Casey’s Journal Part 6

November 26, 2014

Today, I am angry at you. I’m so mad at how we ended things. Maybe if you didn’t say the words that day, we could have worked it out. Why did you have to give up hope?! Staying together would have taken a lot of effort, but we had plans. You shatter those plans in one instant and now I’m left here grieving a lover that isn’t dead, just gone.

I thought you were braver than me because you had the courage to end it, but I’m not really sure that was brave anymore. We had plans, a life together. You ruined that and convinced me it was for the best. Is this really the best? I’m left here alone crying in my new apartment still haunted by our memories. Living without you seems impossible. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy again. I built my happiness in you, when you walked away you took it with you and I hate you for that.

Casey’s Journal Part 5

November 21, 2014

Today is the first Friday night without you. We had plans to go to a bar with our friends, or are they your friends? I don’t even remember anymore. What happens to friends during a breakup? Do we split them up? I’m at a complete loss of what to do.

I’ve been trying to figure out if I should go along with the plans. I have a fear that we both will show up there, and I won’t be able to keep myself from falling apart in front of you. These wounds are too fresh for me to be okay around you. Hell, I’m not even sure I would be able to hold it together in front of our friends.

Do they know we broke up? I haven’t really told anyone yet. The last thing I need is the pity that is sure to come along with that. Everyone knows how weak I am. You were always the strong one, keeping me together. Now, I’m liable to fall apart at a moment’s notice.

I should probably just stay home. No one wants to be around a person who can’t keep it together, especially, when they are trying to just have fun.

I’ll just send Macy a text and tell her I can’t make it.

To be continued…

Five Reason’s Your Social Media Isn’t Generating Leads

Business owners today know that social media is a big part of growing your business. Having an online presence can help bring in a lot of leads, but it isn’t always a simple thing to accomplish. You might find that yourself engaging in all levels of social media, without much success. While it does take time to build and online presence, sometimes you just aren’t doing it right. Here are some reasons your social media isn’t generating leads.

You don’t post interesting content

To keep people interested, you have to provide them with content that will keep them coming back. You don’t want to just stick to self-promotion. Otherwise, people aren’t going to see a need to continue follow your social media. Providing fresh content on a weekly basis can really help drive traffic to your sites.

Your social media isn’t promoted on your site

Having social media isn’t always enough; you need to promote these sites. Provide links to them on your website; don’t expect your customer base to go out of their way to search for these themselves.

You don’t understand how to use them right

Every social media site has its own way of attracting followers. You need to understand the way you use Twitter, isn’t going to be the same way you would use Facebook. Learning how to make each type of social media work for you, you need to know why your followers use that site first.

You’ve spread yourself too thin

More isn’t always better. Being on multiple social media sites isn’t away going to attract more customers and might make it difficult for you to keep up with all of them. Narrow down the sites that are more beneficial to your type of business and focus on those. Don’t spread yourself too thin, where you aren’t providing enough engaging content on each site. Instead make sure to add fresh content on the sites you do use, as often as you can.

Lack of conversation

Having social media isn’t just for self-promotion, have some fun with it. Keep up a two way conversation with your followers to keep them interesting and coming back. Followers like to be heard, and replying to a Facebook post or a tweet can accomplish this. Taking a few minutes every day to respond to a few comments can really help you build long term relationships with your customers.

Social media isn’t just for family and friends anymore. Companies are using these platforms to connect with their current customers and bring in more. Building relationships with your customers can help keep them coming back. Fresh content that provides useful information is important to keep them coming back.

If your business is in need of fresh content for sites, contact me today.

New Year’s Resolution: Three Tips For Organizing Your Garage

If you are like many other garage owners, your space is so cluttered there is no way you could think about parking your car in there. The thought of cleaning a space, such as this, can be a daunting one. This is why, when faced with a task like this, it is best to go at it with a plan. Here are some tips for organizing your garage.

Create a plan

The first thing you want to do is actually get into it. As Newton’s laws of physics state, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Once you start the motivation to finish will help out. Start by coming up with a plan of action. Break it down into little task, maybe start with a corner and work your way outward. By breaking it into little task, organizing your garage seems more manageable.

Make piles

Start sorting your items into different piles. One for things you will keep, another for things that can be sold or donated, and a third for stuff you can just toss out. This will let you know what needs to go back into the garage and what doesn’t need to be there anymore.

