Feel Good Fix – January 2016

Nowadays it’s nearly impossible not to feel overloaded, stressed out, or just simply like you have no time for yourself. There’s no time to stop, relax, take a break; but the everyday hustle can be detrimental to your mood (among other things). So, we’ve decided to help you find ways to improve your mood with our monthly Feel Good Fix! Think of it as a monthly homework assignment… for yourself. You can do it just one day out of the month, or every single day if you can. It’s all up to you and when you feel you need that extra boost of happiness.

Happy New Year!!!

Congratulations, you made it through the holidays! And we’re SURE that after a couple weeks of either visiting or hosting family and friends, you are all set up and ready to conquer the new year, right?! Yeah, didn’t think so. The holidays tend to be a stressful time of year, which is why our previous fixes were all about taking a break from the crazy. But this month’s fix is about taking action – this month, we want you to de-clutter!

The new year brings a sense of new beginnings and gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate how we want to live our lives. We make resolutions, we get motivated, we set out to make changes. One of the best things you can do before you begin anything is de-clutter and organize yourself for success. If your goal is to get in shape, organize your pantry and workout space. If you are looking to pay off some debt, then organize your finances. It also helps tremendously to do a general cleansing of your environment (home, office, car) to get a sense of preparedness. When things are a mess, you don’t feel ready – or motivated – to do the things that need to be done. Once things are in order, you have nothing left to do but tackle those lofty goals! Take the time this month to break down the necessary areas of importance and clean out the junk, organize, and plan – then get ready to make it a fantastic new year!
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Managing Goals and Daily Life with an App!

Let’s talk…

Do you feel as if your days are just flipping past you and that you haven’t done anything useful with your time?

Do you feel as if your life is a bit stagnant?

Do you feel as if your day-to-day responsibilities are a bit out of control?

Do you feel like you keep making goals but have NO way of achieving them?

I completely understand how you feel. We ALL go through these phases in our lives. I went through a major one. Also, we all sometimes slip back into poor habits and need to re-focus.

Here are the biggest and best tips I can give you…

  1. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. Be it on paper or with the use of an app (see #3), make sure you write everrrrrything down. A small task you need to do. A large project you want to start. Short-term and long-term goals. Write them down! Sometimes those amazing ideas that spring into our minds leave our brains just as quickly as they entered, even when you think you just can’t forget such an amazing idea. If you have one place to write everything down, your ideas will stay with you! Don’t rely on just your memory. Your brain does a lot of work every day. Help it out. Also, find one place for all of this info. A notebook, a planner or a smart phone app are your best bets!
  2. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS, THEN BREAK THEM DOWN INTO EACH STEP NEEDED TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS. It is too easy to set goals. Watch. “I want to lose 25 pounds.” or “I want to make an additional $1,000 a month in income.” or “I want to reduce my debt by 50% in 6 months.” Boom. Goals set. Now what?? This is the most important part. Break down each and every goal to the small steps that need to occur in order for you to achieve those goals. Then, make yourself accountable for hitting those small steps. Set aside time every day to work on your goals. Give yourself realistic deadlines. Just make sure you stick to it!
  3. A SMART PHONE APP CAN HELP YOU ORGANIZE YOUR TASKS AND GOALS. There are tons of apps out there to help organize your tasks and calendar. Some are free and some aren’t. Utilize these tools! You can set alarms, make lists, share lists, etc. Once you set your goals and reminders just refer back to your phone throughout the day to make sure you are achieving the tasks and goals you set for the day. No need to re-write lists by hand once you enter them into an app. It is an amazing feeling when you get to check off tasks as completed.

Now a few days ago I mentioned an app that I love. Well, I loooove it. Looooove loooove it. It is called Priorities and I found it on the Apple App Store. The app has quite a few features that I consider a MUST. You can SHARE pages. “Pages” are for different types of lists. Here is a screen shot of my pages.

Not So 30s - Priorities Pages

As you can see, I have categorized some of my priorities and also included a reminders page. Within each page you can add tasks and lists! The app cost a few dollars, but I have already made that back with all of the tasks I have completed.

Not So 30s - Priorities List

As you can see here, I have a lot of tasks under my Wedding Planning page. Little by little I AM knocking these off the list. I have to admit, every single time I check off one of my completed tasks, I feel a little bit better about what I have achieved that day!

Make sure to follow my blog for more organization and goal-setting tips!

Let the REAL Wedding Planning Begin!

NotSo30s - Wedding Planning Checklist

Finally… The wedding planning ball is rolling… Slowly… But rolling nonetheless!

I transferred my wedding planning checklist to this AMAZING app that I found (I’ll tell you ALL about the app tomorrow), and I shared the list with my fiance. This week I have already knocked off about 5 check boxes. I think in the last 2 months I might have checked off 5 check boxes, so progress is definitely being made!

We are still tied down financially as we house hunt, but I’m not letting that stop me any more! I can plan! I can reverse engineer! I can make lists of items to buy! I can do a LOT without having to spend money yet. Thennnn, once we find our perfect home and close on it, I can make the purchases/down payments I need to! Everything will already be lined up!

Last night alone I discovered how expensive formal suit  rentals are for men! WTH! You don’t even get to KEEP the suit. At least bridesmaids get to keep what they purchase… So our hunt for groomsmen suits continues. The good part is, we already have a game plan!

