It’s Possible

The more I really listen and tune my ear to what other people are saying and thinking, I realize that some people just don’t think it’s possible. They don’t think it’s possible to enjoy their work. Or lose that weight. Or have that much in savings. Or retire wealthy. Or buy that car. Or travel the world. Or start that business.

But it is. Whoever told you it wasn’t possible was very, very wrong.

Because it starts with a dream. And dreaming is always possible.

We have to give ourselves the time to dream though. Otherwise we get stuck in the day-to-day, the paycheck to paycheck, the year to year. And before we know it we realize we’ve done enough to get by but we haven’t done what we’re meant to do or what we always wanted to do.

So today’s the day to take the time.

It’s as easy.

1. Get to a quiet spot and turning off your cell phone and computer.
2. Pull out a pen and paper. (My favorite brainstorming/dreaming tool is the Moleskine Ruled Notebook Soft Cover Large.)
3. Write down everything that comes to your mind–EVERYTHING. You can always go back and cross out your bogus ones (like appearing on Sesame Street. 😉

This will give you a starting point. One you can add to and look on often. And one you can turn to when you’re ready to start planning to make one of those things happen.

Have you made one of these lists? How has it helped you start to live the life you really want to live?

Advertisements

I’m MOVING!

After working full-time for 4 months and being on a waiting list with a certain apartment complex for 3 months, I am now officially moving. It will be the first time I “really” move out of my parents house. I went away for a couple of years after high school, but I told them to keep my room “my room” so I could come back. This time it’s more official since I have a job and am aiming to become completely on my own.

It’s bitter-sweet for sure, but I think it’s the right move for me right now. There are several things to take care of when moving out for the first time (or even moving at all!)

1. Get rid of junk
2. Take inventory of everything you own for insurance purposes
3. Organize papers and loose documents
4.  Update your budget to reflect new/different expenses, etc.
5.  If reasonable, get certain things moved into your own name instead of your parents. 😉
6.  Put things away in an organized and understandable fashion.
7. Compare costs of different things and cut unnecessary expenses.
8. Be confident you can make it on your own and make decisions that will lead to success!

Any other suggestions for me or for others? What are some good tasks to take on during a move?

Getting Things Done

For those with big dreams and big plans there is always “something else” that needs to be done. Whether it’s sell another item on eBay or reader another book or take another test or write another blog, the list never ends but the time in the day does!

I’m not an expert on Getting Things Done (yet!) but I spent some time with a guy who does (well, I read his book which is basically like spending time with him!) and I really believe my productivity and efficiency level increased by leaps and bounds (more realistically it was at least 200%.)

His name is David Allen and he’s the author of the book, “Getting Things Done.” (Buy it on Amazon Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
) None of us are such experts at life that we can’t use a little help. And what is awesome about this book is it crosses all different areas of life. It can apply to your career, personal life, finances, grocery shopping, absolutely everything!

The key idea Allen expresses over and over is the concept of writing things down and getting everything from out of your head and onto paper. Keeping it in your head will only keep you stressed out and feeling busy all the time though you may not actually be getting anything done. When you write it down you can forget about it until you purposefully go back and look at your paper.

Sounds simple but it’s truly life-changing. For those wanting to move forward in life and not stay stagnant it’s a must-read.

That’s it for today. Happy Monday!! Have a great week and live it on purpose!

Do you have any keys to getting things done?? Please share!

The Other 8 Hours

Recently I’ve run across Robert Pagliarni. I stumbled across him as I was getting into the personal finance blog world, and I’ve loved the title of his book, “The Other 8 Hours.” The concept is that the “other 8 hours” is the hours you are not working at your day job and sleeping.

What do we do with those hours?

Realistically those 8 hours for me aren’t really 8 they are about about 6. Because here is a typical day. And I bet it’s kind of similar to yours!

6am-wake up and get ready
7am-travel to work
730am-4pm-work
4pm-travel home
430pm-get home

If I started my 8 hours at 430pm I’d be up  until 12:30am. But sleep is important to me so I try to be in bed by 1030 or 11pm.

That gives me 6 1/2 hours to do something with other than sleep and work.

So what do we do with them? We eat, get on the internet, watch TV, talk to our family, go work out, etc., etc. And all of those things are fine. But when you spend time doing one of them be reminded you will never get that time back. Time is a non-renewable resource.

So the point is to make sure our other “8” hours are spent doing what we want to do. They are spent on what is important to us; not on just what “comes our way” or happens to fall in our lap.

