Have you been wondering what ever happened to my monthly goal-setting series? Well you’re not alone if so! I have decided it’s time to shake things up a little bit! 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 in my day-to-day life. Over the past several months, I have found myself in need of a more gentle, grace-giving approach. One that can still offer me accountability, joy, and connection but with much less pressure. I’ve decided to shift this to a series of monthly intentions.
“It’s enough to pay attention to the little things. The steam rising off that first cup of coffee. Sunlight coming through the window. There’s no right answer for what’s going to make you happy. There are only these little things that add up to how you spend your days & it can take a long time to see it’s as simple as that.”
How in the heck is it already November??? I feel like this really snuck up on me! Is it just me? I can’t believe we are only two months out from 2022! This is something that always hits me right around Halloween every year. The hours of the day seem to speed up. The hands of time making their way around the face of my kitchen clock in record speed. Scarcity threatens to consume me – not enough sleep, not enough hours in the day, not enough weekend, not enough time to catch up or get ahead. The to-do lists start spiraling out of my control.
Don’t even remind me of all of the holiday planning I have to do!!
Ok ok, I’m not going to let myself get too carried away. In truth, I LOVE this time of year. I want to enjoy this season and all the beautiful moments it has to offer. Not get bogged down with overwhelm. This is an important time of the year for me to bring my focus back to basics. To recalibrate. Breathe. Start simple. Pause. Find the best perspective. Start again. Trust the process. And ultimately a great time for me to set some gentle intentions for myself to help ground me in my days throughout the month.
So without further ado… here are my November intentions!
My November Intentions 2021
1. Reconnect with Friends
Lately I have been finding it really difficult to stay in touch with my friends in the ways that I really intend to. Ways that cultivate and tend to our friendships and offer genuine support amongst us. Life is busy and chaotic and can feel overwhelming. Oftentimes the relationships that mean a great deal to me get neglected in the hustle and bustle of my everyday doings. As I get older, I realize more and more how important it is to have close, authentic, genuine friendships.
These are the kind that are held together by deep, honest, and vulnerable connections, that we must show up for, and invest in.
I find that achieving that level of depth in connection is increasingly difficult to maintain. This season of life rarely offers me uninterrupted time to talk by phone. I hardly ever get out of the house sans kiddos. My mental bandwidth and overall energy are constantly depleted. I have been learning (thank you therapy) that my tendency is to pull away from others when life starts feeling overwhelming for me. I’m a person that tends to put my head down and goes into a kind of solo-survival mode. And I neglect to reach out to share my struggles or ask for help when things get tough.
The opportunity to show up for our friends, to be there for them in challenging times, to offer solidarity and empathy and support – is a unique gift. And in turn, offering them the same opportunities to provide for us makes the circle complete. A true friendship is real and raw, life-giving and cup-filling.
Reconnecting with friends that enhance my life and bring me so much love, joy, and comfort is incredibly important to me.
Why is this one of my November intentions?
Friendship seems harder as an adult. Friendship in a pandemic seems virtually impossible. We all have busy lives and opposite schedules and varying commitments and priorities. But friendship is one of the greatest blessings a person can have. And making time to cultivate those relationships is what deepens those connections. This creates powerful support systems we all need in our lives. These things truly matter and are worth the time and effort and energy it takes to keep them alive and well. I need to do better. Perhaps we all do. So this month, I’m going to start trying to be more present with my friends.
Action plan: Each week, I plan to call/text/Marco Polo/or otherwise connect with a few of my friends. I intend to to share three random things happening in my life with them. I’ll also ask them to do the same for me. It may be things that happened that week or thoughts I’ve been thinking. Parenting or marriage advice I want to ask them about. Or possibly creative ideas or something interesting that I’ve read or learned about. It can be anything! Just 3 random things each week as a way to initiate reconnecting with them!
2. Read MORE
I absolutely love reading. As autumn unfolds and the weather turns colder, I find myself longing to curl up with a book. The list of books I want to read is longer than I can keep up with. time and there is an ever-growing stack of them on my nightstand. One of them is always my monthly book club read (for my virtual book club that I started a few years ago!). The others are a mishmash of other things I love reading about!
I also usually have an audiobook that I’m listening to as well! Audiobooks have been a saving grace for me since my boys were born. Listening while I’m in the shower, folding clothes, driving, or cleaning up after they go to bed has really been a good way to decompress. So this month, as life picks up pace and the holidays are quickly upon us, I’m setting an intention to read MORE. No specified amount of time, days a week, or number of books to get through. Just read more. I like the way that sounds.
Why is this one of my November intentions? Reading is one of the easiest ways for me to show myself some love. Creating space for myself in a busy time of the year to read is always grounding and fulfilling. There’s nothing quite like self-care for me when it looks like curling up under a blanket on the couch with a fire next to me and a good book in hand.
Action plan: Use the margins in my day to pick up a book instead of my phone. Leave books out in places that are easy to grab when the opportunity presents itself. Keep an intriguing audiobook downloaded on my phone to listen to in the car. Or while I’m doing the dishes or folding laundry. Reinstate independent “reading times” with my boys where I can hand them a stack of books and then sit back with my own. I think it’s good for them to see me enjoying reading and for us to have down time like this as a family.
Are you looking for some inspiration on a good book to read? This is one of my favorite ways to connect with others! Send me a message on Instagram or email me anytime! I’d love to talk about books with you! Also you can click HERE to see a list of some books that I recommend if you’re looking to enhance their autumn vibe!
3. Move my body
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again for anyone new around here. I am NOT a fan of exercising. Whoever decided to call it “working” out anyway?? Aren’t we all overworked as it is? Now 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 tennis and soccer. They are both completely engaging activities. Competitive, entertaining, challenging, and an awesome physical outlet. And best of all – I run all over the tennis court or soccer field without even realizing how much exercise that actually amounts to!
As life gets busier and the weather gets colder, it becomes more challenging for me to feel motivated to prioritize moving my body. This is why I want to make it one of my November intentions.
Rainy days are the worst. Between tennis/soccer games, hiking, taking my boys on long walks around the neighborhood, and riding my bike – I find ways to get moving when it’s nice outside. But this time of year, the rain rolls in, the weather gets colder, and things get cancelled. When the gloom settles, I really struggle to rally. And some days are simply so busy that finding the time to be intentional about moving my body feels like a real struggle.
I know how incredible the benefits of being healthy are to my mind, body, and spirit. And yet, 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 constantly in tow, things look a lot different than they used to. The bottom line though, is that I want to lead my children by example. Being an “active” family has always been important to Paul and me.
Why is this one of my November intentions?
Lately I haven’t been feeling good in my own body. My knees and back ache daily. I just don’t feel like I have the same level of energy that I usually do. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the more I move my body, the more energy I have in general. When I’m in a healthy place; exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, etc. my overall wellness tends to rest at a much higher baseline than it has been lately. I want to get back into a physically active mindset and start moving my body more. Prioritizing these things helps me be a healthier version of myself.
Action plan: Play as much tennis/soccer as I can. Try out the Peleton pass my friend Bari shared with me. Consider something I can do from home, like yoga with Adriene, when I can’t get out to the courts. Get creative with ways to move my body for 20-30 minutes every single day. Even if that means having a kitchen dance party with the boys, doing jumping jacks, or simply taking an after-dinner stroll around the neighborhood.