personal development

  • How to Create a Personal Development Plan

    How to Create a Personal Development Plan

     

    If you’ve been around this space for a while, you know how passionate I am about personal development. It’s one of my favorite topics to write about, and something I make a lot of time for in my own life. 

    This wasn’t always the case, though. Years ago I was feeling stuck. I was in a marriage that felt stuck and a job that felt stuck, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted out of life. 

    And so I turned to personal development.

    I read personal development books and blogs but found myself feeling so overwhelmed with everything there was to learn and everything I wanted to accomplish. 

    The one thing that made it was less overwhelming: creating a personal development plan.

    Creating a personal development plan helped me to figure out where to focus my attention and awareness. And by doing this, I was able to start reaching my goals. 

    In this post, I’m sharing how you can create a personal development plan to finally start reaching your goals!

     

    How to Create a Personal Development Plan

     

    What is Personal Development?

     

    If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’re probably familiar with the concept of personal development and have seen me talk about it again and again. 

    Personal development is the process of improving yourself through positive habits and activities.

    Personal development includes improving internal attributes such as self-awareness and happiness, as well as external attributes such as professional growth and wealth. 

    Personal development takes place over the course of our entire lives and is what allows us to achieve our goals and aspirations and increase our quality of life. 

    Related Articles: Personal Development Books You Need to Read This Year

     

    What is a Personal Development Plan?

     

    Now that we’ve nailed down what personal development is, you can probably figure out what a personal development plan is! 

    It’s essentially a road map of the goals and successes you plan to achieve and the skills and habits you’ll need to achieve them. 

    A personal development plan covers every area of your life: education, career, relationships, self-improvement, and more. 

    It’s important to note that personal development is not the same as self-improvement or “self-help”, but that those will be just one element of your personal development plan.

     

    Why Do You Need a Personal Development Plan?

     

    I’ve learned the hard way why it’s important to have a personal development plan! So many times I found myself thinking about something I hoped would someday happen, only to have it never come to fruition. 

    Why didn’t those dreams work out?

    Creating your dream life doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a lot of goal setting, planning, and hard work along the way!

    Creating your dream life requires you to live super intentionally. We live in a world full of distractions, and if you aren’t intentionally directing your focus toward personal development, it’s easy for your attention to be pulled toward those distractions. 

    A personal development plan creates clarity.

    Once you’ve put all of your goals and aspirations into a personal development plan, it’s so much easier to narrow your focus prioritize your future achievements. 

    How to Create a Personal Development Plan

    Key Areas of Personal Development

     

    In order to create a personal development plan, I find it most helpful to break it down into categories for the key areas of personal growth. 

    I’ve put together a list of 7 key categories to include in your personal development plan:

    1. Relationships
    2. Physical Health
    3. Mental & Emotional Health
    4. Career & Contribution
    5. Financial Health
    6. Environment
    7. Fun & Recreation

    Related Articles: How a Growth Mindset Can Help You to Reach Your Goals

    How to Create Your Personal Development Plan

     

    Step 1: Dreams and Visions

     

    The first step to create your personal growth plan is the most fun – it’s the dreaming step!

    For this step, you’re essentially making a bucket list. You’ll go through each of the life categories we just discussed and write down every single thing you want to accomplish. I’m serious when I say everything! 

    Don’t just think about what you want to do in the next year, like paying off your credit card or taking a vacation. 

    Think about what you want to do years down the road like buying a house, starting a family, starting a business, retiring early to travel, etc. 

    You can have as many dreams per category as you want!

    Related Articles: 21 Goals to Set For Yourself to Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever

     

    Step 2: Prioritize Your Goals

     

    Once you’ve written down all of your dreams and visions for all of the categories, it’s time to prioritize them. 

    When you prioritize them, think about what is most important to you right NOW. 

    If you’re working on your health and your absolute biggest priority for the next six months is to get healthy, that goes to the top of the list. 

    If you want to buy a house next year and saving for a house is most important to you this year, that goes to the top of the list. 

    The goal in prioritizing your goals is to determine what it is you’re going to be working on first. Ideally, there would be just one goal that would stand out as the most important, but you can choose 2-3 if they don’t conflict and none of them will take up an extraordinary amount of your time. 

    Related Articles: How to Prioritize Tasks (When Everything is Important)

     

    Step 3: Determine Your Why

     

    When you’re narrowing down your goals, I think it’s so important to figure out why you want to reach that goal.

    For example, let’s say you want to earn a full-time income as a freelancer. You might think that the motive is starting your own business, working from home, or just that you don’t like your current boss. 

    But when you dig really deep and really analyze why you want that, you realize that you want the location independence to live and work wherever. 

    That’s a very different motive from what you initially thought! Know your real motivation for your goal will help you to set intentions for the rest of your life as well. 

    Knowing your why also helps you to stay determined and focused on your goal. Eventually, your motivation will start to wane. And when it does, being focused on your why will keep you going. 

     

    Step 4: Determine Your How

     

    You’ve figured out what and you’ve figured out why – not it’s time to figure out how. 

    I’m sure we can all relate to the experience of setting a large goal, a new years resolution perhaps, only to never make any real progress on it. 

    That’s because just know what you want to accomplish is not enough – you need to figure out how you’re going to accomplish it. 

    This means that your personal development plan needs action steps. And those action steps need to be scheduled out on your calendar to ensure you actually do them. 

    In order to tackle this step, write down every single task you can think of that you’ll need to accomplish in order to reach your goal. If it helps, start at the goal and work backward with the last step you’ll do.

    Once you have all of the tasks written down, actually decide when you’ll do them. Put every single one on the calendar. 

    If you aren’t able to determine when you plan to accomplish every task to reach your goal, it’s going to be a lot less likely that you’ll reach it! 

     

    Step 5: Create Supportive Habits

     

    Habits make up a huge portion of our day. Your current habits are partly responsible for the results you have in your life right now. 

    That means if you want to change your life, you need to change your habits. 

    I want you to write down a list of every habit you think might be useful in order to reach your goals. 

    For example, if your current goal is to start an online business while working a full-time job, it would probably be useful to get into the habit of waking up a few hours earlier so you can work on your business before going to your full-time job. 

    And if you’re working on saving for a big financial goal, try getting into the habit of making coffee at home in the morning instead of stopping for a latte on your way to work.

    Related Article: Creating Healthy Habits: How to Form a New Habit in 6 Steps

     

    Step 6: Track Your Progress

     

    It’s super important to track your progress along the way to make sure you’re always on the right course. That way, if you ever start to get off-track with your goal, you have a chance to fix it!

    Tracking your progress will look different for every goal you set, so it’s important that you identify the key metrics you want to track.

    For example, if you’re starting a business, key metrics might include, email subscribers, conversion rate, and revenue.

    If you’re working on improving your health, key metrics might improve the number of ounces of water you drink, the number of minutes you exercise, or your weight.

    Finally, and most importantly – if what you’re doing isn’t getting you the results you want, you need to change your strategy.

    If that happens, it’s time to head back to Step 4 and create a new action plan!

    Related Articles: What to Do When You Don’t Reach Your Goals

     

    Step 7: Repeat. Forever.

     

    Please do not reach one goal and then call it a day. The entire point of personal development is that you are constantly developing as a person!

    Remember that huge list of goals and visions we wrote down in step one?

    Well once you’ve achieved one goal, it’s time to refer back to that master list, prioritize them again, and decide what goal you’re planning to work on next. 

    It’s important to remember that you’ll never be finished. 

    How to Create a Personal Development Plan

    Personal Development Plan Summary

     

    Now that we’ve covered all of that, let me quickly summarize what exactly goes into your personal development plan:

    1. What you want to accomplish
    2. Why you want to accomplish it
    3. What steps you will take to accomplish it
    4. What supportive habits you will adopt in order to accomplish it
    5. When you will accomplish it

    As far as what tool to use to create your personal development plan – you can use anything! You can use a journal, a spreadsheet, a word document, a task management tool like Asana, a planner, etc. It’s really up to you!

    I do my big-picture planning in a word document, where I set my big goals and write the action steps. 

    Then I outline every task in Asana and assign due dates. 

    Finally, I write each daily task in my daily planner. 

    Whatever tool (or combination of tools) works best for you is the one you should be using. 

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    If you’re interested in or passionate about personal development, creating a personal development plan is a great way to achieve your goals without getting overwhelmed!

    A personal development plan is an amazing road map that you can update and refer back to for literally your entire life. 

    This plan gives your life purpose and focus and can help you to live a happier life that you always dreamed of.

    I hope you’ll give it a shot, and come back and let me know how your personal development plan is working for you!

     

     

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  • The 17 Best Self Improvement Podcasts to Motivate and Inspire You

    The 17 Best Self Improvement Podcasts to Motivate and Inspire You

     

    Personal development is one of my favorite topics to both write and learn about. I love diving into a good personal development book or article. But my favorite has actually become personal development podcasts!

    There are so many amazing inspirational and motivational podcasts out there, and I love that I can get a free education while I’m doing things like working out, driving to work, cleaning the apartment, or getting ready in the morning.

    I’ve been listening to self help podcasts for years, and have listened to more podcasts than I could possibly count! Over the years, I’ve definitely found some that stood out more than others.

    In this post, I’m sharing 17 of the best self improvement podcasts to motivate and inspire you. These are some of my absolute favorites!

     

    The 17 Best Self Improvement Podcasts to Motivate and Inspire You

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

    The Life Coach School Podcast

     

    The Life Coach School Podcast, hosted by Brooke Castillo is a resource for learning to manage your brain and solve any problem in your life. Brooke owns the Life Coach School, where she trains and certifies life coaches. But her podcast is all about learning to coach yourself.

    One thing I really love about this podcast is that in addition to teaching you how to solve specific problems, Brooke also teaches you her coaching model that can really be applied to any problem you might be dealing with.

    Some of my favorite topics on the podcast are how to set goals and see results in your life, and how to manage your thoughts to change your emotions. This podcast has helped me a lot when I’ve been going through a hard time and helps me to remember that it is within my power to be happier, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

     

    Happier with Gretchen Rubin

     

    Happier is one of the first personal development podcasts I discovered and is still one of my favorites years later! When I first found it a few years ago, I binged very episode that was out so far!

