In this episode I’m going to be showing you how Power Planning and Clean Rest will keep you motivated to show up in your business. If you’ve been wondering how to stay motivated and show up consistently, week after week after week – this episode will help you understand how following the PGSD Process will help you stay motivated as you build your business. Especially if you’ve been in the all-or-nothing cycle of showing up perfectly for a few weeks and then abandoning your goals and your content calendar.
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- What we can learn from children about staying motivated
- Why the goal isn’t getting your entire to-do list in your calendar
- Why it’s important to make plans for your unmotivated self
- The hidden benefits of resting without guilt
Featured In The Episode:
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- Sign up for daily Perfectionist Power-Ups – samlaurabrown.com/power
- Follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
In this episode, I’m going to be talking about how power planning and clean rest keep you motivated to show up for your business. If you have been wondering, how do I stay motivated? How do I show up consistently and keep doing that week after week after week after week? If you are having the experience, where you get a lot of motivation, you show up consistently for a few weeks, and then you just completely abandon your goals, and your content calendar and everything else going on.
And you find yourself in this all or nothing cycle, then this is really going to help you understand how planning properly as a perfectionist and following the PGD process where you’re planning properly, following through with your plans 80% of the time, resting without guilt and repeating, how that is the key the secret to staying motivated. And how I realized this, like I’m always thinking about the business despite all the clean rest I get. My brain is always working to see analogies and similarities between random things that I hear or experience and what I talk about on the podcast, what I talk about in PGSD, and all of that.
So recently, with Lydia’s toys, we have started doing toy rotating. And this is something that I’ve learned about through other parents who are friends of mine, and also through the wonderful world of YouTube, and hearing different people talking about this practice of rotating your toys. And I’m going to be telling you and talking about how this relates to power planning and clean rests in your business. I think it’s such a beautiful analogy. And it really goes to show as well, that as much as we grow and evolve as humans, that we’re really not that different to babies.
We really have these very fundamental human needs and desires and the way our brain works, that we can often look at what works for children, and kind of replicate that in our adult life and find it to be very effective. I’m not saying that it works for everything. But I am finding that as we’re raising Lydia, and I’m learning a lot about that kind of thing, that I’m noticing how a lot of those strategies and different ways of approaching things also works for me as an adult and toy rotating is one of them.
So if you’re not familiar with the idea of this, it’s basically that so you might have a whole bunch of toys for your child. And maybe you’re getting toys from relatives for birthdays, and Christmases and all of those different occasions. And instead of giving all of those toys to your child at once, and they are playing with all of the toys. And so excited to maybe if you think about like Christmas week, they get all these toys, and it’s oh my god, so exciting to me from one toy to the next to the next, the next. Sounding familiar? And they’re really engaged with everything, and then they just get over it. And they’re not even looking at all the new toys, and they’re just feeling like they’re going to waste. What you do or what an option you have is, is to rotate that toys.
So this means instead of presenting to your child, all of the toys at once, which is very overwhelming. Instead, you curate a selection of toys that are going to serve them in different ways. So you might, for example, select toys that like there’s a construction style toys and a musical one. And there’s a soft toy and all these different ones that are going to help them learn and grow and keep them engaged. You’re not just giving them you know, 20 teddy bears, and letting them choose which one. It’s all about giving them different sensory experiences and all that kind of thing, but you’re not giving them everything at once. You’re just giving them a curated selection.
And then what you do each week is that you give them a different selection and you take away the selection from last week. And obviously there’s lots of different ways you can do. There’s no right or wrong. This isn’t a podcast episode about how to do toy rotation. And I’ve seen different things that talk about like if they have a favorite, keep that favorite there until they lose interest. Other ones are saying that you just rotate them all in and out every week. So it’s, yeah, don’t take this advice on how to rotate toys.
I want to talk about it in terms of power planning and clean rest. So you can really get an understanding for the psychology of these tools in conjunction with the growth goal. That’s what really helps us figure out what to prioritize. What to put in our power planning, what not to put in our power planning, and all of that kind of thing that like this method of toy rotation, does according to the experts, and many parents who use it. There’s so much, there’s so many wonders for their development, because when they have less toys to play with, it gives them the opportunity to fully explore and engage with their toys without getting bored, without getting overwhelmed. And they also experience their old toys as if they were new.
