01 January 2014

Fresh 2014 - Let's Do This.

Happy New Year, friends.  I so love a fresh start, and the New Year is the fresh start that keeps on giving. I'm grateful for that today, and wanted to share a bit of my goal-setting and reviewing process with you.  I'm following Lara Casey's Goal Setting steps, and will also be using her #PowerSheets (which I purchased in 2013 and didn't actually ever get around to using - the shame). 

  1. My college gals' life group.  If you've been hanging out around here for awhile, you know this is a true highlight for me. My Monday night girls, whose laughter I can hear long before they get to my front door. They don't knock anymore, and they know where to find the coffee, the water, the nuts. I'm losing a few to graduations and big-girl jobs in other states this semester, and couldn't be happier for them, but we'll miss them like the dickens.
  2. I went back to a paper planner. I am so old school now, after having used an electronic calendar for YEARS, but I am SO much more confident about my scheduling and in control of my days, weeks, and months. I went with the Erin Condren Life Planner, and am really happy with it in general. Other ones I might try in future years are Whitney English's Day Designer and Emily Ley's Simplified Planner.
  3. Getting up early. I started getting up early in 2012, and it's so awesome. My mornings no longer get the best of me, and instead, I have time for QUIET, and a more subdued getting ready process. It's actually really changed my life.
  4. My 31 Days Series. You may have read along with my series Savvy Business Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs this October. I have never felt so at home in a topic, and look forward to incorporating more of THAT kind of feeling into my writing here.  
  5. Life-Giving Conferences.  My sister-in-law and I joke that we are conference junkies. If there's a conference, certainly we should be there.  This year, I attended several conferences that I found to be life-giving in a completely different ways.  The Influence Conference was all about the people - my roommates, specifically. There was also Making Things Happen in October, which was an altogether different experience than I expected, but oh-so engaging.  I'm still unpacking much of what I learned.
  6. Chris and I joined a life group together. What a great group of friends we have in our Tuesday night crew. Our church does multi-generational life groups for adults, so we have new friends in various stages of life. What fun! And so much to learn from one another!
  7. Observing the Sabbath. About three-quarters of the way through the year, I thought hard about my need for time and space that was unscheduled and un-worked.  I decided to begin observing a Sabbath (which I take to mean time to reflect, pray, prepare) on Sunday, whereby I finish everything that feels like 'work' (i.e. laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, meeting prep, etc) on Saturday so that Sunday can actually be a day for REST.
  8. Using "Things" to manage to-dos. On Lara's recommendation, I purchased the app "Things" for my computer and iPad (need to get it for my phone too, but not in January - more on that later!). It is changing my world, and helping me keep track of what in the world I should be working on. I'm loving it, despite the significant investment it was.
  9. Junior League. I believe super wholeheartedly in giving back out of gratefulness for the gifts I've been given. Junior League has been a joy to become more involved in, and in two years, I'll serve as the President of the Junior League of Madison. In March 2013, you may remember how we helped area young ladies get  All Dressed Up, which was a huge highlight.
  10. Etiquette for the Everyday Girl. I have always been a lover of etiquette, and love sharing about it, too. I started a new series here on the blog to share my love of all things etiquette!

  1. My schedule.  This year I was a chronic over-committer. And it made my schedule pretty difficult to deal with. I found myself either AT something or hosting something nearly every evening of every week, and as we got close to Christmas, I almost lost my marbles, I was so tired.  You may have noticed an absence around here, and it's just because I was so stinking exhausted, and without the mental energy to create anything more. I didn't like that feeling, and I know it doesn't help me be my best self. Since many of my commitments in 2014 will stay the same, I need to be creative about how I can be more efficient in either preparation or processes surrounding the commitments I've already made. There may also be times I need to say no (the horror!). Most of the things that didn't work for me in 2013 were a result of my too-hectic schedule.
  2. Cooking. I love to cook, and consuming fresh and nutritious food is essential to me. Because my schedule was so busy, there was not enough cooking.  Many evening meals were either carry-out or dinner meetings of some sort (which actually does kill two birds with one stone so I'm semi-ok with it), but eating healthy when you're out can be hard to do, even if you really try.
  3. Being Active. You might remember that I had shoulder surgery in April, which really surprised me in how out-of-commission I was for a long time. Recovery was a  super frustrating process, much more so than I expected. I'm still not quite 100%, but I'm definitely getting there, and look forward to re-establishing a healthy activity-routine for myself. My schedule also made it hard for me to get to the gym regularly.  Many evenings were spent at the office, right up until it was time to head to a meeting, and there wasn't time to get to the gym. In 2014, this will change, even if it means saying no to something else. I feel worlds better when I'm active, and it's an important part of my "essentials" list (more on that later). 
  4. Too many late nights at work. I was made to work, but I wasn't made to work 12-hour days.There were too many of those due to some unforeseen challenges this year, and I'm saying no to those this year, so that I can say yes to other things.
  5. There are more on my private list, and everyone should have one of those. Certainly the internet is not the place to share all the things.
My next step is to think through what I learned from what did and did not work.  Stay tuned.

And what about you, friends? Are you setting goals, thinking through and re-working? Do it! Be part of the process! Stand firm in the mark you were made to make.