Reflecting on 2016

Wow! 2016 has been a crazy year!!

I started this blog at the end of 2015 and had big plans.

First thing this year, I completed my first big project for the blog, Evernote planner tutorial and templates that I offer my readers for free.

In January I also wrote a 2016 Social Media Pledge and my proposed New Year’s Resolutions for The Church, both of which are relevant as we start another new year.

I had plans to create a video series of Crochet Tutorials. Unfortunately, that project didn’t happen in 2016 but I’m hoping to do it this year.

In mid-January I ended up unexpectedly flying from Germany to Texas for a family emergency. The trip took a lot out of me and I struggled most of the year to get back on track.

Unfortunately, a couple months after that trip, blogging ended up taking a back burner and I disappeared for 7 months.

I had many commitments that began in the fall of 2015 and continued through the end of this year. While I loved the projects and roles I held, I learned a few important lessons:

  1. Pushing myself by taking on many different roles and projects left me with no reserves, so when I was mentally, emotionally, and physically taxed by the unexpected I crashed. Always leave margin in your time, energy, and emotions to allow for the unexpected.
  2. When you are known to volunteer for things and known to pull them off well other people will not step up and take the responsibility until you leave them with no choice. This is both flattering and frustrating!
  3. Setting limits is very important.

During my blogging hiatus, several major things happened in our lives. I found out I was expecting Baby #5 and we got orders to move to Kansas. Our summer and fall were filled with planning for these events.

I jumped back into blogging in October with lots of plans for this coming year!

In November we moved from Germany to the U.S. and we bought a house with an acre on which I plan to try my hand at homesteading.

Hello Kansas

 

Looking back, my TOP 5 posts from 2016:

  1. A house, An Acre, and BIG PLANS!
     
  2. Goodbye Germany, Hello Kansas!!
  3. Bible Art Journaling
  4. Setting Up An Evernote Planner
  5. 2017 Monthly Book Discussion – A Life Giving Home
    The Life Giving Home

Projects and series starting in January:

  1. Read and Journal Through the Bible in One Year
  2. Monthly Operation Christmas Child Tips
  3. OCC, Operation Christmas Child, Shoebox Packing
  4. Monthly Book Discussion – A Life Giving Home

My other favorite posts from 2016:

  1. Sleep, Desperation, and God
  2. Cute DIY Tea Wreath

  3. Three New Ideas for Bible Journaling
  4. A Different Kind of 2 for 1 Deal!
  5. Social Media Checklist for Bloggers – FREE!
    Free social media planner

How did your year go? Look for my upcoming plans and goals for 2017 next week!

This post is part of the Homeschool Review Crew 2016 Review roundup click the picture below to see other participants!

 

Homeschool Review Crew Reflecting on 2016

Social Media Checklist for Bloggers – FREE!

One of my goals for 2017 is to be more intentional with my blogging. Over the last week I have been preparing by putting together a blog planner. The main part of my planner was given to me for participating in a specific project so, unfortunately, I can’t share that with you. If you are looking for one The Well Planned Gal has a really awesome looking blog planner that I would have purchased had I not received this other one.

I am also using some pages from the free blog planner at Elite Blog Academy.

Another awesome resource I am excited about using this year is this free Pinterest planner. It has monthly checklists, tips, and suggestions on board arrangement.

One thing I really wanted but couldn’t find was a good way to plan and track my daily social media posts. I want to be more consistent and engaging on social media but really need a checklist to keep me on track! Since I couldn’t find one I decided to make my own. Then I decided I might as well share it with you all! It is very simple but I think will be useful for staying engaged on the various social media platforms.

Free social media planner

To get access to this resource simply subscribe to my blog using the form below. You will also get access to other freebies and any future freebies I may offer! Once you fill out the form you will get a confirmation email, the link in that email will take you to my freebie page with the social media checklist and other goodies.