So when we’re doing our power planning, let’s talk about that first, and then we’ll talk about clean rest. When we’re doing our power planning, what we’re essentially doing for ourselves, is we are laying out our toys for the week. We are laying out in our calendar in our digital calendar, with our growth goal in mind, what we’re going to do, and most importantly, what we’re not going to do. So when it comes to and this is a question I’ve received from PGSDers, how do you get everything from your to do list into your calendar in a week? Like how do you actually make everything fit? The answer is that you don’t.
The goal isn’t to get everything to fit in your calendar. The goal is to really see that everything you have on your to do list isn’t actually necessary. And if it is, you don’t need to get it all done this week. It’s safe not to get it all done this week. So we’re making this mentality that we have to get everything done on this list to be successful, like our success is conditional on this to do list, it then becomes very stressful, to then try and figure out how to get it into our calendar. And this is where a lot of over planning happens that we really underestimate the time that it takes to do things we are vague we might be doing. If you’re not power planning, if you are doing like time batching, time blocking your calendar, where it’s a vague like work on launch, or things like that, that we are trying to get it all done so we can be successful. And the goal, the work is really to recognize that there are a lot of unnecessary tasks on that to do lists.
And what we want to do is we have our calendar. And in our Power Hour, the full process for that is in PGSD. When we’re doing our power hour, we are planning out our commitments, and then our clean rest, and then our needle movers in that order. Creating contingency plans, doing all those other things. When we are going through that process in that hour, we are laying out our toys for the week, instead of saying, here is this pile of toys. And you have to figure out which one you want to play with and how long to spend on each one. And just here you go and have added which is so overwhelming for children, also very overwhelming for us. And it ends up where you kind of don’t play with any of the toys, metaphorically speaking, because you don’t know which one is the best one to play with.
So when we’re doing our power planning, we are as our highest self laying out for the week, what we’re going to engage with. And it’s safe to be committed to our plans that we make to our power planning. Because we know that everything that does need to get done will get done over time. When you go through the power planning process. And you are doing your Power Hour, your little tweaks throughout the week, your weekly review, and making the three month commitment to that. And that’s a commitment we make again and again each quarter. But you’re committed to that. And you know that another power hour is coming. And you’re not going to forget any important tasks that actually taking the time, your brain tells you you don’t have enough time to get everything done. And you definitely don’t have enough time to plan. You just need to like get in there and go.
It’s kind of like if you think about with the toy analogy, there’s this pile of toys you like I don’t have time to figure out which ones to play with, and put them in a separate room and put these other ones aside. I’m just gonna like get in there and start playing with the toys. It’s not effective, it’s not productive. It’s very overwhelming. And we are not setting ourselves up in an environment that is conducive to being fully engaged and that engagement being fully engaged with the task that we’re doing and giving ourselves ample time instead of dramatically under estimating how long it will take. And by the way, if you have been noticing, you’re under estimating how long things will take when you’re planning, that’s a sign it’s working, because you’re getting that self awareness. But when we’re under estimating how long things will take. Am I over planning, we’re putting weight too much in our calendar, we’re not doing little tweaks, we’re not updating it as we go.
Then it’s really going to be hard to trust that everything is going to get done. But when we are doing Power planning, and we know that there’s another power hour coming, and we know that we have a process for capturing everything that needs to be done and making sure it does get done, and we can trust ourselves to do it, then it means that instead of being like, Oh, my God, are these the right toys that I’ve picked. And what about the other ones in there, maybe I’ll just go and get one of those toys from in there. And then I’ll put it in this room, and I’ll play with it this week. And then all of that drama. We can make our plans and we can feel safe doing so because we know, everything’s going to get done. Because we know there’s so many ways as well to get to our goal that these conditions that we’ve set out for ourselves about what needs to be done in order to be successful, probably isn’t going to be accurate, especially for pursuing a goal have never achieved before.
And a lot of times, as I said the work isn’t to get everything into Calendar, the work is to stop overestimating what it’s going to take. And power planning helps us to stop overestimating how much work it’s going to take. We have all these ideas about hard work and all this resistance to ease because we feel undeserving if success is too easy. So when we’re doing that to do list, this why we don’t want to do list. We’re doing that to do list we seriously overestimate. And so we want to teach you, want to all learn how to stop overestimating.
