All the #EpicShit I Didn’t Do In 2016…

Whatever. 

Some of the carefully crafted intentions I set for myself in 2016 didn’t happen.

I didn’t find the rocking country band that I really want to have in my life.
I didn’t add any new 14ers to my list.
I didn’t reach my business revenue growth goal (it was aggressive).
I didn’t have much personal horse time.
I didn’t spent two weeks in Hawaii.
I didn’t put as much attention on my closest relationships as I’d pictured.

I didn’t…
Oh how I could go on.

SO WHAT?

There was a LOT I didn’t do this year.

But…

I still accomplished a shit ton in 2016.

A. SHIT. TON. (Did I mention how much I like saying “Shit ton”?  LOL!)

And, I’m going to focus my attention here. In this beautiful brightness.

Why?

Where your attention goes, your energy flows.

I want to notice what is WORKING for me so that I can do MORE of it.

I want to appreciate the ACTIONS I took to CRUSH, so I can light that shit UP in the coming year!

Yes, I subscribe to the simple strengths-based approach.

Screw obsessing about weaknesses.
You won’t find me SWATing anything over here.

You’ll find me SOAR(ing).
Assessing strengths. Opportunities. Aspirations. Results.

Well, at least on most days. 🙂
Some days it’s easy to drift your focus to all that’s broken or undone.
To get all dark and gloomy.
But, I’m working on having fewer and fewer of these days.

Accentuating the positive. That’s where I’m zeroed in.

I’m shocked and appalled at how many people this time of year get super sad when they look at their 2016 goals. The guilt and defeated hearts I see is so sad. Most people immediately gloss over the HUGE list of AMAZING things they DID.

It’s SO curious.

If I ask them what they DID WELL this year, they might start off with one or two things they saw as wins, but then it’s interesting to see how many people will then start talking about all the things they DIDN’T accomplish. They move from talking about awesomeness to crap quicker than quick. And they do it totally UNPROMPTED.

It’s almost like they can’t stop themselves from sharing their “Shit Not Accomplished” list…and backstory. Ahhhhh…the road blocks they’ve faced. The excuses, complicated stories, and dead dreams.

It’s like watching a gorgeous butterfly gliding through the air and then suddenly seeing it get smashed by a frying pan.

It’s really depressing.

It’s EASY to think about all the things that didn’t get done…(so that you can learn not to do it that way again, RIGHT?!)…but you CAN’T stay there.

>>>You have to catch yourself and then re-direct.

When you catch yourself rehashing what went wrong for the 16th time, think…yeah, but what went RIGHT?! 

Notice where your mind runs to…and redirect any time it’s on the path to crazy land.

Being dark and gloomy sucks.
Who cares about the #epichshit that didn’t get done in 2016?!

Let’s band together today and decide that it’s time to be brighter. Shinier.
Based more in love (for ourselves and others) and positivity. 

Ya, I know.
What I just wrote above sounds super cheesy. But…I don’t care.
There’s a lot of hate in the world already…let’s not hate on ourselves so much.
Let’s focus on the badassery that’s being shared with the world. Let’s focus on action. Let’s focus on…the majorly #EpicShit!

And…let’s get super SERIOUS about doing even MORE of it in the coming year.

What do you think? To pie in the sky?
I don’t think so.
Your mind is so powerful.
Use it wisely my friend.

P.S.

Here are four things I’m insanely proud of for my 2016:

  1. Owning my SPEAKER status.
    I had my first official “Keynote” this year and it felt amazing. Although I’ve been speaking from big stages for my entire professional career (and even before that as a rodeo queen), being labeled as a Keynote Speaker was huge for me. Something clicked within my personal beliefs about my skills and abilities and I’ve started seeing myself as a speaker who can easily rock stages of all sizes…even arenas. And the thing that’s the sweetest about my experiences speaking this year? For the first time I was speaking from a stage and totally sharing MY message vs. a corporate or industry message, and it was powerful. I AM a powerful speaker. And I can’t wait to do more of it in 2017.
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  2. Getting better and better at my momma-lady boss hustle.
    I went from an experience of taking my kids to daycare 5-days a week to one or two days a week over the past year and a half and it’s been hard as hell…and exactly what I wanted…and I’ve made huge strides in how I’m hustling for my business and taking care of kids, house, etc. I hired a housekeeper, got better at leveraging my work schedule around the natural flows of energy the kids have throughout the day, plus I got really good at mastering the naptime hustle. But, the most important thing I did was to get into a better routine of waking up at 5AM on some mornings to do yoga, journal and/or get a jump start on my work projects. This extra two hours in my day made SUCH an amazing difference for me. Self care is huge. I’ll be doing it more in 2017.
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  3. Saying YES to Travel & Adventure.
    I love experiencing new adventures and people, especially when I can do it along with doing work that I really love. I ate the most amazing burnt ends in Kansas City. I saw the famous NYC Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and walked through Central Park in fall (and met the amazing Grant Cardone in Times Square). I toured a killer western movie set on a working cattle ranch in Banff, where I also saw the most amazing part of the Rockies I’ve ever laid eyes. I got to see three different parts of beautiful Montana (but still didn’t run into John Mayer, although I did see a mermaid). I had the opportunity to influence the conversation around antimicrobial resistance in DC between animal and human health. I watched the longhorns plod down the streets of Fort Worth. I saw my friend win another UFC fight in Vegas. We took road trips to Idaho, Nebraska and Texas with both kids and survived! And MUCH more, including a last-minute trip to Cabo with friends last week.
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  4. My tribe has my back.
    I saw this in SO many ways this year, but one of the most prevalent ways was when I had unexpected surgery to remove a 10 cm malignant tumor from my belly (along with my fallopian tubes and my right ovary). Hello…where had THAT thing been hiding!? LOL. Anywho…this experience gave me the opportunity to remember the importance of asking for/accepting help when you need it and the opportunity to see how many people have my back. The sweet texts, Facebook messages, calls, cards, emails, gifts, etc. that my tribe gave me were tremendous. I felt mad love surrounding me and it was amazing. I love the people in my life.

