Where Am I?

Not so much in the physical sense, but more so in the metaphoric sense. It is July and we are at exactly half way into the year! What better time to hold myself accountable than now? I started the year committed to living a fuller life. So where am I with this year's goals?

Make great memories. This goal was purposely created to be vague so it could be as small or lofty as life would allow it to be. Leaving room for the unexpected really helped. I’ve enjoyed every minute with my baby and every minute of being a working mom. While that hasn’t left a ton of room to do much else, friends have been great about planning brunches closer to home to make it more assessable for us to join in the fun. We’ve also found room for a few short but awesome family trips tagging onto the start or end of some of our work trips. I look forward to the continued memory making, no matter how minute.

Take more photos. This is a routine that I've successfully implemented. The follow-up of putting them into Project Life is a different story, but the point of taking more photos is definitely being checked off.

Minimize practically. I am not doing as well here. While I’ve made good progress in some areas, I still struggle with others. I’m finding ways to get more function out of the same items so we have less clutter and more function. However, clothing continues to be a challenge… and I’ll tell you why. My weight fluctuated a lot this year. Once I stopped breastfeeding, my waistline and everything else just started to go back to pre-baby size, albeit very stretched out. So admittedly, I’m not sure what to keep and what to let go. Instead of wasting time and money, I am keeping a few key pieces of each size for now. But the idea is that if after a year, I don’t use any of it, it’s going to donation or being sold. I’ve also recently signed up for Stitch Fix. This service feels like an unnecessary luxury but it helps me save time from having to go shopping myself which means I have more time with the babe. Additionally, it gets me to the right size and fit faster, so it's a win-win in my book.

Spend less by reorganizing, reducing, reusing, and recycling. Finding more than a single function for the same thing has helped but we are continuing to work on this. As still relatively new parents, it’s not always clear what is a necessity and what is a nice-to-have. We’re working on it.

Cook more. We continue to work on this as well. I have fun making new things and trying new recipes. Learning to bake everything and anything has been a real highlight and it is definitely helping us be healthier.

Craft and create. I haven’t done as well in this area. I have found time to think creatively, but not actually made as much. This is something I’m working on as I have so many partially finished greeting cards that are eagerly waiting to find their way to my Etsy shop.

Update this blog. I'm not updating nearly as much as I thought I would. It's ok though because while my "maker's diary" isn't exactly 52 posts, I know what's snuck in are the quality moments with family and friends. This is permission to myself for skipping days because life happens quickly and I'll blog when I can.

Participate in Project 52. I had every intention of updating once a week. But when I look at my Project Life app, I'm actually tracking at least a photo a day and enough for a full 365 view. So we'll see when I'm ready to package the whole year, where this will all fit in.

So that’s it… this is where I am mid way through the year and I'm happy to say I am still working on everything. :)

How are you doing on your resolutions?

Minimizing Practically: The Wardrobe

As posted in January, I am learning to live minimally, in a way that works for my family. I am beginning with reorganizing, reducing, reusing, and recycling anything unnecessary. I want to do more with less and really only keep things I need and love, starting with one of my biggest problems, the wardrobe. Going from years of everyday traditional business setting to a business casual setting and now a casual setting, along with the changing pregnancy body last year, I accumulated too much clutter in my closet.

As part of my reduction process, I researched paring down to a minimalist closet. I came across so many great blogs that have been through this journey before. Here are a few guides that have inspired me to take action:

Be More with Less’ Project 333
Becoming Minimalist’s Practical Guide to Owning Fewer Clothes
Unfancy’s Capsule Wardrobe
House for Five’s

And this little gem I came across on Pinterest on how to organize your closet.

I purged more than half of my closet; selling some, donating a ton, and recycling a lot more. It felt great! I haven’t quite reached the 33, 37, or 30 piece closet but I’m experimenting and will continue to prune.

My goal is to get to 50 pieces total for an all year round wardrobe with all weather essentials, including shoes and outerwear, excluding home and gym clothes. Let’s see how that goes!

Setting Goals Made Easy with Goal Setting Worksheet

Last week, I blogged a bit about mind mapping. This week, I'm back with a free goal setting worksheet! I began the year looking for a goal setting worksheet and couldn't quite find one that met my needs. So I designed one and perhaps it will meet your needs too.

  Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for   Action Planning and Successful Habit Building with Disc-Bound Margins

Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for Action Planning and Successful Habit Building with Disc-Bound Margins

I wanted something that was rather simple in design with flexibility and not a ton of lines which I often find limiting my writing and drawing space. Channeling the spirit of high school biology workbooks, the worksheet was designed with a dashboard view and limitless flexibility. I'm sharing a watermarked version of this for free PDF download below.

  Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for   Action Planning and Successful Habit Building   with Disc-Bound Margins

Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for Action Planning and Successful Habit Building with Disc-Bound Margins

  1. Subject/Date. The top of the worksheet has a gray bar for titling with a subject, theme, or name. There's also room for a date so you can record when you filled out the sheet.
  2. Goal/Why/Success Measurement.There's a big box for writing or drawing a goal! Next to it are two sections for you to write why the goal is important to you and what success looks like.
  3. Action Steps Checklist/Due Dates. In the left of the main middle section is an area for listing 5-7 action steps needed to meet the goal, a gray circle for checking off when a task is complete, and a place to write the date of when the action should be taken.
  4. Routine Building and Recurring Tasks Schedule. In the right of the main middle section are rows of light grey and white alternating perfect for creating a table of recurring tasks in a weekly or daily view. By having a clear view of the routine you need to bake in the day or week, allows you to build habits in a set schedule. To use for weekly recurring tasks, just use each row as a day as shown in the image below. To use for daily recurring tasks, just use gray and white rows together as needed to create your own table. See below for a daily schedule with AM, PM, and Night identified in the left column.
  5. Notes and Brainstorm. The bottom left section can be used for notes or brainstorming. There are no lines so you can make lists or draw in this area.
  6. Result/Learnings/Next Up. The bottom right section is a tracking area. Write down the result of your goal and what you learn. There's also an area for you to write down a next focus area based on learnings.
  Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for   Action Planning and Successful Habit Building   with Flexible Routine & Habits Section

Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for Action Planning and Successful Habit Building with Flexible Routine & Habits Section

It's been helpful for all of the goals I've set up for myself this year. Let me know if this works for you and let me know if you run into any issues with the download below.

If you're interested in a watermark-free version of this worksheet, you can find it here in my Etsy shop, Pearl's Pen Pals.

Download Free Goal Setting Worksheet for Action Planning and Successful Habit Building designed by Pearl Lui

  Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for   Action Planning and Successful Habit Building. For watermark-free version, visit  pearllui.etsy.com .

Designed by Pearl Lui: Free Download Goal Setting Worksheet for Action Planning and Successful Habit Building. For watermark-free version, visit pearllui.etsy.com.

Mind Mapping to Stay Goals-Focused in 2015

Every new year, I write a long sectioned list of goals. I've done the same this year. But I'm also trying something new by mind mapping.

 Mind Map: Routines focused on goals and how to achieve them.

Mind Map: Routines focused on goals and how to achieve them.

Mind mapping is a great way to see how all goals are related. It shows the bigger picture. Here's my process:

  1. Identify one main goal. By limiting to only one thing, you find what is most important to you this year. If there's only one thing to achieve this year, what would it be? Start your statement with a verb. Put this statement at the very center and heart of a blank page.
  2. Identify habits and objectives. If there are 5-10 only habits or objectives that will help you towards your main goal, what are they? Put these statements around the page and let each thought lead you to the next. Once you get to a natural stop, look at each statement and identify any gaps and write those down. By limiting yourself to 5-10, you again focus only on the things that are most important to you.
  3. Connect your habits and objectives to the goal. Identify the relationships in the habits and objectives so they become "workflows" or routines. Simply draw arrows to illustrate the connections.
  4. Create routines and build a mindset. Now that you have all of these dots connected, start filling them in with action.
  5. Hold yourself accountable. Remind yourself of how you want to live every day. Take action!

My mind map is centered around one main goal: Live a fuller life.

The relationship between my habits, objectives, and goals are clear.

  • Make great memories. This goal is purposely vague. Great memories apply to all parts of my life, whether it be to laugh with my family, dance with my God-children, travel with friends, or enjoy lunches with coworkers.
  • Take more photos. My list of crafting goals boils down to this one doable daily routine.
  • Minimize practically. I am learning to live minimally, in a way that works for my family. I am reorganizing, reducing, reusing, and recycling more than ever. The first thing is starting with the closets. I want to do more with less and really only keep things I need and love.
  • Spend less by reorganizing, reducing, reusing, and recycling.
  • Cook more. I want to continue practicing making meals regularly which will also help us spend less!
  • Be healthy. Eating out less and cooking more at home means consuming more nutritious foods.
  • Prioritize and build efficiency, to do more, live a fuller life, and make more great memories.
  • Craft and create. The decision-making process becomes easier by minimizing the number of choices, leaving me more time to fill my soul through creating, crafting, and learning.

I've already started some routines. The key now is consistency.

I look forward to holding myself accountable here. :)

A New Year, A New Blog

Hello 2015 and welcome to my new blog!

I was previously blogging as krafty Pearl, sharing many of my scrapbooking and card-making projects. Then I started on the biggest project of my life and made a baby! Needless to say, my life changed and the me that would stay up through the wee hours of the night to finish paper projects after a long day at work became a mommy.

What does this mean? Welp, if I even have a single "free" moment, I would much rather sleep and the only thing I'm up doing in the wee hours of the night is trying to put my dear daughter back to sleep. These are also some of the most precious moments of my everyday... watching the little one sleep.

Being a new mom has not only redefined my daily schedule but it has also redefined me as a human being. Hence, the move from krafty Pearl to "mommy" Pearl here. I'm looking to have a cleaner and simpler look to focus more on the content. This brings me to the next subject: what will I be sharing on this blog? I don't have a plan, but I really enjoyed looking at my old blog posts as a collection of my creative endeavors, so that's where I'll start. I'll share the things I make, whether it be a paper project or baby food.

I took a year long hiatus from blogging and crafting, but I've decided to come back with some record-keeping and crafting goals:

  • I will post 52 times this year. Come December 2015, I want to reflect upon the things I made - my maker's diary, if you will.
  • I will participate in Becky Higgin's Project 52. Every little moment in 2014 was captured in my noggin, but none of which, my daughter will find in a book or simple digestible format. So 2015 will be a year of catching up and recording the new year.
  • I will take a photo a day. My husband and I took a photo a week of our daughter during her first year so that we can reflect on how much she grew in a year. I loved that and I wish I would have done the same daily to record our own growth as parents. I will do it this year with the Becky Higgins Project Life app.
  • And last but not least, I will give myself permission to skip days or weeks, if need be. Life happens quickly and while I'm committed to restarting my blog and my hobbies, my priority will always be my family. To avoid any sort of self-disappointment, this is a note-to-self that goals change and that's OK.

With that, here's a little more about me: I'm a full-time working mommy living in a tiny outer borough New York City apartment with my husband and daughter. I have tired feet from working all day and frequent baby-wearing, so I proudly rock my comfy shoes to keep my feet supported and spine straight; no dainty shoes for this mommy. Ever since we welcomed our baby girl to the world, I haven't done much paper-crafting or jewelry-making but I have plans of returning from "vacation" to my Etsy shops, Pearl's Pen Pals and Quinfetti. For full disclosure, I also work full time at Etsy as an employee and all opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and mine only.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again soon!

Happy 2015!
Pearl