I woke up today and realized that it has been one full month since I became an Empty Nester.

Wow, it’s hard to believe how quickly time marches on!!  That said, this first month has been filled with making it through the holidays (alone).

As I sat this morning doing some reflection, I came up with a quick list of what I am discovering having an empty nest.

Empty-Nest

1. The bathroom is always clean! No longer do I have to go in and clean up after showers or nag for the kids to go back and do it themselves.  When people visit, I don’t have to panic about what crusty object they are going to find on the bathroom sink.

2. Menu Options have increased … Significantly, and guess what? Every meal that I have made has been enjoyed without complaint (super cool)!

3. I have a new awareness of self-care. Taking care of me has become a priority. I have started doing that on a daily basis. I’ve even started doing yoga a couple time a week!!

4. People just stopping by is no longer a reason to have an anxiety attack! Because there is no mess… that’s a great feeling. I don’t find bits and pieces of trash stuffed in the sofa cushions or the plants because someone was a little to lazy to walk all the way to the trash can. I feel like I’m living in a show home, or as a complete bachelor! I LIKE IT!!

5. I was asked to go for a drink at 9:30 on Saturday night — and I went!!  It has been YEARS since I have had the freedom to just up and take off to do something fun for me on a whim.  Similarly, I enjoyed a fun childless weekend with my mom and sisters shopping, visiting and just hanging out.  These are all new experiences for me.Empty-Nest

6. The laundry doesn’t pile up!  I don’t spend time having to wash things that just got tossed on the floor because they didn’t feel the need to put them away!

empty-nest7. I can clean my kitchen after a meal in less than 5 minutes!  Although it does seem funny to only run the dishwasher once a week or so instead of almost daily.  It’s almost not worth using the dishwasher.  BUT I will persevere! LOL

8. No more alarm clocks and school schedules.  It is really nice not having to wake up everyday to the sound of an alarm so that I can get kids up and off to school.  It’s the most fun so far on super cold days, when I can just enjoy an extra cup of coffee looking outside at the snow and being grateful that I am in!

9. No Nagging, Whining and FightingI always get my own way!!! Enough said 😉

empty-nest-MLK10. The Freedom to Discover ME Again.  Probably the most important thing is having the time, energy and focus to discover what it is I enjoy doing, without having to check in with anyone to make sure that it’s okay.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong… Of course I miss the kids, some days more than others and I do get huge waves of loneliness and sadness.  But, this is the next step in the journey we call life.  It is a step that I have been mentally preparing myself for, and it is a step that I was ready and wanting.


There is a point when the focus needs to turn back to you.  I would love to hear your thoughts, maybe we can compare stories, and exchange ideas?  I saw this book on Amazon, and will be ordering it.

I love the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and I think The Empty Nesters will come in handy over the next little while.  That’s my link in case you would also like to grab a copy.

 

Talk soon,

Heather

 

 

 

P.S. – Please take a minute to connect with me: Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn

P.P.S. – Get More Tips n Tricks from AHWH sent directly to your inbox, that way you’re sure not to miss anything. :)

 

 

 

I did it, I took the plunge and started an Instagram account!

Instagram has been around since 2010, so why is it now 2016 and I am just getting started?  Instagram is a social media app used for photo sharing, and is wildly popular.  So why is it that I am getting started after 5+ years of seeing others use it?  

I’ll start with the reasons that I haven’t been on Instagram:

  1. smart-phone-stupidWell for starters, as my kids would attest to, I am TERRIBLY STUPID.. Not Smart  when it comes to using a smart phone.  Heck, I am just now learning how to send an image through a text message, or upload something into messenger!!
  2. I just recently upgraded my phone.  A few months ago, I finally upgraded my phone to a Galaxy S6.  Before then, my phone was almost 4 years old and didn’t really have a lot of functionality.
  3. The problem for me with Instagram is that is a “mobile only” app.  That means basically that you have to use it from your phone, that was a huge problem for me lol :p

So basically, here I am a Total Instagram Newbie.

Instagram-Newbie

I am forcing myself to use become Tech Savvy on my Smart Phone.  I am making myself use it everyday and all the time.  It’s actually becoming fun!  My friends and family are starting to comment and notice that I’m “on that phone again”.  LOL!  (I secretly enjoy this as it makes me feel like a youngun 😉 )

For the most part, the Instagram crowd is the younger generation.  They do absolutely everything on their mobile device.  I guess I’m a bit old school that way, but I AM learning.  I have functioned totally fine for several years here on my desktop where I know what I am doing and using my house phone if I need to make a call!

