The week that was…weekly reflections 8

sunset leaving gym

Hello friends!

Do you know what this blog post means? I’ve been carving out time and writing for at least an hour and 15 minutes every single weekend for the last two months.

I’m so proud of myself!

It’s what I wanted when I started off this year and it’s helpful to know that after two weird years, I can still create a weekly writing habit and stick to it.

This week is also the week…

  • I walked out of a Zumba class after only 20 minutes (unprepared instructor and way-too-loud music) but I was rewarded with a gorgeous sunset (yes, that’s the one in the pic)
  • I attended a conference where I once again realised that all across our industry we are facing the same stuff but handling it in different ways. At that same virtual conference, I vowed that I will definitely not attend a virtual event again because, as an extrovert, I was exhausted.
  • I finished the book club book, Friends like these by Kimberly McCreight, which was not great. Too many unlikeable characters and way too many things going on. I also finished Everything happens for a reason by Kate Bowler, which was outstanding. Do give it a listen.
  • we visited a school for Kendra and were given a tour by an amazing young lady, a grade 10 learner, who taught me so much about optimism and resilience. Some kids really have an amazing mindset at such a young age.
  • that was full of hard things in the world – wars, deaths of too-young children, anniversaries of deaths – and I am thankful that I was able to rest and rejuvenate, and be out and about to counteract two days of staring at a screen with very minimal interaction.

How was your week? And, dare I ask, how was February?

The week that was… weekly reflections 7

Alto 234 – the highest urban bar in Africa

  • Valentine’s Day seems so far away and yet it was only six days ago. I set a nice table, served red and pink food and bought everyone a chocolate that said “you’re awesome” 🙂
  • One of my team is booked off sick for a month. It is serious so the time is absolutely necessary for recovery but I’ve had to step back in again when I’d just got used to letting go completely a month ago. One step forward, two steps back.
  • I am still on my self-imposed Scribd ban – 20 days and counting – I want to make it at least a month. During this time I’ve been reading library books, Libby books and books on my Kindle. It is always nice to get books read that are on your physical or digital shelves.
  • Speaking of books, this week I read E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton (the Kinsey Millhone series) and Everything happens for a reason by Kate Bowler, both of which were excellent. Connor read A Painted House by John Grisham. What are you reading?
  • I spent Friday afternoon with clients (an invite I accepted months ago) and it was just So Lovely to talk to people face to face, catch up and connect. The photo above was taken from the restaurant’s rooftop – gorgeous! Shout-out to the very enthusiastic and passionate parking attendant. I still smile thinking of him direct me to the correct parking area. What would the world be like if we were all so passionate about our jobs?!

What have you been up to this week? Did you do anything out of the ordinary?

{Living intentionally} On getting unstuck

Beth and I chat every Thursday night. Last Thursday when we chatted, I realised I’d done none of my business goals for the week.

That’s not like me so I took myself out for a coffee date after work on Friday afternoon (I don’t waste time ;)) and proceeded to properly flesh out my business planning to get me unstuck.

getting unstuck |

I started writing down my core desired feelings for my business, expanded on those and wrote down a page of notes answering “what do I want my business to look like this year?” and then I took each of those CDFs and fleshed them out some more.

After about a half hour of planning, these were some of my thoughts:

  1. I definitely don’t want to write a weekly newsletter like I did last year. I’m thinking probably twice a month is a good balance of connection and ease.
  2. Even though there’s this move towards slow blogging, I think my 3 times a week blogging on this blog is still fine for me. However, I’m giving myself permission to not post sometimes if other parts of my life need my attention more.
  3. I want to share more about how I use my own products/ tools because the truth is it all came from systems that work for me, and then my clients trying them on too.
  4. I want to do more collaboration both in terms of sponsors that fit with this blog’s message, and bring resources to you that I come across which will be helpful to my readers. I already do this but in a very loosey-goosey way; this year I want to be more considered with this aspect.
  5. I need to get over my hesitancy about self-promoting. The fact is, I run workshops, I sell products, I coach and I write books and how is it wrong to talk about it?
  6. I really need to start sharing more books I’m passionate about and those I disagree with. I loved it last year when I wrote about my favourite 4 time management books in the Enough Time series. The truth is I read a lot of books in my genre (time management, organising, productivity, goals, simple living) and I think you could benefit from me sharing more of those reviews.
  7. I need to make a password-protected page on my website with all the freebies and printables. I so often get people emailing me for forms they’ve lost and it would be really nice to say you can find it ALL right here 🙂 That’s going on the February list.

While all this might be interesting to some of you, let’s flip this around and talk about you.

Planning |

Do you feel stuck in any areas of your life?

May I suggest taking just 5 minutes to do a quick exercise:

  1. what do I want to feel in this area of my life?
  2. do I have it?
  3. yes/no? why?
  4. which small actions can I take to get me closer to (1) above

That’s it for now.

I also planned to write about Goals Night (the best night of the month!) but this post is already too long. I’ll write more about my goals review and February goals in Wednesday’s newsletter.

I would love to hear your tips and tricks for getting unstuck.

How was your January?

