10 Goals for This Week {Say Goodbye to Survival Mode}

David Castillo Dominici
Every Monday, Crystal from Money Saving Mom blogs about her weekly goals and encourages her readers to join up. Because everyone needs a bit of accountability, I've decided to join suit.

I started my to do list by creating daily lists and marking them off. It is liberating and kind of fun to physically mark off a to do list. However, during the week, it becomes almost too overwhelming to have a daily to do looming over my head. So, I've decided to embrace Crystal's idea of a weekly to do list. This way, I'll stay focused on my goals, but I won't be overwhelmed daily by something else I just have to do.

10 Goals for this week:

Marriage/Motherhood Goals:
- Spend 3 hours of uninterrupted time with The Man Beast
- Spend 1 hour of uninterrupted time with The Boy
- Spend 1 hour of uninterrupted time with Baby Girl
- Read 2 Chapters of Anne of Green Gables with Baby Girl (we haven't picked up this book in almost two weeks; it's time to get back to it. Besides, it's an excellent way to wind down)

Personal Goals:
- Get active for 2 days (walking, running/jogging, Tae Bo...something to get the heart rate up)
- Read three chapters in a book (any book!)
- Spend 30 minutes in the Word, every day (only daily goal - but it's important!)

Writing Goals:
- Write and publish two blog posts (this one doesn't count!)
- Find the grey flash drive that has my manuscript on it; begin editing it

Homemaking Goals:
- Organize the bookcase in the study (maybe I'll find my flash drive on one of the shelves!)

So, there you have it. These are the goals I'm willing to share publicly. I have other goals written down, privately that cannot be shared publicly (but I can certainly update you all next week and let you know if I accomplished them!)

What are some things you want to tackle this week? Tell me in the comments!

Until next time, 

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With Faith Like a Child {Say Goodbye to Survival Mode}

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They say that love can heal the broken
They say that hope can make you see - "Faith Like a Child" Jars of Clay
 

I shared not too long ago about a book I was reading by Crystal Paine: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, in which she discusses ways we can can live intentionally and stop letting life live us.

Rather than go chapter by chapter, I will skip around as I feel compelled to discuss what she says on various topics. 

Today, I feel compelled to talk about charity.

In light of recent political topics, many have said you can't force charity. And I believe you can't. Complete a definition search for the word "charity" and you'll discover words like "voluntary" and "love" in its definition. True charity is not forced and comes from love (not guilt or bullying).

Oftentimes, when we think about charity, we think in terms of money. And unfortunately, it's a resource that, for many of of us, is in short supply. Luckily, charity extends to include things such as time, kind works, or even kind words.

Still...are we quick to supply it outside of holidays?

It's so easy for me to get wrapped up in my own problems. And I've got problems, let me tell you! (I'm sure you do, too!) Who has time for charity?

Turns out, we do.

One person who never fails to amaze me in her capacity for love and compassion is Baby Girl. Her thoughtfulness for her fellow man is never ending.


  • Last year when we went to Universal Studios for our Girl Scout cookie trip, we watched the Mardi Gras parade. She got quite a few beads. Later, we went to an eatery for dinner. As we were eating, I noticed Baby Girl looking toward the door. As we were leaving, she took off all of her beads and went up to a little boy and his mother. Baby Girl told her that she wanted to give all of her beads to her little boy. The mother had a look of confusion on her face when she said, "Thank you". Once we were outside, I asked Baby Girl why she gave away all of her beads (especially since she worked so hard to get them). She looked at me and said, "He didn't have any beads and I didn't want him to be sad. I don't need any beads to be happy."
This week marked the first weekend for Girl Scout cookie booth sales. We spent all day out in the warm sun (and have a sunburn to show for it!). Today, when we went into town, we saw another troop selling Girl Scout cookies. 

Baby Girl stopped in front of the booth and dug in her purse. I wasn't sure what she was getting; we have over 100 boxes of cookies that we have to sell for our own troop. 

She pulls out all of the change she has in her purse and and drops it in the donation box. (Both of our troops collect donations to buy boxes for soldiers and send them overseas). 

This is just how she thinks. Competition is not in her vocabulary. She sees the bigger picture; the greater good.

Today, something pretty upsetting happened at the grocery store and Baby Girl was witness to it. We talked about it a little as we were driving home, but for the most part, Baby Girl was quiet and contemplative. 

And to be honest, I was really depressed about the whole ordeal. I was sad that it happened and even more so that she had to witness it. But as I sat here reading the charity chapter in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and reflected back to the encounter with Baby Girl at the cookie booth, I thought better of it.

Yes, the situation stinks. But it's going to be okay. And it's not the worst thing to happen to us.

Charity begins in the heart. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money (many times, it's free!) It's incredibly easy to focus on our own lives. Our own problems. Our own schedules. But in truth, it takes only a minute to look outside ourselves and see the needs that surround us.

  • The elderly neighbor
  • The new mother
  • The struggling family
  • Those in hospitals
  • Those in nursing homes
  • Animal shelters
  • Homeless shelters
  • The frustrated waitress/waiter/barista/cashier
  • Postal Worker/FedEx Driver/UPS Driver
  • Teacher/Childcare Giver
  • Police Officer/EMT/Nurse
I'm challenging myself this week to think outside myself and do something for someone.

What about you?

Until next time...

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Work It, Girl {Say Goodbye to Survival Mode}

I have been following Crystal Paine over at Money Saving Mom for a couple of years. She brings Biblical wisdom to money matters and doesn't just preach it; she lives it.

Soon after she and her husband got married, they made a vow that they would not incur any debt while he finished going to law school. Through blood, sweat, tears (mostly hers), they made it. What's more, they took their financial goals a giant leap further and vowed to pay for their house with cash. And they did it!

For a woman who not only teaches but takes her own sound advice, you really can't help but to be inspired.

Not too long ago, my friend and I were were taking a sabbatical from Facebook. I subscribe to many bloggers who are linked with others. (in)courage is one such blog. It was through this blog that I learned of Crystal's new book, Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode.

Survival Mode. 

This was a term I used with some of the ladies at work during our book study many months ago. I have felt that I am in survival mode for a long time. The problem was, I didn't know what to do about it. I felt lost, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Stuck in a rut. That was me.

When Crystal offered a 7 Day Say Goodbye to Survival Mode challenge, I signed up. (I knew I couldn't afford to buy the book, so I was very grateful that she was offering a small sampling of her wisdom.)

Each morning, I would log into my email and anxiously wait for the latest issue to arrive. I found myself drawn to what Crystal was saying. It certainly wasn't anything new. And it wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. It just clicked this time around.

For those who don't regularly follow me, this is my first year teaching. For those of you who are teaching, you know how hectic your first year can be. I have nothing to compare my first year to (obviously), but it's pretty intense. I think it's like any new job where you're getting your footing and learning. The only difference is that with teaching, you're getting your footing for the whole first year (and I've spoken to some teachers who say it's more like three years. Whew!)

I was ready for a change and I started by following what was in Crystal's 7 Day Challenge.

Then, there was a book giveaway. I was one of the lucky recipients of a free book!

I don't believe in fate. But I do believe that things happen in God's perfect timing. I believe that this book was meant to fall into my hands so that I could start making some changes. (Lord knows I have been crying out to Him for a long time!)

***A side note: I have permission from Crystal (through Amy, her assistant), to talk about Crystal's book in my blog. All the links in this post (and future posts) will link to Crystal's website. There are no affiliate links in this post. Period.  I am also offering this blog series as a self-help for me and so all of you can keep me accountable. I did not receive a free book in exchange for my opinion on the book. Instead, I wanted follow Crystal's lead. She uses her blog to update her readers about her own personal goals. (This is a blog that helps sustain her family, folks - but if she does that on a business blog, it only makes sense that I might like to try it on a personal one.)***

I look at successful people at wonder how they got their success. Were they born with it? Were they lucky? I didn't know and to be honest, people aren't always quick to share how they got where they are. (There are exceptions, of course - Crystal, for example). But because people weren't sharing and all I saw was the success (as opposed to the struggle), I came to my own conclusions.

It just happened.

Guess what?

It doesn't just happen.

Successful people work at being successful.

Who knew? I didn't.

So, how do successful people work it? They set goals that they write down and work on daily. Daily. Not once a week. Not sometimes. Every. Single. Day.

Amazing.

So, naturally, as I'm reading through Saving Goodbye to Survival Mode I'm stopping and doing the little "homework" assignments. I even found a brand name spiral notebook to take notes...and boy have I been taking notes!

I will share some of my goals a little later, but do you see that graphic at the top of this blog post? That's a small sampling of my to do list today. And while I didn't take pictures of it, I've got three things marked off of it today. (This post will make #4!)

I've never been one to use to do lists. I'll use shopping lists - they help keep me focused and stop me from spending extra money I don't have.

Do you know what a to do list does?

It keeps me focused and stops me from spending wasting time I don't have. I just came to that realization. Literally just as I was writing that sentence. But it's the truth! My to do list has kept me focused on what I need to do. I even found an online timer and set it for 30 minutes and didn't do anything but worked on the task at hand. (Crystal borrows a bit of wisdom from Marla Cilley aka FlyLady and suggests working for 15 minutes. But I knew the work I had to do could be done for longer.)

You know what I found out? The task didn't take as long as I thought it would it usually does.

Focused work gets the job done.

Who knew?

Until next time...

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