The Social Media Follower: Following Communication

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a6438-followers2b2

It was surprising to me that I love using social media. Social media is communication. Its about technology and integrating it with your message, to transmit feelings and points in a manner which can be as interactive as the tools used. That’s my definition.

Merriam Webster says it this way, “ Social Media are forms of communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging)through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content as videos.”

I never thought I would ‘get it’ so quickly (many years), because I was actually concerned about privacy, security of websites and the destructive capabilities of the unknown. Awareness of safety measures made it easier to jump in and enjoy the experience.

There are somethings we forget about humans when we are caught up in the latest technology blitz or hype. Not many people like to ask questions. They don’t like asking for several reasons which include the fear of sounding ignorant, dumb or stupid. Communication tools and social media

channels are things which demand questions to be asked, because they change so frequently. Here are some examples of the words which ‘tripped me up’, before I asked questions and investigated their meanings;

  1. Algorithm — This sounded like math or algebra, and I was convinced it would be hard to understand because I’m awful at math!

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary its, “a step by step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end, especially by a computer.” Thus, its like baking a cake and knowing what proportions are needed so it won’t flop! If my teachers taught math as food I’d be a grade A student.

2. SEO — This one took a while for me to figure out, but my first impression was it had to be a verb in whatever content you wrote online. (LOL)

Webopedia states, “SEO is short for search engine optimization. SEO is a methodology of strategies techniques and tactics, used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.” eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

Let me say it this way – if you want someone to find your location you would give directions, sometimes referring to a map or drawing a sketch of the area. SEO is the map/sketch with general directions. As you get more specific with the details, its easier for someone to find you. That’s why SEO is important. It makes information easier to be found when searching online.

3. Followers — This one should have been as easy as the generally understood meaning, which was what I assumed it to be. It is not.

Merriam-Webster states, “ one in the service of another. Fan, devotee.” Social media followers are different from followers whom you lead, and are doing as requested or observed. No way. Social media followers are thinkers who use access to you and your network to expand their own. For many its a one-way relationship without reciprocity. Ideally, it should be a two-way flow of support and sharing.

Having 10K or 100K followers will not guarantee you supporters. You have to build a relationship. This is like having a customer who follows the activities of your company because you sell the Toyota brand of vehicle, and they like cars. Many followers may check out your cars but its the one who engages with you , who may become a customer or refer you to others in his network. Increased engagement, will grow the value to each other in the relationship.

4. Bots — got this one right because I thought it had to be something with robotic features. Bots help with automation which is a process of sharing information and giving feedback , through the use of software, designed to help improve service virtually. I’ve seen them in action and though I’m not keen on talking/writing to anything which is not human, they do generate responses which are quite relatable. Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and any other bot are all here to stay, so we might as well make them welcome into our world!

Experience it

Social media makes it possible for strangers from worldwide locations to meet virtually, through various channels with speed and efficiency. Its easy to have face to face communication with folks because there are so many options, and they are constantly being upgraded. Building quality relationships are easier through the use of ‘real-time’ interaction via Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, Snap Chat, and a host of other computer and mobile apps.

Your followers can eventually become your close friends / business associates. Gamers interact and share as they engage in their online sport with those they follow and others. Even with all this access, the traditional emotional barriers ( human qualities) are there to be overcome. Trust still has to be established with followers and the site where you meet, for the relationships to mature into more than a collection of addresses.

Am I a social media follower?

Yes I am. I’m following many folks I will probably never physically touch, but the potential for a planned meet-up is also possible. Through blogging and sharing my words you will learn about me and my interests. I’m inspired daily by the writings of many of my followers. Our humanness and diversity keeps us engaged socially online. Maybe one day we will meet. Until then, I’ll see you when I power up on my blogs, medium, twitter, beBee, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goggle+, tumblr, and others.

Does my experience mirror your understanding? Maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?

Hope this resonates with you. Please share your thoughts via comments. Thanks for being awesome!

