Elegant women spend time on high-value activities; activities that bring a lot of value to their lives. So, in this episode, I’m sharing my top five high-value activities, but I want you to think about what is yours, and start making them a part of your everyday life. Enjoy.Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
My friends, I wish you were sitting beside me right now because I can’t even begin to describe what I’m looking at. But I’m going to try. So, my apartment overlooks downtown Denver, the skyline. And in the evenings, because I’m recording this at six o’clock, the sun begins to set over the mountains, and that glare hits these skyscrapers and just has the most gorgeous red glow. I can’t even. I’m like, what is happening right now? It’s so beautiful.
I’m just mesmerized. But we have things to discuss. One of those things being the doors to the School of Self-Image just opened for enrollment for our April class, where I’m going to be teaching our members how to create a personal brand.
Now, this is applicable for every woman. A lot of you think, “Oh, I don’t need a personal brand because I don’t have a business.” Listen, you have a brand. A brand is how you are known. And I want to teach you all how to create in on purpose, how to create it in such a way that moves your life forward.
I love knowing that I have the power to control my own narrative, how I want to be seen, how I want to be thought about, how I want to come across. All of that is within my control. Now, does that mean everybody’s going to think about me the way I want them to? No.
But I get to think of me the way I want to. And the more I do that, I notice that I get feedback of, “Oh, I think you’re such this kind of person or this kind of person,” and I chose that on purpose. Because I create my personal brand on purpose.
It’s going to be such a powerful month, not to mention all of the goodness that’s within that membership. I am so blown away, you all. Someone recently, one of the members posted her before and after picture. And we were all like, “What is happening?”
This is a beloved client that I’ve worked with for years. And someone in the comments said, “Your after picture looks like you’re the daughter of your before picture.” She is like a completely different woman inside and out.
I just love it so much because that really is the focus within the School of Self-Image is you creating your own after story, you creating yourself on purpose. And the process that I walk women through to do this is so powerful. I am just so in love with this membership.
So, if you want to join us for our April class, go over to schoolofselfimage.com/join. I would love to see you inside and help you create your personal brand on purpose.
What else do we have to discuss? Well, let’s talk about today’s topic. This is actually going to be the last episode of the Elegant Woman series. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it for you. But today, I want to discuss five high-value activities that elegant women have.
Now, more importantly, as I’m talking about these high-value activities, I want you to be thinking about what your high-value activities are. I’m going to be sharing mine. And the reason why I’m framing this with elegance is when I engage in these activities, it just adds so much more simplicity to my life. And I personally am so much more effective as a mother, as a friend, as a lover, as a business owner, just in every area of my life. Which I why it’s so important that I make space for these high-value activities.
But that’s not to say they’re going to be high-value for you. Although I think once you hear my argument for them, you may want to consider adding them to your life. So, let’s first define what is a high-value activity? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is an activity that adds a lot of value to your life.
So, the first one I’m going to share with you, I didn’t realize or experience how high-value it was until I wasn’t engaging with it at the level I know I personally need. In fact, I’m just going to call myself out right here on the podcast, Over the last three to four years, I have not exercised at the level my body needs.
And the brain is tricky because my brain is like, “You move every single day.” Which is true. I walk my dogs. I would always do some pushups, a little something. But for me personally, I’m finding that the older I get, the more physical activity I need. And one of my main focuses this year is getting so fit that you all are going to be like, “What has happened?”
I really am being called to step into my own fitness journey. And I was thinking about why I’ve resisted it. and I realized not too long ago, I was still caught up in how I used to do fitness.
So, there was a period of my life where I was like a fitness fanatic. And it was being driven out of the wrong energy. I know you all know what I’m talking about. It was driven out of not being good enough, not being perfect enough. And it was exhausting when I was doing it from that energy. It ever was good enough. I could not exercise enough because my body wasn’t the problem. It was my brain.
