Friday, January 1, 2016


I don't like the whole concept of New Year's resolutions.  I mean, I get it.  I know that people see it as as a fresh start, a chance to be a different you.  To many people, they see the end of the calendar as a chance to be a new person.  It is as if everything that happened before now is gone.  What happened before January 1st, 2016, never happened.  It is the year 2016.  Blank slate.  New me.

It may be a fresh start but it isn't a start over.  This year I will not be making New Year's resolutions.
If I was, here is what they would be:

1. Have a clean house every night before I go to bed.
2. Read through my Bible in a year.
3. Run at least 20 miles a week so I can run a half marathon in under an hour in the half Ironman relay this May.
4. Drink only 2 Cokes a week.
5. Have both of my boys tucked in for the night by 8:30.

None of these resolutions individually are outside of the realm of possibility.  However, I am pretty sure that, to accomplish all of these, I would need to be 3 people, I think.  I may be able to do these for a couple months if I worked really hard at it.  But somewhere in the midst of resolving to make these happen, I will lose myself.  Something would have to give.  For all of these things to happen, I would have to let go of other things that I love-time with my boys, sleep, caffeine, confidence, reality, and sanity.

Instead, I resolve to see the new year in a different way.  For me, it will just be a turned page.  All that I have written before with my life is still there.  The mistakes I have made, the milestones I have reached, the people I have hurt, the people I have reached, the times I have been lazy, the times I have overcome, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  None of it went away.  It is not a new chapter either.  It is just the turn of a page.  Another new day.  So from my heart to yours, HAPPY NEW DAY, my friends!

