Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blog neglect.

I admit it, I've neglected this blog.  It's not because I'm lazy or uninterested.  I just got caught up in other projects. But I need to take care of this blog. Because I'm in the process of  co-authoring a book with Hobby Parent I need to pull from my posts.  Because in them are the seeds, fruits and flowers of my ideas.   

Hobby and I have been working on ideas for our business for a while now.  Our vision has gone through lots of changes, twists and turns.  We wanted to live more creative lives ourselves and share our knowledge and expertise with others.  We want to teach people to be happier, healthier and wealthier by tapping into their creative souls.  We want to spread the word and start a “creativity movement.”  That’s when DARE TO CREATE A BETTER LIFE began.

About this time last year Hobby and I decided to write a book as a big business card for our website and workshop business. We toyed with a number of ideas and have written pages of content. Our focus kept shifting, even through our goal was constant. In the midst of our fogginess we realized we needed help. So we hired a book writing coach Donna Kozik.  Her no nonsense approach helped us consolidate our ideas and blogs into a real book!

This past weekend Hobby and I attended an online book writing workshop led by Donna Kozik.  It was 2 days of intense work where we continued to chip away at the chapters.  When Hobby ran into technical problems we shifted her focus to work on the illustrations.  When I got stuck Hobby would talk me through my confusion and lead me to the next big idea.  On Sunday night Donna gave us all an assignment:  Figure out the next 3 things you need to do to complete your book and do them!

Yesterday I got an amazing gift in the form of time.  Houston's not known for days off from school unless there's a hurricane brewing.  But a cold front moved through with freezing rain and ice.  So I sat myself in front of my computer with a hot cup of coffee and wrote my fingers to the bone.  It was another intense day of work, yet it invigorated me!  And I knocked out all three things on my list.

Our book is almost ready to be born - we still have editing and illustrations to finish.  But I think we're in our "3rd trimester" and considering the title:

Creativity Sparks
30 Ways to Ignite Imagination for a Happier Life

I'll begin to post excerpts and progress reports.  Which is why my blog is still important to me. Along with Hobby and Donna this blog will hold me accountable to get this book done!

Now I need to create my new list of the Next Most Important Things.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Staircase to your goal.

Set a Goal - 30 Days to Change

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”                   Napoleon Hill

My 30 Day Goal
In order to arrive at a destination you need to know where you’re headed.  Setting goals helps you point your compass in the right direction.
  1. Refer to your list of 30 from yesterday's exercise and pick a simple goal. Or break down a bigger goal into a smaller steps.  (i.e. If you want to lose 30 pounds total, plan for 3-5 lbs. for the first 30 day challenge.  Or if you want to save for a trip set a reasonable goal for 30 days like $100)
  2. Make a list of 30 daily actions you can do to get close to  that goal.
  3. Draw a simple staircase with 30 steps.  Write your goal at the top.
  4. Write a daily action on each step starting with this activity as your first step.  Your daily actions can be repetitive. And you can do more than the actions listed on the step if you want.  Just make sure you focus on at least one action a day.
  5. As you complete each daily action highlight that step.

  1. A staircase waiting for goals
    Decluttering goal - 15 minutes a day pick an area, every 5th day repurpose or recycle items, etc.
  2. Get moving goal - Alternate 30 minutes of aerobic activity every other day with strength training, etc.
  3. Finding money - Design a budget, spending journal, look for waste, dollar jar, etc.
  4. Healthy eating - Food journaling, try a new recipe, water drinking, etc.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Planning for the New Year

It's the first week of 2014.  My head is full of all the possibilities the new year holds.

But the holidays have worn me out!  I traveled 2300 miles back and forth from Texas to Virginia.  While I was on my "vacation" I was on a hamster wheel.  Cook, clean, repeat.  Our home was a revolving door as celebrated with family and friends. And while I think I enjoyed every minute of it much of the time was a blur of activities.

So I decided to start this year with a little exercise called a 30 Things Mind Dump.  Here's what how:

1.  Set a timer for 15 minutes
2.  Write a list of 30 things you'd like to have, do or be. Your list should include things that are attainable:
                 - soon (30 days or less)
                 - in the near future (31-365 days)
                 - in the distant future (to infinity and beyond)
3.  After the timer goes off pull out a highlighter and marker 10 items that things that you might have a chance of getting, doing or being in the next 30 days.

Tomorrow - Climbing to your goal.