March 12, 2018

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Welcome to The Journey to Magnificence! This is week four: March 4-10, 2018.

The Journey to Magnificence is a series of weekly summaries of my journey through courses and resources provided by or found through the Work at Home School, hosted and delivered by Caitlin Pyle.

If you missed a post or found this one first, you can find the rest here::

Last week had a lot of plans up in confetti. My car problems had the most impact on my schedule, and a few things got re-organized.

Since I love organizing, this wasn’t a problem, but it made my inner perfectionist twitch.

A lot.

Here’s crossing fingers that there won’t be significant confetti this week!

Courses of the Week

  • Finish that 5-Day Free Email Course on Stressing Less, which will be available for sign up separate from the regular Inspired List.
  • The Women in Publishing Summit
    • I grabbed the All-Access Pass so I can watch at my own pace.
  • Mindset University
    • One video a day
    • Monday-Friday track my actions & emotions every 30 minutes when possible
  • Fast Track Lab
    • One video a day

Let’s gooooooo!

Sunday, Day 22 – A Smart, Reusable Notebook? Yes Please

This week’s book is The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha.

It’s split into nine secrets to happiness, and Pasricha even encourages making the book interactive by creating seven-day challenges for yourself if you come across something you want to try.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing that a lot.

So, I’m a nerd.

I’m a huge nerd.

If you know me in real life, you can attest to the fact that I know Harry Potter trivia insanely well; if you don’t know an actor’s name I can probably provide it, and I geek out over anything organizational in nature.

I live and breathe planning and organization.

While scrolling through Instagram today I came across an ad for the Everlast Rocketbook, which is a smart, reusable notebook.

Amazon delivered one to my house within 12 hours of me seeing that ad.

It scans into Evernote (I finally bought premium so I can search in images and PDFs).

I’ll make a note on Day 28 what I think of this thing, but so far it sounds like the best thing since lined paper.

Mindset University

Okay, I’m restarting Mindset University this week. I didn’t watch Module 1 today because there are a few other videos and bonuses that are very long, and not feasible for me to watch during the work week.

So instead I watched a session of Caitlin Pyle’s Mindset Transformation Workshop in which Caitlin imparts a lot of great things about changing your mindset to the viewers.

Caitlin and her Mindset University co-founders present actionable steps and the framework for preventing yourself from sliding backward.

My biggest takeaways:

  • Procrastination is a symptom of self-doubt.
  • You should do the thing even if you think you’re gonna fail. (This sounds familiar.)
  • “I don’t know how” is just a lame excuse.
  • You can’t do it all on your own. Ask for help.
  • Hope is not a strategy.

Really puts into perspective how powerful mindset is.

Monday, Day 23 – My Phone is the Shiny

Mindset University

So I’ll admit that I didn’t re-watch Module 1 of Mindset University because I’ve already watched it, took notes on it, and printed the companion workbook for it. I was also slightly time-strapped leaving for work.

Instead, I reviewed my notes, the workbook, and started recording my actions and thoughts every 30 minutes (or 60, when I got caught up in things or just lost track of time.)

While the general feeling today was positive, I immediately noticed that I felt acutely aware of how much time I became distracted by my phone.

Forest App for the win, here!

Setting that sucker for 2 hours forced me off the phone and away from distraction. I didn’t want to kill the poor tree.

Here’s a screenshot of this week’s totals:

week four forest

Women in Publishing Summit

I bought the all-access pass for the Women in Publishing Summit when it was at its lowest price ($47), and man is that paying off. It’s like the WAHS Summit, and I just can’t do that level of attention because of all the attention I have on other WAHS things.

But, I started watching the videos, one at a time. And if I really do only watch one a day, It’ll take me a whole month to go through them!

Email Course

In a mad rush to get shit done before going to bed, I hastily worked on email #4 in the 5-Day Email Course on Stress, and it started flowing out!

Just doing it works.

