Tonight, Shauna and I fly out to Sydney, but not before spending the day in Los Angeles! I’m amped about eating fresh salads, drinking green juice, and doing a bit of shopping before we drag our tired cabooses onto the plane. It’s such a fun city!
Anyhoo, a couple of weeks ago, I put out an open call on Facebook for questions I could answer on my blog. Below you’ll see a nice variety of topics, ranging from work to entrepreneurship to gossip to creativity. I love doing these posts!
“How do you make a job you hate but can’t afford to leave (for the time being anyway) suck just a little bit less?” — Alison Benbough
Keep your eye on the prize. Remind yourself regularly why you are staying there: is it so you can save enough money to launch your own business? Are you working to become debt-free? Knowing why you’re doing something is essential to staying motivated and keeping your spirits up. There’s nothing worse than feeling hopeless or doing something that feels pointless.
If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, generally, spend time trying new things. Experiment, play, volunteer. I firmly believe that we discover our passions by doing, not by thinking.
Work to develop your life outside of your job. Your 9-5 might be a shitfest, but you can still enjoy your life. Have weekly dinner dates with your friends, work on your blog, paint before you go to bed, work your way through everything your favourite author has ever written. Don’t let your job — and your lack of love for it — consume you.
Make your workspace feel special. Decorate your cubicle with things that make you smile. Ask if you can work from home one day a week. Figure out how to have fun with your workmates.
Be grateful that you have work, a roof over your head, enough food on the table. That is an enormous blessing.
Know when you want to leave. Set yourself a deadline, and start getting your ducks in a row. You deserve to be doing work that you enjoy. We all do!
“How do you go from blogging as a hobby to blogging professionally (making it your job). I know for you it was a case of fuck it I’m doing this but how would you suggest going from one to another without losing an income?” — Amy Bambrick
KEEP YOUR DAY JOB. I would never suggest anyone do what I did, which was start a blog with no back-up plan. I am a born risk-taker and have done many foolish things. I was extremely fortunate that this worked for me, but other people may not be so lucky. Keep working at your day job while you blog in your spare time, and continue doing so until you are making enough money from your blog to match your salary. And check out Blogcademy Home School for plenty of short videos on how to make some blog money, honey!
“How do you deal with BS gossip from others in the most lady-like fashion to prove it is not true what they say?” — Mani C. Price
Gotta go with A Course In Miracles on this one. Lesson 153: In my defenselessness my safety lies. When we’re attacked by gossip, we feel that to stay quiet is weakness, and to hit back is strength. Actually, the opposite is true. When you attempt to defend yourself, you’re showing others that you’ve been hurt and that you are vulnerable. When we refuse to defend ourselves, we find freedom from fear. We don’t feed the cycle. And we demonstrate, both to ourselves and others, that we don’t need to defend ourselves — because we’re innocent. See those attacks as calls for love, and respond with love. (Here’s more info on Lesson 153.)
Another thing to keep in mind is that you will never change most people’s minds, simply because the majority of us are all so stubborn and full of pride that we will never admit we could have been wrong. The best thing to do is go on and live your life, and forget all about them. Living well is the best revenge!
“Hi Gala – I’m feeling really creative just now and want to do something but everytime I sit down to do something, my mind goes blank have you got any ideas for getting inspiration please? What do you do when you’re stuck in a rut and get fed up?” — Chloe McKay
I think our creativity is easily stifled by our need for perfection. When we place unrealistically high expectations on ourselves, there’s no sense of fun or play. That really sucks the joy out of it, and perpetuates that feeling of being blocked and uninspired.
My recommendation is to put aside your expectations, and instead, embrace discovery, making a mess, and see art as something relaxing that you do for fun. Hopefully that will help open up your creative impulses! I also recommend Radical Self Love Bible School: it’s a fantastic way to loosen up around your art, and also create something beautiful which has meaning.
“I’ve been sick and physically unable to do much the last few weeks, what are some good tips to bounce back after having to take a break from your business?” — Mary Rose
I have to defer to Grace Quantock for this one! She is an amazing, powerful witch babe from Wales, who is also a trail-blazing wellness provocateur. I asked her if she had a post on this very subject, and she wrote it just for you! Check out Chronic Illness Q & A: 7 Steps To Your Business Comeback.
“I need help eating healthy and working out while I work at my job. What do you eat and what do you do to work out?” — Dawn Dubriel
They say that abs are made in the kitchen, and it’s true. Even if you’re working out like mad, if you eat a lot of rubbish, you’ll never see the results you’re looking for. So it all starts with eating the right food.
I eat in an extremely regimented, routine manner. Oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs, grilled salmon or chicken, dark green salads, green apples with almond butter, vegetables, and soup are my everyday fuel. I like eating to a schedule, and I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over again. But I also don’t believe in living a horrible life, so I treat myself, too. One of my favourite things right now is an Earl Grey Creme Latte from Teavana. OMG.
