Creating Your 2020 Vision

So have you done it? Did you start creating your 2020 vision? I know I know, things get in the way. There’s work and kids and the car needs to be washed. But really…you can do this. When last we met I suggested writing about your ideal life, but maybe words aren’t your thing. Maybe you’re a visual kind of planner.

How about a Vision Board. Sometimes you need to see the vision; In living color (or black & white) but in your face, gotta look at it kind of thing. So this week maybe give a Vision Board a try.

List the goals you have for the next year. Here are 4 areas you might want to consider.

Health. Do you have a health goal? Maybe it’s to eat a little more nutritiously. Maybe you want to lose some weight. What about those work outs you’ve been meaning to get to. Do you devote enough time in your week to self care? Rest, recreation and caring for your mental health is as important as physical health. Do you take time for your spiritual well being. Maybe you have been meaning to get back to church or synogogue and you have been procrastinating. They say you have everything if you have your health, and your physical, mental and spiritual health are very important, so consider this area when your thinking of goals.

Financial: Is your bank account a little stressed? Would you like to save more? Pay off debt? Sometimes money issues can seem overwhelming but choose one thing. Just one. Maybe it’s to read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey or save $1,000, but you will never reach that financial goal if you don’t even know where you need to focus .

Personal: What about relationships? Your family, your kids and spouse, Your friends. Maybe a goal would be to have more time with your bestie. What would that look like? Maybe it’s an hour a week for just the two of you to sit over a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop. Or maybe it’s making sure you spend Saturday afternoon with your kids. One date night a month with your spouse. Whatever your ideal would look like.

Career: What is your goal in your career? Would you like to start a side hustle to help you get that $1,000 dollars in savings and potentially get you into business for yourself. Maybe you have a special project you woud like to be a part of. Maybe it’s to work with more intention and focus.

If you would like some wonderful books and resources to use to reinforce your vision ,motivate you and support your efforts leave a comment below and I will send you a list of books and websites that can be a great starting place.

Ok so grab some magazines, find pics on Pinterest, cut out words that inspire you and pictures that motivate you. You can use a poster board, foam board or even make a digital version you can put on your desktop. You can tape pictures to the back of your closet door but make sure it’s somewhere you will see everyday. Get going and make that vision a reality.

2020 Vision

So here we go! Another year…another decade. Another chance to start again. I love fresh starts. It reminds me of the first day of school when I had a new blue 3 ring binder filled to the max with crisp lined paper, new pencils with big orange erasers and a brand new box of crayons. I had such high hopes. The pages would be pristine, the erasers seldom used and I would draw such beautiful pictures with those 24 colors.

I suppose I haven’t wavered that much from those high hopes. Now I hope for a pristine bank account, an on track career line and a beautiful, organized home where I meditate daily after my exhilerating work out!!

Lets face it, life just doesn’t go in a straight line but the beauty of a new year is maybe we can at least get back on track.

What’s your vision for 2020? Do you want to try the usual; lose weight, get organized and save money. Those are the most common “resolutions” for the new year, but we know resolutions don’t really work. After 30 days they evaporate and we fall into our usual routines.

So I’m going to try something a little different this year. I’m going to try vision. Yes vision. Just using that word makes me feel a little lighter and hopeful. Vision. Maybe we focus on the detail too soon and never really gain sight of the big picture. The vision.

What do you want your life to look like? Who’s life do you admire? Your friend whose house is always in order? The brother who seems to have his financial ducks always in a row? The neighbor who is dedicated to their work outs rain or shine. The woman at work who never seems to get flustered or overwhelmed no matter the situation. What is it you would like to see in your life?

Come along with me and lets try some new ideas to create a new vision; a new way of looking at and executing our daily routines because after all, isn’t it the routines that make up the nitty gritty of our day to day. But first must come the vision.

So whats your vision? Leave a comment about what you would most like to feel in 2020. Peaceful, organized, healthy, content? Why not write about it? Put it on paper and really think about what it is you would like to see in your life. What would it look like if you could have your ideal right now.

Listers Gotta List

Are you a lister? You know who you are. You LOVE to write lists!!

