The Great Race
Finishing the race, even when you can’t see the finish line
My husband and three children are cross country runners. In the past 20 years, I have attended over 100 races, from diaper dashes to full marathons. In preparation for these races, my family of runners utilized a full arsenal of strategies including interval training, sprints, hill workouts, tempo runs, repeats, and long runs. The beauty of a cross country race is that you can train for the distance and you know exactly where the finish line is.
One of the challenges of life is that sometimes we cannot see the finish line. We may be motivated to start the race – the project, the job, the task – but without a clear and designated endpoint, we sometimes lose our interest, our nerve, and our motivation. Some of the races we run are caring for an elderly parent or an ill child. For some, the race may be a large and overwhelming home project. For others, the race may be a fitness challenge – losing 10 lbs., biking 50 miles, or hiking Kilimanjaro. In of midst of these personal races, we are all slogging through the pandemic, wondering when (and if) it will ever end. Without the finish line in our sites, how can we continue to move forward?
Here are three ideas for finishing strong and staying motivated even when the end is not in sight:
1) Focus on the short-term goal.
In 2019, I had the opportunity to chat with Olympic marathon runner, Jared Ward. A professor at my alma mater, Jared told me that when it comes to goal setting, he does not look at the long-term goals because they seem too daunting and overwhelming. Jared only focuses on one or two short-term goals such as having a good workout, passing the runner ahead of him, or hitting his PR in his upcoming race. With this short-term focus, Jared reduces stress and overwhelm and only focuses on what he reasonably can accomplish. If we take this strategy and focus on what we can do today and tomorrow, we will reduce stress and overwhelm.
2) A strong core.
About 15 years ago, I met another marathon runner, Meb Keflezighi, an Olympic silver medalist. Meb was hosting an annual Fourth of July race in Mammoth Lakes, CA where my family vacations. After this race, we asked Meb the secret to being a great runner. Meb said that to be a successful distance runner, you need to have a strong core as all physical strength emanates from this area. Are our physical, mental, and emotional cores sufficiently strong? If we are going to be successful in our personal distance races, we need to do those things that foundationally give us strength. For some, this personal strength might come from physical fitness or nutritional eating, for others it might be spiritual devotionals, and for others, it might be daily journaling. Our success in completing our personal races will rely, in part, on having a strong core.
3) Joy in the journey.
Sometimes we are so focused on the finish line that we forget to enjoy the journey. As a young mother, I used to hear other young mothers say things like, “I can’t wait until my kids are in school” or “I can’t wait until my kids leave for college.” As a mother of three, I understood the sentiment behind this perspective. But we must remember is that there is beauty in the passing of our life adventure. During a recent bike ride, I saw 5 deer crossing a berm. During another ride, I saw two armadillos. During a particularly challenging ride, I witnessed a breath-taking sunrise. Had I not looked up, I would have missed these incredible vistas and the inspiration derived from the experience.
As we pursue our personal races, especially the races where the finish line is not in sight, I hope we can all find the motivation to move forward and enjoy the journey!
Wishing you health and safety. If you have any questions or concerns, my door is always open!
President, NAPO Houston Chapter
I hope you are all well, safe, and healthy!
Thank you for your recent response to the NAPO Houston Annual Survey. We will be using the results of this survey as a guide to planning a rich and full program for each of you, our NAPO Houston family.
Our membership with NAPO Houston provides many benefits. Some of these are:
- NAPO-Houston’s high Google ranking when people search for “professional organizers Houston.” This takes potential clients to our Find An Organizer search.
- Inclusion in our Find An Organizer search where potential clients can find you…their new Professional Organizer or Productivity Consultant.
- Social Media mentions in our weekly Member Spotlight and when you provide NAPO-Houston blog posts, and Facebook posts.
- Use of the NAPO-Houston Logo on your website, social media platforms, and stationery.
- Members Only access to new industry ideas, products, information, events and more!
- Organizing Resource Library with access to more than ten years of NAPO National Conference recordings.
- Professional Development during our chapter meetings and special training workshops.
- Chapter Message Board to easily tap into the amazing knowledge base of NAPO-Houston members.
- Neighborhood Groups connect and build relationships with other NAPO-Houston members in your area.
- Quarterly Special Events provide opportunities to give back to our community, showcase your organizing skills, and have fun with other NAPO-Houston members.
- Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities through our Board of Directors, regional conference planning, and special committees.
- Network with Other Organizers at chapter meetings, volunteer events, workshops, and neighborhood group meetings.
In addition to local benefits, we have an abundance of resources through NAPO National. NAPO National recently held their annual Strategic Board Meeting and constructed several new initiatives that will benefit both our chapter as well as you individually. I have summarized these NAPO National 2020-2021 Strategic Initiatives, as follows:
- Strengthen the foundation of high-quality education program through restructuring and following accreditation standards.
- Expand recruitment activities across all channels to attract and convert new members to the NAPO community.
- Continue the integration of productivity into NAPO operations and programs and begin to develop and deliver unique benefits.
- Identify how to build the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into our association, as well as implement opportunities and model these values as we advance our mission.
- Explore the structure of NAPO Chapters to find new and better ways to serve and educate leadership and members on the local level.
To learn more about the NAPO National 2020-2021 Strategic Initiatives, click here.
We are so glad that you all are a part of our NAPO family! If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, my (virtual) door is always open!
