Welcome to The Journey to Magnificence! This is week twenty-five: July 29 – August 4, 2018.
This week started out with a more relaxed plan—basically finishing everything I’ve been putting off for the last two or three weeks.
And it worked!
Giving myself grace on these things helped me feel more in control when I went to do them. (The extra time helped too!)
What I Said I’d Do
- Focus on all the unfinished things from the last two weeks, because I really need to get that stuff done.
- Write a review post for the Anxiety Pocket eWorkbook, which I’ve been reading through all week.
- Start my first 30-day challenge!
What I Actually Worked On
- Finished Action Steps 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6 for the VA course!
- Finished scheduling pins for August
- Started my first 30-day challenge to write 1000 words a day! This is pretty important because I’m planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, which means I’ll need to write a minimum of 1667 words per day during November.
- Wrote the review post for the Anxiety Pocket eWorkbook, which will be posted on August 9th
Sunday, Day 169 – 72nd Annual Seattle Scottish Highland Games
One of my favorite family traditions, besides going to diabetes camp every year, is attending the Seattle Scottish Highland Games. It’s always held on the last weekend of July, which makes planning my year a lot easier!
A lot has definitely changed about the Games since my first memories of it. We used to bring my grandma along, the Fischer scones were only $0.25 (while now they’re $1.75 each), and an entertainment troupe called The Royal Stuarts took up most of my younger self’s attention.
The Royal Stuarts basically did covers of popular songs, but with a Scottish twist. They had a couple CDs that my mom, thankfully, bought before their last year at the Games. I say “thankfully” because many years later I searched for them online and came up with zilch.
We have the only copies that we know of.
I reached out to the front man on Facebook back in 2011, and actually received a response! It was pretty cool to talk to one of my childhood memories and learn that they miss the group just as much as everyone else—if not more.
This year’s Games were under the scorching heat of about 90 degrees. Western WA doesn’t do well in 90 degrees, I’ll tell you that!
But it was a good Sunday. The husband and I hung out with my parents, bought cool stuff from the vendors, and basked in the ever-present sound of bagpipes.
It might take a true Scot to love bagpipes!
When we got home, though, I did spend quite a bit of time prepping out my August bullet journal pages. I’m having a lot of fun with the washi tape and new stencils!
Monday, Day 170 – Ooonnnwwwaaarrrddd!!!
I finally was able to cross off one of the things that has been stalling me for a couple weeks!
There’s an action step in the 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course that basically has the student set up an interview with someone who could possibly be in their target market and ask a few questions.
Since this is basically cold-calling, I balked, HARD.
I prefer to build relationships with people before asking for things, so it took quite a bit of time for me to come up with a good way to ask someone (or multiple someones) pointed questions about their business with the subtle implication that I might ask them to hire me later.
So what did I do?
I posted in Facebook groups!
Crowdsourcing groups in which I’m relatively active and even know some of the members felt so much easier than reaching out to two or three people via email who might not have the time or inclination to answer my questions.
I got a lot of good feedback from the groups I asked and I feel like a big weight has been lifted from my side hustling shoulders.
Tuesday, Day 171 – Everything You Know About Procedures Is Wrong
I’m in a technical procedure writing class at work this week, and oh boy, let me tell ya—there’s a right way and a wrong way to write procedures. I don’t personally write procedures yet, but I’m getting the feeling that this class will help me understand a lot of things about human performance and human error (because that’s the main focus of the course).
My biggest takeaway from day 1 is the idea that people won’t read past 7-10 seconds of information.
This makes total sense, especially on the internet!
Why do you think Twitter had an initial character limit of 140? It’s short enough to get you to read it without becoming distracted.
This rule is also the reason I immediately click away from any article or story that doesn’t use paragraph breaks efficiently or effectively.
(If you’re a writer or reader on Fanfiction.net, you’ll know this is a huge problem in the FF world. Not enough people do paragraphs well.)
But just think for a moment.
What happens if the really important information is buried in the middle or at the end of a five-inch paragraph?
Bad things. Bad things happen.
It’s a hope of mine to incorporate what I learn in this class to multiple areas of my life.
Wednesday, Day 172 – Start of August’s 30-Day Challenge to Write 1000 Words a Day
Well, I managed to get 1020 words written before 6:30 AM this morning!
At first, it seemed like a lot. I added about 400 words to an existing draft, and then set Cold Turkey Writer to 603 words for a blank document.
I knew what I was going to write about, but initially, I felt like I’d need to add a bunch of filler at the end to finish the block before I had to leave for work.
Turns out the time constraint plus the word count made a good motivator! I surpassed my goal by 20 words at 6:30 AM, which let me go on my morning walk unimpeded by thoughts of worry.
Today actually turned out to be quite productive on the home front.
Demir & Carey Bentley’s Lifehack Summit 2018 began today (and ran through Friday—sorry! I know this goes out on Monday so you’ve missed the summit). I watched a couple of their summit videos, but not all of them. Not enough time!
If you like young adult fantasy/adventure fiction like The Hunger Games, please check out my friend Halie Fewkes! She’s written two books of her Secrets of the Tally series so far and just launched the Kickstarter for book three.
