Goals and Dreams

Worthy Necklace

Goal setting is something new to me.  I never really set goals for myself before.  It is something new that I started after I read Girl, Wash Your Faceby Rachel Hollis.  It really wasn’t until I read that book that I realized that I couldn’t tell you what I wanted my life to look like in 10 years.  I didn’t know what my goals and dreams were for my future anymore.  I had never really focused on me.  It was always about my job/students, my kids, my husband, and everyone and everything but me. I had to take a long look at what I wanted and needed and began to formulate a dream.  That book came at a time in my life when I was unsure of what I wanted.  I was unsure if teaching was what I wanted to do the rest of my life.  I was at a crossroads.  Here is the excerpt from the book that really made me realize that I needed to make a change because I did have a stirring in my heart….

“If you have a stirring in your heart for something more, that is a gift and not everyone has that. It’s your potential knocking on the door. Embrace it. There is something more for you. The instinct or desire for more is not enough. You have to put in the work! Know you have the potential for more and don’t give up.”

Once I did some serious soul searching, I realized that I did have big dreams, dreams that were bigger than the way I was currently living my life. I started setting big goals for myself and attempted to make a plan on how I was going to get there.  Within those big goals came smaller goals. Goals that were easily attainable IF I put in the work.  That’s the key, though. You have to be willing to put in the hard work.  That’s something that I have had to learn to do.  Normally, I would always push things that I wanted to the side because I was always last. In my mind everyone else’s needs came before my own needs.  I have had to learn that isn’t the way to do it. There are times when I have to put my needs and wants first.  I have to take that time to put in the work if I am ever going to have a shot at reaching my dreams.   That has been a really hard lesson to learn and one that I continue to struggle with. I think most moms, and women in general, often put everyone else before their own well-being.  It is really sad that we have been taught that for years. We have been taught that women are the caregivers and that we need to put everyone else first.  Women are the ones that stay home and take care of sick kids. Women are the ones to schedule and transport the kids to appointments. Women are the ones who are made to feel bad when they choose to work and put their kids in daycare.  Women are the ones that go to work sick every single time. Women are the ones that juggle a million hats a once. Our dream is supposed to be to get married and have kids and take care of your family to the best of your ability.   That is what the majority of the world believes and what society tells us to do. You can try to argue that it is not true, but just ask any single woman how many times people ask her when she is going to get married.  Ask any newly married woman how many times people have asked her when she is going to start having kids.  Ask any working mom how many times she has been made to feel guilty about working outside the home.  I can assure you that they would all say a million times. It is no wonder that many of us don’t know what our dreams are or can’t ever attain them.  We are a product of our culture.  Yes, great strides have been made when it comes to women, but there is still such a long way to go.  We as women have a right to dream and to dream big.   We have the right to set goals and pursue them with all we’ve got.  It is okay to put yourself first sometimes.  Don’t get me wrong; I love my family.  I love being a mom and a wife.  I wouldn’t change any of that for anything, but it is okay for me to want more for my life, to do more for myself.  It is okay for me to have goals and dreams, and it is okay for me to pursue them with all I’ve got.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.  

Figuring out what my goals and dreams are was a big step in my life.  It has definitely changed me for the better. Once I figured out what I really wanted for my life, I had to come up with a plan to get me there.  I had to figure out how to become the best version of myself, the person God meant for me to be.  I now set goals for myself all the time.  Some of them I share and others I keep to myself.  These goals are going to help me reach the dreams I now have for myself, for the person that I want to be. I set goals for things like this blog and for both of my small businesses.  I set goals for small things like not drinking a Pepsi for a month. It doesn’t matter how big or small or silly it may seem, it is important to have something to motivate you. I like having something to reach for.  It really motivates me to keep pushing through. What is really hard for me now is when I fall short of my goal.   I tend to beat myself up about it. That’s when the negative self-talk comes in.  I start to tell myself that I’m not good enough. That is something I am working on now and will probably always be working on.  The one thing I have learned most of all is that it is okay to dream big and that is what I am going to continue to do.  I am going to keep setting small goals to help me get there. Even when I fail, I am going to keep going. I encourage you all to figure out what your big dreams are and know they can be as big as you can imagine.  Then figure out a plan for what is going to get you there.  Set small goals that will help you to reach that bigger goal, and go for it with everything you’ve got. 

