• BOOKS,  GOALS

    Reading Goals Printables

    For the last few years I’ve been setting some reading goals for myself.

    This last year I wanted to track my goals better so I created some printables and it was really good to have that visual reminder of the goals I had set!

    I had a request to share the printables I made, hence this post . . .

     

    Reading Goals Free Printables

     

    I did just recently do a recap of how my ten reading goals went from last year, you can check out that video here:

     

     

    Also, if you like books and book-ish things, I would love for you to follow me on Instagram and/or YouTube!

     

    Two of the goals I had made for myself last year were to read twelve non-fiction and five classics and I ended up blowing those goals out of the water, but wanted to share those printables with you.

    On the flip side I also made one with twelve classics and five non-fiction in case that’s more your style.

    Just click on the image to get the download file!

    Reading Goals Free Printables Reading Goals Free Printables

     

    Reading Goals Free Printables Reading Goals Free Printables

     

    What kind of reading goals are you setting this year?

  • GOALS

    setting GOALS FOR AUTUMN 🍂 a scary one, a decluttering one and more!

    I’m trying my best to live seasonally and I’ve started setting some seasonal goals and today I’m sharing my goals for the fall.

    You can also check out my birthday goals video I shared a few months ago.

    For these seasonal goals I’ve decided to help set myself up for success and I’ve broken up my goals into smaller actionable steps and little sub-goals.

    This way I can have the feeling of accomplishment as I get closer to reaching my end goal.

    setting GOALS FOR AUTUMN - a scary one, a decluttering one and more!

    MY AUTUMNAL GOALS

    complete 2016-2020 photo albums

    This was on my goals list for the beginning of the year, well, pretty much, I’ve checked one year off so far, but I have a lot more to go.

    participate in NaNoWriMo

    This one is going to really push me out of my comfort zone! The goal is a 50,000 page novel (probably middle grade), or at least 50,000 words towards a novel.

    I’m only planning on doing this one if we don’t have BB8 and if we still have R2D2 then my expectations will probably be lowered a bit.

    complete fall cleaning

    I feel like I really need to get on with this, I’ve got a few specific things I want to get to for sure.

    make ten sketches or pages in my mixed media art journal

    I’ve already got one page done, only nine more to go!

    setting GOALS FOR AUTUMN - a scary one, a decluttering one and more!

    go on three autumnal outings

    I’m totally up for more but there are three things I really like to do here in the autumn and I would like to get to all three! (We actually got one checked off this weekend, score!)

    lose some weight

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever put this on a goals list. I’ve decided to not share the exact numbers here but I have a specific number I am aiming for and I hope to make some healthier food choices in the next few months.

    And that’s all I have for goals for this season! Do you set seasonal goals?

  • GOALS

    My Goals for Thirty-Five & How I’m Tracking Them

    Okay, so this post is a month behind when I would have liked to have it up but it’s time to share my birthday goals!

    I’ve been making birthday goals for the last ten years and it’s time to change things up a bit.

    Previously I set the same number of goals as the year I turned (so when I turned twenty-six I set twenty-six goals), but obviously that can get a little overwhelming and I knew I did not want to set thirty-five goals this year.

    So, I decided to scale back and only make ten goals for the year.

    Even that was a little difficult, for the longest time I only had one goal on my list, but I did manage to think of a few more!

    I also made trackers for myself this year and have kept them visible, you can see them at the end of the post!

     

    Goal Tracking: Creating Goal Tracker so you remember and hit your goals

     

     

    MY GOALS FOR THIRTY-FIVE

     

    How to Read the Bible in 90 Days or Less - Free Bible Reading Plans for 90 Days and 60 Days

     

    READ THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY

    I have said before, I am better with faster read throughs of the Bible, like 90 or 60 days instead of an entire year, and I want to do it again this year, but this time I want to read the Bible chronologically. I’ve never read it through this way and I’m looking forward to it!

    I am looking for a good chronological Bible though, if you have a suggestion (I’d prefer ESV, CSB or NLT), let me know!

     

     

    WEAR DRESSES MORE OFTEN

    I actually really like wearing dresses but I’ve gotten lazy in the last year so I would like to get back into wearing them. I have some really nice looking ones ordered that I am excited about!

     

    MAKE AN APRON

    I want to sew an apron this year! I’ve been loving this one from Farmhouse on Boone, so I just need to get some material. Worst case scenario I buy a similar one from Amazon but I would prefer to make one. 

