Fitness

Is Your Freelance Income Growing?

Your client list is a little a thin and your income isn't what you'd hoped it'd be. But you work hard. Really hard. And you can't figure out why. The answer may not be in the tone. It may not be in your marketing efforts. It may not even be in your poor organization.

But it may be an easier fix than you think.

Why Aren't You Making More?

Your goal this year was to increase your client base so you could earn more with your freelancing. But you’re doing everything you thought you were supposed to do and it's just not working.

You've approached every magazine you read, but the editors aren't digging your ideas because they've all been done before.

The one or two potential clients that you do manage to make contact with don’t respond to your emails or cold calls.

And your letter of introduction isn't getting the attention you thought it would. And you’re tired.

So you try to produce more, to produce better, newer content, but it doesn't happen. No matter how much you schedule, you can't focus long enough to do all you hoped to. And it's frustrating.

Too Frustrated To Focus On Fitness

That frustration doesn’t lead to better or more creative work, does it?

Instead of working harder to meet your cold-call quota or to increase the numbers of queries you send out, you crawl into bed - and hide - hoping that tomorrow will be different.

But Freelance Frustration is something to be taken head on - running away from it doesn’t solve it and it doesn’t give you the tools to deal with it. Without facing it, you risk losing your business.

There is a way that’ll help you battle it and WIN.

Take Up A Income-Enhancing Hobby

Exercising daily  probably isn't an answer you want to hear, but it is one that gets results. And before you roll your eyes, there’s scientific evidence to back up that exercising will help you earn more.

A study done by Cleveland State University found that people who exercised 3 times per week earned a whopping 6-10% more than sedentary people. And as a freelancer that increase translates into an increase in your client base, your rates, or BOTH.

https://twitter.com/TaniaDakka/status/222003258691026945

As a freelancer, your business success is based on your fitness because how fit you are ultimately determines how focused you are, how rested you are, how well you manage stress (ahem, let me say that again - your fitness determines how well you manage stress! - but you don’t have to deal with that, do you?). It also keeps you healthy so you don’t spend time in bed wishing you felt well enough to design or write.

Being fit also makes you more productive and creative. Increasing your fitness level boosts information processing up to 68%. And your time and productivity output are improved by 15%. In short, exercising makes you smarter and more efficient - could your business could use numbers like those?

Fitness is the answer to making you more by earning you more clients and more money.

Finding a way to get fit so you can rock your freelance career is paramount to your success as a freelancer. And here’s how you can do it today.

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Action Steps To Take Today

Take these Action Steps and increase your fitness and start earning more. Implement them now, but gauge your progress in 6 months to see just how far fit has taken you.

1. Do what you love. Since working out is going to be something you do every day, you’ll want it to be something you love and can deal with daily. Make a list of those activities and rotate them so you don’t get bored.

My list includes shadow boxing, ZWOW’s by Zuzana Light, high intensity interval training, dancing, walking/running on the treadmill, sprints, walking/running outside, supersets of anything, swimming, soccer, and lifting weights.

2. Commit to taking 15 minutes every day to push your limits. As a freelancer, you’re used to being sedentary, so this may not be easy to start with. But put it in your mind that you’re going to spend the MINIMUM 15 minutes every day and log it in your Day Planner just as you log project work for clients or marketing.

3. Forget it. Set your appointment time to workout and don’t think about it again. Don’t dwell on the fact that you don’t really WANT to get up and expend energy that you don’t have. Don’t think about how tiring it'll be in the beginning. Don’t even think about how good it’s going to feel when you’re done. Set an alarm on your phone on your calendar, anywhere, but when it goes off, do it - without thinking about it.

4. Write about it. At the end of your 15 minutes of whatever you did, write it in your journal, but don’t just write what you did, write HOW YOU FELT. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who was miserable while they worked out. Those little endorphins tend to take over and help you forget your stress and frustration to make you feel good. Look at what you wrote often and engrain that feeling of bliss that comes when you work out. Eventually, working out will become something that you NEED mentally and physically.

5. Get a partner. Virtual or otherwise. Working out with someone that has the same goal - to be fit - is easier and more fun. Make it a competition or a co-opetition (working together to support each other). With someone to cheer you on and discuss your ups and downs with, you’ll be inspired even when you don’t want to work out and they’ll remind of how far you’ve come when you want to give up.

Use these tactics, hit your peak and increase your freelance income starting TODAY! What stops you from improving your business by improving your fitness?

Thanks for taking the time to read and I'd love to get to know you, so leave a comment before you go! Have an awesome day!