A short brief about me: I’m a corporate business veteran, with practical experience in a diverse range of industries — Safety/ HVAC / FMCG /Industrial Equipment /and much more . Sales ,Marketing, Business Development & Coaching are combined to deliver over 30 years experience. As an entrepreneur and blogger (Dwordslayer) I’m right now living an adventure, and looking forward to the next opportunity to challenge mediocrity.

Find me on: Twitter https://twitter.com/DLE41

email:dwordslayer@gmail.com
Credits: merriam-webster.com ; webopedia.com ; pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 6th, 2017

Understanding Blogging & Social Media

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Marketing and consumer behavior

Its been a year and a half since I started blogging. When I began I was a battered and bruised warrior, on a mission to recover from an accident. Today, I’m still that warrior with a weakness in one area and stronger in others. Whatever makes us weak can be complimented by increased strength developed elsewhere.

If blogging was my day job I would fire me(smile), or I would give me several warning letters! Consistency has not been something I can be marked favorably on. Instead, healing has been my all-time job, and once I accepted the position, there are benefits for the gains I have been making. You must be fully committed to whatever you pursue if you are seeking excellence.

Benchmarking against the performance of theory and others, can severely weaken one’s ability to grow when it comes to healing. An excellent doctor once admonished me by saying, “Your body knows itself. It tells you when it needs help. How can you tell it, it does not, when it shows its distress through pain and inflammation?” Thus I eventually listened to my body, giving it time to recover. With blogging I decided to listen on several publishing platforms, to understand what drives readers and followers to choose one over another.

Readers, followers, bloggers

8af7a-animal-2067456__340

Blogging is much more than sharing stories via words posted online. “One must be keen to listen to be good at blogging, because its about a conversation.” This is my understanding of blogging from my experience. Businesses have been reaching out to have this conversation. Bloggers tell a story with their reading/viewing customers, which can help influence the decision-making process. In fact, social media influencing has become a major marketing strategy across most commercial industries. Competitive advantage is gained or lost through reviews of ‘rants and raves’ ( Trip advisor ,Amazon, and others) on the customer experience — experienced!

People blog because they believe they have something they wish to share with the world. For this sharing to be effective, an audience that is willing to read and respond is necessary. Responding can take the form of ‘liking’ and that can be compared to someone listening to a singer and clapping to show their appreciation. When the audience starts singing along with the singer, its the beginning of ‘engagement’ and a beautiful conversation. The standing ovation can be associated with the sharing and commenting on the blog which stirs emotion.

Marketing and the Blogger

In marketing we learn that different markets require different strategies. Our target market will be made up of several types of consumers, and the ones we focus on will be those we believe we can convert to buyers. If our research is contaminated by bias, or misinformation, then, when the product is offered the results will dispute the research. Personal blogging can be like that.

Some bloggers will start without a clear plan. As they develop confidence in their skill, they may be guided by the topics which stimulate discussion and sharing from followers. Many times , bloggers do not see their readers and followers as consumers, and are disheartened by the results after publishing. Bloggers should have a basic marketing strategy to ‘get the ball rolling’ based on their objectives and goals.

Blogging and social media communication, requires some general understanding of marketing and consumer behavior to be effective. You don’t need to be qualified to listen , you simply need to be ‘open’ to listening. Blogs are important as stated in ‘Principles of Marketing, Kotler & Armstrong. 2006,p561. Pearson, 11th Edition’, “Blogs have voice and personality. They’re human. They come to us not from some media-genic, anchor-bot on an air-conditioned sound stage, but from an individual.” This is one of the reasons why we experience strong emotions, when bloggers use their pen, sharing their truest opinions and beliefs. When a reader takes the time to respond passionately whether in agreement or disagreement, the blogger has been effective.

In his latest article on Inc. ‘Here’s how to properly align your sales and marketing teams in 2017′, John White states, “ Social media has caused a blur in activities that are now both sales and marketing related…” As bloggers we should align our blogs (sales product) with marketing to increase our readership. When I started to think of blogging as a product I’m selling to my readers, the way I write and share took on a different meaning. My followers create a market for the words I’m ready to share!