     

    LIVE IN THE PRESENT

    A hard one to measure but it is something I would like to work on!

     

     

    MAKE TWENTY HOMESCHOOL PRODUCTS

    I re-launched my homeschool online shop last month and from now until my next birthday I would like to make twenty products to add to the shop.

     

    SHARE 52 VIDEOS* ON EACH OF MY THREE YOUTUBE CHANNELS

    *so we are a month from my birthday already so I’m actually editing this to 48 videos.

    Yes, I have three channels, my personal one, a BookTube one and a homeschool one. And I want to post fairly regularly on each of them.

     

    BATCH MY DAYS – HAVE A GOOD RHYTHM

    My general plan is:

    Mornings: kid time, homeschool time, random stuff around the house time

    Afternoons: nap time, quiet time, older kids play with friends time, work time for me

    Evenings: family time, relax time, reading time

    I used to always try to squeeze work into all the different times and I want it to have more of it’s own time so that I am not always so distracted (and can live in the present like my other goals states).

     

    One Year Fostering Update

     

    GET FAMILY PHOTOS TAKEN

    We got some done last fall and I would like some more this fall since we have BB8 to add in!

     

    JOIN AN ONLINE MEMBERSHIP GROUP

    A bunch of ladies on YouTube have a membership together that I would like to join in if they open it up again. I’m also thinking of joining Sally Clarkson’s membership group. We’ll see!

     

    MAKE UPGRADES TO OUR YARD

    Specifically we are thinking of finally going grassless in the front yard which has been our plan for years but it was lacking some inspiration, I think we have some now. In addition, I would like to put a small greenhouse in the backyard so we can put our compost in there and start seeds earlier.

     

    That’s all for my goals!

    Now, here’s a look at some of my trackers that I’ve made:

     

    goal trackers

     

    I think these will help remind me of my goals (because I’ll put them somewhere where I can see them often) and help me to actually hit the goals I set!

     

    Do you make goals for your birthday each year?

  • GOALS

    Thirty-Four Birthday Goals – Final Update

    Another year has gone by and it’s time for me to give a final update of my thirty-four birthday goals.

    I did not do well with my goals this last year, I think there are a few reasons behind this:

    #1 COVID – this really got in the way of life

    #2 fostering – this affecting things a lot more than I realized

    #3 forgetfulness – I simply forgot about some of these goals

     

    How I Plan on Doing Better Next Year

    I still like setting goals though and just need to figure out a way to set things up so I do better next year and I have two plans:

    #1 set less goals – I’m not sure an exact number but I’m not going to set my age worth of goals. I’m finding this way just makes me add in filler goals that I don’t really even want to do.

    #2 make goal checklists – this will keep my goals visible and hopefully be the reminder I need.

     

    34 Birthday Goals Final Update

     

    Right now I’m compiling a list of goals for this next year, we’ll see what I end up with.

    For now, let’s look back on thirty-four in goals.

     

    #1 GO ON A HOME TOWN TOUR

    This is one I had planned to do on my birthday last year but the weather was bad and we still haven’t done it! Mostly because things were weird with COVID and I didn’t really want to wander around. I want to do this sometime in the next few years though.

     

    #2 WRITE 12 POEMS

    Initially my plan was to spread this out over the course of the year but in true Chantel fashion I sat down at the beginning of this month and pounded out all twelve in less than twenty-four hours. They aren’t anything special but it was kind of fun. It reminded me why I liked writing poetry as a teenager and also showed me that my poetry is no less angsty these days as it was twenty years ago which should maybe alarm me but I’m leaning into.

     

    #3 SPEND MORE TIME IN THE BACKYARD

    Did I? Maybe a bit? The toddler liked hanging out back there last year but then winter hits and we didn’t use the backyard for six months straight. We’re just getting back into the habit of using it again.

     

    #4 THRIFT MORE HOME DECOR

    I barely went thrifting at all and don’t think I got any home decor.

    I blame COVID and my dislike for shopping with a toddler.

     

    Book Haul

     

    #5 SPEND UNDER $100 IN BOOKS (FOR MYSELF)

    Bahahahaha! Yeah, no. I spent more than this but I also got a lot of my books for free.

     

    #6 HAVE “LOW TECH” DAYS EACH MONTH

    Nope, I don’t even remember attempting this once.

     

    TV stand to play kitchen

     

    #7 DO SOME THRIFTED ITEM REDOS

    I did one and it was a major fail.

