Every year around this time I get especially reflective on my life and my goals– it’s probably because I have a birthday just around the corner. I reflect on the goals I’ve made for myself as well as looking forward to where I see myself in another five years or so.
I always think of the Modest Mouse lyrics, “The years go fast and the days go so slow.” Who else can relate to these words? I sometimes feel like some days can just drag, but then looking back every year goes by faster and faster. I am quite obsessed with time because I am a very goal and list driven person.
You see, I absolutely love change but I have been forcing myself to enjoy routines and consistency. Structure and routine are not the enemy, it doesn’t make you boring or old it makes you more productive, focused, and you’re more apt to reach your goals.
I read this post about 10 tips For a Productive Life by the amazing blogger Emma from A Beautiful Mess. I can absolutely agree with her! I am going to piggy back on some of the things she covered with my take on it.
1. Make a to do list: I cannot agree more! I do this during the week for my job as well as the weekends. It’s important for me to have a few minutes in the morning to wake up and project what things I want to see get done on that day. It also allows me to reflect at the end of the day if I had a productive day or not and what I can do to improve.
2. Make sure to take breaks and reward yourself: I love coffee. I know that I need coffee before I start my day– It is my reward for waking up. (haha!) I also know my body well enough now, that I cannot go too long without eating something. Every few hours or so, I take a break and have a snack and re-energize for the next task. ALSO– I am not a fan of eating at my desk. Some days that is necessary but it’s important to walk away and take a break.
3. Get dressed for your day whether you’re going to work or stay home: It’s no secret that I love fashion, hair and makeup. Everyday I get dressed up for work, but I also do the same on the weekends. There’s something about feeling physically ready that helps me mentally prepare for any task. I learned this from one of my mentor’s, “If you look great, you’ll feel great”.
4. Avoid addicting time wasting activities: I am not a big fan of internet games so I know that’s not an issue for me, but I am addicted to Instagram. It’s so nice to connect with our followers, post photos, and comment on other photos. I know myself, so I have to cut myself off and give myself time limits. I don’t want to spend too much energy on the wrong thing when I could get something else accomplished!
5. Wake up early and get as much done, the earlier the better: I don’t know about you, but when I wake up early and get a lot of things accomplished before noon, I get such an energy and confident boost. I am more likely to end my day on a good note! Many of the world’s most successful CEO’s wake up early!
6. Stay active & drink a lot of water: It’s easy to get caught up in all the to do’s and forget to get some physical exercise. It’s also annoying when it’s winter and you can’t go for nice long walks. It is easy to make excuses, but it’s no secret that we are ALL getting older. It’s important to become active when you feel good than when the Dr. mandates it because of poor health. I am totally guilty of not drinking enough water but we’re made up of mostly water, people! Let’s make an effort to drink a little bit more. (Without wasting so many plastic water bottles.)
7. Get a mentor & accountability partner: It’s important to share your goals and your ideas. I know that when I don’t share an idea or a goal, I am less likely to accomplish it. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of personal goals! I do know your support system is crucial to your success! This morning I went for breakfast with one of my best friend and shared with her some long-term plans. She was so encouraging and gave me her perspective on it. (Thanks lady!) I also believe that when you decide to pursue a route, it’s important to get a mentor. Someone in the field who can guide you in the right direction. I owe all of my success in life to my support system and mentors who guided me.
8. Socialize: I know this seems like something unproductive but surround yourself with productive, creative people and your ideas really blossom. It’s also important to have a good balance and spend time with those friends and family that support and love you for who you are.
9. Keep an eye on your finances: We all have really great ideas for our lives. Money is one of those things that get us from point A to point B. It’s important to see what your financial priorities are. You can place them in Priority A, B, C. For example, I know an A financial priority I have is my rent, it doesn’t change. It’s due the first of every month. A B financial priority is buying food. I usually shop at Whole Foods, although they can be a little pricey. Months before my Europe trip I started shopping elsewhere to save money. Also also, coupons really help! A C financial priority would be eating out and buying coffee. I love to eat and enjoy fancy coffee’s, but they can add up very quickly! Keep on eye on expenses that suck your finances and keep you stuck in a financial rut. We all have different Financial Priorities, find out what yours are! Make a list! (haha!)
10. Be forgiving and kind to yourself: Guys. I am the Queen of being hard on myself. I need to stop. It’s important to be forgiving and kind to ourselves. If you don’t accomplish something on your list, there’s always tomorrow. You overslept and couldn’t wake up earlier, try again tomorrow. You skipped the gym, it’s okay, our bodies need rest too! You didn’t get that job you wanted, keep trying! I know there’s something good for you. Self-speak is powerful. If you tell yourself something long enough, you’ll start to believe it. Make sure it’s something positive!
Life is short, it’s important to make it as productive as we can, while enjoying the beautiful moments so life doesn’t pass us by.