How to plan your productive week

How to plan your productive week

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

There is such joy for me in the space between rest and productivity. My favorite day is one that combines both — a restful pace while still crossing things off my to-do list and making progress. That may not sound enjoyable to everyone, but I have a hard time with plain old rest. It’s something I’m working on. BUT I do believe there’s a time and place for productivity. That’s what allows you the time and space for the rest, right? Work hard, play (or rest) hard.

As someone who enjoys productivity, I thought it would be helpful to break down how I plan my week to optimize my time and energy. Of course, this is going to mean being intentional. Intentionality is going to make all the difference in taking you from busy to purposeful.

I plan out a week at a time. A month is too much to think about and things can change in the day-to-day that might affect my overall plan. A day at a time isn’t enough because I don’t want to overlook something by planning so short-sighted. So a week it is! Of course, do what works best for you! If you’re just starting out, try the weekly method with my tips and adjust as needed!

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Use a planner

Take your pick: paper or digital. Having somewhere to jot everything down is not only going to help keep everything straight, but it’s going to save you from a lot of headaches. I have been using a planner since middle school and it’s obviously evolved quite a bit since then. For 2018 I’ve been using a daily Simplified Planner and I’m in love!

If I don’t write things down, it becomes overwhelming and I’m likely overstretched because I said yes to everything without really noticing. That isn’t where you want to live. If you take nothing else from this, my biggest tip is to get all of that stuff you have to remember out of your head. Now that you have your planner, lets get to planning!

First: list out what’s already scheduled

meetings, appointments, must do’s for certain days, etc.

My Pure Barre classes actually fall into this category too since I book all my classes for the week on Sunday nights. I work in real estate and the community I’m in may vary depending on the day, so that’s the first thing I list for each day. I will also make a note of anything that’s already been determined such as a sales meeting, professional development class, dentist appointment, etc.

While I’m adding these items to the respective days, I make note of the time the commitment begins if it’s specific. This is helpful for 2 reasons: 1) so I know when I’m expected to be somewhere and 2) so I can create buffer time as we’ll discuss soon. I’ll schedule everything else around these items because I’ve already made the commitment.

Second: schedule in what should get done

errands, to do’s, workout, self-care, etc.

These are items that may or may not be tied to a specific day, but should get done during the week. Things like grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, scheduling a haircut, etc. Since I’ve already written down the commitments and times, I can add these in where there’s open time. Bonus, if I can add these to a trip I’m already scheduled to make, such as stopping by the bank on my way to work since it’s close by. This will save time, gas, and get those items taken care of!

Third: schedule in what you would like to do

dinner dates, fun stuff, house projects, etc. 

These are the extras! It’s great to build fun things into your week or even just things I’ve been wanting to do. The commitments are scheduled, the to-do type important items are scheduled. Now I can see the space to use however else I want! Maybe a girls night to a new restaurant downtown. Maybe working on that project around the house I’ve been thinking about for a while. Make time for the things that light you up and bring you joy! When we aren’t intentional with our schedules, these things are usually the first to go, but intentionality gives them room. What a benefit of planning!

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Remember, you don’t have to do it all! Things can always be moved to the next week or be dropped completely. Maybe it can be outsourced or it’s just no longer important. You can keep a running list for things that fall here if you’re worried about needing to take care of it for later.

We’re talking about filling in our week based on priorities, but that doesn’t mean every single minute needs to be filled. You can (and probably should) leave white space in your week. Time that isn’t necessarily devoted to anything. Call it planned spontaneity, but this will give you the space to add in something else or just completely rest. We don’t want to jam pack our weeks on the regular because that only leads to burn out. Productivity and joy cannot exist long-term when we’re operating from a burnt out place. You know what they say about pouring from an empty cup…

With that being said, don’t be afraid to leave time buffers. In busy seasons, especially when I was planning our wedding and had a lot on my plate, I would plan things back to back to back. This set me up for failure because if one thing ran over time or got started late, everything else got messed up too. That would only lead to more stress and then more things I had to add to my list to reschedule and coordinate. Yuck!