    Rae and I decided to try to make a play kitchen out of a TV entertainment unit thing we got for free. It took a lot of work and she never used it. It kicked around in our basement for about five months before we trashed it.

    It was a good realization that while I used to enjoy this a few years ago I don’t any more.

     

    #8 GET FAMILY PHOTOS DONE

    Yes! Holly got some photos of us in the fall!

     

    One Year Fostering Update

     

    #9 THRIFT IN DIFFERENT TOWNS

    Nope, see thrifting home decor above for excuses.

     

    #10 MAKE PIZZA SAUCE FROM SCRATCH

    I didn’t. My tomatoes were once again a flop and I had to buy tomatoes from the store just to make my pasta sauce.

    Maybe this year my tomato crop will be good again.

     

    #11 SHAMPOO THE CARPET

    I have a shampooer all picked out that I want to buy but I haven’t done this yet.

     

    #12 DO MORE ARTSY PROJECTS USING THE SUPPLIES I HAVE

    Yes! this has mostly been in the form of art journaling and at time decorating my penpal letters.

     

    art journal Bible verses

     

    #13 TAKE AN ONLINE CLASS

    Um, I actually don’t remember if I did this or not . . . I don’t remember taking an online class but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen . . .

     

    #14 READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN 90 DAYS AGAIN

    Yes! Kind of. I accidently read through it in 60 days instead but I figure that counts.

     

    #15 PAINT MY BATHROOM DOOR

    The hair dye is no longer visible because the door has been painted a dark grey, I love it!

     

    #16 VISIT AT LEAST ONE GHOST TOWN

    Um, nope.

     

    #17 READ A POEM A DAY FOR A MONTH

    I did! I actually read a decent amount of poetry and have decided that so far, Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet, let me know if you have any recommendations that are similar to her style.

     

    #18 EAT LESS CARBS/FIND LOWER CARB ALTERNATIVES

    Naw, I still love my carbs.

     

    #19 MAKE MY OWN LIGHTROOM PRESETS

    I did! I’ve used them for the last few months, I like bright photos and the presets I created help with that. I think my original intention with this goal may have been to sell my presets but I didn’t include that in the goal so I’m good.

     

    #20 GO ON A DATE WITH A KID EACH MONTH

    No, thanks to COVID lasting forever and so many things being closed this didn’t happen each month.

     

    #21 BUY THE MAJORITY OF MY CLOTHES FROM THRIFT STORES

    Once again, COVID really got in the way here. I definitely bought some from the thrift stores but since they were closed for awhile and it was harder to get to them I ended up buying the majority of my clothes new online.

     

    #22 LEARN TO WATERCOLOR FLOWERS

    Not really.

     

    #23 USE THE BACKYARD LIGHTS

    Yeah, also no. Why do I always forget how bright it is here in the summer? For us to use the lights when it’s warm out means we need to be sitting out there at midnighit.

     

    #24 MAKE A VIDEO LUT

    I didn’t do this one but I’m also not using an editing program that would really work for this right now.

     

    Bible Journal - journaling Bible study

     

    #25 START BIBLE JOURNALING

    Yes! I’ve been doing this for a year now!

     

    #26 FIND A HAT THAT FITS MY SMALL HEAD

    I actually found one! Now I just need to get brave enough to wear it in public . . .

     

    #27 BUY A VLOGGING CAMERA

    I guess so, I didn’t realize the camera I’d been using was purchased after my birthday. I got this one and really like it.

     

    #28 SEW SOMETHING USEFUL FROM THRIFTED FABRIC

    I don’t think I did any sewing this year.

     

    #29 DRAW A (VERY SIMPLE) CARTOON VERSION OF ME

    Nope.

     

    #30 GO ON A TRIP THAT IS NOT ALBERTA OR SASKATCHEWAN

    This didn’t happen. Between COVID and fostering it just wasn’t possible.

     

    #31 SET PRAYER REMINDERS TO GO OFF THROUGHOUT THE DAY

    I did for awhile but then I got so used to the reminders they didn’t work any more.

     

    #32 FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO A SMOKEY EYE

    Nope, this is a magic trick I will never figure out.

     

    #33 LEARN ABOUT ONE NEW TOPIC EACH MONTH

    I’ve learned about a lot of new things but I wasn’t intentional about learning about a new one each month.

     

    #34 BUY OR MAKE COASTERS

    I almost purchased some a few times but I realized NO ONE CAME OVER FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR so it felt pointless to buy some. Maybe after we have people over again I’ll buy some.

     

    That’s all for thirty-four, now on to thirty-five!

