Diana Kerr »

This post originally appeared on the Time of Grace blog.

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Moms, let’s all admit that we’re good at the busy mom martyrdom game. We love to play the victim of our circumstances.

I suggest you avoid asking me about our family’s schedule anywhere between May through September each year, because I will likely whine/subtly brag about how we have 12 weddings to attend and how nearly every weekend is booked and how I have soooo little time for myself or my own little family. If I’m honest, there is sin—both pride and discontent—woven into my feelings.

Moms, I’m calling you out, myself included.

Let’s stop making excuses, playing victim, and believing half-truths about our busyness.

Let’s take accountability for the fact that we are not helpless.

Here are a few time management myths I want to shatter for you:

Time management myth #1: I can do it faster myself. 

When you’re in the habit of rushing, it seems necessary to do everything yourself. If you let your preschooler put her shoes on herself, it will take an extra four minutes, and you’re already running late. If you ask your husband to help out with dinner, it’ll take you time anyway because you’ll have to answer his questions about it. Why not just do it yourself?

For a one-time situation, this might make sense. However, for things you do over and over (which, as a mom, is a lot of stuff—anyone else feel like they’re living in that 90s movie Groundhog Day?), it makes sense to let others help.

Hear me: You’re probably going to have to invest some time up front to teach your family how to do things, or allow for things to go a bit more slowly, but the less you personally have to be involved in to keep your home running and your children alive, the better! Let’s be honest—you’ll still be needed and not even close to replaceable. (As in, your puking kid will still choose to wake you in the middle of the night, not your husband.)

Time management myth #2: Saying no to an outside obligation means I’m letting people down. 

I’ve coached tons of incredible women in my life-coaching business who are major self-admitted people pleasers. This isn’t necessarily horrible—God made women to care about others and relationships. It’s why we slave over a homemade birthday gift for someone instead of just buying a case of beer like a man would do.

Part of our problem is believing the myth that we’re letting people down when we say no.

In fact, you’re letting people down when you say yes.

Whoa, paradigm shift.

What do I mean?

When you say yes to that extra project at work, that seventh volunteer commitment at church, etc., you’re saying no to other things, and particularly to the people who matter most to you—your own immediate family. 

Related post: People-pleasing doesn’t make you a good Christian

Time management myth #3: My days should be balanced. 

Women strive for balance because, ultimately, they want to feel better about their lives. Unfortunately, striving for balance often just makes us feel more stressed out and like more of a failure!

Most of your days and weeks won’t be balanced, so give it up, friend.

Now exhale deeply at how good it feels to have that burden lifted off your shoulders.

If you singled out any one day in my life or even a week, it would probably look off-balance. You might see that I spent 11 hours working (Tuesdays) or that I barely did anything productive at all (Sabbath Sundays). By definition, that’s unbalanced.

Let’s focus instead on the large, overarching picture of our lives, because in every day, week, and even season, we will probably be off-balance in some way. 

What does this do? Like I said, it removes some of that heavy pressure you’ve been carrying. For example, you can stop deeming yourself a failure if you don’t cram every important thing into each 24-hour period: exercise, quality time with your husband and kids, an hour of quiet time with the Lord, a full workday, 8 hours of sleep, interaction with friends, cleaning, and time to cook a homemade meal. (Oh, and the bento boxes for your kids’ lunches. Definitely need to make those Disney-shaped sandwiches you saw on Pinterest.)

Busy moms, some parting words: Loosen your grip. Allow yourself to receive help, to say no, or to not be perfect. Try it in small doses, and you’ll see that the world doesn’t fall apart. Also, I want you to know that you are doing an amazing job. God is working through you, both your strengths and your imperfections. Give him and give yourself a little more credit.

Like this post? Dig deeper into this topic and learn 3 ADDITIONAL lies about time by downloading my free workbook—3 Lies about Time Christian Women Tell Themselves & 3 Truths That Will Set You Free

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This post originally appeared on the Time of Grace blog.

If God has made you his own and the Holy Spirit has worked faith in your heart, it makes sense that that reality would change how you treat other people.

After all, the Bible instructs us as the children of God: “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5:1,2 NLT).

I’m concerned about the number of Christians who confuse this kind of love with people-pleasing.

Yes, the Bible does talk a lot about loving others. And to follow Jesus’ example is no small task. For goodness’ sake, the man was perfectly innocent, and yet he willingly died because he loved even his enemies enough to give up his life. Whoa.

Jesus definitely sacrificed himself, his needs, and his agenda a number of times throughout his ministry, but when you look at him as a whole, he wasn’t a people-pleaser. 

He didn’t say yes to everything.

