Ah, December…I’ve been afraid of you showing up. I felt an immediate shortness of breath this morning just anticipating the stress I’d feel. My goal list for December will be pretty short and extra intentional.
But first, those November goals:
1. Streamline and prepare for a busy holiday season. I am putting a LOT of effort into this one. Last year was crazy and I’m hoping being a bit more prepared will help. I’m working on making sure our checkout process is all correct, promo materials are ready, packaging supplies and journals are stocked and more. I’m also going to be taking some cues from my post on busy seasons to help me. This happened! I’m feeling ready and trying to implement so much I learned from tons of mistakes last year.
2. Prep for 2016 – products, calendar, promos, blogging, maternity leave. I’m hoping to spend some time looking at 2016 big picture goals. I obviously won’t be planning out every blog post or giveaway, but I want to put the big important things (like planning a new collection and a baby in May!!) on the calendar now so they don’t sneak up on me! I worked on this on Small Business Saturday (how fitting, right?). I mapped out the big stuff but will probably work on this a bit more after I set my goals for next year.
3. Be less of a grump towards Tyler. My sweet darling husband has put up with a beast the last few months. He’s cooked and done dishes pretty much exclusively and dealt with someone who just hasn’t been as joyful as usual. I feel like I need it on paper to make sure I am serving him more as my energy comes back and enjoying life with him! I think I did this but you might have to ask Tyler. ; )
4. Eat fruits and veggies first. I normally stay away from most processed foods, but I’ve gobbled up so much mac and cheese, granola bars, crackers and cereal but as I feel a little better I want to try to choose fruits and veggies if I can stomach it instead of just grabbing a nutri-grain bar because it’s easy. This didn’t happen as much as I’d like but in the last few days I’ve felt so much more energy so I’m hoping to make this a priority. I had to put on my calendar, one of the top three things to get done that day, to cut carrots. Being able to grab an individual servings of carrots keeps me from grabbing easier snacks.
5. Update personal and business expense. I won’t even tell you how long it’s been since I’ve done this but let’s just say I was still writing The Finishing School at the time. I hate not knowing how much we are spending and we have a ton of big goals for our savings next year so it’s time to buckle down! I updated the business account but not the personal. I’m still counting this a victory because it was a beast of a job!!
6. Research potty training. Any tips? I’m kinda nervous but definitely want to do this before baby #2 comes!! Didn’t touch this. Can you tell I’m not exactly looking forward to this one?
7. Order and do Suzanne Bowen prenatal workouts. I found out about Suzanne from Meghan Birt. I love following Meghan on insty because she is pregnant and educated in health so her posts are super inspiring! For my pregnancy with Vivi, we had a gym membership and I worked out several times a week. It really helped me feel great throughout my second and third trimesters so I want to make sure I’m spending time working out now that I have a bit more energy. I ordered the prenatal workout and did it a few times. I’ve been in this weird place of feeling a little more energy and being scared to use it up on a workout so I do much needed chores instead. I know this logic is so flawed since workouts give us energy but I’m feeling a ton more energy and some ligament pain so I’m hoping those two things motivate me to do this more in December.
8. Focus on joy in the Lord and flood my mind with Scripture. The last few months have really felt like a wilderness spiritually. I know I need to get motivated and fill my mind with truth!! This did happen. I got some notecards and started writing down verses I want to memorize. I also started using my YouVersion app again.
9. Reread Anything notes and journal throughout month. This book impacted me in so many ways. I started using ones of my “A Guide to” Journals and titled it “anything” because I wanted to journey how the Lord spoke to me as I gave Him, well, anything. It’s been so sweet reading how much God did during that season and I’m excited to pick up where I left off journaling and keep allowing God to speak to me. I reread half my notes (there are that many) and have been journaling. It’s been so nice to be reminded that it’s not about me and helped me set my heart on seeing how God wants to use all I have.
Goals for December:
1. Be filled with peace instead of stress. The perfectionist in me gets so stressed out by USPS issues, lost packages, missed deadlines, making shipping mistakes and not being able to make every request happen. I’m really trying to let this go this year. I’m trying to focus on doing my best while not letting it overwhelm me. I’ve started writing lots of verses on cards and am carrying my prayer journal EVERYWHERE to make sure I’m setting my heart on truth.
2. Be intentional about my Advent Study. I did this for the first time last year with Naptime Diaries and it definitely helped me find Jesus every morning despite a hectic schedule. You can still order the PDF of the study here!
3. Be intentional about family time. Vivi is at such a fun age discovering the holidays. She randomly says at least once a day “Happy Birthday Jesus” and when she wakes up she runs in the living room and remembers the tree is there and yells “Christmas!!” Her delight is so sweet to watch. We put up the tree on Friday night and while Tyler and Vivi hung ornaments, I watched and got to feel the baby kick for the first time. I don’t want to miss sweet memories like this because I’m too busy so I’m working on being extra intentional with my favorite people.
4. Work through my powersheets to set 2016 goals. You’ve heard me talk about these plenty already but I’ll say it again. They have made the biggest different in making the last few years more intentional and purposeful. I’m excited to create God-centered goals for next year!
5. Reread Redeeming Love. Our pastor talked about Hosea a little on Sunday and I remembered learning so much about God’s amazing love for us as I read that book. I’d love to soak my heart in this message as we celebrate Christmas and I also think it’s the perfect way to force me to put the work down and do something refreshing.
6. Update our personal expenses and plan budget for business and personal for 2016. Honestly I didn’t want to add another thing to my month but I think this is really important. I’m so guilty of totally bailing on something if I don’t do it before the month or year starts. Anyone have any helpful Excel templates for maintaining your budget?
When I first started thinking of what organization we would donate to for December (typically our biggest month), I first thought it needed to be a really big organization. I’m not sure why my mind went here, but it hit me. How cool would be it be to send our biggest check of the year to a small but mighty organization? And to top it off, what about one that was on the ground floor. And then I heard about a brand new non-profit that is homegrown right from a couple at our church. I have been thinking about “small but mighty” the last few weeks and realized I wanted our December charity to be one that I am so excited about the potential of what we can do $.50 for every journal donated to them. For December, our Boaz Fund will go to Seeds to Success. This is a non-profit that was dreamed up by a family from our church that has been fostering kids for many years. They wanted to do something for all those kids that age out of the foster system.
“Seeds to Success is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving children who age out of the foster system life skills and a safe place to call home while they continue to mature. The organization will provide small cottages and teach kids about nutrition, finances, hygiene, and other life skills to help them succeed. The cottages will be located on a self sustaining farm that the kids will work on and use to help sustain the program.”
The Breauxs are the definition of living out the gospel. I love their heart for foster kids and I am thrilled to support them this month. Hear more of their incredible story here. And donate directly to their cause here.
Hey Val, saw your goal about your personal budget. I was always really bad about budgeting before I started using YNAB (You need a budget). It’s a software Dave Ramsey recommends and I love it. They also provide free tutorials and things to help get you started. It IS A little bit of work, but it has changed everything. You can do a free trial of it and see how you like it! Hope this helps!