Fall Check-In

Hi – ready for a quick check-in? Life is running full out over here, how about with you? This week is a quick catch up.


Dear God, this puppy is going to kill me. She is lucky she is so cute. Between the 8 miles of walking every day, potty training, and her over the top farts I may not survive puppydom. Luckily Lucille seems to like being a big sister and she does a lot of the babysitting. The wrestling occasionally tumbles under my office desk and unplug my monitors. But then I get looks like this:


Expanding Sustainable Productivity

I have been reading about the value contribution has on women’s quality of life and the more I read, the more it seems like it is a lever that we can pull to reduce or prevent burnout. I am adding it to the Sustainable Productivity framework as a component of the Mental Well-being dimension. There will be an upcoming podcast about it explaining more. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe so you never miss an episode. If you need help downloading podcasts, check out this link.

One Day Hour by Hour

Last week was a fun annual social media challenge. One Day Hour by Hour (ODHH) encourages us to post photos of our daily life on social media. It is a lot to post every hour all day long, but when I look back at a whole day or past years it is absolutely worth it. Sort of like when habit change is hard and then pays off. Two years ago for ODHH, I was at my dad’s house for the end of his radiation treatment and help him pack up before selling his house. Looking back at how I spent the day was memorable and bittersweet. If you didn’t participate this year, think about it for next year! You can check out a day in the Sustainable Sue life on Instagram at this link.

Until next time remember to create productive results in a way that you can sustain and that work for you. 

By |2023-12-17T14:58:39-05:00November 14th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Nature Break!

Time for a nature break, gang! Every once in awhile you need to stop and smell the roses – or sunflower in this case. One day after work recently, I packed clippers, a bucket, Bixby and went out to the local sunflower farm. We even threw in dinner and our oldest came along with us. It was only 25 minutes from our house and we spent less than an hour at the farm. It was a perfect small adventure in the middle of a work week.

The farm is Dewberry Farm in Kernersville, NC in case you want to schedule a visit for YOUR nature break. They also have tulips in the spring.

Sustainable You Reflections

  1. Brainstorm small adventures that you could add to your weekly or monthly.
  2. Add a recurring appointment to your calendar to search social media, the newspaper or local blogs for events that might be of interest.

Until next time remember to create productive results in a way that you can sustain and that work for you. 

By |2023-12-17T07:58:41-05:00August 29th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Summer Pep Talk

Checking in with a quick summer pep talk this week. I am reading a book that talks about envy and jealousy – you know the light stuff first thing in the morning. Thinking about envy makes me realize how often I want what someone else has.

What I want you to know comes from my experience as a gardener. It is this: If the grass is greener on the other side, it means it is full of shit. 

Shit as fertilizer, and with the wind blowing the right way, you never know that is what makes it so attractive to look at. Not to mention that having that beautiful green grass is choking the life out of the natural world around it. 

This week is the Great Southeast Pollinator Census and I completed a training to participate. I learned so much about non-native grasses destroying the pollinators. 

Does that ever apply to your life? You try so hard to get what looks like the perfect life someone else is showing you. Then when you get it, you realize it stinks like shit and includes nothing that makes life as you know it sustainable. 

Let me close this mini summer pep talk with an inspirational message from The Rock that a friend sent me. Thanks, Jennifer!

By |2023-08-15T10:05:55-04:00August 22nd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Full Body Yes

Today I want to introduce you to the idea of a full body yes. As a recovering people pleaser, I am not always sure what is my opinion and what is your opinion. Smarter people than me might refer to this as an issue with boundaries and codependency. That seems fancy. All I know is that I woke up one day and after over four decades of people pleasing there sure were not a lot of pleased people hanging around. 

Including me. 

Perhaps especially me. 

At this point in my life the situation was unsustainable and unproductive. It was time for an overhaul. If my life were corporate America, it would have been ripe for a hostile takeover. This line of thinking really planted itself in my brain recently after reading an article about conscious leadership

You are the leader of the enterprise that is you. Would you give the CEO of your life a raise right now? If the answer is no, it is worth taking a deeper look at who is in charge. Maybe you are like I was all those years ago and the inmates are running the asylum. It is time to act like Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

Rip out that sink, throw it through a wall and break loose!

