(photo source here)
At the beginning of each month, in my diary there is a space to write down three monthly goals. There is also quarterly goals which I love as there is more space to jot down what you want to get from the next three months but I thought to keep me on track it would be good to share a little review of each goal, how I did and how they made me feel at the end of each month. I will warn you now some of them are pretty mundane but they all contribute towards making me feel so better, so you’re getting the good with the bad.
Goal 1 No purchases – (Clothes, skincare, homeware etc)
Why: After a hen do, plumber bill, two trips to London, Edinburgh and many dinners it was safe to say I found April financially draining. With a June looking busier than Glastonbury I wanted to rein my spending in, gather a bit of control to make sure I had enough to cover everything I want to do in June. It will be a sad state of affairs if I cannot afford to do something for my own birthday, wouldn’t it? I am a sucker for impulse purchases, I sit bang in the middle of ‘how I am I ever going to afford my 1.2 million farmhouse of dreams when I am older?‘, to ‘fuck it you only live once and I have no one but Dougal to leave my money to anyway‘. Reminding myself to not buy things, to use products up and not repurchase until they are completely empty will hopefully help me in the future becoming a little more mindful of things.
How I did: I know in recent years I have become a lot more invested in spending my money and time with people and experiences than on products so jotting down all the things I have to look forward to in June Vs how much I want the new Glossier Mascara really helped curb my online shopping. Sure there was a bit of browsing going on, I am going on holiday soon but I managed to avoid all the skincare products sitting in my basket. I didn’t even buy a new outfit for our bank holiday night out. I went from mid-May feeling as though money wasn’t going to stretch the rest of the month, to ending it feel rather impressed with myself. I did buy my nephew a few things for his competitions with his pony pixie, I did get a little spendy but I regret nothing because he looked so cute. Some purchases are worth it, especially when he told me that he loved it when I bought him new clothes. I bet you do!
How I feel: To be honest, I feel no different except I have not treated myself to anything. May was an expensive month (as most are) but I have managed to save more whilst paying for the extra expenses which go out in May. It is also hard to think of how much I could save if I made no purchases because I still bought presents and plants for the garden. I do like the reminder that I don’t actually need the things I insist will make my life better. It is always good to make yourself wait to see if you really need something. Swapping clothes with friends etc reminds me of how wasteful I can sometimes be.
Goal 2 Run 7K or more, ideally on the road
Why: In the last few months I have really seen a difference in my running and I wanted to use one of my goals to keep me on track and push myself a little further. I know to most 7K is quite literally a walk in the park but for me, fitting it in with getting Dougal out, exercising and feeding the horses, and fitting it around my spinning can prove rather tricky. I do find I do most my running in the gym because I go there when it is raining. I am also conscious with running it gets easier quite suddenly but your efforts can also become undone quickly as well so I want to make sure I am making progress.
How I did: This is the goal I am most proud of. It is not always easy to motivate myself to go running. I do have a lot of other things going on in my life so persevering with an exercise which doesn’t come naturally to me wasn’t always going to be on the top of my agenda. I make sure I go 1-2 times a week on top of spinning, yoga, riding and walking Dougal. I also joined my sisters work running club which I love, having others to run with who were faster than me really helped me push myself that bit more. I have run over 7k at the gym and done a couple of 7k runs this month. I usually just stick to 5k but I am really pleased I managed this and can keep pushing myself.
How I feel: sadly I feel beyond proud of myself. I never thought I would be someone who could ‘run’ let alone enjoy, look forward to or want to encourage others to join in. I love the feeling at the end of the run when I have completed it. When I have done something I didn’t think I had the energy to do. I find with running it is the one thing I get better at each time unless I am having a bad day. But that is fine we all have them. I am really proud I have stuck at something I didn’t think I could do. If you asked me a year ago to run with a club, in a gym or along a busy road where people could see me It would have been a definite no. It’s amazing what can change when you change your frame of mind.
Goal 3 – More plants in the garden
Why: When I moved into the house the garden was a bit of a pebble/ concrete jungle. It is a good size garden which gets a lot of sunshine and has the potential to look rather pretty. When I look back at photos I can see how much the space has changed but it has been gradual over time. I would love more money and time to spend out there instead of a quick weed and mow of the lawn. This month I wanted to a set a goal to spend a little more time out there tidying things up, nurturing the plants I already have and planting a couple more.
How I did: This was the one goal I didn’t think I would complete. I just wasn’t finding the time, and why does grass grow so bloody fast? Anyway, mid-May, when the weather was really good I stayed out in the garden until gone 9 pm just tidying up. I pulled weeds up, I bought some new plants, new strawberries, herbs etc and rehomed them all in new pots and in the flower bed. I mowed all the lawn, got the table and chairs out and fixed everything back up. It needs a little extra work but it is beginning to look like a garden. Each year the garden looks a little bit better, a bit brighter from the concrete jungle it was when I got the house.
How I feel: I am so pleased I just rolled up my sleeves and got on with a very boring job I had been avoiding for a long time. The weather does help because I want to be outside in the sun as much as I can. As does having neighbours with nice, well looked after gardens. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and it looks so much better just after a little bit of work. I will keep it up for the rest of summer as I have some really nice plants which need watering and looking after. I have promised to have a bbq this summer too.
So after a successful month of goal ticking, I am going to set some for June. This has been pretty tricky as June is going to be such a busy and expensive month and there are so many birthdays etc the goals above just would not work. For June my goals are going to be fairly simple but things I have avoided doing and I need to overcome or would like to squeeze in.
- To use my camera more for better photos than my iPhone
- To go to the gym at least two mornings a week
- Take Dougal to the beach – hopefully, Brancaster again (not sure there is even a weekend for this, but I can hope)