Create a Master Plan for Self-Improvement

The most difficult thing to change is yourself. Even though many fail after the first week of trying, being hard-working and devoted to the things you want can help you tremendously. What’s more, evaluating yourself from time to time and writing down your goals and the things you want to achieve can play a big role as well. That is why, for anything that you strive for, you need to look at yourself as your next big project. And as any big project that you have, you need a master plan. This article deals with the best ways and ideas to make the journey to a better you as easy as possible.

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Improve Your Communication Skills

Even the biggest loners crave some quality socialization from time to time. For all intents and purposes, humans are pack animals, the ones that thrive when they are a useful component of the group. In order to find this purpose, we need to develop our communication skills. Now, even the most socially awkward person actually has all the sophisticated communication tools embedded in their brain. The question is not whether they exist – it’s how to draw them out. If you are interested in honing these conversational tools, here are some basic tips on how to improve your communication skills.

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How to Fix Your Relationship with Inspiration

elizabeth-gilbert-eat-pray-love big magic

How to fix your relationship with inspiration isn’t something we think about yet it’s something important especially if you’re a creative. What defines a creative person? The beauty of being creative is as long you think you are — you are!

Whether your creativity comes in the form of a glue gun and pipe cleaners, a paintbrush or construction paper–pay attention.

As creative people, we believe that inspiration comes in waves and can’t be controlled, and if that’s the truth, we should certainly celebrate it when inspiration arrives, right? But what if we’ve been burned by inspiration?

Several struggle with the next project waiting for creativity and inspiration to hit only to be disappointed when we complete our masterpiece; art, book, blog, yet, success didn’t get the memo and your book goes unpublished, your artwork never sells or that amazing blog only gets read by you, your mom and a random person who came to your page because of a misspelled word in their search.

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Day 25 #Nando25 Challenge: The “Be Do Have” Way

The #Nando25 challenge idea: We have become trapped to the idea of instant; our internet, our oatmeal, even our love lives are put on the fast track. “I hate dating” or “I’m so tired of the dating rat-race.” or “I just want a relationship.” So we go on and expect to “find love” after 20 minutes of clicking.

I want you to re-read that.

So we go on and expect to “find love” after 20 minutes of clicking.

It seems like everything now a days is high speed, quick-running or just add water and stir. But many areas of our life don’t work that way. I’ve always subscribed to the idea of: anything worth having is worth waiting for but anything worth keeping is worth working for. Are you looking for instant blogger fame? What about a quick promotion to the top? That guy you’ve been dating hasn’t introduced you to his friends yet, what is he waiting for?

Many of us follow a script of:

Once I have my wedding, I will be married, and then I will do what’s needed to make the relationship work.
(Have – Be – Do)


I will do what I need to get my instant blogger fame, then I will have more advertisers, then I will be SUPER BLOGGER.


Once I have a boyfriend, I’ll do what I need to keep him and then I will be happy.

But I’m here to tell you–you have it all mixed up. All of you, even me at times–because of the way we have been conditioned are getting life wrong. It’s not your fault, breathe, relax and get ready to learn.

The correct formula for life is actually:

The lesson:
Six years ago I was on the quest to be a famous photographer. I know, I think the Universe got me mixed up with Mike Ruiz, but I digress. My goal was to photograph celebrities in New York City except I never told anyone about it and never claimed my space, so instead I worked for a firm that treated me like crap. The context I had created around jobs was, “take any job that will have you and be grateful.”

Eventually, I was fired from that place because little by little I was creating a new work context. I wanted it to be fun, creative + I wanted to be in control. Because I was re-writing my job context, my current job was no longer in alignment with the NEW context which in turn, I created the circumstances to get fired–except I didn’t see it that way at first. Because in reality, who wants to get fired and stress over money? Me.

Initially I played the blame game and made then WRONG. Looking back, I even tried to get back in their good graces but it didn’t work. (How many of you have ever done that? You know that a situation isn’t good for you but you still want to go back?…, work, living with someone, etc) There were several questions that popped into my head after I knew I really had no job. How would I pay my bills? My rent? My haircare products?

The guy I was dating at the time asked me, “What would you be doing if you could?” Was he nuts? I wasn’t about to tell him. I wasn’t about to declare that I wanted to be a photographer. What if I failed? What if I was all wrong for it? What would people say? It was all my company’s fault for putting me in this position. (How many of you have also asked those questions when it comes to your dream job or your dream ANYTHING?)

Looking back, I was all about trying to look good and making people wrong. And I stayed in that for about six months. Several shifts occurred.

Relationship: We moved in together and became an official couple which meant we were now happy, right? This solved my rent problem temporarily but then it accelerated our relationship to the next phase which we weren’t really ready for. (Do – Have – Be)

Self worth: I had little of it and until I had a new job–I would be happy.

My relationship began to crumble apart because although the guy I was now living with was a fantastic guy–who bought me my first camera when I finally choose to tell him my dream job–he was really insecure about my new passion. In his eye, because I was now “creative” I would eventually want to be with another “creative” and leave him. So my new photography career, in his eyes, was a threat. I enrolled in an 8 week intro photography course and one week after I completed, I got my first official gig–a wedding. The money I made on that job, I bought a professional camera. And the jobs kept rolling in. I went from taking pictures of people for their online dating profiles, to special events, to celebrities. Yes, Celebrities!

I remember getting the call, it was for a Mariah Carey’s charity here in New York City, The Fresh Air Fund. They called and booked me. They said, “You’ve done celebrities before, right? I said sure! When I arrived, they gave me the “shot list” which is a list of the people I had to get. When I saw the names, I got really nervous. Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Jermaine Dupri, and the list when on and on. It was one of the most exciting events of my life and I can still look back at it and see myself asking Mariah to get out of the way as I took Alicia Key’s photo–which she did not appreciate. Let me tell you, Mariah did not allow any of the other celebrities to be photographed by themselves–she had to be in every photo.

But there was an internal struggle in between my photo class and that event with Mariah Carey. When I made the shift to “photographer” I never really believed I was good enough, and I was embarrassed to hand out my cards.  I thought, once I had major clients, I would get more clients then I would be an official photographer.

(Have – Do- Be)

But life didn’t work out that way–and in my head I was never a real “photographer” and I eventually ruined my own photography career, because I just never thought I was good enough. Eventually, my relationship fell apart–and it wasn’t because I found a “creative” to be with. But his insecurities completely took over my then-boyfriend, that I walked in on him having sex with one of our friends. I walked out and never turned back.

But something great did come out of all of this–I remembered while taking people’s photos for their online dating profiles, that I would also give them a quick style makeover and dating tips. I always felt “at home” doing that. In essence, I was already coaching people, I just didn’t know it had a name. And because that felt so natural, I never struggled with the formula, I knew for me it was Be – Do – Have.

I became that dating coach in my head first and I believed in myself. So I had the BE part of it down, but  what does a dating coach DO next? Blog? I began my blog several years ago, but it wasn’t advice or tips driven, it was stories of my humorous dating life in New York City–so I made the shift, I was no longer doing personal stories and was focused to helping others navigate the dating trenches. And what happens after you BE and you DO….you HAVE. I claimed my dating blogger hat and my dating + relationship coaching abilities and HAVE clients, blog readers, speaking engagments, a product line (ebook + my Breakthrough Inspiration Cards), and now my #Nando25 Day challenge. (I also got a talent agent who is sending me around for various reality shows–she found me online and after reading my blogs and watching my videos, reached out and said, “Nando, I want to represent you!”)

Life will throw you in different directions, and you will have many opportunities to choose or decide, re-write context, wear your crown, claim your space, take unreasonable action, and so much more of what the #Nando25 Day Challenge has presented you–I did this challenge for YOU, not me. I wanted to give you the chance to choose a new way of being…I wanted to give you the formula BE DO HAVE and present it in a way that you could grasp it.

You first have to BE it. And in “being it” is only means believing in yourself by putting it into language, because life only happens in language. Once you “are” it–you will “BE” it. Only after you “BE” will your life shape itself for you to DO. If you choose to BE a singer, then you need to DO what a singer does. If you choose to BE a mother, then all of your heart and soul goes into “BEING” a mother and naturally, you will DO what it takes to continue to BE a mother. And after you BE and you DO, you will HAVE motherhood in the grasp of your hands. If you want to BE happy–don’t trick yourself into thinking a relationship will be instant happiness. BE happy, once you embrace that, you will DO happy things to keep you in that happy state….and who knows…maybe, just maybe while you are BEING and DOING….you might neet someone and HAVE that relationship.

The #Nando25 challenge Homework:
1. Take a look and the things you want in life. Identify what formula you have been following.
2. Now, use the BE DO HAVE formula and turn things around.
3. As the last day of the challenge, I ask you to write in our facebook page, even if we haven’t heard from you before and just say, “I got it, BE DO HAVE!”

Day 24 #Nando25 Challenge: Making People Wrong

The #Nando25 Challenge Idea: Things will happen in life that you won’t always understand–this has been happening all your life, if you’re older than 10 years. Sometimes the circumstances we are faced with are thing we have inherited, like our parents, our family our DNA. And somehow we have learned not to accept those things, but to blame those things for the choices we make. And in several cases, we have blinders on when it comes to the circumstances we have put ourselves in and can’t see past our selfishness. In essence, we “make people wrong.” If my mom hadn’t been a single mother, maybe, just maybe I would have had more opportunities in life and this is why I dropped out of school and can’t get a job.” Or, “My dad left when I was younger so I know that’s the reason I can’t settle down with anyone because it’s in my blood.” Or “If my mom would have learned to pick the right man, and not all these losers, I know I wouldn’t be with all the cheaters I currently date.

