Happy New Year – 2021 – Part 2

The Year That Was… Or Wasn’t!

 

Can we talk numbers for a moment before I get to the good stuff?

Last year in 2019 we had 24,000 visitors and 43,000 page views.

In 2020 we had 93,000 visitors and over 133,000 page views!

Here’s where we are as of this writing. Over the last 5 years, we’ve had over 145,000 visitors to the site, over 226,000 page views, and 2,315 subscribers! I can’t believe my good fortune. Our biggest market is obviously the US, but the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, and Germany are not far behind.

Phicklephilly is read in over 200 countries globally every day!
Thank you all!

Did you know there’s a Language Translation widget on the homepage? It’s really increased my global reach, and I like that people everywhere in the world can now enjoy my stories in their native tongue. Phicklephilly can be read in any language with a simple click of a button! (Now you have no excuse not to read my blog!)

I started this blog back in the Fall of 2016 with a single post on a Monday about a date I went on. After writing it, I thought… How the heck am I going to come up with something for next week? But I wrote something else and was on my way. It was a very long and slow progress in the beginning. (The only way to become a writer is to simply write!)

Then I’d do an update on the occasional Wednesday. Then came Tales of Rock. Then Crazy Dating Stories from my past. What followed was Dating and Relationship Advice. What was once a weekly thing, has grown to a daily forum!

I think the greatest thing that came out of 2020 was the publication of my first work of fiction, Angel With A Broken Wing. You can get that here:

Here’s where we’ve been this year.

Sun Stories

Sadly, Sun Stories are finished. I no longer moonlight at the tanning salon, so there simply aren’t any new stories to write. But the good news is, you can read every story ever written and a whole lot more in my book, Sun Stories: Tales From A Tanning Salon, available on Amazon! At 720 pages, it’s my longest and most lurid work ever.

You can get that here: https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Stories-Tales-Tanning-Salon-ebook/dp/B08JW7KG2W/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=charles+wiedenmann&qid=1606859518&sr=8-2

Crazy Dating Stories

I’m almost out of gas on these stories. They’ve been fun to recount, but there are only so many in my memory. I’m sure there’ll always be some crazy story to tell based on who I am, but for the most part, they’ve been exhausted at this point. I’ll eventually tell the tales of my young life in Philly and New Jersey with some legendary people, and there are still some from my time in California in the early 80s, but beyond that, not much is left.

But, you can read all of them in 3 volumes on Kindle or acquire the entire collection in, Crazy Dating Stories – Anthology!

You can get that here: https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Dating-Stories-Charles-Wiedenmann-ebook/dp/B086855JZ6/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=charles+wiedenmann&qid=1606859729&sr=8-5

The Quarantine Has Given Us Time To Create

California Dreamin’ 

I really enjoyed writing about the journey on the road to Los Angeles back in those days. I think I did justice to the trip itself, but I know there’s so much more to tell. I still have more stories to write, but they’ll no longer be running every Friday anymore. I’ll probably write a few more and run them on Saturdays. I’ll compose them as the memories surface, but I’ll write them when the mood strikes me. I promise they’ll be interesting, but for now, I need to focus on the things that are happening in my life right now. (So, they’re not going away, just published a bit less.) I recently reconnected with an old girlfriend from back in 1983, so that story will surface at some point.

Tinder Moments

This was a monthly series where I collected funny, crazy dating profiles from online dating sites. Frankly, I don’t really use those sites anymore and got tired of collecting, cutting, and pasting all of that nonsense into my blog. So they’re also sadly dead on this site. You can always go back and read the old ones. They’re pretty funny!

Phicklephilly the Podcast

I’ve done a few of these on Spotify and enjoyed making them. If I have time I’d love to do a podcast series about a former love of my life, Michelle. I still miss her friendship and would like to create a kind of audiobook type thing so you can hear my stories in my own voice. I’d also like to have guests on and interview interesting people about a myriad of different subjects. Please stay tuned, this is new ground for me and any feedback is always welcome! But, it’s been a crazy year and I’ve been so busy creating new content and publishing to sit down and do the podcast. I’m not ruling it out, but it’s resting on the back burner for now.

Dating Series

Michelle

She was my girlfriend over 10 years ago. I still sometimes think about her, and you can read her series on Phicklephilly from 2016-2017. Originally there were only about 15 chapters but it ended up being 24 based on events and time. But I assure you, Michelle is not coming back. I miss her and wish her well, but it is what it isThere will be no more Michelle stories.

