empty journal for goal setting

August Goals – Baselines & Organization

My goals for August are pretty straightforward: 

  1. Run 20 total miles (physical activity). 
  2. Spend 15 minutes per day in a cleaning/de-clutter mode in my home (home environment).
  3. Consolidate notes, notebooks, journals, calendars & lists (creativity). 

Run 20 Total Miles

I started setting this goal a different way, something like “Run 1 mile a day, at least 4 days per week.” Those types of goals for me, however, get really easy to lose track of, mostly because of the tracking required. To rephrase it in a way that makes sense and is easier to measure, I had to ask myself: what is the actual, real goal here? 

The answer to that is two-fold. I have two bigger goals that I’m playing with right now: the idea that I want to spend at least 30 minutes every day in some kind of physical activity, and that I hope to sign up for a race (a 5k) this fall. 

Time Out: Playing With vs. Committed To

Let’s talk about this language for a minute. When I say I’m “playing with” the idea of a goal, it means it’s on my mind, it sounds nice, but I haven’t fully committed yet. Why not?

Maybe I haven’t decided if it’s truly my priority or something I think I *should* do.

Maybe logistically speaking, there’s more to consider (money, time, location, etc.).

Either way, when it comes to setting true, actionable goals, I want to be able to answer the questions of WHY and HOW. Right now, running another race is still a pretty arbitrary want of mine, and my thoughts around it look like this:

  • I think I want to sign up for another race.
  • Why?
    • To give me something to work for, train for.
    • For a feeling of accomplishment.
    • Because I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it again.
    • To add variety to my OrangeTheory & yoga workout routines. 
    • To spend more time outside. 

Why is this not a true, actionable goal right now? Because I’m not ready to look at race calendars in Portland and the Portland area. Because financially, paying the registration fee for a race isn’t on my priority list. Because building a true training routine into my daily schedule isn’t yet a priority, and I have other ‘daily schedule’ type habits I want to build first. 

But, I think I’d like to in the not-too-distant future, so running a cumulative 20 miles in August will at least set a baseline if and when I do decide to truly start training. Plus, it helps me work towards that 30 minutes of daily physical activity. 

How will I measure this? 

Easy. Nike Run Club app. As long as I track every run, I can see a cumulative total for the month. 

Spend 15 minutes per day in a cleaning/de-clutter mode in my home.

This goal started like this: “Clean & de-clutter my home.”

It’s reworded the way you see here because what does “clean & decluttered” actually even mean? How will I know when I’m done? Where will all that stuff go? 

Blocking out 15 minutes every single day in which it doesn’t matter what I do or what room I’m in, as long as I’m cleaning something, putting things away, or selecting items that are ready for their next home (or the dumpster).

Just like with my running goal, the true progress will be seen in the cumulative: if I spend even close to that amount of time cleaning most days? By the end of August, my home will be in order and my belongings will be fewer. 

How will I measure this?

Great question. I’ll feel calm and light when I’m in my home (sometimes I do, and that’s when it’s super clean & organized). Everything will have a home. My closet will be lighter and more simplified. My “sold” balance on Poshmark will be higher ($$). 

Consolidate notes, notebooks, journals, calendars & lists.

This feels like a mini project within the ‘clean & declutter’ project, but I think it needs it’s own attention. I have a LOT of notebooks. I have a lot of half-used notebooks. I have a lot of really good ideas, half-written essays and stories, reminders, and other notes scribbled all over the place, hidden in god-knows-which notebook. The intention here is to go through every one of them, consolidate these ideas and scribbles into categories like “Stuff I Actually Want to Do!” and “No Longer Useful” and “Needs Further Research,” and then either digitize them so I just have them in a searchable spot, or designate specific homes for these different types of notes. 

And then? Recycle. It pains me a little to think of throwing away even ONE notebook, but as long as the ideas and insights are preserved, I’ll learn to let go of the paper itself. 

How will I measure this?

Well, in my line of sight right now, I can count 26 different types of notebooks. This includes gratitude journals, to-do list notebooks, blank notebooks, composition notebooks, idea pads, and more. What if I got this number down to under 10? This goal will be measured in the total number of notebooks owned at the end of August. 

I welcome suggestions on how to best organize notes, lists, to-dos, drafts, journals, and more. What works for you? Should I get on that bullet journal train? File everything digitally into Evernote? 

8 comments on “August Goals – Baselines & OrganizationAdd yours →

  1. Nothing has worked as well for me as Google Drive! It’s simple, always accessible, & has a variety of tools that can help with whatever I need (spreadsheets! docs! presentations!). It’s not sexy, but it works.

  2. I wish you the best of luck with your goals. I can relate the the running. I have just started jogging and working out for the first time in years (just turned 39 and want to transform my body by 40). I don’t have a monthly goal set for how many miles but I am going to check out that app because I’d love to know how much I actually DO run. So, thank you for sharing!

  3. I like the way you reframed the exercise goal! It’s important to know what motivates you and what will actually work for you. There’s a super fun 5K that is part of Feast Portland in September that I’m doing that you might be interested in. It’s casual, non-competitive, is only $45, in SE PDX, and ends in a fun brunch! For organizing, I have to both write things down in notebooks (I looooove notebooks) and also keep things organized in spreadsheets and docs. It’s the only way I remember things :)

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