Now, Where Did I Put That? The Ultimate Guide to get Organized and Not Lose Your Sh*t Literally and Figuratively
By Jackie White
We have all been there once or twice or like every day…where did I put my keys? Where did I put the hammer? Darn it, where is that bill I was supposed to pay this week? We all get unorganized at some point in all the busyness life brings. I am the first to admit this! But how do we turn this chaos around and get it together?
First, we begin with awareness and admittance. It’s sort of like an AA meeting for us, unorganized people. I, (fill in with your name), am unorganized. That’s it, now let’s move on. We can all move from being unorganized to actually being organized and you know what happens then? We begin to start enjoying life just a little bit more and the reason why is that we are not frantically looking, searching, buying another or being late because we couldn’t get it together on time! Just the thought of that is refreshing, isn’t it?
So, let’s get to some fundamental things that need to be put into place to bring you over into the Land of I Know Where Things Are.
Information Central: Organizing information is really half the battle! Set up a system to track your/your family’s activities, appointments, and commitments. You know if you are the mom in your family, you are keeping track of everyone, so color-code your system to manage all the peeps properly. Keep this primary organizational tool easy to use, and updated, and make sure people are using it (which is the other half of the battle, right?!)
Calendar: A family calendar online or posted on the fridge, so all can see. A personal calendar/planner is also helpful to manage yourself. I like a paper planner, but if digital works for you, then use that. The trick here is keeping it updated and keeping yourself updated but looking at it every day so you know what’s happening.
Scheduling: Here we really have to get honest with ourselves. Be overly conservative with the time you have. Part of the problem with being unorganized is we overestimate what we can get done in a day. Remember when running errands, attending appointments, picking up kids, there is travel time (we always forget that it seems!). Realize no matter how much you want to get 82 things done in a day, it will likely be a lot less, so be realistic!
Bulletin Board: A bulletin board can be really helpful to hold school notices, invitations, field trip slips or other action-needed items. The beauty of this is that you can see it and it’s easy to slap up a paper that might otherwise get lost if not managed right away.
Important Paper Binder: In this keep birth certificates, social security cards, bank info, marriage license, will, or any other important legal documents you need to access. Keep this in an inconspicuous place in your home.
Communication/Office Bin: This bin holds things like envelopes, stamps, pens, paperclips, pencils, checkbooks, printer ink and thank you notes.
Bills: There are many ways you can organize your bills but I found paying online as a great way to streamline payments. You can opt in to an auto-pay where it comes directly out of your account and you don’t have to do anything or your can choose to pay online but you have to execute the transaction. Either way, you must keep a running tab of what is coming in and going out as well as when you need to pay so that your bills are not late. This may sound rudimentary, but you would be surprised how fouled up this can get if you don’t stay on top of it.
Menu Planning: Make a plan for a few days and I stress, only a few days to ensure you are utilizing the foods you are purchasing. I have tried to do the month long planning only to throw out so much unused food. If this could potentially be your scenario, menu plan for only 2-3 days at a time and use what you buy. It can’t hurt to have a back up freezer option if you can’t get back to the store on time.
Get Off the Phone: Yikes! The biggest time suck of them all can be the dang phone/social media. Watch yourself here because it tends to take up so much more time than we ever realized!
Stay Aware: Pay attention to how you are doing once you have put some of these strategies in place. Is it working for you? What can be better? What can you tweak? Continuous improvement will be your focus here so that eventually you get a system in place that is keeping you organized like a well-oiled machine!
For more help getting organized, join SoulShine for the FREE Squeeze the Day Life Organization Challenge starting September 27 - September 30, 2022!
Sign up here → https://soulshinelifeconnections.podia.com/squeeze-the-day-challenge
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Are you as excited about this as me?!?
You should be, DreamChaser! That heart of yours…it's the engine that powers everything you do and want to do. Just like you maintain your car's engine with oil changes and scheduled maintenance, you gotta do the same for your heart! It's so dang important there's a day dedicated today to remind you and the whole month of February!
Taking care of that ticker isn't hard…and it can be fun! Fun is our middle name…we believe firmly that having fun is a key part of life. Without further ado, here are 7 Fun Ways to Celebrate World Heart Day…and the bonus is you will boost your heart health along the way!
