Category: life advice

How To Stop Researching + Start Taking Action

Want to stop procrastinating, battle perfectionism, and giving up on your dreams? Read on for five tips to finally start taking action towards your goals! #Successful #Habits #Routine #DailyHabits #Mindset #SelfImprovement #PersonalDevelopment #PersonalGrowth #SelfHelp #Routines #Balance #GrowthMindset I can see the tiny ‘like’ notifications piling up under the comment on my Instagram post. 12, 13, 14 likes.

And honestly? I get it. Because the comment is so, so relatable.

Who among us hasn’t done this?

Who hasn’t spent weeks or months researching: 

  • How to launch business
  • The best way to calm your brain down + be more productive
  • Steps to be a better ally
  • How to figure out a budget, once and for all

And then … that’s where it ends. We never actually publish the first blog post or start using our planner or call our senators or open our banking app.

📢 WE’VE ALL DONE IT!! 📢

And, I’d venture, we’ve all felt bad about it.

It sucks to give up on ourselves and our goals. It sucks to witness ourselves productively procrastinate – yet again. It sucks to hide from what we want under the guise of “research” … and know that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Sidenote: If you want help taking action on any of those bullet points, I soooo highly recommend this $100 ecourse bundle.* It’s $21,675 worth of courses that’ll help you take action on, well, just about anything. I bought it and have loved it!

As someone who’s prone to this behavior and has (mostly!) gotten past it – here are my best tips to stop researching + start taking action.

1. Realize that at a certain point, research is procrastination + self-sabotage 😬

#painfulbuttrue. Should we have a basic understanding of hashtags before we start an Instagram account for our businesses? Probably.

Is it a good idea to read a bunch of books about anti-racism? FOR SURE.

Can we benefit from watching Youtube videos about budget spreadsheets and couponing?
I would imagine so!

But there is absolutely a limit to what we can learn from Google or books or Youtube videos. At a certain point, we have to actually do the thing. We have to publish the post, speak up at the city council meeting, call our credit card companies.
Because what we’re doing with our months and months of research? Procrastinating and self-sabotaging in a really impressive, socially-sanctioned way. Click To Tweet

2. Break your goal down into little steps. No, even smaller.

One of my coolest tendencies is to wildly underestimate how long things take and how much work goes into them. V fun!

You, too? This looks like writing a five-point to-do list for a goal that really requires something more like 37 bullet points.

If 37 bullet points sounds overwhelming, make each bullet point comically easy + doable. Make each step so dang easy you won’t avoid taking action and you’ll set yourself up for success.

Super easy, tiny steps ➡️ we’re more likely to complete steps ➡️ easier to stay motivated.

For example:

“Find a mentor” = no
“Spend an hour reaching out to friends and see if they know anyone in my career field of choice” = yes

3. Create outer accountability

The vast majority of us can keep commitments to others, but not to ourselves. We’ll meet deadlines for clients or bosses but blow off the marathon registration or our morning meditation practice.

We can make taking action easier by giving ourselves some outer accountability.

  • Make an appointment or pre-pay because you won’t disappoint your trainer, coach, or therapist by flaking out
  • If you’re taking an online course, take it with a friend and schedule times to chat about it or do the work together
  • Tell your friends on social media that you’re working towards this goal + tell them to ask you about it next time they see you!

4. Track your efforts, not your outcomes

☝️ This should be my first tattoo. A hard truth is that results are a lot slower than we’d like for, well, pretty much everything.

And when we’re taking action – sending pitches, calling our representatives, applying for academic programs – very often the outcome feels like … nothing.

Like, you literally never hear back.

And when it feels like you’re not making progress, it’s super easy to give up, and go back to hiding in research.

Let’s track our efforts instead! How many applications did you send out? How many petitions did you sign? How many times did you gently nudge someone to reconsider their implicit bias?

You can make a literal paper chart on your wall that you fill with gold foil stars to track your efforts! ⬆️ A thing I do and extremely recommend.

5. Celebrate said efforts

The very first online course I ever created – were you here for The Post College Survival Kit? – took months to create. It was $40 and I sold 4 seats – one to someone who clearly bought it as market research.

