These Are A Few (Okay, 4) Of My Favorite Things

August 24, 2016

Howdy friends!

I’m just back from a super full and fun week in Boston. What a cool place! I want to go back another time or seven with the same group of friends to appreciate more of the architecture, sites, and the food. THE FOOD. THE ARCHITECTURE. THE FRIENDS. Here’s a picture of me looking tall* in front of a statue in the Boston Public Gardens. I promise I read and appreciated the accompanying quote and his name but have lost both in the shuffle of other plaques and engraved quotes.

So here I am now, back to real life and habits and organization. One of the 871 conversations we had on the Boston trip revolved around “favorite habits, items, or things”. I am probably summarizing that poorly but basically it got me thinking of what small things have made a huge difference in my life and of what some of my favorite resources/tools are. Here are a couple to share or, in case I’ve already shared them with you in scattered form, here they are in consolidated form:

(1) Password manager

I feel comfortable guessing that anyone reading this blog has a decently busy online life to manage. Dozens – if not hundreds – of websites require user names and passwords or varying complexities and length and I for sure have formerly subscribed to the philosophy that “a password remembered is better than a password secure.” Not true! Password managers like LastPass and Dashlane do the remembering for you in super secure ways (Google it and see that legit professionals totally recommend them) AND make your online life much less complicated. Less complicated is GOOD. More about that later perhaps, but certainly feel free to ask questions! It’s one of those things that a little effort upfront pays huge dividends in time and energy savings down the road.

(2) Becoming Minimalist blog

In a consumeristic society, it is SO easy to get gently sucked back into the constant getting and buying and needing. Queue a scene from one of my favorite movies, What About Bob: “Gimme gimme, I need I need I need I need!” Without frequent reminders of WHY I really do want to live simply and with less stuff, it’s somehow so easy to get back in the mentality of searching for and buying STUFF. Granted, my love of budgeting and the experiences of the past couple years keep me from going too crazy, but even a few extra things here and there add up. Reading blog posts from Becoming Minimalist is like the palate-cleansing ginger you eat between sushi bites; the pithy messages and clean design stand out in simple elegance from the busy hustle and bustle and buy-this mantra of most messages that make it through to our inboxes.

(3) YNAB blog

Surprise, surprise, right?) As you maybe are starting to gather, I like YNAB. A LOT. And while I don’t have too many challenges to staying on The Plan (the money plan I’ve created for myself), it’s still nice to read what YNAB has to say and read what like-minded people are doing, how they’re succeeding and what they’ve learned. I also love that the blog still has content and videos from the CEO, Jesse Mecham. Budgeting is one of those things that when you finally get on-board and see it work for you, you just have to share it with others. I’m no Jesse yet, but I love learning from him and the rest of the YNAB team.

(4) Essentialism

This is a book by Greg McKeown. A coworker recommended this a couple (and in this case I do mean a couple – as in 2) years ago and I’ve listened to it twice all the way through and revisited portions of the book dozens of times. How do I summarize what I’ve learned from the book? I don’t:) A few things that come to mind and I’ll share to hopefully encourage you to listen or read it:  Protect the asset (you are your asset – advocating for getting adequate sleep), say no (so you can stay focused on your life purpose, not other’s purposes for it), do less, enjoy meals, don’t attempt to do everything and please everyone… I could go on and on but really, just get the book. You’ll like it:)

There we have it: 4 favorites. Let me know what you think and, as always, if you have any questions or feedback let me know. Happy living!

*As the shortest in my family, I have somewhat of a height complex despite being, like, super tall. Okay, maybe not super tall but above average height for a woman.