I’d love to hear what you’re in love with about your 2016!
Comment below or shoot me a message on Facebook

And remember…If you’re crushing all of your goals each year, I think you’re playing too small. Set bigger goals. Move into the eye of fear a little more. Stretch your magic. That’s where the truly #epicshit happens!

Cheers to all the #EpicShit that everyone accomplished in 2016!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2015…What a TRIP! A Top Ten List:

So it’s the end of the year (almost) and I feel like I want to do a look back on 2015. It was a year of change and vulnerability for me. HUGE shifts took place. It really was a year to remember.

Here’s a look at my top ten experiences in 2015…and their associated hashtags, because I love social media and why not?

  1. 2015 is the last year we’ll have a “baby” of our own in the house at Christmas. (Thanks for pointing that one out Husker Loving Hubby.) I’ll start sobbing now, thank you very much. My baby days are soon to be over. Cashie boy is 18 months…and he loves to poke you right in the eye when you’re not looking (while saying “EYE!” with great enthusiasm). Miss B is 3.5, going on 30, and wants a Barbie Dream House for Christmas. Each time the commercial for that damn house comes on she squeals with delight and confirms to me that the house is HERS. Sigh.I didn’t want a Barbie Dream House until I was in elementary school. Damn those kids to grow up so fast.  #gonebabygone

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    Cashie is ALL boy.


  2. I took a leap of faith and started working full-time for myself this year. Holy F@*#!  Can you say AWESOME?! Can you say SCARY?! But the coolest part…I’m proving that people want what I’m bringing! I’m doing everything on MY terms. I’m making a difference for my clients. Hello…I AM Sarah, aka The Mill Coach. Nice to officially meet you. #ladyboss #millcoach
  3. I can finally say that I’ve climbed a Colorado 14er. Actually, two of them: Grays and Torreys peaks.  14,000+ feet kicked my ass and the payoff was MASSIVE. Plans for the next 14er adventure are already in progress. #climbthemall #ColoRADo

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    At the top of the world.

  4. I’m no longer a closet hippie. I’ve always had moments of hippie, but now it’s clear that I’m a nature loving, yoga loving, love loving, spiritual woman. Does this make me a “hippie?” According to my husband, yes. LOL!I don’t know what to call it. But whatever it is…I am FEELing it. I LOVE learning about what animals can teach us (esp. with HORSES = AMAZING…bringing my passion of leadership together with my passion for horses is SO cool), nature’s university (example: I get really cool ideas when I journal near running water like rivers and creeks…who would’ve thought?), ancient wisdom like Native American Medicine Wheels, plant medicine (including essential oils) and more! It’s newer territory for me in many respects, but it speaks to me in ways that I can’t explain!I’ve worried that people would reject this part of who I am, if I showed it.

    And for a long time I pushed it down. That’s not what executives think about! Right?!

    But today, I think it’s an important part of my message. I finally have courage to accept it and honor it. I’m owning who I am. Thousands of years of wisdom can be tapped into if you are OPEN to the possibilities. Curiosity is leading me. Do YOU follow your curiosity of Spirit?  

    I think it today’s highly scientific, process-driven, technical world…we can ALL be well-served to slow down and learn from our inner wisdom and the natural wisdom around us. It helps us move away from THINKing so damn much and allows us to open up more space for FEELing and listening to the world around us.

    I LOVE that I can rock a boardroom AND a round pen. AND I’M REALLY excited about the possibilities of how I can influence the corporate world with a little common sense—-natural sense. It’s the magic that’s needed. I’m convinced.

    (And I have to say thanks to my aunt Debbie for being the first hippie influence in my life. She showed me that it’s ok to dance to the beat of your own drum. There is beauty all around, if we choose to look for it.) #beingme #lovenature

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    This guy knew what was up.

  5. I now work at home…with toddlers, for three-four days a week and I work very differently than I did in my past life. Dramatically different.I am WAY more effective with my time management because I MUST be if I really want to get things accomplished. Nap time, watch out! I crank it out. After 8 PM when kids are in bed…that’s MY time to work, most nights. That hour after breakfast when the kids generally get wrapped up in self-guided play…awesome time to crush email and social media tasks!I didn’t know what to expect with shifting from working in an office for years, and boy howdy have I gotten an education! I have MAD respect for work-at-home mommas.

    I often hate it and love it, all at the same time.

    I LOVE being with my kids more. I really do. Spending time like this is a GIFT. I’m going to blink and they’ll be graduating high school. YET, I struggle with the fact that sometimes I’d rather being working than playing with blocks or Barbie. I LOVE TO WORK + I LOVE TO BE A MOMMA. It’s a dance. 

