Reducing the Stress of Christmas

You Can’t Work as Hard as Santa Claus, So Don’t Even Try

Every year, jolly old St. Nick travels the entire globe in less than twenty-four hours, giving toys to every good little boy and girl.  In the course of one day, he will sneak down countless chimneys, devour millions of cookies and gallons of milk.  Prior to Santa’s big night, he will have overseen a factory of elves who are able to churn out toys at an amazing rate.  He’ll also be double-checking one of the biggest lists ever compiled.  Santa Claus is a real performer!

The rest of us can look to Santa for some guidance regarding the Christmas spirit, but we do not need to try to duplicate his hard work.  One of the biggest causes of holiday stress is taking on more than we can accomplish.

You don’t need to work around the clock like Santa to have a great holiday season, so don’t place those high expectations on yourself, and don’t make promises you simply cannot keep. Limiting what you can realistically do will help reduce the stress of the holidays.

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks:  Plan for the Hustle and Bustle of the Holidays

We all have a lot to do during the holiday season and time to get everything accomplished can be hard to find.  The holiday time crunch is often exacerbated by the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.  Stores will be packed, streets will be busy, and the weather can be downright uncooperative.

By planning your holiday activities with an expectation of delays, you can decrease holiday stress.  Instead of being upset and shocked that it took longer to check out of the store than usual, the savvy holiday planner will have already scheduled the delay into their plans.  If the city sidewalks aren’t too busy and everything runs ahead of schedule, they have even more time to handle their holiday preparations.  By anticipating delays, you can reduce holiday stress considerably!

Fran Watson

Christmas Stress ? Click for some tips on reducing stress

Links to some other articles

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Achieving Success With Confidence

5 Tips to Achieving Success with Confidence

Achieving success can make you a more confident person, but it’s difficult to reach the level of success you desire without confidence. Confidence is the catalyst to overcoming doubts and fears and can help you through the worst obstacles you’ll encounter on the road to success. Here are some tips to help you get the confidence you need to climb the success ladder:

  1. Be true to yourself. Your values and belief system must be firmly in place if you want to achieve a success you can be proud of and to ensure you like yourself when you do reach the top of the ladder.

If you achieve success in ways which compromise who you truly are, you won’t be able to enjoy your achievements. It will be a success built on shifting sand rather than solid ground and may crumble and fall with time.

  1. Trust in your abilities. You may have much to learn before you can succeed in a chosen field or path. However, it is important to think of all that you’ve achieved so far and obstacles you’ve already overcome and trust that you can do more.

Don’t dismiss what you’ve learned so far in life. You might think it was easy and that anyone could do it, but others may see it as remarkable and look up to you for it.  Often when there are things we are really good at, we dismiss them because they come easily to us, while to others they do not and that is why they recognized what you have achieved.

Think about creating a portfolio of your achievements.  You may be surprised by what you have already accomplished.  (Not sure how to do this?   Message me and I will send you some info.)

  1. Mindset is crucial. Repeating positive affirmations and shooing negative thoughts away builds strength for your subconscious mind – a powerful ally in your quest for success.

Your subconscious mind, when trained to do your bidding can make a real difference in how you and others see yourself. It can also be a detriment if you let negative thoughts permeate and gain control – making you doubt your true abilities.  Whenever a negative thought creeps into your mind, picture the thought written on a chalkboard and see the eraser in your hand to wipe it out.

  1. Your body speaks. Watch your posture, stance and control of your body language. Be aware of any negative messages it may be sending. It can be a powerful ally when dealing with others and expecting a great outcome. Sitting up straight (as your mother probably used to tell you) can send a far different and more positive message than slumping.

Study body language and begin to practice it. When you enter a room with your head held high and walking like you own where you are and how you present yourself, people will take notice in a positive way.

  1. Dress for Success. When you present yourself as unkempt and looking wrinkled and ungroomed, the image isn’t one that reaps success.  It’s great to be comfortable, but think of the message you may be sending.  I know of one person who went to an interview dressed the way they usually dressed for work – the ripped jeans, T-shirt – and they did NOT get the job even though they were well qualified.  The message the interviewer got was that they were not really interested in the job.

