It’s October! Suddenly the summer has come crashing to an end and the year is starting to feel old without anyone really realising.
On one hand I am horrified at how fast the year is speeding past, on the other, the start of a new month means the opportunity to start afresh, to set targets and goals.
I set goals back in August, and then failed to do pretty much all of them except for the ones that involved setting up our new business. But that was pretty all-encompassing and now, with each passing day, there is less to do than there was, so I feel I am starting to get some time back during the day.
So here are my goals for October 2017, to be renewed and re-set in November.
Weight reduction, fitness and exercise goals…
And these are minimum gals, I am kinda hoping to smash ’em!
I am already looking forward to checking in on my progress at the start of November!
This is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life!
No, George Clooney hasn’t turned up asking me to forgive him for marrying Amal, nor have I have won the lottery.
But, exactly a week ago, Dean and I both closed down to the outside world and began working on our new business – a quality, bathroom and wetroom installation company.
And that’s about as exciting as anything could be! Sorry George!
After being a general building company, specialising is a HUGE relief. At last we can get really really good, we can hire people specifically, we can do the same thing over and over which means we can get really, REALLY good.
Best of all, we can now see some really exciting ways to market the business, so we can get even bigger and even better.
We are both SOOOO excited!
And we’re doing what we desperately needed to do – preparing the business before it begins, setting goals for the business and for us to achieve.
The new van is signwritten (it looks amazing!), the website is being built (we hired a professional photographer to take photos of a few of the bathrooms we’ve done over the past year) and I picked our new business cards up on Friday.
Tomorrow we are fixing our price list. Our systems will also be confirmed down in the next 24 hours. Then we will do 10 – yes, 10! – price ups using our new systems so that when clients come to the new business we will have set ways to handle each query.
So this was the scene on our kitchen table last Monday morning:
I’m pleased to say that some of those tasks are now ticked ‘done’ and others have morphed as conversations have evolved, but we are still working our way through them.
When the Planets Align…
Have you ever felt like the universe shifted to help you?
I had one of those wonderful moments a week or two ago. I was lucky enough to see a post on a Facebook builders group in which someone recommended this book:
The post was about pricing up and how people decided on what to charge. The person who posted warned that this book isn’t cheap (it isn’t – I paid over £40!) but said the information is gives will be invaluable.
O. M. Geeeeeeepers he was right!
We’re a third of the way in and already Mark Up and Profit is changing how we think and feel. If only we had known of this book years ago! But anyway, we have it now.
Reading Mark Up and Profit is literally like having the author, Michael C Stone, turn up at your home and go through your business with you. He really knows his stuff and even though it is an American book, it works pretty much 100% for a UK business (just a few pieces of US-jargon re taxes, banking etc).
This book is specifically aimed at the world of construction but really there is useful information in there for any business, especially a business that creates things – houses, bathrooms, websites, clothing, whatever. I will definitely use the formula for mark up on jobs when I come to grow my website/video business, Little Red Horse.
If you have ever wondered about how to work out pricing or when to know if your price is too high or too low, I really recommend getting your hands on a copy. It really has changed everything for us.
If you don’t mind me collecting a very small percentage of the cost of the book, you can buy it through this link here.
I cannot describe how grateful I am that as I scrolled along my Facebook timeline on that day, I decided to click on that post and see that comment. Sooo grateful!
New Energy – Setting Goals
As often happens, once energy starts flowing freely in one part of your life, it soon spreads to other areas.
My YouTube channel has been a bit stuck recently, I haven’t uploaded any videos for a while, not quite knowing what to say.
Today I found my diaries for 2014 anbd 2015 and looked back to July 30th on both years. It was interesting to think about what I was doing then, and how much has now changed. (I haven’t kept a diary properly for almost two years and I know I’ll regret it – this blog is partly an attempt to diarise how the journey goes).
Then on tonight’s dog walk I had the idea of posting regular, monthly goal videos – I read constantly that setting goals is one sure way to help yourself towards success, measuring your progress along the way. Also I wrote about it here.
So I grabbed Dean when he got back from golf and pinned him down to some goals for August. Here they are (for both of us):
Go running with the dogs at least 8 times – so twice a week
Complete two bathrooms as part of our bathroom business
Get three subcontractors signed up and part of our team
Go to bed by 10.30 pm three times a week (yeah right!)
Finish fire safety improvement works to all our rental properties
Get our dog recall up to 99.9999%
Do three Youtube videos – ‘how to’ sharing tips I’ve learned along the way
Do two Tony Horton golf workouts every week (Dean)
Eat some fruit and vegetables every day (Dean)
Get our new bathroom business completely set up
And here they are in glorious technicolour! (Trust me, there’s nothing like posting your secrets on YouTube for creating some accountability!)
