Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Goal Setting

I am a big believer in setting goals in order to accomplish something you want to accomplish or to change something you'd like to change. I've been setting goals since I was a little girl in gymnastics. Sometimes, I look back and can't believe how much I learned as a 6, 7, and 8 year old that I still apply to my life today.

Today, I just want to mention a few tips for setting successful goals. Lots of people set goals but fail to ever reach those goals and grow discouraged. Over the years and through some helpful resources, I have discovered some very beneficial principles when it comes to setting goals. I will share a list of resources at the end of the post, so you can check them out!

Tips for successful goal setting:

1. Pray about them.

I believe this first step is crucial. Psalm 37:4 says: Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. I don't think this verse means that if we seek God, He will give us whatever we want like some sort of magic genie or something. I think it means that if we seek God and His will for our lives, He will put specific desires in our heart. His desires for us will become our own desires. The things He wants us to accomplish will become the things we desire to accomplish more than anything else. He will give us the desires. Because of this, I believe it is essential to pray about our goals before we set them.

2.Write them down!

I mentioned that I began setting goals when I was in gymnastics. My coach would have us write down our goals at the beginning of our competition season. Then, we would look back over them throughout the year to see what we needed to do to accomplish the goals we had set for ourselves. My track coach had us do the exact same thing.

I learned that there is something powerful in writing down your goals. It's almost like it makes them "official" or something. Typing them out is ok, but there is just something about taking a piece of paper and pen and really writing them down.

3. Make them specific and give them a deadline

It is important to make your goals as specific as possible. I've heard people say, "Vague goals = vague results," and I believe that to be so true. Our goals need to be specific, so we know exactly what we want to accomplish.

For example, if you want to lose weight, don't just say, "My goal is to lose weight." Instead say, "I will lose X number of pounds." If you want to get out of debt your goal shouldn't be "to save more money." It should be "I will save X amount of dollars each month," or "I will pay X amount of dollars on my outstanding debt each month."

Get specific, but don't stop there. Give yourself a deadline. Have a specific date of when you'd like your goal(s) to be accomplished. Giving yourself a deadline requires you to move yourself into action. You know you won't be able to accomplish it by your specified date if you don't start doing something today.

4. Have a plan to start with.

In The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson says, "You have to start with a plan, but the plan you start with will not be the plan that gets you there." Basically, you just have to get started, but you don't have to start with a grand, huge plan. It is actually best to start small. Take one small step in the right direction. Master that step, do it consistently, and then take the next small step in the right direction. The plan that gets you started will not be the plan that gets you there. Your plan will change and grow as you change and grow. Be willing to start with small efforts and to see small results. Your small efforts will eventually compound to form the big results you desire.

5. Look at your goals every day.

Yes, I said every day. Looking at your goals daily helps you stay focused. You can carry them with you. Post them in different places around your house. Create a dream board with pictures that inspire you, motivate you, and remind you of the goals you're trying to reach. Then, place your dream board in a place where you will see it on a regular basis. There is even a website where you can create an online dream board: I created a digital dream board through this site, and posted it as the screensaver on my computer. This way, I see it every time I walk by the computer.

Posting little reminders around your house, in your car, in your office, or wherever you'll see them throughout the day builds your vision and helps you see exactly where you're going.

Have you already given up on some of your New Year's resolutions? Have you decided you'll wait until next year to get back on track? I hope that these tips will help you get going again or even get started on working toward something you'd like to accomplish. Set your goal, then break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks you can do consistently. Over time you will see results.

Here are a few of my favorite resources on goal setting and achieving success:

The Slight Edge - Jeff Olson

Success is Not an Accident - Tommy Newberry

The Exchange - Keith Kochner

Do you have any books about setting goals or achieving success that you really love? Anything you've found helpful when it comes to setting and achieving your goals? I'd love for you to share them in the comments!

Monday, January 7, 2013

30 Day Challenge (Prizes involved!)

Happy New Year! We are already one full week into 2013. How's it going? Have you made your resolutions? Did you set goals for yourself for the coming year? I have sort of a "rough draft" going, as far as my goals are concerned. Theron and I are planning to sit down and discuss our goals soon, and we're both reading Success is Not an Accident this month. I'm planning to do a post on goal setting, along with some helpful resources later this week.