    So…my mantra on the tough days is this: What is it that I need to learn from my kids today that will serve me well in my business tomorrow?


    When I actually take the time to ask myself this question, the wisdom that comes up for me is MASSIVE.

    I need only listen.  I need only look with a kinder, more learner-focused eye. 

    The other day I was getting ready to film a video for an #EpicShit challenge and Miss B. told me that I needed to talk to my clients about Butterflies. That wasn’t at all what I had been planning for the challenge…but I listened to her. The day’s challenge ended up being about the transformation process. I challenged people to consider what skin they needed to shed to make room for the transformation into the person they truly want to be. I think it was powerful for everyone who did the work. I LOVE that I listened.

    Cashie Boy will often come up and give me a kiss on the leg out of the blue when I’m working on my laptop. His little smile beaming up at me melts my heart and reminds me to give myself a little grace and trust that all is absolutely perfect as it is. I am living a dream that so many wish for. I’ve got to LEAD with LOVE in all aspects of my life.  #mommaboss #balance


  6. I had my 20 year high school class reunion this summer.
    What?! 20 years? Pocatello High School class of 1995. How did that happen? I didn’t think it would come up so fast.

    The number one question people asked me:  Are you still a horse girl?


    It was fun to say “Yes!”


    One of my favorite memories of high school is my time spent in the Experienced Based Career Education program (EBCE). Students get to try on different jobs and learn skills that will set them up for success in the world of ADULTING. I interned with the county prosecutor’s office, my large animal vet, and my dental hygienist. I learned that all three of those jobs were NOT for me. Thank god. I also wrote a paper in EBCE about my vision for the future. I vividly remember writing that I refused to live a mediocre life. This still resonates at a soul level for me today.

    Although hubby wasn’t impressed with the Taco Spaghetti from the Ross Park Drive Inn, or the beauty of Sun Valley where we spent a few days after the reunion, this was the first time in a long time that coming back home felt reallllllllly good and I loved having my family there with me. It’s good to reflect on your roots. #PokyPride #MediocritySucks 

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    Hiking down Baldy in Sun Valley, Idaho with my Miss B. 

  7. My Grandma Borowy died. My dad’s mom has been one of the most important people in my life. She took care of me on weekends when I was a kid. She loved me so much. She taught me to love reading. She held me to a high standard. She took me on vacations to see places like Mount Rushmore and Glacier National Park. She shared her love of birds with me (and now I love them too and always look for the messages they might be sending my way…especially blue birds, bald eagles, black birds and hummingbirds).She loved/lived to serve. She was faithful.I got to say goodbye to her the day before she died. It happened when I went home to Idaho for my class reunion. The first stop we made when we pulled into town was to see her. She was in terrible shape. I couldn’t believe how small she was. She was a shell of the woman I remembered.

    I held her hand and told her that it was OK to go. I told her that I needed her up in heaven to watch over me and my babies.

    And she listened…

    The next morning I got a phone call that she had passed.

    My heart sank, but so happy that she was no longer in pain. That afternoon when we got to our hotel there were at least 30 black birds sitting on the roof. They were squawking so loud that I could hear them in my room. I think Grandma Donna had something to do with it.

    I now get to sport her gold Class of 1937 ring. She also went to Pocatello High School. It fits my ring finger on my right hand perfectly. I mean, like it was made for me. I love wearing into it. It’s a reminder to tap into the wisdom of my elders.

    She was 94 years old when she passed. I miss her, but I know she’s still around and that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her love and support. #angel #elderwisdom

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    Grandma Donna = one the best ladies I’ve ever known.

  8. More than 120 people have been a part of the two, FREE 21-day #EpicShit Challenges I’ve launched.I love working with people who SEE possibility. I love challenging others to serve themselves and others via their talents, gifts, passions. To LOVE. To be curious. To BE true to their gifts. Oh yeah! I want everyone who believes they can do #EpicShit to actually DO IT! I’m humbled that so many people would join me on a journey to AWESOMENESS. It’s all about the #EpicShit, baby! #dothework #becauseyoucan 
  9. I’m blessed with several amazing partnerships. My Personal Board of Directors and clients are EPIC. I’m better because of those who share their magic mojo with me. Kami Guildner has continued to be a rockstar coach and strategic business partner. She is a model of continuous improvement and stepping boldly into your dreams. BTW…her amazing book will be coming out soon and you’ll need to read it. The work we get to do together flows easily and is energizing. She’s quiet a woman and I’m so lucky to have her in my life. #gamechangerThis year I’ve also been blessed to work with several agriculture organizations who believe in developing a strong pipeline of unique leaders. The leaders I work with in this industry are super connected to their “why” of doing business and it’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the reason I do what I do…every day. #agproud


    Partnerships at home also stand out right now. My dad recently visited with my stepmom and they offered the assessment that Chris and I make a good team with the kids. It was heartwarming to hear. It’s easy to focus on all that we DON’T do well, instead of leaning into what you DO well. It was a good reminder to focus on the good. We really do make a great parenting team. I’m proud of that.

