Goal setting for the new year

I know it’s a tough subject to think about right now but it’s time to set some goals for 2020. We all start out the new year with resolutions, which we break within 10 minutes of the new year. This year I’m starting with goals. I want to accomplish more in the new year besides a whole night sleep.

After carefully reviewing every aspect of my life, I have come up with carefully thought out goals and action steps to help me to reach each one. This sounds simple, but it took me a few days to sort out what I really wanted out of life and how could I get there.

I had to sort out the attainable from the totally rediculous. I have a lot of wants, all of my wants cannot be turned into attainable goals. Most of my wants were really broken down to achievable by a change in routine or habit. My real goals, had a series of steps and levels to the finished product.

I have four planners that help me to achive daily, weekly, and monthly goals. All of them are different sizes and only one system is a different type. I picked each of these planners according to what information I will be keeping track of in each. I’ll go into more detail of each in a later post.

When you get your clear vision about what you want out of life and make a plan of how you will get there, trust your judgement on what if any planner or planning system will work for you.

Here are a few pointers to help you along the way.

1. Separate your wants from your needs. Most goal setting is stumped by wants vs needs. Needs are necessary for everyday life, wants make getting your needs easier, comfortable or more efficient.

2. Be realistic about your goals. Nothing hurts worse than trying to reach an unrealistic goal. It’s like trying to go to the moon without a space ship.

3. Don’t stop with a general goal. Keep going by writing your action steps out. Then you can see your plan in action.

4. Take your time. This is your goals and your plan. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or conform your goals based on where you should be. Plan for where you are and where You want to go and not where others want you to be.

5. You don’t have to be a superhero. Your goal are about you and only you. Don’t feel bad for that. You are not responsible for helping others achieve their goals. Don’t allow them to make you feel bad about your success.

I hope this post helps you to rock your goals this year. Go for it. Don’t let fear keep you from your dreams.

Putting Out The “Fires” That Burn our lives to the ground.

Everyday there are things in our life that run a muck. Sometimes we can catch it as it’s happening and intervene. Other times we don’t see it until it’s a four alarm fire. What we don’t realize is that most of the fires in our life, we start. We wonder why things happen to us knowing we haven’t done anything. That is the biggest problem, not doing anything. Here are four things that we do unconsciously that starts an avalanche of problems.

  1. Neglect. Neglect by definition is to give little attention or respect to. Like your child’s behavior which used to be cute but is now publicly embarrassing? Your marriage that used to be full of love and joy but now you can’t stand to be in the same room with one another? Your credit score that seems to reduce itself by 100 points a day? Your weight that you make excuses for? The body that you hide in baggy clothes? All of these things are the consequence of neglect.
  2. Indifference. Indifference by definition is the lack of interest concern or sympathy. Much like neglect it has the same type of consequential universal reaction. For example, your credit score is dwindling because you are indifferent about paying your bills or paying them on time. You have no sense of concern or urgency on your responsibilities. You see no need to work out so you don’t. As long as your kids aren’t bothering you, you implement no real discipline, and so on.
  3. Fear. Fear is a feeling induced by a perceived danger. The keyword here is perceived. Perception can be altered depending on your position. Like the rear view mirror on the side of your car that says “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. Life has no such warning but that would be great if it did. Just like you have to look before you switch lanes to prevent collision, you have to look around in your life to prevent destruction.
  4. Complacency. This is the dreaded comfort zone that people warn you about. You get comfortable with below average or even substandard life that you have no clue what’s going on around you like going to the job that you hate because it pays some of the bills instead of updating your resume or going back to school because staying at the crappy job is easier. Or not disciplining your kids because you want to be their buddy instead of a parent. By the time you realize the whole forest of your life has burned to the ground.
  5. Keeping up with the Kardashians. The phrase “keeping up with the Jones’s” is a bit outdated for this day and age of social media, but the same applies here. Being so wrapped up in keeping up appearances in a one-sided media platform is a dangerous distraction. While you are falling victim to the drama and consumerism which is social media, your own world is falling to pieces. Social media only tells one side of the story. It’s there for advertisement and entertainment. It is a bad representation of real life.

