Posts tagged goals
Goals for May! To be honest, I think this is a pretty ambitious list — especially since 2 of the goals involve doing something (even if it’s small) on a daily basis. But I’m ready to go for it anyway.
Touch up the paint in the dining room, bonus room and kitchen. There are a few spots in each room with wonky edges and uneven lines. Touching up those spots has been on my list for a LONG time even though it would be a pretty quick thing to do — it would only take about 20 minutes for the dining room and bonus room combined, and maybe 1-1.5 hours for the kitchen since that needs more coverage.
Participate in 30 Days of Creativity. I did this last year and enjoyed it, so I’m doing it again! I already have some fun ideas of little things I can do each day. I started Saturday with some work on Emma’s cross-stitched Christmas stocking and yesterday I used my new Silhouette machine to make some neat magnet frames. I’ll post updates on my creative endeavors each Friday this month.
Make a will. This has been something on my to-do list since Emma was born. Our assets aren’t too complicated so there’s really no reason to delay any more. This should be a fairly quick and painless thing to get done.
Walk a mile each day. I’ve fallen off the wagon, so this goes on the June goal list to make sure I get back on. (Some other form of exercise can be substituted for walking a mile, but you get the idea.)
Redesign this blog. I’m tired of using canned WordPress themes and I know I have at least 75% of the basic knowledge needed to make my own. One month should be more than enough time for me to either design my own very basic theme, or modify an existing one to my liking.
Finish up May’s goals. I know this is kind of a cop-out, but if I want to make sure I wrap up the several May goals that are still in progress, it needs to be on the list.
June goals are coming on Monday. In the meantime, here’s how I did with my May goals.
This month wasn’t the best. Between Emma being sick a full 1/3 of the month and Jose’s mom visiting for a week, I didn’t have as much time to do “me” stuff as usual. Although 5 of 6 items are definitely in progress, I wasn’t able to finish a single one. Oh well. That’s life.
Clean up the rest of my office. I was fairly successful on this one, as you can see from the photos above. What was a pile of junk so deep that I couldn’t really get to the bookshelf is now in much better shape. There are a few things still to find homes for, and a few things to drop off at Goodwill, but overall I’m happy to have made progress. This weekend we’re going to put together two new bookshelves for Jose’s side of the office, which will allow us to move one of his current shelves to my side. I’ll have more storage, which will be a good thing!
The biggest thing I’m stuck on at this point is the pile of boxes you can see on the lower right. The two baskets are empty, but the other boxes are all filled with photos. Both albums and prints. And I can’t figure out what to do with them! Some of them have been scanned, but some of them haven’t. Even if I send those off for scanning (which I will likely do), I still don’t know what to do with the prints once they come BACK. Since they’ve been scanned and I have them digitally, do I throw them away? I’m not sure I’m quite ready to do that yet. Do I throw them in a big storage bin and find someplace to stuff them? Seems silly. What do other people do with their piles of old prints??
Make a wedding photo album. I decided to go with Blurb to make our album. I haven’t done anything with them before, but they seem to get decent reviews and they allow several different levels of customization. I got a good start this month by going through our photos and narrowing them down to ~150 that seemed the most album-worthy. Now I need to size them appropriately, put them into a book layout, and print! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it by the end of June.
Write Emma’s birth story. It’s not finished yet, but I spent a little time on this. I’ll start posting it in chunks next week.
Schedule a regular cleaning service. I hired the cleaning service again last week for a one-off appointment but still, there’s really no excuse for not having done this because it’s not hard to set up a regular day and time. I even have the name of someone recommended by friends. This will happen next week. For real.
Complete M.A. project outline. My project is in limbo right now. I know it’s been in limbo for years, but this time it’s different. I’m waiting on UHCL to decide whether I can partake in a new option for completing the M.A. capstone requirement. They have created a “design studio” of sorts where students can be tasked with actual design work for actual clients. I REALLY would like to do that as a method of finishing my degree, but the general set-up is that students will basically work 30-40 hours per week. I can’t do that and also work full-time at my real job. I’m trying to convince them that it could still work for me if they are able to accept a slightly different format. We’ll see.
