An Unstructured Time Experiment

unstructured timeI am in month #2 of an Unstructured Time Experiment … a new schedule that limits my availability for client sessions to three weeks per month in order to allow me one week per month of unstructured time. Not time “off” per se … I work, but with an I-can-do-what-I-want-when-I-want-where-I-want-with-who-I-want-and-not-need-to-watch-the-clock approach.

There’s a gradual transition underway before this new schedule will be in full effect.  To honor my agreements with those who were scheduled prior to my “new” schedule kicking in to gear, I still have a few client sessions during my Unstructured Week – but only one day during the week, is this the case.

When the idea was first “seeded” and I started to consider putting this into place … I had *ALL KINDS* of resistance rise to the surface!  All kinds of “not enough” stories and who-do-you-think-you-are questions.

Can you afford it, Tara? I mean, really … Who are YOU to decide it’s ok to be less available for new clients? And if prospective new clients have to wait, sometimes 3-4 weeks for a Dream Discovery session, you’re going to miss the chance to work with them … They’ll go find another coach! They won’t *wait* that long. Pfft!  AND – with a team to pay and your expenses being higher than ever, you really have no business even *thinking* about doing such a thing. Utterly arrogant. It’ll be financial sabotage…. And what will you DO with this time exactly? Follow creative inspiration?!? You’re not sure exactly?? Maybe you’ll organize your office? Go to the gym every day that week? Sit in cafes? Pfft! Sounds like playing hooky to me, Queen Tara. An all around terrible idea!

And on and on it went …

But I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a few months.  I can always go back to my “old” schedule.

In full transparency, my “client time schedule” over the 10 years I’ve been in biz has changed over time, in phases …

Phase I: Anytime, 7 days a week, as long as I’m not sleeping.

Phase II: Monday – Saturday, as long as I’m not sleeping.

Phase III: M-F, as long as I’m not sleeping.

Phase IV: M-F, 9am-6pm.

Phase V: M-F, 9am-6pm, except Wednesdays which start at 11am.

Phase VI: Monday-Thursday, 9am-6pm, except 11am start on Wednesdays, and Fridays available for VIP Days.

Phase VII: Tuesday – Thursday, with 11am start on Wednesdays, and Fridays available for VIP Days.

And now …

Phase VIII: Tuesday-Thursday, with 11am start on Wednesdays and Fridays available for VIP Days, 3 weeks out of the month….

And so far so good!

I’m really learning how important Unstructured Time is for me.  How it allows for creative ideas and inspiration to bubble up. How sometimes I want to write, and sometimes I want to organize, and sometime I want to collaborate, and sometimes I want to play, and sometimes I want to revamp an old something into a new something, and sometimes I want to be in nature, and sometimes I want to be in a public library or a museum, and sometimes I want to take a nap, and sometimes I want to wake up early, and sometime I want to go to bed late.

Tara
Here are just a few of the results of my two-month Unstructured “Week 4” Time:

  • Revamped and restructured an old program into a new and up-leveled more streamlined version that better serves my clients and my team.
  • Followed an in-the-shower inspiration … connected with a colleague and pitched a collaboration idea and, after just a 1-hour “on fire” phone call, wheels are now in motion for a very fun “on the stage” event that we foresee will be duplicated, city after city…
  • Reflected and reviewed how I’m spending my time and as a result have reached out and started interviewing to hire a new Create Your Life! team member to take a time-consuming task off my plate.
  • I had an idea for a brand new business all together and conversation is underway with an interested partner.
  • The closet in my bedroom is organized like never before which makes getting dressed everyday a delight.
  • Plans for a dream trip is in the works.
  • Hot baths in the middle of day, because I can. (And with more frequent gym-time, what used to be a luxury feels more like a need.)
  • Leisurely lunch dates.
  • Long walks with my pup….

And, for the record, NONE of my fears have proven true. Revenue has gone up, not down. I’ve even started to wonder what Phases 9 & 10 might look like!

Thanks for reading. I felt like sharing. And I had the time to do so.

I’d love to hear from you … What does reading this inspire for YOU?

My hope is that you too might look at new ways to schedule your time, allowing for more Unstructured Time and the emergence of a new kind of productivity in your life and your work.

Carpe diem.

May your dreams always inspire more than they intimidate,

What’s YOUR Intention?

I’m so moved, and want to share something a client of mine posted today on Facebook:

“I met a woman this week who started each call we had with a warm welcome & then proceeded to tell me what her INTENT was for the call…have to say, it caught me off guard but I was extremely impressed! I believe, when you come in to contact with people & they raise the bar, my goal is to rise as well!

As I was on my way to work today I was talking with my husband & he says so baby how’s your morning and I replied “horrible horrible horrible!!” And he asked why, my reply…cuz I don’t wanna go to work! As we ended the call I heard the words of Tara Sage Steeves asking “So Tikisha, what is your intent?” I have to say, it called me to attention! Regardless of what I DONT want to do, the fact remained that I had to come to work. If I set my intent on my day being horrible x3, guess what kinda day I’m gonna have?! YUP horrible x3!

So I re-focused & told myself that MY INTENT for this day is to be nothing less than my best! Realizing that greatness doesn’t happen when you see your name in lights, it happens when you clearly define your INTENT TO BE GREAT WITH NO LIGHTS!”

SO POW-ER-FUL!!  And as an added note, I have no doubt, sooner than she thinks, her name *will* be in lights.

What’s YOUR Intention?  Post below.

May your dreams always inspire more than they intimidate,

Tara  🙂

 

 

Basement & Bathtub Mojo

Joy to you!

Those of you who know my story, know that my dream realization mojo really kicked into gear from the depths of the dark, musty, basement apartment where I lived … for 3 years!

bathYep. At the time, I was absolutely drowning in debt and I spent most Friday and Saturday nights with my cat. Trust me, the metaphor was not lost on me that my basement “digs” were a constant reminder that I was LITERALLY underground. Yet, it was there that I started to dream … determined and believing that that there had GOT to be a better way!

I used to look out my tiny-tiny window – with the view of the sidewalk and the tires of cars passing by – and I’d dream. While I didn’t know it at the time, this is where seeds of Create Your Life! were born.

Now, not only was my apartment in a basement, it had a teeny-tiny *black* bathroom – yes, black paint(!) was on the walls. (Trust me, I thought many times about re-painting, but I simply couldn’t stand to be IN there long enough to repaint it!)  My teeny-tiny black bathroom, of course, had a stand-up shower.  Oh, how I DREAMED of a bathtub!!

So when I *finally* moved out – and bought a house (which is another story for another time) – a bathtub was one of my non-negotiable requirements. And to this day, I love and cherish my bathtub.  It is, to me, a sacred place of respite. A few candles, some bath salts – sometimes a glass of wine – and my bathtub becomes an at-home spaaaaaaahhh…  A mini-vacation. No packing or travel required.

How ’bout you?  What is the ultimate retreat for you? What are some of the ways you give yourself a delicious break? How do you create sacred, rejuvenating time for yourself?

Do YOU need a vacation? Or, at the minimum, a break for some “you time” to unwind, to regroup, to rejuvenate?  And really … who couldn’t benefit from having more R & R?

Do You Dream of Time OFF?

Taking time off is an important part of holistic self-care and well-being. Here in the U.S., summer is fast approaching …a common time for long weekends with family and friends, days at the beach, boating, camping, hiking, gardening, barbeques, and just kickin’ back for some rest and relaxation!

Sound refreshing and inviting? Comforting and balancing? Or does it create a feeling of inner confusion and anxiety … wanting to take time off but fearing that there will be a high price to pay?

vacaWhen was the last time YOU took an honest vacation? When was the last time you truly “unplugged” from the daily grind and felt renewed, refreshed, and invigorated?

Imagine YOU … not working … and not even thinking about work.  Your energy is instead fully available for other things. It might be an hour, a weekend, a week, or a full month!  Either way, it’s precious and delightful time OFF!

Have YOU taken time off yet this year? Do you have plans for time off in the coming months? It’s not too late (or too early) to start planning and schedule this time on your calendar – you could do this right now.  Why not take this opportunity to sit down with your calendar, decide on and then DO whatever needs to be done to support YOU having some time off?

Notice: What’s coming up for you?  Are you hearing yourself say, for example:

  • “When I’m done with this project then maybe I’ll look at my calendar.”
  • “I don’t have time, with my family commitments and all..”
  • “I haven’t worked hard enough to really deserve time off.”
  • “There’s no money in the budget for a vacation.”
  • “Time off will only set me back and create more work.”
  • “I would love to but…(fill in the blank)”

Let me say … I am in no way suggesting that you re-mortgage your house or plunk down the credit card to go on an extravagant vacation. Yet here’s the risk of letting these thoughts stop you from saying “YES” to time off altogether …

It’s exactly these kinds of thought patterns of undeservedness or “someday” or “later” thinking, that can lead to a sense of martyrdom, to feeling unappreciated, to setting yourself up for burn out, AND neglecting your need for R & R can even have an adverse effect on your healthkiddie pool and well-being.

We *all* need time off!  And, truth is, taking time off allows us to be much more productive and engaged during our time on!

Time off is about shifting gears to support your holistic well-being. Time off is a KEY piece to creating true Success Synergy: a balance of working AND not working. It is an investment in well-being, and frankly … the alternative is unsustainable.

If you DON’T give yourself time to re-charge, your body will eventually demand it but – why wait ’til your bod is SCREAMING for you honor this basic need?!?  Your know better. It’s really about being someone who honors this need and allows *space* in your mind, in your heart, and in your LIFE for what nourishes you – doing what you need to do to prioritize and support of your own self-care. And really: if you don’t do it, who will?

Even if you don’t know yet exactly how or where you’re going to spend your time off, it’s important to make a commitment to carving out that time NOW. That means time unplugged – not working. (Yes, even if you *love* your job. And yes, even if the budget is tight.)

Again – there are no rules about distance, duration, or cost. A frankly, an extravagant vacation doesn’t not necessary mean a more rejuvenating vacation. So, make it your own. It could be a stay-cation!  Time off can be as simple as YOU, a magazine, and a lawn chair.  It’s about carving out “you time” – time dedicated to NOT working and NOT thinking about work. Claim it and make it yours!  Enjoy!

May your dreams always inspire more than they intimidate,

Dreaming is Fun

nycaptA few weeks ago, after declaring that I want to spend more time in – and possibly move to – NYC, I signed up to receive email updates about NYC rental listings through Elliman Properties.  I went on their website and created my “profile” with my price ranges, etc. so I could receive email notifications of the shoe boxes available for me to choose from.  :-/

Since then, I’ve been receiving daily emails for, not rentals – but properties for sale, into the range of $27 Million. Funny, huh?

I’ve written to them twice about this and received a reply that they fixed it for me.  But they didn’t.  I continue to receive sale listings into the millions, which I’ve decided is fine with me for now because I’m actually really enjoying it.  (Could the Universe be telling me something?)

Anyway, of all I’ve seen, there’s one listing (that happens to be under $1M – cheap!) that makes my dreamin’ self swoon. Wanna see it?

http://www.elliman.com/listing-photos?l=f962c098084d9617355723c9a9c54ecf9b2d49fcd7535b2a-607df8f56614497fe99f8e2ec8c0f0037a9e36cf 

What are YOU dreaming about these days? Post a comment below and join me in dreaming out loud, activating the power and possibility that comes with sharing dreams with others.

Dreaming is fun,

Tara

What’s YOUR Superpower?

What’s YOUR superpower?

^ I had the unique opportunity to answer this question this week and, while it admittedly feels vulnerable to share my from-the-gut unedited reply … I’ve decided to share it here in hopes that it will inspire YOU to consider this question for yourself and even share your own reply in the comments.

Here’s my quick answer:

I’m frickin’ fierce about “no limits” and I’m also incredibly resourceful. I always see, and find, a way. It’s vividly clear to me that the biggest hurdle to dream realization is not “the how,” but rather the blocks to expansive visioning and full on what-do-you-REALLY-want dreaming permission. 

As an advocate and freedom-fighter for closeted dreams and closeted creativity, in a sense, my true client is the dream or the creativity itself.  I coach the person so they can essentially get out of “our” way so the dream can come into the light and thrive.

(Quick segue: A client of mine this week told me she took artwork she had created out of the closet that it had been in for years, and hung it on the walls around her home. I was absolutely tickled — art literally came out of the closet!!)

So, yeah – part of the value I provide my clients is the safety and Permission (with a capital P) for unrestricted imagination and personal freedom, the likes of which they have never experienced before.  I am hyper-creative, with a flair for drama, and I absolutely lovelovelove few things more than to apply this creative energy to creating environments (both physical environments and virtual “containers”) that expand minds and give folks profound permission and complete freedom to dream and vision for their life beyond the limits of what they’ve ever allowed themselves to before. And then … to share it, let it be seen, experience it as acknowledged, valid, and real, and then to start seeing that it IS possible.  (You can’t create what you can’t see, you see?)  

I totally rock at this.    

I have yet to have someone convince me that something is impossible.  And few try, because they quickly see it’s futile.  Rather, I help them see it is so very possible.  

I am a self-proclaimed Possibility Queen

So what’s YOUR superpower? 

What is a unique and natural ability – something you do – maybe even without trying?  Shine a great big light on it. Let it be seen. 

May your dreams always inspire more than they intimidate,

Tara