Taking Advantage of “The Golden Trimester” {March Goals}


Once upon a time, I posted my monthly goals up on the blog regularly. Sometimes they were focused around just one “theme” for the month (like “Finances” or “Fitness”), and sometimes they were motivated by trying to regularly get items checked off my bucket list.

Nowadays, my monthly to-do lists are a combination of big projects I want to get done (often for my photography business or for the blog), fun experiences I want to have (because if I don’t plan for fun excursions, they tend not to happen, unfortunately), and items that will help me complete all the goals on my 101 in 1001 list (which I started in January of this year).

It’s been over three years since I’ve posted monthly goals, but I think I want to start up again, even if it’s just for the space between now and when the baby comes in July. Goal-setting is a huge part of who I am, and blogging about my goals just gives me that extra little push of accountability I sometimes need to really get stuff done. I also am in that golden stage of pregnancy where I’m out of the sickness and fatigue of the first trimester but I’m not into the exhaustion and hugeness of the third, so I’m trying to take advantage of just having one kid to care for AND the fact that I’ve been feeling pretty good lately to make some headway on my goals.

Just for fun, I’ll revisit February’s goals and pretend I posted about them initially (as well as give you an update about how I did), and then I’ll go ahead and post this month’s.

February Goals

  • Rollover Matt’s 401k into a Roth
    • One of our major financial goals for my 101 in 1001 list is to rollover Matt’s old 401k into an account that we can actually start contributing to again, since we haven’t been contributing to our retirement funds for awhile now (since Matt’s current job doesn’t offer any retirement benefits and I’m not working outside the home). At first, we considered just moving it to a traditional IRA, but when we crunched the numbers, it made much more sense for us to take a tax hit now upfront and just convert it to a Roth, as it would net us much more money in the long run. We made a lot of progress on this goal in February (including meeting with a financial coach we like and even paying to have him do an evaluation of our current investments), but we’re still wanting to do a few comparisons to make sure we’re going with the best option, especially when it comes to account fees and average annual returns and such.
  • Buy bed for guest room
    • This year, we got a fairly large tax return (bigger than any we’ve gotten in the past), so we carefully considered how best we wanted to spend it. A large portion went to our emergency fund, another large portion (once it comes in) will go to our medical fund to prepare for the baby coming in July, and the last portion went to buying a guest bed for our guest room, which was another item on my 101 in 1001 list. We shopped around at a few different stores one Saturday before deciding on a really nice pillow-top queen mattress and box spring, which we got (with the frame) for the pretty reasonable price of just $450, with tax. I’m excited to finally have a nice place to sleep to offer guests when they want to stay over now!
  • Fix plumbing issue out back
    • Originally we’d planned to do some price comparisons of a plumbing issue we need fixed and use anything leftover from our tax return for scheduling that, but there just wasn’t enough money left after everything else. This is something we’ll do in a few months instead, when it’s a bit warmer and we’ve had some time to cash flow the money for it.
  • Make valentines with Raven and give them out/send them to grandparents
    • Now that Raven is starting to “get” the holidays, I’ve had a lot of fun actually planning to DO stuff for all of them (something I was kind of terrible at before). Last month we took a little trip to Michael’s to pick up some Valentine’s Day stuff (at a steal, since we bought it right before the holiday), and she LOVED decorating big hearts for all her grandparents, which she hand-delivered where possible and/or sent off in the mail (to my dad and stepmom in Kansas City). We also made some for Matt and stuffed them into his lunchbox the morning of the holiday, which was fun.
  • Go on a family day adventure to the Treehouse Museum + out to lunch with my mom
    • For years, we’ve tried to give more “experience gifts” to people (especially our parents), and back in January, we’d told my mom to plan on us taking her to The Treehouse Museum with us and then out to lunch after. We made that happen near the beginning part of February, and we all had a blast. I LOVE that we have all these memories of Raven spending time with her grandparents throughout the year thanks to these experience gifts.
  • Host a Chinese New Year’s Dinner with some of our friends
    • Since we moved 15 minutes away from our friends over in Logan (when we used to live 30 seconds away), we’ve wanted to make sure we keep up with them as well as we can since we still live within an easy driving distance, so we try and get together at least monthly for a themed dinner or game night. In February, Matt and I hosted a Chinese New Year’s dinner where we had Asian chicken wraps and homemade potstickers and attempted to make our own homemade fortune cookies with fortunes we’d written for each other (which broke a bit when we tried folding them, but they still tasted good!).
  • Go to the temple
    • This one ended up being trickier than we thought it would be as the two temples we go to most frequently were both closed for cleaning for the last couple weeks of the month, but it ended up creating an opportunity to go to a temple we normally wouldn’t (Salt Lake), AND we had the opportunity of bringing our niece with us (who just turned 12 last year and hadn’t had a chance to go yet).
  • List bookshelves on KSL
    • In our office downstairs (which is currently a wreck), we plan to do some built-in bookshelves in a few months. To prep for that, we need to sell the cheap bookshelves we were using before and that are now just taking up empty space in there. Even though I totally could have done this, I just didn’t do it. This needs to be a goal I roll over to March.
  • Increase monthly mortgage payment online
    • Thanks to a decent raise that Matt got in February, we talked together for a long time about how we wanted to allocate the extra funds and both decided that in addition to contributing more to our emergency fund, we wanted to slightly increase the amount we were paying on our mortgage each month. Before, we were paying only about $8.50 extra (just because I like nice, even numbers and it was easier just to round up for me), and now we’re paying $48.50(ish) extra. Even this small amount shaves a few years off our mortgage, and we plan to increase it as we can.
  • Try a new cookie recipe
    • One of my joys in life is baking, but sometimes I find that it’s just easier to stick with the tried-and-true rather than trying out new recipes. For that reason, I set a 101 in 1001 goal to bake up a dozen new cookie recipes, and so this was a fun goal for me to work toward in February. For the record, I actually made TWO new cookie recipes in February–these one-bowl fudgy brownie cookies and then a recipe from one of my cookbooks for oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies. Both were TOTAL winners.
  • Finish General Conference talks from April 2017
    • Another of my 101 in 1001 goals is to study through all the General Conference talks when they come out in the Ensign (a monthly publication of the LDS church). General Conference happens just twice a year (in April and October), and it’s an opportunity for all to listen to inspired messages from our church leaders. I always listen to GC via radio or the Internet as it’s happening, but because there is SO much presented over the 12 hours of the Conference, I always find it best if I study them in print, too. I’ve been sloooowly making my way through all the talks in the April GC Ensign, and I finally finished them last month (and then immediately started on reading the ones from October).
  • Finish registering our new-to-us van
    • Matt’s parents recently bought a new truck, meaning that they no longer needed the huge Dodge van they’d been using to transport all their big things (like my mother-in-law’s paintings to her art shows) before. Since we’d been considering buying a big vehicle to transport stuff from storage shed auctions anyway, we decided to take it off their hands. For the next year, the van is on a sort of “trial run” with us, and we’re going to see if it’s worth the expense of paying extra insurance and registration costs for a third vehicle. Obviously, it would probably only be worth it if we kept buying up storage sheds at auction, so we need to get doing that again.