Or, you can read my whole journey from Michelle to Cherie in my first book, Phicklephilly. You can get that here: https://www.amazon.com/Phicklephilly-mans-journey-find-Philadelphia-ebook/dp/B084TD43YS/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=charles+wiedenmann&qid=1606859729&sr=8-3

Phicklephilly the BOOK is Now Available on Amazon! (Kindle and Paperback!)

Cherie

Cherie was my lovely girlfriend I started seeing near the end of 2016. Sadly, that relationship ended last year. Distance, work, and other factors caused its demise. It was a wild ride, but not for the reasons you’d think. But, if you want to read about the whole saga, it’s in Phicklephilly 2. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.com/Phicklephilly-found-love-but-keep-ebook/dp/B08H9Q9PPK/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=charles+wiedenmann&qid=1606859729&sr=8-4

Anyway, let’s talk about what’s coming up in 2021.
Dating and Relationship Advice

This series began back in 2017. I would publish content on the weekends. It just seemed like a natural progression for the blog to take. I wrote about dating and relationship tales from my own life, and thought, why not give a little advice to help others?

It was okay for a while, but then a friend of mine was going through a difficult separation from his wife and I wanted to help. I, of course, rallied around him to assist. But I also thought, what if I try to write something every day that references dating and relationship guidance? I’ll do it every day for 30 days and he can read it, and it’ll help acclimate him to the new dating world after being off the market for 12 years.

Well, that turned into 90 days. Then I simply pushed on and kept researching and writing, and before I knew it, it became a daily thing.

But… after a year I realized he was too busy to read it and it felt like a waste of my time. I also wanted to focus on the things I wanted to write about in my own life. I was tired of having to edit 14 posts for over 3 hours every Sunday night, just to be ready to publish for the upcoming week’s material.

But then something magical happened. 

My daily traffic doubled, and then tripled!

I liked that very much. But after a year and a half of that I decided around the end of the third quarter of 2019 I was sick and tired of writing dating and relationship advice every day. I decided to stop doing it by year-end and focus on stories that were exclusively about my life experiences from then on.

But… it got to be about a month later and I realized that dating and relationship advice had become the foundation of the blog itself. It seemed people loved reading them and always enjoyed the content, and commented to let me know that it was helping them in their daily lives. Some of them have become the most popular posts ever and are read every day!

So… Happy 2021! I’ll continue to try to bring you the best and most interesting dating and relationship content I can for at least another year. (Knowing me, I’ll probably never stop writing about the subject because there’s so much to tell!)

Thank you for all of your words and support. Dating and Relationship Advice is here to stay!

Tales of Rock

I still love researching and writing this column. As a musician and a fan of music, it’s fun to dig up these stories about the musicians we all love and hate. They’ll continue to run every Sunday through 2021. I’ve also added another feature entitled, The Best Band You Never Heard. It’ll run on the first Sunday of every month and introduce you to just that. Great bands, you may never have heard about that rock! Tales of Rock is here to stay!

Guest Bloggers

I have a new series that happens on the first Saturday of every month entitled, His & Hers, that I write with my friend Jackie. Readers send us dating and relationship questions and we answer them. If you have a question you’d like us to address, go to the Contact tab on my homepage and hit me up!

Future Posts and Series

Due to the pandemic and not being able to go out and make new stories, I’ve turned my thoughts inward. I’ve written several stories from my past. I think you’ll find them entertaining. I’m going to try to publish one story every other Tuesday in 2021. It’ll be all-new tales from my past life. I mean, if I do get out and something happens, I’ll definitely write about it, but I think these could become a future book.

I recently started writing a series entitled, The Worst, Creepiest & Annoying Songs of the 70s. It’ll include just that. I loved digging out these songs, and as the series progresses, the songs will get worse and worse! The series should be around 7 parts and run on Tuesdays when there isn’t new story content.

I’ve recently written another 7 part series entitled, Back The Tracks, about my childhood memories of where my friends and I used to play.  That series will begin on January 7th and run every Thursday.

I also have a 9 part series about the band, Aerosmith starting In March. I know everything’s already been written about that band. They were always my favorite growing up, so I decided to write about MY experience with that group. Where I was and what was going on in my life through the years as each of their studio albums were released. Should be a fun ride! That series will begin on March 4th and run every Thursday through the end of May.

