10 Ways to Bring More Peace into Your Life

woman standing on a calm pier

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15

I don’t think anyone wakes up and says, “Man, I hope today is chaotic.” But all too often, our lives seem to succumb to chaos, don’t they? Maybe it’s because of our job, our kids, our extended families. Maybe it’s—gasp—the consequences of our own actions. Whatever the reason, when the chaos kicks in, it tends to take over. Suddenly, peace seems completely unattainable, and it’s taking everything you have not to completely lose your cool.

Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 73% of Americans regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress. And 77% of them regularly experience physical symptoms as a result of stress. Nearly half of Americans say stress negatively impacts their personal and professional life, and 30% say they are often or always under stress at work.

Peace Isn’t Dependent on Your Circumstances

Whew. It would seem we are a stressed out bunch. If this is what we’re up against these days, it’s hard to see how we can hope to find peace in our lives.

But here’s the thing: true inner peace isn’t dependent on your circumstances. Sometimes life is wonderful and peace is easy to come by. Other times, life seems like a series of one terrible event after another. But you can learn to cultivate peace despite the situations life throws your way. That’s true peace, because it lasts regardless of circumstance.

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Try These 10 Things to Bring More Peace into Your Life:

1. Meditate.

Spending just a few minutes each day in meditation can greatly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Meditation is simply a mental exercise in which you quiet the mind and focus on one thing—often breathing, or a simple mantra. Meditation helps cultivate awareness, improve focus and increase calm. It has dozens of proven medical and psychological benefits—from reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, to increasing emotional stability and intelligence. There are tons of blogs, podcasts and apps available to help you start a meditation practice, and it really only requires a few minutes of your time each day.

2. Start a gratitude practice.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Melodie Beattie

Cultivating gratitude in your life is simple, free, and it can make a monumental difference in the way you view the world around you. Studies have shown that grateful people are healthier both physically and mentally. People who practice gratitude are also more empathetic and less aggressive, have higher self esteem, and are more mentally resilient. Practicing gratitude can be as simple as jotting down the things you’re grateful for in a journal, or in a note on your phone. You might even want to create a gratitude board with some of the major things you’re grateful for, which can serve as a reminder when you’re having a particular tough day.

Focusing on gratitude helps you hone in on what really matters in life, and offers perspective when you feel like things aren’t going well (for instance, did you really have a BAD day, or just one bad experience on an otherwise good day?).

3. Fill your brain with goodness.

There’s a lot happening in the world to be stressed about. Some days the news seems like an endless cycle of terrible events. And while it’s important to remain informed about what’s happening in the world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by bad news, and that can lead to feeling hopeless. If you start to feel that way, take a little break from the news cycle. Put on a motivating podcast or some uplifting music instead. Check out good news media, like the Goodnewspaper, where they celebrate the good happening in the world. Getting in touch with the good things happening, instead of constantly focusing on what’s going wrong, is a great way to shift your perspective and feel more at peace.

4. Declutter your space.

Your physical space can have a profound effect on how you feel. A cluttered and disorganized space can leave you feeling overwhelmed and can take away from your inner peace. I highly suggest the KonMari method if you’re ready to dive into the deep end. If you just want a quick and easy place to start, grab some trash bags or boxes and start separating out things that you can donate or throw away. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can declutter and how much better you’ll feel once you start.

5. Let go of the urge to compare.

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”

Galatians 6:4-5, NLT

It’s so tempting to compare our lives with the lives of those around us. But there’s a reason the Bible urges us to focus on our own work and quit comparing. For one, we are usually comparing our real lives with our assumption of what someone else’s life is like. And very often that is quite different from their reality. Comparison can also cause us to feel jealous of people, which can taint our relationships and stop us from seeing the good in our own lives. If, instead of feeling envy for what another person has, we can feel genuine happiness for them, we’ll feel much more at peace.

6. Get outside.

Spending even a few minutes outdoors has the power to uplift you and have you feeling more at peace. You can go for a walk or run, or simply stand outside and let the Vitamin D work its magic. No matter how busy you are, making a point to get outside for a little bit everyday will make a huge difference in how you feel.

7. Establish healthy boundaries.

Often, the difficult people in our lives seem like a roadblock to peace. Spending a lot of time around people who are unsafe or toxic can make our lives less peaceful. That’s why it’s so important to establish healthy boundaries that protect our peace and limit the influence these people have on us.

