My thoughts lately: planning to ignite a fire.

So many of us are working way over 40 hours a week, in jobs we don’t really see futures in.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading in the area of following your passion, starting your own business, or working in a more lucrative field where opportunities exist.. but aren’t guaranteed.

So, do you make the leap or do you stay in a boring, yet safe place?

All the literature out there tells you to do what you need to do in order to have a safety net, or nest egg to fall back on. If you don’t have set hours with a set pay check at the end of the week or pay period, you have to have something to fall back on.

safety net

That’s true and I agree with it. I want to talk more about how you make a plan to follow that fire and create some structure out of it.

Work backwards

You have to work your plan backwards. Begin with the end in mind.

What do you need at the end of the month to sit pretty? Start with that number. Then break it down by weeks.

Is $2,500 your goal end number for the month? Then, you need $625 every week, roughly.

Now you figure out your game plan and work out what you need to do to come up with your weekly number. How many hours you need to work or how many shifts you need to pick up and what your goal number is per shift.

If you’re looking to make a transition – you now have a goal number to hit every week, or you could break that down again by day. Say I’m looking for a 4 day work week (aren’t we all?) I need to have $156.25 in my pocket before I call it a day.

This breakdown could be FREEING.

happy day

It might take all day – doing whatever it is you choose to do- to pull in that $156.25. Or maybe you found something really lucrative that allows you to rake that in by 1:00, just in time for a little siesta.

Now that you know how you need to work and what kind of standards you need to hold yourself to, account for everything and plan ahead.

Plan ahead, differently.

Sure it’s nice to see your checking account grow and grow. But by looking at a higher number in your checking account, a sense of entitlement might come over you and a spending spree might be something that’s considered to be deserved. Go ahead and protect yourself against the urge and separate what you budgeted to bring home from any overage.

By that, I mean physically move any extra to the side.

I’m fortunate enough to deal in cash for a good amount of my income, because I wait tables in addition to my daily 10-6. I know which nights I work and I know what my goal is per shift that I work.

Every month I write out my estimated income, broken down by shift and by checks I get from my other place of employment. I have a number that I expect to have made at the end of the month. Every day I write down what I brought home in tips and any extra – goes physically into a separate envelope. (You can do the same by percentages through online banking to transfer overages to a separate account too). That being said, if I’m short a day – I can pull from that envelope that has extra cash for whatever month I’m in. We are always quick to spend anything extra beyond what we planned for, but slow to recover when we have to take a hit for an unexpected reason.

Plan to stay at the level you planned for. Then, any extra money you have physically set aside in an envelope at the end of the month is truly extra that you can fund your small business with, buy yourself a new pair of shoes with (guilt free!), or go out for drinks on a school night.

Hoping to do something you love doesn’t have to be unattainable. Every day is dull if you aren’t loving what you’re doing, or contributing to the world in some way. Of course everyone can’t up and quit their job simply because they don’t like it.

But for those of us with a passion and a vision.. get your ducks in a row. Establish your savings. Transfer your extras into savings. Go get a part time job. Suck it up for now & then once your gut tells you it’s time.. you have a plan to transition into something less stable, but potentially thrilling.

We have one life to live, right?

Boldly, go. 

boldly go

Here are some great tips from the ladies at Design Love Fest too.

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Let’s talk more about change.

to want is not enough

Life changes to be more specific.

Not the type of changes that happen to you or are decided for you, but the changes you can effect in your own life.

Find a way to do something you love. Tighten up. Be a bit more financially savvy. Engage. The list goes on.

It’s easy to have a vision. Everyone does.

It’s okay to work a plan, even if the plan involves sitting back and letting the universe do its thing for a little bit while you put in some up front grunt work; i.e. my life right now. We all feel like there’s something more out there, like we’re better than this, like we could do more.

We can.

I read an article today by Jana Schuberth from Love Work Now. It really struck me, since I’ve been envisioning effecting change in my life related to fitness and career passion lately. I won’t say “trying” because I’ve talked about it and gotten up early a couple of days to get in a work out but haven’t REALLY tried. I AM working a plan related to career ambitions but could probably be doing more on that front as well.

