Focus on Courage

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Focus on Courage

Every time I’ve had a bad performance at an event, I’ve come back more determined and focused.
— Shaun White

When we expect perfection without the practice and mistakes it requires, that is when procrastination can trip us up and stop us from ever getting into the game at all. 

One thing for sure in the Winter Olympics the athletes have once again proven in performance after performance that practice, practice and some more practice makes way for the ability to win gold. 

Some of the athletes have had their failures be part of their practice,failing along their way for the whole world to see. Snowboarder Shaun White is one of those competitors. 

He got back in the game after a number of defeats.  Even one just a few short months ago after a devastating fall that ended up leaving him with 64 stitches in his face.

That could have stopped anyone who was not dedicated to winning the gold.

Two elements required to achieve what you desire … 

The first element is focus.  When you watch Shaun’s final event at the 2018 games he was totally focused on his first run, lost some of the focus on his second run and fell… leaving him in second place. On his third run his complete focus returned and he won the gold!!

The second element is courage. Courage in fact allows for the focus because it removes the doubt that may be clouding our mind with negative self talk.  Courage pushes you past seeing anything but the result you need to get done right now in this very moment. 

The key is not thinking about the past or even the future.  It’s about right now as you mentally ask, “What can I do right now to give me the outcome I want to achieve.”

What could you accomplish out of the ordinary if you allowed your courage to keep you really focused?  What would you need to do to keep the unneeded distractions and negative self talk out of your way?

It’s when we get back up and do it again in our own unique way with focus and courage that we find our own version of perfection.  That “gold medal” that makes us a champion in our own minds eye.

What can you do this week to get you past your fears as you practice getting and actually being better at just one thing in particular?

Know I am here cheering you on and here’s some tools to also help you! 


Weekly ToolBelt


BOOK

The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews

This was the coolest book that a Victory Letter reader shared with me (Thanks again CJ!).  I sat down on a recent Sunday morning and read it in its entirety.   It’s the story of a man who is feeling lost and hopeless.

Without money to support his family and any sense of purpose he journeys back in time to get insights with historical leaders.  From Abe Lincoln to Christopher Columbus he gains insights on the courage they gained to get them through their darkest hours. Because we all have our darkest hours – the difference is how we get past them.


WORKSHOPS

Digital Marketing Trends For 2018
Feb 21, 2018, 11am – 1pm

How To Create Engaging Content
Mar 13, 2018, 1pm – 2:30pm

Social Media Essentials: How To Amplify Your ROI
Mar 14, 2018, 9am – 11am

Leveraging The Power Of Instagram
Mar 20, 2018, 9am – 11am

Creating ROI With Facebook And Instagram
Apr 17, 2018, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


VIDEO

Mens Halfpipe Gold Medal Run - 2018 Winter Olympics

with Shaun White

Here is a short video of Shaun Whites Gold Medal Run mentioned earlier in this victory letter. It is only about one minute long and I really like in this one how he is actually talking through the final run with us and sharing what that incredible moment feels like.


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Love, passion, and confidence

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Love, passion, and confidence

Passion illuminates the darkness.
— Danielle LePorte

What is it that you are most passionate in your life that fully lights you up?

The way you spend your time and the people that you do it with that bring you the greatest joy. 

This week we pay a special homage to love and the passion that brings it to life. A tradition that has been around since early Roman times that became what we now know as Valentine’s Day. 

Without a doubt I deeply love my husband, my children, extended family and friends and will be sending them valentines. My work however gets to the core of my being and calls at my heartstrings in its own special way. As cliché as it might sound – it gives me great purpose – especially when I light others up in the process. 

By honoring our passions both personally and professionally happiness can be ours for the asking – especially when we are lighting up the world for others in the process. 

Being an entrepreneur and small business owner is without a doubt one of the most difficult professional roles to take on and… one of the most fulfilling in my opinion when it comes to bringing your passion to life. 

