Emily M. DeArdo

writer

goal setting

Goal Setting 2018: April results and May goals

Barton Cottage Crafts, behind the scenes, current projects, goal setting, health, knitting, memoir, writingEmily DeArdo2 Comments
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It's MAYYYY! Yay! 

So it's time to revisit my goals! Let's get started. 

Goal Number 1: 

Work through Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps for Financial Peace to cultivate good stewardship, gratitude, and contentment.

April goal: Start the debt snowball; this is baby step 2, where all your debts are paid off. Fortunately I don't have much to do here! 

Status: Started! Yay!!

May goal: Continue working the snowball. 

 

Goal Number 2: 

Find an agent for my manuscript

April goal: Write a darn proposal!

Status: DONE!  I sent it to a friend of mine to read/peruse, so now I'm just waiting for her feedback. Once I get that, I can make any changes and send it out!

May goal: Send it (hopefully!) 

Goal Number 3:

To deepen and strengthen my relationship with God, because He is the center and the well-spring.

April goals: Confession/Holy hour/Weekday Mass once a week

Status: Confession, check! Holy hour, check! Weekday Mass....no check. Sigh. Something still to work on!

May goals: Confession, Holy Hour, and at LEAST ONE WEEKDAY MASS. Just one. :) 

Goal Number 4: 

Continue to lose weight and treat my body well so I can do everything else I want to do, and honor my body which God made.

April goals: Focus on healthy snacks and regular workouts. 

Status: Did really well here. Lost some weight (yay!), have found new healthy snacks, and I'm still doing yoga classes regularly. I've also continued to make progress on body measurements. I take my measurements on the first of every month, and this is where I can really see progress, or not. So I'm glad to see progress being made!

May goals: Consistent working out--yoga classes; continue to focus on health snacks. 

Goal Number 5: 

Grow Barton Cottage Crafts, to help with baby steps (goal 1), but also to have a creative outlet and for enjoyment. 

April goal: Finis commissions and get new ones.

Status: I did finish my commissions, and I'm working on getting new ones. Part of that is the new Barton Cottage Crafts page here on the site! I'm really proud of it! So in May, while I wait for commissions, I'm going to be working on new projects, as well as starting to plan knitting projects for birthdays and Christmas--because guys, handmade takes time. So if you want birthday presents/Christmas presents, you have to get them early. As in, now is not too early!

May goals: See above. :) 

Goal Number 6: 

Have a beautiful, peaceful, welcoming home so I can appreciate what I have, encourage hospitality, and cultivate peace.

April goal: Get another KALLAX unit for the living room. 

Status: The one I want isn't in stock--and wasn't for ALL OF APRIL. Grr, IKEA. Grrrrr. So I'm waiting for that. In the mean time, working on keeping spaces clear. I did do a lot better in having people over in April--I would say come on over, knowing the house would be presentable. So that's great. 

May goal: Pray that the KALLAX comes back in stock? :) If it does, that'll happen. If not--continue weekly clean/focus on certain areas (FlyLady zones, if you're familiar with those), and keep inviting people over. And continue contentment challenge--that fell off in April, so I'm doing month three now!

Goal Number 7: 

To nurture my creativity so I can learn new things, inspire myself, stretch my mind, and feed my soul. 

April goals: Knit two new Quince projects, start reading Artist's Way, get new commissions. 

Status: I knit the projects! Yay! And I have big plans for more new ones....I didn't read Artist's Way, but that is definitely on the list for this month. Commission--see above.

May goals: Start new knitting project; start reading Artist's Way. (I have to DECIDE on new project. I think it's going to be a tricolor cowl, but that means getting yarn, or a cowl with a textured stitch, in order to really "get" working in the round done.) 

This month, my brother is getting married--NEXT WEEK, holy cow!--so I didn't go hog wild on my goals. My daily goals are balancing my checkbook (yes, old school!), lectio, knitting, and working out 5/7 days a week. So they are important goals, but it's not a ton, so I can really focus. I didn't want to stress this month. I want to celebrate and enjoy this big moment for our family! :) 

 

2018 Goals: March update and April goals!

goal setting, Barton Cottage Crafts, knitting, memoirEmily DeArdoComment
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So, if you're new to this, I use powersheets to set my goals. I love Powersheets! You can catch up on this year's series by going here

March was the longest month. It really was! But there was progress made in some areas!

Goal Number 1: 

Work through Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps for Financial Peace to cultivate good stewardship, gratitude, and contentment.

 

March goal: Finish baby step one--get an emergency fund in place. 

Status: ACHIEVED! Guys, I am so proud of this. And it was so enjoyable to know that, when I was having computer issues earlier this month, I could go to the store and know that if it needed repairs, I could pay for them! This fund also allowed me to replace part of my Bionic Ear without freaking out. 

April goal: Start baby step 2--also known as the Debt Snowball. This is where you list all debts, smallest to largest, and start to pay them off, by moving as much money as you can toward to the smallest debt. Once that's paid off, that money + the minimum payment for the second debt goes to the next debt....you see how this works? I will have the first part of the snowball done by this fall. Yay!

 

Goal Number 2: 

Find an agent for my manuscript

March goal: At least one two-hour block of time outside the house working on my proposal. It doesn't have to be finished. But I have to dedicate at least two hours to drafting one. 

Status: yeah...no. AGAIN!

April goal: GET IT DONE. And I've already started! I've written out the basics of a proposal and now I just have to tweak/re-write the sample chapters. I am ON IT. 

Goal Number 3:

To deepen and strengthen my relationship with God, because He is the center and the well-spring.

March goals: Weekday Mass once a week, confession once a month, holy hour, daily vespers (evening prayer).

Status: Everything but that weekday Mass--because every time I tried to go, there was no place to park. I'm not kidding. So I tried, God! But I did get in a holy hour and daily vespers. Confession, no go either...I wanted to go wen I went to Mass. Face to face confession is offered at my parish on Fridays, which was the day I wanted to go to Mass as well. But no parking. Sigh. 

April goals: confession, holy hour, Mass once a week! 

Goal Number 4: 

Continue to lose weight and treat my body well so I can do everything else I want to do, and honor my body which God made. 

March goals: Daily yoga glo classes, weekly meal planning, go to bed by 10:00 (be IN bed, not necessarily asleep). 

Status: I did REALLY well here. I attended a yoga glo class almost every day! The meal planning was OK, as was the bed thing. 

April: Focus on healthy snacks, regular workouts--yoga glo strength courses, continue meal plan. 

