Gooooooood Morning!

Let’s just be real: getting out of bed in the morning SUCKS sometimes.

The warm covers seem to hold you captive.

You know that once you get up, the real work begins.

I’m going to share something with you that has made my mornings, and my entire days, go a lot smoother.

It’s a very simple thing that I never really added to my daily routine because I didn’t understand the benefits of it, but now that I do, I literally don’t go a day without it.

So what is it?

Stretching!

What…..really?

Yes! It’s fantastic.

Since I added Pilates to my routine, I feel so much better and stretching is a huge part of it. I don’t work out every day, but on days that I don’t, I still stretch.

This stretching routine is the one that I have been doing, but I’m sure there are TONS of them out there.

In fact, I found a yoga stretching routine the other day that I have yet to try.

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This is called the Sun Salutation. It supposedly stretches every muscle in your body, opens up your body systems, and helps you start off your day all nice and relaxed.

Is there anyone who would be interested in implementing this particular stretching routine into their day with me? I’m going to do it every morning for a week and see if I like it enough to continue doing it, and I just thought it would be fun to have someone do it with me and see if they liked it too 🙂

Regardless of what stretching you do, I would recommend at least trying some sort of stretching routine when you wake up for at least a week. Your body will begin to feel better, plus it’s a great way to wake up.

For extra bonus points, have a cup of tea with some coconut oil in it as well 😀

It’s not so hard to wake up and get to work when you start the day off right 🙂

Busy as a Bee

Something interesting happened to me and I wanted to share.

Things have been kind of in a weird, stagnate place for me lately. I have been waiting on a job to start (which it finally has!) and couldn’t really start any new projects or make any decisions until the job went through. This left me with a limited amount of work to do, and I discovered that I HATE not working.

Don’t get me wrong; I was doing some things, but I had too much free time. I have known for a while that I like to be busy, but it was only when I realized that I didn’t have enough to work on that I remembered how much I hate it. To me, life is about pushing yourself to your fullest potential in every way possible.

So let me ask you this: are you pushing yourself or just floating along?

Do you have periods where you look around and realize that you could be doing or learning so much more and you’re just not?

If this is true, let me encourage you to make whatever changes you need to fix that.

Don’t allow yourself to stagnate when you could be flourishing.

The Art of Procrastination

Your deadline is approaching, and you suddenly realize that you don’t have NEAR as much done as you wanted to by this point.

So what do you do? You begin scrambling, kicking it into high gear to get your work together in time, worrying that you won’t quite be able to add in all the details that you had planned.

If this has ever happened to you, then you know what I am talking about, and all the stress that you can cause yourself.

If this happens to you quite often, then you are a master of procrastination.

I happen to be one of those people who have spent a lifetime developing the skill, perfecting it into an art that some might even call astonishing.

There are people who can manage to get by with always doing their work last minute, by why just get by when you could be progressing and becoming more and more productive?

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This is a note that I read at least two times every single day to remind myself to use the time like the precious resource that it is and to not waste it.

Having deadlines can be difficult, but if you have a boss or teacher or coworker to remind you and hold you (or your job) accountable, it makes it just a bit easier to meet those deadlines.

When you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, the only person telling you what to do or keeping you accountable is yourself.

YOU are the only one to blame when you procrastinate too long and miss your chance to get on board with that great team, idea, or project.

Don’t let it happen to you!

You know that you can rise above it.

Imagine all the things that you could get done in 8 hours of working, utilizing every minute of your time to be productive.

Or, you could spend entirely too much time distracting yourself with all of these other things that you KNOW you could do after you get your work done.

When it only takes you two hours to write that article because you utilized those two hours instead of dragging it into four, you could write tomorrow’s article with that extra two hours. Or have time to get that Excel spreadsheet done. Or have time to run those errands you would have otherwise had to put off until tomorrow.

The less you procrastinate, the more you can get done. The more you get done, the more you CAN get done, which leads to a higher level of productivity overall.

If you want to move forward in your company, with your personal goals, with ANYTHING, stop putting it off, and treat the seconds that tick by as a resource and tool, not an endless luxury that you can waste. It is valuable, and you are valuable enough and smart enough to use it to benefit yourself and your goals.

