The Marvelous Things I Do Every Sunday

Sundays are my favorite day of the week! Maybe it’s because I’m a power planner and I look forward to prepping for the week ahead. Or maybe it’s because I always squeeze a little lazy time into my Sundays to chill and refresh for the busy week I know is coming. Or maybe there’s just something sanctimonious about a Sunday to me. I think it’s a little bit of all of the above. Sundays always feel a bit new to me, like I’m kicking off a new project or starting a new adventure, there’s just something invigorating about it for me.

  1. I clean up my home. I wash the dishes and put them away. I clean my bathroom and I pick up my bedroom. I always find I feel better throughout the week being able to get ready in a clean area and starting my week off with the house looking fresh and tidy.
  2. I finish the laundry and put away my clothes. Making sure my clothes are clean and I have what I need for the week always helps me feel more sane and helps me stay pulled together even when the week gets busy and hectic.
  3. I review my planner and schedule for the week making sure I don’t have any surprises ahead in the week. Knowing what you have coming in the week helps give you a stronger mindset to manage your days.
  4. I spend some time with my blog. I review my blog editorial calendar and plan out some time throughout the week to write accordingly. I build and schedule out my social media posts for the week. I stumble my recent posts. I build at least the outline draft for my weekly email. This way I have a good structure for the week and can time block some evenings for writing.
  5. I plan my meals for the week. This keeps me on plan with my healthy eating and I can make sure I have what I need for lunches and dinners before the week starts.
  6. I plan out my outfit for Monday morning, or at least get some ideas of what I want to wear. This takes out some of the hustle on a Monday morning.
  7. I take a quick go-through of my work emails. My inbox always seems to fill up over the weekend so I find my Monday mornings are a bit more relaxing if I can clear out the junk mail and organize the others into their correct files and flag priority emails to find easily come the morning.
  8. I indulge in a facial treatment. Sundays are a good day for me to get in a little extra skin care. I apply a detoxing facial mask and then follow up with an organic facial oil. I find it relaxing and I love feeling a little extra pampered.
  9. I Netflix (or Amazon Prime) and chill. I always make it a point to get a little lazy time in on my Sundays. This is important to me because I don’t get much down time during the week. I’m currently powering through a show on Amazon called ‘Humans’.
  10. I spend some time sketching or painting. I am a huge advocate of art therapy. I always find it a wonderful way for me to release some built up stress or frustration. It helps me relax and recharge before the week starts.

Maybe this seems like a little bit of a busy day to some but for me this is my day, my time. Getting myself organized and balanced out helps me have a better week. It helps me feel prepared and gives me peace of mind. What routines do you have on Sundays to prepare for your week?

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How to Clear Space for the New Year

The New Year is one of my favorite times of the year! I love the feeling of knowing a new leaf is turning, new opportunities are on their way. It also gives me a place to begin a new chapter and to clear out what’s lingering from the past year. 

Physically

  1. Go through stuff at the house.

    1. Donate things that do not serve purpose in your life anymore. I have been collecting boxes of things to go to Goodwill and to sell all year, it’s time to get them out of the house! Take some down time to go through things in your home. Ask yourself, “is it going to bring value to your New Year?” If the answer is yes, then put it away in an organized place; if no, then add it to the donate pile.
    2. Go through clothes and accessories. I like to do this a few times a year but this is a great time to really power through your clothes and accessories. What image do you want to project in the New Year? Does this piece fit that image? Check out Power Tips for an Awesome Closet Clean Out for more tips and ideas.
    3. Go through paperwork and files. I am notorious for collecting information and being a bit old school, I tend to print out everything and take lots of notes so I end up with lots of piles and files full of paperwork. (I’m working on this – Evernote is a great resource for keeping digital notebooks instead of lots of paperfiles). Sit down and go through all your paperwork, what is dire to keep? What can be put into digital form? Take what you decide to keep and organize into a binder or notebook and tuck safely on an organized shelf.
    4. Clean out car. Grab a trash bag and clean out the water bottles that have piled up. Clean out the console that’s been collecting gadgets and stuff. Give your car a good wipe down and hit a car wash so it’s shiny and clean for the New Year!
    5. Go through make-up and beauty products. Check expiration dates, a good rule of thumb for make-up is that if it’s over three months old, it’s time to toss it. Clean your make-up brushes to remove any dirt and bacteria and toss the colors you’ve never used (you can donate if it’s never been opened). Go through your hair products too – what are using, what have you not touched in six months? 
  2. Clean out digital.