Love, passion and confidence go hand in hand. When you are doing what you love and hanging out with those you love - confidence reins supreme because you are in your passion place. 

Passion is a process – it ebbs and it flows. What is most important is if we can bring it to life daily if possible. 

This weeks tools are designed to assist in finding your passion and keeping it working strong for you during the moments when you start to question if you are on the right path. 

Here’s to a great week of love and light ahead! 


PODCAST OF THE WEEK

Passion Brings Confidence

Courage to be the Difference Podcast with Cheri Ruskus

Get your passion engines fired up as we explore 10 easy ways to bring value to others while firing up your own inner passions.


VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Do What You Can’t

by Casey Neistat

Passion takes courage, confidence and saying yes, I can! I love this video and often share it with my live workshop audiences as a reminder that we can do anything we put our mind to. 

Think about what you have been aching to be passionate about and what you would be doing in this video if you could. Enjoy!


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Hear Your Prayers

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Hear Your Prayers

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
— Aristotle

Throughout your busy workday how often do you call on prayer to quiet your mind and help you along your way? It’s important to remember that for each of us prayer comes in all shapes and sizes and is really a light when we come into the darker elements of our lives.

In other words, if your hand is closed in a fist you cannot receive the bounty of abundance as shared in the Spirit Animal Medicine Cards Book that was given to me as a gift from my daughter several years ago.

The animal that came to be my spirit animal for 2018 is the Buffalo, an animal that was greatly revered by Native Americans. They believed that seeing a white buffalo the most revered was indeed the sign that the Great Spirit was hearing their prayers.

How do you know when your prayers, thoughts and dreams are being answered?

Keep in mind that prayer is not begging for something to happen - it is deeply listening with gratitude to what is all around you.

Here are some questions from the Medicine Cards book to ask yourself to see if you might want to think about opening the fist of your hand a little wider as you look closer towards finding the light you may need in your life right now.

  1. Have I forgotten my eternal partner, the Great Spirit? (whatever that represents to you.)
     
  2. Am I pushing myself too fast in the physical world and keeping myself from seeing the importance of reunion with the source of all life?
     
  3. Have I forgotten to honor the ways of others and to afford them the same respect that I wish to receive for myself?
     
  4. Am I feeling like my life is being used for the highest good at this time?
     
  5. Have I forgotten to be grateful for my life, my possessions, my talents, my abilities, my health, my family, or my friends?
     
  6. Is it time to make peace with another, or to make peace with some inner conflicts I have so that I may walk in balance again?

Sit for a few minutes with one or more of these questions and see what comes up for you.  See how a little prayer in the form that works best for you may soothe your soul.

Have an amazing week ahead! 

This month we will be exploring the power of confidence and the courage it takes to really put it to work for us in positive ways. If you have been desiring to up your confidence game both of this weeks tools will be very beneficial.


Podcast of the Week

THYROID by Kristin Savory

To lead us on our monthly topic of confidence, the podcast I am sharing this week is from my client Kristin Savory. 

Kristin is an extremely gifted and respected health professional who combines her love for Kaiut Yoga with her 15 years of experience as an Acupuncturist.

Running a business can be stressful and we can frequently create imbalance in our hormones. Kristin's podcast episodes are great for short, simple, and informative tips that can help us learn to master our hormones and live balanced lives. Start off today with her lastest one - Sukhasana to quiet your body as you feel instead of think.


Book of the Week

The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris: A guide to overcoming Fear and Self Doubt

When we lose our confidence we begin to see gaps in our success patterns. Confidence gaps, especially as entrepreneurs, cause us to lose our momentum - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot and sometimes all together.

This book is a rich audio read in understanding the need to acquire confidence by letting go of worrying, perfectionism and self-doubt while practicing your best skills and becoming mindful of the negative inner talk that could be wearing you down.


