Last One Little Word NURTURE update

I’m spending this week saying good-bye to 2014 …. and so good-bye to my One Little Word: NURTURE.

I took Ali Edwards’ class last year, and updated my One Little Word album periodically. Not every month. But I still love the class. Later today I’ll post about my new word for the new year. (in case you missed it … earlier glimpses at my One Little Word album here in January and here in May)

I *still* have a bit of gaps to fill in. It’s on my to-do for later in January. I’ll probably take a full day to finish up NURTURE for 2014 and start the OLW album for 2015.

I’m not sure which month this project is from, but it is supposed to be a letter to yourself. I love the journaling projects so much. I like taking the time to write this all out to really see what I think about things.

December  003

In the photo above you can see a bunch of blank pockets on the right. That will be filled with the November project, each pocket will hold a photo.

Not necessarily in this organization (but maybe), but here’s a look at the photos I am ordering. I’ll add a *tiny* bit of journaling to each one. For example, right side middle will say “I’m thankful for Sterling and Stone” … left side middle will say “I’m thankful for the week with Grandma”

Nurture November project

Backside of those pockets will be this …

These are all various ‘categories’ I wanted to nurture at the beginning of the year. I had these cards taped up on my wall for most of the year as a reminder.

The journaling of each card is more or less how I did (not great).

December  004

The next page is this … another year-long journaling project but broken down by month instead of topic. As you can see there are blank spaces. I’m not 100% sure what I want to put in there. I’m *bad* at using ‘filler cards’ or other scrapbooky stuff strictly for decoration. I want to *try* but that’s why the pockets are still empty.

December  005

December  006

That’s probably it. I think there was another December journaling project in the class, but I am just not feeling it. 2014 needs to be behind me, so the next page in this album will likely be the first OLW project for 2015! I’ll share soon!

What do you do for your One Little Word?

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October is for realizations

For the last few years, October has been a time of reflection and realizations. I’m not totally clear why, but I think it comes from a mix of the weather changing (and my favorite season really making me super happy) contrasted against all of the build of frustration elsewhere. It’s hard to describe:

In October 2010 I realized that I want to do work that matters and my day job at the time wasn’t it. I got a phone call at home, 6 hours before I was supposed to be there, about a comma. Completely unnecessary and very frustrating.

In October 2011 I was told my work schedule would change to Sunday – Thursday against my will. That was the only time I have ever cried at work and was seriously depressed. I realized I wanted to be some place where I’m not taken for granted and merit means something

In October 2012 I got physically ill (severe headache, dizzy and nausea) and then nearly immediately better after I called out sick. It’s incredibly powerful when you recognize how something negative in your life is really affecting you.

In October 2013 I decided to quit my long-time personal blog Those Crazy Schuberts, for many reasons. I freed up several hours of my week, and relaxed some of my personal anxiety by making that decision.

This year, October 2014 …. Feels like a sea change. For both Andrew and I — this October is for realizations for Team Schubert.

As I mentioned yesterday, Andrew’s work schedule has been ridiculous this year and we are starting to see what our lives can look like once all this hard work pays off. He is getting recording clients from literally all over the world. A band was just here from Oregon, but earlier in the year a band from Toronto came out to work with Andrew and a band from France hired him to mix a song.

That, combined with my projected new career as a fiction writer is going to change the entire structure of our lives.

It’s still far away; we both still have a lot (a lot) of work to do to make this new life pay our bills, but we are on this path together. We are each fully behind each other’s individual goals, as we work toward a better life together.

Having someone like Andrew on my team, supporting me spending hours (and hours) every day writing with nothing yet to show for it is the best. Knowing how I can help him work toward his goal of being 100% freelance has changed so much about how I spend my days.

This October has been hard, but so awesome so far. Can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

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A year to NURTURE: Spending money on my future

nurture

This year, I am focusing on making the small choices to bring my One Little Word into my life on a weekly-or-so basis.

This year I want to NURTURE my life and the things I already have, rather than fall into that rat-race-style trap of more, bigger, further, etc. I want to cultivate my existing business rather than stretching myself too thin. I want to take care of ME and all the little pieces that make up me.

Recently:

I invested A LOT of money in my yet-to-be-launched fiction writing career. I have been writing all year (3 first drafts finished so far in 2014) and this opportunity came up that I had be be brave and take.

