Monthly review: looking forward and planning ahead

Monthly review: looking forward and planning ahead

Monthly review: looking forward and planning ahead

Goodbye September and hello to the last quarter of 2020! September was a full month spent in Stage 4 restrictions, but when I reflect back over the month while there was not a huge amount of variety and spontaneity in it, it is a month I am very proud of:

  • We played games as a family after dinner most nights.
  • I made two birthday Kahoots for my extended family and we had great Zoom catch ups with this.
  • We completed a full term of home learning.
  • I launched Adapt Relax!
  • I ran 420km for the month.
  • I walked with at least one friend a week.
  • I made progress with my goal for the year – you can see my update in the table below.
  • I started my Christmas shopping!

Taking the time to reflect on the month and then look forward to the remainder of the year is a truly helpful process for me. While it may seem obvious, it was only through doing this that it hit home that we have only three months left of the year, one of which is most likely still going to be in lockdown for us. November will then hopefully be a full month of semi normality before we head into the wonderful month of December.

My goal this year is to simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friends. Being in lockdown we have certainly spent a lot of time together in our family unit, but we have seen very little of our extended family and friends. With this in mind, I set about writing some key tasks that I want to achieve in October so that when we do get some more freedoms, I can spend it with broader family and friends. Here are the key tasks on my list:

  • Complete 80% of our Christmas shopping
  • Spring clean the house
  • Seasonal change over of clothes and declutter of my wardrobe
  • Clothes check (some big growth spurts in the house at the moment!) and wardrobe declutter for the youngest two boys

Work will be a busier month than usual for me in October, so while I am tempted to add more to this list, I need to be realistic about what I can actually achieve. The first week of October will see the kids at home on holidays and hopefully the next week will be their final week of home learning. I do love having them about but the reality is that I get much less work done! I am better to be realistic about this and factor it into my plans, rather than get frustrated with my lack of progress.

How was September for you and what do you want to achieve in October?

September 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 FrancisSeptember 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
You can read the changes I have made to this habit in this post here
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 KondoAs our weekends are pretty simple in lockdown, everyone chips in and does their tasks and we have a great rhythm to cleaning the house. I do wonder how this will work once we are released from lockdown and have more things to do and places to go!

Routines are never set in stone, so we will address this as it happens. We still have quite a few weeks with fairly tight restrictions, so I will worry about that later!
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
September turned out to be a very good month for running. Even though we had one hour time restrictions, I also had access to the treadmill, so was able to keep up my mileage. I have still kept up my morning running routine as I truly love running at this time in the morning. There is nothing better for me than starting the day by running and seeing the sunrise!

I also kept up my strength sessions and doing short yoga sessions when I come back in from my morning runs. I do wonder if I will be able to fit all of this in when the kids actually go back to school to do their learning. With them all home learning, there is greater flexibility in the mornings.
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
In September I was supposed to declutter my bathroom and the kitchen cupboards. This didn't happen. I could say that I didn't have time to do it with the launch of my new project, but that isn't the truth. I could have fitted it in if I wanted to, but I have lost my decluttering mojo at the moment.

To get things done, I am always better to schedule them in, so to help me get back into my decluttering, I will schedule these tasks in October so I actually do them, whether I feel like it or not!
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 TzuTowards the end of September, the amount of time we could exercise outdoors was increased to two hours per day. This has been fantastic as it means I have time for running and walking with a friend on the same day (socially distanced of course!). Walking catch ups really suit me better than cafe catch ups so this has been a bonus during lockdown!