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Are Too Many Cooks Stirring Your Stew?

It's January – the first month of a brand new year. Traditionally, the primary topic in the media is getting organized. We all have what feels like a fresh slate to a new year, and we want to go into it cleaned up, organized, and feeling ready to tackle whatever the new year throws at us. I am no different. I'm sure you aren't either.

I'm an organizational freak. My family teases me about organizing for fun and relaxation. They can't hurt my feelings with the truth. When I completed the final project for my master's degree in journalism, I celebrated by tricking out a spare closet. I turned it into a gift closet. One side contains a bookshelf with bins labeled for each person to whom I give gifts. I buy things throughout the year when I see something that makes me think of loved ones, take them home, and put them in the appropriate bin. On the other side of the closet, I have empty boxes, baskets of tissue paper, ribbons and bows, and a collection of wrapping paper. In the center is a small table with a pegboard hanging above it. Hooks on the pegboard hold categorized gift bags, scissors, tape, twine, and gift tags. I did this eight years ago, and it still makes me happy.

My three main goals for 2020 were: 1) finish well with the classes for my doctorate, 2) lay the foundation for a new business, and 3) begin the journey toward better health.

I completed all courses for a doctorate in strategic leadership with a 3.97 GPA, so check on #1!

With the help of many supportive professionals and a lot of prayers, I accomplished the following in my business pursuits:

  1. Decided on the name of business and tagline (Dandelion Leadership Coaching: Transforming wishes into reality)

  2. Nailed down branding, purchased business cards, and launched a website

  3. Created a Facebook business page and started showing up through semi-regular postings

  4. Presented a free lunch-and-learn on tips for successfully working from home for the Casper Chamber of Commerce

  5. Booked a client, developed a 3-hour course approved by the Wyoming Real Estate Commission for CE hours, and presented the class twice in one day

  6. Interviewed by the Wyoming Women's Business Council for a video promoting the organization

  7. Appeared as a guest on The JK Experience podcast

Pretty sure I can confidently mark #2 as complete.

Finally, I started a wellness program through my chiropractor's office that began with bloodwork. I have focused on eating clean, drinking plenty of water, taking supplements specific to my bloodwork results, and increasing my activity. I lost 32 pounds in 2020 and reduced my body's inflammation levels to alleviate most arthritis pain and all bloating. It's an ongoing journey, but I say #3 check!

As I write this, we are one week into 2021. My three goals for this year are: 1) write my final project and graduate with a doctorate, 2) put the finishing touches on the business foundation and do a hard business launch this summer, and 3) continue improving my health and wellness. So far this month, I have continued writing on the final project and have a plan for continued progress, found a program of learning that will help me get organized within the business and create helpful processes, and I have lost 2 pounds. Onward!!

All three of my 2020 and 2021 goals require a lot of research and learning. I have so many things swirling around in my brain! And some of it is conflicting information. In December, I signed up for all the freebies in a 12 Days of Christmas campaign conducted by two online coaching gurus. While I received a ton of really great information, my email inbox exploded! Before heading out for Christmas vacation, I had 165 emails backed up in my inbox. As an organizational freak who continually strives for zero inbox, this was exceptionally overwhelming. My son, Geoff, and I spent the holidays with my other son and his family. During downtime hanging out in the living room while the "boys" (two grown men in their late twenties) played Xbox and my daughter-in-law telecommuted, I set to downloading and organizing freebies, reading blogs, joining free, private Facebook groups, and watching 5-day challenge videos. It was my full-time job for a few days!

I'm sure you've heard the adage, "too many cooks spoil the stew." Well, the stew that is my brain is getting spoiled by so many cooks stirring around up there. All this stirring is creating information overload and analysis paralysis. Last Friday, I worked on social media content planning with my friend, Kate. In response to my telling her about all of the "work" I did over the holidays, she cautioned me about spending too much time learning and too little time implementing. Remember the program I mentioned earlier that is helping me get organized? Well, in it, the coach, Rhonda, regularly encourages viewers to pick a tool and stick with it. She is referring to project management tools such as Trello and Asana. The point she makes is that jumping from software to software slows you down and causes inefficiency. Pick a program and stick with it! Good advice. As my inbox started filling up again, I thought of Kate and Rhonda's advice and came to another conclusion – pick a community and stick with it. There are many great online coaches out there with beneficial tools and information, but listening to so many voices is slowing me down, causing confusion, and resulting in inefficiency. So, I'm limiting the number of cooks stirring my mental stew. I'm thankful for the free advice from coaches just trying to make it in the online coaching industry, but I'm unsubscribing from email lists and leaving Facebook groups. I've chosen to become involved with one Facebook group and release myself from the rest.

How many cooks are stirring your mental stew? Do you need to kick a few out of the kitchen? Here are a few ideas for deciding which cooks to kick out of your mental kitchen:

  • As you go through your emails, pay attention to the ones you automatically delete without reading. Unsubscribe!

  • Consider a tool like It will find all the newsletters you are subscribed to under a specific email address and give you the option to either unsubscribe, roll them into a single email, or leave them to your inbox. I have unsubscribed from 113 emails through this user-friendly service.

  • Go to Facebook and click on Groups. Go through the list and decide which ones bring you value and which are mental clutter. Click on Leave Group.

I'd love to hear your goals for 2021 and if you are kicking cooks out of your mental kitchen. Share in the comments so I can encourage you on your journey.


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