Money Can’t Buy Happiness?

Money Can’t Buy Happiness? We’ve all heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness.” I would love to believe that, but I’m not really sure I do. We’ve all heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness.”

I would love to believe that, but I’m not really sure I do. I spent most of last year without a lot of money. But I had very few expenses so I made enough to support my lifestyle at the time.

This year however has been different. Knowing I was going to have a child, I obviously had to put down some roots. This meant renting a house. Along with the house comes money needed for utilities, upkeep, and several expenses that I haven’t had for a while.

Having my baby a month early cut my preparation short as I was relying on those last four weeks to make money to get me through those first few months with a newborn.

When Coura was born, I had a little money saved, but after four weeks of not working, that money was gone. The next six weeks for me were full of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm because I had no money for anything other than the bare necessities.

I would “try “working at first at night while I was feeding Coura, and then during the day while she was napping, but that ended quickly as I was exhausted myself and needed more than 3 to 5 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. I was tired, I was gaining weight from eating crap from being tired, and I was stressing myself, and I’m sure my baby, in the process.

My friends kept saying to me “taking care of your baby is your number one priority, that’s all you should be thinking about, you don’t need to be working right now, that’s why people take maternity leave.” But a lot of people who take maternity leave are getting paid for it. Since I own my own businesses, I wasn’t!

Essentially if I needed food, supplements, dog food, clothes, or to even pay my bills, I had to ask for help. This literally made my stomach sick just thinking about it. I don’t often wait until the very last second, and by then I was in emotional wreck, so my asking for help usually ended up as a cry fest and me feeling like a failure, worthless, not good at anything, and unable to take care of myself or my baby.

When Coura was two months old, I was given the opportunity to start working again. It would be a total of about four hours a day, and was a challenge to make it work, but I just kept looking at the money that would be coming and, even small amounts, to take the edge off of how I was feeling.

Some days after just a couple hours of sleep, I would have to get up, feed and change Coura, pack her up and take her to grandma’s, and then drive over an hour to coach. I typically don’t do well on four or six hours of sleep, but I knew when I saw money coming in, to contribute to my life financially, it would all be worth it. And it was.

When my first paycheck came in, I was able to catch up on many of the things I had been behind on like my vitamins, supplements, healthy food, fruits and vegetables, dog food, formula, diapers, full tank of gas, oil change, soap, shampoo, and a few other things I had been skimping on over the previous couple months.

That paycheck was gone within minutes, but huge weight was lifted off of me. I felt better, and happier, than I had in weeks, despite my fatigue and lack of upkeep and other areas of my life. That little amount of money, made a huge difference in my life. It gave me hope , peace of mind, and I felt like I could breathe again.

So did that paycheck make me happier? You bet your ass it did!

Not having money takes a lot more time, effort, patience, and energy, none of which I had being a new mom.

I have been working consistently now for the past 3 months and it has made a world of difference. This month is the first month since Coura was born that I have enough money to pay ALL my bills and my expenses!!! And YES! That does make me happy!!!

If you feel hopeless or frustrated about money, just start somewhere (anywhere) to bring in a little more! There are so many opportunities today with the internet and small jobs here and there that may not seem like they will be helpful, but they are!

Remember…baby steps…ALWAYS!!!

WE GOT THIS!

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See you soon!

How to Get Through a Hard Day

How to Get Through a Hard Day... Today I had a hard day. I woke up anxious and overwhelmed after about 10 weeks of moving through life at 100% on hardly any sleep, living off of adrenaline and Shakeology.Today I had a hard day. I woke up anxious and overwhelmed after about 10 weeks of moving through life at 100% on hardly any sleep, living off of adrenaline and Shakeology. I have been too tired to focus on my businesses and making money, which in turn has left me dipping into my savings the past few weeks to live.

This has created anxiety, which makes me eat more, which makes me feel sluggish and full and fat, which frustrates me and takes too much of my energy. This makes me tired. And the cycle continues!

Your hard days may look different, much different, but we all have hard days. We all have days where we feel hopeless and desperate and scared. Some days are worse than others, but the negative feelings are always there.