For me, there is a lot that I’d like to spend my other hours on. Right now here are some of my priorities:

1. Working out. I don’t go every day but more days than not at least 1 of my hours is spent on this. Usually more than 1 hour.
2. Blogging. This shouldn’t take long but I want to spend some of my other 8 hours blogging and connecting with people.
3. Learning. This is where most of my other hours go. I’m currently enrolled in school full time so this semester I am studying the Bible, economics, biology and history.  It’s a lot of reading. A lot of lectures. And a lot of homework. It takes a lot of time. =P I also include my blog reading here since it is also learning. 😉
4. Family and friends. Ultimately, there’s nothing more important to me than love. Love for God and love for people so I want to spend time with those closest to me as well as spend time reaching out to others. I don’t do this enough but I’d like to do it more consciously.

Of course, there are my dreams of being an entrepreneur and starting businesses and investing money and being a millionaire, but right now, those 4 things take up much of my “extra” 6 1/2 hours. Because THIS is a typical evening after getting home:

430pm-Brief myself on my financial situation (overview budget, look at accounts, etc.), read some blogs and do some homework.
530pm-Help with dinner and then eat dinner with my family
630pm-Watch TV with a friend
7pm-Go to the gym
730pm-9pm-Work out at the gym
9pm-Head home from the gym
930pm-Get on facebook to connect with friends/watch TV/do more homework/sit and talk to a family member/eat a late snack/write blog for next day
10pm-get ready for bed
1030pm-Sleep

Sometimes that schedule doesn’t sound quite as productive to me as I’d like it to be, but really, I’m enjoying my life right now. At the age of 20 and going to school full time and working full time, those extra 6.5 hours are special to me, and for the most part I feel as though I am using them wisely. When I am not doing school (if I take a summer off or when I get my degree) then I hope to make those other hours look different–more concentrated focus on business ventures and such.

Answer in the comments: Do you think I should spend my other hours more wisely? How do you spend YOUR other 8 hours? Is it what you want to be doing?

The Power of Peace

Many things hold “power.” Knowledge. Position. Recognition. Authority. Writing. Speaking. They all have one degree or another of influence and ability to change things.

But one thing that has more power than most of us give it credit for is peace.

In order to be who we want to be we must carry not just a sense or display of peace but a true, deep, inner peace. The kind of peace that lets us breathe deep and hold steady. The kind of peace that keeps us focused when everything is changing around us. The kind of peace that knows things are going to work out just right. The kind of peace that lets us fall asleep soundly.

Peace is underrated. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity. To get where we’re going–and to enjoy the journey–demands we have peace.

Like I stated in my post on simplicity, many people take pride in carrying on crazy lives. But those people will work really hard and do very little.

Possessing peace will give you the assurance the work you have done is, actually, enough.
It will allow you to be confident in who you are, what you stand for, how you think and what you do.
It grants  power to you instead of to your situation.

But it must be sought out. It will not just drop in your lap one day. So my advice? Get away. Close your eyes. Breathe deep. Remind yourself why you do what you do, think what you think and say what you say. Be at peace with yourself and God and see the power of it flood into your life.

Peace will leave you with far less wrinkles, far more laughs, and many more accomplishments.

Do you think there is power in peace?  Do you have it? How do others get it?

The Files

(I’m posting this from my email, by the way. Hope it works out ok!)

I’ve always been a pretty organized person but I realized last week how much clutter I can accumulate when I don’t have a consistent and UP-TO-DATE organizational system.

So I dove in and decided all the loose papers and papers in last years folders needed to be organized.

First, I bought a small box that holds file folders and is easy to carry. This is much more practical for me as a single individual with small living space. If you don’t have one of these you definitely need one.

Second, I bought some hanging file folders as well as colored file folders to go inside.

That is really all you need to get organized. The way in which you set the labeling up is completely up to you but here are a few tips….

1. Keep it specific.
A file named “2010 Paystubs” is much easier to go through than a file named “2010 Financials.” Maybe a hanging file could be your financial section and in there could be file folders with paystubs, bank statements, investment docs, etc.

2. Keep it alphabetical.
It’s just easier to find! =)

3. Keep it up-to-date.
Don’t let papers stack up. File them right away, and you’ll find yourself more at ease and confident.

And out of all the papers you reveive everyday, how do you know exactly what should be kept and filed away?

Financial stuff (taxes, investment docs, etc.) should be kept 3-5 years. It’s a long time but you never know if you may need it.

Receipts for large purchases as well as the warranties that may come with them need to be kept for as long as you feel comfortable.

Just a few small pointers today to make life a little more simple and enjoyable!

What kinds of things do you file that I missed? Anymore tips on filing?

Simplicity

How many people have you met who take pride in the fact that their lives are so complex and “busy” and therefore significant? We all  have met these people. Sometimes they are the people staring us back in the mirror.

But really, if we’re honest with ourselves, we hear the whisper in our souls that complexity and busyness do not equal importance or significance.

It’s not how much we’re doing.
It’s what we’re doing. And how we’re doing it.

How do you keep your life simple yet still significant?