Hi, I'm Sarra, and I’m a personal development junkie. I’ve read “you’ve got this, girl” self-help books and I’ve read business books. I’ve signed out every parenting book from the library. I’ve studied everything from love to leadership to low-carb eating. Mama, I’ve read it all.
One of my favourite topics is the Law of Attraction. I’ve learned to manifest money (I read the book). I believe that thoughts become things and what you think about, you bring about. I’ve used the law of attraction to find a parking spot and to find a husband.
Basically, the Law of Attraction can be boiled down to this: I attract to my life whatever I give my attention, energy, and focus to, whether positive or negative. And you can master this law of the universe by getting reeeeeal clear about what it is you want and deliberately giving your attention, energy, and focus to those things.
New Year's Resolutions are stupid. Ok, stay with me, I'll explain.
Think about it: most people who set New Year Resolutions don't stick with them. And for people who do reach their goals? Setting goals 365 days in advance creates no sense of urgency. They spend most of the year putting off the things they need to do to reach their goals and then in October, they hustle hard and accomplish what they wanted to ... in the last 90 days of the year.
You can read a lot more about the idea of setting 90 day goals in the book The 12 Week Year (available on Amazon here); I've been implementing the strategies into my life and it's been a game-changer.
Now, in order to set goals, I believe there are a few things you need to do.
Wait, what's a S.M.A.R.T. goal? The acronym stands for: Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Let’s break it down.
Your goal(s) must identify exactly what you want to accomplish. You need to be specific, clear, and precise.
No: Write a book.
Yes: Write a book proposal for Manifestation for Busy Mamas.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If you can’t measure your goal, how will you know if you’ve achieved it?
No: Earn more money.
Yes: Earn $10,000 more this year than last year.
Every goal should start with an action verb (like: quit, run, finish, create, etc.)
No: Be more consistent with blogging.
Yes: Write 2 blog posts per week.
Ok, be careful here... because anything is possible if you truly believe it. Make sure you’re thinking about your life right now and what is realistically attainable for you in the span of 365 days. Go to the edge of your comfort zone... and then step over that edge.
No: Win the Stanley Cup in hockey (unless, of course, you’re a current NHL player reading this)
Yes: Join a women’s hockey team.
You need to have a deadline - this is when you plan to achieve this goal. For this goal-setting guide, your deadline is 90 days from today
No: Lose 10 pounds.
Yes: Lose 10 pounds by October 7.
Want to have someone walk you through the entire process? Download my FREE 90 Day Goal-Setting Guide below!
Meal planning ain't just for bodybuilders and people trying to lose weight. Meal planning is the secret weapon of busy mamas everywhere, who know that avoiding the "What the heck is for dinner" struggle will save their sanity and that heading to the store with a plan will save their budget.
Staying healthy is just another benefit, my friends.
1. Make a Master List
Make a master list of 10-20 meals that you and your family love. When you sit down to do your weekly plan, you can use this list to help figure out what will work for your week. Keep the recipes together in a convenient place - we have a family cookbook that we write our favourite recipes in!
I also recommend categorizing these lists so that you can easily plug in a meal from each category (Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Free-for-All Fridays, etc.)
2. Plan When You'll Plan
Choose a day when you plan to sit down and actually make your plan! For me, that's Sunday afternoon. I search for new recipes, look at our calendar for the week, and plug meals in for when they'll make sense with what are family has going on. Plus, I plan my grocery shopping day (Monday), knowing I'll have my plan together by then!
3. Plan Your Whole Day
When I first started meal planning, I thought breakfast and lunch would be easy and I just decided our dinners ahead of time. However, you'll save yourself time, stress, and trips to the drive-thru if you figure out all 3 meals (and snacks!) for each day.
4. Know what You've got on Hand
Plan your menu around what you already have on hand. Keep inventory on what you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer and build meals around the things you have.
5. Overlap Ingredients
If you need half a head of cauliflower for your dinner on Monday, look for other recipes that require cauliflower for later in the week.
6. Be realistic
I used to plan to cook dinner 7 days a week. Um, really, Sarra? Nope, never going to happen! Now, I always schedule a leftovers day. I also look at our calendar and what's going on for the week and determine the best days for slow cooker meals and when we might need to eat out!
7. start with dinner
Dinner is the meal I share the most with my family; so, it's always where I start my plan. Then, I plug in breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Usually, I plan to eat the same breakfasts, alternate a couple of salads for lunches, and stick to the same snacks every day (although I might not always eat them all). This strategy helps me save money AND keeps things simple when I've got a busy day (which, let's be honest, is every day).
8. Find a Strategy and stick to it
Use a digital meal plan if that works for you.
Write out your weekly meals if that's your thing.
Just find what fits your family and stick to it. Don't waste time searching Pinterest for the best meal planning template; it doesn't exist.
