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More Time, Less Money for Dinner

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We live in a chaotic, busy world these days with little to no margin for most people. With the New Year, most are looking for ways to make life simpler. Or at least I know I always am. A time to set up new routines, new goals, new methods to make life easier. Who wouldn’t want more time in their day and to spend less money on dinner?

One part of our life that we struggle with is making dinner at home. We have entered into a new stage of life with three kids and as we still try to adjust, some days dinner just doesn’t get made. The baby isn’t cooperating or the two bigger kids aren’t cooperating.

Some days I am the one not cooperating!

We are on a journey this year to eat better, find time to work out, and be intentional in how we spend our time and money.

We want to focus on what is important to us.

I honestly don’t like cooking all that much and I had heard incredible things about the Instant Pot.

On Amazon Prime Day in July 2017, like many of you, I bought an Instant Pot. When I took that bad boy out of the box I was overwhelmed.

And it sat in the box for months.

This all changed the first week of January. When I learned about this Freezer Meal Planning site, you bet I jumped on it to see what it was all about.

My Freeze Easy offers recipes for all kinds of meals, including slow cooker meals, Instant Pot meals, dairy free, and gluten free, to name a few. I could see the recipes on the site, but the real magic happens when you sign up for the membership. Once you signed up for the membership, you create a meal plan from the recipes that looked good to you (although they have pre-set meal plans if you want to go with what they have), and out comes the most glorious document. It shows you the entire grocery list you need along with how to prep the meals at one time to put into the freezer.

We have completed a couple weeks of using My Freeze Easy and it has been a game changer. On the nights I don’t really want to cook, I have no excuse because I can put a meal in the IP and it is done in 25 minutes. I am even able to put dinner in the IP, work out, then come back to dinner ready to go.

The magic is in prepping 20 meals in an hour and a half for the month which also allows for leftovers.

This is how it has helped us save time:

1. After I create my meal plan, it gives me the exact items I need to purchase.

2. I add the items I need to my WalMart grocery pick up, set my pick up time, and drive to the store where they load it in my car for me. No more wandering the aisles getting more items than I need (money and time saved).

3.I block off a chunk of time to put the meals together. The meal plan gives you instructions on how to prep all of the meals at one time in a step by step way that is easy to navigate. This shouldn’t take more than 2 hours for the 20 meals.

4.Label each freezer bag and put the ingredients together for each of the specified meals.

5.Put in freezer!

Voila! You take the meal out of the freezer the night before to let thaw and cook according to the instructions given.

If it’s not a one pot meal then you have to do sides, but that takes very minimal time, especially if you throw a 90 second rice pouch in the microwave.

If you are looking for a way to save time and spend less on dinner, give My Freeze Easy a shot!

How are you saving time and money this year?

Here’s to the Journey!

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

Why Absurd Goals Demotivate You

I had seven things on my to-do list on Monday. On Tuesday, I had six things. By the time Wednesday came around, I had eight items. All of these items were specific to goals.

How in the world did my to-do list increase when I had accomplished several items?

I sat down last night and thought about this. I like to set goals and make lists and accomplish! One of my strengths is achiever (I will write down something I have already achieved so I can mark it off…sue me). When I don’t achieve what I have set out to accomplish, I become frustrated and down. I wonder why I even set goals to begin with.

Sound familiar?

I create a to-do list based on my goals. When I don’t accomplish them, I feel like…

A failure

A fraud

A hypocrite

Because I am supposed to be good at setting goals. When I don’t achieve them, I lose a bit of motivation. Not accomplishing my goals day after day leads to greater loss of motivation. Absurd goals demotivate you. Period.

I realized that the daily tasks I was creating for myself, such as reading a chapter in my almost completed book, reading a chapter in my current personal development book, working on my other business, are not attainable.

I was setting goals based upon what I wanted to accomplish without thinking about my time in the day. I have two little ones who are constantly seeking my attention. Goals are good, but if I don’t have specific times in mind for when the items can be completed, my list will become demotivating.

I know that some hate the concept of a SMART goal. However, setting SMART goals allows for greater achievement and motivation to keep moving forward.  A SMART goal helps the individual to see if it is Specific, Measurable (how will you know when it is accomplished), Attainable (my current issue), Realistic, and Time specific.  A SMART goal, or task, gives you the foresight to know if what you set out to do will actually take place.

smart goals my own (1)
A SMART goal, or task, gives you the foresight to know if what you set out to do will actually take place. Click To Tweet

Today, I’m throwing out my current task list and evaluating what I want to accomplish that is realistic given my time constraints and the needs of my little people. When you have goals that are big and audacious, but create steps that are attainable along the way, your goals will encourage and inspire you instead of demotivate you.

I challenge you to do the same. And if you don’t achieve what you set out to, there is always tomorrow.

Remember, you have one life to live. Make sure you enjoy it from here to there.

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

The Worth and Wellness Journal: A Review

There are so many new planners and journals available today, that it is hard to determine which one is right for you. There is the Purposeful Planner and the Passion Planner and the Erin Condren Planner. These are all great to get your life planned and organized. And I settled on one this year I love.

When I started looking at journals, I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for. I knew I wanted a guided journal. I knew I wanted a journal that lasted a certain number of days and was not too long. I also knew I wanted a journal that helped with my health and wellness. My health is something that was put on the back burner due to our insanely busy lives. I hate using the word busy, but there really was no time to make my health and wellness a priority until I left my 9-5 job.

I am a part of an amazing online group where people are dreaming and building and taking chances to be the best they can be. I was intrigued when I saw a post from my friend Amy Latta about her Worth and Wellness Journal.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek and to use the journal!

I love that the journal is based on the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy model. “Circumstances are neutral, it is your thoughts about them that make them good or bad. These thoughts lead to feelings; feelings lead to actions; and actions give you your results, which often confirm your original thought.”

Circumstances > Thoughts > Feelings > Actions > Results = This is the heart of why we do what we do.

Sow a thought, eventually reap an action, which will either positively or negatively impact your circumstance.

Amy Latta _ Worth & Wellness Journal

The 30-day Worth & Wellness Journal is a workout plan, nutrition guide, self-care advisor, and therapist. It is designed to bring a greater level of self-awareness in various areas of your life and to help you discover why you self-sabotage your goals, in particular, your own weight loss goals. Health and fitness education will only get you so far. You need the tools to help you mentally choose, and sometimes fight, to become healthy and understand your worth.

This journal provides practical nutrition, fitness, and self-care tips for better wellness, and daily writing prompts to help you become more aware of the thoughts and feelings affecting your mindset.

As in all things, awareness is the key to any change. When you change your mindset you have the ability to change your body.

Each day focuses on two areas, your worth and your wellness. The Wellness Focus focuses on 3 sections: Nutrition, Fitness, and Self-Care. In the fitness portion, you are given 3-5 exercises to do that day. This journal provides practical steps to do immediately. The Worth Focus asks several questions to help you dig deeper to understanding why you do what you do. Each day has an area to brainstorm, sketch, or mind-map.

If you are looking for a simple tool with great impact, I want to encourage you to pick up your own copy of the Worth and Wellness Journal today. Click here to get your copy.

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.