercise. Okay. Cause I'm sure you, and I both know, like right, we could sit here and talk for hours. Like it just when you start talking, but it's really important to honor and be respectful of each other's times.
Um, you know, because we do all have a lot going on and we all are, a lot of us are home, right. Quite a bit now. So, um, so we'll sit down with a piece of a paper notebook, whatever works for whoever. And we set a timer and it's five minutes, a five-minute timer for everybody and you start with a brain dump.
So I'm sure you're familiar with this. Oh yes, I do that. We start with a brain dump. We literally set the timer for five minutes and you get everything out of your brain, um, that is on your, to-do list. So for me, I do two columns. I do a work column and I do a personal, so things on my personal are like cleaning the bathrooms right.
Or doing my meal plan or making sure I exercise, uh, reading a book, those kinds of things on my work brain dump. It'll be, you know, if I have to tape a podcast episode today, or if I have a media engagement to do, or if I have to, you know, do things to my website or my SEO or anything,
right. You take five minutes to just get everything out that you could possibly think of that you want to get done. And that's it. And when that timer goes off, you're done. Okay. So I have to stress that cause I know it's easy to like go back, keep adding to that list. Talk about it, but it's really important to not keep adding.
Um, I would tell people that if during the week something else happens to come up, by the way, keep a sticky note. That's separate from whatever journal you might use for this honor, the work that you've done, right. If we're talking about honoring honor, the work you've done, don't keep you, can't keep coming back to this and adding to this.
This is a one and done on a weekly basis. Right. And you scrap it the next week and you start over. So I don't quite scrap it. I will go through and I will cross off what I've done. Okay. And then I will carry over everything that I didn't do, but it's already there. And then I will add to that.
Right. So it's just a continuous process. And I think what you'll find out of doing kind of the brain dumping is that if there are things that you have on your list consistently, and I don't care if it's work or personal and you're not doing it after, let's say four weeks, you need to either pay somebody to do that or give it to somebody else in your house to do
because you don't care to do it and you don't want to do it. And it's okay. I'm all about being okay with not doing I'm agreeing. And I, I mean, my husband has on his list, like mowing the lawn usually. And I looked at him one weekend and I was like, why can't I do that? Like, why can't I get out there while the kids are out there working and just one and then that now do you time that you can be with our family or you can be doing something that you love to do.
He's also a musician, you know, again, so it's, you know, we might think certain people have certain jobs or responsibilities. Right. But you might realize here or there that you're like, Oh, you know what? I don't want to do that. Will you do that? I'm going to do this. So it's kind of fun. Sometimes we do have to share the responsibilities.
And when we, when you were talking about this, I mean, because you're girls are young still, but I wasn't even. Yeah. And I was even thinking like, my kids are teenagers, they have responsibilities. I even have a whole list for, in a sauna for them to do so that they can go through and check. I think this would be a great family thing for families and include them in there.
So many of our viewers that have kids who are a little older and can do their own thing and quite frankly have their own lives like they have things that they have to get done, especially when we're talking about school and then adding those things on. I think that this would be a really great way to do something as a family. Absolutely. It's productive.
Well, and then the second part of this, um, so we talked about the brain dump, another five minutes spend on 10 good things. So this is because I do this on a weekly basis. This is looking back at the past week. Right? So this Sunday, when I sit down with my husband, we'll look at this past week of what happened.
So 10 good things. Well, I got a chance to sit down with you, right? Like, that'll be one of them. Right. So I use my brain for this. My husband uses his phone calendar to remember what was done. So I, I just like to see if I can remember things, honestly, I forgot my daughter's birthday one week.
Like we had celebrated her birthday and I just totally forgot. So it kind of became a funny joke, like, Oh, that wasn't a good thing. I'd have to use my phone to do good things. And I'm not, I mean, Jacqueline you'll appreciate that. I mean, this past week, you know, my first thing was that we all got haircuts because the whole family came to see you.
And that was the first number one on both my husband's and my list. Right. So again, it doesn't have to be, I ran a marathon, right? No, it doesn't have to be, I got an award or I was published or I did that. Right. It's I got out of bed and took a shower five days out of this week.