3 Reasons Why I Finally Decided to Hop on Instagram?!

  1. I’ve never really liked to share a lot of pictures up until now.  It’s 2016, and I am changing a lot of things in my world as I grow and change into this healthy lifestyle and empty nest.  It just seems like a great way to share that with you all.
  2. I got this new fancy “Smart” phone.  As part of that I am determined to overcome my old school mentality and keep up with the times, lol.
  3. It is an increasingly great way to connect with your audience, where they are.  Because it is photo sharing, people can gather information quickly from almost anywhere and keep in touch with family, friend, business colleagues and the like.

Instagram-profileI am finding that I enjoy posting little bits and pieces that are of interest to me, and my readers.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, a few minutes morning and night is allowing me to accomplish daily updates and keeping in touch with users.

It’s Lonely Out There!

Here is the part where I ask for your help  I would love if you would come and follow me.  It’s kind of lonely there at the moment: @athomewithheather.

My goal is to have a following of 500 by the end of the first quarter. I think that is very realistic.

Are you on Instragram?  Let’s connect :)

 

 

 

Talk soon,

Heather

 

 

 

P.S. – Please take a minute to connect with me: Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn

P.P.S. – Get More Tips n Tricks from AHWH sent directly to your inbox, that way you’re sure not to miss anything. :)

 

 

 

So do I!

The problem comes when I make a list of all the stuff I want to do, and all things I want to accomplish in my business, and in my personal life this year.  I take a look at it, and get kind of overwhelmed.

First of all, I feel really far behind from last year (and my last quarter specifically).  Second, I have just had some really huge changes in my life, and so now is the time I want to really shine.  I want to prove to myself that I can do this.  Third, I simply have a lot I want to accomplish this year.

It’s all about Priorities! Creating a Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Road Map

Little by little, a little becomes a lot!

Over the holiday, I sat down and created a really huge list of things that I want to accomplish (a brain dump of sorts).   I looked at things I want to accomplish both in business, and in my life.

little by littleLooking at the list all by itself is just completely overwhelming!  So I am starting to break it down and set Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly goals and projects.  I have a ways to go to get it all mapped out, but I’m seeing progress…  a road map of sorts to where I want to end up by New Years Eve 2016.

I am creating time blocks for myself, so that I know on Mondays, I work on ecomm, Wednesday is my writing day and so on.  This way, I can be working on several different projects all at the same time and more will get accomplished.

We can’t do everything all at once, it doesn’t work that way.  It’s about baby steps.

 

 

Finding Focus

It is very easy when you are working online, and working from home to get distracted and lose focus.  For example, getting on Facebook, email and social media first thing in the morning can kill a good portion of my day.  I know this and yet I catch myself doing it all the time!

One of my mentors, Lynn Terry suggests that you get up in the morning and start with 1 Money Task, and 3 Top Priorities.  This makes so much sense to me.  Even if you get nothing else accomplished in the day, you have done something to make progress in your business.

I have really been working on getting that minimum done daily, FIRST THING!  I am going to make this into a habit, so it just feels like a natural way to start the day.  Ideally I want to get a lot more accomplished than that, but that is the minimum.

paper-mousepadMy niece had given me a cute Christmas gift, a paper mousepad.  Just for quick notes, doodles when you’re on the phone or whatever else.   It actually works pretty good as a mouse pad and I like always having some paper handy to quick jot something down.

I went and checked on Amazon, they actually have one that is a 5 day a week planner (that’s my link) and one that is like a to-do list with space for all of the calls, emails, etc that you need to make.  Info-Central

I think I am gonna get me some!  They are a great idea, save space on your desk, and are a pretty cool organizational tool.  Plus I love having a scratch pad right there (because I am always trying to find something to write on.)

Creating Checklist for Daily Tasks

We all have things that we need to get done everyday, without fail.  But, if you’re like me, sometimes we (I) fail just because we (I) get so busy we (I) forget until I’m dragging my tired self off to bed at the end of the day.  Then I realize I can’t go to bed until it’s done.

