Month

December 2021

December 29, 2021

How ROOTED Goals Can Help You Thrive This Year

January 1st is only days away. With it will come a massive wave of social pressure to sit down, dream big, map out your future, and then relentlessly hustle and bend every aspect of your life to make those goals happen.

But we’re not falling for that this year. We think there’s a better way.

Unrealistic, untethered, shame-motivated goals are a cultural epidemic. We ourselves know all too well what it’s like to put pen to paper, get our adrenaline pumping, cross our fingers with the hopes that somehow it’ll be different this time—and then have unforeseen higher priorities come in and wash away all of our wishful thinking.

We’re done with goal setting systems that pump you up, introduce massive tension between your goal and your daily responsibilities, and then leave you feeling like a failure.

Time is too precious for that! As home-loving wives, mamas, and entrepreneurs, we needed a goal setting system that was mercifully realistic, embraced our other responsibilities as valid, and was deeply rooted in our broader life callings. The ROOTED Goal Setting System was the fruit of that quest.

For the past two years, we’ve been developing this system to help woman set lasting, sustainable, and life-giving goals. This is an entirely new way of thinking about goal setting (you may remember it was the topic of one of our podcast episodes this past fall).

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December 22, 2021

Why We’re Taking This Week Off

If you’ve been following us for long, you know that we are passionate about encouraging and empowering women to craft lifestyles that fuel their most life-giving goals. Culture likes to tell us that we can either have a thriving business or be home-loving women, but not both. We simply don’t buy this. We believe we can honor the business responsibilities we’ve been given, and also serve our families by being fully present, especially this Christmas week.

That’s why this year we’ve decided to shut things down and take the next week off business activities so we don’t have the pressure of being on our phones, pulling out our laptops, or cramming in work blocks into our holiday plans. Instead, we’re going to cozy up with our families, slow down to soak in the goodness of the season, and fully celebrate the joy of the birth of Christ.

What does “off” mean?

  • The shop is still open! You can place orders at any time, but those orders won’t be packed up and shipped until Tuesday, December 28th.
  • We won’t be checking our inboxes regularly. If you’ve interacted with us, you know we place a high value on serving our customers well. If there is any issue with a product, we will make it right. If you have a question, we want to give you answers. But, we won’t be checking our inboxes and responding until Tuesday, December 28th.
  • Instagram will be pretty quiet. We want to be off our phones, and focused on our loved ones this week (don’t we all?)! We may pop on to share some holiday cheer, but otherwise things will be pretty quiet.

As we head toward Christmas, we find ourselves so incredibly thankful for how the business has grown this year. Thank you for all the ways you have supported us in 2021! You all have really blown us away this holiday season. We are so grateful we can take a week off to be with our families, and encourage you to do the same.

We wish you and your family the Merriest Christmas!

December 15, 2021

Cultivating Peace Amidst Holiday To-Do’s

Christmas is ten. days. away. If you’re feeling a crushing sense of overwhelm at everything left to do before now and then, take a deep breath. Grab something warm to drink, and cozy up for some words of encouragement and practical tips before you launch into frenzied action.

We could never outdo Isaiah 9:6-7 or Luke 1:46-55 in an attempt to explain how incredible the Incarnation has been to world history. It is fitting that a celebration of Christ’s birth is a day with so much focus every year. God with us. It’s a profound thought. A revolution. The Light entering the darkness of history and chasing away sin and death “far as the curse is found.” It’s phenomenal.

You want to stay focused on what matters most. But with a hundred things on the to-do list, it’s kind of difficult to transpose the message of “peace on earth” to “peace within.” Here are some tips you can utilize today to step out of your frazzled hurry and into stillness of spirit.​

Practical Tips to Cultivate Peace This Week

  • Declutter your brain. You cannot expect to have the space to relax if your brain has a hundred tabs open and trying to load all at once. Get every single task and detail that’s weighing on your mind down on paper. And then sort them according to their priority. What absolutely has to happen? What is important, but not essential? What is fun, but not important? Having absolute clarity on the things that are most essential, will automatically bring a sense of peace to your to-do list.
  • Envision what you really want this Christmas. Be specific. It helps to journal this out in the flex space of your planner, incorporating and highlighting core value words in your description. Here are some ideas: reverent, calm, cozy, mindful, communion, delight, deep, warm, centered, focused, together, anticipation, hope.
  • Be willing to cut the nonessential. If your vision is a festive and delicious Christmas dinner—stressing yourself out to add variety to your cookie selection will minimally add to the warmth of togetherness. In fact, it could actually be counterproductive as you will struggle to have the presence of mind to relax and infuse peace into your family’s dinner with your own still spirit. The idea that the host has to be stressed out of her mind every Christmas as she slaves to make everything flawless is a LIE. Your family needs your joy more than they need a Pinterest-perfect dinner. Ruthlessly edit your to-do list so that you can show up for what’s truly essential this week.
  • Take stillness moments. When you feel your stress levels rising, don’t just push through. Take a deep breath and remember Who this week is all about! Jesus welcomed Mary to sit at His feet, even while Martha was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. It’s so tempting to say, “I’ll find my center in Christ after _____.” That doesn’t have to be your story this Christmas season. Christ came for you to lay down your burdens, too. He’s not worried if you forgot to order your Advent calendar in time, or if your kids have their matching pajamas clean on Christmas morning. So every time you feel your Martha coming on, choose a Mary moment. Take a long drink of water, settle the kids, and then take a moment by yourself to just Abide. Don’t get on Instagram, but instead set a timer for 5 minutes. Put on a playlist that ministers to you. Breathe deeply, keep your eyes closed, and lean into a conversation with God until the timer goes off. It doesn’t take much to recenter on what matters—but it does take intention.

