8/1/17. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE greeting the first day of a new month (except if those months are November-March. Ew Winter).
I want to go back to a system that was working for me VERY well in the past (why do we drop things that work so well for us?! Ugh.). What I would do is each month, and the very end or very beginning of the next month, I would look back at the past month in a sort of reflective-review style and figure out “what worked” and “what didn’t work” in terms of goals and lifestyle. I feel like this type of reflection is important because it allows us to 1)see what changes might be beneficial to make and 2)allows us to praise ourselves on what IS working and what IS going well (which we often times overlook, well at least I tend to 😉 ).
So here I am to air out my “dirty laundry” of how I let some things go this month (why? Because brokenness and imperfection needs to be embraced and accepted), as well as pinpoint what was working well for the month of July:
- Consistent weekly date nights-making time to just be newlyweds and enjoy new experiences together! Also provided us with something to look forward to each week
- Saying “no” to extra work obligations (this was a big step for me)-I turned down 2 presentation opportunities and a promotion this month in order to hold on to my sustainable work schedule, and I have NO regrets about this
- Attending my weight watcher weigh-ins regularly, no matter how I thought the week had gone-I had extra accountability as well as my most consistent weight loss this month since November of last year 🙂
- Checking out of “work mode” the moment I entered my car after work (I used to be a CONSTANT work planner at home, checking work e-mails at all times of the day from home-no more!). Overall, being less accessible
- Making more time to invest in close friendships and family relations-making more of an effort to host people at our new home, meet up for coffee dates, and check in with loved ones (especially those who we knew were struggling a bit more)
- Starting to get back into writing again (hence this blog) and investing in this area of expression and life
What didn’t work:
- lack of paying close attention to our social spending-which dipped into our finances more than I am typically comfortable with
- Not writing down a meal plan each week-how easy it can be at those times to just “pick something up on the way home” and not make the healthiest choices!
- Inconsistent church attendance-due to travel, changing schedules, fatigue-what have you
- Missing out on my group exercise classes that I like-I missed the variety in activity!
- Lack of sleep-I was SUPER cranky and irritable at various times this month, and I know it was because my body was not getting the rest it needed. However, I don’t like that side of myself and don’t wish to see it more than I need to
- Lack of group-based support-I think I’m recognizing I need more time with the sisters in Christ I have in my life on a group basis to discuss and support one another in the specific challenges and blessings that come along with being women
- Lack of time in personal prayer as well as prayer with my partner-we need more of this in our lives
Even as I’m writing this, I’m recognizing that more things have worked this month that I thought. Sometimes when we are in the midst of a challenging or inconsistent season, it can be hard to see that there is blessing in the storm, and that things are going better than they feel.
I’m a goal-oriented gal, but I also don’t believe that goals should run EVERY area of my life (I’ve developed a healthier, more balanced relationship with this over the last several months). However, I oftentimes find myself setting a few goals here and there over 5 main categories of my life: Financial, Health, Professional, Social, and Personal/Spiritual. Based on my reflection from above, here are some things I am challenging myself to stay accountable and intentional in (giving myself some grace every now and again 😉 ).
- Update our budget and budgeting app to reflect recent financial changes
- Weekly analyze/reflect back on our spending patterns (especially socially) to see how we are doing with our means
- Continue to regularly attend weekly Weight Watcher Meetings
- Use our new whiteboard (of course) to meal plan for the week before going grocery shopping-map out food prep days
- Encourage myself to schedule in 2 group fitness classes a month
Professional (not a big emphasis this next month):
- Continue to only check/respond to work-related e-mails/duties when at the office-my job is NOT on-call and I should not be inducing guilt on myself for this choice 🙂
- Continue to only schedule client appointments within office availability
- Host one larger gathering at our home (if our dog is ready for it!). If our dog is not ready for it, create a larger group outing to eliminate some of that pressure
- Invite 2 friends that I have been meaning to connect with out for coffee/drink dates
- Continue weekly date night (love this!)
- Choose a devotional app that I enjoy and begin to incorporate this into my daily schedule
- Make a consistent effort to pray with my spouse each day
- Become more consistent in our church attendance
- Continue to write on this blog 3-4 times weekly
There ya have it! My reflections and intentions. I’d love to hear how your monthly reflections have gone, and what is on your heart and mind for the month of August. I’d love to provide any support I can!