The Official Blog of The GEM.

Diamonds on your inside. That’s what we want. Don’t you? This blog is a place to visit for guidance, humor and wit about healthy, happy lives. We only have one life. Make it count!

Category Archives: Inspiration


Live each day with Intention. Be present.

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Want to be more present in your world? Do you desire to make the shift to a more vibrant, inspired life? Most of you would say yes. The shift begins with you, your thoughts, your time, and your intention to make a shift. Give yourself the gift of time to be more fully present in the world around you. You can ‘intentionally’ set yourself on a desired path, by being more focused on the good things in your life and the world around you–visualize your future reality. When you set your intention, you draw out a plan for where you want your day (and life) to go. We believe that by nourishing your mind, body and spirit every day, you can live the life of a GEM—one of focus, gratitude and health.

How, you may ask? It’s starts as simple as taking the time to do so—to be more fully present. Start by taking your own personal quiet time to begin your day. Wake a few minutes earlier than normal. Take a moment to breathe and be grateful for the new day. Hop out of bed, drink your water and find a spot to sit and contemplate. Write down what you want to see for yourself or list your prayers in a daily journal. Start your mediation with simple thoughts. This practice helps me with my “Find the Joy’ intention.

“Your intention sets your reality.”  ~ Wayne Dyer

Daily affirmations and intentions are key to starting this journey. There are many benefits to chronicling daily gratitude and being more connected. This is the first step. It’s simple, yet not always easy.

Tips:

  • Don’t hurry. It’s just a few minutes anyway.
  • Put your phone on “do not disturb.”
  • Set your intention to be happier when you do this exercise.
  • Be positive and grateful.
  • Be specific about the good things, your purpose for the day, things for self-care.
  • Affirm what you want. I attract awesome.
  • Affirm every day: I AM AWESOME (or something else). Let your day be filled with love and light.

 

Everyday I express gratitude for my family, my health, and the comforts of my home. Other times it is deeper and more profound. What matters is that you recognize those things that are good in and around your life. We have so much, even in the midst of stormy times. Sometimes I go back and read previous entries, and it inspires me. It often makes me grateful for the evolution and the progress I’ve made. And then I write THAT down as something I’m grateful for!!!

It can be an amazing 10 minutes of your morning, righting your path to a brighter, more present YOU.

What about this journal thing? This journal doesn’t have to be fancy, BUT, if you need a little prompting – and we all need a little help sometimes – we’ve prepared a daily journal to remind you to nurture your whole health. It’s called “A Day in The Life” Journal. It contains a page that sparks the thoughts and ideas you need for an inspired day of self reflection and outward consciousness. This is the beginning of a practice that helps you to be more connected to the deeper world around you. Get one for yourself, and one for your bestie.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in every moment.  Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Start your journey to be more inspired and more connected to the deeper world around you. While it may not be the path of least resistance, I assure you it is the path with the most rewards. We only have one life so make the most of it!

Photo credit: Erik Carlson Photography

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Inspired to Change? Share Your Transformation

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment on Inspired to Change? Share Your Transformation

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it. If Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If the lemons are rotten, take out the seeds and plant them in order to grow new lemons.”
~ Louise Hay

There are life altering challenges that hit you. Good things and bad things. Most want to focus on the “what.” But it’s not really WHAT happens that is important. It’s HOW you respond to it that counts.

Leslie transformationMy story of transformation began eight long, juice-filled years ago. You possibly wouldn’t have liked me before October of 2009. Or at the very least, not recognized me. I was my own version of a lemon. Don’t get me wrong, I was loads of fun if you were with me at a party, but daily I was overly stressed, unnecessarily impatient and invariably cramming fairly toxic food and drink down my throat on an all too often basis.

Well, 19 days into “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” I got that rotten lemon thrown my way: I was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes. Whaaaaa? Me? This was the sucker punch that woke me up to transformation.

With three small kids, a kick-ass husband and a CADRE of warrior friends, I was still frozen with fear. What would I do? Control?

