It’s that time of year where everyone is setting goals. Today, we are going over our goals for last year and what new ones we are setting for 2024. Plus, we are sharing our winter book club picks.
You can find the podcast posts archive here.
And if you’re looking for a specific code you heard on the podcast, you can see a full list on this page!
An update on our 2023 goals:
- Work on a big art project (and share on the podcast) by the end of the year (Did the art project but will be sharing it this quarter on the podcast)
- Read 52 books (and stop reading if not hooked three chapters in) (Achieved!)
- Jump around to different genres of books (Achieved!)
- Travel to one new place (Achieved! Went to Seaside in Florida)
- Prioritizing creative time every day (Failed – too vague of a goal)
- Work more on her mental health (Achieved!)
- Getting back into fitness (Achieved!)
- Be more consistent with going to therapy (Achieved!)
- Submit her novel to agents (Achieved!)
Our goals for 2024:
- Enter art era
- Work on lifestyle
- Be a memory mom
- Stay true to her word that she is not renovating her house
- Finish and put out the audio book
- Finish blog post list for the year
- Grow a baby, give birth, and hang out with them for a few months
Listener Question: What to do when you feel you achieved your goals? Do you celebrate or just move on to the next one?
Celebrate every achievement along the way to accomplishing your goal.
Q1 book club selections:
The Only One Left by Riley Sager
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi
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Episode 214 Transcript:
Emma: You’re listening to the Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. It’s that time of year when everyone is setting goals. Today, we are going over our goals from last year and what new ones we are setting for 2024. Plus, we’re going to share winter book club picks, and I have a very big announcement for you.
Elsie: Okay, so before we jump in, I think we can all agree. We just want to hear what the announcement is.
Emma: The announcement is I’m pregnant. Yep. I found out the day after my book came out, so it was October 23rd 4th, 5th, or something.
Elsie: Oh yeah! I remember because you got a bottle of wine and you made an Instagram collaging it.
Emma: Yeah! I made this champagne bottle that looks kind of like the cover of my book and then I made a bunch of minis for like first readers and my editor and things like that. And I never got to open the champagne because the next day I found out I was pregnant. So anyway, I took it with friends, so they got to drink it and I had a tiny sip. So there you go. Also, just the timing of it is finding out the day after my book came out. Right after that, like you know, there are times like you don’t see a friend for a week or two or whatever, and then you run into each other and people kept being like, Oh, hey, congrats. And every time I would have this moment of like, How do they know I’m pregnant? And then I would be like, oh, they’re talking about my book. And so it would be like on my face, this like, what are you talking about? Oh, right, my book. And I feel like it gave people the impression that I like, didn’t care about my book or I had immediately like forgotten about my book, but it was just the next day found out I was pregnant. And so all of a sudden my brain switched into, I’m pregnant mode and that’s the biggest news in my life and I kind of did forget about my book not because I wasn’t excited about it, but because life shifted all of a sudden. It’s a big shift in your brain.
Elsie: It changes everything. We were like immediately like in the phone call where she called me just to tell me, we immediately were like talking about planning and stuff, you know, like you just can’t help it, it affects every single thing.
Emma: It does. You’re like, okay, so timing, like my whole year is kind of planned out in a way, you know, that’s just what it’s like.
Elsie: Well, I already know it’s a perfect baby being born in the summer, the perfect time for a blogger to have a baby. There’s no better time of year.
Emma: I totally planned it. No, I didn’t. But yes, I’m due at the very end of June, and you probably don’t remember, but my son was born on June 2nd. So Oscar will turn three, and if this baby comes around their due date, then they will come sometime right after Oscar. So they’ll be basically exactly three years apart.
Elsie: Two summer birthdays, like, that is perfect, too.
Emma: I think it’s really cute. But yeah, everyone’s already like, oh, you’ll have to decide about kindergarten if you’re gonna put them in, you know, like, I’m like, ah, that seems far away at the moment because I’m just pregnant.
