Try something new?

woman-working-outAs Spring nears, I thought it would be fun to try something new…so I’m sharing with you here my “something new.”

I’ve incorporated some new workout videos into my training regimen. I’m following a couple that created a fitness company Fitness Blender (check out their website: http://www.fitnessblender.com/) and I’m loving the new training. Today, for example, I did a 42-minute HIIT cardio and kettlebell (I used a dumbell as I do not have a kettlebell) training along with a 26-minute kickboxing workout, followed by a 5-minute butt and thigh workout – WHEW! I have also decided to add 100 squats to my workout every day as well as a series of crunches and sit-ups.

How about you? Are you up for the challenge of trying something new? I’d love to hear about it…

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How are those Resolutions Coming Along?

Breakthrough Break Through Word Glass BreakingIt’s been about 2 months since you may have set your resolutions in January – how are you tracking toward them?

Perhaps you are “kicking butt and taking names” and are well on your way to achieving them with ease…

Perhaps you are a little lackluster in your efforts but are feeling the urge to get back in the saddle…

Perhaps you’re saying, “Resolutions? What resolutions?”

Whichever category you find yourself in, the good news is there’s time to make some adjustments and shifts and move forward to continue on the path of your resolutions.

Here are some ideas that may be helpful in achieving whatever resolutions / goals you may have set:

  • Find a partner / success buddy to check in with and keep each other accountable
  • When reviewing your resolutions, ensure that you were very specific. For example, “I want to lose weight” is a resolution, but is not very specific. Something more specific might be “I intend to lose 25 pounds by August 1st.”
  • If your resolutions are lofty, perhaps create a plan to incorporate a series of smaller steps on the path to achieving the bigger picture resolution
  • Write your goals / resolutions down – and tell someone. This kind of falls in line with having a partner or buddy to check in with, however, I’ve read that there is a much higher percentage of achieving a goal if it is written down and even more if you share it with someone else.
  • If you have fallen off course, please remember to be gentle with yourself. Just because you’re off course at the moment doesn’t mean you won’t get right back on! 🙂

Woman with backpack hikingAs for me, one of the goals I set this year was to work out regularly (at least 4 days a week) to get in shape for a few backpacking trips my hubby and I intend to take this year…here’s my progress report:

  • I shared my goals with my family and friends
  • I keep track of my progress and of activities on a whiteboard in my office
  • I use the “Lose It” app on my phone to track exercise and calories daily
  • I enlisted one of my best friends, Geraldine, to be my success buddy and we encourage each other every single day
  • I worked out 3 days a week in January
  • I joined an ab challenge, squat challenge, and arm challenge on Facebook and there’s accountability and support and encouragement in our daily postings – which feels awesome
  • I worked out every day in February as part of a challenge with one of my friends, Miranda Zukowski (check out her website here: http://mirzukfitness.com/)

I’m feeling really great about my goals so far and I’m excited to push myself to new limits and discover “what’s next.”  🙂

I would love to hear how things are going for you – please share in the comments below!

buildadoor

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Jumpstart Your Marketing & Sales Summit

My friend, Katrina Sawa, is holding her annual Jumpstart Your Marketing® & Sales Summit in CA April 3, 4, & 5 and here are 3 reasons why you want to attend:

AprilEvent1) If you need to know anything about social media, online and offline marketing, websites, shopping carts, advertising, publicity, follow up, networking, speaking, selling from the stage, developing information products and services such as ebooks, audios, teleseries, home study programs, high end coaching programs, memberships, masterminds, live events, sales conversations and more. She’s covering ALL of this!

2) If you want to learn how to create a steady stream of ideal, high-paying clients, flowing consistently into your business?

3) If you finally want to learn how to charge what you’re worth and get it

Then you definitely want to register now and reserve your seat!  

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A Year and a Half in Review…and What’s Next

My_Mom_and_I

My Mom and I in Red Rock Canyon November 2008

I lost my mom in July 2012…and the circumstances were unusual ones – we weren’t terribly close (although I worked every day to make it better on my end, she wasn’t willing to change on her end – and in the end, that was ok…she did the best she could with what she had). I found out in a voicemail from a stranger that she had passed. So it was really weird. Even as I write it today, a year and a half later, it’s still weird.

Then, in October 2012, my great grandma passed – she was 103…she was very ready to go to heaven…it was still a hard loss.

In January 2013, a good friend’s hubby passed.

On February 8, 2013, one of my best friends from high school lost her battle with M.S.

And this trend continued on until late last year when the tally of people who were close to me who had passed was around 20.

On February 6 of last year (2013), I lost my voice. I thought it was a “routine” run of laryngitis or allergies. I went to urgent care and had it looked at and was told it was likely acute bronchitis. Mind you, no cough, no cold, nothing. Just my very terribly weakened voice, barely a whisper.

So I sought out my doc for a visit and he tested me for mono and strep and checked for acid reflux…all to no avail.

I asked for a referral to an ENT / otolaryngologist…which I got in to see in April 2013. I was frustrated to have to wait that long, so I started looking around for other options to see a specialist that could get me in sooner. I saw a doc in March who dismissed my case as “you’ll get better” and shooed me out the door.

