A few goals for October.

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset Its only three days into the month, which means it isn't too late to share some goals for October, right? I didn't think so, either.

October goals

+ Work on adopting healthy rhythms, including tracking our spending, staying at home more, cooking yummy food, working with LG on her colors, staying on top of the household chores, heart checks with people I love, date night, disconnecting from the internet, quiet time and prayer, and self-care routines.

+ Count the fruit. I'm thinking about starting a gratitude journal this month, or at least being intentional to share here about what's growing and bringing joy.

+ Read 3 books. I won't attempt to commit to three specific books, because when I do that, I always end up going in an entirely different direction. But I have a couple hours to read in the morning before LG wakes up, and a couple hours (fingers crossed) in the afternoon when she naps, so I really have no excuse to not read all the books.

+ Start praying about my word for 2017. Honestly, I just typed that and snorted, because 2017 doesn't even feel like a real year. But of course, it is real, and it is only three months away! I can't wait to see where God will choose to take me in the coming year!

What are some of your goals for the month? I'd love nothing more than to cheer you on!

Let's Talk | August Goals

I've said it before: June was a hard month. But truth absolutely flooded July. I spent some serious time seeking wisdom and learning about what is truly required to get it. Scripture says that when we ask for wisdom, we cannot doubt. We must be single minded in our pursuit, not looking to the right or the left. And once we hear from God, we must act -- we must begin to build our live on the foundation of his truth. So, August is about building.


Goals

1. First and foremost, my very top priority is to hear his voice through continued daily quiet times.

2. Create and follow our Every Dollar Budget for the month, and make wise choices with our finances. Wisdom makes choices today that are still good tomorrow.

3. Meal plan (I'm already ahead on this!) and eat dinner at home at least six nights a week.

4. Read 4 books (audio books excluded). This month, I want to read "Prayer," by Tim Keller (you guys, I've wanted to read this one for the last two months -- hold me to it), Nouwen's "The Only Necessary Thing," "Finding Spiritual White Space," by Bonnie Gray, and "Uninvited," by Lysa TerKeurst.

5. Brainstorm hosting a book club with my best friend. We've been... talking about talking about this, if you know what I mean. But I really want to do it. I recently took a spiritual gifts test, and not surprisingly at all, hospitality came out on top. I know for most of us, this has looked like planning elaborate parties and being the hostess with the mostest -- but I want to create a place for real women to come and feel free to be vulnerable about their real lives.

6. Keep our apartment tidy. My monthly/weekly/daily cleaning schedule is from Day Designer.

7. Limit social networking to between 4:30 and 5:30 pm. I took a week long break from all my social networks in July, and was literally amazed by how peaceful I was. I read more, got more done, and just felt better.

8. Create boundaries for serving. This month, I am stepping away from a paid position at our church. It is bittersweet, for sure, but I am looking for opportunities to continue serving and need to understand what that will look like in a practical, meaningful way.

9. Walk around the neighborhood three times a week. This is a great way to get my steps in, plus I'm pushing a stroller with a toddler, so there's that.

10. Write in this space five times. I have a couple things in the draft folder, but after collaging some blogging tips and writing fuel , I just want to tell all the stories.

11. Daily heart checks with my husband. Because how that man follows Jesus means more to me than anything else, and I want to know how I can better encourage and pray for him. 


Do you make monthly goals? I'd love to hear about them and cheer you on!

Let's Talk | July Goals

I cannot even begin to say how happy I am to see June go. In terms of my goals, I'd say I completed about half of them. But I had a bad bout of depression and we traveled and worked a lot, so I don't feel all that bad. And July is a fresh start. My bones feel lighter.


Goals

One | Follow our Every Dollar Budget for the month of July.

Two | Keep our apartment tidy by cleaning for one hour per night.

Three | Go to the gym twice per week. I'm debating on whether or not I should bite the bullet and go in the morning, which would mean getting there at (shiver) 5:00 AM so that I could still be on time to work at 6:30. I'm finding more and more that going after work just isn't practical for us.