Want my free meal plan template?
Want access to free meal plan templates, recipe resources, and my weekly meal plan (updated every Sunday)?
I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about the mompreneur life. I will never recommend anything that I don't use and love myself.
Do you shop online? Ok, seriously, who doesn't these days?! But are you getting paid to shop online?? If you use Ebates, you can be!
How does Ebates work?
Basically, when you're going to buy something online, just head over to Ebates and click through their link to the online shop. Ebates lets you know how much cash back you will receive from your qualifying purchase. Most often, it's around 3% to 6%.
Stores pay Ebates a commission for sending members to shop at these websites; Ebates then splits that commission with you, in the form of Cash Back!
What stores are available?
There are so many retailers connected with Ebates! Some of my favourites include:
Make sure that you pay attention to category restrictions for some retailers - for example, Amazon has different percentages of cash back depending on what you shop for.
How can I join?
It's SO EASY to earn Cash Back:
In the States, you can sign up with this link and automatically get a $10 gift card when you make your first purchase.
And in Canada... sorry, it's just $5 after your first qualifying purchase, but you can sign up here!
Ebates provides you with passive income (I mean, you had to buy those Christmas presents, right?!) without any real work; what more could a girl ask for?
I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about the mompreneur life.
Working from home is the dream - wearing your pajamas, Netflix on your breaks, setting your own hours and no one ever drinks all the coffee before you can fill your cup.
However, it can also be incredibly difficult to stay motivated and undistracted when you work from home! So, here are some simple tips to help you stay productive when you work from home.
1. Write To-Do Lists
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a work-from-home employee, you need to be clear about what you need to get done and when you're going to do it.
Personally, I write a to-do list for the week; then, every day I write the top 3 things I want to accomplish for the day and I schedule my entire day with a time-blocking schedule. (Want a copy of my printable daily schedule? Sign up for my free resource library here!)
I also recommend utilizing the eat that frog principle. Mark Twain once said, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." Basically, do the thing you're dreading from your to-do list first. If you'd like to learn more about this practice and beating procrastination, check out Brian Tracy's book, Eat that Frog.
2. Get Up earlier
I talk about this a lot - but especially if you're a mom, getting up before the rest of your family will do wonders for your productivity.
I schedule my coffee maker to start brewing at the same time my alarm goes off. Then, before anyone else is awake, I organize my to-do list and schedule for the day, make note of any appointments or meetings, answer emails, and organize my social media.
Another option is to use that time to relax, especially if you work long hours as a mompreneur. Take a long shower, drink your coffee, read a good book - fill your cup. You'll be happier and more positive, which will only help your productivity for the rest of the day.
3. Do a 30-Minute Mad Clean
Ok, so you know when it's 30 minutes before company arrives at your house and you do a mad clean and you're shocked at how much you can accomplish in half an hour?
Do this more often.
I struggle to focus completely on work when my house is a mess (and I have a toddler so it's a mess 97% of the time). So, I set a timer and clean like crazy for 30 minutes; the mental break from work AND the benefit of having a tidier home helps me to refocus on my business.
Only answer emails that need to be answered. Only respond to messages that need your response right now.
If you're a work-from-home mom, it can be easy to become glued to your phone. But here's the thing. Being productive? It means that sometimes you actually stop working. That you are present with your family. That you step back from your business and be with the people you love or you do something that you enjoy.
Trust me. You'll be more focused when you do work if you can prioritize when needs to get done immediately and what can wait.
5. Meal Prep
You can set yourself up for max productivity by prepping lunch and snacks ahead of time. I love to make jar salads - it's the perfect pre-portioned meal that I can dump in a bowl and eat at the computer. Right now, I'm loving this Burrito Bowl Jar Salad.
There are so many resources on Pinterest for meal planning and prepping; you can read my own strategy here!
6. Ask for help. Hire help if you have to!
For us, that looks like this:
My daughter goes to my mother-in-law's for a couple of hours every day during the workweek so I can focus 100%.
We hired a company to pick up the dog poop in our backyard and someone to come clean our house a couple times a month.
Our kids do the dishes and clean the bathrooms.
You don't have to do it all by yourself.
Do you work from home? How do you stay productive?
After my daughter was born 2.5 years ago, I knew that I wouldn't be able to return to my teaching job. I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom ... but I also wanted to make an income and help support our family. The universe aligned for me and in October of 2015, I became a Beachbody coach.
Back then, I knew nothing about network marketing or direct sales; however, I've learned a lot over the last 2 years! So, here are the Top 5 Things To Know When Starting a Network Marketing Business!
1. SOMEONE WILL ALWAYS THINK YOUR BUSINESS IS A "PYRAMID SCHEME"
What is a pyramid scheme, anyway? Basically, it's an illegal investment scam. Pyramid schemes do not involve the selling of actual products; instead, new recruits make up the base of the pyramid and the cash-flow comes from them, while those near the top of the pyramid earn income. Not awesome.
