From Extraordinary to Beautiful

2017-to-do-list

Some of my regular readers may remember last year when I set goals for the new year. I was going over them with a friend a few weeks ago, and I laughed at them because out of the 12 I had set, I had only completely accomplished a couple of them. I could have easily been discouraged, but I wasn’t. Instead, I found myself in a position to re-evaluate them and see which ones were most important to me. As we approach a new year, I am excited about these new goals I’m setting for myself. Most are extensions of last year’s goals and others are completely new.

H20 Challenge-A friend of mine invited me to participate in a “H20 Challenge” as part of a new fitness program she’s gotten into. The challenge lasted for ten days and asked participants to take their weight in pounds, divide it in half and drink that many ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you would drink 50 ounces of water each day. That said, I know that several health experts recommend eight 8 ounce glasses of water. That sounds great until you realize you barely pause to drink water during your daily routine. So, I accepted my friends challenge and toted a big water bottle with me to work every day. At first, I was struck at how little water I actually drink. But between bathroom trips, I started to realize how much better I felt after drinking more water. I figure it can’t hurt to continue this habit.

reading-challenge-03

Photo from Modern Day Mrs. Darcy blog.

Modern Day Mrs. Darcy Choose Your Own Reading Adventure-Last year I challenged myself to read only the books I already had. Not only that, but I also said I wouldn’t buy any new books until I finished all the books I already owned. I seriously failed at this. My problem is that so many interesting recommendations come up, and I have to read them! While I don’t always purchase them, I do spent a lot of time hunting them down in the library. I’m an avid reader, so I’m putting reading on my list of goals once again. I’m trying Ann Bogel’s Reading for Growth Challenge as outlined on her Modern Day Mrs. Darcy blog. I love the concept of finding a book with “an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending,” and as for a book that’s over 600 pages, I’m hoping to FINALLY tackle Haruki Murakami’s IQ84, which I bought on my Nook a while back. If you have any other suggestions that will help me complete this list, please shoot them my way!

Build an App-As someone who works with kids, I like to know what they’re up to, what interests them, what books they like, what movies they’re watching, what music they’re listening to. I even like to know what they’re learning in school, all for the sake of relating to them better. I recently found out that many middle school youth (and even younger kids) are learning computer programming! I was pretty impressed to see that kids even as young as 8 are learning how to code. That spurred me to log in to code.org and learn a little coding myself. From there, I made an account on Khan Academy and Flatiron School to teach myself how to code. From there, I want to build an app…I don’t know what it will be yet, but I know I want to do it!

Get my Website Up! This past year, it must have been sometime in the spring, I toyed around with getting a professional website up. While I’ve enjoyed blogging here on WordPress, my hope is to combine my two blogs and a few other sections into one website. I don’t have many ideas or details yet, but I’d love to direct people who enjoy my writing to just one virtual address!

Less Facebook, More Wattpad-One of the few20160618_214645-1 goals I actually met last year was finishing
writing a book. Spending more time with pen and paper made me realize how much I love writing. I have a few more projects underway, but there’s one that I really feel good about. Sunday Kind of Love has been coming together nicely. You may remember reading about one of my main characters Vivian, and it’s my hope that I will have a full draft by the end of the year. I’ve learned that something that hinders me in writing is wasting time on social media, so I’m striving to spend less time on Facebook and more time on Wattpad. If you want to follow my progress on Sunday Kind of Love, take a peek at my Wattpad! I’ll be posting excerpts there.

Declutter-This one is pretty self explanatory. I have a bag full of clothes to give away. I’m sure I can fill a few more bags of stuff I no longer need but that can be of use to someone else. It’s just a matter of doing it.

Accept Positive Relationships-People who know me well know that I’m an introvert, and people who know me really well know that sometimes I use that personality trait to back away from both good and bad relationships and interactions. I call it my defense mechanism, something I use to protect myself from getting hurt, but in the process I also miss out on opportunities for growth. My hope is that in 2017 that I’ll be able to make better assessments of people in my life and accept the ones that can build me up. It’s not so bad to admit that you need help from others, and it’s also not so bad to build trust with people who have proven themselves worthy.

Pray More-For Real-It’s not that I don’t make time for prayer. I do. But I feel like my prayer life is lacking in depth. I lose focus easily. I say that I go into Bible studies to “get fed,” but somehow I always tend to do the feeding. I hate the phrase “be intentional,” but I think that’s what I need to do when it comes to my prayer life now. I want to go deeper. I want to have more profound experiences. The phrase I keep getting is that “I want to drown in this.” I want to be completely enveloped in the love of God and know first and foremost that I am loved because I am His child.

Last year, the phrase that stuck with me throughout the year was “Be extraordinary.”  But for 2017, I have something else in mind: Make Something Beautiful. Extraordinary had its time. I learned a lot from aiming big. I wanted to be great. But now I’m seeing that there are things more important than me being great. I’d rather make things beautiful. Beautiful things don’t have to be small. In fact, I think beauty can be found in little things. I spent last year thinking that everything had to be extraordinary, but I didn’t always know how to make things extraordinary. But when it comes to beauty, it’s different. When it comes to making things beautiful, I don’t have to search for how to do it. I already know how.

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