Recipes – Obsessed! Avocado Chicken Egg Salad

Recipes – Obsessed! Avocado Chicken Egg Salad

I’ve determined that I’m a serial salad eater. From time to time, I’ll become obsessed with a particular salad concoction and eat it nearly on a daily basis for weeks on end. Then, I may never resurrect it again.

My current favorite salad was created by cleaning out my refrigerator on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I was hungry but too lazy to head out in the rain to get something to nosh, and in no real mood to cook. I opened my refrigerator door and grabbed whatever grabbed me. The result? A salad I am now obsessed with and everyone I’ve served it to loves it, too!

The first thing I noticed when I opened my refrigerator was the unopened Marie’s creamy ranch dressing that I’d purchased for entertaining over the holidays. It had an expiration date in about a month so I decided I’d best get to eatin’ it!

A bag on the second shelf held a chicken tender from the local grocery store. Rummaging through the vegetable drawer, I found some mixed baby greens, grape tomatoes and a small avocado. It all sounded good, but it still seemed something was missing.

The answer was on the top shelf. In a small Lock&Lock were black olives that called my name, and I remembered I had nearly a dozen hard boiled eggs. My sister always tells me to keep hard boiled eggs at the ready in case I need a quick snack or something to add to a recipe. She was right!

I chopped, tossed, seasoned and mixed and voila! My new favorite salad!

I’ve included a make-shift recipe for those that require one, but generally when I make salads – well, almost anything – I just go by gut. You can certainly substitute if you like, perhaps grilled chicken for the chicken tender, or low-fat ranch dressing. It’s an easy recipe with good things in it; just tweak it to your taste!

Just so you know, in my house you can never have too many black olives or coarse ground pepper on anything.

Avocado Chicken Egg Salad

2-3 cups mixed baby greens (your choice)
6 grape tomatoes
1 hard boiled egg
1 small avocado
I chicken tender
Black olives
1 TBSP ranch dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

Place greens and tomatoes in bowl. Slice hard boiled egg. Add thinly sliced chicken tender. Dice avocado. Add olives, seasoning and dressing. Mix. Eat!

If you try the salad, please let me know how you like it. I’ve eaten it about 20 times already. I’m sure once summer comes, I’ll switch to something else but this salad is where my taste buds are right now.

Enjoy!

Cindi

My Writing Life – January 2017

My Writing Life – January 2017

So many people ask me what it’s like to be a writer and, honestly, the journey is different for everyone. A writer, like any other business owner, has to balance both business and personal expectations while feeding that all-important muse! So, I’ve decided at least for this year, I will aim to provide monthly updates to give you more insight into my business.

Everyone’s situation is different and, as I take care of my Mom full time, I never know what the day will bring when the sun comes up. Some months are extremely productive business-wise, while others I hardly achieve a thing. Still, as long as I continue to move forward, I’m happy.

Sometime over the last year or so, I saw a band’s website where they listed their top 100 goals to success and identified key milestones along the ways, sharing their celebrations of each. I love that idea, but I have more than 100 goals on that list so I’ll just take it a little at a time. I’ll let you know when I’m celebrating a milestone!

Without further ado, here is my recap for January 2017.

Business

Social media. My goal this year is to blog three times a week, along with Instagram posts as I see fit and hopefully YouTube somewhere down the road. In january, I was consistent with blogging twice a week. I’m OK with that for now.

Books. When I released this last batch of books, it seemed the engine was on ebooks. The idea of publishing in print was considered no longer relevant. Since then, the tables have turned and more and more people are telling me that although they do read ebooks, they still enjoy touching the paper. In fact, I have met several folks who refuse to read ebooks. So, I’ve set about getting the layout done on my books for print. My goal was to have four of them completed this month. Well…the first one is done but i’m still doing a final read-through. Every time you make a change in format, it’s important to do a complete read-through lest things get missed.

Online Image. January for me was to be a complete redo of my online image. However, I want to have print copies of my books for photos, so at this rate, it looks like it will be March or so before I’ll be able to do it. I’ve selected the new template for my website and online store, and pretty much know exactly what I want. It will just be a time-consuming process.