However, many people associate direct selling companies and network marketers with pyramid schemes and they will ask you about it. Familiarize yourself with the legitimacy of your company and the difference between what you do and a pyramid scheme, so that you can easily address this issue upfront.
Also, remember, you can't make everyone happy; ignore the rants you see on social media about moms selling stuff on Facebook and just keep doing what you love.
2. YOU BETTER WORK
Network marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Over the past 2 years, I have seen so many women give up on their business after a couple of months, because they're not yet earning 6 figures. Starting a business takes time, effort, and hustle - and a network marketing business is no different.
Give yourself at least a year of consistent effort and don't just give up after a tough month.
3. DO NOT COMPARE YOUR CHAPTER 1 TO SOMEONE ELSE'S CHAPTER 12
When you're just getting started, it can be easy to compare yourself to those who have been in the business for years - rank advancements, income, company trips and gifts, the social media presence that others have.
It's important to remind yourself that you are just getting started. Do not get wrapped up in what others are doing and just run your own race. Do not compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 12.
4. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT IS EVERYTHING
Your income will be a direct reflection of your level of personal development. In order to be a business owner (and that is what network marketing is all about) you must be willing to learn, to grow, to invest in yourself and in your business.
So, from the very beginning, commit to reading books (check out my favourite books organized by category here!), listening to podcasts, or learning everything you can from YouTube videos.
5. NOT EVERYONE WILL SUPPORT YOU (AND THAT'S OK)
You're probably in love with your product and your company. You think your family and friends all need what you're selling and that this opportunity is going to change the life of everyone you know. But, whatever your product is, the people in your lives aren't all going to jump on board immediately (or, maybe, ever).
Don't worry about the people who don't want to join your team or try your product; you'll find your people.
Want access to my free resource library, with guides, worksheets, and more to help you build your network marketing business? Sign up here!
I know, I know. Everyone and their mama is talking about the importance of self-care for mothers. Well, guess what?! Everyone and their mama is right.
It is really freakin' important. And it's not just spa dates and shopping trips and expensive Starbucks coffees (although it can be those things #treatyoself).
So, what's a mom to do when she's short on cash but in desperate need of a little self-care?
Check out the list below for 44 self-care strategies that won't break the bank!
What simple strategies would you add to this list?
Ok, so I definitely don't claim to be an Instagram Expert; that would be majorly misleading. However, I do want to share what I have learned about one of my favourite social media platforms and some of the strategies I've used to increase my followers by over 30% since I began focus on building my Instagram 3 months ago.
1. Fill out Your profile
Your profile is your first impression for a potential follower and customer, so you want to maximize that space! So, how can you make the most out of your Instagram profile?
- Keep your @username simple. Your name reflects your personal brand; for me, I know that I am my brand, so I use my own name. Plus, it's consistent across social media and someone can easily find me on Instagram if they know me from Facebook.
- Your profile picture should be your face; this helps people learn to know, like, and trust you!
- Write your bio - make it clear, concise, and descriptive... after all, you've only got 150 characters! Tell people who you are, what you do, and what they can expect.
To utilize line breaks in your bio, write you it first in your notes app; between each line, hit the return key to create a line break. Then, copy and paste onto your Instagram profile.
- Update your URL link - this is the only place that Instagram lets you place a link, so you want to utilize this space. I use linktree and the free version allows to list unlimited links on your linktree, as well as offers click tracking for each link and a selection of themes to change appearances.
2. Hashtags, Hashtags, Hashtags
Hashtags are everything on Instagram. You're currently allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on a photo ... USE THEM ALL! These are search terms, keywords that will help people find photos in that category.
I recommend categorizing your photos and creating a list of 30 hashtags for each of these categories. You can save these lists in the notes of your phone so that they are easy to copy and paste when you post a picture.
How do you find the right hashtags to use?
- Follow other people in the same field. Whether you're a wedding photographer, a Beachbody coach, or an Etsy shop, your competitors will, most likely, target the same people as you want to. Now, you're not just copying other people; you want to look at what they're doing and learn.
- #Do #Not #Hashtag #Every #Word. This is ugly and people will stop reading. Instead, write your caption and include your list of relevant hashtags at the end of your caption.
- Study the related hashtags. When you search a hashtag, Instagram shows you Related Hashtags at the top of the feed.
- Use hashtags that are popular but not overused. Check out this example:
Let's say we search the hashtag #motherhood. Over 7 million posts? Your picture will probably get lost. But what about #motherhoodalive or #motherhoodmoments. With less than 100,000 pictures, you have a better chance of getting noticed!
3. Make your Instagram Public
Hashtags don't matter if your account is private; if you're trying to grow a business, you need people to see you. Enough said.
