The Recovering Pessimist

Helping pessimists see the bright side of life without losing their "half empty" roots.

Staying Ready in 2017

Jan
02
The Recovering Pessimist: Staying Ready in 2017 -- While doing my prepping for 2017, finding a theme was pretty easy. I decided to use a simple, but profound phrase that I have been reciting all of 2016. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #optimisticpessimist #recoveringpessimist

Image via Chaitra of ItsPinkPot.com

Happy 2017!!!

To continue my tradition of creating yearly themes, I come to you with my theme for 2017 (click here and here for past years’ posts).

This year’s theme began as a joke between my friends and I because I hate surprises. Over time, this phrase evolved into a personal mantra.

Fast forward to Q3 of 2016. I sat down to write some ideas, and the only one that made the list was the joke that became my mantra:

 

STAY READY

I spent a good part of 2016 worrying about the “what ifs”; the inspirations and opportunities that I missed out on. I was thisclose to potential greatness, but of course, I messed up and missed out on them.

How did I miss out on them?

My mindset wasn’t in the right place. I was so worried about what everyone else was doing that I got in my own way. What I should’ve focused on was myself, my goals, and how I was going to accomplish them.

Lesson learned.

In 2017, my hopes, dreams, wants, and desires are big. I refuse to get in my own way this year. I have too much to do and accomplish. What are you promising not to do this year? I’d love to hear about it.

Happy New Year!

My 2016 Wrap Up

Dec
26

The Recovering Pessimist: My 2016 Wrap Up -- This year has been a huge learning experience. I've made progress with this blog as well as my personal life and wanted to chronicle these moments. Enjoy! | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #optimisticpessimist #recoveringpessimistI love writing end of year wrap-up posts (see here for last year’s). It’s a way for me to chronicle all of my ups (and downs) from the year. It also reminds me of accomplishments I have forgotten. Last year’s wrap up post wasn’t as organized as I would like, so this year, I wanted to split the post into two sections: blog and personal life.

Enjoy!

 

BLOG

Top 10 Blogs of 2016 (As of 12/10/2016)
 Highlights
Lessons Learned
  • Getting wrapped up in everyone else’s success blocks my own potential success. Don’t get sucked into that matrix.
  • Everyone has their own journey, including me.
  • Make use of small nuggets of time. I can get more work done in 30 minutes than I can in 8 hours.

 

PERSONAL

 Highlights
  • I won tickets to 2015 Richmond Jazz Festival. The bestie and I went on Sunday night, so we could experience the greatness that is Morris Day & the Time, Tamia, and The Roots. Yes, all of that in one day/night.
  • Saw Alabama Shakes and Corinne Bailey Rae in concert with the bestie at the Portsmouth Pavilion. Perfect weather for a soul-stirring outdoor concert.
  • Reconnected with old friends via Facebook.
  • Took more selfies of myself.
    • For the record, I didn’t post 90% of the selfies I took in 2016. These selfies were mostly for personal memories and documentation of my wellness journey.
Lessons Learned
  • Be open to the unexpectedness of life. Oftentimes these curveballs aren’t as bad as I think they are.
  • Just because I can’t see it happening, doesn’t mean things aren’t working behind the scenes.
  • It’s okay to miss the past. However, remember why the past is the past.

 

That’s 2016 for me in a nutshell. What were your highs (and lows) of 2016? Do you document them (blog post, journal, video, etc.)? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time,

MsWalton

 

How I’m Prepping for 2017

Dec
19

The Recovering Pessimist: How I'm Prepping for 2017 -- I love going through the process of planning for the upcoming year. It allows me to reflect on the current year and make the necessary adjustments. Some of the things mentioned in this year's blog post are similar to last year's with some new things added. Do you plan for the upcoming year? What is your process? | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistI love writing about my preparation process for the upcoming year. Many of the things in this year’s post were mentioned in last year’s post. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?

Without further adieu, let’s begin, shall we?

Create theme for 2017

Having a theme really sets the tone for how I approach the upcoming year. Throughout the year I’ve repeated the same phrase over and over as a reminder to myself and friends when life threw us a curve ball.

Then I had a lightbulb moment. I could make this phrase my theme for 2017 (I”ll disclose the theme in a later post). One less thing for me to work on. Yay!

Vision Board

I created my first vision board last year after hearing folks talk about how vision boards helped them with the manifestation of their goals, aspirations, etc. They were spot on. Many of the things I posted on my vision board actually happened.