Goal Number 5: 

Grow Barton Cottage Crafts, to help with baby steps (goal 1), but also to have a creative outlet and for enjoyment. 

March goals: Keep trucking. :) 

Progress: I finished my drachenfels shawl  and am almost done with a current commission. That means that BCC is open for new work! If you'd like a scarf or a shawl, please contact me and we'll talk! I can do them in solid or variegated colors. Shawls at $45, and scarves are $35, and shipping is included! 

April: finish new projects (I have two that I want to knit), get more commissions!

Goal Number 6: 

Have a beautiful, peaceful, welcoming home so I can appreciate what I have, encourage hospitality, and cultivate peace. 

March goals: ZERO OUT (with alarm at 9 pm); zone clean weekly; weekly surface clean; contentment challenge; finish Emily Ley's simplify challenge! 

StatusZeroing out just isn't me....I sort of tried but it doesn't work. I'd much rather come down in the morning and clean a bit. So that's what I switched to. I'm in zone cleaning weekly, and doing the weekly surface clean. 

The Contentment challenge is almost done!

The biggest thing I did this month: 

 Sorry it's blurry!

Sorry it's blurry!

This was a terrible corner on my first floor. I hated it. I had no idea what to do with this empty space. 

So I was sick of looking at it, and went on an organizing spree. I dumped my old stereo that I NEVER use from my book case, and added a new shelf of "favorite books". That gave me more space in all my bookcases, yay!

Then I went on the IKEA website--motivated by a birthday coupon--and looked some something that would fit here. KALLAX would! KALLAX is pretty!

KALLAX IS HEAVY. I had to open the box and take the pieces in piece by piece. :) After an hour, I had entered in the realm of adulthood, because I had put together a piece of IKEA furniture. 

And now, behold!

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Isn't that much better

So, for April: My goal is to get another one of these units to go in my living room, to hold some other things that are currently being "stored" crappily. :-p I will also continue weekly cleaning (both detailed and surface). But I want stuff up off the floor. I'm tired of living like a college student! :-P 

Goal Number 7: 

To nurture my creativity so I can learn new things, inspire myself, stretch my mind, and feed my soul. 

March goals: Shawl--finish? Maybe? Continue Artist's Rule. 

Status: DONE, on both counts! Yay!!!!

April goals: Knit two new Quince and Co. projects, get new commissions, start Artist's Way reading. 

Progress is happening on the first project: 

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It's a really simple project, but I love this yarn. I'll talk more about these in the next yarn along. 

So, March had ups and downs. But it also had some great progress!

 

 

 

2018 Goals: February update

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January seemed to go on forever, but February flew! Wow! I can't believe it's March. So here's how my goals went last month, and what's on tap for March!

 

Goal Number 1: 

Work through Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps for Financial Peace to cultivate good stewardship, gratitude, and contentment

My goal was to finish the emergency fund this month. That didn't happen, because I had to make a withdrawal from my emergency fund--my printer died. :( So while I was unhappy about having to use the emergency fund, I was glad it was there! I've continued to use the every dollar app to keep track of my budget, and reconciled my checkbook daily with my online bank account. 

March goal: Finish baby step one!! 

 

Goal Number 2: 

Find an agent for my manuscript

Goal for the month: To write a new proposal. 

Progress: Well.....this didn't happen. Sigh. The month sort of got away from me in this regard. I know I have to make progress here. I'm tentatively moving this to March, and am going to schedule a writing session out of the house (meaning, at a Starbucks or somewhere laptop friendly) where I can get this done. Writing was done in February--just not this particular writing. 

March goal: At least one two-hour block of time outside the house working on my proposal. It doesn't have to be finished. But I have to dedicate at least two hours to drafting one. 

Goal Number 3:

To deepen and strengthen my relationship with God, because He is the center and the well-spring.

February goals:  Attend the Columbus Catholic Women's Conference; Mass weekly; confession on First Friday; holy hour; continue daily lectio!

Progress: I made some decent progress here. I attended the conference and had a great time. I'll have to write about it soon. (Note to self). I did make it to Mass last week! Yay! I went to confession! Yay! I had a holy hour! And I've been doing daily lectio! So some great progress here. 

March goals: Weekday Mass once a week, confession once a month, holy hour, daily vespers (evening prayer). 

Goal Number 4: 

Continue to lose weight and treat my body well so I can do everything else I want to do, and honor my body which God made. 

February goal: Be better about exercising. Something EVERY DAY, even if it's only for five minutes. 

Progress: I did pretty well here! I'm looking at my PowerSheets and more often than not, the box for daily exercise is checked. One of my big things is trying to always meet my daily move goal on my Apple Watch. Even if I don't exercise, I want to hit that move goal! I've been doing that, and the goal is steadily increasing, so that makes me feel good. 

Last week, I also re-upped for yoga glo. I'd done this years ago, but now I really think I need that daily outlet for practice. I've been doing the classes, and I find it's a great way to start or end my day. Even if the practice is hard (like this morning's was!), it's still learning, it's still growth, it's still movement. And I feel better when I've done it. I've also been making a conscious effort to get enough sleep. I need at least nine hours. I feel better when I get it. I function much better. So, that's an important part of this, too. 

March goals: Daily yoga glo classes, weekly meal planning, go to bed by 10:00 (be IN bed, not necessarily asleep). 

 

Goal Number 5: 

Grow Barton Cottage Crafts, to help with baby steps (goal 1), but also to have a creative outlet and for enjoyment. 

February goals: Keep working on commissions!

Progress: Definitely good progress here. Finished one, am about to finish another, and then I have two more after that! Whew! 

March goals: Keep trucking. :) 

Goal Number 6: 

Have a beautiful, peaceful, welcoming home so I can appreciate what I have, encourage hospitalist, and cultivate peace. 

February goals: Doing Nancy's Contentment Challenge again, February through April! I've made progress here, but I want to make more. It takes a long time to stop comparison and perfection from taking up brain space. Also, be consistent in zeroing out every night!

Progress: Started the Contentment Challenge on Ash Wednesday. It's quite Lenten. :) I might have to add some weeks to it because my birthday is during the challenge! We'll see. Every Thursday I read the next week's devotional in Nancy's ebook. 

Zeroing out was...iffy. I HAVE to get better at this. I'm thinking I'll set an alarm at 9:00 on my phone, to get up and do it. I do like the house better in the morning when I do this!

March goals: ZERO OUT (with alarm at 9 pm); zone clean weekly; weekly surface clean; contentment challenge; finish Emily Ley's simplify challenge! 

 

Goal Number 7: 

To nurture my creativity so I can learn new things, inspire myself, stretch my mind, and feed my soul. 

