Sunday, November 30, 2008

Core Strength, or just pain?

Feeling virtuous and ambitious one day last week, I ordered the Gaiam BalanceBall Chair, which is supposed to strengthen my core muscles and improve spinal alignment while I work. Sounds brilliant, right?

It's definitely better than just sitting on a plain old exercise ball at my desk, since that thing was always getting in my way and I could just never get it to the right height.

I can already feel it in my "core," but I can also feel it in my neck a little bit. Hmmm ... I think I may need to tweak the ball inflation a little bit.

Keeping healthy and fit seems to be a full-time job with a lot of requirements!

Maintaining Balance Even When You Stop Spinning

With the Thanksgiving activities, I haven't had my typical balanced routine of my usual childcare schedule on the following days:

Monday: 9-6
Tuesday: 2-6
Wednesday: 10-2
Thursday: 9-6
Friday: 10-4

Instead, I have been spending time with family and taking care of my daughter. Don't get me wrong - it has been absolutely wonderful, but I must admit that I find myself a little bit off-kilter, feeling unusually stressed and uncomfortable. I think it must be because I'm off my routine, but still at home. I think (and hope!) that if I were on vacation (away from home), then I would be able to relax. Instead, I'm looking forward to Monday morning when I can get back into my routine!


I'd like to think that this is somewhat normal given the fact that I have created a work-life balance that works for me, and so throwing off my routine has been disorienting.

Let me know if you ever feel this way, and if you have any examples of how you find balance when your routine is disrupted.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks ... and Giving Back to Yourself

Did you know that giving thanks, (AKA expressing gratitude) regularly can make you a happier person?

This Thanksgiving, in between the friends, family and turkeys, take time to acknowledge the things in your life for which you are truly thankful, and your level of happiness will instantly improve.

Happier people tend to be more successful in their businesses ... and their lives. So learn to take better care of your happiness and your business will thank you!

I wish you a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving!

P.S. E-mail me if you would like a FREE 52-week gratitude journal

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Working From Home - Choices

Some days it feels like there are just so many choices to make!

Some of the 5,000 choices for me yesterday included unloading the dishwasher (which I absolutely HATE doing, but it's a good excuse for not filing paperwork!), filing paperwork, writing a marketing plan for one of my clients, and sitting on the couch, daydreaming.

Hmmm... the joys of working from home.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

4-Hour Work Week

A few months ago I read The Four Hour Workweek. Awesome book, but pretty unrealistic in terms of the specifics (i.e. 4 hours per week) for most of us. As with most books though, it had some interesting gems. Most important, I think, is the concept that our businesses can really benefit from more operational systems. In fact, I think the author based most of his how-to-run-a-business recommendations on one of my favorite books of all time, The E-Myth Revisited.

The most important take-away from this book, and what has been most helpful to me, is that most entrepreneurs do not create systems for their businesses. Rather, we just kind of wake up each morning and put out fires as needed throughout the day.

While this works for a while, it can't help but get exhausting for us. Worse, when we consider when and how to hire someone to help us to put out the fires, we have no idea where to begin because we really don't know exactly what we do each day.

The concept of putting together operational systems, even (perhaps especially!) for a solo-preneur who doesn't have anyone working for her, is really breakthrough for me and for most entrepreneurs who I know, as it helps us manage our fires more effectively and, more importantly, allows us to hire a team of people who can help us avoid them altogether.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A good afternoon

I just got back from 1) an awesomely-terrifying workout at Burn 60 - possibly the best way to maximize a 60-minute workout; and 2) donating a pint of blood - one of the best ways to help people who are in trouble. Did you know that you can schedule your blood donation online?

Mind like a muddy puddle

Last week I decided that it would be a good idea to try meditating in the mornings. Verena wakes up at 6:30 anyway, so I might as well set my inner clock to awaking at 6 a.m. for some uninterrupted "me" time.

NOTE: I know that it sounds very "Type A" and not-Zen to decide to start meditating, but I really don't see how else one begins - I mean, it's not like it's natural to sit still for 10 minutes!

So, this morning was my third 10-minute session. My visual is "body like a mountain, head like the sky," which usually feels very clear and opening for me. This morning though, the sky just wasn't happening. My insides felt like a muddy puddle rather than a bright sky. Truth be told, it was actually kind of nice to feel mushy.

Meditation: GoalMeditation: Actual

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First Blog Post!

For the past ten months, I have been on a quest to balance my life. What I discovered is that I take really good care of my daughter, and pretty good care of my husband and business, but when things get crazy (which they always do) I fail to take good care of myself. As a result, I was run-down, out of shape, carrying extra weight, and low on the big ideas that I knew were inside of me.

Sound familiar, anyone???

So, I set out to take better care of myself with the thought that in doing so I would improve all aspects of my life and the lives that I touch. I think it's working, and I'm proud of my progress.

As a business consultant, I can't help but notice the positive impact this has made on my own business and the businesses that I help. As a mother, I find myself able to reach amazing depths of patience that I certainly never expected. As a wife, well, things are great on that front. But, most importantly, I feel stronger and happier than ever before.

This blog is going to track my continued progress (and some non-progress, too!) as I build the strength of my family and my business by building myself.