Why Dreaming Big Is Getting You Nowhere And What You Need To Start Doing For Success

By Nicole Tinkham

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You’ll hear us say it all the time and it’s definitely something we believe in and stick by. It’s important to love this life of yours, to do the things that make you happy, and to dream big. You may have already started dreaming big by writing some goals down, creating a vision board, and visualizing your future. That’s great if you have and something we still encourage you to do. But what happens when you’re doing all this dreaming and nothing ever happens? If you’re feeling a little defeated and frustrated, this blog is for you. We’ll explain why dreaming big is getting you nowhere and what you need to start doing for success.

Dreaming big is the first piece of the puzzle. It’s figuring out what you really want in life and it’s certainly a crucial step. But if you stop at your dreams without taking action, you will never move forward. How do you expect these dreams to actually happen? Think they’re just going to fall into your lap? We can tell you from experience that’s not how this works. What you can start doing though is thinking big.

For example, it’s so easy to get lost in the excitement of a new career opportunity. You’re creating this new life for yourself and you have a list of things you’re dreaming of accomplishing. But the question is, are you taking those dreams and strategically planning what exactly will happen in your future? When you don’t have a plan one of two things typically happens. Either you get burnt out on this big dream or you fall behind trying to adapt to these new changes in your life.

What you need to do is get out of your head and get “all in” on the things you want to accomplish. You must give it your all. You must have a plan and take action. You must get focused. You may even have to make sacrifices like TV time, sleep, and extra vacations at least until you get things rolling. If you’re not 100% in it, it’s still all just a dream. You need to switch from dreaming big to thinking (and doing) big!

There’s no way of predicting the future but it doesn’t hurt to have a game plan either way. Know exactly what your next step is if you succeed and what your next step is if you fail. Sure, there will always be little surprises that come up along the way but you can handle them confidently when you have a strong plan. Don’t just wait around to see what happens. Be prepared.

So while dreaming big paints the picture of how your life could look, it’s also important to think big. Take action on those dreams, follow through with them, and plan for anything the future may bring (good or bad). It may be impossible to predict exactly what could happen in the future but think through every possible situation you can imagine and plan for it. If you’re a dreamer but feel stuck, start doing these things to finally see success in your life.

5 Planner Hacks That Will Change Your Life

By Nicole Tinkham

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It’s the beginning of a new year and if you’re gearing up to make the most of it, you probably purchased a brand new planner and you’re ready to go. Maybe planning and staying organized last year didn’t work out so well or maybe you’re just totally new to this. In either case, we understand the struggle of organization. It can be completely overwhelming looking at a book full of tasks that need to be done. Or maybe you forget to open up your planner altogether which makes having one pretty pointless. Don’t worry; we have 5 planner hacks that will change your life and help keep you organized throughout the whole year.

1.    Don’t include everything

There’s two types of people in the world; those who don’t (or rarely) write important things down and those who write every single little thing down. They key is to find that sweet spot. You have to write some things down but jotting down too much just becomes overwhelming. If there’s something you do on a daily basis without much thought, it doesn’t need to go in your planner. For example, you’ll want to have your dentist appointments marked down in your planner but it’s not necessary to schedule time to brush your teeth every day. You should hopefully be in the habit of doing that daily already.

2.    Plan to plan

We know you want to use your planner and stay organized but the problem normally lies in something as simple as forgetting to sit down and plan. You just need to get in the habit of doing so consistently. Schedule time to sit down and plan for the day, week, and month. It may only take you 15 minutes but it won’t get done unless you plan on getting it done. So how exactly do you plan to plan? We recommend setting an alarm to go off on your phone as a reminder. You should also schedule things into your planner at the same time every day. So for example, you can plan your day at 9:00AM daily, plan for your week every Sunday at 9:00AM and schedule for the month on the 1st of every month at 9:00AM. The more consistent your timing is, the easier it is to form the habit of getting it done.

3.    Use only one planner

If you think having one planner is difficult to keep up with, you’ll drive yourself bonkers with multiple books. Sometimes it may seem like a good idea to separate your home life from your career to-dos but we advise against that. You’ll find yourself flipping back and forth between the two planners which will only make the process more confusing. Plus this is exactly why colorful highlighters, pens and washi tape were invented. Instead of using a whole different book, color-code your tasks to keep them separate but all in the same spot.