    1. Clean out inbox. Go through all the emails you’ve been hanging onto – either complete the task or more the email into a folder for reference later. Unsubscribe to the emails that aren’t serving purpose or the places you don’t shop. I have found unroll.me very helpful in managing my emails. Check out How to Keep Control of Your Inbox for more tips.
    2. Go through social media accounts. Go through your accounts, who are you following just to follow? Clear out Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to only include people and accounts that are bringing your valuable information, information and inspiration that fits your goals and your path. Unfollow negativity.
    3. Clean out computer files. Clean out duplicates of photos, delete documents that are no longer relevant. Organize documents into proper files. 

Mentally

  1. Lingering thoughts and emotions.

    1. Journaling. Take some time to yourself and write it all out. What are you still holding onto from the past year? Journaling has proven to help us work through lingering emotions and feelings so that we can work through the process of letting them go. 
    2. Meditation. I find that adding some deep meditation sessions to my schedule at the end of the year is a good way for me to work through the experiences left on my mind from the year. It helps me separate the lessons learned from emotions of the experiences.
  2. Set goals and intentions for the New Year.

    1. Goal Planning. What do you want to accomplish in the new year? Separate your goals into categories – personal growth & development, tasks, business goals,etc. I start with a full list and then I will work them into categories and build steps to reach those goals. Break your goals into monthly goals and set deadlines to reach them. This helps you build a solid plan to reach those goals.
    2. Setting up my Planner and Calendars. My favorite part of the New Year! Use some of the breakthrough work you completed in your goal planning to build your planner and calendars for the new years. What adventures and experiences do you want to set on your calendar? What habits and routines do you need to build into your planner to help you reach your goals? I’m looking at the Commit30 Planner or The Desire Map Planner for this upcoming year. 

Every year we get another opportunity to work towards building the life we dream of and become more of who we want to be! Set yourself up for a successful New Year by clearing the space you need to grow into everything you dream of! Check out these other great resources for your New Year’s Planning:

Tidying Up for a New Year

New Year Planning & Making Goals – Planners, Notebooks, and Accessories to Set Up Your Planner

5 Top Goals to Get Focused on Self-Improvement

 

All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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How Participating in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge Changed Me

Well I’ve reached the end of the challenge. I didn’t do too shabby…missed some days…but learned a lot in the process.

1.) I burnt out a bit. – I started out the month ahead of the game. I had my editorial calendar all planned out and I had a few posts written ahead of time but I slid and lost control of my time management. I found myself staying up late to write a blog post for the day and eventually it caught up to me. I am looking forward to going back to 3-4 posts a week in November. I love being able to create so much content but with my busy schedule it’s hard to keep up with a daily post.

2.) I diversified my content. – With having so many days to write for back to back, it pushed me to expand my content. I loved that. I found new ways to look at things and to write about. I think this also helped to expand my audience. That’s the benefit of being a lifestyle blogger because life incorporates so many topics.

3.) I learned more about affiliate marketing in this challenge. – A portion of this challenge was affiliate pins on Pinterest. I learned how to create them and how to market them within my Pinterest boards. Through this process I also built the confidence and more knowledge to market more in general, both myself and my affiliates. This will be a larger focus in my November goals.

4.) I learned more about life balance.I was burning out because I gave too much at the beginning. I was working all day at the office and then coming home and sitting in front of the computer more into the night. Sitting in front of a computer that long can suck the life right out of you. I was staying up late to get posts written, I was working in blog sharing into my lunch breaks – I wasn’t taking a break from it. I know I  have to put in the extra time to reach my goals but I still have to keep my work-play balance in line so that I can recharge.

5.) I didn’t beat myself up so much. – Hey I got 22 posts out of 30 up…that’s 73%. That’s like a C right? Okay, so yeah I prefer A’s but I did this while working a high-demanding full time job, working on some paintings for upcoming art shows, spending quality time with my son and my mom and scheduled activities with my friends, started cleaning out my closet, and while starting a fairly involved fitness training program, so heck yeah I’m feeling good about where I landed at the end of the challenge.

Lesson 5 was my biggest take away from this. I can be so hard on myself but I was able to see my progress instead of my pitfalls in this challenge, I was able to accept that even though I was missing a couple of days I came out of this with some great lessons and discoveries.