I have found this blogging journey to be quite fascinating as I take apart the traditional thoughts and theories on marketing and consumer behavior. Social media is a dynamic communication tool, which requires ongoing participation and interaction, for the analytics to make sense!

Have I stirred a flame with embers glowing — please share your thoughts via comments. Thanks for being awesome!

blog 2

You can find me on: Twitter https://twitter.com/DLE41 or email:dwordslayer@gmail.com

Credits: Images: free-letters.com, metalholic.com, pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 03rd, 2017

The Social Media Follower: Following Communication

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a6438-followers2b2It was surprising to me that I love using social media. Social media is communication. Its about technology and integrating it with your message, to transmit feelings and points in a manner which can be as interactive as the tools used. That’s my definition.

Merriam Webster says it this way, “ Social Media are forms of communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging)through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content as videos.”

I never thought I would ‘get it’ so quickly (many years), because I was actually concerned about privacy, security of websites and the destructive capabilities of the unknown. Awareness of safety measures made it easier to jump in and enjoy the experience.

There are somethings we forget about humans when we are caught up in the latest technology blitz or hype. Not many people like to ask questions. They don’t like asking for several reasons which include the fear of sounding ignorant, dumb or stupid. Communication tools and social media channels are things which demand questions to be asked, because they change so frequently. Here are some examples of the words which ‘tripped me up’, before I asked questions and investigated their meanings;

  1. Algorithm — This sounded like math or algebra, and I was convinced it would be hard to understand because I’m awful at math!

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary its, “a step by step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end, especially by a computer.” Thus, its like baking a cake and knowing what proportions are needed so it won’t flop! If my teachers taught math as food I’d be a grade A student.

2. SEO — This one took a while for me to figure out, but my first impression was it had to be a verb in whatever content you wrote online. (LOL)

Webopedia states, “SEO is short for search engine optimization. SEO is a methodology of strategies techniques and tactics, used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.” eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Let me say it this way – if you want someone to find your location you would give directions, sometimes referring to a map or drawing a sketch of the area. SEO is the map/sketch with general directions. As you get more specific with the details, its easier for someone to find you. That’s why SEO is important. It makes information easier to be found when searching online.

3. Followers — This one should have been as easy as the generally understood meaning, which was what I assumed it to be. It is not.

Merriam-Webster states, “ one in the service of another. Fan, devotee.” Social media followers are different from followers whom you lead, and are doing as requested or observed. No way. Social media followers are thinkers who use access to you and your network to expand their own. For many its a one-way relationship without reciprocity. Ideally, it should be a two-way flow of support and sharing.

Having 10K or 100K followers will not guarantee you supporters. You have to build a relationship. This is like having a customer who follows the activities of your company because you sell the Toyota brand of vehicle, and they like cars. Many followers may check out your cars but its the one who engages with you , who may become a customer or refer you to others in his network. Increased engagement, will grow the value to each other in the relationship.

4. Bots — got this one right because I thought it had to be something with robotic features. Bots help with automation which is a process of sharing information and giving feedback , through the use of software, designed to help improve service virtually. I’ve seen them in action and though I’m not keen on talking/writing to anything which is not human, they do generate responses which are quite relatable. Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and any other bot are all here to stay, so we might as well make them welcome into our world!

Experience it

Social media makes it possible for strangers from worldwide locations to meet virtually, through various channels with speed and efficiency. Its easy to have face to face communication with folks because there are so many options, and they are constantly being upgraded. Building quality relationships are easier through the use of ‘real-time’ interaction via Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, Snap Chat, and a host of other computer and mobile apps.

Your followers can eventually become your close friends / business associates. Gamers interact and share as they engage in their online sport with those they follow and others. Even with all this access, the traditional emotional barriers ( human qualities) are there to be overcome. Trust still has to be established with followers and the site where you meet, for the relationships to mature into more than a collection of addresses.

Am I a social media follower?

