March was one of those months that was really long but, somehow, went by so quickly.
The course I’m taking for my MA right now is a TON of work, so I spent most of the month focused on schoolwork – reading a million academic journals and writing a literature review that took way too long to finish.
At times, I felt like I was heading towards burnout again, but with some of the mindset skills I’ve learned over the past few months, I was able to take a step back, identify the stressors, and change the way I was thinking about them.
I’m actually really proud of how I handled March’s craziness and I’m ready to tackle April, which is shaping up to be even more crazy!
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March Goals Report
Follow through with a daily morning routine
As I mentioned in last month’s post, I recently read Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and decided to try out his morning routine strategy.
I’ll be completely honest in saying that I haven’t woken up early every morning (or even most mornings), but I did do a really great job with following through on most of the six habits:
I love having silence be the first thing I do every morning.
When I first wake up, I normally grab my journal, which also has my affirmations, and my phone, which has my Bible app, and I sit down on the couch with a cozy blanket.
Then I take a couple minutes to just be still.
It has become one of my favorite moments of each day and it helps me start off my day feeling calm and in control.
I had never done affirmations before picking up Miracle Morning. I actually thought affirmations were kind of weird and… well, I don’t know… just weird.
But I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did.
For me, affirmations are almost like a list of priorities. I’ve written out a separate affirmation for each area of my life, including faith and marriage. It’s those affirmations about faith and marriage that remind each morning what’s really important.
Early this month, as I was working on my research paper, I was spending a lot of time locked in my office and not a lot of time with my husband. But then my affirmations reminded me that my husband is so much more important than any “A” I might get. So I started spending less time on perfecting my assignments and more time hanging out with my husband.
I don’t think I could have picked a better month to start my affirmations, because they made a huge difference in how I focused my time this month.
After silence and affirmations each morning, I spend about 10 to 20 minutes reading the Bible.
About six weeks ago, I decided to try to read through the Bible in one year. Despite being a Christian my whole life, I’ve never read all the way through the Bible before. So, I’m now rectifying that and, so far, have read through Genesis, Job, and Exodus.
I’m actually really surprised at how well I’m keeping up with my reading plan, and I can definitely say that making reading a priority each morning before work is the only way I’ve been able to be so consistent.
In all honesty, visualization for me looks a lot more like planning than actual visualization.
Some mornings I do this at home after reading, but most mornings I end up doing this at work. As part of April’s goal, I’d like to start doing this at home more.
For planning my day, I use both Trello and my bullet journal. (You can read about my Trello system here.) So I get my laptop and my journal and I take about 15 minutes to review the day before and add in or move around any tasks that are left over.
Okay, these last two habits are where I need a little work. I did exercise a handful of times this month, but not in the morning.
I’d like to start exercising in the morning, but I’d kind of like for the weather to be a little warmer and for the sun to rise a little earlier so that I can go for a walk in the morning. My husband wants to wake up a little earlier too, so I think it’d be nice if we went for a walk together each morning. (I haven’t run that plan by him yet, though.)
I noticed the sun was out around 6:30 this morning, so I think it might be bright enough now for me to start implementing this.
I only journaled once in March.
I think what I find so difficult is that I don’t know what to write about. I used to write all the time. I had notebook after notebook full of random writings, but it’s been a little while, and now I’m at a loss for what to even write.
It’s funny because I think writing will make a big difference by giving me space and time to just think, but then when I go to actually write I feel really awkward with nothing to say.
Maybe if I just start writing whatever and make a habit of it each morning, I’ll figure out what to write about.
Don’t work on Sundays
I’ve been doing pretty well with this rule and I still love it.
However, there was one Sunday when I decided to work on my research paper because my literature review was due that day and I wasn’t even close to being done. I could definitely feel the effects of not taking a break that week, and, while I don’t entirely regret it because the assignment needed to get done, I do know that I’d still rather not work on Sundays whenever possible.
This will continue to be a rule for me going forward and I don’t see it changing any time soon.
April Personal Growth Goals
Get out of bed at 6am consistently
While I’ve been following through with the six Miracle Morning habits pretty well, I haven’t been waking up early enough, which often results in me getting to work later than I’d like. I’m lucky to have a somewhat flexible work schedule, but I would still like to get to work fairly early, so that I can leave a little earlier, too.
I want to make it a habit to get out of bed every morning at 6am, with the exception of Saturdays, maybe, so that I have time to do each habit before work.
As you probably know by now, waking up early is one of the most difficult things for me, and doing so consistently is a huge challenge. My big problem is that I REALLY love my bed – it’s so warm and cozy.
I realized this morning that the main reason I don’t wake up early is that I don’t completely believe that it’s worth it. When I have the opportunity to stay in my super cozy bed, it’s difficult to convince myself that getting out of bed will be better. So I need to find a way to change some of my thinking around waking up early.
Books I’m Reading
I was so busy reading for school this month that I didn’t end up reading anything else. So, unless you want me to list a bunch of academic journals, I’m going to skip this section this month.
I’ve already picked up a couple books to read in April, so I’ll definitely have some to share in next month’s post.
Previous Personal Growth Goals
One Last Note
March was a crazy month, but I can tell that some of the personal growth skills I’ve been learning have started to really make a difference in the way I handle certain situations.
With Easter coming, my sister visiting, a big meeting at work happening, my research paper being due, and my wisdom teeth being removed, April will likely be even crazier than March. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out and to getting some big things crossed off my list.
Let me know in the comments what your personal growth goals are for April!