Now that we have established how most of the “fires” in our lives get started, let me give you a few “emergency contacts” (tips) to help you put a few out.

  1. Call the “Fire Department”. In other words, get some help. Most times the people who truly care about you can see the fire from the outside better than you can from the inside and will be glad to help in any way they can. This also applies to counsel. Talking to someone could be the biggest and best help of all.
  2. Get Moving. You can’t do anything standing still. Real lasting change requires action. Have you ever seen a firefighter standing still or not doing anything at the scene of a fire? Not doing anything is what got the fire started and action is the only way to put it out.
  3. Call Serve Pro. Not really but you have to clean up the mess. Remove all the debris (negativity) from your life and evaluate what you really want. Remove some things, and even people, that no longer serve you any purpose. I know you love your tribe but what good are they if they can’t help you or at least warn you about what they see. “Hey friend, your house is burning”.
  4. Have a plan. Make sure you know where all the “exits” and “fire extinguishers” are. Have people designated to help you and keep them updated on how you’re doing. If you’ve ever experienced the devastation of a real house fire like me, you know how important it is to prevent rather than put out. Have a plan and people in place to help you. You won’t regret it.

Your life doesn’t have to “burn” but once and a while a few small fires flare up. With the right support and training (self discipline), the next fire won’t be so bad.

5 Self care techniques that can help your anxiety

 

   Some anxiety can be really debilitating. I know because I am living with anxiety. Some days, just getting out of bed is a struggle. I also have clinical depression and both of these conditions together really make daily life a struggle. With two kids and a household to manage, I don’t have time to wallow in my mental setbacks. I have learned a few coping techniques and I want to share them with you so that maybe you can use these techniques to push through as well.

1.) Breathe.

  Studies have shown that the simple act of deep breathing helps to relieve anxiety. Fresh oxygen to the brain helps to give your thinking processes good fuel. Sometimes that’s all it takes. So just breathe deep and slow. Everything is going to work out for your good.

2.) Bathing and showering

  I remember when I was younger and my grandmother would say “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Well, that’s almost true. The simple act of bathing is symbolic of “washing off the day”. It gives you a metaphorical clean slate. Just like every day is a new beginning, So goes a good shower or bath. So wash the day off and start over.

3.) Clean your personal space

  This is another “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” thing. Removing the trash, junk, and clutter around you lends itself to a feeling of having it all together. The act of removing clutter from your personal space also removes clutter from your mind. You also reap the benefits of having a clean and organized space.

4.) Journal

  There are many ways that journals helps your anxiety and mental health. Journaling is a way of weeding through your thoughts and emotions. Having them on paper gives you time to really examine what and how your anxiety is triggered, therefore helping you to cope better in those situations. Not to mention it is a great therapy tool.

5.) schedules and routines

  Having a set schedule and routine is also a great way to combat anxiety. I have routines for everything and every moment of my day is planned out including my leisure time. I know this sounds like a lot but it works for me. Having a schedule keeps me focused and having a routine keeps me on task. I know what I am supposed to be doing and when I am supposed to be doing it. I just re-center myself when I get lost. I also take advantage of decorative planning. This helps me to use my creativity as a coping mechanism.

My life is not perfect by any means but having this five techniques in place already in my life has helped me to battle anxiety and depression greatly. I hope that they can help you too. Feel free to come back and visit my blog for more tips and links to great help and advice. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss a post. Remember to live every day like there is no tomorrow.

Getting out of the Holiday blues

For years I hated the holidays. I’ve always seen the holidays time as full of hurt, and a lot of headache. I have a huge family and I love my family very much. But over the years I’ve tended to separate myself from some of my family because of their negativity and attitudes.

