July 2017 Goal Setting and June Follow-Up

So, June kind of exploded much like the Fourth of July did yesterday. My team at work was reduced (expected), my supervisor left (unexpected) leaving me in the position of a promotion (unexpected), we got another kiddo (somewhat unexpected), we took in a respite kiddo (expected, three preteen kiddos!) and my graduate class started (expected). So, my erratic goal progress this month can be traced back to all those expected and unexpected changes. I’m not making excuses; life is what it is, frequently as erratic as it is messy and explosive. My habits and stress levels suffered as a result.

June Books to Read:

  • Ille Hobbitus (YES, finally!)
  • The First Time She Drowned (Wow, read this book! It was an intense young-adult-ish book about mental health, emotional abuse, and resiliency.)
  • The Weekend Homesteader (nope; still in my library pile)
  • Compact Farms (I don’t think I even checked this book out?)
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin (Devoured it!)
  • How to Be a Good Mommy When You’re Sick (Did I even look for this book?)

Bonus books:  In progress on The Rabbit Raising Problem Solver and the Wrath and the Dawn (audiobook) and finished Minimalist Parenting, a truly terrible audiobook that I probably only finished because I was working in the garden and kept hoping to get something out of it because the premise seemed promising.

Hobby Goals:

  • Finish Winter Rosettes Quilt! (Check out my sewing machine woes here and here; it’s a legit excuse)
  • Knit 12 more rows on my chuppah project (Nailed it – and 12 more!).
  • Figure out the contraption I need for my honeycomb quilt and order it. (Yep. And it was sent to me damaged, and I’m still waiting for the replacement).
  • Make two new cheeses (The haloumi and cottage cheese were delicious!)
  • Complete the June Food in Jars Challenge (June is jam!) and one other food-preservation task (The Blueberry Maple Jam was also delicious)
  • Cut up sod and lay down weed paper in my husband’s newly identified priority zone. (Not a shovelful: I think sod cutting is best done at the beginning or end of the gardening season).
  • Cook a new recipe each week using seasonal ingredients. (Close enough)
  • Continue writing three blog posts a week! (Close; I ended up with almost 3 a week; I dub it good enough.)

I feel pretty good about reaching the hobby goals for the month, especially with as nutty as the month has been. Jumping into a graduate class with the work changes I’ve had has not been an easy adjustment for me.

Health Goals:

  • Take charge of my health to investigate what I need to do to medically address new daily symptoms where plausible to do so. Rawr! Nothing is more empowering than taking charge! (Mostly did this well; I should have results of my super-fun-expensive appointment in another few days).
  • Limit added sugars in my diet (muffins, cookies, ice cream, cakes… ugh… cakes!) to two a week. (I was pretty darn good – just one week I slipped a little and tried to weakly justify it by being uncertain whether the week started on a Sunday or a Monday; yeah, kind of lame; still, I made great progress!).
  • Seriously: Take those afternoon stretch breaks! (Cough)
  • Take just one long bicycle ride for fun around the city. (I sure biked around the city a lot, but it was for errands and commuting.)
  • Continue these new and established habits: meditating five days a week, a short walk five days a week, and exercising almost daily, even if it’s just stretching. (Nailed exercising, ish on the walk breaks and meditations).

Health was kind of a hodgepodge too. I need to regroup from the changes I’ve had kind of thrown my way last month. I need to figure out a better way to fit them back into my schedule so I get those much needed mental and physical health breaks. Much more on this in July.

July 2017 Forecast

I’m looking forward to this month, mostly because we’re jaunting off on vacation. My mother has very graciously offered to pay for a rental minivan for us so I can travel in some comfort with the kiddos. We’re driving from Kansas to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and then on to the low country in South Carolina to spend some time with my family. It’ll be a really affordable vacation for us, we get to spend some time outdoors, and we get to go kayaking again on the coast. Wins for everyone. The trip will throw a kink in some goals, but less so in others.

July Books to Read:

  • The Wrath and the Dawn
  • The Rabbit Raising Problem Solver
  • The Weekend Homesteader (June Holdover)
  • Read Compact Farms (Ready for me to pick-up at the library)
  • Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles

I expect some of these books to be beach reads. Doesn’t everyone read books in Latin or about farming at the beach?

Hobby Goals:

  • Finish Winter Rosettes Quilt. My sewing machine is fixed, and I have two weeks until I’m gone for the rest of the month. Bring it.
  • Knit six more rows on the chuppah (I plan to knit in the car, and the rows are quite long at this point).
  • Complete the July Food in Jars challenge.
  • Write three blog posts a week.

I am going to be very, very disappointed if I don’t finish my rosettes quilt. That is all. Do any of y’all knit on road trips? Last winter, I knitted hats for my charity knitting enroute to Big Bend.

Health Goals:

  • Workout every day, even it’s just stretching; make sure to stretch on our traveling days.
  • Limit myself to two sweets a week; I can have one week with three sweets. (Being at my mom’s house will be difficult).
  • Meditate five times a week.
  • Take walk breaks three times a week.
  • Take stretch breaks three times a week.
  • Follow doctor’s recommendations based on whatever Monday’s test results say.

My biggest goal is reducing stress and anxiety this month after the stressful changes at work and bringing on a graduate class. The frenetic pace of June kicked my tush. I need to get back into my routine of meditating five times a week; I’ve still been doing it, but less so. Previously, I’d have the house to myself, and I could sit and begin my workday with a bit of meditation and feel zen. Now, I have a husband in and out of the house and kiddos (sometimes) up and about. It’s been hard to set the time and place that I was able to have during the school year, but I need it. I also need to get up and take my walking breaks that I had previously done so reliably. Again, it’s been hard to tell the kids repeatedly that I’m working and then skip out for a quick walk around the block. Besides, I feel guilty taking those walking breaks when I’m interrupted to do something with the kiddos during the day. Maybe I need earbuds and a sign that says, “Ask dad; I’m working.” Then, I can let the chips fall however they may. Ha! It may seem like I’m repeating exactly what I was supposed to do in June, but I feel kind of frazzled and pulled at the seams. I’m also exhausted; I need to make these changes.

My biggest takeaway from June is that habits and routines are important, and when the variables change, the habits and routines change too. I apparently need to have a summer habits schedule and an academic calendar schedule. So, tell me, what are you goals? How do you deal with changes in your schedule and routines? How do you stay healthy when you’re on a two-week vacation?

Most of all, though, I really just want to finish that darn quilt, so I know exactly what I’m working on for craft night tonight.


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