    Happier is hosted by happiness and habits expert Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft. In each episode, they share happiness hacks and advice that can easily be incorporated in your life.

    They share tips from listeners and lessons they learn in their own lives. They also share many of the tips Gretchen writes about in her books such as The Happiness Project, Better Than Before, and The Four Tendencies.

     

    Design Your Dream Life

     

    The Design Your Dream Life is hosted by one of my favorite personal development blogger and life coaches, Natalie Bacon. Natalie is a former lawyer and financial planner who has been able to make a living teaching high-achieving women to reach their goals.

    In the Design Your Dream Life podcast, Natalie shares lessons on how to accomplish goals, master your mindset, make more money, and build a business.

    I’ve been following Natalie since she was a lawyer, and before she was making a full-time income from her business, so I love listening to her podcast and knowing all of her knowledge comes from personal experience.

    And if you enjoy Natalie’s podcast, then you will LOVE her other personal development resources!

    • Read Natalie’s eBook, Dream Year, where she walks you through the process of creating your dream year.

     

    10% Happier

     

    10% Happier is hosted by ABC News Anchor Dan Harris. Dan’s personal development journey started when he had a panic attack on live TV while hosting Good Morning America. That’s what got Dan to start experimenting with meditation.

    On 10% Happier, Dan interviews big names about meditation and life, and looks for an answer to the question: Can you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment?

    Dan is also the best-selling author of the book 10% Happier. Finally, he created an app to accompany his podcast called “10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics”.

    For anyone who is a meditation skeptic or who has tried it a few times and gotten nothing out of it, this book is a great read for you.

     

    The Marie Forleo Podcast

     

    Marie Forleo’s podcast is the audio version of her weekly video series MarieTV. Marie Forleo is a huge name in business right now and was named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation.

    In her motivational podcast, Marie interviews some BIG names and they talk about happiness, success, motivation, creativity, productivity, love, health, contribution, and fulfillment. She also dives into business, marketing, and career advice.

    No matter what topic she’s talking about, Marie always has actionable strategies to share. She also has a super energetic personality and gets you really excited about creating a life and business you love.

    I also want to note that Marie’s book, Everything is Figureoutable, is coming out in September 2019 and is now available for preorder!

     

    The Minimalists

     

    Minimalism certainly is not a new topic in the personal development world, but Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are some of the thought leaders in the space. They have demonstrated their expertise on the topic through their website and their documentary, Minimalism.

    On their podcast, they talk about living a meaningful life with less. They apply minimalism to all areas of their lives. Sure, they talk about owning less stuff. But they also talk about applying minimalism to your diet, to your budget, to fitness, to your relationships, and more.

    It’s a podcast that really encourages mindfulness and needing less in a society of more everything.

     

    The Lively Show

     

    The Lively Show is a podcast hosted by Jess Lively and is designed to uplift, inspire, and help you add intention to every day. Jess is a business owner turned business coach turned life coach.

    I’ve been listening to The Lively Show for years and it’s actually one of my favorite self help podcasts. She takes some topics that are a little woo-woo, like the law of attraction, flow, and intuition, are puts them on a level that even skeptics can get something out of.

    I love that because the podcast has been around so long and Jess has gone through so many changes in her own life, the direction of the podcast has really changed and developed as her life has.

     

    The Lavendaire Lifestyle

     

    The Lavandaire Lifestyle is a podcast about personal growth and lifestyle design hosted by YouTuber and entrepreneur Aileen Xu. Aileen shares weekly inspiration on how to create your dream life.

    Aileen interviews guests and covers important topics including self love, learning to say no, productivity, navigating your career and so much more.

    She also shares some personal development and motivational content on her YouTube channel, along with more personal content.

     

    The Tony Robbins Podcast

     

    Tony Robbins is without a doubt of the biggest names in personal development, and his motivational podcast is a hub where he shares all of that amazing knowledge.

    In his podcast, Tony shares proven strategies and tactics for achieving massive results in your business, relationships, health, and finances.

    Tony has reached more than 50 million people from over 100 countries to create meaningful change in their lives. I love that Tony, as someone who grew up disadvantaged, looks for answers as to why some people see big results in their lives and others don’t.

    Whether you’re looking to build a bigger business, deepen your relationships, or reach other amazing goals, Tony’s podcast can certainly help you do that.

    If you love the podcast and want more of Tony’s work, you can check out the books he has written on personal development and personal finance.

     

    The Mindful Kind

     

    If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness, then this is the podcast for you. The Mindful Kind, hosted by Rachel Kable, shares insights into mindfulness journeys and provides listeners with simple and effective practices to incorporate into their own lives.

    Mindfulness can help you improve so many areas of your life include stress, productivity, relationships, and more. Rachel sheds light on so many important topics, including relaxation, using your phone mindfully, being more productive, leveling up your relationships, and managing your mind.

    Unlike so many other self improvement podcasts that have long episodes, these episodes are only ten minutes, so you can listen to them between tasks or when you only have a short amount of time.

     

    The Overwhelmed Brain

     

    The Overwhelmed Brain, hosted by Paul Colaianni, is a personal growth podcast for critical thinkers. This podcast is for anyone who hasn’t had luck with personal development strategies such as affirmations, and who is tired of being told to “think positively”.

    This podcast deals with topics that teach you to manage your own mind. Paul talks about tackling anxiety, depression, negative self-talk, judgments, and personal boundaries.

     

    The Art of Charm

     

    The Art of Charm is a motivational podcast hosted by AJ Harbinger and Johnny Dzubak. This podcast will teach you to become more charismatic and learn to connect with people more confidently and on a deeper level.

    This podcast provides a different spin on self improvement because rather than sharing tactical tips for performance and goal setting, it teaches you to improve your personal life through relationships.

    I discovered this podcast years ago when I was looking for advice on improving my interactions in the workplace. I’ve always been introverted and shy to a fault, and I wanted to learn to come out of my shell more so my introversion didn’t negatively impact my career.

     

    Optimal Daily Living

     

    Optimal Daily Living is a self improvement podcast hosted by Justin Malik. This podcast, with new episodes every day, is quite a bit different from the others on this list. Justin isn’t a content creator, but rather a content curator. Rather than sharing his original content, Justin reads blog articles from other sites.

    Justin compiles the best content on personal development, minimalism, productivity, and more to share with his audience.

    He’s able to share amazing content on living your best life, and his audience is able to discover new, amazing personal development blogs to follow.

     

    Tiny Leaps Big Changes

     

    Tiny Leaps Big Changes is a podcast hosted by Gregg Clunis – artist, entrepreneur, thinker, and author who helps people to become better versions of themselves.

    In his personal development podcast, he explores the day-to-day behaviors that determine the results we see in our lives. His covers a variety of topics such as stress, career, mindfulness, and habits, and shares simple strategies we can implement in our lives to start moving the needle towards our biggest goals.

    Gregg’s core philosophy is that big changes come from the tiny leaps you take every day. This is a great podcast for anyone who feels they aren’t seeing progress in their lives, despite their hard work.

     

    The School of Greatness

     

    The School of Greatness is a podcast hosted by Lewis Howes, bestselling author, former pro athlete, and world record holder in football. This podcast shares inspiring stories from some of the most brilliant business minds, world-class athletes, and influential celebrities to help you find out what makes great people great.

    Lewis’s story is inspirational, as are the stories of the people he interviews. He’s interviewed some seriously big names. I love the advice he has to offer on managing anxiety and burnout, creating success habits, and building confidence.

    This podcast is a great reminder that everyone has obstacles in their lives, and the key to being great is overcoming them.

     

    The Brendon Show

     

    The Brendon Show is a motivational podcast hosted by Brendon Burchard, one of the world’s leading high-performance coaches. Brandon is also the author of the book High Performance Habits.

    Brandon’s shares two podcast episodes every week. One episode is a tactical training on how to improve one area of your life. The other is Brendon’s recap of his week’s adventures, service, and lessons learned.

    One thing I really love about his tactical trainings is just how actionable they are. I jot down some notes during the podcast, and afterward, I always have one very specific action I can take to make a positive change in my life.

     

    Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod

     

    Achieve Your Goals is a podcast hosted by Hal Elrod where he talks about, you guessed it, practical advice and strategies to help you achieve your goals.

    I came across this podcast after reading Hal’s bestselling book The Miracle Morning where he gives you the formula for transforming your life with an effective morning routine.

    I love this podcast because it is a great combination of super practical, actionable steps with inspirational stories and lessons.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    As I said earlier, podcasts have been such a huge part of my personal development journey. There are so many self improvement podcasts to choose from that I know everyone can find one that really speaks to them and what they are going through in their lives.

    If there’s a podcast you love that isn’t on this list, be sure to leave a comment so others can check it out as well!

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  • 80+ Self Improvement Tips That Will Change Your Life

    30+ Self Improvement Tips That Will Change Your Life

     

    When I was in my mid-twenties, I went through something of a mid-life crisis. I found myself questioning all of the decisions I had made up until that point, including my career and relationship decisions. I ended up choosing to end my marriage at 26, and frankly was a little lost. 

    It was during this time that I threw myself into self improvement. I read just about every personal development book I could get my hands on and loved learning new personal development tips. 

    Personal development is something I’m still super passionate about, and something I talk a lot about here on my blog. And in this post, I’m sharing with you 30 of my favorite self improvement tips!

     

    80+ Self Improvement Tips That Will Change Your Life

     

    1. Set goals for yourself. Setting goals is the best way to keep moving forward in life and ensure you’re able to achieve your dreams. If you’re ready to start tackling your goals, be sure to check out my blog post about how to set goals and plan your best year ever

     

    2. Write down your goals. While you’re setting goals for yourself, be sure to write them down. There is so much research to show that people are more likely to meet their goals then they’ve written them down somewhere they can see them!

     

    3. Start now. So many people have personal development goals, but they think they have to reach other milestones before they can really start. This is just a form of procrastination. You can start TODAY!

     

    4. Break down your goal into actionable steps. If you look at your goal as one huge task, it’s going to seem way too overwhelming. Instead, break it down into each individual task you need to complete to reach your goal so you can put those tasks on your calendar. 

