Planning My 2019 Smiles

Photo Credit: Pixabay

I’ve been looking at calendars a lot the last few weeks. Planning out my year. A big part of that is thinking about what makes me smile. I find if I get my vacations, fun time, and hobbies on my calendar first I’m more likely to protect the time to make it happen. I’ve got some ideas below to help you do this too.

I do a lot of networking. I like to meet people. I don’t like common get-to-know-you questions. “Where are you from?” “What do you do?” They don’t really move the conversation along. We all tend go into auto pilot, barely remembering that person as a result.

I figured, hey I’m the Lively Death Lady. I wanna focus in on what makes people feel alive the most. So I ask, “What makes you smile?”

People smile right away just because they were asked! People talk about travel, hobbies, volunteering, time with family, and sometimes a job. I love to see their eyes light up while they tell me. And we do eventually talk about their business.

Next, they ask how I make a living. “I’m a death educator.” As you might imagine, normally telling people what I do doesn’t always go smoothly, no matter what I say after. But after I started asking people “What makes you smile?” first, things changed. And our conversations were truly memorable.

But hey, what really makes YOU smile? If you are like me a little mental distraction can be a fun break in the day. So let’s do a quick activity. You can do this one in fewer than five minutes. Grab a pen and make a nice long list. Write down what makes you feel joy, relaxation, connection, engagement, or make you feel full of life. They don’t have to be big life changers. I know I’ve got “finding street parking near a concert venue in a big city” on my list. It’s a little thing but that boost of dopamine pushes a big ol’ smile on my face every time. Use a timer if you want or are on a quick break, you’ve got two minutes. Or if you can take all the time you want. OK, get to writing then come back.

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Give that list a read through, top to bottom. Circle the things have the most powerful impact on you. As we approach 2019, how about you do more of that. More of what makes you smile. The more we focus on what really matters, we are truly making a living.

I’ve got my list. And now you have yours.

Let’s rock 2019!

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Kel McBride, MLS, CEOLS, also known as the Lively Death Lady is a death and dying educator. She supports people in making informed decisions about their death that are in sync with their values. From health care to legacy, McBride makes the morbid intriguing and light-hearted, with amusing examples and details of lesser-known options. Her clients get their documents in order, have quality conversations about their wishes with friends and family – and also find a new focus on LIVING. She primarily works with people who are younger & healthy, people who believe their death is in the distant future. For more information or to be added to her EXPIRATIONS INSPIRATIONS blog email or visit

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Expiration Inspirations is written with folks like you in mind – intrigued by death but in no rush. Cool perspectives, interesting news, links to informative ideas, and more can be found in each edition.

“When I get your newsletter about death it leaves me SMILING. – Mary C.”

 “I just wanted to congratulate you on an upbeat, lively, and interesting letter. I loved it and read the whole thing! I will certainly recommend you to friends who have people in their lives who would benefit from talking with you. That could be any of us! We never know when it’s our turn.”  – Amy B.

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By | 2019-10-20T18:28:44-04:00 January 10th, 2019|0 Comments

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