After a month of no new posts and only checking in more or less once a week on comments and social media sites, I am so excited to get back to blogging and to be more intentional about my time online and on my phone. I have a post I’ve been waiting months to share that will go live later this week, so keep an eye out, but in the meantime I’m ready to recap a bit of last month and talk about some new goals and focuses for this month:I had the great pleasure of spending some time at the beach last month. The ocean is definitely my happy place. It is so calming and puts so much in perspective. I feel small but also comforted. I think of how many important Biblical moments took place near the water, how water is so connected to faith. Plus, there was the bonus joy of watching my kids love the ocean too. The same smile on my son’s face and mine as we chase the waves together and giggled. The gorgeous treasures the ocean leaves on the sand in the early morning. The simple happiness of drawing in the sand or watching my daughter react to these new textures and sights and sounds. The kids made sure we didn’t get much rest, but I still came home feeling so recharged.
So, how did I do on my goals for last month? Hit and miss…. and how did my time away change my goals for this month? Read on 🙂
July’s Monthly Goals:
*Refresh couples goals/review baby steps: This goal was a bit nebulous but I think we made progress. This was one of the things beach time was particularly good for. We had some serious conversations about what makes a strong marriage and what is keeping us from reaching our goals both as a couple and personally. Going back to the Couples Guide we filled out earlier this year really helped too, but this time we approached it realizing that the first time we used the guide, almost all of our goals were about OUTWARD focus- things outside of our relationship that we wanted to work on together like improving the house, entertaining more, etc. and now we are starting to pinpoint what we want to work on INSIDE our relationship such as ways we communicate, revisiting division of labor and household roles, etc. On a lighter note, we also had a great stay at home date night testing out this personalized Guess Who I made from various wedding photos! Plus, ice cream and game of thrones nights. And we brainstormed a few fun ideas for dates in months to come as well.
*Social Media Fast: This was REALLY hard at first. I kept finding myself wondering “what am I missing?” I wasn’t 100% strict with this, but overall I did really well achieving this goal. Sometimes I’d pop on an extra time to get information from closed groups I’m in on facebook or to check out a photo someone told me they’d posted, but I made “the scroll” a very rare part of my life and by the end of the month I realized I had flipped the script and now if I am spending too much time ON my phone I find myself wondering “what am I missing” that is right in front of me- what expression is my baby making, what opportunity to connect with my toddler did I not see, etc. etc. By the end of the month, I noticed my toddler felt more free to come up to me and show me things he’d made or ask me to come dance with him to his favorite song, or even just ask for a hug, and I don’t want to miss those things
*Prepare for/Enjoy Vacation: Done and Done. Aside from what I wrote about the beach earlier in this post, I’m just going to leave you with this picture as a sample of the JOY we had:
*Print Project Life Pages/Order Baby Book Prints: It’s over halfway through the year so it was time to print my pages I’d made in the Project Life App. This also meant printing the final pages of last year and looking back on some of those memories! There’s something so satisfying about slipping those pages into my albums. I did not place my order for the additional baby book photos because I forgot how much shipping is and want to do as few shipments as possible, so this is getting moved to a goal when my little girl is 9 months. and I DID upload most of the photos I want from her 3-6 month pictures, so that way I’ll just have another three month chunk to go through when I’m ready to order.
*Reassess Budget: A little bit of work here and progress, but this is one that is going to be revisited in the next month
*Plan Fall Garden: I am so excited about this that it will get it’s own post in a week or two… But I’ll just say this, gardening has been such a positive activity these past few months that we are planning a bigger space to grow things! We have plans for flowers, herbs, and veggies and I can’t wait.
*Tackle the office mess: I’m super proud of the work and progress that happened on this goal. This included areas you can’t see when you walk in the room like clearing out our filing cabinet and desk drawers and even the dreaded closet of crafting mania. The only thing that didn’t get touched was the photos in the corner of the closet because I need a clearer goal with my husband about what we want to do with those memories, so that’s a future project! I now have more space and organization to craft and sew and create all sorts of things. Plus, I know where everything is!
July Weekly Goals:
*Go vegan 1x/week: I did not do well with this goal. I did do a good job of cutting down on cheese, but I also realized how many meals we prepare that involve butter or eggs… I became just a little too nervous about changing up too much while still nursing so this may be something I attempt again in the new year.
*Yoga 2x/week at least: I crushed this goal. And I am remembering how much stretching my body and taking a little time for me changes the rest of my day/week. So this month yoga is getting moved to a daily goal! I may not make it to the studio each day, but I’m confident I can rise to the challenge of at least squeezing in a few sun salutations.
*Solo Time with each kid: This goal was hit and miss from week to week but my goodness does it make a difference when I make time for this. Whether it be a quick game of Candyland with my toddler or solo time at the Children’s Museum with the baby, time not wrangling both of them at once makes a huge change in the attitudes of everyone.
*Create Something: I had such a lovely time with this goal. I think I forgot how much I love just being creative and working with my hands. I made a few personalized gifts, a few new greeting cards for my shop and upcoming craft fairs, and a few things just for my family such as the aforementioned Guess Who game!
July Daily Goals: This was the most inconsistent my daily goals have ever been since starting Powersheets and I think that’s ok. I think it means I’m setting goals that are really making me reach and I’m also finding out which goals I really care about.
