Set Goals, Not Resolutions // My Word for 2016

Set goals, not resolutions It's time we lose the long list of resolutions.

You know, the ones that seem so appealing, promising yourself a better life at the end of 365 (or in this case, 366) days. The ones that the majority of people forget less than a quarter into the new year?

Or maybe you're one those who laugh at the thought of resolutions. Most of those so-called resolutions are silly, nebulous things anyways. “I’m going to give up carbohydrates.” “I’m going to exercise more.”

This year, instead of setting resolutions that you're likely to break, try daily and weekly goals to help keep you focused. The difference here is that one's a hope, and one's a plan.

And if goals are still too much for you, then at least do this one thing:

Choose a word for the year.

Just one word. Because a single word can create a longer lasting change than a dozen New Year's resolutions.

Last year I wrote about my word for 2015: Actualize. My aim for the year was to "make real or concrete; give reality or substance to" my dreams. I even simplified my goals down into six categories to make them easier to actualize.

  • Blog
  • Relationships
  • Faith
  • Creativity
  • Health
  • Business

Overall, 2015 was a pretty good year :) Did I achieve all my goals? No. Is that ok? Of course! Whether I achieve them all or not isn’t the point at all: all that matters is that I’m working towards what makes me happy.

My Word for 2016

But now that 2015 is over and we're already more than a week into 2016, it's time for me to come up with a new word. It wasn't easy.

For one thing, I needed a word that would encompass all that I wanted 2016 to be. I also needed it to create a spark in me that could carry throughout the entire year.

Then I encountered another problem! I began to have too many options :( Words began to flood my brain.

Pause. 

Ease.

Simplify.

Love.

Peace.

Mindfulness.

What was I going to do??? I took a little break to get a glass of water and that's when it hit me.

Serenity // the state or quality of being serene; calm; tranquil

Serenity. The perfect combination of all those other words I was considering before. (I also realized that it's one of Pantone's Color(s) of the Year for 2016. That's probably why it popped into my head!)

Calm. Peaceful. Untroubled.

This word is calling me to step away. Breathe. Focus. Take time to choose.

It calls for a life of balance; the perfect counterpoint to the fast-paced, fractured and hurried lives we live.

Because really. What's the rush?

I want to live with ease. With so many things calling for my attention, what and who really matters? Is the perfectionist inside me willing to simply let go, and just be?

This year, it's my intention to be an activator of life instead of a passive bystander. I want to live with serenity.

Now it's your turn. Choose a word. It's better than a New Year's Resolution.

P.S. If you need some ideas, check out MyOneWord.org.

What's your word for 2016? Share it in the comments below!

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Join the Summer Refresh Challenge

Join the #SummerRefreshChallenge! FREE goal sheets and ideas to help you live authentically. I'm a firm believer in living life authentically and with purpose. Over the past year I've found that there is joy in simplicity. It brings balance, freedom, and happiness. Taking the time to simplify your life can really make a difference in your mood, productivity, and health.

That's why I created the #SummerRefreshChallenge. Now is the time to take that step and begin to refresh your life. Summer is the perfect time to chase your dreams and make them a reality.

The challenge itself is very flexible and allows you to tailor it to fit your needs and goals. Here's how it works:

  1. I've created a list of 34 challenges for you to complete this summer (I'm doing it too!).
  2. Take out your calendar and write in what activity you'll do on what day. Feel free to add your own summer goals as well!
  3. Down below you'll find a link for FREE goal cards to help you accomplish harder, more long term goals such as improving your photography skills or listing which Ted Talks you'd like to watch. I've filled in two goal sheets as examples that you can use and provided four more blank ones. Print out as many as you need!
  4. Share your experiences! If you tweet or Instagram photos or stories about your goals, use the hashtag #SummerRefreshChallenge. Other participants can find, follow, like, and encourage you as the summer progresses.
  5. Have fun! This is a challenge that I hope will encourage and inspire you to live life with purpose.

Throughout the summer, I'll be focusing many of my blog posts around the Refresh Challenge, meaning, I will write posts on things like how to pack the perfect picnic, or provide a list of my favorite inspirational books.

So download the PDF of the challenges (which have hyperlinks on some challenges to provide you with some inspiration) as well as the goal cards below! I hope you have fun!

DOWNLOAD THE CHALLENGES AND GOAL CARDS HERE

Are you going to participate? What other challenges will you try this summer?

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April Goals

April Goals Well, April is in full spring now. The forecast for the next few days is cloudy and rainy. But, just like the saying says, I can't wait for those May flowers! I already saw some buds and a few tulips blooming!

April is such a great month. Not only is it the last full month until summer break, but it's also Caleb's birthday month! With all this nice weather coming up, I get more and more excited about doing things I love (like blogging and crafting). My productivity spikes when I'm happy!

March Recap:

BlogTake more of my own pictures (now that the weather is nice, I have no excuse!)

You'll be seeing more photos within the next month! I almost forgot how much I love photography.

RelationshipsSend out handwritten notes/letters to friends and family

You guys, I am SO in love with writing letters. My roommate and I are leaving love notes over town at random places. It's a lot of fun! I also sent a few notes to some friends these past few weeks (including my friend Gina!) and I would love to send you some too.

If you'd like a note, just comment below and I'll email you to get your address. :)

Faith – Begin thinking of ideas to help teach the children’s Sabbath School

Still in progress (we aren't for sure teaching the Sabbath School yet)

Creativity – Do 3 DIY projects

Haha I'm laughing at myself a little right now because I have all the supplies for all three projects ready to go, yet I've made 0 of them. No excuse for this month then, right?

