Why Is It So Difficult To Accomplish Things You WANT To Do?

 

I’ve had this goal of writing a book, save more money, running a successful website and getting a six pack of abs since… forever?

I think about it all the time, sometimes I even write out my goals in hopes that it will bring me to work harder on them and sometimes I even work on my goals! As in, I might go to the gym and do a really hard abdominal workout not one but two days in a row. However, when those two days are done, I either get busy, forget, lose interest, or start to work on something else.

I think the truth is, we live in such a fast-paced society and our minds are actually 4only wired to do one thing at a time but we let ourselves believe that to be successful in life, we have to be working on all of our long-term goals concurrently on top of everything else we are already doing each day. It begins to be literally impossible to work out while simultaneously writing a book, working on a website, vacuuming the house, taking care of my dog, finishing up the last load of laundry, catching up with friends and family, and then figuring out what to make for dinner. I don’t even have children to care for, I don’t know how these gracious people do it!

I suppose one could design a plan including a timeline of how they believe they can realistically accomplish their goals but from personal experience, to be able to successfully accomplish a goal you cannot have too many other goals at the same time that require a lot of time and effort. In that case, you have to prioritize what goals are

IMG_2660.png

most important to accomplish first. The problem is, what happens if the priority of your goals changes CONSTANTLY? You can redesign timelines but honestly, when you are changing goals so often, or adding new ones, how do you ever accomplish any of them?

It must just take a really strong decisiveness where you sit down, pick a goal, design a plan and stick to the plan, even if eventually you change your mind. You might not even desire to achieve that goal anymore but hey! You accomplished something you aspired to do at some point in your life, and now you can no longer let the fast-paced society tell you that you’re not successful.

Advertisements

The Gold Star Resume

Applying for jobs is one of the most daunting tasks you can get yourself into. It’s even worse when you spend hours and hours applying and reapplying for positions and never hearing ANYTHING BACK!

After taking a college course about professional career development and having several years of practice, I have successfully established a fantastic resume template that lands me my choice of job!

However, there are a few considerations when applying for a job that you should take into account:

  1. It is okay to dream high but DON’T apply for a job you don’t qualify for.
    • If the job posting has something that is required or necessary to do the job and you don’t have it, don’t apply.
    • 1
      I don’t have a Doctor or Optometry or any sort of licence so I wouldn’t waste my time applying. This seems like an obvious tip but is OFTEN overlooked.
  2. Apply for a job that you are confident you can do successfully.
    • You should be excited for the opportunity and already have ideas of how you will succeed in your position. If you have no experience doing the exact job but you have relevant experience, be confident you can successfully do the job you are applying for. If you don’t believe in yourself, why will the hiring manager?
    • Example: You would like to be a receptionist at a local hospital but only have experience as a waitress. You probably already have fantastic customer service so you should be thinking about how successful you will be in the position due to your experience working with people and problem solving.
  3. Don’t take a job for the pay.
    • They pay might sound attractive but when your job duties require you to scrub toilets with your own toothbrush and you are not okay with that, don’t apply.

Here is an ideal resume template that I have created and used to win over hiring managers.

3

Secret Resume Tip 1: Look at the job posting itself and rephrase the listed qualifications under the skills section. Here is an example of a real job posting.

4

The skills you might include on your resume would be similar to:

  • Experience effectively handling multiple tasks at once
  • Motived to succeed individually and in a team setting
  • Demonstrates high moral and ethical standards

NOTE: If the job posting lists a skill you don’t think you have, DON’T LIE and put it on your resume to please the hiring manager. Also, don’t make it obvious you are copying the job posting when rephrasing the qualifications.

Secret Resume Tip 2: Look at the job posting again to fill out the experience section. Referring back to the example of the real job posting, if you had previous experience as a waitress, you should pick out daily tasks that you have experience with that is also listed on the job posting!

5

                The list of daily job tasks you might include are; effectively communicating with clients, organizing and planning out a timed schedule to complete tasks, collecting payments, completing administrative tasks such as communicating with customers over the phone, planning and organizing events, handling multiple tasks at one time.