Elsie: You don’t need to worry about that right now.
Emma: But I have no plans so on it. So I’m like, I’ll cross that bridge later.
Elsie: Yeah. I think it’s kind of cool to have like a discretionary, you can do it either way.
Emma: Yeah. I think it’s cool.
Elsie: ‘Cause a lot of birthdays are like, you can’t do it either way. This is your year.
Emma: Yeah, it is nice. You can kind of see how your kids doing, see what makes sense. Yeah, for sure. So, we’re very excited.
Elsie: I speak for everyone when I say this is the best news ever. It’s gonna be an amazing year. Like, I’m so excited for you, and I know everyone is screaming in their cars right now.
Emma: I’m very excited, and yeah, I’ll be 38 when this kiddo’s born. As for recording this, I’m like recording it before my first trimester’s over, it’s just how our schedule works. So it kind of almost makes me a little bit anxious, but by the time you’re hearing this, I’ll be into my second. And I’ll also know the sex by the time you hear this, but I don’t know it today so I can’t tell you.
Elsie: That’s exciting. I can’t wait. Another little summer baby. Yeah. It’s gonna be an amazing year. So yeah, we will update you later on in the spring about our schedule, but I think we’re pretty much taking the summer off, and the exact dates, are TBD. Yeah. A little breaky break. We’ll be good. But yeah, we’re excited to be back for spring now and we have some amazing episodes lined up for you. We’re really excited about this next season.
Emma: Oh, yeah. Very excited about this season.
Elsie: So, this episode is New Year, New Goals. I love a goal-setting episode. It’s one of my top, probably top three favorite subjects that we talk about. I just think it’s exciting and it’s like so cool how life is full of so many new beginnings, you know, so many opportunities for a fresh start and, you know, turn a new leaf or, like, make a new goal or try a new dream. And that’s, like, one of the things that, like, keeps me motivated in life.
Emma: Same. So we thought before talking about goals for 2023, we’re going to update you on some of our 2022 goals. So we’ll just go through them and say how we did or say, like, how they changed or whatever, because sometimes goals change. That’s how things are.
Elsie: Yeah, read them and, like, not even remember what we said. Yeah, I just read through them. Okay, I’ll do mine first since it’s first on the list. So my first goal of the year was to, I remember I was very vague about this, work on a big art project and share it by the end of the year. And so the update is I did work very hard on this project this year, but I did not share it by the end of the year, obviously, but I will be sharing it soon this year. So it is like in this quarter, I am going to start sharing my art and I’m going to make a website and things like that. So that’ll be an exciting time. That’s what I meant at the time, but yeah, it didn’t happen quite as on schedule, which nothing ever does, but I’m happy that it’s still happening. And yeah, last year was a challenging year. So I’m still good with how it all went down. Read 52 books. So I usually do that every year. Now that I’m on the audiobook lifestyle.
Emma: You read too, but, like read, read I mean, ’cause audiobooks are reading.
Elsie: I read paper books, but definitely more audiobooks. It just really works with my mom’s lifestyle. I do them when I’m grocery shopping. I do them when I’m on walks, or pick up. It’s great. So yeah, I read more than 52 books last year. So check, achieved. Good with that one. Jump around to different genres of books. I think I did that a little bit better last year than I did the year before, but I’m still a relatively new reader. This will only be my third year of reading fiction, so I still feel like there are a lot of like really famous authors that I haven’t even touched yet. And there are definitely still some genres that I’m interested in that I haven’t read.
Emma: Yeah, I do think you’re a fairly eclectic reader though.
Elsie: Thank you.
Emma: Even like your interest.
