Decision Making in the New Year

This may be more of a random musing. Visiting my grandmother and family over the holidays has me reminiscent. Plus its the first of the year, and everyone’s gushing over #goals and habits to “let go”, I began to think about how I was schooled on decision making.

I used to loathe hearing lectures from my grandmotheChoicer when we did something wrong. She didn’t reach for the paddle. She gave lessons. She always started by saying, “Choices.  No one can make you do anything. You are in control of your emotions, and it begins with how you choose to react.” And she always pointed her finger up, never in your face.

As much as I couldn’t stand sitting to hear it, her mantra lives in me today.

Her words I now share with my children. If my daughter bursts into angry tears when she can’t find a toy, I ask her to stop, take a deep breath, and sit still a minute to think about where it could have been last. The lesson there that tears block your eyes from being able to see where the toy could be. When she stops to use her mind muscle, it’s strength can help her find it.

Once we understand that making a sound decision begins with the emotion, our follow on will have more definitive resolve. We help ourselves and our family reduce a bit of the stress we cause ourselves.

How does this relate to decision making in the new year? More ways than I will count.

It is so easy to resolve to exercise, eat better, make self care a priority, etc, etc. I am going to make an intentional play to wake up each day deciding to take ownership of my emotions and choose to do one thing each day to make me and my family better.

Happy New Year!

Where Can You Find Potential Customers for Last Minute Holiday Sales?

The end of the year is fast approaching and it is the holiday season. You, your clients and consumers as a whole are bombarded with sales, discounts, and offers for last minute holiday shopping. It can be tough to break through the holiday sales promotions and gain the visibility you need to boost your business.

In another post, we will delve into the building blocks of creating an annual marketing strategy. Here, our focus is uncovering where you can find potential customers. We will start with reviewing the stats. Staying abreast of trends in your industry and the marketplace are key to the success and longevity of your business.

171212-infographic-holiday-purchasing (2)This article from MarketingProfs reveals a telling analysis of consumer behavior and holiday shopping trends. Outside of being surprised that most people buy the same type of gifts year after year, the article features an infographic of the study findings that is easy to follow. Essentially, the study reveals people are making simple purchases that accentuate the person or satisfy their electronic craving, and making less major purchases with retail apparel purchases declining and purchasing books as gifts at the bottom at the list.

What does this mean for your business marketing strategy or advertising plan?

Holiday Promotion Blog Post

This means you can follow overall consumer behavior patterns and think through a brief promotional strategy that can help you find those last minute shoppers and make them your new customers.

If you have a marketing strategy intact, sprinkling in a short term promotion should be relatively easy. Here are a few ideas to consider for product based business advertising during the holiday season:

  • Use the power of suggestion through placing digital ads on social media. Holiday gift giving can be a chore for some and fun for many. Help your potential customer make the decision to purchase your product.
  • Highlight the benefits you offer.  Whether it is a gift certificate (are those still a thing?), rewards program, or discount, hype up the benefits of shopping with your business.
  • Think outside the box. If your primary product is a leather glove and you want to reach that purchaser of a beautiful bracelet, perhaps y
    our strategy is to partner with a jewelry maker and promote a campaign that shows the beauty of the bracelet inside and outside of your glove.

 

Hopefully these ideas will spark some thought on how you can effectively position your business to be found by potential customers and generate a few new sales this holiday season. Hurry while you still have time!

Tips to Keep Smooth, Glowing Skin in Cold Winter Months

I’ll start by saying this is a promotional post. But not because I am being paid for the use of any products.

I am an almost middle aged woman with two children and nearly blemish free skin. As much as I want to claim familial genetic code, I must give some credit to the use of a few products and choosy eating habits when it comes to giving tips to keep smooth, glowing skin in cold winter months.

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Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Once the weather dips consistently to cooler temperatures, if you are like me and want keep your skin from chapping, it is time to switch up the skincare and diet regimen.

The first and most important tip is to balance your water intake. It is much easier to consume water in the summer to keep cool, but I find that drinking room temperature water in the winter keeps your body and skin hydrated just as well, if not more. The cool winter air sucks the moisture from skin and lips before you can even think of going from the door to the car!

Next, to moisturize skin and hydrate lips, I’ve found a few of grandma’s solutions work well when balanced with products of today. I swear by a drop of castor oil on my lips and finger tips on the way to bed. Straight out of the shower I reach for a whipped shea or cocoa butter and smooth all over. When I want to add a hint of scent, I opt for a natural body butter or oil from Jones and Rose.

For the face, I’ve found a cleansing balm by Beauticounter and Vitamin C Super Serum with Ageless Moisturizer by Apple Rose Beauty.

When in the kitchen, I’ve learned to mask butternut squash with carrots in a sweet souffle so the kids will get the benefit of that lovely immune building fall “fruit”, while I enjoy the bone building potassium, fiber and vitamin B6. Same for baked sweet potato wedges. The leafy greens become a little harder since they are out of season, but I love kale when I can get it.

So where can you find these skin loving essentials? Outside of the grocery store or farmer’s market for the butternut squash, water and kale, a few of my good friends offer the skin products:

I also found a great castor oil by FoxBrim on Amazon with a suite of other essential oils.

Best wishes on your winter skin care essential journey!

Let me know your favorites…

What’s the Benefit of School Choice?

does having school choice really give you freedom?

I remember the days when the only school choice was public or private, and the “neighborhood” school that we attended was really good.  Either that, or I was not old enough to understand.  But what I do remember is attending school, participating in extracurricular activities, having teachers that challenged you…and most importantly, I learned something.

I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not learned anything.  Even today I remember a few favorite teachers…not because they had easy classes…but because I received something of value.  A life lesson I will never forget. One of my favorite high school teachers just so happened to be Ginger Littleton – and by now we all know Mrs. Littleton, if by nothing more than her infamous purse.

That woman had great courage to do what she did.  She has the stuff that made for a good teacher. I am sure there are many more like her, but I fear those who aren’t heavily outweigh.

But I digress, and fast forward to my days post secondary – past the days I could care less about how the school system functioned, to the day I became a parent and education mattered again. Even more than before.

As a parent I believe I am faced with many more challenges, er school choice options than mine faced.  And you would think that entering my 8th year of ‘school choice’, I would have this notion conquered. But I don’t.  I am as confused today as I was 8 school years ago.  School choice sux (excuse my language).

Rather than the perceived freedom of school choice, I feel bound by making the ‘right’ decision.  Choosing the perfect neighborhood and the ‘best’ school option hoping my children are afforded every luxury in secondary education. You see, I don’t feel free.  I don’t feel like a parent who can give my children the world because I am stuck wading through school grades, standardized test scores, zones, magnet programs, websites, online reviews, school tours, friendly chats with other parents hoping to make the same ‘great’ choice for their child(ren).

Maybe I have this idea about school choice all wrong – but as I sit here at the beginning of this calendar year, planning to find a ‘great’ school for my children I can’t help but wonder…school choice, where’s the freedom in that?

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