How To Conquer Those HUGE Goals

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.)

Starting a blog is hard.

Running a marathon is hard. 

When I started this blog, I had no idea how much was involved.

I knew that I needed to invest in some coaching this time around. I’ve started blogs in the past but I had zero ideas what I was doing. ZERO. I figured I could bootstrap it and figure it out along the way. In some ways that is true but I am determined to make this blog work. I have a stronger vision and much bigger goals.

So, I bought coaching and it has helped me a ton.

Even with that said, I am still shocked and sometimes overwhelmed about how much there is to grow a profitable blog.

Pinterest to Freebies.
Opt-ins to Twitter.
Producing Products to E-mail marketing
The list goes on and on and on.

Once I got through the awesome course I bought, I realized how big the blogging world really was. Holy Moly Sweet Jesus.

How in the world will I learn all of this?

Here’s what I’m doing. I’ve taken a play from my son’s homeschool playbook. 

EASY + 1

You can relate this to blogging or training to run a marathon .

Here’s how it works.

You see a project or massive goal that you want to attack. It is HUGE and honestly, quite overwhelming. How in the world will you ever get it done? 

You are right. There is no way you can do this where you are right now.

But, you CAN do it by moving one step at a time and challenging yourself bit by bit.

The EASY in this formula is all the things you already know how to do.

It could be that you already know how to post basic blog articles or that you can walk a mile pretty easily.

Keep doing the easy things, putting one foot in front of the other.

But, doing the EASY things like posting basic blog articles and walking for a mile will not get you to a profitable blog or running a marathon.

You have to CHALLENGE yourself. That’s where the +1 comes in.

Don’t stay where you are. Do the easy and take it up a step.

Easy + 1 gets the job done.

Let’s look at a couple scenarios to drive this home. 

Scenario #1

You know how to post basic blog posts. By all means, keep putting out quality content on a regular basis.

Remember, bloggers are writers first. 

Now start adding graphics that you created in places like PicMonkey or Canva .

Got the pictures under your belt? Can you make quality pictures quickly? Yes?

Now your Easy is a basic blog post with awesome graphics.

Add another tool to your “Awesome Profitable Blog” toolbelt. 

Don’t stop there!

Keep making your basic blog posts with awesome graphics.

Then, start sharing those blog posts with awesome graphics in Facebook Groups.

To do that you need to figure out which groups are best for you and your niche, join them, and figure out the atmosphere in there. This will take some time. This is your next +1.

You will be creating basic blog posts with awesome graphics that you share in your favorite Facebook Groups.

Keep doing that, bit by bit, until you have a profitable blog.

Take the Easy and +1 it with each new and challenging step. You WILL get there.

 
 


 

 

Scenario #2

You can only walk a mile at a time but you have this HUGE dream to run across a marathon finish line. (*author waving hand*)

It seems impossible right now. Well, that’s probably because it is impossible….where you are right now.

That’s okay. Don’t give up because it’s impossible now. 

Keep doing your one-mile walk.

Then add another half mile. Do that till it’s easy. And repeat.

Start adding in small bursts of running. Do that till it’s easy.

Lengthen the small bursts of running. Do that till it’s easy.

Increase how far you run each day.

Next thing you know, you are running the marathon (26.2, BABY!!).

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Okay, yes, it was hard but you tackled it the Easy + 1 way.

This is exactly how I am facing this massive world of profitable blogging AND running my first marathon.

I am not there yet but I am tackling each +1 and adding another tool to my toolbelt with each step.

This method really helps those feelings of being overwhelmed at conquering HUGE goals. Just focus on each new challenging step, step by step, and eventually, you’ll get there. 

In the meantime, your job is to work with diligence and to always pursue that Easy + 1. Click To Tweet

 
 


 

Stock Photo Credit:
Joshua Earle

Invest In Yourself with Coaching

Do you remember graduating from school?

Were you like me and thought, “YES!!!  I am NEVER going back to school and I am NEVER going to read another non-fiction book AGAIN. It’s all novels from here on out”?

In all truth, I went for a long time without even opening up any books.

I was absolutely DONE with school, and books, and tests, and deadlines.

I had gone nonstop through school for about twenty years. That is preschool through a Masters Graduate Degree.

