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My Mission to Get Benefits from Daily Planner Use!

My Mission to Get Benefits from Daily Planner Use!

My Life Experiment requires that I am a busy man with a busy life. But that life is about to get much busier. With the new house mortgage and the baby on the way, it could be very easy to lose track of my responsibilities.

There is taking care of the home and family life. Making sure I am advancing in my career. Making sure I get to enough recovery meetings to make sure I stay sane. Developing this blog! Then of course staying on top of bills, paper work, and everything else I need to do to stay on the growth track that I desire.

My schedule changes often and as long as I stay on top of the changes, I am able to maintain my sanity. Sometimes I am able to keep all of these responsibilities in my conscious memory, but often times I find tasks and meetings slipping through the cracks.

It is never a good feeling when I have a meeting I have committed to, then I get the text message. That message that says, “so I guess today didn’t work out for us.” Every time this happens, the memory of where I was supposed to be floods back into my brain! It is a interesting feeling that isn’t pleasant. It is usually embarrassing.

By missing appointments, I am not showing people I am responsible. If I am not showing people I am responsible, they are not going to trust me with opportunities for success. This limits the amount of new opportunities for My Life Experiment to play around with!

Having more doors open for My Life Experiment to venture into is of the utmost importance. And I am much more successful at keeping all my responsibilities in order when I maintain a Daily Planner!

Lately I have been slacking on my use of a Daily Planner, but it is time to get back into it! In a recent article in My Life Experiment I talked about having a passion for raising my family’s financial means. With the new girl on the way, and reaching out for more ways to earn, time is already showing to be much more of a precious commodity.

In the past I have maintained a Daily Planner, and I recall many benefits! These are the main benefits I recall from my past use:

1. I found that I had to remember less. This left more space in my brain to come up with creative ways to handle what was coming up!
2. I found myself rarely missing a meeting!
3. I found more room to commit to new opportunities!
4. I found it much easier to see where my free time was, so that I could arrange meetings pretty much on the spot.
5. I found that I generally felt better about the way I was taking care of my responsibilities!

Starting today, for My Life Experiment I will be maintaining the Daily Planner that I just purchased!  I am going to update you all on how the month of planner use went on February 28th (I put it in my planner)! If you are not currently maintaining a Daily Planner and would like to purchase one. Then here is the link to the affordable and effective planner that I purchased!

Thank you for checking out My Life Experiment! If you have any recommendations or insights on using planners please comment below. Have a beautiful and well planned out day and week!

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Getting Prepared for Fatherhood.

Seven P's

As I have said in several of my posts on My Life Experiment, I am soon to be a father for the first time! The reality of this new girl coming into the world is sinking in deeper every day. She already has a room in our new house and has a name, Ada Ray.

I am immensely excited about this new challenge that is coming, but I also feel a large space in my mind that doesn’t really know what is about to come. I take this feeling of empty space in my mind to mean that I have preparations to make. I like a saying I heard when I was in Culinary School. The saying is called “The 7 P’s”, which stands for Proper Planning and Preparation, Prevents Piss Poor Performance. The last thing that is needed here is piss poor performance, the stakes are too high for anything but the best.

Recently, I picked up a book called Hacking Fatherhood: Preparing For Success In The Biggest Role of Your Life“. Up until now it has been a nice read, but I will let you know more later! I can already feel that it is filling up some of that void in my mind. But it is a vast space, and one that will could very well always be there!

For some reason I do not have much of a fear of messing this situation up. There is angst though. This angst is fueling my experiment of gathering new finances and information. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be intensifying my knowledge quest to help fill this blank space in my brain that is begging for information! I am committing to read a parenting type of book per week, until the little one arrives! When I finish each book, I will let you know what I think of it by giving a little review.

