I don’t even want to use his credit card.

Five. That’s the number of cigarettes I’ve smoked since August 21st.

“Standard” is what R. called my “trim new hotness” (in his own words).

6.6. Was my most recent – and best ever – Hemoglobin A1c.

€14.95 is how much I have in my chequing account.

Everything is going well in terms of health, happiness, even fitness. It’s “rich” that is giving me the most trouble this fall.

As it’s been over a year since I founded my own business, I wanted to start pursuing freelance jobs more strategically this fall, instead of living week to week off of jobs I get through no effort of my own. When Ramit Sethi opened his Earn1K course again, I thought it was a sign that now was finally the right time to buy.

I’ve been taking investment advice from James Altucher recently, and he told me that when you don’t have that much capital, the best investment is to invest in yourself so that you can make more money, which will then hopefully be enough to invest according to the strategy I bought from his mailing list.

So I bought Earn1K. As an investment in myself.

I’ve been wanting to be in Earn1K since I started reading Ramit’s blog back in 2010. First I didn’t qualify because of my credit card debt, and then I bought ZTL instead (probably prematurely) in February 2014, but this was my moment.

Why do I feel as stuck as ever?

Is it because I’m not actually interested in providing my service?

I don’t think it’s because I’m just lazy and anti-social, though it’s hard not to tell myself that with so little money in the bank and so little on my calendar coming up.

For the last three mornings, I’ve hit snooze and gone back to sleep for an hour after my original alarm. I don’t feel excited or any urgency to get out of bed. Even today, when I had work to do that was due back “in the morning” I wasn’t excite to get it done.

What would create that excitement?

I would jump out of bed for meetings with people I was excited to get to know, or who I had been working on a project with. I would jump out of bed to fix an urgent problem.

I’d jump out of bed to do something time sensitive, I guess, maybe I just need higher stakes.

I’d definitely jump out of bed if it meant that I’d be shopping or putting outfits together, buying new things (clothes, accessories, furniture, art, I don’t even care).

That last one could mean shopping as part of my job or as a consequence of my income.

I just want to stop counting my Euros, depending on Richard to cover both of our vacation expenses, dinners, groceries, etc.

I am in good health, for which I am grateful. I am working out, taking care of myself, of which I am proud. I am trying to do what is good for me, to feel grateful when I am happy, and to seek out more of what makes me so.

Now I just have to keep my nose down and pointed in the right direction.

When you get frustrated, don’t give up, just change tactics.

Back to Earn1K to make sure I’ve absorbed everything in the course so far.






10 Ways I Have my Shit Together Right Now

  1. I have finished all of the work projects I had to do this week.
  2. I have made cash from and met with the head of another company I work for.
  3. I have worked out and eaten (relatively) well this week.
  4. I have lead a team and taught well this week.
  5. I have been in touch with the personal and work contacts I needed to be– the admin ones will have to be tomorrow.
  6. I have hosted two people in my apartment without being ashamed of how it looks, despite the dishwasher being broken. </3
  7. I have plans to go out for drinks with friends tonight, and have been social about making plans next week.
  8. I had an amazing holiday with my parents (incl. only 1 argument with my dad– v. mature!)
  9. I celebrated my four year anniversary with my amazing fiancé who is constantly charming me with his love and adoration.
  10. I feel like my mindset is shifting towards no longer being afraid of the things I need to do to be successful.

Fin. That’s definitely enough for now.

Total Bliss

Yesterday I walked through the market at Lendplatz, arm in arm with my mom, while my dad and R walked ahead of us. I thought of all the times I’ve seen other daughters with other mothers and missed her, and then focused back on the moment and my heart filled with love.

Days 6,7,8

As the first week tapered off, so too did my motivation to sit down to the daily log every morning. Friday I didn’t write because I had work to do, and then wanted to be rid of the computer. Saturday I was focused on other forms of self-improvement, including restarting the “nugget generation” of ZTL and learning wedding-related German vocabulary, and then on Sunday I went hiking and then swimming with some friends, which seemed like a perfectly legitimate reason not to blog about what I am doing to be happy and fit.

