Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Work in Progress : June

Despite my efforts to make some goals for myself this year, achieving them has kind of been a bust. I've done a good job of writing them down - everything from household projects to creative aspirations - but taking action has been my downfall.
Back in April, around my birthday, I began using a Baron Fig notebook to hold all of my random lists, brain dumps, to-do's, and more. It is nice to write and get these thoughts out of my head but I wasn't going back and doing anything about it. In times of frustration and lack of focus, I'd find myself asking the question "what do you want more of right now?" and I was journaling the same 'answer' over and over. Clearly it was time to do something about it.

It's hard not to tackle everything all at once, so I had to prioritize first. Here are some things I've been working on in this month :
1. Drink more water. Isn't this everyone's goal? My water consumption was sad, especially in the colder months. When the temperatures were below freezing, I was much more likely to make a cup of tea rather than drink a glass of water. Luckily I've backed off on pop and juice, but I was having a hard time replacing it with water. Action step : fill my Camelbak water bottle every night for the next day. In the morning, add some ice and keep in on the kitchen counter - in view - to drink and refill during the day.

2. Wake earlier. I've tried off and on over the years to be a better morning person. To enjoy the mornings more before the rush of getting Morgan + Parker ready for school. My kids have been doing really well with staying in their own beds at night (knock on wood), which means I'm sleeping better, so I figure it's time to give it another shot. Summer is a good time for me to work on this because a) we don't need to be anywhere on most mornings and b) the 6am-ish sunrises (and warmer temperatures) are much more conducive to getting me going. Action step : set alarm for 6:15 and get up by 6:30. Eventually I'd like to get that time closer to 6am. This also means going to bed earlier, which for me means by 10:30pm.
My hope with these early mornings it to do something for me. Most likely making a cup of coffee and putzing around in my scraproom. At the end of last week I found my groove and made some bucket list journaling cards for my summer Handbook (shown above). Man that felt good and it gave me a good start to my day.

3. Write 5 daily must-do's. I admit I am often overzealous with my to-do list. I try to jam too much into 24 hours and I end up rolling tasks over to the next day. Or the following week. With the end of the school year approaching, I was nervous about how our routine was going to change. And how I was going to get things done along with the demand of having both kids at home all day. Then I read this post. What I needed to change was my to-do list and plan less. Of course, I still have things I have to do, and that's where this list comes in. Action step : Each night, I've been writing five things I have to do the next day. Anything from house chores to creative team work to errands to family commitments. We are only a week and a half in and this goal is going really well. I've stayed pretty realistic with my list so I can allow lots of time to enjoy my little family, because that is the end goal.
I also ended up making a weekly chart for myself to fill out this summer. My main columns include my Studio Calico work, personal scrapbooking and craft projects, and blog / business related goals. I'm using this chart to help breakdown my goals + projects in these areas into action steps so my life feels less hectic / more balanced. If I have creative team projects due on a certain week, that's not going to be the time to start a painting for our gallery wall. If I know the beginning of July is going to be quiet, that might be a good time to start drafting some blog posts for the rest of the month. I have the entire summer roughly planned out and now I can work backwards from those self-imposed deadlines to break it down into smaller steps. These smaller steps are what will end up on my daily 5 must-do's lists. I'm especially excited about this silly piece of paper because now I can see all of these ideas on one sheet instead of three separate notebooks. So happy I figured that out. Thank you Excel.

This new e-course from Ann-Marie may be something I consider in the fall when our schedules completely change again. It looks really good.

So, that's it for June. I hope to write these type of posts each month to share what I'm up to because I enjoy reading a good behind-the-scenes post. I'd love to hear what you are working on too!


  1. I really love these kind of posts. I'm such an organizing nerd, that I want to know, how everyone else does it :) I hope you share more details of your planners in the last pic once the month is over. They look really interesting. Especially that summer project planner. What is the difference between the smaller and bigger notebook?
    I think to have a planner makes life so much easier. You see at a glance, what you have to do and when it has to be done.

    Yay for getting up earlier. From my experience I can say, it totally works. I was so surprised myself. A few weeks ago I was not a morning person at all and after my habit project I feel so different now. Right after the end of these 21 days my vacation started. I have two weeks off, but my boyfriend had to work. So it's just me. And I felt a little bit nervous about the fact, that I don't have to get up in the morning on a certain time to leave the house. But I totally managed to get up at 7am everyday. 4 weeks ago I would have slept so much longer for sure.

    1. Thanks Andrea! I'm a total organizing geek too. :) I love seeing how people do what they do in hopes of learning something new and making myself more productive. In my photo, the smaller notebook in the Moleskine I am doing my daily journaling in for my summer PL. The larger notebook is the Baron Fig for lists and to-do's. I typically keep all of my deadlines and to-do's in the Wunderlist app but after using a notebook for the last few months, I'm aching for a paper planner again in 2015.

      You totally inspired me to wake earlier! The hardest part has been getting to bed at a decent time because I could easily stay up until 11-12 every night. I really hope this is a habit that sticks. And good for you sticking with it during your vacation. Two weeks off sounds nice!

      P.S. Cannot wait till July 14th. :)

  2. thanks for the post - I am constantly asking myself similar questions but rarely do anything about them. Perhaps I can follow your lead!