PS If you enjoyed this piece, please share it using the share buttons above or below the post. Freelancing is hard and every time you share things that help you, you could help someone else that needs it, too!

 

3 Warning Signs You're Not Fit Enough For Your Freelance Business

Fit FreelancerRunning a freelance business is NOT for the faint of heart. You wear so many hats, you have to look in the mirror to know what you're doing next. There's marketing. Billing. Networking. Planning. Scheduling. Contract negotiations. Studying, practicing and honing your skills. Oh yeah, then there's the writing.

Don't forget the sitting that slowly kills your body. Working all hours to get it all done because you either have a day job or  family needs to take care of.

To be a freelancer, you've got to be TOUGH.

Giving into the temptation to skip your workout's not only going to kill you. But it's going to kill your business.

Don't Ignore the Signs

Confession time.

How many times have you gotten up from your desk with pains in your back?

How many nights did you take Tylenol to ease your stress headache?

How many bottles of Visine have you been through for your dry, tired eyes?

If you notice any of the following warning signs, consider rethinking your business plan.

Warning Sign #1: Physical Pain and Discomfort

When you "end" your workday in physical pain and discomfort, that's your body screaming for help. Ignoring these signal leads to greater problems like heart disease, chronic back problems, obesity, diabetes, and a whole array of health problems that prevent you from carrying out your day-to-day normal activities as a freelancer.

Can't keep clients happy, if you aren't healthy.

Warning Sign #2: Fatigue

Constant exposure to stress, working every moment of every day, staying up late, getting up early to work before the house wakes up wears you out and depletes your energy. And energy levels plummet just when you need to be at your peak. Now you've got a high dollar project on your desk and you can't focus to get it done because you're too tired.

Think that copy's going to shine?

Warning Sign #3: Writer's Block

When you need your best ideas to flow and you can't get anything from the well, you've got a serious blockage. Now, we all know that writer's block's a figment of our imaginations, but not being able to think clearly is definitely real. You can dig into the depths of your soul, but if there's no clarity, you'll only pull up an empty bucket.

Clients don't hang around for muddy copy.

If any of these warning signs sound familiar, take action before it's too late.

Put yourself on the right track now, rebuild the foundation of your freelance business and start moving upward.

Rebuild It One Brick At a Time

Your foundation didn't start crumbling all at once. It took time to get to this point. And we all know that relearning and instilling new habits takes time and effort. So start rebuilding yourself and your business. By accepting where you are and taking the time to focus on what will benefit you most now.

Exercise.

Fitness isn't the be-all-end-all fix for everything, but it does improve the strength of your body and your mind. With exercise you get: increased strength, increased endurance, increased confidence, improved sleep habits and better focus. And I bet exactly zero of those sound beneficial to running a freelance business, right?

You don't need to focus to bring your clients your best work so they keep coming back. You don't need to be strong to be able to sit for hours and hours at a time trying to crank out jammin' copy that earns them (and you) money. And you certainly don't need your self-confidence to bleed through your words, right?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Here's What You Do

Commit to 15 minutes everyday of the fitness fun of your choice. I don't care what it is. It could be hopping on one foot trying to chew gum while patting your head and crossing your eyes.

But what I do care is that you do whatever you want to do to the best of your ability (i.e. kick your own ass) for 15 minutes everyday. You don't need a gym. You're all the equipment you need. And I'm a FIRM believer in the fact that everything that can be modified. No matter what your fitness level there's something you can do.

5 things you can do RIGHT NOW:

Turn up Eminem's Cinderella Man and box for three "rounds."

http://youtu.be/lgrtmYbulQo

Hit a Zuzana Light vid and crank it out.

http://youtu.be/SmoGQX1XvJc

Walk/run/jog for 15 mins.

DANCE!! Don Omar's station on Pandora R O C K S for making you want to shake your groove thang.

Do high knees (or jump rope) for 15 mins.

 

Yep. Don't make it complicated. Don't make it hard. Don't think about it.

Just do it now. 

 

What stops you from making fitness part of your business plan?

Thanks for stopping by! If this post resonated with you,  sign up to get tips to help you THRIVE where life, fitness, and productivity collide in the box at the top of the page. :)

 

 

7 Fitness Hacks to Cure Your Time Problem

With commutes, kids, and commitments, it seems there’s never enough time in the day to do the one thing that can push you forward on your Productive Creative Road:  Exercise.  With exercise comes endorphins, serotonin, as well as, reduced cortisol levels.  These are just a few of the ways that your body regulates you to bring clarity and focus. With these 7 hacks, you can hack away at your time excuse and start restoring the balance of hormones used to make you feel good, bring sharper focus and get you on the highway to Productive Creativity for your life and your business.