Diet of the Frickin CENTURY… Day 8 – January 16 2017…
I’ve done it, folks!
Seven whole days of iron willpower, tiny meals, gallons of water and a few hopes and dreams (not to mention two Sunday morning pastries, ahem*), I made it to Le Grand Exante Weigh In, Numero Uno…
Dear reader, I am delighted to report that my podgy little feet are ever sooo slightly less podgy than they were seven days ago!
Day One weight: 190.3 lbs (aka 13 stones 8.3 lbs)
Day Eight weight: 182.8 lbs (aka 13 stones 0.8lbs)
I was so very nearly out of the 13 stones! And probably, if I hadn’t eaten as I did on Sunday I would have been. But I’m happy with this result, very happy.
8 lbs is nearly 20% of my goal of losing 44 lbs! (Ok, it started out at 43 lbs – my age – but as I will be 44 in March I might as well just accept that figure**.)
Now all I have to do is keep the momentum going!
I feel soooo lucky to have found the wonderful Exante diet. The products are generally delicious, even the ones I found a little disappointing at the start my taste buds have now adapted to.
It is affordable enough to be able to buy plenty of products, which I have discovered is important to me, because if it feels like I’m going to run out I won’t eat them (weird, right?)
And I have not been hungry. Hand on heart, the only time I have craved food has been when my brain wanted it, not my stomach.
New favourite products:
Lemon cheesecake shake – OMG. Just. OMG <3
Red bean chilli. Basically, it’s normal food. A bowl of normal food, imagine that!!
Very Berry porridge. Heaven in a dish.
I’m not doing very well on updating my YouTube channel, mostly because I am struggling to make enough room on my poor bulging laptop to upload the footage to edit. And now my phone is full too!***
First world problems, hey, but I promise I will keep on keeping on and update as soon as I can, especially so you can see the products.
Does 8lb weight loss feel different?
You bet it does. And that’s got to be the best thing about a vlcd diet – you lose weight so fast you can really feel the difference.
I am walking taller, my stomach is flatter and I feel so much better.
Plus, my work trousers (I was down to one last pair that fit!) were just that bit looser this morning – RESULT!
So, it’s onwards and upwards to Week Two.
My goal for this week is to lose 4 lbs, which should start to open up various wardrobe options previously un-fittable!
(Obviously more would be perfectly acceptable – don’t hold back in leaving, fat ounces)
As I write this, Dean is cooking his evening meal of chicken pie, oven chips and onion rings (and the guy weighs less than I do – but then he does move around all day) and I can’t lie, the thought of a whole week of restraint stretching out ahead is daunting.
So, it’s one day at a time, and keep focussed on the goal.
* that was not such an iron will day, but it did taste good.
** don’t even ask how I’ve got to 44. I must have blinked and misplaced a couple of decades somewhere.
*** yup, spot the vlogger who hasn’t yet invested in a decent camera…. ahemm…
Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business, losing weight, taking control & finally making a success of my life!
Feeling amazing this morning, full of energy and quite slim. My stomach loves being empty. My brain not so much though, and after I got back in from the dog walk I had to fight a VERY strong Saturday morning desire for carbs. Namely a couple of croissants from the village shop. Boy did I have a tense ten minutes as my inner battle raged.
Meal 1 – Very Berry Porridge
I decided to fight it with a sachet of Very berry porridge – rather nervously, after the disappointment of the apple and cinnamon. In the light of the over-boiling situation I also cut down the microwave time, from 2 minutes 30 seconds twice, to two minutes twice. The bubbling, swimming pool mess that greeted me suggested I need to reduce that further…
BUT it was sooo good! Very sweet, fruity, and even though most of it was swimming in the saucer, I am so happy to say that what I was able to eat did quell the most of the craving.
Meal 2 – Coconut shake
I am really liking the shakes, and this was one of the best yet. I luuuurve coconut, and the flavour was perfect. Yum!
I have been struggling to edit my films for my YouTube channel because my mac is so full it is literally about to slam its little mac hands down on the table yelling “Enough, fool woman! I can’t take it no more!” and refuse to work which would be DISASTROUS. I thought the answer would be cloud storage but I find icloud useless (keeps crashing) and Dropbox so confusing – do I need to sync? is it uploading? if I can’t sync can it still upload? and blah blah, far too boring to go on any further but safe to say I spent the entire afternoon trying to delete old videos and photos, with questionable results, frankly. Technology can be so confusing sometimes.
