New Year Planning

Happy 2019 Readers & Writers!

Your To-Do List girl is back with some new year planning info, that will hopefully give you some helpful tips to kick ass in 2019! Now I’m still not quite far enough into planning yet, because I feel like this is the first actual week of the year, because of the holiday. So I’ve been doing some inspirational research this weekend, and got my new planner, and so now it’s starting to come together. I’m sure new things will come along and old things will fizzle out. But the more you try and use these different tactics the more you will see what works for you and what doesn’t. Let’s all be honest, January is a trial month! 😉

My Current Planning State consists of: 

Buy a Planner- I have small a weekly/monthly planner

Buy a Goals Notebook/Fun pens/special pen

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I bought this pen from my church and I just love that it has a cross on it, and that it came with an inspirational book mark.

Massive Mind Dump- In my notebook, I dedicated a few pages to writing down all the many, many, many things I hope/want/need to do in my life. A Massive To-do list if you will. 

Pull Main Goals to focus on- I have 6

Habits to implement- I had over 15

Use a Habit Tracker- I pulled the habits I want to implement the most/or want to continue implementing (I chose 15)

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Choose a mantra word for the year: (a word that is chosen to be repeated and descriptive of your new year- the focus word)

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2017- Change.

2018- Determination.

2019- MAGIC!

Winter TV schedule into planner- All my shows are coming back from mid season break, so in between my New Year’s planning I’ve been trying to catch up on them. This always happens, with the holidays I always get behind on ALL my shows. I’m all caught up on The Resident, Charmed, This Is Us, Dynasty, and Chicago PD. But still lost on Riverdale, How To Get Away With Murder, Will & Grace and Supergirl. I’m not entirely sure I want to dive into Supergirl again though. I’ve kind of had to force it anytime I have watched the new episodes, I’m a #Karamel fan and Mon El left so it’s just not the same for me. I will see though, maybe I will binge in the summer, when I have nothing to watch. LOL.

List of Projects I want to finish this year/in the next 2-3 months:

Move -MLW Short Story Series

Crazy Stalker Love- MLW Short Story Series

NaNoWriMo Project (Title TBA)

Special Project (TBA)

Self Publish something 

Create vision boards- I have a few pages dedicated to this in my Goals notebook. They are mostly just inspirational images (so I guess they are inspiration boards) that I feel reflect my Mantra word- MAGIC. I also write any inspirational quotes I come across. 

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I do have a page of doodles that reflect my focus goals too. (But I still have to create a board with actual images.) I want to have one in my notebook and one that I can post right near my bed. So often I make these cute vision boards and then I they get buried and I don’t even see it during the year. So this way I will have it in my notebook and on my wall so that when I wake up every day, I see the goals I want to accomplish this year.

Gather Inspiration- Family 2019 wishes time capsule (my family each wrote their wishes down put them into their own envelopes with their names written on them and then all were placed and sealed in a large manila envelope and put away until next year when we will revisit them and see how we did) , YouTubers, Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour Doc on Netflix – (she is a total badass!), Tori Kelly Hiding Place Album, Quotes, etc.

Create a Workout Routine Ideas/Track your work outs- I just started my at home exercising back up today. And started to implement my habits. Tracking these things will hopefully keep me unaccountable and motivate me to keep at it!

Create a Morning Routine- today I got a lot done this morning, so it was a really good morning to establish the routine I want. So I decided to write it all down.

I also want to purchase an organization suitcase to keep all my notebooks and things. I always end up having like 3 snack tables full of my notebooks, clipboards, note pads, post-its, pens, etc.

What are you doing to ease into a healthier, happier life style this year?

 

*All photos are my own.*

 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

#BLOGTOBER Day 24- Fall Fashion: Concert Style

Justin Timberlake’s style for his MAN OF THE WOODS show is very laid back. So for my concert look tonight, I wanted to mirror that same vibe. Comfortable, yet stylish. 

