Hey friends! I pray that your week is going well. I have been making a lot of progress beginning to do things differently. During these past couple of weeks, I have been journaling a lot. I have also put together my notebook that will project and track my Good Life project. As promised, today, I’m here to share with you again.
I have a strong belief that we are all made for a purpose. Even from the beginning God gave us a job to do. Genesis 2:15 says God gave us the job to care for the garden. In the end, before Jesus ascended to heaven, Matthew 28:16-20 records for us the great commission. As servants of God, we are called to do a job and to do it well. One way to do it well, is to be productive. So, I’ve got some tips for you today.
This past few days, I have begun my 2021 Good Life Challenge. I started with a vision board, a journal, and a pen. I have made lists and began to put together a vision for what I want my life to look like. My journal is a composition graph notebook and I use standard pens in bright colors. For my Bible learning journal, I use a standard composition book. If you’re working along with me, you can use tools as simple or as complex as you like.
The Good things. I have listed ten things that I think are the best of the good things. I am beginning to imagine what sort of life we can really create. If I had things the way I want them – what would that look like? This was my starting point where everything else flowed from.
The good things on my list are: Cozy rooms with pillows, throws, and fireplace; peaceful snuggles; wide open spaces with a view; rest without conflict; enough money to avoid financial stress; research and writing; travel; creativity; health; and joy, laughter, hope, happiness, and love. All simple things in life.
More and less. It’s basically a list of more things I want and it’s coinciding less things. In 2021 I will…
- I will be more productive and less busy
- I will finish projects, books, and tasks that I have started
- I want better relationships at home and with the world
- I want a job I love that serves my purpose
- I want less stuff and more space
Vision Board. This is a 2 page spread in my planner for each month and a push pin board in my office. It’s just pretty to look at and it helps me to visualize what I want life to look like.
Planners. That’s right. Plural.
- The Faith Box planner. This one is fantastic – it has a vision board for each month, a spiritual journey tracker, a prayer space monthly, focus goals monthly, a monthly calendar, and weekly spreads. It has notes pages and coloring pages and verses at the top of the weekly spreads. I’m using this one for reminders and daily tasks – only 2 to 3 a day.
- Google Calendar. This is where I put all my appointments. I have my phone set up to give me reminders for appointments. I have this set up to view my work appointments, volunteer appointments, and our family appointments all in one. My husband has access and he puts all his things on there too. It keeps us on the same page.
- Writing planner. This is for content to post to this site, to keep ideas and references for my books, and to schedule things as needed.
Spending freeze and budgeting. I have put myself on a spending freeze for four weeks in January. I decided to do this until I have time to put together the budget with my husband. We have to adjust things in 2021 because we want to save more. On the list in this category is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I bought it several years ago and I never finished it. Since this year is the year of saving and doing – I’m starting over and we’re doing it together.
Here’s a link to the website if you want to check it out. https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu You could also find the books or CD’s on Amazon.com used for cheap. When I did it before I learned how to save, how to budget, and how to pay off debt. We’re learning together because we have bad habits.
In 2021, it’s time to take control of our lives. We can only do that by making decisions. We can only achieve our goals by making decisions.
Here are some additional tools I’ve learned over the years to help me be more productive. I’m putting these things in my journal and following along with the journal prompts that I’ve given to you all last week as well.
The Table. Many people are familiar with the brain dump but this is more. Keep a pen and paper nearby (a composition book is good). Whenever you are thinking of something write it down. Especially if you are trying to remember it for later, if you are distracted from what you’re doing right now, if you are considering parts of a project – write it down. The idea is to table it for later. Then do it later.
I haven’t followed up yet with my tasks associated with this table. I usually do the table when I’m getting ready to work or while I’m working to stop myself from being distracted. I don’t create a huge list to try to do all the things. As stated above, I only put 2-3 tasks a day in my planner. Some things we just have to assign to others or the thing has to wait while we do the life-purpose things.
Home organization. Many of us want to start buying things. We believe the place to start is buying the organization pieces that will store all the things we have. That is actually the last step.
Start with getting rid of things. Then decide where the things you have decided to keep will go. If I don’t have space to keep the things I own, I own too many things and I must get rid of more things. No organizing system will make your stuff fit in your home. It is a rule of physics that a container with a specific volume can only hold that amount of stuff.
In 2020, we went through our closets and got rid of clothes that didn’t fit and shoes we didn’t wear. We will do that again in 2021. Plus, this is the list of current things that is driving me nut. Also, on the less/more list is less stuff/ more space. If you want a place to start my list above is a super generalized list. It’s a table for later.
Home cleaning tip. Always put the thing back where you got it. Always. Always put the thing back where it goes. Always. I hate weekend cleaning. I think it’s a waste of valuable time off. Time is EXPENSIVE. If I have to clean on a Saturday, I feel like I’m being punished. I clean through the week in the cracks of time.
One-touch rule. Do you have piles of mail? Do you have an inbox or an outbox? Do you have piles of papers that need sorted, children’s school papers, coupons, and advertisements? papers papers papers everywhere! Here’s the tip: touch it one time. One time only. Mail comes in, advertisements get trashed, coupons get saved in their spot, bills get put in the place you pay them, etc. Get rid of the inbox and the outbox. Do it now. If it can’t be done right now, put it in your planner, assign it to others, create a task for it. Take action on it.
Sabbath day. Pick a day of the week and rest. For heaven’s sake, it is necessary – so necessary that even God did it. Preparation is key for this. I make a freezer dinner, defrost soup, or have a casserole prepared most weekends. We usually do a family thing to spend time together. For 2021, we’re adding in a family devotion for our day because we’re almost always together.
These are just a few things that I have done so far. I plan on taking you on this journey with me. I’d also love to hear about your journey. If you have any thoughts, ideas, progress, or general comments please join the conversation. I’d love to hear from you.