Archive for Life Lessons

How I Make Big Decisions in Life & Business

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.


In episode 42 of Creatives Crushing Anxiety, I talk about the questions I ask myself before making big decisions. These simple questions help me feel more grounded and snap me back into reality when I’m going down the rabbit hole of analysis paralysis and self-doubt. They really just help with keeping yourself centered and not overthinking or freaking out.

In this episode:

  • The questions I ask myself when struggling with a big choice.
  • Two examples of this method in action.
  • Why we often get stuck in choice paralysis.

Listen Here:

I am an extraordinarily cautious person. Ask my friend and former editor M.L. Scarbrough I have been emailing her for years about everything from researching where to buy my car from what to name my blog. I like to think before I act. I can admit that sometimes I’m cautious to a fault.

One thing I hear and read online a lot is, “just do it.” We get so in our heads that we use being cautious as a procrastination technique.

I want to live stream, but I need to make sure I have all the points outlined first.

I want to start offering services, but I have to decide every single step of the process before I do. I don’t want to get a client and look dumb.

I want to start dating again, but I don’t want to attract the wrong men, so I need to make sure my dating profile is perfect.”

And so on…

The thing is sometimes you just need to dive right in. The problem is deciding when you need to test the waters and when you need to jump in head first.

The thing is sometimes you just need to dive right in. The problem is deciding when you need to test the waters and when you need to jump in head first. Click To Tweet

There are so many options nowadays. In The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz; the author talks about how a world full of options can be more confining than it is freeing. Yes, you could blog, you can start a youtube channel or a podcast. You can host in-person events or webinars. So many choices to basically do the same thing.

We get frozen when faced with so many options that we procrastinate deciding and never move forward.

We get frozen when faced with so many options that we procrastinate deciding and never move forward. Click To Tweet

I came up with a few questions to ask yourself when you get stuck in choice procrastination.

  • Is there a smaller way I can test this out before diving in?
  • What is there to lose if I do this? What is there to gain?
  • Will doing this limit me in the future if it doesn’t work out?

Example 1:

Now to break that down. Let’s say you want to host your first webinar. You’re terrified that no one will show up or worse someone will, and you will be horrible.

Is there a smaller way I can test this out before diving in?

Yes, I could announce a live stream on Instagram, periscope or Facebook and give the talk. That way there is no major setup, and I can practice speaking live.

What is there to lose if I do this?

I die of embarrassment. No one shows up. People show up, and I get trolled.

What is there to gain?

I gain new subscribers or clients. I realize it’s fun.

Will doing this limit me in the future if it doesn’t work out?

No. If it goes bad, I can try again later or try something else.

It’s not some super complicated formula it’s just about checking yourself.

Example 2:

Now let’s say it’s something a little less black and white. In this example, you want to take a job in a new city.

Is there a smaller way I can test this out before diving in?

I could ask if I could work remotely for the first six months.

What is there to lose if I do this?

I could hate it and end up in a city where I know no one.

What is there to gain?

This would be a huge increase in pay. It could propel my career. I can start over fresh.

Will doing this limit me in the future if it doesn’t work out?

Maybe. If I quit my current job, I may not have a position to come back to if the new job doesn’t work out. I could always get another job, and I could try to sublease the new apartment and move home if the move is too hard.

See how you could just calmly look at this. Often when you sit down and write the “obstacles” associated with moving forward you discover they aren’t that scary.

Often when you sit down and write the “obstacles” associated with moving forward you discover they aren’t that scary. Click To Tweet

I recommend doing this after taking 5 or 10 minutes to sit in silence and just focus on your breathing don’t let your thoughts overtake you. Then sit down and ask yourself these questions. The point of them is to make you move forward regardless of your reservations. Maybe you’ll discover you aren’t ready to take the step or that you can take a different one but this way you aren’t stuck.

Stop being stuck. The questions I ask myself when I can't make a big decision. Click To Tweet

Mentioned in Episode:

8 Thoughts Girls Have Online Dating

Episode 26: Processes For A Great Client Experience 

The Big Leap By Gay Hendricks 

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz 

You can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform:

Sticher

iTunes

Google Play

Thanks for listening! <3

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

  • How do you make big decisions?
  • What was something you recently had to decide?
  • What keeps you stuck?
  • Do you know your upper limit problem?

An Open Letter To The Lady Who Prayed For Me

I was one pound down since my check in two days ago. I told the nutritionist working that day goodbye through mumbled breath and she looked me in the eye and said, “I hope your day gets better.

Thank you,” I breathed and rushed as the waterworks I’d become accustomed to started. I ran to my car and at the same time noticed a car pulling up beside me. I was in full on sobs that would not be stopping anytime soon.

Tap, tap, tap,” I heard on the car window.

I looked up and opened the door to see an older woman I had never seen before.

Yes….I’m sorry,” I sobbed through tears.

