This month, I started with my first “things we’ll do this month” list of fun(ish – but mostly fun) goals for the month. Things I want to do, see and try throughout the month, some new things, some old things revisited.
I was talking with a friend just days after I’d posted my August list. She’d asked about how I came up with the idea. I told her that I wasn’t really sure where it came from, but I knew that I’d hit on something that would be really good for me when it started keeping me up at night – in a good way. I found that as I was falling asleep, if I woke up for short periods in the night or first thing when I first opened my eyes in the morning, I would lay in bed thinking about what was already on my list for the next month and what I could add. As my list expanded, I had to start writing the ideas down and then, already knowing a few things I wanted for future, I started lists for the rest of the year. I added things related to holidays or special dates that I’d always wanted to do or celebrate, but that, every year, somehow ended on the backburner until I eventually swore I’d do the next time around. Having the list has added a happy new dynamic to our lives this month because it’s given us several things to look forward to. We’re pretty fun-loving and optimistic people and we generally look forward to life, but having a specific list has increased that. Throughout this month, we’ve known that we were going to go swimming in a pool and that we’d get started on our fall/winter gardening – we may not have known the exact details of when and where, but we knew it was coming. Having a list of things to do has also given the feeling of adding time to our lives outside of work. Being more aware of the days as they pass and all the things we want to do with them, made us more conscious of everything we were (and were not) doing. Having enjoyable goals broke up the monotony of just getting through life and trying to squeeze in some pleasurable living, but only after all the chores had been done and errands run. Instead, we were scheduling the mundane parts of life around our new to do list. Nothing got neglected, it was just reprioritized.
Here’s the completed list of things we wanted to do in August with some comments and/or links to my proof.
- Swim in a lake
- Swim in a pool
- Meditate daily (that only accounts for the time through 08/30, but I promise you, it happened on the 31st, too)
- Maintain my *new* gratitude journal (and #AwesomeAugust posts) – you’ll have to trust me on the journal upkeep 🙂
- Can peaches
- Make pad thai
- Ombre dye t-shirts – three pink ones done – yay!
- Plant fall veggies
- Paint my nails
- Reread The Happiness Project – I’m in the chapter about July so >50% of the way there (I’m counting it)
- Go for a run – we went for plenty!
There were a few things that we didn’t get to, but I’m okay with it. Here are our things that remained undone:
- Have a picnic – we probably had plenty of picnic-like meals outdoors, but no proper picnic like I’d envisioned
- Swim in the ocean – Kevin says I should count this, I think that’s a stretch
- Road trip to Nanaimo – we almost did this one, but then had to give up the dream when the weekend we’d planned it went sideways and there wasn’t another one when we could make it happen
- Go bowling – this made a reappearance on September’s list
- Ride our bikes – again, we’re going to try this one another time
And here are a couple of extra cool and awesome bonus things we did in August:
- We started our Walk Vancouver quest where we pick a different walk and explore parts of Vancouver we’ve never been to adventure on trails we have never seen. We went to Deer Lake in Burnaby, Watershed and Mud Bay Parks in Delta and Surrey, Steveston Greenways in Richmond and Belcarra – Burns Point. I’m really hoping to turn this into a year round habit.
- I completed the Headspace Take Ten introduction to meditation. I’m somewhat experienced with meditating, but I wanted to go through and introduction like this one. For someone who was totally new to the practice of meditation, this would be a perfect way to get comfortable and accustomed to being more mindful. If you have ever wondered about meditating, I strongly recommend that you check out this free series – just ten minutes a day for ten days.
What made your August special? Are there any things that you will plan to do in August next year?