Hi friends! We’re getting ready to announce the 2013 Making Things Happen Conference (a brand new two-day format that combines Making Things Happen + Making Brands Happen!). It will be held on March 13 and 14 here in beautiful Chapel Hill, NC. We chose this location because it’s very easy to travel in to. Details to come!
I have been SO inspired by all the comments and progress from everyone who has worked through the 2013 Goal Setting steps on my blog. I wanted to share a big list of some of the Pinterest boards people have created for 2013 inspiration. Enjoy!
Here’s mine too : ) http://pinterest.com/laracasey/making-things-happen-in-2013/
Are you ready to make things happen in 2013? Join me as we walk through the process of setting goals and getting prepared for an amazing new year! http://laracasey.com/blog/2012/12/27/goal-setting-making-things-happen-in-2013-part-1/
There are 56 days left in 2012. Get ready for a great 2013 NOW and start clearing the clutter….
Imagine that I’m literally sitting right next to you at your desk right now. Hi : ) OK, how did you do yesterday? Did you download? If not, start now. It’s never too late to commit to seven days of clearing the clutter. Get on it! For those of you that already committed (Rock on, ladies!), ready to do it again today? 10 minutes. Go! Write everything in your head that’s taking up precious mental space. From that list, pull three things to focus on today - maybe it’s three additional steps from your items yesterday. Write actions steps for each (physical, doable in under 2 minutes) and do them. Just three actions for three items on your download list. 18 minutes to make things really start to happen. Do the work. No tricks here; just focused action. Re-read yesterdays post. I promise you’ll learn something new reading it again.
*When you are done downloading for Day 2, you can move to the next step…
Step 2 - Clear the Clutter: Internet and Physical Junk
CLEAR THE INTERNET CLUTTER
What distracts you most during the day from really getting things done? Make a list of your top 10 distractions. Go. Most people’s lists start with Facebook, Twitter, looking at other people’s blogs, email, the Internet, our to-do list, worry, etc. Why do we gravitate toward those things when we don’t want to do the hard work? Because we don’t want to face reality. After your download yesterday most of you said you felt lighter, free, energetic and downright excited about the future just from facing reality - just from 10 minutes of writing! Hello! Lightbulb! Facing facts obliterates fear. One of my favorite posts I ever wrote: To Name Your Fears is to Destroy Them. Distractions from facing reality are drugs. They are enticing and lure us in when we don’t want to face the world. You may think that sounds dramatic, but when the average human spends about 55 minutes on Facebook and Twitter a day, I’d say that’s pretty tragic. What could that time you waste on social media be used for? When people tell me they have “no time to work out” I ask them how much time they spend on Facebook/Twitter/blog stalking every day. 15 minutes a day (some of you are more in the one hour+ range) adds up! How much time do you really NEED to spend on social media? Even if you use it “for business” how much time do you really need? Thanks to Boxcar collecting all of my social media feeds and committing to only look at it twice a day (for maybe 3 minutes), I have gotten myself to the point where I will look at Twitter maybe once a day for 35 seconds. It used to consume me. I had so many silly fears: What if I don’t know everything about everyone? What if I miss something? Um… reality check. WHAT AM I REALLY GOING TO MISS??? I was missing my life by living an hour of it a day on social media. You risk missing real opportunity if you don’t stop kidding yourself thinking that Twitter and Facebook are your lifeline to the world. Social media is important. It can be used wisely. You do what’s right for your needs. More often than not, though, it’s used as a distraction, not the tool it has the potential to be. So, today you have two challenges.