  • GOALS

    Birthday Goals Update

    Every year around my birthday I make a set of goals and I thought I would actually do a mini update now of my goals that I set back in May.

    This is my “six-ish” month update, okay, maybe more like almost eight months.

    Since it’s not that far before I’ll do my final update, I think I’ll just briefly touch on the goals that I have not reached yet, well, I’m also not going to include the goals that I am no longer interested in reaching. Then in May I’ll do a full update sharing how I did with each of the goals.

     

    Mid-Year Goal Update

     

    BIRTHDAY GOALS I HAVE NOT COMPLETED YET

     

    GO ON A HOME TOWN TOUR

    I had wanted to do this last May or June and we never did. Hopefully the beginning of May after the snow is all gone we can do this.

     

    WRITE 12 POEMS

    Yeah, I haven’t written any yet. But I have been studying poetry a bit and I know what kind I like to read and I therefore I think I have an idea of what I would like to write.

     

    THRIFT IN DIFFERENT TOWNS

    I’ve only done this in one town so far, this has been a weird year for shopping, I’m hoping I can still do this though.

     

    MAKE PIZZA SAUCE FROM SCRATCH

    Normally I have an excess of tomatoes so this year I wanted to make pizza sauce as well as my normal pasta sauce but this year I didn’t get a single tomato from my garden, it was really strange.

     

    SHAMPOO THE CARPET

    I’m totally putting off figuring out how to rent a carpet shampooer but I really need to do this.

     

    How to Read the Bible in 90 Days or Less - Free Bible Reading Plans for 90 Days and 60 Days

     

    READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN 90 DAYS AGAIN

    I haven’t finished this one but I am in the middle of it! Actually, I’m reading it in 60 days this time (kind of accidently).

     

    VISIT AT LEAST ONE GHOST TOWN

    We haven’t done this, and that’s kind of annoying because last summer would have been a great time for this. Maybe this spring.

     

    EAT LESS CARBS/FIND LOWER CARB ALTERNATIVES

    Nope, I’m definitely enjoying all the carbs. Do I even care to find alternatives? I’m not sure I do.

     

    MAKE MY OWN LIGHTROOM PRESETS

    I’m not sure I will do this, I actually bought some that I really enjoy and currently don’t feel the need to make my own, that may change yet though.

     

    GO ON A DATE WITH A KID EACH MONTH

    I did this for a few months but things have been so strange this year that this has been hard to do. Ephraim and I wanted to go to The Old Spaghetti Factory and hopefully we can do that soon.

     

    USE THE BACKYARD LIGHTS MORE

    Nope, maybe we just aren’t backyard people.

     

    Mid-Year Goal Update

     

    SEW SOMETHING USEFUL FROM THRIFTED FABRIC

    I’m not sure I want to do this, I think I’m realizing that sewing is not my thing at all.

     

    DRAW A (VERY SIMPLE) CARTOON VERSION OF ME

    Not surprising to me, I’m still terrible at drawing.

     

    GO ON A TRIP THAT IS NOT ALBERTA OR SASKATCHEWAN

    We haven’t been anywhere yet. I’m hoping to do a road trip to BC in the summer but that will be after my birthday.

     

    FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO A SMOKEY EYE

    Can I just admit that I don’t understand makeup? Thanks.

     

    BUY OR MAKE COASTERS

    Oh, I forgot this one was on here! I should see if I can find a good DIY project for this.

     

    For the last ten years or so I have set the same number of goals as the age I turn, so last year I set 34 goals, and I’m realizing I can’t keep this up. It ends up being too many goals that I can’t remember them and I struggle to think of goals and just end up setting random ones I don’t really even want to make.

    My plan is to start thinking about my goals for the next year now and think about them and revise them for the next few months before my next birthday. That way I will hopefully only set goals that I want to achieve.

     

    Do you set goals on your birthday? I’d love to hear some of them!

  • GOALS,  INTENTION

    My Goals for 2021

    I love setting goals and intentions each year. To be honest, I know some people like to distinguish between the two, and even I have at one point, but really, they are pretty much the same thing.

    I don’t really do much in the way of measurable, “SMART” goals. I just make goals and then look back at the end of the year and see if I think I did a good job or not.

     

    My word/theme for the year is love one another. I wrote a bit about that already but I was keeping that in mind while creating my goals.

     

    My Goals for 2021 - personal, family and business goals

     

    I decided to try to break my goals into three categories: personal, family and “online stuff”.

