Procrastination is the Root of Fear

 

For the past few years I have started a birthday ritual-start the morning with a run, write a blog post and eat a pastry. If I don’t do those things, my birthday is not complete. Well, this year, I accomplished 2/3 of my list. I still ended up having an awesome 37th birthday, complete with friends, family, a nice run and a wonderful pastry-even if it was gluten free (thanks to the bff-she’s gluten free-I’m not).

Last year, I started a list of life lessons I’ve learned thus far and every year I promised myself to add to the list as a chance for reflection and review. This year will be my first addition to my life lesson list and it took almost a lifetime to figure it out:

DON’T PROCRASTINATE

Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it , sins.~James 4:17 (NIV)

Procrastination is the root of fearI just finished reading, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Everyday by Glynnis Whitwer and this book opened my eyes to a major issue for me.

I have always been a procrastinator and loved using the excuses that “I do my best work at the last minute.” and “I work best late at night.” I mean since high school, I would be the one to burn the midnight oil and produce an awesome project. I remember my senior year, pulling an all nighter with no sleep. Someone brought some No Doze to school for me to take because I was afraid I would fall asleep in class. My heart raced all day and I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but I stayed awake. I cannot believe that taking a halfway illegal drug was not my fear, but falling asleep was my fear. Now when I look back on my stupidity, I have an “aha” moment. All I had to do was plan better and avoid procrastination. Duh.

The crazy part about that little story is that it doesn’t stop there. And what’s even crazier is that I am hyper-organized with a type-A personality that absolutely loves buying a planner at the end of the year. So much so that I started a businesses focused on business organization AND I’m in the process of designing a planner. But, I constantly stay up 24 hours to complete projects. Who does this? An absolute lunatic named, Dee Dee, that’s who. But, that all stops starting this month. I’m almost 40 and I can’t hang like I used to.

I have decided to start my new year with a different mindset. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and I am planning better to manage my time more effectively to avoid procrastination. I am tackling my hardest projects first thing in the morning. Procrastination has gotten the BEST of me and I’m over it. For example, I neglected this blog and I was hacked. It took 4 hours of phone support spanned over two days to get my blog up and I was so scared that I lost all my content. Had I not procrastinated, this entire situation could have been avoided and I wouldn’t have a themeless (no colo or personality for my non techies) blog. And don’t even get me started on how this “birthday” post is two weeks late because I was afraid to write. And the truth is there is nothing to fear-primarily because about two people read my blog and I write for me (and my children).

I have already started tackling projects head on and I look forward to creating a new mindset. From the title of a great movie from the year 2000…BRING IT ON! I’ll keep you posted on my progress of course. Pray for me!

Do you procrastinate? What is the fear of your procrastination? Please share in the comments below. You could help someone and not even know it.

My Bucket List at 19

As I shared in a previous bucket list post, I have kept notebooks as long as I can remember. As I was decluttering my night stand, I found an old notebook from college. It had several written goal lists from over the years. One particular list caught my eye and I had to share because it is hilarious and even embarrassing to think of what mattered most as a teenager. I can’t believe I’m willing to share.

The year was 1998. I was 19 and completing a summer internship at Stanford University. I was surrounded by computer science geeks (Ummm…I guess I was one too now that I think about it.) and I missed my family, friends, and boyfriend (Five years later, that boyfriend became my husband.). I decided to start a list. Little did I know, it was what we now call a bucket list. It went a little something like this:

Short and Long Term Dreams and Aspirations (in no particular order):
Graduate PVAMU (Praire View A&M University) December 1999
Obtain a Master’s degree July 2005
Obtain a summer internship (on my own) June 1999
Get a new stereo with a CD changer
Get a video camera
A family and marriage (marriage first) Married 2003, Son born 2008, Daughter born 2010
Get a Krinkle dog and Rottweiler  I ended up with a pit bull, English bull dog, and French bull dog that are all now deceased. I am no longer an animal person and we have two English bull dogs.
Louie Vouiton purse I’m still obsessed with bags
Coach purse
New tennis shoes
New cds
Brand new car driven off the lot August 2000
Travel to: NYC, LA, NO, DC, Miami, Atlatnta, Paris, London, Austraila, Canada
My kids to dress the best (Baby Gap, Guess)
BMW
Nice Pjs
New Jeans
House with Ethan Allen furniture Purchased April 2003 decided to go with another furniture manufacturer
Wardrobe consisting of J. Crew and Ann Taylor
To live outside of Texas
Magazine subscription
Designer sunglasses
I want my hair to reach past my shoulders
To make a 4.0
No wire hangers My OCD begins
To get above a 630 on the GMAT I took the GRE instead
To join a gym and exercise Little did I know I would become a semi-gym rat obsessed with new workouts

Do you remember what your dreams and aspirations were as a teenager/young adult? Were they the same as today? Please share in the comments below. I would love to hear your comparisons.

