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Tag Archive: 31 Days of Less & More

Less Smart Phone, More Communication

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During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Smart Phone

It took my husband two years to convince me that getting a smart phone was a good idea. I had all sorts of excuses about how extravagant and unnecessary it was, but in the end, he won.

And he was so very right. 🙂

Since I have a business and travel regularly, my smart phone saves me an incredible amount of time, money, and hassle. I can keep up on emails, manage my team, have conference calls, check into my flights, get directions when I’m driving, keep track of all my travel information, and get internet pretty much anywhere without having to pay an extra fee.

I am much more efficient thanks to my smart phone. It streamlines my life and saves my sanity. But it can also take over my life. Thus, the reason I have Smart Phone Rules. These are not hard and fast rules and maybe these won’t be the same rules I’ll have for years to come, but right now, they are working really well for me:

1. I Don’t Play Games

I know, I’m so very boring aren’t I? But here’s the thing: I don’t need any more reasons to be connected to electronics. So I just haven’t learned how to play any of the games and then I don’t know what I’m missing. 🙂

2. I Only Have a Few Apps

This is the minimalist in me, but it really streamlines my life. I have a very small number of apps I use and I rarely add new ones.

3. I Don’t Update My Blog/Facebook From My Phone

This is just a personal preference thing, but it’s also a way to stay more untethered. If I don’t have things set up so I can update my blog or Facebook Page with my phone, I won’t be tempted to do so.

4. I Leave My Phone Off Sometimes

Novel idea, I know. 🙂 But truly, I think it’s important to know that I can survive untethered. So sometimes, when I’m with friends or we’re going out somewhere, I leave my phone off — or leave it home altogether.

See Ruth’s Smart Phone Rules here. Great food for thought!

More Communication

It’s pretty easy to send quick texts or tweets or to email someone through Facebook, but many times, there’s not a lot of real depth or sacrifices required in these relationships.

It takes much more effort to meet someone for coffee, to call your friend to pray with her over the phone, to drop everything to help a neighbor in need. Close, long-lasting friendships take work, effort, and time, but they are so worth it.

If you don’t have any close friendships in your life right now, can I encourage you to do all you can to cultivate friendships? To have friends you have to be a friend. Reach out, ask questions, be a listener, be interested, give, care, pray, offer to help… I’ve found that the more I invest in others, the more I’m blessed in return!

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Smart Phone and Edie’s post on More Communication. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!

Less Discontentment, More Gratitude

ALWAYS grateful

During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Discontentment

When you look around you, there is always someone who seems to have more than you do. Or a better life than you have. Or quicker success than you’ve had. Or can lose weight more easily and keep it off. Or a better marriage. Or more incredible talents. Or more money. And on and on it goes.

Life is full of things that don’t seem fair. And if you choose to dwell on those things, you can quickly become discouraged, discontent, and downright frustrated.

But life is also full of beautiful things — if you look for them. Your perspective and attitude on life won’t usually change your circumstances, but it can sure change the way you feel.

You don’t need more of anything in order to be more content. Contentment is a choice. It’s something you can wake up every day and decide to be — whether you’re a prince or a pauper, you can choose contentment.

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More Gratitude

I’ve said it many times before, but it bears repeating: There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. No matter your circumstances, no matter your situation, if you start looking for things to appreciate, you’ll begin to find them all around you.

And that’s why I love the exercise of writing in a gratitude journal every day. Because it forces you to pay attention to the things you might take for granted otherwise. Not only that, but it inspires you to make thanksgiving a part of your each and every day.

Take time today to say “thank you” — for the little things and the big things. Blessings are all around you if you will only take time to notice!

Want to develop more contentment in your life? Read my post with 16 Ways to Become More Content.

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Discontentment and Edie’s post on More Gratitude. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!

Less Greed, More Generosity

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During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Greed

It’s easy to give from our abundance, but true giving requires sacrifice. This is something God has really been teaching me in recent years.

Since I’m not one who is very attached to many items, giving stuff to other people is fun, but it’s relatively easy to do. For instance, if I’m going to be getting rid of an item anyway, is it really a sacrifice to pass it onto a friend instead of tossing it in the Goodwill box? No, not really.

Giving of my time and effort, on the other hand, is an area where I often struggle. I can be stingy when it comes to giving of myself or setting aside my neatly planned out day to meet a need in someone’s life.

When a child needs me to drop everything I’m doing to help them with something, I can be feel frustrated or interrupted. Or when my husband calls and asks me to run an errand for him, it’s my natural reaction to feel irritated.

For me, that’s often the giving that matters the most. Because it’s giving where it really costs me something.

However, every time I give in a way that requires sacrifice, I’m so very blessed in the end. And it inspires me to let go even more and live with arms stretched out wide.

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More Generosity

When Jesse and I traveled to the Dominican Republic one thing that struck me was how generous these people were. They barely had anything and yet they were constantly offering us what little they had.

