Writing Your Personal Mission Statement (Redefining Your Resolutions) | Summer Boot Camp

Good Morning! It’s Monday!!!

It’s also June. Can you believe how fast this year is flying? Not too long ago, I sat and reviewed the past few months and compared them to the things I want to accomplish this year, I couldn’t help feeling a tad overwhelmed.

“How in the world am I going to get all of this done?!”

“Forget it, I’ll never get any of this done.”

Does this happen to you? You get to the middle of the year and feel like those resolutions you wrote in January are now so unachievable and maybe even a tad bit ridiculous. You didn’t exercise the way you wanted to, you’re still eating junk food, and you’re not getting enough rest. You’re still glued to those bad habits and your desire to be more patient flies out the window when that stupid driver cuts you off on the way to work. Yeeeah, I know, me too.

After looking at my list a second time, I decided that my goals are not ridiculous and I should give it another go. When you’ve failed at your new years resolutions, you don’t despair, you just revisit and redefine them.

What to do When You've Failed at Your New Years Resolutions

So this month I’m doing a summer bootcamp for myself. I did a bootcamp in December to prep for the upcoming resolutions I was going to make (you can check out that post here.) It was a rather successful attempt at setting myself up for the new year but now it’s June and it’s time to go back to the drawing board. It’s time for another bootcamp.

This is totally experimental–I’m not writing from expertise. Over the next several weeks, on Monday morning, I’m going to write about an aspect of goal setting that I want to address in my life this summer. At the end of each post, I’ll write my goal(s) for the week.

Part of this personal bootcamp is making myself publicly accountable so I’m going to share my 4 topics right here:

  1. Writing a Personal Mission Statement
  2. Embracing the Quarterly Seasons
  3. Building Your Daily Routine
  4. Getting in Gear for the Next Season

Okay, enough of the prologue, let’s talk about mission statements and redefining resolutions!

1 Writing Your Personal Mission Statement

First of all, what is a mission statement?  Well, in a company or an organization, a mission statement explains why the organization exists and its focus. This is important for decision making. When you know what your focus is, you can better filter opportunities. You know better when to say yes and when to say no. For some example mission statements, check out this article.

A personal mission statement is the same. It also states a focus. When you’re able to express your life focus, you can better filter your opportunities. You also know how to better respond to unexpected situations. You know when to say yes and no. This doesn’t mean you never make mistakes, but it does give you a home base to start from and come back to when you’ve veered off course.

This statement doesn’t have to be profound or fancy, it just has to be you. It has to reflect your passions, your priorities, your beliefs, and your direction.

Now, what does a mission statement have to do with resolutions? Well, what does the word resolve mean? Resolve means to determine to do something. When you know what your life focus is, in the form of a mission statement, you can break that down or expound on it in the form of resolutions. What are you determined to accomplish? What do you want people to remember you by? What chances do you want to take? What you need less of? More of? What changes do you need to make? All of this is reflected in your resolutions.

Here’s where it’s important to not confuse resolutions with goal setting. They seem similar but I like to think that resolutions are big picture and goal setting is more detailed work. What do I mean by that? For instance,

Resolution: Commit to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Goal: Drink 8 glasses of water every day. 

Goal: Work out at least 3 times a week.

Resolution: Spend quality time with my family

Goal: Plan family vacation

Goal: Have family fun night once a week

Goal: Eat dinner together at least 3 times a week

See the difference? And from goals, you build tasks lists:

  • Bring water bottle to work
  • Check off bottles finished as I drink


  • Set out workout clothes every night before bed
  • Make after-workout smoothie


  • Don’t schedule anymore Thursday afternoon meetings
  • Start family vacation fund

Goals & tasks sometimes ‘look alike’ and there’s no right or wrong, the point is to break things down into actionable items so they get done. It can be easy to get something on paper but action can be a totally different story!

So as you go through and review your failed resolutions, consider starting with the bigger picture–your life. Instead of writing another list of resolutions, write a life mission statement. After that, follow it up with a life resolution list. From there, write down the goals you want to accomplish to fulfill those resolutions. From there, you can construct your daily, weekly, monthly task lists.

For some example mission statements, check out this article

LifeMission Statement

My goals for this week are to:

  • Write my personal mission statement
  • Write my life resolutions
  • Write my goal list for the rest of the year

I’ll report my progress next Monday on my next post about using the quarterly seasons to organize and plan your goals rather than having them scattered haphazardly across an entire year.

If you’d like to explore mission statements, resolutions, and life planning further, then I HIGHLY recommend Michael Hyatt’s new book Living Forward (Amazon). I just finished the audiobook recently and it’s very good!

Living Forward Book

Have a great Monday y’all!

How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul | book review

{this post contains affiliate links}

Okay, I’m kicking myself for not having read this book way back when I first saw it (which is too long ago for me to remember). This book is worth its weight in gold and a must-have for all serious bloggers. For real. Oh my goodness, couldn’t put it down!

How to Blog for Profit

How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup

Rating: 5.0-5.0

My Thoughts:

Like I said in the intro, I wish I’d read this book earlier-it would have saved me some frustration and given the blueprint I needed when I started blogging and especially when I seriously began considering monetizing it.  The truth about blogging is that it’s not for the faint of heart. Blogging requires tenacity and an undying love for what you’re blogging about. Soukop is not only honest about the hard truths about what it takes to be a serious blogger, she also shares step-by-step tips and instructions for different aspects of setting up and running a blog.

Over the years, I’ve read many, many posts about blogging and social media marketing, monetizing, etc., hence, I was quite familiar with a lot of the material in this book already. HOWEVER, a writer/blogger/creative is only as good as their resources and reference material. This isn’t a one-time read. This is a break-out-the-highlighter-bookmark-the-important-sections-start-making-lists book. This is very much reference to keep on hand as well as one you can turn to when you’re stuck or need of  inspiration and a nudge in the right direction.

Soukop writes from a lot of experience and a genuine desire for the reader to succeed in their desire to make it in the world of blogging. Honest, friendly, and to-the-point, it’s like sitting with her over a cup of tea and a notebook. Not a lot of fluff and unrealistic expectations, she offers the practical advice you need to blog for profit (without selling your soul, of course).

This print version is the expanded 2nd edition and I flew through it in less than 2 days, yellow highlighter in hand (and I don’t do that unless I really mean business in a book). I HIGHLY recommend this book if you’re serious about blogging and turning a profit from doing what you love. It’s a gem 🙂 Don’t wait and regret later that you didn’t read it when you should have!!

Happy Reading!

The blogger at Purple Ink Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

21 Questions

Let’s play a game. I’m in a bit of a blogging slump and I need a boost! Below is a list of 21 bookish questions for answering pleasure 🙂 Most of the questions are from a 30 Day Book Challenge from Blogs of a Bookaholic, and I came up with the rest.

I generally read more non-fiction than fiction but for these questions, I’ll draw from the fiction I’ve read over the years. However, there will be some non-fiction titles and authors too 🙂

21 Questions

(this post contains affiliate links)

  1. The longest book you’ve read.  I think the longest novel I’ve ever read was Gone with the Wind…I think. Yeah, I’m pretty sure.
  2. Your “comfort” book.  One of my favorite YA novels is A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson. I revisit that audiobook at least once or twice in a year just for a visit.
  3. Book you’ve read the most number of times.  I honestly have no clue. Through and through, possibly A Countess Below Stairs, or Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer, or The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare 
  4. Favorite classic book. My stock answer for this question is Little Women 🙂 But I have more than a few favorites!  
  5. A book that disappointed you. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. Book that made you cry.  I think Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline was the last book that made me cry. And before that, John Green’s The Fault in Our Starsof course
  7. A character who you can relate to the most. Probably Jo March from Little Women.
  8. A character do you wish you could be most like? Ever since I read Jane Eyre, I’ve loved her individuality and devotion to standards, goodness, and honesty and I want to emulate those qualities.
  9. A thought-provoking book. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek
  10. Book that made you laugh out loud. Stuff Christians Like by Jon Acuff 
  11. A favorite author. Among many others, Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow, The Icarus Deception, & Tribes
  12. Favorite childhood book. Not that I could pick just one, but The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare is definitely one of them.
  13. Book with a clever story line. Just Ella by Maragaret Peterson Haddix  
  14. Book you couldn’t put down. Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine 
  15. Book I want to see made into a movie. The Advocate by Randy Singer 
  16. Book that left a surprising impression. The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
  17. One of the best stories you’ve read in the last 12 months. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  18. One of the most heartwarming books you’ve read in the last 12 months. Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up by Ian & Larissa Murphy
  19. One of the most inspirational books you’ve read in the last 12 months. Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
  20. Favorite book series. Anne of Green Gables.
  21. All-time favorite book. This is usually the hardest question for a book-nerd to answer but it’s super simple for me: the Bible. As a Christian, I cherish the Word as God’s personal love letter to this world and I love it. Charles Spurgeon is quoted to have said,

Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.

I agree. There are many good, even great books but the Bible is the best. My go-to version is the KJV and one of my favorite editions is the Life Application Bible. If you don’t have a Bible, I definitely encourage you to get one :). And if you have one but haven’t cracked it open in awhile, don’t miss out on the wonderfulness (yes, I said wonderfulness) of God’s Word!

Want to play 21 questions? Go ahead and give it try! You can leave your answers below in the comments or do a post on your blog and link up below! Either way, I’d love to read your answers 🙂

Happy reading!

The blogger at Purple Ink Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

23. If it Makes You Happy | 31 Days

This is post 23/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Last night, I was gushing to the BF how much I love writing. Not just coming up with words and putting together sentences. I do like that but I love the act of writing. Having a good pen in my hand, the feel of ink on a page and the look of the letters between the lines. It’s so nerdy but I love it! I know I mentioned this in my post My Writer’s Heart, but I have to say again how much I love the look of handwriting on a page. It’s almost inexplicable but it makes me happy. 

Last night, my family gave me a bouquet a roses to congratulate my getting my diploma. The flowers make my desk look lovely. I love flowers. I love the way they make a room look graceful and homey. I love looking at them. It makes me happy.  

The things I really love about life are simple things. Ink on paper. A vase of flowers. Books lined up on a shelf. Piano music. Baking cookies. Time with my family. Singing my favorite songs. I’m not a complicated person but sometimes I allow myself to be a bit too complex. I’m not sure that’s really called for. Too often I let situations rob me of my simplicity. Life isn’t simple but that doesn’t mean I can’t be. 

I think that the older I get, the more I crave simplicity in how I live. I don’t want get to a point where the little things that make me happy to get swallowed up by the craziness around me. It happened during my busy college season and I wish I had been better about guarding a few precious moments with my notebook and pen, cookie dough in the kitchen, etc.. I’ve come to the conclusion that hustle seasons don’t mean that the simple things get kicked to the curb. In fact, it’s during the busy times that we need those things the most.

Even if it’s just for a few minutes. 

I’m not at all good at so many things but I’m working on them and I want to function from a place of joy and calm and beauty. And that means I have to take a little time for those simple things that make me happy, healthy, thoughtful, and present.

A good book. A bowl of my favorite pasta. My favorite playlist on Spotify. The scent of a nice candle. A walk in the park. A bouquet of fresh flowers.

Ink on paper.

If it makes you happy, if it brings you peace, if it reminds you of what’s important, if it brings you out of the chaos, if it slows you down, pay attention. God often gives gifts in small packages. Take time to open them. You won’t regret. He always knows just exactly what makes you happy.         


15. Know Your MO | 31 Days

This is post 15/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

On Day 7, I wrote about how I’ve decided to commit to NaNoWriMo next month. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the community at all, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. I know, right?

In the world of NaNoWriMo, there are two camps: those who are Planners and those who are Pantsers. In laymen’s terms, those who plan their book ahead of time and those who fly by the seat of their pants and wing it on November 1st. Neither is right or wrong, it’s simply preference. 

I’m a planner. I remember when I was a teen working on my first novel, having character profiles, numbered outlines, chapter summaries, the whole nine. Otherwise, I was just meandering along the pages of a story that I had no control of. Some writers take delight in a story that just goes where it may but my planner’s heart can’t do it. While I don’t have the time for all that intense planning these days, my need to plan ahead of time still calls to me as the November 1st gets closer and closer.

Dwight Eisenhower once said that “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” I don’t know the context from which he said this but it’s an intriguing thought. Planners plan because we believe that the plan is going to help accomplish a goal. But so often life gets in the way and you have to make changes and tweak your plan.

It definitely happens when you write a story. It happens when you plan your day. It happens when mapping out a large project. But while I think that the ability to go with the flow is an important one, planning fulfills an important purpose. It makes you think about the task in front of you. It makes you consider many variables, options, and angles. Planning forces you to slow down and let your mind process the possibilities and address your desired outcome.

Good planners plan as an act of engaging with life and what they want to accomplish. That way, when life does get in the way, they know how to respond, how to get back on track, and where sacrifices and compromises have to be made. 

But you have to know your mode of operation. Are you a planner or a panster? Do you like lists and outlines or do you prefer to just deal with whatever comes to you? I think there needs to be a good balance between the two but you gotta know which comes more naturally to you so you know how to make that balance happen.

Whether it’s writing a 50,000 word novel, creating the menu for the week, planning an event, or drawing up your business plan, understand your MO and determine whether it’s going to serve you best or if you need to make some operational changes.


9. Drawing Boards | 31 Days

This is post 9/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Come hell or high water, I’m launching on the 13th. 

That’s what I told my dad the other day.

It’s on my wall calendar, my DayTimer, and my desk calendar. My podcast launch date, in magenta ink, reminding me that I can’t go back now.

Or can I?

I’m the kind of person who has a hard time following through with personal projects if I don’t give myself a date. On my calendar. In pen. If not, I talk myself out of it. I’m really good at talking myself out of my own personal projects and procrastinating on things that I find too difficult or I’ve lost interest in. I can justify why I shouldn’t do stuff for my own benefit until the cows come home. Shooting one’s self in one’s foot is a talent too many humans possess and I’m counted as one of them.

On the flip side, there are times when waiting for a better outcome is good. I’m all for not letting perfection preclude you from shipping a project or taking a leap but caution has it’s place too. Sometimes you’re just not ready yet. Sometimes you need extra time to consider other variables. Sometimes you learn something new!

I’m totally not going in the direction I’d set out in when I started Write 31 Days. Day by day, I’m redefining what The Student Life means to me. Because of that, I’ve taken my podcast plans back to the drawing board. I don’t know when I’ll be ready but when the time is right, I will set another date and try again.

Going back to the drawing board is a good thing. It means that you’re problem solving, you’re proactively finding a better way of doing something, you’re not giving up on what’s important to you. Drawing boards are essential for success cause your other two options could prove fatal: you could either give up cause your plans went bust or you could keep moving forward with a defective plan that’ll never see the results you desire. There are times when a plan B, C, D, or P is in order. Just because something didn’t work the first, second, third, or sixteenth time doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, it just means you haven’t figured out how it works yet.

Go back to the drawing board.

Excuse me, please, while I get some white out.


8. My Writer’s Heart | 31 Days

This is post 8/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

I love pencils. Brand new #2 pencils. Ticonderoga are my brand of choice.

I love fine tip pens. I have a hard time with ballpoint. Pilot G-2 07s are my staple. 

I love books. Stacks of books. Stacks and stacks. They follow me everywhere.

I love new notebooks. Spiral bound are comfortable, old friends but legal pads and stenos have quickly found there place in my writer’s heart. 

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season and one of the biggest things I miss about my Chicago childhood. Texas season just aren’t the same. 

I love peppermint tea. And ginger tea. Oh yeah, ginger tea!! And I love hot cocoa. With sweet cream.

I love the way handwriting looks on paper. There’s something about long hand writing that has such beauty. Perfect type on a screen doesn’t convey the same unspoken feeling as an individual’s personal handwriting. Emails and texting have earned their place but I wish letter writing was still a thing. 

Did I mention I love books? I love how they look lined up on my shelves.

I love libraries, and office supply stores. I love quiet coffee shops and bookstores humming with people perusing shelves and flipping through periodicals. 

I love words. Written and spoken. The way a painter must paint and a scientist must experiment, I must write. It’s an interesting pull. It’s insatiable. It’s natural. It’s lovely.

I think anticipating NaNoWriMo is making me extra reflective and introspective and a bit nostalgic for years gone by. But I dug this old piece out 3 years ago. It’s not very good but it’s still true.

I Write In the Morning

I write in the morning when the sun peeks through the trees.

When the air is brand new and the world revived.

When my words are fresh, when my slate it clean.

I write in the morning.

I write when there’s a song in my heart.

When His Word is foremost in my thoughts.

When birds sing.

When wind blows.

When all is peaceful.

When all is well.

I write.


31 Days of The Student Life

1 Big Idea + 31 Days of Blogging = one giant leap into the great unknown. 

Okay, maybe it’s not so dramatic as all that. 

Okay just kidding, yes it is. For me, anyway. I’ll give you the short version of the story.

I’ve been working on this really big project – a podcast called The Student Life. It’s set to launch on October 13th. While swimming through the quagmire that is the life of a newbie producer, I got this email reminding me that the 31 Days of Writing challenge is about to start. 

Whaaaa?? …Oh yeah! I remember signing up for that!

When I tell you I serve a God of impeccable timing, I so mean it.

This is THE perfect challenge to couple with my podcast launch. A good, strong, terrifying dose of accountability is just what I need to make this idea of mine actually see the light of day.

So I’m going to commit to 31 days of writing about this thing I call The Student Life. Yes me, the girl who has never finished a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram or stuck to a blog series of her own ever. I’m committing to 31 days of exploring the unconventional education I pursued in college and continue to pursue post-degree.

Here’s to one giant leap!


Here we go, October readers 🙂

31 Days of The Student Life



Day 1 | Speed Limits


Day 2 | Good Mornings


Day 3 | The Truth About Wisdom


Day 4 | Snapshots

You're Not Good At Everything

Day 5 | You’re Not Good at Everything


Day 6 | Practice Not Included


Day 7 | The Next Step


Day 8 | My Writer’s Heart

drawing boards

Day 9 | Drawing Boards


Day 10 | Forever in His Care


Day 11 | The Dip

WRITE 31 DAYS (10)

Day 12 | Happiness

WRITE 31 DAYS (11)

Day 13 | Comparison Kills

WRITE 31 DAYS (12)

Day 14 | Do Not Hand Over the Mic

WRITE 31 DAYS (13)

Day 15 | Know Your MO

WRITE 31 DAYS (14)

Day 16 | Show Up


Day 17 | Space

Childhood Speaks

Day 18 | Childhood Speaks

WRITE 31 DAYS (17)

Day 19 | Morning Song

The Slump

Day 20 | The Slump

WRITE 31 DAYS (19)

Day 21 | Dreamers

WRITE 31 DAYS (21)

Day 22 | If It Makes You Happy

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25


Day 26 | Happens Every Time

self discovery

Day 27 | Self Discovery

Day 28 | Sometimes

Day 29

Day 30

Day 31

September TBR & Book Blogging

Okay, so I’ve been deliberating over this for several months:

Should I combine my book blog Unscripted with Purple Ink Studios?

This has been a struggle for me because I’ve been blogging at Unscripted for a almost 5 years and it’d be like abandoning a friend. But alas! blogging in two spaces is too inconvenient and time consuming and not great for building a brand soooooooo,

I’m going to quit writing at Unscripted and continue all book blogging here at Purple Ink Studios. 

Ahhhhhhhh!! Seriously, this is such a struggle but such a relief!

So shall we talk books?

I found this great Instagram book challenge for September hosted by @silenceofthreeparts.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 8.15.48 PM

I have a TBR for 2015, which I’ll post up soon, but I haven’t done monthly TBR lists and I should’ve.

In any case, here’s my reading list for September:

  1. The Aviator’s Wife//Melanie Benjamin
  2. Daughters of Inheritance//Wellesley Muir
  3. Orphan Train//Christina Baker Kline
  4. The Art of Work//Jeff Goins
  5. Eight Twenty Eight//Ian & Larissa Murphy

I’ve already finished #3 and #5 and am now working on #4. I’ll be posting reviews later this week of what I’ve completed so far.

And here are a few snapshots from Instagram:

What are you reading this month? Any books you’re looking forward to getting to this fall?

Yay for September reading!! 🙂