Category Archives: Resources

Posts strictly about resources to help you with your goals

Intentional Life 5-Day Challenge – Starts Monday!

Have you been intentional about the way you speak, think, and spend your time over the past few months?

When we put thought into what we’re saying, how we’re thinking, and what we’re doing with the time we have, we can better reach our goals and make the most of every opportunity.

Intentional Life

This free 5 day challenge will give you a push toward approaching your life in a more purposeful way, based on your values and goals.

The challenge takes place in The Goal List Community on Facebook, starting Monday, April 24. Request to join the community and then RSVP to the challenge event to get your place on the scoreboard.

HOW IT WORKS:

  • Each day, there will be a prompt posted in the discussion for this event.
  • Follow the prompt, and then check in by replying to the post to say you did the activity for that day.
  • Get 1 point for completing the activity, and 1 point for checking in (2 points max/day).
  • If you can’t do one of the activities on that day, instead check in with your plan for when you’ll complete it. This will give you 1 point max.

The person with the most points by the end of the challenge gets a surprise!

Want in? Click here to join the community and get access to the challenge.

Resource: Get more done with Focusmate

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The light next to my laptop camera reminds me that for the next 75 minutes, I’m focusing on my one priority task: writing this post. I can hear the sound of a keyboard coming from my headphones so I know that U., my match for this Focusmate session, is also working diligently on her task.

From time to time, one of us will type another task in the chat box, signaling our progress (completed the first task, on to the next) and giving ourselves some accountability.

At the end of the session, we quickly check in with each other: How’d it go for you? Some sessions are better than others, but all are better than zero accountability and no focus.

Trying to make progress on your projects can be difficult with the scream of social media and that constant to-do list. No matter how much you want to do something, sometimes it’s just hard to stay on track.

What if you could have a virtual coworker, sitting across the desk from you, while you each work on your own projects? They’d be a reminder that you’re supposed to be working on your one priority for that session, while they’d be working on their own task.

Focusmate.com is an online coworking community for just that. I joined at the beginning of the week and it’s really helped me do more than I would’ve without it. That means I’ll have fewer things I have to get done during the holidays, so I have more time to spend with family and on whatever I want.

You can either create your own listing for your available dates/times (always listed on the board in Eastern time, but able to be created in any time zone), or book one that someone else created.

You get email confirmation and it gets added to your calendar. At the designated time, you hop on a video call with the other person via the link given in the email calendar reminder. The session starts with briefly telling each other what the project or task is that you’ll be working on, and then typing it in the chat box. Then you leave the camera and mic on (unless it’s noisy in your background) and just work.

Sounds creepy. I get it, why would you want to have someone watch while you work?

It’s not like that. They’re working too. If you’re both doing it right, the only thing you’re doing is working. And typing in the chat box to tell your partner what one task you’re working on. And then your next task. Because you’ll get more done when working like this. Trust me, I’ve tried it.

Sound good, but aren’t sure if it will work for you? What if this isn’t enough accountability? I wondered about that too. Despite agreeing to follow the code of conduct, which includes, among other things, “Consciously set aside distractions (e.g. close Facebook, put your phone away),” there’s nothing actually preventing you from going on social media.

Here are some ideas of what you can do to give yourself additional accountability and motivation to focus:

  • Combine it with a program or app like Cold Turkey for PC or Self Control for Mac, which you can program to not allow you to access whatever sites you don’t want to access for a certain time.
  • Remember that the other person is expecting you to be working, and at the end of the session you’ll probably do a check in, and it would really be embarrassing if you didn’t have any progress to report.
  • Think of it as a competition. Try to get more tasks done than the other person.

Focusmate could work for almost anything on your to-do list (more than work/employment-based tasks). In addition to expected tasks, people have used it for getting ready/packing for trips, planning, finishing frustrating things like paying bills or making customer service calls (if there’s noise in the background or you’re on a call, let the other person know in the chat box that you’re going to mute your computer microphone so you don’t distract them).

Here are some things I can think of to use it for:

  • Planning bucket list adventures
  • Planning trips/Researching things to do or see
  • Finding the cheapest plane tickets
  • Paying bills/taxes or getting caught up on emails
  • Writing those thank you notes or postcards that you keep meaning to send
  • Writing blog posts
  • Making a scrapbook or photo album of those pictures from that one trip
  • Packing for an upcoming trip
  • Getting more done at work so you can go home early and do the things you want to do
  • Studying a language (mute your mic to practice, this isn’t a language exchange)
  • Doing homework for that really cool online class that you signed up for but rarely make time to participate in
  • Creating a budget to save money for your adventures…

The list is never ending!

Give Focusmate.com a try and find out if you like it. Right now it’s free to join. Maybe we’ll end up having a chance to be coworkers!

Don’t overlook your everyday adventures

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I’ve often heard people say, “It’s the small things in life that…” Whether they’re talking about what really matters, or what makes you most happy, or something else, the message is the same: every moment counts.

More and more, I’m finding it’s true in my life too. Sometimes the “big” things aren’t as satisfying as when I live a week of “little” things – taking time to (literally) smell the roses (and other flowers) on a walk, enjoying a cup of tea while coloring, playing with a puppy, meeting with a friend to do something fun, or reading a good book. It makes me happy to make time for and appreciate the small ways that life is good.

However, it’s not always easy to do this. As someone who is this goal-oriented, I have a hard time focusing on what is going on now, rather than wishing, planning, or worrying about the future.

Even though I have several smaller list items, sometimes I get frustrated about not making bucket list progress, or get discouraged and antsy if it’s been a while since I’ve traveled somewhere (anyone else feel this way?). Making sure I focus on smaller, everyday things that make me happy is one way to help fight this feeling and reset my mind to celebrate any moment no matter how small.

I’m also aware that some of the bigger things wouldn’t get done if I didn’t do the little things. For example, I’m more confident speaking to people because I’ve practiced talking to random strangers in small conversations here and there, both as I travel and at home. This makes it easier to talk with anyone, about anything, whether asking someone for something for my bucket list or blog, making small talk with a celebrity, or hanging out with fellow travelers.

My summer (and this year in general) has been pretty exciting so far, but I know that the excitement from the big things will wear off. I want to push myself to recognize that every day doesn’t have to be a giant travel experience to have special moments of adventure. Actually, sometimes I feel like daily life lived intentionally, may have more opportunity for adventure than a vacation.

When I’m aware of and actively choosing what I’m doing and why, I notice more opportunities, I spend more time on things that matter to me, and I feel more satisfied than when I live by default, doing the same things I always do.

That’s why I’m starting this 31 Days of Everyday Adventure project, where I’ll challenge myself and the other participants to do small activities every day, meant to give us just a little push toward doing something different and appreciating all of life.

It’s about creating space for the daily moments that challenge us to go a little bit further than we’re comfortable with – because we can always return to our comfort zones if we don’t like it on the outside, but the consequences of never trying to leave are too high.

Join me in getting out of that rut you’re in. Try something new. Don’t overlook the everyday adventures.

Sign up for the challenge today!

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