Are you of the age when you’re not really interested in trying everything out for yourself and completely okay with taking recommendations to save you time? I feel like it’s far more efficient. Just tell me your favorite restaurants in San Fran and I’ll choose from that list instead of all of Yelp. Yes, I know we all like having the power of choice. But sometimes there are just too many options that we can get stuck in analysis paralysis and struggle to make a decision.
One of the beautiful things about aging, yes – aging is the ability to change our minds. No longer are we quite as stubborn and sticking with what we started with, but more willing than ever to figure out what works, and revise as necessary.
You know I love saving time or at least using time intentionally. And for that reason I’m sharing with you 42 of my favorite things. My best recommendations in honor of my birthday month. I hope that you will take one or three and have no decision fatigue when you consider trying something new. You’ll just go for it and save yourself a bit of time.
FOOD AND DRINK
Vanilla NutPods Creamer – Coffee is a staple in my life, but not without creamer. I used to add in those sugary creamers or basic almond milk. But, when I found NutPods that are lower calorie, less junk and delicious I was sold! Costco carries it occasionally in a tall 3 pack. Each time I see it, I smile, do yourself a favor and try it out.
Cottage Cheese – Strange selection, maybe? I have cottage cheese nearly every day and sometimes twice a day. Great source of protein and perfect with salt and pepper sprinkled on top. Skip the fruit and add the S&P for a healthy snack.
Tajin Seasoning – Out of salt and pepper? Try Tajin! Not on your cottage cheese – but plenty of other things. Some of my favorites include a cucumber, tomato, and onion salad topped with Tajin. Also, a can of tuna mixed with guac and a sprinkle of Tajin. Pick it up next time you’re at the grocery store, you won’t ever go without it.
Restaurant Salad + Cake – Salads at restaurants are way better than what I may have at home. They are typically my go to selection when we’re eating out. But I do like to balance out the salad with a dessert. I prefer chocolate cake of some variety shared with my husband. #balance
Active Walking – There is power in getting outside and moving your body. I feel my best when I get 8k+ steps in daily…regardless of my workout routine or nutrition focus. However, I don’t just like to walk, just to walk. I like to pair my activity with another activity like istening to a podcast. Going to the library or picking up an onion from the grocery store. Catching up with a friend or taking my youngest to school. Holding hands with my husband are my favorite pairings. What could you pair with a walk to double up your efforts?
Personal Training – Personal training has become more lifestyle coaching and mental health support for me than I ever anticipated. Yes, there is muscle building, but the dedication and commitment helps me show up better in other aspects of my life for sure. I encourage you to try a routine that challenges you not only physically, but mentally.
Embracing my Body – It has taken 42 years for me to learn to embrace my body in each season of life and to appreciate each season that I’m in. The past 6 months, have been time intensive with business growth. My nutrition focus has wavered. This means I have 10 lbs of cushion protecting my muscles ?. It’s a season, and I have the tools to reduce the cushion. However, appreciating what I’ve been able to accomplish, and giving myself grace in this season has been huge for my mental game. If I could force a recommendation on you, it would be this one. Grace in varying seasons of life with your body.
Taylor Sheridan – The creator of Yellowstone, and loads of other shows really does go all out with the filmmaking. I will watch shows created by him, just because they were created by him! The original recommendation for Yellowstone came from a client. It took me a minute to get into the Montana cowboy story, but I’m hooked now. You too?
Puzzles & Movie – Friday night with a movie on and a puzzle in front of me is pretty perfect. I’d prefer to do both at once over just one and the other. My family complains that I’m not even watching the movie. But I see what I need to, and I hear it all. It totally works. Try pairing your movie with a puzzle next time.
Fireside Convo – There is something about a campfire that brings out the conversation, maybe it’s the downtime away from the normal home hustle and bustle, or the technology, or the tipping back of a drink or two. Either way, fireside convo is one of my favorites about camping with friends and family.