     

    PERSONAL

    read through the Bible

    I’m doing this one right now! It was supposed to be a 90 day Bible reading plan but I accidently made it into a 60 day plan. I actually started this the day after Christmas, so I got a bit of a jump start on the goal but I’m okay with that.

     

    continue Bible journaling

    I’m not really talking about “pretty” art journaling here, I mostly just mean keeping my study notes in my Bible. I plan on continuing to use my CSB notetaking Bible for that this year.

     

    art journal more

    I have been loving getting back into mixed media art journaling this winter and I want to continue this habit throughout the year and not make it a winter only thing.

     

    reply to penpals within a week

    I got a few penpals this winter (is it pen pal or penpal? I randomly alternate between the two). I want to make sure I am good at replying to them. I am also considering filming some “penpal with me” videos, it’s a thing and I may do it if I find some spare time in life.

     

    My Goals for 2021 - personal, family and business goals

     

    buy books from authors I’ve read before and trust

    I want to make sure I’m not buying books that I am just getting rid of right away.

     

    buy some skirts

    I was a tomboy as a child and hated dresses and skirts (don’t even get me started on tights!) but then about five years ago I had a little girl who loved wearing dresses so I felt like I needed to up my outfit game to match hers and I realized I loved wearing dresses. I don’t wear dresses as much these days (well, especially in winter) but for 2021 I want to buy (and wear) some skirts. I’ve been pinning some to a board and I’m obviously drawn to a very specific style (it’s definitely a librarian look):

     

     

    buy a steam mop?

    I saw someone use on in a vlog and I’ve been thinking about getting one ever since.

     

    try to add in at least one more natural cleaning or beauty alternative to my routine

    Over the years I’ve slowly been trying to add in more natural cleaning and natural beauty alternatives. I tend to get overwhelmed if I try to do too much at one time so I’ve slowly over the years been trying to add a little more natural stuff into my life. For Christmas I got the book Simply Living Well and I want to use that to find at least one more natural recipe to add to my routine.

    Every few years I write a post about things I no longer buy and it’s about time I either wrote an updated post or else I may just write a post with my favorite natural living and beauty “recipes”.

     

    laugh more, smile more, forgive more, love more

    Does this need an explanation?

     

    My Goals for 2021 - personal, family and business goals

    reading when the power went out during a winter storm (see the snow and ice on the windows?)

     

    FAMILY

    continue going for daily walks as a family

    We’ve been doing this since December and it’s been really good. Especially for my mental health in the winter. Hopefully we can keep it up. I feel like if we can make it through January we can make it through anything.

     

    figure out what is going on with fostering

    I realize I put something on this list that is completely out of my control but I’m putting it on here anyway. The hardest part about fostering has been the unknown. We still have R2 and within two months he could be gone and we could have Buzz and Woody back. Or, he could go and we could be done fostering. OR, he could stay and we could gain his sister.

    Apparently I’m not good with so much up in the air!

     

    get rid of Ember?

    Yes, getting rid of our cat is on my list. And it’s on here with a question mark. So, we’ll see what becomes of this.

    Edit: So, this one got a lot of comments on my YouTube video. Ember has some anxiety issues around little kids and with us fostering (and perpetually having toddlers) it’s been adding up. Unfortunately she’s almost always on edge and little R2 almost always has a scratch or two on his face.

     

    celebrate the seasons

    I’ve been creating little bucket lists for each season since the beginning of the fall and I feel like it’s helped me to enjoy each season and month better so I want to continue this.

     

    My Goals for 2021 - personal, family and business goals

     

    go on a road trip

    If all goes well I would like to take a road trip out to BC this summer.

     

    continue on with our relaxed homeschooling

    I’ve been enjoying our relaxed homeschool approach that we’ve taken in the last year. But I would like to add in weekly poetry tea time. We used to do this on a regular basis and we all enjoyed it a lot.

     

    get rid of baby stuff

    So, this kind of goes with figuring out fostering. We’ve realized the baby stage is not our favorite stage but we would make an exception for R2’s sister so we’re just kind of waiting to see where things go before getting rid of the stuff.

     

    make 2015-2020 photobooks

    Um, I’m a little behind. I hope to get started on this next week.

     

    My Goals for 2021 - personal, family and business goals

     

    ONLINE STUFF

    two videos a week on my BookTube channel

    I’ve been posting book-ish videos on YouTube for a year now and for this year I would like to continue with two videos a week.

