Wildly Important Goals

How are you ever going to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going?  ANother example, going for a drive without having a destination in mind.  Sure you might see some nice things along with way, and there is something to be said about going on instinct and feel and at times this can turn out to be the most awesome adventure.

My time away from a career and spending all this amazing time with my children has been like going on that long drive without a destination in mind, and yes I have seen and experienced some pretty amazing things over the past several months.  Time that I would not trade for anything, but now that we are a good month into 2018 I’ve started to feel the call back to work, being productive and being a little social as well.

IMG_4230.jpgMy exercise for the week in my men’s mental health group is creating a wildly important goal, and leads you through the process of getting it accomplished within a certain time frame.  We will be doing this exercise twice, the first time through as kind of a test run if you will to completely understand the process, and then again over a longer period of time.  I’ve decided to use the first run through for my side hustle as advertised below, my online bakery.

The past week I have been using Facebook and Instagram to advertise, and the business has gotten some great exposure.  One of the ads has more Instagram likes than I have ever gotten before, but this has not yet translated into any orders.  The site only has Valentine’s Day cookies for sale, as this is the next holiday I am looking to capitalize on but there are many other special days throughout the year, and countless baby and bridal showers, birthdays, special events, you name it…  I would very much like my website to reflect all the cookies (with photographic evidence) that I can make.  When I counted I actually have about 180 different shape cutters to use.

IMG_4223.jpgI honestly believe that some Valentine’s Day orders will be coming, and us men are notorious for waiting until the last minute to take care of things, I would like to be ready for repeat and referral business after Valentine’s Day has come and gone with products ready for the rest of the year.  I believe that one sale leads to two more, and then five and so on, I really do and I want to be ready for WHEN that happens.

I am sending out my first package through the mail today to see if the product survives, I have packed them safe and secure and now it’s on the post office shoulder not to destroy my work’s of art.  Years in the comic book business should help with this!  But over the next four weeks I will be baking and decorating a portfolio of cookies, and I really look forward to it!  A month from now I will have an awesome website, my decorating skills will have improved ten times over and I will be ready to turn my side hustle into a full blown business.  I cannot wait… well two more minutes anyways before the timer in the oven goes off.  Hmmmm, delicious!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

The Art of Patience

I have none. Well when it comes to having to wait around for something. I am a busy guy with a lot of things that I would like to accomplish over the course of the day. My example today being at the 400 Flea Market to have the screen replaced on my iPhone 7 Plus which I’ve destroyed three times because well it’s just too big. I had to switch to a regular 7 and have had no issues since then.

Replacing the screen I’ve done before and was told 30 to 40 minutes. Fine no problems. We walked around the flea market looking for the car vinyl booth, which no longer exists.. 😢

Had some less than stellar cinnamon rolls and coffee while we waited. We sat there and chatted about various topics and after an hour we headed back over to the booth to pick up the phone. I was told that is would be another 30 minutes before it was ready… and this really irritates me for some reason. And I don’t really know why. Why am I letting this dumb little inconvenience ruin a perfectly good morning and afternoon.

As I was sitting there I was losing my desire to go out for a run when I got home. And it pushes back the timetable on the rest of the day, but is it really a big deal? Of course not, even as I type this I can feel the tension leaving my neck and shoulders. And the day will get back on track and proceed as normal I am sure soon enough.

But the why still remains. It will be something that I will need to work on as I can let most things just roll off my shoulders and carry on. Deep breath Edward it’s not that important.

I hope everyone else is having a great day.

The Push Up Challenge & 24 Hour Fast

One of the trendy things to do in some of the Facebook groups that I am in has been a pushup challenge, one guy is working his way up to 100 pushups in a row.  A few others have gotten on board with doing them in public places and getting there family members involved.  So I decided to join in on the fun!

The kids really enjoyed climbing on Dad’s back and going for a ride, and I think I will continue this each time that I am doing push ups.  The extra weight will certainly help in the development of the chest, shoulders and biceps…

While it’s great getting in all this exercise, and running I will openly admit that my diet sucks.  Somewhere in the back of my mind it’s okay to eat whatever I want, whenever I want as I am burning off most of those calories throughout my training.  However I have recently started to notice that while my breakfast would be a three egg omelette filled with peppers and onions, a small slice of banana bread, orange juice and coffee.  Lunch would be a turkey sandwich with turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and marble cheese, it was dinner time when I would struggle with.  Lots of chicken wings, homemade and baked in the oven, I am one of Domino’s best customers and have racked up several free pizzas over the past few months.  And I openely admit to having both a sweet and salty tooth, with bags of chips and cheesies or dollar store chocolate bars being my favorite.

