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Lauren Alonso the profitable purpose coach and owner of grits, grace, and granola, Digital Marketer, Personal Brand Coach, Podcaster, Home + Lifestyle Blogger, Photographer, Interior Designer, Homemaker, and Dreamer, Woman Entrepreneur, multi-passionate women, creative entrepreneur, mompreneur, storyteller, business owner, business coach, how to make money online

and finding joy in every season is my super power!

I''m Lauren

I hope you find our blog a gathering space to grow you and your family. Kick off your shoes, grab a cozy drink, and stay awhile. Our hope is that you are inspired to find joy in every season.

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Disclosure: As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. So grateful that for your support of our family by purchasing through our links!

DIY Start Today: Dream Challenge

As you know, I've been through the toughest days of my life in the past week, losing Joel. I was given this sweet gift, the Start Today Journal by Rachel Hollis, as a gift for Christmas from Joel and my sister (with the inspiration behind it from Kenzie). The fact that these 3 (my 3 best friends in the world) gave me the best gift ever, is something I hold dear. At the time I received this gift, I thought this little journal was AH-MAZING! But now, knowing that I started it just before my life circumstances would completely fall apart, I know it was part of a bigger plan. God knew I would need to write out my dreams, for when I was facing this storm that I would cling to those big visions and keep reaching for consistency that would make them happen. I encourage you to write your dreams, say them out loud and believe them, make them happen. Here's the step-by-step process that Rachel has used to make her dreams happen, along with our added personal dreams and thoughts and we turned this into a dream board challenge, where we took our 10 dreams and made them into a dream/vision board LIVE!

You can catch the entire Start Today Instructional here on her podcast for FREE! Rachel will walk you through the entire book, so you just need to grab a journal, any journal and get to dreaming!

In case you aren’t familiar with the Start Today Journal:

"The Start Today Journal is the physical manifestation of a process Rachel has done each morning for the last several years. It is a daily tool to help you keep your dreams and goals top of mind and in focus. You'll begin with a step-by-step guide to figure out exactly where you want to go: think of it as a vision board in journal form! Then, each morning the journal asks you to be intentional about three core things: gratitude, dreams for the future and one major goal. By starting every day by setting your intentions you'll be shocked at how much quicker you make traction on personal and professional goals.”⠀⠀⠀

We are walking with you through the entire challenge for FREE! And then, we will take it one step further by sharing our dream boards with you as you create yours.

Step #1- Fill in the Blank Questions (and you can answer here or to yourself): 1. The best version of me is __________. 2. I am the best version of myself when I'm __________.

Lauren: Ahhh... I'm about to let y'all read my mail. Are you ready?

1. The best version of me is persistent, motivated, and encouraging. 2. I am the best version of myself when I'm rested. I am the best version of myself when I have a plan of action and make it happen- when I practice what I preach with my family and my business.

Kenzie: Sharing my heart is hard, guys! I just don't tend to be a vulnerable person, however it's time.

1. The best version of me is thoughtful, attentive, and organized.​

2. I am the best version of myself when I'm grounded. I am the best version of myself when I have a plan and can keep things according to schedule- when I map out my ideas and FOLLOW THROUGH. I am best when I don't let minuscule things distract me from my goals- when I persist despite distractions.

Step #2

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Start imagining your life and what it looks like. Rachel asks these questions to get you started... "What is the very best version of yourself doing? What does she look like? How does he go about his day? How does she speak to people she loves? How is she loved in return? Are you a great cook? Do you love to read? Do you love to run? Where do you go on vacation?"

The more specific, the better. Try and write out at least 10 things you envision for your life.

Lauren- In 10 years I see myself... - Owning a world-renowned bed and breakfast on a farm, known for loving and authentic hospitality. - Our online blog and market has 100 vendors, 50 guest writers and 15 consistent collaborators. - I have helped hundreds of small business Mamas grow their entrepreneurial dream, providing education, resources and workshops to empower their vision to be home with their family and become independent financially, not dependent on a job outside their home. I have helped them execute their unique plan. - I donate $3000 each month to a cause close to our heart. - I am debt free and support my family with no financial worry. - I am a mom to 4-5 kids. My kids love to be home and love spending time with me, even when they are grown. - I have taught Freddie how to be loved and how to love and be a great dad. - I am a rested wife. Joel and I are best friends. We do not depend on the government assistance (the best friends and the no longer dependent on government assistance, are already accomplished since I wrote this a few weeks ago). - I am an encouragement for women all over the world. They are drawn to the light inside of me through my words about parenting, motherhood, rest, being a wife, a friend, and grounded in faith. - I lead retreats at our bed and breakfast for marriage, family, and women entrepreneurs. People come from all over the world to be there and is always sold out in the first few days.

