Sweet Goals and Gratitude

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In searching for images for this post about 2019 goals I found this great Instagram post by @emilymcdowell - this is the caption, and I feel it is so perfect: “Hi. Psst. Growth is cool, but Old You is actually pretty great. Just for a second, suspend “but I have so far to go,” and recognize how far you’ve already come.” I push myself pretty hard and tend to be a perfectionist, always wanting to things to be just right and do better.. It’s been a really great year and I’ve learned so much. While I have big goals for 2019, there is lots and lots to be proud of with Sweet’s Syrup this past year. I have built an incredible team, made major product improvements and helped keep countless customers healthy - so, so much gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is one of my biggest goals for 2019, it’s so powerful. Did you know that 85% of the average person’s thoughts are negative? And that 90% of the thoughts you have today you also had yesterday? Patterns of negativity can quickly take over ,and the damage it does to your health is tremendous. I’ve been working on a few new ways to practice gratitude and am incorporating it into my family’s routines. Here are my plans for positivity:

  • Before I get out of bed in the morning I’ve been doing a “5-3-1-1” practice that I learned from Martha Stewart Living last month - a technique from Ralph De La Rosa, a therapist and meditation teacher, and author of The Monkey is the Messenger. While still in bed take five big, deep breaths. Then think of three things you’re grateful for. Smile one real smile and set one intention for your day. Easy peasy - takes like a minute. According to article, when you zero in on the good happening now, you’re more likely to excel.

  • One of my goals listed below for my family is spending more time outside. We all just decided that after dinner we are going to take a quick walk around the block. The time after dinner and before bedtime is rough for my kids - they get this wild streak of energy and constantly get in trouble. My husband and I hate yelling at them right before bedtime and think this walk will help break up that time. We’ll be spending time together and want to talk about the best part of our day. A quick 15 minutes of quality time together.

  • My friend Kirsten just shared this idea today - a joy jar. Before bed I want to start with the kids to write down their favorite part of the day and put it in their “joy jar”. Positive thoughts just before you fall asleep turn for your subconscious. Then at the end of the year you can go thru and read all the wonderful things that happened - I love it!

  • Brenna Smith taught me “loving kindness” and I absolutely adore it. I say it many times throughout the day and my kids both say it on our way to school. Whenever I start getting anxious about something or need to refocus my thinking I repeat it - hope you enjoy it as much as I do. You can change the “I” to any family member or loved one’s name.

    May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be at ease and happy. May I abide in peace. May I be healthy and strong. May I feel loved and cared for.

    Teddy, just turned four and has always said “ May I feel lovely and cared for.” I just can’t correct him. He also sometimes adds potty words to it, “May I be filled with loving kindness and booty butt” and laughs and laughs…

THINGS I WANT TO DO AND LEARN IN 2019:

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  • Read more, less Bravo

  • Improve bedtime/wind down routine - NO SCREEN TIME AFTER 9:30 (if y’all see me posting/commenting later than that call me out!)

  • MEAL PLAN - for real this year it MUST happen. No more dreading the 5:00 hour because I don't know what to make for dinner - Sunday night make a plan with input from Ed and shop for it Monday. Try one new recipe a week

  • Do something with my years and years of digital photos and videos. I’m thinking a photo book for every year with favorites - need to find the EASIEST program. I’ve done one of these for my trip to Disney with Olivia (Sweet) and it took me HOURS. Perhaps find a savvy teenager to complete…Back in the day I used to love Creative Memory scrapbooking - ha, cracks me up to think of making those now with kids. SO MUCH TIME

  • Experiment with ancient grains for sourdough and learn how to make sauerkraut

  • More lunch dates with friends. I have AWESOME friends and need more time with them this year, make it happen!

  • Start attending Skill-pop classes again - I love these and they have so many great ones! Plan one a month with friends. Hoping to attend the “Braids and Buns Basics” on January 16th!

  • Learn how to use my dang hair flat iron, You-tube tutorials just aren’t cutting it

  • Start using my Insta-pot - I know it can do amazing things.

  • Sage and diffuse essential oils daily

  • Solve our mosquito problem in our yard safely - get on this NOW during the off season.

  • Learn more about caring for the plants in our garden and yard

  • Learn about feng shui- we’re doing a huge renovation on our house next year and I want to incorporate feng shui for balance and good energy in our new space.

FAMILY GOALS:

Love Brene Brown, If you don't follow her already go like all her stuff right now - so good.

Love Brene Brown, If you don't follow her already go like all her stuff right now - so good.

  • BE PRESENT!!! When I’m with my family, put the phone/computer away and focus on them. BE HERE NOW!

  • More time outside!!! Our house is next to a lake and we have a HUGE mosquito problem - Teddy is a MAGNET for mosquitos and quickly gets devoured. I put clean sprays on him but we need to control the skeeters better. During the winter I have a hard time with the cold because of my Raynaud’s, which is a weird thing I have that turns my fingers numb. Those have been my excuses and I need to do so much better!

    • Get the kids involved in our raised bed gardens.

    • Walk around the block after dinner together and discuss the best part of our days (GRATITUDE!!)

