#challengeaccepted

In honor of the coming New Year, I’m setting up a challenge at the end of January/beginning of February where we could live out our Dream Week and finally get to those projects that you wish you had time to do but never get done.

Maybe it’s committing to working out or finally cleaning out your closet. Whatever project you want to complete or habit you want to add into your life, that’s what we’ll be playing with, and actually making progress on, that week.

And who knows, if you all like it, we could stretch it out for a month

I don’t have the specifics yet but it’ll involve emailing out daily prompts and challenges in order to keep us at our projects.

If all this sounds like fun, and/or is exactly what you need to keep the momentum on your New Year’s Resolutions, stay tuned for more info, including where to sign up!

xoxo

Liza

Only do X if it aligns with my Why

Most of the past decade has been driven by what I can now identify as #FOMO–Fear of Missing Out. I’m sure this is related somehow to the Fear of Success that Steven Pressfield mentions in The War of Art.

Even though I’m multi-passionate and want to Do It All, I have taken the sucker’s path and followed every whim to figure out what all the fuss is about regarding X–X being whatever project seems to be trendy or popular.

I don’t regret the rabbit trails I’ve followed, because I am extremely curious and love figuring things out.

Like, the one time years ago I was so overwhelmed with knitting curiosity that I just had to buy knitting needles, a thing of yarn that I thought looked pretty (it was but it scratchy and NOT comfortable), and a how-to guide for beginning knitters.

I learned how to knit and was on my way to a scarf in about an hour. I could have finished the scarf in another hour. Yet, it took my literally years to finish it. I worked on it maybe one line at a time.

It turns out that I love owning knit scarves and gloves, but I didn’t feel the need to knit my own outerwear. Of course when Etsy exploded on to the scene and all these knitters suddenly became successful business owners I thought, “Well, there goes a lost entrepreneurial opportunity! I could’ve opened up my own Etsy shop!”

Should I have opened a shop? Would that have made me happy? I barely finished a scarf even though I knew how to knit. I just liked learning how to knit, and once I learned, didn’t feel the need to repeat it.

I made peace with my decision because I didn’t truly love it (I barely liked doing it), and why would I go into business doing what I barely liked doing? I already had that experience with my past day jobs, I wouldn’t do this for my lifelong dream of self-employment.

That’s been my pattern with other things and hobbies and topics that I’ve stumbled upon over the years. I’m grateful for loving the feel and idea and act of learning and collecting experiences over acquiring stuff…but I wonder if the downside to all of this broad seeking is a lot of knowledge without any depth or wisdom.

Like I somehow crossed over that boundary from the land of Curiosity to Scatter and Distraction.

Could I be justifying my whims and love for All The Things and desire to Do All The Things behind this veil of being an Inveterate Fullfiller-of-Curiosity? (I have decided to make that my new job title, FYI.)

If so, what is it that I’m trying justify? What am I trying to defend or validate? And more importantly, what am I hiding from myself with my multi-passionate curiosity?

Could I really be hiding my Fear of Success under layers of wanting to Do All The Things??

The obvious answer to me is yes.

Yes because All The Things are lovely to me, but a lovely distraction.

Yes because though I love the thought and idea of All The Things, I have a pretty narrow focus on the end goal for my life: Author. Entrepreneur.

Yes because All The Things do not and have not served me in my progress toward those end goals.

(Ironically, I have ALWAYS achieved whatever tasks I focus on. Unfortunately, those tasks have at best validated the idea that whatever I focus on,  I accomplish (with great effort). At worst, it has delayed my own version of success. (This thought is the most depressing because I value time so much. This blog used to be titled “Redeeming the Time” before I just simplified it as my blog.)

So. I’m going to take my own medicine and advice and choose a lane and drive it. One lane. I am going to remember my Why, and only choose those tasks and activities that will get me to my Why. I will no longer wonder if I should be doing X, I’ll know because I will refer to my Why.

If X aligns with my Why, then I will do it. If not, I will dismiss it.

I will remember these quotes:

“Activity does not equal Productivity” + “You don’t need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment.” (Seth Godin) = Happy Liza

I will be like Gryffindor’s sword and only take in what will make me stronger.

Something positive to end my reflection on: I did have one main constant and focus this past decade, and that was to be successful in business and drive profitable sales growth through an engaged, loyal, and motivated sales team.

I may not have a book deal yet.

I may not have had the courage or conviction to start my own business 5-7 years ago.

But, I have those things now, and I have over ten years of experience creating profit for someone else to give me the confidence I need to know that I can do it for myself.

Thanks for reading.

xoxo

Liza

 

Training for life.

“We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.” Archilocus

I love how in the fitness community, those who live Fitness like a lifestyle call exercise or working out, Training.

I love thinking about fitness and work outs as: “I’m training for life.”

I’m using fitness as an example, but your training, your daily habits, your discipline (which I know is the least sexy word in the dictionary, right next to phlegm and mucous) in creating action in your life…is relevant for any part of your life that’s worth pursuing: financial freedom, business savvy, writing the Great American Novel, physical prowess, …

When Life Stuff eventually happens, all that unpredictable, unexpected Stuff that makes us stumble will make us want to fall back to your comfort zone. But how quickly you wallow, how quickly you recover, how quickly you can shake it off, how quickly you are even affected by the event at all, comes down to your training and what you have allowed yourself as a baseline.

You don’t need to start big to develop discipline. In fact I enjoy small wins. The discipline of making your bed is something tangible and productive, and starts your day out with a feeling of accomplishment. Small wins or what I call everyday efforts become more like synergistic actions. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. For Harry Potter nerds out there, I think training my nervous system like Gryffindor’s sword—it only takes in what makes it stronger.

Creating action toward a meaningful habit will amount to bigger changes in yourself than just the habit itself. In creating these small wins, you are giving yourself that new neural pathway toward the habit of winning.

Sidenote: When you have the discipline to take action around something you want in your life, something changes. You become more humble, coachable, teachable—you seek out mentors you admire, you seek out a group of people where you support each other toward a higher goal and purpose. You become focused on what truly matters to you and you will want to create more of that stuff in your life.

Someone once said that “Success is not about how much time you spend doing what you love; it’s how little time you spend doing what you hate.”

I hope you fill your day with what you love, creating so much action toward what you want in your life that it blots out those things you merely tolerate or hate.

Have a great day.

xoxo

Liza

Do Less. Achieve More.

The years have taught me how to whittle my “To-Do” list down to into three basic buckets: Writing. Fitness. Personal.

Yet, there was this Other presence that kept butting in. There would be things that came up that never made it into my scheduler nor were they things I necessarily focused on. They were the trivial many. Those miscellaneous things that I thought were important.

They were things and people and events that I tolerated because I thought I needed to tolerate them.

*Things like unexpected emails or texts from my day job. Reacting to negative criticism (even if the reaction was mainly internalized and never said aloud, I would let the negativity fester and grow before I released it). Going to unplanned, last minute events.

Now, I not only do I have a To-Do list, I have a Not-To-Do list. And it’s a simple filtering system. Whatever it is that doesn’t align with my values or helps me to create massive action to my goals will go on my not-to-do list.

Or, as someone once said: “If it’s not a Heck YES!, it’s a no.”

Now, I choose to ignore criticism. I unplug myself from the day job when I’m off. I choose activities that add to my health, wealth, and personal values.

I’m not a master at this, and in fact, will probably be a lifelong student of this practice. But in light of my values of freedom, efficiency, and achievement, the choices of what I need to do and not do are remarkably simple to make now.

(*And, yes, there are things that I do to this day that I need to do. But thankfully, those items take less of my time.)

Current Food For Thought:

Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss

Essentialism, by Greg McKeown

The War of Art and Do The Work, by Steven Pressfield

A New Story.

After many, many years of simmering in my head, I finally have a storyline for a character that I have kept close to my heart.

She is special in that she was my very first protagonist/MC that lives in the real, contemporary world. (And, to date, I have only gained one more contemporary/realistic story in the sea of science fiction and fantasy stories I’ve written.)

This storyline and structure surprised me, to say the least. But, my MC has been telling me her story all along. I just wasn’t listening well enough.

I know what I’ll be working on for NaNoWriMo next month.