Through this experience I’ve come up with a little schedule plan to try out in November:

2 Days Blogging – one day to write up posts for the week, one day to build marketing images and schedule

5 days working out per week, 2 rest days – 3 days running, 2 days weight training, 1-2 days yoga practice – this will vary depending on the week with class schedules, also some of those are combined (I know that added up to more than 5 – i.e.: run and do arms kind of thing)

2 Days Class/Labs for Health Coaching Certification

3 Days for activities/relaxing/time with friends and family

My goal is to build a routine that allows flexibility. A schedule that allows me to work towards my goals and to keep me on track but still allows me to live my life while I’m at it and to also put an end to the burn out cycle! 

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5 Easy Ways to Promote your Blog

Ready to get your blog out in front of more people? Here’s five ways that I’ve tried and are true to help grow your audience and increase your blog traffic.

  1. Promote on Social Media
    • Build a Facebook Page to share your content with. By sharing my content consistently I was able to grow my Facebook Page from 174 followers to 1313 followers in less than a year.
    • Don’t be afraid to share some of your work on your personal Facebook Page too.
    • Share on Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Instagram. 28% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest, 17% comes from StumbleUpon, and 13% comes from Facebook. I just started promoting my blog on my Instagram account but I know several other bloggers that have had great success with Instagram.
  2. Join Share Groups – This is a great way to connect with other bloggers and to promote your content. These groups work as a share program – you share their work and they share yours. I have founds some wonderful groups on Facebook and Pinterest.
  3. Guest post on another blog – Building relationships with other bloggers is a wonderful way to expand your following and audience. Partner up with like-minded bloggers and swap guest posts. The key to this is to promote both blog posts (yours and theirs).
  4. Promote your posts through an e-newsletter – This helps build more loyalty with your readers, keeps them coming back. It creates an easy way for your subscribers to connect with your blog and see new posts.
  5. Host a giveaway – Creating a giveaway is a wonderful engagement tip. People love to win stuff. Use this to collect new email subscribers and drive people to your blog and Social Media accounts. I grew my email subscriber list from 19 to 180 subscribers with the help of a giveaway.

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50 Quotes For Success To Bring You Up When You’re Feeling The Sting Of Setback

It can be a long road to success. It may take late nights and a whole lotta sweat and tears. I’m not going to be the one that’s going to sit here and say “It’s going to be easy” because most times it isn’t. There will be set backs and failures, which are all natural in the process of making change, of pushing down walls and working towards your dreams and goals. But I will sit and say, “Don’t give up”. If you want it, if you’re willing to work for it, you’ll make it happen. Big dreams take work and they take time and they take overcoming challenges but it’s all possible to make those dreams come true. 

Some of my little secrets to keep yourself inspired and motivated: Surround yourself with things that build you up, surround yourself with people that are making it, reward yourself for little wins along the way and post all the motivational quotes, mantras and affirmations you can all over the place! 

50 Quotes For Success To Bring You Up When You’re Feeling The Sting Of Setback

  1. “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
  2. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
  3. “Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.” ~ Bo Bennett
  4. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
  5. “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
  6. “The secret of success is that we never, never give up.” ~ Wilma Mankiller
  7. “Fall seven times and stand up eight.” ~ Japanese Proverb
  8. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” ~ Colin Powell
  9. “The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  10. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” ~ Napoleon Hill
  11. “Action is the foundational key to all success.” ~ Pablo Picasso
  12. “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” ~ Florence Nightingale
  13. “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
  14. “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” ~ Arthur Ashe
  15. “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” ~ C.S. Lewis
  16. “Success is not the absence of failure, it’s the persistence through failure.” ~ Aisha Tyler
  17. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
  18. “Success is a journey, not a destination.” ~ Ben Sweetland
  19. “There is no success without hardship.” ~ Sophocles
  20. “Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.” ~ Lydia M. Child
  21. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill
  22. “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” ~ Walter Scott
  23. “True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.” ~ Paul Sweeney
  24. “Always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
  25. “They succeed because they think they can.” ~ Virgil
  26. “It’s how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success.” ~ Charlotte Whitton
  27. “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” ~ Arnold H. Glasow
  28. “Things that look like an ‘overnight success’ typically are not.” ~ Jason Calacanis
  29. “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
  30. “Success is a process, a quality of mind and way of being, an outgoing affirmation of life.” ~ Alex Noble
  31. “Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success.” ~ Shawn Achor
  32. “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George A. Sheehan
  33. “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
  34. “There’s a lot of blood, sweat and guts between dreams and success.” ~ Paul Bryant
  35. “There’s no abiding success without commitment.” ~ Tony Robbins
  36. “The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.” ~ David Sarnoff
  37. “Much effort, much prosperity.” ~ Euripides
  38. “Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying.” ~ W. Clement Stone
  39. “Without failure there is no sweetness in success. There’s no understanding of it.” ~ Glenn Beck
  40. “To follow, without halt, one aim: that’s the secret of success.” ~ Anna Pavlova
  41. “Success is the progressive, realization of predetermined, worthwhile, personal goals.” ~ Paul J. Meyer
  42. “The real secret of success is enthusiasm.” ~ Walter Chrysler
  43. “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” ~ Joyce Brothers
  44. “What drives success is internal motivation.” ~ Vivienne Ming
  45. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” ~ Thomas J. Watson
  46. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden
  47. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” ~ Walt Disney
  48. “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
  49. “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” ~ Zig Ziglar
  50. “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

