How to Turn a Dream Into a Workable Plan

How to Turn a Dream Into a Workable Plan

As a coach, it can be difficult to watch the lack of progress of so many promising entrepreneurs and coaches. They’ve dreamed for so long about creating a solid, sustainable business, and yet, all they do is a dream.

You know the people I’m talking about. They attend conferences, sign up for free webinars, buy paid training, and sometimes even work with a coach or two. And yet week after week, month after month, year after year, they fail to make any progress toward their dreams.

Are they just lazy? No. It’s something worse. They don’t know how to move from a dream to a plan and they’re stuck.

If This is Your First Time Here

Let me introduce myself. My name is Corinne and I provide VA and content repurposing services to fitness coaches and mom bloggers. There are a million things on our to-do list as mompreneurs from blogging, to trying to lose 5 pounds and making sure the house doesn’t fall apart. I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and how I can reduce the amount of time it takes to accomplish my tasks. I experiment with new ideas and share them on my blog if they are a success! Today I want to share…

 

Start With the Long-Term

If you’ve ever been on a job interview and were asked, “Where do you want to be five years from now,” you might have thought it an odd question. But as a business owner, that might just be the most important consideration you can have.

Without knowing where you’re headed in the long term, it’s impossible to create a map to get there. You need to know what your destination is, so that on every day, week, month, and year, you can check your progress to be sure you’re still headed in the right direction.

Create Milestones

Once you know your ultimate destination, you can draft a plan for getting there, and create the interim goals that will help you stay on track.

For example, if in five years you want to be free to travel for 8 weeks every year, then you need to have a few pieces in place before that can happen:

*Enough income to cover travel costs
*Passive income to sustain your business while you’re not working
*A staff who can manage the business while you’re away

With this list, you can then work backward from your five-year goal, and create milestones along the way. If you know you’ll need to earn $150,000 annually in order to fund your travel plans, and right now you’re earning $60,000, then reasonable milestones might look like this:

*Year 1: $70,000
*Year 2: $85,000
*Year 3: $105,000
*Year 4: $125,000
*Year 5: $150,000

With these milestones in place, it’s much easier to figure out exactly what you need to do to achieve them, by setting monthly, weekly, and even daily goals.

 

Create Small Goals

If you say to someone, you need to move from $60,000 to $150,000 in five years, that’s a pretty overwhelming task. After all, it’s a $90,000 increase and most people will look at that and immediately dismiss it as impossible.

But when you break it down as we have above, and then again into smaller steps, it suddenly doesn’t look so daunting.

In the first year of the plan we have outlined here, your income needs to increase only by $10,000. That’s less than $1000 per month! Surely that’s easy enough to accomplish!

You can further break that down by week: $1000 per month is just $250 per week. If you sell just one more group coaching package or five more of a $50 training program, you’ve already reached your milestone.

That might mean sending one more email to your list, or investing an additional $20 per month in Facebook ads, or perhaps reaching out to one more JV partner. The point is, reaching this smaller goal is far easier than thinking about that five-year plan.

So what’s your big dream? How can you deconstruct it into achievable milestones, workable goals, and finally, daily and weekly tasks? If you can do this (and you definitely can) then you can achieve anything in business and in life.

It is never easy to make that final leap to create a workable plan to achieve our dreams, but it needs to be done if we want to live the life that we have always wanted. Step out of your comfort zone, write down your goals, and then break them down into smaller steps that you can easily do. You’ll thank yourself in a few years when you are right where you want to be!

Pin it for later or share with a friend!

3 Steps to Creating New Habits

3 Steps to Creating New Habits

Let’s talk about creating new habits. We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behavior for the better and create new habits for ourselves. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier and drinking more water. Or it could be moving more and taking the dog for a daily walk. Or it could be work-related, or spiritual, or… There are so many areas in our lives that could be improved and made easier if we created new habits.

If This is Your First Time Here

Let me introduce myself. My name is Corinne and I provide VA and content management services to online entrepreneurs.

When I first started blogging as a business I was SUPER overwhelmed. I didn’t post on a consistent schedule, I wasn’t getting any page views and I was not making any money! I knew there had to be an easier and faster way to get my content and message out into the world! After a lot of trial and error, I now share all my tips and tricks for making blogging easier!!!

Decide What You Want To Do

Getting into the habit of doing something is often easier said than done. We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging.

Let’s break it down into an easy three-step process that makes it easy to follow until we’ve internalized the new behavior and made it a true habit – something we do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth.

The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell yourself you want to exercise more. Instead, say something like “I will go for a 30-minute walk every single day”. Deciding what your new habit will be and be committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle.

Remind Yourself To Get It Done

The next few days should be smooth sailing. You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue. But a few days in you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits.

Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe your day just gets away from you. This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily to-do list for a while.

Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit

Which brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.

Make that daily walk part of your after-dinner routine, or change from grabbing a snack at the vending machine at work at 10:00 in the morning to packing a healthy snack.

Congratulations on creating a new habit. Be sure to practice the routine until it’s second nature and you’ll be well on your way to forming a new healthy habit.

Be sure to grab a copy of the morning routine makeover to help with adding this new habit to your morning routine.

Pin this post to read later!

 

10 Ways to Streamline your Home Part 2

10 Ways to Streamline your Home Part 2

Welcome back to part two of 10 Ways to Streamline Your Home!  In case you missed part one you can go check it out here.  I put together these streamlining tips to help other overwhelmed Mama’s gain back sometime in their day!  Hopefully, with all this extra found time you can start that blog finally or take a nap 🙂

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

In case you are new to my blog…

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Corinne and I am a productivity/efficiency geek.

I feel there is always a way to do something better and faster.  My blog, helps other overwhelmed moms be more productive at home and in their business.

I have limited time and frequently get distracted on the internet, so I have to force myself to stay focused and productive during the time blocks that I schedule to work on my business.

Needless to say, I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and how I can reduce the amount of time it takes to accomplish my tasks.  I experiment with new ideas and share them on my blog if they are a success!

10 Ways to Streamline your Home-Tips 6-10

6.) Prioritize Your Tasks and Automate Where You Can

Have you ever read the book “The Four Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss.  He talks about when you’re looking at your task before you try to automate anything or create any systems you should really gauge if you even need to do the task at all.  I completely agree with him.  There might be things on your to-do list that you don’t need to do at all and you should really just get rid of it completely.

After you have scrubbed your to-do list for all the unnecessary things, prioritize all the items that remain on your to-do list and then automate where you can.  We were very deliberate with our morning routine because we know if nothing else gets done all day then at least we did a little laundry and we put the dishes away.  Get the most important things done first before your day gets away from you.

Check out this blog post: How to Use Time Blocking to Skyrocket Your Productivity

7.) Automate Your Finances

I created a way to basically streamline all of my finances so I only look at my budget now once a month.  All our income comes in, all my bills get paid and we are saving money.  I know automating your bills sounds scary but with some simple notification settings, you can be alerted before anything goes wrong.

8.) Develop a Cleaning System or Schedule

The client who inspired me to write this blog post has eight kids!! I struggle sometimes with just the one!!  Develop a cleaning system to streamline your housekeeping.  Find a way to involve your kids and it becomes a learning opportunity.   Teaching them how to use a budget (a college friend taught me…can you believe I didn’t learn to budget until college), time management and prioritizing their time are great life skills.

My cleaning schedule is more of a looping system where do I focus on one area of my house each day.  I do not clean on the weekends.  Weekends are for fun…not for working or cleaning.  Basically, I focus on what part of my house every day and if I don’t get to it then I just do it the next day or week.

We’re pretty good about cleaning up after ourselves so we don’t really ever have a messy house.  Cleaning as we go really keeps the house maintained and deep cleaning is rarely needed.  That is one habit we will keep even as we eventually hire a housekeeper.

