Diana Kerr »

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To be honest, I struggled a bit with being pregnant and then having a baby. (Duh. Don’t we all. Let me explain more specifically what I mean.)

There’s so much of the process that seems kind of vain or overcomplicated. I know I might confuse people or ruffle feathers by saying that, but I mean, think of how many babies in the world don’t even have their own room, and here in the U.S. a lot of us obsess over Pinterest-perfect nurseries.

While there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with crafting a lovely nursery for your little one, I also know I’m the kind of person who can overdo things like that, and I didn’t want to get too caught up in the things that don’t really matter for eternity.

In full transparency, I definitely pinned photos on Pinterest. Like any good middle class, twenty-something, married woman, I’ve been pinning baby stuff for years, way before I was pregnant. But I spent a surprisingly small amount of time “designing” or putting together Harrington’s nursery.

So, the point of this post isn’t to show you a designer nursery or for these photos to go viral on Pinterest or for you to applaud me for a totes cute nursery, because it is nice but nothing extraordinary. This post is more so for the woman who wants a sweet space to bring her baby home to that 1) is simple, minimal, and uncomplicated, 2) is budget-friendly, and 3) keeps a heaven perspective in mind. :) I also don’t want to sound prideful about creating a cheap, minimal nursery, so please don’t take it that way. I simply want to share some helpful ideas! :)

 

All photos by Michelle Kujawski Photography. If you happen to use Michelle for photos, mention the Kerrs and she’ll give you a free $35 credit toward prints. :)

 

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More photos below this section if you keep scrolling!

9 ways we created a budget-friendly, heaven-focused, simple, minimal nursery: 

  1. Opted to exclude most items that are cute but not essential. We passed on a crib skirt, mobile, cute laundry basket, etc. (Our laundry chute is in the bathroom right next to the nursery, so we don’t have a laundry basket in the room.)
  2. Kept the color scheme super neutral. This made it easy because we didn’t have to match specific colors! Our paint color was literally no color–it is the white gallon of paint they start with at the hardware store before you get it mixed with other colors. Also, I love neutral colors and feel more joyful and calm with less color. I knew that as more toys and kid stuff ended up in the room over the years that there’d be plenty of color, so I wasn’t worried about it being too stark! There are lots of cozy textures in the room so it feels homey to me despite the minimal color.
  3. Repurposed items we already had. We already had the curtains, giant plant, and side table, and shifted some items around in our home to make those part of the nursery.
  4. Bought a dresser from Craiglist. Our mid-century modern dresser was $125 from Craigslist, and we honestly didn’t even spend much time looking. (Sometimes thrift shopping can be super time-consuming, which almost makes the good bargain not as good.) Kyle searched “midcentury modern dresser” on Craigslist once a day and found it within a few days. You’ve gotta let go of some things as a pregnant mama so you don’t go nuts, so I told Kyle when he went to check it out to buy it if he liked it. He made a good decision! The dresser is a little beat-up and we decided to live with it. It’s a kid’s room, not a shrine. (The changing pad covers the big stain anyway.)
  5. Registered for as much of the decor as possible. The mattress pad, mattress, crib sheets, dresser lamp, baskets for books and blankets, rug, and even rug pad were all on our registry and purchased by family and friends. We had some other items on there that didn’t get purchased that we used mostly gift cards to purchase. (Curious about what we registered for? I tried to keep our registry as simple and practical as possible, and family + friends really honored that! Not knowing the gender probably helped our cause. Here’s everything on our registries from Target and Amazon, for as long as they’ll still be available online! Feel free to steal ideas!)
  6. Splurged strategically. I knew with rheumatoid arthritis that I wanted a rocking chair that my joints would feel good in, and our gray linen glider/recliner is incredible. It was $288 with our Amazon registry completion discount, and while we were a little unsure about spending the money, we are now so so glad we got it. I love the design and it’s insanely comfy, especially for tall people like us. :) Our other splurge was on the Keekaroo Peanut Changer. $100 is more than most changing pads, but multiple friends said they love theirs and we figured a little extra money was worth the investment for the ease of clean-up! Another purchase we are soooo thankful we made!
  7. Hung up a couple photo ledges instead of a gallery wall. I’ve got one gallery wall in my home and I still break out in hives thinking about that process of trying to figure out how to arrange all those frames and pieces of art. To keep things easier in our minimal nursery, I decided on a couple photo ledges so we can easily change things out over the years.
  8. Kept the diaper stuff in the top drawer of the dresser. It reduces visual clutter and made for one less basket to have to buy. I can fit enough diapers to last a week, plus wipes, butt paste, essential oils, etc. all in that top right dresser drawer and it works out great!
  9. Chose faith-based gifts we received as the art for the room. The canvas was a gift from my sister, the wooden shell was carved by Harrington’s grandpa and was used to baptize him, the Scripture print is a gift from a coaching client, and the “Jesus Loves Me” is from Harrington’s great grandparents. I know these things don’t mean anything to Harrington yet, but they have kept me focused on Jesus during countless hours of nursing.

