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Authors Posts by Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick
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Melissa Kirkpatrick is a Transformational Coach and Motivational Speaker. She’s been featured in Cincy Magazine , CincyChic online magazine and is the author of the impactful self-help book “5 Steps to Your Own D.R.I.V.E.” Melissa offers one-on-one services, motivational speaking and hands-on workshops, allowing individuals and teams to shift their drive from stuck to unstoppable. To learn more, visit http://www.findyourowndrive.com or email missy@findyourowndrive.com.

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Our life coach columnist talks about an important tool in her efficiency toolbox — time blocking — and how it helped her go from busy to productive. 

There are so many things to do and get accomplished in the day. You feel overwhelmed and plead for a solution to allow you the freedom and sanity to be able to get it all done!

As someone that has struggled in the past to be organized and get my to-do list completed by the end of the day, I discovered some really good ways to breakdown the list and be more productive and less busy.

Time Blocking. Have you heard of it? Time Blocking is a type of scheduling that can help you manage your time better to get big task done.  And it can also be helpful in just planning your day to be less busy and more productive.

This was my answer and solution not only for myself but for others that I coach. The struggles with getting things done requires motivation and creativity along with a plan. Time block allows for assigned time to specifically focus on the task at hand.

It may look like this — the first hour of your day is about your morning routine. Then what happens? You identify the 2-3 things you must do that day.  Decide each time block you will use to accomplish each task.  

So, if it is grocery shopping you block out the time including the travel and putting the grocery away; say two hours.  This looks like 11 am – 1 pm which includes the driving time, shopping/pick-up, return home, put away in that two-hour window.  Bonus: if any time is left then do something for you.  Sit for a moment and listen to a podcast or YouTube message or pick up a book and read.  

Something that brings you joy because it’s a bonus you have time to do that for YOU.

A twist is the perfect pairing.  I’ve added to my time blocking pair things together.  Not multitasking in the sense that you think but a way to find the perfect pairing with a task.

For instance, in daily activities that include cooking dinner, getting your morning coffee or brushing your teeth, do squats or leg lifts to add some extra fitness moves. This ma ybe all the physical activity you get in for the day but look how it offers “something” on your fitness plan that feels good.

Perhaps while driving you can turn on your voice recorder on your phone and do a brain dump of your grocery list, your to-do’s, a story you want to remember and reflect on more.

Now, go and do some time blocking and be creative with pairing your activities, you’ll be more productive and less busy. 

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Our life coach columnist says everyone has a story to tell and explains the best way to tell it.

Remember those dreaded book reports and term papers required in school. And if you went into higher education you had research reports and thesis to write. Challenging, to say the least. Writing is a passion for so many and all the documents that have been created over time is incredible.  In today’s world, anyone can write and publish their work and spread it like wildfire throughout the world.

As I grow and expand my business, I find that I am writing more often then when I started.  When I first start teaching others the five-step formula for Find Your Own D.R.I.V.E., others encouraged me to put it into book form.  

Since that time, I have published the second revision of the self-help book and have two other books that I have been a contributing author. Pretty exciting considering that wasn’t my passion to write or to be published.  

Why do I share this with you?

I truly believe we all have a story to tell.  If you are someone that prays, writes in a journal, or tells others detailed stories about your experiences, that’s where the story begins.  It lies beneath what you know to be true and lands on the ears of others who are inspired, motivated, and encouraged by your words.

Without the publications of stories, you would not know about world history, research and advances, your family tree, or other key information to allow us to thrive in your life today. 

So, I ask — is there a gift inside of you that you want to tell? Don’t allow the story inside you to die with you —tell the world! Consider starting with a Blog.  Blogging is one of the fastest ways to create a sense of influence for others and easy to start.

If you are struggling to write, do it anyway. If you think you have a story and don’t know where to start, just start. If you want to create a blog, book, or journal, do that! You make it happen.  Don’t delay, don’t second guess, step into your story and begin to write because the world needs that special message that only you can give.

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As an avid reader in the self-help section, our life coach columnist explains which one impacted her the most.

What’s in your library? Bookcase or Audio? For me it’s a host of CDs and downloads, along with hardback and audible. And ironic enough, I wasn’t even a reader until I was approaching my 30s and then it was like a switch flipped and I became a sponge soaking up everything in the self-help section. 