Thank you, wise Post-It, for reminding us of what we already know, but sometimes struggle with. May your wisdom be applied to our lives so that we stop browsing Facebook so much and start pushing our potential as enthusiastic, productive workers and as human beings. Amen!

When Things Change

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I bet that if I asked some of you what scares you the most, you would say change.

Change is something that some people embrace with open arms, and others run and hide from.

Either way, it is something that we all must encounter, and that you can’t really prepare for, but that’s the great thing about it: it gives you new experience that you have never been able to acquire before.

The inevitable change can be a good or bad thing; it all depends on what you make of it.

When you suddenly have to move cities for your job, this could change the dynamics of your relationship. Perhaps your rent will be more expensive, or you will have to leave your pet behind.

You can allow this change to be a negative thing that holds you back by putting a strain on your relationship, wallet, and comfort of living, or you could use it as a way to better your life with the benefits of your new house being right by the gym or having a great view.

When things are changing, you must be adaptive.

We live in a world where scenes change as fast as every 3 seconds on television.

Technology is growing exponentially, leaving us with something newer, faster, smaller, better, every year.

School text books are revised every year as new information is uncovered and old information is done away with.

We must constantly learn, unlearn, and relearn things, as well as being able to apply them to our lives.

It’s the only way we will be able to keep up.

Here are four things that I have come up with based on my own experience as to how you can handle change and allow it to benefit you and your endeavors.

1. Don’t fight it.

If this change is something that you can’t stop, just roll with it! Accept it. It’s something that’s going to happen anyways, and fighting it will only cause you to spend unnecessary time, energy, thought, and emotion on things that are soon to be the past, which brings me to…

2. Let go of the pre-change plans.

In order to take on these new changes in your life, you must let your old plans go. Don’t try to hold on to them or mourn over them. Just move one and…

3. Meet the changes head-on.

Gather your forces, skills, and tools as best as you can, then tackle the change from a place of power. Be ready for it and you will come out on top instead of being dragged to the ground.

4. Accept the good and the bad.

When things change, it is inevitable that even when they are good changes, they will bring some side-effects of negativity along with them.There are people and things who will make this change more difficult for you and seem to want you to fight the inevitable.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts.

How My “Brilliant” Plan Failed

 

In case you haven’t read my other blogs, I am currently explaining how I got from quitting college to where I am right now, which I will eventually tell  you about 🙂

As I previously mentioned, I was going to need flyers, pamphlets, and a presentation of some sort before I was going to start advertising with my small business that I was going to create named “Unmasked Promotion.” (My best friend helped me come up with that.) I can design basic publications like those with Microsoft Publisher, but I wanted them to be very well done. I would also need a logo, which I could not hope to design. This process proved to be difficult. I ordered three different logos and didn’t like any of them. Since I was ordering off of Fiverr it was a bit difficult to have designers keep redesigning the logo that I apparently just couldn’t explain correctly. I ended up waiting longer than I wanted to, about 3 weeks.

In that time, I was really anxious to start driving to different businesses and explaining my idea to them. My idea was to ask for the owner or manager and talk to them for just a minute or two, then leave a card and pamphlet with them. I would then call them in a week to see if they were interested in a week’s worth of social media advertising and promotion for $20. If they said they were, I was going to arrange a small meeting, maybe 15 minutes, to present my research on how my service was going to be worth it to them, and then discuss starting the job.

If only I had those publications! I never did get them though. Instead of waiting longer to advertise to businesses around my area, I started advertising for businesses online. I started off by working on Fiverr, then attempting to initiate outside contact. At my best, I was making $100 a week working online at home, from advertising and just writing. I built up to this point and worked on it from mid-November 2012 to around the start of January. At that point, I was getting tired of the work that I was doing. At my heart, I’m a writer, and it’s the only thing that I have enough motivation to pursue. While I was getting to write some, ads, emails, so on, it wasn’t enough. I was finding jobs easier and getting better praise when I focused on writing. Deciding that I needed to be true to what I want to do and would put more effort into, I quit the advertising that I was doing and converted to just writing.

I had to slowly find a good spot to stop working for the people that I was advertising and promoting for. I still work for one woman who I enjoy working with very much, but other than that, my whole brilliant plan, the whole reason I quit college, failed completely. Poof. Idea not in the workings any more.

However, I will tell you how that experience led me to where I am now, which is in a great place, in my humble opinion. Next time 🙂

How It Began

Hello! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Monica. I have another blog at www.senseoutofchaos.wordpress.com That’s the one I use for pleasure writing mostly. This blog is going to have an entirely different purpose, which I will explain later. First however, I need to explain the things that happened to lead me to start this blog.

By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I was sick of school. By the time I was a senior, I loathed it but never really thought much of it other than to complain. There were still at least four more years to go in college, so I just figured that I would have to get over it.

As a senior, I had to figure out what college I was going to go to. I knew that I could go to most colleges in my home state of Oklahoma and the price wasn’t really going to be a problem. I graduated salutatorian with a 3.98 GPA and a 30 on my ACT. My senior year alone, I was the class president, student council president, academic team captain, on the newspaper staff, and had received various awards like the ones at curriculum contests and those goofy ones they give out at the end of the year assembly. Colleges like these things, so I pretty much had my pick of any college in Oklahoma for almost free, excluding OU, OSU, private schools, and a few others.

I lived in a college town (well, right down the road) but I wanted to get away. It’s that thing that everyone does whenever they get old enough. I wanted to explore the world and myself and figure things out on my own. I wanted to see if I could make it. So, I chose to go to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. I picked this college for the two reasons I mentioned: price and distance away from home. The honor’s scholarship that I received paid for all but about $500 a semester and it was 3 hours away from home; not too far to drive if I wanted, but far enough.

There were a few things that I really enjoyed about being there. The first and foremost was the people that I met. I made some really good friends that I care a lot about and had some really good times with. The people that I met there will always be in my heart. They’re the people that I will look back upon when I’m old and smile about. Something else that I enjoyed was learning about people. I learned a lot about how people work. I learned for the first time that everyone has a different way of viewing the world and of going about doing things. This diversity excited me when I discovered it, and still does. The last thing that I will mention that I enjoyed about being at college is how much I learned through experience. The main thing I will mention is that college is not like high school. You have to be responsible for yourself, or you will fail. Don’t want to do your homework, show up to class, study for a test, get your business in line? Fine then. Don’t. Nobody cares whether you do or not, so it’s completely on you to get it done and if you don’t, you’re the only one who will suffer. That showed me how to take care of things myself, prioritize, time manage, have self control when it comes to telling people no when I have responsibilities to take care of.

Other than that, I hated college. I hated the summer camp feel of the dorm life and classes. You’re just one of many. It made me feel like a product off of an assembly line. I hated the slow pace of the classes. I hated that I could learn everything they were taking an entire semester to teach me by myself by reading books or researching things on the Internet. I also hated the town, where there was nothing to do. The more thoughts like these that I had, the more dissatisfied I became, and the more I looked for alternative. So, I spent hours upon hours upon HOURS Googling things like “Do you have to have a degree to be successful” and evaluating adults and the jobs that had and whether they had a degree or not and if they actually used it. What I found was this: unless you’re going into a technical field, a strong portfolio is a good as a degree. There are exceptions of course, but most employers want to know that you have a degree simply because they want to know that you’re the type of hardworking, smart person who can obtain one. However, if you can gather a portfolio and show that you run a small business online, are a member of your city council, and other things of this nature, then that can speak of you and your value as a worker just as much as a degree can.

So, after learning this, arguing with myself and trying to find all the holes in my plan and figuring out solutions for them, I threw away a $40,000 honor’s scholarship and withdrew myself before the semester was even over. I finally got to the point where I realized what I wanted to do, and the next day, I just did it. I didn’t talk to anyone about it. Not my boyfriend, parents, best friends. I just did it. As scary as that was, I didn’t feel like it was a mistake, or I wouldn’t have done it, of course.

There are many stories as to what has happened since then, but I’m going to leave this there. That was my thought process and the events that led up to me quitting college and beginning to work out my career in order to achieve what I consider to be success. No, I don’t regret it and I never will, no matter what? Why? Because I don’t consider success to be having the most money or being the most famous or the boss of most people. What I consider success is being excellent at what you do, and always striving to be better. And that’s something that I will always, always do.

We’ll see what happens from here, and who knows: You may learn something from my actions, mistake or good decision, along the way.