Questlove/Giphy.com

Questlove/Giphy.com

This year, I want to take things up a notch with my vision board. I want to take a photo of my vision board, print the photo, and put the photo on the inside cover of my Inkwell Press liveWELL planner. That way, I can keep my vision board with me and stay on task. Genius!

Planning Blog Content Ahead of Time

This year, I finally decided to create an editorial calendar using Google Sheets. I have a place to keep track of all the blog posts (and their permalinks) I’ve written for the year broken down by month. Planning blog posts that are part of a series (e.g., Back to Center, Wisdom Wednesday, etc.) is way easier for me. If you don’t already have some sort of content calendar in place, get one and save yourself the stress.

Write Goals Down

Each year, I have major goals that I want to accomplish. Last year, I used MindMeister to create a visual for all of my goals. It was really pretty to look at, but it wasn’t effective. I also made goal cards for my major goals, which worked initially. However, I stopped looking at them regularly, so that ended up not being too effective.

The whole point of making goals is to accomplish them right?

Exactly!

This year, I decided to keep track of my goals using my 2017 Inkwell Press liveWELL planner. This weekly planner has a lot of areas throughout the planner to keep track of my goals on a yearly and monthly basis. And since I look at my planner several times a day, housing my goals in the planner would be a win-win situation for me.

That’s my planning process for 2017. Tell me, do you plan for the upcoming year? If so, what’s your process? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time,

MsWalton

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Pinterest Accounts for Bloggers

Dec
12

The Recovering Pessimist: My Favorite Pinterest Accounts for Bloggers -- I often turn to Pinterest to answer many of my blogging-related questions. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers because people need to know how dope these accounts (and the people behind them) are. Also, I want to save you from a lot of frustration and headaches. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #blogging #bloggers #pinterestI’m a HUGE fan of Pinterest as a blogger. Many of my blogging-related questions were answered via Pinterest. That website is a hub of awesomeness. listed below on my

Anyway, I wanted to share my favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers. All of these accounts are included on my Blogging Tips Pinterest board.

Ali Ebright (Gimme Some Oven)

I was researching how to name the images I created and used in my blog posts on Pinterest. In the search results, was Ali’s pin entitled “The One Thing You Must Do To Every Image Uploaded To Your Blog“. Talk about being a lifesaver. Not only does her Pinterest page make me hungry, but the Pinterest board for her blog Gimme Some Oven has plenty of blogging-related gems on it. Definitely worth checking out.

byRegina

My admiration for Regina is no secret (I’ve mentioned her here, here, and here). I’ve been a fan of hers for years and she’s never steered me wrong. Her Pinterest page is a treasure chest of awesomeness. My favorite boards of hers are Blog Tips Galore, Blog Tips, and For the Infopreneurs.

Olyvia

I learned about Olyvia when I ran across her “91+ Blog Posts To Make You A Better Blogger + Business Owner” blog post on Pinterest. My favorite boards on Olyvia’s Pinterest page are Olyvia.co, Blog + Website Tips, and E-book Creation.

Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa’s pins appeared on my Pinterest timeline after doing research on blogging tips. Her Pinterest page is a big resource for me, along with other bloggers and entrepreneurs. My favorite boards on Melyssa’s page include MelyssaGriffin.comBlogging + Bloggers, and Entrepreneur + Business.

I hope you find these Pinterest accounts just as useful as I do. Do you have any favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers? Feel free to share them in the comments or contact me on social media. I’d love to hear about them.

Until next time,

MsWalton

My Must-Have WordPress Plugins

Oct
03
The Recovering Pessimist: My Must-Have WordPress Plugins -- Plugins are like spices. There's a lot of work that goes into curating the perfect combination of plugins that work together to make your blog run smoothly. Add a plugin that doesn't fit and chaos ensues. I may be able to help you avoid the chaos. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

Image by CreativeConvex.com

When I began blogging on WordPress.com, I had no idea what I’m doing. I knew I just had to get started and I’d figure out the rest later. Over time, I realized that I needed to have more control over how this blog functions both on the front and back ends.

About two years ago, I moved to self-hosting for this website and that’s where I learned how complex plugins are. Plugins are like spices. The right plugins can make your blog run smoothly. But if you add a plugin to the mix that doesn’t play well with the others, all hell will break loose.

