Here’s to an awesome 2013!

create a lifeHappy 2013, WAF!

I didn’t make any resolutions this year. In fact, I didn’t even make any plans really. I’m working on several “projects” (business, health, spiritual, relationships) and I intend to keep working on them and toward them in some way. Every day. That’s as close to making plans as I’m willing to get this year.

One of these projects involves sharing with the WAF community more frequently, even if it’s just a daily nugget of truth.  So…

Today’s Truth…

So many New Year’s resolutions focus on the physical – which is fine – good in fact, but let’s never lose sight of the fact that looking good, feeling good, living good begins on the inside. A house that boasts awesome curb appeal but has shaky foundations and bad plumbing is technically still a house, but no place to live. And, it certainly isn’t someplace you’d want to call home.

So here’s to repairing foundations, fixing leaky plumbing and spending as much time on what and how we feel as we do on how we look.

Less Intention – More Direction, or How to Throw Your Big Plans Out the Window

If, like me, you’ve been a life-long planner only to realize that at least half of what you plan never turns out the way you planned it, then you’re probably looking for a new approach. I wrote, at the close of 2011, about how I was trying to approach 2012 differently. No big plans or goals and few definite timetables – less intention and more direction.

It’s a good thing too, because in the first month of the new year, my workload has unexpectedly increased, a couple of unanticipated projects have come my way and…my laptop crashed. Died. Destroyed. Failed. So there go my big plans for January, 2012 …except I hadn’t really made any. For once.

Instead, I’d been making small changes to get rid of bad habits and replace them with good ones. Every single day – not declaring intention, but instead heading in the direction of the place I want to be.  And no, (ok, very few) goals. In his guest post on Zen Habits, Jeff Goins wrote about what to do instead of setting goals…

There is an alternative to setting goals that will bring you closer to the life you want. Focus on a few practices you can enjoy doing on a regular basis. The trick here is consistency. These four helped me:

  • Get up early. When the world wakes up, distractions abound. If you are going to focus on creating a new life for yourself, you’ll need to find the time. The best way to do this is to work while others are sleeping. At first, I didn’t like waking up before the sun, but eventually my body adjusted and I began looking forward to the solitude.
  • Over-commit. The adage “under-promise and over-deliver” is a farce. It only propagates the status quo. Real difference-makers push boundaries. They test, prod, and poke until something gives. You can do this, too, by saying “yes” to more things than you’re comfortable with. Learn to stretch yourself. You might be surprised by what you’re actually capable of. Your confidence will grow, too.
  • Talk to strangers. Relationships are what make the world go round. This is true for your career, personal well-being, and inner life. When you meet new people, you make connections that can lead to all kinds of future breakthroughs. Even when it’s uncomfortable, reach out and introduce yourself to new people. The worst they can say is “no.” Fortunately, many won’t.
  • Practice generosity. Give away your time, money, services, and ideas. When you do this, you will get a lot more than you give. People will learn to trust you, and if you really help them, they will tell others about you. This will build your reputation, and you will have more friends than you know what to do with. And as the saying goes, what goes around really does come around.

You can read Jeff Goins’ entire post here. How much closer are you to giving up the life you’ve planned for the life that’s waiting for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on our Facebook page.

 

The Best of 2011: A funny thing happened on the way through 40

The life we planEditor’s Note: I wrote this early in 2011, a little past the halfway mark of my 40th year. It’s about how differently the 40 I’d planned was turning out to be. I’m 41 now, and a lot of this is still true. Maybe it will serve as a reminder that life isn’t in the planning, it’s in the living.

A funny thing happened on the way through 40 – nothing went the way I planned. Well almost nothing. But considering the previous 20 years, it really shouldn’t have come as a big surprise. One of my favorite quotes is by Joseph Campbell and it’s “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” So you’d think that by now I’d get it, yet I keep designing these elaborate plans only to have them morph into something they were probably supposed to be anyway.

Let’s see, my plan to grow the biggest-bad-ass-est blog to ever hit the blogosphere (and retire at the age of 40.5 from the tremendous rush of advertisers and sponsorships,) morphed into a nice, quiet little blog which gets pretty good notice, decent traffic and most importantly has a following of phenomenal woman (and men) of all ages, from all over the world.

My plan to be fit at 40 was sidelined by a ridiculously unbelievable but very real knee injury, and it’s taken longer to get back to the place I was before I tripped on the way to my printer (it’s funny now, but not so much when I heard my knee pop.)

