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How to read more

In an average year, I read around 97 books. This year, my goal is to read 100. I often get asked how I get so much reading done and the answer is simple. I read all the time. And when I mean all the time, I mean many hours a day. To me, reading is the same as breathing. It is vital. In this blog post, I will share my best tips to help you read more. Pick the ones that work for you, and implement them today! Always carry a book with you The simplest way to make sure you read, a lot, is to always carry a book with you. Books can be bulky to carry, so I like to keep ebooks in my phone. With the Kindle app, ebooks are accessible on all your devices. Having a book handy at my fingertips mean that I can read in the subway, in line at the grocery store, waiting at the dentist, anywhere really. I know that I always have a good book with me and it helps me […]

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Embrace Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

In this day and age, our digital devices are more and more present and we spend more time on social media than ever. You’ve probably heard of the term ‘digital detox’, a term that’s becoming more popular these days because some of us are feeling overwhelmed by the hyperconnectedness of our time. The birth of a concept After releasing his book Deep Work, in which he advocates for focused, uninterrupted work free from distraction, author Cal Newport was flooded with questions from his readers. Deep Work is about professional life, but readers were searching for solutions in their personal lives. They communicated their overwhelm caused by the prevalence of technology and social media and their inability to free themselves from these many distractions. Newport, a digital hermit who decided not to partake in the social media craze, started to research our relationship with technology and came up with a solution : digital minimalism. In his brand new book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, Newport explores the consequences of the latest rise of technology and social […]

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A Miracle Morning Update

In July of 2014, I started practicing a morning ritual I heard of in a podcast. It immediately sticked. Turns out, hundreds, if not thousands of people were doing the same, waking up early and working on personal development every morning. This whole movement had a name, the Miracle Morning. (To learn more about it, read my first blog post on the topic here.) I practiced the Miracle Morning with devotion for 4 years straight. I loved it. I would start each day with a bit of meditation, which quickly improved my tolerance to stress, my overall wellbeing and my ability to focus. Avid reader as I am, I had more time to read each day now that I was up early. As a writer, the practice of journaling had a terrific impact on my craft and I was able to better reflect on what was happening to me at any time. Visualization and affirmations were not my strong suit, but I did it anyway. And exercising in the morning was perfect for me as, by the end of the […]

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Back from my annual silent retreat – Lessons learned

Once or twice a year, I like to rent a small apartment for a few days and reflect on my life, my goals and aspirations. March and September are my favorite time of year to go on a silent retreat. This year was no exception. A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with my family at my father’s place when someone asked us where we’d see ourselves in 5 years. I was very uncomfortable with the question, because for the first time in years, I had no idea. My hubby said he was hoping we’d still be together in 5 years, but of that I had no doubt. I know that I love him and that I still want to live my life with him in the forseable future. But professionally, where do I want to be? Do I still enjoy my career as an executive assistant? Is it what I truly want to be doing with my life? When I feel confused, uncertain, I like to look inward, journal and reflect. The best way that I know of […]

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Nonviolent communication : problem-solver and happiness booster

When my friends and loved ones feel sad or worried, I tend to feel very powerless. I just don’t know how to react! I would like to show support but only seem to spurt out unwanted advice. I know that’s not what they need, but I don’t know how to offer the empathetic ear they are longing for. While doing research, I recently stumbled upon a technique that teaches us how to listen to our friends’ needs and truly show them that we care. It is called nonviolent communication. I must say that I am not in love with the term. Coined by psychologist and author Marshall B. Rosenberg, nonviolent communication refers to a way of communicating that will cause no harm to its recipient. I did not believe that giving unwanted advice was “violent” in any way, but it can surely harm a relationship if the person manifesting sadness is only wishing for closure and connection. So what is this communication technique that does no harm? Nonviolent communication is a technique that can be applied towards others or ourselves. […]

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How to stick to your good habits in times of change

