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Gratitude

I started a habit a few months ago that has changed so many things for me. I started writing a gratitude journal.

Every morning, I make my cup of bulletproof coffee (go to The Diet Doctor to learn what that is), sit down at my kitchen table and write in my journal.

I had NO idea where to start. I remember Rachel Hollis talking about her Start Today Journal so I thought I would start from there. Her journal talks about writing down 3 different sections:

  1. Gratitude: write down 5 things (I thought she said 10 so I just go with that LOL) from the day before that you are grateful for. She says not to look at things too big, like breathing – although I am really grateful to be breathing. She says to look at the little things – like my morning coffee. As you look at the little things, you develop an attitude of gratitude. You will see the good things in your life, no matter how hard things are.
  2. Dreams: next, you write down 10 dreams but write them as if they have already happened. She talks about writing the same dream down over 1000 times before it came true. You are believing that this is what is going to happen. What is going to make your best life? What dream are going to do that? One of mine is that I am running a successful virtual assistance business. I have finally made it official with Borealis Productivity Solutions. Am I taking it off my list? Not yet but as the dream becomes more real, so will that line in my journal.
  3. Goal: the final piece is writing down one goal that will make your dreams come true. She talks about how a person can really only focus on one goal per day. I have a health goal so mine usually revolves around that but sometimes it’s a business goal too.

When I told my counsellor about doing this and how much it has helped me, she decided to have me add a 4th part to the journal… Affirmations (ugh :D) I have struggled with negative self-talk my entire life. The crap that goes through my head… oy vey! She knows that so she suggested I do that as well. I actually had to look up affirmation statements on Pinterest to know where to start… seriously! Then each day, I think about what brought me down the previous day. What was that negative self-talk I had… I won’t be successful, I won’t find new clients for my business, I am not going to lose the weight I want to… the list goes can go on. The I change those around into affirmation statements. I will be successful, I will find new clients, I will lose the weight, etc.

People talk about putting pen to paper. I have thought about doing this on my computer as I find that easier a lot of the time but I know myself well enough that I would just copy and paste. When I put pen to paper I can’t do that. Yes, I copy the same dreams over but I am repeating them in my head each time I write them down.

So I now I am asking you… how do you start your day? Do you write in a journal? Do you have a habit like this? If not, I would encourage you to try it for a month. See how it changes your perspective on the world.

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Calendar Management

Let’s chat about calendar management today! Whether you are a paper calendar person or a digital calendar person, figuring out how to manage your schedule is really important.

I love colour coding. I love it on paper and I love it digital. Our kids are still young enough that their schedules are not too crazy – I am thankful for that. As they started to get into different activities, I decided to create a different calendar for each of us. As I mentioned last week, we meal plan every week and that can get confusing in all of our calendars so I even made one for that.

Some people may find this a little much but there are days when we have multiple things happening and our phones are very colourful. It is a way for us to communicate and keep our life a little more organized. If we are invited to an event, we can look in the calendar to see if anything is going on and accept the invitation or not.

If you are using this for business, you could created a calendar for each project, course, or client. I worked with a client who uses Google Calendar. She is the one who introduced me to organizing this way. I found it easier to see what her day looked like and if I could schedule something in for her.

Do you use a calendar? Do you like paper calendars? Are you a digital calendar person? What tips and tricks do you have for me?

Meal Planning

We all gotta eat! Some days it’s easier to figure out what to eat than others. There are so many days when you come home from work, school, or other activities and you have no hot clue what to do for dinner.

Enter meal planning! For many years now, my husband and I have been doing this. We sit down on Friday or Saturday and plan out our supper menu for the week. We have a calendar on our Apple devices just for meal planning. undefined As you can see, I share it with him so that when we are separated on different trips, we can still work together to get it done. Then we build our grocery list around our meal plan and off we go – we’ll chat about groceries and different services later. 😀

One of the things we also started is our “T” Tuesdays… we have a different meal on a 4-week schedule that begins with the letter T – well kinda – that we eat:

week 1: Tacos;
week 2: Tuna casserole;
week 3: Tubular (some sort of tubular meat LOL: hot dogs, sausage, etc);
week 4: Tomato (tomato soup and grilled cheese).

We do not do this with every day of the week but it was something fun we developed with our kids.

Do you have picky eaters? Get them involved! I am thankful that my kids are not very picky. So we started to get them involved as well. I will ask them “tell me one thing you would like to eat this week”. They will provide me with their ideas and we will add it in. Now, they tend to be quite repetitive sometimes so sometimes we need to have them give us alternatives.

For example, this next week in Calgary, Alberta, it’s going to get COLD (-20 to -30 C OR -4-22 F) so we are in need of some warm comfort foods. Our girls have also discovered having leftovers in their thermoses as well. This week we are having soup, chilli, and stew in our menu. They are warm and comforting and very easy to put in a thermos for school the next day.

Now, with meal planning, there are days when you have something planned and you are just not in the mood for it… well then change it. We call it “audibling” – we usually have pasta on hand or sometimes we just order pizza. It’s not a perfect science but it definitely gives us a framework for the week… and a plan.

Now why would I talk about this on a virtual assistant blog. Well, I want to give you everyday solutions for your life. Not just administrative but other things that can help make your world a little bit easier. Even if you are not in a place where you want, or need, a virtual assistant, everyone can use some ideas on how to become more productive!

Let me ask you… do you have a meal plan? What recipes do you use? Please share in the comments what your favourite meal ideas are!

Productivity

Productivity: the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services

When I decided to embark on my virtual assistant business, Borealis Productivity Solutions, I considered what productivity really looks like. What does it mean to me to be productive. What helps me get the most out of my day? I am going on my own ideas, at the moment, but I would love to hear yours as well.

If I could take, or suggest how to take, some tasks off of your plate to make your day more productivity, what those items be?

For an entrepreneur, it may be calendar scheduling, email management, or posting to social media accounts. For you personally, it could be meal planning ideas, calendar management ideas, or housekeeping hacks.

What does productivity look like to you? Share your ideas and thoughts with me!