Easy Menu Planning

Are you having a hard time figuring out what to feed your family? Well I have a great method for easy menu planning.

No Plan of Attack

Planning might seem like a lot of work, but I promise it’s worth – and I have a method for easy menu planning. Years ago, I would go nearly empty handed to the grocery store, barring a small list of items we were totally out of. So I would wander the aisles at my grocery store, filling my basket haphazardly with any and all items that were appealing. I’m embarrassed to say how much I spent.

Here in Texas, we have an amazing grocery store: H-E-B. Texans have a strong loyalty to the store because of how much they give back to the public and how well they treat employees. They also have amazing sales. H-E-B does a lot of “buy one get one free” sales as well as well as free items (you buy a meat and they give you the rest of the ingredients free to make a complete meal). They also do something ingenious. They tape all coupons to the item on sale. So as you browse through the store, you seek out items with their bright yellow coupons attached like a scavenger hunt! Therefore, you end up buying a lot more than anticipated! Sly, H-E-B. Sly.

Small amounts add up. Just ask anyone who has bought out of the Target Dollar Spot. That’s why sticking to a list is so important.

Beware of small expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

Benjamin Franklin

Benefits to Menu Planning

  • Reduce Spending
  • Regular rotation of meals
  • Reduce food taking up space in freezer, fridge, and pantry
  • Reduce trips to the store
  • Order quickly with pick-up or delivery services

Guide to Easy Menu Planning

I recommend doing a weekly shop. However, you can plan your meals on a monthly basis to make it easier and I’m going to show you how – the easy way!

I recommend category planning. This is a regular, rotating schedule of cuisine types. For example, I save crochkpot or Insta-pot meals for Mondays since they are always very busy for us. Tuesday’s are for Mexican (Taco Tuesday) or any other international cuisine you want. Wednesdays are reserved for Italian or pasta based dishes. Thursday my husband often comes home late, so I do a casserole, one-pot meal, or sheet pan dinner. We often go out on Fridays, if you have a night out, you can simply omit a category that week. Saturdays I keep really simple (hot dogs, pizza, etc) and easy. Soup is also a favorite of mine, especially during the fall and winter. I love having a traditional Sunday meal. Since I’m from the South, it’s normally Southern Comfort Food or a Cajun dish. You pick the category types.

Meal Planner by Happy Planner ®

Using this method, you can put together a whole month of menu planning in just a few minutes. I’ve created a sample menu plan in pdf format to give you an idea. You can download it here

Tips to Help

  • Save past menu plans. When you don’t have time to plan, just redo an old week
  • Make a list of all the dishes you know, then choose from that every week
  • Create meal plans around items you already have on hand to save money
  • Sometimes using online ordering can help you curb impulse buys

Menu Planner

Happy Planner has some cute meal planning sheets and extension packs to help you get organized. If you don’ know about Happy Planner, take a look at my blog post, How Happy Planner Changed My Life.

If you like a cheaper, simple, more sleek look, I’ve made a menu planner that can be printed as many times as you need (and you never have to buy again). You can purchase it through my shop here on the blog or you can purchase from my Etsy shop.

Menu Planner
My Beautiful Mess Menu Planner

I hope you like my tips for easy menu planning. In the comments below, I’d love to hear what things you do to make grocery shopping easier.

How Happy Planner Changed My Life

I know what you’re thinking. My title is dramatic! It’s just a planner. Wrong. It’s a Happy Planner and true to it’s name, it actually made me happier! Here is how Happy Planner changed my life.

Happy Planner Changed My life

One Hot Mess

With an appointment based job, I had always used a planner. When I left the workforce, I remember throwing away my dull, black hourly planner. After all, I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. What did I need a planner for? Stay-at-home moms have all the time in the world, right? Seriously, I thought there would be time for Netflix, Beachbody and scrapbooking. I know…I was clueless! Believe me, I learned the hard way.

Can I be really honest for a second? It’s going to sound awful. But for the first part of that first year, I really hated being a stay-at-home mom. I had lost my identity. But worse, I felt like I was failing at everything!

Mounds of laundry stared at me from my couch. Hampers were spilling over. Dishes were piled in the sink. I’m a hard worker. But I was seriously failing at every chore and responsibility I had. I double-booked myself all the time and flat out forgot my appointments. Also, I was struggling to adjust to only having one income supporting us. I was a mess.