Lists of to dos! Lists of books to read, sites to check out, places to visit and household purchases to complete. There are numbers to track, passwords to document and calls to make.

Listers can write lists ad infinitum

I’m a lister, but I must confess, I have foud there to be several degrees of list practitioners.

First, we have the die hard compulsive lister. This is an uber organized, type A, gotta get it done and done right personality. I suppose Santa would fall into this category and we know he DOES get the job done!! (And if even Santa needs a list what chance do the rest of us have.)

They are detailed. They must write EVERYTHING down. Cleaning lists, grocery lists, self care lists: Die hard listers like to have a tangible record of their lifes’ work they can add and refer to on an ongoing basis. The great thing about this type of lister is they are highly organized and you can depend on their ability to complete tasks and remember details.

Then there is the casual lister.

Casual listers write lists to help them remember the main chores, errands and various to do’s. They use a grocery list and probably can complete a round of errands in one attempt.

Then there is the compulsive lister /casual user.

This is the person who will write a great list; remember to write all the errands, calls and purchases. They will take great care to write it all down and even create a plan!! What makes the Compulsive/casual different?

They leave the list on the counter and promptly forget at least half the list.

This is a category I know a lot about.

I LOVE to make lists!! Short lists, long lists: Lists about this and that. Shopping lists, and errand lists!! I feel so organized and adult when I list. The problem has always been that these lists were on small individual pads of paper, post it notes and the backs of envelopes. I had no system.

I could make great notes at work and had a wonderful and quite elaborate planner system to keep me on track but at home? Not so much

Then I found a planner system I could use and enjoy at home. I love it. It’s easy to use, cheerful, and I have fun planning my week and organizing my appointments, chores and to do’s. I have a small size (mini) planner that fits in my bag and is quite portable.

If you are a lister, or just aspire to become a lister I recommend finding a system that works for you: one you enjoy and look forward to referring to on a daily basis. There are so many to choose from and I’ve tried a number of styles and brands. I currently use The HAPPY PLANNER.

Shop around and look at different options! There are systems that fit everyones pocketbook and preferences. Believe me, everyone can become a first class lister with a little research, organization and persistence.

So tell me, are you a lister? What kinds of lists do you like to make and use? Do you use a special book or planner? I’d love to hear about it and learn from you how you use your lists or what has helped you become a consistent and accomplished lister..or what you struggle with in your attempts to be more organized and prepared.

I look forward to hearing from you!!

Until next time,


The “Soul” of Integrity



We live in a crazy world.  I doubt there are many who would deny it.

Maybe we learn to ignore the madness ,  or  pass it off as just the way things are.  It can be overwhelming at times watching the news or reading the local paper.

But each one of us contributes to the whole.   In thinking about this, I am convinced that we can make things just a bit better for our community, and for the good of our own soul:  by living a life based on the simple value of  integrity.

     INTEGRITY*  the quality of being honest and having strong moral                                                                principles; moral uprightness.

No need to  panic.  It’s not that complicated.  I considered carefully some of the things that build life that’s more strongly driven by virtue.

We learned them in Kindergarten and Sunday School.  Be kind.  Be patient. Share and put things away where you found them.  Don’t take what isn’t yours. If you make a mess clean it up.   Simple stuff really.

But somehow in the get more world,  some of the simplest values become hazy and overlooked or worse,  rationalized away.  I believe the Bible says something like woe to the fellow who calls evil good.


We all seek greater peace and contentment.  Peace of mind and peace in our families.  This peace we seek filters out into the world and DOES make a difference.  Living with integrity are the stones that help us build a strong moral compass and brings us that peace of mind.  Of course things happen that can shake our peace at times, but the more solid our foundation of integrity and clarity of conscience, the more quickly we regain that sense of peace.

So I encourage you this next week.  Try it yourself.  Examine your life a little more closely.  Where could you do a bit better?:  Exhibit a little more integrity at work or at home?

Do I give my job 8 hours of solid work?  Do I give them 7 and think I’m doing well?  (After all they don’t really pay me enough for all I have to do anyway.)

