Lifestyle Design

You Don’t Have as Many Hours in a Day as Beyonce

You’ve probably seen the meme. I’ll admit to re-posting it before myself. It’s simple words at once meant to uplift and inspire a little bit of guilt. “You could be doing more,” it seems to say. “You’re not living up to your full potential."

You have the same 24 hours in every day as Beyonce.

But the thing is, you don’t. And neither do I.

My lifestyle doesn’t look remotely similar to Beyonce’s (and trust me, I have all the love for Queen Bey…these are just the facts). Beyonce is a mega rich superstar and half of one of the world’s most affluent power couples. She has a busy and demanding career, no doubt. But she doesn’t ever have to worry about how she’s going to pay the bills or when she’s going to fit in mundane tasks like cooking her own meals or cleaning the laundry, unless she wants to. In terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, she’s got the bases covered. She’s free to commit everything she’s got to creating powerful creative work and becoming a self-actualized human being.

But the thing is, you don’t need the same 24 hours as Beyonce to achieve your dreams. The personal chef, the driver, & the masseuse might sound nice (of course they do!) but in your heart you know you can do the big things you were put on this earth to do without them.

So you might not have as many hours in a day as Beyonce. Hell, you might not even have as many hours in a day as I do! You might have kids, the confines of a 9-5 job, or other obligations that I don’t. Just like I have different commitments and priorities than you.

But that’s what freedom and lifestyle design are all about: taking intentional, inspired action within the confines of your personal situation. Exercising your power of choice. There are some things we have the power to change and others that we don’t, so it’s important to focus on the former and work within our sphere of influence, rather than banging our head against a brick wall we wish wasn’t there.

I like to tell my students in The Daydream Revolution a story about the power of lunch breaks. Those 30-60 minutes you get to yourself each and every work day (please, tell me you take a lunch break!) I use the example of writing your first book. So many people get hung up on the idea, believing that they need hours and hours locked away by themselves, banging away at their keyboard in order to achieve this. And between their full-time job and all of their other commitments, they rarely get one full day to themselves, let alone weeks on end.

Enter the lunch break.

Over the course of last year, I wrote over 50,000 words on my lunch breaks. I found that in the 30-45 minutes I had spare, I could consistently write 500-1000 words a day and boy oh boy did they ever add up! This is how I ended up writing my first courses and ebooks.

Say you can only average 250 words each and every lunch break. In a year (factoring in a couple of weeks off because surely you’ll need it at some point) you’ll have written 62,500 words – almost the length of an average manuscript.

But hey, this post is all about the fact that we don’t all have the same 24 hours in every day and maybe you don’t have a lunch break you can dedicate to your dream. That’s okay. I’m going to walk you through some simple steps for finding small pockets of time in your day that will add up exponentially over time. It’s all about becoming intentional with them, whether that’s working towards a specific project or choosing to infuse a little more magic into your day. It all adds up.

I don’t really like to think of it as “hacking” my day because that feels a bit too violent and impersonal for the kind of embodied, guided life I want to live. For me, it’s all about intentionally designing a life I love.

Here’s are the 4 steps I use for finding my dream hours:

Step 1. Track your time.

For most of us, our days look more or less the same week in and week out, so we aren't truly conscious of how we're spending our time since we're not very intentional about it. We probably assume that how we spend our time is exactly how it needs to be due to our commitments and obligations, and most of us feel like we just don't have any extra time. Period.

Tracking your time allows you to get super clear on how you’re spending your precious life minutes.

Just like creating a budget and tracking your expenses allows us to see exactly how we’re spending our money and where we can cut back, tracking your time will allow you to do the same.

Plus, monitoring is a proven strategy for sticking with a goal or forming a habit. So if you decide there are changes you want to make, this is going to help.