Nothing Else Calmed the Chaos

I tried putting appointments in my phone. After all, this thousand dollar iPhone has to be good for something, right? It can set an alarm to go off so you don’t miss things. Honestly, half the time I forgot to even put things in it. I’ve always worked better with paper, where I can scribble thoughts and write notes to myself. The phone’s calendar really doesn’t allow for that. I even went back to my boring planner, but I had no motivation to open it up.

Discovering Happy Planner ®

I can recall the first day I discovered Happy Planner. It was an exceptionally rough day. I felt like a failure. I was at Hobby Lobby for some scrapbooking stuff and I stumbled across a Happy Planner. Let me say, this was years ago. Back when there was only a couple of covers to choose from. It was a simple black and white striped cover. I remember reluctantly putting it in my cart. Almost like it was a waste of money. Would I really use it? I specifically remember thinking, “maybe if it’s pretty and I can decorate it, I’ll want to use it.” (I’m pretty sure that is the business model of Happy Planner.) Isn’t that why many people don’t use a planner? They forget to open it up and use it!

And the sticker books? Girl, I was a Happy Planner babe before it was cool! Me and My Big Ideas had been around for a while. I had bought their scrapbooking stuff before. But this was still in the infancy of the Happy Planner. This is back in the day before value pack stickers even existed! There was a handful of 4 page sticker packs and the designs were fairly simple still. Can you imagine a time before metallic foiled stickers? It existed. I was there for it! These days, there are hundreds of gorgeous accessories!

Menu Planner

Happy Planner Changed My Life

It Got My Creative Juices Flowing

Switching to Happy Planner totally worked. If you are unfamiliar with it, the pages within are beautiful and cheerful. The monthly dividers are gorgeous and often have inspirational quotes and sayings. Just thumbing through the pages is like opening a book of happiness! And no….Eric Condren doesn’t even come close to measuring up! (Sorry not sorry, Erin). These days, the stickers are to die for…like so pretty you almost don’t want to use them! So pretty, you convince yourself you need every single sticker book. So pretty that you’ll stand near an empty display shelf while a Michael’s employee unboxes the newest release. (Yes, I’ve done that!)

But in all seriousness, it worked. I had no time for arts & crafts. I was a trained artist in Europe. Living without creativity in my life was depressing. Being able to decorate my planner totally made me feel like I got my artistic yearnings out everyday!

Happy Planner stickers

It Increased My Self-Worth

Let me be even more personal. Being a stay-at-home mom is really hard. There are no raises or promotions if you do a good job. There are no IDPs and annual performance reviews. No one is there motivating you to do better. You can feel alone and invisible.

I doubt the ladies over at Happy Planner know just how much those cute little motivational quotes actually do motivate me. No one was feeding me positivity…that is until I found Happy Planner. There are days where I totally don’t feel like adulting and I open my Happy Planner and see exactly what I need to get moving. And as much as I hate to admit this publicly, I need my “gold stars” for a job well done. I need to feel like it matters.

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s a planner for goodness sake!” Happy Planner changed my life. First, it keeps me on task and helps me accomplish things (duh, it’s a planner). Secondly, it’s a record of my motherhood journey – every playdate, every birthday party, their milestones and memories are lovingly recorded in it’s pages. I use their wellness planner to maintain a work/life balance as a mom. It helps me prioritize “me time” and has helped me with my anxiety and depression issues. Their fitness planner helped me track my Gestational Diabetes diet (even my OBGYN was impressed). Furthermore, I use their budget accessories to keep me financially disciplined.

Happy Planner Stickers

It Gave Me Back Control

When I first started staying home, I felt out of control. Frazzled. Overwhelmed. I was a steamy, hot mess! But using a Happy Planner has helped me gain control in every area of my life. I use the Faith Planner to help me maintain my relationship with God. Before the kids get up, I make my coffee, read The Word, and do my bible study. I use the Miss Maker one just for this blog. I use the Teacher Planner for our homeschooling. Honestly, I love it. When I wake up and am tempted to take a day off from homeschooling, all those inspiring teaching and learning quotes, make me want to get back at it and slay the day! It reminds me why I’m doing this! Happy planner changed my life.