This year I decided to go at the holidays alone and to my surprise I didn’t contract holiday Blues this year. I’ve been spending way more time with my kids. Who’s hilarious, by the way. My kids help to keep me grounded. Sometimes I think if I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t be as much fun.

So this Thanksgiving, my family and I had Thanksgiving here at home. I cooked all the traditional Thanksgiving food that I love to cook for my family each year. We ate, we talked, we drank, and repeated until we all passed out for the night. I must say it was the most fun that I’ve had with my little family here, my husband, my two kids and his brother who currently lives with us.

There was no drama, no fussing, no stress. And this is how I would like every holiday to go but unfortunately I know it won’t be so, or can it be?

I’ve been working on the rest of the Holiday season and how I would like for it to go. Remember, plans will always change. Leave room for the unexpected. I have delegated certain tasks so that I’m not overwhelmed. Done is always better than perfect.

I’ve opted out of heavy decor this year. I have two little monsters that I will keep busy by letting them make the decorations (that I have strategically located online) and put up the tree. Michael’s craft store has been a real time saver for all of the decor and crafts for kids.

Finally, my menu is simple. Minimum leftovers predicted. I’ll have plenty of time to mingle and celebrate. I’ve also gotten plenty of disposable dishes and pans. Minimum cleaning predicted also. This planning didn’t take long and wasn’t complicated. Mostly clever and common sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think of all this before.

I realized that most of my stress and anxiety associated with the holidays is caused by my constant pursuit of perfection. I’ve been chasing a ghost. Perfection does not exist. I don’t have to impress my family. They could care less about the decorations or our outfits for that matter. They’re just happy to celebrate with us and that is just what the holidays are about. Family.

I wish each and every one of you a happy, safe and blessed holiday season. I hope to see you all in 2019.

Happy holidays!

Seeing life through someone else’s eyes

You never know how your actions affect other people until you hear exactly what you are going through from someone else’s perspective. It’s like shining a light into your own dark life.

I had a conversation with a close friend of mine and he told me a story about his ex-girlfriend. He was in love with her and she hurt him, badly. This story is common among people who have been in a relationship. The difference was that my friend was honest enough to tell me his true feelings. Feelings that he had expressed to no one before. I was touched and honored. For someone to share their innermost feelings means that they are very comfortable with trusting you and telling you this information.

The way he explained his feelings opened my eyes as to how my own husband feels about certain things in our relationship. My husband is the strong silent type. He doesn’t verbalize as much as I do. Now I feel like I have a better perspective on things from a man’s point of view. I will take the time to have a deep conversation with my husband to find out if this applies but for the most part, I’m sure he’ll be happy to know that I consider his feelings.

You never know how your actions affect someone else until you hear it from someone on the outside looking in. There is a lot we can learn from each other just by listening. Not just with our eyes but with our heart.

This conversation definitely opened my eyes.

Have I found planner peace?





So here I am, two years into my official planning journey and I end up with multiple planners. I was the girl calling other girls crazy for having multiple planners. I didn’t see the point in planning in multiple planners. I had no idea why certain information needed its own planner. Now I am one of those crazy people and surprisingly I feel more sane now than I have ever felt in my life. I am finally at the point where I feel like I don’t have to buy another binder or another accessory. I am really fine with what I have.
I also have a confession to make, I didn’t spend over $20 for each of the planners that you see in the picture. I got the two Happy Planners from Michael’s and I got the Webster’s Pages from Jo Ann’s. I used reward coupons and got each of my planners for pennies on the dollar. I also got stickers and accessories for 60% off at Michael’s. So far my planner journey hasn’t broke the bank and I’m proud of that. That makes my husband happy too.
So now it’s time for me to tell you what I use each planner for.
This little guy is my purse-onal planner. It is my planner on the go. I have sections for tracking and journaling. This is my personal planner dedicated just to me and what takes most importance in my life. It includes my routines, medication lists, mood tracker, workout log and Dr. appointment log. I keep a few sheets of grid paper to track what I have to do with my 2 kids. Each child has a small section in this planner. That’s it. I’m only using this planner for me. This is my personal domain.
Webster’s Pages A5 Color Crush 

