Archive of ‘goals’ category

april goals

Happy April! April is my favorite month of the year – the temperatures are finally warm, flowers and trees are blooming, and my birthday rounds out the month perfectly ;)

2018 april goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

After what seems like a longer winter than usual, I’m so excited to finally have some spring weather. Sometimes I don’t even realize it until spring arrives, but the warmer weather, longer days, and colorful blooming plants all really improve my mood. I just want to be outside all the time! I always feel like the start of spring and changing season is a great time to reevaluate and set new goals too. I’m excited for April, and for all it has in store (hopefully a lot of time outside!)!

March Goals
– Celebrate Will’s birthday! – Yay, 26!
Cut sugar for one week (I have gotten into a bad habit of wanting something sweet daily). – I did this the week before my marathon.
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week. “Slow morning” meaning I have at least 15 minutes of free time before/after getting ready for the day. – This was rough after daylight savings time hit, but definitely got better throughout the month! For the last two weeks I added “slow a.m.” to each day of my agenda, which was a great reminder and made it much easier to track. I loved these slow mornings and will definitely be adding this to my goals list again.
– Run a marathon!!! Eek! I’m so excited and so nervous about this one, but I have done my best to train for it over the past few months. – Yay, yay, yay! I did it! I ran a marathon! Of all of my goals, monthly, yearly, and long-term, this is one of the ones that I am most proud to accomplish!
– Enjoy our weekend in D.C. – Our weekend in D.C. was so wonderful and so much fun! I kicked it off with the marathon and we were able to spend time with lots of family and friends.
– Do core strengthening exercises at least twice a week. Because I have been focusing on running lately, I haven’t been very good at incorporating other exercises. I know core strengthening will help prevent injuries and improve my balance while running and while going about my days. – I didn’t do this before I ran my marathon on the 10th, but I’m considering it a success because I added 2-3 days of toning exercises a week after that, which was more than half the month.
– Post the rest of our Paris pictures. – See part I, part II, and part III!
– Do less Instagram scrolling. There are so many other things I could be doing, but I have gotten into the habit of checking Instagram whenever I am on the bus, walking home, or waiting for something (i.e. water to boil, bus to arrive, etc.). I know I could be more productive if I wasn’t directing my attention to the app. – I may have scrolled a bit less, but overall, I wouldn’t consider this one a success. Adding it to the list again this month.
– Print and frame photos from Paris. – Bonus, I hung two of them too!
– Get in bed by 11:00 pm four nights a week. I would love to add “get more sleep” to this list of goals, but I’m going to start small with the task of just getting in bed. If this is successful, maybe next month we can graduate to actually getting more sleep ;) – I accomplished getting in bed by 11 most nights a week, but definitely wasn’t near asleep. Since this went well, I’m hoping to do even better this month and actually get more sleep!

April Goals
– Continue to stick to a workout routine that makes me feel good with toning and running (maybe add biking back to this as the weather gets nicer!)
– Take weekly walks
– Plant herbs and veggies
– Finish our back patio area
– Celebrate my birthday! :)
– Get in bed by 10:45 p.m. and get to sleep by 11:15 p.m. (not just in bed) four nights a week
– Do less Instagram scrolling
– Do something or try somewhere new!

marathon training and tips for setting (and achieving) big goals

Back in the fall, I signed up for a marathon. 26.2 miles. Before training for this race, the farthest I had ever run were half marathons. Over the past few years I have run three half marathons, the last one in 2015 in Brooklyn with a group of good friends, many who had never run a half before. When I finished that race I thought to myself, I think could keep going for a few more miles, not double what I had just done, but a few more. The thought of running a marathon was so daunting, but felt more achievable in that moment than it ever had before.

Marathon Training and How to Set (and Achieve) Big Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Fast-forward almost exactly two years to October 2017. I was actively refreshing my screen to track one of my friends who was running the Chicago Marathon. This same friend ran the Brooklyn half with me and had never run a half marathon before that race. So impressive (go Avery!)!