Right? Like yay. Celebrating the smaller wins, which gives us such momentum. It gives us the momentum to really realize all the other things. And I think that like the good things or a grateful list, it's the same kind of concept. Like what have we been doing that we're so grateful for? And especially at this time, right now, it's so important to go back and look.
And like you said, it's the tiny little things. Like, you know, you get to cuddle with your little puppy or you get to cuddle with the kids and have just a nice peaceful evening. That's a win multiple times. We just binge-watched all the Marvel movies, which is awesome. It's silly, but it feels good. And we accomplished something.
So that's, so again, you've set a timer for five minutes and you do your 10 good things. And I just want to bring up one more thing about the 10 good things and really celebrating the small wins each and every time you do that, cause I'm all into energy, you know, and our vibration and our energy, if we are low, then that's kind of that whole thing of like really looking at our perception,
you know, and the perception of the things around us and those small wins help bring the meter up to the joyful vibration, the happy vibration. And that's where we want to stay. It's not possible to do all the time, but those tiny little things, those 10 good things can help you get your momentum back up and stay in that. And when you have it down in a nice notebook like that,
when you are low, flip back through the 10 things that you're grateful for, that you're happy about to keep your vibration and your energy high, because it's so important. And it can actually shift your perception of that day, even the bad stuff going on, you can shift it. So yeah. Throw that in there. Sometimes it's hard to come up with 10 things.
Sometimes I remember, I don't even know maybe like a week, week, 10 or 11 of COVID. That was a hard week. And I remember both Dan and I said, wow, I still need like three more things. And they were all that felt like really boring things too, that I was happy about. Do you know? So, um, you know,
it can be a challenge, but then the more you do it too, right. You're realizing at the joys could be as simple as sitting outside, watching your kids ride their bikes. And that was a good thing. Cause you just got to sit there and just watch that or hearing giggle, right? Like I'll never forget the first time I heard the kids outside riding their bikes with some of their neighborhood friends after like two months of not.
And the sound was so joyful to me. Right. So yeah. Really important. Well then the next step then eats is as equally important, if not even more so, and that would be releasing your anger. So again, a timer, a timer for five minutes, right? No section should be any longer than five minutes. Some of them you might finish sooner,
but a five-minute timer for releasing your anger and you need to write down everything that made you angry during the week. I don't care if you're angry because somebody cut you off in a parking lot and took your parking spot. Or if your kids talk back to you or throw temper tantrums or slam their doors, shut one too many times or forgot to put their stuff away,
that's laying all over the house. Or if the cats or the dogs mess with something, or if he got into a fight with your husband, or if your friends made you mad, like again, and this is, this is not like I don't publicly put it out there. This again, this is between you and whoever you're doing this process with.
And if for some reason between you and your significant other, there needs to be a little bit of discussion about it that will happen at a later time. And I'll tell everybody, but you literally just want to write out all the things that make you angry. I will tell you some days I've had lists that are like 10 deep and then I've had others where I think last week,
honestly, um, I had four things that made me mad. You know, one was that I was having some bad sleep lately, right? Like it just made me angry. I was, I was having bad sleep. And then I was angry last week because you know what, I miss my friends and I'm a hugger and you know, that it's hard.
And so now I feel it right. So I, that made me angry that week, you know? Um, I think I was, I was totally angry at my kids. I was angry that they apologized so much is what I wrote because I don't like the words. I'm sorry when you can't fix the problem. So like, I'm sorry,
just blows right past me. And it doesn't, it doesn't really mean much. So, so I had to put that in there. So five minutes and you've got to release whatever makes you angry. That is, I think just as important as realizing the things you're grateful for. And I do want to throw in there too. Uh, I do a lot of releasing anger and the grateful and are like my grateful lists and manifesting with the moon phases as well.
So that's another thing. Like I keep in mind the moon phases and what's going on. Like right now we're at a full moon and a full moon is a perfect time in the world to release Anger. And there are meditations and there are little things that we can do to help release that anger. So especially during the, I think it's four days where we'll have our three or four days that we have that time and the energy of the moon to be able to release.