Mine typically make me question my abilities, discipline, and/or choices. This usually leads me down a path of low self-esteem, questioning my self-worth, and asking myself questions like “will I ever be enough?” and “why can’t I make this work?” and “what is wrong with me?” and the worst of them all “will anyone ever love me the way I want to be loved?”

All these questions make me sad when I stop to think about them because 1) I don’t want them to matter as much as they do, and 2) I want to love myself so unconditionally that anything else is just a bonus!

Anyway…my point is, yours looks different than mine, but it all ends in the same way…THIS SUCKS!

So today I dragged my tired, grouchy ass to the gym and sat on the bike to spin out my sore legs on level 0 (yes, that is ZERO! Who knew the bike even went down that low. I guess to accommodate losers like me right??)

I had a grand plan to spin for an hour while I got SO much work done! I even made a list of like 10 things I was going to get done while spinning out my legs at the gym today. I was excited to finally get my shit together. Didn’t happen! I got on Facebook instead and decided to put out a cry for help.

I went to my timeline and posted:

Help! I’m having a low self-esteem day and need you!! Comment something you like about me!!

In 2 hours I had over 50 comments. Many were from people I didn’t know who told me I had touched their life in some way or another. Several were people who sent me reminders of why I should love myself, and some just said the things they liked about me.

I spent the entire hour (plus one more) responding to each comment and taking in everything that was said to me. It picked me up and reminded me all I had to be grateful for.

It worked!

I left the gym feeling 100% better about myself than when I walked in. And for once it didn’t have to do with my work out, it had to do with the amazing people I have attracted into my life. Another reason to be grateful!

Next time you are feeling bad about yourself, try it! Reach out to the people in your life and let them remind you why they love you! And then pay back the favor when they need a pick me up. No one on this earth can thrive without the love and support of those around them.

If you want to be a part of our positive community, join us…

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LOVE YOU GUYS! Thanks for everything!

See you soon!

I AM A Professional Athlete

Kirsten McCay Triathalon Beast!

photo credit SDTriNews.com

My friend and marketing coach, Tara, once asked me why I couldn’t be a professional athlete since I was so in love with every aspect of being an athlete: training, racing, nutrition, and of course sharing it with the world as often as possible. I quickly replied (and quite defensively) that I wasn’t fast enough to be a professional athlete.

I was kind of annoyed that I had to explain to her that to be a professional athlete I had to have some crazy fast genes that I wasn’t given and that although I do well in our local runs and triathlons, I am DEFINITELY not good enough to be a professional.

I think she got brave and mentioned it a few more times, and I quickly gave her the same answer (justification) why I could NEVER be a professional athlete.

This past year I have won a lot of races, not only in my age group, but in the overall women category. So she suggested it again (since I spend 75% of every day centered around triathlon and being a triathlete and my other businesses were suffering financially). And once again, I shut her down, even more quickly this time because she just didn’t understand. Winning a 5K in Johnstown, CO is much different than making money at races and getting noticed by sponsors who want to pay for my races, equipment, training, etc.

Sometimes What The Thing That Is Holding You Back...Is All In Your HeadBut this time she had had enough. She was sick of my defensive and definitive answers and made me dig into WHY I was so opposed to the idea. After all, being a professional doesn’t mean you are FAST, it means you make money doing it.

A professional organizer makes money being an organizer. She isn’t necessarily the world’s best organizer. There are hundreds of professional talk show hosts that aren’t Oprah. I think even William Hung who did a horrible rendition of “She Bangs” on American Idol sold 200,000 albums!! So why couldn’t I be a professional athlete?

So I changed my thinking. I changed my mindset. I decided I can make money as an athlete, therefore, I could be a professional athlete! YAY!

Within the next couple weeks I was approached by 2 sponsors and I started winning gift certificates and even cash doing what I love to do already…race!!

Here is a link to an article about my last big win! The Wildlife Loop Half: South Dakota’s Toughest Tri

I am sharing this because we often are the ones holding ourselves back from getting what we want, doing what we want to do, and being who we want to be. We are the ones limiting our happiness and success. A simple shift in thinking or believing can help you get unstuck in your life.

What do you want to do? Then find a way to do it. Who do you want to be? Make yourself into that person! What do you want to have? Find out how to get it and go for it! One of my all-time favorite quotes says it best: Don’t underestimate yourself. You are capable of more than you can ever imagine.