Recently, I wrote about my existential crisis and my decision to get a day job. I started my new position at the beginning of April, a month ago. No need to tell you that switching from working from home to go work in an office an hour away from home makes a big change in my daily routine! And this change has impacted my habits in many ways. In today’s post, I want to share my tips to stick to your good habits in the midst of change. Let dive in! Protecting sleep and recovery I am now working full time, which means I’m working more than I had in the past 10 years or so. I’m waking up earlier because my commute takes an hour each way. Waking up earlier means going to bed early. I used to need to sleep 7 hours a night to get a good night’s sleep, but since I’ve started working, I find myself sleeping 9 hours on average as my Fitbit reports keep telling me. I guess that my body is adapting to […]

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Hygge : Happiness is a Danish word

Hygge : happiness is a Danish word

As far as I can remember, happiness has always been a source of wonder for me. Last year, a new concept came to the awareness of the general public, the Danish principles of happiness called Hygge. I am a bit late to the party, but I have been thoroughly seduced by this concept and today I’d like to share with you the basic principles of this art de vivre. Hygge has no direct translation Hygge, pronounced hoo-gah, is a complex concept coming from Denmark. Hard to describe in a few words, it doesn’t have a direct translation in any other language. It describes a feeling of well-being that you can experience in a variety of situations. A few elements can contribute to this well-being and I will try to help describe the concept by sharing these elements. The Basics of Hygge 1. Soft Lighting The Danes are the largest consumers of candles in Europe. They would say that the soft glow of a lighted candle can bring Hygge to any situation. For a hyggleligt ambiance, choose diffused lights similar to the dawn […]

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How to craft your ideal week

I used to get bogged down by the trivial stuff. There’s only so much you can do in a week, and it was easy to put my efforts on the small stuff and forget the big projects that would really make a difference. I’d spend my days in my email inbox and no big project would move forward. Then I remembered what Stephen Covey used to say : “Put in the big rocks first.” I needed to change the way I approached my weeks and make time for what was most important. I needed to craft my ideal week. I first got introduced to the idea of an ideal week when I read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Dan Harkavy. To make sure that our grandest goals get achieved, Hyatt suggested that we designed our ideal week to carve out the time for what matters most. When I created my life plan, I drafted an outline of my ideal week and never looked back. Like a budget for your time The idea of the ideal week is similar to […]

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Top 10 books of 2017 – Part 2

I consider myself a true bookworm, a library rat as we say in French. But this past year, I’ve surpassed all my reading records by reading more than 90 books! I’ve selected my top 20 books of the year in this two-part series, and here’s the final 10 books I’ve appreciated most in 2017. The Four Tendencies I’ve been waiting for the release of this book for the most part of 2017. The author, Gretchen Rubin, is part of my team of virtual mentors, and I’ve been reading everything she publishes. It is no surprise that she appears twice in this top 10! The Four Tendencies is a personality framework she has come up with that help us better understand why we can or can’t accomplish certain goals we set for ourselves, and how to harness our personalities to achieve them. I’ve written a review when the book launched.   Better Than Before Better than Before is the previous book published by Gretchen Rubin. It is all about the strategies we can implement to set healthy habits and to break those […]

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How to live a Level 10 Life

How to live a level 10 life

If I gave you a choice today, would you rather be living an amazing, awesome life you love? Or would you stick with what you’ve got? According to Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, if given a choice, we would all want to be living a Level 10 life, fully satisfied in every area of our lives. “If we’re measuring our levels of success/satisfaction in any area of our lives, we all want to be living our best lives at a ‘Level 10’ in each area. Creating your ‘Level 10 Life’ begins with creating an honest assessment of where you are.” Luckily, there’s a few ways to achieve your own level 10 lives. And it starts with a simple assessment. The Level 10 life assessment This assessment has also been called the Wheel of life assessment in many circles. It consists of writing down on a piece of paper 5 to 10 areas of your life that are particularly important to you and rating your level of satisfaction in every area on a scale of 1 to 10. Life […]

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