February Goals: Continue watercolor class; continue Artist's Rule; work on shawl. 

Progress: Wow! I finished my watercolor class, but I might have to go back and do all the lessons again. There was just so much great content it's going to take awhile to soak in! I'm still reading Artist's Rule. And the shawl....

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It GROWS! I did a ton of work on it yesterday. I'm in to the last two sections! 

March goals: Shawl--finish? Maybe? Continue Artist's Rule. 

 

As a final reflection, this is something I wrote when I was doing my March powersheets: 

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There were times in February when it seemed hard to keep trucking on my goals. It's so much easier just to stay in the same pattern and not push myself to grow. But that's not what I'm here for. I am here to grow! So this is my reminder to myself. 

 

Housekeeping note: 

My ebook, Catholic 101, is STILL available! It's always available! Go buy it! 

 

2018 Goals: January update

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So, January is (FINALLY!) over, which means it's time for the monthly goal setting report, as well as telling you my goals for February!

(You can find my goals for the year here, as well as the steps related to each one!) 

So, here are my goals, and the progress I made in January, as well as what I want to do for February!

Goal Number 1: 

Work through Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps for Financial Peace to cultivate good stewardship, gratitude, and contentment

If you're not familiar with Dave, there are seven baby steps, with the first three being really key. Those steps are: 

1) Save a $1K emergency fund

2) Pay off all debt (besides the mortgage--which I don't have)

3) Complete the emergency fund with 3-6 months' of living expenses 

I, obviously, started with number one--the $1K emergency fund. 

Progress: I KILLED this goal in January! I'm so happy about this! I have $800 in my emergency fund, which means I will finish it off in February! YAY!!!!!! And the sense of peace is amazing. If I get a flat tire, or my computer dies, or something else goes wrong....I have money to fix it. That's such a relief!

February Goal:  Finish Baby Step One! Continue to check in with my budget and reconcile checkbook daily. 

Goal Number 2: 

Find an agent for my manuscript

This is a big goal with lots of tiny steps and moving parts. One of them is working on my blog and making myself more visible on social media. So, in that realm, I completely re-wrote my about page (using Ashlyn Carter's Copyright for Creatives materials--the course was actually last fall, but I didn't have time to do it then. So I did it now!) 

February goal: To draft a new proposal. Yes. This is sort of scary! But I'm going to do it! 

Goal Number 3:

To deepen and strengthen my relationship with God, because He is the center and the well-spring.

This goal also has some moving parts--things I want to incorporate, etc. I did make some progress here: I prayed with my Bible (lectio divina!) almost every day in January. That's huge for me. I was also really good about saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I didn't get to Mass during the week, so that's a fail. But I know I will this week--I'm getting back on the First Friday horse, and going to confession then, too. 

February Goals: Attend the Columbus Catholic Women's Conference; Mass weekly; confession on First Friday; holy hour; continue daily lectio! (Daily lectio will be easier because Above All starts on February 14!) 

Goal Number 4: 

Continue to lose weight and treat my body well so I can do everything else I want to do, and honor my body which God made. 

So, this was hard. This month was really cold, but then we would have warm spells. But my weight has been stable, which is good. I haven't lost, but I also haven't gained. AND tonight I fit into a smaller jeans size! So I'm making progress here, for sure. 

February: Be better about exercising. Something EVERY DAY, even if it's only for five minutes. 

Goal Number 5: 

Grow Barton Cottage Crafts, to help with baby steps (goal 1), but also to have a creative outlet and for enjoyment. 

Progress: I finished scarves and mailed them out last month; I'm currently working on a commission and have three more in the wings! So good progress here!

February goals: Keep working on my commissions!

Goal Number 6: 

Have a beautiful, peaceful, welcoming home so I can appreciate what I have, encourage hospitalist, and cultivate peace. 

Progress: I am just about done with Emily Ley's Simplifying Challenge--the only thing left are two kitchen cabinets! Yay! I need to be better about "zeroing out"--setting things up for the next morning (making coffee, clearing the table, etc.). I was inconsistent in this last month. I was good about the weekly chores, though. Star for me!

February Goals: Doing Nancy's Contentment Challenge again, February through April! I've made progress here, but I want to make more. It takes a long time to stop comparison and perfection from taking up brain space. Also, be consistent in zeroing out every night. 

Goal Number 7: 

To nurture my creativity so I can learn new things, inspire myself, stretch my mind, and feed my soul. 

Progress: I've started taking a watercolor class, and I LOVE it. It's hard, but it's good hard. I can already see improvement in my technique! I've also been re-reading The Artist's Rule, and it's a great inspiration for me to incorporate creativity into my daily life. Finally, I'm working on a new shawl, which you've seen in the yarn alongs: 

 Part two! STRIPES! 

Part two! STRIPES! 

This is such a great project and thank you, Aunt Sue, for helping me with it at Christmas! :) This is a great way to stretch my knitting skills and create something pretty for myself. 

I've also joined a writers' group, and that's going to be really helpful, I think! 

February Goals: Continue watercolor class; continue Artist's Rule; work on shawl. 

 

So all in all, not a bad January! I'm pretty pleased. 

How about you? Did you make progress on goals/ resolutions in January? 

 

Goal Setting 2018: Part Five--my goals for the year!

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[Previous entries in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4]

Today is the last installment in the 2018 Goal Setting series! Yay! 

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So after all of the previous posts, here are the goals I'll be working on in the coming year. 

Work through Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps for Financial Peace to cultivate good stewardship, gratitude, and contentment

 

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Matthew 6: 19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Starting Steps: Cut out unnecessary spending and place that money in the emergency fund; set up debt snowball; use every dollar app to create and manage budget. 

How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Empowered! Proud of myself. 

How I will celebrate progress/completing this goal: Doing my own debt-free scream

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal, or what progress looks like on this goal: Emergency fund, being debt free!

 

Find an agent for my manuscript

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. 

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

2 Peter 3: 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have: Fulfilling my dream; bring glory to God; encouragement to others!

How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: OVER THE MOON!!!!

How will I know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I'll have an agent

How will I celebrate making progress on this goal? I'm not sure!

Starting Steps: Draft new proposal; blog course; re-read the manuscript (? Not sure about this). 

 

To deepen and strengthen my relationship with God, because He is the center and the well-spring.

 

I Thessalonians 5:15-24 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.

 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

John 4: 13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 

John 6: 35-40 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Peaceful, stronger, more rooted in Christ. 

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Good prayer routine; constant trust in God; weekday Mass every week. 