For example, a child, if given the choice would probably say I want to play with all the toys this week. And they’re overestimating how many toys they need to really have the funnest week that they could possibly have. And when they’re given just a selection, maybe it’s five toys, maybe it’s eight toys, whatever the number, that they’re able to actually enjoy each of those toys to not feel stressed.
And this FOMO about all the other ones, they’re missing out. And it’s like, okay, this is what we’re playing with. So I’m just going to actually play with these, instead of spending all my time this week, wondering which one I should play with, or which is the right one to play with. So power planning, we’re laying out the toys for the week. And we’re no longer overwhelmed with choice or the guilt of not getting everything done. Because we’ve curated and we have constrained ourselves. So that we can actually set ourselves up for success and follow through with our plans 80% of the time, not even having to get there 100% of the time.
But we are really creating a week in which we can thrive instead of a week, that’s just gonna completely kick us. And then also, when you are power planning, and when you are taking this approach, we actually complete the work that moves our business forward. We’re doing the things that matter. And when it comes to this question as well, I just want to quickly touch on this because I’ve been getting quite a few questions about it recently. How do I tell what a needle moving task is and what isn’t? And we talked about this in PGSD. And I’m not gonna go into too much detail about it. But I do just want to say that oftentimes, when we are honest with ourselves, we know what a needle mover is, and what isn’t, but a few things that can help you is, would you be willing to pay for someone else to do it? So for example, spending three hours creating a Canva graphic, would you pay someone three hours worth of work, say you’re paying them an hourly rate to do that? Probably not, you probably say that could be done in 15 minutes, or whatever it is, depending on what it is.
That’s just a really good way to see is this actually something that would move the business forward. If I was so maybe you do have team members, maybe you don’t yet. But is this something that I would be willing to pay for someone to do? If it is a scary task, it’s probably going to be a needle mover. But also the best way to figure out what needle moving tasks are for your business is to have a growth goal, to use power planning, clean rests to pursue that goal. And when you are doing your weekly reviews and then you’ll do a quarterly and annual review as well to really reflect on that.
And when you are power planning you don’t need to be your ideal self at every moment throughout the week. When we are power planning we are planning for our unmotivated self. We are planning for the version of us that feels resistant. That doesn’t want to do it. That would prefer to just scroll through Instagram and not post anything. We’re planning for that version of myself. That doesn’t mean that we don’t put tasks in our power planning that require courage, it just means that we’re not expecting ourselves to be a robot. And we’re not being a bitch to ourselves with what we put on our plate.
So when that is the way that we are approaching our week, we’re only really needing to be our like higher future kind of self for 90 minutes during the week. So that’s the 60 minutes, you’re doing your Power Hour, and then the 30 minutes you’re doing the weekly review. So when you’re in the thick of your week, it might be challenging to tell what is a needle mover and what isn’t. And you might find yourself doing a task for longer than you’d allowed. And maybe it is, for example, creating a Canva graphic or fiddling with things on your website, and that kind of thing. And in the moment, it might feel really important. But then when you’re doing your weekly review and reflecting on that, or it might not even be obvious on a weekly basis, when you’re doing your quarterly review.
This is why we’re constantly reflecting, and not making this huge, heavy task, knowing you’re gonna feel resistance around reflection, even if you love personal development, it’s normal to feel that way. But maybe it’s when you’re doing your quarterly review to look at you know, you can scroll through your calendar and see where did my time go this quarter, and I can be confronting, that’s okay, again, to feel resistance to it. Where did my time go this quarter? What were my results? And what is my theory for next quarter as to what to do differently.
So for example, if you look back, and you spent a lot of time just creating graphics for Instagram, for example. And your result was that you didn’t hit your goal, then that could be a good time to look at. Okay, was that actually a needle mover for me? And let’s just hypothesize and say it wasn’t. And obviously, it’s not all or nothing. There might be, you know, you need to do something to a certain level, but you don’t need to spend the extra two hours on it each time. Let’s just hypothesize and say it wasn’t a needle mover, what would be a needle mover? If I just had to task my brain with finding an answer.
