Pity Party

Throw yourself a pity party

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that some of us are coming up against our stuff.

Maybe you’re there too. Maybe for a bit, your goals felt too big and the path there too daunting. And everything that comes your way is another thing to add to your already heavy load. You feel like you’re just waiting for that proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

So, what do you do?

There are several ways to handle it.

Some people stuff their feelings and try to quickly move on, ignoring the stuff. The problem is those feelings eventually bubble to the surface even stronger.

Others allow themselves to feel the stuff and continue to feel it for days.

Neither is a great option.

So, what to do?

Pity PartyThrow yourself a pity party if that’s what you need. Allow yourself to feel your stuff.

Does that suggestion surprise you?

Well, there are strings attached: set a time limit.

When you recognize what’s going on, that you have stuff to work through, give yourself some time to feel it AND set a timer. Whether that’s 10 minutes or 20 – set a timer and allow your stuff to bubble up.

Now, I realize that once the timer goes off it’s not easier to simply feel better (super easy to write, difficult to do).

So, when the timer goes off take a few deep, calming breaths.  Go ahead and do that now.  Breathe in deep through your nose and out through your mouth.  Relaxing isn’t it?

Next, think about what’s going right and what you’re thankful for.  Gratitude, it’s a great mood lifter.

So, next time you want to throw yourself a pity party, go ahead! But make sure you’re consciously making that decision.  Also, limit how long the party is and then spend some time being grateful for other things in your life.

Photo credit: Pity Party by Evil Erin via flickr
question mark in puzzle piece

What’s The Question?

question mark in puzzle pieceI’ve been thinking about questions a lot recently. About how important asking the right question can be and how frustrating it can be trying to figure out what that is.

And at the same time, if you’re not asking a question, finding the answer is a bit like searching for a puzzle piece and you’re not sure what it looks like, but you’re sure you’ll recognize it when you see it.

How much faster does the search for that puzzle piece go when you know what color you’re looking for? or if it’s an edge piece or when you have some guideline that helps you know which pieces aren’t the one you’re looking for?

Finding answers is a bit like that. You can find yourself spending lots of time trying out lots of different things because you haven’t taken the time to figure out what the question is you’re trying to answer. Instead, you’re picking up a lot of other people’s answers and seeing if they fit for you.

And while you might be learning a lot in that process, I bet you also feel like you’re spending a lot of time spinning your wheels or running in circles – none of it really seems to fit where you are or what you’re looking for.

So, spend some time today determining what your questions are. You might be surprised by how much time and energy you save looking for answers when you know your questions.

Share your question or questions in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
business person deciding road to take

What Do You Need Right Now?

business person deciding road to takeWhat areas of your life are the most important right now (keeping in mind that these change on occasion)? List the top two or three. Is it family, your business, church, friends, an organization you belong to or something else?

Now, for each of those areas what things are the highest priority – the way that you most want to spend your time with them or will move you toward your goals?

So, for family it might be spending one night a week together, a weekly (or monthly) date night with your husband and a phone call with your mom.

For your business it might be that one big project you’ve been thinking about, making some of the phone calls you know will generate money or any number of things.

What do all of these things require? Attention, energy and time.

Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life. – Brian Andreas

I heard that quote last week and think it is beautiful, wonderfully simple and so true.

And while it’s so simple, it’s also not.

Why is it we have so much trouble identifying what is really important AND spending time on it?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking this during my phone calls with potential clients. I’ve heard over and over again that there’s so much to do that it feels absolutely impossible to pick one thing to focus on.

I even saw it show up in a Facebook update of an acquaintance.

One thing that you can do is stop taking advantage of all the free or limited time only offers.

For me, this used to show up as signing up for any free teleclass that crossed my path that might have any information in it that I was going to need at some point in my business. I was spending HOURS listening to teleclasses trying to learn what I might need later.

I see it now in some of the groups I belong to. They’re filled with great people and great products and smart marketing. And almost everyone wants to take advantage of the specials that everyone else has – and they’re stretching themselves thin, because they might need that information someday.

I get it, the offer might not be as good later, or even apply! And that’s the point of the offer – to give you a reason to act now if it’s the right fit.

Here’s the thing with those free teleclasses and great specials – it might not be what you need right now.

There are lots of opportunities for you to further your business, lots of wonderful people who can show you how to do it in the way that they’re teaching – but if it’s not what you need right now then it’s okay to say no thank you.