If I get something in the mail that belongs to someone down the block, do I put it back in the mailbox for the mailman to pass it along, or better yet take it to my neighbor….or just throw it away.

Put the cart back in the grocery store parking lot or leave for the grocery store employee:  be where I am supposed to be BEFORE I’m actually required to be there or barely make it on time or, oh well, I was only 5 minutes late.

Little things. Simple things.   Putting our neighbors needs equal to our own.

What are one or two things that come to mind that you could do to live a life of greater integrity?  I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

Please comment below and tell me what you have done in the past that helped you grow in integrity.  (Believe me I’m always looking for ideas. )

Maybe this is something we each can ponder:  to grow in virtue, feed our own soul and live in greater peace.    And isn’t that what we all want in this life…..peace?

Until next time.



5 Habits to Improve Your Day

beverage-caffeine-coffee-612252We all have done it!  Gotten  a terrible start to our day.  It seems to follow us around for all our waking hours, creating anxiety, headaches, mistakes and maybe even a shorter fuse.

A variety of causes contribute to our bad start.  Maybe we slept until the last possible minute or worse , never really got any sleep at all. Then rushing out the door after throwing together an outfit,  and a large container of caffeine, we go into our workplace where we find all the undones we left  from the previous day.

I know, I know…You never do that but on the off chance that someone reading this may have experienced this a time or two read on.

You’ve heard it and know how important a great start to the morning is to a productive and enjoyable day! So here are 5 Habits that help you get through your day with ease.



bed-bedroom-blur-545032We all have been told a good nights sleep is essential to our health.  Our bodies renew and rebuild themselves during our sleep and particularly through our deepest hours of sleep.  Yet even knowing how important it is, we stay up too late, drink too much caffeine, and peruse our phones and ipads to the last possible moment.  (Believe me I know of what I write.)

One simple habit could vastly improve your sleep cycle

Regular bed and wake up times.  Going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every morning sets are circadium rythym (our sleep and wake cycles).  Getting our bodies into a routine and rythym helps us to fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly and wake feeling refreshed and ready to think and move.

Try setting a reminder on your phone for 1 hour before your dedicated bed time and turn off your electronics and the tv.  Use this time for more sedate and relaxing activities to help your body wind down and begin its journey toward sleep.

Reading is an excellent activity before bed.  A warm shower might also help you to relax. Once these sedate activities have become habitual your brain and body will begin to associate them with sleep. Some music or sounds could also help but be careful.  Loud or aggressive music will only serve to agitate rather than sedate.

2.) Hydration


bed-care-comfort-1458684Here’s a simple fact.  Most of us do not drink enough water. ( I know this is one area where I could really step up my game. )  Simply put our bodies need water. Our cells are primarily made up of water and walking around in a dehydrated state all day long depletes us of energy, inhibits our digestion, decreases our brain function and in general makes us feel lousy.  This one simple habit can be a game changer.

8 glasses a day?  That number was determined by a scientist for a specific person of a specific weight and body type.  Maybe you don’t need 8 full glasses.   Maybe 6 would be good for you, but whatevery our optimal number is, I would wager you are not drinking enough.

3.) Self Care


aerial-background-beautiful-990830It seems that most women are caretakers.  We make sure everyone in our family eats right, gets to bed on time, has clean clothes to wear and in general are well cared for.

But what about you?  Are you well cared for?  Self care is about attending to yourself.

We may claim we don’t have time for this, but you must make the time.  You wouldn’t say I don’t have time to feed my children or  give them a bath.

You wouildn’t say you don’t have time to check in on your parents regularly ,or listen to your husband when he’s discouraged.  But we routinely neglect our needs that go beyond the most basic.

So here are a few ideas to help you back on the self care track

Simple rituals:  This could be as simple as a cup of tea (decaf please) in the evening before bed or listening to some soothing music.  Whatever gives you pleasure and serenity during your day.

Skin Care: Have you ever been so tired at the end of the day you didn’t take your make up off or simply wash your face?  Most of us have been guilty of this and see it as a small transgression.  It’s not.  Caring for our skin is a way of appreciating that we are worth the trouble to devote time to our own small pleasures.  Some simple cleansing, moisturizer, and sunscreen can go a long way to healthy skin and looking and feeling younger and healthier ,and who doesn’t want that!!  (French women would never DREAM of going to bed with the slightest trace of makeup or mascara left on their face.  They are a great model to follow when it comes to self care.)