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Like Yourself First

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Like Yourself First

A meaningful life is not a popularity contest.
— Marianne Williamson

What is it that we do for each other as humans to create fulfilling relationships that in turn give us a meaningful life beyond the social media “like”?

The glue that keeps any kind of relationship together is trust. Trust happens when there is no doubt that the other person in the relationship has your back and also deeply cares for you (as you do for them as well) - flaws and all.

This includes much more than romantic relationships. It includes those special key relationships throughout our realm of family, friends and colleagues.

The best relationships are ones where we can allow our persona to be most vulnerable having a deep understanding of knowing who we are and what makes each other happy.

Social media gets a lot of bashing these days because it can be based so much on just the surface of our personalities. A like here or a brief comment there, doesn’t always allow us to truly feel connected.  Sharing just the best of our selves, and not necessarily our true selves can be exhausting and feel unauthentic.

However, social media can allow for us to do a different kind of exploration of the human condition and observe the awesomeness each one of us has to offer in our very own way. Liking someone to acknowledge your appreciation for them.

The pursuit of these digital likes can make us forget to like ourselves first. I see this happen all the time and today wanted to remind you about the awesome gift that you provide to the world - you.

It's important that you share your gifts with others, and even more important that you do it for the right reasons. Create passionate content making yourself and others smile in the process. That is a job well done.

Wishing you an abundant week of sharing ahead!
 


Challenge of the Week

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What if you reached out to one social media relationship this week and found a way to deepen the connection with a phone call or direct connection of some kind?  Who is someone you have really been wanting to get to know better?  Trust and be vulnerable…

How could you increase the trust others feel with your presence and shares?  


Video of the Week

Sometimes – it just feels good to listen to a video that makes us feel good.  This video is my latest obsession and I feel good every time I listen to it.  


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Weak Spots

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Weak Spots

It’s not the load that weighs you down – it’s the way you carry it.
— Lena Horne

If you were to ask the question as to what is your greatest strength, how would you answer it?

How about your greatest weakness? You know that “weak spot in the dam” that may consistently be getting in your way and weighing you down in the process.

The reason I am asking is that it’s about this time of the new year that many goals that seemed so amazing just a few short weeks ago get left on the side of the road and abandoned. After all can’t they just want until … next year?

If you are currently getting weak in the knees about the goals that seem to be too tough to get done… what if we spend a few minutes today looking at some antidotes to make this year one that is different from perhaps previous ones? 

Now let’s say that your goal is one you have looked at for a number of years and just can’t seem to get your arms fully enough around to make happen. Let’s look at even one of the commonest goals of getting healthier and losing some weight.

This was one that I had for many years and last year in 2017 I killed it (in a good way)!  Why?  Because I created a goal that spoke loudly enough to my heart that I could get it done.  Through it I looked at my strengths as well as my “weak spots in the damn” in attaining this goal.

The goal for those of you who remember was to ride a Century Ride (100 miles) around Lake Tahoe in June of this past year.  This required right around 1,000 training miles to get it done.  No small feat to be sure.

My strengths – a love for cycling, a desire to do this in honor of my mom and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and my good friend Erica who agreed to do it with me as we formed our riding team – The Pedal Girls.  I also really wanted to drop some pounds and feel good in my body again.

My weakness – Beyond the fact I had been putting this particular goals off for 8 years, I also do not have such a great track record as an athlete.  In fact overall I have a dislike for “working out” just to work out. 

Probably my biggest nemesis of the all was cycling in the mountains (of which there were a lot of them in training and in Tahoe).  This weakness alone had been a huge block for getting the ride done.

My strengths were there to assist me and then the support team I put around me were there to assist me with my weaknesses.  I lost 30 pounds, accomplished one of the biggest physical goals of my life and learned so much about myself in the process.

