In the past few years I’ve really discovered my love for storytelling and now I work hard daily to make storytelling my reality and day to day. This true love became a part of my life initially because of the event, National Novel Writing Month. It happens every November, where people all around the world write 50,000 words in one month so that the world can read their stories. It’s called NaNoWriMo in shorthand, and now it’s my favorite month of the year.
I’ve said this before and got some funny comments, but it’s still the truth years later. While I don’t have as much time for it anymore, starting my YouTube channel in 2010 was one of the most life changing decisions I’ve ever made.
Hello, Kind Friends! Today I have a fun edition of 5 Tips For that shares how you can make 2016 the best year possible and rock those resolutions you’ve been trying to conquer for years.
I used to be the resolution queen, but these past two years I’ve been having trouble making what I want for my future a priority – and that has got to change. This year I’m going back to my roots and making sure all of my resolutions fit the SMART goals system, as well as making weekly and monthly resolutions to help me reach my larger goals in an almost step-like process.
In this post and in the video below, I share with you a bit of how I’m planning on rocking my goals this year and how you can to.
What are SMART goals? SMART is an acronym for what kind of a goal you want to set.
Is your goal…
And here are some further explanations:
Specific: Is your goal specific enough? General goals like “I want to lose weight” are overly general, because then even one pound lost counts as a success.
Measureable:Does your goal have something you can quantify, or measure, to know if you succeeded? This could be passing an exam with a certain percentage, gaining or losing a certain body fat percentage, or any other quantifiable number.
Attainable: Attainable goals are ones that feel challenging but also in the realm of possibility. If a goal is too easy, it isn’t a motivator. But if your goals have a little bit of stress involved, enough to keep you working hard, then they are more attainable in the long run. Does your goal meet this criteria?
Relevant:For a goal to work, it has to be something you are both willing and able to do. Is this goal relevant to your current life (ie. will you be motivated to do it) while also being realistic to what you are capable of?
Timely:Goals with a time-frame are much more likely to come true because the pressure you have to meet certain criteria within a window of time is much more motivating than “someday.” Do your goals have an end-date?
Goals that fit all five criteria are SMART goals that you can make come true. If you want this shown in a more easily digestible format, with a few other easy tips to help make setting your goals easier – join my mailing list to get a free printable file on the SMART goals system. Your email confirmation will share with you the free download link.
I can’t wait to share with you everything I have in mind for the new year. You’ll probably be surprised by a few of them!
What goals do you have for 2016? Let’s talk about them in the comments, I’d love to check in with you guys.
Hello, Kind Friends! For the next few weeks my Tuesday posts in the #5TipsFor series are going to cover different topics or goals related to common New Year’s Resolutions. Today’s post will go into how you can read more in the coming year. I hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments your thoughts on this topic and what other ideas you’d like me to cover in this series.
Tip #1: Listen to audiobooks
It’s a given, having someone read books to you while you work on other projects will help you read more than you normally would have. I love listening to audiobooks while I clean, run errands, get ready for my day, drive… It’s calming and fun to have a story with me at all times. You can also get your first book free with my referral link audibletrial.com/rebecca, so it’s not a big deal if you end up not liking it. Check out my initial Audible review if you want more details, it shares how I was very skeptical of the idea of audiobooks but completely changed my mind within a few minutes of joining Audible.
Tip #2: Carry a book with you always
Whether or not you carry an audiobook or an eBook on your phone, or even a small physical book, having a book with you at all times gives you more opportunity to read. Instead of endlessly scrolling on Instagram while you are in a long line at the supermarket, read a book! That seems like a much more enlightening and fun activity than hearting cute photos of pets (though I am guilty of doing that before bed).
Tip #3: Use your library card
Renting audiobooks and eBooks through your library is easy, saves a lot of time with the use of their apps, and saves money. If reading were always free, wouldn’t you do it more? I’ve read dozens of books this year through the Overdrive app, which connects to my local library. Now that I’ve finally started using Overdrive this year, I can’t look back. It has made consuming literature so much more convenient.
Tip #4: Set a monthly or yearly reading goal with friends
Having a goal that follows a list, say 10 of the best young adult books, the Popsugar reading challenge, or even joining a book club like the Perusutopia book club will help motivate your book reading throughout the year. Reading with peers is important because it’s a lot more engaging, you pay more attention to the words so that you have something to share with others, and so much more. It’s wonderful to connect with people over a story.
Tip #5: Set a time every day for reading
Even if it’s only for 15 minutes reading a little bit everyday, at the same time every day, is a great way to get more reading done overall. Try to pick a time where you know you will always be available, say at 7 PM every weekday, to spend a little time in another world. I said this in my 5 Tips For: Staying Inspired post, but working on your goals a little bit every day will make long-standing progress.
What books have you been reading lately? Do you have any book-related goals for 2016?
Leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts on this topic, what books you are reading, or anything else you’d like to chat about. I’d love to talk back and forth with you.
If you’ve known me for any measurable amount of time, you know that reading and writing are my favorite things to do. So as a follow up to my 5 Tips For: New Writers post, I also have created a tips article on how you can get more book to read for free. New tips are uploading to my blog every Tuesday, so make sure to keep up with posts through email if you want to stay on track of my regular content.
So, you love to read but can’t afford new books? Here are five ways to get free books so that you can keep feeding this hobby.