This exercise is simple but it’s not easy. The best way I’ve found to be successful with this is to check in with yourself once an hour (or even every 30 minutes) and make notes of how you spent that block of time. For some mindless tasks, like switching over to scroll through Facebook, you’re definitely going to have to estimate but using a tracking app can help you be more accurate. And remember: we tend to overestimate how long we spend on productive tasks and underestimate our attention on mindless ones. So if you’re horrified to find that you’re wasting a couple of hours a day on pointless social media stalking, you’re likely clocking even more than that .

There are apps that you can install to help you track and monitor how much time you are spending on various online tasks. Here are a few good options: 8aweekWakoopa, or Meetimer will all give you a clearer picture of how you’re spending your time online.

In terms of tracking, I like to use a colour coded system, breaking things up into categories like: work, dreams, self-care/health, connection, leisure and then using coloured highlighters to note in my planner what I spent each hour doing with a few annotated notes to get more specific. You could also apply this system to your Google Calendar. Or you can get even more high tech and use a free time tracking app like, Hours, Jiffy, or Rescue Time. The key is to pick a system you can stick with for at least a few days, preferably a week or more, to get a really clear picture of how you’re spending your time.

 

Step 2. Assess the results.

You might be surprised at the results of your time tracking or it might just tell you what you already know. Either way, be gentle with yourself.

Information is power so now it’s time to take a look at how you’re spending your time and ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are you happy with how you’re spending your time?
  • Are there any places you could cut back on certain activities in order to make room for things that are more important for you?
  • Are there any obvious pockets of time that you could use more mindfully and intentionally to support your dreams and the life you want?

Take note of your answers and any new intentions you have based on your findings.

 

Step 3. Identify your dream hours.

Your dream hours are those pockets of time you can recommit everyday or every week to slowly but surely making your dreams come true. Ideally they’ll be at least 30 minutes or more a time but work with what you’ve got. Write down exactly when and what days you’ve identified dream hours you can work with.

 

Step 4. Decide what you want to do with them.

This is the really fun part: you get to decide what to do with this time! 

Are you going to use them to work towards bringing your biggest dream to life? It’s important to know exactly how you’re going to use them.

Having a plan means that when you sit down to work, you don’t waste time figuring out what to do, you just do it. For some dreams, you’ll be sitting down to work on a similar task every day – like with the example of writing a book. For others, you’ll be completing different steps every day and perhaps working on new projects every week. 

But working towards a monumental goal might not be important to you right now. Perhaps you want to use this time to cultivate your core desired feelings. Or move your body. Or infuse your life with pleasure. Or have more stillness. This is completely up to you. Right now I’m practicing Qoya every day for 30 days so I found some dream hours to commit to my embodiment practice. The key is to be intentional so that you can truly commit and form a habit.

 

So you might not have as many hours in a day as Beyonce, or even as many as the woman who sits across from you at work, but you do have the power to be intentional with your time. And however you choose to spend it, that intention will add up to a life you love, designed mindfully by you

Rock 'n Roll Romance, Self-Healing, & Feeling Less Alone: What I Read in April.

I’ve been a bookworm since I was little and I’m a self-professed self-help junkie. I’ve always got a few books on the go and I’m usually working on implementing the techniques and strategies I’ve learned. I thought it would be fun to share a peek at my bookshelf by reviewing the books I read each month. April’s books were particularly powerful and a couple of them represent complete game changers for me.

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron

Discovering Elaine Aron’s work has had such a profound impact in making me feel less alone and less crazy. She’s a psychologist whose pioneering research shows that 80% of the population (in humans, but also in animals) have a psychological trait called “high sensitivity.” This sensitivity shows up in a myriad of ways: sensitivity to emotions, crowds, lights, scents, textures, tastes, and so one. Our trait means that we can become “overaroused” (or overwhelmed) more easily than most people, which often leads to us being perceived as (and feeling) weak. But what Elaine outlines in her book is that this trait is not a weakness. Like all traits it has its benefits and drawbacks but being sensitive can be a huge advantage. Many of the world’s great thought leaders, artists, and spiritual teachers are highly sensitive. What this book taught me was not how to “cope” but how to thrive. How to best take care of myself and make decisions given my trait. If you think you might be highly sensitive, taking this test is a great place to start and if you are, reading this book would be a wonderful gift to yourself.