I often get asked which book has had the most impact on my life and I always go back to the book, “You Can Heal Your Own Life” by Louise L. Hay. Not only has this book changed my life from the first time I read it, but it continues to offer me support and a recommendation to anyone looking to change their circumstances at a much deeper level then just scratching the surface.

This book was first published in October 1984, by a woman who is faced with many life’s challenges and to overcome them, moving into the role as a pillar of support for millions.  Surprisingly, her work began later in life which includes publishing her book at the age of 58. Talk about being inspired.

If you haven’t heard of the book, here’s a snipped of the bio:

The author, Hay, assisted millions of people in discovering and using the full potential of their own creative powers for personal growth and self-healing. This book even includes a section on healing your body from the mental patterns that create dis-eases in the body.

Hay believes that “if we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” She also explains in the book how limiting beliefs and ideas are often the cause of illness and shows how you can change your thinking which will improve the quality of your life.

Does it resonate? It’s a game changer! I have been recommending this book to others since I read my first copy in 1998 and refer to the book often.  

If you are ready for change your current story and circumstances and want to get a jumpstart into living your life by design, this is the book for you. Happy reading!

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Recognizing the anxiety around self-care is easy. Letting go of it is the hard part. Our life coach columnist has some helpful advice that ultimately helps everyone.

If you’re going to take care of yourself with self-care activities – don’t feel guilty. Who cares what others will think! Drop the guilt around self-care and give yourself permission to take care of YOU!

Self-care is an exchange: Take care of you first to better take care of those around you.

Here’s a list of some common self-care activities that make spark your interest or perhaps you have some other ideas. No matter what, look at self-care options as a priority and find ways to increase and circulate your blood flow which in return will raise your energetic vibration:

  • Chiropractor
  • Massage
  • Acupressure
  • Facials
  • Mani-Pedi
  • Loud/Soft Music
  • Reading a Romance Novel
  • More sleep
  • Epson salt bath
  • Juice Cleanse
  • Walk in Nature
  • Cry/Yell/Scream

When you take time to take care of you, without the guilt or shame, or without feeling bad or regretting it, you’ll be able to be more in service to others and yourself. You’ll find you are more rested, alert, focused and just simply feel good. 

If you are feeling overstressed, overworked, burning the candle at both ends, it will only last for so long before it catches up with you.  Find the time and allow yourself to refuel, rejuvenate, and take the extra time to rest. And add in some of the above activities to extend your self-care further.

Start from where you are and the value of self-care over time will offer you:

– Better mental support, physical support, and just overall wellbeing

– Connect with those around you at a deeper level including with yourself

–  The more you can practice self-care you can tap into what you truly desire and what you need  

So why not take time for YOU!  When you are moved to do something for YOU then do it – unapologetically. Decide what you really find relaxing, enjoyable, and revitalizing. 

The more you practice it the quicker you’ll find that at the end of the day your head hitting the pillow in pure exhaustion is no longer your experience.  You’ll sleep well and be ready to start the next day with a sense of excitement and lots of energy. Self-care be definition is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress – you are worth the time.

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Always seem to be looking forward to the next payday more than you should? You might be stuck in a money story. Read on as our life coach columnist explains.

What if your lack of money isn’t your fault? And you’ve been told lies about money? Are you ready to release the stories and no longer be broke?

“Show me the money!” is a great line from the movie “Jerry McQuire” and perhaps you relate to those words.  When in lack, not having enough and verbalizing it will keep you broke and stuck in that story.

This was my story and a challenge for me for many years until I discovered how my money stories kept me broke.

What’s a money story? Here’s a few examples: 

• There’s never enough money
• The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
• I can’t afford to buy that
• I’m just not good with money

So, where did these money stories come from? Programming from your childhood mostly.  What your parents spoke about money became your story. Fortunately, these stories you’ve taken on about money can easily be rewritten so that you can create more money and not be broke. 

It takes practice over time, but it works.  Like attracts like so what you put out into the Universe will mirror back.  Using a more positive statement about your money story will allow the shift to bring more of what you desire.

Here’s how to rewire the stories from the above list:

• There’s never enough BECOMES there is more than enough
• The rich get richer and the poor get poorer BECOMES there is plenty of money for everyone
• I can’t afford to buy that BECOMES I choose not to buy that at this time
• I’m just not good with money BECOMES I am good at managing my money

Up until now your money stories are keeping you broke but today you get the opportunity to rewrite those stories so you will attract more money into your life and release the old stories that keep you broke.