Writing. My goal is to write somewhere between 1,000-2,000 words each day. Well, if I add up all the blog posts and notes I’ve written, I’m not too far off. However, if I look simply at credible output on a new book, it was just over a few thousand. With plans to release a new book around the end of March, I’d better get writing!

Self-Care

Steps. This month, I hit or exceeded my step goal 26/31 days. I’m happy!

Sleep. My goal is seven hours a night, but since I take care of my Mom, it works out to be about six hours of broken sleep plus an occasional nap. Still working on this.

Goals for February

As we’re already into the month, I can say that Mom has needed a lot of extra care so far, and will continue for at least a few more weeks. That being said, I plan to get one book to the printer, start the layout on the second, blog an average of twice a week and work on my March book. There are some items regarding operations and my websites that I’d also like to accomplish. We’ll see how the month goes. Mom is priority number one!

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’!

Enjoy!

Cindi

Chic from Home: Fashion vs. Comfort – What to wear to your home office

Fashion versus comfort – What to wear to your home office

Working from home definitely has its advantages, but there are a steady stream of challenges as well. Surprisingly, one issue that crops up time and again is what to wear to your home office!

In general, corporate office attire has become more casual over the decades although some companies still require strict adherence to a formal suit and tie dress code. Casual clothing in the workplace has swung so far away from professional attire that some people opt to up their game in the fashion department because they realize dressing well for work makes them feel better and co-workers give them more respect. Your physical appearance, after all, is the first way people form an opinion of you.

Regardless of how you dressed when you actually left the house for a job, once you work from home you have total control over your wardrobe selections. And, depending on your circumstances, it can vary widely from day to day and may change significantly over time.

I know many people who work from home and their daily fashion habits run the gamut from rolling out of bed, grabbing a cup of coffee and working in their pajamas to full-on hair, makeup and business casual outfit. The current trend of athleisure wear lies somewhere between pajamas and casual dress, so if you truly get to stay home all day, you can look a bit more together in your hoodie and compression capris. However, at some point you will encounter the outside world. Ask yourself, if you have to open the door for a delivery or run out for coffee, do you want to be known as the lady in the pink pajamas?

So, how do you decide what is best for you? Here are some suggestions.

  1. Dress casually. If you have an opportunity to have one or two really casual days of just sitting in your office to work, then enjoy yourself. How casual you go depends on your circumstances. If you live alone, it’s your option. If you’re married or have children, you’ll probably at least need to get dressed lest you encounter negative comments from your spouse or kids.
  2. Dress fashionably. If you are a social media devotee, you’ll probably have to do hair and makeup on a daily basis. If you’re a fashion blogger, I suspect you look forward to it! Also, if you do video webinars or meetings, not only will you need to look good but all the surroundings that appear on screen will need to entice as well.
  3. Dress professionally. If you attend a number of meetings outside of your home, I would suggest dressing professionally unless that’s deemed taboo in your industry. Professional dress shines a positive light on you, and your main purpose for being a business owner is to make money and be successful.
  4. Dress for you. If it makes you feel good to always look your best, it doesn’t matter what others are doing in their home offices, it just matters how you feel.

Your relationship with your personal work environment and wardrobe will likely evolve as you define yourself as a business owner. Whatever makes you feel your good will reflect in your business.

How do you like to dress for your home office?

Enjoy!

Cindi

Chic from Home – 3 Must-Haves for Business Travelers

3 Must-Haves for Business Travelers

No doubt about it, traveling for business it tough! Whenever you can find small items that will make a huge difference in your travel experience, it’s worth it to find the precious space in your luggage to bring them along. Here are three items that will definitely help to ease the travel pain. Links are at the bottom of the post.

