Hello! Welcome to another post in my monthly goal-setting series. In case you are new here, for the remainder of the year I have decided to set three specific goals for myself each month. My objective is to be more intentional (my word of the year!) in my day-to-day life. This series is designed to share those goals with you as well as to provide me with more monthly accountability.
Last month the three goals I set for myself proved to be challenging for sure. So far this practice has been incredibly helpful for me in terms of staying focused on specifically what I aimed to accomplish. I was surprised by how often these goals would pop into my head throughout the week. Maybe it was knowing I would be reporting back here that kept them on the forefront of my consciousness. Or maybe it was that there were only 3 of them so it was less to remember? Either way, I am eager to take on another month of trying out this process!
Here is a review of how last month’s goals went for me:
Drink more water daily
This might have been the goal I was most successful with (though I have a loooong way to go before I’m in a great place with this). I did manage to drink a big glass of water every morning. It was funny because somehow doing this made me feel like a super healthy person. Other revelations that occurred to me –
- It really wasn’t helpful for me to bring my favorite cup around with me because I found that I kept leaving it in the car and it would get hot (yuck!).
- I tried to drink water with a 1:1 ratio in mind. One cup of coffee and one glass of water to balance that. One glass of wine, another glass of water.
- I bought a cute set of reusable water bottles that I could bring with me in my bag. This made a huge difference for me because it made having water on hand so much more accessible.
- OH MY GOSH I have to admit that it was a lot like being pregnant again how many times I had to pee throughout the day!
- A sweet friend of mine gifted me a pack of fun-colored reusable straws to cheer me on in this goal (isn’t that thoughtful!). I’m all about saving the turtles so this gesture was a win-win for supporting my goal. Thanks Shelby!
Take more photographs (and to get IN more of them!)
This is a goal that definitely needs more focus going forward (haha pun intended). There were a bunch of days that passed without me feeling “inspired” to pick up my camera. After a week was gone I hadn’t captured much of anything to write home about. It occurred to me that there is a lot of “story” in our every day lives. Capturing us in our ordinary day-to-day carries it’s own kind of magic.
So I took my camera out on the porch after dinner while we played in the cooler evening air. I took my camera to the playground. I pulled it out while they ate snacks one afternoon and another night while Paul read bedtime stories. Of course, I made sure not to miss the big moments either. I captured Noah with his first sparkler on the 4th of July, Niko’s first haircut, and our trip to the sunflower fields too.
As far as getting in the photo more often, the tripod was a great help! And a tip I learned from Kelle Hampton (in a Framed course) is to pass the camera over to someone else – regardless of the level of their skill. If you typically shoot in manual mode, like I have been learning to do, try putting your settings to automatic or an assist-mode when you hand it over. Then encourage them to snap away with you IN the shot. This way you’re more likely to get some awesome shots.
Practice writing every day
I started out strong on this goal but did not stick with it as well as I had hoped. Writing/journaling has always been a huge creative outlet for me. So doing it daily is a great way to practice self-care. Since this whole blog is essentially a platform of writing, I was really hoping that if I get in the habit of writing every day, it would benefit my productivity with blogging. I didn’t manage to post every week like I planned to do, but I only missed one week, so that’s not bad. I bought a fun notebook and tried to write for 15 minutes every day. Some days this kinda looked like “blah blah blah” and was more rambling than anything.
The major problem I found in trying to accomplish this goal is that it wasn’t actually specific enough.
Despite aiming to write daily, I think not having a structured time set aside to do this is where I fell short. It was also discouraging some days to feel like my writing was a whole lot of nothing. I think this is where determining what I want to accomplish with this goal is important as well.
I started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron for inspiration. She encourages you to wake up and write 3 pages by hand before you do anything else in the morning. She calls this activity “Morning Pages.” She insists that you don’t review/edit these pages. Don’t stop writing until you reach the end. And don’t spend time thinking about whether it is good or bad writing. The objective is to make a ritual out of it. This apparently can help when you feel stuck or have writer’s block.