HealthBegin taking walks with Caleb now that the temperature is getting warm again!

There's nothing more relaxing than going on a nice evening stroll with your best friend.

Business – Purchase domain and set up email; continue to expand ideas

Honestly, this just got pushed to the end of my to do list. Plus, I don't really have money to put towards this yet...but the ideas! The ideas keep coming ;)

April Goals

Blog – Update photos on pages

Relationships – Send out MORE handwritten notes/letters to friends and family

Faith – Print out my list of 50 Values to Renew in Your Life, pick a word, and do a study on that word.

Creativity – Design a print in Illustrator

Health – Cook healthy homemade meals

Business – Purchase domain and set up email; continue to expand ideas

What are some of your April goals? Comment below if you'd like to receive a handwritten note from yours truly! :)

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Nurturing Commitment - Relationship Goals

Nurturing Commitment | The Kardia Blog Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I sure did, the sun was out and birds were chirping. It's so beautiful :)

I'm so excited to be co-hosting the Marriage and Relationship Goals linkup with Amberly, Charlene, and Rebecca today. This linkup has been one of my favorites since I've started blogging. It encourages me to intentionally work on my relationship with Caleb every day through goal setting.

At the very beginning of 2015, Caleb and I choose a word to focus on in our relationship for the entire year:

Nurture

This is the first time I've linked up since January. Hopefully now as the semester is winding down and I'm less busy, I can linkup every month! Our goal for January was to nurture our endeavors and grow them as a team. Since then, Caleb and I have made a point to help each other with different aspects of our lives. In his business, I answer the emails and set up the website. For my blog, he takes photos and helps me come up with ideas. We've learned to work together to accomplish things.

Keeping with the theme of nurture, this month we'll be focusing on:

Nurturing commitment

Like Caleb said in his analogy of our relationship being a plant, we need to strengthen our relationship and become more like a team because it will make us stronger. As a young couple, we'd like to work on showing each other commitment in our everyday lives. Here are three ways we plan to do so this month:

1. Planning for the future that includes each other.

Being in college, I see a lot of young couples break up around graduation because they simply had different ideas on what they wanted to do with their life. Maybe the relationship just wasn't right, or maybe it's because they didn't spend time talking about their future together. 

I believe that one way to strengthen commitment in any relationship is to talk about the future. When planning for the future, make sure to plan with the other person's feelings in mind as well. Maybe one of you would prefer to live closer to family after graduation, so instead of looking for a job anywhere in the U.S., try searching for one closer to home. Including the other person in your future plans shows that you're committed to loving them.

2. Making time for things that the other person likes. 

One aspect of true love is that is selfless and thinks of the other person's needs before their own. While we're both very busy people, we want to make sure we make time to do activities that the other person likes. Things like going to Menards to shop for materials and parts, or going to a big Easter egg hunt instead of working on different projects (true story). While we may be sacrificing a few hours of personal time, how much greater is the benefit of time spent together? A lot.

3. Doing things that makes the other person feel loved.

This goes along with number two, but adds a little more to it. We want to actively be feeding each other's love language. Things such as making a home cooked meal or spending time talking at the park on a sunny afternoon can help bring us closer together.

These are only a few ways we plan to nurture commitment in our relationship. It's an ongoing process that will never stop. Commitment never gets old.

How will you be nurturing commitment in your marriage/relationship this month?

Marriage & Relationship Goals

New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us to continue moving forward and avoid the "ruts" of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional. If you would like more information, click here.


[inlinkz_linkup id=511500 mode=1]

March Goals

March GoalsI'm always amazed at how quickly months go by. I'm over halfway through my spring break already! Thankfully, it's finally starting to feel like spring :) I can't wait for long walks, naps in hammocks, longer days, blooming flowers, and chirping birds to wake me up. Spring is finally here! February Recap:

BlogParticipate in another Twitter chat

I caught the end of a great #Fireworkpeople chat! :) I'm excited to get more involved as my schedule clears up these next few months.

Relationships – Finish reading The 5 Love Languages together

We aren't quite finished yet, but I can say that I've loved reading through this book. Caleb likes it too, but not as much as me ;) I'm thinking of making a printable of a bunch of ways to fulfill each love language, as a reference.

FaithMemorize 5 Bible verses

I'm taking a class called Jesus and the Gospels this semester, and it has taught me so much! I grew up in a Christian home, so I knew all of the stories, but reading each gospel straight through introduces you so much more! I memorized the Beatitudes (I only knew a select few before), John 1:16, and Lamentations 3:22-23.

Creativity – Take time and sketch out ideas

I'm really sad that I didn't make time for this goal, but the longer days make me feel more creative, so I'm hoping to make some time to draw this month.

HealthEat more fruits and veggies

Fruits are my favorites; veggies, not so much. Although over the years I've grown to like vegetables cooked into my meals, so that's a good thing :)

BusinessFinish logo and business set designs

Done! I love the finished designs and can't wait to share more of the business as things progress. You can check out the business moodboard to get a feel for the look and aesthetic.

March Goals

Blog – Take more of my own pictures (now that the weather is nice, I have no excuse!)

Relationships – Send out handwritten notes/letters to friends and family

Faith – Begin thinking of ideas to help teach the children's Sabbath School

Creativity – Do 3 DIY projects

Health – Begin taking walks with Caleb now that the temperature is getting warm again!

Business – Purchase domain and set up email; continue to expand ideas

What are some of your March goals?

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February Goals

Dream Big.Whoa. Is it really February 11? This month is flying by! I know it's a little late to be posting February goals, but better late than never, right? ;) Posting my goals for each month provides so much accountability and encouragement to follow through with them.

