Okay, I’m Not Ready, But I’m Sharing My New Website With You Anyway

My New Website

I took this photo on my very important morning walk (more about that down below).

Most gardeners aren’t really thinking much about gardening this time of year.

Which means I usually take a break from SmilingGardener.com and I get a chance to work on other projects.

So since early September, I’ve been planning this new website.

I thought it would take about 1 month for me to figure out exactly what I wanted to put together here, do some research and planning, build the site, start writing, and then share it with you guys.

But it’s been 3 months and I’m still not ready.

I’m not ready because I’m scared to start. I’m scared because… well, I think I’ll save that for tomorrow. The bottom line is it can be scary to make a big commitment…

Why I’m Starting Today Anyway

I’d like to let you know why you’re reading this right now even though I’m not ready for you to be reading this right now.

(And in a minute, I’m going to give you a chance to tackle something you haven’t been ready to tackle just yet.)

The reason I decided to start today is because it was becoming clear to me that I could easily spend a few more months in ‘planning mode’ without actually putting anything out there.

Because I have a lot of dreams for how I could help people here, and I wanted to be really clear with how I was going to go about it.

(Ask my sister, I have a whole whack of spreadsheets full of plans and thoughts about this site. I’m the king of spreadsheets. If you were to ask me what I eat for breakfast, I would probably send you a spreadsheet, because I have that info in a spreadsheet.)

Mostly I haven’t started yet because it’s often a lot easier to PLAN than to DO…

Which Brings Me Back To You

What have you been putting off?

Maybe…

  • Improving your eating habits or losing weight or otherwise getting in shape.
  • Decreasing the stress in your life or becoming more confident or just being happier.
  • Falling in love or making new friends or mending a broken relationship.
  • Pursuing your dreams instead of what you’re currently doing with your life.

Or maybe for you there’s something else you’ve been putting off?

Those are just examples of some topics I’ll be exploring on this site – with the help of people who have some answers, ‘cause I’m not an expert in most of them…

Here’s What To Do Next

Three important steps to take when you’re trying to achieve a goal are to:

  • Break it down into smaller steps, and
  • Publicly commit to it, and
  • Tell someone who will hold you accountable

Today, I’m giving you an opportunity to do all three. In the comments down below:

  • Tell me about something you’ve been putting off doing, or some goal you’ve been thinking of tackling. You can just share a sentence or give some more detail if you like.
  • Tell me when you want to start and/or finish (whichever makes sense for your goal).
  • Enter your email in the email field (nobody else can see that but me) and I will personally get in touch to help you achieve your goal.

And that’s what I’m doing here today for myself, too. I was getting overwhelmed with trying to plan out the whole future of this website, so I broke it down into smaller steps and I’m just starting at the beginning.

So my own goal every morning is to hop out of bed, head outside for a walk around the block, snap a photo of something interesting, come back home, and do my best to create something to inspire you to take the next step to boost your health and well-being.

I’ll do this all before checking my email (because another goal of mine is to stop spending so much time on email) AND eating breakfast (so I’ll be really motivated to finish).

So what’s your goal?

Phil

P.S. If you know someone who might like to get in on this goal-achieving awesomeness, feel free to share it with them via one of the buttons here:

  • Marie

    Okay mine is really simple but I’m having trouble sticking to it. I want to drink more water! Do you have any tips to help with what seems like it should be a simple task? I want to start today and make it a life long habit!

    • Dries

      Hi Marie, Goog idea to start drinking more water but remember to fill up on your electrolites with lots of green organic vegetables and/or himalayan or natural sea salt.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      You know what really helped me increase my water intake Marie? I
      bought this water bottle (
      http://www.amazon.com/Eco-Vessel-Insulated-Stainless-17-Ounce/dp/B004JPCXH0/
      ) from Amazon. It has a decent little filter so I know I’m getting better
      quality water (I drank tap water in Peru through this bottle for 3
      months and didn’t get sick), and it keeps water cold if that’s your
      preference in the summer, and for me, it makes drinking water more fun
      than drinking from a glass, so I actually like doing it. So that’s one tip – I’ll be in touch soon…

    • James Triplett

      hi Marie – i have been drinking water that i structure through a unit. just drinking more water does not mean your cells will be hydrated. most of it will be eliminated and not much benefit to hydrating the body. structuring will clean out the toxins and hydrate the body. after awhile, your water consumption will decrease, due to satisfied hydration. i have more info, if you want it.

  • Sandie

    I would like to break the emotional eating habit. My life is stressful, helping my daughter raise her two girls age 6 and as of today 3 year old! I work 10 hour days that begin with waking at 4 AM at work by 5:45 and home by 5:30 or 6 PM. I work in a hospital that is very busy and I see a lot of suffering as well as inspirational hope in patients, families and co-workers. I just purchased a home 2 weeks ago (YEAH!) and have begun my compost so I can’t wait for spring so I can PLANT with my girls! In the meantime, I have packed on 40 pounds!!!Lots of stress for me= eating
    bad things….a habit learned from my mom who died from complications due to her obesity. I really did not intend to continue with so much info…but here it is anyway!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Thanks for sharing Sandie – lots going on in your life! I’ll send you an email shortly, but in case you check back in here, have you thought about what the first step(s) might be for decreasing emotional eating?

      • Sandie

        Phil,
        So far prayer has been my most calming activity and really helps and then I become stressed and fall into old habits. I will continue to try. I was very good for years about walking 30 minutes almost every morning and eating healthy whole foods. It helped a lot and I am trying to get back there in this new and demanding life I have.

        • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

          Sounds like you can do it – just need to make that habit again. I sent you an email, so let’s try to do it together :)

        • Colin

          Prayer is fantastic. Its a way of talking to God. Then you need meditation, which is listening to God by calming quieting (relaxing) the mind, but I think you’re already on the right track by coming here :)

          • Kristina B.

            You can also hear from God by reading His Word – the Bible. He has left us pages and pages and pages of totally relevant and useful instruction, direction, wisdom, encouragement, hope, advice, counsel, etc.

    • HealthyAnimalVet

      You may want to try flower essences and organic essential oils as they are totally safe and address emotional issues. You can also use them in your hospital work. Just have some on your coat (even merely the combo Rescue Remedy – note great for transplanting plants) and it can soothe the stress. And get attuned with Reiki (one or two night depending on who does it) and that will help you, your grandkids (have them attuned too) and your patients.