Elsie: I definitely don’t have one genre that I’m committed to at all. So, yeah, like if I committed to only one then I think there wouldn’t be enough books for me. I care more about like the feeling that I’m getting from the books than like the story and the you know, like I don’t need like a consistent like I could not stay all in fantasy all the time like some people do which it looks like so fun for them but I think I would like jump around. Yeah travel to one new place so we did actually do that last year I’m surprised because we just did not travel for so long. We were, you know, we got stuck in our COVID lifestyle and, I know a lot of people with kids experienced this, but we were like, we need to freaking travel. One of our children didn’t have a passport yet, you know, just like all these things that we need to try for the first time. We were planning to have like a 10-year anniversary overseas during COVID times. And now it’s probably going to be like a 13-year anniversary overseas or something like that.
Emma: Cool, better late than never.
Elsie: Right. So the new place we went to last year was Seaside in Florida is just like so cute. It definitely got onto my list of favorite American cities, like Charleston New Orleans, and Palm Springs. It has that sort of spirit about it where you’re just like, these houses all match and they’re all cute and I can’t believe this is real. It looks like a movie actually a movie set for the Truman Show. They just used the town as their backdrop and it’s darling, so happy we did that. And Emma and I are going to go soon, so that’ll be fun. And then, yeah, my last goal was prioritizing creative time every day. I think that that’s a very vague and ambitious goal, so I can’t say I did it every day.
Emma: Vague and ambitious, yes.
Elsie: That’s maybe, like, not the way to make a goal, right? So, I don’t know, maybe a fail on that one. Okay, tell us yours.
Emma: But you did do a lot of creative work last year because you worked a lot on your painting and made a lot of meaningful progress.
Elsie: I did have a lot of creative time, but I think maybe I realize now that maybe I’m not an everyday type of person for anything. For like I like to get into something for a week or two and then get into something else for a week or two and maybe it’s okay to have more of a batch-working hobby system.
Emma: Yeah. I think that’s fine. Yeah. Okay, so mine from last year was to work more on my mental health. I had a really tough year in 2022, a very bad, pretty dark year mental health-wise. So I was like, okay, that’s gotta be a big thing for 2023. And I’m happy to say that I did work a lot on my mental health in a lot of different ways. One of the other goals on my list that feed into this was I said to be more consistent with going to therapy, which I did. And there are other things, too, that I’ve been doing for my mental health. Simple things like going on walks and things like that, but, you know, other things, too, like meditation, and I tried hypnosis, and just I don’t know, stuff, other things. There are lots of ways to approach that, and I definitely made that a big priority last year, and it made a big difference. My life feels a lot lighter, my mind feels a lot lighter, and I feel a lot happier. And I have a lot less days where I’m just like despair, you know, so I feel like that was a, you did it. Not that I’m done with that goal, but just, you know, I did work on that in 2023. And I think that was awesome. Okay, I also did getting back into fitness, which I did most of the year. I went to Body Pump a lot and also went on tons of walks. I will say I kind of dropped off a little towards the end of the year, but it’s because as you now know, I’m pregnant. And my first trimester, I was extremely sick, very, very, very nauseous for basically two solid months. It makes it hard to work out.
Elsie: Yeah, she couldn’t stand any smells. She had like so many aversions.
Emma: It was rough. I still go on walks as far as fitness goes. Yeah. It was a rough time, but you know, didn’t last forever. I’m already feeling better. So that’s all good. And then my last goal that I had from last year was to submit my novel to agents. Which I did, I submitted it to lots of agents. And many of them I didn’t hear back from, and the ones that I did all rejected it. So I decided to self-publish, and I did that last year. And I’m really happy with that decision. It’s worked out great.
Elsie: Yeah, I’m really proud of you because something I really admire about Emma is the ability to always finish. She’s like so consistent, so focused. And if there’s a roadblock that, for me, would make me, like, quit, for her, it almost never does. So, it’s a very good quality to have.
Emma: Thank you.
Elsie: You made it work.