4.    Personalize it

Your planner is a very personal thing and should be treated as so. It’s important to choose a planner that will suit your needs. For example, if you do a lot of traveling, a compact planner may be perfect so you can easily take it everywhere with you. But if you take a lot of notes, a larger planner may be ideal for you so you have enough room to write. Get a planner that’s your own personal style. Fall in love with it so you can love using it. Also consider a bullet journal for total customization.

5.    Physically check things off your list

Checking a task (any task, big or small) is so incredibly satisfying. It’s so satisfying that it actually pumps you up for the next task on your list. That being said, actually check off or cross out completed tasks. Oh and don’t stress over the tasks that don’t get completed. You can just move these over to a later date or make a separate list of these tasks to be completed whenever you have the extra time. Remember that you can only do your best so don’t beat yourself up over what doesn’t get done.

Make this year the year you don’t give up all hope on your planner! We know it’s not easy following a planner consistently. It takes some time to plan everything out and it’s so easy to forget to open it up and get planning. But once you’re on a roll with doing it, it’ll become much easier and planning ahead makes everything else easier too. You don’t have to be a super organized person to make a planner work for you. Just keep it simple, be consistent and don’t put too much in it.

Have you had success with your planner? Let us know your top tips in the comments below!

25 Art Careers You Need To Consider

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By Nicole Tinkham

If the reason you haven’t turned your passion for art into a career yet is because you don’t think you could make it as an artist, think again! You don’t have to do the scary task of quitting your day job to become your own boss as an artist. You can take a different route and still use your creative skills in a job that leaves you feeling fulfilled and happy. The following list of 25 art careers take a different spin on the typical painter or other art profession you have in mind. Some of these are out of the box but you may be surprised how well they align with your interests and skills. For example, you may have never thought twice about interior design but if you have an eye for color and placement it could be just the career for you. If you want to make art a full time part of your life, read on for 25 brilliant ideas that you need to consider.

1.    Writer – Gets creative with words in stories, poems, screenplays, and more
2.    Interior Designer – Beautifies indoor spaces
3.    Art Teacher – Teaches skills in universities or art workshops
4.    Art Appraiser – Determines the value of artwork
5.    Art Gallery Manager – Ensures that those who come into the gallery are looked after and oversee installations and exhibits
6.    Caricature Artist – Cartooning for parties and events
7.    Fashion Designer – Designs beautiful clothing
8.    Cake Decorator – Creates edible works of art
9.    Actor/singer – Let your talents shine!
10.    Set Designer – Prepares the stage for theater productions
11.    Museum Curator – Organizes exhibits at museums
12.    Tattoo Artist – Applies artwork in the form of a tattoo
13.    Lighting Designer – Creates lighting effects for production
14.    Restoration Artist – Brings back the original look of an old piece of artwork
15.    Landscape Artist – Designs the layout of plants in outdoor spaces
16.    Architect – The art and science behind designing buildings
17.    Product Designer – Designs the look of different products
18.    Medical Illustrator – Illustrations for medical journals and textbooks
19.    Muralist – Creates large scale paintings on buildings
20.    Screen Printing – Creates designs on clothing using a screen and ink or paint
21.    Textile Design – Designs the look of different fabrics
22.    Florist – Arranges flowers and plants
23.    Musician – Creates art for the ears
24.    Glass Blower – Shapes blobs of molten glass into vessels and shapes
25.    Woodworking – Creates artwork and functional pieces out of wood

Of course, doing your own thing as an artist and working for yourself is the perfect alternative to working for someone else. We love the idea and if it’s in your heart, we say go for it! But this list of 25 art careers may be the ideal stepping stone if you aren’t quite ready to be your own boss. Or it may help you discover exactly what you want to do. Whatever the case may be, the important thing is that you’re happy. Look over this list, consider some different options, then do your research and see if these would be a good fit for you.

Tell us, which of these 25 art careers stands out to you? Have something to add to the list? Just let us know in the comments!

