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Archive for the ‘monthly goals’ Category

So, how did I do in February with my goals?

  • Make PhD ornaments for the customers on my waiting list.  DONE!!  I completed five ornaments this month, and my store is officially in “vacation mode.”
  • If possible, edit and print the photos for V’s December album.  DONE!!
  • Exercise 2-3 times per week, at least.  So this month was quite difficult for me; I was dealing with being completely exhausted– and I wasn’t expecting this, since in my first pregnancy, I had a lot of energy in my 2nd trimester!  But I didn’t have a toddler then!  So, my total “official” exercise time this month was about five hours, compared to January’s four-and-a-half.  Not a huge increase, but I tried really hard for that two-times-per-week goal, and I did a pretty good job.  I also decided, mid-month-ish, to start up my almost-daily arm exercise routine again.  I want to keep my arms toned, since I am to be a bridesmaid in a wedding 6 weeks after my baby’s due date!
  • Plan my 2014 garden, which probably includes planting seeds.  DONE!!
  • New recipes from ATK and SK: ATK Quick Tomato Sauce.  SK Leek Fritters (post coming).  ATK Pasta al Limone (post coming).  SK Mushroom Bourguignon (post coming).
  • unexpected accomplishments:
    • I made a layout!
    • I made a pair of running slippers for my little girl.
    • I made jersey-knit skirt (post coming).
    • I backed up all the photos on my laptop hard-drive (2012-present) to my private Flickr account.  From here on, my goal is that at the end of each month, I will add photos from that month to Flickr.
    • I traced the patterns to start working on a doll for my daughter (see March’s goals!)

I am really excited about how well I did in February!  For the last week, I felt like I was working on “bonus time” because the ornaments were finished, as were many of my other goals.  Also, Husband and I are huge Olympics-watchers, and so I was able to do a bit of computer work in the evenings while we watched.  This really helped me to complete my photo backup and get the photos prepared for V’s December album.

Okay, so on that encouraging note, I’m going to set some goals for March.  We have a lot of extra stuff going on this month, so I’m going to try hard not to overestimate what I can do…

  • sew a doll for my daughter, with one dress and one “undersuit.” Possibly even some little diapers for the doll, too.
  • start making plans for the bridal shower I am throwing with my mother for my sister-in-law to-be. I’m not sure how to quantify this one.  But I’d at least like to have created a Pinterest board of ideas (beyond the brainstorming stage).
  • decide on a sketch for the “highlight layout” pages of V’s December album and start working on those layouts, if possible.
  • Exercise 2-3 times per week, at least.  Again, I’d like to increase my total exercise time, compared to February!  I’d also like to do my arm exercise regimen every day (or almost every day!)
  • Take care of the sprouts.  And maybe do an update or two about them on the blog.
  • New recipes from ATK and SK.

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So, how did I do in January with my goals?

  • finish the custom curtains commissioned by my friend: DONE!  I finished them on January 5
  • make two paper-pieced framed monogram gifts: DONE.  The post about them will be coming on Friday, Feb 7.
  • prepare the photos for V’s December album project The photos are selected.  I am working on getting them edited and prepared for printing.  Due to some unforeseen circumstances with my computer this month, I lost a week or more of “free” time in which I had planned to work on this, so I didn’t get quite as far as I’d have liked.  But I am still going to call this goal accomplished.
  • exercise 2-3 times per week, at least: I tried, really hard.  I logged just under 4.5 hours of “official” exercise time this month.  I walked at the mall (not as many times as I’d like– mornings are the time I can most easily run errands).  I checked out some yoga and pilates DVDs from the library and started doing them some evenings (or sometimes during naptime, if it fit).  I think that I should also count the times that I (literally) ran in circles around the basement with my daughter and her toy car– she is learning to propel it herself with her feet, but I think she finds it a lot more fun when Mommy pushes her!  (Wouldn’t you??)  We also run in circles on the main floor of our house… Anyone have any good ideas of how to meter the distance?  Our pace varies, so I’m not sure a pedometer would work 😉
  • new recipes from ATK and SK: Chicken Teriyaki, Drop Biscuits, Heart-Stuffed Shells, Chili Con Carne (post upcoming)
  • unexpected accomplishment: uploaded all of my photos from my external hard drive (digital photos from 2010 and before) to a private account on Flickr.  I am using this account as an additional layer of backup.  In the next month or two, I hope to upload photos from 2011-present into that account, as well.

It was harder than I expected to meet these goals, which was more than a little frustrating.  I think the aforementioned circumstances with my computer had a large influence, and it looks like we’re going to need to get a new computer for me in the near future.  😛  I hope that my February goals are manageable.

