Posted by: draknor | March 13, 2012

Moving Forward Again

Today is a good day.

I feel like I’m getting back on track in my life, again.  Last week was a pretty big roller-coaster and really knocked me out of whack.  This week, I’m getting back into my rhythms & patterns.  I’ve got a million ideas for what I want to improve / do better, but I keep reminding myself I need to take it one step at a time.

That’s hard.

There are a couple of patterns that I exhibit when I’m stressed out, that I only really recognize in hindsight.  Exercise is a major one — I didn’t work out at all last week.  I went back to the gym yesterday to resume weight-training, and I felt great last night! I’m getting back to my Stronglifts 5×5 program (after taking a break from it for ~6 weeks).

I guess I didn’t really post much on that, now that I’m looking back through my archives. Short version is, I was stalling on all of my lifts, and getting kind of burned out on it after doing it for >5 months. So I took a break and switched to some bodyweight exercises + cardio for ~6 weeks)

And of course, when my exercise routine falls apart, so does my diet.  That’s something I noticed jumping back to body-weight exercises + cardio — it didn’t have the same impact on my diet that heavy weight-training does.  My diet over the last month or so has been pretty terrible; not eating regularly / consistently, more prone to eating out / junk food (like almost an entire bag of potato chips last Saturday!).  My weight hasn’t changed dramatically (still around 192), but given how much I struggled yesterday with my lifts (barely squatted 225 lbs now vs 260 lbs in January!), I think it’s safe to say my body composition has changed — more fat, less muscle. Not the direction I want to go!

Another interesting pattern I’ve noticed when I’m stressed — my decision-making process short-circuits.  I become a much more impulsive person.  Case in point, I almost bought an iPad last week.  Now, that’s not the end of the world — lots of people have them & rave about them, and I’m sure I would find it imminently useful.  But the bigger issue is, until I’m generating more income from my real estate photography business, I’m living off of my savings, which are very finite. And shrinking rapidly.  So $300-$500 for a new tool / toy is quite a lot to spend, when it has an unclear ROI.  I spent ~$500 just to get into the trade show I was in last week (and probably another $500 on material for my booth), but that had a pretty clear path for generating more revenue — meet more agents, exhibit my work, and get my foot in more doors.  An iPad?  Helpful, yes — but I don’t think it will meet any need that I can’t already meet (albeit less effectively) with my existing tools.  So, I need to wait on that.

And besides, the “new” iPad will be available later this week, so I figure I might as well wait a bit until that’s available, and then when I’m ready purchase the new one with the gorgeous Retina Display!)

I’m experimenting with a lot of things related to business & productivity as well — namely how to get a good Getting Things Done (GTD) task-management system up & running again. I have read great things about OmniFocus, and sounds like that would be awesome with an iPad (another reason to get one!), but I’m going to start with the cheaper (& cross-platform) EverNote tool instead.  PC + Mac, Android support, online sync’ing, and free (with premium features available for a cost).  I’ve been trying Remember the Milk (even paid for the pro version), but its just not working for me as a task-management system, especially GTD-style.  Great for keeping short to-do lists or grocery lists, but not quite cutting it for me for task organization.

Another tool I’m running a trial of right now is  I wanted a lead/contact follow-up tool to help manage my trade show follow-up.  So far I like it — I can enter in my leads, log follow-ups / tasks / events with them so I have a nice history.  It can link to social media, but that seems pretty manual to do (eg I have to pick my contact out of all the Facebook people with the same name, etc).  Haven’t figured out how to do email marketing campaigns yet, however.  Gave a try for that, but since I had ~50 names I had to import them, which meant they have to opt-in.  So far I received one response on that.  It didn’t help that I tried a custom subject header for my opt-in email, but since it wasn’t approved automatically, the confirmation message was sent with a generic “Confirm subscription” subject when I did my import.  (The custom subject was approved ~24 hours later).

Obviously, I have lots to learn about online marketing!  But, the important thing is I’m starting somewhere.  Can’t learn if you don’t try, and make some mistakes in the process.

Speaking of which, time for me to get some food and do some more follow-up!