I had been thinking about signing up for a marathon for a few months, and even looked into different races and courses, but hadn’t actually made concrete plans to run any of them. In my experience with racing in both the fall and spring, I knew I much rather do long runs in the cold winter weather than in the blazing hot, humid North Carolina summers, but to do a spring marathon, my training time would have to start soon. The renewed inspiration from watching this amazing friend in the Chicago Marathon prompted me to really dig into my race search and actually make a decision. Within a few days, I signed up for a March marathon in D.C. and dove into training, building up my miles each week.

Marathon Training and How to Set (and Achieve) Big Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Training for this race was such a learning process about what I can do and what my body needs in order to accomplish these long runs, but was also amazingly empowering. I had never run anything longer than 13.1 miles and was afraid of the longer runs leading up to the race. When I broke the 16-mile barrier I immediately felt better about marathon training, and felt so proud of what I could accomplish! Each week after that was longer than I had ever run, but setting my mind to it, mapping out a course ahead of time, talking through my route, and gathering all of the supplies I needed to feel like I was prepared made me feel like these were milestones I could accomplish!

This past weekend I ran 26.2 miles. It was long and I was sore during, and still a few days after the race, but I did it – I ran a marathon! I was both nervous and excited going into the race, but mostly excited. I was not going for a specific time, just for safe completion. Before I left for D.C. on Friday, a coworker told me that completing a large goal like this takes ambition, perseverance, courage, determination, hard work, and planning, and that these are things I should be proud of whether or not I finished the race, and completing the 26.2 miles would be the cherry on top. In the races I have run in the past I would have felt frustrated and like I was a disappointment if I didn’t finish the race within a certain time, but marathon training taught me that we are capable of doing so much, and should be proud of all parts of our accomplishments, even just the long training runs along the way.

Marathon Training and How to Set (and Achieve) Big Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

I am by no means a marathon guru, but I like to think of marathon training and prep as I would other large goals on my list. With that in mind, these are a few tips I have found useful in setting and achieving big goals:

Make a plan and take action steps on it
Decide a timeline for when you want to achieve your goal. For a race like this that included looking at how long I would need to train, when I wanted to train (winter or summer), and where the races were located. Once I had planned out the timing my action steps were registering for a race and beginning to train.

Write out the smaller steps you need to take to achieve your goal
Once I decided to run a marathon and signed up for one, I needed to put in steps to make sure I achieved that goal. I looked up a training plan and wrote in all of my runs in my planner and put the long runs in my iCal. This might sound overboard, but I had to make sure I had enough time blocked off on those weekends when I had to complete those really long runs. This also helped my weekday planning because I knew when I needed to shift my running scheduled to accommodate dinners with friends and family or evening work events. I didn’t get to the end of the week upset about what I wasn’t able to accomplish because I had planned ahead and made time for each run.

Get prepared
I mentioned a few of the things that helped me before my long runs were mapping out my run (I use mapmyrun.com) and gathering all of the supplies I needed. I listen to podcasts on my long runs, so part of my preparation was to find and download podcasts I wanted to listen to, and make sure I had enough to cover the amount of time I would spend running so I didn’t have a spurt of silence at the end. I like to get more than enough Gu packets, fill a handheld water bottle, and gather all of my rain gear before my long runs. Running a few of my long runs in the rain instead of waiting for sunny days also helped me feel more prepared in case I have to deal with nasty weather on race day.

Start (and keep going)
To achieve a new goal, you have to start somewhere. We have all heard the saying “a year from now you will wish you had started today.” Start now, friends! What is stopping you?

I follow Cultivate What Matters, a company dedicated to helping others achieve their goals, on Instagram. As I scroll, I often see one of their slogans, “little by little, progress adds up,” pop up in those little squares. This is true for all of our big goals, but it is visibly and tangibly true in race training. You start the training plan with smaller, single-digit miles and add one or two to your runs each week, until a few months later you are up to 26.2 miles! You can see visible progress when you look at the number of miles on paper, and feel tangible progress through your accomplishment and your sore legs when you finish those long runs.

Running a marathon isn’t something that everyone wants to do, but it certainly a good metaphor for those other large goals you might have that just haven’t come to fruition yet. It is hard to start with such a lofty end goal in mind, but with some preparation, doable action steps, and the encouragement to start and not stop, you can accomplish those goals, too!

