Setting a Goal, Getting It Done

Setting a goal is easy. It’s so easy that I set at least 3 or 4 every single day thinking, ‘oh yeah, I got this.’ When really by about 2 p.m., if any one of those didn’t get done, the likelihood that they ever will is cut down drastically. I even wrote down in my planner that I wanted to sit down to write this post, intending to get to working on it before lunch, and now it’s 7 p.m….

However easy it may be to set these goals, and even set big, long term, exorbitant goals, the follow through is almost never easy. I could have sat down to write this this morning and had a version ready for editing by now, but nope, YouTube and a nap got me (thanks quarantine). Usually though, it’ll be much more than a nap and YouTube getting in the way. Usually it’s the job search, household chores, depression, spending time with others, and straight up lack of motivation that get in the way.

But I’ve learned a thing or two about how to self motivate on my goals over time (thank God), and while I’m not perfect at it, stuff still gets done. I recently finished a 100 workout challenge. I am only 100 pages away from having read the entire Bible. I have successfully cut my showers down to three minutes or less. I have hand-made all Christmas and birthday presents for the last two years. I have donated 6 bags of clothes and other goods locally in the last 6 months while decluttering before moves (I’ve moved 3 times). I graduated college. I started this blog.

All of these are goals I have set since 2020 started. Some have been completed. Some are on-going. At this point looking back I feel pretty good about it, but before any of these things began I felt like I was staring at an impossible mountain of to-do’s and really lacked any sort of motivation for a lot of it right off the bat.

Enough about me though, let’s talk about you. I’m sure you also have goals you’d like to accomplish, why else would you be reading this right now? I want to talk with you about how to self motivate, and where to find motivation externally as well. In order to actually, successfully take a good run at a goal, you need to know what that goal means to you.

Determining what your goal means to you:

Is it a personal goal?

This kind of goal is the one I find to the be hardest to accomplish. Often when it comes down to having to do something for myself I find it’s not pressing or won’t matter on a grand scale because it doesn’t actively also help someone else. However, the biggest thing to consider here if you’re someone like me is that, if you better yourself, you can eventually help someone else better themself.

Aside from that- let’s say you’re only going to look at your goal through the self focused lens, what do you do? There are plenty of individual reasons your personal goal might be something you’re working toward or at least want to work toward, and not any one of us is the same. Generally, it’ll be best to set a goal with a progressive point in mind. If you want to set a spiritual goal, start with a concrete step- mine was to read the Bible. If you want to set a fitness goal, begin working toward your first mile long run without stops or get a weight goal for how much you can deadlift. Or, if you want to set a career goal, look into some articles about your field and find a simple first step based on the experiences you read about. The biggest thing that will get you moving is setting concrete steps ahead of yourself to work on. If you don’t have these concrete steps, you can end up feeling lost in a sea of chances without a clue which to grab first.

Is it a goal to help others?

Love these goals! It’s so nice to set a goal simply for the sake of loving others. However, they’re a little harder to actually come by unless you are actively asked to help someone. Without outside opportunities, this requires you to be hyper-vigilant to help others when and where it’s needed in a moments notice.

But, there are also plenty of active goals you can set the can help you accomplish helping others. The best first step here is to determine how you want to help others. By starting with your personal experiences and expertise you can determine how you should be helping others. For myself I use my personal interests to help people here by sharing information on sustainability and self care, and I use my personal experiences to help lead support groups in my community. You might have a personal experience that you can utilize to reach out to others and help them get through similar things. Or, you might have a passion for cooking that’ll make you beneficial to have at the soup kitchen, or you have a knack for web design that’ll make you the perfect candidate to help a small non-profit build its presence. And if you’re working on your passion, the goal will be so much easier to accomplish. That’s beside the fact that you’ll be able to see other’s lives get better in the process.

Is it a multi-purpose goal?

This is the kind of goal that’s not going to take a lot of mental math to figure out where the benefits lie. This kind of goal will probably help you, help others, and might even help the world at large. Beyond person to person, or within the self, this kind of goal can impact the community or the environment over all. Now that might sound intimidating, but that’s hardly the case. I’m not asking you to pick a goal here like ‘solve world hunger’ or ‘close the hole in the ozone layer’ single handedly. All I’m asking is that you determine one large thing you care about and pick a small goal you can accomplish to help that thing get solved.

For this, let’s talk sustainability. When I started my skincare garden it was a multipurpose goal: help myself by working with non-toxic products I grew myself, help others by teaching them how to grow and use these products themselves, and for the planet by cutting down on my commercial consumption of those products and adding more healthy greenery to the world. When you start reaching for your sustainable goal, let’s say you pick that you want to help end childhood hunger in your community. To accomplish this you start a group in your community that comes together to regularly donate to your local food bank. This is a multipurpose goal because you will be helping yourself by learning how to organize others for a common goal, helping others by feeding people who need your donations, and helping the community by strengthening others in their endeavors to help in this area as well.

Whatever your goal may be, I hope reading this post has helped you find the motivation you needed to accomplish it.

Let me know: What are your goals? What has motivated you to accomplish your goals so far in 2020?


5 Ways to Find Peace in Hard Seasons

It’s not easy to step back and find peace when you’re in the thick of what’s driving you crazy or upsetting you, and that’s okay. But, when the thing that’s upsetting you lasts for days, it’s time to start turning your attention elsewhere to find peace.

Nobody, and I mean not a single person, can last very long when they’re upset. The longer you stay upset the harder it is to get out of it, and the harder it is to get out of it the more brash and volatile you’ll get. What started off as an upsetting event, has now turned into a chaotic nightmare of a week, month, year, however long it might have been. This is not a sustainable mindset.

Every single chaotic nightmare I’ve found myself in was of my own creation. Rather than finding a way to sustain my sanity and turn my attention to life giving things, I always chose to stare right at what was upsetting me and watch it fester into an entirely new beast.

Luckily, after some of the hardest seasons of my life, I found a couple ways in which I could break my gaze and turn my attention to better things. Through therapy and just walking through those seasons thinking, “I’d give anything not to feel this way right now,” I finally got sick of of feeling that way and set my sights on successful coping.

I’d like to share with you some of those coping mechanisms, and hopefully encourage you to look beyond your hard season too.

  1. Get Moving

This one is possibly the most universal tip because it works for any emotion. Exercise is the best way to renew the energy inside of you, or just expel it entirely.

I found that exercise is almost a cure all for any mental state I’m in. When I’m losing my mind in rage and anger, picking up a weight and busting out a couple hundred reps of squats, sit-ups and just about any other move allows me to release those emotions. When I’m upset, getting moving with some yoga or cardio turns my mood around. And when anxiety kicks in, turning on a fast paced workout video and following along takes my mind off of what had originally been occupying it.

It can be hard to get up initially and start moving, but in the middle and once it’s over you’ll feel so much better. Ask yourself, are you more willing to continue feeling the way you do than you are willing to try something new?

2. Get Out

I mean it, just go outside. Step your feet onto the pavement, the grass, the whatever surface is just outside your house. Fresh air is a game changer.

I feel like this tip might sound as mundane as the “drink water” tip you always see on those self care instagram pages, but honestly it has to be said. In my lowest moments, like when depression kicks in, the kind that makes you want to give up on showering for a few days and not get out of bed, willing myself to get outside is just beyond me. But I step just one foot outside, and all of a sudden I got the other one coming right along with it.

Getting that breathe of clean, fresh air in my lungs convicts my body to keep going. I mentally may not want to move or try anything to get out of my funk, but my lungs want the air, so outside we go. And if this seems like too much for you, just open the closest window and take a deep breath. A step can be small and still help, as long as it’s a step in the right direction.

3. Be Present

This can either be an addition to all of the other mechanisms listed here, or a step all on it’s own. I find that when anxiety sets in, usually because I’m already angry, upset, or depressed, grounding myself in the here and now is just about all I can do mentally to put my head back on my shoulders and move on.

In therapy when I was younger, I was taught to reign in my anxiety by using this fairly easy grounding technique, and I swear by it.

  • Start by closing your eyes and placing both feet on the floor. (this usually works best if you’re sitting)
  • Take three deep breaths
  • Notice how your feet feel on the floor. Ask yourself: Where am I applying pressure on the soles of my feet? How does the material of the floor or my shoes/socks feel against my skin? And don’t judge yourself for any of your answers.
  • Move on to other parts of your body: How does your butt feel in the chair? Is your posture slouched? Is the chair soft or rough? How does the room smell? Can you hear anything from where you’re sitting?
  • Continue breathing through this until you feel calm enough to go back to the task at hand.

This technique has been a God send for me. When your heart or your mind races with things you’d rather not be focused on, focusing intently on the physical world around you can help you return to what is actually happening right in front of you. More or less, if your mental space is in the clouds, focusing on your physical space can pull you back to earth.

4. Be Quiet

If you need to scream or talk something out, that’s okay. Take your time and do those things (without hurting anyone if you can). But if you find yourself in a chaotic nightmare of your own creation and there’s not really anyone around to listen at the moment, start listening yourself.

Go sit outside, in your bedroom, in the kitchen, or at the park. Sit and listen to everything going on around you.

More or less, I’m suggesting that you meditate, but in a not super meditative kind of way. All I’m suggesting is that you allow the sounds you’re hearing to become the thoughts you’re having. Rather than letting your inner dialogue run rampant, let the sound of the fan in your room absorb your focus. Let the hum of the refrigerator working, the whoosh of the air conditioner blowing, or the chirp of a bird singing be your focus. Get lost in it.

This is similar to the grounding technique, but with a heavier focus on auditory stimulation.

5. Give Back

This is my favorite one. It’s a bit more challenging, and is more so a follow up to the aforementioned coping mechanisms.

Once you’ve gotten yourself up, gotten moving, and gotten outside, you can move on to putting some energy into making the world a better place. This tip makes me think of that one episode of Friends where Joey tells Phoebe that there’s no such thing as a selfless good deed. To a degree I think he’s right, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If people didn’t get a good feeling from helping others and helping the planet, then it’d be a lot harder to find someone willing to help with anything at all.

If you have taken your first simple steps to find peace, then your next step is to find joy, and the best way to find joy is by bringing joy to others and healing to the planet. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or donation center, you can go through your closet and donate gently used clothes (particularly clothes that no longer make you happy), or use the pain you’ve been through to help others out of their own pain by relating to them on your shared experiences. You can also start a garden and enjoy watching the bees come buzzing around for nourishment, cook yourself and your friends a healthy meal, or take a walk and pick up litter along the way.

All of these activities are sure you boost your mood by boosting the moods of others. Shared joy is the best joy.

All of these coping mechanisms require action, and sometimes even the beginning actions can feel impossible. Beyond these tips, it is also always a good idea to contact professional help. I myself have been in therapy for years, and I couldn’t possibly recommend it more. If you find yourself in a rut or in a place where you just need more help than you could get from the above ideas, contacting a therapist is a great next step. A couple resources you can use to find a therapist are Psychology Today ( or BetterHelp (

Regardless of what you’re going through, you’ve got this. It might not feel like it, but you do, and I hope some of these tips have helped you. I was taught a while ago, “it’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way.”

Let me know: Have you tried any of these coping mechanisms in your own life? What helps you the most when you’re feeling low?

DIY Hair Growth and Anti-Dandruff Spray

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that my scalp health is the pits. My scalp is a notorious war-zone in which the skin just refuses to act natural. No matter how much I hydrate or attempt to balance my scalp, within only a day or so my scalp goes right back to it’s crazy business. I’ve used just about every dandruff shampoo and “itch relief” product at the drug store, and all of them have similar issues. They were either chock full of chemicals and ingredients I didn’t recognize, or they helped my scalp but made the lengths of my hair dry and waxy. Aside from the relief of rosemary rinse that lasts about a day and the ice packs I keep in the freezer that help sooth the burn from itching so much, I needed a long term solution. I only wash my hair every 2-3 days for the health of the lengths of my hair, but my scalp has been in dire need of extra love. I needed something that I could use more often than just in the shower.

After extensive Googling, and “Pinterest research” as well, I landed on a mixture that I could use as a hairspray. This hairspray is easy to make, all-natural, and can be used anytime, anywhere. That anytime, anywhere factor is the biggest plus because when that itch kicks in and you’re not intending to wash your hair within the next 30 minutes, you need that relief, and you NEED IT FAST!

What you’ll need:

  • a spray bottle
  • a bag of organic green tea
  • 1-2 medium sized sprigs of rosemary
  • tea tree oil

How it’s made:

  • Heat 1 cup of water and add a bag of green tea and 1-2 sprigs of rosemary.
    • Let sit until tea is fully brewed and cooled.
  • Once tea is cooled, fill your spray bottle with the tea until it’s about 3/4 full.
  • Add 20-30 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Screw the spray bottle top on and shake vigorously to mix the oil and tea.

How to use:

  • Separate hair into sections and spray directly onto the scalp.
  • Once you feel the scalp is sufficiently covered, use your fingers to massage the spray into your scalp.
    • You can follow this up by brushing out the hair to help spread the spray further, but this isn’t necessary.
  • That’s it, it’s that easy.

This simple mixture is made to last and can be stored in the cabinet or in your purse for on-the-go use. It doesn’t weigh the hair down and won’t leave your roots greasy. Since tea tree oil is a dry oil, you might even notice this spray refreshes limp hair on the days you don’t wash it. You will need to shake the bottle before each use to re-mix any separation of oil and tea; however, the longer you have the mixture the more it will blend naturally.

As much as I am raving about the delight of relief this hairspray is for a devastated scalp, it has so many other benefits as well particularly for cleansing of the hair follicles and removing impurities. Aside from dandruff and itch relief, this cleansing can help promote healthy hair growth and decrease excessive hair loss.

Green tea contains a natural antioxidant compound called a catechin which helps to reduce dihydrotestosterone (DTH), a hormone derivative of testosterone (which both men and women have), that can cause hair loss. By reducing DTH on the scalp hair is less likely to fall out, allowing hair to grow thicker and healthier over time. You can also reap these benefits by drinking green tea regularly.

Rosemary has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which can help to gently cleanse, condition, and remove impurities from the scalp that can cause that itch.

Finally, tea tree oil is a staple of both skincare and haircare that is well known for its ability to remove toxins from pores and hair follicles, as well as lift product residue off the skin along with dead skin (in this case, dandruff). You can also add a couple drops of tea tree oil to your normal shampoo for an added boost of dandruff and itch relief in the shower.

This combination not only brings sweet relief when scalp pain sets in, but also brings nutrients and over all restorative health to the scalp. And if you don’t suffer from scalp issues, this can still benefit you in your hair growth and chemical free living endeavors.

Once you’ve tried this DIY hairspray, let me know how it worked for you. It’s now a staple of my haircare routine, and I’d love to know if it becomes one of yours too.