September 20, 2019

Summer Goals Follow-Up (Should I even bother?! Haha)

Let's see how I did on my summer goals, shall we? ;)

With summer ending in just a couple of days, I thought this might be a funny post to write--because if it isn't obvious, I definitely didn't nail the goals I set for the summer. And I write that in jest. I'm not being (too) self-critical, I promise.

But I actually was curious when I went back to read my summer goals, because I forget what my plans/goals were. I just know that I most likely haven't been doing them. I'll write my thoughts as I go through the list. Here is my list:

Physical Health

To be at peace with my body exactly the way it looks (whether that's at this weight or if I should gain or lose weight).

I wish I could say that I'm at peace with it, but I'm most definitely not. In fact, I think I feel worse about it. Surprisingly, I haven't gained weight(!) but I haven't been eating well (see "Diet" below) and I haven't been exercising (see further below) so I just feel like a blob. Here is a photo from our meet on Tuesday. I cringed when I saw it.

Diet - My plan was to really listen to my body and pay attention to what foods make me feel good and what foods make me feel bad. And then do what feels best as far as food goes. I also wanted to drink more water--aim for 3 quarts a day.

I have been terrible with this. I haven't gotten in much water at all (I drink tea in the mornings, and then I chew ice all day long, and occasionally have an alcohol-free Heineken or a Diet Squirt in the evening. I used to suck down water all day long! This is something that I want to make a priority; even if I change nothing else, I need to drink more water.

Taking vitamins

I haven't been doing this, either. I get SO nauseous when I take a multivitamin (even half a vitamin makes me feel like I'm going to vomit). I may buy some Flintstones vitamins, and see if those are better. If they are made for kids, maybe they won't be as rough on my stomach.


My plan was to follow my Summer Challenge List (running or walking, whatever I felt like). I wanted to try to hit all of them this year, because I've never done that before. I did great for a few weeks and got a lot of them checked off, but something happened to throw me off and then I just never got back into it.

Wearing sunscreen, always

I actually have been VERY good about doing this. I bought some SPF 110 for my face and SPF 50 for the other exposed parts of my body. Any time I'm going to be outside, I wear it.

Flossing my teeth daily (I have no problems with brushing, but flossing is something that I have always had a hard time making a daily habit).

Well, I certainly haven't done it daily, but I've been working on it and do it more frequently than before.

Living a more active lifestyle in general the way that I used to

I'm not really sure how to count this. I have been doing lots of "projects" (woodworking, painting, etc). Since I spend a lot of time in the garage moving around, I sweat a LOT. And I am frequently super sore from using muscles I'm not used to using.

Here is an example--I can't tell you how physically demanding it was to scrape all the paint off this door! (This was our front exterior door--somehow, the paint blistered and peeled the vinyl off underneath and it looked horrible. I scraped it all off and then repainted it (with a paint that is meant to withstand high temperatures). And THEN, I did the same thing with the side door! Before and after:

Continuing to stay sober of alcohol

Yes! Going strong--not a single sip in 262 days.

Get a check-up with my doctor and have bloodwork to see my health numbers, including vitamins.

Haven't done this yet. I keep telling myself that I want to drop some weight first (if my numbers aren't good, then my health insurance may add a premium on for high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, weight, BMI, etc. I haven't gotten everything tested in over a year now, so I'm nervous!).

Mental Health

Taking my meds on a regular schedule (I'm very good about this already).

This is no problem for me. I have a little container that holds my pills for the week, so I take them first thing in the morning.

Cutting out caffeine, with the exception of a modest amount of tea.

I've done good with this. I had coffee a couple of times and my anxiety was sky high, so I've learned that I just can't have it. I've been enjoying the tea in the mornings, though.

Writing in a journal daily, even if it's just one or two sentences.

I've done really great with this one! When I lie down in bed at night, I write in my One Line A Day journal, and then read a chapter in the Bible.

Do a few brain puzzles each week.

I love the Lumosity app, so I'll use that as well as the old-fashioned logic puzzles in a book. I've really gotten into this lately. I tend to go through phases with it, but I've learned that playing the mind games is a great way to control my anxiety.

Read more books

I've definitely done this--I read several books, including the extremely long Pillars of the Earth trilogy.

Do some crafts that make me happy (crochet or knit, wood work, bullet journal, sew)

I have done a few wood work projects, which I love doing (I wish the materials weren't so hard to get to my house--buying plywood and getting it to my house is a huge pain. I can't do bigger projects, because I have to have the plywood cut down small enough to fit in my car. I've used up almost all of my leftover materials, so if I want to do more, I'll have to buy more.

Live my life the way that makes me happy, and screw what anyone else thinks

I think I've done well with this. Mentally, I've been very stable all summer. I haven't had many (if any) conflicts, so I haven't had to worry about what others think.

Read a chapter a day from my Bible

Doing great with this! Like I mentioned before, I really find it disturbing, but I want to continue to read it and hope that it gets better.

