Joanna Anastasia

mindful living

How to set goals and follow through

After finishing a master’s degree, traveling with a backpack to India, immigration across the globe, five years of successful blogging, countless makeovers and lately writing a book, I think I got this goals setting things pretty well. Not that I never followed through with a plan though – I once opened an Etsy shop that is still empty, I signed for Italian classes only to abandon after 2 months and tried to take on yoga about a million times.

But now, on the eve of my new goal being turned in to a new action plan, I thought I’d share with you how I reach for what I dream about. And how you can too!

So, what is it that turns some dreams into goals and then reality? And why some remain a one-day-I’ll-do-this-fantasy forever?

Here’s what I think has helped me in setting my goals, following through with a plan and turning them in to reality, and here’s how you too can set your goals and follow through.

  1. Start by asking yourself what is it that you REALLY want. How do you want your life to look like? What makes you happy? Let yourself dream beyond where you are now, what you know/have/are. 
  2. Once you name your dream, ask yourself ( and inform yourself ) what has to happen to get there. Is it a degree? Money? New work position? Is it possible and doable or absolutely impossible ( if it’s really absolutely impossible then go back and find another dream.) 
  3. Divide your big goal in to many, many smaller goals. Now you have a Big Plan! Caution- the Big Plan needs to be somehow inspiring/fun on its own. If not, then it’s easy to burn out and abandon the dream.
  4. Now, divide your Big Plan in to small achievable goals. Start as you are, where you are. Find resources, and ask for help. Check of the list even the smallest steps towards your achievable goals. Tell others ( it will make you feel accountable) about your plan. 
  5. Work hard but take it easy. There are many paths, and struggling or not making it right away is a part of a process!
  6. Don’t get lost along the way. Sometimes achieving goals may be distracting from finally reaching for the big dream – if that happens, it’s time to reassess. 
  7. Lastly, remember that you can do anything, but not everything at once! And that the path is as important as the goal aka don’t do immoral things, and don’t lose your integrity!

So , just let yourself dream, set big but realistic goals, call them a plan, divide your plan into small steps, and follow through!

Believe me, anything can happen if you just start with a dream!

Photo by ValerieGBphoto 

Resolutions and reflections for a mindful start of the year

resolutions and reflections for a mindful start of the year

The New Year, a magical time when we make our resolutions – aka we indulge in a lot of wishful thinking! We plan to diametrically change our habits and our lives, only to feel defeated and down after two weeks- when all of our resolutions fade and the real life, with our old habits kicks in.

There’s also a way of trying to change everything magically, by choosing one world and sticking to it – my only concern is that it’s a bit vague, and in the end doesn’t indicate a plan and might not be very helpful in mindful retrospection.

That’s why I was looking for something better, not necessary a 300 page long self-help book, but rather a set of mental exercises to sit and think and reflect on the life that we live. As in: is this where I really want it to be? What can I really change? How can I do it? What am I thankful for?

So I made these printable worksheets, 8 pages of 16 questions to reflect in total – with the goal of a mindful start of the year. Without the unrealistic resolutions and without guilt. Rather, with the sense of guidance and a meaning.

I have printed mine, for me, and for my hubby, and I hope that they can help you start your year better, as they did help us.

resolutions and reflections for a mindful start of the year

resolutions and reflections for a mindful start of the year

And since I believe in letting go of some things to let in the new, these worksheets are also about that: the change, the realistic change and the baby steps.

You can upload them here.

And once you’ll print them, give yourself a calm moment to fill them in. Don’t over think the questions, as it’s usually the first spontaneous answer that are true to what you really feel and think.

8 pages of free printable resolutions and reflections for a mindful start of the year

And remember, every change you wish to see in your life, even the biggest one, starts with a though. You need to let yourself imagine and dream. So be intentional, and make things happen! But also, it’s fine to be content and happy in the calm simple life. You don’t need to change the world to be happy. Just do you. 


8 pages of free printable resolutions and reflections for a mindful start of the year

Embrace the mess

you're not doing it wrong if you feel like your life is a mess, life with kids is messy, and it's fine, here's why.

Motherhood is full of the mess. It’s learning that things don’t go as planned. It’s realizing that the only control in life we have is over our own reactions, and nothing else. It’s realizing that we can’t control our kids or force them to do anything they really don’t want to do. It’s learning to let go. It’s learning what’s really important and what we can live without.

