posts in category goals

Sunday, January 1, 2023

It's a New Year!


  Even though part of me tries to shrug off all the hoopla that comes with the changing of the year, it is impossible not to get a little bit excited about the idea of a fresh start. I think a clean slate which is ready to be written on again, is just something that appeals to us hopeful humans. 

    I have been thinking about the areas of my life that I struggle with, and the areas I want improve upon. These are non-related to work. Of course, I have things I want to improve upon at work, but this isn't the place for that discussion.

    After a lot of thought and soul-searching I can sum up my areas of focus as the following:

  • Eating healthy
  • Sticking to a budget
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Keeping up my home

    These are the areas I want to focus my attention on this year. As far as eating healthy goes, I am trying to move towards a more Mediterranean diet. I may or may not lose weight, but there is simply no excuse for the large intake of sugar in my diet.. Well, it's good. I guess that is the excuse. It will be  hard to break away from that easy high of  flavorful food, but I am going to have to find other ways to release some good hormones.

    I am starting off the year by keeping track of my spending in a separate planner. I think I am bleeding a lot of cash to areas which don't really represent my values. This area will be hard, since it is so easy to spend money online and those little trips to Walgreens and Walmart for necessities add up quickly. 
    Interpersonal relations! It's a struggle for me. I want to work on this area. This includes improving my interactions with others through better social skills and taking small chances that put me outside of my comfort zone. I have a lot of anxiety in this area. When I felt like someone didn't like and/or was trying to get me emotionally riled up in the recent past, I used my newly found skills to not be paranoid,  told myself it was silly, and got subsequently got burned. I have to learn to balance both my intuition and my trust in others. It won't be easy!

    And keeping up my home is an oldie for. me. Mostly I am referring to keeping it tidy and clean and keeping up with basic repairs. I tend to stress out tremendously over my homemaking skills and the feeling that I am not good enough. So I plan to give myself some grace, meeting myself where I am, and simply improve upon my routines. I am not in competition with YouTube Moms or the stay-at-home mom down the street, or even the working family next door, whose youngest child is 13. I am only trying to better own situation.

    These are my areas of focus for the year. Expect to see detailed blogs regarding how exactly this is affecting my life itself.

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

You are Not a Winner


Or...maybe you are. I don't know your personal circumstances. I have been thinking a bit about what is is to have a motivational and success-inspired blog. Is it hitting the highlights? Spreading positivity, optimism, and lots of YOU CAN DO ITs!? Is it reading and dissecting business and personal growth books, which yes, I do love, and discovering ways to apply the tidbits to my own circumstances? Is it getting What I Want, When I Want, with no room for anything less than being all that and a bon bon on the side? 

The truth is, I love this blog. I love self-help, self-improvement, self-motivation...I guess I love self! But one thing I think we tend to forget in this world of positivity, lead-the-way, never yield, but be vulnerable and approachable, by golly, perfectionism, is that the top is is small and life is short.

The truth of the matter is, what you do and how you act, DO matter. It does have an impact on where you will go. But know what else determines that? Who you know and a good deal of luck. The truth is, there are probably more qualified people for the "top" than there are spaces. You could do everything right, and still not make it. You could make rookie mistakes and not make it. You could make rookie mistakes, but have a fantastic personality, a pretty/handsome face, and lots of luck, and get just what you want.

I am not saying this to lead you into despair. Life is too short for despair. "To despair is to turn your back on God," according to Marilla Cuthbert in the 1985 miniseries version of Anne of Green Gables. If you don't know either the miniseries or the books, you must, so here is a little more information: Anne of Green Gables Movie  and Anne of Green Gables books. 

Anyhoo, I am saying this to pull you away from the path of self-bullying, away from toxic positivity, away from win-or-die mindset and towards a deeper truth. We are spiritual beings. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be boss lady of your company and working like Hell to get it, that's not what it is all about. Unless this is your own personally written mission and you planned the company and/or are on board with the philosophy and outcome. Otherwise, it may very well be...a job. And yes, the thrill of victory, the excitement of seeing YOUR plans put into actions by others is quite satisfying. But there is a good chance, the great and powerful Oz, er I mean, God of our Universe, doesn't give a camel's backside (doesn't that make you think of a fabulous camel trenchcoat?), about what you do to earn your bread. What he wants is to see you growing and changing and learning. And he may fancy that "reject" down on the corner for the way they smile at the strangers who go by, or help the elderly load their groceries into the car, over your ability to wheel and deal. Or maybe, he loves them both equally, like all good parents, do...