As you can see he wears a lot of , flannel, leather, denim, black. There are some earthy tones and outdoorsy pieces, so camouflage is a pattern that pops up a lot too. And I’ve seen he mostly rocks sneakers or boots. He also mixes patterns at times too. But the usual basis for the outfit is a graphic tee. 

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JT tees

In fact he has a clothing collection with the brand Levi, called Fresh Leaves

And a sneaker deal with Air Jordan…these are sold in limited locations. 

*JT concert merch is available HERE!

Because I wasn’t a fan of any of the few t-shirts left on his website, I opted to find my own shirt and to put together my own outfit using simple pieces I already had in my closet. #GOTTASAVEMONEY #ADULTING I am hoping they are selling some concert tees there though. I really wanted one online, but it’s no longer up. 😦

I found a JT shirt with the album graphic on it in Target for cheap and ordered one each for me and my best friend. 

So the concert tee is the main focus of the outfit.

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I painted my nails- black, white and orange- the colors of the album cover, which is the graphic featured on the t-shirt. 

IGNORE MY MESSY NAILS IN THE FOLLOWING SHOTS…I took all of this before I cleaned them up. 😉

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Currently I am torn between two outfit ideas. Either some black pants or jeans, a red/yellow/white flannel, and a leather jacket or oversized denim jacket over top the tee and the flannel. I opted to rock either my combat boots or my white & black Michael Jackson boots. Depending which outfit I end up choosing.

I’m also keeping my jewelry pretty simple- some gold hoops (not sure which size I’m rocking just yet), two gold chains for a layered affect, 4 plain gold rings, and a cuff like bracelet. With a yellow purse too, to tie in the colors of the flannel. 

For my makeup I’m planning to do a mix of fall colors, a lot of golds/oranges/reds.

Similar to this makeup/hair look…

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Except I’m planning to swap out the red lip color for something in the more brown/bronze/peach family. Either I will pick one of the lip colors below, or do some type of mix of colors.

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And as for my hair, I’m going to be adding  some random loose waves with a curling wand, using products like mousse, dry shampoo, and hairspray. 


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There you have it, my JT MAN OF THE WOODS outfit inspo. I am ready to dance and sing my ass off! I will reveal the full look I chose tomorrow! 

Tonight. Fangirl mode. ON.

Stay Tuned for a full Concert Review! COMING SOON!

 

*I do not take credit for any Justin Timberlake images or videos used.*

*All other images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Finally….A Summer Update

The longer I’ve waited to post, the harder I’ve felt this has been. I went through having zero ideas, to so many ideas-good and bad. And here I am, just wanting to say SOMETHING. I’m a writer, who hasn’t really written in months. Is that normal? I suppose not.

Hi all. I hope someone is still listening. This has been a long time coming, and quite frankly I was hoping to come back with some fun, fancy, well-crafted story or work of art. But it’s just not coming, so instead, I’m going to just speak my truth. Hopefully you can relate.

It’s been quite a long few months since I last posted, and yes when I look back at old posts, I have definitely written many posts similar to this. Being a creative soul is thrilling and fun, until it isn’t. Creativity isn’t always guaranteed. I haven’t posted at all this summer. There are a lot of reasons why, but the number one reason is because well…I just haven’t felt inspired or motivated to do so. 

You know when your favorite YouTuber goes MIA for a while, because they just haven’t been happy with any of their content. That’s how I feel.

I hit these walls where I feel like my life is at a standstill and instead of doing something to change it, I internalize and my mind becomes a ball of anxious thoughts unable to move myself forward. A vessel just going through the motions. I have a really hard time being present in the moment. I’m constantly over thinking everything. It is the most daunting feeling. My mind gets clouded and unfortunately creativity gets pushed to the side. Which is bizarre because I know this is the time when I need it most, to pull me out of my slump. 

Creativity can be an incredible outlet for stress, but sometimes I just choose to ignore the issue and let days pass me by. Filling my time within mindless tasks.  

I wish I had some big revelation for myself. I wish I had some inspirational advice to share about how I’ve just been too busy living life to post, but unfortunately that is just not the case.

