Something that I have learned over the years of making goals and resolutions is that in order to say yes to some things, you have to be willing to say no to others.  Choices.  An intentional life doesn’t just happen, does it?  If that was the case, everyone would exercise, floss, eat healthily, read the Bible, and never lose their temper.  Choices.  Saying no to what comes naturally, to what we are used to, and what feels good.  And saying yes to what might be a little scary because it’s new, what might be a little uncomfortable because it’s change, and even though we know it is what is best for us.  Choices.  Because if we are honest, it is the million little choices you make every day that creates your life.

How we spend our days 

is, of course, 

how we spend our lives.

Annie Dillard

Have you ever done embroidery or needlepoint?  It doesn’t seem like each stitch is really making a difference.  All the threads seem independent of each other, don’t they?  But, in reality, each thread is just as important as it’s neighbor in creating the beautiful work of art that the creator of the pattern designed.  It is the same way with our daily decisions. They seem unrelated and independent of each other.  I mean, when we decide to hit that snooze instead of getting up a little before our family, that really doesn’t have anything to do with our bank account, right? Watching one more episode of that show on Netflix has no bearing on those 10 lbs that refuse to budge from the scale, does it?  I am here to tell you it absolutely does.  It is all about the choices.  So how does this look in real life; in every day, where the rubber meets the road kind of living?

Have a Plan- The saying goes if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  And that is very true when you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time.  This doesn’t mean that you need to have a perfect 10-year plan in place and know beyond a shadow of a doubt every step you are going to take the next 3,650 days.  Thank goodness for that.  But you need to have some idea in mind of what you want to do, who you want to be, and how you are going to get there.

Create Small, Manageable Steps That Will Daily Bring You Closer To Your Goal- Many times, we make the mistake of making our goals too big or too vague.  The key to building a good habit is to break it down to small and measurable steps.  Want to exercise daily?  Start out with a goal to intentionally move 5 minutes every day.  Think that won’t make a difference?  Think again.  Small daily actions will work for us or against us, it’s up to us to choose which way it goes. We need to lose our all or nothing mentality.  Slow and steady wins the race. When you look back, you’ll see it was the small but consistent actions that made the most significant impact.

Celebrate Victories and Show Yourself Grace- Intentional living isn’t a magic formula.  It also isn’t an overnight quick fix.  It is a process.  In a society that is used to instant gratification, this is a difficult concept to embrace.  But once we understand that any movement forward is growth and be proud of the steps we have made instead of beating ourselves up for not being where we think we should be, we will begin to notice the progress we are making.  That step will lead to gratitude and gratitude will lead to the desire to continue to make better choices.

It is true, many times, we have no choice in our circumstances, but it is also true that we always have a choice in our response.  This includes how we respond to ourselves.  When you fall down(not if but when), get back up, dust yourself off, and forgive yourself.  Remember all the times you haven’t fallen down and be proud of the progress you have made.  And remind yourself that baby steps are still steps.





Happy New Year!  2020…not just a brand new year, but also a brand new decade ahead of us.  It feels as if life is a brand new journal full of blank pages just waiting for our story to be written on them. I just love the feeling that comes with fresh starts.  I am the only person I know that loves Mondays because to me Monday signifies a chance to start over, to be a better version of yourself.  About 5 years ago, I began to pick a word of the year, a word that embodied the resolutions and aspirations I had for the upcoming 365 days.  This year holds so much promise that one word wasn’t enough, it needed two!  The first word is,