Ideally I will like to outsource these very repetitive tasks, but for now I have create a checklist.  Just really quick and easy in excel.  Listing all the things that I need to check on/complete on a daily basis.  I made a section for business items, and for personal items.

Daily-Task-Checklist

Finding different ways of doing things

There are things that I have been working on for what seems like forever.  I am just spinning my wheels, and not feeling like I am even getting anywhere with it.

fix-itThe big one here, for me, is my bookkeeping.  It is a HUGE PITA (Pain in the A$$), but a very essential task to running a (profitable) business.

I have been looking into different ways to get this accomplished with a lot more ease and speed.  Through reaching out, doing so some networking, and asking for help I think there may be a solution at hand (and I am super excited about that).

If what you’re doing isn’t working… Do something else!! 

Sometimes it is important to take a step back and say…. ok this is total B.S., what can I do to make this better?!

 

Find some Good Accountability Partners

Find some good accountability partners that you connect with regularly.  I have found that this helps me a lot.  I have a few, and I really find that just even having to “report in” with that person helps to keep me on task and focused.

One is for my personal weight goals.  That person is actually my mom.  I check in with her every single morning.  It (she) has REALLY helped me to have that accountability every day!    As of this morning, I have lost 75 pounds in just over 5 months.

The other is for my business.   This isn’t a “formal” accountability thing.  A good friend of mine and I keep each other focused.  Just a few minutes a day to say to talk about what we’re working on and again, it just really helps me to maintain my focus.

I fully plan on having a breakthrough year.  Reaching new heights in my personal life, and in business!

We are already 8 full days into 2016!  I do NOT want to blink and find out it’s already June 8th (the older I get the faster that seems to happen).

What about you? Are you planning for a successful year? What are you doing to keep yourself on target and laser focused to accomplish your goals and priorities? How can I help?  I would love to hear about it.

 

Talk soon,

Heather

 

 

 

P.S. – Please take a minute to connect with me: Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn

P.P.S. – Get More Tips n Tricks from AHWH sent directly to your inbox, that way you’re sure not to miss anything. :)

 

 

 

As I sit here and drink my coffee this morning, I realize that I am in a position that I don’t remember being in before…

 

Today is the first Monday of 2016.  A day that I would normally be busy making lunches, trying to hustle kids out of bed and off to school. Instead, I sit here quietly drinking my coffee and planning what I want my week… and my life to look like!

New-beginnings

I have been a foster parent for 18+ years. The children that I have had in my home have moved on to a permanent placement very recently and so my nest is empty. I have been planning this for a long time, but it is finally here, finally real and it is starting to actually sink in.

I had decided long ago that after helping these children find a forever home that it was time for me to take time for me.

I am sure that most moms reading this can relate to how busy and hectic life being a mom can be.   Often the thing that gets neglected most of all is YOU! Fostering is even more challenging because the kids that we serve always come with issues (if they didn’t they wouldn’t be in care). Trying to give kids back a sense of themselves, of being loved, of feeling confident is a very weighty task.

So for the time being, I have decided to keep my home empty to recharge my life and work on who it is I want to be.

In a way, it feels very selfish of me!!

So I have been doing a lot of thinking…

What do I want to be when THEY grow up?!

 

I really have an open slate here…
I can do or be anything that I want…
The problem is I am not totally clear on who that person is.
So it’s time to start exploring that!

Some of my main priorities are:

 

  1. My Health.  As many of you know, back in August I adopted a new way of eating and have so far lost 72 pounds.  I do have a long way before I reach the state of health that I am looking to achieve, but it feels really good to be working on it.
  2. My Business.  I have been tinkering online for 10 years.  It has been only in the last couple years that I have become serious about creating a generous income from the comfort of my home, on my terms.  Really diving in with both feet to expand my business and make it a true success.
  3. Finding what it is that excites me and that I can become passionate about.
  4. Finding out how I can best be of service to the community of empty nesters who are likely in the exact same positions as me.
  5. My family and friends.  Keeping strong relationships with family and friends as well as meeting new friends and work colleagues.

Now I am ready… it’s time…

Finding my Inner ADULT and letting her SHINE!!!

I invite you to join me as we explore growth and adventure together!

Talk soon,

Heather

 

 

 

P.S. – Please take a minute to connect with me: Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn

P.P.S. – Get More Tips n Tricks from AHWH sent directly to your inbox, that way you’re sure not to miss anything. :)

 

 

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