Two-Year Blogiversary! (with giveaways)

We are so happy to be celebrating Evolve’s two-year blogiversary! And you will be, too, because we are giving away some fantastic items you’ll love as well as highlighting some of our favorite things we’ve learned through articles posted at Evolve during the past two years!

Be sure to scroll down to see both posts and giveaways.

From Krista, Evolve owner

(Krista’s favorites and giveaway)

Thank you so much for joining us as we celebrate Evolve’s two year blogiversary! So much has happened in the last two years, and I can honestly say I am not the same person I was when I started this adventure. Life has been full of surprises and twists and turns, and I am so grateful for every step along my journey!

As I thought about what posts I wanted to share with you, there were three that particularly stood out for me. These three posts contain concepts that I use and teach every single day.

  1. What’s Your One Word?
  2. 10 Characteristics of Fixed and Growth Mindsets
  3. The Success Cycle

What’s Your One Word?

I absolutely love the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life, by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. It has literally been life changing. I have found that as you focus your goals and your intention to work together towards a greater purpose, you can make a lot of progress! Before when I set goals or tried New Years resolutions, there was no rhyme or reason to what I was choosing for my goals other than they were things that I wanted. I felt worn out and divided trying to get them all done.

An ancient Proverb states that, “He who chases two rabbits catches neither.”

Now when I look at goal setting, I make sure that everything is in alignment and that my goals work together for a greater vision. Last year my word was “Create.” For 2019, my word is, “Grace.” What’s Your One Word?

10 Characteristics of Fixed and Growth Mindsets

If you haven’t read the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, I highly recommend it. The main concept of the book is to encourage us to believe that we can change, rather to feel like we are stuck. This concept of living a life full of growth is the foundation for almost everything I do. Because if we don’t believe that we can change, then why would we put effort into things, try again when we fail, or have hope that our situation can change?

In my post, 10 Characteristics of Fixed and Growth Mindsets, I give an overview of the two basic mindsets. I also pose the questions that Dr. Dweck asks in the book for us to consider whether we are stuck in a fixed mindset or if we have a growth mindset. It’s helpful to know where we are and where we want to go, so we can make a plan for how to get there.

Whether we are at home with our families, at work, at school, or in our communities, developing a growth mindset will drastically change how we approach life. If we can then help others start to see that they too can learn and grow, we can open their lives up to an entire new world of possibility.

The Success Cycle

Having a growth mindset allows us to embrace the Success Cycle. This is one of my favorite teachings from the John Maxwell Team. I love it, because it serves as a reminder that failure is not bad, and that success is a process, not a destination.

  • Test
  • Fail
  • Learn
  • Improve
  • Re-enter

“Regardless of how good you are, you could be better.” – John C. Maxwell

I share this quote because it reminds me that there is always room for improvement. Even when I accomplish a goal, when I cross that finish line, it’s really just the starting line for my next adventure. There is no end to personal growth and development, I won’t wake up one day, having “arrived.” I have the opportunity to keep getting better and better.

The success cycle reminds us of the process. To be more successful than we are right now, we need to test more and fail more. Then when we fail, we need to learn from our failures and improve. Then we re-enter with another round of testing. And, when we reach our goal we should look back and evaluate what went well to help us achieve our goal and see if we can improve anything along the way.

If we don’t have a growth mindset, then more times than not, after we test and fail a few times, we quit. Or we don’t take the time or put in the effort to improve something we are seeing some positive results in. We don’t realize the value in growth and effort.

Jennifer and I are so grateful to you, our readers, and we wanted to do something to share our gratitude! Be sure to enter both giveaways as each of us have something for you!

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Jennifer, Evolve contributor

(Jennifer’s favorites and giveaway)

Like Krista, I love what I have learned from the articles I’ve written here at Evolve. I am very interested in the WHY. I do write a lot from my own experience and expertise in the field of memory-keeping, but I have found that I often want to learn a little more as I share encouragement and insight with you. These three articles are the ones I learned the most from, and as I share what I learned, I hope they teach you something new as well.

  1. Three Time-Saving Hacks for Finding Happiness and Relaxation
  2. The Importance of Creativity to Personal Growth
  3. Telling Family Stories with Keepsakes

Time-Saving Hacks for Finding Happiness and Relaxation

I talk to more and more people who are stressed and overwhelmed. We are scheduled to the max (and sometimes beyond). These things have become the norm in our society, not the exception. These days we purposely need to do something to maintain priorities, focus, happiness, and relaxation (or de-stress). My intent in writing this article was to give people hope and a method of escape from the daily grind that is taking such a toll on people these days.

What I loved learning in preparation for this article is the relationship between happiness or relaxation and pictures. Many people are familiar with Gretchen Reuben’s “Happiness Project.” Pictures are shown to increase our happiness. In other words, if you want to feel better, look at your pictures. Reuben says pictures up our happiness levels for several reasons, among them: they remind us of people, places, and activities we love; they help us curate things we love; they can even replace something we have loved but lost.

I also loved Dr. Peter Naish’s study about photos and mood. He found that viewing photos made people feel happier by 11%! Other common mood boosters like eating, drinking, TV, and music only raise happiness levels by 1%. So looking at your pictures makes you 10 times happier than the usual things you do to try to increase your mood! He also found that viewing pictures made people feel more relaxed. In fact, people reported a 22% increase in relaxation after viewing pictures. Eating chocolate, by the way, came in at just 8%. So my own findings from this study is that looking at your photos makes you happier than chocolate!

