Goals, Monthly Recap

The Monthly To-Do List During Quarantine {April 2020 Goals + March Recap}

In about 3 weeks, our entire world has seemingly been turned on its head, and even though you’ll notice that March was a pretty great month as far as goals went, it’s still very apparent how much everything has been affected by the current pandemic.

I already tend to be a bit anxious anyway, so I’ve been extremely thankful for the habit I’ve been in for so long to do weekly to-do lists and these monthly goal lists—it’s given me something tangible and somewhat controllable in what feels like a very out-of-my-control situation. Nearly each morning, I’ve been checking my goals lists and my weekly to-do lists and choosing which ones I’m going to tackle that day. It’s helped to give my days purpose, which has been a complete sanity-saver during this time. (For other sanity savers, check out this email I sent out to email subscribers last month. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of those, you can sign up to be on that list here.)

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March Goals

  • Have a Green Feast for St. Patrick’s Day
    • We’ve never been ones to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but since one of my 101 in 1001 goals was to celebrate a holiday we normally didn’t, we decided to mark it this year. It ended up being perfect since that was the week we started sheltering in place, and thus our Green Feast provided a very welcome distraction. It probably goes without saying, but the kids absolutely LOVED it.
  • Register Raven for kindergarten
    • Done! I’m just hoping at this point that she’ll actually be able to GO to kindergarten in August…hopefully life will have returned to some sense of normalcy by then, right?!
  • Buy new swimsuit for Hawaii
    • In case you missed it, our Hawaii trip is off. Therefore, it didn’t make sense to buy the swimsuit now for a trip that may or may not happen (and if it does, it will be several months down the road). The silver lining to this is that I’m slowly but steadily shedding the pregnancy pounds, so maybe by the time I’m ready for this, I’ll be down to the size I was before.
  • Go on family hike
    • We couldn’t hike on the Riverside Nature Trail for long due to mud and snow covering parts of the trail, but it still felt wonderful to get out of the house. I’m putting a hike on the calendar for April too, just so we have something to look forward to.
  • Send in request for Just Mercy book club kit
    • The library actually approved my request to buy a book club kit for this book, but then I was informed this week that they’re suspending all book club kits until further notice due to the pandemic. I was supposed to host our book club in May, but now it looks like I might combine with a neighbor and co-host in June, if world conditions permit.
  • Finish The Age of Innocence
    • There’s really no reason why I didn’t finish this–I just have had a hard time focusing lately, and because the writing style on this is more formal and complicated than a more contemporary book, I just didn’t have the mind space to pick it up. We’ll see if I can knock this out in April.
  • Finish reading Charlotte’s Web with Raven
    • We not only finished Charlotte’s Web, but we also finished Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and we’re halfway through Socks. Even I’ve been surprised at how much Raven has LOVED this new read-aloud time together.
  • Read 8 books
  • Finish studying October 2019 General Conference talks
    • Twice a year, our church leaders hold a conference that’s broadcast to church members worldwide. I always try to study the talks from the previous conference just before to help prepare me spiritually. While I didn’t *quite* finish reading them all by the end of March, I should be able to finish by the time Conference is broadcast this weekend. (Note: If you could use some spiritual comfort and strength during this time, I invite you to listen this Saturday and Sunday! It’s free and available to all here.)
