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Goals Lifestyle

12 Monthly Challenges for 2019

This year instead of doing an overarching theme like the past two years or coming up with a few resolutions that I’ll surely abandon within 3 months, I thought I’d give myself a new source of motivation and goals each month. With this I can focus each month on creating a new small habit and fitting better habits and activities into my life, one at a time.

I’ll keep up with it using my new swishy bullet journal by customizing each monthly spread to reflect each months challenge/goal/theme. All of these are going to be pretty general with a few small, achievable sub goals to give me something to work towards without being stressed. What I’m aiming for with these is to give myself some direction or theme for each month that I can mindfully work towards.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

January – Creative

This month, I’m hoping to color, paint, draw, read, and work on my bullet journal a lot. I can always see a difference in my daily happiness when I take some time out to color and paint so I’d like to keep working this into my routine. Reading is such a calming activity and settles me down before bed and gives my mind a place to go when I’m stressed out. Now that I have a brand new bullet journal that I’m all excited about, I’m hoping to work on it a little bit every day to solidify the habit of writing everything in it, decorating it, and making it my go to for everything.

Goals for this month…
  • Watercolor some thank you notes to send out to everyone that gave me gifts this holiday season, killing two birds with one stone!
  • Set aside 30 minutes every Saturday or Sunday to make my weekly spread and give it a little decorating
  • Finish 3 books

February – Exercise

This month I want to focus on using that free university gym membership by working out a lot more often. I always feel better when I get active but it will just take that extra push to find a place for the gym in my new class/work schedule.

Goals for this month…
  • Go to the gym at least 2 times a week: one morning, one afternoon, and bonus points for a weekend sweat session

March – Clean Out

This month I’ll be coming home for my spring break and on this break I’m hoping to do a major spring clean of my clothes, makeup, shoes, everything. There are a lot of stores that take used clothing to repurpose or donate (and some even give you discounts). Madewell takes used jeans (any brand) to recycle into insulation for housing in communities of need and you get $20 towards a new pair of Madewell jeans. & Other Stories will take a bag of any old textiles (sheets, towels, clothes, etc) and repurposes them in tons of ways to give back to those who need that fabric, and you get 10% off your next purchase. H&M gives a % off coupon for each bag of textiles you donate as well. There are tons of ways to give yourself that extra incentive to part ways with all the clothes you never wear and refresh your wardrobe, all while doing good.

Goals for this month…
  • Fill at least 6 bags to give to the stores above (as well as other donation locations) this month with clothes and any old textiles I no longer need.
  • Get rid of all expired makeup, skincare, haircare
  • Donate any non expired and unused body care items to a shelter
Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

April – Read

I know reading is included in January but we all need that extra push to keep going with it beyond that initial surge of motivation. This month I’m hoping to read more than just books, I want to read lots of news articles, interviews, blogs and more.

Goals for this month…
  • Read 4 books
  • Set aside 15 minutes a day to catch up on the news
  • Dedicate some time to blog-reading at least twice a week

May – Use Up

This month I want to use up a lot of my makeup and skincare, which means I won’t be buying anything from those two departments in May. I’ve gotten so many samples of haircare and skincare and even makeup from subscription boxes over the years and this month I’m aiming to get as much out of my collection as I can. We all have those products we save and save for “special occasions” but the occasion never comes around, so just use it now!

Goals for this month…
  • Use up 20 products, no matter how small
  • No-buy month on all skincare, body care, and makeup

June – Outside

This month I want to maximize my time outside, getting fresh air and taking in all the nature views. So this month I’m hoping to get lots of use out of my hammock, go to the local nature reserve often, and get to the beach for as many sunrises as I can. As a bonus, I can spend lots of this outside time reading or coloring!

Goals for this month…
  • See at least 3 sunrises from the beach
  • Spend 1 hour outside each day
  • Get to the nature reserve at least 4 times
Photo by Natalie Walters on Unsplash

July – Food

This month I want to focus on buying from local farmer’s markets (there’s 3 close to my house!), making sure to include fruits and veggies in each meal, and trying to cook a lot! I’m moving into my first apartment in August so being fresh on my cooking skills will be good for me. I would also love to try going no meat for a week to try it out, no long term commitments though.

Goals for this month…
  • Shop at a farmer’s market once a week
  • Be conscious of eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies each day
  • Cook (actually cook) one meal a day
  • Try out 4 new recipes

August – Home

This month I’ll be moving into my new apartment and I really want to focus on making this space feel like home. I had trouble with this in the dorms but I really want to make sure I’m bringing lots of reminders of home and making the space feel my own. I’m so excited to have 2 roommates with lots more space than the dorm so I hope we can all make a little family and make our apartment feel like home.

Goals for this month…
  • Bring plenty of reminders of home with me to my new apartment
  • Stock the kitchen with cooking basics
  • Come up with plans to divide up cleaning, buying supplies, and other ways to avoid small sources of conflict

September – Present

This month I want to focus on being present by reducing time on my phone, watching shows, and just making the most of my time. I want to work on putting my phone down when I’m spending time with friends and being more connected to everything around me.

Goals for this month…
  • Put my phone on do not disturb when I’m spending time with friends
  • Make lunch dates or coffee dates with friends at least once a week
  • Have one activity planned each weekend (farmer’s market, brunch, a concert or a movie)
  • Keep a gratefulness journal (in my bullet journal) and name one thing each day that I’m grateful for or happy about
  • Spend 5 minutes a day doing some mindfulness activity

October – Tech

This month I want to focus on dramatically reducing my screen time, including watching shows. I was pretty good with this last winter and being so dependent on screens is bad for that feeling of connectedness we get. There’s a lot to do that doesn’t involve screens so it’s time to spend more time doing those things!

Goals for this month…
  • Use Screen Time to limit social media use to 1 hour per day (which still seems outrageous)
  • Watch a maximum of 45 minutes of shows each day or one movie
  • Go 1 week without watching any shows or movies
  • No going on my phone before 9am
  • Put my phone away by 11pm

November – Low Spend

This is the time of year that I always find myself very stressed about money. For this challenge I want to spend less than $7 a day (or $50 a week) by cooking at home and packing snacks for throughout the day, making coffee at home, buying no clothes or beauty products, and being much more mindful of what I’m spending my money on. To make this more manageable, I’m adding a rule that money can roll over from day to day and week to week.

Goals for this month…
  • Keep a track (in my bullet journal) of everything I spend money on down to the penny.
  • Put everything except $50 a week into savings
  • Have one no-spend day a week

December – Self-care

December is the perfect time to spend time inside, working on what I want and doing what I need for myself. I’m hoping to do lots of face masks, keep my nails painted constantly, read a lot, take a few baths, and spend lots of time painting. It’s always a good idea to end a year by taking care of yourself and preparing for what’s ahead. Combining all of these activities would make for the perfect month for me.

Goals for this month…
  • Do 3 face masks a week
  • Read 3 books
  • Have my nails painted all the time
  • Take 3 baths
  • Paint at least 3 times a week
  • Watch 3 movies I’ve been wanting to see

I’m hoping that by giving myself a different goal/challenge/area of focus for each month of 2019, I can keep that inspiration flowing and give myself something to work towards each month. Hopefully each monthly challenge will come with a few posts that fit within the challenge, creating a theme for each month’s content!