My New Year’s Resolution: Take More.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I figured, “Why not?” Focusing on making ourselves better and doing Write it on your heart quote showing woman looking out to seaour work more effectively doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. I certainly have room for improvement, so I think laying out some strategies to become the person and solopreneur I strive to be makes sense.

 

In thinking through what I’d like to achieve in 2017, I discovered a theme.

 

I realize I need to “take” more.

Take stock.

Why is it we tend to dwell on what’s not right or what’s lacking in our personal and professional lives? I intend to start and end each day on a note of gratitude, taking stock of all I have to be thankful for.

Take 5 more often.

I’ve learned that overextending myself and cramming too much into too little time doesn’t benefit anyone. Not me. Not my family. Not my clients. Not my friends. When I need breaks, I’m going to take them. None of us can sustain a schedule that doesn’t leave room for rest and recovery.

Take a deep breath.

It seems as though we’re always jumping. Jumping to conclusions, jumping to judgment, and jumping at chances. But leaping before looking can lead to poor decisions and destroyed relationships. I vow to allow myself the time to take a breath and listen and think before offering opinions and making choices. I don’t know anyone who has ever regretted or suffered as a result of carefully thinking before speaking or acting on something, do you?

Take care.

Rushing never yields quality results. By consciously and methodically taking care, I can better avoid making those stupid little mistakes that gnaw at the core of my being for hours on end. Doing it right the first time saves time and sustains self-confidence.

Take a chill pill.

I’m a worrier. Not so much about myself but about others who I care about and who are going through difficult times. That’s not productive. Worry helps no one. What does help is keeping a cool head, giving a shoulder to lean on, providing guidance, and offering a helping hand.

Take it with a grain of salt.

Constructive criticism from trusted advisors and other people who care about you can serve as valuable feedback to move you down a more successful path. But naysayers offering unsolicited advice or making disparaging remarks about you or how you do something typically don’t have your best interests at heart. I intend to take their words with a grain of salt and consider their motivation. If someone offers harsh words that aren’t in the spirit of helping you improve, then it’s likely they’re driven by jealousy, rivalry, or by an inherently mean disposition.

The Overarching Plan For The New Year

So, my plan to take control of 2017 is to take more. What have you placed on your list of resolutions? Could you benefit from taking more, too, in the New Year?

 

Got Thanks? Time To Give It!

With the holiday season more hectic than other times of the year, finding time for reflection on what you have to be thankful for can easily take a back seat to Thankfulness in spotlightmore pressing things. You know, like making an emergency trip to the grocery store for that one Thanksgiving side dish ingredient you forgot or rushing to the mall in hopes of scoring the limited supply Black Friday buys your kids say they won’t be able to live without.

I certainly don’t take the time I should (as often as I should) to recognize how wonderful life really is despite the day-to-day challenges. Do you?

After reading numerous posts about thankfulness, I decided to follow in the footsteps of business professionals like Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media, Laura Spencer of Writing Thoughts, and Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks. They’ve shared what makes them thankful—and their posts served as the kick in the pants I needed to get my thankfulness on. Could you use a kick, too? If yes, check out my list, get started on your own, and then share some of it here in the comments.

I’m Thankful For…

  1. My husband Shane’s love, support, patience, and encouragement
  2. My daughter Natalie’s comfort level in talking with me about anything and everything (Although I admit I’m not always immediately thankful for that!)
  3. My parents who are always there for me no matter how old I get
  4. My brother (We used to beat up on each other as kids, but we’re beyond that now.)
  5. Having our 89-year-old grandma on this earth
  6. My in-laws who welcomed me with open arms into their family 17 years ago
  7. My friends—from high school, college, and my past life at D&E Communications—who remain special people in my life
  8. Facebook, for making it easy to stay in touch with those friends
  9. The friends I’ve been blessed with on my self-employment journey (You understand the challenges, you give encouragement, and you inspire me.)
  10. My mastermind group gals (Jennifer, Rachel, and Terry) for your insight, advice, support, and friendship
  11. My assistant, Rose, who has helped me immensely this past year
  12. Clients who entrust me to help them with their content and their brand’s message
  13. The amazing connections I’ve made with people on Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn
  14. The unconditional love of our boxer-mix, Luna
  15. Our house
  16. My 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee that still looks great and runs like a champ
  17. The corporate takeover that gave me reason to pursue my career in freelance writing
  18. The amazing teachers in Ephrata School District. In eight years, we haven’t experienced a bad one in the bunch.
  19. Where I live (2 hours to the beach. 3 hours to the mountains. Within 5 minutes of three major grocery stores. 3 minutes to Staples and CVS. 20 minutes from two malls. 7 minutes to the PA Turnpike. 30 seconds from the Green Dragon Farmers Market.)
  20. Red wine
  21. My chiropractor, Dr. Lee Lausch, who has kept my scoliosis at bay
  22. The grace of God
  23. Outgrowing my seafood allergy (I now eat shrimp twice each week!)
  24. Broccoli and brussel sprouts
  25. Making a living by writing (After five years, I still find that somewhat surreal!)
  26. The gym in our basement (God bless my treadmill, free weights, and Wave Master!)
  27. “Survivor” (The only TV show I actually sit down to watch!)
  28. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the morning
  29. Red wine (Oops, I already said that, didn’t I??)
  30. A heart that beats
  31. Lungs that breathe
  32. Legs that run
  33. Eyes that see
  34. Ears that hear
  35. Hands for holding
  36. Arms for embracing
  37. A mouth for smiling
  38. Love
  39. Laughter

I could go on and on and on but in the interest of time and attention spans, I’ll put a cap on my list so you can begin yours. Ready to go?

What do you have to be thankful for?

 

By Dawn Mentzer
Another Insatiable SolopreneurTM post