***Some other notable things I did in February that were NOT part of my original goals: I finished six books (some of which went towards some of the book-related goals on my 101 in 1001 list), I found about 30 names of Matt’s ancestors, and I made weekly progress on my goal to do a refresh of the 50 Weeks to Organized project (including getting rid of about 40 things so far and going through several boxes of old stuff my mom had brought up from her house that I hadn’t seen in years). I also severely cut down on how much t.v. I was watching, which helped me both to read more, blog more, AND get more done around the house. Oh, and I haven’t touched Diet Dr. Pepper since the end of last year. If THAT’S not impressive, I don’t know what is (I’m currently trying to go six months without it).

March Goals

  • Go to the temple
    • Matt and I try to go every month. This will be a bit easier than February since our nearest temple is open again!
  • Find 30 more names of Matt’s ancestors
    • I LOVE doing genealogy, and one of my 101 in 1001 goals is to find the names of 100 of our ancestors so we can take those names to the temple. (If you’re not LDS and wonder why genealogy and temple work are so important to us, click here to find out more.) I’ve already found around 30 names since the beginning of this year, so I’m well on my way to having this one completed sooner rather than later in the 1001 days.
  • Go to an Easter egg hunt
  • Decorate Easter eggs
    • As I mentioned in my February goals, I’ve been consciously trying to make sure we do all the traditional holiday things now that Raven is old enough to enjoy it. She already asks me excitedly every morning if today is the day that we will get to “color the eggs.”
  • Finish my assigned reading
  • Make 5 new recipes out of The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner
    • Another of my 101 in 1001 goals is to cook my way through an entire cookbook (or at least 90% of one, anyway). The cookbook I’ve chosen is The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, which I’ve always loved, and I’ve REALLY been enjoying cooking my way through all the recipes I hadn’t tried yet. To make sure this is a manageable goal by the end of the 1001 days, it means I need to be making about 4-5 recipes a month out of it, which is why I set this particular goal. (For other cookbooks I use and love and reference often, check out this post.)
  • Find my second mission journal and start typing the rest of it up
    • Years ago, I set a new year’s resolution to type up all my mission journals. While I was on a roll and got the first one all typed up (and part of the second one), I just kind of…stopped. So another 101 in 1001 is to finish getting those into a Word document. (For your reference, I completed just under 3 journals during the 18 months I served a mission for my church, and I’ve currently typed up about half of those.)
  • Write 5 new entries in The Motherhood Diaries
    • Since blogging doesn’t cover 100% of our lives (and especially not 100% of all my feelings and all that happens to us), I started keeping an online journal of sorts (just by opening up a Google Doc) that I affectionately named “The Motherhood Diaries.” In it, I write down more of the little day-to-day stuff that would probably be more interesting to me than to anyone else. Another 101 in 1001 goal is to make at least 100 entries in that.
  • Go on a family day adventure
    • Back in 2016, I made a new year’s resolution to make a habit out of going on a family “day adventure” once a month. Honestly, it was one of the best resolutions I’ve ever made to date, and it’s a tradition we’ve more or less kept up since then. I love it because it means we have something to look forward to every month that’s out of the ordinary, and it gives us quality family bonding time. Often when I set my monthly goals, I’ll already know where we’re going and what we’re doing for it, but I haven’t quite decided yet for March (mostly because a few of the things we want to go do are dependent on weather conditions, like flying a kite and having a picnic).
  • Start hypnobirthing practice
    • As I mentioned in my last post, I’m planning on having an unmedicated birth with this baby, like I did when I had Raven. I personally believe that most women are definitely capable of handling a natural birth, but I also believe that for it to be a positive experience, you really need to be willing to put in some practice and work. I personally love the hypnobirthing method, as it was the method that both my sisters chose for all of their deliveries, and I employed it myself while delivering my daughter. Last time, I started practicing with the hypnotherapy c.d.’s sometime around 6-7 months pregnant, but I want to get a little more of a headstart this time—the more practice, the better! (Plus the deep relaxation and meditation just helps me to sleep better and be more relaxed in general, anyway!)
  • Switch Matt’s 401k to a Roth and set up monthly contributions
    • Rollover goal from last month
  • List bookshelves on KSL
    • Rollover goal from last month


What are your goals for the new month ahead?