Planning, Goals, Progress and Coffee

If you were coming over for coffee, I would greet you with a hug and some chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. It has been a while since I posted on this blog, but I have been pretty busy. The fact that my computer has a nasty virus did not help either.

December is usually my busiest month, not only do both of my children have birthdays, and of course, there are the holidays, but it is the time where business picks up, and also the time to plan for the next year.

Which is exactly what I am working on this weekend: Goal and Action Plan for 2016.

I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. Of course, they can be beneficial, but why wait until a particular time to make a change? Yet I do plan the year, but not in a resolution kind of way.

There are overall goals to work out – that has to be the first step, never forgetting that there has to be a why, a reason behind each goal, otherwise, I am fully aware that I will not follow through on it.

Willpower can carry you far, reasons will carry you further.

Then there are the monthly goals – smaller steps that together build the picture of a successful year. Those are flexible, meaning, I can adjust those goals throughout the year to fit the progress I am actually making. The trick is to set these goals high, but not so high that they are not attainable. Otherwise,  the frustration of not reaching them will keep me from going further.

Next are tangible action steps. I ask myself, what do I need to learn to make this happen? How much time am I willing to invest into this goal? What do I need to do to see progress? Those answers will be based on the overall goal and the monthly  goals.

This leaves me with a framework for the entire year.

What I am questioning this year is about how public I should make these goals, and when. I have seen many bloggers and marketing experts, who put all of their goals and their achievements out there – that is wonderful, as it motivates me. But being an artist first, a creative, who might not see monetary results in such a profound way every month – while other months soar – I am not sure, I am going to do that yet. What do you think? How public do you make your goals?

If you were here with me, I would tell you that another year end practice I enjoy and intend to employ this year:

Expressing my thanks to those who inspired me.

Now, some of these people – some of whom are famous, some are very successful might never respond to my email, Facebook message or tweet, but some might (hey, I have had Brendan Brazer, the creator of Vega, and the author of Thrive, acknowledge my tweet the other day, where I was praising his mission, products and words), but that is not the point. It does not matter how successful you are, I am sure that it can not be a bad thing to hear something positive from someone who learned from you, or was inspired by you. Spreading a little kindness through expressing gratitude at the end of the year – and throughout the year benefits the receiver as much as the giver. It simply feels good all around.

So these are the questions I have for you this week:

Do you plan your year? Do you make resolutions? If you do, what steps do you take to allow yourself a better chance of success? And, how public do you make these goals and plans?

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

I hope you enjoyed the cookies. I enjoyed your company as always

Much love

Claudia

 

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops

Celebrate The Small Things

Weekend Coffee Share

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursdays 2

No Rules Weekend

 

Disclaimer: The above blog post contains affiliate links.

 

The #1 Writing Tool

Celebrate The Small Things – Writing Edition

This week’s gratitude list includes a lot of things about writing.
First of all, I am grateful that I was able to plan out some blog posts for the next few weeks on topics I am interested in sharing with you. Because I am writing now for three sites (my design blog, my motivation/inspirational blog, and this one), the topics range from staying motivated even when time to follow your dreams are limited, to  some exciting features and interviews with artists and creatives which are writers, print on demand artists or  otherwise interesting people who are putting their creativity out there.
I am grateful that I had a chance to connect with them all and am happy to be of service to them while sharing their talent with the rest of the world.
I am grateful that we are living in the US, where it is okay to express ourselves through our creativity with an amount of freedom that is not granted in many parts of the world. Many bloggers, writers, journalists, and artists are jailed, disappear or were killed for their art. We can express ourselves safely and openly. For that, I am grateful.
I am grateful for the creative writers that work on the television shows that are coming our way this season. We are entertained by their wit, and sometimes depth, as they make us forget for a short while our own lives and emerge ourselves into the lives of their creation. Making television shows “take a village”, and I am awed by their talent.
Oh, and I am grateful that this morning the internet is back on. Had a little problem with the connection but the cable company came out and fixed it. Very grateful for those helpful people!
What are you grateful for this week? I am looking forward to connecting with you – and if you have not joined in with this wonderful group of bloggers, you really should – just simply add yourself to the blog hop list on our hosts – Lexa Cain’s – blog, and we will make sure we will stop by!
Have a great week!
Claudia