Gut Your Internet:
1. You may hate me for this first step, but you will love me after - guaranteed! This weekend, no Facebook or Twitter, OK? If you are wincing already, think hard about why you are so attached to it. Take one weekend off of social media and just see what happens. You won’t die. You might actually get out of the house and get some rest - or have a real conversation with someone instead - or stop comparing yourself to others - or use that brain space to start the project you’ve been dreaming about - or get your head out of your iPhone and where it needs to be. The options are endless. I rarely tweet on weekends now. It’s been a huge positive change in my life. My marriage has improved so much since I weaned myself off my phone on weekends and after 6pm on weekdays. I’m present. AND I’m more rested, focused and productive. Quadruple win! I’m going to hold you accountable. Put “Social Media Vacation” on your calendar for this weekend right now. If you are brave, put it on your calendar for every weekend. Done? Awesome. Proceed…
2. Gut your Facebook and Twitter feeds so that when you do view them, they are full of inspiring, encouraging content that fuels you to be your best. Everything we read seeps into our subconscious. Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. - Unknown It’s your choice as to what you are feeding your mind. Make great choices. I follow a ton of inspiration feeds on Twitter. For me it’s motivational quotes, Bible verse feeds, authors I admire, mentors, etc. Your choice: positive influence or negative influence. Get organized, too. I have several twitter accounts and a couple weeks ago I realized I was following some people on all of my accounts. That clutter was making me not want to read twitter at all. So, I unfollowed some people on certain accounts so that I could actually focus on following them on others. I also unfollowed and deleted feeds that weren’t fueling me to be my best. I realize unfollowing people is a sensitive thing. I get it. But let me just say this: It’s just Twitter!
3. Gut your blog list. Let’s be real. Sometimes you read other blogs to keep tabs on your “competition”. You compare yourself to others. That ends now. Seeking inspiration through others’ work is fine as long as you are seeking it from professionals who are at the highest level. If you are “looking for inspiration” from people who are close to your ability, then you aren’t reaching high enough - you’re just keeping tabs and sabotaging your own value. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. Take that to heart. Stop comparing; start studying real success. The higher you set the inspirational bar, the higher you will raise it in your own work. Clean up your blog list and do not accept anything less than what fires you up and pushes you to your fullest potential!
4. If you have Twitter or Facebook bookmarked in your toolbar, delete it. Don’t make it easy. I know you. Don’t give yourself an excuse to be conveniently distracted. Set yourself up for success and move that Twitter icon to the last page of your iPhone apps while you’re at it.
5. Clear the clutter on your computer desktop. If this is overwhelming, start small. Just three tiny action steps forward today: close all browser windows and all programs (except this blog post of course), make folders, drag clutter into appropriate folders OR trash it. Just like email: make decisions. Clean it up.
6. Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe. You don’t need every newsletter known to man. It’s inbox clutter! How much of the email you complain about is actual email? Gut it. Turn off email notifications and all SMS notifications from Facebook and Twitter, too. Do you really need an email about every “like” and a text message tweet distracting you from your real work? No. I only get emails for direct messages, so I can reply via email if needed. Otherwise, everything goes to Boxcar and I don’t look at it more than twice a day for a couple minutes max. I do not miss that email/social media mess.
7. Install RescueTime to measure your productivity on your computer and/or LeechBlock for Firefox to literally put the brakes on your social media usage. You can set LeechBlock to only allow a certain amount of time on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once you exceed that allotted time, the site shuts off. It’s brilliant! Put the parental controls on and start training yourself to make things happen. Is it worth curbing your social media usage so you have more time with your kids, to work out, to dream and to finally act on what you really want? Yes. 100% YES. Real life > Facebook.
