Righting the Ship

Righting the Ship

It is easy to get off base during a hectic season of life. Increased demands with our time create a bigger strain on what we feel we can accomplish.

Before you know it, you’re living a life that’s far away from what you are intending. Is it time to right the ship?

When things feel off-course, simply return to your original methods of past successes.

Knowing where you’ve succeeded in the past is a quick reminder of what you’ve been able to accomplish and how you got there. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction and it builds trust in yourself at a time when you need it the most.



 

Personally, October has been a really rough month.

I’ve been thrown off course many times in the last 30 days: by multiple commitments coming together at the same time, new endeavors, and by my own mis-management of time. After all of the tumultuous times of October, I realized that it was vital for me to return to my past methods of success. Referring back to what worked in the past is a great way to see quick success today.

My success begins with a great morning routine. I am grateful that I can return to it any time almost sub-consciously. I also have written success stories that show all of the great things I’ve been able to accomplish. I just search my journal for times when I was able to achieve greatness. It keeps the courses to success fresh in my mind as I figure out how to get back on track.

If you don’t yet have a written set of successes, just start today. It’s simple, really. Comb through your past achievements and build from that. No list is right or wrong, and remember this is a personal and detailed list of success. It is meant to rebuild your confidence and help you press on through difficult times.

There will come a time when you feel defeated like you can’t get out of a rut. Having your success list will help you right your own ship.

What’s your method for righting your own ship?

How’s your ROI?

Hows your ROI?

Students go to college for various reasons, but every decision of higher education gets to the same conclusion: The benefits of the education and experiences outweigh the costs of the education itself.

In business, that’s called ROI, or return on investment. It is vital to have a positive ROI in both business and in life.

The keys to success don’t stop at high school or college.

Education is a lifetime affair.

Kristin and I got the chance to attend a really awesome conference recently called Product Camp Cincinnati.

PCamp Cincy

It was an inaugural session for the Cincinnati area. What a great and inspiring day! We learned a lot, met some great entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and other top minds in our area.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s session! (Learn more about bringing Product Camp to your area here)

This week, we are also going to attend a TEDx event which we are very excited about!

If you’ve heard of TED talks, TEDx talks are independently organized, and this year the focus is on Health and Wellness, something we want to learn more about. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, be sure to check out some of the speakers and information here.

TEDx Cincinnati

 

For me, conferences are like little mental vacations: a chance to go visit an interesting place for a couple of days, and come back rested and refreshed with new ideas and perspectives. – Erin McKean

Here are just a few easy ways to start investing in yourself:

  • Feed your Mind – Feeding our brains with books has never been easier. Most public libraries offer free e-book downloads you can read on almost any screen. This is how I get almost all of my books. I make it a point to read and learn something new every day.
  • Feed your Body – When investing in yourself, good food and exercise are an important part of that mix as well. Treating your body well will give you a lifetime of health and happiness. Our body is our temple, and we only get one.
  • Find a Community – Not only do we have unprecedented access to information today, we also have no barriers to entry with community. Search meetup.com for information sessions in your area that interest you, and get out there and meet your community!
  • Fund your Investment – if you are in a position to spend real money on investing in yourself, start setting aside some money out of the budget. Again, we’re talking positive ROI’s here. Most times, the money spent on education far outweighs the cost, so always be thinking in terms of a positive return on your investment.

What are you doing in your own life to better invest in yourself? Are you reading, taking classes, or going to conferences?

 

Why I take Cold Showers

Cold Showers

We have a bad plumbing setup in our house.

I’m not sure if it’s hard to get water to the area we live or if the builder used sub-par plumbing components, but we have a lot of trouble getting water flowing freely, especially upstairs in the master bathroom.

The water heater is not great either. I could easily wait 5 minutes for a hot shower, sometimes longer, and five minutes is an eternity during a rushed morning routine.

One day while running late for work, I decided I was going to say “forget it” and I hopped into a frigid shower for the sake of time.



 

WHOA! The water hitting my skin was a shock to the system. I might have jumped and winced like a girl. Had I just been awakened from hibernation like a bear?!? My whole body was fluttering.

I wanted to wash my hair and body and get the heck out of there! No wonder we take hot showers instead of cold, because THIS SUCKS!

