Creative expression through the written word

Posts tagged ‘Action’

Double dipping

Double Dipping…. I am not talking about double dipping your veggies or chips in dip. Although I am sure I could make a post on that too. No today I am using the reference of double dipping in regards to the fact that for the next 90 days I have agreed to take part in the Team Heart 90 Day Live Facebook challenge and I blog. A lot of what I am doing in the 90 day Live video challenge is stuff I could just as easily write and post to my blog. 

I guess I decided to save myself some time and share across platforms as I can and maybe not have to create double the content. Cheating? Um….probably but that’s okay it won’t be word for word, just maybe theme for theme. 

So today in my live video I talked about taking action even when afraid. Now I am no expert on doing something despite my fear. I can honestly admit that yes, I have allowed fear to hold me back. I have allowed fear to make my decisions sometimes. It sucks. What’s worse is that no matter what I have told others I know the real reason I didn’t move forward, chase a dream, or take action. Living with my self after that is way worse than if I had just faced me fears head on and taken action. 

Fear can be debilitating. Paralyzingly so. You can literally have a whole body physical reaction to fear. I’m learning to not let fear stop me. I’m learning to take action despite the risk, real or imagined. I’m learning to stop the conversations in my head about doubt and unworthiness and I am learning to quit making excuses so I can stay in fear. I mean, who wants to live there anyway?

Everything I want, everything I dream about is literally on the other side of fear. I have to want those things more than I want fear in control. Believe me it’s a work in progress but at least I am consciously working on it. I’m choosing every day to take at least one step beyond my fear. 

Am I a raging success? Well, no but I can be as long as I don’t give up. As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other. My point to all this? You can do it too. Just push yourself through the rapidly beating heart, sweaty palms, barely breathing moment and do it. You’ll live – I promise! 


Baby step it

So I’ve set an audacious goal this year. I’ve decided that I want to be out of debt by the end of the year. I don’t have credit card debt because quite frankly I don’t like credit cards. However, we had a business and over the last couple of years we just couldn’t compete with the “large companies” so we closed its doors. That’s all good but it has taken my husband two years to get back to paid work. 

He has been working, helping a friend renovate a very old building into a restaurant and lounge. Pay will come eventually but in the mean time we were barely making ends meet with my income supporting a family of 5 and 2 business expenses. To say we got behind is downplaying our finances….. BUT….. 

Things are radically shifting around with my husband back in the workforce which of course is why we have set a goal to get out of debt. But as I said yesterday, goals require action steps. I believe you have to take baby steps toward your goals. So here is my example of how to set baby steps toward a bigger goal. 

Baby steps toward our goal:

  1. Menu planning, it’s true that planning out your weekly meals and shopping once a week for your grocery items saves you money and that money can go towards bills.
  2. The little splurges add up so cutting coffees from coffee shops makes a difference. You can literally save hundreds in a year if you are a major coffee drinker as long as you get smaller sizes, get refillable cups, or cut them out altogether.
  3. This one may sound crazy to some but setting a fun money budget works for us. We have a set $ amount that my husband and I split from his pay checks ($100) that we can spend any way we like. Why is this important? Because if you are working your ass off to get out of debt and stick to a budget, if you don’t plan for fun money you will eventually give it up because you are working to please everyone else and you feel like you get nothing for all the hard work. Keep it realistic and allow for some fun and you are likely to keep at it. 
  4. It may be counter-intuitive but I focus on paying the bigger bills off first. Most people like to pay off the small bills first so they fee like they are really accomplishing things. I want the biggest bills gone and then I use the larger payments from the bigger bills to quickly pay down the smaller ones. 
  5. Payments- I may be a bit defiant but I look at my budget and decide what I can afford to pay toward bills (outside of power, water, etc), then look at what bills are my primary focus and divide what I have to pay by the number of bills. I figure out how long it will take me to lunch off those bills and I accept it for what it is. Sound funny? Well, debt didn’t happen overnight and I can’t assume it will clear up quickly.

There are many other little steps that I am using and putting into place but this gives you the idea that you can chip away at a large goal by breaking it down into smaller, actionable steps. 

All Life is Choice


I love this quote.

I am as guilty as the next person about postponing decisions, especially if it is regarding something I don’t want to deal with but in general it drives me crazy when one of my kids or my husband chooses to NOT handle something because they don’t want to deal with it. It isn’t like postponing it makes it any better. In fact it often makes it worse.

