Hello! Welcome to another goals post for my monthly goal-setting series. If this is your first visit here, thanks for joining me! Back in July of 2019 I decided to start setting three specific goals for myself each month. My objective was to be more intentional (my 2019 word of the year) in my day-to-day life. It turned out to be such a great experience! Now I’m here with my March goals because I want to keep going strong! This series is designed to share those goals with you as well as to provide me with more monthly accountability.
“In March the soft rains continued, and each storm waited courteously until its predecessor sunk beneath the ground.”― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Oh March, how I love thee. Thank you for always showing up as the gateway to spring. Every year around this time, spring fever spikes a burning motivation in me. I find myself inspired to declutter, organize, spring clean, meal plan, eat healthier, and finally get my fitness level back on track after the massive annual speed bump that is winter. Soccer and tennis seasons start back up again. It’s the beginning of tulip season! My kids are thrilled to play outside every day (even if it’s just in the puddles). The birds start singing their hearts out at the crack of dawn. People start mowing their grass again (one of my favorite smells is freshly cut grass). I want to throw open the windows and not waste a second of the beautiful weather.
Spring really is an incredible season.
If I didn’t love autumn so much, spring would definitely be my favorite. When we lived in Chicago, March was not always so seasonably kind. There was almost always more snow, long days of frigid temperatures, and definitely no changing the wardrobes for at least a couple more months. Living in a warmer climate has given me so much more appreciation for the changing seasons.
I love that in the past few days we’ve already been able to have dinner in the backyard by the fire pit. On Monday I played tennis in shorts and a tank top (it was 65 degrees!). And yesterday we had a spot of puddle jumping on our way home from walking to go vote. We have been able to turn off the heat and open the windows to let in the delightful fresh air. Winter can get so stuffy. Dry and cold. Bulky (though I do love a bulky warm sweater!). And while I hold a big place in my heart for every season, I never mind the gentle shift into springtime.
A quick review of my February goals:
Tackle 3 nagging tasks every weekday
This goal kept me feeling super productive this past month and pulled me out of a rut I’ve been sitting in for longer than I care to admit. While I didn’t meet this goal every weekday, I did knock a TON of things off my endlessly growing task list that had been looming for a long time. I finally called the city to come check out our water-pressure problems. And I scheduled that dentist appointment. Mailed Christmas cards out (and wrote Happy St. Patrick’s Day on most of them lol). Went to get my eyes checked AND finally ordered some new glasses! And that just scratched the surface.
I found the intention behind choosing three tasks each day to be very reasonable. Some how having only three was much less overwhelming to me. And once I got the ball rolling, I found that the positive reinforcement of checking things off that endless list was almost empowering. “I can do this” I kept telling myself! And so I did, and so I will continue to do.
Use a Habit-tracker to get to bed earlier (and wake up earlier)
This remains the hardest goal I’m trying to make a habit of keeping daily. Even knowing how much I benefit from it on both ends (morning and night), it is still extremely difficult for me to follow through on. When I am well-rested and carve out “me-time” it definitely brings out my best self every day.
I know it gives me the energy I need to handle stress and challenging situations more gracefully. I find myself less irritable, less likely to forget things, and more motivated to be productive. Luckily this past month Paul also decided to start focusing on going to bed earlier. This was extra encouragement for me, especially on nights where we reeeeally wanted to watch one more episode on Netflix of our latest binge. Having him also trying to keep better habits helped keep me on track.
While I don’t think my habit tracker really reflects much positive progress, I do feel like it was beneficial for me to use. I really wanted to fill in those little boxes! This is a goal I am going to be continuing to work on until I really see the success that I desire.
Cook with my kids
This was one of the most fun goals I’ve set since I started this goal-setting series. Both of my boys are so eager to “help cook” and it was so delightful to be more intentional about including them in the process. Their favorites are making smoothies and cooking waffles. I was able to integrate a few recipes into our meal plans that allowed them to participate more. One night we made healthy homemade rainbow rolls with veggies and rice paper. Noah loved that – he got so excited to choose the ingredients he wanted to include in his rolls and he ate a ton that night too! This goal really inspired me to continue to find ways to invite them into the kitchen. I hope doing so will instill in them a lifelong love of cooking and eating healthy foods.
