Pages

Friday, August 16, 2019

Consistency Is Key



Do you struggle with setting goals and carrying them through to the end? If you missed my previous post, click here to read my perspective on limited goal-setting. Consistency is the next figure in the equation for reaching your goals. In my head the diagram looks something like this:

Effective Goal Setting + Consistency = Positive Goal Achievement

I tend to get hung up on the beautiful finished product that first popped into my head. For example, I want to create a t-shirt line and the first thing that pops into my head—as an artist—is, of course, the design. I think, “that would make a dope t-shirt” and “I know people would buy this.” From there, I think about all the steps and actions that need to take place in order to make this happen. I start a little bit of them all, get overwhelmed, and then stop completely. By not following through to realize the initial idea, I become disappointed, frustrated and often, angry with myself for underperforming.

GET MY goal-setting worksheet for FREE AND CREATE AN ACTION PLAN FOR CONSISTENCY.

The definition1 of consistency is:

  1. Marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity: free from variation or contradiction
  2. Marked by agreement
  3. Showing steady conformity to character, profession, belief, or custom

Thinking about this definition, I have created three strategies to help me be more consistent in my life and with my goals. I hope they may do the same for you.

Consistency is free from variation or contradiction. 

In other words, “stay the course” as my mom would say. Focusing on one—maybe two—goals at a time minimizes the risk of distraction or deviation from the plan. By veering off course, you contradict the confidence and faith you put in yourself to accomplish. Proverbs 4:25-27 sums up this concept by instructing that we turn not to the right hand nor to the left, but to look straight ahead.

Consistency is marked by agreement. 

Look at your action plan as a binding contract you make with yourself but also as a guide to measure if you are in compliance with the steps necessary to make this thing happen! Measures like:

  • Is your attitude consistent with the type of person who would do what you are doing? 
  • Is your expertise consistent with the kind of trust you’re seeking from customers?
  • Do your results consistently reflect positive outcomes?
The agreement is really about checks and balances. Are you being true to the process and yourself? Do any amendments need to be made?

Consistency is a steady conformity to character or belief. 

This is a big one for me—being the same person no matter what! Life—and all of it curveballs—will happen but remain true to who you are and keep your “why” close. Conform to your character or belief by contouring what you do with why you do it. Remembering why you started in the first place, keeps you connected to your vision and mission.


1 Source: Mirriam-Webster Dictionary

Effective Goal Setting



Hi everyone!

If you’re like me, ideas pop into your head all day every day. What if I did this? or I want to write that or I have to make those! As a creative professional with 15 years of experience in the art, design and marketing world, I can tell you that an artist’s brain NEVER stops working, visualizing, creating. It can get pretty overwhelming at times. In particular, I have a tendency to attach a goal to every idea. What usually ends up happening is, I get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it all, stop and then do none of it.

I recently watched a video where the speaker suggested limiting the number of goals we endeavor. I know it seems counterintuitive but setting too many goals, or too many similar goals, or too many goals with the same timeline can overwhelm you and derail your progress. Every goal is not immediate. It’s unrealistic to move on every goal at once and expect each to receive the proper amount of attention.

By curating your goals, you can filter the ones that are a burning desire from those that are important but can wait.

Second, let’s understand how to implement effective goal setting because make no mistake there is a difference between effective goal setting and scribbling down a list of stuff you want to do in life. Effective goal setting is the process of identifying something that you want to accomplish and establishing measurable actions and timeframes. My version of effective goal setting looks something like this, in this order:
1. The inception of the idea (this is the end-result or finished product)
2. Writing out the goal itself
3. Listing each action item required to accomplish the goal
4. Scheduling a timeline for each action item
5. Tracking results to measure goal achievement

Get my goal-setting worksheet for FREE to begin writing your action plan now.

Can you imagine repeating all these steps for more than one or two goals at a time?! I’m sleepy just thinking about it. I don’t mean to insinuate you should not form long-term goals—and perhaps this post should be called effective short-term goal setting—I believe each goal should live in its proper space in time. Don’t consume yourself with long-term goals today. They should not be included in your current action plan. Long-term goals should be written down and kept visible until activated but nothing more than that—unless your current plan is directly in service of that long-term goal.

