Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 13: Perfect Timing to Set Priorities

I just received in the mail and put on my TDL to listen to a motivational audio program by Chalene Johnson - part of her Car Smart Series.  The CD was all about the first step you make towards success. WOW! Talk about perfect timing.

It made me really think about why I started this blog and what I listed as my secondary resolutions - which all boil down to getting fit - financially, physically and within the home. Why? What is the priority driving these goals? The subject of the CD is just about that - listing the priorities in your life and when you are aware and have well defined priorities you can set achievable clear goals that work with your life.

Chalene Johnson shared her goals with the listeners. What I enjoyed hearing most is what she defines as her top priority - the same as mine - our husband and children.  Whereas I did not put this on paper (I will!) it certainly is the priority that led to my secondary resolutions. I know getting my finances, body and home in order and shape it will ultimately be great for my family. In doing these things I need to make sure the process is good for my top priority.

With all that said I had a long conversation with my sister this morning about a project I do every year.  Every year I say it is the last year I am going to do it.  At one point in my life I really needed this gig. I think it is time to cut the strings and move on. I know if I continue with this project - I will end up stressed out and will ultimately take it out on my family by being really irritable because I am miserable. My husband has often half joking/half serious said this thing is going to be the cause of a divorce! He is telling me it is not working! He is my priority! The conversation with my sister ended with me deciding to take on a piece of the project. That is until I listened to Chalene's CD today.

I have found other ways I can earn income (I am going to get fit and be a kick butt beachbody coach!) that will take the place of this and ultimately help me earn more in both actual dollars and from within.

Ugh!! Sigh of relief. I feel like I just lost 20 lbs. just by making that decision!!

BTW - Anyone interested in Chalene's Carsmarts  visit her website.

To Do List:
  1. Check on Wed. evening plans/possible work  - C
  2. Purchase tickets for Mount Vernon Tour - NC
  3. Work 3 hours. - C (got in 3.5) 
  4. Listen to new Chalene Johnson Car Smart CD - C
  5. Put away (2) loads of laundry. - C
  6. 15 min. paper declutter - C
  7. 15 min. work on budget - NC
  8. Bag stuff for Thursday pickup - NC
Always TD:
  1. What's for dinner? - C
  2. Refer to weekly calendar. AM/PM - C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar C
  4. Clear Command Central (desk) - NC and it needs a good 20 minutes.
  5. Make Wed.TDL - C
  6. Any thank you notes to write? Y Two to Write!!

Scheduled Events:
  1. Meeting - C
  2. Lunch with friend  - C
  3. Dropoff/Pickup from School - C
  4. After school activity - C

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 12: TDL

Started ChaLEAN Extreme today!! The only reason I got that work out in is because it was on the TDL!!
I made a huge mistake last night and drank two cups of coffee. I was up until 3 am! That coupled with work just made for a day to blow of anything extra I should do. I did not blow anything off - I stuck to the TDL! I referred to it multiple times.

I wish I could write something more inspiring and insightful but I will simply say the TDL kept me on track on a day that I would have normally let it all slip until tomorrow.

I have a few more things to cross of the TDL. I am going to do it!

Goodnight. Go make your TDL and refer to it multiple time per day!

Busy, busy, busy today with work. Post to come later.
Posting the TDL! Have you made  and referred back to your TDL today?

To Do List:
  1. 1 load of laundry washed, dried and put away. - Semi-C (but not put away)
  2. (2) 15 min.  segments of decluttering paper piles. - C
  3. 15 min. work on budget -C
  4. Work on boxing up giveaway stuff. (Gooddonor coming on Thursday!) - NC
  5. ChaLEAN Extreme Burn 1 - WHOOT! WHOOT!! Completed!! C
  6. Work, work work...have to get in 5+ hours today! (5 hr. completed!) - C
Always TD:
  1. What's for dinner? C - Chicken Pot Pie
  2. Refer to weekly calendar. AM/PM - C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar C
  4. Clear Command Central (desk) - C
  5. Make Tuesday TDL -
  6. Thank you notes to write?

Scheduled Activities:

  1. School Pickup and Drop off Routine - C

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 10/11: Clutter

I am not a candidate for TLC "Hoarding Buried Alive" or even Style Channels "Clean House" but I certainly can use some help with managing my "piles" (that is what my Hubby calls them).  You know, those places in your home that seem to be a magnet for paper and stuff you have no place for.  My husband swears if we were not married I would have twenty cats and have a small walkway between rooms. I usually give him a dirty look when he says this to me. The Flylady refers to these places at "Hot Spots". Well I got a few. Most of my "Hot Spots" seem to attract paper.