Emma: I think too, I can get very tunnel vision about, like, I don’t know how to word this. I just don’t worry too much about what other people think. So I just am like, well, I’m going to figure this out for myself, no matter what. I don’t have any qualms about looking like I didn’t do it the proper way or, oh, it wasn’t perfect. I can’t believe you still did it. Or you’re not qualified to do things. All of those things that are, like, voices from other people, I just don’t care about any of that. So, I have enough problems in my own head criticizing myself that I really don’t have space for other people. So, I just don’t even worry about that. I just do my thing. And I think that makes it easier to finish and move forward sometimes. So you don’t have those constant, you know, voices in your head kind of thing. Okay, so should we talk about our goals for 2024?
Elsie: Yes, so we’re just going to go back and forth and share some of our 2024 goals. So, my first one is, that I want to be entering my art era. So, I shared a little bit about that before, but I want to become an artist. I have been working on it. It’s something that is a dream of mine that I’ve had, honestly, since childhood. I feel like I finally have just the tiniest little bit of space in my life to focus on it and I’m going to take that opportunity and I definitely see it. There was a time last year when Emma said on the podcast that she was building something for her 50-year-old self by writing fiction and I loved that. I think about it all the time. And that’s how I feel about doing the art now. I just want to start something that is continuous, that I’m building for the future, and I’m not worried about, like, the speed I’m going at. Honestly, my standards are very low in general for, like, how many paintings do you want to do? Like, I don’t have any goals like that. I just want to keep doing it, keep enjoying it, keep experimenting, and like, kind of just like nurture a fun year. So I think I can do that. And It feels really exciting.
Emma: I love it when you’re in your painting eras too.
Elsie: Oh, thank you.
Emma: I love seeing like your era, like all the paint just piled up and like just all the things you’re making. It’s cool man. So I’m glad you’re back into it. It’s awesome. And now her era includes kid art where you can tell like the kids were hanging out with her while she was painting and they’re making their thing and you know, it’s just a fun era.
Elsie: There’s a lot of coexisting, my studio is definitely a shared space and I love it.
Emma: Yeah, I love it. Okay, my first goal big goal for the year is to finish and put out the audiobook version of Handmade Murder. So I really wanted to do this before the end of the year last year but now, as you know, I’m pregnant and I was very sick, and that’s basically why I didn’t get it done. I just was very sick, and all I could really do was get my regular work done, that like actually pays my paycheck, which is not writing right now, and be a good parent, the best parent I could be while being sick. That’s all I could do. So that’s all I did, and I did not get the audiobook done. I’m planning to read it myself. Both because I think a lot of you will probably listen to it and you’re used to my voice, but also for budget reasons, I’m self-publishing as you know, so the idea of sitting and reading for hours while I was that sick, I just couldn’t do it. There would have been so many like my editor would have to like, take out so many like, blah, oh, so I was like, nope, can’t do it, but I am still going to get it done and it’s still a big priority to me because I think audiobooks make your work so much more accessible. You know, I have people in my life with low vision. I also personally love audiobooks and I know how much you listen to audiobooks. It just makes it like just way more accessible for so many different reasons.
Elsie: I think that so many people have a job where they, like something you do with your hands where you can listen. It actually increases my focus, I think.
Emma: Yeah, me too, like, when I’m editing photos, I listen to something, always.
Elsie: Yeah, so that you don’t just, like, start clicking on random things. Yeah, I think that it’s something that I mean, I think that the success of podcasts and the success of audiobooks are kind of the same thing. It’s like this place in your life where you can just have someone in your ear and it becomes like a big part of your life. I love it.
Emma: Yeah. And there’s a little piece of me that’s like excited to do it. You know, I had an era of my life where I took a lot of acting classes and I was kind of in this era where I was doing a little bit of performing. I’m not a performer in that way, but I think reading my own book sounds truly fun to me, and so I’m looking forward to it. And so, I think that was a little piece of it, too, was I was like, I don’t want to just muscle through this just to get it done. I would like to enjoy it, because I may not always read my books, but I might have someone more qualified for me to do it in the future. But this one, I think I will. I think it makes sense. So I’m excited. That’s on my list. It’s a goal. It’s kind of a holdover from last year, but I did have a good reason and I don’t feel bad about it, but it’s on the list now.