Anchored,

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!!! Can you believe it is 2019? I’ve seen the meme going around that this will be the last time we will ever see “teens” in our lifetime.  Does that make you feel old or is it just me? Maybe I am feeling extra old because my birthday is just a few days away.  Maybe it’s because I woke up this morning with everything aching and that happens more an more every day. Maybe it is from the reminiscing about the past year that I’ve been doing the last couple of days. I don’t know but I feel old!  I am sorry to say that this post may be a little sentimental and a little long today! Sorry! 

As we all rang in the New Year last night (some of us with our eyes closed in bed), I think it is only natural that we look back over the past year and all that we have or have not accomplished.  For me, 2018 brought with it many lasts and lots of changes for my family. We had our very last deployment ever, which is probably the one I am most excited about. Being a military wife for going on 19 years has taken its toll on not only me but also the family as a whole. I don’t know the number of times my husband has been deployed.  I know that it is too many to count. The relief that came with that last deployment is one that I am not sure I could ever describe.  While he will continue to take a few small “trips” here and there, he should never have to go on a deployment where he is gone months at a time ever again. That is something to surely celebrate! This news brings about change as well.  We all have to adjust to a different life where he doesn’t leave all the time. We have to figure out our new normal.  While I know there will be some growing pains, I honestly don’t care. Having him here all the time will be completely worth it. With that last deployment came another last.  It was the last time that my husband will ever serve on a submarine. He has been in the Navy and serving on submarines for over 25 years.  That is pretty much his whole adult life.  Not only will he be adjusting to not deploying every few months, he is also adjusting to a completely different job in the Navy, which also brings growing pains.  At his Change of Command Ceremony this past summer, we said goodbye to people that had become our family and to the only way of life we have known together as a family. Good things are coming!

2018 was a big real estate year for us as well.  No, we aren’t in the real estate business, we just have moved a lot and owned 2 houses. We sold our house in Georgia, got new tenants in our other house that we rent out, rented the house that we are currently living in, and began the process of purchasing the house that we will be moving into in the spring. This brought about some lasts and changes as well. I realized that 2018 was probably the last time that I will ever live in the state of Georgia, which has been my home for the majority of my life.  I was born there, lived there until I was 14 years old, went to college there, and lived there for 6 years of my married life.  If you were doing the math in your head, I have lived in Georgia for 24 years of my life. Without giving away my exact age, I will tell you that it is over half of my life. Most of my favorite life memories have been in Georgia. It is kind of sad to think that I will likely never live there again. Thankfully, I have lots of family and friends that live there so I will get to go back and visit often. The change in real estate also brought us to a new place that we will hopefully get to call home for many years.  It is our plan to at least be here until both of our girls graduate from high school. It is important to us that we not move them during the life shaping years of high school.  While starting over somewhere new is always daunting, the idea that this will be home for a long time is such an awesome feeling. Stability and no deployments has been something the whole family has craved forever. 

There are so many other highlights from 2018 such as a family trip to Disney with my parents and nephew, a great trip to NYC with my girls and some of my best friends for gymnastics, my annual beach trip with my peeps that I look forward to all year long, and so many more amazing memories. One of the biggest highlights for me personally, though, was taking the leap and starting this blog.  I cannot tell you how much joy it has already brought to my life, and I know that more greatness is to come from it in the future. Thank you to all of you that show up and read what little old me has to say each day.  It means more to me that you will ever know.  Please continue to share it with the ones you love as well! 