CLEAR THE PHYSICAL CLUTTER
OK, here we go. Write down (download) every space you are in control of and write three tiny action steps under each area that you will do today. Example: Ten Areas x 3 Two-Minute Steps = One Hour to start to clean ALL of the pysical clutter out of your life. Remember: do not attempt all of this in a day. Just giving you an example of what’s possible if you’re ready for some hard work. If you can only handle three spaces today, just do three. 18 minutes MAX. If you do more, awesome. Don’t Windex anyone along the way, overachievers! The goal here is to START. Possibilities: Your office. Your desk. Your purse. Oh yeah. You don’t need scissors, 8 lipsticks, 12 pens and the kitchen sink in there. Your car. Oh boy! I hear this one all the time… especially from planners. How many times have you been embarrassed by the state of your vehicle? How many times have you tried to hide it from clients? Hello! Clean it up! Set yourself up for success. Put storage bins in your trunk if you have to. Your house. This is a big one, so remember to break it up into separate rooms. Divide and conquer. Everything doesn’t have to be spic and span in a day. But, I bet you could fill that there trashbag up in a matter of 5 minutes if you start walking around. Make it fun. Pump up your favorite song. Most songs are between 3-6 minutes… Just enough time for three action steps. You have till the end of that song to collect the physical clutter in one space and get rid of it! (Be green. Recycle, if possible.)
So, first write out every space you are in control of. Next, write out action steps that you can do today with just you and a trash bag. If one of your steps requires you going to buy storage containers or something else, try to clean another space that you can do now - today - without any extra stuff. Pump up the music and get movin’! Every piece of clutter you let go of will allow you to let something else - something great - into your life. If it doesn’t help you make things happen, it’s trash - on the Internet and in your environment. I used to get stuck holding onto “sentimental things” because I felt emotionally attached to them. Then, I realized that a clean slate helps me get emotionally connected to what really matters. Clearing the clutter allows me to focus on doing my best work. So, TRASH IT. The Skittles in your desk, the Christmas cards from 2008, old magazines, old business cards, negative twitter feeds, old files on your desktop, old bookmarks and the idea that you cannot do this today. You can. We’re all doing it with you - me included. Baby steps. Action steps. Done, done and done! For everything you get rid of, you open your life to let greatness in. Simplify and gut everything. Take no prisoners! Today’s motto: clutter out; greatness in. Get on it and leave a comment weighing in on your progress. Even if you do the Internet housekeeping now and cleaning when you get home (for those of you with day jobs), let me know how each step goes. Baby steps. Do what you can… and at the same time challenge yourself! Hard work pays off. If you want change, choose it. Act. Your comments yesterday helped to encourage so many people to make big things happen! So, plan, act and weigh in. I’m excited for you! Who’s up for trashing some clutter today?! - Lara
DO more of what fires you up. When you are living out your passion actively - not just thinking about it or planning when you’ll do it, but DOING it - life happens. Real, full, life. DO more of what fires you up. When you are actively doing the things that make you come alive, you find an endless well of creativity, giving, love, energy and inspiration. Life gets richer in the best ways possible. Write a list of all the things that fire your heart up and post it where you can see it all the time! Then… DO them.
It’s been such an inspiring day seeing all the Making Things Happen alum post their lists of what fires them up in our private Facebook group! I encourage you to post yours too and share it on your blog or Facebook or wherever! MTH alum, share yours too! You never know who you’ll inspire or connect with. Post links to your lists here and feel free to use this template to create yours! I’m working on my new list now (here’s my list from last year - I still love it all!) and will post it soon, too! - Lara
Our last cross-country Making Things Happen tour is slowly drawing to a close. Yesterday we had the most amazing day with 30 women in Chicago. Today we fly to Atlanta and tomorrow we will have our last intensive until next year (when we’ll be hosting a different type of MTH in Raleigh, NC only).
It’s always crazy for me to share my full story with everyone in the room — everything from calling off a wedding to my scary pregnancy with Brady to starting a business from scratch. But what I’ve found, over the past week, is that the most important part of my story has nothing to do with those things. It has everything to do with me choosing God and choosing to infuse what I do with what matters most. That was when my life really started to change. As over 700 of you know, one of the most powerful excercises we do during MTH is one that helps us define what matters most. This is my list.
I’ve created printable lists for you to write what matters most for yourself as well. This serves as a daily gut check for me to be sure decisions I make are focused on the right things. Infusing these things into my business and thereby interweaving my business and personal life has been the best business decision I have ever made. We’d love to hear your fired up lists. You can download these printables here (blue ombre) and here (pink ombre). Simply click the link, then drag the image to your desktop to print or right click > save as.
