Making things happen in 2014
Remember my post about my 2014 planner, and how I was searching for just the right one even though I kind of already have a planner?
Well, in my search, I came across these things called Powersheets.
I thought the name was different and promising, so obviously I was intrigued so I clicked. And then I was curious so I purchased a set. I’m kind of a person who is a little obsessed with paper so… it wasn’t that difficult to get me to commit to buying these Powersheets. Even though I really had no idea what I was supposed to do with them when they arrived.
But then they arrived and I was pumped. So here we are!
They kind of came at a perfect time for me. I feel like I am treading water lately. Sort of like being in a weird limbo – we’re just kind of hanging out in this apartment until our house is ready, and it feels like at that point life will actually begin again. But what do I do until then? It’s been weird, these last few weeks.
And I don’t like feeling like I’m sitting in a waiting room, with no purpose. Especially since, back in November, I made a deal with Alex about my professional future. This house we are building feels like a definitive line, being drawn in the sand – no, engraved in stone – like a starting point for some new chapter we are walking into. Like everything that’s happened prior to that moment has been practice for what lies ahead. Like we are starting something fresh and new.
I was tired of treading water. And then the Powersheets arrived.
I got them last week and have been taking my time going through the prep work that leads up to actually using the monthly sheets. Today, I finally got to the pages where I’ll be writing out my five main 2014 goals. But, I thought I would share a little bit of my progress here since a big part of my 2014 vision is transparency and opening myself up to new experiences. And I also thought I’d share because on her blog, Lara is encouraging Powersheet users and anyone else interested to talk about what’s ahead – not only for accountability, but just to get it out there. There’s power in just giving voice to something.
Lara has shared her prep work in 6 different posts and I’ll break mine up as well. First things first – pop over to her blog and read part 1 for the 2014 goal setting ahead. Jump in with me!
Here are a few things that “worked” in 2013. I’m just sharing a snippet of my list, so here are some highlights –
- We really, really focused on budgeting and saw unbelievable results almost immediately. We became debt free except our mortgage in April (and technically we are totally debt free now since we don’t have a mortgage…yet….) and we learned that it seriously pays off to just spend less. One of those Captain Obvious moments, huh? Well, 2013 was full of plenty of those.
- And speaking of… We started tithing again. We had stopped for so long, out of fear. I mostly handle the budget, so this is on me. I was afraid we would run out of money if we were giving it away. How silly is that? I really had to square this one in my heart. To be honest, I still somewhat struggle with genuine generosity and changing that mindset is definitely a part of my 2014 vision.
- Since we became debt free a lot sooner than anticipated, we were able to start working on a dream we had had for more than a year – selling our house! We listed the house in September and were under contract less than 2 months later, and we closed just a couple weeks ago. It was such a huge answer to prayer to see that process move so quickly – not only because we were eager to sell, but because we were under contract to build. That time in between our old house going under contract and the actual close date were some of the most trying times in our life so far; they were filled with tears and uncertainty and fear. And they forced us to really have faith. To just trust and actually believe that God was in control. I’m so thankful for that experience, for that reason.
- And speaking of building – that’s another great thing about 2013, maybe the greatest! Every day it becomes more and more real. We are building our dream home! What an honor to have this experience. As I mentioned, this house is symbolic of so many things in our life right now. It’s also just a house. But I don’t think I can look at it, really, as just a house.
- Alex worked so hard this year, harder than any ever, to benefit our family and help make our hopes a reality. We prayed for his success and that success was blown.out.of.the.water. Even now that momentum is carrying him into 2014 on this incredible wave. I don’t know what I did to have such a hardworking, devoted husband whose very being strives for success. And yet is so humble about it, too. That just makes my heart so happy, and it makes me want to give back that same effort into our family, as best as I can.
- I celebrated one year of having learned how to knit in February and saw my knitting shop really gain in popularity – particularly a certain bearded beanie. I had so many great opportunities last year to knit and when all was said done, I ended 2013 with over 75 Etsy sales and over 100 sales through other methods (mostly mom groups who ordered at wholesale prices). To go from zero to 100+ in less than a year’s time (I only started promoting my knitting business in May 2012) was overwhelming, but it was also a huge confirmation that I was headed in the right direction.
- I was less afraid to say “yes” to things, and I was more confident in saying “no” when necessary. Some of this new-found courage came from an unfortunate event, but they do say that beauty comes from ashes. And from this new courage, I ended up making some pretty amazing friendships, going on a road trip through six states, seeing NYC for the first time, throwing a surprise bridal shower for a wonderful friend, getting a new part-time job (in the construction industry, of which the knowledge I’ve gained has been invaluable in the selling of our old house and building of the new), having the opportunity to collaborate with my local yarn shop to launch (soon!!) a cool website… the list goes on. Who knew opening yourself up could be so rewarding? Captain Obvious knew, that’s who.