In May I’ll begin another series entitled, Hunt’s Pier. It’s about an amusement pier in Wildwood, New Jersey. It spans over 60 years and should be a solid tale. That series should run every Thursday through July.

After that, I need to finish writing a series about a woman who was my girlfriend back in 1984. It was a unique relationship that’s full of surprises. As I said, I’ve been writing about the past until I can get out and start socializing again. So I have some good stories to keep you all entertained until then. The series is called, Betty Ann and will run through the summer to October. I think you’ll dig it.

New book: Below The Wheel

This is a hard-boiled detective story I’ve been working on after Angel with a Broken Wing. It takes place in Camden, New Jersey. Alex Hunter and Scott Appel are private investigators who get caught up in the case of a serial killer. With a bit of luck, I’ll finish it and hopefully publish it in the Spring of 2021.

Dating

The core formula of Phicklephilly has always been my personal experiences here in Philadelphia. Although Dating and Relationship Advice has become the foundation of the blog that carries it forth, I believe the stories about my life lie at the center of its existence.

I live a quiet and private life now but have always believed in absolute transparency in the words that I write here. I have no illusion as to who, or what I am in this world. I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve done, and it’s all from the heart. But, let’s face it, because of the pandemic I can’t go out in the city and go on any dates anymore, so I’ve begun writing stories from my past. But, if things return to normal this year we can all get back out there.

If you’ve missed any, here are a few:

My Father’s Chair

Chinese Chicken Salad

Wildwood Daze – Kites – Part 1

Wildwood Daze – Kites – Part 2

There’s more, but this is the direction I’m going in for this blog.

Other than that I’ve been leading a pretty quiet and uneventful life. I like to write and stay busy. I feel like old Ben Kenobi from Star Wars, Episode IV- A New Hope. Not Obi-Wan out fighting the Empire, just old Ben hanging out in his little house watching Netflix.

Sometimes I feel like all of my memories are here on phicklephilly and scattered in a bunch of letters and photo albums in my house. I need to get all of those memories onto the page!

But… I’m still alive and well, and I’m sure there’ll be some new adventures I’ll explore in this brand new year. It’s going to be okay everybody. We have a new President and we’ll all pull together like we always do as a nation and go forward.

Thank you again for reading Phicklephilly loyal readers!

Onward and upward into The Roaring ’20s!

Thank you!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

 

 

Zoolon Forever!

How Do You Know If You’re With The Right Person? Ask Your Partner These 7 Questions

When you get into a relationship with someone, it’s safe to say that you want to make sure you’re not wasting your time. You want to be with someone who understands you, appreciates you, and is someone you can potentially see a future with. But because we aren’t mind readers, it can be hard to determine if your partner is really right for you. Lucky for you, you don’t necessarily need to be clairvoyant to figure this out because there are questions you can ask your partner to see if they’re “The One.”

“On the surface, asking questions sounds like a good idea, however, how you ask is the key,” Richard Horowitz, professional educator and co-founder of Growing Great Relationships, tells us. “Your partner does not want to feel interrogated. Therefore try to ask questions naturally and not all at once and also ask your partner to ask question so that it feels like a mutual conversation.” Through these conversations over you time, you’ll be able to learn about things such as their values, likes, and dislikes, which can play a huge part in whether or not you two may be compatible with each other. But if you’re confused about where to start, here are seven questions you can ask your partner to find out if they’re truly the right person for you.

1. How Would We Handle Worst-Case Scenarios?

Andrew Zaeh 

Sometimes the best questions to ask your partner have to do with the extremes. Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist, marriage therapist, and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells us that asking your partner about how they would handle things like emotional affairs, illnesses in the family, or even invasive in-laws is a good way to gauge your partner’s views and how they are under pressure. If your partner’s answers show a willingness to work together to figure out a solution, it’s a good indicator that they’ll be a communicative partner throughout the relationship. But if they have hard-and-fast rules about certain things, you can determine if they’re someone who’s right for you. This question is also a good way to determine if your partner is going to be the support system that you need in a relationship or not.