I’m so excited for Atlanta’s MTH and am so honored to have met so many amazing men and women on this trip. It’s so incredibly hard (even harder for myself this time around) to leave our families, but there’s no doubt this work is worth it and so very, very important.
PS: If you missed my free iPhone Wallpapers (inspirational and pretty!) go here to download one or all.
You’re overwhelmed. You don’t have time, patience, money, sleep, rest, or peace right now. You’re not sure what’s going to happen next or how you will get through. You feel stuck. Not sure how to ride the waves instead of being trampled by them. You want the best for the people you love, but stress keeps you from being your best self. Stress keeps you from acting from a place of love.
Please imagine the following on a giant billboard outside your window: Fear isn’t tangible. You can’t touch fear. Which means, fear can’t touch you. The tough love is that it’s all in your head. How do you break out of it? ACT. Do something. Bit by tiny bit, build your life back up. Build it up new. Begin anywhere. Say it, send it, stop it, start it, move it, love, give, forgive, just do. It’s physical. Take the positive warnings fear brings, then make a decision and launch. It’s called a leap of faith for a reason. A leap not a hop or a step. It feels like flying, like you may not land, as if for a split second you are weightless. It’s scary. But, then you land and something crazy happens. You have sprouted real wings. You feel even better than you did in flight. Do not let fear, the intangible, paralyze you any longer. Life is too short.
Right now, stop. Breathe it all in. You can do this. Slow down and feel whatever you are feeling - anger, sadness, joy, pain, whatever. Feel it, then let yourself remember the great times, the sunsets, the water, the laughter, the joy, the excitement, and the sweet words. Remember the love. It’s still there. It never left in the first place. You’ve got this. God had it taken care of before he created the ground you leap from.
Everything you need, you already have.
I don’t know where to begin. I think I haven’t blogged here much because the change I’ve seen in my life since starting this tour in 2009 is so remarkable, I just can’t explain it except to say - God is good. I know that sounds weird to some and I’m sure some of you are tuning out at this point, but stay with me. I was there. I was stuck. I was miserable. I was working 24/7. I had no marriage. I had no real good friends. I was trying to find my worth and identity in how I looked and how many followers I had and how fast my business was growing. I didn’t know any of this at the time though. There’s this verse that keeps coming back to me: For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. - Mark 4:22 Looking back, I know why I started this workshop and wrote that first post. I wanted so badly to break free. I knew I wasn’t using my full potential. I knew there was more I was supposed to be doing with my life and I was afraid. I wanted to be in the light. I wanted to feel weightless and like I was where I was supposed to be. I wanted a purpose. So, I went on a mission to find it. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen at ALL the way I thought it would. I could have never guessed that this would be my path. Now, here I sit in LA, about to do the MTH workshop and I am so grateful for every “mistake” and failure and plain old terrible step I took. They brought me here. ”Seek and you shall find…” If I could write a letter to the me of when this tour started, I would say…
Lara, you will walk through fire and it will be worth it. Real love and real life are worth every refining hard challenging tear-filled step you will take. You will cry a lot and it will be worth it. Your heart will break and it will be worth it. And one day, you will wake up and realize that God broke your heart to fill it back up with what matters. You’ll wake up and realize you are HAPPY. Content. Grateful. Full. You are enough. You have a purpose.
God is good, y’all. If you’re struggling with something that feels like bricks on your heart, know that this too shall pass. Make what matters happen. Just keep choosing GOOD. Keep walking forward. - Lara
Photo from when we were in Atlanta on the first tour when I wrote this.
Hello from the Phoenix airport! We’re headed to LA now after a life-changing time in the desert. Yesterday’s MTH was phenomenonal! Make things happen, friends!!!
Austin!!! What a GIFT today was. Each of you did the hard work and made decisions and said YES to what matters. Thank you from our whole hearts for inspiring us and giving us this powerful day. Make it happen, friends!