I have a case of the summer funk. And I honestly can’t wait for it to be fall. 

The air is crisp.

The fashion is cooler.

The colors are gorgeous. 

And let’s face it, there is a plethora of pumpkin.

Here’s to breaking the silence and powering through. 

I’m going to end this with a quote from one of my Writer’s Corners from back in 2015. It’s amazing how the words still hold truth for me:

“Giving up on that dream [of being a writer] is not in my line of vision. It can’t be. I don’t think my brain or sanity could take it. Too many stories to tell. So when the walls start caving in and you feel like you’re going to emotionally explode, get out of your head. And get out of your own way. And just do what you do best. Write. Because writers feel things deeper than most, and when we tell those stories, someone out there in the universe is going to get it, and feel gotten. Keep fighting, keep striving, and know that there is always a safe place for the written word here on Michelle Leigh Writes. Soldier on my friends.”- Michelle Leigh Writes * Writer’s Corner * “Get out of your own way”

 

**While you wait for new stories…feel free to browse my Short Story Collection HERE

 

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-<3-

 

Happy Birthday Joy! (April 2, 2018)

Bethany Joy Lenz is one of my biggest inspirations. Not because she’s perfect, we all know that no one is perfect. But because she is real and she owns it. Her talent in acting, painting, fashion and above all else singing knows no bounds. She is a fierce female. 

The Fashion

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Acting

 

Singing

 

Painting (follow her art instagram @thelenzgallery)

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Happy Birthday Joy!

* I do not take credit for any images used.*

-<3-

 

 

Finding my inspiration…

Funk, slump, busy week off, and a sinus infection later and I was left feeling super run down and sick. And now I am trying to pull my life back together and get back into my routine of doing things and accomplishing my goals. 

And that means returning to this blog. I’ve missed it, but I’ve been lying in the bubble of uninspired ideas. So I usually turn to music and YouTube when that happens and recently I’ve just revisited some things that inspired me in the past…

These are the women that often inspire my creativity. They are all just filled with good, calm, healthy vibes. I feel like such a hippie girl. I want to just throw on my kimono and moccasins and roast marshmallows by a fire pit. #BohemianGirl

Joy WilliamsVenus Album

Specifically…

Such a powerful girl power anthem. Her whole Venus album spoke to me. As earthy and hippie as I sound. Joy is actually in the process of recording her next album! So excited, I cannot wait! I would love to see her live in concert. 

Rachel Talbott– YouTuber/Vlogger/Musician

I really love Rachel’s YouTube content. Every time I watch her I just feel so relaxed and like I want to create a better, more balanced, healthy life style. Her demeanor is so sweet and serene. 

I actually made my own spa pedicure because of this, and I loved it so much. I think I may continue doing this more often…when I have a bit of extra pamper time. 

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Visit Rachel’s new shop online @ PacificThyme.com She has some absolutely beautiful things on there and the prices are more affordable then I’ve seen in a while. I just bought a candle, a loose tea, and a tea infuser and I cannot wait to get them! 

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I was never a huge Disney kid, I had my favorites- The Little Mermaid/Pocahontas. But I love the soundtracks. Every time I hear a Disney song I just feel like I want to cry. It just tugs at the heart strings. And this medley includes some of the absolute best ones! That Rachel…such a talent. 

Bethany Joy Lenz- 

This woman is always always always an inspiration to me. And recently I’ve just been listening to her soulful music again. She actually just released a new little track entitled Ghost Stories.  You can listen to it on her twitter. 

Here’s a vlog of mine from her concert I attended a few summers ago. It was an epic time!

This next concert was one I found on YouTube- a StageIt show, she had a while back. How gorgeous is her look! And that hair cut was pure fire. (video quality is a bit lagging) Her song “Dance with me” is my fav! ❤

Joy also paints and she has been sharing a lot of her work on her art instagram account The Lenz Gallery. 

