Pledge: No Spending until January 2021?

Could you? Me, maybe.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

My kids always say, mommy when you say maybe, it means yes. Otherwise, you would say no! Well…

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and was thinking about whether it would be possible? Whether I’ll be able to make it? Not spending any money on anything other than food and essentials until January 2021? With that, I mean new clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, a new car?

I guess it depends where you are in life and what matters to you? With so many people being laid off at jobs that they thought would be around forever and suddenly finding themselves in a financial crisis. I guess it may just bring more stress when you’re already knee-deep in a crisis, but what if you’ve been moderately good at handling your finances up to now. Would you be able to go without buying anything until January 2021?

How much do you think 3.5 months of no spending could save you? Maybe $1000? Or maybe more? With the pandemic and restaurants and coffee shops being closed all this while, I saved quite a bit of money on eating out. Now that restaurants are open again I see a lot of people rushing back like they don’t know how they managed without it for so long. But you did?

I know it may be easier for some, but not others. I have 2 boys aged 9 and almost 11 and they may need some new clothes as the weather changes and summer comes to the southern hemisphere. It can be a scorcher! Then there is Christmas in between and you may need to buy some Christmas presents. 
What if this year we tried something different? You bring yourself as the gift, literally! Or figuratively (thank God)!

Photo by Phil Coffman on Unsplash

Maybe you plan an elaborate outdoor picnic and everybody brings something that they already have in their house or garden. It may be time to learn how to make peach jam. I love hiking, so I am already thinking of a drive out to a nearby hiking trail and bringing everyone along, including those who said they weren’t into hiking.

I love reading and might donate a few books. Not everyone may like Sidney Sheldon’s Rage of Angels or Ryan Holiday’s Stillness is the Key, and it could just collect dust on a shelve, who knows. It may just ignite a small spark, and more people may want to do it. The nice thing about all this is that someone is really getting to know you. What you like and dislike. How you prefer to spend your time. And you are getting to know them.

This is definitely more intimate than picking something off the shelf at Makro (our big retailer) and getting it wrapped in store. What people miss is closeness. Feelings are so important. We think we know what people are going through, but one has no idea.

I guess Christmas is just too far away to spend any brainpower on it right now. You can start by just planning a few weeks ahead. Is there something materially that you absolutely have to have?

I have a closet of high heels that I have not worn since March. I have a closet full of clothes that I never needed once during the lockdown. They are still good for another season or so.

We don’t need much. Let’s see how this pans out. I’m excited.

What Has Social Media Done For You?

Great, I’m happy for you. For me, not so much.

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Except disturb my sleep. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with social media from the beginning. I wrote about it a while ago, (almost 3 years ago) about being Peacefully Offline. I really meant it back then. I’ve been off Facebook for a few years now, I don’t miss it.

I started up Twitter again a while ago because I wanted to promote my writing, my blog and my administrative consulting business. It is all good and well, but what do you have to trade for it? Just a small piece of your soul.

Last night I was scrolling through Twitter and I must have hovered for too long because this video started playing. It was of an amputee shoved out of his wheelchair and another man slamming the wheelchair on the ground trying to break it. This was footage of the protest actions that have been going on for the last few months in the USA. The poor amputee was trying to get away on one leg and the guy came running after him. I didn’t want to see any more and quickly clicked away.

The damage was done. I couldn’t sleep. The graphic memory stayed with me, I can still see it so vividly. Of course, we can’t be naïve and make as if it doesn’t exist, but when you watch the news and social media on a daily basis, that is what you are going to get. Don’t even get started on the comments. The social media celebrities with a few hundred thousand followers cannot say anything without being attacked.

“It’s a beautiful day today.”

Comment 1: Yeah, right. Says he that’s got everything going for him. Thumbs down brother!

Comment 2: Well, I’m in Eastern Europe and the sun rarely comes out here and that’s all your fault!

And on and on.

Then there is Money Twitter. If you don’t have a Gumroad course to sell, you haven’t made it yet. People showing just how much they’ve made in sales and forex trading. To each their own.

