Get out of your own way and do something

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I’ve had a lot going on lately.

You know.

I left an abusive marriage, wrote a book, fell in love, moved in with him, broke up, settled back in Cleveland. The usual.

My office is still packed up in boxes, waiting for a wellspring of motivation to encourage me to put things on shelves and hang art and find a hot pink desk chair so I can have a place to write that isn’t propped against my bedroom wall in bed in my pajamas.

I’ve been writing, sporadically. I’ve been posting, occasionally. I’ve been working, a lot. Just not on this. Not on the things that set me on fire, make my heart pound, and make me pause for a break to say “Yes! This! Exactly!”

I love blogging. I love talking to you over this vast internet of so much happening in the world. I love the few minutes we share as you read what I have to say after I’ve had such a great time writing it.

And yet, the ideas tumble around in my brain like a pair of tennis shoes in the dryer.

Do a podcast. Teach a course. Write on a more consistent schedule. Work on your next book. Do more social media. Book speaking engagements. Do a book tour.

And I know I want to do all of these things, but it’s so hard to get started when everything is a great idea. That’s the trouble: I want to do it all, and I want to do it all well.

I get in my own way because perfectionism tells me I shouldn’t do anything if I can’t do it right.

And I am really not that great at Twitter.

So rather than figure out Twitter, I just don’t post anything on my social media. I am social media crickets right now, and I have a book out I need to be promoting and I have things I need to be saying for people who need to hear from me.

In the middle of last week, all these tennis shoulds bouncing around in my brain dryer, a post came across my Facebook feed that said:

That thing you’ve been indecisive about? The one (or 20!) things lingering in the back of your mind, taking up mental space, keeping you unconsciously stressed – what if you just decided NOW?

What if you decided and then implemented that decision? Right now. Today.

I was 100% called out by my friend Melanie, who is a professional coach. She’s amazing, and we met through some beautiful serendipity in 2015. She and I have worked together on and off through her various courses and opportunities to chat one on one about something I was working on.

I commented on the post:  I want to start a Patreon but I am not sure what levels and what rewards. I took tomorrow off as a mental health day. Perhaps I can launch a Patreon.

I’d had Patreon on my to-do list since at least 2017, so I’d been sitting on it for two years and never took action. I was paralyzed by the questions that prevented perfection: What do I have to offer that people would pay for? What if nobody signed up? What if?

I came back a few hours later with a Patreon link. I just made the damn thing. And I had two supporters within an hour.

I kicked imposter syndrome out of the way for two seconds and got something done.

I set up a Patreon page. 

And then I did something batshit amazing.

Today, I opened one of Melanie’s emails and saw a link to get on her calendar for a free one hour “clarity call” that promised to help me make a plan to get things moving. I just needed some guidance on what step to take next.

I scrolled through the week looking for a convenient time, and then realized I was putting it off for no reason. I booked a call tonight at 6:45pm. We talked until a little past 8:00 and I made the decision to book her for professional coaching for six months.

I am extremely privileged to be able to adjust my budget for professional coaching.

I completely acknowledge that not everyone can just rearrange their finances to prioritize paying a pro coach for a few months. It’s a huge deal, even to me. But the one simple action I took was setting up that Patreon page.

As soon as it was published, I felt great. Relieved. I can always tweak it later, it does not need to be absolutely 100% perfect at the time of launch. In fact, it never will be.

That feeling of elation carried over into the next day. I wrote some content for my Patreon page to give a preview of the patron exclusive content. I had a great weekend. I took a self care day Sunday and wrote all day. And that brings us to Monday, the day I signed up for a free call and decided to take the next right step — for me.

I took the next right step for me.

Me. This is what I need to hold myself accountable and advance my goals to their next level.

Because I know I will fall right back into the habit of being paralyzed by too many great ideas. And I also know that this notebook I used tonight to take notes during my call with Melanie is full of OLD notes that say “Get Melanie an outline by the end of the week” which I probably never did, since I never finished that project.

I had to take it to the next level.

What can you take to the next level?

Whether it’s your self care game, picking up one more client for your business, paying a bill you’ve been forgetting about, or asking for a raise at work, I want you to get out of your own way and just do ONE THING that’s been in the back of your mind bothering you for ages.