1. Get Moving!
Regular exercise and physical activity is one of the best ways to show your heart some love! Exercise not only strengthens your heart muscle and your overall heart/lung function, it also helps reduce stress and boosts your mood, among other heart-healthy things. Try something fun…like dancing! Go get your move, or groove, on!
2. Cuddle Your Pet
We sure love those furry family members, don't we? (Well, our pet is a turtle but he's still the best!) The joy pets bring to your life has been shown to boost your heart health by decreasing blood pressure and lowering your cholesterol and triglycerides. Boost it further by enjoying a walk with your furry friend!
3. Chocolate, Anyone?
Did this one catch your attention? Studies have shown that chocolate contains several heart-healthy nutrients that can reduce inflammation and increase your HDL, or good cholesterol, levels. This is an area to use moderation…lol…but, you're welcome!
4. Have a Laugh
Talk about a fun way to boost your heart health and overall wellness. Laughing increases your heart rate and causes you to take deeper breaths. Combined, this allows highly oxygenated blood to circulate through your system, causing your blood pressure to lower. Laughing also helps lower your body's stress response, which is always a good thing! Let those giggles go…laughter really is the best medicine!
5. Start with Breakfast
Eating a nutrient-packed breakfast helps kick-start your metabolism to burn calories and helps decrease the chance of overeating later in the day. Studies have shown that people who eat a nutrient-packed breakfast have significantly less heart disease and stroke compared to breakfast skippers. Yum!
6. Get Your ZZZ'S
During sleep, your blood pressure decreases. Having poor sleep patterns means your blood pressure stays higher longer, which contributes to heart disease such as hypertension and stroke. Simply put, the better your night's sleep, the better your heart health….so get those ZZZ's!
7. Relax With a Hot Bath
Ahhh…this sounds nice, but how? Hot water allows your arteries and veins to dilate, or get bigger, making it easier for your heart to pump. The double whammy? When you are relaxed, you breathe deeper, therefore, you circulate highly oxygenated blood during your bath. Get your soak on!
See, DreamChaser, taking care of your heart can be easy and fun! On this World Heart Day, celebrate your own heart health with one of these fun ideas. Here's to a happy heart, one day at a time! Shine On!
Finding Inspiration in the Triumph of Others. 5 Life Lessons from a Kid’s Success Story
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
An interesting thing happened to me the other day…let’s just call it a huge dose of perspective. A quick recap, DreamChaser. At SoulShine Life Connections, we are fueled by helping you on your Best Life journey. At the heart of this is your goals, and one of the best ways to achieve those big, bold, audacious goals is to chunk them into bite-sized pieces and focus on doing the little things daily to push your needle in the right direction. Doing this consistently combined with good ole time and a heavy dose of patience and grit will inevitably lead to success.
But, let's be real, it can be a grind. During the process of baby steps, while effective, can seem like you aren't making progress. The truth is, you are making progress but, in your process of becoming what you have set out to achieve, you might not notice the changes. You might not notice…but others do!
Here's where the huge perspective came into my life recently thanks to my oldest son, Ethan. Last year, this baseball-obsessed young man threw out a huge goal. He decided to try out for a local baseball travel team. This team has 3 skill-based teams with the best team having just taken third place in the 13U Babe Ruth World Series. Ethan declared he would make the highest team and would be in the 14U World Series in summer 2022. Whoa…big goals, buddy, but go for it.
Ethan made the 2nd team but was not deterred. He put in the extra work daily with practice, hitting and pitching lessons, stretch training and speed, and focused mindset work. In May, he was moved up to the highest team, which was a huge accomplishment since it was a well-established team, with the warning he would need to earn playing time. He continued to show up, even when his confidence was low. Fast forward to the Regional Championship, he was put in suddenly as a pinch hitter, resulting in a single that scored the go-ahead run! Off to the World Series!! It was at the World Series that his hot bat continued, moving him from batting 9th to batting 2nd for the last 3 games.
He did exactly what he said he was going to do. From the highlight reel view, it looked like this kid came out of nowhere. The truth? He consistently showed up with his best effort and attitude, despite it being hard or even when he didn't want to. He had times of embarrassment when former teammates teased him when they saw he wasn't playing. He dealt with frustration when it didn't seem he was being recognized for his effort. He kept his eye on his goal, put his head down, and kept going. And, it was worth it! It was glorious to see, and an amazing demonstration that those small, everyday actions both make a difference and pay off.
