Goal check in: 3/4 of the way through 2017! Plus, October goals….

WOW! Can you believe we only have 1/4 of the year left? To prepare for this post, I went and read back through my older goal recaps because I really wanted to think about the progress I’ve made throughout this year and what I want to focus on in this final push before I start re-evaluating goals for 2018 and moving into my year of “E”s!
I can confidently say that it has been a fruitful year so far. I’ve had bigger struggles than I anticipated I would have this year, but also bigger changes. I have become a rock star at hydrating, I have breastfed my daughter through many many challenges, I have started making positive changes to our home, and I have become a gardener and experienced the delights of picking my own flowers and vegetables. Those are just a few of the highlights, I’ll definitely go into more detail in December as I evaluate the year as a whole, but in the meantime, I am looking forward to cultivating those positive changes even more during this final stretch of the year.
So here’s a recap on last month’s goals, and an overview of this month’s goals:
September Goals:

SEPTEMBER MONTHLY GOALS:
*Clean back porch, Tend Garden, Get Ready for Fall!: YES! We made some executive decision about kids’ toys, finally put together our fire pit, and swept and cleaned the porch in anticipation of more time outside. The garden is thriving and we’ve eaten our first zucchini and enjoyed some gorgeous zinnias so far. I can’t wait for this crazy sunflower variety to bloom more. It is SO DIFFERENT from the classic sunflowers I planted this fall!
*Project Life Catch Up: 
I caught up on several months and started back to my routine of doing each week at the beginning of the next week. Now I just need to add a routine for backing up data.
*Celebrate Hubby’s Birthday!: 
YES! We had a great dinner out and a fun little surprise brunch party. It was fun and simple and good to celebrate.
*Transition kids’ clothes, continue simplifying: 
I am just really behind on this particular goal, but part of this was I thought my daughter would be done with 3 month clothes by now! So hopefully next month….
*Read 3 Books: 
I actually ended up bumping CULTIVATE to next month’s reading list, but I knocked this goal out of the park, reading double my goal.
*Plan for Holidays: Obviously more work needs to be done as the actual dates approach, but I got my family to start thinking of where and when we’ll be celebrating the big holidays and made some tentative Christmas season plans as well. Having a good idea of what’s ahead really helps me feel calmer about the coming busy season.
  *Date Night:
 We almost didn’t make it this month but we had a fast and simple ice cream date together, squeezing in this favorite treat before the weather gets chilly (and by chilly I mean by Phoenix standards- like 70 degree weather…). We had to improvise a bit because we had some unexpected house expenses come up, but we made it work even with a modified budget! AND I have discovered that I’d much rather indulge in a Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream delight than in a Pumpkin Spice Latte. (Actually, confession: I may have lost my taste for PSLs… what is happening in my life?!)

SEPTEMBER WEEKLY GOALS:
*Budget Check-in: We are getting better at living extra simply and realizing where we are misestimating amounts. Weekly check ins have really helped relieve anxiety around this subject and I’m really proud of our progress so far.
*Sabbath & Self-Care: 
We have taken more time for rest and communal celebrations and mass this month. I had a particularly wonderful weekend of self care thanks to FINALLY using a group on from my birthday for a little spa day! It was just what I needed to re-set a bit and feel good and ready to get back to work.
*Create Something:
I had a great time making more shower gifts for expecting mamas as well as a few cards. It kept my creativity flowing and I’m excited to continue this pursuit even though it will not be appearing on my tending list for October.
*Date with the kiddos
: This was my favorite goal this month. We had fun at the children’s museum, the science center, and thanks to some nice weather in the final week some really fun park times! I even managed to steal away for some mother/son time as we celebrated the adoption of one of a sweet friend! These are memories I treasure, and even though they are probably too young to remember them on their own, I hope they remember the feelings of love and adventure when they look back at these moments in our family scrapbook.

SEPTEMBER DAILY GOALS:
Daily goals were ROUGH this month. I spent some time grieving and feeling totally off and this was by far my most inconsistent section on my tending list.
*Morning Routine: Hit and miss but laid a good foundation. I definitely need to keep working on this habit to really make it routine.
*Compliment Hubby: This was my most successful. Although it was eye opening to realize that I tended towards compliments about what he does instead of who he is, something I want to make sure he knows I cherish and will keep in mind moving forward.
*Daily Tidy: 
This was not a success. Nights are hard for us right now. By the time we finish with putting the kids down and workouts and dinner and I pump and we talk about plans for the next day, I’m exhausted and want to just fall into bed before the baby wakes up again at 1. Looking forward to revisiting more of an evening routine when (hopefully) my sweet daughter starts consistently sleeping longer stretches.
*Social Media Free Morning: 
Very hit and miss. something I want to continue to incorporate as a piece of the “morning routine”

October Goals:

October Monthly Goals:
*Date Night: I put this at the top of the list this month so it’s not a last minute scramble. Especially because October is a surprisingly full month this year with events every single weekend, so if we don’t plan ahead it’s just not going to happen.
*Make Halloween Costumes: We haven’t settled on what these will be yet, but I know I will be making at least pieces of costumes if not the whole thing and while that is much more budget friendly, it is going to take some time! This ties into my goal of cherishing time and memories with my family, since I always LOVED looking back at the costumes my mom made for me, and it connects directly with the next item on my tending list…
* Enjoy Fall Festivals/Halloween Memories: I have another unpopular confession: I’m not a huge fan of Halloween. I think because part of my career in theatre means dressing up and pretending to be someone else I’m usually just not that into the holiday and I HATE being scared so it holds little appeal. However, since having kids, dressing them up and doing stuff all together has brought back the appeal and now we have a surprising number of Halloween traditions. It helps that my son is obsessed with pumpkins… and candy…
*Order Baby Book Photos: This was postponed from a few months ago, but I think by the end of this month I’ll have a good amount of pictures to bundle so I can work on catching up with her baby book during the month of November and then just finish up with the final few months around her birthday! Oh my goodness I can’t even think about how fast that is coming up…
*Reorganize closet & Transition clothes: the clothes transition refers to finishing up a goal from last month once my daughter is big enough for me to pack away the 3 month clothing. Then my focus for simplifying household stuff this month is organizing closets so we can know where all of our holiday decor is, what we need, what we have, and what we can bring in from the garage and fit inside the house… because the garage is probably next on the list but we’ll see how I’m feeling about it come November prep…
*Plan for Holidays: This is also a carry over from last month and covers Halloween through Christmas. I made some good progress as far as setting my calendar and talking with family about holiday plans, but now I’m ready to do some prep to make those plans happen so they don’t sneak up on us and stress us out.
*CELEBRATE!: October starts out with International Babywearing Week and I’m looking forward to celebrating that! This also refers to birthdays, progress I’ve made, and just everyday blessings and joys. The last two months have been rough on me mentally and emotionally and I need to celebrate in big and little ways to help re-set and continue to shift my perspective to gratitude. I’ve already made some progress here as I got to use October 1st to celebrate a baptism and to facetime in with friends at the memorial for my friend Jason as they celebrated his life and love.
*Attend Love & Logic/ Integrate what we learn: Love and logic is a parenting program that we are attending through the church that sponsors my MOPS group. We had a guest speaker from the program last year and I’m excited to do the whole program alongside my husband as we continue to navigate having a “threenager” who loves to push boundaries. What I heard from the speaker last year reminded me of what I read in How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk. They are strategies that I don’t have enough practice in to use when I’m cranky or tired, so I’m looking forward to more practice and to having a united front on parenting strategies.

October Weekly Goals:
*Hike/move your body!: Don’t get me wrong, we’ve still been having dance parties, but with the weather cooling down at least in the early morning I am hoping to start enjoying being outdoors more and complimenting the strength I’m getting from yoga with a little bit of endurance when it comes to activities that require some cardio.
*Budget Check in/Family meeting: This was so helpful last month and I’m looking forward to the growth from paying attention to this aspect of our life and planning ahead. I added in “family meeting” because this month is so hectic and I know scheduling will get extra tricky some weeks.
*Baking with my son: Last year we started the tradition that “on Sundays we bake” and I’m looking forward to doing that again now that the weather is cooling off. Our Sundays are a little tricky this month so my goal for now is just having him help me in the kitchen once a week, and hopefully by November we’ll be back to our Sunday routine.
*Time to Write: I didn’t blog as much as I wanted last month and if I don’t intentionally set aside time for it this month I will blog even less with the way my schedule looks, but I also want time to do personal journaling, letters, and I’m even throwing around the idea of some playwriting… or maybe just some brainstorming to turn into short plays in the future…
*Social Media Free Weekend: As tempting as it’s going to be to instagram all our fun and crazy weekend activities, I’m continuing to try various strategies to navigate my phone habits, and this one is a popular one that seems to work for people, so may as well try it out!

October Daily Goals:

This sunflower plant is almost as tall as I am and I was thrilled when the first bloom opened this weekend!

*Get Outside: We’ve been cooped up all summer and I want to take advantage of cooler mornings and evenings to spend more time in the fresh air!
*Morning Routine: A carry over from last month as I try to make this a habit
*Tend Garden: We are having a wonderful time watching things grow, but the plants we picked for our fall garden require a little more attention than our spring garden (plus, there are a lot more of them!)
*Model Kindness: I mean this in little ways like remembering to be kind when my kids are wearing on my patience (hopefully Love and Logic will help with that too!) and in letting other people merge in front of me or not getting angry when I get cut off, or in sending a kind text or letting someone know I see their work and appreciate it, but I also mean that in actively pointing things out to my son about what is kind and when he is being kind. The world needs a lot more kindness and I don’t want to be passive about this in my life.
*Drink More Water: I’ve gotten pretty good at hydrating, and I don’t want to lose the habit just because the hot weather is (hopefully) going away! This is also he time of year I’d rather drink apple cider or hot cocoa or a Pumpkin Ale/Oktoberfest brew than water, so I just want to focus on maintaining my water intake so I don’t lose that habit!

I might have gone a little sticker overboard this month… but with how rough the world has been I’ll take any pick me up I can get!

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