I needed someone to light the path and guide me into a healthier lifestyle – one that managed stress, incorporated green veggies and JUICE and excluded toxic people and thoughts. As I researched, I found folks I could follow – folks whose stories and background I could trust. Folks who could help me plant those seeds. The first book I read was about a super groovy girl named Kris Carr whose toxic life was also blindsided by a cancer diagnosis.

The book was Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor by Kris Carr. Holy Batman! I literally scoured every page for knowledge, inspiration, guidance and understanding not just how, but WHY I needed to change. This lit my fire to learn more — do more — be more. With her incredible, unicorn-filled thoughts and info, I finished my treatments and decided to dive deep, changing not just my eating (which was jacked up and toxic), but my thoughts (same), my work (same), and my life. Kris is an inspiration — my lighthouse that brought me to my Peace, my Happy and my Healthy.

With some of that knowledge and inspiration, we opened the very first organic juice bar in Dallas (The GEM) with my disco BFF Mary Kathryn, complete with disco ball and Donna Summer tunes—all as a result of this new-found knowledge and lifestyle and need for change.

Everyday, we share this knowledge with any GEM who wants to FEEL BETTER and BE BETTER. It has become our daily passion.

We hear your stories all the time of how The GEM has transformed you – helped light the path and guide you into a healthier lifestyle. Sure do hope so, because as much as this groovy community inspires YOU, YOU continue to inspire and transform us every single day. Let us hear more!

Have we inspired a transformation for you or your family?

We want to be encouraged by those of you whose lives have been changed, inspired by your stories of hope and transformation. Do you have a story of how The GEM has inspired you and your family in some way? LOVE to hear it. Please share the love with us and others of how you’ve made specific changes to your life.

And if you are at a place in your life where you feel stuck and unable to change course, it is through the act of moving forward with your best intentions, those grounded in profound love and respect for yourself, that you will make the changes needed to transform your life. If I can decide to be healthier, lighter (literally and figuratively), brighter … so can you.

“If you don’t like where you are, MOVE. You are not a tree.” Jim Rohn

 

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Simple, GEMMY Ways to Practice Earth Day, Every Day

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Earth Day is a worldwide event celebrated every April 22nd. Its sole purpose is to demonstrate support for the protection of our magnificent, incredibly complex planet. For almost 40 years, Earth Day continues to raise the awareness and consciousness of every individual, household, business and organization about our vibrant planet.

Inside The GEM, our commitment to our environment has been a part of our creed. Since. Day. Earth DayOne.

In fact, after five years of serving up a plethora of organic juice, smoothies and green bites, we have composted more than 81 TONS of organic matter—diverting it out of the landfills and back into enriching our Earth. We donate this organic treasure to the Texas Worm Ranch in Garland, Texas, whose worms build healthier soil, which in turn is a vital resource for growing all of the organic veggies that our customers rely on at The GEM.

Just like we’ve watched our customers fall in love with Superfoods and healthy food, we’ve seen them adopt a newfound love of healthy habits such as reusing and recycling.

This same kind of energy can happen at your home or business as well.

Mission critical is that everyone knows the 3 R’s: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE! Every act implementing the 3 R’s for our mother earth is worthy.

GEMMY things our customers are doing this Earth Day and every day:

  1. REUSE paper products such as brown paper bags, six pack containers and drink holders. It’s infectious: when other customers see someone bring in a stack of bags or containers, they are quick to get on that reuse and reduce soul train!! Also, shots are a great way to get a quick dose of those much loved Superfoods, and they are super popular at The GEM. Most of our customers hand back our those glass shot bottles with pride because they know they are making a positive impact on their environment by reusing.
  2. REDUCE the need to accept a brown bag for GEM goodies. Hand carry, bring your own bag, drop it in your purse. Now that is GEMMY!!
  3. RECYCLE glass, plastic and paper. At the front door of The GEM, there are recycling receptacles. We see many GEMs using it daily for recycling on the go!

We wish you continued vitality and healthy habits this Earth Day, Earth Week, Earth Month and every day. Keep up the good work Earth warriors!