Many people don’t make the time to preserve their photos in a tangible way, so be sure you find the three time-saving hacks at my article. You can also find a lot of ideas for making time for your photos here. There’s no better way to boost your happiness and increase your relaxation! It’s better than chocolate.

The Importance of Creativity to Personal Growth

It just about breaks my heart when I hear people lament that they are not creative. This is an inaccurate assumption or belief! Every single person is creative. EVERY one. And creativity is vital to not only personal growth but to life.

Writing this article about creativity and personal growth gave me a wonderful opportunity to put into words something that I passionately believe: You are creative when you create something that did not exist before you and would not exist in the same way without you. You may be the creator of a friendship, a family tradition, a surprise, a plan, a dinner, or a photograph. You constantly bring something to the world that did not exist before you and would not exist in the same way without you. You constantly create. And so do I. And so does that person you don’t think is very creative.

And this quote I used in the original article on creativity is one of my favorites:

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.  Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.  Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. … [You are] a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.”  –Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Telling Family Stories with Keepsakes

I found so many interesting facts when I wrote this article! I’ll share just a few with you before I get to my blogiversary giveaways! (And, yes, there are two!)

  • Telling kids family stories provides them with a sense of belonging! In fact, the more kids know about their family, the better their emotional well-being.
  • Hanging onto keepsakes is good for the heart and soul. The origin of the word “nostalgia” is fascinating!! The word “nostalgia” was first used as a medical term in the late 1600s.  The root of the word means “an aching for home,” or, as we might describe it, “homesickness.”  The only cure for this condition at the time was to send the person back home.  And it worked.

While the desire to preserve isn’t logical by nature, the logical reason for preserving history is that history promotes nostalgia, and nostalgia is good for us, our families, and our communities. Nostalgia is important and strengthening—an antidote to the stresses of today that is, as it turns out, easy to bottle.  ~Christopher McAfee

So if you feel nostalgic, embrace it! Tell the stories of your keepsakes, and tell the stories of your family through keepsakes! It will do your heart good.

Giveaways

What a fun trip down memory lane that was! I have enjoyed all the learning I’ve experienced in two years of writing for Evolve. I hope you have, too! And now it’s time for my blogiversary gifts to you!

I decided that I really wanted to offer two giveaways here at our two-year blogiversary celebration–not just because Evolve is turning two but because I want to giveaway something to all Evolve readers and something to one lucky winner. These are both gifts from my heart! I’m so thrilled to be giving them both to you!

This first giveaway is for everyone! This is my work of heart dedicated to the idea that life is harder for everyone than it used to be, but we have solutions–scientifically-proven solutions–right at our fingertips that can lower stress, increase happiness, and create the connections that our hearts and our loved ones need. So I gift to you my brand new ebook called “The Secret Ingredient to Self-Care and Wellness.” It’s the 30-minute read that can change your life.

ebook The Secret Ingredient by JWiseHeritageMakers

And you can read it right here. Click the arrow to turn pages.

The second giveaway to celebrate Evolve’s second year is for one lucky winner! As the #familyhistoryfriday contributor at Evolve, my focus is encouraging people to make connections through stories and photos. These days, Photo Overwhelm is a real thing. We take hundreds and thousands of photos and then are too overwhelmed to see and enjoy them. My favorite solution to this is the Yearbook!

photo credit: Denise Pehrson

Photos were never meant to be stored. They were meant to be seen. Getting them out of digital form and into beautiful pages is actually good for you! Seeing photos is good for the heart and soul and has been shown to increase happiness!

So my second blogiversary giveaway? Happiness! That’s right. I’m giving away a yearbook. I’ll preserve one year’s worth of your photos in a gorgeous, high-quality 12×12 (or 11.5×8.5) library-bound book. You just choose the year you want me to preserve then e-mail me about 4-10(-ish) pictures from each month of that year with a little information about each one and I do all the work. If you have more than 10 photos from a given month, just choose your favorites. If you have fewer than 4, not to worry–I can work some magic.

The yearbook would be a $52 value prize if you made it yourself, but with the addition of my free-to-you Digital Scrapbooking For Hire rate, this is probably a $180+ prize!!

I’ll get out of the way now so you can enter the giveaway already! 😉 Please note that you can enter this drawing multiple ways, and a couple of them you can do up to once a day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for making Evolve part of your life. Our goal has always been to uplift and enlighten. Let us know how we’re doing by commenting on blog posts or by sharing something you love with a friend or on social media. And good luck with the giveaways!

Evolve’s One Year Blogiversary Giveaway Winners!

I am so grateful that we were able to celebrate Evolve’s One Year Blogiversary with you!

This post is specifically to let you know who the winner’s for Krista’s giveaway’s are, I know that Jennifer Wise was giving away some great prizes too, but she will get a hold of you separately.

My 5 Prizes:

  1. Evolve Journal & Pen
  2. Today Matters by John C. Maxwell
  3. Intentional Living by John C. Maxwell
  4. Evolve Tote Bag
  5. Grand Prize – Live2Lead Book Bundle:

The Winners are:

  • Jennylyn Gross from Havre de Grace, MD
  • Jenny Ham from Topeka, KS
  • Michelle Hunsaker from Parker, CO
  • Heather Smith from Pocahontas, AR
  • Amber Hensley from Ashland, KY

Congratulations winners!

I also want to give a big thank you to everyone who participated in our Blogiversary celebration. You are what makes this blog possible.

Thank you.