Tag Archives: motivation

How To Find Out What’s Driving Your Chosen Endeavour, Plus Easy Ways To Make Purpose and Meaning Your Answer


Have you ever stopped to ponder why you do what you do? Why you are working toward a particular project? Why you follow a particular hobby or passion? Why you do a particular job or parent your kids the way you do?

If it is because you feel excited and purposeful in doing them and that these experiences are creating real meaning and opportunities for you, then my head is nodding and my hands are clapping, ‘cos I love your answers!!!

If, per chance, your response is any of the following, then perhaps there is a  discussion to be explored here.

1) I do what I do, because of the money.

2) I do what I do, because that's what or how my parents did it.

3) I do what I do, because it's what I've done for a long time.
It makes me feel comfortable. Safe. Bored.

4) I do what I do, because that's what most people my age or
 in my peer/social group are doing.

5) I do what I do, because I'm afraid if I made a change,
it might be hard. Or not work out. Or. Something.

My intention in putting these ideas to you is simply to ask you to think. Or maybe to stop thinking in the way you may have been and ask yourself some different questions. Questions like:-

1) What really makes me happy, excited, inspired, gives me energy and purpose? Could I do that instead? Or at least try it?

2) Is what was right for my parents, right for me?

3) Is doing what I’ve always done really working for me? Is it providing a truly fulfilling and purposeful life for me?

4) Are there other people, in my age and peer group, who are doing something great with their lives? Something I admire them for and would like to emulate?

5) Is refusing or choosing not to change or not to stretch myself to learn and experience something outside of my comfort zone really working for me? Perhaps there is some value to had in trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone.  

Life is short. It is also full of possibilities. Established careers, jobs and ‘traditional’ roles don’t have to dictate who you are or what you do. If you’re not satisfied with the way yours is, why not create a new one for yourself using the above questions as a starting point? Maybe you already have?

Maybe you have already explored those questions and moved on, beyond the ‘expected’ role or label society has stamped you with. Or maybe you’d like to.

I love exploring these type of topics and certainly do not profess to have all the answers. Maybe I’ve got it wrong. Maybe there is more I need to know or discover.

What do you think?

Are you purpose driven in your endeavours?

Does what you do or are striving to do really excite and inspire you?

Is wanting to help improve the lives of others or just reaching out and connecting something you think is a purposeful goal?

What other ways can we inject purpose and meaning into everything we do?

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Networking, Fiction Writing and Why I Committed A Cardinal Blogging Sin


As most of you would know, there are a lot of other “cyber tasks” (apart from actually writing blog posts) that fill up a busy bloggers day ie visiting other blogs, editing and emailing guest posts ( my first soon to go up at WriteAnything ), researching ideas, cyber networking and leaving comments on other blogs.

What can I say, I like to keep busy!

Anyhow, due to all of the above, and a few other things I will go into in a moment, this week I happily committed (perhaps not a cardinal, but rather just a venial sin) of ‘reposting’ a previous post.

Personally I don’t think there is anything greatly wrong with that.

After all your readership may have grown over time and what’s wrong with a little resharing of some relevant and perhaps interesting facts about a particular topic?

Nothing Monica, except I’d read it before, I hear you say.

Yes, well, as I am now in the confessional box, I may as well mention to you another significant factor that affected my (blogging and all other aspects of) life last week. It was called CYCLONE YASI.

You’d have thought that the weather gods may have had enough fun with us Queenslanders lately (with the recent floods and all) but apparently that was just a test run. For just weeks later a category 5 cyclone, which had the dubious honour of being the most severe cyclone in our country’s history, began approaching off the coast. 

I don’t wish to turn this post into a news report about the event. I’m sure there have been plenty of them, worldwide. Suffice to say that this second disaster did once again, hit heart and home.

Our relatives in North Queensland experienced a horendous night (but are all safe) and are now enduring the second week of living with no electricity and a diminishing city water supply. Hardship and adversity has also hit the many  (sugar cane, banana and dairy) farming communities for the second time in just a few years, so these guys are all doing it tough. So please keep them all in yours thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Okay, well apart from sharing this event with you from my own personal perspective, I also wanted to mention a few great writing sites and projects I have recently become aware of. This also involves sharing with you:-

Some Stuff You Didn’t Know About Me

I’ll make these points briefly (because there’s only a few of them!) :-

1) Apart from my own ebook, I also love to write non-fiction.

