June is the six month mark of my monthly goal-setting experiment. It feels like it's time to pause and evaluate how things have gone and what I've gained from this so far. I have found it fun and exciting to pick something new each month, something that I have wanted to put more thought, time and effort into. I have also gotten to the point of wondering, what about those goals from my past months? What am I incorporating from them now? How do I integrate them into my days? That's when I realized that I needed to take a break from new goals and have a little introspection on the goals I have tried.
A quick reminder of previous monthly goals: ten minutes a day, just do it, into nature, writing, organizing.
I have done better on the more concrete goals: meditating, writing, organizing. Getting more nature in our lives was a good idea but not necessarily in March. I have not completely adapted to this wet climate enough at this point to have been successful in that goal. The abstract concept of "just do it" was a good reminder at times but also made me feel lots of pressure that made me resist doing some things even more. It made me realize that there are reasons behind why I don't always just do things and that the reasons are sometimes quite valid.
So, let's take the interesting goals that I did enjoy. Ten minutes of meditation a day was a wonderful experience. Giving myself that ten minutes every day (or very nearly so) felt empowering and refocusing. The question is, is it sustainable when it's not a monthly goal? I haven't done it much since January, I'll admit it. I know it's a tool that works, but there are always so many other things to focus on. Which was the point of the meditating to begin with. If not every day then, maybe every other? On my more crazy feeling days? What is a good measure of needing and using this tool?
Writing. That month was very exciting for me. Mentally and physically. I felt I had more energy when I was writing and more push to do something fun and productive (the writing itself) when Jacob was napping. Even though neither of my magazine articles have been accepted at this point, it was great to work with a deadline (even if it was just my own) and feel that my words could reach others. I also realized that becoming more serious about my writing would definitely take a larger time commitment than just occasional dabblings. Again, what is sustainable while I am still a full-time mom and am juggling lots of things? I do love writing. I want to write more, absolutely. I think finding one project at a time to delve into is feasible for me. Something that drives me with it's end goal and it's focus. But that will also have a deadline when I will be able to resurface and do something else.
And organizing. Truly, I enjoy organizing. Maybe not all the time, but there is just something so satisfying about bringing order to an area of chaos. You can see it. And it feels so good to have a place for everything (at least to me). Maybe that's why I also like doing laundry; taking chaos and turning it into order. Hmm... Anyway, this goal is still fresh in my mind and ongoing, for sure. The garage was a huge ordeal but now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with that one, I really want to bring some order to places within my home. Life is just easier when things are organized in the area you need them and in a way that facilitates using them. So, I will continue to work through the areas I want organized most.
One of the harder parts of these goals, though, is feeling that other things I want to do are excluded from my time. Especially, I think, with this last one because going through a garage is just time consuming. I have been wanting to finish a picnic blanket, though, that is all pinned together and ready for sewing. I haven't gotten to it though because of my "more important" goal.
As with everything in life, then, it's all about balance. A little of this and a little of that. Finding the joy in what we do and choosing things that foster that. This month will be about reflecting on what I want to keep in my daily life and how to actually make that happen, how to integrate it. In some ways, this is another abstract goal. It does have more concrete components, though. It's also an exercise in awareness. Being mindful of how things feel and what really works without being a chore. I don't know what to expect, really. So, it should be interesting for all of us.