8. Don’t dwell on the past.

Ever meet someone who can recount every bad thing that’s ever happened to them, but can’t seem to find anything positive to say? Don’t be that person! Dwelling on the past, ruminating over ancient history, and holding grudges will do absolutely NOTHING to further your life or help you find inner peace. That doesn’t mean you allow people who’ve really hurt you to continue to do so. But it does mean you let go of the past and instead focus your energy on the present.

9. Turn off your notifications.

Our “always on” society certainly has its advantages. But being constantly subject to notifications from your devices can also make you feel less at peace. Most likely, the world will not stop turning if you take a few hours to disconnect from the constant chatter. You’ll also be amazed at how much more you can get done when you aren’t a slave to your notifications.

10. Stop worrying about what other people think of you.

Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.

Lao Tzu

You could be the most incredible person who ever lived, and there would still be people who criticized you. You simply can’t find peace if you’re constantly trying to live up to other people’s standards. Remember that your values won’t always align with everyone else’s, and that’s okay. Be confident in yourself and in your decisions, and don’t let the opinions of others disrupt your inner peace.

Peacemaking in Practice

Most of these suggestions are very simple things you can start doing right away. You might be surprised how quickly you see a difference in the way you feel and in your interactions with others. If you’ve already put some of these into practice in your own life, I’d love to hear about your experience! What methods of peacemaking have been the most effective for you? 

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5 Tips for Creating Evergreen Content

For entrepreneurs, creating valuable content is an important part of a strong marketing strategy. It’s also time-consuming. So, when you spend hours working on a blog post, article or video, and it doesn’t get the traffic you hoped for, it’s super disappointing. One way to avoid this problem is to focus on creating high-value evergreen content for your audience. Evergreen content is content that remains popular and continues to bring traffic to your website over a long period of time.

It’s not necessarily more difficult to create evergreen content than other types of content. It just requires that you approach your content with the intention of creating something that will remain popular and useful to your audience over the long haul.

What Kind of Content Isn’t Evergreen?

Before I get into the details about writing evergreen content, I want to point out that, most likely, this won’t apply to every piece of content you create. Sometimes content is only relevant during specific time frames. For instance, if you’re writing about breaking news, that article will probably spike in popularity when it’s published, and then lose appeal as the event gets further away. Or if you’re promoting a limited offer on your services, that promotional content won’t be evergreen. 

So, What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is content that stands the test of time. Its popularity isn’t dependent on proximity to recent news or pop culture. It continues to receive traffic over time, because audiences continue to find it when they search for the topic. This content doesn’t necessarily have the initial traction that “trending” topics will have, but it will garner steady traffic over time.

Give Your Content a Long Lifespan With These 5 Tips

So, how do you create evergreen content? Glad you asked! Here are 5 tips for creating content that doesn’t have an expiration date:

  1. Be very intentional about your topic. It probably goes without saying that in order to have a great piece of evergreen content, you’ll need to start by choosing a topic that will stand the test of time. Avoid subjects or angles that have a short lifespan—topics like the World Cup, or the “This Is Us” season finale. These topics will be surrounded by some hype for a short period of time, and capitalizing on them may give you a brief spike in traffic. But once the excitement has died down, so will your content’s popularity. Choose topics that are relevant to your audience—and that will remain relevant over time.
  2. Answer a question or solve a problem. What’s the first thing you do when you have a question you need answered, or a problem that needs solved? Back before the Internet, maybe your answer would have been “go to the library,” or “call my smart uncle.” But these days, we all know the answer: we Google. Content that provides clear, accurate answers to commonly asked questions can do extremely well as evergreen content. The key is to make sure you are providing relevant, well-sourced information in an engaging, easy-to-consume format.
  3. Create content that others can easily reference. You probably know that backlinks to your content can really help boost your SEO. Naturally, this also means they can help give your content a longer shelf life. One of the best ways to get those backlinks is to create content that others can easily reference. How do you do that? Focus on creating high quality, well-researched content that presents the information in a compelling way. And if you can provide a unique idea or tool for your audience to put into action, that’s even better. Let’s take a photography blog as an example. Instead of just writing a blog post with tips on how to dress for your photoshoot, you could create a checklist of pieces that make up a great photoshoot outfit. So you haven’t just written a blog post—you’ve created a free tool. Producing this type of unique content can help you get more backlinks, increasing the lifespan of your content.
  4. Write headlines that clearly communicate your evergreen topic. Writing a strong headline is crucial to creating evergreen content. Your headline is your content’s first impression on your audience. If it doesn’t plainly describe the information they’re going to be getting, you’ll lose people at the door. You also need to make sure your headline is specific enough that your content doesn’t get lost in the crowd. For instance, you don’t want to write an article on planting flowers and call it “How to Plant Flowers.” That’s way too generic, and it doesn’t give the audience a clear understanding of what they’ll be reading about. A better headline would be something like “5 Tips for Planting Flowers in Humid Climates.” That headline describes exactly what the audience will be getting, and indicates that the content will be relevant regardless of when it is accessed, as it is not tied to a specific season or year.
  5. Optimize your content for search engines. As with any other content, you want to optimize your evergreen content for search. Be sure to do your keyword research, and choose keywords that audiences are actually searching for. Then be sure to optimize your content for SEO so that it has a better chance of being found by your intended audience. 

