How to Unplug and Give Your Mind and Body a New Freedom.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #43

Unplug

Such a simple thing to do but for so many of us it is impossible.  Remember the days before tons of technology. Many times we find ourselves indulged in the newest game or checking our Instagram and facebook status on the daily.  Technology is a great tool but we need to find that healthy and happy balance so that we don’t become computer zombies.  The next time you find yourself needed a technology detox here are a few ways to reawaken your body and your mind.

1. Create a nightly ritual

Nightly rituals are fantastic.  Take some time doing something other than looking at a screen.  Read a book that is so good you can’t possibly put it down.  Find some time for some light yoga practices or meditation.  Doing this right before bed can give you the best sleep of your life.  Start a journal and write about your day and what you have experienced.  If there is some stress writing it out on paper can help in dealing and will also help you get a better night sleep.

2. Learn a new hobby or skill.

Learn something new and have fun.  Whether it’s taking a class or take the time to practice something that you have been meaning to work on, doing this broadens your horizons.  Doing this helps you grow and can help move you forward into the future.

3. Exercise

Physical activity does a body and the mind well.  We are always so sedentary when we are dealing with technology and to be able to go out and get in some exercise keeps us healthy.

4. Spend time with those you love.

Spend time with family and friends.  They miss you and would love to be able to have your attention.  Go outside together for a walk or play a board game.  Go back to old school and enjoy each other’s company.

There are so many ways to get yourself unplugged.  Pick a day and renew your senses and relationships.  The good thing about technology is that it is always around tomorrow.  Remember life is to short to be plugged in all the time.

5 Ways to be Prepared so You Can Reach Your Goals

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #34
There is no substitution for a genuine lack of preparation.

When you set out to achieve a goal do you fly by the seat of your pants or do you take the time to prepare and visualize what you want to achieve? Developing yourself to get what you want out of life takes discipline and work. It is not for the faint of heart, and often we can wish we were somewhere in life and without preparing to make it to that point that is where we find a that we get stuck. Instead of wishful thinking here are five ways to prepare yourself so that you can achieve your goals.

1. Practice Mindfulness
I have just recently begun doing this as I have found that I have a pretty full schedule. I am a very busy lady and have just added going back to school to my already active lifestyle. Being able to meditate 10 to 15 minutes a day has helped me get the things done that I need to without feeling anxiety and the stress of the heavy schedule that I run for myself. Meditation helps you to slow down and get in touch with yourself on an intense level. It clears the mind and enables you to focus on what needs to be done. Being able to meditate helps the body heal and de-stress.

2. Let go of what can not be controlled.
Being able to let go has been a hard one for me to do in the past, but I have tried to let things go if it can not be controlled. Not only will this bring extra stress into your life but you are completely wasting time on something that can not change. It takes away from your focus on what you are trying to attain.

3. Visualize what you want to have happen.
I am a visual person. I learn by visualizing, and I work even harder when I can envision what I want to achieve. Being able to see what you want to will motivate you to work harder, and you will feel accomplished when you have completed the goal. Vision boards are a great way to keep the vision of what you want alive.

4. Act as if you already attained your goal.
If you are always dreaming of your goal and not acting on it, the target won’t happen. If you put your mindset into you have already achieved this then you are held to certain accountability. Tell yourself today I am going to do this as if the goal you have wanted to reach you have already mastered. Mentally preparing yourself not to fail will keep you focused on what needs to get done.

5. Get rid of the excuses.
Excuses are crutches, and they don’t help they hinder. If I am working on a fitness goal and I am continually finding a reason not to exercise I will never get what I want. Quit telling yourself that you can’t do your goal because of this or that. Sometimes we make excuses because we are afraid that we won’t reach our goal. Making excuses for yourself is self-sabotage and know that you got what it takes to conquer.

Preparing yourself to accomplish your goals is not an easy thing. You need to be aware of yourself and make yourself mentally for the work that needs to be done. Don’t focus on things that can’t be changed only focus on the things that will help you move forward. Vision is key to making things happen. Mentally telling yourself, you are already there hold you accountable for your actions and get rid of the fear and excuses and slay your way to what you want.

