No-Photo Vacation Days

No-Photo Vacation Days

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Think back to your last vacation. How many photos did you go back and view? How many did you share while you were still there? Did you experience the moment as much as you could have? Here's why I'm a fan of no-photo vacation days.

With my mom and my Mexican boyfriends, Erik and Daniel

Right now, I'm in beautiful Huatulco, Mexico, splitting my time between two resorts. It's my sixth year where I stay for three weeks. In the past, I brought a client the first two weeks, and my husband joined me for the third for a real vacation. Last year I brought my mom one week, my friend another (four years for her!), and my husband the third. This time, due to COVID, it's just me the first two weeks with my husband joining me the last nine days. I'll be working ‘underground' on my business on two big projects, a rebranding of the company to Rader Co. and a move to the ClickUp project management system. I'll also be reworking some of our processes since we've onboarded three new team members since October (yeah!). These are things I wouldn't have the brain space for in my regular day-to-day.

But that's not what this post is about. Last week, my finance coach said, “take lots of pictures”! When I said, “I don't do that,” the look on her face was confusion, which is often the look I get.

Huatulco is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to, and the hotel is one of the most gorgeous I've stayed in, but the view doesn't change year after year. I could take photos, but it will never capture the sunrise over the ocean. I've taken a couple of pictures from my room's balcony, just for context. Still, by sending you to their website, you would get a much better shot of what I am experiencing. I've even sent people photos from other years because it doesn't matter. 

I want to see the ocean waves with my eyes.

Year One

I'm friends with the dancers and entertainment staff and often go out with them. I might take a photo or two of them in their costumes and me with them (short hair, longer hair, COVID hair – that's how I tell the years apart!). I like to take photos with the staff with their name tags, so I remember them next year. Still, I don't video the show or, at most, less than a minute, because then I've just missed the real experience that I will not be able to capture again. I also want them to see my eyes and smile and not the back of a phone.

One year I met a couple who had paid for a whale-watching excursion. The husband saw a whale, and the wife missed it because she was posting photos on Instagram. She almost cried as her husband was laughing about it.

Mardi Gras with Wendy

Because I'm LinkedIn only, where vacation photos aren't the norm to post, it saves me from feeling like I have to share with everyone. Even so, I wouldn't need to post to social media at that moment. I'd rather stay present in the experience and share later. When I text someone a photo, I can guarantee you I am in my room and not still there.

Does it really matter when you posted it? 
Does it have to be real-time?

I've overheard people discussing what hashtag to use while watching a cooking demonstration. After settling on it and posting, they proceeded to ask the chef questions about something he had just gone over that they hadn't been paying attention to. It was disrespectful to him and us, and again, did it matter that they posted it at 4:45 pm, or could they have waited until 5:00 pm when it was over?

Jhoana and Kevin on his 50th birthday

Because I'm around a lot of sand and water, I often leave my phone in the room. I don't want to be tied to the electronic leash. I have to worry about it getting stolen while I'm in the water, or it baking in the sun, or fight any urges or impulse to start futzing around on it. When my husband is with me, I definitely don't need it. We only need one phone between the two of us if there is something we want to capture. With Wendy, we would often take turns so that one person didn't have to have their phone all the time.

I'm not against photos. 

Looking back through these photos, it was fun to find some to put in here, but quite frankly, I hadn't really looked at them, some of them in years.

I know some people will think they are ‘catching me' when I snap a picture. I'll reiterate, I'm not against photos! What I want people to consider is their experience and presence at that moment.

Could you take a no-photo day where you leave your phone in the hotel room?

Can you have a one-phone only policy with your family since one person can capture the moments, and everyone can be less distracted?

Can you wait until you get to the hotel room or (gasp!) until you get home to post or write about it? Not only will it help you be more present while you're there, but it will also help with thieves knowing your business and where you are with your house empty.

Take that photo, and then put the phone away, or commit to having at least one no-photo vacation day.

Are you our next Healthy Living Ambassador?

Are you our next Healthy Living Ambassador?

Psst! Are YOU our next Rader Co. Healthy Habits/Healthy Living Ambassador?

Inspired and excited about what Rader Co. has to offer? 

Working your way through the Work Well. Play More! Masterclass or Getting Shit Done in Focus90…finally on your way to living your best life?

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Navigating habit change can seem intimidating or daunting. As if it takes some mercurial combination of magic skills and luck to read the old conflicting maps and reach your destination without getting sidetracked or lost. Or it may appear to require a special breed of person, one with crazy amounts of discipline and a propensity for self-sacrifice, to successfully make it through its rigorous course… NOPE.