But now, I’m approaching it from a place of so much love for myself and wanting the best for myself, it feels totally different. I’m so excited. I have been going to the gym. I’ve been lifting weights. I’ve been stretching morning and evenings. It just feels so good.
And here’s the thing. The way that’s impacting how I’m showing up in my life is just crazy. I have more energy. I am more focused. I just feel better. And when you feel better physically, it’s so much easier to feel better emotionally.
I was actually sharing with some of the members of the School of Self Image, we do a monthly cocktail party for VIP members. And I was sharing with them – it just came out of my mouth – when you are moving, and I meant physically, life gets moving. Have you noticed that?
Like, when you are at rest – what’s Newton’s first or third law, I can’t remember? But an item at rest tends to stay at rest. And an item in motion tends to stay in motion. When I was physically not moving at the level I wanted to, I felt like life wasn’t moving at the level I wanted it to. And now that I’m moving physically a lot, it’s like life is trying to keep up with me.
It’s like crazy, but the value that this is adding to my life in terms of how I feel how I’m sleeping so good, and just the confidence that I feel like being fit can give a woman, I can’t even begin to describe. It’s like that sunset hitting the buildings. It’s something that I want you to go out there and experience for yourself. But exercise is definitely a high-value activity that elegant women engage with.
The second high-value activity that has had such a tremendous impact on my life and has helped me add value to my life, to my business, to my clients, is carving out time for thinking. I call this thinking time. Now, I know the tendency to not make time for this, because our brain will convince us that we don’t have enough time. Who has time to sit around and think?
But I want you to consider your thinking time as the time that you get to really think on your life. It’s just like in business. There’s a book called The E Myth and they talk about being an entrepreneur and how important it is that entrepreneurs have time to think on their business. Because so often, you’re in your business taking care of the little details and the tasks that need to be done that you can’t really grow your business.
You have to be willing to step outside of your business and think bigger picture, high-level, really spend time looking at what’s holding you back, what you need. And I do this every single week.
Typically, Mondays and Fridays are my thinking days. I like to condense all of my work down into Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, that’s when I’m recording podcasts and coaching clients and I have meetings. Those are three full days of producing. But Mondays and Fridays, I find, are the highest-value days for me because that’s when I can really think about what I want for my life, what I want for the company, what is holding me back and really think on such a bigger level, more meta level.
Then I can take that knowledge and that wisdom that I’ve gained during these chunks of time that I’m just intentionally thinking, and begin to plan them out, work through them. Whatever comes up for me on my thinking days, I then move onto the third high-value activity of elegant women. And that is planning.
I’ve mentioned the importance and the power of planning on the podcast before, but I know that some of you may resist planning. Because I used to. I had this story that I just wanted to be spontaneous and free and I wanted to go with the flow of life. And let me assure you all, my life was a hot mess when I didn’t plan out my life.
It sounds so sexy to think about, but for me personally, what ended up happening is that I wasn’t really moving my life forward that much. I wasn’t creating on purpose. I was just letting life happen to me.
But when I started, number one, deciding what I wanted, what I wanted to crate, what I wanted to experience, and I started to break that down into a plan and schedule it for myself and then show up for my schedule, I am telling you all, everything changed in such an amazing and extraordinary way.
Now, I know that sometimes women will often say that they don’t have time to plan. It seems like such labor to sit down and really think on your life at that level. And while it may take more time on the frontend to be very intentional and strategic with how you spend your time, what you’re going to find is that it saves you so much time on the backend.
And not only does it save you time, you create such powerful results. So, I think about the years in my life where I didn’t have a plan, I wasn’t into planning because I wanted to be a free spirit. I would wake up in the morning and I would have so much anxiety.
And looking back, I realize now it’s because my brain didn’t know what to focus on. I wasn’t giving my brain clear direction of, “Here’s what we’re doing today.” Here’s what we’re showing up for. So, again, it just felt like life was happening to me. I wasn’t getting momentum. And I felt like I was going around in circles.