It is perfectly fine to celebrate your wins, but it makes everyone else feel like losers. Well, they shouldn’t be so sensitive either, someone would comment. I wrote 2 ebooks and promoted them on Gumroad and Twitter. I was part of the gang now. I made exactly $50. It is still my pinned tweet and I will probably give those books away for free soon.

My biggest reward is when only one person can gets helped. The best feeling is when someone digs up a post from 2018 and writes a small note to say thank you, reading that post has just made their day.

I would rather have 100 true fans only, on any platform.

We keep talking about how little time we all have. Don’t spend all your time and mental energy on such trivial things.

Naval said the internet gives you infinite leverage. He was right. You can now connect with people all over the world that previously would not be possible unless you were physically introduced to them. People all over the world can read your writing. You can be commissioned for jobs. Others can learn from you.

All that is wonderful, as long as you don’t give away a piece of your soul in return.

Just Be Kind

Everyone is fighting a silent battle you know nothing about, just be kind.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I know it’s hard, especially if you’re a talker. Perhaps you’re an extrovert and generally outgoing and jolly. You want people around you to know it. You find yourself around the dinner table with a few others and someone talks about something that happened to them.

Their dog swallowed a bone and needed surgery and it’s costing a fortune. You say, well, you should’ve thought about that before you decided to get a dog!

Excuse me. The words are out before you can stop them. It happens. More often than not. Next time, can you just think before you speak.

With the morbidity of job losses, financial ruin, cancer, failed businesses, rather just err on the side of caution and be kind.

Chadwick Boseman was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago. He was fighting a silent battle. He is one famous example, but there are many others, less famous, who will never make the papers. You only hear about it when it’s too late. People don’t want to burden you.

They walk around with a smile on their face and a silent burden in their hearts. You will never know.

Live like it may be your last day. Be kind.

To everyone. It may be the last time you see or talk to someone today.

I know, I know, I know that this is easier said than done. You wake up late, your alarm clock didn’t go off. No time for breakfast, rushing to make it to the office, or to the Zoom meeting that started 5 mins ago.

To some people, it comes naturally, but to the majority of us, we need to actively pursue kindness throughout the day. Set yourself a reminder on your phone. Whatever it takes. Just do it.

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Life is short.

Here are some useful habits that will make someone’s day and yours.

1. Live every day like it may be your last.

2. Spend time with your loved ones.

3. Tell them you love them.

4. Where you are, be there

5. Surprise someone

6. Call your parents.

7. hugs often

8. Send flowers

9. Journal

10. Be Still

You don’t have to do many things. You don’t have to do expensive things. Just your presence alone can make someone’s day.

We want 2020 to be over. Well, it’s 4 months away now. What do you have to show for the last 8 months? The pandemic. Yes, that one we all have in common. How did you use your time?

Quick question.

Do you know of anyone close to you who were here at the beginning of 2020 who isn’t with us anymore? I do.

Life is short.

It’s time to make a difference.

It’s time to take up new habits.

It’s time to change your lifestyle.

Time is our most valuable resource. Start living a life where you won’t waste another minute. Start making changes today that your future self will thank you for.

It’s not too late.

Just start.

Are You on Your Road to Financial Independence?

You should be. Nobody is coming to save you. Save yourself.

At the end of June 2020, I took a huge leap of faith and quit my full-time job. It is now almost 2 months later and I still think to myself, Michelle, you’ve made a huge mistake. That’s when I want to go run and hide. Whatever made you do that?

Well, if you will indulge me just a bit. In 2013 I opened my own fashion design business with a lot less experience than I have now. I didn’t know how to sew, but I knew that African print fashion was popular and knew that people would pay to get their hands on a good dress. I decided to make those dresses.

I set up shop with one part-time seamstress, store-bought patterns and just the sheer will to make this thing work. I posted some samples in the local classifieds where people normally go to look for jobs and second-hand stuff, not dresses.

I landed my first customer, and after a lot of trial and error, the dress was complete. I asked if she could write us a review and also post pictures of her in the dress. It was an instant hit. We received many calls for similar dresses and the rest was history.

The company ran successfully for 2 years and unfortunately due to mainly a lack of management skills and some cash flow problems, we had to close down.

To this day I’m still amazed at how smoothly it ran once my mind was made up and we got everything set up. There were long nights, tight deadlines, someone needing a dress for Saturday and they come and see you on Wednesday!

A lot of it was common sense. Deliver on time, deliver the best. Everybody wants to look beautiful. I don’t think they realise that they were already beautiful, the dress maybe added 1 percent. Anyway, we had a happy customer. And another and another.

All it takes is a mindset shift. If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t. Every single person reading this has all the tools they need to start a successful business or make money. Even if money is not your number one goal, it sure helps not to start stressing when the rent is due.

Also, you want to get out of that cycle that kept you and your family trapped for so long. The baton has been passed on to you. Don’t disappoint us. There is no-one else.

With the worldwide economic crash and businesses closing down, there is absolutely no safety in job security any more. You could be laid off any day. It will be an unemotional decision, a business one. The company needs to survive. Don’t be the one on the receiving end of that message. Now is the time to create multiple streams of income.

Start something on the side. Put time in over weekends and evenings. Just the mindset shift alone will set you apart from the others at work. Those who are content with their 9–5. The problem isn’t the 9–5, the problem is the mindset. People that think their job is safe till retirement. Those days are long gone. Don’t be the one left out in the cold.

Secondly, build up your savings. It will save you from financial ruin should anything happen at work. Don’t spend everything, every month. You don’t need a new car or another big screen tv. Those things can’t save you. Have a sit down with the family and let them know that you are trying to build a better future for them, to get away from living paycheck to paycheck.

I have now decided to set up my virtual administration business. Most people call it a virtual PA, but there is so much more to it than being an assistant and answering the phone. I have done a lot of administration and operations during my working career and know that the skills I have may be a match for some small businesses and entrepreneurs out there.

It could be as basic as managing the incoming email inbox with customer enquiries and complaints. It could be managing the customer database or performing marketing tasks like creating a newsletter or content for the website.

The perks of the job are that you can work from home and manage your own time. You can have multiple clients with different needs which keeps the job exciting and you can learn a lot of new things. You just have to be open to it. Scheduling your time and hours is key. It helps you not to drift around aimlessly during the day.

I have also written 2 e-books and am busy with a 3rd. So far I’ve made only $50 in sales. I am in no hurry. Don’t expect anything in the first year. Just put your head down and put in the work to build a reputation. The glory will come afterwards when you have forgotten about it. A lot of people give up just before the big breakthrough.

Just the thought of working on something for yourself that can help you in the future is quite inspiring. A lot of people won’t be inspired with you. They live for the now, they want to spend everything today, their time and their money. Keep building up your reserves. If nothing else, you will slowly become a different person.

A person with goals to a better future. A person who has already started to put the steps in place. In 6 months from now, you will be way ahead of someone who never started.

There are so much talent and no lack of resources to get started. Only if you really wanted to. We are on the cusp of a new era, of a new way of earing and investing. Invest in your future. Start today. So many wish they had all the advantages you have.

You don’t even see them because you’ve always had them. A talented mind, a decent computer, uninterrupted wi-fi, free time on your hands. Don’t take it for granted, not for another day. Start today.

In 6 months you will be a different person. Only because you made the decision to start. Good luck with your journey!

Before you go! Get a copy of my e-books here!

10 Ways to Make the Next 142 Days Really Count

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

For most of us, the last time anything made sense was in March. It is now August. Five months have gone and we can’t account for where that time went and what we did.

I know this is a generalization and hopefully, for most of you, there is something to show. Like a new job, starting a business or a side hustle.

What we all agree on is that we cannot waste away another minute. Life is just too short. We have already lost 5 months of 2020.

There are exactly 142 days left to 01 Jan 2021. The next steps will show you how to make those 142 days really count.

1. Stop waiting for it to end. It won’t.

We cannot live our lives for the day that things will go back to normal. There is no normal. That is gone. The sooner we start facing some real truths, that the circumstances we currently find ourselves in can only be solved with the tools we have at our disposal at the moment. There is no going back. To anything.

That is gone. That was yesterday.

Look forward. That’s where you’re going.

2. Show gratitude

Be grateful for what you have. If you still have a job, be grateful for that. If you can keep relatively the same lifestyle as before without any major changes, you are lucky. Show some gratitude. If you still have a business and did not have to lay off 50% of your workers, you are in a better position than some other businesses.

Count your blessings. Every day.

3. Make peace with WFH (working from home)

It was exciting in the beginning to work from home. No more commuting. No more sitting in traffic for 2 hours. You can have a 2-hour lunch break. You decide which hours you work. When you are most productive.

However, the blending in of work and home makes you feel like you can never switch off. You should be always on, always connected. Online meetings have become the norm. Get used to it.

4. Make peace with having your children around

There were days if you can still remember when you could drop your kids off at the school gate and get on with your life. Go to work, do your thing and get back to them later in the afternoon.

Now you have to deal with homeschooling and online learning and Zoom meetings. And making sure tasks are completed. Wait, is that not the teacher’s job?

School was never meant to be a daycare centre. It does allow for the parents to go to work though. The sooner we stop feeling flustered and get the children into a routine that works for everyone, the better. All children need are rules and boundaries. If you don’t set them, they will.

And yes, those without children won’t have a clue and that’s ok too. It is what it is.

5. Pay off your debt

I know everyone says it, you’ve heard it so often, but with lay-offs being the order of the day at most companies, debt is a real threat to your survival and wellbeing.

Pay it off as fast as you can. Get rid of that car note. Think twice before getting a big-ticket item. Nobody cares, nobody is looking.

What about a challenge? What if you decided that you are not going to buy anything new for the next 142 days until 01 January 2021. Nothing besides the essentials. Let’s try that!

6. Build up your emergency fund

If your boss told you tomorrow that you don’t have a job anymore (that is a reality), how long would you be able to cover your monthly expenses? One month, three months, 6 months. At a bare minimum, you should have 6 months’ expenses saved up.

It will buy you time. You can decide on the next steps without hyperventilating or feeling like an anxiety attack is imminent every single day. Remember, you are doing this for yourself.

Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

7. Visit your parents

But they said no home visits. You don’t want them to get sick. Yes, of course, that should be your main priority. If now is not the right time, that’s fine, but do it as soon as the opportunity allows.

Years later when they are not around anymore, you will either cherish the memories of the good times you spent with them, or you will regret that you did not spend more time with them. You don’t want it to be the latter.

8. Cut toxic relationships

Just because someone was your friend since high school does not mean you still have to hang around with them. People grow up and grow apart. Priorities shift. The same goes for family. There is no need for hangers-on who just drain you and hinders your progress.

It sometimes is an emotional decision to stay with the crowd. No-one else knows you like them. Don’t let your whole life pass by and realise all this time that you were a crowd-pleaser.

9. Get your body in shape

Not for anybody else, but for yourself. As we’ve said before, if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.

It also means wearing a mask, not because the government says so but because it is the right thing to do.

We are not sure whether masks work, but shouldn’t we rather err on the side of caution? Rather wear a mask and look ridiculous than end up with a ventilator. It’s a no brainer.

10. Become a philosopher

Make time to reflect. Make time to be alone and just think. Think about where you are in life. What you want to achieve. Where you are heading.

There is so much noise out there. One can quite easily carry on and not even realise that they’ve hardly had a coffee with themselves lately.

Make that date with yourself. Schedule it in your calendar. Meditation helps. It calms the mind. When you have a calm mind you can achieve anything. Unless you make a concerted effort to stop and take time out, it will just pass you by. Make the time.

11. Smile (bonus)

You’ve got this!

Be Fully, Magnificently, You!

Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

About 20 years ago when I was in high school (I know I don’t look my age 😊), you had 2 groups of girls. The cool girls and the girls with nappy hair and crooked teeth. I fell in the latter group. My father was also not the headmaster or the church pastor. I slid lower down the ranks.

