24 Days and Counting…

I have been on the road for 10 days straight (3 different cities and states). I am not yet done with my Christmas cards. I am not yet done with my holiday shopping. I am behind on my game plan. I have not exercised in five days. I am tired, I feel frazzled, I am trying very hard not to be grumpy. (And yes, I do realize these are First World problems).

On the bright side of things, Mercury in Retrograde ended yesterday. Also on the bright side, my sister Rachel posted an inspiring blog on our Polla Sisters Blog a couple of weeks ago entitled “Keep calm and drink champagne”, (the name itself is enough to want to read it!). She described the feelings that come with this merriest time of the year, which is also the craziest, busiest, and most frenetic. She shared her strategies on making it through this last month of 2018 – with calm and joy. This morning, upon waking, I read it once again as a reminder to myself. And I spent some time in silence with my coffee and pen and paper, reflecting and making my own list of strategies and resolutions.

  • I will be present, mindful, and grateful.
  • I will sleep no less than 7.5 hours per night.
  • I will “Winter clean” my home. I will declutter and organize and create space.
  • I will make my revenue goal for Alchimie Forever.
  • I will get a pedicure.
  • I will finish sending out my holiday cards with pleasure.
  • I will read 4 books.
  • I will unsubscribe from email newsletters I no longer read (instead of just deleting them) and unclutter my inbox.
  • I will figure out at least one thing that I am currently doing that I should stop doing in 2019.
  • I will enjoy finishing my Christmas shopping and find the perfect gift for everyone on my list (here are some ideas if you are stuck)
  • I will exercise ten times before the end of the year.
  • I will make a list of my favorite 2018 moments and accomplishments, and of the many lessons I learned this year.
  • I will be kind. I will act kinder than I feel, if necessary, towards all – including myself.
  • I will begin to daydream about the new possibilities, the new projects, the continued partnerships, that 2019 will bring.

24 days and counting…

2018 Goals 

I am in Los Angeles today (well, technically, Manhattan Beach) for an all-day meeting that was just cancelled this past Friday morning. After initial frustration, I decided instead that sometimes, cancelled plans are a gift from the Universe. It is January 22, 2018, and I am already feeling overwhelmed and behind. Actually, if I am really honest, so far this month (this year) I have felt organized on January 3rd and 4th

Somehow the year started so intensely that I am still figuring out my 2018 goals, 2018 budget, 2018 marketing plan. So today, the Universe gave me the gift of catch up. After a run by the ocean to clear my head, a Fast Eddy juice from Sunlife Organics, I am sitting outdoors in the sun thinking about my goals.

 My Alchimie Forever goals are focused on revenue growth, a new product launch (fabulous retinol serum in the making), and continued profitability. Also, I commit to redoing all of our Youtube videos which really need a lot of improvement (don’t watch them!). I will work to delegate more, which should be made easier by the arrival of our newest team member Emma, Sales & Marketing Project Manager.

 My personal goals involve both recurring resolutions and new commitments:

  • Drink more water (I think this has been on my list most years…).
  • Continue my one-day juice cleanser per month (and actually, today is January’s day… when in SoCal…).
  • Carry less paper around with me – if you know me, you know my Céline tote that goes anywhere I go, which weighs an average of about 22-25lbs. Apparently my back pain may be related to this…
  • Exercise three days per week – consistently. This week will be the first 2018 week where this actually happens.
  • Read more. Specifically, finish reading the stack of books on my bedroom floor that remain “pending” since I “Marie Kondoed” my book shelves over a year ago.
  • Clean out my closet. Apparently, the average woman wears only about 30% of her closet. This is probably my case, so I need to do something with at least 50% of the remaining 70%.
  • Be kinder. In particular to the TSA employees at the airport who sometimes get on my nerve. And maybe also to myself (reminding myself for example that finalizing 2018 goals on Jan 22 is not the worst possible thing in the world).

I like to have a word that defines each year for me – like a leitmotiv. I don’t have my word yet for 2018… I am hoping I will by the end of this day during which I will be catching up, but also letting my brain roam around freely in the California sunshine.

Happy 2018!

welcome September

September… Back to school the adult way

Growing up, I always loved the back to school time of year. It felt like a second chance at starting fresh, at resolutions and goals – almost like a second New Year. I loved purchasing school supplies, a paper agenda (the annual cycle was the school year back then), and planning for a great (school) year.

  • As an adult, I still love the arrival of September (including Vogue’s September issue, which to me signals the official end of summer), and have created some new rituals to welcome the fall, and the last four months of the calendar year.
  • A look at my year’s resolutions, and where I stand on what I said in January that I would focus on this year. After 8 months, have I held true to these guidelines? If not, do I need to shift where I spend my attention?
  • A list – I am as you know a lover of lists – of those key things I want to achieve before December 31st. Maximum 5 items, high-level and strategic, a mixture of personal and business.
  • A closet tune-up, including the addition of one item of clothing or accessory that will anchor my style for the coming season.
  • A week (usually the last week of August) during which I commit to quiet time spent outdoors, ideally in the early morning. 15 minutes spent watching the leaves slowly change colors, embracing nature’s way of ushering a new season in, enjoying the rhythm of this natural cycle.