Your evergreen content is the backbone of your content marketing strategy. It’s the content that you can continue to promote, time and again, because it remains relevant long after you first publish it. And if it’s well thought-out and optimized, it’s also content that will continue to go to work for you by bringing new visitors to your website.

Get More Tips on Creating Evergreen Content!

Want even more tips on creating evergreen content? Every other week, my newsletter subscribers get a deep dive into my creative content topics from the blog. This week, I’m sending my subscribers my tips on types of content that work best as evergreen content. You’ll also get a few bonus tips on how to create engaging content that stands the test of time. Want in? Sign up for the newsletter here!

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Business Owners: Outsourcing Your Content Writing Isn’t a Sign of Failure

two women having a content writing meeting

There comes a point for every business owner when they realize they just can’t do everything themselves. And, perhaps more importantly—they don’t want to do it all themselves. Part of the reason you got into business for yourself in the first place was because you wanted to be able to determine the kind of work you would do. And it doesn’t take long to realize as a business owner that there are tasks you’d rather not do.

Sometimes those tasks are just nuisances. Sometimes they are time-consuming, pulling you away from the tasks you need to be able to focus on. And sometimes they are simply out of your wheelhouse, and performing them is like pulling teeth.

Content writing can fall into any one of those categories for business owners, depending on their personal strengths and preferences. Whatever your reason, delegating the task of content writing can be a huge weight off your chest as a business owner. It can also be a strong business investment. A good content marketing strategy helps you get your message out to your ideal clients and convert leads into customers. It also helps you provide value to your audience, establishing trust in your brand.

5 Things that Might be Holding You Back from Hiring Out Your Content Writing

If content writing isn’t your thing, what’s holding you back from delegating the task? Here are 5 common reasons you might be dragging your feet on hiring a content writer:

  1. Feeling like a failure. I get it. As a business owner, it can feel like having to delegate a task is somehow a failure on your part. But I can assure you that’s not the case. Rather, being able to strategically delegate is necessary for growing your business and successfully scaling. If you have your hand in every aspect of your business, you’ll get to a point where you don’t have the capacity to grow anymore. You need to be freed up from some of the day-to-day tasks if you want to facilitate the growth and momentum to take you to the next level.
  2. Fear that your personality and voice will be lost. I absolutely understand this concern. You want your voice to come through when you’re communicating with your audience and your clients. You don’t want your personality to be lost in a bunch of salesy copy that doesn’t sound like you. That’s the great thing about working with a professional copywriter who specializes in customized, on-brand content. I’ll get to know you and your brand inside and out, before I ever write a single word of your copy. No cookie cutter, scripted content. I custom tailor every piece of content I create for your business to ensure it communicates your brand’s voice.
  3. Assuming you can figure it out yourself. Well, you probably can. In fact, you can probably figure out most things yourself when it comes to running your business. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. I could probably figure out how to take my own photos or design my own website. But when I analyze the time it would take me to do those things—and most importantly, to do them well—I conclude that it’s really not the best use of my time. It’s actually much more profitable for me to delegate those tasks to people who excel at them, and for me to focus on my areas of strength.
  4. Not considering your content a priority. Here’s the problem with that: customer-centered content is vital to establishing a good relationship with your client base and encouraging them to buy from you. You can spend hours and hours creating great products and offerings—but if you’re not engaging your target market, you won’t get those things into anybody’s hands. If you want to not only reach your ideal clients, but also obtain their business, you need to produce engaging, high-converting content.
  5. Concern about the cost. As with any other investment you make into your business, hiring out your content writing will cost you. However, the good news is that a strong content marketing strategy is a powerful business investment that will help you reach your target audience, convert leads into customers and ultimately grow your business.

Still on the fence about hiring out your content writing? If there’s something holding you back I didn’t list here, I’d like to hear what it is! Let me know in the comments. Or if you’re ready to talk about outsourcing some content writing, get in touch with me today!

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