Little did I know that life is full of learning and tests and deadlines.  It just looks different.

And little did I know that it is the most successful people who never stop studying and learning.

It’s the professionals who have a coach!!! Click To Tweet

There came a time when I knew that there were some things that just weren’t working in my life. I needed help!!!

I went looking for that help. And what I found was that the people I want to be like are the ones who never stop learning. They never stop reading, nor do they ever stop seeking coaching.

I learned that the average Millionaire reads at least one non-fiction book a month and the average Billionaire reads double that or more.

I knew that the current path I was on wasn’t working and I needed to do something different.

What if I looked to the people I want to be like and do what they do?

And when I looked, I saw people who are avid readers and people who invest in themselves through coaching.

Simple, right? Yes, actually, it is.

The first step I took was that I committed to going back to my childhood prolific reading ways. I turned off the TV and started reading again. I started with novels to get the habit of reading warmed up and then I started going back and forth between fiction and non-fiction.

Reading has become a welcome reprieve in my day when it was once an assignment I resented.

Then I started going deeper into coaching.

I try to set aside one hour a day to learning and coaching.

 
 


 

Coaching can look like a number of things.

I often listen to audios or watch videos of my personal coach, Dani Johnson.  I have a number of courses and ebooks I am working through on writing and blogging. And I have a growing stack of leadership books I am working through.

It seems like a lot and, I guess, it is. But, one hour a day is doable.

 I’m worth it.  My future is worth it.

I take my ego out of the equation, take notes, and just follow directions. Click To Tweet

Since I started doing this one simple task each day, the path I was on has changed and is now going in a much better direction.

Do YOU invest in yourself through reading and coaching? Do you want to get started?

If so, I have a present for you.

I have created a printable to make YOUR daily coaching sessions even better. Print it out, take notes, and make an action plan.

I know you have goals. Get to work and make them happen.

Investing in yourself will always be the BEST investment. Click To Tweet

 
 


 

Stock image Credit:
Alejandro Escamilla

How I Write 1000 Words A Day: 6 Habits

The most common reaction I get when I say that I write 1000 words a day no matter the day is that of shock and “there is no way I could do that.”

I will tell you that it is HARD a lot of the time but the reward is so worth the effort. From helping me process all my thoughts and emotions to providing fodder for this blog makes prioritizing writing each day so worth it.

Now, getting 1000 words out each day can be a real struggle. My natural state is to be like a squirrel and chase after the next shiny thing.There is always something more fun or exciting out there. 

So, how in the world do I stay focused enough to get 1000 words out each day?

Let me share the habits that work pretty well for me. I hope adopting these habits can help YOU start writing 1000 words a day too.

 

NO SOCIAL MEDIA

In order for this to happen each day I have to turn off all social media.

It actually goes further than that. The only window open on my computer is my Word document where I write everything.

If anything else is open, the squirrel in me yearns to click over (like right now, I’m having to resist opening up CHROME) and see what’s happening on the news, weather, movies, friends on FB, blogging groups, Pinterest, email, etc. etc. etc.

I could easily lose an hour if I allow myself to click over and go down any rabbit holes.

All other windows, but especially social media (the worst culprit), must stay closed until this writing is done completely.

Then, when the writing is done, I can get my hits of social media or whatever peaks my interesting before I move on to the next task.

 

TURN PHONE OVER & ON SILENT

I keep my phone on the desk with me for most of the day.

The phone can be just as distracting as social media.

Why?

Because of all those random blinky lights that happen with notifications. If I see a blinky light notification, I just HAVE to check what it is notifying me about. A text, a Google hangout, a Facebook notification, a ReTweet, a new deal on Amazon, or a big on eBay. All of these notifications will send me into the trees with the squirrels just as quickly as social media on the laptop.

I also turn the phone on silent. Those notifications have beeps that will get me climbing to worlds unknown just like the lights will.

The phone is turned over and silent when I’m writing.

And on days when I’m feeling especially squirrely I will put the phone on the filing cabinet behind me so I can’t even see it.

 

 

 

 

Music for Concentration

I am often wearing my headphones while I’m working and listening to a wide repertoire of music. I work better with some good music on than I do in silence. It helps quiet all the miscellaneous thoughts.

