Weekly Review: Week of January 3rd, 2016

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week! I've spent most of mine cleaning. I seem to have self-sabatoged myself in moving a large amount of storage bins in front of the containers I store my Christmas decorations. Hopefully, the Christmas decor will be down by this week for sure! Hahaha. It's definitely a mixed blessing because the urgency to return the house to normal is sure making me get rid of a lot of stuff I've hoarded the last ten years!

January is all about new beginnings, creation, and fresh starts. Instead of creating the normal resolutions that embrace change and unrealistic goals, I wanted to take a moment, pause, rediscover myself and what I could add to enrich the wonderful like I already have. My goal for this year is to live a more intentional life. I want to fill my time with things and experiences that will last, rather than worry about a goal weight or focusing on things I don't like about myself. 

Genesis 1:1 starts with, "In the beginning, God created..." The first five words of his word are of hope and new beginnings, of great expectations of something wonderful to happen. That is what I want for 2016. I want to create and plan, but also to stop and see his grace in the every day moments. 

This year, instead of 'resolutions' I decided to make a list of goals and an action plan to help me achieve them. I'm a HUGE procrastinator, so by breaking them down into smaller steps I'm not nearly as overwhelmed and willing to just wait until the time is right. For this weekly roundup, I decided to share a few of my new goals and what tools I'm using to realize them! 

1. I want to deepen my walk with God.  

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I've always been spiritual, but my early experiences with church life drove me away. I'm learning to come back to the Lord through prayer and scripture, and one of my goals is to read the entire Bible this year with an open and teachable heart. I've discovered a wonderful and FREE app from the itunes store, simply called 'Holy Bible' from Life.Church. You can download several different versions or switch between them in the middle of scripture. You can highlight and even share verses. My favorite part of the app has to be the 'Plan' section. There are multiple devotionals and study plans you can download (also for FREE!) that tracks your progress. I'm currently working through a 30 Day Version of My Utmost for His Highest as well as the Solid Life Reading Plan that takes the reader through the entire Bible in a year. For the first time in my entire life, I've read scripture every day for three weeks straight.  

 

2. Personal Development

I spend a lot of time in the car almost every day either listening to the radio or a playlist on my phone. What if I took one of those driving hours and listened to something educational? It requires absolutely no habit change, and there are so many free podcasts available on just about any topic imaginable- from money to entreprenuership to science! Each week, I deliberately choose a podcast, audio biography, or a classical music arrangement and substitute it in for my normal music thirty minutes to an hour at least 3 or 4 times a week. I have loved this change so far- it's been so motivating and my productivity levels are definitely higher on a day I've listened to a podcast.  

3. Gratitude

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I want to begin each day with a thankful heart, so I've devoted a page in my bullet journal for a daily gratitude list. Every morning, before I allow myself to check my e-mail, Facebook, or Instagram I write down two things I'm grateful for from the previous day. These may range from 'big' things like a beautiful day to ride outside to little moments like the warmth of a cup of tea. Psalm 138 says, "I will give you thanks with all my heart; I will sing your praise before the heavenly beings." It's a lovely reminder of just how blessed our lives are, and also reminds me to slow down and thank Him first instead of always asking. 

These are just a few of the goals I've made for 2016, and I'm really excited about seeing them grow and change! What goals have you made for 2016 and how do you plan to achieve them?

In other news:

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  • I've been reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and I definitely recommend it for anyone with big dreams, even if they're not artsy or creative. I love his views of procrastination and getting started on new projects.  
  • My horse, Cassie, has been exceptionally good this week. We've pretty much had the barn to ourselves this week while everyone else is at a show, so I was able to rearrange the trail course and set up some exercises to improve many of the little things we struggle with at shows. This week has been about softening, since I tend to hold a lot of tension in my body while I ride. It's been a really productive week! 
  • Does anyone else watch the television show, Scorpion? It's so outrageous, but I love it! I try to keep my tv time to a minimum, but does has anyone seen any other new shows they'd recommend? I'm definitely looking forward to the return of The X-Files at the end of the month!