How and Why to Start Journaling

How and Why to Start Journaling

Have you heard people talking about journaling? You might initially flashback to middle school diaries with the little locks, but it is something so different! Journaling is a practice that combines being mindful, being present and self-reflection and it can be life changing. 

Why Journal?

There are so many reasons to keep a journal that are beneficial to your life. It is a record of life, can help process events and feelings,  and set and strive toward goals. Some of the most successful people in history practiced journaling. Visionaries like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Frida Kahlo all kept personal journals that cataloged their experiences, ideas and vision.  

If you are a person who would like to grow in any aspect of your life a journaling practice is a great way to achieve your desired goal. 

How to Start

So, once you decide you want to create a journaling practice, where do you start? Here a three quick-steps that can get you started today! 

Determine When You Will Journal

Choose a time of day that you will be motivated and present enough to journal. For some people, it is before their feet hit the floor in the morning and for others, it is a way to download the day before they go to sleep. Choose a time that works for you and make a commitment to journal daily at that time. If you realize another time would better, you can always change it up later. 

Decide On Your Medium

 Next, decide what you will use to journal. It has been suggested that handwriting helps process thoughts and feeling more effectively, so a pen and notebook is all you need! If writing is not your thing you can always open up a word document on your computer and add to it every day. You could even create an audio journal just recording on your phone. Whatever you choose to make it simple and fun to use!  

Find Some Fun Journal Prompts

Some people will have no problem writing, but a lot of people don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are countless journal prompts you can find doing a quick google search. Some of our favorite prompt questions are: 

  1. What keeps you up at night worrying? Are your worries realistic? Is there anything you can do about them?
  2. Do you have a philosophy of life? If so, what is it? If not, what is your method for making important decisions?
  3. In what areas are you optimistic, and in what areas are you pessimistic?
  4. What are your most prized possessions?
  5. Who is someone you miss?

 A journal is a way to reflect on your thoughts, plans, and goals. It can give you clarity, motivation, and peace of mind. It is a practice that can center you and bring calm to your busy days. 

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Setting Boundaries with Clients

Setting Boundaries with Clients

As your business grows and your client roster increases you can guarantee that you will start running into issues with your clients. It is likely that the issues could be fixed with a few key policies and boundaries. So, how do you set new boundaries with current clients? It can feel awkward, but you can do it in a way that feels natural and professional. 

Figure out What Boundaries are Needed

Before you start announcing new policies get a clear picture of what issues need to be addressed. Are you getting phone calls late at night, are deadlines being missed? Figure out all the places that you have frustration with your clients and write it all out. Once you have a comprehensive list creating wording around these issues addressing what your policy is and what the consequence of breaking the policy is for the client. 

Put Them In Print

Once you have your boundaries written output them in print everywhere that makes sense. They should be stated clearly in your contract, in your welcome letter and if you provide any onboarding information make sure it is stated clearly there. For clients, you are already working with sending them the new policies with the offer to chat about the changes and what that means doe their contract. 

Enforce, Enforce, Enforce

 Finally, and probably the hardest part; enforce your new boundaries. Make no exceptions. If you start excusing behavior it is a slippery slope until you are right back into your frustration point. Even if you get some pushback initially, clients will treat you in the way you teach them too. So, stick to your new policies and clients will respect you. If they do not abide by your new policies then you really need to think if you want to continue to work with them in the future. 

Setting boundaries and creating policies can feel really uncomfortable at first, but in the long run, it will allow you to enjoy your work. When you are constantly aggravated by clients you become resentful of them and their projects, so think of your new protocols as a way to give better service to those who hire you. 

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How to create a happy office

How to create a happy office

You have probably never heard of the term Happy Office. Does a Happy Office even exist?

What would it look like? Is there even something like a Happy Office? And if there was, what would it mean to have a Happy Office?

The term Happy Office has everything to do with how you FEEL when you walk in. Can you achieve everything you want for the day? Are you inspired to do creative and productive work?

Will you still have energy left at the end of the day? Will you be excited for the next day to arrive?

Is everything organized and filed the way you like it? Can you easily retrieve important client files and projects you are working on? Is the space energizing you for your hobbies?

Tips on How to Create a Happy Office

Take a good look at everything that lives in your office then purge clutter and get rid of items you no longer want or need or that just don’t belong in your office. By doing this you will immediately feel relief: there will be room to breathe and you will enjoy your office even more.

Create a system that works for you. What do you need in your office to have the best environment to work in? What kind of work are you doing in your office? If you use it for your hobbies, do you have adequate storage? Is there enough room to spread your hobbies out? If it is more business or home office related, do you work best at an empty desk or do you need post-its, notepads and markers for your work? No matter how you use your office, make sure you create and invest in a system that works for you.