Thank you for supporting me as I continue to chase my goals :)

2018 March Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

march goals

After two months of feeling behind and busy, I finally feel like I have a better grasp on my routine. Two months may sound like a long time just to feel settled, but this year has thrown a few unexpected curveballs and it has taken a while to get used to all of the changes those brought and feel ready to run the bases at full-speed ahead again. I’m excited for all that March has in store, but especially the warmer weather and longer days. I love all four seasons and am grateful to live in a place where we get a true spring, summer, fall, and winter, but at the end of winter and summer I find myself yearning for the next season. Spring and fall have always been my favorite in this North Carolina climate – the colors, temperatures, and outdoor activities are wonderful and encouraging. Coming off of a winter with more snow than usual for our area, I can’t wait until spring is here again! I have some big goals this month (one in particular), but just as I’m excited about the start of a new season, I’m excited to see what I can accomplish. Let’s do this!

2018 March Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

February Goals
– Celebrate a wedding and mini reunion weekend with college friends! – Yes, this was so, so fun! It was wonderful to catch up with good friends!
– Stay on track with race training (more on this later). – Yes! See March goals below for more :)
– Do meal prep at least two weeks of the month. – I meal planned every week (success!), and meal prepped two weeks of the month. It is still hard to prioritize, but baby steps help!
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week. – I did really well at this at the beginning of the month, but I let the Olympics throw off my sleep schedule and was terrible at it for the rest of the month.
– Finish editing photos from Paris and post at least one Paris post. – Even though technically the post went live on March 1st, I’m giving myself some grace and counting this one because it was ready to go live on February 28th but I got caught up and wasn’t able to post it during the day.
– Watch some of the Olympic medaling events! – Yes, yes, yes! I love the Olympics, and while the Summer Olympics can sometimes be more exciting, I loved seeing some of the snowboarding, skiing, and figure skating medal rounds!
– Complete our annual budget review – We reviewed and updated our budget – now to stick to it!
– Do something fun! – We went on a spontaneous date to the new Guglhupf Bake Shop between church and grocery shopping one Sunday and had the most delicious almond schnecke (the German version of a croissant). I’m not typically a very spontaneous person, but it was so fun.

March Goals
– Celebrate Will’s birthday!
– Cut sugar for one week (I have gotten into a bad habit of wanting something sweet daily).
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week. “Slow morning” meaning I have at least 15 minutes of free time before/after getting ready for the day.
– Run a marathon!!! Eek! I’m so excited and so nervous about this one, but I have done my best to train for it over the past few months.
– Enjoy our weekend in D.C.
– Do core strengthening exercises at least twice a week. Because I have been focusing on running lately, I haven’t been very good at incorporating other exercises. I know core strengthening will help prevent injuries and improve my balance while running and while going about my days.
– Post the rest of our Paris pictures.
– Do less Instagram scrolling. There are so many other things I could be doing, but I have gotten into the habit of checking Instagram whenever I am on the bus, walking home, or waiting for something (i.e. water to boil, bus to arrive, etc.). I know I could be more productive if I wasn’t directing my attention to the app.
– Print and frame photos from Paris.
– Get in bed by 11:00 pm four nights a week. I would love to add “get more sleep” to this list of goals, but I’m going to start small with the task of just getting in bed. If this is successful, maybe next month we can graduate to actually getting more sleep ;)

february goals

Thank you for all of the feedback on my 60 before 30 post! I am so excited for all of those fun challenges, and have already started working on a few of them!

2018 february goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

While January was filled with lots of travel and change, I feel good about the goals that I accomplished. I got a good start on my goal for the year – simplifying – by purging my closet of the items I don’t wear anymore and by getting back to meal planning and meal prepping. Looking ahead at my schedule for February, I feel like the short month is already so full. In order to make sure I don’t overcommit myself, one of my goals this month is to do something fun. I don’t know what that will be yet, but I’m determined to stick to that one!

