Reader Question: How Long Does it Take to Find a Job After College?

This is a question that post-grads ask all the time. 


The time between college and finding your first “real” job can be really frustrating. However, it’s important to remember that, just like everything else, it’s only temporary! 

When I was in undergrad, I envisioned myself graduating and immediately finding my dream job in a big law firm! When that didn’t happen right away, I got a little discouraged. I eventually did get a job in that field, only to discover it wasn’t the career for me… 

So I went to grad school for education. After graduating from grad school, do you think I had more realistic expectations for the job search process? Nope! I expected the first school I contacted to say “Wow! You have a shiny new Master’s Degree! Let us clear some room for you so you can start teaching here!”. 

I had to start from the bottom all over again. That’s just how it works.  

(5 Things Recent Grads Need to Know)




If you’re struggling to get your resumé noticed, or to get called in/back for an interview, here are a couple of things to keep in mind! 





Experience is King

Even after you complete the education aspect of a job, there is still the experience aspect to get through. And because most recent graduates are pretty young, the only way to gain experience in your field is to get it however you can! 

Even with your degree, be prepared to start at an “entry level” position. Sometimes this is because you’re young. Sometimes it’s all that’s available. Sometimes it’s because the company sees potential in you, but wants to see if you’re reliable first. 

Never think a job in your desired field is “beneath” you. Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t worry! You’ll get where you’re trying to go! Maybe just not as quickly as you thought you would. So, how can you get this experience that everyone seems to be so interested in? 

In my experience, volunteering has been the best way!

(5 Common Post Grad Problems and How to Deal with Them)




Volunteer Within Your Field

After college, when I was trying to get my first job as a paralegal, my interviewer really liked it that I had interned with another attorney in the building while I was in school. Everyone talks, too, so make sure to leave every situation (paid or unpaid) on good terms! Everyone that you work with or for is a potential reference that you can list when you’re searching for your next job! Put in 100%, even if the work you’re doing is free. 

When I was leaving the legal field and trying to get my first job in a school setting (before going to grad school or becoming a certified teacher), my interviewer really liked it that I had been voluntarily teaching Sunday School for a few years. That was literally my only experience working with kids (aside from babysitting), and it was the only relevant thing I had to put on my resumé, so on my resumé it went! 

(How to Create Long Term Goals)




Keep a Positive Attitude

This one’s hard. It’s really, really hard. And the longer you’ve been looking, the harder it can be to continue. But the next resumé you send out could be the one! And if there’s a specific company you know you want to work for, keep contacting them Blair Waldorf style! 🙂 

The time between finishing college and starting a career can be really discouraging, stressful, and unpredictable… Just remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It was hard for everyone! 

In the words of a very wise blue fish, just keep swimming! You’ll get there 🙂 

(How to Actually Accomplish Your Goals)




What is the biggest challenge you’re facing while looking for a job? Or, if you have your job, what was the best advice you received? How long did it take? 



Further Reading:

This survey from experience.com may make you feel better! 

The Balance has a really great post on Making it Between College and Your First Job

Summer Goals 2017

I love fresh, new beginnings… like the first day of school, starting a new month, or getting a new planner! Today is the (unofficial) “first” day of summer and, to me, that counts as a chance to have a fresh new beginning!

What do I want my summer to look like? What do I want to achieve by the end of it? How do I want to spend my time?
Those are the big questions I’m answering today.

Summer Goal #1
My first goal for summer is to spend less time on my phone. I have this really cool (and free!) app called Moment that tracks my phone use over time. It shows me my phone use in neat and organized graphs… which I absolutely adore! 
Because Moment is constantly running in the background, I know how many hours I spend on it each day, the average time I pick it up in the morning and when I put it down for the last time at night.
Like all apps these days, it has a premium feature that will even show you how much time you spend on Facebook, Instagram, etc. But my husband already thinks it’s ridiculous that I pay for Pandora (“Babe, commercials kill my vibe”), so I’m at my limit on purchased apps!

