I love the beginning of a new month. Truth be told, I actually like Mondays for the same reason.
I love the idea of a blank slate. A fresh start.
The beginning of September also tends to bring with it the beginning of a new season. September 1st tends to mark the first unofficial day of fall. Sure it’s still 100 degrees outside for most of us and “Fall” doesn’t actually begin until September 23rd BUT there is still just something about the first of September that screams “FALL” to us.
Maybe it’s because Starbucks has already released their famous “Pumpkin Spice Latte” or that high school and college football has begun. But the reason doesn’t really matter-September just means new.
And with that, at least for me, it means a chance to set new goals. It gives me the opportunity to examine my little world and make some much needed goals and plans to move myself and my family into the end of the year. There are five areas of life that I have decided to set goals in: Homemaking, Physical and Mental Health, Spiritual Growth, Homeschooling, and Marriage.
The end of June came with a move from Texas back to New Mexico. This meant packing up 7 years worth of life into boxes. Since then all of those boxes remain packed and in storage while we take some time to do some much needed renovations on the house that my great-grandparents lived in, then my parents lived in, and has now sat empty for the last two years or so. This means we have been living with my parent for the time being. When you take a family of 5 and drop it into an already established household sometimes adjustments need to be made to keep the machine running smoothly. One of those adjustments has been looking at the already established cleaning schedule and routine that my mom has set up for the house and figuring out the best way to tweak it and re-calibrate it for the new circumstances. This fall one of the goals is to get more consistent with that schedule.
The cleaning schedule breaks the house by room. Each room is assigned a different day with the kitchen being an everyday task. The laundry schedule is also broken down by room. This means that, in theory, there should only be 1-2 (max of 3) loads of laundry a day and less mix up between the rooms. The goal here is to spread the work out so that everything that needs to get done throughout the week gets done without any of us getting burnt out or too tired.
Physical and Mental Health
One area I tend to let be neglected the most is my physical and mental health. Truth be told I have never been one to buy into the whole idea of taking “self-care” days but recently I have taken steps to ensure that I am getting a few minutes each day to spend in the quiet where I can process the things I have going on in my life. I tend to pair that with my physical well-being due to the fact that I am a busy homeschooling, work-from-home mom of 3 so being able to complete tasks separately just usually isn’t an option.
For the physical health side of things I have begun making it a priority to get out and walk for a minimum of 30 minutes each morning. Due to the nature of the work I have been doing I am up and active by 4:30 in the morning. I usually have a break between 6:15 and 7 so I use that time to take my walk. The best part about this is that it hasn’t managed to get too hot yet. I am hoping to continue this even when we hit the colder months but for now I am taking it one day at a time.
Along with my desire to get moving more is my need to take a good hard look at the foods I eat. I will be the first to admit that I LOVE sweets. It is no secret that when I find myself getting stressed out I will make my way to the kitchen and bake. Cupcakes, cakes, cookies-you name it I will bake it. If I don’t have the time or capacity to do that I will still indulge in some form of sweet treat. I LOVE sugar. But I am also well aware of how bad refined sugar is for your body. So for the month of September I am going on a sugar-ish detox. By sugar-ish I mean I am not going to be reading every single label to ensure that the product I’m using is completely sugar free. But what I am going to be doing is focusing on drinking more water (eliminating my steady stream of sweet tea) and not reaching for the closest bag of chocolate chips or cookies when I find myself looking for a reason to not be cleaning the house.
Another thing I am trying to do to support my own health and well being it giving myself the opportunity to do some of the things that I enjoy doing. These things include reading, writing, and a few craft projects here and there. My goal for reading is to continue reading through a fiction series that I recently discovered. I also plan to read through a book that will encourage personal growth. Currently, I am focusing on how to become a better homeschool educator by reading A Well Trained Mind.
This is another area that I tend to let fall by the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, I am reading my Bible each day but if I’m going to be honest that tends to come in the form of reading whatever is on the lesson plan for the kids that day and I’m not really doing any really reflection or digging any deeper. My goal for this month is to focus on changing that. I have shared before about the studies I have participated in from Good Morning Girls. This fall they are going to be doing a study over the book of 1 Corinthians that I intend on joining in on that will begin on September 9th. I also plan to spend a little bit of time each week going through the devotionals found in the student workbooks that we get with the Sunday school curriculum we are using at our church.
Last year I really felt like I did the very bare minimum when it came to what my kids were learning and doing. I had always envisioned being one of those super cool fun mom’s that did all the craft projects and science experiments and would go to all the fun out of the box learning places and spend lazy afternoons at the library. Unfortunately, I am just not really that mom. Since we moved to Alamogordo I have managed to become a mom that is somewhere in the middle. We still do some of the craft projects and we make it to the library at least every other Monday. When it comes to the science experiments there are a lot of great videos out there that show what should happen that the kids are just as interested in. The goal for September is to continue with our weekly (or bi-weekly) trips to the library as well as peppering in a few trips to the park or even to the mountains for a change of pace. We are also spending more time focusing on some independent study topics and doing a lot more reading aloud.
When we lived in Fort Worth we had some great friends that would on occasion take our kids for an evening so we could get a date night in. Since moving back to New Mexico that hasn’t been an option. So we have done a few things to ensure we are still getting to spend some time together. One of the things that we have been doing is making time in the evening after the kids go to bed to watch something together on TV. Lately we have been watching through the Star Trek shows (I know, we are a few years late to the party). While this doesn’t seem like much, just the simple act of taking a few minutes to spend together each day helps us to connect without breaking the bank.
So there you have it. My goals for September 2019:
- Re-establish the weekly cleaning routine for our house (including laundry)
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes 6 days a week
- Limiting sugar intake and drinking more water
- Read one “brain candy” (fiction) book and one personal growth book
- Work through the 1 Corinthians devotion beginning September 9th
- Take more time for outings (park, mountains, hikes) during the school weeks
- Continue our weekly trips to the library and making times to read aloud daily
- Spend a little bit of time connecting with my husband each day
I can’t guarantee that I will accomplish each and every goal but I am excited to move into this month with a clearly defined plan and a path to follow.