      • Sandie

        Thank you for the great feedback! I will definitely try the essential oils! I will explore the Reiki as I am not familiar with this.

        • James Triplett

          i have learned to do the Domancic method of energy therapy. its been in europe for 35 years and relatively new hear in the US.

      • James Triplett

        Absolutely, an essential oil that will touch the mind in stress, can help to live and be in your Present moment. energy therapy is good also. i do structured breathing, through my portable water unit, which aligns the chakra’s and brightens the day with Peace.

  • Ricki

    Hi Phil! So great to see you here and see this new project–congrats! You will recognize my new goal because it’s really my old goal–to complete a course that I’ve been wanting to develop for AGES. I’ve finally started planning it, but I want to finish it so I can finally put it out there! :)

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Glad to hear you’re planning it Ricki! I’ll be in touch to see if I can help :)

  • Madita

    Hello Phil, such an inspiring and lovely way to share yourself! Madita

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Thanks Madita!

  • Melanie

    Good morning, Phil! Thank you for your inspiration and reminder that we need to move from the “planning to do” to the “do” pile! My goal is to incorporate 30 minutes to 1 hour of physical activity that is FUN and like PLAY but also relatively cost-free consistently every single day: no excuses. I have belonged to a gym throughout my life, and I am just not feeling it these days.

    I just bought a rebounder (and got it yesterday) — mini trampoline — and since I live in a 2nd floor condo, I am now wondering post-purchase how the heck I am going to use it daily without disturbing my downstairs neighbors – it does fold in half and have a carrying case, but it isn’t light!

    I also live in a climate – Florida – that is conducive to getting outside year-round, although August and September are pretty hot and humid.

    Any ideas are welcome! Thank you!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Nice, I like the trampoline idea Melanie. Maybe you can place it on top of some towels to dampen the sound. My first thought is to pair up the trampolining with your favorite show (assuming you watch TV/netflix/etc.) or audio (book/podcast) and make a rule that you can only watch/listen while jumping. Also, whenever something happens in the show (e.g. like whenever a new scene begins or a certain character says a certain word), you could get off and do 3 burpees or 5 pushups.

      I also like your idea of doing it every day. For some people it makes sense to just commit to starting with once per week, because every day is too overwhelming, but for me, it’s often a lot easier to do something every day rather than, say, 3 days per week, because then every day I’d be sitting there all day trying to decide if this should be an on day or an off day – easier just to do every day.

      That being said, continuing with the trampoline example, I might also just commit to doing a minimum of 50 jumps every day. After 50 jumps you’ll often find you want to continue for longer, but always at least do 50. And do them in sequence with another part of your day, like always right before dinner for example. I’ll be in touch…

      • Melanie

        Awesome ideas, Phil! Thank you so much! I have had to be creative in terms of when I use the rebounder (watch for neighbor’s car to be gone!) and I even dragged it out on my balcony this morning as I thought that would be less intrusive. No complaints yet!

        Love the idea of doing it during my favorite show and stopping to do something else…burpees, jumping jacks, squats, etc. each time something happens…commercial break woudl be good!

        Looks like we have a little community forming…glad to be a part of it!!

        • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

          Cool! Thanks for checking back in. I sent an email on Dec 7th in case you’d like a little bit of accountability followup.

  • Martha Osborne

    HI Phil. I have been working on getting my body fat % below 30% and it just isn’t happening. Then 6 weeks ago I came down with hip bursitis and a compensatory hip flexor injury, both of which have broad-sided by regular workout routine (cardio and strength training 5-7 days/week, running 4 days/week, 2-3 miles each time). I have just been cleared to start physical therapy, so that’s a start. So my goal is to break through the 30% body fat wall. Martha

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Sorry to hear about the bursitis and injury Martha. One thing you might want to consider for decreasing body fat % (and I suppose this will be much easier now that exercise is squashed) is to focus more on what you’re eating than on exercise. Obviously they’re both important for fat loss and overall health, but diet is arguably a little more important for fat loss than exercise.

      Do you have certain foods you’ve been cutting back on and others you’ve been adding more of? I’m not a nutritionist, but I’m fairly deeply immersed in the nutrition world, so I’ll have some thoughts if you get back to me on what you’re eating these days (the more detail the better). I infer from your workout schedule that you probably know a thing or two about nutrition, too, but it wouldn’t hurt to put our heads together on this…

      • Martha Osborne

        I eat a plant-based (vegan) diet. And I know exactly where my downfalls are. A typical day for me is a rice cake w/hummus (I make it, without oil) and fresh fruit for breakfast, soup and salad for lunch, afternoon snack is (downfall) 2 oz of Baked Kettle Chips and (other downfall) wine. I have always been hooked on chips, and have managed to narrow it down to the Baked Kettle Chips with 3g fat/serving (2 oz is 2 servings). Plus they are real sliced potatoes, not processed fake chips, and are lightly salted w/sea salt. I will have usually 3 glasses of wine in the evening. Dinner varies but is always lots of veggies. I include beans/lentils/tofu daily to pump up the protein. My workout routine (pre-injury) is to do strength training and/or cardio 7 days a week. On 4 days a week my cardio is a 2-3 mile run. When I got so determined to break the 30% body fat barrier, and unwilling to cut calories anywhere, I added in a 1 hr spin on the stationary cycle in the late afternoon. This routine was derailed 6 weeks ago when the hip pain hit. I am now starting physical therapy on Monday next week and am gradually getting back into the stationary cycle, 10 minutes/no resistance. Also, at the urging on my sports med MD, foam rolling my IT bands and hip flexors. OK, so this is probably more than you want to know! HAHA!

        • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

          I think us plant-based people (me included) often rely a little too much on carbs. Of course, it’s hard not to on a plant-based diet. My main thought would be to start your day with more protein and less carbs – could you ever do a vegan protein shake or make some kind of protein bar? Starting the day with fruit and rice can lead to more cravings and more insulin issues whereas starting the day with a good hit of protein can make a HUGE difference for fat loss. Other than that I’d say to lessen your wine to 2 glasses/day, keep the kettle chips in for now if you can keep the serving to 2oz, and if you want to see some fast results, cut out grains and fruit for a little while (I recently helped someone lose weight with basically what I’ve shared with you here, but she ate meat/eggs to compensate for grains and fruit).

