I make the best broccoli. I know this because I have converted people that have hated broccoli for decades of their lives to be true LOVERS of broccoli, people that dislike ALL vegetables go wild for my broccoli, small children who I have taught to call it trees also adore this broccoli.

I was explaining how to make the best broccoli on earth the other day and it turns out I think the directions are pretty much aligned to work and maybe even life. Yeah. I was surprised too.

Step one: Start with clean broccoli. The act of cleaning your desk can help almost any stuck moment professionally. Start there. You’ll find things you need to do next and that’s okay, keep cleaning. You don’t want to eat a bug and you don’t want to leave an important post-it in the pile of papers buried deep on your desk.

Step two: Cut it into bite-sized pieces. How’s your attention span these days? Be honest with yourself here, we’re all finding the juggle to be a bit of a struggle, identify how long you can hold your attention (20 minutes is a good place to start) and then cut the work down into 20-minute bites.

Step three: Season appropriately with salt. As you’re starting to do the work think about what YOU add to the work. What makes you uniquely suited to do that task, how could you do the next thing on your list in a way that puts your thumbprints on it?

Step four: Don’t crowd the pan. This is the critical step in broccoli and in doing the work. We think we can do more than we can. Look at the day ahead, look at your bite-sized pieces and determine what’s truly reasonable for you to do. Crowding the pan makes everything a little mushed and gross.

Step five: Give it enough heat. For my broccoli to roast up and get that nutty crunchy salty florets that make it stand out it needs 450 degrees. The energy and focus that some tasks need requires you to turn up the heat. This post wouldn’t get written if I was doing it from the playground with my kids or if I was listening to music becuase you’d totaly get a one-off lyric in the middle of it.

Step six: Give it enough time. How long does it take? As long as it takes. Sometimes it’s 18 minutes sometimes it’s 30 minutes. You just can’t know and you know what? That’s okay! As long as you like where you’re going than it takes however long it takes. There’s no rushing it.

Step six: Enjoy it. Celebrate the wins. Frequently at work we bypass the celebration, the eating of the broccoli because we’re already trying to make the next batch! Enjoy it. Get specific about what makes it fantastic. Share the victory, completion, moment with someone else – somehow that always makes things more delcious!

The other day my kids were lamenting about the summer being almost over and how we haven’t done some things that they really like to do. I too have missed our annual pilgrimage to the ocean or a day spent in the inside of a trampoline park while a thunderstorm performs overhead. But mostly I thought this has been the best summer ever.

I worked less this summer than I have since 1996. I did the math on that and didn’t really care for it so let’s just call it a real long time. The reality of not having childcare has meant that half my day is spent with the kids and half my day is spent working. That half with the kids is frequently a lot of fun. We’ve gone to more playgrounds than I can count, we’ve explored trails and creek beds, we’ve gone to multiple lakes and beaches, we’ve taken hot sweaty walks, pet so many dogs, stopped to smell the flowers, inspect the insects, enjoyed the shade of many trees from a comfortable picnic blanket and eaten the not quite ripe raspberries off the bushes we planted.

I have done some of my best work. While the hours have been fewer the potency of the time has grown. Reaching out and being of service has become easier. The Values work that I’ve done personally has made the time and energy I invest feel purpose-full. This has contributed to my desire to do my best and a complete absence of procrastination (unheard of in previous seasons of life). As people have seen these differences in me I’ve felt called and thoughtfully encouraged to share the impact of knowing your Values and teaching others to identify theirs and THAT work? That work lights me up.

I have limited my opportunity to compare. Comparison is the thief of present joy. I know this and you likely do too but it wasn’t until this summer that I took that knowing into action. For a good chunk of this summer, I was completely off social media. I unsubscribed from every promotion in my email. I committed myself to looking at other peoples experiences of joy instead of their bodies. I have worn my swimsuits, I have jumped into every body of water available, I have worn shorts on the hike, I have not tried on a single thing that I fear would not fit or shamed myself for not “trying” to be better, I flat out refuse to be mean to myself. This piece of vulnerability? Huge for me.

I choose not to juggle. Not every day this summer has been blissful. Please. I have 4 kids, 2 dogs and my husband and I are both attempting to lead professionally fulfilling lives. It’s not easy. In the beginning of the stay at home season in March I chose to be very intentional and the practice of “what worked and what didn’t” were instrumental in feeling like we were making progress. This summer I came face to face with the truth that I am not a clown. I can not juggle. Any attempt to juggle will leave me feeling bad in a million different ways. If I can’t be fully present, I can’t be happy and happiness is important to me.

