Monday, October 01, 2018

Hello October | Goals for Quarter 4

I'm starting the month with some good intentions and a few goals. What is a goal you've set for this month? #goals #goalsetting

In the past, my goal setting posts have been last-minute efforts, following the same generic template and essentially listing the same ten goals I've had all year. When I revamped the post this summer and switched to doing these on a quarterly basis instead of every month, I started putting more thought into the posts, but also the goals themselves.

I've spent weeks putting this one together, taking a careful inventory of what was working for me and what wasn't, thinking about how I wanted to lay the post out so that I could keep track of the goals more efficiently, and also make it easier for you to read.

Because we're now in the last quarter of the year (who the heck hit the fast-forward button??) and the time I have to accomplish everything I've set out to do in 2018 is quickly dwindling, I wanted to be really intentional about how I spend my time. This meant I had to cut some goals that were no longer serving my greater purpose and add in a few that would. So, on that note, hello October.

My goals for the last quarter. Let's see how I did...
  • Do yoga five days a week, increase my Fitbit steps and lose ten pounds. I did yoga most days of the week until I got hit with mono and then my energy level took a nosedive. I ended up losing about ten pounds, but it was because I had no appetite and wasn't eating rather than because I was being healthy.
  • Eat clean, gluten-free and vegan 80% of the time, and do a detox fast one day a week. When I had an appetite, I ate well most of the time, probably more than 80% of the quarter. It's becoming easier for me to pass over gluten because I have seen such a drastic difference in my health when I don't consume it. 
  • Maintain a set bedtime, wake up time, meal and medication schedule in an effort to reset my circadian rhythm. My schedule has been all over the place the last few months. I was so sick for a whole month, and I was trying to fit work in around my needing to sleep twenty hours a day. It was not easy, but I had to let go of this goal and listen to what my body needed instead.
  • Write 50,000 words across all of my platforms. Yes! Between writing here on the blog, my freelance work, all the writing I did for the essay workshop I was taking, and my creative writing, I wrote over 50,000 words in September.
  • Submit writing pieces for M, ID, PS, LS, and CS. Nope. I submitted pieces for other publications, so this goal will move on to the current quarter.
  • Read twenty or more books a month, including five from my publisher list, and annotate more as I'm reading. I read twenty-four books in July, eleven in August, and thirteen in September. I haven't been reading as much later this summer because of being ill and because of all the coursework I had to do. This will pick back up now that we are in autumn.
  • Complete the She Reads Truth sections for July, August, and September, and do an in-depth Bible study. Done. I completed all three months and did a Psalms of Gratitude study from SRT.
  • Complete two open courses. I finished the Spanish course I was taking and the advanced essay workshop then started on a comparative media/writing and rhetoric class, which I'll finish this quarter.
  • Learn a new skill. I watched a few tutorials for a new painting technique, but I didn't have time to give it a try, so I wouldn't go as far as saying I learned something new. 
  • Get outside for fresh air at least twenty minutes a day. Go for a swim a least four days a week. This was a toss-up. I got outside as much as I could, but we have had rain nearly every day for the last few months. Obviously, the pool was out.
  • Unplug from electronic devices and have a technology fast one day a week, utilize airplane mode to block distractions and use the Pomodoro Technique to increase productivity when working. Yes. I am really enjoying the time away from the gadgets. On my tech fast days, I keep all electronic devices off and I spend the day working on other projects or reading. On days that I'm working, I love putting my phone on airplane mode and using those chunks of time to write.
  • Create something artistic once a week. There was very minimal work done in this department. My artistic life was put on the backburner this summer because of all the other plates I was balancing. I've missed it, so I'm going to make this a priority again.
  • Pick up two transcription jobs a day, Monday through Friday. Some days, I did. Others, not even close. The transcription program I work through has been oversaturated this summer. I think a lot of parents were picking up work while their kids were home on break, and on top of that, the projects to choose from were cringe-worthy. I'm going to write a satirical op-ed piece about transcription work and all the bizarre things people do while they are recording very important conversations. (I'm looking at you loud chewers!)
  • Try making a new recipe once a week. Nope.
  • Send some encouragement via snail mail, write notes to put in my favorite books at the library and the used bookstore and work on sticky love notes project. I did send some snail mail but haven't been to the bookstore or library yet and I'm going to re-vamp my idea for the sticky love notes project. 
  • Put $100 more towards paying off debt every month. Yes!
  • Invest my time and efforts in the people, causes, and projects that I care about. Not as much time as I would hope, but this is an ongoing effort.
  • Work on setting boundaries, leaning into my frustrations, and developing more anxiety coping methods. I did a lot of work on this over the last two months and will continue to do so through the rest of the year.
  • Give 110% effort in everything I do. Not surprisingly, this one is not easy. My intention when setting this goal was to push myself to work without complaining, procrastinating, or surrendering before the job was done. I'll be continuing to strive for this in quarter four.
  • Embrace my story (and write it.)  Yes. This has been tough and I've had to face some pretty dark ghosts, but I am slowly allowing myself to work through the cobwebs while I write out my story. (Anyone else notice the Halloween vibe to my response for this?)
Here's my mood board for October.