Here are my 7 secret steps to achieve any goal:

1. Get absolutely clear on your goal and the steps it will take to get there.

2. Give yourself a strong passion for the goal and those steps.

3. Get extra clear on the weak spots that have stopped you before.

4. Give the challenge to the weak spots as you create a new path.

5. Get your accountability buddies ready to step in when you falter.

6. Give yourself the needed time to do the hard work and buckle down.

7. Get crystal clear on the vision of crossing the finish line.

Now we are currently looking for the Century Ride that is going to take the Pedal Girls through 2018.  If you know of any please let me know because we are currently deciding which one to do. 

So again, think about that goal and what you need to get your there. Here’s to leaning into doing what you love while pushing past those weak spots!


Video of the week

One Thing – Develop Your Strength with Marcus Buckingham

Marcus Buckhingham has been a favorite of mine for along time as he shares the a different perspective on our strengths.


Challenge of the week

Strengths Worksheet

This quick assessment tool takes just a few minutes to have you look at strengths you may have forgotten along your journey. Just imagine your strengths assisting you with the goals you have in the year ahead.  What have you got to lose other than 5 short minutes of your time.


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Where do you stand?

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Where do you stand?

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.
— Lao Tzu

As you continue to take the important action steps towards your goals this month for the future months ahead, it’s important to remember your lessons learned and special memories from the year(s) gone by.  Then you can begin to turn your focus onto what’s happening right now and fully understand where it will lead you into tomorrow.

A gift from the past

Most of us have pictures from our life gone by that bring us back to another space in time just by a single glance.

Recently as a gift for my grown children I gave them photo albums from their school days - preschool through high school.  This was no small feat for me to be sure that took several months this past fall. It required that I go through a multitude of boxes that were full of pictures that were not so greatly organized I am sad to say... but are now! 

My kids grew up just before the dawn of digital photography so I would develop pictures, get their school photos each year with multitudes of copies, as well as sports, dance and other extra curricular activities that all eventually ended up in these boxes. 

With raising a family, renovating our home, and growing several businesses I found myself too busy back then to organize these pictures in albums. Saving them as I did in fact turned out to be a blessing and a treasure chest of items to give to Travis and Bailey.

What was interesting is that when I spent too much time in a single day working on these albums it would put me into a funk of sorts.  It gave me an aching for my babies that would never be again, the little people who I cherished who no longer existed in that form. Basically, I found myself getting stuck in the past.

While it at times was depressing, it was worth it in the long run because of the smiles it brought to their faces when they opened the photo albums.  As I looked at them as adults enjoying the fruits of their childhood in those albums it shifted everything for me to the present and the ability to enjoy the wonderful adults they have become today.

Stay in balance

The process of it got me to thinking about the danger of living in the past as Lao Tzu speaking of in today’s quote.  In fact this past, present, future part of our thinking is such an intricate balancing act all by itself within our human psyche.  Too much of one can throw the other two out of balance.

The past can be filled with great memories and with great memories can come great sorrows for those people and places that may no longer be in our lives or great times that will never be again.  

There is also a danger if we spend too much of our energy and efforts only living in the present because we might not be paying any attention to the road ahead or enjoying the riches of our past. 

Subsequently, if we spend too much time thinking and working only towards our tomorrow’s we can stop enjoying today!

3 questions

If you are feeling out of sync and out of balance with the past, present, or future elements of your life stop and take a few minutes to journal about these three questions below.  It’s a great wake up call to begin thinking about changes you might want to contemplate.

1. How much time lately have I been dwelling in the past with regret and/or sadness knowing fully well that going back is not an option?

2. What is the coolest thing about my current life circumstances that I should spend more time enjoying? How am I allowing myself to feel in the present?

3. How can I continue to plan for the future without it causing me stress and anxiety – especially if there is a lot of work to be done to get me to where I want to go?  How can I look towards enjoying the steps that will take me there?

For those of you who want to dive deeper there is an online assessment in the tools section of this letter to get some deeper psychological feedback on where you stand. 

I would recommend doing the journaling first as it will warm you up for the many questions in the assessment.  It’s free with immediate results and no email required.

