One of My Favorite Things

 

 

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Image from Pexels

 

I. Love. Music.

…but don’t start quizzing me on the nuances of classic albums and stuff…it’s not that deep.

I like to listen to music to start my day, to lift my mood, to pass the time, to inspire me and help me think, and many more reasons. It just makes me feel good.

At the moment, my favorite way to listen to music is Spotify, affectionately known by me and my friends as “Spotty.” I pay 9.99 monthly and so far it’s served me well. I get unlimited access to all the music I want and get full albums as well! I get radio and playlist access and get exposure to up-and-coming artists, too. That’s value in my book.

I also think it’s super cool that they send out your personal stats for the year! Let’s look at mine:

 

21,000 minutes = 14.6 days = 4% of my year

I can’t name 325 artists, but I think it’s cool that I gave that many people a try!

Now let’s talk about this Favorite Day thing. There may be something to this Tuesday data… Maybe that’s the day of the week when I’m in the best mood? This data could really inform some productivity! It appears that Sunday is a popular day for me as well– this is likely true as this is when I do most of my housework.

And finally, I think it’s another added value piece to create a personalized playlist of my 2016— I love that I’ll have something to look back on and see where my head was at back then.

Do you use Spotty? What were your stats for 2016?

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I’m scared.

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So….I thought I’d explore why I’ve wanted to start a blog for about 2 years now, but haven’t: I’m afraid.

Writing content to post online opens one up for a lot– negativity, criticism, judgment.

What if people don’t agree with my humble opinions? What if a future employer or educational institution doesn’t like what they see?

What if?

I really don’t know.

All I do know is: “there’s nothing to it but to do it”– so I’m doing it. Now. And it feels pretty good.

4 Things to Start 2017 Off Right

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2016 wasn’t the best year on the books for me. I had some ups and downs and honestly, feel like I barely made it out on top. One thing I learned in my time as a teacher is that successful practitioners take time to reflect on their practice and utilize their takeaways in future planning.

I took this concept and applied it to the general practice of how I live my life. I reflected back on 2016 and the year before and I found that what was missing was a plan.

I have read numerous blog posts and other articles that chronicle making lists, creating vision boards, journaling and planning, but somehow it took until now for me to finally get it! For the first time ever, I have been able to outline what I want to accomplish over the course of a year or more (I’ve even started looking into 2018).

This hasn’t been an easy process, however I did find that once started, the ideas tended to flow freely. I would like to share with you the type of planning I did in hopes that my simple methods can help someone else start off their year with a bang!

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  1. I created a Financial Plan

I created a financial plan that includes savings and investment goals as well as a (wait for it…..) budget. Most of my tips and tricks came from Taylor over at Tay Talks Money. I stumbled upon her blog on Pinterest and found a wealth of great tips for financial freedom. I went with the zero-sum budget method as outlined here as well as signing up for saving through the Digit App that I learned about in her post here.

I wrote down every. litlle. dollar. I spend and divided my expenses based upon paydays– (Hint for those who are paid biweekly: setting up a two-check system for paying bills each month provides you with an extra check a couple times per year. I get my first “third check” in January!)

  1. Instead of a “New Years Resolution,” I went with a “Bucket List” of sorts

I initially decided I would make a list of 12 things, one per month, that I wanted to accomplish throughout the year. Eleven flowed freely, so that’s what I stuck with. I actually shared my list with my mother this week and she said my items were too practical to be labeled a Bucket List, but whatever!

Two items from my list were: 1) Blog once weekly for the first 90 days of the year and 2) Make a “bucket list” at the beginning of each month with smaller tasks that will help me achieve my larger goals.

2a. I broke it down

I actually took my bucket list a step further and created an outline for each month of the year, based on my big list. This will hopefully decrease my likelihood of shirking my planning responsibilities for whatever excuse I make up on any given month 🙂

I also added “Re-evaluate my plan, is it working?” on June’s bucket list in order to keep me accountable.

  1. I prepped myself for the worst

Keeping myself accountable is going to be the hardest part. I want to be able to stick to my list as well as take it in stride if I cannot accomplish every little thing in the time that I would’ve liked. I had to be real with myself and understand that this exercise will also work to expand my character even if it isn’t a completely successful endeavor.

  1. I have put this darn list EVERYWHERE

No “out of sight, out of mind” on my watch! I have posted my list and budget in my bedroom and kitchen, I have printed copies inside my agenda at work and saved in my phone as well.

So, here’s hoping that I will be writing an update post in June because I am consistently blogging and my plan was effective! Even if that’s not the case, a girl can sure plan…

What are your plans for the New Year?

Take 2…

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This is my second first blog post. This marks my “for real this time” commitment to chronicle my journey through life and style. How Millennial of me.

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