folks! You really can have it all! Health! Wealth! Prosperity! All
you’ve ever dreamed of and more!
Yep, I thought that intro (with
its overuse of exclamation points) might get your attention. We’ve
spent the last several months talking about goal setting. I’ve had a
blast sharing my ideas. We’ve talked about going for the gusto, having
the right perspective to succeed as a freelancer, and the critical role
that attitude plays in our journey toward success.
But wait . . . there’s more!
Sharing the following piece of advice requires me to come clean about
something that closely affects my personal journey as a freelancer . .
. and possibly yours, as well. We can set all the goals we like. We can
change our attitude. We can strategize, sharpen our skills, and sit in
front of the computer ten hours a day. But if we’re in bad shape
(physically), what we produce will be sub-par.
Working from home: What Bliss!
Maybe not. For most of my adult
life I’ve worked from home. Doing so has its benefits: you can spend
more time with your family, wear what you like to work, set your own
hours, establish your own rhythm, etc.; however, working from home
produces an environment that can, if we’re not careful, put us in
harm’s way. It would be wrong of me not to share my personal journey so
that you can glean what you will from it. To do so requires
vulnerability on my part.
(Janice takes a deep
Ack. I hate to admit this, but
for most of my “freelancing” life I’ve been seriously overweight. We’re
not talking a pound or two. We’re talking
overweight. (Got the visual? The phrase “Hefty, hefty, hefty!” comes to
No one really blamed me. Well,
not to my face, anyway. My friends were too busy supporting my various
books and other writing projects to spend much time advising or
scolding me about my weight. Most understand that writing is sedentary
work. I sit at the computer most of the day, pounding out stories,
articles, blog entries, marketing strategies, and so on.
Unfortunately, the “extra
poundage” (as I like to call it) caught up with me. In 2009, after
several years of severe joint pain, I was diagnosed with a serious form
of arthritis. After that came major meds and “suggestions” from the
doctor and friends that I lose weight. In my head I knew it made sense.
Talking my heart into it was another thing altogether.
In January of 2010 I set off on
an adventure to lose a few pounds. I’d done this before. In fact, my
biggest fear was that I would lose weight then gain it back. (I’d also
done this before, to my horror and shame. I’d even written I Must
Decrease, a comedic nonfiction book offering tips and tidbits to
dieters.) With so many readers and editors seeing me in the public eye,
could I put myself out there again? What if I fouled up once more?
Between January of 2010 and
today, I’ve lost 85 pounds. I’ve done the usual things: cut back on
calories and carbs, started
the Wii Fit, bought an elliptical
machine, and started taking some amazing supplements that make me feel
better. I don’t have a magic formula or some “health wand” I can wave,
but, with the Lord’s help, what I’m doing seems to be working!
don’t share my story to brag. If anything, I share it with fear and
trembling because it puts my weight loss in the public eye. I tell you
this because it has revolutionized my freelancing business!
What do weight, diet, and money
have in common? One thing: If you feel better, you work better. And if
you work better, you produce better stories, articles, blogs, etc. Now
you see why I titled this article “Health, Wealth, and Prosperity.” I’m
not giving you a name-it-and-claim-it theological tip here; I’m simply
telling you that feeling better gives you better results with your
Think about it. On an average
day a full-time freelancer crawls out of bed, hefts his/her chubby self
to the in-home office, swallows a high carb, coffee-infused breakfast,
and sets off to write “The Great American Novel” (or an article meant
to tickle an editor’s fancy). By mid-morning she’s fuzzy-headed and
hungry for lunch. If the food choices at lunch are poor (and/or sugary
afternoon snacks are added to the equation), you can imagine the sort
of work she will produce by mid-afternoon! Oy! Add a little
chicken-fried steak to dinner and you’ve got the potential for a poor
night’s sleep and a creative breakdown the following day. Our
creativity is, after all, dependent on the amount of rest we get and
what we feed our bodies. (Yep. We really are what we eat!)
I’m just starting to “get” all
of this, folks, so I’m teaching by (recent) example here. Changing my
diet and exercise has shifted my mental status. Now that I’m more
focused and alert, my writing has improved. So has my desire to make a
living doing what I love.
It’s not too late to start fresh
in this area. If you’ve struggled with your diet/exercise in the past,
don’t let that hinder you in the future. Tomorrow is a new day. While
you’re setting your goals for the months ahead, set a few that pertain
to your health, as well. Your body will thank you . . . and so will