Tell me what it is in the comments. You can get it done!


Read more from me

If you dig my brand of encouragement, you might like my Patreon page, where supporters receive a weekly pep talk post! You can sign up at varying levels for different content access, starting at just $1 per month.

You can also support my work by purchasing my book, The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation. I’d love for you to let me know what you think of the book, so please give it a read and leave a five star review on Amazon. If you’re morally opposed to Amazon, I have some other links here.

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5 Tiny challenges for a better life

Tiny actions add up over time to make big changes in your life, either positive or negative.

Consider the small action to decide, “I don’t want to have a vegetable with dinner tonight.” That decision is okay. It’s okay to not eat a vegetable with dinner. Last night, I didn’t eat a vegetable with dinner. But if you continue to make that decision every day, in 3 months you will be feeling sort of blah and lacking the nutrients that you receive from eating vegetables.

On the other hand, if you decide “I will have a small side of vegetables with dinner, even though I don’t really feel like veggies tonight,” then you have made a small action that didn’t really impact your day at all, besides prepping some veggies to eat. That’s a good decision for today. It’s okay to eat a small bit of something even if you don’t feel like it, if that thing is something you are eating for your good health. If you continue to make that decision every day, in 3 months you will have been eating a lot of veggies that you might not have otherwise eaten.

This applies to all aspects in your life. Tiny actions have a snowball effect that add up over time to make a big change.

Think about the following 5 tiny actions that wouldn’t make a significant impact on your daily routine, and consider how they could change your life if you did them every day (or even 3-4 times per week) for a month. These actions take one minute out of your day. Just one minute!

  1. Unsubscribe from one email newsletter you don’t read, or unlike a page on Facebook you don’t care about.
  2. Text one friend or family member a nice message.
  3. Drink a glass of water when you wake up.
  4. Add a vegetable to one meal.
  5. Focus on giving your spouse, partner, or kids a hug and kiss when you get home from work.

If you just do one of these things, you have given only 30 minutes of your life to a small action over the course of a month, but each action has the potential to shape your life into something completely different.

If you unsubscribe from one email newsletter per day, your daily inbox review will go smoothly and you can focus on emails that are actually important to you. I am guilty of signing up for newsletters to enter into a giveaway. I also have a lot of “Liked” pages on Facebook that aren’t actually important to me. By reducing this background noise of media, you can really begin to focus on updates from people and causes that are truly important in your life.

If you text one friend or family member per day – a casual “Hello, I was thinking about you and just wanted to tell you that you mean a lot to me,” that will make THEIR day better and will also get you into the small habit of sending love out to people around you daily. It takes ten seconds to type out a message. If they write back to you, engage in conversation for a few minutes but don’t let it take over your whole day. Just let them know that you were taking a break from your busy day to send them some of your love. They will appreciate it and you will feel better.

Drinking a glass of water when you wake up can change your whole day! Water helps to refresh and wake you up, and many people are not drinking enough. That first cup in the morning can trigger your body to remind you to drink up during the day.

Adding a veggie serving to one meal of your day is a small action that will only add a minute or two to your meal prep time. This morning, I threw a handful of spinach into my shake. Easy. You could make up a small salad, sautee some onions and mushrooms to go with your chicken or steak, or toss some carrots into the oven to roast while you cook the rest of dinner on the stove.

A targeted sixty second greeting to the person or people important to you when you greet them at the close of your work day can make a huge difference. Too often, we are rushed and saying a quick hello or goodbye as we shuffle out the door in the morning, or out to do errands, or doing one of the million things that takes up our day. When my partner takes just a few moments to embrace me in a full-on hug, and then gives me a kiss, either in the morning before I leave or when I come home from work – my day changes COMPLETELY and I feel so at peace and so relaxed and so loved. It takes just a few seconds of making that person the center of your attention to set you both up for a better day.

I challenge you to pick one of these five tiny actions, just one, and do it every day for a week. Report back and let me know how things went! If you accept my challenge, please post your action in the comments section. You can add your own as well! Pick one that will only add a minute or two to your daily routine.