You have Greatness within you. – Les Brown

And be brave and share your goals, dreams, and desires. If you aren’t ready to share them with the world, or even those close to you, you can always share them with me!

Connect with me weekly…

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See you SOON!

Are You Ready For Your Race?

Are You Ready For Your Race?I have been racing everything from 5Ks to Ironman distance triathlons for the past 17 years and the question I always get before a race is “Are you ready for your race?”

I always answer with some LAME response like “I hope so” or “I think so” or with some pre-excuse like “yes but I’ve been sick all week” or “yes but I’ve been having some trouble with my…”. I don’t want to be THAT person!

I have a big race coming up in a couple days (by big I mean it’s important to me) and I have been getting this question a lot and it got me thinking about my answer. There are so many things I have no control over in a race. Mechanical issues, weather, bodily functions, illness, injury, etc are all things that can (and will) happen at some point when the race is long enough or you do as many races as I have.

If you are an athlete, you can relate to this. Looking back we could always have trained more, harder, and faster. We could always have eaten better, cleaner, more for recovery and less for our emotions.

We could always have slept more, rested more, tapered better, etc, etc, etc. But we did the best we could at the time, and that’s all we can ever do.

In reality, we can prepare all we can for all situations, but in the end we can only control one thing…our attitude.

So am I ready for my race? Yes! I am ready to have fun. To do my best. To enjoy the fruits of my labors (however they look on that specific day). To be around 2,000 other athletes who have trained to be better. To be grateful I have the time, energy, ability, and freedom to train and race in a demanding sport. To enjoy being outside regardless of the weather. To test my physical and mental capacity. To push my body to its limits physically and emotionally. To inspire others to become better versions of themselves. And to love myself no matter what the outcome.

So ask me again…

“Are you ready for your race?”

HELL YEAH!! BRING IT!

Check my youtube channel for my race report…

www.youtube.com/FitnessDivaKir

See you out there!

Homework: Do What You Love

Homework: Do What You LoveA little over 10 years ago, I was struggling with some issues, and ended up hiring a life coach to help me work some things out. After getting to know me a bit, he gave me an assignment to write down 50 things I was “wildly passionate” about.

Seriously? Wildly passionate? That sounded both corny and impossible to me. After much negotiation (I was a horrible client I now realize), it ended up being 25 things I liked or that made me happy.

My next assignment was to pick the 10 I loved most. That was easier. Since I already had a list of 25, I just picked the 10 I liked most. And “loving” something was easier than being “wildly passionate” about it!

I still have my original list (I had it pinned to my wall until we moved into the RV 3 years ago) and it looked like this (in no particular order):

  • Setting Goals
  • Eating at Taj
  • Getting a Massage
  • A Super Hard Workout
  • Watching a Movie
  • Being with my Family
  • Making Money
  • Personal Development
  • Competition
  • Organizing/Planning/Scheduling

I even went as far as calling it 10 Things That Make Me WILDLY Excited About Life. Excited was OK, passionate was still a weird word to me at the time! Baby steps.

The next goal was to incorporate AT LEAST 1 of these 10 things into my schedule every single day. This was a challenge at first. I was working too much, I was tired all the time, I had no money, I wasn’t taking time for myself or my family, and I was living day to day trying to prove to “someone” that I was “something”.

But I stuck with it and looked at the list every single day while making my schedule. Some days I did ZERO (such a failure), but over time, with practice and awareness (baby steps), I was incorporating more and more of this list into my daily life. And something amazing started to happen. The more I did these things, the more I did these things!

Now, 10 years later, I am extremely good (sometimes too good) at taking care of myself and making ME a priority. There are days where I am incorporating 3 or 4 of these things into each and every day! And if I were to make a list of 10 Things That Make Me WILDLY Excited About Life, it would look pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago. AND…I think it would be easy these days to make a list of 50 things that I am wildly passionate about! What’s-his-face (my coach…can’t remember his name) would be proud.

So I want to give you this gift! I challenge YOU to make a list of 25 things you like. I challenge you to pick 10 that excite you. Write them down. Hang them up where you can see them every single day. And start doing AT LEAST one of them every single day.

