The Time is Yours!

The Time is Yours!

Do you ever wonder what is holding you back?  The reason I hear most often from colleagues and friends is time.

There is never enough time to get all the things done that need to get done.  The end of each day comes too quickly and there are too many things left to do that did not get accomplished.

So people stay up late, run to Wal-mart at 9 o’clock at night, run around trying to make up for the lost time in the day and to get ahead on the next.

The result is that many  people are run down, frazzled and frustrated. And then we get up the next morning, after too little sleep and do it all over again.

What is holding these people back? What is holding you back?

It is not time that is holding us back. Each one of us has the same 24 hours a day that everyone else has.  Why are some people so efficient and happy and accomplished?

It is very simple…and you can already tell what I am going to say. They are organized and have their priorities straight. They do not squander their time. And they value their health, their peace of mind and their priorities.

In the next few blog posts I will examine and revisit some golden ideas on time management, priorities and values. Stay tuned!

For today, I invite you to examine your day and your life. We are half way through January already and many of us have already given up on our plans and resolutions to get organized, get it together, and do things differently this year to get out from under the time crunch that rules our fast paced run around life.

Think about the time wasters in our day–losing track of time in the shower, talking to co-workers around the water cooler, making unnecessary trips to the store, allowing others to dominate our time by volunteering us for tasks that should belong to others.

Then think about the things that are really important to you in your life–the things that provide you with the quality of life you desire and deserve.  And get ready for some life changing ideas to help you take advantage of each day.

The time is yours–make the most of it.

Setting Up Your Year

Setting Up Your Year

Before I set my intentions for this new year–I thought it would be important to chose a guiding principle for the year.

Some people refer to it as ‘your word for the year’ that will serve as a umbrella for all you intend to accomplish.

A guiding principle is not the ‘what’ you want to accomplish this year but the ‘how’ you want to pursue your ‘what’.

Here are a few good questions to ask yourself to come up with your guiding principle:

  1. How can your attitude help you reach the goals you are thinking of achieving this year?
  2. How will you find happiness as you work towards your goals?
  3. How will you implement your daily intentions to move you forward step by step?

I thought about this long and hard to be able to keep the momentum from last year into this one.

I found that I had the most success reaching goals when I kept things simple and used common sense to guide me through the difficult or confusing times.

So I chose two guiding principles for 2019: simplicity and prudence.

Simplicity, of course, means doing things in the easiest way possible. That sometimes takes a little thinking and planning time.

Simplicity does not necessarily mean fast–remember that trying to do something quickly often results in having to do double work because we decided to cut corners.

And prudence means to do things with caution and care and forethought. So again good planning to avoid making things harder than it needs to be.

We live in a fast paced, run around, world. But it doesn’t always have to be this way.

Give yourself some time to develop your ‘How’, write it down where you can see it every day, and use your how as your guidepost for 2019.

There are endless opportunities and possibilities to help you reach your goals. Set yourself up for success!

24 Hours a Day

24 Hours a Day

Each one of us is blessed to have the same amount of time each day–24 hours.

Yet some of us get so much more done in the same amount of time than others. And I am noticing that people who can accomplish more in the same amount of time that we are all given are happier people.

It all comes down to organization, focus and work ethic.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your day.

1. Go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day.

Some people say this is boring. Ok then I am boring. I go to bed by 8:30pm, 9:00pm at the latest, everyday. I wake up at 5:00 am every “workday” and 6:00am on weekends.

As a teacher, even on my holidays off, I follow the same schedule. If my husband and I are traveling we do so also.

This helps our body have the sufficient energy levels each day for whatever is planned.

If we stay up late for a special occasion we still keep to the same schedule and in a few days our bodies have “caught up” the hours of rest needed to continue whatever our lifestyle dictates.

2. Be organized in everything you do.

Being organized is a tremendous time saver. If you know me or have been reading my blog for even a short time you will know I am a planner.

I plan everything from the chores of the day–and the days of the week certain chores get done– to our meals, our workdays, family activities and events.