One of my first babysteps to managing the "piles/hot spots" is simply to be conscious of and list where these places are are for me so the next time I go to put something down I know I am being a Clutter Bug!!

Here are my "Hot Spots"s - Where are yours?
  1. Top of the wine refrigerator
  2. Dining room table
  3. Buffet
  4. Top of chest in living room.
  5. Command Central
  6. The cupboard above the toaster
  7. When all else is cluttered...the book shelf!
  8. The banister at the top of the steps (hand clothes I don't put away)
Babystep 2:
This week I will schedule 15 minutes a day to clear these spots! I know this will have the biggest impact on my home and my marriage (it annoys the hell out of my husband to see this clutter! )

Babystep 3:
My third babystep this week will be to put two boxes in my laundry room. One sell box and one donation box. With Hubby and I working on the living room I know their will be stuff to get rid of! It can't sit around for weeks!

HOME TIP: We have all put a box together of stuff to donate only to leave it in the back of the car for weeks on end or maybe it never even gets that far! Go to http://www.gooddonor.org/ and schedule to have your donation picked up! Be sure to put the pick up on your calendar!

Saturday/Sunday, November 27 & 28, 2010

  1. Reread "Paper Clutter: You Don't Have to Save Everything!" - C
  2. Buy Paint (My hubby and I need to repaint wall damaged in a snow storm last February!! About time. This should have been on my TDL months ago.) - C
  3. Work (1 hr.) - C 3 hrs. completed!!
  4. Work on living room! (need it done asap so we can get up the Christmas Tree!!) - C (I had to clean out a roll top desk that has been in the living room. Wow! This desk held so much STUFF!! I tossed so much junk! It felt awesome! I already cotacted www.gooddonor.org to pick up my "get rid" of stuff on Thursday!! Bye bye clutter!)
  5. Review the Holiday Guide from the paper and schedule fun Holiday events for the family!! - C

Always TD:
  1. What's for dinner? Sat. Date with Hubby! Going out!/Sunday Chicken Noodle Soup - C (decided to stay in last night and save $. Dave Ramsey would be proud!)
  2. Refer to weekly calendar. AM/PM - C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar C
  4. Clear Command Central (desk) -
  5. Make Monday TDL -

Scheduled Activities:

  1. Birthday Party 12:15 - leave by 11:30 - C
  2. Drop the Children off at Grandparents! Slumber party!! - C
  3. Sunday/Church - C

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 9: Babysteps - Advice to an All or Nothing Kind of Girl

There is a common thread of advice throughout each of my experts books - babysteps! The Flylady and Dave Ramsey both use that exact word "babysteps" many times. Whereas my house, finances and buttocks did not get out of shape in a day it will take babysteps each day until I reach my stride to achieve each of my secondary resolutions.

Me being an all or nothing kind of girl need to take the idea babysteps to heart and make it my motto. In the past when I decide its finances I am going to conquer I will spend a day working on charts, budgets etc. only to burn out a week into it.  No more! I know by adding a babsteps towards each of my respective secondary resolutions each day will get me where I want to be in 365 days!

Just today I had on my TDL write a list of all the bills I pay each month. It took me 10 minutes!! I did not spend all day buried in charts and graphs! 10 minutes is very doable even for the busiest of people!Tomorrow I will add to my TDL to begin looking up each billing account, passwords, date due, typical payment and add it to a spreadsheet so I can begin my budget and have the information handy to set up online bill pay through my bank. I will up my time dedicated to this task to 15 minutes a day and I will be on my way to having my budget done! Babysteps!!

Flylady says "When you catch yourself wanting to jump ahead, I want you to think about learning to walk and be satisfied with your babysteps!"

Go take those babysteps!!

Friday, November 26

To Do List:

  1. Look/purchase wall sticker for room. -C
  2.  Purchase paint for living room. - (Moving to Sat. Morning )
  3.  Work minimum of 2 hours. - C
  4. Clear off chest under the clock. - C
  5. Write a list of all the bills I pay each month. (time to start with the budget!) - C
  6. Write Mom & Dad Thank you note!
  7. Check on homeowners payment. - C
  8. Take back DVD to Redbox - C
  9. Make list of groceries needed to round out what is in the fridge! - C
  10. Pick up groceries. - C
  11. Put away 2 loads of laundry - C
  12. Update Beachbody order - C
  13. Write Finance Tab: My Steps to Success - C
Always TD:
  1. What's for dinner? New Recipe Asparagus Mushroom Primavera!! - C
  2. Refer to weekly calendar. AM/PM - C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar C
  4. Clear Command Central (desk) - C
  5. Make Saturday/Sunday TDL - C
Scheduled Activities:

  1. None - C

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 8: Happy Thanksgiving

A few weeks ago while watching HBO's The Big C, Laura Linney's character Cathy slaps down her best stationary on her students desks and insists they learn and write a thank you note. It got me thinking and therefore I have decided to add something to my TDL every week. Write a simple thank you note.  There are so many opportunities to write a note and I know I have missed many! In addition to writing a thank you note when someone is gracious enough to give  a gift I want to look for other opportunites. For example:
  • After a neighbor lets you borrow something.
  • After a dinner/holiday party.
  • After being a houseguest.
  • After a job interview.
  • After recieving a gift in person and verbally thanking them...write a note!
  • After someone loans you a great book.
  • After someone offers you great advice.
  • After a business offers you great service.
Join me in the fun of simply saying thank you each week to someone who has been gracious to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 8: Thursday, November 25, 2010

To Do List:

  1. ChaLEAN Fit Test - C
  2. Measurements - C
  3. Photos - C
  4. Make Carrot Souffle - C
  5. Enjoy the day! - C

Always TD:
  1. What's for dinner? Um...Turkey!! - C
  2. Refer to weekly calendar. AM/PM - C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar C
  4. Clear Command Central (desk) - C
  5. Make Friday TDL - C
Scheduled Activities:

  1. None - Enjoying the day with family! - C

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 7: Time to Get Down to It

I have read my experts books and listened to their advice. Now it is time to get down to it and each day add a TD on my TDL that will get me to the resolution/goals I wish to achieve in my focus areas: finance, health and home.

I need to write down what those resolution/goals under each category. Up to now I have been jotting what I think those goals may look like. Here is the final list:

  1. Lose 30 lbs.
  2. Schedule Gyn appointment. (I know this one seems silly. I missed my apt. over a year ago and just got “too busy” to reschedule. That is ridiculous!)
  1. Make a budget. (Really…I have attempted this many times but never followed through. Crazy, I know!)
  2. Create an emergency fund.
  3. Start debt snowball. I have $9500 in Credit Card debt. I will pay it off this year.
  1. Keep a more organized and clutter free home by scheduling TD on my TDL everyday!
I am day 7 into my 365 Day TDL Challenge! I have 358 more days to cross the above off my list!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Do List:

  1. Work 3 hours. - NC
  2. Purchase ingredients for my contribution to Thanksgiving Dinner! (Carrot Souffle - I will post recipe later! It is amazing and easy!) - C
  3. Take back purchase from Target. (see if they have wire to purchase otherwise stop next store to Lowes.) - C
  4. Listen to Chalene Audio CD - C
  5. Post on blog! -C
  6. Go to Zumba class with neighbor. (Yes, I am going to exercise today!) - C
  7. Decide and complete school/soccer picture order. - C
  8. COTD (Carry Over To Do): Wash kitchen floor. - C
  9. COTD - Pay homeowners fee. -C
  10. COTD - Sign up for coach. - C & Ordered Shakeology

Always TD:
  1. What's for dinner? C - Green beans, Ham Steak & Rice.
  2. Refer to weekly calendar. AM/PM - C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar - C
  4. Clear Command Central (desk) - C
  5. Make Thursday TDL - C
Scheduled Activities:
  1. Zumba (9:30 am) - C
  2. Preschool Drop/Pickup - C

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 6: What's the Plan?

My "Secondary Resolutions" fall into three categories: health, finance & home. Before writing down my resolutions and goals I wish to achieve in each of these three categories I wanted to consult experts who would help me with my plan of attack. I had to look no further than my very own bookshelf.

The three books/dvd's I need to guide me to success sat there collecting dust, patiently waiting for me to reread (yes, I did take the time to read each in past years.) and this time actually act on their advice and plan to succeed. What is different this time?  I am writing on a To Do List (TDL) steps I will take everyday to implement and achieve my goals (based on these experts advice)  so I will be blessed with harmony in my home, finances and fitness.

Who are my experts:

Finance Expert: Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

I purchased this book at least 2+ years ago. Time to move forward with "gazelle-intense".

Fitness Expert: Chalene Johnson, ChaLEAN Extreme. My sister told me about Chalene Johnson. I know her fitness program gets results. It is proven! A fitness program does nothing if I am sitting my buttocks on a couch. I have followed Chalene on facebook for quite awhile. I had to laugh because one day she made a post about Dave Ramsey asking if she was the last person to hear of this financial expert. I had heard of him alright...but his words of wisdom sat on my shelf.

