August Goals and Intentions

At the end of June I posted an update on all my summer goals that I set for myself. It was a pretty lofty list of admirable intentions and attitudes I hoped to possess over these three crazy months. Instead of revisiting that list for a third time, I decided to write something entirely new for the month of August. I have just under 5 weeks left before school starts and I want to make them count. But I also want to keep them simple and achievable and full of fun. So here we go!

1. Make memories!

We usually save up all of the most exciting summer activities for August. This year has been no different. I put in a lot of hours of work in between the chaos the last two months, and I’d like to take this final month to prioritize family time. I’m taking the boys to the State Fair tomorrow, we have a weekend mini vacation planned with Greg’s parents, we have a two night family vacation next week, and we have a bunch of day trips already booked in those last couple of weeks. There will definitely still be days here and there where we just stay home, but I want to make those count too. Continue morning walks with the boys, maybe check out some more local restaurants for afternoon treats, and just go to the pool. I’m a little ashamed to admit I have only taken them to the pool during the day ONCE this entire summer so far. Greg definitely makes up for it with evening trips, but I should try a little harder. I’ve lived my life extremely agenda driven in June and July, and I want to let loose and be okay with letting things slide in August.

2. Read 12 or more books!

I was looking back and saw that I read 9 books each in July, June, and May. Which isn’t terrible. I know many people read a lot less than that, which is fine. But I’m in this facebook book club group and at the end of every month people post what they read and so many people have more like 15-20! Which seems insane to me! But if I’m already going to be easing up on work this month, I might as well spend more time reading! Or add in a few more audiobooks in place of podcasts. My TBR piles and lists are GIGANTIC. It would be awesome to make a big dent in it this month. And if I don’t read that many? No big deal. I’m just hoping to challenge myself a bit. And give me an excuse TO just sit down and read.

3. Make and start an end of summer/fall doll schedule. 

Sales were booming in June and greatly dropped by the end of July. Which is kind of frustrating. The only thing I can attribute to the decline is that people just really like holiday themed dolls, and I don’t make many of those in summer! I actually love summer doll making because I get to express more creativity and the sky is basically the limit in what types of dolls I make. I’ve been having a lot of fun really pushing the boundaries on what a “prim doll” really might look like. Lots of color, lots of new hair textures, a lot of new stamp discoveries. I’ve had fun and lost customers because of it! Anyway, Halloween dolls are usually my best sellers, so I guess I will reluctantly start moving into that season. I’d really love to finish off the summer with some sort of big boom of dolls, though. I’m considering a large batch of ornament sized dolls, which I’ve avoided for months (so much work for so little profit). But they’re fast, and people LOVE them, so it would garner more interest in my shop again. I’ve also been toying with the idea of an alphabet themed set of dolls. I bought the cutest set of vintage mini alphabet playing cards at a store last summer and have been thinking about this idea ever since. It’s just a really big thing to take on. Maybe August is the month for it? My third option is to just jump right into fall/harvest themed dolls and maybe save them up for a unique facebook sale on the first day of school or something. Lots to consider.

4. Write every possible day.

I’ve done a really crappy job of writing more often this summer as planned. I basically just write my journal-like weekend posts and book and tv posts at the end of the month. I really want this blog to be more than that. But I struggle so much with how to go about doing that! So I did a little research on random blog prompts and want to challenge myself to write a whole lot more this month. I think my biggest hangup is that people really don’t care about what I have to say. But…so what? It’s not like I’m forcing anyone to read this. I’m already only posting it to a facebook page that a whopping 22 people follow! I don’t have to feel bad about being annoying. I can write what I want, when I want, and if nobody reads it I really don’t care! I’d love to have a whole lot more interaction that I do now, but maybe writing more would push that forward. Anyway, I was strongly considering a blog post for every day of the month. But I think that’s a bit too hard to achieve considering I already know there at least 12 days this month I either won’t be home at all, or only briefly in the mornings and evenings. So I won’t put on the pressure for a daily post, no matter what. But I’m going to do more! I PROMISE this time. 🙂

And that’s it! Just four broad intentions and goals for the month of August. I think I can do it!

January 2018 Recap

This last month I’ve given bullet journaling my best effort. It has turned out to be an awesome way to record not only my to do lists and daily calendar, but also track my habits, activities, and moods. I have a page for tracking certain habits and then each day after my to do list, meal planning, and recorded work hours, I write some “notes” – or more accurately, journal entries. It’s been a fantastic way to start and end my day. I’ve gotten creative and extremely colorful with the addition of washi tape and random stickers, giving the journal the added benefit of being a little side art project that I do entirely for myself. It’s not very fancy, but it’s effective and useful. I can definitely see myself using this system forever. Someday I’ll take some pictures of it and share more about the system. But right now it’s 9pm and I’m utterly exhausted. Maybe next month!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to write a little reflection post at the end of each month. Mostly for my own benefit to evaluate where I am with everything. I’ll try to keep it brief!

  • My biggest accomplishment is that I finished the 30 day yoga challenge!! I’ve never, ever done 30 days in a row of an exercise before. I’m quite proud of myself! I still don’t really think yoga is quite for me, but I’ve learned a lot that I can incorporate into my daily life. I think I’m going to try and keep it up with 1-2 days of yoga a week.
  • I walked Annie 9 times. Not the best track record for walking to school every morning the way we should be. It’s cold out!
  • I’ve taken Annie to the dog park 18 times. We definitely get our money’s worth out of that annual pass! You need to go 14 times a year to make it worth it. So I’m good!
  • I spent a portion of 12 days reading from my pile of nonfiction books. That was one of my biggest goals for this month and about halfway through the month I really petered out on doing it. Need to be better!
  • I created 28 dolls. I’ve sold 24 of them.
  • I worked 23 days. 76.5 hours. Averaging 19 hours a week. Which is about what I’m aiming for, though ideally I’d like to get closer to 30 hours a week. And hey! People are always asking me how long it takes to make a doll. It’s really hard to give an answer since there’s so much drying time in between things. Well, now I can say that it actively takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to make one doll. 🙂
  • I spent time with friends 3 days. 3 days in a 4 day period. But I was extra happy on those days.
  • I did some form of self care 20 days of the month. I didn’t record what activities, but they were mostly at times when I actively realized I was stressed out and chose to walk away and do something for myself. Usually reading.
  • I spent a lot of quality time with Greg and Shepard. There were definitely many days where I didn’t feel like I had any sort of deep connecting period of time with Caden. I’ll need to work on that too.
  • Overall, it was a pretty good month! I rated myself as “happy” most days. There were definitely stressful days in the mix, but I feel like the month as a whole was pretty good!

Goals for February

  1. ENJOY EVERYTHING. February is INSANELY busy this year. Shepard’s birthday and two parties. My mom’s birthday and a party. A concert to see. Babysitting Hudson overnight. Valentine’s Day and all the extra stuff that comes with it. A baby shower. Two late starts, two days off of school. Conferences. Science night. Winter Fun Day. It is going to be a busy, busy month. I want to enjoy it all and not be running around like a stressed out crazy person.
  2. PRIORITIZE LOVE. Mostly for myself. But also for my family and friends.
  3. KEEP EXERCISING. I think I’d like to do Leslie Sansone walking videos this month. It’ll probably still be too cold for long walks outside, so it’s a good month to keep doing videos inside. Maybe not every single day. But most days.

We survived January! Let’s celebrate February!