1. Skip the gym – Regardless of the bombardment of gym advertisements you received at the beginning of the year, there is ZERO need for them.  You’re too busy for that nonsense.  If you’re serious about becoming fit, or staying that way, take the “I don’t have time to make it to the gym” band aid out of your excuse first aid kit.  What you do have time for is an effective workout at home.

2. Drop the equipment – You’ve seen the Mr./Mrs. Olympias out there, they NEED equipment.  You don’t.  You’re striving for business fit, not steroid fit.  All you need is YOU to get into the best fitness for your business.

3. Forget working out 30-60 minutes at a time – The thinking that you need 30-60 minutes of exercise daily is old school…and unattainable.  Studies show that max exertion for shorter periods of time are as beneficial as long stints on the treadmill or bike.  With HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), you can get your gymless/equipmentless/SHORT workout done with only the expenditure of a lot of energy.  HIITs rock you and they rock you hard.  But, in 15 minutes, you’ve managed a workout that maximizes your body’s burn, your oxygen flow and you heart/brain muscle building capacity.

4. Be a thief – Time isn’t going to present itself.  When it comes to doing something you don’t want to do, it will find a way to run from you instead.  You have to steal Minutes when you see them arise.  Some people can find a few minutes before bed.  Some can find it before they start their day.  Some can steal some time before dinner.  When is the best time for you to move it?

5. Be an early riser – Regardless of whether or not you can workout in the morning (I can’t), you can still get other things done that will free your few moments for exercise later in the day (this is what works best for me).

6. Be proACTIVE – Even just thinking about exercising makes you feel good (noticed how psyched you get looking at fitness mags?).  But DOING it is what brings the focus and clarity to your creativity.  When you find yourself in front of the tube or the net simply tooling around, stop and take those moments to be active.

7. Forget being perfect – You aren’t going to be able to get your workout done every day, but you have to shoot for it.  Life’s going to get in the way, but it’s how quickly you rebound that makes a difference.  Aim to do it every day, but if you miss, refocus as soon as possible.

I hope that you’ll be able to take these tips and utilize one or two to help you get on track and if you need a little motivation or inspiration, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and G+ to get daily challenges to help you get started on your Productive Creative Highway!

What's your favorite Fitness Hack?

We have 8 days left of our Minutes in Motion Monthly Focus.  There’s still time for you to log your productivity and your exercise in your Productive Creative Journal.   If you don’t have yours yet, just subscribe to the blog and I’ll send it to you.

Like this post?  Thanks in advance for Tweeting it, Sharing it, or +1’ing it! 

Photo Credit: Great Beyond via Flickr

January Focus: Minutes in Motion

Hi, guys!  Welcome to 20-12 and to your new year of being a Productive Creative!

This year, we are going to have one focus a month to develop our new habits that will help us stay focused, healthier, and more prosperous.  Are you ready??

January is our Minutes in Motion Month.

We're going to make it our focus to log our Minutes in Motion to help keep our hearts pumping, to keep our muscles challenged, and to build new brain cells for our projects!  All you have to do is commit to doing a minimum of movement every day and you'll see the benefits of exercise start to work on you. (The goal is 15minutes, but if you're a noob, it's ok...DO WHAT YOU CAN.)

If exercise isn't in your genes, it'll take a little more pushing to get you on the train, but I promise that, if you commit to it and do it, you'll eventually come to love it.

We're all busy peeps.  So we have to maneuver our schedules to fit in fitness.  The time to do it isn't going to magically appear.  In fact, if it's something we don't want to do, the time will never seem right to do it.  We have to push.

For some people writing in their dayplanner works wonders, if you are one of those.  Do It Now.  Schedule 15 Minutes in Motion every day for the month of January.  Try scheduling it at different times so you can see when the best time is for you.

I can't put a time on things with three little ones around, but if I just jot it in my calendar, it becomes a daily goal.  So, when I glance at it in the morning and before bed, I'll be able to set my vision for the next day.

But, that's what works for me.

I also have a little Productive Creative Journal that you can use to log your time, your daily goals, and your food in to help you keep track of what you've done.  (You just need to sign up for the blog to get it.) :)

Do whatever you have to do to ensure that you are logging your Minutes in Motion every day for the month of January.

After you have done this for 31 days, you'll be a proud owner of a new habit that'll help you become healthier and more focused.  That focus (along with those new brain cells you've created) will be what helps you to hit the ground running every day and get your shipments out to your customers.

