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Taking Time Out

Taking Time Out

The beginning of the new year is here and I chose to take some time out.

2014 was plenty busy for me.

  • My first digital product “Blogging Magic” was released.
  • My members only coaching club, the “Whirlwind Success VIP Club” went live.
  • I started the production of several other digital products for bloggers and online marketers,  soon to be launched.

Looking back, there was so much I have accomplished over this last year.  All the while, I was adapting to my recent move… new home, new state, new friends!

As David (my husband) and I looked back at 2014, we made a list of everything we accomplished and oh boy, was it more than in any previous year!

It was really exciting, and I loved going through the process.  Each and every day was a new adventure.

David and I found ourselves planning for 2015 weeks ahead of time.  Just can’t wait to dig in!

We started creating outlines for some new projects sitting in our mind map, got them on our production schedule and are anxious to put them into motion.

Exciting as all this has been though, we realized that we needed some time out.  After such a hectic, busy year, we’re going to end the final days of 2014 just being alone… getting away for a while to clear those cob webs from our heads.

Taking time out is important to do.

So much so, that I’ve made it a weekly practice to take one day, usually Sunday, to be a do-nothing day.

During the week, I usually set aside a chunk of hours each day for “down time.”  But David and I have chosen to take a longer time to end this busy year, a full week!

This will be my last blog post for 2014.

I plan to be back on January 4, 2015 and raring to go.

Our heads are spinning with so many things, that I know this time out will do both of us a world of good.  It will be refreshing and re-energizing, and we’ll need that to tackle all the things we have in our “works in progress” workshop.

I want to thank everyone who has been part of my journey this past year.  I would love to make a list of everyone, but it would have to include tons of people.  You all know who you are, though.

So, when was the last time you have taken some meaningful time out?  Just time to kick around and do nothing.  No goals, no plans, no real direction.  Just a “do whatever you want” chunk of time?

Wishing you all a blessed New Year!

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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46 Responses to Taking Time Out

  1. Rohan Chaubey
    Twitter:
    December 29, 2014 at 12:46 am #

    Hi Donna ma’am,

    Looks like you had a great year with so many achievements. And I recently started following up your blog posts. And I am liking them a lot.

    My year was exciting as well. Especially when I started blogging. 🙂

    I wish you have a wonderful 2015… May all your dreams come true.

    Regards,
    Rohan Chaubey.
    Rohan Chaubey recently posted..5 Reasons To Join Aha!Now ABC CommunityMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      Hi Rohan,

      I’m sure glad you are liking my blog! This past year I was determined to complete my goals and did so. Now for more……. Phew.. I do need to take a little time out.

      Thank you and may all your dreams come true this year.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The 10 Best Ways To Blog in 2015My Profile

  2. James McAllister
    Twitter:
    December 29, 2014 at 4:40 am #

    Hi Donna!

    I know we really only met fairly recently but I have to thank you for all you’ve done for me personally since then. This has certainly been a big year for you and I know 2015 will be even greater!

    I mentioned it over on Adrienne’s blog recently but I do think it’s important to take some time off every once and a while to just relax and take a break off work. There’s a lot more to life, after all. 🙂

    Hmm… last time I took some meaningful time off was the day after Thanksgiving. My two young cousins had come up from another state, and we spent the entire day doing fun stuff like drawing, taking silly pictures and watching Disney movies. It was nice because for just that one day, I was able to forget completely about my normal life – no work, no emails, no social media, no stress or drama. The only thing that mattered that day was having fun and being happy.

    My life at this point is mostly just work and even when I “take time off” work is always at the back of my mind. Often times I’m still checking something on my computer every few minutes.

    But you know, I could talk about that all day. Instead, I’ll cut myself off here before I end up writing a mini-novel.

    Happy New Year Donna and here’s wishing us a successful 2015!
    James McAllister recently posted..From Social Media Beginner To Expert In 33 Days Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      Hi James,

      Always remember that one day! If ever you feel overwhelmed, sit quietly and remember that day and how it felt. Get in touch with all your senses that accompanied that day, hearing, smell, sight, etc. Take a little time and it will be neuro-linked to your subconscious mind and overwhelm will be gone in a snap!

      Our normal days of being connected online can give our brain an overload. We need to take time out every day…a walk, anything.