I don’t know who decided on these ranks, but there they were. I had to fall in line. Like many other teenagers who don’t know their place and trying their best to fit in, but only succeeded in standing out, like a sore finger.

‘I hope that my presence on your screen, and my face in magazines may lead you young girls on a beautiful journey, that you will feel validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.’ — Lupita Nyong’o

I eventually finished high school and went to college in Cape Town. I stayed with my aunt and worked nights and weekends at KFC in Claremont, the one in Main Road. I was lucky enough to find a decent job straight out of college. I could get my own place that I shared with my brother and later my sister came to join us.

Throughout this time I was grouped in a certain class.

We were the Coloureds from Mitchells Plain who were all gangsters. I didn’t need to open my mouth. It didn’t matter that I was not from Mitchells Plain. I fit the profile before I could open my mouth. Talk about judging a book by its cover.

‘I raise up my voice — not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.’ — Malala Yousafzai

Photo by Leon Ell’ on Unsplash

With that racial bias and stereotypes came the realisation that there was a glass ceiling. You could only be the PA, don’t ever think you will make it to the corner office. And when one of the girls got knocked up and the baby daddy is gone before the baby is born, it just reinforced our positions.

That maybe you should hold on to the merchandiser’s job at Edgars. At least you’re not the cleaner. And so we never get rid of the stereotype. Even if you can now afford to book a table for 10 at the Codfather in Camps Bay, when you walk in they size you up and down and think, Oh Lord who let them in?

‘It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.’ Madeleine Albright

My message to you, don’t let it take you 20 years. Twenty years to understand that you have just as much right as any other person to be here, breath in the free air and own your space.

You don’t have to be a feminist and burn your bra and demand equal rights. You can do so silently, with fierce determination, to firstly quieten the voices in your own head. Once you have conquered those, the rest is easy.

‘I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.’-Audre Lorde

It starts with you believing that you belong here.

You have a purpose. Others look up to you, some you don’t even know. You carry their hopes in your heart because you have the voice they don’t have.

‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’ — Anais Nin

Be fully, magnificently, you!

We’ll Die Of Hunger First!

Unlock the South African economy now!

As we enter lockdown day 43 in South Africa, with over 8000 positive cases and a death toll of 161, the situation is bleak, to say the least. The economy was abruptly brought to a halt on Friday 27 March when the lockdown started. Everyone had to stay at home, you could only go out to buy food or go to the doctor. Only essential services were operational.

Everyone else had to stay at home and work from home. Restaurants, hairdressers, beauty parlours and gyms were closed. There was a ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes and a curfew in the evenings. Sounds more like we are going to war than fighting a virus.

Exactly 6 weeks later and thousands of people have lost their jobs. Some had to take salary cuts of more than 50%. Others can’t afford to pay their rent, pay their car instalments, or buy food. Someone I know had to be content with 10% of their normal salary. I mean, what do you do with 10%?

The companies also don’t have a choice, no-one is buying, no-one is paying, pending orders are cancelled. With a huge cashflow crisis gushing expenses with no income, it’s not a pretty sight.

How does your life change so radically in 6 weeks?

A whole generation’s sweat and toil down the drain. No-one has an emergency fund. No-one. I guess we thought the rainy day would never come.

All the schools are closed. Children are at home. Parents are at home. Nerves are in tatters. Children are going hungry. Parents watch in despair. If they go outside without a permit they can get locked up.

Still trying to find the owner

We know that the lockdown was never going to stop the virus, it was only going to slow down the spread so that hospitals can prepare and get ready when the virus hits at its peak. But in the meantime, people are starving.

“First they came for the cigarettes, and I did not speak up because I am not a smoker. Then they came for the alcohol, and I did not speak up because I’m not a drinker. They later came for my cooked chicken, and I did not speak up because I’m a dumbass who can’t recognise danger.” — Quentin Quarantino Ferreira

The government has vouched to plough back billions into the economy to ease the hardships of ordinary people, but the sheer magnitude of the administration is leaving many people wanting and waiting. The grants are not coming today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, people are going hungry, by the millions. Another initiative was to distribute food parcels. Well done for that, but it’s only feeding the family today, what about tomorrow?

