Stop Half-Assing It, Your Success Is Waiting

If you're going to try, go all the way. It's the only good fight there is. - Charles BukowskiI’m a half-asser.

There, I said it. All my life I’ve given less than my very best to almost everything I did.

And then I’d beat myself up for it (for a bit). Before I’d declare that it’s not my fault, because, hey, I was in such a time crunch, so all things considered I actually did a fantastic job.

And I’d finish it all with a solemn pinky swear that next time I’m going to be super organized and start as soon as I put my mind to it and the entire process will be so relaxed and breezy and wonderful…

… only for this ever-so-solemn pinky swear to be solemnly ignored the next time around, when everything would be fun and games until the deadline was staring me right in the face.

That’s when the hustling began – sleepless nights, circles under the eyes, and strained focus.

It took me almost 10 years to break through this merry-go-round of guilt, disappointment, and burnout.

[Read more…]

Step by Step: How to Stay on Your Game When Your Day Goes Off Track

How to stay on your game when your day goes off trackYou’re halfway through the day and nothing has gone as planned.

You had it all mapped out – when to do what. You were going to get it all done. You even gave yourself meals and left room for evening reading!

What next?

This depends on whether you have a deadline. If you do, you will blow right through your self-care time and scheduled bedtime and straight into all-nighter-land. Or at least late-night-land. Which makes us very, very cranky. (Please tell me it’s not just me!)

If you don’t have a deadline, you may be tempted to take the rest of the day off, giving up on your plan altogether. There are plenty of emergencies to keep you busy.

In all likelihood you will fall into the bottomless Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram pit and emerge out of there at the end of the day, covered in guilt because you eventually gave up on the emergencies but forgot to tell yourself to go take a real break.

But what if you want to avoid the dark pit of procrastination?

First off, there is no saving grace for the overstuffed schedule – it’s doomed to make you feel as overwhelmed as ever.

But even if you did try to reasonably divide your time and anticipate interruptions, it’s pretty impossible to be exact even with the best intentions.

Some days will go right as planned. Others will derail to a state of flow where getting shit done becomes your middle name (how do you know the G in my name doesn’t stand for that? Hehe)

And then there are those where half the day just seems to get sucked into Facebookville or someone else’s burning problem.

Let’s strip it back to the basics!

Ask yourself the following questions: [Read more…]

My 3-step procrastination rescue ritual

Do you need a procrastination rescue ritual?

What I’d like to be doing…

We’re getting ready to pack up our home and move halfway across the country in a little over 2 weeks, and I have to say… this move is nothing like what I expected it to be.

I expected it to be fun, and it is. It’s fun preparing, daydreaming, and catching up with friends (even if it is to say goodbye).

I expected it to be stressful, and it is. All the packing, decluttering, cleaning, preparing…

To be honest, I’m finding myself a little overwhelmed at times, especially when you add in the anxiety I feel when I realize that I’m going to a completely new place, far away from the family and friends I made in this completely new place.

It’s like a part of me is going “What the hell are you doing, Laura? You already moved away from your family and friends once, why would you do it again?” Because my heart calls me to, and that’s just the end of discussion.

But the speed of it all has taken me by surprise. One moment we had “plenty of time” until the move, the next I’m freaking out because there are 2 weeks left and I just don’t feel ready and there is still so much stuff to do.

This has led to a lot of busy procrastination. I haven’t given myself a lot of self-care time, so my body is taking it itself.

Here’s what my busy procrastination looks like:

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Taking the leap: my journey from cubicle monkey to creative grasshopper entrepreneur

8-25-14 taking the leapThis story is designed to inspire & give courage to anyone who is on the verge, and feeling called, to quit their job in order to pursue something more meaningful. This is part of the Taking the Leap resource, a database full of real-life stories from people who have successfully gone from job dissatisfaction to career emancipation.

This story includes the truth about what it’s like & what it takes to make the leap — so you can figure out for yourself whether taking the leap is right for you!

So when my dear friend Rebecca Beaton asked me to contribute to her Taking the Leap resource, I jumped at the opportunity. You may have seen Rebecca in our video interview (if you haven’t, go check it out!)

So here’s my story… which some of you may be somewhat familiar with. And some lessons interspersed along the way, for you: so you can avoid making the same mistakes.

