1. Sounds like you’ve figured out what to do about the queries, good for you! Prepping food for the week sounds like an excellent idea! Eating out is hard if you want to stay within your diet guidelines, I’ve recently discovered this. I think eating all of what you wanted for your anniversary was fine. Those little cheats make it easier on us to reach our goals. Good luck with your Orangetheory ♥

    • I agree with you, Dee, that the occasional “cheat treat” is necessary. The challenge for me is not letting every occasional be a special occasion that warrants “cheating.” I’m getting better.

  2. Christie, I realized my inner voice was causing my procrastination. The one that asked, “who do you think you are?” in a very unkind tone. Even now, in the final typesetting reviews, every time I need to do something, that voice encourages me to procrastinate, to put it off. And so I go read blogs and comment. Seriously…I moved from opening the review I need to do to reading blogs – here and now. Deep breath. Return to the book.

    • Well, it’s comforting to me to know I’m not the only one, Pat, and while I would never encourage your procrastination, I’m glad you used it to visit me. 🙂 Seriously, though, good luck on your book.

      • HI, visiting now from #MLSTL. And yes, I left you and went back to the book. It’s in the typesetting phase and I never thought that would have so many challenges. Mine is not a novel, so there are headers and bullet points and some graphics; getting to a consistent look throughout the book took time and feedback. Next step is first print review… OMG!

        • Good for you Pat! I have done some of that type of formatting at my job — not a whole book, but smaller documents, and even that was a challenge. Good luck with your first print review. You’ve got this!

  3. For me, getting started is the hardest part. Today, I finally made myself get on the treadmill after planning to do it all month. I hope now that I’ve done it once, I’ll be more motivated from now on. It’s like a lot of things, thinking about it is the worst part. I have to force myself to jump in and realize that even though I don’t have a big block of time, I can accomplish something in a shorter amount of time. And every little bit accomplished is worth it. I wish I could tell you how to find more time but I suffer from the same problem, even without working full time. It truly is about priorities, even if setting them is painful. I’ve had to be honest with myself about what is realistic. I don’t always like the answers!! Good luck!!

    • I agree, Linda, that getting started is usually the most difficult part. It really is like priming the pump. And you’re right, also, that we can’t use the excuse of not having a big block of time to not use the time we do have. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement!

  4. This is such a thought provoking post. I’m a fantastic procrastinator so I understand how you’re feeling. When I have something I really want to get done, I set an end date. And then write a list of everything that has to be done and cross tasks off the list as they are completed. It does still take commitment and discipline. But I found that process helps me to get clear on my head whether I’m avoiding doing the task due to fear etc or if I’m just busy. The split up of tasks usually helps to make me realise that if I want it then yes I can find time for it. Alsoloved reading your challenge update. I’m in the middle of food prep myself today. #MLSTL Shared on SM

    • Hello Jennifer. Breaking a large project into manageable tasks is a great way to get unstuck when you feel overwhelmed. I like the idea of setting an end date and working my way back. Good job on the food prep. I’m finding that is key to eating healthy throughout the week–and I actually enjoy it. Another thing I manage to make time for, because it’s important to me. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I think your S.T.O.P. approach is very good, Christie. With a clear head, you’ll find a way to use your time more effectively, and achieve your goals. When I procrastinate, usually it’s because what needs to be done is tedious or repetitive to me. I break the work down into small chunks and just get a chunk done every day. For the things that are important to me, like my health or fitness routine, I do it first thing in the morning after my light breakfast so I benefit from the good chemicals from the workouts and leave no chance to be distracted by other things. So far this approach works for me and I’ve been meeting my fitness goals this week. Today my yoga instructor was sick, the class was cancelled but since I already showed up and I’m familiar with the poses, I decided to complete the yoga session on my own. Sometimes we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do 🙂 Have a great week! #MLSTL

    • I sometimes procrastinate tedious tasks as well, Natalie, or in this case, a task that is challenging. I think the chunking technique can work in both cases. I might try setting a word goal per session, rather than a set amount of time, because I may just sit and stare at the computer for half that time. 🙂 I also am thinking I need to embrace the “shitty first draft” mentality. Though, my novel is not in its first draft, these new chapters are. Congratulations on meeting your fitness goals. I am especially impressed by your motivation to do a yoga session, even without the instructor. Impressive.