Deliberately, on Purpose, with an awareness of what one is doing

and the second word is,


Any process of change

Those are two pretty powerful words.  Intentionally becoming, to me, denotes a process of purposeful change.  It requires planning the course you will take to embark on this change.  You will need to know your why.  Knowing your why is a catchphrase that I have resisted for a few years.  I thought that by making a goal or resolution I had done the work, the why was simple; doing this will make me a better person.  But I have come to realize that isn’t a strong enough reason to stick with the goals and resolutions I make. In knowing your why you have your own little cheering section in your brain to help you move forward towards your ultimate goal.  For example, one of my resolutions is to intentionally become a lifetime learner.  I could use the “because it will make me a better person philosophy,” but that isn’t going to be enough to make me click off Netflix and onto a class on Skillshare, or pick up a book and read up on a new skill I want to learn.   I need to know that learning a new skill will help me grow my photography or learn a new technique in editing.  And this could possibly lead to more job opportunities in the coming year, which will lead to more financial stability and security for my family.  See the difference?  Knowing your why is an integral part of true, authentic change.  And I love how the definition of becoming cast a wide net with the word any.  It doesn’t have to be a big process, as a matter of fact, smaller steps done with consistency will often lead to a more permanent change.  I have been so guilty of an all or nothing mentality so many times.  But not this year, this year, I am ready to celebrate the process because the process can be as beautiful as the result if we choose to view through the right lens.  Movement is a sign of life.  And I, for one, am thankful for the gift of life.  So I would love to have you join me going forward into the next 360 days, and celebrate the baby steps, show yourself grace when you forget your why, and in the process intentionally become the absolute best version of yourself for this brand new decade.  2020 we are ready for you!!


Self-Care Sunday…Kon-Mari Your Life


By now you have probably heard of Marie Kondo and KonMari method of organization and tiding your home.  If not, let me share a few links to get you started!  Her website, which offers a wealth of tips and information, her first book, which was was a New York Times best-seller, and finally, the trailer to her new show on NetFlix, Tiding Up with Marie Kondo. She states her mission in life is to spark joy through cleaning and tidying.  Now before you roll your eyes and quit reading, hear me out.  I was very skeptical of this method at first.  As someone who has loved organizing and tiding all my life, I felt like I had a good handle on all of this and the last thing I needed was to learn a whole new method, the proverbial you can’t teach an old dog new tricks mentality. But after reading the books and most recently, watching her show on Netflix, I have changed my tune. This old dog is excited to report she is happily using new tricks and having great results!  Throughout the next few months, I will be reviewing the different aspects of this method and how it can help you make the best possible use of the space you have been blessed with. I honestly feel that whatever stage of life you are in, this method can benefit you, not only in organizing and caring for your possessions but in dealing with the mental clutter that plagues us all. When your surroundings are cluttered and messy, it affects your entire life. While the terms neat and clean are subjective, everyone performs better in an environment that has some semblance of order to it.  And the feelings of pride and self-confidence that come alongside getting control of your space once and for all are genuinely life-changing.

“The moment you start tidying, you reset your life.”

Marie Kondo

Her system is a daunting one, as you will see on the trailer for her show.  Most cleaning and organization methods have you go room by room, and what typically happens is you move one pile of stuff from room to room.  With the KonMari method, you are attacking one category at a time.  While this does make a bigger mess in the process, it is quite eye-opening to see all your things gathered in one place.  It will not only shock you, but it will also help you to realize how much you have to be grateful for in your life.  That is the ultimate goal of tidying up, to learn to cherish everything you have so you can achieve happiness within yourself and appreciate what you have. So take some time in the upcoming weeks to check out Marie’s new series, or check out her book (she has two books, but I highly recommend reading the first before beginning, it lays the groundwork for the entire system).  I can promise you that a decluttered home will help you achieve an uncluttered mind, and that is something we all need more off in our lives!

Self-Care Sunday…Just Say No To the Snooze Button!!!

26 mars klocka

We all have done it even though we know it is a horrible idea….somehow we think if I could just have 12.5 more minutes of sleep our life would be better….we know this is not the truth…we know we will not get good solid rest for those 12.5 minutes….that we will have those crazy Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans kind of dreams.  The snooze button…we think it is our friend, but in reality, it is one of the biggest deterrents to having a successful morning routine.  I promise this isn’t just me saying this. Hitting the snooze button repeatedly inflicts “cardiovascular assault” on the body and abuses your nervous system, a neuroscientist has warned. I don’t know about you, but the words cardiovascular assault makes me feel a bit anxious inside.  According to  Huffington Post

Why snoozing can be bad for you now: Like we said, the body needs some time to get you ready to wake up. When you let yourself go back to sleep, your body thinks, “False alarm! I guess I didn’t need to do anything because we’re not getting up after all,” and settles in. When that buzzer goes off a second time, Pelayo says that your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in that groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia. The more you snooze, the more confused your body and brain get (“So are we going back to sleep or not?!”), so you’ll probably feel more out of it even though you actually spent extra time in bed. What’s more, this type of sleep inertia can persist for up to two to four hours, research has found.


