Can I tell you a secret? I try to be a pretty positive person, but August is my least favorite month. It is so crazy hot here in Phoenix and the heat isn’t even close to being over, plus the school year feels like it keeps starting earlier and earlier and while that was something I really looked forward to as a kid, I kind of hate it as a parent. I love my time with the kids over the summer and I love not having to remember everyone’s academic schedules and needs. So I am bracing for this month but I know that if I can get through these next two months then my favorite time of year will be right around the corner. Before I get too far into the future though, let’s recap July and look at what I’m going to try and focus on as we head into a new school year…JULY MONTHLY GOALS:
*NYC Marathon and Team World Vision Training/Fundraising/Planning: I am off to a strong start! It has been a challenge to get up crazy early and to run so many miles on a treadmill, but I am starting to get into the training routine and trilled to have some kids sponsored already! It really reminds me why I am doing this and gives me so much more motivation to persevere through the hard training runs. I feel like this first month of training was a solid foundation for adding mileage over the coming weeks and I am hoping to get more sponsorships this month and in the months to come.
*Summer Bucket List: Some of the simplest things on this list brought us so much joy. Swimming with friends, making popsicles, having a tea party, having a glow stick party, a fort party… (we basically call every activity a party at our house.), Having our little list hanging up all summer and checking things off made us feel like we really took some time to enjoy making memories with each other this season.
*Summer Cleaning: Some areas got the deep cleaning they needed… others not quite so much. But DEFINITE progress that I am proud of.
*Family Yearbook Catch Up: I am CLOSE but not quite there. Again, definite progress and I am proud of the MONTHS worth of scrapbooking that I did catch up on during July. I think I can be totally caught up next month.
*Photo Sort/ New Backup Plan: This did not happen. I know I’ll be overwhelmed with the massive photo sorting and organizing in my future… but I also think I will be really looking forward to sitting for several hours at a time after my marathon training is over so… it might be a nice kind of gigantic project for then… the point is we are researching and budget for a new photo back up system/to replace technology that is no longer serving us well.
JULY WEEKLY GOALS:
*Observe the Sabbath/Rest and Recovery Day: Hit and miss here but if I did a long run on Saturday (which was 3/5 Saturdays in July) then I was really good about recovering on Sunday. I know this will get trickier with the school year starting but I am hoping to keep up with this habit!
*Back to Weekly Writing: Not as much writing as I would have liked, but enough to get the blog posts up and running again! I am working on fixing some laptop issues and hoping that I will find a new rhythm with writing a little more now that I am getting used to my training schedule and as the kids get used to their school schedule next month.
*Meal Plan and Prep: This was a huge win. I didn’t fully prepare meals, but I did cook for some grains as the base for heartier salads and that was usually enough to have me actually make them during the week instead of throwing something in the microwave.
*Family Friday: Lots of fun here. Especially where it intersected with our Summer bucket list.
*Phone Photo Purge: Hit and miss here, but I did delete over a thousand pictures off my phone over the past month so still calling it a win.
JULY DAILY GOALS:
*Marathon Training Plan: Progress not perfection. And most days this happened. This is going to be on my powersheets for several more months so lots more time to keep working on checking off those boxes one by one.
*Hydrate: Overall this happened. I had a LOT of coffee that really cut into my water intake on some days, but choosing to do Dry July really helped me hit this goal most days and I definitely feel that prepping my water each evening and diligently working my way through my bottles each day has become a habit.
*Morning Routine: My training REALLY threw all of this out the window. My morning now consists of just making sure I get my runs in when they are scheduled and desperately wanting to sleep in any extra minutes when they are not. I think that’s just the way it goes until my body starts letting me fall asleep earlier as training continues.
*Evening Routine: This has actually improved because I know my mornings are going to be so challenging. so… you win some you lose some!
*Music Practice/Back to Banjo: Did not happen at all. I miss banjo time and I really do want to get back to practicing. Trying again in August.
*Yoga: Did not always do this when I had a run that day… which is probably when I need to do it the most to be honest, but I was very good about yoga on cross training days and I am starting to feel the practice coming back to me.
OK, so it was a super busy July (I didn’t even recap all the non-tending list related events and travel…) but on to August:
AUGUST MONTHLY GOALS
*Back to School Routines & Adjustments: I am giving myself lots of grace this month for adjusting schedules and remembering how to do the school routine. I’ve talked with the kids about some changes and expectations for this year but talking about it in theory and putting it into practice are two very different things! I want to be sure we keep adjusting and keep trying things this first month to hopefully set us up for success the rest of the year.
