Tag Archives: journal

How I Plan to Put My 2019 Goals into Action

Hello friends! Welcome back to my blog. My name is Beth, if you are new here. I recently shared my 2019 Resolutions and I wanted to expand on this topic in today’s post.

Today I’m going to discuss some specific strategies I’m planning to employ in order to meet my 2019 goals. The new year is such a wonderful time to reflect on the positive changes we’d love to make and the new habits we’d like to adopt. But without a plan for how to stick to these changes, implement new habits, and actually…ya know…FOLLOW THROUGH, we run the risk of setting the same resolutions year after year after year. Know what I mean?

I’m definitely guilty of getting hung up in that little no man’s land between conception and action. I love research and planning and thinking things through. Maybe you’re the same way?

Well then dear friends, let’s do this together! Let’s make a plan and get shit done! Shall we?

Here are some ideas about how to follow through on our 2019 resolutions…

Outline Steps to Success

For each of my resolutions, I’m coming up with a plan of attack that I need to complete in order to succeed.

Integral to this process has been establishing a 2019 GOALS NOTEBOOK. I wrote out each of my resolutions, with blank pages left in between so that I can outline my steps.

It would be really easy to list one of my resolutions as “eat healthier”…and leave it at that. Instead, after my Whole30 reintroduction process, I plan to sit down with my notebook and map out what foods my body best jives with.

For my resolutions about spending more time growing my business and creating materials for this blog, I’m working on defining a schedule and setting due dates.

This gives my brain something concrete to work with so I know what I need to do to reach the end goal.

Schedule for Success

I’ve mentioned before that I really love to approach my day like a puzzle. (It’s why I love planners like this one.) Figuring out how the various pieces fit together to maximize my day and productivity is something I enjoy.

So, with that in mind, I’m not only making it a point to schedule in time for planning out how to achieve my goals…but then using that time to stick those plans into my schedule! Still with me?

For example, today I had a few minutes to devote to my “2019 notebook” and I sketched out a workout plan for February.

THEN…I grabbed my planner and scheduled my workouts for the first week of that month.

I can do the same thing when I make plans for quality time with my husband or writing postcards to friends or deep cleaning once a week.

When I schedule something, I’m making a COMMITMENT. Like, that shit is engraved in my calendar IN PEN (and hell, might even be highlighted!). Commitments are exactly what I need in this, the year of COMMIT!

Connecting with Others

Sharing this process publicly is a nice, healthy dose of accountability! I really, really want to make these things work…because I’m talking about them openly. I definitely think there’s something to be said for our good ol’ internet-age//social media-riddled lives when it comes to this stuff.

However, I also think sharing my goals and the process privately, with trusted loved ones in my life, is also important. This is where I can seek out encouragement (or more realistically…a good kick in the butt when I get lazy) as well as fresh perspectives when and if I get stuck.

Connecting with Self

We’re only about 1/12th of the way through the year. And while I’m still feeling pretty fired up about making the most of 2019, I can’t guarantee I’m going to feel this same way every minute of the next 11 months. So staying inspired is equally important as making and talking about plans.

That’s why my notebook isn’t just for lists and steps and action plans. I also created sections for journaling and mantras and a vision board (!) and quotes.

I want to stay connected to the reasons I set these intentions. These reasons are what gives the process power and purpose.

I hope you found these ideas helpful for planning your own 2019 “follow through.” If you would like some encouragement, motivation, or just want to type your intentions out for someone/anyone to see; LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW!

Do you have any specific strategies that have helped you stick to goals? Leave those below, too.

Here’s to achieving our goals in 2019! xoxo

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My New Journal Approach

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Here’s the deal. I’ve never been a great historian of my own life. I admire the folks who keep detailed accounts of their days tucked away in composition notebooks and moleskines. What a gift to be transported back in time years later. However, try as I might, I’ve never been able to pick up this habit. (Blogging is the closest I’ve come!) I’d love to be able to look back at handwritten pages and recall dishes I ordered at restaurants and the songs I played on repeat for months at a time. I’d like to find sustainable ways to track my gratitude and personal triumphs.

So, what’s a girl who loves to start journals and abandon them three days later to do??? After a little reflection, I’ve landed on LISTS. I LOVE a list. I love to make them, I love to read them, I love to organize the random into neat little bullet points. Aha!

