Lately, I’ve been thinking about how – and in what ways – we choose to invest our resources, and what it says about us.
Does the way a person invest his/her resources (time, money, energy) paint a picture on where their focus and priority lives? I think so.
Are we intentional in how we choose to allocate our time, energy and money? I hope so!
Here’s how I’ve been investing my resources in 2017, in my life and business:
1. Couple goal-setting sessions + regular check-ins
I’ve always found it easy to set and achieve my own goals. It was all up to me, after all! But, when I found myself in a committed relationship, I struggled when it came to goal setting. Questions like ‘What if this goal doesn’t serve the both of us and drives us apart?’ and ‘Are we both on the same page on this matter?’ would raise my concerns.
When we were dating long distance, we had a goal — to live in the same city by the next year. Many conversations circled this shared aim, and we had our eyes on our prize. After making that goal a reality, it became a little hazy when there wasn’t a clear goal next. Where do we go from here?
In December 2016, Steve and I sat down to each share our personal goals – as well as create our goals as a couple. It was my idea, in an attempt to start the year knowing we were both on the same page (a priority for me). I wanted for us to be clear on what the other person was focusing on cultivating over the next year – as well as what we worked on together – so we could best support each other.
And, it’s been such a good investment!
I’m now a believer in feeling and being on the same page with your significant other when it comes to goals. It really can help prevent unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings (‘I just don’t feel like you get me!’ and ‘I feel like you’re not supporting me with my goals.’). Which in turn, fosters a deeper and more supportive relationship. ☺️
2. Cultivating contentment
I thought I was content. I was generally grateful, didn’t want much, and did not feel a gaping hole in me that only material things and achievements would fill. Yet… That niggling feeling of wanting the next thing was normal – and human – right? And what about that feeling like I (needed) that ‘thing’ … the sooner, the better?
Contentment felt fleeting and elusive. It came with a shiny new purchase, or after I pulled off a project. But soon after, contentment would fizzle out. How could I better balance contentment with striving?
My prayers were answered when I first read about the Contentment Challenge (found here). After I started my first month of the challenge, I realised I had been putting significant energy into ‘what would bring me contentment’ vs. ‘how content I already am with what I already have’. Huh.
This quote portrays why I have chosen to cultivate contentment in my heart in such a beautiful way: ‘You should never feel guilty for pursuing, participating in, and enjoying the pleasures of the material world God created. What you and I need to guard against is allowing awe of those pleasures to become the principal motivator of our hearts. When awe of material things rules your heart, then you will live for material things, and when you live for material things, you will do just about anything to gain them, maintain them, keep them, and enjoy them.’ (Found this gem by Paul Tripp via here.)
Sweet, sweet contentment. I can already see that ‘Cultivating Contentment in my heart’ will continue to be a 2018 focus!
3. Good quality skincare (along with a simple regime)
My mum swears by facials (and I heed her skin advice since she looks about 20 years younger than she is – until I had a terrible facial experience last year). I was left struggling with a massive blow in my confidence after a facial in Double Bay, Sydney left me with red bumps and scars on my face.
The therapist performed extractions, and it left bumps that later turned into scars (which then proceeded to stay on my face for well over six months). I panicked! Any redness usually disappeared after a week, in my experience. Disheartened, I realised that I used to take my skin for granted. I vowed to take good care of my skin from then on! Note to self: Wear sunscreen religiously! Avoid extractions on sensitive skin.
Finding a skincare regime that works well for me has been a journey of trial and error, and I’m so happy to be on the other side of it all! I know first-hand how discouraging it can be when we struggle with our skin (and how much it can affect our confidence – including how beautiful we feel). I’m cheering you on if you’re in that process right now! There is an end to it!
4. A king-sized bed
I am an avid water drinker. (As in, I don’t drink much tea or juice, no alcohol or coffee, no sparkling water either.) Water is my drink of choice. And filtered water tastes much better! I keep a clear 500 mL tumbler with straw (also an excellent investment) on my desk to sip on throughout the day. I’ve been drinking more water – and my skin and energy and body thanks me for it! 😉
6. Loving my people generously
Loving my people well is something that is a priority for me. It’s something I’m committed to learning and growing in, and I know that when I’m 80, it will be what matters. When I look back at my life, success (to me) means that people (around me and those who have been in my life) have felt my love in their lives and feel proud of who I am and how I have lived. Have you thought of what matters to you when you’re 80? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
My sister and Steve’s primary love languages are Acts of Service, so I started doing #MealPrepSundays – where I prepare the entire week’s meals over a day (or two). Their lunches are ready to grab and go in the mornings, and they have healthy eats all week. Find out what your love language is here, and learn how you can ask for (and give) love in a way that is well-received by your loved ones!
