Create a Life Handbook

I’ve been inspired to create a Life Handbook. A life handbook is a personal manual that encompasses your goals and dreams, personal mission, and ideas that you have on your journey of becoming. Often, we get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of the practical means necessary to realize our dreams. By working on a physical expression of my life purpose, I want to increase my ability to accomplish my own potential.


Life is always harder than we envision. As a youth, I thought my life would be a straightforward execution of my goals, with occasional episodes planned by God. That was naive. In reality, I have discarded some of my lesser goals in pursuit of the ones that I found more worthy. Even some of the skills I spent years acquiring have been simply nice nick-knacks on my accomplishment shelf. My life has been a series of days upon days with the detours from God being the better ones. I see how learning one admirable attribute may take a lifetime. I see how there is never enough time to work on the mediocre aspirations, because there is so much out there and so little time. I would like to organize my spiritual life better, to make spiritual growth a priority that won’t get pushed aside by the daily chores. I’m going to create a life handbook about and for myself.

Here’s how to create a Life Handbook. (from Celestine Chua at Personal Excellence.)

Spend a few minutes a day pondering the following list. Begin writing down your thoughts about each. Estimate taking between two weeks to a few months getting a “rough draft”

  1. Your life purpose/vision/mission
  2. Your values
  3. Your strengths
  4. Your improvement areas
  5. Your life adages (I.e. your personal mottos on living a great life. These can be inspirational quotes or personal mottoes.)
  6. Your vision board (Vision boards are visual representation of your goals and dreams. Check out Celestine’s vision board tutorial.)
  7. Your long-term life goals, comprising of five-, three-, and one-year goals
  8. Your short-term life goals, usually a breakdown of your long-term goals
  9. Your action plans to achieve your goals

Continue adding to your book on a regular basis (daily). Add images, reflection, to-do lists, track goals, motivational quotes, etc. Make sure to include any spiritual experiences, promptings, and tender mercies. Back up your document regularly. (I don’t really envision this document being a hard copy at first). Use your document to see a snapshot of your inner self over time. Since I’ve never done this, I’ll have to write more about how it goes. Wish me luck! (I could have started tonight, but wrote this post instead.)

Found on

Update: I told a few of my most-admired friends about my goal. I’ve spent a couple of days thinking about what format I plan to use (excel file) and today I’m starting to create my life handbook. I always have goals I am working on, but I have never thought about writing a comprehensive list down, prioritizing them, and tracking my progress. I’m excited!


New Year’s Resolution

This past few months, the words of a scripture keep running through my mind…

“organize yourselves”

This is from Doctrine & Covenants 109:8, which talks about the Saints preparing to build their first temple. After my recent visit to the Phoenix Mormon Temple open house, I have wanted to make my home more like the temple. Not by getting expensive furnishings, but by keeping it more orderly. I feel like any home, no matter how small, can feel pleasant and peaceful if it is clean.

Remember criteria for setting achievable goals! source

So, my resolution is to organize my closets and storage areas.

I realize it is practically impossible to have the entire house clean at one time when we have a young family. Yet I feel like I can bring my home a little closer to the ideal of being like God’s house.

My New Year’s resolution gained momentum when my Darling Husband (DH) suggested we paint the boys room. DH knows how much I like painting, and he NEVER suggests it. I  have only painted the entryway since moving here five years ago (that is extreme self-control!) His reasoning was the boys room looks shabby. It has flat paint, which over the past few years has accumulated lots of scuffs and dings. Their roof had leaked and been patched, but the drywall patch had never been textured or painted. Time for some sprucing up.


So, we got the boys room painted. Our neighbor came over and helped us texture the ceiling patch. Then I painted a nice pale beige on the walls. With everything smooth and fresh again, it looks like a new room! DH bought a few more plastic totes and sorted all of the toys.

Boy’s room. Red and blue quilts with beige walls.
boys room for 3
another shot showing the crib and totes underneath

Next, I organized my closet. Our newborn had been sleeping in there in his pack-n-play, but we had just moved him to the crib in the newly painted boys room. Time to put away all my maternity clothes and get out my regular clothes. I realized I have never actually pulled out my clothes and sorted them into outfits to see what pieces I could add. I am planning on sewing a navy blue skirt to help pull things together. DH organized the desk and cleaned the office.

clean closet
Clean desk. This took a bit of work, done by DH.

Next I plan to organize my pantry. This will help me see which of our food storage items I have used and need to replace. Finally, I would like to build a new towel rack for the bathroom.

I have all year to work on these, but really my time frame is to finish within a couple of months. It is amazing how much more calm and in control I feel with just the progress I have made. My kids have an easier time picking up because usually only one type of toy is out at a time. I enjoy sitting and feeding the baby in the fresh boy’s room.

I plan to go to the temple often this year to feel the inspiration that originated my goal. I think that will also help my goals stay on track. My beliefs help me stay organized. That’s a new kind of organized religion.