  1. Hunter Personal Humidifier. This thing is awesome! The air is always so dry on airplanes and in hotel rooms, this little baby solves that problem. It’s only about four inches high and uses regular tap water in a one liter water bottle. Just flip it upside down and turn it on. It runs quite a few hours on one bottle so you could get a whole night’s sleep before you need to refill. It also works well in an office or dorm room, or even a hospital room. During my mom’s last hospital stay, I put it near her bed and it took all that dry, static air away. I couldn’t believe the difference! This is worth every penny.
  2. Personal air purifier. I’m a big fan of Joy Mangano, so these next two items are from her. This little machine is a workhorse! It not only purifies the room but it also infuses it with one of her Forever Fragrances. Great on the road or at home.
  3. My Little Steamer Go Mini. Joy is the queen of steam! This steamer has great power considering its size. No need to pay the hotel to have your clothing pressed. Just a few minutes with this little machine and you’ll be ready to go. It’s often sold in sets of two, with a larger steamer for home and this one for travel. It takes up about the same amount of space as a hair dryer but can save you a ton of money in pressing charges. As all Joy Mangano products do, it comes in a wide variety of colors.

I purchased all three of these from HSN.com but they are available at a variety of retailers. I’ve included links to Amazon and HSN below for your convenience. Some of these links are affiliate links but all opinions are my own.

What are your favorite travel must-haves? I’ll share more favorites in the future!

Enjoy!

Cindi

Amazon links:
Hunter QLS03-RD Ultrasonic Personal Air Humidifier, Red

Joy Mangano My Little Steamer Go Mini Hand Steamer in White

Joy Mangano Forever Fragrant Odor-Eliminating AirFLO Purifier – Meadow Green by Joy Mangano

HSN Links:
Hunter Personal  Humidifier

Joy Mangano My Little Steamer

Joy Mangano AirFLO Purifier

 

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #11 – Clothing Summary

Magic of Tidying Up

Well, I’ve completed all the categories when it comes to my clothing, so a quick summary of my work is in order. As for the tidying, i still have items in my closet that will be cleaned in future categories, so I haven’t completely tidied it yet. My dresser and nightstand drawers are in much more organized condition and remain that way, but the closet is still a work in progress. We’ll have to wait until i finish the whole house before I can show the difference. However, I wanted to touch on a few points regarding my clothing cleansing process. In case you’re wondering, I’m following the recommended category order detailed in Marie Kondo’s book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

It’s possible there’s a major mind shift that takes place when you actually put all your clothes into one big pile. the overwhelming feeling of how much stuff we have just in clothing! Due to the limited amount of space I have, plus the fact that I take care of my Mom and it’s not possible to have a big mess all day just to satisfy Kondo’s requirements, it wasn’t practical for me to follow the KonMari method to the letter. Still, I was amazed at how much clothing I had in my wardrobe.

I think something else that happens when you put all your clothes into such a big pile is you realize that so much of what you own is not who you are. I didn’t have the big “Ah-hah!” moment because I did my discarding by sub-category, but even though I had already done a good purge about a year ago, looking at all my clothes within a short period, rather than just picking through the racks, showed me that i had several items that were good for me a few years ago but it just wasn’t who I am now.

As I write this, even though I’ve already driven my donations to the Goodwill and set aside a number of items to eBay, i’ve decided to let go of even more. Some items became more apparent once I started to catalog my wardrobe in the Stylebook app. Others came about because they nagged at me as they hung in the closet, or I decided to try on a few things and realized some shoes will always hurt and there’s just no getting over it no matter how much I love them. So, in addition to the tallies presented below, I’d say there will be an additional garbage bag and a number of eBay items to go into the pile. And, it feels good!

Here are the bags of clothing I donated to Goodwill.

I’ve noticed that now that i’ve pared down my wardrobe, I’m more creative in putting outfits together and I’m using items I rarely if ever used because I kept wearing the same things. The very first time I had to make a choice after I cleaned through my closet, I admit, I felt a bit of apprehension; I was definitely a bit anxious. I just took a deep breath and dove right in. It really wasn’t that scary after all. Now I challenge myself to wear different things. I pretty much have no choice. All the old stuff is gone.