For now, I'm sticking to my goal to blog more frequently about healthy living. I wrote a little bit of my background in this post. You can go back and read it to understand a little bit behind my passion for living a healthy lifestyle.

I wanted to tell you all about a 30 Day Challenge I am starting today with my Arbonne team (and anyone else who wants to participate). It's no secret that I'm an Arbonne independent consultant, and I absolutely love my job! I chose Arbonne because I love and believe in their products and in the company itself. All of their products are totally natural, botanically based, and free of all of the yucky stuff (that's a technical term). Their nutrition products, specifically, are certified vegan, gluten-free, GMO free, and contain no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives, and have no cholesterol, saturated fat, or trans fats. Whew! That was a mouthful. Despite being free of virtually everything, the products actually taste good!

I'm sure you've seen about 100 different 30 Day Challenges floating around the internet, and you're wondering why this one is better. just is? Actually, I'm sure there are lots of great plans out there and plenty of great 30 Day Challenges, but I know this one is awesome because I've done it. I've never done it for weight loss, but I know a lot of people who have been very successful in using this plan to lose weight. I use this plan to get back on track after lots of not-so-healthy eating over the holidays. It helps to cleanse my system, gives me more energy, and just helps me feel better. In case you're interested here's the plan:

1. Replace one meal a day with an Arbonne protein shake. You can choose the meal that works best for you, but the shakes make a very quick, easy, on-the-go breakfast. They come in chocolate or vanilla, and they come in ready-to-go drink boxes or powder that you can mix with water, your favorite milk (soy, almond, rice, 1%, etc.), or you can blend it into a smoothie. We love the smoothie option at our house!

2. Eliminate either gluten, dairy, processed sugars, or all three of these things from your diet. These are all highly allergenic/addictive foods that our bodies don't always process very easily. This can cause digestive issues that can actually effect weight loss, energy levels, and often leave us with that yucky bloated feeling (again, another technical term). I have struggled with digestive issues in the past and learning how my body responds to different foods has helped me tremendously!

3. Focus on eating whole foods for the rest of your meals and snacks. To the very best of your ability, eliminate processed foods. What does this mean? If a product contains ingredients you wouldn't (or couldn't) cook with in your own kitchen it's probably processed. See this post for a great definition on eating "real food." Fill your fridge and your pantry with foods that don't have ingredient labels: fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and lean meats.

I know, I know. It's so inconvenient. Some nights you just need fast food, or something you can take on-the-go. That's where your Arbonne products come in. They are simply there for your convenience, not to replace the real food you should be eating most of the time. That's what I love about this plan! It is centered around eating real food, not around the products. The products are just there to make your life easier when you're in a hurry and living real life.

Want to hear the best part?

If you join my challenge, you'll have the chance to win $500 in Arbonne products. That is A LOT of stuff! The person who has the highest percentage weight loss out of everyone participating will win the grand prize of $500 in Arbonne products.

As an added bonus, there are other chances to win even more prizes! I will be having a weekly drawing for everyone participating on my team. You earn entries by posting in our facebook group or sending me an email, facebook message, or text about your experience and your progress. You can also earn entries by attending an Arbonne event with me, hosting your own event, or getting someone else to participate in the challenge with you.

What do you have to lose? Even if you join the challenge and don't win any of the prizes, what do you really have to lose? At the end of 30 Days you will be healthier, you may have lost a few pounds, and you will have more energy and feel better than you have in a long time. Where's the downside to that?

If you're telling yourself, "I can't do that. Even for 30 days." Let me just tell you this. That's ok. Don't be afraid to start something just because you're not sure if you can finish. As Keith Kochner always says, this is about progression, NOT perfection. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to take small steps in the right direction every day. If you mess up, so what. Don't focus on the fact that you messed up. Focus on all the good decisions you've been making every day. Progress may be slow, but slow progress is still progress.

