Monthly review: focusing on what I can control

February didn’t go as planned for me in a number of ways, but I think this is going to be one of those years, where I need to have my plan and goal, but be responsive and flexible with what happens in reality.

This doesn’t mean I give up on anything I would like to achieve this year, but it does mean that I practice a skill I have focused on before – detachment. The downside to being a high bar goal-setter is you can become attached to reaching your goals and if you don’t achieve them you can be disappointed in yourself, your work or even angry and frustrated about roadblocks that come your way.

I really like this quote from Jack Canfield:

You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions your take

This will become a mantra for me this year.

Did you make progress towards your goal in February?

February monthly review

HabitConnection to goal - Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friendsQuote - “A simple lifestyle is good for us, helping us to better share with those in need.” ~ Pope FrancisFebruary Review
Simplify our evening meals (make one meal a week meat free)With five kids, two being older teenagers and one being an adult I need to cook a lot of food. These three also have who casual or part time jobs, so having family meals with everyone eating at the same time is becoming increasingly more difficult.

The types of meals I cook now need to cater more for different sittings of meal times and also larger volumes so they can eat left overs for other meals as needed. This can be time consuming and I want it to take up the minimal amount of time, giving me the greatest chance of eating a family meal with as many kids as possible.

I need to simplify some of the meals I make to make this happen and I also want to reduce meat intake in the house, so want one meal a week to be meat free as well.
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." ~ Mother Teresa
In February I trialed using a slightly modified version of my menu planning process. It has meant there have been some meals on more regular rotation than I would usually do, but everyone appears really happy with this.

I had set a guide years ago that I wouldn't repeat meals more than twice a month and would try to avoid repeating meals in general as much as possible.

With the volume I now cook of each meal (to cater for left overs for breakfasts, lunches and snacks for the adult kids) it is easier and simpler to cook meals I know are absolute winners.

I explained to the family I was going to be doing a meat free meal a week and it was not a popular announcement. I think I would have been better off not telling them and just cooking a meat free meal and see if they even noticed.

I am going to not mention it again and aim to start this in April.
Simplify our home cleaning routineWe have the kids involved in doing work around the house across the week, but it isn't as streamlined and as simple as I would like it to be. We also have a different system of contributing to the housework once kids leave school, so I need to work on simplifying how we all contribute to keeping the house clean and tidy. "The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment." ~ Marie KondoI haven't even thought about this one yet and I won't start on it until April at the earliest.
Simplify my exercise routineRunning will be my focus for 2020 but I would still like to keep up strength training and do some yoga. I need to work out a way to fit this into my life without taking up too much time or feeling like I have too much to do.

Both the strength training and the yoga help my running, so I need to find a way to simplify how I can blend them into a routine.
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." ~ Henry David Thoreau
In February I started to get some rhythm happening with strength training on my running workout days so I could have my recovery days as pure recovery.

I also made it back to yoga on a weekly basis which has been so awesome. I do Yin Yoga and find it helps so much with the tightness I get in the hips etc from all my running.
Declutter one item a day (can be averaged over a week / fortnight)There are cupboards that are too full, bedrooms that look a little messy because they have too much stuff in them. I find I am spending too much time on managing the stuff of the house.

I want to work slowly over the year to really pare back the belongings we have in the house. I feel much calmer with clear surfaces and minimal mess.
“Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein
I am finding decluttering quite therapeutic at the moment. I focused on the drawers in my bedroom and my work desk in February and was really quite ruthless with what I cleared out. It is so much easier to find everything now!
Spend an hour outside each dayBeing outside is so good for me in so many ways and good for the kids too. I find the pace of things slows down when I am outdoors.

With my running I do spend time outside everyday, but often in winter this is when it is still dark. I want to spend time outside in daylight hours and also use this time to be with the kids where I can too - who also benefit from more outdoor time.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao TzuI am loving spending time outdoors in the sun and am finding short stints in the sun to eat breakfast, lunch and after school with the kids are a great way to break up my day.

Most of my running is in the dark during the week, but my long runs are getting longer so I am getting some sunshine on those runs at least!