When Dean brought me a cup of coffee I had a moment of madness and reached for the bottle of Baileys I foolishly had left in my office, adding a generous slurp to the coffee. Yum! Fool! I felt it immediately, and that could lead to any food weaknesses. I kept my head down and focused until the strongest alcoholic wobbles disappeared, then headed downstairs and ate a few pieces of chicken with mayonnaise before taking the dogs out.
There was only one way, then, to finish the evening – with a red bean chilli, which was just as good as last night. Halfway through it, Dean came and sat next to me with a plateful of white toast and butter – I took one slice from him and had a bite. It was surprisingly tasteless.
I have felt great today, aside from the alcoholism, and already feeling slimmer. My pair of go-to jeans, which had recently become my leave-behind jeans as I could barely fit them on, now fit again. My stomach is flat(ish) and I can feel myself walking taller.
I seem to find it easier to drink the water this time around. I have a 1.5 litre bottle that I fill and carry with me, plus numerous cuppas (coffee, tea and herbal teas) through the day take me over 2 litres. I wonder if Exante meals are slightly saltier than Cambridge? Certainly, I do feel ready to drink and would definitely drink more if it was warmer.
It’s day 7 tomorrow, already. Whenever I start a diet I feel the pressure of the never-ending sprawl of depriving myself ahead – which is a sure way to disaster. One day at a time, folks! Somehow the days pass and suddenly you’ve been dieting for long enough to see results, and that’s amazing.
So, one more day before my first weigh-in – hoping I smash it tomorrow!
Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business, taking control & making a success of my life!
Merry Christmas! I hope yesterday was wonderful for you, whether or not you celebrate the actual festival, and I hope you have been able to take some time out from the busy rush of everyday life.
We closed Dean’s construction business on December 22nd until January 3rd, so, asides from the mountain of paperwork I still need to go through – more of that in a later post – we’ve actually been able to take some time off, which has been wonderful.
I discovered a fantastic app called Enlight which allows you to do amazing things with photos on your phone – so I couldn’t resist sharing this of the girls on Christmas morning!
Yesterday was a quiet, pretty steady day – just me, Dean and his youngest son Sam, aged 15. Plus the dogs, of course. Even though it was just the three of us, there were all the phone calls to the rest of the family, text messages and of course the constant stream of Facebook posts to answer, so it felt busy even if we weren’t too crazy!
Even so, if we can find the time, Christmas is always a good opportunity as the end of the year approaches, to take stock of what we have achieved so far.
Dean and I covered this in our final 2016 call with our business mentor just a week ago. It really was so helpful. The thing with a mentor or coach is they will ask you what you want to work on with each call, so that you take responsibility for your own journey, and it felt appropriate to look towards the next 12 months and where we want Dean’s business to be (and also I couldn’t think of anything else to suggest!)
The start of a new year is, for me, much more than just another new month – it really can be an opportunity for a fresh start. Just imagine, 12 whole undiscovered months lying ahead, each one filled with the potential for fun, achievement and success!
Although I am painfully aware of how far we still have to go until we achieve true Life Success, I have to admit that 2016 has been pretty awesome for us both in terms of our pathway to success. The call with our mentor helped us both to see that – we made some big decisions in that call.
But if I’m going to do it properly, I need to write a list of those achievements, which I will do in my next post.
Then, we can start to look ahead to not only what 2017 will bring, but what WE can bring to the next 12 months to make them better than ever before.
So, I need to do another list – of our goals for 2017.
I’ve written before about goal setting, because it can be really hard to actually pinpoint what we want in life. If you are not particularly materialistically-minded, like me, it can be even more difficult to write that list.
But how good it will be if, at the end of December 2017, I have a list of things I can tick off!
I speak to so many people who say they never set New Year Resolutions, which seems strange. Why would people not even TRY to improve their lives? Fair enough, I may not achieve everything, but at least by setting some targets I’m giving myself the opportunity to play the game.
So, losing weight, earning more, growing our businesses and building our property portfolio are all going to be on list – call it Goals, Aims or New Year Resolutions.
(I’m setting to start my diet on Monday, January 9th. I know it’s a week or so into the new year, but there’s still probably going to be some good food left over on January 1st, and I want to reduce the opportunities for failure as much as possible. My box of Exante diet products has arrived and I’m going to shoot a video to post on my YouTube channel as I unpack everything – I’ve had a quick peek but nothing more so I’m excited to take a look.)
But before that, my immediate goals to do BEFORE the end of 2016 are to write two posts – one of my/our achievements and one to set my/our 2017 goals. There, I’ve said it, and I’m about to hit Publish – so I HAVE to do them now!!!
Thanks for reading!
Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business & making a success of my life!