Gettin’ Stuff Done Before Crunch Time {April Goals}

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Although I’ve been setting monthly goals for quite some now (well over a year, along with sporadic bouts of it before that point), I hadn’t publicly posted most of them on the blog until recently. However, for the extra dose of accountability and to keep me motivated (especially before Baby #2 comes in July and I’ll have far less time), I decided to start sharing my monthly goals and progress.

For the record, my monthly to-do lists are a combination of big projects I want to get done (often for my photography business, home, 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).

Note: In addition to doing monthly goal lists, I also do weekly to-do lists, which are comprised both of items that will help me get closer to my monthly goals being completed AND tasks and routines that I’m trying to implement as habits (having one set Laundry Day per week, reading a certain number of books, specific weekly chores I have trouble doing otherwise, etc.).

Before I launch into April’s goals, here’s a recap of how I did last month. (Crossed-out items are things that I completely finished; anything highlighted in red meant that I made measurable progress on it but didn’t quite finish). Also, you’ll notice there are some affiliate links below, which help support To Love and To Learn.

March Goals

  • Go to the temple
    • Although Matt and I like to go together when we can, this month I went on my own to make sure I got it in (since it’s easier than trying to find a sitter and coordinate a time we can both go). I went right after Matt got off work one Friday.
  • Find 30 more names of Matt’s ancestors
    • I made a lot of progress on this one, but I’m still not *quite* there—I ended up finding almost 20 names, which means that the remaining names will be a rollover goal in April.
  • Go to an Easter egg hunt
    • We not only went on the egg hunt with my sister and her family as planned, but we also had a somewhat unexpected chance to do a hunt with Matt’s family as well, which was a lot of fun.
  • Decorate Easter eggs
    • Raven asked me every day for weeks when we were going to be able to do this, so you’d better believe we got it done! We ended up doing it on our weekly scheduled Family Night (which we hold every Monday), the week right before the holiday.
  • 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. I actually made this one happen really soon in the month (like, within a week or so), and I even ended up making MORE than the five I’d planned for. Success!
  • 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. I ended up finding my journal at the beginning of the month and though I only typed up about 5 or 6 pages throughout the month, I at least started.
  • 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. This month, I made 3 new entries.
  • 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. Unfortunately, March was a rough month when it came to trying to get this one done. On weekends when we had time to go on one, we either were dealing with sickness or super bad weather for what we wanted to do, so this one just didn’t happen (though we still did do a lot of fun family things together! Just not the specified day adventure we’d planned on).
  • Start hypnobirthing practice
  • Switch Matt’s 401k to a Roth and set up monthly contributions
    • We wanted to compare a couple more options before choosing a new company to go through, so we got some numbers back from a local place and then also scheduled a meeting with my in-laws’ advisor to see if he would be a good fit for us. Since that appointment happened to be the last business day of the month, we didn’t exactly have time to make a decision and go forward on anything, so this is a rollover goal yet again.
  • List bookshelves on KSL
    • Honestly, I forgot this was a goal for last month because I forgot to write it down along with the rest of my monthly goals in the notebook I refer to daily. Whoops! I’ll probably shelve (ha ha) this goal until we’re actually in a place to get our built-in bookshelf project started. Until then, I’ll probably lack the motivation.

During most months, I also tend to finish some larger tasks or projects that were unanticipated, so I like to acknowledge those, too (just because not all progress is always planned progress). Some other victories during March:

  • Raven and I planted seeds together to prepare for the upcoming growing season.
    • Gardening is often something I INTEND to do but rarely something that I do as much as I claim I will. So the fact that we actually planted our seeds indoors on time for once is basically a small miracle (it helps that we had a gorgeously sunny day after so many snowy/cold ones, and I wanted Raven to have the experience of doing this). I bought just a basic little plastic planter, carefully labeled where all the seeds were going, and we went to town (especially Raven, who maybe got a little overexcited and got some seeds mixed up in entirely the wrong places). And now we have quite the little crop coming up! (I also got about 45 minutes of yardwork done that same day—some pruning, some weed-clearing, etc.)
  • I finished reading TEN(!) books in March.
    • Guys, that means I averaged finishing a book every 3 days…which is kinda nuts. Something about last month just really lit my fire to read a ton, so I maybe did a bit more of that when I perhaps should have been doing a bit more of other things (aka, blogging, ha ha).
  • I re-filed our taxes.
    • This year, I was so on the ball with filing that we submitted our taxes literally the first day you could. Well, unfortunately, there was a document I TOTALLY had forgotten we’d be getting (since it involved the sale of some stocks, which I’d never done before), and that document didn’t come to us until the end of February, well after we’d filed. So I had to do the not-so-fun thing of resubmitting all our paperwork (this time through the mail, since you can’t do it electronically). But it’s all done now, so that’s a load off my mind.
  • We got some work done on our cars.
    • Ugh, this one was also not fun, especially as one of the things was an unexpected repair that was almost $400. But we also got the oil changed in both cars (something that we were reeeeeeally overdue on). The good thing was, we had the money in savings to cover all this, so though it was annoying, it wasn’t *too* stressful.
  • We hosted a dinner party for our ward.
    • Every quarter, our ward (church congregation) has a ward party, This quarter, our ward leadership decided to do things a bit differently and split the ward into smaller dinner groups. We were asked to be one of the host families, which meant that we opened our home for it, coordinated the date and dishes with everyone assigned to our group, and provided the main entree. And though it was a bit of stress in the prep (largely just because both Matt and I got SO SICK before), the night ended up being SO much fun. (It also had the added bonus of ensuring that our upstairs was the cleanest it’s been in months.)