So, jump in! Start taking those small baby steps. The baby steps will eventually add up and equal great results. Let me know if you'd like to join the challenge ASAP. It starts today, but that doesn't mean it's too late to join us!  If you don't have any Arbonne products, that's ok. Like I said, the focus is on eating whole foods and eliminating allergenic and addictive foods. If you would like to order any of the Arbonne products to help you along the way, just let me know. I'm offering a great discount on all of the Nutrition products this month and would love to help you get exactly what you need.

Hope you'll decide to join us!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year, New You

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Now, we look forward to the New Year, and for a lot of people that means New Year's resolutions. You can read more about my thoughts on New Year's Resolutions in this post from last year. Simply put, I'm not a huge fan. I feel like people often make them out of obligation and because they feel like they should, not because they're really intent on changing something in their life.

While I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, I am a big fan of deciding you'd like to make a change in your life, setting goals, and establishing a plan to reach those goals. You can do this ANY time, but the New Year is a great time to evaluate where you are and where you would like to be. Theron and I set aside time to do this every January, and then, we evaluate and adjust our goals throughout the year. Based on things we've learned from Keith Kochner at, we will be looking at goals related to our Faith, Finances, Foundation, Health, and Relationships this year. I think these are great general categories to evaluate every once in awhile. Of course, you can set your goals however you would like in any area(s) you would like.

One of my goals this year is to pursue my passion for health and wellness more intensely. In specific terms, I'm not exactly sure what this looks like yet. This is still a goal in progress :). However, one specific thing I am going to do is to blog consistently about health and wellness. I follow plenty of health and wellness blogs, so I know there are already a lot of them out there, but I feel like this is a way for me to connect to people who may be interested in weight loss, healthy eating, exercising, improving their overall health, or all of the above! These are all great areas of interest to me and while I am by no means an expert in any of these areas, I love to learn more about them all the time. I feel like the fact that I'm not an expert is actually an advantage in relating to real people just like me. I'm on a tight budget, I don't have lots of exercise equipment, I don't have lots of extra time, and I have a family to feed and take care of. Hopefully, as I find answers and simple ways for us to live a healthy lifestyle, I can pass them on to all of the other "regular" people out there who might be looking for the same answers.

I plan to blog healthy recipes, exercise routines that require little time and little/no equipment, general tips for healthy living, and encouragement and motivation. Even if your goals are not health-related, I also plan to blog about goal setting and simple steps you can take to reach your goals.

As you look forward to the new year, I hope you will look at areas in your life you would like to change or specific things you would like to accomplish. I also hope you'll check back in occasionally to see what's going on here!

- What are your goals for the new year? 
- Is there anything specific you would like me to post about in the future?

Monday, December 10, 2012

2 years old!

It's been awhile (a long while) since I've posted (again), but I couldn't miss out on Will's 2 year update! What a fast and fun 2 years it has been!

He got to have two fun birthday celebrations. One with my family in Elmer over the Thanksgiving holiday and one with lots of friends and family here in Oklahoma City.

I let him choose the theme he wanted, and he rather emphatically told me he wanted a "gween John Deewe twactor pawty!" The boy loves anything to do with the farm. Tractors, plows, cows, horses, pigs, fields, get the idea. He loves being able to visit both sets of his grandparents in the country, and we are proud to say he really is a country boy at heart.

Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to find some really cute decoration and food ideas. We had the party in a room at our church that has a door that leads directly to the outdoor play area. Thank goodness for 75 degree weather on December 1 because the kids were able to play outside all they wanted! I also set up a table with tractor coloring sheets and farm-themed puzzles for those who didn't want to battle the wind that day. There were also plenty of balloons, which seem to be able to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours.


The most important thing was that Will had a blast! He kept asking if we could go "back to Will's birthday party? Pweeeeeesss?" I told him mommy's can only handle one birthday party a year. I tried to keep things very simple, but I was still worn out by the time it was over.

We went in for his 2-year check up last week, and his growth is still about the same. He was 25 lbs. 15 oz. (25%) and 35 1/2 inches long (75%). Thank goodness for adjustable waistband pants! He is very healthy and is done with immunizations until he is 4. Woo hoo!!! His doctor also commented on how well he speaks, and I told her it's because he gets plenty of practice!