Oh and PS…you need to schedule them into your day. If you are waiting for “spare time” or “extra time” or your day to “open up”, that’s not going to happen!!!

I would LOVE to see your list!!!
https://www.facebook.com/FoodFitnessFinanceFun

And CONGRATS for making yourself a priority!

See you SOON!

If Kir Can do It, Anyone Can do It

If Kir Can Do It, Anyone Can Do ItI used to think that was an insult.

“If Kirsten can do it, anyone can do it” said to me that I was nothing special. It said to me I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, fast enough, skinny enough, strong enough, rich enough, or any other ridonkulous things we tell ourselves when we are desperately trying to be “enough”.

Enough for what? I’m not skinny enough to be a model, I’m not smart enough to be an astronaut, I’m not pretty enough to be an actress, I’m not strong enough to be an Olympic swimmer , I’m not fast enough to be a pro triathlete, I’m not creative enough to be a musician, I’m not important enough to make a difference, I’m not savvy enough to build a big business, I’m not disciplined enough to have a savings account, I’m not rich enough to hire a personal chef or to get a massage every week or to buy AC for my house so I can sleep at night without soaking in a pool of sweat.

Crap! I am exhausted, anxious, and overwhelmed just thinking about it.

Although I consider myself a recovering perfectionist, the fact that I have tears in my eyes and a sick feeling in my gut tells me I have a long way to go.

I guess that’s what it’s called “recovering” and not “recovered”. Boo!

OMG…where was I?? Oh yes, I used to want to be better than everyone, I used I want to do things no one could do, accomplish feats that others wouldn’t even dream of attempting.

How foolish and naive I was thinking there was even such a thing. And if there was such a thing how little it would matter in the grand scheme if life.

That in itself makes me sad that I spent so much time and energy in the first 30 years of my life working toward something that’s only purpose was a false sense of love and adoration from others. And it makes me even sadder to know there are so many others still going through the same struggle that never ends in perfection…because there is no such thing.

I have proof! Let’s use women’s bodies as an example since I’m clearly obsessed with them.

The following 4 women have the “perfect” body for what they do…

Shawn Johnson: Olympic gymnast, 4’9”, 90 lbs, strong, muscular, and compact.

Gabby Reece: Olympic Volleyball player, 6’3”, 170 lbs, long legs and arms and long lean muscles.

Pamela Anderson: Super model, 5’7”, curvy with huge boobs.

Joan Benoit: Olympic Marathoner, 5’2”, 100 lbs, super lean, straight hips, and small arms and legs.

So each of these women is amazing at what they do, they each have the perfect body for what they have chosen as their career, but their bodies are SO drastically different. So which one is “the” perfect body? See…no such thing!

So let’s do ourselves a favor (yes, I am talking to myself) and STOP trying to be perfect, stop torturing yourself for being mediocre, stop hating yourself for being average, and know that TRULY you are affecting and helping more people when you are being YOU…just YOU!

People want to be able to relate to us, to have something in common with us, to know that we all are going through the same struggles. That is why it’s a compliment when people say “if she can do it, then I can do it”.

It means that someone is striving to be like you, but it’s realistic, it’s attainable, and it’s something they are excited to work toward!

So bring it on peeps! Anything I can do, you can do too…probably even better! And same goes for any goal or dream you have. If someone out there is doing it or has done it, so can YOU!!!

Be brave and share with me!

www.facebook.com/FoodFitnessFinanceFun

And I have this really awesome facebook group for those who are recovering perfectionists…

www.facebook.com/groups/LoveYourselfMore

Ahhh…thanks for being here!

See you SOON!

Personal Growth Equals Success

Personal Growth Equals Success | How Did You Get Successful?I have been pretty much a personal growth junkie for the past 10 years, probably longer since as a kid I was constantly working on bettering myself, but I wasn’t doing it knowingly back then. I was hoping I was working toward my dream life, but needed confirmation that I was on the right path to success since results aren’t always immediate when you are doing small things daily to work toward a huge change for the future.