    I’m stronger when I’ve got a network of people around me that hold me accountable, challenge me to be better, and that love my energy. It’s so nice just to be me and to be totally accepted. Thank you to EVERYONE who has held me up in 2015. #deepbow

    We all make each other better. #synergy #abundance


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    #selfie time! This was Kami and I before her big Extraordinary Women IGNITE event last month. #WomenIgnite

And…the final a-aha…#10:

I believe more than ever before that I WILL BECAUSE I CAN. 2016 is going to rock. I am stronger than ever. I am leaning into fear. I am learning like crazy. The crazy ones who think they can change the world are the ones who do! Right?! (Steve Jobs is shaking his head yes).

Watch out world…

If you’re reading this blog, I want you to consider your top ten for 2015. How did you show up? When were you at your best? Who was around you? What rocked your world? What shocked you the most about yourself?

Grab your journal and play with the question “What really rocked for me in 2015?”

Capture these bright spots in your life. Inhale them. Savor the quality of the feelings that go along with each of these moments.

And know, that you can have these feelings again…ANYTIME you chose. You need only call upon them.

Then turn your attention to 2016! What are the top ten moments you HOPE to experience? Write them down as well. Get your intentions out there…

Believe.

And then head over to sarahjos.com if you’d like to start your January with BANG! I’ll be hosting another #EpicShit challenge. It’s free. It’s 15-minutes a day. It’s designed to get you moving into a BIGGER dream. Come and play!

Let’s DREAM BIG together! 

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Al Dunning is one of my favorite coaches. Here’s to working with amazing mentors in 2016!

You Don’t Have to Shovel Sunshine

The kiddos and I just spent a few days in AZ. Yes, it was freakin HOT, but I LOVED IT. Oh yeeeeaaaah…117 degree weather and pool water that feels like a bathtub.

Ahhhhh the joys of June in AZ.

Ahhhhh the joys of June in AZ.

When I moved to Phoenix from Idaho, I was that hick chic who’d moved from the small town to the city. I grew up in an area where there were more potatoes than people.

I hated the cold and dreary winter and the sun and palm trees of the desert called to me. I fell in love with Phoenix immediately and I stayed there for seven years…loving the “dry” heat.  Yup, I love the fact that you don’t have to shovel sunshine.

During my time in AZ I became a new version of me.

I learned how to drive on freeways with more than two lanes (and got my first speeding ticket from a camera), I bought my first designer purse…a darling silver and tan Coach bag (because I couldn’t afford a Louis Vuitton)after which I promptly got a Chihuahua who refused to actually be a purse puppy. I bought a condo in the East Valley, all by myself. I gigged regularly with two country bands (who actually got paid real $ vs. shots of Jaegermeister), and I finally gained the courage to end a terrible, abusive relationship that never should have a started in the first place.

And most importantly, I met some of the VERY best people I know, including my Husker Lovin Hubby (who then convinced me to leave AZ for Colorado…how he did this, I’m still not sure. LOL).

These people supported the hell out of me and my personal development…and a few of them taught me important things like how to enjoy blueberry martinis on hot summer nights and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches at trendy spots in Scottsdale.

It was in AZ that I learned about somatic leadership. Through my work as a Director of Training and Development for the two largest credit unions in AZ, I got super grounded in the fact that leadership is more about BEING than DOING. AND it was in AZ that I was exposed to the fact there were people in this world who work with horses to teach corporate leaders.

My mind was blown. I could marry my love of HORSES and leadership? Shut the front door. 

I’ve been a horse crazy girl for as long as I can remember and this news changed my world.

Thank god for my life in Arizona.  I honor the time I spent in the Valley of the Sun and embrace the lessons I learned and how they’ve shaped who I am right now.

During this trip, I got to enjoy a few of my favorite things. Dutch Bros coffee, Oregano’s Italian Chicken Pizza with red onion and gorgonzola, rolled Tacos with red sauce from the hole in the wall drive-thru taco joint, and time with friends. I also did my first Periscope broadcast in the horse pasture with my kiddos (follow me @millcoach) and I facilitated equine coaching sessions with two powerful women leaders. Yes, we had to do them at 6 AM, before the sun melted our skin off, but my AZ herd gifted the women with some powerful and practical lessons in leadership.

Miss B and Cupid bonding in the heat.

Miss B and Cupid bonding in the heat.

Here are two leadership gems that stood out the loudest:

1. Support. You have an amazing network of people around you, both young and old, who have your back. Don’t be afraid to lean on them in times of need.  They WANT to help you.  This lesson showed up through a herd of four horses who surrounded a leader as she talked about a tough situation she was having in life. The horses stood close to her, with stillness and deep breaths. It was truly beautiful.


What areas in your life could YOU use some support, gorgeous? Reach out to your network of support now. It’s a sign of strength. Be strong.

2. You don’t have to eat dirt. One leader shared the fact that she felt like she needed to pretend to be ok with a situation at work, when she really wasn’t really ok with it. The mare she was working with literally started to eat dirt as she spoke. How often do you feel like you have to eat dirt in your work or personal life? As we talked about what the horse was doing, it became very clear that we have choices. We can choose to lead in ways OTHERS want (and eat dirt), or we can choose to influence a third alternative. In doing so you’ll honor yourself, your people and your company.

Is there a place in your life where you’re feeling like you need to be someone or something you’re not? STOP being a fraud and SHOW UP THE WAY YOU WANT TO SHOW UP. It’s what you’re being called to do and everyone around you will benefit when you honor what’s been put into your heart.