By the time we wake up, starvation would have killed many more people than the virus ever could. We need to lift the lockdown and let people get back to work, those lucky ones who still have a job.

Masks are now mandatory. Yes, let’s wash our hands and wear masks, but please can we just get back to work!

Staying Home Amid COVID-19

Don’t wish for it to be over

Photo by Tani Olorunyomi on Unsplash

In South Africa, we started our nationwide lockdown on Friday 27 March at 00:00. It was to carry on for 21 days until midnight on Thursday 16 April. That was 3 weeks. All we could do was go to the shops or go to the doctor pretty much. If you were not essential services, you stay home.

Companies had to adjust quickly and send staff home to work from home. Restaurants, bars, public places were the hardest hit. Everything had to remain closed.

Two weeks in, everybody got into their groove, not too much bitching and moaning going on anymore because it was the same for everyone, the rich, the poor, black, white, coloured, indian. No-one was exempted. This made it more bearable.

On Thursday 09 April, we heard that the president would address the nation in the evening. We were all eagerly awaiting news from him. He started with praising the public response and cooperation, the healthcare workers’ dedication and commitment. Then he said that’s it’s too early to tell whether our efforts to curb the virus has been successful and imposed a further 2 weeks of lockdown. The lockdown will now extend to 35 days, until the end of April. There were mixed emotions. We had one week to go and all of a sudden the 3 weeks had started all over again. Businesses who were suffering were now pushed into a further 2 weeks.

About a month ago patient zero arrived on our shores. Who would have thought? I bet these are the words on everyone’s mind. How did this thing come out of nowhere and so quickly disrupt my existence to the point of some losing jobs and later all hope?

Who allowed that to happen?

Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

As you are now confined to 4 walls with your partner and children, you have never spent more time with them. You’re not sure if you want to anymore. Your spouse is driving you crazy and you wonder, where were the days that you could drop your kids off at school or the daycare centre and get on with your life? I want answers you think. Someone must pay for this.

After all the ranting and raving and punching pillows, you know it’s not going away. No use fighting it any more. You always said you would build the dollhouse, well now is the time. Might as well keep you busy and not just with trips to the fridge.

Your kids will grow up and you will never have this time with them again. You won’t have all this time again to start that side hustle that you always dreamed of. Everything is going digital anyway. Maybe it’s time to offer those online piano lessons. Or to learn code, or to take up cooking lessons. 
 
First, you have to start with a plan. Work out a daily schedule for the remainder of the lockdown and include everything, even trips to the fridge. 
Read, meditate, catch up with friends and family via FaceTime. Call your parents, every day. They are the most vulnerable.

On the other side as well, it’s a great motivation to re-adjust your budget and expenses and save. You just realised you can do without all that eating out and daily Starbucks coffee. Put money away for a rainy day, because although the rainy day is here now, you will be better prepared for the next one 
 
Only hard cash is king. Make sure you have at least 6 months of expenses saved up. Yes, we all thought that day would never come. Well, all we can do is ride the wave, make adjustments and come out of this strong and ready. I will and so can you. We can make money again, find other jobs, but we can’t bring back life.
 
Good luck and all the best during these turbulent times.

Just remember, this too shall pass.

Blessings.

Love Lives Here

In the heart of a beautiful woman, you.

I just felt that today I needed to speak to the women in the house.

Ladies, wherever find yourselves. Will you do me a favour? Just for today, put yourself first.

Take some time out, go into a quiet corner and reflect on where you are today. What are you grateful for? What do you have going for you? A job that you like (that’s rare), your studies to educate yourself in order to become something better. A husband or partner who loves you. And lastly your kids whom you wanted to drop off somewhere more than once, but since there’s a law against that.

The burdens are heavy. Our mothers have carried those same burdens. With so much grace. Here we are, living in an age of microwave dinners, workplaces with child care facilities, being able to FaceTime your mother whenever you need to and still, we are not happy.