*Trumpet Sounds* Enter my new approach to journaling…THE LIST JOURNAL! 

keeping a list journal

And what do you think my very first list shall be? If you guessed a list of lists then *ding, ding, ding* you nailed it! A list of lists I want to write in my list journal.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

  • Books that have motivated or inspired me to make changes in my life.
  • My favorite topics of conversation.
  • Where we take visitors when they come to Miami.
  • All the acts of love that made up our beautiful wedding.
  • Standard packing list.
  • Every speech piece I ever competed with.
  • Weird things I did when I was super broke.
  • Reasons I love Wink.
  • Stuff that makes me feel better when I’m sick.
  • A running account of movies seen in the theater.
  • Favorite YouTube workouts.
  • Everything I’m thankful for on a given day.
  • Folks I’d like to send letters to on a more regular basis.
  • Chet’s masterfully prepared meals.
  • My most worn clothing in a given season.
  • Books I would recommend to someone who wants to read more.
  • The best seasons of The Real World. 🙂
  • Childhood memories that make me laugh.
  • Photos I want to frame and display.
  • People I admire.

My thought is that recording lists, along with the date, will give my future self a nice window into where I was in the world (physically, emotionally, AND mentally) at the time of composition. Or at least offer me an outlet to reflect on past events, articulate my gratitude, and mindfully create space for happiness. Wish me luck!

What do you think? Would you keep a list journal? Got any tips for being a better personal historian? I’d love to hear!! xoxo 

P.S. My notebook system and how I prioritize my passions.

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The 365 Sentence Memoir Project

Recently, my sister Katie told me about a genius project she is undertaking and I wanted her to share it with you guys! She is a wonderful and creative recorder of her thoughts and history (a quality I deeply wish I possessed), and her newest take on journaling would be an awesome summer activity for those of you eager to get the writing juices flowing (or well-oiled if you’re on a break from school). Let’s learn more…

365 day memoir

For a very long time, I didn’t necessarily identify as a “writer.”  In fact, I would never say I was one.  I was (and am) a musical theatre actress.  Last December, when I had the first reading of the musical I wrote  there was a press release that said “Join Playwright Katie Berger as she shares her original musical.”  My thought process went like this: “Playwright Katie Berger?  That’s me?  Oh, yea that’s ME!!  Of course I’m a writer!  I literally write all the time!  It’s one of my very favorite things to do in the world! I wrote a musical!”  Anyway, since then I have been asked numerous times for advice and even though I feel very unqualified to give tips of any kind I always say “Make sure you write every day, even if it’s only a sentence.”  Thus my newest project was born.  Every day for a year, I will be writing a one sentence story.  By the end of the year, I will have a 365 sentence long memoir. A year is a while to wait though, so here is a peek:

 

4-22

She found herself hiding in every single song on the radio.

 

4-23

It wasn’t exactly that she was heart broken but the rain relentlessly fell on her umbrella and she was definitely glad it wasn’t sunny.

 

4-24

She loved them so much that she absolutely would, without question, stay trapped in a mine if it meant she could hallucinate from lack of oxygen with them, and she took great comfort in the fact that they felt the same way about her.

 

4-25

He could make her smile harder than just about anyone.

 

4-26

Let’s get married if we both aren’t, she joked, and he said earnestly I would jump at the chance.

 

4-27

Sometimes it’s nice to have someone hand you a beer, crank up the show tunes, and dance the night away with.

 

4-28

She looked down at her flannel shirt and her polka dot skirt and her knee socks and boots and pushed up her thick rimmed glasses and chuckled at the fact that after so long trying to escape the manic pixie dream girl trope here she was delivering a handwritten letter to a boy trapped inside his own anger and when she got back home she would probably play her ukulele and dance by herself to her Ben Folds a cappella cd and she thought maybe it’s okay to be a walking stereotype because this is exactly who I am when no one is watching.

 

4-29

She realized that starting tomorrow she will have spent more time on this earth without him than with him.

 

4-30

She laughed so hard she couldn’t breathe and maybe it was because everything always seemed a bit absurd on the anniversary of her dad’s death or maybe it was because she felt slightly feverish but it was probably because the response she got from her handwritten, heart felt letter was “my chinchilla chewed the paper.”

Share the shame.

journals

The other night, I watched the documentary “Mortified Nation.” A film about the stage show “Mortified” which, if you haven’t heard of, is basically a platform for adults to share their childhood writings with an audience of strangers. “Mortified Nation” combines performance footage from various shows with details on conception, implementation and production. In the opening scene, a teenager talks about her own private writings in her diary. She discusses this sacred book with reverence and questions; why would ANYONE want to read journal entries out loud to a room full of strangers? And you might be thinking the same thing. Yes, the stories shared by various performers throughout the film were embarrassing but they were also hilarious, deeply relatable and a gentle reminder that no matter who we become, when you get right down to it, we all came from the same place. A childhood where everything that happened was of grave importance when funnelled through a limited life experience.

 

 

After reading “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth,” this documentary really resonated with me both as a reminder of how we should be relating to teens and the emerging geek chic culture which Robinson discusses. As adults, it is easy to brush off the feelings and worries of children as unimportant. But “Mortified” literally spotlights some of the most important moments in these young lives. The performer embodies the younger version of themselves where first kisses, crushes, hatred were BIG. They grapple with emerging sexuality and conflicts with parents and we can relate. Yet, too often, put a real live teen in front of us with these same struggles and we think “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, kid.” Young adults are starting to celebrate themselves (and the dorky childhoods that begot them) and serving as perfect examples for Robinson’s “quirk theory”–the characteristics that make your life terrible as a teen earn you accolades as an adult. For participants of “Mortified” these accolades are real, quantifiable celebrations like applause and laughter. Unsurprisingly, people go to these shows and leave wanting to participate. They want to share the shame. And I’ll be honest, watching the documentary made me want to do the same.

 

lafayettehs

 

I’m much too flighty to have ever kept extended written accounts of my life. I’m always jealous of the people who have boxes full of nostalgia hidden under their bed. (The mormons are the best at this, aren’t they? Shout out to y’all!) Unfortunately, I’ve moved a lot and every so often I just get an unquenchable urge to throw shit away. I would also rather tell people my secrets then keep them under lock and key. Even an old online journal, tucked away in a forgotten corner of the internet, is gone. Kept for over four years, it would have made some great “Mortified” fodder. My account of every teenage first has disappeared into the ether of now defunct websites from the early aughts. To be real, thinking about it bums me out…more than it maybe should. Of course, I am me –I should know how I felt during those years (which were BIG years: I lived abroad, went to proms, had a couple boyfriends, got into college, won some speech things…lost my dad) but going back to THE exact moment where the emotions, good or bad, had bubbled up to a boiling point so dire that you had to get them out or risk implosion–is different. And I think it’s ok for those of us who didn’t set out to be great life historians to be a little sad we can’t go back. At least not in the same way our peers can who were and are.

Of note: Strawberry Shortcake bandana, velour jacket, track pants and an INTENSE addiction to fountain Diet Cokes from the McD's up the road from LHS.
Of note: Strawberry Shortcake bandana, velour jacket, track pants and an INTENSE addiction to fountain Diet Cokes from the McD’s up the road from LHS.
Of note: Speech camp!
Of note: Speech camp! 

I also wonder what “Mortified” would look like in subsequent generations. Now, more than ever before, we are all curators of a very public scrapbook of our own lives. Key word here being public. The “Mortified” performances are so raw because they ARE those secrets we once thought we would die if anyone uncovered. As one performer noted, “ If you’ve got something you feel like you would kill yourself if people found out, there’s no way you can hold on to that.”  The advent of social media has completely turned this on it’s head. We are a culture who shares everything–and our youth are not excluded from this practice. We also adapt our accounts for audience. Admit it, we are all guilty of this. Myself included. When I look back at the online scrapbook I’m creating through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. in say, 10 years; will I see various vignettes of the most important moments in my life? Or will I see the moments I thought others would believe were the most important? The moments which would gain me instant gratification through immediate and public peer approval? Perhaps THIS is the very thing that will mortify us in the future. Only time will tell.

 


Do you have embarrassing journals, letters, song lyrics from your past? Would you ever read them to a room full of strangers? If you’re in the mood for a hearty laugh with a shot to the arm of empathy, I wholeheartedly recommend this documentary, which is now streaming on Netflix.

(Picture of my high school via here. I love that it looks like a faded postcard. Embarrassing high school photos via Facebook by way of Rachel and Matt. : )