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The Meaning Behind My Blog Name

I got into the blogging world several years back when I launched a crafting blog. Then I migrated to a foodie blog, and finally finding my home in launching Do Five Things A Day in 2010. When I started Do Five Things A Day I was going through a bit of a rough patch in life. I was struggling greatly with my Rheumatoid Arthritis on top of other life challenges and found myself many days with a lack of motivation and energy to make it through my day. I started taking a step back and focused on slowing down, taking into consideration that I had more on my plate than I could handle at the time. I developed a plan to focus on tackling just five tasks or goals a day. This is where my blog name came from. The theme I was developing for my blog was to build confidence in the things I did accomplish each day rather than only seeing what I didn’t get done. I wanted to learn to accept myself for where I was in life and build my self esteem up to feel proud of the steps I was taking to move forward, no matter how big or small they were. This was the beginning of a transformation for me and for my blogging career. Over the past seven years I have come and gone to the blogging world through Do Five Things A Day. I have shifted and I have twirled many times in life and in careers as I sifted through learning more about myself and what I wanted out of life. My blogging style and posts have followed suit as I migrated through these changes and discoveries within life and within myself. 

What started as a journey to find myself has bloomed into so much more. I still to this day follow my philosophy of doing five things a day and now most days I find myself doing much more. This blog has taught me to see myself and my life differently. It has taught me to be more forgiving and more compassionate to myself and to accept that there are big days and there are little days but each day I am making progress and each day has meaning. In the beginning I started this blog for myself, for a place to escape. Today it holds a purpose to share my stories to inspire others, to help others accept and grow as I did (and to continue growing). I’ve grown to understand that some days I’ll do five big things but other days I can be happy that I just got out of bed. I’ve learned that each day brings new opportunities and that personal growth and discovery is a life long journey.  

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Why I’m Participating in a 30 Day Blogging Challenge

For October I’m making my mantra “Set goals and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of reaching them”. I had some great wins in September which is just fueling me for an even bigger month in October. I want to finish up the year with a bang! 

Blogging Wins for September:

Hit 1000 Facebook Page Likes – Woot! Woot! – Actually exceeded my goal by 269 page likes

Hit my halfway mark for my payout minimum with Shareasale

Got an e-newsletter out every week to my subscribers

So this month I’m setting some higher bars for myself. I’ve joined a 30 Days of Blogging Challenge which means my goal is to get a blog post up and live every day – whew, this took some planning and prep but I’m game to make it happen.

Blogging Goals for October:

Hit 5000 views on my blog

Hit 1500 Facebook Page Likes

Get more weekly content up on my blog, and some more variety

Make $100 from blog income lines

Get one paid sponsorship

So down to the gritty with my real time thoughts of why I’m doing the 30 Days of Blogging Challenge

The surface reasons are of course to publish more content, build more traffic and expand my audience on my blog but layered under those there are the deeper goals I hope to bring out of this challenge. I want to use this challenge to not only develop myself more professionally but also on a personal growth level.

Growth Goals in October:

Develop more discipline and consistency in my tasks and schedule

Build better time management skills

Develop more clarity and confidence in my blogging style

Increase my commitment level to my blog and to my goals

Help myself get back on track to my goals and back in good rhythm

So here’s to a big month for me both professionally and personally – cause when you’re focusing and exceeding at something you love to do, everything else has a way of falling into place. 

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page