The final giveaway of the day!!
2013 changed my whole life. I chose BRAVE as my One Little Word and I love it.
You can grab the ecourse now (at 30% off through midnight PT 1/1) or enter to win your spot below!
The final giveaway of the day!!
2013 changed my whole life. I chose BRAVE as my One Little Word and I love it.
You can grab the ecourse now (at 30% off through midnight PT 1/1) or enter to win your spot below!
We’d love for you to take part in a self-paced round (or 2 or 4) of 30 Days of Lists. Another quick journaling challenge. Another opportunity to record YOUR STORY.
Not everyone can make a mini scrapbook every week or an art journal page every night.
30 Days of Lists is our encouragement and challenge to you that you CAN journal just something every day- even something as small as a list.
There’s no wrong way to make a list – so even if you missed participating with the community the first time around, you can still grab the list prompts now and make your lists anyway you want!
ENTER BELOW to win ALL the previous 30 Days of Lists self-paced versions!
Maybe you want to be a thought-leader and become a regular guest on daytime talk shows. Maybe you want to be a reality TV star. Maybe you want to launch a business selling handmade children’s aprons. Maybe you just want a second income to be able to quit your day job soon.
Either way, you need to build a community, build a business and build your blog.
The Petersiks from Young House Love built a blog that can employ both of them as well as get them a book deal. Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess built a blog that can employ a whole team, get them a book deal and change their whole career trajectory.
My personal goals have been somewhat smaller, but my blog still has been the driving force behind reaching those goals and quitting my day job.
The BUILD ecourse is for
I’ve put months into crafting the BUILD self-paced blogging ecourse – complete with actionable steps, downloadable worksheets, hundreds of external resources and special BONUS video interviews.
It’s time to invest in that vision and really learn how to BUILD a blog that will be your platform for your future.
Enter below to win your spot in the BUILD ecourse!
The following is a guest post from Katie.
Every year in January I set 52 yearly goals – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. 52 = CRAZY! Probably so. I know that 52 goals is kind of out of reach but it seemed like a good number. If I was on my game, it’s one goal a week. I usually average completing just over half of these goals, but because I set 52 I get to pick and choose. When you miss one, because time elapsed or your middle brother moves to Australia, there’s still 51 others to choose from.
My goals range from things that span an entire year or monthly goals to simple goals that could be considered to do items. I also like to include habit-forming goals, whacky goals, and goals to be intentional. By writing them down and sharing them on my blog they become more real. I’m accountable to my goals. I find that I strive to make them happen way more than goals I keep private. Just writing it on the list is step 1 toward getting it done. Each year as I review my goals I find that it’s not always about a 100% completion rate but more about exploring and adventuring through things I thought I wanted to do, and growing. Sometimes letting go of one goal that I cannot finish for whatever reason is more about knowing the world didn’t end because it wasn’t done as much as I’ve matured and changed. Goals should be edited. They should grow with me. If I begin to achieve one and begin to question myself it probably wasn’t the right goal.
Let’s talk about how you can make your own list of goals.
Does it have to be 52 in a year? Of course not. But think about it this way: if you set 10 goals for the entire year and do 4 of them will you feel really accomplished? Probably not as much as if you set 52 and complete 40. Maybe your number is 100, or 35, and maybe it’s 50. It’s also good to set a deadline to when they’ll be finished. Maybe it’s your birthday; maybe it’s the end of the year. It’s important to keep in mind that the timeline needs to be realistic, but at the same time it’s not written in stone. Once the stopwatch ends, this does not mean you failed. I’ve often completed my goals the following year or even two years later – especially if I think it’s important.
Getting the list started is usually the hardest part. Keep in mind the goal can be anything really – you are determining what is doable in the next year. There’s an old mnemonic that we use in writing goals in learning development that often comes to mind when I create my list – good old S.M.A.R.T. It says that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Timebound. Now while I think this is a good rule of thumb, the most important part of this is Measurable. If you can’t determine that you accomplished the goal what was the purpose of doing it? As for specific, achievable, results-oriented, and timebound, if your personal goals meet that criteria then great! If not at least 3 of 5, it’s bad. Here are some brainstorming ideas for goals to include on your list:
Think of a BIG GOAL. What’s something you always wanted to do? Something from your bucket list? Maybe it’s something you put off doing? Or maybe it’s just so embarrassing to think about finishing you just don’t want to share? We all have these goals. Just keep in mind that you want to be able to quantify that you completed the goal so make sure it’s achievable . One year I added to my list “Make a life-long friend”. It’s quite impossible for me to determine if this is finished or not, so a better goal would have been simply “Make a new friend”. Don’t be afraid to write it down. If it’s insanely big, maybe think of several smaller steps to get to that big goal and start with those, but don’t be afraid to put the big goal out there. Big goals on my list this year:
Put something on the list to do with your spouse, friend, lover, family. Each year I text my mom and siblings, and pool their ideas for what they want to do with me to add to my list leaving goals open for them. I want to be intentional in my relationships and this certainly helps. Add things you know people like or want to do but maybe they don’t make their own goal list for. I have a friend who loves sweets so I put on the list to “Get sweets with Kemi”. Ideas from my 2014 list to do with other people:
Add something ridiculous! Who says all goals have to be serious business? Make some goals that will be fun and who knows? They might also be learning experiences. Sometimes these small silly goals test me or help me learn to put myself out there a little bit more. Here are some ideas of ridiculous goals:
Whatever you add to your goal list is up to you, but have a little fun making your list.