Something is sapping all our energy. Self-doubt and worry make us lie awake at night. Woman. Listen. For once, make it about you.

There is a beautiful saying — Love Lives Here. Let here be wherever you are.

Fellas, if you are listening. She may appear strong. For you. But inside she is falling apart. Especially when children are involved. Be committed. Stay committed. She loves you. Give her that honour.

She needs to know that she is your everything. Tell her that you love her. Often. That you appreciate everything she is doing for you. Do it today. Pick up the phone. Now.

Ladies, go to work every day determined to give it your all. Change your attitude towards your situation. It will never be 100% perfect. But if you go in with a smile, you will get through the day much easier.

Where do you see yourself 6 months from now? Will your situation still be the same? I hope not. We either progress or we stagnate. Start today to lay the foundation for a better future.

Become financially independent. It gives you options. Spend less than you earn. Start saving 10% of your income. Tackle your debt one at a time. Pay off your credit card.

Start taking care of your health. Start exercising. Eat better food. You can’t do anything if you don’t have your health.

Practice kindness. You just have to look around you to see where the need is. It is everywhere. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. That someone else is you.

Give yourself permission to start enjoying your life. Don’t wait for him to organise a date night. Just do it and send him a meeting request. Buy your own flowers.

Be the strong, independent woman that you know you can be. With a soft heart. Many things may have happened to warrant a hard heart. But you are not going to let those things overshadow the good that is still in the world just waiting to be discovered.

Be open. Let the light in. Let Love Live Here.

Make The Tough Decisions Today and You Won’t Regret a Thing

When things are not going well we are quick to come up with every excuse and justification for not taking action or doing the right thing.

Most unpleasant situations are our own doing. We know the right thing to do, but take zero action and then we wonder why nothing is happening.

We blame our past, the present and everything in between. It’s time to face some hard truths. Let’s start by asking yourself some tough questions?

1. Are you healthy?

The other day I had a slight headache because I was fasting for the day. I told the person I was with and immediately came out a whole bag of medication. She had a pill for everything. I was very surprised because overall she seemed healthy.

Don’t feel the need to be dependent on anything. Nothing that some exercise and fresh air won’t fix.

2. Healthy Eating

Are you able to go to the shop and choose exactly what you want to eat tonight? Do you have a choice of getting the healthier, slightly more expensive options? All the fruit and vegetables you need?

For some people, it is pap (South African mielie meal porridge) once a day only. If you’ve never had to go to bed hungry, you have nothing to complain about.

3. Healthy Body

Are you able to, if you wanted to, take a brisk walk around the block? Are you able to get out of your car, or get off at the bus stop before yours and walk the last 20mins?

Some people don’t have that luxury. Are you able to if you wanted to? That’s the answer.

4. Healthy Mind

Are you able to look around you and count all your blessings? Your spouse, your children, your co-workers who make you laugh.

If you wanted to, can you switch off all electronics and noise and just sit all by yourself, with your own thoughts without wishing you were somewhere else?

Can you decide to stay in and work or read a book, without having the feeling that you need to be somewhere or that you are missing out on something?

5. Healthy Spending

Are you able to say no to the impulse of buying another pair of shoes or another kitchen appliance you don’t need?

At the click of a button you can buy anything online and if you pay a little extra it can be home before you. Knowing that this service exists, knowing that you have the money to buy whatever you need, but not doing it — that’s a winner.

You will never regret it. Not making that purchase. This strong resolve will show up in all areas of your life. People will wonder how come you’re so lucky, you have everything going for you.

They don’t know that in the quiet moments when it’s just you and you, you make the tough decisions. It takes nerves of steel, but you’ve gotten better. Practice makes perfect.

6. Healthy Relationships

Are you able to walk out on an unhealthy relationship because it’s toxic and it’s affecting every area of your life? Are you saying no to verbal and emotional abuse even though you will return to an empty house tonight and there is no one to split the bills with?

You don’t need to sell your soul just because the lights are on when you get home and the bed is warm.

We’ve all made mistakes. But when you know better, you have to do better. 

You owe it to yourself.

Good luck with your journey.