2013: Make It Happen

2012 was a pretty awesome year. But it wasn’t without its challenges. Being a Mama is hard. Being a working Mama is hard. Being a working Mama away from her family is hard. Can I get an Amen.

All three of those may not apply to you, but I bet you have your own set of circumstances that makes life a little complicated sometimes. Now, when we all have a little downtime before the start of a brand new, shiny, fresh year, is the time to set yourself up for success.

Tell me why you haven’t made that thing happen. That thing you have always wanted.

A peaceful home? More time with your family? Want to work only three days a week so you can be a full-time Mama the other two? Do it. I did it in 2012. It wasn’t easy. It took work. But I made it happen. No excuses, friends. Let’s do this.

Over 500 of you have Simplified Planners™ in your hands. (be still my heart, I’ll save my gushing and tremendous thanks for another post). If you don’t, there’s still a chance for TWELVE of you to join us. That’s it, friends. Twelve left. 6 tan. 6 pink. Don’t say we didn’t warn you : )

Over the next twelve months, I’m going to dedicate Brady’s naptime on Mondays to blogging about my journey to accomplish that ever elusive goal we all have: to keep it all together. To run a happy home, a loving family and all-the-other-stuff-we-all-have-to-keep-up-with. Are you tired yet? Don’t be. 2013 is your year. And it’s mine too. I just claimed it. (If I sound like I just had a ginormous cappuccino and a shot of confidence, I didn’t… though I’d take one of both right now). I’m just tired, like the rest of you, of letting life happen to me. 2012 was awesome, but 2013 is going to be better.

Follow my journey as I welcome you inside my home, inside my Simplified Planner™ and inside my crazy life. Follow me and hashtag #simplifiedlife on Instagram. I’d love for you to document your journeys too as you start to clear the clutter and focus on what matters most.

Ready for my goals? I’m using my Simplified Planner™ Project Sheets to map them out.

  1. More God. Simply put, I need more Jesus friends. I don’t go to church and I don’t really read the Bible. But I talk to Him everyday. I think it’s time I got to know Him a little better. Daily devotion time is the first step. Let’s make this actionable: Set my alarm for 6:30am before the boys wake up. Coffee + my new women’s devotional + my pretty journal + quiet time every morning at our big oak kitchen table.
  2. Better Business. The shop blew my mind this year. We were busier than ever. But I want to be smarter with our business finances. I also want to add a philanthropic piece to the shop. Not quite sure what that means yet, but giving + smart money sense = better business. Action step: Sit down with Gina H and brainstorm ideas on ways we can decrease costs, increase client experience and add a giving component to our shop.
  3. Richer Family. That doesn’t mean what you think it does. I want to infuse more of what matters most into our little family of three (and I suppose I’ll put it out there… hopefully in 2013 family of four. Prayers welcome for our little fertility journey. More on that when I muster up the guts to talk about something that makes my heart hurt a little.) More love. More quality time. More enriching experiences. More patience. More laughs. More sit-down family dinners. More goodness.

And there you have it. My honest-to-goodness 2013 goals. My Simplified Planner™ is coming along while I tackle these to hold me accountable. To force me to put my plans into action and to keep me organized along the way. Making things happen is about taking ACTION. Thank you to one of my best friends and birthday-girl, Lara Casey, for teaching me that years ago. If you haven’t already read the beginning of her goal-setting series for 2013, check it out. Also check out Gina’s Instagram series too. Lara and I are kicking off 2013 with our three part Powerful Branding Webinar Series on January 16. “Set Yourself Up for Success” is a new webinar all about clearing clutter, goal setting, setting boundaries and making what matters MOST happen. We hope you’ll join us!

Keeping it all together isn’t about doing it perfectly or always having a clean house, perfectly pressed linens and honor roll children. It’s about teaching your kids what matters, appreciating the messy house because it means a FAMILY lives there and making time to make memories that mean more than money in the bank. Grace Not Perfection, friends. And just for fun, our turquoise and pink prints with that phrase are $10 for a limited time while we start the clean the shop and make room for new 2013 pieces.

Enjoy your last few days of 2012. Dig up the guts and write down those big goals that scare you. That’s what life is all about. Then, no matter how you do it, put the tools you need in place to make. it. happen.



photo by the beautiful, stupendous, fabulous Gina Zeidler who is coming to visit me in TWO WEEKS. : )


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  1. Kristin commented:

    I think your 3 goals pretty much sum up what we all need…the most important things. Can’t wait to follow along in this journey with you.

  2. Lara commented:

    I am SO SO SO proud of you for your honesty and heart and passion and never-ending well of love. God is working in your family so clearly. Praying for 2013 to be the year you find more of the peace that passes all understanding. I love you so much!