 

 

Half Baked/giphy.com

Half Baked/giphy.com

Running a self-hosted blog has its moments of utter frustration. Because I don’t want you to go through the same headaches I’ve gone through, I wanted to share a few of my must-have WordPress plugins. I hope this helps.


Broken Link Checker

I never realized how important this plugin was until the first time I used it. I can’t remember how long Broken Link Checker took to find the broken links BUT I do know that I had about 300 or so broken links to fix.

If you thought that was bad, it gets worse. It took me about 18 hours over a span of two days to fix the broken links. Some of the links were truly bad and needed new links attached. Others weren’t truly broken & needed to be rechecked to confirm & remove them from the broken link list.

When I tell you I don’t EVER IN LIFE want to go through that again, I mean it! Take it from me and download this plugin and save yourself now before it gets too deep.

Disqus Comment System

I like leaving comments. What I don’t like are complex commenting systems. I’ve tested several comment systems before settling on Disqus Comment System. It is very user-friendly, both for me and the commenters, which is very important. The occasional spam comment does slip into my comment queue, though. Just wanted to make you aware of that.

Better Click to Tweet

I love Twitter. So much so that I incorporate Twitter into my blog posts. Better Click to Tweet allows me to create a tweet within a blog post that readers can click on the tweet to post it to their Twitter timeline. Brilliant! The key is to make sure that the tweet you choose to  incorporate in your blog post is catchy. That way, people will retweet, like, etc.

Editorial Calendar

Using an editorial calendar has been a struggle for me. I would write blog posts one at a time, which never really provided me with a break. Downloading Editorial Calendar makes planning blog posts way easier. I can see all posted and scheduled blog posts along with scheduled blog posts that are in draft status. In addition, the plugin provides a  list of unscheduled drafts that you can either leave on the screen or hide them.

You can hover over the blog posts in the calendar and see options to edit, quick edit, delete, and/or view. This saves you time from having to find the individual post itself. Also, you can drag and drop posts throughout the calendar to your liking. How awesome is that?

Revive Old Post

Last year, I was trying to figure out a way to automatically share my blog posts on Twitter. It took a wee bit of research but I ran across Revive Old Post. I use the free option and it’s packed with features. You choose how many posts to share at a time & the minimum time between shares. You can choose the minimum and maximum ages of posts to be eligible for sharing. There’s also an option to exclude  and/or include specific categories to share from.


That’s all I’ve got for now. If you have any questions and/or comments about these plugins, let me know in the comments. I love sharing what I know and getting feedback from you.

You can't help anyone by hoarding information. Share it! Click To Tweet

Until next time,

MsWalton

How to Avoid Blogger Overwhelm

Aug
29

Blogging is pretty awesome. I get to talk about the things I want to talk about in hopes that somebody will learn from my mistakes and/or experiences. But that’s only one end of the blogging spectrum. On the other end, blogging can be overwhelming. With so much information accessible from multiple sources, you may not know how to apply it. Or, you may be unsure if you should even apply it.

The Recovering Pessimist: How to Avoid Blogger Overwhelm -- Being a blogger is great and whatnot, but don't let that fool you. On the other side of the spectrum is blogger overwhelm and that beast can suck you in if you aren't proactive. I shared a few tips that help me avoid blogger overwhelm. Enjoy!  | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

Help Me/Giphy.com

I’m all too familiar with that feeling of overwhelm & I don’t want you to go through it. Below are a few tips I’ve acquired on avoiding blogger overwhelm:


You Can Only Plan So Much Before You Launch

There was no launch plan for this blog. I came up with the domain, grabbed a (free) theme, and started writing. In hindsight, I should’ve at least planned somewhat & saved myself some time and/or energy. Besides, if you find yourself waist-deep in planning mode, you may never launch because you want everything to be perfect. And you know how perfection goes. insert eye roll here

Perfection doesn’t exist in general, and it definitely doesn’t exist in the blogging world. Click To Tweet
Don’t Get Wrapped Up in the Money Game

Being able to make money from your blog is awesome. The internet is full of sources for you to learn how to make  x amount of dollars from your blog. It’s also misleading. Rarely did I read/watch a blogger be truly honest with how they made x amount of money in such as short amount of time. Regina blew the lid off of that mystery by writing an awesome blog post about avoiding getting caught up in the six figure blogger gang.

Which brings me to the next point:

Question Everything!

Just because it sounds good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Don’t just take the information you read and/or hear at face value. Question it. How does this apply to you? Can you afford the good/service? If not, can you find an inexpensive way to get the good/service?