I now subscribe to the idea that I will limit my goals from one to two at a time and physically write out the effective goal-setting plan above. Intentionally limiting your goals allows you to focus from beginning to end and rewards you with a sense of accomplishment—ultimately motivating you to stay consistent.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Pasta Salad Meal Prep and FREE 5-Day Meal Prep Planner

Hello everyone,

Yesterday, I gave a presentation on meal prep and its benefits. The number one benefit for me is saving time. I’m always happy to share what meal(s) I have put together for the week—hopefully offering some inspiration for your own meal prep. Click the video below to check out my pasta salad lunch prep.

My FREE Meal Prep Planner


I’ve put together a FREE 5-day meal prep worksheet that you can use to track your meal prep, ingredients and macros for the week, I am also giving away a FREE recipe for one of my favorite dinners to prep…that’s a 2-for-1! Click here to download now!

Pasta Salad Meal Prep



Monday, March 11, 2019

Honing Your Craft



Hello everyone!

It feels like entrepreneurship is in the air lately! Everywhere I look I see people going into business for themselves, producing multiple streams of income and watering the rivers to financial freedom. As a full-time and part-time marketing and design professional, my brain is working 24/7. I work full time as a Senior Marketing Specialist for the largest commercial real estate company in the world, and part time I am a marketing and design business owner. This year, I am setting my business goals as a priority and honing my craft as a content creator.



When I look up the word hone (or honing) Merriam-Webster defines it as 1) to sharpen or smooth with a whetstone; 2) to make more acute, intense, or effective. Wow, that’s powerful! You literally take a tool and grind it against a stone to make it sharper, more effective at what it was designed to do. Let’s see how to apply that same principle to ourselves. We each have a skill or talent—a innate gift—that come naturally; whether it be public speaking, drawing, financial aptitude, cooking, caring giving, or teaching. Taking that skill, talent or gift—or tool—and sharpening it so that it becomes effective is paramount to completing the job or task. The question then becomes, what device—or experience—can I use to sharpen this? A pencil sharpener was specifically designed to efficiently sharpen a pencil. All the mechanics and their functions were invented to give a pencil its cylindrical shape culminating a perfect sharp point with which to write. Can you sharpen a pencil with a knife? Sure! But will the point be perfect and sharp? Will the cuts be even? Can you carry it around with you at all times? Your tools need to be sharpened by things, people and experiences conducive to shaping and sharpening the purpose of those instruments.

Honing your craft first starts with identifying your craft. Think about something you do very well; something you don’t even have to think about in order to accomplish or something which you often receive compliments. This is your skill, your talent, your gift, your craft! Now, that you’ve identified it, what situations, experiences or environments are the most conducive to helping you sharpen your craft in order to monetize it? I’ll use myself as an example. As a self-taught graphic designer, I thought I had to offer everything under the sun to be successful: flyers, business cards, banners, logos, product design, illustrations, websites, and the list goes on. While I do offer several of those, creating websites is not my forte. In the beginning, I tried to learn all I could about HTML, coding, programs like Dreamweaver, and FTP uploading—honestly just typing those words gives me a headache. I limited the website projects I accepted, and I stressed about the few I had because I was trying to make it work with my limited knowledge. So, guess what, I got to the point where I realized I had to scale back and really narrow in on what I could execute REALLY well. Cutting those services didn’t mean I was taking a pay cut if anything I could charge more for my expertise in the remaining specialized areas!

Today, I continually immerse myself in order to become a subject-matter expert by taking webinars, staying current on industry trends, joining groups/communities, and studying other successful professionals. Collaboration is something that I have found helps me sharpen my skillset while becoming inspired by fellow subject-matter experts. By honing my craft, I can become a thought leader in my area of expertise where people will seek out my perspective and service.

This is the sweet spot. Creating the solution to a need. You don’t get there by doing a little bit of everything poorly or surrounding yourself with people who are not designed to enhance the effectiveness of who you are and the task you were designed to do. You get there by finding that thing specifically designed to refine you and the thing you were exclusively created to do on this earth. What is that thing for you? Is it finding a mentor, taking an online course to gain credibility in your industry, or perhaps renting a separate work space that fosters quiet and creativity? If you’ve gotten to this point, your work ethic is not in question, you are willing to do what it takes to succeed. Focus your hard work on refining, shaping and putting an edge on what it is you do best!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

5 Tips to Save Time in the Morning



5 Tips to Save Time in the Morning


Hello everyone!