Continue to feed the birds and squirrels (I look forward to feeding them every day and it makes me feel happy)

This is probably my biggest joy of the day. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but the squirrels have become like pets to me. I've named several of them and I can tell them apart by subtly different markings and by their personalities.

Tuck, for example, is super bold--he runs right up to me when I go outside, and he's even climbed up my pant leg to get a walnut. I definitely spoil the squirrels, but I adore them. (Sadly, squirrel hunting season started last weekend, and there are hunters in the woods across from my house. I try to keep "my" squirrels in my backyard as much as possible so they don't venture into the woods.)

I did, however, quit feeding the birds. When I got the bird feeder, all the birds around the house attracted hawks. When I saw a hawk nearly take off with a squirrel, I did some reading a discovered that having bird feeders can attract hawks because they prey on the birds. Now that I got rid of the feeder, I haven't seen the hawks around!

Find new ways to relieve anxiety

I have a no-fail relief of a specific game on Lumosity--it's super fast-paced and it's impossible to think about anything other than the game, so I forget my anxiety while playing. My anxiety hasn't been too horrible lately (and maybe it's thanks to Lumosity). It works really well to take my mind off of things because I am so focused on the game.

Relationship Health

Spend more quality time with Jerry and my kids--family game night, family movie night, walks in the evenings, etc.

I wish I could say we've been doing great with this, but we've been so busy! With my cross country and the kids playing baseball, our evenings are kind of crazy. We did go see Toy Story 4, though. The picture isn't good, but there's Eli, Noah, Noah's girlfriend Ashely, Jerry, and me.

Get in touch with a few old friends and make plans to get together and catch up

I think the only people I've gotten in touch with and saw were Lance (my childhood friend) and his brother Spencer. I got together with Lance for lunch one day, and I went to visit Spencer after he went home from the hospital in hospice care. His cancer has made his health decline since then, but he's still hanging on. Just today, I bought the ingredients to make dinner to bring to him and his parents this weekend. I did get to see my younger cousins recently, and that was really fun getting to catch up with them!

Work on being more affectionate with Jerry (hugs, kisses, cuddles, etc). His "love language" is Physical Touch, which was last on my own list of The 5 Love Languages, so it's hard for me. It's not that I'm repulsed by affection, it's just that it never occurs to me to give him random hugs and kisses. We each took the Love Languages test and read the book, and you can read about our results here.

I do try with this, but it's so hard to keep it in mind. Like I said, I'm not repulsed at the thought; it's just not something that I think about.

Write a letter to each of the kids and share how proud I am of them

I haven't done this yet. I don't know what I'm waiting for! I want it to be meaningful, so maybe I'm just putting too much pressure on myself to make sure it's perfect.

Use the phone more and texting a little less Talking on the phone is hard for me for some reason, so I'd like to call up my friend Sarah in Arizona to chat, or some other friends that live around the country.

I've talked to one or two people, but that's it. I always feel like I don't have anything to talk about. Still, it's something I'd like to do.

Make it a point to spend more time with my parents, siblings, in-laws, and especially my niece and nephew

Where did the time go?! I've seen everyone here and there, but not nearly as often as I'd planned. I did have Luke and Riley come stay the night, which was super fun and I'm glad I got to spend time with them. I just need to do it more regularly!

Take Eli fishing in a new place, and take Noah somewhere pretty where he can take photos.

I took Eli fishing a couple of times--I even drove him all the way up to Lake St. Claire and I sat on a boat for eight or so hours while he fished for muskie with Shawn's friend, Andy. I hate fishing and I hate boating, but I wanted to be there if he caught one.

A muskie is considered "the fish of 10,000 casts" because that's about how many it takes to catch one.  Interestingly, Lake St. Claire in Michigan is one of the best places in the U.S. to find them. It was Eli's dream to catch one, and Andy (who didn't even know us--he was just doing it because Shawn told him about Eli) invited us out on his boat to help Eli catch one. Andy ended up hooking two, and Eli reeled them in. He was thrilled to have gotten one, but he won't consider it "catching a muskie" until he hooks it himself and reels it in.

As far as Noah and photography, I haven't done that yet. He's going through a phase (I hope it's just a phase, anyway) where he wants pretty much nothing to do with me unless he needs money or a ride somewhere. 

Financial Health

Continue to live on our budget that got us out of debt

I've done well with this. It's getting REALLY tough now that we have extra expenses, though. Having to cut back again is a challenge. However, we are still debt-free.

Build our savings account (I'm aiming to add another $1,500 to it during the summer)

I haven't built it up--after making a $1,000 down payment for Eli's braces, our savings is down to just $300.

Plan our meals and grocery shop accordingly to stay under our grocery budget

I did so-so with this. I didn't cook as much as I should have, but on the nights I have cross country, it's really challenging to cook dinner. However, I did stay conscious of our budget and we didn't go over it TOO horribly.

Dine out very rarely (maybe once a month)

We didn't do much dining out (ordering pizza is another story). We went out a couple of times as a family, and I felt that was legit. We weren't doing it out of convenience.