So in 2007 I met a man who was starting his own biz for the first time. In doing so, he interviewed 50 people who already owned their own business to make sure he was doing it correctly. Smart right?? So I decided to do the same thing. I decided to interview 50 women in the same industry that I was currently in (direct sales) to make sure I was doing the things I needed to do to be successful in my own business.

I set out to find 50 women who had made over a million dollars in their business and I asked them all the same 20 questions…

  1. What year was the company founded?
  2. What year did you start with the company?
  3. Why did you choose this company in particular?
  4. Did you have previous experience in Direct Sales?
  5. What were you doing before this?
  6. Did you choose the Direct Sales model on purpose?
  7. How many hours/week do you work now?
  8. How about when you first got started?
  9. Do you set goals? Do you write them down?
  10. How long did it take you to make $1,000,000?
  11. What did that look like?
  12. Was it your intention to make $1,000,000?
  13. When you first started, did you think you would be this successful?
  14. What do you attribute your success to?
  15. What techniques have you found to be successful in recruiting others?
  16. How do you keep your team motivated?
  17. What have been your greatest challenges and how have you overcome them?
  18. How has making $1,000,000 changed your life?
  19. What is one activity you do consistently that has made the biggest difference in your business?
  20. Is there anything else you want to share?

The responses were surprisingly similar despite the vast difference in age, location, background, occupation, education, and experience levels of the women. And with the businesses ranging from Tupperware to Real Estate, including Lice/Bed Bug Spray and In-Home Care, it’s amazing how similar the answers were…especially the question “What do you attribute your success to”.

The 50 women I interviewed were all between 18-82 years old and all over US and Canada, representing at least 25 different companies.

I came up with the questions by surveying women in the direct sales and network marketing industries asking them what they want to know about the most successful women in their industry. I got about 60 different questions, consolidated similar questions into one, and came up with 20. These were the FIVE most popular questions and a summary of their answers…

1. How long did it take you to make $1,000,000?

Shortest: 18 months.
Longest: 30 years.
Average: 10-12 years.

The book “Your First Year in Network Marketing” says that 95% of those who consistently work their business for 10 years will be wealthy. And TIME is the #1 “secret” to Network Marketing.

2. How much did you make your first year?

Average: $0-$10,000

Something “happened” in the 3rd-5th year for most people. They gained more focus, had external motivation (positive=earned a trip, promoted to leadership or negative=partner said “make money or quit”), or began building a team and was inspired by the new excitement.

“If you have a fear of sharing the business with others, you don’t believe you have a great value to offer.”

3. How do you keep your team motivated?

“I don’t have that much time, motivating others is a full time job. I teach my team that motivation comes from within and is only in the control of each of them. And that the success of their business is 100% up to them.”

Here are 3 practical tips…

  • You need to have a compelling why. Find out what THEIRS is!
  • You need to do something every single day to move your business forward. Give them some ideas.
  • Focus on income earning activities. Make sure they understand what this means.

4. Is there anything else you want to share?

  • Be patient.
  • Be consistent.
  • Don’t quit.
  • Treat this like a hobby and you will get paid as a hobby (nothing).
  • Treat this like a business and you will get paid as a business.
  • This is the best industry in the world. Every dollar you make is because you helped someone get something out of it.

5. What do you attribute your success to?

  • Be coachable.
  • Follow a simple system.
  • Practice self-discipline.
  • Be willing to do what others aren’t.
  • Be self-motivated.

And my favorite part of the entire interview process was learning this… the #1 activity that 95% of the women interviewed say they attribute their success to was personal growth and development.

“You should spend more time working on yourself than you do on your business”

If you are interested in reading the full interviews, they are compiled into 5 volumes with 10 interviews in each. You can order any or all at…

www.BookOfMillionaireWomen.com

I also have a workbook (I love workbooks) for those of you who are kinesthetic and experiential learners.

You can find it here…

http://amzn.to/1P5jeMU

You can also join our online community at…

https://www.facebook.com/WhatItTakesBook

Reach out if you want ideas for books, CDs, programs, podcasts, etc to help you grow yourself!

See you super soon!

