10 Things That Made the Biggest Difference in Quarter 2

We’re sharing 10 things that made the biggest difference in Quarter 2 today!

If you had a chance to read our post 10 Things That Made the Biggest Difference in Quarter 1, you know each Sunday afternoon I gather my journals, planners, and calendars to assess the strategies and systems we use.

It’s a practice that has been so insightful, that I dive even further into the nitty-gritty details at the end of each quarter too.

To be completely honest, I was on such a high following the success of The Quarter Challenge in Quarter 1, I fully expected Quarter 2 to be much the same.

By the end of March, I could already envision standing on the doorstep of July with six whole months of effective routines, impactful goals, and mindset shifts that would help take things to the next level.

And because I’m a consummate idealist, I envisioned all that hard work propelling me to the end of December securing my best year yet.

I couldn’t have been more wrong though.

In some ways, it felt like the bottom fell out during Quarter 2.

In others, it felt like a daily test to see if the strategies and systems I’d put in place during Quarter 1 were actually working.

While I continue to use that same framework, I had to adapt, adjust, and make space for a season of life we never saw coming.

Here’s a look at 10 Things that Made the Biggest Difference in Quarter 2…

Carrying the Lessons That Worked from Quarter 1 Into Quarter 2

This seems like it should be a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to reinvent the wheel.

Even now, I sometimes catch myself saying…

  • “If only I had a new time management system, I could get more done.”
  • “When I lose weight, I’m going to feel like myself again and make more blog videos.”
  • “As soon as I start sleeping better, I’ll get to the root of my insomnia with a qualified physician.”
  • “I’ll clean and organize the house once things settle down.”
  • “The minute I hit ________ subscribers or ________ followers or have ________ money in my bank account, I’ll have the confidence to finally chase my dreams.”

What I realized in Quarter 1 though is that big, bold changes only work when we continue to back them up every single day with small consistent ones.

Even on the days, we don’t feel like it.

Truth be told, I don’t know if I would have been able to get through everything that unfolded in Quarter 2 had it not been for the hard work of laying a solid foundation and building the framework in Quarter 1.

It would have just been too overwhelming.

Thankfully, the beauty of laying a solid foundation and framework for your life is that you don’t have to stay stuck.

You can course-correct at any time!

Making Time to Appreciate the Mundane and Celebrate the Little Things

As I mentioned above, it felt like the bottom fell out in Quarter 2.

I won’t go into all the details.

But trust me when I say, the last thing we felt like doing was appreciating or celebrating anything.

Here are just a few reasons why…

  • We lost 5 loved ones within a few weeks, sometimes days of each other; a 6th is currently in hospice care.
  • 2 of those deaths brought about a lot of complicated issues/feelings that have taken up more time and mental energy than we ever imagined.
  • My cousin had emergency surgery for aggressive brain tumors, an uncle was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and S’s Dad had surgery too.
  • Piper was diagnosed with extreme anxiety and OCD. She’s on medication now and is making progress but sometimes I wonder if things are ever going to get better.  
  • We found out there will likely be a significant job change coming at the end of the year, one that could affect everything from our living situation to our livelihood.
  • We had to buy a car about a year earlier than anticipated.
  • I had a total and complete meltdown regarding my own anxiety struggles

It’s hard to admit and share some of these things with you.

But I share them because I know how easy it can be to compare our personal journeys with those we see online and on social media.

It looks like everyone has it all together.

And some people might.

I don’t know a single person that hasn’t experienced difficult seasons or days that feel overwhelming and out of control though.

The good news is, we don’t have to stay in that space.

We can give thanks for the mundane and celebrate every little win.

Here are a few things we celebrated in Q2…

  • April, May, and June birthdays
  • Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day  
  • Patient and knowledgeable veterinarians to help give Piper a treatment plan that works
  • My aunt’s one-year cancer anniversary
  • My parent’s safe return home from Martha’s Vineyard
  • 2 successful surgeries and access to quality medical care
  • 2 of the littles graduating from elementary and middle school
  • An epic dance recital
  • Taking my parents to brunch and to see Top Gun: Maverick on Memorial Day
  • Getting a new car
  • A trip to the cabin
  • The lives of those we loved and lost
  • Container gardens on the front porch
  • New rocking chairs on the front porch
  • Biting into the first peach of peach season
  • Attending the Introvert Summit and finishing the Build Your Awesome Life course
  • An anxiety breakdown that caused a major breakthrough
  • I drove a car for the first time in almost 3 years by myself
  • Gentle reminders in the line of Chick-fil-A

These might seem like small things, especially given there are not very many “milestone moments” on this list.