9 Essentials To Living The Good Life

By Nicole Tinkham
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As we go through life, we have our ups and we have our downs. The scariest thing of all isn’t going through difficult times, but just going through life without truly enjoying it. Have you ever woken up in the morning not wanting to get out of bed, just dreading the busy day ahead of you? That’s no way to live! Now’s the time to get your passion back and start living the good life. It’s simple: love what you do, do it with good people, give often, treat yourself well, continue moving forward, do the things you want (even if they’re crazy), keep smiling, and be yourself. Read on to see how you can make these 10 essentials a habit in your life so you can finally enjoy every single day.

1.    Wake up with passion

If you aren’t excited about starting your day, what’s the point of even getting out of bed? We understand that it can be a challenge to do exactly what you want every single day but you have got to find something you can get passionate about. Even a hobby on the side is something that should put a smile on your face. But if you find yourself constantly dreading your day, every day, it may be time to make a career change.

2.    Spend time with good friends

Laughter is the best medicine and a group of positive friends who you can be yourself around is sure to bring more joy to your life. Good times will allow your stress to melt away. You can relax and just have fun. A good group of friends will also lift you up and inspire you to do more with your life, things you may have never considered before.

3.    Give more than you receive

The power of giving far outweighs the act of receiving. You may be thinking that you don’t have much to give but we bet you have more than you realize. Something as simple as a helping hand or a compliment goes a long way. The more you give, the more you’ll put others in a better mood as well as yourself.

4.    Be good to yourself

You are so worth spoiling yourself! Eat healthy, be active, and you can even work on your mind while you’re at it. When you treat your body well everything else starts to improve in your life. You gain more energy, sleep better, experience less aches and pains, and just feel happier. And don’t forget to pamper yourself from time to time too! Get a nice massage or take a long restful nap to help you feel your best.

5.    Keep moving forward

So maybe you feel content with life and that’s a wonderful thing. However, staying in the same spot is just as bad as moving backwards and living an unhappy life. There are times to be happy where you’re at and times to move forward. If you never move forward, you’ll start to feel stuck. Sometimes moving forward means taking a risk which is scary. But you’ll never know what could possibly happen if you don’t make that change.

6.    Don’t miss out

Get out there and experience life! Don’t pass up opportunities when they come with lame excuses. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re ready or not. Some experiences are just worth it and may never present themselves again. Make time for the things that could possibly change your life.

7.    Do something crazy

We can get so wrapped up in what other people (and society) tell us we should and shouldn’t do. But this is your life and you have every right to make your own decisions even if they are a little out there. If you feel it in your heart, go after it. Do something different. Get out of your comfort zone and discover a new side of yourself.

8.    Smile even on the bad days

When you start the day off poorly, it’s so incredibly easy to let the whole day go downhill from there. But if you proudly wear a smile all day long no matter what, we can almost guarantee you’ll have much better days. Just try it today and see how you feel. A smile can instantly put you and those around you in a better mood.

9.    Be unique

You were born for a reason and you’re different for a reason. The world desperately needs what you have to offer so stop hiding in the shadows, afraid to be who you truly are. Some people may not agree with you and that’s totally fine. Just think about all the lives you can impact of people who can relate to you.

There’s a better life out there for you if you open your heart and allow it in! Stop closing off all new opportunities. Start taking more chances, keeping your own betterment in mind. If you’re not growing and improving as a person every single day, there’s something wrong. You need to pay attention to yourself more! If you’re feeling stuck, follow these 10 essentials for living a good life and put them into action right away. You deserve to do this for yourself.

What Not To Do When Adding New Friends To Your Life

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By Nicole Tinkham

When it comes to creating a friend group, you have more control than you may realize. We’re surrounded by so many people in our lives; some that have a good influence on us and others who have a bad influence on us. These people come and go and it’s easy to hang out with the same people without putting much thought into it. But what if we told you that these people in your life, and more accurately the 5 people you spend the most time with, will determine your success? Would you reconsider who you allow in your circle?

