write it down

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.

Ready...Set...GOAL

The time has come. Self reflection has occurred and now we need to get to work. This s the hard part because you actually have to put pen to paper and plan.

but how?

I would love to tell you that I did this but THIS IS NOT MINE. I found it online and was like WOAH, holy moly this person is a    talented doodler. 

I would love to tell you that I did this but THIS IS NOT MINE. I found it online and was like WOAH, holy moly this person is a talented doodler. 

I mean we have all these ideas but generally when it is time to put them to paper they just fly right out of our minds. I hate when that happens. Here is what I do. I am a scribbler. I cannot seem to focus on anything unless there is a piece of paper in front of me and I can scribble, doodle or just in general make the ink move across the page. OH YES, I was the girl who wrote down the name of my crush on my notebook a hundred times surrounded  by hearts. I even have old projects from school like a wooden toolbox that is scribbled all over with the names of boys, cool phrases (well I thought they were cool in the 7th grade) and miscellaneous other things I cant even decipher all these years later. The same can be said for my work notes. I never have to wonder about someone stealing my secrets because you would need a decoder ring to get through my notes.

strangely though, this is actually productive for me. It channels my thoughts and somewhere in the mess of undecipherable doodles and hearts galore, a plan takes place. Now I realize that not everyone's brain works the same way mine does BUT I am here telling you what works for me, so it can't hurt to try right?

So get some sort of notebook (hopefully, the same one you have been using for your reflections the last 16 days). Sit in front of the TV or some other form of entertainment that is relaxing yet not too intense. (In other words, watch mindless TV that doesn't require too much attention...no back episodes of Game of Thrones, Lost or House of Cards here, you don't want to get too distracted.) The distraction here is actually your notebook NOT the tv. 

Sadly, not mine either. I was struggling with my computer and images today so had to use some from online...but how cool are they? Love this by    Bea Barros

Sadly, not mine either. I was struggling with my computer and images today so had to use some from online...but how cool are they? Love this by Bea Barros

Every few seconds, write something down. It can be a sentence, a word, a cute little drawing, whatever you want. It should however be related to something you would like to do next year. Maybe it is small like "lost 20 pounds". Maybe it is bigger like "get a raise" or "have a baby". Doesn't matter. No further details are needed today. All you have to do is scribble all the possibilities. We will dig into them later and organize them into something that looks like goals with real tangible action items to them. For now just scribble and jot things down. No pressure. Not coming up with anything, look up at the tv and laugh along with Leonard and Sheldon. Turn on some music, grab a hairbrush and dance around the room a bit...boom idea comes to you, jot it down and keep dancing. 

The only rule...try to fill AT LEAST one who piece of paper with your thoughts. If it takes a couple days, that's ok. Just keep your notebook near by and grab it when an inspiring thought hits you. 

That's it. Wednesday goal setting work complete. We are at the half way point everyone. That means we are about to finish the year ahead of the game because we are going to have a plan for 2016 that takes us all to the next level.

can I get a what what?

My apologies, I got a little excited there. If you did raise the roof and say "what what", my sincerest gratitude. If you didn't, give it time, you might get excited as you start writing things down. For those that did it but don't want to admit it...it's ok, I get it. Maybe next time.

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.

 

year in review...write it down...take a picture...

ok peeps, here we go. It's time to start our goal setting project. Get out your journals and pencils and let's get working.

You can't plan any sort of future if you don't have a clear understanding of where you have already been and what you did and didn't like about it. If you create a goal in a vacuum it tends to get sucked up into everything else. It is for this reason that the first step of .....

Okay, 2015 is almost complete. With 11 months under your belt, it is time for us to dig deep and ask some real questions of ourselves. This is where your journal comes into play. Write your answers to all of the questions below. Be specific and include details.

ask yourself this...

what is your best memory from 2015?

  • the best thing that happened to YOU (be specific)

My best memory of 2015 was hands down seeing my brother and sister-in-law become parents. While technically this happened to them, it gave me the opportunity to become fall in love for the first time. The specific moment for me was here in this picture. This was the first time I had ever held a baby )less than 3 months old) and the first time I held my nephew, Otis Wayne Hanks. This is me checking to make sure he had the right number of fingers and toes.

My best memory of 2015 was hands down seeing my brother and sister-in-law become parents. While technically this happened to them, it gave me the opportunity to become fall in love for the first time. The specific moment for me was here in this picture. This was the first time I had ever held a baby )less than 3 months old) and the first time I held my nephew, Otis Wayne Hanks. This is me checking to make sure he had the right number of fingers and toes.


What did you do this year that you are the most proud of?

The thing that makes me the most proud when I look back on 2015 was the fact that i took a huge leap of faith. I left a job that was part of my identity, a place I had grown up to come home and follow my purpose. It is no east thing to leave your comfort zone and trust yourself enough to know that you deserve to live in your truth, but that is the chance I took and I am not foolish enough to let that go by unnoticed by myself and be proud of the step I took.

The thing that makes me the most proud when I look back on 2015 was the fact that i took a huge leap of faith. I left a job that was part of my identity, a place I had grown up to come home and follow my purpose. It is no east thing to leave your comfort zone and trust yourself enough to know that you deserve to live in your truth, but that is the chance I took and I am not foolish enough to let that go by unnoticed by myself and be proud of the step I took.


what are you the most grateful for in 2015?

I am grateful for home more than anything. It wasn't the easiest year. There were issue with my health, building a business, finding a job, getting back into the swing of life in Oregon and needing to lean on everyone in my life to get me through. By coming home, I was fed, clothed, housed, lifted up and and taken care of. There is no possible way I could have taken the steps I took this year without that backbone. Whoever said you can't go home, didn't have a home like I do...

I am grateful for home more than anything. It wasn't the easiest year. There were issue with my health, building a business, finding a job, getting back into the swing of life in Oregon and needing to lean on everyone in my life to get me through. By coming home, I was fed, clothed, housed, lifted up and and taken care of. There is no possible way I could have taken the steps I took this year without that backbone. Whoever said you can't go home, didn't have a home like I do...

Did you learn something new about yourself?

Did you have a moment of clarity?

Did something specific happen?

If family and friends is what you are grateful for then be specific as to why that is. 

Remember that at the end of the day this project is about exploration and honesty. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

(I may have just had a deja vu moment to some childhood parental lectures, hmm..)


Once you have completed the questions, consider something bold. Share them with someone you trust. Saying them out loud and sharing them opens you up a little more. People who know and trust you might remind you of additional things to consider and remind you of some great things you bring to the table that you might ignore. We are always tough on ourselves and this exercise is about being honest and kind to yourself, so don't be afraid to open up and share your answers with people you know and ask if they think you should add anything else.

If you are really bold, you can even share some of your thoughts in the comments below. You don't have to share your specific answers but if you want to share your experience in coming up with your answers, feel free. It is always good to hear how people are approaching the process.

Friday, will be day two and we will talk about gratitude and acknowledgement.

A little throwback of the two of us around the time I entered my thirties....Throwback.

A little throwback of the two of us around the time I entered my thirties....Throwback.

P.S. My little sister enters the world of "Thirty, Flirty & Thriving" today. So sad I can't be there to celebrate it with her but so grateful to see her grow into the most amazing, capable, strong, smart and bold woman. Only the best is on it's way. Can't wait to see what you will do...

personal manifesto writing part 1

We all have a dream. Some of us have lots of them. We may not always realize that is what they are. We may avoid the work to make them come true. We may be lost as to how to make them a reality. Maybe you haven't unearthed what it is yet. But we all have a dream.

Dreams are what I focus on because it seems the only way to truly connect with people. Once you discover and chase your dream, you start to know more about who you really are and who you want to be. This in turn makes it easier to see who other people are, thus making connection simpler.

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.
— Larry Winget

It is for that reason I continue to focus on creating a manifesto. Like any journey, it is crucial to have a plan, even a rough one. Let me be clear, having a plan does NOT mean that you will follow it to the letter. Oh gosh, the most fun things in life happen when the plan falls through. That being said though, having a general direction or map you can refer to along the way helps you make not only the right turns but the left ones that actually turn out to be right all along.

If “Plan” A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters? Stay Cool
— Author Unknown

So what is supposed to go in to a manifesto?

That is the beautiful part. They can be short or long. They can be targeted to one particular thing or encompass all that you believe. They can change an infinite amount of times as you change and grow.  There is really only one rule to building a manifesto...

It must reflect who & what you are and challenge you to stretch yourself.

I should clarify, nowhere does it say that in the dictionary of manifesto's or online at some "how to site", Well...I don't think it does, I didn't actually look. So really, this is my belief and I realize some of you have just met me...so let me prove my point here.

Read brand manifesto's, or personal manifesto's from any and everyone. Take note of what is similar and what is different. They all have a call to action for the person(s) that is reading it. They all use positive language. They all aspire to something better. They almost always have a theme or direction even though it isn't always blatant. And they almost always show you what the person(s) ultimately wants to aspire to.

I promised in my previous post: Tips on How & Why Brands Use Manifesto's to Connect with Consumers that I would help us all focus on the steps to writing our own manifesto's and so today we start.

It doesn't need to be in a fancy journal or a perfectly handwritten list. It actually doesn't even have to make sense. But spend a day or better yet a week writing things down. Have scraps of paper or a notebook and a writing tool around at all times and when you have a thought...jot it down. 

I am a firm believer of visual and written goals. YES, I vision board, get over it. I know it works. Why wouldn't I do it? Don't believe me that writing things down helps? Check out the Positivity Blog and their 7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Things Down. By the way, how cool is it that there is something called the POSITIVITY BLOG?

Anyway, if you are not yet comfortable with writing down your thoughts, why not choose visuals to represent them instead? Lots of people have image journals with little to no text because that is the way the learn and see the world. That is totally acceptable as well and if you are visually creative would probably look pretty great too. So search for things in your surroundings that represent what you believe and what you want.

Okay, so this is step one. All we will talk about today is step one because quite frankly it is the foundation for everything else. So spend this week collecting information, words, images and anything else that might help you to create your very own manifesto.

Next week we will address step 2, organizing your thoughts.

 

 

all photos provided by AnD Creatives