I waited for the visit in April and saw the otolaryngologist who did a scope and basically was of the opinion since I didn’t need surgery that voice therapy was the next best option.

So I met with the voice therapist and she got me all pumped up, said “let’s get you in as soon as possible” and walked me to the front where I made my first appointment for 2 months later in June. Ugh!

wavelengthI went to voice therapy regularly (for the 6 visits they need to diagnose the problem), participated fully in the exercises and measuring of my voice each session. I did the exercises at home and got no relief. She also did the vigorous vocal cord area massage…as they thought it might be muscle tension dysphonia. At the end of those sessions, the doctors collectively felt that botox injections were the best option for me and since I didn’t want to do the botox, they said there wasn’t much else they could do for me then. The voice therapist believes I have extreme muscle tension dysphonia (that she simply couldn’t get to relax) overlaying the abductor spasmodic dysphonia (SD). My last visit was in September 2013.

I started a course of acupuncture in November and went for 2 months and did not see any relief there, so I have decided to discontinue those visits for now.

I saw my primary doctor again and asked for a referral to get blood work done to check my thyroid…those tests came back “in normal ranges.”

I’ve seen a wide variety of other non-traditional / holistic healers and all, so far, to no avail.

Limitations…or are they?

smiling mouthAs you might imagine, as an online business manager / virtual assistant and a speaker / trainer, I did a great deal of speaking before this condition presented itself in my life in 2013. I’ve adapted my business around the condition and I’m grateful for the current clients I have that understand I host meetings via Skype and Google Hangout in order to stay connected. I’m able to type my responses while they talk – plus, we get true face-to-face time which is also really fun. My team has also been an invaluable support to me – they are all willing to connect via various instant messenger interfaces and constantly support me. I also talk to some of my family members on Skype – mostly my dad, as before I lost my voice, we chatted a few times a week by phone…I’m grateful that he has also adapted with my condition. Those factors have made this journey slightly more tolerable. 🙂

Some of the other things that have become very difficult for me include using the phone (since my voice is barely a whisper, it doesn’t come through on a phone or via computer mic and speakers). One thing that’s a real challenge is scheduling appointments – I have to physically go in and book an appointment with my doctor or whomever, or I rely on a friend or teammate to call on my behalf. I also do not eat out at restaurants alone as the wait person doesn’t typically understand why I am pointing to my choices and I’m able to hear them. I’ve gotten a lot of very confused and blank stares when people presume that I may be hearing impaired because of my vocal condition.

I’ve recently downloaded an app on my smart phone that is a “text to speech” app and it allows me to (in close proximity) be able to speak to others. I did try it at lunch with friends this week and it was difficult for them to hear, which is why only in close proximity does it work.

I get asked a lot “how do I do it?” and told “if that were me, I’d go crazy.” As I reflect on that question and statement, I realize that I’m very strong and I’m here for a reason – I think my journey will be a path for others. I refuse to give up hope, I refuse to “play the victim” as neither are my personality…I am a fighter and I intend to see this through as I’ve done every other challenge in my life: one day at a time, ask for help where I need to, cry when I’m feeling down, ask for prayers when I need to, and know that I’m here for a reason.

As for what’s next for me…

Question_Mark

Medically, I’m unsure of my next step, as I still do not feel the botox option is a good choice for me. I continue to research options…I’ve connected with a few groups on Facebook and it’s been great to meet others with the same or similar conditions. I’ve also connected with a support group in my area that meets 4 times a year, I plan on attending their upcoming meeting in May. I saw my primary doctor a few weeks ago and asked for a referral to a neurologist and I am waiting for that call to get the appointment booked.

Walk By FaithPersonally and spiritually, I continue to persevere and pray as I know God has me here for a reason. And I think part of it is the book I’m writing about my experience called “Rising Out of the Ashes: Reconnecting to Your Joy Through Grief.” I’m also creating a Bible study to accompany it.

Also on a personal note, I have to say that my support network has been critical for me this past year and a half…there are many people who have been there for me during this time and I appreciate each and every one of them, more than words could begin to convey.

Thank_You
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Guest Blog: You and Your Business : A Love Affair Gone Sour?

broken_heartRemember when you first conceived of the idea for your business, then put things in motion to launch it? Remember how strongly you believed that you could make a difference – for a small group of people (your niche) or even for the world at large – and set out to make that happen? Remember the joy and passion that you felt when you talked about the purpose, the “BIG WHY” of your new venture and the sparkle in your eye and bounce in your step that marked your anticipation and enthusiasm about it?

I like to compare this to the beginning of a love affair – that time in a relationship when you can’t wait to see your lover and your heart rate quickens when you hear his (or her) voice and lock hands and gaze into each other’s eyes.

What is the state of your love affair with your business now?

Does your heart rate still quicken when you think about your business, but as a result of anxiety instead of anticipation? Has your excitement about your work given way to a sense of harried tedium or even dread? In short, has your love affair fizzled? Has it gone sour?