When the people you choose to surround yourself with are positive, uplifting, and are people you admire and aspire to be like, a real change begins to happen in your life. You’ll start achieving more goals, dreaming bigger, becoming happier, and discovering your passions. But in order to find the best people possible for your friendships, you’ll have to do some soul searching. What we know about friendships already (that they just happen) needs to be reconsidered. Now is the time to make better choices, so we put together a list of what NOT to do when adding new friends to your life.

1.    Don’t add someone just to add them

We often strive to surround ourselves with more and more people. We sometimes think that the more friends we have, the better off we are. But the opposite is actually true. It’s more beneficial to have just a few friends who inspire you and lift you up than a bunch who don’t have any kind of positive influence in your life.

Your top five people that you spend the most time with are the most important. The habits of these 5 people are the habits you’ll most likely pick up by spending time with them. Don’t fill these spots up with just anyone. Choose your friends wisely. Be patient because it may take awhile to find the perfect friends.

2.    Don’t choose people who you don’t admire

There are times when it seems like all the wrong people flock to you. You may not have a lot in common with them or no real connection. Don’t just settle! Pick and choose your friends based on how much you admire them. What type of person do you want to be more like? Who do you look up to? Who’s doing the thing you would one day love to do? Remember that the more you hang out with these friends, the more you’ll pick up on their positive habits, and those habits could change your life.

3.    Don’t always be the giver

The perfect relationship will be a balanced one where you’re not always the one giving. Constantly giving will drain your energy! Make sure that both people in the relationship are growing and becoming better people. There shouldn’t be one dragging the other down.

Friendships aren’t just life’s little bonuses. They can actually shape who you are. If you’re spending too much time with toxic people, you’ll have a difficult time rising up to be the person you want to be. Don’t let it happen to you! Cut ties with those toxic relationships if you have to and choose to spend your time with more people who lift you up. You’ll become a happier and more positive dreamer who actually follows through and achieves great things. So when adding new friends to your circle, keep these 3 things NOT to do in mind.

9 Tips For Believing In Yourself And Your Artwork

By Nicole Tinkham

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You don’t have to be an artist to be struggling with your belief and confidence but we know many artists who do. It’s not easy being an artist (we’ve written a whole blog on it here) with exposing your creativity to the world, a world who doesn’t all understand what it means to be an artist. There’s a constant battle of ups and downs, feeling like you’re just not cut out to be an artist then selling a major piece. No matter what area in life it is, it’s extremely easy to let the beliefs of others soak into your own mind leaving you to think you’re just not worthy. We are determined though to get your belief back in both yourself and your artwork! Read on for 9 things you can start doing today to boost your confidence.

1.    Get in the right mindset – You need to change those negative beliefs into positive ones. Here’s a simple exercise to help you do it. Write down your negative beliefs, all of them! Just jot them down in your notebook. Now ask yourself if these beliefs are true. If you think they are, what is your evidence? If you don’t have any, that means the belief is false and you need to cross it off your list. Literally, draw a line through each one. Now it’s time to turn that negative belief into a positive one. Here’s an example.

No one likes my artwork.
I have a following of people who love my artwork.

We know that just writing out the positive belief won’t change everything overnight. That’s why you must read your list of positive beliefs every single day. Don’t stop looking them over because this works! The more you read them, the more you’ll start believing in them.

2.    Focus on the process, not the failure. Failure is the top reason for insecurities. We often take failure to heart and are fearful of making the same mistakes in the future. But if we shift our mindset and start looking at mistakes as opportunities to grow, we are more willing to try new things. Your career as an artist is a process. Believing in you is a process as well. Give it time and continue to move forward no matter what.

3.    You are the expert of your own artwork – Maybe you’re feeling insecure and think you don’t know as much as some more experienced artists. First of all, you will get there with time and practice. Also remember that no one knows your artwork better than you. This is where you are truly the expert. You have all the answers and people can’t question it because it’s your creation. You can’t be wrong here! Feeling a little more confident about it now?

4.    Test yourself and see what you can really do – Get out of your comfort zone and do something different and a little scary. This will not only improve your skills but it also makes those other scary things not seem so bad. It’s like having a fear of heights and deciding to go skydiving. Now climbing a ladder won’t seem half as bad! You are capable of so much but you’ll never realize it until you try new things.