And you know what? I still took myself out to dinner and toasted the fact that I’d worked really hard and kept my promise to myself.

When you take action towards something you want … when you get out of your own way … when you keep your promises to yourself – YOU CELEBRATE THAT ISH.

I hope this helps you stop researching and start taking action. It’s a hard habit to break! It might take you a minute! But it’s totally possible.

P.S. Don’t forget that amazing $100 ecourse bundle! I bought it myself and FINALLY figured out how to run Facebook ads after 6 months of half-watching Youtube videos and poking around in the Facebook ads manager!

* The first time this bundle was offered, I used it as a fundraiser for Minneapolis organizations and we collectively donated $4,500 dollars. This time, it’s just a good ol’ fashioned “here’s a great sale I think you should know about, I get a cut from any purchases that come through that link.” 😉 The sale runs July 6 – 11th!

Photos by STIL and Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

People Are Allowed To Disagree With Your Choices + You’re Allowed To Make Them Anyway

Are you an approval-chaser? Afraid of disapproval or worried about what people think? Read on for tips to stop being such a people pleaser. #selfhelp #selfdevelopment #peoplepleaser #motivation“Welp, I’m pretty sure I know how this is going to go,” I think grimly as I click the send button.

It’s mid-April and we’re in the midst of a pandemic, sweeping layoffs, and a gathering storm of anxiety.

I’m telling my email list about a live round of my beloved Bank Boost program, a five-week course that helps people earn more money, keep more money, and still enjoy their lives while doing it.

And I’m nauseous because selling people something – even a very reasonably-priced something that will help them mitigate their financial anxieties! – feels weird. At best.

I’m worried people will think I’m being opportunistic – even though I created Bank Boost years before this pandemic and this launch has been planned for months.

I’m worried people will think I’m charging too much – even though my colleagues change 2 – 5 times this for self-paced courses with zero support or accountability.

And you know? That is what some people thought.


Of course, a lot more people joyfully enrolled in Bank Boost, thanked me for offering such a helpful resource during this weird time, and appreciated the accessible price point.

But it’s soooo much easier to remember those few who disagreed with me + my choices.

The official term for this – our brain’s overemphasis on criticism and negative feedback – is negativity bias.

But even if you’ve never heard that term, I bet you’ve experienced your version of this – remembering that your cousin doesn’t like your cheesecake everyone else praises, obsessing over the fact that your neighbor rolled her eyes over your landscaping even if all your friends say it looks great.

I extremely get it! I’m right there with you! But the truth is: People are allowed to disagree with your choices + you're allowed to make them anyway. Click To Tweet

Your mom is allowed to think you look better blonde and you’re allowed to let your natural color grow in.

Your best friend is allowed to think you should stay at your current job and you’re allowed to try your hand at full time freelancing.

Your partner is allowed to think you should finish your degree and you’re allowed to feel just fine being four credits short of a B.A. for the rest of your life.

Strangers on the internet are allowed to think you should do ___, charge ____, and wait till ___ to do it. You’re allowed to make a different choice.

If we wait for every person who’s ever existed to agree with our choices, we will never do anything.

If we wait for, like, FIVE people to agree with all our choices, we’ll still probably never do anything.

The people in our lives aren’t required to agree with every single thing we do. And we’re not required to wait for agreement and approval before taking action.

P.S. Need help with stuff like this when it comes to your business, your goals, your habits, or your money? I’m taking new coaching clients! Click here to learn more.

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

3 Things I Tell Almost Every Coaching Client

Looking for advice from a life coach? Or self-development tips? Tap through and read 3 personal development tips that apply to almost everyone. #motivation #productivity #selfhelp #selfdevelopment
I stare at the pink, arrow-shaped post-it note on my laptop that reminds me to look into the camera. Blink, blink.


On the other side of the country, my coaching client is nibbling a piece of whole wheat toast and telling me about her overpacked schedule.

She has two kids, a partner who travels a lot, and a program she’s been trying to create for the last six months.

She’s 10,000 words in but she has no idea what she’s doing. She knows she’s over-complicating things, but her calendar and brain are too full to choose a next step. 

I nod along and then share an insight that’s been super helpful to me and helpful to many of my other clients – regardless of the topic we’re discussing.