Christmas is ten days away. That’s ten days to cultivate peace in your home. Ten days to knock out the essential things and let the rest fall away. Ten days to prepare to celebrate the greatest moment the world has ever known.

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Need a tool to help you plan the holiday season effectively? Our free day planner is a great way to help you get out of your head, sort your priorities, and let everything else fall away.

December 8, 2021

How to Get the Most Out of Your Annual

If you’ve been hanging around here for long, you know we are all about planning that is simple to implement and customizable to your unique season and lifestyle. Our undated Annual booklet does both of these things beautifully. The design perfectly combines the ideas of absolute simplicity and maximum flexibility into a calendar you can carry with you wherever you go.

The New Year is only a few weeks away, and many of you are busting out a crisp new Annual and dreaming of all 2022 will bring. If you’ve used our Annual in the past, you know it is full of blank bullet pages that you can use in a way that fits your current season and needs. It can be a process figuring out exactly how you want to use the blank pages of your Annual, so this post is full of inspiring ideas (most of these come straight from how team Evergreen has used the Annual this last year).

Before we begin, it’s crucial to remember that above all this is a productivity tool. We love this booklet because – as the bullet journaling community has taught us – a simple notebook can so easily become a beautiful keepsake you’ll look at for years to come. But, it doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing for it to be useful. So if you’re Annual is full of messy handwriting, scribbled dreams and planned events, rest assured you’re using your Annual perfectly. This post is full of ideas on how to maximize the use of your Annual, but don’t let these ideas turn in to a to-do list!! Use what is helpful for your unique season and let the rest fall away.

How to Set up Your Annual for a New Year

Our Annual booklet is undated, enabling you to start it at any time in the year. As January is right around the corner, most will be starting with the New Year, but you’ll still want to sit down first thing and write in each month’s date for the entire year and stick on your botanical month stickers (or your own favorite sticker pack!). Here are two simple tips when it comes to planning dates ahead of time with your Annual:

  • Use pencil when writing in future dates. Writing in pencil enables you to keep events on your radar, while also easily being able to erase and change as plans shift or commitments have to be whittled down. (Clari uses washi tape marked with Sharpie to denote when she’s hosting company. The visual difference helps immediately remind her of the prep work that will be needed to host, and the washi enables it to be easily removed if guests have to adjust plans.)
  • Only write events & holidays relevant to you this year. This is simple, but it can be easy to bust out a new undated Annual, look up standard holidays and be writing in Presidents Day in February before you even realize what you are doing. If you aren’t tied to a school calendar, President’s Day will have little bearing on your year, but it’ll be begging for attention come February and your brain will spend wasted time wondering why it’s there. Write in only events that you need to show up for mentally or physically, and as we mentioned above, use pencil until plans seem absolute.

Keeping your Annual clear and minimal will enable your brain to have absolute clarity when it comes to planning each month. You’ll open a new month and know exactly what events and dates you’re committed to, and be able to plan and purge commitments as needed.

How to maximize the use of the blank bullet pages at the front and back of the Annual:

The front of the Annual has three pages of blank bullet space and the back has one page. Here are some ways we’ve used these blank pages in our booklets:

How to maximize the use of the blank bullet pages that accompany each month spread:

Each month has a simple calendar grid, a blank bullet grid opposite and then a full spread of additional blank bullet space. Here are some ways our team has used this blank space this year:

  • Writing focus points or goals for the month/quarter
  • Listing critical to-do items
  • Charting week rhythms for the month
  • Brainstorming ideas and goals
  • Journaling important events
  • Planning work tasks
  • Tracking monthly reading
  • Capturing highlights from the month
  • Storing any paper mementos (a note from a friend, drawing from a child, photo, etc.)

McCauley loves to write future month goal ideas lightly in pencil as she is brainstorming them, and then going back in with pen once her goals are finalized. Shelby utilizes endless paperclips to store notes or to-do lists for herself in future months, so when she turns to a new month, all her thoughts and ideas are there waiting for her.

As we said at the start, the Annual is not primarily a scrapbooking tool, but if you’re interested in adding a little more fun to your Annual this year check out our blog post that gives simple ways to add some beauty to your planner.

You may find that you use your Annual’s blank space in the same way each month, or you may find that you change it up to fit your needs as they fluctuate. We’ve found that our use of the Annual can ebb and flow quite a bit. In some seasons, we really sink into the beauty and aesthetic possibilities of the Annual, in others we simply jot our critical lists, prioritize tasks and then hit the ground running. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you need for your current season.