Mastering Your Day with Becky Higgins
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m as imperfect as they come, and I believe that honesty is the best policy so you won’t see me trying to paint a pretty picture of myself here. I have issues like everyone else. I have a whole host of weaknesses. But I also have a deep desire to cultivate a good life…and record it. Nothing means more to me than my family and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But I do also have a big piece of my heart in the work that I do.I feel called to help others in various ways…particularly in their efforts to document life. I created a scrapbooking system called Project Life® which can now be found in thousands of stores around the world and in countless homes (and our app by the same name is helping people to scrapbook in the palm of their hands). That is completely exhilarating and yet very humbling at the same time.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m up at 6:00 am on a typical weekday and would love to say that I read my scriptures and get a workout in before everyone else is awake, but that would be painting a pretty pictures that’s not my reality right now. On most days, I focus all my energy on getting myself and our 3 kiddos ready and out the door by 7:30. I pick up our carpool friends, drop everyone off at school, then head into my office. My work day consistently begins at 8:00 in the morning. I’ve curated the best staff on the planet and I genuinely look forward to going to work each day. After work and school it’s running kids around as needed, family time, the kids often have friends over, we make dinner, get homework done, take care of miscellaneous tasks around the house, and have more family time with scriptures and prayer and bedtime rituals. By 9:00, the kids are tucked in and David and I are either chilling out together or working on random stuff, and I’m not gonna lie…we can oftentimes be caught watching a little Jimmy Fallon.
When do you have your scripture study and how do you make sure it gets done?
I make it happen whenever and however I can but I’m admittedly not nearly as consistent as I’d like to be at the moment. When I am more consistent, I feel the difference. Big time. Just writing about that is the reminder I needed, to be completely transparent. I am most successful with my personal study in the morning, and our family study in the evening. I’m constantly working on consistency with both forms of scripture study.
What do you do to handle a particularly stressful day?
I talk to David, my husband. He’s a terrific sounding board for the venting that needs to happen during particularly stressful experiences, and I really appreciate his insights. Going for a walk has proven to be a great de-stresser for me. Turning to God and utilizing prayer is a no-brainer for stressful days (and EVERY day, for that matter!)…and I definitely want give a shout-out to SLEEP too! It’s amazing how stress can resolve with proper sleep or even a power nap. It may not work for everyone, but it absolutely helps me.
What are your daily essentials? (The few things you feel you need each day in order to function.)
1 | Prayer, for sure.
2 | Spiritual nourishment through reading scriptures or a talk from LDS General Conference, the Semi-Annual Conference my faith holds. (Sometimes this happens in audio format while I’m putting laundry away)
3 | Connecting with my family.
4 | Some sort of documentation (particularly taking pictures, using the Project Life app to scrapbook, and writing / sharing on social media and also in my kids’ journals).
5 | And food, of course.
6 | A little bit of chocolate in some form.
7 | A shower.
How do you go about keeping your house clean?
I have a secret weapon: House cleaners! I used to feel guilty about hiring others to do my deep cleaning and then I got over that real quick because it was truly saving my sanity to have someone come regularly…which helps me to be a less stressed-out wife and mom. I’m so very grateful to have the means to have a cleaning service that I trust. As for the dishes and laundry and everyday tidying? We all do our part in this family. My kids are old enough to contribute and little by little, we are training them.
How do you make sure you’re progressing as an individual?
Constant self-evaluations. Part of my personal and professional mission is to help others to cultivate a good life. By regularly sharing my thoughts on various ways to do this, it keeps me in check. For example: I’ll do a social media share that says, “Part of cultivating a good life is … (fill in the blank)” and it’s something I absolutely believe. But before I share it, I think to myself—Well, this sounds good. But are you truly living this yourself or striving your best to do so? Also—prayer. Being regular in my communication with a loving Heavenly Father who knows me best keeps me honest and accountable.
How do you make sure God is at the focus?
I keep God in my thoughts a lot. Take my work, for example. I know I just brought up social media, but I’m going to touch on that again because I think it’s really relatable, as so many of us do enjoy using social media. With everything that I share, I do ask myself if I’m doing this to please the world, or please God. I believe that He cares what each of us “puts out there”, as we are definitely having an impact on each other. I want to be a force for good and a source of upliftment and that right there keeps God at the focus. I am trying to be brief, so I won’t give a hundred examples but I do want to share one more thing: Weekly worship at church, partaking of the sacrament there, and regular service in the temple.
How do you keep a strong relationship with your spouse?
There is a couple close to us that is deeply struggling in their marriage. The wife recently made a comment to me a few years ago that stopped me in my tracks: “I really love how you and David have always prioritized regular dates.” Wait, what? Doesn’t everybody? Apparently not. What I was taking for granted suddenly turned into a realization of one of my greatest blessings. We are believers in weekly date night. Most of the time it’s not really much more exciting than visiting one of our favorite restaurants, but you know what? We’re focused on each other, we talk, we connect, we have fun, we sort through issues, and sometimes we invite friends to join us. The other thing is open communication. This is huge. If something is bugging me in the slightest, I do not assume that David can read my mind. I do not believe that sweeping feelings under the rug is going to benefit anyone. And that goes for the positive stuff too. I try to make a conscientious effort to be vocal about my praises and compliments toward David when they come to mind (instead of keeping those nice thoughts to myself) and I have no problem reminding David to do the same. *wink*
How do you facilitate regular discussions of Christ in your home?
There are two main ways that come to mind. First and most obvious, is our family scripture time. Reading the Word of God and discussing the Savior go hand-in-hand. Secondly is something that is very near and dear to my heart. I think of it as “minivan moments”. As we’re driving around and talking about this or that, I try to find ways to tie the Gospel (and related principles) into our discussion. Sometimes it’s the most simple thing like verbally adoring the sunset and making a comment like, “Isn’t that just beautiful, you guys? Seeing such beauty reminds me that God is so very real and that Jesus loves us.”
How do you balance all of your roles?
Whew! I just totally took a deep breath and did a long exhale when I read this one. Ha! Oh, the ongoing struggle—especially for women—right? Well, I have never found the perfect balance and I only recently came to terms with the fact that perfection in balance isn’t actually something I’ll ever totally figure out in this life. Embracing that has really helped me to just chill out about it. That said, I do believe in the power of helping each other. We simply can’t make it through life without one another and I think a lot about that and how it relates to balance. I choose to let go of the silly notion that we should try to be Superwoman. I choose to involve my kids in helping with laundry even though I can do it faster myself. I choose to ask my husband to hit Costco on the way home from work. I choose to hire people to help me grow our little company. I choose to say yes to service, without feeling like have to sign up for every single opportunity that comes along on a clipboard in church. And I choose to get proper sleep (most of the time).
Was there a time in your life where you struggled with this? What did you do to adapt?
Let’s go back to the comment I just shared about sleep. For a few years (particularly the first few years of running my business), sleep and optimal health were sacrificed—big time. I’m not proud of that. It was just a period of “survival” and I was doing everything I could to keep my head above water as we got this thing off the ground, navigated our way through major road blocks and challenges, and I was simultaneously serving as a Relief Society president (volunteer leader of the women’s organization in our congregation)…oh, and our children were 1, 4, and 7. Balance was not abundant in my life at that point. I was very familiar with sleep deprivation. Those were not unhappy years and I don’t regret a thing. Hard work and lessons learned and serious perseverance are a few keys to a successful and happy life. But through that experience I have learned that adjustments must be made when necessary (which is really quite constant). I also learned that no matter what, family and God must always remain top priorities.
Anything else you want to share?
We have each been extraordinarily blessed with talents. Every single one of us. All of the credit goes to our great Creator—our Heavenly Father. I feel strongly that He didn’t give us these gifts for nothing. We are here to help and serve and lift one another. He needs us to be instruments in His hands. I think about my friend who uses her photography skills to photograph preemie babies (many who don’t survive) as a gift for those parents. I think of my friend who has a chronic illness and has been able to help other individuals with similar heath issues. I think about my friend who uses her singing voice to help others feel closer to God through music. I think about my friend whose son struggled with depression and ultimately took his own life. She is speaking up and bringing more awareness to this harsh reality and helping others in that way. Whoever you are, wherever you are…I encourage you to take a moment and recognize your gifts. It might feel awkward but it’s important. Acknowledge your talents. Acknowledge the source of those amazing blessings. And ask for His guidance as you seek to understand how you should be utilizing those gifts to bless the lives of others.
Becky Higgins is passionate about helping others Cultivate a Good Life and Record it. She's the creator of Project Life, and a busy wife and mother who is passionate about capturing the little bits of life, and making it easy for other to do the same. You can find her at BeckyHiggins.com, and @BeckyHigginsLLC.