Archive for Balance

8 Business & Life Lessons From 30 Pounds of Weight Loss

I have lost 30lbs!!! Since starting my weight loss journey in 2017, I have learned a lot about myself. I had been wanting to lose weight for a while and decided to go ahead and make a real commitment. I will be honest, when it comes to certain things I am incredibly driven and will move heaven and earth to make things happen. With the weight loss goal, it wasn’t something I was sure I could tackle the way I wanted to and needed to on my own. I had to make a commitment and that meant putting up the funds and bringing in a professional.

Simultaneously I have worked to lose weight and grow my business in 2017 and I couldn’t help but notice a lot of similarities in these challenging yet rewarding adventures. I’ve lost more weight than I thought possible and am still losing. I’ve had my highest earning month from my business in 2017. So here are a few lessons weight loss can teach you about business and vice versa.

Sometimes You Just Need a Cheerleader

We are all capable of losing weight as well as following our business goals. Neither of which is easy. Both take a lot of work and different moving parts. Sometimes you know exactly what you need to do, but you can’t find the motivation without a cheerleader. Sometimes that cheerleader may be a positive blog post comment, a blogger buddy you haven’t ever met in real life or a nutritionist who makes you step on a scale and share a food diary three times a week. Obviously, it’s not cut and dry. You don’t wake up one day and say, “I want to lose 30 pounds,” or “I want to start a 5 figure business,” then get to go to bed having accomplished that goal the same day. You probably know what it is you need to do, or where you can find the information to make those things happen but sometimes just having someone in your corner can make a huge difference.

Success Takes Time

Like I mentioned above, you don’t wake up, start a business and retire in one day. You also don’t do 25 sit ups and have 6-pack abs.  Anything worth having takes time.

Excuse me while I hop on my soapbox, but I think that an excellent example of this is that show about getting married at first sight. I haven’t watched it but I feel like I wouldn’t want to marry someone who thought that was a good way to pick a mate.

I have had my fair share (and then some) of difficult relationshits (yes I said shits, not ships) but I would rather find my soulmate through experiences, time and building real connections than a reality t.v. show. Sorry, not sorry Bachelorette fans.

But even with arranged marriages or tv marriages, it still takes time after the “I Do” to build a real relationship.

It’s Easier to Screw Up Than Succeed

It is much simpler to stop at Mcdonald’s and grab a Mcdouble and small fry than it is to go home after a long day at the office (that is going to be followed by a long night of side hustling) and make some tilapia and freshly sauteed veggies.

It’s also a lot easier to publish a crappy post than a polished, spelled proofed one with a killer pinnable graphic and content upgrade.

That is why so many people fail at business and at losing weight. Yes, it is a lot easier to mess up than to succeed but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. In fact, it’s the opposite. The fact that it’s so easy to “mess up” or get off track should inspire you to work harder to keep yourself in check and be consistent with the right habits and practices.

Don’t Burn Down the Whole House Over One Dirty Dish

Sometimes you will find yourself at a barbecue for a friends birthday. You tried to plan ahead. You ate a huge salad before you left for the party and even brought a fruit and veggie plate. You’ve spent 4 hours nibbling on healthy goodies and catching up with friends then some serious hunger hits. You decide it wouldn’t totally crush your diet to have a piece of barbecued chicken, after all, it’s protein. Next thing you know a piece of chicken has turned into a piece of chicken, some ribs, baked beans, a roll and a piece of birthday cake (I mean it’s a party). Okay, you got off track but that doesn’t mean you give up. So what you had a less than ideal meal? That’s going to happen even after you reach your weight loss goal you have to be able to get back on the horse when you eat something that isn’t ideal because a healthy diet, like business and life, is all about balance.

Some weeks your best friend will be getting married, your grandma will be sick or you’ll have a horrible break up and you’ll need to take a few days off or you may miss a deadline. This isn’t ideal, but as they say, life happens. When you miss that deadline or didn’t post this week’s post, don’t just avoid the client or act like nothing happened. Get back to it! Email the customer apologizing for the delay, explaining you had an emergency and telling them when you will have the project completed. Just because you have one bad moment doesn’t mean you give up.

You’ll Probably Notice Your Progress Before Anyone Else

I remember when I hit the 15-pound mark. I had started to see the difference in my body so when I met up with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile and they didn’t automatically applaud me on my weight loss I felt like maybe it wasn’t noticeable. I once read it takes four weeks for you to notice, eight weeks for family and friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. I don’t remember what week this was but I think that is an excellent reminder. I’m pretty transparent on the blog but I have always been the type who is private about money stuff. So while I may be making regular income people don’t see it. So when you’re having those wins or seeing those PayPal deposits you may feel like a serious boss and know that you are making progress but then one of your friends may say one of the most condescending things people say to bloggers and online business owners, “You’re still doing that blog thing? That’s so cute. What a fun hobby!

When you’re screaming on the inside, “I don’t know many hobbies that pay you $300 for 2 hours of work.

The thing is you have to block all that out, you know your numbers and you know the progress you’ve made. With weight loss and business you are building something for you and your approval is what matters.

Other Times You’ll Feel Like You’re Getting Nowhere But Someone Will See You

Other times you won’t notice your weight loss or your progress because, duh, you see yourself every day. You’re feeling unmotivated and unsuccessful and then someone says, “Have you lost weight?” “Your business looks like it’s doing so well.” “I’m so proud of you!” While you are doing it for yourself, you may be having a rough time. You may feel like you’re not getting anywhere and then someone out of nowhere somewhere else tells you that you are doing great.

The reason this happens is because as humans most of us are so hard on ourselves and even if we want to celebrate the small wins it’s easy to sit there in frustration that you haven’t reached your end goal.

Listen to that positive feedback and let it push you.

People Will Try to Hinder You (Even if they don’t mean to)

While most people will tell you not to drink on a diet, I do allow myself one night a week to have drinks. That being said I try to balance it by sticking water and hard liquor mixes and eating protein and veggies before and after. I have a friend who I’ve been pretty open with about the way I am eating and that I’m not drinking beer and only occasionally red wine. This person has continued to invite me to places for drinks that only serve beer or when I am looking at the drink menu will say, “They have beer too.” I know it’s not on purpose and that she has the body type where she can eat whatever she wants but it’s so frustrating to say constantly, “I’m not drinking beer.” Besides trying to be healthier beer just makes me feel bloated most of the time I drink it, so I avoid it.

So when decided to hang out and she suggests a beer garden and I have to say for the 100th time, “They only have a beer and I’m not drinking beer,” is maddening especially when there is about a 1 to 10 ratio of beer only and beer, liquor and wine establishments in this city.

People will offer you a plate of greasy cheese fries or buy you a sugary shot. In business, people will tell you to take the day off. “You don’t need to be so thorough with that client work, send it end and get it done.”  Again they probably aren’t trying to sabotage you on purpose, but you have to be able to spot when the people in your life are presenting you with something that might hinder your mission and turn it down.

I’m not saying skip every happy hour, don’t have a piece of birthday cake ever again or overthink every email you send clients but be able to recognize when to give yourself a little leeway and when to stick to your plan.

You Have to Stick With It

Very few things worth having, happen quickly. There will be good days and there will be bad days. There will be days where your baked fish and fresh veggies just seem like the best meal you’ve ever had. There will be days where all you want is a cheeseburger with bacon, avocado and grilled onions. There will be days where you get great feedback from clients and you are so grateful for your mission. There will be days where you feel like you can’t get anything accomplished and just want to quit. Nothing is perfect all the time; some days are better than others. You just have to keep going. If you want to see real results you have to keep working.

These may be lessons that apply to life in general and not just business and weight loss but I couldn’t help but see the similarities. Have you taken any significant strides in your business, blog or health this year? If so what might you add to this list? Tell me in the comments.

And now my mandatory before and after photo. (Sorry for the excessive watermark, I don’t want some random site claiming I used their diet pills.)

Before and after

5 Reasons Your To-do List Sucks

If you’ve been here before you probably know that I am a huge planner and I love a good to-do list. The more I talk about planning, the more I notice the people who aren’t fans of to-do lists seem to have a lot in common.  Normally the point of a to-do list is to break down a goal into the tasks you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. Sadly not everyone is using their to-do list this way.

Five Reasons Your To-do List Sucks.

It’s Too Long

Few things are more stressful than a to-do list two pages long. I know I used to do this to myself. Throughout the week I’d add things to a Google doc with the unrealistic expectations of getting them done on Saturday. For me, these were blog and business development tasks I wanted to do with a few errands sprinkled in. What would usually happen is I’d go to a cafe to write after parting ways with Netflix and maybe knock off two or three items if I was lucky.  It was too much!