I’ve always had authority issues.

When I was a kid, I always insisted on playing my way… even if it meant breaking the toys I was trying to play with. That grew into defiance and rebellion in school (needless to say, I had a lot of bad grades my test scores couldn’t explain…) and continued as procrastination in college and beyond.

When I finished college, I was dismayed that I hadn’t liked a single one of the jobs I had tried (except for tutoring, although even then I had run-ins with the tutoring center administration!) They all just seemed to restrict my freedom and creativity a little too much.

It’s not that I was lazy, or I didn’t want to do work… when given the opportunity I threw myself into anything and committed 110% of my energy into making it amazing, but I needed to not have someone else bossing me around and telling me what I could and couldn’t do.

Unfortunately, as college ended and I was left facing the possibility of returning to my home country of Romania, I had to swallow my pride and return to the company where I did my summer internship the summer before my senior year.

I hated it.

I had a good salary, but no money could make up for being so miserable every day. Soon I fell into the predictable cycle of loving life on Friday and hating it on Sunday. I started developing insomnia because going to sleep meant the next thing that was to happen was getting up super early and going to that place. [Read more…]

Transform your life without setting goals

A couple of weeks ago I told you why I think setting goals is a bad idea.

That hasn’t changed. I still think that goals set you up for failure more than success.

1. Goals keep you focused on the destination, instead of allowing you to focus on the journey. Whether your goal is to run a successful business, get in shape, or have a better relationship, what you want to focus on is this present moment – not the future. Lofty goals will leave you discouraged, while too-small ones will leave you not motivated enough. Relying on artificial ideas of what you think the destination will look like is the poorest form of motivation I’ve ever heard of.

2. Goals are completely artificial and are usually created by the ego, which means two things: one, you’re setting a destination for yourself without knowing that it’s the right one (you can probably tell the direction is right, but not necessarily the destination).

3. You’re allowing the ego to take charge by setting up a new construct that it can compare you to (and create lots of shame and guilt around not having reached it, having over-reached it and therefore not aimed far enough, or having landed someplace else altogether – even if you’re actually better off than you would have been had you reached the goal in the first place). Fun fun fun.

4. You’re pushing forward with the destination in sight (and only the destination in sight) without considering where you’re coming from and whether or not your beliefs about yourself and the world actually allow that kind of transformation to take place.

That will bring you tons of challenges and resistance that you don’t have the tools to deal with, so you chalk it up to “need more willpower” or “poor time management” and throw your money at yet another course that gives you a boatload of gimmicks and tricks that cover up the issue like a band-aid but don’t actually do anything about the real underlying problem. (Ask me why I don’t believe in time management issues… another video for a future Monday!)

Since year-end has left me seeing everyone boast about their goals (and the inner me screaming NOOOOOOOO) I’ve put together the framework I’ve used to create some huge changes in my life from the inside out. From the bottom up. From top to bottom.

You get the point.

Since it’s kind of complex to explain all in one video, I take you through a portion of it in today’s Shine your Light Monday vlog, and have prepared the rest for a FREE workshop/webinar you can participate in on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014. It will take place at 7 pm EST/4 pm PST, and you can sign up for it here.

Of course, I will have a recording for you after it’s over. But there’s nothing like being there in person, so show up!

Without further ado… here’s your quick lesson in un-goal setting! [Read more…]

Want more energy? Simplify your life!

I’ve been really tired lately. Part of it was because of a nasty stomach bug. Part of it was just burnout.

I’ve been doing too much, throwing myself too much into work, business, and friendships. And when my life gets too busy, I not only get excited, I also get seriously stressed out.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the worry-queen of the world. Seriously. If I don’t have anything to worry about, I can easily manufacture something to worry about.

Do worries sell? I could make a fortune with this. Oh wait, the press already does. Nevermind.

Thankfully, I was able to change that around pretty easily.

You see, I live intuitively. What that means is that I do whatever my body (and soul) tells me is right for me. So I took some time off from really working on Link to Yourself (there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes!) and focused on reconnecting with myself and honoring my feelings.