Yes I am. I’m following many folks I will probably never physically touch, but the potential for a planned meet-up is also possible. Through blogging and sharing my words you will learn about me and my interests. I’m inspired daily by the writings of many of my followers. Our humanness and diversity keeps us engaged socially online. Maybe one day we will meet. Until then, I’ll see you when I power up on my blogs, medium, twitter, beBee, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goggle+, tumblr, and others.

Does my experience mirror your understanding? Maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?

If this resonates with you, let me know.  Please share your thoughts via comments. Thanks for being awesome!

email:dwordslayer@gmail.com
Credits: merriam-webster.com ; webopedia.com ; pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 6th, 2017

Understanding Blogging & Social Media / Marketing and consumer behavior

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8af7a-animal-2067456__340Its been a year and a half since I started blogging. When I began I was a battered and bruised warrior, on a mission to recover from an accident. Today, I’m still that warrior with a weakness in one area and stronger in others. Whatever makes us weak can be complimented by increased strength developed elsewhere.

If blogging was my day job I would fire me(smile), or I would give me several warning letters! Consistency has not been something I can be marked favorably on. Instead, healing has been my all-time job, and once I accepted the position, there are benefits for the gains I have been making. You must be fully committed to whatever you pursue if you are seeking excellence.

Benchmarking against the performance of theory and others, can severely weaken one’s ability to grow when it comes to healing. An excellent doctor once admonished me by saying, “Your body knows itself. It tells you when it needs help. How can you tell it, it does not, when it shows its distress through pain and inflammation?” Thus I eventually listened to my body, giving it time to recover. With blogging I decided to listen on several publishing platforms, to understand what drives readers and followers to choose one over another.

blog 2Readers, followers, bloggers.

Blogging is much more than sharing stories via words posted online. “One must be keen to listen to be good at blogging, because its about a conversation.” This is my understanding of blogging from my experience. Businesses have been reaching out to have this conversation. Bloggers tell a story with their reading/viewing customers, which can help influence the decision-making process. In fact, social media influencing has become a major marketing strategy across most commercial industries. Competitive advantage is gained or lost through reviews of ‘rants and raves’ ( Trip advisor ,Amazon, and others) on the customer experience — experienced!

People blog because they believe they have something they wish to share with the world. For this sharing to be effective, an audience that is willing to read and respond is necessary. Responding can take the form of ‘liking’ and that can be compared to someone listening to a singer and clapping to show their appreciation. When the audience starts singing along with the singer, its the beginning of ‘engagement’ and a beautiful conversation. The standing ovation can be associated with the sharing and commenting on the blog which stirs emotion.

Now there are times when an audience may not like the words presented. This has been an interesting observation I’ve been a part of on different sites. If the words are the opinion of the author its personal. Let’s face it, political and social views are a haven for controversial discussion and debate. Initially, it was hard to read and discuss the views of others who were of a different mindset. Though I thought I could be unbiased — my cultural, ethical, moral, religious, political and a host of other beliefs called out emotional actions and reactions!

“We tend to cling and be drawn to the things we like, or feelings we control, and shun the ones which unsettle and disrupt.”

Disruption creates chaos which can either lead to greater understanding or a ‘war of words and hurt feelings.’ I’ve experienced both and I’d like to say ‘maturity’ comes from understanding the things which ‘ruffle our feathers’ while allowing our feelings to settle and be less judgmental about the other person’s opinion. Disruption is also the one sure way we can move from our ‘limited vision’ while seeing what impacts on the perception, and views of others.

Marketing and the Blogger

In marketing we learn that different markets require different strategies. Our target market will be made up of several types of consumers, and the ones we focus on will be those we believe we can convert to buyers. If our research is contaminated by bias, or misinformation, then, when the product is offered the results will dispute the research. Personal blogging can be like that.

Some bloggers will start without a clear plan. As they develop confidence in their skill, they may be guided by the topics which stimulate discussion and sharing from followers. Many times , bloggers do not see their readers and followers as consumers, and are disheartened by the results after publishing. Bloggers should have a basic marketing strategy to ‘get the ball rolling’ based on their objectives and goals.