The Pretty Girl Book Club: March 2015

The Pretty Girl Book Club - March 2015“You are the most precious thing you’ve got. You are priceless and worth all the work in the world to make you happy and fulfilled.” –Andrea Owen

Our February 2015 Book Club book was “52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve” by Andrea Owen

Category: Personal Growth/Empowerment

I chose this book because I am a big fan of Andrea Owen. I heard her as a guest on a podcast and loved how candid she talked about her eating disorder, past drinking issues, about life as a “recovering perfectionist”. She has a bit of a potty mouth and laughs at her own jokes, two things I love! So I started listening to her personal podcast called “Your Kick Ass Life” and was hooked.

I also love books that have short chapters, actionable steps, and real advice for real problems, and this looked to have it all!

The synopsis of the book on Amazon.com sums it up as…

A much-needed kick in the ass for women everywhere!

Like many women, Andrea Owen always lived life on the sidelines, watching each day pass by without ever catching a glimpse of the happiness she yearned for–until the day she had enough. She realized that she had to take action and step out of the box she had created for herself if she really wanted the best life possible. And now, as a celebrated life coach, she shows thousands of women how to take the reins, create an actionable plan for their goals, and finally reach their full potential.

In this powerful book, Owen guides you through her acclaimed strategies for creating a more fulfilling life. Each goal-orientated lesson empowers you to take control of the barriers that keep you from achieving the love and success you desire. From breaking the unrewarding cycle of people pleasing to dealing with unsupportive friends, this book approaches the problems you face with a candid look at why you aren’t satisfied–and how to fix it. Owen’s life-changing wisdom helps you uncover your self-limiting beliefs as well as push you out of your comfort zone by zeroing in on the most difficult issues. Never one to sugarcoat the truth, she holds you accountable for your actions while offering expert advice for knocking down that cynical inner-voice and loving yourself wholeheartedly.

With 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life, you will shut off your internal auto-pilot; kick empty expectations to the curb; and live a bigger, gutsier life.

The book is 219 pages long and has an index in case you want to skip ahead to you own issues or read about a specific topic first. I love that it has 52 chapters, so if you were really diving deep into personal growth, you could read one chapter a week and focus your week solely on that topic or issue and all that comes up. WOW! Powerful!!

The book was just as I had hoped, full of real world advice on real world problems. The book is specifically written for women and targeted my age group perfectly (35-45). And I always appreciate those who tell it like it is…or should be. She puts her own powerful spin on old school phrases like “get over it”, “just do it”, “let it go”, and “don’t be a victim” all of which are true, necessary, and important in creating YOUR perfect life.

>> Buy 52 ways to live a kick ass life <<

 

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Happy New Year!!

Happy New YearI LOVE the New Year. I love fresh beginnings, goals, resolutions, bettering myself and my life, planning, reflecting, and all that goes along with a new day, week, month and ESPECIALLY year!

I think it’s HILARIOUS when people say “I don’t make resolutions because they don’t ever last” like they are blaming the resolution for not making it past January! Come on peeps…get with the program!

To me a resolution is something you really want to change about yourself or your life. Something that will improve your current situation, something that is realistic, and something you are willing to make a priority.

I think where most people go wrong (including myself) is that we ADD to our lives without TAKING OUT something. I don’t know about you but my life is pretty full. My time, money, energy, and focus are already used on something every hour of every day. This leaves no extra of ANYTHING to spare. So if I want to add something that takes time, money, energy, or focus, I have to give something up.

If you DO have extra lying around, YAY!! Go for it…and YOU ROCK! If not, here are some things you can think about when making decisions on what you are going to change in 2015.

In my opinion, making lasting changes is all about priorities. What is important to YOU. Take 10 minutes and go through this quick, easy process. I do this monthly to help decision making easier throughout the month. If I am given a choice between this and that, I look at my list of priorities and whatever is higher on the list, wins. This makes decision making super fast and easy.

For example…

If I am tired and want to go to bed early but I have to make a video for my business, I look at my list.

What is higher on the list, sleep or building my biz? If it’s sleep that month (or week…you can change your priorities weekly if your life changes quickly), then I go to bed, if it’s building my business, I stay up.

It’s as simple as that!

Another example…

If you are asked to volunteer at your kid’s school but you need to get your workout in and you only have time to do one, you look at your list. If exercise is higher on the list than volunteering, you head to the gym. If not, you head to the school.

