The Summer 2016 Olympics starts this weekend. I love the Olympics!

I’m especially interested in watching the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team compete. If they win this year, the U.S. women’s soccer team will not only be the first team to win the gold in the first ever Olympics that included women’s soccer in the regular program in 1996 but also the first women’s team to win gold at the Olympics after winning the previous World Cup. Side note: can you believe it was as recent as 1995 that women’s soccer WAS NOT included in the Olympics main program?! For comparison, men’s soccer has been in the Olympics since 1900. Geez, that’s shocking to this girl who played under 8’s back in the 1970s and club soccer in college. What the heck took so long?

When it comes to the Olympics though, I’ll watch pretty much any sport. I simply love championship athletics altogether: the drama of it, the purpose of training coming to a head, the kinesthetic brilliance on display. That being said, I will be sure to catch archery, judo, wrestling, trampoline gymnastics, fencing, and volleyball too, no doubt.

There are many excellent resources for tracking the Olympics this year. The 2016 Summer Olympics website is good except that you can only favorite three sports. Their scheduling page is pretty handy for the big picture of what is going on day-to-day. There is also NBC’s schedule for Olympics events they will be covering, and you can set reminders to catch what most interests you. There is also a good general list of what sports are being covered by which NBC stations here.

Of course, there are apps to keep up-to-date with news and happenings on mobile. I plan on tapping into Google’s coverage with their app. I like Google Now webpage for Olympic coverage too.

Learning About Goodreads

I’ve spent a good amount of time orientating and establishing myself on Goodreads in the past ten days or so. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have decided to make some adjustments to my social media activities. This post is about my learning curve and initial impressions.

First of all, it was refreshing to receive a reply from the Goodreads Twitter account when I tweeted that I was joining in. Just when I thought there weren’t many conversations left to be had on Twitter, I see that Goodreads posts some really good stuff there, and they do strive to engage users too.

The reason Goodreads came across my radar is that I was listening to a new book marketing podcast where they were talking about a new book released about Goodreads for authors by Frances Caballo. I grabbed that book for a quick overview, and it did help me assimilate quicker. Goodreads is decently user-friendly but some things seem pretty hidden and Frances’ book help with that as well as providing a good understanding of the culture on Goodreads.

I also found some very good articles online about Goodreads for authors.

From there, I worked on completing my profile and adding most of the books I’ve read in the past decade or so as well as several reviews. I also applied for an author’s page.

Next, I set off to find a few groups to join and, boy did I find some good ones! I settled on three: Audiobooks, Short and Sweet Treats, and, most thrilling to me, a Kresley Cole IAD group (I’m so in that fan club). Finding groups to check out was not the easiest thing, but I learned that using the tags list worked very well for me.

Listopia lists have been a curiosity for me for quite some time. After joining a few groups, I decided to create one about astrology books.

At this point, I had introduced myself on the discussion boards for the groups that I joined and began to contribute to the dialog where I could. I also followed authors and reviewers whose work I liked. So now I had a pretty good home stream to greet me when I visited, but I started to wonder about how to add friends. I hadn’t received a single invitation to connect since setting up my profile, and I was glad, but I also felt a little pitiful with a goose egg on the friend count.

After being on Twitter for so many years and being primarily a reciprocal follower who became a master of the list to see the updates of the people whose tweets I definitely wanted to see, I knew from the beginning that my strategy on Goodreads would be different.

I chose not to auto-invite any of my contacts as Goodreads offered when I initially signed up. I declined for the reason mentioned above and also because I wanted to customize every invitation I sent. That’s just good manners it seems. Instead, I honed in on criteria I wanted for friends on Goodreads before connecting with anyone. Namely, I want to find interesting people with similar reading interests who are also quite active on Goodreads.

I had already met several people fitting the criteria through the groups I joined. So I sent out a few invitations, customizing them, of course, and always checking the “compare books” feature to see if we have similar tastes. People have been so kind to accept the invitations. Several new friends replied right away with a warm thanks and hello. I’ve already discovered many books and audiobooks for my to-read list, and I’m excited about that. In fact, I’ve already read several. For a reading junkie like me, it’s heaven. I also love checking in on my Goodreads friends daily to see what they are up to and encourage where I can.

As a final exercise in jumping into the deep end with Goodreads, I’m doing a book giveaway. It started today and ends in a month on August 23. I have twenty-five paperback books laying around, and I’m so happy to have something to do with them now! A Goodreads Giveaway is essentially a raffle where people who enter can receive the paperback free. I am stunned to see that people have signed up already. It’s the most eyes I’ve had on the little book since it was published in February. Pretty cool!

All in all, I am so glad I took the time to join in on Goodreads. It feels social and interesting, a rare combination. I feel energized after hanging out there and checking in with friends, also rare for me as an introvert. If you enjoy reading and talking about what you read, you might like it there too.

I’m making some changes in my social media repertoire. I’ve been on LinkedIn for a real long time, but I’m not feeling it is worth my focus any longer. I began to feel recently like it was time to let it go due to feeling rather uninspired there and kinda like it was a chore.

This is different from when I exited Facebook in 2010. That was due to general irritation with what I perceived as a black hat way of doing business. That combined with a general icky feeling anytime I logged in to check my timeline. It got too icky to ignore so I checked out.

I didn’t really have any plan in mind when I deleted my LinkedIn account. I figured I would just stick with my favorite, Twitter. Keep it simple, you know, update things here at my blog more often and tweet. That, I suppose, was the extent of it.

Enter GoodReads. It seems once again that as soon as I let go of something that is kinda feeling haggard, it makes room for something more lovely to enter the picture. So for the last several days, I’ve been getting involved there and I think I may have found my people. Book people, of course! Why didn’t I see that sooner?!

Women’s Pro Soccer

I discovered the NWSL channel on YouTube and I am hooked. The games stream live and are archived there.

Watching the success of the Women’s National Team in the 2012 Olympics and in the 2015 World Cup got me hungry for more so I sought out the pro league and which teams have my favorite players. There are many talented players and I’m finding new ones to root for all the time. I love watching Alex Morgan glide down the field, Meghan Klingenberg hustle and strategize, and Lindsy Horan muscle her way in. The ladies are winning fans with their skill, personality, and heart. It’s all very cool to see.

How to Capture Ideas

one light bulb on, rest offOnce captured, an idea is available to you for future reference and further reflection, and to combine with other appealing ideas.

You capture an idea by bookmarking it, putting it in your social media streams, journaling it, sending yourself an email or voicemail, or using your digital recorder. However you decide to capture ideas, establish your system and use it religiously. Then be sure to review and revise your ideas regularly.

My favorite way to capture ideas is With it, you can mingle audio recording, web page links, photos, and your written words together in an organized and searchable way that is fully digital. What I do is keep a pen and notebook handy for quick notes when I’m not at my computer then transfer to Evernote and mark off the journal pages once the content has been entered. I also have the Android App on my phone so I can get to my notes anytime. I love the new Moleskine notebook made to be used with Evernote. It is called the Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook.

You will not believe the increased effectiveness of your self-development endeavors as a result of getting clear on how to capture your ideas.