I hate being late to things, but I often was because I wouldn’t allow enough time. Now I’m sure to leave a reasonable gap between items and allow time for travel. I find it’s usually better to overestimate how much time I’ll need. Sometimes that means I’ll be early to things, which is great, but may feel like a waste of time depending on how early I am. I always try to keep something productive with me like a book and my planner so I have the opportunity to read and maybe even plan.

Busyness does not equal success, worth, or value. Productivity means intentionally taking care of what’s important to you. Busy is just adding a bunch of stuff to your plate and trying to carry it all. We don’t need that. Your time, energy, and peace are worth more than that. YOU are worth more than that!

What is one thing you’re going to be sure to plan for next week?

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May Progress | June Goals 2018

May Progress | June Goals 2018

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

May felt like a blink and a year all at the same time. I’m so grateful for my Powersheets especially in months like that to keep me focused on what matters most. There was a lot of celebration and good goals grew.

May Progress

Monthly Goals

  • Vida Dulce Opening: Vida Dulce officially opened May 2nd and it was a success! Luckily it worked out with my schedule that I was off work, so I was able to help. It was amazing to see this dream and hard work come to life. Finally we were able to serve customers and impact their days for the better! I mean who doesn’t love a treat!? It’s been a blessing and success since opening day and I’m so excited to see what’s to come!
  • Celebrate Sarah Jane’s graduation: Still can’t believe my baby sister is graduated from undergrad! It was fun to visit Boone for the weekend and celebrate both graduation and Mother’s Day. A perfect time spent with family ❤
  • Budget meeting: Check! Our budget meetings have gotten much simpler since we’ve been doing it for a while, but it’s still good for us to check in. We can make sure we’re on the same page with upcoming spending and adjust our budget. Communication at its finest!
  • Set up our wills: Whoops, moving it again to the next month.
  • Complete Financial Plan: Progress was made here, but we didn’t complete it. Moving it forward to June.
  • Friend date: I’m so glad I made this a goal. Life is hectic and most days the only people I see are Eric, customers at work, and Stella (okay, she’s a dog, but still). It’s important to me that I still make time for friends and fun, especially when life is crazy. Things will probably always be a bit crazy, so I want to be sure I’m cultivating the important relationships.
  • Read book #5: I read Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love. It’s about the crazy love of God. I love Francis Chan’s teachings, so I enjoyed it. It was honest, convicting, and eye opening.

Weekly Goals

  • Rest + Care: I’m getting much better at this. I’m being more intentional about my sleep (although I definitely have room for improvement) and allowing myself the time and space to rest.
  • Be a light: I want to be the person that lifts others up. I’m focusing more on encouraging others, praying for them, speaking life into their days. Even with strangers, I’m smiling instead of looking away, holding the door, and helping when I can. It’s small actions, but we never know how those actions will impact someone.
  • Spend time wisely: I fell short here, but I’m getting better. There are many pockets in my day that I could spend more wisely. The big ones that come to mind are morning before work and evening right before bed. I’m working on creating an improved morning and evening routine, but it’s challenging to get out of some bad habits (read: scrolling too much on my phone).
  • Blog post: I missed one week, but that’s okay! Progress over perfection, right. Sometimes it’s best to let something go and for that week, it was a blog post. I enjoy writing, but I don’t ever want it to feel like a chore. Is there something you want to read about from me? Let me know in the comments!

Daily Goals

  • Bible Plan — Achieved 31/31 days
  • Write the Word — Achieved 24/31 days
  • Serve Eric — Achieved 26/31 days
  • Pure Barre — Achieved 13/29 days

Good goals grew in May! I love these daily goals because they touch on the most important areas of my life: faith, marriage, wellness. There are many more things I do in the day, but if I can do my best on these, then I feel whole. During the month, I felt bad about how many Pure Barre classes I missed, but when I look at the big picture I see the progress I made. This can be true for any goal I set. When I’m too close to it, I can become discouraged when I’m now 100%. But when I back up, I can see the steps that are being taken.

