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  • Writer's pictureAmber

Make a Plan: The 12 Days to Lower Stress Levels

I often get the most stressed out when I look around and see 48037420778 things that need to be done without having any sense of where to start.

It can be totally overwhelming to get something back on track or try something you'd never done. Maybe your stress is coming from your health or weight, the state of your home, or your finances. Maybe it's trying to find a new friend, get pregnant, or buy a house. It could also come from something less tangible, like your relationship with your partner, a friend or family member, or with yourself.

Set a goal.

What do you want to achieve? Clean house by Christmas? $10,000 in your savings account before your baby is born? A better relationship with your neighbor by the time you go on vacation? Find out what the most ideal (but still realistic) outcome could be.

Your goal gives you a destination to travel to. Be specific about when you want you want the thing. If you don't know when you need to get there, you don't know how fast you'll need to go.

You'll also need to define the goal. What does it mean to have a 'clean house'? Does it mean that your floors and counters no longer have clutter? Does a better relationship with your neighbor mean she'd come water your plants while you're on vacation or that she'd simply not give you side-eye when you pull your trash bins inside a day late?

Write a to-do list.

I love lists. There are lists all over my house and in my phone and on my computer- everywhere. I think they're a great organizational tool and I use them to do everything from plan my packing to manage my finances to figure out what to wear that day.

Think about the individual items that need to be accomplished as little pieces of your overall goal.

To get your finances in order, here's an example of a starter to-do list:

  1. Dedicate a jar to hold all cash and change I find

  2. Cancel my magazine subscription

  3. Research credit cards and transfer my balance to a card with free interest for 6+ months

  4. Put my gym membership on hold and use Youtube videos to work out until my goal is met

  5. Transfer 10% of my income to my savings account immediately on payday

  6. Cut all credit cards up and commit to only purchasing items I can afford with money in my checking account

Obviously these aren't the only things that need to be done, but this list is a good stepping off point. The list isn't too long to be overwhelming, but it is long enough to make a recognizable difference in your goal.

Get shit done.

Mark things off the list!

Every time you complete a task, check it off. If it's a habitual task, check off every time you did it.

Checking things off your list is a symbolic way of telling yourself "look at you go!' That sense of accomplishment is actually the experience of the hormone called serotonin.

Serotonin feels good and when something feels good, we want to do it again. It's motivating you to accomplish more and reinforcing your behavior with more euphoric serotonin. It helps with confidence and the feeling of safety, which are the exact opposite of stressful!


This is a great time of year to think about this, since the new year is coming. 2020 is going to be YOUR YEAR.

2019 was incredible for me, but I want every year to be one of growth. I want to have more money, a better body, and maybe a little addition to my family. I want to live in a bigger space, know more stuff, and blog more often.

Planning helps me look at the trees instead of just a forest. Organizing makes me feel better and I know it will do the same for you!

In the comments, tell me about your habits and goals!

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