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Cutting the overgrown and unhealthy parts of a plant will encourage it to produce and grow better than ever before. Our life coach columnist explains how the same goes for you. 

Say goodbye to those individuals who no longer feed your growth. Everyone in your life must earn the right to stand in your presence in order to share your story. Otherwise, let the pruning begin.

What is pruning?

Pruning is a way to let go of what no longer brings you the high vibration and energy that once existed in a relationship.  

For instance, have you discovered that when around certain people you have a feeling of low energy, one-sided conversation, and leave feeling like you can never get that time back? If so, then this is probably a relationship that no longer serves you.

As I evolved in my spiritual path and changed the way I conducted myself, over time, I realized I didn’t like who I became when I was with certain people.  I found myself shrinking, feeling worthless and often humiliated by what was projected on to me.

When I finally realized I did not like who I was becoming when with these individuals, I gave myself permission to no longer allow this to be the circumstance and let the relationship go. This is what I call standing in my power.

How does this look for you? 

If the person is someone you just can’t simply ‘write off’, learn to stand in what allows you to feel good.  The individual can do what they do, but you don’t have to react. In addition, you can say no to invitations, and you can avoid one-on-one situations.

If the person confronts you with ‘what’s wrong with you’, take that opportunity to say I am learning to listen more and be less reactive. They may snicker and laugh at the statement but when you realize how it deactivates any energetic emotions within you, over time you will feel better.

Pruning is a powerful tool that when done with loving intentions can eliminate others from spoiling your day, month, year, or life.  

Although you may fear the loss of a relationship, consider this – you standing in your power could allow others to rise up to meet you and create a better relationship in the long term.  Or when you decide to prune away the relationship, you will open yourself up to discover better and more fulfilling relationships. The choice is yours. Happy pruning!

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Feel like you're stuck in a career rut? It might be time to realign with your childhood dreams. Our life coach has some advice.

What is the career you thought about when you were a young child? Does it match or align with what you do today? Do you feel like you are in a dead-end job? Maybe you are satisfied in your job but feel like there is something you missed out on or wanted to do “more.”

As a woman who has up leveled her careers and life every 10 years, I can say that you know when it’s time If you allow yourself to take that first action step towards something you deeply desire and quiet the voice that tells you it’s not possible.

My career path has aligned perfectly every decade and builds upon each other. I went from a waitress in high school, to an administrative assistant/office manager, into high school teacher, golf course owner/operator, and now being the voice of motivation and support! 

Why did I make these changes? What was the problem? Why did I feel so unfulfilled? 

Really, it was timing. When I felt I had achieved all the gold stars and check marks, I wanted to do more.

Often, you may identify this with “living on purpose” and “living with passion.”

This can be possible for you if you are willing to drop the story of what your life is supposed to look like according to others and finding your way with what you truly desire.

Sound too difficult or impossible for you? I challenge you to really get clear on what you desire and focus on your career in particular. You’ll notice opportunities will begin to open and magically they work out in a way that will allow you to stay on course and achieve your goal. 

What is your desire? Where do you see yourself a year, five, 10 years? Will you be happy or still wishing you would have taken the chance and made the career change?

Maybe it’s time to really look at your career path and decide if it is in perfect alignment with your heart and soul.  Is it time to move forward? 

I’ll leave you with this: If not now — then when? Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Live your dreams. And if you need help to DRIVE you towards your desire and plan, let’s connect. No time like the present.

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As summer comes to a close and we head into fall, our life coach columnist the three things you need to make this your best year yet.

Hoodies, pumpkin spice, and the turning of the leaves on the trees all imply fall is just around the corner. And it also means there is only four months left in the calendar year. As you enter the month of September have you created and received all that you intended thus far in 2019?

In this moment, pause and look back over the year, and connect the dots and see how your year is going and include all the good, the bad, the not so good moments. If you find that you have little or no success with your new years’ resolutions, maybe it’s time to start a new trend and allow yourself to change your routine in how you set your goals.

What I realized with my new year’s resolutions is they usually are failing a few months in or maybe even don’t ever get started.  From this awareness, I made a change.  I just course correct the way I normally do things and find that taking the time at the beginning of each month to look over how well I’m doing or not doing, I can control and pivot from things that aren’t serving me moving forward. 

