There’s A Glitch in The Matrix: A 1st Quarter Review

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This is a life in review type post, so it gets long-winded, you have been warned…

About the Blog

For those of you who are new to Reflections of A Summer Moon here’s what I wrote regarding the mission of this blog:

Asummermoon.com is a personal journey blog that strives to Inspire Action despite fear, lack of confidence, and lack of experience; Revive Passion, despite trying to convince yourself that contentment and fulfillment belongs to everyone you bust your butt for and not yourself; and Empower the Inner Child inside, despite growing up in a society that does its best to stifle the very part of you that still believes in the power of dreams. I firmly believe that when we let our inner child come out to play, we really show the world what we are really made of. This is still an unedited statement; I simply wrote what was in my heart. I don’t know if every blog post will fit into a neat category or if I can measure up to what I strive to deliver but here is my starting point and I’m happy to have you along for the ride.

Some of you have asked me about the origins of my blog name A Summer Moon I’ve been promising to do a blog post about it and that blog post will happen very soon. I can tell you this much, the name Moon has been a part of my online identity for years in some shape or form I’ve used this name to express via the written word what I never had the courage to speak out loud. When I stopped lurking and started blogging that began to shift, “Moon” very much so speaks her mind both on and offline, if you catch me on a sociable day ;-)

About Life

Every year, for the past few years, I start off with a theme and word to express my intentions and focus for life which then helps me determine the goals I wish to pursue.

The theme for this year is: Choose To Dance

My word for the year is: Purpose

As I’ve shared before in previous reviews, I center most of my goals for the year around 6 areas or slices of life: Personal, Social, Physical, Spiritual, Professional, and Financial. This way of goal setting was inspired by I coaching course I discovered a few years back to be a resource for women experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Under each slice of life I set about 3 intentions to work on at the start of the year So my theme is in essence the vision I have for the year and the slices help me organize the steps I need to take in order to realize that vision in a balanced way.

This 1st quarter was well… I’ll put it like this… Have you ever had to sit at a long traffic light in bumper to bumper non-rush hour traffic? It’s not just any long light but the kind that when you finally get to the green light you realize it is glitchy and changes so quickly that only one car actually makes it through at a time (hence the long line). And because you’ve got places to go you decide you’re making it through that blasted light so you tail that one car in front of you to get through (because the light was yellow, you swear it was) only to find a ticket waiting for you in the mail a couple of weeks later…I think the 1st quarter went something like that.

Personal: I’ve made it no secret that I want to make a trip to Kenya. I connected with a sister in Heartwork Rachael K. A. and we decided to partner together to create something that would enable us to go help out our mutual sister in Heartwork, Faith, the leader of Girls Shift Africa (and so many more leaders like her). After much research, speaking with mentors, and other activists, (I even had the honor of speaking with John Haydon) we decided we had our work cut out for us.  We both have bread and butter businesses to run and we both had some personal thangs to address. For instance Rach is having a wedding ceremony everyday for the year. So, we hit the brakes on our original goal to make that trip in October and utilize Google + Hangouts to have Advisory Council meetings since we’re in about 4 different countries spread around the world. We’ve decided to work on some foundation pieces and plan some more (though if we can still make it this year that’d be awesome).

The other project in the slice is to publish my collection of poetry (I write you know). I’ve been typing my heart away on the weekends as most of my poetry sit in notebooks. I soon realized that 4 notebooks of poetry became very little after I noticed that I myself didn’t care for most of them (I did write half of them when I was like 12). I’m not sure what I want to do about this now as I don’t have as many pages of poetry. However, I still want to publish what I have. I’ll keep you posted on both these endeavors!

Social: I’ll share one of the things I’m working on with this slice. Every week I’m to make a conscious effort to speak the love language of my companion, family member, friend, acquaintance, etc. I’ll admit, I can be selfish and stubborn at times so speaking languages that aren’t my own is actually hard for me. For instance, my brother’s primary love language is physical touch. I’m not really a hugger, I’m not very ticklish, nor am I a person who likes to cuddle,and I like space-in every sense of what that word means (I’m an introvert after all). I made sure to give him a real big bear hug when he received his latest promotion as a Staff Sergeant for the US Air Force and told him I was very proud of him, he was literally shocked and told me so, (dang am I that bad little bro?).

Physical: Okay here’s the deal, for 1 ½ months I had insomnia! I do get it occasionally, but never like this. It really messed me up for this slice in January and part of February. I started experiencing lots of migraines and tension headaches but somehow I was able to function through the day and not really miss a beat with much. Eventually, after forcing myself into a routine that didn’t seem to work at 1st I finally began sleeping through the night again. I met a nice lady by the name of Erin in our mutual Astonish Yourself group coaching program. She offered me a complimentary EFT session and showed me ways to naturally work on my headaches. I don’t know if it’s a mind thing or not but the stuff works! And now that the weather is looking nicer I’m busting out my kicks and hitting the power walking trail, viva Pandora!

Environment… I wanted to move in March, (I’ve since pushed that goal deadline way back). I had an apartment lined up, a roomie, all that jazz. Everything fell a part and I mean everything. The apartment people gave our place away, the roomie had to fight for another place and had to take the leave sooner than I was ready for in order to claim what they gave her…and ugh so much more. But, a glimmer of light did shine at the end of the tunnel…it became less crowded where I currently stay and the drama that came with the crowd went with out the door with said crowd. Hopeful!