2) I have written a 50,000 word romance novel (that currently sits at the bottom of my filing cabinet) that one day, I will dust off and send to a publisher!

3) I am always on the lookout for magazine’s and other places, to submit my short stories to.

4) Last year, I had a story accepted for publication in a national parenting magazine;

5) Then, after a few months of back and forth email contact with the magazine’s editor, it was er….non-accepted (with many sincere and genuine apologies from the very lovely editor. I learnt two things from this experience. One was that  these people all work in editorial teams and as such, what one says, doesn’t always go. And two, they are very busy people and subject to constant changing circumstances about which content is appropriate to produce and which isn’t.

Arghh, all a big learning curve for aspiring writers!! Still, I am an optimist and can not feel anything but gratitude for the little bit of ‘foot in the door’ I was permitted (even if that foot is still just a little bruised and sore from it’s experience!!)

Anyhow, this all leads me to explain why I was so excited to discover a project called #FridayFlash, which as you might have guessed by the hashtag usage, is a fantastic, twitter born, opportunity for writers. Basically, this project involves uploading your own fiction each Friday and participating in the online community of writers bought together by @JMStoth.

If you yourself are intersted in joining in with this project you can do so here.

I myself will be uploading stories  (the stories are already written and on my computer files) as soon as a few hitches with my Microsoft office program are fixed!!

So there you have it friends – a confession, a heartache and some new writing ventures, shared. 

 

  

Your Future Hasn’t Been Written Yet or Why Your Next Resolution Maybe Your Best Yet


 

Many of you may remember this scene  from the very popular movie, Back To The Future. In case you’re too young to remember, it was a fictional tale with a great message about possibilities, outcomes, decisions and personal action.

It was also a great reminder that destiny is something that in contrast to being predetermined is actually, medetermined. Every choice you make or don’t make (and even not making a choice is a choice), every opportunity you do or do not take up is you, determining your future.

The New Year

One of the most popular dates on the calendar for setting goals is coming…. thoughts, ideas and promises will flood our minds with the intent of being fulfilled. “This time next year”…..will be a popular phrase fervently broadcast after a few drinks. Goals such as losing weight, giving up smoking, getting more exercise, writing more will be everywhere. Then, a month or two later……??? Ah, well, it wasn’t meant to be. It’s not my destiny. I was never meant to do that, anyway. Etc, etc…

The excuse of not being in charge of your future is one that many of us are comfortable to fall back on.

When we take the idea that ‘Our future hasn’t been written yet’ though, things begin to change. We can start to see that really…..anything is possible. We can lose that weight, we can achieve that new goal.  Destiny is not an absolute. It is something we can shape, change and create. If we want to.

Great Scott

Couch potatoes have become marathon runners. Because they wanted to.

Bloggers have become published authors. Because they wanted to.

Penniless people have created wealth. Because they wanted to.

Uneducated people have gone back to school. Because they wanted to.

The essential ingredient of course is motivation. Motivation, desire, hard work and a some would argue, luck.

While all these do play a part, I think the most common element in all these success stories is that, the people creating them, believed in being masters of their own destiny.

When midnight strikes this New Year, why not remind yourself of this truth. It may make all the difference, this time next year……

Over To You…

So, I’d love to hear – do you believe in life being me – determined or predetermined? Is circumstance and your life situation something you can control or shape or is it all ‘going to happen anyway’, regardless of your own decisions or choices?

Do you only set new goals at New Year or do you set them weekly,monthly or even daily? Have you an inspirational story to share about overcoming the odds and achieving what you set out to?

Please do share your thoughts. I really appreciate the value your comments add to the discussion. 🙂

I’d also love to hear what you’re doing to ring in the New Year. I’d share my own plans, but they mostly involve sleep…..such the party animal quiet neighbour that I am!

 

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Becoming A First Time Author Using Web Tools or The How’s and Why’s Of The New Publishing Model (Part Two)


 

Writing your book is a fantastic goal and the prospect of actually finishing it and getting it out there is pretty exciting. At least I think it is!

