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The Beginning and End of Everything

Love is a crazy thing. Something that is so powerful that it can make you feel weak in the knees is also so consuming that it can feel like the beginning and end of everything. When you’ve fallen in love with “The One” cliché’s like soulmate or love of my life come to mind and it doesn’t even matter that they are overstated, because for you they are truer than true.

One of my favorite books is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m a sucker for the Jazz age mixed with a love so consuming that it shakes Gatsby’s entire world up. I always thought, I want a love like that. If you’re familiar with the story, you might be a bit confused so let me explain a bit. I didn’t want the one-sided, affair ridden love story, but I wanted a love with someone who truly was the beginning and end of everything for me. I wanted a love story where my best friend and I had it all, and lucky me, I got it!

I got the kind of love story where my best friend and I get to play house every day, make each other smile, keep each other company, cheer each other on, and always be each other’s biggest fan. I got the kind of love story where no matter what happens – the good or the bad – I know he’s got my back and we’ll get through it. I’ve got the kind of love story that ends with “…and they lived happily ever after.” Life really began when I met him, and it’ll never end as long as his heart is mine.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, so I’ve created a new print for my shop that I hope will be a hit with all the lovers out there. It’s perfect for both the new lovers planning their wedding and the rest of their lives together, or the old lovers who have already created a life together and get to wake up each morning to reconfirm that love. This beautiful print – available as an instant download or professionally printed – will add the perfect touch to your wedding design or your home decor. Heck, get it for your wedding, and then use it afterward in your home!

The Beginning and End of Everything Literary Quote Poster:

The Beginning and End of Everything.

This poster prints on fade resistant 19pt Savoy Cotton archival paper with archival ink. It is available in multiple sizes. It is also available for customization. Choose colors that match your special day or your home decor. Get it here now. If you would like this delivered as a PDF document to print at home or take to your local print shop instead, visit this link.

 

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Friday Faves // January 22nd ’16

I’m trying to remember exactly where this week went. It flew by! Having an extra day off this past weekend really shortened things up. I had every intention of adding a blog post each day this week. I even had them all planned and written – I just needed to add pictures and links – but the time just disappeared. Little Vanellope’s had a hard time gaining weight, so I’ve spent a lot of time with her trying to get her eating more. Who knew that this whole breastfeeding thing could be so tough. Luckily though, we are a good team, and we’re working really hard! We ended up deciding to jump right into the Whole30 this week to hopefully help production. IT’s apparently really helpful for us mamas, especially those of us with thyroid functioning problems and PCOS.  So far, we’ve noticed a couple tiny challenges, but for the most part, I’m loving it, and we hardly notice much difference. I’ll share more about this adventure soon. This weekend we are planning to watch the big football games. Since the Bears are out of the running, I’ll be cheering on the Broncos (mostly because they aren’t the Patriots), but first, here are my Friday Faves…

My Friday Faves:

This pork roast recipe that I found on Epicurious

Friday Faves: Porchetta Pork Roast

Every Pregnant Woman Should Get a Doula according to Broadly

Friday Faves: Every Pregnant Woman Should Get A Doula

The Dream a Little Gleam of Me Heel by Betsey Johnson via ModCloth

Friday Faves: Dream a Little Gleam of Me Heel

An incredible DIY Confetti Shirt from Kelly on Studio DIY

Friday Faves: DIY Confetti Shirt

I take absolutely no credit for any of the images within this post. All credit is given to the respective sites I borrowed them from.

What about you; will you be watching football this weekend? Who will you be cheering for? Or will you be working on any special projects? Tell me all about them in the comments! Or even better, do you have a link from the web this week that has you feeling all the good feelings? Go ahead and leave the link in the comments for me, and I’ll check it out. If I love it, maybe I’ll include it in next week’s Friday Faves post!

 

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One Little Word: Mindfulness

This year is no different from years past in that I will once again be participating in the ongoing trend of choosing a guiding word for my year ahead. The One Little Word trend was started by Ali Edwards and it seems to grow and grow each year. I love it because it gives me a direction to go or a focus to have. This year is no different. I have once again chosen one little word to live by this year.