Secret Resume Tip 3: Use a thesaurus! You can go to www.theaurus.com and enhance any word. For example instead of saying you are a good communicator, you can find a replacement for the word good and say that you are an exceptional communicator, an efficient communicator or even a talented communicator.

How I Save Money Part II: Investing

The word investing is scary on its own. There are so many complications on what to do and where to begin and overall what is it going to cost in the long run. I know people who invest through a brokerage where they give their money and some guy in suit chooses the best stocks based on what he thinks will make the most money. This is great for people who have a lot of money to invest but if you don’t have a lot of money or are just starting out like myself, you don’t have a ton of money to tie up into investments.

1

I still wanted the chance to start investing in the stock market without the obligation of tying up my money and paying ALL the associated fees of a broker but I wasn’t really sure how. I thought about self-investing and managing my own portfolio on websites I’ve never heard of but it still seemed too risky.

Then one day, either through an ad or YouTube video, I found an app called Acorns. I looked into it for a long time and read all of the reviews on the app store (it has almost 5/5 stars)!

I downloaded it and then got really disappointed when I found out I had to link my bank account to the app. I NEVER give out my banking information EVER. I was questioning whether it was a scam but read more reviews and watched more videos and I decided to jump out on a limb.

College Investing (or lack of)

I invested $20 at first and $5 here and there for the first year (I was in college at the time). The app lets you choose a plan of how risky of stocks you would like to invest in and I started out at more of a conservative plan. I made around $10 to $20 overall in profit.2

I went through a period of time where I didn’t use the app and just let the money sit there and got to the point where I desperately needed money so I cashed out my account and it ended up being over $400 which wasn’t bad! It came in handy as an emergency fund.

I Graduated College!

I graduated college last month but have been working full time for about 5 months now so I have been putting decent amounts of money into the app (compared to what I was investing in college). I also changed my investing plan to aggressive which is riskier but has the possibility of a greater return.

I am ELATED whenever I check the app because I keep earning more and more money. I don’t typically share financial information but I have about $1000 invested and made over $30 in just one month!3

I plan on continuing to use the app and invest money every month. They have an option to auto-invest and have them take the money directly out of my account but I don’t really like that idea.  I really only invest when I have an extra amount of money in my account that would either just sit there or I would use for something I don’t really need.

How to use Acorns

*DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with the company nor do I get paid for endorsements of any kind (unless you use my referral code (Z7FA55)- which I would greatly appreciate and you get cash too!)*4

This is just a quick and basic outline of Acorns, there is a lot more to it that you should look into if you are interested.

  1. Download Acorns app on your mobile device and link your bank account. Use my referral code to get a free bonus check (Z7FA55) and help a sistah out 🙂
  2. Decide what kind of investing you would like to do.
    • Automatic investing- takes money directly out of your account on a specified date
    • Round ups- rounds up your debit/credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the change used to round up to the nearest dollar on that purchase.
    • Found money- when online shopping through certain vendors THROUGH the Acorns app, a percentage of your purchase will be invested into your account
    • Referrals- by referring others to use the app they get a bonus amount and so do you if they use your referral code. Hint Hint: USE MINE: Z7FA55
  3. Decide how aggressive of a portfolio you would like to choose
    • The more aggressive stocks have the possibility of a higher return but also have the possibility of a higher loss.
    • There is a range of plans from conservative to aggressive that you can choose which is explained way better on the app than I could ever explain it.
  4. You can invest and cash out at any time! If I have extra money or am short money one month, I can use acorns as a backup!
  5. There is, unfortunately, a fee associated with using Acorns BUT IT IS ONLY $1 per month (for accounts less than $5,000)! You don’t even notice it gone with all the money you make. If you were to invest through a broker you would be paying way higher fees for service!

TRY ACORNS! USE MY REFERRAL CODE Z7FA55 TO GET A FREE SIGN UP BONUS!!!