Last month I posted my overall goals for 2015 in six different areas in my life:

Blog – Average 50,000 monthly pageviews

RelationshipsNurture my relationships with those I love

FaithBecome a Proverbs 31 woman

Creativity – Become a designer without going to design school

Health – End the year healthier and stronger

Business – Launch by the end of 2015

I love having this list because it gives me a focus for all of my monthly goals. Without it, all my goals would be scattered and I'd be less likely to actually do them.


January Recap:

Blog – Write more useful/encouraging posts for others

Posts that are useful to other people are my favorite ones to write. I love sharing tips, ideas, and different things that I've learned. Some of my favorite from last month include:

Why Your Blog Needs a Mission Statement

Beginner's Guide to Graphic Design: Creative Market

8 Ways to Make Your Mac Run Faster

3 Easy Steps to Mind Mapping

Is Your Blog Legal?

Relationships – Have at least two date nights

Caleb is the sweetest man in the world. He knows how much I love spending quality time together and goes out of his way to make everyday things like supper really special :) We also had a special pizza night date a last week when our schools got cancelled due to the ice and snow.

Faith – Begin habit of daily Bible reading

I have to admit that I'm behind on reading the whole Bible in a year, but I've been making an effort to read the Bible every day. I've learned so much that I didn't know before!

Creativity – Read one inspiring book

Done! I know I've said this before, but I highly recommend Make It Happen by Lara Casey. Hands down my favorite book of the year!

Health – Begin yoga

I didn't have time to do much yoga last month, but I'm hoping that I can squeeze in a few stretches somewhere in my busy schedule!

Business – Draft business plan

Draft would be the correct term to use. The business plan is in its rough stages still, but at least I have something written down!

February Goals

Blog - Participate in another Twitter chat

Relationships - Finish reading The 5 Love Languages together

Faith - Memorize 5 Bible verses

Creativity - Take time and sketch out ideas

Health - Eat more fruits and veggies

Business - Finish logo and business set designs

What are some of your February goals?

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2015 Goals + Free Print

She designed a life she loved If you're anything like me, you might sometimes forget what your monthly goals are if you don't write them down. To solve this dilemma, I went ahead and created a monthly goal sheet where you can write down your monthly goals and hang it wherever you'd like. This will personally help keep me accountable to do my goals. You can download it at the bottom of this post!

You might have read that my word for 2015 is Actualize. In that post I outlined how all of my goals for the year will fit under six different categories. With that in mind, I sat down and wrote out where I want to be in each of those areas by the end of the year.

Blog - Average 50,000 monthly pageviews

Relationships - Nurture my relationships with those I love

Faith - Become a Proverbs 31 woman

Creativity - Become a designer without going to design school

Health - End the year healthier and stronger

Business - Launch by the end of 2015

I prefer this way of goal setting rather than setting New Year's resolutions. Resolutions are dreams. Goals are actions. Goals keep us focused by providing us a roadmap and a result. Without goals, life would be aimless. Will you choose to make goals this year?

[Tweet "Without goals, life would be aimless. via @britthouchins"]

December Recap:

  • Watch and do the First Steps to Handlettering on Skillshare!

- I started it! I followed the first steps and bought some pencils and decided on the quote I'm going to letter. Next steps are to sketch a few words :)

  • Read one book (that is not school related)

- I finally got around to reading The Vacationers by Emma Straub this break! I bought it back in August as an end of summer reading book, but time went by too fast and school started up again. Overall, I really did like the book! I think what I liked most about it was that it was about a family that stuck together through hard times and came out even stronger. It's a good read! Funny too!

  • Sponsor another blog :)
  • Show my roommate some awesome places in Minnesota!

- Of course, I had to take her to the Mall of America, but I also took her to visit the iconic cherry & spoon sculpture at the Walker Art Center. It may have been cold and snowy, but it was still fun!

  • Make some small trinket dishes for my best friends as gifts

- Done! Sadly, I can't show pictures of the dishes...yet. It's for a surprise for them (shhh...I sure hope they aren't reading this right now)

January Goals

Blog - Write more useful/encouraging posts for others

Relationships - Have at least two date nights

Faith - Begin habit of daily Bible reading

Creativity - Read one inspiring book

Health - Begin yoga

Business - Draft business plan

Like I promised, here's the link to download the monthly goal sheet! Please don't redistribute without my permission, thanks!

Download your January goal sheet here!

I left a blank space for you to write/decorate however you'd like, but also included some lines to help keep notes neat. I think I'll hang my sheet on the refrigerator. How about you?

What are some of your goals for 2015? What about January?

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Nurture - Relationship Goal for 2015

Nurture your relationship

Happy Monday everyone! :) I'm really thankful for college breaks because they're much longer than ones we got in high school. I still have one more week here at home! Speaking of high school, I had the chance to play volleyball on Saturday night for the first time since the volleyball tournament my senior year. And I am sore. Everything hurts! Guess I need to build up my arm strength again.

Anyways, back to the post for today. I'm super excited to be linking up our relationship goal for the month with Amberly, Charlene, and Rebecca. This year they've asked us choose a word to focus on for the entire year and set our goals with that word in mind.

I asked Caleb if he had any ideas for a word, and he did! A really good word too.

Nurture

After hearing his explanation of why he picked that word, I knew it was the perfect word for us this year! The explanation went something like this:

A plant goes through stages. It begins as a seed, then it germinates and becomes a seedling. After that, it turns into a small plant, which then grows and matures into a full sized plant that bears fruit and seeds.

We're just like a plant.