For my 1000 words a day time, though, I listen to a particular station on Spotify called MUSIC FOR CONCENTRATION.

This music on this station is absolutely perfect for focusing on the task at hand. I can zone out and just write while I’m listening to it. I can’t tell you how it works but it really is easier to concentrate and pound out a ton of words quickly.

Do It First

I schedule my writing time as the first thing I do each day when I sit down at the computer.  Morning is my freshest time and it is far easier to be creative.

Writing my 1000 words a day is one of my non-negotiables when it comes to this blog. I started this whole crazy idea because I am a writer and a writer gotta write.

At the start of building this blog, I found myself getting caught up in the technical details of setting up a blog. There were some days I totally forgot to write.  I wasn’t being true to myself or being authentic with you.

So, I recommitted to the 1000 words a day no matter what. If that is the only thing I get done on the blog that day, I am okay with that.

The main purpose of a writer is to write. Period. Full Stop. Click To Tweet

 I put the most important thing at the start of the day. I write my 1000 words every morning before I do any marketing, blog building, skill building, homemaking, or whatever.

 

NO EDITING

I don’t edit the document when I’m writing.

UGH!  I know. It is so dang hard for the Grammar Police.

The point of writing 1000 words a day is to get the words out. It is not to create publishable material.

The publishable material comes later when I do the editing and formatting.

This daily exercise is to just let the ideas flow out of your fingers. That’s it. There are no paragraphs that make sense. Most of the time it is stream of consciousness and would make zero sense to anyone else who read it.

Yes, the little squiggly lines that keep popping up in Word drive me nuts but if I corrected every squiggly red line would never get this stuff out. And trying to perfect it as I’m going totally kills the creative process.

 

DON’T GET UP TILL IT’S DONE

Finally, you don’t get up from your desk until the 1000 words are written.

Most of the day I use a timer to help me take breaks.

But, when I’m writing my 1000 words a day I don’t get up until it is done. That gives me more motivation to get it done because my butt is starting to hurt after awhile.

Committing to not get up during your daily writing ritual means that you are placing it at a very high priority.

Give these habits a try and let me know how your daily writing is going!!!!

 

 

 

It takes good habits to ensure I am able to write 1000 words a day. Here are the top 6 habits.

October 2017 Monthly Blog Report

October has been a crazy and awesome month. 

I launched the blog on October 2nd.

It was an incredibly fun day. I was at the computer for most of the day talking to people who were messaging me about the awesome news of this new blog entering the blogosphere. I was overwhelmed with the response and I was floating on cloud nine for pretty much the entire day. 

I got 20+ subscribers that first day!!!!

The whole first week of October was pretty much the same as the first day. I was flying high and enjoying every minute of it.

Then Week 2 hit.

I started seeing the page views plummet. People weren’t signing up for my freebie and newsletter like they were before. There wasn’t much social media engagement. 

All of a sudden, this blog suddenly felt like an anchor and hard work. 

I remember thinking, “Okay, so this blogging thing is going to require a lot of work. *Sigh* Alrighty then, let’s do this.” 

I dusted off my crown and put my Big Girl Panties and got to work. 

I have been diligently working every day on this little blog all the while fighting off the inner critic that loves to say I can’t do this and it will never amount to anything. 

I am determined to make this work because I KNOW that writing is my God-given destiny. I have given up and quit on way too many things in my life. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and say, “No more.”

There was a grand purpose set into motion when I was born. My job is to walk into that destiny. Click To Tweet

I will let God take care of the details. 

Let’s look at the details of the month. 

My coach says that anything you want to grow and change you MUST track your results. One of the reasons you need to track your results is that when the days are hard and you aren’t seeing any traction you can always go back and see that you are, indeed, growing even if it is slow. 

I am also all about being authentic and keeping accountability on this blog. 

So, here are my numbers. 

Page views: 

Email Subscribers: (MailChimp)

Social Media: 

I look at these numbers and I am pretty happy.

What makes me the happiest is the number of subscribers. My focus is to grow my email list and to love on those people as much as possible. While I want the list to grow, I also want to take good care of those who have entrusted me with their sacred email space. So, I am happy with any growth, fast or slow. 

