Tag: organization

A Few of My Favorite Things -Spring 2019

A Few of My Favorite Things -Spring 2019

A Few of My Favorite Things

It’s been a while since I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite products and with spring in the air it feels like the perfect time to give a shout out some oldies and new items just in time for longer days and warmer afternoons.

Clothes

To start I’m loving these high waisted yoga pants I found at Kohl’s. Working at home I basically live in black yoga pants all winter, which means after a few years it was time to replace the ones with holes. The boot cut is also flattering making these my new favorite yoga pants.

Tops with hoods are another new favorite. I’ve found a few adorable variations, but this one from Cuddle Dud is the perfect spring weight. It’s a great length and perfect for layering.

Gluten-Free Food

Gratify Everything Thins

These are the perfect snack for the soccer field, which is where we’ll be spending most of our weekends this spring.

Since they are flat they hold dip well and the seasoning is full so they are great on their own too!

Brownie Mug Cakes from Udi are also a great treat to have on hand. With gluten-free things up until now, individual baked goods have been rare but we all want a little dessert every now and then and these are the perfect solution.

Hummustir is another option I’m loving for small servings. This shelf-stable hummus option is great on the go choice for a healthy gluten-free meal.

Essential Oils

I’m loving a few new oils from doTerra these days. I’ve switched up my daily routine some and have added Tumeric and Pink Pepper to the mix.

With Spring Cleaning I’m so happy to have On Guard Cleaner Concentrate is ready and available! Check out the other ways we’re using essential oils here.

Budget Saving Tips

The last thing I’m loving these days is shopping locally. We stopped our Amazon Prime account and so far there hasn’t been a need to go back. It’s amazing how many fewer things we “need” when we don’t have Amazon to browse. Additionally, free shipping is available pretty much everywhere these days. Without Prime we’re doing much more price comparison shopping and saving money that way too.

What are you loving this spring?

Organization Strategies

Organization Strategies

One of the best things I heard in 2018 was an honest answer the question “How do you do everything?” Thankfully, we’ve started being honest with ourselves and those around us and we’re admitting that we don’t do everything. The best tool in a coaching family’s tool belt is the ability to ask for help, but we can’t delegate everything.

Organization strategies are only as good as one’s ability to implement them, so it’s important to take the time to figure out what systems work best for you and implement them slowly. It takes several weeks to develop a habit and changing everything at once is often too overwhelming.

Identify Your Pain Points

The first step is to organization is to consider your pain points.

  • What are the most overwhelming, stressful, or frustrating parts of your week?
  • What times of the day do you find yourself with too much to do?
  • What are the things you are always forgetting?

Block Calendar

Next, take time to breakdown your day into 30 or 60 minute increments. Here is an example of what my calendar look like. It’s broken down by color. Dark green is exercise, purple is a weekly Bible study.

block calendar

The best part of creating a block calendar is the opportunity to see everything in one location from start to finish. You will notice my calendar has a lot of white space. Those times are intentionally included to remind me to rest.

Your block calendar will also help you embrace a realistic perspective of what you can and can not take on when you are asked to volunteer or increase your workload.

Digital vs. Analog

I’ve found that for our family digital is best, especially apps that update in live time. Whether my husband is on the road or at work, we don’t have to remember to update each other.

For Example:

Google Calendar (color-coded of course) means we all have access to what is scheduled. By including the location in the calendar appointment we can easily trade who is driving the kids around without needing to give directions.

Google Keep allows for shared lists. We have a grocery list that we can both add things to when we think of them. This drastically reduces the time spent trying to remember what it was I was asked to get “the next time I’m at the store.”

Plan to Eat is recipe storage and meal planning all in one. It works seamlessly with online recipes and also stores images. You can also add recipes manually.

Still, while digital apps are great for collaboration I love using Powersheets for my personal goals and tasks. Writing things down solidifies them in my mind and helps me to process in a different way.

Take time to figure out what areas you need organizational help in and hop on Pinterest of the App store. I promise you will find a list of suggestions to consider.

Regardless of what you do to implement structure and organization into your weeks, it’s worth the time and effort to set things up for long-term stress reduction. Making sure everyone knows what is going on is a great start.

Powersheets in Review

Powersheets in Review

2018 Powersheets Lessons From The Sidelines

I’m reflecting on Powersheets today. I’m pleased to say that I was diligent about using this binder for all of 2018, but of course, some months were more intentional than others.

Here’s What I Loved:

I loved that the tending page is one page. It has clear boundaries which require goals to stay simple. Additionally, they have sections for daily, weekly, and monthly goals all in one space.

I loved the quarterly check-in pages. I was way over ambitious January-March of 2018 with the number of goals I set as well as all the action steps they required. Still, when I sat down to review things I realized my diligence had paid off and 2 goals were already accomplished for the year. Evaluating each quarter allowed me to redefine some goals and remove others off my to-do list.