It’s Flexible

One thing everyone loves about the Happy Planner is that it is completely customizable. It doesn’t matter if you need hourly, weekly, or a dashboard layout. They’ve got them all! But my favorite part is the discs. The innovative disc system allows you to remove and place any accessories where you want them. And boy do they have accessories! Plastic envelopes, dividers, folders, daily sheets, dry erase boards, more. I’ll be sharing more about the accessories in a follow up post on how to use a Happy Planner to get organized. My point is just that you can tailor it to work for you and your needs. Above all, I love that it’s so flexible to fit my needs.

Over the last few years, I’ve converted so many people over to Happy Planner: friends, family, old co-workers, other moms – even my husband. I had to find a way to make it less girly for him, but he was anxious to see if would help him since he saw a miraculous transformation in me. It worked for him too. I’m so enthusiastic about Happy Planner because it really did help me plan a happy life.

I do not sell Happy Planner. I’m making no money with this post. I simply want to share an amazing product that helped me stay organized and reach my goals.

8 Places to Cash in Clutter

Before you dump your items off at a donation bin, try these 8 places to cash in clutter!

8 places to cash in clutter

It’s a never ending battle to declutter. I struggle with decluttering. I paid good money for something, thus I have a hard time just giving something away. Over this past year, I’ve been trying to sell things before I just dump it at Goodwill. I’ve been surprised at what people are willing to buy. Today I’m sharing 8 places to cash in clutter.

Just this month, I made over $100 selling things I would have otherwise donated. For example, I sold an old roaster ($10) and rice cooker ($20) that was taking up space in my kitchen cabinets. I sold a corn hole game ($40) I had made for my son’s first birthday. Then I let go of a car seat ($25) left at our house by a guest. Lastly, I sold some box fans ($10) that had been sitting in my guest room for 5 years!

I’m not bragging! My point is that just because you don’t find it valuable anymore, doesn’t mean no one does. If you’re like me, you’re tired of garage sales. You have to gather tons of items to make it worth while. As a rule, you need a city permit. Usually, you sit for days in the cold or heat only to argue with someone who wants to give you a quarter for your brand new Ralph Lauren blouse you wore once. It’s not worth it, right? That’s why today, I’m going to show you 8 places to cash in clutter – that’s actually worth it!

8 Places to Cash in Clutter

Etsy

If you haven’t discovered Etsy, I’m sad for you. Just kidding…sort of. Seriously, Etsy is an absolute great find for people who love to buy and sell handmade things. If you have something unique, one-of-a-kind, or something that is antique or collectible, Etsy is a great market for you! By the way, check out my shop where I sell my handmade greeting cards and digital printables. You do need to set up a shop, but once you have it set up, it’s very easy to add items.

It’s free to create an Etsy store. However, Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for every item you list, making it one of the most affordable places that charges. Furthermore, Etsy allows multiple ways for customers to pay, including PayPal.

Ebay

Ebay has long been a trusted source of selling used items. Even though the big Ebay boom is over, it continues to have a strong marketplace. Last year, I made $200 back selling baby clothes. (Tip: the best way to sell baby clothes is in large lots.) Ebay has a wide array of categories and the selling fee structure is a little complicated.

First, Ebay offers various ways to sell. You can sell it as an auction. You can sell it at a flat price (Buy It Now) which can also include “best offer” flexibility. The charges depend on the category, but as a rule Ebay charges about 10% of the amount you were paid (that includes shipping). Also, if they buyer is paying through PayPal (which is typical), you’ll incur an additional 2.9% fee for the transaction. So you’ll need to carefully choose what you sell. Ebay is known for shipping items and has a super easy, built in way to print labels once your item sells. However, they also have a local pickup option which is especially helpful for large items.

Facebook Marketplace

This is where I have had some of my best success. I am shocked to see how easy it is to sell things. Best of all – it’s completely 100% FREE to sell. You get every penny. No store setup. Just find Marketplace within Facebook and list your items by following the prompts. Customers can pay through Marketplace or they can give you cash. You can also accept PayPal or Venmo if you want to guide them that way.