          • Martha Osborne

            Not much of a fan of protein powder/shakes, but I make a mean baked tofu. After lengthy pressing, I brush on low sodium soy sauce on all sides (sliced about 1/4″ thick) and keep brushing and turning as it gets absorbed, while the oven preheats to 375. Then I bake it 15 minutes, turn, and 15 minutes more. We keep it in the fridge for snacking. Maybe I’ll try making baked tofu more of a breakfast item. If you have a good protein bar recipe, please share. I have an oatmeal bar I like.

          • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

            I make raw protein balls. They’re my dessert after every meal, but a healthy dessert that gives me some protein and good fat:

            3 cups hemp protein powder
            sea salt
            cinnamon
            1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
            1/4 cup sweetener (e.g. blackstrap molasses)
            3/4 cup filtered water
            optional: dried fruit/nuts/seeds

            mix dry ingredients together. mix wet ingredients together. mix dry and wet together. add optional fruits/nuts/seeds. make into balls. put in
            fridge. eat.

          • Martha Osborne

            Thanks for sharing! I don’t do oil (I’m a fan of the FOK folks). In some recipes I substitute unsweetened applesauce. Do you think 1/4c of that would work?

          • Martha Osborne

            Oh, and about how many balls does this make?

          • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

            Depends on the size, but about 25 the size of ping pong balls.

          • Yampah

            One of the very best sources of honest health information is:
            http://www.mercola.com/

            Conveniently, this is one of today’s articles:

            Heart of the Matter—How We Got So Far Down the Wrong Track in Our Efforts to Prevent Heart Disease

            http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/07/saturated-fat-cholesterol-heart-disease.aspx

            Natural fats—including saturated fats (such as coconut, butter, tallow, lard, poultry)—and oils in their natural state are not only good for us, they are essential for good health. (See http://www.mercola.com for details.) Saturated fats can be heated without harming them, so can be used in cooking. Oils should not be heated above body temperature.

            Unfermented soy products (such as tofu) are not good for us. Fermented soy products (such as tempeh) are good for us. (Again, see http://www.mercola.com for details.)

            What is not covered in Dr. Mercola’s article is the reason behind the proliferation and persistence of erroneous health information. For that, I highly recommend watching this video for an entirely different perspective on why the world is in the mess that it is in and what we can do to alter that:

            Almost 7 Hours David Icke Non Stop – Human Race Get Off Your Knees “The Lion Sleeps No More” – YouTube (15 May 2010 Brixton Academy)

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzytGJh9cBY

            This is a 7-hour video (with three intermissions). It is important to watch the whole thing for it to make sense and to see this bigger picture. It is also important to be willing, at least temporarily, to set aside what you’ve been taught to be so about the world and be open to considering other possibilities. When I watched this video last December, it literally turned my entire world view upside down. Actually, it turned it right side up because the mainstream everything—media, science, education, religion, finance, and government—deliberately present a view that is upside down on its head.

            It can also be helpful to remember that the truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off.

          • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

            Thanks for your input Yampah, Dr. Mercola has some great information and I’m in agreement with much of what he writes (and I was honored when he used a video of mine on his website this summer). I will mention that it’s important before you dole out too much nutritional advice that you get very well-versed in nutrition yourself, including other paradigms than the one you’re currently using. It’s easy to assume that just because something worked for you that everyone should be doing it, but in reality, it’s not that simple.

            Many people have done very well on a diet that is very different from what Mercola espouses, and many people would do very well on a Mercola plan. I’m careful about how I word the nutritional advice I give here on this website because I’ve learned that there’s no one right answer for everyone when it comes to nutrition. Thanks again for offering your point of view!

          • Yampah

            Agreed. Hence, I have submitted several edits to my comment above for consideration.

          • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

            Different bodies seem to do better on different foods, so I’m absolutely cool with the low fat-high carb approach IF it works for you. If you find it doesn’t, that’s when it may make sense to do an experiment with more protein and fat and less carbs. You can substitute apple sauce and it should still work out well.

  • Sandra

    What a great idea. Thank you for offering to give so much of your time.
    I have many goals that I’ve been putting off but the major one is to start running again. Every morning before work. My big set back is not wanting to get out of bed – my alaram goes off and I talk myself out of the run every day!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Hmmm, well I definitely like the idea of running to start your day because then the good energy vibes can continue throughout your day, so I wouldn’t say you should change the plan, but for me, I wouldn’t want to put myself in that guilt-inducing debate every morning – I’d change my running time to something else, like right before dinner. But that’s just me because I know long term morning running would be a difficult habit for me to stick with. You could try the old trick of setting your alarm clock louder and putting it well out of reach or even in the next room – maybe that’ll get you up :)

  • Jess

    Health and energy are important to my wife and I. My goal is to improve the soil fertility of our organic gardens as a way to improve the nutrients we can then consume from our grown foods. We also would hope our practices (many leaned by you Phil) would serve as a demonstration to our neighbors of what can be accomplished with their lands too.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Jess is one of my star students – well, student isn’t the right word, but you know what I mean Jess :)

      • Jess

        No, “student” is the right word Phil ! I am a life-long learner and your courses and content allow me to grow with knowledge. In this case your knowledge and my goal will allow my wife and I to hopefully reach the age of our parents — late nineties!! Congrats on this new discussion group. We all need help with living healthier lives.

  • Nick

    Hi Phil, I enjoy your gardening videos and I am currently dealing with losing my job of over 25 years. It’s going out of business in 2 weeks. So, I am in need of some real inspiration for the next stage of my life. Lots of thoughts go thru my head. Sadness over not working with people I’ve known for over 20 years. Fear of the unknown. Imagined fears of the future. Being able to support my wife. What do I really want to do next. I’m doing everything I can to remain positive and hopefull that something better might be around the corner. Working at one place this long, I probably was do for a change. It would be nice to have a fulfilling career. I just feel like I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks :)

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      That must be a difficult situation. I have some thoughts, but I guess the main one is that your next step is probably to allow yourself the time to soul search. Do you have a bit of money saved that would allow you to take some time away from jumping right in to looking for new work? Then you can use that time to instead look within and do some solid thinking.

