As I rolled out my initial blog posts, I received a lot of positive feedback. Thanks to all of you who sent feedback and well wishes on LinkedIn and Facebook or by commenting on the posts on the website. I really appreciate all of you! One of the notes I received in several forms was, “How do you find the time?” This question really piqued my interest and made me stop and think about how and why I made time for this new adventure. The answer is straight forward. I didn’t find the time. I made the time.
I made the time because I am passionate about helping others to solve problems and live their most fulfilling lives. Over the last seven years, through my full time job and within my network of friends and family, I have been coaching and mentoring people in the area of having vital conversations, how to get out of the victim loop and how to balance work and home life. I have been thinking about doing something more in this arena for several years now but until this point in time I didn’t act on it. I didn’t make it a priority. The real driver for me was the change in 2020 due to COVID and missing connection with people. It was time.
Once something is a priority, you start to “find” time by spending time doing whatever it is you’re passionate about instead of “wasting” time. I don’t know about you, but I need downtime. For me, downtime is usually spent surfing social media or gardening. The gardening is valuable to me because it is my creative outlet. I love seeing new plants grow and the color splash that creative gardening provides. I get some of my best ideas to solve other problems in my life while gardening. Yes, I’m doing something constructive, but my mind can also wander while I’m digging holes, pulling weeds or watering flowers. I even enjoy mowing the lawn! I have not given up time gardening. In fact, the photos for this blog are taken from our backyard. It’s a tropical oasis and I love it.
Surfing social media is not all bad or a waste of time. I like seeing and reading about my friends and connections, hearing about their families, careers and special endeavors. However, I can easily spend hours a day surfing. There is time to give and spend blogging. That is where I “found” the time. I repurposed the time I was spending toward something I had more passion about. In addition to trading some of my social media time (I admit I still spend time surfing) I find that there are lots of other pockets of time that can be “found”. Examples for me are during lunch hours while I’m eating at my desk, before the kids get up for school and even while I’m waiting around for my daughter’s tennis matches to start.
I do not give up valuable family time. I do not jeopardize my full-time work responsibilities. I do not cut into my sleeping or workout hours. All those things are also important to me and without doing them all well, I couldn’t blog long term, something I intend to do.
Get creative with how you use your time toward achieving your goals. Blogging does require words be captured in some way but that doesn’t mean I have to sit down at a computer for hours to make it happen. There is a tactic to how I write somewhat painlessly. When I have an inspirational thought, I capture it right away. It might be an email to myself, jotting it down on paper or dictating it into my phone while driving. I can capture a lot of thoughts throughout the day that are then linked together for a blog. Once I have these thoughts, they become the outline and I can more fully write it out very quickly. I’m a scholarly person when it comes to writing. I start with the outline and then write the first draft. I must sleep on it and then make the final edits. Another secret is Jake, my husband, reviews most of my writing before I publish it to provide feedback and edits. This approach allows me to write blogs in smaller bits of time and not necessarily just when I sit down at a computer.
I share all of this with you to encourage you to do the same. Not necessarily write, but what have you been wanting to start but you don’t seem to have the time? If you’re serious about it, think about how you can make small changes to make time and get started. Here are three tips to start slaying your goals:
1. JUST START! Half of the battle with tackling a new goal is to just start. It’s easy to overthink things or wait for the right time. Well I’m here to tell you, there is no right or perfect time. Now is as good as any and if you start now, you’ll thank yourself later for not procrastinating.
2. GET OVER YOUR FEAR. Start saying “I can.” A barrier beyond finding time to trying something new is the fear that you don’t know how. Well, if I can build a website from scratch using YouTube videos, I’m sure you can figure out whatever you are wanting to achieve as well.
3. TAP INTO YOUR NETWORK. As I was going through my process, I spoke to at least ten people, all with different experiences and expertise, who helped me along the way…for FREE. Your network is powerful. All you must do is ASK. Reach out to people over the phone or email. I’ve also seen people put out questions on social media which makes your audience even larger than your network. I think you’ll be amazed at the help you can get and how much people love helping others. If I can help you with your new endeavor, please pick me!! Here are some real examples from my blog startup journey:
I had an example recently where I was an interview guest for a webinar-based recording on innovation during COVID. The other guest happened to already have published his first book. When I mentioned that I’m wanting to publish a book, he sent me an email right after to offer his thoughts on the writing and publishing process. I didn’t even have to ask. We met over the phone a week later and I got to ask him questions about his experience. Don’t be afraid to share with others what your goals are, the universe somehow sends us what we ask for so go ahead and put it out there.
Another example is a friend of mine who has his own website design and hosting business. He offered to help me out if I needed it because I’m a good friend of the family. I thought that was awesome. He spent about an hour with me trying to work through some functionality on the site. After that hour, I asked him if I could pay him to do some of the work that I needed completed but that was getting too technical for me. I decided to pay him so I could get the site up and running faster. In this example, I want to emphasize to not take advantage of people. It’s one thing if they are giving you advice. If you want them to just do it for you, be considerate of their time and offer to pay. You don’t want to abuse your network, especially if you may need them in the future.
I hope hearing about how to find time and use your network to get over fear inspires you to try something you’ve been thinking about. It can be anything – writing, producing videos, looking for a new job, building a house or running a marathon. If I can help in any way, please send me a message. I’d love to listen and help. I also am happy to provide links to people in my network that could help you slay your goals.