Monday, April 30, 2018

Overcoming Procrastination

There is one thing that I know for sure and that is I am a very competent procrastinator. I did not just wake up one day to this discovery. It took a while for me to grasp this concept. Once I put a time value on just how much time I really was wasting, it made me realize that I needed to work on being more focused. 

After thinking it over for a while, I came to the conclusion that instant gratification such as chocolate, e-mails, Facebook or other social medias are way too easy to fall into.

Briefly, I read that there were 5 kinds of procrastinators. The bad news for me is that I actually fall into all 5 types. I asked myself if this was possible and the answer, if I am true to myself, is YES!

The best way to get things done is to simply begin.

5 Types of Procrastinators

1.  The Perfectionist  -  I write and then re-read and  edit, delete, add on, etc. Enough already! Nothing is going to ever be perfect. In my head, I know that so I am working on just leaving it there until it is time to go over the rough draft.

2.  The Dreamer  -  If I do not have a product at the end then I fall into this category. It can be more fun than real life. All of my grandiose plans have not become any reality, just dreams. My plans will stay that way if I don't get up and do something about it.

3.  The Avoider  -  When I avoid doing it, I won't fail. Makes perfect sense. Just don't do it. The bad thing about this type is that when I do nothing then nothing happens - good or bad!

4.  The Crisis-maker  -  Making other things more important because in my mind, I work better under pressure and closer to the deadline. Sometimes this works but most of the time it adds way too much stress in my life.

5.  The Busy Procrastinator  -  This is when I pretend to be busy. I truly am busy, just not focused on my main objective. 

What I did next was to figure out which one that described me the most and get busy on that one first. Reflecting on the above, I feel as if I fall in to The Perfectionist. I have taken some steps to help keep me out of that group. Sticking to a storyboard when writing my novel was one way of helping me. That at least, kept me from going back, over and over changing the story line or editing.

Easily, I have a touch of the other four traits and again, it is for me, a matter of reflecting on what is the best way for me to work on it and stick with it. Being a former educator, I could not believe that I overlooked the obvious. Break down the big task into smaller ones. That is how we help our children. 

Keeping the big picture in mind, yet focusing on the little steps. It makes the smaller tasks less of a strain. It changed my mindset.                                                                 
I believe that I fall somewhere in the middle of these two great quotes:

As Pablo Picasso once said, " Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."


“Procrastinate now, don't put it off.”
_ Ellen DeGeneres


Monday, April 23, 2018

Wisdom Comes With Age?

The saying that wisdom comes with age is simply not true. Age may give one experiences that those younger may not have the opportunity to be a part of yet, however, it is a matter of what you take away from that experience that will tell whether or not anything was learned. Tom Wilson, the author of Ziggy and many other books, states that sometimes age just shows up all by itself. I believe this to be true in many cases. All it takes is to look around you. Sad, but true. Now, I am not saying I am full of wisdom that came with my age. I am saying that I feel that I am not locked up in a cage and am ready for whatever may come my way to help me in my life journey.

For me, I just do not want that to ever be that sort of description given to me by others. I want to get out and enjoy being a life-long learner. One must be ready to seize every opportunity placed before us and grow with it. First of all, I must know what it is that I really want and take advantage of each step that can help to get me to my goal. It is a matter of prioritizing. Breaking through to know what your goal(s) are is the first step. It is most definitely a constant journey, not just one road trip.

It does mean getting away from your comfort zone. Thinking outside the box or better yet, not even having a box works best for me. This helps me to see what is out there. That is where the wisdom comes in with age. If you have the imagination and creativity to consider your goal, no matter how lofty, as a possibility instead of a limitation than you are halfway there. This is what it took for me to start writing. Reading and researching helped. Talking to others was encouraging. Most of all getting my feet wet and doing it my way is what churned me forward into working on my goal. This is what keeps me yearning for more. 

It not a one shot will do it. Many actions and thought processes must occur. Breaking it down to what fits your lifestyle and also what will guarantee many pushes forward. At one stage, I found myself in a rut. Using positive mantras and working on my mindset helped spur me forward. This may sound simple. It is far from simple if you do not have the right mindset.

First of all, I had to stop overthinking my choices and trust my instincts. All writers do it their own special way. Getting words from your head to the paper comes in many forms. Some write by hand, some use typewriters, while most use a computer in 2018. Then there are writers who use outlines, storyboards, and some that just go with the flow. Do it your way and the way that works for you will be the right way.

Some writers have a special study set up in their home while others work at Starbucks. My ideal was to be on our patio overlooking the beach, listening to the waves, as I was creating the newest best seller of all time. Hmmpph! Now wouldn't that be peachy keen? Just so you know, I work in a study in our home that with the help of my husband has turned in to a wonderfully creative work environment. 

Truly, I have not let go of that beach ideal, however, it will happen after I have many best sellers. That lifestyle is for the rich and famous, of which I am neither. What I do have is my vision to see in the future. Throwing that thought in the pile of 'never gonna happen' is putting a hold on my happiness. It may happen and is most definitely something that I can work on to get me there if I take the right actions and not just use words and daydream about it. 