In my last post we looked at some of the fantastic options for doing just that, specifically digital publishing or creating ebooks. Today we will look at the self publishing print options, something that many authors prefer, although I think it is probably necessary to go down both paths, if possible.

Self Publishing in Print

If you really want to, of course, the traditional route to publishing is still available for you to pursue. That is if you’re happy to wait several years, read many rejection letters, possibly pay half or more of the publishing costs yourself (I have met authors who have been offered these sort of ‘deals’ from publishers), are prepared to wait months and months to hear back from editors and are lucky enough to find an agent who will return your calls.

Okay, I paint a dim picture. However, I am not about to argue with the thousands who have gone before me and had these experiences.

Especially since we right now have several viable alternatives to traditional publishing. I am also encouraged by the stories of authors who have already gone down the self publishing path and in time, gone on to get traditional book deals, after achieving sales success with their originally self published books. Two examples of people who have done this are Christopher Paolini and Lis Genova. So it can happen!

Making Your Book A Reality

Okay, so now that you’re jumping up and down with excitement (at least I hope you are !), how can you do this?

Well, there are several online companies who specialise in making this happen and here’s a list of them: –

www.lulu.com

www.createspace.com

www.booksurge.com

www.wordclay.com

www.fiverainbows.com

and

www.blurb.com

Check them all out if you want to, but the two that I think offer the best options for first time authors are Lulu and Createspace and these are the two that I will be looking at in the new year. Having not long ago reformatted my manuscript for Smashwords, I now have a little more work to do to produce print ready files for uploading to these sites.

Print On Demand

One of the great services offered by these companies (at least most of them) is Print On Demand, where books are printed as they are ordered. Someone puts in an order, they print it and ship it to the customer!

This saves us authors from having to store hundreds of books in our garages and also means no up front costs for printing, storage or distribution.

Learning The Trade

One of the main aspects of being an independent author is that you take charge of the marketing and promotion yourself. Luckily these are skills we can all learn and indeed for many of you reading this, you probably already have some experience with this.

I am still investigating and learning about things like creating press releases and marketing and reaching an audience. It’s a learning curve but one I am happy to be taking. The journey so far has been fun, interesting, stimulating and extremely self satisfying to have reached some of the writing goals I have set for myself.

I can’t begin to tell you, after all those months of working hard on my manuscript, how excited I was the day my book went ‘live’ on Smashwords!!

I know you too can also experience this feeling and I hope that the information I have shared here enables you to. Thanks for coming back for Part Two and I would love to hear from any of you who are currently working on manuscripts or who hope to in the future.

Wishing you all the best with your writing,

Mon

Before You Go….

Why not leave a comment? I would love to hear how your own manuscript is progressing, if you have one. Or perhaps you have thoughts about writing a book, but aren’t sure where to start ?

Also, was this information helpful for you or if there is something else that you are interested in reading about in relation to writing or any of the other topics discussed here?

Have you had any experiences with writing and publishing?

Love to hear…..

P.S. I have had some technical difficulties with my internet service lately (it keeps dropping out) so I have not gotten to visit everyone’s blogs for a few days. I have been trying!! I’m hoping it works long enough today for me to publish this post! Darn internet!

Making Your Blogging Imprint or How To Get Your Blog To Sparkle in Cyberspace


 

Hi everyone! The first thing I have to say before anything else is thank you!Thanks to everyone who left comments, asked questions or just visited and read my Freshly Pressed post the other day. I think it is safe to say that my blog has been enjoying some wonderful Feng Shui over the last couple of days and it is all due to you bright and passionate people out there who provided feedback, shared thoughts and left kind comments. So thank you! 🙂 

Together Everyone Achieves More. Cheesey….but true!

I think I have replied  to everyone and I eventually hope to visit all your blogs, too. It might take me awhile…but I’ll do it!

The Blogging Network

Blogging really is about community after all. It is also about sharing what we know and love, so I am looking forward to reading everything that you guys are passionate, ambitious and committed to! 

Sharing our views with the world really does make us vulnerable at times, but the best thing about it is that we are  all ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’, which I think is keeping us all ahead of the herd in some ways and providing a pathway for our own self growth at the same time.

