Back in May during my 29th birthday celebration, I set five personal goals to complete during my next birthday year. Since Saturday officially marked four months since my birthday, I thought today would be a good day to share an update on the progress I’ve made on my goals after four months.
1. Become a Time Management Guru
Guru status has been achieved!
Ok, so that could not be farther from the truth, haha, but I do feel like after many months of frustration and overwhelm, I am finally getting into a better groove thanks to a few specific changes I’ve made:
1) I started using a sketchbook: No more writing notes on random sheets of paper for me! I have officially embraced this 8.5×11.5 spiral bound book of blank page goodness I bought at Michael’s as my new BFF and I have to say, it has revolutionized my creative life. Not only do I now have a place to jot down all those random project/layout ideas and sketches I come up with but I can actually find them again when I need them. Genius, I tell ya.
And yes, those are my super detailed A Week in the Life layout ideas. There’s a reason I use the computer to create art, haha.
2) I switched to a new digital to-do list: I know lots of visual/creative types swear by paper to-do lists but as a tech lovin’ girl, I love the advantages of a digital system, like reminders for upcoming deadlines, auto-repeating tasks, etc.
For a long time I’ve been a Things user but I’ve recently switched to The Hit List and I am liking it even better. The Hit List and I are still in the early days of our to-do list romance but so far it seems to have the right mix of flexibility, visualness and technology that I’ve been looking for.
3) I jumped back on the FlyLady bandwagon: I know FlyLady isn’t for everyone and her website is totally insane, but I love her home cleaning system because it’s based around routines rather than a never ending chores checklist.
I completed the BabySteps at the beginning of August (thanks largely to my digital to-do list reminding me every day) and since then I’ve done really well keeping up with my morning, afternoon and evening routines. Not only is our house looking noticeably neater (even Adam’s commented on it!) but I feel like I’m doing less overall to make it happen.
Some of my mini-goals moving forward:
- Establish a “one-touch” rule for all small tasks, especially communication: I spend way too much mental energy remembering things that would have taken 2 seconds to do the first time.
- Be more realistic about what I can handle: No calendar or to-do list is going to help unless I stop taking on more than I can handle at once. Not only do I need to be better about saying no (both to others AND myself) but I need to accept that I can’t do everything at once, no matter how excited about an idea I might be. Taking on less overall so I can focus more on each task/project is an absolute must.
2. Be More Eco-Concious
Mine and Adam’s effort to be a bit more friendly to both Mother Earth and ourselves has been going really well.
A few things we’ve done:
2) Replaced our gas mower with a reel push mower: We bought the Fiskars 18″ Reel Push Mower from Lowe’s. So far we’re really liking it!
Not only do we no longer have to deal with the gas fumes and sound from the old mower but the reel mower is pretty easy to use (even I’ve used it!) and it’s so much gentler on our grass. The only real negative we’ve found is it’s not great with weeds, it tends to just roll over them rather than cutting them.
Here’s a little photo of the mower in action. I love seeing the little clips of grass fly everywhere:
3) Started buying more organic produce and meats: At first this meant extra trips to places like Whole Foods and Central Market but we’ve noticed the commissary (aka the grocery store on the military base) has started carrying more of these products lately which is nice. I was especially excited to discover that they’re now carrying free range, hormone-free chicken since watching Food, Inc. had kind of turned me off chicken, haha.
Up Next: Possibly DIYing a compost bin or rain barrel. The rain barrel seems a bit laughable given the extreme drought we’re having here in TX but it’s also reinforced the importance of water conservation as well. Every drop helps!
3. Make Each Photo Count
My goal to slow down and focus on framing my photos before taking them has been going really well. Not only am I liking more of the shots I take but I’ve noticed a definite increase in sharpness of my photos overall too.
There are still times when I get into that rushed feeling, especially when we’re out and about, but I’m trying to get better about that. Adam keeps joking I need to learn to “shoot like a sniper” so I can take sharp photos as I walk (more so he doesn’t have to wait for me, haha).
Up Next: Uploading and organizing my photos so I can actually use them. And (photo) sniper school, haha.
4. Turn Our Rental House into a Home
Last month, we finally signed a brand-new two year lease for the home we are currently renting, which means Operation Home Sweet Home is officially a go! Obviously since we are renters, we won’t be making any major changes like gutting a kitchen or anything, but we do have a lot of fun stuff planned to make this home a bit more “us.”
Perhaps most exciting for me is Adam decided over the summer to take up woodworking as a hobby which means I finally have someone who can make my wood building
demands dreams a reality.
The first big task on our agenda is finding a new dining table to replace the embarrassing table and folding chairs dining table set up we’ve had since college. We’ve been looking a lot but finding a table that is real wood and not veneer, in our price range, the right size (preferably with an extension) AND in a style and tone we both love has proven to be quite a challenge. But hopefully we can find something before the holidays roll around.
Here’s a few little peeks at some other stuff we’ve got going on:
Adam working hard in his new workshop aka the garage:
Some fabric samples…
I’m really excited to make our house more of a home so expect lots more to come on this goal!
5. Document my 29th Birthday Year
Since I turned 29 back in May, this birthday year represents my last official year as a twenty-something. Which as a scrapbooker, of course meant I wanted to do something extra special to document it.
Since then I have kept up with snapping photos and collecting memorabilia but not a whole lot else (well other than completing an entire A Week In the Life album, haha).
So my goal for the next few months is to get caught up with my Project Life album spreads and even share a few here on the ol’ blog.
So that’s a not-so-little update on what’s been going on with my goals as of late. I have to say, I’m feeling pretty good about the progress I’ve made in just four months. What about you? Working hard on any goals? Or are you hoping to cruise through the next few holiday-filled months and save your goal-making for the new year?