Here’s why this is remarkable: I am terrible at spending money. On myself.

I am overly cautious and constantly in planning mode and can always find a logical reason why I don’t need something. I don’t actually have that big of a problem getting treats for Andrew, or spending money on good food when we host guests or picking up the tab when we are traveling with friends.

It’s just that I much prefer to save money than to spend it, so when I am the beneficiary of said spending I talk myself out of it. Every time. I literally need to let Andrew make the decision for me.

But now, for the first time in years and years, I have decided to spend money on my future. I let Andrew talk me into spending the money that will help NURTURE my potential new career.

So … this weekend I will be in Austin, Texas, at a writing summit that I believe (if I put in the necessary work) could jump start my fiction-writing career. I spent weeks and weeks (and weeks) talking it over with Andrew. I put off actually registering as long as possible. Even now when it’s too late to do anything about it I wonder if I made the right decision.

But this is something for me, that 100% fits into both last year’s word BRAVE and this year’s word NURTURE.

Spending this much money doesn’t bother Andrew in the slightest and I am so lucky to have him on my team. There are so many things I would not do for myself if it weren’t for him.

I will report more on the weekend when I return. I really am excited, even though I am *super* nervous.

P.S. We also just bought tickets to see Wicked in December, even though we can’t really afford it. Because we both believe that experiences are worth spending money on. I can’t wait!

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NURTURE: On 6 months of saying No

My One Little Word for this year is NURTURE. I think I’m doing OK with it.

At the beginning of the year I decided I needed to slow down, cut back, get to know my new life without a cubicle job and so much more. I wanted to spend more time saying No than saying Yes. I wanted to see what I could do with the products I already have than just launching a new one.

I’ve been backing away and keeping to myself and doing more or less the bare minimum I needed to do to keep up with everything.

I had more ideas of what I wanted to do this year, but I needed a break. I needed to stop looking forward and start saying No.

At about 6 or 7 months of not looking for the next big thing I feel…

  • Behind. Like everyone else is moving forward and I am being left behind.
  • Relaxed. Mostly.
  • Poor. Made far less money this year than last.
  • Lazy.
  • Productive. But only in writing fiction. L&R feels stagnant (to me).

Finding a common thread? It turns out when I don’t give in to my ambition and extreme work-ethic I feel bad about myself. <sarcasm> That’s healthy. </sarcasm>

To be honest, it IS good that I had planned on pulling back this year. Because Andrew has been working so very much, I need to be available for the house and to do things for him that he just doesn’t have time to do (when he’s only home 20 minutes out of a 6 day period). Also, I did finish some things, like my Scotland Blurb book and a few novel drafts. But overall when I look back at 2014 so far I feel unproductive.

So, that settles it. Not pursuing goals is bad for my self-esteem.

I’m going to be spending the next couple weeks going over my goals and my direction and what I want to accomplish before the end of the year. I’m really excited about setting up a new little niche site on Friday! It’s going to be a fun project for me that can also benefit you all.

I’m going to say Yes to a new opportunity. I’m going to say Yes to taking a new risk. I’m going to say Yes to growth and planning and working hard.

I want all of it to remain in the NURTURing vein, but I need to be working. I need to DO stuff and not just relax.

I can’t wait!

How do you feel about 2014 so far?

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NURTURE: Resting and resetting

I am taking next week off from Lemon and Raspberry.

hammockI haven’t done this in AWHILE. Whenever I go on a proper vacation, I have always just worked ahead so posts went up while I was gone.

But I feel like this is something I need to try. I am now halfway through my year to NURTURE, and I really feel like this is the perfect time to rest and reset. Nurturing can be working more on the things I already have in my life, but it can also be stepping back from other commitments. Just taking a break.

I don’t have anything specific planned. I’ll get a little bit ahead for the following week. I’ll read and think and plan and reboot. And probably plan some more, because that is what I do.

I need to get some distance from the every-day-content-creation that I’ve been on for so long.

And then I’ll probably redo all of my SPARK ecourse tasks when I start up again.

We’ll call it a reward for my 1 year quit-eversary. We’ll call it an experiment. We are not going on a proper vacation this year, but next week is a holiday in the U.S. and Andrew’s birthday, so why not. I have no idea how this will go, but I think this is the time to try.