This gorgeous beauty is my social media planner. I have multiple social media accounts and I want to keep better track of what I’m doing and where. I recently purchased a domain for my blog and I suddenly needed somewhere special to track my blog and my YouTube channel. I was torn because I wanted this one to be my purse-onal planner, but it was too much to carry in my bag. I have a section for each of my social media profiles including my Instagram dedicated to planning. @creatively_dee288 You can find more pictures and layouts there of all of my planners and accessories.

 

Everyday Essentials Classic size Happy Planner
This big guy is my home and family planner it has the gold expansion rings and it is packed with everyone’s schedules, appointments, paydays etc. I also have the Happy Planner Home Planner extension in here. I use this planner for meal planning and household management. I love how customization the Happy Planner is. I can print and punch a million and one inserts or just go to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby and purchase more. This is the planner that also gets the most abuse. It is out on my desk all the time and sometimes my son uses it as a coloring book lol. I also spend a lot of time in this planner because everything else revolves around this planner.
I feel at peace with my planner system as it is right now. Each planner has a purpose. It took me a 30 minutes to set them all up to fit my life and fulfill their purpose. I often felt unhappy with my planning systems in the past because I felt like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. Now that I have had my current system in place for 2 weeks, I feel like I have gotten more done in these two weeks then in all of 2017 combined. It’s amazing how just a small thing can really change your life. I never would have thought that I would be a planner girl let alone a 3 planner girl. I’m impressed with myself, my system and my productivity because of it.
Let me know how your productivity has changed recently and what planner system you use. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for more lifestyle and productivity tips, tricks and most of all results.

10 ways to survive the daily chaos of motherhood

Being a wife and mother is a never-ending job. I’m up early and in bed late. I keep the world spinning, food magically appears from nowhere and I make sure the sun rises and sets daily. I keep the catastrophe at bay and the boogieman and I have cultivated a nice friendship over the years. (metaphorically speaking)

I am at the center of everything in my home and everyone is a priority, except me. As much as I love my kids and my husband, I found that I really lost myself taking care of everyone else. The doctors call this post-partum depression. I think that is the wrong term because what i’m talking about happens to every woman at some point and usually it’s due to being overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities without any depression at all.

Putting everyone and everything before ourselves is our way of coping with the stress and strain of Motherhood. It’s a natural sacrifice that we make that we really shouldn’t. The less we take care of ourselves, the less effective we are at taking care of our children and household. I am guilty of this on so many levels. I have even caught my self neglecting myself for weeks at a time. I am guilty of this. I have dealt with depression and it has drastically gotten better over time. The times that I neglect myself the most are not caused by depression but by a super busy schedule, a sick child and mountains of laundry worse than the Himalayas. I was not sad or emotional when I was neglecting myself. I was trying to get the chaos in order.

Once I caught myself doing this, I got on a mission to improve my world so that this would not happen again. I started getting together a system that helped me to deal with my family, my responsibilities and tasks, as well as myself.

1.) Get a planner 
I know that you have heard this a million times but this is so true. You will have so much on your mind things will get lost in the shuffle. Write them down. Either in an app on your phone, or a paper and pen. I keep a notebook and a planner. I have to write. It gives me the greatest calm and peace to write down not only my tasks for the day but also how I’m feeling. Seeing it on paper can help me to sort out what is just my mind running wild and what is actually happening. Believe me, I have been through the altered reality too many times. Writing things down will clear your mind and get you grounded fast. I have a Happy Planner by Create 365. I decorate and plan in my planner weekly which is a creative outlet for me as well as functional.

