My most embarrassing procrastination moment


It’s Day 3 of my giveaway of The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. It’s outrageously helpful in battling procrastination. Click here for rules on how to enter the draw. Good luck!

In the spirit of us sharing a story of when we procrastinated and it was baaaaad I thought I’d share too. One time I was connecting with a donor to my organization. They were a sweet couple that I knew from Church. They had invited me to dinner. For whatever reason that I cannot remember, I had to call to reschedule. I was pretty nervous about rescheduling because it’s usually pretty tacky. So I put it off, which anyone knows is a really bad idea when it comes to giving people warning that you’re not going to be able to make the engagement. Then, like most scenarios with procrastination, I forgot about it. I get a call one evening and the kind lady asks if everything was OK in arriving to their place for dinner.

I had never canceled. I was busy at my other (apparently) more important arrangement.

I was beyond mortified. I saw her at church the following Sunday and I’m confidence her perspective of me had completely shattered. I asked to reschedule and she brushed it off, obviously no longer interested. It was bad. Really, really bad.

That, my friends, is only one example of ways I’ve let myself and others down because I just haven’t faced the facts that I was a procrastinator. I’m still a recovering procrastinator.

Now it’s your turn. Share your story in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of The Now Habit! Too scared to share yours? Trust me, take a look at what some other people have written and you’ll feel less singled-out.

Off course 90% of the time…

It’s Day 2 of my giveaway of The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. It’s outrageously helpful in battling procrastination. Click here for rules on how to enter the draw. Good luck!

appolloHere’s an excerpt from The Now Habit that I found enlightening.

“In his book Peak Performance, Charles Garfield tells us that the trajectory of the Apollo moon rocket was off course 90 percent of the time. By acknowledging the deviations from the expected path, the scientists were able to repeatedly make the necessary corrections and achieve an imperfect, but adequate, trajectory to the moon. They achieved a major breakthrough by sticking to the mission in spite of numerous setbacks.”


Announcing Giveaway #2

now habitA year and a half ago I decided to face my problem with procrastination. As with a lot of things in my life, the first step is to read a book. I picked up a book on my Kobo called The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. It came well recommended by reviewers online so I gave it a shot. I was surprised at how insightful and helpful it was. It was like the author was in my head telling me things about myself that I didn’t even know about me. The book is pretty dense with information and I didn’t get very far before I put it down and started mulling over what he was saying and seeing if I could identify those things in my life too and make some changes.

I picked the book up again the other day and continued reading. Guys, this book is GOLD. This book is to procrastinators as Dr. Henry Cloud’s book Boundaries is for people pleasers: it’s transformational.

The author addresses things like fear, our negative self talk, taking adult responsibility for our choices and our lives. It’s fascinating and challenging.

I want you to benefit from it. I’m going to post a bit about the book this week as well as doing another giveaway.

The Rules

  1. Leave a comment here sharing the time you felt the worst about your procrastination. What did you put off? What was at stake? How did you feel after?
  2. You will gain another entry for every social share (Facebook, Twitter, G+ etc), as well as if you follow by RSS, or by email. Leave a separate comment here telling me if you tweeted or shared on Facebook etc.

How to Turn Your Birthday Party Into an Art Show

Guest Post SERIES1

bethafThe second post in my guest post series is by Beth Fisher. Beth and I used to be coworkers, though only really in organization name and never practically (unfortunately). Once we were roommates at a work conference and I was too scared to even say hi to her. You’ll see why soon, basically she’s just really cool. We only really became friends since we stopped working together and that has been entirely online. One day, I hold on to hope that we can be friends In Real Life. Beth blogs at Not With Ink. You can connect with her on twitter as @bethaf. Want to submit a post of your own? Click here for details.

Early in 2010, I left my job (career) for the unknown. One of the factors in this decision was my acknowledgment that the arts are deeply meaningful to me, and that creating is more than just a hobby. I had no clue what to do with it, but I was finally ready to admit: I am an artist. Fast-forward six months, and I am working as a nanny to two lively boys. It takes a different type of energy than my last job, and there is plenty of brain space for thinking and dreaming…

1. Have an idea. Listen to it.
I’m not sure where it came from, but one day there was an idea in my mind. Poetography. Photography + Poetry. An art show of things I have written and captured. Instead of telling myself that this was crazy-talk, I let it sit in my heart and spin around in my thoughts. Instead of saying, “I can’t do that!” I asked, “What would make this possible?” Which led me to…

2. Research & plan.
Find out the facts. It’s easy to make decisions based on assumptions rather than fact. At least it is for me. But research showed that I actually had nearly 40 poems I was willing to show to others. And at least the same number of photographs. My costs would be around $400, and the perfect time for it would be my upcoming birthday (hint: if you want to run some sort of event and need a space larger than your living room, independent cafes are a great option to look into). Voila, I had my budget and the framework of a plan.