But each and every moment, no matter how big or small, felt like a torch lighting our way in a season of darkness and was truly a gift.

You can give yourself the gift of joy in the little moments too!

Taking Time for Vacation

Raise your hand if the moment you realize you seriously need a vacation, is also the very same moment you often fail to give yourself the grace to actually take one?

My hand is up too.

After dealing with so much grief, loss, and unexpected life changes, I was nervous about traveling to the cabin.

I almost canceled altogether.

But looking back, I’m so thankful I set those worries aside because we desperately needed time to rest, relax and decompress.

It was such a blessing to kick off the summer season that way.

Always remember, one of the most loving things you can do is to give yourself a break. Limping along and powering through leads to burnout and exhaustion.

Tracking Sleep Patterns, Healthy Habits, and Goals

When I first started sleep training to help make my morning routine more efficient, I worried about having to keep track of my sleep pattern stats.

I already have a stack of journals, calendars, and planners to keep organized and honestly, I really didn’t need one more thing.

My middle sister encouraged me to push through the resistance and I’m so thankful she did!

It is completely mind-blowing when you take a few minutes to track your sleep patterns, habits, and goals via your smartphone or watch.

Truthfully, I always thought I would remember the reasons I felt out of sorts, struggled with brain fog, embraced purpose-filled days, or felt joyful.

But it is simply not possible to remember everything.

Investing in Personal Development and Blog Education

Thanks to all of you, our community of readers and friends continues to grow. I cannot say thank you enough for your constant support!

One of my big goals this year both individually and professionally is to invest more in personal development and blog education courses as opposed to attending one or two big conferences.

While I’m eternally grateful for all the free resources online, there is just something different about participating in courses that hold you accountable with your time, money, and resources.

One of the things that made the biggest difference in Quarter 2 was participating in the Introvert Summit and completing the Build Your Awesome Life course with best-selling author, speaker, blogger, and podcaster Jon Acuff.

They were both a big commitment, but I learned so much.

I know we all have demands on our finances, no matter if you have hundreds of dollars in your bank account or millions.

Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself though.

It’s one of the best things you’ll ever do!

Taking Time to Dream and Visualize

If you’ve ever found yourself going through a difficult time, you already know it can be hard enough to make it to the grocery store much less dream of something better.

On the days I struggled to feel like I was living my best life because everything was happening at once though, I would carve out 30 minutes to soak in the tub to dream about and visualize what my future self really needed.

I know it might sound hokey, but those 30 minutes allowed me to see beyond my current circumstances and provided a much-needed sliver of hope that things would get better.

As women, it is really easy to summon the reserves needed to give unconditionally to everyone else.

You likely know what your spouse and family need before they even need it.

Yet, time and time again we place ourselves on the back burner or last on the list patiently waiting for “someday” to arrive.

If you feel guilty about giving yourself what you need right now for whatever reason, flip the script, and give your future self the gifts it needs most.

Giving Grace, Practicing Empathy, and Being Mindful

I was sitting in Jon Acuff’s Overcoming Overthinking Challenge when he offered a definition of empathy I’d never heard before…

“Empathy is understanding what someone needs and acting on it.”

Since that day, I’ve tried to look at each situation I’m faced with through the lens of empathy and grace.

While I’m far from perfect at it, I can honestly say, being mindful of how I’m treating myself and others has been life-giving.

Asking Better Questions and Using Guided Journaling Prompts

There were times in Quarter 2 I could not find the motivation to write an entire blog post, much less send an email to a friend.

My brain just felt too foggy and cluttered.

I knew I needed clarity in so many areas of my life, I just wasn’t sure how to get it though.

In the past, I would have gone to my mom, my sisters, my aunts, or my friends to help talk things out.

But there were certain situations where I was not able to utilize those resources.

Desperate to get the thoughts and ideas out of my head and into an action plan, I started asking better questions and using guided journaling prompts.

I don’t know if it was that I finally had a safe and convenient space to share, or if it was because I was more intentional with my journal time but it opened the floodgates and has been a true game-changer.

Giving Ourselves Something to Look Forward

My Mom gifted me a huge wall calendar several months ago, and I’ve been obsessed with it in the best possible way ever since.