Blogging and social media communication, requires some general understanding of marketing and consumer behavior to be effective. You don’t need to be qualified to listen , you simply need to be ‘open’ to listening. Blogs are important as stated in ‘Principles of Marketing, Kotler & Armstrong. 2006,p561. Pearson, 11th Edition’, “Blogs have voice and personality. They’re human. They come to us not from some media-genic, anchor-bot on an air-conditioned sound stage, but from an individual.” This is one of the reasons why we experience strong emotions, when bloggers use their pen, sharing their truest opinions and beliefs. When a reader takes the time to respond passionately whether in agreement or disagreement, the blogger has been effective.

In his latest article on Inc. ‘Here’s how to properly align your sales and marketing teams in 2017′, John White states, “ Social media has caused a blur in activities that are now both sales and marketing related…” As bloggers we should align our blogs (sales product) with marketing to increase our readership. When I started to think of blogging as a product I’m selling to my readers, the way I write and share took on a different meaning. My followers create a market for the words I’m ready to share!

I have found this blogging journey to be quite fascinating as I take apart the traditional thoughts and theories on marketing and consumer behavior. Social media is a dynamic communication tool, which requires ongoing participation and interaction, for the analytics to make sense!

Hoping you enjoyed reading and will share your thoughts through commenting or ‘liking’ the posts. I like hearing from all my readers, the fact that you take the time to read, is greatly appreciated.

Credits: Images: free-letters.com, metalholic.com, pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 3rd,2017

National Insurance – a service without excellence

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Its been a while since I’ve written about ‘customer service’ but today its my topic of choice.

Good customer service from many monopolistic agencies in my country is borderline bad. Our government agencies provide necessary services, and sometimes  government contracted services are given to established organizations. In many countries national health care plans are mandatory. You are charged a heath surcharge and /or National Insurance rate, whether you use the services or not.

For many folks the benefits offered are necessary when they become ill, disabled, injured, and retire. Many die before ever making a claim or receiving an ‘entitled benefit.’ Then there are some who advise, “the money will come whenever they are ready to process. You cannot depend on it. It is at the whims and fancy of the people working there.”

I recall chatting with a retiree who was injured on the job and she advised, “the process is, submit claim, and wait. Anytime before a year is a miracle.” she waited two years before her first payment and another year for the continuation to be processed. At fifty-seven she has a few years to go before retirement  and is happy her husband is gainfully employed. If she were single, she would be on the streets.

There is another example shared by a man who worked for a government agency. He fell from a weakened barrier while walking to his office. He submitted his claim and 2 years later he called to enquire if it was processed, ( he was checking every month during that time). He was advised by the clerk that the money was sent to his bank 2 months previously. He asked for a letter indicating the value and period of payment processed, and never received any information in writing. He is awaiting his continuation to be processed.

As I spoke with the gentleman, a wave of sadness washed over me. He looked dejected, and  had tears in his eyes. He then said, “listen, when you submit a claim you are at the mercy of the people working there. They think its a favor being done when they process a claim. Managers are always changing and as files are added they cover yours, they are quick to advise there are many people in front of you. There is no reason to improve if its bad from the top. I accept that they do not like to serve the people they are paid to serve.”  In 2015 this 49 year old man shared his story with me. I l loaned him my blanket while he waited at the doctor’s office. He deserved some kindness if only for a moment.

Why do they suffer in silence? There are many reasons, the main one being a fear of being victimized. A claim can take as long as the clerks and management determine. Files can go missing, and claims are then lost. The statutory time for appeals can also run out. Appeals are also not suggested if a claim is ongoing, because every possible action to frustrate the customer is exercised. This is an added burden on the unfortunate customer.

Throughout the years I’ve heard many stories, and I have experienced this ‘non-service.’ From my observations I think it is a deep cultural problem facing this society.  Having read several reports submitted to parliament over the years it is clear that the issue of providing a good National Insurance ‘Customer Service’ may be a challenge for many years to come.