There is no income to report and that’s okay. I didn’t put any real effort into earning an income this month. I’m focusing on producing awesome content and growing my email list. 

Page views are great but engagement is the secret sauce. Click To Tweet

WINS:

  • Launched the blog
  • Started Email list and started weekly newsletter 
  • Created a 2nd Freebie to grow the Email List 
  • Jumped back onto Twitter and loving it. 
  • Scheduled 3 posts a week allowing for 2 to post and one to create a backlog. 
  • Wrote 1000 words a day (Monday – Friday)
  • Invested in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit for 2017. (Whoo!!  It’s going to take all year to get through it all!)
  • Started taking the courses in the GBT2017. 
  • Slowly learning where I fit in social media. 
  • Started engaging with other bloggers and supporting them. 
  • Learning to put others first 

FAILS:

  • Started a FB page but not really sure if I like it or if it works. 
  • Got sucked into link dropping in FB groups. YUCK. 
  • Listened to the lies that I can’t do this and got discouraged. 
  • Allowed that discouragement to slow down progress. 
  • And didn’t plan well for November. 
  • Floundering in social media 
  • Got sucked into the daily maintenance of the blog and stopped dreaming and planning. 
  • Lost some authenticity in my writing due to worrying what other’s thought. 

I could go on and on about what I did right and I could write even more about what I did wrong. 

This blog is a journey towards fulfilling my dream and destiny to be a writer. I know there will be wins and there will be lots of fails.

I am learning from my fails and moving forward and that is a Big 'Ole Fat Win. Click To Tweet

I am excited about November!  Good things are coming. 🙂

 
 


 

I Hear You Are Starting Your Fitness Journey…Again

This blog is not specifically a fitness blog but  I do love fitness. Exercise is a very important part of my week. Exercise helps keep me level emotionally. It helps me focus and go after my goals. That endorphins hit is almost always exactly what I need to get out of whatever funk I’m in or to reboot my creativity.

I used to not be that way.

I have stopped and started fitness journeys more times than I’d like to admit.

I start running or lifting or swimming or whatever. I am so gung-ho about it for a few weeks. I talk about it all the time. I POST about it on social media as a way of patting myself on the back. There is nothing wrong with posting on social media about your fitness journey. For me, it was a way of trying to gain recognition so I would feel better about myself.  Hopefully, that is not you. 

Life would happen and I would stop exercising.

This would happen over and over and over.

Then there would come a point where I felt gross or depressed or whatever and I knew I needed to start all over again.

Every beginning is just that….a new beginning. It is good. It is to be celebrated. Click To Tweet

But, every time I would start I didn’t feel good about it because I just KNEW that I would quit eventually. And then, I would think about what everyone would think about me starting all over again.  I just KNEW that they were thinking about how I’ve started ten million times already and I quit every single time. 

Does any of this resonate with you?

I have a feeling that at least one person out there is nodding her head up and down right now.

Well, this is for you, Honey.

First off, I want to say that I am proud of you. You are doing it!!!  You are taking responsibility for your own health and that is no small thing!

YOU are putting yourself first for a little bit each day. By doing that, YOU are saying, “I AM IMPORTANT!.”  That’s because YOU ARE important.

I could gush and gush and gush about how awesome it is that you are taking this step. If you need some extra support, PLEASE shoot me a message via the CONTACT ME Form. I would be honored to support you and encourage you.

Honey, please don’t listen to anyone else.

Pffffft. Pish Posh.

People Schmeaple.

It doesn’t matter one iota what other people think of YOUR fitness journey.

It doesn’t matter one itty bitty bit what other people think of you starting again.

Why?

This is YOUR journey!

This is YOUR Body!!

It belongs to no one else.

You do what you need to do and celebrate how you want to celebrate.

Embrace the Suck

This is when it gets a little less mushy.

There will be days, especially in the beginning, when going out to exercise is going to suck.

Yep. It’s going to happen.

It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to test your dedication.

It’s okay to say that it sucks. It’s okay to be honest with yourself and OTHERS that this journey sucks…at least right now.

Embrace the Suck. Confess the Suck. Use the Suck to propel you forward. Click To Tweet

Believe me when I say it gets easier. With dedication and consistency, your body adapts to the exercise and it feels a ton easier. Whoohoo!! 