We aren't a seed (in a new relationship) and we aren't a full sized plant (a married couple who's been together a long time). Since we are past the seedling phase, we're like a small plant; one that needs a lot of fertilization and care because they aren't very strong yet and animals like to eat them.

What we need to do as a couple is strengthen our relationship and become more like a team because it will make us stronger. We need to nurture our relationship.

Nurture. No word could describe our overall relationship goal better. Every month, our relationship goal will be set with this word in mind and will build upon our goal from the previous month.

This month, we've decided that our goal would be this:

To nurture our endeavors and grow them as a team

Our endeavors include Caleb's machining business (which is super awesome and I'm so proud of him!!), this blog, our spiritual life, balancing school and work, and the business that I want to start up this year. Our goal is to work on them together and learn to work as a team. Each month, we'll add a new goal that will build off of this goal. Our hope is that all of this nurturing will pay off and we can become a full-sized plant.

 Marriage & Relationship Goals

What are your marriage or relationship goals for January? Do you have a word for the year?

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P.S. My word for 2015!

My Word for 2015

My word for 2015 Last week I came across Gemma's blog, Little Pieces. I was really inspired by how she chooses a word to focus on for the upcoming year, and decided that doing so is a great way to narrow down my vision for the new year. After mulling over some possible options, it came to me.

Actualize

- make real or concrete; give reality or substance to

In other words, I'm going to make my dreams come true. Being the futuristic person I am, I tend to have lots of ideas, but I usually need a little push to go out and do them. I have a good feeling about this next year though. This will be the year where I take my ideas and put them into action. I just got my Lara Casey 2015 Powersheets in the mail a few days ago, but I haven't had time to photograph them yet. I'm doing that tomorrow though! I'm super excited to start them! :)

Lara Casey Powersheets
(image via Lara Casey Shop)

I want to actualize my goals in all areas of life, but to simplify it down and make it easier for me to focus, here are the major areas. Everything I want to do falls under one of these categories:

  • Blog
  • Relationships
  • Faith
  • Creativity
  • Health
  • Business

I'm really excited to see what this next year holds in store :) 2015. Let's do this.

Just a tip, don't try to brainstorm your word for the year in one sitting. The word you'll focus on will become clear as you reflect on where you are in your life and what your dreams are for the future. Give it a few days, even a few weeks if need be. You don't have to have a word nailed down by January 1. What matters is that you'll have a focus, a purpose, and a vision for the new year. That's what's important.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! :)

What's your word for 2015? When you figure it out, let me know in the comments below! :)

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P.S. 5 Tips for Productivity

December Goals

December Goals | The Kardia Blog Ever since I began blogging, the months seem to go by even faster. Maybe it's because I post oh so much every month, or maybe it's just because I'm getting old. Whatever the reason is, I still love having monthly goals, even if I don't finish them all every month. As long as I'm kept accountable, I will finish them! It's just a matter of time.

November Recap:

  • Watch and do the First Steps to Handlettering on Skillshare!

- I meant to do this over Thanksgiving break but I just got so busy. Christmas break is coming though!

  • Read one book (that is not school related)

- Again, meant to do this during Thanksgiving.

  • Sponsor another blog :)

- I almost signed up to sponsor someone, but I decided to wait until the new year because I'm working on some new grab buttons :)

  • Buy a calendar to use for blog planning

- This I did do! I went to Target one day and saw this monthly calendar by Sugar Paper on sale and just had to get it. It's exactly what I was looking for. I wanted just a plain monthly calendar where I can write my blog post ideas on sticky notes and be able to move them around to different days.

  • Return the suspenders that I borrowed back in September…

- Done!

December Goals:

  • Watch and do the First Steps to Handlettering on Skillshare! (I'm going to do it! For sure!)
  • Read one book (that is not school related)
  • Sponsor another blog :)
  • Show my roommate some awesome places in Minnesota!
  • Make some small trinket dishes for my best friends as gifts

What are some of your goals for December?

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Healthy Eating - Relationship Goals

Strawberry I just looked to see what date it is today, and I can't believe it's December 1 already! These months are going by faster and faster. Last month my relationship goal was setting aside time to have daily Bible reading/worship together. I'm really happy to say that we have intentionally made time every day to do some Bible reading, and now we're taking that a step further and will be taking notes in church so we can discuss and do a Bible study afterwards :)

Lately, Caleb and I have been so busy that we just eat whatever we have, whether it be leftovers or what's in the cafe at school. With the cold and flu season coming around, we want to take better care of our health.

Therefore, our relationship goal for the month is:

Healthy Eating

Watching what you put into your body and understanding the benefits that healthy eating provides can keep you strong and even reduce other physical problems, such as digestive issues and headaches. There are a few steps that Caleb and I are taking to ensure that we eat healthy:

Make homemade food

I totally understand the busy lifestyle many of us have. Still, eating homemade food and not packaged or fast food can dramatically impact your health. Look for meals in which you can use the leftovers the next day. Try making different types of sandwiches for lunch, or make a big pot of soup.

Eat meals together, not on the couch or while watching TV

Taking the time to sit down with each other and eat can provide quality time together as a couple. Instead of watching TV or eating at different times, you can chat about your day! And eat your meals slowly, don't shovel it down your throat!

Eat fruits and veggies, daily

This is something Caleb and I are going to work on. We're going to make an effort to eat some fruits and veggies every single day, because currently, we've been slacking on that.

Make lunch for your significant other!

Packing lunch for them can be a sweet act of kindness and love, especially if the food is homemade! Include a little note saying how much you love them, and you'll definitely make their day!

 Marriage & Relationship Goals
What are your marriage or relationship goals for December?

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November Goals

November Moodboard | The Kardia Blog

So, I'm going to be honest with you guys. I've been failing at my goals lately. It partly has to do with the fact that I think I set too many goals for myself in one month, and I don't have enough time to do all of them. But, things like this happen and you learn from them. So. I've decided that while I'm in school, I'm going to limit myself to a maximum of five goals per month. That's doable, right? :) On that note, here's a recap of what I did accomplish in October and a look at my November goals!

October Recap:

  • Sign up for a Skillshare class

- I'm got so excited as I scrolled through Skillshare's classes! I'm currently signed up for the First Steps to Handlettering class :) If you sign up using this link, you'll get a free month of membership!!

  • Blog about some date ideas

- Once I remember to take pictures of our dates, this will happen!

  • Share some more of my photography on the blog

- I can't wait to share some photos of my personal project for my photography class sometime within the next month!

  • Read one book (that is not school related)

- I will find time for this.

  • Set fitness goals with Caleb

- Technically, we talked about this, but I can't remember exactly what we said at the moment.

  • Go to bed before 11:00 and establish a healthier sleeping schedule because mine is so messed up right now.

- I'm proud to say that for maybe a solid week, I got in bed before 11:00 :) Most nights I'm in bed before midnight.

  • Go on a fun date with my love

- all our dates are fun :) I just forget to take pictures and blog about them.

  • Sponsor another blog :)

- It's going to happen soon!

  • Buy some business clothes (because I’m a business club officer, I need to dress up)

- I do have to do this, but I don't think I'm going to classify it as a goal. It'll happen soon.

  • Walk through a corn maze

- I'm so sad that I didn't accomplish this goal last month. I guess I'll  have to wait until next fall.

  • Do a photoshoot with my best girl friends

- With winter just around the corner, this will probably be put on hold until the spring!

  • Learn to edit pictures in photoshop

- I'm putting this on hold until I go home for Christmas break or maybe even summer vacation.

  • Finish decorating our dorm room

- Sadly, this probably won't happen this school year. We just don't have time. Plus, we just found out that we had bed bugs last night and now our room is a mess from having it heated to kill those little pests. 

  • Stock the fridge with healthy snacks and eat them

- This will eventually happen. Over time :)

November Goals:

  • Watch and do the First Steps to Handlettering on Skillshare!
  • Read one book (that is not school related)
  • Sponsor another blog :)
  • Buy a calendar to use for blog planning
  • Return the suspenders that I borrowed back in September...

What are some of your goals for November?

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Daily Bible Reading - Relationship Goals

Couples Bible Devotional | The Kardia Blog
Last month my relationship goal was to spend more intentional time together as a couple. I'm proud to say that after settling into a more stable routine, we've had the chance to spend some good quality time with each other :) This month my goal is to focus more on spending intentional worship time together. Last week I shared 100 Ways to Love Your Wife (and 100 Ways to Love Your Husband) and the first thing that I highlighted on the list was "Start and/or end each day by holding hands and praying together with your wife." Granted, I'm not married, but I still love having time as a couple to be with God.

So, my relationship goal for this month is:

Setting aside time to have daily Bible reading/worship together

The closer you grow to God, the closer you'll grow to each other. Just because you may be busy doesn’t mean you can let your relationship with God take a seat on the back burner. Here are a few suggestions you can use to start or improve your daily worship time:

Make time for worship every day

Everyone is busy. But if a relationship with God is important to you and your relationship, make time for it. Whether it's in the morning or evening, get into the habit of sitting down without any distractions, just to worship. We have our worship every night before I go back to the dorm to sleep. I find that spending that time together to free our minds really helps us to become less stressed.

Use a couples devotional

I'm a big fan of The 5 Love Languages. So the other day when I found out that there is a devotional book based off of it, I got really excited. The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional is a quick daily guide on how to express love to your loved one. The book covers different topics such as expressing feelings, effective apologies, dealing with fear, embracing emotions, and tons more! There's one for every day of the year! Not to mention that it's also less than $13 on Amazon ;)

Do a Bible study on a topic you're both interested in

Talk together and decide on a few topics you both would be interested in doing a study on. Grab a Bible study plan and/or commentary and spend each day going through and reading about the topic. Discuss how you can apply it in your relationship.

Start a family Bible

Caleb and I want to get a Bible with big enough margins so that we can make notations and turn it into a family Bible. I think it's a great idea especially if you want something your kids can use as they grow up and use it too.

Pray together

Taking the time to pray together will help strengthen the bond not only between you and your significant other, but it will keep you connected with God as well. Take turns praying and giving thanks for all that He's done for you.

 Marriage & Relationship Goals
What are some of your relationship goals for November?

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Bucket List

Bucket List Ideas | The Kardia Blog

If you haven't figured it out by now, I absolutely love goal setting. Daily goals, monthly goals, relationship goals, I love them all! Last week I posted my 101 in 1001 list, which is everything I want to complete within the next 2.75 years. Short term goals are awesome, but being the dreamer and futuristic person I am, I also have a life bucket list. I’ll be posting updates as I complete items, so follow my completion posts by going here or following me on Instagram.

Love & Relationships

  • Have that instant falling in love moment  (April 2012 maplewood academy lawn)
  • Be woken up with a kiss
  • Go to a drive in movie
  • Take cute pictures in a photobooth
  • Kiss underwater
  • Kiss under Mistletoe St. (or Ave. or Court or Blvd.)
  • Have a romantic night picnic
  • Slow dance in the rain
  • Kiss the one I love on New Years
  • Be proposed to in a unique way
  • Find the perfect wedding dress
  • Marry my high school sweetheart
  • Have a 50th wedding anniversary
  • Live happily ever after

Family

  • To be called mommy
  • Have a son
  • Have a daughter
  • Pass down my American Girl Doll to my daughter

Volunteering & Charitable Contributions

  • Donate $10,000 to a Children’s Hospital
  • Help out a random stranger
  • Sponsor a child in a third-world country

Animals

  • Be given a puppy as a present
  • Adopt a puppy
  • Own a white kitten
  • Hold a baby lion
  • Watch baby turtles hatch
  • Go whale watching
  • Ride an elephant

Travel

  • Travel with my best friends
  • Turtle Island, Fiji

National Parks

  • Visit every National Park

United States

  • Visit all 50 US states
  • Alaska
  • Drive down Route 66
  • Visit Niagara Falls
  • Visit the Statue of Liberty
  • Visit Mount Airy, NC - Andy Griffith
  • Visit Charleston, SC

World

  • France
  • Greece
  • Australia
  • Italy
  • London
  • Iceland
  • See the Roman Colosseum
  • Shop in Paris
  • Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • ‘Hold up’ the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Attach a lock to the Love Bridge
  • Drive the Atlantic Ocean Road

To Do

  • Go on the SkyDeck in Chicago (April 2013 senior class trip)
  • Run the Color Run
  • Ice skate in Central Park
  • Go horseback riding in Swan Valley, Montana
  • Go white water rafting
  • Go paddleboarding
  • Go kiteboarding
  • Go dog sledding
  • Go ziplining  (June 2013 philippines)
  • Zipline across the Amazon Rainforest
  • Grow an herb garden
  • Ride in a horse drawn carriage
  • Ride a vespa
  • Ride a gondola
  • Be part of a flash mob
  • Shower under a waterfall
  • Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge
  • Learn to surf  (June 2013 philippines)
  • Try poi
  • Write a book
  • Be in a magazine
  • Become a contributor for a blog, publication, etc.
  • Start a small business
  • Put together a family cookbook
  • Host a new years party
  • Open a boutique
  • Open an online shop
  • Start a blog (August 20, 2014)
  • Learn my ancestry
  • Learn calligraphy
  • Take a floral class
  • Master bread baking
  • Learn to sew

To Own

  • Own my dream home
  • Own a grand piano
  • Own a classic car
  • Own something from Tiffany & Co.
  • Own a beach house
  • Have a walk in closet

Photography

  • Take a photo every day for a year
  • Take a picture of a tornado

To Experience

  • Swim in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Experience Christmas in New York
  • Watch the ball drop in Times Square
  • Watch a volcano erupt
  • See the northern lights
  • Attend the Iditarod sled races in Alaska
  • Attend an event at the Olympics
  • Watch the sunset from Oia, Santorini, Greece
  • Bathe in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
  • Go to the World Expo
  • Kiss under a waterfall
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset from the top of a mountain
  • Fly first class

Baseball

  • See the Twins in Florida for Spring Training
  • Be a Twins season ticket holder
  • See the Minnesota Twins win the world series
  • Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Visit every MLB stadium
  • Go to the All Star Game
  • Bo to the Home Run Derby

To Complete

  • Complete an entire book of sudoku puzzles
  • Finish a bottle of nail polish
  • Assemble a list of my all time favorite quotes

Blogging

  • Get asked to speak at a blogging conference
  • Speak at a blogging conference
  • Attend BlogShop

What's something that's on your bucket list?

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P.S. Love goal setting as much as I do? Read my monthly goals for some inspiration!

101 in 1001

A list of 101 things to do in 1001 days | The Kardia Blog

I've always loved goal setting, and so when I saw this post by Design Darling, I knew I had to make a list of my own. Some of my favorite bloggers have lists of their own too, like Oh Simple Thoughts and The Wetherills Say I Do. 1001 days (2.75 years) is longer than a to-do list, but shorter than a bucket list. It allows you to dream big and make continuous progress towards those long term goals, but still lets you list the fun, to-do list type of goals as well. I think it's a great idea and would love to see you guys make a list of your own! I'll be posting updates as I complete items, so follow my completion posts by going here or following me on Instagram.

Start Date: October 16, 2014

End Date: July 12, 2017

Completed: 7/101

(in progress, completed)

Love & Marriage

1. Marry my high school sweetheart :) (August 7, 2016) 2. Find the perfect wedding dress (May 16, 2016) 3. Kiss the one I love on New Years 4. Celebrate our 1 year marriage anniversary 5. Kiss under Mistletoe St. (or Ave. or Court or Blvd.) 6. Go to a drive-in movie and cuddle 7. Slow dance in the rain 8. Establish a family tradition 9. Begin an annual family newsletter that is sent out during Christmastime

Personal Growth

10. Graduate college with a double major 11. Celebrate my 20th and 21st birthdays! 12. Give Caleb a birthday box for his 20th, 21st, and 22nd birthdays! 13. Learn my ancestry 14. Learn calligraphy 15. Take a floral class 16. Enter Minted Design / Photography Challenges 17. See a TED talk live 18. Read at least 30 new books (follow my progress and see what I'm reading on Goodreads! - 1. The Vacationers // 2. Where'd You Go, Bernadette // 3. Leave Your Mark // 4. The Goldfinch) 19. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years (when I turn 30! whoa, so old) 20. Achieve my target weight 21. Vote in a non-presidential election 22. Learn my blood type 23. Learn the alphabet in sign language (and other basic signs) 24. Learn to tie a tie 25. Successfully hold the crane pose for at least 10 seconds 26. Intern for an online magazine 27. Watch at least 5 documentaries 28. Take a self-defense class 29. Sponsor a child in a third-world country 30. Open an online shop 31. Write my life vision statement

 Blog

32. Invest in blog business cards 33. Attend a blogging conference 34. Write a guest post 35. Reach 100 blog followers (February 19, 2015) 36. Reach 500 blog followers 37. Reach 1000 blog followers 38. Met up with 5 or more blogging friends in person 39. Collaborate with a major brand I love 40. Start an email newsletter 41. Make a media kit 42. Make a blog book for 2014-15 and 2016 43. Attend BlogShop

Family, Friends, and Strangers

44. Mail a care package to my sister 45. Send surprise flowers to my mom 46. Surprise my dad with a gift 47. Call home at least once a week 48. Pay for someone else’s meal 49. Skype with a long distance friend 50. Host a dinner party

Finances

51. Put $10 into savings for every goal accomplished 52. Double our savings 53. Open separate bank accounts for our businesses (and pay ourselves a salary from it) 54. Do the 52-week money challenge

Apartment

55. Create a gallery wall 56. Create my own artwork to hang on our walls 57. Organize all our files 58. Create the perfect blogging workspace 59. Own at least 5 beautiful coffee table books 60. Organize our favorite travel mementos and souvenirs into display boxes for easy sharing 61. Plant an at-home herb garden

Travel

62. Visit Mount Airy, NC - Andy Griffith’s Hometown 63. Take a day trip to a nearby, quaint little town 64. Go to the Renegade Craft Fair 65. Hike Harney Peak with Caleb

To Experience

66. Go to a jazz concert 67. Do the polar bear plunge 68. Go camping in the Boundary Waters 69. Ice skate in Central Park 70. Ride in a horse drawn carriage 71. Ride in a passenger train (August 10, 2016) 72. Attend a horse race 73. Attend a First Friday Art Walk 74. Eat ice cream in front of a fire and watch a movie 75. Sleep under the stars 76. Attend a hot air balloon festival

To Do

77. Fill a sketchbook with drawings 78. Answer the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind 79. Learn to drive stick shift 80. Learn how to change a tire 81. Start (and complete!) a 365 day photo challenge 82. Get a keratin treatment and blog about it 83. Get a blowout 84. Make an apology cake 85. Take a nap in a hammock 86. Do a gold leaf DIY project 87. Do at least 10 different nail art designs 88. Go to a Minnesota Twins baseball game in a different state 89. Donate 10,000 grains of rice on FreeRice.com (5,000/10,000) 90. Have my apartment published on a major blog or in an online magazine 91. Find the perfect overnight bag 92. Invest in 3 classic closet pieces 93. Find a brand of jeans that fit me well 94. Own a pretty bicycle 95. Own a Diana toy camera 96. Own a pair of Hunter rain boots 97. Have a font of my handwriting made 98. Have a REAL Christmas tree 99. Get a puppy 100. Bring someone to the Mall of America who hasn’t been there before (December 19, 2014) 101. Inspire someone else to do 101 in 1001 (and if I did, tweet me the link!) (Steph Nora in December 2014, Paige in March 2015)

Speaking of #100, anyone want to come visit me so I can check that off? ;)

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P.S. Read all of my monthly goals here!

Intentional Time Together - Relationship Goals

Relationship Goals | The Kardia Blog When Caleb moved here to Lincoln a few weeks ago, we both feared that we wouldn't spend enough time together. How would we have time for each other if we have classes all day and homework/work in the evenings? Needless to say, we've had this conversation many times over the past week. There are a few things I've learned and really want to apply in our relationship.

So today I'm linking up with Amberly from Life with Amberly and Joe to set marriage and relationship goals. As a girlfriend, I want to strive for the very best in my relationship. Married or not, setting goals for your relationship can help keep you moving toward a better future with your significant other.

Now for my relationship goal for this month:

Spending more intentional time together

It is so important to make time and be intentionally focused on your significant other. Just because you may be busy doesn't mean you can let your relationship take a seat on the back burner. Here are some ways I'm going to live out my goal of intentional time together:

Prioritize

This is the biggest thing I've learned over the last month. With such a packed schedule, I know I can't do everything. Some things can be put on hold until the next day, but not time spent with my boyfriend. Because we don't live together, the time we spend with each other needs to happen in the few hours that we use to do homework/work. My goal is to actively show Caleb that he comes before anything else. He's the most important.

Make Time for Each Other

If you don't have time for each other, make some time. This goes along with prioritizing. My goal is to look at my schedule and intentional make time by giving up other things.

Go on Weekly Dates

This is super important to me! I believe that taking the time to go on a date is crucial at any stage in a relationship. Set aside a day of the week/month to really connect and have quality time together. My goal is to go on weekly dates and really have some fun!

Have a Tradition

We just created a tradition on Saturday :) Sabbath morning flapjacks. We've decided that every Saturday for breakfast, we'll make super yummy, fluffy, delicious pancakes together. This is one way we get to hang out and be together while doing something productive (making breakfast).

Just Talk

Even when we're both doing our own thing, if we're in the same room we still talk to each other. We comment on things, tell stories about our day, laugh a funny jokes, etc. My goal is to just talk, even if we're busy. It helps keep us connected.

 Marriage & Relationship Goals
What are your marriage or relationship goals for October?

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P.S. The Art of Mystery Dating...your spouse/significant other!

October Goals

October Goals | The Kardia Blog September just flew by! This month I want to savor time and cherish it. I don't want to let days go by fast just because I'm busy. That's my overall goal for this month. To slow down.

September Recap:

  • Read one book (that is not school related)

I didn't realize how little free time I was going to have last month! I've decided that my first step to completing this goal is to actually choose what book I'm going to read.

  • Set fitness goals with Caleb

Caleb didn't arrive here until last week, so we haven't had time to do this yet. But it's definitely high on our list!

  • Begin gratitude journal

I finally got around to actually starting my gratitude journal the day I wrote this post. It's something I really enjoy doing at the end of the day.

  • Go to bed before 11:00 and establish a healthier sleeping schedule because mine is so messed up right now.

Again, this didn't happen, but I feel like this month I will be better at this!

  • Go on a fun date with my love

This will definitely happen this month! I promise!

  • Sponsor another blog :)

I have some ideas of people to sponsor, I just need to get paid (#collegeprobs)

  • Do button swaps with other bloggers

All those lovely people on my sidebar are my button swap friends! Check out their blogs!

  • Participate in more link-ups

I link up every monday for Week's End, and I've met many great bloggers through this linkup.

  • Buy some business clothes (because I’m a business club officer, I need to dress up)

This will happen soon too.

  • Post on twitter more

I got better at posting on Twitter and participating in Twitter parties last month. I hoping to keep it up, too.

  • Make new friends on campus

I've met many great people, including a girl in my photography class that I go take pictures with.

  • Walk through a corn maze

I'm still hoping this can happen this month!

  • Do a photoshoot with my best girl friends

Also wanting to do this month!

  • Learn to edit pictures in photoshop

I'm thinking of spending one Sunday afternoon learning the basics.

  • Photograph life more
  • Finish decorating our dorm room

No time to do this last month, but we're slowly purchasing the items we need.

  • Stock the fridge with healthy snacks and eat them
  • Drink more water!!

October Goals:

  • Sign up for a Skillshare class
  • Blog about some date ideas
  • Share some more of my photography on the blog
  • Read one book (that is not school related)
  • Set fitness goals with Caleb
  • Go to bed before 11:00 and establish a healthier sleeping schedule because mine is so messed up right now.
  • Go on a fun date with my love
  • Sponsor another blog :)
  • Buy some business clothes (because I’m a business club officer, I need to dress up)
  • Walk through a corn maze
  • Do a photoshoot with my best girl friends
  • Learn to edit pictures in photoshop
  • Finish decorating our dorm room
  • Stock the fridge with healthy snacks and eat them

What are some of your October goals? Any Skillshare classes you can recommend? :)

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September Goals

September Goals | The Kardia Blog I cannot believe it is September. I'm getting so excited for fall! I love the change in seasons and the crispness of the air. Apple pie season isn't that bad either ;)

If you get to know me, you'll find that I believe in dreaming big and setting goals for yourself. And I don't mean just major goals. Even if you make a daily to-do list you're still setting goals. So today I'm starting a feature for things I want to accomplish within the month. Will you join me? I hope that posting these online will help keep me accountable and inspire others to set some for themselves. So with a heart full of motivation, here are my goals for September!

  • Read one book (that is not school related)
  • Set fitness goals with Caleb
  • Begin gratitude journal
  • Go to bed before 11:00 and establish a healthier sleeping schedule because mine is so messed up right now.
  • Go on a fun date with my love
  • Sponsor another blog :)
  • Do button swaps with other bloggers
  • Participate in more link-ups
  • Buy some business clothes (because I'm a business club officer, I need to dress up)
  • Post on twitter more
  • Make new friends on campus
  • Walk through a corn maze
  • Do a photoshoot with my best girl friends
  • Learn to edit pictures in photoshop
  • Photograph life more
  • Finish decorating our dorm room
  • Stock the fridge with healthy snacks and eat them
  • Drink more water!!

What are some of your September goals? Feel free to share some of them with me in the comments below! :)

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P.S. On Saturday night me and some friends dressed up as mimes for our college's annual handshake! I'm the one in the skirt :)

Mime Costume Idea | The Kardia Blog

Photography Bucket List

A Great Photography Bucket List! Tons of ideas for pictures to take! | The Kardia Blog Tomorrow is my first day of photography class. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about the art of photography and hopeful learn how to take beautiful pictures to document my life and surroundings. A few months ago I created a photography bucket list. It's a list of certain photos I'd like to take sometime in my lifetime. This list will continue to grow and I'll continually update it, but as of now this is what I have:

My Photography Bucket List:

  • Raw emotion
  • Try a film camera
  • Photograph a stranger
  • Frameworthy street photography
  • Elderly couple in love
  • Sleeping dog
  • Sleeping child
  • Evolution of a pregnant belly
  • Yawn of a baby
  • Spinning ferris wheel (Slow SS)
  • Macro flower shot
  • Child jumping in puddle
  • Couple kissing in rain
  • Moon
  • Fireworks
  • A true surprised look
  • Slow SS waterfall
  • Four generations of hands
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Child jumping on bed
  • Girls sharing a secret
  • Open arms reunion at airport
  • Sailboat at sunset
  • Parade
  • Baseball game
  • Slow SS rollercoaster
  • Car tail lights (Slow SS)
  • Kid crying on Santa’s lap
  • People jumping
  • Sunrise
  • Reflection of something in water
  • Elderly ladies laughing over tea
  • Foggy trees
  • Macro of a snowflake
  • Lightning
  • Horses running
  • Raindrops on a flower
  • Dancing
  • Pillow fight
  • Icicles
  • Under the pier shot
  • Butterfly on a flower
  • Two kids hugging each other

Do you have a photography bucket list? What do you have on yours?

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P.S. Follow me on Bloglovin' to keep up to date on my photography bucket list updates!