If this is an area of your life where you lack skills, seek the help of others and develop a style you’re comfortable with and which fits the image you want to present.

For more information get my Checklist Rev and Journey2Confidence Rev on building confidence.

Fran Watson

Fran Watson, Career Counsellor

Here to help you

P.S.  Put a smile on your face as you step out into the world today.

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Express Gratitude

With all the posts I have been receiving today from my friends in the US, I have been filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for many things in my life:  my health, my family (4 children & partners, 4 grandchildren and 1 on the way, 1 great grandchild, my boyfriend of almost 20 years, a sister and niece, my mom age 99 and a nephew).  I am indeed blessed.  I have food to heat, a warm house to be in, work to do, and books to read.

What are you most grateful for? Who are the top 5 people you appreciate most and why?

When some people think of gratitude, they think of the Thanksgiving holiday. But gratitude is so much more than an annual holiday. It’s a way of life that can have a deep impact on you.

If you want to bless someone, you can write a short note and let them know how much you care. Here are a few tips to help you get started…

Keep it Short

Some people believe that a thank you note has to be super long in order to be sincere. However, a short thank you letter doesn’t have to be more than two paragraphs. In fact, a brief message can be more meaningful than a long one that rambles.

Share Examples

When writing a thank you letter, try to mention what the recipient did. For example, you might write a thank you note to the speaker of a women’s conference, thanking the speaker for the time she took to encourage others behind the scenes.

Once you’ve shared what the person did, explain why it was so meaningful. For instance, you might touch on how the speaker’s compassionate response spoke to your heart.

Be Authentic

Keep in mind that writing a letter of gratitude isn’t like writing a college term paper. You don’t have to use fancy words or impress the recipient. Instead, share from the heart and use everyday language.

Handwritten Means More

In today’s fast paced world, it’s tempting to send your thoughts via email. But a physical, handwritten letter shows the recipient that you cared enough to spend valuable time writing to them.

A handwritten note often becomes a keepsake item. This gives the receiver a chance to re-read your kind words whenever they’re in need of encouragement.

Don’t Forget The Closing

When you’re finishing a note, you may struggle with how to end it. For a casual letter that’s going to a friend or family member you know well, you may want to use an expression of love like, “sending hugs” or “love you tons”.

But for a professional letter, you’ll want a more formal closing. Try using an expression like, “thanks again” or “sincerely”. These closings show you care without being too personal.

Think of the ones who’ve influenced you over the years and consider writing one of them a handwritten thank you note. A few people you may want to thank include: a teacher that believed in you, a mentor that guided you during a difficult season, or spiritual leader who encouraged you.

Stay tuned for an opportunity to pick up a Workbook and Journal.

Fran Watson


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Black Friday

I am sure that you have probably been receiving a lot of emails surrounding the Black Friday sales, but I wanted to let you know about some of the ones my friends have going on.

One of the people I love to follow is Melody of PLR of the month club.  She has some absolutely fabulous planners and she is offering a number of them for only $5 each.  It expires tonight though, so you have to be quick.

She also has a few other offers, one which I picked up as soon as I saw it…   And using the Code TURKEY60 will get you a 60% discount.

Angela Wills is offering some of her past products in a bundle for only $67 for PLR rights ($37 for personal use).  These are products she has sold for much more, but they will be gone this week.

If you like to colour you will love this package put out by Rayven Monique

There are many more and if you are interested in finding out about them, please drop me a note.

Fran Watson

P.S.  If you are in the USA Happy Thanksgiving

P.P.S.   This just in to my mailbox:

Coach Ready Content Discount
Take 60% off everything in the Done-For-You category and all self-study courses,( 4 Step Digital Product Creation and Do-Able Content Creation Framework) through Cyber Monday when you use the code 2019BLACKFRIDAY.  The coupon is good right now, so you don’t need to wait until Friday.
Coach Ready Content Black Friday 60% Discount

P.P.P.S.   The links above are all affiliate links, so if you do purchase from one of them I may receive a commission.