Finish decorating the guest room. This is the goal that I just completely ignored. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have put it on the list at all — I had added it as a fun, motivational goal but the reality is that I just don’t care about this enough to make it high priority. It’ll happen whenever the mood strikes, but I’m not going to spend time worrying about it. Lesson learned — monthly goals need to be something I actually want to put a priority on doing.
When thinking about my goals for April and looking at some of the items I tentatively had on my list for May, I realized that my 6 goals can be pretty easily separated into 6 categories: house & home, crafty, Emma-related, health & wellness, something I’ve been putting off, and a freebie. With that in mind, it was pretty easy to finalize May’s list, and I think those categories will serve me well in the future!
Clean up the rest of my office. I shared a photo yesterday of how lovely my desk looks now that it’s clean. But the photo above shows the area BEHIND my chair. And believe it or not, 95% of that stuff was already there and in that disatrous state BEFORE I cleaned off my desk. (In other words, I didn’t just dump stuff from my desk onto the floor!)
Make a wedding photo album. Our 4th anniversary is approaching and I have yet to actually do anything with our wedding photos other than print two — one that hangs as part of a gallery wall in Emma’s room, and one that sits in a frame on our TV console. Ridiculous! If you have suggestions on a good place to get a high quality book done, let me know.
Write Emma’s birth story. I have rough notes that I want to actually put together into more of a narrative. And I need to do this before I forget everything. The little details are already starting to get hazy, 9 months later…
Schedule a regular cleaning service. Coming home to a clean house is awesome, but the act of cleaning itself is just so far down my list right now. I’ve hired a cleaning service twice now, both for a one-time cleaning. It was WONDERFUL. I’m ready to finally hire someone who can come on a regular basis, probably every 2-3 weeks.
Complete M.A. project outline. Baby steps!
Finish decorating the guest room. Remember how I planned to makeover the guest room before Emma was born? Hahahaha! I’m hilarious. The room is in a perfectly good state, but I still have the giant roll of fabric that I planned to turn into a wall curtain. This month I’d like to finish that, clean out a bit of post-baby clutter that has accumulated, and call the room done.
May goals are coming tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s how I did with my April goals.
Go to bed by 10:30 on weeknights. I tracked this goal using the “Way of Life” app on my phone, which shows that I was in bed by 10:30 on ~30% of “school nights” last month. That doesn’t sound great, but I’m calling this a partial success because my rate for March was more like 10%. Setting the goal was still useful because it made me more conscious each night of trying to be in bed at a more reasonable time, and of trying to get a little more sleep.
Make a Harry Potter paper-pieced quilt/blanket for Baby V. I’ll post the details of this in a few days, but this was the secret project that I didn’t give the full details of last month because it was a gift for my friends Katie and Andrew’s new son, Robert! He was born on April 15 and I think this gift may have actually arrived while they were still in the hospital! It’s a taggie blanket that I hope he enjoy as he gets a little bigger and learns how to grab at things. Too bad they live in Ohio; Robert would be another great little friend for Emma.
Let Emma play outside. We did a pretty good job of getting fresh air last month! We took several family walks, the weather in North Carolina was great, and now we’re doing swimming class! While Jose and I were on our “vacation within a vacation,” my mom even took Emma down to the park in Charlotte for her first time in a swing! She looks kinda skeptical, but I’m told that she enjoyed it!
Identify and scope my M.A. project FOR REAL. I did some quality thinking about this, and THEN I got an email from the department announcing a new option for completing the degree’s capstone requirement. Given the extreme difficulty/laziness I’ve had trying to get this project done, the new option may work out much, much better for me. More to come on that!
Clean up the surface of my desk in my office. I purposefully chose to clean just the desk surface because I thought it would be a more manageable first step, and it was. The entire surface was COVERED before, and now I have all kinds of space to spread out whatever I happen to be working on. On the left are all my cute photos and trinkets, then obviously my computer (and my work laptop is open in front because I had to finish up a presentation on Tuesday night when I took this photo). I turned two magazine holders I already had on their sides to serve as files for the stuff I need to take action on and they work ok, although I’ll pick up something a little more functional at Target the next time I’m there. AND I finally took my Silhouette machine out of the box! I ordered this as a present to myself last summer but didn’t get a chance to set it up before Emma was born. I still need to plug it in and install the software and figure out how it works, but at least it’s out!