This is my favorite month to be outdoors and enjoying the gorgeous fall weather that we are blessed with in the mid-Atlantic region. It's cool and crisp and, here in the mountains, you can smell woodstoves beginning to heat up for the cold season to come. For my mood board, I'm pulling in a lot of organic textures and colors - greens, grays, and browns with pops of bright colors that are indicative of the changing foliage.

Now, my goals for quarter 4...

"Keep pouring into things that bring your heart to life, even before you know what the final product will look like." - Morgan Harper Nichols

Where will I be in five years?
My future flipped upside down when I got divorced, and since then, I've only painted my future with broad strokes. I want to dig in and map out what I will be doing in six months, a year, and five years, because ultimately, it's that far away place I'm working toward now. I need to be able to name my destination so I can mark the steps on my map.

If it was impossible to fail, what would I be doing with my time?
There has been a common thread that seems to be present lately in everything I'm reading, everyone I'm meeting, and even things I'm watching, and that is "make the leap." I have an entire bucket list full of things I want to accomplish in my life and well, I ain't getting any younger!

Take good care of my body - physically, mentally, and spiritually. 
  • Do yoga every day and do strength training and cardio five days a week.
  • Meditate/pray every day.
  • Eat clean, gluten-free and vegan.
  • Work to reset my circadian rhythm by eating, sleeping and taking meds on a set schedule.
  • Go for a walk every day.
  • Complete the She Reads Truth Bible sections each month + do an in-depth study.
  • Journal every day.
  • Lean in: focus on faith and gratitude - count more fruit.
Learn something new, see things from a new perspective, and create from the heart.
  • Read twenty books a month and catch up on my publisher list.
  • Complete one open course.
  • Maintain my daily Spanish course goal on Duolingo.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Create something new every week.
  • Invest my time and efforts in the people, causes, and projects that I care about.
  • Dive deep: reject shallowness and take my relationships to a deeper level.
Quiet the chatter and be more productive.
  • Unplug from all electronics and do a tech fast once a week.
  • When working, utilize airplane mode to block distractions.
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique during writing blocks to increase productivity.
  • Say "no" to activities that hurt my progress, hurry my process, or hold me back.
Work hard and smart.
  • Write 50,000 words across all my platforms - blog, freelance, and creative writing projects.
  • Submit pieces for M, ID, PS, LS, and BM.
  • Work on finding a writing routine that works for me.
  • Update my portfolio and transfer it to Contently.
  • Pick up at least one transcription job a day.
  • Put $100 more toward debt every month.
  • Give 110% effort in all I do.
Projects to Focus On
  • Embrace my story (and write it.)
  • Pull my camera out and capture life.
  • Organize the 2018 Holiday Cookie Swap.
  • Leave a good word: leave more comments and reviews on content that moves me.
  • Pull out my paints and canvases and use them.
  • Create a #mymonthasaflatlay post every month.
  • Revamp the sticky love notes project.