      Then there are times when you just have to force yourself to unplug. I’ll be in and out during my time off…maybe 🙂

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The 10 Best Ways To Blog in 2015My Profile

      • James McAllister
        Twitter:
        December 31, 2014 at 4:30 am #

        Thank you Donna, I will do that. 🙂

        I really think that day was important to me because it sort of got rid of this notion that I’m striving after money, and opened my eyes to the fact that I’m really striving after what money represents – freedom. The freedom to have more happy, carefree days like that. The freedom of not having to wake up at 7AM and go to work for someone else for 8 hours and told to do this and that, because I’m reliant them to give me money I need to survive. The freedom to make my own decisions.

        The freedom to live my own life, and enjoy as much of the limited time that is available to me on this planet.

        And it reminds me of why I love self-employment. Why I blog. That day changed me. The goal isn’t to become rich anymore, it’s to become free.

        Thank you Donna for giving me the opportunity to share my story.
        James McAllister recently posted..From Social Media Beginner To Expert In 33 Days Book ReviewMy Profile

        • Donna Merrill
          Twitter:
          January 6, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

          James,

          Money is relative. I know many people that have millions to just getting by paying their food bill. I have this saying: “At the end of the day, we all have 5 bucks in our pocket”

          The more money people have the more they have to take care of: a home, people to run the home, cars, toys, etc. This is just an observation. Then compare it to the guy that is renting a room, eating McDonalds, etc. What does it matter?

          The focus is on freedom. Money always follows. I know many that are so stuck at where they have to work, where they have to live and are miserable. Then there are my free spirited friends that live life through gratefulness. They are happy all the time!

          Just sayn’

          -Donna
          Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  3. Brenda Lee
    Twitter:
    December 29, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Happy New Year to you and David! I know you’ll come back in 2015 and ready to kick some serious butt!

    God bless!
    Brenda Lee recently posted..Starting a New Journey is Like Refusing to be AverageMy Profile

  4. Monisha Kapur
    Twitter:
    December 29, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Hi Donna,

    This post has definitely made me reflect on the past year and I wow! has it been an exciting year! While in the daily routine I feel like I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to, but looking back, I sure got a lot done!

    I did take some time out during the year to take a family vacation and it felt great just being away and focusing on me and the family 🙂

    Wishing you all the best for 2015 and thank you and David for all your support this year!
    Best,
    Monisha

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      December 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi Monisha,

      You have come a long way in one year! I have my eye on you he he he.

      I am so glad you had made the decision to take that family vacation. The pics you shared were awesome!

      Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The 10 Best Ways To Blog in 2015My Profile

  5. Brittany Bullen
    Twitter:
    December 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Donna,

    Happy Almost New Year! I hope you enjoy your much-deserved break. You earned it, lady! Thanks for your kindness, sincerity and generosity this year. You’re truly an inspiration.

    Looking forward to 2015!

    Brittany
    Brittany Bullen recently posted..What Every Mormon Needs to Know About GraceMy Profile

  6. Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:
    December 29, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Hello Donna, Yes we all do need some down time HUH? You and David have certainly earned it my friend! Have a Great New Years and see you in 2015!!

    Love Ya
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..The Conclusion “Developing A Success Mindset”My Profile

  7. Mark
    Twitter:
    December 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    Big congrats on your accomplishments in 2014 Donna!

    It certainly sounds you and David have been busy since Jan; 1st 2014
    until now!

    While what you’ve actually accomplished and set into motion has got to
    feel good, at the same time as you pointed out, you still need to take some
    time to step back and getaway for just a little and clear your head!

    Sounds like great advice! And again, big congrats on make 2014 such a smashing success!

    Can’t wait to see what you two have planned for 2015 and beyond!
    Mark recently posted..Five Reasons Why Some Of Your Best Small Business Marketing Ideas Include Using Newsletters!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 4, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      Hi Mark,

      Gosh, David and I usually take small breaks to keep our sanity lol. But we needed a long one…a break that had us unplugged to shake out the cobwebs in our head.

      Now, returning, I can see my business with more clarity.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The 10 Best Ways To Blog in 2015My Profile

  8. Ryan Biddulph
    Twitter:
    December 30, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Enjoy your time off, Donna an David!

    Likewise here with Kelli and I 😉

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Paradise Picture Friday: Photo of the DayMy Profile

  9. Marquita Herald
    Twitter:
    December 30, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Good for you Donna and congratulations to you and David for all of your accomplishments this year – you’ve both enriched our lives. Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..The Art of Being Imperfectly FearlessMy Profile

  10. Atish Ranjan December 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Good to know that you and your husband accomplished a lot in the year 2014 than any other year. I am sure you guys will do even more in 2015. All the best for the New Year!.