     

    5. Create a monthly budget. When it comes to managing your money, creating a monthly budget is the best place to start. No, it’s not going to be fun. But it will be down the road when you have more money to spare every month! And once you’ve created your budget, be sure to check in with it daily, or at least weekly. These budget apps can help you stay on top of your budget. 

     

    6. Map out a five year plan. Planning anything five years in advance might sound ridiculous. But mapping out your plan for the next five years is actually really useful in helping you to set goals for your life right now!

     

    7. Evaluate what isn’t working. If you aren’t reaching your goals, there’s a reason. Be sure to constantly evaluate your progress so you can figure out what isn’t working, and change course before it’s too late.

     

    8. Learn to enjoy the moment. I’m someone who spends a lot of time planning and overthinking. Since meeting my fiance, he has really helped me to see how important it is to enjoy the current moment, and has helped teach me how to do that. Now, I really try to live in the moment when we spend time together rather than planning for and stressing about the future. 

     

    9. Start a personal development blog. Starting a blog and sharing my personal development journey has helped me to grow so much as a person. I’ve also been able to help other people on their own personal development journeys, which has been super rewarding! Here’s how you can start your own personal development blog!

     

    10. Start a meal plan. Meal planning has so many benefits! First of all, you’ll find yourself far less stressed when you get home from work every night and don’t have to stress about what to have for dinner. It will also help you save money and eat a lot healthier! 

     

    11. Identify your blind spots. When it comes to personal development, blind spots are things about ourselves that we can’t see, but that are weaknesses or need improvement. Once you can identify those, you can really learn to overcome them!

     

    12. Make more money. A great way to ensure your financial health is to increase the amount of money you make. Here’s a great article filled with 35+ creative ways to make extra money

     

    13. Create healthy habits. Your habits make up basically your entire life. Meaning if your life is filled with small unhealthy habits, you’re living an unhealthy life. Instead, make sure to create healthy habits in your life. Here’s how to create healthy habits.

     

    14. Eliminate a bad habit. In addition to starting good habits, try to eliminate a bad habit. Surely we all have a habit that isn’t healthy, whether it’s smoking, overeating, talking down to ourselves, or anything else that isn’t serving us.

     

    15. Cut down on screen time. This is good for your physical health because it gives your eyes and head a break from the light of the screen. But it’s also good for your mental health! When I’m feeling down about myself, I know spending some time away from social media will help. 

     

    16. Create routines in your life. Routines are basically just a collection of habits you do in the same order every day. By creating routines in your life, you have to make far fewer decisions in your day and you’ll be a lot happier and more productive. 

     

    17. Read personal development books. I’ve become slightly obsessed with personal development books! No matter what you’re struggling with in life, you’ll be able to find a book that can help you. 

     

    18. Read personal finance books. When I first became determined to learn more about managing my money, personal finance books became my favorite learning tool! There are so many experts out there with the knowledge to share. 

     

    19. Start a 30-day challenge. Start a goal and work on it every day for the next 30 days. There are plenty of 30-day challenge guides online for everything from fitness, healthy eating, reading, writing, and more. 

     

    20. Find an accountability partner or mastermind. If you’re reaching for a goal, why not find someone (or someones) who are going after the same goal, and work together to keep each other accountable? You can exchange tips and motivation to ensure you all reach the finish line. 

     

    21. Commit to an exercise routine. Physical activity is so important, and one of the best ways to care for your body. 

     

    22. Ask for feedback. No one likes getting critical feedback, but it’s also how we grow! Ask your significant other, friends, boss, coworkers, etc. for feedback and you might actually learn a lot about yourself. And then you can use that feedback to grow as a person!

     

    23. Create a capsule wardrobe. I spent years with a closet filled with way too many clothes that I rarely wore, with a few staple pieces that I wore all the time. When I finally read about the idea of a capsule wardrobe, or minimalist wardrobe, I was hooked!

     

    24. Avoid impulse spending. I used to be so bad about impulse spending! I would run into Target for one thing and end up spending way too much money. And let me tell you, it was not great for my credit card balance! Be kind to your finances by avoiding impulse spending.

     

    25. Listen to self improvement podcasts. I’ve become a bit of a podcast junkie. I put together a list of my favorite personal development podcasts to motivate and inspire you!

     

    26. Pay attention to the thoughts you are having. It’s important to stay in tune with what’s going on in your mind. If you’re constantly talking down to yourself or others or having negative thoughts, it’s important to notice that so you can change course!

     

    27. Expand your network. I’m not a huge fan of networking, but I know how important it is for my career! Even if you’re an introvert and the idea of going to a networking event sounds terrible to you, find a different way to network with those in your industry. For bloggers, there are so many amazing online networking opportunities available!

     

    28. Eat well. As with exercise, caring for your body by eating well is incredibly important. Most of us are eating far too many sugary and highly processed foods. Trying to eat clean most of the time will do wonders for your body. 

     

    29. Plan your career. Far too many people start a job or career and then just get stuck on a conveyer belt without really stopping along the way to revisit whether this is really what you want for your career. Make every decision intentionally so you can be in control of your own career. 

     

    30. Let go of the past. There are plenty of things in my past that brought me unhappiness, and I’m glad to be past them. Except when I find myself dwelling on them, they bring me unhappiness all over again! You can’t change the past, but you can stop it from negatively impact your life today.

     

    31. Be okay with imperfect. If I never published a piece of writing until it was perfect, I would literally never publish anything! When we make room for perfectionism, we’re really just giving ourselves an excuse not to try at all. Be okay with imperfect work and you’ll reach your goals a lot faster. You can always go back and revise later!

     

    32. Get outdoors. I don’t know about you, but I always feel amazing after spending the day outside. I’m happier and more relaxed, and often it pushes me to get a good workout in if I’m going hiking or swimming. 

     

    33. Check in with your partner. It’s important to communicate with your partner regularly to maintain a healthy relationship. Whether you’re scheduling family meetings or date nights, make sure to have time on the calendar just for the two of you. 

     

    34. Practice delayed gratification. Many of the things you’ll have to do now to reach your goals aren’t going to feel great, but they’ll be much better for you in the long run.

     

    35. Focus on one thing at a time. Your brain is not capable of multitasking. If you try to multitasking, you’re really just jumping from task to task without giving anything your full attention. Everything will take longer, and the finished product won’t be as good!

     

    36. Allow time for creativity. If you already have a creative hobby, ensure you’re making time for it in your busy schedule. If you don’t have a creative hobby, try to find one! It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but you’ll really see the mental benefits from it. 

     

    37. Drink lots of water. Did you know most people walk around in a constant state of dehydration? Yep, and it can be the cause of a lot of the discomfort and fatigue you feel throughout the day! Drinking lots of water will make a huge difference in the way you feel. 

     

    38. Create a morning routine. Starting your morning off on the right foot is so important and can help lead to a productive day. 

     

    39. Create an evening routine. My evening routine ensures that I get to sleep at a decent hour and that I’m ready for the next day. This is when I do things like prepare my lunch for the next day, pick out my clothes, wash my face, etc. 

     

    40. Spend time alone. I love being with my significant other, or with family and friends. But I also really crave being alone sometimes and feel really refreshed afterward. A little solitude can really help clear your mind. 

     

    41. Plan your days and weeks ahead of time. I am always so much more productive when I have planned my days and weeks ahead of time. Otherwise, I’m always a little overwhelmed and not entirely sure what I’m supposed to be working on!

     

    42. Care for your relationships. The relationships you have are some of the biggest determining factors in living a happy life – so make sure you take care of them! Whether it’s your spouse, your parents, or your friends, make time to nurture those relationships.

     

    43. Keep your home and workspace organized. When my environment is chaotic, I tend to get a little stressed. And clutter actually decreases your productivity! Keeping an organized home and workspace allows me to focus on other things instead, rather than being overwhelmed by my surroundings. 

     

    44. Never stop learning. I was one of those kids who loved learning in school and when I graduated college, I was bummed about all of the classes I didn’t get a chance to take. Luckily, I’ve never stopped learning! Whether you’re into books, podcasts, online course, or whatever else, there are seriously endless opportunities to keep learning!

     

    45. Be adaptable. What got you to where you are now in life isn’t necessarily what is going to get you to where you want to go. Figure out who you need to become in order to reach your goals, and then become that person! And remain adaptable along the way. 

     

    46. Learn to forgive. If you’re still hanging onto anger and resentment from the past, learn to forgive and let it go. You aren’t hurting the person you’re angry at, only yourself!

     

    47. Stop comparing yourself with others. There is never any good to come from comparing yourself to someone else. You are on different journeys. Rather than comparing yourself with others, compare yourself with your past self to see how much you have grown. 

     

    48. Find a mentor. One of the biggest turning points for me in reaching my goals has been finding mentors and teachers to learn from who have already accomplished what I want to accomplish. Start networking and find a mentor in your field!

     

    49. Build an emergency fund. You never know what is coming in life, so you should always be prepared. Building an emergency fund allows you to start preparing for the unexpected. That way if something goes wrong, you’re covered!

     

    50. Learn a new language. Not only is learning a new language a really great growing and mind-opening experience, but it also might really come in hand for job opportunities or future travels!

     

    51. Treat yourself. You work hard and deserve to treat yourself. Way too many people feel guilty about treating themselves, so they just don’t. There’s nothing to feel guilty about!

     

    52. Say no. I tend to have a hard time saying no to others. But that unfortunately means that I’m not getting as many things done on my own to-do list. I’ve really had to learn to say no to others sometimes, no matter how uncomfortable it might make me!

     

    53. Analyze your emotions. If you’re experiencing negative emotions, analyze them and try to figure out why. What thoughts are you having that are causing those negative feelings? Likewise, when you’re experiencing positive emotions, figure out what thoughts are creating them so you can recreate those positive emotions in the future. 

     

    54. Watch less television. I have to say, I’ve never been grateful that I spent an entire day or weekend mindlessly watching television. In fact, there are times in my life where I wish I would have spent a lot less time watching TV and a lot more time working toward my goals!

