How to make progress when you have zero time

I’ve been waking up at 4am regularly again.  This means that I don’t have enough time during the day and my mind wakes me up thinking of everything I need to get done. Our schedule is too packed, I’m too busy and I’ve noticed things are starting to pile up because I don’t have time to make the progress that I normally do.  I’m too busy, have zero time and it’s stressing me out.

I bet you’ve felt like this too – your schedule is full, your place is a mess and your stress level is rising.  I encourage you to take time to make necessary adjustments to continue making progress, even if you have zero time.  If you do this now, you’ll have a better chance of improving your schedule, your stress level and your sanity.

Remove things from your life.

When you look at your schedule, what do you see? I’ve got a packed work schedule and a packed free-time schedule. And it isn’t working for me.  I don’t have time to think if I’m running from one meeting to the next. It made me realize that I needed to start removing some things from my schedule, from my thoughts and from my life.  After taking a long look at what I’ve been doing, I started to make changes.  I’ve removed important, valuable things from my schedule.  Some of them weren’t easy to remove.  All of them were necessary to remove.  I could tell it made a difference as my stress level decreased with each removal.

I encourage you to look at your schedule right now.  How can you get others to help you? What can you remove? What adjustments can you make? The more you choose to focus on the most important things, the more you’ll start to realize how your schedule shouldn’t be filled up with the other things.

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Why sticking to your budget will ultimately make you a better person

I’m the spender in our family. And recently, I was reminded in full force how easily your well-planned budget can slip right through your fingers.  I had that option many times and I resisted every single time.

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Yes, I love to spend money! But, I realize that spending money now means that we’ll have less later and I refuse to dip into next month’s budget for what I want right now.  So I decided to take the more prudent road and realized that each day I didn’t mindlessly spend on things I didn’t need, it strengthened my resolve to practice financial stewardship again and again. I know it isn’t easy and, honestly, I’m glad it’s a new month and our budget has started over.  I was reminded of some pretty important lessons that I’m ready to share with you.

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Move In Style

We just moved again, it’s the fourth time in 10 years.  And all four times, we’ve moved about 4 blocks away from our current house.  Same amount of packing and moving, shorter travel distances. I’ve learned something in all of these moves and I think it will make your next move easier.

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Make a reasonable plan to tackle packing.

We used whatever we had for boxes (including suitcases, backpacks and tubs) so we had less to move overall.  We also started packing immediately, packing less used items first and putting them in corners of rooms.  We did live with boxes in our house for two months, but packing 10 boxes per day seemed much more manageable. Figure out how long you have to move and how much you have to move. Divide up the work into smaller tasks per day to make it seem less overwhelming.

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Label boxes by room, not by item.

You know what I didn’t really need to know? What was in each box.  I planned to pack everything in the kitchen at the same time – so as long as my boxes were labeled “Kitchen,” I knew I’d be fine. The only boxes that got labeled with an item list were our most essential boxes – what we knew we needed to unpack the same day we moved in.  Everything else only had the room on it.  We saved so much time and mental energy by only labeling to the room it would be going in.  Consider this strategy on your next move.

Recruit great helpers and have jobs for everyone.

It’s great to have friends and family that can help you move, but even if you use hired help, you need to have a plan.  Workers want to be helpful and have their time used in a valuable way.  Make sure you know what needs to be done and have something for everyone to do.  It might be worth writing a list in advance to keep you on track, even if you get stressed out.  It’s also ok to assign workers to zones. Can some be loaders, some be unpackers and some be heavy lifters? Yes, yes and yes.

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Keep a donation bin at your old place and new place.

I donated items while I was packing and I donated more items while we were unpacking.  If it didn’t fit, we didn’t keep it.  The house we moved into has tons more space, but I don’t want it filled with clutter.  I want a clean, restful living space with less stuff and I knew I needed to make some tough decisions with everything we kept in our lives.  I couldn’t even tell you what we donated, because I don’t remember it and don’t miss it.

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You can move in style.  If you’re planning to move this week or this year – it can be done.  Make a plan, work your plan and enjoy your new living space.

The Easy, Breezy Meals You Need To Add To Your Life

When you’re thinking about your week, you don’t have to make a wildly difficult master plan for your meals. Figure out what you like and use the same strategy over and over to make everything easier. Plan out your week with these easy, breezy meal prep strategies.  Here are the meals you need to add to your repertoire: 

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The Easy Meal

We always keep basics for our easy meal on hand.  It’s easy to buy, easy to prep and everyone likes it. If we can’t think of any thing else to eat, our easy meal saves us a trip for take out.  You need to pick an easy meal that works for you. Here are some ideas:

  • Spaghetti (this is our go-to easy meal)
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Scrambled Eggs & Toast

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15 tips to confidently succeed this year

Each new year, I hear people discussing their goals and resolutions, but many don’t succeed even with the best intentions.  Start this year right and realize what you can really accomplish.  Let this be your year of confidence – It will be easier than you think to make goals and stick with them this year – you can make lasting, confident change in your life and this is the year to make it happen.

1. Speak your mind. You have valuable ideas.  Confidently share your opinion and be bold with your statements.  Don’t back down.

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2. Push your limits. Your goals should be challenging and exciting. Don’t settle for the easy route, build your confidence by pushing your limits.

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14 tips to make your life more simple; what I learned in my year of simplicity

I’ve spent this year focused on a year of Simplicity and it took me through a path that I didn’t know was possible at the beginning of the year.  Am I better for it? Yes.  I encourage you to work toward a simpler life, a better life.  Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

1. If you are miserable, it’s simpler to change your life. Sure, it may seem comfortable to stay where you are.  But a life of misery? Change it. Figure out how to change it right now.  I’m in the middle of my life change – it was scary and it was difficult, but once I made the change, I knew it was the right decision.  Be bold, be brave and make the change.

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2. Strategy saves the day.  When you are overwhelmed with everything going on, break it down into smaller, simpler pieces – making a written list of what you have to do makes you 7x more likely to remember it.

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The Year You Improve Everything #YouDeserveThis

You can change your life in a year. I’ve tested it multiple times and accomplished many goals – If I can do it, I know you can too. It’s going to take work, but it’s worth it.  What do you want to accomplish?

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Improve your health dramatically.  A few years ago, a scary health screening showed my cholesterol was dangerously high.  I reviewed common causes and the only thing I could improve were my eating habits (which were already pretty good).  So I spent a year figuring out how to boost my health results.  I reduced a few favorites – sugar, eggs and peanut butter.  I added in a few new items – bulgur, brown rice and dry beans.  And after a year of steady dedication, my health screening showed that my cholesterol was back to a normal range.  If you have a health issue, consider small, daily changes that you can make to help improve your health.

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