For the 4th year in a row, I will be participating in the ONE WORD 365 challenge. With the ONE WORD challenge, you choose ONE WORD and commit to making it your focus everyday. I also add a corresponding bible verse to round out the challenge. That means you call on that word and verse to guide and plan your day. The ONE WORD challenge puts my goal planning into perspective for the entire year.

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”~Ephesians 5:15-17

As I reflected over my past year, I realized that my life has spiraled out of control. It actually took me several weeks to find the perfect word to bring all these feelings to the surface. I finally settled on the word, MANAGE. In the beginning, I was only thinking about time management because I struggle with finding enough time to complete my personal and business goals each and every day and yet, I have the same 24 hours as the next person. My finances are out of control and yet, I know others that are living debt free with less. My career needs to be revamped and yet, I keep making excuses and I am more than capable. My health numbers need to be improved and yet, I know it can be done because I have done it before. My marriage could use a facelift and yet, I know it does because we have both seen better days. My confidence and mental health need a boost and yet, I continue to live in the world of self-doubt and comparison. With that confession, the word MANAGE was a perfect fit. The word encompasses all I want to MANAGE-my personal goals, my business, my finances, my career, my health, my marriage, my confidence, my mental health and  anything else that needs to be MANAGEd.

This is the biggest ONE WORD challenge for me to date. To avoid overwhelm, I am focusing on making my goals even SMARTER, using tools to help me MANAGE every aspect of my business and life and being consistent. This year, I have decided to use the Passion Planner and Leonie Dawson’s workbooks (affiliate link) to keep me motivated and focused this year.

Here are my other ONE WORD posts:

*I may earn a small commission if you make an affiliate purchase.

Are you participating in the #ONEWORD365 Challenge? What is your word? Please share in the comments below.

10 Things the 10K Taught Me

Ignore my daughter’s sad face…she’s always mad at something or somebody

I recently trained and finished my first 10k. I backed it up by training and finishing a 5k with my best friend and accountability partner (two VERY special ladies in my life). I want to temporarily hang up my running shoes and officially close my running season by sharing a few life lessons I learned along the way.

1. Rain and Water Don’t Stop My Show
Environmental elements don’t matter. I ran in 27 degree weather. This might not be a big deal to most, but if there are two things that will seriously cause me to reschedule, reconsider, or even quit all together its the rain and the cold. Not me.  Won’t do it. And yet, I braved both at the same time to successfully complete my weekly training.

2. I Can Commit
I have never been seen myself more committed to any exercise program before this one. It was sheer determination at its finest. I rearranged my schedule and I did not miss a training day. I was going to take the right steps to finish this race.

3. I Can Drink Water
I don’t like water. I worked hard to not drink water. I am so particular about my water…Sonic Ice, Fiji Water, lemon in my cup…one of these preferences had to be present in order for me to drink any amount of water. And then I broke the code. Detox Water. That is all it took. I am hooked. I took a problem and found a solution. I can now say with confidence, I drink water.

4. I Can Run
I look like a one-legged monkey when I run and I know I do. When I started the training journey for the 10k, I had no idea what I was getting into. I would often text my husband and best friend and let them know that I was crazy stupid and was upset because they led me to believe that I could actually run 6.2 miles at one time. But, I continued to run even if I was a sight for sore eyes.

5. Small Celebrations Are Necessary
All that hard work deserves a celebration. Small celebrations are necessary to continue with the intensity needed to complete the ultimate task. Even if it’s a cupcake and a margarita (my choice for a small celebration), it’s a celebration.

“I asked the Lord for help, and he saved me from all my fears.”~Psalms 34:4

6. Fear Is Temporary
Fear is only present as long as you choose to not step into it. I am fearful of so much it consumes me. I know the solution is to step into it, and yet I am fearful of doing that too. With training, I stepped right into it. Each day, I told myself, there is nothing to fear, just put one foot in front of the other and finish.  Finish your goal for the day. I have now applied this to every aspect of my day. All I need to do is take the next right step. That is all. Take that step, have that faith, and God will figure out the race.

7. I Am Not Alone
Once I put it out there, the support came flowing in. Besides the support from the husband (even got some cool shoes out the deal) and best friend, random support flowed in from social media. With all the negativity saturating the world, it was hard for me to believe that there were kind people that sill existed. And yet, there are. The running community is very loving from the inconsistent 5k runner to the repeat marathon runner, they all wish success for anyone that partakes in their beloved sport and I love every minute of it.

8. Be My Best Self and Don’t Worry About the Rest
For someone who compares herself to everything, it is almost impossible for me to focus on my personal best. At the park (where I train), at the gym, talking to other runners, I compare myself to everything and everybody. I’m too slow, I can never finish, I’ll be the last one out there…every last one of these thoughts crossed my mind every time I laced up my shoes. I finally internalized the statement, “Be the Best Version of Yourself.” I accepted that I have my own race to run and it is crafted just for me and no one else whatever the task. My race. My time. My challenge.

9. Keep Raising the Bar
The first time I ran four miles (the furthest I had run at that time) gave me a sort of natural high. It prepared me for my next goal. Cue the music…now…Roar by Katy Perry (my song of choice), the Rocky theme, Momma Said Knock You Out…whatever motivates you. When I hear this song, I feel like it’s me against the world and I can conquer all. After completing this challenge, I was ready to plan for and conquer the next challenge. I am now continuing to raise the bar…on myself that is.

