I was talking to someone the other day and they mentioned the new year and the realization that this year is almost over finally flooded into my awareness. I remember making goals for this year the other day. We just had Christmas a few months ago. What in the world has happened?
But alas, here we are. The last couple months of 2017.
It almost seems comical to post a goals post at this point in the year because I have intentionally changed so many of my goals and focus areas as this year has progressed. The goals I set in January are no longer the same goals I am aiming for in most cases.
This is not because I’ve given up or failed, but rather, the ways that I have learned and grown this year have led me in different directions. The act of pursuing my goals early in the year has given me a deeper understanding of what I want to do and where I want to go that might not line up with exactly what I pictured last January.
I think this is what is meant in Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” It is good to make plans and set goals. It is wise to do the hard work to pursue our goals, but we always hold these goals and plans lightly knowing that God will ultimately lead us on the exact path He desires for us to take.
I’m still heading in the same basic direction that I wanted to go with the goals I set back in January, but the path I’m taking to get there has changed a bit. For example, I started the year wanting to grow in my friendships. I thought it would be great to send 60 personal cards to people throughout the year to encourage them. However, I dropped that goal after a few months and now I’m hosting a large family group in our home each week and intentionally making time for dinner, coffee, and movie dates with friends. I like what I’m actually doing far better than what I planned to do.
This has also led me to believe that my plan for next year is to not make giant year-long goals in January. But rather take things one month or one quarter at a time. I have a vision in mind for where I want to go in my life, but there are a lot of things that can happen and so many things that I learn on a daily basis that might lead me down a different path. I don’t want to pinpoint myself on huge long-term goals when God could decide to completely change my trajectory in the meantime.
But, these monthly wrapups are a time when I can look back and reflect on where I’ve been and where I feel like God is leading me in the very near future. To read my previous wrapup posts you can find them through these links – June, July, August, and September.
What I’m Learning
If you are not learning, you are dying. I’m a firm believer in constantly learning and growing to become the best version of myself possible. This section is where I share some of the best quotes and thoughts that have jumped out at me over the past month. Enjoy!
- I can only do what I am and I cannot do what I am not. – Jim Fortin
- We speak our lives into existence. – Jim Fortin
- Your brain and subconscious don’t know the difference between real and imagined.
- If it’s really kindness it costs you something. (this was from Annie Downs’ podcast, but I can’t remember who said it)
- Do the last thing he (God) told you, until he tells you something new. – Annie Downs
- The traits that make you strange are the gifts that make you special. – Robin Sharma
- You can change the world or you can make excuses. – Robin Sharma
- “Would you buy this today?” “Would you begin this relationship today?” “Would you choose this path/person/thing today?” – Important questions to ask to decide what/who/when to let go. Some people and some things may have reached completion in your life. It’s okay when a season ends.
- Information is facts for your brain. Wisdom is directions for your heart. – a kid named Nickolas
- No one has ever been shamed into freedom. – Emily P. Freeman
- When looking at a situation, ask “What is the heart behind why you do what you do?” We don’t need to compare ourselves to one another or judge one another. Look at your heart and judge your own heart and intentions to decide what you should or should not be doing.
Things I Accomplished This Month
While my overall miles were low (52 total miles) and my average pace was pretty slow, I did run 2 half marathons this month. I even earned 2nd place in my age group on a really challenging, hilly, muddy, rainy trail race, so I’m not feeling bad about my low mileage at all.
I’m also still working toward my goal of being able to do 50 pushups in a row by the end of the year. In October I worked up to being able to do 45 pushups, but I have to take a break or two while I’m doing it. I’m hoping to keep working at this over the next two months to try to cut out the breaks. But whew, pushups are intense after a while.
I didn’t finish any books this month! I started a few but didn’t quite get them finished. Instead, I gave my brain a bit of a break and watched some tv shows. 🙂 I rarely watch tv, but sometimes our brain just needs to relax I guess.
I was really excited to have my first guest post published during October. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, but I’ve felt far too intimidated to just do it. Fortunately, Crystal Paine reached out and asked me to create a guest post for her Your Blogging Mentor site after I commented on a question she asked. The post went live early in October and I learned that guest posting isn’t quite as scary as I’ve always made it out to be. My guest post is closely related to blogging, so most of my readers might not be all that interested, but if you would like to check it out, you can find it here – How to Use Trello as an Editorial Calendar.
