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Ronda Bowen

Author, Editor, Blogger, Consultant, Scholar, Volunteer, Maker, Photographer

#MotivationMonday Make Getting Things Done into a Game

Not too long ago, Zulily had Fitbits on sale at a good discount. Mine finally arrived, and I’ve been wearing it for extra motivation to make sure I move each day. After a few days, I was like “meh, whatever.” Partly because I didn’t have the results I wanted on the scale Sunday morning, partly because the novelty of a wristband that tells you what you’ve done was wearing off. But then, Monday morning rolled around, and a few of the ladies from my pregnancy group have a work week challenge. Seeing the challenge up pulled out my competitive side and motivated me to get off my duff and keep with it.

Sometimes, we need a little healthy competition to push us along and keep us motivated. This can come in the form of an actual competition, as with the Fitbit challenges, or it can come in the form of the way we frame our work. For example, I often set a timer for how long I *think* something will take to get done, and then I see whether I can beat my estimate.

When I get really stuck for motivation, I’ll play a little game to get started. I’ll randomly choose what task I will work on for what set amount of time (5, 10, 15, 25, minutes). It helps to get into that mindset of “conquering” the tasks on my list and helps me to steer away from decision overload. This can particularly be helpful on days (like Mondays) when I’m not particularly feeling it.

What kinds of games do you play to boost your motivation? Share your thoughts in the comments.

What I’m Working On August 2017

Happy August! I’m glad we’re getting closer to fall, as autumn is my favorite season of the year. I’m sad we’re getting closer to fall because it means that in 11 days, my oldest will be moving to college. He’s going to have a great time, though, and he’ll get to study what he loves – music and theater. Things have been slow-ish around here, as they usually are during the summer, but the momentum is picking up. Here’s what I’m working on this month.

Blogs

Getting the new blog, Just a Sec(ular) Homeschooler, up and running has been taking a little longer than I’d like, but I’m happy to say, it will be debuting its first post at the end of this month.  Yay! Don’t worry, I’ll make a big announcement about it when it launches.

I haven’t posted on Activism My Way in a little while. That will change soon.

I’ve posted a lot of book reviews on Wining Wife® recently. If you are looking for a good read for the last few weeks of summer, you’ll want to head over there and check it out. I also wrote a review of Bean Box. I love coffee as much as I love wine, and we loved the trial of this coffee subscription box so much that we decided to continue it.

I also started a weekly “Motivation Monday” post on this blog.

Non-Profit Work

J.B. Dondolo is hosting the “To Give Is To Love Gala” in Dallas on November 10th. We need to sell tables of 10 to companies. If you or someone you know would be interested in attending this splendid event, you can purchase tickets here. Proceeds go toward getting clean water to Igusi Hosptial. you can read more about J.B. Dondolo here.

We’d love to get a couple more fundraising events going as well. Please, if you’re using Amazon for a purchase, choose to do so through Amazon Smile (smile.Amazon.com) and select our charity. There is no additional cost to you for doing this.

Equanimity Magazine

The summer edition of Equanimity Magazine is out! Lumbie Mlambo, CEO of the magazine is on the cover. You can find the issue here, and be sure to check out my article, “A Five-Minute Productivity Solution.” I have a few interviews to write up for the next issue, including a chat with a new Christian rap music artist.

Ronda B. Handmade

I just got in a bunch of fabric so that I can make some fun things. I’ll be participating in a couple of blog tours in September. I’m also looking forward to sewing to stock my online shop. You can join my Facebook group. It’s quiet right now, but I’ll be loading more into it soon.

Now is the time to place orders for Halloween. Please contact me through the group if you’re looking for a custom Halloween costume in order to allow plenty of time to get the costume.

Consulting

I’m continuing to work for EVG, the recovery center, and a new app developer. You can read my latest EVG post here “How to Emergency-Proof Your Content.” I have an academic abstract to finish editing for a client as well.

