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Each month I write a recap of how the previous month’s goals went (ie I usually confess) and then I list out my goals for next month. The reason that I do this is twofold. For one, it causes me to think through how I actually want to be spending my resources over the next month, both in my time and with my finances. Looking back and analyzing how the last month is also important. It helps me learn from my mistakes so I can do better next month. But more than just learning from mistakes, it helps me learn what works for me and whether my goals were even realistic or worthwhile. I hope that as I work through these August goals, that it can help you with setting and achieving the things that are important to you as well.

Lessons from July

I definitely need to get more sleep.

I’m one of those people that needs at least 8 hours of sleep, which sounds ridiculous to me. I wish I could just get 6 or 7 hours and power through, but eventually I shut down. There were multiple nights where I was falling asleep on the couch at 7 pm, and I took a few long naps on the weekend, which is really unusual for me.

I love life without Netflix.

I didn’t set out to be a television-hater. It makes me feel old and stingy and uncool. But we cancelled our Netflix account last month and I’ve been loving it. The first few days were hard but I adjusted pretty quickly. I’ve had a lot more time to do things that I’ve really wanted to, like go after all of my July goals. If the thought of giving up tv scares you to death, here are some ideas of ways to relax without it.

I need people who are different than me.

I spent some time with friends who have much different personalities than me last week and had a wonderful time. They’re all so playful, fun-loving, and hilarious, which is not how I usually am. It made me think about how important it is to surround yourself with people who have different strengths than you. They can bring out the best in you and you can lean on them for their unique strengths in different situations.

July Wins

Eat Clean

We did a pretty good job eating clean, though we certainly could have done better. It’s not very often that we’ll have a “perfect” month, but the important thing is that we keep working at it. Last month I started buying hummus and eating that with fresh veggies and it was a game changer for my vegetable intake. I had no idea that I love hummus so much. It’s definitely something I want to keep doing for August.

Start a running plan

We did it! We made this a part of our routine and kept at it for the whole month. We used this app because I am NOT a runner. It’s always been hard for me and probably always will be. My husband definitely could have run much farther and faster, but he was sweet enough to stick to my pace 🙂

Read 7 books

I actually surpassed this goal by finishing 9 books. Granted, half of them were already half completed, but that’s still a lot of reading. I attribute this to listening to a couple audiobooks during my commute (about an hour every workday), and giving up Netflix. Reading feels like such an unnecessary luxury to me, but it really fills me up and gives me lots of important things to think about, so making time for it will probably always be an important priority for me. I only have two titles left to finish from my Summer Reading List!

Find a budgeting technique to try out

I did some research and we have a plan for a budget to try out next month! Neither one of us have experimented with different budgeting techniques so I’m curious to see how this will work for us. I’m sure I’ll write more on that soon 🙂

Goals to save for later

I don’t want to call anything I didn’t get to a complete failure because I don’t feel like that’s very helpful or constructive. There are usually a handful of things each month that I just didn’t get to. It’s hard to find that sweet spot in goal setting where you set goals high enough that you have to stretch a little to reach them but low enough that they’re actually achievable. I think I’m getting better at this every month. This month there was only one goal I didn’t get to.

CLEAN OUT MY IPHONE PICTURES

Last month I had 11,288 photos on my phone. This month I have 11,388. I spent about 20 minutes deleting pictures but I DEFINITELY need a better strategy. Or I at least need to put some time into it. Hopefully I’ll have good things to report next month!

August Goals

Going forward, I’ve decided to try setting goals in 7 basic categories (based on what I found from Natalie Bacon)! I’m doing this so that I can make sure that I’m developing all the different areas of my life. It also helps me when I’m planning. Sometimes when I sit down to write out my goals, I draw a complete blank! Categories help me think of the things that are important to me and make sure I’m not neglecting anything.  As you can see, some months I’ll lean more heavily into certain categories

health

  • Clean out my beauty products

After years of wondering why I couldn’t figure out how to care for my skin, I finally discovered that I have contact dermatitis caused by certain ingredients and most likely rosacea as well. I’ve been meeting with an allergist to figure out what ingredients I’m sensitive to, but I need to finish the process. Once I have the full list, I’ll clean out the products that aren’t on my “safe list” and go from there. I’m looking forward to it from a minimalism perspective too.

  • Start a strength training plan

Last month my goal to start a running plan went really well! At least in regards to my faithfulness in following through. What didn’t quite work out was that my body wasn’t quite ready for running, even though I started with an easy plan.

relationships

  • Plan a fun date night with my husband

We’re both homebodies that loooooove staying in. At the same time, I think we could have a lot of fun if we went out more. I’m beginning to realize that this probably won’t happen spontaneously, so planning ahead it is!

money

  • Get our food budget under control

This feels like the last frontier as far as budgeting goes for us. For some reason, we wend up going over in our budget every single month. I think this is in large part due to a lack of organization. The first part of the goal is to do a better job of meal planning and grocery shopping only once a week. The second part of the plan is to only use cash for food and restaurants for the entire month. Once the money is out, we’ll either be hungry or more creative.

career/blog

  • Get ahead!

I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl, but I’m striving to become more organized and proactive. My goal is to work really hard and get one full month ahead on content for the blog. It’ll be a lot of work, but I think I can do it!

  • Implement strategies from my blog course

I took a leap of faith and invested in this course a month or two ago and it’s been a huge help. I have a tendency to be a passive learner, but I want to get better at taking action and implementing all the things that I learn. Starting with this.

personal development

  • Focus on improving my prayer life

I had a discussion with some women from my church a few months ago about spiritual disciplines and how we all have ones that we’re naturally good at. Prayer is the spiritual discipline where I could use some improvement. I’m looking forward to leaning into this for one of my August goals. I plan on doing this by reading a book about prayer (because that’s how I begin to solve any problem) and set aside time to pray each morning.

environment

  • Clean out my iPhone pictures

You’ve already seen why I badly need to do this!

  • Organize my bookshelf

It could be worse. But it could also be better 🙂

fun

  • Read a YA novel

I don’t read a lot of YA these days, but I definitely wish I read more. What should I start with?

service

  • Donate clothes

To be honest, it feels kind of funny putting this in this category because it feels like a service to myself. But I know that being intentional about donating my clothes somewhere they could use them is much better than dropping them off at Goodwill. If you live in Oklahoma, definitely consider donating clothes to this ministry.

How about you?

I’d love to hear what you have planned this month. Any big goals? Little goals? Leave a comment and let me know!

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