*Very Veggie Meal: Lots of fun new recipes tried this month that were simple and delicious. I didn’t do it every single day, but overall made the habit more consistent. Success.
*Get Moving: This was also hit and miss but my mindset is changing. My son now actively expects dance parties and we had so much fun taking long walks on the beach and also enjoying some early morning bearable weather back here in Phoenix. Also, I’m slowly getting into more vigorous yoga classes. I’m looking forward to continuing to up my energy levels which is really at the root of this goal.
*Pray, Coffee & Jesus time: When I do this, my day is always better and more focused. This small daily ritual in my morning makes a difference and I’m planning to keep it in my daily routine.
*Laugh together/ take more video of the kids: I was definitely more intentional about this, but missed many days because if this is really going to be a daily thing I need a phone with more storage!
*READ: My only daily goal I achieved every single day in June. I am falling in love with reading again, though giving myself grace for how slow going it is with a physical book vs. an e-reader. I want to keep doing a mix of digital and physical books though so my kids see me reading actual books, not just spending more time on the phone…
GOALS FOR AUGUST:
You’ll notice that in addition to some new goals, some goals got moved over from last month because they didn’t happen (Progress not perfection, right?!) and some goals got moved from one section into another section…
*Date Night: Continuing to put time together as a priority!
*Establish New Routines: Now that my baby girl is getting older I’m ready to move back to a little more structure- predictable nap times and bed time routines and hopefully some household management routines as well that have kind of fallen by the wayside in the past year.
*Reassess Budget/Debt: As you read above, this one got moved over from last month… I am curious though, those of you who do or have done a “debt snowball” did you start with the highest interest debt or the smallest debt? Let me know!
*Sell/Donate/Simplify: I made such good progress on the office last month, and now I need to figure out what to do with the things I de-cluttered from there as well as a few other items I’ve been holding onto.
*Open my heart and my home: I’ve been waiting to invite more people over until the house was in better shape… but I’m starting to realize there will never be a magical time where my house looks perfect and I feel on top of everything so I’m praying about changing my attitude and how to embrace some simple gestures that opens up our home to friends and family a bit more.
*Start fall garden: As I said, more on this in a future post! I’m so excited 🙂 (EDITED: The post is up and can be found by clicking HERE!)
*Self care/reflection: After next month the Powersheets have a goals refresh section, and I want to make sure I’m ready for that by really taking time to think about personal goals (not just goals for me as a wife or as a mom but as “just me” too…) and what the final piece of the year might look like.
*1 Hour on my daughter’s baby book: I’m hoping an hour a week ads up so when I order those new batch of pictures I’m completely done with the journaling for the old pictures.
*Meal plan/cut grocery spending: continuing to prep for the week but also hopefully focusing on simplicity for the month and on using what we have so we can spend less at the store
*Back to blogging: After a month away I’m hoping to go back to posting more than once a week. And this post is my start!
*Keep creating/start holiday brainstorming: Making things has been so good for my heart and soul that I want to be sure I keep setting aside time once a week for that, especially now that the kids are in a place where they can occasionally entertain themselves or each other while I get stuff done bit by bit. I used to be able to bust out a project all at once, but now my new strategy is bit by byit: design one day, or maybe cut out a pattern I found or bought, or pick some fabric or color combos, etc. so that I can use my small chunks of time here and there to keep on keepin’ on with this goal.
*Express Gratitude/RAK: One perk of cleaning out the office last month was finding some postcards and sending a few to friends I was missing and am thankful for… it made me really happy to send some physical mail. I also think I’ve been very insular and family focused so far this year, so I’m challenging myself to find little ways here and there to do random acts of kindness, and to express gratitude when kindness is extended to me and mine.
*No packaged food: This is going to be a HUGE challenge, especially given the grocery goal about using up what’s in our pantry… I’m not counting basic ingredients that happen to be packaged instead of in bulk, but I am counting things like kraft mac and cheese (still fair game for my toddler), ramen, pre-made soups (not broths), and my big love- ice cream. (This may or may not drive me to make ice cream or sorbet from scratch… because it’s still going to be hot here in Phoenix. oh… so… hot…) I have no idea how many days I will accomplish it and I’m still debating giving myself a pass on Sundays… but I want to be more mindful of my choices. I am making a promise to myself to observe more than judge on this one.
*Yoga: Yup, I’m moving this from weekly to daily. See my reasoning in my July recap section.
*Coffee & Jesus: Keeping this on my list as it is my favorite part of my morning routine and a key component to keeping my cool on little sleep with two kids
*Phone free time: I cut out so much social media time last month and this month I need to cut the gnawing need to have my phone ever present. I’m not setting strict parameters for giving it up, just want to make conscious time to stop using it and just be with those around me or quietly with my self each day.
*Solo time with kids: I moved this to a daily goal as well now that nap time is not really a thing that happens at the same time (or at all for my older kid…) I love connecting one on one and they love it too.
Any of you reassessing your goals as we head into “back to school” season? I know this can be a time with big changes to routines and focus so just know it’s ok to reassess. I’d love to cheer you on with your goals! And I’d also love to hear about your favorite ways to show random acts of kindness so I can add them to my brainstorming list 🙂