Committing to real focus

If you read the interview I did recently on MaggieGentry’s blog (I shared it a few weeks ago), you know that I’ve been focusing on how positive change in our lives can lead to positive change in the world. With that in mind, I’d like to invite you to join me in some free accountability as we work toward (both kinds of) positive change!


Last January (in 2017), I began a practice called Stronger Month by Month.

At the beginning of each month, I chose a single intention to focus on and then checked in each week on Instagram. These intentions ranged from specific actions (like meditating every day) to things that were a bit harder to measure but still important (like pausing before responding or reacting in my everyday life).

I started this practice because I was tired and overwhelmed from trying to make so many changes at once.

We all come up against a ton of information each day, a lot of it about changes we could be making, and I wasn’t doing a good job of filtering through those options to choose only the right ones for me. Instead, I was feeling pressure to do everything the moment I thought about it.

I knew this way of approaching change was unsustainable, so I decided to do something different: focus on one change at a time for at least one month.

Some months were more successful than others. Some weeks and even days were more successful than others. Sometimes I chose really good intentions, and sometimes I chose to focus on changes I couldn’t (or didn’t really want to) make when it got down to an everyday practice.

But no matter the intention I chose, I learned from having committed to the process and from holding myself to sharing my progress weekly.

As the year progressed, I created a free guide to help those who were interested in participating—not because the process is complicated or the rules strict, but because I know that sometimes we need help getting started.

I’m reviving this practice for 2018, and I’d love for you to join me...

...whether that means participating or simply following along (I got plenty of messages from people who got so much out of this simply by watching me make the commitment!). Here’s how:

If you’d like to participate:
Sign up to get a copy of the get-started guide below! You can do as much or as little sharing as you like. I’ll put up an Instagram post each Tuesday where you’re welcome to check in, but only if that feels right. It’s up to you!

If you’d like to follow along:
You don’t have to do a thing! For the month of February, I’ll be sending out an email each Wednesday updating you on my progress. Sending this email is an experiment; I want to see if the emails are helpful for you to read and helpful for me to write. If they are both, we’ll keep doing this. And if not, we’ll try something new; I’m all about a low-stress experiment! (Note: These will not be posted on the blog; they will only be sent by email. Sign up now if you’d like to keep reading!)

If you have any questions, please reach out! I’d love to hear from you. And if you’re interested in hearing about what I’m focusing on for the month of February, check out the first Instagram post right here. I’ll share more in next week’s email!

If you use the free guide (you can download it using the form below) to set an intention, please reach out and let me know what it is...

...by Instagram or by email if you’d like to keep it more private. I’m here to cheer you on!

With much love,
Erica


P.S. If you want to join me, or learn more about Stronger Month by Month, download the free guide below!

A big update (and a discount!)

I’ve been nervous about writing this.

Writing after a long absence is tough: So much has happened, and it’s hard to know which parts to share while also keeping things reasonably concise... Both new faces and old are present, and it’s hard to know how to address both... The habit of writing and sharing has slipped a bit, and it’s hard to get thoughts onto paper... You know what I mean.

So I’ve been, somewhat unconsciously, putting it off. And then, thankfully, my friend Maggie saved me.

You may know Maggie of MaggieGentry already; if not, I’m so happy to introduce you to her. I had the great pleasure of meeting her in person (at Being Boss NOLA this year) after we’d been online and Skype friends for a little while, and she’s the bee’s knees. Thoughtful, kind, gentle, warm, giving—just the kind of person you want in your corner.

Maggie (in her own words) offers thought partnership and marketing strategy for creatives who value genuine connections and intentional growth. Her signature program, Own Your Why, is at the heart of her business, and I have multiple friends who’ve worked with her and raved about the results.

She also hosts a blog interview series called Getting to Know, and she recently asked me to participate!

In the interview, I share all the things I’d want to tell you here, with enough space to let me really stretch out and give you the full picture. If you’ve been wondering what’s going on and what to expect in the coming months, this is the place to go. You’ll get a peek into my daily routine (I always love reading those!), takeaways from the time I’ve spent away from sharing in this space, and a look at why I’m even more certain that Explore and Stay Unstuck fit into the mission that’s been behind my work all along (even though I couldn’t always quite see what that was).

You’ll also get a code for a discount on Explore or Stay Unstuck—or both—through December 31!

So if you’d like to hear what’s been going on and what’s next (plus get a discount), head right this way!

With that, I’m signing off for the holidays with my family. I hope to write again soon; I deeply miss sharing here and connecting with all of you.

With love,
Erica


Looking for the short version? I spilled the beans on where I’ve been and what’s next in this interview with the wonderful Maggie of MaggieGentry!

P.S. Maggie has created a beautiful guide (including a Google Sheet template!) for 2018 planning. If you do client work, this could be a life-saver for you. Check out Maggie's year-ahead planning bundle here!

P.P.S. I refreshed my website homepage and about page, so you can get a taste of how I’m currently approaching the work I do. Take a look at ericamidkiff.com if you’d like to see!

A summer break

I thought and thought about how to start this email, and finally decided I’d start with the simple truth: I need a break.

I need time to sit with all of my thoughts and ideas, and sit with the feedback you so kindly shared with me in the survey I recently sent out.

And I need time to not think about work at all.

My Stronger Month by Month intention for June was to consume mindfully*, and I’ve seen a big difference as I’ve scaled back in what, when, and how much I’m taking in (through Instagram, emails, and blogs).

So my plan is to pull back even further for the next month or two.

I’ll still share a weekly Stronger Month by Month post on Instagram each Monday*, to help those of you who’ve been following along and using the process to make real, sustainable change happen in your life—and to keep me accountable. This project has been so meaningful for me, and I want to keep the momentum going.

I’ll also spend some time catching up on a backlog of emails; if you’re waiting for a reply from me, thank you for your patience!

And in the next few days, I'm going to be sharing a couple of fun projects launched by creative friends—that's going down on Instagram.

But other than that, I’m not planning to be online very much at all.

I’m not entirely sure when I’ll be back, but it should be sometime in August…maybe September, depending on how things go.

I don’t want to give myself a firm deadline, because if I do, I’ll only make myself nervous. Instead, I want to take the time to stretch out, to look through all my notes and ideas, to sit on the porch and stare at the sky and daydream. I want to be intentional about how I spend this time, but I don’t want to feel pressured.

I wrote and deleted a bunch of explanations about what I think this break will do for me. Because really, I want to go into it open to what might happen rather than trying to follow a narrow path. So instead, I’ll end with this:

I want to thank you for being here, and for always supporting me in whatever I do.

You are all kind, thoughtful, encouraging, and endlessly inspiring, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have you to share honestly with, ask opinions of, debate ideas with, and of course, help when I can.

I’ll miss writing to you, but I also know that (cliche as it may be), absence makes the heart grow fonder. I hope that will be true for both of us.

Sending so much love your way!
Erica


*Stronger Month by Month is totally free, and I’d love to have you join in. The idea is to pick a single change or idea to focus on for one month, and to check in every week on Instagram. If this sounds like exactly what you need, you can learn more and download a free guide to help you get started right here!


So this email has been about me needing a break, but that might not be what you need.

If you've been feeling a little off but aren't sure what to do about it, check out Stay Unstuck: A Guide to Awareness and Action. It walks you through tactics you can try right now to figure out what's going on, get yourself unstuck, and get moving again.

This self-paced guide is available now for $59. Learn more about all the ways Stay Unstuck can help you right here!