I’d love to be writing of my incredible achievements over the past month in terms of the goals for minimalism and use of time. Unfortunately,the point of expressing those goals outwardly was not to say “look at me, I did it!” but really to be like “here’s how it really went”.
Goal 1: Waking up at 4:45am
The most difficult part of this goal is that it is dark out at 4:45am. And I mean, really dark. It isn’t much better at 5:30am but that is the time that I’ve been able to, most frequently, peel myself out of bed. I am still working towards the 4:45am goal but it has been a much slower (and sometimes more painful) process than I would like for that habit. It has also been difficult to manage the weekend schedule because it is so easy to get off track when the weekend rolls around.
Goal 2: Spend 15 minutes with God
Failed. There is really no other way to explain this goal. I’ve been traveling every weekend and not able to attend church and have been (as seen above) not waking up as early as I would like, so this has really not been happening the way I had intended. We have, however, found an incredible home group for fellowship that has brought us closer to God. But I need to make time for one-on-one…
Goal 3: Declutter your digital life
This is a work in progress but it is happening! My husband may not think so but I am clearing out my emails, deleted some apps I don’t use and have done some other things so that I do not have to be stuck to my phone all the time.
Goal 4: No complaint day
I have kept this closer in focus this month with an attempt to be more optimistic and positive in all situations. I have been reminding myself of how to frame situations in a different light. I have yet to work on an incentive system but right now I am fervently raising money for my Pan-Mass Challenge so that is a good motivation for staying positive!
Goal 5: Clean out your closet
We did this recently and it is a slow process but we are working on it!
Goal 6: No TV day
Well…we have this on our calendar but usually this ends up being a day when we have class until 9/9:30 or home group. Which is not technically an active no TV, read instead day but is a forced day to do that.
Goal 7: Go for walks and practice mindfulness
We (and that means me) have not been doing a good job of getting outside and allowing my mind to settle. Partially this has been weather related and partially due to travel. (Neither are an excuse but have provided an obstacle for this month.) Hopefully as spring continues to move in to Oklahoma, there will be a strong incentive for getting outside! If not, I will have to get creative with this one.
Goal 8: Journal for 20 minutes
Goal 9: Practice gratitude
I have earnestly sought out to do this more often. I hope that I have been thanking people for their support and have shown that I am grateful for the people and opportunities in my life. This will always be a work in progress but I have made this a bigger focus and kept it at the forefront of my mind this month.
Goal 10: Identify your stress triggers
I would say I figured this out by putting myself under a great deal of stress. This identified many of the triggers I am already aware of but was a stark reminder that even in trying moments, there is an option for looking at the situation in a positive light. It is also a good reminder to limit those triggers when possible.
Goal 11: Take a step towards learning a new skill
Working on this! Right now I am still investigating and working on some options but haven’t decided on one direction yet.
Goal 12: Identify my 3-6 main priorities
I definitely have not narrowed it down this far but I am focusing my energy more specifically. Right now, it is critical that I am exercising and training for the Pan-Mass Challenge in August. In addition, I am focusing on areas to grow my career including my MBA program. But there is still a lot of “fluff” that I am reevaluating and refining.
Goal 13: Evaluate your commitments
I have recently removed myself from some commitments but have more to do for sure. I am a “yes” person and this is always difficult for me because as soon as I refine my commitments, I add something new. Not a good habit. But I am working on it!
Goal 14: Evaluate your last 5 purchases
Honestly, I went through this and our purchases are generally essentials or carefully thought out. We did Financial Peace University and one of the recommendations is to set an amount and any cost above that amount must be discussed with your spouse. We selected $50 because, at the time, we were on a very tight budget. The benefit of that is that we talk about getting gas (like that really needs to be checked with a spouse…). We are highly communicative and thorough about our purchases so we rarely regret them. I will say, we ordered from Young Living and have LOVED that product. I would highly recommend it. (And if you like it, be sure to select my member ID: 2487116. I’d also be happy to share more about my experience with the product and my love of the diffuser.)
Goal 15: Let go of a goal
Sort of, kind of, not really. I need to identify my main priorities more aggressively and then, hopefully, a goal to let go of will surface.
Goal 16: Learn to enjoy solitude
I haven’t had much solitude recently but I had, up until this week, been home by myself on Monday nights! At first, I thought it was going to be miserable because it was rough last semester to have Wednesdays to myself. But I focused on getting things off my to-do list, exercising, enjoying cooking and things like that (not to mention a really guilty pleasure of watching the Bachelor…it is so addicting. I’m sorry.). Now, my class schedule has changed so I am reworking my schedule to find that time again!
So what did I learn? Firstly, this was too many goals especially for the shortest month of the year. Who thought that would be a good idea?! I also learned that I don’t have the time for some of the things that are important to me and I cannot take that time from other important uses, such as sleep, exercise, work, etc.. So I will need to continue evaluating several of these items and building habits around them so it is inherent in what I do.
What are your keys to developing new habits?