She smiles into her own laptop camera in Portland. “Thank you,” she says.  “I really needed to hear that.” 


I’ve been working with 1:1 coaching clients more and more these past few months. We turn on our cameras and drink from our respective coffee cups and chat about all sorts of things: money, online business, goal-setting, self-promotion.

I’ve sent clients links to plugins that will help them stay off Anthropologie.com and scripts for how to tell family members they’re dropping out of grad school.

We’ve talked about how to leave unhealthy romantic relationships and how to fit workouts into a super busy schedule.

More than once my 18-year-old cat has scrambled onto my lap mid-session and yowled directly into the camera. #superprofesh

And even though I coach my clients around many different topics, I find myself saying a few things over and over.

These things have been helpful to the business owner who is launching her first ecourse, the person who’s sick of arguing about money with their partner, and the woman who’s trying to launch her writing career. 

So I thought they might be helpful to you, too.

3 Things I Tell Almost Every Coaching Client

1. You’re doing great. I bet you’re doing better than you’re giving yourself credit for!

Listen: acknowledging that you want to change some aspect of your life or business is terrifying and vulnerable and, honestly, pretty rare.

By admitting that we wish things were different, we’re also admitting that we’re going to have to, like, try.

And trying creates an opportunity to fail.
If we don’t acknowledge that we want things to change, we won’t have to try. And if we don't try, we can’t fail. How convenient! Click To TweetWhen they hire me, my coaching clients are saying “I acknowledge that I want to change this part of my life. I’m willing to admit that I want to change and I’m willing to commit money and time to making this change.”

Just by a) admitting they want to change b) taking an active step in the direction of change, they’re wildly ahead of the curve!

And this doesn’t just apply to people who hire coaches.

If you’ve done any of the following, imagine me shouting across the internet “You’re doing great! I bet you’re doing better than you’re giving yourself credit for!”

  • Gone to therapy
  • Read a book about an aspect of your life you’d like to change
  • Told a friend that you want ____ to be different
  • Told your pet that you want ____ to be different
  • Taken a tiny step in the direction of what you want
  • Did something scary and uncomfortable you know will get you closer to where you want to go (even if it didn’t bring the results you wanted)

2. Make it easier to be “good” and harder to be “bad”*

I could spend 72 hours straight talking about neural pathways and the power of self-narrative and creating accountability around our goals.

Blah blah what’s the story you’re telling yourself about that blah.

These things are incredibly important and if you learn how to harness them you will be nigh-on unstoppable!

That being said, sometimes you just need to make it easier to be “good” and harder to be “bad.”

To my clients who are struggling to create their first online course?

Make it harder to procrastinate. Book yourself into a hotel, don’t let them give you the wifi password, and go write your course. I wrote the first draft of Habit School in two days on a goat farm in Wisconsin that doesn’t have internet!

To my clients who want to use their phone more mindfully?

Make it harder to get to your dang phone. Get yourself a good ol’ fashioned alarm clock and stop charging your phone next to your bed.

To my clients who are making more regrettable purchases than they’d like?

Make it harder to shop. Delete the Amazon app from your phone and unsubscribe from the Jcrew newsletter, y’all.

To my clients who want to drink more water?

MAKE IT EASIER TO DRINK MORE WATER. Get a cute water bottle that you like drinking from. Bring it  everywhere.

You’re smart. You get the idea.
Whatever it is that you want to change - you can make it easier to make good choices in the direction of change and harder to make choices that move you further from what you say you want. Click To Tweet

* Obviously, giant air quotes here around “good” and “bad” because your inherent value  as a human is not determined by how much you procrastinate or how many times a week you do yoga.

3. You’re allowed to take imperfect action in the direction of what you want

Whether I’m coaching someone about money, social media, online business, or habits – I want to scream from the rooftops: “You don’t have to do this perfectly to see results! Putting in a B+ effort is better than doing nothing!!!!”

If you cancel those subscriptions you’re not using, but you still order Doordash more than is strictly necessary? It’s an imperfect step in the right direction.

You want to post four times a week on Instagram and this week you only posted twice. It’s still better than the zero times a week you were posting before!