Question everything. Your time and money are valuable. Be critical of who/what you spend it on. Click To Tweet
You Gotta Work to Gain AND Keep Subscribers

Gaining subscribers is one of the top goals for many bloggers. Makes perfect sense. But let me let you in on a little secret:

You can't treat subscribers like trophies on a shelf. You have to work to keep them. Click To Tweet

Simple and to the point. And speaking of subscribing…

Don’t Subscribe to Every Single Newsletter if It Doesn’t Help You

A few months ago, I looked at my email inbox and I kid you not, I had at least 14 emails from different newsletters I was subscribed to. Mind you those emails were from one day. Of those 14 maybe three or four were of actual use to me. Most of them I subscribed to in order to get a freebie and then had no use for the newsletter afterwards.

My inbox and I deserve so much better.

So I finally went through them and deleted all but maybe four or five. I don’t sigh and roll my eyes anymore when I look at my inbox now.

Don’t feel like you need to subscribe to every newsletter you come across. Be critical of your inbox… Click To Tweet

I hope you find these tips useful. If you’ve suffered from blogger overwhelm, how did you get through it, I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,

MsWalton

My Blogging Routine

Aug
15

The Recovering Pessimist: My Blogging Routine -- Before I sit down to write a blog post, I like to set the scene. I need to have the correct music, lighting, snacks, etc. to get me in the mental space to write some awesomeness. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

Blogging while working a 9-5 is difficult enough. There are things I must have to blog successfully, such as a decompression period, to keep me sane (click here and here).

When I’m getting ready to blog, I like to set the scene. I want to get myself mentally prepared to write some goodness. There are a few things that help me set the scene to blog:

Limit Distractions

I’m usually pretty good at multitasking. However, I can’t multitask when it comes to blogging. I waste too much time doing blog-related tasks if I’m watching TV and/or doing other things on the laptop. To avoid wasting time, I turn on the TV or at least mute it. If I’m working away from home, I wear headphones to block out the sounds around me.

Mood Music

I like to listen to music while I write. I’m a sucker for piano instrumentals. My favorite Spotify playlists are Piano ChillPiano MoodsThe Piano Bar, and Peaceful Piano. These playlists help me focus on the task at hand and makes the creative process smooth.

Gather Snacks & Beverage of Choice

In addition to having all my blogging tools at hand (click here and here), having snacks and beverages on hand is just as important. Fruits like cherries, apples, and bananas are my favorite snacks to have on hand. When it comes to alcohol, sweet red wine is my favorite.

These are a few of the things that help me set the scene to blog. If you’re a blogger and/or writer, how do you get yourself mentally prepared to write? How to you set the scene? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time,

MsWalton

Stay In YOUR Lane

Aug
01

This year, I’ve been working on a lot of goals. Many of these goals need a lot of research to make the goals a reality. Not bad right? I filled up notebooks, created many Pinterest boards, and created Evernote stacks to keep it all (somewhat) organized.

You might not think that’s a bad thing. And I understand why you might feel that way. But trust me, it is. And here’s why:

The Recovering Pessimist: Stay In YOUR Lane -- There's SO much information out there & a lot of it won't apply to you. That's okay. Be critical of the information you absorb. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

I ended up worse off than I was when I began. Something had to be done and it had to be done soon. I needed to rid myself of the source(s) of my overwhelm/stress. It began with the newsletters. At one point, I had 15 newsletters subscriptions.  Why? I subscribed to many of them after seeing a post that caught my eye on social media. I figured if one post was this good, why not subscribe for more posts like this?

Sounds okay, right?

WRONG!

Why?!

Some of the newsletters were too niche-based, which isn’t something that I can relate to. Others were aimed towards those who were at a different stage than I was. I ended up deleting more newsletters emails than I kept for future reference. No need to have my inbox clogged up by emails that aren’t useful.

Little Rascals/Giphy.com

Little Rascals/Giphy.com

Fixing this hot mess express took two steps:

  1. I went through my inbox and unsubscribed from about 55% of the newsletters. Not only is my inbox lighter but my nerves are much calmer. Everyone doesn’t belong in my inbox and that’s what let to the next step.
  2. I became more critical about the information I come across. Instead of subscribing to the newsletter and/or saving the information, I ask myself (sometimes several times) if this information is really useful to me?

Once I applied these two steps to my inbox, I realized how these steps also relate to life. Sometimes you have to weed through all the noise that’s around you to get to what really matters to you.

