And just like that, July 2017 is already here. Whether it’s the near-constant summer showers or the stressful political climate, it seems time has been dragging along and taking my focus with it!
I’ll be honest – last month wasn’t my most on-par month. But as I always say, you learn more from your failures than your successes! Let’s start with a quick review of last month and what takeaways we can find from the failures.
Health and Fitness
Diet: While I did lose 2 lbs, I did not hit the 5 lb goal. I’m not over worried about this, since I find that I’m at a very good weight for my height.
What I learned: What I truly want is to have less fat and more muscle, not necessarily a different number on the scale. I need to change my exercise routine and perhaps protein intake to make that happen.
Exercise: This month was one of the more busy months I’ve had this year, and it seems exercise was one of the first things to go. While I did exercise around twice a week, I failed to do the five sessions weekly that I hoped for. And while I had wanted to do more outdoor exercises, the rain has been near-constant the whole month. I’d say we probably had 7 sunny days out of June’s 30 days. So I’m not counting that against myself!
What I learned: Switch my exercise time to first thing in the morning so that I get it done before anything else can eat up my time.
Freelancing: I did nearly make my goal of making $500 freelancing, which was great. I’m getting a better and better reviews, so I’m having to spend less time hunting for work. However, it did take up a lot of time from my other goals, so I’ll need to set a more realistic daily schedule.
What I learned: I need to cut out a certain dedicated amount of time for freelance work, but also balance it with enough time for other projects. But, most importantly, realize that I can’t do it all and space out my work realistically.
Writing: As I later came to learn, I was extremely foolish for thinking that I could write an entire quality book in a month while having other major projects. I’ve made good progress though, and hope to have it done by September 1. It’s about water fasting, which is something that I’m very passionate about. I can’t wait to publish it!
What I learned: Like I said, you can’t do it all, all at once. I’m going to work on making small progress every day instead of trying to do it all and actually accomplishing nothing.
Language: For most days in June, I did complete my daily language lessons. I’m sure I can be back up to where I was pre-restart by the end of July.
What I learned: Fitting the three lessons in right before bed works perfectly for me. It’s a habit I’m going to continue into July. Maybe I’ll even start dreaming in Swedish!
Reading: I did read three books, even if they were small. I’ve been reading more business-y books, which has been a tremendous help for me. Buying someone’s lifetime of knowledge for $1-$10 is always a good investment in my eyes.
What I learned: Reading for even 15 minutes a day, as long as I keep at it, has really added up. If I read a page a minute, that could be two decently-sized books a month. Or several smaller eBooks, in any case.
Skills: I did complete my Udemy course on better blogging. Hopefully it will help me to make better and more useful content for you readers here.
What I learned: For less than the cost of a university course, you can learn just about any skill on Udemy. Sure, you can go spelunking through the depths of the internet and find information, but Udemy classes deliver it all in a nice, neat little package. For me, that’s worth hundreds. I’m definitely going to look towards Udemy for anything else going forward.
Meditation: I meditated for 15 minutes about 10 days this month. I can’t exactly say why I didn’t hit the mark here, but I think it has something to do with me overbooking myself.
What I learned: I’m going to try to move my meditation time to first thing in the morning, right after my exercise. Always put your most pressing to-dos first thing so that nothing else can overshadow them.
Volunteering: I began volunteering at the animal shelter
Clearly June was not the most on-par month, but there was a lot of useful lessons to gain from it as I make my plans for this month.
Health and Fitness
Diet: This month is all about undoing the damage of last month’s adventures. This month, I’m aiming to eat 5 servings of vegetables daily, as well as reducing my take-out to twice this month. While that should be the standard, I admit that I often falter on clean eating and need to make a conscious effort to make that happen. I’ll make a counter in my bullet journal so that tracking and remembering will be beyond easy. One thing I’ve learned is that the less resistance you have to a habit, the more likely you are to complete it. I also want to complete a 5-day fast to help de-frag my body after all the junk food I tore through in June.
Exercise: Like I said earlier, I’ve got to move my exercise time to the mornings, before work and the craziness of the day begins. I think another reason I’ve been slacking on the workout front is that I’m not too keen to work on the whole body. But since any exercise is better than none, I’m going to begin working more on an intensive bum and leg routine. My goal is to do that, yoga, and a light morning walk at least 3 times per week.
Freelancing: Earn $500 from freelancing. This past month, I spent a lot of time to earn this. I’d like to go for some higher-ticket gigs to earn this money in much less time. More time for personal projects, writing, and other goals.
Writing: I’d like to make more progress on my first book. Hopefully my fasting experience this month will give me more insight for my book on water fasting. I’d like to have most of the writing out of the way, so I can spend a few weeks on editing before publishing sometime in mid-August to early September.
Language: Complete 3 lessons daily in Swedish. I did this fairly consistently last month, and feel much more confident in my abilities. Maybe this month I can try to find a practical way to practice? I’ll try to start small by finding a child’s show or book that I can try to work through during my relaxation time. Perhaps the adorable I Mumindalen?
Reading: I’m going to be on a busy vacation for much of the month, so I’m going to aim for two books. This should be enough to keep me busy while on the road without making unrealistic expectations. Be sure to check out my monthly “What I Read” post to see what I choose!
Skills: Back to Udemy! This month I’d like to get started on (if not finish) “How to Create Awesome Online Classes” there.
Family & Friends
Family: This month my boyfriend’s family hosts a huge blues festival, so we’ll be spending a good bit of the month there helping out. This time of year is always a special one, where I’m surrounded by friends, family, and good music. My goal this month: worry less about work, bills, and other trivialities and cherish what is often overlooked – health, love, and happy summer days. I too often get absorbed by the drama of life and forget to savor each and every perfect moment. Not so this month!
Meditation: Move my meditation time to just after working out in the mornings, and meditate at least 15 minutes every day. I forget how such a small time investment can really give a boost to my emotional stability, focus, and stress levels. I’ve noticed that body scan meditations, as well as loving-kindness ones, are the most effective for me.
Volunteering: While I’ll be gone two weekends this month, I’m still going to aim to volunteer at the animal shelter at least one. Helping a good cause and being surrounded by kittens? Couldn’t ask for a better Sunday, in my book.
My challenge for you
There were a lot of instances in June where I didn’t hit the mark because something else got in the way or distracted me. What can you do to make sure the same doesn’t happen? Plan around your failure points!
If you’re trying to avoid weight gain, you won’t win by saying no to the ice cream in the freezer.
You’ll win by consciously not buying it in the first place.
This month, try to identify the goals you might have been less than perfect on. What caused you to fail? What can you do to make sure you never reach a weak point in the first place this month?
Be sure to share your strategies below, or let me know on twitter!