Category: Focus

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

FocusFriday510Let’s begin this Focus Friday by saying that I’m one week late. That April has come and gone. That it’s May, people! And that my one little word has almost bit the dust. But, I’m all for breathing life into rundown concepts. So, here we go.

In May, I’m focusing on only three things. Time Management. (I miss you guys, and I want to fix that.) Having Fun. (It’s all about balance.) Getting Organized. (Summer is right around the corner and I don’t want to miss any of it.)

That’s it for today. Not even going to mention April’s Focus… it was lost. Lots to share, coming soon, and I mean it. TGIF!

 

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

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It’s not April quite yet, but it’s time to make some new “One Little Word” goals to start out the month fresh on Monday. Spring is finally here. I guess the geese, the robins and the crocuses read my post earlier this week.

1 | Reading More, again | I had started to read on the train during my morning commute in the winter, but lately I’ve been zoning out. Here’s to more reading, again. Leave book suggestions in the comments, please!

2 | Actionable Planning | Sometimes I plan to do something (i.e. finish a craft project) but I don’t plan how or when it’s going to happen. There needs to be more of that.

3 | Dancing | My students have their performance in April and so do my mom’s students. I can’t wait to take in all the dancing this month holds. Note, I’m also open to more sporadic dancing anytime, just ask.

4 | Embracing the Season | I’m ready to jump head first into spring. I just want to make sure I’m the best me I can be when it gets here.

5 | Creating Balance | This comes in all things. Salad during the week, nachos on the weekend. Work & “play” and finding the difference between the two. Balance is forever shifting.


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And, let’s not forget about March:

1 | Slowing Down | I did slow down a little bit, but not enough. I mean, can you ever slow down enough?

2 | Thoroughness | Huge fail. I did not get to finish any of projects I have started.

3 | Patience | I think I became a little more patient. It’s just a matter of counting to 10 when annoyances start to creep in. Still, it’s something to think about and work on always.

4 | Me | This was my way of saying I was going to eat better and go to the gym more in March. Hmmm, not so much, but there’s always April.

5 | Time Management | I’ve definitely gotten a better hold on this. I simply tell myself I have a certain amount of time to do something then switch off the TV, wash out my paintbrushes, stop hitting snooze when that time is up.

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

FocusFridayMarch

Happy March, friends. It’s like I’m willing spring in with the light green pants, lack of socks and yellow capped ballet flats. With a non-snow forecast (finally) this weekend, I have a feeling we (in the northeast) are on our way. And now, to refocus for a new month.

1 | Slowing Down | As spring comes into view, I’d like to slow down and enjoy the cold nights spent curled under a blanket with a cup of hot tea.

2 | Thoroughness | I am the queen of starting a project and never fully realizing it potential. That’s where The Great Craft Up stemmed from. In March, I want to get around to finishing some of those projects.

3 | Patience | This is something I always wish I had more of—with myself, my dancers, my coworkers, my friends, my family… the list goes on. I don’t think you can ever have enough patience.

4 | Me | I’m ready to jump head first into spring. I just want to make sure I’m the best me I can be when it gets here.

5 | Time Management | Right along with “slowing down” and “thoroughness” comes number five. I’ve been reading a little bit here and there about being more productive with your time. One source of inspiration here is the ever-intent Jess Lively  with her take on batching.


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And, let’s not forget about February:

1 | Reading | I finished the book! It was the The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp—pick it up if you fancy yourself creative. I also read a book about blogging. I’ve also been reading daily reflections before bed which has helped me calm my mind and fall asleep quickly.

2 | Listening | I think I was successful at this, though, like patience, you can never listen too much.

3 | Preparedness | This kinda went by the wayside after one week. Maybe another month.

4 | Relaxing | I did this! I put the phone away while watching TV. I let myself zone out. It was delightful.

5 | Productivity | Was I productive? I know no other way to live. Now, I just have to finish all those projects I started.
I am digging these mini-resolutions every month. I definitely would have squashed any new year resolution I had made already. Are you still holding strong to one you made? If so, please, leave your secrets in the comments.

 

 

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

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1 | Reading | I am SO close to finishing that book that I started forever ago. 20 pages to go! I will continue to focus on reading more in February.

2 | Listening | Sometimes I get so wrapped up in all my own thoughts that I forget to be present in conversations. I will focus my energies on the conversation at hand.

3 | Preparedness | This is everything from packing my lunch the night before to being mentally ready to have conversations. See #2.

4 | Relaxing | This is so. hard. My mind is always racing. New ideas. New inventions. Places to go. People to see. Things to make. In February, I will take time to fully engage in relaxing. Less multi-tasking. More relaxing.

5 | Productivity | It seems wildly opposite from #4, but making sure my productivity level stays high and I am fully engaged will allow me to experience more complete relaxation.

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And, for accountability’s sake, here’s a quick recap of how/what I did in January:

1 | Relationships | I made phone calls. Had dinner. Had brunch. Wrote emails. Texted A LOT. More of this to come in 2013.

2 | Honesty | Remember this week’s post on my kitchen? And going gluten-free. This is a huge task… still working on asking for help when needed, I’ll get there.

3 | Creativity | The great Craft Up of 2013 has kicked off and I’m loving all my projects thus far. I will share them soon, I promise!

4 | Reading | See above, I cannot wait to dig into my wishlist of books. (20 pages!)

5 | Organization | The donation pile is still sitting in the corner of our bedroom. And I haven’t updated you on it. But it’s there. Working on it.

So, some tiny successes in January that make my February outlook a good one. What about you?

Winter Cleaning Gets Me Every Time

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Before I was married. Before I lived with David. When it was just me and the cat. Not that long ago, my mother and I made a rule for ourselves. For every piece of clothing we brought home, we had to get rid of one equal piece. Bring home a sweater, donate one. Find 4 new shirts, turn 4 old shirts into dust rags. You get it.

