When it feels like ten thousand steps

For the past eight weeks, I’ve been walking 10,000 steps a day. Yes, I’ve missed my goal about eight of the past 40 days, but most days have a minimum of 10K or more. Some days it seems to take no effort. Other days, I look down and it’s like, “Four hundred? I’ve only done 400 steps? I’m NEVER going to make it to ten thousand today!”

But then I start walking. Just 15 minutes. Just start moving one foot in front of the other. By the end of the first week, I had walked the equivalent of a marathon. Recently, I hit 1,000 stories worth of stairs: the equivalent of a skydiver. Today’s log is at 9,341, so I’ve got a few more steps to get in before I “call it a day” well walked.

As I was belaboring my 400 step horror and stamping about the neighborhood in a huff, I turned my thoughts to business and how the metaphor of 10,000 steps works for our small businesses as well. It is so easy to get overwhelmed. Especially, if you are in that “working two jobs diligently phase.” It’s a lot of work. A lot of extra hours. A lot of robbing Peter to pay Paul and then shaking all the cushions out to try to pay Mary her fair share as well.

For you who might just find yourself in a similar place, consider these few things:
1. The discipline to run this small business is not insurmountable if I take it in steady, daily chunks. Walking 10,000 steps a day can be done. Walking 70,000 steps in a day to “catch up” for the week, can not. Honest. It just can’t. Not by normal humans.

2. You don’t have to do it all at once. 15 minutes here. 15 minutes there. 30 minutes at a stretch here… these things all add up and suddenly you find that you’ve accomplished way more than you thought possible when you started the day (whether that was at 7 a.m. or 3 in the afternoon!)

3. Procrastination will kill your business faster than anything. You must MOVE to the next right action and the next one and the next one. You’ve got to have lists and a calendar that you actually use (start with 4 daily things).

4. Once a week, do a mind purge. Write it all down. Make that long list. Just get it out.

5. Once a day, set the “this has to get done” list. How many is on it? More than 10? Not realistic. Priorities, Honey. I said, “HAS” to get done. The HAS list is more like Three items.

6. So, now that you have your “HAS” list, what couple of things can you add as “Bonus”. Those “Bonus'” are your gold stars. They are mental adrenaline and when you hit those, it’s automatically a really good day.

7. Add some movement. You need to get up. Get outside. Move your bones. Clear your head. Sift your thoughts. Listen to birds, and frogs, and crickets. You need the sunshine, and the clouds, and even a little drizzle: you will be better all around for it.

So, have at it! I’ve got an item on my list waiting to be crossed off, but first a quick 700 steps. Yes, I know, I’m procrastinating, but only a wee little bit!

In Praise of Solitude

January 2, 2018

Food for thought today comes from an article posted that I recently read regarding the importance of being alone. The difference between being alone vs being lonely. Why society sets up “alone” as a thing to be avoided at all costs and the false, maddening logic behind it.

Sara Maitland’s School of Life book: “How to Be Alone” (I’m getting her other book as my January “read”)

Brainpickings quote,

She enumerates the five basic categories of rewards to be reaped from unlearning our culturally conditioned fear of aloneness and learning how to “do” solitude well:

  1. A deeper consciousness of oneself
  2. A deeper attunement to nature
  3. A deeper relationship with the transcendent (the numinous, the divine, the spiritual)
  4. Increased creativity
  5. An increased sense of freedom

Read the full article.

Temper Your Frustration

I see you over there, tempted to sulk. Stop it right there and let’s think through this frustration. I suggest grabbing a pen and a piece of paper, since there is something calming and mind challenging about actually writing it out. Spiral notebooks work well. Good for ripping out.

Point 1: what are your frustrations? Ok, I realize this might take you a few moments, so I’m going to wait. I know, I know, you enjoy the vent, but for now, please just physically write it out on paper. You are welcome to burn the paper later. Be honest. Get it out of your brain and where you can see it…them…the whole host of them.

Point 2: look at the list. What is the most grievous one to you? Circle it. Get a fresh page. Write it down on the top. Now write why it is frustrating to you.

Point 3: what was your part in the frustration? What was the part of others in the frustration? Is there anything on your part that you can do differently? Circle it. Anything you can do to make others do something differently? Nope. Go back to you. Anything you can kindly say or do differently to let the other person know that something has to change? Note, I said kindly.

Years ago, I made the parenting decision that if I hadn’t actually told my children they couldn’t do something or that something was wrong, I could neither blame nor punish them for doing certain behaviors. BUT after I had told them: that was a different story altogether.

Turns out most humans are the same way. Perhaps they honestly don’t know. Perhaps they do know, but since you didn’t say anything they are pushing it and seeing how far they can get away with something.

Point 4: many times, our frustration comes from not communicating in a manner where we are clearly heard and understood.