Got Routine?

Use routine to create positive habits and reach short term goals

Do you wake up in the morning with no expectations for your day and the activities that you will be engaged in? Let’s say you have a short term goal to lose 8-10 pounds over the next month. By creating routine, you can set yourself up for success. Make the decision, determine the steps it will take and get stubborn about creating a daily routine that will accomplish your goal.

I was able to lose 60 pounds in about 10 months by creating routine in my food patterns. The biggest tool that helped me was a daily journal where I had checklists and I recorded my daily experiences and moods. I met regularly with a registered dietitian.

Here’s why:

Because… the more times you start over or take steps back, the longer it will take to get to where you want.

When you decide you are going to start this diet and then start that diet you are causing confusion not only for you, but also for your body. Your body fights losing anything because it is not sure what it will take in tomorrow.

It is better to think about your way of eating and doing that every day instead of doing this diet or that diet. Diets don’t last so it’s better to just set a routine way of eating (what you eat, how often you eat, what your habits are when you eat). The longer you go, the easier it gets.

Because… the more times you do something, the easier it gets and you can do it without thinking!

Nothing is easy the first time you do it. Practice makes perfect! The more times you eat certain foods, drink a certain amount of water, or get up and hit the treadmill, the easier it gets. In the beginning you will be saying to yourself “ugh I don’t want to,” but after a couple weeks you find yourself doing it without a second thought. You may even feel worse if you are not in your routine!

Because… it makes meeting goals easier and more attainable.

This process can be applied to all short term goals. By the end of a calendar year, 12 positive habits can be formed, and you will be closer to reach some of your long term goals. Long term goals are accomplished by succeeding in smaller steps each day/week.

What are your daily health and fitness routines? How do you track your goals? I use the “Trello” app on my phone to set my daily routines, and then just check activities off the list once complete.

Got Envelopes?

You want to have fun AND save for retirement, but your money seems to run out before the next paycheck comes in!

You have a friend unexpectedly visit from out of town one weekend. You go out to dinner on Friday evening and spend some time shopping together on Saturday. Your friend leaves and you feel all warm and fuzzy because it was so nice to catch up. However, on Sunday afternoon, you receive a notification from your banking app that your power bill is due Tuesday and there is not enough money in your account to cover the bill. The warm and fuzzy feeling just vanished.

You can get control of situations like this if you implement a cash envelope system.

Here’s Why:

Because you will be more aware of your spending habits

When you hand over cash, you think a lot more about how much you are handing over than when you swipe a debit card. Having to count out the money and seeing what is actually left for that category makes you think harder about how much you are spending and if you actually need it.

In the beginning you may find you spend the money from a category faster than you thought, but over time you begin to become more selective about what you are purchasing. You also plan out for bigger purchases instead of splurging on items digging you further into debt.

Because the money you need for your power bill will not be mixed in with your money you want to spend on eating out and having fun.

The envelope system is a strategy for keeping you more accountable in sticking to your budget. Whether you take out your money for the month all at once or every week, you know once your envelope is empty, that you are not able to make any further purchases in that category. Thus, the money set aside for your power bill will still be safely sitting in your checking account.

When you budget make sure you are accounting for what you are actually spending because if you don’t budget enough for that envelope and you start pulling from other envelopes, it will quickly snowball (and not in a good way)!

Because it will clear your mind and increase your confidence about achieving your financial goals

It helps keep you “gazelle” focused by having the money in the envelopes. I know for myself it was a competition I had with myself to try to still have money left over in envelope at the end of the month. In the past using my debit card, even when I was on a budget, I wasn’t thinking about what was there, but just about my purchase. When I pay cash out of an envelope, I go into the store saying I have $30 and intentionally try to spend less.

Do you use envelopes? Tell us how they have helped you on the debt journey!

Got Skill?

You want to excel in your career, but do you know how!