     

    weekly blog post on my homeschool site

    I totally neglected my homeschool website this last year but I want to get back into it. I’m not making any crazy commitments right now but I’m going to commit to one post a week. They will mostly be book lists (middle grade books and picture books) but there will be some homeschool specific posts as well.

     

    use this site “more”

    More is in quotations above because I have used it in the last year but it’s mostly just been a place to share my book-ish videos. This year I want to write more personal posts – more goals, more about fostering, and more of whatever else I feel like.

     

    possibly start sharing some art journal videos on YT

    I kind of mentioned this already when I shared about penpals. I like watching art journal and stationary videos on YT and whenever I like something I also like to get involved in the community. So this is a maybe on my list. First I definitely need to finish my Bible in 60 days plan before I make a full decision on whether or not I have time for this. If I do it I will just share it on what I’ve dubbed my personal, random channel.

     

    step back from Instagram a bit

    I’ve really lost most of my interest in Instagram in the last six months to a year. I think it’s partly because when fostering I can’t share the kids’ faces online anyway so it just feels hard and weird. Plus I don’t know, I’m just not enjoying it as much. I’m not deactivating my account or anything (I did that to Facebook back in the summer and haven’t missed it) but I want to intentionally be on there less.

     

    My Goals for 2021 - personal, family and business goals

     

    continue to give away a book each month to my newsletter subscribers

    Since the fall I’ve been giving away one of the best books I read each month to one of my book-ish newsletter subscribers. If you are interested in entering to win, sign up for the newsletter here.

     

    hit 10,000 subscribers on BookTube (but I’d love to hit more than that, 50,000?)

    So, these feel like weird goals to set but I would love to increase my subscribers over on BookTube this year. I’m currently just over 3,000 and I think hitting 10,000 by the end of the year is attainable, but honestly, I think 50,000 would be sweet. Other than being consistent there really isn’t much I can do in this regard, it’s very much up to YouTube and other people but I’m curious to see where it falls at the end of the year.

     

    grow my Patreon to 75

    For those who want to hear me talk about books even more, I started a Patreon page in December. I would like to continue to grow that to 75 patrons by the end of the year. 

     

    run at least two readathons over on Hey Reader

     I had fun organizing the Hey Reader-athon back in October and then a kids one in November and I would like to do more this year. At least one regular one and one kids one but I’m hoping to actually run two regular ones and one kids one.

     

    My Goals for 2021 - personal, family and business goals

     

    Okay, there are my goals for the year! It feels vulnerable to share them here but I like to look back and see how I’ve done (and if I write it down on paper apparently I can’t find it because I have no idea what happened to last years goals). Plus, I think it gives me some good accountability.

    I hope to do an update at least once to share how things are going in the middle of the year.

    Oh, and soon I’ll do a mini update on my birthday goals, keep an eye out for those!

     

    Did you set goals for this year? I would love to hear some of them!

  • FAITH,  GOALS,  INTENTION

    My “One Little Word” for 2021, Okay, It’s a Phrase

    Well, 2021 is here! And that means it is once again time for me to share my One Little Word for the year.

    I can’t believe I am in my ELEVENTH year of doing this.

    I have found picking a word (or words, or phrase) for the year so beneficial.

    I love setting goals and intentions but it can be hard to remember them throughout the year. Picking a word or phrase it a lot easier to remember and be thinking about throughout the year, at least it is for me (but, of course I’m setting goals for the year as well as choosing a word, the goals will be up here in a few days).

    Once again, when I started thinking of what my word could be at the end of November nothing was really jumping out at me. But, like every other year before, God really used the last few weeks of the year to consistently bring up a theme that I am making my word, okay, phrase, for the year.

    My phrase for 2021 is:
    love one another

    My One Little Word for 2021: Love One Another

    This phrase really stuck out to me as I was reading Blessed are the Misfits in December and it “just so happened” to come up a lot in the Advent study I was doing as well.

    There are two verses that jumped out at me right away when I chose this phrase:

    By this all people will know that you are my disciples,
    if you have love for one another.”

    John 13:35

    “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
    and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
    1 John 4:7

    My One Little Word for 2021: Love One Another

    WHAT THIS PHRASE MEANS FOR MY YEAR

    Ultimately, I want this phrase to remind me to check in on my friends and prioritize relationships this year. Even if restrictions continue to stay in place where I can’t see my friends in person, there are still things I can do.

    I want to make sure to check-in on a regular basis more.

    I want to make sure to make birthday cards for my friends and family.

    I want to continually see how I can pray for them throughout the year.

