Making Things Happen

Goals for 2013: July Update

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The beautiful gardens at Lake Junaluska

Happy summer!  Hope y'all are having a summer full of lazy weekend picnics, freshly-picked flowers, outdoor experiences, and al fresco dining!  It's hard for me to believe the year is half over already - 2013 has been a great year so far.  Here's a little update on my goals.

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// PERSONAL GOALS

1. Run 2-3 times per week and increase circuit to 2 miles once per week Progress: By May/June, we had sort of settled at 1-2 runs a week with lots of walking on our off days.  Confession: Y'all, running is hard for me, especially in the heat.  I have trouble motivating myself to run on a regular basis but I've found it's easier for me when it's colder out (go figure).  Now that it's a little warmer out (in the 90s every day this past week!), we've been looking for a few exercise alternatives.  We rented a tandem bike one Sunday afternoon for a 2.5-hour ride along the canal and we started a new workout regime this month called the Insanity Workout (aptly named!).

2. Find ways to give to others each month Progress: Since April, we made a few donations of household and clothing items; volunteered with RAIHN, a hospitality organization for homeless families in May and earlier this month; and handed out Subway gift cards to those asking for spare change on the streets.

3. Read 6 books in 12 months Progress: I read "7" this spring and am currently reading "EntreLeadership" by Dave Ramsey and "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss, though these are on hold until my summer class is over.  For class, I'm reading "Tell Them Who I Am" by Elliot Liebow, an ethnography on homeless women that has special significance because of our work with RAIHN this year.

4. Study the Word actively Progress: SD and I finished reading the Story - the Bible written in chronological, chapter book format.  I've also been reading through a few plans on YouVersion (most recently, the one about Hosea).

5. Get up at 7:30 a.m. six out of seven days a week Progress: For the most part, yes!

6. Be intentional with rest Progress: I'm trying to be intentional with how I spend my time this summer by setting goals, staying organized, being productive in my working hours, and planning fun things for SD and I to do on the weekends (festivals, time on the roof, trying new recipes, etc.).  So far, it's been a wonderful balance of work and rejuvenation.

7. Make a list of things we are grateful for to display in our homeProgress: I just hung up a new sheet in our kitchen - find the free printable version here.

8. Focus on inspiring influences; purge negativityProgress: This really comes down to social media, for me.  Focusing on inspiring influences means spending less time on Facebook and Twitter, especially on the weekends.  It's amazing what a difference this makes!

9. Eat more whole foodsProgress: We started reading labels in the grocery store and being more intentional with the things we buy.  We also started planning a few meals for the week before we go to the store, to ensure that we have everything on hand each night.  This month, I've had class twice a week until after 8 p.m. so we've made good use of our crockpot with things like Pulled Pork Sliders and Jambalaya.  Delicious!

10. Find ways to add value to othersProgress: I'm finding out that there are so many ways to do this - sending notes to those who are grieving or celebrating an accomplishment, going out of your way to help someone, smiling at people, baking things to give away, pausing to have a conversation with someone.  Recently, I've been thinking about this goal for my studio: How can I add value to my students?

// BUSINESS GOALS

1. Get published Progress: I submitted two papers for journal publication consideration and I had a paper accepted to a research poster session at this year's National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy outside of Chicago!

2. Write a hymn arrangement Progress: I composed a hymn tune for an existing text back in April for a class assignment.  Next up, a hymn arrangement using some of these (and these) skills.

3. Spend more time in the practice room Progress: I practiced 8-10 hours a week during the semester and I managed to keep 2-3 hours in my schedule for the first two months of summer, despite not being at school every day.  I'm working my way through the Well-Tempered Clavier (mostly as a sightreading exercise), reviewing some keyboard skills, and improvising.

4. Create a blog schedule Progress: Summer = less school + more time to write!  This blog schedule helps keep me organized.

5. Update website Progress: I had a short list of things to fix/update on my site at the beginning of the summer and I'm pleased to say I've done just about everything on the list!  I've also been helping Steve update his site - go visit!

I'd love to hear how your 2013 goals are coming along - feel free to share in the comments below or if you post them on a blog, please post the link.  I'd love to read them!

Read more:
Goals for 2013: April Update
Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part I
Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part II
Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part III

Goals for 2013: April Update

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IMG_1590 It's been a few months since I wrote about my goals for 2013 so I thought I'd give y'all a quick update.