Step #3

Ok it's time to write your dreams down into realities! I know it's scary, but seriously, write down your 10 dreams.

No restrictions. Here’s how- You are going to do something crazy, you're going to write these as if you've already made them happen, as if you are living that life. As if they are WHO you are in present tense. Why? Because if you say them as if they are part of your life, you will make them a priority- you will make them happen. You will make daily decisions that make them true. You won’t say “I’m debt free with $10,000 in the bank.” And then go open a credit card this afternoon because that doesn’t make that statement, that dream a reality. Imagine that the dreams you are writing are the life you are currently living. Be specific. These are the dreams that make your vision a reality.

A few of Lauren's- 1. I am an exceptional wife. 2. I am an understanding and caring mom (so I won’t lose my cool when he doesn’t understand the same math problem we’ve done for the 5th time today). 3. I bought a farm bed and breakfast (my lifelong dream). 4. I host an inspiring and authentic podcast (ah this one scares me- I'm not even lying). 5. My life is organized because my planning systems ROCK! (This one motivates me to make sure I’m not only creating these systems but I’m practicing them everyday.)

A few of Kenzie's: This took me a while, but today I read a quote, "what if I just put myself out there..." And I am really trying to embrace that.

Here are a few of mine: 1. I am a present mom, who enjoys time with her kiddos 2. I am a supportive wife, who dates her husband REGULARLY 3. I am a Certified Nutrition Specialist with a focus in Pre/Post Natal Care 4. My car is paid off 5. I don't have MRI's every 3 months because my MS is managed.

Step #4 Now, find images that represent those dreams. The things you've lost somewhere on pinterest. Don't even get me started on my love/hate relationship with it. Seriously, find images that represent those 10 dreams of yours.

Step #5

Watch the LIVE and see us walk you through the words and images that represent our dreams that turn them into reality.

Post-Live Challenge

We are so excited to be able to now help you implement systems that will help you achieve these dreams and make them a reality. Don't miss the continued challenge. Follow us on instagram and get inspiration and resources for your journey.

Post Challenge Step 1-

The Real Work Begins NOWWhat are you waiting on? This is where we find out who the dreams are and who the doers are... where we separate the light-weights from the get-your-hands-dirty-workers. Now... you must choose your focus. You need to choose ONE of those 10 dreams we discovered deep within you and focus on that ONE! (I know- it's soooo HARD- but what is something you can reach, make goals for, and attain without getting discouraged?) As you make this dream a reality, you will find those other dreams work alongside it. They grow together. They are apart of who you are, after all. Don't wait. Once you have that one dream in focus ask yourself, "What can I do today to be one step closer to that dream?" This weekend journey with me as I show you how I have made my one focus part of my daily life. My one focus for now is: My organizational systems for life and business ROCK! I might write this differently day to day, but the concept is the same. What is one system I can implement in my daily life that will make my life more simple? How can I be more intentional? For me, that's meal planning, weekly and daily scheduling, planning ahead for homeschool, and grocery shopping from printed recipes- YES I print them (don't judge)! Stay tuned Sunday, when I walk you through my day and week to show you how I am working on this- and yes that is present tense. I'm a WORK IN PROGRESS. So journey with me!

Post Challenge Step 2- Gratitude

So far we have: 1. Written out what the best version of ourselves looks and feels like. 2. Written down where we see ourselves in 10 years. 3. Made that vision into 10 specific and achievable dreams. 4. Created a dream board with images that have remind us of these dreams. 5. Chosen ONE of our dreams to prioritize and make happen NOW! 6. The last step is actually the first one you will start with everyday. Here goes: We must choose to reflect on the things we are thankful for in our lives. These are little things. They are BIG things. They are dance-party worthy! They are celebrations and victories of our daily lives. Every morning we choose to be grateful 1st, we start our day off on the right foot, in the right direction. Whether you use a pretty little gratitude journal or a blank sketch pad, put this into your routine!

Join our JPF Family (our exclusive facebook community) and don't forget to subscribe to get all our blog updates (subscribe button at the top of the blog).

Tag us in your dream boards at #starttodaydreamchallenge #jacksonpinefarm and @jacksonpinefarm on facebook and instagram. We can't wait to share this journey with you.

Write it down and say it out loud,

Lauren and Kenzie

*As an Amazon Affiliate, if you purchase this pretty gratitude journal, we may receive compensation.


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