One key reason for working through the KonMari method, at least regarding my closet, was that I wanted to make more efficient use of my space. Well, there’s less in it, but I’m not so sure I totally accomplished my goal. However, making my clothes look pretty is definitely an accomplishment! Folding items that need to be folded makes those areas look very organized. I often want to open my drawers to look at how neat everything is.

In my closet, I switched to the Huggable Hangers about two years ago. I couldn’t decide which color to get, so I went with gray. At the time, they didn’t offer a color that I wanted to use. Well…since then they introduced a vibrant violet purple! I was able to get enough hangers for my closet for a screamin’ deal and now my closet really vibrates with great energy.

Kondo mentions in her book that we should cut the tags from our clothes when we bring them home so they can fully feel part of our wardrobe. I hemmed and hawed about that for a while, in the end agreeing with her. As I was going through my hanging things, the tags kept getting tangled up; it was a nightmare. When it came time to fold, the tags would get in the way or snag. So, i dug out the scissors and cut the tags. Now my clothes are happier.

Kondo also suggests organizing your clothes from the heaviest and longest on the left to the shortest and lightest on the right. If I had just a simple closet on one wall, that might work. However, mine is two short walls and I need space on both of them. I always organized my clothes by category, and within each category I organized from light to dark, from short to long within each color. I think for the time being I’m going to continue to do so because I’ve done it that way for a number of years and it more easily fits my space.

These are some of the items I decided to keep.

I do have some evening gowns that I have no idea how to store. I love them and they bring me joy just to touch. However, they are long and bulky and can’t be hung due to their weight. Maybe once I’m done with the whole house I’ll figure it out.

In all, I parted with about 45 percent of my wardrobe. Maybe 50 percent. I’m still tossing. I had no idea I had that much that needed to go. My whole closet feels different when I slide open the door. It’s a really fabulous feeling, and once I get through the rest of the non-clothing that’s in my bedroom (when those categories come up), I just might accomplish my goal after all.

Before we get to books, I’ll still have a couple of posts on my thoughts on clothing per the KonMari method. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #10 – Accessories, Special Occasion Clothing and Shoes

Magic of Tidying Up

Yay!!! We’re at the last clothing category and they are three of my favorites. Which means, I’m going to have a hard time parting with anything. This post covers accessories, special occasion clothing and – wait for it – shoes! In case you’re wondering, I’m following the recommended category order detailed in Marie Kondo’s book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Accessories can be overwhelming! After all, it includes everything from jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, pins) to scarves, gloves, hats, and belts. It’s a huge category! I suggest breaking this down into its sub-categories to make it easier to deal with. I kept putting off this part of the cleaning simply because i knew I’d have to look at every single earring i haven’t cleaned out for years! One issue I have is I’ve never found a storage/display solution for my jewelry so i tend to grab the same items over and over, which gets boring considering how many items I have.

Now, I don’t own much quality jewelry. but as i live a relatively casual lifestyle, i don’t need it and i don’t want to have to worry about it. Still, the items i have look fine and work for me. But there are a lot of them! This exercise was good for me to finally clean through and somewhat organize what I have. I only gave away 10-15 percent of my jewelry because I really love what I own. The problem is I can’t find it because I haven’t settled on a way to store it that works for me. Stylebook might help me here but I have so much I can’t imagine how long it would take me to even get them in the app. So, my search continues.

I have few scarves and belts, so I kept everything I own. I don’t wear them very often but they do bring me joy. Many of my scarves were purchased on trips overseas so there are memories that come to light when I wear them.

I was quite surprised to find that I owned 15 hats! I live in a warm climate so I don’t really need a lot of winter hats, and i try to stay out of the sun as much as possible since i have fair skin. I kept four hats and gave the rest away.

Gloves are another item i seldom use in this climate, although it can get chilly in the winter. I only had a few pair to go with my coats, so I kept them

Overall, accessories is the clothing category that took the longest. Sadly, i feel I need to go through my earrings again…

This was a big category – accessories, special occasion clothing and shoes!

