2019 · Bettering yourself · Goals

So, this is the New Year!


So, I’ve recently realized that New Year’s is my favorite holiday! I think it’s because I truly appreciate the idea of having a clean slate, and January 1st. is the ultimate. Last year, I approached 2018 by choosing a word of the year. By choosing one special word, the idea is basically to embody that word throughout the year and let it shape your decisions and experiences. I chose the word CULTIVATE. (I wanted to focus on cultivating a better life for myself all around- that included, but wasn’t necessarily limited to, eating healthier, exercising more consistently, decluttering my home, getting organized and living with more <being in the present moment> intention.) While I did feel like having this word in my mind’s eye helped to identify the things that I wanted to get done, it didn’t necessarily keep me accountable, on track, and consistent about working towards my goals. If anything, 2018 did help me to pinpoint my priorities and research what steps I could take to actually work towards achieving them. In the following video, I break down my <incredibly> detailed plan for what strategies I will be using this year to hold myself responsible, which is hard for me, with my obliger personality. I hope you can use some of these tips and links to help you this year meet all your goals! (Links to all resources can be found at the bottom of this post.)

Also – what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Steve and I are staying in and making vegan poutine and watching Amalie. I literally cannot imagine anything better.


Gretchen Rubin’s yearly challenge (19 for 2019)

The Happiness Project

Doing an annual review (scroll down to extended cut #12)

Elise’s Daily Habit Tracker– sign up for her newsletter to get the free download!

Clear the Decks list 


#100daysofhustleandveg · Goals · Inspiration


So wow! I made it to 100 days! (Yesterday- today marksbpost #101) This was quite the challenge, but so rewarding and I’m so glad I was able to finish! 

If you have been following along, you’ll know that I started this 100 days challenge, well, 100 days ago, on April 4th, with many others challenging themselves to commit to completing 100 consecutive days of doing something creative of their choosing. I have wanted to have a blog for a long time. I started once before and sputtered out because I never really had the time or energy to commit to building my site… this challenge was exactly what I needed to push me into making my blog a priority. First, let me say that I’m so happy I did this, and I’m definitely planning on continuing to blog, maybe not everyday, but certainly cosistently…Here’s some other stuff that I learned/ reflections from along the way…

1. Cultivate ideas to blog about from your life and during your day. 

I know I wanted to have a lifestyle blog with recipes, shopping, projects and ideas, and family/mom life, so most of the ideas for my blog have come up organically from our day. I would like to add more projects and DIY’s in the future which, is one of my future blogging goals.

2. Speaking of goals… 

I have always been a goal oriented person, but haven’t always had the best follow through… committing to and working on this blog has really helped learn the importance of keeping goals, big and small, and how to break things up into smaller chunks in order to complete the things I want to achieve. It’s also really helped me to prioritize and get my thoughts and future plans down on paper. I recently bought this planner– which starts in august- and includes lots of concrete break downs of plans and goal setting- which I’m so excited to use! 

3. Take lots of pictures!

Even though I’ve always loved taking lots of pictures- and it’s so easy now with our phones- I love taking the everyday shots that you may have missed in the past, because you didn’t think they were as important, but actually end up being really cool reminders of the small details of moments you don’t want to forget. There were definitely (more than a few) days where I would be thinking about what I wanted to blog about and I would refer back to my camera roll to see what was going on in my day.

4. Speaking of remembering details…

Keep a notebook- this is one I’ve done for years, but definitely proved to be instrumental while blogging. I write down ideas, thoughts, inspiration, quotes, websites, recipes, even draw small sketches that I want to remember. This ‘inspiration’ notebook is so helpful for brainstorming, keeping track of a recipe I’m working on, or housing everyday photos/ ideas. 

Another thing to help me remember things I want to come back to is by taking screen shots on my phone- this was especially helpful for shopping posts and articles I wanted to link to when I do shopping round ups and best week ever posts.

5. Stay open to new ideas and experiences!

This isn’t just about blogging- but nice life advice in general! Sometimes, I must admit, I honesty decided to try something because I thought, “well, even if it’s not great, it will be an interesting blog post…” and 9 times out of 10, it turned out to be a fun and positive experience.

6. Let people in…

I really like how personal my blog has become- I think it’s a really good representation of my life and my family, and it’s nice to use as a place of reflection that I hope brings other people some smiles and some inspiration as well. The comments, follows, and likes I’ve received On my blog mean the world to me, and it’s Just so wonderful being able to share a piece of my world with you. 