As you discover where you currently sit on this topic it can assist you to make the appropriate adjustments.

Wishing you the peace of enjoying the present moments in this year ahead by finding the clarity and purpose for your tomorrows, driven by the joys and life lessons of your past.


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Workshop of the week

Marketing Confidence Webinar
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
12pm MT (11am PT, 2pm ET)

  • Create your Five-Minute Marketing Plan that will change the way you look at marketing.
  • Zero in on your target audience, learning to appreciate why it's so critical.
  • Understand the power of a content calendar and design it to get your message out in front of the people that matter most - your customers and potential customers.
  • Gain insights, stats, and case studies from those who are fully into the game.
  • Begin to build stronger relationships from the ground up - beginning with your marketing efforts. 

Anyone who has attempted to create successful marketing tactics knows how challenging it can be. From email marketing to social media, this webinar will give you a step-by-step action plan to move forward with the confidence that builds bottom-line revenues.

Be sure to register to get the on-demand recording.


Book of the week

Judgment Detox
by Gabby Bernstein

Release the beliefs that hold you back from living a better life. This is a great book that takes you on a deep dive into how the judgment we have for others and ourselves can affect our life. In addition, how others judgments towards us have effected us along the way.  Learning to love yourself as you let go of those beliefs that don’t serve you. 


Challenge of the week

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The Zimbardo Time Perspective

A quick online assessment (takes about 15 minutes) to see where you mindset sits in a whether positively or negatively as you spend time in your past, present and future. 

Created by two acclaimed psychologists from their book The Time Paradox.


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Yes I Can

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Yes I Can

For most people, the sky is the limit. For those of us who fly, the sky is home.
— Capt. Lynn Rippelmeyer

When I had decided back in early December that “I Can” would be my go to words for 2018, I of course had no idea how much these words would be needed for me to lean on immediately heading into this new year.

This is the cool thing about motivational words: they give us something to fall back on during the times when life hits us right between the eyes with the unexpected.

I want to say thank you to all the outpouring of kind and loving words that came my way from last week’s Victory Letter.

If I have not gotten a chance yet to personally respond to your reply email that headed my way know that I will in the week ahead. They were greatly appreciated and so needed as my sweet dog Izzy said her final goodbye to us last Wednesday morning, January 3rd.

Through the sadness of losing her I am thankful to share with you that she did it on her own terms and with such dignity right here at home. The love of our family and friends was all around her.

After a death in our lives finding the new “normal” is probably one of the most difficult things to do, as we must move through the grief at the same time. The world keeps on turning and we must move right along with it.

I believe this is where having work that you love along with people to support you makes all the difference. Pushing forward past the seemingly impossible obstacle of grief can happen with a little less difficulty when a life purpose is moving you forward.

There are a couple of things that we did as a family – myself, my husband and our two grown children – that helped us to begin to undertake recovering from this great loss we have been dealt.

First, a few hours after Izzy’s passing with some pretty nice Colorado weather in our favor we decided to hike Mt. Sanitas in the mountains above Boulder. We needed to get out of the house and “Sanitas” as it is known well by the locals here is a pretty tough climb and was one of Izzy’s greatest mountain conquests.  It felt good to get out in the open air and push our bodies to the limit. Today’s pic came from that hike.

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Over the course of the next couple of days we then decided to sit down and work through our goals for the year together before Bailey and Travis headed back to their homes in California. The idea was that we could support each other even more as we each face the year ahead.

It was surprising how much emotion this activity brought up for us.  Some topics were heated with anger, some were sorrowful with vulnerability, and other moments were filled with big smiles and laughter from everyone. Throughout this activity we were pulled together with the great love we have for each other.

The process was cleansing and the word that brought us together to finish the task after three days was the word empathy. Having empathy for each other as we get back to the living of our collective and individual lives.

This is the greatest gift we can give ourselves in the memory of our beloved Izzy.

Whose memory drives you forward?

