Heading Off to Work

So You Want To “Be” a Writer

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Over the last year I have spent the first hour of each day writing…writing this so-called blog, writing in my journal, writing in my Happy Planner, writing in my journaling Bible, or writing on any other paper that might be within hand’s reach first thing in the morning.

Writing has now become such an ingrained habit in my daily routine that if I don’t get this opportunity to write for an hour, my whole day is shot straight to hell…well, not quite that…but does get off to a bad start.

 

But what did it take for this writing habit to become as normal a part of daily existence as closing the refrigerator door after opening it?! What does it take for almost any habit to become so habitual that you rarely have to think about it anymore at all?

 

The first step to adopting a new habit is to recognize the obstacles that are standing in your way and find ways to overcome them.

 

Obstacles are one of those things that you either love or hate…

There are so many different obstacles that each of us must overcome, regardless of who we are, what we do, how we believe, or any other regardless that we could possibly think of.

 

And you either see obstacles as challenges or view them as excuses to give up and quit.

 

 

But your reaction to these obstacles is a choice.

We could all allow our whatever-they-may-be obstacles to hinder us from achieving, or even attempting, our goals…

Or we could allow these obstacles to only slow our progress and make us try harder…still continuing forward, but not giving up.

 

So in this “Now What” series of posts, I am going to talk about how I overcame one of my hardest obstacles—the ability to wake up in the morning…and developed the new habit of writing, especially after starting all of the tools in our previous “Now What” section about ways to get the best sleep ever.

 

 

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Heading Off to Work

Now What?!…Figuring Out What IS Your “Now What?!”

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Life is a journey with both valleys and mountains along the way.

Sometimes the top of the mountain seems so high that you simply want to give up altogether.

Sometimes you slip and fall, and may lose your grips.

Sometimes you may not feel like you have the strength and courage to get back up, dust yourself off, and continue on the journey.

 

But life is a always a journey, and only you can determine which direction and what distance you will travel.

 

Like any other journey, the journey of life begins with a single step…

And the first single step on your personal Pilgrim’s Progress is to establish goals…

After all…Those who fail to plan, plan to fail…and no one wants to fail, right?!

 

 

So why should establishing goals be the very first step along the journey…

  • 1. Goals allow you to see those people with common interests and dreams that are also starting along the same path as you, or are a little bit further ahead. Goals assure that everyone in your caravan is pulling in the same direction.
  • 2. Goals establish identity. Established goals allow you to decide how to distinguish yourself from other wolves in the pack and impact your positionwithin the group..
  • 3. Goals make it easier to plan ahead and start working on tasks that actually support your mission.
  • 4. Goals help you understand whether you aresuccessful or not. Having measurable goals allows you to see how far you have traveled already, how much further you have until you reach your destination, and if you are still on course.
  • 5. Goals improve productivity. Youknow what needs to be accomplished both in the present and in the future to reach these goals. You can now direct your actions and efforts toward goal-related activities…instead of unrelated, unimportant, non-strategic activities.
  • 6. Goals enable you to make smarter decisions. Having well-defined goals allows you confront the decisions you encounter along the way  with greater confidence and a greater chance of success. Goals give you a framework within which to work and eliminate uncertainty and actions that won’t contribute to achieving the goals you’ve set.
  • 7. Goals provide motivation. Looking at your endeavor from a broader perspective gives you greater confidence in what lies ahead. Goals that have already been achieved give you a reason to celebrate along the way.
  • 8.  Goals provide cohesion. Each wolf traveling along the same path towards the same destination understands the meaning behind the group’s activities. Having well-defined goals enables the wolves to be consistent and encourages communication and cooperation.
  • 9.  Goals provide direction and set the course. Carefully established goals help you clearly define and understand where you are and where you want to be…and that each activity or task works toward your established goals.
  • 10.  Goals provide focus. Goals enable you to understand how smaller decisions impact larger goals. Goals focus attention on achieving desirable big-picture outcomes and channel brain power toward finding smarter solutions to the “small fire” issues when they come your way.

 

Setting goals is simply SMART…

Many business schools and professionals use the acronym SMART as a guide to set company goals…

—S…Smart
—M…Measurable
—A…Attainable
—R…Realistic
—T…Timely

 

This acronym can be used for goals that we set individually also, so let’s take a closer look.

Specific
…Goals should always be stated in a way that can easily be understood….and should always be written down so that they become something tangible to focus on, evaluate, and refine on a regular basis. As you are establishing your “chosen frozen” goals, ask yourself…

  • What needs to be accomplished?
  • Why is reaching this goal important?
  • How can I spend my time in a way that is consistent with these goals?


Measurable…Goals should be stated in a way that can be easily measured….and shared with your support group, your significant other, or even your own mother. These people can walk along beside you on the journey, provide accountability, and encourage you to keep on going when you really feel like giving up. Ask yourself…

  • Can I track and measure at least one statistic related to this goal?
  • Can I easily evaluate my overall progress by knowing these numbers?
  • Will there be enough information to know if and/or when I should set new goals?


Attainable…”We can only climb the mountains because there’s a valley that makes the mountain a mountain.”

But if the top of the mountain is light years and light years away, then are you really being realistic…

Honestly evaluate where you currently are in order to establish a solid foundation before setting long-term and short-term goals. Ask yourself…

  • Are the goals that you set achievable, yet challenging?
  • Are you starting off with smaller targets and then challenging yourself as you have had more practice and time to get comfortable with the path?
  • Are the goals merely unattainable wishes?