He didn’t meet everyone’s needs.

He prioritized quiet time alone.

He didn’t care about everyone liking him.

Jesus was the ultimate, ultimate picture of love, but love is different than people-pleasing.

What other lies are you believing that hold you back? Click here for a FREE workbook specifically about the lies we Christian women tell ourselves surrounding TIME.

So what’s the difference between love and people pleasing?

I asked some wise friends for input!

  1. People-pleasing often stems from our own fears and insecurities. Christian love stems from sincere love of God and others. “Christian love is caring for and meeting the needs of the other person. People-pleasing may be doing the same things, but the motivation is meeting an unmet core longing of your own.”—Dena
  2. People-pleasing puts peace ahead of truth. Christian love honors God’s truth. “People-pleasers avoid confrontation at all cost, but Christian love calls us to correct our brothers and sisters in Christ.”—Carolyn
  3. People-pleasing drains you. Christian love can—through the Holy Spirit’s power—recharge you, even when it demands much of you. “People-pleasing never satisfies self; someone always wants more or different, which drains your love tank. God-pleasing out of Christian love satisfies self because conscience knows it is the right thing to do no matter the cost. It refills your love tank, thus making you want to do even more.”—Mary Jo
  4. People-pleasing focuses more on others’ approval than on God’s. “People-pleasing focuses on us, a false sense of pride for ‘doing it all,’ fear of people not liking us (which we prioritize over obedience to what God actually asks of us), etc.”—Valerie

Friends, this is good news!

God doesn’t ask you to never say no. 

God doesn’t ask you to be all things to all people. 

God doesn’t ask you to sacrifice your alone time with him so you can keep up with everyone else’s needs. 

Nope.

Instead—because of his own incredible love for us—he asks us to love him above all, and to love others as well, following his perfect example. Since we’re not God, we’ll never “nail it” perfectly, no matter how hard we try. But never underestimate the Holy Spirit’s power within you, to love sincerely and in a way that’s ultimately all about God’s glory!

Make sure you feed yourself with good, Jesus-focused encouragement often! Keep it easy and get it delivered right to your inbox! (+ Some awesome freebies!) Click here to join our email family.

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These monthly goals posts are a good opportunity for me to be totally transparent with you in real time about how I’m doing and what I’m learning/working through.

So, here’s where I’m at right now: 

Faith: 

My natural inclination to challenges in life is to take action and try to fix things. I think taking action is great, but NOTHING can compare to going to the Lord. He keeps bringing me back to him in this season when I encounter a challenge. As a frustrating blessing, God has shown me lately–more than usual–that I can’t solve or improve everything just because I want to. What does that mean? When I realize I don’t have the bandwidth to fix “all the things,” all that’s left is for me to fall into his arms, which is what I should have done in the first place. (Duh, Diana.) There are days where my brain spins a bit with all the things I want to tackle, improve, etc. and then I realize, “The #1 thing I can do today is just be connected to the Vine. That’s all.” Staying connected to my Lord makes everything else a gazillion times less overwhelming.

Motherhood:

I’m loving being a mom, more than I expected. I’m not saying it’s easy, but that little guy brings me so much joy! He is so sweet and fun at 5 months old.

Business:

Transitioning back into working hasn’t been as difficult as I anticipated, but for some reason things have been more of a struggle in my business than they were pre-maternity leave. Things just aren’t coming as easily in terms of the business metrics we typically use to define “success.” I know I’m not entitled to things coming easily, though, and am trying to be patient in what God’s teaching me.

Health: 

My health is a big challenge lately. This is an area of my life that is always a challenge to some extent (since I have a chronic illness) but flares up now and again. Adrenal fatigue is an on-and-off battle of mine, and right now it’s “on.” This means I’m often really fatigued in the morning and need to take naps most days (even though Harrington’s sleeping great most nights).

Learning: 

God is teaching me (for the billionth time) the value and beauty of very simple pleasures. He reminded me countless times in the past month that the really simple, usually free things are what bring me the most joy: Time in his Word, prayer on the ground, walks, reading, hanging out in the backyard with my little family, Sunday worship, playing with Harrington, etc. . . . Funny how none of those things cost money, but they do take time. I am trying to be more conscious of what I’m spending my time and money on and whether the time and money spent on that thing will truly improve my life or if it’s minimizing my ability to enjoy the simple things I listed above that I enjoy the most.

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

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

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

I realized this is more of a 2-3 month goal! I made significant progress, though.

