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Keep Moving Forward

Monday, May 06, 2019

I just returned home early this morning from a planner conference in Vegas. Yes, a planner conference. You may be asking, what on earth is that?

I have been a member of a group called Planners Gone Wild for a few years. It's a place for those of us who use paper planners to connect, share our planners, make new friends, talk about all sorts of 'Non-Planner-Related' (NPR) things, and get inspired by each other. Each year, the group hosts an event called GoWild, a 3-day conference in a different city. This year, I was finally able to attend the conference in Las Vegas.

(here's a picture of one of my planner spreads from earlier this year.)

At the conference, we networked, we partied, we checked out lots of new products and swapped gifts with our new friends. But we also sat in sessions with panelists for many hours on the main 2 days of the conference. And I learned so, SO much there! There are two things I wanted to share from the speakers.

The first is from Teresa Collins. She has an amazing, heartbreaking backstory. The things that she has gone through, and then come out of stronger and more fierce, just blew my mind. She now has a successful papercrafting and apparel business. And as she was telling us her story, something that she said really resonated with me.

"It's okay go to slow, but don't stop."

Persistence was a big theme for the weekend, across almost all of the speakers. And that was definitely part of Teresa's talk. She stressed that it doesn't matter if you have days and days or weeks of 'baby steps' - they are still steps. As long as you keep going, no matter the pace, you are still moving forward.

(here's Teresa during her talk. I don't think there was a dry eye in the conference room haha)

The other speaker I wanted to talk about today is Stephanie Fleming. She is the owner and creator of the Happy Planner and the scrapbooking and planning supply company Me and My Big Ideas (I don't use a Happy Planner personally, but I use her products all the time for my scrapbooks and planner, and it was SO COOL to hear her talk!).

(Stephanie at her talk)

She told the story in this way:

Imagine that you sit down to watch a movie. Ten minutes in, your kid or dog needs something in the kitchen. So you press pause, go take care of them, then come back. You press play and continue the movie. Then you order some food. So 40 minutes into the movie, the delivery person arrives. You press pause, go to the door, get settled in with your food, and then press play and continue on with the movie. Then after about an hour, you realize you've been hydrating and need to go to the bathroom. So you press pause, go pee, then come back and press play and finish the movie.

And no one would say there's anything wrong with that scenario, pausing for a moment to attend to something else, then coming back to it.

She said, 'no one would ever do that scenario this way':

You sit down to watch a movie. Your kid or dog needs something. You press pause, take care of them. But you got distracted with the movie, so now you have to start it over. So you rewind, press play. 40 minutes later, the takeout you ordered arrived. So you press pause, go to the door, get settled in with your food... but you paused the movie, you didn't watch it the full way through, so now you have to start it all the way over. Rewind, start again. You make it a full hour this time, but then you have to pee. When you get back and think about having to rewind and go back through that hour, you see how late it is, and you think, 'well, I guess I don't have time to watch this movie after all, I guess I'll just forget about this movie and not watch it after all.'

No one would ever watch a movie that way. So she asked us to think about how many times we have started a project or creative endeavor or set out to complete a goal and done it that way.

This really hit home to me, especially in regards to weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes. How many times do I start out strong at the beginning of the week, tracking my calories, tracking my water intake, and then on Tuesday or Wednesday, I get caught up at work and don't track for a day or two. And then my brain starts in. "Well. You 'messed up' now, no point tracking for the rest of the week, you'll have to restart next week." How many times have I been discouraged because I had to take a day off or 'pause' and then it made me either feel guilt and like I had to 'rewind and restart', or feel discouraged enough to quit?

Stephanie stressed to us: Persistence Vs. Perfectionism. "Perfectionism is a b*tch, and you know she's gonna treat you badly and make you feel bad about yourself, but for some reason, you keep inviting her to the lunch table." It really resonated with me, SO MUCH. It is impossible to be perfect, and if you expect that from yourself, you will be continually disappointed. But you can be persistent, and just keep going forward. Remember Teresa's quote: it's okay to go slow, just don't stop.

I feel empowered after this weekend, I feel like I can actually do these things that sounded so good to me in the panels. And I wanted to share some of these words of wisdom with everyone here, because I think it really applies to our journeys in losing weight and making healthier decisions for food and fitness. Thanks for reading!
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