Tuesday, Day 24 – I Need to Use the Sleep

I spent a good swath of today being really active in a particular Facebook Group called Blogging Your Heart. This group so far has been of huge value, providing threads every day for members to share links, posts, pins, etcetera to drive more traffic. I’m really impressed because participating in that landed 7 comments on my article from last year about implementing strong boundaries. 7 comments! That’s more comments on one post than my entire site has garnered in one year. Pretty impressive!

Thoughts of the Day

So at my job I have a whiteboard. I write a “thought of the day” on there most of the time, and have been since I started. I collected those in my work bullet journal, and today I ended up typing them out during a break to use for tweets. A lot of them are actually quite applicable to my worldview (especially when it comes to moving forward, making progress, and being positive) so they would fit right in on my Twitter feed.

Mindset University!

The Mindset University package for Work-at-Home School students doesn’t include modules 2-7, so the next thing for me to watch was Module 8: Lasting Happiness.

The main point is that happiness comes from solving problems, which is echoed by Mark Manson. Manson is the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, which I read last week and loved every bit of it.

The coolest point I got from Module 8 is that you should have small goals and bite-sized pieces to munch on every day, but those small goals should all point towards a big, huge, massive life goal which you will never achieve. The point is to die still having things you want to do.

This is a weird concept.

Work towards never finishing a goal?

Au contraire. Since happiness comes from solving problems, the more problems we have, the happier we are, and if we have this bigger than life goal (problem to solve) that we can never finish we’ll always have a problem to keep us happy.

Feels counterintuitive, but hey, if it works, it works!

Wednesday, Day 25 – It’s Just One of Those Days

Man. Today is just one of those days.

You know. You wake up and spend the day in a kind of haze of meh.

Today was a haze of meh for me. I did some cool things and cool things happened, but…meh. I think part of it is that I need to get more sleep.

ScrawlSchool, which is a platform for teaching moms, is in the beta-testing phase of their 3-day course on blowing stress away! What a great resource! While it’s geared towards moms, I’m beta-ing anyway to give a non-mom perspective.

The closest I’ll get is being a cat mom.

Or a dog mom.

Mindset University

Mindset University has a bonus on shrinking your thought process – basically, make the things you need to do smaller! It seems so simple, but not everyone does this. They see the end-goal, the big vision, the triumph – but not how to actually get there.

You get there by doing the little things. By making your steps into baby steps.

Email Course

I did manage to work on email #5 in the 5-Day Email Course on Stress tonight, and while I have some ideas I want to know YOUR answers to this:

What’s your biggest question about stress?

Let me know in the comments or by emailing me at colleen@inspiredforward.com.

Thursday, Day 26 – Cousins are the Literal Best

They say that cousins are our first friends in life. I have a lot of cousins, but I only regularly see a few (twice a year on holidays) and that’s not good enough for me anymore. My favorite cousin and I have been getting dinner together around once a month for a few months, and it’s one of the best cousin decisions I’ve made!

I feel so much better after spending time with her.

It’s like getting a recharge from family. We talk about everything and nothing, and it’s awesome.

Today was a long day, though, so besides the usual morning writing, nothing happened. I went to bed as soon as I got home!

Friday, Day 27 – End the Week With a Nice, Brutal Massage

This week has been looooooong.

Pretty much the same as yesterday, as soon as I got home I was getting ready for bed.

My back, shoulder, and neck muscles all took a brutal beating in the form of deep-tissue therapeutic massage. I find that it really helps me relax because all the tension from the last couple weeks just drains out.

Mindset University

Complete honesty here.

I sucked at that tracking exercise. The one where I’m supposed to take stock of my actions, feelings, and thoughts ever thirty minutes. Yeah, totally sucked at it.

I’m grading myself at a C-.

The times I did do it (maybe 60% of the time) forced me to think about the last half an hour and really take stock of my mindset at that point in time, which was the point and purpose of the exercise. In those moments, I did have some real clarity.

