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4 Reasons Why Real Estate Investment is Great for Time-Seeking Moms

May 9, 2016

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4 Reasons Real Estate Investing is Great for MomsAt Checklist Mom, we are all about helping moms find more time freedom.  One of the best ways that I’ve found to get more time freedom, while making money is through real estate investment.

I’ve been a real estate investor for 11 years now.  I started with duplexes and single family home flips and my husband and I are now moving to bigger properties.  I have found real estate investment to be great for my family’s finances and lifestyle.

It’s a wonderful business for women, especially moms, but there are relatively few women in this space.  I’m always striving to improve my skills and knowledge, so I attend a lot of real estate conferences and seminars.  When I’m in these conferences, I’m always surprised at how few women are there (often it’s less than 10%).  It’s surprising because real estate is a particularly great investment opportunity for women – especially moms.

Here are 4 reasons why I think real estate investing is particularly great for moms:

Photo courtesy of Ken Teegarten www.SeniorLiving.Org

CC. Photo courtesy of Ken Teegarten www.SeniorLiving.Org

  1. Cash flow –  Provided you invest well, your real estate investments should provide cash flow from day 1.  In other words, after you deduct expenses from the income from your tenants, your have profits that you get to keep.  It’s a GREAT way to make money, and it’s mostly passive income (i.e., you don’t have to work for it – the money just comes to you).
  2. Life-style Friendly Business – remember that part about receiving cash flow that’s mostly passive?  That means that while you are making money your time is freed up for you to spend more time with your family, travel, etc.  Since we are all about helping moms find more time for themselves, we love this.
    Photo courtesy of Obra Shalom Campo Grande cc

    CC. Photo courtesy of Obra Shalom Campo Grande 

  3. Appreciation – Property values aren’t always rising, but over the long term all real estate values tend to rise or appreciate. This means that in addition to the cash flow, your net worth is also increasing as the value of your properties increase.  This is helpful for you and can be a vital part of leaving a legacy for your children.
  4. Tax Benefits – the federal government decided that they wanted to promote property ownership, so there are all sorts of tax benefits in the tax code for doing so.  First, unlike other businesses you might own as an entrepreneur, rental cash flow is not subject to self-employment tax.  In other words, if you make $25,000 in rental income in a year or $25,000 with a side-business selling crafts on Etsy, you’ll pay less taxes on the rental income. Another way in which you get to keep more of your cash flow is through something called depreciation.  It allows you to deduct a portion of the property value from income and pay less taxes.  In some cases, even though you’re getting income from your investment property, your property will reduce your overall tax burden (so you’re paying less taxes on all your income – not just on your income that you receive from the property).

For these 4 reasons and more, I think real estate investing is great for moms.  I am passionate about helping more moms/women get into this game, and from the conversations I’ve had with women I know the biggest barrier to getting into investing is knowing how to start.

That’s why I am presenting a free live webinar on Wednesday August 10, 2016 at 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST for women called “How to Get Started Real Estate Investing Like a Goddess

In this webinar I’ll share:

  • the 7 biggest benefits of real estate investing
  • who are the members you need on your team to make sure your investment is a success
  • how you can find a great property that will cash-flow on day 1
  • how to get an investment property using little to none of your own money
  • what are the first steps you need to take to get started
  • and much more!

If you are interested, click here to sign up for the free live webinar on Wednesday August 10, 2016 at 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST “How to Get Started Real Estate Investing Like a Goddess“.

We won’t be sending out a recording of this webinar, so make sure you’re there live and ready to take notes!  Also, please forward this to any other women you think might be interested.

 

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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10 Great Movies for Mother’s Day – 52 Checklists Project Week 18

May 6, 2016

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snappa-1462507626This Sunday is Mother’s Day.  One of my favorite things to do as a mom is to watch movies with my family.  There are some great movies featuring strong, wonderful mother characters.  And for this week’s 52 Checklists Project checklist, I’ve made a list of 10 Great Mother’s Day Movies.