It’s up to you, but people will ask you to hold things until a certain day. I caution you from doing that. I’ve been burned more than once. There are lots of flakey people out there! I’ve held something for someone who flaked out, meanwhile I turned down 5 other interested buyers. Now I specify in the description that it is “no holds.” This means that if they can’t come until Thursday and someone is willing to buy it and pick it up before then, I won’t hold it. You can choose whether you have the buyer pick up the item or whether you deliver it. You must specify in the description. People will always try to get you to deliver otherwise.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups is another one of the places I’ve had good success. Like Marketplace, you can post pictures and description of what you’re selling. There are lots of pages that are designed for your city, area of town, or neighborhood. Find some, follow the selling rules and make money.

Like Marketplace, you will need to specify whether the buyer need to pickup or if you’ll deliver. If they pay in advance like through PayPal or Venmo. Incidentally, I recommend posting directly in Marketplace. Facebook now has a feature where if you post in Marketplace, you’ll have the options of sharing in the Facebook selling groups of which you’re a member. There are no selling fees involved with Facebook groups.

Pro Tip #1: If you are posting on multiple sites, be sure to include the acronym “POMS” in your description.

LetGo

The LetGo mobile app has slowly been gaining popularity (30 million users have downloaded it) after Google listed it as the Best of 2016 apps. It still has a fairly good reputation. It’s most attractive feature is that there are absolutely no selling fees – you set your price and get every penny! You choose how the customer pays and the app has a review system (don’t worry – you can dispute negative reviews).

LetGo doesn’t have a way to make payment. You will need to work that out between the buyer. Also, you are restricted to selling within your geographical location. Similarly to Craigslist, you’ll need to meet up with buyers to exchange goods and money – and anyone can sign up for it without any kind of check into who they are. So always be careful when meeting up with strangers.

Just Between Friends

So as I started to get rid of baby things, I tried local consignment shops. I was surprised at how little they offered. Pennies on the dollar. It was honestly, a little insulting. What they offered, wasn’t even worth my time to drive down there! That’s when a friend introduced this awesome bi-annual sale to me. If you’re willing to live with the items for a few months, this can bring in some money for all your maternity, baby, child, and teen items.

Just Between Friends is a nationwide consignment organization. Search their website to see if they have a sale in your area. They are in most major cities and have two sales per year – Spring and Fall. They will only accept seasonal appropriate items. Items are inspected to make sure they are not broken or stained. They will reject items that have a safety recall on them.

You will tag them using their online tagging system. As a rule, clothing must be on hangers. You have the option to put your items half off as a ditch effort to sell them. Additionally, they have an option to donate items that are unsold, so you never have to deal with them again. The day before the sale, you will need to check-in and put out all your merchandise on the sales floor. During the sale, you can see live results of your items selling. You set your own prices. You get 60% of the selling price. If you volunteer at the sale, you 70% of your sale, plus your $12 consignor fee is waived. Last year was my first year selling, I didn’t take a ton of stuff, but what I did netted be a couple hundred dollars – and I didn’t volunteer.

Amazon

Wait….you can sell old things on Amazon? Yes, you can. Amazon offers an individual seller account where you can sell gently used items. In my experience, books do well, but other things can be listed. However, it only permits forty items per month. After that, you’ll be directed to upgrade your account to a Professional selling plan. It is a monthly subscription of $39.99 and you have the awesome Amazon name and traffic behind your goods. So depending how much you plan to sell depends on how much it costs. The individual plan costs $0.99 per listing (some categories include additional fees).

Pro-tip #2: The acronym PPU stands for Porch Pick Up – a way of the buyer picking up without having to physically interact with them.

Offer up

Offer up is available on both online and a mobile app. It is fairly easy to use and even offers selling solutions for the private selling of vehicles.

It is free to use for buyers and sellers. However, just recently they included a shipping service so sellers could reach a wider audience. You decide wether you want to offer shipping or not. If you do offer shipping, they charge a 7.9% fee when the item sells. If you want to avoid seller fees, consider doing pickup only.

That’s it. In conclusion, yard sales are almost a thing of the past. Yes, it takes some time to list items individually. But, the return you get from these 8 places to cash in clutter, has proven to be worth it!

The post, 8 Places to Cash in Clutter, first appeared on My Beautiful Mess.

