Rachel Awtrey


Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Posts tagged New Years
2019 Goals!

Either you’ve moved passed your goals or you’re still in it to win it. Regardless of wherever you are, I want to remind you we don’t need firsts of the years for fresh starts. We need grace. Grace for ourselves and for others.
In efforts to get ya back to it and on the road for a healthy (spiritually, mentally, physically) “you,” I’m sharing my 2019 goals with @maryscottmercer on @behindtheblisspodcast!
We’re sharing all of the “goal” things + a little encouragement for you to get closer to yours! 🖤🎧☕️

15 Practical Ways to Not Break Your NY Resolution Already

If you're like me, you can come up with an excuse for anything so quickly. Especially when something is challenging. This can be the worst mid-January - when you trying to stay committed to your resolution but routine and life has already begun to get in the way. That's why I invited my friend, Sam Baker of Wellness Watered to give her two cents and share a few ways she's been able to keep her resolutions. A few weeks ago, Sam interviewed me about goal setting + dreaming (read the interview here) and that's where I first learned that she is the best at helping people live their best life through food, fitness and fun stuff in between. I just needed to share a little bit of her with you!

Ahh, January. The start of “the year you’ll actually get fit” or reach that goal that’s slipped through your fingers in years past.  The month where the crowds at the gym look a little more like a flea-market than a place to workout. When the hashtags #fitspo and #cleaneats break the internet.

Motivation is running high and you’re determined:” THIS. IS. MY. YEAR.”

And I bet I could even guess a few of your resolutions for 2018.

  1. Lose X amount lbs/get in better shape

  2. Start that job/career/dream you’ve always wanted to pursue

  3. Save X amount of money

  4. Be more present

  5. Improve relationships

  6. Learn something new

  7. Travel/adventure more

  8. Stop a bad habit (cussing, smoking, drinking, biting nails or… QUITTING?)

Well, you’re not alone… It’s nearly impossible to avoid TV, social media, the radio or even conversations with friends without hearing about some sort of New Year's resolution being chased.

Honestly, I’ve regretted not taking stock in Planners and highlighters.

But guess what? Only about 8% of those people actually FINISH what they set out to do. (source: huffingtonpost)

By the time Spring rolls around 92% of the “goal diggers” are back to their old ways pretending they’re not disappointed with giving up so soon and wondering where they went wrong.

But what if I told you that it wasn’t anything THEY did wrong - and that it was just a flaw in their system?

And that I have several tried & true practical ways to actually reach those goals this year?

Not to brag, but I’ve had the best life coaches to teach me their ways: Mr. Failure & Mrs. Defeat.

I was THE QUEEN of making 20 “resolutions” every year and then getting too overwhelmed come February, leaving me feeling guilty and defeated for the 11 months leading up to next January.

Through my glorious screw-ups, I crafted the perfect recipe of secret sauce to make your goals happen this year.

Do you want in on the recipe?

Comin’ right up!

Sam’s Secret Sauce To
Just “Get ‘Er Done"

1. Make A Plan

Write out actual ways to reach your goal

If it’s to start your dream job - research companies to reach out to

If it’s to run a 5k - make a training plan

2. Stop waiting for motivation

Don’t let feelings & emotion dictate what you do

Let your actions stem from dedication to this new goal

If you wait until you “feel like it” - odds are, it’ll never happen.

Form new habits that will eventually develop into a lifestyle

3. The Buddy System

Have someone to hold you accountable to your resolution

Have a partner that is striving for the same goal

4. Get Real

Make sure your goal is realistic

Do you have/can you obtain the time, money, resources to make it happen?

Do you have too many goals?

Don’t make goals out of your control

Finding a husband, becoming a CEO, etc.

Make goals that you know you have the means to conquer.

5. Slow and steady

Make small changes that you can conquer 1 at a time in order to reach the ultimate goal.

Take it one day at a time - don’t have a set finish line that you have to reach said goal by.

6. Stay in your own lane

Stop looking to others as the example for what your journey/outcome should look like

Don’t compare your progress to others

Simply try YOUR best for YOUR life (some people work from home or don’t have as far as a commute - figure out how you can give it your all depending on the demands in your life).

7. Have Grace

Don’t expect perfection - you’re human and YOU WILL screw up.

Talk to yourself - don’t listen to yourself

When you hear the voices in your head tell you that you’re not good enough, replace those lies with true affirmations of confidence and self love.

8. Pick Up Where You Left Off

Don’t “scrap today, this week, this month” from a few mistakes, it takes a long time to form a new habit.

So stay consistent.

Keep showing up for your goal even if it means you give it the best you can that day.

If your goal is to get in shape and all you have time for is a 10 minute walk - then do what you can TODAY.

9. Live a Posture of Success

Act as if you’ve already succeeded.

Live in the mindset that you’re already a champion of this goal.

Visualize yourself reaching this goal.

10. Realize your worth

Understand that you’re already worthy of love & happiness RIGHT NOW - even before you complete your resolutions.

Recognize that reaching this goal won’t increase your worth or change your value as a person.

11. Stop fearing success

Allow yourself to cross that threshold that you never allow yourself to cross.

Allow yourself to evolve into a new person & redefine who you are.

12. Don’t let results be your end all be all

It’s all about how you show up & how you get up when you’ve fallen

Sometimes circumstances are out of our control (sickness, loss of job, other people not cooperating) - so don’t measure your success by an expectation you had for how your goal would look.

13. Don’t have a timeline

It may take longer than THIS YEAR to reach that goal or it may only take half the year - so don’t put a deadline on your goal.. Just give it your best and let it happen organically.

14. Keep Your Standards high

Don’t lower your standards to make others more comfortable or to avoid sticking out

If your friends pressure/guilt you into breaking your resolution to “bond” with them - hold your ground and pretty soon they’ll recognize your new habit is here to stay.

15. Realize it’s okay to change your mind

But not to make excuses.

If you find that “I don’t want to lose weight anymore - I’m happy with my body”, it’s okay to shift your goal to “being healthy” rather than “weight loss”.

These are my fool-proof secrets to finishing not only your resolutions for this year, but to reach in goal you have in your life.

And I know half of you are Type-A and super ecstatic over a list of things to conquer - but the other half of you are more type B, C, or D and you’re probably like “Woah, Sam. 15?! There’s no way I can remember all of these!”

But don’t worry, sister, I’ve picked my TOP 3 to keep in your pocket for when you're on the brink of throwing in the towel.

The Holy Grail of Goal-Reaching

1. Don’t run off of motivation/emotion - but determination/truth

2. Have Grace on yourself/Don’t expect perfection  

3. Live a posture of success/triumph

We weren’t created to live in a constant cycle of defeat.

Go after the goals that will make you the BEST version of yourself.

Whenever I set a goal for myself I always have a little heart to heart first and I ask myself these 2 things:

  1. Do these goals make me feel stressed/anxious at the beginning of the day - and depressed/defeated come the end of the day? (Aka they’re unrealistic/unnecessary)
  2. Or do these goals make me feel motivated/excited at the beginning of the day - and content/fulfilled come the end of the day? (Aka they’re helping you become your best self).

Don’t set yourself up for failure - if you know you’re only setting a goal to appease somebody else or to try and be what others tell you you should be, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’ll never succeed - because even if you ever see “physical success”, you’ll always feel unfulfilled.

But girl, 2018 is your year.

Your year to have grace on yourself and ask yourself: “What is actually necessary and what do I actually want out of my life this year?”.

Lasting outward change stems from healthy intentions and a strong sense of self worth.

If deep down you don’t think you’re worth the happiness of reaching a goal, you’ll always stop yourself from passing that threshold.

So make a plan. Make the necessary sacrifices. And let this be the year you shed the shackles of failure.