June Goals

Monthly Goals

  • Budget Meeting
  • Set up our wills
  • Complete + submit financial plan
  • Friend date
  • Read book #6
  • Anniversary plans
  • Positive report at dentist
  • Support Eric with Vida Dulce

Weekly Goals

  • Rest + care
  • Spend time well
  • Blog post
  • Celebrate others

Daily Goals

  • Bible Plan
  • Write the Word
  • Pure Barre
  • Serve Eric

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because we always need the reminder: Little by little adds up! You aren’t expected to be perfect. You aren’t expected to always get it right. You are allowed to change your mind and pivot your path. Your heart and your gut are good guides. Trust yourself! What goals are you growing this month? 

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May 2018 Round Up

May 2018 Round Up

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

May felt like a whirlwind! It was exciting, busy, challenging, and exhausting. And so so good! Welcome to the monthly round up — I’m glad you’re here ❤

3 things I’m excited about

  1. Vida Dulce is officially OPEN! It’s been a long time coming, but as of May 2, 2018, the ice cream shop is open! And it feels so good!! I don’t say this because of my affiliation to the place, but everything is SO delicious! Vida Dulce has had an amazing reaction from all the customers and already has many regulars. It’s just the beginning and I’m excited to see what’s to come!
  2. A weekend at the beach. This weekend we’re heading to Wilmington to celebrate the wedding of two good friends and we couldn’t be more thrilled!!! I love weddings and witnessing love — getting to experience that at the beach is even better. It’s going to be a wonderful getaway for Eric and I and much deserved since we’ve both been working so hard.
  3. Lawn care. You know you’re a homeowner when you’re excited about lawn care 😉 We’ve been in our home for three years and up until this point we’ve been banking on what the previous homeowners left us with and did the little bit by ourselves. We can’t do that anymore. The weeds in our backyard went crazy, so we decided to give in and hire someone to take care of it. We hired TruGreen to treat the weeds and fertilize our grass and a local guy to take care of our natural areas. It’s gonna be looking sharp for the summer… if the rain ever stops!

Quote I’ve been meditating on

“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.” -Sid Caesar

Goals are important to set, but as the quote says, life fills in the space between. I love that my Powersheets encourage me to go after the goals that matter most to me so I’m spending my time and effort in the best way. Life is precious and time is fleeting, so lets live and enjoy it! When you cultivate what matters, the best parts of life are able to shine through.

Who or what I’m adoring

Annie F. Downs and her podcast, That Sounds Fun. You may have heard of Annie because of her speaking engagements or her new devotion, 100 Days to Brave. I learned about Annie through Dave Ramsey’s daughter, Rachel Cruze, and I’m so glad I did! Annie is genuinely kind, funny, and honest. Her Instagram stories always bring a smile to my face. She’s the type of person that you just want to be best friends with! I’ve been loving her podcast where she has transparent and entertaining conversations with her friends — it’s my favorite when I see a new podcast is available! If you’re looking for truth from a Godly, bright woman check out Annie F. Downs!

Favorite memory from May

My favorite memory from May was my sister’s graduation weekend. My baby sister graduated from Appalachian State University on May 12th. I still can’t believe it, but she did it! She’s always been the odd ball when it comes to schools — me and my brother went to the same middle school, high school, and college while our sister went to different schools. She did what was best for her and I’m so proud of the woman she’s growing into.

Although I was sick, it was a wonderful weekend of celebrations for both graduation and Mother’s Day. Life is busy, so it’s been a while since my family has all been together. This was the perfect time to get away together and just enjoy each other’s company. Brewery visits, yummy restaurants, beautiful mountain views with perfect weather — we couldn’t have asked for more! Boone, North Carolina is such a gorgeous place and I totally understand why she wanted to make that home during her college years, but I’m selfishly excited that her next chapter is bringing her back to Raleigh!

A good lesson I learned

Word of mouth can go far and does wonders.

