A lot of money advice misses the point. Taking control of your finances is about front-loading the work and creating a sustainable financial path so you can focus on the things that actually matter: spending time with family, doing meaningful work and creating a life of joy.
Money has never been, and never will be, my goal.
Instead, money is my tool. It’s a tool that allows me to be generous with the people I love, take risks and save space in my brain for the things I care about.
Regardless of where you are on your financial journey, there are things you can do today that will make your life better. The best part? None of them have anything to do with money.
Your self-worth, self-care and health are more important than a number.
As you work to create a comfortable financial life, don’t neglect the other areas of your life in favor of money. The other areas are more important, I promise.
1. Make Your Bed in The Morning
I get it. The mornings are rushed and you have thousands of things to do. Lunches need to be made. Showers need to be had and it feels like there is absolutely no time. The good news is that making your bed takes approximately 30 seconds and will boost your mood (and productivity) for the rest of the day. You will feel better, your room will look better and your day will be better.
2. Go on a Walk
Get outside. You don’t need to be in great shape, own a sports bra or have the proper shoes. Walks require zero planning and can happen at any point in the day. Every day at 12PM, I hit a slump. Life feels horrible and I can’t get out of my own head. But once I get up and outside, my inner critic is silenced. I notice the palm trees that are drenched in sunlight and the hummingbird that stops for a quick break on a rose stem. I’m jolted back to the present moment and it’s a welcome escape from my own head.
One of my friends claims that she only needs 6 hours of sleep a night and I’m convinced she’s a femme bot. Cause honestly, I need a minimum of eight in order to function at my highest capacity. Next time you’re tempted to skip sleep in favor of working an extra hour or binging on How to Get Away with Murder, resist the urge. Your body is the only one you have. You’ll feel better and work better. Win-win.
4. Clean Up Your Crap
You know all that crap you have piled on your dining room table? It’s stealing your joy. The pile of dirty clothes in your room is stealing it too. Set a timer for 30 minutes and clean one room in your house. Put every item back in its place, wipe the surfaces and scrub the floors. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Repeat every evening until your house is your sanctuary.
5. Drink Water—Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
We all know that we’re supposed to drink water. It’s the number one thing we’re taught in middle school health class. It seems trite and somewhat pointless.
Water is supposed to improve my life?
Drink all the water you can stomach. (Okay, maybe not all of it but try to drink 8-10 cups) Your skin will look better, your happiness will increase and you’ll be more productive. Put the coffee cup down and pick up the water bottle. You’ll thank me later.
6. Journal (Without the Hype)
Journals have become a multi-million dollar industry and you can buy a journal for pretty much anything. But the truth is that you don’t need a fancy journal or crazy prompts to reap the benefits of journaling. In fact, you’re better off without them.
Grab an old notebook or pad of paper and write. Yep, I’m talking about handwriting in an actual notebook. Don’t give yourself any prompts or instructions. Instead, write down your stream of consciousness, no matter how boring or mundane it may seem.
Here’s an actual excerpt from one of my journals:
“This is so boring and I don’t want to do this. There’s no point. My head hurts. Why did I go to sleep so late. Ugh, I do not want to go to work today. How do I cancel that subscription service? I can’t believe the weekend is already over.”
Keep writing. You will eventually tap into your inner wisdom. The job you hate that you report to every single day? Write about it. Dream of what you would rather do instead. Make a list of chores you need to do. It doesn’t matter what you write about it, just do it. It is the ultimate form of self-care because it provides you with a chance to be honest and heard. You’ll start your day feeling grounded and capable.
7. Call Your Mom
I might be kind of biased, but I’m pretty sure my mom is the best human in the world. She is the definition of unconditional love and no matter how crappy I feel, she’s there to listen, support and encourage. Maybe the “mom” person in your life is actually your dad, grandma, mentor or best friend. They are the person who always makes you feel better, even on your darkest days. Call them. Call to say hi, call to vent, call to check in, call to say ‘I love you.”