August Goals

We are officially 9 days in to August and this month seems almost over. This summer has been very busy and it’s crazy to think that school is about to begin again. As a parent I am not looking forward to another few quarters of distance learning. I am ready for our kiddo to get back to school and interact with others. School is balance between learning and social interaction. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, kiddo’s are suffering from the lack of social interaction. I have been trying my best to keep our kiddo’s as busy as possible this summer.

With that being said:

Goal #1: Prepare our First Grader for the First Grade

First grade is approaching quickly, with only a few more weeks left of summer break. I figured now is the time to start reinforcing workbook practice sheets in order to refresh our daughter on things she learned in kindergarten, as well as challenge her with some first grade work. I found these really great workbooks on Amazon. These workbooks are fun, interactive, and engaging.

I even considered purchasing some home schooling curriculum in support of distance learning. As parents we are going to need to supplement our children with additional learning resources in order to get through this distance learning. There is no way that we can simply depend on online curriculum to teach our children. Distance learning is an alternative but is not a replacement for classroom setting learning. Children will loose a lot of basic skills, writing specifically if we allow technology to be a replacement to physical “old school” learning.

Goal #2: Start Letter Writing

Since I have been a active bible study I have felt so encouraged to share the good news with others. I learn so much from each weeks bible study that I decided I wanted to start letter writing to others. This month I plan to first start out by writing letters to my close family members and friends. The purpose of my letter writing will be to provide words of affirmation, inspiration, and encouragement to others from a biblical standpoint.

Goal #3: Plan Family Worship

While hubby and I both attend weekly congregational bible studies, we also conduct our own personal bible study together. Something that we both want to do more of is plan our family worship nights with the children. Learning about the bible and biblical principles is important to incorporate in your family life. Children are like sponges and are so eager to learn. We have dedicated Monday nights for family worship and I will plan for this by picking out a chapter for us to go over in the “Teach Your Children” bible publication.

May Goals: Carpe Diem

A friend once told me that time is something you can never get back. So that means we must make every second and moment in our life count. Spend your life doing all of the things you want and enjoy. We cannot get back time missed. We will have enough time to rest and sleep when we die.

Carpe Diem (Translation: Seize the Day!)

Poet Horace

This Latin aphorism is used to expressed the urge to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future. For we do not know what the future holds. My plans for this month is to fully seize each day. This means being intentional with my time. I will not over consume myself with busyness or daunting tasks. I will focus on 5 things that I would like to incorporate into my daily schedule, in order to bring joy to my daily routine.

Daily Walks

Walking is one of my favorite ways to distress. It’s something about being outside breathing in fresh air, feeling the wind up against your face that is so refreshing. Walking immediately boosts my mood. Particularly, I really enjoy early morning walks when the dew is still in the air. Daily walking is also a great way to maintain a healthy and balanced weight.

Here are some ways to stay motivated when committing to walking daily:

  • Set yourself up for success by setting simple goals. For example, committing to walking 10-30 minutes on your lunch break is a great start.
  • Make walking enjoyable. Listen to music or an audio book to past the time.
  • Vary your routine. Walk outdoors and switch up your routes. Find a local park or trail to walk with different scenery. Invite friends or family to join you on your walk.
  • Don’t stress over missed days. If you miss your daily walk- try again the next day. Remind yourself how much better you feel after walking. This reminder will be sure to motivate you to stay on track.

Commit to Self-Reflection

Self-reflection allows us to gain a better understanding of our emotions, strengths, weaknesses and driving factors. For this month I want to dive a little deeper into myself and I plan on doing this by keeping a gratitude journal for 30 days.

Writing down daily all of the things I am grateful for is important in order to focus my energy on appreciating and giving thanks to others. This is a great way for me to focus daily on the positive things in my life no matter how big or small.

Study a New Language

I really would love to learn French. I am inspired to learn this language as traveling to France is on my bucket list under places to travel. Studying a new language can be a daunting tasks but with practice I believe that it can be a fun new learning experience.

I am not a big fan of learning through reading. So, when I learn about a app called Duolingo I decided that I would set some time aside to focus on learning a new language. For this month I plan to withdraw some of my time from scrolling social media and instead open Duolingo to practice my French.

 I have heard so many good things about Duolingo, which is a fun and interactive way to learn a new language. With Duolingo you have access to personalized learning and receive immediate grading. One thing that I really like about the Duolingo app is how you earn rewards. You earn virtual coins that unlock new levels as you master new words, phrases, and grammar. I am all about making learning fun and this is a great way for me to work on studying a new language for this month.

Pay It Forward

Have you ever had someone pay for your coffee or morning breakfast? This has happened to me on more than one occasion and it’s a great feeling. Paying it forward is when the recipient of an act of kindness does something kind for someone else rather than simply accepting the good deed.