Sources for the items in the nursery listed below these photos!

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Where things are from in our minimal nursery: 

  • Paint color: Behr Ultra Pure White from Home Depot
  • Crib: Walmart
  • Crib sheets: Target (discontinued)
  • Dresser: Craiglist
  • Floor lamp: Target
  • Dresser lamp: Target
  • Copper wire basket: Target
  • Wicker basket for books: Target
  • Glider/recliner: Amazon
  • Picture ledges: Target
  • Picture frames: Target
  • Rug: Target
  • Rug pad: Target
  • Curtains: World Market (discontinued)
  • Side table: World Market (discontinued)
  • Plant: Home Depot (only $40 a few years ago!) // Basket: TJ Maxx ($20 a few years ago)
  • Keekaroo Peanut Changer: Amazon
  • Moroccan pouf: Etsy (Our specific one is no longer available, but search leather Moroccan unstuffed pouf on Etsy and you’ll find a ton of options! We bought an unstuffed one to save money and stuffed it with old T-Shirts we no longer wear–haha!)
  • Calligraphy canvas: Made by my sister’s friend Maya

Other items in the room and items we intentionally chose for Harrington are on our registries: Target // Amazon

Friend, my prayer is that this post encourages you that you don’t have to stress about motherhood or get caught up in the consumerism game even though that’s the norm. Our homes can be a sanctuary without being a temple where we worship the idol of perfectionism. Keep things simple, work with what you’ve got, and give God the glory as you design the home your family lives in.

For more encouragement + practical tips on living a life focused on what matters most, join me in my email family! I’ll send you a free workbook about time as a thank-you gift. :)

 

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  • July 22, 2017 - 10:40 pm

    Abby Reynolds - I love the uncluttered look and simplicity for all the reasons you mentioned. Very nice and well-done. The only thing I’d do different is a splash of color on the wall. Something earth tone, very light and soothing. Just so it doesn’t cross the line between simple and peaceful to sterile-looking. When yiu have barely there decor it can be a little hospital looking to me but thats just a mattsr of taste
    Now that I think more I’d just do ONE wall in a light tan very light gray or an offset light touch of color to give a splash of life but not overwhelming. Also look nice and tie the gray chair in more nicely without losing you minimal clean look.
    Maybe above the crib to offset the words on the photo. Also, undoubtedly you’ll get stains with kiddos and nothING stays white when you have a toddler with dirty little hands. Plus dust etc it’s too white for me on the walls but I love the warm touches in the plant and the ottoman. Nice! Great job! And good reasoningReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2017 - 5:33 pm

    Miss Celia Redmond - It’s Celia one of your bold intentional life course clients. I’m enjoying looking at your pictures of your lovely baby and nursery Godbless you alls.XxReplyCancel

Probably one of the biggest downfalls of annual goals is that a year is a long time.

If you’re disciplined enough to actually take the time to set goals,  that’s still not enough! You’ve got to actually check in on your goals frequently and plan ways to take action. (That’s why I keep my PowerSheets out in front of me at all times.)

For the first time ever, I decided to publish a mid-year goal check-in on my annual goals. I wanted to put myself through the process of reflecting on the good and the bad, realign my direction for the next six months, and show you behind the scenes of my not-so-perfect, yet still intentional, life.

Click here to start by reading my 2017 goals post for details on how I choose my annual goals and an explanation of each goal below.

You’ll see that each goal fits into a category. (Or more than one category!) I have a number of categories I brainstorm goals for, but then never choose more than one goal per category. This book was my inspiration for that, and I’ve loved this approach the past few years!

