Sunday, May 01, 2016

Hello May | Goals

Hello May | Goals - A Simpler Grace - A monthly series tracking the goals I've set both in my personal and blogging life.
Oh my goodness, we are in May!!  It's hard to believe the end of this month will be the unofficial start of summer with swimming pools opening and the cook-out season commencing.  Crazy, right? It's sure to be a very busy month and I have a lot of big and little goals to keep my free time occuppied.  

My goals for April.  Let's see how I did...
  • Eat clean and gluten-free every day in April  They say 'everything in moderation', right? Well, after attempting to eat completely healthy for the month, I realized it's probably best to change my goal to eating healthy MOST of the time - about 80%, but ideally, as much as possible.  I have read that when you change your diet so drastically, you can feel the difference pretty quickly and it is true.  I have more energy and my skin, hair and nails appear much healthier, but the big difference I notice is when I don't eat healthy.  I am unable to tolerate much gluten at all anymore and I feel sluggish when I do eat it.  On the flip-side, one of the reasons I changed the paremeters of my goal was because I wanted to not feel guilty about allowing myself a little wiggle room, say, if I went out to dinner or wanted a small piece of cake at a birthday party.
  • Handwrite one note or card for a friend  Complete.  I wrote a lengthy birthday card for a friend and although it hasn't been delivered yet (my friend is out of town) it will be very soon!
  • Stick to my editorial calendar for the month  Yes!!  I scheduled and wrote eighteen posts last month, completing my editorial calendar for April. 
  • Complete the scarf I'm knitting  No way.  Once again, I didn't pick up this project all month. I do have some audiobooks I will be listening to this month, and I have my knitting bag right next to my bed, so I am reminded to pick it up and get some work done while listening.
  • Do yoga every day for the month  I did not complete this one.  April is a hard month for me, physically.  Perhaps its the changing weather and all the rain we have, but with the barometric pressure fluxuating all the time, I struggle with chronic pain a lot and just couldn't manage to work out every day.  I will not be counting this toward my 'yoga for sixty days' challenge and will try again this month.
  • Devote two hours a week to something creative  I happily completed this goal for the month. Most of my creative time was spent working on digital projects, but I did pull out my pastels and some watercolor crayons and do some sketching/shading work as well.  
  • Read eight books from my reading challenges  I was able to fit in more than eight books this month!  Several were from my reading challenges and a few were just light reads from my library list.  I am now halfway through my reading goal for the year and only a quarter of the way through 2016!  Woohoo!  You can follow along with my reading challenge on Goodreads.
  • Complete the April section from my Bible-in-a-year plan  April is complete!  I found a few tools that have really helped me stay on top of my scripture reading this month.  One is the reading plan I found somewhere on Lara Casey's website, which you can also see here.  I love how this plan splits the Bible up into sections like Gospels, Psalms and the Epistles, so you get a mix throughout the week instead of reading straight through.  The other is the Bible app, which is great for all you audiobook lovers.  You can select your scripture passage and hit the audio and listen to the Bible.  Big plus - it's not one of those annoying computerized voices.
  • Work on my non-fiction book  Although I made some notes about a few things related to the book, I didn't get any actual writing done.  I will try to tackle some of it in May.
  • Try a new recipe from Pinterest  I made the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Martha Stewart and it was amazing.  The recipe does call for pecans, but I left them out because of a nut allergy in the house and it was still delicious!
  • Leave a positive or encouraging note on ten people's cars  Done!  I started to write my own out but then stumbled on the cutest ones on Pinterest, so I printed them out and used them.  It ended up being over ten, but some extra positive vibes never hurt anyone, right?!
  • Read sixty articles I've pinned on Pinterest  Yes, yes, yes!  One of the big goals I set for myself this year was to "re-brand" my Pinterest account since it started off as a personal page then grew into my blog account over time.  I had a lot of unnecessary boards and pins that I no longer needed, but also some secret boards with HUNDREDS of articles that I wanted to read and pin, but never got around to it.  This monthly goal is helping me whittle down those boards and get rid of the junk pins.  I'll keep going until I've cleaned out all the useless stuff and have nice, clean boards again.
  • Devote more time to helping my mother's planner accessory business grow  I did spend a good bit of time this month scheduling posts on the Facebook page and talking with her about new product line ideas and other business stuff.  I am confident that she has a clear idea of where she'd like to see things go and the steps necessary to get there.  Like most small businesses, this will be a work-in-progress.
  • Complete three Bible journaling entries  Y'all, I have a confession to make.  I haven't started journaling yet because I have this fear of messing up and ruining my Bible.  I've been watching a lot of journalers on Periscope and Instagram and am taking notes and realizing that it isn't about perfection, it's about what you get out of the process, so I am going to make the leap and work on a few entries this next month.  Stay tuned to my Instagram because I'll be sharing some pictures when I get started.  (eek!)
  • Finish the little blog tweaks I've planned  Almost, but not quite done.  I did knock off a big to-do and that was to switch over from the Google based email feed to a MailChimp newsletter. I had a lot of reasons for doing this, but mainly, I wanted something more professional to go along with some of the changes I have been making on the blog.  I also think this new version is a little more interactive and I love being able to customize how the content looks when it hits your inbox.  I have a few more big projects to do - one would be refreshing my 'about me' page and giving the sidebar a little facelift.  Nothing major, just cosmetic. 
And my goals for May...
  • Eat clean and gluten-free 80% of the time in May
  • Handwrite one note or card for a friend
  • Stick to my editorial calendar for the month
  • Complete the scarf I'm knitting
  • Do yoga every day for the month
  • Devote two hours a week to something creative
  • Read eight books from my reading challenges
  • Complete the May section from my Bible-in-a-year plan
  • Work on my non-fiction book
  • Try a new recipe from Pinterest
  • Go strawberry picking at a local farm
  • Read sixty articles I've pinned on Pinterest (just two a day!)
  • Devote more time to helping my mother's planner accessory business grow
  • Complete three Bible journaling entries
  • Finish the blog tweaks I've planned
What goals did you set for yourself this month? 

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