The Life and Times of a Sub-Par Perfectionist (Part 2) – Using Affirmations to Change Your Life
Author: Anna Newell Jones

am i perfect yet

The other day in this post: Real Talk: If Only Perfection Could be Bought on Amazon (Part 1), I talked about how I’m always on the hunt for something to make my life easier and better. I want it to be something I can buy on Amazon and have mailed right to me. Easy, right? With just a couple clicks, and after a zillion dollars spent, I’d be totally perfect!

I came to the conclusion that I needed to be easier on myself, and I realized that I’ve been waaaaay over-committing. The past few days I’ve been going through every part of my life. It seems the technology part has really gotten out of control so I’ve been unsubscribing and cancelling things. It’s so easy to forget about the mental clutter that “little”, seemingly insignificant things take up. Physical clutter is easier to spot. I worked really, really hard to get out of debt, and the whole reason I wanted to get out of debt was to have be able to have freedom and some choices, not to be even more stressed out!

In addition to adopting a Minimalist Mind I’m taking action (in the corniest way possible. I’ll be the first to admit this whole “affirmation” thing feels corny as all hell). You may have noticed a LONNNNNNNNG delay from Part 1 of this post to today’s Part 2. I knew that if I put this post up I’d have to start doing these affirmations. I’ve been avoiding this but, today’s the day.

Instead of buying to zone out and make myself feel better I’m going to do some work, internally. Below are a whole bunch of affirmations. Most are ones I’ve completely made up. Those represent my ideal life or situation. With others, they’re true but I find myself forgetting about them. Others are more of a wishful thinking situation… almost like, if I believe it to be true, it will be, type of thing.

From the research I’ve done, the key with affirmations is to try to truly believe what you are telling yourself. Act as if it’s true. Feel what it would feel like if it were true. Let your face and body experience what you’re saying as if, “Of course, there could be nothing more true in the world!”. Fake it till you make it, right? It’s not about simply repeating a list super quick, and breezing through it just to check it off your To Do list. Also, saying some of the confirmation’s there’s a tendency to want to tell yourself things like, “Uh, yeah right!”, “Pshaw!, hardly…”, or, “That’ll never happen!” Apparently, you’ve got to just go with it. Believe it.

The key, so I hear, is to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself these things. I’ve also heard that if you want to “super-charge” your self-esteem, confidence, and really change your internal thoughts about yourself you should say these to yourself as often as 3x a day. Or, in the alternative, you can take what is called the “lazy-man’s” method for changing your life. This approach is when you record the affirmations, put the recording on a loop, and place the speaker under your pillow so all the positiveness seeps into your sub-conscious while you sleep.

Pick a few from the list that truly resonate with you. Pick ones that represent your ideal life. Or, use the below examples as a guide to create affirmations that truly mean something to you.

I’m going to pick 5 of the most vital ones to start with and see how that goes. Also, I hear it can take up to 6 months to feel different so hang in there if you don’t notice massive changes right away.

I’ve included a printable PDF of both of these lists. The link to that is at the bottom of this post. 

Alright, today’s the day.




in Minimalism, Personal, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized), Take Action!, Things To Do
Control Your Money, Control Your Mind 12 Tips
Author: Anna Newell Jones

ways to feel more in control of your life

Money touches every. single. area. of life so it’s not super surprising that if your financial life is outta control the rest of your life will feel that way too. When I was in debt I ALWAYS felt like my life was unmanageable. I was constantly thinking thing’s like, “Why can’t I catch up?”, “Why do I feel SO overwhelmed?”, and “How come no matter what I do it just doesn’t seem to make a difference? AT ALL?!?!”

Some times were, of course, way worse than others, and in those really bad times, my thoughts would spiral out of control, running far too fast for me to handle. My money situation left me feeling anxious, worried, scared, depressed, and generally, really, really crappy.

So when you’re feeling all those super shitty things how the heck are you supposed to do what you so desperately need to do? You know, take some freaking positive action? What worked/works for me is to just put one foot in front of the other. That’s it.