Instead of resolutions, I have created goals.  My goals are within the realm of  possibility.  None of them say "every day no matter what."  They are not destinations to reach, but things to reach for.  There is no opportunity to be hard on myself, lose confidence in my abilities, or feel like a failure.  They are just things I would like to focus on as I move into the new year.  So here  goes!  This year I plan to...
  1. Be more positive and content with the here and now.  Those of you who know me well, or have read my blog recently, know that I have desires to move my life in a different direction.  Instead of focusing on where I want to go, I want to focus on where I am.  I love my life, right here and now.  Truly, I do.  I have my family and that is all I need.  Sometimes I am so focused on the fact that I am not where I am going, that I forget how good I have it NOW.  I would like to be content with the place God has me, now, while I look forward to where I hope I can be down the road.
  2. Read and reflect on AT LEAST one Bible verse a day.  I think that almost every year since I first accepted Christ into my life, I have made my "New Year's resolution" either to read the whole Bible in a year, or to have a "Quiet Time" every day.  It didn't take too long to fall short of that resolution, which led me to feel like a "bad Christian."  That  whole "bad Christian" stuff is a lie from the devil, but creating and failing in my "resolution" played a part in me believing it.  I plan on spending much more time in the Word than I did last year, but reflecting on one verse a  day at the  will do wonders for my spiritual walk.
  3. Make prayer a priority.
  4. Perform at least one intentional act of service per day for my family.
  5. Spend quality time with each of my boys individually so they each feel wholly loved.
  6. Read one new book and one old book to my boys every day.  We do a lot of reading in this house.  Shea loves to read books.  However, he memorizes books VERY QUICKLY and has favorites that he wants to read over  and over again.  After trying to make room for new toys after Christmas, I realized we have a TON of books that we have never read to the boys.  So I plan on reading a new book every day to the boys before reading a book they have heard hundreds of times.
  7. Work on my areas of weakness-forgetfullness, lack of focus, distractability, and absent-mindedness.
  8. Be more accepting of my shortcomings.  I have a bad habit of beating myself up when I make a mistake.  I am even critical of myself when I do things out of my control.  Sometimes my medications or epilepsy cause me to say the wrong words, or forget what I am doing or talking about.  When I feel my mistakes are affecting other people, I let it get to me much more than I should.  I need to learn to shake things off and move on.
  9. Complete at least one custom creative project, and one personal creative project per month.  Recently, I have been doing so many custom projects that I have not been able to complete any of the ideas floating around in my head for either my family, my online store (that I have closed temporarily due to the abundance of custom orders), or myself.
  10. Train to run the WHOLE half marathon running portion of my leg of the Half Ironman.  At one point of my life, running WAS my life.  But that feels like a whole lifetime ago.  I ran competitively all the way up through college.  However, running hasn't really been much a part of my life anymore since Shea was born.  At the beginning of this school year, I was asked to complete the running portion of a relay half marathon race.  It is taking place in May and  I am just now getting back into running.  I don't have any time goal, but I do want to aim for running the whole race.
  11. Drink less Coke than last year.  I have never even TRIED to stop drinking Cokes.  I know there is no way I could do that.  I love me a good glass or  bottle of Coke...mmmmm.  But I know they are not good for me.  So this year, I plan to drink less Coke than I did last year.  
  12. Be more  organized.  I just wrote a whole blog post about this.  Go read it if you feel like it.  I thought it was pretty exciting.
  13. Document my accomplishments. I think writing down my accomplishments will make me feel more positive and confident and proud.  I am going to do so in Milo...don't know who Milo is?  Go see.
  14. Take better pictures of my work.  Believe it or not, those who don't know me or haven't known me for long, I once had a photography business.  I was pretty good at it.  I loved it.  But now I love a lot of things much more than I love taking pictures.  But I know from experience that taking good pictures of the things that I make will make a huge difference in the amount of sales that I make.  I have been skipping this step and taking pictures with my phone because I am too excited to take the extra step of taking good pictures to show off what I make.  I just take a quick snap with my phone and post it.  And oftentimes I have to write below it that it is even cooler in person than in the picture, or the colors are different in person.  I know I could sell much more if I had high-quality pictures to show the products just as my clients will see them.  Like these pictures that Lorie took of some of my blankets that are still
  15. Have one month where my profit from my creative endeavors equals at least half of my teaching salary.  This is quite a lofty goal.  But my last goal is how I am going to get there.
  16. Increase social media presence.  Some of you may not like this idea.  Some of my friends and my family may be a little tired of seeing my blog posts and pictures and crocheted blankets and quilts.  I get it.  However, if you are, now would be a good time to unfriend me.  My feelings won't be hurt.  But count on more of it in the coming year.  I am not doing all of these posts to make myself look better or to show off.   If that is the way it is coming across, I am  sorry.  But this is all just what it will take to get me from where I am to where I want to be.  My dream is to be able to make my side job into my job-job.  To get there, I have to put myself out there as much as possible.  So please be patient with me.  If, on the other hand, you like what you see, share it with all of your Facebook friends.  Pin my pictures on Pinterest.  Re-tweet my tweets.  Tag people on my Instagram pictures.  Make me busy.   Here is what last year looked like and what I want this year to look like.  And as I said before, these aren't resolutions, just goals to aim for. 
  • Pinterest was my biggest area of growth.  Without focusing on gaining Pinterest followers, I somehow have 4,000 Pinterest followers.  Let me get this straight.  This does not mean that many people like my work, just that they like what I am pinning (it probably helps that I have 7300 pins, oops, don't judge).  For that reason, please pin and re-pin the pictures that you like from my blog.  The more you pin, the more people see what I make.  
    • My goal is to increase my followers from 4000 to 10,000 by the end of the year.
  • Facebook is where I get the most blog traffic from.  Most of my posts are read because one of you clicked on the link on my Facebook page.  If you know someone who would like my post or something I made, share the link with them or tag them in the post.  The more the merrier.  My Scrap Stash Studio Facebook page is something I have neglected.  I will update it more frequently this year.  When I do, I hope to go from 82 page  likes to at least 500 this year.
  • I really hope to focus a lot on my blog this year.  I love to write and share my life with family, friends, and strangers.  My goal (not my resolution) is to write at least 3 posts per week.  I hope somewhere along the way I learn how to monetize my blog, but that isn't a must.  
  • There are two common themes in the top five posts on my blog.  I connected with people.  And I was real.  I think that is what people are interested in reading.  So this year I plan to make connections and be real.

HAPPY NEW DAY, my friends!
What are your GOALS or RESOLUTIONS for 2016?

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