Hello, July!
July coffee date

Mid-year goals check in for 2023


July 2 was the half-way point of the year which got me thinking about checking in on my 2023 goals. Here's what I said I'd accomplish and how I'm doing if you'd like to see...


Personal care & growth

+ Read 80 books. Rocking this one and loving it. I always feel happier when I'm reading good books. I'm in a great reading groove and have already finished 63 books this year. So I'll definitely surpass my goal and I bet will finish 100 books or more this year.

Looking ahead: I like to always have an audiobook and a hardback or Kindle book that I'm enjoying. To ensure this happens I have to tend to my book queue. This includes requesting books from the library and adding books that I want to read to Goodreads.

+ Spend less time on Instagram and be very intentional about the way I use it. Overall yes and enjoying it. Although some weeks I do find myself absentmindedly checking it and scrolling which leaves me feeling blah.

Looking ahead: Inspired by listening to the Sabbath and the Art of Rest episode of The Ezra Klein Show, I'd like to aim for the habit of turning my phone on airplane mode on Friday afternoons and not reconnecting it until Monday after the kids are in school. Exceptions to phone use include audiobooks, music, and podcasts. I really enjoy being intentionally disconnected from my phone.




+ Break the habit of going to sleep listening to podcasts or audiobooks. Ehhhh. More recently I have been recommitting to this. I'll be curious to see if I can stick with it.

Looking ahead: What helps is to be off my phone in the evenings and to write down any to-dos or things I want to look up so I'm not drawn back into my phone. Before bed I aspire to turn my phone off completely and then read until I can fall asleep.

+ Exercise 185 times. On track! On July 2 I had logged 95 workouts which doubles to 190. I love my exercise routine and how I feel when I keep it up. It's so satisfying to come home from a workout and put a little sticker on my chart (available if you sign up for Elise Joy's newsletter) and to watch them accumulate.

Looking ahead: Keep doing what I'm doing which is Orange Theory twice a week and High Fitness twice per week.



Parenting & Relationships

+ Understand my parent's care preferences for their later years. Not yet.

Looking ahead: I plan to sit down with my parents to talk about this when they visit this fall.

+ Seek family adventures and big kid family fun. Yes! As a family we went hiking together a few times this winter (which sometimes was fun and sometimes was just a lot of complaining) and on a big road trip to the Grand Canyon, Salt Lake City, and Zion National Park. Other everyday family adventures have included going to the pool all together, to the trampoline park, and to the farmer's market. Big kid fun has included taking the boys to their first wedding, taking the boys camping, learning new games over coffee and hot chocolate at Starbucks, driving Dash to and from sleep away camp while listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and playing pool with the boys.

Looking ahead: I'm looking forward to seeing what family adventures find us in the second half of the year and as Maeve gets closer to 4. I hope we'll go hiking again when it cools down. We'd like to make visiting the farmers market a more frequent weekend activity and I hope to take the boys camping again this fall.



Creative work

+ Complete a bigger writing project. Nope. And a while back I decided to strike this from my goals list. Sometimes your ambitions do not line up with the time you have. And that's okay!

+ Post more on my blog than last year. I'm on track for this! Last year I published fewer posts than I have in a long time so the bar is fairly low at just 34 posts. At the half-way point of the year I've published 20 posts and this will be my 21st.

Looking ahead: Once school is underway I should have the time to keep up a regular publishing schedule and I'm looking forward to that. Another strategy that helps is to plan and track posts in my spreadsheet editorial calendar.



Home & Finances

+ Get involved in our everyday finances. Great progress on this. I have been on top of categorizing our transactions in Mint which is exciting because we'll have great spending data this year. Being more involved in our finances has also brought about some great conversations with Chris about how we want to prioritize spending and savings. I love being on the same page about finances.

Looking ahead: Continue categorizing all transactions in Mint. Chris and I have also made some adjustments to our budget allocations to allocate more to miscellaneous spending so we'll see how that goes. I have a post on miscellaneous spending in the works so more on that topic soon.

+ Continue creating a cozy, functional, and beautiful home that works for our family. Also yes. Some updates to celebrate include the beautiful builds that Chris made for me so far this year: the kitchen cookbook shelves and the entry way bench. In our front room we bought a beautiful shelf after a long debate about whether to go affordable or investment piece (we went with the investment piece). This summer Chris and I rearranged the studio and both enjoy the space more. I created a home command center on the fridge that I love with a calendar, weekly overview, and dinner menu. We upgraded Dash's bed from a twin to a full size when a neighbor was getting rid of a full size bed.

Looking ahead: I always have a running list of home updates I'd love to do but my priority for the second half of the year is to "complete" the front room. This would include Chris building a shelf for the inset behind the dining table, framing and hanging at least one piece of art, and the purchase of another chair and a rug.


I feel good about where I am half-way through 2023! My list of goals this year is not particularly ambitious but does keep my focus on things that are important to me. My schedule will shift significantly when all three kids start school next week (!) and I'm curious to see where the remainder of 2023 takes me and what it brings.

I'd love to know how the half-way point of the year finds you; what have you done, what do you hope to do, what are you letting go of?