My One Little Word

This year, I didn’t actually think on my choice for long at all. I normally compile an enormous list and slowly whittle it down over the course of several weeks until I finally have one little word. It usually involves lots of research into the true definitions of many of those words on the list and completely over thinking the entire process. However, this year was different. The word hit me, and I couldn’t think of anything else. It seemed too perfect! This year my one little word is:

One Little Word 2016: Mindfulness

Why Mindfulness?

The concept behind mindfulness is simple, I will do all things with mindfulness.

This year I will be more mindful in all areas of my life. I hope to pay more attention to all the things going on in my life. I will be more present in the moment and stop focusing so much on the next thing. I want to enjoy this time as a new mother, as a business owner, as a wife, and as a woman. I will be aware of my actions, my thoughts, and my feelings. I will be working hard to detach myself from negative thoughts, and be positive.

Being Mindful in My Daily Life

When I set my 2016 goals I kept my one little word in mind. My goals include things like taking daily walks, stopping to read each day, taking time to read to Vanellope, eating together as a family, taking a few minutes to pick up the messes I make, and creating something every day. These goals will help me to become more mindful. Several of my other goals require mindfulness in order to accomplish. I will need to be mindful to work toward my fitness goals, make sure that I accomplish my no sugar challenge and my water challenge, end the year in the black, make handmade gifts, keep our houseplants alive, and declutter my life.

I’m so excited to once again have one little word to strive by for the year. Are you participating in the one little word challenge? Leave me a comment telling me what your one little word is for 2016.

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Breaking Bad Habits in 21 Days

New Year’s Eve came and went, and here you are, two weeks later, feeling like maybe you should have set a resolution or some goals or something for the new year. When you think about it all though, you aren’t really sure where to start. If you are anything like most of us, you’ll end up forgetting what it even was that needed changing this year before you can even say, “Valentine’s Day.” Breaking bad habits might be the hardest, but it can be done.

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. If it takes 21 days to make a habit, I bet you could break a habit in 21 days as well. After all, breaking a habit simply means making a habit of doing the exact opposite of your habit in the first place.

Breaking Bad Habits in 21 Days!

Steps to Breaking Bad Habits in 21 Days

If you really want to break a bad habit – say, staying up too late – it really isn’t as hard as you think. In fact you can do it, and here’s how:

  1. Decide on the habit you want to break
  2. Decide on the habit you want to replace it with
  3. Determine why you want to break the habit
  4. Determine when you will begin breaking the habit
  5. Determine your habit breaking deadline (three weeks from when you begin your journey)
  6. Make note of distractions that could detour you from breaking your habit
  7. Decide on a reward for breaking your habit
  8. Break the habit!

Breaking Bad Habits in 21 Days worksheet

Printable Breaking Bad Habits Worksheet

I’ve created a free printable for you. Click on the image below and print it as many times as you would like. This is for personal use only, so please don’t replicate it or sell it as your own. Put it up in a spot where you’ll see it each day, and break those bad habits!

Breaking Bad Habits: Free Printable

 

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Dedicated: My One Little Word 2015 Review

There is a pretty good chance that if you have had any connection to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in the past several years, then you have at least heard of the growing trend to choose One Little Word at the beginning of each New Year to use as a guide throughout the year. For the past few years I have participated in this little ritual with increasing success. Last year, the word I chose was Dedicated, and despite a rough year, I feel like I remained as dedicated as I could to many parts of my life.

Dedicated - One Little Word 2015Dedicated: Wholly committed to a particular course of thought or action; devoted. Committed to a cause, ideal, or personal goal.

I suspected that 2015 would be a year of great changes in my life – both personal and business related. I was certainly right! This past year I dedicated myself to fulfilling as many of my goals as I was still able to. I dedicated myself to remaining calm and nurturing for the little one growing inside my belly. I dedicated myself to ensuring that my customers and clients had a great experience when they came to me for products. I dedicated myself to learning what it would take to become the best mama/business owner that I could be.

Due to dedication, I was able to grow my business by 500%, improve my relationship with my hubs (not that it was ever bad), pursue clients that I wanted to work with, learn to be flexible when things were constantly changing around me, ensure my present remained more important than the past, accomplish all that I could, and challenging myself beyond what I ever would have imagined.