Spreadsheets – When a tool can do all of the totalling, averaging, and math for you…and be fully customizable to what you need? Yes, yes, please. I started learning some basic formulas when I took a class through work in 2007. I have slowly learned more through a bit of trial and error, and the internet. Don’t be afraid to search for what you need on the interwebs.
Sticky Notes – Fancy tools aren’t always necessary, and often not needed to get the job done. I like keeping things simple and accessible. What’s more accessible than the sticky note? The idea of one item, idea, or amount on a note and then compiling together. Or, moving them around, and making sense out of all of the things in our heads – so powerful. Look at your sticky notes with more awe moving forward. They’re magic!
Canva – My designer friends, and my husband may cringe a little with this one, but that’s okay. For those of us that aren’t design savvy, Canva is a free/low cost app and website to create basic designs that aren’t total crap. If I had asked my husband to help with every flier, presentation, or social graphic over the past few years he would have stopped talking to me. Self employed friends and business owners if you haven’t already; spend some time creating a few basic templates for yourself that you can copy and use.
MacBook Pro – The Apple loving husband of mine gifted me a MacBook Pro when I retired from my leadership role and started coaching full time. Although it took some time to get used to, I’m confident that I’ll never go back. It’s seamlessly connected to all.the.things and get this…you can copy something on your iphone and then paste it into your laptop. That was a fun feature shared by a client too. ?
Calendly – Scheduling time with people has never been easier with Calendly, it’s like I have an assistant to share when I am or am not available, and it helps me keep my boundaries that are sometimes harder to stay firm with when you really DO want to take that meeting, or meet up with that peer coach. You can predetermine how many types of events you’ll have per day, what days of the week, etc. This tool keeps me from overbooking myself which I absolutely have a natural tendency to do. Try the free version to start.
Trello – Hello, Trello! Virtual sticky notes with automations and a giant board to keep it all organized. That’s my best summary of what this tool does. Staying organized is a time saver, and having a central spot to keep all of the things is a game changer for me. When working with small business clients – there are a lot of moving parts! I have a client that uses Trello for life projects too; like future purchases to consider, gift reminders, and car maintenance. Brilliant! Have a project? Do yourself a favor and check out Trello.
Banking Accounts – These may seem like a strange tool, but I’m going to stand by it. I love my local credit union that offers free accounts for whatever I see fit. I utilize (and recommend) the Profit First methodology for business finances, simply put a way to organize your money so that you reasonably pay yourself, set aside profits, keep your operating expenses in check, and save for taxes. My credit union doesn’t bat an eye when I ask for a pay in full drip savings account or when I set up my kids with a couple of accounts to do the same for their earnings. I recommend a local credit union for no fee flexible money management.
Silencing Notifications – Is this a tool? Maybe more of a best practice. Silence as many notifications as you can. Now, I love my family – but sometimes the ping, ping, ping of a conversation can come at the worst time and distract me from the task at hand. In order to avoid task switching so often I keep ‘em quiet. Give it a try?
Rocketbook – As virtual as I like to keep my business and organization, I still very much love to write down my plan for the day or tasks lists along with notes for my clients. I feel like I have the best of both worlds when I use my Rocketbook. I have both a planner version and a notebook version. Also index card and whiteboard versions. #bigfan. I can write what I want and then transfer all of that goodness into electronic form, and re-use the original tool over and over. Add Rocketbook to your Amazon shopping day.
Pew Pew – Once again, I’m not sure if this truly fits under the tools category…but it is indeed a favorite. If you have an iphone and you text the word ‘pew pew’ it will display lasers for your text recipient. I learned this in church when I was with my oldest daughter and it has become our code word for saying I love you without the embarrassment (obviously) of telling your Mom you love her. Recommend sending a pew pew text and making a code for one of your favorite people. Go test it out right now, I dare you.
Warm Travel – Warm, sunny travel is my favorite, and sandy beaches are even better. Always a resident of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I certainly appreciate the distinct four seasons – but the relaxation and warmth of the sun is special. I recommend sunny travel during the dark and dreary months, for sure.