      One thing I’m hoping to do this winter is go on a 10 day silent meditation course (inexpensive by the way) to take a time out from the constant go, go, go. Going away is nice because it removes distractions, but even just dedicating time to working through this in any number of ways would be good. You might find a life coach to help guide you through that process and keep you on track. Journaling can help, too.

      Now would be a good time to set up a monthly meetup with your coworkers – at least you guys can still hang out. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up either. Just happy and hopefully always helping some people out with some things…

    • Yampah

      What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

      by Richard N. Bolles

      http://www.amazon.com/What-Color-Your-Parachute-2014/dp/1607743620/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386435826&sr=1-1&keywords=what+color+is+your+parachute

      The book has sold more than 10,000,000 copies to date, and is dramatically updated, reshaped and rewritten, every year. The 2014 edition is just out. “Parachute”, as it’s often called, has been translated into 20 languages and is used in 26 countries.

      Reviews

      “No one has been writing best-selling career-advice books longer than Richard Bolles.”
      —Wall Street Journal, 9/15/11

      “What Color Is Your Parachute? is about job-hunting and career-changing, but it’s also about figuring out who you are as a person and what you want out of life.”
      —Time

      “. . . one of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.”
      —Fast Company

      “Bolles knows what he’s talking about: his practical job-hunting strategies are based on years of research, and best of all, they really work.”
      —School Library Journal

      “Ideally, everyone should read What Color Is Your Parachute? in the tenth grade and again every year thereafter.”
      —Fortune

      “There’s Parachute, and then there’s all the rest. . . . a life-changing book.”
      —Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

      “Parachute is still a top seller and it remains the go-to guide for everyone from midlife-crisis boomers looking to change their careers to college students looking to start one.”
      —New York Post –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

    • mamalady

      See Yampah comment. It is one of the best books ever. Keep the positive outlook going and know that this is just a phase and will be over soon. When people ‘retire’ we go through the same feelings because we have ‘worked’ our entire lives we don’t know what to do when we don’t have a job. This book helped me hope it will help you. It is stocked in most libraries.

  • Wyominggal

    Love the idea of this website and maybe we can all “coax” each other to reach our goals. I know I will visit often, seeking inspiration from all your followers and working up the courage to follow the three steps you outline above because right now committing publicly and telling others would just make it that much more humiliating when I didn’t reach my goal . . . yet again. I am a great cheerleader, though, so I’ll be cheering everyone one and hoping some of your motivation will rub off on me! :)

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      It’s a pretty sweet opportunity here to get hooked up with a good accountability partner (me!) – I encourage you to take the leap!

  • Barb

    I would like to find some fun way to be more active. I do have a gym membership but am never inspired to go!

    • Barb

      I love your idea to go out walking in the morning and taking pictures. I did just get a new camera, so maybe that will be my new thing!

      • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

        For some reason, walking has been heavily researched and is consistently shown to offer immense benefits. Maybe you should copy my goal and when you get home from your walk each morning, do a little writing (journalling) to get down on paper some thoughts about what might be next in your life, even if you just commit to 3 sentences each day.

  • AHorseOfcourse

    My goal is figuring out what to do with the rest of my life…. That’s a big one. But seriously, I need a better paying job (fast) so I can become more independent (not rely on spouse’s financial help). But I also want to stay working within my passions (helping people. I also love animals). I’m currently a counselor now and truly love my job, but the pay is not good (with a BA). So, I’m considering returning to school for my Master’s degree, but that would require massive loans and I’m almost 50. So I’m not sure if it’s the right thing for me to do. Because I’m torn between saving for retirement versus creating a lot of debt at my age.

    I would also like to eat healthier and to lose weight so that I can feel better (for more energy, longevity, and to feel better in my clothes). I will have a few good days where I am on track eating healthy and logging in myfitnesspal.com, and then I fall off the wagon. I stop logging and have poor eating habits. I think I too, like Sandie, am an emotional eater at times. So, I joined a gym about 2 months ago, but I don’t go. :-(

    I wonder if not knowing what to do career-wise is creating blocks in the other aspects of my life (like taking the steps for obtaining better physical health).

    Thanks for this site Phil! :-) I fit right in because I’m putting things off (like making decisions on what to do) and I seem to be getting in my own way.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Oh ya, I understand. I’m really good at taking care of my health, but I procrastinate in other areas – I guess we all have our own things. Is there a way to get the financial numbers down on paper to help make the decision about going back to school? The debt may be irrelevant if you’re fairly well assured of getting a raise – in that case the debt might just be a solid investment. Of course there are other factors than just the money, but it can be good to get the numbers down on paper.

      Certainly when we have anxiety (like with the job decision) that can very well impact how we eat and exercise and so on. Perhaps it would be good to focus on the job decision first – I like to tackle just 1 or 2 big goals at once. Though that doesn’t mean we have to break down and start eating deep fried butter in the mean time :)

  • Pete

    I am going to finish my first book by Monday evening. Please hold me accountable. Thank you!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Writing? Reading? Coloring? :)

  • Sarah

    I want to continue writing my book and be okay with the fear that comes with that. I took the first step yesterday in telling my manager to lighten my load – no more weekends and nights.

    I made the space and in came the terror! Lol… But here I go. Thanks for the nudge, everyone. Seeing the list of desires reminds me I’m in very good company. And Phil, one of the best ideas, ever.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Nice Sarah! I’m sure you know this tip, but when I wrote my book, one of my rules was to write a minimum of X number of words every day, even if they weren’t great – just get something down. You can always edit later. In fact, when I’m writing anything, I try my best not to edit as I write. I get it down and worry about finding the perfect words later. What’s the book about?

