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All right. Week one of my journey to magnificence. For those keeping track (me!) week one was from 11-17 February 2018. I’m able to keep track of what I’m doing by keeping an “accomplishment journal” in Evernote. It’s pretty slick if I do say so myself.
I paid money for a lot of stuff. I invested in the Work at Home School ($497), Asana for Bloggers ($25), Scrivener for Windows ($49.50), and six books that were recommended by Caitlin or others or that looked good while I was browsing Half-Price Books ($56).
If you’re curious, those books were:
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
- The Happiness Equation, by Neil Pasricha
- Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
- EntreLeadership, by Dave Ramsey
- Go Put Your Strengths to Work, by Marcus Buckingham – this is actually the third book in a series by Marcus Buckingham and others.
Total investment so far: $627.50. Pretty hefty, right? Let’s make my first monetary goal to make back what I spent right there.
The other thing I’m going through is something called the 30 Day Blueprint, which is outlining the steps to get started in the Work-at-Home world. Easy bite size chunks to think about and take action on, and definitely helping me keep the overwhelm at bay.
Courses of the Week
- Eileen Wilder’s 21 Day Self Care Challenge (freebie)
- Matt Giovanisci’s Asana for Bloggers
- Rachael Todd‘s 10 Day Mind Reset Challenge
- Dan Cumberland’s Job Fit Crash Course
Day 1 – Ready, Set, Go… Get Organized
Today was my preparation day. I organized all my Chrome bookmarks from the Summit, all the freebies I downloaded, read a bunch of the resources that were provided, such as a tax guide, a workshop on transforming your money mindset, and a survival guide to working at home.
I did take the time to email Becca Klein to thank her for her promotion of the Work at Home Summit, and she was appreciative that I did so! It made me feel good that I told her instead of keeping it to myself. Just goes to show the benefits of reaching out to the people you follow and who provide value to you!
Another thing I started is the accomplishment journal, which is really just me recording the things I did all day so I don’t reach the end and feel like I did a whole lot of nothin’. I also spent the time to decide the initial order of courses I want to take – which I expect will continually evolve as I go through the list and prioritize a bit more!
Day 2 – VIRTUAL TREES
I made a commitment to myself to write in a program called Cold Turkey Writer every day, for at least 100 words. At LEAST 100 words. 100 words is a minuscule number. I wrote 159 words this morning.
Cold Turkey Writer blocks your entire computer except for the writing pane until you meet a word count or a time limit. For me, it’s a good way to focus on the writing and ignore everything else, especially if I block my phone too with an app called Forest.
It plants virtual trees.
I’m a Nerd.
When I participated in the summit, I signed up for basically every email list available and got inundated with a ton of emails. My inbox is contains over 100 unread, which is SO outside the norm for me. Anyway, one of the first things I signed up for was Eileen Wilder’s 21 Day Self Care Challenge. Aaaand I didn’t start it until today. Like a week and a half later. Her videos are short, and her action steps very simple. Today, it was just scheduling a recurring 10-minute appointment with myself to dedicate to self-care. I set that for early morning to incorporate into my existing morning routine.
I started the Asana for Bloggers course today. Wow – even though it was just the intro video, I can tell already that it’s going to be super helpful in organizing my Asana life. I feel a sense of relief knowing that soon my life will be more organized.
I also spent some time today just puttering around the website, cleaning some things up, going through my theme’s guide again, and tweaking some things.
Day 3 – Shaun White and Dogs Before Bible Study
So, this morning I was ambitious. I set Cold Turkey Writer for 300 words and pounded out 633. I dropped into that writing flow so easily the second time around! This is already helping me cut through the overwhelm I get when I think of all the cool things I want to write, and then how hard it’s going to be. (Hint: it’s not actually that hard. The hardest part isn’t the writing, it’s the starting.)