January Goals
– Clean our apartment
– Purge at least one bag of things I don’t use or need
– Build in free time on our trips to make them relaxing rather than overwhelming – There was some free time on all of our trips, some more than others. I’m never good at building in time to relax on trips – I usually want to go, go go – but, I did find that down time helpful.
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week – I can’t say this one was easy, but I really enjoyed the slower mornings! I’m adding it to my February goals list and hopefully the number of slow mornings can grow in the next few months.
– Get back to meal planning – I’m so glad we got back to meal planning! It helped our grocery shopping and our evening schedules. We are implementing a new way of meal planning to make the process even simpler that I’ll share soon!

February Goals
– Celebrate a wedding and mini reunion weekend with college friends!
– Stay on track with race training (more on this later)
– Do meal prep at least two weeks of the month
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week
– Finish editing photos from Paris and post at least one Paris post
– Watch some of the Olympic medaling events!
– Complete our annual budget review
– Do something fun!

60 before 30

While I continually post my monthly goals, I have been thinking about creating a larger list of items I want to accomplish in the years to come, rather just in the current month. I have seen a few 101 in 1001 posts, where the goal-setter strives to achieve 101 things in 1001 days. I love this idea of setting a long period of time to work on bigger goals, so throughout the past few months I put together my own 60 before 30 list. With my 26th birthday approaching in April, 4.3 years may seem like a lot of time to finish 60 goals, but because of the life changes that I expect in our future (most notably, likely moving for Will’s residency and subsequently finding a new place to live, new routines, a new job, and a new support system), I’m giving myself some grace in the time period I have to accomplish these things.

60 before 30 | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Over the next few years I expect there will be things I wish I had added to the list, and things I don’t accomplish, and I’m okay with both of those. There is something gratifying about getting goals out of your head and actually recording them. Some of these goals are serious, some are fun, some I am confident I can accomplish, and some will be more difficult. I’ve split up this list into different areas, to make it easier to follow, and easier to mentally compartmentalize. As I achieve goals, I plan to come back here and update the list. I’m excited to get started and to share my progress throughout the next four years!

Start Date: January 24, 2018
End Date: April 24, 2021
Items Completed: 0/60

Travel and Adventure
1. Create and post a guide to the Triangle (which involves exploring new places, restaurants, cafes, etc around the area)
2. Try 5 new-to-us coffee shops in the Triangle
3. Try (at least) 5 new-to-us restaurants in the Triangle
4. Find a great coffee shop in a city/town we visit
5. Take another trip abroad
6. Go on a road trip in the western United States
7. Visit a state I have never been to before
8. Travel to a non-local town/city I haven’t been to before
9. Go on a trip with just Will
10. Go on a girls trip with my mom and sister
11. Watch a sunrise

Home and Family
12. Celebrate our four year anniversary (June 2018)
13. …and our five year anniversary (June 2019)
14. …and our six year anniversary (June 2020)
15. Start a savings account for a house
16. Learn about different ways to save money (specific accounts, funds, etc)
17. Buy another car
18. Move wherever Will’s residency takes us!
19. Prepare a room (or area, depending on where we live next) in our home for guests to stay in when they visit
20. Transfer all insurances and titles from our parents names to our names
21. Host a dinner party for friends
22. Send a Christmas card
23. Come up with 14 go-to dinners, at least 10 of which are plant-based
24. Cultivate five habits to make our life more “green”
25. Plant a small vegetable garden and actually take care of it
26. Plant herbs and keep them alive for at least half a year
27. Grow a cutting garden with a few types of flowers
28. Seasonally purge my closet of clothes I don’t wear
29. Have professional photographs taken of us
30. Grow our family
31. Start a new family tradition

Skills, Learning, and Hobbies
32. Master the top knot
33. Learn one new hairstyle
34. Expand my makeup skills by setting a time to learn from a makeup savvy friend
35. Bake yeast bread (I have never successfully made a yeasted bread!)
36. Stitch a needlepoint pillow
37. Stitch a needlepoint belt
38. Complete a DIY home project
39. Brush up on my French – get to at least 70% fluency on Duolingo
40. Learn a new skill or improve a current skill
41. Learn more about photography
42. Redesign the blog
43. Read three biographies
44. Read five fiction books
45. Read two classic books
46. Read five nonfiction books
47. Read every day for one month
48. Read the New Testament
49. Try a new workout class
50. Run two half marathons or one full marathon
51. Reach out to and meet other bloggers
52. Attend a workshop to enhance my career
53. Try new wines, learn more about them, and determine which types I typically like

