One Word for 2020

Happy Wednesday!

This is the last in my series on “exercises to help you overcome feelings of failure;” click here for last week’s installment, debating between two words for 2020. Or, read on to find out which word I chose : )

Each year, for the last three years, I’ve chosen a Word of the Year:
2017 = SERVICE

For weeks, I’ve been trying to decide what 2020’s word would be. Here are my two candidates:

2020 = ENOUGH

I thought of 3 possible ways it could be used. Here is what I wrote about that in last week’s newsletter: Continue reading “One Word for 2020”

How to get what you want out of life | Podcast Episode 312

Happy New Year!! In 2019 I had two goals:
1. To fit into my ski pants
2. To be in control of my food intake

If my ski pants fit, that meant I could go skiing and spend wonderful, exhilarating time with loved ones!
And if I could be in control of my food intake, that meant I wouldn’t inadvertently hijack other goals that I had about health and weight loss.
Today I share about how I met those goals, through a 5-step process that I hope will be helpful as you work to achieve your goals!

Links and other stuff I share in this episode are located at

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Each Wednesday I send out a Parenting Newsletter, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos.
We’re doing a series right now on what to do when you feel like a failure, and who among us hasn’t felt like that at some point?
Useful stuff.
Click so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Cheat sheet of the 5 steps to get what you want out of life:

1. Declare yourself worthy.
This is a tough one! I do it with something that I call “mirror chats.”

2. Decide what you want.
This one feels deceptively easy, but sometimes it can take a while to figure out what we actually want.

3. Decide where you want to be with that goal… By a certain date.

4. Take one small step most days, or weeks.

5. Assess how it’s going once a week.
Also, as part of this, find something to celebrate each week.

My One Word is: ENOUGH
this was such a tough one, I had to choose between two words and the people in my email newsgroup were so helpful as I made my choice! If that was you, thank you so much!
Continue reading “How to get what you want out of life | Podcast Episode 312”

Only one of these two words

I’m doing a year-end series on how to overcome feeling like a failure; click here for last week’s installment, in which I share my Reverse Bucket List – and how it made me remember all the good in my life.

Each year, for the last three years, I’ve chosen a Word of the Year:
2017 = SERVICE

I’ve chosen them based on how I wanted to live my life… But they’ve ended up largely being about what I do, as opposed to who I am.
(Yes, even THOUGHTFUL – it’s been all about ways I can be thoughtful, as opposed to how I could be thinking.)

When I read Audrey Monke’s fabulous blog post, “5 Simple Year-End Reflection Activities” (this week’s exercise, and also last week’s, are based on Audrey’s year-end activities), I was excited to read that Audrey chooses a word of the year too!

Audrey’s words are different from mine – not a surprise, as Audrey and I are different people.

But they are fundamentally different in an important way: Audrey’s words are not about what she does.
They are about who she is.

In her version of the exercise, as Audrey puts it, “your one word isn’t a constant reminder of what you “should be doing”. Instead, it stands to inspire how you want to live. Think about who you want to be, and choose a word that will help you become that.”

Her rules:
“Focus on being rather than doing.
Be authentic.
Don’t overthink it.”

As I went through this exercise, one word bubbled up to the surface immediately.
Continue reading “Only one of these two words”

An exercise in gratitude

I’m doing a year-end series on how to overcome feeling like a failure; click here for last week’s installment, in which I share 4 ways to overcome those feelings of failure.

A few newsletters ago, I shared my own feelings of failure, professionally, personally, and in my family life.

I shared one thing that was making me feel so much better: bringing my feelings to a very positive and wonderful group of friends.

And I shared about how they made me feel SO much better.

One of those friends is Audrey Monke. Not only did she share words that made me feel so loved and supported, she shared a blog post she had recently written containing some positive and fun year-and family things to do.

Audrey discusses an exercise that has to do with gratitude, which dovetails nicely with one of the four ways I shared last week in this space, on overcoming feeling like a failure:

Name five things you are grateful for.
Whenever I’m feeling down, this is my go-to.
I do have so much to be grateful for!

“What better time than December to reflect on things that make us feel happy and end the year feeling positive and grateful?” – Audrey Monke Continue reading “An exercise in gratitude”

The turn around the bend

Happy Wednesday!

This is part two of a two-part series I’m doing on feeling better when all we can see are our faults; click here for last week’s, called Feeling like a Failure.
Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter, where I put one of the ideas I talk about today into practice. 


“Be proud of yourself and keep the faith – I believe in you and you do too – there is
a turn around the bend when the sun will come out again.”

When a friend wrote those words to me, last week, when I was feeling so down, they really hit home.

I felt the impact of these words in my heart and in my soul, from all across the world (my friend lives in England.)