Celebrating a GEM Milestone: Five Year Anniversary

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Hi GEMs, it’s Leslie here, excited to celebrate another GEM milestone: It’s our five year anniversary!GEM love five years

What started as a small passion and love for a healthy lifestyle, evolved into beautiful community and an incredible friendship between two soul sisters. Five years ago today, The GEM made its debut. With a menu of just a few items (all of which are still going strong), we introduced the concept and power of organic juice to Dallas. Little did Mary Kathryn and I know our new-found passion would ignite a community of GEM lovers to not only embrace us, but whole-heartedly dive into GEM-inspired, disco filled healthy habits.

We are different, and we work hard to be that way. We are authentic—this is how we live. Our commitment is to the finest organic ingredients—nothing is ever short changed.

If we won’t eat it, we won’t sell it, true on day one and still true on our five year anniversary.

AND, we want to share our knowledge with anyone who wants it—through classes, blogs, counseling, or just by sitting at the bar and listening. So while we have evolved into something bigger, we’ve never changed our mission: to share ways to incorporate healthy foods and habits into daily life. We FIRMLY believe in the power of a whole food, plant-based diet, but also that health also comes from positive thoughts laced with a little disco sparkle.

We’ve loved every minute of it, meeting so many incredible people who have transformed their health and their lives in so many ways. Moms have changed how they feed their children. Our GEM Guys come in every day for their Green Glow. Toxic love affairs with diet sodas have turned into an obsession with Forever Young Green Iced Tea. The Crown Jewel is the new addiction of choice around these parts. Our Lentil Soup has become a crowd favorite. And we’ve had the honor to guide many through health challenges that ended with a healthier, happier way of living.

We can’t think of a better way to be and we wanted to let you know it on our five year anniversary.

There is so much yet to come. We have so much more we want to share with you … new recipes, new happiness, new ways to bring vibrant health into your day. So, thank you for welcoming us each day with open arms and open minds. WE LOVE YOU, GEMS!

We are offering free Forever Young Iced Tea or Immunity Shot this week. Come get you some.

And we all shine on …


GEM Gratitude. Want to Make a Difference? Join us November 19th

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We are driven to make a healthy difference at The GEM. One of our missions is to provide clean and healthy nourishment in a happy environment. We are driven to make people happier and healthier by offering healthy options AND hopefully enlightening you along the way to understand what and how healthy food makes a difference to your physical and mental well-being. We are GRATEFUL that we get to experience this every day!!

Making a differenceThat is why we love Feeding Children Everywhere. These folks, who just came to Dallas this year, empower and mobilize people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children and families all around the world. We LOVE that! And, we also LOVE that they are committed to provide the healthiest meal possible, made with real, nutritious and sustainable ingredients. That is an awesome commitment!

Their lentil casserole (yes! Lentils!) is easy to make and can serve as a full meal or as an addition to other foods. It is all-natural with no artificial flavorings and no creepy synthetic or GMO ingredients. And you know how important that is–and lentils for that matter!

They believe one person can make a difference but only with action—action that brings people together. SO, we invite YOU to come with us to help make a difference and assemble these food kits for distribution all over the world.

On Saturday, November 19th, Feeding Children Everywhere hosts the local, DFW Community Hunger Project. Held at St. Philips School, the organization plans to mobilize more than 350 volunteers to assemble thousands of kits in just one day.

These will be distributed right here in the Dallas area, making a difference to families that need nutritious food made with love.

Our GEM team will be there from 9 – 10 a.m. and would LOVE for you to show your GRATITUDE for your own abundance by bringing your smiling self, your friends or your family. For just a short one hour contribution of your time, you can make a healthy difference in the lives of others.

Sign now up by clicking HERE!


Your fatigue’s dirty little secret

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Are you in a constant state of fatigue?cure fatique

Do you …

Feel rundown or overwhelmed?

Have difficulty falling asleep?

Wake up in the middle of the night?

Wake up exhausted, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour?

Feel exhausted late in the afternoon, but more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day?

Crave salty and sweet snacks?

Have brain fog? Chronic racing thoughts?

No, you probably aren’t falling apart. You just might be experiencing adrenal fatigue. What is that, you might ask?

Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit at the top of the kidneys. These guys mobilize your body’s response to every kind of stress. They regulate blood sugar, regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress.

Important roles, no doubt.

So it’s important to keep these guys working properly and don’t over work them. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the demands of stress cannot be adequately met.

Whether emotional, environmental or physical, prolonged stress is disastrous for the adrenals. Prolonged stress wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, causes thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, dizziness and night sweats. Eventually, the adrenals become fatigued.

You want to recognize fatigue so you can begin to manage it before it gets out of hand. Overworked adrenals eventually crash, leading to adrenal exhaustion, where the body is unable to maintain adequate adrenal hormone production. And then you can say hello to extreme fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), irritability, inability to concentrate, frustration, insomnia, addictions to sweet or salty foods, allergies, depression, anxiety, sensitivity to cold, diabetes and headaches…Cliff Notes version: it is not fun!

While we can’t always eliminate stress, we can nourish our bodies and souls in a way that strengthens the response and keep the negative effects on your body at bay.

10 tips to nourish your adrenals: 

1. Breathe! Commit to regular deep breathing exercises. Aim for 10 to 20 deep belly breaths every morning and every night. Six counts in, six counts out. Not only is it calming to the mind and body, it is cleansing and energizing.

2. Eat clean, whole foods. Let food be thy medicine, right? Rid your diet of the nasty five: caffeine (see ya later, coffee), alcohol, table salt, soda and sugar. And say hello to good sources of protein, complex starch, nuts and seeds, super berries and lots and lots of dark greens (they contain great amounts of B vitamins). Nourish yourself through food.

3. Daily organic juice. Flooding your body with super powered greens nourish every inch of your body. Instant energy, without a crash, daily juice helps maintain blood sugar levels and boosts immunity. The new Disco (Super GREEN) juice is the most detoxifying juice yet, power packed with chlorophyll and phytonutrients certain to boost you back to vibrance. For REAL!

4. Sleep. Try to get eight hours for rest and repair. Lack of sleep not only affects adrenals but also hormonal balance. Cortisol levels contribute that puffy ring of belly fat around your middle. Go to bed earlier, and stay screen free for at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Late night viewing of electronic screens are proven to negatively affect sleep patterns.

5. Daily quiet time. This is a good time use a Gratitude Journal identifying five things to be grateful for. Try it—you’ll be amazed how it soothes the mind. Bring awareness to your daily life with meditation. Studies show meditation can drastically reduce stress. Just do it!

6. Try a weekly detox soak. Take a relaxing bath at least weekly to promote detoxification of impurities that tax your system. A detox bath of one cup Epsom salts, one cup baking soda and eight drops of lavender oil just might change your life!

7. Take a daily probiotic. When your gut is healed, health will naturally improve. Bio-Kult is the VERY best probiotic out there. This is something I recommend always!

8. Recover with Bloom! This incredible elixir, called Recovery, is a combination of several organic herbs in a liquid format that helps support adrenals and help the body “recover” from stress—be it physical or mental. I take two droppersful in the morning and at night. I sleep better, and that afternoon fatigue starts to disappear. It’s AMAZING! Get your magic elixir inside The GEM today.

9. Learn to love restorative exercise like yoga. Simple daily yoga stretches, even for just 15 minutes makes an enormous difference.

10. Learn how to say NO … Boundaries. Build your own. This is a major cause of stress. Don’t over commit yourself. There’s only so much of you to go around!!

Learn more ways to nourish your body and soul with a Diamonds on Your Inside counseling session. That’s why we’re here.


New Year’s Resolutions. On Ground Hog Day

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It’s a new year. Again.  And now it’s Ground Hog Day. Again.  Just like the Bill Murray movie, it just keeps happening over and over. It’s been a whole month since the parties, the tinsel, the family, the indulgence. I say it’s now down to business.

We hear it every year. It’s time for your resolutions–a time for reflection of ourselves and our lives — present and future. Be better, smarter, happier, stronger, thinner, richer, kinder. It’s what we do after January 1. It’s another one of those, ‘everybody’s doing it’ things, and we follow.  Did you try it?

