A year in review; 8 tools that changed my game in 2016

By many accounts 2016 was a year of considerable growth and a lot of fun. Here’s a list of the tools that helped make it possible, queuing up 2017 to be one for the record books.

First the Apps

1.Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation. Meditation has become the first step of my morning routine for over a year now. I slip on my headphones and tap the app once I have settled into a comfortable spot. Oprah opens with a few minutes of thoughtful inspiration and Deepak takes me on a guided meditation of music and silence. I have grown to cherish this practice which calms my mind, centers my thoughts and soothes my soul.

2. DayOneis the name of the application I use that makes keeping a journal easy, organized and secure. If I find value in something and it’s easy to do, then it gets done. Journaling helps me to capture, reflect, and recall the relevant and the irrelevant of life.

3. Focus@Will. This is my new favorite app for whenever I have writing or focus work to do. I choose the mood/intensity and it provides a soundtrack to my thoughts.

4. Way of Life. I have tried a lot of different habit apps and this one’s a keeper. It’s easy and fun to track my daily must do activities (meditation, tapping, journaling, reading…) There is something remarkable about the power of The list and it’s companion The check mark. Do it. Did it. Done.

5. Mile IQ. If you need to keep track of mileage for any reason, this apps for you. Mile IQ tracks my trips and all I need to do is classify them with a swipe right for business, left for personal. This is no longer something I should do —and draining my life’s blood because I wasn’t—it is something I easily do. It also tells me how much I am earning every week.

Old School Tools

1. Hard bound journal. A definite upgrade from a pad of paper or spiral bound notebook, mine comes from moo.com. It’s a beautiful book, well designed and beautifully executed. I use it to write my daily tasks and capture thoughts that are quicker to scribble than type with my thumb on my iPhone.

2. Push ups. Push ups are my health hack. They are on my daily routine list as a bare minimum of strength and core exercise. I don’t love doing them. I find them challenging, but I am always glad I did them. No excuses, I always have the few minutes it takes to do 4 sets of 10.

3. Read books. Paperback or hardcover matters not, I realized I wasn’t reading anywhere near what I used to since I got an iPad mini. Last year I followed Michael Hyatt and went back to reading books I could hold in my hands and what a difference it has made. In 2016 I read 16 books and I’m guessing there were a few I missed.

As beneficial as it is to review the past year, my friend Justin is spot on when he says “Big windshield, tiny rearview mirror;-what is in front of you is vastly more important than what you’ve left behind.”  Indeed. 

It’s a great life, simplified.FullSizeRender (2)

Bettina Blanchard

About Bettina Blanchard

It’s not what we have, it’s what we do that makes life fun. Professional organizer, business owner, radio show host, accordion player, I love to live and write about finding the balance between having and doing.