And then we've got the new moon, which is where we manifest things and we are able to bring new things into our world. Um, that's awesome because I think, well, I think when I went on, um, I have my little tribe and we went away in January and I think I saw something you posted maybe about the moon's changing. And we did,
like, we wrote down on paper, all the things that we wanted to release and we, we let it go, we burned them. And then we wrote down everything we wanted to bring into our lives and then, you know, kind of release it all right now at the time of this recording. So obviously when this goes live, it's not going to be the full moon,
but right now it is a full moon. And I, I'm very religious on trying to manifest and release things with the full moon because there's just such amazing energy. So you can kind of harness that when you are releasing these. And sometimes if you really have a lot that you're angry for, you can write it on a separate piece of paper, you can burn it,
tear it up, do something like a ritual to help release that. Not only from your brain, but from your energy. And I think that is a really, really powerful thing to do is to release it on multiple levels because we hold things like you said a whole year later, and you're like, Hey, remember when this happened because it's still being held somewhere in your energy,
or we have a subconscious thought that is, has formed around that, that comes up without us even knowing. So, you know, we can always talk more and maybe this is a really great idea for a podcast to, go through and see how do we release that and how do we use and harness the moon's energy to do those. So throw that in there just wrote things that you'd liked my pencil.
I just wrote down. All right. After we're done with the anger is our checkup. Okay. So this is, um, again a five-minute process. And, um, I know you don't have slides for these, but I'm going to tell everybody this part is, uh, 10 areas of your life that you do a checkup and you would value it and give it a number from one to 10.
So one being nothing, I don't do anything with this, and 10 beings, I am off the charts. Amazing. It can't get any better. And I want To stress that 10 because it's very rare when I've had a 10, right. Because I do believe like things could get even better. Right. I just, I'm not a person. Like, I,
you know, I, it's hard for me to give a 10 on any type of customer service experience because I am, I always do believe, like there's something that can be even better. Right. So on a scale of one to 10. So these are the areas that you would do. You would do your personal health, you would do your mental health,
you would do your spiritual health. Okay. You would do your love, family, friends, finances, learning, and work. Now with having said that when it comes to things like, let's say spiritual health, we're not all spiritual people. It's okay. If you're not, I will tell you just put a five, like it's neither here nor there.
Right. It shouldn't count against you by any means at all. Uh, but that's where I would go as a baseline. If there's something in there that like, you're maybe just not a spiritual person, um, if you were talking love, I relate that just back to the relationship that I have with my husband. That's just about the two of us,
a family. I, I take it from the lens of my immediate family. Right. So, you know, bro, any brothers, sisters, parents, kids, right. Kind of that core group. And then, um, as far as a mission for me, I do mission learning and work. It's kind of all to me in one little area,
right? What is my mission? What is my purpose? You know, I have to tell you, honestly, it's been at a five for a very long time because I haven't quite figured it out yet. So I've, I've just kind of left that one where it is. So I don't want anybody to like stress over. What does that mean?
I don't, I don't have a mission. What are you talking about? Right. So, but our family does typically sit down once a year to come up with like a family mission. You know, what is it that we want, what do we want to give back to society this year? What do we want to do? What do we want to have?
What do we want to be? Do you know? And we try to kind of craft that into something. Um, so yeah. So now once you have those numbers, you need to add them up and get a total too many times. We just circle a number in that set, but we want to see the total. Right. And really in theory,
like a healthy balance is going to be like the high, as the sixties and upright from there. You'll see, you know, I will tell you last week I was at, I want to say like a 66 and that was up from the week before. But this past week when I did it, I was at a 60, like I had gone down and then I had to look at,
okay, wait a second. Where did I go down and why? You know, and you have to gauge and say, okay, then I need to, okay. I know. Yep. I didn't. I went down maybe in personal health cause I didn't exercise as much and maybe I need to make sure I focus on that the next week. Right.
