Not surprisingly, my goals for November 2019 are mainly going to be focused on house and home. Things are slowly getting unpacked, and there’s so much to do, from hanging towel racks to building a fence to establishing routines for us and the boys related to schedule and cleaning.
Unpack and declutter! Follow this maxim: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Extend your break from fiction writing. I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into a “until 2020” thing. Once the moving is done and farming season is over, I want to dive back into novel writing.
Make a huge list of things to do and things to buy. (SO. MANY. THINGS.)
Establish new habits and routines related to exercise, cleaning, phone-free time with the boys, and family. I am all about using a move as a chance to start new habits! (Including meetings. That needs to be a priority ASAP.)
If all goes well, we are MOVING TO A NEW HOME in October 2019. Yikes! It’s exciting and stressful simultaneously, as many happy changes are.
I’m trying to keep my goals manageable this fall. Here’s what I came up with for this month.
Maintain my blogging routine + continue my break from the novel. I am barely managing to keep my blogging routine consistent, so I know that any fiction writing would be a long shot this month. It felt really good in September to acknowledge that fiction writing just wouldn’t be feasible; admitting that you need to take a break frees you from the guilt of I should be writing.
Re-establish your daily/weekly routines and your everyday self-care strategies. With the move, it feels like it will be necessary to regroup and get back on track. I’ve been doing an okay job with self-care and rituals, but the house hunting and packing have really interfered.
Do a whole bunch of decluttering, packing, and moving without losing your mind.
Just be yourself all day long. I’m sure I’ll write more on this in another post, but I’ve had an interesting first month back at work, and my authentic self was sort of laid out on the table for all to see. Since I can’t take it back, I’m going to work through this vulnerability hangover and just keep being my full self all day every day.
If all goes well, my next Monthly Goals post will be published from my new home! You all won’t notice a difference, but cheers to new beginnings anyway.
I’ll be honest; I am not excited about returning to my full-time job. I’m not not excited; I just prefer full-time mommying and vacationing and playing to adulting all day long.
However – I always love a fresh start. And when you work in a school, the beginning of the school year is the Other New Year’s – a time when you can make resolutions, set intentions, and develop new routines and rituals.
My theme for September 2019 is going to be rhythm. Last year, I started out the school year ready to maintain some good habits – and then Baby Jonas came home, and my life got way more joyful but my routines got way off! This year, I’m hoping to start off the year with energy, enthusiasm, and discipline. (I mean, I’m still exhausted – but I think a year of night feedings has helped me to officially adjust to getting by on limited sleep.
Here are my goals for September 2019:
Start the school year off strong! Follow the awesome plans and schedule you made for the year. Try to get into a regular routine with weekly planning dates, meditation, and exercise.
Take a break from the novel. You’ve done good work over the summer! You’ve taken some great first steps. For the month of September, focus on your blog. If you happen to work on your origin scene, a la Story Genius, then that’s fine – but it’s not a #goal currently.
Embrace your plan for everyday self-care. I am extremely nervous about maintaining the self-care habits I formed over the summer! That’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to worry about novel writing for the first month of the school year. I won’t get ANY writing done if I just continuously crash and burn every few weeks due to crummy self-care.
It’s July! Halfway through 2019. I thought it would be a good time to check in with January Kerriann to see how I’ve been progressing regarding my 2019 goals.
I wrote a few posts that were centered around goals in January 2019. There was a post about my Word Of The Year, and a post with my Birthday Thoughts, and then one additional post with my intentions for the year called New Year Old Kerriann. It all added up to a LOT of different goals for the year – some big, some tiny. Here’s my self-evaluation, in no particular order:
My word of the year was NOW. I wanted to be here NOW – i.e., be present. I wanted to embrace the NOW – i.e., be grateful. And I wanted to do it NOW – i.e., stop procrastinating and do things right away. (This included random items on my to-do list, like “make a dentist appointment,” and big, huge things, like tackling the novel.) I think I’ve done pretty well with all of these. Not perfect, of course – but it’s not about being perfect. It’s about progress – progress, not perfection.
I resolved to watch less TV, and this has been hit or miss. Like, Friends is now on Netflix, so I have a Season 7 episode on in the background right now and I feel amazing about it.
I resolved to write more, and to get specific about my writing goals. I think I’ve done well with this. But I’ve also had to reckon with the limitations of writing a novel while parenting two young kids, and that’s been good, too – to accept my limitations and to get realistic.
MEDITATE. I mean, OMG, I need to meditate. I’ve had it recommended to me a million times, and I recommend it constantly to others! It needs to happen, and I need to resolve whatever is keeping me from forming this habit.
I resolved to eat healthfully and to spend mindfully, and both of those have been up-and-down all year long. I still need a lot of work in both areas; I can be really impulsive with shopping and with food.
