citrus in the neighborhood / Maeve (9 months old) exploring grass / the studio is coming along (walls will stay unpainted plywood, the desk is a placeholder desk that Chris built quickly from scrap wall material / tracking my workouts with a habit tracker from Elise (sign up for her newsletter to get one)
It's a new year, I have new annual goals, and my monthly goals are where I put plans in motion. Recently someone asked me how I translate my annual goals into actions. Having been at this goal-setting thing for a while my process has become second nature but it took practice. When making a goal I immediately think about the how and the why. I'm also careful not to declare general goals like "keep the house cleaner" or "eat healthier" unless I specify exactly what I mean and how I will do it. Otherwise I've set a goal for myself without a way to achieve it. The why behind a goal also has to be something I actually want to do. I might feel like I "should" want to dedicate time to a new volunteer opportunity, for example, but setting it as a goal won't make it happen unless I really want to take on a new commitment.
By taking time to set monthly goals I create time to check in on my annual goals and see what I can get done this month to make progress. Having annual goals recorded somewhere, whether it's a piece of paper on the back on a medicine cabinet door or on my phone (I have mine in both places), makes them concrete and easily referenced.
I've expressed to a couple of friends lately that sometimes I feel like I'm living divergent lives. There's my outward, physical life, in which I have very little time to get much of anything done. At least in a traditionally productive way (writing, podcasting, house chores). And then there's my inner dialogue and creativity which seems to generate enough ideas for a full time job. I'm finding it challenging and often frustrating to try to thread the needle between these disparities. I'm reminding myself that it will get better and that this is such a crazy circumstance to have no school or childcare. But dang it is hard! I am remembering my 2021 intentions of calm and delight, appreciating the days (or even just an hour) that feels easier, and finding small joys. What I also try to remember is what a privilege it is to have passion for something even if I don't have the time. I know there are some people who don't feel compelled to pursue hobbies or to create and I am thankful to have that drive.
So as I sat down to make my monthly goals I tried to find small steps that I can take towards my annual goals. I can send an email. I can watch a class. I can take the boys out for a smoothie or a bagel. One action at a time week by week is how I can continue to grow, learn, and create the life I want to live.
Big things happening in January:
+ Online school starts again. None of us are particularly excited. But it is what it is and hopefully it's the last semester.
+ Inauguration and a new administration. In my opinion it can't come soon enough. We will definitely mark the occasion in some way.
+ To bring my 2021 intentions of calm and delight to my days, ask myself "How can I bring calm to this situation?" "How can I bring delight?" I've already had several opportunities to practice this to put a positive spin on some recent hard days. The more I practice this the more it will come as second nature and I want to be the kind of person that someone else might notice as bringing calm and delight to situations.
+ Choose reading over scrolling. What helps me do this is to have an audiobook going (recently finished Lady Sherlock #3, Hollow of Fear and now listening to The Idea of You, a romance a friend raved about) and a great book on my Kindle (currently The Vanishing Half).
+ Get a design quote for a creative project. I've done this! I'm excited to work with Emily of Spii Graphics who also designed our awesome Girl Next Door Podcast cover art.
+ Renew my Chandler library card. This will allow me to put additional audiobooks on hold for the boys. The current limit on my card is eight items which goes so fast!
+ Finish my first Masterclass. I'm taking a makeup class with Bobbi Brown and enjoying it.
Recurring monthly goals:
+ One on one dates with each of the boys.
+ Three at-home dates with Chris. We are so tired at the end of the day! But three times per month we can make time to sit by our cozy fire pit, to play a game, or to talk and have dessert.
+ Exercise 4+ mornings/week with Peloton. Starting my day with exercise is a way to address my needs before spending a day focused on the needs of my children. Even when I'm tired and don't feel like exercising I never regret a workout and always feel more energized for my day afterwards.
Sending you warm wishes for a good January.