The action step for Day 2 of the Self Care Challenge was to “spruce up your self-care space.” Now, most of my spaces are already spruced up; my desk area is mostly clean (okay, it’s organized) but I did have a candle that was feeling unloved so now it’s right next to my computer. It smells pretty good too.
I wasn’t able to do any blog or WAHS work tonight because I went to my women’s Bible study, where I spent an indecent amount of time petting the adorable black lab my pastor owns. We also watched Shaun White win snowboarding half-pipe gold for USA, which had to happen before we cracked the Bibles.
Day 4 – Sit Up Straight
This morning I only got out a decidedly less-ambitious 200-ish words. I was in a bit of a rush to leave for work, so I didn’t count the exact number. It’s relieving though, to write a little every day, because a little over a long period adds up.
The Self Care Challenge Day 3 is all about having your posture mirror the fact that you are one of God’s beautiful creations. Just writing this had me straightening up in my seat! I hunch a lot, especially when my chairs don’t have good lumbar support, so this is a good reminder to keep those shoulders back and that spine straight. I’m pretty sure that having good posture also translates to how you feel about yourself, which can do wonders for your self-image.
I watched Asana for Bloggers’ second video today! The Anatomy of Asana. Matt walked through the basics of Asana, and I learned a few things about the platform that I hadn’t known about or utilized before, like tags.
Also: sections are a lifesaver.
I enrolled in Job Fit Crash Course, but it’s not released yet. I’m really looking forward to it, though! I also enrolled in the 10 Day Mind Reset Challenge, which I’ll start tomorrow morning.
I outlined a blog post today, about my morning routine. It’s just in draft mode, so don’t expect anything quite yet!
Day 5 – No Limp Fish Handshakes Allowed
I got 218 words added to that “Morning Routine” draft, and now it’s sitting sadly in my drafts folder for future attention.
In Day 4 of the 21 Day Self Care Challenge, Eileen talks about how you need to act before you feel ready. For some cases, you’ll never feel ready. In context, this means acting confident even if you don’t feel like it. Fake it until you become it! Related – I had the good fortune to be taught how to firmly shake hands without being weird, which is a great help in all sorts of situations. It demonstrates confidence even if you don’t feel very confident. I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it is to shake a limp fish hand at a networking event.
All right, the 10 Day Mind Reset Challenge, Day 1! I’m not going to give out all of Rachael’s secrets here since she does charge for this course. Her main focus though is on turning your mindset from thinking negatively to positively, and the things that help with that are focusing on your breathing and utilizing meditation, as well as identifying when you’re thinking negative thoughts.
I have negative thoughts a lot, apparently. My most common one is along the lines of “that person’s life is more interesting than mine,” or “I’m going to fail at that. I can’t do that.”
Real world example in my job – I’ve been asked to host a webinar for our HR department on how to use this program called Smartsheet. (It’s basically the love child of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project, and can do almost literally ALL THE THINGS you could possibly want in a project management tool. If you can’t already tell, I f*cking LOVE this program).
My Initial Thought:
WHAT. NO. THAT’S SCARY. NOPE.
But someone told me that because I’m the one with the knowledge, the one who knows the software, the one who is going to be TEACHING THEM – I hold the power. They need me. There’s absolutely no reason to be nervous or scared because I know what I’m talking about and can totally answer any questions they give me, even if my answer is “I don’t know.”
(Totally just pumped myself up for that.)
Okay. Moving on.
Day 6 – Good Friends Tell Their Friends They’re Pretty
My output in Cold Turkey Writer this morning was slightly pathetic, at just over 100 words. At least I’m writing something! And that’s what counts.
(Heh. Counts. Word counts.)
Oh man. The Self-Care Challenge Day 5. This one was a little hard for me to do. Eileen wants us to focus on our positives – our strengths – instead of what we think is wrong with us.
Eileen has you send a note to three friends asking for their input on what they think of you, your abilities, your strengths, and generally their impression of you and what they think you do well.