After getting out of the shower – teeth chattering, body shaking, skin red – I tried getting dressed and went about the rest of my day, surely thinking I’d started off a bad day. Showering in cold water was a tough thing to do that day, but I began noticing something new.

I felt alert and alive the rest of the day.

Walking into work, I was ready to face the day boldly. I had already gone through the most difficult part of my day, so what could be worse than a cold shower? I began to fear the day’s activities less.

Getting home, I started trying to find articles about possible benefits of cold showers. Surely someone else had done this before and had experienced a similar feeling of accomplishment.

I ended up coming across a man named Joel Runyon. Joel has a business centered around doing the impossible, and he even has a whole system built around taking cold showers, check it out here.

I even found out he did a TEDx talk about cold showers:

I know not everyone will watch this, so I’ll break it down a little. The heart of the message in taking cold showers is to make it a point to get out of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

I’ve been taking cold showers for over a week now, and I think I’m hooked.

Cold showers suck because they are supposed to suck. They teach you to live in the moment of what you’re going through.

You have nowhere to hide in the shower, therefore, you are facing this difficult situation head-on. It relives fear, which is our biggest obstacle to success.

It’s great to know that Joel and his advice is actually changing peoples lives, I hope you’ll try it and see if it will change yours.

Would you try taking a 5 minute cold shower?

Reader Survey Responses!

A couple of weeks ago, Hello, Flecks! put a survey out to all the readers & fans of this blog asking for feedback and concerns with your own health and wellness journeys. (There’s always time to go fill it out at the link here, we love to get your input!)

Firstly, Thank You All so much for the feedback! You are helping us make a better site, one that can help you achieve success and feel great!

Here’s what we heard on a couple particular questions:

 What’s the vision of your perfect health?

Many of you said that just eating regular and healthy, unprocessed foods is part of the vision of your perfect health. Staying away from processed foods and bringing your connection back to mother nature’s gifts is a huge step in itself.

We couldn’t agree more, and we want to help.

It’s important to understand that this may not happen overnight, but it does happen with small steps.

Kristin and I have been on our own health journeys for a long time now. It started many years ago with simply adding frozen veggies to the grocery cart along with the frozen pizza. We started spending more time in the health foods section, even if we didn’t get anything. We scoped out the produce section rather than passing it right by, like I used to.

We didn’t always know what worked for us, but we began with a small task we could accomplish, like finishing a bag of veggies in a week.

As with exercise, you can not jump right into buying all Organic produce & no snacks and expect to succeed. You will burn out. Big audacious goals often take a while to build up to.

in particular for the last several months. If you check out our Instagram you’ll see we’ve been cooking up our meals for the week on #MealPrepSunday.

Sunday is now a day that reminds us of the great and healthy week we’ll be having, which puts us in the right frame of mind for the week.

We realize that healthy living includes things that don’t always come naturally for most people.

These are foundation items that can take a while to set in place.

One small successful step is way better than a failed leap.

The biggest hurdles to your success in health?

We heard this one loud and clear: Time and Motivation

That is something I think everyone struggles with. I’m always pressed for time and I, too, find it hard to get out there and get the workouts in.

While I don’t have a magic wand that can give you more time, I will say that consistency is what has helped me in the past.

To begin, figure out where you have no more than 15 minutes in your day, every day. By starting off with an easily repeatable task, this will build into a habit in about 3 weeks.

Kristin has been doing this with running 5 minutes a day. Yes, five minutes. Some may say that five minutes is not enough time to run, I say that is 5 minutes more than if she didn’t set aside that time each evening. She’s now going beyond the five minutes and is almost up to a whole mile of straight running. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

If you have children, include them in this activity, Please! I was not introduced to exercise beyond playing outside as a child, and I wish I had been.  This is a great opportunity for parents to teach children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle because children mimic their parents.

If you are demonstrating that healthy food and exercise is important, just imagine how that’s going to set them up for success in a world that is increasingly making processed foods the norm.

As for the motivation, know that it has to come from within. I can’t get you out there to work out or get you to drop the unhealthy habits, but I can try.

Begin to surround yourself with success stories. Check out how others have succeeded in ways that you’d like to, and use their success as a catalyst for your own success.