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Photo: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

 

1 | Faith:

Commune with God throughout each day.

Counting the fruit:

  • Nursing Harrington gave me lots of opportunities for time with the Lord. I certainly didn’t always make the best choice with that time, but I did use a significant amount of it for prayer, Bible reading, Bible listening, and other Christian reading.
  • I established a habit of praying while I walk with Harrington to rock him to sleep. (Now he falls asleep on his own! I will need to find a new opportunity to add in prayer; I really cherished that time, even in the middle of the night!)
  • I made a little prayer box with note cards of people and things to pray for. (Still need to work on using it a bit more!)
  • God led me to decide that my pumping time on my work days would be exclusively for him. No phone, no reading other books, just my Bible, devotion book, gratitude journal, and prayer box.
  • I’ve prayed almost every day for the past 4 months since Harrington was born for daily manna and for an eternal focus. I cannot tell you how much praying for daily manna–enough grace, peace, patience, strength, and joy–for that one day has changed motherhood for me.
  • We are listening to more Christian music in our home and I try to sing Harrington songs about heaven.
  • Still listening to lots of sermons. These are my two favorites: 1 // 2
  • Gina Zeidler shared a great Spotify playlist with me called Christian Dance Party. Fantabulous. I can’t think of a better way to combine 2 things I love: Jesus + dance parties.
  • Overall, I think about God more. I am very aware of his presence throughout the day. I talk about him more too. I can’t really measure this, but I can tell something’s different.

Areas for growth + ideas for action over the next 6 months:

  • Choose a specific habit that I want to include in my daily communion with God and focus on that for 1-2 months until it’s natural.
  • Reread the chapter in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality that talks about daily communion with the Lord–this is where I first came across this concept!
  • Keep exploring different genres of Christian music to find various styles of music I can worship to throughout the day. (I’d love your suggestions!)
  • Finish reading The Practice of the Presence of God.
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LOVE having these lyrics from Hillsong United’s song Oceans on Harrington’s wall. We spend a lot of time in there nursing! Photo: Michelle Kujawski Photography

2 | People:

Love people the way Jesus would and without expectations.

Counting the fruit:

  • I’ve read some books about grace, marriage, etc. to encourage and teach me. I especially recommend this book on marriage.
  • I’m reading my New Morning Mercies devotional super consistently, which connects me every day to my need for grace and the beauty of the grace given me.
  • God gave me the idea to focus outside myself during my maternity leave and make an effort each week to do at least one thing to bless someone else. I loved having that as a weekly goal!
  • Motherhood has helped me be less hard on myself, which has also helped me be less hard on others. I’ve noticed an overall softening of my heart, although I still have so much room for improvement.
  • I’ve prioritized relationships more than ever before, and don’t see them as as much of an inconvenience as I sometimes used to. It sounds so horrendous to type that out, but if you’re a driven, task-oriented person like me, I know you know what I mean.

Areas for growth + ideas for action over the next 6 months:

  • Repent more often of my sin so I remember my own imperfection and need for grace.
  • Pray about any ill feelings I’m hanging onto about anyone.
  • Ask the people closest to me how I can love them better.
  • Talk to my therapist about specific areas where I’m struggling to love well.

 

3 | Health + Rest + Emotional well-being + Home + Motherhood:

Prioritize sleep for both baby and me.

Counting the fruit:

  • I’ve learned how to take solid naps in as little as 25 minutes! :) Woohoo!
  • I’ve taken a nap more days than not since Harrington was born, even on my work days since I went back to work. :) Even though I’m pretty task-oriented, I have still given myself a nap when I could use one!
  • I accepted help from others and even asked for help so that I could fit naps in. (If you’re like me, asking for help is not easy, but it was worth it!)
  • One nap a day, even in the very early stages of motherhood, was enough to make me feel awake and joyful. I rarely experienced that zombie exhaustion feeling that I was so nervous about!
  • Although Harrington did not like to sleep much when he was born (only 10-12 hours per 24-hour period, even as a newborn), he started sleeping 9 hours at night as early as 2 months and now at 4 months sleeps through the night most nights. As of this week, he’s also getting the hang of self-soothing so he can go down for a nap or for bed awake and fall asleep on his own. (I am definitely not taking full credit for this, but rather counting it as a blessing from God! I know sleep training efforts are not foolproof.)
  • Reading a few books on sleep and asking for advice from other moms I’m close to blessed me with valuable information to help Harrington sleep better.
  • Aside from the first month, Kyle’s sleep has barely been impacted by having a baby, and I’m not bitter about that; I’m thankful! Even if he could have gotten up at night to feed Harrington, I would have still been awake. I’m thankful he could usually sleep through the noise.
  • I’ve made progress on goals to help me wind down before bed so I can sleep well.

Areas for growth + ideas for action over the next 6 months:

  • Read a book or two to learn more about adult sleep and how I can continue to improve my ability to sleep restfully for the hours I’m in bed each night.
  • Keep taking naps whenever I want to, especially on Sunday Sabbath days.
  • Pray for humility in the seasons when Harrington’s sleeping well that I don’t take the credit, and pray for peace and patience in the seasons when he regresses.
  • Implement an evening routine for me.
  • Implement more of a bedtime routine for Harrington.
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Michelle Kujawski Photography

4 | Growth:

Cultivate joyful, helpful thoughts.

Counting the fruit:

  • Everything related to goal 1 (communing with God) has certainly helped with this goal!
  • Kyle has been fantastic since Harrington was born at helping me to stay positive and focus on the good. I have learned that my joy in motherhood is dependent much more on my perspective and my attitude than on my circumstances, which is good news when I’m scrubbing poop stains out of baby clothes for the second time in a day. ;)
  • I chose a natural birthing method called Hypnobabies which focused heavily on having a positive mindset for birth. I learned a lot through that program about how powerful God made our minds! (Thankfully, the creator of Hypnobabies is a Christian, so even though the program doesn’t have a Christian focus, it wasn’t a bunch of woo-woo junk.)
  • I’ve continued my gratitude journal practice even after having the life adjustment of a baby.
  • Overall, God has given me an incredible ability to be positive and joyful in motherhood. It is far more about him than anything I’ve done. I can’t even describe it. (Maybe it’s the oxytocin?) I have felt much more joy and positivity in motherhood than I expected, and I don’t take that for granted. I know that is God working in me!

Areas for growth + ideas for action over the next 6 months:

  • I’ve wanted to read a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian neuroscientist, for years. I think I always put it off because I know it’s a book I will have to take action on if I actually want to change the thought patterns in my brain. I would love to finally do that in the second half of this year!
  • Get back to memorizing Scripture and writing it in my gratitude journal.
  • Share good things with Kyle and ask him to share good things with me!
  • Maybe add a section to my monthly goals posts where I “count the fruit” and rejoice in the goodness of the past month?

 

5 | Business:

Grow engaged email list of ideal clients.

Counting the fruit:

  • I completed this low-priced tripwire product as a way to engage and teach my current audience as well as expand it. (I tried running Facebook ads to this sales page but haven’t yet found a way to not lose too much money!)
  • My email list has slowly grown over the past few months, even during my maternity leave, although I certainly want the growth to be higher.
  • There were women on my email list who wanted to sign up for my group coaching program.
  • All of you in my email family have been so encouraging and wonderful as always! I seriously LOVE you guys.

Not on my email list yet? You’re missing out on a lot of good stuff! Join here and get a free workbook as my gift to you.

Areas for growth + ideas for action over the next 6 months:

  • Start running Facebook ads to my free workbook.
  • Update the copy on my landing page for my free workbook and split test it.
  • Continue providing value and great tips through Facebook Live. Invite viewers to join my email family.
  • Keep sending out high-value weekly emails to my email family.
  • Do a big giveaway on the blog.
  • Incorporate more CTAs in my blog posts, emails, social media posts, etc.

 

6 | General:

Choose BOLD simplicity and focus.

Oh boy, there are a lot of things I could share about this! Maybe I’ll write a separate blog post on specific ways I’ve simplified my life and pursued a focused life/business this year, as well as ways I’d still like to improve. Would that be valuable? Comment and let me know!

Well, that wraps up my mid-year goal check-in! It was so helpful celebrating God’s goodness and the wins of the past 6 months, as well as brainstorming ideas for improvement!