But when I started to follow the process that I now teach within the Dream Atelier, which is a part of the School of Self-Image membership, I, number one, started to feel empowered. I felt more in control of my life. And I was moving my life forward and at the same time I felt like I had more time. Which is crazy.
When I wasn’t planning, I felt like I was wasting time. I didn’t have a lot of time. And it’s because I was using my time on low-value activities and just being busy. But when I started to focus on the high-value activities and breaking my goals down and scheduling them and planning for them and showing up for my plan, that’s when I was able to really get the momentum going in my life, which is why planning is such a high-value activity for me.
And I feel like it does lead to more elegance in your life. Because when you’re spending time thinking on your life on a deep level, like what’s working, what’s not working, what’s weighing you down, what’s giving you energy? When you’re asking yourself all these deep questions, and then from that thinking time you create a plan to help you create more of what you want, it just feels like so much freedom. And it feels like you’re living a life that you can actually manage. And it also decreases overwhelm.
A lack of planning is often the main cause of overwhelm. Now, overwhelm is always caused by your thinking, but my women have discovered that when they start planning, it decreases their overwhelm because they know they have a plan. It’s in their calendar, and all they have to do is show up for it. It’s such a more powerful and beautiful way to live.
Okay, the fourth high-value activity of elegant women is personal development. Now, let’s just think about that word. Personal, that means you, development, growing you, expanding you, evolving you, taking you to the next level of you.
I’m always perplexed when women come to me and they say things like, “Tonya, I really want to work with you and join your membership, but I don’t have the time.” And I’m like, “You don’t have the time not to.”
My experience has been the time that I have invested in personal development has been what has shifted my self-image. And if you’ve listened to previous episodes that I’ve done on the power of your self-image, it is truly creating your entire life. How you see yourself determines how you show up in the world. It determines the risk that you take. It determines how you overcome challenges. It determines how much money you make, how people treat you, what career you choose. It’s creating everything.
And for me, investing in personal development has been the key to evolving my self-image. But what personal development is to me may be different to you. I think you should be asking the question, “How can I develop myself?” And it may be through courses. It may be through books. It may be through even going on a trip.
For me, my personal development routine consists of books, podcasts, also investing in courses, and my journaling time. Every morning, I journal. And I don’t just journal in the morning. Throughout the day when I get ideas or I’m being challenged with something, I pull out my journal and I get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. And I feel like, for me, and for those of you who journal, I’m curious what your experience is, but for me, there’s something about journaling that I free up my headspace.
All that chatter in my brain that often can lead to chaos, I just get it out and onto paper. And there’s such a freedom that comes along with that, not to mention all of the ideas that I come up with just by sitting down with a pen and my journal and just letting it free-flow.
Now, granted, some of them are terrible ideas. In fact, I was reading through my journal this morning at some of the things I wrote just a few months ago and I’m like, “I would never do that now.” But at the time I needed to express that. I needed to get it out of my head.
And so, journal time for me is such a huge investment in my own personal development. There’s something about taking a thought and putting it onto paper and asking yourself, “Do I want to believe this? Is this even true? Is this thought going to lead me to where I want to go?”
And I feel like elegant women know that they have crazy brains, just like everybody else. But they don’t let their brain manage them. They manage their brains, which is why I think the time that you engage in your own personal development is going to help you move so much further, so much faster than you trying to do it on your own.
Now, let’s talk about the last high-value activity of elegant women. And this is one that probably I suspect some of you are putting on the backburner for one day because you don’t yet understand the value of it.
But when clients come and work with me and they start making this a part of their life, it’s so much fun to watch their lives evolve in magical ways. So, the last high-value activity that I engage in on a regular basis is fun. I think having fun is so underrated in our society.
And I was thinking about why we put fun on the backburner, why we resist it so much. And I think it’s because we don’t trust it. We are programmed, many of us, as children that you can have fun when the work is done, you can have fun once you hit a milestone. It’s almost a reward versus a part of our daily lives.
