How many times have you heard the phrase, “you can’t change him/her”?  I have definitely heard it once or twice and said it numerous times over the past 20 years.  However, after much thought, I DO believe that we can influence change in others.managing-change.jpg

Whether it’s at work, trying to help our clients, or in a family or partner relationship… going in with the full intent of changing someone else or even changing their mind isn’t necessarily setting yourself up for success.  I don’t believe it’s helpful for anyone to stay in an unhealthy relationship waiting for someone else to change or trying to convince yourself that he/she has changed when the  evidence shows otherwise.

However, I do think that influencing someone’s thoughts or behaviors can happen, and if we can influence, sometimes, they can change.  In the past, I designed and facilitated a workshop called, “The Power of You” and even though the majority of participants were mandated to be there, I saw change happen regularly over the course of 90 minutes.  By engaging, educating and, yes, influencing, I know that I helped many people change either themselves or their response to a situation in their lives.  No, really… I “know” because they did workshop evaluations and told me exactly what they were going to change.

Working in human services, workforce development or any number of other helping professions, I think we have to believe others can change.  If we don’t believe that very core idea, why would we keep doing what we do?  Personally, I think the moment we stop believing that, perhaps it is time for new job.  If we stop believing they can change, why would anyone else believe it?

The key to change is that one has to be even the slightest bit open to it.  If someone is open to hearing what is being said, they may be open to influence.  It is openness, influence and willingness that leads to change.  Just ask the advertising agencies out there – all the ads, all the commercials, all the campaigns!  If one is not open or otherwise convinced that their way is the only right way, then lasting change may not be in the immediate future.

Personally or professionally, you have to know when to tuck and roll though – get off that train!  If you are doing all the work and all the believing in change, that isn’t going to cut it.  You cannot be working harder for someone else than they are willing to work for themselves.  At the end of the day, they have to want the change.

For years now, one of my goals has been to make a difference in at least one person’s life each day.  Preferably, a positive  difference.  The way that we facilitate change is:

  • Engaging
  • Educating
  • Influencing
  • …and then continuing to believe there is hope for change!

Until next time, take care and live your values…



Do you do New Year’s resolutions? Do they work for you?

Personally, I think of Resolutions as Goals, but with morTop 3 Resolutions on a Chalkboarde baggage!


In the U.S., we have just gone through a number of holidays, one of which was Thanksgiving.  It is a time for us to think of all the things in life we are grateful for. . .is it the only time we express our thanks? I really hope not! Ideally, we are saying, “thank you” or “I appreciate you” to our friends, family and Higher Power on a much more regular basis. Personally, I’m not all about most holidays. I believe in celebrating, giving, and thanking all year-round!

When it comes to resolutions, it’s the same idea for me. I don’t wait for the new year to start before I write down my resolutions and goals. Actually, I start around my birthday and write down my values for the upcoming year. By values, I mean the most important things for me, without thinking on it for a long period of time, I write down what comes to mind in a few different areas – life, work and relationships. Next, I define my values in a few words or a sentence. This is so that it is clear to me what I really want from that particular area of life.  For example, if I say family is a life value, does that mean I want to spend more time with them or that I want to be able to provide for them financially? Everyone is different and no one can tell us how many values we should have or what they should be.

From there, I come up with some values-based goals for the year. My goals are my resolutions. I try to have at least one goal for each value most of the time, then I check in on my overall progress at least monthly. Every day I can choose to adjust or accomplish my goals. If I say I am going to publish a book in 2018 or I am going to lose 40 pounds in 2018, these are long-term goals. Have I failed in my goals if I don’t write anything for a week or if I totally eat a whole pumpkin pie in a day? No. I have not. What I do need to do, however, is make sure that I can let go of perceived failures and focus on doing better in the days to come. Every day I can resolve to do better. I can resolve to adjust my attitude, actions or goals any hour of any day.

So, I vote DO resolutions! I propose that resolutions are to help you move forward and grow, not to weigh you down and make you feel like a failure. Set yourself up for success! Believe that you can accomplish whatever you set out to do/be. Choose to win. Choose to be kind to you.

Gift of Giving

Thanksgiving and beyond…

Shopping. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Sales. Crowds. Computers.

