How to Be More Consistent with Social Media

One of the most common things I hear from my social media clients is that it’s hard to stay consistent. I mean, I get it. Life is crazy and the last thing I want to worry about is whether or not I’ve posted on my Facebook business page at the end of the day. If you’re already saying “Amen!” then keep reading because whether you run your own biz or you have a team around you handling all the things, today I’m sharing some simple ways to make social media less of a struggle.

Create a Content Calendar

Before you sit down to post anything on social media, it can be a lot less overwhelming if you first create a plan. "Content calendar" might sound fancy, but really it's just a plan. You can use an Excel sheet, print out a blank calendar, or purchase a pretty desktop calendar from your favorite home store. Find what works for you and use that to jot down your ideas and create a schedule of when you'll post and what. I also recommend clients compare their content calendar to their personal calendar - if you know you're going on vacation for a week, then as you're preparing your content calendar make a note that the posts during your vacation week will have to be scheduled ahead of time etc.

Take Pictures Regularly

One of the things clients tell me is that they don't know what to post or they don't have pictures to use... in the age of smartphone technology, this should never be the case. You can snap a photo anytime and begin creating a "bank" of content to share on your social media channels. Maybe that's taking pictures of your design process and then sharing a "before and after," or if you have physical products, it might look like taking an hour or two to set up a bunch of flat lays in front of your window where the lighting is best. If you can, take a bunch of images at once so you have them for future use. This is called batching your work, instead of doing a little bit everyday which can become stressful.

Whatever your business or industry, find a way to get creative and get into the habit of regularly taking photos so you have a stream of content at your fingertips. If it’s in your budget, invest in professional images for your marketing and website use. Did you know you can rent out the INSPIRE Coworking Space for photo shoots and events? It’s got wonderful lighting and aesthetics for creating beautiful photos. And with multiple rooms and a variety of furniture, you can bring a few outfits and create a bunch of different looks. For more info on the space, click here. Or to schedule a branded shoot, contact me today! My team can help you choose your looks, select your colors and stage the area to create the perfect photos and videos.

Start a Blog

Want to ensure you'll never be at a loss for what to post? Start a blog. If you have a variety of YOUR OWN content to share on social media, you'll never need to post a random article from someone else's website again. And one blog post goes a long way. Click here to learn how to turn ONE blog post into FIVE or more social media posts by pulling it apart and repurposing bits of information in new ways. A blog is also great for SEO purposes. And when potential customers come to your site, a blog can highlight your recent projects, your expertise and lend to your credibility. In other words… if you don’t have one, start one!

Find An App to Schedule Your Content in Advance

If you want to stay consistent, scheduling your content in advance will give you a bird's eye view of what's happening on your social media channels so you'll know exactly when you need to post again or schedule new content. Most apps have a monthly view so you can literally sit and plan what's on your content calendar and keep track of when your content will expire. I recently shared some of my favorite apps for scheduling content on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, along with my affiliate links. So if you don't have an account with any of these platforms yet - click here to save a few dollars when you sign up! 

Staying consistent on social media isn't rocket science, it's just a matter of being intentional. These tips can certainly make things easier, but it will take some time and effort for your processes to feel like second nature. Over time, however, social media doesn't have to feel like a chore. You'll learn how to repurpose the content you have and once you find what speaks to your audience, choosing your topics will be easier. For additional tips and advice, find me at the INSIPRE Coworking Space or visit my blog.

Practicing Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” - Melody Beattie

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, November is a natural time of year to think about what we are thankful for. But this time last fall I found myself struggling with discouragement. It became easy to start cataloguing my difficulties and rehearsing what was wrong. Our brains are actually wired with a negativity bias, so we naturally override the good and ruminate on the bad. This leads to shame, depression and isolation. I knew I didn’t want to keep living like that. So I started to intentionally turn my focus toward the good and find mindful ways to practice gratitude. I can honestly say it has been a life changing experience.

At times it might feel trite or wearisome to focus on what we are thankful for. The choice to practice gratitude is not covering pain, pushing away sadness, or denying the hard realities of life. Gratitude is a way we can choose to embrace paradox. Life is hard AND good. It is broken AND beautiful. 

Research shows that gratitude has a significant impact on our wellbeing. Practicing gratitude can: increase happiness, self-esteem and peace of mind; reduce stress, envy, and resentment; as well as improve sleep and help to overcome trauma.

So how can we practically make space every day for gratitude? 