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      • Steel Magnolias – This is one of my favorite movies and Sally Field is the most wonderful mom in this.  Julie Roberts plays her daughter Shelby.  It’s very funny and a complete tear jerker.  Bring the tissues for this one. Just watching the trailer again made me teary.
      • Stepmom – This is another movie featuring Julia Roberts and is about the relationship of the biological mother and step-mother to two children.  As a stepmother I can particularly relate to this movie.  It’s really very lovely and also a complete tear jerker (tissue warning!).  It also makes me feel very lucky that I never experienced that type of friction with the mom of my step-kids.  We love each other!
      • Joy Luck Club – This is a wonderful movie about 4 mothers and their daughters.  I first fell in love with Amy Tan’s book of the same name, but the movie was a good adaptation.  As a first generation American whose mom went through her own trials and tribulations to make it to this country, I particularly resonated with this story.  I think this is a story that works for any mother and/or daughter though.
    • Mamma Mia – In this movie, Donna (played by the always wonderful Meryl Streep), is an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, preparing for her daughter Sophie’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day.  The great ABBA music is a bonus. 
    • The Blindside – in an Academy Award winning portrayal of real life mom Leigh Ann Touhy, Sandra Bullock plays a mom who takes in and becomes the legal guardian of a homeless African-American teen.  Through her family’s love and tutelage he graduates school and becomes a pro football star.
    • Terms of Endearment- This is another movie that will make you laugh and cry.  In this movie, Shirley McLain (who also stars in Steel Magnolia) plays widow Aurora Greenway who is the prickly mother to Emma (played by Debra Winger).  They have a strong bond that is tested when Emma marries teacher Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels) against her mother’s wishes.  This is a great movie of love, heartache, and most of all the gorgeous relationship between mother and daughter.  
    • Forrest Gump– The main character is Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks), but his mother (played by Sally Field)’s love and fierce determination is such a critical feature of the Forrest’s character development that I think this movie merits a place in the Mother’s Day Movies checklist.  (This is the second movie I’ve chosen in which Sally Field is the mom. And I almost added to this list Mrs. Doubtfire – another great movie in which she plays a mom.  I guess I really love movies where she plays mamas).  
    • Beaches – This is really the story of two best friends, but in the end they both become mothers. You should watch this one because it’s awesome.  It’s also one the requires tissues.
    • The Kids Are Alright – This is a great movie about a family with two moms.  In this movie lesbian couple Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) have been together for almost 20 years and have two teenage offspring named Joni and Laser, who were conceived via artificial insemination. Unbeknown to their mothers, Joni and Laser seek out their biological father, a restaurateur named Paul (Mark Ruffalo) and invite him into their lives. Complications ensue… Dum Dum Dum!
    • Corrina Corrina -When Manny Singer (played by Ray Liotta)’s wife dies, his young daughter Molly becomes mute and withdrawn. To help cope with looking after Molly, he hires sassy housekeeper Corrina Washington (played by Whoopi Goldberg), who coaxes Molly out of her shell and shows father and daughter a whole new way of life. Manny and Corrina’s friendship delights Molly and enrages the other townspeople.  This is a great movie about love despite boundaries.

 

Those are the 10 Great Mother’s Day Movies on my checklist. What is on your list? What’s your favorite Mother’s Day movie?  Please share in the comments.

Also, if you’d like to access our free printable Mother’s Day checklist to make sure it’s a great day for mom you can do so HERE.

10 Great Mother's Day Movies - 52 Checklist Project

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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5 Steps to Get You Unstuck and Sailing Towards Your Dreams & Goals

April 26, 2016

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5 Steps to Get Unstuck and Sailing Towards Your Dreams

To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.” ~Franklin Roosevelt

Sometimes as mom, we lose sight of our own personal dreams and goals.  We either find we don’t have the time to work or them, or sometimes we don’t even have the time to set them.

Take a moment now to think about a dream or goal you really want.  There is surely something.  Set your sights set on a distant shore of whatever it is you want to create — a new job, better finances, more romance, better life balance, etc. Once you have your sight set on your goal or dream, the next step is to sail towards it.

Sometimes, we will excitedly hop in our boat and start sailing and soon discover that we are drifting with no clear direction.  Sometimes we’ll find that we’ve dropped our anchor in the middle of the ocean and sometimes we have not even left shore.  How can we get sailing confidently in the direction of our dreams and goals?

This is a theme that is very personal for me.  I am in the process of writing a book – a time management guide for parents.  Actually I am deliciously close to the end.  I finished my first draft and am now working with my editor on final editing and rewrites.  I can almost see the shoreline.  The initial draft was relatively easy to write.  I went on a four week trip to Europe and wrote like it was going out of style.  I was on fire.  When I returned from my trip I found myself drifting aimlessly somedays and not moving anywhere at all some other days.  I find that this happens at the beginning of a journey and also when you’re very close to the end.  I had to figure out how to get back on track, and decided to share the steps with you.

So here are some steps to take when you have a goal you’d like to accomplish and you want to keep yourself sailing smoothly towards it.