    A very happy new year Donna!
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..Bad Blogging Habits You Should Quit in 2015My Profile

  11. Joy Healey
    Twitter:
    December 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi Donna

    Taking time out is not something I’m good at – although I am reading a book purely for enjoyment at the moment. It’s not “worthy” but that’s my best relaxation.

    Congratulations on all your achievements in 2014. After a few false starts I’ve ended up having achieved more than I dared to hope for.

    Goals for 2015, of course, are to build on what I’ve done so far.

    Enjoy the next few days of 2014 and look forward to catching up again in 2015.

    Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year, Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..Changing WordPress ThemesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:00 am #

      Hi Joy,

      Taking time out, even during the day was very difficult for me to do. I had to force myself to take an hour or two to just take a mindless walk on the beach. But my mind was full of to-do’s.

      It took a lot of practice, but I did accomplish it and it made me more productive. This trip I took where I was unplugged for several days had it’s moments. But I did it! and it sure taught me so much.

      Now that the cob webs are shaken out of my head, I’m ready to roll!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move FowardMy Profile

  12. Susan Cooper
    Twitter:
    December 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    Hi Donna
    After a hectic and whirlwind year it sounds as if you both need some time off to relax and regroup. Enjoy it and Happy New Year to you !

  13. Christine Adindu
    Twitter:
    December 30, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Great Donna! what a great year we all had. Meeting everyone on PAC building and connect like it should be. It was awesome meeting you and I am looking forward to the new year. Enjoy your time off well deserve catch you in the new year. We will wrap up the year with awesomeness. Cheers!
    Christine Adindu recently posted..These Facebook Marketing Tips Can Really Make Your Business Take Off!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:02 am #

      Hi Christine,

      I’m sure glad I met you during 2014 being on PAC. Looking forward to this year ahead sharing information together with you.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move FowardMy Profile

  14. Mustafa Gaziani
    Twitter:
    January 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Forget to wish you new year 🙁 Have a great happy new year. May you’ll shine this year. 🙂
    Glad to hear about your previous year activities. Now, it was past do more hard work to get success in this year. 😀
    Happy 2015 year with full of greetings and joy 🙂
    Mustafa Gaziani recently posted..Beginner’s Guide: Create Your WordPress Site Backup Manually Using FilezillaMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:03 am #

      Hi Mustafa,

      Happy new year to you too. Now as we are in 2015….I’m sure there will be more growth.

      I wish you all the success and happiness,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move FowardMy Profile

  15. Annie
    Twitter:
    January 2, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Good for you Donna! That is an impressive list of accomplishments for 2014, and I am sure not all-inclusive 🙂 It can be so easy to barrel through everything without taking time away. Over the past few years, I have tended to use my time off as time to work on my dreams. It is work that I enjoy, but still involves being dialed in. Every once in a while I make a conscious effort to shut it all down and hope to soon see a string of days in a row in shut-down relaxation only mode.
    Annie recently posted..7 Tips to Stay MotivatedMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      Hi Annie,

      I try to take breaks every day. I had to train my brain not to think of work as I too a walk, or did anything else. It slowly sunk in.

      I am so glad that I unplugged for several days. I know that when I unplug for a day or so, I do get a better perspective of my business.

      But for year end, I just had to take a week off without peeking online.

      Now I’m back and feel so refreshed and see things more clearly.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move FowardMy Profile

  16. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    Twitter:
    January 2, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    Congratulations for all your accomplishments.
    You really deserve the time out .
    I wish you all the best for 2015 ,
    looking forward to read your posts
    Thank you for all the teachings
    Erika

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:07 am #

      Hi Erika,

      It was a very busy year and I needed to unplug for a while for balance. I am a fan of being unplugged a few hours every day, but taking all this time did wonders.

      Thanks!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move FowardMy Profile

  17. Barbara Charles
    Twitter:
    January 3, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Definitely in the same thoughts patterns as you. Definitely decided to take some time off too but now it’s January and I’ve got to get back to it and start seriously working on my blogging community and building social proof as well as a new product.

    The break I took was much needed and now I can get to work on 2015 – no distractions. 🙂

    I hope you had a great New Year.

    Talk to you this week.
    God bless,
    Barbara
    Barbara Charles recently posted..A Letter To God For 2014.My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:09 am #

      Hey Barbara,

      I am so glad you took a break also. You are going to be turning around your business during 2015. There’s a lot for you to do, but I know you can do it and do it well.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move FowardMy Profile

  18. Sherman Smith January 5, 2015 at 12:42 am #

    Hey Donna,

    I’m just getting to your blog. I also took a break for a couple of weeks. But I cheated. I did get online from time to time, but not for too long.