Look into self-storage

Once the piles are sorted, and you find that you still don’t have enough space to park your car in its home, you might want to start looking into self-storage. Self-storage can help you keep things important to you, without the cluttering up your home or garage.

The Importance Of Intentional Listening

It’s not hard for anyone to understand the desire to want to not only be heard, but understood as well. In a society where multitasking is at an all-time high, sometimes focusing on listening can take a back seat. In fact today is seems like most people are more intent on responding, than listening. Whether you are a salesperson trying to get a big client, or a manager listening to the needs of an employee, intentional listening is an essential key to success. Here are is why intentional listening is important.

Listen To Understand

Most people listen with the intent of responding. Intentional listening is when you listen to understand. This type of listening can be vital in all aspects of life, business being a big one. There are a number of ways intentional listening can make a business run more efficiently, therefore increasing revenue. For example, when you utilize intentional listening when speaking to a potential client, you get a better understanding of their wants and needs, which can make it easier to explain why your product would be best for them. When your customers feel that you understand them and their needs, they are more likely to stick around.

Creates A Longer Relationship With Clients

Building and maintaining a reputation with your clients through listening, is beneficial to you in the long run. Not only do you keep a long term client, but it opens you to more business through referrals. A single client can make or break your reputation. Intentional listening can help you reduce the possibility of conflict and treat the clients how they expect to be treated.

Show You Care

Another importance of intentional listening in business is when it comes to your employees. Happy employees, make for more effective employees. Keep them happy and your business will run smoother. When you listen to what they have to say, you not only show them you care about their needs and desires, you can better understand what they want to gain from working there. With your help, you can help them develop a plan to succeed that helps both them and the business in the long run.

Build Trust

A vital component for intentional listening is developing trust. This trust is what keeps your clients and employees happy. When they trust that you have their best interests in mind they are more likely to stick around. Building trust among your employees will help motivate them to do the best work possible.

Multitasking, while is seems like an effective way to get more things down at once, often leads to you taking longer to get things done. The human brain cannot actively do multiple things at once without sacrificing efficiency. If you are listening to someone speak, while also checking your emails on your phone, not only are you being disrespectful to the person you are supposed to be listening to, you are not intentionally listening to what they have to say. When you aren’t listening to them, you miss the actual message they are giving you. You can’t be an effective leader if you don’t listen to what your clients or employees are saying. If you wish to have a constructive conversation, consider leaving the multitasking for another time.

Next time you have a conversation with an employee or client; try listening to them in order to understand what it is they want. When you utilize intentional listening, you are more capable of making them happy and moving towards a more mutually beneficial arrangement. Listening should never just be about waiting for a chance to respond. Actively listening to understand helps build positive conversations and relationships between employees and clients.

New Year, New You: Nutritional Tips To Help You Conquer The New Year

Now that we are a few weeks into the New Year, you might see that your new year’s resolutions have started to slip. If being healthy is your goal, nutrition and fitness are your friends. Going on a diet isn’t necessarily what you need to do; rather you should learn how to incorporate healthy food, while removing junk in your everyday. It shouldn’t be a set time period, rather a lifestyle change. Here are some healthy tips to keep you on track.

Cut Out Sugary Drinks

Sugar doesn’t have to be your enemy, but consuming too much on a daily basis is going to have a negative impact on your health. Drinking soda and juice is the biggest culprit of this. By consuming these beverages, you are putting empty calories into your diet. They have little to no nutritional value and can actually make you crave more sugar.

Keep Track Of What You Are Consuming

The best way to know where your diet is suffering is to keep a food diary. This can help keep your accountable for the stuff you are putting in your body. Once you have the nutritional value of everything laid out on paper, you can see the areas that need to change.

If you don’t like the old fashion method of paper, there are a number of different apps you can download on your phone to help you keep track of this. These apps will automatically add all your nutrients together and give you an idea of where you are at. You can also set goal for fat intake, calorie intake, etc.

Drink Water

We all need water to live. In fact more than 70% of our body is made of water. Yet most people fail to hydrate properly. Drinking water throughout the day can help keep you hydrated and healthy. Proper hydration can curve hunger, and make you feel better all around. Keeping a refillable water bottle on you all day is the best way to have water on you at all times.

Snack Healthy

It’s three in the afternoon, and you are feeling a little hungry. You try to find something quick to eat to fill the time before dinner. What you grab at this moment is going to have a major impact on your diet. Chips and cookies are an easy snack that you can eat on the go; however they aren’t going to do you any favors. They are going to make you feel sluggish and regretful. Instead try grabbing a quick fruit or vegetable. Fruit can give you that sugar rush without having to feel guilty about eating it.