Sam loves thinking, researching, writing, and creating (whether that’s words, recipes, workouts, or even a to-do list). She's a firm believer in “dessert always," loves Weiner dogs and loves to get people out of their comfort zone and into their dream.

An enthusiast for helping people live their best life, Sam shares recipes, secret to success, a candid look into her life and fun fitness goals that everyone can live by. 

Read more about Sam here!

8 habits to start practicing in 2017

I have some habits that I believe are going make me healthier: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiriticually. I'd love a team of people to gather around and go in on this with me. These are easy, practical ways to make your year a little less cluttered, a little more loved and a lot more beneficial. 

There's this thing called the 21/90 rule. It takes 21 days to form a habit -- but, 90 days to form a lifestyle. So, let's create a lifestyle, people.

1. make your bed every morning


You know that feeling when you get home and you want to relax from work, school, etc and your bed is still ruffled from resting the night before? At that point, I just want to come home to a clean house. 

Not only does making your bed create a disciplined lifestyle, I think it just helps your stress when you get home from a long day. When I make my bed, my room looks automatically cleaner. So, why not take the 5-10 minutes pulling up the sheets and loading on the pillows every morning before you head out? You'll thank yourself when you get home from errands. 

2. wash your makeup off before bed

The easiest way to protect your skin from aging and damage. Seriously, imagine leaving all that gunk on for hours to just sit and then think of your pillow case collecting all that gross-ness. I'm not judging, trust me. I'm guilty of this bad habit. Throughout college, either after a fun night out or a long day of classes, the last thing I wanted to do was walk to the bathroom and take off my makeup. But, I wish I had started this sooner.

Not only do you feel cleaner going to sleep at night, you feel rejuvenated and your pores open up and will thank you for days to come. Rinse off your face, wash it with facial cleanser and apply moisturizer (coconut oil will do!) and Vitamin E around your eye to protect your eyes from wrinkling when ya smile all the time. 

3. minimize your wardrobe

I'm the worst at this. I actually recently created a shop on Instagram to get rid of all of my clothes because I realized I never wore 80% of it. I couldn't stare at my closet every morning and see the same things again. So, I started this thing where after I wear a clothing item, I turn the hanger around so it comes the other way on the bar in my closet. Every month, I take a look at what is still facing the right direction and I question myself, "why didn't you wear it?" "will you wear it? Rachel...honestly?" Then I sell it, consign it, donate it. 

4. give something away every week

We were created to serve and to give and you know it's the best feeling. Christmas is our favorite for that reason, we have the opportunity to give something to someone else and enjoy their excitement. So, let's celebrate Christmas year round and give something away every week. It could be a bouquet to a stranger in public, it could be chocolate to your co-worker, it could be the jacket you're wearing when someone compliments you. It's healthy. 


5. 30 minutes of "you" time before you start your day

For me, it's worship. Either while I'm showering, making breakfast, cleaning or hanging out with Remi, I listen to my favorite worship playlist. For you, it might be stretching, reading, doing some pushups or crunches. What ever it is, you deserve "you time" set aside for you for at least 30 minutes before you start your day. It will center you, I swear. You, your co-workers, people around you, everyone will benefit from it. 

6. vitamins + essential oils


I'm not a huge guru when it comes to vitamins, health and essential oils but what I do know is our body needs more than the (honestly) crap we're feeding it everyday. It deserves some love and attention. Purchase some vitamin supplements. 

Essential oils. I currently use peppermint oil when I have headaches from sinus issues or when my allergies flare up and it clears me up in no time. I also am using lavender oil when I feel stressed, or my heart rate goes up or if I can't calm down before I go to sleep. I just put a dab on my temples, wrist, behind my neck, yada yada yada and it helps!

It's quicker working for me that any medicine I've found. 