Summer Goal #2
My second goal is to get our house ready for our biggest and most exciting project yet. We are having a baby (boy) in October! And while I am super excited, I know that I have a LOT to do to get ready for his arrival! 
Since I have literally no idea how to get ready for a baby, or what to even expect, I’m relying heavily on a small library of apps, books, and the checklists from those apps and books! Ovia and The Bump have been my faves so far.
(I like Ovia because it tells me I’m a “Data Queen”. I know, girl. I know.)

Summer Goal #3
My third goal for the summer is a tie between having the most organized and efficient home in the world or having the most organized and efficient classroom in the world… Maybe there will be time to achieve both?
With the baby arriving in October, that gives me a little over 4 months to get my home life in order. Everything will be messier: the kitchen, the laundry, the house itself. I want to get everything as decluttered and streamlined as possible!
On the other end of that spectrum, a baby in October (middle of the first semester) means that I’ll miss 3 months of school. 3 months! Since I started teaching in my own classroom, I haven’t even missed a day… To say I’m anxious would be an understatement!

Summer Vignettes


I love this time of year because there are blooming hydrangeas EVERYWHERE! 🙂 

I know nothing is perfect and that I will feel ready for everything when it comes. But for now, I can at least make myself feel better by making elaborate checklists and spreadsheets, right? J
What are some of your goals this summer? What are some plans or steps you can take over the summer to achieve them? Teachers, any advice for a new mom?

Follow Organized Charm on Instagram

How to Create Long Term Goals

If you’ve been reading this blog for a few months, you know that when my life slows down, my writing slows down, too. Summer break and winter break are the hardest times for me to write… because I’m not busy enough, if that makes any sense. Around the beginning of the new year, I decided to dedicate the first 6 weeks of 2015 focusing on my career (aka finding a new teaching job in a new city). And I planned on writing about cover letters and resumes and what to wear to interviews, etc. I did a ton of research. I pinned a bunch of articles (you can find them all here).

I read them all. I took notes. And then I realized “there’s no need for me to say any of this. I’d just be repeating everything that’s already been said in these articles”. So, I didn’t write a post about the perfect interview or resume or whatever. HOWEVER, I did spend quite a lot of time doing something that wasn’t in ANY of these posts! So, that’s what I’m going to write about today:

TAKE SOME TIME TO THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU WANT YOUR CAREER TO GO.

I recently started this new “track” on Happify called Find Your Calling and the very first exercise in it was one where you write about your perfect daily routine. NOT your perfect job. But your perfect routine. Like, what do you see your days looking like in the future? The craziest thing about this activity was that it was SO easy! Even though you may not be completely sure about what you WANT to do… you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want your days to look like. Doing this activity motivated me to keep going on my quest of finding my perfect career!

1. Spend 20 minutes writing your 20-year goals

This past weekend, I set a timer for 20 minutes and wrote down what I want my career to look like 20 years from now. I just typed it into a Word documents. I wrote it quickly and messy. I didn’t care about grammar or punctuation or even if I sounded like a normal person. So, if you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed about the future, just take 20 minutes and write down anything and everything that you can. Once I finished writing what I wanted to be doing 20 years from now, I reset the timer for 10 minutes and wrote about what I want to be doing in 10 years. Go big here, btw!

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” -Oprah Winfrey



2. Cut that time in half and do it again… and again… and again…

Because I am slightly more obsessive than most people, I continued this at every halfway mark (including 15 months and 7 1/2 months). You could just go with something traditional like “1 year” and “6 months”. Another thing I did that was helpful was to begin every new time period by writing “In ___ years, it will be the year ___ and I will be ___ years old”. Another thing I did that was super helpful was to find someone I admired who was already that age. Sometimes age seems pretty vague and it’s difficult to know what to expect, so seeing it in someone else’s life makes it easier.

