Can you believe we’re almost halfway through the year?! It’s now time to recap May and share my June 2019 personal growth goals.
In June, I’ll be spending three weeks in Rwanda for my MA residency, so May was a busy month, working to get everything done and ready to go. I’m still busy packing and finishing up some papers that are due at the residency, so this first week of June will be a busy one.
My trip also means that this month will be a little different than other months have been, with a little less freedom in my schedule.
I’m excited for this month, though, because I’m taking a whole new approach to my personal growth goals.
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A New Approach
For the last year, I’ve been setting monthly goals – generally one or two goals at a time. But then when the month is done and I set new goals, I forget everything I worked towards the previous month.
I’ve realized recently that I’m in a cycle of repeating the same goals every few months because they didn’t stick the first time.
So, this month and for the rest of the year, I’m taking a new approach.
Going forward, I will have a set group of habits that I want to create during 2019. These habits are not goals with a set deadline. They are habits that I hope to carry on for the rest of my life.
When reading Girl, Stop Apologizing, I loved Rachel Hollis’s suggestion to think about who and where you want to be ten years from now and pick a goal for each year between now and then that will get you to where you want to be.
While I don’t think I can even imagine who and where I’ll be in ten years (I tried and failed miserably), I do think that I can plan for the next four years. So, I thought through who I want to be four years from now and I came up with a small set of goals for each of the next four years.
This year is all about setting a good foundation.
I’ve chosen a few goals (that are actually habits) that will help me set the foundations for success. I plan to work on all of these habits simultaneously throughout the rest of 2019.
But, before I share what they are, let’s review how my goals went for May.
May Goals Report
Get out of bed at 6am consistently
In May, I set only one goal. Despite my intention to not let any excuses get in the way, I didn’t do so well on my goal in May.
Between having my wisdom teeth removed and preparing for my upcoming trip to Rwanda, May has been a very stressful month and I let the stress get the best of me.
Most days in May, I felt perpetually exhausted. The stress of getting things done meant that I worked long hours and never took real breaks. It also meant that no matter how much I got done, I felt like there was a never-ending list of more things to do.
Perpetual stress isn’t always physically exhausting but it is mentally exhausting, and, most mornings, all I wanted to do is stay in bed.
This is where my new approach comes into play.
I’ve recognized that, sometimes, forming a habit takes a long time. So, this isn’t a habit I’m giving up on. It’s one that I’m taking on for the long haul.
June Personal Growth Goals
My first four habits for the rest of the year are all part of creating a morning routine.
My goal is to have them build off of one another to create a habit of a consistent morning routine that involves all four of these elements.
Get out of bed at 6am consistently
The time isn’t necessarily what matters here, as much as it’s the consistency that matters.
Getting up whenever I feel like it makes it difficult to wake up at a time that works for having a full morning routine before work. If I have the option to get out of bed at a later time, I generally do.
It’s also an unnecessary decision that I have to make each morning – will I get up now or will I get up 30 minutes from now? If I’ve made it a habit to get up at 6 every morning, I won’t even have to think about it.
Read the Bible every day
As you probably know by now, if you’ve read any of my other goal reports, my faith is very important to me and, for me, it’s an important part of creating a strong foundation for success.
If my relationship with God is failing, nothing else really matters.
So, I’m making it a habit to read the Bible every day and spend some time in prayer afterwards.
I’ve also never read all the way through the Bible, something I’ve committed to doing this year, so reading every day is crucial if I want to make it all the way through in one year.
Journal every day
Journaling is something I used to do all the time.
When I was in school, I would write quite a bit while in class or after school when I had time alone. But, since graduating a few years ago, I’ve struggled to pick it up again.
I think it’s partially because journaling feels very vulnerable to me. I don’t want others to see what I write or to even be around when I’m writing. So it’s important that I set aside a time when I’m alone to journal without having to worry that someone might intrude on my space.
In the morning before my husband gets out of bed is the perfect time.
Exercise every day
This is probably the most difficult habit for me to form. When it comes to exercising, I am the queen of excuses.
In order to exercise consistently, I know I’ll need an excuse-proof plan that involves some accountability.
I recently touched base with a few women in my friend group who want to be more intentional about exercising, as well. So, we’re going to put together a group to train together over the summer for a 4 mile run. I’m looking forward to the accountability and the company.
The last habit I’m going to form this year is also related to my health:
Eat gluten no more than once a week
For a while, I was completely gluten free. I didn’t eat gluten at all ever.
But then I started to make a few exceptions here and there and I now eat gluten whenever I’m tempted.
I’ve realized from eating it occasionally, that gluten won’t make me sick every time I eat it. It only makes me sick when I eat excessive amounts of it. And I love gluten. So, I don’t want to deprive myself of it completely.
Instead, I want to allow myself to eat it once a week, so that I can decide when it’s really worth it, without going overboard enough to let myself get sick.
I want to try this for a couple months to see how it goes. If I find that I can’t moderate myself and am consistently eating gluten more than once a week, then I’ll need to cut it out completely.
This habit will be difficult while I’m in Rwanda because a lot of their meals contain gluten. Last time I was there, I hadn’t figured out yet that gluten was the culprit and I ended up getting very sick, so this year I’ll be coming up with a plan for eating gluten-free while in Rwanda.
Books I’m Reading
I spent most of my commute time in May listening to audiobooks instead of podcasts, so I was able to make it through more books than normal.
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
I particularly loved the chapter about finish lines. Gretchen explains that finish lines or concrete goal timelines actually undermine our ability to create long-term sustainable habits. I can see how this is true with these monthly goal reports.
It reminds me of something I heard: “Never do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do for the rest of your life.”
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
I LOVED this book! Growing up in a home where I was expected to be relatively prim and proper all the time, to consistently say and do the right thing, I found this book incredibly amusing and relatable.
Blue Castle is about a girl who finds out she’s dying and decides to throw caution to the wind and defy all the things she has been told are “right” in order to finally live for the last year of her life.
It’s one of the most innocent and lovely stories I’ve read in a long time and I can’t tell you just how thoroughly I enjoyed it. If you enjoyed Anne of Green Gables, you’ll love this one, too. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Like The Blue Castle, this book was a sweet and innocent love story and I really enjoyed reading it! I’m not sure how I stumbled across two books this month that I loved so much, but it really was a good month for lucky finds.
The story starts as a statement on materialism and bad parenting and turns into a love story that had me on the edge of my seat hoping for the best the entire second half of the book.
I was so enthralled that, when the book ended, I was sad, simply because I wanted to keep reading it. Agnes Grey definitely makes my list of books I’d recommend.
More Personal Growth Goals
One Last Note
I’m very excited about my new approach to setting personal goals and I hope my journey through the rest of the year is helpful and inspiring to you.
Let me know in the comments what you’re goals are for June!