Pour Your Purse Back into Your Health

Pour Your Purse Back into Your Health

Ambitious creatives and creators are constantly coming up with new ideas, engaging in a variety of projects, and at times pushing themselves beyond their limits.

It’s easy to get swallowed up in the roller-coaster excitement and emotion of it all.

Plus, projects tend to validate creatives and creators. In a world where people are obsessed with one simple question – “what do you do?” – projects give us meaning (though we should not feel obligated to justify our existence or our work).

Now, it’s easy to say, “don’t burn out,” “don’t overwork,” “don’t buy into the hustle,” or otherwise.

And when I say it, I say it with the utmost sincerity. Because my latest burnout was unpleasant, even though I was well-prepared (because of previous experience).

Perhaps a more caring way to articulate this is by saying:

Pour your purse back into your health.

Pour your purse back into your health. Click To Tweet

It’s all well and good to pursue your passions and earn more money. But if all it does is add more busyness and stress to your life, there’s a good chance you’re out of balance in some way.

It’s okay to be out of balance temporarily, especially if you’re on an unconventional path, but you shouldn’t stay there long. You shouldn’t rev your engine that hard for that long.

The money you earn should be reinvested into your projects. But it should also be reinvested into your health.

Whether it’s going on vacation, buying organic foods and supplements, or getting a gym membership, consider how you can support and sustain your well-being long-term. Obsess over sustainability.

Whether it’s going on vacation, buying organic foods and supplements, or getting a gym membership, consider how you can support and sustain your well-being long-term. Click To Tweet

I have gotten into this habit, and every time I go to the grocery store, I’m always looking for something I can add to my diet that’s going to benefit me, even if it’s just one thing.

Remember – you would not have gotten to where you are without your brain and your body. And you need them to function optimally for you to function optimally. There is no other way!

I know entrepreneurs who struggle with self-care, so they often don’t realize it when they need a break to feel excited about what they’re doing, produce great work, and pivot where necessary. There comes a time when solving problems with more action just becomes a form of insanity.

There comes a time when solving problems with more action just becomes a form of insanity. Click To Tweet

There’s no virtue in being a red-eye domain name buyer. Because those are the decisions you tend to regret later.

Your health and well-being are deserving of your attention. When you’ve got a surplus of cash, consider reinvesting.

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How to Use Sunday Planning Sessions to Improve Your Life

How to Use Sunday Planning Sessions to Improve Your Life

Have you ever woken up Monday morning only to discover that you completely forgot about a meeting you’d been booked for?

If you managed to pinpoint this oversight in time, you may have narrowly avoided a disaster.

But if you missed out on the meeting completely, you might have angry emails or voicemails waiting for you. Even if they aren’t angry, you still feel bad, because you know it reflects on your integrity.

And while no one is perfect, oftentimes, this type of situation is avoidable (it doesn’t have to be a meeting – it could be any kind of commitment). That’s what we’re going to look at here.

#StrategySunday

You may have seen one of my #StrategySunday posts.

To tell you the truth, I resisted doing anything of the sort for a long time.

But then I started publishing daily. And as I gained more practice and learned more about writing and marketing, I started to see the wisdom in coming up with a plan.

Which is why each day in the week has a specific theme on my blog:

  • Monday – entrepreneurship
  • Tuesday – self-improvement
  • Wednesday – productivity
  • Thursday – creativity
  • Friday – inspiration

It’s also why I started writing for a specific audience – creatives and creators.

Once I’d settled on this format, I’d figured out what to publish on the weekends – a weekly digest on Saturdays, and a #StrategySunday post on Sundays.

These posts serve functional purposes to be sure, and people are already finding value in them. But truth be known, they are also a lot easier for me to write. I get to have a bit of a mental break on the weekends.

So, you can see from this example that Sunday planning sessions have helped me create a stronger focus and gain more clarity on my vision.

It has also helped with my Medium strategy. Since I’m looking to grow my following and earn some more cash on Medium, having all the above in place takes a lot of guesswork out of the week. It has already paid off, even if it’s only in cents and not in dollars.

Why Plan on a Sunday?

Whether it’s author Darren Hardy or business mentor Lori Kennedy, you will find that many creatives and creators have a Sunday planning habit. My mentors plan on Sundays too.

Does this make Sunday the best time to plan? Not necessarily.

Again, I had some resistance to this. I was brought up in the church, where Sundays were sacred and were thought to be “a day of rest.”

I have no issue with that whatsoever.

But I think what makes Sunday planning powerful is that it’s quiet and no one else is doing it. It gives you space to think.

I get that Monday is the day most people dread, so planning on a Sunday could give rise to feelings of anxiety.