Clothing for special occasions. I lead a pretty casual life at this point, mostly writing, blogging and taking care of my Mom, so my social calendar is not as full as it might be. There are invitations I must refuse simply because of my responsibilities. However, that doesn’t stop me from looking for awesome bargains for special occasions. You never know when you’ll need that special dress! Plus, I tend to dress in what I call classic with a twist, so basically timeless designs, worth the investment if I find something I love at a great price. Some people need to wear the latest and the greatest, and while I enjoy doing so, I don’t have to.

I tend to view designer gowns as works of art. I’ve been fascinated with gowns since I was a kid. I used to sketch eveningwear of my own design all the the time. Bling it out and I’m on board! I’m also fascinated by how inexpensive some gowns can be purchased on eBay if you’re willing to wait and search enough. As an example. in the past, I purchased a brand new $3,500 gown for $66. Yep, that’s right, $66! And, it was authentic! I’ve also found some pre-owned dresses for less than $100. Many society ladies buy beautiful designer gowns, wear them just a few hours for an event, then sell them. Buying them at a good price is better than renting! Even if you need to pay for alterations, you’re probably still thousands of dollars ahead for something really exquisite.

I know, I’m supposed to be explaining how I cleaned through my special occasion clothing, but as I looked at the mere 22 pieces I owned, memories of my spectacular deals came to mind. Just touching these works of art brings joy to me. I did sell two gowns that I thought weren’t really my taste even though they were beautiful, but the rest I’m keeping until I either wear them, share them or replace them. The biggest issue here is how to store these beaded numbers which are quite heavy and may need to be stored flat. But, that’s an issue for another day.

Shoes. I suspect most women have a weakness in one of the clothing categories, and it’s generally handbags or shoes. I like to think my handbag collection is small since I’ll use my daily handbag sometimes for years before replacing it (although I do have a number of clutches) whereas shoes are worn every day. So, for me, my weakness is shoes. On occasion, I’ve topped the 250 mark but I’d already downsized to about 88 when I began this cleaning.

I tend to clean  through my shoes regularly, so it surprised me when I found 20 pair to part with. When you have everything in a big pile, certain patterns emerge and those 20 belonged to a part of my past that no longer applied.. I hadn’t worn any of them in quite a long time, so it was easy to let them go. There were a couple pair that were brand new in the box, so those I sold on eBay. Looking through them all at once also made it clear what I was missing. I’ve since added a few new items to the stash, and there are one or two more I could use.

Well, that covers each of the clothing categories in detail. Up next, I’ll do a final analysis on this entire category, then another post on what I’ve learned through this process so far. There’s still a whole house to go! The next category to clean will be books, but I’ll get to that in a few posts. Thanks for joining me on this journey. There’s much more to come.

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

Tame Those Pesky Details – January – It’s Time for a Corporate Image Makeover!

In my book, Tame Those Pesky Details (TTPD), where I focus on one specific item each month to keep your business in tip top shape, January is the month for Corporate Image. Your goals were set in December; part of achieving them will be to make sure you have the appropriate corporate image for your business.

This month, I’m going to use myself as a prime example. Toward the end of last year, I felt I finally had the vision I had been searching for regarding my online presence. And, I also knew that would require a lot of work!

I immediately looked at my website and all my social media accounts. It was time for a major makeover! My logos had been updated recently, so I was comfortable there, but my overall look didn’t scream ME!

The Internet has become more and more a place of images, so I concentrated on learning to take the right kind of photos. I spent hours scouring sites and bookmarking those whose photos really drew me in. I also took a wonderful online photography course through StrangeCharmed.com. It was extremely helpful to get my mind going in the right direction.

As for my website update, again I spent a ton of time looking at blogs I enjoyed. Usually at the bottom of the home page is a link to the company that designed the theme for the blog. There you can view the multitude of themes that company offers, generally for a reasonable price. I’d already decided I didn’t want to use a free WordPress theme for my update as they wouldn’t have the design elements I knew I needed. There are a surprising number of options available for paid themes.

I still wasn’t totally sure what I wanted my site to look like until one of my favorite blogs updated their site. Wow! I loved it!, It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I at least had an idea. I continued to view company theme offerings until I found a similar one that was a perfect fit.