Interested in experiencing what horses can teach YOU about leadership? Give me a shout at sarah@syzygy-co.com AND be on the look-out for my FREE 21-Day #EpicShit challenge. It’s coming soon!

The time to leap is now honey, so let’s leap together!

What’s Being a Leader All About?

I spent some time tonight reflecting about what I believe being a leader is all about.

Here’s my truth:

-If you’re a leader, you JUST LEAD. You can’t stop it. It’s what you were born to do. It’s what your soul knows you must do. Even when you think you can’t, your inner voice screams “LEAD!” Lead now. 

-Being a leader is about trusting YOUR gut, YOUR intuition, YOUR inner voice, YOUR whatever you want to call it. You’re hearing/feeling things for a reason. Don’t silence the noise. Trust YOURSELF (yes, your OWN guts—not your husband’s/wife’s, your co-workers, your parents, your neighbors, your _______________.). Trust now.

-Leaders should spend 80% of their time listening. Leaders do all they can to truly hear others…at the level of their soul. It’s been said that the desire to be heard is almost as important as the desire to feel LOVE. Listening is not a beginner skill. It takes work to master. So, listen…to people (their emotions, their stories, their silent pleas for help), to animals (horses, birds, your dog, whatever), to nature (what’s the wind calling out to you?), and most importantly, to your GUT. Listening = love. Listen now.

-Leaders do shit every day to make life BETTER–and the desire and devotion to improve things never stops. I listened to a powerful TED talk today about a school principle named Linda Cliatt-Wayman, who’d turned a “low-performing and persistently dangerous” school in North Philadelphia around in one, short year. To make this happen, she shared her go to question for staff: “So what….now, what?” So what…that 100% of the kids in this school are in poverty, so what….that attendance is crazy low…so what that…blah, blah, blah. “So what. Now, what?” What are YOU going to do about it? What can WE do about it? What IS going to change? Leaders see the POSSIBILITY of MORE and MOVE into action. They do this by loving more, sharing more understanding, sharing more beauty, sharing more abundance, sharing more awesome, and providing a bright vision for POSSIBILITY.  And, at the end of the day, they show up and cut out the B.S. Make shit happen, now. 

What's your leadership truth? Lead NOW!

What’s your leadership truth? Lead NOW!

If you’re ready to start LEADING in a bigger way, let’s talk. Shoot me a message at sarah@syzygy-co.com to schedule your free LEAD NOW! strategy session. I can help you do some really EPIC shit.

If you liked this post, please share it with a friend.

LEAD ON my lovelies.

No Time? Maybe You Should Grow Some COURAGE

I wish I just had more time.
I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done.
I HAVE to do this task/project/request.     

Have you found yourself muttering something like this within the past week?

You feel an almost constant tug. Muscles tighten, your breath is short and you feel your throat constrict.

When you’re doing one thing, you’re anxious about the ten other things you’re not doing.  Or you’re worried about what’s coming up next.

You often long for time for yourself…to do the things YOU really WANT to do.

Today, many of us live in an environment painted with the illusion of urgency. Lots of people feel a sense of entitlement, to get/have YOUR attention, IMMEDIATELY.Time

I need you NOW!

Ding. You just got an “important” email.

Buzz.  Your bff is texting you.

Chirp. Oh, you just got tweeted. #cool

Ring-Ring.  Your biggest client is calling now and it’s an emergency.

Now you’re at a stoplight…better check your phone…something important is happening…

Do you have “FOMO” (fear of missing out)? Your phone battery is sucked dry before noon each day because you’re constantly checking in.

It’s madness. Really.

You can stop this madness. Today.  Really.

I want you to breath this in:  My time, is MY time. I CHOOSE how I spend each minute.  I create my own reality. 

So here it is: Time management is all about choices. It’s that simple. Choose crazy or choose cool.  Choose to be very a “important” person and fill every waking moment with urgent and important things or choose to be very effective, focusing on important but not urgent things (yes, I LOVE Stephen Covey and the Time Management Matrix).

You KNOW this. Right? So what’s the problem?

You’re being a puss. 

Yup. I just said that.  And I’m going to go on…

You’re lacking COURAGE…to be YOU and to live a life that’s YOURS.

Why?

You’re REACTING to things that don’t really matter.

Perhaps you’re doing this to avoid having to get real with others (or even yourself) about what you truly want/need. You might even justify it by saying well, “It’s my job” or “I want to keep the peace” or “I am a servant heart.”

So then why do you feel exhausted, beautiful? Why don’t you ever have that block of time that is just for YOU?

Maybe you’re even feeling a little resentful?  All of these people…stealing your time.

But, you let them, darling.

The good news?  You’re reading this post today…so I’d bet you’re ready to make a change.  Congrats!

You can take off your puss pants, and step into your own BADASSery.

How? Check out these seven time tips:

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  1. Stay laser focused on YOU.

    What’s your purpose? What are your goals? What roles are most important to you? What’s the major cool thing you want to put out into the world?

    If you know your target(s), it’s easier to maneuver around ANYTHING that might get in the way (including other people’s agendas).  Reconnect with YOUR truths EVERY day.  Leadership (of self and of others) starts with an “inside-out” approach.

