Great Expectations: July To-Do’s

We are already a full week into this month already!  I can hardly believe it.  Most of this year has been spent with me remarking on how fast time is going by and feeling like everything is running together.  I have not been able to feel like I can keep up with it all – school, internships, relationships, family, blog, career decisions, keeping my head above water financially, grounding myself spiritually, giving myself grace emotionally, etc.  Getting lost in the sauce can be easier during certain seasons of your life more than during others.

I love to read, in general, but I love to read information from or by people who have accomplished some of the goals that I have set for myself.  This can include books, articles, blogs, carrier pigeon messages, messages in the bottle…whatever.  One of my favorite bloggers is Mattie James of Mattieologie.  She is a beauty and lifestyle blogger and freelancer but the way she has managed to expand and elevate her brand in five years is nothing short of inspirational to me.  Plus, if you ever listen to any of her podcasts or read any of her blogs, the level of practicality and grace that she brings to her work is so comforting.  Well, it is for me because I am Freak Out Francine – queen of supreme anxiety about everything and head of the make-it-plain committee.  Seriously.  People think I’m this well-polished person when in fact the best way to describe me behind closed doors is in a glass case of emotion (yes, by all means conjure up the visual of Will Ferrell in Anchorman).



Anyway, Mattie has this awesome #livewhatyoulove campaign that aims to push people to set their personal goals high and work hard to achieve them.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Ehh.  For people like me, we need to have strategy.  This is why I may or may not have a sticky note addiction (I have two unopened packs in my purse currently).  Writing things down and making lists soothe the savage beast within.  So when Mattie made her To Do List Template available to download for free, I thought this would be a great time utilize this tool and maybe one of you will find it useful too.  I’m hoping that at the end of the month or the beginning of next month, I can do a recap of how well I did at accomplishing these July goals.  Are y’all down for this?  It’s a way of holding myself accountable sans the unnecessary pressure and it allows for the proper evaluation and re-evaluation of goals in pursuit of milestones and achievements.  So here it goes.


(Template by

1. Redesign/restructure

I always get the itch to redesign the website every 4-6 months.  With the two year anniversary coming up on August 8, I figured I should try my best to give this baby a facelift.  Plus I want a layout that is amenable to expansion, just in case I get some crazy ideas in the upcoming year.  This shall be interesting.

2. Blog at least twice a week.

Since last Friday was the end of my summer semester, I have at least six weeks where academic pursuits are not predominantly taking up brain space.  I would like to get into a consistent blogging schedule within this time, especially given my recent hiatus.

3. Be physically active at least four days a week (mixture of physical training and yoga).

I’ve been going to a physical trainer twice a week for about a month now.  I can’t lie though – Monday’s session seriously had me ready to flip the bird at trying to get back in shape (blog coming soon about that experience).  I’ve also been trying to do yoga on my off days with Bendi Bobbi Yoga, which has been challenging me in a different way than the PT.  Either way, y’all pray that I can stay consistent with this.  It’s much harder than I imagined.

4. Begin intense study for Comprehensive exams.

My graduate program is nearly done.  There is only this last internship and the successful completion of my Comprehensive exams in between me and that stage.  I am aiming to take the comp exams sometime this fall so it’s time to buckle down for real.

5. Mentally & practically prepare for return to Georgia.

I am happy and humbled to say that my practicum site offered me the chance to do my internship there so I will be returning to Macon for another 16 weeks starting in late August.  This is great but there are some things that are weighing on my mind – provision, ability to get all my necessary hours in, and an element of my experience that left a bad taste in my mouth from the spring.  So I’m trying to focus on the good and on the blessing of this opportunity and being prayerful about the rest of it.

6. Spend more time with family & friends.

2015 will be the first year where I’ve spent the majority of the year away from home since my undergrad days.  I want to be sure that I am being wise in the time I have between now and my departure for Macon and surrounding myself with the ones I love to fill up my love tank.  I’ll need to draw on that when it gets a little lonely in Macon.

7. Confront my fear of speaking in front of people.

My mother “asked” me to be a session speaker during our church’s Women’s Weekend next weekend and I am honestly terrified and feeling like I have nothing to say for real for real.  So…we will see how this goes.

Women's Weekend 2015 Flier (final)

8. Color my hair.

Because I said I wouldn’t relax it and I want something different.  That’s all.

9. Trust in my strengths more than in my weaknesses.

I have always been a person who has put much stock in my weaknesses out of fear that they will cause me to fail.  It has always taken more out of me to draw out my strengths but at this point in my life, I can’t afford to live life any other way.  It’s time to change my perspective and trust what God has put inside of me.

10.  Enjoy my birthday month to the fullest!

TURN UP (I’ve gotta let that phrase die)!  I’m trying to do the little things to celebrate me all month – going to a few concerts, buying a few flattering lipsticks, wearing more summer dresses, wearing my favorite summer hat (that’s for you, Drea…lol), getting hip to some more African music and having more park dates with my guy, getting water wasted with my niece whose first birthday is only a few days behind mine.  I just want to enjoy life.


(Image: Pinterest)

11. Perform self-evaluation to end year 27 and begin year 28 with a BANG!

27 was a good year for me!  It started off so lovely and has not disappointed!  Like any year it had its ups and downs but on the whole, I enjoyed this year.  So many good things happened for me during this year and I am expecting nothing less from 28.  Self-evaluation is always a great idea because it allows one to look at his or herself and be completely honest about the present and be intentional about the future.  There are some traps I fell into during year 27 that I must avoid in year 28 and there are some ways that I need to grow in this upcoming year that I can learn from this year that’s wrapping up.  Birthdays are a perfect time to start anew so that’s what I think I’ll do!

What are some of your goals for July?  Do you think a to-do list would be helpful in you reaching these goals?

xo Ash

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