What works for many isn't always going to work for me, no matter how good it sounds. And that's okay. Click To Tweet

It’s as simple as that.

Until next time,

MsWalton

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Blogging Tools (Part 2)

May
16

The Recovering Pessimist: My Favorite Blogging Tools Part 2 -- Later and Canva are included in this edition of my favorite blogging tools. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistOne of my favorite things as a blogger is that I’m constantly learning something. These websites, apps, tools, etc. manage to make blogging a bit easier as time goes on. With this edition (click here for Part 1), I wanted to share things that save me time and frustration. Enjoy!

 

Later

I kid you not, this is one of the BEST websites/apps I’ve discovered so far this year. I got frustrated with having to manually share my blog posts to Instagram. It might not sound that annoying, but when you have a lot going on during the day, it’s very easy to forget to do it.

After several hours and Google searches, I ran across Later. It’s an app (available for Android and iOS) and a website that provides a free option for you to use. It’s really easy to use Later. I upload the photo I want to share, write a caption for it, then schedule a day/time for it to post to Instagram.

[pjc_slideshow slide_type=”later-com”]

But there’s a slight catch.

Later won’t physically share the post to Instagram for you. What Later will do is send you a reminder notification via the app to your phone. From the notification, Later automatically directs you to the Instagram app to post it. It saves me a lot of time because I can pre-write the captions/hashtags and all I need to do from there is upload it.

Even with the slight catch, Later is definitely worth checking out. If you decide to test Later out, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about your experience.

Canva

I don’t remember how I learned about Canva, but I’m forever grateful to be in the know. Canva allows you to create graphics for all kinds of uses (e.g., social media, ebooks, business cards, etc.). Many of Canva’s elements are free (others cost $1). Canva does have an app, however, it’s only available for iPad. Bummer for my fellow Android lovers.

Posts are automatically saved (with the option to undo) & can be downloaded as images or PDFs. Pretty awesome.

[pjc_slideshow slide_type=”canva”]

I use Canva to create all the Wisdom Wednesday posts from 2014-present. I recently discovered that many use Canva to create printables. I’m determined to learn how to do this. If you use Canva to create printables, how was your experience?

Pinterest

I briefly mentioned Pinterest during Part 1, but I didn’t give it the attention it deserves. Joining Pinterest has saved me a lot of time and energy from researching blogging/writing issues.

Bravo Pinterest, bravo.

Some of my favorite Pinterest accounts include byRegina, Spruce Rd., Think Creative Collective, Melyssa Griffin, Erika Madden, and XO Sarah. I frequent these six Pinterest pages the most when I’m looking for information about business/blogging/writing.

I hope you enjoyed reading Part 2 of the My Favorite Blogging Tools series. If you have favorites that you want to share, tell me about them in the comments. I love learning about new tools that can make a little less stressful.

Until next time,

MsWalton

How I’m Prepping for 2016

Dec
14

The Recovering Pessimist: How I'm Prepping for 2016 -- The best thing about the end of the year is planning for the next year. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistThe countdown to 2016 is in full swing. I’m excited for the new year. I haven’t accomplished all of my goals for 2015, but that’s okay. I accomplished things that I never imagined I would do.

One of the best things about entering a new year is the prep work involved. Click To Tweet

There are a few things I need to get done before Jan 1st rolls around. Here are a few things on my agenda:

 

Create a theme for 2016.
  • When I decided that “Let That Shit Go” would be the theme for 2015, I had no idea how profound it would be. As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t accomplished all the goals I set for 2015. What I did accomplish was letting go of a lot of dead weight. Hopefully, the theme/mantra for 2016 will be just as effective.
Write goals using goal cards.
Create vision board.
  • Every year around this time, I see countless articles/tweets/Facebook posts about vision boards. In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to gather all of my supplies and create a vision board. Since I don’t have an actual office space, I’m going to frame the vision board and hang it in my living room as art.
Plan blogging breaks. 
  • I’ve never taken a scheduled break from this blog. I’m always working on it in some aspect, which then leads to burnout. Once I get burned out, it’s very hard for me to regain the momentum I had before burnout set in. I’m scheduling breaks from the blog so that I can truly relax without worrying about this blog.

Preparation gives me a blueprint to work with and  we all know how important organization is when you have so many things you want to accomplish. Are you making plans for 2016? What tools are you using to plan for the new year? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

 

Edited November 23, 2016

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