Hmmm… late goal check-ins seem to be becoming a trend around here. Oops! Nevertheless, September was packed with memorable adventures, meeting new friends and lots of self discovery, so let’s get straight into it. Here’s how I did on my most recent monthly goals.
Do a thorough decluttering of my apartment – A+
Seasonal clean-ups are the norm for me, but this one was even more refreshing than usual. I’d originally allocated 4 slots of time throughout the month to declutter the main areas of my apartment that needed it most: 1 for my closet, 1 for my laundry/storage room, and 2 for my kitchen. Then I decided that it would be more ideal if I didn’t have to come home from my Hawaii trip with any cleaning to do. The weekend before leaving, I went into full-on Marie Kondo mode.
Throughout this intense cleaning day, I had a whole bunch of realizations. Leading up to it, I was feeling stressed out and frazzled, but for no apparent reason that I could pinpoint. There had been a lot of stuff happening at work involving change and learning, but none of them really felt like the cause. My head just always seemed busy with thoughts flying around at a million miles an hour, and all that mental work was making me feel drained.
As I got into it, I realized 2 things:
- That so much of the stress was due to my physical space being cluttered. I can be very particular about the cleanliness of my home and most days, can’t stand spaces that feel disorganized. But other things in my schedule had taken priority, which was clearly having an impact.
- That there’s a fine line between being a good declutter-er and a good organizer. Good organizers can find clever ways to store a lot of stuff in a little space, without actually getting rid of anything.
I knew I had a ton of stuff I didn’t need, so when the organize-all-the-things mood struck, I was ruthless. 6 bags of donations and 6 bags of garbage later, my space was bright, light and sparkly again, and it felt SO good. Now the challenge is keeping it that way!
Make the most of every moment in Hawaii – A+
This was by far one of the biggest highlights of my year. The full recap from my trip is here, and I would go back again in a heartbeat. It had been way too long since I’d disconnected from my daily responsibilities, left my phone on airplane mode and just did whatever I felt like doing in the moment. There was a loose agenda based around the excursions I’d booked, but outside of that, some of my favourite moments were sitting on the lanai of my hotel room, staring out at the ocean like some crazy person from another planet that had never seen it before.
Taking the time to unwind reminded me that I really need to make it more of a priority in smaller doses when I’m at home, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can do this over the coming months.
Get a new recipe search up and running – A
Awww yes, she’s live!! If you’ve been browsing the blog over the past week or two, you’ve probably already had a chance to try this. If not, you can check out the new recipe search here.
As I promised before, it’s much faster than the old version and far easier to apply filters to find what you want. I still need to re-tag and categorize a bunch of older posts in order to get those recipes to appear in results, and the fall/winter ones will be my priority since I know that’s what you guys are looking for. It’s a steady work in progress but already a million times better than before! If you have any feedback on the search, feel free to send it my way.
Moving along to this month, which we’re already a week into….
3 goals for October 2017
Find a better groove with my meal delivery side gig
I’ve talked lots recently about how I’ve been cooking for my co-workers, and it’s been such a fun experience so far. Not only am I able to put more of my ideas for recipes into execution, but I’ve also been experimenting with some healthy sweeter treats because… #balance. (You’ll find those posted on Sundays to Instagram, and here on the blog. Just pop over to the new recipe search and browse through the desserts!)
While all of this is totally my jam and helping me learn to be a better recipe developer/chef in the process, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a lot of work. This is very much self-imposed because I want to make sure the dishes taste amazing, look great and are super fresh. The challenge is achieving a balance between that and efficiency, because there are so many other things I want to make time for (like my next goal, which I’ll get to in a minute.)
Every week I’m discovering more ways that I can be more efficient with this, and I know that ease and efficiency are things all of you value when you cook too. When I’m making recipes for the blog I often end up using a ton of ingredients, but this project has been helping me pare down, simplifying while still maintaining great taste and nutrition. I’ve got some ideas brewing on how I can extend all this to benefit you guys too, so watch this space.
To summarize this one, the goal is to streamline my workflow for weekly menu planning (for anywhere between 7 and 12 people), prep, and day-of tasks. That should free up more time for me to…
Spend more time with friends
This is another one of those goals that pops up repeatedly. When I look back at my goals for 2017, it’s also one of the things I prioritized and strongly value, yet always face challenges in actually doing. It annoys me to think that I have such a hard time putting into practice something I feel so passionately about, yet other priorities always seem to creep in and feel more urgent. No more, I say!
Now that summer is over (yep, makes me sad too!), weekends are a little less busy with travel plans etc and I’m really going to focus on this one this month. I’m currently feeling especially inspired since it’s Thanksgiving weekend, and one thing I’m MOST thankful for is all of the amazing people who I’m constantly learning from, and who challenge me to be a better person on a daily basis. That includes you guys too!
Finish 3 audiobooks
I cancelled my Netflix subscription last month after having realized that I was making almost zero use of it. I’m far more of a podcasts kinda gal, and even when I’m ‘watching’ movies and shows at home, I’m multitasking in some way. One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is catching up on all the podcasts I subscribe to while doing my meal prep or cleaning. I download these via iTunes, and i’s free education that I get a ton of value out of.
Similar to the TV vs podcasts thing, I’m far more likely to listen to an audiobook than read a physical book. Last month I was lucky enough to give Audible.ca a try before it officially launched (yes, there’s now an Audible.ca, not just .com!) and I got completely hooked. I listened to audiobooks on the plane to and from Hawaii, in the airport, and when I was getting ready for work in the morning. To keep that education going, my October goal is to ‘read’ 3 more. Knowing my tastes they’ll probably be in the self development and business categories. If you’ve read anything lately that you loved, feel free to leave your recos in the comments below. I’d love to check them out!
So tell me… what are you working on this month? Was there anything in particular that stuck out in September as notable for you, like reaching a mini milestone on the way to a goal, or even conquering a big goal?