It’s been amazing to see this in action with the ice cream shop! The support of friends, family, and strangers has been mind blowing and we’re so grateful. It’s showing me how powerful our words and recommendations are because so many customers have come in based on what their friends have shared. Social media is also powerful! Share the things that you love because it truly makes a difference for that business and it allows your friends to discover awesome things!

In June…

I’m saying no to: my snooze button.

I’m saying yes to: celebrations!

June is gonna be a great one! Lets do it!

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Baby Step Update — Financial Freedom

Baby Step Update — Financial Freedom

Hi friends! How are you doing!?

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while, but for whatever reason it just kept getting pushed to the back burner. Financial peace is something I think about a lot and I thought it would be fun (and hopefully encouraging to you) to update you on where we are in the baby steps.

My husband and I have been following Dave Ramsey for a bit. I honestly don’t remember when we started learning more about his Financial Peace system and baby steps, but we’ve been taking it seriously and moving along the steps. Maybe about a year at this point? We read Dave’s book, The Total Money Makeover, in January and I listen to his podcast, The Dave Ramsey Show, regularly. By regularly, I mean every day.

I really appreciate his no-nonsense attitude about finances and how willing he is to provide free resources for people that want to learn and make the changes. Not everyone is open to changing, but the ones that are have a proven system to build wealth and leave a legacy. I was hesitant to get on board with his methods, but the more I listened, the more sense it made to me. It feels good to have a plan and it has helped Eric and I with our communication about money. We’re on the same team working toward the same goals. What a blessing!

If you’re not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he talks about 7 Baby Steps to get out of debt, save for your future and ultimately be able to build wealth and give.

Baby Step 1: Save $1,000 (starter emergency fund)
Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt (except for your home) using the snow ball method
Baby Step 3: Save a fully funded Emergency Fund (3-6 months worth of expenses)
Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of household income
Baby Step 5: Save for kid’s college
Baby Step 6: Pay off your home
Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give

Simple and to the point. Once you complete a baby step then you move to the next. It takes out the guesswork so you can focus on using your money best for your stage of life.

You may remember we officially paid off my student loans (you can visit the post here) back in September. Best feeling ever! Since then we have made a lot of progress. We did things a little off plan at the beginning as we were learning, but at the end of the day things got done.

Baby Step 1 completed November 1, 2017.
Baby Step 2 completed November 2017.
Baby Step 3 completed February 14, 2018 — sweet Valentine’s Day gift 😉
Baby Step 4 started on February 18, 2018
Baby Step 5 skipped for now (we will start this once we’re blessed with kids)

That leaves us to paying off our home and/or saving up for a future down payment on our next home! We’re not sure when that move will happen, but we want to be prepared. We’ve accomplished all the goals we have set to this point, so it’s time to set new and bigger ones!

Last month we decided to start working with a Financial Advisor to help with our retirement savings and be a guide through this financial journey. We found him through Dave Ramey’s endorsed local providers, SmartVestor Pro. Our advisor also happens to attend our church which sealed the deal for me! We are young, so retirement seems so far away, but it’s important to us to start this right so we can maximize our efforts.

Our journey up to this point hasn’t been perfect. There have been times that felt clumsy and hopeless. Especially at the beginning when we were trying to figure it all out and get systems into place. Debt snowball. Budget. Weekly budget meetings. Things I wanted, but knew I shouldn’t buy. It was tough, but it did get easier each day.

I have to be honest, we’re not 100%. We do our best to follow the plan exactly, but sometimes it won’t be 100%. But we’re as close as we can be for right now.

We still have a leased car. A “fleece” as Dave would say. Worse comes to worse and we’ll finish out the lease then pay cash for our next car.  We have been busy with work and opening up the new ice cream, Vida Dulce, that other things may go to the back of our minds for the time being. We are only investing 15% of my income instead of our household. Since Eric is a business owner, the investments aren’t as straight forward — I’m sure we’ll discuss that with our advisor. With the shop opening recently and getting paychecks figured out, we’ve put a pause on paying extra on the house to make sure we have enough money to pay our bills. We’ll get it all together, but for now I feel good about where we’re at and what we have accomplished!

