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Making DECEMBER Happen

Oh, December, how I love thee! There's something about this month that makes me feel refreshed and hopeful about what's to come, and I am determined to finish strong this year. While it's tempting to jump ahead to 2016, I don't want to skip over this final month though it's structure is all over the place.

The good news: there are only two weeks (now one and a half!) left of the semester!
The bad news: there are only one and a half weeks left of the semester. Ahh! Papers, projects, performances, oh my! Y'all, send some prayers my way so I can get through these final two weeks.

Now onto the goals! It took me a few days to settle in on what I wanted to make happen in December (and I have been soon tempted to jump into my 2016 PowerSheets Workbook, but I'm holding off for now!) I have two weeks at OSU then two weeks at home this month, so they're pretty split. First, let's take a look back at LAST month.

November Goals Update:

1. Cultivate contentment. A shopping FREEZE. Y'all. Why is this so hard?! It really is embarrassing how difficult this has been over the past few months. I need a major heart check (and someone to hide my wallet).
2. Study PRAYER. This did happen and I'm excited to keep going with it! Some special things are coming on this topic in February, but I want to soak it in and really make a lifestyle out of it rather than a box to check on my list.
3. Begin 100 Days of Heart Healthy Habits! Well.. I started! So that's something. I need to come up with an actual game-plan moving forward. Any recommendations? For those of you who made a change like this, how did you get started?
4. Spend Thanksgiving/extra time with my family. Done and done! I went home the first weekend in November to shop with my Mom, and Thanksgiving was well spent at a family reunion with 40 people, followed by watching The Santa Clause and Mockingjay with my parents. I also watched the Baylor game which was more like a water polo match that we sadly lost, but I'm still proud to be a bear! 
5. Decorate for Christmas. Another one checked off with ease! Honestly I decorated my place in October, but last weekend I put up both my mom's and my grandma's Christmas trees, plus helped with the rest of my parents' house. I have a few final touches to put up at my place, but overall everything is shining bright. :)
6. Contribute to the Illustrated Faith Creative Team. WOOHOO!  My first two blog posts went up over the holiday weekend, Thank-Filled Heart and Courage + Kindness, and I'm already planning for next month and next YEAR! Illustrated Faith is teaming up with Dayspring Cards for some exciting things in 2016 which you won't want to miss.
7. #NOnetflixNOVEMBER. BAM. Done, done, done! And boy did it feel good! I got so many other things done, read several books, and felt better about my evenings. Now I did still catch up on my shows via Hulu but I didn't fall into a #showhole like I usually do. I'm keeping this in the goals for next month because I don't want to waste away my vacation watching Bones (though it is quite good!).
8. Prep my December Daily album. More on this to come later in the week, and today is day one! Ahh! I am working with several kits from Ali Edwards, including one from last year I got on sale, and I can't wait to keep track of my days. The prep has mostly been pulling everything out of its containers and organizing by kind for easy access. Stay tuned!
9. Simplify and organize. Man, what a wonder a clean closet and a clean kitchen can do for a girl! I organized both the week before Thanksgiving, and parts of the apartment do still need a bit of an overhaul before the Christmas break. Has anyone tried the Kon-Mari method? I'm intrigued and hope to implement it soon.

Now that those are taken care of, let's look ahead at December. This month always feels a little frenzied, especially since it's split down the middle, but I'm determined to be productive.

December Goals:

1. Follow the Naptime Diaries Advent Study w/ Illustrated Faith. Ahhh, I have been so excited about this since I ordered the devo and Advent calendar way back when. Then I found out that Illustrated faith was partnering with it, I did a little happy dance! I have a fresh journaling Bible for Advent and some fun crafts planned to go along with it which I will show soon.
2. Study PRAYER. This one is a continuation from November. I have several books I haven't dug into yet, and there are exciting things ahead for this topic in the spring. <3
3. Complete a December Daily album. I'm starting my first one this weekend and I am PUMPED! I was worried about not having much to write about since everyone seems to have kids or spouses to capture, but y'all. Yesterday was a doozy so I no longer doubt that there will be stories to fill this thing.
4. Read read read (no Netflix, round 2). Taking a break from Netflix last month was so impactful on my productivity, and I don't want to waste away the break on it so we're doing it again! You can bet I'll be bringing a big stack of books home with me for the holidays (and I know a few are tucked under the tree, too!).
5. Prep for 2016. Powersheets, blog posts, class assignments, and the show I'm directing (again) all have plenty to be taken care of before January 1st rolls around. I want to plan well now so I can profit from it in the future.
6. Celebrate Christmas with my family. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I want to make family time a priority this month. I'll be living at home for two weeks (working some of it) but I want to intentionally disconnect from the social media world and connect with the people around me this holiday season.
7. Finish my writing for Almost, Maine + show prep for spring. My thesis show closed in October, but I still have lots of writing to do and to formally present/defend it in the spring. I want to get the writing finished before the start of the new year so that I can focus on re-directing the show for the main stage in February. Changing it from an 80 seat blackbox theatre to one that seats 400+ calls for some major re-working!
8. Budget, budget, budget. So last month I planned a shopping freeze... [insert ridiculous canned laughter here]. This month I'm keeping a log of my spending and trying to curb the excess in a way that's more practical. Plus I'm hoping to make some money working at Anthro to have more in the bank for my second semester AND to pay Mom back for a few things.
9. Girls' day in Kansas with Rachel. Eeek! This has been on the calendar (well, all over the calendar) for a while, and I cannot think of a better way to end finals week than with a day-trip to see Rach!
10. Deep clean my apartment before I leave. I don't want to leave this place a hot mess before I go, so it needs an overhaul next week. I am planning to work/blog my way through The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up in the new year, but before then I want to spiffy this place up a bit so I don't come back to a disaster zone.

What about you? Any goals?
What are YOU making happen in December?

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