My conclusions:

  • I’m on my phone enough for me to feel guilty about it.
    • Solution: Use the Forest App (or Freedom!) more and grow more virtual trees! This is addictive.
  • My level of energy and the instances of negative thoughts are inversely related. As I get more tired, I’m more likely to feel negative about a lot of things, even in the workplace.
    • Solution: Try to do more of my creative and best work earlier, in the morning, and definitely before 2-3pm. My energy takes a nosedive around there unless I go outside for a few minutes, and only climbs back up a little when I go home.
  • The exercise felt a little redundant because I already track what I do in Evernote. But I don’t usually record my feelings and thoughts alongside those, so that was a different take.
    • Solution: Keep tracking my actions as usual in Evernote, but pay close attention to my thoughts and feelings when I’m doing things.
JTM Week Four Pinterest

Saturday, Day 28 – Get Shit Done

Today is basically get all my shit done day.

That’s because I’m skiing again tomorrow, and my creativity meter will be L-O-W when I get home tomorrow evening.

So here’s what I did today:

  • Edited, optimized, and scheduled a post on self-love.
  • Edited, optimized, and scheduled THIS post.
  • Edited the email course on stress.
  • Videos I’ve otherwise neglected because of being busy.

Magic Notebook


That smart, reusable notebook I was talking about? First thoughts are that it’s literal magic and it’s amazing.

Second thoughts are that 1) there’s a reason I use ultra-fine point pens when writing on regular paper and 2) it’s restrictive to only be able to use 1 kind of pen (the Pilot Frixion pens).

Thankfully, the makers of this notebook also make a single-use (real, regular paper instead of re-usable paper), so my next adventure is to buy those notebooks and try them out with my favorite pens.

What’s Next?

I’m actually really excited for next week. I’m going to watch the Women in Publishing Summit videos and Fast Track Lab videos whenever I can, but I’m starting the following:

  • Jeff Goins’ Intentional Blog
  • Gina Horkey’s 7 Days or Less to Branded Website Success
  • Jonathan Milligan’s 7 Days to Blog Launch Challenge

Now, I’ve already launched by blog, that much is obvious, but I’m hoping the two 7 day challenges will kick this site into a better tier.

Can I ask you something?

  • What have you liked or disliked so far about this series?
  • Is there something you want me to talk about more in the context of my Journey to Magnificence?
  • What are your biggest questions about stress?

Check out week five!

About the author 


Life coach, author, engineer, and host of the podcast This is Type 1: Real Life with Type 1 Diabetes. I teach T1Ds how to feel better without changing how they manage it.

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  1. Whoa, when I listen to your blog post it sounds like you’re doing so much! (which you are so it makes sense lol) How do you manage it all? Are you making notes everyday and every time you do something so you have something to refer to for your blog post?

    Aww I like your cousin day ?

    What’s this Forest app?

    I am really liking your blog and love the content and seeing your journey. It really motivates me and keeps my bar for WAHS moving. It also makes me feel more connected with another person going through the same journey. I also really like learning about your process and the things you use and see if it’s something I can implement as well. My only dislike is the length. It’s a bit long. Not necessarily a bad thing since it’s all useful info, it just more time to get through it lol I’m also just an impatient person hahah

    1. You know, it never feels like I’m going anywhere until I look back at these! I wake up at 4:50 during the week for about 2 hours of blog time before I go to work, and I wake up at 5:30 on weekends to capitalize on having all day. It’s an exercise in knowing what I need to get done, writing down the steps in advance (Asana), having a ton of organized tabs open, and then doing it!

      I keep notes in an Evernote notebook. Every day is a note and I just list the things I do as I do them so I can keep the momentum going and look back at what I’ve accomplished. I can link notes together so I can easily get to a draft by linking it in my daily note.

      The Forest App is like $1.99 on Android and it lets you plant virtual trees whenever you let it block your phone. If you go away from the app, it kills your trees. It’s a great motivator! You’re still able to take calls and it doesn’t block the Facebook chat heads if they pop up, but it keeps me off Chrome and Pokémon Go when I shouldn’t be on them!

      I totally get the length thing! I try to break it up so it doesn’t feel as bad as nonstop paragraphs, but the other reason is Google likes long articles.

      Thanks so much for your support!

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