People keep journals for all kinds of different reasons: to chronicle the events of their lives, to work through their deepest feelings, to write down things they are grateful for, to sort out their dreams and goals, and even for recording whatever ideas come into their heads, whether it be for a new song or invention, an exotic vacation, new homeschooling ideas, or even bold plans to save the world. A journal is a sacred space to say whatever you want without worrying about anyone else's reaction. It's for your eyes only!
This week's simple change is to make a plan for decluttering your home. Write that down and hang it on your mirror or your refrigerator. Wherever you will see it is where you want it to be. Is your closet overflowing with clothes you don't wear? Are your bookshelves filled with books you're either done with or will never read? Are magazines and newspapers accumulating? Do you have stacks of unread mail? Do you have knick knacks that you have to keep moving in order to dust your shelves that don't really bring you joy anymore? Let's commit to changing all that starting today!!
"Make your bed!" my mother used to yell up the stairs to me. I could never understand why that was such a big deal, especially since it was in MY room, and no one was going to see it anyway! It took many years before I figured out that making my bed wasn't about what anyone else thought or about my mother trying to control me; it was for my own benefit.
Thanksgiving comes once a year, and it's a wonderful time to reflect on our blessings and give thanks. But should we only give thanks once a year? Being tuned into the blessings that come your way every day is the foundation for building an extraordinary life. Even in the hardest of times, there are still things to be grateful for. You attract what you focus on, so focus on the positive! Here are some things that you can be grateful for, not just today, but every day:
Mike and I have a large family full of wonderful and fascinating personalities, and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thanking God for every single one of them! We've had so many wonderful experiences, but we've also had some really rough times in the past 30 years, including times where we lost almost everything. In those times especially, you realize just how important and special family is. It is our rock, and we always know that we have each other, no matter how bad everything else might be goin...
Are you having fabulously extraordinary days, knocking things off your to-do list, moving full speed ahead toward fulfilling your potential, and living your dreams? Or maybe you're hitting the snooze button four or five times, rolling out of bed at the last second, grabbing some coffee and a stale donut, and then running out the door while brushing your hair. There is a better way; it just takes a little planning ahead of time to create a great morning routine, which is the foundation of a fabulous day and an extraordinary life.
1. Adjust Your Evening Routine
It all starts the night before. You need anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep every night, so cut your binge watching off early enough to set yourself up for success. You'll sleep best if you stop looking at electronic screens at least an hour before you go to sleep. Stay away from alcohol and late night eating; they both mess with your sleep cycle. Set up a nice bedtime routine for yourself. Take a hot bath, read a book,...
"Watch out for the men in this town. They like the young girls." This piece of advice came from a checker at a grocery store when we moved to Malibu in 2010, just as my daughters were about to sign a record deal with one of the iconic Universal Music labels as the singing group Cimorelli. Welcome to Los Angeles and the entertainment industry.
It certainly wasn't a secret that there were predators in Hollywood. Even the checkers at the grocery store knew.
"Don't be naive! Those people aren't being supportive; they're out to exploit you!" This jarring comment came from our agent at CAA about a month later. I thought maybe he was just jaded from being in the business too long, but I learned otherwise as time went on.
Less than a year earlier, in 2009, my five daughters had put up a video on YouTube of themselves singing "Party in the USA" acappella, which went viral overnight. We immediately got a call from a high-powered manager in London, who at the time was managing Jessie J,...
Are you living with purpose? Or maybe you're just existing, crossing off the days on the calendar and unintentionally counting down until you die. Or maybe you never quite looked at it that way before, but that's the reality. Either you are living with purpose, or you are just existing. If you want to have a shot at leading an extraordinary life, however, you have to do more than just exist. The good news is, you can change it all in a moment. It's all about decisions, and you can decide right now to find your purpose and live with that at the forefront of everything you do. After all, if you have to work 40 hours a week, why not spend that time working in a field that you love and making a difference in the lives of those around you?
My six daughters as guest performers on a Chinese television show in May 2017
Finding Your Purpose
As a Catholic, I believe that God made each of us uniquely and wonderfully, with our own unique gifts and talents. The first step in finding your purpose...
I met Chris Stefanick in 2008 in Folsom, CA, when he was the speaker at a church conference for teens on purity, a conference that just happened to be my kids' singing group's first gig as a real band. His message had a very powerful impact on my kids and really helped shape their views on life and relationships. I remember when we left that day, one of my girls said to me, “Mom, I really get it now!” Chris hit them at just the right moment, when they were just starting out, and his message really helped solidify the values I had been trying to teach them.
Then last year, when I enrolled my youngest boys in the Confirmation program at our church, I noticed that one of the main books they were using was written by Chris Stefanick. As I googled his name to see what else he had been up to, I saw that he was now speaking to groups of thousands of people, had expanded from youth into family ministry, had written several books, and that he had been invited to be the e...
I never thought of myself as particularly extraordinary. That seems reserved for people like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson or Mother Teresa or people like that. But when I look at the definition of “extraordinary”, I can see that my life has been far from ordinary. Sometimes it seems that when I see something “ordinary”, I automatically run in the other direction. For instance, I have 11 kids, I homeschool, and I’ve been married for 30 years. Definitely out of the ordinary in this particular era.
In addition, I’ve toured the world while managing my daughters’ band, worked with major record label heads, television and movie studios, and had some of the top music producers in the world over to my house. Sometimes it seems surreal that any of this would have happened to an ordinary girl from the central valley farmland of northern California, but as I tell my daughters, it has to happen to someone, so why...