If you have experience with our Rader Co. methods, you know that anyone can access the road to habit change success. You see that it does not take magic, luck, extreme sacrifice, or crazy amounts of discipline. It's not a matter of the right juju; it's a matter of the right questions. Rader Co.'s Work Well. Play More! Masterclass program helps you identify what is blocking your path or disabling your sense of direction. Our methods are about discovering a better, faster direct line to where you want to go and a consistent commitment to making small, simple steps forward along these new pathways. Simple steps that build upon themselves exponentially, forging an exact, established route to success. Easy to find and access, again and again, to keep you reaching wherever you want to go.


I'm pretty sure I've never committed to 100 days of anything, but I pulled it off. It took 101 days because one day, I felt horrible, but I finished 100 days of Morning Meltdown! I definitely took a few options, and sometimes I thought I might die. But I finished!!!! Thank you!!!

Melissa Galasso

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These Focus90 sessions are now a favorite part of my week. I think I can actually feel my brain changing! I so badly needed this repair to my fragmented focus. Doing it with everyone else has made embracing change so much easier! With gratitude to you, I'll be going offline tonight with that precious empty space, the empty inbox, ready to welcome fresh challenges, tomorrow.

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Deleting my task list.

Deleting my task list.

Would you rather listen instead? Click here for the 3-minute audio recording.

On December 19th at 9:58 AM, I deleted my entire task list in GTasks Pro with one click. I literally gasped out loud and frantically for two minutes tried to find it. Looking online, there were questions from other users who had done this with no response from the company. That's what I get from using a small task app and not one that is established. Deleting my task list…. felt like the end.

I loved that little app. I'm still using it because now I know that as long as I don't create a new type of list, it can't be deleted. I only used it for my personal tasks, since our company tasks are all in Asana. However, once our company moves entirely to ClickUp* in February, I'll be transferring everything to that platform. It seemed easier than learning a new app just for a month.

That day was a struggle for me on top of six weeks of being over-capacity. I had the excellent, fortunate challenge of more work than I could handle. My calendar was filled with meetings and coaching calls, even though everything not mission-critical or direct $$$ was removed or postponed. I worked on projects that were new to the company that involved more deep focus time to be creative and strategic. 

On that Friday, due to the previous six weeks of 100mph, deleting my task list, and a call with Gusto that was 1:45 minutes long, I was literally on my knees sobbing. Yes, even I can get overwhelmed. I'm not perfect, and I have my moments too. 

By Monday morning, I realized that deleting that task list was the way back to sanity. 

My list had tasks all the way up through a year. I have speaking engagements already booked for the fall, and all the items I needed to do leading up to it were on the calendar. It's where I keep birthdays (sorry in advance if I miss yours this year!) and personal to-dos.

I remembered what I could and then decided for the rest…well, what's the worst thing that could happen? I have to apologize for the delay? I scramble to get something done at the last minute?

What I got from having no task list was a clean slate. A rewiring of what was important and what I was doing that didn't need to be done any longer. It felt refreshing, like decluttering my closet or wiping my whiteboard clean.

Empty Whiteboard

I don't recommend this all the time and certainly not to set yourself up for cramming at the end or missing a deadline, but if you are feeling overwhelmed with that long list…

Delete it.

  1. Start clean. Whether it's once a year, once a quarter, or once a month.
  2. If you have kept pushing it forward day after day, do you really need to do it? Can it just be eliminated?
  3. By removing the recurring task from your list, do you miss it? Does your work suffer?

I'm back in a good place with my business growing (38% last year!) and a ClickUp consultant to do the heavy lifting to move all of our tasks. I'm also interviewing another team member so I can take on the work I want to.

I'm not wasting any time on tasks that became a habit or didn't serve our mission.

It may have been an accident, but deleting that task list, which felt like the world falling in at the moment, was the best Christmas present I could have received.

Top Ten Books of 2020

Top Ten Books of 2020

Would you rather listen instead? Click here for the 5-minute audio recording.

In 2020 I read 37 books. This is down from 48 in 2019, and it was intentional. In StrengthsFinders, my number one strength is Learner. This means I am continually inputting information, whether it is from a book, podcast, or article. I feel like I have to use every moment to learn something. 

Input Less

Most people have goals to read more. My goal for 2021 is to input less. My theme is White Space. As in…white space on a page. A blank document (my brain) to write my own thoughts and theories. If I'm always inputting, I'm never really thinking or allowing my brain to absorb what I've learned. I'm promoting a new habit for people like me to thinkitate. 

