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.
My success with my September goals will definitely not make the highlight reel this year. It feels a little like I bit off more than I could chew but really last month was just a doozy. And some months are rough like that. I could let myself be discouraged or overwhelmed by my unmet goals. Or even start to bemoan starting this goal setting series in the first place. But I choose to move forward and not dwell. To lean into the standard of grace, not perfection. And hope for better luck keeping up in October.
A review of how last month’s goals went:
Weekly Meal Planning on Sundays
Yikes you guys. This was a complete #fail for me for the month. I mean, honestly, the only meal planning that happened at all was THIS week. In trying to make up for the all the meals I didn’t plan, I threw the Hail Mary pass of meal planning and went all out. We had a build-your-own-tacos bar one night, hand-made vegetarian spring rolls another night, and then… well, it was October.
The good news is that those two meals that I went all out planning were pretty motivating. You see, when Paul can be home for dinner, I love having a family dinner. And I love to cook (so does he!) which means this shouldn’t be such a hard thing to accomplish. Hopefully I will have more momentum heading into this next month. I can say that brainstorming theme nights ideas for meal planning was a lot of fun. Especially with fall here now. Soup Sunday is right up my ally. And the kids were going nuts over how much fun the taco bar was.
Having meals that the kids can get involved in helping with is really important to me.
The nights when I’m home with the boys alone while Paul is working I don’t usually feel very inspired to cook. But it’s true though that our lives are much less stressful when we have a plan. And I think I have to give myself some slack and realize that meal planning does not always have to mean cooking some elaborate dinner. Especially on those nights I am solo-parenting. The plan can be to just order take out or eat leftovers. Simply thinking about it in advance can take a lot of pressure off those evenings.
Morning “Me” Time Routine
This goal was the hardest for me for accountability. I have no excuse other than I was just TOO EXHAUSTED this month. You may have read in this earlier post, I have been on the struggle bus lately. With school starting back, Paul working a ton, and being emotionally, physically, and mentally drained – I just couldn’t enjoy this goal like I had hoped to. But I plan to aim for this one going forward. The days I did get up early were amazing. It’s incredible what a positive impact even an extra 30 minutes can have on my day.
Create an Autumn Bucket List for our family
Now this one I do feel really good about! While we didn’t really start checking things off yet, we have an AWESOME list put together so far. It has a pretty broad range of things on it – stuff for us to do together as a family, things that Paul and I want to do just the two of us, and a few things I personally want to check off. I’m planning to write another post with more details.
Here’s a little sneak peak of what we added:
- Camp out as a family in the backyard and make s’mores
- Decorate our house for Halloween
- Homemade pasta-making night with Fall-inspired cocktails
- Make ice cream sundaes with seasonal toppings (think marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crumbled graham crackers) and watch the movie Monsters, Inc.
- Do some autumn-inspired art projects
- Take a trip to Asheville to go hiking and see the leaves changing colors.
1. Start the #Last90days Challenge
I heard about this around Christmas last year and remember thinking it was such a great idea. It is a challenge that was created by Rachel Hollis (author of Girl, Wash Your Face) with the intention of inspiring an accountability to a healthier lifestyle the last 90 days of the year. This is typically a hectic, potentially more stressful time of the year when we are tempted to make poor decisions. We tend to overindulge, exercise less, and excuse ourselves until January 1st when we can resolve to start healthy in the new year. I’m definitely guilty of this.
The idea is to prioritize 5 specific things every day for success.
- Wake up (an hour) earlier than usual
- Move your body for at least 30 minutes daily
- Drink more water
- Eliminate an unhealthy food from your diet
- Practice daily gratitude by writing down what you are grateful for every day
So I’m accepting a “modified” version of this challenge. Almost every one of these is a goal I have set for myself in the past several months. I think it’s reasonable to push myself to continue to pursue these habits. However, I’m not in the market for more stress or overwhelm these days so I tread into this challenge lightly. I will aim high and do the best I can in each of these areas. My friend Suzette has created an awesome (free) accountability tracker for this challenge that you can download from her website. I just printed mine today.
Why this is a October goal: Setting these goals has been important to me each month and I like the idea of keeping them in motion. The more I practice these habits, the better chance they will become second nature for me.
Action plan: Go to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier and be rested. Keep exercising (I’ve been doing pretty well with this one!). Drink water when I first wake up every morning. Have a serious heart-to-heart with myself about eating habits. Start by only indulging in one “treat” a day. And end each day with an intentional reflection of gratitude.
2. Get on the floor and play
My oldest son says every day “come sit right here Mama, on the floor by me, and play with me!” How many times I have not accepted that invitation breaks my heart to admit. This may be my most important goal yet.
Why this is a October goal: These moments are so precious and valuable – opportunities to play with my boys will not always be so eagerly extended. They are growing up too quickly right before my eyes and I don’t want to miss out.
Action plan: Put down the phone. Set aside the to-do list. Get down on the floor. Play.
Simple as that.
3. Participate in (a modified version of) “Blogtober”
Earlier this week someone in a group blogger forum I am in on Facebook asked members if we are participating in Blogtober this year.
My response? Umm what exactly IS Blogtober?
I learned that Blogtober is a challenge for bloggers to create new content in daily posts every single day of the month of October. My understanding is that the goal is to encourage bloggers to push themselves creatively and get more content out there for readers. Honestly I don’t think there is any way I can commit myself to posting every single day. But I do think I could benefit from a modified version of this challenge!
Why this is a October goal: I’ve struggled with time management and organization of content with my blog thus far. Pushing myself to prioritize posting more than once a week will hopefully help me build more momentum here. Participating in this challenge also creates a different level of accountability for me in this space. I need a good creative push and this sounds like it could be fun (I hope!).
Action plan: Post 2 times a week (before now I have been trying to post at least once a week). Create a content plan to help me stay organized. Schedule time into my week to write and post.
I’ll be back next month to update you on how well I kept up with these October goals. And to share my new November goals. Wish me luck!
What are your October Goals? I’d love to hear – leave a comment below!