    I want to make sure to reply to my pen pals within a week of receiving their letters.

    And when possible I want to get together with my friends to chat again!

    I am sure there are other things but that’s a start at least.

    My One Little Word for 2021: Love One Another

    If you are curious as to why and how I choose my word each year you can check that out here.

    Here are some of my previous words (unfortunately I didn’t write blog posts for all of them):

    All my One Little Word posts can be found here, including the recaps at the end of the year.

    Here’s to 2021!

    Do you choose a word for the year? If so, I would love to hear about it!

  • GOALS

    2020 One Little Word Reflection

    I love choosing one word (okay, sometimes two) to focus on each year.

    I’ve been doing this for a decade. Wow, time flies.

    I take a lot of time to think and pray over my word for the year.

    Sometimes it comes to me in November, sometimes at the beginning of January, but it always comes.

    I think we can all agree that 2020 was quite.the.year.

    There has never been one like it.

     

    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous

     

    In 2019 my word was adventure. I’m glad that wasn’t my year for 2020!

    My word for 2020 was generous. Specifically I wanted to focus on monetary generosity.

    I love doing a recap of my word each year but I have to say, this one is a little more awkward to do, money is always an interesting subject.

     

    My goal for 2020 was to follow John Wesley’s model to “gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” You can see what that means here.

    Here’s a brief little summary on how I did:

     

    GAIN ALL YOU CAN

    I had a few new income streams in 2020, some of my previous income stopped but I pretty much managed to make up for that in other areas. Fostering was a big source of my income as well as my blogs and this year I started making a bit of money from YouTube as well.

     

    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous

     

    SAVE ALL YOU CAN

    I feel like I went 50/50 on this one. What with a world pandemic and all we definitely saved in a lot of ways. Jared hasn’t had to drive to work since March so we are saving on licensing one of our vehicles plus all that gas. Out of the home entertainment has been pretty much none existent.

    On the other hand I bought more in books this year than ever before. Part of that was starting a YouTube channel all about books and part of that was the fact that the library was closed for months. We also spent more on Christmas gifts for the kids this year since we are currently one step from lockdown.

    This was a weird year for savings. I feel like all I knew about saving money changed this year (as did so much else in life).

     

    GIVE ALL YOU CAN

    Well, I can straight up tell you we did not give all we can. We could give more. But I can also tell you that we gave more this year than we ever have before and considering our total income didn’t really go up this year that makes me excited.

     

    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous

     

    So, that was my 2020 One Little Word in a nutshell.

    What will 2021 hold? Ha, isn’t that the million dollar question these days? I am still thinking and praying about my word for next year and so far have no idea what it is going to be. I will write a post sharing it once I know though.

     

    One Little Word 2020 Recap: Generous

     

    If you are curious as to why and how I choose my word each year you can check that out here.

    Here are some of my previous words (unfortunately I didn’t write blog posts for each of them):

     

    Do you choose a word year year? If so, I would love to hear about it! If not, I challenge you to try it for the first time this year!

  • GOALS

    Thirty-Four Birthday Goals

    Well, today I turn another year older.

    I’m not really big on birthday celebrations. I usually like pick what I want to eat and go on a bit of a local-ish adventure. Other than that I often spend the few weeks leading up to my birthday thinking of goals for the next year.

    Back when I turned twenty-six (a lifetime ago!) I started making a list of goals based on my age. I like doing this larger list of goals because it forces me to be a bit creative and my list ends up including a number of quick and easy ones, some practical ones and some I need to work a little harder for.

    You can see all my birthday goal lists here or you can see them separately: twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, then I didn’t share my goals for two years before starting back for thirty-three.

     

    34 Birthday Goals While 34

     

    I filmed my goals and some of the reasons behind them, or you can scroll down to read the goals.

     

     

    #1 go on a home town tour

    I was hoping to do this on my birthday but the weather forecast isn’t looking too great, so hopefully we can do this soon!

     

    #2 write 12 poems

     

    34 Birthday Goals While 34

     

    #3 spend more time in the backyard

    I mean, when your backyard is looking this good ^ everyone is going to want to be spending more time outside!

     

    #4 thrift more home decor

     

    #5 spend under $100 in books (for myself)

    Uhh, this is definitely going to be a challenge, I may regret this goal already . . .

