Category Archives: Goals

Life Lessons Learned from Indoor Gardening Failures

Gardens are beautiful. I’m fortunate to live in a neighbourhood where people spend a lot of time and money on vegetable and flower gardens, and landscaping.

This year I decided I wanted to decorate my place with some small, easy to care indoor plants. I did my homework by going online and finding a list of the easiest indoor greenery to care for. I read all the lists, followed all the instructions and then it happened, half my plants nearly died.

I had imagined my sofa table filled with a colourful assortment of flowering plants that would require minimal care and never die. Between inquiring of Google and asking seasoned gardeners I learned why those plants were dying and I was failing; I was handling flowering plants the way I sometimes handle life.

Hawaii Greens
Somewhere in Hawaii 

Impatience: Gardening requires patience. To begin, you seed, water, fertilize, repeat as needed. I wasn’t interested in that, instead I went to the store and purchased plants that were ready to go. The downside to this is that my impatience meant I wasn’t able to get the exact plants I wanted. Had I been patient, I would have taken the time to start with seeds and follow the process of tend and wait, watch it grow!

Ask yourself: In life, when you are patient, you are more likely to get the things you want. Being in a rush and taking whatever you can get instantly means settling for second best if you’re lucky. Are you willing to put in the time, discipline, and effort to get what you want?

Miniature Japanese Zen Garden
Someone’s miniature Japanese zen garden, unfortunately not mine 😦

Over caring and worrying: Water is life and death. I my case, water became a near death experience for the plants. I sometimes anxiously watered the plants every second day. I checked on the plants every day to make sure they were alright, as if they were inpatients. Eventually two of my plants started to develop curling leaves. I later learned that this is caused by overwatering. The remedy for this problem was to not water them for two weeks. It wasn’t easy switching from overwatering and over caring to practically leaving the plants alone to repair itself naturally. With time, and without me messing with it, both plants came back to life and flourished, growing taller than ever.

Ask Yourself: Am I willing to follow the process whatever it might involve or are you going to want to do things your own way?  When you are a beginner it’s important to listen to those with much more experience and knowledge. When you don’t, things are likely to go wrong.

Buying Too Much and Spending Too Much Money: I set a budget for how much I would spend buying flowers and succulents. What I didn’t account for is that some of these plants would grow and need to be placed in larger pots. I also didn’t consider how much it would all add up to for different types of soil, tools, fertilizers, planters and plant pots. When the costs became more than I was wiling to spend, I decided to say goodbye to some of my plants. They were requiring time I didn’t have, and money I didn’t care to spend.

In the past my hobbies cost me a lot of money. I made the decision a couple of years ago not to engage in hobbies or interests that would require me to spend more than a certain amount of money per month.

Ask yourself: When considering taking up a new hobby, consider the cost; is it affordable for you and it is a good investment of your money, energy, and time?
Starting new hobbies are great, there is nothing wrong with trying new things in life, however, it’s best to prepare before hand when necessary. I don’t want to be a negative Nancy, my hope for you is that your new hobby is a pleasant experience instead of one filled with unnecessary surprises and stress. Don’t forget, hobbies are meant to bring happiness and fulfillment to a person’s life.

 

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Job 12: 7-10 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

 

 

My Blog: New Year, New Name

 

I decided that for 2018 I would change the name of my blog from God, Faith, & Fitness to Feathers for Your Journey.

When I started this blog four years ago my interests were in losing weight, becoming healthier, and doing so while integrating my faith. After a short amount of time I realized I didn’t enjoy writing about fitness or weight loss, but for whatever reason I kept going and with each passing year I contributed less   posts to this blog.

In 2017 I was happy to go an entire year for the first time in several years without having to go for physical therapy, my pain remained, but it had decreased significantly, and I managed to lose some weight and keep it off (so far). I think 2017 was more successful for me in this area because I didn’t focus on weight loss, food, exercise. I turned to meditation and mindfulness and I believe this helped significantly.

I kept daily reminders to eat healthy posted within sight (in my day planner, on my phone), I was mindful of what I was eating, and regular (not strenuous) physical activity was based on things I enjoy. I decided I wanted my blog to focus on life, learning, and goals without being too narrow and specific.

I discovered the word ‘novaturient’ today; it is when you desire or seek powerful changes in your life, your behaviour, or situation. I learned that I lived in a novaturient manner during 2017. I listed the things I wanted to change, achieve, and eliminate for that year. The best that we can do in life is live with intention without being so goal oriented that you prevent yourself from being flexible. There will be times when your goals have to be altered, eliminated, or put on the back burner for a while.

There is another word I recently learned, it is ‘meraki’ [mey-rah-kee]; it means to do something with creativity, soul, or love. It is the act of putting a part of yourself into whatever it is you are doing.  I realized by the end of 2017 that I had lived with novaturient and meraki in my life. Not everything went as planned, but I was able to grow from unexpected changes and opportunities because I did things with meraki.

Three weeks into 2018 and time feels like it has flown by quickly. I won’t encourage you to make new year’s resolutions; I don’t believe in them. However, I will encourage you to live intentionally this year.

What values are most important to you?

What are your goals and desires?

Who are the kind of people you want closest to you? Who are those you want to spend most of your time with outside of work?

What does money and material items mean to you and how important are both of these in your life?

These are questions we can ask our self any time throughout the year. It’s important to check in with ourselves regularly not only during holidays, birthdays, and tragedies.

However you choose to live in 2018, I wish you all a year filled with pleasant surprises, blessings, spiritual growth, and success.

Goals That Never Happened

 

September is a month of change. Changes that we don’t have a lot of control over. Young children start Kindergarten and Grade One for the first time. Young adults begin college, some leaving home for the first time in their lives.

Mother natures brings change in the form of fall coloured leaves, garden vegetations; some dying, some just coming into season.

September is a great reminder that change is a part of life, some changes are pleasant and welcomed, others are not.

I live within walking distance to our provinces’ largest university. Each Fall I see a wave of teenagers with big dreams and goals of becoming something. I know they are at school to achieve something; a job, a title, status; something. No one enrolls in a four-year program with the intention of failing in life or going no where. School, whether it is grades K-12 or post-secondary is about achieving something.

My friend and I were thinking back to when we first started college and noted that none, not a single goal that we had at the beginning of this stage of life came true. Things changed significantly. Between then and now there were accidents, injuries, a change of academic interests, jobs we loved and jobs we hated, moving to different cities, and a host of different friends entered our lives.

We are taught to pursue our goals at any cost, to not give up, stay focused, and not fall off track; but I have to say, sometimes not pursuing and achieving our goals can be a good thing.

Goals can turn from healthy to destructive when the following happen:

Over focusing on one area of your life while neglecting other aspects of your life. Goals certainly require focus, but it’s also important to engage in other activities not related to your specific goal. Variety in life is important and fuels creativity. It also gives you a break from focusing exclusively on tasks related to your goal.

Engaging in unethical behaviour to meet and maintain a goal. A strong desire to meet a goal can lead to desperate actions. If you lie, cheat, steal, or hurt others you’ve gone too far. Your achievements should never involve bringing others down. Success can be obtained through honest means.

Jealousy towards those who have achieved what you are working towards. If you find yourself experiencing feelings of jealousy and envy towards others who have achieved what you want, then it’s important to stop and do some self-inventory and reflection. Envy is a sign that you are focusing more on others than yourself. One way to ward off these negative feelings is to admire the work of others. Let their work inspire and motive you in a positive and non-competitive manor. Learn from them instead of hating them.

Allowing your identity to be based on accomplishments towards your goals. We are more than our job title, hobbies, and achievements. We are well rounded people, we wear many hats: spouse, employee, parent, child, community member, etc. Our identity changes with time. The accomplishments you reach are only one aspect of who you are. People often “fail” at something while achieving a goal. If you have too much of your identity attached to your outcomes, any mistakes or mishaps can be taken too personally. Remember, failing at something doesn’t make you a failure.

I believe The Son of David was wrong when he said,

Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1: 2). There is meaning in our lives, there is meaning in the things we do. What matters is the meaning we give to it. This bitter sentiment is what happens when people place too much importance and focus on goal achievements.

Pursue goals, but don’t neglect to enjoy life!

 

 

 

 

 

Minimalism or Organization: What’s the Real Problem?

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

I’ve been aiming to become a minimalist for a few years and I have yet to get it right. I place too much value on the things I have and anxiety keeps me from throwing unnecessary items in the garbage (or not bringing them into the house in the first place).

In my mind I keep telling myself I need a trip to IKEA with a $4,000 budget and I’ll finally be a minimalist. I’ve convinced myself that I can’t possibly be a minimalist with out “minimalist” style furnishings. The truth is, I might actually be desiring large “minimalist” storage oriented furniture so I can hide all my clutter and not think about it.

Ikea Wardrobe

After much failed attempts at minimalism I realized I actually like having lots of stuff; what I don’t like is having large amounts of clutter.

I want to have 30 pairs of foot ware, but I don’t want all 30 of them at the front door.

I want to have 10 pairs of jeans, 40 shirts, and 90 pairs of dress pants to choose from; what I don’t want is laundry.

I’ve been going about minimalism all wrong, because my core issue wasn’t about how much belongings I had or any emotional attachments to what I did own. My actual core issue was learning how to organize what I had. I do have to work hard at decluttering on a regular basis, but organization, not minimalism is what I have to focus on.

I have a feeling this might be why some people have been failing at minimalism.

Making Changes: Things to Think About

When you decide to make changes in your life, it’s good to ask yourself some questions before moving forward:

-What is it you actually want to change? Name it.

-Why do you want to make these changes?

-What is happening in your life that has led to you wanting to make changes?

-Acknowledge any negative feelings you have about what you are hoping to change.

-Remember, change is step-by-step and is never instant.

-You’re not changing your entire life, you are changing something about your life. Change isn’t always meant to be an overhaul. Sometimes change is simple, yet effective.

-You’re not only changing your mindset, you are changing your behaviour. There is a difference, but sometimes it’s not easy for us to differentiate between the two.