  6. Christie, I identify with this so much! We all have good intentions for writing and other tasks, but it’s amazing how stuff just gets in the way. Sounds like you have a good focus for fitness and following Orange Theory which coupled with work, takes most of your time! My semester just started and I have that to distract me, but the nagging voice of getting back to writing my fitness book is not-so-gently reminding me to spend at least an hour a week to write. I do have a good exercise regimen and do something every day either at the gym and/or walking my dogs. I’ve been blogging a little more, too so I’m astounded how quickly the day just gets away from me! You work hard and are very inspirational, so keep up that good work!! #MLSTL

    • Thank you for the kind words, Terri. It sounds like we’re in a very similar situation–busy with worthy goals and tasks, but still having that nagging feeling to complete the unfinished book. It keeps coming up for me, so I probably need to address it. If you can commit to an hour a week, so can I. Let’s do it!

  7. Hi, Christie – I agree that getting starting, and getting into a routine, is the hardest part. Once I have that established everything seems to come much easier (until I accidentally break the routine, of course).
    Most importantly, Bucket Lists are living documents and are thus meant to be revised! 🙂

    • Well said, Donna. There’s no sense in clinging to a goal that no longer fits or turns out not to be the right goal for the present moment. Once I clear my head, I’ll set a new more fitting goal and work on establishing that routine. Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

  8. It certainly looks like you have your head around it all Christie – and you also have a LOT on your plate with your writing, blogging, familying, oranging and whatever else is filling your days! I think you’re on the right track and the secret is to not get overwhelmed – one thing at a time and breathe is definitely the way to go – good luck!
    Thanks for linking up to MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Leanne. When I start to get overwhelmed, I remind myself that I chose the writing and the blogging and the Orangetheory, because I love them. I don’t have to do this–I get to do it!

  9. Oh, how I could relate to your dilemma, Christie! I am now retired and for the first two months I tortured myself with the ‘shoulds.’ You’d think retirement would free you from them, but they arrived in full force. I should be blogging. I should be working on my book. On and on it went. I have been happier since I decided to relax and let things go in the hands of the universe and now I’m open to guidance. Sounds like you are in the same place! #MLSTL

    • I keep telling myself I’ll have more time when I retire, Molly, but that’s not what I’m hearing from people who are already there. 🙂 I am trying to relax more and go with the flow. Wish me luck!

  10. Hi Christie! I totally understand that paralyzing feeling of “so much to do, so little time”…and the panicky feeling in the pit of your stomach that comes with it. You have committed to some daunting but worthy projects that are important to you…but like me, you seem likely to OVERwhelm yourself. I have done better with this by just forgiving myself if I can’t do it all and just relax.
    Shared, visiting from MLSTL.

    • Thank you for the advice Nancy. Relax seems to be the theme of the day. When I get too wound up, I remind myself that no one if forcing me to do these projects. These are things I am doing for my own sense of accomplishment and enjoyment.

  11. Hi Christie, I applaud you for your dedication to your fitness and health goals. Those are always on my list but I find that when I get busy those are the easiest things for me to let go of, which of course spells trouble for goals not met. I procrastinate because exercise is not my favorite activity. I usually do it, and I am glad I did when it is over but I have never loved it. As for the book, if you are 90% done you are so close! Don’t let it sit there until you retire. you can write another book then. Keep going! Promise yourself 15 minutes a day and just sit in the chair and start. Don’t worry about perfection, you can fix it later. Just get it written. You obviously have the talent and drive to have done 90% already. Do not let your mindset or perfectionism or whatever stop you!

