Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Left Thumb Blogger Nominated for a Canadian Blog Award

Filed under: Blogging — by at 1:02 pm on Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2007 Canadian Blog Awards

The Canadian Blog Awards is an annual event on the Canadian Blogosphere in which Canadian Bloggers and Blog Readers vote to decide which blog is the best – either overall or within a category.

And the nominees are…

Thanks to my high school friend Chris Foley, Do It Myself Blog has been nominated in the Best Activist Blog.

I was somewhat bewildered to be nominated in the Best Activist category. I have yet to chain myself to an inaccessible building, although the thought has crossed my mind at times! I looked up activist and found this:

a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue

My life’s work has centered around inclusion, acceptance and accessibility for people with disabilities, which, at times, still remains controversial. Perhaps that does make me an activist in a sense.

Voting for Round One is now open and will close on Monday, January 21st at 11:59 PM PST. The top five blogs will advance to the Final Round. You need to vote only once per round, and you do not need to be Canadian to vote!

Thanks for your support.

Reader’s Café, a place to gather and to share, opens again today at 4pm pacific time. Hope you can join us right here for good conversation with good friends.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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My Bucket List for 2008

Filed under: Motivation — by at 3:22 pm on Monday, January 14, 2008

In the movie The Bucket List, two unlikely comrades with terminal cancer team up to fulfill a wish list before kicking the bucket. This sparked Jeff Pulver to create his own bucket list but with a twist:

In the spirit of the movie, and in the spirit of trying to make 2008 be the year that we all start to do some of the things we would like to accomplish one day, I thought it would be fun to reach out to friends across the blogosphere and ask them to share some of the things on their “Bucket List” they hope to remove during 2008. For some of us, these are not necessarily our “New Year’s Resolutions”, but rather things we have been meaning to do for some time that we WILL get done in 2008.

He then tagged a few other bloggers, including Liz Strauss, who, in turned, tagged me. Thanks Liz!

For me, my bucket list goes beyond my New Year’s resolutions, my SMART goals and my one word for 2008. It goes to what I imagine myself wishing I had done or had done more of, should I find myself nearing the end of my life at the year’s end. This is what comes to mind (that I wish to share publicly), in no particular order and given my current finances (a more substantial budget would render a somewhat altered bucket list):

  • Spend more time with my kitty purring in my ear.
  • Listen more to my husband’s beating heart.
  • Write love letters to him. (Shucks, now that won’t be a surprise!)
  • Find a way to get to the north shore to watch the eagles soar.
  • Meet more of my invisible friends.
  • Be in the ‘real’ world more.
  • Connect with more of my invisible friends in a real way, if I can’t meet them in person yet.
  • Become more physically active.
  • Finish selling the first print run of my autobiography.
  • Continue searching for a cp-friendly bra.
  • See Anne Murray in concert, finally! (I’ve wanted to see her for years and she is finally coming to town on May 5th!)
  • Get organized for when I do kick the bucket.
  • Make a positive difference or impact on people’s lives.
  • Reconnect with my penpal Paivi and my Brownie friend Karen.

I’ll do my best to cross each one off the list by New Year’s Eve 2008.

I’m now tagging Karen Putz, Doug McCaughan, Tris Hussey, Jim Turner, Joanna Young, and Harmony Cornwell (glad to see you back blogging!).

What is on your bucket list for 2008?

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Twitter: Instant Messaging on Speed or a Budding Community?

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book,Social Media — by at 10:03 pm on Thursday, January 10, 2008

I became aware of Twitter, yet another social networking tool, early last year. At that time, I resisted the temptation to answer “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less. I had decided it was the time in my life when it’s now or never to become financially sufficient. The last thing I needed was yet another distraction to exacerbate my technologically-induced ADHD when I really needed to focus my energy and attention. But, at one of Liz Strass’ indescribable Open Mic Nights last summer, my friend Susan Reynolds enticed me to drink the juice and I became a tweeter.

Initially, my opinion was confirmed: Twitter was instant messaging on speed. It was like being in a room full of people talking and overhearing bits of conversations. Some bits are useful, others are interesting, some are downright bizarre, and, occasionally, a bit is directed at you, drawing you further into that particular conversation momentarily. It was intriguing and addictive, but I didn’t see the value of all this tweeting. Several times I thought of leaving, but being one not to leave a party early, I hung around to see what would happen next.

Slowly, a few more tweeters began following me and I followed a few more, which is a good thing. When I would tweet about my latest blog post, a few fellow tweeters would pop over to read it and leave a comment. And tweeting from a BlogWorld session was kinda cool. I finally felt part of the in crowd. I began getting to know people beyond their avatars and handles.

Twitter limits tweets (messages) to 140 characters, which is such a great equalizer for me because I’m not expected to give lengthy responses; the system doesn’t allow it. So, I can pretty much keep up with my left thumb. And, it is in my medium: the typed word. Perfect for me!

In early December, Susan Reynolds discovered she had breast cancer, and openly shared in her tweets and new blog Boobs on Ice her journey from diagnosis to biopsy to surgery. She shared how a bag of frozen peas was more soothing on her battered chest than a brick-like ice pack.

