Tag: rules to live by

Rules to live by…. READ!

Many of us are dealing with the Coronavirus, school and work closings and social distancing.    In times like these, finding a few minutes of escape, might be as simple as making time for the things you love in life.    One of my favorite escapes is reading.  

Reading has been a passion of mine since I was a young child.    I remember walking up and down the rows of books at my elementary school library, just pulling books at random.     Today when I go to the library, I still do this random strolling and pulling off shelves, but most frequently I hit the new book release section first.     There I find all types of books and usually come away with a half-dozen books. 

Is it any surprise that I love to read books about budgeting, money, savings, and most recently, college planning?   I’m currently reading “The 30-Minute Money Plan for Moms”, by Catey Hill, and “Smart Couples finish Rich”, by David Bach.  But I also love to read fiction, autobiographies, how-to-books, youth and teen books, picture books, blogs and magazines.    Books on tape and podcasts are another form of reading when I am driving around town.    

I will read almost anything.  Often, I am reading what my kids read.    My fourth grader just read a graphic novel called “I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912” by Lauren Tarshis.  It was my first graphic novel and I loved it.   A few years ago my son and I loved “Okay for Now” by Gary Schmidt

On my phone, I keep two lists “Great Books” and “Books to Get”.   Whenever someone mentions a good book, I add it to my list and then go to the library ap on my phone to request the book for free.  If it is not available at the library, I will look at ordering from Amazon, new or used.

On the great books tab, I keep a list of books to recommend to others.   Here is a link to a list of some books that made the list.  You can also access this under the “My Favorites” tab.   I also have a friend who enjoys reading and we often swap books.  

Although my local library is now closed due to the virus, we can still use the drive-up window to pick up books.   I may need to call and ask the librarian to head on over to the new releases and grab me five books that look promising!  I will always find ways to keep reading😊  Pick-up a book today and escape into an adventure, a drama, an autobiography or a mystery.    

Rules To Live By… Be a Lifelong Learner

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In addition to setting goals each year, think and plan out how you will continue to learn and grow every year.   Be a lifelong learner by adding skills, interests and knowledge every year.   Not only will this expand your mind, it will also inspire others, allow you to develop new relationships, make you a more interesting person and can even help develop your career and personal story.

Many years back, I decided I wanted to become a better speaker.   Whether just being able to talk at church, in front of a group at work, or someday become a professional speaker; I recognized that I needed more skills to be able to speak effectively in front of a crowd.   As a child, I was very shy, but as an adult I’ve realized I have a lot to say and share!    To expand this skill, I read about a local group that met at a nearby library called Toastmasters (http://www.toastmasters.org/).  Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs.   I joined and over the next year, I jumped in and learned how to prepare a speech and to speak confidently to groups.  But there were many more benefits:   I built additional self-confidence, formed new friendships and came more-and-more out of my shell.   Since this time, I have given countless speeches on parenting, faith, finances and other areas to many groups of people.  

So, what do you want to learn this year?  A new language, a new craft, a computer program, how to change a flat tire, start a blog, to grow your business, to start a side hustle, learn to cook, start a new career?   

Pick one thing and take the next step.   Find a class, a course on-line, a book at the library or a mentor who can teach you the ropes.   The sky is the limit.    Be a lifelong learner!

Rules to live by…. Set Goals

It’s a new year and many people start out with new year’s resolutions which are often broken by mid-January.  I would rather think in terms of goals.   I love January, because it feels like a new start every year.   A new beginning, a new opportunity to start something fresh.  It may be something you have done many times before, but January is a time to press reset and start again.  

If you are here, one of your goals may be to start looking closer at your money.    As much as I love my spreadsheets, planning and organizing around money, I still have at least one or two financial goals every year.   I like to look at what I have done the past year or past few years and think:  How can I do it better this year?     Maybe it is setting a savings goal, or planning to pay off a credit card, or planning for a new vacation or simply starting to track my money closer.   What are the steps I need to take to make it a reality? 

Choose your goals for the year and put them

on paper.    The simple act of writing a goal down

helps you take the next steps to achieve your goal.    

You need to keep your goals visible, front and center.   Post them on the refrigerator, or on your phone or in your planner.   Writing them down helps to make it a firm commitment.   I think broad and create goals in six areas of my life:   Personal, Professional, Family, Financial, Spiritual & Social.  Each of these areas has one or two or three goals that I want to work towards during the year.   Some are simple and some are more involved.    Here is an example:

Sample Goal Setting sheet

  1. Personal (include personal goals and health areas)
    1. Prepare more healthy meals
    2. Start a blog, learn a new language
  2. Professional
    1. Join a professional organization/take a class
    2. Learn a new software program/learn a new skill
  3. Family (include home and travel goals)
    1. Plan a Summer vacation to the beach
    2. Home projects:   paint the living room & organize the basement
    3. Schedule family dinner nights with extended family monthly
  4. Financial
    1. Review and update all insurance policies
    2. Organize and complete an emergency binder
    3. Track monthly expenses on spreadsheet
  5. Spiritual 
    1. Keep a gratitude journal throughout the year
    2. Adopt a family bible verse for the year
  6. Social
    1. Monthly date nights with hubby
    2. One extra-curricular per child each month/quarter
    3. Coffee with a girlfriend each month

I’ve created a printable for you “Jump Rope finances goal setting sheet” to create your goals.

Give some thought to goal planning this year!