Giving
54. Volunteer for a cause I’m passionate about
55. Donate blood
56. Pay for coffee for someone in line behind me
57. Send a small gift to five people out of the blue
58. Unexpectedly give to someone else (monetarily, time, gifts, etc.)
59. Send and unexpected card or package to a friend
60. Bring meals to friends who become new parents

Here we go! Do you share any of these goals? Can help keep me accountable for some in particular?

january goals

This is the week of goals here! How have you been doing with yours? It feels like my December goals post was so so far away. So much has happened since then! In efforts to cultivate my goal of simplifying this year, I’m going to try to add one thing that will simplify my life to each month’s goals. This month I’m focusing on my home – decluttering and purging. I have read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “A Simplified Life” which both give great tips on decluttering, but I’m still not very good at it. Wish me luck!

2018 january goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

December Goals
– Get all of our Christmas shopping done by December 17 (we’re so close already!)  YES! All of our Christmas shopping except for a few stocking stuffers was done by December 10th! This was one of the best things we did this season – it left room for more Christmas activities and I was less stressed about finishing our shopping than I have been in previous years.
– Continue to exercise and practice self-care as the season gets crazy. This includes getting more sleep than I have been getting recently.  Definitely didn’t get more sleep, but I did a great job at keeping up an exercise routine, so I’m marking this as completed.
– Post all of my gift guides by December 12 – Nope, but close. I should have switched this date with the date for finishing my Christmas shopping ;)
– Decorate for Christmas so our home is available for planned or impromptu holiday gatherings  Yes! I seriously cried when we had to take down the Christmas tree before we left on our New Year’s trip.
– Meal plan again – we have been going out of town so much that our meal planning fell to the side on weekends, which left us scrounging during the week. I want to get back to planning our meals again because it always makes the evenings less stressful. – Didn’t do a great job of this at all. Whomp whomp.
– Spend meaningful time with both of our families for Christmas celebrations Yes, yes, yes. We spent time with lots of family in December and it was all so wonderful.

January Goals
– Clean our apartment
– Purge at least one bag of things I don’t use or need
– Build in free time on our trips to make them relaxing rather than overwhelming
– Wake up early enough to enjoy a slow morning before work at least two days a week
– Get back to meal planning

What are your January goals? Any tips for decluttering? I’m all ears!

2018

2018 goals

Happy 2018! I didn’t intend to take so much time off from blogging, but with a very busy holiday season I didn’t have much time to take and edit photos or write posts. I would usually stress about the next time I would be able to prepare a post, but I found such peace from spending time with friends and family over the holidays that I realized I haven’t had (or haven’t made time for) relaxation and rejuvenation in a long time. Instead of stressing about a certain number of blog or Instagram posts over the last few weeks, I focused on being present with the people I love and doing things just for enjoyment, not for social media. While I spent the end of 2017 rushed and exhausted, I entered 2018 refreshed and relaxed.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but as you know, I do like regularly setting good goals. Last year my goal was growth, and I really feel like I achieved that in many aspects of my life. I grew in my professional life, creative abilities, skills, fitness, and toward the end of the year, in my ability to recognize when I need to simplify and slow down. I learned a lot and am excited to put it all to use this year.

I recently read the book, A Simplified Life, by Emily Ley. The principle of the book is that in our modern world we are living busy, overwhelming lives, and have a lot of things vying for our attention, but we can adjust some of these things to make life a little simpler so we have more time to enjoy those we love and the rest and activities that fill our tanks. As I learned in December, continuing at such a crazy pace will quickly drain me and eventually cause burnout. These lessons come at a fitting time, as 2018 is so fresh and I am coming off such a wonderful period of rejuvenating rest. My goal for this year is to put those lessons to use and simplify. It will be easier in some areas of life and very difficult in others, but I know it will make for a better year and a better me when I am with my family and friends.