Overnight green peas began appearing in tweeters’ avatars in support of Susan. It was then that I began noticing something – and I’m not sure if it was because Twitter was growing and reaching its potential more fully or if it was because I finally saw it: Twitter had morphed from IM on speed to a supportive community right before my eyes.
More and more tweeters creatively added peas to their avatars and words like please were spelled as PEAS. A Frozen Pea Fund was then launched to raise money for cancer research. As we don our peattire for the third Frozen Pea Friday, the fund has already reached more than $7,000 and continues to steadily grow.

Like with any community, the Twitter community’s strength is based on the contribution of each member. In return for the support that I received during my Blog for a Year campaign, I would like to support the community’s fundraising efforts. With each I’ll Do It Myself: Ebook Edition purchased between now and Friday, January 11th, at midnight (pacific time), I will donate $5 – the cost of two bags of frozen peas – to the Frozen Pea Fund for cancer research
Grab a good read and some good will be done. Thanks.

Twitter, I will be around for a while yet to participate in this vibrant, supportive community.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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The Left Thumb Blogger Turns Pro

Filed under: Blogging,Work — by at 3:41 pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2008

For the past several months I have been vying for the opportunity to be paid to Blog for a Year. I would like to thank everyone who has voted for me. Your support has been overwhelming and touching.

I’d like to acknowledge the following people for posting on their blogs about the contest. By no means is this an exhaustive list, so please do not feel slightly in the least if I missed including you. I do appreciate all that you have done.

I also would like to thank my Fan Club and countless others who posted on forums and sent out emails to the masses. You’re awesome and I’m already a winner thanks to all of you! Seriously.

The votes are in and tallied:

  • In third place, with 11,752 votes, is moi!
  • In second place, with 18,252 votes, is Melanie in Orygun
  • And the winner, with 18,951 votes, is Absolutely True. Congratulations!

It was a great experience and I learned a lot about using social media for this purpose. (Hillary, Obama, contact me! It’s not too late.)

However, Absolutely True isn’t the only one to be offered a blogging contract. In December I was offered a contract to blog 1-3 posts per week at Disaboom. I joined the problogging league last week! Hope you’ll join me there. I will also continue blogging here, giving my thumb a thorough workout!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Getting SMART about Setting Goals

Filed under: Motivation — by at 4:15 pm on Friday, January 4, 2008

Hockey player scores on net: How many goals will you score in 2008
(Photo credit: Adam Klepsteen)

New Year’s Resolutions lose their shine after a few weeks. Our one word for the year may guide us through year. But, sometimes we humans need something stronger, something more direct, something more tangible.

While taking a pre-employment program for people with disabilities, I learned about SMART goals, a technique for setting goals that I have used ever since. A SMART goal is:

  • Specific: Consider the 6 w’s – who, what, where, when, which, and why.
  • Measurable: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
  • Attainable: Do you have the capability and capacity to make the goal reality?
  • Realistic (or Relevant): Are you willing and able to work toward this goal?
  • Time-tagged: Put a timeline or deadline on the goal so it gets done. One day rarely appears on the calendar!

One of my goals for 2008 is: to comment on ten blogs per week, five comments on blogs I have previously commented on to further strengthen those relationships, and five comments on new-to-me blogs to expand my network by forming new relationships. Is this goal SMART?

  • Is it specific? Very!
  • Is it measurable? Yes, blog comments can be counted. I have even created a spreadsheet for tracking my comments.
  • Is it attainable? I think so. Finding five new blogs each week to comment on may prove challenging, but with focus (my word for 2008), I’ll do my best.
  • Is it realistic? Leaving ten comments per week seems realistic. It is also relevant to my goal of focusing on blogging this year.
  • Is it time-tagged? Yes, by saying “per week”, that puts a sense of urgency on it. I could have said “To contribute 520 comments to the blogosphere by December 31, 2008; 260 on ‘old’ blogs & 260 on ‘new’ blogs.” The end result would be the same, but, being human with a rather full plate, I may not start until December 1st, in which case 520 comments in one month may not be attainable or realistic for me.

My New Year’s Resolution: Increase my contribution to the blogosphere and expand my network.

My SMART goal: Comment on 10 blogs per week, 5 comments on old blogs and 5 on new blogs.

Which am I more likely to succeed at and feel I have accomplished something by New Year’s Eve 2008.

One last consideration is your goal’s direction. Are you moving away from something (or depriving yourself) or are you heading towards something? Are you going to lose weight or are you going to become more active? Are you going to quit smoking or are you going to embrace a healthier lifestyle? Are you going to get rid of clutter or create a more livable and enjoyable home? By pointing your goal in a positive direction, it’s more likely you’ll continue with your changed behaviour once you’re dropped the weight, stopped lighting up or cleaned out the bedroom closet. In my opinion, this makes a goal wise.

If a man knows not what harbor he seeks,
any wind is the right wind.

Feel free to share your New Year’s resolutions as SMART (and wise) goals.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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