 

Body Calm: The Powerful Meditation Technique That Helps Your Body Heal & Stay Healthy by Sandy Newbigging

I saw Sandy speak at Hay House Ignite in March and was instantly drawn to his work. As I've written about before, I've been struggling with my health this year and going through something of a healing crisis. Sandy has developed a meditation technique called CALM (which stands for Conscious Awareness Life Meditation). It's really incredible, and different than other meditation styles I've tried, as it allows you to access present moment awareness instantly rather than grappling with your monkey mind for ages before managing one moment of inner peace. Through the book Sandy outlines powerful ways to tap into your body's own self-healing capacity. He also busts a lot of myths about meditation and illness and created a profound shift for me by demonstrating that forgiveness and healing from past events doesn't have to be a long, gruelling process like I always thought. The techniques he shares for healing an unforgiven past are incredibly powerful and effective. For anyone who is interested in looking at healing in a new way, starting a meditation practice, or deepening an existing practice, I highly recommend reading Sandy's books (and you can sign up for a free month in his Calm Clan to get access to his guided meditations).

#HIGHERSELFIE: Wake Up Your Life. Free Your Soul. Find Your Tribe. by Lucy Sheridan & Jo Westwood

What can I tell you? I love these babes and their book did not disappoint! It's just as sassy, hilarious, and profound as they are. Lucy & Jo are the founders of #HIGHERSELFIE, a spiritual lifestyle brand and the only spirituality un-conference in the world. Their book is a millenial's guide to waking up spiritually and navigating a spiritual life in this strange, digital age we live in. They've translated age-old spiritual lessons into a modern, pop culture laden vernacular and peppered its pages with real-life anecdotes from their own lives. Struggling to focus on your own path when everyone else's highlight reel is being shoved in your face via social media? Not sure how to stay positive while clocking into the 9-5 job you've outgrown? Feel like the only "woo" in the village and that everyone around you is judging your crystal habit? Lucy & Jo have you got you covered.

 

Just Kids by Patti Smith

This one isn't self-help; at least it wasn't written that way. Somewhat strangely, this book came up as one I should read during a reiki (energy healing) session I had with Alli Woods Frederick a couple of months ago. I didn't understand why but I'm serious about honouring the wisdom of my body, plus I love Patti Smith, so I went with it. This is a memoir of Patti's coming-of-age as a musician and poet in the 1960s and 70s, while she was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Janis Joplin and being mentored by Allen Ginsburg (NBD). It's also an incredible, but unconventional, love story. For me, this book what full of secret soul messages about committing to my craft, living a full life, and showing up for love but anyone with a big dream or an interest in music or literature should give this book a read.

 

Coincidentally, just as I'm starting this column, I've made a commitment to myself to set the self-help books aside for 30 days as I embark on a month-long journey with Qoya and reuniting with my body's wisdom. I found that my mind had become an overwhelming melting pot of personal development advice and spiritual jargon and I that my own internal guidance was getting lost in the mix. My intention is just to slow things down, tune in, and listen.

I'm also looking forward to this as a chance to read more fiction and do research on a topic that has peaked my interest as of late, so I'll still be sure to share with you what I decide to read in May.

And I'd love to know: what are you reading this days? What books have had the most profound impact on your personal journey?

65 Creative Ways to Afford Your Dream.

The number one reason that people tell me they struggle with when it comes to achieving their dreams is money.

They say they simply can’t afford the things they want. End of story. 

Whether you think it’s cheesy or not, I’m telling you that you must banish “I can’t afford it from your vocabulary” if you want to become a dream wrangler.

Every time you utter that phrase it’s like screaming a big, fat “NO!” to the universe. You’re shutting down the possibility without even exploring it. 

I want you to entertain your desires, to dwell on them, savour them, and allow yourself to almost taste them without worrying about where the money will come from.