One of the things I’ve come to realize is that ‘trumpism is not restricted to the USA’, its right here. If you claim you are doing a great job, then you are because you say so. It does not matter if the facts state otherwise. When himself tells himself he is good, he is in his mind. When himself investigates complaints against himself he will always be right. That is a universal culture of a lack of accountability, because those in power believe the public are not entitled to the service expected.

Defeat is never good to accept. Choose your battles wisely. However when it comes to  public expectation for a decent service, I’d give the NIBTT a 2 out of 10, and that’s on a good day. My best advice to anyone having to submit any claims is to pray. If you have never prayed, now is the time to do so. Pray for patience, pray for a pain-free life, but most of all pray for the people who lead. (Maybe try to record all conversations also.) Theirs is a job limited by attitude, poor work ethic and maybe little hope that they can change a service so bad, they simply go with the flow.

On a positive note, it is good to understand the dynamics of the service presented, so expectations can be adjusted to meet reality. An Advocacy Agency is needed for public support and research to help with ensure real change and improvement is possible. Maybe there is hope after all!

Something to think about

Can something this bad improve? Who starts the change process? Do they need to ‘care’ about Customer Satisfaction?

Its much more than image. Its about real customer satisfaction!

Thank you for reading and engaging .

Find me: Twitter https://twitter.com/DLE41 or

email:dwordslayer@gmail.com
Credits: Images — pixabay.com

 

 

Dwordslayer 2017: Marketing and Everything

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Keeping YOU in my loop!

To all my followers and readers. I appreciate your support. 2017 has been good. It has brought some challenges which can only make me stronger and maybe change my vision on what I expect for the future. This blog is import to me because you read, share and are a part of my world.

For 2017, I made a decision to try to streamline my online musings and content into different categories. Business and career categories will overlap when it comes to my blog platform, because life is not one dimensional.

There are many personal reflections on a wide range of topics which will only be published here though shared sometimes on other sites from time to time. We will see how this works and will review as we move forward.

I’m also publishing on Medium some specific posts/articles via Thrive Global and Marketing &Growth Hacking publishing sites. The stories on both are quite good and also including links to these home pages.

When I publish there I will provide a link to the articles/posts here also, so you won’t miss any of my writings. I’d like to get to know my followers and if you comment or like my posts here or on any link, I will respond.

Here are some new writings I hope you will enjoy at Marketing & Growth Hacking Publication;

The Social Media Follower : Following Communication

Excerpt: There are somethings we forget about humans when we are caught up in the latest technology blitz or hype. Not many people like to ask questions. They don’t like asking for several reasons which include the fear of sounding ignorant, dumb or stupid. Communication tools and social media channels are things which demand questions to be asked, because they change so frequently. Here are some examples of the words which ‘tripped me up’, before I asked questions and investigated their meanings;”

Understanding Blogging & Social Media : Consumer Behavior
Excerpt: “Blogging is much more than sharing stories via words posted online. “One must be keen to listen to be good at blogging, because its about a conversation.” This is my understanding of blogging from my experience. Businesses have been reaching out to have this conversation. Bloggers tell a story with their reading/viewing customers, which can help influence the decision-making process.”

Failing Up: There is only one ‘F’ word we fear as business people

Excerpt: “To be a successful business entrepreneur, you really need to get up and get going to the next round. Sometimes a referee will halt the match, allowing one of the fighters to get help and catch his breath. Take that opportunity and breathe, the business can wait, while you regroup and focus on the next round.”

Thank you for reading, interacting and sharing. I hope there is something within which resonates and inspires you today! Stay awesome 🙂

A short brief about me: I’m a corporate business veteran, with practical experience in a diverse range of industries — Safety/ HVAC / FMCG /Industrial Equipment /and much more . Sales ,Marketing, Business Development & Coaching are combined to deliver over 30 years experience. As an entrepreneur and blogger (Dwordslayer) I’m right now living an adventure, and looking forward to the next opportunity to challenge mediocrity.
 
© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved



From Flab to Fab!