If you are faced with a decision, check in with your gut and if it is not a full body yes, the answer is no. 

Practical Application

It seems really simple, right? Here are a couple practical tips that work for me when I am slipping back into people pleasing.

Stall. I often say yes and regret it later. I have a response that I have drafted and practiced. Yes, I literally wrote it down and practiced saying it out loud. I kept it in my email drafts for years so I would always have it in my hand. Now when someone makes a request I say, “That sounds great, let me confirm my schedule and get back to you.”

It is not a lie – everything sounds great in the moment. Tickets to a basketball game on a weeknight even though I am asleep by 9:00pm? Sure! Dinner with a large group on a Friday night when restaurants are packed and I’m hangry? Fun! All day rodeo? No, but it sure would make you happy so I am in!

Giving myself a timeout gives me a chance to check in with my gut. It allows me to check for the full body yes.

MVP. Having a Minimum (or Maximum) Viable Product (MVP) allows me to bump decisions up against something besides, “Will this make the other person happy?” For example, around this recent Christmas I had several activities I wanted to do, invitations I wanted to accept, and people I wanted to celebrate with. What has happened in years past is that I do all of this and cry every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s because I am tired and overwhelmed. Then Bixby dropped this truth bomb on me during one of our lunch time walks: You don’t want to want what you want. 

Seriously – for a man of few words, he chooses them SO WELL.

I don’t want to be this introverted all the time, but well – here we are. So I established an MVP around holiday activities. Who was it critical I celebrated with? This is how a 24 hour car trip got on the books. What activities reflected Christmas spirit for me, not other people. I am sure “listening to Tracy Chapman’s O Holy Night on repeat while looking at the Christmas tree lights in a dark room” was not on any one else’s bingo card. There were a few other criteria and when an invitation or idea came in, I was able to ask:

Will this new thing leave room for my MVP things? Often the answer was clear. If it wasn’t then I went back to the basics: check in with my gut and if it is not a full body yes, the answer is no. 

Sustainable You Reflections

  1. Time to do a You Audit. If you were doing a performance review on the CEO of your life, what grade would you give?
  2. Where is that CEO falling short? Can you identify 2-3 areas of concern or low hanging fruit that would be a place to start?
  3. What obstacles does that CEO need removed in order to improve the performance that if your life?

By |2023-03-02T05:50:33-05:00March 2nd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Non-Resolution Resolutions

I am a sucker for a trend and for DECADES I set loads of New Year’s resolutions. And to be honest – they worked for a long time. Until they didn’t.

Now I embrace the trend that is the Word of the Year. This is more than a New Year’s Resolution. This is a lifestyle change – or it least it can be. I have used Peace, Lifelong and Wear Life Like a Loose Garment (ok, that is six words, but you get the idea). 

This year my word is EQUANIMITY. 

This is a little difference from balance, which feels like having yin over here and yang over there. Life does not seem to be giving me much separation lately. I parent adult children and I am an adult child that sometimes parents a parent. Anyone in corporate America can attest to the Slack messages flying in during a meeting while you are on do not disturb, emails that come at all hours of the day and night. I have given up the struggle for balance. 

Instead I want equanimity. This is partly inspired by the yoga classes I do a couple times a week. There is a section called equanimity. I struggle with balancing on one foot, then she suggests closing the eyes. 

But one day she said, “This is what equanimity is about. Knowing falling is part of what you are supposed to do because that means you are alive. Being ok with the mess in the middle of the work.”

Equanimity, y’all. It’s where its at for me in 2023. 

What about you? Did you pick a word? 

By |2023-01-02T17:44:53-05:00January 3rd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fall Fun Check In

I thought it might be helpful to run this Fall Fun Check In like a SusPro Continuous Improvement session. Yep – that is why I don’t get invited to parties – this is my idea of a good time. 

Just to catch up any newcomers, the Fall Fun List is where I am trying to add more fun and whimsy to my life. See previous sentence for my idea of a good time, and you can understand why adding fun and whimsy to my life might be needed. You can read more about what is on the list at this post.

The SusPro Continuous Improvement session is where we use Sustainable Productivity (SusPro) steps to make incremental adjustments to reach the target. You can read the background on this at this post, but we will be following the 3-step approach today. 

