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Author: Jenn

Writer & Individualist @ Life, Unleashed! I aim to see people live free by accepting the unique way God created them.
Bullet Journaling: An Updated Look

Bullet Journaling: An Updated Look

A while back, I shared a post about Bullet Journaling, and why I chose that method for planning out my time. Today, I wanted to give you an updated look at how I’ve come to use my journal.

Bullet Journaling: An Updated Look | Life, Unleashed

Note: If you haven’t tried Bullet Journaling, just yet, feel free to visit my previous post to learn more about the system.

So, in the beginning of using my journal, I had to try several different layouts. I wanted to be able to track my health, as well as my business activities, and then my personal items, as well. After a while, I decided that I liked this layout best:

bullet journal | a life unleashed

On the left-hand page, I have just the days of the week listed Monday through Sunday. This gives me lots of room to note what I have going on. Then, on the right-hand page, I have the “week of…”, a large “Notes” section (where I jot down what went well, or what didn’t, and that sort of thing — anything important I want to remember), and below that, a section for 3 things I’m grateful for that week, and my weight-loss progress.

bullet journal update | Life, Unleashed  bullet journal update | Life, Unleashed

(^^ a couple of closer-up views)

I also have a color code that I use when making notes (though, all you see in the pictures above are the “Gym” reminders).

And, that’s it! That’s how I’ve chosen to do my Bullet Journal system, for now. Everything else (the monthly pages, brain dump area, etc) is all the same.

I’m still using the same book from 2016, as I stopped tracking for a while, and only recently picked it back up. So there’s still plenty of room. Once again, this is why I love the bullet journal — for its flexibility!

Want to see more about Bullet Journaling? Check out a few of my favorite posts done by others!

Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s “Thorough Guide to Bullet Journaling

(as well asThe 8 Stages of Bullet Journaling Addiction“, on that same blog^)

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s “My 3 Favorite Tips & Tricks After 3 Months with the Bullet Journal

 

Seasons

Seasons

// “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 //

 

Seasons | Life, Unleashed

I was talking with a new friend, today, and bemoaning the fact that I’m not very consistent with posting on my blog — something that really bothers me a great deal. I would love to post more frequently. I also commented that part of what has stolen my attention away from creating blog posts is the fact that I’m (finally) working on creating my first eCourse!

My friend was kind enough to offer the gentle reminder that it’s all about seasons … we can’t do everything, all the time. There’s a season for this, and a season for that — a time for this activity, and a time for that one. Perhaps I’m just in a season where I need to focus on creating my course, right now, and I can come back to blogging more regularly after the course has been launched.

Seasons | Life, UnleashedOf course, this has made me think of other life “seasons”, too.

Some seasons are easy. Everything feels like it falls into place without much effort, and all seems right with the world.

Other seasons, however, can be really, really hard. They’re places where you struggle, and waking up every day is a chore. What gives me hope in the hard seasons are these 2 things:

1) Just like nature’s seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter), this “season” will eventually end, and another will come. The hard seasons won’t last forever. (And, thank the Lord for that!)

2) Despite the loneliness that can often accompany my hard seasons, I know God still walks beside me, through each minute of each day. He has promised never to leave or forsake us, so I can cast all of my anxiety on Him, because I know He cares.

So, I am choosing, in this season of creating, to give myself grace and patience, remembering that everything will balance itself out over time. And I hope you’ll do the same, no matter what season you may find yourself in, currently. Remember, “This, too, shall pass.

Embracing the Struggle

Embracing the Struggle

I was listening to the morning conversation on 98.7 AMP radio, and they were having a mock court session. On one side, two of them believed it’d be great to live in a Virtual Reality (VR) world — a “Matrix” of sorts. The other side disagreed. And their argument was as follows:

If you are able to escape to a VR world, to change the things around you that you don’t like, you aren’t able to develop any empathy. You need to FACE your struggles, head-on, in order to grow!

And, I have to agree.

Embracing the Struggle | Life, Unleashed

There was a time when I’d have wanted to be able to escape to an alternate reality — one where I liked the people around me, and could alter things to suit my own desires.

As I have grown and gone through some hard experiences, however, I have come to appreciate the beauty of the struggle. Honestly, the things I’ve gone through have shaped who I have become — and am still becoming.

I used to want to go back and undo a lot of the things I did. Maturity & time, though, have taught me to appreciate the lessons I was given through those things.

Of course, no one is appreciative of their struggles as they are going through them! It’s human nature –our default– to want to AVOID pain and struggle.