Kalyn Nicholson– YouTuber/Vlogger/Author

This girl is inspiration reincarnated. Watching her plan her days and check her items off her list is oddly satisfying. Because I know how it feels to be a planner and a list maker. She’s real and she’s got these really chill vibes about her. I love the music she uses in her videos, I love her fashion and her home décor style. She makes it seem like you can really get through all your lists and encourages productivity. She also coined GYST day…a Get Your Sh*t Together Day! 

 

Who/what inspires you?

-<3-

 

 

 

The February Slump 2018

Hi friends!

It’s been a bit, I know. 

Today I would like to talk about the February Slump. I know you know what I’m referring to.

You know that point in the new year where you start to slack off on all the goals you set out to accomplish this year. 

I knew this time would come. January was a month of making changes, and making lists, and plans for a better future. Putting things into motion and action. 

Then once February came, I started noticing myself slacking. Going to bed late, not reading/writing everyday. My daily goals getting distracted by life and the day to day. 

Overall, January was pretty great for me. I felt like I was forming a routine, and working out consistently, taking my vitamins, drinking a lot of water, carving out a day within the week to work on each of my big goals for the year. [SEE HERE by reading my- January 2018 Update]

But came February and a few late nights, family functions, and busy times and I started slacking. My goal was not to get angry with myself when this happened but to pick myself back up and hop back onto the routine I’ve started to create, improving it and crafting it as I go along. And that’s what I’m hoping to do this week. Thankfully I am on winter break and I can strive to plan things a little better. However, why is it that it’s only Monday and I already feel like the week is over. There’s so much I want to do, clean, research, make time to see friends and family. You know what they say, there’s never enough time in a day. 

I just need to get myself back on track and learn to balance my time to include my dreams, my goals, and my inspirations with my family and my friends, work, (tv shows, because #TVJunkie) and a social life. 

Balance is key. And that is what I need to build on in order for all of this to work. Life is a balancing act. Summers become Winters. Christmas becomes Easter in the blink of an eye. And before you know it, the goals you set out to accomplish in that year, are rolled over into the next.

This year I want that to change. I want inspiration, change, and determination to run through my veins. Change? Michelle, you want change? What? You hate change. No you don’t, your just scared of it.

Change is a scary word. But not all change is bad. And I think I’m starting to realize that in order for my dreams to come true I’m going to have to let change in. I want to take action. Take control over my life. There are things I always put on hold, things I just don’t force myself to do, habits that come and go. I let life lead me, rather than the other way around. And then I mentally scold myself for not accomplishing my goals.  

So…this year I’ve started to implement the necessary changes I need to do in order to reach my goals. Granted, it’s a slow climb. I’m definitely a work in progress, and I’ve definitely had my days/weeks where I’ve slacked off. The important thing is to acknowledge the slump and work towards moving past it. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up over it, because that’s not going to help me. And I can’t go back in time and change it. Getting down over it and scolding myself will only make me feel bad which in turn will hinder my motivation starting a vicious cycle and I don’t want that. So time to focus, time to revamp, time to balance.

Keep going girl, you got this! 

-<3-

*I do not take credit for any images used.*

 

 

 

2018 Inspiration and Planning Ideas

I’m a planner and I love to know what’s ahead of me. Granted, I realize that’s not always possible, but having some vague plan in mind, tends to lessen my anxiety so I go with it.

I recently bought myself a new planner. Nothing fancy, as much as I love how they have all the stickers and the sticky notes and all that, I just don’t think I would actually use them. So I just went to my local Walgreens and picked up a Blue Sky, monthly/weekly planner. 

When I start to plan for the new year, the first thing I like to do is reflect on the year that just passed. As you can see in my- 2017 Memory Jar Review post.

I go back through my memory jar, my instagram posts and my blog posts and see what I accomplished. I also review my goals list and check off the things I accomplished, and narrow in on the things I still want/need to work on, or continue to implement. 

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Because even if I did accomplish a specific goal in 2017, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry over into 2018. For instance like personal growth- and working on my anxiety, that’s a goal that’s on going, bettering my mental and physical health is always a goal every year, as it should be. 