So to all my brides-to-be out there… The BIGGEST and BEST advice I can give you is have a checklist for EVERYTHING that needs planning/coordination for your wedding! Set deadlines! Check of boxes EVERY week (even if you do something small, you did SOMETHING!).

Juggling Act…

Input

This post is more of a request for ideas…

How does everyone manage to juggle the priorities of their days? What techniques do you use to take care of home, family, nutrition, scheduling, work, errands, and projects?

I know and utilize some WONDERFUL techniques, but lately I am finding it very hard to get everything accomplished. My unfinished tasks are starting to snowball, and the added pressure/stress that it brings is NOT making me happy.

My to-do lists are organized and my main way of getting things done and remembering important tasks… Yet… My list of to-dos is getting looooonger and loooooooooooonger and loooooooooooooooooooooooonger. (Has human cloning been perfected yet? Another Angie might be just what I need…)

How do YOU balance all of the responsibilities and priorities of YOUR day?

Punctuality Matters!

Appointment times are set… Plans are made… Others work their schedule to accommodate yours… Although I’m all for being sporadic and making last minute plans/decisions, we all do have to work from a schedule at some point.

I am very conscious of the fact that my timing can affect the schedules and plans of others. Every morning I wake up and take a peek at my calendar to plan my day. I’m so grateful for the calendar on my phone. Keeping track of appointments and reminders has never been easier. This is applicable to almost everyone else, as smart phones are now the most purchased type of cell phone. Be it Apple, Android or Windows – each platform comes with a calendar feature. Heck, our phones can even alert us of upcoming reminders and appointments. Our attachments (or should I say, super-glued to our hands fixation) with our smart phones should be making us more efficient with our time.

Yet, with the advancement in technology comes the reduction in our needed to actually THINK and REMEMBER. (Come on. Admit it. Years ago you used to be able to recite the phone number for each of your friends and family members. Now, it is “uhhh let me check the contact card.”) So if we don’t even need to REMEMBER our appointments, we just wait for it to pop up on our calendar or for our phones to remind us, why are we all still running late?

I have a friend (who shall remain nameless but knows exactly who she is) who was a CHRONIC “late” person. If I wanted her to meet up with me at 3pm I would have to tell her 2pm and STILL cross my fingers that she make it on time. Technology has advanced and she still couldn’t improve on her timing. Only recently has she made QUITE the change. She has been early or on time to almost everything I can remember. She is almost unrecognizable! It is wonderful. In the past, however, my patience were always tested. She is DEFINITELY NOT the only person to be late. I know I am late once in a blue moon, but it is an absolute pet peeve of mine. I hate knowing that someone else is waiting on me.

I find people that do not take other people’s time into consideration are rude and careless. Your tardiness can affect the careful scheduling and planning of another person’s day. It takes only a bit of effort to be on time. The important thing to remember is to plan ahead.

A separate discussion would refer to the definition of RUNNING LATE: Doctor’s offices. I find that too many doctor’s over book their patients. I understand that a doctor has a limited amount of time to see patients, but if a patient needs wait two months to see a doctor, I think that physician should stop taking in new patients.

Am I being too optimistic in thinking that we can all be a bit more productive with our time? Can we all make a little more effort to be considerate of everyone else’s time? Can we all make a little more effort to be punctual? Let me know what you think and feel free to share a story…

Write It Down!

Emails, phone calls, commutes, appointments, families, interruptions, errands, schedules, kids, meetings, work, relationships, text messages, radios, papers, apps…

Our days are FILLED with sensory overload… Sometimes we don’t know who we are, where we are, what we were doing, what day it is, and where we are going… I had one of those days yesterday…

With all of the constant buzz and interruptions during our day, it is hard to sit down and really formulate ideas… Make goals, create a game plan, remember small ideas, complete a task… There is one great way to help yourself remember all of the small ideas and thoughts… WRITE IT DOWN!

Don’t always rely on your FABULOUS memory… Don’t leave a great idea to chance! What if you are running out of the house in the morning, trying to remember to grab your breakfast, lunch, iPad, papers and bag… and in your running around a great idea pops into your head for a project you are working on or want to start. Do you say to yourself, “I’ll remember this later…”? Do you ALWAYS remember? Does the thought slip out of your mind just as fast as it popped in?

Grab your phone… Grab a post it… Grab a note pad… and WRITE IT DOWN!

You can revisit your notes at any time, but it is there… Written… No need for the disappointment of forgetting something.

I have many ways of keeping my ideas written… In the office I have spiral bound notebooks where I jot down notes from a meeting, ideas on an account, or a game plan for a project. I am going to start transitioning these to an Evernote document on my iPad, which will make all of my notes searchable.

I’m also a tab bit Post-It happy… I usually just use these for short-term reminders… They tend to be reminders to call someone, take a quick look at an account, an errand I need to do that day or next…

As for my personal ideas/thoughts… Hellllloooooo iPhone and iPad! The handy dandy Notes app is awesome for getting an idea down without having to worry about opening a document or large app.The reminders app makes adding a task follow up fast, reliable and customizable. I can also go on and on and on and on about all of the apps that are available…

It doesn’t matter what method you use… Write… It… Down…