  2. Get real with yourself about how much time things really take and schedule the right amount of time.

    I’m constantly thinking I can get things done in 30-minutes and then two hours later, I’m still not done.  (Perfectionist much?)

    This under-estimating problem just leads to frustration. Be realistic. There is no prize for getting shit done faster…quality is better than speed. Schedule time for quality.  Lately I’ve been guestimating how much time a project will take, and then doubling (or even sometimes tripling it) in my calendar.  Then if I get done early, I have the gift of time!

  3. Just BE. In the moment. Feel it. Be present.

    Be CURIOUS instead of crazed about time. Get over the “FOMO” and think “JOMO” (Joy of missing out). Fully occupy your space.

  4. Say “No.” Unapologetically.

    When?  Whenever a request is being made of you that isn’t a priority (for YOU).  Think about #1…is the request aligned to YOU?  If it doesn’t, you can say “No,” without a second thought.

    I know, this is easier said then done…and I know this from lots of experience of being a puss. But when you do own your passion and mission, saying “No,” feels good.  Why? Because you’re actually saying YES to YOU.

    My favorite way to say “NO”: “Wow! I really appreciate you thinking of me, but I won’t be able to do this.”

    Will this approach piss some people off? Sure. But it doesn’t matter.  Aim for ROCKSTAR status…not mediocrity.

    Here’s another scenario where you’ve got to hone your “No”: Meetings. My Husker Loving Hubby is a great model for me on this one.  He reminds me that when a meeting is scheduled for an hour, it needs to be done in an hour.  If the meeting moderator doesn’t adhere to the established time constraints, he will actually get up and walk out, even if it’s still going! That part gives me a little heartburn, but I love the principle!

    So, what do you do if you’re in the never-ending meeting and you still have agenda items to explore? It’s YOUR job to A) check-in and let the other person/people know you have a hard stop at X o’clock.  Do this 5-10 minutes before your scheduled time is up B) make an offer to schedule another time to complete the work.  Yes…you can stop the meeting.

    By continuing on and not saying a word, it shows people it’s ok to just steal your time…and they will do it again, and again.  Don’t give your soul away. Say “No.”

  5. If you really care…find someone else who can help with requests/tasks.

    This means you might need to LET GO of the need to do everything yourself. Yes, you can likely do it better than someone else, and you might need to coach them along the way, but who cares? Give someone else the gift of experience. Are you a leader or an island?

    If you have to say “No” it’s super awesome to provide an alternative like “I can’t help with this, but I know that Jill was looking for an opportunity to try her hand at this type of project.  Have you asked her?”

  6. Ask “Does it have to be done right NOW?”

    You might be surprised about the answers you get to this question. Don’t resign yourself to false deadlines. Most requests being thrown your way can be honored…later.

    AND the cool part? Whoever asked for your help with be HAPPY as a pig in shit! Tomorrow, or next Wednesday could be great alternatives to right now. Don’t assume you know the other person’s timeline.

  7. Ask questions and shift priorities, ONLY when YOU want to. If the person making the request is your boss or someone you really respect or want to help, try to learn more about why their request appears so urgent.

    Perhaps you DO need to re-prioritize your tasks so you can help.  TimeNotEverything

    Perhaps you Don’t…

    But, before you decide, you may need more information.

    Try something like this: “Please help me to understand…”  

    1. Why I need to drop my current priorities to fit this in?
    2. How I can fit this task in with the other ten priorities I have on my plate right now?
    3. Why do I need to be the one who does this?

That’s it.  Stay focused.  Say “No.” 

Do you need someone to help you stay accountable to this tips? Someone to kick your ass when you fall off the wagon? Enlist a friend.

OR, I help people do epic shit all the time, and I can be part of YOUR journey to AWESOME.  I can help you stay true to what YOU”RE being called to do. Shoot me an email at sarah@syzygy-co.com and we can chat about how this can work.  Yea, I might call you a puss (lovingly of course), but you can call me out as too, because time is a dance. You learn and you grow. Some days you’re stronger than others, but each day is a new opportunity to choose. 

What choices are you making today?  

Date Nights Rock

Husker Lovin Hubby and I have been making it a point to put effort into regular date nights since Cash arrived. I often have anxiety leading up to our dates because I worry about leaving the kidlets with a sitter, knowing I’ve hardly seen them during the work week. But, once we pull out of the driveway and head down the road, it gets better…

No matter if our date is a simple dinner sans kids or an elaborate affair, one thing is always the same…I love him more at the end of each date. I feel reconnected to the man I married.

Is this important when you’re running non-stop? Absolutely.

Does our marriage suffer when we skip a date? Oh boy.

Does it take effort? Hell yes.

My advice to Mommas is to make date night a priority! Your kids will benefit, you will benefit, and your hub will benefit. It’s a win/win/win! (Although this concept isn’t rocket science, it’s amazing how many parents don’t carve out this special time…hundreds of excuses later, they’re stressed, snippy and sad inside…I know this from experience).

Sometimes when gearing up for date night it takes all I have to get pumped. Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m not really lovin my hubby for some reason or another, sometimes I’d rather hang with the kids, sometimes…the list goes on. BUT…after each date night I’m so glad we went.