- Toward the end of the year, something that started happening that “worked” was I began a kindness campaign – for myself. I know that sounds weird, but I had just stopped paying attention to things I used to really enjoy doing. So, little by little, I started doing them again. I went shopping and even – gasp! – bought a couple pieces of clothing for myself. I went to Sephora and bought some makeup. I renewed some of my old magazine subscriptions. I’m starting to find myself again, and it makes me happy.
There are always things that plain just don’t work. Here’s my abbreviated list for 2013 –
- Laziness. I can be the laziest of all the lazies. I’m talking sleep in until noon if my child would let me, don’t get dressed, watch old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy all day kind of laziness. I love to sleep. It’s really hard for me to be a morning person, but I so want to be one.
- Facebook. Don’t get me wrong – I love Facebook! And Pinterest. And Instagram. I love social media. But it’s a huge distraction for me and in 2014 I need to set some strong boundaries so I can keep focus on what matters. And guess what? Facebook likes don’t matter. 🙂
- Being a control freak. This year has really brought out the control freak in me. I’ve always had a bent toward perfection and a need to have everything be just so. But this year. Oh man. I think it was all the uncertainty of the house, but I grasped onto whatever I could and just… perfected the heck out of it. And that usually resulted in me being frustrated and generally not a good time to be around. So I need to let it go, whatever “it” may look like at any particular moment. Grace not perfection, right?
- Lack of focus. I’m a creative person and creatives tend to struggle with focus. I blame it on what I like to call my popcorn brain. When I sit down to focus on a task, my brain starts popping around all of these thoughts – What is that spot on the carpet? Do I have meat defrosted for dinner? I wonder what’s happening on Facebook right now. How many views did my blog get today? Oh I need to comment on that post I read last night. What was the recipe I pinned? What was I doing again? Popcorn brain. It steals focus. It needs to go.
- Unforgiveness and “the principle of the matter.” If Alex had a dollar for every time I yelled, “It’s the principle of the matter!!!!!!” we would be paying for our new house in cash. I hold onto things, tightly. I don’t let them drop. If it made me mad, you can guarantee I will still be thinking about it weeks later. Well, I’m tired of the principle of the matter taking up room in my heart and my mind for things that actually matter. Or, for things that maybe don’t really matter but are just not very vexing. Like, for example, cats. Cats are hysterical.
- Worry. This goes back to the control freak aspect of myself, but I am definitely a worrier. I’m the worst kind of worrier. I’m the kind that takes a simple, normal thing to worry about – say, you’re about to go on an airplane and it briefly crosses your mind that you hope there aren’t any problems with the plane. Well, my worry brain will take that 10 steps further. What if the plane crashes? Oh my gosh, what if it crashes over the ocean… or, worse, over land? What would Alex do without me? Would he remember how to wash the cloth diapers? Did I tell him he needs to make sure to give the pets their meds on the 30th of every month? Why didn’t I write that down somewhere, ugh. Would Ezra remember me? What if he totally forgets who I am??? Do you see where this is going. It’s going nowhere. It’s outrageous. The other day I told my sister-in-law that I was making things up to worry about because I had nothing to worry about. I ask you – who does that?? The solution is contentment in my surroundings, so that’s what I’m working toward.
Get visual – make a 2014 inspiration board. I put together a board on Pinterest that you’re more than welcome to follow, but you should make your own, too! I love Pinterest for this reason. The perfectionist in me probably would have never started this project if it involved having to do something on paper, for fear of not making it look good/pretty enough. Stupid, huh? Thank God for the internet 😉 You can check out my board here.
Here’s a visual, though, for the blog –
- A marriage more beautiful than my wedding (image via Tiffany Rebecca Blog)
- Memories made around the table, as we eat more meals at home (image via Lily and Val Etsy Store)
- A life that shows the fruit of the spirit (image via Lara Casey Downloads)
- Knitting (obviously (image via Beautiful Knitting Tumblr))
- Brightness and excitement (image via Minted Rainbow Art Print)
- Focus and purpose (image via The Resplendent Blog)
- To read and study the bible more (no image source.. so if you know, please share!)
- Just more of life in general (image via Dani English Blog)
- Finishing what I set out to do (image via Lara Casey Downloads)
- Adventures (image via Tumblr)
- Knitting (did I say that already? Image via Ravelry Cocoon Shawlette)
- Belief in the promises of God (image via Lara Casey Downloads)
- Grace Not Perfection (image via Emily Ley’s Shop)
That about wraps up Part 1. If you’re looking for a powerful tool, I really recommend checking out the Powersheets especially if you’re like me and goal setting typically does not stick. Don’t be scared off by the talk of God, if you aren’t a religious person. Seriously, these sheets are for Everyone with a capital E. Let me know if you’re trying the Powersheets out, too, or – even if you aren’t – let me know what your list looks like for what worked and what didn’t in 2013. And get on Pinterest and whip up an inspiration board! You at least owe it to yourself to dream up some amazing, beautiful things for this brand new year that’s just waiting to be lived in. Have fun 🙂