If you’re already on your financial freedom journey or want to start one, I have some encouragement for you. 

It will be hard. Financial peace + freedom isn’t normal. Normal is debt, credit cards, loans. We want to be weird! It will take intention and hard work.

If you are married, communication is key. You have to be on the same page, otherwise you’ll be spinning your wheels and get frustrated. You are stronger together. Once you attack this, you’ll realize you can do anything as a team!

You may want to give up and throw in the towel. But don’t! It is worth it. Each positive step you take moves you that much closer to your goals.

You are doing this to live a life a freedom and leave a legacy. You are doing this so that you can be a blessing when the opportunity arises. You are doing this so that your life isn’t full of money stress, but full of peace and joy.

Don’t get me wrong, money isn’t everything. But it is a major tool that allows us opportunities and choices. You don’t have to be “rich” to do this plan. My husband and I do well, but we certainly don’t make a ton. We had to make sacrifices and decide what’s more important. I’ve heard success stories of single moms, of couples that make annually $750k+ and everything in between. It can be done if you decide.

Do you have a financial goal you’re working towards right now? I’d love to cheer you on! As always, I’m available to chat if you have any questions or just need some accountability ❤

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My Whole30 Reset Flop

My Whole30 Reset Flop

I thought about just letting this go and not actually sharing it. I technically “failed” with my Whole30 Reset, so why talk about it? Shouldn’t we only share things when they go perfectly? Well, of course, the answer is no. At least for me. I definitely want to share about things that go well, but I also want to be transparent with you. I think we can learn from any type of experience if we’re open to it and take the time to reflect.

So lets talk. 

My original plan was to start my Whole30 reset Monday, April 23rd and stick with it for 9 days. Easy enough, especially since I’ve completed a full Whole30 not too long ago. 9 days would go by in a flash.

Things were different with this reset than with my first ever full round. It was a lot easier to plan since the whole concept and guidelines were familiar to me. I was able to get into the swing of things much faster and had an easier time making purchasing decisions in the store. I had missed the structure and built in “choice system” of the program. When I’m doing Whole30 I automatically know certain things are a no-go. This makes it a lot easier to resist and say no. Unless you’re not fully committed. Which happened to be my problem. I think since it wasn’t a full round, I was easily convinced to go against the plan.

Everything was going well. I was hungrier the first few days, but had compliant snacks ready if needed. I wasn’t thinking about food 100% of the time like I did during my first round (yay!) I wasn’t feeling the full on positive side effects yet, but I was feeling good.

It was all good until Thursday night. There was a delicious chocolate and strawberry triffle being served at small group and I rationalized ‘I’ve been doing well with this reset, so a little bit wouldn’t hurt.’ That threw me off because it confused my mind and body about what we were doing. This was supposed to be a time where I was fueling my body with whole foods and giving it a break from all the carbs and sugars. Whoops…

It pretty much fell apart from there. My brain is too good at rationalizing what the ‘dark side’ wants. Added sugar, french fries, dessert. I’m totally not against those things in moderation, but my moderations had gotten out of control which was the reason for my reset. Those things don’t fit into a Whole30 Reset, but once they made their way in, it was tricky.

So it wasn’t a wonderful reset by any means. I felt a little guilty when I flopped, but then let that go. Guilt doesn’t do any good especially when it’s in our relationship with food. Life happens outside the walls of a perfectly planned program. Sometimes we get it “right” and other times we don’t. It’s not an all or nothing kind of thing.

What did I learn?

I have the choice. I don’t need a particular program to make a change. It can be helpful to have a program if I need the guidance or the extra push, but ultimately every moment is a chance for a better choice. When I look at each moment as independent of each other, it helps me stay out of the mindset of one misstep blowing the rest of the day. I’m sure we’ve all been there — one bite turns into a whole weekend and then you feel crummy. Ican be empowered to make the right choices for my own body and health.