Post it on your blog. Write them on a poster board. Write several on post-its and leave tack them in your kitchen cupboard. I think this goes without saying but if you share your list, your friends and family will help you try and accomplish these goals. Keeping reminders to yourself also helps you remember what you set forth as a goal so you aren’t as quick to just forget about your list.
Start with an easy one. When you finish it cross it off. I like to document, so naturally I photograph and blog about accomplished goals as well as keep an updated status so I know where I stand. I also have them in a to do list in my phone. Most importantly have fun with the list. Don’t beat yourself up on failures and try celebrate the successes.
Katie is tall, loud, inviting, a ridiculously horrible dancer that quilts and travels and bleeds Midwesterner. She makes moments awkward. She documents life. She creates things. She takes photos. She cultivates relationships. She is madly in love with and married to this tall, bacon loving, vintage baseball playing ginger named Dustin, who has quite possibly the best beard. Oh, she’s having a baby early next summer – which will certainly rock their world. Find her at: Blog: http://katajone.blogspot.com; Instagram: http://instagram.com/katajone# or Twitter: https://twitter.com/katajone
The following is a guest post from Kristin of rukristin papercrafts
Hi there! I’m Kristin and today I’m going to share how to document your life in less than twenty minutes a week.
For me, documenting my life is incredibly important. I’ve found that the only way I’ve been able to keep up with my memory-keeping is to integrate it into my everyday life, so I’ve made it one of my top priorities. Now, you might be thinking “I am crazy busy, and I don’t have time to add anything else to my life”. I’m here to tell you that all you need is twenty minutes a week — broken up however you choose. The more you allow documenting your life to become a part of your routine, the more naturally it will happen.
For 2014, I’m setting up clear intentions for my own memory-keeping and I’d like to challenge you to do the same. I’ve found that being part of a supportive community of friends helps my accountability and keeps me excited to document and share.
My plan for success is well-defined intentions and an awesome group of friends — my tribe, if you will. These two things will keep me accountable and get me excited to document my own life (with the bonus of seeing and drawing inspiration from my friends’ work).
There is no screwing up. It just can’t happen. If you forget to do a step, then skip it — or do it twice the next week. This is your life, documenting it shouldn’t be a burden. Find ways to integrate it into your everyday routine. Remember — the more you make it a part of your life, the easier it will become. So start small and let yourself grow into your choices.
Through out the year, as I was documenting my everyday stories, one of my biggest hurdles was that I just wasn’t taking enough photos of myself. Taking a cue from the success of the Currently Journaling Challenge I knew I needed something that was simple and doable.
I decided that once a week (on Thursdays) I would take a picture of myself, post it to instagram, and share three facts about right-now. I tagged a couple of friends to play along and #Thursday3 was born. The response was awesome and now it’s a staple in my memory-keeping routine. Our community is awesome. It’s been a great way to meet new people and learn new things about my friends.
Make it work for you — If you’re not an instagram person, consider posting your Thursday3 picture and list as a weekly blog post.
This is my weakness. I hate editing and printing photos. I have to make it a priority, or it just won’t get done. Luckily, technology has made it so much easier. I can now do almost all of my editing and printing directly from my iPhone. Picking up a Canon Selphy printer was one of the best investments I made in 2013. I can now set up photo collages using the PicStitch app and print them at home in no time at all.
Make it work for you — if you’re not printing at home, edit and print on alternate weeks. This way you can still fit everything into your routine and save on shipping costs as well.
Words are important to me. My One Little Word for 2013 was write and over the past year, writing has become a very important part of my routine. When it comes to memory-keeping, I tend to do my writing on journaling cards and slip those cards directly into my scrapbooks to save myself as much time as possible. I write an anecdote about my day, a new recipe I tried, or whatever comes to mind.
