The 7 Smartest Things I’ve Done in 2020


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The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020
Time for a Pinterest graphic!

Today, I wanted to share 7 of the smartest things I’ve done in 2020, from good decisions to big choices I’ve made!! It feels like I’ve lived 17 lives in the last 3 months, so there have been a NUMBER of lessons and insights.

Let’s dive in.

Good Choice #1: Envisioning Paying Off My Wells Fargo Credit Card – EVERY DANG DAY

If we’ve been on the internet with me for a minute, you’ve probably seen me b*tch about this dang card. When I got the card it was at around 12% APR, but because I transferred funds from the card DIRECTLY to myy checking account (instead of swiping a credit card), the interest skyrocketed to 23.75% APR.


So, I made a plan. I got together a visioning practice, where almost everyday I pictured myself going into Wells Fargo and paying off that card. I also made the commitment that any extra money (beyond my main clients) would be allocated to paying off this dang card.

Woman in boxing gloves hitting debt - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020
This graphic is SOOOOO cheesy, but it really accurately portrays how I feel!!

I’ve almost paid it off!

The key takeaway here was pairing vision with a plan. Imagining paying this card off made me stay excited to *make* those payments!

Good Choice #2: Proactively Canceling a Trip to Portland in March

When things with COVID-19 started heating up in the USA, I was in a bind. I had scheduled a trip to PDX to scout locations for my photoshoot for my editorial collection, and I wanted to do just grit my teeth and MAKE STUFF HAPPEN.

I don’t go with the flow, people. **I** AM the FLOW!

Portland Bridge - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020

But something inside me cautioned me against showing up and putting down deposits and moving forward. Luckily, my ticket was through Southwest Airlines, so I could cancel the trip no problem.

I’m so glad I am learning how to differentiate between situations that require stubbornness and grit – and situations where I need to make alternative plans!

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Good Choice #3: Deciding to Make Masks – Even Though It Felt Like EVERYONE ELSE Was Making Them

Sometime in early March, I started seeing fashion designers and crafting bloggers sharing images of masks they were making. This slowly grew, until it felt like my ENTIRE FEED was full of updates from folks sewing masks.

Seeing this, I decided, “Oh, I don’t need to make masks! Literally EVERYONE is making them!”

Making face masks for COVID-19

It wasn’t until I started getting a LOT of messages from readers that I started to consider making masks. I ended up sending out between 400-500 masks, and I was faced with what I call the “Fishbowl Business Case.”

The “Fishbowl Business Case” is where a solopreneur (hi me) thinks that their offer or product isn’t going to be bought, because they’re SURROUNDED by folks doing something similar. I didn’t think anyone would buy my masks, because I was seeing people fling them all over the internet!

Goldfish in bowl - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020

But, turns out, I was living in a fishbowl of sewers and fashion designers. Loads of people ended up ordering masks, because they knew me and needed masks. *Their* Facebook feeds were not full of people selling masks.

So, now you know. Avoid the fishbowl conundrum! Just put the work and offer out there, and see what happens. Don’t take yourself out of the running preemptively.

Good Choice #4: Upping My Pinning on Pinterest

One of my BIG GOALS for 2020 (shared all of my goals in this post) is to get my blog on the Mediavine platform.

Mediavine is an ad platform, and it can really boost a blogger’s earnings! I have been beefing up my blogging game to get on the platform, and the single most impactful thing I’ve done in the last month is to up my Pinterest game.

Mediavine logo - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020

I don’t use Pinterest much as a social media platform, mostly usuing it for home decor planning and to find images for moodboards for photoshoots.

Pinterest recently changed their algorithm to prioritize “Fresh Pins” showing new content first. Older pins used to get more oomph in views, but now the platform has switched to show newer options first.

So, I did what any blogger babe would do.

I sat down and made 100 new pins in Canva. Which has led to a huge increase in traffic, and lots of new readers!

Shoutout to Katie, host of The Simple Pin Podcast, for empowering me to make these big moves!

Pinterest screenshot - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020
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Good Choice #5: Reading Romance Novels for Fun! (Woooo Kindle Unlimited!)

During this whole self-quarantine debacle, I really found it hard to disengage from the world. i definitely binged a few TV shows (my top 5 Netflix shows HERE), but I found that being on my laptop was keeping me from disengaging.

Enter, Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited ad - Woman in boxing gloves hitting debt

Kindle Unlimited is basically Netflix, but for books. For $14.99 a month, you get access to millions of books. Authors get paid by the # of pages read, so everyone wins!

I’ve found a bunch of really spectacular indie authors in the last couple of months, and I’ve had a fun time “checking out” with steamy romances. Listen, sometimes you just need to peace out and go where a happy ending is guaranteed!

Twitter screenshot - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020

Check out the details of Kindle Unlimited HERE!

Good Choice #6: 3 Top Priorities for the Week & Each Day

As someone with a bucket of (diagnosed) ADHD, I find that it’s very easy for me to get distracted during the day. I still get a lot DONE, but it wasn’t necessarily the top stuff I needed to do.

Like my 2019 taxes. UGH.

So now, every evening I write the Top 3 “DO OR DIE” tasks of the next day. Generally, these are adulting and business tasks I don’t want to do. They’re behind-the-scenes focused and usually involve navigating a bureaucracy. Eugh.

It’s pretty easy to pick tasks that are poorly defined, so I have a few rules on how to define my top 3 priorities.

Journaling - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020

2 Rules for Setting Priorities:

  • Task must be completable within an hour. If it’s more, then it needs to be narrowed down.
  • What is the quantifiable success metric of a task? I used to write “Call Dr. X,” but I wouldn’t always get through on the phone. The problem with this is that the doctor appointment wouldn’t get scheduled – but it would be off of my to-do list! Now I define the success metric “Make appointment with Dr. X” to get where I want to go.
Twitter screenshot - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020

But, I’ve been able to make massive strides in my life – simply by doing this! Things are getting done and MOVING, because I know what the top 3 things I need to do each day are. I usually do them in the morning, first thing, so they’re out of the way.

Leveling Up: Top 3 Priorities for THE WEEK // Month

So, after a few months of doing this, I leveled up. I started assigning 3 top priorities for the week on Sunday. These are larger projects, that are often broken down into different days.

Example: “Assign expense categories for Business Account XXXX for 2019 Taxes” will have the task of doing taxes for 2-3 months each day of the week.

NOTICE, that I didn’t make the task “2019 Taxes.” Wayyyy to vague!

Twitter screenshot of me Setting the top priorities for the month

Good Choice #7: Trying Meds for ADHD

Last, but honestly should’ve been first, is this one! I finally got on meds for ADHD, and it’s made a huge difference in my life!

woman with confetti and boombox - The 7 Smartest Things I've Done in 2020
This is what my brain usually feels like. It’s fun! Not a lot gets done.

What to Read Next —>

Love blog posts like this? Me too!! Here are a few more blog posts I’ve written to check out:

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