  • Clean up - I’ve been bad about enforcing this, which is changing. Over the weekend we purged a TON of toys and everything now has a place to go. If the kids don’t pick up after themselves it goes into the “toy jail”.

  • Chores - also been bad about this and its such an important part of the Montessori philosophy that my daughter learns at school.

HEALTH GOALS:

Naked juicing….. I keep my son occupied for a good ten minutes every morning with the juicer (LOVE my Omega juicer, the best!)

Naked juicing….. I keep my son occupied for a good ten minutes every morning with the juicer (LOVE my Omega juicer, the best!)

  • Focus on magnesium and vitamin D intake

  • Celery juice first thing in the morning

  • Seasonal cleanses/detox. Fast one day a month

  • Finally start making the herbal tea recipe from friend Christa Robaina

  • Continue preventative breast care (blog post coming soon)

  • Eat till 80% full, no need to clean my plate.

  • SELF CARE - I am putting this under health because it is all tied together. Stress does a number on your body, believe me! I tend to frazzle easily and self care is CRITICAL, wish I had implemented this time for myself long ago. You can’t pour from an empty glass. My current self care includes yoga 3-4 times a week, infrared sauna, acupuncture, chiropractic. This year I want to focus on meditation, mindfulness and being present.

  • Meditation/hygge - right now I have a hard time with the primordial sound meditation (Deepak Chopa method) and need to try again. For me working on my needlepoint or coloring with my kids is also calming and helps slow down my racing mind. I need 30 minutes of hygge time, whatever that looks like for that day

    • check out the Calm app

Needlepoint work is so meditative for me - helps me calm my mind. This project is going to take FOREVER - wanted to photograph to track progress :)

Needlepoint work is so meditative for me - helps me calm my mind. This project is going to take FOREVER - wanted to photograph to track progress :)

BOOKS I WANT TO READ:

Finish reading “Dirty Genes” by Dr. Ben Lynch. I did the 23andMe test, had my raw data analyzed and learned I have a few COMT mutations - Dirty Genes explains these mutations and what to do about them. My mind is blown by what I’m learning - pretty much every health issues I’ve dealt with is tied to this gene. My history of anxiety, difficulty sleeping and calming down, can’t handle caffeine, estrogen dominance - even describes my love of travel and need for breaks to recharge! Curious to learn about his solutions.

Finish reading “Dirty Genes” by Dr. Ben Lynch. I did the 23andMe test, had my raw data analyzed and learned I have a few COMT mutations - Dirty Genes explains these mutations and what to do about them. My mind is blown by what I’m learning - pretty much every health issues I’ve dealt with is tied to this gene. My history of anxiety, difficulty sleeping and calming down, can’t handle caffeine, estrogen dominance - even describes my love of travel and need for breaks to recharge! Curious to learn about his solutions.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s “The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal” - I’m a sucker for all things Gwyneth (I know…) and look forward to reading about her physician approved cleanses.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s “The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal” - I’m a sucker for all things Gwyneth (I know…) and look forward to reading about her physician approved cleanses.

“Hands Free Mama” by Rachel Macy Stafford “A guide to putting down the phone, burning the to-do list, and letting go of perfection to grasp what really matters” No need for explanation on this one….

“Hands Free Mama” by Rachel Macy Stafford “A guide to putting down the phone, burning the to-do list, and letting go of perfection to grasp what really matters” No need for explanation on this one….

Medical Medium books - I’ve heard such great things and know he recommends elderberry for treatment of Epstein-Barr virus. I’ve been following him for a while (he liked one of my posts once!) and have been taking his suggestion of fresh celery juice first thing in the morning for thyroid support, and want to learn more. I want to read his liver book as well - the liver is your stress organ and I am constantly working on supporting it!

Medical Medium books - I’ve heard such great things and know he recommends elderberry for treatment of Epstein-Barr virus. I’ve been following him for a while (he liked one of my posts once!) and have been taking his suggestion of fresh celery juice first thing in the morning for thyroid support, and want to learn more. I want to read his liver book as well - the liver is your stress organ and I am constantly working on supporting it!

The Road to Excellence by David Mattson - 6 leadership strategies to build a bulletproof business. Written by President/CEO of Sandler Training, which is a program I believe in. It has been about ten years since I got my MBA and need some refreshing.

The Road to Excellence by David Mattson - 6 leadership strategies to build a bulletproof business. Written by President/CEO of Sandler Training, which is a program I believe in. It has been about ten years since I got my MBA and need some refreshing.

BUSINESS GOALS:

  • Continue to grow while maintaining the best quality product possible and excellent customer service.

  • Give back - continue to donate syrup to Levine and support charities. Sponsor another Compassion International child.

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  • Start to plan my first business trip - to Sri Lanka (conveniently one of the top new travel destinations!) to source top quality organic spices and see where my cinnamon, ginger and cloves come from!

  • Embrace a new technology, finally get it together with HubSpot - (embrace might not be the right word, just do it!)

  • I will be setting many more with my consultant on Wednesday!

Stephanie Rickenbaker