Not only are we not taking responsibilities for our own choices, because remember, it’s all about choosing or deciding, but we also make people wrong in the process. And why do we make people wrong? Because we don’t want to look bad. Today’s concept, “making people wrong” goes hand-in-hand with you trying to look good. No one wants to look bad in life. Who rushes into a crowd in Times Square and yell, “Look at me, I’m lazy and I haven’t been looking for a job as hard as I should be so I’m unemployed!” No one. But how many people do you know who tweet, Facebook, and blog about “The recession is really kicking my ass, I just can’t find a job no matter how hard I look.” And if you look at their Facebook timeline–they’ve checked in on GetGlue for Judge Judy, Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens and The Vampire Diaries every day for the last month–that’s almost 4 hours a day X 30 days = 120 hours a month NOT LOOKING FOR A JOB.

It’s natural and human to want to look good in front of people–in fact, that’s our main motivation. It’s why I shower daily, why I get keratin every 3 months at the Davide Torchio Salon,  why I iron my clothes when I go to work, why I use all my Oil of Olay products on my face (yes, I said ALL, don’t judge)–I don’t want to be the only dating + relationship coach who shows up looking like a hot mess. “I have an image to uphold,” that’s the ultimate “not wanting to look bad” and it’s okay–as long as I’m not making anyone WRONG–then I’m in good terms with the Universe. But it’s also more than the physical–it’s the not wanting to look bad as a functioning human in society–and that’s when we starting making the world wrong, our boss wrong, our parents wrong, our neighbors wrong, our dating + relationship coach wrong for our circumstance.

When we fail to take responsibility for our choices + actions, we look to blame anything or everything around us and we start to make the people in our lives WRONG. And where does it get us? Lacking more responsibility + running more SCAMS! In fact, when we run a scam, more often than not–the pay off in that SCAM is making people wrong. And that’s a major pay off because we unload our part in the situation.

Example 1: Your electric bill is past due and you have already received 2 termination notices and you have a booty call on Saturday at your place. Your last chance is to pay the bill by Friday @ 5pm otherwise, you will be dancing in the dark all weekend long. You wake up late for work on Friday and you rush to work to find that you have been assigned a huge project and will have to work through lunch. You think to yourself, “I have to work through lunch? That’s when I was going to pay the bill!” So you start to resent your boss–she ALWAYS comes and goes as she pleases and this is an emergency! But you figure you will cut out early and pay the bill and all will be RIGHT in the world–except you get called into a meeting and before you know it, it’s already 4:30pm and you know the consequences of what will happen if you don’t leave that minute. You ask your boss if you can leave early as you have completed the report and you’re no longer needed for this portion of the meeting, she agrees. So now, you made your boss RIGHT and you have chosen to like her again.

Remember, when we decide to like someone, it’s for a reason–like “they are nice or understanding”–but the minute they are NOT one of those things–we KILL off our relationship because the word “de-CIDE” comes from the origin of CIDE which is to kill something off.

As you run out and get into your car, the traffic is bumper-to-bumper, and you begin to hate the world and the people who drive in it. You finally make it  and rush into the electric company only to find out they closed early due to a maintenance problem. You are now officially in “hate the world mode” and “it’s not my fault mode” and “why does this only happen to me mode” and “let me go get some candles mode.”

This sounds like a scenario that would never really happen–but it did. It happened to one of my clients and she was 100% failing to see her part in it. In the process she went from making her boss wrong, to making the people in the meeting wrong, to making the people driving wrong, and making the electric company wrong. The funny part was that she got to the pharmacy to get candles and she made them wrong too because they didn’t have vanilla scented ones. All of that because of not wanting to look bad for a booty call. Why couldn’t she go to his place? He lives with his mother.

The Lesson: I want you to notice the chain reaction of things and how your choices have that domino effect in your life. Choose the wrong man and a whole story unfolds. Choose the wrong job and drama is waiting for you. Choose the wrong ______________________ (fill in the blank) and _________________ (fill in the blank) is likely to happen next.

When we are afraid to look bad in fron of others–we usually tend to make others wrong and throw the responsibility factor out of the equation. It’s okay to want to look good–we all do–but don’t make others WRONG in order for you to be RIGHT so in the end you can look GOOD. Instead, flip the script and looks at things through a different vantage point and move from making people wrong + trying to look good into taking responsibility.


The #Nando25 Challenge Homework:
1. Identify + write down in your #Nando25 journal 3 situations where you have been making others wrong.
2. In each one of those situations–what has been your REAL part in it?
3. How can you “flip the script” and look at the situation from another vantage point?

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