{Living Intentionally} Notes from a blue bike – my review


Notes from a blue bike |

I recently read Notes from a Blue Bike and after I left this review on Goodreads, my husband said to me that it was the longest review I’d ever left.


And that’s because I’m so passionate about the subject.

But it did get me thinking and I thought I should at least publish the review here so my own readers could chat about it.

I totally believe in the concept of living intentionally and that the world is fairly chaotic if you allow it to be, so I was interested in reading this from the time I first saw it announced on the author’s blog.

I enjoyed the first couple of chapters where one chapter was focussed on her experiences in Turkey, and then the next on the USA, and then it flipped around again.

After that though, the book felt to me like it was all over the place, dipping into and out of different periods in the author’s life and I couldn’t seem to find the flow very well.

You see, the book was organised into themes – Food, Education, Travel, etc. which I have no trouble with but the chapters were almost sample chapters. I felt like I was just getting involved and interested when the chapter was over. It felt a bit like a book of short stories which always leave me feeling unfulfilled.

I also felt like the author held back too much. That might just be me being curious but I’m 100% sure I’m not the only one of the blog readers who wanted to hear more from her experiences, not just her theories.

To sum up…

1. I expected more of the simpler living/ slow lifestyle practicality (maybe because of my romantic notions of the blue bike) which was lacking except for a few pages throughout the book (maybe 5 all in all)

2. It was interesting to see how she tried to be objective but I felt like there was quite a bit of judgement coming through, especially for American families who have chosen a different way (work normal jobs, don’t want to travel that much, etc.).

3. I’ve just gone onto Amazon to check how the book was marketed…

Part memoir, part travelogue, part practical guide, Notes from a Blue Bike takes you from a hillside in Kosovo to a Turkish high-rise to the congested city of Austin to asmall town in Oregon. It chronicles schooling quandaries and dinnertime dilemmas, as well as entrepreneurial adventures and family excursions via plane, train, automobile, and blue cruiser bike.

I think the book would have worked better if it was written as it was marketed – chronologically, so that we got a sense of how her life stage was impacted by where she lived. For me, this book jumped around too much.

I would have given the book a 2.5 because the writing is good, and so I’ve given 3 stars because I can’t bring myself to give 2 because of my unmet expectations 🙂

If you’re a fan of the blog, you’ll probably enjoy the book if you go in without big expectations of the how-to achieve this intentional life.

So have you read the book? What did you think?

{Live intentionally} My annual review of 2014… and here’s to 2015

Well, it’s the end of a year. And what a year it’s been.

I’m always amazed at how some things fade from memory until I properly consider and think about the year behind me.

What about you?

I took some time on Monday to close out 2014 and on Tuesday, I set (loose) goals for 2015.

Have you printed out the 2015 goals and intentions document yet? It’s part of the welcome pack.

I split out my planning over three days – feel free to do it all in a week, or in one day. Anything and everything works.

Annual review |

Day 1
I reviewed each of my goals categories against my goals for the year.

I got 82% of my goals achieved overall. Darn those weight loss and fitness goals for pulling down the average, and my reluctance to get the painting done.

On the bright side, I got to the gym 56 times, went on 53 walks and I started Spanish dancing in March after 22 years, so that’s about 36 lessons.

(I use this system and this one. )

Annual review |

Day 2

Closing out 2014 with my annual review (the questions are all in the document)

Biggest lessons?
I am stronger than I think and to trust my instincts

Thing I’m most proud of?
Getting out of a toxic situation with my sanity intact.

Day 3

Setting intentions and goals for the year ahead (I’ll share some of these with you next week). You’ll notice that there are two pages for goals. Just have a glance at them and see which one feels better for you. They’re really the same thing but I’ve found in working with my coaching clients that there’s a shift in intentions if you change the words used.

Speaking of which, I have 3 coaching spots open if this is your year/ quarter to work with me. No problem if that doesn’t resonate, but if you felt a ba-boom in your heart (like yes, this is MY year), send me a mail and let’s chat.

Annual review |

My goals box – everything I need to review 2014, close out the year, set intentions and goals for the year ahead.

I still don’t have my word of the year but that’s okay. I have some supporting words at the moment and I do have a theme going…. I’ll be sure to share with you once I have more clarity.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is it’s okay if you don’t know it all on the 1st of Jan. There’s no rule that you need to have goals (not resolutions!) or your one word on the 1st.

Some people know these things in October; some know them in February – it’s all okay.

It’s a tad frustrating, I know, when everywhere on the internet everyone is certain about everything and you’re… not. But, I do believe with my whole heart that part of my mission is to reassure and encourage you that YOUR way is just fine.

Moving on.

Leonie Dawson2015 workbook|

Do you know what the top 4 things on most people’s goals list is every year?

1. Lose weight
2. Get organised
3. Save more/ spend less
4. Enjoy life to the fullest

(I can help you with 2, 3 and 4; 1 is unfortunately on my list every year too ?)

Here are some of my own resources to help with numbers 2 and 4  and here’s Leonie’s workbook (photo above) which I also use.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my 2014.

Please tell me, how was your year?

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