I hope that last remark didn’t offend any sheep out there 🙂 it didn’t mean to. I just think that by taking a few risks and putting ourselves ‘out there’ we are all deliberately creating new experiences for ourselves  and that has to be good, ‘cos in my view, that’s what’s life’s about – Living, Learning, Achieving and Growing.

Today’s Post

Okay so moving on to today’s post which, compared to my last one, is brief,  as I have been a bit busier than usual over the last few days 🙂 and thus limited to some extent for time to write.

I think I touched on the subject of  time management in my last post where I described my preference of keeping to a blogging schedule, but sometimes the unexpected happens (like being on Freshly Pressed!). This then requires a little ‘renegotiation’ with your available time and energy!

I am happy though with the choice I made to reply to all the comments left here first, before I began work on my next post.

Today’s Topic

So ….without further to-do, here is today’s post which was actually influenced by the number of questions and comments I received about how to get your blog moving or how to get traffic or even how to motivate yourself to write.

Whilst I plan to address some of those questions over a number of posts in the future, today’s entry explores two things which I believe are key components to writing good blog posts. I thought I would start with these to perhaps give you some ‘food for thought’ as you yourself start planning your next blog post.

If you are already a prolific writer and have some further thoughts on finding inspiration, please share it with the rest of us in the comments section! Ideas and creative energies are definitely elements of ourselves, as bloggers, that can be activated and nourished by others. And as I certainly don’t have a monopoly on doing that, please feel free to contribute and further influence fellow readers via the comment section. Thanks in advance 🙂

Write What You Would Like To Read

Okay, so I have adopted this simple mantra myself recently, as I have heard it put forward by some very famous authors and it certainly seems to have worked for them! And, going by my analogous post from two days ago, it is also working for me. I could never have anticipated the trajectory of that particular post in advance, so I just wrote something that I myself would enjoy reading. I also have started asking the following questions after I write, ”Would I be proud of that article or post ten years from now?” or “Have I provided a fresh or unique perspective on a topic that allows readers to discover new insights?”

Basically, my own posts are my effort to :-

a) Cultivate the creative and/or personal potential of others and

b) To encourage them to follow their instincts and to reconnect with a voice of encouragement and inspiration, thereby awakening their own dormant talents and abilities.

You probably already know that voice which I am referring to but you are sometimes ignoring or paying little attention to it.  You have lots of great ideas, but then you can talk yourself out of putting them into practice.  You start listening to the doubts instead of your positive and confident internal voice.

I used to do that too, but once I started to turn it around, I suddenly became a lot more productive 🙂  It can be a great adventure just following your own instincts and then finding out where it leads you…..

Trust Your Own Voice

Which brings me to the second point of this post, which is simply trusting your own voice.

For me that entails writing the same way that I talk. I also like to imagine that I am sitting in a small room in my house, sharing and chatting with some close friends. Maybe we are also enjoying some coffee and a few laughs.

The reality may actually be that I am sitting all alone at my writing desk, but I can still feel the collective presence of others and this really assists me in finding my own voice and trusting it.

NOTE: The above post is my own ideas about finding your blogging voice, but after I had finished writing I decided to do a little more research, so I could provide you with some further reading on the subject, should you be interested.

The following two links were the best I found. I hope you find them helpful.

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/08/05/5-ways-to-build-your-blogs-voice/

http://blogsessive.com/blogging-tips/unique-blogging-voice/

Ciao everyone. Happy blogging!!!

As always, I would love your feedback and comments on this post. I am sure you can all educate me just as much as I can you, so please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and ideas or to simply ask a question. 🙂

By the way if you noticed a large number of smiley faces being added to my replies yesterday, that’s because I was feeling so happy. 🙂 🙂

I still am, so you will probably notice a few more today! 🙂 🙂

What Losing Weight Taught Me About Blogging and How It Might Help You


Have you ever set yourself a writing challenge?  Today I have with the challenge of writing a blog post using an analogy.

Analogies, as I have always known, make writing more interesting and can leave a greater imprint in the mind than straight forward information sharing. Just ask Tristan from The Blogging Bookshelf and I’m sure he’d agree!! He also has a great guide to analogous writing if you’re interested. You can read it here.