My boys are finally sleeping in the same room and don’t typically wake up until around 6:30/7am. I think I am going to try and start a new morning writing routine for myself. This desire to write in the morning going forward is part of the reason why I chose my first goal for August. So without further ado…
1. Start and practice a daily evening ritual (including a set bedtime!)
I go to bed WAAY too late for how early I start each day. For the past year I’ve been wanting to start waking up earlier than my family. This will allow for a little “me time” before the demands of my day begin. But with a second child that didn’t sleep well at night, I wasn’t clocking the hours of rest I needed no matter what time I went to bed. Now both boys on a better schedule and sleep through the night. It is finally reasonable for me to consider this option.
Unfortunately, I have taken up some unproductive late night habits. Namely, my NETFLIX binging and mindless IG scrolling. These things don’t cater well to me waking up early.
I have a list of books I want to read a mile long but rarely find time to read them (see unproductive excuses for lack of time aforementioned). It’s no secret that using your phone and/or watching a tv screen prior to bed is terrible for your sleep habits. Plenty of research has been conducted and articles written (like this one in Psychology Today) that should persuade us all to practice better habits.
And lastly, I’ve reached an age where a more in depth skin-care regimen should be part of my daily routine. I am embarrassed to admit it, but most nights I neglect to wash my face at all because I’m so exhausted by the time I make my way to bed. Usually the best I can manage most nights is to brush my teeth and crawl under the covers.
Why this is a August goal: More beauty sleep and better skin care. A chance to read more and hopefully being well-rested enough to start waking up early to write every day.
Action plan: I’m going to set my phone with a reminder at 9:30pm to PUT IT DOWN. Head upstairs by 9:45/10pm to wash my face/brush teeth. Plus anything else I can come up with to make that time feel a little more like a mini “spa-retreat” time (any ideas??). Maybe I’ll buy some fancy face products… Afterwards I’ll head to bed and read until 10:30. Then it will be lights out.
2. Initiate a weekly “Power Hour”
My friend Suzette Gebhardt has a wonderful blog and IG where she shares tons helpful information about home and life organization. About a month ago I saw a post of hers that hugely inspired me. Most days our house feels like quite a disaster to me. With two young kids, two pets, and as people with a lot of varying hobbies – we are bursting at the seams around here. So many of our spaces are jam-packed and would definitely benefit from some Marie Kondo-ing minimization. But finding the time to dedicate to these things feels too daunting.
Suzette shares the following:
“I think it helps to look at each space as a smaller project and give yourself a reasonable timeline to complete it; reasonable goals and expectations set you up for greater success. And those wins feel so good… they help propel you forward! * Instead of saying “I’m going to organize my kitchen today” (overwhelming!), how about saying “I’m going to choose one cabinet each week and spend one hour cleaning it up” (manageable!). * When we focus and have scheduled time to make organization happen… it rarely takes as long as we think it will!”
Why this is a August goal: I’m going to let these photos above speak for themselves. Bottom line, we NEED this to be a goal so we can tackle some of these spaces and get more organized.
Action plan: Designate an hour a week (at a minimum) as organization “power hour.” Elicit my family to help. Break problem spaces into smaller projects. Document some of my progress on IG for accountability.
Specific areas I plan to target:
- The pantry
- Our family games + the closet we store them in
- Our children’s book collection
- The art/china/linen closet
3. Be intentionally active 3x weekly
It’s no big secret that I am NOT a fan of working out. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love the IDEA of working out and I wish I loved actually doing it. But I don’t and I never have. Put me on a soccer field for a pick-up game and I’ll run around for hours and never bat an eye! I’m not sure how to explain it – except that when I’m playing soccer it doesn’t feel like working out.
In the past 3 years I have really lost touch with the more active side of myself.
Of course, I’ve also been pregnant and birthed 2 babies in that time frame, so obviously, I’m giving myself grace… but still. Going from being a very active person to where I am today has had a negative impact on my body. I find myself more prone to injury. My posture is horrible. I feel so far behind where I want to be that I have really procrastinated starting to exercise again.
Why this is a August goal: I’m ready to feel better, physically.
Action plan: Plan out what my “activity” is going to be each week. Write it down on the calendar like an appointment. Wake up the morning of and DRESS for success. Go to pilates at the YMCA. Invite a friend to join me (more accountability!). Play tennis every week. Pull out the old PIYO dvds I have stored somewhere and do some of the workouts!
I’ll be back next month to update you on how well I kept up with these August goals and to share my September goals. Wish me luck!
What are your August Goals? Leave a comment below!