So listen, go get yours...but if yours doesn't somehow materialize despite your best efforts, just's okay. 

There is so, so much more to this experience we are going through. 


Friday, July 17, 2020

5 Things You Should Know About Life by 30

Life is fantastic. It is an emotional roller coaster filled with ups and downs and sometimes it simply feels too hard. I was walking the halls of the building I am working in, and found myself envying the position and opportunities other people have. And that's when I had to take myself in hand and get tough. Envy might be useful for just a brief moment, but Envyland is no place to live.

Fighting Tooth and Nail

There are so many things I wish I had learned early in life. Some people appear to be born with an inner sweetness and fortitude which helps them navigate the wilderness of life and they appear on top early and stay on top. Others of us had a lifetime of the wrong kind of training forming our brain patterns in ways which seemed beneficial at first, but eventually led us deeper into the fog and away from civilized life (meaning acceptable norms and behavior). 

I am from the second camp. I have used tooth and nail to drag myself (along with the quiet helpful hands of those who have guided me tenderly and forgivingly) out of the self-imposed wilderness into, well, maybe the edge of the woods.  Yes, my mistakes have been totally humiliating, but no, they aren't who I am. I am so much more than just the bad. So I wanted to share some of the thoughts on life I have been having. To some of you, they may seem blindingly obvious. To others, the lesson is still buried in your subconscious waiting for the right time to flip the switch on to self-realization. 

5 Things You Should Know About Life by 30 (or earlier)

Note: You'll notice I have 30 instead of the 40 in the infographic. After reflecting on it, I realized I may have learned the lessons late, but learning them early is, naturally, preferable.

1. Forgiveness is key to happiness- This is one  idea that has been brought up time and time again, but being able to forgive people is essential for a happy life. Forgiveness doesn't mean letting someone hurt you over and over again. You need to do what you need to do to set and enforce your own boundaries for safety and peace of mind. But forgiveness means allowing someone to make their own mistakes without letting the choices they made blacken your heart forever. It is hard not to hold a grudge. Sometimes not holding a grudge can feel like weakness. It can feel like you are letting people walk all over you. But holding a grudge is like a cancer, encroaching upon your heart, eating away at the happy possibilities for the future. Bitterness can feel very right, but bitterness is the language of the ego and the ego is a child. The ego doesn't necessarily have your best interest at heart, even though it will present itself as doing so. Like a pleading child, the ego will tug at your emotions, begging to you avenge wrongdoings against you. But as long as you listen to ego, and struggle to hold anger and hate close, you will be hurt. Learn to forgive.

2. You can't always get what you want- I know it is shocking. It is even more so when others seem to have a golden lighted path leading the way into greatness with strong hands lifting them up along the way. Life doesn't seem fair. Meanwhile you find yourself striving and stumbling, and that which you want just seems to be out of reach. Like grudges, this can lead to a deep and dark bitterness. Learning to visualize the bitterness and anger being washed away has been very helpful to me. When I feel the burden building up on my shoulders I like to imagine golden rays of sunshine lighting my head with warmth as turquoise foaming waves crash gently against my shoulders. Lifting my burden, I am left with all that truly matters. These external desires will all dissipate eventually. The world itself will some day disappear. Learning to find peace and joy with what is inside, with what is real, is the key. 

3. You get to determine your worth- Noone else gets to decide your greatness. Not your parents, not your boss, not your lover. If you are happy with who you are and what you have accomplished, you are a success. Maybe your parents dreamed of you walking the halls in a white coat with a stethoscope wrapped around your neck. But your heart lights up at the smiling faces of your preschool students each day. You are a winner! Perhaps your boss doesn't think you are worthy of her inner circle- but your job gives you time to go home and paint spectacular paintings which thrill your soul. Winner. Maybe your lover wants you to earn more money and bring up their lifestyle, but peace is your ultimate goal. You get to make that choice. This doesn't mean you should be a jerk and not listen to input from others or continue to be valuable in the jobs and family roles that you are responsible for. It means not allowing someone outside of you to dictate how you feel about who you are and the value you bring to this world. That's up to you. 

