intention

habits make the man...err...woman

Anytime you make a goal or decide to "fix" something in life it is going to require some changes in your habits.

agggghhhhh

If you have ever walked around a bookstore then I'm sure you have noticed that people talk a lot about "change" and "habits" in self-help books. Apparently, that is because as a culture, we don't tend to enjoy change so much. How else do you explain the popularity of a book called "Who Moved my Cheese"?

habits make the man...err. woman

Let's define habits based on the categories we listed on Monday that might help us meet our more specific goals that we finalize next week. As a reminder, here are the categories, I am focused on.

  • health & wellness

  • love & relationships

  • financial stability, growth & flexibility

  • purpose & passion

Did you define your's yet? NO? Well don't forget to check out Monday's post to catch up with us. "What are you going to pay attention to in 2016?" Once you have your categories of focus, it is time to determine what habits need to be part of our daily life to help us along our journey. Here are some of mine. Remember, try to have no more than 12. When you focus on too much, very little actually happens.

  • wake up with out snoozing

  • take vitamins daily

  • walk/work out daily

  • stop the glorification of busy

  • no fast food - cook more - more veggies

  • stretch daily

  • stop over-exaggerating and being overly dramatic - be okay with reality

  • love & relationships

  • initiate communication with friends & family better

  • remember special days and do things just because

  • gratitude journal and meditation daily

  • news/blogs - focused on my purpose

  • It's on the DVR, you can watch it later

I found my list from a couple years back too...thought I would share it to give you a little more inspiration and examples. #waybackwednesday

I found my list from a couple years back too...thought I would share it to give you a little more inspiration and examples. #waybackwednesday

There you go, my...now it is your turn. It's the last step until we put pen to paper with a goal for each area of focus.

Can't wait to close out the challenge with all of you.

what are you going to pay attention to in 2016?

It doesn't have to look pretty...thank goodness, you just have to do it.

It doesn't have to look pretty...thank goodness, you just have to do it.

Remember in school when you were given a writing assignment and you just went in and wrote your paper. It was a good paper. You were on fire. I mean, it may have been the best writing the world had ever seen, we're talking possible Pulitzer here. 

then you turned it in.

There were red  marks all over it. How dare someone mess with the next great american literature masterpiece! There was one glaring consistency in the red scribble across the page...did you make an outline first? Where is the structure?

After muttering under your breath, you think to yourself "how the heck did the teacher know I didn't do an outline or a rough draft?" or maybe you thought "my kind of literary genius doesn't need a rough draft." 

don't act like you never thought it...

Well, just like high school English class, it is important to outline your goals before you  just jump in all willy nilly. You want to make sure you know what direction you want your goals to head. In short, it helps to define where you want to focus your energies.

i promise this won't hurt

It is actually really simple, think about all of the notes you have been taking and the thoughts you have had about what you might want to focus on in 2016 and then put them into some overarching categories. Don't overdue it. Sometimes we set so many goals, it is impossible to focus on all of them. This will help you reduce and refine once you get to your overall goals. 

List the core areas of life you want to get results

Here is an example of my categories to help spark some creative thinking...

  • Health & Wellness

  • Love & Relationships

  • Financial Stability & Growth & Flexibility

  • Purpose & Passion

That's it. That is all you have to focus on today. Later in the week we will start actually putting our goals down into the areas of focus you specified and be on our way to starting kicking butt in 2016.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.

joy comes in the morning

In November we are constantly bombarded with the thought of "gratitude and thanksgiving" but for December I think that word has got to be "joy". Just about every song you can think of that talks about the holiday's mentions the word. (The below one just happens to be one of my favorites.

It is with this in mind that we continue our goal setting process with a focus on joy. It is a simple question really...

what brought you joy this year?

I don't mean, "what made you happy". Anyone can talk about what makes them happy but what actually brought you true JOY in 2015. Joy is a much different focus. Joy comes in small moments and is almost always unexpected.

here is what I think you should consider when trying to decide what truly did bring you joy this year.

  • the people in your life that you spent time with and left feeling good

  • accomplishments you made

  • moments of peace

I don't think it is a secret that for me joy came in the form of my little nephew this year. I also realize that I probably sound like a broken record when I talk about him but  it was truly a big thing. My decision to move home seemed to validated by the birth of Otis because there is not a single person who has me me smile or laugh more in the past 8 months than that little guy. When I was sick, in bed, back and forth to the doctor's and not wanting anyone to see me, this kid would make me smile and laugh out loud. But more than that it was the joy in knowing that he had been brought into the life of my brother and his wife and completed their family. Knowing that they had the missing piece to their puzzle brought a level of joy I didn't expect.

So, as you work on this question today, think about the different kinds of joy around you.

 

an un-examined life is not worth living...4 days into our 31 day journey

When we examine our lives, one of the best places to start is at the lessons we learned through the people who have helped us and the people we may have helped as well.  When we help others, we show a part of our character that reflects the blessings we have been given. With that being said here are the questions we will explore today.

who did i really help this year?

this might be one of the more difficult questions to ask yourself because sometimes it is hard to know who we may have helped. If it helps, try to think about who you hope that you helped this year. Who did you want to help? How did you want to help?

For me, I don't know that I helped any one specific questions but my hope is that by sharing my experiences this year of stepping outside my comfort zone and taking a chance that others were able to get something out of it that encouraged them to do the same. 

Being able to share my story and hear the stories of other is a blessing and I can only hope that others learn from it how to go towards their passion and fight for their worth in the world. ON A SIDE NOTE: I can also only hope that I learn how to know when a camera is pointed at me and avoid such strange and funny faces. WOW

Being able to share my story and hear the stories of other is a blessing and I can only hope that others learn from it how to go towards their passion and fight for their worth in the world. ON A SIDE NOTE: I can also only hope that I learn how to know when a camera is pointed at me and avoid such strange and funny faces. WOW

who helped you this year?

This one should be easier because we don't live in a bubble and it takes a village no matter how strong a person you are. Why don't we tell our peeps how awesome they are more often? That is what this is all about.

  • So who helped you this year?

  • How did they help you?

  • Do they know they helped you?

write it all down but don't forget to share it with them. It will make their day and it will undoubtedly make you feel pretty amazing too. 

The people I learned from this year are too many to list and I will be making sure they all know who they are and why but here is a short "online shout out" list to get me started

these two have been taking care of me all year and OH man, who knew a grown ass woman would need her Mommy so much?

these two have been taking care of me all year and OH man, who knew a grown ass woman would need her Mommy so much?

My parents

the power of family and support. It is our circle that gets us through our most challenging situations and man do I have a good circle that starts with them. From filling my ice machines to taking me in and making sure I fill my candy cravings, these two made the last few months bearable.

if this isn't a reflection of love, I don't know what is

if this isn't a reflection of love, I don't know what is

My brother and his wife

taught me the power of love and how it can change a person's life and all of the amazing-ness that is waiting when you open yourself up to that

My doctor's

(all of them) who taught me patience. I'm not sure I like it all the time but I am seeing the value

My friends

who are way too many to list here but I learned a few things this year from them that got me through like:

  • humility and the power of "I'm Sorry"

  • what support looks like

  • the importance of a good slumber party with food, wine and movies.

  • bravery

who are those friends, btw? Well in an effort to not forget any of them, I have chosen to thank them on my own. But they WILL Know who they are.


What lessons did you learn from those that helped you and even from the people you helped?

Through some personal experiences I learned the hard lesson that "intention" is not always enough, not always seen and not always the part that speaks loudest. It is important that our actions align with our intentions because words are only words without the action behind them. 

Through some personal experiences I learned the hard lesson that "intention" is not always enough, not always seen and not always the part that speaks loudest. It is important that our actions align with our intentions because words are only words without the action behind them. 

We are brought experiences, people and things in our lives for a reason. If we don't pay attention to the lessons that are in those moments, we are missing the whole point and can't plan for the future. So take some time on this one. Not to sound like a broken record, but don't forget to share the lessons you learned with those around you.

Just get on, hang on and enjoy the ride

Just get on, hang on and enjoy the ride

Share the love. we learn the most from those around us. Till next week.