Goodbye August, hello September!

 

 

 

 

Mid-year goals evaluation

I cannot believe that we are almost in July… and that half of the year is gone. On a six hour drive yesterday I mentally revisited my 2011 goals, both personal and professional, and realized there is much to do still. I thought by putting in writing what I have accomplished this year so far, and what I have yet to accomplish, by sharing this with you and with the Universe, I would hold myself more accountable and move forward with more purpose. Feel free to periodically ask me how I am doing on any of these goals… knowing you might be a great motivator!

Ada goals:

– Drink more water: done! I now carry around a water bottle everywhere I go.

– Read more: in process. Current book: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

– Learn to be a good wife: hmm… not sure about this one. Need to ask my husband.

– Build my art collection: in process.

– Develop a better morning routine: not done. I still read emails on my phone before even opening both eyes up. Need to stop doing that and start my day in a different way. Thoughts?

– Unsubscribe from emails I don’t read: in process. Hopefully you are reading this one and won’t unsubscribe…

– Do more yoga: definitely need to work on this.

Alchimie goals:

– Consolidate our partnership with Universal Companies: in process (the six hour drive yesterday was Abingdon – Washington DC).

– Grow sales: in process; in my mind, sales are never high enough and never grow fast enough

– Reformulate our products without parabens: in process

– Improve our sampling program: done! As of next week, we will have beautiful paquette samples of five of our best-selling products! So excited…

– Continue to generate national, international, trade and online press mentions: in process. Would you like to write about us? Email me!

– Relaunch our website: done! Have a look…

– Do more with social media: in process. Are you a fan on Facebook? Do you follow us on Twitter? Have you seen our various YouTube videos?

– Improve our sustainability practices: in process. We are reducing, reusing, and recycling. Our new brochure is printed on paper from managed forests, with vegetable dyes. Our new samples are aluminum, not plastic. We are working with the Arbor Day Foundation and Casey Trees to plant trees throughout our community. And we are having fun doing it!

– Find someone to join our Board of Directors: in process. Interested? Please email me to apply!

Affirmations and accountability

If you ask people who know me to list 5 adjectives that describe me, more likely than not they all would say, among other things, reliable, accountable, and hard working. I think that comes with birth order, I am a pretty typical eldest child. Yet, one can always be more reliable, more accountable, more hard working. One can also always have a bigger vision, and work more effectively to make that vision a realits. In the last two weeks, I put in place two new systems in my life: affirmations and an accountability partner.

My husband thinks I have taken things to a whole new level of crazy, but I am enjoying it. For both of these new initiatives, I have to thank my girlfriend Anne, who is an inspiration and role model, and who taught me about these two systems.

First – affirmations. My Mom used to tell me when I was grumpy: “Force a smile, if you force it long enough it will become reality.” I think affirmations somehow follow the same concept  – say it out loud and it will become true. Affirmations are statements that either represent a current reality that needs reinforcement, or a future aspiration. Saying these affirmations out loud every morning somehow makes the statements truer, the goals more attainable, and generally shifts the energy in the Universe so that I behave more easily according to these statements. I have 18 affirmations. I wrote them down on small white notecards a week ago today, and I say them out loud (not too loud, I am still shy about them) every morning. They range from business, to family, to personal, and encompass goals (for example, “Alchimie is on the Inc 500 List”) as well as behaviors I want to live every day (for example “I am grateful for what I have.”).

Second – an accountability partner. We all have goals. My friend Heidi has 137 goals, broken down in annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly milestones. I am not quite there yet, but working towards it. Goals are great. Goals are even if you make sure that every week you work to achieve these goals. Sometimes, life takes over, better and sometimes on a Sunday evening I find myself wondering what I accomplished all week that really mattered to me, to my family, or to the business – what have I done to reach closer to my goals? Now, I have Kassie, my accountability partner.  We have a weekly call every Friday morning, and a Google Goals Excel sheet that needs to be updated regularly. Every Friday, we discuss our past week’s goals, go down our lists, and have to explain to each other why certain things didn’t get accomplished. And every week, we discuss our goals for next week, and how we are going to accomplish them. Now, as accountable as I am to myself, it’s a whole lot harder to make excuses to another person… not wanting to have to explain to Kassie why I didn’t do something means that amazingly, this system has enabled me to accomplish a couple projects that have weighed on me for a long time.

Crazy? Maybe. Useful? Definitely. Fun? Of course. I encourage you to try both systems, and be amazed at the difference they make. Thank you Anne.