Starting Steps: Daily Vespers; holy hour monthly; Bible reading daily. 

 

Continue to lose weight and treat my body well so I can do everything else I want to do, and honor my body which God made. 

 

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.  Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.

Positive effect taking action on this goal may have: A better, healthier life!

How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Physically better--stronger, for one thing. I'm already seeing progress here but I want to continue it. 

How I will celebrate making progress on, or completing, this goal: New clothes, because I'll need them!

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Smaller clothes, smaller measurements, scale number (but that's not the only thing I'm using!)

Starting steps: Create daily exercise plan, like Lara's #runliftpraise, continue to incorporate new recipes and new foods into my eating plan. 

 

Grow Barton Cottage Crafts, to help with baby steps (goal 1), but also to have a creative outlet and for enjoyment. 

1 Peter 4: 10-11 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Happy--that I was able to provide products people wanted, and made progress on this goal AND goal number 1!

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Money for Goal #1, more/repeat customers. 

Starting steps: current commissions; knit items for Etsy shop listings. 

 

Have a beautiful, peaceful, welcoming home so I can appreciate what I have, encourage hospitalist, and cultivate peace. 

 

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Clearer, peaceful, satisfied. 

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: A clutter-free, peaceful house; fewer "things" around. 

Resources: The Nesting Place; A Simplified Life

 

WHEW! That's a lot!

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I am so excited to kick of 2018. This year was a great year--I made a lot of progress, which you can see in the earlier parts of this series--but I'm thrilled to make 2018 my most cultivated, intentional year year! 

Goal Setting 2018 Part Four: Uncovering Goals

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Hi! Welcome back to the goal setting series!

If you're just joining me, here are the installments so far: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Step Ten

Review all the pages I've written so far. 

Lara really stresses this point, because the goal is to uncover things that you're thinking about. And you can't do that if you just zoom through the prep work!

I went through all the pages, and wrote more on some, underlined on others...it's pretty personal and messy so I won't share that here. :) 

Step Eleven

Write out some goal IDEAS

There are things that have been long-term goals for awhile now. And everything I've been doing helps reach the goal. So, one of my goals is "get the book published." Obviously, that has tons of little steps that are all under that goal umbrella. Same with creating financial security. 

So here's what I brainstormed:

* Financial plan

*Writing/book proposal: improve blog reach, new ebook, blog research, drafting proposals

*continue to eat well/exercise to care for my body. 

*Deepen my relationship with God. 

*Barton Cottage Crafts--expand. Etsy shop? 

*LESS at home. Simplicity. Peace. 

 

Step Twelve

Check my goal ideas to see if they are rooted in what matters

Here's what Lara says about this step: 

 Will this goal help me to cultivate what matters?
– Will this goal help me get to where I want to be when I’m eighty years old?
– Does this goal help other people?
– WHY do I want to make this goal happen? Am I desiring this goal for the right reasons, or am I striving for “perfect”—or whatever I’ve been chasing?

If the answer is NO to any of these questions, then it’s possible it’s not the best use of your precious time. Don’t run in circles with goals that don’t directly connect to what matters most. Focus on what really matters to you in the big picture. Cross goals out that don’t 100% fit. Be bold and take leaps of faith as you write.

If you are a believer like me, here are some questions I’m asking myself:

– Does this goal help draw me and others closer to God?
– Is this goal rooted in God’s truth? (Find scriptures to match!)
– Does this goal rely on my strength or God’s?
– Does this goal help me steward what I’ve been given well?

 

In applying this to what I wrote, above: 

Financial Peace: It draws me closer to God by relying on Him and His providence; it relies on His strength--He has to give me the right spirit to do this; and it definitely helped with stewardship!

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Matthew 6:25, 33 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6: 19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Blogging/Writing/Book Proposal: Yes, because the book is so much about God and what He's done for me, and I want to share that with others; I have to trust in God (word of the year!) to get this done, to shepherd it to the places it needs to go. I just write. 

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. 

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

2 Peter 3: 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Taking care of my body: losing weight/exercise: Yes, because it keeps me healthy and able to do God's work; I need His strength to continue making the right choices, even if they're not ones I'd naturally make; and I've been given a new life--literally. I have to take care of this body! 

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.  Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.

Deepen my relationship with God: this sort of goes without saying, right? He is LIFE. To do everything else, I have to be in deep, intimate relationship with Him. 

I Thessalonians 5:15-24 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.

 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

John 4: 13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 

John 6: 35-40 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” (This verse is especially important to me as a Catholic, since it points to the vitalness of the Eucharist.) 

Barton Cottage Crafts: This helps with goal number 1, but I also get to share my talents with others and use my creativity; God has to keep the orders coming in. :) 

1 Peter 4: 10-11 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

Creating a peaceful, simplified home: Yes, because it involves good stewardship of what I've been given (money and my home), it allows me to extend hospitality, and to be able to do my work more efficiently. 

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Step Thirteen

Write down WHY with every idea

I'll talk more about this when I actually tell you my goals!  

 

Goal Setting 2018 Part Three: Saying Yes and No, and the Word of the Year

goal settingEmily DeArdoComment
 This is Lara's list for 2018--mine is further down the post. :) 

This is Lara's list for 2018--mine is further down the post. :) 

Just joining me? The rest of the series is here and here! 

Happy Feast of St. John! Or, the third day of Christmas (did your True Love bring you Three French hens? And you knew, right, that the things in the song are related to the Christian catechism? The three French hens are the three persons of the Trinity. I sense a post about this in the future...)

STEP SEVEN

The Yes and No List

I'm a big fan of these lists--I think they do a good job clarifying priorities and setting boundaries. The key is that you can't just write the lists--you have to read the lists, do the lists. Which, admittedly, is harder than just writing them! Anyway, here are my lists for 2018: 

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STEP EIGHT

Identify the Threads

This might be my favorite step--where you go back and look over everything you've written, circling, marking, highlighting (etc.) all the things that stand out to you. This is where the goals will come from! And it can be very enlightening, to see that what I thought I wanted to do isn't really what I was writing, or what my mind/spirit wants to do. Or, what God wants me to do. 

 

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STEP NINE

My word for 2018

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This has been my word before. But I think this year I need to re-active it and really remind myself to do what it says. God's got this. I have to go where He leads, but trust in where He's leading

Easier said than done. But I have a whole year to work on it. :) 

 

 

Goal Setting 2018 Part Two

goal settingEmily DeArdoComment
GOALS .png

The first entry in this series can be found here

In the first entry in this series, I looked back on 2017. What worked? What didn't? What were my big takeaways? I found a lot of good things there! So, knowing all that, I'm ready to move on to the next steps. 