Now it’s February 2nd, is it too late? Did you fail already? “Oh well, maybe next year,” you say.

HEY.  Don’t be simple-minded.  The “New Year” is not the only time we should reflect and make positive changes. I say start today, Ground Hog Day.

Evaluating your life should not be an annual occurrence.  It should be a monthly reoccurrence. These things should be done on a regular basis, say, every three months re-evaluate. We should call them New You’s Resolutions and make it a habit, regardless of the time of year. Take a quick look at where you are and where you want to be. This is especially useful for diet regimens.

Nonetheless, as mired in tradition as it is, New Year’s (or Ground Hog’s in this case) resolutions, if you are so inclined to jump aboard, can enrich your life and the lives of others around you.

  • What will you change?
  • Will you try to improve?
  • Where will you focus your positive energy?

For the record, I’ve never, EVER shared my resolutions—especially not on such a public platform … for many reasons. Some are simply a level of privacy I like to keep. Others are because I don’t want to be held accountable in case I decide I don’t want to follow through. But this year, I decided the revealing my own hopes, thoughts and goals might cause others to think a bit about their own lives. To better reflect and even, take action.  Plus, it is February 2nd, which eases the Hallmark card pressure for me.

Copying from my paper is OK in this instance. So, in the spirit of it all, here goes. (And don’t judge, not out loud at least).

  1. Go to church each Sunday with my family. I’ll admit I have not been a church goer. But I realize my family and my children need it. Integrity, morals, respect for God and others, a sense of belonging. You get that at church.
  2. Blog twice a month. This is for you AND for me. I need to pin down my thoughts, capture them, act upon them. You can journal your thoughts. Ten minutes is all it takes. It is amazing how cathartic it can be.
  3. Be gluten-free. No exceptions. I know it makes my belly bloated.  I’m 43 and I don’t need to look like I’m four months pregnant all the time. It also negatively affects my mood (both the gluten and the bloated belly). Here are some great tips on going gluten free.
  4. Yoga three times week. I SWEAR this yoga thing works miracles. I find quiet and peace and I lose the achy joints. I FEEL AWESOME. There are different types of yoga. Find one that works for you.
  5. Make a date once a week. This will be really difficult to do, but I need that time, albeit short, to re-connect with my husband. And on the note of reconnection …
  6. Make love to my husband more often. (Here’s that privacy thing). Sex is an integral part of your relationship. It’s a connector, a relationship re-kindler, an actual mood booster. Just do “it.” (Don’t copy this one exactly)
  7. Read more books. At least one will be about self or family improvement. Reading makes you smarter, keeps your brain in shape, keeps you busy and out of trouble. I love humorous and happy books.Recommendations are welcome. Reading Boys Adrift right now.  NOT a funny book but incredibly insightful.  Need a fun one next.
  8. Work for nutritional balance for my children. It affects their mood, their energy, their well-being. Teaching kids early the importance of healthy food can circumvent a lifetime of food issues. I am in awe of the research that supports this.
  9. Walk with a friend once week. It’s either this or $200/hr therapist. Whether intended or not, a good hour talk with a friend can allay a week’s worth of anxiety. Sure you can meet for tea at The GEM, but I like to kill two birds with one stone.
  10. Share my love of disco. Ongoing fun and laughter is something we all need to look for and create every day. Sing, even when you don’t feel like it.

May my ideas spur your ideas! Please share one Ground Hog Resolution or all. I want to hear them.


Kick it to the curb: Eliminate The Toxins

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Toxins make us sick — our bodies AND our mind. They are not just in the air. They are all around us–even where you would never think.

Toxins are also in our:
– Food
– Cosmetics
– Relationships
– Habits

Toxins weigh us down, make us sick, cause depression, limit our horizons. Why do we allow toxic people, habits, chemicals, poor eating habits, and situations to make you sick, fat, angry, sad, self-conscious?

Back to the Just Say No Campaign. The question then is, how do you eliminate toxins out of your body?