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading so far, and hope you come back again- I’d love to hear more from you ❤️ so cheers to 100 past posts and many more to come! 

Bettering yourself · Goals


Goal Tracker

When I think about the goals that I have, I think of the big picture. This includes, but isn’t always limited to, major shifts and changes that I’d like to make in my life; to better myself, and my current situation. For example, a major goal that I am currently working towards is getting in better shape, losing weight, and being happy with how I look in my clothes. This goal requires a major lifestyle shift in my eating (eating cleaner, less processed and less fried foods) and my exercise regimen (from doing basically nothing, to working out 5-6 times a week) I have been working on this goal since about August when I got the OK from my Dr. to start working out after I had Sailor. Since August, I’ve been motivated and diligent and have accepted the fact that since this is a lifestyle, I can’t be perfect all the time, but then again, I wouldn’t want to. I like enjoying candy and french fries, I just can’t eat them all the time… anyway, you get the picture… I have several long term goals that I’m currently working towards, but how do you get motivated to work towards such a big picture goal? How do you get started? How do you not get overwhelmed?

One the strategies I’ve been playing around with are mini-challenges. A mini challenge is any period of time that you would like, although many tend to be 30 day challenges, where you challenge yourself to do something everyday for a set amount of time. (As I type this right now, I’m working on my 100 day challenge of blogging everyday!) Mini-challenges are fun because, although they totally can be, they do not necessarily have to be an action step towards a larger goal.

They can help you check something off your to do list: Scrapbook 1 page a day for 30 days (so I can finally get those baby books done!)

They can help you work towards a larger goal (an action step): Squat challenge (30 days of squats to help you work towards a fitness goal)

They can help you develop a good habit: Water challenge: Drink a minimum of 120 ounces a day (that’s about 3.5 Liters)

They can be eye opening and help you change bad habits: Plastic Challenge: Collect (literally or in photos) how much plastic you use every day for 30 days, then, for the next 30 days, try to give up all single use plastics!

Or, try these (since some of my major life goals are to Konmari my life, simplify everything, and turn everyone vegan!): Minimalism game, 60 day Minimalist challenge, The Emily Ley Simplicity Challenge, 30 Day Vegan Challenge, also this! Photo challenge. Or make up your own challenge! (It can be anything you want to achieve!)

You may not continue drinking 120 ounces of water a day after your challenge has ended, but you will almost certainly increase your intake compared to before the challenge; and who knows, you might stick with it! (Steve tried out vegetarianism as a 3o day challenge and never looked back… and now he’s vegan!)

Have you ever done a 30 day (or more/ less) challenge? How did you like it? Will you try one of these? If you want to track your progress, download the Goal Tracker Calendar! (shown in above photo) It’s the whole year, but you can use it for any individual 30 (or other number of days) period. The one above is my tracker for #100daysproject (my 100 days of blogging- which started on April 4, 2017.)

Bettering yourself · Goals · time management

How much time do you have in a day?

Image result for busy mom not enough time cartoon

How do you fit it all in? Lately I find myself wishing I had more (or any) time for hobbies, time for quiet reflection and relaxation, time to exercise, time to prepare for the next day, time to get ahead, time to do laundry… etc. It seems that there simply isn’t enough time in the day. I complained to Steve the other day that I thought I had a time management problem, even though it seems like I’m always doing something. Below are some tips, that I will be working on to help understand where my time goes and how to harness it for the better.

