In between overdoing it

Archive for November, 2015

6 Steps To Help You Set Goals

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Image from FeelGoodAchieveyourgoals.com

I have been thinking about goal setting lately. Since we are coming up to the end of the year, it is a time to reflect on all of the accomplishments achieved. It is also a time to look towards the future and what we hope to accomplish next year.

Since last year I had only the idea of a blog, that has added a new dimension to my plan for goal setting. Frankly, I have found that having this blog has helped my to achieve some of my goals. Being accountable  you, my readers, has helped me immeasurably. By putting my goals out there, in writing, I have found it extremely helpful in fleshing out what my goals actually are. Not just some lofty idea in my head that I have no plan to act on.

This is why I am using this blog as a way of mapping out my goals going forward. My plan is to take on goals in each of the four categories of focus in this blog, food, finance, family and feelings. I plan to do one category each week for the month of December and list out at least three goals I want to achieve in the coming year. The Life and Mind of Me also inspired me to do a quarterly check in to assess where I am with these goals thought out the year.

So now that you know my plan, I figured it would be helpful to review some steps in goals setting.

I college one of the best classes I took was a gym class…at 8 am. Ok, the 8goal-1171991 am part wasn’t the best thing about it, but in addition to the running and physical activity we also went in depth about goal setting. I found it an invaluable experience and even thought I don’t practice it often enough. It has stuck with me for most of my life. Here is the breakdown of goal setting for me.

  1. The obvious one is write your goal statement. Spend sometime thinking about why you want to achieve this goal. What it really means to you. Is it doable? Write it out and be as specific as you can.
  2. Make it quantifiable and measureable. Set at start date, use numbers, timeframes amounts and percent’s so you can determine your progress.
  3. Create a plan. What specific steps will you take to achieve this goal?
  4. Examine your obstacles and how to over come them. What challenges might you face in achieving your goal? How will you overcome these obstacles?
  5. Enlist support. Tell your family, friends, community, whoever will help to hold you accountable and support you in achieving these goals.
  6. Set up an end date or reassessment date for your goal. Be specific about what you want to achieve by when. If you have not reach your goal at that point, reassess why and adjust your goal according to the new information you have.

Saving Sunday Book Review

As part of my new series on saving and getting out of debt, I have decided to start with a book review. This author started out as a fellow blogger and still runs the Money Saving Mom blog, where she gives shopping tips and tricks, coupon deals and practical mom advice. She was just a regular person whole make a decision to get out of debt and found a way using her blog and thrifty attitude. That is why I have chosen Crystal Paine’s book “Money Saving Mom’s Budget,” as my first review.

One of the things that struck me in comparing the book to the blog is that it seems that she actually lives the way she advises in her book. She debt and doesn’t just talk about money fears from a removed place like some finance authors do, a la Suzie Orman. (Don’t get me wrong, Suzie gives some good advice. She just has never put her self in a position to have to use it.)

Crystal Paine’s suggestions where practical, tough and no-nonsense. She knows this because she did it herself, she started of as a wife of a law student with a very small income. Them became a mom and build her way up to a business woman. She managed her household finances and took control of her situation in a very inspirational way.

Her book starts of by discussion goal setting. I didn’t really expect this to be the lead topic in a budgeting book, especially for someone know for financial tips and tricks. However, I can see why  it works here.

She also takes saving from an over-committed moms perspective. She addresses the pressures mom’s feel and yes the keeping up with the Jones feelings we encounter. She makes a point of freeing ourselves and our budgets by using the power of “No.”

She links the power of no to budgeting your time and how saying no more often will give you the freedom you need to make more thoughtful financial decisions, like paying your bills on time instead of rushing around trying to get everything done.

Another area I did not really expect to in this book was about organizing. Her theory is that if your organize your house better it will actually save you money. you will find you need less stuff and will buy less duplicates.

Then we get down to the dollars and cents of budgeting. Surprisingly, she doesn’t think you should take on the whole magilla at once. She breaks the budget down into smaller chucks and starts of by tackling the 3 major category of most budgets. I have heard criticism of this approach, saying it is not though enough and that it doesn’t take into account major things like health care.

Personally, I really liked it. After completing my on-line budget review series , I was setting up a new budget each month and the process is not only time consuming it can be overwhelming if you are deeply in debt and don’t know where your money is going. This way kind of easies you into it and makes it much more digestible if you re short on time.

I found the book full of practical advice and very informative. Her story is very inspiring and relatable. She comes of as genuine and real, not someone with money preaching to those in the trenches. She seems like she dug her way out of the trenches and wants you to do the same. Here ending message of positivity and perspective really sold it for me.

If I had to name a flaw the only one would be the chapter about organization was a bit too long. The idea was deserving of a part in the book no doubt, but it seemed a bit like filler when compared to the useful information found in the rest of the book.

I found the book full of practical advice and very informative. without going overboard. There is an emotional connection that you can really feel from her. She truly believes if she did it so can you. This is the resonating theme of the book. She  makes y believe you can change your situation if you believe in yourself, and in the effort. You can make the best of any situation and can “bloom where you are planted.”

Money Saving Mom’s Budget

Her new book Money Making Mom

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link, I may make a very, very small  profit. I will only put links to products I use myself, review, or believe could be useful. These affiliate links do not change my personal opinions for or against the products reviewed.  There is no additional cost to you by clicking on an affiliate link.

Holiday Checklist

silver-orns-1443574As I look at the plastic containers of turkey, cranberry sauce and potatoes in my fridge I come to the realization that Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is upon us. Since I did pretty well achieving most of the things on my Fall Checklist. I have decided to make a Holiday Checklist.