You can do this!!

Every new Beginning is GOOD!!!!!

I have stopped and started writing AND exercise probably a thousand times. Ugh. I hate admitting it but it’s the truth.

I have another goal that I’ve stopped and started numerous times throughout the years.

A big bucket list goal is to run a marathon.  Just finish a marathon.

I have started training for that marathon about as many times as I’ve started writing again. Each goal comes to a screeching halt.

So, with better coaching under my belt, I thought it made sense to combine the goals of being a professional writer/blogger and running a marathon once and for all.

I am chasing HARD after each one every day.

I am starting a fitness journey AGAIN….just like you.

This time I have the tools I need to be successful.

If you need the tools, I am here to help you!!!

Please don’t let a lack of skill stop you from going after fitness or any other dream.

I am here to support you 200%. Just click over on the CONTACT ME form and we will talk.

 
 


 

Write For an Audience of One: How to Keep Authenticity in Your Writing

How To Keep Authenticity in Your Writing

It is a struggle when you are a writer and a blogger. There is this tension between being authentic in your writing and also keeping in mind the needs and desires of your readers.

What does being authentic in your writing mean?

It means putting your full self in your words and not putting up a façade. It means being open and honest with your audience.

I have created a few other blogs in the past and they all came to an end after a long and slow death. As I have looked back over them and considered what went wrong there is one thing that is consistent. I was trying to be someone I was not.

When I looked at other mom blogs and fitness blogs and I got this idea in my head of what the perfect mom or fitness fanatic should look like. I tried to fit my squiggly shaped self into the square shaped hole. Y’all, it didn’t work.

It hurts when you try to force your shape into the shape others. Click To Tweet

The life cycle of my past blogs is that I would be so excited to be getting my words and voice out there. The fire was there and I believed in my message.

Then I would start losing interest in my blog. I’m confident it was because I was doing exactly what I mentioned above. I stopped writing for myself and focused purely for others.

The funny thing is that I believe my audience would sense a change in my writing and would lose interest.

Why?

I was losing authenticity

It wasn’t me who was writing. It was a page views and ad-click seeking robot. You can only cover that up for so long.

Before I started this blog I prayed long and hard about even starting. I didn’t want to start another blog only for it to have the same demise. 

I wanted to do things thing differently.

As I was still in the praying and brainstorming phase for this blog, I came across this article by Jeff Goins

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyrill Connolly

When I read that quote I knew what exactly what my problem was. I was not writing for myself at all.

Writing is a truly creative beast. Take your true self out and you kill it. Click To Tweet

From that day forward, I made a covenant with God and with myself that I would ALWAYS be authentic in my writing. 100%.

Jeff Goins also says in his article “Writing for yourself is the only way to begin writing, in my opinion. You take your audience into account in the editing and tweaking process. You start, though, by writing for you.” 

Every day I write my 1000 words. I write those words 100% for me. In these pages, you will see some of the rawest emotions you could ever imagine. Those words are between God and me.

All my blog articles come for my 1000 words a day Word document. The only difference is that I take the very same words and I just tweak and edit a little bit to be more attractive for other people and the internet.

How to Keep Authenticity in Your Writing

It always starts with me and my authentic self.

Do the people-pleasing tendencies try to come out to play? Absolutely.

For example, I knew I wanted to write this blog article. I sat down to write and the words weren’t coming. I sat here for probably 5 minutes just staring at the screen.

Then I literally slapped myself and said, “Sarah, for crying out loud. You want to write about authenticity in writing and yet you are still trying to get it just right. Just WRITE…For….yourself. The rest will come.”

What’s the take-home point here? JUST WRITE! 

Write for yourself and only yourself. Write for an Audience of One. Forget all the other people. And in so doing you will impact more lives than you thought possible. Click To Tweet

If you feel discouraged as a writer please consider taking a step back and asking yourself WHY you write and WHY you love writing.

Then go back to that place and just write. Don’t write for anyone but yourself. Find healing in that practice. And then, when you are ready, share your authentic writing with the world. See what happens.

People are waiting to hear YOUR voice. They don’t want to hear someone else’s voice through you. They Want YOU.