  1. Keep a to-do list: Every single morning, write a to- do list. This list can be work related, home related, personal care related, etc. But you should prioritize your list so that you know what needs to be done immediately (and certainly by the end of that particular day) and what may be able to be pushed aside- at least for a bit. Ideally, you will finish all your list by the end of the day, but let’s be realistic about our best laid plans. If possible, break larger and longer to do list items into specific action steps. For example, if there is a specific project you need to work- focus on an individual step to get that project started, then it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. For example, I’ve been trying to start my kid’s baby books for the last two years. Instead of writing “start scrapbooking” on my list- I’m going to try to break it down into smaller steps. “Get all pictures printed and put in chronological order” is a much more realistic start to a major project.
  2. Set goals: Setting both long and short term goals is a good way to stay focused and give us something to work towards. Goals should be realistic and achievable, but should also challenge you and shape you into the person you are aiming to be. I really like this article on setting powerful goals. 
  3. Don’t let yourself get (too) distracted: One of my problems is most certainly distraction. How many times have you been about to start a project- big or small- and you stopped to check social media, or read a blog you like, or make a quick phone call? In this age of digital distractions, it’s almost like our devices are dooming us from making progress before we even begin. Of course sometimes we need to take a break, and sometimes posting a photo to Instagram is a great way to do that, however according to Digital Trends, Americans spend an average of an unbelievable 4.7 hours a day on their phones. (Of course this is not all one chunk of time and it’s in bit and spurts throughout the day, but can you even imagine what you could do with an extra (almost) 5 hours a day?! While you’re focusing on a project or a to-do list item to cross off your list, put your phone down.
  4. Overcome procrastination: Procrastination usually occurs due to on or more of the following factors; laziness, feeling overwhelmed, confusion, disorganization, or just generally dread or dislike for a certain project or task.  Are you a procrastinator?  (take this quiz to find out!) If you’re a procrastinator, there is hope! First, it helps (see above) to break your larger projects down into smaller action steps. This can help that feeling of dread or of being overwhelmed by a certain task. Second, increase motivation for yourself by rewarding yourself, either intrinsically or extrinsically with incentives. Ask someone to check in with you- sometimes it can help to have other people hold us accountable. Focus on the task at hand and do not multitask. One good way to do this is to set a certain time goal to spend on a project, for example, I’m going to clean the house for the next hour, and whatever I don’t get to today, will move to my to-do list for a later time. You can even set an alarm on your phone to keep track of your goal. If you don’t have anything to do after the alarm gees off, and you’re still motivated, keep going! Otherwise, give yourself permission to stop, and pat yourself on the back, you just got started!
  5. Stop taking on so much: I am so guilty of this one. I recently heard one of my favorite comedians talk about how she just discovered the best thing…that when someone asks her to do something that she doesn’t want to do, she just says, “thanks for thinking of me, but that’s really not my thing.” How.great. is. that.? It’s so simple, yet it seems to be so hard for a lot of us to do. Our plates are already so full with all the other things we need to do, and if people are your true friends and family that love and care about your well being, they will also understand when you have to say no because you are too busy with other things that are higher priority.
  6. Schedule tasks so that they align with the flow of your day and your personality: Are you a morning person? If so, try to do high energy, high activity tasks early on and then check your email, etc, later on when you start to feel that afternoon sluggishness come on. If your a night person, start your day off more slowly until your completely awake and ready to tackle your day.
  7. Give yourself a break: You need a break and time for yourself too. Make sure you take some, even if it’s just drinking a cup of tea or meditating for ten minutes. You deserve it.
Bettering yourself · Goals

Understanding who you are…


When I was first hired for a new job out of college, they had all the new hires take a Myers-Briggs personality test. If you have never had to do this type of test, it is basically an inventory of statements and personality characteristics that you yea or nah to, and it tells you what kind of a person you are. I recently stumbled across 16 Personalities– which is a simplified version of the Myers Briggs test that categorizes you into 1 of 16 different personality types. The description of my personality was eerily accurate- the good and the bad. (I am the Campaigner- and btw, the quote above was my personal “mantra” given with my results, which, when I read it, almost brought tears to my eyes- yea, this test is good.). Even more interesting, was having my husband take the test. We sat and read each other’s results and chatted about the type of people we are and how/why our personalities compliment each other so well. (He is the Adventurer). It’s funny because sometimes we would read a statement and say, ‘that’s not me at all’…and then a few minutes later, you would realize, ‘well actually, it kind of is because’…

Taking this test started to get me thinking about my strengths and weaknesses and what I wanted to change about my life. One of the things that drives me forward is working to improve my weaknesses to try to be a better version of myself everyday. And, with the New Year fast approaching, and resolutions looming large, I thought I would get a jump start on my goal setting.

From the small to the large, things I want to work on:

  1. Stop being late all the time- it stresses me out and it drives other people crazy.
  2. Continue on the path to healthy- cut out (a lot of) processed foods, keep striving to eat a plant based whole food diet, and keep working out!
  3. Make a plan and stick to it- Both Steve and I are awesome at making the plan, just not so great at executing…make a housekeeping/chore plan, keep up with my planner, organize (and keep it that way!)
  4. O.K. here’s the biggie…FINISH WHAT YOU START! I cannot tell you the amount of projects that I have that are either 1/4-1/2 way finished that I long to get done. I’m really going to try to stop being a dreamer about these things and really finish what I start (for once.)

So those are my pre-New Year’s goals that I hope have me ringing in 2017 with more strengths than weaknesses…

What kind of person are you? Have you taken the 16 personalities test? Do you have things that you want to change? I’d love to hear 🙂