2015 was the year in which I became fully dedicated to living the life I have always wanted to live. Moving forward I know that this past year will continue to have an impact on my life. I will continue to dedicate myself to the goals I want to achieve and the plans I have in the future. Dedicate will continue to pop up over and over in my life. As I move into 2016 and beyond, I will strive to remain dedicated to all the new adventures before me.

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Friday Faves // January 15th ’16

It’s two weeks into January 2016 already? That’s just crazy to me! I don’t know about you, but I’m totally feeling like I’m going to rock it so hard this year! I mean, holy cow, I’ve posted EVERY. DAY. THIS. WEEK! Right now between baby snuggles from the cutest baby girl I’ve ever seen, I’ve been re-listing items in my Etsy shop, setting my 2016 goals, getting a major head start on my taxes (can I get a what what!), and planning out new packaging for the new year. I’ve made a few small updates to my site as you may have noticed, but I’m gearing up to make some big ones very soon. Oh, and I’m working on round two of 30 days without sugar! To celebrate all this progress, I think I might stay in my pajamas all weekend, but first, here are my Friday Faves…

My Friday Faves:

22 Reasons You Should Always Have Champagne in Your Fridge via MyDomaine

Friday Faves: 22 Reasons You Should Always Have Champagne in Your Fridge

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body via The Cosmic Dancer on Facebook

Friday Faves: How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

The 1 Second Everyday App via the Apple App store

Critter of the Month via Creativebug

Friday Faves: Critter of the month via creativebug

MMXVI – Year of Yes via Tara Victoria

Friday Faves: Year of Yes
I take absolutely no credit for any of the images within this post. All credit is given to the respective sites I borrowed them from. The video, however, is mine.

Maybe I’ll add “drink champagne” and “knit a bear” to my weekend to-do list!

What about you; do you have any big plans? Tell me all about them in the comments! Or even better, do you have a link from the web this week that has you feeling all the good feelings? Go ahead and leave the link in the comments for me, and I’ll check it out. If I love it, maybe I’ll include it in next week’s Friday Faves post!

 

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Currently {A Blog Series}

I’d like to create a permanent series out of this “Current” post. I am not yet sure how often I want to write a current post, but plan to see several of them as time goes on. I also fell like the currents won’t always be the same. Maybe next time I’ll talk about what I’m currently cooking, or what I’m currently wearing. I feel like they are a great way to share a bit more about myself with you. Yes, I’m a wedding designer living in Utah with a brand new baby girl, a husband and our two dogs, but there is so much more about me that I would love you to know. Hopefully my current posts will become a big tool in sharing with you.

Currently January 14th

Currently Eating:

Each year (okay, we only started last year) the Mr and I take a break from sugar for thirty days. Currently we are in the middle of the challenge again. Last year we started after we got home from vacation, but this year we began on the 2nd of January. Why not the 1st? Well, obviously the first is still a holiday! We cut out all sugar in any form. This includes even things like honey and juice concentrate. Believe it or not, this is really hard! It’s not hard because we are addicted to sugar – it’s hard because for some reason sugar is IN EVERYTHING! The best part about working our butts off to stay away from sugar, is the way that we feel when those thirty days are up. Maybe I can’t speak for him, but I feel accomplished, healthier, and I have a lot more energy.

Currently Drinking:

As part of my no sugar challenge, I am only drinking water and things made with water. Coffee and tea count. I’m also cheating a bit by drinking milk at night. For some reason I have a really hard time swallowing pills with water. It’s totally psychological, but I must have something thicker to wash it out of my throat. Since I’m still taking prenatals and a few other vitamins, this can’t be avoided. At least it’s skim milk though, right?

Currently Reading:

I’m all about self-improvement, so it comes as no surprise that the majority of books on my reading list this year are all about self-improvement. As one of my 2016 goals is to read every single day, I have a feeling that I’ll make it through my list pretty quickly. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is first on the list. So far I am finding it pretty interesting. His back story at least pulled me in, but I’ll have to give it a bit longer before I can tell you if I really like the book or not. You should know that I am not the type of person that continues to read a book once I consider it unreadable or unlikable.

