I know it’s not quite the end of the month yet, but I had a little time today to do my Powersheets goal refresh and prep for next month and I wanted to write while that was still fresh, plus, I think I might be jumping on one of my April goals early so… let’s get started!
*Continue to Clean Out the Garage: Definitely progress but also definitely didn’t finish, although I think a lot more good work will happen this weekend before the month ends. I’ve donated boxes and boxes of items at this point and am continually amazed at how much more seems to come out of the woodwork.
*Celebrate LOVEFEST!: Yes! You can read a little more about this HERE. It was a really nice tradition/reunion.
*Prepare Family Liturgical Calendar for April-June: YES. I’m especially looking forward to the Easter season and to St. George’s Day next month.
*Stretch and Flex Creative Muscles: Did a bit of this in various little ways. More focused work on this coming next month…
*Continue Lenten Observance: It’s been a hard lent, maybe that’s why I felt led to the Psalms. There’s a lot of big feelings in there. I’ve been having a lot of big feelings.
*Budget/Family Meeting: Missed one week and had a lot of unexpected things come up this month, but also made some big steps forward on our financial goals as far as paying off some debt, so that was good.
*Write!: I did some batch writing for the blog and that really helped, but I think this goal is going to shift in some really good and probably some unexpected ways next month (see below)
*Sabbath an Self Care: Overall this was a yes. Aside from being pretty sick on Palm Sunday and missing one of my favorite services of the year. That was a bummer.
*Date Time: Hit and miss on this. We had some good quality time but less formal time set aside than I’d hoped. We DID get to enjoy Black Panther together and an at home Netflix date of Hans Zimmer in concert (the best random find we’ve had in a while. Definitely recommend if you are nerdy and love film scores like we do.)
*Encourage someone: This started off strong but I fell off the wagon a bit as I got really exhausted/sick the end of the month.
*I also added an extra weekly goal mid-month, but more about that below!
*Enjoy outside!: It was a stunning March here in Phoenix and I can confidently say that I am soaking all that goodness and sunshine up before the heat gets unbearable and we shelter inside for 3-4 months. Some of this included trying desperately to save my garden from what we think is maybe a rabbit? prairie dog? squirrel? Whatever it was took down whole blooming flower plants, my baby tomato shoots, entire radishes and lettuce heads, and at the peak of the problem managed to burrow out my entire large kale plants that had been growing since late fall! I was shocked since those roots were deep and thick and those plants were pretty big AND the leaves hadn’t even been touched before they disappeared completely! That was the last straw so we broke down and bought chicken wire and natural repellent so hopefully that helps and we can slowly get our garden back.
*Track steps: Still missing a day whenever I charge my Fitbit… but got a lot better at this and have a more focused goal for next month based on just observing my natural activity levels.
*Intentional kid time: Yes. The one on one time is so good and so important and it was good to make this a priority. It didn’t happen every day but it happens a lot more when I’m being mindful of their need to have my attention focused on them for even a little piece of the day instead of on both at once or on multitasking with household stuff etc.
*Screen Limits: I got better at this. Especially as my insomnia got worse the end of the month and I was desperately tired.
*Yoga Goals: YES! You can read all about my feelings around reaching crow pose HERE. And while that’s an easily shareable victory, I’ve also improved my form on other poses and started creating some new goals for the rest of the year.
Every few months the yearly Powersheets have a recap for you to reassess if you want to add to or change your goals for the year. My yearly goals are pretty broad and are things that are really important to me right now so none of them changed, but it did give me a chance to rewrite some of the ways I want to approach those goals or the next steps I want to take. I zipped through the refresh pretty quickly and felt super excited about writing down all the ideas I had on my tending list for April… I then remembered that just yesterday I spent half an hour crying from feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. See, I’ve been dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety the past year. I don’t always directly address it in my writing, and a lot of people maybe don’t notice it in me because I’m a big fan of working through the pain and also because my anxiety in particular actually seems to get worse not better the more I talk about it. Because of the kind and level of struggle I have, I have been in a place the past year where I could still work on my goals while feeling all those feelings, and that’s where I still am, but I have a few emotionally demanding goals for next month that made me realize I needed to completely re-do my tending list, drastically cut how much I had on there, and focus on just a few things that I think will help manage my anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. while still moving forward in meaningful ways on a few goals. I scribbled through my tending list, flipped ahead in my power sheets and copied May’s tending list page, and started over, taping that over my April page. The copy isn’t pretty as it was done on my home printer. I stuck stickers at the bottom of the weekly and monthly goals sections to keep myself from being tempted to add more things back in, and I’m moving forward from there. I share this so that anyone out there reading knows it’s OK to change your mind, change your goals, and reassess. It’s OK to make a mess. and it is more than OK to listen to the wisdom inside yourself telling you to slow down and face your current reality instead of your wished for reality- in fact it is super important.
So with that in mind, here are my re-vamped April Goals:
*Spring Clean/Bulk Trash: We have another Bulk trash date in April, so I want to be sure our next round of simplifying our home and cleaning out what we no longer need is set by that date.
*Couch 2 5k/Complete 5k: So the weekly goal I mentioned adding above was downloading and starting the coach 2 5k app. Now before you get any ideas- I have no plans to become a regular runner, in fact my body pretty much hates running and I have a history of tendonitis and shin splints so I have to be really careful how I train and I have no plans of ever running half or full marathons. Still, as part of my desire to get stronger and build my endurance, one of the things that seems like a reasonable thing to work on is to be able to run a mile without feeling like I’m dying and the best motivation I had for getting started on that was to sign up for a 5k that sounded fun for me. I didn’t start in time to actually complete the couch 2 5k program before the 5k I signed up for, but I did a few fun 5ks in the past so I know that my body is capable of doing it again, even if I have to walk more of it this time around.
*Create Photo Routine/Back Up Photos: I need to make this a habit so that I’m not left trying to sort through thousands of photos every time I want to back up what’s on my phone or computer. I love the Project Life App and so I will definitely be taking some inspiration from Becky Higgins and her methods, but I also need to brainstorm how to tweak these methods to best work for me.
*Plan May Celebrations/Budget: May is our crazy month of a ton of holidays and birthdays and events so we need to be really intentional with our time and money as we prepare for all of that. That makes it sound very clinical but this goal is actually going to be a lot of fun.
*Quit Facebook: This is a big one. If you’ve been a long time reader, you know that my relationship with social media has been a consistent struggle and tricky. I use facebook in particular for so many GOOD things as well, but with my anxiety and depression being an issue as well as other longstanding concerns about privacy and emotional manipulation that have been well documented it’s just time for me to say goodbye to this platform. I have a few things I am tidying up before I sign off as far as groups I’m in that use it as the primary way to plan and communicate, but I’m planning to be done by the first week of April. So if you got to this post via facebook and you like reading my blog- you can sign up for updates via email instead of facebook and I’d love to hear from you in the comments section or via any of the other ways you can still reach me! This is going to be weirdly difficult for me, which is actually one of the reasons I realized I needed to quit. All my partial mini breaks kind of just served to remind me how addicted I am to the site and of course I am, I have an addictive personality and the site is built on manipulating serotonin boosts… so I’m totally expecting some withdrawal as a consequence.
*Budget Check in/Family meeting: This is pretty much habit by now, but hoping to add a meal prep plan to our family meeting each week as we have been slacking a bit on that recently and it has made our weeks a lot more chaotic.
*Artist’s Date: More information on this below, but this is basically a date with myself that isn’t to yoga class.
*TV Free Evenings x2: This is so good for my mental health, for my marriage, and I keep hoping it will help my insomnia but maybe I need more screen free evenings for that to really work…
*Pray the Rosary x2: Ideally I’d like this to be a daily habit again. It was back when I was pregnant out of sheer necessity and I want to get there again but I also feel called to start small with this.
*The Artist’s Way: I’m going to start doing the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron on August 2nd. For those of you unfamiliar with this, it is a book that details a three month program to help revive creativity and approaches creativity as a spiritual practice. It was recommended to me by my high school mentor the year after I graduated from Pepperdine and it was immensely helpful and important, but it is also a LOT of work. I tried doing the program again right after I got married but only got about 1/3 of the way through which is why I was hesitant to commit to it again right now when so much is going on, but I really feel like this is the next step in my goal of sparking creativity. This is a daily goal because an important part of the program is doing “morning pages” every single day, and it also includes the weekly goal above of an Artist’s date. Each week has its own theme so some of the tasks relate to that theme and I’m sure some of the dates will be inspired by those themes, but this will hopefully be a daily goal the next three months if the program proves as fruitful as it was the first time. If anyone is interested in doing this at the same time I’d LOVE to hear from you and create some kind of support system because ti is definitely a commitment!
*Yoga: In studio, at home, etc. #yogaeveryday
*7k Steps: I know the recommended amount is 10k, but I don’t have a big house and we don’t get out everyday so 7k seems like a good starting point since I’m currently averaging about 5k thanks to how much I got used to sitting and nursing so much over the past year. Now that we are in the process of weaning I’m ready to get up and get more active each day.
*Write the Word: I want to renew my consistency with my Write the Word journals. They are such. a great tool but I started favoring the Blessed is She devotionals recently because they could all be done on my phone. I’m ready to get back to pen and paper and write down some scripture and reflections. If you are curious about Write the Word you can read about them in this blog post I wrote last year. (And if you are thinking of using Write the Word journals in the near future you can get in on the wonderful Spring Sale the Cultivate shop is having! Everything is already marked down in price and free shipping on orders over $100 with the code HAPPYSPRING)
*Morning/Evening Routine: Yes, I’m adding an evening routine to the mix… we’ll see how it goes… but now that my daughter is sleeping in her own crib and not in the pack and play in our room I’m ready to get back to my nightly routine instead of splashing water on my face as quietly as possible and passing out.
WHEW- even the simplified version of this list is starting to sound like a lot! I believe it will be a really good and important month though and I have a lot of posts I’m eager to write and post so don’t worry- no facebook doesn’t mean no posts!