Monthly Archives: December 2015

Making It Happen for 2016

Make It Happen
A friend recommended a book to me, “Making It Happen” by Lara Casey.  As I was looking into the book, I found that it was part of a larger program to help you live more intentionally and realize your goals.  The more I read, the more I wanted to try her whole program, so I ordered the Powersheets bundle with her book.  Not being patient enough to wait for the order to come in, I also got the Audible version and listened to this in the car during my commutes to and from work.

I absolutely loved it!  She does an amazing job of weaving together advice and personal testimony while keeping your primary focus on what God wants for your life.

I identified strongly with Lara herself, and a lot of her personality traits are my own, so her advice based on her experience was immediately relatable to my own life.

There are 7 initial steps to get ready to Make It Happen.

Step 1: Evaluate Where You Are

The very first thing you do in your Powersheets is to fill out a page about yourself.  After your name, it says, “I am a (thing beyond a job title here) ___.”  I filled in that blank with “joyful mess!”  I guess that’s the best descriptor I have for myself at the moment.  Things to tend to be pretty messy and haphazard in my world (which hopefully will be helped this year), but I do tend to be optimistic and joyful, no matter what happens.

After this, I wrote, “In the past, I have ignored, neglected, and put off many things I needed to do but now, I’m ready to make a plan, evaluate what’s important, and MAKE IT HAPPEN!  The things I value most are the people I love, God, and my faith.”

Three words that describe me:  fun-loving, extroverted, and enthusiastic.

My home/personal space is usually lived in, chaotic, and a MESS!  (Probably my mom’s fault…  After all, she used to call me Mess Anne growing up….)

Favorite colors:  yellow, green, aqua

Favorite foods:  chips + salsa, Taco Bell, alfredo sauce, grilled cheese

If I could have someone else’s job for a day, I would be a travel photographer.

My favorite song right now is Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.”  But check back in a couple days and it’ll likely be something else.

Person I would most like to meet:  Right now, I’d most like to meet Lara Casey.  I think we would become friends.  🙂

I get most fired up when someone encourages me or I’m challenged or pushed to soar.  I’m fairly extroverted, so it makes sense to me that I find strength and motivation from other people.

I get along best with people who – yeah, I checked off every option there.  I love people!

My best memories involve spending time with friends and family, experiencing something new, and doing an activity that I love.

I accomplish things best when:  (1) I have a cheerleader rooting me on, (2) someone else depends on me, or (3) I give myself a deadline.  The only one I didn’t check was the one that says, “I have quiet time and space to think,” because I am awful about sitting still.  I never do it.  I am horrible at meditation and listening to God.  But I know that I need to grow in this area.  Still, it’s important to know how I’m best motivated, especially as I try to stick to the plans which I’m making now.

Things I love to do:

  • Be with other people
  • Dance + listen to music
  • Watch movies
  • Read books
  • Take photographs
  • Travel
  • Give random gifts
  • Make others happy

I am most grateful for (in no particular order):

  • The people God has brought into my life
  • My cheerful disposition
  • God’s faithfulness and love
  • My job and boss
  • My best friend
  • My goddaughter
  • Fr. John
  • My faith

It is good to take these steps, these minutes, to reflect upon who I am, what I love, and what motivates me. It’s part of the process to determine what is really important in my life. I only have so much time and energy. If I waste it on something that I don’t really value, then what was the point? I’d be much better off to allocate my resources to things and people that are important to me.

Step 2: Plant the Seeds

I’ve made 12 categories of things that I’d like to work on in the next year:
Make It Happen

  • Blogging
  • Exercise
  • Faith Life
  • Finances
  • Food/Blood Sugar
  • Household
  • Personal Relationships
  • Photography
  • Reading Challenge
  • Thesis
  • Twidget Enterprises
  • Work/Professional Life

Step 3: Clear the Clutter

This section tells you to write down everything that is distracting you or holding you back from realizing your goals. In addition to knowing what’s important to you, what motivates you, and what you want to accomplish, it is good to know what obstacles are in your way. If you are aware of them, you can plan for them (to an extent).

For me, some of my pitfalls are if I am not feeling well or if I let myself become distracted or sidetracked. Plus, I also have a tendency to allow one “mess-up” to completely derail me. Right now, I don’t feel prepared for the next year and the challenges I’ve set for myself. But that’s okay. I don’t have to have the entire year figured out by tomorrow. I *can* figure it out as I go.

I want to change my thinking from “chasing perfection” to “chasing progress.”

Step 4: Meet Your Fears

I don’t have a ton of fears. The couple that I came up with are that I’m afraid that I’ll burn out or compromise my health, as I have a tendency to take on too much, work too hard, and not leave any time for myself to rest and recharge. I’m also afraid that I won’t follow through and that I’ll be in exactly the same place in all of these areas this time next year.

Step 5: Watch the Powersheets Video

There’s SO MUCH great information on her site, Some of the things that stayed with me as I watched was that it’s okay to make a mess. She was talking of working in your Powersheets, but I take it to mean anywhere along this process. The Powersheets, my planners… All of these things are just tools, things that help me. I shouldn’t be concerned about keeping my tools pretty. I just want to make my life beautiful — for myself, and so that I can me a mirror of God’s grace and love to others. At the end of the day (or year), who cares what my planner looks like, or if my handwriting was bad? These things are not ultimately important. If I end the year having grown in faith and love and as a person, then my year will have been a success.

In doing her Powersheets, Lara got on her knees and read Scripture. I need this kind of inspiration. To have God be such a central part of my life. She recalled a passage in the Bible, right before Jesus selected the Twelve. In order to make good decisions, Jesus first spent the entire evening in prayer to the Father. Grounding yourself in prayer and the Word is so important.

