Goals, Monthly Recap

What Can I Get Done on Minimal Sleep? {August Goals + July Goals Update}

All photos were from a little mini shoot we took when Mathias was a month old (on 7/19)

Now that the baby is a month and a half old (6 weeks as of yesterday, to be exact), I’m now in that awkward stage where we’re basically all adjusted and I finally have my motivation back to do ALL THE THINGS, but the problem is, we’re still terribly, terribly sleep-deprived, so my motivation is definitely greater than my ability/energy to do things at the moment. While it can get a bit frustrating (especially when I’m quickly starting to realize that it will probably be a REALLY long time before ANY of my days go as I plan them), I’m happy to say that in the end, my focus has still been in the right place (my duties as a mother), and that any other goal that’s been completed has just been a nice bonus at this point.

Let’s carry on.

As always, anything in red means that I made measurable progress on the goal, and anything that’s crossed out means that I’m counting the goal as completed. (Note: there are a few affiliate links below, which means that if you click and make a purchase, I get a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting To Love and To Learn!)

July Goals

  • Send thank-you notes for baby gifts
    • Um, I sent one. So…progress. This will obviously have to be a rollover goal.
  • Get binder for Mathias’s important documents
    • Check! I ended up picking up an accordion folder (like this one) at the store on one of our weekly trips, and now I have a go-to place to put all of his documents and other important papers. Seriously, it’s such a small thing, but I’m so glad my sister-in-law gave me the idea years ago when I had my first.
  • Read 8 books
    • I actually ended up finishing nine, and I’m only about 7 pages away (I know) from finishing another. If you want to see what I’m in the middle of, you can check out the new blog series I started or see daily updates and my reviews of finished books on my Goodreads account.
  • Put up wood trim above windows
    • We got one of them put up but due to a measuring error, we haven’t gotten the second one up yet. I’m counting on us doing this one tonight though, so I’m not going to bother putting it as a rollover goal.
  • Put up artwork in guest room
    • So stupid that it’s taking me so long to do this one, but I keep procrastinating it because I want Matt’s help (to help me make sure everything is centered and lined up so I don’t have to make a million holes), and we’re usually so wiped by the time we get both kids in bed that working on anything is basically out of the equation most nights. So…rollover goal. Again.
  • List stuff on KSL (local classified)
    • I knew I likely wouldn’t have the energy to do this one, but a girl can always dream, right? I’m putting it as a rollover goal though until I actually do it because it’s something that needs to be done.
  • Go through one area for 50 Weeks to Organized Refresh
    • Luckily for me, my other July goal of packing away my maternity clothes made it super easy to tackle one of my 50 WTO areas: my entire wardrobe (or, I should say, ALL THREE of my wardrobes!). Even though I regularly purge clothing, I’m still always amazed at how much I’m still able to get rid of every time. And this time was especially productive–I ended up getting rid of two and a half boxes of clothes and shoes! I used to have half a closet full of my “current” wardrobe out (aka, whatever fit me at the time) plus two bins and four boxes that held all the clothes from my “other” wardrobes. Now I just have the half-full closet plus two bins and TWO boxes, so…progress!

