If it hasn’t been obvious by my last two blog posts and lack of a post last week, 2016 has been off to a rough start. Dealing with setbacks with one of my business partners, prolonged and escalating family drama, and the usual winter slump freelance depression has taken its emotional toll to the point where I feel like 2016 should be at least halfway over by now. But alas, we’re only a month and a half into this year.
December 2015 Stats
Photo shoots completed
*9 less than Dec
Business miles driven
*111.2 less than Dec
Hours worked for the month
*12.13 more than Dec
*3.08 more than Dec
*2.6 less than Nov
What Went Well in January
Web Design Business Pushing Forward
Despite having little to no photo shoots in January, overall work hours were on the higher side for the month. The main reason has been my apparently successful endeavors to shift my freelance business to doing more website design work. I gained three new clients in January and have been focusing my energy on getting their projects started, while wrapping up old projects from last year.
Renewed Focus on Health
While meeting with a new client recently, I was truly shocked when she observed, “you very clearly have a Type A personality.” A few days later, another client mentioned the exact same observation. Strangely enough, I’ve gone through most of my life being told I have the exact opposite personality type. In fact, during my two short work careers at Boeing, I was subjected to the company’s personality test and came out with complete opposite results during different times of my life. In 2007, I was diagnosed with a blue/green “go with the flow” personality type; 4 years later, I took the exact same test and came out with red/orange “assertive and dominant” personality type results. Re-examining my old personality test results from Boeing (which came in detailed 20-page booklets), I had to admit that my clients were right: I have been 100% Type A lately, which is alarming to realize given the negative qualities associated with it.
“…Type A individuals as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics”, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.”
So how is this realization a good thing? It’s made me realize I need to focus on my mental, physical, and emotional health, all of which feel like they’ve been degrading. Specifically, the improvements have looked like this:
- Prescribing to the Slow Carb Diet at least 5 days a week, with daily vitamins
- Cardio exercise at least 5 days a week: minimum 3 mile walk or run, or 4 miles on the elliptical
- Minimum of 15 minutes of weight training 3 days a week
Two weeks into this self-prescribed program and I’m already down 5 pounds and have minimized my chronic pain. We’ll see what happens in a few more weeks!
Emphasis on Self Improvement
In addition to committing to treating my body better, I’ve also taken a cue from my NLP manifestation workshop last month to work on my mental and spiritual health. Specifically, this means taking time each day to truly clear my mind, and improving myself professionally by way of audio books. I’ve never been keen on audio books before, mostly because I only tried listening to fiction and for some reason I’d rather physically read fiction than have it read to me. But audio books for non-fiction have become a whole new world to me and I can’t get enough of them. Personally, I opt for Audible since it connects easily with my Amazon account, and many self improvement and nonfiction books are actually quite affordable, especially when you factor in the following:
As marketing master Seth Godin mentions in a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, investing in a quality book is worth every penny if you can take its principles and dramatically change your life with them. He also says this of audio books specifically:
“Certain kinds of books work because they cause something to flip in your head. they cannot be digested, they set you up, and they take you to the next step. audio is different because you can listen to it again and again and again, and you listen to it when you think you aren’t paying attention, and it’s working.”
Recommended reading (or listening):
I’ve got all of these queued up in my Audible account; currently in the middle of Zig Ziglar.
Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander
The Warrior Within by Bruce Lee
What Didn’t Go Well in January
For all of the pluses of the month, they all had their vices:
Working Too Hard on Web Design
Since web design is still a relatively new business service for me, I struggle to find a balance between what I charge and the amount of time I spend working. As with many other areas in life, I tend to over deliver on my promises to the point where I end up doing work for free, simply because I get so wrapped up in the cause. For now, I am focusing as much energy as is necessary to get my work done while also meticulously tracking my time with the intent of later going over these metrics to reconfigure my hourly and per project rates to come up with fair and realistic prices.
Diving Too Hard Into Fitness
As I’ve mentioned many times before, my shoulders have been chronic pain points over the years. What I haven’t admitted before is how I often I ignore this fact that dive headfirst into a new workout routine destroying my shoulders almost immediately. This time was no exception, as I woke up the day after my first workout barely able to push myself out of bed. But what WAS different was that I had a plan to combat the pain:
- Daily dynamic stretching for every 2 hours spent sitting at the computer
- Daily ice therapy to chronic pain areas immediately following workouts
- Daily heat therapy to chronic pain areas every night before bed
- Daily cardio even when in pain to rid the body of lactic acid
Seem a bit harsh? Sometimes I thought so, but this approach so far has kept my chronic pain at bay. We’ll see if that’s still the case in a couple weeks!
Over To You
How has your 2016 been going? Hopefully better than mine…let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email!