October 4, 2017

2017 Monthly Check In: August and September

As you may have noticed, I didn’t end up writing a goal recap for August 🙁 September was just a really busy month, and I ended up falling behind on several fronts, so now you’re getting August and September rolled into one. Here’s how I progressed on my 2017 goals in the last two months:

I have been completely missing my 10 pushups / 20 split squats / 30 plank leg lifts routine, and it really shows when it comes to my pushups. I realized that when I focused on run streaking every day, I dropped my 10/20/30; when I focused on 10/20/30, I wasn’t as motivated to get my one mile in for it to count. So I ended up missing a little bit on both counts! This was a great lesson for myself in only focusing on one change at a time until it’s truly habitual. Right now, I’m trying to make the 10/20/30 a routine again – we’ll see if it happens in October.

I got off track a bit with my five minutes of walking before bed every night, but I’ve picked that up again in the last few weeks. And, I have an interesting new twist to add to this one:

I read a Lifehacker post on limiting the time that you look at your phone, and point #7 around using your phone in bed really stuck with me. While being on your phone in bed is a common no-no, I’ve always ignored the advice – I thought that my use of the Twilight app would keep it from messing up my sleep. However, in all honesty, there have been a lot of nights in the last month or so where I’ve found myself in bed mindlessly scrolling social media. Ugh! I hate people who spend time doing that, and I can’t believe I’ve become one of them.

My resolution going forward is to forbid myself from looking at my phone in bed, period. If I want to read blogs / check email / browse social media at the end of the day, it has to be out of the bed – and really, that means pacing back and forth across my bedroom/hotel room, as I mentioned in August I’ve gotten in the habit of doing. I started testing out this strategy on Sunday, and I’ve discovered that it’s really easy for me to lie in bed and lose track of time. But when I’m walking, I notice when I’ve been on my phone a while – so I’m more likely to stop sooner, and I’m also getting a little bit of movement in. Win-win! I’m going to try to keep this bedtime phone ban going for the month of October.

That doesn’t mean I’m just getting into bed and going right to sleep – this habit will give me the time to read actual books before bed. In the last few months, I feel like I’ve been reading a lot more articles than books, and while I’m learning a lot, the material isn’t always the same caliber, and it’s not as helpful for my attention span – which I think is important to cultivate. As I wrote on Monday, I’m still more than on track to read 100 books this year, with 78 books read as of October 1st (4 books ahead). I’m relieved to still be on track for this, and I’m hoping my bedtime phone ban will help me stay ahead.

In August and September, I also fell off my goal of volunteering twice a month. I’ve had a great time volunteering once a month for Boulder County Parks & Open Space Living History Days – it’s been a fun opportunity to learn about local history myself and then teach it to families.

See if you can spot me in the crowd of volunteers at our August event!

But in August, I was supposed to do a night at Denver Rescue Mission and ended up having to cancel last minute – and that kind of put me off track in general.

On the bright side, my volunteering is about to really pick up! I’ve been matched as a mentor for a woman in the Champa House rehabilitation program, and I’ll be meeting with her on Friday for the first time. From there, we’ll stay in close touch, and I’ll be meeting with her once a week for the next few months. At the same time, I’m about to start a new volunteer opportunity with TutorMate, where I’ll be working one-on-one with an elementary school student on reading skills every week. I’m a little nervous that it will be a lot to start both of those at the same time, but then I remind myself that three hours a week of volunteering is a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things, and I feel selfish for thinking I don’t have time. There’s always time for the things you make time for!

One final thing I didn’t really make time for lately, and would like to remedy: cooking and hosting. I hosted an ice cream social at my house in early August, and had an absolute blast with that.

I ate two sundaes at my party, plus a few adult milkshakes 🙂 This particular combo was my favorite as a kid: rainbow sherbet, strawberry sauce, gummi bears, whipped cream, and a cherry 🙂

(Plus: so much leftover ice cream and toppings!) However, I didn’t host any parties at all in September – which kind of defeats the purpose of buying my house 🙁 To fix this, I just this week sent the invite for my annual Halloween Brews and Boos bash, and I’m really excited about cooking some new creative things for that – which I’ll be sure to share here and on Instagram.

So – kind of a lazy end to the summer. I can’t believe it’s October already – this year is going by really fast, and the end is already creeping up on us. I’m excited to only have a few more months to commit to these goals, and then evolving them a bit in 2018.


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