Dee Dee’s Bucket List

I was cleaning my night stand and came across a notebook. Ever since I could remember, I have kept some form of a notebook/diary/journal. When I was a little girl, I always kept a diary, my mom bought them in bulk for some reason. Remember the diary notebooks with the lock and key? I had more than I should have and now I have no idea where they are. Sigh. As I looked through the journal, which was a spiral notebook from college, I realized that I have always created some form of a bucket list. Of course at the time, they weren’t called bucket lists, but we have since evolved. I decided to finally write a “current” bucket list that I can scratch off items and add items to as I live this crazy life.

COMPLETED: 0/28

PERSONAL
Learn to swim
Go on a personal shopping spree
Get my teeth professionally whitened
Live outside of Texas
Write a book
Teach my children how to swim
Treat myself to a spa day
Work to get that six pack (or three pack) abs of steel

PROFESSIONAL
Attend a blog conference
Earn ??? in one fiscal year with my business ventures
Own a successful business
Be completely debt free
Start a (virtual) marriage bible study group

FAMILY
Take a mission trip with my family
Complete a sporting event with my kids
Grow a small garden

TRAVEL
Visit all 50 states
Experience Europe
Experience South Africa
Visit Australia
Visit Canada
Visit NYC
Take an international vacation with family
Visit Washington, DC with my family
Visit Disney World with my family
Take a “real” road trip with my family
Visit Anguilla
Experience NYC with my family (again)

FUN
See a Broadway play (on Broadway)
Take my daughter to her first concert (preferably Beyonce)

Do you have a Bucket List? What’s one thing on your list? Please share in the comments below.

5 Simplified Tips to Start the New Year with New Goals

I am a professional goal setter. I am constantly setting goals. And every year I spend the last week of December reflecting, creating goals, and writing a plan for those goals. There is an overabundance of printables, books, and tips to help you achieve your goals. I should know because I have read or tried almost all of them. This year, I am keeping it simple and focusing on small, attainable goals that I work on and review consistently. I’m sharing the five simplified tips I’m using this year to be intentional about goal planning.

1. START Something/STOP Something
My ROD (ride or die/bestie) suggested I listen to the My Story 4-part sermon series from her church. This message was right on time and applicable to the current state of my life. I highly suggest listening to this series to prepare your mind and heart for the new year year and beyond. In this series, Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church suggested that we start one discipline and stop one action. Starting a discipline to help you lead a better life, could be as simple as drinking water with every meal if you are trying to increase your water intake. Stopping an action that is not good for your health or well being could be as obvious as quitting smoking. For this upcoming year, I have prayed and asked for guidance for my “something” and I believe God is leading me to START getting at least seven hours of sleep and to STOP yelling at the people that interact with me daily-my husband and children.

2. One Word
I love the focus of One Word for 365 days. I actually posted my word, reflected on my word, and used my word the entire year. I decided to take it a step further and match my one word with a bible verse that I recited daily. My one word for 2015 is, DO. I plan to write a post all about this word and how I plan to focus on it for 2015. For example, my plan for our home this year is to declutter and instead of planning, pinning, and preparing, I am actually going to DO the dirty work and declutter. My previous “one words” have been shared in previous posts.

Grow into who you want to be one day at a time.~Holley Gerth

3. Fifteen Minutes
According to Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, any project or goal you want to accomplish can be completed by working on it for 15 minutes a day. Consistency is key and by investing a small amount of time on a consistent basis, you can start to add noticeable progress to your goal or project. You can be intentional by setting a timer and get working before the “official” start of your day. I am devoting 15 minutes a day to two different projects. I am decluttering for 15 minutes and I am writing a memoir for my children and I spend 15 minutes a day on that project. Right now, the decluttering happens at random times throughout the day and the writing is scheduled for 10:30 pm which is helping me with my 10:45 bedtime. My mornings are reserved for prayer and reflection, but I may add more time later.

4. Set SMART Goals
I am a former public school teacher and administrator and in that world, we LIVED by setting SMART goals. It wasn’t until I left the world of education that I learned the value of SMART goals. It all makes sense to me now! If my goals aren’t “SMART” (No pun intended. Well, maybe a pun was intended.) what’s the point in setting them? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting SMART goals gives you the power to break large goals into smaller attainable goals and have a realistic plan of action. I will share some of my own SMART goals as an example:

  • I will have a living will and advanced directives drafted and completed by November 2015 (my birthday)
  • I will publish at least one blog post a week
  • I will complete a business plan by June 2015

5. Review Your Goals
We write goals at the beginning of the year and then we forget about them. Work happens. School happens. Life happens. The key to keeping your goals relevant is to consistently review them. This has always been my issue. Looking at the big picture we should review our goals yearly, monthly, weekly, and most importantly daily. Kat Lee of Inspired to Action has a podcast series where she suggests writing goals each day, reviewing your weekly progress, and improving based on your progress.