My March Goals
1. Daily Creative Writing
I blogged earlier this week about my decision to participate in a 40-day writing challenge for Lent this year. This challenge coincides nicely with choosing a goal for this month since it allows me to kill two birds with one stone. I picked up a great guided resource by Callie Feyen in the Exhale Creative Marketplace. There are 40 days worth of creative prompts, each one-word and focusing on writing the everyday moments of life. My ideal success with this goal would be that at the end of this month, I have sat down in some capacity to write creatively for some portion of every day. Maybe that looks like writing from a prompt. Perhaps it’s working on a blog post. Or maybe it’s continuing the ritual of writing out morning pages. No matter what context I choose, I just want to write. Every day.
Why this is a March goal? Because this is a calling I feel incredibly drawn towards. My writing habits are out of practice and the more I work on refining them, the more I feel in sync with finding my creative voice.
Action plan: Keep on trying to wake up early. Find the margins in my day that allow me pockets of time to write. Write during nap time. Keep working through the 40-day challenge. Connect with other creatives for accountability. Trust the process.
2. Tackle the chaos of my bedroom
You guys, it’s SO bad. There are boxes of donation items and out-grown baby clothes. Piles of (mostly clean) laundry on every surface. Toys and books strewn from one end to the other from the boys dragging stuff in with them. We have furniture we aren’t using anymore like a changing table and a nursing glider. It’s really not dirty in there, it’s just in utter disarray. Most days I try not to really look. And the work to tackle it all feels so daunting that I have let it completely overwhelm me to the point of complete avoidance.
Why this is a March goal? I’m sick and tired of being paralyzed by big projects like this. The longer I procrastinate, the worse things get. I’m feeling motivated by the impulse to spring clean and this hot spot is the number one change that has to happen.
Action plan: Get Paul on board to help me. Set aside specific time on the calendar to work on it. Get those boxes to the donation center and the baby clothes organized and into the attic. Put the laundry away in the dressers/closets where it belongs. Include the boys in tidying the toys and books. Haul away the furniture we aren’t using. Declutter and donate wherever possible. Put the spring duvet cover on the bed and spruce up the room so it feels more like a sanctuary than a place we only want to venture after dark. Add fresh flowers.
3. Participate in a 21-day Food, Fitness, Friends Reboot Online Course
I’ve followed Heidi on social media for years and I love so many things about her. When I saw she was planning to offer a course on Food, Fitness, and Friends – I couldn’t resist. It cost $37 to participate (such a steal!) and it begins next week on 3/09. She’s including healthy recipes with sample meal plans and daily exercise accountability check-ins. Live group calls plus a weekly workout, and there is a workbook to help track progress through the course.
One thing I should admit to you is that I am NOT a fan of exercising. Don’t get me wrong – I love being active. But my ideal “fitness” is a sneaky kind of exercise where you can do it without realizing how hard you are working. This is what I love most about soccer. It’s such a social activity. Competitive, entertaining, challenging, and an awesome physical outlet. And best of all – I run up and down the soccer field without ever realizing how much exercise that actually amounts to!
I’m not interested in trying to lose a bunch of weight or make huge modifications to my eating habits (though it wouldn’t hurt me to cut back on the sweets intake). My main goal is to feel healthier. To me, this means working to improve my strength, my posture. Being more thoughtful about the foods I choose to eat. Moving my body daily. And finding a community of heart-centered women that want to cheer each other on.
I know how incredible the benefits of being healthy are to my mind, body, and spirit.
More often than not, in this season of my life, it feels difficult to prioritize my fitness. Back in the day I could play soccer for hours any night of the week that I wanted. Nowadays, with two toddlers ruling the roost, things look a lot different than they used to. The bottom line is that I want to lead my children by example. Being an “active” family has always been important to Paul and me. Making time to prioritize my health and fitness is something that will not only support both of those statements, but it will ultimately help me continue to work towards being the best version of myself. So, this 21-day course sounded like a fun, new, and exciting way to invest in myself in a positive way! Let me know if you want to join me!
Why this is a March goal? Because I’m ready for a reboot! Spring has me motivated and this course sounds amazing to me.
Action plan: Sign up to start the course and get involved (it begins March 9th – so if you want to do it with me, click the link here and let’s DO THIS THING!). Participate in the accountability aspects of the program. Check back here afterwards and let you know how it goes!
I’ll be back next month to update you on how well I kept up with these March goals. And to share my upcoming goals for April!
What are your March goals? I’d love to hear – leave a comment below!