    You have definitely accomplished a lot in 2014. I can definitely say that I’m proud to call you my blogging buddy! What you have done this past year has catapulted your blogging journey and home business and I know it can only get better with 2015.

    I hope you had a great time relaxing during your break. I know I did. I actually slept between 8 to 10 hours a day for the first time in a long time. It definitely felt good!

    I hope you had a great New Years and I look forward to more of your blog posts and interaction now in 2015! Have a great one!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Aligning Yourself With The Process of Success My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:13 am #

      Hi Sherman,

      Good to know you have taken a break too. Wow…you even caught up on your sleep. Isn’t it wonderful? OK so you cheated a bit lol. But the main thing is, when we take time out, we come back with fresh eyes.

      For me, I am planning to make a few shifts during 2015. I do want to teach people more about marketing than blogging itself. 2014 was the year for me to do a lot of marketing. I learned so much…what works, what doesn’t etc.

      Now I’m ready to pump it up and teach others those techniques.

      Looking forward to see you every week on your blog.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move FowardMy Profile

  19. Leanne Chesser
    Twitter:
    January 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Congrats on your success, Donna :). And awesome for taking a break and scheduling regular breaks for 2015. It’s one of those ironic things. We think we can’t take a break because we have too much to do . . . but taking a break actually increases productivity because it stimulates creativity, rejuvenates you and gets your head out of things for a while.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted..What is Hand Analysis?My Profile

  20. Rachel Lavern
    Twitter:
    January 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    (I hope that this is not a duplicate comment but your site was extremely sluggish and I had to reload this page)

    Sounds like you had a great year in 2014 Donna…congratulations. Isn’t great having the freedom to be able to take time off if you need to and still have the $ coming in to support that? I love it and I shamelessly take a whole lot of time off.

    I wish you even greater success in 2015!
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..Imagination and Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 6, 2015 at 1:20 am #

      Hmmm…thanks for telling me that Rachel.

      It usually runs quickly…It can be because it was being worked on at the time you came in.

      I did have a great 2014 and yes, as business was running as usual, I did have to tell my customers that I would be unplugged for a while. I needed a break and they all understood.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Listbuilding For Bloggers | Why and HowMy Profile

  21. Carol Amato
    Twitter:
    January 31, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Hey, Donna,

    Excellent share! Taking time off is too often neglected by bloggers in our industry, and I find that people feel like they deserve a pat on the back for working the most or something. What about the “Why” we’re working for in the first place? We’ve got to take time to live life.

    I just love my down time, and ways I ‘switch off’ are varied these days, especially since moving to Florida.

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments in 2014, that’s fantastic!! 🙂

    It must be a joy to be able to share your business with David.

    My husband and I have been in offline business for 30+ years, restaurants… Commercial cleaning franchise… carpet cleaning business… but we don’t share anything regarding my online business. I wish we did.

    Croce was born and raised in Italy and while he does a great job speaking English (with a broken accent) and can read almost everything in English, he doesn’t write in English.

    Italian is his first language, and he’s never really been interested in learning online business himself, but is very supportive of me, because he is an entrepreneur after all. 🙂

    Daily “Switch Off” time is part of my routine because I’m not after the “Who can work the longest hours?” medal! LOL It’s sad that there are people in the industry that think they have bragging rights regarding that. What gives? *shrugging shoulders

    Great share, Donna. Have a great weekend.

    ˜Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted..WP Curve Offers the Best WordPress HelpMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      February 6, 2015 at 1:17 am #

      Hi Carol,

      Absolutely we are working online for freedom so why not enjoy it. What the heck are people waiting for? A mansion, new expensive car, or that babe in a bikini that is spread around the internet. he he he

      We need to work smartly and always remember why we are doing this…for our own freedom. Yes, it is a lot of work to run a successful business, but we do need down time for ourselves.

      I am so glad you shared how you and your husband had worked together offline. But now you have your online business and it’s all your own. That must feel kind of special?

      Having a supportive husband is the best. I am grateful every day I work with David. We did work offline since we met. We do still have our hands in some offline stuff too.

      It is so great to wake up every morning, talk about business over coffee and commute 11 steps upstairs to our office.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Listbuilding For Bloggers | Why and HowMy Profile

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