Of course, I still love my paper calendar and have no plans to give it up.

But there is something awesome about having a quick and easy reminder of how we’re spending our days.

While you might not be able to carve out an entire month for a beach vacation or savor a trip to the cabin, there are plenty of other things you can look forward to.

It might be a new writing pen, personalized stationery, coffee in a generous mug each morning, fragrant bath bombs, dinner with friends, a new book, flowers from the nursery or grocery store, a kid-free afternoon, or sparklers on a random Tuesday.

Taking the time to give yourself something to look forward to, even on the dark and frustrating days is an act of self-love and kindness.

Letting Go of Things We Cannot Control

I’ll be honest, this has been the hardest thing on the list to do.

It’s something I continue to work on each and every day.

Some days I feel like a total rock star at it.

Other days, I find myself stuck exactly where I don’t want to be – in the muck and mire.

I’ve done a lot of therapy, self-development, and mindset work over the years, and it has helped tremendously.

That said, on the way home from the cabin I had a total epiphany.

Nearly every day, we’re going to be invited to an enticing table filled with people we love, admire, and hold dear.

The place settings will be irresistibly beautiful.

It will seem like everyone is having the time of their lives.

But if drama, gossip, and discontent are the only dishes on the menu, you don’t have to take a seat at the table.

Letting go is incredibly difficult and also incredibly freeing.

Don’t be afraid to choose better for yourself and put healthy boundaries in place.

Let us know what things made the biggest difference for you in Quarter 2. We’d love to hear and learn from you!

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,

CoCo

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13 Comments

  1. After reading through this post Coco, I am convinced you really don’t give yourself enough credit for all you do and all you try so hard to cope with. You know, I learned along time ago, we can only do so much with any given time, we can only be there, love and feel for any one thing at a time. You have coped with so much this year alone and as you say, the year is still young.
    Please, take care of yourself as if you were looking after someone you treasure, don’t pick holes at yourself because you really are a wonderful human being and thats everything anyone could wish for.
    Heres hoping the next half of the year is good to you and that any bumps, twists and turns in the road are easy to navigate.xxx

    1. Thanks so much for all your kind words of encouragement, Janette, I really appreciate every single one. Q2 was definitely a lot to handle and I’m beyond thankful we’re on the other side of it. I know there are still going to be bumps in the road but it feels like we made it through the hardest part which is a blessing in itself. I’m taking your words to heart and giving myself lots of extra TLC. Cheers to the second half of the year. May it be peace and joy filled for both of us. Big hugs and thank you for your kindess, CoCo

  2. Thank you for this. What amazing timing!

    My friend’s (young adult) child died last night due to COVID, and I specifically sought out your blog today as a place of comfort and mindfulness. And, voila, you had posted this incredibly helpful post!

    PS: Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable, to share what works and doesn’t work, and your thoroughness as you write your posts. I hope you know how many people you are helping. And I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough year.

    1. Aww, Corrie, you’re making me all kinds of misty-eyed today. Thank you so much for your incredibly thoughtful words. I appreciate them so much. I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s loss. It’s one of those mountains no parent should ever have to face or go through. I’ll definitely add this to my prayer list. I’m thankful they have you to help support them during this time. Grief is such a difficult journey to have to navigate. Sending you and your friend lots of love and light today. May each day bring healing and hope exactly when you need it, CoCo

      PS: A few weeks ago, I was thinking about what to share on the blog for Q3 and Q4. I always want to make sure the posts/information I share is helpful because I value your time as much as I value my own. There are so many things in the blogging world that feel important from posting videos to reels to pins and there is a lot of pressure to hustle all the time. But when I started journaling about what was needed most, the word “encouragement” started showing up over and over again. So, thank you for validating these posts. They’re not always easy to write but I know they’re important.