Go Write.

Oh, and while you’re at it. Also, go get Jeff Goins FREE ebook “The Writer’s Manifesto.” Hear the rallying cry of authentic writers and get to work.

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Write For An Audience of One - How to Keep Authenticity In Your Writing

Introducing the 1000 Words A Day Writing Challenge

Write 1000 Words a Day.

I remember reading those words and how they stuck in my brain.

At the time, I had so much inside of me that needed to be processed and come out. But, there was a block in my mind.

I just couldn’t write anything down!!

Then I saw it again. “Write 1000 Words A Day.” 

 It doesn’t matter what you write or how well you write, just write 1000 words a day. 

I started implementing that habit in my daily routine and the results have been unbelievable. 

You can read more about how I came about this habit in my post “How Writing 1000 Words A Day Changed My Life…Too.”

Since I have been writing 1000 words a day I have processed and released so much pain and hurt from my past AND I have launched my writing career.

I don't believe I would be where I am now if it weren't for writing 1000 words a day. Click To Tweet

That’s why I am always talking about it. I share with fellow writers and bloggers. And I share it with people who have a ton of stuff that needs to be processed and spit out. Don’t we all need to do that??

And I share it with people who have a ton of stuff that needs to be processed and brought to the surface. Don’t we all need to do that??

Does writing 1000 words a day sound exactly like what you need to jump-start your writing? 

It doesn’t have to be writing for publication or a blog. It could be writing in a journal or stories that make your heart happy. 

You may not even consider yourself a “writer” but you’d like to give it a try and see what happens. 

It doesn’t matter what your motivation is. I encourage you to see what happens if you write 1000 words a day for 30 days.

Sign up below for an awesome Printable tracker to help you write 1000 words every day for 30 days.

Think about what you could accomplish in 30 days of consistent writing. 

You could have a month’s worth of blog articles done. 

You could write an e-book. 

You could write that short story you’ve always wanted to write. 

You could get all those ideas out of your head that won’t stop pestering you. And that might lead to more sleep! YES! 

You could process through the depression and anxiety that are holding you back from your God-given talent. 

Whatever it may be, unleash your potential with writing 1000 words a day. Click To Tweet

Get your FREE printable below AND you’ll get weekly encouragement in your inbox too!!  Win-Win!

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons To Do What Absolutely Scares You

Is there something that you want to do that absolutely scares you?

Trust me, I understand.

I uncovered this post from almost two years ago when I was just starting to learn how to swim.  What I learned then is just as good now. 

I confess I am not the best person to talk about doing new things. My family and friends tease me about how much I resist change. One might even say I am “a stick in the mud.” I like things to stay the same. The same is comfortable and cozy.

But, the same is just that…the same. Click To Tweet

I know that very well. It dwells there in my mind all the time and yet I resist with all my might.

Recently, I have been growing bored in my workouts. Running and weight lifting just haven’t been holding my interest. I can’t really explain why except maybe I just need a change. But, what? What exactly could I do to keep up the level of movement that I so desperately desire? I live in a big city now and of course, that means tons of options. I have looked and considered and come to find out that what I needed the most has been right there in front of me.

Guess what my local gym has?

An indoor lap pool.

I do know how to swim. I can stay afloat in the water and not drown. I took swimming lessons as a kid but I never progressed to learning the most recognized strokes. For that reason, I have always lacked confidence in swimming. Combine that with a 20+ year history of avoiding swimsuits due to my poor body image and you have an anxiety-laden activity.

Here’s the funny thing. Over the last few months, I have been known to stare at the pool as I was walking up to the weight room. Something in me pulled me towards that pool. I was enticed and yet repelled.

Being serious about swimming meant facing a whole lot of demons and doing something that scares the bits out of me.

Fast forward and I am happy to say that I am in that pool several times a week complete with a nice swimsuit, swim cap, and goggles. I am slowly but surely facing those demons and doing what scares me.

What about you? When was the last time you did something that scares you? Has it been awhile?

Here are three reasons to do what absolutely scares you in case you need a little push.