Independent Scholar

I had an abstract accepted for the upcoming Wikileaks and Philosophy volume. I’m really excited about that. I’ll be working on my essay between now and then.

I’m sure there are things I’m leaving out, but those are the big projects on my horizon this month. So now, I turn the tables and ask you, what are you working on this month?

#MotivationMonday: Kick-Starting Your Week

It’s Monday! That means it’s time to get a good start on your week. Last week, we talked about motivators that get us moving on our goals. This week, we’re going to talk about great ways to kick-start your week to a good start. What sorts of things do you do to get ready for the week ahead?

Planning for a Great Week

The most important thing, when you’re trying to make progress on goals, is to have a great week. I use Monday mornings to look over my goals, my projects, and my action items. I then plan out what I will do for the week. By reviewing what’s going on each week before I dive in, I can be sure I’m not overlooking something important on the horizon.

Keeping Accountable

If you have big goals, and you don’t have an accountability partner yet, you’re missing out on a key way you can become more motivated. Every Monday, I check in with my accountability partner. We go over our “wins” from the previous week, our continuing projects, and new things we’d like to accomplish in the coming week.

Meal Prep

This is new. It’s something my husband and I have started to do on Sundays to keep us eating healthy for breakfasts, snacks, and lunches all week long. It now means that there is no excuse for either one of us having a healthy lunch or snack while in the trenches of tasks – and a well-fueled body is a productive body!

Getting a Big Win Out of the Gate

It’s also important to me to complete one big task off my action item list on Mondays. It sets the tone for a great and productive week.

By engaging in the above habits, it helps me to look forward to Mondays (as much as one can look forward to ending the weekend). What do you do to ensure you have a productive week? Share your Monday prep-work in the comments.

#Motivation Monday: What Gets You Moving?

I’m starting a new series of posts here on my blog: I want to talk about motivation and what helps us to feel motivated. I think it’s an important thing to discuss, and I also think that a lot of people conflate “motivation” with “inspiration.”

What helps get me moving:

One of the things that gets me moving is seeing previous successes start to add up. For example, I am working on losing weight. When I track my food and my exercise and see the results adding up with the loss of pounds, that helps to keep me motivated and moving forward.

Tracking progress is important. Even if you’re having successes, if you’re not tracking how these add up, you’re missing out on a key push factor for having future successes. I always find that when I am good about tracking my various accomplishments, it helps push me forward to further accomplishments.

What could you start tracking so that you can move forward in your goals?

How to track progress:

First you have to decide what “progress” looks like for your particular goals. For the weight-loss example, it’s clear: Moving toward that goal weight.

Then, you need to figure out what you will track. Will you simply track the amount of weight lost? Will you track calories and exercise minutes?

Finally, you need to find a system that works for you: a spreadsheet, database, app, etc. I use MyFitnessPal to track calories, exercise, weight, and body measurements.

So, what gets you moving?

What are the things that help you get and stay motivated? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

 

What I’m Working On: July 2017

It’s been hot here in Kansas, and we have the air conditioning bill to prove it. I am not a person who enjoys the heat, and I need good ways to cut back on the bill – so if you have suggestions, please share them with me!

Since the last time I updated, I’ve been doing a lot of catch-up work to get current on all my projects. I did a massive “weekly review” that was more like a 2-month review when I got done with it, and I learned a new trick for my action items: sorting them into context and the time I estimate it will take to complete them. This has increased what I’ve been able to do by a lot.

Speaking of action items, I’m hoping to get a post up here sharing two tools I’ve been using that really have helped with my focus and productivity in the past several months.

That said, let’s get down to business. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Consulting Work

For my consulting work, I’ve been continuing to provide blog posts on recovery issues for one client, respond to emails and create email templates for another client, and provide EVG with blog posts. I should have a post appearing on the EVG blog in the coming days, and I have another post I’m working on for them that will cover the importance of fact-checking content. I’m also waiting for my developmental editing client to get back to me with the next chapter of her book. Later today, I’ll be sending out a stack of letters of introduction to prospective clients.