      • Sarah

        Hi Phil, Thanks for the encouragement both here and in the email! I got 350 words out after a dinner party I’d already committed to (yay me!). The book is a series of vignettes that touch on those moments that we all have that change us, nudge us to grow up, redefine ourselves, or see the world or ourselves in a new way. :)

        • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

          Thanks for updating here Sarah to let everyone know. I’ve just received your day 2 email as well, so I’ll be in touch again…

  • Tom Lampman

    Heat with wood. We have a little over an acre of trees on our acreage. With a backup of natural gas, we maintain a comfortable inside tempature of 16 C. Yes, we wear sweaters and comforters while reading, knitting or occassionally watching the boob-tube. I wouldn’t expect everyone to heat with wood, but setting your thermostat at a low temp. forces your body to burn a few more calories than normal. Dress for the situation and use the God given furnace inside of you to maintain a healthy weight. Working in the garden should keep you in good shape and away from the processed foods. When it gets down to -35 C. at our place, I’m amazed how active we can become stoking our internal metabolic furnace and the supplimental external heat source.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      My parents partially heat with wood, too. Best smell ever :)

  • Marilyn

    My goal is to finish (rough draft, even) a procedures manual for my work as garden coordinator for a nonprofit children’s academic enrichment program. I want to reach this goal by Christmas, 2013, and present a binder to our director outlining the 3 main aspects of this position, resources used & needed, tools required and examples of lessons/tasks for each area covered. I’m almost paralyzed by this task as I’ve started it electronically and am well into organizing the data online, yet the print version is just not coming together. Cold sweat time just thinking about it!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Cool! So where are you with organizing the data online? Do you have all the topic areas planned out and now you need to write it? Or have you started writing? And what is going to be difficult about going from electronic to print?

    • Rarefunk

      How’s it going! Big goal to finish something this big by Christmas. I hope you made it!

  • Alex Mill

    Hi Phil,

    I’m not sure I’m putting off goals, but I do want to put more energy into my own new website and blog: http://www.kindnessville.com.

    My current goal is to create some free material to offer visitors to the site as well as a book.
    So I plan to have the free material done within 3 weeks while simultaneously writing the book which I will then illustrate after the other piece is done. I’ve never written a book before — it will be a kid’s book, but still, I should give myself some wiggle room for the unexpected. Perhaps 2 1/2 months from now would be sufficient?

    Thanks for the opportunity to make a public commitment and face resistance down. I appreciate the opportunity to do it with you.

    Good luck with your own site. And if you need anything, please feel free to ask. It is a community you are building here so you should not feel obligated to be the only one providing!

    In lovingkindness,
    Alex

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Sounds awesome Alex! Ya, I’m not sure how long a kid’s book would take – for a regular book I like to set a goal of X words per day, but a kid’s book is a little different. I guess let’s start with the free material for the website, right?

  • John Ashworth

    Hi Phil

    My plan is my blog. I use it to develop ideas and monitor progress. My prime
    objective is to cope with drought without losing sight of the vital soil biology needed for excellent food quality and productivity in a suburban environment. My immediate plans include starting to brew and use “new”compost tea, and putting in my 3rd heavy Ecobed, both by end Jan 2014.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Sounds great John! So working backward, what next step could you plan to get done this week?

      • John Ashworth

        This week I go on vacation for a few days (Its summer here in Australia). Compost tea spraying starts as soon as I get delivery of my air pump. The Ecobed goes in as soon as I make space harvesting a bed full of potatoes (about a month). I used spreadsheets a lot before I retired, now I use them to plan my planting schedule and crop rotation plan ( see http://jas49580.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_689.html).
        I really love the blog.
        Keep well. John

  • MaryLyle

    WOW Phil! What a fantastic reason to be up all night! I love where you’re going with this site! Thanks for creating so much value in the world and sharing it was so many people! Right now I’m in a somewhat similar place. Maybe I’m afraid of failure, maybe I’m afraid of success. I have a business (Mindful Kitchen), a purpose, and a huge market…I just need to stop half launching and exusing my avoidance of marketing. Thanks for inspiring me when I really needed it the most! I need to be better about reaching out into the community that I have been serving for years to create something transformational and fulfilling for myself and those I serve.

    Best with your purpose.
    May you be happy, healthy, safe, and live with ease.
    ML

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Sounds like you mostly know what to do and just need a little boost – I’ll be in touch…

  • Joanne

    Hi, Phil. I’m so happy to hear that you’re into natural health as well as gardening. I happen to run a natural health forum. Even though the winter months are here, I haven’t stopped dreaming of my garden and what I’ll be planting in the spring, though. Right now is about the time when all of my seed catalogues start pouring in, and I just love perusing them. Btw, I’m also into music and I wanted to mention how much I enjoy the entrance/exit snippet that you always put in your videos. Very cute. Also, I think writing down what you eat (in a spreadsheet, journal or whatever) is a great idea. Many people need to address their nutritional deficiencies (vitamins, minerals, etc.), and they only way to know what they are is to keep track of meals and such. As for my goals for 2014, I’ll have to sit down and think about them carefully and get back to you. I’m happy to hear about your new site. Best, J.

    • Joanne

      “they only way to know” should read “the only way to know”… I hate typos. Ack!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Thanks Joanne, I’ll look forward to hearing your goals :)

  • Aussie Meg

    Just want to say you made me smile and then chuckle re- the spreadsheets. Friends and family think I am the queen of them but……. I don’t have one for breakfast. Just going to have to share this page with them to prove I have well and truly demoted ;-)

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Nice!

  • Chris

    well, I think I would really really really like to keep working on my eating habits….newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes with some physical challenges that have crimped moving around for me for some years now. Been tapping (EFT) and really want to make it an integral part of my day…..and I’d like to lose 50 pounds. :)

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Cool Chris, a couple of good goals there. Any thoughts yet about which foods you want to decrease and which foods you want to eat more of?

      • Chris

        I love veggies, so am increasing those. Mostly working on carbs balance…not too many, not too few. Whole grains-which I already use, and as few processed foods as possible….moving to a house with a garden area, and will be gardening in the spring-yaaayyyy! I want to look into raising chickens, too…..so far, so good! :)

        • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

          Sounds like a good start Chris. I’ll be in touch…

    • Colin

      I would have a look at what these guys have managed to do at http://www.rawfor30days.com/ I’ve watched the documentary they did, were they follow 6 people in their journey to reverse diabetes

  • James Triplett

    for those wanting to lose weight, a good book ‘Eat Fat Lose Fat’ by Bruce Fife

  • jane

    Thought I would share “wwoofing” as we are currently looking into it for our daughter. She is only 18 but has a huge desire to travel the globe (already spent the summer in France and loved it) ..WWOOFing stands for world wide opportunities for organic gardening…you join the wwoof country you are interested in (France costs $30) and they give you a list of organic farmers looking for help in exchange for room and board. talk about life changing…my husband and I are actually considering this for us too. Thanks Phil, you have been an inspiration for me.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Thanks for sharing Jane. I wwoofed in 2005 when I was first getting into organic gardening. It’s an awesome thing.