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Finally out of Google Purgatory

For the past couple of months every time I tried to connect with this site I was greeted with a red warning screen.  You may have encountered the same thing.  I was so glad tonight to find out that I was free!!

One of the things I was concerned about losing was all of the posts since 2012, so as soon as I could get logged in, I copied them all and I have 256 pages of information.  I am going to be reviewing this to see what I can bring back, what I can change or improve, what I can develop and then post it here.

My plan is to post 2-3 times a week.  Tonight I might post some of the great Black Friday bundles that some of my friends are promoting.  There are certainly some fabulous deals.

Be back soon


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The Right Jungle

Are you in the right jungle?

This morning in my daily reading I read the following:  “Effectiveness…does not depend solely on how much effort we expend, but on whether or not the effort we expend is in the right jungle.”  Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

Then I watched a Darren Hardy Daily and he talked about “Finding Exactly What You Want” and making sure that you know what that is.  He said that a clear expectation directs your attention to what you are looking for.  It’s like taking a flashlight into a dark room in search of something particular.

For me this morning it was taking a flashlight to my fuse box to find the fuse that had given out and plunged me into darkness.  I had a power outage earlier this morning and it must have impacted my system a bit as it blew my breaker.  Power was restored to most of my house, but my kitchen was dark.  It was a fuse.  An easy fix – the right jungle.

In looking at my business I realize that sometimes I am not in the right jungle.  I am working away on tasks that will not lead me in the direction I need to be headed in order to be successful.  Have you ever felt that way?

I have chased shiny objects, each a jungle on their own for me to get lost in.  I am interested in so many things.  I am excited about POD or Publish On Demand  and Low Content Publishing of coloring books and reports.  Yet, I have my book of Poetry that remains unfinished.  I had intended for that to be ready last year.

Perhaps if I identify my jungles and create a path to move to and through each one, looking at what I need to accomplish in each jungle, targeting something specific that I can then give a date to start and finish it, I will feel less scattered and more focused.

Previously I have identified that FOCUS is my downfall.  I have connected with people like Connie Ragen Green and Jennifer Burke and Kelly McCausey and all have excellent advice that I try to follow, but I realize as they say, “the buck stops here”.  It is up to me to make the necessary changes in my life to get where I need to go. But first I need to identify where that is.  I need to stop rushing around and really and truly look at my path.

How are you doing?  Are you in a jungle?  In a place where you can’t see the forest for the trees? Join me in taking some time to reflect and review on what is truly important.  Identify one thing you will work on this week.  For me it will be my book of poems.  I invite you to comment and message me to keep me on track.

To moving through the jungle on the right path.

find your path in the jungle

Fran Watson

P.S.  I have another blog at and I invite you to check that out as well.

P.P.S.  I will post some of my poems here from time to time, so check back often.  Here is one:

Poem by Fran Watson - Risk

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How To Stay Healthy

It’s Monday morning and here in Ontario, Canada, we are having a heat wave.  We are receiving health warnings to stay inside and stay cool.  After all the rainy days we had this spring, the sun is wonderful, but we do need some rain again.

I was reading a blog post by my friend Lane Therrell this morning about staying healthy – 5 sources of Health Inspiration.  She begins with the following question: “Do you need some extra inspiration to improve your health?”   (I think most of us do.) Then she said:  “Most people don’t put inspiration and health in the same category. But when proactive lifestyle change is on your agenda, inspiration becomes a key factor in keeping your motivation alive.”

Wanting to be inspired to be healthier, I continued reading.  Lane said:  “Sometimes, inspiration is simply a matter of asking the right questions. This usually involves asking ‘different,’ questions from the ones you may already be obsessing about.

The questions you ask can help you re-frame a problem so you can see it a new way. For instance, if you’re wondering how to solve a problem and you can’t come up with an answer, try asking yourself how ‘Sam’ or ‘Linda’ might approach it.”

“Sometimes, the best thing you can do to spark some creativity or solve a problem is to take a break.”   Good idea Lane, I think I will take one now.  I have been painting for the past couple of hours and the paint needs to dry.  I will have a coffee and read more of your blog about ways to stay healthy.