3. Read through and pull out your concrete goals

Once I had all of my things written in a Word document, I went back and pulled out the phrases and keywords that I could actually turn into goals. For example, “involve parents in classroom activities through class website, newsletter, and volunteer opportunities”. Those are all pretty concrete things that I can really make happen in my classroom. Or “certified professional organizer”, well… that’s pretty clear. I pulled out the things that were super specific like that and actually wrote them down on a piece of paper. I continued to do this at every checkpoint until I eventually got down to “today”.

4. Do 4 things today that will move you towards your goals

At the “today” space, I just made a square space big enough for a Post-It. Each day, I write down 4 tasks that will help me reach the goals. NOT big tasks at all, either! Sending 1 e-mail to someone or printing off 1 document counts. Literally, 4 small and doable tasks every day. It doesn’t feel or sounds like much which is why below it I wrote this quote:

“Great things are done by a series of small things coming together.” -Vincent Van Gogh

The future is a scary and magnificent thing! It’s easy to let it come and go and dream about the things that we could have done OR we can decide today to attack it head on and spend each day purposefully making it the best we can! Which brings me to another quote I love:

“Put on lipstick and attack!” -Coco Chanel 

How to Actually Accomplish Your 2015 Goals

HAPPY 2015, everyone! I am so super excited about this year. I don’t know what it is but for some reason, I just love odd-numbered years (weeeirdo). So, of course, I pretty much live for the beginning of January. It’s the time of year when everyone gets really into setting new goals and organizing everything! The stores are absolutely FILLED with organizational bins and containers (and I break out into my Happy Feet dance whenever I reach the “seasonal” section of Target)!


This is also the time when EVERYONE is interested in setting goals and doing things better in the new year! Last January, I wrote a 31-day series (yes, I actually finished that one) about goal setting. I found a ton of great resources (they’re listed at the bottom of each post). Today I’m just going to do an abridged, skimming-over version of that series. using some of America’s most common resolutions.

According to us.gov, these are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions that we make year after year:

Common Resolution: Lose Weight
Turn it into something like this: I will lose 10 pounds by December 2014 by working out 30 minutes each day and doubling the amount of vegetables that I eat each day. 

(by the way, if this really IS your goal, check out: Tone It Up)



Common Resolution: Volunteer
Turn it into something like this: I will volunteer 72 hours by December by spending 6 hours a month working in the kitchen at the Mission

(by the way, if this really IS your goal, check out: Volunteer Match)



Common Resolution: Better Education/Grades
Turn it into something like this: I will submit my grad school application by January 15 by working on it for 4 hours next weekend. 

(by the way, if this really IS your goal, check out this list of resources for college students… aaand while you’re at it, you can just head over to the Organized Studying page!)



Common Resolution: Get a Better Job
Turn it into something like this: I will have a job (doing whatever you want to do) by August 1 by submitting a new resume packet to a different company every 2 weeks. 

(by the way, if this really IS your goal, check out: The Daily Muse)



Common Resolution: Save Money/Manage Debt
Turn it into something like this: I will save $1800 by December by putting $150 into my savings account every month. 

(by the way, if this really IS your goal, check out: Mint)



Common Resolution: Manage Stress
Turn it into something like this: I will become more relaxed and mindful by December by writing down 10 things I’m thankful for every morning, taking a 30-minute walk outside every day after work, and staying off screens (phone, iPad, computer, TV) between 10PM-6AM. 

(by the way, if this really IS your goal, check out: Happify and Zen Habits)



Common Resolution: Take a Trip
Turn it into something like this: I will take a trip to the Dominican Republic in May by putting $500 into a “vacation fund” every month. 

(by the way, if this IS your goal, check out this list of helpful travel-planning sites)



Common Resolution: Reduce Clutter/Get Organized
Turn it into something like this: I will reduce the amount of items in each closet by 30% by December by going through 1 closet each Saturday and removing 1 of every 3 items every month. 