That’s not the case with creatives and creators who love what they do, though. They look forward to making the most of the week ahead.

And when you think about it, if you can work out all the “unknowns” in advance, Monday morning doesn’t have to be such a slog.

Of course, things can come up, and we may not end up doing everything according to our plan.

But if you have a plan, you’re more likely to put your priorities first in your schedule. That way, even if you end up getting a headache halfway through Wednesday (or any day), you will have at least completed what was most important and urgent on your to-do list.

If you have a plan, you’re more likely to put your priorities first in your schedule. Click To Tweet

5 Benefits of Sunday Planning

There are probably more benefits to Sunday planning than I can realistically identify or expand on.

But here are some of the main benefits I’ve reaped:

1. You Can Get Everything Out of Your Head

Author David Allen says your brain is a horrible storage device. I agree.

Getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper (or even down on your iPad) allows you to clear your mind and begin a new week knowing everything has been accounted for. That could contribute to a better sleep, too.

Writing everything down also tends to reduce anxiety. Because you can get clear on everything you need to do, including errands and minor to-do items.

2. You Can Boost Your Productivity

If you do all your planning on a Sunday, you should be able to identify gaps in your schedule and times when you aren’t booked for a meeting or anything else.

I’m not suggesting you fill every available gap in your schedule with productive work. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet was said to have surprised Bill Gates with his blank calendar. There is tremendous value in unscheduled time.

But if you want to squeeze more productivity out of the week, you should be able to identify gaps in your schedule where that can happen. Such opportunities tend not to present themselves when you’re “flying by the seat of your pants.”

3. You Can Brainstorm Ideas

Although I’ve never run out of content ideas, it often happens that by the time Sunday has rolled around, I’ll need to brainstorm additional ideas for the week ahead. Especially since I’ve settled on the format detailed earlier.

So, if you need to exercise your idea muscle, and determine worthwhile actions for the week, you can use your #StrategySundays to get clear on next steps in your projects.

4. You Can Speculate on Possibilities

I’ve shared about some of my journaling habits already. One of the things I love to do is speculate on possibilities.

Speculating on possibilities is just that. It’s not about trying to come up with right answers. It’s not about trying to form perfect answers. It’s just asking yourself, “What’s next? What are my next steps? What could I do to move towards the outcome I desire?”

And then you just write down what comes to mind, free form.

5. You Can Ponder Questions

This is a recent favorite and a valuable exercise at that.

Ask a question related to your projects. It could be something along the lines of, “What could I do to enhance my results in X area?” Or “What could I do to ensure I follow through on Y?”

Then, ponder the question and write down your answers. Again, your answers need not be right or perfect. The act of pondering is sometimes enough to cause a breakthrough.

Sunday Planning Sessions Final Thoughts

Whatever you focus on expands. Or so they say.

Whatever you focus on expands. Click To Tweet

So, if you focus on your projects and plan for them, you will achieve more meaningful results in your creative efforts.

If you focus on your health, well-being, and self-care, you will begin to feel better and have more energy for what matters.

Consider what you’d like to accomplish and in what areas you’d like to improve. Your Sunday planning sessions should revolve around those items and activities.

You can even take it a step further and time block everything in your schedule, so you know what you’re doing and when. After all, if it’s not in your calendar, it doesn’t exist.

Do you have a Sunday planning habit? What’s your method like?

Let me know in the comments.

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Life Transitions, Day 10: Illness

Life Transitions, Day 10: Illness

I began to see aura in my eye, and it wouldn’t go away.

Some time passed, and I could see clearly again. But now, I couldn’t think. And my head starting pounding like Godzilla in Japan.

To top it all off, nausea hit me like a bullet train.

I’d assumed it was the flu. It wasn’t.

This is Life Transitions. Welcome to Day 10.

Life Transitions Series

If you’re looking to get caught up with the series, here are the quick links to all stories leading up to this point:

Life Transitions, Day 1 (Introduction)
Life Transitions, Day 2: Resistance
Life Transitions, Day 3: Jobs & Careers
Life Transitions, Day 4: Location
Life Transitions, Day 5: Relationships
Life Transitions, Day 6: When the Sandcastle Crumbles
Life Transitions, Day 7: Recovery
Life Transitions, Day 8: Pivots
Life Transitions, Day 9: Injury

Life Transitions Due to Illness

There are different types of illnesses, and they aren’t all created equal.

Some illnesses are passing. They might amount to little more than mild annoyance. Sometimes the symptoms can be especially severe and irritating.

Then there are serious illnesses. These may not be life threatening, but they may be especially tenacious and sometimes permanent.