Update: Today I checked my Acorns account and I made almost $10 in one day!!! 

IMG_2656
“1D” = 1 Day

 

How I Save Money Part I: Coupons

We all have those moments where we check our bank account balance, check it again and then yet again while small beads of sweat form on our foreheads. You knew you spent a few dollars extra buying snacks at the gas station or some sort of specialized coffee at a coffee shop for a discounted price of $7.25, but you have several HUNDRED less than you thought you did. You hastily check each transaction listed on your statement, and maybe even use a calculator to add up everything- you know- just in case the bank made an error.

When the bank ends up being right, again, you realize you need to start being more conscious of what you are spending because after all, the little things really do add up!

During my broke years of college I realized I didn’t forever want to be scrounging around on the floors of fine establishments for loose change so I found a few ways that I still use today that have really helped save money every month! This first part is about coupons and I will discuss my other money saving secrets in articles to come!

Coupons

One of the major ways I save money is through the use of coupons. I am not going to lie, it takes a lot of time and effort for not much return at first, but once you gain experience you can save a lot of money!

1
Stereotypical Coupon Clipping

There are three ways to find coupons (later I will tell you how to use them):

  1. The Newspaper: typically the weekend newspaper will have coupon inserts. I don’t have a newspaper subscription and I don’t really want to pay for a newspaper subscription just to get coupons since the subscription would typically exceed the cost of the money I save using the coupons.

However, if you already have the newspaper start keeping the coupon inserts! The inserts are usually called Smart Source or Red Plum.

  1. Printable Coupons: There are several websites that offer free printable coupons.

IMPORTANT: Almost every company website offers coupons on their website that are sometimes not offered on the main coupon websites. If you are looking to save money on a specific item such as laundry detergent, you can google search “Tide laundry coupons” or whatever brand you are looking for. If you go directly to the Tide website, they have coupons you can’t print for free.

*You can do this for many products such as household cleaners, toilet paper, feminine products, Chap Stick or even cold medicine!*

  1. Mobile Coupons: my favorite method of saving is using mobile coupons or apps to save money. The benefit of mobile coupons are that you don’t have to waste ink or paper printing and you don’t need to cut out coupons and carry them with you to the store. The drawback is that the money comes in the form of a rebate which means you don’t save when you check out at the register but you get your money back later in the week.                                                                                   There are several coupon apps I use every time I shop!
  • Ibottaprobably the most popular coupon app due to the bonuses you can receive. There is usually a weekly coupon for $0.25 any purchase! There are over 250 stores Ibotta has coupons for and also offers cash back on online shopping purchases (you MUST shop though the app to get the cash back on online purchases).
    • If would like to try Ibotta, you can use my referral code nqkjihv and get a bonus $10 on your first trip! (The $10 bonus expires in a couple days after typing in the code so plan on typing in the code the same day you plan on shopping!) 
    • You also get bonuses based on who is on your team. If you link to Facebook and you have Facebook friends that also use Ibotta, you can get special bonuses for the total amount of money people have saved.
  • Checkout 51another great app that is unique in the sense that each week you can submit your grocery receipt for a chance to win $500. You don’t need to use any coupons on their app to register! I have only one $1 from the contest but I am hoping for more!
    • The app offers coupons on a lot of fresh produce that changes weekly
    • You can also sometimes buy multiples of the same item and save money on each item (just read the details on the coupon you are trying to use)
  • Coupons.com- similar to the website, coupons.com also offers an app. The great thing about it is that the money you earn back goes directly to your PayPal account.
    • Many of the coupons offered on the app are also offered on the website to print but sometimes a coupon is only offered on the app or only the website
  • Saving Star- A newer coupon app that I just started using more due to there being more coupons posted each time I check!
    • A great thing about saving star is that some of their coupons are the same coupons offered on the other apps; you can save more than once on the same item and potentially get items for FREE!
  • Cartwheel- this app is only for Target and runs a bit different than the other ones. You can actually scan any item in the store and it will tell you if there are items like it for a cheaper price and what items are on sale or have coupons available! I don’t use cartwheel often because I live in a crappy small city in North Dakota that doesn’t even have a Target. It is a fantastic app though!
    • You can also save on other items like clothing and shoe purchases
    • When you find a coupon you want to use, you can save it to your account and when you get to the register, the cashier will scan your phone and all the coupons will magically work! (No rebate required)!
    • Some items that you can get coupons for on cartwheel are also on the other apps meaning more savings!2

