Why You Should Be Selfish

Things have gotten a little out of whack recently. In addition to seeing in-person clients and running my Virtual Closet Makeover Program, I’ve also traveled out of state five times to teach for The Life Coach School and meet with my business mastermind group. In my very little spare time I have tried to focus my remaining energy into connecting with my family, and my self care has gone out the window. As the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and so I’ve invited leadership coach and trainer, Mimi Gordon, to share her best tips on self care and why it matters. Take it away, Mimi!

Sharing the best tips on self-care and why it matters

From Mimi:

There’s a thought I’ve seen multiple places that strikes me as so true that I’ve repeated it to anyone and everyone who will listen . . . that the greatest gift we can give others is our own happiness — that being selfish is a radically selfless act.

Using the classic metaphor, imagine helping someone put on an oxygen mask if you hadn’t put yours on first — struggling to breathe, and starting to panic, you’d be pretty useless, and ultimately, terrible at the job of helping someone else. Similarly, search and rescue professionals are taught personal preparedness as a foundational component of emergency response. No matter the stakes, double-checking their own equipment and supplies is more important than racing out the door. Before you save someone else, you need water, sunscreen, and a headlamp.

So why do we so often consider it selfish to prioritize what we need to show up as our best every day? Why is getting enough sleep, or drawing clear boundaries about work hours, or planning alone time, not seen as selflessness — personal prioritization that allow us to be our best in the roles that we choose or are given?

Incorporate selfless selfishness into your life.

To do this takes courage, and often, takes changing the way we think. A few ideas about how to incorporate this selfless selfishness into your life:

Decide What Makes You Your Best Self.

What gives you the mental clarity, physical stamina, and emotional resilience needed to show up as your best? Is it getting enough sleep? Drawing clear boundaries about work hours? Carving out alone time? Exercising?

Make A Plan For Doing It.

Once you have this list, make a plan. This can look like blocking time on your calendar, or practicing thoughts that will help you build this prioritization into your brain — ”an hour of my best self is better than three of my exhausted self.”

Never Do For Others At The Expense Of What’s Most Important To You.

That list of what’s most important? Commit to it. Don’t sacrifice anything on it in favor of giving. When you do, you do two powerfully detrimental things:

  • You reinforce in your own mind that you come 2nd.

  • You increase the likelihood of creating resentment towards the recipients of your giving.

What if we reclaimed prioritizing ourselves? What if we practiced so much that it became second nature? What if every time we showed up for others, it was more likely to be at our best? What if we knew that our oxygen was already flowing, that we had the right shoes on, and that we had a backup water bottle? You with me? Let’s practice.

Improving your self care regimen.

Thank you, Mimi! Such an important reminder to improve our self-care regimen so that we can show up more fully for others.

Want to learn more? Mimi is a leadership coach and trainer with 20 years of experience working in social-purpose organizations. She works with high-performing individuals and organizations looking to lead productive, values-driven lives and companies. For more great content and to learn more about Mimi, visit her website right here.

Images: Vivian Johnson Photography

What’s Possible for Your Home?

I was talking about my house with my good friend, Carly, who happens to be an amazing interior designer. “Maybe one day we’ll move,” I told her. “This will never be our dream house.”

When Carly asked what I meant, I explained that our house feels dark and is chopped up into small rooms and that I dream of a big bright, open floor plan and a kitchen with an island.

Create your dream home.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Carly Waters Style.

She looked at me and replied, “So all you have to do is open the wall between your kitchen and dining room and paint everything white. You don’t have to move.”  Mic drop.

Because of this idea, I called a contractor to price out the job, and it was actually much less than I would have guessed to make these simple changes. The following week the project was prepped, the wall demo began, and our small dark rooms became one bright room in an instant.

Isn’t it funny how our brains decide the limits of what’s possible and it sometimes takes an outside perspective to show us that really, anything is possible? 

I want you to think about what’s possible for your home? What do you dream of? What could you create if you put your mind to it?

Start to change your reality for the future.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Carly Waters Style.

When you think about possibility, you create something that never existed before. You start to change your reality for the future.

As I write this I am sitting at my kitchen island. The new lights haven’t arrived, the countertop hasn’t been installed, but I see all of the possibility coming together and I believe I will be able to create my dream home – and for much less than I anticipated investing. I’m so excited to share the transformation with you when it’s complete!

If you’re on a limited budget, or in a rental, maybe it’s just a fresh coat of paint or rearranging the furniture. One of my favorite ways to transform a room is simply by taking things away and that doesn’t cost a dime. Get creative. Get some fresh perspective from someone you trust and stay focused on moving towards your vision.

How can you make the most of what you’ve got right now?

How to Create New Results in Your Life

I just returned from a full week of teaching for The Life Coach School, and I am fired up! One of my favorite tools that we teach as part of the training program is the concept that in order to create new results in your life you have to be willing to think new thoughts. In other words – what got you here won’t get you there.

