Today I want to talk about things I do that are part of the process of getting shit done and going places in my life. I look back to just a few years ago when I had no direction in life and how I started and spent my days then vs. how I do now, and it’s a pretty staggering difference.
So I wanted to share my top 10 tips for setting yourself up for success.
Stay organized — this has been a game changer. I always kept a planner throughout school to keep track of my due dates, activities and work schedule, but just in the past year and really actually the past few months I’ve taken it to the next level. I am a visual person so I like writing it all down where I can have it laid out in front of me. I do that in a few ways. On my computer I use Evernote to house all of my notes for blog posts, videos etc. Everything you see online comes from Evernote. I have created different notebooks for my YouTube channel, my website and my different courses. From here it is all easily searchable and accessible in one place. The other powerhouse to my organization operation is my bullet journal, which is a recent upgrade from a standard planner. I have a simple monthly spread complete with my five goals for that month, my content calendar for FemmeHead, a financial page to make my five money goals for the month as well as track all of my money coming in and going out each day. I have a brain dump where I put all of my ideas, things that need to get done, etc. I have a gratitude page because I think finding your sparkly bits each day is important. And then from there I have weekly spreads were I have a little weekly overview calendar for work, events, etc. a place for my five goals of the week and then I go into Monday with my tasks, etc. Having this bullet journal has been a life changer. I have been so much more productive and focused, it’s incredible.
Keep your home tidy — Take time every single day to do a quick tidy. For me that is 15-30 minutes each morning where I make my bed, and then put any dishes, clothes, etc away from the day before. My mind functions so much better when I know there isn’t clutter sitting around my house. Right now we are going through some of Michael’s storage so there’s stuff out in the living room that can’t go back quite yet because we’re sorting through it and I’m really trying to not focus on it. I also like to take one day a week and do a deeper clean including vacuuming, wiping things down and doing laundry which can take like two or three hours, but it’s worth it. Just stay on top of it.
Practice Minimalism — The above task is so much easier when you start with minimalism. Get rid of the crap you don’t want or need, and believe me there’s a lot of it when you’re first starting off. From there make sure every single item in your home has it’s dedicated spot, which makes cleaning easier. This isn’t about living in an empty white box with no belongings. I still have quite a bit of stuff, but it all has a purpose. I don’t keep things just to keep things. I only have stuff I love or need. And I’m not perfect at it, no one is. Don’t be hard on yourself because it’s process and often times it’s more about the journey. And minimalism has carried over into so many other aspects of my life — how I choose to spend my time, who I have kept in my life (friend wise), what I spend my money on, etc. Having less and doing less has allowed me to accomplish so much more in my life.
Meditate — It’s something that I’ve wanted to add to my daily routine for years, but was unsuccessful for the longest time. It wasn’t until I discovered the guided meditation app, Headspace, that I was able to do it daily. [Not a sponsored post, I just really love the app]. It worked out so well in those first, free 10 days that I went ahead and got the yearly subscription. Doing this in my morning routine is one of those things that really sets me up for a productive, focused day. I feel much more level headed and open minded after I have done this in the morning. For others it may fit better into another time in their day but it works best for me in the morning. My routine is very important to me, and controls how the rest of my day goes. If I wait until bedtime to meditate it almost holds no power over anything, and I often fall asleep during it.
Journal — I have been doing it for seven years, ever since I studied abroad in Thailand. It’s like therapy to me. And it’s a great way to document experiences, trips, and your life in general. I am able to read the thoughts and emotions of 19-year old Victoria and it’s such a weird, cool experience. And it helps remind me how far I have come if I’ve ever having a bad day. I journal in a few ways. I have a journal that is a bit more sacred than the rest which important thoughts, events and experiences go into. It’s not a daily thing. Something I do do every morning is write in my morning pages journal. It’s always just a random old notebook (I got a stack of them from my mom’s house) and it’s just three pages of streaming conscious thoughts. It’s a way for me to clear out all of the gunk from the day before, and it really allows me to be more clear and focused throughout the day when I don’t have those random thoughts floating around. And the final way I journal, is with my camera — filming trips, adventures and events that I want to remember or share.
Lifestyle [diet, activities, sleep] — I used to eat cupcakes for meals, for days at a time. You can probably imagine the effect that had on me. Now, I keep a vegan diet and try and pack as many nutritious, unprocessed foods as possible into it. I’m not perfect and I do allow some wiggle room for the occasional junk food or dessert, but I focus on keeping it clean. I only partake in activities that will benefit and enrich my life. I have no issue with saying no. I don’t go out an party on the weekends, I don’t go out to eat frequently, those sort of things. And finally I keep a regular sleep schedule because I know how much sleep impacts my days. Some people can function off of four hours, I need eight. All of these things effect my energy, my body, my focus, motivation, everything. You have to respect your body and your mind, and make sure you are taking care of it through your lifestyle.
Practice Gratitude — It was something that Michael introduced to me. I think even on our first date he was like, Ok let’s take a few moments to breathe and reflect on the day and then we’ll take turns sharing what moment we’re grateful for. And we still do this every now and then, but I do it on my own too. I have two pages every month in my bullet journal dedicated to my sparkly bits and every night I take a few moments to reflect on the day and find that moment I am thankful for. Doing this regularly just makes you a more optimistic, happy rainbows and unicorns sort of person. You start noticing moments throughout your days, and you’re like Oh, that could be my moment today. I don’t know it’s just a really cool process.
Stay curious [never stop learning] — This may sound silly, but it’s something I live by. I think of everything I have taught myself and learned since leaving school and it’s astounding. If you have a question, find yourself the answer. If there’s something you’re interested in, go get a book from the library, research it online, watch videos, read blog posts and watch documentaries. I’m always searching to better myself. Not because I don’t like who I am or that I’m not proud of where I’m at in life, but just because I know there is so much that I still don’t know. And along these lines, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. Even if you think there’s absolutely no way they would ever respond back, take the plunge and write them. I have connected to so many amazing people this way.
Allow yourself to slow down during your period — Discovering the difference between the menstrual phases, emotionally and physically was a game changer. It all finally made so much more sense. When you listen to your body it’s amazing how much smoother it all goes. When I allow myself to slow down during my period and really just take it easy I am greeted with a happier period, less irritability, cramps, PMS, fatigue, etc. And when I take that time during my period to just kind of hermit myself off from the world I am rewarded throughout the rest of my cycle with more energy. You can only push yourself so far for so long before you’re going to crash and burn. Take the time to slow down, reflect on the past month, and think about what you want to accomplish in the coming month.
Make time for friends + things outside of “work” — Especially when you start working for yourself, allowing yourself to stop working is a lesson that needs to be learned right away. I could waste away day after day tinkering around with “work” related tasks that really don’t need to be done and have no real impact on it all. Each day I pick out the top five things that I need to do that day to succeed and I tick those off first thing after my morning routine. Then depending where I am at in the day I will head to my brain dump page and see what else I can accomplish, but if I have to stop after those five tasks I will feel satisfied with my day. I allow my afternoons, and sometimes early mornings for friends and family. Whether that’s meeting up for a coffee or drinks and a movie, I try to meet up with people at least once a week. Because if not I would stay in my apartment and never leave.
Phew, that was quite a bit wasn’t it, but these are some of the most important things in my life that I swear by. What are yours?