Sitting down on Sunday nights or Monday mornings to plan out what all you want and need to accomplish for the week is great. But don’t leave it as one definitive daunting list. Break it up into smaller daily lists.

It’s Not In Order

Let’s say you are working on a big project like planning an event or launching a website. There are a lot of little things to do but you can’t put the cart before the horse. You can’t order the business cards before you have a business name. You can’t book the venue before you selected possible dates. 

A great example of this that I fall into is with the idea of batching. I love the idea of batching. I decided that I wanted to start posting a quote on Instagram every Wednesday I decided that I would batch that. On a to-do list it makes more sense to plan it in this order.

  • Find 8 quotes to post on Instagram
  • Find 8 images to go with the quotes
  • Make those 8 quote graphics in Canva
  • Schedule the images in Buffer

This is the order that makes the most sense instead of finding one quote, then a picture, then creating a graphic, scheduling, then doing this over again 8 times. It’s quicker and less task switching and going back and forth.

You’re Planning For A Superhuman

Remember that time you lifted that car off that baby and met an asteroid in the middle of the sky to save the planet? Yeah, me either, because we aren’t superheroes. One of the biggest obstacles I see with to-do lists is people listing items that just aren’t doable for a to-do list.

If you want to start your own business that is not an item you put on your to-do list. That is a larger goal that is made up of many parts. 

A to-do list to get started might look more like:

  • Outline Business Plan
  • Brainstorm 10 business names
  • Research the different types of business filings and decide which is right for me.

You can’t put “Create a business on your to-do list.” The target of a to-do list is to break down the things you want to do for a work session, a day or a week, not a long term goal that should be broken down into chunks. Adding too many tasks or tasks that would take more than a day on their own is just going to stress you out.

You Forget To Schedule It

So you know what you need to do. You’ve made a list of actionable tasks that you need to do in order to reach that big shiny goal. A week passes and your list has the same number of items if not more.

What went wrong? You didn’t fit it into your schedule. If you’re working a full-time time job, building a business on the side and trying to have a life it’s easy to let these things slip through the cracks. You have to literally plan the time to get the items on your to-do list done. You can’t say, “I’ll get it done sometime tomorrow night.”  No. If you leave for work at 8:30 am and don’t get home until 6:30 you need to decide when you will work on that day’s items. Will you wake up at 6 am and tackle one item then? Will you bring your personal laptop and work on your lunch break in the break room? Will you avoid traffic and go to that cafe by your office after work until it’s time to go home and make dinner?

If you can’t schedule the time to do the items on your list then you need to take another look at it because you may have too much on it or items that need to be broken down even smaller.

You Always Go For The Easy Win

I will be the first to tell you not to make all the items on your to-do lists super intense big goals. You need a healthy balance of big and small tasks on your to-do list. I’m not saying don’t tackle low hanging fruit (easy to grab or complete items), I’m saying you shouldn’t do this all the time.

Often when working people have a list of things they want to accomplish but they will just go for the easy wins. The problem is they mark off things like, “Email John Smith times to meet up.” Then they check off something else simple like, “Fill up my Buffer account,”

Then they pick one more small task like, “Respond to comments in my Facebook group for one Pomodoro.

They think, “I knocked three things off my to-do list, I’m feeling pretty good.”

But neglect the bigger to-dos like, “Finish course outline,” or “Create the landing page and ConvertKit sequence for the webinar.”

I get it! It feels great to cross things off your to-do list but if you aren’t getting anything truly accomplished you’re just treading water. It’s like going to the gym and hanging out at the smoothie bar the whole time, you’re in the right place but you aren’t doing what needs to be done there.

You have to have the right combination of goal achieving activities and stress relieving activities. Celebrate every win but don’t confuse process for progress.

Are you guilty of any of these to-do list missteps? What is the biggest issue you face with getting things done? If you are ready to create your perfect to-do list join me for a free live workshop to learn how to plan your perfect to-do list, this Tuesday, May 16th at 7:00 pm CST.  Sorry you missed the webinar.

May 2017 Goals

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It’s gonna be May! Okay, I couldn’t help it I grew up with N’sync and have seen the meme about 30 times in the past few weeks. But that being said it’s May!!! That means we are almost at the half year mark, oh 2017 where have you gone?  You know I don’t like to waste time so let’s jump straight into this.