If you feel stuck in any area of your life, and want to commit to make big changes this year, follow these steps and blow your own mind:

Identify Your Desired Result

What is the specific and measurable outcome that you want? Take ownership of it. Write it down. Talk about it. Commit to it. Believe in it even though it hasn’t happened yet. Whether you want to make more money or lose weight or transform your home, you must clearly define what you want and commit to it 100%.

How to Create New Results in your life.

Break Down Your Action Steps

Now that you have clarified and defined your desired result, you’ll need to create a plan to take massive action to get it. Write down every single step you would need to take to make the result you want inevitable. For example, if you want to declutter and organize your home, you will need to schedule time to sort and review all of your belongings, you will need to purchase organizing products, you will need to identify a place you can take all of your donations, etc. Each one of these action items needs to go right into your calendar.

Determine Your Action-Fueling Feeling

Feelings drive our actions, and we will not take action unless we experience an action-fueling feeling. Next you need to consider what specific feeling will motivate you to take action and complete your to-do list. Some common examples include: confident, motivated, inspired, or determined. Pick one that resonates with you and write it down.

Start Thinking New Thoughts on Purpose

Now, here’s the most difficult and important step. The good news is that you cannot create positive results in your life from negative, unproductive thoughts. You must identify what useful thoughts you would need to be thinking in order to create your action-fueling feeling.

You must commit to believing new thoughts, and practicing them on purpose, in order to create new results in your life. So, if you want to declutter and organize your home and your action-fueling feeling is confidence, what would you need to be thinking about your home in order to genuinely feel confident? Make sure to identify a thought that feels believable to you. So, instead of leaping to something like “I’m amazing at decluttering and organizing” which may not ring true for you, try on something like “I know I can tackle one small area at a time” or “I’ve figured out how to do challenging things before and I will figure this out too.”

Once you’ve identified what new thought you need to believe on purpose, focus your energy and attention on it like crazy. Believing new things does not come easily and requires commitment and practice. Commit to this new belief and use it to generate your desired feeling which will drive you to take action and ultimately create your desired results.

Start thinking new thoughts for new results.

I have used this framework in my own life to transform everything from my relationships to my annual income, and I promise that it works. If you have been spinning your wheels in any area of your life, I invite you to give it a try and see what new outcomes you can create for yourself. I promise the work will be well worth it.

Images: Vivian Johnson Photography

5 Ways to Survive a Home Renovation

Renovations can be a major source of stress, especially if you decide to stay in your home through the construction process. Home improvement projects frequently exceed projected timelines and budgets, and can come with a whole host of surprises and challenges.

By preparing yourself mentally, and being organized from the start, you can help make the process significantly easier on yourself, and your family. See below for my top tips on how you can handle your home renovations without losing your cool:

Order in Advance

I was surprised to learn that the lead time on items like tiles, fixtures, and hardware can be weeks or even months. Do your best to select and order all of your materials well in advance so your project can keep moving forward. It’s also important to open and inspect packages as they arrive to make sure your order is correct and nothing got broken or damaged in transit.

Handling your home renovations without loosing your cool.

Plan for Contingencies

Save yourself stress and pad your initial budget by at least 20% to account for change orders and unforeseen circumstances. You should also make sure to budget for meals out and hotels or rentals if you need to leave your home for some or all of your project.

Pack Like You’re Moving

Construction dust can be pervasive and hard to clean. Declutter your living spaces and pack up all non-essentials to protect your belongings from dust and grime. You’ll thank yourself later.

Set Up Makeshift Kitchen

We were fortunate enough to be able to use our stove throughout the renovation process, but if you have restricted access you can set up a makeshift kitchen in a hallway, basement or other clear area. A coffee maker, microwave or cooktop can go a long way when you get tired of takeout.

Be Available + Support Your Team

Speak directly with your subcontractors as often as you can and make sure someone in your household is available to answer questions and help troubleshoot as challenges arise. Good communication will help expedite your project and make sure that your expectations get met. Above all else, support your team and treat them with respect. Lemonade or a cold beer goes a long way toward building good will, as well as expressing gratitude for a job well done.

Always make sure to keep perspective. If you have the good fortune to be able to improve your home, do your best to enjoy the ride and be grateful that you have a home to call your own.

Images: Vivian Johnson Photo

How to Organize Your Busy Brain

Do you ever feel like you have so many things swirling through your brain you can’t keep them straight? I’m right there with you! Here’s a simple 3-step hack I’ve been using to eliminate overwhelm and stay on top of my priorities:

Start with a Thought Download

Take a few minutes to get all of your thoughts out of your brain and onto the page. Just jot down every single thing you have to do, want to do, and feel like you should take care of.