Like many things, this takes some practice and discipline. It means knowing where you are in your business and what your main focus is right now. Once you know that then you can work with people that specialize in that.

And I can almost hear you saying, that’s great Evie, but I’m feeling so lost and frustrated right now that I have NO idea what that focus is. So, I want you to do something that might feel really uncomfortable. I want you to STOP doing all the running around your doing and take a step back to look at your business.

What are your business goals? And what is it that you need the most right now to reach those goals? Then pick one thing that you’re going to focus on to reach that goal.

And when another great opportunity comes along, recognize if it’s not where you are right now and let someone else who is there have that opportunity. It might not be that you’re not there yet or it could be that you’re past it and just haven’t realized it yet.

I’d love to know what your highest priority goal is and what you’re going to focus on to reach that goal. Share below in the comments.

Image courtesy of 2nix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lots To Do! And Enough Time?

Cup Of Hot CoffeeLast week I wrote about focusing on one task. The three steps to put your focus on the one thing you’re working on right now.

Well, I set up one day last week with no appointments so I could have the day to only get stuff done. Many of the items on my list that day where 30 minute tasks or less. So, I had about 15 items on my list.

Normally, I would tell a client (and myself) that 15 tasks are too many things! However, they were small tasks and I was pretty sure that there was enough time to do everything.

When I sat down at the beginning of the day, even though I knew they were smaller tasks, I wondered how I was possibly going to get everything done. It was a bit overwhelming to look at that list!

I reread my post for the week and decided to pull out my sticky notes. On those, I wrote the tasks that I wanted to complete in the next two hours. I wrote down four things, stuck it on top of my list of 15 and went to work. Somehow just looking at that smaller list was a lot more reassuring.

I didn’t have to have everything done now. I was able to focus on the current task and then move on to the next one quickly.

At the end of the day I didn’t have everything done. However, I learned a bit about what not to do in my day (don’t schedule reading a book, even a business book, after lunch because I won’t put it down after my allotted reading time is complete). And left enough wiggle room in that day’s and the next day’s schedule that it didn’t completely throw me for a loop the rest of the week.

And, when I reviewed what I accomplished, I felt extremely satisfied! I was able to get a lot done and address my overwhelm in a constructive way.

Because I like bullet points, this is the take away from my experience:

  • If your list looks too long and overwhelming, break it into smaller pieces. What will you finish in the next 2 hours?
  • Leave some buffer time in your day. Tasks can take longer than you anticipate or unexpected tasks or other things pop up. When you leave yourself some buffer time you’re able to absorb the unknown without it throwing you for a loop.
  • Review your day and make a note of what did and didn’t work that day. Use that knowledge of how you work best (or don’t work best) in future planning.
  • Review your day for your successes (or wins). We often forget this part. Pat yourself on the back for the things you accomplished, whether they are the tasks you completed, the way a situation was handled or the way you handled or managed yourself.

Basically, a successful day can be broken up into three parts: preparing, doing and reviewing (with today’s focus being on the preparing and reviewing).

Where do you get hung up with getting things done? Let me know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Celebrate – Because You Are Amazing

FireworksLast week didn’t go as planned for me.

I found myself sidelined one day by a stress headache and all the tasks on my to-do list ended up being tossed that day.

It left me feeling frustrated and even more stressed (no wonder it wouldn’t go away!). However, the next day I took a deep breath, reassessed, created a new to-do list and kept moving forward.

Reviewing my postponed plans with my personal coach I shared how differently I would have handled that situation (and others) a couple of years ago. We spent a couple minutes chatting about that and she asked me if I had a coaching request for the week.

Well, we ended up creating a list of how far I’ve come over the last two years and I found the exercise to be wonderful.

So, if you’re willing to play along and toot your own horn a bit ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you easily do now that was really difficult one or two years ago? What changed?
  • What situations no longer throw you off balance?
  • What have you accomplished?
  • Where do you surprise yourself?
  • Where are you now professionally?
  • Where are you now personally?

We dismiss our accomplishments too easily sometimes. So, take the time to truly think about these questions.

And if you’re having problems with the exercise, ask yourself: if you were talking with the you from two years ago, what positive things would you tell them they have to look forward to?

The last step is to CELEBRATE! You truly are amazing and deserve to be acknowledged for that.

I would absolutely love it if you would share some of your accomplishments in the comments below!