Monday, December 5, 2016

One Little Word: December

On the one hand, I want to give December all I've got and leave the year off really putting my best effort forth. On the other hand, I am really excited about the goals I have in mind for next year and how I plan to tackle them. I'm ready to move forward while really simplifying this month to make it extra special.

I think I'm going to go the simplifying route. I really don't want to add a million things to my list on the fridge this month and try to be productive in other ways. I want to intentionally be present. I want to play with JaiseAnn and be kinder to Zach. I want to have more patience and to feel more peace.

I'm feeling really good with how I did this year. I've accomplished so much. I swear it feels like 2016 was my year. I started paying down debt, finished my Master's program including a thesis and I feel SO good about it. I started working from home in a way that fits my needs/schedule PERFECTLY. I have reached out and made some new friendships while drawing boundaries and removing myself from situations that weren't right for me. I've really learned the value of setting goals and making an active effort to achieve them. I feel that (for the most part) I'm a better person leaving this year than I was when it started--in countless ways. So let's do this. Let's MAKE December what I want it to be: simply, intentional, special, and peaceful.


Home:

*2 15 Minutes Quick Cleaning Sessions Per Day (The days that I do implement this, feel so much more productive and I feel so much better about my time management.)

*Clean kitchen and living room before bed every night (this helps the morning run so much smoother and I don't feel like I'm starting the day with a time deficit.)

*Play Christmas music and have Scentsy on every day


Motherhood:


*PLAY together DAILY


*Enjoy the season with this girl as she is right now--read books, watch movies, bake cookies, play in the snow (if applicable), and just share in the magic of it all.


Marriage:


*Be kinder. (Give the benefit of the doubt, more forgiving, pray for him daily, don't complain, do nice things, be grateful.) 


Health:


*Honor my body (Gift myself with waking up each day feeling good and hopeful. I feel that most when I take the best care of myself. Being kind to my body may mean setting boundaries and that's okay.)


Spiritual:


*Find ways to share my love of the Savior this month (go to the temple, participate in the #LighttheWorld advent, be kinder, etc.)


Career/Education:


*Do my job but keep it simple this month. 


What are your goals for December? Are you giving it one final PUSH or are you stepping back and simplifying?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

How Did November Go?


Home:
*Bedroom makeover. (We've been saving for a new bed (part of the reason that I haven't been able to make purchases for other home things) and we have purchased the bed (more on that later). We hope to have it up the first week of November along with a few other changes to our room including a new headboard and a few prints on the walls. I will fill you in more when this is completed. (We have a new bed and new sheets--still more to come on those two things--but we do not have the other changes made yet.)

*Curtain Rod/Hang Curtains 

*JaiseAnn's art work display I bought ours from  HarperSaw (great quality/service)and Zach hung them in our living room. We have limited wall space, but I wanted to hang her stuff up to display somewhere other than the fridge. 

*Faith Wall 

*Update family pictures/frames

*Kitchen Print (I bought the print and it's in the frame. Zach failed at getting his part of this done this month.)

*Finish Christmas shopping (About 2 years ago I set a goal to be done by December 1st. I'm almost done with Zach's family but I still need to do my parents/brother's family and our immediate family-it's a big task. I'm up to the challenge, though. I really like having December to just focus on the magic and reverence of Christmas. 

*2 10 Minutes Quick Cleaning Sessions Per Day (The days that I do implement this, feel so much more productive and I feel so much better about my time management.)

Motherhood:

*PLAY together DAILY

*Weekly--Counting activity (Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4) and craft (weeks 1, 2, 3,4)

*Bake together at least once--something pumpkin


*2 play dates

Marriage:

*Anniversary celebration (we gearing up to celebrate our 7th (we always go in on something we can enjoy together (depending on the budget) but haven't had the money since JaiseAnn was born. This year we got a bed so that makes up for all the years we went without.) We also have some fun plans for a weekend together.

*Do something special for Zach for anniversary (just because we go in on our gift together, I still want to do something special for him even if it's not a gift).

*Don't complain for an entire month. (This makes me sound awful, but I'm just being honest. This is something I need to work on. It's a lofty goal for me, but I've been really feeling the push to try it and see how things go if I don't try to control through complaining.)

Health:

*Get hair cut

*Schedule a massage

*No snacking (aside from a designated snack) after JaiseAnn goes to bed

*Go to bed early one night per week

*Read at least 2 books

Spiritual:

*Start studying conference talks from my schedule (and buy a conference Ensign) (one week I did this)

*Go to the Temple (this is part of our anniversary weekend we have planned. I'm excited. It's been too long!) 

*New scripture on the fridge to reflect on

*PRAY! (I need to be better about this) (better but nowhere near 100%)

Career/Education:

*Start teaching my course


*Come up with a schedule for teaching in December (what days I'll do what, etc.)

*Check on grad status--particularly my thesis status--by Nov. 15

*Email about thesis by 4th

Obviously November wasn't my month. Hopefully I can do better in December. 

How did you do last month?

