3 Ways to Streamline Your Life
Hello and welcome back to the blog my friend and dearest Reader!
We have another "Invest in Yourself" Listicle for our ongoing series on the blog, and I am SO excited to keep up with this series. I am also laughing to myself right now because I am a hypocrite upon hypocrite for writing about streamlining and scheduling your life, when I, the writer, forgot to work on this yesterday!
So, now you can read this with the delightful knowledge and realization that this post is just as much for me as it is for you my dearest Reader! You're probably even more schedule-savvy than I am Reader... but alas, I honestly believe that, as Jesus said, it is the sick who need the doctor, not the healthy!
And I am quite sick (quite often) in the area of scheduling, organizing and streamlining my life, dearest Reader, oh yes: I can truly be a good-for-nothing when it comes to staying organized.
I truly envy our Type "A" sisters who manage to keep things afloat AND naturally organize their lives, but as envy is quite a futile state of being, why don't we learn from them instead? As this series is all about self-investment, I believe that one of the best ways we can invest in ourselves is by making sure our energy is not being wasted on inefficiencies in our lives.
So without any more time wasted on this introduction, let's talk about streamlining our lives and hopefully we can get motivated to get efficient!
Now, although I can be quite disorganized, I would say that one thing I have never struggled with is preparation! I am a true glutton for preparation and research. I don't do ANYTHING without researching, testing, and hypothesizing first.
Before I travel anywhere, I research the local culture, climate, activities, and restaurants to make sure I will have the perfect outfits. I always research online items versus their in-store counterparts, and I never see a movie unless I have read the reviews. I HATE wasting my time, my money, or my energy on failures or problems that I could have avoided through proper research.
Many of us seem to think that research is a professional activity saved for medical tests or social sciences, but I believe that research does not always have to be so serious, and can in fact be incorporated into our daily mundane activities.
Proper research into purchases, life decisions, or even dating opportunities can TRULY streamline our lives! Thinking of having a baby? Begin researching your fertility and pregnancy tips now! Thinking of starting up a new home project? Research online and watch videos of how to prepare for it!
Research the best airlines, the best sewing machines, or even the best video games. Treat your spouse like a research project and always try to learn more about them. Learn about your town, learn about yourself, and LEARN about your options when it comes to mundane things like insurance, investments, or your own health!
Don't purchase or invest in your money in ANYTHING without proper research, and never invest your time or energy, which is just as valuable as money, into anything without research either. Gather as much information as possible and always compare your options.
But when the time comes, don't stand still: you have to make a decision eventually. Instead of using research to procrastinate on decisions until the "perfect" option comes along, remember the word "satis-fice." Once you find an option that is both satisfactory and sufficient, move forward confidently by "satis-fycing" your life. Use your research to take action! Don't wait forever, but move forward knowing you did the best you could with the information you had.
Making a budget will streamline your life because it will allow you to be peaceful in your finances and plan for the future.
We shouldn't hoard our money like greedy dragons and never help people around us, but it also does no good to let money pass through your fingers like water. When you get your paycheck, make sure you have plans for it! Don't just go out with friends to party extra hard because you "feel" rich. Make sure you are taking care of your long term expenses first, and always save for the future.
Remember that retirement funds don't just pop out of nowhere: make sure you have a plan, and always look towards the next fifty years. Make sure you and your husband have sufficient life insurance plans in the event of an untimely death, and always ensure that you are taking care of big expenses like your rent or mortgage before you run out to get a new Kate Spade.
Budgeting doesn't have to be miserable unless you make it miserable.
Sure, you might not be budgeting for four nights out to the movies every month, but it doesn't mean you cannot go to the movies ever! Pick and choose activities and purchases to include in your budget, and really keep track of how you're spending your money. If you feel guilty or ashamed of how much money you spend at a random trip to Target or Homegoods, I highly recommend you begin budgeting.
Budgeting takes away the shame from shopping because it includes everything into a plan.
When you have a set limit to spend on accessories or entertainment, you won't feel guilty when you're picking out some shoes for the Fall! Budgeting is the ultimate way to streamline your life because it releases you from the guilt of spending money on yourself, and it also keeps track if you are overspending.
Also, if you notice that you have trouble staying on budget and may even struggle with a shopping addiction, please get help. Shopping addictions are serious and can be treated with proper counseling, self-help, or even group therapy. It is a very serious condition that can derail your quality of life or sap you of your future. Please do not be ashamed, and make sure you get help as soon as possible and join the subreddit, r/shoppingaddiction on Reddit in the meantime.
3. Have a general plan for your life
Now, streamlining your life is of course going to include an actual visualization FOR your life. I know we cannot predict what will happen, but we can at least choose a direction to walk in! It could be towards career, dating, marriage, a big move, or anything! It's important to have an idea of what we want out of life because then we can take steps to achieve those goals and our dreams.
I believe that when we walk with the Lord, He will guide our steps and ensure that we will be used in the plan for His kingdom, but nevertheless, it is still useful to have an idea of what you want. God uses our inclinations, instincts, and deep dreams for His purpose. Sometimes it can feel too bold or greedy to pray for what we deeply dream for in life, but I promise you that if it is aligned with God's plan, He appreciates when you boldly ask for your heart's desire.
My two biggest dreams in life were to get married and work in some form of women's ministry.
I didn't really know what that would look like in reality, but God clearly heard my heart and made it happen! I wouldn't have this blog or my YouTube channel if I had not spent time thinking about what I really wanted out of life, and if I had not shared that with the Lord.
When we know what we want, we are much more likely to seek out opportunities for that thing, and position ourselves to receive those things.
Visualizing your plan can be detailed or very simple. It could be long term, or very short term! It could be a fleeting idea of how you want your life to look, or even a more specific plan of how you want to progress in your career or studies.
If you want to be married, be honest with yourself! Don't be ashamed! Position yourself with men who ALSO want to be married, or position yourself so that you can actually meet more men! If you want to be a mother, begin visualizing what that would look like for you, and be very aware of your age and fertility window. If you want to go to travel, make sure you begin visualizing what that means for your wallet, your job, or even the next few years. If you want a baby, visualize and journal about how that would fit into your life.
It's good to always be researching and looking for the next opportunity. This is how my husband got us involved in an investment property! He visualized what he wanted for our finances and life, and spent time researching and keeping his eyes open for an opportunity.
When you know what kind of life you want, you might not always get the exact thing you dreamed of, but you will be a lot closer to it than if you never visualized at all.
Alright my loves! That is it for today!
I hope you take time to journal today and be really honest with yourself. What do you want out of life? What would that look like for you? How are you budgeting, and are you researching your choices enough?
Although we cannot manifest life events out of thin air, we can at least position ourselves in better ways so as to achieve and receive those things!
Wishing you all the best and all the blessings today my dearest Reader!