  • Build sandbox
    • No progress made on this one since our belt sander is still broken. I’m tabling this goal for now (especially as it’s really a project of Matt’s that I have basically nothing to do with).
  • Make a new cookie recipe
    • I made two, actually! (If I’m going to be an overachiever, it will be with books and with baking, let’s be honest). Both were Mel’s Kitchen Cafe recipes–the first was this recipe for Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies, and then there was this one for Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies. Both were divine, I must say. (And let’s admit, I have been stress baking like crazy, as I also made a new banana bread recipe, a new zucchini bread recipe, and two other cookie recipes, though they were ones I’d tried before. I have a problem.)
  • Create folder for 2nd family photo album + add pictures
    • Although I *technically* completed this one, I’m not counting it as complete since my original plan (of filling the whole album just with pictures from 2013) didn’t work out, so I’m going to have to go back and add some more from the next year before it’s ready to print and put together.
  • Pack away maternity clothes
    • As mentioned above, this got done while I was purging one of my 50 Weeks to Organized Refresh areas. A LOT of the clothes I ended up getting rid of were maternity clothes, as I’d inherited three bins of those from my two sisters and now knew (after two pregnancies) what I was really going to wear during pregnancy and what I wasn’t.
  • Start regular exercise program again
    • My original plan was to not start up my hip hop aerobics classes until I was six weeks postpartum and just do some walking and light strength training leading up to that, but I felt so good by three weeks postpartum that that’s when I started going to my classes again (and just modified them a bit so I didn’t go out too hard from the get-go). I also started that same week to do some basic exercises to fix diastasis recti (which, side note, I can never tell if I have or not, but I’m just going to move forward in the assumption that I do since I figure it couldn’t hurt me to do the exercises). And can I just say that it feels AWESOME to be exercising again? Even though I took just three weeks off, I could definitely tell the difference in my mood when I wasn’t able to do it regularly.
  • Finish typing up second mission journal
    • I was able to complete this one when both children (occasionally) napped at the same time in the afternoon. It’s been so fun to type these up, as there are so many things I’ve already forgotten! I now just have one more journal to go to be done with this, and it’s a bit shorter than the other two—just 165 pages to type up, rather than the 200 that the others were.

Other successes for the month:

  • I set some quarterly blog goals for the first time ever
    • Before, if I ever set any blog goals (which was super rare, let’s be honest), they were always vague like “monetize the blog,” and they often were never written down, but rather just part of the scrolling to-do list that’s always going through my head. I was able to see some encouraging growth over the past month (as well as a slight increase in what I’d been making on affiliate sales), so I decided I really had nothing to lose by finally sitting down and creating a formal list of blogging goals. Some are numbers-based (like the number of monthly page views I want by the end of the quarter or the number of Instagram followers), others are posts that need updating with new photos or new information or such, and others are monetization goals I have, like companies I want to reach out to or blog posts I want to add affiliate links to. It’s rekindled my enthusiasm for all things blog-related again, which has been a bit of a sanity saver so that my life isn’t 100% consumed with keeping track of the number of poopy diapers I’ve changed that day or how many hours since my baby nursed last or if my oldest has eaten any vegetables yet in the day….
  • We started harvesting the first offerings from our garden beds (and nothing has gone to waste…yet)
    • Our garden beds have really started to explode over the past month, and we’ve actually gotten a few vegetables already, like zucchini (which I miraculously have been able to keep ahead of…so far), green peppers, and green beans. We also have some pumpkins that are getting huge, several cantaloupe melons, and have finally spotted some green tomatoes (though I don’t think our overall tomato harvest will be too stellar–again–this year).
  • I kept our grocery/household essentials budget at just $250 for the month (which helped us get a great start on our goal to bank $1000 in savings in 100 days)
    • I usually budget around $350 a month for groceries and all our household essentials, but to get a jumpstart on our big savings goal, I wanted to really try and trim the grocery budget for this month. This was made a lot easier by the fact that for the first two weeks, we had several freezer meals and other dinners that were brought in to help us adjust to life with our new baby, and the last two weeks, I focused on using up odds and ends from both of our freezers to help us through the last part of the month. Because we used so much from our freezers and pantry, we will need to stock up a bit, but I’m hoping I can still stick to a budget of $350 for the month of August so that we don’t undo all the hard work of making it so low in July. (If you’re curious as to how we keep our grocery and household essential budget so low, click on this post.)
  • I left the house with both kids several times
    • As any mom of a newborn can tell you, those first couple times out of the house when it’s just you and your kid(s) can be nerve-wracking. Luckily, I’d had some experience in leaving the house with a toddler and a baby before when I babysat my friend’s baby for her a couple times every week for several months, so the transition to having two kids with me on outings has actually been pretty smooth (other than the fact that I almost NEVER remember to bring a diaper bag with me–I’ve just been so spoiled for so long having a potty-trained toddler for the past year!).
  • We started our monthly friend dinners up again
    • Ever since we moved here last year, we’ve been holding monthly dinner get-togethers with our friends from our last neighborhood. We had to put a hold on the dinners for the past two months (because #newbaby), but we were able to squeeze an impromptu one in at the very end of the month by having our friends the Owens over for our usual grill night. It felt so good to have that fun tradition started again! We’d missed hanging out with friends.