  1. Be Clear About Where You’re Going — This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people seem to skip this step.  You can decide that you want to go on a boat trip to the Caribbean.  You can set sail in that general direction.  The more precise you are about where you’re headed though, the easier it will be to get there.  The Caribbean is a fairly big area.  You want to know which island(s) in particular you’re visiting.  It’s even better when you know which ports you plan to sail into.  Similarly, the more precisely you can figure out your goal, the easier it will be to reach it.  You also want clarity about the “why” of your trip.  The clearer you are about “why” you want what you want, the more motivated you will be.
  2. Break it Down Into Smaller Steps–  Lao-tzu is quoted as saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  1000 miles is a long way.  It’s such a daunting amount that the thought of it alone can be paralyzing.  One step however is very doable.  Similarly with your large goals, the enormity of your vision may intimidate you.  If you map it out and break it down into doable smaller daily and weekly steps (ideally in checklist form), you’ll be much more likely to make it to your end goal.
  3. Celebrate Your Smaller StepsCelebrate Your Smaller Steps –  When you reach intermediate stops along your journey, celebrate.  Don’t wait until you have reached the end of your journey; have a party in every port!  Acknowledge yourself for every step you take and find a way to celebrate your intermediate achievements.  When you do this you will enjoy the journey just as much as the final destination, and it will provide you with the incentive to keep moving.
  4. Find an Accountability Partner — Bring someone one the journey with you who will keep you on track.  Recruit an action partner or hire a coach to help you in the most supportive and accepting way.  The “action partner” is someone you’ll enjoy being on the journey with, a friend you can check in with or work together with to help you accomplish your goals.  A coach will help you keep focused on your goals, help you clarify your vision, help you create a plan for success, and will help hold you accountable to attain your goals.
  5. When You Find Yourself Stuck Rework the Steps — If you find that you’re mid-way through your journey and you’re drifting,  review the previous steps to make sure you’re still on track.  Are you moving towards your ultimate vision?  Is this still where you want to go?  Have you broken your goal down into smaller steps?  Are the steps small enough?  Are you celebrating your intermediate achievements (as opposed to beating yourself up)?  Do you have someone along on the ride who can help keep you on track?  Chances are, if you’re not sailing confidently in the direction of your dreams you won’t be able to answer Yes to all these questions.  Your answers to these questions will help you figure out what’s wrong and get you back on course.

P.S. I’m very excited for my book.  Like I said it’s a time management program for parents and will help parents to set their goals, dreams, and priorities and carve out time to make them a reality.  Stay tuned for more information and in the meantime…

Bon Voyage as you sail towards your dreams!

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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10 Things I’m Wildly Passionate About? 52 Checklists Project Week 15

April 15, 2016

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10 Things I'm Wildly Passionate About

10 Things I’m Wildly Passionate About

For this week’s Checklist Project, I’m sharing 10 Things I’m Wildly Passionate About.

So at Checklist Mom, we are all about helping moms find more time, which is really about making better use of the time they have.  I saw this quote: “Life is short.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

I think it’s useful to identify our passions and put our energies there as much as possible.  Time spent on/with our passions is always valuable time.  In that vein, here are 10 passions I’m wildly passionate about:10 Things I'm Wildly Passionate About

 

  1. My Family  I am wildly passionate about my husband, kids, and my extended family.  I have a large, loud, and modern family and I really adore them all.  When I talk about my extended family, I count of course my parents, three siblings, niece, and 4 nephews.  I also count my many aunts and uncles (my mom is one of 10 kid and my day is one of 8), my many, many cousins (including second, thirds, and removeds), my in-laws, and my husband’s ex-wife and her new family (her husband and his two kids from a previous marriage).  Technically, we’re not related to my husband’s ex and her family, but they’re part of the family I married into and I love them too. I am so blessed to feel that way.  I know this is not necessarily typical.
  2. Interior Design – 9 times out of 10 if I pick up a magazine, it’s an interior design magazine.  I am also addicted to HGTV shows. I followed my passion and last year I took an interior design certification program and got my interior design certificate (with perfect marks 🙂 ) .  Studying about and designing interiors is one of my favorite things to do.
  3. Real Estate Investment – I got very inspired by all these flipping shows and when my husband sold a property he’d had, we had some money to invest.  We started flipping houses.  I loved that I got to practice my love of design (because I was designing the spaces to make them more beautiful), that we created a nicer home for the new owners and the neighborhood, and that we made some money in the process.  Now we have started doing bigger projects (apartment buildings and mobile home parks), and I love every piece of this process from looking for the properties to sold. I love getting more women into real estate and I started a private group called Real Estate Investor Goddesses on Facebook where we get to talk about, learn about and support each other in getting into the game and prospering.  I could spend every second of my day thinking about this.  I’m pretty passionate.  
  4. "And they danced with wild abandon" art piece by Monick Halm

    “And they danced with wild abandon” art piece by Monick Halm

    Creativity –I’m very passionate about creativity – not just doing creative things (like design or painting or writing), I’m really passionate about studying creativity. I speak about it and teach it and am even working on a book about how to be more creative.  I think people are born naturally creative, but as adults most of our creativity is “trained” out of us.   I’m passionate about making sure my own life is creative and helping others find their own creativity.

  5. Intuition & Angels– I’m an angel intuitive.  I love communicating with these loving messengers of the divine.  I also love learning more about them – I own lots of books about angels and over a dozen oracle card decks.  I believe that when the angels talk to us, it comes out as intuitive guidance.  I speak to people about this and when I’m out in the corporate world I just speak about intuition.  Whatever you call it or however you think about it, it’s a guidance that’s extremely powerful. I’ve done lots of classes about intuition, write about intuition and I’m extremely passionate about this topic.  Just like any other topic on this list, I could talk your ear off about it.  The one message I would hope you’d take away though is “listen to your intuition.  It will never steer you astray.”   
  6. Peter, Aliza and I in Morocco last summer

    Peter, Aliza and I in Morocco last summer

    World Travel –  There are few things I love more than being on a plane on the way to a new destination.  The one thing I love more is having landed and being on the start of a new journey.  I really love traveling whether it’s off or on the beaten path, I’m there.  I also love to live abroad.  I have lived on 5 continents.  Age 0 – 5 I lived in Ivory Coast and later spent a summer of law school living in South Africa (Africa), we then moved to the US and I went to college in Canada (North America).  I spent a few months after college living in France (Europe). I spent a semester+ of law school (6 months) in Japan (Asia), in 2003 I lived for a year in Argentina (South America).  I’ve been trying to convince my Australian-born husband that we should move to Sydney.  It’s not so that I can live on a 6th continent.  I don’t do this because I’m amassing a list.  I do that because I LOVE to travel and live abroad.  Happily my husband and kids feel similarly.

  7. me doing "wild thing" poseYoga – I’ve been doing yoga since I was 12 – that’s almost 30 years!!!  Do you remember the PBS Show, “Lilias, Yoga and You”?  That show and a yoga book my mom had on the shelf introduced me to yoga.  In my early 20s I started attending classes in gyms and studios.  As a 40th birthday present to myself I became a yoga teacher and took a 200 hour yoga teacher training.  I’ve been teaching yoga ever since and still attend 1 – 3 other yoga classes a week.  I love what it does for my body, but mostly I love the peace of mind it gives me.     
  8. Positive Psychology – I first discovered my love of psychology in high school.  I took a Intro to Psych course and discovered that I would always end up reading about 20+ pages more than was assigned for homework.  I would be so fascinated by the content.  I am also proud to say that my final mark in that class was a 103%.  I wasn’t even trying to be an over-achiever.  I just was really fascinated. I took many psych classes in college, though I didn’t major in it.  I found it too neurologically based and I wasn’t that interested in working with the mentally ill. What I found more interesting was helping people who were sane, but for whatever reason weren’t living to their full potential.  That’s what drew me to coaching. Later I discovered the field of positive psychology.  This was the study of positive emotions – what makes people happy, creative, successful, adaptive, loving, etc.  THIS is my happy place.  Again, something I’m pretty obsessed/wildly passionate about reading and talking about.    
  9. Feng Shui –  My passion about feng shui is probably connected to my love of interior design.  I love that the way you design a building and place objects in a room can have such a profound impact on the lives of the people who live and/or work in that space.  It’s fascinating, and I’ve been studying it and teaching it for over 10 years now.  I’ve seen the life changing impact it’s had in my own life and the lives of my clients and students and I’m passionate about it.    
  10. Connecting with People Who Inspire Me – I am an extrovert.  I love being around people.  I most especially love being around people who inspire me – people who are living lives to the fullest, contributing greatly, and doing amazing things.  I find wonderful things always happen when I’m around people like that, so I am passionate about it and do it as much as possible.  

So that’s my “Things I’m Wildly Passionate About” Checklist.   What are your passions?  Make your own passions checklist and share it in the comments, on twitter or on Facebook with the tag #52checklistsproject.

What are you wildly passionate about?

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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How to Invest in Real Estate Like a Goddess For Little or No Money Down

April 12, 2016

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How to Invest Like a Goddess for Little or No Money DownSome of you may know that in addition to my work here at Checklist Mom, I’m the co-founder of a group called the Real Estate Investor Goddesses.  It’s a group geared to helping more women become real estate investors.  Tomorrow I’m co-hosting a free webinar called “How To Invest Like a Goddess With Little To No Money Down”.

Here’s the back story: I’m a real estate investor with my husband.  We’ve been flipping houses in LA for a few years now and are now investing in apartment buildings and mobile home parks.

My hubby and I went to a real estate seminar in Phoenix in January to learn how to get groups of investors together to buy large apartment buildings.  I was SOOO excited by what I learned – the potential for building real wealth and the win-win solutions you could create.  One thing upset me though as I looked around this room of 120+ people.  There were only about 9 women in the room!  Where were all the women?!

I decided right then and there that I wanted to change that.  I am all about helping women thrive and I think real estate investment is a great way for that.  It is actually a perfect business for women of any age or background. With real estate, anyone can build a business that is a perfect fit for them (and their family) at each stage of their life.  I believe it is hands down the best vehicle for anyone wanting to build a lifestyle business.

So I came back from our conference in Phoenix and started talking to my women friends about my desire to bring more women into real estate investing.  One friend, Denise Cooper, who’s a great money and biz coach, was also very interested in helping women build wealth through real estate.  We started the Real Estate Investor Goddesses together.  It’s a Facebook community for women interested in building Massive Wealth through:

  1. Real Estate Investor GoddessesMaking a property and community better than we find it.
  2. Creating only win-win situations for all, and
  3. Ensuring that everyone touched by our deals is uplifted and enriched.

 

Since we started we found that lots of women want to invest in real estate but they’re stopped by 2 reasons:  (1) they don’t know how to start and what to do; and/or (2) they don’t have the money.   If you’re thinking that you’d like to invest in real estate, but you don’t know where to start and/or you don’t have the money, you’ll definitely want to be on this webinar tomorrow:

“How To Invest Like a Goddess With Little To No Money Down”

There will be no gimmicks, no get rich schemes, just some real life examples on how to get into the real estate game.

If you’re interested come have lunch with us! The webinar is happening at 12 p.m. PST/3 pm EST.  You’ll want to be on the call live.  There will be no replays.

Register Here and see you on the internet!

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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How this Busy Mom found 14+ Extra Hours a Week

April 9, 2016

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How this busy mom found 14+ Extra Hours Per WeekIn the Checklist Mom “Peace of Mind – On the Checklist” Training Program, our time-management program for moms, I talk about a powerful tool called tracking that helped me find an extra 14+ extra hours a week!

Tracking is merely writing down how you’re spending all the minutes of your day.  I set a timer on my phone and then track whatever I have been doing for the past 30-60 minutes whenever it goes off.

iPhone timerDoing this exercise is so powerful.  After doing it for just one week, it helped me easily find up 14+ extra hours a week!

Before I got married and had children, I had a pretty good handle on time. I worked a very demanding job as a law firm associate (usually 60+ hour weeks), I trained for triathlons (usually 2+ hour workouts per day), I had a busy social life, I volunteered with several organizations… I did A LOT during my week. People would often ask me “how do you do everything that you do???”  I wasn’t really sure, but without trying too hard, I managed to do it.

When I got pregnant and had my baby things dramatically changed. All of a sudden, I could barely cope with just working and taking care of the family. I thought it was sleep deprivation and the demands of taking care of another human being.  Those contributed, but not as much as I thought.  It wasn’t until I started tracking and taking a good hard look at how I was using my time that I realized what a major change I had unwittingly made during pregnancy.

Before I got married and moved in with my husband I didn’t have a television. I hadn’t owned one or watched TV for at least 10 years. Even after I moved in with him I still pretty much ignored it until I got pregnant.

During my first trimester though I was so exhausted the only thing I had energy for when I came home from work was watching TV. I didn’t even have the energy to go out or to read like I had previously done. When I got home from work I collapsed in a heap on the couch until I was on the brink of sleep. I then dragged my weary body to bed where I slept for the rest of the night.

Me during my pregnancy.

Me during my pregnancy.

After that first trimester my energy started coming back, but I continued watching TV. I, my husband, and step-kids had gotten hooked on some TV shows. We all watched as a family and it felt very bonding. The TV came on after homework and generally stayed on until after bedtime. I didn’t feel like I watched “that much” TV, but when I actually tracked my time usage, I realized that I was watching 2 – 4 hours of TV per day! That’s 14 – 28 hours per week!! No wonder I’d been so much more productive before I got pregnant and had my daughter! I thought it was motherhood that screwed with my time.  The big issue wasn’t the kid. The issue was that I was now spending all those hours on my butt watching the tube.

When I became conscious of where my time was going, I decided that I preferred how I used my time before TV. I stopped watching TV for the most part and went back to reading books (one of my great loves), painting, going to networking activities, spending more quality time with the family, volunteering, putting more focus into my business, and other activities.

By doing this, I suddenly found time for things I had the hardest time fitting in before. I’ll still watch the occasional movie with my family but for the most part, my time doesn’t go to TV. I also cut out some other activities that were sucking my time and energy, but TV was the main one for me.

Something happens when you get conscious of what you’re actually doing with your time. I’m going to guess that if time is a problem for you, then you probably have little sense of where exactly your time is currently going.

I suggest that you start tracking.  It will show you clearly how you’re currently using your time – you will be able to make conscious decisions. These conscious decisions will allow you to feel more productive and will help you get rid of the stress, drama and guilt. You will probably choose to let go of activities and even some people that drain you. You will choose to say “No” to some people and you probably won’t be able to please everyone. But you’ll be pleasing yourself and that’s what’s great.

Tracking is just one tip in the powerful 10+ lessons of the Checklist Mom “Peace of Mind-On the Checklist” Training Program.

Checklist Mom - Peace of Mind - On the Checklist Training ProgramIt’s a program created by a mom (yours truly) for moms; has lessons that are super simple and quick to implement, is made to work with the powerful and free Checklist Mom app, is guaranteed to find you 3+ extra hours per week of guilt-free, stress-free, drama-free time for YOU to do with as YOU want, AND is on sale for a limited time.

If you’re interested in finding out more check it out HERE.

In the meantime, if you feel like time is a challenge for you try tracking your time and see what happens.  In my experience and the experience of my students is’s magical.  Let me know how it goes!

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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10 Things To Do Less of – Week 14 of the 52 Checklist Project

April 7, 2016

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10 Things to Do Less Of #52checklistsprojectFor this week’s Checklist Project, I’m sharing 10 Things I Want to Do Less Of.

If you’re here on Checklist Mom, I’m going to assume that you probably have a pretty long to-do list, and it seems to ever grow longer.  So often we think about what else we need to do, we don’t take time to think about what we should maybe let go of or do less of.

I decided to ask myself that very question – what do I need to do less of? And instead of the regular To-Do Checklist, I came up with this To-Do-Less Checklist.  Here are the 10 items on my checklist:

To-Do-Less Checklist

  1. Facebook  this could generally be “do less social media.”  Instead I want to have more phone calls with people and more face-to-face time. 
  2. Looking at my phone while in conversations with other people – I’m ashamed I even ever do this.  It’s really rude.  I want to be fully present to the people I speak with.
  3. Listening to/following the news – I don’t really watch TV so that’s why I say “listening to the news.”  I love to listen to National Public Radio while I drive and I do look at the news on my phone and our daily newspaper.  Apple added a news feature on the phone, so I see headlines on my home screen and invariably click through.  This has definitely upped my news consumption.  The drama around the elections hasn’t helped either.  Paying attention to all this news is not good for my sanity or my peace of mind.  I can still be informed of all that’s important without overdoing the news.  So this is definitly something I want to do less of.   
  4. Eating fruit –People will think this is a strange one.  I love fruit.  I love fruit too much.  I can easily eat upwards of 6 – 10 servings of fruit per day.  That’s too much!  I’ve been on a weight loss journey and I realize that my weight loss completely stalled.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I decided to reduce my fruit intake to no more than 3 servings a day and the weight has started to come down again.  I don’t want to eliminate fruit from my diet – that would be terribly sad.  However, eating fruit is something I need to do less of.
  5. Romance novel reading – I love a good romance novel (or a bad romance novel as the case may be).  And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them, BUT sometimes I can go on a romance novel binge and that’s not healthy.  I’d like to make sure I read more books that inspire me and feed my brain.  Alas most of these romance novels are far from it.  
  6. Web surfing – This sort of goes hand-in-hand with the social media and the news consumption ones.  I can sometimes find myself going down the internet rabbit hole and losing valuable time looking at nonsense.  I’m a huge fan of the internet and make my livlihood through it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I just need to be more judicious in my use of it and do a bit less.  
  7. Multi-tasking – I know that trying to do more than one thing at a time is super inefficient and stressful.  Many people think it’s the opposite, but they would be wrong.  It’s way more efficient to put 100% of your attention on one thing.  So, that’s why I’d like to practice more time-blocking and mindfulness.  
  8. Sleeping less than 5 hours per night – I used to have the motto “you can sleep when you die.”  I have realized that this attitude is one that brings death much closer.  I’m not one that needs lots of sleep per night.  And if I average 6 -7 hours per night, I’m more than fine.  I’d like to shoot for 7 – 8 though.  So, I want to be in bed by 10 and have electronics far away.  That’s my best bet at success.
  9. Beating myself up/”should”ing all over myself – I have such high standards  for myself.  That’s a good thing, but I need to be so much more gentle with myself.  So, much less or no beating myself up or “shoulding” on myself.  
  10. Busy work/80% stuff that only results in 20% results – In the Checklist Mom “Peace of Mind – On the Checklist” Training System – my time-management program for moms (a program guaranteed to help moms find 3 or more extra hours per week to do with as they want), I talk all about the 80/20 rule.  Basically it’s the rule that says 20% of all activities will lead to 80% of the results.  And the remaining 80% of activities only lead to 20% of results.  Most people are not very productive because most of their time and energy is spent in the not-so-effective 80%.  I want to spend less time doing that 80% work and more time in the 20% work.