Excercise:  Carving out time for excercise( and eating well )is sometimes a challenge when all our other responsibiities are calling our name but 30 minutes a day can help us sleep better, look better and have more energy overall.  30 minutes well spent!!

4.) Prayer and Meditation


Some type of spiritual excercise daily can help you stay focused, centered and uplift your spirit.  Its easy to lose your way when your head is constantly down and you are on the treadmill of life.  Look up.  Personally, this is the thing that most keeps me on track for all the others.  The old saying “A day hemmed in with prayer seldon comes unraveled,”  is so true.  Knowing the why of life and keeping our awareness on the larger things can help to keep the smaller things in order.

A well known and loved prayer or scripture to meditate on in the morning before everyone else is up and about can help you set your mind above and give you a positive focus for the day.

5.) Planning

I will be talking much more about this in the future but suffice it to say that a plan for the day is a must.

Write it down and prioritize your tasks.  I write down EVERYTHING because if I don’t…well let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

These routines and rituals, practiced faithfully and mindfully can transform your days and nights making your life a little less hectic and a lot more enjoyable.

Please comment below and share your daily rituals and routines that help you stay on track and make your life more productive and pleasant.

Until next time,





The Best Day: Sunday

Ahhh Sunday!  Don’t you just love it?  A day to relax! A day for family and friends or just being lazy.

Sunday is the day I allow myself the luxury of things I might feel a little guilty about indulging  in, or too busy  through the week to slow down and truly enjoy.

Things like reading a good book, or binge watching my favorite shows that I missed .  The day certainly doesn’t feel complete unless I can go to church, come home, get into my comfie clothes and start planning my week.

I do have a certain routine when it comes to planning . I have been planning for many years,  but about 2 years ago I discovered the Happy Planner and it has become somewhat of an obsession.   Not to be a cliche` but my Happy Planner makes me happy,  It does double duty.  It gives me a chance to be creative and productive at the same time.

If you follow my Instagram you have seen  posts of my planner pages and how they are arranged and decorated.  I found an entire group following of “planner babes” on YouTube who share their weekly calendar spreads with other planners and tips on organizing the week.

Wow…who knew?  So how has it helped and what do I plan?

It keeps me focused.

I know that if I don’t keep things ordered and focused my life tends to go a little sideways.  Chores and papers pile up, deadlines are a little on the late side and appointments can go completely out the window.  It’s not just the inconvenience of things out of place or punctuality problems….it makes me feel lousy!  I need order and I believe it is something innate in us that requires it.

We’ve all heard “God is in the details”.  I believe that is true.  God IS in the details and our daily life is more fulfilling when we stay on a certain track to our goals.  12 step programs use the slogan Good Orderly Direction: G.O.D.  To keep my life running in a Good Orderly Direction I write down everything for the week. Meals, appointments,  exercise, social engagements, and shopping lists.  My calendar is filled with to do’s, motivational stickers and quotes to keep me going through the week: Helping me stay on task and get to Sunday feeling accomplished.

I love the feeling a “good Sunday” gives to the start of my week.  A few things I do on Sunday to make my week better:

Fresh Sheets!  I put fresh sheets on my bed on Sunday.  It feels good to crawl into a freshly made bed and somehow makes awakening to Monday morning just a little easier.

Check medications and supplements.  I like to make sure every thing I need is on hand and ready for the week.  This includes any meds I may be taking as well as vitamins and supplements.

Make ahead meals.  Any meals that can be prepped or made ahead usually happen on Sunday.  I like the feeling of knowing what I am going to eat and having ingredients on hand helps to avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery.

So what about you?  What do you like to do on Sunday?  Are you a coach potato watching sports or do you like to get outside and play?

Do you have a special routine you follow on Sunday?
Share in the comments below and give us your idea of the perfect Sunday.