Are you like me, throwing things together in the morning and praying to make it out the door in time for your morning commute? Well, I for one got tired of lurching out of bed and scrambling around the house only to walk into work with the “sorry I’m late” face. I decided I HAD to do something different if I wanted a different result. So, I thought about all the things I do before walking out the door in the morning and what tactics I could apply to help me accomplish them. Here are five tips to help save time in the morning:

1 | PREPARE MEALS THE NIGHT BEFORE 

My biggest time sucker in the morning is making my lunch and breakfast and I can spend up to 20 minutes prepping food! Assuming I did my job on Sunday and meal prepped (ha!), packing my lunch and breakfast the night before is a breeze. In addition, I like to make my snacks beforehand. Slicing and portioning out veggies for hummus dip, spooning out yogurt with blueberries and honey, and blending up a protein shake. I pile everything into my lunch bag and put the whole bag in the fridge. 

2 | PACK YOUR BAGS.

I am fortunate to have access to a gym at my job and I prefer to work out on my lunch hour. An unorganized morning can go like this: me scouring the drawers for leggings, searching for the sports bra that matches them only to realize it’s in the dryer in the basement, and then trying to find my other “other” headphones. Ugh! I completely eliminated this step by packing my bag the night before AND placing it by the door so all I have to do is grab and go!

Maybe for you, it’s packing the kids bookbags or loading up your laptop case with important papers, folders and, oh yeah, the actual laptop. Whatever your “bag” is, pack it up at night and put it by the exit.

3 | PLAN YOUR OUTFIT. 

Now, this next tip is kind of a hard one for us ladies, but it will save you time in the morning, I promise!! Women typically select our outfits based on our mood for that day (yes, men this is a real thing!); so how can you decide on an outfit before you know how you’re going to feel? I found that the number of times I chose an outfit the night before and then completely changed my mind in the morning was very rare. By giving myself the framework to follow, I customarily stuck with my original choices even if I swapped a scarf or sweater here or there. Now, on the occasions I wanted to “throw the whole outfit away”, I was glad I had done tips one and two so I could afford little more time to figure it all out. Now, sometimes nothing works, and you find yourself down the rabbit hole 20 minutes later surrounded by a room full of dismissed ideas…but that is another post for another day! LOL.

4 | TURN OFF THE TECH.

What is the first thing you do in the morning? Maybe you meditate (namaste), pray, make a cup of coffee or start yelling at kids; but I think we all do one other thing before ALL
OF THAT. Reach for the phone. Guilty as charged! I mean guilty, guilty. It usually goes something like this for me: I grab my phone and check my first stop—Instagram, then any texts I missed, emails…ooo that one from Swell’s new product line that makes me feel like I also want to go hiking through some Himalayan-like locale beautifully toting its new tumbler. Before I know it, I’m on Expedia comparing flights to Nepal, and then on to Target to find a sarong for said fictional trip and…ooo vacuum cleaners are 50% off…see where I’m going with this?! But this is how my brain works if I fall into the tech trap of letting one thought lead to the next and to the next. Let yourself have 5-10 minutes to answer the emails and texts that need immediate attention and then shut it down! The same goes for watching tv! You can always listen to the news on the car radio.

5 | GO TO BED ON TIME!

This sounds the most straightforward, but it can be the hardest to do. By the time you get home, get dinner, get the kids ready for bed, try to watch a show or two, nurture husband/wife or friendships, pack your lunch and gym bags, pick clothes, brush teeth, and attempt your nighttime skincare where does the time go? Well, sometimes you just have to make yourself do it! Bedtimes are individual but isn’t there a rule about eight hours or something? LOL. I am a chronic pusher of the snooze button, but when I’m in bed—and not on my phone—by 9:30pm, it’s actually easier to get up when my alarm goes off.

How you start the day often determines how the rest of your day will go. So why not start on a high note? What are some ways you save time in the morning? Drop a comment below.