They’re full of dragons, magic, memory loss, and monsters—and combined really well.
Thursday, Day 173 – Brainpower Decreasing…
Today is day three of that technical writing workshop. While I’m learning so much that’s applicable to a lot of my life and work, my brain is starting to slow down.
You know how you feel all refreshed and ready to go at the beginning of the week? Knocking to-dos left and right out of the park because you’ve got the brain power to spare?
This class is basically four days of deep work to me, and I’m tired!
Which, I think, is a good thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be a complainer here.
I’ve noticed in general that I start feeling less in-it by Thursday anyway, so at least I’m consistent.
However, I’m really proud of myself.
I’ve been breaking up my “champagne moment” into tiny chunks for each day, and so far I’ve finished everything on my lists each day.
Which is fabulous!
Next week I’ll be able to start on new stuff!
The writing challenge is going well so far. This morning I clocked 1032 words before 6:30 AM. It’s amazing how many words I can crank out when I have a higher goal than my average.
I thought I’d be struggling to get 600 done before having to leave for work and needing to supplement in the evening.
That might happen during NaNoWriMo, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
For now, though, I’m going to keep focused on this 30-day challenge and take each day as a new one.
Friday, Day 174 – A Good End to a Long Work Week
The technical writing class ended well. I’m excited to start using what I’ve learned for a multitude of things.
It also got me thinking about the blogging world.
How often do we write “How To” posts that are full of paragraphs, instructions, and flowy descriptions, but are hard to understand?
I’ve written a few of those myself.
Lots of good food for thought there.
In any case, the rest of the night I spent watching videos from the Lifehack Summit 2018, and a couple of webinar replay videos.
I’m proud of myself, though, because I’ve basically knocked every day’s to-do list out of the park, including tonight!
I got most of the content done for Gina Horkey’s 30 Days or Less to VA Success Module 2.6 action step (whew, that’s a long title). I’ll get the other half of it done tomorrow.
I’m not sure why, but for some reason, I feel a lot more calm about things going forward.
Let’s take that as a good sign. 🙂
Saturday, Day 175 – Family Day
Almost by accident, I made plans to meet two different family members in pretty much the same place today, but at different times.
This morning I went on a 14-mile bike ride with my father-in-law. For it being the first time back on my bike in about a year, my legs are going to be super sore tonight and pretty much all of tomorrow.
We had a nice ride and chatted throughout, and got to enjoy part of a car show happening at our initial meeting point.
I may have geeked out over the McClarens they had out!
These are quite literally my favorite sports cars, and they had like six of them here.
Then, for lunch, the husband and I met up with one of my cousins. Interestingly enough, my legs were already feeling sore by the time we finished lunch!
My first 30-day challenge is going well. So far I’ve got 4000+ words for this week, spread across multiple posts or stories, including this one 🙂
As for tonight, I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep.
August 5-11 is going to be a good week. I’m going to say it now. Based on my success this week, and despite having a busy weekend scheduled, I’m going to break down my list into each day here, for accountability.
- Write 1000 words
- VA Action Step 3.1
- Get Legit Toolkit 3.1
- Finish Module 2 of Joseph Michael’s Writer’s Block course
- Intro Module of Nina Manni’s Get to the Point Workshop (course on how to travel for basically free)
- Write 1000 words
- VA Action Step 3.2
- Get Legit Toolkit 3.2
- Write 1000 words
- VA Action Step 3.3
- Get Legit Toolkit 3.3
- Write 1000 words
- VA Action Step 3.4
- Get Legit Toolkit 3.4
- Write 1000 words
- VA Action Step 3.5
- Get Legit Toolkit 3.5
- Write 1000 words
- VA Action Step 3.6
- Get Legit Toolkit 3.6
- Write 1000 words
- VA Action Step 3.7
- Create Intentional Blog autoresponder sequence
If you missed a post or found this one first, the others can be found here:
- Intro: Tell Your Inner Voice to Shut Up
- 1: I Started the Thing!
- 2: Step Out of My Comfort Zone
- 3: When Plans Go Out the Window
- 4: Trying Out a Magic Notebook
- 5: Lessons from Unintentional Black Ski Runs
- 6: In Which We Adopt a Cat!
- 7: Curious Cat Enjoys All Existing Cords as Snacks
- 8: Mother Gothel SUCKS
- 9: Black Panther’s Sister is My Spirit Animal
- 10: A Plan is Coming Together
- 11: A Great-Grand Cat
- 12: My Calves Are Dead
- 13: Being Intentional Works
- 14: I’ll Raise You a Flash Flood with Hail
- 15: I Remembered Why I Hate Muggy Weather
- 16: The Magic of Sticky Notes
- 17: Time Tracking is a F*cking GAME CHANGER
- 18: So I’m a Writer for Medium Now
- 19: LA Traffic Scares the Sh*t Out of Me
- 20: I’m a Real Writer Now (AKA I Got Paid)
- 21: A Schedule for Quarterly Batching
- 22: Diabetes Camp Rocks
- 23: Plans Derailed by New Opportunities
- 24: Charming Friends