Since last Thursday I’ve been trying to figure out what my goals for July should be and what theme I wanted to embrace. I thought about not embracing anything at all, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wanted to capitalize on my success of last month and also didn’t want to have another cop-out month. I’m halfway through the year and wanted to keep going strong with my monthly themes and goals.
This morning I came across a list of things that 20-somethings should learn to do. To say that I loved this list is an understatement. I think I particularly liked lesson 5 because lately I haven’t been embracing this limbo between childhood and adult. I’ve actually be feeling like I wanted to feel more adult, but then at one point this weekend one of the little girls vacationing at the cabin commented that she wanted to hang out with “the grown ups.” Meaning us. Meaning I nearly had a panic attack because I don’t consider myself a grown up yet.
But that’s neither here nor there, other than to say that this list was what prompted my theme for July, though I will admit it was a bit forced. This month I want to embrace life lessons.
Write five thank you notes (lesson 2 & 6): A year or so ago I wrote brief notes to old internship bosses and it turned out to be a really invaluable experience – not only in writing the letter, but also reconnecting with people who shaped my love for nonprofits and ultimately the career path I chose. This month I want to do the same with different individuals, sending one note each week. More than the initial handful of people got me to where I am today so I want to take time to thank the others as well.
Get lost in a book (lesson 3 & 11): I’d make it more than one book but I want to be realistic with my goal (I harp on this in my class a lot…). Last month I noticed a huge contrast in my reading between May and June. In April/May I traveled by plane a handful of times, giving me an opportune time to read a great book in one sitting. What also struck me as interesting is that the two books I got lost in were books I didn’t even pick out (and probably wouldn’t have because they’re a little tragic). The little picked out Still Alice and the gentleman picked out The Year of Magical Thinking, both of which cover really raw emotions that I got completely swept up with (which was actually a little awkward on the plane…). This month I want to have that same experience, just not on a plane. Hopefully I can find a book that can rise to the challenge.
Take care of myself (lesson 7): There are two areas where I feel like I’m not making the cut to really take care of myself lately — working out and sleeping. In May I didn’t reach my 55-mile goal and last month I logged 55.5 miles… Close call. I’ve been getting in great workouts, but they’re not quite as frequent or long as I was getting in the winter or spring (primarily because I’ve been traveling more and teaching on Tuesday nights). I also need to be better about getting consistent sleep. In April when I took control and last month when I embraced the workweek, I would often stay up a bit later than I intended to just finish X, Y and/or Z. That needs to stop. Otherwise next thing I know it’s 11:15 and my alarm will go off in 6.5 hours. No bueno. This month I want to make sure to make sleep and working out a priority (the goal isn’t as specific as it should be, but I don’t want to set anything in stone given I came up with this goal all of 10 minutes ago).
Create a canvas (lesson 13): Along with cooking, painting (though I use that term loosely) is something where I’ll completely lose myself. Twenty minutes or three hours could pass and I wouldn’t notice. I mentioned to Lindsay that I would craft a canvas for a blank spot on our office wall, so canvas I shall!
Journal (lesson 1, 8, 13, 17…really all of them): Surprisingly I’ve kept up all year with my daily one-sentence journal. What I haven’t kept up with is actual journaling and I’m really missing it. This month my goal is to journal at least twice each week to give myself an opportunity to reflect on things (which sounds really vague, and it is). It’s a good supplement to a life chat, and like lesson 1 mentioned, life is about figuring out what I want and what works for me. I get lots of great insights and guidance from friends and family, but ultimately I need to check in with myself.
Although the concept of the theme was a little forced, I think this theme will be a good one for July. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll get as much out of these goals as I did last month’s goals. Wish me luck!