Once my website is updated, my social media accounts will follow. Will I finish all of this in January? Probably not. I’m currently in the process of getting all my ebooks ready for print and releasing a new novel. I want to have the print books for photos so I’m expecting to wait until I have copies in hand, sometime in February. However, I will purchase the theme and get done whatever I can, including setting up the store which is a whole new element for my site. Some other tweaks will have to wait a few months but those should be secondary.

I’ll do a new blog post once I’ve launched everything. In the meantime, I do hope you’ll enjoy my blog posts, Instagram photos and tweets on Twitter!

If you’d like to follow along through the year, purchase your copy of Tame Those Pesky Details. (link below) Print books will be available soon!

What corporate image challenges do you face online and what are your plans to fix them? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment below.

Enjoy!

Cindi

Planning – 3 Business Rules for 2017 and Beyond

Normally, once Saturday Night Live is over, I’m busy doing something. As a night owl, I’m often off the sofa and into my office to work on my lengthy to-do list. But, a few weeks ago, I was a bit tired and didn’t get up before the next program began. And, I’m very glad!

Immediately following SNL, at least in this market (Las Vegas), is Your Move with Andy Stanley. Now, I’d only seen the program a couple of times, but that night’s talk really hit home, with one slight twist. Stanley was addressing viewers to make changes in their personal lives. However, I had my business hat on that day and before he spoke a word, once I saw the bullet points on the screen, I immediately went into entrepreneur mode.

Stanley wanted you to look deep inside you to make the changes necessary to become the person you’re desiring to sit across the table from you, the perfect mate. If viewed from the other’s perspective with your checklist, do you match up? I’d heard this advice before, but my business brain was running a mile a minute on his bullet points. So let’s take a look.

Here are Andy Stanley’s Three Rules:

  1. Get out of debt
  2. Stay out of bed
  3. Clean out your closet

Now, aside from the first one, you may be wondering how the next two apply to business. Let’s take them one by one.

Get out of debt. Some people advise you to leverage, leverage, leverage. When it comes to debt, I’m advising to be debt-free. The less debt you have, the more control you have over your company. As a solopreneur or small business owner, if you don’t owe anyone money, then you have more money to keep the doors of your business open longer. You’ll make wiser decisions because if you’re spending your money and not someone else’s, you are apt to be very cautious when signing on the dotted line. If you’re debt-free with savings in the bank, you have a more solid foundation on which to grow your business.

If you have a type of business that requires a large capital outlay and it will be a few years to get those loans down to zero, at least pay off your personal debt. Your individual credit score might be required in order to secure financing for your business. And, if you’re looking to woo a potential partner, investor or company to acquire your business, the prettier the balance sheet, the better chance you have of finding that perfect one that checks off all the boxes on your list.

Stay out of bed. Here, Stanley was suggesting you not sleep around, and while that’s good advice for the business environment as well, I immediately thought in different terms. If I were to use this bullet, I would say Get out of bed.

So many people start a business not knowing the immense amount of time and effort required just to get it off the ground, let alone maintain. If you’re lying in bed instead of working on your to-do list and reviewing your goals to see where you can move forward, your business is doomed.

You don’t even have to own a business to make sense of this advice. Taking the time to improve your skills, get a better education, network with people in your desired industry, research requirements for the job you want – they all require that you spend some time in the full upright position.

I’m not advocating you never take time off. On the contrary, rest is essential to having the endurance to be a successful business owner. Lazing around and complaining that nothing ever goes your way will have quite the opposite effect.

Clean out your closet. Dealing with past emotional baggage was the point Stanley was making here, and that’s not bad advice for a business owner. However, I took it literally. Clean out your closet. And your basement. And your garage. And any other place that’s cluttered! Clean!

Why clean? First of all, a clean environment is healthy and conducive to inspiring thought. If you only see clutter around you, your brain has a hard time slogging through the mess before it can focus on creativity. If you’re looking at a clean and organized interior landscape, surrounded by things that make you happy, your starting point for work is significantly better.