But like the butterfly who must struggle to break free of its cocoon in order to strengthen its wings, we, too, need to go through hard things in order to learn and to grow in character.

// “Without struggle, there can be no progress.” ~ Frederick Douglass //

Struggles also — as the radio hosts shared — help us to be empathetic; to be able to relate to others who are struggling, and to be able to say, “Hey, I’ve been there. I get it.” Our trials and our pain can become purposeful when they help us find compassion for our fellow human beings.

So, learn to embrace the hard times. Know that they’re only temporary, and that — if you’ll let them — they can make you stronger, and better able to help those who are going through similar things.

// “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” ~ Kelly Clarkson //

Squirrel!

Squirrel!

If you have seen the Disney/Pixar movie, “Up“, you probably caught the reference in today’s post title. Yes, I’m talking about… what, again? Oh, right — distraction.

Overcoming Distraction | Life, Unleashed

 

The Dark Side has many tricks and tools in its arsenal to keep us from living the full & abundant life God promised us. Some of those schemes include:

tools and schemes | Life, UnleashedDiscouragement | Fear | Procrastination | Gluttony | Apathy | Convenience | Mediocrity | Doubt | Ease | Instant Gratification | Laziness | Overwhelm | Pride | Greed | Lust | Anger | Jealousy

…and, of course, DISTRACTION.

The devil knows that we are easily distracted, so he uses this to keep us from doing what God asks us to do, and he slyly makes us forget what is really important. If he can distract us, then we don’t complete the mission we were sent here for (to make God known & bring Him glory). And that makes the devil really happy.

I have been falling prey to distraction, a lot, lately. This is part of why my blog post schedule has been somewhat erratic. I’ve gotten distracted by the side-hustle I’m building, the books I’m reading, and the worst culprit of them all — social media.

Revelation Wellness shared a quote, the other day, that really hit home, for me, on this. It said:

“My concern is that our generation will miss their destiny because
they are too busy scrolling through everyone else’s.” (Christine Caine)

Whoo-boy!

So, how do we combat this distraction? How do we wake up? Is this even possible?

It is absolutely possible. “With God, ALL THINGS are possible!” And it starts with prayer.

Actually, let me back up a bit. In reality, it starts with knowing that you have committed your life to God, by accepting His free gift of being saved from sin, through faith… which then gave you the Holy Spirit within you as your Counselor, Guide, and a sort of holy GPS system!

Battling the Enemy | Life, UnleashedThe Spirit will nudge you to pay attention (maybe He’s using this very blog post!), and that is how you start “waking up” to the devil’s schemes. Once you start to become aware of what’s going on, then you can start fighting back! And, prayer is a good place to start.

Prayer is our call to God to say, “Hey, I could use some supernatural help here, please!” Because really, we cannot fight the devil on our own. We can try, but it won’t last — it doesn’t really work. We need God’s help in this battle.

So, we pray and ask God to open our eyes to all of the ways that the Dark Side is trying to distract us and keep us from our destinies. And we ask God to give us focus and strength to combat the temptation toward those distractions. Then we need to trust that God will help us (for when we ask for something that is already God’s will for us, we can have FULL confidence that we’ve already got it — it’s a done deal!).

And finally, we then need to get to work, and DO what God has been asking us to do…pursue that which we have been distracted from.

So again, to overcome distraction (or, any of the Dark Side’s other tactics), we need to:

  1. WAKE UP
  2. PRAY
  3. BELIEVE
  4. TAKE ACTION!

A quick example for you:

That quote from Revelation Wellness is what the Holy Spirit used to start waking me up. I recognized what had been happening (that I had been doing other things, rather than what God wants me to do), I prayed for focus and believed God would help me out, and then I took action — I left my computer turned off, this morning, in order to get this blog post written FIRST, before the online world could suck me into its distractions.

Like I mentioned earlier, maybe the Spirit is using this very post to get your attention! If so, don’t hesitate… pray, believe, and take action, today. It’s the best way to fight back against the enemy. Don’t let him steal another day. You’ve got this!

PS… As I wrote this post, my pens kept dying! I had to switch them out twice! Obviously, the Dark Side was working hard to keep me from sharing this with you! 

The Weekly Muse (02/26/2017)

The Weekly Muse (02/26/2017)

The Weekly Muse is posted, here, every Sunday, and invites you to participate by either (1) answering these questions, privately, in your journal, (2) answering the questions on your blog, and then coming back to link that post here in the comments at Life, Unleashed, or (3) leave your answers directly in a comment here, on that week’s post. However you choose to participate is completely up to you!