STEP FOUR

What's one thing I want to cultivate in the year ahead? 

I want to cultivate fresh starts and possibilities, and peace. 

STEP FIVE

What challenges did I face in 2017? 

I didn't send out as many book proposals as I wanted to; my exercise plan wasn't consistent, although it got better in the last few months of the year. 

STEP SIX

Who helped me cultivate what matters in 2017? 

There is a whole list in my PowerSheets about this, and I have been so blessed with great friends and opportunities this year. If I listed them all, we'd be here for ever, but I will say that the people I met at Making Things Happen were HUGE motivators for me to go home and really CHANGE THINGS UP. 

 Photo by Amy Nicole Photograph The "Papaya group" at MTH! :) Thanks to our fearless leaders, Rhi and Gina! (Gina is in the center, Rhi is....not here! Sadness!) 

Photo by Amy Nicole Photograph
The "Papaya group" at MTH! :) Thanks to our fearless leaders, Rhi and Gina! (Gina is in the center, Rhi is....not here! Sadness!) 

 

Just a few people I love: Sarah Jane, Mary, Abby, Andrea, Elizabeth F., Elizabeth Y., Lydia and Paul Michael, Tiff, Alissa, Br. H, my siblings, Lisa, Fr. Stephen, Fr. Charles, Aunt Judy, Grandma, Sarah N, my BCC customers, Lara, Rhi and Gina.....SO MANY PEOPLE. Really. Hugs!

 

Have you thanked the people that make your life better? Take some time to do that this holiday season! Even if it's just a text, it's a movement of gratitude and love that the person will cherish!

 

Part three of this series next week....have a Wonderful Christmas!!! :) 

 

Goal Setting 2018: Creating a Cultivated Life

goal settingEmily DeArdoComment
all those things you want to do.png

Can you believe it's almost Christmas? Or the end of 2017? Where has this year gone?! 

One of my favorite parts about this time of year (other than Christmas, of course) is that Lara Casey starts the Goal Setting series on her blog. If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know how much I adore Lara and her Power Sheets. I had the great privilege of attending her Making Things Happen conference in March, and wow, Lara is just amazing. 

Her series kicked off yesterday, and it has inspired me to write my own. I've done this sporadically over the years, but one thing that I'm going to do in 2018 is write monthly updates about my goals, both to keep me accountable, and, hopefully, to inspire you to set your own goals! 

I'll be echoing Lara's steps in my blog entries, so if you read hers and mine, I hope you'll be able to get two doses of inspiration. :) 

So, let's go!

STEP ONE

The Cultivated Life Evaluation

How did 2017 go? How do I feel about various areas of my life? 

--Health

--Friends

--Spouse/Significant Other

--Family

--Finances

--Work

--Spiritual and Personal Growth

--Recreation

 

Health: I made a lot of strides here this year. I've lost 26 pounds, and still going, I've dropped inches and clothing sizes...I'm really happy with how things are going here. I am committed to continuing this work in 2018!

Friends: I am so fortunate to have lots of deep, fruitful friendships. 

Family: Like the friend category, I have strong relationships here. I get support from them. We spend time together. This is all good. And my brother's getting married in May, so I'm adding a sister-in-law!

Finance: Ehhhh. In September I recommitted to doing Dave Ramsey's 10 baby steps. Right now I'm in Baby Step #1--building an emergency fund. Want to know where the money from the book and scarves go? It goes right there. :) It's helping build financial security. Yay!

Spiritual and personal growth: I have a pretty good prayer life. I want to go deeper and make this a true priority. Not just a lip service priority. 

Work: Work has been amazing this year! I released Catholic 101, started Barton Cottage Crafts, and I've grown my blog audience. I am so thankful for all my wonderful readers! And there's more to come in this area in 2018. 

Step Two

stop chasing perfect

I am choosing PURPOSE over PERFECT. That's what Making Things Happen in March taught me. Choose the CULTIVATED GOAL. Choose that good things. The things God has created me to do. STOP chasing someone one's story. Live my story. Sit in the dirt. Growth through the dirt. Cultivate what matters. 

 

STEP THREE

Looking back on 2017: Good things and Goal Progress

Good things that happened: 

 

Catholic 101 was released!

Vacation to Colonial Williamsburg and the Outer Banks

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Lost 26 pounds

Developed Barton Cottage Crafts

Got an editing job (More about this in 2018!) 

Seriously decluttering and simplifying at home

Deeper relationships 

Family connections and visiting.

Deeper familiarity with Scripture

Creative progress and enjoyment

Silent reterat

Making Things Happen! 

Starting the financial Baby Steps

 

My 2017 goals: 

1) Deepen my relationship with God through daily Mass, and Liturgy of the Hours, and writing the Word to get deep into His Word. 

How'd I do?: WELL! My editing job actually forces me to get deep into Scripture, which is so funny. God clearly wanted me to work on this goal! I am making progress in weekday Mass attendance, monthly confession, and saying the Liturgy of the Hours. This will all continue in 2018. 

2) Create Financial Peace  I'm being sort of vague on this one, because it's in progress and it's personal in a deep way. But I hopefully will have more to tell you soon. :) 

3) Be healthy by losing weight, exercising, and journaling. 

How'd I do?: Doing well! But this is not over yet. :) 

4) Get the book published by querying agents, growing the blog, and writing new pieces for publication. 

How'd I do? Did well in cultivating my audience, releasing the ebook, and writing new pieces for publication (See here). Need to get back on the querying bandwagon. 

5) Be a "fierce, fierce friend" by being hospitable, being there for others, and loving big. 

I started with this goal, and I realized--I am a good friend. So I didn't need to do too much work here! :)  So I deleted this goal and replaced it with:

Reimagine blog brand, mission, statement and purpose--did this in the spring! And I'll be taking a fresh look at it again in January. 

6)  Feed my creativity by drawing, knitting, sketching, languages, etc. 

How'd I do? Super well. I really love making time to do these things. They feed my soul! And I'm taking a watercolor class in January so I'll be continuing to improve in this area, too!

7) Simplify my spaces: Less stuff, MORE beauty and organization in order to increase peace, stability, and encourage hospitality. 

I re-phrased this in the summer to: Create a true, nourishing home by simplifying, decorating, and tidying (cleaning) to create beauty and calm. 

How'd I do? Well, as I write this, I've got Christmas baking dishes piled in the sink waiting for their turn in the dishwasher! So if you were at my house right now, you'd think, not! But I have made progress here, too. I did more book decluttering, more closet cleaning, and I've been making a point to keep spaces clear and only keep things I love and use around the house. 