  • Go on first postpartum run
    • Done! It was the first time I’d been able to run in over a year, and it felt WONDERFUL. I’m pretty slow, but I was able to still run the 1.2 mile loop around our neighborhood without stopping to walk, so I feel like that’s a pretty good starting point.
  • Plant early vegetables outside
    • We did this on Monday and transplanted our peas, broccoli, spinach, leek, and lettuce plants outside (as well as our sweet pea plants). Now we’ll just have to see how they do!
  • Get more chicks
    • We got six more chicks for our flock at the beginning of the month.
  • Build bean/pea trellis
    • Matt finished putting these up the same night we transplanted the peas out. I’m excited to see what they look like in two months all covered in vines!
  • Buy fence for chickens
    • We got this portable electric fence from Premier1 Supplies (though we’re not electrifying it, at least not yet). So far, we’ve had two of the chickens escape from it for a couple hours, but other than that, it’s been exactly what we hoped for.
  • Make four new recipes out of Our Best Bites
    • Seriously, this cookbook can do no wrong! We particularly loved their cheesy garlic swirl rolls, the recipe for teriyaki sauce that called for ingredients we readily had on hand, and the delicious pizza rolls.
  • Replace fridge filter
    • We decided to put this off until April so we could allocate the money elsewhere in March.
  • Make spring cleaning list
    • The list is MADE–now you’ll notice that April’s goal is to actually DO the list 🙂
  • Finish writing thank-you cards
    • I went back and forth on this one. I decided that since I said thank you in person AND immediately sent thank you texts to all the people who helped us out when I was on bed rest and then after I had Hyrum, I could probably forego the additional thank you note, since we’re now 4 months after the fact. I’ll have to be better at this in the future.
  • Open up savings account for Hyrum
    • So glad I did this before our credit union had to close their lobby due to COVID-19!
  • Pick up birth certificates
    • Done! I needed to get Raven’s for kindergarten registration, and I’m glad I have Hyrum’s too for when we’re hopefully able to fly to Hawaii at some future date.
  • List Mazda
    • So I FINALLY got a replacement title, and I’ve taken pictures for the listing. However, I’m torn on whether I want to list now or not, just with the current conditions. I’m going to put this as a rollover goal for April, though.
  • Make one sale (on Ebay or through a local classified)
    • I didn’t do any listings on our local classified just because of social distancing and such. I could still have tried to make a sale on Ebay, but Matt has been working a lot of overtime, which has drastically reduced the amount of time I’ve been able to spend on anything other than taking care of the kids and the house.
  • Get rid of cabinet in garage
    • Nope–same reasons as above.
  • Select all photos for 3rd family photo album
    • I worked on this for awhile, but I’m not quite finished. I did purchase the next two albums themselves, so I’m hoping to print all the pictures for them both in April. The kids have LOVED looking through these so far, and they’re not even in the first two!
  • Print photos for second Quiet Book for church
    • I held off because I’m just planning on printing off all the prints at the same time. Rollover goal.
  • Fully set up second blog and publish one post
    • Technically I still need to customize a few more things and actually have content for all the tabs and such. But I’ve started publishing a few posts, so you’re welcome to start checking it out!