Trust me, I know what it’s like to feel broke all of the time. For everyday purchases, like going out for drinks or buying a new dress make everything feel tight and restricted.

But the fact is, when we want something badly enough, we dedicate ourselves to finding a solution.

I have a friend who launched the charity he’d dreamed of starting by spending a year as a “professional guest.” He’d stay with someone for a couple of weeks at a time rent-free in exchange for performing some task for them, whether it was cooking, cleaning, or coding their website. He saved money on rent so he was able to work less and pursue his passion. And another friend successfully set up a crowdfunding page to fund the start of her writing career. 

All across the world there are stories of people going on epic adventures, launching businesses, filming movies, and funding other enormous dreams without any startup capital. It’s not necessary to have a massive savings account or even have extra income coming in, if you’re willing to get creative and believe that funding your dream is possible.

When you shift from a scarcity mindset to a place of abundance, you begin to look for solutions to your money dilemmas and you trust that you’ll have enough for everything you need. While it might not feel like your savings is filling up by drips and trickles, with a bit of trust, intention, and creativity, you can make sure you get to your goal. 

In The Daydream Revolution, everyone gets training and one-to-one support to create a fundraising strategy that's unique to their situation and dream. At the end of 8 weeks, each participant will have a detailed action plan for every step of making their dream true and a clear picture of how they’re going to afford it.

Below are 65 ways to get creative about making and saving money, so that you can afford your dream. I hope they'll inspire you to think about your finances more creatively (and optimistically!).

