As January comes to a close, and with 2017 safely behind us (some might even say it was a sh**hole of a year), we thought we'd highlight a few of the things that made us smile:

Pussy Hats

The Solar Eclipse 😎

The BBC Dad

Colin Kaepernick

The Royal Engagement  💍

Feet firmly planted in 2018, we're thinking of the months ahead while considering the common tendency to bite off more than one can chew. With that, we're kicking off this year's first newsletter with our column 'Assk the Asskickers' and a great question we received from one of our readers.

Dear Asskickers:

It’s the middle of January and I’m already feeling defeated by all the things I want to do.

For starters, I want to finish my screenplay and leave my soul-sucking day job. Add to that, I’m trying to get to the gym daily (I’ve been told I need to lose weight), spend time with my 10 year old nephew who recently lost his father to heart disease, and finally, put myself out there again (I’m recently single). I’m completely drained and have no time or mental capacity for my writing, much less anything else.

I know it sounds like I’m all over the place and any help would be appreciated.

Floundering in Fort Green

Dear Catch of the Day,

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate! First things first: Congratulations on taking this important step by acknowledging that you need help and asking for it. Here’s what we’re picking up about you (please indulge us, as we may have taken some liberties): 

• You’re creative—and passionate about writing. 

• You believe that your screenplay is good. It sounds like you may even have some bites!

• You long to work/live/play in a healthy, supportive environment where you can use your creativity and feel fulfilled. 

• You take your well-being seriously and are willing to take the steps necessary to feel better physically and otherwise. 

• You value family and relationships. Bravo for making your nephew a priority. It also seems like you want to be the best role model that you can. 

• You’re single and ready to mingle, and about to put the (soon to be) new and improved version of yourself back out on the market. 

While you’re obviously juggling a lot—both physically and emotionally—we feel a few small but strategic steps would make your life more manageable—and let’s face it, enjoyable.

Let’s break it down:

Time. Where can you tweak your schedule so that you have more time to use as you please? For example, you mentioned you go to the gym daily. Perhaps you could alternate your exercise regimen to include outdoor activities with your nephew—say riding bikes, playing ball or climbing that rock.  

Lousy job. For as long as you have to be there, think about what benefits your present job affords you. A paycheck seems obvious. Perhaps health insurance and maybe even health incentives? Flexible hours? Contacts or connections? Figure out how to capitalize on the pluses and don’t fall prey to the toxicity, while considering your exit plan.

Your screenplay. Set a deadline for completion of your screenplay, or several deadlines for different stages. Break it down into realistic pieces. Quality time with your nephew might include a work session together—writing for you and homework for him. It’s a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas and support each other.

Tie it all together. Schedule, schedule, schedule!!! If it’s not on the calendar it’s not real. Schedule time for your various activities and obey the calendar!

On a final note, we’re sorry for your loss and understand, too, that you may need time to grieve. The loss of someone close often makes us think of our own mortality. Yes to the urgency of getting your health and career on track! We would caution you, however, against burn out. You may also want to consider joining us for one of our Setting Clear Goals workshops (see below). Small, intentional, healthy steps. Remember—slow and steady wins the race.

And one more thing... who might you enlist (other than your nephew as wing man—who doesn’t appreciate a dude with a kid?) to support you and hold you accountable? A good network of people will keep you focused on what's important and improve your chances for success. We’re here to support you, so don’t hesitate to check in with us. We’d love to hear how you’re doing.

In the spirit of this past weekend's Women's March, keep walking tall and toward progress.

Wishing you a great year,
Dianne & Robert