So To those where, where you are Each week to see where you can balance out a little bit better, I'm because of what I think is really important for us to note is never 10 weeks. You said that you can't be like, normally you're not going to get yourself a 10 or anybody. Right. Because there's always room for improvement, even if you are doing amazing.
Right. But the other thing that this brings up for me is everybody talks about work, life balance. And you know, all of these things, we can't have all of them be up high in the eights or whatever. It's impossible and it's okay for it to be like that. And then what you get to see is that balance of what have you been putting your attention into?
And is that, is that good for you? You know, if my, you know, if I haven't been working out as much, but my family time is up because this is what has been, I, my soul me has been meeting then that's okay. Exactly. It just because you have a low number, doesn't mean it's either, it's a bad thing either,
you know? And that goes back to, again, that affirmation of I am in the place I need to be at this exact moment. Okay. What was my place this week? What was I doing? Do you know? Um, okay, well then you need to give yourself that grace then to move on. And that's something I never used to be able to cut myself Slack.
I mean, it was very difficult for me to do that. I would be upset with myself constantly for not finishing, you know, X, Y, Z, which is part of why this process started for my husband and me, because so many times we would be like, well, how was your day? How'd you do? And he'd be like,
I got nothing done. And it'd be like, nothing. What are you talking about? You've been sitting in front of a computer all day and then I started emailing him and was like, Hey, what'd you do today. And he would send me a list and I'd send it back to him and be like, do you see this list of 10 things that you did?
Hello? You did get stuff done. Right? So this is why it's really good to, to see this checkup and area because, you know, then if you're working and getting stuff done, Right? So this is really important. Um, too many times we don't realize all the things. Maybe we didn't hit the bigger goal, but we did move the needle towards where we need it to and it's okay not to.
Cause we can't hit the goal every day, come on people, and maybe not. And things pop up. Exactly. And maybe not even weekly, which is perfect into the very last step of this process is your top three. So now with five minutes again on the, you go back up to the very top at that brain dump and you look at all the things you listed either for just your personal or your business.
I do this again, I do a top three personal and a top-three business and you need to pick out the three things that are the most important things to get done in this week. Just three, I'm aware that you're going to have a ton of other stuff on that list. And I'm not saying you're not going to get to it. What I'm saying is you need to pick the three things that are the most important things,
as far as you're concerned to get that. Okay. And then we used to, we used to take one of them and then add it to our calendar to have to be done by like Wednesday midweek. I've stopped doing that cause I didn't need accountability anymore, but I think that's a great starting place for anybody. That's new to doing this, to actually see at least the most important thing.
And that gets put on your calendar with a deadline. Right? So that, that you are reminded. And I will tell you last week was an anomaly for me. I actually did four out of my six, right? Cause I have a top three for business and I have a top three for personal. I got four out of the six done.
And you know what? I feel really good about that. What I still have O chart of things that need to be done. It's okay. It's not a problem. It'll get done well. And I think that this opens our eyes up to the things that are most important and what we're putting that perception on for the whole, because we always say we have so so much and we perceive the week to just be crazy busy,
but it's fun. It doesn't have to belong as you get the things that are the most important and the things that they have, the deadlines then the rest, you just put it on next week. And who cares? Where are you getting ideas to do it? That's an, and, and that's, that's all in our minds. It's all in our minds.
Oh, I have such a busy week. Oh, you do really? I don't, I don't think like if I, if Dan tells me I didn't have enough time that he did do this, he told me recently he didn't have time to do something. And I was like, Oh really? Do you really want to go down that path with me?
And he was like, I don't know. Now, I don't know if I want to, he didn't have time. It was something about to like, uh, because he's a musician practicing. Right. He wants to be able to practice the saxophone more. And I'm like, well, why don't you? He was like, I don't have time.
And I was like, but you do have time. If even just the 15 minutes you spend on your phone and let's all admit right now, there's not one person that's probably listening to me or us or viewing us. That is like, I don't have time. You know what this right here. Yeah. You do. You got to just put it down.