 3. Involve your community.
As my plans came together, and I started telling people what I was hoping to do, something crazy happened; they got really excited and wanted to help out. I enlisted friends to read through & edit my poetry. I asked others for input on the photos. I had a couple friends willing to provide tasty treats…Everyone shared their enthusiasm for the idea. It’s easy to believe that you are living life alone, and at the end of the day, my choices are ultimately up to me, but I don’t do life in a vacuum.

Once your plan is in motion, if you’re anything like me, the rest will go like this:

4. Freak out. Some of these poems are about people who will be IN THE ROOM.
5. Do it anyway. It’s too late to back out now. 75 people have RSVP’d.
6. Have a great time, but make an embarrassing speech. “Thanks for coming tonight to see parts of myself that I don’t usually put on display…”
7. Go to karaoke. Karaoke makes everything better.
8. Be open to the next opportunity. You did the art show. You can do this, too.
9. Remember that change is gradual. I’m not a full-time artist. This didn’t change my exterior life that drastically. But it was one of the most courageous things I’ve done, and I am proud of myself for it. I’m learning to say YES more often than I say I CAN’T. And that is taking me places I can’t wait to go.

26 Secrets Invite 2 Small

The Sweet Feeling of Accomplishment: From Barista To Manager

Guest Post SERIES1

MarvinThe first post in this series is by my good friend Amanda Marvin. I first met Amanda in our first year Philosophy course. We got to know each other better over the course of that first year and have been great friends ever since. We both moved to Montreal the same month via two completely different paths. I really appreciated having her around when I was making the transition to the Big New City. Amanda blogs here and tweets as @amandamarvin. If you’re interested in submitting your own guest post about accomplishing difficult things or striking something off your bucket list, click here for details.

I never pictured myself managing a retail store in Belleville, Ontario, but I see now how hard work in former jobs built determination and a strive for excellence in the business world.

My work ethic was challenged when I moved to Montreal, Quebec for a couple of years and started working at a Second Cup. For one, I never thought I would be working at a coffee shop coming right out of University. I mean, I had a great education but it didn’t appear to get me far. However, maybe it did in hindsight in developing in me a work ethic that would take me to a career I never dreamed possible.

Being a Barista was anything but easy or glamorous despite the romanticized idea of it. I worked late nights, did all the dirty work and got yelled at by my managers a lot for not being able to speak French or for raising concerns they didn’t think were valid. I worked like this for a good 5 months. That’s five months of me coming home, crying and talking myself back into going to work. I dreaded it, but knew that my options were limited so I kept on going.

My managers started asked my colleagues how I worked in their absence and many of them responded that I was “hard working” and would often have to tell me I was ok to leave work and go home.

As turnover rates increased, I was entrusted with keys and opening the café. It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but within a month or less I was opening the café on my own and running it until my manager came in at 7am. I felt such a sense of accomplishment being able to run a business on my own for a short period of time. It was actually somewhat rewarding coming in, putting on some nice background music, placing the pastries all nicely and making sure everything was stocked, neat and tidy for the morning rush.

I also worked hard on perfecting the little bit of French I knew and developing an accent (I would practice while opening the café in talking to myself or try and speak French as much as I could while in public). I wanted to be able to engage in a small conversation with customers while making their lattes. Though I had one case where I asked the customer what size drink they wanted (Quelle format?) and she snapped at me saying I used the improper word for size and I should have said “Quelle grandeur?” or “Quelle taille?” and started talking about Bill 101, thankfully my manager stepped in to defend me.

In spite of the language barrier, I continued working at Second Cup. Early mornings, jazz music, coffee stained hands and spilled milk were the little things marking my life at the time.

When I gave my resignation, the managers were saddened (which is not an emotion they showed often) and took me out for a nice meal in Old Montreal. I felt my hard work was appreciated for once. It made me feel really good.

Coming back home I thought was going to be hard. I had this idea that I was going to have to spend a year or more working at the bottom to get to the top again, but that wasn’t the case. With the work ethic I developed in Montreal (taking shifts when people called in sick, doing the dirty work) climbing the corporate ladder was easy. Within 2 months of being hired on I was promoted to a key holder and within another month Assistant Manager.

Since then I have switched companies and have enjoyed learning management skills along the way. From marketing strategies, to conducting interviews, to window displays, my hard work over these past 4 years has proven to me that I can do many things I never thought possible.

It gives me hope that if I can accomplish these two grand things, I can achieve anything I put hard work and determination to. Whether it be paying off my student loans, furthering my education, buying a home or saving for retirement, I know I can do these things if I work hard at developing a plan and stick to it.


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