This year brought about 38% growth in my company and new challenges and situations that I needed to strategize and get creative. Without this thinkitating time, I'm not doing this. Now it is intentional.

I also cut back on my book goal because some of what I ‘read' is audio, and my podcasts are sometimes over 2 hours each per episode. A few of those are the equivalent of a book!

Top Ten Books of 2020

I still love to read and listen and am happy to share my top ten books of 2020. These are in no particular order and were not all released in 2020. You can see the full list of the books I read here.

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

Everyone should read this book and how their breath affects their health. Did you know how many more bottle-fed babies need braces, have sinus issues, and mouth breathe?

Read Full Review

Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body Defy Aging

Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body Defy Aging by Ben Greenfield

Get your biceps ready…this book is a big one! Ben Greenfield offers the most comprehensive health book I have ever read. It's best for personal trainers, medical doctors, and people who already have a deep knowledge of the body and mind.

Read Full Review

The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More

The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype–and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More by Dr. Michael Breus

Did you know there are over 3000 studies on chronobiology? This book was FASCINATING. I took so many notes for myself and my husband that I created a spreadsheet with my ideal chrono times for everything from eating, sleeping, sexy-time, working out, presenting, and even sending emails. 

Read Full Review

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

I think this is one of the most important books I've read this year. Anyone who has grown up in the South or Midwest – Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee- will either see themselves or families they know in this book.

Read Full Review


Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath

I highlighted so many sections in this book, I'll almost be reading it over again. I found myself saying to my husband every night “Today I learned….” I'm now on a quest to find ways to solve things upstream.

Read Full Review

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson

White Fragility was the third ‘educate Marcey' book this year and, while painful to read, so important. She brought up so many points that I am embarrassed to say that I have stated, believed, or even encouraged, and why those points are not legitimate or helpful.

Read Full Review

Born Survivors

Born Survivors by Wendy Holden

HEAVY. I've read a lot of WW II books and this one is very different. It's more of a fact-based story rather than a novel or drama. It follows three women who were pregnant while living in the concentration camps.

Read Full Review

The Body: A Guide for Occupants

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

Mr. Bryson does it again! I made so many Kindle highlights I may as well have copied the book. If you are interested at all in the human body, read this!

Read Full Review

Talking to strangers

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

This wasn't one of my favorite Malcolm Gladwell books, but I think he is so excellent that he sets the bar high. I listened to this as an audio and love to hear him speak (he also works well at 1.25 speed). The stories he tells are insightful about our bias and unconscious thoughts that inform our decisions.

Read Full Review

voice unleashed

Voice Unleashed: Speaking Up with Faith and Courage by Helen Moses

Voice Unleashed is a walk with Helen Moses and how she found her voice in multiple areas of her life. She touches on topics that people don't want to admit to from physical and digital clutter, financial insecurities, religion, and raising kids with health issues. 

Read Full Review

Essential Items for a Home Gym

Essential Items for a Home Gym

Are you considering a home gym? Are you feeling lost without your gym membership or already dreading the winter when it's too cold or dark to work out outside? I haven't belonged to a gym in over a decade and have all the essential items for a home gym that aren't expensive and leave no excuses. You certainly don't need all of these. Order a few and build your gym up over time. You may also have items that you have that you consider essential. This is what works for me in my home gym.

I often get asked what my exercise routine is. I change it up all the time, and it varies by season, but here is what will most likely be my routine for November – February. I work out intentionally for about an hour every day. This means that it is a focused exercise, sometimes split up into two sessions. I look for movement opportunities as much as I can. As much as I love walkie talkies, either in person or by phone, these decrease as it gets colder. I cannot stand the cold, and my Raynaud's Disease is severe enough that it's painful and dangerous.

Sample days in my week:

Day 1

  • Wake up and do 40 minutes of strength training with running intervals mixed in.
  • Use my standing desk all day.
  • Ride my FitBike for 25 minutes while watching a webinar.
  • Perform 3 x 25 push-ups and 5×10 pull-ups throughout the day.
  • At the end of the workday, jump on the rebounder for 15-minutes and foam roll for five.
  • Do a phone walkie talkie with a friend (if it's warm enough)
  • Get in the infrared sauna for 30 minutes.

Day 2

  • Wake up and do a combo of jumping rope, rebounding, and strength-training (all can be done inside).
  • Use my standing desk all day.
  • Perform 3 x 25 push-ups and 5×10 pull-ups throughout the day.
  • At the end of the workday, ride the FitBike for 30 minutes while reading a few chapters for fun.
  • Get in the infrared sauna for 30 minutes.
  • Read in the evening while also hooping (yes, hula hooping), foam rolling, stretching, or using The Stick.
Marcey Rader's Healthy Home Gym Essentials

Essential items for my own winter home gym.

