2014, Finish Strong

It’s the end of the year.

Finish 2014 Strong
Finish 2014 Strong

Did it just fly by for you?  Me too.

I have two words for you, my friend.

Finish Strong.

Finish strong.

Instead of a resolution for 2014, I chose a word to help me grow.  Strong was my word of the year.  I didn’t realize how powerful one word can make in my life.

Strong is more than just physical strength.

Strong is beauty.

Strong is grace.

Strong is true.

This year strong was taking action to create this blog and share with the world.

Sometimes being strong was simply listening.  Even though I was frustrated inside just wanted to walk away from tough conversations.

Strong this year was developing serious self-control to not spend money.  Even though I would see something that would be “Perrrrrfect for so & so…”  or would look “Absolutely gorgeous right next to the…”

Strong helped us create and carry out our Plan to Beat Debt.

Strong is that inner determination and total commitment to stick with it.

This Christmas season, finish the year strong.  Have you made the calendar of the family activities you will and will not attend?  It’s so important.  Don’t let yourself get frazzled with too many good things.  Make your choices early and stick with the plan.

I blew it last year.  I knew my little girl would only be little and the time would pass so quickly…I was completely focused on making the Christmas just about perfect.  I packed our days with activities, baking, extra crafts and activities to make it….perfect. (You know where this is headed, don’tcha?)

They played along for a while, but one particularly full day, after work, holiday activities my husband just stopped, looked at me and said,”Why do we have to make Christmas trees out of egg cartons?”  Translation:  he was fried.  My little girl was done.  We were exhausted and ready to go to bed.

My answer, “Because I found it on Pinterest and this is CHRISTMAS!!”

And, between us, I will never forget how foolish it sounded coming from my mouth…and the look of complete disbelief from him when I said that.

What did that ridiculous Christmas craft have to do with making the holiday season merry?

What kind of Christmas spirit was that bringing in?

Know what my family needed?

Not Crazy Mommy.

They needed Happy Mom.  “Laugh at the silliness Mom.”

“Let’s enjoy this moment Mom.”

I tried that for this Thanksgiving.  Things didn’t go exactly as planned.  The appetizers were cold.  We had to re-heat the artichoke dip.  I didn’t have time to finish the pumpking pie mousse that mounds the regular pumpkin pie.  There were no mashed potatoes with our meal.

Guess what?  I didn’t even worry about it. And we made memories to last a lifetime.  I’ve never had Karaoke at Thanksgiving.  Who does that?  Apparently, our friends.

And it was great!  It just might become a tradition.

So this holiday season, put your Christmas plans in order, and don’t over commit to too many things.

Because, just like I realized on Thanksgiving night as I was falling to sleep for the day, “Mashed potatoes come and go.  Memories last a lifetime.”

Or better said, don’t let the little things, the details, the minutia that we put too much emphasis on during the holidays, ruin what it’s really all about.

Finish Strong. 

Tell me in the comments below, how do you plan to avoid the holiday stress this Christmas?


Finish Your Goal

Today  is the final day my 31 days of 500 words challenge, as shared by Jeff Goins.

Finish Your Goal
Finish Your Goal

And I feel pretty good about it.

But what I learned has been incredible.  The lessons from this one challenge apply to every entity of life.  I plan to test it out in other areas.

The joy of the finish

I am feeling good about myself.  I accomplished something.

Not just a work project or another household chore, I put something out there that I hoped to do and worked for it.

As I thought about it, I realized, I haven’t done that in a while…just set a goal, a new goal that pushes me to get out there and work for it.

How about you?  When was the last time you did something that pushed you out of the regular?

I’m noticing that in those moments is when I am feeling happiest.

Fulfilled.  Ready to achieve even more. Why?  Because I’m growing.  I’m trying something new and finding out some amazing things about my character, my sheer stubbornness to post after a long day and I’m tired, about me.

I missed a couple of days.  And that’s okay.

A few years ago I would have missed that first day during the month and thought, “Well, I’ve blown it.  I’m a failure. No reason to try now.”

That is so unfair.  I would never let my friends say that.  Why would I say that to myself?

It made me realize all those diets I had blown.

All of those organization projects that didn’t quite…pan out.

All the times I’d quit too soon.

Too often we are quick to call ourselves a failure without giving ourselves a break.

Or grace.  There is beauty in accepting that we’re human, and as long as we are trying to do a little to improve each day, we are making progress.

Excellence is created

Anyone can do something well.  The real trick is to do something well day in and day out.

It’s a choice to be excellent.  It’s a decision made saying, “Yes, I will do this.  And I will do my best at it every day.”

No one tells you to be kind to the grocery store clerk.  It’s a choice to create an excellent moment.

No one asks for your respect.  Excellence is created in relationships, business, life, with the other cool preschool moms by being excellent.

Your circumstances, like mine, are temporary.  Where you are right now certainly is not where you have to be in five years.

You can change that.

You create your own excellence.

Integrity shines through

This month, like no other, I’ve been able to connect with readers and really hear more about them.

I believe because I’ve been giving more of the real me- they are willing to share their stories.

I’m working on being a person of integrity:  showing you who I am.  Completely me.   Missed snacks and all.

Because I value you the trust of my readers.

And, my readers, read: YOU, absolutely ROCK.

I’m inspired by your stories of success, lessons on being a better military spouse, how to stay strong as Credit Cards and I are breaking up; and grandmas accidentally packing beers for kids’s lunch.  You’ve made me laugh.  Made me look at things in a whole new light and I’m so very grateful.

Tell me in the comments, what is the next goal you are going to set.  And finish. I want to cheer you on.


Whining doesn’t work

Whining doesn't work

Some mornings go beautifully.  Everyone is dressed and ready, everyone is smiling, we load up the car and as we drive to work and school the sunshine is bringing in the light. Like a cool car commercial.

Then there’s this morning.  Running late.  Hair is not quite done.  Child is screaming.  For no reason.  We are all wired.  That stressful feeling is thick in the air.

We barely make it to preschool on time.  I say goodbye to my toddler with a hug, kiss and a mildly terrifying threat to behave and be nice.  Or else.

Whew.  We made it.

Whining doesn't work
Whining doesn’t work

Of course, you have no idea what I’m talking about.

And as I was driving home from the insanity of this morning,  the parallel came in right away…

Here comes a highlight of the morning’s self-talk:

“You are working on your debt, girl.  Of course it’s going to be tough. You have to get through this. You need peace.  Your family deserves that.  You can give your best to your family and loved ones so much better when you aren’t whining about how tough it is…”

“But I’ve been tough in going through this for a while.” I think out loud.  “It’s really hard.  I’m tired of this…”

And then, in some strange cosmic force my inner drill sergeant comes in with the big hat and aviator glasses and starts letting me have it.  He looks a bit like Jamie Foxx but not nearly as charming.

“Well…DUH.  Anyone can start a major project.  They do start.  People start things all the time. But what people don’t do?  Is FINISH.  Know what people don’t want to talk about?  Is how it got too tough.  It was too much.  And they just… quit.  

They quit!  

They quit on themselves!  

You’ve done that before!  You know exactly how it feels to stop even when you can see the finish line.

You know how that last push is what makes ordinary into extraordinary!  You know this!  

What is the problem then?

Where are you?  

Are you going to PUSH?  Well, guess what, Missy.  You better start PUSHING. I want to see you working.  You have got to get this done!”

And somehow, the powerhouse peptalk is over.

Then I get to it.

I re-evaluate my life, again.  I’m finding the way to make every dollar s-t-r-e-t-c-h to pull us out of debt faster.

I know that my family is counting on me.

My integrity matters.  I have to do my best.  Today.  Even when it’s hard and I just want to spend money and have an escape.  Even when whining sounds little a pretty fantastic option.

I will do my part to get through this swamp of debt.  Because I want to move forward.  I want to show people that it can be done.  I want to inspire others to get out of this!

But that will never happen until I’m out.  Until I have paid the price.  Literally as well as figuratively.

Until we are there.


Finish 2014 Strong

Do you know John Acuff?  I read a really inspiring post from him. about this time of year.

Finish 2014 Strong
It’s the last quarter of the year. Finish strong.

Starting today, October 1st, this year is 75% over.

75% completed.

In school, that’s a C. Average.

I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of days and on one side:

This year we’ve started to get very, very serious about getting out of debt.  And boy, has that been life changing.

I started to blog.  Seriously.  Like a full-time regular blogger.

I started working with a coach.   I started to break through all this self-doubt and just go for it.

And, just recently,  I’ve started a podcast.

It’s been a solid start, but it’s not time to relax.

I want to FINISH STRONG.  I want to say that 2014 is the year my life changed.

How about you?  Do you have a resolution that you haven’t really focused on?

Are you thinking about starting a goal to make a difference in your health?  In your work experience?  What about your relationships?  Are they exactly where you want them to do?

Let’s do this!  From now until the end of the year, I want to work together, cheer you on and help one another achieve our goals.

Imagine what we can do in 90 days?

I’ve been doing pretty well starting in the online world, but what about my physical health?  Why am I struggling to make it work?  I’ve had some time to think about this, and I’ve realized, I don’t have it as a part of my daily schedule.

And here’s the thing: I know I will feel better.  I know that I’ll have more patience through the day and after that dreadful adjustment time, I’ll have even more energy.  It’s worth it.  I know it.

So, how do I make it part of my daily routine?

I have to start with it.  I have to do it first thing in the morning.  If that means that I get the workout done before we take my husband to work in the morning.  Then, guess what?  If we leave at [5:30]AM, I’ve got to be done before that.  It’s going to be early, it will be hard.

But I want to finish strong.

Oh, and I also want to finish the blog really strong this year.  I’ve joined Jeff Goins, Blogtober Blog Challenge this month.  That means 500 words, everyday for 31 days.  I think I can do it. Some posts may not have the best graphics, some may not be as solid in my writing, but I want to complete this.  I want to focus my writing and get very detailed and specific about money, budgeting, the real nuts and bolts for getting out of debt.  Exactly what we are doing to to make it happen.  I also want to start writing about challenges and focus on helping military spouses have some humor amidst the challenges of  military life.

In a word, I am going to finish this year STRONG.

Are you with me?

Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to FINISH STRONG?