For example, grocery shopping happens once a week, we follow a list and we don’t go back to the grocery store that week. If we forget something we just work around it until the next time.

If you are organized in everything, less time is wasted and more is accomplished.

3. Keep your focus.

It is great to have lots and lots of dreams of what you want to do with your life and how you want to spend your days–but without focus you will spend days and years going from one thing to the next and never accomplishing anything.

Keeping your focus on beginning and finishing your tasks–whether it is an obligation (like your career)–or something recreational like a hobby or project–is the only way things get done.

Think of all the things you began but have not finished yet…you have lost your focus for those things.

If you feel you have lost your focus because you don’t have enough time see tip # 2.

4. A strong work ethic will help you accomplish anything.

If you want to live a full life with days packed with accomplishments and successes a strong work ethic will get you there.

Whether it is washing dishes, or building a successful company, raising intelligent resourceful children, or being the best you can be at whatever it is you want to do, you have to have a stick-with-it-ness that only comes from a good work ethic.

Here’s the good news–if you don’t already have a work ethic you can get one–they are free!

4 easy steps to a happy and productive life…remember we are all given the same 24 hours a day–how are you choosing to take advantage of them?

Challenge Accepted!

Challenge Accepted!

For the last few days I have been thinking about how to organize my whole life, what parts of my life needed organizing and what benefits would come of it.

I’ve made great strides this year already–decluttering the house (someone should have told me it is kind of an ongoing thing!), living by my calendar and honoring  my time, getting my health and fitness in shape.

Until I realized how much more I have to do.

So I thought–what areas of my life would more–if any–organization benefit me?

Here is my brainstorm–and I do mean storm–list I came up with:

I would like to organize my days, my weeks and my months in respect to my chores, my tasks, my finances, my meals, my recipes…..I would like to once and for all organize my paper, my pictures, my thoughts, my plans. Included in that I would like to continue to organize my space–my house, my closets, my kitchen…and the thoughts went on and on!

Is it even possible to be this organized?  I started researching–which of course is a part of my life I am very organized in–and found that there are many resources to organize EVERYTHING from the home to your personal style.

How do you organize a ‘personal style’ ? Is that even a thing? Who knew?

After all of these mental gymnastics–I stopped. I closed my eyes, I did a few breathing exercises and listened in the quiet.

(I can always find answers in the quiet.)

Yes–I can organize all these things–not just for the sake of being organized but because being organized will help me focus on “The Plan” and find more time for what is important in my life.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Check in to future posts as I travel down this side road of organization to be more productive…I don’t want to reveal how I am going to do this just yet!

Until next time!  Have Fun!

 

The Plan

The Plan

When my husband and I realized that the Empty Nest was really a thing…and that ours would be coming soon…we started to formulate “The Plan”.

In other words we began to dream.  We talked about future goals and expectations we had for our lives. After all, we consider ourselves to be very fortunate to have–so far–lived a great life. The future has to be great too!

That is not to say that we have not had horrible times, struggled or made mistakes. We’ve done all of that and more! But somehow we survived it, made the best of most situations–learned a lot–and kept going.

Life is like that.  It is a roller coaster ride that takes you to unexpected places–sometimes painful and scary. And through it all we survive it and arrive at hopefully a good place.

I am finding though, as we think about dreams we have for the future that we have become complacent and comfortable with where we are and do not want to tempt the Fates with asking for more.

That is such a wrong idea. We can have more without threatening the security we now enjoy.  We can do and go and be whatever we want if “The Plan” is thought out properly.

And now with the empty nest we have also found that we have a great deal more time.  We have been filling this time with hobbies and weekend trips and doing the things we really enjoy and care about–like writing!

Others, though, see our empty nest and think we have time to do MORE for them. But MORE doing is not exactly what I had envisioned for “The Plan”. It is not busy that I would like to be but more authentic. Authentic to my true self and what I can offer others and what I can do for myself.