Currently Watching:

I’m not usually one to enjoy political shows, so it’s a bit odd that I have agreed to binge watch VEEP with my hubs. It’s a political comedy about the Vice President. We caught up on a bunch of other shows that we like to watch, and we are waiting for new episodes to come out, so in the meantime, we had to find something else to watch at night when we are winding down. So far, it’s not terrible, and there have been a few good laughs, so I might end up liking it.

Currently Creating:

Last year I didn’t create very many new items for my Etsy shop after February. I was too busy creating a beautiful baby girl instead. So this year, I am working to create lots of new items. I’ll primarily be working on wedding items such as invitations and decorations, but every once in a while you might catch something else in there. Right now I’m working on a few new printable ideas.

What are you currently eating, drinking, reading, watching, or creating? Leave me a comment telling me all about it, or if you would like, tell me about a different current in your life!

 

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Wedding Etiquette: Address The Invitations

The dress is bought, the venue is reserved, and your invitations are stunning! It’s eight weeks before your big day, you’ve put on your “bride” t-shirt, and you’ve filled up your favorite “bride” coffee mug with fresh coffee which is actually more milk and sugar than it is coffee, but who’s really keeping track!?  You’ve got your favorite pens – you know, the ones that write really smoothly and make your handwriting look like a goddess wrote it – and your mama’s address book is open to the letter A. But what next? Isn’t there some sort of wedding etiquette for addressing the invitations?

Wedding Etiquette: Address the Invitations - Married Couple

Wedding Etiquette: When to Drift From Tradition and When to Not

Throughout your wedding planning,  you’ve probably come to discover that there is plenty of wedding etiquette that you can overlook. These days it is acceptable for guests to sit anywhere instead of choosing a “side.” Many couples now have a DJ in place of a live band. And it’s actually thought to be pretty cool when couples do a honeymoon registry instead of asking for a bunch of traditional stuff that they will never use. Generally speaking, in most areas of wedding etiquette, anything goes these days. However, there are a few areas of wedding planning that you really should stick to tradition within. Addressing the invitations is one of those pesky areas.

With that said, it can be a pretty daunting task to address all of those invitations, not to mention, a pain in the … wrist! I mean, after all, that’s a lot of writing! So, what’s a gal to do? Well, you can either hire someone to do it all for you, which might come with a price tag, but also comes with peace of mind, or you can google “wedding etiquette” really quick and reference this post.

Wedding Etiquette: Address the Invitations - Unmarried

Some Good Things to Know

Before we get to the details of wedding etiquette when it comes to invitations, I wanted to share a few key things you’ll want to know.

  • Traditionally both inner and outer envelopes are used, but this is one area where it is okay to stray away from tradition. When both envelopes are used, the outer envelope gives the mail service the information it needs to get the invitation delivered, while the inner envelope tells your guests exactly who is invited. If you are forgoing the 2 envelope tradition, it is acceptable to address the outer envelope as you would have addressed the inner envelope.
  • The male’s name usually comes first unless the female outranks the male. Examples of this would be for commissioned officers, doctors, or judges. It can also be acceptable to put the names in alphabetical order, but you don’t see this very often.
  • If you cannot fit both names on one line, put the second name on a new line and put the “and” on the second line just before the second name.
  • Guests over 18 should always receive their own invitation even if they still live at hoe with their parents. Don’t include them on their parents invitation.

Wedding Etiquette: Address the Invitations - The Doctors

Wedding Etiquette: Address the Invitations

Below you will find a list of nearly all the situations you will run into while addressing those invitations. It is highly suggested that you hand-write your envelopes for your invitations. If that is just not possible, you can either hire someone to write them for you, beg, plead, and/or trade your bestie, or if all else fails, you can print directly to the envelopes. It is traditionally considered tacky to do this, but many people will overlook that, especially the younger generations. Whatever you do though, please for the love of all things beautiful and lovely and wedding, please do not print labels and stick them on your envelopes! Although, labels can be used on the back flap with your return address or labels can be applied to your RSVP envelopes with your return address.

Click on the image below to open it in a new tab and print it as a PDF document. I truly hope that you will find it very helpful in addressing any wedding etiquette concerns that you may have. Now refill that coffee cup with a fresh brew and get to work!

