What I Learned Winter 2018

It’s been three seasons since I first joined Emily P. Freeman in sharing what I’m learning. It’s fun to look back on as it accumulates.

It makes me feel like Popeye with his can of spinach. I walk away from this self reflection stronger and more motivated to take on what’s next.

Here are just a few of the many things I learned this winter.

1. Morning Routines for the Win!

I’ve always considered my evenings to be sacred time. My good friend Carolyn has consistently been a morning person for as long as I have known her. With the exception of those rare, but frustrating, windows of sick kids and mom life, she consistently executes her morning with precision. It’s really quite impressive.

I thought she was crazy. I mean, getting up at 530? “Thats no life to live,” I’d say. While I truly believed that, I couldn’t help but wonder what a morning routine could offer me. I was somewhat jealous of how productive she was so early in the day, but I just didn’t think I had it in me.

I was sort of right. I mean, you can’t be a night owl and a morning person at the same time. At least not for extended periods of time. Eventually you’ll crash.

After reading Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect, curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to see if switching from night owl to morning person would pay off. (In full disclosure I did have a major time change as my catalyst. If you want to become a morning person, the short cut is to head off to Europe for a handful of days, and then come on back home. Waking up earlier is just easier that way).

What I Learned Winter 2018
Photo by Dapo Oni on Unsplash

I’ve got to say, I’ve discovered a whole new world before 7am! One that I’m settling into nicely. It’s quiet, and quiet is certainly a coveted decibel level in my home.

I recommend you give it a whirl. You just may be surprised to find the “early morning you” is quite delightful company.

“I don’t need an inspirational quote. I just need coffee.” -unknown

2. I’m a Total Perfectionist.

There I said it. If you are related to me, or have known me for any number of years, you’ve probably just thrown your hands in the air and gasped, “Finally!”

It’s true. Down to this very blog post. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll send it to at least two people to proof read for me. While that’s wise, and may be appropriate due diligence, it’s also a little bit of me freaking out over commas.

I’ve labeled myself a “planner,” but that’s sometimes just an attempt to mask my fear of not doing things the exact right way the very first time.

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” -John Steinbeck

3. Choose Something to Bomb to Get More Done.

I just finished the book Finish  by John Acuff. Great book! I highly recommend it.

He talks about perfection being the enemy of finished. In a section of his book he suggests that it’s okay to bomb something. He says,

“The only way to accomplish a new goal is to feed it your most valuable resource: time. And what we never like to admit is that you don’t just give time to something, you take it from something else. To be good at one thing you have to be bad at something else.”

Emily P. Freeman’s, The Next Right Thing Podcast, titled Choose Your Absence, echoes this theory nicely.

We don’t have to be involved in every little thing, and we certainly don’t have to be perfect at all the things!

For example, I use stock photos for most of my blog post images. (Gasp! Don’t worry, it’s standard practice). Look, I’m not about to perfect my photography skills on top of learning all the ins-and-outs of running a blog, while also trying to create and improve my content. You can check out my real life images over in my Instagram, but here I’ll give credit to Jakob Owens for this little gem.

What I Learned Winter 2018
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I choose to spend time learning how to rock the writing and bomb photography! Short cuts aren’t cheating. Jon Acuff says so.

4. My Style!

This winter I finally found my style. Guess what it looks like? Ok, I’ll just tell you. It’s simply simple.

I’ve spent years thinking I was not so great at home decor and really, I wasn’t. Because I was trying to style my home with somebody else’s definition of style.

It’s the classic scene from Runaway Bride. Maggie Carpenter has to decide what kind of eggs she likes because she’s spent so many years as a breakfast food chameleon. She can’t seem to settle down and commit to be married because she doesn’t really know who she is. Spoiler alert, she likes eggs benedict.

What I Learned Winter 2018
Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

Just give me plain and simple. (Well, not my eggs, I like mine smothered in goat cheese, because basically I just like goat cheese). My style though, is plain and simple.

Self discovery is like a rolling snowball. When we recognize one area that needs growth, it leads to another and another. Then sometimes it just takes some maturity and a willingness to admit when we’ve had it all wrong.

What is it you’ve been learning during this season?



Finish, Jon Acuff

Essentialism, Greg McKewon

Daring Greatly, Brene’ Brown

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy

Follow me on Instagram for regular updates of what I’m reading.

(These are Amazon affiliate links. I get a couple pennies if you buy one through my link…it’s pretty much my version of a go-fund me. Always shop around or borrow from a friend or local library.)

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Declutter Your Life

It’s time to stop managing our families and start leading them!

2 years ago I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had no capacity to mom on purpose.

Living with less has gifted me time, space and some much needed perspective of what truly matters most. Below is the link to my FREE Beginner’s Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook. It takes a deeper look at the 7 Steps to getting started highlighted in my popular post, Declutter Like a Minimalist.


Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook

2 thoughts on “What I Learned Winter 2018

  1. I’m visiting from Emily’s link-up, and I’ve enjoyed your post!

    I am also a “recovering perfectionist” (the term I’ve heard use because I’m learning not to always be one). I am also learning to love simple (hence my blog name), which is a work in progress.

    I love to use my own photos, but it’s a bit of a passion that I also want to incorporate into my blog. But sometimes it means not waiting until they are all perfectly edited, or even if I have the exact right one. So I like your idea, and applaud your fighting against perfectionism.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you so much for your comments. “Recovering perfectionist” is the perfect term…eh? eh? get it? 😉 Love it. I too am a work in progress!

    My photography passion ends at my children, which would make for some pretty redundant blog images. Unsplash saves me! Way to go incorporating your passion for photography into your writing. That’s awesome keep it up!

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