Motherhood is mess. Real life toy mess. Kitchen and laundry mess. Mom hair mess. Dirty diaper mess.

Motherhood is emotional mess. The postpartum tears. The babyhood exhaustion of a mom who haven’t sleep in months. The toddler-hod confusion of a mom facing first tantrums and meltdowns. The mom of a bigger kid realization that there is always something to learn and that it never get’s really easy. That they change, and we can’t tell in which direction it’ll all go.

It’s the mess of our own reactions. Realization where are our patience limits are. Learning to embrace the unplanned.

Motherhood is a mess in relationships. It’s the sadness over loosing contact with friends that are childless and that we see way too rarely.. It’s the relationship with friends who have kids and with whom we can never finish a sentence during a play date. It’s a mess in friendships, that while so so very important, just have to fall after motherhood.

Motherhood is a mess in a couple. The tired days and exhausted evenings. The conversations unfinished, the I know-you-feel-it too-look. All the feelings shared, though not over a romantic weekly date but over a messy kitchen table with whiny kids around.

All that mess. We can’t run from it. And let’s not believe in lies that if only we’ll clean enough, try harder, parent better, self care more, date and just really try, that then all that mess mess will be gone.

embrace the mess

It wont. This is the time of our lives. The time of mess. Let’s embrace it. Lets smile at it. Lets giggle and accept.

This is the time when our emotions are the heaviest but also the fullest.

This is the time when we love our babies and they love us to the moon and back.

This is the time when we need our fiends like never before.

This is the time when we need out couples to stay strong. In that mess, not without it.

Lets just embrace it. The blurry photos where nobody looks at the camera. The never-really-clean-home. The unfinished conversations. The-I know-you-know-look. The tears and loughs.

And remember, if you feel your life is a mess, don’t ever start thinking that you’re doing it wrong!

Through the  mess of early spring mud, the plants and flowers grow, through the mess of everyday life with kids, you’re growing as a mother and they learn to be happy in the present real life!.

There may be simple solutions for keeping a house clean, and meal plan on point, lunches prepared, and laundry all done, kids calm and obeying and self care, couple connection and social life on point. But the reality is that, while it can be done, it can’t be done all at once. And it’s fine.

Kids don’t need to live in a perfectly set life with a perfectly organized mother. They need to see you happy, and they’ll learn what happiness is.

Kids don’t need a perfect surrounding to thrive. They need love and attention. And a happy mom. So don’t beat yourself up for being a mess. Just embrace it. 

Let go of the parenting guilt

let go of the parenting guilt: free worksheets to help you get rid of the guilt- and become a happier and better mother

“Guilt is to the spirit, what pain is to the body” – Elder David A. Bednar

Parenting guilt is not a helpful feeling, it makes us feel physically heavy and it clouds our thinking. And in reality it doesn’t really shape us to be the better version of ourselves!

So why do so many of us struggle with it daily?

The reasons may vary from one person to another, but for sure the society standards of a perfect parent (especially a perfect mother) are a part of it. Then there are our own personal standards. Some mothers feel not good enough when they don’t play with their kids daily, and others feel guilty when they go to work. Some when they raise their voice and get impatient, or when they don’t cook healthy meals everyday. There’s probably as many reasons as parents, but they all make us feel not good enough and guilty.

I wrote about parenting guilt here, where I shared more about how I live with this feeling and how I try to deal with it.

And today I have a tool to help you let go of it! These free printable worksheets are designed for all moms who struggle with this feeling of guilt, and who wish to finally let go of it and move forward!

get rid of parenting guilt

let go of the parenting guilt: free worksheets to help you understand, let go and forgive yourself!

let go of the parenting guilt: free worksheets to help you understand, let go and forgive yourself!

You can get the “Let go of the parenting guilt” worksheets here!

Just download the file and print at home. Find a calm spot  as much as I know it’s difficult to do around kids!), get yourself a mug of a hot coffee or a glass of vine, and fill them out with your first thoughts and ideas.

These worksheets are designed for your use only, but if you feel that your friend might need a little help, print one set for her too!

And you can read more about guilt and it’s effect on our body and mind here here