  3. Shannon commented:

    So proud of all you’ve done this year, Emily! And am super excited to follow along in 2013. We definitely share some of the same exciting hopes for the coming year. (;

    You inspire and motivate me to be better/smarter/more intentional everyday, and on days when you feel like you don’t have it all together, remember there are so.many.ladies. who would say the same thing I just did.

    Thanks for being you. Here’s to a very happy 2013!

  4. Shefy Lindsey commented:

    So excited for your 2013, Emily! Your three goals are perfectly describe what surrounds and fuels your heart. Thank you for your honesty and your beauty, dear friend! Saying many prayers for you (and your journey as you grow your sweet little family!). xoxo

  5. Natalie commented:

    Awesome post Emily! And I can so relate on the Jesus part. Yes. We go to church (when we can) and my children go to the quaintest little church preschool BUT I do not read the Bible daily. I pray everyday and I don’t know…maybe that’s enough…maybe not. Sometimes I just think there is no right way but just a way that feels right for you.

  6. Eboné Smiley commented:

    My first step was that I FINALLY purchased my own SIMPLIFIED PLANNER starter kit today! I am printing this post as well as Lara’s post out and getting started on making the next 12 months even better than the last 48! Thanks for starting this series Emily! As Always! XOXO Eboné

  7. Amanda commented:

    this is incredible!! i feel like my heart is going to explode with you, Lara, AND Gina all doing these amazing series!! i have this feeling that 2013 will be my best yet!! HE is up to something HUGE, and i can’t wait for him to fill me in on the plan!! also have you seen SheReadsTruth.com <– i think you might really like it!! can't wait to follow along on this journey, and go through the steps myself!! SO BLESSED by you, and i thank God for "stumbling" upon MTH constantly!!

  8. Amy Romano commented:

    I think we both had Him whispering in our ears today…I just finished my post for tomorrow about resolutions and focusing on my faith was numba one too :)

    Emily life was good in 2012. No it was FABULOUS! Brady turned 1 (say what?), your online shop opened, Simplified Planner to a wedding planner, MTH tour, Napa Vacay…you deserved it all and I’m so very proud of you!

    Cheers to you my friend!
    {he he my top image says ‘2013 is the year I focus on what matters” xoxo}

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  10. Emily Hansel commented:

    Love it Emily. Especially that 2013 is your year because you claimed it. Becoming a mama in 2012 was so much harder than I ever anticipated. Since John was born just 10 days into the year, his presence has certainly defined it. And as soon as I get used to something, he changes again! So I certainly feel that life has just been happening to me this year and I’m sick of it. BUT, motherhood has taught me that I am not in control (a hard lesson for a control freak) and I need to learn to go with the flow a little more. So my goal is some peaceful place between letting the days get the better of me, and an unrealistic level of control over them.
    So looking forward to your posts! And I love that you’ve allotted one nap time a week, instead of saying “nap times”. Much more realistic!

  11. Kate commented:

    Hi Emily, Thank you for such a great post. Particularly for the line “Tell me why you haven’t made that thing happen. That thing you have always wanted.” That spoke to me. In 2012 I made a lot of things happen. I pushed myself and my boundaries farther than I thought I could. The one thing I didn’t do and haven’t done, is trusted myself to say what I really want to make happen. I’ve covered it by saying “I don’t know what I want” but, that’s not true. I do know, I’ve just been afraid to own it. I want to write. Okay, put it out there. Now I have to make it happen. Thanks for the nudge.

  12. I loved reading this Emily! You are such an inspiration as a woman, wife and mother and I always look forward to following your journey and watching you succeed!

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  14. Liz commented:

    Love this post and love all the comments that are responding to it. They’re articulating a lot of what I was going to write :) On an unrelated note, Emily is there any chance you will be doing a planner in notebook form like you did earlier this year? No worries if you’re not, but I really loved that, the layout, content and how easy it was to tote around.

  15. Hi Emily,

    I follow your… everything! You provide me with so much inspiration and I want to say thank you. Your motto of a simplified life, to do what matters, is beautiful. Wishing you all the very best for 2013. I know what its like to have things that you really, really want to achieve, but are somehow not quite sure if they’ll eventuate. My fingers and toes are crossed for you.

    The gifts I purchased from your store went down a TREAT! One set of the Great Day Plates was part of my friend’s wedding present… and she certainly agreed that she and her husband had a great day! I also had two girlfriends squee with delight upon receiving their named notebooks – for one it is to become her 2013 diary.

    So thank you, happy holidays and new year. Annie x

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    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

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