The 3 Questions Exercise – Goal Setting

Here’s a powerful activity that I did at the beginning of the year. My goals were feeling a little flat this week and needed to be ignited so I pulled this out and looked at it again and made some adjustments.
Whether your goals are rock solid or they could use a refresh, try this activity and see if you feel a new life in your purpose.
Join me? I love the 3 questions:
What worked?
What didn’t work?
What needs to change?
Here’s a simple way to do this for yourself. What’s on your KEEP list?
What’s on your LET GO list?
What’s on your MAKE IT HAPPEN list?
Let’s finish 2016 strong!
If you love tools like this, you’ll LOVE the Make It Happen Toolkit! Get it here (FREE): www.speakmichelle.com
The 3 Questions Exercise - Goal Setting

4 Steps to Becoming A Professional Power Napper

With Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution taking over the world (including JetBlue terminals, cards in Marriott Hotels, and countless appearances), I’ve been thinking a lot about my sleep routines, but I’ve also been thinking about Huffington’s hustle (perhaps that could be the title of her next book: Huffington’s Hustle).  This gal knows how to sell a book.  All the hard work paid off, of course, Huffington rightfully found her place on the New York Times Bestseller list (again).

This card was on my bed in a recent trip. Three quarters of me thinks this is a brilliant cross promotion tactic between Marriott Hotels & Arianna Huffington with her book The Sleep Revolution.  One quarter of me is jealous that it's not my book on the bed of every Marriott Hotel. ;)

This card was on my bed in a recent trip. Three quarters of me thinks this is a brilliant cross promotion tactic between Marriott Hotels & Arianna Huffington with her book The Sleep Revolution. One quarter of me is jealous that it’s not my book on the bed of every Marriott Hotel. ;)

For many years I have shared sleep to be one of my favorite success tips. My body is the vehicle to my dreams, and I need to fuel it and care for it. Many years I got by on 6 hours of sleep a night – I can’t do that anymore.  I crave 7-8, but my secret really isn’t a good night’s sleep.  My secret is power naps.

This all started back in 2005 when I was working for then Novell (now MicroFocus) in Provo, Utah.  It was my first big corporate job, I had only worked for small businesses up to this point.  It was also the first time there were beds in “quiet rooms”.  Surprised that my company welcomed the occasional nap (during breaks and lunches, of course), I decided to give it whirl. It took a bit to find comfort on disposable pillow cases, but I soon found my ideal power nap formula.

Michelle McCullough on Sleep

  1. 1. Hair Prep – To avoid flat hair, lift your hair up one inch below the crown. (This also works on airplanes, and taking a power nap in a chair or recliner.) I love being able to go back to my desk and my hair doesn’t share where I’ve been for 33 minutes.  (Gentlemen, count your lucky hairs that you can skip to number 2.)
  2. Set The Alarm – The magic number for a nap really is 30 minutes, so I would give myself 33 minutes.  3 minutes to fall asleep and 30 minutes to actually sleep.
  3. Dark – Sleep in a dark room.  If there is light pollution, find something to put on your eyes.  I don’t put eye masks over my hair (see number one), but a small washcloth or piece of fabric will do.  If you’re blessed to have a health room in your building, keep one in your desk.  At home, I use an old infant bib and it’s perfect!
  4. Listen To Your Body – Consider that if you need frequent naps, you may need to find out what else your body needs.  Do you need better nutrition?  Is your body trying to sleep off fast food or too much sugar?  Do you need more exercise? Even a 30 minute walk can be just as rejuvenating as a nap, and it helps brain function and energy. Don’t get me wrong, sleep for the win, but there are other things that you can and should do for optimal body health and vitality.

As an entrepreneur with a home office (and when I travel to speak, my office is an airplane, or a hotel room or a conference room…) naps are easier than even my corporate days. You can see some pictures snapped of me sleeping on planes, and even in the middle of an event.  In March of this year, I was part of the World Hopecast.  We broadcasted LIVE for 60 hours straight.  I has shifts in the middle of the night and during the day, and MULTIPLE power naps were needed during the day to keep me going.

This is how I survived the World Hopecast. Naps in my business clothes!

This is how I survived the World Hopecast. Naps in my business clothes!

If nothing else, I’m glad that Huffington has started a conversation that I think every successful peak performer needs to remember: it’s not about who can go the longest on the least amount of sleep, and what you can get done before you crash into bed. It matters that you get the sleep that you need for your body and your brain to operate at it’s prime.

Whether you need a full Sleep Revolution or simply a sleep adjustment I hope that you’ll consider how new sleep habits and patterns will help you fuel your amazing body as a way to accomplish your goals and dreams.

Naps work on airplane's too!

Naps work on airplane’s too!

