Keep It Simple!

Keep It SimpleI am constantly working toward simplifying my life. I love decluttering, organizing, and coming up with systems to help make things easier for me. With a baby girl arriving in the next 6 weeks, I am working double-time to simplify, as I know babies are time consuming and can complicate life more than it already is.

One of the things I am working on is my lists. I have several businesses and income streams and most require me to do activities every single day. In the past I have made a list of every single thing I need to do each and every day to move toward my ideal life! Since I am an optimist, I make my lists with enthusiasm and the very best of intentions. I double check it, organize it, and print it out, ready to start the very next day!

Day 1: I do 80% of the activities – I am motivated and fired up and make extra time to move toward my ideal life!!

Day 2: I do 60% of the activities – a couple things come up but I’m still able to get stuff done!

Day 3: I do 50% of my list – I got behind on a couple other things I needed to do, plus at some point I have to sleep and eat and shower!

Day 4: I do 30% of my list – I’m a little overwhelmed and stayed up late the night before. I feel like I need to catch up from day 2 and 3 slacking and the overwhelm is paralyzing.
Day 5: I do 1% of my list – I do the one thing on my list that is the easiest and most enjoyable. It’s been a long week and I am ready to veg.

Day 6: Feel like a failure, yell at myself, get so annoyed with my undisciplined being that I eat too much and sleep too little AND get nothing productive done. I go to bed feeling like crap!

Day 7: Get my shit together, print out a new list, and am super excited to start fresh tomorrow!!

REPEAT! FOREVER! EXHAUSTING!!!

This has been my life for the past 10 years. Seriously! I keep telling myself these lists would make my life more simple, I just have to make the time to do everything on them each and every day.

Last week my friend and mentor, Tara, brought to my attention that I am setting myself up to fail every single day. Wow! That sounds depressing! It’s like loading your house with cookies and chips and then getting mad at yourself for eating cookies and chips.

There has got to be a better way!

So this month I am doing TWO new (different) things…

My list will have “only” 11 things a day ranked in order of importance.

I will pre-schedule ALL activities into my calendar each day. Starting with #1. When I run out of time, I stop scheduling. If time “appears”, I can add in the next activity, if not, no biggie.

I got up early this morning and made my lists. Put them in my spreadsheet. Printed them out! I will schedule them all in this weekend and then start my new system Monday!
I am hopeful!

I would love to hear what systems work for you in your life with scheduling, time-management, working from home, and raising a baby! I am open to anything that makes my life and myself better!

Join our community for simple living…

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Thanks for being in my life!

See you soon!

Focus With Your Word of the Year

Focus On Your Word Of The YearEach year I pick a word that encompasses what I am working on in my life and want to accomplish in the following year. I don’t try hard to find a word, I wait for one to choose me. I reflect on the past year, think about the upcoming year, and then meditate on how I can be the best possible version of myself.

I always want to be taking baby steps toward my ideal life, so my word helps me stay focused and reminds me of my priorities.

Last year my word was SIMPLICITY. I spent time in 2013 getting rid of physical stuff when we got rid of everything and moved into the RV. I spent 2014 simplifying my businesses, debt, and finances. And then I spent 2016 working on my time management and making space in my life for the things that were most important to me.

In 2017, I wanted to simplify even further, working toward resolving some of my complex emotions and cleaning up my mental garbage I had been clinging to for too long. I wanted to create more space in my life, more systems to make my lifestyle goals work, and make a life I could feel at ease with.

I had no idea how this would all matriculate, only that I was craving more simplicity in my life.

Throughout the year, when I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I would remember my word and see what I could get rid of. Even when I was living pretty much out of my car, I would always find something to get rid of.

Sometimes it was material things, sometimes de-cluttering my lists, sometimes deleting files from my computer, and sometimes just saying “no” to opportunities, people, and activities, which isn’t always easy!!

By the end of the year, I had made room for whatever was next to come for me and my life. I enjoy seeing space on my calendar and like to over-plan the time each activity will take me during my day. It’s relieved stress, anxiety, and over-whelm which causes me to over-eat and under-sleep. So a total upward spiral!

Focusing on this one word helped me in all areas of my life throughout 2017. I still have some work to do (as always) and still would like to create more systems in my businesses and life to simplify even further, but I’m constantly a work in progress and I know it will come.

I’m excited to see what comes of my 2018 year of “trust”.

What is your word?

What is a word that encompasses not only what you are working toward in your life, but also what you want right now?

What would help give you peace of mind?

What would help you love yourself and your life more?

What would help fill what is missing from your life?

What is something you have always wanted but were afraid to go for?

