And So It Begins…

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
Okay, first things first. Some of you asked me to post my goal board, so I wanted to make sure that I did that. It has been fun going back over the pictures and taking stock. I can’t believe where I am compared to where I was two years ago as far as meeting my dreams and goals.

I also can’t believe it is already three weeks into the New Year. Of course, another year brings new goals, new dreams, and new frontiers to conquer. I have always been a dreamer, but I have not always been great at setting goals for myself. I suppose I was afraid I’d be disappointed if I couldn’t reach them, uncertain about my own abilities. Somehow, when I turned 40, I decided that I didn’t really have anything to lose by setting goals, and almost magically, I was no longer afraid of failing. I got tired of feeling as if I was watching life pass me by, that I wasn’t really steering it into the direction I wanted it to go. I had failed to live consciously, feeling more as I was being tossed around instead of steering my own life. When I decided to take control of my life, the boards gave me a place to focus my energies.
This year many of my goals have to do with health. I have been an avid reader and student of holistic health, so it isn’t as if I don’t have the necessary knowledge. I even know some amazing people in the holistic industry. I wouldn’t even say that I lack conviction, since I strongly believe the things I have learned. Therefore, this is the year that, I intend to walk into integrity by walking the walk. So, it goes up on the board.. I have it represented by pictures of some of my favorite holistic nutrition books, books like Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford and Let Food Be Thy Medicine by Alex Jack, books by Ann Wigmore and Viktoras Kulvinskas, and You Don’t Have to be Sick by Rev George Malkmus.
I have begun to put this into practice by joining the local gym. One of my girlfriends managed to rally our little group together and convince us to join the gym’s “biggest loser” contest. I don’t know if I would have ever jumped into this all by myself, as I couldn’t really see myself in the local gym, but I have really enjoyed it. I am learning so much. Fortunately, we were placed on a team (I am on the yellow team), and on my team are people who are knowledgeable about strength training and weights and cardio, all the things that I am not knowledgeable about in the least. I am doing things that I didn’t even know I could do, like Latin dancing, yoga and running on the treadmill.
I have also found it true that misery loves company. Well, maybe misery is the wrong word to use, since I am not really miserable. I have been sore and I have really felt like a fish out of water, but I haven’t been miserable. I have, however, been thankful that I have a group of friends who heard me when I said I needed to get this health thing under control, and they stepped up for me with their wallets and their time, and they hit the gym.
There are other things on my list. Things like not wanting to waste a moment of the time I have left with my son Cole. He’s a senior, and the next five months with him under our roof will go excessively fast. I want to finish a book that I have been working on for some time now. I want to work harder on not allowing my dyslexia to govern me. I want to spend more time really appreciating those in my life and spend more time in the moment.
The list goes on, but all of my goals have one thing in common with each other: integrity. I want to walk every day. I want what I believe, and the person I am at my core, to be evident at first glance.
Sometimes I have so much on my “to do” list that I need to have a way to keep these things in the forefront of my mind. I find that living a purpose-driven life is much more rewarding then being  tossed back and forth.
So, I have decided, as I begin a new year, there is no time like the present to live life to the fullest, being all that I can be.

  1. Debbie says:

    Thank you Rene’ for posting the board for us! I am going to do this as well…..for the 1st time ever! I want to do something for someone else everyday…I used to do 5 things daily…"As Unto The Lord"……things like, call someone who may need to hear an encouraging word, maybe visit a nursing home, mail a get well card, bake a cake or some cookies, the list goes on.
    I may start this again….along with a few other things I want to do. Thank you again! DebbieSue


    I really love that as I know that my day has often been completely turned around by a kind phone call or email or unexpected card in the mail.. thank you for the "challenge". Best wishes in 2010.

  2. Jo Bright says:

    Hi Rene (sorry, I have never figured out how to get the accent mark above letters). Many years ago, I attended a class, "The Emerging Woman." It was for women who were trying to figure out, "Where do I go from here?" One of our assignments was to make a board with our dreams, aspirations, goals, whatever we wanted. I kept it for a long time, but somewhere in a move, it disappeared, along with most of the things on it. I figure now is the time to make a new board. Thanks for the inspiration. I like your last sentence…"There is no time like the present to live life to the fullest, being all that I can be."


    Thanks Jo,

    I have heard so many women say, "I am too old" or life has passed me by", when in truth if we are still breathing we can do something that we want to do… Here is to making it happen in 2010.

  3. claudia says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I love what you wrote. I read alot of the same books. A favorite author of mine is Wayne Dyer. We are our "own force of nature" Let’s shine in 2010!

  4. bonnie ellis says:

    Right on girlfriend! God bless. Bonnie

    Thanks Bonnie!!!