How to Grab an Opportunity When it Comes Knocking

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #29
There is no security in life only opportunity.

When an opportunity arises, do you take it? I know that there were many times in my past where I was scared to take a chance and instead I held myself back. I soon began to realize that waiting around for the safety net was not going to get me where I wanted to be in life. Are you waiting for an opportunity to come knocking on your door? Instead of waiting here are ten ways you can grab yourself some opportunity today.

1. Challenge the can’t do attitude.
People who play it safe tend to have the I can’t do this attitude. Mostly out of fear of failing. All this will do is hold you back so instead of saying I can’t start replacing it with I can.

2. Vision
Vision is essential when getting what you want out of life. Vision keeps you focused and motivated to want more. Never lose sight of your what you want and work on it every day.

3. Commit to change.
Commit to making a change in your life. The difference does not have to be drastic it can be as simple as getting up 20 minutes earlier every day to work on what you want to make that change. Once you commit everything you are working on becomes more of a reality.

4. Forgive and move on.
If you are harboring unhealthy feelings toward someone get rid of them now. Harboring these feelings is energy that is wasted and instead use it for the greater good. These feelings might be justified but they are not healthy for you and that is all these emotions are doing is hurting you. Forgiveness gives you peace.

5. Find what is holding you back and fix it.
If something is keeping you from getting what you want to find out how you can change the situation. Making small changes can make a big difference, and you will start to see the results you are looking for in your life.

6. Open your eyes.
Look around you, and sometimes the answer will be sitting right in front of you. Many times we go throughout our lives and don’t even bother to look around and see what is surrounding us but if we are more open to the things that are around us abundant opportunity will be found.

7. Learn something new.
Knowledge is power, and if we can take a little bit of our time to learn a new skill, then we are only making ourselves closer to what we want to obtain. You don’t just jump into something without learning a little about it first.

8. Help someone
You never know where things will lead if you help someone that is in need. Maybe this person has something they can help you with as well. Always take the time to lend a helping hand.

9. Work hard
Hard work pays off, and you should never have anything handed to you. If everything is given to you how do you expect to appreciate the things that come your way? Working hard for your goals keeps you grounded and more aware, so you don’t lose them.

10. Socialize
This one can be hard for many of us and can create crazy anxiety but know that this can be a great asset and will benefit you in the end. Get out and socialize. Get to know new people and places many times the people you meet and the places you see can hold great opportunity options for what you are working so hard in life.

There is always an opportunity around every corner and today is the day so make sure to grab yours’s the next time it comes around.

How to be an Outstanding Achiever

Fortune Cookie Life Lessons #25
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.

Do you have high hopes? I do, and I have most of my life. Some of my dreams have come true, and most are still on the bucket list of life. Whatever we desire to do with ourselves whether it is in a career, relationships, or a personal journey for ourselves we want to be able to achieve these hopes for the future. Try these daily habits of high achievers to help you get your high expectations done.

 

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1. Get Out of Bed
It is time to get out of bed sleepy head. Those of us that work to achieve what we want usually are out of bed bright and early to get things done. Getting out of bed and getting on with your day will give you a feeling of accomplishment not to mention more time to get those critical to do lists done.

 

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2. Read to Succeed
Reading is knowledge and so get as much as you can. Reading can teach, inspire, and motivate us to do the things we want and reading is good for our brains. The more we read, the more our minds can strike up creative ways for us to make goals happen.

 

3. Routines are Trendy
I love routines and have one that I do every day. I am a person of habit and find that if I have a method, I do better throughout the day and get more done rather than fly by the seat of my pants. Routines can also help by keeping our habits organized and keeps us focused on the goal in mind. I always do better and get more done by having my morning routine of working with my kids, doing the housework, doing any tasks that need to be handled for my husband’s side business. Then by the time afternoon rolls around that is my time to focus on what I need to do with a book or the blog. I find that if I keep this routine going smoothly, it doesn’t throw me off of what I want to get done that day.

