Find a Way or Find an Excuse: Passion Project Day 1

OK, I know that many people know that I’m a writer.

(For those that had no clue, hi, it’s nice to meet you.)

Some know me well enough to know that I love to start new projects; and those that know me really well know that for how fast I churn out rough drafts, that correlates to how long my editing and revision stages are.

(It takes me For. Ever. to revise and edit a draft, if that was in anyway unclear.)

Well, just FYI, I’m basically finished with a rough draft of a writing project.

And I’ve been ignoring edits. A lot of very reasonable and logical excuses have come up—stuff like “Oh I’m tired! Oh I need to sleep!”—but in the end, I live by basic philosophies.

One is: If it’s important enough you’ll find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.  

I am not an excuse maker. I hate excuses, it makes me feel icky and powerless. I set up my life to minimize excuses and instead come up with solutions.

The one thing I know that works really well for me is public accountability. So, I’m going to put out there that I will show up every day to do these edits and share one thing from my edits that day, whether it’s a passage of what I’d written or a key takeaway from the process of showing up.

(I’m also drafting a non-fiction book, the working title of which is called Choose Your Own Adventure…it’ll be a learn out loud kind of book about creating your best day, every day, and creating a life your love. As if I needed more things to add to my day, ha!)

I’d even noodled around going live on Facebook, but then it would just be my head talking at you, and that’s not really all that exciting. Anyways, I’m kind of an early bird, so I don’t expect anyone to see them live, but heck, why not.

I’ll commit to be live every day to show some accountability to what I’ve been doing so far, and what that may look like. If you want to follow along, I’ll be posting in this group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/yourbestdayeveryday/

It’s a closed group, but hit me up and I’ll approve you!

Thanks for letting me be a part of your day!

xoxo

Liza

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Thoughts On Monster-Hunting, or The Downside of an Overactive Imagination.


One of my favorite things to say is: Action eliminates anxiety. The more I stay in action, the more I keep my Why in front of me, the more I keep my stage fright at bay and make my closet monsters* disappear.

:::

(*Closet monsters, definition: Those imagined monsters that you realize don’t really exist, or things that are blown out of proportion, or problems that stop being problems when you actually take the time to look at them.)

:::

Open that closet, and realize that you have more power than those monsters.

:::

Unless you’re in a horror movie and you hear rattling from inside a normally silent closet or room. Then you keep that ish closed, and slowly back away toward the closest flamethrower.

 

:::

 

xoxo

Liza

PS,

Check out what I’ve been working on: the new home for my blog ^_^

Choose this one habit to increase your everyday productivity

Hello and welcome back!

We’re on Day 5 of the 7-Day Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind Challenge. I hope at this point you are getting a streamlined focus on what you want to accomplish. Here are the previous days that we went over:

Day 1: What’s my Outcome?

Day 2: Create a Massive Action Plan that leads to your Outcome

Day 3: Clarify your priorities.

Day 4: Choose one action to lead to your goal

Today, we’re going to build upon what we talked about yesterday (creating habits) and zero in on the one routine that will give you the most return on your productivity.

7-day-challenge-day-5

CREATE INTENTIONAL MORNING ROUTINES

All of the new actions that you’ve identified this week may seem overwhelming. Maybe you’ve identified that you want to be financially free, but you barely remember to check your bank balances let alone find time to budget.

Enter the morning routine.

You Have More WIllpower in the Morning.

The mornings are the perfect time to tackle all the things that are important to you. For example, many studies have shown that you’ll be committed to a morning workout versus an evening one.

In the morning, you are more likely to have more willpower and discipline. Your decision-making faculties haven’t been depleted from the other busy-ness that has been thrown at you during the day.

When you tackle your most important task in the morning, you bring to it fresh eyes and mental energy.

Found Time

Time is the biggest excuse that people have not to do anything. Creating an intentional morning routine, though, will give you found time.

In the morning, you can choose to wake up 15-30 minutes earlier than you normally would have in order to find the time. You can set up a reminder on your phone or watch, and you’ll find the time to create that household budget or work on your side-hustle.