August Goals

  • Choose my personal Assigned Reading for the 2018-2019 school year
  • Go to the temple
    • Now that breastfeeding is a bit more established, I plan on picking this monthly goal back up again.
  • Start Kayla Itsines’s 12-week BBG
    • I have long wanted to try Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide program, and I actually purchased the first 12-week program today! I need to get clearance from my doctor before I start for real (my postpartum follow-up appointment is next week), but in the meantime, I’ll be starting her pre-BBG exercises to get my body ready for the full program.
  • Read 8 books, including one off of my lists
    • Since I still have more reading time than usual thanks to the fact that I have a baby that wants to nurse all the time, I’m shooting for at least 8 books again for the month, and I’m upping the ante a bit by making sure that one of the books is off of one of my reading lists that I’ve made goals for (on my 101 in 1001 goals list).
  • Take load of boxes to the DI (the Utah version of Goodwill, basically)
    • I have a ton of stuff I need to get out of the house and donate, so I’m hoping to clear all those boxes out this month that are ready to go.
  • Hang up artwork in guest room
    • Rollover goal. (Seriously, this should take like 30 minutes, tops. This is getting ridiculous.)
  • Book two more photography jobs
    • I’ve never really been one to push the growth of my photography business since it’s been slowly growing on its own without me needing to really advertise it too much. However, with our goal of saving $1000 over the next 100 days (in addition to all the hospital bills coming in from our son’s recent birth), I figure this is the easiest way to help meet that goal. If you want more info on my photography business, check out my photography website here.
  • List stuff on KSL (local classified)
    • One of the goals on my 101 in 1001 list is to do wall-to-wall built-in bookshelves in our downstairs office, but we can only do that once the current shelves are cleared out (along with some of the other stuff we have lying around). I’m planning on using the cash from the sales to help fund the new built-ins, so really I should be more motivated to do this one…
  • Write and send thank-you cards for recent baby gifts
    • Rollover goal.

  • Type up 50 pages of third mission journal
    • As mentioned above, my final mission journal is shorter than the first two, so 50 pages would be almost a third of what I need to do. It will feel so great to finally have those all typed and backed up in that way!
  • Make homemade salsa
    • I anticipate that we’ll start having some ripe tomatoes (and plenty of ripe peppers) by the end of the month, so I want to make sure I make homemade salsa at least once while I’m still motivated by the fresh produce (rather than overwhelmed by it).
  • Make five new Food Nanny recipes
    • One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to cook my way through an entire cookbook, and the one I’ve chosen is The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, which is full of family-friendly (and usually budget-friendly) dinners, sides, desserts, etc., almost all of which we’ve really enjoyed.
  • Do market analysis on our house + move forward with appraisal paperwork
    • The housing market has continued to explode over here, with the result that the worth of our house has gone significantly up since we moved here just over a year ago. Although we only put 3% down, we think that with the extra payments we’ve made towards the principal, the usual monthly payment amount, AND the increase in market value, we should be able to get rid of our private mortgage insurance (PMI) by submitting a new appraisal to our loan company. I’ve already done some preliminary research on this to make sure that we can just submit a new appraisal without having to refinance, and it looks like we can, so I’ve talked with our realtor about doing a market analysis for us to make sure the numbers are in the right place. If we can get rid of our PMI, it will mean that we’ll be able to be putting almost an extra $100 to our principal every month!
  • Go through one area for 50 Weeks to Organized Refresh project
    • It will probably be a fairly easy area that I tackle (since the house has basically been a wreck since the baby came and decluttering has fallen far down the list of priorities since we’re just trying to stay on top of basic cleanliness over here), but I’m hoping I’ll be able to fit it in somehow anyway.
  • Complete six quarterly blog goals
    • I set 24 quarterly blog goals to work on from now through the end of September and while not all of them can be crossed off until I see what the stats look like at the end of September, there are several that are just one-and-done type goals. It would be awesome if I can cross off so many, but I figure I would have to in order to get even close to completing the majority of them by September.

Once again, I’m probably being a bit too ambitious, but since I don’t know any other way to be, we’re just going to roll with it! (I also might have a *little* more free time since Raven starts preschool this month–eek!)

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