In one of her Periscope videos, she talks of the song, Oceans:

While I was waiting for Oceans to load on YouTube, I had to watch an advertisement. It was for Zootopia, and during the ad there was the quote, “No matter what type of animal you are, change starts with you.” Which is SO appropriate for today and for this project!

Step 6: Decide You Can

This is a very long section in the Powersheets. Basically, you write out what has been working and what hasn’t, what you would like to prune from your life, and what you would like to cultivate. Then, you decide on goals (which I’ve written above). Remind yourself of what you want to achieve and why.

Step 7: Set Purposeful Goals

This is where you break down your goals into actionable baby steps, so that you have something concrete to work on and a way to measure progress on your goal. I am really glad that Lara has you revisit and tweak these goals every 3 months. It will help me re-commit to them (or refine/delete/replace them if that’s appropriate) and also see where I am, like a report card.

I’m so excited for this year and hope that you are as well!

God Bless and Happy New Year!

Make It Happen

Getting Ready for 2016!

Hi Everyone!

I am still working on finalizing my plans, resolutions, and goals for 2016!  I know, I should have ironed all this out earlier, but at least I have been *thinking* about it for a long time.

That counts, right?

Shortly, I’ll let you all know what I’m looking forward to in the New Year.

A little hint, my word for 2016 is Discipline!

I’m so excited!  I’ll see you all shortly!

#DecemberDaily: 12/1

Someone in one of my planner groups was showing how she incorporates some scrapbooking into her planner, and mentioned a project that she was doing through Ali Edwards‘ blog called December Daily.  I checked out the site, and while I haven’t been into scrapbooking so much in a number of years (it takes a LOT of time and dedication), I thought that the idea of recording how I spend these Advent days leading up to Christmas to be an intriguing one.  So, I’m going to attempt to do that here.

I had so many ideas for what my main picture was going to be for the day.  I was initially thinking that it would be a photo of an exam room, as I had an appointment with my Neurologist today (and a half day at work!).  However, the doctor takes you back to the exam room and I felt a little weird asking him if I could take a photo.

Then, I thought – maybe I can take a photo of the library?  After all, I have to *renew* my library card, so it’s a little more than just a normal visit.  And I do intend on spending less time binge watching Netflix and more time reading books this season.

But, ultimately, I picked something a little more … cozy.


I made soup!

I love soup and I had some veggies to use up.  I like how it doesn’t take a ton of time and effort, and then I can put it in some plastic containers and have dinner ready for almost an entire week.

In this soup, I baked a chicken breast and shredded it, adding it to some chicken stock, then chopped up some fingerling carrots, ripped up a bunch of kale, and added a can of chick peas.  I decided against putting some kind of noodle or rice in.  I suppose I can always add that later, but I probably don’t need the extra carbs anyway.

This is my “Day One” for my December Daily project.  Something a little warm and cozy that I enjoy a bit more in the winter months.  Soup and reading a book at the dinner table.  🙂

How are you spending your December?

doTERRA Essential Oils: Peppermint

Peppermint is some potent stuff! I was first introduced to peppermint in my introductory class at the Troy Community Center about a month or so ago. It was passed around for us to put a drop in our hand and sniff it. I couldn’t even take a complete breath in — it was strong! But it does give that nice, minty clean feeling in your nasal passages and throat, similar to Vicks Vaporub.

Since I really wanted to give essential oils a good, fair trial, I also got a book about them, so that I could learn about each oil, its uses and applications.  (The following facts about peppermint are from the book, “The Essential Life,” by Total Wellness Publishing.)

Peppermint is listed as being good for:

  • Alertness
  • Allergies and Hives
  • Asthma and Sinusitis
  • Autism
  • Bad Breath
  • Cravings
  • Decreasing Milk Supply
  • Emotional Balance
  • Fevers and Hot Flashes
  • Gamma Radiation Exposure
  • Gastritis and Digestive Discomfort
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Loss of Sense of Smell

And has the following properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Warming
  • Invigorating
  • Cooling
  • Expectorant
  • Vasoconstrictor
  • Stimulating

Now for my personal experience with peppermint.  It’s a little mixed, and I’ll tell you why….  It’s potent!  This is one of the oils which is listed with a safety warning:  “Dilute for topical application as may cause skin sensitivity.”  THIS IS NO JOKE, PEOPLE!  A friend stated that she used peppermint topically on her forehead and back of the neck for headache relief, so when I had a headache, I decided to give it a try.

I forgot that I have sensitive skin.

So, I ended up with a huge rash and a bad allergic reaction.  Like, affecting my breathing bad.  The rash lasted for about a week and a half and then went away, but it was red, raised and itchy while I had it.

Moral of the story:  pay attention to any warnings that are on the oils!  Some are not meant to be ingested, some may be irritating for sensitive skin, etc.  There are carrier oils, like fractionated coconut oil or almond oil that you can use to dilute the essential oils, and these may be helpful for some of the more irritating oils.

While I’m sitting here typing out this post, I have a cough from a mild cold.  Since my essential oil book is right here, I decided to look up what you can use to treat coughs.  In order of efficacy, they suggest lemon, cardamom, respiration blend, peppermint, and cinnamon.  I only have the peppermint, so I decided to give that a try.  I put 2 drops in an 8 oz glass of cold water and have been sipping on that while writing.  Since it’s in my glass, I can also inhale it as I sip.  It has helped my cough somewhat.  Better than a cough drop, actually.  Be careful not to exhale into the glass with your eyes open, you don’t want to get peppermint into your eyes!