  3. CoCo,
    What a beautiful and heartfelt post. I can’t imagine the loss your family has suffered and I know how that can take a toll on you physical and mental health. I pray that you and your family are healing. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    1. Such sweet and kind words, Rachel, thank you so much for all your sweet support. I really appreciate it! Big hugs and hope you’re having tons of fun at the beach. It’s such a beautiful time to get away and relax, CoCo

  4. Coco, 

    There was a lot in this post that resonated with me. We have a 14-year-old cat with early signs of dementia who was diagnosed with ADHD and extreme anxiety at 2. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard our cat had both of these issues. Most people have pets, and that’s it! They feed them, walk them, and life goes on. Due to his wandering away, I feed our cat multiple times a day. He also comes back after eating, looking to eat because he’s forgotten he’s already eaten. There are so many more things to deal with that people wouldn’t believe it. It’s hard, but somehow we get through each day and I wouldn’t want to spend my days without him. It’s quite a challenge to deal with something like this or worse when you are dealing with anxiety yourself. I’ve been there.
    I love your idea of giving yourself something to look forward to. I use this technique a lot. It doesn’t have to be something big, but by doing this you move yourself ahead–take one step forward both mentally and physically. I was a counselor in group homes for years, and “giving yourself something to look forward to” was my most recommended suggestion for battling the blues or “feeling stuck.”

    I love the saying, “Nothing changes, if nothing changes.” I am thinking of you as you deal with the loss of so many family members–I can’t imagine what this feels like, or what you’re going through. Give yourself time to reflect and remember to leave time every day for “self-care.”

    1. Thank you so much for this comment, Kim, I really appreciate it. I had NO IDEA dogs could even have OCD or extreme anxiety until we started having issues with Piper. I knew they could have separation anxiety but that’s as far as I thought it went. At first, we thought she was having behavioral issues given she is a rescue but she got worse as time went by barking at the ceiling every time we turned the lights in the kitchen on or there was a reflection of light on the ceiling in ANY room. It’s been SO TOUGH but after 3 vets and a ton of research, I think she’s on the right track and has started a new medication. Thank you for sharing your story about your cat. I know it will help a lot of people too, I didn’t realize they could have ADHD or anxiety either.

      I’ve never heard the saying, “Nothing changes, if nothing changes,” but it’s such a good one. I’m definitely going to write it down in my journal today! It’s taken me a long time to find the tools that work best like giving yourself something to look forward to but I’m so thankful I’ve found things that work so I can share them with others. Every little bit of exta knowledge and support helps! Thank you again for all your kind words and for adding to this important conversation. Big hugs, CoCo

  5. Coco, I think a lot of people can relate to these feelings. I am extremely hard on myself and goals. I am trying to break them down so it does not seem overwhelming all the time. I have all so had to let the things I can not control go. But I love how you reflect on your quarters and focus on the good. Sorry quarter 2 was hard. I love how you pulled through and opened up in your post.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, Meagan, I really appreciate it. I think sometimes we can easily get bogged down feeling like we’re not going fast enough, hustling hard enough, or doing enough to get ahead. Especially, since that’s what is promoted most online and on social media. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to slow down and take a break from everything though that I realized what was good in one season or quarter might not be good for another. At the end of the day, it was so freeing to know I didn’t have to keep all the balls in the air just the important ones. Breaking your goals down into manageable chunks is so smart! I revisit my goals at the end of each month and then again at the end of each quarter and it really helps. The other thing that has helped when I feel stuck is to do the next right thing-literally to just take action on one thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be great! Sending you hugs and keep up the good work, CoCo

  6. I’m so appreciative that you have shared all of this with us CoCo. It’s such a brave thing to do. I also struggle with anxiety and it is a constant battle but I have picked up some tools along the way that are starting to help. The biggest struggle I have these days is learning how to let go of the things I can’t control. They just tend to eat at me. I love your tip on breaking goals down so they can be more manageable. I feel for Piper and for you. One of my dogs Jax also suffers from anxiety and when he has his attacks it’s as if he can’t focus on anything or hear me because he is in such distress. It’s so sad. I can’t tell you how sorry I am that your family has had so much loss and pain. I wish I could hug you in person sweet friend.

    1. You always leave comments that are so kind and generous, Kim, thank you so much. One of the hardest things about having an anxiety disorder is having to combat “nervous energy” along and all the thoughts running around your mind at any given time. Earlier this year I read a book by Jon Acuff called Soundtracks and in the book, he shares to ask yourself these questions if you find yourself ruminating with negative self-talk…Is this true? Is this helpful? Is this kind? I was SO SKEPTICAL that merely asking those questions was going to work but I use them almost every single day now. While it hasn’t completely eliminated the obsessive thoughts it has made a huge difference for me and I hope it will help you too. Being and staying mindful of how we’re feeling is not always easy but the effort is always worth it. And you, my sweet friend, are worth the effort! Sending you and Jax a ton of hugs. I know the 4th of July is hard on so many of our furry friends. With love and light, CoCo

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