This is the last post of my Goal Post Series and I am grateful you have taken this journey with me! I’ve liked having a theme for the month. Do you? If so, let me know in the comments so I can plan more themed parties for us!
The last piece of the puzzle is Accountability. This is a new one for me, but I have so many goals that I wanted to report to someone so my goals wouldn’t get lost in the melee of my big, beautiful life. At the end of my list of Promises I added one more new category: Giddy-Up Goal Celebrations.
I wanted to be able to celebrate all of my small wins and be encouraged in my journey. I ended up with 4 accountabilities (of course, you can have as many or as little as you like). I have a Podcast Accountability group with two other awesome women that keep me on track with my podcasting goals. We meet via Skype every Tuesday. I have a Book-Writing Accountability team member who we simply email each other every Wednesday on our progress and encourage each other. I have a Speech accountability that I do every Thursday with guess who? Myself! And last, but definitely not least, I “hired” my best friend, Lizzie to check in with me monthly and then quarterly on my entire goal list.
And guess what? She is making me a gold star chart! How cool is that? She is most definitely a mom and wanted to make some sort of chart to show my progress and we giggled about gold stars, but then thought…why the heck not? It will be fun and you can bet I’ll be fighting for each of those earned gold stars!!
Goals are great. Goals written down are in a much higher percentile to actually happen and get accomplished. Goals that you have to report back to someone?? Over 90%, baby! I’m adding this element to rock my Promises this year!
And there you have it…4 blog posts on Dreaming Big, Reflection, Bite-Size Chunks, and Accountability. Now get out there and get ‘er done! I believe in you!
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By Lauri Mackey — 5 years ago2013 FireOut of the Ashes We Can Find HopeThis story of hope begins in 2013, when our county experienced a terrible fire. We were evacuated from our homes on a moment’s notice. The picture you see below with billowing orange smoke bombs was taken from my friends camera as we stopped to look back, perhaps for the last time on our neighborhood. I remember calling my mom while sitting in the long line of cars trying to leave and telling her of the situation. She expressed concern and told me to stay safe, but when I sent her that picture, she freaked out! It’s a lesson learned on how pictures speak louder than words. My husband and I truly thought that our home would be gone and that we would be starting from scratch. At the time, it just didn’t matter. I had just driven out of there with flames on the side of the road consuming trees that were 100 feet tall. I was alive, he was alive, I had rescued our kitties and our daughter had been at school. All was well as far as I was concerned.This particular fire burned hot and fast. It consumed everything in its path and in the end burned over 24,000 acres from a little valley, crossing the mountain range and ending at the ocean. Everything was black, sad and black. The smell of smoke and ash would be our constant companion for weeks. Words could not describe what we saw. We had people come drive out to see us and not truly get what had happened until they saw it for themselves. It is now just over two years as I write this and our beautiful mountains still carry the scars of this fire.The firefighters were the true heroes of the day. They miraculously saved our entire housing community. They had used our hose as our house faces a hill that was burned. A tree was knocked down by a fire truck. Trees surrounding the outskirts of the neighborhood were singed and blackened from the fire, but every home was safe. How was that possible? I saw the fire as I left. I saw the crazy big flames and felt the heat so hot that I had to roll up my car windows to not feel like I was getting burned. I had zero hope.(Our housing surrounded by blackened hills)As I look back, I’ve likened this very physical and temporal experience to a spiritual battle I had in my own life. So much is the same. The darkness was real and hope was not on my radar. Not so much as a little blip on the screen. When I read the saying that someone had “temporarily turned the light off at the end of the tunnel”, I could completely relate. (Stay with me now, because I found that silly little light-switch to turn on my own light!)Now, unlike the fire, I have no one to blame but myself. I made choices that brought me to that tunnel without a supposed light and had removed myself so far out there that my radar was actually damaged and couldn’t see that blip that turns out, was just hiding, not gone. Part of my lesson was realizing that I didn’t know how dark things had become. When you make wrong choices, consistently over a long period of time, they become your reality. My tunnel light had not been turned off, but there was so much smoke I had created that it just wasn’t visible to me anymore.My dark choices will not be the same as yours. We all have our own enemies to fight so I won’t bore you with the details of my battles, but I did win this particular war. The only way to win the war is to do exactly the opposite of what got you there to begin with. In my case, that meant not making decisions on my own. If I had tried to battle our physical fire around our homes I would have lost! I did not have the skills or expertise in that field. Everyone would have suffered the loss of their homes. The firefighters were the experts. I needed an expert in life. That meant turning to my spiritual power of prayer and getting on my knees and begging God to help me. He was my firefighter and I needed all of his expertise and knowledge of life to help me fight. All of my choices had brought me to that place…dark, lonely, afraid, sorely sad, and just plain miserable. Surely God could help me make better decisions than the ones I had been making.And indeed he did. It took some time, but I am grateful for my experiences I have had in my life. They have made me who I am today. Just like our mountains, I carry the scars from those days, but I believe, “A mended heart is stronger”. They remind me see that if I can make it…anyone can! I truly mean that with all my heart and soul. Ladies, if I can make it…so can you!Some people see the fires that burn hot and fast, while others experience a slow burn, but my goal in writing this blog today is to give you hope. Hope that you can become a magical electrician and wire your own switch for a light at the end of your tunnel. Hope that you see the sun and feel the warmth on your skin and in your soul. Hope that you find a flashlight along the way. Hope that your friend can loan you a flashlight until you can locate yours. Hope that out of your darkness and ashes, you rise like the fabled Phoenix to start again, renewed and strengthened for your journey ahead. Because once you are on that path, you need to loan your flashlight to others who can’t see their light and help them on their journey.Yours in Hope and Positivity…#makelemonade
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
Is your routine answer “Life is busy.”? It’s the unmistakably counted on answer when you ask someone the dreaded socially correct question now known as a greeting in our fair culture of “How are you?”. Is your response different? A “fine, how are you?” perhaps? I’m just as guilty as the next person and it has become habit to say either “fine, how are you?” or if I know them a bit better, “I’m busy”. And if I hesitate (usually trying to think of how I really am so I can answer honestly) the person asking the question immediately thinks that something must be wrong in my life and jumps to conclusions that who knows what that has formed in their minds from sour milk to my dog dying.
Now that I’ve formed this little rant on the “how are you” question…I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Haha! I can honestly answer that my life has been busy. You have to understand that I am crazy OCD and an organizational freakazoid who has dialed in my “to-do list” and my “must-do” list so I’m practically scheduled out every day of the week. Throw in a trip to Oakland for a family affair, my women’s conference where I was in charge of the almost 50 women volunteers, a couple of relatives popping in to say hello for a few days, and a planned trip coming up for four days the end of this week, and I pretty much throw my perfectly laid out plan out the window. Well, not all of it…but it does get a bit more stressful and trying to shove 6 days of work into 3 days of available time.
BUSY VS ROUTINE
After some recuperating and catching up I realized that sometimes I consider my life boring. Not bad boring, but routine boring. The same old things week after week. The same chores, the same workouts, the same type of work. Wearing my retainers every night, praying, meditating, daily reading, meals…all of it! And then I remember my younger adult self. Scattered, not settled into a career or a happy marriage. When the dust settled on the last two weeks and as I look forward to this coming weekend trip, I realize that I LOVE the BORING BLISS OF MY ROUTINE.
I love that I’m the first one up every morning because my hubby and puppies are not morning beings. I love going downstairs and getting a glass of water first thing and putting away the dishes from the night before and laying out my breakfast utensils. I love saying my morning prayers, and doing my daily reading and journaling all before the rest of my household awakes. I absolutely LOVE everything about Lauri’s Lemonade Stand…from the podcast, to the blog, to Ms Penelope Pickwick (My Bookworm). I love the routine of cooking dinner or just going out if it’s been a long day and that I watch movies most weeknights with my hubby (If you haven’t seen the movie Embrace…or I Feel Pretty…I highly recommend them!).
In today’s blog I just want to publicly acknowledge the boring bliss of my routine. I absolutely love it. I love the busy moments and the quiet moments. I love the growth moments and the bliss moments that happen after the growth moments and I realize that I’ve learned something new. I love the boring bliss of my routine! The next time someone asks “how are you?” I will answer “Really Good, and you?” What will you say?
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
Taking Out the Trash
For Real This Time…
I don’t know how many of you are Mac Users (I’m a Mac, not a PC), but there is a little to-do item that I sometimes forget about. It’s very important to do, especially on my laptop where I do all my work where there isn’t a lot of disk space to mess around with. It’s a little chore called, “Empty Trash”.
I delete stuff all the time on my computer! From emails to tossing out documents or photos or videos. Memes I’ve downloaded and used and then no longer need. Photos of items I’ve put on Craigslist and sold…months ago. Screenshots I’ve taken for a specific purpose and now that purpose has passed. I created a word document for a to-do list and now that chore has passed so I toss it out. I put it all in the trash. Out of sight, out of mind.
But just like the trash we throw into our trash cans outside for the garbage man to take away, it’s not like that stuff just disappears. In the case of our household trash, it ends up in a landfill doing damage to our planet earth. And the files in my computer? They sit in the trash until I go take one more step and EMPTY THE TRASH!
I’m not sure why we have to throw out the trash twice, but we do. Of course, in the case of our household trash, I try to limit what goes into the landfill. I try to reduce, re-use, and recycle as best I can so the impact I have is less. And on my computer, I try to make a habit of regularly taking out the trash so that stuff is not just out of sight, but permanently gone.
Sometimes we need to mentally take out the trash.
First, IT IS a good idea to simply reduce, re-use, and recycle the mental garbage. Trying to put better things into our creative and mental space is definitely the first line of defense. Does watching scary movies give you nightmares that keep you up at night? STOP WATCHING THEM in the first place! Stuck in a bad habit or need to simply create a new one like flossing twice a day? Take the first step towards either one. Remember that it takes baby steps…moving forward, however small, is the key.
Second, we may think that we have taken out the trash but just like my EMPTY TRASH button you may need to permanently take it out. Setting it aside is not enough. Sometimes we need to take that extra step and permanently let it go. Here are a few examples:
- You’ve quit coffee, but still own a coffeemaker and coffee is still in the cupboard.
- You’ve forgiven a friend, but are still hanging on to hurt feelings that we can’t quite release.
- You were in a horrible relationship, got out of it, then are still mentally bashing that other person or worse, ourselves for being in the relationship in the first place.
- How much mental space are you taking up by not permanently deleting the trash? By taking that extra step to let go for real this time?
I’m not saying it’s easy, but this blog is just about awareness. If you are in a situation where you haven’t permanently deleted your trash – you are the only one who truly knows. If you read this blog and instantly thought of something in your life that this applies to – then this article is for you.
Do some mental decluttering, some soul-searching, some meditation, whatever does it for you to start taking baby steps towards healing – and EMPTYING THE TRASH.
Would love to hear from you! Please comment below and let’s start some chatter!