Having such a wonderful support system of family and friends helps to keep me on the track toward my goals. Hitting all of the smaller goals is the action that will take me there and that happens by knowing my strengths. The most important thing that I have learned is to focus on the journey as I move toward the results. The most important lesson for me is knowing:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

My Decision!

One of my very strong beliefs is that some of the best ways for me to become inspired is through quotes. The power of words can be incredible. I have learned, though, that many times the best way to help my inspirational cause is to just keep my mouth shut and my ears and eyes open. 

First of all, let me say this goes for most all subject matter, however, I am talking politics right now. There are two sides of the fence. Those that believe they should state their beliefs in personal conversations, as well as on social medias and try to talk every other Tom, Dick and Harriet into their own belief system. It is very clear that the end will be their way or the highway. 

People such as this (I have experienced) have no need to get into a discussion with others because they are not capable of any beliefs that do not match their own. The old saying of let's just agree to disagree is not a part of their thinking. They are losing out on shaping or influencing their own mindsets.

In today's always connected world, people let others set their mindsets for them. They believe what they "want" to hear.

I imagine this is how I might appear to others. I am sure that they think I need to take a stand and get involved by arguing "so called facts" with them. My question is which one of us have the real facts that can it be proven? 

My other thought is that most mindsets are so solidly stuck, that there is no way someone else could show up and change a point of view or perspective.


The most effective way to create inspirational thinking is to use the mouth and the ears in direct proportion. As Henry Ford said, "Listen less to what people say and watch more what they do."

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Grab Some Motivation When You Hear the Words - Give Up!

Sometimes when my self-confidence and lack of believing in myself hit an all time low, I actually feel like perhaps I should give this dream of mine up and move on to something else. This is when I am having trouble finding the motivation I need to go forward in writing and editing.

This is the moment to review my reasons of why I had this dream of being a published author in the first place. I do know that I can't be alone in these feelings. Your dream may not be to write a book and to become published. It could be 180 degrees in another direction. It is still your dream. 

This would be a great opportunity to have the heart to heart talk with yourself on whether or not you really want to quit it all now.
It is true that I know that I will soon be ready to get over this roadblock (which is never just one) that is making me stumble and have these feelings. I know that in my heart, if I am true to myself and my beliefs that I need to get a good hold of my self-discipline and realize that failure is only in my mind. 

There is a time to open up to a different perspective and to stop being so hard on myself. If I give up now, I tell myself then I will never know if I could have achieved my dream. I always need to tell myself to be patient with me. I advise others to do this so why not turn this good advice (in my opinion) on myself.

Good things can happen when one carries on with good intentions. This may not happen overnight and it will take time. Remembering that I am not the first person who ever felt this way and that we all have the ability to grow stronger if we can muster up enough motivation to move on. Finding the choices that will help us to get to our end goal is the key.

My positive mantra is, "I have the power to believe that I can, therefore I am halfway there." 


Motivation comes from within, inspiration can come from anywhere! 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Running Like a Fine Tuned Engine!

Are you a person like me that normally enjoys having my days organized? I deeply believe that I function better when I have a pre-conceived plan of what the day will look like (and to be honest, some flexibility had better be built in, also)! And hey, remember the days of skipping a day of school? It made it so sweet to know that I could and would do this ever so often so that it lessened the chance of getting caught.

The art of having my days running smoothly work with a few guidelines in place. I used these when I had a a husband, and then one child and finally, two children, then back to just me and now a husband, too. It works no matter who is in the equation. 

  • don't get upset about spills or glass breaking - normally, what we would call an accident and accidents do happen 
  • with a significant other the rule was that we only talked a predetermined amount of time about our work - then we let it go
  • when children are old enough to know that at the end of the day, each person needs a quiet, come down kind of time (perhaps me more than them) SILENCE! Which sometimes meant getting in the shower...I know that I was a better person for this.
  • for children (and sometimes me) when something new is on your plate to eat, you must try a "No thank you, bite."
  • always knock when a door in the house is closed - it is called being polite
  • be the first to say thank you and sorry (even if you aren't that sorry)
  • decide if I want to be the problem maker and a member of the BMW club (bitch, moan and whine) or the problem solver - it makes life much more positive
  • have a control center - ONE place where all dates, appointments, grocery lists, messages, phone calls, schedules, emergency numbers, etc. are located (school permission slips and papers to be signed can go here also, if children are involved)
  • weekly household chores list to check off
  • brainstorm possible catastrophes and possible solutions
The main thing to do is to remain consistent. Whether it is you alone or with another person or with an entire family;
Be consistent, have consequences and rewards. A consequence can actually be no reward that week or day. In other words, no favorite TV show that night because I did not take care of what needed to be done. Just remember, it is not always black and white; there are some gray areas thrown in, so be fair.