1. Humility 

Learning to swim properly has been a big ‘ole slice of humble pie served up warm and a la mode. I have had to go all the way back to the start. I am spending all my swimming workouts doing various drills just so I can relearn how to be comfortable in the water again, how to breathe properly, and how to glide through the water without sinking like an anvil. It is tough because there are days that I get so bored doing these drills over and over again. I look one lane over at the kid half my age or some other adult gliding seamlessly through the water and doing flip turns over and over again all the while I am in my lane focusing on floating on my back, not sinking or inhaling water.

Often I get frustrated because I so want to be that fish-like, flip-turning swimmer. I want the confidence in the water that I have in the weight room or the road. But, I know that I can’t get there by skipping crucial steps. Did I walk into the weight room and dead-lift 225 for reps my first day? Not even close. On my first day, I was holding onto my husband’s arm as we slowly made our way from one machine to the next. I was scared then too.

 And then slowly over time, and on a constant diet of humble pie, I was able to walk in there like a boss and dead-lift 225 for reps. It took being willing to admit that I really don’t know anything about this stuff. It meant being coachable and taking it one step at a time.

Being humble means admitting that you need help. Click To Tweet

Being humble means saying, “Hey! I know nothing but I want to learn. Could you help me?”

I am still working on those drills several times a week. I have a goal in mind of doing an open water swim. I don’t know how long it will take. I will do these drills for however long I have to build the foundation I need. It will happen. I just have to be humble and patient.

Update: I have done that 1-mile open water swim and it was pretty awesome. Blog post to come.

2. Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone

Quite honestly, staying in your comfort zone is rather boring. Don’t you think so too?

But, your comfort zone is comfy and cozy. It is safe and cloistered.

The sad thing is that personal development does not happen in the comfort zone. It can’t. Like I said above you have to be humble enough to admit you need to mold into something new but for that happen you have to actually go to the fire or wheel for that molding to occur. You have to admit your need for help and then step out of your comfort zone to make that happen.

I will be honest and say that swimming scares me. I am not so much scared of the water but I am scared of doing something that requires so much humility. And then throw in the crazy notion of swimming in a big body of water where I can’t touch the bottom. It scares me. But, I KNOW I will be a completely different person when I finally achieve that goal. I will have been humble and been willing to be forged that fire. It will be awesome.

3. Growth, Empowerment, and Confidence

WOW!  Think about how you will feel when you have achieved that thing that scared you for so long. Take a moment and think about it nice and long.

When I think about how I will feel when I have swum well in that pool and ultimately, in that open water I see myself feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof. I will stand tall. I will be confident and empowered. I did what I thought was impossible. Those demons did not hold me back. I stared them in the face and I got ‘er done.

You achieved something awesome! Now take that growth, empowerment, and confidence to do something even bigger. Don’t waste all the good that comes from facing a fear and coming out on the other end.  Seriously, we can change lives when we don’t squander all that goodness.

You’ve heard about my journey to learn how to swim. Now, I want to hear about what YOU are going to do that scares you now. SOUND OFF in the comments. 🙂

 

 
 


 

How learning to swim taught me 3 reasons I should do what absolutely scares me.

 

How learning to swim taught me 3 reasons I should do what absolutely scares me.

Freedom In Infertility: The Day I Told My Son He Is Enough

There is one part of my story that I don’t talk too much about.

Infertility.

My husband and I have one child. He is eleven years old now.

Our son came quickly and without much effort. Infertility was the last thing on our minds.

Most people assume we chose to have one child. What they don’t know is that my husband and I have longed for another child since our son was just a year old.

That is ten years of waiting, wanting, and wondering.

Before anyone asks, we did start down the path of medical intervention and chose to stop for reasons that are our own.

We also started down the path of adoption and chose to stop for reasons that are our own.

Early on in our marriage, my husband and I took a step of faith and agreed we would trust God with our family size. We assumed that meant a lot of kids. We were equally thrilled and scared to death. 

What we didn’t consider at the time was that trusting God with our family size meant trusting HIM no matter the family size, big or small.

I didn’t consider that, perhaps, God would say that one child was the perfect number for us. 

So, for the last ten years, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I would go through seasons of contentment and seasons of yearning for another child. 

There have been times when I have cried out to God.

Wait, let me be more honest. I have YELLED at God.

