Hello spring! Even though February had an extra day there is no delaying spring here. The skies are blue and bright, the sunlight is toasty warm. I'm already getting weird tan lines on my feet from my slip-on shoes and it's nearly time to put away the boys' pants for the season.
February brought what we hope will be the last of the plague of sicknesses at our house. If I add exclamation points after all the ailments it almost reads like an upbeat children's story: Cedric had RSV! Dash had a fever! Chris had the flu! We all had coughs!
But there were good things in February, too: a Galentine's Day breakfast with my book club (celebrating EIGHT years with my book club this year), my mom's visit, celebrating my in-laws anniversary sans kids, Dash returning to his easy bedtime routine (he had been fighting it) and Cedric talking and learning new words everyday.
I realized I haven't talked much about my process for setting monthly goals in a while. Last year I started sharing recurring monthly goals in these posts, which is a practice I really like. It helps me to remember: maintaining the status quo is already a lot of work! And lately I've really been feeling that. And these goals don't even cover my full time job and daily parenting duties plus making time for Chris! It doesn't feel like I have much to give beyond what I try to accomplish on a weekly basis.
For monthly goals I don't give an update of how I did (although I used to). I don't accomplish everything on my lists but I'd rather be looking forward than backward. At the end of the month if I haven't accomplished everything I either let go of what I didn't do (like February's creative field trip) or keep it on my mental list with a goal of finding dedicated time for it (like the photo books I still haven't gotten around to from January!).
There will never be a shortage of things we can spend our time on, we can always be busy. The trick is to stop and ask, "How do I want to be spending my time? How do I want to be living my life?" And then you have to be fierce with your time; uncommitted hours rarely come looking for you. Even though I don't always accomplish everything that I set out to each month I still love the habit of making monthly goals. It helps me to reset twelve times per year and ask myself, "What values do I want to reflect in my time and energy?"
And with that in mind, it's March!
Big things happening this month:
Nothing, woo hoo!
+ Go through the boys' clothes. Each boy has one drawer with all of their clothes and suddenly they are brimming with outgrown clothes - didn't Cedric just start wearing 12m? Now he's left it far behind. As Dash grows out of clothes we put them away for Cedric. As Cedric outgrows clothes we donate them.
+ Track all my spending in Mint. Chris is really good about checking into Mint and seeing how we are spending. I fall in and out of the habit. But lately I've found that even though I have $150 each month budgeted towards "entertainment spending" such as lunch and coffee out or miscellaneous things I'm spending at least that much and usually more. This means I dip into savings to pay for these extras and it's a habit I don't want to continue. Tracking is an easy way to understand where my money is going so that I can get back to my budget.
+ Plan Dashiell's THIRD birthday party. Can't believe it. We're going to keep it small and simple. I'm thinking I'll call the fire station down the street to see if we can visit and then have cupcakes at our house - strawberry, as requested by Dash.
+ Run once a week. I am a more consistent runner when I have a running buddy and I found one! Once a week I've been trying to run with a neighbor and fellow mama. She's getting back into running after having two kids (our kids are nearly identical ages) so we don't go far or fast but we're establishing the habit and that's the most important part. Plus we get to chat and I'm getting to know a neighbor better, it's great!
Recurring monthly goals:
+ Exercise three times per week. Finding a consistent running partner is the key to taking my usual two times/week exercise routine to three time/week - so excited for this. Ideally I'd love to be exercising four times/week and slowly, adding one workout at a time, I'm getting there.
+ Get up early on Tuesdays for the 4 AM project. This is tough every time my alarm goes off but I'm pushing through; the extra hour and a half of quiet work time is so valuable. I've usually been finishing up a blog post and trying to also make time to work on my e-course for working mamas.
+ Publish to RISING*SHINING on Mondays and Wednesdays.
+ Download photos from my phone and collect photos for the 2016 Team Wharton photo book.