Elsie: I want to hear back when you’re done, like how challenging it is because it looks to me, it looks really challenging.
Emma: I do feel like reading something is very different because the only time you hear us read on this podcast is the intro. And when we do ads.
Elsie: And the ghost stories episodes.
Emma: And the ghost stories. So, it’s pretty different than just chatting. Like even just the way you hold your body. Like to need to be able to read and have a microphone, you know what I mean? It’s a little bit of a skill.
Elsie: Yeah, it’s a very practiced skill to make it always feel natural. And also like the voices, like a lot of narrators, you know, use different voices and even like accents and all kinds of things. So I’m very excited to hear how it goes for you.
Emma: Yeah, I’m excited to do it, and I think this is a good book for me because a lot of characters are based in Missouri and a lot of influencers and a lot of women, so I feel like I don’t have to have that huge range of, like, different acting you know what I mean? So, I think it’ll be fun. Anyway, I’ve talked about this too long, but the audiobook’s coming, it’s on my list, and I’m working on it. First goal of the year.
Elsie: Good. Yay. I’m excited. So, my next goal, this is a little vague, but I’m leaving it on because I think it’s something I really want, is I really want to work on, like, my lifestyle. So, last year, I definitely felt that I was in survival mode for much of the year, we were in the biggest renovation we’ve probably lived through. Nah, maybe like with kids. Another big one. It’s hard to say. It’s hard to quantify them. We were renovating. We were moving. It was my first summer having kids home for the whole summer with no child care, which was a very big change. No one was like, Hey, you need to be prepared. And just some other things. Yeah. Some personal things. And it was a challenging year and I’ve had lots of moments where I was like breaking down and crying and being like, I think I could, like, there’s no reason why I can’t make my lifestyle a lot like more joyful and happy and just like little things to look forward through throughout the week So it’s honestly like little things, but I just want to have like a good lifestyle like a good healthy lifestyle full of you know family time and Hobbies and things for me and alone time, you know and like not as much hitting those walls of, like, burnout and exhaustion and, you know. I think it’s hard for any parent and honestly, probably any working person and there are lots of reasons why it happened, but I definitely felt like I could focus more on myself, the whole put your own life mask on theory, and that that might be like good for everyone.
Emma: Yeah, I can always tell that I’m entering burnout because I yell at my dog a lot more. The first person to get abused by a poor dog and I’m like, oh, I think I might need to take a nap or go have a snack, something’s wrong. Okay. Yeah. I love it. My second goal on the list is basically to try to finish my blog post list for the year. So we might talk about this in another episode if people are interested. Let us know. I think people are interested.
Elsie: This is one of the subjects I really want to talk more about.
Emma: But to sum it up for now, until we do a more in-depth what is our business up to episode, to sum it up, Elsie and I and Laura, we have a whole list of what blog posts we’re going to do for all of 2024. We made the list towards the end of last year. It’s a huge list, as you can imagine because we publish every day.
Elsie: We’ve never planned a whole year ahead of time before, we usually plan month by month. So this is extremely ambitious like the list was huge. It was really different for us.
Emma: Yeah. To know what I’m going to work on this May today is kind of funny, and I think some people wouldn’t like it. And in some ways, it’s weird like in some ways it’s not as spontaneous. You know, but there are also some things about it that I really love. Like if you made a pros and cons list, I think the pros list is way longer for me. And it’s a really long list. I also plan to do a bit of work ahead. I’d like to have posts go up while I’m on maternity leave. And of course, it’s not a requirement, but it’s just something that I enjoy. It makes me feel like I’m still kind of present while I take time off to care for my newborns. So anyway, I’m planning to do a little bit of that. And, yeah, so that’s basically a big goal of mine. That’s what I’ll be doing during all my work hours, but I’m excited about it. And it’s a big list, so it is definitely like a, you can’t be wasting your time, you can’t be having too many, you know, ladies who lunch moments. You really gotta stay on this list here a little bit, so. But it’s fun. I like having a bit of a grind. It’s fun.