Some people say they can’t find the money to start their business. Well, it might be sitting in your garage or the back of your hall closet. Clean out and sell items you’re not using. You might fetch a few thousand, or at least a few hundred, which could be enough to get your website going and business cards designed and printed. Accomplishing a whole house cleanout will also boost your confidence to accomplish those sometimes-scary business tasks. Just don’t waste the money you gain. It can dribble in as things may sell one by one and take a period of time for everything to sell. Set the money aside so you have all the dollars ready to work for your new business.

As you can see, the same words can mean different things to different people, depending on your perspective and state of mind at the time. Andy Stanley was working on your spiritual self while I saw the words from a business perspective. Still, good advice whichever side you’re on!

What are your thoughts? Can you relate to any of these three scenarios? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Enjoy!

Cindi

Planning – Your 2017 Motto

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Planning – Your 2017 Motto

January is nearly half over. Do you have your motto selected for the year?

A few years ago, much by accident, I decided I would have a motto for the year, a theme, a focus. I was chatting with a client about a project and he mentioned a discussion he had had with one of his employees. He made a particular comment that immediately struck me as what I wanted to focus on for the following year. I quickly adopted it as my motto.

I tried different ways to remind myself on a daily basis when I decided to list it as a recurring appointment in my Outlook calendar. From then on, every day when I turned on my laptop, a window would pop open and gently urge me to work towards that goal.

A couple years later, somehow I found two mottos to use for the year, one for business and one personal. I liked that combination and I’ve been doing so ever since.

I’m usually not one to share what my annual motto is, but a few months ago while browsing through Etsy, I came across this dashboard from TheFabulousPlanner. I loved it and decided it would be my business motto for 2017.

So, for this entire year, not only will Outlook pop up in the morning with my motto, every time I open my planner I get to enjoy this beautiful reminder of my yearly focus.

I’ve enjoyed having an annual motto more than I ever thought I would. It’s the perfect place to start when you’re planning your goals. If you know at a very high level what you want to achieve 12 months from now, all the goals you set should support that. It streamlines the thought process immensely.

How can you set your motto for the year? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Decide where you’d like to be at the end of the year, and describe it in a few descriptive words.
  2. Select one or two of those words that really resonate with you.
  3. Create your own motto, or find a section of a song lyric or quote from someone you admire that reflects that motto to you in a positive manner. Begin with, “Year of…” as in, “Year of Making it Happen.”
  4. Determine how you want to remind yourself of your motto. You can do as I do, or choose to write it down daily, meditate on it, post it on your wall, make it your screensaver – find what works for you.
  5. Double check your goals to make sure they support your motto.

Some people choose a theme song that reflects their motto. Others phrase it as an affirmation. The whole idea is to create a positive mindset to help you grow, improve and achieve your goals. Remember, each person determines what success mean to them so never compare yourself to others. As long as you continue to move forward, you are learning, growing and achieving.

There you have it! Super simple but so helpful.

Do you have a motto or theme for the year? I’d love to hear!

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

Chic from Home: My 2017 Planner Setup Part 5

My 2017 Planner Setup Part 5

In my last three posts, I discussed my main 2017 planner setup in detail. This final post of the group will look at the supporting players. It’s so funny how quickly you can expand your planner system. Just two years ago, I was strictly digital, craving something more visual. Last year I was in one Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP). This year I have six binders. Yikes! Amazingly, I know of people who are using even more than that, for everything from meal planning to devotionals. Just join a Facebook planning group or two and your eyes will be opened onto a whole beautiful universe!

So, let’s look at the last three binders I’ll be using for the year.

