I’ve been writing down monthly intentions or goals to help me focus in on what is important. Many of the things listed are daily habits I’m seeking to maintain or grow in. The goal is not to obtain perfection, but to make steady progress…and months when there isn’t any progress, to give myself grace and start again the next month. That is my hope for you too as you strive to implement daily/weekly/monthly habits. Here are my monthly intentions for July.
Recap of Intentions in June
Things that went well in June:
- I finally tracked my time for a week! More on this goal below…
- my morning routine. I got back on track, which also means I was getting enough sleep through the month!
- making my bed, meal planning, and intentional movement. I’m happy to say that I think these three things have become a daily and weekly habit after months and months of setting intentions to do them. It now feels strange NOT to do them.
- writing a list of 3 things I’m grateful for every day
- I finished In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Case of Speed by Carl Honore. I was introduced to a few different areas of the international Slow Movement that I never knew were part of the Slow Movement (like slow sex! and slow cities)
- going out with friends. My friend and I went to a yoga class together in our neighborhood and then out to dinner. My free weekly yoga class at work is on a break for the summer so I’ll have to find a new studio for the summer. I have a new appreciation for my weekly yoga classes at work since starting to pay for them!
- I managed to declutter the other children’s bedroom closet. I still have to go through ours one more time.
- We also worked in the basement together a couple of times this month! This was my husband’s request as a Father’s Day gift. I know, we’re a strange couple. I’m happy to gift that experience though. 🙂
- I posted at least once a week in June, including a guest post on my friend Crystal’s blog, Sharing Life’s Moments. If you haven’t read it, click HERE.
- I also finally went through a FB ads course that I have access to, but I’m putting that on the back burner for now.
Things that were more challenging:
- writing 500 words a day
- budgeting in You Need a Budget and meeting weekly with my husband. I was tracking my expenses in my planner, but not necessarily doing anything with those numbers! The weekly meetings really help because we sit down and subtract the expenses from the budget categories.
- sharing a post with Huffington Post.
I finally did it. I think this was on my monthly intentions list for over two months. I tracked my time in 15 minute increments for a whole week! The book that made me want to do this was 168 hours by Laura Vanderkam. The subtitle tells you why you should do this: You have more time than you think!
She breaks down our time in a very no nonsense way:
- We all have 168 hours in a week.
- We can struggle with feeling like there is “not enough time”
- If you work 8 hours a day for 5 days a week, that’s 40 hours. (168-40=128 hours left)
- If you sleep 8 hours a night for 7 days a week, that’s 56 hours. (128 – 56 = 72 hours left)
- That leaves us with 72 hours a week, 8 hours a day during the work week, and 16 hours during the weekends!
- The question is, what are we doing with that time?
My Time Tracking sheet:
I’m going to write more about this in a separate blog post later this month, but the one thing that really stood out to me was that I’m spending a lot more time with the family than I thought.
As a person who works outside the home three days a week, and trying to grow a blog and business, I can feel stretched and that I don’t spend enough time with my family. Tracking my hours let me see that I’m actually spending quite a bit of time with the family. Knowing that eases some guilt I carry (unnecessarily by the way) about my ambitions.
If you haven’t read my friend Tanya’s guest post on how to start time tracking, you must read it! I’m going to give her color coding system a try to make things even clearer about where my time goes. I’ll share that in my next post about time tracking! I’m not sure I’ll do this every week, but it’s certainly helpful to have rough ideas about where my time is going and where I WANT my time to go.
If you’re interested in trying to track your time, Laura Vanderkam has a great sheet and some great tips when you sign up for her email list.
Have you ever done time tracking? Let me know in the comments!
June’s Top 3 List:
As part of these monthly recaps and goals, I’m sharing the top 3 posts and top 3 things I was grateful for this past month.
TOP 3 POSTS IN JUNE:
- 7 Steps to Start Hand Lettering (a new top post – yay! It seems like the top 3 blog posts are always the same.)
- 10 Lessons Learned After a Year of Decluttering
- Stress Free Meal Planning for Beginners: Finding what Works for You
TOP 3 THINGS I WAS GRATEFUL FOR IN JUNE:
- Getting back into my routine. May was a funky month and I was out of routine. It feels good to be back on track.
- The start of summer for the family, and opportunities to spend more time together (tracked or untracked!)
- My “staycation” this last week of June. I’ve been able to get some projects off the ground that I haven’t had time for.
Top 3 Posts and Top 3 Things I was grateful for in June #gratitude #top3 Click To Tweet
Monthly Intentions for July:
- Daily bible reading from The Daily Message.
- Pray for my husband, children, and loved ones daily using the scripture God has given me.
- Take at least 3 slow, deep breaths in the morning. Silent prayer and meditation for 12 minutes.
- Listen to audiobook You Are a Bad*ss: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness, and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I have it on loan from the library.
- Going out with friends at least once a month.
- Try to go plastic free this July (or show progress in my use of plastic). I recently got tips from Zero Waste bloggers about green living, and one of the simplest ways is to refuse the top 4 plastics: plastic water bottles, takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags at the grocery store, and straws. Want to join me? I’m going to try to post on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month.
- Intentional movement 5 days of the week (running or HIIT video at least 2 of those days).
- I’ve been running 1-1.5 miles in the morning before it gets too hot 1-2 times a week. If I don’t get out, I’m doing a HIIT or cardio video on YouTube, in the comfort of my air conditioned home on days when I don’t work. 🙂
- Be in bed by 11pm. Sleep at least 6 hours a night, with 7 hours being ideal.
- Write down 3 things I’m grateful for daily each evening and plan my top 3 things that I need to do the next day.
- Meal Plan dinner for the weeknights (get FREE Meal Planning printables)
- Declutter the storage closet again.
- Work at least 15 minutes in the basement (with or without) hubby on Sunday evenings when I put in a load of laundry.
- Budget and track daily expenses with the You Need a Budget program. Meet weekly with my husband, and talk about money as well as business and home stuff for the upcoming week.
WRITING & BLOGGING:
Elite Blog Academy (EBA) has been my main blogging course that I’ve been going through all year. It’s been instrumental in giving me direction and guidance every step of the way.
EBA only goes on sale once a year. If you’re interested in starting or refining your blog, the EBA Blog Structure Blueprint is a must have! You can download it immediately when you sign up for the wait list HERE.
- Post at least once a week on my blog for July
- Get the guts up to do a weekly FB live video on the decluttering process in the basement.
- Write 500 words at least 3 times a week
- Write one guest post for July, featuring ideas from my eBook
- Put the audiobook version of my eBook up on my site or Teachable’s site
- Contribute an old post on Huffington Post. I was so excited to become a contributor to Huffington Post. You can find my entries so far here.
- Date night with hubby.
If you can’t get out of the house for date nights, check out VidAngel . You can stream movies for $1. We used to use Redbox, but the convenience of not having to go out of the house to return the movie, is super convenient.
- One on one outings with each son. This should be a lot easier since it’s summer.
What are some monthly intentions that you have for July? Have you ever tracked your time for a week?
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Abby @ WinsteadWandering says
I’ve read a little about time tracking, and it intrigues me, but I’m not sure I’d want to see my results. I guess that’s a sign I need to do it! Can’t wait to read your detailed post about it!
Hey Abby! I know I was scared to track as well – mainly because I have resistance to being that detail oriented, but it was really helpful.
Rachel @ Smart Mom Smart Ideas says
I like how you used time blocking to track your time. It’s a great way to visualize how you have spent your time and plan to spend your time.
Thanks Rachel. I’m just getting in the habit of time tracking – next step is to actually do some time blocking to plan how to spend my time!