January flew by. I intended to ease back into work after my sabbatical in January but that just didn't happen. The first week back was a flurry of answering emails and preparing for the Big Fake Wedding, then actually photographing and editing my work from the big fake wedding, and the week after that I had my women's retreat with my church that I also helped plan!
This month I started implementing something that isn't a goal but has made a huge difference in my effectiveness at work. I have been limiting myself to at most 3 to do's per day. This might sound counter-intuitive but it isn't! Limiting the number of things I do allows me time for more quality work because I have more time and I am not as distracted!
January was a flurry of fun but I am looking forward to a more mellow February!
January Monthly Goals:
- Develop My New Service: This past month I really got to define the direction of this new service! It is really coming together and I am learning so much - about marketing well, about serving my potential clients, and about overcoming fear.
I am going into uncharted territory. It is pretty scary but I am pushing past it so that I can serve others with this new service!
- Marketing Systems: This is an area that has often left me feeling stressed and strained. This month I really hashed it all out: giving specific purposes to each marketing platform, assigning a specific time where I can work on it, and a pattern I can follow so I wont have to think about it!
- Connect with friends: When first thinking about this goal, I assumed it would look like getting coffee and having face to face time. But I have come to realize that small intentional conversations on the way to the car and meaningful texts can go a long way.
- Start my spring garden: The garden is started! Seeds are planted, the garden is organized and ready when those little seeds are big enough to plant! My sweet peas are already growing like gangbusters and I couldn't be more excited about it! Spending time working with my hands and tending to my garden has been SO lifegiving to me!
- Read Big Magic: This book was so incredible and inspiring for people who want to cultivate a creative life (a creative life isn't just reserved for those who have artistic careers). I especially loved the sections where she talked about moving past fear and the idea of following your curiosity instead of passion! I highly recommend this book!
- Run 3 days a week: Sooooo this goal was a total fail. I still exercised 5 days a week for about 20 minutes but getting outside to run did not happen.
I think I was over ambitious in the amount of times I would run per week. It isn't a matter of if I can physically do it but rather a habit issue. Running usually takes longer than a normal workout and so if I am not right on schedule with my morning routine the run won't happen. This goal for sure needs some readjustment!
- Stick to my weekly batch schedule: My batch working schedule assigns specific tasks to specific days of the week. This allows me to work more effectively with less effort! And I nailed this goal! So happy about forming this habit!
- Call my mom + sister: This was another goal I didn't do so hot on . . . sorry fam! I think it would be helpful to establish a specific day to always call them so that it becomes routine!
- Check personal email: This is something I used to be terrible at doing but realized I left a couple of people hanging. And that isn't okay! I was able to this every week and am really excited about it!
- Personal To-Do: Another semi-fail. This is a goal because the past year I did not give enough attention to personal projects and taking care of our home! Technically, I did garden every week (which counts as a personal to-do) but there were other things I was hoping to get done (organize the hall closet, donate things we don't use, etc) that I didn't get to. But I am making progress so I am not beating myself up about it! :)
- Bookend: This has been a GAME CHANGER when it comes to my mental space, thought life, and focus during work. I spend time (30 minutes at the beginning and end of the day) journaling + praying about work and decisions, reading poetry or looking at art, and prepping for the day.
I have been great about the morning time but not as good about the closing bookend. This is because I have often worked late . . . which is not okay. Hoping to make progress on this in February.
- Study Italian: This has be SO wonderful! And I've been really consistent and excited to study every day. I've been using Memrise and Drops.
A couple days I did really poorly on my review words and it was honestly really discouraging. But I tried to push past it and trust that if I keep at it I will continue to progress!
- Garden: This basically is just me watering and reading in my garden! I love to sit outside with the fountain on, book in hand, and a cup of tea. I do this right after work and it is a great way to get me out of work mode.
- Instagram once: This was overall really successful! And I am excited to keep at it and continue to develop this discipline!
- 10,000 Steps: I know this is the recommend amount of steps, but I might cut it back again to a more attainable goal like 8,000 steps. I love going on my walks but sometimes it is nice to sit in the sun and read on my lunch instead. I think knocking this goal down a bit would help to motivate me rather than feel like a burden!
On to February!
This month seems really packed because of a couple things: (1) finishing everything for the new service launch, (2) CNP Valentine's Day Sessions, (3) Lots of personal get-togethers because it is my birthday February 5th!
There are a lot of exciting things and I am really looking forward to this month!
- New Service: putting the finishing touches on this so that it can be ready to launch in March!
- Valentine's Day Sessions: These are mini sessions for couples in any stage of life. I have a few things left to streamline so that my clients can have a smooth and fun experience!
- Read: My business book for this month is Entreleadership! I have been wanting to read this for months so I am excited to finally get to it!
- Marketing Systems: Last month I was able to define and streamline these areas but this month I hope to make a checklist and a defined process for each area too!
- Tend to the Garden: My seedlings have been planted and growing amazingly, and this month I will be transferring them outside and into the garden!
- Connect with Friends: Intentionally connect with a handful of friends. Whether that is a coffee date or just a meaningful text!
- Adventuring: Lately, Kyle and I have been feeling a bit restless . . . we love our routine and our home but we want to be intentional about shaking things up and creating new memories together!
- Personal To-do: It is on the list again this month and I really hope to make some of my projects actually happen!
- Cultivate Connection with Kyle: We are SO happily married and both feel loved well by one another. But this isn't a time to coast. I want to make sure I am intentionally showing Kyle how much I care. This might look like a sweet note in his lunch, a quick back rub when he gets home from a long day or bringing him home a fun drink when I run errands.
This isn't something that is crazy big but I want to make sure I am loving him well!
- Call my Mom + Sister: Trying to make this goal actually happen this month! I am going to try and establish a set time to call each of them!
- Check personal email: This is still on the list because it isn't quite a habit yet!
- Draw: While in my fine art program in college, I LOVED my drawing classes. There was even a point where I considered switching my emphasis from photography to drawing. But I really haven't drawn at all since I graduated years ago.
I am hoping that I can do this at least once a week during one of my bookends!
- Garden: This moved from a daily goal to a weekly one (I will still water and read in the garden after work) but now that the number of plants I am tending to has almost doubled I want to make sure I am taking care of them well.
- Bookend: Since this is a relatively new habit I am keeping it on the list!
- Learn Italian: I am determined to be conversational and don't want to let this daily habit die!
- Focused Devotional Time: I have had a daily devotional time for almost 5 years now. I read my bible, journal, and pray every morning for about an hour. But lately, I've been distracted, often pulling out my phone or getting up to do something else. So I've put it on my daily habit list to have a more focused time!
- Instagram once per day: Another new habit I am trying to continue!
- Walk + Sun: I decided to redirect my goal of 10,000 steps per day. This fits better within my yearly goal to have more time away from the computer. Like I said above the number of steps became burdensome. As long as I am outside, I will be happy!
There you have it! My February Goals! Now it is your turn: