I guess this would be considered part of 'adulting' - doing things you don’t like to do, or even hate, because you ‘have to’ - but really, we don’t have to do anything. That’s part of the myth of being a human. There isn’t anything we have to do. There’s a lot of societal pressure for us to do things we should do, but we don’t actually have to do any of it.
I’m a big fan of people coming to that realization so that they can then do the work to determine what they want to do with their lives instead of living the life they think they should. That being said, living a life you want still requires doing a lot that you don't want to do or even hate doing.
What’s the phrase? Nothing worth having ever came from being in your comfort zone… something like that. But, it’s true! There are things we’re required to do in order to make our dream lives possible, no matter how boring or awful they may be. With that, here are three things I hate doing, but do anyway because they are necessary for the kind of life I want.
“Is she talking about budgeting again?!” Yes.
I bring it up a lot because I wholeheartedly believe that taking control of your money brings you freedom in so many areas of your life, but is it easy or fun? Nope. [Insert sideways laughing emoji and crying waterfall tears here.]
I first started budgeting back in June of 2013. I was going at it alone. From November 2012 to May 2013 I was overspending by $1,000 // month. That seems like a lot, because IT IS. The thing is, I don’t remember what I was spending it on. I paid my bills and my loan payments and then decided on what kind of lifestyle I thought a young architect deserved and spent accordingly with my handy-dandy credit card.
New restaurants, new clothes and a bunch of stuff I can’t even remember cost me [us] an additional $7,000 in debt. Crazy pants. I found Dave and immediately changed. That June I cut my overspending in half and then worked really hard to continue cutting things until I was only spending what I made.
You’ve heard of living paycheck to paycheck and how hard that is for people, well - that was my GOAL - just spending what my paycheck was, let alone saving anything. After a couple of months I made it there and by April of 2014 I had paid back my family members over $6,000 I owed them from bailing me out of two financial crises in college. [Too long of a story… you’re welcome.]
Now, in about three more months, I will have been budgeting for FOUR years with about two and a half as a married couple. That’s astounding to me. Budgeting is something I hate in the moment, but I LOVE the outcome. We’re not debt free yet, [hello five years of out-of-state architecture school] but I know we will be. We don’t want to use our hard earned money to make other people rich [loans] so we’re working to get them paid off as quickly as we can.
Right now, 10% of our income goes to God, 20% to Debt, Roughly 25% to Taxes, 5% to Travel and Experiences and 40% to Bills // Living Expenses. The only reason I know that, is because we have a budget. The only reason we’re working hard to reduce our living expenses is so we can increase our debt payments so that we can then increase our generosity and our travel - but none of that is possible without a budget.
Ironically, the last thing I purchased with a credit card was a set of decorative letters made out of a map that spells the word E X P L O R E. Every time I see them, I’m reminded that the thing I used to purchase them [debt] is the very thing keeping me from exploring in the way that I want. That reminder keeps me on track and also reminds me of one of the prizes awaiting me at the end of this debt race - Adventure & the Freedom to E X P L O R E.
So, yeah, me and budgeting - it’s a love // hate relationship that I plan on staying in for the rest of my life so that I can tell my money where it’s going instead of the other way around. [Praise hands.]
Meal Planning // Prepping
Meal planning // prepping are pretty new in the Nalls’ household. Over the years, we’ve experimented with different ways of eating in order to get healthier, but when things got REALLY busy, and they always do, our healthy eating would go out the window.
We knew meal planning // prepping were the solutions to this problem, but we didn’t start implementing them until this year. Once a week, I sit down and look at my excel spreadsheets that tell me which foods to eat depending on which phase I’m in [WomanCode] and cross reference that with how much Protein, Healthy Carbs and Healthy Fat we should be eating every day.
Then I make a weekly meal plan writing out our breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners and make a list of what needs to be batch-prepped for the week along with a shopping list that synchs with mine and Carl’s phones after checking the fridge and pantry to see what we already have. Then we go shopping on ONE day and do all of the prep for the week afterwards.
We’ve been doing that for two months now, so it takes WAY less time than when we started, but let me tell you how OVERWHELMING that was in the beginning. Now, I have two months worth of meal plans on my computer, so when I go to create a new one I just need to copy and paste information from past meal plans into my new one. It still takes time to then check and see what we’ve already got and make a shopping list, but not nearly as long as it used to.
Batching our food tasks for the week ahead takes up quite a bit of time, but it saves so much more! We used to do this on the weekend [meal plan on Saturday, shop & prep on Sunday] but now we’re moving it to the week in order to reclaim more weekend for ourselves and our bigger projects.
Now, we don’t have to think about what we’re eating and for the most part, it’s already cooked and all we have to do is heat it up and put it together. This has cut so much mental load for me and saved time cooking meals which has lead to more time in the evenings for work and time together.
It’s pretty difficult to get started and into a rhythm [at least it was for us] but once you do, it’s so worth it! This is something I definitely plan on continuing and hope to refine throughout the year so that I can continue giving my mental load and time to building // creating a meaningful life.
I’ve been composting for three months now and I hate it. It sucks. Last year, I made it a goal to start composting in an effort to reduce our waste. The year was almost over, so I thought I wouldn’t accomplish it, but in the beginning of December on an exceptionally beautiful day, Carl and I “built” our compost bins.
I felt SO fulfilled. I had achieved my goal BEFORE the end of the year, right in the nick of time. After researching the best ways to store food waste inside, I purchased a beautiful copper food bucket to proudly display on our counter top. [You don't need the filters or essential oil...]
My plan was to compost once a week, so the copper bucket would need to hold our food waste for a week. [Before you start thinking, “ew - this is gross,” let me remind you that this is what we all do on a regular basis. Hello, trashcan? Only this time, the food is all by itself, not commingling with plastic meat containers and used tissues like it was before.]
That plan was fine, but I forgot to account for my hardcore laziness when it comes to doing anything that requires going outside. For someone who enjoys BEING outside as much as I do - I HATE doing outdoor work. Absolutely can’t stand it. Why? No idea. So, do I compost every week? Ha. I compost after our bucket is SO full that the lid doesn’t close and we’ve filled up not one but TWO additional glass mixing bowls, also sitting on our counter top - and even then, if it’s cold, raining or snowing - I’m not going anywhere. Pass me another mixing bowl.
The good news is, that the exposed, slowly rotting food on my counter doesn’t stink. That’s because it’s by itself and it’s decomposing properly. When food waste is mingled with things that don’t decompose, then it can’t decompose correctly. So, every time anyone throws something biodegradable away, instead of composting it, thinking that it will decompose in the landfill - wrong - it won’t. Ok, maybe it will a little, but biodegradable things need the proper ratio of sun, air and green material [like food waste] vs. brown material [like shredded paper and leaves] in order to do its disappearing act, or it won’t happen.
Even though I HATE composting, I do it anyway, for that exact reason. I don’t want to add anymore to a landfill if I don’t have to. I believe it’s entirely possible, that in my lifetime, we won’t need landfills. Companies and individuals all over the world are making big waves, shouting from their soapboxes, and being heard. It’s truly incredible! So, even though it’s a pain, I’m going to keep doing it.
No matter what, there will always be things in our lives that we need to do, if not just for plain survival, but also for creating the life we want. You can drudge through them, hating them along the way OR you can shift your perspective and realize those things are a necessary ‘evil’ to getting what you want out of life.
Is there anything in your life right now that you hate?
Ask yourself, what’s it there for? Is it helping you accomplish your goals? Is it necessary for you to create the life you want? Or is it there because society expects you to do it or have it?
Take some time to reflect on those things. If there’s something in your life that you hate, it should only be there because it’s ultimately getting you to where you want to be and connects you with your WHY. If it doesn’t achieve those two things, then ask yourself if you REALLY ‘have to’ keep it in your life. Chances are you don’t and you can work towards getting rid of it.
If this post got you thinking about ways you can shift your perspective around those awful, tedious tasks in your life, please share below - I’d love to hear from you!
Love & Blessings,
P.S. Want a free workbook to start figuring out what your own WHY is? Click the button below!