An important shift I’ve noticed is that as I have focused on how I can love my people well, I’ve let go of my tendencies to think thoughts along the line of ‘What about me? Who’s loving me well? What am I getting in return?’ Instead, by focusing on loving others well, I’ve realised that being able to love someone well is such a blessing in itself — and that itself has been the most rewarding gift to me. ❤️
7. Traveling in April & Cultivating friendships
We journeyed to South America in April to attend our friends’ wedding – and took the opportunity to explore, too! Making memories and having wonderful experiences with people will always be a good investment! This year we also got to spend more time cultivating our friendships, here in Australia. I am so grateful for the fruitful connections, joyous laughs and good times with our friends! I know I will always cherish them!
This year I read many more books on psychology, relationships, and personal growth. Some of my favourites included Soulcraft (by Bill Plotkin) which explores the journey and development of the soul; Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown on courage and belonging; His Needs, Her Needs which explores the different needs of men and women in romantic relationships; Cultivate on growing our faith in living an intentional life.
9. Running a debt-free business
After much thought, I decided to shift into running our business, debt-free, starting this year. I share more in this post here, too.
I initially thought this change would elicit a great deal of anxiety! Surprisingly, not having a credit card (for business or life) feels incredibly peaceful, responsible and ‘adult’.
Being able to afford and pay for investments and expenses in cash feels incredibly supportive and liberating. While it does take more calculation, intention and forecasting (and control!) – it has pushed me to continue to grow and learn to master these areas.
10. An ergonomic office chair
I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but I entered 2017 with a chronic dull lower backache. (I know! In my 20s! What is going on?!)
I’ve always worked and coached sitting on dining chairs, and after almost a year of an on-and-off backache situation, I decided that enough was enough. All the massages I got now seemed like a band-aid to the symptoms, not a solution addressing the cause of my backache. (The free massages at home also stopped flowing after the first month. 😂)
To paint the picture: I would retreat to the couch at 4 pm every weekday so that I could lie horizontally because my lower back pain was so unbearable.
After I upgraded to an ergo office chair, my lower back pain disappeared – and I felt my back straighten and strengthen. Considering I sit at the desk for long periods each day, and often for at least 1.5 hours in the same position while in a coaching session – this was a worthy upgrade and investment! 👌🏻
Grammarly has helped me write more confidently – and learn how to improve my skills along the way too! If you write at work, check it out here. A relatively recent find, but since discovering Grammarly I’ve written more – and spent LESS time editing! Win!
12. Easeful templates
I use my Easeful templates every single month. My monthly worksheets are especially a HUGE help as an entrepreneur – as I lay out my business, growth and financial goals in front of me each month. They help me plan, forecast, and focus. 💪🏼
That’s why I created them – and I love sharing them with you to help creatives, like you, focus and move towards your goals. In 2018, Easeful will be how we can work together on an ongoing basis — apart from private coaching.
Find out more about Easeful here! I’ve also got a December + January special coming up which will allow us to work together 1:1 – as well as through the magic of the Easeful group program. Join our newsletter to be the first to hear about it!
14. Business alignment work
In January 2017, I worked with Kylee to help refresh our photos.
Mid 2017, I worked with marketing genius Catt to help refine my messaging and marketing. It was time for a more refined message, and for more authenticity to shine through! Catt’s also been a coaching client of mine for close to two years – so it was such a perfect fit to get her expertise onboard.
Working with a business coach and kinesiologist in the year also felt supportive as I was feeling at max capacity, and needed some perspective on how I could best use my skills and support my clients well.
In November, I also took a tremendous amount of time to refine our core mission, vision and messaging. I’ve entailed this entire process in our Business Alignment guide, which you can download for FREE below!
Each time I invested my resources into aligning the business, it’s felt incredibly pivotal. Still, I had to grow so much faith in my heart – praying it would all work out. If you need some encouragement to take some time out to re-align with the core of your business, here it is: Fortune favours the brave! You can do it!
The most powerful and efficient things are often the simplest. I simplified many systems in our business, including our list management, client scheduling, opt-ins and many more! It’s amazing how much space frees up after investing effort and time into simplifying these systems, and how much more space we have to create things that are more aligned and effective from there.
Your turn! I’d love to hear what your favourite investments in 2017 are, and how they’ve added value and positive change in your life or business. Leave your comment down below – I’d love to hear from you. 😊