Also, when you are clear and intentional about scheduling a task, you will increase the chance of getting it done.

Live Out Your Outcome + Why

This past week we may have identified a few gaps that we want to bridge. When you incorporate your personal improvement categories, you easily create an intentional morning routine that you will stick to.

You’ll be more excited about getting up 15 minutes earlier, and before you know it, your routine will morph into something even more sacred to you: it will become a ritual.

Rituals are those actions that look like routines, but what may start with an outward or external focus (lose weight), becomes an internal one (be my best self to create a better world). You are more deliberate in the act of doing this routine on purpose and feel a sense of purpose and enlightenment.

This is why it’s so important to focus on your Outcome and not your activities; this is also why you need to have a compelling and purposeful Why. Your Why is your fuel that will propel you toward your Outcome.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A MORNING ROUTINE:

6AM: Wake. Water and coffee.

6:30AM: Morning pages and protein drink

7AM: Workout + clean up for the day

8AM: Breakfast

8:30AM: Off to work.

Creating an intentional morning routine, even as simple as sitting with a hot beverage for 20 minutes, will do wonders for keeping you grounded throughout the day.

YOUR EVENING ROUTINE

Set yourself up for success in the morning by following these tips for the evening:

Brain dump all the activities of the day on to a piece of paper. I use a bullet journal to dump the crazy stuff of the day. That way I’m not bringing it to bed for my brain to analyze to death. (I will write a post about creating your perfect sleep environment in the future.)

Your brain dumps don’t even have to be complete sentences. Just some observations, key words, or random thoughts jotted down.

Review the next day. This literally takes a minute to glance at your schedule and see what’s up for tomorrow. Tweak and change it as needed from whatever you gleaned from your brain dump.

This is also a perfect time to unleash your subconscious mind. Focus on the current outcome you want, like being financially free, and visualizing all the things you will do to get there. Create a vision so compelling, you give yourself chills.

While you sleep, your brain will be at work creating new neural pathways for you, strengthening connections and weakening others. This learning process happens a lot quicker while we sleep, so why not give your brain a specific problem to muddle over?

Also, your subconscious is more receptive as you go to bed, and as you wake up. Focusing on your outcome during those times will strengthen your mental resolve to go for your dreams.

Plan and set your wake-up time. You’ll eventually get to the point where your body just naturally wakes up at the same time, but until then, set yourself up for success by setting your alarms.

If you have a hard time waking up, instead of relying on a snooze button, set multiple alarms at 15-30 minute increments a full hour or two before your intended wake up time.

Tomorrow we’ll be putting it all together, but for now, it’s your turn to unleash the power of these routines!

Before you go to bed tonight, brain dump all the things that happened today into your journal or notebook, review what’s on your docket for tomorrow, and plan when you need to get up to make room for your One Action. In the morning, go directly to your One Action and dedicate that first 15-30 minutes of your day to it.

Remember to celebrate showing up! Even if you just sit there and stare over your coffee, you showed up, and you should celebrate it!

Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Until tomorrow,

Xoxo

Liza

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

Thank you to the readers who have already responded–I appreciate you! ::hugs::

PPS

For those of you who wanted daily workout inspiration, here is the workout + smoothie for tomorrow’s 15-Minute Fix.

FRIDAY’S 15-MINUTE FIX

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)

todays-workout-for-friday

Stop endless to do lists. Create a MAP to your goals.

Hello, and welcome back!

Today is Day 2 of the 7-Day “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind” Challenge, and I’m so happy you’re here with me!

Yesterday, I talked about the first step of creating goals you will actually accomplish, and that was: Outcome. Specifically, we said to ask yourself “What is the Outcome I want?”

This question is then followed by asking “Why?” Why do you want this goal? Why now?

So, now that you know what you want and why you want it, let’s talk about the next step: How? Easy! We create a MAP!