I’m looking forward to getting back into blogging this week, and I’m so excited for what this new year holds! Happy new year, friends!

december goals

Happy December! This is the case for most people, but I always find that December is always a fun, but very crazy month. It is easy to do too much, go to fast, and burn out before Christmas gets here. I am already exhausted from everything leading up to December, so I am trying to combat that stress and burnout that could happen by narrowing down my December goals and focusing on only a few things well.

2017 December Goals | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

November Goals:
– Vote! – Ugh, I researched and tried to go, but when I got home from work (via the bus) my car wouldn’t start so I couldn’t get to the polls :( The next few days consisted of getting this car problem fixed.
– Celebrate 10 years with Will!!!Yes! :) We didn’t do anything big, but enjoyed spending the evening together before a busy weekend.
– Make a new pie recipeYes! This and this.
– Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day – I did well at the beginning of the month, but fell behind when travel and Thanksgiving came around.
– Go on a walk/run on nearby trails (maybe on the Pumpkin loop, since I missed that last month) to enjoy the last of the fall leaves and weatherDidn’t make it to the pumpkin loop, but I did enjoy and take in the fall weather and pretty leaves.
Continue to exercise outside even as the weather gets colder and the amount of sunlight gets shorterYes. I’m always shocked by how early and how fast it gets dark this time of year.
– Stretch at least 3 times a week (I got a charley horse (so painful!) twice last month and I’m hoping to stretch more to try to prevent that happening this month.) – Moslty. I was doing really well at the beginning of the month, and even until thanksgiving week, but have been slacking since then.
Use my time efficiently at work and at home – less mindless checking and refreshing Instagram, no Instagram after 10pmI did well with this one again this month. I’m taking this off the monthly goals list and making it my rule going forward.
Acknowledge at least one thing I’m grateful for each day (I do this every few days, and should be doing this everyday, but I figure Thanksgiving month is a good time to start this habit!)This was such a good exercise. I kept my gratitude list, numbered with the days of the month, next to my bed, and wrote down what I was grateful for each night before I went to bed. It kept me focused on all of the blessings we have, rather than the stress of the day.
Finish our “coffeeneuring” adventures strong (more on this soon!)Yes! In case you missed it, you can find the post on this here)
Spend time with family and rest over ThanksgivingTo say that we rested is a stretch, but we spent time with lots of family and had one of the best Thanksgivings yet.
Plan/purchase most of our Christmas giftsYes! Only a few left to get!

December Goals:
– Get all of our Christmas shopping done by December 17 (we’re so close already!)
– Continue to exercise and practice self-care as the season gets crazy. This includes getting more sleep than I have been getting recently.
– Post all of my gift guides by December 12
– Decorate for Christmas so our home is available for planned or impromptu holiday gatherings
– Meal plan again – we have been going out of town so much that our meal planning fell to the side on weekends, which left us scrounging during the week. I want to get back to planning our meals again because it always makes the evenings less stressful.
– Spend meaningful time with both of our families for Christmas celebrations

Are you simplifying your goals this month to create a more relaxing and meaningful holiday? What are your tips? I need all the help I can get!

november goals

October was so full and so good. Going into the month I was coming off of a very busy September, and I knew that November would be a busy month too. October started out hectic, but between Will’s fall break, my trips to the mountains and to NYC, and some good family time, October ended up being just what I needed. It was busy and filled with lots of activity, but still restful because the activity was not stressful. On top of that, the weather finally cooled down and the gorgeous colors popped on the trees. Overall, I’d take October again in a heartbeat. Here’s hoping that November can compete! :)