7. find a podcast

Not only does our body deserve some attention, but our brain does too. We need something to keep us occupied, inspired and always running towards the goals we've set. Podcasts are freakin awesome and most of the time, free. My current favorites are: Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher and Build Your Tribe by Chalene Johnson.

I listen when I'm driving, walking, running and yes, sometimes I'm that crazy woman wearing earphones while grocery shopping. Judge me. 

8. sleep with your phone in a different room

I'm guilty of staring at my phone before I go to sleep to make me sleepy or when I wake up, first thing, checking my notifications. When in reality, my husband and family deserve my attention before and after I go to sleep.

"But my phone needs to charge!" Good thing you have several outlets in your home!

"But, I need an alarm clock to wake up!" Get an old school alarm clock (without the snooze.) Or, set your alarm on your phone and make yourself get up out of bed to turn it off. Boom. 

All in all, these are practical, simple steps to making your life a little more simplified, healthy and prepare you to rock and roll this new year. It won't be easy but we can do it together! Who's in?

Moving Home Sweet Home


If you follow me on social media, it's no question that this family likes to move around. We've been from California (seasonal location for Thomas's job), South Carolina (so I can graduate from the best university), and now Alabama. I guess you could call us pros at this point and since we've been moving so frequently, this pack up was super easy. There wasn't much to pack since most things were already in boxes from the last move. Sheesh. Thomas's parents made the move up with us, following us in their car + a trailer holding Thomas's beloved motorcycle. We got to Birmingham pretty late Wednesday night and we unloaded the truck 'til mid-day Thursday. With all the contents in the apartment we started moving things around, finding arrangements that we agreed on and now, I'd say we're all set. 

The packing process, like I said, was light -- but, I did find some pretty great diy/alternative ways to make sure all of my dishes and China made it here safe and sound. And it worked! (Tips at the bottom).

Y'all, we could literally fit all our entire home in South Carolina in the living room of our Bama house. PRAISE. Because things were starting to get a little small for my liking. Hallelujah for an upgrade!

We had some beautiful pieces "donated" to us (couch, table, chairs, bed frame). We are so blessed beyond belief because I can't imagine a furniture shopping trip right now...

We bought some chalk paint and repainted some of the furniture to fit the scheme of our "minimalist farmhouse" look. 

After Thomas's parents left, a few friends from high school joined us for the weekend. We would wake up in the morning, cook breakfast together while sipping on our coffee, do a little unpacking laughing and dancing to music. We'd take a break and cuddle and catch up and then cook dinner and head out to venture in our new town. It was dreamy. Thomas and Allan hung up decor on the walls, hung curtains, all the manly stuff. Marissa and I took paint brushes to these furniture pieces and gave them a renovation, place eucalyptus and small decor (candles, frames, knick knacks and such), girly stuff. 


We are so thankful to have had them to help us adjust emotionally to this "newness." Having a piece of home here in the area was an answer to plenty of prayers. The four of us brought in the New Year with us sitting in a local Waffle House watching the ball drop in NYC early (since we're in the Central Time Zone now). Ugh, adjusting, ya know?

We finally have all the lamps plugged in, placemats on the table, dishes put away, comforters on the bed, etc. We're nesting now and waiting for our "finishing touches" to appear and then you can expect a fun "Home Tour" on the blog soon. Stay tuned. 


Moving Tips

1. Use styrofoam plates in between each plate to move

2. Use clothing from dressers to wrap dishes instead of purchasing lots of bubble wrap

3. Saran Wrap drawers or cabinets from pieces to avoid having to un-pack and re-pack that furniture. 

4. Tape cords together and label them so (a) they don't get tangled and (b) you can tell which appliance they go with. 

5. Set aside toiletries, clothes or cleaning supplies you'll need when you first get there and put them on the back of the truck so that you have them handy at your final destination.

6. Use trash bags and wrap them around your hanging clothes to avoid missing hangers, clothing items and you can easily transfer them from the truck, hang them in your closet and cut the bag off.