2019 Goal Setting Series: Creativity.

I would have to consult my previous sets of Powersheets, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever set an intentional goal around using my creativity before. During the reflective process that I went through in December I kept noticing a theme of things that weren’t necessarily fitting into the other threads I identified. Things like: brainstorming, doodling, crafting, creating pretty things, getting words on paper, scrolling through Pinterest, colors + patterns – these were all things that “fired me up” but didn’t really have a home in my other goals.

Eventually, it clicked that these are the things that I incorporate into my life randomly, with very little intention, but they all built a sense of motivation, calm, and reflection for me. They are the things that help support all of my other goals, and they allow me to be creative. And my fifth goal was born: Creativity.

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The big picture goal: I am a creative, well-rounded individual and I will dedicate time to using my gifts.

This matters, because: Creativity keeps the blood and motivation flowing, and create new opportunities to share with others.

Some action steps: |create + maintain a EJBlog content calendar | set aside time for writing | get out my markers + doodle | try new things for EJBlog | create a reading list for the year | try new recipes in the kitchen | create a space for yoga + meditation at home | take more pictures | create a list of motivators for when I’m feeling stagnant | maintain weekly posting goals for EJBlog | create a list of home projects I can do |

Prioritizing time for creativity can seem silly, like what adult should make time to pull out their markers and draw? All of them. That’s who! Or, whatever your version of marker doodles is. Make time for your marker doodles!

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Damn Moon Energy + January 74th

I haven’t done this in a while, writing just to write, that is.

Usually, I am a week ahead of time in my posts for the blog, but procrastination, and other priorities just kind of took over last week. Maybe it was the Full Wolf Blood Super Moon Eclipse thing that happened last weekend. While I consider myself a pseudo hippie, and maybe just a little bit witchy, this moon energy has been so interesting.

I went from the new year excitement and motivation to a slump of boredom and…just…real life. Week two, back to reality seemed to dish out similar symptoms to everyone I work with. We all were just not quite as vibrant and motivated as we had been the week before. Snow was coming and the magic of new resolutions and holiday break conversations have melted away.

Then it snowed. A lot. Southeastern Michigan got about 6 inches of snow in about 18 hours, and it just felt so soothing, things got quiet, and the world turned white. My energy shifted to re-centering myself, continuing to clean and simplify at home, and focus on what I am cultivating for the year. I did yoga, meditated, watched a lot of Top Chef, cooked, wrote out birthday cards, wrote for the sake of writing (not sharing), journaled, spent time with my husband, played in the snow with the dogs, read a little, and did little things around the house that I’ve been putting off.

Then the damn moon energy started creeping in. This just got weird. I have no specific words to describe it – people were on edge, I was feeling restless, I laughed a lot, my jaw dropped a lot at random things that happened, I got angry, I was lazy, and the world just seemed off. The universe creeped in a few times, reminding me that times like this are a test of everything else I’m trying to build into my life. It’s easy to reflect, meditate, and take care of myself when I’m feeling motivated, but it’s a whole other thing to do it when I’m not feeling motivated. Lesson learned, universe, lesson learned.

While it feels like it’s January 74th, this month brought a rollercoaster of emotions and insight for me. It was the start of something new, not just a new year, but a new energy for myself, a new space that I’m carving out for myself. Letting go of what was dragging me along, and gripping onto the things that will lift me up. It’s been a strange transitional month, but I’m grateful for it, and I’m grateful that it will be coming to an end soon.

We’re coming for you, February.

 

2019 Goal Setting Series: Community.

I won’t lie. This topic has been difficult for me to articulate into words. The social construct of | C O M M U N I T Y | is hard to nail down into a few words or action items. Enter the all-mighty Google.

| C O M M U N I T Y | a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristics in common. Also, a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I suppose part of the difficulty is that in the age of social media, we claim community in…well…everything. A Facebook group about your favorite show? Community. Your Instagram followers? Community. The group of people that liked the same photo as you? Community. It’s not a bad thing, far from it actually. But, it does challenge how we honor and value our personal connection with those around us.

I spent the majority of 2018 very lonely. I wasn’t alone, physically, but I was longing for a sense of community after being part of, what I now understand as, an artificial community. I thought I had found my people, that I was finally surrounded by supportive individuals. I wasn’t. The aftermath was rough, and it was even more difficult to understand why it was so rough. Eventually, I understood and that understanding drove my desire and goal to create a meaningful community in 2019.