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

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

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

4. Do a Facebook Live

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

6. Take a true Sunday Sabbath

Daily goals:

1. Pray on my knees Goal: 20 days | Actual: 21

2. Avoid dark chocolate before 4 pm Goal: 20 days Actual: 29

3. Exercise (not including walking) Goal: 12 days, Actual: 10

4. Keep opens on my texting app to less than 20 for the day. | Goal: 20 days Actual: 25

5. Wind down and keep phone on airplane mode after 8 pm | Goal: 15 days Actual: 20

6. Track my food in FitBit Goal: 20 days Actual: 26

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!

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

Love Your Life, Not Theirs

Now, here are my August goals!

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AUGUST GOALS

1. Complete Content that Connects course

2. Refresh content strategy + implementation plan

3. Plan out the details for an incredible launch of the next class of my group coaching program, Bold, Intentional Life 

4. Complete The Curated Closet process

5. Transition Harrington to going to bed at 8

6. Figure out the basics of starting to feed Harrington solid foods

If you took a really natural, nutritious approach with your kiddo(s), I’d love to hear your advice! So far I’ve listened to part of a podcast and I’ve been meaning to look up what this book says on the subject. I want to be intentional but not obsessive. So far I know we’re going to avoid gluten and sugar and have Harrington try lots of different nutrient-dense foods–yes, even this!

7. Test God in my time spent with him

I don’t know if this is biblical, but I want to apply a Malachi 3:10-type approach to my time spent with the Lord. If I boldly prioritize time with the Lord above my to-do list, even if it seems radical or irrational, what will the result be? I’d like to find out. :)

Weekly goals:

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

1. Spend 30+ minutes processing papers and organizing files

It’s sinking into my head more that simplifying is an ongoing journey, and one of those ongoing things is dealing with papers and electronic files. I want to begin a habit of continually editing those things once a week so they never get completely out of control.

2. Do one email list-building activity

3. Have fun loving on someone 

I had this recent a-ha moment that I often love doing something for people as much or more than actually doing something with them. I’m a classic “acts of service” love language girl, and I’m more of an introvert than most people probably realize, so this makes total sense! Why do I somewhat reluctantly make so many social plans while neglecting doing acts of service for people when that brings me so much joy?

4. Savor a true Sunday Sabbath

5. Keep calories to <2,400/day

6. Share valuable content on Facebook Live

Follow me on Facebook and join me throughout the month on Facebook Live for super practical tips on living an intentional life!

Daily goals:

1. Pray on my knees Goal: 20 days

2. Pray Samuel’s prayer Goal: 20 days

Based on 1 Samuel 3:10 (I got the idea from this book!)

3. Exercise (non-walking) Goal: 10 days

4. Open the texting app on my phone <18 times Goal: 20 days

5. Put phone on airplane mode and be done with phone/computer by 8 pm Goal: 15 days

6. Practice gratitude Goal: 15 days

I used to write in my gratitude journal every day, but some habits absolutely have to be simplified once you’re a mom and have less time! I’ve decided this “refreshed” habit will look like this: Not having to write down gratitudes each day, but simply think through things I’m grateful for each night during Harrington’s evening feeding.

7. Track food in FitBit Goal: 20 days

Still working on improving my mindfulness with eating, and God has brought me SO far! Tracking my food just helps me think a little more about what and how much I’m eating throughout each day.

What now?

Now I’m going to create a simple action plan for my goals! I review it once a week to help stay on track and make sure I’m carving out time for the things that matter most!

What are you working on in August? Post your goals below or a link to your blog post!

Join my email family for email-only tips and encouragement (all with a focus on Jesus) to help you live a #boldintentionallife!

 

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  • August 3, 2017 - 1:07 pm

    Anita Small - Hello from CA – Best of luck with your efforts on feeding your child! I think most mothers start out this way – well intentioned. You hit the nail on the head with don’t be obsessive. Nothing wrong with a lil sugar and he will get it whther from you or others LOL. We did this for the first year and then – our child had taste buds develop and they have likes and dislikes that dont always include hormone free chicken and vegetables LOL! Whats childhood without some sugar. Anyways, have fun and have a great rest of summer!ReplyCancel

  • August 2, 2017 - 11:32 am

    Melissa Johnson - Loved reading this! ❤❤ I love the honesty in the good and hard. I am feeling inspired by you talking about the curated closet, I’m going to go to the library today and get it! Totally with you on the feeding solids – I’ve been wanting to read “French Kids Eat Everything”. It’s not really about nutrition, but how the French introduce foods to make vegetables palatable and how to not do a lot of snacking so kids are actually hungry to eat real food at mealtimes. Someone told me there’s a saying in that book that says, “Hunger is the best seasoning” and I totally loved that!ReplyCancel

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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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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