Freelancing

I’m finishing up a list of questions for a plus size model I’m interviewing for an upcoming issue of Equanimity MagazineI wrote an article on how you can use five minute intervals to boost your productivity muscles, and I’m finishing up editing another interview I put together for the magazine. I may have two more interviews coming up for the magazine. I need to nail them down and get dates for the interviews.

I have a few article pitches to put together for other magazines on my list. I’ll be working on those more next week.

Independent Scholar

I’m putting together a few abstracts for some independent scholar projects I want to get in on, if possible. I’m also talking with someone about contributing to an encyclopedia covering pop culture topics.

Nonprofit Work

As a board member of J.B. Dondolo, Inc., I’ve been working on a few projects. The most important of these two has been constructing a list of potential donors and putting together a proposal for a fundraising idea I had that would help us complete our goal of finishing the renovations at Igusi Hospital. We’re also working on planning our annual charity event in Dallas.

I recently learned that the ACLU has opened a field office in Wichita. I want to check in with them and a few other organizations to see what I can do to help them.

I’ve also officially put two ideas I’ve had for nonprofit foundations into my “someday/maybe” box in my projects tracking system.

Ronda B. Handmade

I have a pair of pants that will be going out to a customer soon, and be sure you check back soon. I’ve started signing up for blog tours again, and I’m hoping to get back to testing patterns for designers. More importantly, I will be stocking the Facebook group soon with fun products for purchase.

Fiction and Poetry

I heard back from one of the places I submitted a short story I wrote, and it was a “no” answer. I need to take a look at the short story, see if it needs any finessing, and send it out again. I’m still waiting to hear back from The Missouri Review about my poetry submission. I have more poems to send out into the world, and two more short stories to edit and start sending out.

Nonfiction Work

I just need to finish the cover design and formatting for the book on success and upload it. After that, it will be time to get the advance copy for final proofing before making it available to customers. I’m looking forward to making an announcement that it’s ready for purchase soon.

Blogging

After some setbacks, Just a Sec(ular) Homeschooler will launch in a couple of weeks. Activism My Way is still on hold, but I’m hoping to start to get back to it next week. Meanwhile, I’ve done a lot of book reviews for Wining Wife. I also reviewed a coffee box subscription. I have a list of wine reviews to get up onto the blog, and I’m really excited about some of the ideas I have for new content there.

Photography

I’m waiting to hear back about a submission of photographs I made to a literary and art journal. I’m also working on editing some of my photographs and offering canvases and posters of them for purchase.

I think that about covers it. I’ve been a busy bee in between homeschooling, toddler-tending, nursing, getting a teenager ready for college, and being married. I’m really looking for some tips on how to make my social media efforts more streamlined so I can focus more on the interesting projects I have going on.

What have you been working on lately?

 

What I’ve Been Working On: June 2017

I didn’t update in June because I was mostly away from my computer. I have a very good reason, though. We welcomed baby four, Miss Ladybug, to our family. You can read about her arrival on Wining Wife, here. Here she is:

That said, I haven’t done a lot in the past six weeks since her arrival. I’ve taken care of outstanding client projects, but mostly, I’ve taken things easy and enjoyed my time bonding with her and getting our family’s new routine down pat. This post, instead of being a retrospective, will be a post that is looking forward.

2017 is almost halfway done. Can you believe it? I can’t. I’m thinking about my goals for the next six months, and I’ve got a lot of good stuff on the horizon.

Blogging

I’m looking forward to picking back up with Wining Wife and bringing more wine reviews to my readers now that I can enjoy wine tasting again. I’m still looking for some people to collaborate with on Activism My Way. I’m looking forward to launching Just a Sec(ular) Homeschooler soon.

Magazines

I have an article coming out in Equanimity soon, and I’ve interviewed another great individual for the magazine. I’m looking forward to nailing down a second interview for the next issue of the magazine as well.

Non-Profit Work

I’m finding out more about a local organizing opportunity. I’m also working on pulling together a list of possible donors for J.B. Dondolo.

