2016 Goals

2016 Goal settingI know we are well past the time of New Year’s Resolutions, but I tend to be a goal-oriented girl anyway. My 2016 goals took me a couple of weeks to narrow down. I know 10 goals can be a lot as it is, but I try to keep them obtainable – that’s why I limit myself to 10. I could set realistic goals like eat chocolate every day, but I set goals that are realistic and also keep me motivated. Without any further ado, here’s my list.

  1. Complete my CPCU insurance designation. I have two test left and I’m on track to finish in May. Meeting this goal comes with its own special reward – the awards ceremony is in Hawaii!
  2. Attend a writing retreat. By meeting the goal above, I’ll be in Hawaii when I would normally be attending my favorite writer’s conference. So that makes attending a writing retreat a must, and I already have the time off from work.
  3. Add 6000 words to my latest book project. I anticipate most of the progress of this goal to be reached while I’m at the above mentioned writing retreat. Although, I did get a 126 word start on it in January.
  4. Blog two times per month.
  5. Read 20 books. That’s only one more than I read last year, so I think I can do it.
  6. Scrapbook 2015, I’m finally going digital. I used Snapfish to make a scrapbook for a gift that turned out great.
  7. Promote to a new position – or at least try real hard!
  8. Work out three times per week.
  9. Start working on my Bachelor’s degree.
  10. A Monthly Random Act of Kindness.

So there they are, my 2016 goals. I’m happy to say that as of a week into February, I’m still on track with all of them. As much as I like eating chocolate, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t add that as a goal, because I think I actually missed a couple of days already!

I’d love to see your goals! Maybe we could help motivate each other by sharing our journey. Here’s to an amazing 2016!

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2016 Word of the Year – Enough

Enough! How many times have we said that to our arguing kids? But it has other connotations, all of which I need to say to myself more often, so I chose it for my focus word of the year. I had a hard time with this year’s choice. I thought about confidence or love, but enough encompasses both of those words.

2015 Word of the YearAs I tried to focus on what made me happy last year, I noticed I tend to be hard on myself. I want to be able to do it all and get frustrated when I can’t. I need to pay attention to when I have enough on my plate and be realistic about what I can fit in.

The hardest part is balancing my time between the things that are important to me. Work fills up a huge chunk of my time. In the time left I have to do mandatory adult things like cooking, cleaning and paying bills. I need time to spend with my family. I devote time to exercising and studying. I’ve also done better about writing in my gratitude journal more regularly, which helps keep me sane.

That leaves a few hours a week for those all those other things that make me who I am; writing, photography, decorating,cooking, reading and way too many other interests. Sometimes I spend my time trying to figure out if I want to write a blog post or work on my book that I don’t  accomplish either.

I also need to say enough to pleasing everyone else. Which brings me to the most important part of the enough – I am enough. I don’t need to be what everyone else wants me to be, I don’t even need to be the perfect version of the person I want to be.

Last year, I read Brene Brown‘s Daring Greatly which helped me to understand the importance of realizing I am enough just the way I am. I still want to improve myself, but I see how I am sometimes crippled by fear of making a mistake. I’m so worried about making the wrong decision that I don’t make one at all. Several years ago I heard this story that illustrates the blessing of being ourselves.

The Cracked PotCracked Pot

An Indian water bearer carried two pots to gather water. One pot was cracked and returned only half full of water. The other pot was proud of its accomplishment, but the cracked pot was ashamed.

The cracked pot apologized to his master about not delivering a full amount of water. The water bearer explained he made use of the cracked pot by planting flower seeds on that side of the path and took advantage of the cracked pot’s flaw to water them.

We are all cracked pots and it’s our uniqueness and our flaws that make us interesting and can be a blessing. It’s often through our flaws that we can connect with others.

This year I’ll be reminding myself, that I am enough – flaws and all. Being enough means:

  • I’ll be aware of how much I put on my plate and prioritize my projects.
  • I’ll work to put aside my fears and be more confident in myself and my choices.
  • I’ll give myself permission to make mistakes.
  • I’ll remember my imperfections make me unique and can be a blessing.

I’d love to hear your word of the year! Please share in the comments.

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2015 in the Books

2015 in the booksEvery New Year I list my top ten memories or accomplishments from the out going year and set 10 goals for the incoming year. Before I do that I like to look at the lists from the previous year. Of my 10 goals I set for 2015, I completed 7 of them. I even exceeded a few.

  1. Completed my Associate in Claims in February.
  2. Went to the ANWA Writer’s Conference.
  3. Added 7001 words to my book, even though my goal was only 5000. I was working on another book at the beginning of the year, but I got bogged down in the story. I had another story tickling my brain but I kept pushing it off because I had to finish what I started. I’m not a quitter you know! At writer’s conference I realized how much I have learned about writing since I started writing that first book. And I gave myself permission to take it to a good stopping point and come back to it later. The excitement of starting a new project (and a 4 day writing retreat) propelled me past my goal by the end of June.
  4. 2015 in the booksPosted to my blog monthly. Not only did I post every month, I published 22 blog post. That’s almost double my goal!
  5. My goal was to read 18 books, but I finished my 19th book on New Year’s Eve.
  6. I did awesome at tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal! My goal was 5 days a week, but I tracked it almost every day last year.
  7. In August I started a new position as a total loss claim associate.

Unfortunately that leaves three goals unmet.

  1. One was hard to keep track of and harder to obtain, to exercise or play a game with the kids. Some weeks their are only with me a couple of school nights and life was too busy to have time to play. There were also a few times they spent the entire week with their dad. My intention was to set time to have fun together. It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard, but then there’s life.
  2. I decided to start scrapbooking digitally and print the books on Snapfish. My goal was to catch up on the last four years, I actually finished zero.
  3. My final failed goal was to lose 10 pounds, but I gained weight last year instead.

There’s no use in beating myself up for the missed goals. I can learn from them just as much as I can from the goals I met. I continue to learn to fine tune them and focus in on what’s most important to me. I still working on not trying to do more than I can, but continue to push myself to improve.

So as you look back to 2015, what were your accomplishments and lessons learned? As we share, we can all get a broader perspective and support each other.

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December 2015 in the Books

December 2015 is history. As usual, I’m always a little sad to see December end after all the anticipation and build up of the season. I’m trying to get excited about Valentine’s Day so I have something new to look forward to and help motivate me to pack away the Christmas decorations. Before I get ahead of myself, let’s wrap up December.

2 – Pounds gained, overtime and extra holiday busyness aren’t good for my workout routine.

2 – Blog posts.December 2015 cards

3 – Books read, my favorite was The Paperbag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne.

4 – Social events including a Christmas Eve brunch.

6 – Projects completed, including a bar stool overhaul.

35 – Christmas cards mailed.

36 – Photos posted on Instagram.

48 – Rolls made to take to Christmas dinner. Since there was only 7 of us eating, I have a couple dozen in my freezer.

401 – Page views on Just Wanna Be Me.

114185 – Pinterest views.

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Please share what made your Christmas magical in the comments section. I hope your New Year will be a healthy and happy one.

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