So today’s post is my effort to draw the following two subjects together – blogging and weight loss and see what we (or I) can learn from the experience.

Why Blogging is Like Trying To Lose Weight

There are several key components to blogging. One is regular posting – at least 3 times a week – and although we all sometimes fall below that goal, as long as we ‘get back on the horse’ again and don’t let our blogging habits fall too far behind, we are still heading in the right direction.

Similarly with weight loss, the best and most effective habit to is to exercise at least 3 times a week.  This will give you the best results. However a workout once or twice a week is still a great practice and definitely beneficial to your overall success.

Something is always better than nothing.

Other important strategies to implement during a weight loss journey include those on the following list. The related blogging parallels are written in bold, next to or following them.

1) Having a schedule. Planning meals ahead of time helps avoid poor food choices.  Planning blog topics ahead of time also avoids last-minute posts where you end either not posting or writing a rushed or short post, rather than something that may provide value and information.

2) Keeping a food journal. Writing down everything you eat is a great practice for the serious weight loss achiever. Statistics have proven that those who keep a record of their food intake lose twice as much weight as those who do not.

Although most blogs are a journal all of their own, keeping a record of what and when you will post it is still a sensible and helpful tool for most bloggers.

I have just received my own Blog Planning Kit from Tristan at The Blogging Bookshelf and have already found it great for getting down my thoughts and plans for this blog.

3) Consistency of Effort. For a weight loss journey to be successful in the long term, there is no doubt that you must be consistent in your efforts to make healthy eating  and more activity your new lifestyle.

Having only short ‘health kicks’ where you stick to your goals for a day or two and then reinfect your lifestyle with food binges and/or other negative behaviours will not only frustrate you, but will result in poorer weight loss outcomes. NOTE: The above said, it is still very common for most of us to have the odd ‘bad day’, which is fine as long we don’t allow it to become an excuse for returning to our old habits permanently!

Blogging also requires consistent effort ! Not just in the form of churning out posts, but also toward nurturing your blogging potential.

This might include (but is not restricted to) reading other people’s blogs, accessing quality information about blogging (writing techniques, wordpress software, guest posting..etc…) and making the business of blogging part of your overall focus!

There is a plethora of information out there that can assist either the newbie or hobby blogger and help him or her on the road to blogging success.

Of course,the application of this knowledge is also important. Lots of knowledge and no action equates to only minor progress (in any endeavour!) 

4)  You need to stay positive!! 🙂  Are you a ‘glass half empty’ or a ‘glass half full’ kind of person. In other words, do you focus on finding the good in things?

Or are you critical – of others or of yourself ? Of what others say (or write!!) or of how they behave and react?

Being too critical or negative toward yourself or others can become somewhat of a habit if we allow it too. The Chinese call it Ying energy, as opposed to Yang (the good, positive life energy) but no matter how you label it, there is no doubt that looking for the good in things will benefit your emotional wellbeing and will also help you to focus on your achievements instead of your setbacks, thereby encouraging you to keep going!

Okay, so there it is for you – a brief comparison of blogging and weight loss.  Oh and I would like to add this one too – linking to others as often as you can.

In the blogging world this may mean linking to other people’s posts or commenting on their blogs. In the weight loss world, it may mean finding an exercise buddy or an accountability partner.

What’s that old saying that I often hear? Together Every One Achieves More.

 I think it’s true. None of us are an island – or if we are, we’d better get off it from time to time and visit a few other islands. The scenery will be better and the journey will be far more exciting.

Before You Go……

Why not leave a comment…….

Perhaps you would like to share some blogging or weight loss secrets of your own or maybe some other practices that you hold true or are committed to sticking with ?

Life is a journey of learning, growing and change and it definitely involves other people, so your input to each and every discussion here is truly appreciated.

It also adds value to the discussion itself – these posts are my thoughts only, however your opinion and feedback is highly valued!  🙂  🙂

Could You Lose 2 kg by Christmas Day? or How To Give Your Health and Weight Loss Program A Boost,This Festive Season


 

Editor’s note: This post is written to encourage and support anyone who has begun a weight loss journey and is concerned that Christmas and the holiday season might be their downfall! If this is not you, then Happy Holidays anyhow and I hope you enjoy your Christmas cheer! If you yourself have any tips or advice to help those who might still be struggling with weight loss issues then please share them with us all in the comment box. Thanks….