Why? Why, when children are said to be a blessing, was He withholding this blessing from us. Was I not good enough? What was wrong with me? What made other women so special that they got so much “blessing” when I only got a little “blessing?”

I know this line of thinking is horrible. I was fed lies straight from the pits of Hell and I swallowed them whole and allowed them to become a part of me. I believed the lie that I was not good enough for God’s blessings hook, line, and sinker.

I stayed in a place of WHY and it blinded me.

I got lost in that place called “When.”

You know that place? When our family is complete we will do all those awesome things. Or I will go after all those awesome bucket list fitness goals when I am done having babies.

Then one day I was praying and once again, asking God why I have to wait for so long for another child. Why is He withholding such blessings?

I remember distinctly hearing, “Sarah….Sarah…..my child. My beautiful child. I have not withheld any blessings. Go look at your son. I gave you your Son. I gave him to you to nurture and to tell him all about my wonders. I have an amazing plan for him. He is enough.”

I was UNDONE.

As I was in limbo I failed to see the perfection I already had right in front of me. Click To Tweet

I confessed and repented to the Lord of my failings.

Then I went to my son.

I said, “Son, I love you so much. You know that right? You know that Dad and I have always been open to having more children. But, in God’s providence, it hasn’t happened. For too long I have been looking for that other child and while looking I failed to see you following me. I looked ahead and not to my side. I am afraid that I have made you feel like you are not enough, that our family is not complete and perfect already. Please forgive me. You ARE enough and our family is PERFECT just the way it is.”

My son, with tears in his eyes, said, “I forgive you, Mom. I love you so much.”

There has been so much healing in our family since the day I told my son he is enough.

Is there still a desire for more children? Sure.

Do I still wonder why things are this way? Absolutely.

Do I grieve how I thought things would be? Yep.

But, I rest in knowing that God’s ways are higher than my own. And He is so much bigger than infertility.

And I relish in the renewed relationship I have with my ENOUGH son.


 
 


 

Using the FIVE WHYS to Accomplish Anything

When you are starting down the road of health and fitness or a new business venture, it can be so easy to be motivated and inspired. It is easy to get up in the morning and get to work whether it is writing, prospecting, prepping food, or getting to the gym. 

But, we all know full well that the day will come, and it WILL come when life gets in the way. What will you do when life is hard and the motivation is waning?

It is then that it is so important to know your WHY.

What is your WHY?

Your WHY is the reason that you are starting this journey. It is the deep down reason that stirs within your soul. I like to ask people, “What is the WHY that makes you CRY?”

Did you doctor say you are one heart attack away from the grave?

Do you want to improve your health so you can expand your little family?

Do you want to be home more with your growing-too-fast kids?

Do you want to grow old with your soul mate?

Or do you just want to feel better in body and mind?

Whatever the case is for YOU, there is a process you can follow to help you find your WHY.

It is called the ‘5 Why’s.’

This is a very simple but very effective exercise for getting to the root of WHY you want something.

When you want to accomplish something (or if something goes wrong), you ask one why.

Why do I want to accomplish this?

Write down your answer to the first question in your journal. 

Then ask yourself WHY again? 

And so on, five times.

Here’s an example from a past journal entry of my own: 

Why am I on this journey?
I want to lose fat.

Why do I want to lose fat?
Because I want to fit into a smaller size of pants.

Why do I want to fit into a smaller size of pants?
Because when I’m wearing smaller pants, I think I’ll look better.

But why do I want to look better?
Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.

But why do I want to feel good about myself?
Because when I feel good about myself, I am a better Mom and Wife.

But why do I want to be a better Mom and Wife?
Because when son and husband are my world and they deserve so much more than a depressed Mom and Wife who just wants to stay in bed all day.

See how that works? Once you have found the most important reason, your WHY, for doing something you will have it on the days when you need to be reminded so you can keep going.

Find the WHY that makes you CRY! Click To Tweet

Once you have found the most important reason, your WHY, for doing something you will have it on the days when you need to be reminded so you can keep going.

Knowing where you want to go — and being able to see it clearly — can help you get there better and faster.

What are your Five Whys??

 
 


 

Using the Five Whys method to help you get to the root reason for doing anything worth doing.

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