9.) Meal Planning

We meal plan once a month and I do not go grocery shopping!!  More on shopping in #10 but meal planning once a month has not only streamlined our home but it has really helped out our budget.  I specifically plan meals that are healthy and low in calories so it helps my waistline too.  Once you have a monthly meal plan you like, you can keep repeating it.  We typically only change every season.  When it comes time to shop we just check the pantry and done.

10.) Online Shopping

Where we live in Vermont it is a good 30 minutes to the closest Walmart or grocery store.  I don’t even know where the Target or mall is off the top of my head.  I would have to look it up.  We order almost everything online with Amazon Subscribe and Save or with Grocery pick up.  By ordering we know exactly how much it is going to cost and if we will be on budget.  No embarrassing moments in the checkout line of having to put things back because they are over budget.

When I do go to the store, I minimize the number of trips so I am not wasting time or gas!!  I plan my errands so they make the most sense geographically and based on my schedule.  Most of the time it is all online though.  It is so nice not having to remember dog food or paper towels 🙂  With auto-ship we never run out.

Again, if you missed part one, tips 1-5 you can find them here.  If you found some of these tips helpful, comment below and tell me which ones.  I’m going to keep adding to this so definitely save it, pin it to reference later or share with a friend!

10 Steps to Create an Efficient Home-Part Two!

How to streamline your home so it runs more efficiently-part two

10 Ways to Streamline your home part two!
How to Streamline You Home so you can take a break!

 

How to Streamline Your Home-Part 1

How to Streamline Your Home-Part 1

One of the popular themes among my blog coaching clients is they just don’t have time to work on their business.  My frequent response to this excuse (sorry, ladies I’m just not buying it) is have you streamlined your home to run more efficiently?  Usually, there is a pause and then a question “How do You Streamline Your Home to be More Efficient?”  Well, the secrets are out!!

Today I am going to share with you some of the top tricks I tell my clients so you have more time to work on your blog/business, or for you to get a little well-deserved break! I promise I won’t tell anyone 🙂

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

In case you are new to my blog…

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Corinne and I am a productivity/efficiency geek.

I feel there is always a way to do something better and faster.  My blog, helps other overwhelmed moms be more productive at home and in their business.

I have limited time and frequently get distracted on the internet, so I have to force myself to stay focused and productive during the time blocks that I schedule to work on my business.

Needless to say, I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and how I can reduce the amount of time it takes to accomplish my tasks.  I experiment with new ideas and share them on my blog if they are a success!

10 Ways to Streamline your Home

1.) My number one trick would definitely be to have a plan!

This is probably an obvious one, but when you have a plan you need to make sure that your plan is focused on seeing results. When I create my plan for the week I use my Productive Planner.

I created my planner when I was being constantly disappointed with the ones I had purchased.  My planner actually works backward.  It focuses on what the goal is and then the only things I schedule on my calendar are things that are going to help me accomplish my goal.

I don’t put anything on my calendar that is just busy work.  Of course, if I have a doctor appointment or something then obviously I need to go to that, but I’m not scheduling things that aren’t going to move the dial with my goals.

Check out this blog post: How to Use Time Blocking to Skyrocket Your Productivity

2.) The next thing would definitely be a morning routine.

My husband helps me with the morning routine and actually the evening routine too.  We have it completely down to a science.  It only takes us about 15 minutes.

I have designed it so that we work through the house so we’re not walking back and forth a million times.  That takes up valuable time.  We end with a cup of coffee and folding laundry while chit-chatting together about what’s going to happen for the day.

3.) We own a million maids around the house.

Ok, obviously we don’t own human maids, but basically, like any sort of timer or thing created for convenience, I consider to be my own maid.  Back in the day if you wanted to turn your lights on you had a servant that walked around for your and turned on all of the candlesticks.  Now we have timers and apps that can do all of that for us.  Horrible analogy, I know…but it was the first one I could come up with.

We use as many automation things as he possible at my house.  Especially when it comes to lights, so this can really save you some money on your electric bill too.  We live far up north in Vermont and we actually have data limits on our internet so I know these will work for anyone.  All of our lights outside are dusk to dawn, I never have to worry about it I remembered to turn a light off or on.  We also use a white noise machine to sleep (you have to, it’s like creepy quiet here)…it’s on a timer and so is my daughter’s sound machine and humidifier.

