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When I was 7 we got a VHS recorder. My life was forever changed.

By 8 I was setting up a tripod solo (that camera weighed what felt like 50 lbs- it was a beast), and I was directing and co-starring in my own show Wake Up Australia. It was loosely based on Danny Tanner and Aunt Becky’s show Wake up San Francisco on Full House. Classic.

My best friend Emily and I not only had what I’m sure were dead-on Australian accents but we also had guests, commercials and fullme&em wardrobe changes. This was serious business.

I won’t mention how I was really tall for my age and Em was a little guy so in re-watching the “films” she looks cute and I look like the awkward giant neighbor kid. (This was pre-VHS fame but even still, look at that size difference!)

The point is, we were fearless.

Then along came the lovely teenage years when all sorts of negative feelings I’d never even considered came at me like a tidal wave, tripping me up and turning me upside down.

And that was the end of that…

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I think you deserve a little something this holiday season that will improve your life throughout 2014 and your year-end review is just the time to get it! While most people come into a year-end review thinking only of a raise or bonus, I wanted to offer some creative ideas of non-monetary lifestyle perks instead of or in addition to your raise. Because money is such an important part of the review process, I’ll discuss it in it’s very own post.

Instead of seeing this meeting as an “oh no, what did I do wrong all year!”, you can look at it as a time to get a little something special for yourself.

(And if you’re the one giving the gifts, a little creativity from this list can help your employees feel appreciated. Many are free!)

Not to ignore the self-employed: I say give yourself one of these gifts this year. You’ve earned it!

If you don’t have a year-end review planned, I’ve included an easy script for getting one set up down below.

Before we start let me ask, what’s the worst Christmas or holiday present you’ve ever received? Let me tell you mine. In 1995 my Grandma gave me a purple and white sweater with an enormous cat on it. The choice of purple plus the splattering of hearts and paw prints covering every inch burned the eyes. The shoulder pads, the fact my Grandma wore it before she gave it to me…the list goes on! Hey, if this were ‘86, I may have considered it but I was heavy into my trying-to-be grunge phase. My wardrobe consisted of a drab collection of hunter green jeans and flannel; a purple cat sweater had no place in the mix.

Not to be unappreciative but while the gift was sweet, it wasn’t practical and wouldn’t help my high school social climbing aspirations. (I thought this may have been a nightmare I’d made up until I found this photo. Depression alert: it’s described as “vintage”…looks like I’ll be having that morning cocktail after all..)

So we’re trying to avoid one of these

purple cat sweater

Or one of these

ralphies-bunny-suit-pajamas-from-aunt-clara-1

This year for the holidays you should get what you want; a gift that keeps on giving all year round and that moves you towards the life you want. [click to continue…]

What is a Career Wellness Advocate?

I’m sure you’re wondering if it’s one of those trendy made-up titles like Chief Inspiration Officer, Cheese Connoisseur or Chick Sexer (That’s a thing. Google Jon Stewart Chick Sexer interview). Well, it may be a new phrase so let me explain what it means to me.

It’s my belief that we struggle with our careers because they’re seen as the bad guy. In the fight over balance, work is pitted against all the rest of life. It’s the reason we’re stressed, why we don’t have enough time with our kids before they head off to bed, the reason we don’t get to the gym, the reason for, well, most negativity in our lives.

What if your career worked with you instead of against you? If you were able to parallel your career with how you want to live? That is career wellness. It’s truth in work. 

I see it as the quest for personal satisfaction and fulfillment in your career. Whether you’re finding a cure for cancer, fulfilling your childhood dream of acting on Broadway, or you’re in charge of payroll, you can still be well in your career.

How? [click to continue…]