Archive of ‘goals’ category

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

fall fun list

Friday is the first official day of fall and I’m more than ready!

Fall Fun List 2017 | www.passthecookies.comvia Pinterest

I have always loved fall, but in the past few years, the crisp season has solidified its place as my favorite of the four. If you know me, you know that I am a huge sucker for all things pumpkin, but I also love the bright colors of the changing leaves, the memories that come with the spiced scent of mulling spices in apple cider, and the fun traditions that come with the autumn months and the cooler weather. I have posted about my fall bucket lists before (here and here), and other seasonal bucket lists, but sometimes I feel like the term “bucket list,” can put a lot of pressure on this casual list. To me, a bucket list evokes the sense that everything has to be completed or the overall list is a failure. This isn’t the case, and I don’t write these lists with that mindset. I love fall, and I want to do these things because they bring me joy, not because I may feel like I am a failure if I don’t check them off the list. To change the mental mindset around this fall list, I am renaming it a fall fun list, instead of a bucket list. What is on your fall fun list?! I’m always looking for more great ideas! :)

Fall Fun List
– Visit a pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins! (This was so fun last year!)
– Drink hot apple cider
– Make a pumpkin treat
– Dress up to serve candy to the trick-or-treaters in our complex
– Send a fall-themed care package
– Make a new pie for Thanksgiving
– Celebrate 10 years with Will! (Can you believe it?!)
– Decorate our front stoop
– Host (or help host) a fall-themed event – I’m thinking a soup and cornbread party, a girls craft night or tea party
– Go on a walk/hike/trek on trails to enjoy the cool weather and changing leaves

summer bucket list update

Since the Friday marks the official start to fall, I thought I would check in on our summer bucket list progress.

2017 Summer Bucket List Update | www.passthecookies.com

This summer flew by so quickly. My work schedule never calmed down over the summer months, so in some ways it doesn’t really feel like summer was fully here. We traveled almost every weekend, which made the weeks blur together, but we still had some great times enjoying the slower pace that came with a summer (read: empty) college town. I’m not the biggest fan of summer – I get crazy bug bites, I don’t like sweating in the NC heat, and I’m not a fan of the beach – but I will miss the slow evenings, long days, and quiet streets. Saying goodbye to these sweet parts of summer is easier with fall right on its heels. Fall is my favorite season and I’m so excited to welcome the cooler weather, changing colors, and autumn flavors. I’m posting my fall list later this week, so stay tuned! (more…)

september goals

Looking back at my August goals, the beginning of August seems so far away, yet so much happened in the month. Will traded in hospital clinicals for a new semester of classes, and my work schedule ramped up as our office jumped head first into the academic year. Amidst all of that, we traveled to a traditional Indian full-day wedding and spent quality time with friends and family. We packed August with all of the good stuff.

2017 September Goals | www.passthecookies.com

As we head into the new month, with new September goals, I am excited about the seasons ahead. While fall doesn’t really arrive in North Carolina until October, it has already started to cool down a bit as the pumpkin and apple treats seem to be come more and more appropriate (though those are always appropriate in my book ;) ). We have established some great September/early-fall traditions over the past few years that I am looking forward to continuing this month.

August goals:
– Pick a paint color for the second bedroom – After testing 6 paint colors, we found one we (read: I) liked!
– Paint the second bedroom – Will and his brother did the bulk of this and it looks so good!
– Celebrate weddings with friends
– Enjoy some relaxing time with Will between rotations and the start of classes – Post coming soon!
– Spend quality time with my mom and sister on our inaugural girls trip – Post coming soon!
– Get into a routine with Write the Word journal – This has been a great resource for me and I really like the groove I am in with it right now.
– Read a book at least three days a week – Switched off between a few, but accomplished this one!
– Pick blackberries – I looked for them, but the deer had eaten most of them in one patch and they were starting to shrivel in another patch. We did find some figs instead though, so I would still say we accomplished the general goal of foraging for fruit.
-Make a plan or a timeline for our list of projects

September goals:
– Create and stick to a better editorial calendar for the blog
– Spend a weekend with family at my cousin’s wedding
– 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.
– Get a mattress for the new bed (DIY coming soon!) in our second bedroom
– Go apple picking!

My goals are short and sweet this month, but hopefully that means I will be able to accomplish them without stress. What is on your list as we finish out the summer and get ready for fall? I’d love to hear!

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