(by the way, if this IS your goal, check out: Project Organize Your Entire Life and Unclutterer)



See how goals just sound more achievable when we make them super specific? Like, it’s no longer this broad ambiguous thing that you hope happens to you this year. Instead, it’s something that you’re taking control of and working for! When resolutions are super vague, they might as well be wishes. Accomplishing new goals takes a lot of planning (YAY!), discipline, sacrifice, effort, and doing a lot of things that look really boring when they’re written on a daily to-do list (read chapter 5, for example).

Just keep your big goal in mind while you’re working through those tedious to-do lists. And be prepared to work hard and to sacrifice things that would be fun right now and probably to be broke (if you’re saving up for a vacation or paying grad school tuition). So, here is my last little bit of advice before you begin your fresh, new year! Choose to focus on 1 goal at a time and reeeally work to make it a habit before throwing another goal into the mix.

Once you’re working out daily, or you’re in the habit of cooking a healthy dinner every night, then you can start on the resume sending-out, you know? Don’t try to start all of your goals at once or you’ll just set yourself up for the F word (which is “Failure“, obviously).

So, good luck and remember that it’s 2015 and everything is awesome! 🙂

What are your goals for 2015? Did you accomplish the ones that you set for yourself last year? Also, can you think of any resources that I should add for the topics above? I know there have got to be a ton of great apps/websites that I don’t know about! 

Finals Cheat Sheet + Printable Study Checklist

24 short days until Christmas! The music, the decorations, the social events with friends and family, and all of those cheesy Hallmark christmas movies are just waiting for you…

…right on the other side of Finals (dun dun dunnnnnn).

And because I know you’re stressing (because it is literally the most stressful part of the semester), I’m compiling some of my favorite study tips into this one post! (complete with a free little checklist to hang up in your study space to remind you)! READY?!

Planner: SO IMPORTANT! Have a plan before you sit down to study! Otherwise, you’ll just spend a bunch of time trying to figure out what you already have done, what you need to do, and where you need to start! Keeping a planner that is up -to-date cuts down on prep time and boosts actual study time!

Study Materials: Where are your notes? Your textbook? Did you leave something in your car? Do you need to print some PowerPoints from your class website? GATHER everything BEFORE you sit down to study! Nothing is more frustrating than being ready to work and then realizing you don’t have everything you need to be able to work!

Clean Environment: Sometimes, if I’m having a hard time focusing, I look at my environment. Do I have papers scattered all over the place? Are there random things that are out of place that are subconsciously distracting me? Take a minute to organize things and get your study environment as clean and organized as possible!

Productive Time of the Day: What time of day do you work best? Research shows that 9am-12pm is typically the best time for completing cognitive tasks (which is why most businesses and schools are open during this time), but YOU know YOU better than anyone. Are all of your roommates out between 1 and 2 every day? Then maybe that’s your most optimal time!

Minimal Distractions: You love Instagram. I love Instagram. We all love Insta. And Twitter. And Pinterest. But they are a constantly alluring distraction from the task at hand (studying, duh). And guess what? That just makes you want to check your phone even more. Resist the urge! In fact, eliminate it altogether by putting your phone on silent and sticking it in a drawer or in a different room.

And no, sending Snapchats of yourself pretending to be asleep (or crying) while surrounded by your notes does not count as studying! Sorry.

Comfortable Clothes: If there were ever a perfect time for Victoria’s Secret’s entire PINK collection existing, it’s Finals week! This is literally (and by literally, I mean figuratively… obviously) your free pass to live in yoga pants and over-sized t-shirts for the next two weeks! TAKE ADVANTAGE!

Writing Utensils: This is so beyond obvious that I feel silly even mentioning it. BUT really think about what kind of writing utensils you need for studying! Highlighters for highlighting in your text book? Pencils for doing math? Colored pens for editing your paper? Put some thought into what would benefit you the most for studying each subject!

Paper: Same as above. Post-It’s that you can jot notes on and stick in your textbook? Notebook paper for outlining a paper? Index cards for memorizing definitions? Graph paper for practicing statistics problems? (by the way, if you are currently in Statistics, know that my prayers are with you)

Calming Music: A long time ago, we used to have to buy those relaxing CD’s from Target (you know, the one’s where you could select a preview to every single one first?). But these days, we are super blessed with things like iHeart Radio, iTunes Radio, and Pandora. Go to “Add New Station” and then select “Browse Genre Stations”… there are countless choices! And if you need some choices, check out this post!

Timer: I work faster with a time-limit! And I’m guessing you do, too. This really, REALLY helps to cut down on distractions because you know that, if you only have an hour, you better not waste any of that time by Facebook stalking.

There will be plenty of time for that when the timer goes off.

Start: If you’re a new reader to this blog, you should watch the video in this post. It’s less than 5 minutes and the information is INVALUABLE for productivity! One of the most important things that I learned from it is to JUST START! Once you’ve started a project, your brain gets this nagging feeling to go back and finish it!

And if you’re having a hard time starting, maybe check out this post to find out why!

Focus: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: One thing at a time. One day at a time. This is the motto that my super laid-back (no really, like Matthew McConaughey level of laid backness) husband tells me to repeat when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Some other of his favorites: do less and just get it done.

Track Your Progress: WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU DO! This allows you to (1) be proud of yourself and (2) keep up with where you need to begin next time!

Relax: Last spring, I posted a video from Dr. Marty Lobdell on studying. One of the first things he says is to work for less than one hour! In fact, most of our attention spans run out around 30 minutes. So even though pulling an “all nighter” may feel productive, it’s actually having the opposite effect! Your mind (and your body) need sleep, too! Study in smaller, super-intense bursts of time instead!


Update To-Do List: If you want, you can print out the free printable progress tracker in this post to keep you up-to-date with your progress on different assignments. OR, you can just use a regular old piece of paper to keep up with how far along you made it during your “bursts” of study time. When it’s time for you to stop working because your timer went off (or because you came a little too close to throwing your laptop across the room), write down the very next 3 things that you need to do for this project! This will allow you to get straight back to work as productively as possible the next time you work on this project!

Clear Computer Desktop to Neutral: Clear to Neutral is a beautiful concept. You can read all about it here, but the basic idea is this… Leave everything exactly the way you want to find it next time! Instead of leaving 14 windows open on your computer when you go do sleep, name every file! Close every browser window! And straighten up all those loose documents into neat and organized files. You can leave your most frequently used documents and folders on your desktop but that’s all!

Clear Actual Desktop to Neutral: So, no one looks at a super messy desk and says “ooh, I could get so much work done there!”. They just don’t. Keep your environment organized. Put papers away… even if it’s just into a drawer for now. Your study space should be a place where you actually enjoy being!

Reward: Um, hello? You just checked a few things off of your to-do list? GOOD JOB! It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to get it all done right now. There will always be more to do (believe me, always). Every time you work on schoolwork, you’re more prepared than you were before. So, celebrate that! Give yourself permission to mentally check out while mindlessly scrolling through Tumblr. or watching a silly YouTube video or having cookies or champagne (or all of the above).

Yes, Finals are coming. But you are ready! 🙂

Here is a printable version of the checklist (if it works)!

How are you preparing for finals? Are you feeling overwhelmed or do you feel like you’ve got it together? Can you think of anything to add to this checklist? If so, add it below! 

A Look Inside Organized Charm’s New Etsy Shop!

Last week, I made a pretty big announcement. Who decides to throw an Etsy shop into the mix with finals rapidly approaching? And not just normal finals… but the culmination of one’s graduate school career? Oh, that would be me. No big deal.

And even though it has been a lot of work to get everything in the shop set up, I have to say that I am SO, SO happy that I decided to do this! I already have 10 (yes, 10!) printables available in the shop and I’m adding another one today! YAY!

Before I officially announced this shop via OC, I wanted to be sure that I could successfully create “mini” planner pages… and guess what? I can! And I, of all people, am totally thrilled about that!

So this post is dedicated to the shop! Kind of like a cheat sheet / tour / what to expect!

(And who among us doesn’t love to know what to expect, right?!)

Okay, so here is everything I can think of to tell you!

PICTURED: Daily Checklist with Timeline and 5 Categories
Who: The shop name on Etsy is “Organized Charm“! (obvious one, right?)
What: Mix & Match Planner Printables
(like, YOU choose what YOU want to have in YOUR planner)
*Items Available:

Full Size (8 1/2 x 11) 


Mini Size (5 1/2 x 8 1/2)


Mini Grid Weekly View

*Coming Soon: More mini printables! Including a Cleaning Schedule, Daily View, Finance Tracker, Month at a Glance, Year at a Glance, and more options for weekly views!


PICTURED: Horizontal Weekly View
Where: Etsy (AKA the website equally as addictive as Pinterest)

When: This shop technically opened on Monday… but it’s grand opening is TODAY! YAY! 🙂

PICTURED: Year at a Glance Printable 
Why: I created this shop because I wanted more options/control over what goes in my planner. And if I wanted that, I thought that other people might be looking for that, too!

PICTURED: Month at a Glance
How: These are instant downloads, which is super convenient! If you’ve ordered from Etsy before, then you are familiar with how it works. But for those of you who aren’t so familiar with it…

Here’s how it works!

1. Login/Visit Etsy
2. Choose the printables that you want/need/love the most!
3. Checkout
4. Download your new printables!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! 🙂

Have you used Etsy in the past? Did you have a good experience? What kinds of printables would you like to see in the shop?

Inspiration Board Cheat Sheet

Inspiration Boards are one of my favorite things to check out on Pinterest! They are just one of those things that you don’t really notice… until you do. I’m always like “ooh, I love this workspace!” and then when I go back through my “Office.” board, I notice that they all have this one thing in common: inspiration/motivation/vision boards. Does this sound like something that Chris from Parks & Rec would do? Yes. But also, they can be the perfect reflection of your personality and your future goals! 
Not only that… remember the Feng Shui post from a couple of days ago? The ideal position for your desk is somewhere where it faces the door but, if that just isn’t possible (like in a small apartment, bedroom, or dorm), the next best thing is to make the wall “disappear”. Inspiration Boards are the perfect way to do that! They can be a source of inspiration, motivation, encouragement, pride in past accomplishments, and just something that is nice to look at after hours of reading or writing or crying because math is hard
There are literally TONS (okay, fine… there are figuratively tons) of examples out there! But what makes the perfect “recipe” for an inspiration board? Here is my oh-so-humble opinion:
Here’s a perfect one from Lauren Conrad (of course)!

Choose a color scheme

Your space should reflect you! Some workspaces are really dreamy looking with whites and subdued colors. You’ll want that to carry over into your inspiration board. Others are full of bold colors, or maybe bright pinks and turquoises! Whatever your design-style is, make sure that your board goes along with it and isn’t distracting or out of place. Also, add a little depth with tickets, ribbons, cards, etc! 
Can we please talk about the absolute genius-ness of this clipboard inspiration board from Trendenser?! 

Gather things that make you happy

This is pretty simple. Think of things that make you smile when you see them! Do you love the color pink? Penguins? Pretty dresses? Traveling? When you find or take photos of things that you just absolutely love, stick these up here! They will provide a safe haven for your mind when you’re feeling all depleted from reading a textbook that is likely droning on about something that bores you. 
This one from Megan at Honey, We’re Home is super girly and stylish. LOVE!

