© Mrchan | Dreamstime.com - New Year 2017 Photo

What I realized in 2016…

This year has been quite the humdinger, wouldn’t you say?. When I realized I’d be diving headlong into 50 this coming month, I set myself on some sort of weird winding path alongside the path that the Universe/God chose for me to follow in 2016. This year, with the deaths of youngsters such as Prince (54), Anton Yeltsin (27), George Michael (53), wrestler Chyna (45), Vanity (57), Carrie Fisher (60) not to mention those I wasn’t ready for because they still seem too young (David Bowie, Garry Shandling and Alan Rickman) have reminded all of us that life is too short. Earlier this month, my husband and I went to see the touring cast of Rent here in Fort Collins. The repeating theme of “No Day But Today” is going to be my mantra for 2017.

Having a three-year-old has also taught me to be open to what’s possible (which is anything!) and to be present to what is happening right now. I’m still learning to not worry about making dinner or getting the dishes done when my daughter wants to tell me something, but I’m definitely more conscious of paying attention to her made-up stories while she stammers to get them out into the world. Earlier this month, my husband and I went to see the touring cast of Rent here in Fort Collins. The repeating theme of “No Day But Today” is going to be my mantra for 2017.

How does this pertain to eeep! productions? Mostly in that I’ve developed a renewed commitment to my business practices, processes and have streamlined how I work in order to help more people more affordably. What if you could access me in an inexpensive way for advice and input on your web strategies? What if you and others could crowdsource my brain on an ongoing basis? I’m super excited about a new membership program and I’m getting it all squared away for launch in the first quarter of 2017. Watch this space for more details!

As I’ve worked on all of this personal and professional stuff during the past year, I’ve also realized there are certain tools that I cannot do without. Some of them may surprise you and might be inspiration for you to make 2017 even better for yourself.

  • This year, I switched over to a paper planner after years of being digital. I find it is extremely helpful for my being present in my life. I still keep a Google calendar for events and appointments so my husband knows what’s going on and so I can have reminders, but the act of writing down events, tasks, appointments, meeting notes and things I want to remember, well, it helps me remember it all much, much better. In 2017, I plan to meld my planner and my daily journal/diary into one with a completely custom DIY extravaganza. I am one very excited geek!
  • Wireless headphones. I use Jam Transit Touch bluetooth headphones all over the house and office. For the most part, they block out the bulk of the stuff that’s going on around me when I need to concentrate. They keep things quiet when I work late at night around the house while everybody is sleeping. My favorite is that I can listen to podcasts and books without my daughter hearing four-letter words while I am making dinner in the evenings, but I can still keep one eye open to whatever it is that she’s doing.
  • Text Expander is software that allows you to type a short code and it will expand that code into a longer phrase. This save me tons of repetitive typing. For example, I type the phrase “your site” a LOT when emailing with clients. Now, when I type “;ys”, Text Expander knows to fill out what I want to type, thus saving me 7 characters every time. That might not seem like a lot in that instance, but think about the possibilities! This year I want to install it on my iPad because I HATE typing on that thing!
  • Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts (and other places to sit and do work): When working from a home office, things can get a little lonely, not to mention distracting. At least once a week I try to get out and will sit in my favorite Starbucks or DD, drink some caffeine and get another perspective on my work and life. It sounds like a simple little thing, but it makes all of the difference. And I am not tempted to do a load of laundry when I should be planning a website.
  • A great therapist. Seriously. Even if we just talk about our kids or our dogs or household chores, my therapist gets me. She is my trusted confidant and I can talk to her about anything. Well worth the money, even if you don’t have big, looming, pressing issues. And really, who doesn’t have baggage? At the very least, I love having an objective person who really hears me. I’m not referring you to my therapist, by the way, because I want to keep her to myself. 😉
  • 1Password is something I’ve talked about before, at length and repeatedly. I’ve got 920 logins on my 1Password software. Can you imagine if I had to remember all of those logins? Or worse, if I used the same easy-to-hack password on all of those sites? Or worst of all, if I had them all written down in a notebook? I wouldn’t have a very secure online life if any of those were the case.
  • GPS: I never thought this was a big deal. Use a map! Write the directions on your hand! I don’t have GPS in my car, but ended up using it in a few cars this year and boy howdy, did it save me. Especially in NJ when I missed my exit off the NJ Turnpike (which is what happens when you haven’t lived there in 13 years). Now I use the GPS on my phone all. of. the. time. It’s the little things, folks!

I hope you are enjoying your end-of-year holidays and resting up for what’s to come in 2017. Can’t wait to talk to you more then!

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Be nice. Be real. Be happy.