Life changes require focus, commitment, consistent effort and discipline.

We could all take a lesson from her article: 12 Reasons Why Feeling Strong and Sexy is Critical for Your Success.

Read it here.

What life changes are going on in your life right now?

It’s not a fad if it’s not a new year’s resolution

It’s October, my favorite month! Bring on the birthday season, fall weather, boots, & renewed zest to get it together! This happens to me twice a year, when fall begins (used to be in conjunction with beginning a new semester) & when it happens to everyone else – when a new year begins. It’s that feeling of a clean slate, of getting a new opportunity to do better, to achieve more, and to be happier.

I’ve been working towards so many things this year; getting out of debt, getting a full-time job that fits my career ambitions, finding a fitness change that I can accommodate into my busy schedule.. you name it.

I’ve worked down the debt from 5 credit cards down to 1. I’ve transitioned from 2 part time jobs back to 1 that allows me to pick my hours and have my days/weekends free and engage in a contractor position that allows me to connect professionally in the kind of work I aspire to do. I’ve spent hours upon hours putting together a professional portfolio to showcase my talent and history of successes (viewable here). I’ve made serious progress in all of the areas I’ve been working towards – except fitness.

My boyfriend is retired Army and has a much more disciplined self when it comes to exercise. He likes to eat the bad food as much as I do and couldn’t part with sodas.. but the difference is that he can get himself out of bed in the morning and go do some time in the gym to at least counteract some of our bad food choices, if not to tone and lose some. Me, I snooze as many times as I possibly can and am the worst morning person you’ll ever meet.

On that note, I should probably mention that I’m always tired. Frankly, I can’t figure out a reason why I would be.. I work around 30 hours a week and take care of house things, errands, etc. in my free time – but it’s nothing grueling that I should feel like I’m still pulling 60 hour weeks. I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t take good enough care of myself.

I was reading my Self magazine today and was intrigued by their sandbag exercise and have decided to implement an exercise routine. I used to belong to a gym and used to go to the fitness classes and lift weights at one point in my life.. but that was a few years ago and I have since seriously slacked.

So, today is a big day because it’s the day I made the decision to finally act with purpose regarding fitness and fitting it into my life.

It’s time to live well, stay tuned to see what schedule I come up with!

What do you do to be healthy?

 

Whimsy. Why not?

It’s been a few days, I’ve been trying to be patient so as to let the final blog design be complete before I posted again.

Look around – we’re complete!

If any of you out there are looking to personalize your own blog and don’t know how to mess with all of that CSS code nonsense, I recommend looking on Etsy for a designer. I did just this, and found a blog makeover package for the bargain price of $62.00 as compared to several hundreds of dollars from larger companies. The bit I didn’t realize, was that WordPress charges a $30 a year customization fee to change the layout and look of your blog, but I prefer the layout to Blogger.. so, there you have it.

Can I first just say that I LOVE the new look? I’ve always been drawn to dandelions and turquoise colors. We incorporated both with a splash of color in between for a whimsy feel. After we installed the layout, I begin to feel a bit uneasy. The point of this blog was to create a professional platform to showcase my portfolio and to build an online presence/self brand. But the more I got to thinking about it, I thought: why not whimsical? Who says a little whimsy isn’t professional?

So, many compliments to Suzanne, an Etsy shop owner. I wouldn’t have done any of the beautiful designs featured here without her help. You can find her shop here.

So what are your thoughts? Can professional be a bit whimsical?

New beginning

Hello! My name is Lauren. I’m a college grad with a PR degree, spending time with the love of my life and our 2 pups every spare moment we can find. I’ve had quite a few epiphanies here lately.. One of them has led me to create this blog, in order to hopefully explore different hobbies and interests and create something out of this in-between time of life after college then share those explorations and create connections. What’s on the list, you may ask?

Photography

Natural/home remedies

My pups

Blogging

Social media

DIY

Cooking (freezer meals, crock pot, you name it!)

Frugal living/couponing

I welcome you for the ride of my whirlwind life!