Want some help with your own goals + accomplishing what matters most? I’ve got just the thing! ;)

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  • July 9, 2017 - 7:18 am

    Marilyn Davis - Looking forward to creating and accomplishing my goals.ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2017 - 11:41 am

      Diana Kerr - Marilyn, my prayers, hugs, and high 5s go out to you! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2017 - 8:03 am

    Kyla Fetzner - I so appreciate the intentionality you place behind each goal, Diana! These aren’t just tasks, they are investments in your wellbeing and the legacy of your family! :)ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2017 - 11:42 am

      Diana Kerr - Aww, Kyla, you are always so sweet. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2017 - 11:29 am

    Allison - Wow. Your words are amazing. I am working through my Powersheets now and saw this link in the Facebook group. My potential goals and your goals are quite different, but I loved reading yours! It definitely inspired me. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2017 - 11:43 am

      Diana Kerr - God’s blessings on your goals, Allison! I agree–it’s fun to read others’ goals, not in spite of our differences, but BECAUSE of them! xoReplyCancel

To be honest, I wanted to get this post up right on July 1, but this happened.

I am still learning how to live in the tension of getting things done without letting my goals and to-do list turn me into a crab. (More on this in this video–it’s a few minutes in!)

Don’t get me wrong; God has brought me sooooo far. But I’m still a work in progress.

What my continual growth in this area means is that I’m finally becoming okay with not accomplishing all my goals for a month. Because the goal of my life is not to check off a bunch of goals; it’s to live with and live for God. To the best of my ability at the beginning of each month, I set goals that I think will help me do that. However, unexpected circumstances usually mean that those goals cannot all get accomplished without me sacrificing my joy or my intimacy with the Lord. In other words, I’m willing to not achieve all my goals as long as the end result glorifies God.

Before I share my July goals, here’s how I did in June!

Please note there are some affiliate links in this post. Your purchases support our Giving Back initiative! 

JUNE GOALS RECAP

1. Launch Bold, Intentional Life

2. Clean up and reorganize my shared documents with my assistant Michelle

3. Implement the Profit First system in my business

Val Woerner’s blog post about her most life-changing books mentioned the book Profit First and it has changed my life!

4. Clean out photos + negatives

90% done. Just need to drop some negatives in the mail to have them scanned!

Weekly goals:

Goal: Do each of these at least 3/4 weeks

1. Do something for someone else

2. Eat an average of 2,450 calories/day or less

3. Take a true Sunday Sabbath

Daily goals:

1. Track my food in FitBit Goal: 20 days, Actual: 22

2. Keep screen unlocks on my phone to 50 or less Goal: 20 days, Actual: 23

3. Rest or take a nap Goal: 15 days, Actual: 20

4. Pray for daily manna + for a bold, eternal focus on life | Goal: 20 days, Actual: 26

5. Go above and beyond to intentionally show love, service, or respect to Kyle Goal: 15 days, Actual: 22

6. Exercise | Goal: 10 days, Actual: 10

7. Turn + keep my phone on airplane mode after 8 pm Goal: 10 days, Actual: 11

Books I finished:

I started a few other books that I stopped reading partway through. They just weren’t serving me in this season so I didn’t want to spend my time on them!

Nothing to Prove

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

Now, here are my July goals!

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JULY GOALS

1. Start running Facebook ads to my free opt-in offer

2. Complete Simplify Your Life with Trello course

3. Complete The Curated Closet process

Here is how I feel about caring about the clothes I wear.

4. Cultivate joy in our home by putting up at least 10 new photos

Weekly goals:

Goal: Do each of these at least 3/4 weeks

1. Spend 90+ minutes organizing work documents

You guys, I’ve set a monthly goal multiple times to get my work documents organized, and I’ve never finished. I usually don’t even make that much progress because 1) It’s so daunting and 2) Just about everything else seems more important. However, disorganized documents are getting in the way of my VA and I stewarding our work time well, so it’s gotta happen. We’ve changed our system for how we organize docs, so it’s time to fully implement and update where things are stored. I FINALLY got smart and changed this goal (duh), by making it more specific (90 minutes) and more doable (a weekly goal versus monthly).

2. Eat an average of 2,400 calories/day or less

I’ve been convicted lately of the wastefulness of eating more than I need to in order to fuel my body. Tracking what I eat has been eye-opening and has also made me less likely to eat when I don’t actually need to.

3. Plan an intentional way to love on or connect with Kyle

4. Do a Facebook Live

Facebook Live recordings are available from the past couple months!