I think you got the idea. SIMPLE…but not always easy. Especially for those used to saying YES to everything!!

Here is how you make your priority list for the month…

1. At the end of the previous month (or as soon as you realize you didn’t make your list for that month) you look at your calendar and write down EVERY SINGLE thing you have going on in the month.

2. Now add in the activities that make up your health, financial, career, personal, and relationship goals.

3. Add in anything you may have missed that you just habitually do (like sleep, cook, clean, sex, etc).

4. Categorize anything that can be lumped together.

5. If you have more than 20 categories, lump more!

6. Put them in order of importance to you AT THAT MOMENT. Remember life is ever changing so you can re-prioritize when something dramatically changes. If you are having a hard time choosing between 2 or 3 categories, take a minute to think which is moving you MORE toward the life of your dreams. If you are still stuck, think about which will make your life better immediately.

7. Read through your list OUT LOUD (oh by the way, you do NOT have to show anyone your list if you aren’t ready to make your life and what you want a priority. Keep it to yourself until you have people in your life who support every move you make) and make changes to your order until you believe this is the best order for YOU at this moment.

8. Put the list where you will see it daily…or again, if it’s a bit of a secret right now, just put it where you can easily access it when faced with a decision. I keep mine in my planner.

9. Share your list with someone you trust, if you are ready.

10. Have the best year EVER!!

If you have any questions at all about this process, feel free to message me on our community page at…

www.facebook.com/FoodFitnessFinanceFun

If you want to subscribe to get the article I write each week, subscribe here…

http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/

Every year my life gets better and better. Every January my husband, Rick, and I look at each other and say “This is going to be our best year ever”. We have MANY ups and downs, but our general trajectory is UP and it’s because of processes like this I have been using every single month for the past 8 years.

Here is another technique I use whenever I feel my life is spinning out of control…

http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fun/create-the-life-of-your-dreams-in-7-simple-steps/

Happy New Year and I honestly DO hope yours is your best EVER!!

Create the Life of Your Dreams in 7 Simple Steps

Create the Life of Your Dreams in 7 Simple StepsSound too good to be true? It’s not! I have personally used these steps to create my ideal life and I want to share them with you.

Are you someone who…

  • Struggles with time management?
  • Has a hard time saying no?
  • Has difficulty with prioritizing?
  • Is unsure of life purpose?
  • Lives each day out of fear?
  • Makes daily decisions out of desperation?
  • Has a hard time making decisions?
  • Has difficulty setting boundaries?

If so, this will ROCK YOUR WORLD!

Every single thing we do in our life matters. Every action, every inaction, every decision, every habit (good or bad), every choice steers out lives in one direction or another. Most people are on autopilot and don’t make intentional decisions because most people think it won’t make a difference…until they wake up one morning and realize the life they are living is nothing like the life they desire.

That was me! I was in that position about 10 years ago. I woke up unhealthy, unhappy, with no control or hope for anything different.

I don’t want that to happen to you. But I know it already has for most people.

I want to take you through my 10 year journey with 7 simple steps…cutting the fat and fast forwarding through the things that didn’t work for me. You must commit to the steps and you must be willing to take an honest look at yourself and your life. Lying to yourself won’t help you in this path. Make sure you spend TIME on each step and only move to the next step when you feel ready.

One final note…during this process, three things will accelerate your success…

1. Keep a journal and write in it daily…just whatever comes up

2. Also keep track in your journal of everything you are grateful for in your life…at least 3 daily.

3. Share your plan with someone you love AND trust…ask them to hold you accountable.

Hey…they may even want to join you!

Now that you KNOW you want to make changes in your life, you HAVE your journal (notebook) ready, and you have the SUPPORT of a close friend or family member, you are READY to begin.

Plan Steps

Step 1: Write out a 5 year vision of what you want your life to look like. Use the following categories: Finances, Career, Relationships, Hobbies, Personal, Community, Health, and Family. This should be what you WANT your life to look like in 5 years, not what you think you can HAVE. You are describing your DREAM LIFE in 5 years. Write it in complete sentences like it has already happened. And be as specific as you can. Example: I am happily married with two kids living in a house with lake access.