Finally, there are illnesses that lead to death. Death is a category of transition all its own (and if you couldn’t tell, I’ve basically been putting off talking about it until the very end of this series).

Preparing for expiration may not be all unicorns farting rainbows. But that is another transition that can stem from a serious illness.

Minor illnesses shouldn’t result in any major life changes. If you reacted to a beverage, food, substance, or otherwise, you may vow to never partake in it again (I tend to react to aspartame, dairy, and nitrites and try to avoid those).

But serious illness, regardless of type, can certainly usher in major transitions.

The Pounding

As referenced in the intro, in my 20s, I started getting migraines.

And I experienced the greatest frequency of them during that time.

Little did I know that I was reacting to artificial sweeteners, dairy, and nitrites. And, to some degree, I was reacting to Calgary’s fast changing weather conditions too.

In 2007, I came across Steve Pavlina. He’s known as the top online personal development blogger.

Feeling motivated by stories of what he’d accomplished, I decided to start waking at 6 AM in 2008.

It wasn’t exactly easy for me to get up that early, and I would often feel tired. But I started making progress on some of my creative projects, and that served as fuel to keep going.

Before long, I started feeling exhausted. I wasn’t getting to sleep much earlier than I was prior to starting this habit, and I didn’t have any additional habits to support this new lifestyle either (e.g. meditation, exercise, eating healthy, etc.).

Then, my anxiety and stress levels started to rise. I didn’t even notice at first.

I would have a stress response every time I would think about the unbearable pain of a migraine. And, unfortunately, that was more often than I’d like to admit.

One night, after coming come from teaching guitar, I started to feel pain in my heart and left arm. Had I left it alone and focused on resting, it would not have evolved into anything. But I was scared.

And, when it started getting worse, I chewed on Aspirin and told my roommates what was going on.

While my roommates were rushing me to the hospital, I had a full on anxiety attack.

It would take me the next four months to recover from that incident, and it was a long, difficult journey.

How to Handle Illness Related Transitions

It’s safe to say we will all get sick at one time or another.

How illness affects one differs from person to person, and there are also many types of illnesses.

That being the case, there isn’t a silver bullet for illness related transitions.

There isn’t a silver bullet for illness related transitions. Click To Tweet

At times, because of illness, you may end up needing to change careers. As I’ve said many times throughout this series, inevitably, one transition leads to another transition.

And, when transitions occur in rapid succession, your stress levels can elevate to a significant level.

As with anything, meditation can be of huge help during times of stress (after all, disease is dis-ease), though it should not be thought of as a substitute to healthcare.

And while I am not a doctor or physician (disclaimer), and I’m not here to give health advice, there is something I want to share from my own experience.

Don’t Rely Entirely on Conventional Healthcare

From my own experience, the average physician or doctor doesn’t know everything there is to know about the human body. Nor are they studied in or trained to prescribe what some might consider “unconventional” medicine (such as herbs and homeopathic meds), but which I would consider more effective in a variety of cases.

I still recall the time I went to the doctor because of migraines. Something didn’t sit well with me about the entire experience.

After waiting hours, the doctor only spent about 15 minutes with me, and he was quick to prescribe a pharmaceutical.

I asked him how it was to be used, and he said, “whenever you feel symptoms coming on, just take it.”

So, not only was he disinterested in treating the root cause (which I observed straight away); he was basically sentencing me to a life of painful headaches.

Reading Kevin Trudeau’s (saying nothing of his character) Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About taught me more about migraines in seconds than a doctor could in minutes.

Because that’s how I finally made the connection that aspartame was one of the core causes (I’ve never had issues with sucralose or acesulfame potassium, but I basically stay away from all other artificial sweeteners).

In terms of healthcare, there is far more available to the average person than they may even realize. I have had considerable success with naturopathy, and even know a naturopath who practices chiropractic care, cranial sacral therapy, and other modalities most of us never had the chance to learn about through conventional means.

All I’m saying is, never take anything as a “death sentence”, literal or figurative. There may be solutions to your illness you never knew existed.

The naturopath, I referenced, by the way, cured himself of cancer. That’s how he came to pursue his passion of naturopathy.

Illness, Final Thoughts

There’s nothing easy about life transitions, and when it comes to illness, there can be many factors at play.

You may need to change your diet. You may need to take on a new career.

There are some things you may end up living with for the rest of your life.

But be assured that the human body has been designed to handle a variety of illnesses. It knows how to heal itself. Sometimes we do need to give it the right conditions to heal though.

What illnesses have you dealt with? How did you handle the transition?

I look forward to sharing more on life transitions, and if you have any questions, let me know.

Leave a comment below.

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