P.S. I have written this post according to the traditons here in Australia where I live. I realise that many of you have just celebrated Thanksgiving too. I hope you enjoyed yourself and perhaps you should read this post after you have recovered!!  Happy Thanksgiving to you anyhow – it sounds like a wonderful tradition!

The Big Question

Could you lose 2 kg by Christmas Day? Of course you could! With exactly one month to go till the big day, a weight loss of 2 kg is definitely achievable, given that the expected and healthy loss for anyone on a weight loss plan or program is about 0.5 kg a week.

Trouble is around this time a lot of people on weight loss journeys start to worry because they know that pretty soon, food is going to be a very big player in every social event and get together. But relax…..really…with a little bit of forward planning and decision-making the ‘food thing’ or our ‘impulse control thing’ does not have to get out of hand.

It does however, take some conscious thought.

Planning Ahead For Parties

First up here’s an idea that a friend shared with me some time ago. I’ve tried it and it works. It’s also extremely simple.

It involves ‘visualising’ (which is basically just creating a mental picture) of the food you know or think will be offered at a particular event and then ‘seeing’ yourself either saying ‘no thanks’ or just shaking your head. By doing this you are creating a conditioned response to the food instead of just reacting to. You are being a ‘mindful eater’ instead of the opposite. All good, so far.

But what about liquid calories? These also need to be taken into account, so choose your drinks carefully and dilute them with soda or mineral water where you can. Or don’t drink at all. There’s a thought!  I know, it is CHRISTMAS ….so go ahead and celebrate, just be mindful of all you consume though and trust me you can still have a great time!

The Real Focus

Christmas really is about sharing and getting together with family and friends. The food is part of the tradition, but it’s not the essence of the day. Good conversation, catching up with the lives of those whom you don’t see often enough and simply sharing some love and laughter can all take place with or without the food. So if you are serious about avoiding a ‘weight loss blowout’ this Christmas try to reflect on the real and important part of the Christmas message and the ‘food thing’ will have far less emphasis for you.

More Tips..

So, we’ve taken care ( at least a little) of those good choices you are going to make at your office party or get together.  Another tip would be to take your own plate. Everyone always appreciates a beautiful healthy fruit platter on the table which is fine to nimble from any time! Similarly, you can bring fish to a barbecue, some low fat snack items from the health food store or anything else that you know is going to prevent a blow out of your daily calorie count.

Forward planning all your snacks and meals is always a great idea when you are on a weight loss plan, but it is even more important now when you may be feeling that temptation is all around you. Stick to what has worked for you already and you’ll be fine!

New Shoes, New Routine, New Energy

This month leading up to Christmas is also a great time to give your exercise routine a bit of a kick in the butt!! Rather than start scaling back your workouts (because you’re going on holidays) why not rev it up a bit!!

 Find some new hills to climb, choose a new machine to use at the gym or just spent an extra 20 minutes a day being active. I’m going to!

While you’re at it, why not visit the shops and treat yourself to some new workout gear? Perhaps a new pair of runners or gym pants. Anything that will give your ‘fitness psyche’ a little pick me up, is helpful.

One More Thought….

Another great idea is to start sourcing some beautiful low fat and low calorie dishes and recipes. There are loads of alternatives to ‘traditional’ dishes out there to try!

Christmas and the holiday season can be a time when you really boost your weight loss efforts if you are willing to. And if you need any further support or just would like someone to tell you what a great job you’re doing (and you probably are!) then don’t hesitate to drop me an email or a comment!

 Love to help, if I can. 🙂

Do you find it hard to stick to your weight loss plan over the holidays? Maybe you’ve already lost weight yourself and understand how others might be feeling?

Perhaps we all should stay mindful of our food choices these holidays whether we are on a weight loss plan or not? What do you think?

Lastly, do you have any great low-calorie recipes for ‘alternative’ dishes for Christmas? Love to have you share them or any other tips or advice you may have….as always love to hear from you. 🙂

 

P.S.If you liked this post please share it !!