Elsie: Yeah. I won’t take over your goal, but I agree. It’s like so inspiring. Okay, so my next one is to be a memory mom. So I think when I have times of feeling like I’m in survival mode as a parent, you know, I think there’s way too much, way, way, way, way, way too much guilt on parents. There’s way too much parenting advice on the internet, more than we can ever possibly like apply or use or, you know, it just becomes sometimes like something that can be kind of suffocating. So, yeah, the thing that I focus on when I just want to kind of get back to the big picture is core memories for the kids. And the truth is that core memories don’t happen every day. They don’t even happen every week. They’re more like once a season, like it’s like, what’s the big thing, the big exciting thing that I’m going to do for them this season. And maybe there are parts of life where you can do a whole bunch at once this spring. What is the one thing we can do with the kids that we’ve never done before that we know they’ll love? That, you know, it’s going to be like, you know a little bit of extra work for us, but have a big payoff for their memories. So, yeah, that’s my goal for the year. I think that when I first became a mom, I felt like I had to make every day, like, special and perfect and crafty and, like, always be making cookies. It was fun in the times when I was able to achieve that. But in the times when I wasn’t able to achieve that, it was just kind of like deflating. So yeah, now in this current era of my parenting journey, I can see that it is a marathon and that it really doesn’t need to be that many memories. Just like focusing on the big ones.
Emma: No, I love it. And yeah, my last goal for the year, so I just have three, Is very much about momming as well, because the goal is pretty much to grow a baby, give birth, and hang out with them for at least a few months while they adjust into being in the world, you know? And I think that it’s on my list. In some ways, it’s like, well, of course I’ll do that. So, why would you even put this on a goal list? But I also feel like if you don’t make space for something that’s important to you, even if it’s like, yeah, of course, you’ll do it, but If you don’t make the space for it and kind of also like put it on the list to give yourself a like this is something important and when you accomplish it, you should feel good. You shouldn’t just feel like, Oh, I just did the bare minimum. It’s like, no, you did something that’s hard and you’re focused on it. Yeah, no, I don’t want to overfill my plate. And I just want to know that like, this is important. And this is a big part of my year this year and I actually, you know, have a lot of times I think every parent does this, but I have a lot of times where I am like, oh, you’re not that great of a mom. You’re not present all the time. You’re not, you know, whatever your kids in daycare, you’re not there all the time. But then I always try to take these steps back and be like, no, no. Actually, I’m doing the very best that I can. I really am, and I’m very proud of the mom that I am. I think adjusting from being a mom of one to a mom of two is something I have never done before, and I’m going to make the space to let myself do it and let myself have hard moments in it and be bad at it at first and maybe be bad at it for a while. And that is okay because I’m just gonna do my very best, and that’s all you can ever do.
Elsie: Yeah. I think that that’s really, really wise. When I went from one child to two, I don’t think I really did that. I think I assumed that it would be just the same, but better. And it was a very hard transition, and that’s actually the year I started therapy. So, I think that knowing ahead of time that like, the transition isn’t probably gonna be easy is good, you know, and then if it is easy, good for you. For some people it is, but for some people it’s not. Yeah. I think that’s really smart.
Emma: I don’t know which it’ll be for me, but I’m going to make the space for it.
Elsie: Good. Yeah, keep that plate nice and empty because you actually, have so much you’re doing already.
Emma: Yeah. It’s going to be a great year. Yeah. It may not be like a quote-unquote high-achievement year, but also it is a high-achievement year and I’m excited for it.
Elsie: Yeah. I think it will be. Okay. My last goal is to stay true to my word to myself that I’m not renovating my house this year.
Emma: You can do it, Elsie. You can do it.
Elsie: Yeah, I don’t even think we’re gonna build a swimming pool this year. I haven’t decided on that one for sure. If we do it, that’ll be the only thing. And I’m allowed to put wallpaper in the laundry room. That’s kind of just a very small thing.