Let’s see, there was also the plan NOT to go back to work but to make WAF my employer – the WAF being my employer thing worked out exactly as planned, the part about it paying me…not so much. Not yet anyway. But the ideas are still coming, the desire to hear and share stories remains, and hundreds of thousands of women turn 40 everyday – my audience, thankfully, isn’t going anywhere.

I also planned to return to Italy sometime during my 40th year, and while the year’s not over, as of today, the chances of that happening are slim to none. But like women turning 40, Italy isn’t going anywhere, and God willing I’ll get there one day soon.

So the funny thing that happened on my way through 40 is that I realized that sometimes the things we plan evolve while we’re in the middle of them, and we can go with the flow and evolve with them, or we can moan about the things that didn’t happen. I choose to appreciate the 600 plus Facebook followers the site now has and the truly awesome women I’ve met along the way. I‘ve chosen to use the knee injury as an opportunity to focus even more on a healthier lifestyle, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well…and to be more careful when retrieving items from my printer. As for the job, I’m writing and editing and doing things I enjoy doing every day, for a company that’s making a real difference.  I’m slowly learning to move the life I’ve planned over to the side to make room for the life that’s waiting for me.

Update: That Italy trip, it’s happening in 2012 – God willing and the creek don’t rise 🙂

If only things were…

Thinking woman 3 Editor’s Note: I’m usually the “everything that’s supposed to happen does” person but lately I’ve been dealing with a little of the “if onlys” – If only I had more money, if only things had gone this way instead of that, if only I’d have had this or done that by the time I turned 40. If only things were different. Apparently I’m not the only one who finds herself in the occasional “if only” rut. In today’s post Esther Kane shares her thoughts on a different concept of happiness and being content with who and where you are in life.

Wherever I go, There I am

Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of stories from clients about how unhappy they are in their present circumstances, and if only they could have more money, land a better job, move somewhere more exciting, find the right partner,__________(fill in the blank), life would be oh-so-much-better. I am really good at this form of wishful thinking myself. Anytime I find myself bored, lacking enthusiasm, or lonely, I come up with some exciting life-makeover plan that will surely cure all of my ills (or so I’m convinced). (Photo: Flickr:Shayan)

Continue reading If only things were…

Making time for everyone’s life but her own…

tanya f Alzheimer’s or CRS (Can’t Remember Sh*t)I don’t remember which one I suffer from???? That was the question Tanya asked herself after repeatedly forgetting appointments and double booking events. In the end she discovered it was CRS brought on by a life and day planner filled to overflowing with appointments and schedules for everyone but herself. She’d scheduled herself out of her own life. Today, Tanya talks about how she cured her CRS over a latte and a slice of cake…

I came to the conclusion several years ago that I would end up in a nursing home, babbling about the good old days.  I made my husband promise to wipe the drool from the corners of my mouth and make sure I didn’t look crazy.  I believed I was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s because I was gradually losing my memory.  At first I blamed it on my pregnancy of my youngest daughter but that was 6 3/4 years ago and its gotten progressively worse.  I would forget my hair & nail appointments, forget to pickup dry cleaning, forget to make doctor’s appointments and call people.  Now, I know what you are thinking – WRITE IT DOWN, MAKE A LIST!  That’s the main problem –  I have always written everything down and plan my life with the Franklin Covey planning system that I have been using  since 1994.  I was only using it for work but about 4 years ago started using it for my personal affairs because  I had pissed many people off because of my forgetful ways.

In the last year it’s gotten so bad that I set reminders in my phone to alarm me every time I need to do something on my To Do list.  I said to myself “Self…you turned forty this year and you are falling apart.  You can’t remember sh*t (CRS).  Go get a CAT scan and see if you have early onset Alzheimer’s.  DONT FORGET!”  I went in for my annual checkup in April (which I almost forgot about but thank God they called me to confirm the day before) and explained my concerns to the doctor.  He asked my family history and ruled out Alzheimer’s.  He started asking me all sorts of silly questions and implied that I “needed to talk to someone.”  We all know what that means – it’s code for Rubber Room, Couch Time, Straight Jacket – the “other” doctor.  I guess I wasn’t getting the CAT scan.  He gave me the number to call and made me promise that I would (I did, but my fingers were crossed behind my back so it doesn’t count). Continue reading Making time for everyone’s life but her own…