My latest indulgent is the “extra” Sugar Cookies that I have been baking and decorating, as I have been making some orders and some promotional cookies to photograph and I have a hard time unloading them on the kids and putting them in the food waste bin as I hate wasting food.  What is a guy to do?  My freezer is already filling up with extra treats the kids couldn’t quite eat…

So today I decided to have a day of fasting, after my morning coffee and the two extra sugar cookies (breakfast of champions indeed) that I would drink nothing but water until 8pm tonight when I am sure that I will eat an entire pizza…

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

100 Day Run Challenge Update – Day 25

So I am a quarter of the way through my 100 day running challenge, and yes it’s a little nuts to even think of going for a run for 100 straight days.  However, barring some kind of injury this is going to happen as it’s a matter of will power, drive and determination moving forward to get it done.  There have been days when I didn’t feel like running at all, when I was extremely tired, days when my legs were incredibly sore from a long run the day before BUT every single time I have dragged my butt to the YMCA I have felt tremendous afterwards.  It may take a KM or two to loosen things up, or perhaps it’s the right tune at the right time to get me moving but so far I have really enjoyed the experience.

IMG_4217.jpg

I am loosely following a triathlon (which I am training for) training plan which starts with a base week (week #1) and you add a bit more on week #2, a bit more again on week #3 and then an active recovery week, which I am currently in where you take things relatively easy.  So with 11 weeks still to go, I will be ramping it up to another level three more times.  I have learned and listened to my body a lot during the last 25 days, and will be altering the run schedule accordingly.  For example I will NOT be doing any more long runs back to back during the next cycle… in week #2 I did four 10 km over five days, and during week #3 I added distance everyday of the week culminating with an 11.5 km run right before the start of the recovery week.

The plan this cycle is to increase the number of recovery days in between more difficult runs, especially ones of double digit distance.  Most likely there will two recovery runs in between, as I will be creating a plan and training schedule for the remaining 75 days and strategically plan things out.  Training for a TRIATHLON is not just about running, there is a lengthy swim and bike element as well, two kilometers of swimming, and 94 kilometers of hard biking around the Lake of Bays with lots of elevation changes.  It will be very tough indeed but after 100 runs in a row, I should have the leg strength to crush the course.

I have also been doing weight training four times a week, focusing on arms, chest, back/shoulders, and legs on an alternating cycle.  This is new for me this time around during my training plan, as when I did three and half years of triathlons back in 2007 through 2010 there was no strength training to be found.  It was a whole lot of swimming, biking and running and not much else.  The only element that I would really like to incorporate is some abdominal days, some stretch days and even some yoga days.  If I can manage to add these last three elements over the next five months I believe I would be unstoppable on the course.

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

The Side Hustle

In the effort to stay at home with my now four year old son I have started to feel the need for some extra income. I recently applied for and got a job back in the culinary industry to bring in a few extra dollars on the weekend when I am kid free. Ideally not what I was looking for but it’s one of this foot in the door and a chance to prove yourself moving forward. A classic case of walking before you can run, and after thinking about it now for a few days it’s absolutely perfect.

However it will only slow the bleeding that has been my bank account the last few months, ideally I want to bring that down to a trickle and eventually start to fill up the federal reserves again. Man I am big on the metaphors today! In comes the Side Hustle! I originally heard this term thrown around in some of the men’s mental health groups I have joined, and more recently on commercials for Uber. #sidehustle

Some friends and I had talked about starting a baking company late last year and this January I finally decided to take the bull by the horn and go all in. It first started with the 6 quart MixMaster mixer I ordered for a screaming deal on Amazon. And then it was Wix.com to set up a website, and finally VistaPrint to get some business cards, car magnets, t-shirts and a large banner which I’ve yet to hang outside my house. Tomorrow’s project for sure.

The Facebook page is up, the Instagram account is active and I’ve even started to boost posts on Facebook which has actually helped bring some more visibility to the site. No orders yet, but as men aren’t we notorious for waiting until the last minute? I have received a few orders already and this morning I went about my normal routine of taking the kids to school, and then making an order for a friend that was willing to help me test out the ability to send these delicious cookies through the mail and see what the end result would be.

I was very happy with the results of my efforts as you can see here…

… however when I went to pack them up the icing had not quite hardened all the way and several of them were squished. I did manage to save four of them but will have to redo the other eight, several of which are sitting at the bottom of my stomach as part of afternoon snack.

There has been a learning curve involved with his business venture for sure and at this point I am just hoping to sell enough cookies to cover off my investment and then make a few dollars. If it can be turned into a profitable enough venture to allow me to stay at home full time then I will consider that a Hugh WIN, however there is a lot of work and a lot of cookies between now and then.

If you have a few moments I invite you to look at the site as advertised below. Not looking for orders but rather feedback, ease of navigation, products you would like to see kind of idea. Swim lessons are wrapping up and then it is off the the 25th run in a row. Now that’s Hustle!

https://www.northwestbakery.com North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

Celebrating a BIG Win(s)!

So yesterday was a very interesting day for me, a bit of the continuation of the emotional roller coaster but in a good fun, let’s build towards something kind of day and NOT one with a huge drop back into negativity or despair.  Allow me to explain…

I woke up not feeling the best, I could feel the negative cycle that had plagued me in my past start to take hold, and it would have been just so easy to feed that cycle and the next thing I would have known, THE NOTHING would have it’s claws deep into me again and I could have lost another week doing nothing…

I recognized the start of this cycle and I reach out for help yesterday through some friends and leaned into the support circle I have created for myself and instantly felt the love and the accountability that I need to keep me on the straight and narrow.  To not slip back into back habits of my previous lifestyle.  I worked out, I went for a run and my mood and attitude immediately changed.  WIN!

I shared this experience in my group call last night, reading some pages from my journals of that past to give some insight to just how bad the negative cycles in my life would effect me.  It was a very moving experience for me to open up and share some of my darkest periods of my life.  I know that the others could relate to what I went through as we ALL have points in our lives when we feel incredibly low.  I am fortunate to have the support to quickly life me up from this.  WIN!

After my call, I had the chance to talk with both of my older children before bed and to share with both of them what I had been going through the last couple of days.  We talked about life, about how it can affect you, and ways to navigate those feelings so they don’t take hold of you and trap you into that negative cycle.  This 45 minutes was the BEST part of my day and showed me some tremendous growth on my part, to not only break my own cycle of negativity but to ALSO share that knowledge with my daughters.

This was the biggest WIN of all!

How I Feel Better, Not Rocket Science…

To say I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently would be an understatement, which is weird because usually after some kid free time I am recharged and ready to face the week ahead.  Not so much this weekend, I had the best Saturday possible where it involved a 11.5km run outdoors, followed by a leg workout.  Then I had the pleasure of playing my x-wing miniatures game and won 🙂 and enjoyed the time in between playing pool and other things…

I woke up early on Sunday and took a look at my MasterMind homework for the week, this scared the crap out of me and I think started the process of getting inside my own head.  To backtrack a bit, I’ve joined several men’s support groups on Facebook and have started working with several guys through weeks of community calls and support to help improve mental health/  The love and support I’ve found here is life changing in so many ways that sometimes words cannot just describe.

So this exercise really got into my head, and it started my mind thinking on a bunch of other things that really had an impact and effect on my mood.  This would be one of the greatest things that I needed to work on and change when I decided to walk away from my job and rediscover all the joys in life.  We sometimes call it Mental Toughness, and it had been awhile since my mind had gotten the better of me.  This mood, if you will drifted into Monday and I got through that day but was very lethargic, didn’t eat well and perhaps drank one or two too many beers last night.  Lying in bed eating a large piece of apple pie right before going to sleep perhaps was not the best thing.

The last two night I have also had very vivid and telling dreams about a few of things that I have been thinking on.  I think my sub conscience mind was trying to work through some of the mental baggage that I am still carrying around in the back of my mind.  And I have a job interview today, one that I am only a little nervous about as it’s my first in a good long while, and there may be some uncomfortable topics on conversation along the way.  I think if I approach it with an open mind, and coming from a point of being vulnerable then I should be just fine.

With all this going on today, I reached out to some friends and posted in a few of my support groups, and I was hit back with some instant comments and support.  Even had a challenge thrown my way to keep at things and I happily accepted that challenge and found my way down to my gym in the basement for a good hour of lifting weights and running the stairs throughout my house.

It helped immensely with my mood and energy level for the rest of today!  I actually feel pretty good, I guess the only thing left to work through is my nerves with regards to both this interview and the fact that I will be the center of attention during my conference call tonight, talking about this very subject.  i actually welcome the chance to get 12 other men’s perspective on my situation and what I am currently dealing with.  It’s an incredibly nerve racking experience to open up and share what’s going on in my head, not something that I have ever done before which is causing the nerves.  When it all said and done I know that I will learn and grow from the experience and continue to move my life in the right direction.

This is a cycle that I have dealt with my entire life, and it would cripple me for weeks at a time.  Dealing with addiction made this cycle even worse, and even tougher to shake.  I have a smile on my face as I type this now realizing that I have positioned myself to help safeguard these self destructive cycles that I know that exist in my life.  Ha ha… win!