But of you think about it like this, everything is energy. And you are attracting who you are being. And so, the more fun you have, the more fun you’re going to attract into your life. I mean, who do we want to hang out with when we want to have fun? We want to hang out with the fun person, right?
But some of you are so afraid to have fun. And I hear from some of you also, you don’t even know what fun is anymore. Your life has been so empty of fun for so long, you don’t even know what fun is for you. And I’m going to challenge you to figure that out and to make it a part of your life. I think it’s such a high-value activity.
Because when I am engaged in fun, what ends up happening is I am vibrating at a different level. My energy is heightened, I feel more expansive, I feel more alive. And how that spills over into my life is that I show up differently. And naturally, it’s more attractive. I attract more things into my life that just build onto the fun.
But I also think of it this way, you all. We have this one life. And we’re putting fun and joy and all of the things that we’re seeking on the backburner until one day when we’ve reached a certain goal or we’ve gotten to a certain point in our lives. And we’re not guaranteed we’re going to get to that point. So, why delay the very thing that you’re wanting right now?
And listen, you all, I used to do this. I know this pattern really well. I told myself id have fun when I lost the weight. I’d have fun when I made a certain amount of money, I’d have fun when I was in a different job or a different relationship.
And the whole time. Life was passing me by and fun was always available to me. So, when I started to engage in it, guess what happened? That helped me get over a decade-long weight struggle. I was able to grow a business from a place of fun. I attracted more fun people into my life. It actually led to the things that I was trying to create in my life and before I understood how the world worked, I had been making fun the reward versus the journey to what I wanted.
I talk a lot about this on the podcast. But I feel like I need to say it again. I’m going to keep saying it until we all get it. But so many of you are wanting to create results in your life. In fact, I would venture to say all of you. That’s why you’re listening to this podcast.
But the mistake that people often make is that they deny themselves of the feelings that they think they’re going to have when they’ve achieved this thing. And by denying yourself of that feeling, you’re actually slowing down your process because you need to be the woman that you think you’ll be then now in order to create that result.
And so, when I think about the things that I want to create and I think about the version of me who has created that, she is having so much fun in her life. She is in love with her life. She is celebrating her life. She feels so much gratitude and excitement for her life. And my job is to bring that feeling into the life I have today, which is why having fun, for me, is one of the highest-value activities that I engage in.
And the way that looks for me is dedicated time with my friends, the people I love being around. It’s putting on music and having dance parties in my house. Fun for me is an attitude as well because you can do something and be miserable, or you can choose to have fun while you’re doing it. Why not choose fun?
When I’m paying bills, I’ve got the music playing. I’m having fun. When I am cleaning the toilet, I am rocking it out. I love to think that the party lives within me and I get to bring that party to the experiences of my life. But then the activities that I love to engage in, again, time with friends, going dancing, these days I'm doing it in my house, watching certain films are fun to me.
And so, I want to discover what is fun for you and to make it a part of your life. Celebrate more. There is always, always something to celebrate. But if your mind is wired to always be looking for what’s missing and what’s going wrong and what you could be better at, you’re missing out on what’s going well, what you’re great at, your amazing accomplishments.
Life is so much more fun when you’re celebrating it. I’m a big believer in when you celebrate life, life celebrates you back. So, when you look at it from that perspective, you can see how fun is such a high-value activity because all of a sudden, you start to feel alive. You start to smile more. You start to show up in a different way.
And as a result, things will begin to shift in your external world. So, have more fun, ladies.
Okay, well that is a wrap on this Elegant Woman series. I have so enjoyed recording these episodes for you. Come back and listen to them over and over again. And more importantly, practice these concepts in your daily life and don’t worry about doing them perfectly. Elegant women don’t try to be perfect. They’re more focused on the journey and enjoying it and learning along the way. And as they begin to relax into that, they find that elegance is the result.
Have a beautiful week, everyone. I’ll see you in the next episode. Cheers.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.