Now on to 2019.  I have never been one that makes New Year’s Resolutions.  However, lately I have been setting monthly goals for myself, and it seems to be working. The key to achieving your goals is to have a plan from the start on how to achieve them.  Words mean nothing if there is no plan of action in place.  We all know that all the gyms around have an influx of new members and attendance in January and that by March they are all empty again. That’s because people make huge resolutions that aren’t realistic for their lives or that they had no long-term plan of action for achieving their resolutions.  I personally think it is better to set goals that are realistic and attainable.  I think you can set big goals for the year, but the key is to make smaller goals within the bigger goal so that you have a chance of achieving it.  For example, one of my goals since November has been to choose gratitude and joy every single day.  This will be a goal that continues into the New Year.  My plan of action for achieving this is to focus daily on things in my life that I am grateful for and that bring me joy.  To help me do this, I have purchased one of Rachel Hollis’s Start Today journals, which encourages you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for each morning, 10 goals or dreams I have for myself, and the one goal I am going to focus on first.  This only takes me a few minutes each morning, which makes it feasible for me to do each day.  Having to come up with the 5 things I am grateful for each day forces me to look for moments throughout each day which in turn helps me to choose joy over negativity.   Also, writing down your goals everyday keeps them in the forefront of your mind and helps you to achieve them.  As a visual learner, this one is key for me.  Seeing my goals in writing every single day really helps me.  I even write my goals, as I have shown you before, in my planner for each month.  I have 3 goals each month that I am working towards that I write in there on top of the 10 goals that I write in my Start Today Journal.  Now, do you need a fancy journal like the one I bought? No, you can pick up any spiral notebook or pretty journal from Walmart or Target and do the exact same thing, which is what I will do when I fill up my current one. 

I also have big goals for this blog for 2019.  I could say that I want to reach 1000 followers by the end of the year, but I am not going to do that.  Instead I am going to set smaller, monthly goals of things I want to achieve. Setting monthly goals that are really attainable will actually make you achieve those bigger goals overall. Another thing that I am doing starting today is following Mel Robbin’s Mindset Reset. If you have not read her book, The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage, you should! You can purchase it here (Amazon). Anyway, she is leading a 35-day mind reset through a series of emails and videos on Facebook that starts TODAY.  You can join through her Facebook page here. I feel like this is going to really help me to achieve all of my goals for the year. Check it out! 

I encourage you all to join me and set small monthly goals for yourself. Make sure that you have a plan of action for achieving that goal.  Write them down every day. Don’t give up. Even when it gets hard, don’t give up. Keep pushing through and you will achieve your goals.  I have faith in myself, and I have faith in you! We can do this! 

Anchored in a New Year,

An Eeyore Kind of Day

 

PNG image-AB72F3BFA080-1

Do you ever have those days when everything just goes wrong and you can’t seem to catch a break? I had one of those days yesterday. I felt like Eeorye from Winnie the Pooh where everything bad happens all in one day. It was like there was a storm cloud over my head and I just kept loosing my tail just like Eeyore. Nothing went right for me all day long. It started when I woke up in the morning and tried to get my post up for the day. None of my videos would load onto my website. I spent hours upon hours trying to fix it to get them loaded for you guys. No matter what I did it wouldn’t work, and I had no idea what the problem was (still don’t). What should have taken me about 30 minutes to do (because I was all prepared) took me all day long. I was so frustrated! When I went to make dinner last night I got it halfway done and I realized I was out of mozzarella cheese. I can’t make baked spaghetti without the mozzarella cheese. Again, so frustrating! Oh, and I tried to upload all of our Disney photos from our trip back in July from my phone onto my computer. Guess what? It wouldn’t work and the pictures kept disappearing. I was freaking out! Precious memories were being lost. At least it seemed like they were. Thankfully, I was able to recover all of them, but it added an hour more to my day of unplanned activities. There were more little things that kept happening, but I will spare you the details of all of those. It was like a snowball effect…one thing after the other.

 

JPEG image-FAE9E1E0EF56-1

Sometimes I feel like I don’t even know why I make a schedule for the day. It never seems to work out the way I planned. When these frustrating things add on extra time that I haven’t planned for, I get super flustered. You guys know, and I’ve said it a million times before, that I have OCD tendencies. When my schedule doesn’t go as planned it ruins my whole day. I can’t stop thinking about all of the things that I had planned to do that are not getting done because of the extra, unplanned time I am spending on the things that are going wrong. Does anyone else feel that way or is it just me?

JPEG image-CAA6BCE6C5CF-1

 

Why do we have these days where nothing seems to go our way? What sets us up for failure in that way? I think, for me, that when the first unexpected kink in the chain occurs, it changes my mindset and automatically sets me up for having a bad day.  It’s almost like I am looking for the next bad thing to happen, like I am expecting it.  When you have that attitude, of course you are going to be more in tune with the negatives of the day instead of all the positive things.  Maybe the day isn’t as bad as I make it seem in my mind because I am only focusing on the negatives.  I struggle with this a lot.  I have this issue with being able to let things go. It consumes me, and some days are just hard. For me it seems like Mondays are hard lately. Last week it was a missed appointment and yesterday it was a domino effect of things going wrong. It puts me in the worst mood. Why do I let these things get to me? Why do I let it affect my entire day? How can I get past it? How can I just shrug it off and keep going?

JPEG image-B41C3F9D0A8C-1

 

Last week I talked about two of my goals for the month of November. One was to extend grace to myself and not be so hard on myself, and the other was to choose to be at peace with my flaws. Today, I am going to let you in on my third goal for the month of November, and that is to look for things to be grateful for every day. What better month than to do that in November when we are reminded to be thankful anyway? When you choose to look for things to be thankful for, you start to focus on the positives of the day instead of always looking for the negatives. When my videos wouldn’t load and I’m started to get frustrated, I should have stopped and asked myself right there in that moment what I was grateful for.  You know what? I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to stay home to be able to actually write this little blog. I’m grateful for the readers that keep coming back. I’m grateful that I have a nice phone and computer to even be able to record and post videos when so many don’t. I am grateful! When I didn’t have the cheese I needed for dinner, I should have stopped and asked myself what I was thankful for right in that moment. You know what? I’m thankful to even have food to feed my family. I’m thankful that I have an awesome husband to come to my rescue and can get some cheese for me on his way home. I am thankful! When my Disney pictures disappeared, I should have stopped and asked myself in that very moment what I was grateful for. You know what? I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Disney in the first place. I am grateful to have had that time to spend with my family and to see the joy on the face of my little nephew as he experienced it all. I am grateful! When you stop the negative thoughts and feelings and turn it around to focus on the good in your life, your day will turn around. As soon as I begin thinking of the many things I have to be grateful for, I feel better. In the words of my friend Eeorye, “Could be worse. Not sure how, but could be.” Yes, it may be bad at that moment but thinking about what makes you grateful makes it all seem insignificant because it could be so much worse. While Eeyore may always loose his tail and always have a rain cloud over his head, he at least realizes that it could be worse and the rain will stop, eventually.  Look for the sunshine in the midst of the rain and go play in the puddles! Look for the small things to be grateful for.

Anchored and Grateful,

Signature

Perfectly Imperfect

Rachel Hollis Quote

I am not perfect.  In fact, I am far from it. I am human.  Humans make mistakes. Sometimes I make big mistakes and sometimes I make little mistakes.  Most of the time they are somewhere in between.  I have been writing this little blog for almost a month now.  I talk to you all about organization and the importance of it.  I have talked all about having a schedule and how my planner is my life.  Sometimes the most organized people in the world still mess up.  I am definitely not saying that I am the most organized person in the world because that would be a lie.  Yes, I like things organized. I like things scheduled and planned out, but that doesn’t mean that I always have it together.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes.  I am human.  Humans are imperfect.   That was me yesterday, completely imperfect.  I made a mistake.  To most it’s just a small mistake, but to me, it was huge.  I beat myself up about it all day yesterday.  Aren’t we our worst critics? Does it happen to you? When I tell you what I did, you are going to laugh and think I am crazy once again. You are going to think that something must be wrong with me to get so bothered by this one tiny thing.  You guys, I am human.

Yesterday started like any normal day.  I got up, got the kids up and ready for school, showered, and began my day according to my normal schedule.  I got so wrapped up in writing my closet post and working my R+F business that I made one vital mistake.  I never opened my planner to see what I had going on yesterday.  I look at my planner first thing every morning normally. Yesterday I didn’t.  I don’t know if you remember my post about schedules where I said that I live and breath by my planner. Why is it that I rely so heavily on my planner? I have said before that my OCD tendencies make me crave a schedule and order.  Well, that is true, but it isn’t the only reason.  The biggest reason that I rely on my planner is that my memory is horrible. The older I get, the worse it gets. I always tell my oldest daughter to remind me to do this or that.  She always says back to me, “Ok, you are going to have to remind me to remind you.” That’s not how it works, right? I used to think that my forgetting things was due to the craziness and stress of my life and schedule back when I was working full time.  I am no longer working full time, my stress load has decreased tremendously, but I am still forgetful.  Most of the time I feel like my head is just overloaded with information and that my brain works overtime to keep it all straight. It keeps me awake at night.  My brain just never slows down.  When I don’t sleep, my head gets fuzzy.  All the things running around in there get jumbled.  That’s when mistakes happen.  That’s when I mess up.

I was sitting here yesterday just working away when my phone rang.  It was my youngest daughter’s school.  My mind immediately went to thinking that she had a migraine or they were telling me she was sick because that’s normally what the school calls me for. Of course, that wasn’t the case. I answer the phone and I hear, “Hi, this is so and so from school.  Um…we were scheduled for a meeting at 1:00 today. “ I look at the clock and see that it is 1:15. My stomach drops, and I instantly remember that we had a very important 504 meeting scheduled.  It was like that Emoji where your palm is smacking you in the face and someone punching me in the stomach all at once.   I immediately start apologizing.  She was telling me it was no big deal and that it happens all the time, but it doesn’t.  It doesn’t happen to me. I am supposed to always have it together.  I am not supposed to make mistakes.  I mean I wrote a freaking post about my daughter and her need for a 504 plan just the day before!  You would think I would have remembered this important meeting.  These are all the thoughts running through my head in this 2-minute conversation with the school.  Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do I do it to myself? Why do I have this idea in my head that I am supposed to be perfect even though I know we all have flaws? Why do I put this unnecessary pressure on myself? I think it is something we all do as women, but why? Is it society that makes us this way? Is it just a part of our DNA? Is it both? Why are we so quick to judge ourselves? We act like the judge and jury and declare ourselves guilty and subject to punishment all the time.

The school ended up telling me to come on in for the meeting, so I threw on my shoes and rushed to get there as fast as I could because I didn’t want them waiting on me for one minute longer.  I think I apologized at least 10 times throughout the meeting.  No one was upset. No one seemed annoyed.  Everyone was smiling. The meeting went well.  I got what I wanted, so why did I continue to think negatively about myself for the rest of the day? It was like a dark cloud was hanging over me. Thinking about it now makes it all seem so silly.  Why did I let something so inconsequential destroy my day? It’s dumb, I know! We have to stop beating ourselves up over little things.  Did it make me less of a person in their eyes? I don’t think so.  Are they still thinking about how I forgot about the meeting? I highly doubt they have given it, or me for that matter, a second thought. Why should I let it make me feel so bad about myself? I shouldn’t.  I somehow have to figure out how to train my brain to accept my flaws, to accept my imperfections.  It doesn’t do me or anyone else any good to punish myself.  I don’t have to be perfect all of the time.  We, as humans, are made perfectly imperfect. Our flaws teach us lessons and help to make us who we are. It’s okay to make mistakes every now and then.  In the words of my new BFF, Rachel Hollis, in her book Girl, Wash Your Face, “Give yourself the permission to do the best you can and the grace to be peaceful on the days when you miss the mark.” Give myself grace.  Choose peace over worry and stress.  Be at peace with myself, flaws and all. That’s exactly what I need to do.  Doing my best is all I can do.  When my kids, husband, or friends mess up, I extend grace to them and I don’t let it eat me up inside.  When I mess up, I have to learn to extend grace to myself.  My mistakes are not the end of the world.  I don’t have to be perfect all the time. It’s ok to be imperfect.  It’s just who I am. I can only try and do the best I can.  When those negative thoughts enter my head, I have to shut them down immediately. I have to change my mindset to be at peace with who I am, flaws and all.  I have to think about all of the good things I am doing right instead of the things I have messed up. I am going to work on this.  I think I might even put up a few sticky notes around my house to remind me to extend grace to myself and to choose peace.  I am working hard to become a better version of myself piece by piece. I desire to be anchored in who I am and the person I want to be.  That person is not someone who judges herself for her flaws.  That person is someone who extends grace to herself when she messes up and is at peace with her flaws.  I have to give myself credit for the good I am doing and ignore the bad.  The good should outweigh the bad any day.  I have to choose to search for good instead of the bad. I have to change my mindset. I have to set new goals for myself. Want to join me?

November Goals

Anchored in Peace and Grace,

Signature