{Wooooosh} That’s the sound of the money flying out of my wallet as I see an infomercial to get rich by being my own boss doing this or that. Yup I’ve fallen for it. I’ve fallen for it enough times that if I got paid each time I fell for it I really could be rich! I’ve also interviewed potential employees who think they can come in and be at the top rung of the ladder. Nope… it doesn’t happen.

Sure, there are people that can purchase these kits, quit their day job to become their own boss, or the person that comes in and starts in the top floor office overlooking the city, but the number of people that actually do is very small. Why you ask, because there are many other skills needed to become successful at a career, especially a job where you are in charge of EVERYTHING!

It takes more than a desire and personality to become the next big entrepreneur or the president of a company. It takes skill. There are set skills needed to move and advance in any career. Most of the skills are the same whether you want to be the boss of others or be your own boss. We are on the same journey, and here is what we have been doing.

Here’s How:

Take Initiative

We created a partnership so that we are accountable to each other, and we schedule regular business meetings to make sure we are moving our business forward. We use online collaborative tools to coordinate our work so that we can see each other’s progress on assigned projects. So the skill required in this area is initiative. We both want to build a business that generates full-time income and serves others.

Get Organized

Regardless of the product or service that anchors your business, you will need to be organized. You can practice this at your day j-o-b and perfect this skill on your own business. It’s tough to take initiative and focus on your productivity goal of the day if you can’t actually find the project materials that you need. Organize your files and physical environment in a way that promotes productivity and efficiency.

Stay Focused

Find every trick in the book to NOT CHASE THAT SQUIRREL! Stayed focused on the task at hand. Complete it and start the next task on the list. If you can stay focused and productive for a 30 minutes, you can accomplish more than you can in two hours of hopping around to different stuff. Our culture has us so connected to the world, distractions can invade every part of life – but only if we give the world permission. We can choose which notifications to allow. We can even choose to turn the dang phone OFF.

What are some skills you have developed in order to improve either your day j-o-b or building your own business?

Got initiative, get ideas!

Got Clutter?

You can get rid of clutter faster than you think!

Is the desk at your office neat and orderly, but your desk at your house looks like a tornado just ripped through town? This is the current reality of my life. For the life of me, it is a mystery why I am stubborn and judicious about the items that take up space on the my desk at work, but don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about how high the piles are on my desk at home. To be honest though, I do give a rat’s ass. I know this because the idea of all that paper preys on my mind like a bad sunburn across my forehead!

This week I committed to get my home office under control. This is the most ridiculous time for me to do this, too. There are big projects at work. I have a part time teaching job. And, of course, I have to take my summer vacation. Priorities, right?

I’m here to convince you that you can get your home office (or garage, or spare room A.K.A the junk room!) under control, and there is no better time to start than right now!


Here’s why:

Because… the pile is just going to keep getting bigger.

We all know that when we procrastinate on something it only gets worse! Whether it is putting of a project or cleaning up a mess, when the time comes to do it you feel a lot more stress and a lot less motivated to complete it. By getting started now on tackling the clutter, you save yourself many more piles to clean up (and prevent stuff from falling on you!)

Because… you can do just about anything for 30 minutes a day.

Instead of dwelling on the HUGE number of piles you need to tackle, focus on one pile at a time, but focus on it for 30 minutes. By knowing that you only have to devote 30 minutes, you will be able to maintain focus and motivation because you will be less discouraged by the mess. You may be so motivated once you start going through your piles that you easily work on it for longer! If you don’t, it’s ok. Just pick up the next day where you left off. You will get more done in the 30 minutes than if you decided to tackle one pile at a time.

Because… you will instantly feel a sense of relief, as well as a sense of control.

When you walk into a room that has pile after pile of clothes, papers, boxes, books, whatever – it immediately makes you feel claustrophobic and makes you feel like you have a lot more to do! It also causes extra stress for the constant worry about where something is. By everything having a place and getting into the habit of putting everything back where it goes each night (CTC = Clear The Crap), you will spend a lot less time and worry trying to find something when you need it!

Do you have this problem at home? Post a pic and tell us how long it took you to CTC to get your home office (or any room) under control!

Got clutter? Get help…