Normally I don’t go in for Monday-hate. I like to get as much done on Mondays as possible  because I feel that if you can tick a lot of things off your list at the beginning of the week, you are more likely to finish the few remaining tasks, even if they are harder and more time consuming. Normally, I am at my best on Mondays, I fade a bit by Wednesday, and then I try to finish strong on Fridays. Today I just flared up and then went out.

Even though I would like to continue writing right now, I have to go prepare the apartment for the arrival of R’s friend and his girlfriend. I’m looking forward to their visit though wary about my ability to do much while they’re here. To return soon.

I am part of the Freedom Economy.

Just finished reading this post on copyhackers about how to make your name in the Freedom Economy. I love this name for the lifestyle of having consciously left the world of cubicles and water coolers and chosen to work from home.

I am posting this article here for its usefulness to others and also because I want to be sure to come back to it when I have time to fully digest and apply the principles Alaura Weaver talks about. This is truly valuable, meaty content and I can’t wait to go through it and take notes. I’m not even kidding– I am looking forward to really digging into it.

After a first read, my most important takeaways are: you must have a rock solid USP and you should know exactly who you are writing for. None of my projects are at this point yet, so it seems high time to narrow these things down and then to get to work promoting on / to them.

Day 4/5

Healthy: I didn’t smoke yesterday! But it was hard. It was a hard, hard day. The combination of period crankiness and nicotine withdrawal almost did me in, and all that i wanted to do was go back to bed and be wrapped in blankets and never come out, but instead I had to go to a kids camp and act in a Murder Mystery evening with 7 of my good friends. It took me a little while to come unwound, but it turned out to be really fun. I went outside with B while he was having a cigarette and wasn’t even tempted to have one of my own. Is this a new era?

Diabetes stuff is good. I’ve been low early in the morning the last two days in a row; I guess it is because I have been lower at night before bed, but I find that if I don’t correct I end up high in the morning. Maybe it is just a matter of changing my target to something higher before bed, ca. 8 mmol/L for example. Will review the settings in my mySugr app.

Fit: Well, I took yesterday off from fitness, still sore from the efforts of Sunday – Tuesday. I did end up going to the gym for cardio on Tuesday, which was fun, but my butt was still sore on Wednesday. All that I did yesterday was lie out in the sun for a little bit over an hour while R was teaching his frisbee lessons at camp. The little bit of tan maintenance did wonders for my mood. It was also the first time that I had seen the L family in a while, and all three told me I looked great. It’s not that I am hungry for compliments like that, but it is nice to have people notice a difference when you have been working towards something.

Today I am planning to do SWK Wk 1 Arms and then go to the gym for some LISS, though I will be satisfied with one of the two.

Happy: I was so cranky yesterday, there was a period where I could only speak in whines. BUT reading the third book in the Outlander series, Voyager, was an excellent way to escape my own attitude. Walking into the common room at camp to be greeted by a bunch of hugs and happy faces was also really nice– I didn’t expect so many of the kids to remember me, although in hindsight, I guess it is easier for them to remember the counsellors than it is for us to remember them. Spending time with the Lilac crowd was another reminder that social life in general will be picking up soon, I just have to make myself available, say yes, and loosen up (Remember Rule #6).

Rich: Um…

Yesterday was not a money making day, although I did finally get paid by Mr K. Have come up with a plan regarding weekly goals and daily tasks that I am planning to describe here. Basically, Wednesdays – and particularly Wednesday afternoons – are my willpower recharging time, and I think it is a good time to do something that makes me happy or that relaxes me so that I rebuild my stores of willpower for the rest of the week, particularly when I end up working on the weekends.

Today I am making money by finishing a thesis that I am proofreading and also hopefully by taking on another project from the K advertising agency that I have done three projects with so far. The fact that they have gotten in touch again highlights how important it is for me to get my name out to similar companies, who could be bringing work to me rather than me having to chase it down. Drafting a template LOI should be a high priority!

Props to myself for not smoking yesterday, and for continuing not to smoke tonight when I have drinks with A. My courage needs improvement as I am scared of calling K back because I am a chicken on the phone. But it needs to be done. And I will do it… now.