Here’s what you can do.  First, take a look at all areas of your life including your career, home, family, health, finances, and relationships to see how well all of these areas are thriving or not. Then adjust those areas that need attention.

Here’s how this works:

If any area is lacking what you desire, then you can align yourself with what you want to be, do, have, and change moving forward utilize these three tools as a guide:

1. Be realistic with your intention and practice “slow and steady” for lasting results.

2. Review what has or hasn’t worked in the past and pivot accordingly.

3. Do something totally out of your comfort zone by shaking things up a bit.

From the place of seeing what you really desire, knowing what has or hasn’t worked before, and steeping into something totally different will offer a NEW perspective on achieving your goals and offer a lasting result.

Doing this practice quarterly, monthly, or weekly even, will give you more control of what you want to create for your life rather than setting all your intentions at the beginning of the year to come to the end of the year and discover nothing changes.

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Our life coach columnist shares three ways to help your kids make this school year their best one yet.

Did you see all those back-to-school pictures on social media this past week? Perhaps you were one posting pictures of your kiddos heading back for another year of school. Many parents celebrate the returning of school being back in session while others are sad to let their little ones go and be independent. 

As a former IT teacher at the high school, I too struggled going back after being off for the summer. Once we got past the first few days, I would slip back into teacher mode and take on the responsibility to provide the students in my class with an education.  

Unfortunately, some students no matter how much time and energy spent in the classroom, if the child didn’t want to learn – they didn’t.

One approach that I found very useful in my instruction, which poured over into my parenting, is providing evidence in how the material being taught will serve them in a positive way once they leave school.

Here are two examples I used to teach life skills during the traditional lessons using Excel spreadsheets.

One was amortization charts for purchasing cars and homes, and the other was on budgeting.  

Students created the formulas, and learned how the interest was applied, along with taxes on income and money being spent just to survive. 

It was mind blowing for most. Seeing how money worked, especially when budgeting expenses and had to include toilet paper, shampoo, and other items they thought magically appeared, gave them a bigger picture to making money. 

As a parent, I encourage you to work with this idea outside of the school. Get engaged with what the student is learning and find ways to show them how it relates to life. For example:

Make the connection.  Offering a better understanding in a real-life situation allows for a longer lasting imprint on the mind and a new way of thinking.

Teach a child about money in a positive manner. Any age can have fun with “money” so begin now to teach ways they can understanding the value of having money and how money is used. Little ones can even practice counting and saving money. Make it fun and add more challenging activities as the child becomes better at the lessons learned.

Learn together.  If you feel you aren’t able to support your child with this knowledge beyond the classroom, then learn it together. The connection will be priceless.

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Looking for some direction in life? Melissa explains the three key times during the day to get answers.

Don’t you hate making important decisions? Do you find you struggle especially when you are trying to decide on something that could be a benefit to you, or a detriment to your life, and still not know what is the right answer? 

Even the smallest decisions come with wring your hands and asking everyone for advice, to still be uncertain to your decision.

Here is one way to overcome the overwhelm of making a decision and trust your answer.

Anytime you have a major decision to make seek the answer from within. This is where you’ll find your inner compass that will offer you truth around any decision. 

How does it work?

I had a coach one time who always said “get on your butt and listen” but that just seem to be so difficult because I couldn’t stay seated long enough to listen. 

What I discovered was I did have three important times during my day that I could get the answers needed for making decisions. Those times includes:

• Windshield time
• Shower/Bath time
• Right before you fall asleep or when you awake

During these times if you open yourself up to “receive the answers” you can simply ask “what do I need to know” and then wait.  If nothing – ask the question again. Continue until you hear the inner compass truth.  

Who knows what you might hear?  It could include “go a different route to the office”, or “be sure and call Aunt Sally”, and maybe “you’re awesome.”

If you trust and keep working the process, soon the answers will be more precise and specific to your needs especially as you deepen your awareness and ability to ask the question then listen without judgment. 

Over time as you build this practice you will being to trust that your truth comes from within and make better decisions.  Learning to use this “superpower” can eliminate a lot of the uncertainty and downtime that comes with making decisions.

Give it a try.  You may hear silly messages coming through at first but embrace them and by all means ACT upon them.  Don’t discard them as nothing – let them lead you to the next answer. And have fun.  The high vibration of fun will activate the inner compass much quickly and finding the answer will come much faster.

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