Wedding Etiquette: Address the Invitations

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Setting My 2016 Goals

Yesterday I opened up to you about the 22 goals I didn’t achieve in 2015, and I told you that I would be setting my 2016 goals and sharing them with you soon. I set goals instead of resolutions because I feel like goals are organic and ever-changing. At any time if I change my perspective, I can change my goals and not feel as though I have failed. Goals are my encouraging friend not my cranky boss that forces me to work on things I am no longer interested in.

Setting My 2016 Goals

My 5-10-20 Plan

Generally, my yearly goals are influenced greatly by what I call my 5-10-20 plan. I have this vision of what I hope my life will be like in five years, ten years, and in twenty years. Using my goal planner – that you can get from my shop here – I think about my long-term goals, and then I come up with smaller yearly goals that will get me to those long-term goals. Then each month I create smaller goals that will get me to my yearly goals. Each quarter I review my yearly goals and reflect on whether I still feel that they are important to my big picture, or my 5-10-20 plan. If not, I change them.

Setting My 2016 Goals

Setting my 2016 goals was a little different for me than my yearly goal setting has been in the past. I still feel like most of the goals I had last year apply to where I want to go from here. I had the greatest reason for putting those goals on hold last year, and I am still very excited about accomplishing them now that I am feeling and doing better.

When I sat down this year to determine what my 2016 goals would be, I took a good look at the goals I didn’t accomplish last year. I modified a few of them, I got rid of a few of them, and I kept a few of them as is. I found it really helpful as usual to reflect on my goals using my goal planner, and then I developed a plan for 2016.

My 2016 Goals

  1. Run a 5K in under 30 minutes. Eventually I want to run a half-marathon because my physical therapist told me after my surgery that I would not be able to do that. I want to prove to myself that I can!
  2. Accomplish 5 fitness challenges as a means to regain my health.
  3. Consume produce from our own successful garden. Last year we were able to do this, however, due to the hot conditions early in the season, we only had a few crops that made it.
  4. Print and organize pictures into photo albums from 2008 to present.
  5. Finally get around to printing an album of our wedding pictures as well as a few for our walls.
  6. Create handmade gifts for birthdays and Christmas.
  7. Write 180 blog posts. – that’s an average of one every other day.
  8. Create 15 videos for my blog.
  9. Read every single day.
  10. Take a walk every single day either outside or on our treadmill.
  11. Eat at the table as a family every single day.
  12. Read to Vanellope every single day.
  13. Record a 1 second video using this app every single day.
  14. Finish my annual no sugar for 30 days challenge.
  15. Finish the Whole30 challenge.
  16. Drink nothing but water for 30 consecutive days.
  17. Make something each business day.
  18. End the year with my business in the black. – After only two years in business, I was SOOOO close this year!
  19. Complete 30 more home projects big or small.
  20. Try 30 new recipes.
  21. Complete Vanellope’s crochet blanket.
  22. Make 200 sales this year – last year I made a little over 100. I’d like to double that!
  23. continue to keep our houseplants alive. Last year I had a goal to buy and keep alive three. We now have five, and they are all still alive!
  24. Finish 7 days to a decluttered world and 7 days to a decluttered digital world through Mayi’s Life is Messy Bootcamp.
  25. Read and work through 15 courses from the Multi-Passionate Must Haves bundle.
  26. Convert my office into a play room.
  27. Make and stick with a household budget.
  28. Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to pick up any messes and do the dishes so that the house remains clean enough to have guests come by unannounced.

Setting My 2016 Goals

Don’t Set Them and Forget Them

For me it is never enough to simply set my goals and hope to remember them. I actually write them into my planner as well. That way I have a constant reminder to work on the goals that I set. I even go as far as scheduling time to work on them. For instance, I have a time set aside each Monday to work on blog posts. I have a time set aside each Tuesday to work on classes that will enrich my business. I’ve even printed out multiple copies of a  worksheet created by Elise Blaha Cripe to keep track of my daily goals. Check it out! I love it! When you make your goals a priority, they become a lot easier to carry out.