One of my goals for the new year is to give you some extra tools each week to assist you in with areas that you may be a struggling.  Support is key to success and finding the right tools is always a bonus for those of us who are eternal learners! Check them out below.

Cheers to you and a memorable journey in 2018!  Yes, I Can… how about you?

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Podcast of the Week

Yes I Can
Courage to Be the Difference Podcast

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Captain Lynn Rippelmeyer for the Courage to be the Difference Podcast.  I had met Captain Rippelmeyer at a recent conference and just loved her “I Can” career story.

She became one of the first female commercial pilots in the world after being told for years in her role as an airline stewardess that women could not fly commercial airplanes.

How perfect to share her inspiring story with you this week as the reality of 2018 fully sinks in. It’s time for each of step up our game to make this year what we want it to be. No time to shrink back the world is waiting for the difference we each can make.


Transform Thursdays on Instagram

Each Thursday afternoon I share 3 ideas live on video on the Instagram platform to assist you in transforming your thinking and assist you in growing your business.  Simply follow me on Instagram and you will be notified when I go live at 4pm this Thursday. 

Haven’t started playing on Instagram yet?  Now may be the time to do it.  It’s a great place to hangout both personally and professionally! 


Challenge of the Week

Make it Happen (Goals Worksheet)

This one page worksheet is designed to put your goals into action.  The top reason for goals not being achieved is because there is not clear action steps for implementation.  Put your goals to the test right now.  Why wait?


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To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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Curves in the Road

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Curves in the Road

Before you cross the street take my hand.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
— John Lennon

2018 has arrived! Wishing you much abundance, love, and joy in this year ahead.

As we head into this brand new year remember to take those breaths you have in you a little deeper, hug those you love a little tighter, and be sure to make your plans accordingly. 

Life can make some sharp and unexpected curves in the road - even in the freshness of a new year.

We try with all our strength to straighten the unexpected twists in order to continue the journey. Sometimes, all we can do if the curve is tight enough is to find meaning in what is happening around us and navigate accordingly.

Last Thursday morning as I recovered from the joy of Christmas with my family I began my multifaceted plans for all that I want to accomplish in 2018.

Life had other plans. I found myself in the Veterinarian’s office that afternoon as my dog Izzy had started the day having difficulty breathing and not wanting to eat. She is a Yellow Labrador who cherishes every morsel of food so I knew something serious was wrong.

As I stared at the x-rays they took of her my “planning for 2018” crumbled. My Veterinarian shared the devastating news that sweet Isabella had one week left on the planet. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer that was working its way into her lungs. Cancer was once again rearing its ugly head in my life.

Nothing else really seemed to matter in that moment in time. Nothing. My sweet Izzy needed me to be there for her.

Then I had to share the devastating news with my family – those other people in her life who love her deeply as well. It was equally crushing to my heart to have to crush their hearts with the news. 

Izzy has been my rock over the last 8 years since she came into my life. She has been in countless Victory Letters as she has guided me through so many life changes, arriving as a puppy just a month after my mother’s death in 2009.

Now I am dealing with the reality that my life may have to go on without Izzy.

As the days continue on since her diagnosis, the question of course I have been asking myself is how do I keep up with planning and being optimistic about the year ahead with the possibility of my dear companion no longer at my side?

My grown children Bailey and Travis were instantly on a plane to be with her. It’s interesting what love can do to shine a light on everyone’s spirits. Being together to rally through this has been an amazing gift to give each other.

As I write this to you she is laying here at my feet as if everything is normal. A positive outcome from this is that we have upgraded her diet from kibbles to steak and eggs :)

We are looking into alternative medicine along with standard western medicine. If you have any recommendations I would love to hear your thoughts. Simply reply to this email.

The future is uncertain for each of us and it is times likes this I am reminded once again that each breath of life we are given needs to be appreciated every single day.

