Excuses, excuses, excuses (and habits!)

There’s one activity that’s been on my mind a lot recently. My legs and soul ache for it.

What is this activity?

Walking outside.

I LOVE nature. And I happen to live about 10 minutes away from about 3 different forest preserves and walking paths.

But I haven’t made it part of my routine.


Well, I have lots of excuses:

  • Getting up early to walk before I head into my office means I have to go to bed earlier which means less time with Nate in the evening (and some evenings he’s not home until almost 10pm). I highly value evening time with Nate.
  • If I walk around lunch time it’s about an hour out of the middle of my day. That sounds frustrating.
  • I’m in a nice groove with my current weekly routine and I don’t want to upset it!

I’ll stop there. I have many, many more excuses. And that’s really what they are, excuses and not reasons.

Basically, they’re all some version of: I don’t have time and I’m not willing to make time for it.

Yet, it’s still a habit I want to create and find time for, but I don’t.

Do you have anything like that?

A habit that you want to create that you have lots of excuses to avoid. And yet it stays on your radar because it really is something you want to do?

Or maybe for you, it’s something that you know will grow your business, but it’s outside your comfort zone and a little (or a lot!) scary?

Well, over in the Productivity for Women Entrepreneurs private Facebook group, I asked the ladies what habit they want to add this week and commitments have been made! And I added my commitment to walking each day (now I HAVE to do it! 😉 ).

If you want to add your new habit (or what habit you’re trying out for the week), you can find the post here.

And if you can’t see the post because you’re not a member, request to join and I’ll add you!

If you haven’t already guessed it, this week’s Wednesday Live with Evie is about habits.

I’ll talk about how to create them, change them, look at those pesky excuses/reasons and answer any questions you have!

Wednesday Live with Evie is Wednesday at 1pm CST from my Facebook page here.

Year In Review and Creating Habits

It’s almost the end of 2013. In this time between Christmas and New Year’s day I tend to automatically start reviewing the past year.

Something that I’ve noticed is extremely important for me (and my clients) are habits. Habits are something that support or hinder (depending on the habit), our goals.

So, I was thinking about some of the things that did and didn’t work this year and created an exercise that I’m planning on spending some time with.

Basically, it’s reviewing what did and didn’t work. Why it did or didn’t work and what habits supported success, which ones supported the failures or which habits will support future successes based on past lessons.

Here’s the details:

  1. What didn’t work?
    1. Write down what didn’t work this year or what fell short of your expectations.
    2. What lead to that?
    3. What are some habits that you might want to change or create as a result?
  2. What did work?
    1. Write down what did work this year or what went beyond your expectations.
    2. What lead to that?
    3. What are the habits that helped support that success?
  3. Review the habits you wrote down.
  4. Pick a habit or two that you will commit to creating over the next 20 to 60 days.

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What habits are you creating in 2014? Share in the comments below!

Want to Focus? Prepare, Relax, Do

Relaxed_with_coffeeYou have a lot of things to do today, as usual, and your mind is running at 100 mph. When you start working on something, five other things that you could be doing pop into your head and break your focus.

How is it possible to focus on just one task on days like this? By Preparing, Relaxing and Doing!


  1. Write down the task you’re going to work on and put it in front of you.
  2. Have another piece of paper handy to write down any other tasks that pop into your head while you’re working.


  1. Pay attention to your surroundings – close your eyes and listen. Notice what you hear, just listen to the sounds around you.
  2. Take a deep breath – breathe deeply and slowly.
  3. Feel your body – be present to it, notice where any tension is and imagine it melting away with each breath.
  4. Repeat as necessary.


  1. Work on the task you wrote down.
  2. Anytime you think of something else that needs to be done, write it down and then return to your original task.

Why is Prepare, Relax, Do important?

When you look at your to-do list (or if you don’t have it written down, when you think about it), how do you feel? If you’re like many people I work with, you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

When you Prepare, Relax and Do:

  • you know what you’re doing right now, what your focus is.
  • you’re intentionally leaving the stress behind and allowing yourself to relax (this allows you to get more done and be more focused!).
  • you’re capturing the other things that need to be done when you think of them allowing you to:
    • not worry about forgetting that they need to be done
    • give yourself permission to do them later

Try it today and let me know how it goes for you in the comments below!

Also, repeat the Relax step any time you start to feel stressed or anxious. And if you want some personalized help with this and think working with me might be for you, just let me know by scheduling your own complimentary 30-minute Productivity Breakthrough Session here (this conversation takes place over the phone).

What If You LOVED Your Workday?

Young Female Lying On The Grass In The Park Using A LaptopHow does your day usually start?

Not the getting out of bed part of your day, the business part of your day.

How does the business part of your day usually start? Do you have any habits? What are you thinking? Are your thoughts your habit?

So, do you start your day stressed out, worrying about how you’re going to get the long list of tasks done. Maybe doing a couple really quick ones just so you feel like you’re making progress, and maybe avoiding the more important and intimidating task?

What are you thinking about that list of tasks?

What if you were excited by them instead of feeling like you have to do them?

What if instead of feeling constantly behind by everything you should be doing or should have accomplished you were excited for the things that are happening in your day and business?

What if you didn’t worry about what you’ll find in your email today, but were excited to hear from people? To find out what they needed? Or out how you can help them and how that works into your schedule?

What if instead of being annoyed that someone asked you to do something extra, you were excited about the prospect of helping them?

Would if feel like work then? How would that change your business? How would that change your life outside of your business?

Does even thinking about that possibility feel foreign to you?

I know there was a time in my life where  I would have read what I wrote above and said, that’s great, but I’d rather not live with my head in the sand to all the work that needs to get done. And then pile on more things to do because I’m so busy being happy by all the extra work people are sending me.

So, let me be clear – I am not suggesting that you accept every request with happy abandon.

I am suggesting that it is possible to be happy about those requests AND have a plan or process for them.

So, you’re not just happily saying yes when a client emails you with a last minute request – you’re using the processes you already put in place to tell them that you’d love to do that with/for them, but last minute rush jobs cost this much extra. Or I can do that for you in two weeks because I want to honor the commitments to my current projects.

There are boundaries and processes you can set up so it’s easy for you to navigate requests and you’re teaching your clients (and others!) how you work so you have fewer of those requests coming in.

If this is something you’d like to explore in detail, let me know!

How does your workday normally start? And how do you want it to start?

Share in the comments below!

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Meaningful Breaks

Girl_taking_breakMeaningful breaks.

What does that mean?

And why are they important?

Meaningful breaks are when you get up from wherever you’re doing your work and you go and do something else. Something not related to work.

This does not mean you watch TV or check your email.

This is not the time to return that business call you’ve been meaning to get to.

This could be sitting down for a bit with a good book (outside, generally my preference, or somewhere inside and comfy).

It could be playing with your kids.

Going for a walk around the neighborhood.

Walking or playing with your pets.

Playing some of your favorite songs and dancing.

Heck, it could even be taking a really quick nap.

The point of the meaningful break is to give your brain a break from your work. Letting it focus on something completely different for a bit.

Give yourself a couple of 10 to 30 minute meaningful breaks each day. I bet you’ll be even more productive when you return to your work.

Share your meaningful break in the comments below!

photo credit: Silvia Sala via photopin cc