If you like this tip, I’m full of more! Check out the Make It Happen Toolkit here. www.speakmichelle.com

If you’d like to learn about booking me to speak at your next event go here: http://michelleontheair.com/book-michelle-to-speak/

 

 

Don't Look Back, You're Not Going That Way

Some days it’s easy to sit and catalogue all of my faults and all of my mistakes. If I allow my brain to go down the path, I can get myself in a dither. It happened last week. A rough day led to a pity party and a my weaknesses having a dance off in my head. It was so bad I couldn’t sleep.

Here’s what I believe. I believe we’re all human and making mistakes and having weaknesses is part of this human experience. They can teach us amazing things. And while I know they are a part of life, part of the journey is putting them in their place and not letting them hold you back. Learn and grow. Don’t dwell.

The very next day, after my long sleepless night I received this in the mail from my friend Melanie. One of the brilliant minds behind Hip to Home. How timely.

Our past can teach us, but we can’t move forward if we dwell there.

To the future.

Don't look back Hip To Home

Mr. Wonderful – That Time I Was ALMOST on Oprah

Before Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes, there was the Mr. Wonderful doll.  Today, I remembered the time I was almost on Oprah.

Written: 1/27/2004

Dear Oprah,

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church & the teacher brought
a toy to illustrate one of her points. She brought a Mr. Wonderful doll.
It’s a good looking stuffed fellow and when you touch his hand, he says things like,
“Honey, you’ve had a long day, let me rub your feet.”
http://tonova.typepad.com/thesuddencurve/MR_WONDERFUL_doll_pic.JPG

“Why don’t we lie down and just cuddle.”

“Let me do the dishes for you.” (The one that received the biggest laugh)

“I don’t know where I am, I’m going to stop & ask for directions.”

Other wives laughed & commented that their husbands
had never said things like that. I sat there & smiled – I have heard my
husband say EACH of them and more. He is the most loving husband
I have ever met. He sends me flowers & frequently leaves me the perfect
little gift on my pillow, but he’s not what I call a “seasonal romantic”.
I’ve dated & heard of men that gush over their wives on anniversaries &
Valentine’s day, or I hear women share the “one cute story”, but then the
rest of the year they show very little affection. My husband makes
me feel like EVERY day is Valentines Day. He sends me cute text messages,
like the one that he sent me yesterday that said, “I love you. You are a
wonderful wife.” Last night he came up to me while I was doing the dishes &
he  actually said, “You’ve had a long day, I’ll take care of this.” My husband leaves
me notes on the fridge, sends me emails while I’m at work. More than that,
his actions every day, let me know that the cares about me & our marriage.
He takes a genuine interest in my day & listens as I talk about work. He
shares the responsibilities in our home. He empties the dishwasher every
day, WITHOUT being asked. He vacuums twice a week because he likes it. He
takes me on a date at least once a week. He opens doors & carries things
for me. He’s a full time student, & we don’t have lots of money, but
romance is more than gifts, it’s action, & every day, I know that my
husband loves me. I know he’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me.

He’s my, Mr. Wonderful.

After I submitted this online, I got a response:

can you please email a couple pictures of the two of you back to me at this
address ASAP?   We’ll let you know if we are able to include you.  Thank
you!

Awesome, right? I DID respond, but I never heard back.

Wasn’t meant to be.  But it was fun to revisit today…

– Michelle

 

The Day I Learned the Meaning of Quixotic & Why I'll Never Be The Same Again

My father, James Salisbury, died in 2003 of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (better known as SARS) while living in China. He was one of the first Americans on record to die of the disease that took a hundred lives (over 3,000 cases reported). As a result, his death got a lot of media attention. As the nominated family spokesperson, I was interviewed by every local television station, many radio stations, and all the local newspapers. His death received national attention as well, and I did interviews for the Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, and Good Morning America, as well as the Harvard Crimson (my father received his Master’s degree at Harvard), and other random outlets. Needless to say, it was a whirlwind few days from the time of his death until his memorial service.

One reporter who interviewed me also attended the funeral and did a follow up story. After hearing my father was a member of the Peace Corps, taught English in China, and created a plan called “The Freedom Bomb” that would use literacy and education to liberate third world countries from poverty and oppression, the reporter called my father “loveably quixotic.”

I’m not going to lie, I had to look up quixotic in the dictionary, but it basically means exceedingly idealistic. It described my father completely. He believed in world peace and freedom for all. He believed in living in full expression of self, and encouraged his family, friends, and even complete strangers to live creatively and believe in a world where anything was possible. Living and thinking that way made my dad happy.

This world needs more lovably quixotic people. We need more dreamers. We need Don't wait for "someday" Make It Happen Blueprint - Michelle McCulloughmore people who believe that wrongs can be righted and sadnesses can turn happy. We need to turn idealistic thoughts into realistic thoughts, and then we need to act on them.

Don’t think small. Though you may not achieve all the dreams you set out to, you’ll likely find simply pursuing them brings you happiness. You’ll find a sense of fulfillment on your journey knowing your dreams aren’t sitting in a lonely box labeled “Someday.”

This experience taught me other things as well.  I share my thoughts about why some ideas spread in the TEDx talk.