These things are bad for your health–both mind and body:

  1. Toxic people: You know the ones. They see everything half empty. They say and do things to make you feel inadequate (that is your insecurity, too, which is something you need to work on). Some of these people are also known as Energy Vampires. You have to set boundaries and keep them on the periphery of your happiness. A brilliant guide to setting these is aptly named, Boundaries, by Cloud & Townsend. Check it out.
  2. Toxic Habits: Looking for the bad, instead of the good. Is your juice glass half empty? “Why does this always happen to me?” Two reasons: A) You are looking for it. B) Your aura invites it. **Look for the positive. Make it the focus.** What else No body movement. Yes, exercise. The kind that stretches and pushes your body. Brisk walks and stretching seem like nothing but will make a huge difference in the way you feel. Try it. I dare you. Simple yoga exercises and eventually group classes are life changers! Group Pilates can be SO MUCH FUN!
  3. Toxic Chemicals: Toxins are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the shampoo we use. There are ingredients in many of your household products that have been proven to cause cancer. And, let’s be realistic, we cannot avoid all of these. We can, however, do a better job of selective elimination. Eliminate: conventional air fresheners, lotions, shampoos. There are many all-natural, non-carcinogenic products available–and not just available at Whole Foods. There ARE natural cleaning products that work, even some you can make yourself using inexpensive things like vinegar and lemon.
  4. Toxic Foods: You knew this was coming. There are toxins in your foods. However, there are two ways I want you to think about this. You don’t have to do this all at once.First, crowding out. Start by simply ADDING more vegetables and fruits into your day. That way, there is less room for the bad. When you start your day with good food choices, the rest of your day will follow. Organic is best, but just considering the “Dirty Dozen” and purchase accordingly.Second, diet drinks, fried foods, sugary breakfasts. Believe it or not, the properties of these foods affect your brain, your mood and how you perceive your day. These foods also make you feel like shit. Oh, and all of those toxins sit in your fat cells and liver for long periods of time. They actually make your body hold on to fat and junk you really don’t want. Read: helps you lose unwanted adipose tissue. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks you can feel good about!

In the words of my mafia friend, “If you have a problem, eliminate it.”  I think that is BRILLIANT advice–sans the concrete shoes, of course.


It’s The Sound of Sunshine Coming Down.

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Holiday breakfasts for girlfriends, cocktails only parties for adults, Christmas Eve dinners, Christmas brunch and dinner. Any excuse for a party, I am in. I LOVE IT. Why in the world?? a couple of my (non-entertaining) friends ask. Because I love having happy friends around–to share laughter and hope. It’s the sound of sunshine. Sounds sappy, but I’m convinced you can hear it.

The New Year is certain to bring lots of noisy sunshine for me. I have an announcement. In order to spread more sparkled rays, I plan to open a gathering place so everyone can enjoy each other. My jewel of a friend and I will open THE GEM, a place to glow for juice, tea, smoothies and happy. Stay tuned for more. It’s gonna be FUNNN!

Listen for it. Look for it. Find it in everything you do.

The Sound Of Sunshine…hear it


Is a Goal a Verb?

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One of my very favorite movies is Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts.  In the opening and closing scenes there is a crazy guy walking down the street yelling, “Everybody’s got a dream.  What’s your dream, baby?” Pretty Woman is a modern day Cinderella-style story. Julia’s character, for the most part, ‘falls into’ the fairy tale ending. What luck.  She really didn’t have a plan.  And while she had some sense of a moral compass, the career in prostitution seemed to dilute it’s nobility. Hey.  Wake up. Dreams are for sleeping. Goals are for winning.

In the real world, dreams don’t come to reality without hard work and a plan. Do you have a goal for yourself? For your family? For your career? A goal without a plan is just a dream. Write down your goals. List a first step to achieve that goal. Then add another. Hold yourself accountable, with tangible results and deadlines. Give yourself a real punishment if you don’t accomplish your goal. Punishments such as no chocolate for a year, donations to organizations you dislike, no more shoe shopping–they seem to have profound effects on the bottom-line results of your success.

Draw out your path. It is the ONLY WAY to arrive where you want to go.