4. Life is incredibly short- It's really a blink of an eye in the eternities of time. Balance wisdom with childlike curiosity. Save for retirement as early as you can. If you are in your 20's, start now! Don't put it off one more year. Take that income tax refund, or next raise and start investing it right away. There are a myriad of books available to help you get started. At the same time, have fun! Take that vacation. If you are like most people you will have to choose between experiences and things. I can't make that choice for you. My husband and I have chosen an older home with a lower price tag so we have more money for traveling and experiencing the world. If your heart lies in aesthetics, you might prefer living in a beautifully decorated home more than taking a vacation. Only you can decide what your values are. Do some soul searching-discover your values-what matters to you-and start making choices which honor those values. Don't wait. You can always start planning for your amazing life today.

5. Make the effort- If you want to connect with someone, make the first move. Send a text, call, stop by and visit. The worst that can happen? Well, I guess they could go on a radio show and share your heartfelt attempts in a mocking manner, but is that likely? And are they worth your time if they mock you? Take a deep breath and reach out. You might be the light of someone's day. Make the effort in all that you do. Relationship, work, play, rest. Don't be afraid of failure, hiding behind mediocrity, excusing your flaws away. Love yourself immensely and enough to keep striving towards the best version of yourself. Remember number 4. When you have decided your values, go full-force into attaining them. If you screw up, remember number 1. Forgive yourself. We are all learning. We are all perfect in our imperfections. Then stand back up and try again. I won't promise you will reach some arbitrary goal, but I will promise if  you don't try for what you want, regret will sink deep into your bones.  

At some point, life is painful for all us. But it can also be very rich, very rewarding, and very, very good.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Personal System Reboot ~ Free Boho Printable

Free Boho Life Changes printable below

I have become slack in my habits lately. Working at home, combined with attempting, very poorly, to educate my kids has led me to sort of letting things go. After a harrowing dream which involved administrators, fellow teachers, my kids, and finally ended when a coworker left me locked in a hospital room with a classroom full of preschoolers with special needs I felt ill-equipped to handle to drop out the window and  rediscover her youth with a convertible full of boys, I woke up and decided the same old, same old wasn't going to work.

Honestly, it's been awful. I haven't been for a walk in over a week, we practically lived on sugar cereal and dinner food because I didn't feel like facing the store, and my patience has been nearly non-existent. I have been a grouchy momster.;) My natural inclination is to dive into my feelings and figure out why I am acting that way, and really feel and understand them, but...screw that. While it is vital to understand why you feel the way you do, after recognizing and naming what you feel, it is time to move forward. Not time to dwell, not time to share, because misunderstandings run rampant when you start sharing your feelings and feelings change, anyway. It's not time to think and overthink. Turning something  around and around in your mind feels productive, but you rarely really get anywhere. Your knowledge is limited. You can only guess why someone does what they do or how they view you. And the weird thing is, the harder you try to control everything, the more it slips out of your hands. 

I was looking up my boutique Pinterest account this morning, and one of the suggested groups was for successful women. I looked through the pins, first of all, felt a little overwhelmed, but then I started reading those little memes full of good advice people make until I felt filled and strong. And then, I got up and decided it was time to head back to the track. 

It feels like growth and self-improvement is a tango-a series of steps forward and steps back. As soon as you feel confident in your changes, you get lax and things start to slide. It can be frustrating, but I think really true change is just HARD. It's hard to drink water when it seems gross. It's hard for me not to share my thoughts and feelings, or rather, it's hard to find the balance between expressing myself and oversharing.  It is easier to lay in bed and stop believing that meditating makes a difference, or stop having a relationship with a greater power. It is so much easier to just slide through the day without thought-or perhaps without discipline. 