5. Simplify or streamline an area of my business or personal life

Trying to make more of a measurable effort to live out my 2 words of the year!

6. Take a true Sunday Sabbath

To me, this means a full day of no email, no work, no social media, no errands, minimal phone + computer time, and very minimal household productivity. It’s a day of church and rest for our family, because Jesus’ death gives us the ability to chill out and stop thinking that things will fall apart if we’re not productive 24/7.

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Lately our favorite Sunday Sabbaths have consisted of hanging out on our new patio Kyle built, drinking a Moscow Mule, and playing Yahtzee :)

Daily goals:

1. Pray on my knees Goal: 20 days

Still praying for daily manna + for a bold, eternal focus on life like I have been for the past few months, as this has been transforming!

2. Drink salt water Goal: 20 days

Most Americans are sodium deficient, including Kyle and me! So yes, I literally put pink salt in about an ounce of water and drink it down each morning. This is a simple habit I can improve upon to keep my energy high.

3. Avoid dark chocolate before 4 pm Goal: 20 days

I mean, it’s not like I’ve been eating chocolate at lunch lately… Okay, I have.

4. Exercise Goal: 12 days

I’ve been doing lots of walking, but for this goal, I’m only counting running, elliptical, strength training, etc. to encourage me to get back into more challenging exercise.

5. Keep opens on my texting app to less than 20 for the day. | Goal: 20 days

Tracking this with the QualityTime app!

6. Wind down and keep phone on airplane mode after 8 pm | Goal: 15 days

This ties in with my #1 health goal for 2017.

7. Track my food in FitBit Goal: 20 days

 

Okay, go-getter friend, now I want to hear from you! Tell me your goals for July! If you posted them on your blog, please share the link below so I can check them out and cheer you on! Questions about goal setting? Post those below as well!

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  • July 22, 2017 - 10:54 pm

    Abby - Try the auto-text auto reply app (there’s a few but it has a blue icon and I think it’s just called auto text reply something pretty basic). It will send auto reply messages to people letting them know you won’t be looking at your phone until after 8pm. I was struggling with phone time and then downloaded this. It took the urge away to check my phone worried someone may think I’m ignoring them or work / clients expecting a quick reply. I just feel a sense of relief when I know that it’s on. I also then put it away in a cupboard out of sight. And my phone checks drastically changed. And you can set it to automatically turn on certain days certain times with changing custom message depending on days. Mine is set from 4pm-8:30pm on weekdays, (my evenings with my child) and let’s people know I won’t be looking at my phone until after 830 as I’m enjoying intentional family time and I encourage them to unplug and enjoy their evening too!ReplyCancel

    • July 24, 2017 - 11:19 am

      Diana Kerr - That’s a fantastic idea, Abby! Thanks! You sound like a really intentional woman! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 21, 2017 - 6:47 pm

    H - I’m confused as to what you mean by “most Americans are sodium deficient.” We eat a notoriously high-sodium diet in our country. (See: https://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/sodium_qanda.pdf) Is there some other mineral you are trying to increase? I don’t mean to be nit-picky, and I do realize this wasn’t the point of your post, but that statement shocked me when most people try so hard to limit dietary sodium!ReplyCancel

    • July 24, 2017 - 11:22 am

      Diana Kerr - Great question! I’m glad you asked. It’s a huge misconception that I believed for many years because we’re all told salt’s bad, right?! So I’m totally not an expert, but I’ll try to sort of explain what I’ve read and what my nutritionist has told me: REAL, mineral-rich salt (not the junky table salt we usually eat) is actually really good for you, and most of us are very mineral deficient. Your body’s sodium levels are not necessarily determined by how much salt you’re taking in but often by your adrenal function. Dr. Wilson is my nutritionist’s go-to source on mineral information, and here’s what he has to say about salt: http://www.drlwilson.com/ARTICLES/SALT.htmReplyCancel

  • July 4, 2017 - 2:06 pm

    Em - I love that family photo! Always encouraged reading your goals, friend!ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2017 - 11:48 am

      Diana Kerr - Thanks, dear! Likewise! ;) You have been one of my fave monthly goals bloggers since waaaay back. :)ReplyCancel

I had these thoughts as I was on a walk with my son Harrington last week, so I started speaking them out loud and recording them on my phone because they felt weighty and important. I am passionate about these words. My neighbors who overheard me throughout my walk probably thought I was insane (if they didn’t already think that), but I was willing to take that risk for your sake, my friends. ;)

I wanted to share these words with you. If you’re not a driven, Type A person like me, you might not get this. Maybe you don’t know what it’s like to have your to-do list suck some of the joy out of your life, or what it’s like to realize you’ve turned your to-do list into an idol. Maybe you don’t feel tempted to measure the success of the day by how much gets checked off your list.