Changing your bad habits is going to be hard and take time, but if you keep trying it will get easier. Some of these steps are small and take less effort. They just have to become a habit for it to feel natural. Use these tips to make this year the year you actually find the new you, you have been looking for.

Setting Yourself Up For Failure: The New Year’s Resolution Trap

As we quickly approach a new year, many people are taking the time to reevaluate their life. It’s a common time for us to come up with new goals that we wish to achieve to in the New Year. Many of us use this time of the year as a reason to completely makeover our life and become the person we have been wanting to. The New Year, new me mentality. However, we find that we tend to fail year after year. We set off on this new life for a few months or so, only to go back to our own ways shortly after. Here are some reasons you are setting yourself up for failure and how to correct that to achieve your goals this year.

Unrealistic Expectations

Most of us go about our goals with an entire U-turn of our life; jumping head first into these changes, without much of a thought. The problem with this is humans are resistant to change. Our brains are wired to keep doing the things we were doing over and over again. If we don’t take time to ease ourself into these huge changes it becomes difficult.

In order to create a change, we must first create new habits. To do this takes time, repeating the new action over and over again until it starts to be something your brain knows and wants to do. For example if you want to change your eating habits, a crash diet isn’t going to cut it. The best course of action is changing your diet long term. You can eat bad stuff; you just have to eat it less. If most of the days in the week you are eating healthy, a junk day isn’t going to be an issue. If you are eating junk 6 days out of the week, this is where the issue comes in. Moderation is key.

Some ways to ease yourself into this is adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. Increase your water intake over the next few weeks, while cutting out soda and juice. Eating clean protein with every meal is going to help as well. As time goes on you will find that these things get easier to add, while taking out the bad stuff.

You Burned Yourself Out

The best way to fail a New Year’s resolution is by going too hard, too fast. By the end of the first month you just want to take a little rest, but end up falling back into your old habits. Once that happens it’s hard to start back up and you end up putting it off for a whole year again.

Say you want to go to start going to the gym. You don’t want to start going to the gym every day for a week and burn yourself out. By the time the next week comes around you are going to be burned out. Ease yourself into a going every other day or even just on the weekends. Start off slow. Get your body used to moving, and then you can start to increase the amount of exercise you do a week. Once it becomes a habit, going to the gym 5 days a week should be easy

You Doubt Yourself

After setting out on your goals you start to think that it’s too hard. You don’t give yourself enough time for a change to actually show. At this time you start thinking it impossible and too hard to accomplish. Failing back into old habits is easier.

Everyone has doubts from time to time. When you rush into change and don’t see results right away, it can have an effect on your drive. And once doubt enters your mind it can take away all that motivation you had at the beginning. While you can’t always control the doubt, you can push through it.

Be realistic when setting your goals. Know what to expect and find a way to push through the doubts. Don’t let them rule your mind. Motivation is going to help you start, but you need persistence to keep going.

New Year’s is a great time to take a look at the things you want to change. It’s like opening a new chapter with new possibilities. But change takes time and the best way to go about it, is to ease yourself into these changes. You don’t want to jump head first into your new goals. That is only setting you up for failure. Give yourself time to create new habits and you will finally see your New Year’s resolutions come to fruition.

10 Amazon Christmas Gifts For Her

10 Amazon Christmas Gifts For Her

Christmas, is just around the corner. It’s the time where families come together and enjoy the holidays together. It’s about peace and love. Finding the perfect holiday gift can add unwanted stress to these next few weeks. Whether it’s your girlfriend or your sister, here are 10 Christmas gift ideas for 2018. It helps that you can order all these items from Amazon, to help ease the stress of trying to figure out what the women in your life want.

Wine Accessories

You know at least one woman who likes to drink wine. Whether it’s a glass after a long day of work, to help unwind, or a bottle on the weekend to celebrate a small victory; you can always find her with a wine glass in her hand. The Ivation Wine Gift Set could be the perfect gift you have been looking for. This gift set includes a stainless steel electric wine bottle open, wine aerator, electric vacuum wine preserver, 2 bottle stoppers, foil cutter, and a charging base. Your loved ones will be opening bottles with ease, while also extending the life of their favorite red or white wine.

Leggings

Leggings are not just for yoga. Women love wearing leggings all day, every day. Not only are they comfortable, but they can go with almost anything. Ndoobiy and Witkey have printed women’s leggings that come in a variety of designs and make the perfect Christmas gift for her.