If these words make you cringe, even a little bit, you are most likely in the majority!  This season of shopping, gift giving, and gatherings causes most of us some worry and stress. What are we going to buy for everyone? Who am I buying for? Do I have money for this? How much is enough? What if they don’t like what I give them? …and, OMG, what if they buy me something and I don’t get anything for them?

Great. Now that I’ve written all that down, I’m feeling more anxious! LOL

We have become such a materialistic and consumer-driven society, it is super easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of expectations. Everywhere you look, someone wants you to buy something. Madonna had the right idea back in the day with her song, “Material Girl” apparently.  To make life a little less stressful, we really need to start shifting our mindset, and maybe even encourage others to do so as well. If our mindset for giving is that we give from our heart, then whatever we gift will be enough. If our mindset for receiving is to receive from one heart to our heart, any gift is enough. We become grateful for being able to give and grateful for being able to receive. We move our minds from materials to heart.

Giving comes in more forms than I can list here, however, consider some of the following ways you may be able to gift this year:

  • Making food for family and/or friends
  • Opening your home to others
  • Offering emotional support to someone who needs it
  • Having a good sense of humor
  • Giving rides to family, friends, etc.
  • Creating a homemade gift
  • Spending time with those you love or those in your community that may need it
  • Helping folks who are in need

This holiday season, let’s spread the word about this new craze called the mindset of the heart!

Own why you are giving. It may take a little thought – is it because it’s expected or that you feel obligated or is it because you truly want to give? If it’s coming from your heart, then you will know it…and so will those around you.

Give often and give generously…


Cyber Monday

Super excited about the Making Life Simple reboot happening on Cyber Monday! Check out what’s new starting at 9 a.m. EST, Monday, 11/27/17 by visiting http://www.mls2day.com!


I love to write, but somehow it just doesn’t always get to the top of my daily activities.

So, when something isn’t working right (e.g. computer, tablet, phone…) one of the first things that we try is a system reboot.  Soooooo, welcome to the FOR REAL Making Life Simple Reboot.

A few years back I did the Simplicity Tip series and offered one tip a day to make life a little easier and happier.  This year, starting this week, I will be posting about a variety of topics to get us all thinking and motivated to action in our lives.  To make sure I’m practicing what I preach, so to speak, I have honed in a couple of services for Making Life Simple instead of trying to do 20 things for businesses and individuals, my focus will be in two (2) areas –



  • Happiness Coaching  – helping others figure out what’s most important to them in life and how to live their lives according to their values resulting in more happiness and more fun for everyone
  • Simply Personalized – decals, tee shirts and a number of other items


I can’t wait to hear more of your stories and to embark on a new year of adventures with you all!

I’m really excited to announce my first ever book being published on Amazon.com!  It’s called, “Just a Little Cancer…” and it chronicles my journey over the past year after having been diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer.  Topics include breast cancer, hospital anxiety, having a solid support system, morphea, and depression.  It offers a realistic account of what happened with a dash of humor.  The hope is to to encourage other who have been affected by breast cancer and offer some helpful tips along the way.

Here is the link if you would like to take a look at it…or share it with your friends and family!

It has been more than a year since I last did any posting on this blog.  😦   While I have had a side business for quite some time now called Making Life Simple (MLS), over the past few years, it has become more and more evident that life really isn’t simple sometimes.  Actually, I have thought this for a long time, but in an effort to make my life and the lives of others more simple and more happy, I started MLS.  In fact, a few years ago I even blogged a Simplicity Tip every day!

Whether it is our work, our finances, our relationships, our health or any other aspect of our lives that make it more difficult for us to see enjoyment in life, if we are able to have hope and surround ourselves with supportive and loving people, it will make all the difference.  We all know that simplicity does not come easy at times, and we may have to work at being able to appreciate simplicity where we can find it.

I think the last time I was blogging, I set out to write a post every week.  I thought it would be easy since I had been posting every day.  Wrong.  Life gets busy and things change quickly.  This year, I’m going to set a more realistic goal of posting at least once a month.  I will try to avoid posting a lot of political frustrations; instead, I will get back to my basics – writing what I know (see the list of categories for some starters)!

At the end of 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Over the course of the past year, I have learned a lot about my support circle, surgeries, morphea, appreciating people and pets, and overcoming not just cancer, but hospital anxiety, and depression.  These will be a few topics coming up for 2016!  I look forward to this year’s new journey – hearing your experiences and sharing a few of mine.

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