If you can’t relate, that’s wonderful.

But I know from experience and from working with my clients, that a lot of you can relate, so I wrote this for you. I can relate and still do. God’s brought me so, so far, but I will likely always be a fairly task-oriented person by nature.

Friends, let’s remember this: Our fight is not ultimately against to-do lists. It’s against the devil. The to-do list is a tool he tries to use against us (and sadly a tool that we sinful humans sometimes use against ourselves). I’m fighting back against that. You with me?

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Photo: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

 

The to-do list battle cry

I will not let my to-do list define my worth. I will not let it drown out God’s truth about my identity.

I will not open my planner to consult my to-do list religiously and yet open my Bible scarcely.

I will not allow my to-do list steal my joy.

I will not let my to-do list control me. It’s an inanimate object. It’s not even a real thing. It cannot actually control me.

I will not let my to-do list knock Jesus off the throne in my heart, to put my list above him.

I will not use my to-do list to accomplish things for the purpose of earning myself glory, praise, a pat on the back, or a “like” on Instagram.

I will not relegate my daily time with the Lord to something I complete simply so I can get it crossed off of my to-do list.

I will not fix my eyes on my to-do list more than I fix my eyes on the Author of my salvation and the Creator of heaven and earth.

 

I will use my to-do list as a tool to advance God’s kingdom. I will use my to-do list to make Jesus famous—to make him known and admired.

I will find my true satisfaction in the One who said, “It is finished,” rather than in my ability to get to the end of the day and say “My list is finished.”

I will brag to people about how good my God is, not how long my list is.

I will allow God to redeem not just me, not just my sin but also my to-do list, my calendar, my agenda. I will rise and greet the day with open hands of surrender, asking God to help me accept his plans and divine appointments for my day, instead of waking up and telling God the plans that I have for the day that I expect him to bless.

I will find rest at the foot of the cross and at the sight of the empty grave, in the God who took my burden on himself and gifted me rest—including rest from to-do lists—as a sacred gift.

I will cling to the truth that if Jesus has defeated sin, death, and the devil, then a to-do list is certainly nothing to be afraid of and nothing that can control me.

 

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  • June 29, 2017 - 10:13 am

    Robin Revis Pyke - Thank you for sharing! I love the To Do List Battle Cry! yes, I am a Type A working on a shorter To Do list and a more balanced life. I plan on sharing a link to your article in my July newsletter! Great share!

    Best,
    RobinReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2017 - 11:49 am

      Diana Kerr - That’s awesome, Robin! Forward the email to me–I’d love to see your newsletter! <3ReplyCancel

  • June 21, 2017 - 1:51 pm

    Celia Redmond - I’ve just read the recent blog on the too do lists it sounds interesting.XReplyCancel

I’m finishing up this post a little late because I launched my group coaching program today and that was my #1 priority! :) Enrollment is open only until June 15–click here to learn more. :)

Also, my assistant Michelle just had her baby girl! She surprised us all and is here a few weeks early. Check out her newborn cuteness over here on Facebook.

In the midst of all this, I expected to be frazzled and really busy, but God is using motherhood to redeem my high standards and my use of time. Also, I’ve gotta give a shout-out to systems (You all know how much I LOVE systems), because they have made all these transitions and such very, very smooth.

Before I share my June goals, here’s how I did in May! Like I shared in my May goals post, I wasn’t going to worry too much about accomplishing all these things, and I didn’t. I soaked up the last month of maternity leave and feel great about it. :)

Please note there are some affiliate links in this post. Your purchases support our Giving Back initiative! 

MAY GOALS RECAP

1. Fill out my weekly routine workbook and create a new weekly routine for when I go back to work

If you want to purchase this workbook, click here to buy my to-do list guide, and then you’ll have a chance to buy the workbook when you complete your order!