Learn about other decluttering tips in the post 50 Things To Throw Away Right Now

50 Things To Throw Away Right Now

Decluttering can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Don’t fret. Here are 50 things to throw away right now.

Confession time: I’m a recovering hoarder. Okay, well maybe not that extreme, but I was definitely a clutter bug. I have a hard time letting go of things. What if I need it later? What if I finally get around to fixing it? After all, I paid good money for this! I totally get it.

Saying goodbye to things can be difficult and it’s very easy to start justifying why you should keep something. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are 50 things to throw away right now.

There are definitely things of value you may very well try to sell. But today, we’re just going to focus us on what can go into a trash can right now. These are things that have lost their usefulness and can therefore be tossed strait into a trash can.

Once you get into the habit of decluttering, I’m sure you’ll find it liberating!

So grab a trash bag and let’s begin!

50 Things to Throw Away

  1. Old Magazines
  2. Stationery you no longer use
  3. Developed photos that are blurry, bad shots, or are duplicated
  4. Goopy nail polish
  5. Wrinkled / torn gift wrap
  6. Old party supplies
  7. Tattered gift bags
  8. Financial paperwork older than 5 years
  9. Instruction manuals & out-of-date warranties
  10. Old phone cases
  11. Pens that no longer write
  12. Coupons, mailers, etc.
  13. Glasses and contact lenses that are not your prescription anymore
  14. Old Checkbooks
  15. Broken jewelry
  16. Scratched sunglasses
  17. Stained or torn clothes
  18. Cosmetics older the 3 months
  19. Bath loofahs & sponges that are looking worn
  20. Newspapers
  21. Earrings that don’t have a pair
  22. Socks with holes or no partner
  23. Frayed device-charging cords
  24. Old sponges and dish wands
  25. Phone books
  26. Catalogs
  27. Expired food in your pantry
  28. Out-of-date batteries
  29. Puzzles and games that are missing pieces
  30. Warped food storage containers or ones that have no lids
  31. Toiletries with old or very little product left
  32. Expired medicine
  33. Worn out hair ties & accessories
  34. VHS tapes or Cassettes that you can’t play
  35. Old toothbrushes
  36. Stockings or nylons with runs
  37. Old underwear or bras
  38. Empty Bottles
  39. Expired vitamins and supplements
  40. Receipts
  41. Old invitations and greeting cards
  42. Planners and calendars from previous years
  43. Brochures
  44. Business cards
  45. Spent gift cards
  46. Dried up paint
  47. Free return address labels
  48. Notepads you don’t use
  49. Pet supplies you don’t use
  50. Gloves with no pair

Looking for other decluttering tips? Learn more about 5 Steps to Decluttering Books

The post, 50 Things To Throw Away Right Now first appeared on My Beautiful Mess

100 Goal Ideas for the New Year

Learn how to avoid failed resolutions and get goal setting ideas with the help of a free printable and 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year

100 Goal Ideas for the new year
(Photo Courtesy of Unsplash)

Goalsetting. It can be a daunting task. Some people avoid making resolutions altogether because they didn’t accomplish them in the past. If you’re looking to set goals, but don’t know where to start, I’m going to give you some hints on how to achieve them and 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year.

Deciding to Change

First let’s be honest. January 1 is not a magical day. Neither is Monday, for that matter. The truth is, you can begin where you are right now. I think humans are innately inspired by organically occurring changes, like seasons or the new year. Certainly, there is something about the newness of Spring coming and the desire to become clean and organized. 

Once fall starts, it seems like we are perpetually busy – even more than the rest of the year. It’s a constant stream of obligations, parties and events. Therefore, finding time to create habits in an already frenzied season,
is extra challenging. Many people are discouraged by that and consequently choose to wait until the New Year to begin.

Changing Your Mindset

Our brain is a recorder. It remembers how we handled commitments and resolutions in the past. If you never buckle down and finish anything, your brain remembers that and it prepares to be flaky. If you have failed at goals in the past it might be because your drive is based on motivation rather than commitment. Motivation is temporary. It fizzles out. It’s based on feelings. Commitment is different. Commitment means that you do something regardless of how you feel. It isn’t dependent upon inspiration.