Here a few date night DOs:

1. Live music and make-outs!

Need a great night out? Add music! We just saw the Zac Brown Band this weekend and loved singing at the top of our lungs to our fav tunes. Good times! Live music is food for the soul! Move your body, enjoy the people watching, smooch in between songs and simply rock out.

Need a cheap date night with live music? Hit up a local bar that has a local band playing and enjoy two stepping the night away for the cost of a cocktail.

2. Look hot!

Enjoy the date prep. Even have the sitter arrive early so you can have uninterrupted time to curl your locks and perfect your pout. Make him get excited about seeing you all glammed up! Even if you’re doing simple jeans and a T, add a little something special to show him you still care about impressing him.

3. Sit next to him vs. across during drinks and dinner.

Touch his knee, caress his neck with your fingertips, whisper into his ear…just be close. Breathe him in. Enjoy that you don’t have your little ones pulling your attention away from your man.

4. Go out early…happy hour drinks and appetizers can save you big $$$ and you’ll have a great time on a budget.

Get out there and date your men Mommas!

Here are a couple of recent date night pics that I love…even though HLH can’t help but be a smart ass! 😘

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HLH and I before the ZBB concert on an amazing September night.

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Our Anniversary night on the town. We checked out the newly renovated Union Station.

7 Weeks of Awesome

Baby Cash is growing, grunting and growling his way through life. At 7 weeks he is getting lovely fat rolls on his legs and he’s infatuated with ceiling fans (just like his sister was).

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Lovely baby roll.

I’m starting to get anxious about returning to work. It’s all happening so quickly. Where does time go? Monday morning will be tough.

Husker Lovin Hubby (HLH) and I went out for the first time without baby for a live music fix (White Arrows and The Neighbourhood) last week and I’ve had a few hours without Cash since then. I took him to our sitter so I could get a quick haircut and then he went again today for four hours to start getting him in the groove of being in someone else’s arms.

While he was gone I heard phantom baby cries in the house.

My maternity leave went faster than I could have ever imagined. I didn’t do half of what I set out to do when it started, HLH was baffled that I didn’t get much done around the house since I was home all day (insert eye roll) and my tan is more of a tint…but I did the most important things.

  • I held my baby. I fed my baby. I loved on my baby.
  • I pumped a decent supply of milk. (Ugh!)
  • I enjoyed the heck out of Miss B (who has adapted so well thus far…including starting to use a potty!)
  • I got thank you cards written.
  • I took a shower everyday! Wahoo!

…And I didn’t kill HLH. Lol!

Bravo me!

Pray for me next week as I return to the office. I’m gonna need it.

Until next time…

SJ

 

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Miss B reading to her brother.

Baby Cash Has Perfect Timing

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My baby boy arrived May 20th!  It was a whirlwind birth and he’s perfect (of course)!  Here’s how it went down…on his actual due date (I’m told that isn’t very common).

Monday night I was feeling tired, but good.  I’d had random contractions all weekend and was surprised that baby boy hadn’t arrived yet.  I was growing a little impatient, but thankful that he’d waited this long because I was able to complete most of the important task I’d been hoping to finish at work.  I slept well all night until 5:30 AM Tuesday morning.   I woke up to sharp but not unbearable contractions.  I started to time the intervals while passing the time in social media land, searching Pinterest for labor quotes and blogs and trolling Twitter.  45 minutes later I was having contractions 10-12 minutes apart and I was wondering if this was a false alarm or the start of active labor.

My Husker Lovin Hubby (HLH) woke up at 6:30ish, followed by Miss B., our toddler daughter.  Contractions were getting closer together and I continued to question if this was the real thing.  I took a shower and then my husband did the same.  As he was toweling off, I told him he should probably stay home from work and go with me to my 40 week appointment scheduled at 9:00.  His eyes got big and he asked how close my contractions were now and if the baby was coming.  I giggled about his freaked out face, shrugged my shoulders and continued my morning routine.

By 7:30 I’d reached the “5-1-1” threshold (five minutes apart, for 1 minute, for 1 hour) that my doctor had explained, so I called her office.  I was told my hospital of choice (the place I delivered Miss B.) was on divert and was directed to go to my back-up hospital.  I’d been prepared for this possibility so I wasn’t alarmed…just a little disappointed.

We packed B’s lunch, dropped her off at daycare, grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and checked in at the hospital about an hour later.  Upon arrival I was dilated to a “generous 3…or maybe 4”.  The nurse ordered an epidural and I was relieved.  My worst fear was not making it to the hospital in time to have an epidural.  All was going well!

By 9:00 HLH and I were hanging out in the room preparing for a long day of labor, when I started to have MAJOR contractions.  I suddenly felt like I wet my pants so I asked Chris to go and get the nurse because I was pretty sure my water just broke.  Five minutes later the nurse came and she confirmed it and asked me what color the water was.  SERIOUSLY?  The last thing I did was look to see what color it was.

At this point I was breathing hard through my now gnarly contractions.  I told HLH to put his damn cell phone away because I was annoyed he wasn’t focused on me (even though I didn’t know WHAT I wanted him to do otherwise).

I wondered where the HELL my epidural was and tried to close my eyes and focus on my music.

At 9:30ish and the anesthesiologist FINALLY came into the room.  I was soooooo relieved.  I couldn’t wait for him to get the needle in my back.  I’d had an epi with Miss B. and it was freaking AMAZING!  I’d always thought if God created someone smart enough to invent epidurals, I should have one.  Why suffer more than needed?

