All posts tagged: intentional living

Free Printable Habit Tracker

Part of my morning ritual at work is marking off the previous day’s box in my habit tracker. There’s something incredibly satisfying about being able to color it in. It’s a reflection of positive change, and humans are notoriously awful at being able to recognize progress in this way. I’ve got a handful of items I’m working on this year, so I made this tidy, easy-to-use habit tracker to keep myself accountable and now I’m sharing it with you. The Freebies I’ve made two separate trackers for you to grab; both are in PDF format. Here’s a year-long spread with a focus on a single habit: Download and Print (8.5″ x 11″) Or if you’re tracking multiple habits and looking for something with a bit more flexibility, try this spread: Download and Print (8.5″ x 11″) In the comments: What small changes and habits are you trying to make and form this year?

15 Small Changes For Better Health, Wealth, and Happiness

I recently shared my personal vision for the year. I recognize that progress and success comes by taking a series of small steps. In order to achieve my vision for my future self, here are the 15 small changes I’m planning to make this year: Stop Purchasing Books/Audiobooks, Use the Library Instead I pay for my local library through taxes, so I will begin utilizing it much more. Libraries played an incredibly important part of my childhood and teen years, offering me a place to go and be alone with my interests unfettered. It is an invaluable community resource and is something I’ll be frequenting much more. Drink the (Strong) Coffee at Work  I’ve always avoided the coffee pot at work because, for some reason, the coffee here is some of the strongest I’ve ever tasted. It’s a bitter, black brew. But it’s free and convenient, and I’ll learn to drink it and save a few dollars every day. Quit the Gym  There’s a gym only a few block away that I’ve paid dues to …

A Vision of 2017

Happy (almost) New Years Eve! It’s that time of year again where we turn our eyes to the upcoming year and envision ourselves anew. I’ve never been one for hard and fast resolutions. Instead, for the past few years I’ve been making myself vision boards so I can work hard for my future self. Each board tackles the three areas of my life I care about the most: my health, my wealth, and my happiness. Here’s 2017 in all its glory: Health Drink Water: Pretty straightforward! I just want to up my water intake (and reduce my spending on soda, coffee, and other beverages). Cook Everyday: This is a commitment my husband and I have decided to make together. Last year we spent thousands on going out to eat at restaurants. In 2017 we see ourselves spending more and more time in our newly remodeled kitchen. Doing so will help us save, will help us spend more time together and may help us lose a few pounds. Bodyweight Fit: I want to sprinkle in some strength …

The Necessary Nature of Trade-Offs in Personal Finance

After November’s mediocre showing, I’ve been reflecting on my actions over the past month. It’s clear that I was overzealous in my first debt payment, and in doing so I had to rely on my credit card to cover other expenses, which only succeeded in putting me in another bad spot. What I was lacking was the mindfulness of the full picture of my finances and I was failing to create space between impulse and payment. I wasn’t asking myself the right questions or taking the time to make sure the math checks out. I gave in to the excitement and adrenaline rush of paying off a huge amount of debt without considering if it was the ‘right’ choice for that time. Lesson learned. Everyday we’re faced with making decisions. We ask ourselves things like: Should I do X? Should I buy Y? Should I get rid of Z? But I believe what we should be asking ourselves are things like: Would I rather do X, or would I rather do Y? Should I buy …

Saying Goodbye to Black Friday and My New Shopping Rules

Today is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Since the 1930s, this day has traditionally marked the beginning of the Holiday shopping season. It’s popularity comes from the happy coincidence of Thanksgiving being the last major holiday before Christmas and that employers often give workers the Friday after Thanksgiving off as part of a holiday weekend. The name ‘Black Friday’ references stores accounting coming out of the ‘red’ (negative numbers) and into the ‘black’ (positive numbers. (citation needed) It’s a day that retailers employ some of marketing’s best tactics to increase sales: entice with doorbusters to get customers in the door, create a sense of urgency by limiting sales to a single day, and utilize the power of the hype train in all communication channels. Black Friday: Then and Now Over the past decades, the allure and madness of Black Friday has grown. Every year news outlets report on larger and larger crowds pushing, screaming and fighting over limited, out-of-stock or one-time only items. We see viral videos from inside stores …

Find Your Values and Prioritize Your Spending

One of the most important factors in personal finance success is prioritizing your spending in a way that is commensurate with your values. But what if you’re not sure what your values are? What are values? Values are those building-blocks that make each of us who we are. They are the things that you use to make decisions whether you’re aware of them or not. It’s important to call out that values are separate from morals. While culture and society may shape your morals, you, and you alone, define your values. How to Gain Clarity and Define Your Values By working to discover and name your values, you begin to build out explicit and strict criteria that can be used to make decisions in all areas of your life. My favorite value exploration exercise goes as follows: Grab some paper and something to write with Down the left side of the paper write down careers or jobs that you think you would enjoy Example: Historian, Author, Park Ranger On the right hand side write down …

Reflecting on Role Models and Thankfulness

This undertaking – committing to rapid debt reduction and writing about it – has given me lots of opportunity for reflection. To look back at how I got here and what has influenced me along the way. Each time I sit down to write a new post it becomes a rare opportunity to do nothing but reflect and think. And with Thanksgiving just a few days away in the United States – what better time of year to reflect on the journey here and say thank you. A small recognition of influence for people who have already achieved the success I’m working towards. For years – literally, years – I’ve followed blogs and websites, eating up every word and with each new post saying to myself ‘I’m gonna do it, too! Yeah!’ – only to log off, let negative self-talk creep in, default on what was comfortable, and live my life deep in debt. It’s easy to make excuses, to look at writers and think to yourself ‘My situation is different.’To look around you and …