 How to use coupons:

  1. Printable and newspaper coupons can be used right away at the register for instant savings
  2. The coupon apps are a little different. After you download the apps and create an account, you can view all the coupon offers. After you are finished shopping, you take a picture of your receipt and send it in to the app for verification. For most apps, once you hit $20 you can cash out your savings in a form of a gift card. Some apps also allow PayPal cash outs.

You NEVER have to link your bank account to any of these apps which is amazing!!!

  1. The way to save the most money is by finding multiple coupons for the same product but read the rules on the coupons to ensure it is allowed and will also give you less grief at checkout!
  2. A great resource for using coupons is www.thekrazycouponlady.com because they do all the leg work in finding the cheapest deals!

Is a Foreign Language More Valuable than a Masters Degree?

I am graduating college in about a month and I couldn’t be more excited.  I already work a full time job and so working full time and attending full time school (online) has been pretty stressful.

The one question that I keep pondering is what I am going to tackle next in life. I have been scraping the deep depths of Pinterest for some sort of new hobby but I kind of want to learn something new.

I thought about getting my masters degree in Criminal Justice but the cost seems a little unbearable and attending school for another year or two seems MORE unbearable.

Whenever I am trying to make a big decision, I try to do a lot of research on the topic. I know a masters degree would help me find a better job but I’m also not sure what kind of job I want to do in the future in the criminal justice field. In that sense it is kind of hard to rationalize forking over that much money. On the other hand, I feel like you can never go wrong by more education. 

I started the big school search and made a comparison chart. When making a decision (mostly big decisions), I try to write down the pros and cons or make some sort of fun chart.

Masters of Criminal Justice 

School Credits Cost Website Misc.
University South Florida 36 $25000 https://www.ucf.edu/online/degree/criminal-justice-m-s/   
Florida State 37 $22720 http://criminology.fsu.edu/degrees/online-degree-programs/online-masters-program-2/    Has many requirements
University of Colorado Denver 36 $22500 http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/CUOnline/OnlineDegrees/CriminalJustice/Pages/CriminalJustice.aspx

 

 
Concordia University St. Paul 36 (7 weeks per course) $17100 https://online.csp.edu/academics/master-of-arts-in-criminal-justice-leadership

        *signed up for more info*

63 weeks total

“criminal justice leadership”

Colorado St. Univ.

Global

36 $18000 https://csuglobal.edu/graduate/masters-degrees/criminal-justice-and-law-enforcement-administration “criminal justice and law enforcement administration”

Do you ever job search in different areas to see where you could be in the future?

I think is a helpful way to give you insight on where you want to be and what is required of you to get there. Many of the jobs I was looking at in the south or western part of the US actually didn’t require or even mention bonus points for a masters degree (in the criminal justice field).

What I actually discovered by researching future interesting careers is that most of them strongly preferred or required someone that is also fluent in Spanish. I decided that since it appears to be more valuable to know Spanish than have a masters degree, I will focus on learning Spanish after graduation!

Leaning Spanish (Latin America/ Mexico)

Program Cost Features Misc.
Rosetta Stone $250 -many devices, stories 4/5 star rating on amazon
Fluenz $348 Many devicesSpanish and Latin American 4.5/5 amazon
Learn Spanish Ouino $99 -300 lessons 4.5/5 amazon, unsure if it is Latin American

In all, I am so glad I took a few days to research masters programs in case I decide to go in the future. I am even more glad I took time to research current job openings that sounded interesting to discover what knowledge base was most important for the careers I am interested in for the future.