Have you been wondering what ever happened to my monthly goal-setting series? I’ve been working hard to bring it back for the second half of 2022! If this is your first visit here, thanks for joining me! Back in 2019, I decided to start setting three goals for myself each month. My objective was to be more intentional in my day-to-day life. Last year, I found myself in need of a more gentle, grace-giving approach. One that offers me accountability, joy, and connection – but with much less pressure. I decided to shift this to a series of monthly intentions. Here are my November intentions for 2022.
“It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.”
― Diana Gabaldon
The crud has struck each of us down in turn at our house over the past several weeks. And it’s making me feel a little out of touch with any semblance of flow in our days. It’s bizarre how we are 3 months into the school year and I still feel like it’s a stretch to say we’ve found any “rhythm” per say. Of course, that’s not entirely fair because OF COURSE we’ve found some rhythm.
I’ve gotten into the habit of making lunches each weekday evening after kids go to bed. We walk Noah to school every morning. Niko and I have been enjoying our time together between his drop off/pick up and Noah’s each day. We still have regular family nights. We’ve got soccer on Saturdays and basketball on Sundays now. I’m still playing tennis and soccer myself and having regular girls nights and virtual book club each month. Paul moves through our days with his usual chaotic schedule but ebbs and flows with us comfortably and with enough “rhythm” to know what’s next on our agenda most of the time.
It just seems like we are in this strange time warp where our days are moving at a snail’s pace while simultaneously flying by in hyper speed. For example: how in the world is it already time to leave to pick Niko up from school already? I swear I JUST dropped him off a few minutes ago? And also… did you know that at this exact moment, there are still 405 lonnnng minutes left in our day until 7pm when we aim to put our kids in bed?
Also, how is it mid-November?! I’m just now typing out an update to an intentions post I intended to share back in October? Right, and Thanksgiving is NEXT week?!?! Ok ok you get the picture. We all know that old adage about the days are long but the years are short. Yeah yeah I know it’s so cliche, but gosh does it ring endlessly true.
We are going to be traveling the last two weeks of this month so I’m leaning gently into this post. Holding space for grace and acceptance of the fact that life will be hectic and busy. And plenty FULL of all kinds of good things that will keep me scrambling for rhythms over the reactive space I too often fall into. I have to remember to slow down. To rest and relish the important things, the things that really matter most. There is so much I love about this season. These next few months and holidays are the heart-bursting, joy-filled, memory-making, kind of season-savoring I want to wrap my ams around and hold onto throughout the whole year through.
Back in September I chose three intentions for myself. Since I missed updating in the month of October, I figured I’d review those here and now!
My first September intention was to start and practice a daily evening ritual (including a set bedtime!). Let me tell ya… TOTAL FLOP. I have set this intention for myself so many times. And I just can’t seem to muster enough “adult” in me to make it happen. There is something to those hours after the kids go to bed that I can not get a handle on. It’s not that I’m not exhausted. And it’s definitely not that I wouldn’t benefit from going to bed at a decent hour (and ultimately getting MORE sleep!).
Yes, I’m confident that if I could just find the secret to tackling this ONE area of my day it would prove to be a significant game changer for optimizing my overall health and happiness. Nevertheless, this seemingly simple ritual continues to thwart all of my well-intended efforts. Yes Taylor, I know: “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me (I’m the problem, it’s me).” Anyway – I’ve decided to roll over on this intention for awhile and revisit it in the new year. Maybe then when I’m a little “older and wiser” I can finally get myself to bed on time.
My second intention was to spend more time practicing photography. This has been the most fun intention I’ve made lately. Even though I set it way back in September – I’ve actually continued to practice all the way through to this current month! I started by enrolling in a virtual photography course with some amazing photographers I have followed on Instagram for quite a while now – Hobbs Photography. After a month of Beginner Photography I signed up for another course called An Honest Self Portrait. And because I was LOVING these courses SO much, I even joined another one for this month called Finding Moments! Here are a few of my favorite images I captured during the past two months in class.
Intention #3 was to create an Autumn Bucket List for our family & start checking things off.