     

    55. Do your most important task first every day. There are always going to be those days where you don’t finish everything on your to-do list. I like to finish my most important task first thing in the morning. That way no matter what else happens, I still had a productive day!

     

    56. Set personal boundaries. No one else in life is going to be looking out for your mental health and best interests as well as you can. Setting boundaries in your life is a great way to put yourself first and make sure no one else can negatively impact your health and happiness. 

     

    57. Admit your mistakes. We all mistakes. It’s human nature. And making a few mistakes along the way isn’t going to hold you back. But what will hold you back is not being able to admit and learn from your mistakes. 

     

    58. Level up your skills. Learning new skills is great, but are you still brushing up on the skills you already have? Continuing to level up your skill is a great way to grow professionally and personally. 

     

    59. Start a skincare routine. I was in my twenties before I really started taking care of my skin. Before that, I would regularly go to sleep with makeup on, go days without moisturizing, etc. It’s amazing how much better my skin looks now that I consistently take care of it. And don’t forget the SPF every day!

     

    60. Travel somewhere new. There is so much to be gained by traveling! I really feel myself growing as a person every time I travel to a new place. 

     

    61. Practice positive affirmations. The mindset you approach life with is going to have a big impact on the results you see. When I’m doubting whether I’ll be able to reach my goals, I use positive affirmations to turn my mindset around. 

     

    62. Start a meditation practice. For years I rolled my eyes at the idea of meditating because it just seemed way too woo-woo. But once I tried it, I realized the benefits are real.

     

    63. Don’t rely on credit cards. Way too many people fall into the trap of credit card debt. I know, because I’ve been there! Stop using your credit cards until you can figure out how to do so without going into debt.

     

    64. Give back to your community. By volunteering and giving back, you can help ensure everyone in your community, including you and your family, have the best home possible. This might mean volunteering at your local food pantry or helping on an environment project. 

     

    65. Surround yourself with positive people. Have you ever had a friend who was really negative, and you always found yourself feeling really negative after spending time with them? I feel like we’ve all had at least one person in our lives like that. We’ve all heard the saying, “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Well do you really want to be more like that negative person, or would you rather learn from the positive people in your life? I know which I would prefer!

     

    66. Practice self-care. Many people think that self-care is selfish, or not a productive use of time. Really, self-care is just helping you care for yourself, and it really is important. Self-care looks different for everyone, so figure out what it looks like for you and put it on your calendar!

     

    67. Start a gratitude journal. I tend to be a bit of a glass half empty person. Starting a gratitude practice in my journal has really forced me to focus on the positive things in my life, at least for a little bit each day!

     

    68. Work through issues with a therapist. The idea of going to therapy makes some people cringe, and I totally used to be one of those people. But talking your thoughts and feelings out with a professional can do wonders!

     

    69. Develop an abundance mindset. If you assume that nothing is going to go right and you aren’t going to be successful, you’ll be right. Believing you can accomplish something is the first step to actually making it happen!

     

    70. Journal regularly. I tend to struggle with anxiety. Lately, I’ve found a great way to deal with it is to just do a brain dump of all the thoughts I’m having and talk myself through them. I always end up feeling better!

     

    71. Stop negative thoughts. If you’re having negative thoughts that are causing negative feelings, stop them in their tracks. For me, this goes hand in hand with journaling, as I journal what negative thoughts I’m having, and then the positive thoughts I want to think instead.

     

    72. Challenge yourself. You can grow so much as a person by challenging yourself and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Here are 22 ways to can challenge yourself to live your best life.

     

    73. Schedule time for fun. It’s easy to get caught up in work and all of the other responsibilities in life. But I definitely start to feel the negative effects of not enough free time. Try scheduling in some time for fun!

     

    74. Become familiar with your credit report. I paid almost no attention to my credit report until I was in my mid-twenties, and boy do I wish I had started checking sooner! Your credit report will be a huge determining factor down the road when it comes to do things like buy a car or a house. 

     

    75. Keep a to-do list. I don’t know about you, but I can’t possibly remember tasks if I haven’t written them down. Keeping a to-do list helps to reduce a lot of mental clutter and allows you to focus on the task at hand. 

     

    76. Embrace change. You are going to go through major changes in your life, whether you like it or not. If you don’t embrace change, you’ll find yourself dreading it and suffering through change rather than enjoying it. 

     

    77. Get lots of sleep. Your body needs sleep. When I haven’t gotten enough sleep, I can feel it. And it starts to affect other parts of my life negatively. I am for at least seven hours per night.

     

    78. Create a vision board. If you’re reaching for some BIG goals, it might be easy to lose motivation. Creating a vision board ensures your big goals are always in front of you, so you continue to remember what you’re working for.

     

    79. Save for retirement. Many people think about what they can do to improve their current selves, but improving life for your future self is just as important. Be sure to start saving for retirement ASAP. You future self will thank you!

     

    80. Embrace failure. Usually, we shy away from failure, and often don’t bother going after our goals because of our fear of failure. Instead, we should be embracing the fact that failure helps us to grow. When you fail, you learn important lessons that will help you the second time around. 

     

    81. Commit to yourself. Whatever form of personal development you decide is for you, really commit to it. Personal growth is a lifelong effort. Once you start to honor your commitments to yourself and showing yourself that you’ll follow through for yourself, it will be a lot easier to start seeing positive changes in your life. 

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    There are a lot of tips for self improvement in this post so that anyone will be able to find some self improvement ideas that appeal to them. 

    As someone who has been passionate about personal development for years now, some of these changes have honestly changed my life, and I know they can do the same for you too. 

    Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know YOUR favorite self help tips!

    CONTINUE READING

  • Habit Stacking: How to Create Good Habits That Actually Stick

    Habit Stacking: How to Create Good Habits That Actually Stick

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

    Whether you realize it or not, many of the actions you take throughout the day are done out of habit. This includes things from brushing your teeth, checking your email first thing in the morning, and the time you go to bed at night.

    And if you’ve ever tried changing or creating habits, you know that habits are TOUGH to change. Because of this, there has been a LOT of research into habits and the role they play in our lives.

    One of the habit creation strategies that has come up is the idea of “habit stacking”.

    In this post, I’m going to explain what habits stacking is, and how you can use it to develop good habits in your own life.

     

    Habit Stacking: How to Create Good Habits That Actually Stick

     

    What is Habit Stacking?

     

    Habit stacking is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

    It’s about creating new, healthy habits by stacking them on habits you already have.

    I first read about the idea of habit stacking in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.

    James Clear is one of the more well-known habit experts. He explains that because your current habits are already ingrained into your brain, it’s easier to use them to create new habits.

    By linking your new habits to existing ones, they’re more likely to stick.

    And when you’ve mastered one habit, you can continue to stack on new habits.

    This is how routines are created!

    Think about your morning routine. It’s essentially just a bunch of habits stacked on top of one another.

     

    Find Your Habit Trigger

     

    In order for habit stacking to work, you need to find the right existing habit to stack your new habit on. There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re choosing your habit trigger.

    First of all, think about the time of day you want your new habit to take place. If you want your new habit to be a part of your morning routine, obviously your trigger needs to be something that also happens every morning.

    Next, make sure your habit trigger is a habit you actually do every single day.

    When I think about my morning routine, for example, there are some things that happen every day, such as brushing my teeth. Then there are others that I try to do every day, such as meditation, but they don’t necessarily happen every single morning.

    It wouldn’t do me any good to anchor a new habit to those things I only do on some days!

    Make yourself a list of all of your existing habits during the time of day you want your new habit to be, and you’ll have narrowed it down to a few different habits you can choose as your trigger.

     

    Habit Stacking Examples

     

    When you set your intention for the new habit you plan to create, it will look something like this:

    After I , I will .

    Here are habit stacking examples that may give you some inspiration:

    • After I turn my alarm off in the morning, I will drink 8 ounces of water.
    • After I get out of bed in the morning, I will immediately make the bed.
    • After I brush my teeth, I will do ten minutes of yoga.
    • After I start the coffee maker, I will meditate for five minutes.
    • After I eat dinner, I will read for ten minutes.
    • After I get into bed at night, I will journal for five minutes.

     

    Creating the Habit Staircase

     

    Once you’ve creating a new, consistent habit using the habit stacking method, you can start adding on more habits. When you do this, you’re creating what is called a “habit staircase”.

    Let’s use a morning routine as an example.

    For years, you have woken up every morning and turned on the coffee maker. So when you decided you wanted to start meditating in the morning, you decided to use turning on the coffee maker as your habit trigger.

    Once you’ve mastered the habit of meditating after turning on your coffee maker, you decide you would also like to start journaling in the morning. So you “stack” your journaling habit on top of your meditating habit, which has been stacked on top of the habit of turning on the coffee maker.

    You have created what is called a habit staircase.

    And the great news about the habit staircase is that once you’ve created a consistent habit, you can stack as many new habits onto that staircase as you want, as long as you master one before moving onto the next habit.

    Here’s an example of what the advanced morning routine in our habit staircase example might look like:

    1. Wake up
    2. Turn on the coffee maker
    3. Meditate
    4. Journal
    5. Shower and get ready for work
    6. Eat breakfast
    7. Leave for work

     

    More Habit Stacking Tips

     

    I know the concept of habit stacking seems simple. And believe me, it is. But as you know, most things are easier said than done. Here are a few extra tips to help you get started with habit stacking:

    • Start small. If you start by trying to add a 30-minute habit on the first day, you may not be able to sustain it. Whatever habit it is you’re trying to add, start with just one minute.
    • When I start trying to add a new habit, I write it in my to-do list every single day. That way I have an extra reminder to get it done. And if I forget, it’s right there staring me in the face.
    • Wait until you’ve mastered one habit before adding another to the stack.
    • Know WHY you’re trying to create the new habit. Trying to meditate or exercise every day isn’t going to be sustainable if you’re only doing it because you think you should, and not because you actually want to.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    Even if you don’t realize it, habits literally make up our entire day.

    Trying to create healthy habits can seem super overwhelming. And more often than not, we end up giving up pretty quickly.

    That’s why I was SO excited when I discovered the book Atomic Habits and the concept of habit stacking.

    I know this technique will help you with developing habits as much as it has helped me! I can’t wait to hear what new habits you’ve created with using habit stacking!

     

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • How a Growth Mindset Can Help You to Reach Your Goals

    How a Growth Mindset Can Help You to Reach Your Goals

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”.

    You’ve probably heard this quote by Henry Ford before. Turns out he was really onto something.

    There’s been a lot of research to look into how our mindset impacts our level of success and it turns out, it’s pretty darn important.

    The concept of a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset was developed by a psychologist named Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

    The gist of it is that your mindset determines whether you’ll even attempt to take on new challenges, and therefore how successful you’ll be down the road.

    This definitely got my attention, because I know I definitely have some limiting beliefs for myself at times.

    In this post, I’m talking all about growth mindset vs. fixed mindset and sharing how a growth mindset can help you reach your goals.

     

    How a Growth Mindset Can Help You to Reach Your Goals

     

    Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

     

    Growth Mindset

     

    Those with a growth mindset believe that skills and intelligence can be developed. This mindset pushed people to embrace challenges and learning opportunities because they see them as the road to success and personal development.

    Because of this, people with a growth mindset are ultimately more likely to be successful and surpass their current level of achievement.

     

    Fixed Mindset

     

    Those with a fixed mindset are more likely to believe that skills and intelligence are static and can’t be changed. They believe that what they’re good at now is all they’ll ever be good at.

    Because of this, people with a fixed mindset are likely to only take on tasks that will reaffirm their abilities. In other words, they only reach for goals they know they’ll reach.

    They generally aren’t going to push themselves to take on new challenges or learn new skills. They just think it can’t be done!

    And in the long-run, this really limits their success in life.

     

    Benefits of a Growth Mindset

     

    Now that you know the difference between a fixed mindset and growth mindset (and hopefully have figured out which you have), let’s talk about some of the benefits of having a growth mindset.

     

    You’re Eager to Learn

     

    People with a growth mindset are excited to learn. They know that the knowledge and abilities they have are NOT finite, and they can continue to grow as individuals throughout their entire lives.

    Because of this, those with a growth mindset will be more likely to seek out learning opportunities to learn more and become more successful.

     

    You Can Thrive in Tough Times

     

    People with a fixed mindset tend to believe that their current situation and abilities are permanent. This means that during tough times, people with a fixed mindset are likely to think things can’t or won’t get better.

    People with a growth mindset, however, will be more optimistic. They’ll be more persistent and embrace the challenge ahead of them. And they’ll take the lessons of their current situation and use those to be more successful and make different choices in the future.

     

    You Look At Failure Differently

     

    When you fall short of reaching a goal, do you call it a failure and quit?

    Or do you take the information and experience you’ve gained from that failure and approach the same goal in a different way?

    If the first sentence sounded like you, then you’re probably hanging onto a fixed mindset right now.

    People with a growth mindset look at failure as an opportunity and a lesson. If you fall short of a goal, you haven’t failed! You just haven’t reached your goal yet.

    People with a growth mindset take note of where they fell short, and they fix those things the next time around.

    The important part is that they don’t quit just because things didn’t go perfectly the first time around.

    You Might Also Like: Lessons We Can Learn From Failure

     

    You’re Ready For a Challenge

     

    Those with a growth mindset welcome a challenge instead of fearing it. Those with a fixed mindset are constantly trying to reaffirm their abilities, while those with a growth mindset want to expand their abilities!

    When Dweck was doing research on fixed vs. growth mindset, she worked with children to try to identify the two mindsets from a young age. They did this by offering four-year-olds a choice of puzzles to complete.

    Those with a fixed mindset continually chose easy puzzles they knew they could complete. Those with a growth mindset chose puzzles that would challenge them, even if they ultimately weren’t able to complete them.

    If you look at challenges with a fixed mindset, you might achieve everything you set out to do. But you’re also probably setting the bar so low that you know you’ll achieve everything.

    If you’re really focused on personal development, learn to face challenges with a growth mindset.

    You Might Also Like: 22 Ways to Challenge Yourself Every Day to Live Your Best Life

     

    How to Develop a Growth Mindset

     

    Now that you know the benefits of having a growth mindset, you’re probably thinking, “how the heck do I get one??” Even if you’ve had a fixed mindset your entire life, you CAN develop a growth mindset!

     

    Identify the Limiting Beliefs

     

    What beliefs do you have that have been holding you back? Here are some examples of limiting beliefs you might have:

    • I’m bad at ___.
    • I can’t ___.
    • I will fail if I try ___.

    I know you’ve had limiting beliefs. I can literally think of limiting beliefs I’ve had in the last couple of days. But I noticed them for what they are, and that’s the important thing!

     

    Challenge Those Beliefs with Growth Mindset Beliefs

     

    When you feel that fixed mindset and limiting beliefs creeping in argue back with a growth mindset.

    Seriously, don’t take no for an answer!

    For example, if you fall short of reaching a goal, you might convince yourself that you’ve failed and aren’t capable of reaching that goal. Instead, fight back and tell yourself you haven’t reached your goal YET – there’s still time!

    If you’re striving for a goal and your fixed mindset convince you that you’ll fail, fight back! Remind yourself that you will definitely fail if you don’t try. And if you do fall short, it isn’t a failure. It’s a learning experience. And the next time you try for that goal you’ll have an even better shot because you’ll be armed with more information and more experience.

     

    Focus on Self-Awareness

     

    Even if you achieve that growth mindset you’ve been striving for, self-awareness is important to help you KEEP your growth mindset.

    Continue to push yourself to embrace learning, embrace challenges, and even embrace failure because of lessons you gain from it.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    So many of us think about how our skills and knowledge might impact what we can achieve. We don’t even think of the role that mindset plays!

    But in fact, your mindset is even more important than your skills or knowledge!

    As I’ve said, having a growth mindset is something I’ve struggled with. I definitely don’t approach every challenge with optimism.

    Literally just the other day I was telling my boyfriend that I was convinced we weren’t going to reach a big goal we’ve been striving for. That’s why self-awareness is SO important! I can’t just let that fixed mindset win because I’ll end up giving up on my goal!

    I hope you’ll use the lessons in this post to take a look at your own mindset and identify areas where a fixed mindset and limiting beliefs are holding you back.

    Then you just need to keep fighting back until that growth mindset wins!

     

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • Personal Development Books You Need to Read This Year

    9 Personal Development Books You Need to Read This Year

     

    If you read this blog regularly, it probably won’t come as a surprise that personal development books are kind of my jam.

    I’ve always loved reading. But prior to my mid-twenties, my time spent reading was devoted almost entirely to fiction.

    And don’t get me wrong, I still love a good novel. But to me, one of the best feelings is reading a personal development book you LOVE and feeling like you’ve finally been let in on this big secret that you know is going to change your life.

    I’ve read a LOT of personal development books over the past few years, and today I want to share some of my favorites!

    And while you’re here, you might also like the article I wrote where I share more than 80 of the best personal development tips!

     

    9 Personal Development Books to Read This Year

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

     

    7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

     

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by [Covey, Stephen R.]I wanted to list this book first because it’s just such a classic, and one I think EVERYONE should read.

    In fact, a lot of you may have read it in school at some point. But I guarantee that as an adult, you’ll get a LOT more out of it.

    Seriously, there’s a reason it’s still a best-seller so many years after it was published!

    7 Habits of Highly Effective People shares the 7 habits that will help you be successful and help you solve problems in your personal and professional life.

    I’m not kidding when I say that the core values shared in this book can legit change your life if you implement them.

     

    To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before. – Stephen Covey

     

    Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

     

    I’m going to be honest, I was skeptical about this book at first. I read Rachel Hollis’ first book, Girl, Wash Your Face, and I really didn’t love it. I thought it was okay, but not exactly life-changing.

    This book, on the other hand, I loved.

    This book doesn’t have any of the fluff I found in her first book. Instead, this book is filled with amazing, actionable steps you can take to reach your big scary goals. And even as someone who has done a LOT of reading and writing about goal-setting, I found myself taking notes all the way through.

    Girl, Stop Apologizing is broken down into three sections: excuses you need to let go of, skills you need to learn, and an actual roadmap for the steps Rachel takes to reach a goal.

    If you’re a goal-driven woman and just need a little guidance on reaching your goals, this is a must-read for you!

    Plus, Rachel writes with a really personable tone that makes her seem like a friend sharing some killer goal-setting advice.

    For all my dreamers, for all my hustlers, for all my girls reading this who are building and planning, don’t you dare compare your beginning with someone else’s middle! – Rachel Hollis

     

    You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

     

    This book has become something of a cult classic since it was published in 2013, and for good reason.

    In this book, Jen talks you through the process of overcoming those limiting beliefs and behaviors that are holding you back.

    Basically, the author transformed her life, and now she’s helping you change yours. She’s not teaching you to become a badass, she’s just proving to you that you already are.

    If you constantly feel yourself being held back by your own excuses, mental blocks, and fear of what other people think of you, then this book is perfect for you.

    You’ll definitely feel like a badass when you’re done reading it!

    P.S. If you LOVED this book, make sure to check out Jen Sincero’s other books for badasses:

     

    You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it. – Jen Sincero

     

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

     

    I’ve read a lot of Mark Manson’s articles, so I knew going into this book I was going to like it. But it definitely exceeded my expectations.

    One of my favorite things about the book is that unlike a lot of other books and articles sharing “honest truths” and (sometimes) “unpopular opinions”, these are well-researched and shared alongside academic research.

    The premise of the book is you just CAN’T focus on or care about everything. And the key to a good life is REALLY focusing on your values and the things that matter to you.

    You can’t make everybody happy. But also, you aren’t responsible for making everybody happy.

    He’s also critical of the positivity and pep talks we see from so many personal development gurus. Because as inspirational as they might be, are they really all that effective?

    It’s a tone that probably won’t be appreciated by everyone, but I definitely recommend it!

     

    It turns out that adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults. -Mark Manson

     

    Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

     

    You know those personal development books that you got so much out of that you want to read them again and again?

    That was Tribe of Mentors for me.

    You’ve probably heard of Tim Ferriss from his book The 4-Hour Workweek, but Tribe of Mentors is definitely my favorite book of his.