Camping – Being outdoors and disconnecting has been an incredible summertime adventure for our family. We’re excited that we’ll be glamping from Spring through Fall with the addition of the camp trailer this past year. My favorite way to spend a hot summer day at the lake is with a pineapple floatie with a Kirkland Signature Seltzer in hand.
New Adventures – Calendar Adventures have been a wonderful tradition for my family, but I really like to try new adventures. Exploring and traveling to new places and trying out new activities is a ton of fun for me. Next time you’re traveling try something a little different and see how it goes.
Family – Obviously, this list isn’t in any particular order…or my family would have been in the #1 spot. Some of my favorite things about my husband lately are watching the hairs on the side of his hairline shift to gray. Knowing that he’s earned all of them. #silverfox I enjoy growing older alongside him. Watching our daughters transition from girls to young women is another privilege that I can’t quite put into words. It’s breathtaking and sometimes breath – taking with my feelings of enormous gratitude, responsibility, and a fair dose of…shock at what makes them tick. Anyone else relate? Recommendation here is to appreciate the little things.
Incubators – I am a part of a small group of 10 coaches that are invested in investing in one another, and our businesses. It’s a special group of individuals that vary in location, age, experience, and background – yet meld together in a beautiful way with genuine trust and authentic care. Find peers that you can pour into, and that can pour into you.
BSG – My Bible Study Group or (BSG) for short is a group of women who have become close friends that not only share in my love of Jesus, but also real life – the junk, and the praise. Find a group of people that you have common interests with to dig in deeper with. Book club? Moms group? Entrepreneurs? PTA? Sports?
Fabletics Leggings – Leggings are what you’ll find me in at least 4 days of the week. Comfort is key! I’ve found Fabletics to be high quality and very affordable during their deals…which are always. They have a subscription model that you can skip, and offer easy returns or exchanges. If you like leggings, and you like a bargain – check out Fabletics.
Consignment – Big fan of consignment stores, and getting great deals on gently used items that aren’t being loved anymore. The stats on the clothing industry are jaw dropping from the amount of landfill waste to the pennies that third world country workers are being paid to make our garments. Once a year I outlet shop on a girls trip, but the majority of my purchases for the remainder of the year are from consignment. If you haven’t tried out a few consignment shops near you, type it into your phone map right now and pick a couple to check out next time you need a fresh look.
Amazon Day – I like to shop local, and ideally from people I know for many things – but there are some things that fit the bill to be simply purchased through Amazon. We rarely venture to Target or WalMart, our miscellaneous items are procured through Amazon for sheer convenience of an app and delivery. That very easily got out of hand for us, especially when our girls started wanting items, even paying for them by giving me cash, and Amazon dropping items several times a week – it became hard to track what we had spent. Until Amazon day. Now for home items we order just once a month on the 15th unless something urgent comes up. This helps us stick to our budget, we add items regularly and just checkout to our budget amount monthly. Could Amazon Day(s) work for you?
People – Coaching has given me intimate seats at that table of people’s lives, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. With personal finance, you touch nearly every aspect of your lives. Similarly with business, entrepreneurs are living and breathing their businesses. With each person that I have the opportunity to walk alongside, I truly get to join their journey, walking side by side with them for a period of time. I have met some of the best people that I will consider friends for a lifetime.
Creating Content – I genuinely enjoy creating content, like blog posts and social media video tips, inspiration, or funny reels. What started out feeling like a necessary evil to have an online presence has become something that I don’t mind doing at all – as long as it doesn’t take up too much time. Batching content is helpful for me to maintain my time boundaries and not let content become a full time job. I typically batch a month’s worth of videos in one afternoon, and weekly social media content in one 90 minute block per week.
Tijuana Trip – This year will be my first opportunity to lead a group on a journey of great intention; helping to build a home in Tijuana. When I participated in this trip twice before, I knew that I’d be back with my own group someday – and the day has come! How does it connect to coaching? It doesn’t. It connects to my mission to help others live the lives they are called to lead by being intentional with their time, talent, and money. Doesn’t matter if they coach with me. I’m still connecting to my mission within my business.