 

Three Things I Learned:  

1) I CAN LOSE WEIGHT. This was HUGE for me. I've always thought that because of the prednisone that I will be on for the rest of my life that I'd never reach a healthy weight. AND I CAN! That's amazing to me. 

2) I WROTE A BOOK! After three years of work, Catholic 101 is a real book that real people can read. I am so thankful that I did this. HUGE goal for me, accomplished!

3) Lots of people feel the same way I do. I learned this at Making Things Happen. NO ONE has it all together. EVERYONE is nervous about stepping out and working on their dreams. Everyone! We are all in this together!!! 

 

 

 MTH March 2017, courtesy Amy Nicole photography

MTH March 2017, courtesy Amy Nicole photography

 

 

 

Whoa! Writing this has REALLY inspired me to do great things in 2018! And there are more entries to come!

 

How about you? What was 2017 like for you? What did you accomplish? Are you afraid of chasing your goals? What good things did you learn? What do you want to bring into 2018? 

 

 

 

Giveaway: A copy of "Cultivate"!

books, goal setting, give aways, transplantEmily DeArdo6 Comments

In honor of my twelve year transplant anniversary, which is tomorrow (holy cow, that sounds amazing to write--incredible to believe), I'm giving away a copy of Lara Casey's new book, Cultivate, which you've all heard me babble on about for months now. It's so good, folks. I'm so excited to share it with you! 

(You can read my review here, and my preview here)

What do you want to cultivate in your life? Share it in the comments! It can be anything, big or small! 

Cultivate: A new book for intentional, God-centered living

books, goal setting, Making Things HappenEmily DeArdoComment

Guys, I am so excited to share with you a new book from Lara Casey, who is the founder of the amazing Making Things Happen Conference, and the author of Make It Happen

 Lara and I in March. 

Lara and I in March. 

Lara is an amazing woman, y'all. She is a true lover of God and a woman of prayer. She is so supportive and a fantastic cheerleader. Without her products (the power sheets!), I would not have been able to accomplish the things that God wants me to do, and I say that and mean it. They helped me get so much clarity  about my goals and what really matters. Make It Happen, Lara's first book, helped me go even deeper, but truly, the conference was a breakthrough. Lara is so generous and shares so much of her hard-won wisdom with anyone who follows her on social media or attends the conference or reads her blog or her books. She has a huge heart for women and God. 

That's why I'm so excited about her new book, Cultivate, which comes out this spring! If you've never met Lara, or can't attend a MTH conference, then I hope that you will get your hands on Cultivate

Lara knows that good goals are goals that are deeply rooted in what mattersCultivate, according to Lara, is a story about God's grace--how it's transformed her life from an instant life into a cultivated life. 

Cultivated lives are messy. They grow slowly. But they are lives that trust in God, and wait on His perfect timing. And believe me, I know about waiting for that perfect timing! I know how hard it is. How often my prayer has been, "God, I know you're in charge, but if you'd just let me see the ending now, I'd be so happy." 

That's not how it works. 

Through Lara's writing and her ministry, I've been able to further my relationship with God, to open up, and to trust more completely in Him. It's been a wonderful boost to my faith and encouraged me to become more rooted in my faith and its practice. And with Cultivate, Lara will share how focusing on what God wants her to focus on has changed her life--for the better. 

So, Cultivate details: It comes out on June 27th, but you can pre-order now! If you do, there's a great bunch of pre-ordering gifts you will receive, like a getting started video, desktop backgrounds, and more (a coloring page!!!!), to help you really cultivate what matters.  The book also has a study guide included! Yay! 

The link takes you to a landing page where you can  preorder (from your book seller of choice),  claim the bonuses, and access even more goodies! 

Lara is real. She's not afraid to share the mess. And in doing that, she helps you do the real work. 

She didn't pay me to write any of this. :) I am so privileged to be a part of the Cultivate launch team, so that's why I wrote this. But it's not an ad--I genuinely love Lara. I know this book will be extremely helpful to you, and I personally can't wait to read it for myself! (And yes, I'm going to be talking about this book a lot, because I'm really excited about it! There will even be a place in the sidebar where you can click to pre-order.) 

Do yourself a favor and pre-order the book (pre-orders are really helpful to both authors and publishers), get the bonus goodies, and prepare to be changed and to learn! 

 

 

Making Things Happen 2017: One Month Later

current projects, goal setting, Making Things Happen, writingEmily DeArdoComment
  photo by the amazing  Amy Nicole Cherry

photo by the amazing Amy Nicole Cherry

So it's been a month since the Making Things Happen Conference began in Chapel Hill. 

And I can happily say that I've spent this past month doing things that matter--intentionally. 

Here's some of the things I've been doing: 

  • Daily Bible Study with the She Reads Truth app. Every morning, I do morning prayer, morning offering, and this. On the rare days I don't start with this combination, it is not a good day! I've even gone father in this area by  adding a small segment of Bible time in the afternoon, too; reading a chapter of an Old Testament book, and starting to read the Gospels again. It's quicker--maybe five minutes?--but it's a good check in. I'm being much more intentional about prayer, and starting my day with it, in various forms. 

  • Cleaned out my office closet from top to bottom! Yay!!!!! There are three areas of my house that are crying out for organization, and this was the first one I tackled. So much trash, so many instances of What the heck is this and why do I still have it?!?!? later, I have a clean closet, and a much cleaner office, too.
     
  • I've read through my ebook and made the first revisions. Huge step forward there. Now I know what I have to do to get it ready for some beta readers and I can make an action list of items to complete there. 
     
  • I did a lot of blog research and reading. I read a series on search engine optimization and I finished reading and implementing the ideas from a blog how-to series about using Pinterest and making blog upgrades. Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't. Most of it's been very subtle. :) It's part of an ongoing series about better blogging that I'm working through. One thing I really want to do is be a better blogger, so this research and workshops are things I've been needing to do, but felt so overwhelmed at the idea of doing all the things. But by reading one article, or implementing one change, every day--growth! Things get done. 

For the first time, I think ever, in the few years I've been doing Power sheets, I checked off all my monthly goals!

I'm deeply realizing that little by little is powerful.

Good things grow with that little by little, concentrated effort. 

 

When I sat down to do my April Powersheets, I read through all my conference notes, my goals, and the past months work I'd done so far this year, and I decided to be very deliberate in my goal setting--to choose to work slowly, to plant good seeds, and to let them unfurl in their time. Writing this actually makes me realize how much more I did than I thought I'd done since I came back, and that makes me feel fabulous!!

