How I Achieve My Goals Every Month

It's almost February which means it's close to the end of the month. One thing that really helps me to stay focused and achieve my goals is to do a check-in around this point. I thought I'd let you in on the process in case you want to use these for your own progress!

1. I start each of these checkpoints by writing out my goals for the year as well as the goals I had for the month. By writing them out, I am able to clearly see what my overall vision is and can begin to quantify my progress for each one.

2. For each of my monthly goals, I list the 2-4 action steps I've taken to achieve the goal or progress I had set out to accomplish.

3. For each of the yearly goals, I look at the progress made in that month and check to see if I am still on track for the goal or if there needs to be any modifications.

4. Next, I create action steps for the upcoming month's goals.

5. Finally, I celebrate the progress made, made a note of any lessons I learned that month, and check off any of the items on my yearly fun experience list (like a bucket list but more fun!) that I completed.

In addition to this process, I also go through and answer a list of progress-related questions which helps me plan out the right steps for each goal and keeps me laser focused throughout the month. Let me know if you'd be interested in seeing a post on those! It's so important to make time for checkpoints. When we track our progress, it is much easier to actually achieve what we set out to accomplish. Challenge yourself to take a moment or two before the month ends and check in. Where are you on your goals, what needs to be done, what have you accomplished, and where are you going? Here's to great success!

How To Stress Less This Year

We live in a busy world, don't we? I've often found myself answering the question of "How are you?" as "I'm busy!" We've glorified activity, busyness and even stress in this process. Stress is often a constant companion for us and although some may say that they perform well under pressure, the reality is that stress is not beneficial to our overall wellbeing. Research tells us that 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, and 44% of people feel as though their stress levels have gone up over the past 5 years. (AIS, 2017) We all want to be productive and so often we end up taking on more projects, putting in more hours, or investing deeper into a relationship and can easily neglect the symptoms that our body is using to tell us that it's time to take a step back.

Whether it's a work situation, family challenge, or even the traffic on your way to work each day, dealing with stress will eventually impact your health and mental wellbeing if we don't do something about it. We may think that more activity or taking on additional hours will help us get ahead or even feel happier, but the reality is that instead we're left feeling worried, anxious, or exhausted. So, I'm sure you're wondering, How do I fix this? I've put together a guide with five simple ways to lower your stress level this week. These are things I have found to be so beneficial in my own daily routine and have helped me to regain a sense of balance amid a busy calendar.


Travel Inspiration 2018

Travel is one of the most wonderful adventures in life! It's something that changes you in the best of ways and we are never quite the same upon our return home. I'm always looking for new places to explore and learn about. Last year's travels brought me to warm beaches, spectacular mountain views, familiar places, friend's homes and a couple new countries. This year, I'm hoping to add a few new cities and experiences to my travels. 

Here's a couple of places I'm dreaming of exploring! Where do you want to go? Are you a mountains or beach kind of person? Ready to escape the cold or do you daydream of snow-covered forests?
Ch√Ęteau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, France
Positano, Italy
Whitsunday Beach, Australia
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
St. Moritz, Switzerland

find more of my travel inspiration here

My Goals for 2018

Recently, I asked many of you on Instagram what you're interested in seeing more of this year on here. It's my goal to create content that is fun and interesting for you, and the response from quite a few was a request for more lifestyle based content. So, with that in mind, I decided to begin the new year of posts with a look into some of the things I'm working on for 2018. Each year I always set a number of personal and professional goals, so I thought I'd share a couple of mine with you. It's not too late to set goals for this year if you haven't already!

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Last year I set a goal of reading one book each month to keep me in the habit of consistently reading and learning. Some months I was able to squeeze in a second book, so I ended up reading 15 total for the year. I enjoyed it so much, so I challenged myself to do two books each month this year. Currently, I am reading Destiny by T.D. Jakes and What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro. What seems to work best for me is to read books of differing writing styles or topics--especially when going through two at once. If you're looking to dive into a new book, here's a few I read last year that I would highly recommend!

Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson
Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio
Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
Love Does by Bob Goff
#Struggles by Craig Groeschel
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Another goal of mine this year is to cook more consistently. I'll be honest, I'm typically the grab and go sort of gal when it comes to meals, so I tend to quickly throw together a wrap or salad instead of making the time to actually enjoy the cooking process. So, this year I've started to make more time for meal prep, and I'm challenging myself to try some new recipes each month. Last week I tried out a few new smoothie variations for breakfast, and since we've had some cooler weather, I made a vegetable soup that was a warm and cozy lunch or great addition to dinner. The original recipe is found here, but I adapted it a little, so I've included the version I made below!

1 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cups carrots, diced
1 inch ginger, peeled and diced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne
pinch of salt
4 cups vegetable broth

In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and onions. Saute for 3-5 min.
Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 min.
Carefully pour into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend on low until smooth. 
Soup will keep in a container for up to 5 days!
Serves 4

I've also set a goal to keep a gratitude journal. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day routine or even to allow the stress of life to impact our attitude if we're not careful. One of the best ways to experience a life that's filled with joy and optimism is the decision to be grateful for the many things we have. I've challenged myself to make a list each day of 5 things I'm grateful for. It is a simple bullet point list, but instead of "keeping a list in my head" or tapping it into an Evernote on my phone, I'm writing it down in a journal. There's something about actually putting pen to paper that is far more impactful. If you don't already do this, I'd invite you to join me and let's focus on gratitude this year. I know it's going to have an incredibly positive and powerful impact on how we see and live life!

There you go! That's a few of the things/habits I'm working on cultivating in my life this year! What about you? What goals are you planning to accomplish in 2018? I'm here to cheer you on! 


Best Of: New Year Goal Setting

Happy 2018! It's the start of a brand new year! I love the promise that a new year brings--brimming over with possibilities, potential, and unknown adventures. We have the ability to create it as we see fit and to choose how much or little we accomplish. It's so exciting to begin afresh and year after year we see countless individuals creating 'resolutions' of potential changes they would like to apply to their life. The problem is that come next month (sometimes even Jan 31st), many of the well-meaning resolutions have faded into the background of old habits and routine. So, how do we fix that? My suggestion is to set goals rather than make resolutions. Goals have accountability and progress checkpoints in addition to a date of completed accomplishment. Simply wishing to change or even deciding to change will never actually get someone to act differently unless it is backed with action and a set end result. Goal setting is truly one of the most powerful tools I've used to drive progress and accomplish incredibly exciting things in my own life, and I encourage you to apply this process to your own dreams and desires. Over the years of blogging, I've written a few posts on this subject, so I've rounded up some of the best quick/practical reads below so you can effectively set goals and accomplish some fantastic things in the new year! Here's to great success!

Get Ready, Get Set:

Go Get 'Em!:

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