Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Posts tagged ‘plan’

Re-kindling Self-love With Committment

Committing to Me

The Facebook Live associated with this post can be found here.

Last night I talked about how I struggle with making and keeping commitments to myself. One of the things I have found over the last few months is that making a commitment to do anything is only half the process. The other half is coming up with a plan. In the case of my workouts, it meant setting specific days. When I deviate from those specific days, I’m not as likely to get all of my weekly workouts in.

At risk right now is the business I’ve been trying to develop for the last three years, or more specifically, my writing career. I know I haven’t been committed or I’d have actually finished and published something by now. But I also know that doing it just for the money sucks all of the energy out of me.

Help When I Need It

I had a conversation at the beginning of the week where this very concept came up. The person I was talking to suggested that regardless of my fears and concerns right now, I need to take money out of the equation. Instead of pitching ideas for stories I’d like to write for compensation, he proposed I write the article first, then pitch it to someone and be willing to let it be published, compensation or no.

Since then, I’ve created a business plan, but not in the normal sense. This one simply commits to a certain number of hours per day spent writing, reading and researching, and querying (I’m trying to use a word other than pitching because of the negative feelings I have around the word).

Part of my research today was to compile a list of places I might present my work. I even took compensation out of the equation and included sites which, though they might not pay me for my initial offerings, would give me visibility. In this day and age, getting found is critical. With so many writers, entrepreneurs, and virtual businesses out there, we each need to find a way to stand out from the crowd, and high traffic sites is one way to do it.

Boomers vs. Millennials

I’m also working on an article about Baby Boomers and Millennials. When I started it, my focus was on how Millennials will change the face of business in the next decade or so, but as I read articles from different points of view, I learned a lot about not only what drives Millennials and why, but how different the relationship between the two generations is from the one I had with my parents.

For instance, my circle of friends includes people from their 20’s to their 80’s. We interact on equal footing for the most part. I can’t even imagine my parents having the kind of relationship I have with people my daughter’s age. Even as adults, we were always just kids to them.

I’m not saying we do all the same things or hang out together regularly, but we share ideas and opinions, challenges with our businesses, and we support each other’s activities. I’m also not saying that the age-defying outlook my friends and I enjoy is applicable to all Baby Boomers or Millennials. But the fact it exists at all is for me, compelling.

Finding Common Ground

I’m not blind to the fact that there are some from both generations who blame the other for their woes. I guess that will always be the case when the subjects of jobs and social security come up. I realized, though that one of the best ways to work our way through the quagmire of misinformation and fake news really lies in our ability to cooperate inter-generationally. Our being at odds serves someone else’s purpose—someone who does not have any of our best interests at heart.

Choosing to emphasize our similarities and downplay our differences seems like a pretty good idea to me. I’ve never been a fan of placing blame anyway. I saw enough of it in the workplace, and it’s only real purpose is destructive. Far better to take the position that we agree something is broken and between us we can come up with the best way to fix it.

Learning From Each Other

Frankly, we can learn a lot from a generation which grew up with cell phones, instant messaging, and social media. One of my biggest pet peeves has always been communication, or lack thereof. In some cases, there might be a bit of over sharing, but for the most part, it’s more of an asset than a liability. Millennials are accustomed to getting immediate answers. By getting those immediate answers, they get things done faster too. Good news since instant gratification with communication has created a culture that’s used to constant stimulation and when that stimulation wanes, boredom sets in. To be honest, I relate to this myself, but my career path led me to embrace technology early on. Anything to get away from the drudgery of writing everything down in big, dusty ledgers, totaling up dozens of columns on countless pages with nothing more than a calculator, then moving all of the figures to the proper accounts. All-in-all a painstaking process which spreadsheets and accounting programs rendered obsolete. Others might have complained as they didn’t like the changes, but I was overjoyed.

More to Come

But I’ll leave the results of my research on the topic for another day. What started with a single article is escalating out of control as it is, but believe it or not, that’s a good thing. I can write on the subject from a number of different angles which gives me yet another niche. Not bad for my first day’s work with a plan!

Was I ready to take this step 6 months ago? Probably not. I needed to gain more clarity on what I truly wanted, and that has occurred in the last few weeks. Will I get it in gear before the next 5 months races by? I can only hope and put the work in. The rest is just going to have to resolve itself as my plan and its potential unfold. Stay tuned!

Remembering to Be Grateful

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful for epiphanies which move me forward on m path.
  2. I am grateful for the tenacity which, though little used lately is still there when I call upon it.
  3. I am grateful for the support and advice of my friends. They help me find clarity and the courage to continue moving forward.
  4. I am grateful for my writing. When I’m lost and confused, it helps me sort things out.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; lessons, resources, friendship, love, joy, dancing, inspiration, kicks in the butt, encouragement, support, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Anti-Procrastination Plan


Itchy, twitchy, and utterly scattered

This week has been especially challenging for me, despite the relative calm in my life as the New Year begins. While running errands on Tuesday, I felt especially cranky, yet there was no good reason for it. My stomach was full, I had water with me, people in the stores were friendly…I was just out of sorts for no particular reason.

I did miss three dancing nights this week and my only excuses were exhaustion and a badly swollen and painfull knee. Yet I really didn’t do that much. Monday I actually got a few hours of work in, Tuesday I did my 3 hour errand marathon, and Wednesday I made another vat of turkey stewp. But none of that should have worn me out to the point of missing dance nights! And yet I did.