And, I love My phone. Don't get me wrong. But the moment I started using it as a crutch to say, I didn't have enough time to get things done. That's on me. All right. So I was telling my husband, you know what? You put that phone down and you don't play that game in the afternoon for 15 minutes.
I know it's relaxing and I know you enjoy it, but what do you love more? If it's playing your music, then for 15 minutes, it's going to go, it's going to fill you up. It's going to bring you joy. You're going to be happy. It's going to be on your list of the 10 good things that happen this week.
I don't see him listing out like playing the game on my phone ever as like a top 10. Do you know what I mean? So I think like we tell ourselves like we're too busy. We don't have enough time, but I'm going to call BS on that because I think we all have way more time than we think. Oh, and I got that.
Um, it was kind of shown to me when I had to list out what I was doing all day. And then you look and you're, you know, you take five or email. If you're not on your phone, you're checking your email. How many times do you actually have to check your email? And I literally have to, I'll open it.
I'll open it and be like, put that away. Like I literally smacked to not go in there because we do things mindlessly. Right? We have these automatic thoughts and we have so many thoughts a day that some of these are on automatic to our benefit or so we think, you know, that's why it became automatic, but it can also distract us and keep us from the things that we want the most.
So really starting to focus in on what it is that your bigger picture, those three top things are. Um, and really focusing on that and then kind of checking yourself throughout the day. Like, are you on your phone too much? Are you checking your email, playing games? Whatever, because I was that person saying I'm too busy to do anything and I'm not.
And still, pitch me saying it. I do too. I've gotten a lot better. I will be honest with you. I, uh, I try to check email twice a day. Um, if something is so incredibly important like I'm sure somebody would pick up the phone and call. Yeah. Uh, I also turn my cell phone off every night,
around seven 30 at night. It stays off, it stays downstairs and I don't turn it on usually until about eight 30 the next morning. And you know, if you know, God forbid, my family needs me. Like I have a landline and they call me and you know, so I, I do, I do fluctuate sometimes. I love having my phone and other times I'm like,
I can't stand it. It's, you know, it's just, it's a Drake me a drain sometimes because there's so much at our fingertips. Uh, so yeah. So I think it's being cautious with all those things and realizing that we do have the time And this. So, I mean, that's basically in a nutshell what we do each week, I will say,
when you're Don with this, we then take the time and we go back to the top and we share with each other, everything we've read. And that is essential because I don't think I'm pretty sure Dan didn't realize like all the things like going on in my brain. I mean, I know he knows my brain is constantly going like, right. And there are so many things to do,
but when you start listing out all the things you want to do, even if it's things around the house, or honestly, last week, I think he was shocked because I had tons of appointments to make paperwork, to fill out birthdays, to prep for like just all these things. And like, let's just take a birthday to prep for. Right.
It's the cooking, it's the gift buying. It's the cards, it's the cleaning of the home. Right? So it's like all of this that encompasses just that one thing. So when you, when you verbally say that to your partner, then they get more of an appreciation as well for the things that you're doing and they then realize, and then they can't be like,
you don't know, what are you doing? What are you doing with your time? Like, but I think as moms, it's important to understand too, though that, you know, we don't get salaries, right. I don't make a salary as a, stay at home mom for being the chauffeur and the cook and the housekeeper, you know, and the personal shopper and,
you know, a nerd, you know, so, you know, you don't get a salary for that. So for me, it's nice for my husband to realize like everything I do, even though I know he realizes it, it's just each week to actually see, this is where my efforts and energies go into. So that's important to talk those through and to talk about those good things.