We program the oven so that it will turn on in the morning at a specific time and then instead of using a toaster we put toast in the oven.  It turns on and toasts the toast (lol) while we do our morning routine and wallah breakfast is done when we are done. You can program the coffee to be done at the same time too

We wash our dishes at night and wake up in the morning and empty the dishwasher.  Since the dishwasher is always empty during the day, dishes skip the sink and go directly to the dishwasher.  We do laundry at night too.  I throw the laundry in at dinner time and then I swap it over to the dryer before bed.  It does its own thing and then I wake up and just need to put the clothes away.

There are other things like your Crock-Pot you can use it to cook your dinner all day and then at night swap it over to cook breakfast. We cook oatmeal or an egg casserole and then wake up to a nice hot breakfast in the morning.  Bonus tip…do this for any house guests so early risers have breakfast and you don’t have to wake up to play host for them.

4.) As moms we spend so much time doing laundry, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

Do you just hate doing something just to have to do it again and again?  Find a laundry system where you don’t have to sort and only fold the minimum amount of things. I absolutely hate folding laundry.

We use those hanging organizers with the Monday-Friday on them.  They are not exclusive to the kids.  We all use them in my house because that’s even less laundry I have to fold and put in a drawer.  I just throw it in its container and done!  It also speeds up getting ready and finding something to wear.   So take some time to think about it and come up with your own laundry system.

5.) Read good books

I used to be on Pinterest every night. After getting ready for bed, I would lay down and pull out my phone until I fell asleep.  After staying on Pinterest for like an hour and a half I would finally fall asleep.  I would have so many squirrel moments or I would start to doubt myself.  Seeing what other people are doing made me think “oh should I be doing that too”.  So much valuable sleeping time was wasted on the phone and then even more time just recovering from all the self-doubt.

Finally…I started reading books instead.  It stopped the whole cycle from happening.  You can either get a bunch of books by purchasing an Ultimate Bundle that interests you (I download them all to read in bed) or get like a real paperback book from the library or Amazon.  Paperback books actually help me go to sleep faster.  I think it’s like the light from my phone that makes it harder.  Regardless if you do a paperback or an ebook though, I would definitely suggest switching to books and getting off the Pinterest or social media

This blog post turned into a BEAST so I had to break it up into two.  Click here to read 10 Ways to Streamline Your Home to Have More Time (for your business) PART 2.  Check back on or after 4/17/2018 to check it out.

So there is part one of my 10 things you can streamline at home.  I hope that my blogging client will actually make the time to read this, maybe it will help her.  If you found some of these tips helpful, comment below and tell me which ones.

I’m going to keep adding to this so definitely save it, subscribe to it or pin it to reference later or share with a friend!

10 Steps to Create an Efficient Home..it practically runs itself! Click here for a free workbook!

10 Ways to Streamline Your Home so you can start a blog!
How to Streamline your home so it runs more efficiently
how to streamline your home so you can take a break

 

 

This post was imported into WordPress in one click using Google doc into WordPress with Wordable.

How to Create the Perfect Morning Routine

How to Create the Perfect Morning Routine

Starting the day off right is super important to me.  It really defines how the rest of my day will run.  After some practice, I was able to create the perfect morning routine.  It has made such an impact on my day that I want to help you create the perfect morning routine too!!

In case you don’t know my story…

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Corinne and I am a productivity/efficiency geek.

I feel there is always a way to do something better and faster.  My blog, helps other overwhelmed moms be more productive at home and in their business.

I have limited time and frequently get distracted on the internet, so I have to force myself to stay focused and productive during the time blocks that I schedule to work on my business.

Needless to say, I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and how I can reduce the amount of time it takes to accomplish my tasks.  I experiment with new ideas and share them on my blog if they are a success!

Another Post you Might Like: How To Create More Time In Your Weekly Schedule

How to Make the Perfect Morning Routine

I started my morning routine because sometimes life is crazy. By having a morning routine I knew if the day collapsed and nothing else got done, my family would at been fed at least and have clean clothes to wear.

Here is how I efficienized (yes I just made that word up…it means to make something over to be more efficient, like my morning routine. 🙂

First, grab your free Morning Routine worksheet to follow along.  Print it out and fill out with me.

1.) Brainstorm everything you need to do or your morning routine.  My house has two dogs, a toddler, and six chickens, and I need to get everyone fed and let out before there are any accidents or someone gets hangry.  Don’t worry about the order that you need to get this stuff done.  Right now just make a list of everything you need to do.

2.) Now figure out your start and stop times.  Work backward and it will tell you when to start.  What time do you need to be out of the house to make it to work on time?  Or what time do the kids need to be at school?  Now working backward, how long does it take for you to do all of the things on your list?

3.) Create the perfect order to complete your morning routine.  Take your list and put it in the order that makes the most sense or your morning routine.

Another Post you Might Like: How to Use Time Blocking to Skyrocket Your Productivity

Things to think about:

  • How is your house laid out?  Do you pass anything on your way to doing a task? Example, I pass my washer and dryer on my way out of my bedroom to the kitchen and it makes the most sense for me to start the laundry on my way instead of having to circle back.
  • Does anyone have “needs” that take more priority?  My dogs NEED to go out first or they will have an accident.  That takes more priority over me emptying the dishwasher.
  • Is there anything you can do at the same time?  When I use to have to sit and pump for 20 minutes I would eat breakfast at the same time.  Is there anything you can do while the dogs are outside or the coffee is brewing?
  • Is there anything that is so simple that you frequently forget to do it? This is crazy but I used to forget to get dressed in the morning.  I would get so wrapped up in the morning and would then need to log into work.  It would be like 3 pm before I realized I am still in my PJ’s

After my husband leaves, After I am done tending to all the animals (the baby is still sleeping) I workout AND clean at the same time.  Did I just blow your mind!?!?!?

Do you see how your morning routine just transformed into something that you can get done more efficiently?  You are using your little minutes (time you have to do two things at once).  You’re completing your tasks in an order based on their priority and how your home is laid out.

This is the easy part though.  Sticking to your routine is the hard part.

How to Implement Your Morning Routine

This little tip makes your morning kind of fun 🙂  Did you parents ever do scavenger hunts for you when were a kid? My version of a scavenger hunt was my mom or dad would hand me my first clue. The answer to the clue would make me go somewhere in the house. An example might be, “I make your clothes fresh and clean” so I went to the washer and find my next clue inside.

The clues continued sending me all over the house until I got to the end and found a treasure. As an adult, you can do the same thing for your morning routine with the prize being a cup of coffee or breakfast at the end 🙂  Think of how fun this would be to teach your kids their morning routine when they have to start getting ready for school!!

They would do a scavenger hunt to get ready and then get a prize at the end! Something small of course.

Here’s how it works.   After reading above, you know that doing your morning routine in a very specific order makes it the most efficient. Prior I frequently got distracted or sidetracked and thought “crap what was I doing” or “ what’s next”. I had to go back to my list and look.

Then I created my morning routine scavenger hunt

It starts when I wake up. I turn my alarm off and next to it is a post-it note I printed on that says bathroom. Weird yes, I have to remind myself to the bathroom first thing in the morning and pretty myself up.

Above the sink, there is another post-it note that says “let the dogs out”. When I let the dogs out there is a post-it on the door sending me to my next task. This keeps going until I arrive at the one at the coffee pot 🙂

Ok, so I know this probably sounds silly and crazy but it seriously works. You get through your morning routine with laser focus and it is so much quicker now.

My husband thought I was crazy at first but the post-it’s only lasted a couple weeks until I had it memorized. But, I ended up doing a second color for him and it helped him too.

Let me know how it works in the comments below!  Did it streamline your morning?  Were you able to create the perfect morning routine and then complete it everyday morning routine with more focus?