By Thursday, I was edgy, twitchy, and unsettled. I even took a few moments to go stand in the rain, barefooted on the newly green front lawn (ok, it’s weeds, but they’re green!) until my feet were too frozen to maintain my position. Yet the twitchy-ness continued.

Lunar Lunacy

My only explanation for this malady of sorts is the full moon mostly hidden by the cloud cover which has become an integral part of the sunny Southern California landscape of late. (seems the El Nino our inimitable weather services predicted for the last two years finally arrived after they stopped predicting its imminent arrival!)

Yet, as the week wore on and I got a few things done I’d been avoiding, I found myself feeling more settled. Was procrastination the ultimate culprit?

Procrastination: Same story, different day

Procrastination occurs for a plethora of reasons. I won’t profess to understand everyone else’s but here are a few of mine:

  1. Boredom
  2. Fear
  3. Anxiety
  4. Unpleasant tasks (or those I’ve convinced myself are unpleasant)
  5. Laziness

Sometimes, the hard part is catching yourself avoiding what you know needs to be done, and getting out of your own way. I should know by now that if I’d rather be cleaning, I’ve really talked myself around a task.

To wit: I’ve needed to transfer the preliminary outline I finished this week to a Word document. Yet Thursday came and I’d yet to begin. In fact, I hadn’t even taken the notebook out of my laptop case until Wednesday night! Yet I still found reasons to put it off. I really need to read some of the blog posts I’ve been saving. Or how about: I need to do laundry right now. As if I hadn’t perfected the art of late night chores decades ago!

Using crankiness to devise my anti-procrastination plan

Now that I’ve actually put a couple of chapters worth of outline into that Word document, I feel less tense and irritable. The feeling has been replaced by anticipation and expectation, but it beats being cranky for no reason! At some point, I am going to learn to sit myself down and do that which challenges me instead of finding all sorts of ways to avoid it until I don’t even want to be in the same room with myself. It seems I’m much better at keeping commitments I make to other people than I am about keeping them with myself.

As I let this idea germinate for a couple of days, I finally came to the conclusion that I am a starter but not a finisher. I get bored or frustrated with a project, and put it aside, sometimes forever. I need to give myself small milestones so I’ll feel like I’m accomplishing something. Getting the outline on paper was one of those milestones. Putting it into Word so I can play with it, move things around, and,  more importantly, expand on it is another. Using it to improve my story is yet another step in the long road to publication. One I’ve made much longer through my procrastination.

Being my most treasured client

Someone gave me a piece of advice when I was struggling with marketing myself. They said to think of myself as one of my very best clients and put that same effort into the marketing. I think that same piece of advice applies to commitments I make to myself. Whether it’s getting that outline done, working on one of my books, writing in general, drafting regular blog posts, or doing work for a client, there should be no difference in quality or commitment. Am I truly alone in failing to see the disconnect? The shoddy workmanship on tasks for myself?

I read a story last night about a carpenter who decided to retire. His boss asked him to build one last house. Part way through the project, he started getting lazy and sloppy. He did sub-standard work and used cheaper materials. At the end of the project, his boss handed him the keys. He said he’d have done a better job if he’d known he was doing it for himself.

I seem to do the opposite. My clients get my best work, and I get what’s left over. The spoils. Instead, everyone should be getting my best work. Don’t we all deserve the very best I can give? Myself included?

Manageable pieces for a successful anti-procrastination plan

One thing I have learned lately is that I don’t need to write an entire blog post in one sitting. Sometimes, I start an idea and as the day goes on, other things occur to me. I need to allow this to happen. I can write a few thoughts which occur to me, then go on to other things and let the thoughts germinate. If I’m lucky, the germination makes for a better post.

I took my time finishing this post, though a good part of that time was spent farting around instead of really accomplishing anything. Sometimes I need to do that to see where I’m shooting myself in the foot. For now, knowing I need an anti-procrastination plan is the first step. Like an alcoholic, I need to admit I have a problem before I can format a plan and create manageable steps to fix it.

What we need is a 12-step program for procrastinators

I invite all who suffer from procrastination and self-sabotage to join me in taking the first step: admitting we have a problem. Maybe even start a support group; some might call it accountability partners, to help each other form anti-procrastination plans with those small milestones we need to keep us interested. Even give each other honest advice about those plans. I know I tend to form some that are just not manageable, and drop by the wayside. If someone were to look at my plan and tell me when I need to break the pieces into smaller chunks, I know it would help. And if they checked in to see if I was truly accomplishing those smaller chunks, the guilt alone would kill me if I hadn’t. Here’s my first step. Will you share yours?

My name is Sheri and I’m a procrastinator. I start projects but never take them to completion.

It all starts with gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the honesty with which I view myself.
  2. I am grateful for lessons I’ve learned, and those yet to come.
  3. I am grateful for support groups.
  4. I am grateful for honesty, however painful it might be at first. In the end, it’s what makes us great.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, hope, dreams, plans, successes, failures, challenges, lessons, support, giving, receiving, love, philanthropy, peace, harmony, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Are you interested in helping me form an anti-procrastination support group? Fill in the form below and share your thoughts!

Photo courtesy of Gavin Firkser via Flickr

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