During the month of October, I celebrated 4 years of blogging on this site! I created a reader survey to help guide me as I plan for the future of this blog. I have some big plans for offering new posts, new freebies, new challenges, and even some ebooks, trainings, and other products. If you haven’t already taken the survey, you can find it here. I would greatly appreciate your input.
I’ve also started making regular donations from my blog earnings over the past couple of months. I am certainly not making a large profit from this blog at this point, but I desire to be a good steward of the funds earned through this site, so I am starting the giving habit early from any and all income that comes in. Each month I select a charitable organization that is on my heart and make a donation. In October, I donated to Convoy of Hope to help with hurricane relief efforts. Thank you for supporting this site through reading, sharing posts, and making purchases through my affiliate links.
My goal for November is to run at least 65 total miles. This is fairly low mileage again (but higher than October), but I have a pretty intense month, so I’m trying not to set my goal too high. My aim at this point is just to maintain my current fitness level. I think I’m running a 10k race on Thanksgiving day, but all of my “big” races are over with through the end of the year.
I will also continue working toward my 50 pushups in a row goal. I can do 50 pushups in a few minutes session, but I’m just trying to cut out the break times.
I’d love to read/finish 4 books this month. I’m trying to work really hard during the week (on the blog, household chores, etc) so I have more time to relax and curl up with a book during the weekend. I’ve found it hard to really get into a book on the weekends with my kids running around. But I’m trying to add more intentional relaxation into my weekends so I can start each new week refreshed. Hopefully, I can do that with more books.
I need a date night. We usually do well to intentionally plan a date day or night at least once a month, but life has gotten a little busy lately. We often get a chance to do a quick breakfast date on Thursday mornings (I work a later shift on Thursdays), but I feel like we need a more extended “real” date. My husband will be out of town for a week this month and we’ll be gearing up for the busy holidays, so I’d like to find some time to slow things down and reconnect.
This isn’t really social, but my goal is to create and send Christmas cards by the end of November this year. I love sending out Christmas cards, but it’s usually a last minute thought and it overwhelms me in the busyness of December. I’m hoping to ease that stress a bit this year by planning ahead.
I hinted at this above, but I’m really striving to add in more intentional rest time to my life. I believe in the work hard, play hard way of life. So, during the week I want to work hard and focused, but on the weekends, I want to play and rest. My goal is to have some purposeful rest time each weekend.
This is a new section I started last month where I share purchases I’ve made, resources I’ve found, or really anything I’ve discovered that is changing my life, helping me, or just simply making me happy. Enjoy!
Thankfulness Bible Study
My friend Brigett from 2 Herb It Up, put together a 31 days of Thankfulness Bible Study that I have been going through recently. It is perfect for the month of November or December to help us focus on gratitude and thankfulness. Each day she walks us through a short passage of scripture related to thankfulness. It is neat to consider all the different times the Bible discusses thanks. The study is totally free, so be sure to grab a copy here.
Fun flowery shirts
I’m really into the “baseball style” t-shirts that are semi-popular right now. I usually live in running clothes or t-shirts, but these help me to feel a little more dressed up, but still remain comfortable. Last month I picked up this floral print T on Amazon and it’s so comfortable and pretty.
Online Grocery Ordering and Delivery
For the past year, we have done very little grocery shopping in stores. Our local grocery store started offering online ordering about a year ago. It wasn’t the usual store we liked to shop at, but the convenience won us over. I can order online from my bed and then stop by the store a few hours later and someone loads everything right into my trunk. It has been such a lifesaver for us. I hate to shop and my husband works some crazy hours, so grocery shopping is always challenging.
Recently, Shipt started offering grocery delivery in our area through Meijer. We are huge Meijer fans and always shopped at Meijer prior to our local store offering online ordering. I was super excited to be able to go back to shopping at Meijer while still having the convenience of online ordering.
I’ve now used Shipt twice and there are parts I love (the Shipt shoppers bring the groceries into my house even!) and parts that are not my favorite. However, online grocery ordering is an absolute must in our household now. With Shipt you have to pay a monthly or yearly membership, Shipt sets the pricing and many items are priced higher than what you’d find in the store, and Shipt encourages you to tip your shopper. Most people still save money because you don’t impulse buy since you aren’t walking around the store spying things you don’t actually need, but feel that you really must have, right now.
I just love that I can finally get all of the items we were used to getting at Meijer again, without actually having to go to the store. I love their True Goodness brand and I have a hard time finding healthy alternatives at our local store.
If you have Shipt available in your area, you can try it out for yourself and get $10 in free groceries through this link.