Now, here are my goals for February:

  • Make PhD ornaments for the customers on my waiting list.  This is the top priority, and I am dedicating the whole month to finishing the custom orders.  After the end of February 2014, I am taking a sabbatical from making ornaments until further notice.
  • If possible, edit and print the photos for V’s December album.
  • Exercise 2-3 times per week, at least.  I’d like to increase my total exercise time, compared to January!
  • Plan my 2014 garden, which probably includes planting seeds.
  • New recipes from ATK and SK.

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So, something I’ve been thinking about in the last few months is about my goal-setting.  There is no question in my mind that it is something I like to do, and it certainly keeps me organized.  But again and again I have found myself at the end of each month thinking, “I thought I set reasonable goals!  But why is it that so much went unaccomplished?”  rather than, “Wow, look how much I accomplished!” — even if I really did accomplish a lot.  My recap posts have been a good reminder of me of how much I really have done each month, and that is one of the main reasons I do those posts.  Because (probably like many people), I always have a huge list of things I want (and need) to do, and sometimes it’s hard to see all of the accomplishments in the shadow of all the future-hopeful projects.  I also found that with a toddler around, what I think I can accomplish and what I actually can accomplish are not equal– and can change on a week-to-week or even day-to-day basis!

With that in mind, and also for other reasons that I won’t get into now, I’m changing things up a bit in the next few months.  Rather than setting goals that are “reaches” (that is, ones that I might not accomplish, but I have them listed so that they inspire me and push me), I am going to concentrate on setting very attainable goals.  I want to feel like I’ve checked things off my list!!  There will always be the “next” project (and I keep a list of those, for sure), but my monthly goals are going to be ones that I am almost certain to achieve— and possibly with time to spare!  Won’t that help me feel good, haha!

Here are January’s (project-oriented) goals:

  • finish the custom curtains commissioned by my friend (already DONE!  I finished them on January 5)
  • make two paper-pieced framed monogram gifts
  • prepare the photos for the big, huge December album project (a baby book of sorts for my daughter).  I will be posting soon about my plans for this album.
  • exercise 2-3 times per week, at least.  (I add this on for “accountability” reasons 😉 )

And that is it for the “official” list.  If I go further with these goals, or if I accomplish more, then that is BONUS!

I’ll also be posting in the next week or so about the projects from December that I mentioned in my December recap post!

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So, I over-committed myself last month and didn’t get some things on my to-do list finished, and I’m starting off this month with the same problem 😉  So my list for November is going to look pretty similar to October’s.

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Just like last month, and just like in future months.
  • SEWING:
    • curtains.  I’m on the last set (which is the biggest part of the project)… but it’s actually been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned a lot.  I’d love to have them finished by the end of the month, if I can.
    • finish V’s birthday gifts!
  • CRAFTING:
    • baby shower!  the shower is in the middle of the month, so I’ve already been working hard on decorations and other plans.  I’m hoping to do some blog posts about the things I’ve made.  I’m excited about how it is turning out!
    • PhD ornaments!  I’ve been busy!
  • MEMORY KEEPING:
    • Day-in-the-life.  Yeah, the photos I took on October 4.  I hope to put those photos, together with words, into a photo book very soon (before the “current-ness” wears off).  Same as last month.  If it doesn’t get done by the end of this month (which I really hope it does), I might have to scrap the project (in the throw-away sense, not the crafty sense, unfortunately).
  • EXERCISE:
    • do some.  I discovered that the local mall opens its doors before the stores are open, so I’ll be trying to go there at least two times per week to walk.  It’s extra nice that we can play at the indoor playground afterward!
  • COOKING:

     

I haven’t been able to go through and edit all of my October photos yet, but I hope to soon write a blog post on the vacation photobook that I made for my daughter.  She has really enjoyed looking at it!!

Wish me luck! 😉

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So, on some of these goals, I made significant progress and even completed them!  But for others, I definitely need another month…

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Just like last month, and just like in future months.
  • SEWING:
    • costumes!  oh yes, these got finished!!  See my post HERE.  These costumes took up the majority of my hobby time this month (and then some!), which is why some of my other projects didn’t move along quite like I’d hoped.
    • curtains.  I made a bit of progress on this project, but I will be finishing up in November.
  • CRAFTING:
    • baby shower!  I created a digital invitation and solidified my plans.  November = shower decoration crafting! Yay!
  • MEMORY KEEPING:
    • Day-in-the-life.  I’m sad that I didn’t get a chance to work on this (at all!  I hardly looked at my photos all month, let alone captioned, edited, and worked on projects with them!).  I’m holding out hope that maybe in November I’ll find a few hours to put this together.  If I don’t make it soon, I’m not sure if it’s worth pursuing…
  • EXERCISE:
    • do some.  I did some!  I didn’t log as many miles this month (just under 25), but considering the weather and everything else we had going on, I’ll take it!
  • COOKING:

     

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Haha, it’s the middle of October, and here I am finally sharing my goals for the month.  Recently, my main “passion,” at least, craft-wise, has been in sewing…  So I’ve been absorbed in some projects and not doing much here on the blog.  But today, when I ran out of the thread I needed for the project I’m working on (bummer!!!!), I decided to sit down and write this post.  Here’s the list:

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Just like last month, and just like in future months.
  • SEWING:
    • costumes!  I’m deep into my daughter’s, and I’d like to make some pieces for my Husband’s costume, too!
    • curtains.  My friend commissioned me to work on some for her.
  • CRAFTING:
    • baby shower!  next month, I’m throwing a baby shower for a dear friend.  That makes for a lot of fun projects!
  • MEMORY KEEPING:
    • Day-in-the-life.  Inspired by some recent podcasts and blog posts I’ve read, I decided to take an extra-lot of photos on October 4.  I hope to put those photos, together with words, into a photo book very soon (before the “current-ness” wears off).
  • EXERCISE:
    • do some.  Not sure how it’ll work out with the weather, but I want to keep on getting to the park (or the sidewalks by my house) as often as I can while it’s still nice.
  • COOKING:

    Wish me luck! 😉

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So let’s see how I did.  I actually did not refer back to the September goals blog post for the entire month.  There were a lot of days when I felt just plain overwhelmed.  It took me a lot longer to get back into the “swing of things” after our adventure-filed August, and that was part of the overwhelm, I think.

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  We had some really fun times this month as a family, and also for V and me at home during the day.  I don’t think I’ll ever “check” this goal of my list, but I think I did an okay job this past month.  I can always, always improve, though!
  • SEWING:
    • puppet theater for V — mostly finished.  I need to get the tension rods so that I make the rod pockets the appropriate width.  I also need to finish the tiebacks and decide whether I will embellish the theater at all.
    • tutu for V — not accomplished.  I am waiting for tulle to be on a better sale than it was for most of the month.
    • baby shoes for Husband’s coworker — done.  I actually made two pairs at once, since I wanted to send a second pair to another special little baby girl.  Blog post coming soon.
  • SCRAPBOOKING:
    • one layout or start planning a December album for V’s first month scrapbook  — well, this goal didn’t turn out at ALL like I’d expected.  I finished a layout that had been started back in July(!!).  So that was good.  But instead of tackling V’s first-month-scrapbook, I ended up making an entire photobook (I had a coupon for a free one!) on Shutterfly with our beach vacation photos. It should be arriving any day now.  As I worked on it, I realized that it actually is a scrapbook in its own right– I was making a form of a digital scrapbook.  Hmm.  I hope to write a blog post about this project soon, too.
  • CRAFTING:
    • beach-themed photo board book — I got the photos chosen, edited, and printed.  I’d intended to work on this project with a friend, but due to various circumstances, we were unable to get together like we expected.  I’m finishing it up in the next day or so (10/4/2013)
  • EXERCISING:
    • log at least 55 miles this month, running+walking (but increase the running mileage) — DONE!  I logged 61.02 miles this month.  Aaaaannnnd, I definitely upped the running.  In fact, I started running with V in her (non-jogging) stroller (I must look like a crazy person, but whatever).  I am super proud of myself for being able to run 3+ miles in a stretch with the stroller now.  Plus, there was that awesome Color in Motion 5K!
    • do my arms+abs exercise set every day!  — I did really well until about the last week of the month, and then I lost steam.  But 3 weeks straight is nothing to sneeze at!
  • COOKING:

     

In addition to all of this, I did also make a tutu (heee!), complete two PhD ornament orders and receive (and start) two more.

Looking back, I don’t think that I did too shabbily.  I’ll have to give some thought to October’s goals, though.  It seems I need another readjustment in terms of what is reasonably accomplish-able.  At the same time, there are Halloween costumes to think of, and whether I’ll be making any more homemade birthday and Christmas gifts!

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I’m baa–aaack!!

