Category: Time Management

Free Printable Habit Tracker

Free Printable Habit Tracker

I don’t make New Years Resolutions every year, but I instead like to break my goals into smaller time frames. Monthly, weekly, daily…it depends on the goal I want to set or the habit I want to create.

For some goals it’s easier to focus on creating a habit. I wanted to become a morning person and get up before my daughters every morning. By forcing myself to do it for a few weeks straight, I ended up creating a habit of getting up before my girls each day. Once it was a habit, I didn’t even have to think about it every morning. It became my new normal. I’m on a break from it as I have a newborn, but I plan on getting back in the habit in 2017!

When you want a change in a specific area of your life, sometimes annual goal setting is not the answer. Focusing on a mini goal or creating a habit can be a better way to succeed depending on the change you want to make.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer.

Free Printable Habit Tracker

Do you have a new habit that you want to create in 2017? One little task or activity that you want to focus on this year?

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Move or exercise
  • Take a walk
  • Take 10,000 steps
  • Drink X ounces of water
  • Enjoy dinner as a family
  • Technology breaks
  • Write
  • Read devotion
  • Complete cleaning routine
  • Complete morning routine
  • Make bed
  • Floss
  • Read with children
  • Get 7 hours of sleep
  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for
  • Complement someone
  • Read for enjoyment

When I decide what habit I want to create, I find that writing it down and tracking my progress makes all the difference. Once you decide what habit you want to create, find a place to track the habit. 

I want to share this free printable habit tracker with you. It’s available in teal or pink. Download and print. Check off each day you complete your task. Place in a prominent place so you can see your daily progress. 

Free Printable Habit Tracker: 2017

Free Printable Habit Tracker: 2017

Free Printable Habit Tracker: Teal

Free Printable Habit Tracker: Pink

What daily habit do you want in 2017?

This post contains affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups

Free Printable Habit Tracker. Track your daily habits in 2017.

Why I Started a Blog

Why I Started a Blog

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.

I don’t often post about blogging and other business, but today I am going to stray from my usual topics. I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know WHY I started a blog in the first place.

Even before my husband and I got married, we talked about our shared desire to have me stay at home when we had children. This was very important to us and from the start, we made many of our financial decisions based on this. We saved much of our income when we were first married and had two full-time incomes coming in.

We now live primarily on one income. It’s not always easy and we have to make sacrifices often.

While I have been home for the last 5 years, I have been blessed with a few side projects (many with my previous employer) over the years. With each temporary job, we put the income in savings. The savings has helped with medical bills, car and home repairs, and other things outside our day-to-day living expenses. We have also been able to build up our children’s education fund, as our main goal is to pay for a Christian education for them. (A majority of our financial decisions are made with this sole goal in mind – their Christian education.)

Why I Started a Blog

I started my blog two years ago for two main reasons.

  • I wanted to create an early morning habit and the blog held me accountable to waking up early.
  • I wanted to find a way to contribute financially to our family, to build our savings, and to grow our daughters’ education fund. I was only looking to do something flexible that would allow me to “work” completely on my own schedule. Blogging is not typically a fast way to make money, but I knew that there was potential in it if I was willing to put in the time and effort.

Here is the thing: I would NEVER have thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I never thought of myself as creative. I never considered owning a business or making income on the side.

Shortly after I started blogging, I realized that I enjoy this! I was excited with the potential that working online has. There is SO much to learn, but I love researching and learning. I quickly found that my favorite parts of blogging include the design, the back-end of the site, strategy, connecting with other bloggers, and learning. The actual writing part is further down the list!

  • Have you ever considered starting a blog?
  • Do you currently have a blog?
  • Do you have dreams to work from home?
  • Do you want to take your current blog to the next level?
  • Do you desire to make money on the side while staying at home?
  • Do you have a small side business, but want to know how to take it up a notch by adding a blog to help your business?

If this is you, I want to share a few free resources with you. The resources are from Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less and Elite Blog Academy.

Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers
Blog Structure Blueprint
7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight

Sign up to be notified with Elite Blog Academy is open for enrollment. It’s just once per year!

 

If you want to see what the process of setting up a blog is like: check out my step-by-step guide here. I have used Bluehost for my blog for almost 2 years now and have been 100% happy with them! Just a few days ago, I renewed for another two years.

You can also check out my list of Blogging Tools & Resources to see what I currently use on my blog.

Sign up for my Blogging Tips & Resources Newsletter.

blogging-tips-and-resources-newsletter

If you have considered starting a blog, I invite you to start one today. Make sure you share your blog name with me so I can check it out!

Why I Started a Blog

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List 

Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter

I am excited to start a Blogging Tips & Resources Newsletter.

Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter

I am not a blogging expert, but I have been able to grow my blog in the almost 2 years since I started. My blog has grown in both page views and income. One of the main reasons I think it’s grown is because I have done my research. I don’t follow all the blogging rules as my time is limited (I have 2 children at home with me everyday!), but I pick and choose the rules I feel are important to me. I have learned the importance of focusing on my individual blog goals.

In the online world, I often hear that you don’t need to feel like an expert to teach. You just have to remember that you are always a few steps ahead of someone. If I am a few steps ahead of where you are now (and where I was months ago), I would love to share what I have learned and encourage you along in your blogging journey!

Who is this for?

  • You have considered starting a blog but haven’t started one yet.
  • You are in your first couple years of blogging, and you feel overwhelmed and need direction.
  • You want to learn about some of the great blogging resources out there. I will keep you in the loop!
  • You have dreams to work from home or just make money on the side.
  • You enjoy the behind-the-scenes of the blogging life.

What will I be sending?

This newsletter is NOT a step-by-step guide to starting a blog (you can find that here). I will be e-mailing you with:

  • links to helpful blog posts
  • tips and encouragement
  • affiliate ideas
  • blogging resources
  • and more!

There are SO many blogging courses, books, websites, and posts. It can be overwhelming to hear all that you need to do to grow your blog. So often it seems that bloggers think they need to follow every single piece of advice out there and they get immediately overwhelmed. One thing that I quickly learned is that you need to focus on what works for you. It’s key to research and learn what is applicable to your blog and your business, and ignore the rest. Or write it down to be a priority in the future.

I LOVE to research all things blogging…almost to a fault. I want to share what I have learned with you in my Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter.



Start with checking out my list of favorite blogging tools and resources!

Sign up for my Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter. I will be sharing: links to helpful blog posts, tips and encouragement, affiliate ideas, blogging resources and more!

This post contains affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress

We all have days that we are tired, weary, stressed, frustrated, and struggling with patience.

Small everyday stressors may be unavoidable some days, but finding a way to deal with stress and minimize the impact is key to the atmosphere of your home. As a mom, I know that my stress-level impacts my children and I try to keep my stress levels down. There are so many things we can do to decrease our stress levels in a natural way. Creating healthy habits can help to minimize stress and help to lift our moods.

While I can keep the small every-day stresses in perspective, I still need to find ways to get out of a down moment or stressful day.

Here are 13 ways to reduce daily stress:

Begin your day with quiet/alone time

I find that if I have even a few minutes alone in the morning, my day runs more smoothly. I enjoy waking up before my girls instead of with them, as this gives me time to enjoy my coffee, read my devotion, and hop on the computer. Consider creating a morning routine as a way to reset your morning and get your day started right.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Exercise

This is my main stress reliever. I start to get unpleasant when I go too long without exercise! If you are not exercising consistently, start by adding small amounts of exercise into your day. If you have trouble getting motivated, remember that the first step out the door is the hardest. Once you get out and exercise, you will rarely (if ever!) regret it.

Get Outside

Getting outside can restore your mental energy, relieve stress, improve concentration and focus, and improve your mental health. This article provides a list of the many other benefits of getting outside. I would guess the more time you are outside, the less you are sedentary. Get fresh air, exercise, vitamin D, and a change of scenery by getting outside. This is also great for children! Check out this scavenger hunt printable if you need an activity for your kiddos outside.

Use the Spire Fitness Tracker to let you know when you are getting stressed or have been sitting around too long. Then head outside for a quick break!

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Look for joy

Even when frustrated, there is often a joyous moment around the corner. Even when my children are acting up and frustrating me, it’s usually only a few minutes later that I think they are most wonderful. I end up laughing with them and being completely overcome with love. A child’s laughter can bring you back.

When frustrated, I remind myself just to wait for the joyful moment as it’s probably just minutes away.

Pray

Ask Him for help. Lay your concerns on Him and trust that He is with you.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6

Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all.

