Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to Exit Social Media the SMART way

So, you're leaving that Social Media platform again? Okay. I want to help you do it in a more strategic way. Let's jump right to it friend. 

1. Do NOT announce your exit - I don't know if anyone told you this but that's the lamest thing you can possibly do. Most of your friends roll their eyes when they read that you are leaving a particular social media platform because we all know you're coming back... with a vengeance! It's really funny to watch the trend. You may post: "friends I'm leaving this platform and I'll see you or won't!" If you could hear the other side of the screen you'd hear that slow 80s clap as well as the sound of your friends scrolling down to see what's really interesting in their feed. Whatever you do, please do not announce your exit. You may be wondering how would your thousands of followers find you in case of an emergency. I'd have to tell you that when people want to get a hold of you they are smart enough to figure out just how. 

2. Plan a S.M.A.R.T. exit - if you are abandoning the social media ship, make it S.M.A.R.T.:
S - Specific - how long will you be gone and why? If this is a forever thing, erase the app and forget about the website. If you know you're coming back, agree on a timetable and the goal of your exit. 
M - Meaningful - why are you leaving? Is the platform consuming your life or are you just pissed with some of your online friends? Are you leaving because your real life benefit from the time you are mindlessly browsing? Make it meaningful, make it work for you. 
R - Results oriented - Knowing your "why" comes in handy right here. If working on a real life project (such as your new year's goals) is the reason of your exit, be sure that you have your goal in mind. Think, "I will exit for ___ amount of time to write my book." Make it work for you every time my friend. 
A - Achievable - If 80% of your job includes social media management, we all know you can't possibly have a true social media exit. Be specific about what you would like to achieve and be sure your goals match that thought. If you are one of those folks who must be on Social Media because it is part of your job, maybe you need to recalibrate your usage. Reassessing your work goals comes in handy in this instance. 
T - time-bound - Because Social Media is not going anywhere (thus the fact that most exit announcements flunk) it is wise to give yourself a timeline for your exit. Do you need 10 days off? Do you need to erase the app for a few weeks until you reach that career oriented goal? Do you need to leave forever? You get to decide. 

3 - Get ready for withdraws - give yourself some grace because you will likely have withdraws. If you know that you will be tempted to see who Liked your "I'm leaving all y'all" post (I told you not to do that!), erase the App. Expect withdraws but commit to your plan. 

4 - Start Small - If you are going to have a successful social media exit, start really small and then move on to larger chunks. Remember that you must have a solid goal for this thing to work, it needs to work for you, not for the people who will be possibly rolling their eyes and giving you the 80s slow clap as you announce your exit again

Social Media is not going anywhere but you are. You have goals, you have dreams and I understand that sometimes you need a break to recalibrate. Do yourself a favor and plan a silent exit this time. Let me know how it works! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lake Junaluska Ski Weekend 2017

I'm feeling very hopeful about the generation of young people I saw this past weekend. My husband and I had a chance to lead worship and speak at the last Lake Junaluska Ski Weekend for the season. 
A few of the amazing youth we met last weekend at Lake Junaluska
What I saw was a generation of generous, joyful and committed Christian young men and women. The world is already a better place because God created this generation of world changers. 

Our theme for the weekend was "Do Something" based on Matthew 25:31-40. We had so much fun talking about how clearly see Jesus so we can do something for Him. 

It was also a great honor to be back at the place where my family started. My husband and I got married at Lake Junaluska and two of our kids were born in the area. We were so incredibly blessed to visit many friends who became family. I enjoyed worshipping with our NC church family. Every little corner we saw brought a different, good memory. I am so glad we had a chance to come back and enjoy North Carolina. 

Back to the young people, if you are feeling bad about the world, you should connect with a youth group and pour out your wisdom into them. It blessed me to be surrounded by so much joy and enthusiasm about making a difference for Christ. 

I was also reminded that Christian camp rocks and my kids are attending for sure when they grow up. 

If you have never heard of Lake Junaluska, go to www.lakejunaluska.com and book a trip. You don't have to be signed up for an event to enjoy the Lake, you can come whenever you'd like. The Terrace Hotel has recently been renovated and the place looks even better. There are also other options for lodging and meals. Trust me, you will love your Junaluska experience.

Have an amazing week and remember to keep hope alive friends! 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Priorities, Running again and Singing all the Time

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I pray you had a great week! I certainly have. I can't tell you a single "impressive" thing to share other than this: this week I kept my priorities straight. 

I am learning that time management is an art and when I keep my priorities in straight, everything else works. 
I can't possibly do everything so I decided to focus on the things that I can do: love my God, my husband and my children. Everything else certainly falls in the right place when I focus on God and family. 

This week I resumed running. This was the longest break I've taken in the past 5 years. I decided to listen to sound advice and recover well. I took a lot of walks, I started weight lifting again (yes!) and this week running came back to the mix. I love running and I am glad that now that I am back my body is fully recovered from the marathon. Running is for fun, to clear my head before the day begins, running is a gift that I gratefully enjoy. I am eager to see where running will take me this year - as well as where I will take my running! 

I am doing well with the Bible in One Year Reading. I was ahead one day now I'm right where I am supposed to be. It's quite the challenge to make sure I get it done but is is so worth it. The Bible in One Year is just reading. Bible Study is what we do at MerryMinistries.com and I am also studying the Bible at Bible College (Bible Study Methods). I am more and more in love with the Bible and with the God of the Bible thanks to my decision to study this amazing Book! I am learning a lot about how to study the Bible or as Paul called it "rightly dividing the word of truth." I was done with school until this year and I am honestly not trying to get another degree. I am studying for the love of God who called me to be His servant. I'm half way through the semester and so far, it's been great! 

I had a chance to lead worship last Sunday at church and I really enjoyed the presence of God with my church family. I was super busy with running races last Fall so I missed church quite a bit. I always look for Saturday races which are rare but they are out there. Singing is a bit part of who I am so I am always thankful for any opportunity I get to sing and no, I don't need a mic to feel like it makes a difference. God is worthy or my song, thus I sing. Life is worth living, thus I sing. I am happy, therefore I sing. 

My last few blog posts were about homemaking and getting things done when we're overwhelmed. I am following my own advice and thank God things haven't been chaotic. I guess I'm at a place where I know what my priorities are and even when time is tight, I can pick what matters most and wait for another day to get everything else done in my list. 

I hope you are doing well and I pray that you can focus on your priorities my friend. I will see you next time! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Organization Hack: time your Chores

I have a full plate this year. Life as a wife, mother of 3, student and all the other hats I wear can be demanding. Having and maintaining an organized home helps to make the rest of my life easier. I discovered that my very own 45-minute solution to organization method really works. It worked when I was working two jobs and it works now. You can read the original post here.
Here's the thing, there are days (weeks!) I don't have 45 minutes to dedicate to one area of my home such as a messy closet. What to do with lots to do and little time?
I have learned to measure how long it will take me to complete small tasks and use that information to my advantage when I'm short of time. 
Today I timed how long it takes me to load my washer: 40 seconds. It takes around the same time amount of time to load my dryer. I also discovered that it takes me 12 minutes to fold one load of clothes (straight out of the dryer) and it took me 8 minutes to put those clothes back in the kids' closets. In theory, it takes me 20 minutes to complete the task of getting clothes from the dryer to the closet. No more clothes waiting forever for me to fold and put them away!
This discovery encouraged me because if I can spend 20 minutes in one day doing the kids' laundry, I'm set for most of the week. 

I'm sure you noticed by now but timing myself is a great motivator for me. My tip is to find out what works for you and go from there. 

Establishing cleaning goals for each weekday is very empowering. This week I have to do some deep cleaning but this task can't take me all week long because I have quite a bit of studying to do. Do you see how knowing how long certain chores will last can come in handy? 

I am determined not to let chores (and the feelings of dread surrounding them) rule my life. I want to work smarter not harder, therefore, my 45-minute solution can really help me with this goal. 

What works for you when you have little time to organize your home?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Goals: the process

You can't have results without the process. I'm a firm believer in this statement. We human beings enjoy a lot of results but...

• A higher education degree doesn't come without the process of attending classes, studying, passing exams and turning in papers on a timely manner;
• A clean house doesn't come without the process of getting down on the floor and picking up everything that's out of place and returning it to its own home;
• A good marriage doesn't come without the process of love being a daily decision;
• A marathon doesn't come without the process of signing up, training and having the proper gear and mindset;
• A trip to a foreign country doesn't come without the process of applying for a visa, vaccines and any other requirements that will lead you to your destination.

I see goals the same way: you can't have them without the process of acquiring them. The process is the least sexy part of achieving a goal. If your goal is to eat more vegetables and fruits, chopping mustard greens after you carefully washed them is part of the process. No one, absolutely no one (well, maybe a few of you) thinks that's a worthy social media moment. The results tough, they get the selfie every time.

You can't have results without the process. The process is that "no filter" moment when you decide that what you want is worth your time, effort and discipline. I know you want results my friend. I just want to encourage you to embrace the process. When you embrace the process, you are saying "I'm not afraid of the person I will become."