Reflecting and Goal Setting

I love fresh starts and new beginnings! This time of year is one of my favourites, because I love tying up the end of the year, and moving into the new year with great anticipation.There are so many amazing articles and podcasts that lead people through year end reflections and goal setting activities for the new year, and I love to make use of them this time of year!

If you’re like me, and this week after Christmas has you feeling ready for some intentional reflection, here are some of the resources I’ve been enjoying:

End Your Year Intentionally With These 10 Questions (No Sidebar)

20 Questions for New Year’s Eve (The Art of Simple)

How to Create a Personal Life Plan Before 2020 (Building a StoryBrand with Donald Miller)

The Science of Setting and Accomplishing Goals with Michael Hyatt (The Model Health Show – it’s from last year, but it’s a great one!)

I’m trying not to go too crazy with goal setting – I tend to get a bit carried away, but I’ve learned that it’s easier to keep it simple, and only do one or two goals at a time!

For this year, I’ve decided to make daily journaling my goal. I started a couple of weeks ago already, and it feels like something I want to make a permanent part of my daily routine. There’s a lot to say about it, so I’ll write more in a future post. There are many benefits to journaling regularly, and I can’t wait to dig further in to this habit!

I’d love to here what goals you’re setting for the New Year! And let me know if there are any other great resources you’ve come across!

Happy New Year!

Podcast Favourites


This post is part of a series, sharing my favourite products and discoveries from this last year. (You can find the first post here.) If you have any favourite ideas to contribute, please feel free to comment. Anyone who comments during this series over the next two weeks will have their name entered in a draw for an Amazon gift card. Let us know what you’re loving!

This was the year of the podcast for me. I’ve been enjoying them for awhile, but this year I started listening to them a lot more – while I’m making supper, cleaning bathrooms, or driving to appointments in the city. There are a few I listen to just for fun and interest sake during the day, and a bunch of church podcasts that I listen to after I do my devotions in the morning, while I’m exercising. It’s such a fantastic way to get my thoughts going in the direction I want them to for the rest of the day.

I use the app Podcast Addict, and at the beginning of the week, I look through all the new episodes from my favourite sources, and download any that sound interesting, so my listening material is ready to go anytime I’m driving somewhere by myself.

Here’s my list of favourites…

For Spiritual Growth:

Bridgetown Church – I have two churches! The one we go to each week, and then Bridgetown! I love, love, love the teaching on this podcast. The sermons are so good! This podcast has helped shape my thoughts on spending time with God and spiritual growth in significant ways this past year. I just finished the series on Prayer, which was fantastic, and before that, I really enjoyed the series “Dealing With Your Past”, “Silence and Solitude”, and “Practicing the Way”.


Life Church – I haven’t been listening to this one as much since discovering Bridgetown, but I still really like Craig Groesel’s teaching. “Words to Live By” was fantastic, as well as the “Making Change” series, starting with “Part 1 – Less is More“.



The Meeting House – Ben and I have been listening to Bruxy Cavey’s teaching for many years now, and I still love it as much as ever. It’s not as easy for me to listen to as Bridgetown or Life Church – I guess there are many different teaching styles, and this is just a bit of a heavier one, but still really good. I recently enjoyed the series called “Simple Minded”, starting with “Part 1 – the Brain That Wouldn’t Die“.

For Fun or Personal Growth:

Chris Loves Julia – This is my favourite podcast, by the couple who writes my favourite decorating blog! I love Julia’s decorating style, so I’ve been reading their blog for a couple of years, but I just started listening to their podcast this last winter, and it’s very funny and entertaining, plus I just love decorating stuff. It’s a fun one! I tried really hard to find a favourite episode, but couldn’t – they’re all interesting to me! I laugh every time. You could try the most recent one: Our Home’s Dirty Little Secrets and Living in the Path of Totality


Young House Love – This one’s also an entertaining decorating podcast, with interesting interviews, and I really like hearing about their favourite household finds and stuff they’re enjoying. I’ve listened to every episode, but of course some of my favourites involved decluttering, like Why We Got Rid of Half the Toys in Our House or When Someone You Love Gives You Something You Don’t



The Minimalists – My friend Natalie got me hooked on this one, when we were doing our decluttering challenge back in February, and it’s very motivating to listen to when I’m cleaning out closets and cupboards, because it just makes me want to get rid of stuff! I’m in the middle of listening to “Overwhelm“, and next up will be the “Shopping” episode!



Getting Things Done I already linked to this one when I shared about bullet journaling and being efficient about getting things done. The two episodes which got me hooked were Part 1 and Part 2 of David Allen’s Keynote in Milan.




Personality Hacker – This one covers a ton of information about personality type tools like Myers Briggs or the Enneagram. It’s been a huge source of personal growth in my life – I’ll be writing more about that another day, but for now I’ll just say that if you’ve ever wanted to know anything about Myers Briggs, this is a very educational podcost. My recent favourite is: “How to Get Out of a Bad Mood


The Road Back to You – This podcast focuses on the Enneagram tool, which I love. I don’t understand it as well as Myers Briggs yet, but I’ve found this podcast (and their book by the same name) incredibly beautiful and healing. It’s made me cry numerous times, because I feel so understood! Deep pain from the past is drawn to the surface and healed when I’m listening to this one! I love it. As far as which episodes to listen to, I would recommend finding out what enneagram type you are, and then listening to any episode that have to do with your type.