I will take a moment to do a little motherly bragging (that's allowed, right?). Will does speak very well for a 2-year-old. He also has an incredible memory! Sometimes it scares me. He knows all of his letters and letter sounds. He can count to 20 (twenty-teen to be exact). He knows lots of different colors and shapes and loves to label things that way (look at the red car; the tires are black circles). He inherited his father's analytic brain and loves to sort his toys in various ways. It is not unusual for me to find all of the cars lined up, all of the animals in another line, and all of his people in another line. One day he sorted his diapers by Sesame Street character (Elmos, Big Birds, Ernies, etc.), and then asked me to help him count each pile. When Theron came home for lunch, I told him we'd done some basic accounting that morning by taking inventory of Will's diapers. He was so proud.

I would love to take credit for having such a little smarty, but I give credit where credit is Leapfrog. The people who created the Leapfrog learning products and DVD's really knew what they were doing. Will absolutely loves the DVD's, and they have taught him so much. I do my best to reinforce what he is learning, but he honestly picked up a lot of things from watching those movies. His favorites are Letter Factory, Numbers Ahoy, Phonics Farm, and Let's Go to School. He also loves a lot of the toys and games made by Leapfrog, and I love that he can have fun and learn at the same time.

Lastly, here are a few things I never imagined I'd be dealing with when I had a 2-year-old:

- Limiting computer time: Who knew you would need to limit the computer time of a 2-year-old? I don't think I even saw a computer until I was in elementary school, and we didn't have one in our house until I was in middle school. Will would play on the computer or the Ipad all day if I would let him. He mostly plays educational games, but he also loves watching YouTube videos. No matter what he's doing, I know he doesn't need to be spending hours playing on either device.

- Brand recognition: The kid has clear preferences over which "brands" he likes. Of course there's John Deere (that's a given), but he can point out a Chick-fil-a from a mile away. If you even pull close to another fast food restaurant, he says "No, no. Chick-fi-way." He also recognizes Target, Aldi, and Wal-Mart as soon as he sees them. This isn't too surprising as frequently as we visit them. All of this has really made me aware of just how much information he is constantly taking in. I know I need to be aware of what I am putting in front of his eyes.

- Excessive hugging: Will has been affectionate since the day he was born. He's always loved to cuddle, and of course, I've given him all the hugs and kisses I possibly could. However, recently, we've had to discuss excessive hugging. As in hugging your friends so hard that you knock them down and put them in a head lock or squeezing them so tight that you're hurting them and they can't breathe. He's getting better about this. We still need to work on his sloppy, open-mouth kisses.

I truly cannot believe how fast the past 2 years have gone by. They have been some of the most joyful, exciting, and trying years of my life! I love my sweet Will. He is strong-willed, outgoing, inquisitive, active, funny, and loving. He loves music, dancing, racing, cars, trucks, the farm, hugs, kisses, cuddles, tickles, and wrestling. He can be oh so sweet and oh so ornery. He can make me laugh so hard, and he can also make me want to scream and pull my hair out.

Before I put him in bed each night I tell him: Will, Mommy loves you so much. You are a good, sweet boy. You are so special to Mommy and Daddy. God made you, and God loves you so much. God thinks you are so special. God didn't make anyone else just like Will, but he made Will exactly the way he is supposed to be. No matter what you do, Mommy and Daddy will always love you.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweet Will!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


So, almost 2 months ago I wrote a blog post about how I was going to try to post something new once a week. Well, it's been 2 months and here we are. I didn't write a new post once a week. I actually didn't write a new post for 2 whole months. I could give you a lot of reasons (read: excuses) why I haven't posted anything in the past 2 months. I could tell you how busy I've been. How I'm a full-time stay-at-home mom with a home-based business, lots of church activities, plenty of social activities, and a husband that actually likes me to spend time with him. I could tell you all those things, and all of those things would be true. Instead, I want to tell you the real reason I haven't been blogging lately, and it all boils down to one word:  Priorities.