Step 2: Now read it out LOUD to yourself or someone you trust (ideal is someone you trust, but I know that is super risky, so for now, reading it out loud is perfectly fine). On a scale from 1-10, how excited are you about this life?? If it is under an 8, re-write it. If this isn’t what YOU truly want (maybe you’re trying to please someone else or living someone else’s dream), then you will NEVER get it!

Step 3: Set a 12 month goal for each category you wrote about. It should be a goal that will move you TOWARD what you want in 5 years. This can be in a full sentence or just a statement. Example: If you said in 5 years you will have run a marathon, maybe a 12 month goal is a half marathon. Or if in 5 years you want to lose 50 pounds, your 12 month goal is 10 pounds. If you want to own your own business and quit your job, your 12 month goal may be to make a list of all the businesses you could start and begin to look into them.

Step 4: Now set a 30 day goal in each category that will move you to your 12 month goal. So you are breaking down your 12 month goal. Example: If you want to have $10,000 in savings in 12 months, you will have a 30 day goal of saving $850. Or if you want to write a book in a year, you may start with making an outline of what you want to write about in the next 30 days.

Step 5: For each 30 day goal, write down 1-3 SIMPLE daily activities that you can do toward your 30 day goal. Example: If your 30 day goal is to go back to college to finish your degree, you can go online and look at admission requirements to the colleges near you, you can find out the website to apply for financial aid, you can locate your high school/college transcripts, you can start a separate savings account to add $5 a day into, etc. Make sense? So these all need to be super easy activities, like something that will take you less than 15 minutes.

Step 6: Pick one action from each category and write it down on a checklist and commit to doing ONE each day for the next 8 days. Let me be clear, that is only one action per day, so less than 15 minutes of your time each day. If you have less than 15 minutes each day, break down your activities even further. Like if you are wanting to lower your blood pressure to get healthier, your activity that day may be to eat a giant salad for dinner. The key to this working for you is to make the steps easy enough that you will do them.

Step 7: The last step is to pick another activity from each category, write it on your checklist, and commit to doing ONE a day for the next 8 days. If you only had ONE activity for that 30 day goal, just repeat that activity each week. If you find one activity is producing better results than another, do more of that one. This is an ongoing process and you need to be evaluating it on a constant basis…that is why you have your journal.

At the end of the 30 days, you will have spent a total of about 5 hours doing what it takes to move toward your IDEAL life you wrote about in your 5 year vision. Over the course of a year that is 60 hours and you will start seeing some AMAZING results.

Every 30 days choose the next 30 day goal to get you toward your 12 month and every 6 months chose another 12 month goal to get you toward your ideal life. The reason I re-evaluate my 12 month goal every six months is because our lives are changing so quickly these days AND we can see what is working and what is not working sooner…and fix it! Effective activities are vital!

The keys to making this work are:

1. Consistency. You must develop a habit of doing something easy, tiny, and simple every single day

2. Evaluation. You must constantly be keeping track of which activities are effective and which are not. If you get to the first 30 day mark and you have one of your goals that you aren’t even close to reaching, you need to evaluate if you are doing the correct activities to get the outcome you desire.

3. Prioritize. If you are adding new things into your already crowded, busy life, you need to start thinking about what you are willing to give up that doesn’t serve you anymore. Often times when we start doing work toward what we love, we find joy and a new lease on life, so some of the things that aren’t as important to us anymore or aren’t having a positive effect on us, will fall by the wayside…this is a GOOD thing!

4. Beware. Not everyone is going to support you going after your dreams! Focus on what YOU want. Hang your vision where you can see it. Read through your goals daily. Gravitate toward people who are positive and encouraging. Steer clear of those who are negative and make you feel self-serving or impractical. Read inspiring books, listen to great music, watch motivational movies, and KNOW that you are doing what you WANT and NEED to make your life better.

The last thing I want to mention is that YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO YOU WILL BE WITH FROM THE DAY YOU ARE BORN UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE. You must make yourself happy. You must be willing to let go of what others want for you and attach yourself to what you KNOW is right for you. Saying NO to them is saying YES to you. And that is what will give you the strength, courage, and tenacity to step up and create the life of your dreams.