*Plan & Prep Fall Garden: We learned last year that backyard in this house is SUCH a different microclimate than the back yard at our old house so sometimes I feel like a brand new gardener again. We have cleared a new space to try and grow a few more things this fall and I am excited to plan that our and see what we can get to grow! Planting seeds is always a gesture full of so much hope.
*Finish setting NYC travel plans: When I first announced I said yes to this marathon it seemed so far away. Now we are less than 100 days out and plans are getting REAL. I can hardly believe it but it will feel good to have some of these last travel plans settled before I get into the truly crazy high mileage weeks of training that are coming up in September and early October.
*Create Fall Bucket List: Dreaming of fall with the kids is one of the things that is going to get me through this month. Plus, you KNOW all the pumpkin spice shenanigans are going to start in September so we may as well be prepared to start knocking things off the list as soon as the weather turns in our favor…
*Celebrate the Good Stuff & Plan Hubby’s Birthday: We have a few really happy things coming up this month that I want to make sure we lean into celebrating and that I don’t let my grumpiness at Autumn overshadow. Hubby’s birthday is the very beginning of next month so I want to make sure we plan to celebrate that well too since last year I was pretty sick on his birthday and we did not end up doing much (already tried to make up for this with a stellar Father’s Day this summer but want to give him a sweet birthday too!)
*Finish Up Summer Cleaning: I always figured summer cleaning and clearing out would go into August, but I feel like a bit more than I originally planned is seeping into this month. Some of the time I planned to devote to summer cleaning was shifted in the BIG changes in our house of moving my middle kid out of the room she shared with her brother and into sharing a room with her sister. This happened a little earlier than we originally planned and that has created several additional projects that are GOOD but time consuming.
AUGUST WEEKLY GOALS
*Meal Plan & Prep: Meal prep is so much more important now that training is in full swing. Partly because I’m paying a little more attention to how I am fueling my body, partly because I am hungrier almost all the time, and partly because I am tired most of the time… and that’s before we add in back to school craziness and having to pack lunches again! Anything I can do to set up the week for success is huge.
*Family Meeting & Budget Check In: This is so crucial to our school year success. I imagine it will be even more important as I continue my training schedule the next few months.
*Write: Setting aside time once a week where I can focus on writing instead go grabbing ten minutes here and there is so huge for my brain to enjoy the process instead of feeling like it is something on my to do list I have to tackle. More on this in my daily goals.
*Photo Routine/Finish Family Yearbook Catch Up: I made excellent progress on this last month and believe I can be totally caught up by the time September rolls around.
*Practice Music x2: In a perfect world I would love to practice every day, but that daily pressure made me totally give up last month so I am seeing if twice weekly is a better fit for right now and will still help me progress towards re-learning what I was doing so well on in the fist quarter of the year.
AUGUST DAILY GOALS
*NYC Marathon Training: I’ve got it all planned out for the month, just have to see how well I can stick to the plan day by day and how I can use the other times in my day to support my training. Next month is when the really intimidating mileage markers start so I am hoping to feel strong and consistent this month before tackling that.
*Journaling: I don’t strictly mean daily journaling/personal reflecting here, but instead something closer to the morning pages from The Artist’s Way but not quite as strict as what that program calls for. I just want to give myself 20 minutes total of writing each day- whether that be jotting down thoughts that might be future blog posts, writing to calm anxiety and keeping pages just for me, writing letters, or writing creatively
*Back to School Routine: My morning routine most mornings right now is simply- roll out of bed earlier than I’d like and tackle my training for the day so I’m not even listing a morning routine this month, but I do want to try and make sure certain household things happen before the kids get off to school each day and also when they first get home. This ties very closely with my monthly goal of adjusting to the new school year.
*Evening Routine: Since I am so out of it in the mornings when I wake up, it has become double important to set myself up for success in the evenings.
*Screen Limits: Since I spent so much time on my phone catching up on photo stuff last month my screen time got a little out of control… OK, part of that was also due to anxiety scrolling which is a huge reason why I want to get back to limiting my screen time this month and consistently putting my phone down and stopping the scroll and being present where I am with my kids as our time together gets cut back for the school year.
*Prayer Time: This won’t look the same way day to day and won’t take up the same amount of time each day. (Some days it may be Bible journaling, others is may be a rosary or a meditation during one of my runs, etc.) What I want is for prayer to happen each day and to become a priority again.