Make it work for you — Write. Just spend time writing. Write on post-it notes, write in a notebook, write on journaling cards. Just take the time and get your right-now thoughts onto paper. If you’re struggling for journaling prompts, Campfire Chic’s Write365 app for the iPhone is a great resource.
To document my everyday memories in 2014, I’ll be using an 8×6 divided page protector album. I think these albums make memory-keeping easy and fun, you just slip photos and journaling cards into pre-sized pockets and you’re good to go. My favorite thing about these albums is that they can be as simple or as complicated as I have time for.
Make it work for you — creativity is whatever you want it to be. Document your everyday memories in a scrapbook, in an art journal, a spare notebook, or take it in a different direction completely and do everything on the computer or cell phone.
Once you let documenting your everyday become a part of your routine, you’ll find that you have a ton of information to draw back on in the event that you want to expand your storytelling.
Kristin is a millennial storyteller who loves documenting her everyday-life and awesome adventures. As the owner of rukristin papercrafts, a venue to share information and inspiration on creative ways to tell your story, she encourages others to dream big, find their voice, and be the author of their own adventure. An introvert who loves community, she loves meeting new friends online. Let her write you a thoughtful note or drop her a line on twitter or instagram.
2013 changed my whole life. I chose BRAVE as my One Little Word and I love it.
It’s when I finally decided to stop playing it safe and responsible and finally started making some BRAVE choices. And I have literally never been happier!
I am so excited to announce my brand new self-paced ecourse:
I love this ecourse. It’s completely close to my heart. It goes really well with Onward and Upward or the BUILD ecourse, guiding you to do the big work that help you build something amazing. Choosing to be BRAVE time and time again, through all the small choices and the big leaps, has really changed my outlook and shifted my mindset.
But sometimes a little guidance and structure on how to exactly go about starting that is needed.
We’ll start with an INTRO and my story and how my life has been changed since I started focusing on being BRAVE. I may or may not get a little choked up talking about it.
Then we will move to FEAR. Learning to acknowledge and identify it. So then we can ignore it. Fear is a formidable enemy.
The biggest module is ACT. We’ll be reminded why we want to be brave and what the very first step is to start making those brave choices.
And finally a reminder that your BRAVE stories should be recorded, with a few ideas for how to do it.
Each module is a video presentation, with several worksheets thrown in, along with a ton of external resources to expand your new BRAVE mentality. And finally we will all share in a private Facebook as a place to be vulnerable, ask for accountability and share our BRAVE moves.
It’s totally self-paced so you can go through the ecourse as many times as you need for the tools and encouragement to make BRAVE choices.
I hope you will join me!
These are included in the ecourse as well, but as a fun freebie, download a be brave wallpaper image!
The following is a guest post from Kelsey of Rising Shining.
How will you make 2014 your great year? Will you…
write a book?
start your own business?
take your creative work seriously?
….YOUR DREAM HERE
There’s something that you can do today that will take less than an hour and will set you on the path to make 2014 your great year:
And the time to assemble your board is not when you have a plan all figured out or are half way there.
The time to assemble your board is now.
A board of directors is not just for businesses or nonprofits; it’s for anyone who needs accountability, feedback, and encouragement to achieve a goal.
You need a board of directors even before you know what your first or next step is or before you fully know what you’re hoping to achieve. Or, if you’re already on a path to achieve your great year, a board will help you to stay the course and can be the motivation when you get stuck or discouraged.
Assembling your board is taking the essential first step of taking your dream seriously. Because once you assemble your board you are working towards achieving that dream: You don’t hope to write a book one day; you are writing a book. You’re not wishing that you could work for yourself one day; you are starting a business. You will be surprised how impactful this change in mindset can be.
Think about your friends, family, colleagues, even acquaintances. Who is the person who always has a smile and always sees the glass half full? Who always has a creative solution to a problem? And remember your online community – reach out to bloggers you follow and admire. Who among them has achieved a dream? These are people to ask to be on your board. The key is to choose people who care about the path you are pursuing and who will give you honest feedback and encouragement along the way.
Right now: call, email, text, or message one or more people. Tell them you have big plans in 2014 to [YOUR DREAM HERE] and you’d love to get their feedback along the way. Say that you’re assembling a board of directors of sorts and would love to periodically report on your progress and get their input as you work towards your goal.
Or, if you’re not sure of your exact path forward, say that you’re hoping to make 2014 great and have some ideas but could use some direction. Would they be willing to help you brainstorm and offer feedback and encouragement along the way?