That’s why keeping small commitments to yourself is so important. You may not realize it, but you are creating a habit. Following through on obligations not only builds integrity, it builds character and it creates the habit of accomplishing things. If you habitually flake out, you’re programming yourself to be a quitter. I used to have this problem. To be clear…I was lazy. I put as little effort as possible into things and I constantly backed out of obligations.

People who know me now,  might find that hard to believe because I’m the exact opposite today. These days, I’m often called an “overachiever!” But that is because at the age of 23, I decided to change that deeply rooted flaw. 

How To Set Goals

If you’ve ever worked in a corporate setting, you’ll often hear about the acronym S.M.A.R.T. Initially, I rolled my eyes at another corporate buzz word. But over time, I have found it to be incredibly helpful when it comes to setting goals. S.M.A.R.T. Basically asks the questions: Who? What? How? When? 

Specific

Goals should be specific. Being specific helps you map out exactly how you plan to get to the desired result. For example, instead of saying, “I want to be healthy,” break down exactly what that means to you. Does it involve losing weight? If so, how much? Does it mean cutting out carbs or replacing soda for water? Maybe it means you work out 3-4 times per week. Be specific about what it is you actually want. 

When I decided I wanted to be a cleaner person, I made a list of what that meant. Where was I habitually messy or lazy? For me, it meant putting things away immediately after I used it. It meant doing the dishes every night. No excuses! It meant putting my clothes strait into the hamper instead of leaving them on the floor or draped over something. What specifically do you want to change?

Measurable

Goals should be measurable. You should know when you’ve reached the end. You should also know if you are making progress. I have found the best way to do this is by writing goals down and finding someway to track progress.

First, if you have a large goal in front of you, I suggest breaking them down into smaller milestones. Secondly, consider there may be many ways to measure your progress. For example, if your goal is weight loss consider tracking inches and dress sizes as a way of measuring your progress. Some weeks the scale may not move, but your tape measure will!

Attainable

This should go without saying, but your goal should be attainable. No, I’m not trying to be a dream killer. I want you to dream big! Seriously, set your sights high! But lets be clear. Dreaming and goal-setting are not the same thing. Goal setting is about mapping out a realistic way to attain that big dream!

To clarify, let me get personal for a minute. My dream, my big dream is to grow this blog you’re reading. I want it to become my full time job! That’s good, but first I need to set some attainable goals. Subsequently, my goals should be to grow readership and commit to an editorial schedule. Goals should stretch you, but should also be within reach.

Lastly, consider obstacles. What stands in the way of obtaining your goal? Perhaps you tried before in the past. What caused you to fail before? If it’s time management, think about how you will prioritize your schedule. Create a “plan B” or give yourself options for when you get stymied. In other words, if you are prepared for obstacles beforehand, you’ll be less likely to give up when they stand in your way.

Relevant

Relevant simply means that it is germane to your overall business or life outlook. For example, if you want to live a long, active, healthy life, then fitness goals and nutrition goals are going to be a part of reaching that life aspiration. If you want a greater income, then that promotion goal is going to be necessary. In other words, look at the big picture and decide why these goals will help you create the life you want. If you don’t have a strong “why,” you are less likely to follow through to the end.

Time Bound

Finally, your goal should be bound by time. In other words, you need to give yourself a deadline. That doesn’t mean a random date. It should be carefully calculated. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose 50 pounds. To set a deadline carefully consider how many pounds you can reasonably expect to lose each week, then calculate how many weeks it will take to get to that goal. 

On the other hand, you may be doing a goal only for a certain amount of time. For instance, maybe you decide to drink only water for 30 days as a detox. Similarly, you may commit to a 90-day exercise challenge. Either way, your goal should have some sort of time boundary. Even if your goal is a lifestyle change, set a time frame and once you reach it, reset the time again.

100 Goal Ideas for the New Year

Here are goal ideas. You should consider how to specificially tailor them to you. I’ve broken them into ten life categories.