    • Thank you, Michele. That’s exactly what I needed to hear in this moment. I’m taking your advice – with a twist. Rather than setting a time limit, I’ve decided to set a minimum number of words, as I feel that will push me to actually start writing and not spend the time staring at the screen. Also, knowing I have committed to a number of words may make me more willing to write words that aren’t quite perfect, especially when I am under a time constraint–thus helping me overcome the perfectionism roadblock.

  12. I have a writing “partner.” We meet for coffee once a month, talk about issues we’re facing and set goals. She’s writing short stories; I’m writing a memoir. We wer both slipping so our current goal is to Set Up a Writing Practice. That is, take our writing time seriously and professionally and set aside time and place for it.

    It’s great to have a partner to bounce little successes or failures off of–To encourage each other and to have someone to “answer to.”

    It seems to be working. We’re both getting words down on our screens.

  13. Christie, your post could not be more timely for me. I have been wanting to do more with my blog as far as Life Coaching goes but whenever I start thinking about it my head starts spinning. I love your S.T.O.P. approach and I will definitely be using that. As for your Agent Query and book, perhaps it isn’t time but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Sometimes we just have to take an alternative route before arriving at our destination. Have a great week and thanks for joining us at #MLSTL it is always a pleasure 🙂

    • I’m glad my post resonated with you. That’s always nice to hear. It sounds like you are headed in the direction of more coaching with your #FitFabFeb. Your blog is always inspirational, so it’s not much of a leap to life coaching. Still I understand the head spin. Thanks again for hosting #MLSTL for us! Have a lovely week!

  14. Look at all of the folks with whom this post resonated. Including me! I have procrastinated about writing on my children’s story for YEARS. I will do it during summer break (I worked in an elementary school), I will start over Christmas, I will get busy when I retire. I remember reading that some very popular children’s author…maybe Beverly Cleary?…didn’t start writing until late middle age. And I wondered why she started so late. Now here I am trying to get going at 60! I think your STOP is a great plan of attack. And scheduling time to write during the week. Which I am going to do starting next week. Have been out of town for so long caring for my mom but now I am home. And you have inspired me. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Leslie. It does seem that procrastination and struggling to find time for the things we want to do are common themes. It’s comforting in a way. I’m glad we can support and encourage each other on this journey. Good luck with your children’s story!

  15. I find I get a bit overwhelmed when i have too much on, trying to read, comment and engage with blogs while also keeping my own blog up to date. I try to prioritise myself and work though my lists of things to do. Much like meal planning, shopping and exercise – it all has to try to fit in somewhere! I think you’re doing really well Christie! #mlstl

    • Thanks Debbie. It sounds like we’re all in the same boat. It strikes me that I am grateful for the freedom to choose how I will spend my time and energies, grateful to have options beyond basic survival, grateful to have so many things I love that sometimes I have to choose between two good things.

  16. Oh, I WISH I had a magic answer for procrastination!
    It’s the last day of January and I looked at my ‘list for the month’ that I’d made at the beginning of the month and realized I’ve only checked off about 1/3 of the list. I started to beat myself up about it, then realized how much I HAD accomplished this month. I realized that I’d set up a very aggressive list of tasks, almost impossible to get done with the PT day job in high gear this month, and I’d allowed virtually no down time for relaxation, reading, or just enjoyment. I need to lighten up on myself too. Although I am keeping with my exercise 2X/week, so am pleased with that.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this process with us. It helps to see how others think about it and what they do. Thanks for being an inspiration!
    Sharing for MLSTL

    • Good for you, Trisha. I’m glad you turned your thoughts around to appreciate the things you did accomplish. It is so important to include down time and recreation time in your schedule. When you find that magic answer to procrastination, be sure to share it with the rest of us! 🙂

  17. I could feel your sense of being overwhelmed while reading the first part of this post. I’m so glad you gave yourself a break and took the query letter off the winter bucket list. Focusing on building a stronger physical body will soon quiet those “should” voices in your head 🙂 I’ve pinned to my #mlstl board because I need to remind myself to adjust goals when I am stressed.