Spiritual: Good gracious I feel everything else is a reflection of what’s going on here. This year, my church made it their theme to do an intense year of prayer so I decided to participate; I centered my goal on praying with the collective and you know, make prayer a priority. Heck, why not? We have got to pray-a, we have got to pray-a to make it through the day-a Yeah so, funny thing happens when you try to really get your spiritual self and your Higher power in alignment …lots of tests and trials! Seriously, it’s enough to make you fold your arms and force yourself to be content at your current level in your spiritual walk.  But, I know that won’t do…onward and upward!

Professional: I set one main goal here which requires lots of little projects, my A-team, and tons of consistency. One of those projects was to complete my very 1st Opt-in offer to grow my list.  This translated into creating my very 1st infoproduct to address the needs of coaches, consultants, and speakers looking to grow their team with the aid of virtual assistance. I’m proud to say I did indeed finish it by the deadline. And I’m currently waiting on the design and formatting of it to get completed. I was hoping to pre-launch today, but the production isn’t complete yet, so I had to move it back a week or 2. It’s all good because I did it! I can’t wait to share it. If you’re not already a part of the Your Marketing Matters email community come on over, my VIP’s get 1st dibs!

Financial: I guess my main goal here was to gain better awareness of the state of my finances so that I could analyze and determine next steps. I have been so on the money in this area, book keeping has become a ritual again for me. I’m very much so aware of where my money is coming and going. I’m keeping way better records, and I’ve been consistently paying off my credit card debt. I think I won’t drive my accountant crazy too bad this time. Woot!

So, that’s my 1st quarter review of the year, thanks for reading to those of you who stuck around!

Also, now that I’ve worn my heart on my sleeves, I’d love to hear about you and what you’ve been up to these past 3 months.

 

Flickr Credit: caesararum

 

How To Stop Being Busy and More Productive

It’s September. A new season is on the horizon, the year is more than half-way through. Summer vacation is just about over, school is now in session. Besides the start of a new year, I noticed that many people like the concept of fresh start for this month as well. And if people are looking for a fresh start, I can’t help but wonder what happened between the start of the year to the end of the summer that a hope for change will come with the start of this new season?

Sometimes we just need to recharge the batteries we already have

As I was wrecking my brain trying to think of new services I could offer through my social media marketing company, new relationships I wanted to build with the people I’ve been exposed to during my summer networking, new recipes I want to attempt to cook for the upcoming holiday, and a new short-story to outline since inspiration hit me while I was dreaming one night; I decided it was best to revisit some of the goals I made at the start of the year.  I was on a fast track to doing busy work when I seriously needed to excel at the work I had already started. It was more important to tie up any loose ends (and there are plenty of them) and readjust some goals that were just too unrealistic for now or no longer a priority in my life.

At the start of the year I was irritated because I was always tired and felt I was running around in circles with goal completions never feeling anything of importance was getting accomplished. I started writing out a to-do list at the beginning on each week using my favorite productivity app Evernote (ok I slip up from time to time) and decided that the only way to know if I was being productive was to literally write down everything I did at the end of each work day. This method has really helped me feel more productive versus busy and now I’m at least aware of time wasters.

Taking a look at my weekly track record made it easier to “secretly” conduct my own version of a personal monthly review.   If I’m dissatisfied with my monthly review or feeling that the steps I’m taking are not lined up with the goals set in each my 6 slices of life, I know it’s time to make a change. I have no interest in being busy it irks me almost as much as being bored. I ultimately strive for better work/life balance even though I’m not certain the scale will ever equal each other in weight.

What are some methods you use to be more productive and less busy in life and business?

 

Flickr Credit: Berna

Work-Life Balance and Social Media

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Flickr Credit: TTCPressimages

Lately, I’ve been noticing a sort of anti-social media whisper hovering around the web. Not surprisingly, the whispers are coming from those who have been early adapters of social networking. Okay, I’m over exaggerating a bit, not quite anti-social media, but somewhere along the lines of not becoming a puppet controlled by the “next big thing” that’s trending in the digital marketing sphere.  As someone who spends a huge chunk of my waking hours with my face buried in some form of a computer screen,  I know that I serve my clientele much better when I’m not a droid to my Droid.

Actually, I wasn’t too surprised with an infographic about internet use and its affect on our creativity.(The graphic did a number on my eyes it was kinda loud)As a social media practitioner I’m well aware of the fact that social media is a huge time sink especially when you are just starting out with it, or learning your way around a new platform has been crowned the latest and greatest, (this week) and trying to develop a healthy routine that benefits all areas of your social life. I

I said all that to say, for those of us who try to live by the neat and productive to do lists we set for ourselves, we need to schedule in time for a “not doing a darn thing” moment. Within that moment, turn off the smart phone *gasp* shut down the computer, and enjoy this beautiful yet (sometimes) ugly world we live in.  (I actually just made an anime reference). By ugly I mean the ugly things people do to one another and this planet as a whole (another topic for another day).  Life is happening all around us, and it’s the greatest blank canvas for anyone who can imagine all the possibilities to make it most fulfilled.

Even when I wrote out this post in a pretty turquoise pen on recycled notebook paper (yes, I don’t always just hammer away on a key board) I felt much more calm and ideas are flowing with next steps I wanted to take. It really helped that when I wrote this, I was sitting at the park looking onto the river with my phone, and all the crazy noise it would have brought me powered off, just for that moment in time.  After that, I ran around from meeting to meeting and closed some sales for my smallbiz, talk about productive. Sometimes, you just need that break away.

The question then becomes do you have the will power to take a break from it all?

Can you stop checking for updates from your ex’s Facebook account (you closet stalker you)

Can you stash away some time to stop pinning about your dream life and work towards making your dreams come true?