5.    Success partner – Having a success partner to help you get through your struggles and to help push you to greater heights has got to be the greatest support system you can have. They’ll be there to work through the problems, help you get over your fears, and reach your goals. Learn how you can find a success partner here.

6.    Don’t compare yourself to other artists – Always look to other artists for inspiration, not comparison! Everyone is on their own journey and at a different stage of the process. Comparing yourself to others can be a very dangerous thing and it’s easy to start feeling very down on yourself by doing so. Realize that you’re on your own path and you’ll get to where you want to go if you keep focused on your own journey.

7.    Read self development books. These will help you get your mind right and become a more positive, happy, and confident person. It doesn’t matter which book you decide to read as long as you’re flooding your mind with positive thoughts. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a great one to start with. Also treat your body well by eating healthy and being active. It helps you feel better all around.

8.    Hang around people who you aspire to be like – They say your personality turns into the 5 people you spend the most time with and we couldn’t agree more! If you have toxic friends who aren’t trying to do any better with their lives, you need to start hanging around people who lift you up and who inspire you to be a better person. The negative people in your life will only want to bring you down with them. Be selective with who you spend your time with and you’ll quickly start picking up some positive habits which will lift your spirit.

9.    Practice often – So much improvement can happen simply by practicing often! If you’re nervous about sharing or talking about your artwork to others, just start talking about it to everyone! We know it’s a scary thing but it’s the best way to get better at it. It does get easier once you make that leap.

Your success starts with your belief in yourself. Whatever you believe about yourself, you are right. So if you believe that you’ll never sell any of your artwork, you never will. But if you know in your heart that you were born for greatness and that you can make your dreams come true, you will be a huge success. With all the negativity in the world, it’s not an easy task but if you implement these 9 ways to believe in yourself and your artwork, you’ll get there and you can make incredible things happen.

9 Super Easy Ways To Be A Nicer Person

By Nicole Tinkham

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When we think about giving back, we often think about giving our time and money to the community. We immediately think of volunteering, helping out, and making a donation. These are all wonderful things but many of us can’t do them on a regular basis as we’d like to. There’s just not enough time in the day! But there are so many other ways you can make a huge difference to those around you. These things don’t cost you a dime and they’re so easy that you can accomplish several of them within one day. Read on for 9 super easy ways to be a nicer person. This will change your life!

1.    Compliment

Don’t throw out a compliment just to do it. Be sincere about it. Think about that person and the qualities about them that really stand out to you.

2.    Smile

If you’re in a bad mood, smiling will not only make you but everyone around you happy as well. Smile often and spread that joy. It’s totally free, so why not?

3.    “Thinking of you” call

Close your eyes and think about all the wonderful people in your life. The first couple people who come to mind, give them a quick “thinking of you” call. This can be a phone call, email, handwritten note, or a Facebook message. Just let them know that they were on your mind and ask how they’re doing. You never know, that person could really need you in their life at that particular time.

4.    Listen

So often we have conversations and while the other person is speaking, we’re going through in our head what we’ll say next. This is distracting and we may not get the full message from the other person. Instead, take some time to really listen. Be there for that other person without a hidden agenda.

5.    Hold the door open

It’s so simple but means so much! Holding the door open for someone, even a stranger, goes a long way.

6.    Stop complaining

The more you complain, the more you bring the people around you down! Take a full day without complaining, not even once. We bet you’ll feel a whole lot better and you’ll put others in a better mood too.

7.    Express gratitude

Let the other people in your life know how they have made a difference to you. It’s easy to forget about the small things someone else does for you consistently so take some time and really appreciate others.

8.    Notes of encouragement

Grab some Post Its and leave little notes of encouragement to anyone in your life. There’s nothing more powerful than the support of others.

9.    Forgive

This one is the most difficult on the list and it could take same time depending on the situation. It’s not easy to forgive and let go but once you do, you’ll both feel better.

It’s really not difficult to be a nicer person once you take the time to focus on other people. Smile more, have a positive attitude, listen to others, and just be happy. You can make a huge impact on others if you just keep these 9 things in mind throughout the day. Try it out for just one day (at least) to start and let us know how it goes!