I Just Shh-ed a Big One – Why You Shouldn’t Keep Quite

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You ever had someone complement you and it made you feel sick.  Not sick like “you might throw up on them at any moment” sick but like hit you in the gut with a twelve pound bowling ball sick?  If your answer was yes then you will understand my day.

Let me set the stage for you.  I was a a bi-weekly meeting for a group that I am a part of.  A group that on quite a few occasions happens to call me on my BS without even knowing it and this time was no exception except for how hard it hit.  So one of the ladies was talking about procrastinating a lot and how time management is a challenge for her.  That was when my mouth opened and without thinking or the other peoples knowledge my foot hopped right into it.

See it’s not that I was giving bad advice or talking out the side of my neck as a friend used to say (in other words talking crazy) and it’s not like I haven’t studied time management or use to work for a major planner and time management company.  I have done these things and I knew that I was giving great advice and tools that could really help her.  No, the Miley Cyrus wrecking ball moment came after when another member complimented me by telling how good I was at goal planning.  Again while this is true, did I not just open up about my planner woes?  She could have run me a salt bath and thrown me in and it wouldn’t have stung as much.

Talk about being called out.  I should have stood up right then and said, “my name is Tiffany and I too am a procrastinator”.  I should have acknowledged my own struggles and why I have pushed to understand time management so hard but no I sat there feeling like I had just swam through a mud wrestlers practice ring and couldn’t find a shower.  It plagued me for the rest of the day.  Sure I tried putting it out of my head and going on with my day.  I tried to be productive.  However, I found myself later that night on a Netflix binge and telling myself I could finish my work tomorrow.  I fell back into my own personal ring of fire.

Why do we do that?  Why do we let one comment take us down?  Why don’t we speak up and share our own struggles?  I know personally that whenever I have shared from the heart or the crazy parts of my life I have gotten more praise and connectivity then when I have tried to act like everything is alright.  I always speak about how as a society the only thing we love more than watching a public figure fall is watching them get back up.  The Phoenix rising from the ashes syndrome I like to call it.  It tells us that if they can change and come back so can we.

Not to mention, that I know for myself I learn more about myself when I struggle than when everything is going great.  Usually when things are going great I tend to coast and punish aside some of the lessons I learned before when they weren’t so good.  That is why we share the good and the bad.  It doesn’t help anyone to always act like you have everything together.  Who wants advice from someone that has never had a bad day their entire life.  We need real people to say “look it’s hard but I did it and you can too”.  Chances are that in that moment I could have helped more by admitting that I still struggle with procrastination and that lately I have been cracking open a pint of Ben and Jerry’s when I look at my goals that I set at the beginning of the year because I feel so far behind.  Yet I keep pushing and when I have a day where my butt glues itself to the couch I just work harder the next.  Those are the real moments that help.  That is the advice that needs to be told and the lessons that should be shared.

So next time you or I find ourselves in a moment where we have a choice of sharing what sounds good and what really speaks to the heart of a person I hope we both speak from the heart.  That we share our triumphs but more importantly our struggles.  Let us all rise from the ashes together.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar position?  Which route did you take?  Let’s keep the conversation going below by leaving a comment.

Letting Go: My Beginning Journey to A New Level of Planner Peace

I personally happen to LOVE, LOVE, L-O-V-E, the Olympics.  I go a little crazy and practically chain myself to my television every two years just to see each and every event.  I print out schedules so I don’t miss anything and set my DVR as soon as I can just in case.  This last Olympics in Rio I thought seeing everything was going to be a cake walk because I had my planner and my Olympic stickers I had created and I was ready to go.  olympic-info-boxes-2016_72Yet this Olympics has a side effect I didn’t foresee.  I was so caught up in watching the Olympics I stopped planning and when they ended I was like “now what do I do?”.

It was like I had forgotten how to plan or something.  I couldn’t get back into the swing of things.  I had lost my planning mojo.  I couldn’t create, I couldn’t think, I just couldn’t do anything with my planner.  It sat empty and desolate for weeks without not even a drop of ink between it’s wonderful pages.  I looked at it almost daily and with a heavy sigh each and everyday I closed it and when about my work.

I tried watching planner videos but they weren’t holding my interest and I tried searching Etsy but just nothing was doing it for me.  When I finally hit a week where I knew I was going to be crazy busy I gave up on making my planner pretty and just dived into making it functional with more of a bullet style and that was when a light bulb went off.

Before I tell you my aha moment, I want to clarify in advance.  I have nothing against decorative planning.  I actually really love it, but in that moment I realized that I had become so caught up in the way that my planner looked and not how it was helping me organize my life that I could plan without the pretty.  In those weeks where my planner was put to the side it wasn’t that I didn’t have plans that I needed to write down or events I needed to keep track of.  On the contrary.  Those were weeks were I desperately needed to plan but I simply couldn’t without the perfect spread or the absolute right stickers.  I had become attached to the look more than the reason.

I know we all get started using paper planners for different reasons but for me it was so that nothing feel through the cracks of my life.  I wanted so see what was going on, what I wanted to accomplish, and what needed to be done to get where I wanted to go.  Yet in the mist of planner kits, washi tape, and sticker overload I lost my personal reason for planning.

With this in mind, my goal now is to find a way to combine the functional with the pretty.  I thought I had before but it was more of taking a few stickers away then really trying to combine them.  I know I will still have washi and stickers and other fun things in my planner but when I look back through my planner I want to see where my goals started and how they were accomplished more than which lovely paper I used during which week.  I want to know that I used my planner for it’s intended purpose and I want to see that I succeeded.

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How are you using your planner?  Do you have any tips for me as I change my planning style?  Let’s keep the conversation going below?  Leave a comment and let me know what your personal planner style happens to be?

Hello June…Monthly Goal Setting

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It is hard to believe that almost half the year is gone.  I bet you can still remember breaking into your 2016 planner and thinking of all that you planned to get accomplished before the next new year.  I personally set quite a few lofty goals for this year and I am sad to say that I haven’t done so well, but I plan to more than make up for it in the next six months.  That is why for June I have decided to take a refreshing look at my 2016 goals and I am taking you along for the ride.

Recently I was talking with an acquaintance and we were going over business planning.  She had just read something about planning in ninety day increments that was inspiring her to look differently at how she worked her business.  Now one of my first jobs we did something similar that we called “quarterly strategy” but it had the same bases, and while I still implement this in my business for the most part I have never thought about it in my personal life.  However, when she was talking all I could think about was how well this could work for all aspects of my life.

For example, one of my goals was to post one picture a day that I took and didn’t edit.  See in addition to my love of planning I am also a photographer and I have found recently that I have stopped taking pictures for me.  Part of me feels like I am losing my creative edge and to take a photograph that you love and feel no need to adjust takes some creativity behind the lens. 

I was good for like the first week or two of the year and then got caught up in the day to day of life and lost focus.  Now if I had been reviewing my goals every quarter then I might have stopped and asked myself why I let this go earlier and not feel the need to play catch up half way through the year.  That is why I want to start taking a quick look at my goals per month and a longer look per quarter to make sure that I am on track.

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I have even designed new inserts that I can use to write out my goals and the action steps that I can take to keep on track.  I am also using the month at a glance and my monthly target list to keep me working toward what I want to accomplish.

So this month we are going to be taking a look at goal planning and keeping on track so we can go into the second half of this year more productive than ever.  Let’s get started.

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What goals are you working toward?  What systems have you put in place to make sure that you reach then?  Share below and together we can keep each other motivated.