After I reflect, I review my old goal list, and check off, or add to it. And then eventually I’ll probably make a new list. 

After that I will look at the many many things on my list and realize that it is VERY overwhelming!

So this year I’ve decided that from that big list I will pick 4-8 things that I want to ABSOLUTELY accomplish this year. And so that way my brain knows what it needs to focus on. Categories can help- so for instance- Health/Self-care, Relationships, Career.

After that, this is where my planner comes into play. 

I like these planners (Blue Sky) because they have the monthly calendar and then the weekly where you can write in things per day.

However in hindsight, I usually end up needing more space, no matter what. So I’ll either use post-its or a separate sheet of paper/notebook or notepad for daily To-Do Lists or if something I’m working on needs a little more planning. 

I’m debating getting just a desperate notebook for To-Do Lists, because I feel like I make them so often, I end up with all these sheets of paper all over. So we shall see. 

It’s only January, things are definitely going to change as we go along.

I’ve started to do like weekly to do lists, and goals, and also I think eventually I may try monthly. Let’s be real January is a total hangover month. I’m still on 2017 time, so everything is trial and error at this point for me.

And that’s totally okay, because you don’t need a new year, to make a change. I kind of feel like I implemented some new things into my life last year around fall time, because I felt inspired to do so with the new school year starting up again. So you can always renew, revamp, and reflect. There are no rules. 

Last year I said my “mantra word” was CHANGE, and ALOT changed around me, and I adapted and am continuing to do so, and although I feel I made some changes for myself too, I want to continue to grow and change on my own this year as well. However, I’m going to add another word to my mantra this year and that is DETERMINATION. There are certain things I want to do, that are big, BIG CHANGES I want to make in my life, and in order to do them, I’m going to need that fire, that determination. So I’m going to aim to up that factor in my life this year, because let’s be real, we all get in our lazy funks. It’s winter after all, and there’s a huge snow storm outside. So nothing says “it can wait til tomorrow…” more. But here I am trying to stick to my Monday/Thursday posting schedule anyway, while the tv is calling my name- waiting for me to catch up on all the shows I’ve missed over the past few weeks. Determination, Michelle, DETERMINATION.

Another thing I find that inspires me is looking up videos on YouTube. Some of those ladies make the most inspirational planning videos! And they just give you the pep you need to get planning.

I’ll link a few below, that I’ve watched this year for inspiration. I’ve definitely pulled from them when doing my planning.

I also like to have a visual to display so that I can see it. I never shared last years with you-(it was just a bunch of fun images with the word CHANGE), but after a while, it ended up getting buried in a corner of my room when I was reorganizing, but it’s back up and I’m going to add one near it to display images of my 2018 MAIN GOALS and the word DETERMINATION! 

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So to review the steps I use to plan:

Step 1: Reflect on the past year

Step 2: Review 2017 Goal List/Write a New One

Step 3: Narrow Goals Down (to the most important you want to focus on)

Step 4: Buy/Use a planner/To-Do List (to keep track of everything)

Step 5: Find inspiration (if you need help planning your goals)

Step 6: Choose your mantra word (the theme for your year)

Step 7: Create a vision board (to keep visible as a reminder of your goals for this year)

Step 8: Breathe & Believe in yourself ❤

MY MAIN BIG GOALS FOR 2018

*Get healthier- mentally/physically/emotionally

*Take the next step in my career

*Save money for my best friend’s wedding festivities!

*Get my permit/take driver’s ed (yes I know I’m way behind on this, in life- but hey I live in NY, technically- I don’t NEED to drive) 😉

*Work on relationships

*Self-publish a body of work (not on this blog, but elsewhere)

*Write my Pilot episode

Now that I have this locked down, I can go through and plan how to accomplish each one, step by step. I haven’t done that just yet, but…I will. The year is new, the year is young. 

Happy 2018! Now let’s crush it! ❤

Tell me how you plan for your year ahead in the comments below, and if you have any other YouTubers you find inspiring!

-<3-

*I do not take credit for the images used in my edit or otherwise.*