7-day-challenge-map

Now, this is where you might be tempted to break out your planners and bullet journals and go to town scheduling tasks and activities that could potentially overwhelm us. We won’t do that yet, but when we do, we will feel a lot more in control over our day.

Creating our MAP: Massive Action Plan

Instead of figuring out where you can fit tasks into your overloaded days, do a brain dump of all the stuff that’s cluttering your head. Write out all the tasks that you think you’ll need to get done or the activities that you know you need to do on a piece of paper.

(One piece of paper per project is best!)

Don’t censor your thoughts. If it’s a phone call to the doctor or writing a marketing campaign or going to the office supply store, whatever to-do’s that need to get done today, this week, this month, etc, write them out.

It may seem like I just created more stress for you because you just vomited out 30 activities that need to happen before the end of the day, but this step is important because your Why changes your How.

First, look at all the stuff you just vomited up, and look at it through the lens, “What is the outcome I want?” or “What outcome is more important to me?” (In case there’s a situation where two projects may be vying for your time and attention.)

Then, go through the brain vomit and group together activities and tasks. Maybe they can be grouped together by location, time, deadlines, or they could even be delegated out. And some could be crossed off your list altogether because you realize that you don’t need to do that activity after all.

So now, instead of 30 tasks staring back at you, you actually only have 3 or 4 activities because they have been grouped together.

After you do that, you calendarize the activities, complete with assigning a time budget to the activity as you would a monetary budget.

How is this easier?

Perception around the degree of difficulty of a project or goal circles around how many steps it takes to complete a task. When we complain about a new goal, like working out or cooking whole foods, we go through an elaborate story about all the intricate steps that need to happen in order to complete our routine.

For example, if working out is too difficult we may say something like: Driving to the gym is tough during rush hour; the parking is a mess; then I have to fumble for my scan card; the lockers are a hassle; the changing room is gross; the exercise equipment needs to be cleaned; I have to wait for my favorite treadmill; then I have to wait for the showers…

You get the drill. It becomes lengthy and intricate. Yet, we think nothing of going to an event or activity that we like to do, like the movies or going out to eat. When describing those activities, we’d probably wrap it up in 2-3 steps max. “I get in the car, and drive to the theatre, and boom, I’m there having a good time.”

MAP-ing as a Skill

Creating a MAP like this make take a lot longer than scheduling appointments and tasks into your favorite planner, but what you get out of it is a system that tells you if you even need those appointments or tasks in the first place.

Maybe you realize that the way you were told to do a project is actually not efficient, and you could probably cut a lot of steps in the middle and still come to the same outcome. Or, maybe you realize that the project that seemed to be the Hot Project, should actually be delayed and traded up with another project that could give you better leads or return on your investment.

When you are guided by your Why, the How to get to your outcome will feel freer and dynamic. You’ll feel more in control over your time and decisions, instead of feeling like the day is running you.

When you know your Outcome and Why you’re doing it, you can easily filter all the white noise of your life into manageable groups of activities. Your processes will become more efficient, and you will eventually make quicker progress toward your goals.

Your Turn: Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Liza
 

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

 

PPS

For those of you who wanted daily workout inspiration, here is the workout + smoothie for tomorrow’s 15-Minute Fix.

TUESDAY’S 15-MINUTE FIX

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)

todays-workout-2

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or you could also fill out this form!

Thank you and I’ll see you again tomorrow!

Failure is a stepping stone not a stopping point.

“Obstacles are put in your way not to stop you, but to call out your courage and strength.”

In my quest for mentors and role models to guide me in this new realm of entrepreneurship, the ones who seem to resonate with me the most are the ones who have failed the most on their journey. They are the ones who seem to have lost everything on their road to success but still kept going. In fact, their failures seem to pivot them toward another path that eventually would propel them to a higher level of success.

How a failure launched another dream.

For example, Dave Ramsey is a name brand in the finance coach arena, but his past isn’t perfect nor does he hide it. He used to be in real estate, and at one point needed to file for bankruptcy relief. Around that time, he started coaching small groups around money matters, and soon, Financial Peace was born.