Monday, November 7, 2016

One Little Word: November Goals

This is it--we're down to the final months of 2016. How quickly it flew and how sad I am to see it go, but like I said, I'm already brainstorming my goals for the new year and I'm excited about tackling them. (A big thank you to those of you who still show up here when I do post. It means a lot to me and it helps me feel a bit more accountable in keeping up with my goals!)

I'm linking up with Aubrey, Ashley, and Suzanna today--Join us by linking up your monthly goals below.




My goal list for this month may seem extensive, it is to me, too. I'm actually overwhelmed by it. Note two things:

1. We are still aiming for a no-spend year next year (or something like it--I hope to fill you in when we approach new goals for the new year). With that in mind, there were a few big ideas I had for our house at the start of 2016 that still haven't happened and I'm really pushing to complete as much as possible in the final months before we start a new year so that contributes to the extensiveness of my list. 

2. I'm teaching an online course (a bit unexpectedly-long story) starting this month. You won't see a lot of goals associated with it, but you will note that I don't have many goals in the "career" department, but this is in the back of my mind. I'm quite overwhelmed as I have very little idea regarding what to expect with this. 

November Goals to MAKE my life what I want:

Home:
*Bedroom makeover. (We've been saving for a new bed (part of the reason that I haven't been able to make purchases for other home things) and we have purchased the bed (more on that later). We hope to have it up the first week of November along with a few other changes to our room including a new headboard and a few prints on the walls. I will fill you in more when this is completed. 

*Curtain Rod/Hang Curtains 

*JaiseAnn's art work display

*Faith Wall

*Update family pictures/frames

*Kitchen Print

*Finish Christmas shopping (About 2 years ago I set a goal to be done by December 1st. I'm almost done with Zach's family but I still need to do my parents/brother's family and our immediate family-it's a big task. I'm up to the challenge, though. I really like having December to just focus on the magic and reverence of Christmas. 

*2 10 Minutes Quick Cleaning Sessions Per Day (The days that I do implement this, feel so much more productive and I feel so much better about my time management.)

Motherhood:

*PLAY together DAILY

*Weekly--Counting activity (Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4) and craft (weeks 1, 2, 3,4)

*Bake together at least once--something pumpkin

*2 play dates

Marriage:

*Anniversary celebration (we gearing up to celebrate our 7th (we always go in on something we can enjoy together (depending on the budget) but haven't had the money since JaiseAnn was born. This year we got a bed so that makes up for all the years we went without.) We also have some fun plans for a weekend together.

*Do something special for Zach for anniversary (just because we go in on our gift together, I still want to do something special for him even if it's not a gift).

*Don't complain for an entire month. (This makes me sound awful, but I'm just being honest. This is something I need to work on. It's a lofty goal for me, but I've been really feeling the push to try it and see how things go if I don't try to control through complaining.)

Health:

*Get hair cut

*Schedule a massage

*No snacking (aside from a designated snack) after JaiseAnn goes to bed

*Go to bed early one night per week

*Read at least 2 books

Spiritual:

*Start studying conference talks from my schedule (and buy a conference Ensign)

*Go to the Temple (this is part of our anniversary weekend we have planned. I'm excited. It's been too long!) 

*New scripture on the fridge to reflect on

*PRAY! (I need to be better about this)

Career/Education:

*Start teaching my course

*Come up with a schedule for teaching in December (what days I'll do what, etc.)

*Check on grad status--particularly my thesis status--by Nov. 15

*Email about thesis by 4th

Wish me luck. Seriously. 

What are some of your goals for November?


Monday, October 31, 2016

October Follow-Up

How did I do this month? 

Well, I feel okay about how this month went goal-wise. I could have done better, but I also still feel really good about the things that did get checked off. If anything, this month got me really thinking about my goals for next month and I'm already brainstorming my overarching goals and how I want to attempt to tackle them next year. I'm excited. So...here's a list of how I did. Let me know how you did, too!




Home
*Prints (and frames) for "Faith Gallery Wall" (I've got the prints but getting them on the wall will have to happen next month)
*Learn to Use/Use Dehydrater for fruit
*Way to display JaiseAnn's artwork (ordered from a store on ETSY (I'll link when I get them on the wall--also next month)
*Curtain Rods 
*Quote for Living Room
*Quote for Kitchen (I got it, I just need to get it on the wall--next month hopefully)
*New Blinds
*Update 72 hour kits with new clothes and food (I do this every Fall conference weekend.)