And sometimes you realize that you both share similarities in your list and sometimes they may have something else on their list. And then, you know, the anger it's important for each other to hear why you're angry because maybe it might be with them. And, and if it is what I will say is it is important to talk through it. Most of the time,
if, if I'm writing off something I'm angry about it's happened earlier in the week and we've already resolved it at that time, but it's still important to release it at the end of the week because you'll still hold onto it. If you don't really let go, well, it's releasing through those multiple layers. Yeah. Doing it again and being very diligent about saying,
no, I actually released this and maybe resolved, but I release it from my mind, my energy from anything around me so that I don't have to like continue to hold that on. And then, you know, the checkup knowing where each other sits in your numbers and where you might be able to help each other out, you know, uh, if you realize that your numbers are,
you know, like if my number is low, let's say in love with my husband and it's consistently low, then that, that we need to do something About us. Right. So what, what does that look like? You know, what does that mean for us? And, uh, you know, we are firm believers in the love, languages of people want to know,
they can go look them up, but, um, you know, so I know that you know, quality time is what I need and I know my husband's physical touch. Right. So sitting on the couch, watching a movie together while we're holding hands, that's great for the both of us. Right. So when can we do that together then?
Right. So finding where you can help each other, you know, if it's family or friends, you know, you name it and then making sure you just realize your top three and, and what's important. Uh, we do also talk a little bit about non-negotiables cause there are certain things during the week that completely for us are non-negotiables. You know,
like there's no way on this, in my haircut. Like last week it was like a non-negotiable, like how did you know that kind of thing, but it's important to, uh, you know, recognize that for each other too, to say, look, it's a non-negotiable that, you know, we have, you know, to get together to celebrate,
you know, my nephew, my nephew is turning one, right? That's non-negotiable is B now it's, you know, we, it is it's on the books and it cannot move and it cannot be gone. I can't go away. Right. So that's important too. And then next week, when you go to do this process, again, just touch babies.
How'd you do on your top three, that's it, there doesn't need to be any greater discussion besides just the standard weekly rundown. And this is a great way to then, you know, this is why it's like charting your course like you're setting yourself up for success. You're, you know, recognizing all the positives that have happened.
You're, you know, the gratitude aspect of it, right. You're releasing the negative that's happened and you're ready to tackle a whole new week, possibly with a lot of the same stuff on your list, but you've accomplished at least one or all three of those items that you had listed and you need to be able to celebrate that most definitely. And I love that you guys do this together.
I love the idea because I do stuff like this, but it's, it's always just me. So I think what I've learned so much of is doing it with my husband, doing it with my kids so that we can be on the same page. And it is one more thing that we can start doing as a family. Cause we don't get to do everything,
you know, obviously, and some of the more important things like this are things that we tend to hold for ourselves. So I think that that's a really beautiful thing and I appreciate you being on. And I think all of these tips are a really great thing and we will, um, I'll list those out. I'll go back and listen and list them out so that we can keep them in the show notes for everyone.
Make it really easy. I can give you a worksheet too. You can be, yes. Yep, sure. We'll put the worksheet then we'll make that easy. And then you, they can find [email protected] all platforms, Facebook, Instagram, website, you name it. And yeah, we've just got some really great information over there for anybody interested in cruising.
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if anybody is looking for any information, just head on over and join our subscription and I'll make it really easy. Cause it'll be all in the show notes along with all more information on you. I always ask everyone in my class, the top questions that I love to hear and that's all on the blog. So make sure that you go and you check out Nicole and everything that she has.
And um, I just want to say thank you to all of our viewers for being here and listening. And I really hope that you got some really good information from it. And if you did drop us a comment, you know, comments on, you know, or email us like we want to know, and we're here to help you. If you have questions or just be there to support you,
that's what we do in this community. And Nicole, thank you so much for being here. I joined, I hope this helps. And I hope if one person starts doing this and it makes a difference like that means the world to me. So with my family, I think that this is what we are doing. It is, it is on our list for when our kids get a little bit older because I,
it is, it is definitely important and you get to see a whole new side of them too, which is kind of fun. Yeah. I love it. Okay. Well make sure that you check out the blog, you go to all the goodies and the links, and I'll make sure everything's there easy and come back next week to see who else is going to be on the podcast.
Thank you so much. And we'll see you soon. Thank you so much for listening today. Please make sure that you go over to the blog and follow all the links for our guests and get the downloads that we talked about. I would also really love and appreciate it if you would share this podcast with your friends and family. And if you wouldn't mind taking just a minute to leave a review,
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