Find a beach rental in Port Aransas for June. I looked some more but still haven’t reserved anything. I didn’t anticipate it being quite this much of a challenge!
First I had yearly resolutions. Then I switched to quarterly goals. That worked better, but I think for these to be most effective, I need an even shorter time scale. So instead of posting goals for April through June, I’m going to try setting some proactive (but also achievable!) goals just for April. To make it a little more fun — and to put them somewhere besides my blog in order to see them on a daily basis — I made a chart based on this cute post-it goal list from Cornflower Blue Studio and pinned it to the bulletin board next to my desk at home.
Go to bed by 10:30 on weeknights. This was an unwritten goal I had back in January, and I was successfully going to bed at a decent hour at least 3 or 4 nights a week. But then February and March were unexpectedly busy and I fell off the wagon. I’m so much happier and more zen about life in general when I’m well-rested. I’ve known this about myself for years, and yet sleep is the first thing I let go when things get hectic when it should be something I prioritize no matter what. That’s pretty typical of most people, I think. But I’d like to spend April getting back into the 10:30 bedtime habit.
Make a XXX paper-pieced quilt/blanket for XXX. I blurred out identifying details, but I have a project on the docket this month to be given as a gift. I don’t think the person in question reads my blog, but I erased it just in case. Paper-piecing is a quilting technique that allows you to make some really intricate blocks and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while — and I found the perfect block to give it a go.
Let Emma play outside. The way I wrote that sounds pretty funny, as if I actively confine her to the house or something. What I really mean is that I just want to make sure Emma is getting some time outdoors to sit on a blanket in the grass, feel the sun on her face and the wind in her hair, etc. We only have another month of so before it starts to get oppressively hot, so we need to take advantage of the weather now!
Identify and scope my M.A. project FOR REAL. This needs to be broken down into smaller bits if I have any hope of getting it done. By the end of April, at a minimum, I want to have my M.A. project 1) identified and 2) well-defined with an outline and timeline of work to come to finish by the end of 2013.
Clean up the surface of my desk in my office. This refers to my home office, which is a continual disaster area. I’ll go through a week or two where I start cleaning it up, but I never fully finish and stuff begins to pile up again. In April, my goal is to clean up the desk itself. If I can get that done, it’ll be a good start.
Find a beach rental in Port Aransas for June. We want to spend a week in Port Aransas or North Padre Island this summer to give us both a nice vacation and plenty of time with Jose’s family in nearby Corpus. We’ve done a little looking, and the prices are a lot more than I had anticipated! I think part of the problem is that most rental homes are set up to sleep 8, 10, or even 12 people — and $3000 for a week is a steal if you’re splitting it 10 ways. But we need something that sleeps maybe 4. With a price to match. They exist, but I need to set aside some more time to look.
And that’s that! My goals for April, along with a visible reminder of the six things I’ve chosen to work on this month!
And how’d I do for first quarter of 2013? Not too bad, actually.
Find a workout schedule that works — and stick to it. This goal led directly to buying a treadmill. Since then, I’ve run or walked at least 1 mile every day and plan to continue through at least mid-May. Realistically, my I know that my “streak” won’t last forever, but for now I’ve found a schedule that works to at least get me a modest bit of activity each day.
Make progress my M.A. project. Not so much. Hence breaking it into smaller chunks in a last-ditch effort to be successful.
Sew a clothing item with my serger. I made a diaper cover (blog entry to come soon) to match the smocked dress my mom made for Emma! And I’m still working my way through a Craftsy class that teaches basic serger skills to increase my confidence.
Read 5 books. Done! Woohoo! And I added a Goodreads widget to the sidebar to show my progress towards reading 20 books this year.
Take a “Mommy & Me” swim class with Emma. I decided to wait until a little farther into spring to start these, but I’m going to sign Emma up for classes at a local swim “academy” for the month of May.
Outsource undesirable tasks — and be ok with that. I get over any lingering guilt about not being able to maintain my own home every time I outsource something. Because they do it better! We now have a regular lawn guy, and have had the house cleaned a few times. We also scheduled a landscaper for next week to re-do our big front flower bed.
