Personal Growth,  Personal Growth Goals

July 2019 Personal Growth Goals

June is over and I’m now back from my 3 week trip to Rwanda. It was an amazing trip with lots of exploring and sightseeing and learning. I even took a boat ride that was joined by a monkey who jumped on from a nearby island. Needless to say, I was sad for the trip to end, but glad to be back home with my husband. 

Overall, I didn’t do so well with my goals in June, but that was to be expected with my routine being thrown off so much by travel. Now that I’m back, I’m ready to jump into my July personal growth goals full force! 

Rwanda - Land of a Thousand Hills
Rwanda is called “The Land of a Thousand Hills”. I took this photo as we were driving out to visit a tea plantation in the countryside.

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Trip Highlights

Because I’m sure you’re dying to see photos from my trip, I’ll share a few highlights. (Okay, I know you’re not dying to see them, but I really want to share them, so…)

Most of my time in Rwanda was spent in Kigali, the capital city. But, one weekend, I took a bus out to Lake Kivu and spent a day on a boat, exploring some of the lake’s island.

We hiked up a hill on an island to see some bats and enjoy the stunning view. (I had gone for a 10K walk before hiking this steep hill in my flip flops, so, needless to say, I was a little tired.)

At one point during our boat ride, a monkey hopped on board to say hello.

Here’s me photographing the monkey as he got a little too close for comfort:

Okay, now that I’ve forced you to relive the highlights of my trip, we can move on to what you’re actually here for, my personal growth goals!

Personal Growth Goals

Since my goals for last month and this month are the same, I’m not going to separate them out. I’ll just cover how I did last month and what I’m planning to do this month under the same heading. Cool? 

Get out of bed at 6am consistently 

I definitely struggled with this in Rwanda. Our days were so busy that, during my downtime, I was always very tired. Most nights I would fall asleep early, then wake up early and just lie in bed. So, I was generally awake by 6, but not out of bed. 

I’ve come to realize that 6am is really not that early. The only reason I’m not getting out of bed is because I don’t want to and I’ve convinced myself that I can’t.  

I need to change the narrative to say, “6am isn’t that early. The sun is shining. It’s a great time to be awake.” 

Read the Bible every day 

I didn’t do so well with this either. Early this year, I was doing really well being consistent with my quiet time in the morning but haven’t focused on it in a few months. 

In February, I started a plan to read through the whole Bible in a year, but got off schedule a few months in. I need to get back on track with it. 

So, in July, I’m resetting the plan and starting where I left off. 

Journal every day 

I journaled once in June. So, not exactly a win. 

Like I mentioned last month, journaling is a good morning activity for me, since mornings give the quiet privacy that I need for journaling. 

Ultimately, it all ties back to getting up early and keeping up with a routine to read and pray and journal and exercise each morning. 

Exercise every day 

This sort of happened unintentionally this month.  

While in Rwanda, I was taking classes for my MA program and the classroom was about a mile from the guesthouse. We would walk there in the morning, then walk back to the guesthouse for lunch, then walk back to the classroom for afternoon sessions before heading back to the guesthouse in the evening. Walking that much each day with a backpack filled with books and a laptop was definitely a workout. 

Despite the fact that it wasn’t an intentional workout, I can tell that it’s helped with my physical wellbeing and I think it’s a good starting point for getting into an actual workout routine now that I’m back home. 

Before I left, I put together a plan to help me go from being completely inactive to running one mile. I like to joke that I don’t need a “Couch-to-5K”, I need a “Bed-to-1K”. So, this is my “Bed-to-1 mile”.  

I’m actually really looking forward to being able to say that I can run an entire mile without stopping. That might be pitiful for some, but it’s definitely a big achievement for me. 

Eat 1600 calories or less a day 

I didn’t keep track of this while I was in Rwanda. It would have been somewhat difficult to do, since much of the food that I ate doesn’t have an English name and I have no ideas how many calories were in each dish. 

However, it’s highly likely that I ate more than 1600 calories each day. The food there was amazing and I went back for seconds at almost every meal.  

Now that I’m back, it should be a little easier to keep track of what I’m eating and make sure I don’t go overboard. 

Eat gluten no more than once a week 

I did really well the first two weeks of the month, but then sort of went rogue. 

The people that I stayed with in Rwanda had a theory that the gluten in different types of flour affects people differently. So your body may not react the same way to gluten in Africa has it would to gluten in the US. 

I decided to test the theory and found it to be fairly inconclusive. I ate a number of different foods that contained gluten and was fine many days, including one day that I had pancakes and another day that I had enchiladas with flour tortillas. But then I had zucchini bread once and banana bread once and felt ill on both those days. So, who knows?!  

But I’m back now and back to being gluten free. 

I’m grateful for all the gluten substitution products we have here in the US. Especially gluten-free pasta. I love pasta. 

Books I’m Reading 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple 

This was another book club pick. 

I had heard really good things about this book before I picked it up, but I ended up being slightly disappointed; only because I had an expectation that it would be different from what it was. 

Going into it, I thought it would be a suspenseful book, but it wasn’t really ever suspenseful. Instead, it was funny and thoughtful and sort of light-hearted.  

Overall, it was actually a great read. It’s really well written and the characters are incredibly dynamic. 

I’d definitely recommend it. 

Just don’t think it’s going to be suspenseful… because it won’t. 

If I Run Series by Terri Blackstock 

I just happened across this series in the library and remember reading another book by the author when I was in high school. I had really enjoyed the other book, so I figured I’d give these a try, as well. 

The series was action-packed and intriguing. I was constantly wondering what would happen next, and I was admittedly a little upset when I had to wait for the third book, which was on hold at the library. 

Despite being slightly cheesy about romance and faith, the books were pretty good. I’ll definitely pick up a few more books by this author down the road. 

More Personal Growth Goals

June 2019 Personal Growth Goals
May 2019 Personal Growth Goals
April 2019 Personal Growth Goals

One Last Note 

June was such a fun month of travel and exploration. Now that I’m back home, I’m looking forward to getting back into my morning routine and working towards my personal growth goals. 

Have you set goals for the month? Let me know in the comments!

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