    Basically, Tim interviews some of the most successful people in the world and shares the life advice that got them there.

    As you read the book, you’ll find the same advice repeated over and over again by different people in the book, which was a huge lightbulb moment for me.

    This book is LONG, but each interview is only a few pages long (at most), so it’s easy to digest in short sittings.

     

    What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. – Tim Ferriss

     

    Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

     

    You probably recognize the name Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Eat, Pray, Love. But Big Magic is, in my opinion, even better.

    Not only does the author dig into some of her own creative process in this book (which I always LOVE to see), but she also offers LOTS of tips for cultivating your own creativity.

    What’s even more, she gets brutally honest about creativity. And about the fact that sometimes, your creativity is just nowhere to be found.

    One of the biggest takeaways from this book is not putting too much pressure on your creativity to pay the bills.

    Sure, it would be great if your creative passion also made you a ton of money. But it’s also possible that the pressure to make a lot of money could be exactly what kills your creativity.

    This is a must-read for all creatives!

     

    The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. -Elizabeth Gilbert

     

    The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

     

    I’ve mentioned this book quite a few times before on my blog, but I just had to mention it again because it seriously can change your life.

    I first read this book because I heard it recommended by literally ALL of the most successful people I follow online.

    In the book, the author (Hal Elrod) shares a story of being at a particularly low point in his life. Then, he shares how transforming his morning routine (otherwise known as his miracle morning) changed his entire life.

    Hal started seeing success in literally every area of his life.

    It might sound pretty basic, but I promise you this book is NOT just a typical morning routine guide.

    Hal walks through what activities to include in your miracle morning, WHY to include each one, and HOW to motivate yourself and really stick to your routine.

    If you’re struggling with your mornings or just life in general, definitely give this one a read.

     

    You are where you are because of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be. – Hal Elrod

     

    Atomic Habits by James Clear

     

    I LOVE reading about habits and I’ve been following James Clear for quite a while, so I jumped when I saw this book come out toward the end of 2018.

    You probably know by now that the habits you do (or don’t do) every single day are what is going to make or break your success.

    James Clear clear is a leading expert on habit formation, and this book definitely shared lessons that no one else is sharing on the subject.

    He also breaks habit formation down in a way that makes it sound a LOT easier than you think it is.

    If you are struggling to form healthy habits, this book is for you.

    If you are struggling to reach your goals, this book is for you.

     

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. You don’t have to build everything you want today, just lay a brick. -James Clear

     

    The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

     

    The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by [Keller, Gary, Papasan, Jay]If you feel like your attention is constantly being divided among a million different things, stop reading this blog post and go read this book.

    The big takeaway from this book is that narrowing your focus to fewer things will have a bigger impact on your life.

    And while you’ve probably heard that advice before, this book legit breaks down HOW to choose what to focus on, how to create habits to help you focus on those things, and how to really develop discipline.

     

    What’s the ONE thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? -Gary Keller

     

    Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

     

    If you struggle with vulnerability, then this book is seriously for you. And I say this from experience because I am someone who struggles with vulnerability.

    In this book, the author talks about how so many of us are waiting until we’re perfect or successful to really open up. But by doing that, we’re wasting so much time that we could have spent making connections.

    Most of us think we’re unworthy in some way. And if all of us had the courage to be vulnerable anyways, we could see that everyone has those same struggles.

    It’s definitely a powerful book!

     

    Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations. -Brené Brown

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    I love personal development books, and I know a lot of you do too! I have been lucky enough to read some personal development books that have legit changed my life, and I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share them with you. I hope you find one (or more!) on this that you really love!

     

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

     

    Just a few years ago, I was one of those people who would set a few arbitrary new year’s resolutions on January 1, only to never think about them again.

    That’s how most of us set goals. We think of a goal or something we might want to accomplish in the future. Then we either HOPE it happens, or we forget about it altogether.  

    But if you really want to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to do more. Achieving your goals takes time, effort, and planning. You can’t achieve goals just by hoping they happen someday. You have to take ACTION.

    In this post, I’m going to lay out the steps you can follow to set goals you’ll actually achieve and plan your best year ever.

     

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

     

    Step 1: Reflect

     

    You can’t set goals for your future until you take some time to reflect on your past and where you are right now.

    I want you to grab a notebook or open a word document, and write down the following life categories:

    1. Relationships (friendships, romantic relationships, family)
    2. Health (physical and emotional)
    3. Career
    4. Finances
    5. Home/Environment
    6. Fun & Leisure
    7. Personal Growth

    If there are any major categories in your life that aren’t represented here, such as religion, parenthood, etc., feel free to add those as well!

    Next, go through each category and write down where you are NOW.

    Be honest with yourself about the good and bad in your life for each of these categories.

     

    Step 2: Envision Your Future

     

    Once you’ve thought about where you are right now, take a look at each of those life categories and envision what you want them to look like in the future.

    You can be as broad or as specific as you’d like. In this goal setting exercise, we’re just envisioning our future, not choosing a big goal yet!

    For example, do you see yourself getting married? Having kids?

    Maybe you hope to own your own business someday or have a corporate career trajectory in mind.

    I love doing this exercise right after Step 1 because it’s SO eye-opening. It really shows you the discrepancies between where you are now, and where you want to be. And it REALLY helps with setting goals!

     

    Step 3: Set SMARTER Goals

     

    Now that you’ve thought about what you want your future to look like in all areas of your life, I want you to focus on ONE of those areas to focus on right now.

    Yep, just one. If you set a bunch of BIG goals for yourself, you’ll be unfocused and will have a really difficult time reaching them all.

    By setting just ONE big goal, you can give it your full focus and really ensure you accomplish it.

    When it comes to setting goals, make sure to make it SMARTER:

    • Specific: The more specific your goals, the better. Don’t just set a goal of earning money with your side hustle. Set a goal of earning $1,000/month from your side hustle within the first year (for example).
    • Measurable: The progress of this goal can be easily tracked. $1,000/month is very specific – you’ll know for sure if you’ve reached it or not, as well as if you’re on track to reach it! And once you know how much you want to make per month, you know what your daily and weekly goals should be!
    • Attainable: While setting your goals high is awesome, make sure it’s something you can actually accomplish. Consider what will be required of you to complete this goal, and carefully consider whether you have that to give.
    • Relevant: Make sure your goal is in harmony with your core values and what you’re working toward in life. If your ultimate dream is to work from home full-time, then setting a goal of $1,000/month in the first year is awesome because you’re totally moving in the right direction!
    • Time Bound: Don’t make the time frame for reaching your goals open-ended. We tend to take as long to accomplish a task as we are allowed. If your goals are completely open-ended, they may never seem urgent enough to get to. As you can see, we set a time frame of one year in the goal we’re using as an example.
    • Exciting: Let’s be real, it’s going to be a lot easier to make time to work on goals that excite and inspire you. Emotions are a big factor when it comes to goal-setting, and you’re far more likely to reach for things that excite you.
    • Routine Bound: I firmly believe that creating routines and habits is the absolute best way to make changes in your life. Incorporating your goal into your daily routine ensures you’re making time for it and gives you a MUCH better chance of reaching it. For example, you might say that every evening you get home from work at 6 pm and work on your online business until 8 pm. It becomes a daily routine and ensures you’re putting in the time to reach that $1,000/month goal.

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

    Step 4: Break Down Your Goals

     

    Now that we’ve picked our big goal, it’s time to break it down. Looking at your goal as one big, huge step is going to be SUPER overwhelming. You’re probably going to get discouraged pretty quickly because you just don’t know where to start.

    When I’m planning the action steps for my goals, I like to start by breaking the goal down into categories, or mini goals. Basically, what big picture things need to get done in order for you to reach your big goal?

    I use what’s called mind-mapping to do this. I break down my big goal into categories. Then I break those categories, or mini-goals, down into smaller chunks. And then break those down into smaller chunks. And I just keep breaking them down into smaller and smaller pieces until everything leads to tiny, bite-size action items that can be put on your to-do list.

    Once you’ve done that, get those action items scheduled on your calendar or to do list ASAP.

    Depending on the size of your goal you might be talking about 90 days of action items, you might be talking about one year of action items, or you might be talking about even more. Just make sure you know what that time frame is (remember the T in SMARTER stands for Time Bound!)

     

    Step 5: Create Positive Habits

     

    Setting goals is the fun part. It’s the follow through that tends to get a bit rocky. The absolute best way to follow through on your goals and make time to work toward them every day is to form positive habits and daily routines that incorporate your goal!

    Let’s say your goal is fitness related. Maybe you want to run a marathon or lose a certain amount of weight. By working fitness into your daily routine and making it a habit, you won’t have to remind yourself every day or try to talk yourself into it. You’ll just do it!

    Here are a few things to keep in mind to REALLY make sure the habit sticks:

    • Focus on ONE habit at a time. Implementing a new habit is really hard. Implementing a bunch at once is damn near impossible.
    • Smart SMALL. If you want to start incorporating fitness into your life but NEVER work out right now, don’t try to start working out for an hour every single day. Start small and work your way up.
    • Anchor your new habit to an existing habit. Your day is already filled with habits. Anchor your new habit to one of those existing ones to make SURE it gets done.
    • Schedule it. A new habit might be hard to remember the first few weeks, so schedule it or set a reminder on your phone.

     

    Step 6: Create Accountability

     

    I tend to be a little overzealous when it comes to goal setting. And when I say a little overzealous, I mean a LOT overzealous. But for years and years I found that I would set these big lofty goals, and then they would fall through the cracks.

    Sometimes I would work toward them for a while and then lose my motivation. Or worse, I would lose my motivation pretty much right away and forget all about them.
    The best way I’ve found to stop this from happening is to create a system for accountability RIGHT AWAY. As in, right now.

    So how do we go about creating accountability? Here are some ways to do just that:

    • Write down your goal. Seriously, this is a step most people DON’T take.
    • Share your goal. Pick just one person to share your goal with who can help keep you accountable, whether that be a partner, a friend, a parent, etc.
    • Track your progress. Remember that SMARTER goals are MEASURABLE, meaning you can measure their progress! Find a way to do this by using a notebook, journal, spreadsheet, etc.