And I know that when I hit the snooze, I am immediately hit with self-deprecating thoughts.  Thoughts like “You are so lazy and worthless, you can’t stick to a routine for even a day.  You are a total loser”…and on and on it goes; a vicious and unrelenting assault.  And as an added bonus you are throwing off your internal clock.  Getting up at a different time every day confuses your brain.  Those stolen minutes are just not worth it, so make up your mind once and for all to just say no to the snooze button.  I know it’s not easy, but I promise it is so worth it.  Try putting the alarm clock across the room, where you have to get up to turn the phone off.  If you are a coffee drinker, try setting the timer on your coffee pot a few minutes earlier than your alarm…the smell of coffee brewing helps you wake some people up.  One thing I have found that helped me is to have something to look forward to when I get up, to do something I really enjoy doing.  For me, this is reading and journaling.  I have also found that if I have some sort of physical activity as soon as I get up, it helps keep me up.  Nothing crazy or excessive…think 10 jumping jacks or a few toe touches.  It’s that initial five minutes that is the hardest for me.   How about making a pledge this week with me, a promise to just say no to the snooze button, and see how your mornings go. You can do it, I believe in you!  I can do it, I believe in me!!  We are worth it!!!

Self-Care Sunday

fullsizeoutput_2126In Sunday Self-Care I talked a bit about planning as a form of self-care.  When we take the time to invest a bit in our week on the front end, the pay off is a smoother and less stressful week.  Which leads to a more peaceful less stressed you…one of the main goals of these Sunday posts.   Many people view self-care as something you do when you are burned out and unable to keep up with the basic requirements of life.  But that is living life in reaction mode.  In order to have the abundant and fruitful life that we long for we must learn to live life more in the responding mode. We know ourselves better than anyone and know what we need to be the best version possible.  This is more of a preventative approach to mental and emotional health, the things we need to do to keep burnout from becoming a way of life.  And I know that sometimes you feel like adding one more thing to an already overfilled schedule is impossible, I promise you if you make the time to take care of yourself, the other stuff will fall into place.  It’s like the example of putting sand in the jar and then attempting to put all the rocks in, inevitably all the rocks won’t fit.  But, if you place the rocks in first and then pour the sand in you can fit so much more in your jar.  To me, planning is one of those rocks you should add to your jar first.  Planning is a very individualistic thing, and you have to find out what works for you,  Some people swear by electronic planning, however, I am an old school paper and pencil kind of girl, so that is reflected in the way I plan.  I have never found one planner that met all my needs, so I combine pages from several different sources to create something that best serves me.  I have always preferred ring-bound planners, they give e the ability to add sections and remove sections as seasons in my life change.  I would say that is a key concept in planning, realizing that your needs change, and adapting your planning system to meet you where you are at the moment.  Think of your planner as your very own administrative assistant, it’s working for you to make your life a bit less stressful and chaotic. On Sundays, I take the time to plan my week. The three things that have been consistent in my planner over the years are 1) a monthly calendar 2) a daily page and 3) a menu planner.  My monthly calendar contains appointments, school holidays and important events and birthdays.  Since I make it a habit of carrying my planner with me when I am out when I make an appointment I immediately write it down in my planner.  No scraps of paper, no appointment cards, no trying to remember what calendar it was written on, one central location.  Do you see how that could eliminate a little bit of stress from your life?  And I carry a full year of monthly pages in my planner at all times, so those 6 months out dentist appointments don’t get lost in the everyday part of life.  After I have checked my monthly calendar for any obligations coming up, I date a week’s worth of daily pages.  Now I know daily pages aren’t for everyone, some people find a week on a two page spread to be all they need. This is where your individual needs and preferences come into play.  I use my daily pages to track my spending, my water intake,  a gratitude journal for the day, along with a to-do list and schedule planner.  During my Sunday planning, I write appointments on the proper day, plan out work assignments, and finally place my weekly scheduled tasks on their proper day. Next, I plan our meal plan for the upcoming week.  It helps me to have a basic plan I try to follow each week; Monday-crock-pot or insta-pot meal, Tuesday a beef main dish, Wednesday quick and easy meal (think grilled cheese and tomato soup) Thursday chicken main dish and, Friday fish or non-meat main dish. While these three sections remain a constant in my planning, other sections come and go.  I like to have a section for each child, this is where I write down their school schedule, bus number, clothing size, wants and needs list…you get the picture.  I also like to have a section for goals, so I am able to look over it periodically and see how I am progressing.  Maybe you would like a section to write down books or movies or podcasts that people recommend. How about a section to write down inspirational quotes, a place to put your own wants/needs list or a place to keep notes on things you read or hear.  You get the idea, the sky is the limit.  This is your planner and your system, it as individual as you are. You can find plenty of free printables online or maybe, if you are creative, design your own to best fit your needs.  There are also plenty of places online to buy pre-printed pages. It can be something as simple as a blank notebook that you use to keep track of things, or as complex as a personally designed system of pages and sections, the important thing is that you use it. This is why a Sunday planning day works for me.   Now, does this mean that everything always goes according to the plan?  Nope, but I know if it is written down it is much more likely to get done.  As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.  This type of structure allows me to be a better steward of my time, which leads to a more productive day.  So maybe as we enter into this second full week of 2019, you give this planning thing a try.  What do you have to lose??  And if you have any questions about the specific pages I use, leave them in the comments below, I think I have tried every kind of planner out there at one time or another!!  Have a beautiful week!