And they weren’t just giving us their leftovers; they were offering us their very best — the best chair to sit on or the best food they had to eat. It deeply challenged and convicted me.

I want to live my life with arms open wide. Willingly and gladly giving of my best for others. Holding nothing back. And at the end of my life, I want to have used up everything I was given — for others.

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Greed and Edie’s post on More Giving. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!


Less Disappointment, More Wonder

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During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Disappointment

Part of living life is being disappointed — by people, experiences, opportunities, jobs, and more. Life is a series of some mountaintop experiences with lots of valleys and hard times in between.

We can either become victims or victors in our circumstances. It’s our choice.

We can choose to keep pressing forward even when friends let us down, marriages fail, jobs end, and health deteriorates. Or we can choose to sit and wallow over our miserable circumstances. But will that accomplish any good? No.

More Wonder

Reading One Thousand Gifts earlier this year really challenged me to stop rushing through life so much and stop to savor life more. There is so much wonder and beauty in each day. The smile of a little child, the colors of a flower, the smell of soup cooking… if we take time to notice and pay attention, there are beautiful things all around us.

And even in the darkest, most disappointing days, there is always a glimmer of light. No matter how difficult the situation you are in, as long as you’re breathing, there is hope.

Don’t let disappointment swallow up your hope, your joy, or your life. Look for the beauty in every day. As the saying goes, “you usually see what you look for.”

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Disappointment and Edie’s post on More Wonder. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!

Less Judgment, More Acceptance

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During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Judgment

If you’ve been reading my blogs since the beginning (way back before MoneySavingMom.com even existed!), you know I started out as a very black & white, judgmental blogger. I was in my early twenties and I thought I had all of life pretty well figured out.

Oh how I shudder to think of some of the downright harsh things I posted in the early days of blogging! (If I offended you by my dogmatic attitude, would you please email me so I can personally ask forgiveness?)

And it wasn’t just in my blogging. My egotistical, always-right viewpoint across the board offended people, hurt people, and ruined a lot of would-be relationships.

God had to pull the rug from under me and bring me to a place of complete brokenness before I discovered this amazing thing called grace and compassion. It’s been a journey… hard at times, but overall so beautiful. The more I walk this path, the more I learn — and the more I realize how much I don’t know!

More Acceptance

Once I stopped pointing fingers and started offering a helping hand, I realized that the people I’d once criticized weren’t anything like I thought they were. In fact, I’ve learned so much about grace, love, and life from people whom I once upon a time wouldn’t associate with.

I’m also learning that heated words condemning another person’s choices don’t usually solve anything. Loving and listening to a person with a heart full of compassion and care… now that’s the way to make an impact. It’s much more powerful that the loudest, sharpest words ever will be.

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Judgment and Edie’s post on More Acceptance. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!

Less Anxiety, More Rest

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During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Anxiety

Life is full of struggles and difficulties. In fact, probably for most of us, rarely a day goes by that we do not have something (or many somethings!) to be stressed about.

However, more and more I’ve been realizing that John G. Miller is right: “Stress is a choice.” You can’t always choose your circumstances, but you can always choose your response to those circumstances.

When hard things come, you can either become uptight and anxious, or you can choose to be calm and cheerful. Sitting and stewing never accomplishes anything good, so you might as well opt to look for the silver lining and choose gratitude instead.

No matter what you’re going through, there is always something to be thankful for. No matter how hard your situation, it could always be worse. So make a choice to rejoice!

More Rest

In the past few years, I’ve become a big advocate for rest. Not only having margin and white space in our schedules, but also just plain getting more sleep.

Burning the candle at both ends doesn’t make you superwoman; it makes you exhausted. I learned this lesson the hard way in the first six years of our marriage. As a result, I’ve now made sleep a high priority in my life. And I’ve learned that I actually get a lot more done when I’m well rested, plus I feel a lot calmer about life in general.

So I’ve been trying to go to be earlier and, on the nights when I don’t go to bed early, I let myself sleep in a little. It makes such a difference in my productivity — and in my overall demeanor.

Here’s what I wrote about sleep in my 15 Ways to Have More Energy post:

I know, I know. It’s hard to get sleep when you have a hundred other things you feel you should be doing.

However, if you don’t take the time to rest, you’ll constantly be running on fumes. Rearrange your schedule, turn off the electronics, do relaxing things before bed, go to bed early (if at all possible), take a 30-minute nap in the afternoon, or do whatever else it takes to make sure you are getting good sleep at least 5-6 nights each week (I’ve found that if I sleep well at least five nights each week, I’m rested enough that I can have a late night once or twice a week without it really affecting me!)

Don’t know whether you’re getting adequate sleep? I’ve heard that a good barometer is to see if you’re tired at all midday or afternoon. If you are, you aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Keep extending your sleep at night by 15 to 30 minutes until you no longer feel tired in the afternoon.

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Anxiety and Edie’s post on More Rest. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!