Hello, October

Welp, fall’s here. You know what that means…time for a whole new set of goals and pumpkin-flavored everything. I write goals for (almost) every month but the times when I actually write about them here, I feel a lot more accountable to finish them, even if I never talk about them again. Seems a bit strange, but it works!
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This year, I am pumped about fall weather more than anything. Summer was always my favorite season but that nonsense ended when school did. So I picked a new season. Gosh I’m getting old.

I decided to write my goals straight in my planner this month. This Lilly Pulitzer is pure genius with all the blank space floating around…it’s the perfect place to write it and actually not lose it. Well, hopefully not. It also has just the right amount of space so that I don’t get carried away with things I would like to do, but are probably unrealistic.

As you can see, I have finally stopped putting “read a book” on my goals list because it hasn’t gotten done at all for the last 6 months so why would it now? I think I’m catching on to this whole goal writing thing, amirite?!

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You Are Creative

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I have a hard time believing that a non-creative person exists. I mean, creativity comes in all forms and looks completely different for each person. Without creative people, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist – no musicians, no designers, no entrepreneurs, no engineers, no architects, no doctors…and the list goes on. If you are a problem solver, art-maker, hobby-haver, communicator, or thinker then you are a creative person.

Even everyday conversations require creativity to use combinations of words and phrases together! One of the most fascinating things is to eavesdrop on a conversation and compare what you would have said to what the eavesdropee is saying. (If this isn’t a thing that people do, then let’s pretend I didn’t just admit to eavesdropping.)

Here are a few tips to unleash your creativity:

  • Try something new. If you want to be a painter, you can be! All you have to do is start painting – that’s it.
  • Just Start. Go ahead and begin a project. Realize that if you mess up or if what you’re working on isn’t up to your standards, you’re in a better place than if you wouldn’t have started at all because now at least you know what doesn’t work!
  • Practice makes perfect. So maybe you don’t believe in perfect, per-se, but my parents used to say this all the time in relation to not just being able to expect yourself to be good at something the first time. It’s a shame I threw away the hundred pages I first tried calligraphy on, because if that wasn’t the epitome of that saying, I don’t know what is.
  • Use inspiration. Sparingly. This is a toughy. Inspiration is great and can help you get some fantastic ideas just be careful about copying someone’s work or using a voice that’s not necessarily your own. Gather ideas and use those to formulate your plans and notes. If you do take someone else’s ideas verbatim, you definitely need to site where you found it.
  • Get ideas flowing. Start by warming up for five minutes. This can be anything from writing a timed journal entry to free playing on your guitar while making up words, to taking a walk, to combining colors, themes and patterns to create a “mood board”. I like to listen to music I don’t know the words to when I am painting, this helps me to focus on the paint and strokes while also having some background noise.
  • Make lists. What are your goals – both big and little? Ticking them off as you go will help you feel more productive. Lists can also be used to reflect on projects to compare what you liked and what you didn’t so that you will can improve next time.
  • Set deadlines. Force yourself to finish something. This is one of the greatest lessons that I have learned from Get Messy in the past nine weeks. The time crunch holds me accountable and gets the creativeness going even when I’m tired or want to do something else.
  • Bounce ideas off an expert. Find someone who is creative in a way that you connect with and ask them questions. See what there creative process is like and how each project is executed.
  • Don’t be afraid to be embarrassed. Some of my worst projects have been posted right here on this blog and even though I hated posting it, I love looking back on it to see how much my art work has changed. Even the photos in some of my very first blog posts are a mess, but the journey is oh-so lovely. This is what pushes me to keep practicing.
  • Overcome self-negativity. This one’s obvious. The more you put yourself down or tell yourself that you can’t do something, the more you won’t want to (or be able to) do something.
  • Save it. If you’re stuck and your project doesn’t seem complete, let it sit around in a place you will see it for a few days. Let your brain think of it in the background and see if you can’t come up with something to add or change to make your project better.
  • Scrap it. It’s not practical to think that every single project/hobby will be “your thing”. Do what you love and scrap what you don’t.

Try something new and let me know how it goes!

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Since I am graduating this month (I know, right?) I wanted to do it big with goals.

  1. attend tiger send off
  2. read two books
  3. use my dslr to take photos 8 separate times…(so basically I’m going to need to start carrying it around everywhere)
  4. “cheers” to graduation at least 3 times
  5. plan dinner with each of my friends that won’t be living in Columbia next year
  6. study for finals…at this point I’m anticipating that this could be an issue…
  7. attend my school’s graduation ceremony…don’t worry, my Momma isn’t going to let me fail at this goal
  8. relax by hiking at least 2 times
  9. visit Les Bourgeois Vineyards
  10. plant new plants and re-pot old ones

What are your goals for may?


 

//note: I did pretty well with my May goals…I knocked out 7/10!

  1. attend tiger send off
  2. read two books
  3. use my dslr to take photos 8 separate times…(so basically I’m going to need to start carrying it around everywhere)
  4. “cheers” to graduation at least 3 times
  5. plan dinner with each of my friends that won’t be living in Columbia next year
  6. study for finals…at this point I’m anticipating that this could be an issue…
  7. attend my school’s graduation ceremony…don’t worry, my Momma isn’t going to let me fail at this goal
  8. relax by hiking at least 2 times
  9. visit Les Bourgeois Vineyards
  10. plant new plants and re-pot old ones

Christmas Break Plans and Goals

Thank goodness, I made it. There’s always that time while studying at 2am when I think to myself…there is no way this will ever end. But here we are. Christmas break and plenty to do. I’ll be spending time working and at home, enjoying family and looking for jobs, studying for the GRE and preparing for the CSCS exam.

In the next couple weeks, I’m hoping to share the last joy post of the year and a few excerpts from my journal. It’s getting to the point where I need to start thinking of my word for next year, but I don’t really want to let go of joy. And then there will, of course, be Christmas photos. I’m kind of dying right now because I left my camera cord at home and now I am getting my computer worked on, so I haven’t been able to upload photos in FOREVER (everything you have seen has been from my iPhone, which is actually pretty impressive).

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What are your Christmas Break plans?

Finals Tips and Tricks

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Finals week – tons of exams, tons of studying, tons of coffee, tons of snacks and very little sleep.

So I’ve been taking finals for a couple years now and while I am not perfect by any means, there are things that I have learned over the years to help make finals a little less miserable. More than likely, all of these things won’t work for every single person, but maybe one or two will!

1. Make a schedule of when/what you are going to study.

This way, you can prepare what classes need to be studied harder than others and you can lay out your whole week, or two, depending on when you have your finals. My favorite way to do this is excel or google calander. There are also a ton of print outs on the internet that you can download and fill in after printing. (Here is one option). The bigger and more time you can put on there, the better.

2. Don’t forget to plan breaks and time to sleep.

I think the number one thing that I have learned is to schedule time for myself. During the week, I try my best to keep up on all of the things I normally do – sleep 6-8 hours, shower regularly (I feel like this should go without saying, but it is finals week after all…), read my Bible, blog a little, take photos, spend time with Kevin and friends. This way, I get breaks in and I’m actually enjoying myself instead of being miserable.

3. Actually study.

Yep, sometimes we fall into the habit of “studying” on pinterest or twitter…but you gotta be real with yourself. Wouldn’t you rather actually study and then get a break to do something you love, rather than waste time on social media? So, if that means deactivating facebook, using the self control app for macs or having friends change passwords, by all means – do it!

4. Nourish your body properly.

Junk food makes you feel like crap and isn’t going to give your body the nutrients it needs to work it’s best. Make sure you eat square meals and drink plenty of water.

5. Help yourself

It may be a little late now, but if you are taking comprehensive finals, use your old notes, charts and flashcards instead of making new ones. I typically save everything that I have made or used during a semester in a drawer in my desk. Once the semester is over, I save all of my old tests/notes/papers in a binder.

6. Group study 

One of the best ways to study is to explain how something works to someone else. Then, not only are you benefiting, but so are they! Run through it and really see if you have it memorized. If you have questions, ask your peers and see if they can explain something in a different way. (If that fails, email the professor!)

7. Use incentives

Motivate yourself by studying in a new place, buying yourself a coffee or pastry when you’re studying, or simply by allowing yourself time to do something you enjoy. My favorite places to study: local coffee shops, the library, or a comfy chair on Mizzou’s campus. I’ve even been that person who rides the stationary bike at the gym while flipping through flashcards (no shame).

 

Here are a couple more blogs with great ideas for finals week:

Alyssa Bethke – Living in the Busyness of Life (one of my favorite blog posts)

Popcosmo – How to study for finals

Smitten By – 25 healthy ways to deal with stress (just in case you’re already to that point…)

Serve in the light of the truth – 7 Tips to Ace Finals Week

Here’s to a successful finals week! Go get ’em!

Better Late Than Never

November. Already? Goodness, I am enjoying this season more than I have in the past. Plus, we just “fell back” for day light savings, so that definitely helps fall seem better. AM I RIGHT?! 

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so enjoyed doing a photo challenge in October, so much so that I’ll be doing another one this month. It will be a little different, thanks to an app called “Collect”. It’s pretty great and it reminds you to take a photo and upload it to the app, then at the end of the month, you have a calendar full of photos and it looks really neat. My theme for the photos this month is thankful. I have been uploading the photos I have taken so far to the app and also to instagram, which is always pretty awesome because a lot of people post about what they are thankful for as well, such a reminder of God’s blessings! I am hoping to do some posts on being thankful and I also want to bring back my word of the year for a post or two!

what are you posting on instagram? link your username below, I’d love to check it out.