It’s inspiring to know that someone is setting out to achieve their dreams; your board will be excited to help you get there. Just this past year I decided to take my blogging and creative work more seriously. I started meeting with fellow blogger (and my next door neighbor!) Erica and she became part of my own board of directors. Together we’ve created new series for our blogs and planned out bigger projects that each of us is pursing. Erica is writing a book and I’m developing an e course. By meeting and updating each other on our progress we’ve created accountability and a sounding board for when we get stuck. Having this support has been instrumental in elevating my work to the next level.
I challenge you to take your work to the next level. 2014 is yours for the taking.
Kelsey Wharton is a full-time working mama and blogs about her personal finances, love of goals and organization, and everyday adventures at www.risingshining.com. She lives with her husband and baby son in Phoenix, AZ.
The following is a guest post from Megan of The Nerd Nest:
Today your 2014 goals are most likely at the forefront of your mind. I believe in you, but I want to make sure your intentions aren’t forgotten already by the time you turn the calendar over to February. However set your plans or resolutions may seem now, they can be difficult to hold onto.
Don’t fret! I’m here to tell you: you can do this. Last year was my year to FINISH, and I’ve learned quite a bit about following through. In 2013, I finished reading the complete works of Poe, Frost, and Shakespeare, finished building my dream bookshelves, finished creating a rad garden, finished making tons of projects, finished filling albums with my best memory keeping yet, finished contributing to friends’ work, finished teaching classes, and finished writing ebooks. I had ideas big and small throughout the year, and pushed myself to carry those ideas through to fruition. I turned myself from a dreamer to a doer, and you can too!
Set goals you CAN finish.
You can’t finish if you set an unattainable goal, period. You also will have trouble working towards a goal that you don’t really want. This doesn’t mean you can’t reach for the stars, but it does mean that you need to be honest with yourself so that you don’t burn out. I know this can be a hard balance to reach: you want to challenge yourself, but you want your goals to be attainable too.
For instance, it doesn’t make sense to have the goal of paying off $3,000 in credit card debt this year if you only realistically have $150 left over after your normal monthly expenses. Instead, you can set a more realistic goal of putting a certain dollar amount towards the debt each month, taking precautions to not increase the debt, and working to make side income that can be put entirely towards the debt. Set a SMART goal to ensure that you are working towards something you can finish.
Find a support system.
Sometimes, you’ll need a cheerleader to help you keep going. Tell friends of your plans so they can help you when you feel discouraged, join a community of goal oriented people like One Little Word, or connect with others who have similar goals. Sharing can not only motivate you to finish, but others can also help raise you up when you start to feel like you can’t do it.
More of a loner? Your support system can be all in your head; honest. Develop a mantra you can repeat to yourself to help put you into the right frame of mind.
Come up with a back up plan.
There’s more than one way to finish a goal, and having another pathway will help you to not throw in the towel if things don’t go quite as planned. When I made it a goal to go to the farmer’s market weekly, I found quickly that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the market every weekend. So I found a closer-to-me weekend farmers’ stand and a Wednesday market in my neighborhood, so I could still pick up local produce on the weeks I was too busy to make it to my regular market.
If your goal is to go to the gym three times a week but you find you aren’t doing it, switch to exercise you can do at home. If your goal is to write an hour a day, but you can’t focus during that hour, forget balance every once and awhile and clear a whole day once a month for writing. Make sure you’re not confusing the plans that you made to reach a goal for the goal itself, and be willing to change things up if they aren’t working for you.
Pick the ball back up.
Failure is a natural part of goal setting, but it won’t beat you if you know how to deal with it. I was successful in documenting a Day in the Life monthly in 2013, but completely forgot about the project in November. Instead of giving up on the project, I used what photos I had and filled in the gaps with words. I could have just as easily skipped November, and it still would have been fine. I made what I had work, and didn’t let the different outcome bother me.
If you get sick and don’t feel like doing anything for weeks, start again when you feel better. If you are too close to a project and need to shove it in a drawer for awhile, come back to it when you get enough distance to figure out what you need to change. Don’t expect perfection from yourself, and keep going if you miss the mark.
Know when to re-evaluate.
Sometimes working towards goals you don’t really want anymore can keep you from finishing what is really meaningful to you. I’ll be honest: I made 2013 my year for FINISHing because I wanted motivation to finish my novel manuscript, which I’ve been working on for years. However, I quickly found that working on the manuscript was bringing me lots of stress and no joy or fulfillment, and found my passion, ideas, and creativity to be focused more on other areas, like blogging and Project Life. So I gave myself permission to finish the things that were my passion and leave the book behind–for now or forever.
