Welcome to our series chronicling our journey to improve our lives! Every month we set goals for changing our habits and then at the end of the month we review our progress.
February went by in a blur. We set at least 10-15 goals (yet again) to accomplish and while it wasn't a total washout, it wasn't pretty. Because of this #epicFail, we held off on writing a blog post. It isn't that we were ashamed we didn't get all the goals done (although, perhaps it was part of it :P).
What we realized after trying to change everything all at once for 3 months, was that our strategy just wasn't working. We were taking on WAY more than we could handle this early in our journey and we weren't making much progress towards our goals.
We were originally listing between 1-3 goals for each top-level category that we focus on in our blog (Healthy Mind, Able Body, Smart Money, Social Connection, and Wholesome Lifestyle). This usually had us at around 10-15 goals or more each month! Now hindsight being what it is, we're of course SHOCKED and a little in awe that we believed/hoped we could accomplish so much in a month.
In reality, we were being impractical and setting ourselves up for failure. I don't think we ever got all the goals done using the old strategy and so at the end of each month we'd beat ourselves up with negative self-talk for not being fully successful and this would make it harder and harder to even want to try new goals.
Once we discovered we were trying to do too many changes to our habits at once we started brainstorming on ways to make it easier.
So we worked on defining 1 main goal for each category and then left room for what we refer to as the "Bonus" goals for each category as well. We did it this way so there is NO PRESSURE for getting the bonus goal done. If we do it, awesome, if not, no worries.
We continued with this idea of simplifying and super targeting each goal and broke them down to their easiest, obtainable action.
Last month we listed, starting DDP yoga, walking every day and taking the dogs, changing our sleep and morning routines, losing 3 lbs, and starting the Whole 30 diet as our goals for "Able Body" to achieve in ONE MONTH. zomg. So we broke it down and asked ourselves...
What is the ONE most important thing we can do to improve our physical bodies this month?
For us, it is to just to get moving. We've been living sedentary lives and so to start it would be great to just get going. At first, we started aiming really high again with "Workout 5 times per week" and "change our entire sleep and morning routine in one go" but we've been there already and we know it doesn't work for us with where we are physically and mentally right now.
So we started breaking the goals down. If we want to eventually workout 5 times a week but due to our current physical condition that is just too much and is too overwhelming, then how about 3 times a week? We felt that was still too much. I mean, my current daily exercise extent is walking to and from buildings to my car so even considering a full "work out" makes me sweat.
Then, how about once per week? Well, maybe, but how can we make it easier? So easy that our anxious and depressed minds can't come up with some excuse (like when we had a gym membership and never went)? "How about we walk to the mailbox and back every day?" Devin suggested. BRILLIANT! It maybe takes 3 minutes to walk to the mailbox and back. It is super easy and quick and maybe we could even take the dogs with us and get some training in. BAM! It was a winner.
And, guess what? We decided to start this the day after Devin's birthday on March 16th and we've done it EVERY DAY since then and most of those days we took the dogs too. Holy Batman! That's all it took!? Well, so far, I can resoundingly say YES it is that easy.
Are we going to lose a ton of weight by walking 3-5 minutes a day with our dogs? No, but that isn't the goal. Right now, our primary goal is just to get moving and IT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!
Here are our simplified goals for April:
Main Goal: Begin a journaling practice
Step 1: Pick up/put down journal (that's it! super easy)
Step 2 (once comfortable with Step 1): Write the date and scale 1-5 on how the day was if up to writing more, do so
Bonus Goal: Acupuncture Appt (Find a place, price, location, and make an appointment for each of us in April)
Main Goal: Get Moving Every Day
How? Walk to the mailbox and back every day with dogs
Bonus Goal: In bed by 10 PM
Main Goal - Increase IncomeDevin: PT Job search - time it, no more than 30 min - 1 hour per day to prevent overwhelm Emily: Learn more about affiliate links and add one to a blog post Bonus Goal: Save $25 per paycheck
Main Goal: Get out & be social at least 4 times per month
How? Find fun things near us that we can't say no to and invite friends!
Bonus Goal: Call friends and family twice this month
Main Goal - Devin: Camping and Rockhounding gear wishlists on Amazon
Bonus - Devin: Call friend and iron out summer plans
Main Goal - Emily: Draw 3 characters for my mom's children's book
Bonus- Emily: Read 3 books