It was an easy enough rule to implement, especially since shopping trips only happened when I was with my mom and usually in a big way. But in the last year or so, things have started to pile up. A shirt here. A new package of socks there. A dresser drawer that now hardly closes due to the number of yoga pants stuffed in there.

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So, I’m imposing a winter purge. But this time, it’s not just limited to the closet and bureau. Kitchen, we’re coming for you. “Office,” watch out. And that pile of magazines I’ve been “saving” because they have great recipes in them… there’s another home out there for you.

I plan to share what we’re purging. It’ll be like Spring Cleaning came a little early this year. Do you have a set time of year for a good purge? Or do you store it all away until a big event or move? Please, do share. And to my things and yours, parting is such sweet sorrow.

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time


FocusFriday_January

Do you ever see those random dots in your eyes? They’re called floaters. That’s kinda what the polka-dots on my pants, pictured above, remind me of. I see floaters in my eyes all the time (it’s a vitamin thing, so I’m told), but I also see floaters in real life.

Floaters are the distractions. The Dance Moms marathons. The endless nights out. The apps on my phone and ipad. The internet. (Sorry, internet, I still love you.)

When I chose my one little word for 2013, I wasn’t sure exactly how I’d narrow it down. And that’s the problem with lacking focus, isn’t it. So, I decided to try to focus on five things per month. At least for this month. I’ll try it out, see how it goes and let you know how I did at the end of the month.

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Here’s more insight to my five focal points for January:

1 | Relationships | Our lives are built around them and I’m going to focus on building better ones with my husband, my family/friends (especially those far away ones), my coworkers and you, my readers.

2 | Honesty | This one goes back to the first point there, but it’s also about being honest with myself. When is too much really too much? When should I ask for help? Are polka dot pants truly a good idea?

3 | Creativity | It’s a daily thing for me in my job as a copywriter. But it can’t stop there. Big plans for this one. More on creativity next week.

4 | Reading | I’ve got a wishlist of books that I won’t let myself purchase until I finish reading the book that’s currently downloaded to my Kindle app. I will finish said book and move on.

5 | Organization | This one is already in the works. I’ve started a “donation pile” in the corner of our bedroom. More on this next week too.

Those are my January goals. I think I can do it. Are you a goal-setter? Any tips on how to make it all happen?

One Little Word Gets Me Every Time

focusWe made it! Happy New Year guys. I hope that it’s a beautiful, wonderful start wherever you are. Whether you’re recovering from an eve of partying or you awoke refreshed and are already tackling those New Years Resolutions, 2013 is here to stay.

Across the web, I found this trend of people picking one word rather than stating lofty resolutions. One word to focus on throughout the year. One word that can change it’s meaning to you every month. One word that can reveal something in a new light daily. One word that can shift your thinking or your way of doing. Read more about the trend here, here, here, here or here.

I thought about my word and made a shortlist over the past week. When I got it down to a few and couldn’t decide, I thought looking up quotes with those words could help choose my path. And it did. Almost immediately I chose the word “Focus.”

Focus, as a verb, means to cause to be concentrated or to concentrate attention or effort. I found so many great quotes that inspired me that I couldn’t pick just one to share today, but instead will share them during 2013, as I try to focus on my one word.

I’m looking forward to making 2013 a huge year for me, for my family and for all my projects. Ready? Let’s go!

 

Magazine Piles Get Me Every Time

Remember when I said October was for organization? Well, I was serious about it. And today’s one of those days.

It’s time for a moment of truth here. I love magazines. I love subscribing to them, buying them, reading them and, worst of all, saving them.

Now, I’ve tried magazine files and the like, but nothing has worked. So now, I offer up to you, how to organize your magazines—or how to save your magazines without really saving them.

First, right when you get them, read them! As you do, dog-ear the articles you are interested in. Step away from the magazine and in a few days, look back and see if you want to save those pages. If you do, carefully rip them out.

At this point, RECYCLE THE MAGAZINE.

After ripping out the pages, simply scan them as PDF pages, saving them to a folder on your computer.

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Finally, take the individual pages and sort them into categories. For me it’s mainly recipes, fitness routines and home tips. Each category gets a master PDF that you can add pages to regularly. I prefer to store mine “in the cloud” using DropBox or iCloud. Then, they’re always accessible from my phone, tablet or laptop.

Do you have a magazine organization system? Does this sound like too much work to save magazine clippings? Are you just pinning all the way? Let me know!

Opening Ceremonies Get Me Every Time

Happy Opening Ceremony Day! The Olympics are under way and I’m so excited to watch and cheer on Team USA. Now, don’t get me started on that London Olympic logo. But, do get me started on all things Olympics. Here’s a little roundup from around the web, from me to you.

1 | get into the Olympic spirit by learning the history of the Olympic rings  2 | cheer on team USA wearing this shirt  3 | enjoy a skinny take on fish & chips with “fish-n-chip-cakes”  4 | mark off the olympic days on this letterpress calendar  5 | serve up treats in DIY Olympic ring jars  6 | and when they’re calling out all the countries you’ve never heard of, look through this epic volume of Olympic Gymnast hair

 

A Thoughtful Gift Gets Me Every Time

Recently my friend, Louise (not to be confused with my cat Louise), went on a “spring break” trip to Barbados. She brought back a great tan, some great stories and some great gifts made by local artisans. I was the oh-so-lucky recipient of this hand-blown glass dish. It’s the perfect size for rings, earrings or change.

I’ve got my dish sitting in the kitchen, so I can put my rings in a safe place while cleaning, washing dishes or doing any intense cooking. I love when friends bring back gifts from exotic locations. Thanks Louise!