April Goals

You’ll notice I’ve set quite a few goals for April, which is largely because I’m trying to take advantage of this last little spurt before I’m hugely pregnant and then have a newborn.

  • Have a birthday celebration for Raven
    • Raven turns 3 on the 12th, so I want to make sure we do something fun to celebrate, even if it’s small. We’ve already got the monthly get-together with my family planned (where we celebrate all the birthdays in the family that month), but I wanted to make sure she got her own special night, either on the actual day or soon thereafter.
  • Go to Baby Animal Days
    • This has become a yearly tradition for us, and it happens to fall on this Saturday (4/7). This will count as our monthly day adventure, for the record.
  • Go out for our anniversary
    • Our anniversary isn’t technically until May 7th, but as we usually count on the generosity of our parents when it comes to getting our date nights out, I knew that the last weekend in April was probably our best shot at being able to go out together to celebrate (because I’d already asked my mom about her schedule). So, if everything goes according to plan, that should happen the last weekend of the month!
  • Get a haircut (Matt, too!)
    • I only get my hair cut twice a year (I know), and so I’m definitely needing it as my last trim was nearly six months ago. I’ve also been telling Matt for weeks to get his cut too, so we’ll see if we can both look a little less scruffy by the end of April.
  • Get pregnancy vaccines done
    • My doc recommends that I get a TDAP shot with each pregnancy, and that needs to happen in the third trimester (which I hit next week).
  • Go to the temple
    • Matt and I try to go every month, so this is an ongoing monthly goal.
  • Plant fruit trees
    • We inherited two apple trees when we bought our house (which we don’t know if we’ll keep, as they haven’t produced anything yet, but we at least pruned them last year so we’ll see), but I’ve always dreamed of having my own little orchard one day. We easily have enough room for two more (dwarf) fruit trees, so we’re wanting to plant a peach tree and an apricot tree by the end of this month.
  • Build raised garden beds
    • We have a decent-sized yard (just over a quarter acre), but much of it isn’t landscaped for a vegetable garden, so I’m thinking raised garden beds will be the easiest and most efficient way of growing our own produce. We’ve already planted some of our seeds for it (radishes, carrots, pumpkins, watermelon), but now we need a place to put everything. I’ll probably do a separate post on all this (as long as we get it done) since it’s a project I’m quite excited about.
  • Optimize two old blog posts for Pinterest
    • Having written over 1,200 blog posts in my time (and only very recently started utilizing Pinterest to grow my blog), I have a TON of old content I’m trying to rework and bring up to date so that I can pin it.
  • Take Raven in for 3-year checkup
    • I’ve never been great at scheduling doctor’s or dentist’s appointments, so when I don’t automatically schedule the next one at the previous one, I have to put it on my to-do list to make sure it happens.
  • Make recent family photo album
    • This is one of my 101 in 1001 goals, and now that I think about it, the more I realize how daunting this could really be, seeing as I haven’t made a single current family photo album since I got married. I’m thinking I’ll split this into four albums for now (pre-Raven, first year of her life, second year, etc.), and so I’ll just work on that first one this month. Even though I only started taking daily pictures once Raven was born, I still have been blogging since 2008, which means I have been taking way more pictures than the average person since that time. Like I said, this is a bigger project than it might seem at first glance.
  • Replace filter in fridge
    • In the places we’ve lived before, we never had a fridge that had an ice cube or water dispenser, so I was pretty excited when we inherited our current fridge along with the house (which has both). Unfortunately, the ice and water both taste super funky, so I’m assuming the filter is way overdue for being changed (at least, I hope that’s the problem). Considering that we’ve lived here since the end of June, it’s high time I finally knock this one off of my nagging tasks list.
  • Make 5 new recipes out of The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner
    • As I mentioned before, I’m trying to cook my way through a whole cookbook for one of my 101 in 1001 goals. Eventually I’m hoping that this will become so routine and habitual that I can stop adding it to my monthly goals list, but for now, I’ll keep it on here for extra motivation.
  • Rollover 401k
    • I *think* this will be the month we finally get this big task completed. Fingers crossed!
  • Find the rest of the names of Matt’s ancestors to take to the temple (around a dozen names total)
    • Rollover goal from last month. (If you’re unfamiliar with the LDS religion and this particular practice, you can click here for more info on why we do temple work.)
  • Renew driver’s license
    • Last month, I unexpectedly had to close down some old bank accounts due to them upping my monthly fees (and me not wanting to deal with that), and while there, I discovered (much to my surprise) that my driver’s license actually, uh, expired last year. Whoops. Gotta get this done, and pronto!
  • Come up with a doable daily and weekly chore list
    • I’ve never personally come up with my own daily and weekly chore list, and I’m wondering if it might help me get into some better routines before we add another kid to the family. At the very least, I want to try it out to see if it’s a strategy that I want to adopt long-term.

What kinds of goals do you have for this month? (Also, if you have tips on building raised garden beds and/or which varieties of peach or apricot trees to buy, send them my way!)