I have given this a lot of thought lately. I started noticing how many times I caught myself using the phrase, "I just didn't have time for that." Or saying things like, "I really meant to get to it, I just didn't have time that day." I also started noticing how other people often used similar phrases to explain themselves and why they hadn't accomplished a certain task.

It's no secret that I love to read personal-development, personal-growth type books, and one theme I was noticing over and over in the books I was reading was taking personal responsibility for your actions. Not making excuses, not feeling like you have to constantly explain yourself, not whining, not complaining, not blaming anyone or anything else. Simply accepting responsibility for everything you do and do not do day in and day out.

As I started to think about this and to consider what it really looked like to take full responsibility of my actions, I kept coming back to the idea of priorities. I had plenty of time for the things I wanted to make time for in my day:

Look at Facebook at least 15 times a day - check
Check my email at least 15 times a day - check
Read all my favorite blogs - check
Spend at least 30 minutes on Pinterest - check

Sadly, all of these activities were consuming a big chunk of my time each day, and somehow, there wasn't enough time for me to do the things I actually needed to do. I don't think any of the activities I mentioned above are bad, but I do think they can be a distraction from things that could be more productive and beneficial. What I learned was that if I established my priorities and got to the important things first, I actually had plenty of time to do the other "time-wasting" stuff. Then, they weren't really time wasters, they were necessary breaks in my day. They were a chance for me to relax and have a few mindless moments to myself. I was actually able to enjoy doing those things more because I knew I had already accomplished the other things I needed to do that day.

So, in all honesty, this blog just hasn't been a priority lately. I enjoy blogging. I really enjoy blogging. But I needed a break to get my priorities straight and to manage my time wisely. What has been a priority?

- Spending more time in the Word, alone with God - seeking his will for my life, listening for His voice, and praying for my friends and family.

- Doing things around the house that I don't "love" doing but that need to be done. (Laundry, dishes, deep cleaning, etc.). Not that I didn't do these things before, but I had a tendency to put them off until they piled up, and I absolutely had to do them.

- Spending time playing with Will. You would think as a stay-at-home mom that I would spend lots of time playing with Will. The truth is there are some days that an entire day goes by, and I realize I never just got on the floor and played with him - whatever he wanted to play. We build blocks, we drive trucks, we jump on the bed, we play hide and seek. I love and cherish that I get to do these things with him and know that they need to be a top priority.

- Working my Arbonne business. When I decided I wanted this business to work for my family and for me, I knew I had to put work in, to get benefits out. Spending a small chunk of time on my business each day has already begun to pay off, and I cannot wait to see where things will go in the future. I could write an entire post on how much I believe in this company and the people who are associated with it, but that is another post for another time.

- Doing other necessary things such as preparing for my boot camp classes, preparing for the Wednesday night children's activities at our church, cooking our meals, getting breakfast ready the night before, taking time to volunteer and help out when and where I can.

The funny thing is I began to feel like I had more time each day. I was getting more done than I ever had before, and I had time to spare! Each of us is given the same 24 hours every day. It is up to us to choose how we use those hours we are given. I saw a quote on Pinterest (imagine that) that says: If it is important to you, you will find a way. If it's not, you will find an excuse.

What's important to you? Does the way you spend your time reflect that? Take the time to really look at the way you're spending your time each day. You might be surprised that you really do have time for "that," whatever that may be. Find time to do the important things.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Menu

I haven't posted our weekly menu in a long time. Ok, so I haven't posted anything in a long time. I really want to get back to posting more regularly. I don't know if anyone really misses reading my blog, but I sure do miss writing! I hope to start making time to post at least once a week, but I'm not making any promises.

Anyway, to get back into the swing of things I thought I'd post our menu for the week. This is pretty simple since I plan out our menu every week anyway. All I have to do is type it up and share it with you! Maybe this will give you some ideas and inspiration for your menu this week.

Monday - Breakfast: turkey bacon, whole-wheat toast, and eggs
                Dinner: Balsamic Chicken (from Skinny Ms.) over brown rice

Tuesday - Breakfast: Peach Crisp
                Dinner: Black Bean Pasta

Wednesday - Breakfast: Chocolate Baked Oatmeal
                     (adapted from this recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures)
                     Dinner: Homemade Cheeseburger Pockets

Thursday - Breakfast: Cranberry Orange Muffins
                  Dinner: Spaghetti
                  (I'll be out of town, so Theron will be doing his own cooking.)

