It is true that I didn't hit my self-imposed cleaning goals for January. However, I came very close. I built in cleaning AND decluttering time into my February work schedule, and moved ahead into following this new schedule when the month started. So far, a week into February, it seems to be working pretty well. There have been some challenges, and there will be some tweaking as time goes on (indeed, there already has been some tweaking)... but for the most part I think that what I came up with is pretty sound. I will have to see, as the month goes on, how much I have gotten accomplished and how well I think the schedule is really working, and decide if major changes need to be made at that point.
To that end, and I didn't plan on talking about this right now but it seems to fit... I need to decide if it's a good idea to try to add one more thing to my plate. Off and on, over the months, I have considered becoming a Pure Romance consultant. If you don't know what Pure Romance is, it's one of THOSE home parties. You know, the happy-fun-time ladies-only parties? Yeah. Those. They're lots of fun, and they seem to be very popular, and they're right up my alley, and I like home parties, and folks that do them consistently seem to make decent money doing it. Those are all pros for it. The cons would be - I have to spend time on yet another business, AND I have to build in time for having home parties. That's a fully hands-on (heh heh) business. You pretty much don't make the cash if you aren't out selling the goods. I have a couple friends who are consultants, and there's a sale on the consultant kits right now, and I was talking to them tonight and getting myself all revved up - until I looked at my schedule and realized that having parties doesn't exactly fit into it. You see, I pretty much work until 11 pm each day. My time is scheduled from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep, and while some of that 'work' involves things like cleaning my house, making dinner, and taking care of my children, the rest of it revolves around Heritage Makers and writing. Those are the two things I decided to focus on right now, the two businesses I decided to build. It's hard for me to reel in my enthusiasm for my other ideas... I want, for example, to start building my Not House On The Rock house, or to open my B&B, or to start selling Pure Romance, or whatever. Most of my other dreams can be built on the success of these first two though, which is why I've been able to reel myself in and try to be patient on those other fronts. The Pure Romance doesn't exactly fit in with everything else. It's a separate dream, one of those "this would be totally fun!" dreams.
So, in looking at my schedule, something would have to give in order to accommodate it. Do I want something else to give? I'm not really sure. I don't want to give up my writing; I love it, and I'm excited about it, and I wish I had more time to do it. I love Heritage Makers, though that's been really slow going (largely because I haven't, until this month, really put time aside for it or really had a concrete plan going in order to promote it and work on it with my customers). I think that if I was going to do Pure Romance, I'd have to give up Heritage Makers. I'm not sure that's what I want to do. I don't want to do it to replace anything, I just want to do it because it would be fun. But I think a lot of things would be fun, and I just don't have time to do them all. That's a tough reality for me. I'm going to have to spend some time thinking about which of those I really want to do, and which of them I think has the most long-term potential for me.
So, aside from that tangent... I've been working pretty hard. I made a deal with myself that I would treat these things like a regular job and stick to this schedule Monday-Friday. If I need to take a night off, then I have to pick it up over the weekend. So basically I'll give myself two days off a week, and I'm aiming for Saturday and Sunday, but since I work for myself I can be flexible.
Now, as to the 'money' part of my post - yeah. I'm not actually making any yet. :) Well, I do get a commission from Heritage Makers, so that's not entirely true - if I'm selling things, I'm making money. But as far as the writing goes yet, my payoff is merely your love and adoration. I'm hoping to see some money from it in the near future, but for now I'm still laying the foundation. Building fans (i hope!), getting my name out there, blogging, networking, all while I work on short stories and novels, in the hopes that one day they will be published. It's been a while since I sat down to work on stories, and I have to say I'd forgotten how much harder it is (at least for me) to write fiction than to write about whatever's on my mind. Blogging, for me, is EASY. I just sit down and words spew from my fingers. I can write about what's on my mind for hours. Crafting a good fiction story is a lot more work! I have great ideas, I have ideas ALL THE TIME, but turning them into something cohesive and fun that other people want to read is another matter. I'm not complaining, I love it, all of this is great practice and it's fun and this is the best job I've ever had (it's also currently the worst paying job I've ever had, but I'm confident that will turn around one day). It's just a bit amusing to me, how easy it is to write like this and how much harder it is to make things up.
So, that's my story for now. As far as the house goes, we're in the process of tackling the laundry room right now. I've promised myself a horror movie marathon as soon as the basement is clean, so that's good motivation. Oh! I've built exercise into every day too. I'm hoping to see some health payouts from that soon. The one thing I'm struggling with, health-wise, is calorie tracking. I'm terrible about doing it. So if anyone wants to bug me daily, or even several times a day, to keep track of my calories, please feel free. I definitely need to make that a habit. Money, we're just trying our best to pay down debt. We took a somewhat impromptu trip to Memphis in order to pick up a car my husband bought last weekend, and that was a little bit of a hit in the pocketbook, even though it was fun. We still struggle with impulsiveness and with making good FRUGAL financial decisions. The old "two steps forward, one step back" method. The eternal optimist in me keeps whispering that I'll sell some bestsellers this year and none of that will matter. The realist's voice gets overshadowed pretty frequently. I need to work on bolstering my inner realist. :)
But overall, we're in pretty good spirits most of the time, things are moving along quite nicely, and life is good.