The Turning Point

In what feels like yesterday, and yet was also quite a while ago, I started my first blog.  December 30, 2010, to be exact.

At the time, I had the adulting thing down – employed, married, a parent, paid the bills on time, attended church – the whole shebang.  But something was missing.

One of my big dreams from when I was little was to be a writer. I have notebooks and journals filled with scraps of stories, and outlines of ideas.  I even sent a few stories off to magazines when I was in college. They were all rejected.

But times changed.  When I graduated from Indiana University in 1995, the Internet was still a baby.  Blogs didn’t really exist and social media was still a spark of an idea in someone’s head, and not a real thing.  By 2011, we had social media platforms, and easy blogging tools — in other words, you could write and share it with an audience without even leaving the house.

Looking back, starting that blog changed everything in my life  (ok, maybe not everything — I’m still married to the same guy and we have amazing kids). It changed me – how confident I was, how I viewed my own abilities in this world, and how motivated I was to start going after those dreams I’d had.  It also changed how other people perceived me.  Suddenly, I was telling stories and making people laugh.  I was creating pieces that made people think. I was motivating people — and sometimes I even hear I inspire people.

Starting that blog, and committing to writing every day, was the turning point for me.  It’s where I found the confidence to start my own firm, to pursue our vacation rental business, and to move almost 1000 miles away from home.  Because I wrote the blog, and eventually the books, I knew I could do a lot more things.

Are you looking for a turning point in your life?  What is it you want to create?



The Results Are In

Last weekend, I shared a bit about my health and fitness plans for the week.  This is a follow up to those posts on social media.

The results are in!  I’ve lost just over 2 pounds since Sunday — and more than 15 pounds in the last five weeks.  While I still have a ways to go to get to a healthy weight, I am moving in the right direction — not just on the scale, but also in terms of other healthy habits.

One of the big keys to my success has been including my doctor in the process. I have struggled for well over a year, trying to lose the weight with this program or that.  In September, something clicked — as in “it shouldn’t be this hard.”  I knew I was following plans that other people were having fantastic results with — and I was getting nothing.  After including my doctor, I realized that a few routine medical issues were impacting my ability to maintain a healthy weight.  And by combining healthy eating and exercise, along with prescribed medications for those issues, I suddenly saw results.

As I thought over the phenomenal turn around in my journey, I (of course) saw the tie in to business ownership.  How often do we, as business owners, try to solve a problem ourselves?  Sometimes it works — and sometimes, it just doesn’t.  It can be easy to point the finger at ourselves and assume we aren’t capable of whatever the desired result was…. instead of thinking we can get there if we just add in a little professional help.

Some of the other things that were in play in my health journey:

  1. Fitness Watch:  I averaged between 4,000 and 5,000 steps each day this week.  Now that I see how much less I am moving than at other points in my life, I know that one of the things I need to incorporate is more movement — more walks, less sitting.
  2. Bento boxes and meal prep:  These were a success!  No more thinking about what to make.  No more thinking about portions or anything.  Just grab a box at meal times.  I would add that next week I need to put the crackers / pretzels in snack bags so they don’t get stale by the end of the week.  And that apples and peppers weren’t the best items for long term food storage, but grapes, carrots and celery did great.
  3. Stationary bike:  More than a few people have suggested other workouts to do in the morning.  For right now, I’m trying to firmly incorporate the morning exercise habit, before I switch up the workout itself.  I managed the bike every morning except Friday — I consider this a win!

Taming the Whirlwind

Do you ever feel like your work tasks are creating a whirlwind — or even a tornado around you?

I know there are days for me when it seems like 10 things are coming at me from 10 different directions and they are all important and all should be priority.

Sometimes, I find myself giving a bandaid to each one — you know, doing a quick fix in an effort to stop the whirlwind.  You might do that too — the quick text that says “working on it” or “give me 5 minutes”.

But it doesn’t always work, does it?

There are a few things you can do to stop the chaos of 100 little things to do:

1. Write it down.  This gets it out of your head and lets you plan and organize how you are going to tackle the day.

2. Do just one thing. But do it completely and do it well.  Make the follow up call and write the email response.  Read the article. Finish the edit.  By completing something completely, it is now off your list and out of the whirlwind — beginning to calm the chaos.

3.  Group similar tasks together — like making 4 or 5 phone calls, or responding to your email.

Good luck calming the chaos!