Whew! That was a long post and kudos to those of you who stuck around. Check back at the beginning of January to see if I was able to meet my goals!

What goals did you set for yourself this month? 

The post Hello October | Goals for Quarter 4 first appeared on A Simpler Grace.  If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends! Don't forget to join the ASG Tribe!


  1. Wow, you set yourself a LOT of goals! Just reading them intimidated me 😅 Good luck on this month's ones. I'm also trying to do some yoga every day, and have actually been quite enjoying it too!

  2. This quote:
    "Keep pouring into things that bring your heart to life, even before you know what the final product will look like.", really stuck out to me! I think sometimes we can be so focused on the end result that we can want to quit if it isn’t perfect, but this quote was beautiful. I also loved the idea of a mood board. Now I want to make one! Great post. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Doing quarterly goals sounds great! I'm sorry you weren't feeling your best but I think you still did really well with your goals.
    Your eating goal (clean, gluten free and vegan 80% of the time) is not easy plus doing a detox on top of that - well done!
    I like your mood board and themes - wishing you all the best for this quarter.

  4. I was doing monthly reviews previously and may decide to switch to quarterly. You seem to be able to take care of soo much! I don't know how you do it. Also, you've got me thinking--if it was impossible to fail, what would i be doing with my time.... I really need to ponder that one.

  5. Ok you have totally motivated me to get back on the planning track. I fell over board last month! September is always a crazy busy month for me, but October - easier schedule, nicer weather, autumn scenery... I feel ready to put my goals down on paper. And WOW did you accomplish loads :-O

  6. These goals are amazing! I need to set more for myself. Now that my older kids are in school I need to focus on getting back to a new normal with the new baby at home and setting goals I think will help. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Quiet the chatter and be more productive, I like those goals!

  8. I felt the same way about it. Go follow her on Instagram! She shares amazing content!

  9. That is definitely a question I've been asking myself a lot lately. I need to stop making excuses and start taking the leap!

  10. Yay! October is a great month to start planning again!

  11. You have some awesome goals! And you did pretty well on your last round. Especially when you were hit with mono, I know that is no joke. I hope you are feeling better and that quarter 4 goes well.

  12. Those are some great goals, girl! I'm trying to make sure my goals posts are more intentional as well and actually helping me work towards my goals for the year. I'm also being reminded daily that if I'm not willing to DO the work to make my dreams happen, they never will. I'm trying to be better about getting deep with what I want, working on the plan, and then SHOWING up for it!

  13. That's definitely something I have to remind myself of - that unless I put in the work, the dreams won't happen!

  14. Congrats on the 50K! You'll hit it again!

  15. You kicked butt last month on your goals!!! I hope you are starting to feel a little better from being ill. I was sick almost all of May and it was not fun at all. Girl I wish I had the time to read as many books as you do!!! That's amazing! I have a ton of books on my shelf that I need to read but have yet to read them. Hoping after my wedding this month that I am able to have some more free time. Taking photos and capturing life is always a good idea. Some people believe in just living in the moment which I get but I love taking photos. It creates memories. Good luck with your goals this month.

  16. Thanks, friend. How exciting that you're getting married this month. Congratulations! Hope you have a wonderful October!

  17. Tobia | craftaliciousmeOctober 1, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    I am always amazed how many goals you try to achieve. A few of them are on my list too but I currently have a hard time motivating myself. I am wishing you that you will achieve them all.

  18. I love your goals! And you rocked them in September! One of my goals this month is to take a social media break every Sunday so I can focus on my family and getting everything ready for the next week!

