No-stress November - GOAL ACHIEVED (and how to do it)
I had prepped for this month to be insane because of many things all coming to a head, but it's actually become a zero-stress month. Here's how...
I’m thrilled to share this week because November is traditionally the craziest month of the year for us, and I dread it. Welp, I actually took some of the free advice that I’m always doling out and whaddya know, November has become awesome. Today I’m sharing about 3 big things that we conquered and how we did it: PLANES, PODCAST and POOL!
When life comes together just how you hope, or even exceeds your expectations, it’s the best feeling. It feels like joy, success and rest. I’m going to ride this feeling as long as I can, hopefully well into December. In the meantime, here’s how I laid out work and life to be sure we could enjoy this coming month of adventures as we tour Hawaii and enjoy our UnCruise expedition.
And thank you for following along. I appreciate the emails and comments whenever I share, and it’s a wonderful piece of encouragement to keep on sharing aspects of our lives. Thank YOU!
How I Set up a Month to be Stress-free
I know that my job and the things happening in our world are very different than what most people have going on, but I think there are a few key elements that can be applied for lots of folks. Being a business owner, I have meetings and deadlines and consultations and presentations… And then I have the actual work production side of things, which for me includes a lot of writing, some tech stuff and then social media development. It’s a lot.
Here’s how I was able to set myself up for a stress free month and not fall behind on business stuff: CALENDARING. This means actually scheduling specific time to do specific work tasks and projects. There are three easy steps to this, so take a sec and see how you can use my method to conquer your calendar.
To Do List - this is NOT what you think. This is a list of required work, both large and small projects, that have a deadline. Write these down (I like paper for this) and order them by deadline. DO NOT ADD menial tasks to this.
Schedule Work - just like I schedule time to go running or to NOT be at my desk, I schedule specific time for specific work. I usually know how long a work project task will take, so I can set aside blocks to be sure I get those things done. I break bigger projects into pieces so I can pace myself.
Say NO to new Time-sensitive Work - one of the benefits of not working in an office anymore is not having random, ad hoc meetings and tasks dropped on me. I get lots of emails and requests for quick turnaround things, but I say no. This keeps me on track with what I must do.
Calendaring my work to get things done and have a buffer for any hiccups has set me up for success for the next month of not being at my desk.
Bonus: having a work accountability partner has also been very helpful. I have three people that I continually check in with to be see how they are doing and to confirm that I’m on track with my own work. It’s great to have people who understand my job to talk about thing with and help me keep my priorities in mind.
Podcast Episodes: We’re back in business!
Something that’s been on my docket but that I’ve avoided actually calendaring has been restarting the podcast. After we moved a few months ago I hadn’t set my podcast station back up. Well, leave it to my trusty work pal, Kate, to light a fire under me and to get it rolling again. I have several upcoming projects that podcasting really fits with, so getting back into recording and edits has been wonderful to lay the framework for upcoming stuff.
We’ll have even more episodes live as we record along our Hawaii adventure. It feels great to create and record again. Please subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen!
Here are our latest episodes that you can also find on the blog:
Glacier Country from an 8 Year Old’s View - Elliott is the special guest!
Navigating Airline Loyalty: American Airlines - OMG, I learned so much here.
Dealing with Travel Anxiety Before you Leave - great chat about ALL the things
Planning Hawaii Travel (and Budget) - the truth about planning a Hawaii trip
BFF Travel and Why It’s So Life Affirming - why Kelly and I have such awesome adventures
Big Life Decisions to Pursue Joy - what it takes to create your own joyful life
There are actually more episodes premiering in the next few weeks, but this has been a great start to getting back into it.
Planes: Hawaii, here we come!
It’s finally time!!! Today we leave on our Hawaii adventure! I’ve been working on this trip since January and it’s finally here. Our sailing / island hopping this month was the driving force behind really tackling my work and sticking to my calendar. When we land in Kona tomorrow it’ll all be worth it!
Hawaii never gets old. This will be our third time staying at the SCP Hilo Hotel (SCP stands for soul, community, planet), the kids’ first time visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and all of our first time visiting Maui. I cannot wait!
As a totally random bonus, we actually are going to be seeing quite a few friends while we’re in Hawaii. We get to see our buddies in Kona, actually on our sailing from Kona to Molokai, and then more friends are going to meet us in Kihei on Maui. This is going to be the most incredible trip, work or vacation, ever!
Pool: It’s done! And may I never hire a contractor again…
Six month ago we moved into our new house here in St Augustine Beach, FL. That very week we started the process of putting in a pool. Well, it’s completed, it’s usable and it’s amazing. The kids have slipped back into their fish-forward lifestyle and we are back to all hanging out together on the patio and in the pool. This was a real privilege to get to build, and for as stressful as it was, I would do it all again.
The stressful part of the whole pool project wasn’t the pit in the backyard or the exposed fire ant mounds, but just the unknown. I am a communicator, through and through, and I am very clear in my questions, expectations and feedback. Well, that is NOT the case in contractor world, and it was like pulling teeth to get communication about next steps, if there would be anyone working on the pool, or what a realistic timeline actually was. All that said, the crew did great and they have built us a beautiful backyard haven.
We have only the pergola left to be completed and then we’ll do the rest of the yard and garden projects ourselves. I know that this project apparently moved faster than most pool projects, but the lack of communication and uncertainty really added to the stress and negative experience of it. BUT it’s done now and we’re all so happy (as we leave today for three weeks…)
Upcoming Travel Adventures
Of course Hawaii is at the forefront of my mind as we’re walking out the door in an hour, but we’ve got more to look forward to. Next month I’m speaking at the America Outdoors conference in Phoenix. With that, my trusty sidekick Kelly is joining me for an Arizona National Parks trip. We’ll be doing the Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Parks, as well as enjoying a bit of Phoenix and Tucson.
January brings a few small adventures, but the one I’m looking forward to the most is going to NYC with Oliver (our oldest). He just turned 12 and really is becoming his own person. It’ll be amazing to experience New York again with him, as he is completely different as a growing human than he was last time. Our friends are going to join us so we’ll have a great trip.
I think that’s all for now. I may or may not have another Substack to share during November. Our Hawaii trip is going to be busy and then we get home on November 30, so the next update will probably be in December. In the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving season, stay healthy and safe, and happy travels!