So that’s my To-Do-Less Checklist.   What do you want to do less of?  Make your own to-do-less checklist share it in the comments, on twitter or on Facebook with the tag #52checklistsproject.

What do you need to do less of?

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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The Biggest Mistake I’ve Made as a Mom

April 5, 2016

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The Biggest Mistake I've Made as a MomI’m far from being a perfect mom.  I make mistakes all the time.  I can definitely lose my patience and raise my voice from time to time.  My kids don’t have the best sleep schedules (my little one could be part vampire – at least I’ve never had the issue of her waking up before me and getting me out of bed), and I’ll let my kid just eat pasta with olive oil and salt for days so she will JUST EAT SOMETHING.  But I don’t think any of those things are the biggest mistake I’ve made as a mom.

I think the biggest mistake I’ve made as a mom has been to not prioritize having fun and quality time with the kids.  I feel like my interactions are more of the purposeful, task-oriented variety – getting them up and ready for school, eating or rather negotiating eating, making sure homework is done, chauffeuring to extra-curricular activities, getting kids to do chores, etc.  By the end of the day I’m exhausted.  My husband has the bedtime routine where he tells stories and has the quality time.  I feel like my biggest mistake has not been prioritizing the fun and quality time.  Someone does need to keep the ship running and on course, but my mistake has been to be so focused on the ship running that I haven’t focused enough on enjoying the journey with my shipmates – my husband and kids.

I shared before the story of my challenging childhood with my mom.  When I was young it seemed my mom was only focused on making sure we ate, were clean, did homework, did our chores, etc. Those were important things, but I don’t have any memories of fun times with her as a child.  In contrast, I have vivid memories of going to the duck pond or the library with my dad or just sitting and having tea with him and talking.  The fact that I don’t have any similar memories with my mom makes me very sad.  The thought of my kids might not having similar memories with me makes me even sadder.

So, I have shifted some things.  I am sharing some other duties with my husband and taking my turns at bedtimes and story times.  I am prioritizing fun outings with the kids and fun experiences, because I want to leave my kids with great memories (not of how much homework I got them to do, but of how much joy we managed to have).  How about you?  How do you get quality time in with your kids?

I took Aliza on a boating and kayaking trip.

Last weekend I took Aliza on a boating and kayaking trip.

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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10 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself – 52 Checklists Project Week 13

March 30, 2016

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10 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself

For this week’s Checklist Project, I’m sharing 10 Powerful Questions that I Ask Myself.

I believe the most powerful thing you can do to transform your life for the better is to ask yourself powerful questions.  Most people either ask no questions (generally because they think they know everything already, have no curiosity, or are afraid) or they ask very bad questions.  When you ask no questions, you will stay stuck and doing the same thing.  Ever hear the quote – “if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting”.  If you’re never asking questions like “how can I change or improve what I’m doing to get better results?,” you’re going to stay in the exact same place.  So instead of thinking things like “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” ask “it ain’t broke, but how can I improve it?”

Almost worst than asking no questions at all is asking yourself bad disempowering questions. For example, which of these questions are you most likely to ask of yourself – “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get better?” or “What’s right with me?  How can I hone it?”  Ask yourself those sets of questions and see how they make you feel.  The former tends to shut you down and discourage, while the latter opens you up and inspires.