2. Do You See A Future Here?

This question may seem like it would be awkward to ask early on in a relationship, but it can really show you whether your partner can see things progressing. “Many couples notice they have doubts about the progression of their relationship,” Scott-Hudson says. She suggests asking about all the things that may come with the progression of a relationship like what pace they want to move at and when they’d like to meet and involve friends and family members. “These things are best discussed before the couple moves in together or marries in order to prevent misunderstandings and to promote clear and healthy communication.”

3. Do You Want Kids?

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You may want to become a perpetual dog-parent and never have kids, or you may want to an entire football team as a family. Whatever your preference is, it’s important to discuss it with your partner to see if you two are on the same page. With something like kids, it’s a little harder to compromise on. Scott-Hudson explains that it’s also important to be on the same page about the issue of possible infertility, to determine if you and your partner would be supportive of each other in that case. She also explains that it’s important to take it a step further and ask about how they would want to raise kids, if you both want them. She suggests asking questions like, “In what religion [if any] will we raise our children? Public or private school? Do you expect one parent to be a stay at home parent, and one to work? Or do you expect both parents to work outside of the home? Will they work during high school and college, or be full time students? Is adoption a possibility? Is in vitro a possibility? Is foster parenting a possibility?”

4. How Do You Feel About Your Family?

Andrew Zaeh 

Family can either be a great or a tricky subject for some people. Either way it’s important to learn about your partner’s family and their interactions with them to determine what values your partner grew up with and how they might act in the future. “How they answer will determine their attachment to important people they grew up with and gives you good information about how they will treat you and your possible children in the future,” Dr. Tammy Nelson, sex therapist and sex therapist and consultant for Ashley Madison, tells us. “It doesn’t matter if they are in a positive relationship with both parents, but more importantly, if they have forgiven them for past mistakes.”

5. How Do You Feel About Sex?

Sex shouldn’t just be something you and your partner do, it should also be something that you talk about. “We choose a partner based on physical and sexual attraction,” Nelson says. “If sex is important to you now, it’s definitely going to be important to you later on. Make sure that you both have the same level of interest in sex and you both see it as a priority.” This is also the case if you’re someone who doesn’t want to have sex. Being open and honest about your position on sex and asking your partner to do the same can show you whether or not you two are compatible.

6. How Important Are Politics To You?

Andrew Zaeh 

For many of us, our political ideals are directly aligned with our identities and personal values. Asking your partner about their political affiliations or who they vote for can give you an idea of what they care about and also what they might not be too concerned with. “Strangely enough, we can put up with separate religious or spiritual views and we can handle it if they are terrible slobs as roommates, but studies show that we cannot tolerate a partner who votes on the opposite side of the aisle,” Nelson says. “It might not seem like a big deal now, but if your partner has different values than you, it will matter. Particularly now, at a time when the government is divided so clearly down party lines around things that matter deeply.”

7. How Do You Act After Arguments?

Although it may be hard for your partner to be totally perceptive to how they act after arguments, asking this question can give you an idea of your partner’s behaviors and what they might need from you whenever you have a falling out. Scott-Hudson suggests asking questions like, “Do you like to be left alone? Do you need physical comfort, like a hug or a pat on the arm, when you are upset? Do you need time and space to process your feelings? Do you need me to reassure you that I’m not leaving you, that I’m not going anywhere, or abandoning you?” By asking your partner these questions, you can determine if their behaviors at your relationship’s worst will be something you’ll be able to deal with or not. And if not, you might have to reevaluate whether they’re the one for you.

It might be hard to determine if your partner is your perfect match with a few questions, but these questions are a starting point to bigger discussions that can really show you what’s important to you and your partner and if those values are compatible in the long-run.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

6 Ways To Tell That The Guy You’re Dating Isn’t Going To Last

Relationships have existed since cavemen used their clubs to knock women out, drag them to a cave, and claim, “You mine!” Thankfully, so much has changed since then. Yet for some reason, we still let men hold all the power in relationships, just like we did in prehistoric times. We know we shouldn’t give all our power to a guy, but there are plenty of toxic guys out there who aren’t worth our time.

Why would you let a guy call all the shots? Maybe you allow it because you really love him. Maybe you lack the confidence that you need to take charge. Or maybe you just think that there’s no one better out there.

Regardless, spending all of your energy on the wrong guy ends up wasting precious time that you could spend on literally anyone else. Sometimes we become so wrapped up in our feelings that we don’t even realize that our love is unrequited.