10. My Simple Actions Could Inspire Someone Else
The absolute best part about finishing this race was totally unexpected. After I finished and we celebrated, my two littles were inspired to run. They begged me to train them so we could run a race together. What? Are you kidding me? If that is not motivation, I don’t know what is. They would see me in my running clothes or shoes  and ask, “Did you go running today?” Little did I know, they were taking it all in and wanted to know what this running was all about. We started training a week later, but had to stop due to the cold weather. I have a tad bit of sense because cold weather, a whining 4 and 6 year old, and a tired mom just don’t mix. I’m sorry. So, as soon as we get some consistent, decent weather we’ll be back at it. I am actually looking forward to running a race with them. The husband says he’ll stick to the gym and cheer us on from the sidelines. I’ll take it. We’ll make him take us out for cupcakes after.

What challenge have you completed recently that changed your entire outlook on life? Please share in the comments below.


I make resolutions. I set goals for myself twice a year in January and August (I’m an educator by heart). Yes, I’m one of those people and each year my goal completion rate increases by staying focused and consistent. For the past couple of years, my friends and I have participated in the One Word 365 Challenge and have chosen to live with purpose and intention (coincidence that those were actual words chosen by some of my friends) with this one word. During those same years (and even now), I have been completely lost and confused with my life. It has been like a premature mid-life crisis. I have dreamed, persevered when I wanted to throw in the towel, and now I’m ready for more. I am ready to DO the hard work. I tell my littles all the time, “Don’t talk about it. Be about it.” It’s time I listen to my own lecture.

I am a researcher and planner. I enjoy the information overload. I will dream about a topic, research it, study it, read about it, plan for it, and stop (drives my husband crazy). That’s it. There is no action on my part. I can come up with a ton of excuses as to why I can’t do something and ignore the fact that coming up with excuses takes just as long as actually doing something. Steve Jobs said it best, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” Last year, I persevered through some tough breaks personally, but this year will be different because there will be more than pages of plans. There will be actions. I am going to actually GET UP GET OUT AND GET SOMETHING. THE DAYS OF MY LIFE WILL NOT PASS ME BY. (Excuse the Outkast song reference. I had to.)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.~Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

As a congregation, every Sunday we recited Philippians 4:13 as we exited church. Logically, I knew what the verse meant. I searched all night for a verse to complement my word. I actually chose another verse and as I started to write this post, Philippians 4:13 popped in my head from years ago. It now has meaning like it never did before. Sigh. I get it, Lord. I get it.

Are you participating in the ONE WORD Challenge? What is your word? Please share in the comments below.

5 Simplified Tips to Start the New Year with New Goals

I am a professional goal setter. I am constantly setting goals. And every year I spend the last week of December reflecting, creating goals, and writing a plan for those goals. There is an overabundance of printables, books, and tips to help you achieve your goals. I should know because I have read or tried almost all of them. This year, I am keeping it simple and focusing on small, attainable goals that I work on and review consistently. I’m sharing the five simplified tips I’m using this year to be intentional about goal planning.

1. START Something/STOP Something
My ROD (ride or die/bestie) suggested I listen to the My Story 4-part sermon series from her church. This message was right on time and applicable to the current state of my life. I highly suggest listening to this series to prepare your mind and heart for the new year year and beyond. In this series, Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church suggested that we start one discipline and stop one action. Starting a discipline to help you lead a better life, could be as simple as drinking water with every meal if you are trying to increase your water intake. Stopping an action that is not good for your health or well being could be as obvious as quitting smoking. For this upcoming year, I have prayed and asked for guidance for my “something” and I believe God is leading me to START getting at least seven hours of sleep and to STOP yelling at the people that interact with me daily-my husband and children.

2. One Word
I love the focus of One Word for 365 days. I actually posted my word, reflected on my word, and used my word the entire year. I decided to take it a step further and match my one word with a bible verse that I recited daily. My one word for 2015 is, DO. I plan to write a post all about this word and how I plan to focus on it for 2015. For example, my plan for our home this year is to declutter and instead of planning, pinning, and preparing, I am actually going to DO the dirty work and declutter. My previous “one words” have been shared in previous posts.

Grow into who you want to be one day at a time.~Holley Gerth

3. Fifteen Minutes
According to Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, any project or goal you want to accomplish can be completed by working on it for 15 minutes a day. Consistency is key and by investing a small amount of time on a consistent basis, you can start to add noticeable progress to your goal or project. You can be intentional by setting a timer and get working before the “official” start of your day. I am devoting 15 minutes a day to two different projects. I am decluttering for 15 minutes and I am writing a memoir for my children and I spend 15 minutes a day on that project. Right now, the decluttering happens at random times throughout the day and the writing is scheduled for 10:30 pm which is helping me with my 10:45 bedtime. My mornings are reserved for prayer and reflection, but I may add more time later.

4. Set SMART Goals
I am a former public school teacher and administrator and in that world, we LIVED by setting SMART goals. It wasn’t until I left the world of education that I learned the value of SMART goals. It all makes sense to me now! If my goals aren’t “SMART” (No pun intended. Well, maybe a pun was intended.) what’s the point in setting them? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting SMART goals gives you the power to break large goals into smaller attainable goals and have a realistic plan of action. I will share some of my own SMART goals as an example:

  • I will have a living will and advanced directives drafted and completed by November 2015 (my birthday)
  • I will publish at least one blog post a week
  • I will complete a business plan by June 2015

5. Review Your Goals
We write goals at the beginning of the year and then we forget about them. Work happens. School happens. Life happens. The key to keeping your goals relevant is to consistently review them. This has always been my issue. Looking at the big picture we should review our goals yearly, monthly, weekly, and most importantly daily. Kat Lee of Inspired to Action has a podcast series where she suggests writing goals each day, reviewing your weekly progress, and improving based on your progress.

I am taking my goal setting to a new level this year with these five tips. If you want to try something different with your goal setting and be intentional this time around, then join me. What goal setting tips can you share? Please leave a comment, I’m all eyes!

The planner pictured above is available for purchase in my online boutique, Printed Sugar.