This little girl that is soon to arrive has sparked a lot of responsible action in our household and I am digging it. I remember when I was in college. Having a deadline was great for helping me get my stuff done. Though in the beginning I would wait until the last minute to get my assignments done and cram for tests! By the end of my college career I learned to get started on my assignments and test studying earlier, not saving all the work until just before the deadline. I am grateful I learned that lesson because frantically rushing to prepare for our girl at the last minute, sounds like a horribly stressful time!

That is all I have for today! Please stay tuned for a review on this new dad book I am reading, and for any new realizations I am coming to on my experiment to better prepare for being the best father I can be. Also I will be adding new posts on my developing gratitude, and meditation routine pages very soon. So come on back to My Life Experiment, there is more to learn every single day!

Raising the Bar With My Families Means!

This My Life Experiment blog is all about setting off on new experiments to develop habits that will ensure that I continue growing in as many aspects of my life as I can. So far, I have shared about my Compliment Experiment, Gratitude Experiment, and Meditation Experiment! At this time, I have some ideas for what my next life experiment will be, but I have not gotten it locked down yet. In the mean time I have had a concept on my mind that I want to explore here, so let’s explore!

For this post I need to talk about striking a balance between two very related topics. The topics are “living within our means” and “taking manageable risks.”

First let’s talk about what it means for me to live within my means. What are my means that I am supposed to live within? My best understanding of the topic, is that my means are simply all resources that may be available to me in the present moment. So financially my current means would be the income of my family, and even funds that others may have committed to offering. So basically, whatever I can get my hands on!

It’s in the financial world that I typically hear the “live within your means” story. Which to me is about spending resources that I currently have, on things I really need. And of course, not the opposite, spending resources I currently don’t have, on things I don’t need.

This Life Experiment of mine has brought me into a good deal financial debt these days. I graduated from University two years ago, and my wife and I recently bought a new house after finding out our first baby was on her way. Tie that in with student loans for my wife as well, and that says that we have quite a lot of debt. Some might say it is irresponsible to take on this much debt, or any debt at all. I don’t see much of a problem with it though.

I don’t have a problem with my family’s current level of debt because it is manageable and accumulated for good reason. I love to learn, and I feel the only way I could have gotten the type of education is through sitting in front of Professors and having imposed deadlines on the work I did. We decided to buy a house because we knew there was a baby on the way and felt like securing a place we could more comfortably grow our family in. And any credit card debt we have is paid off quickly so that we get rewards, instead of accrued interest! The decisions we have made so far haven’t saddled us with debt, but we have made decisions that would challenge our current financial and non-financial capabilities for years to come!

For my life experiment, challenging my current abilities is one of the most important things I can do for myself. And for my family for that matter! I believe the only way to expand my current means is by challenging myself, by taking manageable risks! Now don’t get me wrong here, I can challenge myself too much, but then that risk isn’t very manageable now is it. To now get loans on two cars and load up our credit cards to spruce up our beautiful new house, in my opinion would be completely irresponsible.

I don’t know about any of you, but if I do not take enough risks, this life experiment of mine can get excruciatingly boring! There is simply far too much energy inside of this body of mine. This energy is chomping at the bit to find its way into the world, and sometimes if it isn’t able to come out very soon, that will have consequences on my mental and emotional health. Meaning that my tendency towards depression and crippling anxiety starts nipping at my heels, which I cannot stand. I must keep moving, and that means raising the quality of my standard of living! So I am happy student loans were available when I wanted an education, and that a mortgage was available to get a house. Because I don’t think I would be patient enough to save up and pay out of pocket!

Raise those means!

Since making the massive decisions of having a child and taking on all this new debt, the way I go after money has changed drastically. My tendency had been to get comfortable at a job and not try very hard to advance. After realizing the direction my family’s life was taking, I immediately applied for a new position at my company. I got the promotion which eventually didn’t work out, but the point is that I took the big risk! The risk ultimately did pan out though because I gained respect from the company for taking on a tricky responsibility and will be in the running for future opportunities.