It’s really important that we practice tasking our brains with finding answers, instead of reverting to I don’t know, instead of reverting to Google and YouTube and all those things, to just access our own wisdom, and develop that self trust and recognize we do know a lot of things. And that we often have the answer right there. And we’re just pretending to be confused about it, because it’s scary to implement what we know.
So that’s just a little side note on needle movers. Because that is something that often when we’re doing a to do list, we don’t ever think about what actually makes an impact in our business and what doesn’t. Instead we’re thinking about being busy. We’re thinking about avoiding guilt of not being busy. And we’re thinking about, like, what we like to do, and what are other people doing, what should I do, like there are all these things that creep on to the to do list, the one that we love, writing and rewriting that we feel so guilty about being behind on. And yet we keep reading these long ones, like when we are not going through the power planning process, and really being diligent with what is on our calendar. And like when you’re doing Power planning your calendar is your to do list.
So not being diligent with that, that we end up with this wish list. And we use a wish list as an excuse to feel bad, because we’re so comfortable shaming ourselves and beating ourselves up and feeling behind. So it’s often when PGSDer stopped power planning that they will come up against like, oh shit, I don’t even really know what does move my business forward. And that is such a beautiful question to be asking. Because you get to come up with the answer, you get to explore that. And it’s gonna take time to figure out what that looks like. And there’s going to be layers to it.
So for example, for me, something that is a needle movers for my business is recording episodes for the podcast. But when I do them one at a time at the last minute, that becomes busy work because I need to get into podcasting mode, get things set up, which only takes three seconds because I just have a little plug in. What am I saying a plug in microphone, that’s USB one and I just hold it in my hand and I just record on quick time. So it’s not this big thing but it’s a lot quicker and a lot less busy worky, if that’s a word. When I am doing episodes in batches, then when I’m doing them singularly.
But in the beginning, it is getting myself to do a podcast episode, and doing that consistently and showing up fully for that was a needle mover. And then over time, as I became more and more comfortable with that, as my business was growing, it became less of a needle mover to do it one by one. And I was then at the level of, okay, now we need to be batching these together. And that’s really, when it’s a needle mover. When I am doing it one by one, that’s when I can call myself on it being busy work.
Anyway, you will do these layers of work. But I’m just sharing that because it’s a practice, it’s a process. This is why we do the three month commitment and why we keep working on this. So that is how power planning relates to toy rotation. Now let’s talk about clean rest. So when we are taking our clean rest, we are reaping the benefits of letting ourselves miss the work that we love. So in this analogy, the clean rest is the time that the child has away from the toys, the big pile of toys that they might have, or even it might not be a big pile of toys, but just toys in general, that does beauty in missing something and having time away from something. And you can love your business. And that doesn’t mean you need to be working on it 24/7.
And I think a lot of us get that confused that if we love it, we should do it all the time. And it’s okay to do it all the time. And we kind of use that as an excuse to not take clean rest, or what I just love what I do, and I rest better when everything’s done. Just be onto yourself with that. Being that done that. I know from experience, but when we’re taking our clean rest, which if you want to think of it really simply. Clean rest, resting without guilt is a time that you’re not working on your business.
So you probably have other commitments and things that you’re doing in your life. And we can definitely get into this perfectionist mindset about what is clean rest, and what isn’t clean rest? And we want to make sure that we are being on to ourselves with our clean rest, and that we’re not just letting ourselves spend all of that time doing productive life admin things and never actually exploring what we like doing that isn’t productive. But for the sake of this, and especially if you’re just starting to clean rest, to just think about this business time and there’s clean rest time, which is time you’re not allowed to work on your business.
So when we are in our clean rest time, which is time again, that we’re not working on the business, we are reaping the benefits of letting ourselves miss the work that we love. Just as a child, when they aren’t getting to play with their toys all the time. When they get back to their toys, they are excited to play with them, they are ready to explore them. But if they just have toys out all the time, and all the toys out so it’s overwhelming.
Even though you say, they love the toys, they should have them all the time. They just love toys. Like we know, it’s so obvious when we think about things with children, like a child loves sugar. Does that mean they should eat sugar 24/7? No! And a lot of times our business is the sugar that it feels great in the moment to be working. But it’s not actually serving us at a certain point. And the real work is to develop our life outside of our business to connect with ourselves in a way that doesn’t involve productivity. And that gives us more courage and makes it easy to be in the growth mindset with our business. It’s a win-win.