Expand your perspective. Poet Mary Oliver has perfectly reminded us that we each have one wild and precious life. One way to remember the gift of life is to use a Tibetan practice called “The Cup of Life.” Place an upside down cup beside your bed. Upon waking and seeing the cup, remember “I am alive. I can see. I can hear. I can feel.” Turn the cup right side up, ready to receive the gift of life for the day ahead. “In the morning, the mind is very fresh, and just one moment of appreciation for being alive can reorient our whole day” says author Yongey Rinpoche. 

Pay attention to your life. Make a commitment to yourself to record five things you are thankful for each day (Side note: This is part of the healing journey, friends. Make commitments to yourself and keep them. You are worth showing up for). Choose a length of time that feels like a stretch for you. Look for all of the small, mundane moments in your everyday life that shine... the kindness of a stranger, the crunch of a fresh apple, the laughter of a friend. Tuck those moments into your heart during the day and then savor them when you write them down that evening or the next morning. Replaying a beautiful moment comforts us with the truth that there are good things in our world. Paying attention makes us mindful, and in our practicing we become more alive to the wonder of our daily life.

Pause. We can learn from the monks who practice statio, which means stopping one thing before starting another. In those moments of stillness between tasks, we can become present to the gifts of the past appointment, errand, or conversation. This may mean a quiet moment in your car before you walk in the door, stopping between meetings, or even shutting your computer for a few minutes between projects. Pausing helps us become conscious of what we are doing. It slows our pace. It allows us to deepen our breathing. It gives us an opportunity to honor the present moment.  

Celebrate. Notice the wins in your everyday life and the challenges that you overcame. Celebrate anything that makes you feel good - from making a call you’ve been putting off, to eating nourishing food, to completing a task at work. My husband and I have started to say these things out loud to each other, then smile big and literally cheer for each other. Sound silly? Maybe, but couldn’t we all use a little encouragement and a cheering squad these days? So when you’ve done something hard tell somebody. It might feel a bit vulnerable at first to leave a text or a voice message about your success. But sharing opens the door for others in our inner circle to celebrate us and it allows them to share their own wins. 

Take a photo. Slow down and capture a moment when you feel joyful or alive. Maybe it is a delicious meal, or a glorious fall leaf, or a selfie of your beautiful smile. Capture your moments for yourself. Capture them to be present to joy. Later instead of scrolling through social media, open up your Photos and look at your own beautiful life. 

Several of the challenges I was facing last fall remain. And of course there are times when I still feel discouraged. Being thankful didn’t make the hard things go away. But I am finding this practice of gratitude to be an immense perspective shifter. When I can return over and over to the good things instead of fixating on the hard things, I’m finding joy and centeredness in the midst of the challenges. The French have a proverb, “Petit a petit, l'oiseau fait son nid” which translates to “Little by little, the bird makes its nest.” What kind of nest do you want to live in? Practicing a little bit of gratitude each day can help build perspective, contentment, mindfulness and joy into your life.

These are a few of the ways that I’ve been practicing gratitude. I’d love to hear yours, if you’d like to share with me. I’ll be posting more about gratitude in the coming weeks on Instagram at @inneryoucoaching. And speaking of things I’m grateful for - I can’t miss this opportunity to say how thankful I am to be a part of the INSPIRE community this past year! 

But What If I Feel Like A Fraud?

Do you ever feel like a fraud?  Do you worry that it’s only a matter of time until the real truth gets out- the truth that you really don’t know what you’re doing and that you aren’t an expert at what you offer?  Do you think it makes you invalid because you still struggle with the thing you’re helping others to get better at? Does it feel like you have to have it all together before you can be trusted to lead anyone else, or before it’s ok to show your face?  

Is it possible that the thing we came here to do is also something we struggle with?  Is it possible that what you struggle with and continue to overcome is the very thing that you’re here to share with the world?  Is it possible that you will never truly overcome it, but that as you grow and learn and share and make forward progress that you can bring others with you?  

Do you think it’s part of the plan for all of us to work on improving ourselves, revealing our light and overcoming the obstacles that stand in our way?  Do you think it’s possible that no one is better equipped than you, to talk about the subject you’re overcoming? Do you think it’s possible that others will want to listen and learn from you when they find out you aren’t perfect and that you understand what it’s like to struggle? Where did the idea that we all have to be perfect before making an impact come from?  Where did we develop this impossible line that makes us all feel like frauds when we aren’t perfect? It’s time to dis-mantel this.  