Have you set any 2016 goals? I’d love to hear about them! Leave me a comment telling me what goals you are working on.

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22 Goals I Didn’t Achieve in 2015

It’s no secret that I don’t believe in resolutions. Waiting for January 1st to give things up or cut things out of my life overnight seems like a silly way to live. I think New Years Resolutions are for bullies! Instead, each year I set goals that I would like to accomplish in a year’s time. Last year, I set thirty of them to meet in a years time, and there were 22 goals I didn’t achieve in 2015.22 Goals I Didn't Achieve in 2015

One thing that I love about goal setting, as opposed to New Year’s Resolutions, is that goals are flexible and ever-changing. We are constantly faced with forks in the road, stormy weather, and the unexpected. Each change within our life poses an opportunity to learn and grow in ways we may not have foreseen when we originally set our goals. Goals aren’t a boss that you hate because they run your life. No! Goals are your friend that encourages you to do everything your heart desires, a happy person, and to enjoy your life!

The Great Shift

On March 12, 2015 I was on track to complete most, if not all, of the thirty goals I had set for myself, but then my entire life changed in an enormous and most wonderful way. That morning everything that I thought I knew about my life and about how I would be living it for the year went straight out the window when I took a pregnancy test, and it came back positive.  Talk about an emotional day! That day everything shifted.

Now you may say, getting pregnant shouldn’t change your expectations or that having kids shouldn’t take away your goals. You should still aim for them. And to that, I completely agree, but in my case, the pregnancy made it difficult to complete my goals in time that I had allowed myself – one year. r me a crazy fast curveball, and I simply had to change my perspective. After all, it’s a little difficult to train for a 5K when you’re camped out by the porcelain throne from nausea or purge your wardrobe when instead you’re buying new maternity clothes! I had to plan to do what I could, and realize that the rest could wait a little while.

The 22 Goals I Didn’t Accomplish

Out of my 30 goals, I actually completed 8 of them. That left 22 goals unfinished. Now, some of those 22 goals weren’t completely untouched. I did make some headway, but I chose to rest when I needed to rest and not push myself harder than I needed to as I was already a high risk pregnancy. The goals I did not accomplish are the following:

  1. Run a 5K in under 30 minutes
  2. Conquer the 30 day plank challenge, 30 day ab challenge, 30 day squat challenge, & 30 day strong arms challenge.
  3. Eat 30 different types of food from my garden
  4. Finally finish painting each room in our home
  5. Print and organize all of my photos into photo albums
  6. Finally figure out how to apply false eyelashes and wear them often.
  7. Move for at least 30 minutes per day
  8. Go wireless-free for an entire day, 30 times this year.
  9. Paint a canvas no smaller than 3’X3’
  10. Create 30 handmade gifts
  11. Create 30 videos for the blog
  12. Write 300 blog posts with solid content
  13. 30 Consecutive days of yoga
  14. Read at least one book every 30 days
  15. Purge my wardrobe of anything that no longer represents me.
  16. Visit 30 new places (local or not)
  17. Fill and display 30 photo frames in our home with something other than the creepy strangers that are currently staring at us.
  18. Take a weekly photo of the Mr and I
  19. Create at least 300 granny squares to make a blanket out of.
  20. Consistently work out 3 times per week.
  21. Complete the 7 days to a de-cluttered world and 7 days to a de-cluttered digital world that Mayi walks me through in her Life Is Messy Bootcamp (which I highly suggest participating in!)
  22. Work through the 30 courses within the Multi-Passionate-Must-Haves that has courses, ebooks, and all sorts of other amazing things from awesome women like April Bowles-Olin, Mayi, and more!

 22 Goals I Didn't Achieve in 2015Changing Things Up

As part of the goal planner that I use – and sell here in my shop – I use both a quarterly and a yearly goal review. With the quarterly review, I offer an area for revising your yearly goals because I believe goals are organic and ever-changing as you change. While reviewing my goals, there are several questions I ask myself in order to determine whether to change my goals or leave them be. Recently, I went over my 22 goals I didn’t achieve in 2015 and decided to change some of them, while also leaving some of them as is for the upcoming year of 2016. I’ll be sharing these altered goals very soon.

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