3-Simple Steps to Organize your Busy Brain

Organize by Priority Level

Take each item and place it it one of the following categories: urgent, soon, or someday​. Sometimes this is all it takes for me to realize I have very few items to do that are actually time sensitive and truly urgent.

My soon list contains items I want to do that aren’t pressing or urgent, such as dropping off donations at my local charity or replacing toiletries and cosmetics. My someday list includes things like replacing the light in my bedroom, researching US road trip routes, and brushing up on my Spanish. I keep all of these items on an index card to reference when my schedule slows down. Just getting them out of my brain, and onto the page, gives me a lot of relief.

Organize Your Busy Brain

Schedule Your Top Priorities

Once you’ve categorized everything  in order of priority, make sure to schedule the most important items in your calendar to ensure they’ll get done. You can simply estimate the amount of time it will take to complete each task and then schedule away.

To give you an example of how all of this works, my current urgent list looks like this:

  • Prep for Closet Makeover Program coaching call – 1 hr
  • Write and review keynote talk – 2.5 hours
  • Confirm all in-person clients for the week – 15 minutes
  • Clean out kitchen cabinets and prep for demo – 2 hours
  • Confirm flights and hotel for Dallas trip – 30 minutes
  • Plan individual quality time with Chloe + Emilie – 30 minutes
  • Schedule weekly workouts and meal prep time – 1 hour

Once I have prioritized and assigned each task a time estimate, it’s quick and efficient to put each item on my schedule. As soon as something is scheduled, I don’t have to think about it anymore and I know that it will get taken care of.

How do you organize your busy brain when you feel overloaded with too many to-dos?

Images: Vivian Johnson Photo 

3 Steps to Improve Your Relationship with Your Stuff

Have you ever considered what you want your relationship to be like with the things you own? If you and your stuff were dating, how would you define your relationship? Needy? Dysfunctional? Erratic? Neglected? What do you want your relationship with your stuff to be like?

Read on for three simple steps to improve your relationship with your stuff
Assuming there’s room for improvement, read on for three simple steps to improve your relationship with the things you own.

Step One: Awareness

How much do you own? What do you own? Consider factors like volume, frequency of use, and quality. If you feel overwhelmed, start by looking at just one category at a time with fresh eyes. For example, you could pull out all of your kitchen appliances and then decide which items you want to keep in your home. Eliminate any duplicates, and if you own occasional-use appliances like a waffle maker or a panini press, decide whether they are worth the space they take up in your home. The most important thing is to be intentional about which items you decide to keep.

Always be intentional on the items you choose to keep.

Step Two: Use + Appreciate What You Already Own

Before you run out to the store or click the “buy now” button, try “shopping” from your own home. Most people have more toiletries, housewares, and clothing than they know what to do with, and yet we all keep bringing more of everything into our homes. The next time you find yourself reaching for your credit card, do a quick inventory check to make sure you don’t already own what you are about to invest in.

Step Three: Respect

This is a big one. Consider how you treat your physical possessions. Are the items you care about shoved in drawers or cabinets gathering dust or are they displayed in your home with care? Often, the things we would call our most valuable possessions are neglected in damp basements or crammed in cluttered closets. Decide which items you care about and then treat those items with the respect that they deserve – frame and hang your favorite photos, wear and display the jewelry that you love, care for your clothing, you get the picture.

Not sure where to begin? Start small and remember a little bit of progress is still progress.

The Before/After I’m Afraid to Show You

I’ve asked everyone enrolled in the Virtual Closet Makeover Program to share their “before” photos in our private community.

Posting pictures of your home, especially ones that you’re less than proud of, for a group of perfect strangers to view, takes real courage. I’ve been blown away by the dozens of women who accepted my invitation and posted, even though they may have felt some degree of anxiety or shame.

It got me thinking about what I could share with these brave women, and with all of you.

Virtual Closet Makeover before photos!

I wanted to take a leap and share something that made me feel a little nervous. And here’s what I realized. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be “perfect.” My home is objectively quite organized and tidy, but with young kids, and busy schedules, their room is not always quite as picture perfect as the images I share here.

This is how you typically see their room. This photo was styled by yours truly, and taken by the talented Vivian Johnson.

My girl's room when it's organized!

Since our girls are tasked with making their beds each morning and putting their own laundry away, their room seldom looks like this photo. Sometimes, it looks more like this one:

Most times, my girl's room looks not as tidy.Sharing this image may not seem like a big deal to you. I’m sure many of you are thinking that this looks like a typical kids’ room and I have nothing to be ashamed of. But, let me be honest – sharing this photo feels quite vulnerable to me.

I never judge my clients or their spaces, but I can judge myself pretty harshly. As someone with high standards and perfectionistic tendencies, I find myself focusing on the little things – the beds that aren’t perfectly made, the stuffed animals and polyester cupcake pillow that certainly don’t align with my style standards, and the clutter on the surfaces… But here’s what I do like about this image – It’s REAL. My daughters love their room, and I love that they feel comfortable, safe, and happy in their space.

My intention is that by sharing more than just the perfectly polished images that you usually see here, you will feel the same relief that I feel when I see other bloggers open up and share their less-than-perfect selves, lives, and homes.

I’m working on being kinder to myself and choosing authenticity and connection over rigid perfectionism.  Who’s with me?

Closet Makeover Program: Last Chance!

Registration is closing soon, and I wanted to give you one last reminder in case you still want to get in on the action!

Sign up for the Closet Makeover Program before registration closes!Here are a few details about how the program works:

Starting on June 1st, you’ll begin 6 weeks of instruction. Each week you’ll get access to a PDF workbook, and a supporting video, to guide you through the program.

As soon as you sign up, you’ll get access to a private community where you can connect, and share what you’re learning, with those who are participating in the course with you. This is where we’ll share tips, resources, and before/after pics – it will be so much fun!

You’ll also be able to submit your questions for live weekly coaching calls with me. You can ask questions about the course, your personal wardrobe or organizing challenges, or anything else.

CLOSET MAKEOVER PROGRAM

By the end of the program, you’ll have learned how to edit, organize, and style your closet like a pro. Most importantly, you’ll develop the lifelong skills of how to care for yourself and your space, and how to approach editing and organizing any space in your home (I’ll also be sharing lots of bonus content and resources like my curated product and resource guide).

Click here to register, and make sure to tell your friends to join the fun so you can support each other along the way!

Images via Vivian Johnson Photography for Shira Gill Home 

Virtual Closet Makeover Program FAQs

I’ve already had such an amazing response to the launch of the Virtual Closet Makeover Program, and I’m so excited to welcome more people from all over the world to join the fun!

The Virtual Closet Makeover Program FAQs Answered!

Many of you have had questions, and since there are only a few days left to sign up, I wanted to make sure I addressed them all.

Q: My closet is ok, but I need help with other areas of my home. Should I still sign up?

A: Absolutely. This program uses the closet as a vehicle to teach the skills of how to edit and organize anything. Once you master these skills you will be able to easily translate them to your office, your junk drawer, or anything else you want.

Q: My schedule is crazy. Can I do this course at my own pace?

A. Yes. The program is designed for you to do the work independently, when you can. You’ll have lifetime access to all of the content and videos so you can work at your own pace even after the 6-week course has wrapped up.

Q: I can’t make the calls. Will it still be worth it to invest in the program? 

A. Yes! We are hosting the Q and A coaching calls via Crowdcast, so you’ll be able to post questions in advance for each call and watch each call at your leisure. Replays will be available  immediately after each Q & A so you can watch whenever it’s convenient for you.

Q: Will I be able to make progress without you there in person for accountability?

A: Yes you will! I’ve broken the whole process into bite sized steps so you won’t get overwhelmed.  You’ll also get weekly email reminders, access to a private Facebook group filled with a supportive community of people, cheering each other on and sharing resources, and access to weekly coaching calls with me, where I will answer any questions and help you overcome any roadblocks that are in your way.

Watch the video here to learn more, and get a taste of the impact of doing this work.

Are you all in? SIGN UP HERE to secure your spot!
Images via Vivian Johnson Photography for Shira Gill Home 

Your Closet Matters: Here’s Why

When I was in high school, I started helping my girlfriends edit and organize their closets. My process was simple: we would take everything out, review each category together, and only put back the items that fit and flattered.

My favorite part was the reaction when we were done. My friends would walk in and out of their closets, beaming.  What I learned from those experiences, and what has held true through the years that I have been working with clients in this business, is that while a closet seems like a small and insignificant space, it is actually one of the most important “rooms” in the home.

The closet is where we start and end each day, and our relationship with our wardrobe directly influences how we show up in the world.

An organized closet matters!

An organized closet doesn’t just look better, it actually helps you feel better.

When our closets are set up like a well-curated boutique, we start each day with the message that we matter and that our own self-care matters.

Editing and organizing your wardrobe will help you show up in the world as a more present, intentional, and confident version of yourself.

Many of my clients and friends have changed their lives by doing this work.

They’ve improved their relationships.

They’ve gotten raises or changed careers.

They’ve even lost weight.

The best part is that you don’t need to buy anything to experience a massive transformation. You don’t need to take the Container Store by storm or redesign your closet. All you need is less.

If you haven’t joined the Virtual Closet Makeover Program yet, I’m here, ready to support you every step of the way.

If you feel overwhelmed by clutter or disorganization in any area of your life this course is for you.

Once you learn these skills you can apply them to literally any space in your home. Who knows what can happen once you get started…

Join here now.

Say goodbye to the piles, your home makeover heaven awaits!

Images: Vivian Johnson Photography