Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Goal Setting

2018 Goals: February update

goal settingEmily DeArdoComment
2018GoalSettingSeries2.jpg

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....

IMG_6610.JPG

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: 

IMG_6603.JPG

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

goal settingEmily DeArdoComment
2018GoalSettingSeries2.jpg

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!

goal settingEmily DeArdoComment

[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! 

Instagram15.png

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!

cultivate one .png

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

goal settingEmily DeArdoComment
Instagram3.png

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: 

IMG_6291.JPG

 

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. 

 

IMG_6293.JPG
IMG_6292.JPG

STEP NINE

My word for 2018

IMG_6296.JPG

 

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

IMG_5487.JPG

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? 

 

 

 

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.