I loved how sturdy the binder is! My Powersheets look almost brand new even though they were dragged in my work bag all over town.

I love how many ways are provided to consider goals. By including brainstorming pages I was able to think about goals differently. Halfway through the year I identified my biggest stressors I restructured my goals to meet the most stressful one first. This meant I needed to reprioritize somethings temporarily, but now that the goal is complete I’m thrilled!

Here’s What I Didn’t Love (and How I’m Fixing That)

There aren’t any pockets, so I found myself paperclipping extra notes throughout the pages. I stumbled upon a photo post in the Powersheets Facebook Group and there is an easy (and cute) way to add pockets by taping cardstock to the front and back cover. Easy fix!

I didn’t want to add a day planner to my stack of resources since I mainly use a digital calendar for work and family activities. Still, there are some action steps that are helpful to plan out with goals. I am guessing I’m not the only person who was looking for an in-between option because this year the Cultivate What Matters team created a Weekly Sticky Notepad

What I’m Adding

This year I’m adding a smidge more accountability. As a verbal processor, I often find that ideas aren’t clarified until I’ve considered different angles. Talking through goals and outcomes is a valuable part of the Powersheets process for me, as well as the accountability of showing someone which goals I did and didn’t achieve each month. I’ve started sending a photo of each tending sheet to my friend Harmony at the beginning and end of each month.

In addition to bi-weekly chats with a girlfriend in town, Harmony’s voice is one I value because I  know she will thoughtfully ask questions I’ve yet to consider.

Entering year two of Powersheets I’ve also spent more intentional time on the prep worksheets. I’m expectant for what 2019 holds, but I’m entering the year with different goals, including striving for a different daily pace for our family. If you are on the fence about using Powersheets but have a goal you want to chip away at I encourage you to take the leap. Powersheets is a little more work than other goal setting strategies I’ve used but it’s 1000% times more effective.

Why not invest a little time and money into yourself this year? I guarantee it will pay dividends for decades.

Thank God for Powersheets

Thank God for Powersheets

2018 Powersheets Lessons From The Sidelines

I haven’t written much about Powersheets this year, but I have used them faithfully and this month I realized they are an invaluable part of my daily routine. The process of reflecting on the month as it comes to an end is great, but it is the Tending List which has helped me establish boundaries an follow through on goals.

This month has been one of the craziest I’ve experienced in a very long time. It’s a month of my own doing, and I am in not bragging when I say I am juggling so many things I drop one of them at least once a day. I’ve had to reschedule more meetings with friends than I care to admit and I’m not exaggerating when I say the ONLY reason my family has had dinner is due to an amazing sale Prep.Freeze.Cook had in August coupled with a day of freezer meals I stashed.

It’s amazing how productive one can be when they know they are heading into a season where there is little to no margin and yet still not take steps to avoid the season altogether. But that is a subject for another day!

When my days are full to overflowing during football season I become reliant on the alarm of my Google calendar, but there are many things that need my attention that I don’t consider calendar appointments. Exercise, devotions, writing, volunteering and time spent planning dates with all the men in my house are important, but not calendar appointments.

This is why Powersheets has become my favorite tool for prioritizing and remembering.

The Tending List divides items into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Each space allows for notes and tracking. Let’s be honest, when the to-do list seems endless it’s even more satisfying to checkmark tasks complete! But I’ve learned something more important than writing out a to-do list this month.

By taking a few minutes at the beginning of the month to acknowledge that even in a very busy time there are things that are important for self-care and family care I wrote out my true priorities. As the month continued and balls were occasionally dropped I could look at my Tending List and remind myself that I was doing my best to balance everything, including my family’s needs.

There were some days where I knew I had things to do and I couldn’t figure out where to start. A quick glance at my Tending List would remind me of where I needed to focus my time. There were also days where I knew I needed to conserve my energy. Again, that simple list helped me to make quick decisions. I knew I could trust the list because I had spent so much time planning out and praying over my priorities earlier in the month.

Powersheets go on sale tomorrow and I’m so excited to get my 2019 set ordered! If you are looking for a system to help you stay organized when you have margin in your life and when things get overbooked, I encourage you to check out Lara Casey’s website Cultivate What Matters.

We cannot cultivate what we do not prioritize. And while I hope never to have another month that is quite as intense as this one has been, I’ve been a coach’s wife long enough to know that it’s more likely than not to repeat itself! I’m thankful for a tool that allows me to reflect on all areas of my life and prioritize what I value.

**I’ve included an affiliate link for my friend Heather! Show her a little love and buy your Powersheets through her link.