I am so excited to do my May Powersheets next week. In fact, I might even do them early. 

Has every day been a perfectly cultivated day? No! (haha.) But that's not what matters. What matters is that forward progress and growth. Not minute-by-minute perfection. And that's where I'm making strides. 

Growing through the dirt--Making Things Happen Conference 2017

goal setting, travel, Making Things HappenEmily DeArdo4 Comments

This isn't just a normal hallway. 

Off this hallway, big things happened. 

Weeds were pulled. Seeds planted. Connections made. 

Last week I had the incredible privilege of attending the Making Things Happen conference. It's a hard conference to explain. Essentially, you could say it's about goal setting. But it's about more than that--it's about living the life that you want to live, about being in touch with your purpose and getting rid of fears, lies, assumptions, and other muck that's holding you back from pursuing dreams and the fullest life. 

These dreams don't have to be big. They could be, in the world's reckoning, quite small. But to each person I was privileged to meet at this conference, it was about making their lives, and their small corners of the world, better

I went into the conference feeling discouraged. I didn't feel like I was ever going to meet my goals of getting the book published and meeting smaller, more personal goals. I felt like I had been planting seeds, but wasn't seeing results. 

"How would it feel if we got pregnant, and then had a baby the next day?" Lara Casey (the conference founder) asked at one point. It's absurd, but it's true. One of my big takeaways was that I wanted success to be easy. I didn't want to have to keep sending out proposals, keep exercising....keep whatever-ing. I wanted success now, measurable results NOW! And that's not how it goes. 

It's about God's timing. Not mine. Lara loves gardening, so her talks had lots of gardening metaphors. "Peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we" was one I really liked. 

It takes work for a seed to grow. And faith for a farmer or gardener to plant that seed and hope for a harvest. 

As part of "growing together", we had focus groups. The ladies in my focus group were amazing. We got down to the real, hard things and then started to build up from there. 

I met amazing, God-loving women who want to make good things happen, and that inspired me. I know that these women want to help me grow, just like I want to help them. When you're real with someone--really real, no holes barred, crying in front of them sharing fears real--for two days, you know that at the end of it, you're accepted and loved and supported. It's truly an amazing feeling to have that support. 

Growing little by little is powerful. The items on my action list are slowly being tended. I'm being very intentional in how I spend my days and my time. This time is all I get--I don't want to waste it. 

Another big take away for me? "We practice to get better!" That's one of the things I hate about exercise--I'm not good at it. But hearing this, even though it's sort of a duh truth, gave me the encouragement I needed. We do practice to get better. And often, I don't want to practice the stuff I'm not good at. But I have to, to see any growth. 

 The Carolina Inn, where the conference was held. 

The Carolina Inn, where the conference was held. 

At the conference, one of the questions we journaled about was: what is your definition of success? Here's mine: 

Doing what God has created me to do with a joyful and contented heart.

So everyday, I'm going to sit down with my planner (which Emily L. so graciously gifted all of us!), my mug, and my PowerSheets, and make things happen. Especially things that will further what God has created me to do. 

2017 Goal Setting

writing, essays, goal setting, Tidying Up, knitting, health, current projectsEmily DeArdo1 Comment

The last week of the year usually brings a few things for me--time with family, lots of books, and goal setting for the new year!

Ever since I discovered Lara Casey's powersheets, I've adored goal setting--and I've actually been getting things done. Her shop is called "Cultivate what matters", and that's what the powersheets do. Without them, there's no way I'd have finished my manuscript, written book proposals, sent queries, or upgraded my website/social media presence. That's probably the biggest thing the powersheets have done for me, but I've made progress in other ways, too. 

(And, no, I don't get paid to say this--I just love powersheets!)

I got my 2017 set in November and spent a few days doing the prep work. This is one of the best parts of power sheets. It's where you really get down to the reasons why you want to do things--why do you want to save money, or take that trip, or get that thing? What's your real motivation? Are you afraid to do big things? What's defeated you in the past from reaching your goals? (Lara's current blog series dives into this stuff, too!) 

So after doing the prep work and figuring out my "big" goals for the year, I then break those goals down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals for each month. The idea is that everything you do here is intentionally helping you meet a goal that will help you do what matters in your life. 

With all that said, here are my goals for 2017: 

1. To deepen my prayer life through more regular attendance at daily Mass and more times of daily prayer/devotions. If I don't have a deep, solid relationship with God, nothing else matters. 

2. Pay off the rest of my debts and grow my savings account. One of the things I really like about post-transplant life is my ability to travel, and I want to do more of that--and traveling takes money! So by cutting back on buying things I don't need (I'm doing the contentment challenge in January to help with this), I'll be able to pay off debts and have money for fun things like traveling! Again, there has been progress in this area, but I need to be more consistent. 

3. Be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy by instituting regular workouts, weekly meal planning, and keeping up with my journal (I've been letting my journal slide of late. I don't want to do that!). I have grown in this area this year, but it's erratic growth. I need to make it a much more permanent part of life.  

4. Get the book published, offer a ebook for sale, grow the blog, and write what matters. I want to write things that matter to the people who read them--things that help you, inspire you, make you laugh, whatever. I don't want to write click bait. I want to write things that improve the lives of my readers. (So tell me what you want to read, OK?) 

5. Fuel my creativity by continuing to learn Italian, working on new art and knitting projects, and, of course, reading. I love learning new things! 

6. Simplify my space: Less stuff, more beauty, more organization, and increased hospitality. I made big progress on this this year as well--cleaning out my closet, taking many books to the secondhand shop (along with CDs and DVDs). So I'm proud of the progress I've made here. But there's more to do!

So those are my six big goals for the year. Each month, these get broken into monthly, weekly, and daily things I need to tend (in powersheets parlance). Daily things are things I want to make a habit--like exercise, checking my checkbook against the online transactions, reading the Bible for 10 minutes every day, practicing Italian. Stuff like that. 

Weekly things are things that get done every week: Daily Mass at least once, making a meal plan, doing a basic clean of the house, putting a certain amount of cash into my emergency stash here at home. 

Monthly tending are bigger things that I can do throughout the month. Some examples from my January tending list are editing my Nano 2016 novel, going to confession, completing a 30 day exercise plan.  

Some things are broken into monthly and weekly categories. The contentment challenge is broken into three months, with a weekly topic in a corresponding book. So there's a monthly "task", but also something to read each week. So the weekly devotion is written in my weekly tending list, so I don't forget to do that. 

