Monthly Challenge, Vol. 2

Well poor timing on joining the Weekly Wishes link-up! Looks like Melyssa from Nectar Collective has put an end to it. I don’t mind, though, because it motivated me to make my monthly goals public, which will hopefully give me more of a push to accomplish them. Plus I loved seeing all the other goals that people posted! The health/wellness blogging world is pretty amazing…

I am also making one slight change. Instead of monthly goals, I’m just going to choose one monthly challenge. I’ve done this in the past, with a lot of success. (I even did a No Sugar September, which I thought would be impossible. But it actually helped me form a new habit – cutting way back on sugar, plus not craving sweets after both lunch and dinner. Miraculous.) Since having one intention for the month is a lot more do-able than having several goals, I’m going to continue with my tradition of having monthly challenges!

Monthly Challenge

Last Month’s Wishes

  1. Practice my banjo every day. Didn’t do so well on this one. Just didn’t have time! I am blaming it on teaching, since that takes up most of my time and energy. I really hope I’ll be able to dedicate more time to it this summer!
  2. Apply to grad school. Still waiting on one more letter of recommendation before I can do this. It isn’t do until June, so that’s good.
  3. Do one long run each week (5-6 miles). I did pretty well with this one! The weeks I did miss were because frisbee practice has started up, so that meant an hour or more of sprinting around on the weekend. Just as good as a long run!
  4. Take steps to focus on the joy of teaching. I did my best on this one. This month was particularly stressful, but I’m doing lots of fun things with my students to make the end of their kindergarten year really enjoyable. In some ways, the year has crawled by, but in other ways I can’t believe it’s May already! 

This Month’s Challenge

Meditate every day, for just two minutes. My stress level has been through the roof lately, because of school but also because of all the things I am involved in. I’m working on slowing my days down, so that I can relax and enjoy the present moment. Yoga helps with this, but I can’t seem to fit in more than one class a week. So I’m going to try to start up an old habit that I had last year – meditating for just two minutes in the morning before work. I have a nice little set up in my apartment, a blanket on the floor that faces out the window. And since it’s only two minutes, it should be easy to fit in each morning. And hopefully will have positive effects on the rest of my day as well.

I also think I’m going to print this out to hang in my meditation area! I have no clue where I found it, but it’s both beautiful and calming, so perfect for a meditation corner.


Monthly Wishes, Vol. 1

Monthly Wishes Vol 1

Well, as a chronic list maker and goal setter, I couldn’t resist this link-up on weekly goal setting from The Nectar Collective! Link-ups make me a bit nervous because participating in one puts my writing out there in the world. I love my little corner of the internet, where I can ramble on and on about teaching, and running, and eating delicious food (three things that have nothing to do with each other, and yet they have everything to do with my life). But I also love the idea of connecting with others who are pushing themselves to live healthier, happier lives. So here goes!

The Nectar Collective
Each month I plan to set intentions that will help me be a healthier, happier teacher and human being. I realize that it’s halfway through the month of April, but better late than never! This month’s goals:
  1. Practice my banjo every day. If I do it every day, I’ll buy a new banjo at the end of the month! Learning the banjo has been so much fun, and while I’m still pretty terrible, playing it gets me out of my head and in touch with my creative side, which I often neglect (due to being stuck in my head).
  2. Apply to grad school. I am so excited to have decided on a program where I can study both science and literacy education. It should be amazing so now all I need to do is apply…
  3. Do one long run each week (5-6 miles). I’d like to prove to myself that I don’t need to sign up for a big race in order to keep up with running frequently.
  4. Take steps to focus on the joy of teaching. Each time I get frustrated with some aspect of the education system, particularly around the new educator evaluation system, the political climate, or unreasonable administrator demands, look at this picture, and remember why I teach — to help kids have more of these experiences, in which they get to marvel at the beauty and wonder of the world:

Kids tree


2015 Intentions

I realize that mid-March is a little late to be setting intentions for the year, but I actually made this in January, after seeing a post called 2015, Visualized. January is always my most reflective month, when I do lots of journaling and set all sorts of goals and resolutions. My goals are often specific things I can work towards, like do yoga once a week or run a half marathon.

But this year I decided I wanted to be more present in my life as it is now, in the moment I am living, instead of focusing on what future achievements I will check off my list. Instead of thinking what will I work towards for the future? I decided to think what do I want my life to look like now? What do I want my days to be filled with?

So instead of setting goals, like I usually do, I decided to set intentions. (The difference between the two concepts – goals and intentions – is summed up really nicely here). And when I couldn’t stick to just one or two intentions, I got really excited to make an Intention Board. Kind of like a Vision Board, but instead of using magazine cutouts, I got to find beautiful pictures on the internet to represent my intentions.

So here it is, a visualization of my intentions for 2015:

2015 intention board

This year, I will:

Fill my kitchen with fresh, local foods from gardens, markets, and the coop.

Focus on my health by eating more fruits and vegetables, less sugar.

Find time to practice my banjo. Just a few minutes each day.

Run more, without agenda.

Find time and space to be in solitude, with a book and a cup of coffee.

Open myself up to my relationship, wholeheartedly.

Spend less on things, more on experiences.

More yoga. More yoga. More yoga.

Practice gratitude daily.

Go climbing more, and become more confident at it.

Remember to maintain a sense of wonder about the world, for myself and for my students.

Have more adventures, however big or small.

Journal every day. Just a page.

Be more connected to water – kayaking, canoeing, swimming, listening, seeing.

Practice slowness. Presence over productivity.

Travel. Travel. Travel.