What Have You Been Putting Off? 30 Days to a New You

24 08 2012

What have you always promised yourself you’d do…SOMEDAY. Sure you’ll learn a new skill, get more exercise, write a book, play an instrument, lose those extra pounds…SOMEDAY. And the more you put it off to SOMEDAY, the less likely it is to happen. How many years have passed since you decided you’d like to do something SOMEDAY, when you have more time, when your life’s less hectic?

Chances are SOMEDAY will never come. So why not take 3 minutes and listen to this inspiring message from Matt Cutts (Ted Talks) on making those dreams come true NOW?

Remember, it only takes 30 days to develop a new habit–one that can stay with you for life. What are you going to go for in the next 30 days?

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Are You Feeling Depressed?

28 03 2011

sailboatI love Eureka! moments. And I had one today. I’ve been sailing along, thinking of how great things have been going.

I’ve tackled lots of projects weighing on my mind by setting aside a Procras- tination Day once a week. I’ve felt lighter and airier without all that guilt holding me back.

I completed a huge assign- ment of 133 articles a week before they were due. (Anyone who knows what a procrastinator I am will realize this was a major victory.) And I completed the art for two book projects within the past two months.

I’m excited about the way my business is going, and I just returned from a terrific conference with Donald Maass that energized me. So why was I feeling so down?

Sure, the weather’s a bit rainy, so it’s dark and depressing outside, but what does that have to do with my internal landscape? Wallowing isn’t usually my nature, but I couldn’t shake this depression that gripped me. I do find, though, when I ask a question out loud, I always get an answer. (And that includes those “Why me,Lord?” ones I sometimes utter.) I don’t necessarily like the response, but it’s always apropos.

Today I asked, “Why am I depressed?”, and got my reply a few minutes later. My Google Alerts, which often drags in many unrelated items, did so again this morning. But I couldn’t resist taking a peek at The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I’m so glad I did, because I ran across the following sentence:The Big Leap book cover

“I manufactured the stream of painful images because I was feeling good! Some part of me was afraid of enjoying positive energy for any extended period of time.” ~p. 5-6

Talk about a Eureka! moment. I decided to let myself enjoy my successes and positive moments. Not sure if it was coincidence or the power of positive thinking, but the minute I did, the rain cleared up and the day became sunny.sun





Procrastination Day

9 03 2011

alpsMy overflowing to-do list resembled this mountain to the left. And as new snow piles up on the old, that weight compresses the older snow underneath. (which is how glaciers form–they become hard-packed ice underneath.) I was afraid I’d soon have an avalanche if I didn’t start chipping away at some of that ice that had been forming since the last Ice Age.

So I declared a Procrastination Day. OK, so maybe it sounds more like I planned to spend to spend the day procrastinating. That does sound rather appealing. Instead, I took a whole day and did nothing but complete tasks I’d been procrastinating about doing–some for months, others for much, much longer.

All day long I tackled dreaded phone calls, long overdue emails/letters, chores I despise, and unfinished projects that I’d shoved to the back of the closet or buried in the “someday” pile. At the end of the day, I’d completed 22 items that had been moldering on my to-do list for ages. Wow, did that feel good!

So now I’ve decided to hold Procrastination Day again today. Anyone want to join me?





I Survived… I Think

21 04 2010

So, one day after the event, I can look back with equanamity. If you read my public speaking post, you might have gotten the impression I don’t like to speak in front of groups.

That’s partially true. And I’m a procrastinator who avoids thinking about the presentation until the last minute, then…gulp!…realizes that it’s time to go out the door, and I have no time left to prepare. Why do I do that? It means I panic as I rush to pull some thoughts together as I drive to my destination and pray that I’ll come up with an interesting and inspirational topic. Yes, I was asked to talk about myself, but every talk should be structured like a story, with a beginning (inciting incident), middle (rising action), and ending (dramatic conclusion).

Luckily for me, my muse works well under pressure. I came up with several exciting (at least I hoped they were) events in my life and made them steppingstones, using an underlying theme of how I jump into careers, then learn on the job, often after I being forced to change directions by a tragedy or a roadblock. That helped me choose my anecdotes.

But I also like to give each audience a takeaway, something meaningful that they can apply to their own lives. My muse, my creative mind, my subconscious didn’t fail me. It dredged up a wonderful idea–one I’d heard years ago in someone else’s speech that had a powerful effect on my life…

Stay tuned for: Seeing the Other Side





I’m Off…

13 07 2009

My itinerary has changed, so I’m off to San Francisco much sooner than I’d planned. Now I must rush around and get ready to take off early Tues. morning. I thought I’d have a lot more time to get things done. Instead, I’ll need to squeeze a ton of chores into a short time span.

Whenever I have lots of time, I get little done. Conversely, when I’m pressed for time, I usually manage to accomplish an almost superhuman amount of work. Hmmm… If there were a way to put myself under practically impossible deadlines every day, would I get all those tasks on my to-do list done? Or would I collapse with a heart attack or stroke?

My procrastination stems from a habit I developed in school. I hated homework, so I avoided it until the last minute. I often did it in the class before it was due. And I never started term papers until after midnight when they were due that morning. I usually studied for tests by going to class a few minutes early and asking one of the studious early birds what questions they thought would be on the test. They were almost always right. And I’d had a refresher on the answers shortly before the test started so I generally aced the exam.

Now that I’m older, you’d think I’d have learned to use time more wisely. My freelance writing life has become rather predictable. I know, for example, that from mid-December to early February, things are slow. But from May to August, it’s hectic. So why did I ignore my own writing during the winter months and plan an extended trip during the busiest months of the year?? And why did I decide to start a new business at the same time? Am I crazy? A glutton for punishment? Or is this my subconscious’s attempt to force me to get a lot of work done? Hmmm… that subconscious may be much trickier than what I thought.