April 2017 Goals Recap

Objective: List Building 

Personal Goals

  • Read one book

Read 2! I took a break from all of my inspirational and business books to enjoy some different types of books. I read A Cast-Off Coven Witchcraft Mystery and A Killer Among Us. The first was a fun little murder mystery which I discovered is a part of a series, so I plan to check more of them out. A Killer Among Us was very hard to read it was based on the murder of Elizabeth Decaro a 28-year-old mother of 4 gunned down in her kitchen. The main suspect? Her husband. You follow her sister finding her body to the entire court case. It was hard hearing the words her mother wrote in her journal about missing her daughter and wanting justice to be served. Very compelling story.  

  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.

I had a crazy busy but amazing and eye opening month. I got two facials. Thank you Origins! I met one of my online besties Brittney from BrittneyLLynn.com. I spend some time with someone very special. I’ve really just had a good month.

  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.

Out of  30 days, I only missed 6 of my gratitude journal. For the most part, it seems I miss this one on Saturdays, which makes sense considering most of the Saturdays in April had me super busy from start to finish. 

Out of 30 days I wrote in my affirmation journal 27 times! This one was easier to maintain because even if I was in a hurry in the morning I was able to do my affirmations at night with my goal journal. By listening to more affirmations while I’m stressed I’ve managed to find some I really like.

  • Keep meditating and visualization

Yes. I’ve been mixing them up and trying new ones. The newest one I’ve been doing when I’m feeling super anxious is called “Fuck It and Let That Shit Go.” You may not be a fan if you don’t like strong language but the intro explains the scientific proof of how curse words can actually help lower stress levels. It’s a slightly humorous way of reminding you not to take life too seriously and to live in the moment sometimes, which is hard as someone who is a big planner.

  • Have a great sister trip (Details pending. We’ve come a long way from Vegas)

Our trip got canceled due to hotel accommodations. I really hope we can reschedule soon. I miss her face.

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Work Launch Your Signature Course!

I am still working on this. For a moment I almost lost sight but Saturday I arranged a meet up for some business owners in my area and it was amazing. Sad face, only one person showed up but on the bright side, I had an amazing conversation with the person who did show up and I realized that I was missing out on a huge opportunity by focusing only online and not in person opportunities. 

  • Have 560 Facebook page likes

555

  • Have 3350 Twitter Followers

3,492

  • Have 1240 Instagram Followers

1,243…. by the hair on my chinny chin chin. I think my Instagram has the best slow organic growth. It’s not by huge leaps and bounds but it is a consistent growth. I’m not just getting random followers but making connections and friends.

  • Have 1030 Pinterest Followers

1,062! 

  • Post at least 4 times this month

This month I posted 4 times including a post for Small Business Bonfire. 

  • Do at least 1 webinar

Nope. I planned on it but then realized it wasn’t the best use of my time. 

  • Do auto versions on relevant posts.

Yas Queen! 

via GIPHY

  • Put together my writing portfolio

This literally got completed on the very last day of the month but it still counts! 

  • Publish on another site

Yes! See above.

  • Get most of my blog posts for quarter 2 written or at least outlined.

My content calendar is ready to go! 

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.

Done!

  • Go to a gym class at least 8 times this month.

No! Why am I like this???? Let’s try again in May. I did go to my complex gym a few times but I haven’t made it to any classes at my gym. 

  • Lose 5 pounds more pounds

I have officially lost a little over 30 pounds since new years. I haven’t been working out like I should but I have been working hard to eat a healthy balanced diet with portion control.

April took some twists and turns. I got a lot of work done in April and am excited about some new things I plan to launch during the rest of this quarter.

May 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch Web Show! 

I announced this last week to my VIP list but I am officially announcing it to the world that this month I am launching my web show. If you get my weekly updates then you will get a special sneak peak of the channel this week.

Personal Goals

  • Read two books
  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.
  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.
  • Keep meditating and visualization

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Have 565 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3525 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1255 Instagram Followers
  • Have 1090 Pinterest Followers
  • Post at least 4 times this month
  • Do auto versions on relevant posts.
  • Publish on another site
  • Complete the work for my content series
  • Launch my web show.
  • Go to a live event

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 8 times this month.
  • Lose 5 pounds more pounds

May is the 5th month of the year meaning that you should really be making some strides in your yearly goals. Before you know it, it will be June then the end of June and then the 2nd half of the year. Every little action you make builds up to equal what your results are for the year. Little wins matter and so do the little things you reject.

So tell me what awesome things did you achomplish in April and what big wins are you trying to win in May?