// PERSONAL GOALS

1. Run 2-3 times per week and increase circuit to 2 miles once per week Progress: We're at two runs most weeks and we're up to a total of 2.75 miles/week - ahead of schedule!

2. Find ways to give to others each month Progress: We found a few local charities to support and places where we can donate clothes, food, and household items.  We're looking forward to volunteering with a hospitality organization later this spring and serving families in need of food and shelter.

3. Read 6 books in 12 months Progress: I read "The Go-Giver" in two sittings (a first for me!) and I started reading "7" last month.

4. Study the Word actively Progress: Steve and I are reading through The Story this year (2012-2013) and we just started the New Testament.  We've also been reading through a few plans on YouVersion (a free app).  So far, we've read Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.

5. Get up at 7:30 a.m. six out of seven days a week Progress: I hit the ground running with this goal and have really made it habit (out of necessity!).  I've even had a few days of beating my goal by half an hour!

6. Be intentional with rest Progress: I can always be better with this but things like putting work away at a certain point in the evening, taking time on the weekends to spend with SD, and having a book to read for pleasure help me be more intentional with rest.

7. Make a list of things we are grateful for to display in our home Progress: I created a page to hang in our kitchen as soon as we got back from our holiday traveling.  I love having such a tangible way to count our blessings all throughout the year.  Print your own Gratitude list here.

8. Focus on inspiring influences; purge negativity Progress: I purged my social media and blog feeds early in the year.  What a difference it makes to see positive influences in the time I spend on those sites!

9. Eat more whole foods Progress: We started reading labels in the grocery store and being more intentional with the things we buy.  We've tried a few new healthy recipes with whole grains (especially quinoa) and started buying organic butter and whole wheat bread.  I also started using substitutes for sugar and oil in recipes.

10. Find ways to add value to others Progress: I have been much more intentional about this these past few months.  I am trying to become a better encourager, write more love notes to SD, and make sure I write thank you notes in a timely manner.

// BUSINESS GOALS

1. Get published Progress: I emailed a journal editor about a manuscript I have in progress and am preparing another to submit to a poster session for an upcoming conference.

2. Write a hymn arrangement Progress: No progress on this goal yet but I plan to start this project soon!

3. Spend more time in the practice room Progress: At the beginning of the semester, I blocked off time in my schedule to practice two hours every day.  I've been working on keyboard skills such as harmonization, sightreading, sightsinging, improvisation, and transposition and I've successfully learned two songs by ear in all 12 keys ("Happy Birthday" and the "Doxology").  I have to say, I look forward to this time each day to spend away from books and email and paper-writing and get back to actively building musicianship (read more here and here).

4. Create a blog schedule Progress: I began keeping a schedule of posts and a list of blog ideas in my planner.  Hopefully that means more regular blogging for all of you readers!

5. Update website Progress: I made a few little updates around my website back in February - what do you think?

How are your goals for 2013 coming along?

Things That Fire Me Up

Earlier this week, I read this post and was inspired to take the time to make my own list.  Truthfully, if you ask Steve, he’d tell you that there are lots of things that fire me up – I have fire in blood (I am from the south, after all).  However, identifying the things that truly fill me up, satisfy me, and fire me up to do more and be more required a little bit of thought.  What a powerful exercise for setting priorities and recognizing what is most important!  For me, it comes down to worship, time with SD, music (building + making), writing, and clean designs for home and work.  This is my heart, the things that matter most of all.  This is why I do what I do.

What fires you up?  Where is your authentic core?  Download your own Fired Up List right here.

Organization

I love being organized (another reason why I love office supply stores, as you may have read here). I love file folders, binders, and shelf space. My closet is organized by color (hangers included). So, as you can imagine, I have daily to-do lists. Today, I discovered the wonders of TeuxDeux. Now I can organize my to-do list days in advance... let that sink in for a minute. Imagine the possibilities! When transforming my to-do list into a TeuxDeux list, I realized that in the mix of "email _____" and "check _____," I had several insurmountable tasks which inadvertently rolled over from yesterday's to-do list. Of course, they're not really insurmountable, they're just too big to tackle in one day. Solution? Break each target item into 3+ action steps, as described here (see the chart?) This way, I am making progress toward my larger goals in small, manageable pieces. For instance:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy weekend, friends and cheers to a very productive week to come!