2018 Goals and PowerSheets Stratey

2018 Goals and PowerSheets Stratey

2018 Goals and PowerSheets Stratey

This year my One Word is shifting in a way that feels like a complete 180 degrees from the 2017 word Still. I’ll explain more about my 2018 One Word in January. For now, I’m going to let you in on part of the heart preparation that I have been focusing on intentionally.

“Living on purpose turns comparison and coveting into compassion and cheering on.” Lara Casey

Living on Purpose in 2018

Living on purpose is always the goal, but without intentional focus, resolutions can quickly fall apart. What I love about the PowerSheets system is that it begins with asking the question Who am I really? The encouragement is to think beyond a job title.

A cultivated life isn’t about doing more, it’s about doing specific things well. “Good goals are about cultivating what you’ve been given well.” Cultivating a life lived on purpose includes answering why not simply what. There are a lot of great things that sound important or noble, but they are not within the skills and gifting of the people attempting to accomplish them.

Big Picture

S.M.A.R.T. goals are always going to have a greater chance of success because they are written with specifics at the root. PowerSheets helps to take specific goals and break them down into actionable steps.

This year my goals will sit under a few umbrellas:

  • Physical health
  • Spiritual health
  • Intentional investment in relationships
  • Career and skill development (writing)

Steps

Each goal includes actionable and measurable tasks that are broken into three categories. Monthly, weekly, and daily aspects of goals will help to ensure my focus stays on cultivating well.

Here’s an example:

Big Picture Goal: I will focus on my physical health including exercise, water intake and dietary because hypothyroidism is a serious condition. To live my best life my physical health cannot be ignored.

  • Monthly: Doctors appointments
  • Weekly: meal plan and freezer cook to minimize unhealthy meals
  • Daily: cardiac and strength training exercise, food tracking via My Fitness Pal

What I love about PowerSheets is that each month includes space for evaluation and tending. Progress however small should be acknowledged. There is always space for adjustments as life becomes busier, but this system helps to keep the eye on the prize.

As the big picture referred back to bite size pieces chip away and the larger goal. Since the goals and action steps all point to a why and the what the ability to invest in the process becomes just as important as the end result.

 

Five Obstacles

Five Obstacles

friday five

I’m linking up with Mrs. Disciple for #FridayFive.  We are in the midst of moving and life has felt chaotic lately.  It’s felt like there have been obstacles everywhere we’ve turned, and I’m looking forward to being settled again.

Five Obstacles to a less hectic life:

1. Obligation:  I think that obligation can have a blurry line.  There are things we know we “should” do, things we “want” to do, and things we’d flat out would love to avoid. I’m not great at saying no, in fact, I’ve been known to carry guilt when I do.  Here’s the thing, though; I’ve seen the results of my efforts and the joy it can bring to others and myself.  I love that my presence makes my husband feel supported and that my kids can participate in activities they enjoy as long as I drive them.  I’ve been striving for wider margin in my schedule.  It’s getting a little broader every month.  Still, obligation whether actual or perceived fills up a good amount of my calendar!

2. Saying ‘yes” when a “no” is needed: Oh margin, how I hunt you!  I adore my husband, my kids, my ministry and my work.  The thing is, they often collide.  A presentation is due the same week I need to host a football coach for dinner. My kids have an activity the same time a client requests to meet.  For me, the hardest is really the Ministry piece.  I want to love my college gifts within their love languages.  That may mean sitting on a conference call for work while sitting at a softball game.  In the midst of it all it feels hectic.  I can’t help but feel that with my attention split I’m not actually giving my best to anyone.

3. The college life schedule: I love working with college students.  They are at such a growth stage of life, learning independence and individual thinking. They are a ton of fun too, but for some reason nothing seems to be able to be scheduled before 9pm.  It’s really hard to feel serene when you are exhausted.   I’m hoping our move will alleviate a good amount of the time crunch I feel.  We’ll be close to campus opening up lunch and such for hang out time.

4. Family demands: I have discovered over the years a family member or two that has adamant opinions on how our family unit spends their time, money and well, just about everything. I admit it’s important to me that my kids know their extended families, and some of their demands wouldn’t be unreasonable…if they weren’t requirements.  With an already crazy life, my priority is always that our family unit of four is healthy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  The seasons of rest come rarely and don’t last long.  When an obligation replaces a period of rest, it becomes a burden. Burdens rarely contribute a relaxed life.

5. Finances: a quick review of disappointing conversations from the past few years reveals a common theme.  That’s not in the budget.  Unfortunately, family demands play a large part in where the budget goes as opposed to wants and sometimes even needs. The reality is that very few people ever feel that they have “enough” money.  For the past few years, we’ve been stretched thinner than most around us with financial obligations in two states. Over the past six months or so things have changed a significant amount financially, but we still have financial obligations that need to be dealt with every month.  Because of this, extra jobs have needed to take priority…and of course this adds to the hecticness!

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