Time Intentionality – It’s true what they say, entrepreneurs get to spend their time the way they want to…which is magnificent, but it also means that there are seasons that are a lot of extra work too! Thankfully, I have built a business model that is forward facing 3 out of 4 weeks of the month, allowing me time for working ‘on’ the business OR getting away from the business entirely. Intentionally taking time on Wednesday mornings to take my girls to school has been a welcome addition to my schedule too.
Books – The value of reading and learning is incredible, isn’t it? You can consume a book with all kinds of knowledge, tips, and resources for typically less than $20, or free if you borrow it from the library. That’s amazing. There are oodles of book recommendations that I could share, I feel like I’ve had entire degrees of education in book consumption alone. The recommendation? Read a book for personal growth of some variety.
Podcasts – Similar to the book recommendation, podcasts can be a great way to upload new ideas, initiatives and inspiration into your ears on a regular basis. Great for commutes, long drives, or walks…find a few trusted podcasts to put into your rotation.
Action – All of that learning will be for nothing unless you put it into action. Make a commitment to yourself that with each new podcast, book, course, or workshop that you give yourself time to put what you learned into action. That doesn’t mean you have to do all of it, but if you’re picking the right stuff to consume you should get a handful of golden nuggets out of each of them. Take time to implement before moving to the next.
Housecleaner – Having someone come into our home every two weeks and make it sparkle has been a huge time saver for me. I used to spend half of a Saturday cleaning the house top to bottom. Although necessary, it wasn’t the way I wanted to intentionally spend my time. Trading dollars for hours back into my life was an important trade off for me. Is there somewhere in your life that a trade for dollars to get hours back would make sense for you?
Facebook Memories – I’m rarely on Facebook itself, but I will absolutely pop on there each morning to see what the Memories have in store for me, and remind me of how stinking cute our kids were with the grainy videos of ten years past.
Hot Baths – The bath is usually a quiet and relaxing place that I can just be for part of an evening…until the water gets cold. I can read, I can scroll, I can think. Add in a bit of epsom salt and some bubbles. It’s an entire event that helps me unwind and get ready to tackle a new day.
Getting up Early – My natural rhythm is to wake up early, and I find that my ‘early shift’ is often my most productive. It’s a quiet, focused time to get some work done before the rest of the family stretches to life, and before the meetings of the day begin. It’s the time that I will exercise…..if it hasn’t happened before 7a, it likely won’t be taking place. What would you do with a few extra hours in the morning?
No Christmas Gifts – I know that it’s a privilege and a blessing to truly not ‘need’ anything, and I don’t take it for granted when I genuinely share to others NOT to get me a gift. More precious than an item? Time. Spend time with me instead. When we ditched Christmas gifts for our kids and chose Calendar Adventures with family instead. It was the best choice for us family. Where can you swap an item for a gift of time instead?
Small House – All things relative of course, our house is not big by comparison to those in my community. We live in a 3 bedroom, 2.5 half bath home in a little less than 2000 square feet. The dining room has long been converted to my husband’s office. And the living room is the only place for family TV. And I like it that way. We’re all close enough to participate in the hubbub of the day, no one is getting lost in their own corner of the house. We have certainly considered upgrading for more outdoor space, a home theater room or other extra space entity – but I want my people close. Consider the advantages of the thing that you have been considering upgrading.
And that’s a wrap. 42 of my favorites to perhaps save you time as you look to implement a couple of recommendations. It’ll be a gift to me if you find a win in a couple of these recommendations. In the meantime, I’ll be celebrating the big 4-2 at the end of this month. Have a piece of chocolate cake for me.
Next month I’ll be hosting another Time Workshop. I’d love to have you there if you’re serious about creating more time and space in your life – and getting it all organized to stick with your boundaries.
Thank you for joining me on my journey to influence.