When you can focus, you can provide them with the Purple Cow (not an affiliate link) they are looking for.  THAT'S what makes you the bomb at what you do.

Get up.  Get moving.  Get shipping.

(And don't forget to log it.)

Join me on Twitter, Facebook, and G+ for daily inspirations to stay on track...that and just to hang out because I love that, too.  Also, sign up for the blog (to the right) and I'll send you a PC Journal to help you with your journey.

Thanks for reading!  (Oh, if you enjoyed this post, I'd also love it if you'd share it).  :)

Have a beautiful and PC day!

 

 

New Year, New You...and me!

Well, it's the time of year that you find blog posts populating the sphere about the new year and the reflections that come with the passing of old friends.   Usually, I flow against the current, but I find myself waxing nostalgic and wanting to recognize my efforts this year, put forth my goals for next year, and find out what yours are. 

This year, for me, has been grand.  While not in the manner of Sean Platt and Patti Larsen, but in a manner that says maybe next year will be my year to do what they did.

This year, I started two businesses and watched one of them flop while the other is blossoming in its own slow growing way.  I made decisions about what I want from my newly found career and I'm taking steps to make them happen.  I started three books.  And I survived my oldest baby going off to kindergarten...(I didn't think that was possible, but I managed it).

For all of you, I appreciate your support in your reading and commenting on this quiet little blog--more than you know.  While I am probably number 155.9999999 millionth in the sphere of 156 million blogs, I am sooo happy to be here.  And when I see a new subscriber or someone RT my musings on Twitter, that little bit of fuel goes a long way.  And I thank you:) 

Next year, I plan on burning the whole building down. 

My goals for the end of this year is to finish one eBook for this site on...drum roll, please...the effects of health on productivity:) And I am setting a blogging schedule and my cornerstone content for next year.  Twice a week, I will post information to help keep you moving toward your productivity goals by staying healthy and fit in a world moving at the speed of information.  I also hope to get into posting a Friday Flash each week. (Totally off-topic, but I love to do it).

This blog has evolved since I started in April from chaos to order and now into Health and Productivity.  I feel at home in this space now.  And I'm excited to be able to help others and do something I know and love.

My goal is to focus on fitness and whole nutrition for maximum quality from the Productive Creative that you are. 

In addition, Mr. Seth Godin has inspired me to prune the following.  So this year, I'll follow those whose tribes speak to me and I hope to attract an audience who would like to be part of my tribe.  Noise is no good if you are not being heard.  And while Twitter is about the numbers, if your numbers are not responding to your messages, then they're getting nothing from you.  And vice versa.  Advertising is no longer an option...this world's market is about PR.  And I want to help you be the best at what you do...no matter what THAT is. 

So come on 2012!!  We're ready to get on the road! 

What are your goals, career and otherwise??  What would you like to see from me that will help you? move forward?

I love to learn what makes you tick...come hang out with me on Twitter, Facebook, and G+!  If you want to get your game together for next year, join me by subscribing and I will deliver posts straight to your inbox as they are published.  (Don't worry.  If you find I am not serving you, you can unsubscribe at any time...and I won't sell or share your info)...so go ahead, click the button with the envelope and sign up today!

PS

If you haven't already, please stop by to take (and share if you are so inclined) a VERY short survey (5 questions) to help me focus my efforts for you next year.  I want you to be the best and I want to know where I can help you most with your health and fitness and productivity goals:)  Thanks, in advance!

 

Photo Credit: Nevit Dilmen (Wikimedia Commons) 

 

 

The Alchemy of Success

Once upon a time, the airwaves were flooded with the next magic pill to make people lose weight.  People bought them.  People fell for the nonsense…I was one of them. 

After many years of riding that roller coaster, it has finally become apparent to the masses that those gimmicks are just that. 

So what do you need to achieve?

You need the magic potion that I have for you.  Pay careful attention.  I am going to give you the recipe that you need to succeed.  Not just at weight loss, but at life.

Ready?

Got your pen?

Paper?

Here we go:

You need the following:

  • Belief
  • Love
  • Intention
  • Vision

Brew those things together and you have the winning combination of ingredients required to make the most of your life. 

Belief in yourself.  Love of yourself.  Soulful intention.  And your mind’s eye view of you doing what you do

That’s it. No pills.  No scams.  No silly gimmicks.  Listening to yourself and loving yourself leads you to success in every aspect of your life.  Your body, mind and soul know what you need.  All  you have to do is listen and obey. 

Easy, huh? 