Emma: Yeah, that’s a small thing.
Elsie: But yeah, other than that, we are finally done renovating. We are at a happy resting place, and we had some, like, really serious marriage conversations last year that, where my husband was expressing that, like, he felt like we had been renovating for 10 straight years, and every year I was saying it was almost done, and that was true. Yeah. And I think I didn’t realize I was getting burned out until after I was completely burned out and we were still in the middle of it and we like kind of some of we kind of had to do so right now we’re on like a forced hiatus and we chose it but we also I have to sort of like force myself because it’s against all of my habits like everything inside of me just wants to start renovating projects. Like, way more than I can handle all the time, but I just want to see what it feels like to not live that way. And I definitely feel that I owe it to my family for them to see what it feels like to not live that way. So yeah, this year, no renovating and that is something that I think could be really positive.
Emma: I like it.
Elsie: Oh, so we have a listener question.
Emma: This is from Sharon. She says, what to do when you feel you achieved your goals. Do you celebrate or just move on to the next one?
Elsie: What a great question to have. Okay, I think you should celebrate every achieved goal. I even think you should celebrate just working towards a goal. Like, I think you should reward yourself all along the way, especially if that’s something that helps you. It’s like, one of my main hacks for achievement is celebrating. And I think it’s like, annoying sometimes, like, how many little gifts I have to give myself, or how many times I have to tell Emma every little achievement in our work, you know? And she’s like, I know!
Emma: I just sent my weird gifts. That’s all I ever do.
Elsie: I think celebrating is an extremely important part of being a good goal-setting person at least it is for me. I think if you don’t celebrate your achievements and you only just move on to bigger and better, then that’s really sad for one. But I think also, like, don’t you think that’s more likely that you would burn out? And sort of like setting yourself up for you know, I don’t know. Just like enjoy the freaking achievement.
Emma: Yeah. I mean, I think everybody’s different. I will say sometimes the achievement feels like a celebration. It really depends on what you’ve done. You know what I mean? Like what the achievement is. And I’ll also point out that celebrating an achievement is vague. It could mean a lot of things. True. Like there are times I do something small and I literally just go on a walk, and I go on walks often that’s part of my fitness life and part of my mental health. And I do what I call my gratitude practice, which all I’m doing is talking out loud to myself about things I’m grateful for. Sometimes part of my gratitude practice includes essentially telling myself how great I’m doing at something, telling myself like, so if I just achieve something, then I’m like walking around my neighborhood, talking out loud to myself. When I see someone, I stop. I don’t want to look crazy, but talking to myself about how, Hey, you did that thing. You worked on that for two months, and it looks great, and you did it, you know, or whatever it is, or like, you were kind of scared to start that, and you did it, Emma, you started, and you finished it, and, you know, whatever. So sometimes celebrating can be really small, like that, and then sometimes when you celebrate, it should be big. You should, like, have dinner with a bunch of friends, and it’s because you did something that you’re proud of. And like, that’s cool. That’s a cool move. You don’t need to feel, like, weird about that. It’s fun, and people who love you will love to celebrate you. It depends on what the achievement is, is what I would say. But I do think, like, you can always find at least a small way to celebrate a small achievement, but for those big achievements, I do think you should, like, make a plan and, like, do something.
Elsie: I agree. I think finding ways to celebrate that have a huge variety of, like, price points. And time commitment, like things that you can just like do, you know what I mean? Like simple things and like saving those big epic things. I think big epic things are exciting too. I’ve learned that over time it’s hard to recognize yourself. It’s easier if you’re like, you’re in a job where they give out a lot of awards or they have like a chart on the wall or something, but when you yourself. are the owner of a business and you make a huge achievement, a lot of times we’ll just like roll past them. Finding ways to mark those achievements with something, you know, for your own memory, I think is really healthy.