November Goals 2017

October goals:
– Enjoy a fall treat – pumpkin chocolate chip bread, Levain cookies (not necessarily a “fall treat,” but definitely a treat in the fall)
– Take advantage of the cooler weather by exercising outside regularly, including a run on the “Pumpkin Loop” – I did run outside regularly (the weather was amazing!), but not on the Pumpkin Loop, so moving this one to next month.
– Make a new soup recipe – Tried this butternut squash soup and this tomato soup. Both were great, but the tomato soup has been on repeat!
– Enjoy relaxing time with family on our siblings’ fall breaks – <3
– Enjoy time with friends on trips for work (NYC) and fun (mountains) – Both were so good! The photo above is from my trip to NYC. If I can get my act together I’ll be sharing more soon!
– Use my time efficiently at work and at home – less mindless checking and refreshing Instagram, no Instagram after 10pm – This was such a good goal and I’m so glad I stuck to it. I already feel like I have dropped the habit of checking social media late at night, but I’m carrying it over until I’m sure it sticks.
– Drink at least 80 oz of water a day – I am usually good at getting at least 68, but have been lax about this recently and feeling dehydrated because of it. – Crossing this off because I did this almost every day, but was bad about it while I was traveling (I hate using airplane bathrooms). Moving it to next month so I can continue to get into a better habit.
– Dress up to give candy to trick-or-treaters! – I was Cinderella :)
– Make a practice-round dish for Thanksgiving – We made brown butter maple sweet potatoes with my family while my brother was home for fall break!

November goals:
– Vote!
– Celebrate 10 years with Will!!!
– Make a new pie recipe
– Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day
– Go on a walk/run on nearby trails (maybe on the Pumpkin loop, since I missed that last month) to enjoy the last of the fall leaves and weather
– Continue to exercise outside even as the weather gets colder and the amount of sunlight gets shorter
– Stretch at least 3 times a week (I got a charley horse (so painful!) twice last month and I’m hoping to stretch more to try to prevent that happening this month.)
– Use my time efficiently at work and at home – less mindless checking and refreshing Instagram, no Instagram after 10pm
– Acknowledge at least one thing I’m grateful for each day (I do this every few days, and should be doing this everyday, but I figure Thanksgiving month is a good time to start this habit!)
– Finish our “coffeeneuring” adventures strong (more on this soon!)
– Spend time with family and rest over Thanksgiving
– Plan/purchase most of our Christmas gifts

Do you have any big (or small) goals for this month? Leave them in the comments below!

october goals

October is one of my favorite months of the year. I love fall weather and the fun autumn activities that come with it. While the shorter days can sometimes be a downside to the season, the early dark skies make it easier to cozy up in a warm blanket with a mug of hot apple cider on crisp nights. I’m excited for what is to come this season, both in life and on the blog. I recently planned two quick trips, one for work and one for fun, and am really looking forward to both. The process for both was so quick and unexpected that it feels like I’m being spontaneous, even if they are still weeks away :). I’m looking forward to October.

Pumpkin Bread with Chai Crumble | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Get the recipe for this pumpkin bread with chai crumble here!

September goals:
– Create and stick to a better editorial calendar for the blog – I think I did this pretty well! I’m still going with my editorial calendar and am getting into a rhythm with it. I’m a little afraid I may overschedule and burn out, but we’ll see how it goes!
– Spend a weekend with family at my cousin’s wedding – Lots of rain, lots of family time, a really adorable coffee shop, and the best everything bagel I have ever had in my life.
– Continue to exercise regularly as my work schedule ramps up. Specifically, run when I can and do at-home exercises if the weather is bad. - Yes, but was more lenient with myself when I was absolutely exhausted from lots of overtime weeks. I did try a new group fitness class, which I loved!
– Get a mattress for the new bed (DIY coming soon!) in our second bedroom – Yes, after months and months we finally completed this one! You can see the DIY cane headboard tutorial here!
– Go apple picking! – We missed the “u pick” window at the apple orchard nearby, but we went pumpkin picking instead, so I’m crossing this one off. One form of fall produce counts for another, right?

October goals:
– Enjoy a fall treat
– Take advantage of the cooler weather by exercising outside regularly, including a run on the “Pumpkin Loop”
– Make a new soup recipe
– Enjoy relaxing time with family on our siblings’ fall breaks
– Enjoy time with friends on trips for work (NYC) and fun (mountains)
– Use my time efficiently at work and at home – less mindless checking and refreshing Instagram, no Instagram after 10pm
– Drink at least 80 oz of water a day – I am usually good at getting at least 68, but have been lax about this recently and feeling dehydrated because of it.
– Dress up to give candy to trick-or-treaters!
– Make a practice-round dish for Thanksgiving

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