Things I Need for Success

A week or so ago, I, the Queen of Lists, made another list: Things I Need for Success.

It was kind of long.

It includes things like more energy, mentoring, better scheduling, more time, and more money.

I realized that “more money” is only going to come from spending less, not making more, so I think I need to make a budget. I’ve used Mint in the past but never stuck to it. Does anyone have any tips for using Mint, budgeting in general, or another (free) program to help with this?

More time. We all get 24 hours a day (even Beyonce, as they say), which means that I need to shift my focus to better scheduling. I made a list of all the things I’d like to do every day— and it’s too long. What are things you do every day? How do you squeeze it all in? Do you use any technique or program to schedule your life?

Mentoring. Working on this through my workplace. They are all about this sort of thing.

Energy. I know this is going to come through better food, better sleep, more sleep, and exercise. However, this comes back to that whole “I need more time” problem. How do you fit these things in? Do you have any shortcuts you use? I need shortcuts. (P.S. I hate cooking.)

Well, enough of my rambling. I didn’t even realize when I started this post that it was mostly going to be soliciting advice from blog readers, but there you have it. Would love to hear your ideas!

9 thoughts on “Things I Need for Success

  1. I love Every Dollar (and Dave Ramsey in general) for budgeting. Or if you’re more of a pen and paper fan, May Designs has a notebook for budgeting that’s a simple, pretty layout as long as you can stick with it without having an app.

    For getting everything done in a day, I’m all about priorities. I have to pick a “top 3” to focus on and ignore pretty much everything else, or it won’t happen. I also like to outsource things like grocery shopping with grocery delivery services, and occasional house cleaning (though this kind of clashes with the whole “spending less” thing).

    • Oh, and one more shortcut. My parents make all their food for the week on Sunday since they usually eat at different times during the week. They basically cook a bunch of meat in one day, then heat it up for dinners with a quick side dish (usually pasta or instant potatoes or rice) and frozen or canned veggies.

    • I created an account of Every Dollar! I just have to finish making my budget.

      I totally outsource grocery shopping. CobornsDelivers FTW.

      I love the idea of “top 3” priorities … but most days I have more than three. Of necessity. I’m not sure what to do in that case. Maybe I need to still just choose three things. I hate that one of them always has to be the day job.

  2. I’m sure you do this anyway – multi task. I will layer tasks wherever I can, as in: go to church for spiritual fix but make sure I walk there and back, getting my physical fix en route; plan my writing whilst I walk. Another trick is to walk away from stress – head out to a coffee shop for an hour, taking with me just one ‘portable’ task (reading or writing). Enjoy my ‘break’ but actually get something done at the same time.

  3. I have a to-do list which tends to be pretty long as a rule. But I recently started playing around with a “choose to do list” which are the things I want or plan to do for my own spiritual/emotional health and happiness. So, yes, I have to go the bank or whatever, but I choose to paint my nails. It helps me when I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the big tasks in my life so I can focus on self care.

  4. We use YNAB (You need a budget) and yes it cost 60 dollars up front but it has REVOLUTIONIZED our lives. It allows you to create categories within one big category: For example, we only have our one checking account, but we have many different accounts set aside within that in YNAB.

    Some examples: Birthday fund (gifts for kids and friends), summer money (since I don’t work in the summer) Book money (that should be obvious)
    and other things like saving for conferences or tests Danny has to take for school.

    We sit down and hash out each week what we spend money on. Everything has a category; no spending has anywhere to hide. This is scary at the start but makes it easier to hit goals. And I LOVE knowing that we are set when it feels like we might be on shaky ground (all those savings accounts!)

    I second what someone said for food.
    We have a list of things we like to eat, and we plan our dinners for an ENTIRE MONTH. I also eat nearly the same thing every day for lunch. I don’t have time to be making all of those decisions everyday. I need my creativity for other things!

    For exercise, I would say think about a 20 or 30 minute walk. Pop in a podcast about writing while you are doing it, or listen to an audiobook. I’ve found that the combination of taking a break, listening to something about writing, and moving really helps keep those juices flowing. Challenge a friend to walk everyday or do something similar, and stay accountable. That always helps me. I may fall off (ok I almost always do at some point because I’m overwhelmed) but having that accountability makes sure I get back!

    Hope those help!

    Oh and have healthy snacks around.
    This is easy. Just don’t buy ANYTHING that is junky, or not a lot of junk stuff.

    Good luck!
    And Beyoncé has SO MANY PEOPLE who do things for her that we have to do, so I don’t really stand by that quote. I know it’s true, but seriously. If I could pay someone to do all the things I don’t want to do, it would feel like I had more time!

  5. Regarding food, I recommend getting a crock pot (i.e. a slow cooker). Many recipes are simple and don’t require a lot of time or skill besides chopping vegetables and measuring seasoning. Recently, I made about 6 quarts of good minestrone with about an hour of prep.

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