Four | Stick close to routine. This list is a great resource for getting started with all kinds of routines, from physical and financial to cleaning and self-care.

Five | Spend more time at home. This means less eating out, less shopping for a lot of things that we don't need, and more rest and time spent together.

Six | Go sans screen in the evenings. I will have one exception, which is if Craig and I are watching a television show/movie together. But on the whole, I just need a break from checking all the things.

Seven | Read 2 books. Last month I didn't read the books that I had originally planned, which happens often because I want to read all the books and can never really decide where to start. But this month, I am committing to read Tim Keller's Prayer and Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist. Hold me to it.

Eight | Complete another SRT study. I just purchased and downloaded "The Life of Moses," because, you know, there's an order to things and I just finished Genesis, so upward and onward. Also, I just really like Moses and manna and right now, Exodus feels like my story, too.


Do you have any goals for the month of July? I'd love to hear about them and cheer you on.

Let's Talk | June Goals

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I honestly cannot even believe that it is June 1st, and that we are already six months into the year. Last month was filled to the brim with God's provision, fresh starts, community, and learning. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my fear of goal setting. I wrote about how hard it is for me to embrace being a work in progress. But, since Ann says June is the new January, I'd like to try to befriend the process once again. It will probably be an uphill battle, but I'll start here.


Follow the Every Dollar budget we created for June. Every Dollar is designed by Dave Ramsey and covers pretty much everything we need to set up a great budget and stick to it. But of course, sticking to the budget is up to us. I feel like sticking to a budget will make me feel more like a responsible adult, and if we abide by our financial parameters for ten months, we should have enough in savings to put a great down payment on a house (and I really want to buy a house).

Deep clean our apartment. It is a little late for spring cleaning, but I want to spend one hour per day cleaning. This, like the first goal, will really go a long way toward helping me feel like a successful, responsible adult. Plus, it is much easier to spend time in a clean house than it is in a messy one.

Eat out less. With groceries included in our June budget, I want to cook more and eat out less. This will help me be mindful about what goes into my body. I'd like to significantly reduce the amount of caffeine and sodium I consume. (Funny note here, I was looking at a Whole 30 cookbook in Target yesterday, and Craig literally said he would take a bullet for me before he would do Whole 30). Also, I've learned that I actually enjoy meal planning!

Track all of my meals. I recently started using an app to track meals, but I haven't been as consistent as I should. So in order to be healthier and keep a record of what I'm consuming and how it affects my overall health, I am going to make an honest effort to enter all my meals.

Go to the gym at least 2x per week. Honestly, I haven't really pushed myself at the gym, and I know that I need to. But I don't love cardio -- so I want to try to figure out what will work for me.

Finish the She Reads Truth Genesis study as well as Jane Johnson's quiet time challenge. I am currently seven days into the Genesis study, and Jane's challenge started today. I have about an hour and a half in the mornings once I get to work before the darling girl I nanny gets up for the day, and I want to use that time wisely.

Read 2 books. At the moment, I'm looking forward to reading Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist and Henri Nouwen's The Only Necessary Thing, but I have a hard time committing to books, so I may read one or the other or two different ones entirely.

__________

Honestly? My skin is already crawling just at the thought of clicking publish, so will you say a prayer that my attempts to befriend the process are successful? Do you have goals you would like to share? I'd love to know how I can encourage and pray for you this month.

let's talk // 2016 goals

2016goals

First, allow me to recap:

In December, I shared eight goals with you all, and I'm happy to report I completed or made progress on five of the eight. I found a morning/evening routine that I really like (check it out here), I treated one of my nursery volunteers to lunch, we ate out less on the whole, I tried out a habit tracker (didn't end up liking it, but I tried!), and I prayed through my word for the coming year.