They gave me hope. Paradoxically, it was only while reading them that I realized how far away from hope I had been feeling.

I felt like she gave me a place to start, and a destination: the “turn around the bend when the sun will come out again.”

Now, I feel like I’m on a quest. (I absolutely love quests : )

And, I want to bring you along with me!

So let’s explore: how do we get to that turn around the bend? Continue reading “The turn around the bend”

Gifts to be thankful for

Happy Wednesday!

It’s almost here!… NPC Cyber Monday special: 30% off of annual Ninja Parenting Community membership… Get on the waiting list (and get 7 amazing parenting resources) by clicking here.


“You can tell that you are very passionate about what you do and genuinely care about helping parents be the best versions of themselves. I was able to see that in all the emails you sent, as well as your welcome videos, and in your podcasts that I listened to over the past year.
“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for putting yourself out there to help others. This is truly YOUR gift, and it’s awesome to see you use it to better the world!”

I teared up reading this email, from NPC member Kathleen.

Her letter dropped into my inbox on a particularly frustrating day, one in which it seemed like there were fewer gifts in my life, and more struggles.

But reading this letter, I felt my challenges recede, and my feelings of thankfulness and gratitude come forward.

Longtime readers/listeners to the podcast might know that I have a tendon disorder.
My tendons develop scar tissue extremely fast, relative to (likely) yours. This is because of an ingredient in a lifesaving course of antibiotics I needed 8 years ago.

My life is completely different now, from before I developed the tendon disorder. Continue reading “Gifts to be thankful for”

10 Ways to alleviate anxiety | Podcast Episode 295

If the anxiety is hyped up in your home right now, for kids and/or for you, hopefully you’ll find this episode helpful!

It even includes a discussion, during the break, about how to deal with our own parental anxieties. I read listener Cathy’s letter, sharing about her own anxiety, which starts off the thinking about what we can do to feel less anxious ourselves.

Plus in Parenting News:
I completely screw up a quote from Dr. Elven Semrad in the second half of this episode… Which led me on a search to find out more about this beloved psychotherapist. In Parenting News I bring you this short article, sharing some of his other quotes and thoughts on life.

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Click for show notes which include a cheat sheet of the 10 ways to alleviate anxiety, and tons of links!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, and an incredible resource she has created to help your child handle even the biggest feelings!
Click to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading “10 Ways to alleviate anxiety | Podcast Episode 295”

“I didn’t feel like I had control over the direction our family was going.” A conversation with Jen, Mom of 2 and Ninja Parenting Community member | Podcast Episode 288

Do you ever feel like your family life is sliding in a direction you don’t want? In today’s episode you will hear how one mom, a coaching client of mine, worked with me to take control.

NPC member Jen, with her two daughters.

Getting control over the direction her family is going has brought has meant many good things, including fun, fulfillment, and real joy.

Listen in as Jen, mother of 2 young girls, talks about what she’s learned in our private coaching community, and how it has changed her life, and her family life.


Plus in Parenting News:  the You Are Not So Smart Podcast did a recent episode on the super-famous Marshmallow Experiment, which has been used to predict how successful a child will be, based on their ability to delay gratification. I LOVE this podcast, which I actually started listening to because of another episode, and it is the subject of today’s Parenting News because I think you would find it really helpful too.

Join us!

Go to for a rundown of the HEART method of handling every temper tantrum, which comes up in this episode!

And thank you so much for listening!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter


Continue reading ““I didn’t feel like I had control over the direction our family was going.” A conversation with Jen, Mom of 2 and Ninja Parenting Community member | Podcast Episode 288″

And You Were So Scared

Happy Wednesday!

Training update:
I am two thirds of the way through revising Educating Happy Kids, the book I plan to have out to you by mid August! I hope to hit my first milestone, getting the book to my editor on June 1, and I am on target to do it!

I have been posting daily instagram stories about my training… Click here to see the latest!

Or just hit reply to this email if you want to cheer me on.

And thank you SO much, if you have already cheered me on… Seriously, it helps me keep going when you do that.

Parenting Community Open House:

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 30, I am throwing open the doors to the Ninja Parenting Community! Find out more, and sign up, at the end of this letter : )


For me, spring is always a time of anxiety.

– It seems like, as the days lengthen, drivers are more inclined to be impatient, and unsafe.

– Skiing is done for the winter, it feels so long before I can get back out and take part in my favorite sport.

– I look out at the yard, and there’s so much to do.

– Summer is coming, how will we keep the kids amused while they are not school?

Each spring, when I am at my most anxious, I remember a wonderful book.

It’s called The Monster at the End of This Book, Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover​​​​​​, and you can find it in Amazon here. (And also probably in your local library, which is where we always use to get it.)​ Continue reading “And You Were So Scared”