I don’t know how he found the grace and grit to rise, but I’m thankful he did. Because of his teachings, I am free of credit card debt, and am on to the third baby step of his process (save 3-6 months of expenses in savings).

What may have seemed like a huge failure at a time, actually became a new beginning and calling. I have been blessed by his financial coaching, and I know millions more have been as well.

The Success Halo

There’s this halo, at least in my mind, that if someone is successful then they did the right thing all the time perfectly. In the process, I automatically disqualify myself from anything because of my perceived failures. I would hit an obstacle, and assume it meant “Go no farther.”

What has taken me too long to understand is that an obstacle simply means: “Go a different way.”

(Or, it may even mean, “Not now, come back later.”)

The word success has such a positive connotation to it that we immediately equate it with: easy, done, perfect. The reality is that behind every success story is a string of struggles, obstacles, and failure.

Failing is part of success, not the opposite of it. The ones who have reached a modicum of success are just those who have learned to fail fast, and keep moving toward their goal.

How to Fail Well

I think part of success is developing your mental resilience like you would any muscle. In sports and fitness, you learn how to fall safely in order to prevent injuries. The same can be applied to our other non-physical goals.

Here are four practices to strengthen your mental resilience

  1. What did I learn from this? Re-align yourself with your outcomes. Are your activities aligned with your purpose? If not, then let go and feel good about it.
  2. What’s the next step? So often we look to our Big Goal and it seems like this immovable point in the distance always out of reach. Focus instead on the next step that you need to do, and gain momentum there.
  3. Remember your Why. Meditate and reflect on your Why so that you can be re-energized for your work and better serve those around you. Even the most menial or tedious task can be transformed into something joyful and rewarding simply by remembering Why you’re doing it.
  4. Gratitude. When you reflect on all the things you’re grateful for, you will feel better mentally and physically. You become more others-focused rather than self-focused. It will help you focus on the positive things in life that you want to protect and enable others to have as well.

Just like any exercise, the more intentional and consistent you are, the easier these practices will be.

I know it’s hard to see in the moment, but failures aren’t meant to stop you. Failures just show you that you need a different perspective both on your goal and of the failure itself. It gives you the chance to pause, reflect, and strengthen your vision for what you hope to accomplish.

I hope that wherever you are in your journey, that you’re still pushing toward your goals, whether you’re already in action or are still dreaming.

And, if you’re stuck, let me know. I can be a sounding board, accountability partner, or cheerleader. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Liza

PS

I’ll eventually be moving this blog to a self-hosted site. I think I’ll be able to move my readers/subscribers with me via Jet Pack, but if not, I’ll make sure to add your email addresses to keep you in the loop!

PPS

I was thinking about doing a simple fitness and planning challenge to start off the new year. Like a “Transform your body, Transform your mind” challenge. I’ll be hosting it here for the first week of January. I’ll post details tomorrow–lemme know what you think!

Simple is not easy: The first step to get unstuck and moving toward your goals

I can understand how people can feel duped when marketers sell them something. Most of the time, what really sells is the idea of simple and convenient.

I’m the prime audience for marketers. When I see a food commercial, I’m immediately hungry and want to eat. When I see a campaign for a new makeup release, I’ll immediately want it. When I see a new exercise program, I want to jump on board.

Then of course my rational mind comes in and brings me back in line with my financial and health goals and tells me that just because something is pretty doesn’t mean I need it in my life. And just because something looks simple to use, doesn’t mean it will be easy to get the results I want.

For example…

If simple were easy, everyone would be at their ideal health and fitness goals because the answer is scattered everywhere: eat real food and move more. Everyone I know from all health levels knows that they ought to be eating more greens and fruits; they just don’t.

But simple choices are rarely easy to make. It’s not easy to choose the healthy option when it’s more expensive than the dollar burger. It’s not easy to choose water when your friends are drinking beer. It’s not easy to cook a meal when you pass five fast food joints between work and home and you still have a million errands to run. It’s not easy to get up before dawn to work a body that just wants to sleep.