Be gentle during crazy stressful times. On the scheduled last day of my reset, Vida Dulce had their friends and family celebration and set to open to the public the next day. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the most ideal time to do a reset. My focus was all over the place and treats were on the brain. I think it’s beneficial to treat your mind and body especially well during crazy times, but putting too much stress on it can cause an adverse effect. Maybe during that time relaxing a bit in the food department would have allowed more breathing room in other areas.

Buy the good things. Only buy the things you want to eat. This seems pretty obvious, but isn’t always done in practice. If you want to eat the veggies, buy the veggies. It’s easier to just not buy something than to rely on your will power.

Consider the WHYs. When bumping up against something that I “shouldn’t” do, I can consider the why. Why do I want to do this? Why do I feel like I shouldn’t? Those answers can help guide my choices and actions. Maybe that something is a big dessert. I feel like I shouldn’t because it’ll make me feel sluggish and bloated later. If I feel like I should because its been a long day and I need a treat, it’s best to avoid it. If I feel like I should because it’s cake to celebrate my sister’s college graduation, that’s a special time and I can enjoy a smaller piece. The why behind it makes a difference.

Keep accountability. I enjoy keeping accountability with myself through a journal and with others through honest conversations. Journaling helps me work out the deeper layers of a situation. It helps me uncover patterns and missing pieces. Health is important to me and I have close friends that feel the same — these are the people I share goals, struggles, and victories with. The best part about being vulnerable with others is often times they have been there too and can help you overcome the struggle! I don’t know everything and can learn so much from the experiences of the people in my life. Take comfort in knowing you are not the only person who has ever gone through that situation.

What now?

It may be a while before I complete another round or reset, but that doesn’t mean it’s back to my treat yoself daily ways. Once in a while, yes, because #balance. While it’s still a crazy season, I think it’s best to take the pressure off. I want to enjoy fueling my body with whole foods, but allow some space for flexibility. It seems like everyone has been sick (I haven’t been feeling so well myself), and I know rest and food are our first lines of defense.

So if I put a label on it, maybe it’s a loose Whole30. Which is itself an oxymoron, but I think you get the point, yes? There is a time for everything. Right now is the time to take what I have learned and nourish myself — mind, body, and soul.

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April Progress | May Goals 2018

April Progress | May Goals 2018

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

I’m so excited about May! April was great, but May just has a different feeling to it.

As you’ll see in my Powersheets, there is a lot to celebrate this month! Plus everything is continuing to bloom and come back to life since it seems like the warm weather is actually here to stay! My Spring-loving heart is oh so happy!

One of the things I love most about my intentional goal planner is how it encourages me to reflect and dream. I can reflect on what worked well and what could use a change. This month I’m saying no to other people’s emergencies and saying yes to myself. It may seem selfish, but it’s a way to protect my time and energy. I love helping others and being a blessing, but I can’t do that if my time and energy is drained. Can you relate?

April Progress

Monthly Goals

  • Stillness + Rest: I’m getting a lot better at this! It’s not exactly one of those goals you can check off completely since it’s something to always revisit, but I feel like I made good progress here in April. I’m learning more about what being still and resting looks and feels like for me.
  • Support opening of Vida Dulce: Vida Dulce didn’t open in April as we had planned, but all preparation was underway! The shop is really Eric’s baby, so I helped however he asked me to and supported by keeping things in order at home. That’s an important task too! 😉
  • Plan April blog content: I love planning out my content for you all! It doesn’t always go according to plan — sometimes I’m inspired by something other than what I had intended, but it’s good for me to have an outline. If there’s anything specific you’d like to see here, please let me know!
  • Set up our wills: This is moving to May.
  • Decide on financial advisor: We decided on a financial advisor and I’m so excited! We found a great one through Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers. We’re beginning our investing young, so want to make sure we’re doing it in the smartest way possible. Having a trusted professional in our corner will help us do that!
  • Read book #4: I read Candace Cameron Bure’s newest book, Kind is the New Classy! I loved it!! I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about the book soon. I’ve enjoyed winding down my day before bed with some reading.
  • Declutter upstairs: I didn’t make as much progress here, but that’s okay. My focus shifted and this fell down the list of importance. Oh well, that happens.

