No New Years Resolution Here

Happy New Year

I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in years. Nope, not a one. I instead set my yearly goals on my birthday every year.

I do all the things you need to do to set a goal. I asses the past twelve months and the goals that I set. Did I meet them, what kept me from meeting a goal, what worked well, what didn’t. I also do a six month assessment of my goals to see if I’m on track or not. Once I’ve done all that, I decide on my new goals, tweak existing goals, or take a goal to the next level.

I write all my goals down. I actually type them up. Then I hang them up in my work area. Within each goal I have a short term and a long term goal. Some times I put in a stretch goal. Then I have the nuts and bolts on how I will achieve my goal. The nuts and bolts are always expanded once I get into working the goal. They are there as a starting point.

Here is an example of one of my goals.

Goal – Write and Publish Lesson Plans on Teachers Pay Teachers

Short Term – Publish 12 quality lesson plans by Nov 26th

Long Term Goal – Have as a sustainable source of income

Stretch Goal – Publish 20 quality lesson plans by Nov 26th

Nuts and Bolts

A. Devote at least 30 minutes a day to working on lesson plan content

B. Concentrate on lesson plans already developed

My goal is clear, publish 12 lesson plans by November 26th. Also what lesson plans I need to focus on, the ones I’ve already developed. Will I spend more than 30 minutes a day working on this goal? Yes, but giving myself the minimum I need to devote to it is key. There are days when crap hits the fan and I won’t be able to devote 2 hours a day to this goal. But I can always find 30 minutes. The time you devote to your goal doesn’t have to be in one large block. You can break it up through out your day.

My todo list is separate from my goals. Todo’s are the details of what I need to do as I figure out how to achieve my goals.

I whole heartedly believe in goal setting. I don’t think you need to wait until the new year to do it or a birthday. You just need to do it and then stick with them. Believe you can do it and do it now. Don’t wait.

Have you set goals for yourself, personally or professionally?

Follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time.

The POD Dilemma

The Large POD

We have been in the throws of construction for about six months but most of our belongings have been in storage for nine months. Our large POD container was delivered yesterday. We couldn’t open it because in all the construction moving stuff from here to there I lost the combination. We didn’t own a bolt cutter and neither did any of our neighbors. We did buy a bolt cutter today to gain entry to our stuff, but I didn’t open the POD until several hours later. I was having a dilemma over the stuff that it contained.

The last several years I have been decluttering, cleaning and donating but I always had more stuff. I did all the decluttering and cleaning before we moved and put all the stuff in the POD. My dilemma is we’ve lived without all of this stuff for nine months. There have been items that we’ve needed but over all we’ve lived fine without. My question is, do we need most of it? For me the answer is no, but not everything in the POD is mine. I can’t make that decision for the rest of my family.

When I did open the POD I stood and stared at the wall of stuff. I just let the image of it sink in. I only took a few boxes out because they had shifted during transport and had my older son take them inside. As I stood their I took a mindful minute and reflected on what I had read in Marie Kondos’ book. I can only tidy my own belongings, but those around me will see how I find joy in my belongings and they will do the same. That’s what I am going to do. I will only keep the items that bring me joy. I think I’ll be referencing my copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up quite a lot in the coming days and weeks.

I will deal with the box that was brought in when its that categories turn, per the KonMari Method. We will be unloading the POD on Thursday since tomorrow is Christmas. We’ll start in the morning to give us plenty of time. This process won’t be easy and I know frustration will occur but I also know peace of mind will also occur at the end.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the progress.

The wall of stuff

Making things happen

We recently moved in with my father and in that process we got rid of a lot of stuff. Then the first two weeks we were here, we got rid of even more stuff. Then more time went by and we got rid of even more stuff. We donated to local charities and sent other things to the auction house. There is still more stuff to go through. I have been consistently going through all of our belongings in an attempt to organize and get things in there new home. But in this process I’m still donating items and there will be more items in the future.

But what’s got me thinking is the two pods worth of stuff still to be unpacked once the addition is finished. The addition is another story. There is furniture for the boys rooms and other miscellaneous items for the house. My mind keeps going to the “do we need, or want, all those items in the pods?” And I keep thinking, “probably not”.

It seems kind of backwards to me that I want to reduce the amount of things I have but we’re adding about 900 square feet to the house which will end up with stuff. The space were adding is for bedrooms, not just to have more space for stuff. But it does feel a tad counter productive.

