The start of September means it is time for my August review! Super happy to say farewell winter and hello to spring. August was a pretty great month in terms of ticking off the habits I wanted to focus on and it was also a great month for putting some more structure to my days.
I know some people will read that and think they couldn’t think of anything worse but adding this structure to my days actually saw me achieve more and find more time for the activities I want to spend time on. Once you examine the reality of your workload each day, you become smarter about what you choose to add in to your day and what you can take off your to do list.
If you are at a point where you feel like you are not getting done the things you really want to get done, then start blocking out these times in your calendar along with your other commitments so you can see what is taking up valuable space across your week. As I have said many times before, the reality is we will not have time to do everything we want to do in our weeks, therefore we have to make conscious decisions about where we spend our time. If you are not making conscious decisions about your time use then your time use is often dictated by others – don’t let this happen, get in first!
Read for a minimum of 15 minutes per day
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There is so much to learn from both fiction and non fiction books. I have a huge list of books that I have wanted to read for some time, so this year to help expand my knowledge I am committing to read more. My target for the year is to read 25 books.
Quote to connect to – “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz
August performance – During August I completed two books. One was very big!
The better brain: how nutrition will help you overcome anxiety, depression, ADHD and stress / Julia Rucklidge, PhD ; Bonnie Kaplan, Phd.
I had been waiting for my reserve of The better brain: how nutrition will help you overcome anxiety, depression, ADHD and stress / Julia Rucklidge, PhD ; Bonnie Kaplan, Phd. to come in at the library for some time. I would highly recommend that everyone read this book. I wanted to read it to see how nutrition could help me manage stress better and also improve my focus for work and I did pick up some excellent points on this. You can read my full book review here. 4/5
The Body Keeps The Score Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score sheds new light on the routes away from trauma – which lie in the regulation and syncing of body and mind, using sport, drama, yoga, mindfulness, meditation and other routes to equilibrium. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who has someone in their life that has suffered trauma or if you have suffered trauma yourself.
Van Der Kolk comes from such an interesting perspective – he was there and highly involved when drug therapies took off as a treatment for trauma. It was a number of years down the track that he realised that these therapies were not really helping those who were suffering from trauma. Van Der Kolk is a highly regarded world expert on trauma and throughout the book he shares a sympathetic exploration of the causes of trauma and the new treatments making it possible for sufferers to reclaim their lives. 5/5
Invest one hour a week learning about our First Nations Peoples
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Reconciliation NSW recommends learning and understanding more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ histories, Cultures, Languages, technology and land management techniques as educating yourself is the first step in the journey towards reconciliation. My knowledge and understanding are severely lacking and I want to change this.
Quote to connect to – “Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; We must do.” – Bruce Lee
August performance – One of the reasons it has taken me so long to organise some regular volunteering is because I really wanted to connect this habit to it if I could and during August I managed that. More on that in the next section too!
- Induction videos for volunteering – I did not realise that scabies is a common problem in many remote Aboriginal communities within the Northern Territory, where in some areas up to 50% of children and 25% of adults are affected. This is due in part to people living in crowded conditions and difficulty in accessing necessary personal items.
- Deadly Representation with Jana Stewart – it was great to hear from this newly elected Senator from Victoria. Stewart outlines her goals as a new Senator, discusses her areas of policy focus including women, family, children, race, privilege, and regional equity access and how she will navigate her role to achieve positive outcomes in these areas. This was great but the stand out section for me was when she discussed what went through her mind in choosing a hospital to have her baby in – this revealed so much about the trauma suffered and the discrimination our Indigenous people still face every day.
Volunteer on a weekly basis
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Volunteering is an activity where you can be of service to others and learn so much from the experience. It has been some time since I have volunteered outside of schools etc and I want to get back into it for 2022.
Quote to connect to – “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
August performance – As noted above I watched induction videos and attended an induction live zoom call with a not for profit that focuses on helping Indigenous women. I also made biscuits and spent time at a local community meal handing them out to the attendees. This was such a great experience.
Spend one hour a week planning and visiting new attractions
Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There are so many great attractions and experiences in Melbourne both free and paid and when the kids were younger we used to visit them frequently. Since the kids have stopped wanting to do this, I have stopped going too. But there is no reason why I cannot go on my own or with Phil or with friends!
While I have allocated one hour per week, this can be averaged out across the month as my overall aim is to visit two new (to me) attractions per month.
Quote to connect to – “Fill your life with experiences. Not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” Unknown
August performance – Attended two key events in August:
- Interspecies and Other Others – this is a free program of video and sound art, sculpture, installation and performance at Abbotsford Convent. If you have kids 12+ I would recommend taking them along. It provided stimulus for lots of conversations with the 13 year old and I.
- Collingwood vs Carlton game – finally starting to use my MCC membership!
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – went and watched my niece’s school production. I had actually never seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in any form so I really enjoyed it and was really impressed with some of the acting by the main characters.
How are you progressing towards your goal for the year?
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