Weekly Goals

  • Lift up others — be a light: I’m striving to live out 1 Thessalonians 5:11″Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Sometimes it was a kind word, a smile, a quick text, or time with a friend. I’m going to continue with this goal for May.
  • Social media free day: It wasn’t always a full day (so maybe I didn’t reach my goal?) but I was intentional about at least taking some unplugged time. Instead of making it a weekly goal, I’m going to do it as needed for the future.
  • Be early: I’ve gotten so much better with this since I made it an intention! It stresses me out to run late, but I often was. I started building more time into my getting ready process and commute time, so that’s helped a lot.
  • Blog post: Check! New blog post has been coming to you every Thursday! I’d like to work on batch writing these so I don’t feel so last minute putting them together.
  • Instagram with intention: This is one way to be a light. Posting with purpose on Instagram instead of posting “just to post” or worrying too much about what’s going to get more likes. I want my feed to be a place of real connection.

Daily Goals

  • Bible plan — Achieved 29/30 days
  • Outserve Eric — Achieved 25/30 days
  • Soul care — Achieved 30/30 days
  • Pure Barre — Achieved 19/30 days
  • Write the Word — Achieved 21/30 days

Good things are being cultivated through these daily goals. One goal I’m particularly pleased with is the second one, Outserve Eric. This was inspired by a previous discussion in our small group. We’re studying Francis and Lisa Chan’s book, You and Me Forever, and there was a point where they were talking about not just serving your spouse, but outserving them. Making it a competition of sorts.

Eric and I don’t get to see each other too often, so I struggled with how I could even serve him. By having this as a focus, I got creative and it stayed at the front of my mind. I sought out ways I could serve and bless him. This has a positive impact on our relationship. Even though we still don’t have a lot of time together, I feel connected and loved because I’m serving him and being served by him! Marriage is the best and most challenging thing I’ve experienced so far and I’m always looking for ways to develop as a Godly wife.

May Goals

Monthly Goals

  • Vida Dulce Opening
  • Celebrate Sarah Jane’s graduation
  • Budget meeting
  • Set up our wills
  • Complete Financial Plan
  • Friend date
  • Read book #5

Weekly Goals

  • Rest + Care
  • Be a light
  • Spend time wisely
  • Blog post

Daily Goals

  • Bible Plan
  • Write the Word
  • Serve Eric
  • Pure Barre

It’s amazing what will grow when you give it attention. They say the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it. I believe that’s so true! If we want goodness to grow, we must water it and that starts with setting the intention! You can think about watering it all day long, but until you actually set aside the time and take the action to get the water, nothing will happen.

What do you want to grow this month? Now, what is it going to take to make that happen? ❤

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How to stay organized with a busy schedule

How to stay organized with a busy schedule

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

We are all busy.

Commitments, work, family, friends, responsibilities, chores. And the list goes on, right?

It’s been an especially busy season in the Torres household with the preparation of opening up the ice cream shop amongst everything else. It can be challenging and overwhelming as you enter a new season, especially a busier one.

Stress and burnout are common because we feel like the days are slipping past us and we don’t have a grip on the things that matter. That’s why I’m sharing my tools and tricks that have helped keep me on track and make progress in the areas that are important to me. Busy can be fruitful. It’s going to be inevitable at times, so lets be intentional in making the most of it!

Set your goals

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

One simple thing that has made a huge impact for me is setting and writing down my goals. This is a chance for me to look at where I’ve been and plan for where I want to go. It doesn’t always work out the way I have planned, but it’s a place to start.

My favorite tool for goal setting is my Powersheets*. This is an intentional goal planner that allows me to learn more about myself, my goals, and my intentions through prep work. It’s a place where I can see my progress and plan for what’s ahead. I make sure my “busy” is purposeful (and organized!) by cultivating what matters and letting go of the rest. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but it’s made it so much easier to say “no” to things when I’ve already realized what’s in alignment for this season.

Now you don’t have to use the Powersheets to make this happen (although I highly recommend them because they’re amazing)! You can start by simply writing down goals you have in the different areas of your life.

Health. Friends. Spouse/Significant Other. Family. Finances. Spiritual + Personal Growth. Work. Recreation.

Not every area will be important in every season, but you can use as a guide and focus on what’s most important to you right now. You might be in a season of a brand new job, so the Work area is important to cultivate, but maybe recreation isn’t for right now. And that’s okay.

Use a planner

In the spirit of “not everything is important all the time,” not everything needs to make it into your planner. If you’re someone who doesn’t use a planner of some sort, I honestly don’t know how you function. I’ve kept a planner for years and years. My current favorite is the Simplified Planner*, but find that works best for you!

There have been seasons where I overwhelm myself because I pile too much onto my plate. Reserve your “yes” for those things that move you closer to where you want to be. Again, not everything is important or right for this season.

I’ve also gotten myself into trouble when I’ve committed to something, but forgot to add it to my planner. Now any commitment goes right into my Simplified Planner. Every meeting, appointment, Pure Barre class, friend date, reminder, anything. It all gets written down so nothing gets overlooked or forgotten.

This has made life so much easier because I don’t have to store all this information in my head. I can make sure I’m not overcommiting myself and that I’m using my time well. I feel a lot less frazzled and more organized when my days are straight!

Keep a running list

 

 

If I don’t write something down, usually I’ll forget it. This used to drive me crazy! Busy season or not, I’m sure there are moments where something pops into your head that you need to remember, like pick up dry cleaning or don’t forget to grab milk at the store, but the next moment you’re sidetracked by something else and forget. This only makes the busyness feel more crazy.

I don’t always have my planner on me, but I pretty much always have my phone. So I use it to my advantage! I used to keep a “to do list” in the notes section on my phone, but this got a bit cluttered. For a while I’ve been using an app called MinimaList and it’s amazing! I can quickly add things to my list and it serves as an external brain for me, remembering everything so I don’t have to. From there I can add things to my planner as needed or just let it live in my app until it’s crossed off (yes it gives you the satisfaction of crossing items off a list!)

Just last night I was laying in bed and thought of a few things I needed to get done today. Instead of letting this keep me up trying to make sure I remembered, I simply added it to my list and moved on. I set it up as a widget on my main screen so it’s easily accessible and used all the time!

Prep your food

You’re probably sick of hearing about this, but I cannot stress enough the magic of meal prep! Or at least ingredient prep! What I mean by this is instead of prepping your whole meal and putting it together, you prep the ingredients so they’re ready when you are. This seems less overwhelming to me and I can mix and match the ingredients to make different meals.

I really got back into meal prepping again during my Whole30. It’s such a dream to have good, healthy food ready to go especially when you’re super busy and/or super hungry. Yes, in a situation like that you could just hit the drive through, but food prepping saves you time and money. Plus it’s usually healthier! Win-win-win!

I feel more relaxed and enjoy my food more when I’m not trying to scramble putting things together to cook it. Set aside 30 minutes this week to plan your meals (they don’t have to be fancy). Make your grocery list based on your plan and what you already have. Go to the grocery store. Then set aside 1-2 hours prepping whatever you can! It does take time up front, but it will save you so much time and hassle throughout the week.

I took it a step further and got my lunch boxes ready for a few days and that made me feel like I was queen of the world! Set yourself up for success!

Choose your outfit the night before

Have you ever noticed picking out an outfit might take you 2 minutes at night, but 30 minutes in the morning!? That is precious time and mental energy that does not need to be spent.

I have been picking out my entire outfit the night before for a while and it’s incredible to not have to make that decision in the morning. It makes me feel prepared and on top of it. Mornings can be so hectic, so why not make it easier for yourself? The morning sets the tone for your whole day — don’t let that tone be panic, stress, and frustration.

Moral of the story: get things out of your head and simplify.

We tend to make things more complicated than they need to be especially when we’re busy and not thinking clearly. My hope is that these tools and tricks will help you flourish no matter the season you’re in ❤

What is your best tool or trick to flourish with a busy schedule? I’d love to know in the comments below.

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