As he was getting situated the nurse checked me again and this is when all hell broke loose.  She got an alarmed look on her face and announced that I was dilated to 10 cm and that I wouldn’t be having an epidural after all.  WHAT the @#$&?  I went from 4 to 10 in about an hour!?!!  I swore out loud.

As I was trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I was not going to be medicated during birth, my nurses began discussing who was going to deliver me.  My doctor hadn’t arrived yet, the on call hospital doctor was delivering someone else and the back-up doc was in the O.R.  The nurse timidly assured me that all would be ok.  I could’ve cared less about who was going to deliver me at that point. I just kept thinking that there was no way in hell I could have a baby without drugs.  “I’m not that kind of momma!  I can’t do this!”  was on repeat in my mind.

I was in a panic.

As this was unfolding HLH kept giving me the deer in the headlights look, with HUGE dumb eyes, which made everything worse.  He says Satan talked through me when I demanded that he “Stop giving me the googly eyes!”   

This is when I started the loud labor moans.  I couldn’t help myself.  I’d never made this kind of noise before and I scared myself.  I felt bad for other soon to be moms who may have heard me.

Then in walked my doctor.  FINALLY!  She sprung into action and before I knew it she was telling me to remember how I’d pushed with my little Miss B. and that it was go time!  I wasn’t ready for it but my body was screaming PUSH!  Two nurses and my doctor where telling me to push and I freaked out a little and said “I don’t want to!”  I was in so much pain.  I knew I needed to push, but I needed just a minute more to pull myself together.  At this point my doctor told the nurses that I only needed one voice talking to me and that it would be her.  Normally I like sounds in concert, but not this time.  Bless her for telling the others to back off.

After the next contraction I pulled my shit together and was ready.  After four or five pushes (and a lot of moaning), a few “Oh my gods” while baby was crowning, and the power of nature…I had a son.

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For the next three hours I was in a daze of “OMG I just had a natural birth!”  I couldn’t believe I had just done it…without drugs.  It all went down so fast.  I wondered if it was all real.  Although my mind was spinning, my body felt pretty darn good, considering.  I walked from the labor suite to my room.  I had energy.  I was hungry.  I was nursing baby well and was in love with my new bundle of 7 pound 10 ounce bundle of joy.

A Johnny Cash song was playing a few moments after he was born and then another Cash song came on a few minutes later.  We took this as a sign about which of our two final potential names should be our son’s name.  Cash Joseph fits him perfectly (Joseph is a family name…five generations of Jo’s in my family).

Another cool thing…George Strait’s “I’ve Got a Car” was playing as we drove to the hospital.  If you don’t know why this is cool, listen to the song :-).

I love being a momma and am so blessed.  Welcome to the world little Cashie!

Eating Alone?

I finished the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  I had the opportunity to see Ferrazzi speak at an ASTD conference a few years ago in Atlanta and I was impressed by his messages to be interestED, not interestING and to create your own powerful personal Board of Directors (BODs).

Ferrazzi’s text provided insightful reminders about the importance of strong relationships. Relationships with others provide strength and humor, support and understanding, and new ideas and challenges.  How do you do it?  Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

1) “Disciplined dreamers all have one thing in common: a mission. The mission is often risky, unconventional, and most likely tough as hell to achieve. But it is possible.

2) “These days, I rarely blanch at the chance to introduce topics of conversation that some consider off-limits.  Spirituality, romance, politics—these are some of the issues that make life worth living.”  Fail safe conversation starters at business mixers include “How did you get started in your business?  What do you enjoy most about your profession?  Tell me about some of the challenges of your job?…But safety—whether in conversation, business, or life—generally produces “safe” (read boring) results.”

3) “Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:  “Every man I meet is my superior in some way.  In that, I learn of him.”  Everyone had something to teach him.”

4) “The ability to bridge different worlds, and even different people within the same profession is a key attribute in managers who are paid better and promoted faster.”

5) “We humans beings are social beings.  We come into the world as the result of others’ actions.  We survive here in dependence on others.  Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from other’s activities. For this reason, It is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”  Dalai Lama

I’m studying equine guided education and how horse herd dynamics can teach us about relationships and leadership.  Each horse has its job in the herd and thrives with the support of others.  Put a herd of horses together in a big pasture and you’ll find they’re always within site distance of one another.  They like to be close.  Introduce a new horse to the mix and watch how quickly they get to know each other and establish roles.
Horses can teach us so much about relationships.

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Thinking about my own relationships, I’ve been reviewing my personal BODs and who I’d like to add.  Ferrazzi says to write it down and make it happen!  Think Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon!  Hmmmm… I’ve got some big dreams!  How about you?

I’ve been meaning to read Never Eat Alone forever, and finally got it done on airplanes.  Last month I decided while I’m traveling, I’m going to read.  Not the crazy Sky Mall mags, favorite People or US mags, or things for work (unless it’s a must).  I”m going to read real books!  This “found time” has been wonderful and I’m reading more than ever before!  Never Eat Alone is my second travel book after Water for Elephants…I’m rotating business books with brain candy books.  Have any suggestions for my next good read?

Follow Farazi on twitter @keithferrazzi for great tips on how to start meaningful conversations and intriguing thoughts.