If you haven’t put any thought into any of these questions, take some time over the next few days in silence or mediation or before you go to sleep at night or in your car before work when you have a few minutes to yourself, and consider picking a word for yourself for 2018.

I would love to hear your word for 2018.

Join and share in our community…

www.facebook.com/FoodFitnessFinanceFun

Here’s to the best year EVER!

See you soon!

Time Management For Dummies

Time Management For DummiesIf you are like me, you have a hard time getting everything you want done in a day, week, month, year! In fact, it’s not even a “hard time” it’s more like IMPOSSIBLE!

I get frustrated because there is so much I want to do in my lifetime, and try as I might, I can’t seem to find a way to add hours to my 24 hour day. And unfortunately for me, my body needs tons of sleep to function properly, so giving up sleep to get more done is counter-productive for me. Boo!

Since I can’t find extra hours, I have learned a way to make the most of the time I do have, and I have developed a simple monthly process I use to fit in as much as I possibly can. Like anything, it takes practice to get this down, but after a couple months, this will be a quick, easy, painless, and mega beneficial process to help you make the most of the time you have.

Here’s what to do…

  1. Make a list all the goals or things you want to accomplish for the following month
  2. For each goal, list all the activities it will take to reach that goal
  3. Schedule first all the time sensitive activities into your calendar
  4. Schedule second all the highest priority activities into your calendar
  5. Fill in the remainder of your calendar with the other activities
  6. If you have way too many activities and not enough time, go back to your goals and rank them on importance
  7. Repeat until you can schedule all your activities into your calendar

If you still can’t fit everything in, you need to make some decisions about what is most important to you.

Unfortunately we all only have so much time and typically have way more things we want to add into our lives. Is there something you can take out that you don’t love? That isn’t serving you anymore?

PRACTICE! Like anything this takes practice! It may be months before you can actually get everything you want into your schedule!

Be patient and forgiving. You WILL mess up! It WILL be frustrating! It’s OK! Stick with the process and the results will come!

This is a great time of year to start working on this to make it a habit. I love when we have a new month AND a new year to start working toward creating our life instead of letting our life just “happen”.

Please reach out if you want help with this process. I have helped hundreds of people with this over the years.
We are all in this together! It’s not easy, but it’s worth it! email me!

See you soon!

Homework: Let It Go

Homework: Let It GoLet it go! This is my only goal today! I woke up feeling overwhelmed and anxious!

Like I have way more to do than I will ever have time to get it done. Like I keep making promises to myself and others that I can’t keep. Like I’m barely staying above water and I can’t breathe!!!

I remember something I read in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog…

You will never have enough time to do everything you want to do. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can let go of the expectation and forgive yourself for not doing it all!!

I was of course paraphrasing since I haven’t read that book in 15 years, but that concept has stuck with me over the years!

Here are some things I do when I’m feeling this way…

  • Breathe…DEEPLY!!
  • Write down 10 things I am grateful for
  • Prioritize my day, week, month, year, life
  • Reach out to a supportive friend
  • Focus on what I can control and let go of the rest!

Number 5 is super hard for me! But practicing letting go of what we can’t control will make it easier and habitual. I just need to remember to practice!

OK! I feel a little better!

Hope it helps you today!!! What can you let go of today????

If you need a reminder for daily gratitude…
www.facebook.com/groups/IHeartGratitude

If you just need a safe positive place to hang out…
www.facebook.com/KirstenMcCaySmith

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www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/Newsletter

See you soon!

Breathe <3

Self Help Homework: Just Say No

Self Help Homework: Just Say No... One of the things I hear all the time is "I don't have time". Time is an interesting concept. We all have time. We all have the same amount of time. And we all get to choose how we spend our time.One of the things I hear all the time is “I don’t have time”. Time is an interesting concept. We all have time. We all have the same amount of time. And we all get to choose how we spend our time.

I have had times in my life where I had a lot more going on than I do, but managed to get more done because I was managing my time better. I know women with no job and no kids who can’t find 30 minutes a day to work out and I know women with several kids, a full time job, head of everything, involved in book clubs and church and team mom, and can still find the time to relax and watch an hour or more of TV every night. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and the great thing is that we get to choose how we spend it.

I work with athletes in my coaching business with all different lifestyles. From the college girl who is taking 18 credits and working full time to the single guy who works part time to the mom with 4 kids under 7, but really wants to complete an ironman.

I also work with men and women who want to build their own business and become an entrepreneur either full or part time.

And I have worked with my friends and family members, all with different lifestyles, on time management so that they can live their best lives, follow their dreams, or complete a big goal.

Basically what I am saying is that I have seen ALL scenarios and situations of figuring out time management and how to fit everything we want to do, be, and have into our short, short, too short 24 hour days.