If you choose multiple goals, you may find that some of them change your life and some of them are better left behind, and that’s okay. You get to decide what you finish, and not finishing some things makes room for you to finish the things you really care about.
I’d love to hear all about your goals for 2014 and your plans for finishing them!
Megan can be found at The Nerd Nest, where she blogs about (and sometimes with) her family of crafty nerds. When she’s not working hard to finish her grand intentions, she’s going on nerdy adventures with her family, spending time filling up Project Life albums, reading big stacks of books, and making stuff.
Your story of your everyday life right now. One year of your everyday.
Your story of the first year of you and your love – however long you’ve been together. Your first year together.
Sign-up for one (or both) of the email series and get a journaling prompt in your inbox once a week, every week for a year! You can sign up at any time and get a year of email prompts to keep you busy for 52 weeks!
Take time every week to journal part of your story – whether that is for your blog, your Project Life album, or just for yourself.
or ENTER THE GIVEAWAY and have a chance to win a subscription to both series!
The following is a guest post from Jessica Collins
I once took an online survey to find out more about myself, because you know, the Internets know better than I do. But, the results said it beautifully: I am one of those people who likes to “mine the cracks” of daily existence for meaning and beauty. Doesn’t that sound like something you want to do too?
This exercise in awareness is important for celebrating the beauty that’s right here, right now. It’s all too easy in the hyper-aware, connected age to lust after the common “wants” rather than creating and seeking out our own moments of beauty. Each one of us deserves to feel moved and inspired on a daily basis and we each have opportunities within our reach every day to find it. It’s most refreshing to get into the practice of enjoying what is already within view instead of desiring more, more, more.
You can train your mind to see the glitter in the dust, not just the dust.
That image of extracting meaning from the everyday really cuts straight to my heart, just like the imagery from:
These images mean a lot to me, and I hope they inspire you too, because they portray how I strive to live: To find beauty even in the roughest places and to be a person that brings a little sparkle to the dustiest of rooms. It doesn’t matter your lot in life, you can still create and find beauty around you. You can still be the beauty.
In my version of novice photography, I have picked up the habit of trying to find the beauty around me. Sometimes it’s easy, especially in picturesque places. It’s when you find small wonders in dingy places that is truly miraculous. I challenge you to try it too. Here are a few of my easy strategies:
I did this once, simply repeating “beauty” in my head as I took the same walking route to work as always and was pleasantly surprised by what I noticed. The sign for Pleasant Street stuck out at me. I noticed funny birdhouses in a tree that the city had obviously hacked (Extreme Makeover: Bird Home Edition, ha!). I’ve lived just down the street from that tree for 8 years and never noticed it before! If you try this mantra walk, you’ll notice pretty patterns, touching human moments and architectural elements all around you. When you’re paying attention to beauty, you’ll find it.
I have the habit of making little things in the summer called pinch bouquets. When I’m outside, I gather tiny little flowers–mostly weeds in ugly overgrown lawns–and turn them into little finger bouquets. I mean, why would you walk around empty-handed when you could walk around with these sweet little bundles of flowers at finger’s length? Think about other ways that you too could culminate beauty from the resources around you. They’re almost always picture-worthy!
Whenever I get pulled into autopilot mode, I am rarely thinking about beauty. The point is to be intentional about it and remind yourself daily to consciously seek out the miraculous little gems that put a sparkle in your eye. And you absolutely have to have a sense of humor. Just look at what happens when a corn kernel from a pumpkin patch gets lodged in a fold of your child’s pants headed to the basement laundry: corn starts growing in the basement drain! Can you believe I almost didn’t take a picture of it? This image is representative of ambition, irony and sheer determination. Even plants can grow where there is no soil.
As for keeping these memories, I like to record these precious moments on my “Mood Lifter” Pinterest board and my photo-saving sites as inspiration whenever I need it. One great way to use these images is for stock photos and posters for your blog, as I did at the beginning of this post. Simply add text with photo editing software and voila! I like to add quotes to mine that pertain to the meaning behind the image or a related post subject. These images would work seamlessly with your Project Life books, picking up on the shiny moments in the everyday.
Make it a habit to include something beautiful in your scrapbook that you’ve found in your own little world every week.
Mine those cracks. It has made me a happier, more grateful person.
Jessica Collins is a professional copywriter, published poet, mom and NASM certified personal trainer from Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband, son, genial pit-bull and naughty kitty. Her fitness, family, and DIY blog, Boun-See, is dedicated to inspiring people be “better every day!” She loves making new friends online, so please stop by and say hi. Find her on: Website: Boun-See; Twitter: @BounSee_Jess; Pinterest or Instagram: @boun_seejess