Themes to Explore

  1. James Altucher’s Daily Practice
  2. Introspection, self-knowledge, self-care (as relates to goals, happiness, health, personal style, friends, etc.)
  3. Breaking things down into small, doable steps
  4. “Always be storytelling, always be vulnerable” — James Altucher again
  5. Reasons for diabetes management now –> invincibility wearing off
  6. Reasons for quitting smoking now –> personal anecdote about getting older, getting scared
  7. Associated benefits of getting fit: discipline, pride, routine, self-knowledge, strength, anti-aging, etc.
  8. Ramit’s notion of living a rich life and what that means to me; wanting to be able to enter Lena Hoschek and shop without looking at the prices.
  9.  Fears: why do they stop me from doing things even after I have identified and dismissed them
  10. Female Friends / A Squad / A Tribe: why I think they’re important; why I don’t seem to have any; plans for making new ones; progress reports on how that’s going?
  11. Interviews with people I am scared to talk to
  12. Personal style as something that evolves: where am I know and how do I figure it out
  13. Interior design as a constant struggle against clutter and junk; also evolving, also about needs vs. wants, sentiment vs. style.

Written from Augarten, getting my Vitamin D

Day 3

Healthy: Well, I still haven’t smoked  a cigarette, nor have I been tempted to. But I haven’t put myself in the position to be tempted so far. Tomorrow night we’re going to be drinking with friends in a situation I normally would definitely have smoked in, and Thursday will probably be the ultimate test of my willpower this week, when I go to A’s house for drinks. She smokes and drinks at a rapid pace, and the two just go so well together. Must maintain visualization of limbs falling off, lungs turning to dust, keep it close to the surface and know that it is not a vague future possibility but is happening right now.

Diabetes management is still going well enough, though I haven’t made an appointment with the doctor yet… Neither diabetes doctor, nor eye doctor, nor dentist, nor gyno… All of whom I need to visit, none of whom I particularly want to see. I hate having to do tests I have no control over whether or not I can pass. The eye doctor and the dentist are the worst of the two. Then gyno. Then diabedoc. If I get an appointment with the diabetes consultant, however, she can refer me to a new eye doctor, and potentially also a dentist. The gyno referral I’ll get from friends, I guess. Wondering if something is wrong with you is scary, but finding out for sure one way or the other is terrifying.

Fit: Did Sweat with Kayla Wk 1 Legs yesterday and despite the fact that I went from Wk 12 Abs back to Wk 1 Legs, it was hard and it hurt and ouch my butt. Tried to challenge myself with the number of reps, though, and to pay attention to form. It is not easy – nor should it be – but I definitely feel stronger than I did the first time around, so that is encouraging. Not dying after three burpees was a nice feeling. Think I might take a break today as have just gotten my period and am feeling much more inclined to go to some proofreading in the park than to do resistance training in my cool, dark apartment, but might also pop by the gym for some LISS later, as listening to music and working up a sweat also sounds good right now.

Happy: Ran into two of R’s friends at Ducks (Chappy + L) after teaching G this morning. They reminded me that there are more people in the world than it would seem during the summer time. Everyone will come home soon, and that’s when the friend-making, relationship-nurturing, fun-having, belly-laughing will recommence, and I will stop being so damn lonely. Things between R and I are wonderful though. Don’t know how I got so lucky with him, but am convinced that it was a little bit about being in the right place at the right time, because even though I am totally in love with him, I think that if I had realized how good for me he would turn out to be, I might not have had the sense to start dating him in 2012.

I spoke to A for quite a while yesterday, for the first time since I was home in November, other than Snapchat and What’s App. She is not doing well, but the fact that she reached out gave me some hope for her. It is the first time that she has ever gotten in touch when she wasn’t well– normally she goes radio silent when things are bad, but yesterday she called to debrief. I want to give her some of my light: I want her to see that she is a diamond, not dust, and that no matter what anybody else does or says, that diamond stays the same.