Paint my fingernails once a week. I was successful with this for the first month or so and then stopped because my nails got really brittle and kept breaking — and I am STILL having issues with breakage. I’ve never had strong fingernails, but this is different. Maybe my nails aren’t meant to be painted on a regular basis??
Last year instead of making resolutions for the whole year, I came up with smaller lists of goals for each quarter. I like that approach a little better than “resolutions” so I intend to continue it this year! So by the end of March, I’d like to:
Find a workout schedule that works — and stick to it. I HUGELY underestimated the amount of time I would have to run once I went back to work, especially with the sun going down so early since it’s winter. If I want to work out, I now realize that it has to be one of my top 2 or 3 weekday priorities — basically the first thing on my list after my family and my job. I’m 15 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, and those pounds are going nowhere until I get back in the habit of exercising.
Make progress my M.A. project. How many times can I list this as a goal before I give up? We’ll find out, I guess. Jose is tentatively planning to take a class this semester, and since he’ll be gone one night per week doing that, we’ve agreed that I get one night per week for my stuff. And by my stuff, I mean my SCHOOL stuff. I don’t want to tell Emma someday that I was one project away from a second Master’s degree and never finished because I got lazy.
Sew a clothing item with my serger. Jose gave me a serger for Christmas! I’d been eyeing one for a while but hadn’t been able to convince myself to pull the trigger. It’s a different kind of sewing machine that sews with 2, 3 or 4 threads to make stitches like those you see on a lot of clothes and store-bought decor items. In other words, it’ll make my sewing sturdier and look more professional. (It doesn’t replace my old machine thought; the two machines have different purposes.) I want to use it to make several things, including at least one decent clothing item for myself or Emma.
Read 5 books. I’m going to take another shot at reading 20 books this year, so hopefully I can get 5 read between now and the end of March. Like I’ve said before, I really do enjoy reading, but I too often let other things take priority. Part of the issue is that if I start reading something and don’t really get into it, I just stop entirely instead of just picking a different book and moving on. I know, it’s weird.
Take a “Mommy & Me” swim class with Emma. This is more for me than her, because I just think it’ll be fun! My local YMCA does parent/child classes starting at 6 month. Emma will be 6 months old in February, and they’ve got a session starting in March!
Outsource undesirable tasks — and be ok with that. There are a ton of housekeeping and home maintenance things that frustrate me when they don’t get done promptly, yet neither I or Jose has much time to do them. On top of that, let’s face it — they’re not always fun tasks. Still, I’ve always felt guilty about the idea of having someone else clean my house or mow my lawn. They just seem like tasks I should be able to handle. But this fall I got over some of that and hired a lawn guy — and guess what? The yard looked fantastic. Then the Friday before Christmas, I hired a cleaning service to do a detail house clean. Guess what? The house looked GREAT. It’s time to get over the guilt, thank my lucky stars that we have the resources to hire someone else, and outsource the stuff that I don’t want to have to spend my own time doing. (Next item on the list? Getting someone else to dig up the dead bushes in our front beds and re-plant.)
Paint my fingernails once a week. A nice, easy, self-indulgent goal! Painting my fingernails keeps me from picking at them, which helps them grow a little longer and makes them look nicer.
So that’s a pretty good start to 2013 I think!
And how’d I do for the last quarter of 2012? Read. My goal for 2012 was to read 20 books. I fell just short with 18, and 3 or 4 of those are baby books that I read in bits and pieces as needed instead of all at once. I did no reading — other than the baby stuff — for the first two months after Emma was born, but I rebounded and finished 5 books between October and December! Make Emma a Halloween costume and a Christmas stocking. Emma was an adorable Piglet for Halloween, and her cross-stitched Christmas stocking is underway, so I consider this goal accomplished! Train for the Houston Half Marathon? I wasn’t doing well, but was at least covering the bare minimum for a while. But then I injured myself at the beginning of December. My calf muscle seems to have recovered, but then I missed the opportunity for a weekend run when Jose and I both got sick. UGH. The half marathon is two weeks away. I have to decide whether I’m going to go, run a couple miles, and walk the rest…or whether I’m just going to skip it. Get our finances in order. We made really good progress on this. The only big thing we still need to do is make a will.
Get ready for baby? I didn’t quite finish the nursery before Emma’s arrival (it’s still not done, but oh-so-close), but all in all I think we were as ready as was reasonably possible! (Is anyone ever REALLY ready for their first baby?) Read 6.5 books? My goal is still to finish 20 for the year, but I’m going to have to do a lot of reading in the next few months to make that happen. Start training for the Houston Half Marathon? In progress! I’ve been back to running for a few weeks now and it’s going pretty well. I’ll be doing the Space City 10-Miler on October 14 as a relay, which I’m excited about even though I will be slooooow. Finish the guest room makeover? This didn’t happen, not surprisingly. Ah well.
I go back to work in 3 weeks and obviously have a small baby now, so I doubt I’ll get too much accomplished by the end of the year. Still, here are a few goals to close out 2012:
Read. I really do want to have read 20 books by the end of the year. I know it’s an arbitrary goal, but it helps me remember that I do like reading — it’s just that I too often let other things take priority when I have down time. I’ve read 9 full books (and am almost done with the 10th) and large portions of several baby-related books. I’m not quite sure how to count the baby books, since I’ve been using them more like references. I don’t read them cover-to-cover, but I do read the portions I need! There are 4 main books in my current rotation, which would put me at 14 for the year if I count those. And since 14 is closer to 20 than 9, I just decided that guess what — they count! Ha.
Make Emma 1) a Halloween costume and 2) a Christmas stocking. The Halloween costume is for fun, because hey — I realize I only get 2, maaaybe 3 years before Emma will have an opinion about what she wants to be for the holiday. The Christmas stocking is because I don’t want her to have some plain store-bought stocking. My siblings and I all have beautiful cross-stitched stockings that my grandmother made for us, and I want Emma to have something similarly sentimental. Cross stitch takes forever, and stockings have a ton of stitching, so a better goal might be to have it ready for 2013 — but I can at least get started.
Train for the Houston Half Marathon. I use the word “train” very loosely here — really I just want to be ready enough to put forth a decent effort. It’s highly possible it will be my slowest half marathon ever and I’m totally ok with that. I know it will be hard to find time to run this fall, especially once I’m back at work. But I want to be able to do more than just walk the whole thing!
Get our finances in order. Now that Emma’s here, there are several things that need to be done — some small, some big. We need to review our budget now that it includes daycare and the increased premium of a family health insurance plan. We’re in the process of setting up a college fund. And now, more than ever, we need to get around to writing wills and making sure we have a reasonable amount of life insurance. There’s a little girl who needs to be taken care of!
I think that’s a pretty good list for the next 3 months!
Get ready for baby. Still in progress, but we’re in good shape to make it! As long as she doesn’t come too early…hear that, baby? Sew another quilt. Done! I made one for Erin’s baby boy and I’m finishing up another blanket for Kelly. Read 5 books. I managed 3.5. Time for some catch up! Keep exercising. We’ll call this a partial success. The hot weather has not made this easy in recent weeks. Time to pick it up for the next month. Complete my M.A. project. I don’t even know what to say on this one anymore. It may be time to just accept that I will never do this. That makes me sad, but obviously I haven’t considered this a high enough priority to make it happen in the last 3 years.
Time for goals for now through September! This will be a fairly short list:
Get ready for baby! Finish the to-do list. The biggest items still remaining are finding a pediatrician and choosing a daycare. We also need to finish the nursery, although we’re waiting on the dresser to be delivered to store all the great things we’ve been given for baby girl.
Read 6.5 books. That would get me back on track to finish 20 this year. I have no clue whether this is realistic in the next 3 months. On one hand, it seems possible that reading will be a good activity to do while feeding the baby? I’ve heard of several people who play on their phones or watch TV while feeding — and definitely while pumping. But maybe not. We’ll see, I guess. I should probably try to just read as much as possible in the next few weeks before baby arrives.
Start training for the Houston Half Marathon. I entered the lottery with a bunch of my coworkers and we got in! I get excited when I think about getting back out to the races, since I’ve really missed it this year. Realistically, I won’t be able to start running again until the beginning of October (~6 weeks postpartum if she arrives close to her due date) but I want to do what I can in the next 3 months. I hope baby likes the stroller because I plan to take her on lots of walks until I’m cleared to run!