     

    #6 have “low tech” days each month

     

    #7 do some thrifted item redos

    Years ago I spent a summer doing a bunch of furniture redos and now I’ve got Raeca on board, we’re going to start looking for some furniture and do some redos together. Here are some that I did about seven years ago:

    Furniture Redo

     

    Furniture Redo

     

    Furniture Redo

     

    Ha, this is the best before I could find of the dresser, excuse little Rae’s weird attire.

    Furniture Redo

     

    Furniture Redo

     

    #8 get family photos done

    Um, it’s been three years since our last ones so we are way overdue.

     

    #9 thrift in different towns

     

    #10 make pizza sauce from scratch

    Let me know if you have a good recipe!

     

    #11 shampoo the carpet

     

    Art Journal - Mixed Media - Bible Journal Page

     

    #12 do more artsy projects using the supplies I have

    This will most likely be in the form of art journaling, canvases and/or card making.

     

    #13 take an online class

    I will most likely get a Skill Share membership for a few months or I may use Creative Bug since our library is currently (or maybe always?!) giving us free access to it.

     

    #14 read through the Bible in 90 days again

    I’m planning on doing this January-March, let me know if you want to join in!

     

    #15 paint my bathroom door

    Yeah . . . I may have gotten some hair dye on it . . .

     

    #16 visit at least one ghost town

     

    #17 read a poem a day for a month

    Have any good poetry suggestions?

     

    #18 eat less carbs/find lower carb alternatives

    Also looking for some recipes here!

     

    #19 make my own Lightroom presets

     

    #20 go on a date with a kid each month

    My kids, obviously.

     

    #21 buy the majority of my clothes from thrift stores

     

    #22 learn to watercolor flowers

     

    #23 use the backyard lights

     

    #24 make a video LUT

     

    Bible Journaling Mother Culture

     

    #25 start Bible journaling

    I’ve actually been doing a bit of this in my Bible in the last few weeks and have been really loving it, it definitely works with the way my brain processes and stores information.

     

    #26 find a hat that fits my small head

    Where can I find one of these???

     

    #27 buy a vlogging camera

     

    #28 sew something useful from thrifted fabric

     

    #29 draw a (very simple) cartoon version of me

     

    #30 go on a trip that is not Alberta or Saskatchewan

    Also, not Manitoba but do I really have to say that?

     

    #31 set prayer reminders to go off throughout the day

    I’m going to use my phone for this.

     

    #32 figure out how to do a smokey eye

     

    #33 learn about one new topic each month

     

    #34 buy or make coasters

     

    And there you have it! Those are my thirty-four goals for the year! If you have any way of helping me to achieve any of these goals, let me know.

    Also, if you set goals for yourself each year and/or birthday goals I would love to hear it!

  • GOALS,  SIMPLE LIVING

    Thoughts and Results On Yet Another Social Media Fast

    In December I decided to take what has become my second annual month-ish long social media fast.

    There is a big part of me that wishes I wasn’t on social media at all and then there is another big part that really enjoys a lot of benefits of social media.

    Last year I had a six week social media fast and shared some of the things I learned after that.

    For this year I decided to take the entire month of December off of Facebook and Instagram.

    To be honest, I didn’t miss it at all.

     

    Thoughts on My Second Annual Social Media Fast

     

    It seemed kind of funny to take a whole month off of Instagram when I just hit 10,000 followers on my homeschool IG account (so I could finally share links in my stories). I worked hard to hit that number, not for the number sake but for the benefits of the links. I definitely had a drop in followers for the month that I was off but it didn’t drop below 10,000 again so I’m thankful for that.

    When January 1st rolled around I was actually too busy with life to even log in to Instagram and Facebook to see what I had missed and I was tempted to just give them up.

    But, Facebook is the only place I have to contact some of my extended family members and there is a local foster family group on there that has been a wealth of knowledge in the beginning of our fostering journey so I am back on there. Though I don’t check it every day, it’s more like every other day or so and I still try to limit it to just my computer, I haven’t had the app on my phone for years and that’s been really nice.

    I have decided to give up my personal Instagram account for the forseeable future. That came as a surprise to me because a year ago that would have been the only account I would have chosen to keep but things have changed a bit.

    I am currently using my homeschool Instagram account because it does direct people to my site but I have not been checking it or scrolling nearly as much as I used to.

     

    IN CONCLUSION

    All in all I would say my second annual social media fast was a success.

    I use Instagram and Facebook less now than I did before the fast and generally only go on if I have a reason to.

    I am really enjoying having an annual fast from social media and am already planning on doing it again for next December.

     

    Have you ever done a social media fast? How did it go? Anyone interested in joining me for my fast in December?

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