  5. Gary says:

    Thank You Rene’…
    Your Bloggie has been very motivational for me, and the photos are great. I have been practicing procrastination.
    ummm… I think I have that "perfected" hee… hee…
    I shall renew my progress toward my Dreams an goals, and I like the idea of a board.
    GodSpeed to you…!
    in Tampa

  6. Colleen says:

    I love your board! I made one for myself as this is my year to finally let go of my excess weight (notice, not ‘lose’ as I don’t want to find it again!) and it was a lot of fun but it was also a real learning experience about myself when it was done — I had no idea (preconceived notion) of how it would turn out but upon completion of the last slip of paper — it truly described the journey that I’m embarking on!

    so thanks for sharing & we will be seeing ‘less’ of you (and a healthier you to boot!) through out this year — make sure you keep us updated on how you’re doing!

  7. The New Year is always a time of reflection and for some reason this year I was not of the mindset! I did not want to think about continuing my goal to lose 35 lbs (lost 25, gained 5 over the holidays)or believe that I can do anything I dream. I really just wanted to ignore it all. Maybe it would go away, you think? Well, of course, it hasn’t but here comes, Rene’…..just a little reminder, she says…lol. And how can I expect to remember what goals could even be for me if I don’t have a ‘reminder board’? I have been keeping tabs on ‘Tool Time Tuesdays on Karen’s (not me) blog and saw the cutest idea. You buy a piece of sheetmetal and fit it into a frame and you can use magnets to post all your goal pictures. How cute is that? Her most recent posting is about a little 5 by 7 table top model of the same idea to write messages on. Adorable. So in conjuction with your wonderful ‘reminder board’ I am off to the hardware store!
    Thanks, Rene’ and thanks to Jo above for her comment, "I am too old or life has passed me by when in truth if we are still breathing we can do something that we want to do…here is to making it happen in 2010". If I can ride a microlight over Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Africa, then I can do some ‘scary things’ like setting some healthy goals!

    Love, love, love the idea of using sheet metal… Brilliant!!!!

  8. Here is the website with Tool Time Tuesdays- Enjoy.

  9. Way to go Rene’
    You are such an inspiring person.. My goal board is on my list of things to do…Thanks! My chick chapter memebers will also be encouraged to make their own.

    We are making boards at our chapter meeting next Monday night, should be fun!  Thanks for your always kind words.

  10. Nancy says:

    Love the goal board; I think that if things are right in front of you you are more apt to pay attention and try to make changes. I know I have to have lists, lists, lists and review them often. I like the looks of the board.

  11. Tara Aarness says:

    Hi Rene,

    Your honesty and wisdom come at a time in my life when I need it the most. The past few years I’ve caught myself spiraling down in negative direction and, obviously, this hasn’t been healthy.

    A very dear friend of mine (also my husband’s coworker) helped guide me to Mary Jane’s Farm and it is with the help from everyone here (my friend and husband included, of course) that I am finding my way back to my true voice. I eagerly look forward to learning all that I can from each of you and until then…

    A heartfelt thank you,



    WOW, we have all been there, haven’t we? That place where you wake up one morning and ask , "how did we get here". Luckily, we can always choose a different path.. Happy Trails!

  12. Claire says:

    Thank you so much! I love that idea for the board. I am so visual and that would really help me put all the little goals in focus and right in front of me.

  13. Valynne says:

    Yay Rene! I am so relating to everything you wrote, except for Cole being a senior as I have no children : )

    Your goal board is great…some people think only an artist can do something like this but all of us (men included!) can create one, and everyone I know who has done so experiences insight and clarity in the process. Needless to say, I am a big fan.

    I too am focusing on my health this year. Like you, I have the conviction and am ready to put my holistic knowledge to good use. Because of my anxiety over going to the gym, I have just ordered fun workout videos that I will do here at home. I have taken "before" pictures, recorded my measurements, etc. and can’t wait to get my endurance back up and to wear my summer dresses with confidence!

    It is great having an e-mail telling me when you have a new blog out as I always love this kind of stuff but sometimes weeks will go by before I check the forum, etc.

    Please tell Mary Jane I think it is brilliant that 10% of all MJF sales go to Haiti this week. I have no extra $ right now, but have pointed all of my friends in your direction!

    Here’s to 2010, once again : )


    SO great to hear from you. I know that 2009 brought some changes for you. So I raise my glass to an amazing 2010…

  14. Reba says:

    One of the most amazing things that has happened since the first of the year for me is that my husband is also on board with the "revelation" idea instead of "resolution" (something I mentioned in your last blog). We sat and talked at length about our dreams, hopes, the future and making those a reality. We have set time-frames on some things and said if we look at an area closely and decide if that is not for us, let’s scratch it and move on to new dreams. There have been those areas in the past where he knew what he wanted and I knew what I wanted, but we have never promised each other that "we will work together to make those happen for each other." I haven’t done a goal board yet, but we have put some pictures/books out where our reading material is to keep it in front of us. My daughter is excellent at setting goals and keeping them in her day-planner which she updates monthly. One of her goals for 2009 was to read 50 books. On New Years’ Eve she completed her 50th book. She is also the inspiration that we need (because she is like our goal-board)!! She will remind us if we get off-track!