One of the intentions I set was to slow down. Ugh. This is so challenging for me. I’m impulsive, I get distracted, and I get so caught up in the day-to-day that before I know it I am rushing from task to task without being intentional or thoughtful at all.
This year has been wonderful so far. For the last five months of 2019, I want to commit to slowing down and forming the habit of meditating. LET’S DO THIS.
My main goal for August will be to fight off the anxiety and stress I may experience as we creep closer to the end of my blissful summer vacay. Ugh. I feel an increase in my pulse every time I even think about it!
I do think that one way to enter the school year with a positive attitude is by being proactive, and so my goals for this month are largely related to that.
KEEP ON WRITING! Try to revisit the novel every single day and keep utilizing Story Genius to take steps forward.
Create a routine that you can follow during the school year related to meetings, writing, meditation, and exercise.
Make a plan for Everyday Self-Care for the school year.
Draft a schedule for rhythm, routine, and rituals for the school year – including everything from day care drop-off and pick-up to cleaning up the kitchen after dinnertime.
SLOW DOWN and BE INTENTIONAL. I can feel the pace of my life starting to pick up – or, maybe that’s just the aforementioned anxiety about returning to working mom life. I am making an effort to slow down so that I can take action mindfully and intentionally rather than doing what is easy and automatic.
This summer has really been just beautiful so far. Here’s to four more weeks (ish) of cuddling my boys and writing like a fool!
The summer is off to an incredible start. It’s been joyful, fun, and refreshing.
I am definitely stressed about achieving my writing goals. We spent the last week of June at the beach, and I only wrote one day while we were away. I did a lot of other great things – I read the new Elizabeth Gilbert book, I spent time with family, I exercised a lot. But I did not write, and I want to make sure that I am making my writing a priority.
I was strategic about my first week of July. I’m spending two days at the beach with my sister’s family, but I’ll be back in time for my boys to have two days at day care so that I can get a significant amount of writing accomplished. I hope! I am extremely nervous. I’m hopeful that I can muster up the self-discipline and the creative juices to get things done.
My goals for July 2019 are about two things: getting my writing done and being present with my kids. Here’s what I’ve got:
Write a little or think about the novel a little EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes!
BE PRESENT. Play with your boys and give them your focus. To do that, you need to make sure that you’re being intentional with your time. That means giving yourself a little time to get grounded in the morning, enjoying your “evening adulting hour,” and being intentional about the times when they do NOT get your full attention. (“Mommy has to do the dishes now. Would you like to play in your room while I do that?”)
I’m nervous, for sure. But, as I said, this summer has been off to a great start, so I have reason to feel optimistic. Let’s do this!
Slowly, surely, Jonas’s sleep is getting better. Last night, he only woke up once for a night feeding; it was wonderful.
There are many things that have been on the back burner for the last nine months. Things would come to my mind, and I’d consciously tell myself, You can’t deal with that until Jonas starts sleeping through the night. True or not, this has been my policy. And now that “sleeping through the night” seems within our reach, I want to set some intentions for what I want to focus on once we reach that milestone.
A big improvement with my bedtime hygiene. Ugh. My bedtime hygiene is awful! Right now, I eat a candy bar, and then fall asleep with my clothes on and the light on while listening to a TV show on the iPad. My goal is:
No bedtime candy!
No podcast or TV show playing.
Create a regular schedule for exercise, meditation/mindfulness, and writing, including early morning time and evening time. These pockets of my day – early morning and evening – have mostly been lost to sleep, since the middle of the night has not been reliable for sleep. 🙂 And exercise and writing (as well as meditation) have taken a huge hit since my time became limited. I’ve done a good job of squeezing them in when I can (IMHO) but I’m going to amp up in all three areas once Jonas is sleeping through the night.
Focus on maintaining a healthy diet. I am really trying to make this a priority NOW – cutting back on candy and caffeine and eating well. However, I make terrible choices about food and drink when I’m tired, and while I am working on this at the moment, I am also trying not to beat myself up about not maintaining a perfect diet at this incredibly hectic and sleep-deprived season of my life.
Make a plan for flow/life alignment. Right now, I am too exhausted to make sure that my whole life is aligned with my values. But I want to make this a priority for once my sleep is more reliable. I am inching closer and closer to where I want to be, I think – but sometimes I don’t even know where I want to be! Do I want to buy yogurt pouches to keep as snacks, because they’re easy and encourage Edgar to be independent? Or do I want to prioritize the environment and limit waste? I really don’t know. And, importantly – I am too tired to figure it out at the moment.
This may be another post that is updated if I think of more goals.
I am also noticing that most of my recent posts have been related to goal setting. I like that a lot; it shows that, in contrast to my nature, I am learning to think ahead, at least a little.