Why don’t you take a break and learn more tips about how to stay healthy?  Say “Yes to Your Heath” and head on over and check out Lane’s blog here 

To staying healthy!!

Fran Watson

Bulding Confidence

Fran Watson Career Counsellor


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Summer Vacation

How are you spending your summer vacation?

Have you made plans, or are you just taking it one day at a time?

I just read a post by Connie Ragen Green that made me think about my plans for the summer, even though her post is mostly for younger people. (If you are a millennial, or have a millennial in your home, you should check it out.)

Connie starts off with this paragraph:  “Every generation sees the world from their own unique perspective. I was born in 1955 and am considered to be smack dab in the middle of the Baby Boomer generation. Raised by parents who were defined by the Depression and World War II, fear and uncertainty of the future was ingrained in me from an early age. It’s only been in the past decade or so that I have finally understood the advice I was given when I was a younger by those older than myself. This included getting a college degree; working for a corporation; buying a home; and saving and then investing for my future from a young age.”

Connie and I are close to the same age.  Substitute the year 1948 for my birth, starting my degree at age 38 and finishing at age 51 (I was working full time and raising 4 kids as a single mom).  But that first statement grabbed me.  “Every generation sees the world from their own unique perspective.”

Sometimes it is difficult for those of us who are a little older to understand why young people do the things they do, but then our own parents probably felt the same way.  There are probably many words of advice that I didn’t comprehend until I had my own children.

Here is the link to Connie’s article…  see what speaks to you.

Enjoy your summer

Fran Watson

P.S.  My plans include sitting on the back deck with a glass of lemonade and listening to the birds sing for at least half an hour each day.  I was told this morning that each of us needs to allow some “white space” in our day to create and think.

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The Importance of Gratitude

I was listening to a post about gratitude by Emily Chadbourne in That Crazy Thing Called Life and she mentioned she had just found an article about Gratitude… I thought I would share a bit of it here for you… (link to post at the bottom of this article)

“We often hear about the power of gratitude for creating a more positive and happy mental state. But did you know that gratitude literally transforms your brain?

According to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, regularly expressing gratitude literally changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier.

When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive, and less resistant. And gratitude is the most effective practice for stimulating feelings of happiness.”

Do you practice gratitude rituals?  Do you have a gratitude journal?  Have you experience the power of gratitude in your life?

Studies were done and there were significant findings about how gratitude benefits us, including this one: “A fourth study didn’t require a gratitude journal, but looked at the amount of gratitude people showed in their daily lives. In this study, a group of Chinese researchers found that higher levels of gratitude were associated with better sleep, and also with lower levels of anxiety and depression.”

Better sleep, with less anxiety and depression. Certainly compelling reasons to express gratitude more regularly.

Read more here:

Fran Watson

P.S.  Here is a Gratitude Journal for you.

Journal LETTER


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Confidence and Connie Ragen Green


Just read this really cool quote about confidence from Benjamin Hardy which Connie Ragen Green posted in an article.  Boy, did it speak to me.

“The more confidence you have, the more imagination and courage you can have. You need both imagination and courage to create a better life.

In order to have real confidence, you not only need to succeed at what you’re doing. You need to COMPLETE things (of course, some things should be dropped).

If you’ve been avoiding things in your life, then you can’t have confidence. Avoidance means you’re living in and dragging the past with you, wherever you go.

Confidence comes from being congruent with yourself. It also comes from completing hard things. As you become increasingly congruent with yourself, and as you complete big stuff– your confidence will soar. This will open your future up in amazing ways.

What are you avoiding?

What must you complete?

How can you become more congruent in your life?”

I have so many unfinished projects around my house.  I am a great starter, but not always such a great finisher.  I guess that’s why I often lack confidence in taking on projects and trying new things.  How about you?

There is much more about confidence, such as:  “Confidence is knowing I can cope, act as I intend, and succeed in a given situation. It’s trusting that I will reliably show up as my best self and do a good job. Confidence is not blocked by fear, is a combination of mindset and movement, and is best developed via trust, intention, congruent action, and self-reflection.”

Read more here:  This article was originally published on her site at

To building confidence

Fran Watson

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