Take a look at your schedule and commitments. Simplify what you can in your home. You may find non-essential tasks that are only causing stress.

It’s just not worth the pressure. I know that many struggle with this, but pick your priorities and stick them. Decide what you care about for yourself and your family and focus on that. Don’t let others expectations or standards wear you down.

Reset. Change gears.

If I have had a long day with my girls, a simple change can help to reset our day. If the kiddos are getting antsy, get outside or plan an activity to wear them out. Some days this is obvious and easy. Some days this will feel like too much work, but it’s often worth it.

Know what refreshes you

Figure out what quick activity or treat refreshes and relaxes you. If that gives you a little more patience to get you through the day…schedule it in!!

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Make a grateful list.

This is something I have yet to try, but I hear so much about it! Get in the habit of writing down 3 things you are grateful for each night before going to bed.

Stepping back and finding something you are grateful for can quickly change your perspective!

Stay hydrated.

You will feel better if you stay hydrated, so remember to drink plenty of water! Your body will function better. Here are 8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day.

Get sleep.

This is key! You will have much more energy, your brain will function better, and your physical health will improve. Your body restores itself while sleeping, so your entire body will thank you when you start to make sleep a priority. 

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources: 

Check your perspective.

Remember that we have all we need. Everything we need. His grace is enough.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Deep, slow breathing

When you start to get stressed or anxious, your breaths may become short and shallow. The Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker picks up on your breathing rate and can notify you to take a few deep breaths. It can alert you in the moment and suggest breathing exercises that lead to putting you in a calmer and focused state.

If you are not good at sitting down quietly and breathing slow, the Spire Activity Tracker will guide you.

In addition to tracking your breath, notifying you if you are tense, and walking you through breathing activities, the Spire Activity Tracker also tracks your steps and active minutes. At the end of the day, I can see if I met my active minutes and step goals. I can set up notifications to notify me when I have been sedentary for a set amount of minutes. 

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

What is your favorite way to reduce stress in your own life?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

This post contains affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

September Mini Goal: Plan Out Morning and Evening Schedules

September Mini Goal: Reset Morning and Evening Schedules

This post is part of my 12 Mini Goals Challenge.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer. In 2016, I am going to focus on a new habit or mini goal every month. In January, I focused on Daily Movement or Exercise. In February, I focused on cutting down on evening snacking. In March, my goal was 30 days of pilates. In April, my goal was to clear my kitchen counters every night. In May, I attempted to clear out my closet 3 items at a time. In June, my goal was to reset my mornings and wake up earlier. In July, my goal was to drink more water. In August, I wanted to track our daily reading.

As a stay-at-home mom, I have been able to make our own schedule for the past five years. Now that my oldest is going to kindergarten this fall, I will have to abide by a school schedule. This will be a big change!

I know that I will need to manage my schedule much differently as I am not used to getting my girls out the door early in the morning. This will not be easy on me. I will miss out on much of my morning alone time and I will have to be much more strict about bedtimes and morning routines. I will need to stop fitting in that One Last Thing that can make me late.

I am starting in on my September mini-goal early. I am going to force myself to schedule my evenings and mornings until I form the habits we need. I know that it’s key for my daughter to be well-rested and also have a non-rushed morning. Our mornings will go so much smoother and attitudes will be better if she doesn’t feel rushed!

September Mini Goal: Plan Out Morning and Evening Schedules

My September Mini Goal: Plan out morning and evening schedules to help me stay on track

I created a morning and evening schedule printable that I plan on using until I get a handle on our new school routine. Forcing myself to write on an actual schedule helps me plan my time better. I am less likely to attempt to fit in too much for the time allowed.

Reset Morning and Evening Schedules

Your September Mini Goal: Plan your morning and/or evening schedules.

If you want to join me, print off the Morning and Evening Schedule Printable

If you want to take this a step further and need to reset your mornings for back-to-school, consider checking out: Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. I will be running a morning accountability group in September, so pick the eBook up and join me if you need to step back and take a look at your morning schedule.

Let me know if you decide to join! What do you struggle with in your morning and evening schedules? Do you find it helpful to write out your schedule?

 September Mini Goal: Plan Out Morning and Evening Schedules. With printable schedule for mornings and evenings. 

I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month. If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.

Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups