Quick September Goals Recap

September is almost over! I realize that nobody else probably cares about all these goals and intentions posts, but it really helps me to organize my thoughts at the beginning and end of every week and month to make the most of my time and live life with as much intention as possible. For awhile I was making goals by season, but every month holds so many different priorities that I’ve switched over to just focusing on each four week block at a time. So here’s a (hopefully) quick recap on how I feel like my September goals played out!

1. Get back to routine:
– Wake up by 5:30 and get ready right away
– Start each day with a quiet time and day organization
– Use any remaining time before 6:30 to do something for myself
– Focus on the boys and school stuff until it’s time to leave
– Walk them to school and walk extra with Annie
– Get to work by 9:00 and stay focused
– Focus on the boys between school pick up and dinner
– End each day with the bullet journal, tracking, and prepping the next day

I think I did a pretty great job with this one! I never have a problem waking up early and most days I was up around 5. I had enough time to shower and get out of the bathroom before Greg woke up. I wasn’t great about it on weekends, but every weekday I’d start with a quiet and devotional time and do a bit of prepping for the day in my bullet journal. And most days I used that remaining me time to read. There were a few days I chose to get a little bit of work done in that time, but I tried to stick with things that were purely for my own enjoyment. Getting back into the school day routine was easier than ever this year. I walked them every day, except the days they rode their bikes, and a few days it was raining. And with the exception of the rain days, I also walked Annie. Not always as long or as far as I would have liked, but more than just coming straight back home. I wasn’t particularly great at getting to work at 9 because there were just so many weird days and random errands I had to run. But I did try to be done with my random internet time by 9 every day so I could focus on actually accomplishing something. I made dinnertime prep a higher priority than I put it during the summer and tried to be more emotionally available to the boys, though most days they were with their friends during that stretch. And I ended almost every day doing a little bit of journaling. Some days time got away from me and I chose to go watch tv with Greg instead of making him wait any longer. But overall, I think the routine stuff was kind of a breeze! I LOVE fall when I can finally get back into the swing of everything. Summer is too chaotic and random.

2. Focus on working

I was not super successful with this. It was a busy month. It’s hard to work at home when there are always eight million other directions my mind and energy should and could be going. Ideally I wanted to average working about 6 hours a day. I did track it and it averaged to about 3.5 hours per weekday, though really it was like three days of no work at all a week and two days of super long full day and night spans. I’d really like to be more consistent, only work during the day, and find a bit more balance between everything. But…it takes time. I didn’t write it in my goals blog post, but I also wanted to create 30 dolls in September. I made 29. I sold 21. Not too bad, but I hope to be better in the future.

3. Take care of my body
– Walk Annie at least 30 minutes a day with an extra nighttime walk
– Do the Yoga with Adriene 14 day challenge
– Eat better

I think I did better this month. I’ve been thinking a lot harder about everything I put into my body. I don’t always make the best choices, but I’m much more conscious about what I’m eating. I’m trying to streamline my daytime meals and snacks so I’m not tempted to overindulge. I’m trying to make healthier meals at night so we’re not just throwing junky things together last minute. I have a potential diet plan I MIGHT sign up for, but I wanted to be a little more lenient on myself until after my birthday next week. I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to it yet. Anyway, I think I hit my walking goal most days. It’s pretty easy to get 30 minutes in. Those days were rough with the mosquitoes, though! I would have liked to have walked more and longer all of those days, but the bugs were horrific. And I totally failed at the yoga challenge. I did the first four days and then my ankles were so ridiculously sore that I could barely walk. I was also feeling really sick around day five from getting on the new blood pressure medicine and I just had to give it up. I like yoga – on occasion. Every day is too much for me. It’s definitely too much for my ankle still, seven months in.

4. Give Caden a great birthday month

I think I succeeded at this! We kept everything pretty low key this year, which really worked out. Trying to make things extravagant and super exciting never really goes over well with Caden. He likes to be home, he likes to do simple things. We had a nice small family birthday party, a very low energy video game friend birthday party, and a quiet real birthday split between playing games and going to a fall activities place. He seemed very happy with all of it.

5. Have fun!

Sometimes September really stresses me out. Oftentimes, actually. The boys are gone during the day, but they’re in horrific moods every night. I want to have great birthday parties for Caden, but it’s so stressful making sure the house is clean, the food is great, and everyone has a good time. And I’m often frustrated with myself for my inability to ever accomplish as much as I want to. But this time around – I really did have fun! I had my mini Chicago solo vacation with the added bonus of finding a great vintage market on the way, we had very low key birthday celebrations that didn’t really stress me out at all, Greg and I had a really great date night and picked out a reading chair that I’ve been wanting for like 15 years, I had a great time at Cranberry Fest with my weekends, and I kept my workload light enough that I still had lots of fun to just read, relax, and enjoy my life! Overall, it was a pretty great month!

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!