Successful people ask great questions and/or have people around them who ask them great questions.  That’s one of the things that I most love about coaching.  As a coach my main job is to ask powerful questions of our clients.  When a really powerful question lands the client lights up and says “that’s a great question!”  The question opens up a whole new avenue for them that they never considered and solutions show up.  I want to leave you with ten powerful questions today to open you up.  Sit with them and see what comes up.  Also share the questions with others.  You’ll be thrilled with the transformation that results when you shift the questions you ask yourselves.

Here are my ten powerful questions for my checklist:#52checklistsproject week 13

  1. If happiness were the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  2. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?  What would it take for you to do it?  
  3. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?  What could you do to truly live more? 
  4. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  5. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  6. What is wanting to be born through you?
  7. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  8. What could you do to double your income in the next 12 months?
  9. What are you most grateful for?
  10. What’s next? What’s your next best step? 

Ask yourself these questions and watch how they make you fly!  I invite you to share your answers and/or your favorite questions in the comments below.  Make your own checklist of questions and share it here, on twitter or on Facebook with the tag #52checklistsproject.

what are your most powerful questions

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and career choices.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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4 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms

March 29, 2016

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4 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms

Regardless if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom… I’m going to say that staying on top of all the things you need to do is one of the biggest balancing acts of our lives! I went to college and law school and that was way easier than being a mom!

Sometimes I think there should be a parade for us moms because we are pretty amazing human beings. Oh well. I digress. Today I want to discuss what it takes to stay active and stay organized. These are pretty unconventional ideas, but they work!

Put Your Kids in Their Clothes Before Bed

Put clothes on babyThis is an idea from my sister-in-law.  This may sound weird but it can save you so much time. After you take your kid out of their evening bath, put on their clothes that they’re going to be wearing tomorrow. This way, when they wake up, all you need to do is brush their hair a little bit or brush their teeth and you’re off! Talk about hassle free. The idea is to train your kids and yourself to be ready and active right when the day starts!

She says you can do the same for you! Don’t wear your work clothes in bed, but you can wear your workout clothes. This way when you wake up you can quickly go for a run or just workout before you get the day started.

I said this is my sister-in-law’s idea.  This doesn’t work for me because like my husband my youngest is not a morning person.  (It not applicable to my two other kids because the oldest is in college and the next one graduated from high school and is pursuing acting and music.)  If my 7-year old were more like my niece and nephew this would be great.  She never pops out of bed ready to go though.  In the morning she drags herself to the bath and sits semi-comatose for about 20 minutes before she starts to wake up, soaps herself up and gets dressed.  By the time she’s dressed 30-40 minutes later she’s awake and ready to be off.

What we do is gather her clothes and have what she’s going to wear laid out the night before.  This saves time in the morning from having to pick clothes and helps us save time in the morning.  I also like to gather my workout clothes and lay them out before bed.  Whilst we do sleep in pajamas, having those clothes ready to go in the morning definitely is a time- and stress-saver.

Create a Hassle Free Lunch!

Tupperware

Photo by Kathleen Franklin on Flickr.  CC 2.0

Once or twice a week it is best to bring a child or two in the kitchen and help you prep your family’s weekly lunch meals. All you need to do is cook some food and store it in Tupperware containers (one for each family member). This allows your hands to be free for the rest of the week! It also gives you more time to workout or get to other pesky errands you had planned in your day.

We also prep lunches the night before.  That way, in the morning you need only grab and go.

Write a Nightly To-Do List

You never ever want to go to bed blind. This means that right before you go to bed you should take an index card, a small piece of paper, or your smart phone and note down a few things that you want / need to accomplish for the next day. This way you know exactly what needs to be done when you wake up. It helps lessen confusion and puts you on track.

19837813002_72c92fdd95_z
Photo by David D on Flickr. CC 2.0

Assign Weekly Chores

It’s really cool to assign your family weekly / daily chore assignments. For example, in my house, my husband is assigned to put all the laundry in the washer every Tuesday night. And, I’ve assigned myself to put it into the dryer every Wednesday morning. And, we have it assigned that ever Wednesday night we fold the clothes together.

We’re now doing this with cooking, cleaning, and even gardening. The kids have their chores too.  This way everyone is accountable to making sure that the family life is going well for anyone: a family who works together stays together.

I understand that these tips could be a little unconventional. But we live in the 21st century and it’s time that every single person in the family should hold some sort of responsibility to make sure that Moms are given the proper support to stay active and organized! The family unit is even stronger when the mother is happy and rested. 😀

What are your tips for finding time and staying balanced?  Please share in the comments below

 Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and career choices.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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