I am taking my goal setting to a new level this year with these five tips. If you want to try something different with your goal setting and be intentional this time around, then join me. What goal setting tips can you share? Please leave a comment, I’m all eyes!

The planner pictured above is available for purchase in my online boutique, Printed Sugar.

The Life Lessons I’ve Learned So Far…

Today is my 36th birthday. I was going to piggy back off of last year’s post and make a list of things I want to accomplish in the next year and I got stumped. My ultimate bucket list is growing, as it should, but my yearly list of goals is growing shorter. So, I decided to post about 36 life lessons I’ve learned in 36 years. The plan is to add one life lesson to the list every birthday. I am not proclaiming to be a wise woman. But, I am proclaiming to be a woman full of imperfections and testimonies to share.

 1. Rest

Your body needs to refuel. We refuel our electronics, why not our bodies? Don’t ever feel guilty about resting your body. It is a part of healthy living and benefits your heart, weight, mind, and more.

 2. God loves me

Regardless of my mistakes. Regardless of my choices in life.  Regardless of my behaviors. I know one thing to be true, God loves me. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.~John 3:16

 3. Build a relationship with Christ

You have been wired with a need for Jesus. Building a personal relationship with Him will give your life a sense of purpose and need to live life to the fullest. If you have ever felt like your life is missing something, try building a relationship with Christ, that just may be what you are missing. What will it hurt?

 4. Find your person

Just like Christina Yang and Meredith Grey were to each other on Grey’s Anatomy, you need that same relationship in your life. I have my person and have had my person since freshmen year of college when she talked my ear off. Little did I know, that endless chatter would be one of the most consistent voices I need in my life. I have my husband, I have my mother, and I have my sister…but none of them compare to my person. I can say and be me without worrying about judgement or intentionally hurting feelings. She is my prayer partner and bible study warrior. You need that one person to “tell you like it is”, have your best interest at heart, allow you to follow your own path, love you anyway if (and/or when) the pieces fall apart, and not say, “But, I told you so.”

 5. Journal

Go to Half Price Books, get you a journal and start journal writing. Journaling helps you put your life in perspective. You can process where you have been, where you are, and where you are going.

6. Stop worrying

Worrying is a form of pride. When we worry, we think we can fix it or that we have all the answers and clearly we don’t.  Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.~Philippians 4:6

 7. Live life with no regrets

Life is a journey. We are all on that journey and our purpose is to experience life to the fullest. Follow the light you have, the truth you know, and don’t look back. For what?

 8. Learn from your mistakes

You will not stop making mistakes. Mistakes make you stronger and wiser. Learn from them and share them with others for their own good.

 9. Exercise

Get up. Get out. Do something. You know why. We all know why.

10. Eat better

You are what you eat and that is the truth. Stop eating crap. All it takes is little changes and eventually your entire body will thank you. Plus, you KNOW you need to eat better.

11. Talk

I have opened my mouth more than ever before in this last year. I still have a LONG way to go, but I am better for it. My relationships are stronger and I have been released from the unnecessary weight of silence.

12. Stop trying to be perfect

There is only one Jesus and he ain’t you. We will never be perfect so now I say, “I’m not a perfectionist. I’m anal.” Seriously, all we can do is be the best version of ourselves.

13. Let it go

From the classic movie that every parent has seen entirely too many times, Frozen, LET IT GO! Whatever it is, whenever it happened, let it go. It is doing nothing more than adding negativity and bitterness to your life and it’s not worth it.

14. Get off the comparison train

William Jones, Mary Jones, the entire Jones family has issues too. So, I had to stop one day and ask myself, “Why are you comparing yourself to them?”

15. You will fail

I have failed and succeeded more than once. In every failure there is a lesson that leads to another success. So, I keep failing! God will take our greatest failure and turn it into our greatest strength time and time again.

16. Live debt free

Debt is evil. It makes no sense to me. I have learned that you can live a life without credit cards and loans. If I can’t pay for it, I don’t need it. I have failed and succeeded at this so many times in my lifetime and I am determined to continue in success one step at a time.

17. Start your day with quiet time

For a little over 3 years now, I have been intentionally waking 30 minutes earlier to have my quiet time with God. I complete my bible study, prayer, and meditation. This has allowed me to give to God and receive from God. I am being obedient to him, yet I am receiving several blessings in the process.

18. Forgive

True forgiveness is choosing not to think about it anymore. Consider the debt PAID IN FULLAnyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.~2 Corinthians 5:17

19. Listen

Becoming a listener takes practice. Listening is a true art form that requires patience and even restraint. When listening to others or even that voice in your head, you must restrain yourself from “talking back”. Just let the words flow through your mind. Only respond if there is a request for one. Otherwise, shut your mouth and LISTEN!