So much good stuff to listen to! I just love podcasts. I told Ben it’s my new secret dream to do a podcast with him, but he just looked at me blankly and wanted to know what we would talk about. I said I didn’t know, and he said that wouldn’t make a very good podcast, so I guess that’s the death of my dream!!

Do you listen to any podcasts? Share your favourites – I’m always interested in trying something new! Or tell me what kind of podcast Ben and I can do so my dream can live again!?!



A Week of Birthday Favorites

Today is my 38th birthday, and the best part is I thought I was turning 39! It happens every year – Ben has his birthday in January, and I slip into thinking I’m already the same age as him, even though I’m six months behind. By the time my birthday roles around, I’m thinking I should be turning a year older, and it’s always a pleasant surprise to realize I’m a year younger than I thought I was!

Every year, I carry on a tradition started by my mom when I was a kid: make a list of birthday favorites. There are two reasons why I carry on with this tradition – it takes me back to all those years of sitting down with my mom to make a list, and even though my favorite foods were always chocolate cake and spaghetti, and my mom already knew that, it just made me feel special to have that one on one time with her, when she made a big deal about recording the things I liked.

The other reason I like doing it is because it’s a reminder of how change and growth continues to happen at any age. Every year, I want to keep pushing myself, learning and discovering, and never forgetting there is so much life to live, new things to enjoy, experiences to have. It might be the smallest things, but if it’s touched my life in a positive way, it’s worth recording.

In the past, I’ve spread this over a month of blog posts, which gets a bit intense, so we’ll make it a week of birthday favorites. And as always, I welcome you to add your favorites in the comments, because I love to hear what other people are enjoying! It’s interesting, inspiring, and gives me new ideas for the next year.

This last year was a tough one for me, but it’s definitely true that hard times are when we can grow the most, so it’s awesome to look back at this last year and see change. For today’s favorites, I’ve been trying to figure out what has brought about some of the biggest change:


It’s a bit humbling to start off with this one, and I hate the stigma around something so incredibly beneficial. Only weak people need counseling, right?! But I think really we all need counseling, because everybody has their own junk, and it is just super hard to work through it all on our own.

To have a completely safe place where I could be brutally honest, and share the ugliest, weakest, most pathetic thoughts with someone who was never shocked or judgmental turned out to be something very life-giving. My counselor walked me through some really tough issues. Sometimes she gave me the words to express what I’d never been able to put into words, other times she just listened. She challenged me to let go of old habits and thought patterns which were not serving me well.

I went for counseling because I had postpartum anxiety and the doctor suggested it, but my sessions went far beyond that issue, and gave me some tools I hope to use for the rest of my life. I don’t think I’m done with counseling – I’m taking some time to mentally chew on all I learned and uncovered, and trying to put all these new things into practice. But in time, I hope to go back again, and work through some more issues, because it really was such a helpful thing to do.


I set out to declutter 2015 things in the year 2015, which resulted in a lot more than just repeated trips to the thrift shop. I experienced a shift in my thinking, about belongings as well as just about life in general. Because of having postpartum anxiety, I had to simplify our schedule, and strip away some hard things like guilt and expectations. In order to function well, I needed to keep things very simple with how we spent our time, and I noticed that the tidier our house was, the better I felt. Life just felt more manageable when things were in their place, and the more I got rid of stuff, the easier it became to keep everything under control.

I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last summer, and it lived up to it’s title! Up until reading that book, my thinking was, “What am I going to get rid of? What do I not use anymore?” Afterwards, it became, “What am I going to keep? What gives me joy?” The change in questions made it much easier to let go of things for better reasons.


I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in pursuing a lighter load in life! You can read more about the book and the results over here.


I have an app on my phone so I can listen to podcasts while I’m doing housework or driving. This has been amazing, because I’m learning so much from great speakers, and it’s a productive use of time. Sometimes when I have too much time to think, it can lead to negative thoughts, but I love turning on a podcast to get my thoughts back in a good place.

Here are a few of my favorite podcasts right now:

Life Church – I’m working on the “Stay Positive” series, and it’s been very encouraging and motivating.

Meeting House – Bruxy Cavey will always be one of my favorite preachers to listen to.

Janet Lansbury Unruffled – I just started listening to these, but I love her thoughts on parenting. She has a very calm, gentle approach to strong emotions.

HopeWriters – This is a really positive, encouraging and motivating podcast for anyone who enjoys writing.

Personality Hacker – I’ve been learning so much about my personality, and why I interact with people the way I do. It’s led to a huge shift in thinking, and I’m curious about where it’s going to lead.

ProBlogger – For anyone interested in improving a blog.

Homeschool Leadercast – I’ve listened to some great speakers with practical tips on teaching and parenting.

Alright, that’s my first bunch of favorites! What have you been enjoying recently? Is there anything you’ve tried that has positively impacted your life?