Since everything is so uncertain right now, I tried to plan out my April goals with the current social distancing guidelines in mind, though I do have a couple “hopeful” items on there, too. I’ve actually made a big long list again, just because it really, really helped me last month to be able to look at my list each day and try to make progress on at least one goal on a daily basis.

Here’s what I hope to get done this month:

April Goals

  • Get a haircut
    • These first two will be dependent on how conditions change over the course of the month because of COVID-19. As of now, hair salons and my chiropractor’s office are still open, but that could change in the coming weeks.
  • Go to the chiropractor
    • My back has felt a million times better since I visited the chiropractor about 10 times near the beginning of the year, but last week, I felt something kind of snap out of place again. It’s still not as bad as before, but I don’t want to wait for it to get that bad again before I fix it.
  • Go on another family hike
    • Even though our family hike last month was short, it was truly wonderful to get out of the house together and out in the wide open air. I toyed with the idea of making this a weekly thing, but we’ll just try to go at least once a month for now.
  • Find a way to make Raven’s birthday special
    • Raven turns five on the 12th, and literally all the plans we had for her special day are no longer options, including big plans like the fact that we were supposed to be in Hawaii on vacation celebrating with my in-laws, and small plans like her taking in a treat to her preschool class. I’m trying to come up with some ways we could still make sure the day is special for her. If you have any ideas, please send them our way!
  • Have our own Easter egg hunt
    • Since Raven’s birthday is actually on Easter this year, we’ll do this the day before to try and spread out the fun.
  • Build raised garden beds
    • We want to build two more raised beds to try our hand at growing dahlias this year, which is one of my resolutions for 2020. Since we live in a climate with cold winters, dahlias require some special care, so having them in their own separate bed will hopefully make that process easier.
  • Plant second set of seeds
    • We already sowed and transplanted our first set of seedlings, which were all hardy early spring vegetables and sweet peas. Now we need to plant the seeds inside that will be transplanted outside after the last frost date.
  • Plant gladiolus bulbs
    • I shouldn’t be trusted to go near any gardening stores, since I seem to be incapable of walking out empty-handed. Not sure exactly where we’ll put all the bulbs I bought, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?
  • Complete spring cleaning list
    • There are a little over 30 items on my spring cleaning list this year, which means I basically need to tackle about one a day. This should help keep me busy (and not endlessly refreshing the news on my laptop…).
  • Replace fridge filter
    • Rollover goal.
  • Make spring capsule wardrobe
    • Years ago, I hopped on a modified version of the capsule wardrobe idea, and I’ve never looked back. Basically, every season I go through and rotate my clothing so that I know that everything in my closet fits and is also appropriate for the weather outside. I’ve gotten a bit lazy in the last year due to being pregnant and now at an in-between size, so it’s time to get back in the habit.
  • Go through all the bags/bins of kids’ clothes
    • We’re fortunate in that we’ve been the recipients of many hand-me-downs for our kids, mostly from our families. In the past 3 months, it’s gotten a bit out of control as we’ve received something like 7-8 hugs bins/bags of clothing, which are starting to take over.
  • Finish studying October’s General Conference talks
    • Rollover goal.
  • Do an online photography class
    • With all the free classes being offered during the current crisis, I’m taking full advantage of the opportunity to cross off another of my 101 in 1001 items (of taking another photography course).
  • Upload first vlog
    • I’ve wanted to try out vlogging for awhile now, and I’ve shot some content for my first one. Now I just need to figure out how to actually edit and compile it…
  • Make 4 recipes out of A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff
  • Optimize two old posts for Pinterest
    • I’ve taken more recent pictures to update an old recipe post, and I have plans to update the pics on another soon.
  • Write + publish pages/tabs on new blog + finish customizing theme
    • In case you missed it, I’ve started a second blog–I Dream of Acres–just for fun to document our suburban homestead journey, as well as our plans moving forward on that. There is still a LOT to do on it, but since I’ve started publishing posts there, you can start checking it out if that interests you.
  • Blog 10 times
    • The current pandemic has not been great for my blogging life–it’s been hard for me to focus long enough to pump out posts, and I almost feel weird posting content that doesn’t address the current state of life we’re all dealing with right now. However, since some of you have requested non-coronavirus posts right now to provide a welcome distraction, I’ll try and oblige.
  • Work out refund/credit with Delta
    • As of now, Delta is only offering us a voucher/eCredit for the flight we booked for Hawaii. However, they will offer a refund if the flight ends up being cancelled, so if that ends up happening, I’ll need to call and get that figured out.
  • List Mazda
    • I feel like this is a terrible time to try and sell a car, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  • Read 9 books
    • If I read 9 books this month, I will be on track to read 8 books a month this year so far. And stuff like that is just fun for me.
  • Finish The Age of Innocence
  • Print photos for Quiet Book and 3rd + 4th family albums
    • Not sure if I’ll be able to have the focus/time to get this done, but I hope to since all of us have been loving having printed copies of some of the pictures I’ve taken over the years. (To put things into perspective for you about how daunting this task is, I’ve taken between 16,000 and 20,000 pictures a year for the last four years. Insane, I know.)
  • Run a mile in under 10 minutes
    • Now that I’ve started running again (and have been pleasantly surprised to discover that I can still run over a mile without stopping), I want to work on getting faster again. I’m currently running about an 11:15 mile.

There you have it! My master plan for trying to keep my head about me in this next month of quarantine. What approach are you taking for your sanity? Are you knocking out to-do’s like crazy, or are you using this time to really slow down and just take care of basic needs? I’d love to hear what’s been working for you!