Book Bub is a website aimed at helping readers find cheap and free eBooks. There are already hundred of free books on the site to choose from, though they specifically have a plethora of books in the Harlequin theme, meaning a lot of romance, period pieces, wild west and pirate romances, and other similar themes. I love cheesy and dramatic romances, especially when I’m stressed. So if that floats your boat, definitely check out Book Bub. They have many other kinds of books, but I definitely see more of the romances being marked down to free versus others.
Many published authors are joining Wattpad as a way to share content with interested users for free so that they can get you hooked on their books. I follow Scott Westerfeld, which is how I got to read the first book in the Uglies series for free.
Tip #3: Take advantage of free trials
I have a referral link to Audible that you can use to get a free audiobook and many other websites have similar programs, like audiobooks.com. If you are good at making sure to cancel these services before you are charged, I definitely recommend you try them as a means to get some free reading content. I absolutely love audiobooks, despite being skeptical about them in the past. If you want to see my full thoughts on why I now completely recommend audiobooks, check out my skeptical review of Audible.
Overdrive works in conjunction with your local libraries to give you free eBook and audiobook rentals. You can’t technically keep these books, but it’s an easy app to use so that you can get free reading material wherever you are, even if you don’t have time to go to the library. All you need is a library card to get started.
Tip #5: Try the Little Free Library
The Little Free Library is an adorable movement where people around the world set up small book exchange boxes where you take a book for free, the only thing they ask is you leave a book. So if you have a book you no longer want, trade it in for a gently used book. You can check if you have a little Free Library near you with their location finder.
How do you find amazing deals on books? What is the best book you have read lately? Let me know in the comments!
[Original photo source unknown, let me know if you are the creator of this content so I can credit you.]
Hello, Kind Friends. Today I am sharing a new episode in my weekly series, #5TipsFor. Come back every Tuesday for more tips in a wide variety of topics. This post features tips for staying inspired and on track with your goals, which is something I feel very passionately about.
If you have a suggestion for next weeks topic, tell me in the comments!
A video sharing all five of these tips:
Staying inspired is so important to me, as I have always been a big dreamer. I honestly can’t imagine a time when I wasn’t imagining what my future would hold and making plans to bring about that ideal life. Even so, my dreams have evolved with me and now my future looks so very different from what I thought at the start of college.
Because of all the events I’ve experienced these past few years, I haven’t always felt positive about how things have been progressing in my life. Hense, why I’ve put together these tips. These little snippets of advice help me stay motivated and focused on my goals, even when life is throwing me curve ball after curve ball, so I hope they can do the same for you.
5 Inspiration Tips:
Keep your mind and your home free of clutter or at the very least the area where you plan on working most on these goals. Physical clutter is distracting.
Have a totem or some sort of other visual representation of your goals that you can see every day. Having vision boards is a favorite of mine because it helps keep my dreams in a focus.
Have someone that represents what you want to achieve and the life you want to lead.
Be realistic about your goals. Make it challenging, but not debilitating, so that your goals can grow with your progress rather bring you down with their enormity.
Work on your goals every single day. Even five minutes is better than nothing. Small efforts over time will make you feel more accomplished than a few days spread out over a month.
The list above is the bare bones of what I spoke about in the video, so please do watch it along with reading this post.
What are your goals? Can you believe that 2015 is almost over? Due to some craziness at the beginning of the year, my resolutions are totally different now from when I started. I have plans for a tip post about the New Year as well, so stay tuned.
What helps you stay inspired? Tell us all in the comments so that we can all benefit from your advice as well.
Hello, Kind Friends! Today I’m sharing with you another post in my 5 Tips For series. There will be a new post in this blog series every Tuesday so stay tuned for more.
Today’s post will share with you five tips for a better night’s sleep, I know getting to sleep fast and keeping a regular sleep schedule is very difficult for many people so I hope this post helps you all.
This post has been sponsored by Dream Shields Sleep Masks, which is a product I’ve been using all month and highly recommend.
I hope this video helps get you to easy breeze sleepy cat status. Because honestly, cats have the right idea.
How to keep a regular sleep schedule:
Lie down at the same time every night so that your body starts with time to understand a certain rhythm. As often as possible, keep your bedtime the same on the weekends as well. If you can’t do that, try to only change it by and hour or two.
Have an internet bedtime. At the same time every night, put your phone and computer away so that your eyes can have some time away from the blue lights of your devices.
If you need to block out light, use a sleep mask like the one from Dream Shields that gives extra room for your eyes and is a customizable size.
Don’t do stressful activities in your bedroom, you don’t want to be reminded of anything other than relaxing activities in your bedroom. No work emails, no computer work. Keep your bedroom just for sleep, getting ready, and winding down.
Take your TV out of your bedroom. Falling asleep while watching TV really keeps you up longer, even if you think it helps you fall asleep. Try it for a month! You’ll see you end up snoozing quicker.
Please do let me know any tips you have for a better night’s sleep in the comments so that we can all get a high-quality sleep.
Here are a few details and photos of the Dream Shield’s sleep mask. I really have been enjoying using it, especially with the extra contoured space it has for your eyes. Right now the product is on sale on Amazon for only $10. The product comes with a traveling case and ear plugs.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips! Don’t forget to share with me your comments and sleep tips, so we can all get a better night’s sleep.
[First three photos found on: 1, 2, 3, 4]
PS. Check out how cute the Instagram photo turned out for this ad? My dog didn’t like being posed, but I love the result.