With these thoughts in mind, it is time to take action. Again!

Step One: More Water
I noticed a bit of a lower back ache, and since I am prone to health issues from drinking only coffee (it is all I ever want), I had a big glass of water. I haven't been buying any lemons and water without lemon is sort of gross to me in the morning, but I pushed it down anyway.

Step Two: Self-Expression
Writing a blog post several times a week, but not one of my confusion and feelings and angst. That's what journals are for, and I need to use mine more. But any form of writing forces me to categorize and organize my thoughts,  and that is useful.

Step Three: Refresh the Spirit
Continue my normal spiritual practices. I have been sleeping in more and letting them slip away, but I have found an organized method of expressing gratitude, communing with God, and setting intentions for the day has a more profound effect on my life than a thrown together in the moment plea.

Step Four: Movement
I just have to move more. Whether it is a daily walk, or getting out to real stores (not Walgreens), or just doing more house and yard work, I need to put in at least 30 minutes of movement. According to my phone I move at least 60 minutes a day, but I don't like keeping my phone on my body, and I don't think that incidental movement is the same as sustained physical movement.

Step Five: Better Parenting
I need to get my boys back on a strong schedule. We started last night by enforcing bedtime and closing the doors, even when Alec puckered up. And they were asleep fast! 

Truthfully I could write about a lot more, but I have listed five things I need to focus on, and five is plenty.

If you want to try a Personal System Reboot, I high suggest choosing 3-5 areas you want to work on and focusing on them in depth. It may be you have let your regular system slide and just need to oil it and tighten the bolts a little. Or it may be that you need an entire overhaul and some big changes. 

Writing down the areas you want to improve makes a huge difference. If nothing else, you will stumble upon the paper later and be re-reminded of the promises you made to yourself.

What steps do you need to take to reboot your own system?

And here it is:
Boho Style Life Changes Printable

Sunday, March 1, 2020


Image result for sunset photos

It has been a long and beautiful weekend. The days crawled by as the children played with neighbors in 60 degree weather. I did next to nothing. Oh, I did some maintenance housework, my husband and I rearranged the bedroom, (managing to avoid the Coffin position for the bed, for those who read my personal blog), and the house received a good airing. I did some things for my online shop, but really, it has been a lazy weekend.

I paid off my library fine for the coffee damaged books, and have more on reserve. I have been listening to books on Audible, but this will not be about them.

I found a short little article which so succinctly summed up my feelings on healing and responsibility, by Brianna Wiest,
Trauma is not Your Fault, but Healing is Your Responsibility.

This article has been timely for me because I find myself being reminded of snippets of unpleasant memories. Not the memories of  my many, humiliating mistakes, but memories of moments outside of my control. Many of these occured as child, a few as an adult. And sometimes it is helpful to be reminded of the pain and trauma of the past for various reasons. For one, a depth of feeling brings a sense of painful angst which drives me to write, drives me to create. Also, little Jill just sometimes wants remind the world, she is still here, and the scars still mark her skin.

But, the thing is, noone can fix the pain, but me. It doesn't need erased. It needs acknowledgement. But acknowledging it and dwelling in it are different. We all have our scars. In some way, we have all been hurt. Some have faced more trauma than others. I am luckier than so, so many who walk the earth. If I don't choose to learn and grow and takes steps to make different choices, my life can never accomplish what I was intended to accomplish. So while at times I choose to snuggle up with the inner child and hold her, I don't choose to live in that place.

I believe in a higher power who listens to me and helps me. If I ask for strength, or guidance, or wisdom, or even for unspecified help, I believe I will receive it. We are our own superman. We are the ones who intervene for our more fragile selves and take the leap of faith and ask for help. We are so strong and so powerful when we learn who and how to ask.

If you are like me, a part of you is dismayed with this focus on self. Perhaps you, too, feel your focus should be on helping others. But my dear, you can't save anyone until you have learned to save yourself (or to ask God for the help you need). You can't hold your child aloft in the crashing sea  if you don't put your life preserver on, too. There are so many things I wish I understood decades ago. But with faith I walk forth, and the blame game stops, and the healing begins.