3 steps to create the perfect morning routine
how to create a morning routine you will actually stick to

How to create the perfect morning routine

how to make your morning routine fun
Four Quick Tips to Get Your Inbox to Zero Every Day

Four Quick Tips to Get Your Inbox to Zero Every Day

Email takes up way too much time and if you are like me, your goal is to reach inbox zero every day! Email is not a revenue generating task…except for those important emails from readers that could convert into customers.

Finding those emails in a sea of spam though can be time consuming.  I have a lot of spam coming in because I sign up for any free thing under the sun!  Important emails come in and instead of me setting time aside to answer them later I completely drop what I am doing (regardless of how important it is) and respond.  Sometimes the email responses I send out are not as well thought out as they should be because I am in a rush to just get my email done for the day.

After lots of searching and experimenting I have settled on these four quick tips to hit inbox zero daily.

1.) Use filters!  

Gmail has a great filter feature.  Here is how I use it.  When you receive an email you want to get but don’t necessarily need it in your inbox you can apply an automatic filter for it to go some place else.  I use Shutterfly for my photo books and gifts.  I want to save their coupons for when I need them.  To filter them I check the box next to the email and then click the “More” drop-down then “Filter Messages Like These”.  Once you get rid of all of those non-important emails that you only want on an ad hoc basis you will reach inbox zero easily.

This box will appear. You can add other filter parameters like Has the words “sale”.  When you are done click “Create filter with this search”

Next, I have highlighted the three things I usually check off.  Skip the Inbox, because I just want it to go straight into its folder.  Apply the label, to specify which folder I want it to go into.  Lastly, I select Also apply filter to matching conversations.  This will make the rule run with the current emails in my inbox, saving me time.  After I implemented this I was probably only 10 emails away from reaching inbox zero.

Once you set this up you will never have to do it again.  In my personal email I use a filter to put all of my bills or monthly statements in a folder.  Once I complete my monthly budget I just archive all of them.  Some other ideas are using filters to auto forward emails from specific senders or you can send a canned response to specific senders.

Pro tip* You could use Zapier or IFTTT to send those bills to a spreadsheet that you can then review later for your bills.

That brings me to tip number two…

2.) Use Canned Responses

To setup canned responses in Gmail you first head over to settings.

Then Labs at the top menu.  You can either search for canned responses or it may already be showing on the page.  Click Enable and save changes.

Next you will want to create your canned response. (side note, you may need to restart Gmail for it to work).  Hit the compose email to start a new email.  In the bottom right corner you will see a little arrow.  Click on that and open the Canned Responses menu> New Canned Response.

A new window will pop up for you to name the template.  Then just type it up and once it says saved, close the window.

Now you will have your template write at your finger tips.  Every time you want to use it just click the little arrow in the bottom right and select the template from the insert section.  With my FAQ responder, I can answer almost all of my emails with a canned response.  Inbox zero here we come!

I have a template for Pinterest Group Board Requests.  It makes applying a super fast.

3.) Only Check Your Email Once a Day

My most important tip of all.  Don’t check your email all day.  Only check it once.  I found this cool tool for Gmail called Inbox Pause.  It pauses all my email and delivers it all at a time I specified.  This reduces any temptation to respond to emails as they arrive in my inbox.  I schedule the tool for all my emails to hit my inbox at 8am.

Then is goes back on pause until the next day.  If there is something urgent then that person can call me.  If they don’t have my phone number there is a reason for that. 🙂 This allows me to run my day not let it run me.

4.) Use Boomerang

Boomerang let’s you schedule an email to be sent later and easy email reminders.  You can setup an email to send every week or if you don’t hear back from a prospective client, you can ask Boomerang to remind you if they don’t respond in one week.  Not only does it get your inbox to zero but it removes that to do list item from your list.  Let Boomerang remember it for you.

If you implement these easy steps you will be in the inbox zero club every day!

Do you have any email hacks?  Share them in the comments below, I would love to hear them.  Did you find these tips helpful?  Share them with a friend!

This post was imported into WordPress in one click using Google doc into WordPress with Wordable