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A New Approach to Spring Cleaning

The last few months have been quite a whirlwind for my family. We have been involved in many activities outside of the house (several of which I had leadership roles in). We took a spur of the moment trip back to the U.S., with the jet lag and recovery that follows traveling several thousand miles and 7 time zones with four kids. Then we spent weeks fighting and passing around a minor but annoying winter illnesses. It has been challenging to say the least.

I have not been on top of guiding, training, and correcting my kids lately. In addition, my own attitude and motivation has been seriously struggling. We have all slipped into some pretty bad habits and behaviors. The kids are fighting with one another non-stop, the tones of voices heard in our house are rude or angry more often than not, chores are not getting done when they are supposed to, and parental direction is met with resistance.

As spring approaches I think it is time for some spring cleaning!

Spring

I’m not talking about dusting and cleaning out the drawers (although we need to do that too). I’m talking about cleaning up attitudes, behaviors, and habits.

Many times in my parenting journey I have thought, “if I could just take a couple weeks to really focus on this specific behavior or problem I could get everyone into a better routine and eliminate the issue.” The problem is I never follow through. I think it is time to finally put that plan into action.

It is going to take hard work, dedication, and determination on my part but I think in the long run it will make our family function better. Perhaps this sort of “spring cleaning” will become a regular family tradition.

In the next few months many of our regular outside of the house activities will be wrapping up. As things wind down I will be making a focused effort to work on the following areas in my family (adults are not exempt from this process):

  1. Organizing and decluttering

  2. Attitudes and Behavior

  3. Routines and Schedule

  4. Chores

  5. Reviewing and renewing goals and vision

In the coming weeks I will post more details about each area and how I plan to work on it. Later in the summer I will post a follow up for each category and let you know how it went, what worked and what didn’t.

Make sure you join me on Periscope (@sabrinascheerer) where I’ll share how things are going as we are working on it.

Do you have any areas that need “spring cleaning?” Share in the comments what you are going to be working on this spring. Remember to check back to see how I plan to address each individual area or subscribe to this blog to get the new posts in your inbox!

Setting Up An Evernote Planner-Tutorial and Free Templates

Setting Up An Evernote Planner

I am often asked how I “do it all” (I don’t but apparently it looks that way)! The way I stay productive and get things done is by using lists and goals. With four kids not much can be “scheduled” and there is no such thing as protecting my time. If I have specific goals, deadlines, and to-do lists that move me towards those goals, and if I keep those things where I can look at them multiple times a day, I find I have my best chances of accomplishing them.

I have tried so many different organizers; regular spiral planners, fancy planners, bullet journals (I really wanted to love this one!), binders with various pages, and more. None of them have worked well for me. I have too many pieces of my life to organize and I change my mind about how I want it arranged too often!

Then I figured out how to organize myself on Evernote! Evernote is a free app available on any platform (there is a paid version but you don’t need it for my planner) where you can make “notes” and organize them into “notebooks” and “stacks.” As someone who generally has notes scribbled on any piece of paper in sight and in multiple notebooks and has all my papers and notebooks in stacks all over the house this arrangement definitely appealed to me.

This is by no means the only, nor necessarily even the best, way to set up an organizer-in Evernote or otherwise. This is the way I am doing it, and right now it is working VERY well for me. The best part-I can change it if I change my mind!! The next best part-it is always with me. I have the Evernote app on my phone, my tablet and my computer giving me ultimate flexibility, and my planner is very literally always at my fingertips!

I am going to share with you how I set up my organizer. Again this is not the only way and it is completely flexible and customizable. Feel free to use the parts that work for you and change and adjust as needed. I’m going to show you my basic layout and I have created templates that you can use if you don’t want to create your own!

Watch the following videos for a visual on how to do this. Then see below for how to get my Ebook with instructions and the templates that I show in the video. All are free for you to download, adapt, and use!

 

Part 1

Part 2

Get the Ebook and Templates! 

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Coming Soon: I will be offering customized Evernote Planner Templates!! Sign up above to be notified when they are ready!

This post is linked-up to Throwback Thursday Blog Style on Tots and Me!
Tots and Me