This is always one of my favorite things to do every autumn and of course, this year is no exception. Here are a few of the things we checked off in the past two months (in no particular order):
- Go hiking as a family
- Choose Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating
- Play in a huge pile of leaves
- Decorate our house for Halloween
- Go camping in the Chill Pill (more than once!)
- Make s’mores over the campfire
- Do some festive craft activities
- Watch scary movies (this year we watched Goonies w the boys for the first time!)
- Go to the farmers market and pick out pumpkins and mums
- Carve jack-o-lanterns
- Visit the mountains and see the leaves changing colors
My November Intentions 2022
1. Get a head start on holiday planning and to-dos this year
We are traveling the last two weeks of November and won’t be home until the last day of the month. I want to get a head start on planning alllll of the fun things I love to do every December! Also while we are visiting family for Thanksgiving we will be celebrating Christmas together. So I need to have all of our Christmas shopping (and wrapping!!) finished before our trip! I also plan to do our Christmas book advent and our Christmas activities countdown again this year. That means I need to get those fun things organized.
Why is this one of my November intentions?
A lot of times I get really over-eager and then make my to-do list completely unrealistic. So this will be an important intention for me to keep in mind the next few weeks. I find that the more organized I can be on the planning end of things, the better my implementation pays off in the long run. And the less stressed I end up being over things that are supposed to be FUN and bring me joy!
>> Action plan: Make a huge brain dump list of things I need to do. And then break those things into specific tasks. Use my planner to block times to complete things from the list and schedule them in strategically. Aim to be proactive instead of reactive!
2. Send out a newsletter by Thanksgiving
I haven’t sent out a newsletter all year and it’s been killing me! That is one of my favorite ways to connect with friends from this cozy little corner of the internet. And yet I’ve neglected to write any love letters to you all year! For whatever nonsensical reason, the lapse of time makes me feel awkward and then I resist writing them for even longer! Though if your inbox is anything like mine, maybe you didn’t even realize you’d been missing me! The truth is, I’ve been missing this connection between us.
Why is this one of my November intentions?
This time of year leaves me feeling inspired to find better rhythms with my creativity and more authentic ways to engage with you in this incredible community of ours. I am SO incredibly grateful for you and all the light and love you share with me in this space. I am so thankful for the solidarity and support we find together here. And especially for the opportunity for us to share our stories with one another. And I really WANT to connect with you this way!
Action plan: I’ve got some plans for a super fun giveaway over on Instagram that I’m going to start at the beginning of December. I want to make sure the details go out to my newsletter list first (one of the perks of being ON that list!). So that will be a great accountability factor for me. Another great way for me to make sure this happens is simply to START working on it now! So I’m going make sure it goes on my to-do list (see intention #1 for this month!).
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3. Get my unread emails under control and unsubscribe from junk mail
About two months ago I finally broke down and decided to dive into an overwhelmingly high number of unread emails that had been hanging unchecked in my inbox. It was no simple task but it had to be done. One day I decided I’d had enough and I just started deleting. Several days later I had completely zeroed out that looming little red bubble that had been haunting me for lord knows how long.
For about a month I did a great job of keeping up with it. Every evening I would go through and unsubscribe from junkmail in my inbox, flag important emails I needed to keep up with, and delete the rest. It wasn’t long before I started feeling pretty good about myself. Ha! And then I got sick and a few days (and a few hundred emails) slipped by unchecked. Once it hit 4 digits I knew something had to be done about it (again). So I’ve been gradually tackling it again the past couple of days.
Why is this one of my November intentions?
It was so refreshing to have that number under control. I felt like I was more organized and on top of things (even though truly more than 3/4 of what’s in there is junk mail!). Unfortunately when it creeps up high enough that I can’t tackle it in one sitting, then it feels like I can’t get a handle on it because every day more and more come in. And the higher the number, the more likely I am to avoid this task completely.
Action plan: Use some of the time we are traveling in the next two weeks to get it done! Paul loves to drive so I know I will be chilling in the passenger seat quite a bit. And this will be a perfect opportunity for me to do it. Also, I heard a great tip that if you aim to spend 15-30 minutes unsubscribing from emails that you don’t want (think: junk mail and advertising) on Black Friday when every retailer and their mother will undoubtedly send you SOMETHING via email, you can actually be quite productive with getting those under control. So that’s my goal!