Mind Mapping Your Way to Success in 2013

Happy New Year! I know it is totally cliche to set resolutions for the new year and such, but if it works, who cares? Today we are talking about making it work.

Mind Mapping Your Way to Success in 2013 @vicki_arnold blogHave you heard of mind mapping? Or visual mapping, which is what I thought it was called until I browsed the google. Well, if you are a visual person, you’re going to love this.

I recently met Tabitha from Meet Penny via a Twitter chat and she invited me to join a group of bloggers on Facebook. I am so very glad I did. These ladies are pretty awesome. Anywho, Tabitha encouraged us to create a visual for our blogging goals of 2013. Once I did, I became a little hooked. I made my blog goals visual, a visual for a project I’m working to launch in July, and one for something new around here called Healthy Habits.

Rabbit-trail with me, if you will, through the blogger group, I met Dollie of Teachers of Good Things. She was wanting to start a group of bloggers to chronicle their healthy new year’s resolutions to create accountability for the blogger and encouragement for the readers. She’s also launching a Facebook party, which she will be hosting each Monday night at 9 p.m. (eastern) starting January 7.

So, let me introduce you to Healthy Habits Tuesday. Hi, how are you? Nice to meet you. Now that we have that out of the way, on to the mind mapping, goals, and resolutions, oh my!

Step One: Set some goals. Grab a pencil and paper and start writing. A couple tips on setting goals (or resolutions) that work:

  • Be realistic – Weight loss is a common new year’s resolution, so I’ll use that for my example here. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to lose half your body weight by next month.
  • Break it down – Take what you need to lose and aim to lose one pound per week. It may take a while to get where you want to be, but you’ll get there. So if you want to lose 20 pounds, that is 20 weeks or 5 months. Aiming to lose 20 pounds by June is completely doable.

Step Two: Analyze your goals. Look for a common theme. For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, kick the soda habit, and walk in a 5K, those are related. Taking a cooking class would also be related. Learning a new language? Not so much.

Step Three: Focus on the main goal. Do you have one in the group that is most important to you? That is your starting point.

Step Four: Break out the unlined paper. Put your main goal in the middle. Around that, put the related goals that are ways to work toward achieving your main goal, these are your strategy points. Our example would have lose 10 pounds in the middle and then kick soda habit, walk in a 5K, and taking a cooking class around it.

Circle your points individually and draw arrows from your main goal to your strategy points.

Next, look at your strategy points and break down how to achieve them. Kick the soda habit may have drink 64 oz. water daily, drink 1 less soda per week until 0, drink herbal tea, or start a dollar jar for each soda you DON’T drink.

Make sense? Good, now go do it. I’ll wait here until you’ve finished and then we’ll move on.

Step Five: Make it purty. Or not, it’s up to you. Break out the markers and paper. Or use the computer to create your visual. It’s up to you. Point is, make it visually appealing to you, you’re going to be looking at this a lot.

Here is my Healthy Habits mind map:

healthy-habits-mind-mapNow, WHEN you do this, let me know in the comment section. I love, love, love comments and do my best to answer each one. You can also follow my new healthy habits Pinterest board.

Next week, we will talk about turning your goals into action. You should also check out the exciting things I have planned for the Vicki Arnold blog this coming year.

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Today’s link up can be found here.

Next up is Turning Your Goals Into Plans!

10 Scriptures to Memorize for Overcoming Procrastination

10 Scriptures for Overcoming Procrastination via @vicki_arnold blog

I mentioned in a previous post that I was working on posting scriptures through my house to meditate on and serve as a visual reminder of my goals. I’ve compiled a list of 10 scriptures to post and work on memorizing. When I’m done, I’ll post them to Flickr in case you would like to print them out, too.

1. 1 Corinthians 14:40 – “Let all things be done decently and in order”

2. Colossians 3:23-24 – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

3. Romans 14:12 – “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

4. Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

5. Psalm 16:11 – “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

6. James 1:5 – “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

7. 2 Timothy 4:7 – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

8. Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

9. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

10. John 5:13-14 – “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

May you find inspiration in the Word of God.

For more inspiration, please check out some of my other posts:

Linking up to Titus 2sday –

One by One with a Deadline

It is hard to believe that we are starting the 3rd Friday of October. I never believed people when I was a kid, but time really does fly. Also, Ephesians 5:16 and Psalm 90:12 mean more to me now that I realize how easy it is to fritter away the days accomplishing nothing. Oops, did I say that?

