Live Deliberately

Living each day with deep intention.


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Don’t Delay Your Happiness

I want to talk about procrastination this morning. I’ve found myself in a bit of a slump, putting off chores, not feeling excited about a particular work project, and delaying exciting new endeavors that could bolster my career and future.

When I delve into why I’ve been procrastinating, I come up with a number of reasons to include how time consuming this new endeavor would be; how I’d have to give up doing something more enjoyable (not everything worth having is enjoyable and rewarding at first); having distractions from my girls since school is out for the summer; the idea of not knowing where to start, and the un-worthiness chatter: Who am I to take on something like this? 

Before I go on, I want to point out one thing… the simple definition of procrastination.

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. 

The act of delaying or postponing something… WOW, that landed hard with me, considering what I was delaying or postponing: joy, happiness, success, fulfillment 

I realized, in that moment, that I had to get back on track. I had to focus and figure out how to get passed the slump. I had to find the drive to accomplish what I originally intended. I had to recall why I wanted to begin this new chapter in the first place. What was my motivation? I would need to determine what short-term compromises I would need to make in order to achieve my long-term gains. It was time to get comfortable knowing that it would take some long days and I might have to decide between fun (short-term satisfaction) and future (delayed gratification).

This would require me to prioritize all projects (household, work, and otherwise), and dedicate time to focus on what’s most important (THINK: return on investment) without any distractions, both internally and externally.

This dialogue in my head started to spark excitement again. Recalling my why gave me a nice kick-in-the-rear.

Have you been putting off something that you know is important; something that will increase your happiness, finances, success, career, or otherwise? Go through the steps: 1) identify what’s  been stopping you/what excuses or limiting beliefs have been holding you back, 2) recall your motivation and the long-term gains, 3) make it a priority, 4) schedule it in – whether you need to schedule time in your calendar or set daily reminds.

Whether your delay is caused simply by inaction or maybe because of indecision… No more excuses. Get crackin’.

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious decision.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

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The Leap

This time last year, I was doing one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I left a stable government job in a management position providing me a high salary, paid time off, and health insurance to realize a life-long dream of starting a consulting firm. It was one of the most free-ing but frightening things I’ve ever experienced. I felt a rainbow of emotions over the weeks leading up to handing in my resignation and the weeks following my actual departure… feelings of uncertainty and joy, worry and excitement, relief and possibility.

In the beginning, it took an unspeakable amount of courage and vulnerability on my part and the unwavering support on behalf of my loved-ones to keep me from getting “cold feet.”  It would take faith in myself, sacrifice, a few learning curves, mentorship from a brilliant-minded colleague, friends and family talking me down from my own fears, some late nights in the office, and some moments of sheer pride and joy.

Not everyone could understand my decision, and I think that’s quite normal, but we all have moments when you just know what you need to do, like a gut-instinct that you’re cut out for something greater or different. That moment for me was an almost constant nagging feeling during the last six months of 2016. I found myself in situations where the longing to make the leap tugged harder on my heart. I was presented with scenarios that filled me up with a sense of fulfillment at the mere thought. I was put in unfortunate positions that made me question my current role, my actual impact to the community that I served and the lack of ability to get anything done due to the proverbial government “red tape.”

It has been my experience that such a huge life-transition comes with a lot of highs and lows, and requires certain life skills, such as the ability to allow time for introspection, exercizing emotional intelligence, and creating professional boundaries. I suffered some blow-back from delivering the news of leaving for another opportunity, which made it all the more difficult because I am the type of person who takes on the responsibility of another person’s feelings. Not everyone was happy for me and, in fact, some made my last few weeks quite unbearable. There were moments when I didn’t feel safe in sharing my plans going forward. Unfortunately, delivering the news would lead to my final weeks being some of the most stressful and heart-wrenching moments in my career. I felt an obligation to my staff, my clients and their projects… and in some way, I felt a sense of guilt as though I was giving up on everything I worked hard for. I later learned that my leaving felt like a betrayal, which was not my intention. It took time to come to the realization that it was not my responsibility to carry their burden, because staying meant a betrayal to myself and my own dreams.

The month of January 2018 marks one year since I decided to finally make the leap, eventually handing in my resignation, and transitioning from public-sector (everything I’ve know in the last 15 years of my working life) to private-sector. I can’t say it has all been unicorns and rainbows but it has been fulfilling, exciting, freeing, and much more relaxing that I thought it would be. I’m only one year in, and while I spent my first year building up my business, identifying who I am as a brand and what I can offer my clients, these next few years will be focused on creating more opportunity to generate more joy, income, and quality of life while my girls are still young.

Is there something that you’ve been wanting to do, but you haven’t had the courage to take the leap? I want to hear from you in the comment section below!

xo


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Drop the Ball

To all of my superwomen (and men alike), you do not need permission to drop the ball once in a while. I don’t mean letting things go by the wayside day-in and day-out, nor do I mean letting a deadline at work pass you by. I am referring to good ol’ constructive, kick-back and unwind and cut yourself some slack once in a while. 

I dropped the ball tonight, and I’m not feeling an ounce of guilt about it. I needed to drop the ball – no, I needed to PUNT the ball. I yearned for a break. So, Summer didn’t get her “school-mandated 15-30 minutes of reading” tonight, and I refused to touch the kitchen after dinner. (Thank you, Adam, for picking up the ball and running with it!).  

Warriors, life’s too short to be on top of the world all of the time. Let go of the unrealistic expectations of doing it all, and by all means, enlist support where you can. 
So, I dare you… drop the ball. 💕 Let the dishes pile for one night, leave the laundry in the basket, and focus on you – and whatever it is your soul needs right now whether it’s a book, movie, or family-time. 

Much love. 


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People are productive until they’re not.

What is it about today’s society that makes people think that they need to fill their entire schedule with activities in order to have a productive day? And when did productive become synonymous with importance and superiority?

There’s a common misconception that I continue to hear lately, and that’s this underlying message that if you aren’t busy, then you are not accomplishing anything and if your schedule is not booked with back to back meetings or activities, then you lead a meaningless life.

Filling every minute of every day with tasks does not make a person productive. Setting goals and priorities for the day with the intent of accomplishing them is the objective behind productivity.  As the old adage goes, “work smarter, not harder.”

Even more, productivity is subjective. We all have our own thoughts on what we deem “productive.” For example, five people attend a meeting, each person represents a different division… each person has a certain expectation of the meeting and is seeking a particular purpose or outcome. One person can walk away from that meeting feeling as though it was productive because they got what they needed, and the others not so much.

Productivity is individualistic in that every single person has their own peaks of productivity. Only I know when I am mentally able to sit for hours and write a report or when I am physically willing and able to go to the gym. For some people that’s 5 AM, for me that’s 5 PM. We each have peaks and valleys and different levels of productivity throughout the day… We all have that boss that sends emails at 2am. No one is judging! (Better an email than a phone call, right?!)

My point is… change your thinking about productivity, find your peaks and valleys, and don’t purposely overwhelm yourself with tasks. The end result of that is, plain and simple, burnout. We can only produce until we can no longer.