The Weekly Muse | Life, Unleashed

Weekly Prompts:

  • What went well, for you, this past week?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What can you do differently in the week to come?
  • List your top 3 priorities for the next 7 days.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Weekly Muse post, or share your answers directly, right here at Life, Unleashed.

REVIEW: Moving Forward by John Siebeling

REVIEW: Moving Forward by John Siebeling

Moving Forward: Overcoming the Habits, Hangups, and Mishaps That Hold You Back” by John Siebeling

 

In Moving Forward, John Siebeling talks about the habits and mindsets that hold us back from living the abundant life that God has promised to us (John 10:10), and from moving forward.

He touches on topics like our emotions, and how we are responsible for how our lives turn out (how we react to life’s ups and downs is up to us). He talks about mindset and choices, too, which I love, as it aligns with what I teach, here on my blog!

Lastly, John also talks about dreaming big, and about our financial habits. There’s even a budget guide included in the back of the book!

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and found it to be a quick, easy read with lots of practical information. Definitely recommended.


A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by the Baker Books Blogger program.

ROUND-UP: The Scientific Benefits of Journaling

ROUND-UP: The Scientific Benefits of Journaling

There have been a lot of studies done on the benefits of journaling. It’s great not just for your mental and emotional health, but also for your physical health!


“I never travel without my diary. One should always
have something sensational to read on the train.” ~ Oscar Wilde


Scientific Benefits of Journaling | Life, Unleashed

For today’s round-up post, I’m sharing links to articles that will give you more information on the benefits you can glean from journaling:

 

Why should I bother journaling when I’ve already got too much on my plate?” The following facts may convince you. {The Health Benefits of Journaling, PsychCentral | read more…}

 

“…[Journaling is] a great tool for just allowing some new perspective and a space to vent without judgment or advice. But for all of those skeptics out there who don’t understand how something like this could actually help, well, there’s science to prove it.

It’s so simple you might as well give it a shot! What do you have to lose? It just might help you more than you might have imagined.

“…Aside from drastic improvements to your mood and emotional well-being, writing out your thoughts and feelings regularly can actually benefit your physical health as well. Journaling can increase your chance of fighting specific diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS and cancer. Amazingly, it can even help physical wounds heal faster.” {…How Writing in a Journal Can Actual Benefit Your Emotional & Physical Well-Being, Collective Evolution | read more…}

 

“…The benefits of journaling are long-term. Not only will journaling help you recover from an experience in the moment, but it will also prepare you to face future similar scenarios.” {Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Journal, Connections.mic | read more…}

 

“Setting time aside to write, whether morning or evening, is an act of discipline. And discipline begets discipline. Like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And habits formed in one area of life have a tendency to spread…” {10 Surprising Benefits You’ll Get From Keeping a Journal, Huffington Post | read more…}

 

“As my tasks started to align with my goals, I felt more organized—more focused—on what I was doing and why I was doing it.”

“…Journalling has actually been studied intensely over the years. Psychologists have looked at everything from daily creative writing exercises to a structured, standardized question-and-answer format to expressive writing as a means of therapy.” {The Science of Journaling: Why Writing Things Down Makes You More Productive, Shopify blog | read more…}

 

“…there is no wrong answer. No matter what you’ve decided, a journal can help you with it. That’s how flexible and useful a tool a journal is: it can help shed light on achieving any possible goal out there.” {Journal Writing: 5 Smart Reasons Why YOU Should Start doing it TODAY, LifeHack | read more…}

 

“The importance of committing our desires to paper cannot be overstated. It is a simple process, but it pays great dividends.”

“… we are forced to think through our process on a deeper level. The discipline forces us to answer the difficult questions of “why,” “how,” or “why not?” The answers to these questions are not just helpful as we move forward to repeat successes and avoid mistakes, they can be therapeutic as well.” {8 Reasons Keeping a Journal Can Help You Reach Your Goals, BecomingMinimalist | read more…}


“…unless it is committed to paper, you can lose an idea forever.” – Will Self


 

The Weekly Muse (02/19/2017)

The Weekly Muse (02/19/2017)

The Weekly Muse is posted, here, every Sunday, and invites you to participate by either (1) answering these questions, privately, in your journal, (2) answering the questions on your blog, and then coming back to link that post here in the comments at Life, Unleashed, or (3) leave your answers directly in a comment here, on that week’s post. However you choose to participate is completely up to you!