Consulting

I’ve been working with a client on his public relations email project for the last couple of months and I plan to continue doing that. I’m also working with the recovery center and EVG on providing blog posts. I’m looking for a few more clients for this summer to round out my list.

Independent Scholar

I have a few projects I want to work on in this area. This means I need to carve out some time to put together some abstracts.

Fiction and Poetry

I’m waiting to hear back from the Missouri Review about my poetry submission to them.

Nonfiction

I’m hoping to *finally* finish getting the new edition of the book on success I co-authored edited and back in publication.

Ronda B. Handmade

I have some new fabrics and I’m looking forward to stocking my store. I sent this outfit out in May to a customer.

I think that’s about it for now. I’ll have a lot more in the coming weeks, and i’m looking forward to sharing more productivity tips with you.

What have you been doing lately?

What I’m Working On: April 2017

April showers bring May flowers, and it’s raining outside right now. Things have picked up a bunch – and accordingly, I was taken out by a nasty viral infection for a week. I’m playing catch-up a little bit after that, but I’m still on track. Thank goodness for good project management and productivity systems. (Speaking of, I need to talk about Todoist soon). It’s also tax time, so I have that going on in addition to everything else I’m working on.

Consulting Work

I’ve still been writing for the recovery center, and this month I’m finishing up some articles about families in recovery. Those will go out this week. I’m working on another blog post for the EVG Campfire blog. I have three guest blogging posts lined up for the next few weeks, I’ll be reviewing some software. I’m also doing some work for a repeat client; I’ll be customizing emails for his email list to help spread awareness about a new service his company has in development. I also have two more contract relationships in development right now.

Freelance Work

The latest issue of Equanimity Magazine is out and available. You’ll be able to find my interview with Noah McArthur (cover model) inside. We talk about his businesses, his outlook on life, and the inspiring message he has to bring to others. You don’t want to miss it.

I also interviewed musical artist, Frankee Razor for this issue. Read an inspirational story of how a quick climb to the top on American Idol followed by hitting rock bottom helped Frankee to find himself and realize his passion for helping others.

 

Independent Scholar

I finished the articles for the forthcoming Environmental Health in the 21st Century: From Air Pollution to Zoonotic Diseases. So those are in and percolating. I’m finishing up work on an abstract for an “And Philosophy” volume, and I’m contemplating a co-editing opportunity that I will follow up on this week. Be on the lookout for the volume X-Files and PhilosophyI did not contribute an essay to this work, but I did provide a quote for the back of the book. These are always fun volumes to read through and have – especially for fans. (I did previously contribute to Psych and Philosophy, What Philosophy Can Tell You About Your Lover, and  The Philosophy of Ang Lee.) I also have a couple of chapter proposals and abstracts I’m working on for other projects

Ronda B. Handmade

I’ve been plugging away at my handmade business. If you haven’t already, please stop by and take the poll on my website here. I am working on starting to stock my store with physical clothing items for the Smashed Metatoes™ line. Posts on the Ronda B. Handmade site include:

Creative Work

I submitted a short story, “Fireflies and Mice” to a publication last month. In addition, I made my first photography submission to another arts journal. I’m going to be submitting poetry to a third publication this week. I have other creative things in the works, but those are my focus right now.

Nonprofit Work

J.B. Dondolo just had a board meeting, unfortunately, I had no voice with which to participate in the meeting. However, we are preparing for the 2017 Gala. We have painted and replaced the windows and doors at the hospital in Igusi. We’re still working on getting clean water. I’ll have more information about how to participate in the Gala soon.

Non-Fiction Work

The volume on success is getting close to being ready for re-release. I am really looking forward to the republication of this work. More information will be available about this, soon.

