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.

Blogging with Babies

Getting it all done

I’m a wife and a mother of 2 beautiful monsters a little boy named CJ (8yrs. Old) and a little girl name Gwendolyn (2yrs. Old). Working full time and having such a huge presence across social media is a real stretch of my time to say the least. But I find time to do what I love. I love being a mother, and I love being a blogger. The best way that I could bring these 2 worlds together is to blog about with my babies.

I have a strict schedule because I work full time outside of the home, I have a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel and a life coaching practice. All of which, produce some type of income every month. It’s a daunting task to manage it all, but I get it done and I don’t quit.

  1. I keep a time blocking schedule.

You can find lots of information about this topic online butbasically I block out time during the day for tasks or appointments that I needto keep. I keep a social media calendar just like I will keep my work calendarbecause social media is my work and my children are my work so both of thesethings are scheduled on of my own my planner. I also scheduled me time sleepand personal care.

2. I have daily routines

Routines will be your absolute lifesaver when it comes tomanaging your business, your social media and your family.  Once you develop a daily routine, All of thethings that you have to do on a daily basis becomes very fluid.

3. I delegate

I have really become a master at this one. If it’s somethingthat needs to get done and I know that someone else can do it just as good as Iwould I delegate that task. Done is always better than perfect.

4. I take time for myself

Some down time is very necessary for you to wind down andrecharge. If you don’t give yourself breaks you won’t be very productive atall. So, stop, catch your breath, drink some water, and then get back in there

5. Don’t cram it all into one day

Rome wasn’t built in a day and you are no Hogwarts’s Alumni.There is no magic spell that can make it all get magically done or magically goaway. Take your time and spread things out. It’s better to focus on one at atime.

6. Take one day off or maybe two

Like I said before, you need to get some type of rest inorder to be creative and productive.

7. Start early

Your brain is more productive and creative first thing in the morning. After your morning routine, self-care, and a hot cup of coffee or tea, get cracking. Tackle the big stuff first and you will breeze through the rest of the day.

I hope that these tips will help you to win your days and inevitably win your life.

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.

I Almost Died

With any major change in life comes some stress. The stress of change can cause us to really freak out most of the time. I know I have damn near gone crazy with all the changes in my life right now. There are a few lessons that I have learned that I think will help some of you who are also going through some type of stress or just dealing with a full plate. Most of these lessons are common sense, but most are ones you didn’t think of. Sometimes our brain is so full of other things that we aren’t really thinking clear. That brings me to my first point:
1.) Just breathe.
This change and the stress that comes with it has not killed you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this, Just take a second and breathe. Assess the situation and calm down, You will get through this. Once you stop and breathe, the fresh oxygen to your brain will help you to think more clearly.
2.) Handle the hard stuff first.
I know we like to do the easy stuff first but, doing the stuff we want to do the least first helps to clear the table for everything else. In essence, if you move the mountain you can see the valley. Get those big, hard to do tasks out of the way and you will be able to breeze through everything else.
3.) Don’t be too proud to ask for help or delegate some tasks.
You are not a superhero. You just can’t do it all by yourself. If you have extra hands that can help, use them. Ask your spouse to do some of the small tasks that take time you can’t spare. Give the kids some chores and make them fun so they don’t even know they’re helping. All those friends and family that says “Call me if you need anything.” give them a ring. Even if they can’t at the moment, at least you know who you can really count on.
4.) No one is coming take away all your stress.
There are no superheros in your future. Don’t expect to be saved. No one is going to do it all for you. You have to do it yourself. No one can read your mind. You have to say that you are having a hard time and need help. You have to attack the situation head on. Face it and get it done.
5.) Self pity is a party of one.
Don’t play the victim. There are people going through more than you. After all, it could be worse. Pick your head up and keep it moving. It can only get better from here.
6.) Stop fighting change.
Like fighting the current of the Mississippi, fighting change will only make you drown. Flow with change and adapt to it. Fighting change will only make you tired. Take this opportunity to grow. It will challenge you to do better and be better.. Life is all about growth and learning. If you refuse to learn, you refuse to grow. Growth is necessary for survival.
7.) Don’t blame anyone for your stress.
It is YOUR stress. That means no one can cause it or stop it but you. You can’t control other people or other situations. You can however, control yourself and how you react to those people and those situation. Change your reaction and you could stop your stress from even occurring in the first place.
8.) Stop complaining.
No one is listening. No one likes a whiner. Complaining and being negative never helps anything. Period. Stop it now. Life and death is in the tongue. You can speak destruction and success into your life. Always be positive. No matter the situation. Rise above negativity.

9.) Put yourself in time out.
 If all else fails, step away. Give yourself some time. After all, this all begins and ends with you. There are people depending on you. You have to take care of yourself. Unhealthy body equals an unhealthy mind. Allow yourself some “me time”. Change and the stress of it can consume us. We have to unplug and unwind sometime. Schedule time for yourself, just like you schedule anything else. If it’s important, you’ll make time.
10.) Stay strong.
Faith is very important. No matter what religion you are, knowing that there is a higher power in control is comforting. Keep your faith. Prayer and meditation works wonders. Keep your head and your heart healthy.
I hope this helps someone. Let me know in the comments below.