I have also been looking for new ways to earn from all sorts of different areas that I was not willing to try before, or even realized existed! I began playing with some stocks, taking surveys online, looking for online freelance work, and of course starting this blog! While researching and developing these new methods of making extra cash I am gaining a wealth of new information that is making my future look damn good!

It is safe to say that my current state is “HUSTLE MODE!” I am hustling more than ever because the stakes are higher than ever. My HUSTLE is to make sure the new risks we have taken to increase the means for our growing family, are manageable! I don’t know where this hustle is going to take us, but it sure is opening a lot of new beautiful and exciting doors!

Thank you for stopping by! And please remember that the views expressed here are my own personal interpretation and are not meant to be taken as simply the way things are! If you found the ideas in this post to be helpful, feel free to use them! Also if you found these ideas to be helpful, please share them on your social media to help me grow this HUSTLE of mine! Thank you all of taking the time to check out My Life Experiment, I have nothing but love for all of you!

The Meditation Continues!

Well folks it has been a week since I began the “Back to My Body” meditation experiment. All in all my week was really good, except for the couple of days I had to take off from work due to sickness. But I used those days to decompress. I spent a good deal of time meditating those days, and I also spent a lot of time learning more about building this here blog!

So yes, I spent a full week meditating once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. I allowed for 10-15 minutes per meditation. When writing the meditation ground rules I said I could either meditate with the “Insight Timer” app on my phone, or I could meditate without any sort of electronic assistance.

I turns out that I maintained the routine as I had planned, very well! I didn’t meditate any more than planned, nor did I meditate any less. I did make a couple changes to the plan midway through the week. The change were that I was going to make sure my morning meditation was a Sitting Meditation. Also, making sure that I meditate on my cushion before going to sleep.

 

In The Morning.

The most interesting thing about the morning meditation is how busy my mind generally was when I did it! My mind has a difficult time focusing in the morning, though I am not sure why. For some reason there is a high amount of mental energy, but limited physical energy. What the morning meditation has helped me do is tame my mental energy and make it easier for my body to catch up!

 

In The Afternoon.

My afternoon meditations seemed tough to do at times. These meditations usually had to be done in my car while waiting to pick up the next work client. But the days I was sick I was able to sit on my cushion in my own house. It felt like I received much greater benefit when meditating on my cushion at home, but that might be because there wasn’t a work routine to deal with. So, less responsibility for my problem-solving mind to latch onto. I am generally busy in the afternoon and I found it will require better planning to make sure I have a solid mediation.

I also found that during my I am much more likely to emotionally revolt from having to put my phone away! That damn phone.. There is something in my brain that cannot get enough of that thing! During my afternoon meditations, it was difficult for my mind to break free from thinking about checking my phone. In the afternoon, that phone is a serious adversary to my having a clear mind.

 

In The Evening.

As I said earlier, I decided I would do a sitting meditation on my cushion in the morning. I also began doing my before bed mediations on the cushion as well. This ensured that I wouldn’t fall asleep, and also allowed me to settle my mind down even better before I went to bed. This helped me to be more present when mentally giving some love for the things I appreciated about my day!

What I learned to make my routine more successful for my ongoing meditation practice.

1. I learned that laying down meditations simply are not as effective than when I lay down and meditate (at least in an unguided meditation). So, making sitting meditations on my cushion a high priority will be important.
2. I learned that I need better planning for my afternoon meditation. Just choosing to meditate in my car whenever the moment feels right doesn’t cut it for me!
3. I learned that I need to give more emphasis on making my phone less reachable when it is time to meditate. That and making more effort to leave the phone alone in much more of my life!
4. I learned there is way too many amazing aspects of meditation to only spend a week documenting for all of you!
5. I learned that it will be important for my continuing meditation routine to keep all of you in the loop on any insights I gain as time goes on.