Bring Your Style Home

Elderberry – An A To Z Challenge Post

E (1)

E is for Elderberry

A to Z Challenge - E is for Elderberry

Elder (Sumbucus) leaves, bark, roots and berries in their raw condition are poisonous. The culinary use lays in its syrup, which is derived from the berries, as well in creations of jams, jellies, sauces and pies. Eating the cooked berries by themselves is not advised as they are bitter on their own. Elderberry wine is, on the other hand, is quite delicious. The only other edible part of the elder is its white flower blossoms, which can be deep fried, in a light batter.

Matches well with: Jams, jellies, pies, simple flour batters, sweets in general.

Healing Properties: boost the immune system and calms colds and coughs, the flu, as well as tonsillitis. It can also lower cholesterol, and improve vision.

Magical properties: protection against negativity, induces wisdom and is used for house and business blessings.

_________________________

If you are looking for high quality, organic elderberries, check these out: Elder Berries Whole Organic – 1 lb,(Frontier), perfect to make your own syrup.

Here is a video to show you how simple it is to make Elderberry syrup at home:

Workaholic – A Haiku

Image "Ezio" by A. TW http://shrsl.com/?~7hb4

Image “Ezio” by A. TW http://shrsl.com/?~7hb4

overwhelming tasks
lost in the vortex of chores
searching for a break

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Disclaimer: the image is by an artist named A. TW, and it is available at RedBubble, of which I am an affiliate – supporting independent artist, and helping them to reach a wider audience)

 

Book Review: The Miracle Morning – Self-Help Book Experiment Part 2

 

Title: The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (before 8 AM)
Author: Hal Elrod
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Rating: 5/5 Stars

The Miracle Morning - A Book Review

Like I wrote yesterday, I am in the midst of not just reviewing, but also implementing some of the self-help books that are on my desk (or computer).

Currently I am working on “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, and examine if a morning routine change can really change ones live, or at least have a large impact upon it.

But first to the review:

The Promise: To deliver a system, with clear steps on how to change your morning routine in an effective ritual, that will influence your life, and allow you to reach for your goals.

The book actually delivers on that promise. With clear, precise wording and examples, Hal allows you to create an easy to follow morning routine – that is, if you make the decision to commit to getting up earlier, and do the actual exercise. This is not a book for someone who is looking for a quick fix, but it is a book that will shake up your routine, if you let it.

It gives you precise ideas on how getting up earlier is possible, without feeling sleep deprived. It also gives you very clear instructions on how to implement some of the daily steps we all know we should be taking, such as meditation, exercise, affirmations and visualization. Do we usually follow through? No, but he even has a solution to that – accountability via partners (you can find your own, or join his community for free), and a printout routine tracker, which allows you to keep track of your new-found routine.

The Result: I started this challenge this morning (actually last night, as he suggests some preparation-steps to ensure a smooth morning routine), so I can not yet report on the long-term effects. What I can comment on thought is, that his suggestions of affirming a smooth morning, without feeling tired worked for well for me.

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine – Mike Murdock

Beyond this book, I have decided to focus on what other authors and coaches think about morning routines. Those have ranged from the comical (Abraham suggesting to take a nap), to the well structures – Tony Robbins calls the morning routine “The Hour of Power”. I will post and try some of these out – not the nap part.

Which brings me to a question: What is your morning routine like? Do you rush out of the house, or do you take time for meditation and other techniques? What is the most important part of your routine? Until yesterday, I would have answered the last question with coffee, but now I am changing it to accountability.

What’s yours?