3rd Quarter 2015 Goal Check-in

The happiest time of the year to me is definitely the Fall.  The weather is cooler but not freezing, the scarves and boots come out of the closet.  It’s all good.   It also always gets me thinking about what I want to accomplish as I close out the year, and looking towards goals for next year.  Also just trying to figure out how I can get through the last 3 months of the year and the craziness of the holidays with joy and intention and not stress and anxiety.  Because even though Sept through new years is my absolute favorite time of year…let’s be real, it’s not without chaos.

I’ve also been working on a “30 before 30” list that I hope to share on the blog later this fall. It’ll be 30 things I hope to accomplish in the next 2 and few months years. (I turn 28 in January)

But for today, here’s an update on my 2015 goal progress. You can also see Q1 & Q2 progress.

Q3 2015 Goal Progress:

Meditation - This year so far I have meditated 236 out of 267 days.  That’s insane.  I NEVER have been that consistent in past years.  I think part of that has to do with monitoring progress via Elise's chart and via coach.me, forcing myself to never miss more than one day, and not having a limit on the time I needed to spend meditating. Anywhere from 2-15 min counted.

5-min Journal – Fairly consistent with this one, typically only on weekdays.  I think my goal on coach.me for this one is 5 days per week? I do highly recommend the 5-minute journal though. It really forces you to find things to be grateful for everyday and to keep your head on the positive.

One Blog Per Week – This has been a great goal to force me to plan ahead on blog posts.  One per week has been SO much more doable than other goals I’ve set previous years. I really think I’ve completely stuck to, if not surpassed this goal. I’ve toyed with the idea of upping it to twice per week for 2016, but I’m not sure if that’s setting me up for failure, or if by setting that goal publicly I’m more likely to actually stick with it…? TBD.

New Recipes – I haven’t stuck to this in any intentional way this year.  I think we’ve definitely tried new recipes, sometimes more than one per pay period, sometimes not.  I think for this last quarter I’d like to really track ones that we try.  And as a longer goal, actually get all of our regular recipes in ONE place.  We have some on Pinterest, some on paper, some in cookbooks, just all over the place.  And having them in one central location would make meal planning SO much easier. Hmm, perhaps 2016 goal?

Monthly Date Nights – Again not real intentional about this one.  I think in August we went to eat, and in September we went to a movie. Perhaps we also did something in July? I can’t even remember.  Here’s to being more intentional for October, November, December and 2016 on this one.  We will probably see the final Hunger Games movie in November, and there was talk of ice skating and Ginger Elizabeth hot chocolate in December.

Read 25 Books – Killing this goal! Already at 25 and it’s not even October yet.  Maybe I’ll up my goal for 2016! 

Learn to sew a Quilt – I have the quilt squares cut for a very simple quilt, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  Still hoping to finish it before the end of the year.

Podcast Production: 25 Episodes – So far so good! About to release episode 20 and have 5 more in the hopper to finish out the year.

Complete Childbirth Coursework – This is becoming more real.  I just ordered a bunch of class materials, my evaluated series is set for December.  After that I’ll just have to attend one more birth and take the final test.  So exciting!

Run Couch to 5K – Completed in March.

As the fall draws the year to a close, I plan to really pump it out and finish the childbirth work, teach my evaluated classes and hopefully schedule the test for early 2016.  It’s a bit of a crunch, but I am optimistic that I can do it! I’d also like to get a few months ahead on my podcast recordings.  So far, so good there. Another project that wasn’t on my original list is the book that I am working on.  It will be an anthology about the first year of motherhood. The submissions close in December, and I am hoping early 2016 with the childbirth coursework done, I can turn new energy to the book and propelling that project forward. I also hope to complete Clare's Baby Book and Project Life Year 1 & 2 books at the end of the year. 

It’s been a really good year for goals for me, and I don’t think that I can necessarily point that all at one specific thing.  Coach.me has been a big help for tracking. Having a mantra of doing a little bit at a time and setting reasonable goals has also helped.  I think following the miracle morning principals on most days has also contributed…and just picking goals that are really personal and near and dear to my heart.

I’m ready to finish out 2015 strong and prepare for even more great things in 2016!

How are your goals coming along?

Book Reviews May/June 2015

Woo Hoo, I read a lot in May and June.  While our vacation helped that for sure, I've also been so good about making reading a priority and that makes me happy. 2 audio books, 6 regular books, 8 total for these two months, bringing my total books for the year to 18 already!