You have something to offer.  The people who need to hear from you, learn from you, and have you cheering them on are the people who struggle with what you struggled with.  They need to hear how you overcame and what little wins you discovered along the way. They need a Health Coach telling them ways you disciplined yourself or what you do when you fail and give in to Oreos and how you discovered what it was you really wanted and how the Oreos were distracting you.  They need to hear from an Entrepreneur how you juggle motherhood and business and what little things you’ve delegated and how you’ve learned to do both well. They need to hear from a Mindset Coach about how you create habits of affirming yourself and how you overcome and uplevel your mindset, and what you do to get back on track when you realize you’ve started down a negative spiral.  The people you are here to impact are waiting for you to show up in your imperfection, and to be honest. They need to know you get them and that even though you aren’t perfect, you are showing up anyway.

How freeing it is to know that we can show up now.  How empowering it is to know we don’t have to have more coaching, read more books, take more classes or listen to more podcasts to be able to offer value to those who need us.  We can show up today. We can come even now and invite them into a journey with us. We can share what we’re learning as we go. They can teach us things they’re learning. We don’t have to have it all together before saying yes.  

The sooner we start showing up “in process” the more quickly we will raise the awareness around us and the more quickly we will all rise.  We are meant to walk each other home. We are meant to do this together; to learn from each other and lean on each other. To, as a group, grow and develop while holding space for each other.  We are more powerful together and each one of us has a part to bring to the table. Nothing is more powerful than a room full of women staying in their power and each bringing herself confidently, knowing she has beauty and essence that adds to the whole.  Together we can change the world- one roomful of women at a time.  

Completing the Incomplete

I did a year-long yoga teacher training and never got my certification. 

Let’s be clear. I’m not referring to it like “I never got it in the mail.” I mean I never completed all of the requirements that were necessary to receive a Registered Yoga Teacher’s Certification through the Yoga Alliance and from the established studio where I did my training.

Let’s also be clear. I did ALL the weekends. Loved, treasured, soaked up every morsel of the teachings. There were nine FULL weekends of rich, delicious — tough — physical asana (poses/postures/flows) and journalling and deep dives into WHO I was and breaking through blocks and limitations. I taught the practice classes. I stood in front of a room of people and stumbled and stuttered and worked my way through all the mess. I nourished myself with whole foods and lost almost 15 pounds. My physical body was in the best shape of its life. I was strong, lean, focused...aware. I was so healthy that I even got pregnant – on the first try. 

All I had to do was complete my bookwork and write out 30 yoga sequences. Truth be told, it’s really all I would STILL have to do. Twelve years later, I do not have my certification and, without fail, every New Year’s Day I put it on my list of big goals. TWELVE YEARS LATER.

I could (and may sometimes) tell myself that it’s “ok”. I could come up with a bazillion reasons why that certification is not framed like everyone else’s. I was pregnant, then I had a newborn, and then a toddler, and another newborn; maybe you didn’t really want to teach; maybe it was just to meet those 5 beautiful women who even now still know you, hear you, see you; maybe it was just for the deep yoga dive; maybe it was just to meet Maureen; maybe, maybe, maybe...blah, blah, BLAH.

MAYBE it was BECAUSE YOU WERE AFRAID. Afraid to teach. Afraid you weren’t ready. Afraid you weren’t ENOUGH. 

Because that’s really the truth. That’s where it really sticks. That’s where I can feel it deep in my gut. I was afraid. So I sabotaged myself. I quit. I avoided. I had perfect, acceptable,  “legit” reasons and excuses. So convincing that they lasted for 12 years...and counting...until New Year’s Day came around again at least.

Where are you sabotaging yourself? Where are you creating really, really great reasons and excuses? What are you hanging on to, feeling guilty about, shaming yourself? What are you keeping around so you can use it as another excuse for something else? See where this goes? It’s an ugly, gross, uninteresting cycle. That YOU are creating.

Here’s how the cycle stops.

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE the TRUTH. Get real with yourself. Write it out. Sit in a dark corner and cry it out. Look in the mirror. Just be straight about what it really is.

    ~then you have 2 simple options~

  2. a) Make a choice to either do something about it (take the action, no matter how small, to move something forward, or even complete it) or b) DON’T (and then declare that). 

There is POWER in the don’t, too. This is really juicy. The ability and awareness to just be so honest and straight with yourself and accept that it didn’t happen and move on is life-giving. You didn’t complete that. You failed. You...fill in the blank. It’s all just meaning YOU are giving to it. 

Intentionally and powerfully COMPLETE IT. Do some sore of physical manifestation/celebration/ceremony of the completion. Write a letter. Tell someone. 

Create art about it. Create something else from it that DOES light you up. I prefer to harness the power of fire. I write whatever needs to be said on a piece of paper and then burn that bitch.

 LET IT GO. And then move (strut) on...