So how do you know whether or not the guy you are investing your energy into is worth your time? Here are six glaring red flags that’ll prove that the guy you’re investing your energy into isn’t worth your time:

1. You’re the one putting all the effort into communicating.

In a balanced, healthy relationship, both partners will make an effort to keep the lines of communication open. It’s be glaringly obvious if you’re the one always initiating conversations, especially if you scroll through your messages.

If you’re unsure how a guy feels about you, take a step back for a few days and see what happens. This is your opportunity to find clarity. Does your phone stay silent? If so, he’s not worth your time because he’s not making any effort to communicate with you.

2. You don’t meet important people in his life.

You’ve been dating for a while, but your outings are always just you and your partner, or on occasion, some of your friends. You have never met his friends or family, and he blows off any conversation about them. If your significant other engages in this behavior, watch out, because he may be pocketing you. If you’re being pocketed, get out of the relationship now. Don’t let a guy string you along and then crush you. Men like that are not worth crying over.

3. He’s keeping your relationship secret.

You want to shout your love to the world, but your guy wants to keep things low-key. You have all your dates in relatively obscure places where no one will see you. Even if he claims that he wants to keep you to himself or save money, these secret rendezvous may be a warning sign that he’s hiding you away. If you feel suspicious that he’s hiding something by hiding you, don’t give into his requests for secret dates. You deserve better!

4. You do all of the digging.

When you’re interested in someone, you typically enjoy learning all about them. However, if you’re all of your conversations with your partner feel like a one-sided interview because they don’t bother asking you anything, then they’re probably not worth your energy in the long term.

5. You’re not his priority.

Maybe you’re dying to see a new movie, but he won’t give you a clear “yes” when you ask him to go. Or perhaps he often bails on you at the last minute and gives you a bunch of lame excuses. Maybe you’re the only one who ever initiates plans because he can’t be bothered to spend time with you. If you don’t feel like his priority now, chances are that you never will.

6. He avoids talking about your relationship’s future.

You don’t have to leave bridal magazines lying around your living room to find out your partner’s stance on marriage. But if you’ve invested a good chunk of time into your relationship with someone, you should have a deep discussion about he sees himself in the future and if that future includes you. If he avoids your efforts to casually discuss long-term goals and aspirations, chances are good that he doesn’t see you as a permanent fixture in his life. If that’s the case, get out before you invest any more of your time in him.

Are you fishing where the bottom-feeders hide or where you find the real catches? If your man is flashing neon warning signs and you are ignoring them, your relationship is not going to end well, so don’t be afraid to get out now. You don’t need to club a man over the head to get him to love you. You’re worth so much more than a man who won’t invest his time in you, so if he’s not worth your time, spend it on you and your friends instead.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Phicklephilly Is Now A Dot Com!

Yesterday, I decided that after much research I should upgrade my wordpress account to a premium account.

For nearly four years, I’ve been writing phicklphilly on this platform. It’s been great. I started this blog in the summer of 2016 with a single post and hoped that I could stick with it.

So many times creative people start projects and never finish them. It’s sometimes hard for the creative mind to stay focused. The ideas are good, but the difficult part is bringing the body over with the mind.

My brain wants to be a writer, but the hard part is the actual writing. I think we can all relate to that. It’s like deciding to get in shape. You may say you’re going on a diet and starting a work out regimen, but getting the body to come along with that idea can be the major challenge.

So I paid the fee with some trepidation and navigated through the process. I wanted to monetize my site because I figured after four years I should have enough monthly traffic to get approved for that.

What I quickly realized is that once you upgrade, if you want to really take advantage of all the features of a premium account, you need a domain.

WordPress offered some horrible options. phi-ckl-ephi-lly.com, phicklephillies.com, phicklephilly.me, phicklephilly.tv. Just awful.

I’m like… I’m not using any of these crappy domain names.

But then I remembered something…

Three and a half years ago, when I was six months into writing Phicklephilly, I went on GoDaddy and bought the domain, Phicklephilly.com for $60. It was mine for the next five years. It was cheap because phicklephilly is a made up word. So there was zero competition to acquire the name.