  1. Clear out your closet and sell the best pieces at a consignment shop.
  2. Have a yard sale.
  3. Start a crowdfunding campaign. Ask each of your friends to donate their talents so you can offer some really kickass rewards.
  4. Sign up for ClickWorker and do some data entry work in your spare time.
  5. Think of something you know how to do that other people would want to learn (bake a lemon meringue pie! file your income taxes! edit photos like a pro! french braiding! cutting your own hair!) and host a mini course from your house.
  6. Or you can get people to pay you for that service if they don’t want to do it themselves.
  7. Collect all of your spare change in an empty soup tin.
  8. Start a side hustle and take on some freelance work.
  9. Give something up in the name of your dream and save every penny you would have spent on it.
  10. Take instant photos (with a Polaroid or Instax) of tourists on the street for $10 a pop.
  11. Package one of your services in a new way and have a limited time offer.
  12. Ask a loved one for support.
  13. Sell CDs, DVDs, and video games on Music Magpie.
  14. Sell old electronics or gadgets you don’t use.
  15. Throw an event and charge a small ticket fee. Lots of pubs or bars will let you use their space for free if you have a cash bar. Ask up-and-coming musicians and poets who are looking for exposure to perform. Create a theme and find fun ways to make it a complete experience.
  16. Rent out your spare room or offer your apartment on AirBnB when you’re away.
  17. Review products through a company like ciao.co.uk or sign up to be a mystery shopper.
  18. Recycle your old phone for cash.
  19. Sign up to be a life model at your local art college.
  20. Take on some pet walking or babysitting work during evenings and weekends.
  21. Sign up for Zaarly.com and find odd jobs that match your skills.
  22. Host a mini bake sale at a local fair or on your front lawn.
  23. Figure out what you can make yourself (fancy coffees! cocktails! lunch at work!)
  24. Mend and make do. You don’t always need the newest, best, and brightest.
  25. Pitch your services to someone who needs them.
  26. Sign up for Eat With and host supper clubs for travellers visiting your town.
  27. Perform at children’s parties! Dress up a clown, a princess, or any other fun character. Bonus points if you know magic tricks.
  28. Take on some cleaning or personal organisation work if staying tidy is your jam.
  29. If you have any old furniture, appliances, or bits and bobs gathering dust around the house, list them on Craigslist or Gumtree.
  30. Are you a great cook? Sell frozen dinners or ready made lunches to the busy bees in your life.
  31. Teach a class online with SkillShare.
  32. Write a short ebook or video tutorial on one of your area’s of expertise (think about something you could teach people how to do) and sell it for a few bucks a pop.
  33. Create a subscription service around something you like to make (cookies! paintings! jewellery! poetry!)
  34. Revamp or mend thrift shop finds and sell them on Etsy.
  35. Take all of those empties back to the beer store.
  36. Host a themed cocktail party and charge a small premium on the drinks you serve your friends (let them know what you’re saving money for and I promise they won’t think it’s tacky!)
  37. Join Lyft and get paid to taxi people in your car.
  38. If you’re academically inclined, try tutoring students. You’ll make an excellent hourly rate! Look into advertising in local schools or get in touch with parents you know to see if their kids need any help with their studies.
  39. Become a Direct Sales Vendor (with a company like Usana or Avon). You’ll make a commission on everything you sell and also get some great freebies.
  40. Ask for overtime. Will your boss let you work some extra hours?
  41. If you have a van, offer junk removal services.
  42. Waitress for a catering company. The work is ad hoc, so you can take on weekend jobs as your schedule allows.
  43. Look for promoters in your area who will pay you to distribute leaflets and put up flyers.
  44. Rent a Friend literally allows you to be a friend for hire and in addition to an hourly fee, you can end up being someone’s plus one to swanky events.
  45. Look out for movies and TV shows being filmed near you, and see if you can be an extra.
  46. Set yourself up with a typewriter in the park and write poems for a fee.
  47. Is there something you DIY for yourself? Maybe it’s beauty products, cleaning solutions, vanilla extracts, Filofax printables, infused oils, or anything else. Make an extra big batch and sell the extras to your friends, family, and coworkers who are always jealous of your homemade goodies.
  48. Bust out a musical instrument and busk in the park.
  49. Be a language tutor online with iTalki.
  50. Become a “professional guest.” A few years ago, when my friend Dave was starting a new project, he put a post on Facebook offering his services as a professional guest on Facebook. In exchange for cleaning, cooking, writing, babysitting, or doing other tasks around their home, people gave him free accommodations in their house for a few weeks or even a few months. He was able to save all of the money he would have spent on rent and poured into his project.
  51. Compile your favourite recipes into a short ebook and sell it for a few dollars on Gumroad.
  52. If you have a blog, sign up with an agency like Nuffnang and you might get paid to write a few sponsored posts.
  53. Sell your photographs online.
  54. Set up a Patreon page and allow people who believe in your dream to become your monthly patrons.
  55. If you have a large Twitter following, see whether you can pick up some sponsored tweets with PaidPerTweet.
  56. Clear out your wardrobe and sell the clothes you never wear on Depop or Ebay.
  57. Move in with a family member to save on rent while you work towards your dream.
  58. 58. Would the cost of your dream be lower if there were more of you doing it? See who else you can get on board!
  59. Offer a service on Fiverr.
  60. Students can sell their class notes on NoteSale.
  61. Create a font using your handwriting and sell it on Creative Market.
  62. Assist a wedding photographer on the weekends. It’ll mean a lot of schlepping gear but you’ll learn a lot in the process.
  63. See whether there are any salons or hair schools in your area that pay for hair models.
  64. Some banks offer a “save the rest” program where your purchases are automatically rounded up to the nearest dollar or $5 increment and the difference is deposited in a savings accounts.
  65. Use BookScouter to see who will pay the most for your old books.

This list is meant to get your creative juices flowing and demonstrate that there are many ways to save and earn extra money. There will be some that are unique to your dream and I’m certain that you’ll be aware of opportunities that I’m not.

Today, brainstorm a list of every single way you could make your dream happen. Don’t worry about the practicality of them at first, just start exercising that idea muscle and see what comes up. If one of them inspires you, be sure to share it with us in the comments!

And if you want the support and training to figure out exactly how you're going to afford your dream, consider joining us in The Daydream Revolution.

Sending you lovebeams across cyberspace!

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