As I finally start to embark on my “planning for 2018” what I want to talk about a lot in the next 364 days is the critical importance of a positive mindset to get us through the roughest roads.

Here’s to my sweet Izzy who continues with her battle. Every day of her life is another blessing.

Onward we go into this year of 2018!


To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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What remains unwritten?

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What remains unwritten?

What is the new move that you are going to add to your game that will maximize your talent?
— Hasan Minhaj

A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  As we approach the last few days of 2017 what has been your story to tell?

Is it one you think you will remember in years to come? What is the end of the 2017 story looking like as you wrap it up in the days ahead?

Perhaps it’s too late to change the story much… however here’s the good news… You can start writing the new story for 2018 (if you haven’t started already).  What do you want the beginning, the middle and the end to look like?

And I do mean literally writing the story down as you begin to visualize how you want to see this next year of your life to unfold. Many studies have brought to light that dreams and goals have as much as a 43% or more chance of happening when they are written down.

What do you do if you feel like you have been blocked with writing or perhaps have been procrastinating doing the process?

A great exercise is to sit down do a type of writing that is called a free write.

This process of writing changed my life. What it allows you to do is remove not only the judgment from your writing – but also gets you past the procrastination piece that can crop up when we think to much about the process of actually doing the writing.

A free write allows you to just write as the thoughts move through your mind.
 

How to free write:

1) Start with a prompt such as: "What do I want for my life in 2018?" or "What is my intention for the day ahead?"

2) Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Simply say go! and start writing.

3) Write non-stop either in a journal or in a document on your computer. Be sure to get away from all distractions including your phone. Have fun with it and let your imagination go wild.

4) Let the words go as they flow out onto the page. When the timer is done, put down your journal/computer and move on with your day.

This is also a great group activity to do with a friend or loved one. See what you both come up with at the end of the 10 minutes of writing together! You don't have to share with each other, but you can if you want. 

Imagine if you and your family made it a thing to write for 10 minutes before the chaos of the day starts. It's a great way to open up communication and compassion for you and your loved ones.

If you free write alone, please have the same open compassion for yourself. As you put the words on the page you will begin to see how you talk to yourself and how you talk about your life. Over time you will notice patterns and how you follow through with your goals.

When think too much before we start writing, the judging elements of Inner Critic can get in the way and knock down our ideas before they can fully emerge. That's why it's so important to set a timer and go!

I think it's time for us all to fully maximize our talent and write the story we want to see unfold in the year ahead. Wishing you a happy New Year!

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Believe in the work

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Believe in the work

To believe is to know that every day
is a new beginning.

It is to trust that miracles happen,
and dreams really do come true.

To believe is to see
angels dancing among the clouds,

To know the wonder of a stardust sky
and the wisdom of the man in the moon.

To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child’s eyes
and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.

To believe is to find the strength
and courage that lies within us.

When it is time to pick up the pieces
and begin again.

To believe is to know
we are not alone,

That life is a gift and
this is our time to cherish it.

To believe is to know that wonderful surprises
are just waiting to happen,

And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.
— Unknown

This final Victory Letter before Christmas has me reflecting about the power of belief and the critical role it plays in having a joy filled life.  If there is a skill set I could wish for you more than any other it is to consistently fill your spirit with belief – both personal and business passions.

I came across this poem a number of years ago and love the insights it shares that can to take us closer to believing.

Belief in our world… as scary as it seems at time. Belief in those we love… though they can challenge us.  Belief that our dreams matter… even when we hit bumps along the way.

Standing up against the odds to do what you know in your heart and soul that you must do is not easy. It’s hard work!  However, the rewards are so amazing not only for you but the people whose lives you touch in the process.

During this holiday season it is perhaps the most precious time of the year to remember this amazing power within each of us.

Wishing you much joy!  


To Your Success and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus
Business Strategist and Founder of the Victory Circles

Email: cheri@businessvictories.com 
Phone: 303-652-1718
Web: victorycircles.com

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