I don’t have as much time off of work this season so I don’t know how successful I will be but it is still fun to make this list and organize the things I would like to do.

  1. Decorate the house for Christmas.
  2. Decorate the Tree.
  3. Make Christmas cookies with the kids
  4. Make a Holiday Cake
  5. Go to a local Tree Lighting
  6. Make Holiday Crafts.
  7. Make Homemade craft with kids to give as a gift.
  8. Go on Holiday Lights Tour
  9. Visit Santa
  10. Mail Letters to Santa
  11. Take Christmas picture at the beach or a park
  12. Finish Christmas shopping
  13. Drink Hot Cocoa
  14. Stay on 21-day fix eating plan. For more information click here to see my post from earlier this month.
  15. Watch ELF (Best Christmas movie ever)
  16. Play Christmas music
  17. Teach kids about Random Acts of Kindness on December 13. You can to by joining izzyasabee’s  Random Acts of Kindness Event
  18. Not stress out about Christmas shopping, remember the spirit of the season.
Since I tend to stress out until all the shopping is done # 17 is a struggle for me. However, this year I will keep this one in mind. It is not about Black Friday sales or big presents. No matter what holiday you celebrate this season is about family, friends and enjoying the feelings of love and giving that go along with them. Here is a video to get you in the holiday spirit.

Niagara Falls Transition

This is in response to Daily Post photo Challenge: Transition. This is a picture I took while on vacation in Niagara Falls, NY. This was the transition point between the calm, even flowing water into the rushing drop  of the Falls.ry=480

Thanksgiving Acorn Squash Cheese Dip

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This is a recipe that I got from an old boss about 5 years ago. I have to say that because I would not come up with a food presentation this pretty by myself.  I have been making this recipe every Thanksgiving since she gave it to me and it is always a hit.

1 small acorn squash or pumpkin
1 egg
1 package of cream cheese
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese or Italian blend
1/4 cup Blue cheese or Gorgonzola
1 tbsp. each of fresh thyme, dried oregano, fresh basil and fresh sage
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1. Get a small pumpkin or acorn squash. (I am partial to acorn squash because I like the flvor nd the deep green color it adds to the table.) Hollow out the interior of the squash and level the bottom so it sits flat . I also find it helpful to create a little circle of foil to reinforce the bottom and prevent any leakage while in the oven.
2. Mix all cheeses, herbs and dairy in a bowl and stuff inside cleaned out pumpkin. Put any extra into a bakeware dish to cook alongside in the oven.
3. Place filled squash and any extra in oven at 350 for 1 hour. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve with crackers, veggies or pita chips.

Thanksgiving Giving

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Succulent golden brown turkey, buttery mash potato’s, creamy pumpkin pie, sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving dinner right? Well, not for everyone. Each year thousands of people don’t have the means for a Thanksgiving dinner much less dinners year round. That is why it is important for us all to acknowledge all that we have and spread our gifts to others. Food banks are set up thought out the nation to help meet this need.

In an effort to teach my children the importance of helping others, we gathered up some chore money and went shopping for items to donate to our local food bank. It not only helps the community, but it helps them to understand the meaning of giving and to be thankful for our blessings.wheat-1293345

To find a food bank in your area check out FeedingAmerica.org.

Guest Post:Is it Friday Yet?

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This is a guest post from my friend Nicole. A person who lives the most balanced life I know of. She is an independent consultant of Arbonne natural vegan products and can be reached at nicoleg0821@gmail.com if you would like to find out more. She has gifted me with her wisdom time and again and I’m happy to share it with you.

“Is it Friday yet?”

“I can’t wait until my vacation.”

“372 days until I retire.”

“7 more years “

“If only my kids could drive”

“3 more hours and I can get out of here”

“Is it lunchtime yet”

Can you relate to any of these?  Consider that most of our life, we are walking around wishing for something else; waiting for another moment to happen.    Think about how you feel around 5pm on Sunday night.   All of a sudden we start to feel this heaviness coming over us, just simply at the thought of having to go to work on Monday; we get stressed and worried while we are still at home not at work.   And on Friday, we wake up thinking “yes, it’s Friday!!!”   We are super excited while we are at work because it is almost the weekend.     Or better yet, it is Friday morning, at work and you are so excited because you are leaving on a 2 week vacation tomorrow.    So while you are at work you have a skip in your step; vacation is coming.    And now picture the last day of the vacation, when you are still on your trip, you start to get sad, because you have to go back to work on Monday.    So the last day of your vacation is consumed with worry; you are not enjoying being on vacation in that moment, you are too busy worrying about Monday at work.

Now this might not be exactly how it goes for you, but I am sure you can relate.       This is what human beings do.   We are constantly thinking of the next moment and forgetting to be present in this moment.    And to make matters even more dyer we now can add what will be shared on social media, and trying to grab the perfect picture to show what a great time you are having.  So much so that you get the photo but really missed the moment.

Consider the truth is that we are almost never present;  we are either living from the past as it dictates our future, or thinking so much about our future that we miss the present.   In both scenarios we miss the present moment where living actually happens.

Being in the moment, seeing what is happening, communicating with the people around you, and bringing your energy and unique contribution to the present moment is the opportunity.   If that opportunity is missed, you cannot get it back.

Be with the people around you in each moment, and when you are in the next moment be there, and the next one and the next.

The past is the past, the future is not yet seen, but the present is the gift, and that’s where life happens.

 

 

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