  • Cherie

    AAHH! You’re reading my mind right now – I am so EXCITED!! Can’t blame you for not being able to sleep :) My goal is to define the true passion/s that I want to dedicate my life to, figure out how to make enough money from it to support us, then do it! I’ve been putting off changing my career for the last 4 or 5 years (mostly because it currently makes me good money), so I’m now bursting at the seams to start doing something “worth while” with my life! I too am obsessed with spreadsheets and planning, and am finding it very difficult to get part that stage. My problem is that there’s too many things I want to do, and I’m not sure how any of them can support us (financially), so I can’t make a decision! It will definitely be somehow related to family health (gardening / cooking / an educational revolution away from the awful unhealthy and commercialised slippery slope that our society seems to have gotten itself into!), but the idea of actually defining it and going for it, is scaring the hell outta me! Can totally relate to everything you said :) I want to have started the transition into my new career by May 2014 (Eeek!)
    Your new website is perfect timing for me Phil.. Thank you!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Cool! Would love to support you with this! So if we work backwards Cherie, what goal can you set for this week?

  • Bethany

    This is a wonderful idea! This has been amazing crazy stressful fun few years for me! Between soaking in so much knowledge of natural gardening, herbal medicines,cutting out chemical products, growing mushrooms, fermented foods,wild edibles, animal husbandry while still running my own dog grooming business then actually putting all this knowledge into play.Wew!! To top it all off I have gone out on a limb and into a little bit of debt for a piece of property have been renting a trailer, gardening and raising chickens on and NOW can run a business on it! I want to move my doggie business to this land and slowly phase in selling gardening supplies ,plants, compost/worms,mushroom kits and only have to groom a few days a week ……maybe even teaching some gardening classes ( When I feel I have enough knowledge to actually lead someone lol) I struggle finding time for yoga and meditation that I love between work ,garden, home, actually eating what I work so hard to grow oh and SLEEP :p Im having a very difficult time deciding how to lay out where to place all of the things I want for this property. I know one day this will all flow together and I will have a schedule. Maybe I should start some spreadsheets Phil…. I have plenty of lists!! Thank you I can’t wait to see what’s in store

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Thanks for sharing Bethany. Any goals you want to commit to this week? Maybe every day you could draw up a unique, very rough plan for the layout. After 5 days you’ll have 5 totally different plans. They don’t have to be right – it’s just a nice way to get your thoughts on paper.

  • James Triplett

    there is Much Confusion on this or that diet. i found Common Sense nutrition here and have been enjoying it for 13 years – http://www.westonaprice.org/

  • James Triplett
  • James Triplett
  • James Triplett
  • George

    Goal – learn how to garden year round in one of the hottest places, Lake Havasu City. My sparse winter crop is in. Looking forward to spring (February) planting. 120 summer heat is rough on all plants but some can survive. The soil is a real challenge but it is producing. Have 3 “raised” beds where I replaced the rocks with store bought cow manure – not the real thing but better than rocks.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Sounds like a great goal George. Any short term goals for the garden for the rest of this year?

  • Debbie Rudell

    My Goal is to finish the book I’ve started by the end of 2014. Written, edited, rewritten, edited, rewritten, published as an ebook.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Nice. Any short term goal for this month? Write X words or X chapters or something? Now that you have an end goal in mind, it can be nice to have monthly milestones to help you get there.

  • janmac02

    Your email this afternoon was perfectly timed! It arrived while I was wasting time on the internet instead of doing the two important things I had planned to get done today. I tend to get overwhelmed by the to-do list – especially during holiday seasons when you want everything to be “perfect”, according to family tradition. But I walked away from the computer and did 40 minutes on the elliptical (for the first time my numbers from my yearly physical weren’t great), and then I worked on cleaning up the guest room that had become a storage room. Your email was the nudge I needed. Thank you, Phil!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Nice!

  • Meta

    Well, here it goes, lets see what happens. I live in a small community up North. The home I live in now, is lets say has a long history of happiness and sadness. I have a basement that at one point was my home, while my in-laws lived upstairs. I did not have a problem being in this space, as I was a live in caregiver. Both in-laws were very elderly. I stayed in the basement to better hear them in the evenings, and just to make sure they were okay. As life goes on, today I live in this house, and the basement, well it is filled with that life and this life. And I keep putting if off, the sorting and giving away. Lets just say, this space is not ideal anymore. Steps of where to start, I would like to be able to set it up as a functional usable space…

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Hmmm, I see. So where to start? Can you get some boxes and just plan to sort things down there each day just until you have one box full for the day? Then do something with that box (put it in a giveaway pile or a garbage pile or a keep pile) and you’re done for the day? Do that every day and you’ll finish eventually. What do you think?

      • Meta

        In Unity,

        Meta Williams

  • Rene

    Since I retired in February 2012 at age 70 I have been trying to deep clean my house. I get started and then lose interest and… I come up with plans, like a room a week or even a room a month and so far? I get around to vacuuming about every 1-2 months and clean up the webs when they get full of flies. I do a fair job of doing the dishes and keeping my laundry up. I just can’t seem to get a good start and keep going and am at a loss as to how to get the house nice and clean and then keep it that way. Any help would be appreciated. My reality – I would rather be in the garden and at my age I have slowed down a bit and can’t get up the energy or desire to do both. HELP!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Ever do a job jar Rene? I used to do them when I was a kid, but it works for us grownups, too. Just put every possible job on a piece of paper and pull X pieces of paper each day. Do those jobs and you’re done for the day. You may find that 15 minutes a day eventually gets you there.

      Sounds like you and Meta (down below) should be accountability partners :)

  • Lindsay

    I’m the breadwinner for our family and I have a 2 year old son. Before becoming a Mom I lived on takeout and kraft dinner basically. I’ve been trying to learn how to cook healthy meals and was doing so in the warmer months this year when my garden was producing and organic food was easier to get at the store… but lately i’m finding this a real challenge and I often resort to something easy and well-known (like throwing a frozen pre-cooked meal in the oven). I studied anthropology and so I am pretty aware of the links between what we eat, especially in our youth, and our physical and psychological wellness. So one of my goals is to address that (Great video! its nice to be reminded that one little effort at a time is all that it takes). Another, is to find a meaningful career…not only something that brings in the money so that we can get by, but the thing that will allow me to be my truest self and to help others. I’m on that path, I just wish that I could have more clarity…i mean, what the heck am i doing? What can I do? What do I really want to do? I’m happy that i’m at least in a place where i can start asking myself these questions. Thanks for beginning to show us your vision, Phil, i’m excited for this!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      I’m always envious of people who figure out when they are young exactly what they want to do with their life – for me it’s an ongoing process that I get closer to all the time, but it’s certainly still a challenge to figure out exactly what I should do. I’ll be in touch tonight about your goals :)

  • Mimi

    I’m learning how to love myself, I’ve been one many roads seeking that but never felt like now. It was never real.
    I’m also dieting cause by eating wrong and trying new amazing recipes everyday without thinking about calories and kind of forgetting to be grateful for my body I gained weight fast.

    I will be on my healthy weight (never skinny) in february ^_^

    http://spiritualvegan.blogspot.com

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Excellent Mimi! What are you doing for your diet these days?

  • Mary

    I’ve been putting off starting my new business (which is something I’ve never done before) from home – I think I’m worried it will be either a fantastic success (eating up all my time) or a fantastic failure (eating up all my money and my feeling of self-worth). It is SOOOOOOOO easy to keep doing all the little things that need attending to during the day instead of just dropping them to focus on myself and my goals.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      That’s true – I know a lot of home-based entrepreneurs who rent an office or even just a desk in an office building because it’s so much easier for them to get work done from home. Even the library can work well. So what’s your new business idea Mary?

      • Mary

        Veterinary homeopathy. I’m a veterinarian, and now I’m also a homeopathy student, but I am far enough along in my studies that I feel quite competent in practicing homeopathic medicine with non-human animals (and, as a licensed veterinarian, it is completely within my scope of practice with veterinary species – not yet with humans).

        • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

          Oh, that’s super cool. So do you know when you want to open your doors, and have you created a basic, simple timeline of the main things that need to happen between then and now?

          • Mary

            Nope, and that’s a great place to start! Thanks! :-) Actually, I want to start practicing YESTERDAY, but wanting is just not enough to make it actually happen is it? ;-) I’ll start my chronological list of “things to do” first thing in the morning, if I can even sleep now…

          • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

            …so did you make a list Mary?

          • Mary

            Well, sort of… I got pulled off on a tangent while trying to assemble my list. In ignorance of each step I need to take, I jumped down the rabbit hole of the SBA.gov website, with all it’s many lists and steps and articles and tips (and that’s just BEFORE you start a business!). Now I’m just swimming through all of that. Lots to read, but I’ll keep my notebook with me as I go through everything, then I can pare it down to a bullet list of chronological steps. Thanks for checking on me – it helped light a fire under my butt. :-)

          • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

            I’m glad! I’ll email you soon to start the accountability fun :)

        • HealthyAnimalVet

          Mary – please contact me – http://www.myhealthyanimals.com. I have been a homeopathic veterinarian for 30 years and speak at AHVMA a lot on how to have a successful practice. my commitment is to encourage more veterinarians to use a lot of homeopathy. Are you coming to Dr. Pitcairn’s advance course in March? You will get a lot of practice/business mentoring from all the attendees, many who have been right where you are now. do you feel good doing phone consults? There is a need and it has no overhead.

          • Mary

            HealthyAnimalVet, I sent you an email earlier today from your “contact me” page – hopefully you will receive it? :-)

  • Nick Henry

    My major problems are trying to quit soda and lose the weight. At a period in my life, a few years back, I quit soda & junk food, and got on a treadmill. I brought my weight down to 195lbs (for a 6’3″ guy) and was pretty excited about it. Then black spots started appearing all over my body and it turns out that I had pityriasis lichenoides. After talking to other people with it, one of the recommendations was infrequent showers as possible because it was so uncomfortable and almost painful after taking a shower… so this meant no more treadmill walking or anything that would make me sweat. My depression kicked in, I went back to soda and junk food and etc etc… Of course, the weight came back. I’m one of the lucky ones where my PL went into remission after 3 months. Once in a while I’ll get a spot or two but thankfully it hasn’t fully reared its ugly head again. I’ve been fighting with myself, trying to get myself off the soda and junk food, and back on the treadmill… but ugh.. It’s so difficult. i guess I’ll make it a New Years’ resolution or something.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Let’s start right now Nick. I’ll email you and we’ll get on this!

  • Gerry McLeod

    I have been putting off writing my life story as I remember it. I am 73 yrs old, have 4 children and 12 grandchildren and would like to leave them my memories in words and photos but I just don’t know where to start. Can you help me Phil?

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Absolutely. For me the first step is definitely to do a brainstorm and write down every memory/story you might like to share – not in detail, just a few words for each (e.g. “Getting married”, “Walking to school”, etc.). Let me know once you get that down – then we’ll take it from there and this whole process will be much easier.

  • Kristina B.

    I would like to obey God, by committing to what He has called me to do. I am a believer in God and so, while it may sound strange or funny or whatever….”how does God ‘talk’ to you?”. “What does He say? How do you know it’s from God and that’s it’s not just you?” “Isn’t that just crazy talk?”…. But in reality, slowly but surely, I have learned to discern His voice over time. What I really want to do is to have the discipline and the LOVE for Him that will allow me to be obedient to what He has asked me to do. That is my desire and my prayer.

  • HealthyAnimalVet

    I signed up but now can’t seem to log in as me – HealthyAnimalVet so doing this as guest for now.

    I am committed to completing the writing and editing of 3 ebooks by Jan 1.
    OK – that is 15 days. I will have the flea book done and to my editor (husband) by 12/17
    Healthy Horse Journal to co-author by 12/25.
    Healthy Cat Journal posted to web site as an ebook by 1/1/2014
    this feels so good to post this publicly and really commit to finishing it.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Excellent! I’ll be in touch tonight to see how the fleas are coming along :)

  • Carol J.

    Hi Phil, I’m entering a new phase of my life — intentional early retirement so that I can focus on life-affirming activities. I want to focus for now on your year-long gardening program (which I signed up for almost a year ago during your introductory pricing) and learning Italian, …plus taking writing retreats, dance classes, aikido practices when the spirit moves me. My very first goal though, is to experience an unscheduled life (unscheduled by others) for the first time since I was a small child, and leave room for open thought and creativity. Thoughts for what I might want to do in the future/possible new career: create beautiful, small, organically sustained/maintained gardens for people who have tiny spaces and don’t know what to do with them. But then again…might want to teach English as a Second Language part-time or any other of a thousand things. So my goal for now is Awsomeness, but moving there with baby steps. : ) And I want to learn to grow sprouts, but you’ve just posted the video… Thank You! (In Hawaiian I will say “Mahalo!”)

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Wow, good for you! I’ll be in touch just to see how this transition is going, although it sounds like you have a lot of it figured out pretty nicely…

  • Adriano

    Hi, i would like to finish my thesis that i have been writting for
    more than a year without being able to finish. A couple of weeks of
    intensive writting and i should be off of it but it’s hard to do it when
    i want to do other things (i’m not staying in research after my PhD)

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      I know how you feel, but if you’re that close, I say go for it! If intensive writing is too hard, just commit to writing for X hours per day (maybe 3?) or X words per day (maybe 500?) until the thesis is done. That’s what I do. Oh, and I make it the first thing I do every day before I’m allowed to do anything else, which may or not work for your situation?

  • meme

    I’ve never joined anything like this online before, but because of many things related to my health and my inability to tolerate certain foods, I have developed a, need to grow my own food. I liked the way you presented your information so here I am. I am planning a raised bed garden for next year and I am in the process of getting my materials and ingredients needed. I am spending most of my time researching different vegetables and herbs to plant. I am looking forward to being able to go to my own garden and pick fresh foods rather than going to the grocery store and paying the high prices required. Thank you so much for all the information you provide

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Sounds like a fun goal to me…

  • Marigold

    Hi Phil,

    I have really enjoyed your gardening series/blogs/etc.
    From your latest stuff I see you are definitely moving in a
    somewhat different direction … and clearly a bit more into health ?
    Try this link … I think this is the ‘bridge’ from where you
    have been to where to are heading (perhaps) !
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/23/soil-quality.aspx?e_cid=20131223Z2_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20131223Z2&et_cid=DM36933&et_rid=376194787

    Dr Mercola is a very trusted source … and here is is heading
    ~ more or less ~ in your direction …. so it seems to me
    :>))

    Best wishes & seasonal greetings,
    Marigold

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil (Smiling Gardener)

      Thanks Marigold! Yes, I was thrilled when Dr. Mercola included a video of mine in an article of his this summer. He definitely has a lot of good info…

  • Rarefunk

    ? so to add a goal you do it here in- the comments section?

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil

      You got it!

  • Rarefunk

    Think I’ve figured this out. I need to finish my filing. I have 5 boxes and 2 bags of various sizes with papers I need to file/sort through. It shouldn’t take long. Breaking it down. First: Pull out the files I’m going to use in 2014 and put in an empty box that I can fill while in my wheelchair. (I’m physically disabled.) Second: Take one of the two small boxes that I have already sorted and file. Third: File the second sort box of papers.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil

      Cool! Nice to see the steps laid out like this.

  • Rarefunk

    Oops. There’s a step before the first step. Gotta move all the plants away from the filing cabinet so I can get to the file drawer. [I always bring in a lot of plants to overwinter.]

  • Rarefunk

    So I have finished the first first step. lol. Not so easy pushing the big pots around, but it was timely because one of the biggest pots is leaking! ugh. So will get help from a friend to fix that tomorrow. Now to putt out the files I’m going to be using for 2014. I’m thinking of buying pretty new file tabs in a color I like so it makes it more pleasant. I get somewhat nauseous every time I think about filing. But it has to be done.

  • Rarefunk

    So I’m following up on my goal to finish filing. I have gotten to step three and am working on getting the boxes empty. I have filled up 2 grocery bags full of papers to shred and 2 1/2 more to recycle. So I’m weeding out and filing. It’s not easy for me because I can always think of ways to use pieces of paper I really don’t need or I know someone who might be interested in such and such. But it’s ridiculous now that everything is online. So all of that stuff is going into the recycle bin. My goal is to have it all done by the end of January. Say a prayer for me!

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil

      Good work!

  • Rarefunk

    I have stalled with my filing goal. I have two banker file boxes and two small boxes (about the size of boot boxes) to finish, yet I’ve basically stopped. The only thing I’ve done is kept up with new filing (which to be horribly honest is incredible for me). So here I am again committing to get it done. Step 1: empty out one of the small boxes. Step 2: Repeat Step 1. Step 3. Go through the box of “To Read” materials QUICKLY and recycle most of it. Remember your priorities. Step 4: Organize file folders so the folders you’ll use every week are easily accessed and the rest are in the filing cabinet. Step 5: Empty out the last box!!! Step 6: Celebrate! TIMELINE: I would say do it all in two weeks, but I have several things I’m involved in right now, so I’m going to be realistic and say one step a week. If I get more done, terrific. One step a week is entirely manageable with all the other stuff I am doing. Step 1 completed by 2/17. Step 2: 2/18-2/14. Step 3: 2/25-3/3, Step 4: 3/4-3-10. Step 5: 3/11-3-17. So I can celebrate on 3/17 or 3/18! Put these dates in my phone calendar. I’m completing this.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil

      Nice, 1 step a week is a good idea. I know you can do this. Four days to do step 1 :)

  • Rarefunk

    Finished Step1! but I added to my pile of To Read material. Sigh. If I read everything I have in that stack, it would take me a month.

  • Rarefunk

    Finished Step 2 (just in time to meet the deadline) and Step 3 (finished before I finished Step 2). I didn’t get rid of as much reading material as I hoped, but I see some progress.

    • http://www.smilinggardener.com/ Phil

      Glad to hear it!

  • Rarefunk

    Finished all 5 steps a few weeks early! Yay! Bad news is there is more to do. I’ve got the sorted filing in files, but not in the filing cabinet! It’s too late to do this. In addition, I have some things I don’t know where they go. For some reason, I have a very difficult time organizing. I have many blank notebooks. I think I’m going to donate them to a low-income after-school program. I’ve already given them some magazines, which makes me feel better about not reading them all. ugh. It would be a whole lot easier if I wasn’t interested in so many different topics! There’d be a lot less material to read. Boy, I hope I can finish filing the files in the filing cabinet tomorrow.