Category: Snack on This

Snack on This

Snack on This: Smartphone Addiction

This year, I tried more than ever before to truly be in the moment during the holiday season. I’m all too aware that my teenagers are about to fly the nest and I’ll be alone.
I’m not scared about the word “alone,” though, since it opens the door to Carrie 2.0. I have some interesting things planned now that I can focus on my own wants and needs!
Being in the moment can bring you to some interesting realizations…. Like how false of a necessity our smartphones are. At least when the work day is done.

Why do we bring it to the holiday dinner table? Why do we let texts interrupt our conversations with loved ones and ability to actually be in the moment? Why do we let it interrupt our driving, our flow, our moments to the tune of THOUSANDS of interruptions each day?

I’m beginning to set it aside during important times. Family time, working on my book, conversations, dinner. I put my phone on silent and turn it face down.

What can you do to free yourself?

It’s a good thing to figure out when a phone is truly important and when it’s just an excuse to NOT be in the moment.

(What is the “Snack on This” column? Uber-quick reads more related to lifestyle, habits and inspiration than public relations. I hope you enjoy them.)

Snack on This

Snack on This: Goals, Agendas & Secrets in Social Media

I have secrets. Big ones that dominate my life every single day. They aren’t juicy or scandalous, but they are something I can’t share outside of close friends for family privacy reasons.

I’m one of those kind of people that can’t lie worth a damn and doesn’t really keep secrets of my own. I blurt out everything.

I do keep the occasional stash of chocolate hidden from my kids – which comes out into the open if they are smart enough to ASK if I have one – and I do tend to not tell people that because I work so much, my housekeeping usually leaves something to be desired. I’d also rather write something than clean house or do yard work – but I wouldn’t say those are secrets.  When I think of secrets, I think of something bigger. Something the person holding the secret REALLY doesn’t want to come out into the open.

Agendas can be seen that way, too, but they shouldn’t be interpreted as a bad thing. (Well, unless their agenda IS something bad. Duh.) 

In a business setting, I prefer to think of them as unspoken goals.

I caught a tweet the other day that criticised influencers for being semi-transparent and having an agenda. But don’t we all have an agenda on social media? It might be brand visibility and engagement, or it might be growing an audience for a personal brand…. but we all have agendas.
Yesterday, a very smart woman in my Above The Noise Facebook group (email me if you want in) said…

“To me a goal is the “what” and the agenda is the “why”. That is to say, if your goal is to increase market share by 25%, your agenda could be to become the dominant market leader for your industry.”

Good stuff, right? Her name is Robyn Itule and you can connect with her here.
What’s your agenda? Does it fit into a defined strategy?

Snack on This

Snack on This: What Does Success Look Like?

I’ve changed my views on success over the last year – from money and influence to mindfulness and surrounding myself with what makes me happy. I’ve made a concerted effort to have a life instead of living for work.

Ironically enough, that’s when all the best things started happening.

I started to find myself again – rediscovering what I am passionate about, what fuels my energy, how I can help my teenagers grow into the amazing adults they are becoming, how to BE MORE POSITIVE and live in the moment.

I redecorated my living room to be beautiful and it makes me happy every time I’m in it. I picked up a few hobbies. I started hanging out with  friends instead of letting my introverted nature push me into my cave. I quit focusing on my children so hard and set them free. I’m still a helicopter parent, but I’m improving.

It’s been an interesting experiment.

Whenever you ask someone how they are doing, do you hear, “I’m really busy!” or “I’ve been working insanely hard lately!!”?

It seems like a universal answer that everyone gives. Are we measuring how successful we are in life by how BUSY we are?

It’s not the same thing. It’s not a badge of honor, either; it’s a gigantic red flag waving in our faces that everyone ignores.

Snack on This

Snack on This: Be in the Moment

Yesterday, I watched my son enroll in college. The week before, I watched get out of my car to start his first day of high school, shaken by the tsunami of change in his life. The day before that – I swear it was just the day before – I watched his three-year-old self race across the floor at daycare screaming “MOMMY!!!!!!!!” at the top of his lungs, as if he hadn’t seen me in weeks, instead of just four hours before.

It’s ridiculous how fast you can blink and miss important moments. Why? Because your mind was on the next deadline, the next pitch, the next insane, pressure-filled thing you are juggling along with a dozen other things.
What are you missing?
I’ve been in the industry for over twenty years now, and a (mostly single) parent for eighteen of those years. Six of those years self-employed. In looking back, the one thing I would change would be to set a firmer line between work hours and non-work hours, putting work completely aside when the business day ends. Saving every precious minute at home with my children being IN THAT MOMENT, fully present and fully engaged.

I was better at that when employed than I’ve been as a business owner, but I work every day at improving.
Being in the moment opens unexpected doors
Even something as simple as providing parental taxi service to a rollerskating rink takes on new meaning when you are present, listening to the back-seat chatter of teenagers and learning more about your teenager’s life then you do in a direct conversation. Quietly snickering in the front seat is a private pleasure when you enjoy the moment.

I’ve also learned a surprising thing lately. When you are focused on the moment, your life changes. You become more joyful, more grateful, just… MORE.

Are you living in the moment?

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Snack on This

Snack on This: Work/Life Balance

One of my favorite books this year was “The One” by Gary Keller. It puts forward the idea that work/life balance is a myth and that focus is the surprisingly simple truth behind achieving extraordinary results.

I agree.

It doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy and appreciate both, but that it doesn’t take a 50/50 balance to be happy. If you are working on something you are passionate about, you are much happier even when that balance is heavily skewed in favor of work, instead of life – but it’s also critical to channel that passion into a single-minded focus that allows amazing things to happen.