I hope everyone had an amazing thanksgiving! I took the week off posting to savor the days my husband took off work and the time with family and friends. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t writing though…
I’ve done a lot of pre-writing for the month of December so I can focus on unplugging and reflecting this Advent season. So you’ll still get blog posts, but I’ll be getting some time off of writing to focus on Christmas traditions and what my plans are for the blog next year. Some of those plans I’ve already started thinking of, hence the pre-writing because in the month of December I’ll be wrapping up this year’s goals and revealing my “E” words for next year. However, I likely won’t be covering day to day events or thoughts during this next month and I won’t actively be blogging during Powersheets Prep Week next week. I’ll be back in January to share my goals for the new year as well as a little bit about my prep work process which I’m letting myself take several weeks to do this year. (As in I’ve already started this past weekend and I’m not finalizing my goals until after Christmas…) PS if you are interested in the 2018 PowerSheets Collection you can click the link in this sentence and join me on cultivating good goals for 2018!
Before that though, let’s recap November goals and give a peek at what I have on my tending list for December…
November Monthly Goals:
*Be PRESENT and Celebrate Thanksgiving: YES! I was so extra thankful to have low key holidays at my parents’ houses this past week. It was wonderful to snuggle up with the kids, watch the parade, enjoy delicious food, and not worry about if the baby threw half her meal on the floor (or got mashed potatoes in her eye…) And I was not chasing deals or thinking about a long to do list or anything else, I was enjoying time together with people I love.
*Date Night (or Day!): Well, due to scheduling my original plan fell through, but thanks to grandparents stepping in we managed to squeeze in a date night to see the new Thor movie which gave us some much needed laughs and reminded us of all the other Marvel Movie Nights we’ve had over the past year. So I’m still calling this a win!
*Clean out Garage: AMAZING progress here. I have to say that most of the credit goes to my husband. He truly took on most of the organizing in one big go before church last Sunday and now we have so much space and at least know in general where everything is. I still have a little work to do as far as going through and throwing out what we don’t need or deciding what to do with some of the things we have living in our garage that really need a better spot, but a lot of that will have to wait until January- especially because that is when our next bulk trash pick up is- and I am so pleased with the progress made on this task.
*Prepare for Advent: YES! I did a lot of preparation this month to make next month less stressful. A lot of forethought and a lot of open communication and a lot of checking off those little things that sneak up on you during the Christmas season before the season really starts (Am I the only one who finds they are always out of stamps this time of year? We decided to stock up before that could happen this year…) and best of all we have cultivated being flexible about mass times to make attending church with the kids easier each week… well, as easy as possible for the season we are in.
*Refresh Couples Goals: YES. Very similar to the refresh pages of my personal powersheets in that we found our overall goals had not changed since we last did them, but that we have made progress and we have new baby steps to focus on to get to those long term goals. It’s progress I might have missed or dismissed too easily without going back to the goal guide and now we get to celebrate that progress!
*Finish Holiday Calendar: This was harder than I thought. We made some really difficult cuts this year to be respectful of our time and budget and it really made me shift my focus and challenged my perspective of gratitude, but I think this will payoff over the next month and keep our focus on the true meaning of the season.
*See a play or two: Illness definitely interfered with some of these plans. But I did still get to see one play and got to watch about half of another one online… hopefully this is something I can do more and more in the new year…
*Blog Work: I went back and edited tags, got to share one of my old posts with another blog so I could reach more people with my writing, and started pre-writing for December so I’m calling this a win. I still want to reflect on how much I want to write next year and what kind of things I want to write about so more work to be done, but a lot of good progress for sure.
*Enjoy and Document Holiday Traditions: YES YES YES! some really fun pictures, including family photos which we skipped last year thanks to how sick I was feeling around this time. I even got my project life app pages printed and am anxiously awaiting their delivery so I can have an almost completed 2017 scrapbook by the new year. This will stay as an item for next month too!
November Weekly Goals:
*1 Hour on Baby Book: Definitely slacked on this. BUT I FINALLY ordered the next batch of prints so I’m hoping getting those in the mail will motivate me to catch up by my daughter’s birthday in January!
*Hike/Move Your Body: Progress here! This did not happen every week, especially with the stomach bug that took down our family, but we did get outdoors a lot more and even got in a family hike which is rare with our schedules.
*Budget Check/Family Meeting: Yes. Continually learning and tweaking things here and I think what we’ve learned this year is going to set us up well to make a lot more progress in the months and years to come.