Come back on July 7 for my June book report! And I’ll be sure to let you know how this brain-nurturing-break goes.

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Nurture: One Little Word update

2014 is my year to NURTURE. I need to slow down, cut back, get to know my new life without a cubicle job and so much more.

It’s been lovely and relaxing. And (no surprise) makes me feel lazy. After years of working a full-time+ job AND running L&R AND launching new products on a regular basis, pulling WAY back like this has provided me so much more free time reading time than ever before.

This is my vision board for the year – although, can you really call it a vision board when it’s really just 8.5×11″? I wanted it to fit into my One Little Word binder AND I don’t have a ton of magazines that are cut-up-able so I went with the smaller size:

nurture

I think all of these images are from Sunset Magazine (I love that mag). You can see lots of images of green and the outdoors. I have been so excited about starting my garden this year! And getting out with Kam and plans to do some fun outdoorsy trips with Andrew later. It has been great making that a priority.

You can also see a lovely luxurious bed – unapologetic about naps this year. Also, an art museum and a reading bench. Because lord knows I want to just learn and absorb everything I can.

I have genuinely loved giving myself a break for the last 4.5 months, not feeling guilty about spending the afternoon reading or not setting aggressive deadlines.

This is totally the word I needed this year.

How is your 2014 One Little Word going?

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Weekend project: Spring clean your blog

It’s been awhile since I’ve assigned you all a weekend project, but I have a GREAT one this week!

This is something that I’ve been thinking about on and off all year already. It totally goes with my One Little Word NURTURE … And I’ve been newly inspired to really make my blog work for me from some long lovely conversations Andrew and I have.*

weekend project

Here are some ideas:

Recycle older content:

We talked a little bit about this on my free Pillar Content webinar a couple weeks ago, but just think about how many amazing posts you’ve written in your years blogging that are just languishing in the archives. There are a bunch of ways you can refresh and reuse those posts to make sure they continue to get read by your newer readers.

Refresh your about page:

¬†When is the last time you updated your About page? Had any big life changes? Tweaked the topics you write about? Win an award recently or published something big? Your About page is the first page most new readers visit, so just double check and make sure it’s what you want.

Purge your sidebar:

The problem with blogging for a long time is you make a little change here and a little change there and then after a year your blog design is a mess! This weekend, clean it up! Pull out the extraneous affiliate buttons. Pull out the Goodreads or Spotify widgets. Make sure that your sidebar has just a few options for readers, so you know that they’ll go where you want them to go.

Check out this big group Pinterest board – Blogging Tips and Tools – for even more ideas!

I would *love* if you leave your blog URLs in the comments below! Public accountability – can’t beat it. I’ll be looking forward to checking out all your blogs come Monday morning!

*He’s the best and always so supportive.

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On focusing and pursuing less

I am LOVING the L&R Book Club! Last month we finished up reading focus : a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction. I think this was the perfect book to start off the year. While basically everything in it I already KNOW, I still need the reminder to simplify, let go of distractions and pursue less.

In fact, that is my #1 goal this year – to NURTURE what I already have and pursue less.

Between focus and my OLW and the recent business resources I’ve been consuming, the idea of clarity and single-tasking and pursuing less is everywhere.

This means some in-depth “spring cleaning” to purge books and craft supplies and other things that I don’t need. This means not launching a bunch of new products under Lemon and Raspberry. This means eliminating some of my commitments to give a better effort to the ones that remain. I started last fall with discontinuing blogging on my family blog, and right now I’m considering blogging fewer times here at L&R.

It’s all a process on focusing, pruning, pursuing less and nurturing what is left.

I love the discussion of this in this article The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: “The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, parallel paths he encountered.” I tend to overestimate what I can realistically accomplish, which is why I’m trying to use this year to pull back and basically rebuild my workload along more reasonable lines.

The whole point of quitting my day job was to be able to work less and be more present during the (few) hours that Andrew and I have together.

Which means I’ve got to really focus.

How are you focusing this year?

Reminder: For March and April 2014, we will be reading Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? by Seth Godin

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A year to NURTURE

nurture

This year, I am focusing on making the small choices to bring my One Little Word into my life on a weekly-or-so basis.