I love taking time for myself, because it allows me to see what I’m doing that doesn’t resonate with me, as well as what I’m not doing enough of that really does resonate with me, and change my plans accordingly. Sure, I’m taking some time away from working on my business and maintaining friendships. But I’m OK with that, because doing less stuff but staying true to myself brings me more benefits than doing more stuff that may or may not be in tune with my feelings and values.

In short, I don’t like living my life in the dark. When I constantly maintain my connection with my true self, I make infinitely better choices. End of story.

Now that I’ve mesmerized you with this wonderful foray into my (utterly boring) life, let’s get down to business and talk about energy. More specifically, why you’re lacking energy, and what you can do to get lots more of it.

Download the Action Tracking Worksheet. I’ve already pre-filled it with an example of one of my own mornings 🙂

In the end, it all boils down to three steps:

  1. Figure out your energy drains
  2. Discriminate ruthlessly
  3. Simplify your life

Of course, there are a myriad other things I didn’t include here that you should be doing like getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating real food. But, even if you haven’t nailed these basic energy-growing habits, I trust that through this three-step system you will realize how important they are and get the motivation you need to start doing them regularly.

If you’re going to do nothing else, I want you to at least track your life for at least one day and choose one thought and one action that you will eliminate. Then commit to it. Planning is worthless without action!

How will you simplify your life to create more energy?

 

The secret to being a great manager

Over the years, I’ve taken on a lot of leadership and managerial roles. Although I learned a lot from my mistakes while practicing leadership (and there were a ton of them), I learned the most about how to be a fantastic manager while being an employee. When you hold the other end of the stick, all of a sudden everything the manager says to you matters quite a bit, and can strongly affect you and the quality of your work.

Many people go through management training. They learn all of the little things that go into motivating workers and delegating efficiently. There is a foundation all of these “best practices” build upon – and that is the secret I introduce to you in the video.

We are all managers in life, including of the people around us. Even though in the video I talk from the perspective of a company manager, keep in mind that this is more of a universal secret for successfully collaborating with anyone in your life. Managing others is often harder than working with them side-by-side is because of the added sensitivity that an employee-manager relationship comes along with. It’s only natural – the manager basically holds the employee’s future at this particular company in her hands.

 

Do you agree? What do you think are important skills to being a great manager?

Feeling overwhelmed? How to manage big projects like a pro

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Are you starting a big project, or working on one, and you can’t see your way around all of that work?

A lot of the women I’ve been talking to recently are struggling with this.

More and more women are following their intuition and going after their dreams.

To be successful, express your potential in a book, a course, an event… you hear that everywhere. You end up always preparing another launch, working on the next big thing in your career.

This is an awesome way to work, because it keeps you constantly engaged. I personally love being challenged, constantly going for the next thing. It keeps me on my toes, and I thrive on it.

But, at the same time, there’s a fine line between staying charged, always ready, sprinting on your toes, and losing yourself in a huge pile of tasks.

It’s too easy to fall into the trap of running on the to-do treadmill, like a little mouse on his wheel. Feeling overwhelmed causes you to lose that edge of creativity. Even though you may still be driven, you will lose touch with your inner power, the one that makes your work so uniquely wonderful.

This is why today I’m going to give you some practical strategies to keep yourself organized when tackling big projects.

Some other time we’ll look at the more intuitive aspects of overwhelm, and how to overcome it in a more holistic (and permanent) way. That, however, will take practice, dedication, and a long-term commitment. For now, since I have a fair bit of experience in tackling big projects to rely on, I’m going to give you a quick-and-dirty system you can use right away.

Tweet: Not doing it all is not lazy, it’s smart!

In the comments, please tell me, when do you feel most overwhelmed? And what techniques and tricks do you use to snap out of it and keep your inner power and creativity going strong?

First and foremost, remember to be kind to yourself. Feeling overwhelmed is a mental and emotional state. As any mental and emotional state, it is entirely under your control.

Here’s that nifty little scheme I was talking about. It’s a killer system and has helped me personally a LOT. Feel free to share it with whoever you think may benefit from it!

 

Anti-Overwhelm Organization System

 

P.S: That rolling sound you hear in the background? That’s the sound of my cat eating. He’s too greedy about food, so he eats out of a ball that he rolls around for food. Every once in a while he gets mad at it and smacks it repeatedly against the wall. He’s hilarious… and special (if you know what I mean… *wink*)