I also write the daily tasks into my planner. That also helps keep me on track, because if my powersheets aren't easily available (though I always keep them on my counter, so I can find them quickly!), I can see at a glance what I'm doing that day. It's also great for things like the weekly cleaning--I can dust on Monday, vacuum Tuesday, etc. 

I find this is a better system than making resolutions. Resolutions are OK, but they usually don't have a plan or a why attached to them. "Lose 20 pounds" is a nice resolution--but how to do it? By going through the powersheets, I have an idea of how to do the things I want to do, how to achieve my goals, and how to be accountable to myself. I only have so much time here and I want to use it to the best of my ability!

Do you have goals for 2017? What are they? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting Rewind

2016, goal setting, health, writingEmily DeArdo1 Comment

So, 2016 started out with me being sick, but I could still make progress on my goals. 

Then we got a week in to 2016, and that all went out the window. 

I'd forgotten how much pneumonia takes out of you--the whole if I try to get dressed/put on make up/make a meal, I spend the next day wiped out and paying for it. I am feeling better, in that there's much less pain, I can breathe regularly, my heart rate is better, and I can take deep breaths! I'm sure my PFTs will be better on Monday. But as far as "normal activities", not a lot is happening yet, beyond the basic basics. 

That's OK--it just makes my goal tending Powersheets page look a little forlorn, these days. :) 

I go back to clinic on Monday for a follow-up, and assuming we don't see anything terrible, I will slowly start increasing things. But that, I don't just mean activity, I mean daily things, like writing/editing/reading--things that don't sound terribly strenuous, but can be when you're dealing with a limited supply of energy. 

One thing that has progressed, so far, is my art--I'm really glad to have decent brushes now, and to be playing with color and form. I will finish my Sketchbook Skool class by the end of the month, and that was one of my goals for this month, along with editing Tempest (and I did that, too--at least a first pass edit.) So this month wasn't a complete waste, goal-wise. 

And this might sound odd, but--the nurses I had in the hospital were pretty great. I don't mind spending time with good nurses. :) 

So I'm going to ease back into goals next week, and start February with renewed vigor--and hopefully a rescheduled California trip! 

 

 

 

Daybook No. 114

Daybook, books, goal setting, Tidying Up, Sketchbook SkoolEmily DeArdo1 Comment

Outside my window::

cloudy, but I saw dandelions the other day. DANDELIONS! In December! probably because our weather has been a lot more like spring than winter, lately--we've had a few deep frosts but it hasn't snowed yet, which is weird. Normally we've had at least one snow here by December. 

Wearing::

Jeans and a scoop neck "dark cherry" colored top, my St. Dominic medal, and my watch. Bare feet, which is appropriate because I'm watching a movie about St. Francis as I write this. 

Reading::

All the Advent books, and Communion with Chris: according to St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. I also read Rosemary, a book about the Kennedy's oldest daughter, who had intellectual disabilities, and who was lobotomized by her father in the 1940s. The book was pretty well -written (I had quibbles with the author's "explanations" of some Catholic things, but that's par for the course...), and you can't help by feel sorry for her and the rest of her family, who didn't know what had happened to Rosemary until it was done. 

Listening to:

The Hamilton CDs (again)--and some of my Advent CDs. I might have to put in Messiah for today and tomorrow, since tomorrow is the Immaculate Conception (a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics), and the first part of Messiah is perfect for this. 

Goal setting:: 

Last week I did a lot if Powesheets work--goal setting for the New Year, and I'm pleased with what I've done so far. This is always an illuminating process for me. I'm on the actual goal setting steps now and I'm working on that part pretty slowly because I want to make sure that I'm setting the right goals. 

In one of the Advent books I'm reading, Come, Lord Jesus, Mother Mary Francis talks about the "dream the Lord has of [you.]" I want my goals to reflect that dream. 

 

 

 working on the Powersheets last week!

working on the Powersheets last week!

Tyding Up::

This is hard because everything is so topsy-turvy with the Christmas decorations being out, and moving things around.  But I'm hoping I'm on the last "purge" of books and DVDs, and that I can have a whole post about the process in early 2016. 

Creativity::

I'm on the fourth week of my Sketchbook Skool Seeing class. I have to tell you, last week was hard. We were talking about continual line drawing and I was terrible at it when I first started. But by the end, I think I managed to do some decent work: 

 lemon, pear, and bottle of olive oil. 

lemon, pear, and bottle of olive oil. 

This week, it's nature drawing, with is hard because it's December and there's not a lot of "nature" around. :) But I'll try to catch some of the squirrels and draw them for this week's assignment. 

From the kitchen::

Tonight I'm trying a new Nigella recipe--a chicken "tray bake" (meaning it's baked on a tray--clever, eh? :-P), with fennel and a citrus marinade. Tomorrow I'm making stew, because YUMMMM, and it's a feast day, so winner right there! 

Plans for the week::
ENT appointment today (I actually like seeing him, he's a great doctor.) Sunday is jam packed with CCD, our catechist meeting (we have one quarterly), and our Lay Dominican meeting, where a few members will make their life promises! (I did that last December) It's always exciting when that happens. 

 

Let's Make Things Happen: GIVEAWAY!

goal setting, give awaysEmily DeArdo2 Comments

Guys! I am so excited to share my first giveaway with you, and for a product that I love so much. 

I wrote about this a few months ago, and I don't think it's a stretch to say that without Lara's amazing product, I'd never have gotten the memoir even close to where it is now. 

Power sheets are Lara Casey's fantastic goal setting sheets. They are undated and can be used ANY TIME at a six month stretch so you can work on what matters in your life. Anyone can use them--students, stay-at-home moms, teachers, entrepreneurs. Whoever you are, these are amazing goal setting tools. 

Goal setting used to overwhelm me. I had no idea where to begin, and I always felt like I was falling behind and not making progress on the big things in life. I always had vague ideas about things I wanted to do. But I read about the Power Sheets and I've used them now for almost two years. They are excellent for making things happen. 

 

I know--you're probably thinking, are these things magical? Surely you jest!

Guys, I'm not. The way Lara has these set up, you work through what really matters to you. Then you set goals from that place. You're basically distilling down your life to its essence. And your goals don't have to be huge! Some of mine are "clean the house" sorts of goals! I've used them to help deepen my prayer life, my writing, my blogging, and even friendships. You can use them for anything, and I guarantee they will help you reach your goals. 

So, to celebrate the new site and the book proposals being sent it, Giveaway time!!! 

The giveaway will run for a week. The rafflecopter below has all the details and ways you can enter. Also, be sure to check out Lara's amazing shop.