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The big picture goal: I have a community of people that I trust, honor, and celebrate.

This matters, because: Life is difficult and having a loving community is a form of self-care. Having reciprocal trust in individuals that will hold you up and that YOU can hold up is what life is all about.

Some action steps: daily gestures of kindness + love | volunteering | fundraising for causes that I care about | filling an address book + birthday list | take more photos with people | schedule time with people | send birthday cards, track | celebrate important milestones for my people | know/love/honor my tribe | create a leslie knope style celebration calendar | be a source of L I G H T.

I am hopeful that by building a community around myself, I will be less anxious about social situations, and will celebrate success by hosting people in our home during the holidays.

What will | C O M M U N I T Y | like in 2019?

Loving | Celebratory | Caring | Trusting | Active | Positive | Supportive | Thoughtful

—> For more in my goal setting series, go to the original post here.

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2019 Goal Setting Series: Home.

Home is a lot of things. It’s more than a series of walls and rooms. Home is where you are safe, loved, and comfortable. As I went through my PowerSheets prep work for 2019, one of the common threads that I was able to identify, were things that reminded me of home.

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The Big Picture: I am intentional with maintaining our home.

This matters, because: When this house becomes ours I want to be able to take pride in the home we’ve built. Home is about more than just relaxing, but also about being accountable to more than just ourselves. As we come closer purchasing the house that we live in, Justin and I keep building a list of things we want to do to improve the house and make it our own. I want to ensure, that we also focus on taking pride in this building as our home.

Some Action Steps: Working with Winnie on listening and responding to commands, creating a weekly cleaning routine + schedule, clean dishes every night before bed, maintain yard through each season, create a household budget, grocery shop + limit eating out, increase + monitor our credit, simplify by getting rid of what we don’t use, ultimately apply for a mortgage.

I am looking forward to the continued comfort that this house provides us and to growing as we build our home.

—> For more in my goal setting series, go to the original post here.

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8 Lessons I Learned in 2018

The last 364 days threw a lot of different things, people, emotions, situations, and issues at me. Some great, some initially perceived great, and some… just plain ugly. Looking back on year I realized just how even at the age of 33 there are lessons to be learned.

1. Not everything needs a social media picture or caption. Social media is so consuming that I have started forming habits where whatever I do, I think about how I could caption it if I posted it on Instagram. It isn’t pretty, but it’s reality. I am working toward adopting the philosophy that: “yes, if something happens and it wasn’t posted to social media that it was real.”

2. Money demands responsibility. Not respecting the value and necessity of money is immaturity at its finest. The thought that having spending money for whatever you want and remaining ignorant of the impact it has on your budget, credit, and ability to succeed is irresponsible. Which brings me to…

3. Things + food don’t satisfy emotional needs. Buying crap you don’t need or eating food your body doesn’t need do nothing positive for your emotional stability. Instead it creates an illusion that you can rely on these external things to be happy or content. Instead, imagine how much more satisfied you’d be with a body fueled by healthy foods and regular exercise and a bank account that allows you to pay your bills and go on vacation.

4. Some relationships aren’t meant to last forever. About halfway through the year a few of my relationships took an unexpected turn. At the time it bordered on devastating, I was hurt, obsessing about what I had done wrong, and lonely. It took me several months to realize that not all relationships, no matter how crucial they were at one time, are meant to last forever. I created my own version of closure.

5. Negativity is toxic and contagious. Constant negativity is not only toxic to yourself, but also those around you. It sucks the life out of a room and infects everyone around you. Why waste the effort on trying to not be positive? Don’t be a soul sucker.

6. My marriage is worth honoring with time, effort, and energy. Being married for eight years, going through the accelerated lifestyle that Justin and I have had to endure has certainly taken its toll. As our lives became less chaotic it became apparent that we also had to get out of our role of patient and caregiver. Our marriage is a partnership that deserves our time, effort, and energy. Our partnership deserves to be honored.

7. It’s okay to still not know “what I want to do when I grow up”. People are constantly growing, learning new things, and discovering new passions. The 40-year career with the same company is no longer the standard, and that’s okay. Instead of trying to force a single job title, I’m choosing to grow and utilize my gifts in my career.

8. I don’t have to be everything. I want to, oh do I want to be everything. But I can’t. It’s impossible and, quite frankly, exhausting. I don’t have to be everything; I just have to be me.