Give yourself something to look forward to

There is also the “vision board” part of inspiration boards. The part that reminds you why you do whatever it is that you do! Where do you want to be 10 years from now? What field of work do you hope to be in? Where do you want to travel? Choose photos or quotes or headlines or pictures of people who inspire you! And don’t forget to include your long and short term goals! Create a “big picture”! 

I love how this one found on Flickr. just blends in with the rest of the space!

Include Your past accomplishments

Have you won a blue ribbon for something? Or maybe received a certificate for some type of special recognition? What about photos from graduation, or your acceptance letter or test scores? Put these up here! A big part of staying motivated is to remind yourself of your past achievements! When things get hard, just look back and think, “This was challenging, but I did it. If I could do it then, I can do it now.”
Here’s another clever alternative to a “board” from Warm Home Decors!

Throw in some personal photos

Did you know that you can print out Instagram photos? Of course you did because I am the last person on Earth to find this out. I like Instas better than regular photos! Why? Because they really force you to choose one thing to represent an entire event and to focus on finding the beauty in everyday life. Print out a few of your favorites! Remind yourself that, even though your life is crazy, it is also beautiful!  
Inspiration boards are a great idea for a study space because they can just keep you motivated and on the right track by reminding you of what you’ve already done, what you’re doing now, and what you will do in the future! 
They can help you turn your dreams into goals, your goals into plans, and your plans into real life! 🙂 
Do you have a bulletin board or “inspiration board” in your study space? What kinds of things are on it? Has it helped you stay motivated when your schoolwork gets frustrating? 

How To Set & Follow Study Goals

I am a big fan of setting goals. So much that I wrote an entire series on it in January because, for me, goals replace resolutions. Resolutions are broad, abstract statements such as “be a better wife” or “eat healthier”. Goals, on the other hand, are planned out, step-by-step procedures and habits that lead you down the path to where you want to be! Sometimes it’s easy to get off track, lose motivation, or forget why we do what we do. Sometimes it’s easy to feel burnt out, even about things that we love doing!
Right now, I have the biggest case of Senioritis ever: I am all set to graduate grad school in December, I’ve maintained a 4.0 GPA, I’ve passed every certification exam with flying colors (except that pesky math part… literally passed that by 1 point… aka “victory!” in Kirsten World). And guess what? At this point, I am just downright tired of school. It’s been my top priority for SO long. And this semester, I am just over it. Ready to be done. Ready to move on and focus on other things that have slowly moved to the top of my priority list. 
So, what’s the problem with that? The problem is that I’m not out of the woods yet! I still have a huge research project to conduct, analyze, and present to the ominous “evaluators”. So even though I am so, so ready to be done… I’m just not yet! 
This is where the goal setting comes in! Did you know that our motivation for completing long-term goals is like a giant U? Yep. Think about each semester. We start out super motivated with our new schedules and our new school supplies and we are super excited to have an awesome semester! However, somewhere around Midterms, we begin to lose motivation. We get tired. And we realize that, even though we’ve come so far, we’re still only halfway there. And that can be a little discouraging.

So let’s do this: Take 5 minutes to make a list of all of the things that you’ve already accomplished! If you’re in your first semester, go ahead and write down how many tests you’ve already completed! If you’re a year or two into your college career, write down all of the classes that you’ve completed and what else you’ve accomplished! In grad school like me? Same thing. ALL. THOSE. CLASSES. You’re almost done! Don’t forget to add all the awesome things you do like work, friends, sports, etc!

Next, make a list of your goals for the upcoming months! You’ve already accomplished all of those things and, at one time, they were goals, too! Don’t let yourself get discouraged or feel overwhelmed! You’ve done awesome things before and you will do awesome things this time, too! 