Are you okay?

I felt my heart drop into my stomach, “I’m just having a bad day,” I continued to cry.

Can I pray with you?

Yes please.

This stranger grabbed my hands and proceeded to pray as tears flowed out of my eyes.

Thank you,” I said when she finished.

I don’t know what’s wrong and I don’t need to know, but I hope it gets better. Sometimes we need a good cry.

And like that she told me goodbye and walked inside.

I haven’t talked much (if at all) about religion on the blog. Not that I don’t have beliefs, but I just have my personal issues with organized religion and have made the decision to separate that part of my life from this one.

I’ve been having a rough time lately with my anxiety, and on that particular day, I was just counting down the hours till I could be in the safety of the office of my new therapist.  I knew if I could make it through the first 12 hours of the day to that 8 p.m. appointment I would be okay. Ultimately the universe had other plans and I became undone in that shopping center parking lot.

This chance encounter got me thinking about lots of things.

Why did I apologize?

I was having a private moment in my car (albeit in a public place) and she was technically interrupting it but I apologized.

I was apologizing for my humanity, for having a moment of weakness when I allowed the private me to be seen in the domain the public me usually rules. The world where I smile while I’m collapsing on the inside. The me that puts other people’s needs above my own. The me who doesn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my problems or emotions.

I realize I had no reason to apologize and that this kind stranger probably wasn’t expecting it.

The kindness of this stranger.

So often we are all in a rush and in our own heads. I know I am, if I’m in a public place, my head is probably turned down looking my phone or a book. I’m not proud to say that if the roles were reversed, I would have noticed someone sobbing in the car next to mine and even if I did if I would have felt comfortable asking if they were okay. I would have probably checked my phone to see how much time was left on my lunch break, in fear stopping to check on a stranger might make me late. Horrible to admit but true. I am positive I wouldn’t have thought to offer to pray for them. This interaction made me want to be more aware of the world around me and the pain of others.

The boldness of her belief.

We live in a country right now where we all value our freedom of speech but are just as quick to browbeat someone who has different beliefs or thoughts than us. That being said, even with the best intentions it can be scary to reach out.

For all, she knew I was an atheist or would get angry or even violent by her offer of prayer. This fear didn’t stop her from offering and trying to make me feel better. I respect her so much for that.

It made me want to be bolder in what I believe and not just in a religious or spiritual sense. They say the road to hell is pathed with good intentions but so is the road to hope and happiness. If you are genuinely trying to help someone I have to believe the universe has a way of putting this in the win column.

So to the woman who stopped and prayed with me, thank you for your kind words, your time, your prayer and your inspiration.

To anyone reading this, if you feel low or down there is help out there. Seriously, you don’t have to wait for a kind stranger to catch you having a dark moment. More and more insurance plans are covering mental health care and if you aren’t covered by insurance there are options including 7 Cups of Tea  and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. You are not alone!

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017 Goals, Dreams & All

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy

Happy New Year. This is going to be a super huge goals post as it will encompass my December goals recap, January goals, annual review, and annual goals so enough pussyfooting around let’s get this done.

December Goals

Personal Goals

  • Move and unpack the new place.

I can’t tell you what happened. Maybe it was seeing all my stuff in a smaller place or the fact I’d spent most of the week unbelievably sick and sleeping, but I got this crazy fire in my body, and I was unpacked pretty much the next day. I had a few people offer to help me unpack, and I was like, “Yeah I’m done.” (Also PSA- Don’t offer to help me unpack, offer to help people move their stuff, that is the hard part. If you help me unpack I’m either going to take even longer telling you where to put stuff or have to look for things once you left because I don’t know where you put them. I know you’re trying to be nice, but I can decide where to put stuff, I could use help lugging it down a flight of stairs and up two more. Although I do totally appreciate you thinking of me.)

  • Get all my Christmas shopping done.

Christmas shopping was about an hour at one store. I know a lot of people commented that it worried them that I wasn’t done at the start of December, but I had like five gifts to buy and had them all picked out.

  • Have a great time at Christmas with the family.

It was exhausting but so much fun. I got to spend a lot of time with my big sister. To be honest, it was probably the first time we’d spent more than a day together without wanting to fight. DAW! Look at us growing up.

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course!

I have been working on it pretty hard This course and the community behind it are amazing!

  • Finish working on DiaDarling.com

No, sadly I spend most of my website development time working on my course site but sadly I had a major technical issue on it the other day, so this is on hold (more about this all later).

  • Finish the articles for my feature in All Things Trend Magazine!

So as it turns out, I only have to write one. Whew! I have two drafts of two different articles but haven’t decided which one will go to the magazine.

  • Have 500 Facebook page likes

522! Finally! I have been trying to climb that mountain for a while.

  • Have 2850 Twitter Followers

2980

  • Have 1040 Instagram Followers

1063

  • Have 900 Pinterest Followers

945

  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library

No. Maybe I should have only read one book and worked on this. I did start one and have a fantastic blog post ready to share with it, but it will be out later this month.

  • Post at least 5 times this month

4

  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.

Done

  • Crush the webinar I have scheduled this month. December 17th! Save the date!

My partner had to postpone, but there will be more webinars in 2017!

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day
  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.

So I’ll just answer all of these together and say I sucked at Health and Fitness in December. Lol.

Wow, what a month. Now I want to take some time to review the progress on my yearly goals.  I set goals a year ago and then revisited them over the summer and discovered I aimed kind of low, so I raised them.

2016 Goals

Travel: Travel to Los Angeles and attend Blogher 16

I did, and it was amazing! You can read part 1 and 2 of that journey.

Publish Articles 262

So, this is a little hard to gauge. I published roughly 91 articles this year as Dia Darling. When I set this goal, I was publishing 2 posts week on AllTheThingsIDo.com, 1 guest post a month and about 1 post a week at my job. By that math 262 was a long stretch, but I had managed to do over 200 in 2015, so I said, “I got this.” I didn’t take into account that the first few months of my blog I was publishing about 5 times a week.

I started the year with the intention of publishing twice a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. As summer, blogger burnout (link), a break-up and 2nd job change took it’s toll I made the decision to temporarily publish one post a week.

After a while I started to occasionally publish twice a week but ultimately decided that it would be better for my business as a whole to spend the time writing, editing, creating graphics and marketing the 2nd post on other projects like guest posting, working on content upgrades, taking courses and creating my course.

At my new job, I do a lot of copywriting and company blogs, so I am more than positive I have hit that doing on average 4-10 blog posts a week there, but I don’t count those toward my business goal. This year I will be making that a smaller goal. As I only plan to publish once a week on my blog.

Social Media

I mentioned my social numbers above, so I won’t repeat them, but I am happy to say that I did hit all my social media goals for 2016!

  • Facebook 500
  • Twitter 2000
  • Instagram 600
  • Pinterest 600

I had an amazing year. I built some strong relationships, worked with some terrific brands and learned a lot.

For this year I wanted to go a little bit of a new direction. I wanted to think of all the things I want to do and all the big projects I wanted to accomplish each month. That being said from now on my monthly goals post will include a monthly objective.

This may change because as we know, life happens but here are my large monthly goals:

January– Get The Balanced Side Hustle Up website up/ List Building

February– Create a free video course

March– Launch Month

April– Create Facebook Group

May– Launch free teachable course

June– 2nd launch / Blogher 17

July– List Building Month

August–  Podcast connections month and Launch DiaDarling.com

September– Content Heavy Month- Guest posts and creating copy for launch month.

October– 3rd Launch

November– E-book

December– List building Month

Annual Social Media Goals:

Facebook Group: 200

Instagram: 1700

Pinterest: 1200

Twitter: 5000

Facebook Fan Page: 700

So with these yearly goals, I would subtract the current amount and divide it by 12 to see how much growth I need for each month. Having large goals is great but breaking them up into small chunks makes them more attainable.

For example Facebook Fan Page 700 goal – 522 current = 178 for the year so roughly 14 a month to hit 700 by the end of the year.

Other Goals:

  • Launch The Balanced Side Hustle
  • Start the 2nd form of content (think video or audio)
  • Attend Blogher 17 in Orlando
  • Work with more amazing people and brands.
  • Publish 76 blog posts.

 

January 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com (this won’t be the full course, the official launch date is March 6th). I was hoping to launch February 27th, but I had family and social obligations heavily in February and wanted to give the launch and you guys my full attention.

Personal Goals

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course!
  • Finish the articles for my feature in All Things Trend Magazine!
  • Have 536 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3148 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1115 Instagram Followers
  • Have 966 Pinterest Followers
  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library
  • Post at least 4 times this month
  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.
  • Crush the webinar I have scheduled this month.
  • Do one guest post or contributor article.

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day
  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.
  • Lose 5 pounds. I won’t put my weight but I started a new fitness program and am excited about it. (More details to come.)

Starting the year off strong with over 1500 words, lots of goals and lots of plans. I hope you are excited to take this journey with me.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends (cyber and real life) for being there for me this year (too many to name),  thank you to Jenn from HomeByJenn.com for being the kick in the pants I need and a constant source of motivation, thank you to all the women I’ve learned so much for over the past year, Mariah Coz, Megan Minns, Melyssa Griffin, Maya Elious , Krista Rae, Brittney Lynn and Meera Kothand to name a few, and to all the people who take the time to read my blog, comment, connect and make my day. So much love your way! I hope 2017 is a beautiful year for all of the you.

Now tell me, what do you have on deck for 2017? What do you want to accomplish? What was your biggest accomplishment in 2016? Let me know in the comments.