Step 1: Record the Result

The habit change I am making is to have more fun so I made a list. At the end of the week I looked at my result – I had completed one item on this list: Leaf walk with no device. 

I was not recording time or distance. Just whether or not I did it. Boom checkmark in the box.

Full Disclosure: I cheated a bit. I did have my phone in my pocket for the hike, but I did not take it out to take pictures, check messages, add groceries to the list, or submit reminders. None of these activities was peepin’ leaves, which was the intention.  

That is all there is to this step – one item complete. Onto Step 2 – the analysis.

Step 2: Why This Result

This analysis step can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. For the purposes of the Fall Fun Check In, it was low hanging fruit with zero barriers to entry. This is corporate speak for the easiest thing on the list. We had not been hiking in a long time. The morning was cold, but the sky was so so blue. Perfect for getting in the woods and looking at the changing of the leaves. 

I kept thinking that I needed to snap a pic to demonstrate the beauty I saw. The I thought about the intent of the list. It made me leave the phone in my pocket. But here is a photo I took a few years ago – this is such a beautiful season in North Carolina.

In summary: The answer to the question about why this is the result is that I picked something easy to get started, then knew I would be accountable to you to keep me honest about no devices. 

Not every analysis will be about success, sometimes things go awry and you will need to make adjustments, which is next. 

Step 3: Adjustment(s)

Considering I completed one item on the Fall Fun List, I consider this a success and don’t have a specific adjustment at this time. I do want to wave a caution flag at myself (and any other over-doers out there). Getting everything done quickly is not better – I want to make sure I am keeping the spirit and intent of this list – to be FUN. 

Doing everything quickly, or even more dangerous to Sustainable Productivity – adding more to the list, is not the exercise here. Not an adjustment, just a watch out.

And now to close the session we set the time for the next check in.

Closing Ceremonies

My original plan was to do one Fall Fun Check In at the end of the list or December 1st, but knowing I was reporting back was motivating. As I knock these items out I will report back along the way – it might be here or on social media. In the spirit of the closing of the Continuous Improvement check in, I will review each week on my own and share as I am able.

Boom – that’s it, easy peasy. While the intent of this weekly message was to brag about walking around in the woods, I did also want to review the Continuous Improvement steps as well. Maybe this is something that you could fold into your habit change?

If you try it out, I would love to hear how it goes. Reply to this post or contact me at Susan@SustainableSue.com.

By |2022-10-15T08:54:01-04:00October 18th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fall Fun List

Hey Accountability Buddies! I am back with a follow up to the Fall Fun request. Thank you to those of you who sent me suggestions to include. You did NOT disappoint. Thank you for offering suggestions and holding me accountable to making this list. Let’s discuss.

What It Isn’t

First, this is not a fall chore list!!! When I started making this list it was exactly that – my list of things to do in the fall. TO DOs – not FUN. You know I consider gardening to be fun, but that is not what the Fall Fun List is. Sure I will still be relocating monkey grass, freeing blueberry bushes from the slow death that is our shady yard, and leaf mulching everything not moving. But this list is about more than that.

Secondly, this is my Fall Fun List, not My People’s list. Bixby considers approximately none of this fun. He may still participate, but honestly – that would just be icing on the Fall Fun Cake. Let’s move on before I mix any more metaphors.

Permission Slip

One Fall Fun permission slip I want to offer to you that I wrestled with is that it is ok to Google what to do. I did not originally want to do this because “this is not how fun people do it.” The story I was telling myself is that fun people know where the fun is. 

Growing up my mom just knew when the corn roast and 4th of July parade were. I have no idea how my mom always knew (besides the giant banner across Main St), but she did. I do not have this gift. So Google there I went! And you can too – use the tools at your disposal to create the life you want.

The Big Reveal

All the more reason to do a Fall Fun list – and publicly at that. Here is the big reveal of Fall Fun activities that I will accomplish between Oct 1 and Dec 1 (when holiday shenanigans begin). Short and sweet and sustainable.

Remember – start where you are, make small adjustments to set yourself up for Sustainably Productive success. I will share details as I work my way through the list – here, on Facebook, and / or Instagram. I would love to hear what Fall Fun you are getting up to as well!

By |2022-10-02T19:21:55-04:00October 6th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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