Checklist for Overcoming Pre-Speech Jitters

microphone-298587_640Public speaking is one of those things that leaves some people weak in the knees. With wedding season and graduation on the horizon it may be time to start preparing that special speech. I know how stressful it can be to give a speech packed with humor, excitement and memories, all while shaking in your own heels. I was a maid of honor once and I wrote and rewrote my speech over and over again.  I even practiced in front of the mirror!  In the end it was fine but what an ordeal!

If you are tasked with giving a speech at a wedding, at work or even in front of the PTA — do not fear.  Bill McGowan, author of “Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every time” has created this checklist just for us to help calm nerves and deliver a stellar speech. Read more

Checklist For Pet Owners Before It’s Too Late


Losing a pet is one of the most difficult times you’ll ever go through. It’s like losing a member of the family. I lost my dog when I was young and still miss her. I’ve mentioned Brody, my cousin’s beagle, from time to time on this blog and his fear of fireworks and adorable personality.

Sadly, Brody’s kidneys started to fail him and he had to be put to sleep recently. It’s a decision that has affected my entire family. Everyone loves Brody. His owner, my cousin Jen, wanted to share a list of things all pet owners should think about before it’s too late.

Checklist For Pet Owners Before It’s Too Late

by Jennifer Walsh

My recommendation is to think about these things now, while your pet is healthyBrody and his family and you are not overly emotional, as I was. Maybe it’s a good idea to write them down and keep them in a safe place so that when the time comes & you need this list you have all your decisions in writing. I am sure that this will not make these decisions any easier or that you will not change your mind, but maybe you will feel better prepared. When my dog passed, it was a very difficult time. I found myself looking for distractions everywhere and ended up getting a pit border collie mix to keep me company. Getting her really saved me a lot of sadness. I know not all dog owners want to get a new dog straight away but for me, it really helped. A pit and collie mix require a lot of exercise so I was constantly going on walks and it really did take my mind off the situation. Everyone’s situation is different and you have to do what feels right for you, there are no right or wrong decisions.

Think about how you may want to proceed should your vet bring up the topic of euthanasia. For us, we felt that the decision should be left up to the vet, who we trust only wanted the best for Brody and was making a level-headed decision. We didn’t want to let Brody go, but we also didn’t want him to suffer for our selfish reasons. Read more

List Maker Creates Career Success


Have you ever wished there was someone to help you answer the question, “what do I want to do with my life?” Alex Cavoulacos is the Founder and COO of The Muse, the site that helps you do just that.

She uses lists to help herself be more productive and organized, and to assist others reach their potential – that’s why she’s a featured list producer!

Check out Alex’s “musings” on list making:

Q. What do you make lists about?

A. Anything I can think of can be a list. I of course keep track of my to dos using a list, but I make also lists of product ideas, travel destinations, present ideas (for myself and others), design inspiration for The Muse and candidates I’m excited about. That and many more!

I’m a big believer in having a single to do list for work though.

Q. How often do you make lists?
A. Making lists is part of my day to day. I don’t start new lists every day (I think it would be counterproductive at that point) but I do add to and re-visit lists near daily. I find that writing down and capturing ideas or thoughts instead of keeping them in my brain helps me increase focus and avoid that nagging feeling that I forgot something.

Read more

How to Live a Life Full of Gratitude

I’m all about having a gratitude list — I find that it really helps you focus on what’s important and all of the things you have in your life. It’s a great motivational technique and Miria Kutcher, professional life coach, says it will help you live a happier life. Here’s her list for ways to live a life full of gratitude:

How to Live a Life Full of Gratitude

by Miria Kutcher

The main difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich carries a list of what they have and the poor carries a list of what they need. Which list are you focusing on?

Being grateful for what you have is a powerful place to start.

With a heart full of gratitude, there’s no space for need, unhappiness, stress and or conflict. When we decide to see the positive things that life has to offer, we help life to bring us even more of what it has to offer.

There’s nothing better than gratitude to raise your energy level and bring you happiness. With gratitude in our heart, we attract more pleasant situations and people around us seem nicer and easier to deal with.

No secrets here… here are some simple steps to live a more grateful life.

1. Every morning or end of the day write at least 5 things that you are grateful for starting with: “I am grateful for…”

2. Pay attention to areas in your life that you want to improve. If it is your health, write things that are you are grateful for in your body and get focused on that. “I am grateful that I can easily walk.” “I am grateful that I drink water effortlessly.” “I am grateful that my teeth are strong.” etc…

3. Is the appearance of your body annoying you? Look into what you like about your body and write down a list of qualities that you are grateful for – be grateful for the body you have. Do the same with your financial wealth or your relationships. Being grateful will help you to see that miracles can and do happen.

4. Try to find different things every day to stimulate yourself to explore even more reasons to be grateful.

If at this moment of your life it is impossible to write a gratitude list, honor your feelings and write down all the problems that are challenging you. Be specific, realistic and honest with yourself.

Doing that, you are developing an awareness of yourself and from there you can choose to take responsibility for your involvement in the situation. Being grateful for all that you have will help in many unexpected ways in the New Year!

Miria Kutcher is a professional life coach and EFT practitioner who helps clients embrace who they really are. Through Emotional Freedom Technique she teaches individuals how to find their passion and live a happy, healthy, balanced and fulfilling life.

Creating A Realistic Bucket List

Whenever someone tells me that they are new to listmaking — I always suggest making a life list or bucket list first.  You know yourself better than anyone and you know what you like and don’t like.  A bucket list is a collection of your greatest hopes, dreams and goals.  It can include something as extreme as “travel around the world,” or as practical as “learn Spanish.”  But it is important to make your list attainable if you really are serious about crossing off all the items.  For ways to keep your list manageable and realistic — Christine Harding from offers this guest post: Read more