Emma: Yeah. Also, this is related, but really small. This is a thing I do. Sometimes friends or my husband or, you know, whatever, my parents will be like trying basically to celebrate me. They’ll be like, you did a really good job with this. Like, Elsie’s the best cheerleader in the world. Whenever you have moments like that, try really hard to just be quiet and listen and say thank you instead of just brushing it off because that’s like always my inclination when someone gives me a compliment to just deflect it. I get it, it doesn’t make you more humble to deflect, by the way. Just let people tell you that you did a good job and just take a second and absorb it. And say thank you.
Elsie: Deflecting every compliment is just a bad habit. It’s not a sign of humility. It’s honestly kind of bad manners too. It’s normal, everyone does it, but when you untrain yourself and you become able to accept a compliment, I think that that’s such a good sign of growth.
Emma: Yeah, I agree.
Elsie: Cool. Ooh, so next we’re going to talk about our Q1 book selections. So, we decided to do three books this quarter, and they will be for January, February, and March. And as a reminder, our book club is Willy Nilly. What do you think is the actual definition of Willy Nilly?
Emma: Loose. Undefined. I don’t know.
Elsie: So, we are going to read three books that we’ve never read before, and this time we’re doing two fiction and one non-fiction. We chose a kind of suspenseful book, and then we chose a romantic book, and then we chose a self-help book that seems kind of, like, the title seems very promising to me.
Emma: Yeah, to be honest, I haven’t had anyone recommend the nonfiction. We just kind of, like, saw it in a list, and as we were, like, reading the description, we were like, this sounds good. So we kind of have no idea, but we’re gonna give it a go and see how it goes.
Elsie: Even if the book is disappointing, the concept is really important.
Emma: The concept’s great.
Elsie: So I feel like I’m interested. Okay, so the books we’re doing are The Only One Left by Riley Sager. That is our suspensible book.
Emma: And then we’re doing The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston, which is like more of our cozy, I don’t know if it’s gonna be super romantic, but the premise makes me think, like, I don’t know if it’s a romance just for my romance readers out there. I don’t know if it’s quite in that category. I think it’s gonna toe the line, but I think it’s gonna be more of a cozy read like anyone would love it type thing. Look it up.
Elsie: And then the non-fiction book we are choosing this time is The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kashimi. And we haven’t read this book, we’ve never heard it recommended. I think it was first popular, is it in Japan? But I love the title, The Courage to be Disliked. I think that for women, for people in the internet era, there are just so many different reasons why this might be important to you. I know many of us are self-identified people pleasers. I would love to unlock an unhinged era for myself where I just, like, truly have fun. I would love that.
Emma: Yeah. And I also, again, we haven’t read this yet, so we’ll see. But from the, like, subtitle and, like, the description that was, like, inaudible, I’m sure it’s on the back of the book. It doesn’t seem like it’s like, how to not give a fuck and be an asshole. It seems like it’s more like, hey man, this is gonna help you with happiness. This is gonna help you to center on yourself and like what you really want and who you are and be confident in that. I think it sounds great. I’m looking forward to it.
Elsie: Yeah, I’m excited for sure. These three books, put them on your read list if you want to read along with us and we will be doing the book reports sometime before March.
Emma: And now it’s time for a joke, or a fact, or a meditation with Nova.
Elsie: Hey Nova, what do you have for us this week?
Nova: A fact.
Elsie: A fact? Okay.
Nova: Did you know the song Jingle Bells was actually meant to be a Thanksgiving song, but by the time it turned out to be a Christmas song?
Elsie: What? I don’t think anyone knew that. I think you taught us all a new fact today.
Nova: Have a good week. Bye.
Elsie: Thank you so much for listening. You can submit your questions at podcastatabeautifulmess.com anytime or call us on our voicemail at 417-893-0011. You know what we would also like to hear is suggestions for the comfort rewatches for the spring and summer, nope, just the spring, that are not holiday movies. Anything that’s not a holiday movie, that’s a comfort rewatch for you, we want to hear. And we have been collecting a lot of suggestions. It’s so fun. So we’ll be back next week with a deep dive into our favorite winter things.