Home Expert: Marla Cilley (otherwise known as the FlyLady). I have read this book cover to cover and have taken many wonderful ideas from Marla. Problem is I don't always keep up with her great ideas. Time to implement these strageties everyday in my household! Sink Reflections

Stayed tune. Secondary Resolutions to be posted soon!


With my TDL for Tuesday completed last evening I was ready to rock and roll this morning! Post to come later today. Below my TDL! Did you make yours?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

  1. (1) Load of laundry washed, folded and put away. - C
  2. Clean off dining room table. (It is a mess! Been my drop zone for papers.) - C
  3. Work 3 hours - C (actually got in 5 hrs.)
  4. Check account to see what has cleared. -C
  5. Pay homeowners fee. - NC
  6. Sign up for coach. - NC
  7. Research 1/2 hour - C
  8. Purchase needles and thread - C
  9. Sew buttons on Hubby's shirts. - C
  10. Wash kitchen floor - NC
Always TD:

  1. What's for dinner? C - Tacos
  2. Refer to weekly calendar. AM/PM - C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar - C
  4. Clear Command Central (desk) - C
  5. Make Wed. TDL - C
Scheduled Activities:
  1. Meeting - C
  2. Son's After School Activity - C

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 5: To Tell or Not to Tell

I always have "ideas" of some business or project I am going to start/do. I guess it is that entrepreneurial spirit in my American blood. My husband started not believing I could or would achieve success with one of my ideas. Not because he does not think I have the brains to do it. He is my biggest cheerleader! Quite simply, I really have never proven to him that I would see any of my ideas through. He usually says "It's a great idea. You are smart enough to do it. I want to see you finish it. Finish something."  Again, I get all geared up only to stop when life gets busy, or other things become a priority whether they really are or not.

I thought about sharing with him my latest idea the "365 Day TDL Challenge" and telling him that I actually started a blog about it. After much thought I didn't and I won't for sometime. Rather I am going to wait and see if he notices a difference of what is getting accomplished. I am going to see if he notices my more fit body, cleaner home and my dedication to see that our finances are fit. I need him to be my partner on the finance deal. I am going to share what I think our goals as a couple should be regarding finance. We can't be financially fit if we don't work on it together. He has nothing to do with my physical fitness and how organized I keep the home! Let's see how long it takes him to notice the change in me!!

Today's TDL:
To Do List: Monday, November 23
Just for today:
  1. (1) load of laundry washed, fold and put away. (emphasis on the put away!) - C + 1 more b/c my daughter got into bed with us around 4 am and wet our bed!
  2. Continue reading The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. Almost finished! -C
  3. Work 3 hrs. - C
  4. Check checking act. on bills cleared. - C
  5. Find passcode to pay estimated taxes. - C
  6. Organize notes for blog. - C
Always To Do:
  1. What's for dinner? - C
  2. Refer to weekly calendar (am and pm). (am check = C & thank goodness I would have missed parent/teacher conference by 20 min.!) - C & PM Check = C
  3. Put new apt. on the calendar - C
  4. Make Tuesday's TDL - C
Scheduled Activities:

  1. Parent/Teacher Conference - C
  2. Drs. Apt. - C
  3. Pickup/Drop off at Preschool - C
  4. Church event - Making Advent Wreaths - C & it looks very pretty!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 4: What Happens when all the TD's Don't Get Crossed off the TDL?

Today was a slow start. My Hubby was up sick all night and I am feeling tired and head-achy from the restless evening. Quiet time was the TD for today.  What happens when I don't finish a TD from my list? As happened yesterday. Three days into my challenge I did not complete 2 of my TD's.  Grocery shopping took much longer than I anticipated, and a few other unexpected things were added to the list.

Two big items not completed:

  1. Pack up giveaway clothes in basement.
  2. Put away summer clothes. - NC
Mind you these are two items I have been procrastinating! I can say honestly it was complete lack of time that kept me from completing these task on Saturday. In fact, only because of the TDL did I actually wash the dirty sheets and put them away. Early in the day before things got crazy I had already pulled off the sheets and put clean ones on. I could have easily dropped the dirty sheets in the laundry room (and I really wanted to) but seeing wash and put away the sheets made me feel accountable to complete it. I wanted to check it off the list! It may be silly...but it worked! Not only did I get all the sheets put away I got a second load that had been folded sitting in a laundry basket put away.

