Happy New Year!!!

 

We are kissing 2017 goodbye! It has been a CRAZY year to say the least.

Two minor surgeries, the flu for the first time, our big move, two new jobs, buying my first car, my pawpaw gaining his wings, getting engaged and all of the things in between.. So many changes, challenges and triumphs. The toughest part is that there is nothing that I want more than to pick up the phone and fill in pawpaw on everything. But I know he’s smiling down and watching over us and that gets me through. When I put it all into perspective, things could always be worse and we are pretty blessed.

If I could share one take away from my 2017, it would be to trust. Trust the Lord with all of your heart, believe in yourself, take risks and never lose faith. All of the trials I’ve faced this year have made all of these things so evident.

With all of that being said, I don’t know that I have ever been so excited for a new year to begin. 2017 took me on a roller coaster and I feel like I can make it through anything now that it’s coming to a close. I wanted to share with you all ways to achieve your goals and also be transparent about my personal goals for 2018!

I heard on the radio the other morning that surprisingly the most popular New Year’s resolution this year isn’t to get healthy, it’s to simply become a better person. With all of the negative spotlighted in the media, I find this really great.  I truly believe that humans as a whole are good and want to be good. So, here’s to becoming the best humans possible!

 Here are a few tips on how to set & accomplish goals:

  • Set precise goals that are measurable. This kind of goal is time sensitive, specific in nature, attainable yet challenging and measurable.
  • Write your goals down. Stick notes wherever you need to; the car, your planner, your mirror, etc. It is scientifically proven that goals that are written down are more likely achieved. Another fun option for this is a vision board. Pinterest has some great inspiration!
  • Plan accordingly & break things down. Some goals will require more small steps than others. Breaking them down will help with that overwhelming feeling from the devil himself that you will never accomplish your goal.
  • Find an accountability partner. This could be your significant other, your best friend, family member, social media BFF that you’ve never even met in person.. Just someone who wants to see you succeed. Ask them to hold you accountable. With J & I, this will look something like this: I will try to eat my weight in chocolate and he will ask, “Skyla, are you supposed to be eating that?” I will then put the calories back in the pantry or maybe even the trash and possibly eat a teeny tiny bite before doing so. Hold yourself accountable as well; eyes on the prize babe!
  • Treat yo self! If you are doing well with reaching your goal, reward yourself. You deserve it! This will encourage more positive actions.

A few of my personal goals are:

  • I want to be more present. This is slightly vague but this will require me to scroll less on social media, listen more attentively, slow down to smell the roses and also be more observant.
  • Reading more is something I have wanted to do forever now. I enjoy reading inspirational books, I’m a sucker for a good love story and I want to dig further into the bible. If anyone has any suggestions relating to these categories let a girl know!
  • Like everyone else, I want to be more healthy. After all, I do have a wedding dress to squeeze into. To be super transparent, I used to love crash dieting. If I knew I needed to fit into a dress or if I was going to be in a swim suit, I would eat the minimum or not at all. This year I want to create healthier eating habits and also become more active so that I will have long term results. My biggest challenge right now is the outside temperatures. Does anyone else find it difficult to be active in the colder months?
  • Simply put, I need to call my family more!! Being far away has been a challenge so I want to stay in touch with them more often.
  • I have accepted the fact that I am a terrible saver. But this year I am determined to start saving more of my money! (A wedding to pay for is quite the motivation). I am thinking about the Dave Ramsey budget plan. Has anyone had success with his method? Or do you know of something that worked for you?
  • I am well aware that I need to step out of my comfort zone and do so more often. Whether it be going places alone, attending a new workout class or reaching out to make new friends.. I want to do more of it all! I think a lot of personal growth takes place when we get outside of our comfort zone.
  • Lastly, I want to be more creative. I love doodling and hand lettering in my planner, so I would like to make it a hobby! To be creative and to also stimulate my mind is something that I will strive to do this coming year. If you have any fave pens or markers for calligraphy holla at ya girl!

There you have it. Lots of exciting things to come in 2018! I hope that you became motivated by one of the tips, that you connected to one of my goals, or that this post inspired you to better yourself in a new way this coming year!

Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

Happy New Year y’all!

