I’ve been writing down monthly 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.
RECAP OF GOALS IN October
Things that were challenging in October: tracking expenses, blogging and finishing the e-book content and formatting.
Things that went well in October: my morning routine, making our bed, keeping my gratitude journal, getting at least six hours of sleep, running, family time, and decluttering the basement. My husband has been doing great clearing the basement on his own – needing working space has been a great motivator for him!
Silence, Meditation, and Centering Prayer
One of the additions to my morning routine for the past several months is the addition of 5 minutes of silence. I use an app called Insight Timer on my iPhone. You can set it to any duration and I’ve been adding one minute at a time through the weeks.
I’ll write more another time about how Centering Prayer helped me to maintain my prayer life after my father died, but the practice is how I started with silence and meditation. I was introduced to it over 10 years ago and practiced Centering Prayer consistently for several months at the time. I’ve only recently come back to consistent periods of silence within the last year.
Like yoga, I use it as a time to practice deep breathing and relax. While meditating I find myself slowly scanning my face and taking the opportunity to gently remind myself to relax my jaw, unfurrow my brow, and not to squint my eyes.
I can’t say that this small amount of time has changed my life in obvious ways to outsiders, but I know that it will take time and consistent practice. I can say though that only during yoga and silence am I consciously checking in with myself and aware. I’m hoping that as I continue, this awareness seeps in to the ordinary moments throughout my day – where I can gently remind myself to unfurrow and relax.
October’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 october:
- 10 Lessons Learned After a Year of Decluttering
- Stress Free Meal Planning for Beginners: Finding what Works for You
- Meal Planning for Beginners
TOP 3 THINGS I WAS GRATEFUL FOR IN October:
- Going apple picking with the family and all the yummy apple dishes we made with them.
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. This was the first non-fiction book I’ve read that didn’t fall into the “self help” type category. It was a really inspiring story!
- Consistent freelance work for my husband. We are grateful that we are able to live comfortably on my part-time salary and his freelance work without dipping into our savings. He’s able to be home with our youngest son after school on days when I’m working.
- 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.
- Intentional movement 5 days of the week (running at least 2 of those days).
- 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.
- Meal Plan dinner for the weeknights
- Maintaining the decluttered areas
- Work at least 15 minutes in the basement with hubby.
- Budget and track daily expenses using the free EveryDollar app.
WRITING & BLOGGING GOALS:
- Continue with a blogging editorial calendar for the month! The Elite Blog Academy has been super helpful in helping organize all my ideas so that my editorial calendar is a cinch to plan.
- Post at least once a week on my blog for November
- Write 500 words at least 3 times a week (daily is too much for me right now!)
- Complete the first full rough draft. I have some beta testers from my email list that have graciously agreed to read and apply the material in the e-book before I launch.
- 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 (where we actually go out of the house together…without kids)
- One on one outings with each son.
What are some goals that you have for November?
This post shared at these lovely link ups.
These are such great goals! Thank you for inspiring me to get back to goal-setting! I love how you write 3 things you are grateful for each evening! ” Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Thanks Kimberly! Yes, writing the 3 things each day is helpful to reflect and appreciate the smaller things that I might just forget about. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Anne Louise Bannon says
Boy, and I thought I was ambitious! These are great goals. Do need to get back to Centering Prayer – thanks for the reminder.
Thanks Anne! Yes, centering prayer is such a special way to pray.
Angela, it’s so encouraging to see all the things you are doing well with!! Woo hoo!
Keep up the great work!
I can’t wait to see another basement update!!
Thanks Melinda! Yes, we have to get another basement update going. Thanks for the reminder!
Heather Hart says
I love the idea of taking 3 slow, deep breaths in the morning! What a great way to start your day off intentionally!
Thanks Heather. It is a way to guarantee that you’ve at least taken several deep breaths in one day. I’m always surprised at how I’m mostly breathing from my chest and not my diaphragm!
Abby @ WinsteadWandering says
I’d love to read that post about centered prayer. This month, I’m working on coming up with a few easy, meaningful ways to celebrate the weeks leading up to Christmas with my oldest kids.
I haven’t written it yet Abby – but when I do, I’ll share it on the blog! We need to think about Advent as well. We’ve tried different things in the past.
Michele Morin says
Fun to read your thoughts. I’m also trying to be more intentional about meditating on Truth and leaving room for silence.
Thanks for stopping by Michele! Truth and silence are definitely needed for our souls.
Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says
I think it’s great you are working on your ebook already and that you are keeping up with your gratitude journaling. I’m still struggling getting through EBA but I got some motivation back when I got the email that EBA 3.0 is coming out so soon! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday linkup and pinned to our linkup board.
Donna Parker says
This made me think and I felt quite inspired. Thank you, dropped over from #FridayFrivolity and so happy I did! Hope this weekend treats you kindly. 🙂
I love the idea of taking a few minutes a day to pray or just be silent. I used to take my morning commute for prayer, and it fell by the wayside once I stopped working outside the home. Best of luck on your November goals!
Lisa/Syncopated Mama says
My husband and I were introduced to Centering Prayer many years ago – it wasn’t the best fit for me, but it was for my husband! I totally get it, my brain just can’t handle it! So happy you joined us for #FridayFrivolity this week and hope to see you again on Friday!