Motherhood
*Print JaiseAnn's 1-2 Year Baby Book
*update JaiseAnn's baby book (I'm counting a few updates I made, but I need to set more specific goals next month)
*Intentional time each day (even when we are out and about) to sit down and play together (I feel pretty good about the progress I've made here) 
*Structured counting activity each week 
*Structured craft/themed activity each week
*Drive and picnic to see the leaves


Marriage
*Go on a date night out (I have this one planned and so far Zach doesn't know about it and I am SO excited about it. I'll tell you when I report on these goals!!!)  (Oh my goodness you guys, this ended up being such a disappointment. I was so disappointed and then annoyed with myself for my disappointment. Ugh! I had heard that Steve Martin and Martin Short were coming to Boise just after Zach's birthday. I thought he'd love the show but when I looked up tickets, they were expensive. Like $125 for the nosebleeds expensive. I ended up trying to win and ACTUALLY WINNING tickets. I was so excited to give them to him for his birthday and then go to it the following week. I had been looking forward to it for over a month and the DAY OF THE SHOW, I found out it had been cancelled and wasn't set to reschedule. We had floor seats to this amazing show and I had been looking forward to it kinda ridiculously. So we had to replan at the very last minute (because my mom was watching JaiseAnn and wanted to still have her) and it ended up being a dud of a date night. I was in a really bad mood, we just went out to eat at a sandwich place and did a little shopping. Lame. It was really lame. And I was really sour about the whole thing. It was not my best moment.)
*Family date night (to corn maze)
*Do something special for Zach's birthday
*Intentional Date nights at home--preplanned each week 
*Make plans for our anniversary next month

Health
*Experiment with making natural sugar things/reduce refined sugar intake
*No eating after JaiseAnn goes to bed
*Go to bed early one night per week
*Get hair cut (this is scheduled for the first week of November, so that kind of counts I assume?)
*Read 2 books at least (I think I finished 5 this month)
*Schedule and enjoy a massage

Spirituality
*Put up a new scripture to reflect on on the fridge
*Have FHE every week this month--just a five minute message (again, 50/50 on this goal-which is better than nothing)
*Scripture Study
*Create a conference schedule (see it here)

Career/Education
*Email about academic writing (thesis and article) (the amount of time I've put this off is ridiculous. I've been a bit lazy--and I've been enjoying reading a whole lot so that's not helping. I also have a new job thing that came unexpectedly at a weird time so I'm not sure about where this is going)
*Apply for a job I have on my radar
*Work on improving my skills 

What are some of your goals this month?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Conference Study Schedule

In October we had our church's General Conference. It's always an inspiring time to set aside a weekend to just be filled with inspired messages and seek out answers to questions you have been holding in your mind and heart. I always--ALWAYS--find answers to my questions and this conference was no different. I am excited to study these conference talks over the next six months. 

For more insight into how I make and create my schedules to study conference talks, see here. I did change things up a bit this time around. I put all of my major talks first--the ones that answered the questions I had and inspired me the most--and then left the rest that were still good, but less relevant to me at this time at the end. Last conference, I mixed them all together, but I didn't like that arrangement because it left me studying a very inspirational talk right up to the next conference. I think next conference session, I will narrow to 10 talks to read for the 6 months between sessions, but this year I stuck with trying to fit as many as I could in. (I neglected both women's conference and the Priesthood session--as well as a few other talks). 



November:
Week 1: God Shall Wipe Away All Tears-Schmutz--Heavenly Father and Jesus are keepers of promises.
Week 2: Gratitude on the Sabbath Day--Elder Eyring
Week 3: Abide in My Love--Elder Christofferson--God's love is perfect, redeeming, and everlasting.
Week 4:Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus--Elder Cook--If we elevate anything above the Savior we are looking beond the mark.

December:
Week 1: O How Great the Plan of Our God--Elder Uchtdorf/The Doctrine of Christ-Ashton
Week 2+3: Joy and Spiritual Survival-Elder Nelson--The joy we feel has very little to do with the circumstances of our lives, but rather the focus of our lives. 
Week 4: No Greater Joy than to Know that They Know--Nattress-I will not lose you

January:
Week 1: The Soul's Sincere Desire-Sister McConkie-When what we want is silenced by an overwhelming desire to know what He wants for us.
Weeks 2+3: Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?--Cornish--President Hinckley taught, "All the Lord expects of us it to try, but you have to really try."
Week 4:If Ye Had Known Me-Elder Bednar

February:
Weeks 1+2: To Whom Shall We Go?--Elder Ballard (Addresses the doubters of the church, but is somehow seen as an antagonistic message from those who are really struggling. I found this incredibly uplifting and it spoke to the soul of one who previously teetered on the edge full of doubts.)
Weeks 3+4: Come Follow Me by Practicing Christian Love and Service-Elder Hales--If we love the Savior more, would we hurt less?


March:
Week 1: The Perfect Path to Happiness-President Monson/Sharing the Restored Gospel-Elder Oaks
Week 2: A Witness of God--Elder Andersen/For Our Spiritual Development and Learning-Bassett
Week 3: Repentance: A Joyful Choice-Elder Renlund/Serve--Cook
Week 4:Lest Thou Forget-Elder Rasband/The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray-Uceda

April:
Week 1: Look to the Book, Look to the Lord--Stevenson/The Great Plan of Redemption-Sis. Reeves
Week 2: The Sacrament Can Help Us Become Holy-Meurs/Be Ambitious for Christ-Yamashita
Week 3: Re-study Talk of Choice
Week 4: Re-study Talk of Choice

How do you study your conference talks or other spiritual materials?