Cut out unnecessary costs again (I did this when we first started our budget, but I'd like to take another look)

I haven't cut back on anything yet. I feel guilty! Jerry and Noah love Apple Music, Eli gets a mystery fishing box once a month, we all enjoy Netflix, and I love doing projects around the house. There are definitely places to cut back (like what I mentioned above) and I am going to have to do it soon.

Save up for a new front porch
Like I mentioned above, we didn't even get to save any money this summer after paying for Eli's braces. I also had to pay for some other expensive things--car registration renewal ($250), Noah's driver's ed classes ($300), fixing Noah's Macbook ($250). Ugh. I'll never get a new porch at this rate!

Job Health

Create a regular "chore chart" rather than just winging it. I'd like to make a weekly list of things that need to be done regularly and assign the tasks for particular days.

I created the chart, and follow it here and there, but definitely not like I'd planned. Maybe when cross country is over!

Write more frequently on my blog, and try to start a schedule to post on particular days

I did terrible for most of the summer, but this month, I've gotten in a LOT of posts. More than I have in over a year, probably. I've found that I really enjoy posting frequently again.

Reply to emails more frequently. Right now, my inbox dates back to April (!) and I feel bad about it. Seeing emails that I haven't replied to yet causes me anxiety, and that can be solved very easily by taking time to reply to a few each day. For now, my plan is to reply to 2+ per day.

Well, I did not do the 2+ emails per day schedule. In fact, I ignored my inbox for the most part until last week, when I spent nearly a whole day catching up and replying to old emails. I always feel terrible that it takes so long to reply. Now that the inbox is caught up, though, I can work on keeping it that way. Reply within a day or two.

Write out a schedule for ALL of these plans I've written about above so that I don't get overwhelmed. Take it one day at a time.

I wrote out the schedule. A lot of good it did ;)  (Actually, the schedule was part of the problem. I wanted to make a cutesy little bullet journal just for these summer goals, but it was taking so long just to set it up that I became overwhelmed and quit. Having a simple planner is much easier.)

If I have some free time, I'd like to go back and optimize photos on past posts

I've done this, but only to a few posts that I was linking to and happened upon the photos. This is something I'll need to take several hours at a time to work on.

Find a new place to host photos for my blog where I can edit them without deleting them and re-uploading them

Nope. Haven't even started looking.

Create a plan for the cross country kids this year. Renee is not going to be coaching with me (she took a job as the middle school cross country coach) so I want to be as organized and prepared as possible to do it on my own.

I have done awesome at this! I really do way more than is necessary. It's a volunteer position, so I don't get paid, but I spend probably 10 hours a week (including practices) working on cross country. It's fun, though! And I am still eternally grateful to those of you that sent the items from the Amazon Wish List to my team! It has made coaching this year even more fun.

So, clearly I wasn't the greatest at hitting my goals this summer. But after typing all this out, it certainly wasn't a total fail! The biggest thing I need to work on is diet and exercise. I think if I can just get that on a good routine, the other things will be easier to focus on.

The summer was rather uneventful, which is actually a good thing. No depression, no hypomania. Stayed very busy! And enjoyed it, for the most part :)

But I am SO looking forward to fall. My favorite time of year!


  1. I took a flinstone vitamin at times when I couldnt handle an adult one - like during pregnancy nausea and it worked well for me. Give it a try!

  2. I think that's a lot of done or partly done stuff, well done, I would be proud of that! I think planning meals, and shopping, may be the key to managing health eating. I use lots of meals that are a mix of 'cheat' ingredients like jars of sauce or frozen pizza with extra veg/salad/rice/pasta/potato I cook myself to save time, we have busy lives and there are lots of part way options better than takeaway if you plan. (I love my online food shopping delivery, so much easier with smaller kids.

  3. Okay, you got me hooked on Luminosity, and since I only have the free version, I have to wait for this one game that I looooove. And I'm wondering if it's the same one that helps you with your anxiety? Is it the coffee game? Which game is your favorite??

    1. YES! The coffee game! It goes so fast (my highest score is 72280, which is crazy high). I have to move so fast that my brain doesn't have time to feel anxiety over anything but the game, hahahaha. I also love the Pet Detective game, which is slower paced, but I'm on the last level. I originally got hooked on the train game, and I beat the highest level a year ago--but ever since, I am not nearly as good. And that one causes me more anxiety I think! I paid for the yearly membership fee (the only app that I pay for!) because it helps me so much mentally. Clearly, I am very passionate about Lumosity; they should give me a free membership for writing so much about it ;)

    2. The coffee and the train games are my favorites! But they give me anxiety when I'm not perfect! I hate the overflowing coffee cups :(

      Side note: my friend says gummy vitamins are easier on her stomach than pills!

  4. I often feel nauseous and never associated it with the vitamins I take. I'll have to check that out. I've done a lot of paint stripping and know how much work is involved. Your door looks great! You should be proud of what you have accomplished with your goals.

  5. I find the gummy vitamins don't make me as nauseous as the pill form, even if I feel silly about them.


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