Blogs

WiningWife®

The WiningWife® blog is picking up some steam. I have discontinued the use of unsolicited guest posts on the blog. I found that allowing them created too much stress on my end with the amount of editing, fact-checking, plagiarism monitoring, and ensuring that I am not sharing spam with my readers. Going forward, I will post guest posts from time-to-time, but the posters will be vetted ahead of time. Recent posts on WiningWife® include:

Upcoming posts include a review of a new kitchen gadget, more book reviews, and a couple posts about beer. I’m looking forward to it!

Activism My Way

I had one post go up on Activism My Way: Get Involved on International Women’s Day. I’m still looking for guest bloggers/regular writers for Activism My Way.

Just a Sec(ular) Homeschooler

This new blog is on schedule to launch this month. Look for the official announcement about its launch soon.

I think that’s it for right now. There is always stuff I’m working on, as usual.

What are you working on? Please share in the comments !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers Needed: Activism My Way

I’m in need of some people who would like to make regular contributions (or one-time guest posts) to my community involvement blog. While I am not in the position to offer monetary compensation, that will change once we get more traffic to the blog and boost our readership so I can begin to monetize this blog.

Activism My Way is a blog dedicated to social activism, organization profiles, activist profiles, and information about how individuals can become more involved in their communities.

I’d love to have those who are passionate about various causes write about different facets of that cause – animal rights, women’s rights, civil rights, racial justice, economic justice, child health, education, disability rights, etc. If you’re involved in an organization – Habitat for Humanity, CARE, ACLU, BLM, etc. I would love to have you write about opportunities for people to get involved with your organization. If you are an activist, I’d really love to have you share your story. If you want to raise awareness about something going on in your community, please get in touch with me!

I’m passionate about getting people involved in their communities. I think it’s an important part of being a good citizen. I’ve worked with Stonewall Alliance of Chico, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, Walk for Water, JB Dondolo, and many other organizations as a volunteer. I’m a firm believer that no matter who our leadership in the United States is, what makes the big difference in our lives is the people we come into contact with who are working hard to make the world a better place and to fight for social justice.

If you are interested in writing with me, please check out Activism My Way, and then shoot me an email at submit @ activismmyway (dot) com. Please tell me about your background, what you’d like to write about, and how often you would like to write about it.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

What I’ve Been Working On – March 2017

What I'm Working On March 2017February went by fast, didn’t it? Between Kansas weather trying to decide what it wants to do and the seeming death of my laptop (time for it to go into the shop), February was a very strange month. But, I did still manage to get some things accomplished.

Consulting Work

I continued work on the blog posts for the drug and alcohol recovery center this month. I also finished a new post for the EVG Campfire blog. One of my pieces was recently published in the Content Marketing Association’s newsletter, and another piece was recently published on the EVG Campfire Blog:

I also finished the redesign and rebranding of my consulting website: Writing, Research, and Editing by Ronda Bowen. Go check it out!

Freelance Work

I spoke with Noah McArthur a few days ago, so look to read about the talk we had in the upcoming special edition of Equanimity Magazine.

Independent Scholar Work

I will be contributing some encyclopedia entries to the forthcoming Environmental Health in the 21st Century: From Air Pollution to Zoonotic Diseases. I’m also wrapping up work on a couple of abstracts to submit to some philosophical essay collections.

Ronda B. Handmade

I’ve been busy working on my handmade business. I shipped out a custom infant bodysuit, made more quote notebooks, created a couple outfits for a blog tour, and finished a couple of pattern tests. This month, I have two blog tours I’m participating in, and I’m hoping to list more products in my group as well as on Etsy.

Blogging 

On Wining Wife®, I published a book review and a guest post. I’m hoping to get more up there very soon, including a backlog of guest posts, and a lot of fun things I want to share with my audience there.

I had one post go up on Activism My Way. I’m still needing people who would like to contribute posts about their favorite causes, organizations, and activists.

I also finished building the website for Just a Sec(ular) Homeschooler. I’m looking forward to rolling out the launch for that blog soon. Look for more updates on that soon.

As always, I have a bunch going on at all times! I’m looking forward to updating more soon.

What have you been working on? Please post your recent “wins” in the comments section!

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