President, NAPO Houston
P.S. If you are interested in volunteering for NAPO Houston, email Lisa Hettinger.
Chapter News & Events
Upcoming Meetings Schedule
September 3 – Chapter Meeting 6-8 pm, Speaker Jen Gaudet, Author and Business Coach
October 1 – Chapter Meeting* 6-8 pm, Speaker TBD
November 5 – Chapter Meeting 6-8 pm, Speaker TBD
December 3 – Holiday Member Party
If you need additional information, contact Kerry Spencer, Professional Development Director.
*The Board made the decision to postpone the Vendor Fair, to its regular schedule in the Spring–May 6, 2021, when we can make new connections with both vendors and Business Partners in person!
August 6 Social – Meeting Summary
Lisa Hettinger hosted a Virtual Happy Hour for current members on Thursday, August 6, from 5:30-7 pm. Each person shared in turn a personal or professional “Rose and a Thorn” story. We were happy to get better acquainted with 17 of our members, including our newest 2 members!
Typically during the Summer we have a Chapter Field Trip hosted by one of our Business Partners, in August, and in July we offer a member social activity. We hope to see you next month, as we return to educational programming for the Fall! Check out our Meetings & Events Calendar for details coming soon.
Connect With Members in Your Neighborhood
Neighborhood Group Meetings (NGM)
Meet with local organizers and business partners in a more intimate setting. Develop relationships with your fellow members and gain professional insights. Open to Members and Business Partners only. RSVP in the Events tab of the Facebook NAPO Houston Member Forum. Mark your calendars with these upcoming NGM dates.
August 17 @ 7pm
September 14 @ 7pm
October 12 @ 7pm
November 16 @ 7pm
December 14 @ 7pm
Inner Loop/Memorial NGM
August 20 @ 7pm
September 17 @ 7pm
October 15 @ 7pm
November 19 @ 7pm
Coffee and Convo
Want to learn more about NAPO Houston and the Professional Organizer industry? This monthly get-together is the perfect opportunity to mingle with new and veteran organizers. Open to members and non-members. Dates and information on the NAPO Houston Calendar.
September 8: Virtual, 7:00 – 8:00 am
October 13: Virtual, 7:00 – 8:00 am
November 10: TBD
December 8: TBD
Meeting ID: 850 3789 8480
If you need additional information, contact Stephanie King, Membership Director.
Congratulations to our members who have earned Specialist Certificates!
Marie Marchand: Household Management Specialist
Marie Marchand: Team Productivity Specialist
Nikki Bell: Household Management Specialist
Nikki Bell: Residential Organizing Specialist
Blanka Molnar: Residential Organizing Specialist
Welcome to our New Business Partners!
We are thrilled to welcome three new companies to the NAPO Houston Chapter this Summer:
Stone Coverings of Houston, Julie Leach, Sales & Ana Fernandez, Owner
Family-owned Remodeling Contractor and Countertop Fabricator.
Zen Business, Ross Buhrdorf, Owner
Known for low prices, easy online LLC formation process, and extra business services, like website creation.
CallBox Storage Houston, Aimee Rorick
Concierge Storage Services serving Houston, Dallas, Austin, Phoenix and Seattle.
Get the most out of our Find An Organizer search! Make sure your Member Profile is updated, including your work zip code, work area radius, and geographic area sections are filled out.
Business Partner Spotlight
Meet Sandra Medrano, owner of Bookkeeping and Beyond (aka BKBY)…experienced accounting professional, QuickBooks Online Certified Pro-Advisor, and professional organizer.
Prior to creating her own company, Sandra spent 20+ years in corporate management in a variety of industries. As Controller, Sandra enjoyed creating solid accounting foundations and processes for her employers.
It was during this time in the corporate world that Sandra discovered her passion for organization. She learned that she loved putting things in order and maximizing efficiency—and that there was no better opportunity to do this than by managing a companies’ financial records through bookkeeping. In 2013, she established Bookkeeping and Beyond—and her many years of experience enables her to serve a variety of client types today.
She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston and an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from HCC, and is QuickBooks-certified.
We are very fortunate at NAPO Houston to have Bookkeeping and Beyond handling the bookkeeping for our Chapter!
A sampling of services offered by Bookkeeping and Beyond:
Business Management Support
Business and Personal Bookkeeping
QuickBooks Conversions, Setup, Cleanup and Training
Professional Organizing for Home and Office
NAPO Houston Member – since 2017
We love our NAPO Houston Business Partners!
Get to know our awesome Business Partners by viewing their websites and contacting them directly.
If you know someone who would be a great business partner, contact
Michelle Smithpeter, Business Partner Director.
Submit a Blog
Publishing a blog on our NAPO Houston website is a great way for Members and Business Partners to gain exposure and showcase their expertise! First review the blog guidelines in NAPO POINT > Houston Community > Library (or website Member Area Library). Then email email@example.com with your article, a profile picture and a brief biography of you and your business. Each month we reserve a spot to promote member articles, but we do not consistently receive content.
Connect on Social Media
NAPO Houston is on Facebook. We also host a Facebook Member Forum. We are always looking for content to promote and would love to share your inspiration and tips! Please email Ann Zanon to submit your content.
Listen to NAPO National Podcasts
NAPO produces monthly Stand Out podcasts about the Organizing and Productivity profession. In addition to listening and learning, you can apply to be a featured guest. Learn more at NapoPodcast.com.