I alluded to it in my end of the year recap, but I joined a gratitude project towards the end of last year. It didn’t really seem like my normal vibe, to be honest. But I kept reading about the power of gratitude and how taking note of something to be grateful for each day led to a more abundant lifestyle. Figuring “why not”, I gave it a whirl, and I can’t believe how much it truly has changed my life.
I told you before that I had goals for 2019. You can read the more detailed commentary about the goals, but the core was to take care of my mental and physical health, to save some money (hopefully towards travel), and to put more time into my creative outlets like this blog, my YouTube channel and my coaching business. It’s all well and good to make goals of any kind, but it can be hard to keep track of them or take the necessary actions.
Last year, I bought my first Erin Condren planner. I really liked it. But by the end of the year, I didn’t feel like I had really used it to its full potential. So this year, I decided to set myself up for success using my Erin Condren planner, and a month into the process, I feel like I’ve found my groove. So I thought I’d share how I organized it, what’s working for me and what I want to do better.
(Full disclosure: When I decided that I wanted to write this blog, I figured I’d also sign up as an EC affiliate. This means that the links to Erin Condren stuff are connected to me, helping me earn a small commission if you decide to buy anything. Or you can use THIS link to get $10 credit when you buy and I’ll get also get some store credit to buy more stuff!)
I don’t normally like to talk about money. I don’t claim to be some kind of financial guru or to have all the answers to get people out of debt or whatnot. There are plenty of other blogs and sites that can help with that. But, I am pretty good with money, and I thought I’d share something that has made our lives way easier. Dean and I have a budget on Google and it is a lifesaver.
Back in South Africa, Dean was paid a consistent income every month on the 25th. It ran like clockwork. Then we would logon to our internet banking and pay all the bills we paid manually, and a couple days later all the debit orders would come off and we’d see how much money we had left for the month as my income was usually paid on a more irregular basis. It was simple and worked for us. But now, with both of us working as freelancers or contractors or whatever you want to call it, the funds vary a lot more from one month to the next, and it can be hard to keep track of it all. That’s why we have a budget sheet on Google.
One of the ways that I make the most of my gym time is listening to audiobooks. It’s how I was able to hit my reading goal last year, and expands my general “reading”. I wouldn’t sit down to read non-fiction time management books, but they’re pretty cool to listen to while lifting weights or pushing myself on the elliptical. Most recently, I listened to Laura Vanderkam’s I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time and it had some really interesting points that have helped to reframe some aspects of my life.
I like the way she uses different women as her case studies. Each person, each family is unique. While there are some common trends or ways of life that can be found across her sample, it was helpful for her to talk about the differences in careers, in families, in locales and more. After listening to the book, I think I might try to keep my own time log and share the results with you all soon. But for now, here are some of the best parts that I got from this book.
Some of you may have noticed that I’ve added a “Work with me” section on this site. No, this isn’t for brands looking to throw money at me to write random posts (although I’m happy for you to reach out to me if you are a brand and think we’d work well together). Rather, this is a section of the site devoted to my coaching business. Coaching business? Who do you think you are, coaching people – I hear you say. Well, let me explain why I work as a coach, what I offer, and why I think it’s worthwhile.
In many ways, I’m living my ideal life. I can pay the bills with working on average 4-5 hours per day, freeing up the rest of my time to hit the gym, relax with my husband, play with my kid or consume amazing series or video games. But the reality is that the writing I do in those 4-5 hours a day is pretty mind-numbing. Not all the time, but much of the time. Most of all, it’s pretty unfulfilling work writing such SEO optimized content. I’m lucky to be able to write for a living, which was my dream, but I also need other outlets for my soul, which is why I blog, make YouTube videos, and now, coach.