    • Thanks for the input, Molly. When I read your statement that building a stronger physical body will quiet the should voices, it got me thinking. When I am doing something physically challenging, my thoughts take a rest–other than the occasional “Are we almost done?”. 🙂 I think that’s a good thing. As an over-thinker, I am working on being present in my current experience. I always try to keep in mind that my goals are serving me, not the other way around.

  18. Don’t be so hard on yourself Christie. You sound like a real go-getter and I have no doubt you will achieve your goals. Good luck with your Orangetheory challenge, and with writing your novel. Have a great week. I’ll be sharing your post to fb.

    • Thank you Christina. I believe I will achieve both goals. It’s just a matter of priorities and remembering to balance achievement with relaxation and future planning with just being in the moment. I suppose I’ll get there (or at least in the proximity) eventually. I hope you have a great week as well!

  19. Seems like you are forging ahead in a positive way, although there seems to be a small undercurrent of overwhelm going on too. I get overwhelmed so easily, and I’m not sure that having plans I have to stick to is a great solution. It just makes me more overwhelmed! So I tend to poodle a bit more than I should , but always try to make the best decisions I can and strive to do a little better each day when it comes to exercise and nutrition. #MLSTL

  20. The way I stop myself from procrastinating is to all of a sudden just start doing something. Sometimes it is like my body just takes over and I start doing what needs to be done. I can put off doing what needs to be done indefinitely.

  21. Hi Christie

    First, Happy Anniversary!!

    Second, Congrats on knowing when it’s time to take a step back. Time constraints get to all of us. I actually wondered how you always wrote your Fabulous Friday posts so quickly, inserted the photos and posted it.

    Third, 90% is amazing. I’m at about 2% on my memoir. I too struggle with finding a proper block of time to write. So I blow it off.

    I enjoyed this post. I learned I have a long way to go before even thinking about querying an agent. Thanks for the info

    Stay the Course

  22. Christie, sounds like you’re going in the right direction! When my fitness goals became a higher priority, I made time for it in two ways: 1. doing my workout early in the morning 2.doing it every day rather than certain days (that really simplified my life). One tip I have for not overeating when eating out: Take a storage container with you (I use a 3-cup rectangular Pyrex) and put half your meal in it before you even start eating. #BloggingGmothers

    • First thing in the morning is my best writing time. I just need to choose between blog writing and novel writing each day. I like your storage container tip for eating out. It never works for me to eat what I want first. I just keep picking. But portioning out up front works much better.

  23. I spent too much time watching the squirrel race on the hamster wheel myself!!
    And the writing is usually no problem. But as you said, the technical aspects of blogging trip me ALL the time.
    I’ve never heard of Orangetheory. I will look that up.

    • Thanks for the support. There is comfort in knowing I’m not the only one. Currently I’m struggling with emails to my comment subscribers, but I believe I’ve found someone that can help me with that. Fingers crossed!

  24. Eating out is hard because I always feel I blow my diet for the week if I eat out. Even healthy choices at most restaurants is too many calories. My husband loves to eat out and is not happy if I don’t enjoy food with him. So one trick I’ve learned is if I know I’m eating out that day, that’s my food for the day! For example, if I know I’m eating lunch out, I have maybe just a hard boiled egg and coffee for breakfast and no dinner. That seems to be the only thing that works as most restaurant foods have as many calories in one meal as I normally eat in an entire day.

    • I agree that eating out is difficult, Amy. It’s hard to know exactly how the food was prepared, even if you make your selections carefully. For me, skipping meals doesn’t work, but if I’m planning to eat out, I will load up on vegetables and lean protein for the other meals–and of course a little extra physical activity helps.

  25. Christie, it is very helpful to see how you are working through your workload and priorities. It seems a good practice to just ‘stop’ and unclutter the thinking process as you have done.
    We will feature your post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop. Well done.

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