What I’m Saying Yes to in 2016

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This is the second post in my goal setting series.  First post is here

I’m continuing with my 2016 goal setting with the prompts from Lara Casey’s blog series and after taking a look at what did and didn’t work last year the next step is to determine what I’m going to say yes to in 2016 and what I’m going to say no to.

What I’m saying NO to in 2016:

  • burn out
  • mindless scroll on social media
  • comparison
  • distractions

What I’m saying YES to in 2016:

  • progress over perfection
  • building and strengthening relationships
  • unplug, rest, and recharge (physically, mentally, and emotionally)
  • weekly/monthly goals to help keep me focused on my larger goals

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I feel really good about setting some boundaries or direction for myself by determining where I’m going to put my energy this year.  And when I look back at 2015, so much of it was full of running around with no focus and allowing myself to get completely burnt out in every sense of the word.  And with that craziness, yet another year went by where I felt like I never reached my goals.  I love the idea of choosing a word for the year, so my word for 2015 was Intention (actually, now that I think about it that may have been my 2014 word too.  :/ ugh)  And what I’ve learned about myself is that I can get so caught up in the “thinking about” and the “planning” that I never actually get around to the doing.  So, for 2016 I chose a more appropriate word, one that also embodies my intention for the year.

My 2016 Word is Action Image

 

So, now that I’ve decided what I’m saying yes to this year and what my word is for 2016, Lara then has you put together a vision board.  I’m a very visual person so this step was really important to me.  I wanted to be able to look and my vision board and have it trigger me to evaluate if what I am doing right now aligns with my goals and ensure I’m taking action to make them happen.  I’d started a vision board over on Pinterest, but I wanted to have something that I could print out and keep somewhere I will see it every day to remind me of where my focus should be.  So, I put this together this afternoon and I kind of love it!

2016 Vision Board Image

I wanted to be sure to have something that represented my marriage and its importance above anything else.  Then of course I have a few things that are great ways for me to recharge – meditation, journaling/my daily Bible study, yoga, reading.  I wanted to also show my focus on health and fitness through working out, eating whole foods, and of course my essential oils.  Throw in some travel, making a home, and creating abundance through my business and you have my vision board for 2016.

So, that’s it for this installment in my goal setting series.  Next week I’ll be back to share my goals and how I’m going to work to achieve them.

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Making Things Happen

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On January 1st I started reading Lara Casey’s book Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose.  I had been introduced to Lara’s blog last year and had wanted to read this book for awhile.  I’ll spend more time reviewing the book itself in another post soon, but today I want to share with you some of the work that came out of reading that book and also Lara’s blog series on 2016 goal setting.  As with most years, the beginning of 2015 started off very promising and I even blogged about living a year of intention back in January of last year.  Somehow, as often happens, things went off course.  So, I found myself in December wondering where the hell 2015 had gone and feeling defeated that I hadn’t accomplished all those things I’d wanted to do.  So, this year, and we’re only a couple of months in, I’m already finding that the key to making things happen is 1) to take action – actually go and do stuff, and 2) tending – if you don’t monitor those goals and keep focused attention on them, you can’t actually accomplish them.

So, for 2016 I am going to work through the goal setting process and share my progress here not only as a way to be accountable, but also because hopefully someone else will benefit from it.

The first thing Lara has you do is to first check in with yourself – how are you?  I won’t share the epic novel I wrote, but the main theme is that I’m feeling very disappointed in myself for getting so off course last year and feeling like I was basically in the same place that I’d started the year at.  Also, I had a life-changing lightning bolt moment recently of discovering what my purpose is.  And although I feel this huge sense of relief from having identified where I’m going, I’m feeling a bit lost though not knowing how to get there or what it’s going to look like.  But, I’m willing to have faith that as long as I move in that direction, I’ll have the guidance that I need.

Next, it’s time to take a look back at 2015…

What worked:

  • I detailed my crafty accomplishments and new endeavors over on my Cozyegg blog here
  • I was re-introduced to essential oils through my friend Sylvia and became an independent distributor of Young Living essential oils
  • Read the Red Tent (my New Year’s planned start for 2015) and 9 other books
  • I got to reconnect with my friend Marty and visit with other high school friends, plus help raise money for Adele’s retirement
  • Eric and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary
  • I completed my first Whole 30
  • I made some new friends
  • I was able to take all of my vacation time and holiday time without having to check in to work at all
  • Eric and I went to visit my Dad’s grave at Christmas, which I’ve been meaning to do for three years
  • I reached out to my mom to try to begin healing that relationship
  • I had a huge attitude shift with work and on letting go of the stress thanks to my essential oils (Stress Away!)

Three Lessons I Learned from What Worked:

  1. I don’t have to kill myself with working so much, I am better if I completely unplug and rest
  2. Essential oils have changed my life and using them daily makes a difference
  3. I do better focusing on one thing until it’s done rather than jumping around. Also, I do better doing my own thing rather than being dependent upon someone else’s participation.

What hasn’t been working?

  • Allowing myself to get burnt out
  • Running around with no purpose/no focus to my actions
  • I feel like I can’t do it perfect so I don’t do it at all
  • Allowing myself to be totally thrown off course by someone else’s stuff
  • Comforting myself with things that are bad for me (eating junk, overspending, mindless internet time-wasting i.e. the mindless scroll)
  • Health challenges
  • Dealing with feeling unbalanced/unsatisfied in some areas and then getting bogged down in the sadness of everything
  • Missing my family so bad it hurts
  • Feeling burdened with the weight of financial stress
  • Procrastinating and not moving forward, staying stuck
  • Completely wrecked over some work situations and office politics
  • Feeling like I never have enough time

Three Lessons I Learned from What Didn’t Work:

  1. Don’t get sidetracked by distractions – distractions can be other people’s stuff, shiny & new, want to vs. have to, mindless scrolling
  2. Take time for me – rest – mentally, physically, emotionally. I need time to recharge.
  3. Concentrated focus is what allows me to be most productive and stay on target with my goals/purpose/projects

What Season Are You In?

I feel like I’ve been in winter – it’s been a really hard season that has stretched over the past several years. I think the beginning of last year was like a false spring, and then winter returned. At the end of the year I was able to do some reflecting and be still and really look at what’s important to me. I feel like now I am in spring, and reaching toward summer when I dig in and get my hands dirty to do the work.

So that’s my look back at 2015.  And I feel like really taking a hard look at what I’ve learned from what worked and what didn’t work will be very helpful in starting to define my goals for 2016 and what I can build on.  Check back soon for the next installment of this series and how I’m working towards defining my goals and working daily to achieve them.

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Playlist: Calendars, Planners, and To Do Lists

Rifle Paper Co

I am obsessed with calendars.  In fact, I’m kind of in love with all kinds of pretty paper.  Maybe it’s the artist in me, maybe it’s the writer, but electronic versions just don’t have the same appeal.  There is something that I just adore about flipping to a new page of a calendar each month (I bought a calendar at Versailles if that tells you anything).  I spent a few years with completely uninspiring calendars, and then I began a torrid love affair with Rifle Paper Co.

Two years ago I bought the Secret Garden calendar and enjoyed it thoroughly.  I loved seeing her signature flowers at my desk each day.  And it’s a good thing that I was in love with this calendar, because due to an inadvertent oversight on my part I ended up with no calendar for 2015 (I was trying to wait for the calendars to go on sale and they sold out of the one I wanted, so no calendar for me.)  This year, I wasn’t taking any chances and I ordered my calendar early.

Cities CalendarI absolutely love this calendar.  I love travel, so this calendar just makes me so happy.  Plus, the cover shows the Paris map that I have as my phone case.  Love love love!  And, my thought is that once the year is over (assuming I won’t have to use my calendar for a second year!), I want to save the artwork to do something like this.

Gallery Wall Rifle Paper

Don’t you love it?!  Anyway, I am excited about giving my calendar new life as prints.  These will be perfect in our office too, which I fondly refer to as the “map room”.

So, that’s my calendar at home but of course I need a calendar at the office too, right?  I usually buy one of those small desk calendars, but after using my Versailles calendar I suppose I was spoiled for anything else.  I saw a photo on Instagram similar to this one, using a clipboard and printed Instagram photos.

IG Calendar

Love the idea, so I decided to make my own.  I often need to see two months at a time at work, so I printed two to a page.  And I went through my Instagram likes and chose some of my favorite photos that were representative of the months.

I am thinking I may do this again for this year, but haven’t actually sat down to do it.  It worked really well for me though, and was something fun to look at in the office.  So, that’s what I’ve been using for calendars.  Kind of along those lines, I am trying out a planner for 2016 too.  I’ve spent the last few years working exclusively with an electronic calendar for keeping track of my appointments, events, etc.  I don’t actually use my wall calendar for that, it’s just to look at.  LOL  So, I love the convenience of having my calendar in my phone because then I always have it with me.  I also use an online/app called Remember the Milk for my to do list.  It’s great because again, it’s always with me and it is so easy to postpone tasks, mark them complete, add notes, give tasks a priority rating and due date, etc.  But, I watched a Periscope recently on the benefits of using a paper planner over an electronic calendar or to do list on your phone/tablet/computer.  One of the pitfalls of using an electronic version is that there are too many distractions on your device – social media, messages, emails, etc.  By using a paper planner, you can focus on your scheduled tasks and priorities without the infinite number of distractions on your device.

I took advantage of the Black Friday sale and ordered myself an Erin Condren Life Planner for 2016.  I spent a good amount of time comparing the EC planner with the other planners out there, like the Passion Planner, the Simplified Planner, the Plum Paper Planner, and so on.  Having never used a planner before I wasn’t entirely sure what would work best for me, but several people recommended the EC to me so I decided to give it a try.

I really liked the presentation when my box arrived.  It was like getting a present in the mail.  From myself!  The Black Friday discount was only good on the Good to Go (not personalized) planners, so that’s what I ordered.  I did get a coupon for a personalized cover that I can redeem.  I’m having a hard time choosing which cover I want though!

I do love the cover it came with, but it would be fun to have a personalized cover.  I won’t go too far into detail about the planner itself because there are a million posts and YouTube videos about that, but I’m very happy with it.  I love how creative some people are with their weekly layouts, but other than the stickers that came with my planner I haven’t gone out and spent the money to buy more.  I am mostly just using colored markers and that has been fun.  I opted for the vertical daily layout and it’s been working great for me.  My planner is looking very similar to the one below – markers, minimal stickers, and a little bit of washi tape for good measure.  Down at the bottom of each day I have been tracking my water, vitamins, and steps and I’m loving that – keeping me accountable!

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I’ve been using the monthly view to list my goals for the month broken up into the seven key areas of Oola (Fitness, Finance, Family, Field, Faith, Friends, and Fun).  Then, I have weekly goals that I can check off in the weekly views.  That has been helping a lot to keep me on track.  And at the back of the planner in the Notes sections, I’ve listed out my reading goals and project goals for 2016 along with pages to record my accomplishments.

So, that’s what I’m doing for my calendars, planner, and to do lists for 2016.  How about you?

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And So We Begin

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Late in 2013 a friend directed me to this post on a favorite blog.  We talked about wanting to make 2014 the year of living deliberately.  I was inspired to be more discerning in where I focused my energy and choosing to plan over my usual flighty approach to things.  Shortly after the new year my world tilted on its axis and while there were some good memories made in 2014, I carried with me some things that weighed heavily on my spirit during the year.  My eyes were opened wide with wonder for the new experiences I embraced, which was a much-needed counterbalance to my heart’s ache over the empty spaces.

It was only in the last weeks of December that I was able to pause and be still and sit with it all.  What I learned in those solitary moments bathed in white twinkle lights was that it is truly time to slow down, to take care of myself, and to be deliberate in my actions.  So much of my life is internal.  I get caught in my thoughts and my dreams and my plans, but to really and truly live deliberately I have to put actions behind those intangible thoughts.  I have learned that I am resilient.  That even when it seems as if everything that was a constant in my world is stripped away, and even when it feels like God has hit me over the head with a 2×4 to get my attention, I’m still standing.

So now the challenge is what to do with what I now know?  What do I want to create in 2015 for my life?

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I want to focus on good stuff.  I know that sounds overly simplistic, but that’s what I want to do.  I want to be happy.  I want to be my authentic self and all that that brings with it.  I want to be excited about life and not just going through the paces.  I want to open myself up to all that life has to offer – even though that means being vulnerable.  I don’t want to look back on 2015 and say “I wish I could have…”  And the critical thing for me lies in the act of doing, not just thinking about and planning, but the actual doing.

So here is what I’m doing –

★ I want to nurture my relationships.  The past few years have been so full of protecting myself from hurt and anger and all those messy emotions that are just part of life.  I shut down and insulated myself against anything that might find the smallest chink in my armor and unravel me.  I want to allow myself to love and be loved, to reach out and connect and be open to giving and receiving. I’ve already started working on a clean slate and letting the past go and have reached out to a couple of people in the hopes of starting a fresh conversation between us.

★ I want to read more this year, and read more involved books and a little less of the potato chip variety.  I set the same goal of reading 25 books that I had last year on Goodreads.  I’ve started reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.  After seeing the mini series, it was a perfect choice to pull off the shelf.

★ I want to spend more time on my spirituality.  One of the things I thought about last year was reading the Bible. This weekend I downloaded the She Reads Truth app and started the Bible in a Year plan.  It’s feeding my soul.

★ I want to be more active.  I’ve spent so much time thinking about and goal-setting about losing weight and getting healthy, etc. but it’s time to focus on the doing.  The 2,015 miles in 2015 challenge on Instagram immediately struck a chord with me.  What better way to encourage myself to get moving?  One step at a time!

★ I want to learn new things.  In the past I have allowed myself to become paralyzed by not doing new things for fear of failing.  But if I never try, I never practice, I never take that first step – I will never grow.  I’m learning to knit and I’m practicing because it’s not perfect and I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing, but I’m learning.  And I’m learning because it makes me happy.

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I think 2015 is going to be challenging, but I hope also it will be rewarding.  I like to think that January is an empty bowl, full of promise and possibility of what’s to come.

And so it begins…

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Ready for Something New

Maybe it’s the cooler weather, maybe it’s some weird form of seasonal nesting, maybe it’s just one too many mentions of something that struck a chord with me.  But I feel like I need to get a move on.  I want to get back to fitness and working out, get back on track.  I feel like the life derailment is over and it’s time to head out of the station.  I’m ready for new challenges, new goals, new expectations for myself.  I’m starting today, because there’s no better time like now.  And like everything, I’m just going to take it one day at a time and form new habits.  Habits that serve me better than the ones I’ve sunk into, habits that will allow and encourage me to be more, do more, live more.  I can’t make dreams happen if I don’t do my part to move towards them.

Am I the only one feeling this way?

I’ve reached out to my old walking buddies.  I’ve still got my gym bag packed, now to venture back to the gym.  I’ve got my bottle of water sitting next to me.  I can do this.

It’s more than just fitness and health, but that’s where it really all begins.  You’ve got to lay your foundation, in order to create your temple.

And I’ve started thinking about the rewards.  All those things that will inspire me and motivate me.  Training for a race like my friend Sherri.  Hiking Heleakala.  Wearing boots!  Taking classes from Rachel Brice.

 

Celebrating life.

It’s a powerful thing.

Because it really is so short – so it’s time to make it the best it can be.

 

So, today is the day that my life takes a new direction.

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May Goals

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I’m laughing at the horrified responses I got when I tweeted the photo above of my to do list. Yep, lots to do!!

I thought I’d take a cue from a fellow blogger (Elefantitas Alegres) and do a May goal list, in an effort to whittle down my to do list.

May 2011 Goals:

1. Fitness/Eating/Health
– Continue with Saturday 3m walks
– Yoga twice a week
– Start doing menu planning
– Attend WW meetings
– Schedule eye appointment

2. Work
– Get back on track with weekly status reports and time tracking
– Complete training on my replacement

3. Home, Us, Etc.
– Schedule donation pick up
– Read book for book club
– Filing in office
– Make hair appointment
– Finish closet organization
– Continue cleaning out storage unit

Lots more little things I need to get done, but this is a good focus. And I need to keep reminding myself about my New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Focus on me
2. Cut down on the crazy

We’ll see how these monthly goals may help!

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