I’ve adopted the attitude of seasons. I’m living this season. Kind of like sports teams when they say “this is our building year” or “this is our championship year”.  This has been the best summer of my adult life. And in a couple of weeks, we’re going to wrap it up and call it Fall.  Will Fall look like this? for sure it won’t, it just might be better.

Learn more about Janet McKee at http://janetmckee.com/ for access to her Amazon Bestseller Stressless Success or get started with her 3-day Banish Burnout plan at https://janetmckee.mykajabi.com/stressless-success-book.

Deborah Olson is a women’s emotional health specialist, speaker, and award-winning author of The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection. As the owner of Galleria Area Counseling in Houston, Texas, she has counseled women for decades on women’s issues, parenting concerns, and marital struggles. She offers life enrichment seminars and retreats and as a dynamic and thoughtful speaker, Deborah has spoken on topics such as; Living Joyfully, Seasons of a Woman’s Life and Finding Our Natural Strengths, to name a few. She is a registered nurse and licensed professional counselor. She also holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Sam Houston State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Thomas.

In this conversation, we cover how to create connections, rediscover things we enjoy in a season of less external things to do, and being kind and good to ourselves.

Book:

The healing power of Girlfriends

Contact:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authordeboraholson/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/deboraholsonma
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahOlson
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deboraholsonlpc/

Follow Sara online:

https://www.facebook.com/GetMomBalanced/

https://www.pinterest.com/getmombalanced/

barometer: an instrument measuring atmospheric pressure, used especially in forecasting the weather and determining altitude.

My friends, today you are a barometer. In your home or at work you will be a barometer.

People will see the measure of your breath, they will sense your energetic pressure and it will impact the forecast ahead. The barometer is set by your intention.

Check-in with how you feel and how you’re showing up like you’d check the weather if you were about to head out for a bike ride and a picnic.

We’re in uncharted territory.

No one knows how this goes.
Intention says: “that’s okay, I am open to the best possible outcomes.”

No one has any idea what they’re doing.
Intention says “finally the charade is up!”

We’re figuring it out as we go.
Intention says “I’ve been waiting for THIS my whole life.”

We’re committed to the goodness.
Intention says “I am here for it.”

Are you here for it?

Each day I’ll be sharing a daily dose of intention. It’s free and you’re welcome to share it. There’s no promise for exactly how long but as long as it’s of service I’ll show up. Don’t miss it by getting it fresh in your inbox each morning by signing up here: https://cassmccrory.com/

Being a Millennial Climbing the Ladder and Pursuing Joy in Passion Projects with Abby Burlile

Learn more about Coffee + Connection inspired from this episode: https://cassmccrory.com/coffee-connection/

Follow along with Abby:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/abbyburlile/
https://abbyburlile.wixsite.com/capturedbyabby/blog-1/to-my-fellow-millennials-lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way
https://www.linkedin.com/in/abbyburlile/
https://www.instagram.com/keepinitburlit/
https://www.heckingooddoggos.com/

I was never picked first at gym class and before you feel bad about this you should know that I was totally hiding in the mass of awkward 7th-grade girls praying to not get picked. From this very early experience a belief was born:

I’m not athletic.

This statement may have been true at that moment but it’s more than that. It became a belief that I am not, I never will be, I couldn’t be and that’s where things start to spoil. It’s a belief that needs an expiration date.

I like the idea of 2020 being the year that more people identify the expiration dates on the beliefs that aren’t serving them. To that end, I’d like to invite you to finish this statement mad-libs style in your journal.

I could never ____________________ because _______________________________.

Now directly above the because part of the fill in the blank – like you’d see on a can of soup – put the expiration date. You can put the date to yesterday, last year, the year you started to believe it or in March. Simply recognizing it as something that expires will help you take the next step: Rewrite.

How it might look:

I could never run a marathon because I’m not a runner.

I could never get that promotion because I don’t make that big of a difference.

I could never travel across Europe because I can’t speak other languages.

I could never wear shorts because my legs look terrible.

I could never start my own business because I wouldn’t know where to start.

I could never have an 8 figure year because I’m not good at delegating.

You just might have a few of your own.

So when’s the expiration date set for? How long do you carry that belief around well past it’s time of protecting you?