4. Utilize Instastories
Before people will buy from you, especially on social media, they must know, like, and trust you and Instastories are another great way to showcase who you are. So, how can you make the most of this feature? Well, make sure that you utilize different sticker options, like polls, location tagging, and hashtags. Also, you want to mix things up; post pictures, videos, and boomerangs.
For a complete look at the Instagram Stories features, check out this tutorial.
5. Engage with Your Audience
When you're starting out, you probably want to spend 20-30 minutes a day going through hashtags that are relevant to your niche and commenting on people's posts. My strategy is to follow a person's page, like 3 pictures, and comment on 1 post. Now, I'm not posting things like "Cool!" or "I like your content!" - there are robots that can do this for you and it's super obvious and inauthentic and I just don't recommend it.
Instead, write genuine, thoughtful comments. Don't force or fake this - be you, be real, and try to make connections.
The second piece of engagement is responding to people when they comment on your posts. You can thank them, ask a question, or respond in some way to what they said; whatever it is, you are showing them that you care, you notice them, and you appreciate their presence on your page!
Not sure what your niche is?? Sign up for my free resource library here and get access to my Nail Your Niche worksheet so you can create your Ideal Customer avatar.
The holiday season is here!
Need some gift ideas for the mom boss in your life?
Check out the Mompreneur Holiday Gift Guide to find the perfect gift for any budget!
1. Ring Light ($109.99 CDN)
2. Rose Gold Portable Charger ($25.99 CDN)
3. The Content Planner ($59.99 USD)
4. Mom Boss Mug ($14 CDN)
5. Unleash Your Inner Money Babe ($23.63 CDN)
6. Because Toddlers Wine Glass ($17.19 CDN)
7. Selfie Light ($12.99 CDN)
8. Beats Wireless Headphones ($319.95 CDN)
9. I Run Everything T-Shirt ($32 USD)
Some of the above links are affiliate links; I may receive a small commission if you purchase one of the above products, although this does not increase the price for you. I am only recommending products I truly love!
1. get up before the kids (if you can)
Ok, this is an obvious one. It might require you to go to bed earlier or to put your alarm clock across the room so you can break up with the snooze button. However, give yourself some grace. If your baby wakes up at 5am everyday and the idea of getting up at 4 is literal misery - give yourself some grace and adapt your routine to include the kid(s).
2. Gratitude is the opposite of stress
If the first thing you do when you wake up is look at the (super depressing) world news or stress about your list of things to do - I want you to stop. Right now. If you can take anything from this list and put it into practice, I hope it's this.
"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." - Eckhart Tolle
Now, you can incorporate gratitude into your morning routine in a multitude of ways and I encourage you to find the way that works for you. Some people turn their alarm off and immediately think of 5 things for which they are grateful. Some might meditate on their gratitude, while some will focus on what they are grateful for while brushing their teeth. Some prefer to put pen to paper, listing every single day their grateful hearts. It doesn't matter how you do it; it just matters that you do.
And if your kids wake up early with you, include them in this practice. Imagine focusing every single day from childhood on all the things you have to be thankful for. That's a pretty freakin' cool gift to give your children.
Look, you don't have to run 10k or even do a full workout if you don't want to. Your morning exercise routine might be 10 minutes of yoga (or, heck, even 1 minute of yoga). You can stretch or you can do intense cardio. You can do some push-ups and sit-ups or you can do a full strength-training workout.
Whatever you do will set you up with more energy for your day. Plus, who doesn't want a healthy dose of endorphins first thing in the morning?
4. Write your to-do list
Some people prefer to do this before bed; I like to do a brain dump of everything I need to get done during the day when I wake up. I take a fresh piece of paper and write done everything I can think of that I need to accomplish, whether it's work tasks or wife tasks.
And then, I pick 3 things. Yep, just 3. I reflect on what might be time-sensitive (a blog post that needs to go up or a living room that needs to be cleaned before people come over tonight). And I focus on getting those 3 things done during my day. If I accomplish more? Yay, go me! And if not? That's ok. There's always tomorrow.
5. Read (or listen to) something inspiring
Put down your phone, avoid the newsfeed and the news, and pick up a good book or plug into an inspirational podcast or audiobook. (As a mama of early-rising kids, you might find that listening to books is the key to getting in more "reading.") I always advise my clients to avoid business-related information first thing in the morning; hang out in a positive space when you wake up and you'll feel more ease when you get to your work-related tasks.
6. Give yourself some grace
You're a mom; this is pretty much my advice for anything. Didn't get to write down your to-do list? That's ok, maybe writing it down before bed will be a better fit for you. Didn't get to read before the kids woke up? Cool, turn on a podcast (find my favourites here).
Always, always, always give yourself grace. Don't ever beat yourself up for pressing snooze or skipping your workout. You're human. There's over 7 billion of us; welcome to the club.