I called GoDaddy last night, and spoke with a nice young man named Casey in Iowa of all places. We chatted and I explained my dilemma. I assumed there wasn’t much threat of coronavirus in Iowa. Who has any reason to go to Iowa? But he told me they were in quarantine too. All of the restaurants and bars are closed. So he’s been refinishing his basement. He has a couple of his buddies over and they put up drywall, shoot pool, play darts and drink beer. Sounds like a fun time.

He went into his system and found my account. (I had to go dig back into emails from 2016 to find my customer number!) He sent a transfer notice over to wordpress and that was it. It was that easy. I couldn’t believe how simple it was.

I got an email from wordpress to say they were accepting the transfer of my own domain. They proceeded to charge me and $18 fee for that. (I think I have to pay that every year, but who cares? That’s cheap!) I’m so glad I thought of doing this years ago.

So, if you look in the browser you’ll notice it now says, phicklephilly.com and no longer says, phicklephilly.wordpress.com anymore. It’s so cool to have the 24/7 support of wordpress, google analytics, more memory for data, photos and videos and of course ad space. Now that I have a solid domain and a blog website I own, I can now monetize the site. No pesky pop up ads, just digital banners around the site. Top and bottom and maybe one in the sidebar.

So with the sales from my books, and hopefully some revenue generated from the blog, I could see some return on my investment from my new premium account.

You shouldn’t see any real change in phicklephilly, which for me is comforting. I’ll just keep cranking out the quality content that I hope people continue to enjoy.

Also when I publish, the posts copy to Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. So there’s an expansion in my reach.

I’m very happy about being able to take this step. It’s nice to see the site continue to grow. I suppose when the quarantine is over, I’ll order some new business cards!

Thanks to you all for your continued support of my work. It’s a delight to write phicklephilly everyday!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

10 Life Changing Things to Do While You Are in Self-Isolation

When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all in this together; but we are not in the same boat.

“When’s my ship coming in?”

“Swim out to it!”

When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all in this together; but we are not in the same boat. You may well find yourself alone at home, either because you are in self-isolation or because your employer has asked you to work from home. You may also find that you have less work to do as this crisis will be putting a stop to many business activities across the globe.

If you are an employee of a cash-rich company, then good for you. You will probably continue to draw your salary.  If you run your own business or work for one that has stopped trading, you could well be in a worse position. Last but not least, many of us will also be concerned about the health risks of the pandemic virus.

This article is by no means intended to trivialize the hardship that many of us will experience over the coming weeks or months, however, I would encourage you to find something positive in this difficult situation. Maybe that self-isolation and extra time at hand could be used to create a positive change in your life, or perhaps even new opportunities for your career or business?

Here are a few projects that you could take on while you are stuck at home, if indeed you are not actually ill (in which case you should rest!):

1. Review your life

Most people are so busy running on a hamster wheel each day that they never make time to stop and review their life from a bird’s eye view. I recommend everybody to make time once a year to reflect on the big questions of your life, such as:

  • Is this still the life I want to live?
  • Do I love my career?
  • What would satisfaction in all my key life areas look like?
  • What is most important to me in my life?
  • Where do I want to be in 5/10/20 years?

If you are in self-isolation, this could be a great opportunity to work through these questions in detail.  A coach like myself can assist you with this. Coaching can be done very safely and effectively via Skype video calls.  In fact, I receive my own coaching via Skype from people I have never met in person.

2. Learn a new skill

Hand on heart: Who here is guilty of having bought an online course in a bout of enthusiasm but then never completed it? I have for sure! Now is a great time to dig it out and work through the course; or buy a new one and actually complete it this time!

Maybe:

  • you always wanted to learn French?
  • you know that completing a software coding course would improve your job opportunities?
  • you have wanted to learn SEO strategies to boost your business?
  • you feel attracted to a creative writing course just for the sheer pleasure of it?

3. Brush up your CV and LinkedIn profile

Speaking of your job, if you are dreaming of greener pastures, how about brushing up your CV and improving your LinkedIn profile? There are lots of guides on how to do this available on the internet or Amazon. You could even go further by reaching out to your network and contacting recruitment agencies or a coach to discuss your career plans.  It is quite likely that over the coming weeks they will have more time to talk to you than normal.

4. Learn Meditation & Mindfulness

If you find it hard to stand still and be alone, it’s likely that you would probably benefit from practicing exactly that. Learning to enjoy being mindful and practicing meditation can be life-changing. It can improve your emotional wellbeing, sharpen your mind and reduce stress levels. You may even find that mindfulness will open a door to a completely new joyful experience of life. There are plenty of online courses on mindfulness available; or try a meditation app such as Calm or Headspace.

