How to Keep it Together (With Style, No Less)

Posted by   Annette on    August 7, 2018

When you move around all the time, the "little" stuff can get away from you.

The problem, of course, is that there's no such thing as "little stuff." Not really.

As time conveyor-belts us forward and space confuses the issue, most of us need a constant steam of minor heading adjustments to keep a steady course. Careful, concrete attention to the details will do the trick. They'll help you keep the focus on your best intentions (and to see some of the loose ends before you trip over 'em).

First Week of the New Year:

  • Make calendar entries that will drive your incremental goals. I like to goalset in mid-to-late December with Susannah Conway's Unraveling the Year workbook or Chris Guillebeau's Annual Review template. I then use the information it draws out--information about what I really want to accomplish--to determine concrete actions. Finally, I work up a timeline for those actions and send myself reminders.
  • Set up (or clean up) a habit tracker. If you don't have one set up yet, try this Google Sheets template or Habitica, the gameified version. This will show you in a really visual way how accountable you're being to yourself.
  • Set up a general health checkup (incl. vaccinations) and a dental cleaning. You may need to do some research in-country or set up an appointment for months ahead-of-time; best to schedule it now, before time gets away from you
  • Check your credit reports.

Every Sunday:

  • Log receipts to Shoeboxed (or Expensify).
  • Check your bank and credit card account histories for inaccuracies/fraud. If you do this weekly, you'll remember what's valid and what's not. Personally, I like to take this opportunity to pay down the balance on my credit cards and go into the week fresh.
  • Load your Hootsuite (or other social sharing automator) with content.
  • Check your calendar for the coming week. Review this week's calendar against scheduling emails, looking for for time zone inaccuracies, and make sure reminders are set.
  • Call your mom.

First Day of Each Month:

  • Check for birthdays. If there are gifts to be sent, place the order.
  • Review your habits, dailies and to-dos on your preferred habit tracker to make sure they're still relevant. If they aren't, take a moment to journal about what changed in your Unraveling the Year workbook or Annual Review.
  • Take a shower with your yoga mat, a soft sponge and some dish soap (rawr).

First Day of January, April, August, November:

  • Check that frequent flyer miles have posted. (You'll be checking them against saved photos of boarding passes, which you'll need to claim the miles if they're missing.)
  • Count remaining visa pages.
  • Check upcoming countries for visa requirements.

Every day:

  • Work your habit tracker. Observe the patterns.
  • Write in a journal, no matter how briefly. This will conspire to tell you your own story on its own timeline, and has no substitute.



photo credit: wuestenigel Bürozubehör / Office Management via photopin (license)