    1. The Punctuate Planner from Barnes and Noble. I originally purchased this because I was certain I wanted to use something smaller than my ECLP and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to try out my ideas. This little planner is only about $10, less if you can get it during a sale. If you’ve never used a planner or you want to try something new, it is quite a sweet little planner for the price. It has five dividers, WO2P horizontal format for 18 months, a page of stickers, a back pocket, pen loop plus a clear zippered pocket. Even if you only use it as a template for size and style, it’s well worth the investment. The other thing I like about the planner is that it has the year on the spine so if you’re using a personal Filofax or Louis Vuitton MM, you can store the contents of your planners by the year in about the space of a paperback. As I said, all in all, a pretty useful planner for the price.
          However, once I actually had the planner in hand and started working with it, I realized it was just too small for me to use on a daily basis. If I were to have to take my planner with me and I wanted to have something less cumbersome than an A5, it would be fine. It fits comfortably in my hand but I really needed something bigger. So, it’s now my fitness journal and leftover task list.What do I mean by leftover task list? It’s all those items at the end of the month from my main planner that I didn’t accomplish but still need to be done. If they were a priority, they would have been completed. So, they obviously aren’t super important but I don’t want to have to search through the weeks to find items I missed. When I’ve completed all my tasks for the day, I check them off and I put a star by the date. The items remaining will go into this little planner and I’ll get to them as time allows. Eventually, I may move the list to my main planner but I’m still toying with what else to do with this baby. So, it has its assignment for 2017.  We’ll see how it works.
    1. Personal Filofax original purple patent. I bought this preloved on eBay for a very nice price and it’s in great condition. I found it right about the time I bought the Punctuate and thought I had a one-two punch. I’d do my planning in the Filofax then store the year in the Punctuate. We now know that won’t happen. I have my LV MM monogram for notes and ideas, so I decided to use this planner to expand on one or two specific projects at a time. There are projects that require a lot of notes and activities, so this will work fine for the year. However, I think that as time goes on, aside from my notes agenda, I’ll be using an A5 for everything.
  1. Sticker binder. I can’t believe I’m talking about a sticker binder at my age, but I admit it. I have stickers! Now, I certainly don’t have as many as others I’ve seen. I realize how addictive it can become. I can always think of one I need or one I can’t find on Etsy and need to create. My biggest problem was I had no idea what I already had so I could actually use them. And, when I first began ordering, I was looking at what others were doing until I could find my own style (still searching…).I had the ones I used most in the back pockets of my ECLP, but I had to pull them all out to find the one I wanted to use. Inevitably, I’d realize that there were many that would get hidden. It just didn’t work for me. I decided to order a mini binder, dividers and clear sheet protectors/pockets and finally get everything organized. I love it! I separated it into five sections: home and entertainment; functional; business; health and beauty; and fun and fashion. I also added business card pages so I could keep the cards of my favorite sellers handy. Behind that, I had two 10-page bound sheet protectors that I received from a fellow planner in one of my Facebook groups. In those pages, I keep discount codes from the sellers, as well as all those little freebie stickers that come with your order.Now I can see exactly what I have and I know exactly where to find what I need. I definitely found some level of sticker peace; I’m not sure if I’ve discovered planner peace yet!I’ll leave links to everything I purchased for my sticker binder below. My only complaint is that although the dividers and sheet protectors are both made by Avery, the dividers do not extend out past the sheets. I plan to add a Martha Stewart tab to each so I can more easily find each section.

So, there you have it – my complete 2017 planner setup. I’m sure my system will evolve as time goes on, but for now I think this will work for the year.

What does your planner system look like for 2017?

Enjoy!

Cindi

Filofax 2017 Personal Organizer, Leather, Patent Purple, Paper Size 6.75 x 3.75 inches (C022433-17)

Avery Mini Heavyweight Sheet Protectors, 5.5 x 8.5 Inches, Pack of 25 (77004)

Avery Mini Business Card Pages, Clear, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, Pack of 5 (76025)

Avery Mini Plastic Durable Write-On Dividers, 5.5 x 8.5 Inches, 5 Tabs, 1 Set (16180)

Wilson Jones Round Ring View Mini Binder, 1 Inch, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 Inch Sheets, Basic, 362 Series, Customizable, White (W362-10W)

Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery® Tabs, 2-Inch Solid, Assorted Pastel Colors, 10-Tabs/Color, 3 Colors, 30-Tabs/Pack

Please be advised that some links in this post are affiliate links.