Fitbit

Christmas is one step away from the New Year, which is the time people like to set new goals. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. This makes the Fitbit Charge 2 a perfect Christmas gift. With this, your mother, wife, or best friend can track her heartbeat and steps to help measure calories burned through the day. It can be used to maximize workouts, as it shows when your heart rate is in the fat burning zone. Wearing it to bed can help them track how long and well you slept and even has an alarm feature. Another handy feature is it shows your calls and text right on the OLED display.

Makeup

I know this is cliché and that not all women like to wear makeup, but we all know a number of women who do. If you know your girlfriend has been talking about a specific pallet she has been wanting to get, take notes. It will make the perfect gift. You might even get bonus points for getting something she has been meaning to get herself.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are all natural stress relievers. Give relaxation this Christmas, in a healthy way. An essential oil diffuser might be just what she has been waiting for. The Secret Garden Essential Oil Diffuser gives the gift of all natural stress relief. Or if she already owns own you can also purchase essential oils for her diffuser.  Make her Christmas a relaxing one.

Perfume

Women usually have a scent that they enjoy when they get older. They stick to that brand and rarely move away from it, unless they find something that they really enjoy otherwise. This Christmas you might consider finding a bottle of her favorite perfume as a gift. While you can get her something new, keep in mind she might still want to wear her favorite bottle above all else.

Bath Bombs

Taking a bath after a long day is a great way to relax. Especially, during the stressful holiday months. Bath Bombs are a great holiday gift for the special women in your life. ArtNaturals offers a bath bomb gift set that is all natural and can be purchased right from your computer on Amazon. This bath bombs gift set includes six bath bombs. They are all natural make from natural clays combined with mineral salts, shea butter, and other natural ingredients.

Sleepwear

This time of year can get very cold. With the sun setting so early, most of us just want to spend the Christmas season lying in bed in our pajamas. Give your friends and family the gift of sleepwear. This can be a pair of slippers, an outfit, or even an oversized shirt. There is nothing better than going to bed in something comfortable.

Books

Looking for a great gift for a friend or a lover? Books make great gifts and Amazon is packed full of them. Is she into Sci-Fi? Give Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series a try. There are a number of great poetry books out as well Whiskey Words & a Shovel, Pillow Thoughts, you can even pick up a copy of my personal poetry book, All or Nothing.

If you are unsure of what book to get her for a Christmas gift, gift cards are always an option.

Video Games

Yes, women like video games too and if the women you are looking to buy a gift for is very into video games, it’s an easy gift. Find out what platform she has and find a game she might enjoy. A few titles recently out include:

At the end of the day, the best Christmas gift you can give the loved ones in your life is something personalized. You know them the best. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, it could just be a few things they need around the house. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

A Writer Should Always Be Writing

Sometimes, between jobs and clients I find myself not writing. On top of this, I find myself not wanting to write. Some days it’s the last thing I want to do, especially after just completing a batch of articles for a client. We all get burnt out sometimes and when your passion is your career, you don’t always want to write in your free time.

I’ve heard that a writer should always be writing, and while this isn’t always possible, I think it’s important to remember from time to time. It doesn’t have to be the next great novel, but anything that helps get you in the habits that will lead you to the next great novel is a plus. The moment you start slacking, you lose your motivation and all those pieces you had planned on writing are now lost in the dreaded, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But how many times can you say that, before it just never happens?

We all get writers block. The best way to get through this writers block is as simple as just writing. It can literally be anything, just write. Procrastination is never a helpful tool, but it can be quite simple to break. All it takes is one step towards your goal to help destroy the cycle. Picking up a pencil and writing one word, or if you prefer a computer, can lead to the next hundred and so on from there.

While I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I do believe in setting goals and facing them all year around. That being said I want to focus more on my own personal writing. I’m looking to set up some sort of schedule to start posting here more regularly. These are going to be a variety of things. From personal blogs, to poetry, and a dash of articles about stuff that interest me. Basically, you can expect to seem more writing from me in the coming year.

 

The Things You Deserve More Than Me

You deserve more than whiskey fueled dreams and clumsy kisses. More than someone who can’t make up her mind. You deserve cotton candy filled skies and moonlit nights. You deserve promises made with a tongue grazing your lips. You deserve wedding bells and diamond rings. You deserve a life filled with laughter and happiness. You deserve more than I can give you.