How to Make Your Office Happy

After decluttering and creating a system, it is time to decorate your office, walls, and desk. What makes YOU happy in your office? It could mean a bigger desk, or simply your desk in front of the window. Another great idea is to change the color of your wall and add an accent color.

What items hold important value to you? Display one attractive piece on your desk, like your favorite journal, inspirational notepads for all your notes and wild ideas, sports or travel memorabilia, postcards or Glassybabies. Did you know that a Glassybaby makes a nice reward?

Simply pick the one item that holds the most value to you, the item that means something significant and that inspires you to do more work in your office.

As you do this, you will feel your energy move in your body and YOU will experience the flow of creativity.

The Importance of a Happy Office

The rewards of a Happy Office are endless and will be revealed in so many ways. First, you will be so joyful to enter your office. With everything in its place and only having items you really need: every day will start with a clean slate. Second, you will be full of energy, and you will experience that you can work more efficiently and calmly. And third, you’ll notice that you are less stressed and have increased productivity when your office is HAPPY.


Nicolette Bouw

Nicolette Bouw, The Dutch Designer is an Interior Architect. Originally from Amsterdam and a graduate of The Amsterdam School of Interior Design, Nicolette uses her vast experience in architecture, interior design, organizing and staging to create a unique company in NIBIO.

NIBIO excels in creating unique, luxury designs for residential and commercial clients worldwide. From a simple living room design to a new kitchen or new bathroom to whole home remodels and beyond.

NIBIO also creates the best environment for women working from home, by transforming their office to increase productivity and happiness.

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Creating A Summer Bucket List

Creating A Summer Bucket List

One of the best things about summer is that there is extra time to get out and DO things. The days are longer, the weather is better and there are more activities available in most cities. So, how do you take advantage of this magical time and fit in everything you want to accomplish? Create a summer bucket list! This is an activity you can do on your own, with your significant other or with your kids.

Brainstorm Session

Spend 20-30 minutes writing down every possible thing you would like to do this summer. There are no wrong answers. Think of the biggest ideas down to the smallest and get it all down on paper. Things that you might include: events you want to attend, hikes you want to complete, places you want to visit, books you want to read, classes you want to take, etc.

Research What is Happening in Your City

Now that you have a master list, do some research and see if any of the things you want to do this summer are happening in your city, county or state. Add the dates to your brainstorm list. For the activities that don’t have a specific date add in how much time they will take and if they can be done on a weekend or weekday.

Edit and Segment

Once you have a complete brainstorm list with dates and estimated time commitments look at your list more critically. Divide your list into must-do, want to do and not necessary. Start segmenting your master list into these three categories. From here you could completely delete the not necessary column or as a revisit next summer list. Schedule your must-dos into your calendar, after that add in the things you have time for in your summer from the want to column.

Invite People

Finally, invite some people to join you if you would like! Some activities may be solo but if you want company reach out to your friends and family and get some of these fun activities on their calendars.

A summer bucket list is a fun way to make sure you get some of the things you would really love to do on your agenda. The key is to make it fun, and not overschedule yourself so that you are too busy to enjoy the season.

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4 Ways to Increase Referrals in Your Business

4 Ways to Increase Referrals in Your Business

Referrals to your business is the easiest way to get a new client. The potential client comes to you with some trust because they have been referred by someone they know or do business with. Usually, referrals take a shorter amount of time to book and are a fairly easy sale. So, how do you get more of these amazing referral clients into your business?

Celebrate Milestones With Your Customers

Pay attention to big events happening with your clients. In addition to birthdays and holidays keep an eye out for other events you can celebrate. New store openings, new products, etc. Whether you send a gift or simply call to congratulate, your recognition keeps you top of mind to your clients.

Give referrals to others

One of the best ways to build referrals is to refer others. People like to reciprocate and by referring business it can start a chain reaction that can lead to lots of new business coming through your door.

Treat the Referral Well

This may be obvious, but when someone sends you a referral make sure you treat the potential new clients really well. Follow-up quickly and make sure that they feel like a VIP. Your referrals will dry up quickly if the referrer finds out that you do not follow-up, or the experience is bad. They will not want to send you knew business if it reflects poorly on them. People what to refer someone who makes them look smart, so take that into consideration when

Always Say Thank-You

When someone goes out of their way to send you a potential client make sure it is acknowledged and at the very least say thank you. People who feel appreciated will feel good about continuing to send business your way. I am a big fan of sending a hand-written note or small gift to thank my referral sources. No matter what you do, just make sure those relationships maintained and gratitude is shown.

Having a constant stream of referral business is a game changer for business growth. It is a surefire way to gain new clients that are similar to the ones you currently enjoy working with and grow your business with the clients you love. Make sure to tend to your referral engine and take care of those who send you potential business.

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