20. Take the first right step

It may be a small step, but take it. It is your step to take. You will never know unless you take that first step.

21. Everybody’s got their something

It may seem like that other person is perfect. They appear to have it ALL together. The truth is, they don’t. Everyone is struggling with something, self-worth, depression, debt, illness, body image, the list could go on. We are all flawed. It’s how we manage our flaws that makes the difference.

22. Find your something

Discovering and following your passion for work or hobby allows you to feel that you life has a purpose and meaning. It gives you a release from the hardships of daily life.

23. Challenge yourself

The real stuff happens when we step out of our comfort zone. I have done my fair share of putting my self out there-yoga, crossfit, running, kickboxing, swimming, presentations to corporate leaders, teaching teenagers, writing a blog, starting an online business, becoming a work at home mom-the list could go on. I’m so over it that now I just jump right in. Either I will sink or swim, but I’m going to learn something and the end result is usually life changing.

24. Be faithful

It took about 34 years for me to full grasp the concept of faithfulness. For me, being faithful gives me the energy and determination to put one foot in front of the other. We are a microwave nation. We want our results now. We have everything else available in an instant through the use of our tablets, computers, and phones. So, when being faithful takes longer than desired, I instantly want to jump ship. But, being faithful means staying the course. By being faithful, I am always rewarded on a larger scale than I could have ever imagined.

25. You can’t do it all

My husband has been telling me since college that I overdue it. I let my plate get full and then I end up trying to juggle several plates. And we all know the ending of this story. EPIC FAIL. I have tried to set priorities, discover my boundaries, and learn to say no. The power of the word, “NO”, is unbelievable. The world will go on with or without me. So, I’ve learned that if someone else can do it better, LET THEM!

26. Trust your gut

If you feel it, go with it. By trusting your instincts, you are trusting yourself first. And who better to trust than yourself? Or do you not trust yourself? If that’s the case, that is another lesson learned.

27. Being healthy is more than eating right and working out

I have learned the hard way that for me being healthy means getting sleep, taking time for myself, communicating, drinking water, making and keeping doctor’s appointments, AND eating right, AND working out. Being healthy is a lifestyle. It is more than a vanity complex.

28. Sometimes that deadline will come and go

Now, I know that some deadlines are not meant to be missed. I’m not naive. But, rest easy. Those other deadlines can be reset to ensure your best work is on display. I had a deadline for this post and it already thirteen days late. All I can do is keep writing and move on. I can’t lose sleep or waste energy. That is really not helping my situation. I can only acknowledge my mistake and move on.

29. Declutter

Live on less. Get rid of excess. If you don’t need it, rid your life of it. Clutter is an indication of the status of your life. By removing clutter, you will minimize your life which will help you focus on what really matters. I automatically feel 10 pounds lighter when I declutter.

30. Travel

I absolutely love to travel. My husband and I love to immerse ourselves in other cultures. Traveling allows you to temporarily step out of your box, try new things (and food), and relax. In many travel situations you will be forced to release control and go with the flow.

31. Give your kids the attention they deserve

Kids are only kids for a short number of years. This time will pass so quickly. I have never heard an elderly person say, “I wish I spent more time at work.” But, I have heard an elderly person say, “I wish I spent more time with my kids.” I  will NOT have that regret on my conscious. I have learned to slow down and be present with my littles. I listen, respond, and show interest. Even if I don’t want to talk about, see, or hear another video game strategy or Frozen revelation!

32. Give to others

When I think about giving, I automatically think of monetary giving. But, giving to others does not necessarily mean a cash donation. I can give my time or even skills to help someone. It can be as simple as babysitting for another mom, volunteering my time at the kids’ school, or even visiting a sick friend. “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, You shall open wide your had to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.~Deuteronomy 15:11

33. Being a parent is the most difficult career on Earth

God gave me these children because He knew I was adequate. So, I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time and when it gets hard it is HARD. But, I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability as my service to Him.

34. Fight for it

Whatever it is, whoever it is, fight for it. You may not think so, but you have a little bit of fight left in you. Life is worth living if you have a fight to win.

35. Be grateful

I have so much to be grateful for. When I truly examine my life, my gratitude list is overflowing. I am grateful for every experience, every failure, every success, every mistake, every friend, even the gym membership I love to hate. I am grateful and blessed beyond measure.

36. Love hard

I have learned to love hard even the situation or other person makes it difficult. God loves me regardless of my many mess-ups, so, who am I not to love others? We love because God loved us first.~1 John 4:19

photo credit: Erwin Winkelman via photopin cc

What are some life lessons you’ve learned thus far? Have you mastered any of lessons I’ve shared? Please share below because I have a LONG way to go!