 

Even though I consider the “Back to My Body” meditation experiment a success, I realize that the routine itself needs some work. That is an important thing about continued growth in life, seeing the ways something could be made better, and then changing! I only expect beautiful results of maintaining the routine, the risk versus reward is drastically in favor of the reward side.

 

I have added a meditation page on My Life Experiment to document all further insights I come to as I continue my routine! Like I said “there are way too many amazing aspects of meditation to only spend a week on it.” At least once a week I will talk about some new aspect of my evolving meditation routine. So please stay connected to My Life Experiment to read about this growing routine as well as other new experiments I will venture into!

Meditation _ To be Continued (2)

Sometime this week I will also be coming up with a new experimental routine to add to my life! Will it be an exercise routine? A money related routine? A healthy eating routine? Only time will tell, so stay tuned! If you have any thoughts on what kind of routine you would like to see me engage in, then leave me a comment. Thank you for stopping in to My Life Experiment! I appreciate you all very much!

From Fearful to Self-loving.

I believe that any of us, no matter what kind of life we have lived up to this point, can learn to love and let go of unwanted thoughts and emotions. That way we can return ourselves to the self-loving state, we need to be in the moment.

Here is my list of practical tips to help me let go and stay in my love, even when times feel rough.

1. I Remind Myself that my thoughts and emotions are not necessarily reality. – This can be a difficult thing to grasp (especially when emotions are on high alert). It is also a freeing reality once this is grasped. When emotions are running high it can be easy to feel like the busy thoughts that feel like they are out of my control ARE reality. Getting myself to realize that these are just thoughts from hurting emotions can take a lot of the fear away. It seems to me that fear, whether it is fear of a real or imagined event, is simply my bodies way of trying to get me to protect it. This is all well and good when there is an actual threat. But it is not so necessary when there is no immediate danger.

please_do_not_feed_the_fears.jpg

2. I Simply Tell the Thought I love you. – I find it a little strange how effective it can be to tell my thoughts that I love them. Saying I love you, to anything, can help put me put my guard down. It is no different when I say this to my thoughts, no matter how unsafe the thought seems like it is making me. Saying I love you to the thought helps me see through it, so that I can get some healing for the emotion I am feeling.

3. I Just Breathe and don’t actively think at all- When I am feeling overwhelmed at times, even saying I love you to my thoughts can start a cascade of thinking that I feel I can’t accept. At these times I drop the thinking as much as I can. If I just focus on something real like my breathing, or the surface I’m sitting on, then I may be able to calm myself down. At that point there is most often a surrender to feeling what I need to feel.

4. I Talk to Someone I Trust- I am kind of a take care of my emotions on my own kind of guy. Call me stubborn or call me whatever, but the case still stands. But maybe there is a feeling that meditation just isn’t feeling like it is working for. In this case I can always give a friend a call or a text, or chat with my wife. I can use them to help me calm down. Maybe they can help remind me that I am a good person, or that the danger I am perceiving is not real. They may even be able to help me figure out what I am holding myself back from doing, and help me out of the feeling of craziness.

5. Take a Small Step in Taking Care of an Errand- Getting behind on what I need to take care of is big cause of emotional turmoil. Sometimes the list of errands seems so daunting and I get stuck in feeling like it all needs to be done right now. So, first it helps me to do a small to-do list. Nothing big, just enough to help me get started on doing at least something! Fear is a sign-post telling me what I might need to prepare for. It is a great signal telling me to get my butt in gear. Taking care of something I may have been procrastinating on helps ease this fear.

freedom.jpg

These are the habits I have developed to stay grounded in my love so that I can be my best possible self. It helps keep me in my right mind and helps me in touch with my emotions. My hope is that this list can help you find similar results! If, you have any questions about anything that I have mentioned in this blog post please leave a comment below and I will be sure to respond! Also, if you feel that this information could be helpful to someone you know, feel free to pass it along!

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Well that is all we have for you today. See you next time at My Life Experiment Blog!

 

Much Self-Love to you,

Travis Hagen

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