    Sounds like you are headed for a fabulous year…

  15. Amen to what you said dear friend….
    hugz hugz hugz….did I mention….hugz!
    You Go Girl!
    luv ya.

  16. Carmen says:

    Congratulations. I also joined a gym. I’m 62 and obese. The owner tried to convince me to start a diet but I decided not to. I’m going to dedicated the time to getting fit and let the weight take care of its self. I’ve been on dozens of diets before and failed miserably. I’ve been inactive for many years, except gardening, so deciding to spend two hours in the gym (half in cardio machines, half in weights), 6 days a week surprised even me. I’ve been doing it for two months now and I have never felt so proud of myself. Even more surprising, I have not been in pain at all. It turned out the gardening made me stronger than I thought. Good luck to you.

  17. Jamie Mori says:

    Great job Rene’. Doesn’t it feel wonderful to find what works for you as an individual. I have all the faith in the world that it will become easier and easier for you in the gym. I am a Chiropractor by profession (SAHM now) and I was "green" before it became chic to be. I try to live a holistic lifestyle for myself and my family. I’m not perfect at it but not doing too bad either. Trust me when I say it is worth the effort you put into it. I remember when I first started buying organic food and non-traditional brands. For months I felt like I had never been in a grocery store before. Now I can tell you where to find what, what it is and what it is good for. It is a learning curve. Stick with it and you’ll do just fine. Jamie

    Thanks Jamie…. 🙂

  18. Gayle says:

    Dear Rene,
    I am enjoying the blog. I have done something similar as the holistic. I am using supplements, foods, and exercise to try and improve my health. I started counting calories as this is the only weight loss plan that has ever worked for me. I have lost 7 pounds (Drumroll, cheers for me)in the past two months. However,I think the difference this time is that I have just learned how many calories certain foods have so I can stay on the diet now without having to write it all down. At dinner every night, I total mentally or on paper what I have eaten at that point and see what I might be able to add before bedtime.

    I also have started a new trend in my life of doing more volunteer work. I have always called, visited, cards, emails, etc; but now I do volunteer everyday. I knit hats, scarves, etc. for homeless, chemo patients, charities. Mostly, I do hats as this is what I really enjoy and it makes me feel good to know that someone is being kept warm with one of my hats. So think about volunteering too girls.

    God Bless.

  19. Carrie M says:

    Hey Rene!! I just love when I get a chance to read what you write…it always hits home and is usually connected to something I’ve been pondering myself. So neat!!! My daughter graduates this June, too, the third of mine to reach this milestone. My oldest JUST started college–yippee– and the second is in second semester. Nicole will join them in the fall. It is definately an odd feeling to be in this "phase" of life and truly is an important time to pursue quality time with them. It isn’t easy to see them go, is it???

    Congrats and best wishes on becoming a BIGGEST LOSER!! You are going to feel sooooo good!! I can’t wait to hear more as you progress!

    Love to all of you Prosser Gals!

    Carrie M

  20. Jess says:

    Rene, I love this idea for a goal board where it is out to see anytime you go by! I have been keeping mine in a discovery journal but then it only inspires me when I remember to take it out and look at it. Great idea. You have inspired me with your example!

  21. auntpammy says:

    Wow, Rene I applaud you! You are an inspiration and a breath of fresh air.

    I love your board and it looks much like mine only yours is way more organized!lol

    I am hoping the next five months will be everything that you are wishing for with your son. You see next year I too, will be an empty nester and I can sympathize with what you are dealing with.

    As for your book, I can hardly wait to read it and see it on the best sellers list in my fav. book store…you go girl!

    I almost forgot…good luck with the exercise classes too!

    Thank you so much,

    It means so much to get cheered on~~~  R

  22. amberrose says:

    I LOVE your much in fact that I’m adding one to my to-do list for this week (even though the week is half over!). What a wonderful inspiring post..wishing you all the best for your 2010 goals!

  23. Loretta says:

    Rene’, Thank you so much for the "motivational" board…I’m going to get right on that! I too, renewed my gym membership. I’m enjoying the spinning classes, the eliptical machine as well as the treadmill…this releases alot of stress for me…after my work-out I sit in the sauna for 20 min. and the steamroom for 10 min…shower and off to home I go. My board will be rather easy for me to put together…I’m a SCAPPER!! Love it and Love you…Thanks

  24. Brenda Davis says:

    Rene, Thank you, Thank you! I really love your board. Being 58 and not in good health it’s sometimes too easy to say it’s really too late to really change things. But in my heart and mind I know that is not true. I’ve always felt that I have not accomplished any of my dreams. I spent my life and still do for family and friends. Always said having my two children, that have grown up into wonderful adults and grand-children I am so proud of was all I needed. But I know that it is time that I focus on my dreams. Also knowing that by doing so will not end my giving of myself to the family. And I know that the family would be pleased that I have. First I’m going to start my goal board. With it right there to see, it would be hard to not work toward it everyday. I’ve not taken care of myself because I always put it last. But I am going to start that right now, today! Thank you and all the farmgirls that have given me such joy since signing on.
    Blessings, Brenda


    It is NEVER to late…. you go girl!!!

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