Mental Health / Wellness Goals

  1. Address addictions (smoking, drinking, overeating, pornography, social media, etc)

2. Stop negative self-talk

3. Stop procrastinating

4. Learn a new hobby or skill

5. Take a “me day” once per month

6. Start a journal

7. Take a break from social media

8. Schedule screen-free time every week

9. Go to bed at 10 p.m. every night

10. Get up before the kids everyday

Organizational Goals

11. Organize yourself with a planner

12. Donate one trash bag of decluttered items per month

13. Create a cleaning schedule

14. Figure out a system for keeping a messy area, clean

15. Create a pantry or freezer inventory

16. Keep obligations and be on time to events

17. Completely reorganize a closet

18. Create an organization system for paperwork

19. Reduce waste and disposable items in your lifestyle

20. Give everything in your home a place

Financial Goals

21. Reduce “eating out” budget by $X

22. Create and maintain a budget for 12 months

23. Reduce or pay off one of your debts

24. Save for an emergency fund

25. Track every dollar spent

26. Save for a vacation

27. Create multiple income streams

28. Create a retirement plan

29. Use cash instead of debit and credit cards

30. Reduce your student loan debt

Diet & Fitness Goals

31. Eat less fast food

32. Reduce calories

33. Exercise 3-4 times per week

34. Learn a new sport

35. Do a 30-Day diet challenge

36. Lose one dress size

37. Drink 8 glasses of water per day

38. Reduce / cut out carbohydrates

39. # of Steps per day

40. Participate in a half marathon or full marathon

Spiritual Goals

41. Make a war binder

42. Keep a gratitude journal

43. Commit to going to church every week

44. Read one Bible verse per day

45. Complete an act of kindness or service every week

46. Commit to a ministry for one year

47. Keep a positive attitude

48. Practice and make time for regular meditation or prayer

49. Make friends within the church

50. Read the bible from start to finish.

Relationship Goals

51. Have better sex / Sex more often

52. Commit to a regular date night

53. Replace couch potato time with engaging time together

54. Complete couples devotional together

55. Practice supporting your partner

56. Travel together

57. Show regular appreciation & squash out complaints

58. Focus on practicing regular forgiveness

59. Volunteer as a couple

60. Pray together

Hobby / Skill Goals

61. Learn to draw

62. Learn one new thing a day

63. Learn  a new language

64. Learn woodworking

65. Complete a DIY project

66. Learn how to cook

67. Read more books

68. Learn photography

69. Learn to grow your own veggies and herbs

70. Learn an instrument

Business / Career Goals

71. Update your profile and stay active on LinkedIn

72. Produce more “x”

73. Read one business or career-related book per month

74. Create and organize your paper or digital filing system

75. Go completely paperless

76. Increase social media followers by “x” amount

77. Mentor someone

78. Learn a new aspect of your industry

79. Send thank you notes to people who help you

80. Create a healthy work/life balance

Personal Development / Psychological

81. Become more proactive

82. Stop dwelling on the past

83. Remove false / toxic friendships

84. Practice being more agreeable (getting along with others)

85. Increase confidence / self-esteem

86. Become more generous

87. Accept flaws

88. Overcome anxiety

89. Practice being slow to offend

90. Live with an attitude of forgiveness

Intellectual Goals

91. Learn a new word a day

92. Increase your IQ

93. Learn one history lesson a week

94. Improve geography skills

95. Take online classes

96. Refresh your grammar and spelling skills

97. Read a book a month / join a book club

98. Learn about a subject you’ve previously struggled in (physics, math, etc)

99. Read classic literature for one year

100. Read poetry

I sincerely hope that this post, 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year helps you slay goals. I would love to hear what your goals are for the New Year. Make sure to subscribe via email to receive your FREE Goal Slaying Worksheet to help you obtain your goals for 2019!

The post 100 Goal Ideas for the New Year first appeared on My Beautiful Mess

Christmas Planner Printable

The holidays are so chaotic. Staying organized can be a real challenge! Today, I’m offering a great tool to help keep you sane and keep you on task with all the things you have to do during the holidays. My Christmas Planner printable will make your life so much easier this Christmas!

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Get organized and control chaos this holiday season. This planner will help you stay on task of holiday hosting, traveling, baking / cooking, as well as shopping and gift-giving.