Secondly, some goals for January:

+ Complete The Bible in a Year plan by She Reads Truth.  // I'm so grateful that I have a couple of friends to do this study with. I'm a little bit embarrassed to say that even though I went to bible college, I have never read through the entire book. I'm hoping the pretty journaling Bible I got for Christmas will make it super easy and enjoyable.

+ Start cooking my way through The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook, which my sweet mama-in-law kindly got me for Christmas (because when you become an adult, you ask for a new set of sheets and a cookbook from your parents for Christmas).

+ Foster these super helpful habits. // Because one thing I was really striving for in 2015 was rhythm, and I believe that healthy rhythm is created through the fostering of healthy habits. I also firmly believe that habits help to cultivate roots.

+ Read three books. // Specifically, Big Magic by Liz Gilbert, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, and Emily P. Freeman's Simply Tuesday. Because let's start 2016 with a bang.

+ Analogue hours between 6:00 and 10:00 pm. // Thinking about buying a zillion piece puzzle for this.

+ Get on the treadmill (carry over from December). // Because I want to be healthy and treat my body well.

+ Write four blog posts. // I want to try out some new link ups in January as well.

+ Treat another nursery volunteer to lunch, and go to lunch with at least two other friends. // Because I love the community this simple act has created.

Some things to cultivate in January:

+ Confidence. + Contentment. + Laughter.

Lastly, some words to live by in 2016:

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”

-- Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

What are some of your goals for the month of January and beyond? I'd love to know how I can encourage and pray for you.

*This post contains affiliate links. 

let's talk // december goals

decgoals I cannot believe that today is the first day of December. This year has literally flown by, and it has been a hot minute since I posted some monthly goals. Well, in reality, life has been so crazy the past couple months that my only goals have been to breathe and unpack the mess in the spare bedroom in our South Carolina apartment.

In case you missed the memo, the man and I moved to South Carolina in late September to answer the call for him to work in ministry at our much loved church. There was no hesitation whatsoever when the phone rang and our friend Dave asked if we were interested in making the move. What began as one job for C turned into a job for me as well, as I accepted a position coordinating the nursery. We found an apartment and, blessedly, my in-laws helped us move all of our furniture and boxes.

If there's one thing I can say, its this: the Lord is faithful. He has been working long and hard and tender on my heart over these past couple months. There have been some hard conversations about life in the woods and what it looks like to be wide open on the operating table, and I am learning the meaning of vulnerability. I'm learning how to be honest about who I am and who I want to be in light of Christ. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, but it is time to put the thoughts to action.

So, without further ado, here are some goals for the month of December:

  1. Work out a morning and evening routine. Because there have been too many nights that I've stayed up late and crashed into bed with a face full of makeup and too many mornings that I haven't started my day by digging into the Word. I'd like to complete at least one SRT study in the mornings during the month.
  2. Finish 3 books. Right now I'm reading Lara Casey's Make it Happen. 
  3. Plan out time to go analogue. I have spent way too much time on Facebook and other social networks lately. A couple weeks ago, I started this process by turning off the push notifications on my phone so I'm not always reaching for it, but I want to take this a step further and say no social networking between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
  4. Get on the treadmill. Ya'll, my blood pressure is too high. Hypertension runs in my family, but I want to stave it off as much as possible by maintaining the healthiest lifestyle I can.
  5. Eat out less. Because money and health and money.
  6. Take one person from my nursery team out for lunch. Nothing can happen without these volunteers, and I want them to know how much their hard work is appreciated. Plus, I want to work harder on putting down roots and building strong relationships here.
  7. Start a habit tracker. I need some accountability when it comes to doing life.
  8. Pray about my word for 2016. I have a couple of ideas, but I want to move into 2016 with clarity of vision and wisdom that can only come from God (join me in praying for this?).

So there you have it. What are your goals for this month? I'd love to know how I can pray for and encourage you.


PS: Looking for some sweet holiday cards? My friend Kercia just opened a shop and her work is ahhmazing.