The thing is…..especially when it comes to my husband, I hate getting put in the position of being the nagging wife or worse yet the person people turn to when they want something from my husband and can’t get my husband to respond. He’s a grown adult and I don’t need to “mommy” him even if I am his wife. I don’t even like “mommy-ing” my own kids to handle stuff now that they are adults.

When I read the book, THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, she said she made a decision that if something could be done in under 5 minutes she would not put it off. She would simply do it. The amount of stuff she got done because of that one simple little rule changed things for her. I practiced this for a whole month and let me tell you – it works. Have I kept it up? Well…, but mostly because I can’t get my husband and kids to adopt the rule as a way of life which makes it difficult but I personally do it more often then I was.

Clutter in one’s life is often because it was easier to leave the mail on the table then go put it where it belongs or the leaving your shoes in the living room where you kicked them off instead of taking them to your bedroom. (You will note that these fall under the 5 minute rule of action). Another thing I am trying to instigate in my life if that if there is a BIG project (even if it seems big only in your own mind) that if you do something on it everyday it will eventually get done. For example – I told my husband if he just spent 30 minutes every evening cleaning in the garage eventually his garage would be exactly like he wants it.

I have lots of projects that are sitting, waiting to be finished or in some cases, waiting to be started and I can honestly say that it is all about a decision to act. No one can make me do something I have to choose to do it so why then is guilt so heavy when I don’t take action? Because I think I should? Because I think other people think I should? If I’ve already decided not to take action why feel bad about that choice? Then again, choosing not to do the dishes doesn’t get them done either. I raised my kids on the concept that “All Life is Choice” – I guess its time for me to reevaluate some of my choices and see if they are still working for me and if I choose not to do my laundry tonight even though I “should”, well the only one who pays for that decision is me….and maybe my hubby too.

Step Up, Step Forward, Step Out

“He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him” – Dutch Proverb

I love this proverb. I guess I love it because it reminds me that sometimes the biggest challenge to accomplishing something or being successful is just showing up. It’s about taking action instead of sitting on the sidelines. Over the course of the last year I realized that all too often I wait for others to do things. I wait for people to take action. I mean, can’t they see the same need that I see? Don’t they want to be involved in the same kind of group? Doesn’t everyone want the same thing accomplished? The list of questions could go on forever and what I realized is that I wasn’t doing anything or having certain things in my life because I kept waiting for someone else to step up and take action.

So, this last year, I did my best to step up, step forward, step out on a limb, speak up etc. I can’t tell you how radically it shifted my life. Has it been scary? Sometimes. Have I gotten myself in too deep…taken on too much? Sometimes. Have I added significantly to my life? Absolutely. Have I learned something? Every single time. Do I regret any of it? Not one bit.

I’m not saying it is easy to put yourself out there and in some scenarios, put yourself in a vulnerable position, open to ridicule but the pay off for having done so will outweigh the fear. The personal growth you will experience is priceless. The people you will meet, the relationships you will develop, the skills you will acquire are worth it all. So, if you really want to start making changes in your life then it is time to embrace this proverb and get to the real understanding that sometimes…its all about stepping outside your own door.

What Inspires Action?

I often wonder just how people come by their inspiration. What word or thought or deed triggers an inspiration that literally changes a persons life? I’m not talking about big dramatic moments although what I am talking about could lead to those too. I am talking about those little decisions that spark a whole series of changes within someone…creating a whole person (good or bad).

I am an avid reader and I often find myself wondering how the author of the current book I am reading got the inspiration to write their book. How did someone got inspired to write a play? an Opera? a movie? What inpires someone to draw, to paint, to sculpt? What made someone pick up an instrument? What made someone learn a new software program?

Lets take it to another level. What inspires a person to change their eating habits or they way they dress? What makes someone decide to handle their money better or get more organized? What do you think makes a person reach out to another and offer their hand in friendship or in help? What makes a person take the first steps toward change, toward something new and unknown in their life?

Perhaps the biggest question of all is why do some people take action and others do not? If two people take a class and learn the same thing then why does one person walk out unchanged and the other embraces change and does something with the information? Why do some people take inspired action toward their dreams and others do not? I don’t know why there are times in my life when I am inspired to take action and embrace change and at other times why I am inspired but never do anything with it. Does anyone know the answer to this question? Can anyone tell me why they get inspired to take action?

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