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Buddhism for Mothers By Sarah Napthali - I really, really enjoyed this book. It was full of such practical, peaceful parenting advice. I literally felt calmer every time I would pick up the book. Buddhism has always attracted me and her combination of explaining Buddhism tenets wound into motherhood was just lovely. I am very much looking forward to reading her second book. Meditation and mindfulness has made a huge impact in my life over the last few years and this was a great supplement to that. There are so many passages I liked, but particularly this one at the end: "Buddhism treats you like an adult. It's not a religion. You don't need to believe anything unless it fits with your own personal experience. You use your judgement, inspired by wisdom and compassion rather than follow a set of sacred thou-shalts. Spiritual progress is your responsibility. You set the pace." Impermanence. All is impermanent. Both the good and the bad. So much of this is true in motherhood and in life.
After Birth By Elisa Albert - Wow. This was such a good book. Albert's visceral, intense writing gave such an accurate, honest portrayal of how hard motherhood can be a times. The main character very clearly struggled with postpartum depression during her son's first year, and I think it's really refreshing to have someone be honest about the hard parts. Some of her descriptions were so spot on, I kept taking pictures of the library book and texting them to Chris while I was reading it.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives By Gretchen Rubin - I really enjoyed this book. It gave me new insight into my habit formation and what works for my particular type of person. It also made me realize why it's different for others who fall into the other 3 types. I am an upholder, like the author, which is more rare. I am also a lark and a moderator (do better early morning and am more apt to moderate something than to completely eliminate it.) I think I am typically a marathoner when it comes to habits and goals, but occasionally I do well with the quick spurts. Worth the read. And I’ve also enjoyed listening to her podcast, Happier, recently.
Toddlers Are A**holes: It's Not Your Fault By Bunmi Laditan – I thought I was going to like this a lot more than I actually did. There were a lot of things she wrote about that were hilarious and that I could totally relate to. But there was a healthy dose of mom shaming that I wasn't down with. Luckily it was a super fast read that I finished in the span of a couple days.
Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mandel - Excellent novel. So different than anything else I’ve read. I loved the storyline of rebuilding after a horrible flu wipes out most of the world. Characters felt so real and well drawn. And I liked their subtle connections between characters. One of the best novels I’ve read this year.
The Whole-Brain Child By Daniel J Siegel - There were some helpful things in this book, and some that I needed to think about for myself more than for my daughter right now because she's so young. It did seem a bit repetitive. The concepts could have probably been dispelled into a rather long blog post.
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life By Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung- I enjoyed many of the principles here, but it got a bit repetitive toward the end. Definitely made me think about food from a more mindful perspective.
French Kids Eat Everything By Karen Le Billon - I really liked this book. The French have such a lovely approach to food. Pleasure, not calorie counting. Variety, no snacking, and no "bad foods." I so wish our American food culture mirrored how the French see things. Kids there get 2 HOUR hot lunches where everyone eats the same thing and learns a ton about food from a very young age. While a lot of it is stuff that doesn't necessarily translate in American culture and I don't at all agree with the French view on breastfeeding (neither does the author!) I definitely picked up tips that we can use with our kids I'm looking forward to reading her other book "Getting to Yum" next.

Have you read anything great lately?  I'm currently finishing up Beyond the Sling, Waking Up: Sprituality Without Religion, Raising Your Spirited Child and just started re-reading Dark Places again before the movie comes out. So look for those reviews coming up next in the July/Aug installment!

*Disclaimer: this, and most, book review posts contain amazon affiliate links, meaning if you buy a book based on my recommendation, we will get a teeny tiny commission to go towards Clare (and I’s) string cheese habit.  Thanks for your support! 

2nd Quarter 2015 Goal Check-In

We are officially halfway through 2015, how crazy is that?  Most days it feels like it is going so fast.  Though, I have to say when it’s 109 degrees here in Sac, summer feels very slow and I can’t wait to get to Fall. Like really can’t wait.

But since we are halfway through the year, I think it’s time for another check-in on how things are going with my 2015 goals.  So here we go:

Meditate Everyday – This second quarter went even better than the first. I only missed 5 days of meditation in 3 months.  Pretty excellent!  I think the best thing I have done with this goal is ‘never miss more than one day.’ The days where I did miss, I doubled my efforts to make sure I did it the next day.

Keep the 5-Minute Journal Daily – I still really love this journal, and use it on most days. Though I think it’s more of a 5-6 day a week thing rather than all 7.

New Recipes each pay period – We still haven’t been doing great with this one.  Clare can be really picky, and I am not good at cooking, so when Chris is gone, cooking just really falls by the wayside.  I am publicly accounting to those of you here that I am going to try and redouble my efforts on this one during the second half of the year.

Monthly Date with Chris – I can’t say we’ve been real great about this. I think we went out to dinner a few times in the last couple months.  We really need to get these on the calendar for the rest of the year.  The hard thing is his relief day keeps changing, so trying to plan has been near impossible…but it needs to happen. And more than just going out to eat…actually trying something new. We are thinking an afternoon water park date in July!

Read 25 Books – I am killing it with this goal this year! I have really made reading a priority, and I have already read 18 books.  5 were audio books, but the rest were actual books. (Look for May and June Book Reviews next week)

Learn to Sew a Quilt – I am hopefully going to take a class for this in July. 

Podcast – Produce 25 episodes in 2015.  Looking good for this – next week Episode 14 goes live.  Debating whether 2016 will have weekly podcasts or whether I’ll stick with twice per month.

Childbirth Educator Coursework – My original plan was to do my evaluated series in early 2016, but thanks to some pregnant friends, I have a new goal of doing it in the late fall 2015!

Running Couch-to-5K – Did this in March. The exercise front has been pretty good these days, teaching zumba twice a week, playing softball again, and making it to Body Pump at least once each week.  I’d like to be more consistent with Yoga and Body Pump though.

Not too bad!  

How are your 2015 goals coming?