    How to Set Goals and Plan Your Best Year Ever

    Final Thoughts

     

    You guys, that’s it! As with literally anything, advice is ONLY as good as the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put into it.

    But if you are truly diligent about implementing these steps and following through with the tasks you’ve put on your calendar, you are SURE to reach your big goal this year!

     

     

    CONTINUE READING

  • How to Create a Healthy Morning Routine

    How to Create a Healthy Morning Routine

     

    Everyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I LOVE routines. Creating routines in my life has really helped me to become healthier and WAY more productive. And a big part of that has been my morning routine!

    I know a LOT of people who say they really want to start a morning routine, but it just wouldn’t work for them. They already have to get up early for work, and wouldn’t be able to get up any earlier. Or maybe they try SO hard to get up earlier and implement a morning routine, but they can’t seem to force themselves out of bed in the morning.

    I’m here to tell you that you CAN do it!

    If you’re not a morning person and getting up early is going to be a challenge for you, start SMALL. Don’t try to implement this entire list at once – just start with your mindset and getting up incrementally earlier.

    If you ARE a morning person and want to know how you can make the most of the mornings, then you can try to implement more of the tips at once.

    In this post, I’m sharing some healthy, productive things you can incorporate into your mornings for a healthier morning routine. You do NOT have to do all of them, and probably won’t be able to. I just choose those that really resonate with you!

     

    How to Create a Healthy Morning Routine

    There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.

     

     

    First things first, I want to talk about what finally inspired me to create a morning routine.

    Mornings have always been a struggle for me. I honestly didn’t think I was capable of waking up early and actually being productive in the morning!

    Then I read a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, which has become one of my FAVORITE personal development books! In the book, Hal talks about how creating a morning routine did major things not only for his mornings, and then for his entire day, but for his entire life. He saw his success and productivity skyrocket.

    I found the book super inspirational and honestly it made a morning routine sound like something anyone could do, so I gave it a try!

    Do I always follow my morning routine? No. Sometimes there are days where I slip. Sometimes there are weeks or even months where I slip. But I ALWAYS come back to it and I’m always so glad when I do!

     

    Plan Your Wake Up

     

    First things first, create a PLAN for your morning. This means setting a wake-up time for yourself. If you’re working on waking up earlier, start slow. Wake up 15 minutes earlier tomorrow. Give that a few days or a week, and then wake up 15 minutes before that. Just keep adding on until you hit your goal. Additionally, in The Miracle Morning, Hal talks about how to train your MIND to wake up earlier, in addition to your body.

    Note: Getting up earlier also means going to bed earlier to ensure you’re still getting enough sleep! Every time you wake up 15 minutes earlier, also work on going to bed 15 minutes earlier.

    Planning your wake-up also means putting in place anything you need to help you get up in the morning.

    For me, this definitely means opening the blinds so the sun is coming in first thing in the morning. It’s a LOT harder for me to wake up when it’s dark in my room. Unfortunately, this means getting up earlier is a LOT harder in winter!

    Also, figure out what alarm clock will be best for waking you up. In The Miracle Morning, Hal recommends purchasing a regular old alarm clock and placing it on the other side of the room with OUT snooze so that you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off.

    If you’re dead set on using your phone and you’re addicted to setting multiple alarms, set 5 alarms all within one minute of each other. That way you never have a chance to fall back asleep!

     

    Wash Your Face

     

    The first thing I do every morning before anything else is to wash my face. It’s such an easy way to start the day, and it wakes me up SO much. After washing my face I’m finally alert and ready to face the day.

    If you don’t wash your face in the mornings, take a moment to at least splash some water on your face to get the same wake-up benefits.

     

    Drink Water

     

    You probably already know you should be drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning – but you’re also probably not doing it most days.

    Drinking water first thing in the morning has SO many benefits. First, there’s the obvious benefit of hydration. You haven’t had water in 7-8 hours. Your body is thirsty!

    Drinking water right away also helps fire up your metabolism first thing in the morning and wakes up your brain.

     

    Make Your Bed

     

    There’s just something about having a made bed that makes the day SO much better! I feel like I’ve accomplished something first thing in the morning and that one change makes your bedroom look infinitely nicer.

    Plus, there’s just something about sliding into a made bed at night that is so satisfying.

    I happen to share a bed with someone who usually wakes up after I’ve already left for work, so I don’t do this most mornings. But I definitely do every morning that I’m the last one out of bed!

     

    Move Your Body

     

    Nothing can wake you up in the morning quite like getting your body moving! A little exercise in the morning helps not only to wake me up right away but to keep me energized for the entire day.

    It’s definitely not necessary to fit in a high-intensity cardio workout first thing in the morning. In fact, I definitely prefer something more relaxing. I do yoga in the mornings!

    It doesn’t even have to be a long workout, just something to help wake you up and get your blood flowing.

    If you’re someone who dreads working out, this is also awesome because you get it out of the way first thing and then don’t have to think about it the rest of the day!

     

    Meditate

     

    Meditating is one of those things that always sounded a little too woo-woo for me. Like, it can’t really be that great, right? Plus it sounds a little weird.

    But then I kept seeing just about every business online business owner I admire talking about how they meditate every day (or at least try to) and then I read Tim Ferris’s Tribe of Mentors (seriously one of my favorite books ever) where he interviews some of the most successful people in the world – and a LOT of them talked about meditation. And then I read The Miracle Morning, where Hal Elrod espoused the praises of mediation. And then I figured it was time to give it a shot.

    And as someone who has struggled with anxiety ranging from almost nonexistent to fairly severe depending on the time of my life, I wish I had started this SO much earlier.

    I tend to spend WAY too much time in my own head, overthinking every little thing. Meditation has really helped me to keep this in check and learn to observe my thoughts without necessarily overthinking them or giving them too much meaning.

    It’s helped me to become a lot less reactive and a lot more thoughtful and intentional.

    There are LOTS of apps for meditation. Headspace is a super popular paid app that I used to use, but I switched to Insight Timer, which is free, and I’m finding I get just as much benefit!

     

    Have a Healthy Breakfast

     

    Let me preface this by saying I don’t think everyone NEEDS to eat breakfast right away in the morning, or at all. Yes, eating breakfast helps get your metabolism going. But you’re genuinely just not hungry in the morning, then do whatever works for you. I’ve seen a lot of nutritionists talking about fasting and if you can get by without eating in the morning, go for it.

    However, if you’re like me and you NEED to eat in the morning, this is not the place to cut corners.

    Sometimes I’ll prep my breakfast the night before, so it takes no time at all and I can just dive in. Sometimes I’ll be starving after my workout and need to eat right away, other days I’m fine until mid-morning, so I just bring breakfast to work until I’m hungry. In general, I let my body tell me when it needs food rather than always eating at the same time every day.

    I always shoot for breakfasts that I won’t have to cook AND that are portable in case I bring them to work. Some of my favorites are hardboiled eggs, oatmeal with peanut butter and honey, or greek yogurt. No matter what I’m having for breakfast, I also pair it with a piece of fruit!

    Of all the meals I eat in a day, breakfast is the one where I’m most diligent about making sure it’s healthy. I love bagels and donuts, but I don’t love how my body feels after eating them, and I know I’m going to be sluggish afterward, and also hungry again like an hour later!

     

    Write in a Journal

     

    I love to write anything and everything, so journaling is something that has always come pretty naturally to me, though there are definitely times where I’ve completely neglected it.

    As someone who deals with anxiety, I have a LOT of thoughts and worries floating around in my head. Sometimes nothing is more helpful than just getting them out on paper. If I’m having a day where I’m dealing with some serious anxiety and worries, I’ll write down exactly what thoughts I’m having that are causing me to worry, how likely those worries are to come to fruition, and what, if anything, I can do about them.

    Sometimes, if I’m having a good day, I’ll write down some positive thoughts that I want to remember on my bad days. Or I might make a list of things that make me really happy for me to revisit when I’m feeling particularly unhappy.

     

    Practice Gratitude

     

    The anxiety that I deal with unfortunately causes me to worry a LOT and catastrophize just about everything. I’m not proud of it, but I’m constantly anticipating the worst.

    I have found that keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to help me to stay positive when it’s otherwise a serious struggle. I try to sit down in the mornings and write down a few things I’m grateful for.

    Be specific! Don’t just say, “I’m grateful for my best friend”. Say, “I’m grateful to have a best friend who can talk me through my negative thoughts and give me some tough love when I need it”. I’ve honestly found that being more specific helps me to be more positive.

    I also try to write down some things I’m grateful for if I’m having a particularly rough day. If I’m having a moment, I try to just stop and write a few things down. It really helps me pull myself out of the negativity.

     

    Exercise Your Mind

     

    When I can, I love making time in the morning to do some reading. At any given time I’m typically working on two books (some combination of fiction, personal development, and poetry), and morning is a great time to get some reading it.

    I love reading, but don’t make a lot of time for it at other parts of the day, generally because I just always feel like there’s something else I COULD be doing, such as housework, working out, or spending time the people around me. In the morning, it just doesn’t feel like there’s anywhere else I need to be.

    I also love listening to podcasts and might throw one on while I’m getting dressed and doing my hair and makeup, but in general, I listen to podcasts when I’m driving or doing housework.

     

    Plan Your Day

     

    I am all about setting myself up for the most productive day possible every single day. For the most part, I plan my days a little further in advance, so I already know what my schedule and to-do list look like when I wake up in the morning.

    However, this is a great time for me to fill in some details or make last-minute changes. For example, I can note which of the tasks on my to-do list are my absolute priorities. I also make sure everything is actually scheduled into my calendar, rather than just written down as something I’d ideally like to do (because we never end up getting to those tasks).

    For example, let’s say I want to work out today. I’ll go to my calendar and add a specific workout to a specific time in my calendar (for example, going for a run at 6 pm).

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    For someone who loves routines as much as I do, I honestly can’t believe it took me so long to start adopting a morning routine. I’m so glad I stumbled upon Hal’s book The Miracle Morning. If you are interested in creating or improving your morning routine, I seriously recommend it!

     

     

     

    6 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day | Mornings really set the tone for the whole day, so it's important to start it off as healthy as possible!