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Writing it down

So you think there is a quick fix when it comes to weight loss? I’m sorry to tell you, first you need to define your flab and your fab for any action to work. Thought I would write myself a letter about my journey to fabulous today! For the New Year 2018 I’m going to reflect on my progress from this point and you can either bring out the champagne with me or eat some carrots as a consolation prize! I’ve had a head start and I’ve lost 2 dress sizes already, should I consider that an unfair advantage against me (haha)!

It’s started with that photo of the woman running. I saw it above the massage bed at the physio office, and it called me. I heard it. It said run with me. One day later, I’ll answer her by writing to me!

The Letter

Dear Self,

I’m defining my idea of flab as the loose tire I carry around my waist. The one that falls over, but looks like its getting deflated from the work I’ve put in so far. My arms are all jiggles but I can’t do much based on my back, shoulder, and injuries to my neck and right side of my body. The cellulite and fatty deposits on my thighs look like a I’m kneading flour for bread and its lumpy. I love the way my legs from below the knees look to my cute feet so that is one less area for development! The other side which I hope will go down ( but not holding out hope ) is my super huge derriere, which is firm but more than a tad on the enormous side! So that’s it. Everything else is good!

How I see fab is more about how I feel than a dress size. I’m wearing a 16/17 now and at the end of the year fab will be a size 12! For some folks that may seem big still for me, I’m not looking to be a scarecrow. I want to be fit, but I’m also aware of my challenges and limitations. I also want to be able to walk at a moderate pace without stopping, for an hour would be great. Injury wise, five minutes is a killer presently when walking. I’m also hoping I can do an hour on the bike at a decent borderline fast pace. I’m able to do twenty minutes slow while praying so I’m on track I think. Fab for me also means I can go to the beach and be able to stand in the water for more than ten minutes without losing my balance. Lets set standing in the water on the beach for one hour. Another thing I’m weary of  writing here is I really want to be able to go down on the ground and get back up easily more than once – I will even settle for twice – can’t even go down and get up without help!  Finally my fab test for the year end health ability will be to walk  five hundred steps at the national stadium ( In my other life I could do one thousand easily). Fab sure feels like I will be ready for Seal training next year 2018! I look fantastic in clothes, so lets see me in a red swimsuit, maybe a pseudo sports illustrated photo for regular folks!

Achieving these goals won’t happen unless I’m committed to making them happen. I’ve got to eat healthy and balanced and drink lots of water. I’m also going to rely heavily on good nutritional habits which I’ve been working on for a few months. My physiotherapists are going to have to help me with the physical stuff, and I will do whatever they allow at home. Most important though will be the inner strength I will work on developing from meditation and breathing exercises.

I know I can’t afford the fancy diets and trainers, and maybe I don’t have everything I wish I had to assure my success, but Self, I can do it. I can keep a food  and activity journal, because tracking my behavior is important. Hey, I know I don’t like writing “had a piece of cheesecake today again”, but I won’t lie because you will know!  This year my goal is healing and improving my health, whatever it takes to get to fab. I need my mind  and body to work with me. I also need my heart and spirit to cheer with me as I fight off the chocolate brownies and creamy decadent treats. I’ve been a yoyo for so long, I’m ready to change my model!

I’m afraid. Yikes, I’ve written it all down and I won’t give up because I’ve said it. Lets see how I can get cracking on my healthy me!

I’m accountable to you, and I won’t let you down Self. I’m rooting for you. You can do it. It’s just you and me and the unknown people reading this promise to yourself! I love you 🙂

Best encouragement and support,

Self

Journeys require understanding upfront

When you prepare for something, its always easier if you are clear on what you’re getting into before starting. Realism has escaped many when embarking on weight loss based on the quick fixes and crazy expectations locked in the mind. Writing it down gives a clearer picture of  what is required. Think about what works for you, and write it down. As I re-read this, I feel the urge to delete, because I’m beginning to feel afraid. That voice of doubt is my first challenge. I’m human, and I can tell that voice – shut up!

This is March 2017. The next time I write myself a letter on this will be,  1 January 2018.

Are you with me on your own ‘self’ journey, please share with me and lets do this together!

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