Taxes, retirement plans, mechanic bills, emergency savings accounts … there are so many unpleasant aspects of being an adult! Today, I’m devoting a post to these things. This post is sponsored by SimpliSafe and it inspired me to achieve something I had been procrastinating (for over two years!) … setting up my own home alarm system. At the ABM studio house we used SimpliSafe, and it’s a really great option for home security.

SimpliSafe keeps working even if you lose power or wifi, and reminds you if you leave a door open when leaving home. Setting up the security system was super easy, and I love that the design doesn’t stand out too much. The sensors are super small but still have a really long range, it’s a great blend of design and protection. It was designed to disappear into your home, and as you can see below, it blends with our decor and is barely even noticeable! It’s also super affordable (you can protect your home for $15 a month, no contracts). I’m one of those people who gets anxiety about the things I am procrastinating —from doctors or dental appointments, to needing to return an email or completing my taxes. So I was really happy to mark this off my list! These are the things that keep me up at night and stress me out … but they’re also the things that make me so proud of myself each time I complete them.

I’m not naturally organized or a perfectionist, so it’s easy for me to let things fall by the wayside. That said, completing our international adoption helped boost my confidence! I did something I didn’t think I could do … I mean, I HOPED I could, but in the beginning of our process it honestly felt impossible. We had over 100 pages of paperwork to complete, we each had to write an autobiography about our lives, we had to get papers from our doctors and reference letters (and they all had to be filled out exactly right). It was a LOT.

At the end of the process, I realized I CAN do difficult things. I can do a lot more than I thought. The difference was I made it the first priority at all times, because I was so excited to become a mom.

I also found things that help me stay motivated! Here’s my short list …

1. Small rewards and firm deadlines are a good combination.

If you have something looming in your life that you can’t seem to complete, set a deadline for yourself and choose a reward. Even if the reward is something relatively small like booking a massage or going out to dinner at your favorite spot, I found that visualizing these rewards made my task seem less daunting because I want to just finish it so I can get my “prize.”

I mean … if you’re not rewarding yourself after you finish your taxes, what is wrong with you???

2. Get advice from someone who has done it. 

Whatever the task, you probably have a friend, family member or colleague who has been in your shoes. Get their advice about the smartest and best ways to do what you need to do. In our adoption, we got some shortcuts and time-saving tips from other families who had done what we’d done. Get advice from those in your life who have more experience than you!

3. Book the appointment or take the first step TODAY. 

No matter how overwhelming your task, there is probably a first step. So send that first email, make that first phone call. Force yourself to take the first step today instead of putting it off. You’ll feel so relieved.

Being an adult is FAR from easy, but it won’t help you move forward to compare yourself to others or put yourself down. Instead, take one positive step. Start now.

4. Make a few big goals every year. 

For the past five years, I always had the feeling that I wasn’t being responsible enough. I felt guilty all the time, but I didn’t recognized that my guilt wasn’t going to help me move forward. So last year, in 2017, I made a few goals … about three. They were bigger goals, mostly having to do with money. When I achieved my goals by the end of the year, I felt so amazing.

I think that not setting goals makes it impossible to feel good about what you’ve achieved. If you don’t know what your goals are, you have no marker for when to celebrate or move on to a new goal.

When I was younger, I’d make tons of goals, but I never finished them all. I did those “25 things before I turn 26” lists. While those are more fun, I think that two to three big, important goals is more realistic for me and I love the feeling of actually completing them all!

I hope these tips have been helpful. I am living this truth in my own life right now. In fact, I have my own phone call that I need to make!

If you have tips for how to stay motivated and responsible, I would love to hear them! I learn so much from my sister, Emma, who is my “better half” in business. Have a great day! Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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