*Make Memories in the Kitchen: YES! soups and pies and my favorite time consuming dinner rolls that I’ve made the last three years for Thanksgiving. My little guy LOVES helping with these and he has started using all of his senses while we cook- he’s especially loved learning about smelling the different spices we add and hearing the different noises involved in cooking since he’s usually only helped with baking in the past.
*Meal Prep: yes. freezer meals and soups and using the veggies from our garden effectively really helped save us when our budget got tight or our kiddos got sick. It’s also FINALLY the time of year when the temperature doesn’t make it miserable to roast large pans of veggies as part of our weekly prep.
November Daily Goals:
*Morning Routine: About half of my routine is now habit and the other half is still hit and miss. Not sure if that means I need to put more time into it or need to keep adjusting my expectations and routine list…
*Yoga/Daily Walk: Lots of progress here. The kids and I have been so happy about the nice weather for daily walks around the neighborhood or the park.
*Phone Down Time: Ups and downs here. progress though, especially setting aside phone free time to just get down and play with my kids.
*READ: Audiobooks were my friend this month, and I’m counting that!
*Vitamins/Drink More Water: I got sick again but way less sick than my kids did and I think a lot of that was due to the focus on hydration and taking vitamins again. Definitely feeling like I’m getting back into these habits.
December Monthly Goals:
*2018 Powersheets Prep: One of the most amazing things about my experience with PowerSheets this year were the ways I surprised myself. I don’t think that could have happened without really intentional time doing the prep work. I want to make sure that I am just as intentional this year and not rushing through just because I’ve used this tool before and I want to really give myself time to sit with the prep work before deciding on my goals (and I don’t want to be afraid of repeating or continuing some goals even though it’s far more flashy to have something new to reveal…)
*Date Night: We have a bowling groupon that is about to expire so I’m really hoping we squeeze that date night in. Plus we’re planning an at home movie date.
*Enjoy and Document Christmas Traditions: Intentional work on what we do is really highlighting the most important things I want to pass on to my kids. I’m looking forward to enjoying this time of year and thinking a lot about “all is calm, all is bright” I hope that I can find some calm in the chaos of toddler and baby times and soak in all the joy they bring to our household
*Finish Family Scrapbook 2017: I’m not sure I’ll get all of it printed, but I don’t want to play catch up on this in the new year…
*Spend Wisely: It is so tempting this time of year to get just one more present or go do one more special activity or drink ALL THE HOLIDAY BEER!!! (the struggle is real…) but I need to focus to make sure the work we’ve done on budgeting and paying down medical debt bit by bit continues during this time of year. Even when it feels really really difficult or frustrating.
*Start 2018 Calendar: The process of tranfering all the 2018 events I’ve made a note of in my 2017 calendar and of starting to think about when we need to schedule all the appointments in the new year…
*Reflect on blog for 2018: As I said in my intro, I’ve selected and even pre-written a few of my focuses for the year of E’s but I’m open to changing them still. I’m also not sure how often I want to try and blog and have a few other questions to ponder on this front… hoping my powersheets prep helps with this item as well!
December Weekly Goals:
*Family Meeting: Budget talks plus scheduling plus extra time set aside to just talk about how we are feeling and get anything else off our chest. I can’t recommend this weekly practice enough and I don’t want to lose this habit during a busy time of year.
*One on One time with the Kids: Whether it’s a ten minute storytime or an hour long hot chocolate date, I want to enjoy time individually with these sweet blessings and s to show my love in unique ways to each of them.
*Kitchen Memories: Continuing this from last month, but this month there are Christmas cookies to bake and fabulous traditions to continue. YUM!!!
*Mass- keep the sabbath:
December Daily Goals:
*Morning Routine: Still not finding the sweet spot for this and still determined to keep trying.
*Quiet time with Christmas Lights: This is just one of my favorite things to do during this time of year and whether it is before the kids wake up, after they go to bed, or even something I can get them to do with me, I want to take the time to really enjoy those moments.
*Yoga/Daily Walk: I know this will get more difficult during this time of year but I want to be mindful of it and do my best to keep this routine anyway.
*Phone down time/cut facebook use: I like to step away from facebook during Advent and Lent but I have a few groups I want to remain in for now so cutting it is good for now and I will reassess that relationship again in the new year.
*Christmas Music DANCE PARTY: The kids will love this and so will I. So why not strive to do it every day?
*Eat more veggies: It’s the most carb-loaded time of the year. And I’m not planning to deny myself the treats of the season, but I do want to make sure it’s balanced with good for me veggies.