WHAT YOU GET:

24 Planner Pages!

GIFT GIVING / SHOPPING:

– Gift Idea List
– Stocking Stuffer Ideas
– Christmas Budget Worksheet
– Gift Idea Profile (for those who are hard to shop for)
– Gift Tracker, Long Version
– Gift Tracker, Short Version
– Online Order Tracker
– Black Friday Wish List / Tracker

MEAL PLANNING:

– Menu Plan with Grocery List
– Recipe Page

EVENT PLANNING

– Christmas Eve Daily Planner
– Christmas Day Daily Planner
– Party Planning Worksheet

OTHER:

– Planner Covers – Bar Style
– Planner Cover – Open Wreath
– Planner Cover – Full Wreath
– Undated November Calendar (Use this planner every year!)
– Undated December Calendar
– Christmas Card Tracker
– Christmas Decoration Inventory
– Travel Plans Itinerary
– Christmas Bucket List
– To Do List
– Notes Page

FORMAT: Letter Size (8.5″ x 11″) in PDF – You’ll need Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later or some other .PDF viewing software.

** THIS ITEM IS AN INSTANT DOWNLOAD. NO PHYSICAL ITEMS WILL BE DELIVERED **
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Order Now CHRISTMAS PLANNER PRINTABLE

OR order through my Etsy store My Beautiful Mess Blog Etsy Store

THIS PLANNER IS UNDATED ~ USE IT YEAR AFTER YEAR AND NEVER BUY AGAIN!

Disclaimer: Colors vary from printer to printer and also very slightly from web to print.

5 Steps To Decluttering Books

I’m a recovering book addict. I love to read. But even more to the point, I love books. I love digging into them beside a fire and if it’s cold or raining outside, all the better. I love decorating with them around the house. My husband is also an avid reader, so when we first got married and combined our book collections, tough choices had to be made. As our family has grown, so has our book collection. The addition of children’s books has transformed our house into what looks like our own personal library branch. But I also love cleanliness and order. I love bright open spaces and organization.

I have to be honest. Downsizing books is one of the hardest things I declutter. I have a difficult time parting with them. But here are some questions I ask myself to make the process easier. Maybe they’ll help you too.

1) Is it functional?

I’m all for a good, broken-in book. Like a comfy shoe, some worn pages are the sign of a well-loved book. That’s not what I mean. Some books are more than just well loved. Little hands rip books. Too many bubble bath reading sessions cause wrinkled pages. Worn spines don’t always hold pages together. It seems pretty basic, but I have found myself holding onto books I couldn’t even read. Be real with yourself as to whether or not you can actually read it.

2) Do I have space for it?

The space on your book shelf is prime real estate. If you like to read, new books will always be entering your house, which means, you’ll need to seriously consider which books will be allowed on the shelf. I know what you’re thinking! No, the answer is not to buy more shelves. The answer is to be selective, carefully editing what you allow in your home. In a pinch, you can consider alternative uses, such as staging a coffee table or beside table.

3) Did I enjoy it?

Be honest with yourself. Good books are hard to put down. If you never finished the book, consider that maybe you didn’t enjoy it as much as you would have liked. It doesn’t matter how much your friend loved it or how great the review was. If you struggled to read it or never went back to it, it wasn’t your favorite. Keeping it out of guilt or in the hopes that you might pick it back up, isn’t realistic. If you didn’t read it when it was new to you and you were both interested and motivated, you probably won’t do it later.

4) Do I have it digitally or in some other format?

Maybe this doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you aren’t like me, but I have actually found duplicates. For some reason, my son had three copies of Little Blue Truck likely because of gift-giving. I had a copy of one of Max Lucado’s books in both audiobook and print. It happens. If you have it somewhere else or in another format, choose one and remove the other. Also consider if it’s something you might not read again – or read very often – you may just want to get it from a library instead of wasting space with it.

5) Is it timeless?

There are many books that stand the test of time. They are classics and always will be. I reckon even in another hundred years, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will still be a classic and for that reason, I’ll never part with it. It will always be a favorite of mine. If you have something you read again and again, keep it. If it’s a non-fiction book, ask yourself if it offers information that will still be relevant in a few years. It took a long time for my parents to come to terms with the fact that their World Book Encyclopedias, even though they cost $1,500 when they bought it, are no longer relevant. It’s no one’s fault. Times change. Don’t be afraid to part with that $200 textbook that is no longer accurate.

No one likes decluttering, but it’s especially hard when it comes to a treasure trove of books. Hopefully, this will help you, but I’d love to hear what you do!