Productivity = “knowing what matters and getting it done.”
– Monique Y. Wells

If so, it may be because you’ve lost your connection to your “BIG WHY” and your daily activities feel devoid of a deeper purpose. This is especially possible if your primary focus is now revenue generation – the race to get to the “magic” $100K mark and beyond or to maintain this income level. You may be driven by the pride that you’ll feel when you achieve this milestone, the desire to “perform” as well as colleagues who have already reached this threshold, or the fear of “slipping back” once you’ve gotten there. Your “BIG WHY” has been lost or buried as you push yourself and your business to reach this goal.

In other words, in your quest to “get things done” to arrive at your monetary goal, you have turned your focus away from “what matters” in your business – the deep, compelling motivational force that ignited your love affair in the first place! Consequently, your work is now anxiety-ridden and encroaches more and more on your personal time, which you are not enjoying anyway because of all of your anxieties about work.

So how can you rekindle the joy and passion that you felt at the beginning of this relationship that you have forged with your business? By taking time out to:

  1. Reconnect with your “BIG WHY” – your business purpose.
  2. Take a hard look at all the projects that you are working on in your business.
  3. Pull out of the ones that are not aligned with your purpose.
  4. Devote some of the time that you liberate to enjoying more personal time (self-care, time with family and friends, community activities, etc.).
  5. Create and implement a plan to work smarter on the projects that truly serve your business purpose.

If your love affair with your business has gone sour, this may be the most important thing that you do this year. Make “More Joy, More Passion, and More Profits!” your business motto! For information on how you can do this, contact Monique at monique@makingproductivityeasy.com.

Monique_WellsDr. Monique Y. Wells is the “Paris Muse of Productivity™.” She was born and raised in the United States, and now lives and works in Paris, France. Her mission is to help you – the dedicated, high-achieving solopreneur or small business owner – “get over overwhelm” in your business so that you can enjoy less stress, more income, greater job satisfaction, and better life balance! Visit Monique’s website to learn more:  http://www.gettingoveroverwhelm.com/.

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New Year’s: Goals, Resolutions and Vision Boards…oh my!

I’ve enjoyed reading all the reflective thoughts and considerations on blogs and social media as we round out the last days of 2013.

I’m curious, have you made 2014 resolutions yet? If so, what are they? How do you stay on track? If not, why do you choose not to set resolutions?

You know (from prior posts) that I’m a vision board gal, but as for New Year’s resolutions? A number of years ago, I personally experienced the feeling of defeat when I set some resolutions that I did not stick to. My husband and I had a conversation about it and decided that instead of setting resolutions every year, we’d set goals anytime we felt like we wanted to create something like a resolution. For example, if we’re on a weight loss plan, we set goals around the intention and then create a plan to achieve that goal. If we happen to fall off track with our goal, we reassess, recalculate and re-goal.

As you are planning and gearing up for the New Year, I’d love to know whether you make resolutions and how the process works for you! 🙂

Happy_New_Year

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As 2013 Draws Near an End…

What word would you use to describe your 2013?

Walk By FaithI would summarize 2013 as a both challenging and overall  awesome year for me. I am truly grateful for my life. My word is perseverance. As you may or may not know, I’ve been diagnosed with a condition called abductor spasmodic dysphonia and it has prevented me from many day-to-day activities such as using the phone, ordering drive thru, eating out at restaurants by myself, etc. I started seeking non-traditional healing routes including an energy healer, acupuncture, biofeedback, Reiki, essential oils and various other modalities – I am confident that there is a purpose in my placement with this condition. I’ll keep you posted as it continues to unfold.

And while I could have chosen to throw my hands up in defeat, I have chosen to dig in and really assess what this means for me and get on a very personal and intimate level with my voice loss. I believe that the loss of my voice is tied to the grief I’ve been enduring since July 2012 when my mom passed away (and 20 other individuals close to me have passed away since then) and I think my body is doing it’s best to process all of that. In doing so, I’ve gotten into writing my book about this experience. The title of the book is called Rising From the Ashes: Reconnecting to Your Joy Through Grief. I’m taking a lot of time over the holidays to write and look forward to that journey.

Red Christmas TreeIn terms of my business, 2013 has been a year of ups and downs – we’ve lost some clients as well as some of our teammates and we’ve brought on some really amazing new clients – I feel very blessed for the referrals that I receive from each of you throughout the year. We have also grown by leaps and bounds as a team – learning new skills, taking on new roles with various clients – it’s really quite an exciting time for our team!

I’m incredibly grateful to each of you for following my blog throughout this year. I also have to share how grateful I am for my clients and team, who have been incredibly patient during this year as I have had to make adjustments to how I conduct business (for example, conducting meetings via Skype and Google Hangout and I type while the other person talks) and working through my voice loss together. I am also so appreciative of my team and coaches, who have been a rock during this year – I really don’t know what I would have done without you!

As we draw near the end of 2013, I wanted to share just how much I
appreciate you for reading my blog and interacting with me here.

I’d love to know what word you would use to describe your 2013 – please share in the comments below.

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