5. Connect to neglected friends

This could be the most powerful of all the items on my list.  Scholars of Positive Psychology tell us that social connections are the most important ingredient to our happiness; much more than our career, that dream job or looking beautiful.  Maintaining healthy social connections is particularly important when you are in self-isolation. It helps you keep our mental health on track.

Thanks to modern technology we can still connect to others even when we have to stay at home alone. A skype video call will be almost like having the other person sitting next to you. How about making time to have calls with all those friends and family members that you have been neglecting recently? How cool would it be if this crisis actually brought us closer together despite social distancing?

And don’t forget ordinary phone calls. When was the last time you spoke to a friend and truly listened to them, fully concentrating on their voice without browsing the internet at the same time?

6. Create a business plan

Ever dreamed of running your own business? Do you have lots of ideas but don’t know how to make them happen?  How about taking one of those ideas and think them through in detail! You can download a basic business plan template from the internet that tells you about all the items to consider, such as the basic concept, ideal client, the pricing model, route to market, etc. Do a SWOT analysis (you can look that one up too!) and exchange ideas with your friends over Skype. You can also work with a coach to explore and test your ideas.

Perhaps you could start by creating a website for your business? Sites like Wix and Squarespace make it super easy and fun.

7. Get fit

Get fit at home! How, you may wonder? Well, if you have free floor space of at least 1m x 2m, then that’s all you need to do a tough workout. There are lots of apps that offer workout routines that don’t require any equipment. My favorite is Freeletics. You tell the app your goals, basic stats and fitness levels and it will deliver weekly tailored fitness plans. You may be surprised how tough they can be.  Exercises such as burpees, push-ups and lunges will increase your fitness very quickly.

Obviously, don’t work out if you are actually ill with the coronavirus. In that case, your body will need all energy for recovery.

8. Sort out your finances

Do you know how much money and assets you have, and how much you spend on what? Do you have a nest egg and a retirement plan? These are topics that we tend to avoid, partly because retirement seems so far away, but also because we don’t really want to look into our finances out of fear of what we might find.

Well, now is a good time to do exactly that. Dig out your bank statements and create a list of where your money goes. Are you spending too much on the wrong things? Do you have savings to help you through times of crisis like the one we are facing right now? Perhaps it’s time to change your spending and savings patterns?

Don’t like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free

If you find this hard to do, you don’t need to do it alone:

  • There are lots of apps that can help you with spend monitoring.
  • Contact a financial advisor to discuss your retirement plans.
  • Some charities offer free financial coaching.
  • Get a lawyer to finally make a will.  It’s cheaper than you think.

9. Declutter your home

Our home environment has a massive impact on our emotional wellbeing. Any of the following may well affect how you feel at home:

  • Your house is cluttered with lots of stuff that you don’t need.
  • There are piles of work that you think you “should” be doing.
  • Your home looks faded or untidy.
  • There are unfinished DIY jobs in every corner.

These things can be real energy-suckers. How about using your free time in self-isolation for a proper spring clean:

  • Ruthlessly give away to charity what you don’t need.
  • Tidy up your rooms, drawers and cabinets.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to your walls.
  • Create a list of all jobs that need to be done and complete one of them each day.

Then enjoy the wonderful feeling of a lighter and fresh environment.

10. Spring clean your garden

Having sorted out your home, how about working on your outdoor space if you have any? Gardening is a fantastic activity with plenty of benefits such as:

  • physical activity that improves your fitness
  • exercising your creativity in a healthy setting
  • connecting you to nature
  • calming your senses and any anxiety you may be feeling
  • satisfaction from creating a beautiful space

What’s your next project?

Hopefully, one or two of the ideas in this article have inspired you to pick a project that creates a new opportunity in this time of social distancing.  Maybe the list even promoted a better idea of your own?

It all boils down to a key life skill that I cherish:

Rather than focusing on what you can NOT do, focus on what you CAN do!

This mindset turns an unhelpful complaint into a resourceful question that can generate new solutions for your life.

You are the master of your own life.  What are you going to do with it?

(Don’t just eat and drink too much and watch TV… That’s on you. This is your moment! Do something productive!)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly