Bigger 2016 twelve months of bliss

Twelve Months of Bliss – Jan. Recap & Linkup

January 27, 2016
12mofbliss jan recap

12mofbliss jan recap

You know, it’s funny sometimes how you can start out with a goal, thinking the end result will be one thing and having a pretty good idea of how you’re going to get to it, and then the whole thing takes you on an entirely different journey altogether, however you still somehow find yourself at your ultimate goal.

If you’ll remember, my goal this month was to get up early each morning in attempt to get more done during the day. The beginning of the month went off without a hitch – I was up and at ’em by 5:30-6am each morning for a good week and a half, working away in my office, already on my second cup of coffee by the time the sun peaked its way through the trees, thinking Wow! I really love the morning, it’s so quiet and beautiful! I am totally rocking this! Until one night when I got a 24 hour flu, was up ALL night, and about destroyed my alarm as it went off that next morning. Snooze wasn’t gonna cut it after the night I’d just had so I turned the alarm off and slept til noon. And then of course my sleep schedule was totally whacked and I was up til 2am every night for the rest of the month, sleeping until 8 or 9 the next morning. But, if you’re thinking this month was a complete loss for me, you’d be wrong…

The actual reasoning behind my goal this month – to get more done, to find more time to work or to be creative or to go on more walks or to better prepare for and go after other goals I have – all of that ended up happening anyway, in its own way and in its own timing. I didn’t just lie around late at night watching Netflix (ok, maybe there were a few nights here and there when that happened). Instead, something crazy awesome happened and I became this busy little midnight bee – writing more than I’ve written in a long, long time, and just as I’d found the beauty of the sunrise’s light on my office walls at 6am, I also found it in the ceiling of stars from my office nook, which seemed  to keep me company in those late nights too… and it was just as meaningful, encouraging and inspiring.

Office at night EG

Isn’t that how it often is? That our life lesson might include recognizing and learning to embrace the “natural” timing of things? I found that lesson again this month, I was able to embrace it, and in turn – I found a new burst of creativity, something far more precious to me than waking up at a certain time each morning simply because I’d written it down as a “rule” – a gateway – to my goal. And you know? I do still feel I “owned it” this month – it was not easy at first to not feel like a failure when I was up late every night and “slept in” each morning. I certainly had to choose to embrace the way things were shifting and focus not so much on how I was getting there, but to realize that I was still finding my “extra” time – it just looked different than how I thought it would look.

I think it’s important to make goals. I think it’s important to hold ourselves accountable and to state our dreams and to share those ideas with others… BUT – I think it’s also important to give ourselves some slack… yes, to continue to work our asses off (I believe they call it “hustlin'” these days) and to hold onto the passion we hold for our dreams like it’s all we’ve got somedays, but also to loosen the reins of control or planning a bit so that just maybe our dreams can find us in their own ways too.

EG signature

Now it’s your time to share your feedback from this month’s challenge. Link up your thoughts below & don’t forget to check the Twelve Months of Bliss page in a few days for next month’s challenge!

Ember Grey Twelve Months of Bliss


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  • I think what you have shared is such a wonderful lesson. We need to embrace what feels natural and realize that is likely what we need to be doing. I love that you were able to accomplish what you really hoped to despite not waking up early. PS – I really do wish I could naturally sleep later!

    • Thank you, Sheryl! (Anytime I hear a morning person talk about how they can’t sleep in anymore I get slightly terrified… I can’t imagine! haha!)

  • I love how you don’t let one goal (waking up early) stifle perhaps another goal (pursuit of creativity). Way to have goals and still be able to go with the flow 😀

  • I know many people who are the most productive in the late hours rather than the morning. The fact you really did keep to your goal of getting more done, is no way a fail. For me, late nights, I’m done. Even on the nights I have trouble falling asleep, some tell me to get up and do something, nope, no can do. It isn’t so much my body as it is my mind. It shuts done about 9:00 until 5:00 a.m. So I consider what you achieved this month a WIN WIN. Thanks for another great month of pushing ourselves and seeing what we really have in us to make one small change.

    • I was talking with my mom about all if it while she was visiting and she told me that even when she was pregnant with me, I was the most active late at night. So I think it’s in my blood or something 😉 haha. Thanks so much for joining me once again, Michelle! I love doing this with others!

  • I definitely feel more productive at night. I’m glad that your month of “owning it” resulted in you finding your personal swing 🙂 Our dog walking started out strong but then Ohio got frigid and the small dog and I said “no way!” (My big dog wasn’t phased… ha.) But we played more inside and cuddled more and were still very conscious and intentional about getting the energy OUT!

    • YOU really inspired me to take Oooj on more walks, and I know he thanks you for that 😉 (We did the same thing when there was a ton of snow outside – inside play is just as fun sometimes!)

  • Yes! Goals are important, but so is grace.

  • I am way more productive at night, but in the summer I am in the morning I think. It’s all about the snow–or something like that. Dreams and goals make me work harder all the time, but sometimes I’m too tough on myself. We all need to give ourselves a little room to breathe.

    • Actually, I’m kind of the same. In the summer months I definitely naturally wake up earlier.

  • oh my soul this makes my heart smile all over the place. i’ve been trying to remind myself of how lovely each of our natural rhythms are to our processes of creativity and writing. i’ve realized i have certain hours in the day that hold the MOST potential for me and i have tried for years to fight them into being different than leaning into and embracing… ooph. (also, such a morning person over here so any “work” that i have to do after 8:00PM is SURELY going to be a mess.

    • 🙂 Thank you for the smile, Amber. (Your notes always do that for me!) I realized the same this month – unfortunately for Christian, I start to feel the most inspired right around dinner time, so there have been quite a few nights where I’m like “Babe, I’m sorry but you’re on your own for dinner. I have to follow this.” Bless our guys for understanding!

  • so great how you let the reasons for the goal drive you, not the goal itself. that’s such a great way to give yourself grace while still growing. (also, thanks for your sweet words today…i’ll say more later, but for now, just thank you)

  • I love this so much. Once you open your heart to letting things happen in their own way, in their own time, it’s amazing how they just fall into place. xoxo

  • I’m such a night owl, but seeing as how I have to be at work at 7am…I can’t really be a night owl anymore. This month I really focused on using my time better. I used to come home from work, plop down and watch TV. Now, I spend more time playing with Walter or I read more or work on my website/photography. I feel like using my time better has actually put me in an overall better mood as well.

    • Ugh, yes that’s a hard thing for sure – an early call time for work. Back when I was in corporate I remember some nights I only got 3 or 4 hours of sleep because yeah – night owl + early work. ( = lots of coffee.)

  • I love this….there’s nothing wrong with goals but cutting ourselves slack is needed as well. It was Am Form Set Free that gave me the notion of goals with grace. I love that!

    • Amy’s posts on grace always comfort and encourage me! Agreed, Anne! 🙂

  • As the saying goes, “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans” 🙂 Also, you are right in that it’s important to give ourselves some slack. I need to do a better job of remembering that!

  • I agree! We do need to give ourselves grace. There’s always a new day to start over and strive to meet our goals again. We just keep making the effort and forgive ourselves when we fall short along the way.

    • Absolutely. And sometimes what we might at first see as ‘falling short’ turns out to be a better way in the end. I need to remind myself that there are lots of ways to get to the same place 😉

  • So true. Beautiful, honest words. Sometimes the resolutions we set for ourselves are not in line with our own rhythms and lifestyle. I’m glad you were able to find your own path and still be creative and enjoy this burst of creativity regardless of the time. Mission accomplished, I’d say 🙂

  • chall1018

    Great post sweet friend! We all have to give ourselves grace. This is a great reminder to find another route when the one you had planned is no longer the route for you!! Everything fell into place just as it was meant to be. PS – I love your little space and the twinkle lights!!

  • You go girl! Even though what you originally had planned didn’t pan out quite as you had expected, I love that God led you to another plan of action. I can’t wait to share my OWN IT goal 🙂

  • Giving yourself grace is such a precious thing…all too often I get frustrated if things don’t turn out exactly like I expected them to!
    That being said I’ve set a ‘practice’ in place for February to get up at 530am each day so I can have an hour of time on my own before I’m go-go-go with the girls. I’m hoping it helps me start the day more alert and ready, and that I get some much needed devotional time in. Today rocked! I’ll have to hang onto your words though when I have a day that isn’t possible, and not let it bug me or make me feel like a failure!!

    • That first week when I was getting up early truly was amazing – I could not believe how much I got done. I’m learning to be flexible – which with personalities like ours (planner, organized, methods), is a challenge in itself 😉 I’m so glad you had a great first early day!! You can do it!

  • This has been exactly my experience last month! I finally admitted to myself I HATE waking up early, and it makes me more tired, even if I go to bed early. So I decided that on days I don’t have to be at work at 8am (which is only two days a week), I just let my body wake up naturally (or whenever my toddler wakes up ;), and I’ve started using evenings for writing, journaling, Bible study, etc. It doesn’t always happen if we get busy in the evenings, but overall it has worked out so much better than me waking up early and feeling rushed to get things done or afraid of waking up my son. I think I had to get over the guilt that “good Christian girls have morning quiet times.” You know, the time doesn’t matter, it’s about having ANY time set aside for Jesus and for yourself 🙂

    • Good for you!! I read an interesting article last night about the creative process and long story short – everybody’s process varies a bit, and it’s OK. There was one woman who would wake up every day at 5am and write for 5 hours, but there was a guy who would write from 11pm-3am every single night. We’re all different, sometimes it’s just about figuring out what works best, and we won’t know until we try!