August was wonderful.  There was a county fair, some plane rides, a state fair, a wedding, lots of running and walking, an engagement, a trip to the beach, lots of good food…  And it was pretty nice to step away from the computer for a while.  I did do a few projects that I will be sharing in the next posts, so never fear!  August will not be missing on the blog, it’ll just be belatedly-blogged.

And now, since we’re more than a week into September, here are my goals for the month.

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Rather than be constantly thinking (obsessing?) about projects I want to complete (yes, I still have a list in my planner), I really want to focus on enjoying and being content, especially focusing on my time playing with my daughter while we are at home together during the day.  This goal is hard to quantify, but I want it to be at the top of my list.

That being said, there are a few projects that I want to accomplish this month.  I’m trying to think of this as a prioritization of the projects I have on my big list.  I really think this is manageable.  At least, I hope!

  • SEWING:
    • puppet theater for V
    • tutu for V
    • baby shoes for Husband’s coworker
  • SCRAPBOOKING:
    • one layout or start planning a December album for V’s first month scrapbook (it’s been too long already!)
  • CRAFTING:
    • beach-themed photo board book
  • EXERCISING:
    • log at least 55 miles this month, running+walking (but increase the running mileage)
    • do my arms+abs exercise set every day!
  • COOKING:

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I had a pretty short list of goals for July…

    • Floss each night this month. Done.  This is a downright habit now!
    • Maintain the garden (and write an update post or two!)The garden is booming.  At least, the cucumbers are!  In July, we got 20 cucumbers from the Burpee plant alone!  Wow.  We also got our first tomato.  
    • Exercise at least 2 times per week.  I didn’t state it specifically on my blog, but I challenged myself (inspired by a friend) to log 50 miles walking and/or running this month.  I thought it might be a stretch, but I surprised myself by blowing that goal out of the water and logging a whopping 60.83 miles this month!  Wow.  I’ve really been pushing myself, and I have been running–and walking– longer and longer distances.  I think all of my walking/jogging with my daughter in her stroller has been a great conditioning technique.  In fact, in mid-July, I ran (no stroller) 3.72 miles with an average pace of 8:59!!  Average pace!  I never thought I’d ever run that fast.  I’m pretty proud of myself 🙂
    • Make some new recipes from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show CookbookWe ate well in July!  Glazed pork chops, oven fried chicken and classic mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, pizza bianca, and creamless creamy tomato soup.  
    • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Smitten Kitchen CookbookThe gooey cinnamon bars were a hit!
    • Do some scrapbooking, if it fits my schedule.  I made a bunch of cards with a friend.  I even started a 2-page layout, but it is not quite finished–I need to figure out how to add the journaling**.  I don’t have as much time (nap schedules are changing…dum dum dum…), and my creative pendulum was swinging to the sewing side this month!
    • Do some sewing.  This month, I was super-excited to sew!!  I started the hand-stitched reverse-applique pillows, and have been taking my time (on purpose) with them.  I refashioned a T-shirt (and now I want to refashion a few others that are languishing in my closet…).  I created a lining/sewn-in slip for a sundress I had purchased (it was too sheer to wear without it).  I hemmed a maxi dress that I purchased.  And I made baby shoes!
    • finish the Project 366 albumYES!!!!  I am so happy with the result!!

It was a great month.  I’m glad that I kept my goals list minimal so that I could enjoy the summer fun as it came along!

**side note: I don’t often get to this point any more with my scrapbook pages.  I tend to plan my layouts with the journaling in mind, since the story behind the pictures is the reason I actually make scrapbook layouts (rather than photo albums).  This time, the photos (there are a ton of them) took up more room than I expected and my original plan may not work.  I’ve been procrastinating figuring it out!

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I’m not going to set very many official goals for July.  I want to focus on just enjoying my summertime with my family and friends… and doing some crafting when it fits my schedule, because I love it.  That being said, I do want to keep a few things on the “official” list:

    • Floss each night this month.
    • Maintain the garden (and write an update post or two!).
    • Exercise at least 2 times per week (along with abs+arms every day, as possible/reasonable).
    • Make some new recipes from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook.
    • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
    • Do some scrapbooking, if it fits my schedule.
    • Do some sewing.  (I’ve started a new hand-stitiching project!  Remember my skirt?  Well, I’m making some throw pillows for our living room…Hand stitching will be great for being in the car, or for something to do with my hands while I hang out with friends.)  I also have a T-shirt that I’d like to alter/refashion/refit… I might have to resort to Pinterest to get a good idea of what/how I’m going to do that.
    • finish the Project 366 album.  In my June recap post, I listed my remaining “tasks,” and they should be completely manageable to accomplish this month.

That is it for now!  Happy July 🙂

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