Just like it does for Kristin and I, motivation must come from within. You can’t do it for your spouse, or your kids, or your friends. You must change for you.

Something tells me that there is some reason for you to want to be healthier. Figure out what that thing is, and focus on it.

 

I hope you enjoyed the survey as much as we did with the responses. This was great knowledge for us, and so I’m very excited to be doing this again soon!

 



50% Complete

50 Complete
I can’t believe the year is already halfway over.

It seems like just a few short months ago that I was making plans on what to do this year. Some goals I thought of were easy goals, and some were lofty stretch goals.

In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” A lot has happened in these last 6 months. This is my snapshot of where we are in our halfway mark with a few of 2014’s Goals.

Exercise

I had planned to run something longer than a marathon this year. “2013 Ethan” would have thought I would need to give myself plenty of time to train for an even longer run, so it had to be in September or October.

As I got closer to my annual Flying Pig marathon in May, though, it dawned on me that it would be much better to pick something sooner, so I signed up for Another Dam 50K in June, only 4 weeks after the Pig.

It turned out to be a great run and very helpful to set those runs close together so I didn’t lose training momentum. I feel like I can now tackle new, even scarier challenges with confidence. I’d even like to set a goal to hit Marathon Maniac status in the future!

Ethan's 1st Ultra

For the 2nd half of 2014, I’d like to keep my good running base by doing another marathon or half-marathon. I’d also like to work more on speed. Kristin and I are even looking at getting a GPS/ heart rate watch!

We’ve already been really successful this year with exercise, and we’d like to build upon that success base in the second half of the year.

Financial

We made great strides in our finances in 2014 as a couple. Kristin got a new job that has much better pay, and we have regained focus on our target to pay down the remaining student loan debt we owe, which is about $30,000.

We had given ourselves a short break from intense saving, and we now have new purpose with which to attack that goal. Paying off the student loans will help us to set up some amazing things in the near future as well. It’s our only debt besides the house!

It feels really great to have the freedom and security that financial success allows. The only money problems we seem to have are the good kind these days, and that is a real blessing.

Productivity

One of our biggest goals this year was to start this blog.

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For a new blogger like myself, It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I get excited, scared, frustrated & satisfied all at once.

Kristin has really helped me along in navigating these new paths, and it’s been really rewarding and surprising to see some of the things that have come out of this project.

In the future we hope to grow this hobby and allow it room to expand. It is not the center of our lives, but I feel like it is helping us to build a solid foundation on which to create our voice, for whatever we do going forward.

Personal Growth

If you had told me that I’d be journaling every day consistently 1 year ago, I would have told you “that’s a nice idea, but it will never happen”.

About 12 months ago, I started journaling as part of the Start Experiment, and it wasn’t until January this year that it became almost daily. I now have 2 journals, actually – a personal journal and a productivity journal.

I should have been doing this years ago. I had this notion in my mind that writing in a journal was embarrassing. That only 12 year old girls write in journals. I admit was wrong.

Journaling has brought some great clarity and focus into my days. It helps me to deal with the issues of the day, it helps me reflect on what I’m doing right and wrong, and it gives me perspective on what is really important in life.

I highly recommend you just start doing it if you’re on the fence. I limit myself to 15 minutes a day using DayOne, and that works out great for me.

House

It may seem easy for most, but another one of our goals was to set up a home office. Kristin and I had gone back and forth about converting a lovely baby’s room from the previous homeowners into an office. They had decorated the third bedroom in Winnie the Pooh with a hand-painted mural, you guys.

We couldn’t bear (pun intended) to cover over that work of art for almost eight months, and finally we realized that it was doing no good for us in its current state. We painted it over with the help of family and bought a desk and lamps to create an office space. I also hung a cork board, and we plan to get a white board as well.

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Conclusion

As I look back at the year that’s already halfway over, I’m proud of all of our accomplishments thus far. This is one of the first years that I’ve written down and then checked back on my goals in a timely fashion. It has helped so much in keeping myself on track and accountable to finish by the end of the year.

92% of New Year’s Resolutions get side-tracked. Don’t become another statistic.

I hope to set and achieve bigger and loftier goals in the future. I want to be the best me that I can be. In order to do so, I realize that, though it will take hard work and dedication, the rewards are worth the effort.

 



   
   

   


 

 

 

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