Finish the guest room makeover. This really needs to happen in the next 2-3 weeks if I want to make sure it happens at all!
That’s it for now. I can think of several other things I’d like to accomplish, but with baby due to arrive in a mere 5-ish weeks (holy crap), the “get ready for baby” category really covers it all.
I mentioned yesterday that when I’m wallowing, I get the urge to start checking things off random lists. Last week I took a look at my goals for 2011, since we’re now halfway through the year. I’m not doing very well, so it’s nice that I still have six months to go! I think I’ll print out this list and put it above my computer at home so that I’m reminded every time I’m in the office.
Finish my M.A. in Digital Media Studies. I’m technically halfway done in the sense that I registered for the class last semester and started work on my project. I’ll register for the second half this fall. But in terms of actual work done, I’m definitely behind. I’ve had some communication issues with my professor but hopefully those are now in the past. I’ve got a lot left to do, but I’m confident I can make it happen.
Make a budget. I started one, but didn’t get very far before I got distracted. No reason I can’t dig it up and finish it.
Around the house. I haven’t done the four things I listed, but we have done a number of other minor “home improvement” tasks so I’m going to give myself partial credit…for now.
Make our wedding album. No action here. The Digital Media Master’s project takes priority, so I honestly don’t know if I’ll get this done this year. We’ll see.
Read 18 books this year. I’ve already read 10! I’m ahead of schedule! Woot! My Kindle is helping, but it’s really just that I’m consciously trying to read more. I like to read but so often it gets shuffled to the bottom of the priority list.
Run 625 miles. I’m way behind on this due to a combination of reasons, some legitimate and some not. I totaled 194.4 miles through the end of June, with some biking and a few bouts of swimming thrown in. Trying to catch up would be a tall order, so I’m going to reset this goal starting now. New goal is to run 312.5 miles — fine, 313 to make it an even number — by the end of the year. It’s been SO freaking hot that I basically never want to run outside. Thankfully the treadmill still counts as running, although last night when I got to the Y, all 16 treadmills were occupied. Fifteen people were walking. Only one person was running. I guess it’s too hot even for walking.
Hurricane Alex hit the Mexican coast hundreds of miles away, but we’re still getting a stiff breeze and periodic heavy rain all the way up here in Houston. It’s the best kind of hurricane to have — one that doesn’t affect us, but waters my yard and provides glorious thick cloud cover that lowers the temperature to more bearable numbers. After days of insane heat, yesterday’s “feels like 91″ felt downright pleasant. We even ate lunch outside! The nerve!
The gray sky and steady rain make me want to stay in bed. Since I can’t do that, it makes me contemplative. Back in January, I made a list of resolutions for 2010. Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought I’d check on my status and discovered that…I’m pretty much sucking at my resolutions so far.
- Finish my M.A. in Digital Media Studies. Um, not yet. And probably won’t by the end of the year. May 2011, anyone?
- Tackle this blog. I finally moved it to WordPress, and have been updating more regularly and with a wider variety of topics, like I intended. The one thing that remains is to redesign it, i.e. quit using the standard WordPress templates. The one I’m currently using is very functional, so I’m hoping to just tweak it here and there to make it look nicer.
- Make a budget. We’re saving at a good pace and living within our means, but we still haven’t actually made a budget. I want to do this to have a better understanding of where our money goes.
- Do the Lonestar Half Ironman. Big FAIL. Sigh. No excuses. I’ve done 1 olympic tri this year and 3 sprint tris already this year though, so at least that’s something.
- Get the house in order. The kitchen is half-painted (to a point where it could stay that way indefinitely). The garage is half-cleaned out. The study is organized, but not decorated. Plus, we decorated the bonus room. So I’m making good progress in this category!
- Make our wedding album. Another big fail so far. And we’re now past our 1st anniversary. But the year’s only half over! It could happen!
- Learn to sew. No action on this one. And I’m not sure I have enough interest to make it happen this year.
- Read 18 books this year. I think my count is 4.5 so far, so I’m way behind. I haven’t been able to make it to book club since February, which has hampered my efforts. Time to turn off the TV and read. I can still do this one.
So. Six months to go. I better pick up the pace!