That was tough. Honestly. Okay…well, it was a little tough. I edited the template Eileen provides, changed some of the wording, and sent it to three people who are basically my siblings in all but blood. I got two responses by the next day. It was humbling, encouraging, uplifting, and exciting to read what my friends think of me! They think I’m awesome! It’s so reaffirming to have that kind of feedback from people close to me.
Not only that, but it feeds my confidence that I can do the things I set out to do.
Like this thing.
Man, today was busy. I also powered through a LOT of stuff in Asana:
- The Editorial Calendar video in the course
- The Comments & Email Management video
- I put all my current WAHS courses into Asana and scheduled them. Includes:
- Asana for Bloggers (remaining videos)
- 10 Day Mind Reset Challenge
- Job Fit Crash Course
- Mindset University
Job Fit Crash Course.
It opened last night and today I just tore through the first video and first part of the workbook, all about expectations. It describes how to determine your current job fit (4 categories with a score of up to 10 in each – a 40 is a perfect job fit.) My score is 33/40 for my current job, which I consider very good.
However, I know I can do better than that by adding in my side hustle.
Day 7 – At Least We Caught Rayquaza
Today was busy. My husband and I did a lot of errands in the morning, including a Pokémon Go raid, and I didn’t get to the meat of my plans until the afternoon.
The action step for Day 6 of the 21 Day Self Care Challenge is to set up a “recharging” time with a friend with whom you are comfortable. It could be with a cup of coffee, just to talk, or whatever you want. Mine is to spend next weekend skiing with my dad, which is our “thing”. The point is to nurture the relationships you value in your life.
Soooooo I basically finished Asana for Bloggers today. It was amazing. So much useful information and tools and knowledge and now my Asana overwhelm is zilch.
Matt, if you’re reading this, you’re a total bro.
This course was worth more than the $25 I paid for it. It’s great, and if you’re a blogger wanting to learn Asana, I highly recommend it. I learned so much about how Asana actually works, how to optimize it for my own benefit, how to use it for things I don’t use it for yet, etc. I paused Matt’s videos quite a few times because I wanted to go change what I was doing in Asana as soon as he told me how to do it! My homepage looks so much cleaner now, it feels easier, and I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned to my day job workspace as well, since I’m using it for my day job as well as this project.
Job Fit Crash Course Day 2.
I love Dan’s straightforward way of teaching, and the workbook he provided has helped get the thoughts from my brain and onto the paper. It’s helped me realize some things about my work history, my work past, and more reasons why my last job left me feeling like I wanted to cry on the way home sometimes.
That’s the great thing about a lot of these courses, though: they make you think. They make you evaluate where you were and where you want to be. When I was in my first job, I thought I loved it, because I didn’t know any better and I didn’t know what a good work environment looked like until I started at my current job. The difference is astonishing and staggering.
I went from an environment where I felt like my work was insignificant and useless to a place where all the things I’m doing are valuable to my team, and most importantly, I’M TOLD THAT THEY’RE VALUABLE.
Dan Cumberland knows his shit, yo!
Today was also the day I learned the beauty of Scrivener. Shoutout to Joseph Michael for his webinar on Scrivener 3 (for Mac, I’m on Windows) BUT the new Windows version is supposed to drop soon – so I just bought it anyway.
Very, very useful.
Oh yeah, I did get 300 words in, but not until tonight. Still, making progress!
The Plan for Week 2
Slow down with the information overload!
The courses I picked for next week are:
- Caitlin Pyle’s Mindset University
- Charles Byrd’s Zero-to-60 with Evernote, Module 1
- Finish Job Fit Crash Course
- Finish the 10 Day Mind Reset Challenge
Also in the plans are to write drafts and ideas for my blog, continue with the 21-day self-care challenge, and absorb a lot of the information I’ve been consuming at a rapid pace. And, if webinars pop up that I’m interested in, I’ll take those too!
I have a tough time pacing myself with new material, so it’s good for me to schedule things out. (Now in Asana!!)