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”



The Ultimate Makeover: From the Inside Out

It happens every new year. I get the urge to do “better.” I’m going to lose weight, quit wearing yoga pants, put makeup on everyday and be one of those “put together” people. You know who I’m talking about. The people who you run into at the grocery store who look better than you do when you go to church!! Ok , maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but there’s always someone who can make you feel a little less than.

2018 was my year of doing better cosmetically. I created a capsule wardrobe, took better care of my skin and put make up on…well more days than not anyway. I began a more scheduled existence and worked to become less willy nilly day to day.

It’s a process . I’m still working on my self care. More on that later!

Still something was missing. There was this feeling of dissatisfaction with myself. I wasn’t sure why. I am a good person. I don’t lie, cheat or steal! But then I began to ponder this question…If not lying, cheating or stealing is my benchmark for being virtuous how far along am I really ? THIS was when I decided I can go deeper. How do I become the best me?

And this is what I hope you will explore along with me. I have some ideas! I hope you have some to share with me! I read something long ago that meditation on prayers, scriptures, ancient writings and quotes that can help us go deeper. I went first to my favorite quote :

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. “

Soren Kierkegaard

It’s so true. To truly know myself and understand the way I’ve become what I’ve become I have to look back. Not it a morbid, self judgement exercise of self loathing or self aggrandizement but to just know where my paths tend to wander. Complete objectivity is a useless pursuit when it comes to self, but I think it’s possible to check mark solid accomplishments and past mistakes when time and patience are applied liberally.

So what about you? Take a look back. Meditate on your accomplishments. Give yourself an attagirl (or boy) and remember you are smart, you are capable, but best of all you are good! Maybe losses and mistakes have been strewn along the path but you managed them, overcame them, and pressed on. If you are in the middle of something challenging think about what you have overcome in your past. You can do this thing, whatever it is!! You are good!






Welcome to My World

Welcome to my world. The world of Byrdology. Let me introduce myself.

My name is Debbie Byrd and I am so happy you have stumbled into my little corner of the internet. I look forward to getting to know you and hope that you will stick around and get to know me. We are going to explore together how to make our lives richer, simpler and more meaningful and beautiful! I am passionate about planning, decorating and making home a sanctuary from the kinda crazy outside world.

What is Byrdology? Its my approach to life, love, family and lifestyle. It is my understanding of the things of the past and how they have shaped my life and future and how to move beyond all the ways life is holding you back.

My life has been a river of clear and muddy waters that have left me older, wiser, grateful and longing for being the best person I can be. Most of us long to become and enjoy the best version of ourselves and writing clarifies for me what thoughts, behaviors and people will help me achieve that goal. Life has a way of slowing us down, distracting our pursuits and finding ourselves leaving the dreams of life and our own thoughts laying by the side of the busy road we are traveling. I want to help you slow down and think deeper and live simpler but richer.

Writing is a way of sharing with others, ( and validating for myself) all the thoughts and feelings that ramble around inside my head and need an escape to be seen clearly and understood. Sometimes you just can’t sort out feelings and ideas until they are written down to be contemplated and analyzed.

I write because I know that there are so many others that face the same challenges I do and it encourages all of us to know we are not alone with our feelings and longings. So many times I have thought I was the “only one” that felt the way I was feeling only to find out that it was simply not true.

BUT….the biggest reason I write and want to write is that I know there are others who feel they are unforgiven or worse, unforgivable. This is such a lie from hell. We are all forgivable and if we don’t realize that and can’t even ask for forgiveness or believe our life can be better, hopeful, fulfilled we are lost. Losing hope in God and our lives is the greatest loss we can experience because with it we lose ourselves.

How CAN we become the best version of ourselves if we have lost faith in our best cheerleader? Our most ardent lover? Our biggest fan? There are so many hurting and lost people in our world, community, neighborhood and in our own homes who need encouragement and acceptance wherever they are in their lives!! I want to reach out to others and offer that encouragement and hope to the marginal, the silently suffering, the lost who don’t really know what to do to crawl out of the black hole their souls have fallen into. This is my purpose. This is my passion. This is what God is calling me to with my blog and however else He may choose to use me.

Come along with me….lets see where we can go together.