The thing that stuck out for me from our conversation was her feeling that she is a bad person, or not worthy of being loved, being treated well. I told her that she just needs to believe that she is a good person, and then change the way that she acts to fit with that belief. It’s so much easier said than done though, I know. Am hoping to stay in close touch  with her for the next little while. This project is about me getting my shit together; I want to help A do the same as much as I can.

Rich: Taught G this morning and he has finally paid me, so at least I am a little bit richer than I was yesterday. Have proofreading work to do and must get in touch with all other students regarding lessons in the next couple of weeks.

In addition to my general to do list, which doesn’t really need to be described here, I’ve been thinking that I need to implement some kind of structured goal-setting/-tracking framework on this project, or else it will end up like my lessons seem to have done: constructed on the premise of being highly structured, but actually flying by the seat of pants. Whose pants? I don’t even know.

Today is August 23rd. That makes it exactly four months until Richard comes to Canada, four months minus one week until I fly there. My goal to make €5000 before then can be broken down into 25 €200 projects or 42 €120 projects (which seems to be the average amount that I charge for small projects). Thats a lot. I need to find high value projects of which there are a lot if I am going to make this happen.

Thinking of adding James Altucher’s 10 ideas a day to this project in order to become an idea machine and figure out some way of making this money happen.

Will update tomorrow with plans for the structurization of this project, hopefully, or at least a first attempt at it. Off to cross items off that list now.


Day 2

Healthy: Not smoking yesterday was difficult, but so far the motivation is staying with me. When I start thinking about wanting a cigarette, I have this picture in my mind of the blood vessels in my fingers literally shrivelling up with each imagined drag, and that works fairly well to de-romanticize the idea. I think the trick this time will be shifting the way I see smoking from a reward to a danger. It’s just in the morning, when I am done with my coffee and transitioning from breakfast to work that I would love to take up my seat by the window (pictured above).

Diabetes management is going well, or has been, at least, for the 24 hours that I’ve been trying again. The mySugr Logbook app is a huge help, and I am trying to remember to test ca. two hours after eating so that miscalculations don’t have too long to take effect, and to bolus for my food before my meal so my levels don’t spike. Also, since I put my bolus calculation formula in the app, I need to get used to trusting it, especially in the mornings, when it usually keeps me from going high.

Fit: Did Sweat with Kayla Week 12 Abs yesterday — hard! — but happy that I got through it after 10 days of lying around in the sun and quite a bit of alcohol during our trip to Croatia. I’ve decided to start over on Week 1 rather than continue on as I would like to build up my core strength before moving on to the more difficult exercises that come up after Week 12. Also paperexploits, my favourite BBG girl on Instagram, is also restarting the program after an injury, so I’ll be able to follow along with her and other BBG girls there, which is always fun.

Happy: Last night R and started watching Stranger Things on Netflix. It is not a social activity, but it made me happy. Re: the happy goal, I haven’t taken any concrete steps today, but I have decided that this will be a season of saying yes to invitations and following through on that acceptance! Last year, and last fall in particular, I was something of a hermit, and would turn down invitations or not show up. I’m disappointed in myself now, when I think of last Halloween, and having been invited to two parties next to each other, each of which would have been cool on its own, I decided not to go to either, and rather to stay home and smoke and watch Netflix. No more.

Rich: This was a bill collecting morning! I had to send late invoice reminders to two of my regular students, and had to prepare a new invoice for the Technical University, that is also late in its payment to me. They would like the invoice sent by mail! Something I have not had to deal with yet, but I guess when you work with huge organizations, you have to deal with a certain amount of old fashioned-ness.

Other than sending off bills for work I have done or work I will do, I’m also writing up reviews for the places we visited in Croatia so that I can hopefully link back to my site from them, and correcting the menu of one of my favourite places, just to be nice, because they were so kind to us on our visit.

I need to strategize how I am going to get new business this fall. I am planning to draft a LOI for media companies, web design companies, and graphic designers, and send out a personalized version to those businesses that seem like they could use my services. I’m also working hard to follow up with and provide excellent service to all current clients.

Since my most profitable stream of income at the moment is language weeks, it might also be worth figuring out a way to do something similar for adults on my own. But these ideas are still germinating.