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 2019, I decided to start setting three specific goals for myself each month. My objective was to be more intentional (which was my 2019 word of the year) in my day-to-day life. It turned out to be such a great experience! I’m here with my August goals and hoping to keep this momentum going strong! This series is designed to share those goals with you as well as to provide me with more monthly accountability.
“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
—Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
It’s been a minute since I showed up here and actually declared any monthly goals. A lot has been happening these past several months. As much as I hate to admit it, goal-setting has not been much on my radar. Though it has always been such a valuable exercise for me in the past. As July came and went, I realized that setting and sharing these monthly goals has been a part of blogging that has always brought me accountability, joy, and connection. And I realized that I’ve been missing those things lately. Therefore, I’m aiming to be more intentional for the second half of this year. That means I am going to start back up and share my monthly goals with you!
So without further ado… here are my August goals!
My August Goals 2021
1. Daily Morning Pages
When I’m in the groove with my morning routine, it feels like life just flows more smoothly from day to day. Morning pages is a big part of that routine. Waking up early, before my family, has been a way to help me feel calm and focused as I head into each day. I get up, brew a fresh pot of coffee, light a candle, and settle in at my desk. Then I grab my notebook to clock 15-20 minutes of free writing. Julia Cameron calls them “morning pages” and I’ve done them off and on for many years. Lately, I’ve been “off” more than on despite making a conscious effort to be more intentional about them.
Since I’m returning to monthly goal setting, this feels like a perfect place to start again.
Why is this one of my August goals? Since we moved earlier this year, I have been trying to find my groove again. Some days it feels hard to keep my head above water. One thing that has been very clear to me is how much the absence of my morning ritual inhibits my creativity, my mood, and even my ability to feel grounded in my days. It’s amazing the huge impact that writing morning pages can have on me, emotionally and mentally. Taking time to ground myself intentionally through journaling, meditation, prayer, and gratitude, and even by simply sitting in the predawn silence of our house is such an important way to set the tone before the chaos of the day erupts around me.
Action plan: Set my alarm and get UP when it goes off. Hold space for this time even when the day takes off before I’m prepared. Find the margins in my day that allow me pockets of time to write if I can’t carve it out in the earliest part of the day. Connect with other creatives for accountability. Trust the process.
2. Daily Marriage Check-ins
The past few months have been brutal on our schedule. About a month ago Paul and I realized we had hardly talked to one another for several days. When life gets chaotic, we both tend to hunker down and push through. Often forgetting to lean in to one another for support and camaraderie. One night we had a deep discussion about how neither of us likes to feel so disconnected. We devised a plan to be more intentional with one another.
In Kendra Adachi’s book The Lazy Genius Way, she talks about one of the main reasons we have difficulty in creating new habits for ourselves is that we start too big with our goal setting.
She struggled to start a yoga habit with a goal of 20 minutes a day. However, she found success in her efforts when she committed to simply 1 downward dog pose daily. It was such a small goal that she had no excuse not to do it each day. One thing Paul and I noticed is that we would always plan to talk for 30 minutes a day. Or we would plan to have family meetings every Sunday. These things tended not to happen consistently and would quickly disappate.
We asked each other, what is the smallest DOABLE amount of time we can both consistently prioritize and commit to? 5 minutes seemed to be the right amount. There is no excuse that can deter us with such a small amount. And what we’ve found recently is that often 5 minutes leads to even longer spontaneous conversations.
Why is this one of my August goals? Our marriage is the foundation of all things in our family. Being intentional about prioritizing it is incredibly important to both of us. Sometimes life pulls us in different directions and we lose touch with one another. This is an attempt to create some habits between us that will help us stay better connected.
Action plan: Find 5 minutes EVERY single day to connect. Begin our check in by sharing marriage gratitude/spouse appreciation. Then share things we may be feeling stressed about or areas we need support from one another. Figure out when we will meet the following day. If we can’t connect in person, we will do it by text!
3. Write the dang Thank You cards
I was raised to send handwritten thank you cards. I know this may seem outdated to some of you. But it’s something I have always considered to be really important and meaningful. Lately I have really dropped the ball with this habit and it’s not something I feel good about. I want to instill this practice in my children and I want to be more intentional about it myself. So it’s time for me to play catch up and write the dang cards already. Better late than never, right?
Why is this one of my August goals? First of all, I love snail mail. Secondly, I truly want to send thank you notes. They only take moments to write and are a very meaningful way to show gratitude to people in our lives.
Action plan: Make a list of who I’ve been meaning to send them to. Start tackling that list daily. Even if it’s just one a day, get them mailed. Get Paul to help me with the ones I want to send from the boys. Have them color some of them to make them more personal and to include them in the process.