I look around and see my belongings and that of my families. Some of the stuff is useful, some meaningful, and other things that are just there. Some of the items will have a home in the addition and are hanging out in an odd spot, but I feel others may be moving on to new homes.

There will be a lot of work going on in the coming months to pear down the things and lots of construction of the new area. But when the addition is ready to move in to I will have to face the pods and all that they hold. I think that will be a true test of what items I want to keep in my life and which items I will bid a fond farewell too.

How do you feel about your space and your belongings in it?

Until next time keep up with me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

What am I up to now

Crazy hat day at school

We’ve made some big life moves in the last several months to get to where we are now. It’s been crazy, stressful but totally worth it.

Several months ago my father asked us if we were willing to move in with him. My mother passed away in July 2018 and living alone with just the dog was lonely.

After much consideration and conversation my husband and I agreed. In really we agreed right away but how we were going to make it happen took a bit to coordinate. We needed to sell our house and build an addition on his. And that’s just the short version of all the things we needed to do.

We moved in over spring break, which has been about a month ago now. Our house is in contract and will be closing soon, fingers crossed. And the plans for the addition will be going to the county this upcoming week. To say that my shoulders are a bit tense would be an understatement. Don’t worry, I’m getting a message this week to release the stress. So there will be room for the new stress.

There is still a lot going on but it’s all worth it. We’re all together as a family. We’re all settling in to our new routines. Our cats still don’t know what to think of the dog but they are getting used to each other.

Updates about the addition build will come over the next several months. It should be an interesting process.

As you can see from the totally serious picture above I’m still working at the school district. The hat, by the way, was a big hit with the kids. Totally worth the purchase.

To keep up with what’s going on follow me on instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time

The Purge

When I was in middle school I read a collection of stories about people who gave up all their worldly possessions to live a simple life. That simple life was in different forms. I remember thinking who in the world would do that? All of their stuff. Only crazy people do that.

Well call me crazy but I’ve been purging a lot of stuff lately. Car loads of stuff to our local charity. And I was reminded of those stories. My life had been taken over by stuff. And most of that stuff didn’t have any meaning for me. The thought of having meaningless stuff just hanging around, weighing  me down, was a horrible feeling. That’s when I started going through everything.

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things and I don’t even miss the stuff. Which I thought I would, but I’m loving the feeling of being free from stuff. A weight has truly been lifted. Believe me I still have a lot of things, but I’m going through them. I have a goal of once a week to make a drop off trip to the charity. The charity also does pickups so I’ll be using that as well.

When I’m deciding if an item will stay or go I ask myself a few questions.

  1. Have I used this lately
  2. Does it give me joy
  3. Is it meaningful

It’s been hard for some items and to be honest, there are items that have made it through a few rounds because I can’t seem to let them go. And there were others that were really easy to say good-bye to. But oh what a feeling of knowing  others will enjoy and benefit from the items. That makes me feel good.

Have any of you gone through this or are currently purging stuff out of your life? I would love to hear about it.

If you’re interested in my daily journey please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Have a great day and see you soon.

Long Time No See

I had this really long post written about all the stuff that has gone on with me over the last several months since I posted last. Then I realized when it came down to it there were only two life things that were big for me. We all celebrated October through December holidays in our own way then came January through May, but two big things in my life that has moved my journey forward. In November I turned forty and in February I officially became debt free. These two events really mean something in my journey. I have been a slave to the norm, work a job, pay bills, be responsible, etc., etc. I knew deep down there was more. I love being creative either through writing, crafts, painting or drawing. Those things enrich my life more than my day job of contributing to the obesity problem ever has. Reaching those mile stones has really opened up possibilities for me that I never considered. Always sometime in the future or that would be nice but. Well hell, but nothing. I am actively now engaging in the realities of creating the life I want. Not settling for the day to day survival. I am actively moving in the direction of change and creating new goals. What are those goals you may ask?

My life goal is to travel and live a full enriched life through creativity and helping others.

How does that look in reality? I’m not sure but I’m figuring it out. Day by day I get more insight into how I am going to be able to live my dreams and reach my goals.

What are you working toward in your life? I challenge you to ask yourself that question. You may be surprised in what you find.

If you’re interested in my daily journey please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall