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Why I Stopped Tracking Everything (and Started Making Intentional Decisions)

October 11, 2016

Why I Stopped Tracking Everything (and Started Making Intentional Decisions)

Just a heads up, friends: A Simple Year 2017 is now open for early bird registration! Join Courtney Carver, Tammy Strobel, Brooke McAlary, Marc and Angel, The Minimalists, Anthony Ongaro, Colin Wright, Jules Clancy, Erin Somerville and myself, as we guide you to make 2017 a joyful, thoughtful and simple year. Register by November 13th for $180 USD – that’s 25% off the regular price and only $15/month.

One of the first things I learned on the road was that it would be impossible to maintain any kind of routine. The time I woke up varied day-to-day, the methods of physical activity I did changed in each state and climate, and I don’t think I ever ate the same meal twice (except when I did a brunch tour of Colorado and tried at least five different versions of Eggs Benedict during my time there).

Before I left, the exact opposite was true. I had streamlined so many processes that my life almost felt like it was on autopilot. I woke up at the same time, made coffee, ate the same foods, worked the same hours, took the same days off and spent them with the same people. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this – in fact, it’s incredible how quickly I’ve slipped back into my regular life, since coming home, and I’m grateful for that. It took years to create this and I’m happy to be living it again.

But there’s one routine I ditched on the side of the road that I will be happy to never pick up again: tracking things on a daily basis.

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Q1: Taking Care of Personal Business

April 6, 2016


My monthly budget updates have changed shape many times over the years. For a long time, I shared my projected budget at the beginning of the month and my final numbers at the end. Last year, I trusted myself to spend the same amounts every month, stopped budgeting (but still tracked my spending) and shared only my final numbers. Then, after I quit my job and became a full-time freelancer, I started sharing my monthly income too.

For some reason, that last part has always bothered me – not sharing the numbers, but some of the responses that came with it. I started getting a lot of emails from people asking for advice on how to become a freelancer, how to work from home, etc. I don’t mind sharing what I know (which is nothing compared to what my friends Carrie and Paul can teach you), but I don’t want this space to turn into another “let me show you how to make money online” site. The people who do it already do it well and make a killing, so I’ll leave those topics to the experts.

What I will tell you is that I’ve been making a little bit less than the salary I had before, but I’m happier than I’ve ever been – and still surviving (nine months later)!

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December 2015 Budget & Goals for the First 90 Days of 2016

January 4, 2016


Happy New Year, friends! I have to start 2016 by thanking you all for leaving such sweet and thoughtful comments on last week’s post. I had wanted to write about so many of those things all year, but couldn’t do it until I’d gotten some distance from everything. On New Year’s Eve, I took an idea from Elizabeth Gilbert, grabbed a piece of paper, wrote down all the events in 2015 that I needed to let go of and threw it in the fire. It’s more symbolic than anything, but it felt good to see some of those things disappear. I’m ready for – no, I need – a simpler year in 2016

Before it can truly begin, though, I still have a few things to wrap-up so I can put 2015 behind me – and it starts with the numbers. Continue Reading…