These are not in any particular order and are at varying price points.

  1. FitBike – I use a standing desk for most of the day. Still, when my legs get tired, I'm a watching participant in a meeting, am reading a book or article, or just need some movement, I use my FitBike. This affordable bike at less than $300 can help you be productive with work without needing to change your clothes, get special shoes, or even break into a sweat. Watch my fitbike review. To purchase, please visit FITDESK and use the code MARCEYFREEMAT to get a free mat on all bikes, under desk products, and desks! ( Get it on Amazon*).
Marcey Fitbike
  1. Foam roller – Trigger Point Therapy* products last forever due to the hollow core. Cheap foam rollers break down. I've had mine for over nine years, and they are still good as new. This is where no-pain, no-gain, makes sense. If it hurts where you are rolling, you need to do it more!
  2. Rebounder* – My recent fitness purchase for minimal joint impact and high-calorie burn. Rebounding is great for balance, cardio, and even your digestion (seriously…feel a little blocked up? Rebound!) I do this for a few minutes to warm up or for a full 30-minute workout.
  3. Jump rope* – Any rope will do, but you may want to stay away from a speed rope if you're a beginner.
  4. Kettlebell* – I do 100 swings every day in sets of 25 or 30 with a 35lb kettlebell. Start out with a light bell making sure you have the correct form before you increase the weight.
  5. Pull-up bar – I did not have defined arms until I was in my 40s. Seriously, look at my pictures from doing Ironman Triathlons and hard-core 24-hour Adventure Races in my 30s, and you'll see some tone, but not definition. Diet has a large part in getting leaner, but I attribute the pull-up to my arms. Even when I'm giving an Email Extinguisher workshop, someone will raise their hand and say, “great inbox stuff, but how do we get arms like yours?” I use my pull-up bar every day as a break between tasks. For the full story, watch the video below. This is the bar I use – ProsourceFit Pull-up Bar*.
  1. Lacrosse ball* – I keep one in the car for when I'm a passenger and one in my living room to use when I'm reading or watching Netflix.
  2. Exercise bands – I like Rubberbanditz and had my own branded kit, The Jetsetter, when I first opened my business. They last much longer than other bands due to the construction of layers instead of a tube. 
  3. Free weights* – Have a few different options, but nix the 5 pounders if you're only going to get 2-3 different sets. Your bag probably weighs that much!
  4. Beachbody on Demand subscription – this helps take the decisions out of my workout routine, and I can follow along. Following choreography is good for the brain.
  5. Sliders *- these make any exercise harder and work well on carpet and wood or vinyl floors.
  1. Hoop – I make my own hoops and have varying sizes. The bigger the hoop, the easier to spin.
  2. Infrared sauna – I have the Sunlighten Signature II sauna. It's the only medical-grade infrared sauna on the market, and the research to back the health effects are solid. It's my new healthy addiction 🙂 Tell them I sent you and get $100 off your accessories!
  3. Stability Ball* – Use this for balance and strength moves. Get the right size for your height.
  4. The Stick* – Great for muscle rolling and myofascial release. Keep it by the TV and roll out your calves, quads, and hamstrings during your Netflix time.
  5. Synergy bands* – These bands are great to go around your legs for squats and lunges—a wide variety of uses for resistance.
  6. Glute trainer bands – Blood flow restriction bands. These are for advanced exercisers. If you are using these, educate yourself first on how to use them properly.
  7. Weighted vest* – Make any exercise more challenging by adding a weighted vest. I use this when hiking, walking around my neighborhood, doing yard work, and some weight routines.
  8. Balance Disc* – Standing exercises on this disc challenge your balance and flexibility.
  9. Push-up bars* – I like these to give me a greater range of motion in my push-up. I've also used them when I had wrist injuries to keep my wrists in a neutral position.

I love to ride my bike and run outside, but it's just not possible for me every day when the weather is cold. One thing I never do is make an excuse. Your home gym can be so minimal, it consists of nothing! It's possible to get a great workout with no equipment and just use your own bodyweight. 

Please, for the love of six-pack abs, functional posture, and painless knees, don't let lack of access to a gym or the dark keep you from moving.

If you need an extra boost of motivation this winter, check out my 25 in 25® challenge! It's 25 minutes of intentional movement every day from December 1 – December 25th. Why? Because it's when most people lose their exercise program and the busyness of the holidays take over. Even if the month will be different this year, make it something positive for yourself and join the challenge!



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