  19. It looks like you did a great job with last month's goals!! Also I wish I had the time to read more too, 13 books is still a lot!!

    The Classic Brunette

  20. Erin Elizabeth HaugerudOctober 1, 2018 at 7:18 PM

    Great list of goals!!

  21. Thank you so much, Tobia. Hope you have a wonderful October!

  22. Thank you, Taylor! Definitely go for that social media break. I do it and it's a lifesaver!

  23. Wow! You've got some great goals for the quarter. I'm really impressed with you reading 20 books a month, and writing 50,000 words. That's awesome. I also love the goal of creating something new each week.

  24. This is such an honest look at goals. It’s helpful to read someone else’s goals when I’m trying to make my own. I love your mood board! Fall is so warm and cozy. My favorite season!

  25. You did a great and thorough job with this post and I really enjoyed how you broke it down. I’m wondering if perhaps I should also break away from doing the monthly goals to try something similar. These goals are definitely very intentional—and congrats on conquering so many of them.

    I hope you are feeling better and allowing your body (and mind!) enough time to heal. It’s incredible you are picking up so many courses, people, and hobbies you are obviously invested in but remember that your health and wellness are important, too.

    Best of luck achieving all of your goals this month! Xo

  26. Wow! I love how intentional you are about your quarterly goals. I really admire your dedication. It seems like you are making great moves toward health, happiness, and success. I might have to start doing this in my journal each quarter. Very inspiring.
    xoxo Lauren | Glitter & Grandeur

  27. Thanks, friend! I've actually really enjoyed doing quarterly goals. It allows me to schedule my time more loosely than if I were trying to cram everything into one short month. :)

  28. I feel the same way. I love reading goal posts. :)

  29. Thank you! Health and happiness are definitely things I'm aiming for. :)

  30. Oh my gosh, you are SO on top of these goals and I love it. You've given me a serious push for my October. I have a trillion things going on, but now I want to do even more - but for my own wellbeing. Everything seems to be so focused on my work and upcoming wedding, but doing things for my health and soul are important too. Thanks for the reminder! I sure hope you're feeling 100% better. Mono is the WORST. I got it about 5 years ago and it gave me a run for my money (quite literally, because I spent 3 days in the hospital because of that nasty thing)!

  31. Great job on writing 50,000 words last month!

  32. I love that you do quarterly goals - it gives you more time to really focus on some of them. I think you did great this past quarter, and best of luck with the current quarter. I know that I really need to work more on my physical health. My mental health is a bit back and forth, so I just need to focus on things that make me happy, and get enough sleep, and generally focus on feeling better.


  33. I love that you quarter it up :) Looks like you made a good dent last quarter too. Boo on all the rain keeping you out of the pool. We have had the same problem here. Realized last week that we didn't go to the beach even once during the summer. I love that little airplane mode on my phone. Yay for taking a digital break. It really does get overwhelming, addictive and distracting. But we love it so. Wishing you all the best in these new goals. I know you will crush them. Also, hope you are feeling all better now. Being sick is never fun! XOXO

  34. Wow! You've read SO much. That's amazing! I love love love your October mood board. This post is probably the best goals posts I've ever seen! Love the quarterly focus.

  35. I'm so glad I changed from doing them monthly. I think there are a lot of people who are focusing on health/nutrition this fall. It's a great time to start - before the holidays. Hope you have a great October!

  36. There was SO MUCH rain this summer. I'm hoping the fall doesn't bring as much so we can enjoy the weather. Thanks so much for the encouragement! Hope you have a great October!

  37. Thanks so much for coming by to read, Stephanie!

  38. Aww, you're so sweet. Thanks for coming by to read, Kelsie!

  39. Loving your October mood board! It captures Oct perfectly.

  40. Wow, congrats on accomplishing all that you did! Your goals for this month are admirable and I love your vision board. I haven't even had time to get focused enough to write out my goals for this month...yet.