 

4. Have a Vision Keep a Vision
Don’t lose sight of your vision. Losing vision can happen easily especially if things are not going as fast as you would like them. If you find your idea dwindling, take a fresh new look at it and see if you can add some new goals, or take a look at your outline so that you can achieve more and keep the vision you have active.

 

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5. Prioritize
Priorities are essential, and if you can’t prioritize what you want, then you might end up stuck. Look at what is important to you and focus on how these things are going to get done. Right now in my life, my kids are my priority and their education is essential. I love my blog, and I love to write, but I homeschool, and so this oversteps my blogging life. It doesn’t mean I have to stop blogging or stop pursuing what I want I need to take care of my kiddos first. Once my kiddos can head on out on their own in a few years I will then continue to move forward with my writing dreams and will be able to give more time to my writer’s vision. Until then I am building and learning with any extra time that I have during the day. Take a look at the critical tasks that you need to handle and prioritize them to fit the life you are living.

Aiming high for your dreams is not something that is unachievable. Get up and ready for the day so that you can conquer all the task that needs to be done to get you closer to what you want. Read about what you want to accomplish and gain an understanding of how to get there. Make a daily routine and follow it. Keep your vision active and don’t give up on what you want to accomplish. Make sure you know what is essential and prioritize so that you can achieve your dream.

How to Get Out of Debt and Crush Those Money Goals

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #14

Whatever you want to do, do it. There are only so many tomorrows.

One of the things I want to do is get out of debt. This fortune phrase hit it right on the head and I want out of debt now. Something I struggled with most of my life was my finances. I was never very good at keeping a budget and didn’t quite learn the skills to get me through adulthood. In 2008 my husband and I took a substantial financial hit, and everything came crashing down to an unforgettable end. Unforgettable because this was the time in our lives when we hit financial rock bottom and had to make a change not only for ourselves but make a difference for our kids.
We needed to wake up, and we needed to get our act together, and that is precisely what we did. It was hard, and it felt like it took forever. We kept going even when there were downfalls and unexpected events that would put us behind. With all our effort and teamwork we managed to pull ourselves out of the dark abyss of the debt black hole. It wasn’t easy, but with a little patience and a lot of determination, debt can become a not so fond memory of the past. Here are five ways to get out of debt and get out fast.

1. Goals, Goals, and More Goals
Plan some goals and stick to them. Goals help direct you and keep you focused on the essential things you want to change. Sometimes goals can be very overwhelming especially if you have an enormous amount of debt and you don’t know where to start. If this is the case, start broad and work your way to small. I know it sounds funny but taking a look at the whole picture and breaking it down will make you take a look and see how easy it can be as long as you stick to it.

Long range goals will be goals that you will have years down the road. These goals are the bigger picture. My husband and I have a significant goal to be able to travel and do some van living once we are completely debt free. We have planned to complete this task in the next five years and are working on getting to that point. When designing large goals ask yourself what is it that you want out of life? How long will it take for me to get to that point? Answering these types of questions will help you to understand what it is you want and give you an idea on how to get there.

Next, you should work on planning some medium range goals. These goals can be completed in a couple of years. These goals will help you to attain the big picture, and they can include, paying off certain debt like student loans, or cars. They can also be adding a side hustle to make a little extra income. Medium goals can be made on a yearly basis. Keeping a log can help you attain the common goals. Make sure to be as specific as possible and use positive words when writing them out as this will keep you motivated. Our common goal is mostly based on our side business and keeping it running smoothly and successfully. Our side business requires both of us to put in the time and effort. We also have a monthly budget that we follow that keeps us in check.

Last but not least is making small goals that can quickly be followed on a weekly basis. These weekly goals help you focus on the things you would like to accomplish in 6 months to a year. Our short-term goals are to get vehicles paid off which we have been able to do except for one and pay off any student loan or credit card debt, and we are continually working on this as well. We have managed to take out a pretty big chunk in both the last six months. Like I said we just keep going once one goal is made then we tackle the next. One of the things I like to do to keep me up on my weekly goals and this could be done monthly as well by using a dry erase board, and I write three categories. These categories are Want to Do, Doing, and Done and I will start my week with my task all under the want to do, and when I need to, I move the work to the next category until they are finished. I am a pretty busy lady, and sometimes all the things I think about will almost make my head explode so if I write them down and see them it keeps me organized and creates a less stressful environment.