I eat in this regimented way because when I’m not organised and my pantry and fridge are empty, I go completely nuts and end up eating half a container of Ben & Jerry’s every night. (This is not an exaggeration.) Having a good breakfast inspires me to have a healthy lunch, and a good dinner. I’m a sugar fiend, but the less I eat of it, the less I want it… I try not to go too crazy on sweet things in general. (It doesn’t always work.)
I work out 5 times a week: 2 sessions of Pilates and 3 sessions of weight-training. I love it (and I love my trainers) but it ain’t cheap. If you want to try something inexpensive, Kayla Itsines has crazy good workout guides that gives amazing results. Same goes for Tone It Up (I adore Karena and Katrina). The Nike Training Club app is free! I also have a subscription to Yogaglo and I do a couple of sessions a week at home. Nothing crazy, just good stretching and hip-opening stuff. Very satisfying (and $19 a month, I think).
The key is to figure out what motivates you. I am motivated — unfortunately — by having someone waiting for me at the gym and knowing that if I cancel, I still have to pay for the session. Nothing else really sticks. You also have to find something that is fun for you. I love the bad-assery of weight-training and the graceful challenge that I get from Pilates. But I also love dancing around my house. So, find something you really like! As I said earlier, we find what we enjoy by doing, not thinking, so take some classes and see what you like!
“What advice do you have about writing the about section on a product business website?” — Angel London
Check out this Blogcademy Home School video on writing about pages! I got you covered, girl!
“I can tell you are someone who is motivated and driven. How do you keep your long term goals in sight and stay on track? How do you keep yourself from saving things for the last minute?” — Surabhi Jain
You might be surprised to hear this, but I often leave things until the last minute! This is just human nature. Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Put differently, the length of time you give yourself to complete a task is the length of time it will take. BOOM! Mind blown!
If you can’t remember your goals, you have too many. Narrow them down. Get rid of half. Focus on the stuff that really thrills you. I keep myself organised with my Filofax, and make daily to-do lists. The top 3 items on the list are the most important, aka, if I only complete these 3 things today, it will be a good day, productivity-wise. Everything else is a “would be nice to complete”.
It’s okay to leave things to the last minute as long as they get done and you feel proud of the end result. But you can trick yourself into doing things earlier by cutting your deadlines in half, making yourself publicly accountable, or giving yourself rewards. That having been said, if there’s something on your list that you keep putting off, it’s time to ask yourself why and reappraise the situation. If it doesn’t light you up anymore, move on to something that does!
“Do you have a favorite beverage? (Alcoholic or otherwise.)” — Meredith Schneider
If ginger beer is on the menu, I will always order it. My second choice would be ginger ale. (I’m a fan of ginger, clearly.) I’m obsessed with hot chocolate (the thicker and chocolatier the better) chai, and hibiscus iced tea. As for alcohol, the only thing I really enjoy drinking is cider. But I probably have between 10 and 15 alcoholic drinks a year. It’s just not my thing!
“What are the most important things when it comes to your writing? What is your writing process? Do you work strictly on the computer or do you work off paper as well? How do you convince yourself that what you are writing is going to “connect” with your readers? Where do you get your ideas for your products?” — Ashley Elizabeth Brooke Peek
That’s a lot of questions! The most important thing when it comes to my writing is that it excites me. When I don’t feel it, my readers don’t either, and why waste our (collective) time? (I wrote about my process here!)
I do all of my actual writing on my computer. I make notes and plan out ideas or products on paper. I also keep a paper editorial calendar. It’s more satisfying that way, and I like to keep it in front of me.
As for connecting with my readers, after eight years of writing every day, I have a pretty clear picture of you in my head. Plus, I feel very connected to you guys; I feel like we’re always talking. Writing for you has become second nature.
My product ideas come from the feedback you give me. When I notice a lot of you struggling with the same thing, I create things that will help you with that problem. It’s really the only way to do it — reverse-engineer what you’re making. There’s no point in creating something that no one needs!
“Where would your second choice be to live anywhere in the world and why?” — Denise Wine
Oh, good question! Somewhere in California, near the ocean. I can’t get enough of the glorious weather or the incredible fresh food. I adore the vibrancy of NYC, but I don’t think I’ll live there forever.
SYDNEY BABES! Don’t forget that the Radical End-Of-Year Party is this week! I’ll be on stage with lovely ladies, and we’ll be showing you how to appreciate and release 2014, and how to manifest magic in 2015. Plus, we get to hang out, take photos, and be ridiculous together! Talk about an amazing way to end the year. I can’t wait to see you there! Click here for the details!