Once the semester moves on, and we realize that Finals are coming up, we kick it back into high gear and work our tails off to make awesome grades on our final exams/projects! It’s just that middle part that’s challenging; the bottom of the U. The part of the year where we aren’t feeling the urgency of Finals and we’re just kind of drifting throughout the school year. That’s where habits and routines really come into play! We’ve all heard that it takes between 21-28 days to form a new habit. So let’s try that!
Commit today to taking baby steps for the next 3-4 weeks (the rest of October) to doing a little each day to move yourself towards your studying goals. They don’t have to be huge steps, just a little each day to get you where you would like to be by November 1. Think of a way to celebrate yourself when you do reach that goal. Maybe splurge on a new bag or plan a big girls’ night! Whatever motivates you!

How do you keep yourself motivated to follow through with your goals?! What study goals do you have for this semester? Or for this year?! 

Mid-Year Goal Checkup

We get checkups for our bodies, our teeth, even our cars. But what about… Our goals?  
You didn’t think I’d forgotten about those goals we set back in January, did you?! (Actually, I did. Luckily Kiki was there to remind me). So today, we are going to go back and look at the 6-month checkpoints that we set for ourselves!

Ready?! Okay…

My 6-Month Checkpoints:

1. Post to Organized Charm regularly

2. Be more disciplined in my “priority time”

3. Find a new job

4. Register for my final semester of grad school

5. Live in a loft/studio in the city

6. Set aside a designated amount of money each month

7. Let go of my perfectionism (a little)

8. Work out routinely


Now let’s see where I’ve accomplished/fallen short of my checkpoints. 
1. If we don’t count the summer hiatus, then I’m doing pretty good about posting regularly (this will be my 3rd post in the past 2 weeks! Yay!).
2. YES! I can gladly and proudly say that I have surpassed my own expectations in this goal! Not only am I reading my Bible and praying consistently at the beginning of every morning but I am actually *confident*  about the future and *at peace* with myself and my life. This is an awesome goal that I’m glad I set!

3. Here’s another one that I’ve accomplished! After a TON of hard work, I found a new job (3 miles away from our new home!) that I start Wednesday!

4. Failed. There is one class (with 2 sections) standing between me and graduation and both sections were filled up by the time I went to register. I am hoping that something works out in this area, but if not, I’ll just graduate in the spring instead.

5. Accomplished!

6. Accomplished. Sort of. I have been doing this but I could be more consistent. Financial responsibility will go on my list of things to focus on.

7. Check. Being more disciplined in my priority time and writing regularly have given me a much better outlook on life!

8. Check. Whereas, health has always taken a backseat to productivity for me… I have finally learned to make it a priority.

So, I’m giving myself credit for the goals I’ve accomplished and I’m making a list if those that I still need to do! 
Out of the things I still need to do to be where I want to be in life right now, I will choose the most important and spend the next month mainly focusing on that! 
Now, do you have your list? Good! You can see how far you’ve come and which areas you need to improve (hint: there will *always* be something)!

by the way, if you’re a new reader and you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here! 🙂 }

Keep going! Love yourself and believe that you can make the changes! 
Go, You! 🙂




In which areas of your life did you meet your checkpoints? What could you still improve?! 

{Shared on A Life in Balance}

NYNL Day 31: The Final Challenge

Day 31 Mini-Challenge:

CELEBRATE AND RELAX! 

Remember yesterday when I said to celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small? Yes, finishing a series of Mini-Challenges totally counts! Hopefully, through this series, you have been able to narrow down and clearly define your plan(s) for the future. I hope that you have been able to create an effective system for making it happen and have felt motivated that you can do it!
If there was anything that was unclear for you, if you have questions, or just want to share your goals (but remember, not too much!) then feel free to do it in the comments or to send me an e-mail (or a Facebook message or a Tumblr message or a tweet). 
I love y’all for reading this. 

– – –

Thank You:


If you read this series from beginning to end, THANK YOU! If you read this series from day 30 to today, THANK YOU! If you are visiting this website and are reading about NYNL for the very first time, THANK YOU! 

Y’all are awesome and amazing and wonderful and you totally make my day! 🙂