Classic Happy Planner: Everyday Essentials

http://www.michaels.com/create-365-the-medium-happy-planner-delicate-garden/10531393.html

2.) Get a plan together 
Once you have your planner in hand, use it. Concentrate on writing down your tasks and to do’s. Prioritize from the most important to the things that can be done later. You will realize, once you make your list, that things are not as overwhelming as they seem. You will gain so much clarity.  I usually do a top 5. After that I do an optional 3. Any more than that and I won’t have room for things that come up all of a sudden. Flexibility is key. Leave room in your schedule for unforeseen events. Give yourself extra time to complete tasks.

3.) Execute
Put your big girl panties on and get to it. You have to focus on what you have in front of you. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is true. You have to tackle what you see first. Then move on to the next. Hit your top priority items on your task list. Challenge yourself to get done at least the first 5 without stopping or getting distracted. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can get done.

4.) Stop multitasking
You shouldn’t multi-task just like you should’t text and drive. It will end badly. If you are cleaning, then clean. If you’re doing laundry then do laundry. You will get tasked completed so much faster if you focus on one thing at a time. You will also have more attention to detail. This means you won’t forget or leave much out.

5.) Schedule everything
Now, let’s get carried away with this one. Some people take this statement literally. When I say schedule everything, I mean make sure to use your time wisely. If you have a block of time in between tasks, this is the perfect time to schedule some down time for yourself. I even schedule showers and baths. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have asked myself if I had taken a shower that day. It may sound ridiculous to some but, it’s absolutely true. Schedule your personal care time too. I even write down my morning and night routines for my skincare. This comes in handy when you get mommy brain and can’t remember anything.

Now, by this time you should at least have a pretty good handle on things. Planning and scheduling should have at least cleared the smoke and let you see things much clearer now. Now that you have a little clarity as far as tasks go the next three will make your life even easier.

6.) Prep ahead of time
My kids clothes and my clothes are laid out ahead of time. Their clothes are organized so that I can grab what I need when I need it. My clothes are organized in the same way. I train my kids to use the same system that I have put in place and explain to them why. They get it. They are also young so their brains are just soaking it all up. This habit took me a while to cultivate and master but my “future self” thanks me all the time. Trust me it’s worth the extra effort.

7.) Get everyone involved
Don’t leave your kids out of the clean up. Get them to help clean up their messes and do laundry whenever possible. Remember, you are raising adults and you want them to be confident and independent. Giving them responsibility and chores little by little instills character. This also gives you a chance to see what they can do and what they can’t. It’s a great learning experience for you and them. You can even make it fun by turning it into a game. Engaging their critical thinking and motor skills which is great for their development. It also lightens the load on you.

8.) Develop a routine
Having a routine is critical. This can make the day go a little smoother but most of all, orderly. An established routine creates order and expectancy. Kids like this because it gives them a sense of security. They know what happens next and what is expected. There is no room left for question. This will also make life easier for you because after the routine is learned, the only thing you have to do is oversee.

9.) Be Consistent
As a mother, tiredness and lack of sleep were my greatest complaint. Establishing the routines talked about earlier has given me a chance to train not only my kids but myself.  I compare it to the metaphor that says “The fish rots from the head.” this is very true. You are the lead person in your household. The group of people you are responsible for respond to you and your leadership. They feed off of your energy. Make sure it is always positive. Being consistent is a positive reinforcement. Even though we don’t feel like it we should for the greater good of our home and family. A little struggle pays off in the end.

10.) Take time to relax and reset
Like I mentioned earlier. I even schedule this time in my planner. I will at least have a day or a few hours to myself to unwind, relax, and reset. You absolutely need to have this time. Whether it be a few minutes or a few hours. Take time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of the ones you love.

How I have been handling my anxiety.

I have been having anxiety for some time now. How I held my anxiety has been a struggle for me. I finally found new ways to handle my anxiety and have come across reasons why my anxiety has become so bad.
My anxiety usually stems from me trying to do too much at once or having just too much on my brain at once. Now that I’m a grown woman and have two children one of which is a 7 month old, I’ve had to find other ways to handle my anxiety and calm myself down.
So recently I’ve been trying to do journaling, I have been using a planner, and I have been doing more blogging to try and overcome what goes on inside of my head. No one can really understand anxiety and it’s really different for everyone who suffers from it. Anxiety is a strange thing it comes from a strange place and not even scientists or Specialists know the really ins-and-outs of anxiety and what causes it. Like I said before my anxiety came from me having too much on my mind or too much on my plate and just being overwhelmed in general. Having another baby really brought on a lot of my anxieties which were only fears from previous pregnancies that didn’t produce a living child. I’ve always been afraid of having another miscarriage and this time when I got pregnant it was a total surprise and it was a little later in life than I would have liked it to be but God had other plans.
So first of all let me talk about my happy planner which I can’t stop talking about. I found a whole planning Community, a whole planning world of people like me who have become passionate about happy planning. I’m calling it happy planning but the truth is it is Glam planning or memory planning. And the roots of happy planning came from scrapbooking where as one person took a planner and used it to document memories and put pictures in so it became a hybrid of planner from day-to-day and a memory Keepsake. So with that being said, you could always keep your happy planners, one for each year or 18 months that you have. It can be kept that long because it is filled with memories.
So the happy planning thing was something that I got into. I enjoyed looking at everyone’s layout and the stickers really got me addicted.  I couldn’t use the happy Planner on its own I had to have stickers, I had to have washi tape, I had to have everything that went along with this happy planner. I must say that being able to dump out what is inside your head onto paper made my anxiety so much better. I was able to plan out my days and my nights. I got more sleep. I was better focused. I had more concentration because I didn’t have so much on my mind that I had to remember. I had the planner to put it in.
So while I was on the happy planner journey, I found a thing called bullet journaling. Now bullet journaling to me was a hybrid of happy planning it, only that bullet journaling was that you would have bulleted points that you would Journal instead of writing a whole paragraph. This became a problem for me because I am a traditional journalist. I like to write out whole paragraphs. So for me the bullet journaling system really didn’t work like how I would see it on Pinterest or how I will see it on YouTube. But the idea of decorating my journal to make it just as pretty and to get creative with it just like I did my planner was awesome.
So with all this being said, this is how I have been handling my anxiety and it’s helped me in a lot of ways. Planning has helped me to get organized and journaling has helped me to dump out all of the things that are in my mind. All of my fears and worries. When you can write it down and see it on paper, you can just about map out what is real and what is only in your mind. I can safely say that most of my anxiety is really just in my mind. So now that I have these two systems of letting out my creativity and unraveling my mind at the same time it’s so much more comforting.
Not knowing what God’s plan is or why I’m here or why I have kids or why he’s given me kids at this point in my life is no longer a question for me. The question is what am I going to do tomorrow? How are we going to enjoy today? What fun memories can we make?
I’m no longer stressed about what what I’m doing or what I’m going to do. I just plan on being happy. I think that’s why happy planning and bullet journaling has just really taken control of my heart. I’ve even got in my kids creative with me to help me put in the stickers and write things down and it’s just awesome.  So happy planning and bullet journaling has helped me to handle my anxiety in a much different way.
So now my life is filled with so much joy, so much comfort. I have more time for my kids because of how I’ve gotten organized. I’m smoking less,drinking less I’m stressing less and I’m enjoying it.
So hopefully this helps someone out there. If you would like to get into Happy planning there is a YouTuber by the name of Heather Kell, kellofaplan. Her videos have helped me tremendously. I watched videos from the happy planner website, all of these things can help and there are people on Instagram whose Instagram is dedicated just to planning. so if you go and look up #happyplanning or #plannergirls or #plannerbabe you will find these people on Instagram. I hope you all have a blessed week and I hope that someone out there loves happy planning as much as I do. If you have a happy planner please don’t be afraid to share what you track in your happy planner or pictures if you like. You can find me on Google+ and on YouTube.
I hope you find your happy.