If it isn’t, we’ll talk about why it isn’t as easy as it sounds next time. 

And in case you are a bald eagle hovering over this site, reading…fitness isn’t about the numbers :)

Drop me a line and let me know what key ingredient you are missing from your Success Recipe.  Thanks for hanging out and reading my wall...let's get together on Twitter and Facebook, too! 

 © Tania Dakka and Chaotic Musing, 2011

Visualize your world to materialize your goals

When we start on a journey, without a destination in mind, we find ourselves lost.  Any activity we undertake is that journey.  By seeing what we want in our mind’s eye, we see the changes that we need to make so we can make our goals our realities. Map it out

Just as we would map out our stops and routes on a road trip, we have to map out our writing journeys, our parenting trips, or even our fitness adventures.  Imprinting the visual image of our accomplishments imprints our maps in our heads.  Carrying this imprint internalizes our intention, as well!

Imprint your vision

When we visualize to materialize, our intentions are internalized and the Law of Attraction is put to work automatically.  We know that intentions have to come from the heart, otherwise they are mere words soon forgotten.  Setting the image in our minds of our end result and what we need to do to get there makes it second nature.  We will then act the way that is necessary to bring us success. 

If we want to be successful writers, we have to envision ourselves in all of our glory.  We can visualize ourselves in that life and what we are doing, how we are acting, and how we handle our business.  The same goes for any occupation or goal.  Suppose we want to be super fit and healthy.  We have to visualize ourselves as such.  We have to see ourselves making decisions that lead to accomplishing that goal. 

Live that life

Use those visualizations and imprints to guide your decisions in taking steps toward your goals.  If you visualize yourself as a successful entrepreneur, refer to your visualized results and ask yourself is this decision one that your successful self would make?  With fitness, we ask ourselves before we delve into that pint of ice cream if it will help achieve our super fit visualization of us. 

 

What are your goals? See yourself living them.  How do you act?  What do you differently in that image than you do now? 

 Image Credit: nicolasnova via Flickr

Come and hang out with me on Twitter and Facebook...let's achieve our goals together!

© Tania Dakka and Chaotic Musing, 2011

Fitness is Not a Number

Do you gauge how you feel by the number on the scale?  Does it make you feel better or worse?

You know what, Soul does NOT care about that number.  Soul delights when it is fed well.  Feeding it well involves taking time and energy to nourish it--Soulularly and cellularly.  If you spend one week ONE DAY eating the way nature intended (what commercial is that from??), Body will repay you in Soul.  You will feel a lightness (even if you haven't lost anything but sludge) at the end of the day.  And if you LISTEN to your body, you will want to do it again the next day. 

Listening means giving Body a chance to express itself

You have to ask Body what it needs.  And you have to pay attention to the answers.  Then, do what it asks.  It's that simple.  So often, we run through our day on autopilot that we don't take time to hear what our bodies are telling us.  They need nourishment. Nourishment is not found in the freezer section(unless it is the veggies) or the canned aisle (frozen veggies are more nutritious than canned).  Listen to what Body wants and feed it.  Not your mouth.

Your mouth is the only thing asking for CHEMICALS

Food scientists have managed to manufacture our foods to the point that what we buy off the shelves isn't even food anymore.  It is a collection of well combined chemicals mixed to give our mouths that "party in the mouth" feeling that Renee Stephens talks about at Inside Out Weight Loss.  She contends that aligning your mind with your stomach will allow you to lose weight effortlessly.  She is right.  If you feed Body according to its NEEDS, then you will stop eating when you are satisfied, not when it is overstuffed.  You will eat what makes Body feel good.  Sometimes that "party in the mouth" is a difficult invitation to turn down.  But, by being MINDFUL  (hahaha I love it :D ), you can happily decline said invite and rejoice in Body AND Soul when your meal of whole, healthful foods is the host instead the rotten chemicals.  

Fitness is how well we let go of extra details and focus on the outcome

If fitness is defined as a state of being fit, it is applicable to more than Body. When we stop minding the numbers, Body and Soul take care of Self.  It isn't just about losing weight or eating healthy.  This applies to everything in our lives. Make Mind, Body, and Soul fit by listening and responding accordingly.  Be MINDFUL of your actions, as well as your surroundings, and how they make you feel...stick to those activities, people, foods, etc. that make Mind, Body, and Soul feel good.

What is it that you feel when you stand on the scale?  Sit down at your laptop?  Visit with that whiny friend that never has any good to say?  I love to hear from you...how can you get the most out of Mind, Body, and Soul?

© Tania Dakka and Chaotic Musing, 2011