Friday - Breakfast: Cereal (again, I'm out of town, so Theron's on his own)
             Dinner: Pesto Chicken Pizza

I'll have to post some of these recipes soon, so you can make them for you family.

Saturday and Sunday we're visiting Theron's family in Kansas, so I don't have any meals planned for those days. I can't wait to see them, and I know our meals will be delicious!

Hope you have a great week!

Monday, June 18, 2012

18 Months


I have so much going on in my life that I would love to write and tell you about, but I have not been the most disciplined blogger lately. Maybe that's because I have so many things going on in my life right now! Nevertheless, I am not giving up on blogging, and I have plenty of things to write about for the next year or so (give or take a few months).

The one thing I have taken time to blog about (somewhat) consistently is Will's monthly update. So, here I am again, and my baby is 18 months old. One and a half! Closer to Two than he is to One. Why is time going so fast, and how in the world do I slow it down?

I may still call him my baby, but he is definitely not a baby. He truly is a little boy and does little boy things every day. I took him for his 18-month check up a couple weeks ago, and the pediatrician once again confirmed that he is a happy, healthy little boy. He is growing and developing just the way he is supposed to.

He was 32 3/4 inches long (75%) and 22 lbs. 9 oz. (10%). The doctor promised me that his head would be on the growth charts one day. It has been in the < 3% since he's been born. I told her it was just God's way of answering my prayers because I prayed daily that I would not have to have a c-section. Thank you, God.

He is talking more and more all the time, and his words are becoming clearer each day. He is definitely quite the little parrot, and mommy and daddy have to be very aware of the words we choose to say. Not that we use horrible language on a regular basis, but we have to make sure that nothing slips out that could later embarrass us in public. 

He loves animals and is very good at making his animal sounds. He also has a few DVD's and computer games he likes that have been helpful in teaching him letters and numbers. He can recognize a few different letters, and anytime he sees written words (in books, on signs, wherever), he says, "ABC's?" We go to the library at least every other week, and he picks out 2 books and 2 DVD's to check out and take home. Sometimes, we go to story time, but we don't always make it.

One of the big events for this month was that Theron and I took a 4 day vacation with our Sunday School class and left Will with my parents. It was the longest I had ever been away from him, and the first time he had stayed somewhere else without Mommy or Daddy. He did great! He and my parents both loved every single minute of it. I think he was pretty well-taken care of (spoiled), but I was actually very proud of my parents for keeping him on his normal schedule (for the most part). It was definitely a good experience for everyone involved.

Let me just throw in a side note here. Even though it is SO difficult to leave our children, even for just a few days, I think it is essential to a marriage. It was so nice for Theron and I to have some time away where Will was not constantly the focus of our attention. I know it is hard to even make time for a monthly date night, so really getting away can be a challenge. But if you can do it...DO IT! It will be well worth it for you, your spouse, your marriage, and your child. I think it is especially helpful if you are a stay-at-home mom.

Moving on.

I really can't get enough of my little boy. He makes me laugh so hard. He gives me the sweetest hugs and kisses you've ever seen. He has such an ornery side but such a sweet side, too. He loves babies and treats them so nicely. He disobeys with a huge grin on his face, knowing he's about to get in trouble. He runs away and hides when I ask him to do anything (get a clean diaper, change his clothes, etc.), but I can't help but laugh when I hear that shriek and giggle as I chase after him. I love how I walk in his room in the morning, and he says, "Momma! Bye, bye bed!" And as much as I say it annoys me, I kind of love it when he comes up behind me while I'm cooking, beats on my legs, and says "Hold you," in the sweetest voice ever.

What I'm trying to say is, I love this little boy more than life itself, and even on the days I just want to run away because he's been so ornery, so whiny, or so clingy, I can't imagine my life without him.

Happy 18 Months, Sweet Will! Momma loves you bunches!