    CONTINUE READING

  • How to Use the 80/20 Rule (AKA the Pareto Principle) to Change Your Life

    How to Use the 80/20 Rule (AKA the Pareto Principle) to Change Your Life

     

    When it comes to productivity hacks, the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) is one that is seriously overlooked but can have a serious impact on your life.

    So what is the 80/20 rule? Founded by economist Vilfredo Pareto, the rule says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions. Pareto was only using for a few specific situations at the time, but it’s since been shown that this principle can apply to just about ANYTHING.

    Here are a few examples:

    Business: 20% of customers bring in 80% of the profit.

    Software: Microsoft reported that by fixing the top 20% of the most reported bugs, they could eliminate 80% of problems.

    Sports: 20% of exercises have 80% of the impact. Additionally, 15% of players produce 85% percent of wins.

    Healthcare: 20% of patients use 80% of healthcare resources.

    Crime: 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes.

    Seriously, you can apply the Pareto Principle to just about anything! Today I want to share a few examples of how you can apply the 80/20 rule to change your own life!

     

    How to Use the 80/20 Rule to Change Your Life

     

     

    Your To Do List

     

    Does anyone else’s to-do list get cluttered up with really minor tasks that add up to take up a lot of your time, but you really don’t feel like they’re contributing to your life? Yep, that’s those 80% of the tasks on your to-do list that are probably only contributing to about 20% of your productivity. Also, try to identify the minority tasks that are making up most of your productivity!

    The obvious answer here would be to eliminate the 80% of tasks that only contribute to a minority of your productivity, but in a lot of cases, these “busy work” tasks aren’t something that can be totally eliminated. However, you can probably either automate them, outsource them, or devote less time to them.

    For example, if you work full-time and have a side hustle, but find you’re spending more time cleaning your home than working on your side hustle, figure out how to minimize that task. Which means either outsourcing the cleaning (hiring a cleaning service) or minimizing the cleaning (being okay with your house not being SUPER clean).

    In some cases, you’re spending your precious free time on things that are not at ALL productive or necessary. For example, I used to spend a LOT of time watching TV. Usually binge-watching a show on Netflix. And this was a ton of time I wasn’t spending on my business.

    Eventually, I just decided that down the road, I would be a lot more happy with myself if I could look back and see that I spent that time on something that would make a real difference in my life, like being able to make more money from my side business. That made it super easy to cut that thing that was taking up a LOT of my time and having NO positive result on my life. Now I really only watch TV when I’m spending time with my boyfriend.

    The time wasters in everyone’s day are going to be different, but it all comes down to figuring out what in your daily routine is NOT making the most of your time, and figure out how to spend less time on it.

     

    Your Habits

     

    I was doing some reading up on how much of our day runs on autopilot and read from a few different sources that 40-50% of our day is made up of habits, meaning we’re running on autopilot rather than making conscious decisions.

    In some ways that seems great because it means we’re cutting back on the number of decisions in a day, therefore minimizing decision fatigue.

    But then when I think about it again, because it’s kind of alarming how much of an impact BAD habits can have on our lives. And since using the 80/20 we can assume that 20% of our habits are responsible for 80% of our results, it’s SUPER important that those habits be healthy ones!

    Since habits are often things we do on autopilot, we might not even notice all of them. So take a few days and just try to be super mindful of what you’re doing and thinking about throughout the day. And take notes, either in a notebook or on your phone! Make note of which habits are taking up a lot of your energy, and which are having a big impact on your day.

    It’s scary how a few bad habits can have a major impact on your life. One example for me was smoking. I didn’t spend a significant portion of my day smoking, but there were certain times of day where I would just automatically light a cigarette out of habit, and holy smokes is that a bad habit to have!

    Other habits that probably have a HUGE impact on your life but you might not think about that much are what you’re eating throughout the day, how much you’re moving, how much time you’re spending on your phone or on social media, and how much of your day you spend in a negative headspace (complaining, gossiping, feeling down about yourself, etc.).

    Having a really accurate view of the habits you have will make it SO much easier to start changing any habits that need changing or maximizing the good habits you already have!

     

    Your Relationships

     

    Chances are, some of the relationships in your life are bringing you a lot more happiness than others. As someone with limited free time (I have a full-time job AND have my own business) I have to be picky about how I spend my time.

    When it comes to my social life, I do this by making sure I’m maximizing the 20% of relationships in my life that bring me the most happiness. Basically, this means my significant other, my family, and very few close friends.

    I’m not suggesting you need to approach this the same way. For some people, their social life is a significantly more important part of their life, and they genuinely enjoy spending their time with lots of friends or getting to know new ones. That’s totally fine! It’s not about following hard and fast rules, it’s about knowing what makes YOU happy and contributes to your life and doing more of that.

     

    Your Possessions

     

    Take a look around your home at your possessions and ask yourself two questions:

    1. Does this item bring me happiness?
    2. Do I regularly use this item?

    Chances are you only answer yes to both of those questions for about 20% of your items (though it’s entirely possible they weren’t the same items).

    Last year I moved from a three-bedroom house to a studio apartment. As you can imagine, there definitely was going to be room for ALL of my belongings in the apartment, so I had some serious eliminating to do. Pretty much anything that didn’t cause me to answer YES to one of the two questions above had to go.

    I’m not necessarily saying you should immediately discard anything that doesn’t fit into one of the two questions, but those questions can definitely be a guide when it comes to decluttering your home, as well as purchasing new items in the future. If it doesn’t make you happy and you’re not going to use it regularly, do you REALLY need it?

     

    Your Business

     

    When I first started trying to make money from my blog, I learned everything I could about growing my blog and tried just about every piece of advice I read. Some of them worked and helped me get my business to where they are today. Some were a HUGE waste of time and did very little (if not nothing) to grow my business.

    Honestly, it took me way too long to start being really critical about how I was spending my time in my business. I have VERY limited time to spend on it, and I need to be really picky, but I wasted a lot of time in the first couple of years.

    Now I look really critically at every single task and ask myself a simple question. Is this going to increase revenue for my business? If the answer is no, then it gets put on the back burner to make room for tasks that WILL increase revenue in my business. And honestly, most of the little tasks I was wasting money on were NOT increasing my revenue.

    If you have a business, take a hard look at the tasks you’re doing every month and figure out what 20% of tasks are ACTUALLY making a big difference in making money, and which aren’t. Minimizing those 80% tasks will save you a TON of time and make space for the 20%.

     

    Where Else Can You Apply the 80/20 Rule?

     

    These are just a few areas of your life where you might apply the 80/20 rule, but I guarantee there are others where you can apply it!

    Consider the different categories of your life (relationships, career, money, personal development, home, etc.) and take note of any imbalances you find. Keep in mind that the majority of your results are coming from a minority of your actions, so figure out what actions you can do MORE of to see bigger results in the areas you want to.

    If you devote MORE time to the 20% of actions that see results, you’ll see even MORE results!

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    It’s amazing how changing or maximizing a MINORITY of the actions you take can have such a serious impact on your results! But now that you’ve seen a bunch of examples of the 80/20 rule at work, it’s super easy to see how it can apply to your own life.

    I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know your big takeaways from this post and what part of your life you can really see the 80/20 rule at work.

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  • What to Do When You Don’t Reach Your Goals

    What to Do When You Don't Reach Your Goals

     

    If you read my blog often, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to goal setting. I’ll be the first to admit it. Even so, there are plenty of times when I fall short of my goals. Failure to reach your goals can be super discouraging and can definitely make you want to give up. But there are other things you can do instead to make sure you reach that goal next time around!

     

    What to Do When You Don’t Reach Your Goals

     

     

    Take a Step Back

     

    I tend to push myself way too hard sometimes, and can definitely be hard on myself if things don’t go as planned. Because of that, my instinct when I don’t reach a goal is to double down and work even harder towards it. But when I do that, I tend to get burned out pretty quickly. So instead, I force myself to take a step back and do some resting and reevaluating before I hit the ground running again.

    This gives me a chance to take a break and give myself a breather so I don’t overdo it. It also gives me a chance to reevaluate to figure out what I can do differently, and whether or not that goal is still important to me.

     

    Take a Look at What Went Wrong

     

    If you fell short of your goal, chances are there are some things you could or should have done differently. Now is the time to be brutally honest about them so you don’t make those same mistakes again.

    I’ll be honest and say that sometimes when I don’t reach a goal, it’s just because I flat out stopped trying. Other times, however, there was simply a flaw in the plan and things got a bit derailed because of it.

    Be as honest and as specific as you can during this part, because that information is definitely going to help you down the road.

     

    Try Again (Or Don’t)

     

    Now it’s time to decide whether or not you want to continue to tackle that goal. Maybe there was a great new job opportunity available that you thought would be perfect for you. You gave it a shot, but it didn’t pan out. It sucks that you didn’t get it the first time around, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for it (or a similar job) again!

    Every time I’m working toward a business goal and fall short, I take some time to think about whether that goal is really important to me. If so, then I give it another shot. If not, then I forget about it and move onto the next project.

    Don’t be afraid to abandon a goal if you decide it really isn’t important to you, but also don’t shy away from trying again if you don’t reach it the first time!

     

    Reignite Your Passion

     

    Failing sucks, there’s no doubt about it. And even if you failed at a goal that’s still super important to you and you want to go after again, chances are your passion has waned and you’re feeling a bit discouraged. Now is the time you remind yourself why you set that lofty goal to begin with! Remembering your why will go a long way in getting you motivated to start again.

     

    Do It Differently

     

    If you decide you’re going to reach for that goal again, approaching it the same way you did previously isn’t going to bring about a different outcome. Now that you’ve taken some time to figure out what went wrong when you were going after your goal, you know what to avoid next time around! This time you’ll be even more likely to reach that goal because you’ve learned from your mistakes and are ready to tackle it from a new angle.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    Falling short of your goals is one of the WORST feelings. Trust me, I’ve been there. But falling short one time doesn’t mean you’ve failed, and it definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again! There are SO many goals that I didn’t reach the first time, but did reach later on. The effort is totally worth it!

    Make sure to leave me a comment and let me know if you found this article helpful! I would love LOVE to know what YOU do when you fall short of reaching a goal.

     

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