The Weekly Muse | Life, Unleashed

Weekly Prompts:

  • What went well, for you, this past week?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What can you do differently in the week to come?
  • List your top 3 priorities for the next 7 days.

 

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Weekly Muse post, or share your answers directly, right here at Life, Unleashed

A Sneak Peak: Into My Journal (02/17/2017)

A Sneak Peak: Into My Journal (02/17/2017)

Here is yet another installment of the “Into My Journal” series, where I share a snippet from my own journal in order to show you the benefits of journaling, and to (hopefully) encourage you through the lessons I’ve been learning through my own writing.

Sneak Peek: Into My Journal (2) | Life Unleashed

This past week, I’ve been researching “giving yourself permission to succeed” (and to earn money), and it has been really insightful. I so often subconsciously wait for “permission” before I move forward. And mostly, it’s because I am afraid of making the wrong choice — of having to start over again. I hate doing something “for nothing”.

Though, really, there are 2 truths here:

1) It’s not really “for nothing” if I’ve learned something from it (for example, this isn’t the way for me)

2) Failure and making mistakes are a part of success and moving forward in life! The choice is either (a) play small, never risking anything in order to avoid all mistakes — but then dealing with the end-of-life regrets (and never truly LIVING), or (b) taking the leaps of faith, trying and testing and tweaking and learning, and continuing to move forward, having experienced this thing called “LIFE” and all it has to offer — and being able to say, at the end, “WHOOHOO! What a ride!

So the choice is obvious. I need to stop being ruled by my fears, and just go out and live… accepting whatever results may come from my choices.


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Battling For Freedom

Battling For Freedom

It was raining. A dismal, grey day in February. It made me want to curl up on the couch and ignore my priorities. I had things to do, but the Dark Side (how I refer to the devil & his minions, lately) was fighting hard to keep me down.

I’m sure you have had days like these, yourself.

And, as my newly acquired accountability partner, Anna, likes to say, the struggle is real.

Battling For Freedom | Life, Unleashed

I am thanking God for Anna, though! I’d complained to her about how I was feeling, and I tried to make excuses for why I wasn’t going to get things done. But she wouldn’t let me succumb to the Dark Side — she told me that I needed to “do it anyway” (just GO!), and that I’d feel better afterward.

I kept arguing with the Dark Side, in my mind. I was still making justifications, even after talking to Anna. But, I’ve been here before. I have fought this battle countless times, in the past year, especially, as I have been building the habit of going to the gym on a regular basis. And, each time I’ve made myself “do it anyway”, I have felt better afterward…and I’ve been able to do a little victory dance, as I’ve dealt one more blow to the enemy!

So in the end, yes, I did go to the gym, and I did get my errands run. Score: Jenn – 1, Dark Side – 0 … for the win!

For Freedom | Life, Unleashed

John 10:10 tells us about the Dark Side. It says that the enemy (the “thief”) “comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy“. He is out to KILL our dreams, to STEAL our freedom, and to DESTROY our future! And, he does it one poisonous thought at a time.

That is why we’re instructed (in 2 Corinthians 10:5) to “TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE”, and make our thoughts submit to Jesus’ ways. The battle truly does begin in our minds!

It is not easy, by any means. But then, that’s why it’s called a “battle”, right? We have to fight back against the Dark Side! Our default setting is to do what is easiest, and what feels comfortable in the moment. We’re suckers for pleasure. But that is exactly what the enemy wants — to get us comfortable so that we will forget that we’re in a war.

My goal is to level up my life, and to take back the years that the enemy has already stolen from me. And, if I have to do that one thought at a time, so be it! Like with getting myself to the gym … some days, I really have to fight my thoughts HARD! But, I usually end up telling myself that I can just do 20 minutes of cardio (on the treadmill). By the time I’m there and warming up, though, I always decide that I “may as well” do the rest of my workout. So, I win. It’s always that FIRST step that’s the hardest. And, like I read in someone else’s post, the other day, that first step is actually… SURRENDER. I know — it sounds counter-intuitive, right? Surrendering –not to the Dark Side, but to God’s will for my life– is how I win, because Jesus already fought the battle and won the victory for us! So all we have to do is CHOOSE to surrender to Him. By choosing to go against the Dark Side, by choosing to take our thoughts captive, and by choosing to fight for the abundant life and foregoing the “easy” path, we are choosing to accept Jesus’ victory, and to stand with Him against the enemy! So yes, surrender to God is how we win against the Dark Side.

This is war, friends. But we’re already victors! So, stand strong, and show the Dark Side that you won’t be falling for its schemes!

 


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