It is not part of “The Plan” to multitask anymore. That is not authentic! When I multitask I am not putting my full focus on what I am doing. I am good at multitasking and I can get a lot of stuff done. But over the years I’ve noticed that the better I multitask the more folks expect me to do. And by doing this I’ve allowed them to take away my joy.

Who came up with this concept of multitasking anyway? When I did a little research–(ok, I got a little carried away and read about 17 articles!)–I found that the term multi-task can be found as far back as the 1960s but was always used to refer to machines, in one article a lawnmower, and later to computers that can perform various functions simultaneously.

I also found that “Human Multitasking” is a thing! It is actually described as if the Human were some odd species!  Most article agreed that when humans multitask we are less efficient, prone to more errors and ultimately we are not saving more time.

So part of my “Plan” is to stop multitasking.  I want to be present when I am doing whatever it is I am doing. And I have been testing it out!  

I am my own laboratory rat: I had lunch today and concentrated on just eating and enjoying my meal. I turned off the monitor on my desk (where I eat at work), I put my cell phone in my bag and I just ate and looked out the window.

I have to admit that at first, it felt weird. But after a few minutes, my breathing changed, I noticed I was eating slower and how good my lunch tasted. I watched the wind blow through the trees outside and without intending to I started thinking about “The Plan”!  And all the things we are planning to enjoy and do–because we can and because we want to!

So just because we have more time doesn’t mean we have to do MORE of what others expect or want us to do. It does give us the freedom to look forward to that future we are planning and the manner in which we want to enjoy it.

And so I’ve officially included in “The Plan”:

  1. No more multitasking!
  2. Be authentic with my wants and dreams!  
  3. Give to others what I can offer them but that also brings me joy!

Look into your future.  What do you want to see there? What are you doing today that will help you realize your “Plan”? Comment below and share some of your plans and dreams. And remember, we only have one life people! Make it fun!

Join Facebook and check out my Pinterest page to see ideas about living a full life!

Have a SAVVY New Year!

Have a SAVVY New Year!

Happy 2018! The New Year brings with its very name the promise of a fresh start, a new beginning, an opportunity for change.

If you are an empty nester, a soon to be empty nester, or if you are a one person or one couple family, the beginning of the year gives us an open door to start formulating THE PLAN.

THE PLAN is what I call “building a new life”.  Not that the old life was bad in any way–it is just time for a change.  And creating a new life takes time–much more than one year–so our resolutions should put us on our way to that new life…not just change one aspect about ourselves.

Here are 4 things I am going to implement and that I think you should think about as we make New Year Resolutions or begin THE PLAN:

  1. Have a reason for the change
  2. Make changes in your life that can be measured
  3. Understand that a change in one part of your life will change other parts of your life…and
  4. Begin:  take that first step and keep moving forward!

So my -every year in most recent memory- resolutions have been:  

  1. Lose 10 pounds
  2. Get in Shape
  3. Be a better listener
  4. Organize my house
  5. Get my finances in order

My resolutions never had a reason behind them. And so, year after year, I failed to reach the resolutions I had set for myself.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  I really don’t know.  What I do know is that we can be better in choosing resolutions/plans that will actually help us meet our real goals. We can set ourselves up for success and happiness instead of setting ourselves up for failure!

Following the 4 steps I outlined above, my resolutions look much different:

  1. Be the healthiest ME I can be
  2. Organize my life so I have more: space, time, money and happiness.

Easy right?  Probably not–but they are clear ideas of changing the somethings in my life to make my future life better.  It is a simple way to guide yourself to where you want to be.  Find the reasons you want to build your life the way you want it.  If  you actually have a reason to change–then change is more likely–and it will lead us to the freedom to create the life we want!

Freedom after all is what will help us to build a better life, faster and smarter.The key to that freedom is within us.  

Turn the key, open the door and take that first step toward the life you want.

What changes do you want to make this year that will lead you to your ultimate life?  How do those changes fit in together? Comment below and tell me what you think!

And join me next time, when we will examine the power of PERSPECTIVE!

As always visit my Facebook page and Pinterest and have some fun!