This year I want to NURTURE my life and the things I already have, rather than fall into that rat-race-style trap of more, bigger, further, etc. I want to cultivate my existing business rather than stretching myself too thin. I want to take care of ME and all the little pieces that make up me.

Recently:

I have been really doing a lot of work around the house. Which, of course, means I’m a bit behind on my computer-ing work. But still.

I took 45 minutes or so to completely re-pack my linen closet and pull out some of the older sheets and things that I want to get rid of.

I’ve been trying to do about 20-30 minutes of yardwork every day for the last few weeks. Including raking, taking out a tree and starting our first SchubertHQ garden. This was a BIG goal for 2014 – to make our backyard into a place I want to just hang out (instead of avoid).

Plus, Andrew and I took a trip to Lowe’s to get the supplies and things we need for a few more house projects. We’re replacing a small shelf outside the kitchen window and painting a wall in our garage (it’s currently an ugly brown).

I’m happy with the progress I’m making. We’re making. My strawberry plant is already going like gangbusters and it’s only been a week! I’m so excited to continue this throughout the year.

What have you been doing for yourself lately?

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Nurturing my to-do list: Tackling unfinished projects

This post was blatantly inspired by Ali Edwards. In fact, I bumped the original post scheduled for today because I really wanted to talk about the subject of FINISHING. And tackling projects that have been on my to do list and hanging over me for years.

Finishing and prioritizing and being honest about my choices is really important to me. It’s how I structure all of my days, so refocusing on finishing these particular projects is simply about reaffirming what I want to accomplish this year.

This falls under the category of NURTURE (my One Little Word for this year) because dear lord it would be nice to get my office more organized and these files off of my computer. All of these (and a couple others) fall under the Memory Keeping goals I mentioned here.

Here are the projects I would like to finish in 2014:

  • Project Life 2014 (technically not exactly started)
  • Yosemite minialbum (2013)
  • Day in the Life Blurb book (2013)
  • Colorado Blurb book (2013)
  • Scotland Blurb book (2011)
  • Week in the Life Blurb book (2011)
  • Italy Blurb book (2009)
  • England Blurb book (2009)

I have several smaller Blurb books and albums I have wanted to make as well, but I think this is enough to go on with. Obviously, I love Blurb.

I’ve started blocking off time. A few hours tonight to finish typing up journaling. A few hours over the weekend to organize photos and import them into Blurb.

You’ll notice most of these are travel albums. My travel scrapbooking method (developed over the years) is pretty simple. Make a small travel journal to collect all the journaling and memorabilia while traveling (here’s the Scotland one and the Alaska one for examples). Then I take all that journaling and type it up and put together a Blurb book of the journaling + my digital photos (Alaska cruise example).

So the good news is, I have everything for all of these travel books already collected. The bad news is they are GIANT projects. Each trip is at least a week long and of course I took a TON of photos.

I’m about a third of the way done with my Scotland book, so that is where I’ll start (I recently realized if I want to include everything I will have to break it up into 2 books). Some of the journaling for older albums I can pull from my family blog. Plus I’m deciding right now that if we go on a vacation this year I will NOT try to get the album done immediately afterward. And I don’t plan on participating in any Day in the Life or Week in Life projects this year.

But memory keeping AND travel are very important to me, so these are all projects I definitely want to finish. The smaller ones (like about our cats or our house or some of our minitravels) I may end up letting go of.

Now what? Here’s the plan:

  1. Prioritize. I’ve got the most finished on the Scotland album. Next is probably the Yosemite minialbum, and then pieces from there. I subscribe to the get-one-done method of productivity rather than assembly-line a bunch at once.
  2. Schedule. I use Google Calendar to make sure I book the time to work on them. I don’t have any idea how long each will take, so I’ve just set up a recurring several-hour date every week to power through. And add more time in as I have it.
  3. Organize. Not all of my journaling is typed up. Not all of my travel details are collected. I have a bag of pamphlets and memorabilia from England. Somewhere. I plan to do this on a project-by-project basis.
  4. Share. I’m really proud of these. At least what I have done so far. And I want to share them with you all. So feel free to nag me.

What projects do you need to finish this year?

What plans have you made to get them done?

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