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2019 Goal Setting Series: Me.

I am a self proclaimed “pseudo hippie”. I believe in the universe, light, energy, and other witchy type of things. BUT I am also a logical person that doubts my own hippie ways. It’s a constant push and pull, but there’s no denying that as I sat down to write this post the universe was setting me up for success.

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I was scrolling Instagram stories just to clear my mind and my favorite hippies had a livevideo from last night that popped up – this supplied me with an hour of company as I type, gorgeous crystals to peek at, and good energy.

I pulled an affirmation card from the Louise Hay “How to Love Yourself” card deck that read: “With every breath I take, I’m getting healthier and healthier.” the back says: “My body is a mirror of my inner thoughts and beliefs. I nourish it with good food and healthy exercise.”

That, my friends, is not a coincidence. That is the universe setting up my soul to sit and write. I’m grateful for that opening.

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While going through my PowerSheets prep work, I kept coming back to, well, me. Which, I know sounds not-so-profound and expected, but it was eye opening for me. It was one of the first times in my life that I made the connection between my health and the functioning of my body with the rest of my life. My health, both mental and physical must come first in order for the rest to come into place. In order for me to work on my home, community, career, creativity, and marriage goals, I MUST work on my mind, body, and soul. The ultimate form of self-care.

The big picture: I am living in a way that prioritizes my physical health and mental wellness.

This matters, because: nothing else matters if my body cannot function properly.

Some Action Steps: Maintain gluten-free lifestyle, read “Womancode” by Alisa Vitti to better understand hormones, moving daily, daily water intake tracking, meditation, yoga, social media detoxing, journaling, rest, grocery shopping, meal prepping, trying new exercise routines and classes, daily reflection, vitamins, regular check-ins with my primary care physicians.

When prompted to think about what success will look like after a year of focusing on this aspect of my life, I wasn’t thinking about how, inevitably, I will physically LOOK different. I keep thinking about how I will feel different, lighter in a sense that I will no longer be carrying around the metaphorical weight that being unhealthy places on you. The mental burden of living that life is heavy, and that weight is harder to live with than the physical one.

I look forward to that clarity that will come with physical and mental health.

—> For more in my goal setting series, go to the original post here.

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2019 Goal Setting Series: Reflection

Reflection is a powerful thing.

As individuals we have the ability to make significant changes to how we life our daily lives, but I believe, in order to make progress reflection is necessary. It’s not an easy process, reflection brings up the good, the bad, and the ugly, and in order for reflection to be successful you have to be brutally honest with yourself. That takes guts.

This December was the third year in a row that I used the Cultivate What Matters PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner to reflect and plan for the year ahead. As I started this year’s reflection process I was coming out of a relatively negative space, personally. The path that the PowerSheets “prep work” takes you through requires you to actually sit down and identify (and ultimately, fight) your demons. This was the first time in three years that my demons were of my own making. I wasn’t planning for or recovering from a year that would be associated with my husband’s bone marrow transplant.

2017 was all about preparing for and getting through his bone marrow transplant.

2018 was all about recovering, dealing with trauma, and getting back to “normal”.

2019 will be about me.

Ultimately, the last couple of months have been about really figuring out who I am without my trauma branded on my forehead. Going through the prep work made me realize how in 2018 I was doing anything I could to cover up my true self. It will take me more than a couple of weeks to figure out the root of that, but I have a theory:

Blending in and getting other people’s approval is easier than figuring out who you actually are and following your light. Fitting in is easier than being an individual.

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In 2019 I am saying NO to:
COMPARISON, not prioritizing my health, blaming others for my feelings, gluten (LOL), trying to be someone else, gossip and fake relationships, sharing only the “highlights” on social media, making excuses for laziness, and buying shit I don’t need.

In 2019 I am saying YES to: Hobbies (whether or not they turn into a business), volunteering, positivity, loving my people well, reflection, writing, growth, listening to my body, social media detoxing, pushing myself, time with family, honoring who I am, self care (and self love), trying new things, saving money, spending time outdoors, creative projects, honoring and celebrating my marriage, and celebrating people, occasions, and progress.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing some of the themes and goals that were built out of the reflection and prep work process with my PowerSheets. I am hopeful that this will not only bring me a sense of accountability, but will also strengthen my passion for progress over perfection.

Upcoming Posts: Me, Home, Community, Career, Creativity, and Marriage

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