Something as small as paying it forward for the next person in line a great way to brighten someone’s day. To freely give to someone without any expectation of it being repaid back. You never know how your good deed can change or impact someone’s circumstance for the better. This month I am planning to pay it forward for someone else whenever I am in the drive thru during the month of May. I am challenging YOU to do the same!

Morning Meditation

Meditation should be performed on an empty stomach. It is recommended that meditation is performed at least four hours after eating, making morning meditation the best time to practice since you are still fasting. Each day during the month of May I will wake up 10 minutes earlier to stretch and meditate for 10-15 minutes.

My morning meditation will begin with stretching for 2-5 minutes before getting out of bed. Maybe a cup of tea to get me settled and comfortable. I will observe my breath and speak words of affirmation. Acknowledging all thoughts that cross my mind and releasing all negative thinking back into the universe. Ending my mediation with prayer before I step out into the world.

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I hope reading my May goals have inspired you to work towards accomplishing something great and positive this month. Focus on you, so you can give back to yourself and others through kindness and gratitude.

What are you goals for the month of May? What strategies are you using to help accomplish your goals? Comment below 🙂

Erica ❤

Monthly Planning With Erica | April Goals

Upcoming Plans for the Month of April

April showers bring May’s flowers. But, will we ever be able to enjoy our Spring or Summer this year? With the majority of States in America encouraging all citizens to quarantine at home it’s hard to imagine what the month of April will bring.

As I sit here and plan out my goals for the month of April, I am trying to be optimistic. Hoping that this pandemic will disappear and fade out as quickly as it swept across the nation. With the majority of businesses closed as a result of local shutdowns, I will be taking this time at home to re-focus on some area in my health and lifestyle that I want to improve.

For the month of April– I will be focusing on:

  • Eating fresh
  • Be more intentional in reading food labels
  • Core strength training

Eat Fresh

I have made a change in how I shop over the past few weeks. My focus is on buying fresh fruits and veggies. Not only is this more cost efficient but eating fresh has a lot of benefits.

10 Reasons to Eat Real Food:

  1. Loaded with important nutrients
  2. Provides vitamins and minerals to support your health
  3. Low in sugar
  4. High in fiber
  5. Improve skin
  6. High in healthy fats
  7. Contrains antioxidants
  8. Supports gut health
  9. Improves dental hygiene
  10. Reduce sugar cravings

On Monday I prepared a zucchini spaghetti, substituting noodles for zucchinis. This is a great low carb dish. And did you know that zucchini has a lot of nutritional value? Zucchini has the following vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folic acid. Zucchini also contacts antioxidants. Compared to your basic refined pasta noodles, which are higher in calories carbs, lower in fiber, and most other micro-nutrients. Zucchini is a great replacement and a good source for incorporating more vegetable servings in your meals.

Read Food Labels

How many of you actually read the ingredient labels before tossing an item in your cart? Food labels provide imporant information. By reading food labels it can help you make better and more controlled decisions regarding your diet and intake of high sugary foods. It is also imporant to understand what the recommended serving size is for that particular food.

Ingredients are also important to pay attention to when reading food labels. Take a look below and compare the ingredient list for a jar of peanut butter and almond butter.

Since when did peanut butter need all of those additives? This Wegman’s brand of peanut butter is simply NOT peanut butter. It contains: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Contains Less than 2% of Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed, Cottonseed, Soybean), Salt, Molasses. My goal is to eliminate additional sugar, hydrogenated oils, and soy out of my diet.

While, Targets Good & Gather Creamy Almond Butter contains just almonds. This is definitely a healthier option if you are looking for a nut butter. Almond butter is a great source for vitamin E, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and phosphorous. Also, it is a excellent source of monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber which supports heart health.

Core Strength Training

For those that have been following my blog you know that I enjoy yoga and pilates. Well, I came across an article on the blog, Lorieb a few days ago titled, Planks Still the Best Exercise. The article highlights the benefits of incorporating planking into your exercise routine.

I read this article after being tagged by my husband on Instagram to participate in a push up challenge. My attempt to do a push up was a epic FAIL. It was at that point when I told myself that I am going to focus more on core strength training.

Forearm planking is definitely a good way to engage and strengthen my core. Planks have been proven to help with and alleviate lower back pain. Back pain is something I suffer from since I sit down at my desk the majority of the day. Aside from assisting with alleviating back pain, planking tones your abdominal muscles. This is something all of us women who have bore children can benefit from. This is a exercise that should be done routinely and often, if not daily.

Plank when you wake up. A few minutes while watching television. Plank before bed. For my morning meditation I am going to wake up and set a timer to plank for at least 5 minutes starting out. When mediating you are already focusing and quieting your mind to align with you body. I truly believe that planking will add great value to my meditation practice. Starting off my day with a good workout, and warming up my muscles for the day ahead.

What are your goals for this month? Please share in the comments and let’s hold each other accountable.

-Erica ❤