Over this past weekend, I listened to this podcast with Tim Ferriss and Jim Collins and something they said really stuck with me.  Mr. Collins mentions this forward he wrote as the Foreword to the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Effective Executive it’s point #6 that deeply resonated with me.

“DON’T MAKE A HUNDRED DECISIONS WHEN ONE WILL DO”

This statement has been popping up like a buoy in the waters at so many inflection points and I think it has real purpose in Subtraction Projects.

Let’s head to your closet.

The question is this: Do I keep clothing that doesn’t fit me?

Let’s say the answer is No.

Now that you’ve made that ONE decision you have literally made HUNDREDS of decisions if your closet is like most.

Let’s head your bookshelf.

The question is: Do I want to keep books I liked a little but will most likely never read again?

Let’s say the answer is No.

Now that you’ve made that ONE decision you’ve made DOZENS of decisions.

After I took this idea for a spin I had another thought. Where do I face decision fatigue? Could I answer a dozen or even a hundred decisions with one? Could you?

It’s something I’m thinking about more and more as the hundred of decision points can be so pervasive and honestly just wear me down.  They live within things like: alcohol, social media, kids having screentime, working-out, bringing my lunch. Is this an area you’d like to explore more? Let me know and I’ll share my work in pencil with you.

This week my intention is to be all in, do one thing, then the next with gratitude.
You can learn more about what this intention setting practice is here.

I’ve been thinking for several days how to write about this intention, trying to parse together a single cohesive thought about how it so resonates within me right now. Some magical insight never came. I watched this brief clip from Beth Comstock’s interview with Elle Luna about being creative and realized I needed, in this instance, to set the bar lower and simply start.

The present is very temporary.

The present of that sentence is already over and has become the past. It is that fleeting.

For some reason, I had always associated being ALL IN as something that started but never finished. It’s like a Project Management Gantt Chart that extends endlessly in the future once it’s declared. Each decision point was like adding another line item in the project plan that would carry over through Week 14 and into week 144 so being fully committed and being all in on anything was a much harder decision.

And that was flawed thinking because the act of being ALL IN is completely and entirely NOW aka present moment driven.

Being all in on this present moment is not a contract binding you in perpetuity. 

Being all in is a commitment to presence. 

How does being ALL IN look?

  • It means to eliminate distractions because what’s in front of me is of paramount importance.
    • Professionally, it means: Turning my wifi off while I write this because the ding of an email will set me off course.)
    • Personally, it means: Putting my phone away.
  • It means that at this moment I’m not looking at the “other” as a means of distraction by comparison.
    • Professionally, it means: I’m not seeing a newly released course wistfully thinking “that could have been me!”.
    • Personally, it means: Someone was video-ready on Instagram when I am very much not.
  • It means that I’m not future-tripping or past-leaning.
    • Professionally, it means: I’m not thinking about the retreat in Phoenix I want to host and I’m not beating myself up for commas.
    • Personally, it means: I’m not day-dreaming about bedtime while making sandwiches for lunch and I’m not beating myself up for calling cupcakes breakfast.
  • It means I’m looking at the best next step and not step 111.
    • Professionally, it means: I’m sending the proposal and not thinking about how this will be impacting my hypothetical month in Santa Barbara next February.
    • Personally, it means: I’m going out for the walk not looking for a carriage house that can accommodate the full gym I’d like to have 20 steps from my home.

When you’re not “all in” life can seem a little easier because you can live in the illusion if you had been “all in” it would have turned out so much better.

But that’s not an illusion I want to live within.

I want to be all in. I want to live all in. I want to do work that I’m all in on and if I’m not I’m going to stop doing that work.

Being all in is the kryptonite to “I’ll be happy when….”.

How would your week look if you were ALL IN?

What would you learn in that week? I say we find out. I’m going to formalize this experiment with a daily spreadsheet inspired by Jim Collins and I’d urge you to join me in the tracking. Here’s how I’m approaching it:

Column A: Task
Column B: +2 , +1, 0, -1. -2
Column C: Noted Failure of ALL IN

As I am doing a task in single-task ALL IN fashion I’m going to track it and then associate how it FELT to do that thing. -2 is so painful I’d rather not ever do that task again to +2 being a complete delight, I’m also going to track if I’ve failed at being ALL IN for example if I simply could not send that client email without first checking LinkedIn, Facebook and the specials at the local pub.

On Friday I’m going to walk through my own analysis of this and lessons learned. Want to be a part of that? You can join my Zoom for the live walk-through here.