While there were many lessons that Ethan demonstrated on his goal-getting journey, here are the top 5 that I will carry with me…and, I encourage you to do the same:
1. Be specific on your goals. The clearer your goals, the easier it is to see the actions you need to take to get there. Also, rarely will you exceed what you set out to do so aim high! You are more capable than you give yourself credit for, DreamChaser.
2. Stumbles might hurt but won’t crush you - if you don't let them! Any goal worth achieving will have stumbles and obstacles along the way. Embrace the suck. Find the blessing in the stressing…look for the positives and find the lessons. Lean into working on a positive mindset.
3. Don't quit before payday. Those goals get harder right before the triumph. You are tired, frustrated, just want to get there already. Focus on your areas of control - your thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Keep pushing through…it will be worth it!
4. You have done the work - you are ready! A special kind of negative, limiting belief often sets in right before your triumph, often called Fear of Success. Thoughts that you might not be able to pull this off or keep it going or aren't deserving…so many ways for that negativity to creep in. Here's the truth. You've done the work. You have changed to be the person who can pull this off. Your time is now so step into that greatness.
5. Enjoy the view! You've made it to the top of the mountain. Time to stop and enjoy the view! The funny thing about reaching the top of one mountaintop is suddenly more are uncovered, ones that were hidden until now. Listen to me…they can wait. They aren't going anywhere. Take time to sit in and enjoy your triumph. Celebrate all you have done to get here!
It can be easier to see the progress in others, especially as you are in the middle of your own journey. Use this inspiration from others to fuel your own journey. Don't forget this part…you might be inspiring someone else. Be the evidence…embrace the process…and enjoy the ride! Shine On!
The Time Conundrum... Not having time, to make time, to spend time, on the things that really matter...And What To Do About It.
By Jackie White
Time is a little like trying to hold onto jello, it just keeps slipping through your fingers no matter how hard you try to manage it. The problem seems to be that we are all just too busy, right? Well, not really. There are many reasons why we find ourselves in this vicious time-lacking life and all of the reasons are really good but have a warped sense of what is reasonable. Let me explain.
According to a 2020 Gallup poll, in America, women make up almost half of the workforce, and yet they still are managing most of the household duties like laundry, cleaning and cooking as well as caring for children on a daily basis. Doh! Right there, many of us can identify why we don’t have any time.
On top of that let's expand on kid management. Depending on your child’s age, you could be chauffeuring them all around town, attending sporting events, volunteering to manage a scout troop, attending band concerts, helping with homework, running out to get pants when they suddenly have grown 5 inches, delivering them to the dentist, ortho and doctor appointments, hosting birthday parties and sleepovers…Whew! It’s a job in itself to raise the kids, right?!
Now, let’s add in aging parents. The sandwich generation tends to fall on the shoulders of the daughters who are trying to raise their own children but need to help their own parents financially, physically, or emotionally. Dealing with medical, self-care, or housing issues for aging parents can be difficult to navigate practically and emotionally. It’s tough to see parents needing aid in some way or form. It can be downright exhausting.
When you think that is too much, don’t forget that some of you have a spouse or partner who might need some attention too. That partnership needs nurturing as well. Psst, when was the last time you got out of those sweatpants and got yourself gussied up for a night on the town? Ya, I know, that’s exhausting too!
By this time you might be saying, the question shouldn’t be “why don’t I have any time for myself?”, instead, it should be “How could I possibly have time for myself?”. That’s the question we are here to answer for you.
Let me step onto my soapbox now. Please feel me when I say, the remedy to all of this craziness is getting ORGANIZED, PRIORITIZED, and BAPTIZED into a new religion of self-love! C’mon Girl, get pumped up! Raise your hands to the sky and say “Hallelujah!”
The reinforcements are here to help! SoulShine has you on this! We are offering a FREE Squeeze the Day Time Organization Challenge. We want you to Squeeze Each Day (see what we did there? That’s “seize the day” for those of you who aren’t getting my drift). Seizing each day with a plan of organization will help you manage your load. We are also helping you decide what the important stuff is that has to get on the schedule. Stuff like caring for yourself. You know being organized is a form of self-care! We will do all this with fun and a few laughs and I am thinking right about now, that you may need just that!
Please join us September 27-30 for a fun, free week of getting organized! Click the link below to get yourself back on the list!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.