We are officially half way through the year! I have worked on the same goals for six months straight. How have I done? I’ve recorded each month’s summary. Below is June’s record. You can read about January, February, March, April and May on the linked pages.
1. One arts and crafts time with the kids each month
This goal is one that makes me sweat a lot. I am not a crafty person so it’s a chore to peruse kid-friendly ideas that we *hopefully* have most or all of the materials for. I didn’t think this month would be bad because it contains Father’s Day and I usually help the kids make cards for their dad.
|Father’s Day 2013|
However, a friend of mine emailed a link to a DIY cat tent. It looked relatively easy and we had all of the materials so I thought we’d check that out. My husband donated an old t-shirt to the cause so this was a free craft (hurray!).
I had the kids decorate the shirt because it seemed like the most kid-friendly part for them. My daughter also tried to help curve the clothes hangers for the tent poles but it was too challenging for her.
Their final contribution was enticing the cat into the tent. They eventually found success.
Of course, we also made Father’s Day cards.
2. Blog at least twice per month
This goal is also never easy to achieve. Now that it’s summer it will be a bit more challenging to find time to sit down and write, as well as additional time to ponder topics I may want to write about. The first post was about sharing the themes of my current season of life. I did manage to get a second post in with a couple of days to spare. I have been listening to a couple of great podcasts and blogging about them seems to be my way to process them and share their personal impact.
3. Grow in gratitude, contentment and generosity
As you may recall, the first month of the year I tried not to spend any money on non-essentials. I had kind of kept up with that for a few months but the last two months I have kind of fallen off the no new purchases. I think it being summer and wanting to have some fun new things for the kids has contributed to that. They took swim lessons in May and I have purchased goggles and dive rings toward the cause of water confidence. I also am visiting my family for a few weeks and I tend to do some thrift store shopping while I’m here because 1) free babysitting so I can go without the kids, and 2) the prices and quality of items are excellent. (Actually, the only non-experience, non-food items I bought out west in June was a pair of dress shoes for J at a thrift store and three outfits for K on clearance – two for future holidays. Not too bad considering my normal habit.) I would also mention yard sales but we’re not doing that until the July portion of my trip so I’m sure I’ll cover anything I pick up at those next month. I will work on being more conscious about whether it is something to be used or simply an impulse buy.
I slacked off a bit on my gratitude journaling. I will blame it on end-of-the-school-year business but it’s just an excuse. I still enjoy it a lot and feel like it helps me to be reminded of all that I do have to be grateful for as well as help address things that are on my heart and mind.
This month I read The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed To Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown and part of Wholehearted living, according to her research, is gratitude which is the source of joy. The book also encourages us to stop striving for acceptance and be ourselves, which I feel is intertwined with contentment.
We were hoping that an opportunity to move closer to family would open up for us, but it did not materialize. I was a little disappointed but it has encouraged me to seek to be content where I am and embrace what I have as fully as I can. It’s an opportunity to choose contentment daily instead of thinking about something that may never happen.
I also read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which was even more motivation and encouragement to get rid of unnecessary stuff around the house and, hopefully, be content with and enjoy the stuff I currently have. The only problem is that I read it while I am on vacation away from the house so I have to hope the desire to declutter does not ebb before I get back home.
This month I worked on being more generous with my time – working on saying yes to things that are good and fun for my family and for others. I tried to be more willing to lay down my agenda and schedule and allow opportunities and others to receive more of my time. It’s hard to say how successful I was but I can think of instances when I chose time with others over my own thing and offered to help with things that others needed done.
Here were my intended verses for the month:
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Psalm 62:5-8 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
You may have read my post this month about trust and rest. As you can tell, these verses address those themes. However, I got busy and distracted with summer break and getting ready for vacation that I did not make time to memorize both of them. The first one was short and easy and encouraging so I know that one. The second one did not get memorized. Fail. Plus I’ve probably forgotten at least half of the previous months’ verses for lack of practice.
So, it took six months to slack on something. Not terrible. And it doesn’t mean I won’t hit all of my goals next month. Each day, week, month is different and I have to give myself grace when I can’t do it all.
So, what goals were you working on in June? How did you do? How much more progress are you still hoping to have? What helps keep you motivated? Do you know what temptations are in your life that hinder your ability to achieve or improve on your goal?