I have read books and devoured programs on time management. I have tried so many different strategies and processes to fit it all in, but there is only one way that I have found (and helped others find) to have enough time to get in what is truly important to me (and them)…

JUST SAY NO!

You MUST say no to the things that don’t bring you joy. You must say no to the things that aren’t moving you in the direction you want your life to go. You must say no to the things you feel you “should” do, but don’t really “want” to do.

I know this is easier said than done, especially when it comes to your family and friends. You don’t want to hurt feelings, you don’t want to let anyone down, and you want people to like you and appreciate all you do for them.

But the more you do for others, the less you do for yourself. Every time you say YES to someone you don’t want to say yes to, you are saying NO to yourself. You may want to read that again. When you say YES to others, you are saying NO to yourself.

You are the only person you will be with from the day you are born until the day you die. You need to start saying yes to YOU! Yes to your dreams, your goals, you needs, your wants, and everything else you know you want in your life. It’s not selfish, it’s honorable. You are honoring yourself. And when you honor yourself you are teaching others to honor themselves. You are giving others permission to make themselves a priority.

This is NOT easy! But it’s imperative! So here is your homework…

START SMALL!!! Start with something that is easy. Something you don’t want to do and isn’t a big deal if you don’t do it.

Next time someone asks you for something you don’t want to do, just say NO! You can do it as politely as you wish. You can make any excuse you want. But just so you know you never need an excuse to say no to someone or something, but at the beginning feel free to make up an excuse to make it easier for you until saying no becomes easier for you.

I let my clients use me as their excuse. When they have a workout planned and someone asks for their time when they are scheduled to work out, I tell them to use me as an excuse. They can say “I can’t have lunch with you because I am meeting my trainer for a workout” or “I can’t talk right now because I have a call scheduled with my coach”.

Feel free to use me as your excuse for as long as you need/want to. Once you realize your true friends will respect you, your time, and your choices, you won’t need to make an excuse, you can just say no. That will free you up to say yes to the things you really want to say yes to. And then when you DO say yes to your friends, they will know how important they are and that you really WANT to be with them instead of feel like you HAVE to be with them!

Remember…baby steps! Start small. Work your way up to the big NOs like to your kids or your spouse or you mother-in-law.

Practice makes perfect!

Share your success with me.

I am very passionate about this topic. I have been working on it for years. I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty darn close.

Reach out if you want more help.

And join our community of positively selfish happy humans…

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Let’s stay connected…

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Can’t wait to hear how much time you make in your life for you!

See you soon!

The Pretty Girl Book Club: September 2015

The Pretty Girl Book Club - Getting Things Done“Anything that does not belong where it is, the way it is, is an ‘open loop’, which will be pulling on your attention if it’s not appropriately managed.” – David Allen

Our September 2015 Book Club book was “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen.

Category: Personal/Business Organization

I chose this book because I heard an interview with David Allen on a podcast I listen to and I LOVED what he said about writing everything down and getting it out of your head so that you can make room for new ideas and new thoughts. Plus he promised his system will help you sleep like a baby at night, which would be so beneficial to me!

I read the “revised” edition which is updated from 2001 when the book was originally written. With the rise of digital technology, our 24/7 world, and new brain research which is always updating, he had a lot to add to his first edition. He also has notes for people who are COMPLETELY new to his concepts as well as separate notes for people who are already familiar with what he talks about in the book.

The book is broken into 3 parts which you for sure should read in order. But there is also a glossary of terms and an index at the end that you can use for quick reference throughout the book or after reading through once.

I was really busy in September coaching swim team, running 2 businesses, getting my blog and newsletters out, and training to run 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 states, so I didn’t dive in as deep as I know I should have into this book. I will for sure read it again. I recommend it to people on a daily basis since I have so many clients, team members, and friends who constantly tell me how they struggle with stress, productivity, and getting things done.

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

Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles.

The book is 308 pages long.

Here are a few words from others who have read this book…

“One of the best ways to get control of your life at work and at home. I’ve used the methods for over 10 years now and I still learn a lot whenever I re-read the book.”

-Tamara

“This is not a book you simply read – you begin to take action and almost immediately see that the GTD method WILL improve your productivity.”

-Daniel

“The ideas that are presented in this book are solid advice, but like with most business books, the author uses too many words to explain a simple concept. I would recommend reading an online summary of the process to get started, then reading the book to get a deeper understanding.”

-Wesley

Order “Getting Things Done” here…

http://amzn.to/24uvBeh

About The Pretty Girl Book Club…

http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fun/the-pretty-girl-book-club/

Our upcoming books…

The Pretty Girl Book Club Book List

Here is the link to join the Book Club…
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrettyGirlBookClub/

See you there!!