September Goals: wrap-up

If you recall, I wanted to focus on ways to more effectively manage my time in September.

I have a tendency to only remember the last week’s progress on my goals, so I wanted to try something new with this month’s progress. I’m gonna break each down by week and score my progress (A-F).

*Strength train, cross train, do something other than run:
Week 1 (C) – I didn’t wake up early to do any workouts, but I did fit some arm work in. No bike rides yet.

Week 2 (F)- Literally nothing other than running. Honestly, I just forgot about it, but I felt my weak core in the form of lower back pain after Sunday’s race.

Week 3 (D) – I did some crunches and a couple planks. Not great.

Week 4 (C) – I only did one night of legs and core work, but it was the only workout I did all week, and I was sore for three days, so I’m calling it good enough.

Overall (C-) – I keep saying I want to do more strength training, but when faced with it and any other option, I will take the other option every time. I need to find a routine I can stick to. I’m working on it. I did get a little hike in while we were in Pennsylvania for the weekend!

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*Start doing meal prep on Sundays to streamline weeknights:

Week 1 (D)- I found myself in the somewhat unique position of only having to cook twice in the first week of the month (a combination of the shortened holiday week and lots of social events) so I didn’t do any Sunday meal prep. I did however make two dinners on Tuesday since I knew I had a long, late run on Wednesday, and I was so glad I did!

Week 2 (F)- I got home from Philly at 4 on Sunday and after spending a few hours with Chris’ parents, I was proud of myself for even making one dinner. Of course, zero prep meant a weeknight trip to the grocery store. Not fun.

Week 3 (C) – Technically I did no meal prep, but we only ate I think one meal at home that week, so I wasn’t missing out.

Week 4 (A) – I chopped, peeled, pre cooked and planned away on Sunday like a rockstar. It really makes such a difference. Not only do I cut down on time spent cooking and cleaning on week nights, but I also find I parlay some of that free time into making meals more flavorful and interesting. Win!

Overall (C+) – Sometimes my weekends are just as pressed for time as my weeknights, and I can’t make it happen. But when I can spare a few hours, it makes a HUGE difference, so I’m really gonna try and stick to this one.

*Start going to bed on time:
Week 1 (D)- I didn’t go to bed before 10:30 any night this week.

Week 2 (C)- Getting closer. In bed between 10 and 10:30 most nights.

Week 3 (B)- I was in bed most nights by 10! I could really feel the difference too!

Week 4 (B) – I was at least in full relaxation mode by 10. Felt great!

Overall (B-) – This one should have been a no brained. Go to bed earlier, have better mornings. Sometimes I rebel though and stay up too long because my free time feels so short these days. I’m working to find a balance between having a life and getting my Zzzz.

*Plan on leftovers/takeout one night a week to accomplish some “administrative tasks”:
Week 1 (C)- I didn’t eat at home enough to justify take out but I did get some tasks done including picking up the dry cleaning, filling the car with gas and mailing thank you cards! Chris helped a ton with all these.

Week 2 (B)- Takeout Friday night allowed me to pack and relax with Chris before my weekend away.

Week 3 (B)- Not a lot of administrative stuff, but I did have a lot of fun.

Week 4 (A) – Maybe it was because we ate most of our meals out, and I didn’t do any workouts, but I got so much stuff done this week! Usually our house looks like it’s been robbed by Friday, but this week I said to Chris, “It’s so clean it doesn’t even look like our house!”

Overall (B) – It’s not great on our wallets to eat out a lot, but it did wonders for my mental health to give myself a break during busy weeks rather than trying to do it all. I loved this improvement.

*Make train time productive time:
Week 1 (C)- I had a harder time with this than I thought because I really enjoy reading. My deal with myself is that I can read for half my morning commute. The other half is for responding to emails. Afternoons, I make phone calls then read for any remaining time. It’s been working out pretty well.

Week 2 (A)- Wrote posts, answered emails, made phone calls. Success!

Week 3 (B)- Not so many emails answered, but I did make a lot of progress on my Jackson book.

Week 4 (B) – Lots of emails answered and posts written!

Overall (B) – it’s frustrating to spend the entire 90 minute commute working rather than reading, but that’s 90 minutes I don’t have to spend later. I’ll take it!

*Start to focus on my what I’m eating:
Week 1 (B)- Not bad. Monday was a wash since it was Labor Day. I ate BBQ food for late lunch then a bowl of Frosted Flakes for dinner. The rest of the week was better. Whatever I can stomach for breakfast then yogurt at work, mostly salads for lunch and some pretty balanced dinners. I could definitely cut back on the cookies, but I’m unwilling to give up my nightly glass of wine.

Week 2 (A)- I focused on carbs and protein for the race. I avoided alcohol all week and dairy Friday-Sunday. I felt good but am happy to get more veggies and less carbs in my diet now that the race is over.

Week 3 (B)- It wasn’t a great week for my stomach, so my choices were limited, but I tried to eat a lot of veggie and good carb packed soups as those seemed to mostly work out ok.

Week 4 (D) – I did ok on breakfasts and lunches, but had a lot of restaurant food including a night out at Melting Pot to celebrate Travis and Laura’s engagement (yay!!), and have you had Birthday Cake Oreos? Yowza.

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Overall (B+) – Better than I thought! I really enjoy healthy fare in the fall, so I’m thinking October will be a healthy month for me!

*Accept the things I cannot change:
Week 1 (B)- This is a hard one to gauge, but I felt fairly relaxed this week.

Week 2 (C)- I let my stress over the race get to me this week. Combine that with weather shortening or canceling 2/3 of my runs, and I was a bit of a head case. I didn’t get too crazy, but I spent more time than necessary upset about forces of nature. That’s dumb.

Week 3 (B)- I had a bit of a freakout on Monday after going to the grocery store and getting home too late for my liking, but I caught myself and managed my stress really well for the rest of the week.

Week 4 (B) – Mostly chill. Can’t complain.

Overall (B+) – This month I tried saying to myself, “Just stop. Does this matter? Will this matter in an hour or a week?” If the answer was no, I took a deep breath and tried to move on, and I think it actually worked. I’m hanging on to this technique for sure.

September Goals Grade (B-) – I’m glad I tracked these silly goals this week. My original aim was to focus on time management, but I ended up with a more well rounded view of my health. I focus a lot on physical health, but it was nice to broaden my gaze to include mental and emotional markers as well. Just by tracking my progress throughout the month, I felt more motivated to go to bed early or take things in stride. I won’t do this every month as it can get a little obsessive, but it’s nice to check in and get a baseline from time to time, and there’s a lot a learned that I plan on taking with me to October.

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