I frequently set goals and write to do lists. This helps me check off things, especially those that may not be a pressing daily need, but something that I do want to get done. Earlier this year, I wrote a To Do List for 2012. I have actually been successful in accomplishing some of the goals and am now looking at that looming “deadline” of the new year and slightly panicky and inspired all the same.

Here’s an update:

  • Fabric de-stash – Yeah, not much of this has happened, but with the Christmas gifts I have planned, I should be able to knock this one out still.
  • Blog challenge – Thought I knew what I wanted to do, then changed my mind. Then again. And for a refreshing change of pace, I changed my mind again. I did finally settle on something that’s not really a blog “challenge” per se, but I’m counting it. Why? Because I can, so there.
  • Kid’s wall photos – I actually have the photos on my computer. Now to just edit and have them printed. This will get done!
  • Go camping – Pretty sure this is just gonna happen in our yard, if at all. We did finally replace our tent, so that is a step in the right direction.
  • 25 things on the List – I don’t even know where I stand with this one. But I’m ok with that now.
  • Photo challenge – Yeah, no.
  • Leapin’ Lilies – I’m leaning towards giving this up. I’m finally accepting that this is not God’s will for me in this season of life. At least not in this form.
  • The Dunes – Sadly, this will not be happening.
  • GAPS experiment – Check! It went very well, we are working towards being able to commit to doing it longer term.

So that’s that. Eventually, I will update you on some New things in my life this year. I’m learning not to promise big things with this here blog before they are actually written, being that this blog is the first thing to take a backseat when life gets busy and all.

So how did your new year’s resolutions or goals go this year?

Transparency — AKA I’m Not Perfect Either

Funny how things go sometimes.

Today in my Facebook news feed was a link to the latest post on Bohemian Bowmans, Things You’re Not Supposed to Say About Life.

While I agree with her reasons, I’d like to add another one to the table. A friend of mine and I were talking about this recently. We were discussing how it’s hard to be transparent with everyone because there are people who seem to be waiting for a sign of weakness to say “I told you so” or offer their “advice” to do exactly the opposite of what you are currently doing.

(Just One) Example: the homeschooling mom doesn’t share her homeschooling struggles because of the relative who uses every opportunity to share that sending the kids to public school is the magical answer to all of them.

The bigger issue is when we take our experience with one person and use it to make assumptions about another. A homeschool parent once made a comment about you sending your child to public school, so now you are wary of what you share with all homeschooling parents. Or, on the other hand, a public school parent intently questioned you on the socialization of your children or your qualifications for teaching your children once and now any time the question comes up, so do bitter feelings.

This creates a lot of unnecessary division in the body of Christ. We are part of a body, which means there are hands, feet, etc. And simply because you are a foot in one area of your life like so-and-so, doesn’t mean you’ll both be hands in another area. It also doesn’t mean you will be a foot all your life. <End Christian Cliche>

There seems to be a wave of transparency moving through the Internet. More and more people seem to be realizing that others are looking at what they are putting out there via blogs, Twitter, Facebook…and not getting the whole picture.

What’s the whole picture? Life is life for everyone, no matter their label. It’s messy, it’s hectic, it’s crazy…and it’s beautiful. It’s real.

Everyone struggles. Everyone.

So in the spirit of transparency, here is a dose of the real me…

Care to share a struggle?

If you are dealing with mommy guilt, please read my post called Dear Guilty Mom – Give Yourself Permission.

If you would like some practical help with housekeeping, check out my list of 19 Ways to Change Up Your Housework Routine.

My Theme for 2012


I’ve done this for a couple years now and enjoy the tradition. Choosing a central theme for the year seems so perfect to me. How has it worked for me? Pretty well, I think. I do think that I need to re-visit the theme more often in a year, sitting down to pray and think over how to improve, but I’ve done far better with a theme and the 3 in 30 goal setting than I ever dreamed of doing with resolution setting. It’s more manageable.

You can read about 2010’s word – Change. Also 2011’s word – Diligence.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, my word for 2012 is New. Simple, yes and no. I spent a good amount of time mulling over what word to choose in December and had a pretty good idea of what I actually wanted to say with that word, but could not find the perfect word to fit. Then I prayed about it (ain’t that the way it goes?) and God gave me New in a split-second. At first I thought it was too simple, but then I realized just how perfect the word was.

In 2012, we will be welcoming a new baby (like within the next 2-3 weeks) into our family, I will be entering a new decade of life (my 30’s) and so will my oldest daughter (double digits, eek!). My husband and I have some projects we are working on that would completely change some things for us. And then there are the things I would like to change personally.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

I’m looking forward to a great 2012, how about you?

3 in 30 November 2011 – Goals

3in30 Challenge

October’s 3 in 30 goals went pretty well. We had very minimal television time in our house, we ate better (thanks to a three week GAPS diet trial run) and I left October feeling better about my kids’ Mom. On to November!

1. Daily Bible and prayer time – Feel like you’ve seen this one a time or two before? That happens because it is unfortunately the thing I let go first when things get busy or I simply get distracted. So, that one is back on the list for November. So far, things are going well, I finished Genesis in about 3 or 4 readings and am now moving on to Exodus. I’m also reading Romans in the New Testament.

2. Actually do at least one project each week with my kids – This is one of those, we have so many plans, but life gets in the way things. November is a particularly busy month for me this year, but I’m purposing to not lose this precious time with my kids. My oldest turns 9 next week and I’ve been hit recently with just how SHORT the time is that my children will be young. And with the pregnancy hormones raging through me (29 weeks!), I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster lately. I cry easily, but seeing the change in my babies in the last two years almost brought sobs. Seriously.

3. Stay on top of the happenings of the month – It would have been appropriate if my parents had given me the middle name of Procrastinator instead of Lynn. Procrastination is my biggest struggle. So I have my lists and am taking the month on a week-by-week basis.

How about you? What are your goals for this lovely month?

3 in 30 October 2011 – Week Two


1.  No t.v. month – This is going very well. This week the toughest time was when we went to the library for the first time and the 5-year-old really wanted to pick out a movie. I let her pick out lots of books and she was fine. I’ve caught myself a couple times this week thinking it would be nice to veg out and watch some television, but then found something else to do (read a book, went to bed and sewed).

2.  Make progress on our food goals – We are doing pretty good on this. We did have fast food one night for dinner because we ended up spending so much time in the library that it was 5:30 by the time we left, everyone was hungry and I really did not feel like cooking. Other than that, I did do some baking, but that was zucchini bread and apple zucchini cinnamon muffins (I chose to leave the streusel topping off, less sugar). Oh, we did have chocolate chip pancakes for dinner one night. Really, this goal isn’t as measurable as I thought it would since it encompasses so much. I’m ok with our eating habits right now, with the increased veggies. Next week, the goal is no fast food and to resist this crazy craving I’m having for potato chips.

3.  Be a better mom – I keep saying I’ll write a post about this, but when I go to type it, I’m having a hard time putting it into words. Really, it just comes down to me unplugging from life’s busyness and really connecting with my kids; me watching my actions and reactions very closely; and taking extra time to cherish my children. I want them to know how much they mean to me and that they are very important to me. I also want to make sure that we have a good relationship established before we head into the super fun adolescent years. That simply takes time and effort, time and effort that I don’t want to spend on something less important.

That said, how did this week go? Well, mostly good. I did have a moment where I was upset of something the oldest did (or rather did NOT do) and I snapped at the youngest. I did catch myself and apologized to her, fully explaining that I was upset over “this” and I took it out on you. She forgave me, but I still see that little face the moment before. Other than that, we did seem to have a good week. We did more talking (which is hard for me to believe since it seems like we spend most of our days doing just that), laughing and working together. It was good.

For more of my 3 in 30, click here. To see what others are accomplishing, click here.

3 in 30 October 2011 – Week One


1.  No t.v. month – This is going very well. I’ve only heard “Mommy, can I watch a movie?” a handful of times (mostly from the 5-year-old) and have had no complaining. I have only regretted not making an exception to this goal is when I realized that Fast Five was coming out on DVD this week. Ah well, it will still be there next month. We have had great weather this week, so that has probably helped.

2.  Make progress on our food goals – Eh. We are doing well with more veggies. The only issue I have with this goal is that I feel like I’m spending my entire day in the kitchen (and the rest of the house showed it). As far as cutting sugar, I *think* we are doing better, but I did make cookies yesterday and made a coffee cake earlier in the week (which was a bomb of a recipe & we only ate 1/2 of it), but we didn’t make any ice cream runs or last minute picks ups for treats. Overall, we are making progress with this one, it’s just going to be slower than I had hoped.

3.  Be a better mom – I still have yet to write the post explaining this, but I will this week. I need to gather my notes that led to me making this goal. This week was a good week for this, I managed myself pretty well. I didn’t lose my temper and we all worked well together on a couple projects. Also, the last two Saturdays, my children have helped me clean house and been an actual help. This really comes down to me remembering to be patient to explain the job thoroughly, letting them do the best they can and remembering that there are certain “chores” they enjoy doing.

I’m pretty happy with the way my week went in regards to my goals. How was your week?

To see other bloggers participating in 3 in 30, please click here.