But when we take our clean rest, we have more inspired ideas more easily. This is because we’ve taken time away from the business. So if you are feeling relating this back to the topic of motivation, if you are feeling overwhelmed, and unmotivated, power planning and clean rest are going to help you. And when it comes to clean rest especially which is a very important part of power planning. If you are feeling like I just have no ideas and it’s just as uphill slog and I just dread working on my business and I love it quote unquote, but I hate it at the same time. Clean rest is going to give your brain a break and in that break we all know like there’s a shower ideas. And I love how Sara Blakely the founder of Spanx talks about how she created a fake 60 minute commute to work just because of that idle time. How beneficial it is for our brain and she’s running like a billion dollar plus pretty sure business and I’m not sure if she does this anymore in COVID and all of that, but she was creating a fake 60 minute commute to work that was five minutes away.
She just drive around for 60 minutes because of the power of resting your brain, and what that can do for your brain, piecing things together. And I know that when I am really taking my clean rest, that that is when I have my best business ideas. And instead of running to record an episode, or write an email or whatever, I just jot down enough of a note about that idea. And I trust that I will be able to execute that idea in my work time. And this is a really important point, because a lot of times, and there’s different schools of thoughts on this, but a lot of times when we are feeling inspired and motivated, and people will say like, you have to capitalize on that. And just, there’s something to be said for, you know, working with your flows and, and working with your cycles and seasons, and all that kind of thing at the same time.
Sometimes when we’re just working only when we feel a rush of inspiration, we’re telling ourselves that we don’t trust ourselves to execute powerfully on that idea at a future time. And that it’s only if we execute on it in the moment that we’re going to be able to get the most from that idea, have it be the most successful and that kind of thing. So I love the practice of having an inspired idea having things click together and feeling excited about that. And then not being able to work right away, so that I can then just like sit with that excitement of I can’t wait for Tuesday when I get to sit down and record a podcast episode. And I can’t wait to put this together in an email or an Instagram post or whatever it’s going to be or to tell my PGSDers about this, that we can really create this excitement from letting ourselves miss our work and from not rushing to our laptops.
Every time we have an idea to just practice trusting yourself and creating the belief that you can execute on it at a future time. And it might mean that you need to write down a few more notes about the idea. Then one sentence, I found this myself that if I just write down one sentence and I get to work on I’m like, what are they even talking about with this, I don’t really even know. But now I’m in the process and the habit of just writing out a few more things. So that when it does come to the time, I can execute on that idea. And this is as well, where the weekly review comes in that you can really start to see, okay, well, I did have this idea. And then maybe I wasn’t able to remember what it was when my time came. Okay, what can I do differently the next time I have an idea, instead of rushing to my laptop, because I don’t want to do that. Because I want to develop the self trust that I can execute when it’s work time. What could I do instead?
And that’s when you can really develop systems for yourself so that you can capture these ideas that you have when you’re in clean rest while still honoring your clean rest. And on the topic of that it’s really normal to think about your business. When you’re in clean rest time. That’s not bad. That’s not wrong. That doesn’t mean you’re not clean rest and your brain is going to wander. And it’s going to think about your business. And that’s totally okay.
Also, as I said, we look forward to the time we get to work on our business in eager anticipation, like the child if they have a favorite toy, and you said, Okay, we’re not actually going to have this toy out this week, we’re going to have these other ones and then you get to see that toy again soon, that it then creates this excitement. And looking forward to newness if that’s the thing. We also procrastinate less, because our brain doesn’t need to force us to take a break.
If you are getting clean rest, your brain can get to work in work time. Because you know, your brain knows, your brain that doesn’t want to burn calories on thinking that doesn’t want to do scary things, because it wants you to survive and it’s associated doing scary things and burning a lot of calories with not surviving that your brain can do that and do it in quite an intense way. Intense and sustainable way because it can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it knows that when you are getting to the end of your day, if you have overachieved then you’re going to take a break early, you’re not going to add more things onto your plate as a way to capitalize on your productive day because you always have a productive day.
And again, this isn’t about perfection. We’re aiming to follow through 80% of the time, but you are a productive person. So you don’t need to capitalize on unproductive day because that is normal for you. But we want to be recognizing the power of clean rest with procrastination if you procrastinate a lot. The first thing I’m probably going to ask you is how much clean rest you getting. And you might be thinking, well, that’s for everyone else and not for me. But if you’re procrastinating that is your brain, screaming, crying, begging for a break. And if you’re not going to give you a brain that break intentionally it’s going to get it. Through scrolling Instagram, through watching Netflix and scrolling Instagram at the same time. Through any means it can. Through just sitting in front of Canva for three hours and editing a graphic because it needs a break.
So if we condense our work days, and put clean rest in first and then our needle movers, then our brain can get to work, knowing that a break is coming, knowing it’s going to be able to fully recharge and then some, and that you’re working in a sustainable way. And this is going to bring up all kinds of things about beliefs you have about working hard and being productive. And that’s great. We want that to come up. That’s how we know it’s working, if you have that coming up.
And we’re more courageous in our business when we’re getting clean rest. Because a fulfilling life beyond business, it means failure doesn’t feel so personal. If you are feeling like you are your business, and a lot of people talk about this, if you have a personal brand as well, like oh, well, if you have a personal brand, then there’s no other option. Not true. You can develop an identity outside of your business and still have a personal brand.
So really not letting yourself use that excuse if that is the kind of business model you have. And letting there be a void, where you have time off and you don’t know what to do with it. And you can feel yourself wanting to work so that you feel busy and productive and letting that void be there. So you can really start to explore what you enjoy doing that isn’t related to productivity, what you love doing for yourself, what things you might like we often have these stories about, well, if I have more time than I would XYZ and really getting honest about like, Okay, I do have more time now, do I actually want to do that? Am I just doing that because I like how it sounds?
For example, if I have more time and read more books, and then you do get more time because you’re planning in your clean and rest. Do you find yourself reading books? If not get curious about that. Do you love reading if you do, making that time, like creating that time for reading, getting out of the all or nothing mindset with it, just reading 10 pages a day, for example, instead of needing to sit down for like two hours at a time.
You might also find there are certain things that you like, if I tell myself if I had more time I’d meditate. And then you like actually, I would much prefer to go surfing. But I’m telling myself, I’m just thinking of surfing, it’s kind of like another form of meditation, whatever it is. But you’re just telling yourself that you would meditate if you had more time, because you want to believe that you’re someone who would meditate and then you get more time. And it’s a chance to really meet yourself and be like, do I actually want to do that? Maybe I do, but I just have resistance around it. So I need to explore that. Or maybe I don’t have resistance around it. And I’m actually just doing this because I think I should because I’ve read all these things about CEO routines, and everyone seems to meditate. So that’s a whole adventure and journey.
So if you struggle to stay motivated throughout the week, bottom line is, the answer is as simple as power planning and clean rest. And these are tools that I teach in depth inside PGSD. And by the way, the doors to PGSD will be opening again in April 2022 so you can go to Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd to join the waitlist. Also, if you happen to be listening to this episode, at some point beyond that date, then you can still go to that website and see when the next time is that we will be open for enrollment. So when you are Power Planning and getting a clean rest, you’re deciding on a handful of things to put on your calendar and doing them fully.
Again, we’re just falling through 80% of the time not aiming for perfection. Let it be okay that you can’t get everything done this week. That’s not a problem. Again, we’re overestimating what it takes to be successful. So instead of putting the overestimated to do list on our calendar, we’re learning how to stop overestimating. And we’re taking time away from our business, even though we love it knowing it’s going to make us more connected to ourselves, more connected to those around us. More courageous in our business, it’ll help us make more money in our business. Impact more people with our business.
And when you’re inside PGSD all of this is going to become second nature. You’ll be planning properly as a perfectionist, following with your plan 80% of time, resting without guilt and repeating that and you’re going to have a productive week, every week and make more money than ever.
So I really want you to consider joining us in PGSD if you’re not already. Get on the waitlist, sign up when the doors open. I really hope this episode has helped you to see how these tools really work and seeing that we’re not that different to babies and the children and that our brain once constrained. It wants us to be intentional. It wants to have positive limits on things so that we can be fully present for what we have in front of us. So if you have enjoyed this episode, please take a screenshot and tag me I’m @perfectionismproject. I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.