Sunday Self-Care


There is a saying that goes “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content,” and I am a firm believer in this philosophy!  For the last few years, I have made a point of taking some time every Sunday to plan out the week to come.  Does this mean that everything always flows smoothly and goes according to my plan?  Absolutely not, but by taking the time to review my calendar and doing a few simple tasks, even if I am thrown a curve ball during the week, my week is much less likely to completely unravel.  This planning doesn’t have to take an enormous amount of time or complicated systems to complete, but the benefits are many, so maybe give some of these suggestions a try tonight and see if it helps your week run a little smoother.


  • Check your calendar for anything out of the ordinary.  This could include birthdays/anniversaries, assignments that are due, projects, children’s activities, spouse/significant other’s activities…you get the picture.  Now is the time to transfer these things over to your personal planner/calendar and make sure everyone is on the same page for the upcoming week.
  • After transferring dates to your calendar, write any upcoming gifts/cards you need to purchase, project materials you are lacking or anything other than food that you need to pick up for the next week.
  • When filling in your calendar, make sure and write in some time for self-care..something as small as 15 minutes a day will add up to almost 2 hours at the end of the week.
  • Also, make sure you plan in some time for physical activity for the upcoming week.
  • Make a meal plan and grocery list.  After getting a general idea of your commitments for the upcoming week, you can better plan out your meals.  One thing that has helped me in this regard is to have a regular plan for certain days of the week.  For example, Mondays are CrockPot or InstaPot meals, Tuesdays are ground beef, Wednesdays are breakfast, Thursdays are chicken or fish, Fridays are leftovers, Saturdays they are at their dad’s, and Sundays are homemade pizza night.  After coming up with a meal plan make out a grocery list and make sure you have everything needed for all meals you have planned.
  • Roughly plan your wardrobe (and your younger children’s wardrobe) for the upcoming week.  Make sure everything is clean, mended and pressed if needed.  Many people do laundry on Sundays, this has never worked out for me.  But remember, systems are personal, and you need to find what works best for your particular stage of life.
  • I use Sundays to pick up around the house after a weekend of activities. De-cluttering major clutter spots (mine are the kitchen counters and my car)and making sure things are returned to their rightful home goes a long way in giving me peace of mind to face a new week.
  • Get finances in order.  I always balance my checkbook on Sunday nights and file away any stray receipts.  I review my budget and make any adjustments, and review what bills are due during the upcoming week.
  • Fill your car up with gas…not something you realize you need when you are trying to get to work or school Mondy morning!

While Sundays do mark the end of your weekend and the beginning of the new work week, by implementing a few of these suggestions you can make Sundays one of your most productive days and prepare as much as possible for the week ahead.