From Planning

2015 Super Simple Intention Setter

Simple Intention Setter Image by Joyful Roots

It’s that time of year again where fresh ideas and a blank slate await! Do you find that wonderfully exciting or does it bring up some feelings of anxiety or down-right dread? For me, it’s a little of both.

This is my second New Year as a mom and with a very mobile toddler running around and little sleep, I’m looking for ways to plan my year and find some focus without making it very complicated. If you want to add some intention to your year but don’t have a ton of time or aren’t really into planning, I’ve created a printable that might help you, the 2015 Super Simple Intention Setter worksheet, which you can download below.

Each year, I start out by picking a word of the year. For good or for bad, I’ve never spent a lot of time choosing a word, but rather went with my gut instinct. Last year my word was “Focus.” This word was pinned to my brain the whole year and I actually managed to gain some focus by the end! While I intended the word to direct me into focusing my business, the word gained another meaning – I learned to better focus on life around me by being more present. Each time I felt my focus was at stake, it was like having a little bird on my shoulder to remind me of my goal.

This year, my word is “Organize.” It’s not the most exciting word but I’m really looking forward to de-cluttering my physical and mental space in order to start becoming better organized and a bit saner. Having a 15-month-old running around can create quite a bit of chaos, so I feel like I’m in great need of creating a little more zen in other parts of my life.

What will your word of the year be? Fill it out in big, bold affirming letters on the free worksheet. If you need help discovering it, Susannah Conway has a great little activity to help you find your word that you can access here.

After I have my word, I like to pick five actionable steps that I can take to live my word to the fullest that year. (Hint: Save your biggest, most bold, most courageous act for the end of the worksheet). These steps help to solidify and guide me by having a simple plan. Of course, as the year goes on, your steps might flux, but I think it helps to have a starting place.

For example, one of my actionable steps is going to be planning out major deadlines and things I want to accomplish in my calendar now, while also setting e-mail notifications so that I can stay on task. What are some actionable steps that you can take to make your word of the year take shape? Write them down.

Now here’s your chance to really push yourself. What’s that one big move that you know would really launch you forward, but you maybe have been holding back? For me, it’s showing my work to art licensing companies. I’ve been meaning to do this for the past two years, but this year I am going to make it happen! I’m writing it down on my worksheet so that it is set in ink and there’s no going back. I said it, so now I have to hold myself accountable! Do you have one big move you know you want to make happen this year? Write it down! Better yet, tell us in the comments for an extra layer of accountability.

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Click here or on the image to download your PDF worksheet 

Happy New Year! I hope you make big dreams happen! What big move do you want to make happen this year? 

Slow Down Strategy: Find a SAFE Word

Kathy Stowell is a certified Simplicity Parenting and Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach turned Mama Bliss Coach. She is also the founder of Mama Bliss Coaching School.
You can find more resources on how to take your first steps to blog for biz here.
Kathy’s a Waldorf mom to two handknits-laden kids and wife to a rockclimbing-obsessed mountain man who looks exactly like Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. She loves triple shot lattes made with copious amounts of organic cream, pretending she’s on Project Runway when sewing on Sunday afternoons, and spooning with her wiener dog under the covers on chilly mornings.

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Take 100% Care

Take 100% Care, Erin Anacker for OMHG Academy of Goodness

Late Monday night, I arrived home for good after traveling to and from my sister’s place (four hours away) over the last four weeks. I didn’t intend to be gone so long, nor did I intend to take that much time off of work. Though, I was able to squeeze in a few days here and a few hours in between, my original plan was to spend just two weeks with my sis and the rest of the time working on my growing business.

Instead, between a (fantastic) design festival I attended in Cleveland, OH and an adorable baby boy who decided start the process of birth just as I summited the pass on my way home, my schedule has been less than predictable.

Our family has always been extremely poised and willing during any major life event. I remember growing up having family friend’s over who were going through a divorce or struggling with a miscarriage. Or spending time playing games with extended family while they grieved the loss of their daughter.

When I found out my sister was pregnant with our family’s first baby (she always does everything first even though she’s my younger sister), I knew I would do anything for her. I already feel that way about her in general but adding a baby to that equation means I feel it that much more.

Spending two weeks with her postpartum was an easy and emphatic, “YES.”

But it wasn’t easy. And it was even harder to spend the better part of four weeks away from my husband, my life, and the business I care so much about.

In times of need, big or small, it’s easy to loose yourself in someone else’s needs. It’s easy to feel guilty for taking time for yourself, tell them when you need it, and actually follow through without cutting it short or cutting it out entirely.

All but a few days, I would wake up and walk to my favorite coffee shop—something I enjoy doing as a part of my morning routine at home. For an hour or two I would hold space for myself. I would listen a podcast or two, observe the houses nestled in the neighborhood, or call a friend from across the country to enjoy the company.

The other day I (finally) got a chance to participate in the #omhg chat on Twitter for the first time. The topic was how to give good and keep ourselves from burning out or becoming embittered.

One thing I shared was that I truly believe generosity starts with you, and I don’t mean that in the traditional sense of “be the change you want to see in the world” (though these concepts are not mutually exclusive). Generosity starts with you in that you must be 100% in order to give 100%. You must put yourself first, no matter how counter intuitive.

If we always put others first without any regard for ourselves, we will run ourselves ragged. Lisa Jacobs shared, “like on the airplane, you have to make sure you’ve put on your own air mask before you can help others.”

How much are we able to do for anyone if we are always sick, hurting, exhausted, and unhappy? Taking care of you teaches others how to respect you and empowers others to care for themselves. It is not selfish, it is strategic.

When you send email at 3am; respond to client fires immediately and often without established boundaries; sacrifice sleep, food, exercise, relationships and your general wellness, you are setting up expectations regardless of what your words have stated.

We must show our children, friends, and clients how we want to be treated and empower them as a strong example of self-respect.

Though being there for my sister was much more than I anticipated, I still made time for me. In taking care of my needs, even in a small ways, I was able to be that much more present, helpful, and gracious with her.

Are you taking 100% care of yourself so you can give to others?

I am designing a course on developing meaningful relationships for the indie designer called Cultivate. One of the principles I am fleshing out is this concept of putting yourself first so that you may better serve others. I invite your thoughtful comments and welcome the opportunity for dialogue.

Meet Erin Anacker | Betwixt

Erin AnackerErin Anacker is a People Enthusiast at Betwixt—a business helping women in design connect with their people. When she’s not thinking too hard, you’ll find her out on the trail, drinking a good latte, or boisterously enjoying the company of friends.

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