With love from Tennessee,
Sky

Advent

Before you start reading, I challenge you to think about these three words and how they apply to your daily life. Do you view them as positive or negative? Do you reflect on their impact?
Rejection: The dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.
Patience: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”
Advent: The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

To be completely honest, I have not dealt with too much rejection in my life. I had quite a few friends growing up & very few times have I been told no. Whether it be leadership positions, prom queen, college acceptance, getting a bid from my sorority of choice, job opportunities and even asking my parents for things (youngest child perks)… I wasn’t told no often. So with that, when I think about my most significant rejections, I think about some of the lowest points in my life. I’ll tell you about three, and how they have led to some of my most happy times.

I ran to be a Texas FFA State Officer back in my day. I was an area officer and had always admired the state officers. I wanted nothing more than to become one myself. A lengthy application, various interviews and a speech were all required to run. I completed everything and felt extremely confident that I would be the next state officer from our area. Long story short, to my surprise, I wasn’t selected. I was crushed. This was the first time I had ever “lost.” I was 17 and didn’t quite grasp God’s Divine plan. Eventually I did. Certain state officers take the first year of college off and if they don’t a large responsibility lies within them. This rejection allowed me to go off to college on time, with no commitments. I was able to begin a new chapter and also join Delta Zeta. My college career and my life now would certainly not be what it is without DZ. The next time your plan doesn’t work out, look at the rejection as God’s protection.

I used to long to be loved and by all of the wrong people. I would cling to unhealthy relationships and seek my value from others. All of the relationships that I thought would last, eventually left me in heart break. I would question God and his reasons, stop eating for weeks and make myself sick. If only I could go back & tell myself that J was on his way! I am thankful for what each heart break taught me and I am thankful for those who did not see my value. Now, I get to marry the greatest man on this planet! Someone who respects me, knows my worth and cherishes my love. Someone who understands me, loves me unconditionally and makes me into the best possible me. The next time someone wants to walk away from you, or better yet, not commit at all, do not beg them to stay. Let them leave or you build the strength to walk away. There are far better things ahead!

When we moved to Nashville I took a temporary job. Coming from a recruiter background that scared the crap out of me.. But I stayed positive and looked at it as my gateway to get to Nashville. That’s exactly what the position did. It got me here, I made some money and got good experience under my belt. Another long story (kind of) short, I was eventually told I was going to stay permanently. My hopes were up. Then things played out and apparently God had something better in store. I was initially extremely angry. I worked really hard and I thought that I had proven myself. After some time I came-to and realized it wasn’t meant to be. This was the start of a whirlwind. Talk of new positions becoming available, pay cuts, another temporary position, etc. etc. So I started looking elsewhere, truly searching for what I want to do long term. I interviewed at a few duds that just weren’t going to work out. If anything, they were great interview practice! I then remembered that when we first talked about moving here, I discovered that a very familiar company had their corporate office here. Lightbulbs went off!  I knew I wanted to end up there. It is all of my passions combined into one mega bundle of a dream. So, naturally, I got on LinkedIn and creeped. I found people that worked there and sent a few messages. A couple of days went by and I got a response! A phone screen, two phone interviews, and a lengthy in-person interview later… I got the offer!! My only dilemma, I was finally getting considered for a permanent position at my initial job that I spoke of. What are the freaking odds?! This felt like when a kid doesn’t want a particular toy until another little kid has it. I had two potential opportunities on the table. One I had a definite offer from, the other I hadn’t heard back from yet. So I woke up one morning and asked God to make my path clear. Even though I knew where my heart was, I didn’t want to make the wrong decision. That same day I received an email saying the permanent position was offered to another candidate. The old me would have been bothered by this rejection. But today, today I am thankful for the evidence of God’s work in my life. That, “we decided to go with another candidate,” was one of the best things to ever happen. My path was paved oh so clear. I needed all of the rejection to kick me into gear. Don’t wait until tomorrow to chase your dreams. Find out what you want to do, create a plan of action and make it happen! Don’t forget to stay faithful in God’s timing through the entire process. (Find out next week where I’m takin’ my talents!)

In all three examples that I gave, God’s timing was impeccable. You see, our God is an intentional God. He makes no mistakes or coincidences. We must learn to view rejections as God’s protection, remain patient leading up to seasons of advent and trust that He will come through. Stay in constant communication with The King and allow him to direct your path.

If you are waiting for your next job opportunity… His name is King Jesus.
If you are longing for your prince charming… His name is King Jesus.
If you are trying to figure out how you’re going to pay rent… His name is King Jesus.
If you are calculating how to pass your class… His name is King Jesus.
If you are searching for answers… His name is King Jesus.

We all fall short sometimes.
Remember that even when we are faithless, He remains faithful.

Be patient my friends. He is coming.

 

With love from Tennessee,
Sky