2. Downsize Me
When we hit our financial crisis, one thing we had to do whether we liked it or not was downsize. We went from a four bedroom home with full basement, garage, and backyard to a three bedroom apartment, and yes it was interesting. We have two kiddos, and they were pretty young at the time, so they had to share a room because I had a side Ebay business that needed an office. We downsized and lived tiny for a while to get ourselves back on our feet. I will tell you my kids looked back on it and didn’t mind it at all. It brought them closer, and they had to learn to get along more. I consider this a blessing being able to do this and learning to minimalize. I became a minimalist because of the very reason of downsizing. It is incredible to realize the amount of stuff you don’t need.

3. Want a Ride
One thing that has helped us out is lowering our monthly gas expense. We live in Fort Collins, Colorado and we have to drive to Denver once a week for our side job, Which is an hour away sometimes a little longer so we have to be careful how much driving we do throughout the week. My husband’s full-time job is six blocks from our house so most of the time he uses a bike not only is it fun for him, but it keeps him in shape. I try to make weekly grocery trips and keep our going back and forth to a bare minimum. When we first needed to get back on our feet, we decided to buy a car from an auction site instead of buying or leasing something newer to save on monthly payments. It also lowered our insurance since the car was older the coverage was less expensive. There are lots of ways to downsize the amount of gas you pay each month, and this can make a big difference on what you will pay at the pump.

4. What’s For Dinner
I get asked this question every single day and more than once by more than one person. I am the meal planner and in most circumstances meal prepper. Back when we thought money grew on trees, we ate out all the time. Now I look back at it and think “Oh my gosh I wasted so much money and half the time what I ate was awful.” We do not eat out if we can help it. Not eating out can save you tons of money and not only that your waistline will thank you as well.
I am a planner, and therefore my meals are planned, and I prepare my shopping by matching coupons, sales ads, and discounts where I can find them. If you are healthy eater that is fantastic because so am I and I will tell you yes you can eat healthy on a dime and I do it all the time. I plan my grocery bill around what is on sale and where my discounts will be found. There are many nutritious foods you can eat that won’t break the bank. I also have an Instant Pot and let me just say this thing is sent from heaven above and is my go-to for most of my meals. I make soups, sauces, beans, rice, vegetables, even meat in this thing and it rocks! Not only does it help me make affordable yummy meals it is so easy to operate just set it up and let it cook.

5. Every Girl Loves Her Shopping and So Does This One
I love to shop and back in the day when I had no clue how to save a dime I did just that I went shopping. I look back now and realize that most of the time I was wasting time and precious savings. I am so thankful that I came to my senses and figured out I can still shop but just have to be more mindful in my shopping. I even have better things now than I did when I was spending money like it was water. How is that possible you ask, I am very keen on season sales and watch many of my online clearance sites. One of my favorite sites is Steep and Cheap. I am an outdoor girl, and this place has tons of outdoor clothing and accessories for huge discounts. Steep and Cheap is by far my favorite place to shop, and you can find some things as much as 90% off. I have paid that much off, and it makes me very happy when I do. To shop with them you need to get on the email list, and it is straightforward so it is easy to join. I also learned that I should only buy for the things I need and not to waste on things I want. So I wear out my jeans and keep shoes around forever. I keep the stuff I have in good shape. I am more aware of how to care for these things, so they do not need to be replaced.

Knowing your goals and planning them out will keep you focused on what you want out of your life. Making changes and downsizing things that you may not necessarily need can give you more to work with when paying off debtors. Carpool, biking, walking, or just being more aware of your driving can save you at the gas pump. Quit the takeouts and fast food and choose a more healthy and less expensive alternative. When you shop remember to ask yourself is this a want or is this a need and if it is a need try to get it at the lowest best price around.

Even though trying to control the debt monster can seem at times impossible know that with patience, dedication, and focus you can control your future. There are only so many tomorrows so instead of waiting jump in today and make those changes to give you the life you want.