It’s especially not easy to continue to make those healthy choices when you don’t see results.

However.

We’re not doomed to being stuck.

We’re already past the first hurdle: awareness. At least we are aware that we are trying. We are aware of our goals. We are aware of our obstacles. We are aware of our excuses. We are aware that this new process we are embarking upon is hard.

So we accept it. Not the excuses. The awareness. The reality that this new process is hard. Only then can we really tackle the goal and treat it with the mindfulness it deserves. Only then can we decide if it’s truly worth it to us to continue.

I think I really like this topic, so I’ll continue my train of thought tomorrow…

How about you? Do you have any goals that are constantly on your To Do Lists, but never seem to gain traction on? I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading,

xoxo

Liza

Why coaches are necessary

One of the most impressive things my husband has ever done was take apart his old 300ZX and put it back together again. And when I mean take apart, I mean every little nut and bolt that comprised the underbelly of his car–and what essentially made a car, a car–was all spread out on his parent’s garage floor like a jigsaw puzzle pieces. Two days later, after he fixed whatever it was he needed to fix, it was all put back together and running. Minus a handful of bolts.

All of the bits and pieces boggled my mind. (And I’m sure boggled his parents, who were hopeful to get their garage back sometime soon.) But what was most impressive was that he didn’t use any special tools. Just the same old lifts and toolbox tools he and his dad owned.

The husband isn’t just car-handy, but everything handy. He doubled the value of our house and land with all the upgrades and renovations that he installed himself. And I’m not talking the stuff you see on HGTV. I’m talking all the dirty, grimey, tedious behind-the-scenes stuff that they cut out of the shows, like installing an HVAC system, creating a proprietary whole house water filter, rebuilding an entire bathroom from the 2X4s up…all with the same simple tools that anyone else would own.

THE PROBLEM WITH TOOLS

I have access to all my husband’s tools. They’re racked neatly in my basement on industrial shelves. They make a great backdrop while I workout next to them.

Yet, I would not have the first idea how to build a car or build our house. I know their intended purpose, of course. I’ve been able to function OK following DIY manuals. But to have the vision to know what other potential the tools have and use them to fill that purpose? Uh, no.

This same kind of ambiguity plagues me when I see people or businesses selling tools. Instead of screwdrivers or wrenches, they’re selling software and automation systems for businesses. They’re all there to help the business professional and entrepreneurs create simple and intuitive processes.

But there is a missing component to many of these sales pitches and that’s the how. How do I use these products in my business? How does this fit my specific gap and need?

I’m looking at it all and I’m seeing the gap. I own and can competently use all the common business tools out there from email marketing to social media to web design. But at the moment it’s very much how I’m looking at the tools that are in my basement: I know how each tool works. I don’t know how to use them to build a house.

For that I need a house-building expert.

FIND THE RIGHT PERSON, NOT THE RIGHT TOOL

It turns out that I’ve been seeking information from the wrong side. I didn’t need the developers to tell me how to use their tools or ask them how this will help my business. I needed to ask a business professional how they used the tools in their business. What are their best practices, how do they unleash the tool’s potential?

That’s exactly how I came to realize that I needed a business coach, even though I’ve been in business for years. I know how to run a corporate business, but I’m a new entrepreneur. I have always used a system already working. I need to be able to design the actual system I need for my own business.

(This is probably the frustration people feel when they see all the food choices and workout choices available. They see it all, and have the information in front of them, but don’t know how to put it together to create a lifestyle and system that works for them. Enter Certified Personal Trainers and Coaches!)

This is also the plot twist in Tools of Titans–yes, they are awesome interviews and life stories about different successful people. It also shows you that ANYONE can become successful given the right mix of tools and drive. But the one thing they also ALL had in common (but were referred to more subtly) were mentors, coaches, and guides to make them effective. They all had someone whom they admired, who had walked the path ahead of them a bit, and helped steer them in the right direction.

Do you have a coach or mentor that you use and admire? If so, why? Or how have they impacted your life? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Thank you for reading!

xoxo

Liza