You’re trying to build a morning yoga habit and today you “only” did 10 minutes instead of 40? You still did yoga this morning. You still get to add a star to that chart.

It’s unlikely that every step we take towards change is going to be perfect. 

There will be typos in Instagram posts. There will be launches that under-perform, side hustles that fizzle, attempts at financial negotiations that go nowhere. You’ll probably fall off your good habit wagon a few times.
When things don’t go perfectly - that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong or that you should give up. It means you’re human. Click To Tweet

2 Perfectionist Tips That Will Free Up Your Time, Brain, and Energy

Looking for perfectionist tips that will help you overcome perfectionism? Just want to write better to-do lists in your bullet journal or be more productive? Click through for 2 great tips!

I’m not a perfectionist in the traditional sense.

I’ve published dozens of blog posts that contain typos. I’ll leave the house knowing there’s a tiny coffee stain on my shirt and pretend it happened in transit. I’ll happily cobble together a meal from a wilting green pepper and some freezer-burned corn and then yell about how I’m pretty much Julia Child.

I mean, I wrote a blog post entitled “It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect, It Just Has To Be Something.”

But I’ll also spend weeks – or months! – polishing and editing and fussing over an ebook that’s already 99% amazing. I’ll wander into the kitchen at 10 pm “just to wipe down the counters” … and then it’s 45 minutes later and I’m defrosting the freezer. I’ll spend so long tweaking a client proposal that I almost miss the deadline.

Of course, truly getting over perfectionism is the work of a lifetime and probably lots of therapy. But while you’re doing that deeper work, here are two surprisingly effective tips that have helped me get out of my own way and get on with my totally-not-perfect-but-still-awesome life!

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9 Ways To Stay Smart Even If You Haven’t Taken A Class In Years

Want to stay smart? Of course you do! Staying intellectually curious is one of the keys to a happy, fulfilling life. Click through for 9 ways to stay sharp and train your brain!

Have you ever seen that tv show Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

It is, by and large, an exercise in realizing that you now know nothing about history, science, or math.

How many cups are 28 fluid ounces?
Between 1455 and 1485, the War Of Roses took place in what country?
A common type of radio wave is referred to as VHF. What do those letters stand for?

I DON’T KNOW OKAY. But I can definitely tell you the full name of Instagram sensation Tuna Melts Your Heart!

As kids head back to school, I am more motivated than ever to stretch and build my brain so I’m not stumped when my 12-year-old stepson quizzes me about the difference between genus and species.

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A Weird Tip For A More Fulfilling Life: Make A ‘To Do For Fun’ List

Looking for to-do list ideas? Or productivity tips or happiness advice? Click through for a bullet journal idea you've never considered before!

Are you a super laid back human who’s great at relaxing? Are your evenings and weekends filled with picnics and movies and friends and reading in a hammock?

If that’s you, stop reading this blog post. It will do you no good. Instead, read this post about how to travel for a month with only a carry-on

But are you one of those Type A humans who runs themselves ragged? Who struggles to uncouple their productivity from their self-worth? Who fill their days (and evenings and weekends) with one million tiny tasks?

If you are this person, I’d like to introduce you to one solution to your Type A problems: the To Do For Fun list.

Quite simply, a To Do For Fun list is a list of fun things you’d like to do with your evening, your weekend, or any free time that falls into your calendar.

If we make lists of duties and chores so we’ll remember to do them, couldn’t we also make lists of fun, unproductive things so we’ll remember to do them? Click To Tweet

I realize this might sound completely counter-intuitive, but sometimes if I don’t plan to have fun … I don’t. My lazy, unstructured weekend becomes an opportunity to organize paperwork, clean the fridge, and detail the car. And then once I‘ve worn myself down, I’ll fall into a Netflix coma.

Instead, what if I made a To Do For Fun list that looked like this?

Weekend To Do For Fun list

  • Sleep in
  • Go to the beach + get nachos at Sandcastle
  • Give myself a manicure
  • Make sweet corn ice cream

Even if I don’t do any of those things (which is fine, since it’s a To Do For Fun list!), I’ve taken five minutes to remind myself that this time is set aside for fun and relaxation. This time is not for never-ending chores, meeting other people’s deadlines, or putting everyone else’s needs before my own.

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