While getting control of your life is a process there are some things you can do right away to help stomp out the flow of insanity and get things moving back in the right direction (rather than free-falling into the abyss). Oh, and guess what else?

When you control your money you control your mind.

12 Ways to Make You Feel More in Control of Your Life…

1. Prep for a New Day

Every day is a new beginning – a time to start anew. So be ready for it by preparing ahead of time. If you have to rush around first thing in the morning it can start things off terribly which can progressively make your day feel more out of your control. Each night before going to bed, set out your clothing, pack your lunch, prepare your coffee. Do whatever is necessary to make your morning smooth and un-rushed.

2. Gain Some Perspective

For centuries, people have utilized techniques like meditation and other exercises to clear the mind and gain some fresh perspective. Add a block of time to each day where you sit quietly, breathe deeply, and find your inner-self. You don’t need to sit in any certain position to meditate and you don’t even need to call it meditating. You can just plop your butt down and try to just be.

3. Write It Down

People often feel most out of control when they forget to do necessary things. With so much to remember throughout a day in your life, it can be hard to keep it all straight. Write down your thoughts, ideas, and must-do’s on paper. This is a great way to have total recall and stay in touch with your accomplishments over a 24 hour period. Plus, it feels really good to get it all out of your head. I’m a huge list-maker because it just helps me keep my head straight.

4. Consider Your Brain Clutter

There are a lot of factors in your life that can be causing interference with the things that matter. Take some time to consider what is unnecessary in your day and make a plan for cutting those things out of your life. This may include things that make you tend to procrastinate like television, video games, and unhealthy addictions to your cell phone (I’m raising my hand over here).

5. Boot the Drama Kings and Queens 

We all have people in our lives that can be mentally and emotionally draining. These people often take away too much of our energy, leaving us unable to do what we need to do for ourselves. Take steps to limit time spent with them or cut them from your life entirely. It’s amazing how much time listening to drama takes!

6. Improve Your Methods

If your routine is causing a case of procrastination, make another list of all the things you do in a day. Then brainstorm ways to do your tasks in a different way. Streamline your processes so you’re improving them instead of consistently wasting time on ineffective methods. OR, maybe you’ve never considered how you do things. Take some time to evaluate how you’re doing things and you’ll gain a fresh perspective.

7. When In Doubt, Source It Out

When you spend a lot of time thinking about all the things you should be doing but just don’t enjoy or just don’t have the time to do then it’s time to start considering the benefits of outsourcing. There are tons of people who are looking for odd jobs and they might even enjoy doing things you don’t care for. Likely there are people in your family, neighborhood, and your circle of friends that would love to earn a few extra bucks weeding your garden, mowing your lawn, cleaning your home, or taking care of your laundry. Your peace of mind is worth way more than the few bucks you’ll have to pay out, and then you’ll be freed up to do the things you actually enjoy doing or you’ll have the time to put into your own side jobs that you enjoy.

8. Put the Word ‘No’ Into Practice

Sometimes our lives get out of control because we are quick to give our time over to other people. Learn to say ‘No’ to people and things that aren’t part of your own vision. It’s fine to help out every now and then, of course (!), but don’t feel obligated to say ‘Yes’ just because some asked something of you.

9. Get Your Beauty Sleep

Life is just more difficult when you’re tired. Make sleep a priority and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take life on. Doesn’t like just seem harder when you’re tired? I know it does for me.

10. Find Your Happy Place

When things become too overwhelming, have a place in mind where you can go, and just refocus. You may dedicate a room in your house, your backyard, even the quiet local library can be a place where you can sit alone with your thoughts for a period of time without interruption. Or, if you don’t have those spaces available to you simply step into the bathroom, lock the door and hang out for a 10 minutes. Give yourself that bit of space and time.

11. Utilize Your Good Time

Some people work best early in the morning while others are night owls (that’s me). Whatever time you’re at your best, plan to tackle your more difficult tasks then. Work with yourself, not against yourself. By doing so you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, and you can spend the other times of the day doing the less important (but necessary) work.

12. Find the Positives

Feeling out of control can also bring about a sense of negativity. Make a point to find at least 1 positive every day. Surround yourself with meaningful, inspirational pictures, quotes, stories, and people as often as possible. Feeling grateful for what IS right in your life can help you keep perspective on the things that aren’t going so well.


What about you? Do you have any tips for what helps you to feel in control of your life?


in How To, Motivation, Practical Solutions, Things To Do
Give It to Keep It
Author: Anna Newell Jones

give what you got

I heard this really powerful saying the other day. So powerful that I felt compelled to go up to the lady and talk to her after she said it. She wrote it down for me so I wouldn’t forget it. She wrote it on a napkin; that napkin in the picture :)

“What I had, I spent. What I saved, I lost. What I gave, I have.”

I think that saying meant so much to me when I heard it because it showed me that while we talk so much the technical aspects of saving money and getting out of debt on this site that really what has become the most important piece of keeping myself out of debt, and to avoid having those bad money habits creep back into my life is to share the real and personal stuff about how I got out of debt.

What I learned throughout the years of the Spending Fast and Spending Diet is not mine to keep to myself, to hoard, to be selfish with. Sharing and giving what I know is what it’s all about. It’s also why I love it when you all tell me and the other readers what you know about saving money and getting out of debt in the comments and in the Community section. I know I don’t know it all, and I always, always learn so much from you all. Feeling sappy today for some reason… xo, anna


in Motivation
May You Always…
Author: Anna Newell Jones

may you always do what you are afraid to do

“May you always do what you are afraid to do.”

It takes a lot of guts to change your life… changing up your lifestyle and habits is not easy but you CAN do it. You can do hard things. Trust me. I know these things;).


in Motivation
27 Secrets to Reaching Your Goals
Author: Anna Newell Jones

ways to reach your goal

Setting out to achieve goals is no doubt, noble. If you want to get out of debt, eat out of your fridge every day, work out, or just be nicer to others you absolutely can but goals will not complete themselves without work on your end. In order to be successful at reaching your goals, you must put forth the effort and keep finding ways to remain motivated in your quest.

Here are 27 ways to help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself…

Read More »


in Goals, How To
Your Habits are Making You Broke
Author: Anna Newell Jones

breakfast burrito

Most the time I like to think that I’m immune to bad spending habits because of my success with the Spending Fast buuuuttt, turns out, I’m completely not immune to anything. Even though I’m not impervious to slipping back into my old ways one big side-effect of the Spending Fast is that I do recognize my bad habits a lot quicker, and that is totally worth something. Before where I might have gone oh, you know, like 6 months without balancing my checkbook it’s just not something that I would let happen these days. Now, on the worst of months I balance my checkbook just once a month (and by balance my checkbook I mean that I input all incoming and outgoing expenses into the Balance app on my phone, make sure things match up, that I know where my money is going, and that everything is as it should be).

I can recognize my bad habits faster and I’m no longer in denial (or completely oblivious) about them like I used to be. That’s growth and change; that’s a good thing.

So, I’ve got to admit something that happened recently (I find there is a lot of worth in stating what’s going on because it makes whatever might be troubling you lose it’s power- no matter what it might be).

I found myself really looking forward to these breakfast burritos that I can get at this little place on the way to work. They encourage calling ahead, thank you profusely when you do, and then you just go about your business, food in hand. They make the whole process so easy.

So naturally, I decided this was a super handy and delicious was to start the day.

I realized that for quite a few mornings in a row I was dropping over $5 at this place (I decided a small coffee was also a handy and delicious was to begin the day). I started to think about how much money this breakfast burrito habit of mine was going to add up to come months end and knew that I had to hurry up and cut it out already. A breakfast burrito here and there is just fine but every day? Totally expensive and unnecessary.

The calculations have been tabulated and at the rate I’m going I’m looking to spend approximately $341.25 this year on breakfast burritos alone. Uhhhh…

How I’m Breaking My Breakfast Burrito Habit (these will work for other habits too. Just adapt them to your situation)

Read More »


in Do Without, Practical Solutions
  • Anna

    Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!

    ⭐︎Come back throughout the day for updates.


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