So, How Was Your Day?
Almond butter on some crackers (before run). English muffin with almond butter (after run). About six glasses of Lipton Iced Tea.
Mac and Cheese. A hefty portion of Comte cheese on crackers. Cherries.
Chips and salsa. Black bean nachos. House margarita with ice and salt.
I woke up at 6am and read for about a half hour from Daring Greatly and a business book. Then, I spent some time reflecting on my day. The intention is to do this for about 15 minutes, but lately - like today - it’s more like five minutes. After the reading my husband and I walked our puppy, (Ben) Franklin, to doggie daycare and attempt a run. We get to the lake and again, I attempt some time to reflect and set my mind for the day. This time, I do better with the focusing. Once my shower and breakfast are complete, I start working at my computer. I pull up my blog, write a post and then dive into my inboxes. I’m also fussing a bit with my new blog design, and jumping in and out of Facebook and Twitter (it’s a bad habit).
Hungry, I eat my lunch while diving through my favorite blogs. I then jump on three business consulting client calls. I help a photographer transition to her new business full-time, I help a jewelry designer edit her collection, and I help a graphic designer decide whether it is time to take on a full-time employee. The sessions take up most of the afternoon, but I still get some time to pop back into my inbox and check email and wrap things up for the day.
When my husband comes home from work, we discuss the meal plan. As usual, I’m more interested in eating nachos at my favorite local Mexican restaurant than I am in eating the healthy salmon we had planned to eat that night. After a little convincing on the way to pick up the puppy from daycare, I win the dinner debate. I change my outfit (twice) due to the unusually cool temperatures and we head over to the restaurant. After we get leave the restaurant we head over to the Home Depot nearby to grab a saw blade for a patio garden table project. I may or may not have asked a Home Depot employee to help my husband find the right blade without mentioning that he was sent to help. We went back to the apartment with saw blade acquired and watched two episodes of our “newest” favorite, The Dick Van Dyke Show on Hulu. We then head to bed and Mr. Lively reads The Alchemist aloud for a little bit before I fall asleep around 10:30.
Three Last Things…
1. What’s up with your ability to smile that big in every photo, but never look cheesy? Seriously, a true skill.
Hah! The truth is, I’ve found that I have about one to two looks max that I can do - that smile at the camera being one of them. In my high school graduation pictures I tried to look ‘serious’ and ended up looking constipated in most of the photos. At that point I learned it’s best that I look at the camera and smile.
2. You coach and consult entrepreneurs for a living. But what happens when the coach needs coaching? Who helps you? Or do you feel like you have to figure it all out by yourself? Is that a challenge?
For sure! I have a mentor who I meet with monthly who is somewhat of a Grandfather/Vice Chairman of the Board. He and I meet for an hour and I tell him what I’m doing, he gives me suggestions, and we debate my next moves with a ‘lively’ conversation. It has been invaluable to have him in my corner. Recently, I also added another member to my support “team.” She is part massage therapist, spiritual guide, and confidant. Not exactly a life coach, but she helps me keep my actions based on my intuition. So no, though it can feel isolating to be working solo for my whole career, the help of these two people above and a (constant) dialogue with my husband about the ins and outs of the business, I feel like I’ve been able to manage the process pretty well.
3. Meditation, reflecting, resetting your mind for the day…some days it feels impossible. What are three tips you use to use to do this successfully and not feel frustrated?
It totally can feel hard to do! I have found the following things helpful: (1) Get a partner. I’m lucky that my husband is also spending time in the morning setting his mind in his own ways as well. Before, I used to try to do some of these things alone and it felt so much harder to do so while he was sleeping next to me. If a significant other isn’t an option, a friend might be helpful to check in with on a regular basis. (2) Switch it up. I don’t have a strict mandate that I have to do ‘x, y, or z’ each day. Often, I get into a ritual about it, but the ritual is mostly centered on spending the time doing reflective things in my physical, mental, and spiritual life. (3) Don’t think “forever.” I started this process with the commitment to do it for just one week. That helped me shift my schedule without begrudging the heaviness of changing my old habits. Once I had a chance to get accustomed to the routine I found that I really enjoyed it and found it brought a lot more peace and balance into my life.
Jess lives in Chicago with her husband and dog (Ben) Franklin. She spends her days helping people design lives and businesses with intention through blogging, one-on-one consulting, and workshops. jesslivley.com with-intention.com