2. Donate blood at the Blood Center nearby

3. Finish and publish Harrington’s birth story on the blog 

Read Harrington’s birth story here.

4. Schedule thermography appointment for Kyle and me

5. Finish prayer box

6. Create a new workout routine

7. Figure out next steps for gathering some friends who want to encourage each other to live their faith boldly

8. Keep non-paleo food to no more than 30 items

9. Watch Idealust’s Facebook and Instagram ads course

10. Delegate advance tasks for my Bold, Intentional Life group coaching program to my VA by May 24

Weekly goals:

Goal: Do each of these at least 3/4 weeks

1. Take video of Harry

2. Take a true Sunday Sabbath

3. Do something for someone else

4. Spend no more than 90 minutes on social media

5. Take a photo of Harry with Kyle, me, or others

6. Eat an average of 2,500 calories/day or less 

7. Use my vitamin D lamp

Daily goals:

Goal: 17/25 days (since I didn’t start officially tracking these in my PowerSheets till May 6th :))

1. Pray for daily manna, boldness in my faith, and an eternal focus

2. Keep screen unlocks on my phone to 50 or less 

3. Track food in FitBit

4. Rest or take a nap

5. Achieve my daily step goal 

6. Find a way to intentionally love/respect/serve Kyle

7. Write in my gratitude journal

Books I finished:

Living Well, Spending Less

Chasing Slow

Profit First

Now, here are my June goals!

PinIT

Photo: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

JUNE GOALS

1. Launch Bold, Intentional Life

2. Clean up and reorganize my shared documents with my assistant Michelle

3. Implement the Profit First system in my business

Val Woerner’s blog post about her most life-changing books mentioned the book Profit First and it has changed my life!

4. Clean out photos + negatives

Most are already saved digitally, so I’m probably going to toss most of them. Is that a mistake? Please tell me your thoughts on this friends. I honestly never ever ever go through those boxes of photos; having them digitally has been waaay more useful. :)

Weekly goals:

Goal: Do each of these at least 3/4 weeks

1. Do something for someone else

I began adding this to my PowerSheets as one of my maternity leave goals after Harrington was born as  a way to not be too inwardly-focused, and I love having this on my weekly goals list. It’s not like I never did anything for anyone before having this goal, but seeing it over and over reminds me to think creatively about how I can be a blessing to others with the time and resources God’s entrusted me with.

2. Eat an average of 2,450 calories/day or less

I’ve been convicted lately of the wastefulness of eating more than I need to in order to fuel my body. Tracking what I eat has been eye-opening and has also made me less likely to eat when I don’t actually need to.

3. Take a true Sunday Sabbath

To me, this means a full day of no email, no work, no social media, no errands, minimal phone + computer time, and very minimal household productivity. It’s a day of church and rest for our family, because Jesus’ death gives us the ability to chill out and stop thinking that things will fall apart if we’re not productive 24/7.

PinIT

Lots of family time on Kyle’s boat + my parent’s boat is in the plans now that Harrington fits in his life jacket! He was on a boat 3 times last weekend. :) We’re maybe a little overeager. Also, I love that this life jacket goes down to his knees! :D 

Daily goals:

1. Track my food in FitBit Goal: 20 days

2. Keep screen unlocks on my phone to 50 or less Goal: 20 days

This is not as easy as you’d think! Try the QualityTime or Moment app to track your phone use and you’ll be shocked!

3. Rest or take a nap Goal: 15 days

This ties in with my #1 health goal for 2017.

4. Pray for daily manna + for a bold, eternal focus on life | Goal: 20 days

5. Go above and beyond to intentionally show love, service, or respect to Kyle Goal: 15 days

6. Exercise | Goal: 10 days

I’ve been doing lots of walking, but for this goal, I’m only counting running, elliptical, strength training, etc. to encourage me to get back into more challenging exercise.

7. Turn + keep my phone on airplane mode after 8 pm Goal: 10 days

To be honest, I’m struggling a little with phone boundaries after maternity leave. I temporarily lost some of my good habits surrounding phone use. This goal is a small step in the right direction, and is not just good for my mental health and my presence with my family, but my ability to fall asleep quickly when I go to bed. :)

Now I want to hear from you! Tell me your goals for June! If you posted them on your blog, please share the link below so I can check them out and cheer you on! Questions about goal setting? Post those below as well!

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