Realistic…Goals must also be realistic and flexible, not carved in stone. Setting goals should not only be a one-time event done only when creating your business plan or settling on your life path. Life happens.

So take some time periodically to re-evaluate your goals, to see exactly how successful you’ve been at achieving them, and to ake any minor changes needed to redirect your efforts. Ask yourself…

  • What is the probability of ever reaching this goal?
  • Do I have the resources needed to actually reach these goals?
  • Are these goals actually goals or simply wishes?


Timely – Goals should be based on a timeline…Long-term goals should be substantially greater than short-term goals and can be charted for even five, ten, or twenty years away. Short-term goals are stepping stones towards achieving these long-term goals and should be attainable in a period of weeks to a year. Ask yourself…

  • Does your goal have a fixed time-frame?
  • When will you start working toward this goal?
  • When will you hope to have reached this goal?
  • How does this deadline influence your daily activities?

 

Another smart way to set goals and figure out “Now What” is to ask yourself the same questions that many of us learned to use back in high school English class when we were writing themes and stories, questions such as…

 

WHO

  • Who benefits the most from me achieving this goal?
  • Who can help me achieve it?
  • Who else believes in me and my ability to reach this goal?
  • Who else is or should be involved?
  • Who will support me?
  • Who won’t support me?

WHAT

  • What did I learn during this last year?
  • What do I need to learn this year?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What excites me about the coming year?
  • What is hindering me from achieving my goals?
  • What is my biggest passion and dream in life?
  • What is my first step?
  • What one wildly bold goal would I like to accomplish that would truly inspire me to get up each morning?
  • What scares me about the coming year?
  • What skills do I you need to acquire and master in order to reach this goal?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What will be my biggest obstacle?
  • What will success look like?

WHEN

  • When can I find the time to do whatever it takes to reach this goal?
  • When will I know that I have reached this goal?
  • When would be a realistic time for me to have reached this goal?

WHERE

  • Where are some places where I can find other people with similar goals?
  • Where do I want to be this time next year?
  • Where will I acquire the necessary knowledge?
  • Where will my goal be accomplished?
  • Where will this take place?

WHY

  • Why am I going to do this in the first place?
  • Why am I willing to invest time, energy, and money in doing this?
  • Why is achieving this goal so important to me?

HOW

  • How can achieving this goal make everything else I am doing better?
  • How will I benefit from reaching this goal?
  • How will I integrate this new goal with with everything else I have going on?
  • How will I market this idea or product?
  • How will I stay focused?
  • How will this be different one year from now?
  • How will this goal be achieved?
Getting Dressed

Dressing Without Stressing……There’s An App for That 

  

  

I have also learned that there are many fashion apps and online shopping platforms that can help you keep track of what you own, teach me what to wear and what not to wear, and actually plan your outfits. these include…

1.  ClosetSpace…After adding the items that you already own to your profile and then tagging these items as to the brand, fabric, size, color, price paid, and where you purchased the item…

2.  Fab.com..The Fab shopping app, winner of the 2016 Webby Award for best mobile app in fashion and beauty, featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, New York Magazine, Huffington Post and more and allows you and the over 1 million people who already shoarly sp on Fab to…access a curated selection of vibrant and unexpected men’s, women’s, home, art and tech accessories from the world’s most exciting designers…browse products by designer, category, color, price, and more…discover 500+ emerging designers, artists and brands…discover the most unique accessories and decor to express your individuality…find design inspiration ideas…save on great deals…shop accents for your brilliant, modern life.  

3.   Hautelook is a member-only shopping website that offers flash-sales and limited-time sale events….and features top brands in women’s and men’s fashion and accessories, beauty, kids’ apparel and toys, and home décor. Items are typically discounted from 50% to 75 percent off retail prices with new sale events every morning at 10 AM CST.  

4.  The Hunt..The Hunt is a community of 4 million people who help each other find the fashion advice and inspiration that they are looking for. Members post a photo of anything they’re looking for and the community then helps each other find more affordable options. Members ask which trend to wear or which item to buy and the community give their two cents worth.

5.   Keep…Keep.com allows you to add the “Keep” button to your computer, similar to the “Pin It” button, and then “keep” any item that is for sale on the Internet into one great big wish list. Keep can also allows you to follow big name bloggers, magazines, and Instagram users to see what items they are “keeping.”

6.  Polyvore…Polyvore is a virtual mood board that allows you to collect images of home decoration, beauty, and fashion into collages…share these collages with friends, and browse other users’ sets for inspiration. 

7.   Stylebook...Stylebook allows you to add every article of clothing you own into your “virtual closet” and then plan out outfits in the calendar. 

8.  Stylicious...Using pictures of your taken earlier and from the shopping section of Stylicious, you can mix, match, play, and create your own lookbook. Stylicious also offers awesome looks and style tips created by stylists and alerts so that you can see when your favorite fashion brands go on sale. 

9.  Trendstop TrendTracker presents you with daily trends, fashion news, instant coverage from the catwalks during fashion weeks…and can be upgraded to access the latest seasonal trend forecasts, Pantone® colour palettes, street style trends, and retail analysis.   

10.  WEAR
… WEAR is the number one fashion app for finding new trends as they’re breaking and for discovering brands you’ll love. Follow top global fashion influencers, and shop your favorite looks in one place. Enter your outfits into style challenges with Refinery29, Vogue, T Magazine and Teen Vogue.