I will add the non-completed TD's to this weeks lists. It will get done.
To Do List: November 22, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 3: Secondary Resolutions

I have been working on my "Secondary Resolutions" - those things I will achieve simply by keeping a TDL. I am beginning to narrow down my SR.  My SR fall into three categories:

Health Home: Resolutions that have to do with achieving mind, body, and soul.

Financial Home: Resolutions having to do with a finances.

House Home: Resolutions having to do with a well organized and efficient home. House Home SR also include scheduling family fun!

I really want to take time in considering what it is I hope to achieve in these three areas. I am not ready to post. On to today's TDL. It's going to be busy!

TDL Saturday, November 20:
  1. Get family out the door for birthday party! - C
  2. Work on SR's - C
  3. Read 20 min. of Dave Ramsey Book The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness - C
  4. Change all sheets on beds.  - C
  5. Wash and put away the dirty sheets - C
  6. Plan groceries for the week. - C
  7. Pull coupons for those groceries. -C
  8. Grocery shop! - C
  9. Make dinner for neighbors. (they just had a baby!) -C
  10. Pack up giveaway clothes in basement. (both Ashley & Donations) - NC
  11. Put away keep summer clothes in basement. - NC
TDL TIP:  There is a great website www.gooddonor.org  I plan on using this site quite a bit as I work on my House Home SR. You can simply schedule any of the participating nonprofits to come pick up your donation! That certainly takes something off the TDL!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 2: Choosing My To Do List Style

There are lots of wonderful gadgets and certainly most of our phones are equip with ability to keep a TO DO LIST (TDL). If that is your thing, go for it! Plain and simple...I am a paper girl. I love paper! I get great satisfaction putting a check mark next to the item I just completed off my TDL.

I will also be posting my TDL on this blog site. Simply to keep accountability to any guest that might decide to read and join in the 365 day TDL challenge to be more productive.

TDL: Friday, November 19

  1. Rise and Shine! - C
  2. Buy birthday gift for bday party this Saturday. -C
  3. Wrap (2) birthday gifts - C
  4. Email Derek re: tax advice - C (and 3+ more items off the TDL b/c I got my answer! PRODUCTIVE!)
  5. Update Blog, Day 2 - C
  6. Add more detail to my "Secondary Resolutions" - C
  7. Choose my next book to read. -C (I chose something that has been on my bookshelf for awhile. Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover. I will explain more as to why I chose this when I post my secondary resolutions.) The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
  8. Write my Work TDL - C
  9. Put money is Josh's lunch account - C
  10. Buy a new hair dryer. Don't for Bed Bath and Beyond 20% of COUPON! - C
  11. Buy thank you flowers for Linda. - C (and delivered!!)
  12. What's for dinner? (think about this in the am!) - NC (Ugh! Carry out!)
  13. Refer to weekly calendar - C
  14. Be sure to put any new apt. on main calendar. - C
Any TDL items that appear in purple bold are things I have already identified as things I need to do every day but seem never to get done. These will appear every day on my TDL and I am sure more will be added as I continue this 365 day TDL Challenge.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 1: The Start

I love New Years! Not because I like to go out and party. Frankly, I would rather be at home wearing comfy clothes, have a nice bottle of wine to share with my husband and watch a movie with my children. What I love about the New Year is the fresh start. Each year I make my list of resolutions only to brush them aside when life gets busy or simply don’t stay focused on what it is I hope to achieve.

I am going into this year with a different approach. I am going to have one main resolution, to make and refer (multiple times) to a TO DO LIST every day. I believe in doing so I will be able to finally achieve those other resolutions I vow to conquer each year. The 365 Day "TO DO LIST" Challenge!

I am not waiting until January 1 to begin.  It starts today!

As I see it I am going to need:
  • Monthly/Weekly To Do List (seldom/never changes)
  • Daily Life To Do List (detailed and always changing)
  • Daily Work To Do List (detailed/ongoing and always changing)
To Do List for Thursday, November 18
  • Clear off Command Central (my desk and it’s a mess!) – COMPLETE
  • Begin to outline my “secondary resolutions” I will achieve by keeping my TO DO LIST. - COMPLETE
  • Begin to outline what my Monthly/Weekly TO DO LIST will look like. - COMPLETE
  • Make TO DO LIST for Friday, November 19 - COMPLETE
Here I go! I will post daily my TO DO LIST with an update on what gets checked off! Now go write your TO DO LIST!!

Before Cleaning Command Central:

After Cleaning Command Central: