How to Enjoy and Challenge Yourself this June

How to Enjoy and Challenge Yourself this June

Hello, June…Hello, Summer!

June is one of my favorite months!  Besides marking the halfway point of the year, June also just happens to be my birthday month!

School’s over, Summer starts and the day’s rhythm changes. If I’m not careful, I’ll either tilt too far into inertia or over schedule my summer days. Neither is good. 

Knowing myself, I’m creating and challenging myself with a June Bucket List to try and balance these two extremes. On this list I’m challenging myself in following categories:

  • Resting
  • Creating
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Giving

I like these categories because each provides a space for an area in my life I need pay and give attention to. While bucket lists are fun, I find it sometimes stresses me out to create and check off all the “fun” activities. 

      June Bucket List

      1. Resting| Unplug at the Beach

        Sea, Salt Water & Sunrises

        We travel a lot, but this trip is special because once we get to the beach, we unplug and chill for the week. No outlet mall shopping, no amusement park or mini golf games, just a stack of books, grilling meals and walks to the pier and back. 

        2. Creating | #LetteritJune Challenge

        So much fun to practice and see other’s work!

        Have you noticed you become better at a skill the more you practice it?  I love calligraphy and Jenny Highsmith  provides a monthly lettering prompt for all to join and practice their skills. 

        I love seeing others’ interpretation of a quote or phrase and I love trying out new styles or techniques. You can follow Jenny here on her InstaGram and you track my #letteritjune progress here on Oak Grove Social’s InstaGram. 

        3.  Listening | 7 Days of Still Moments

        image via emilypfreeman.com

        If you’ve read any of my posts it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan girl of author Emily P. Freeman. 

        Emily recently published on her blog this post and her thoughts and feeling about hearing God’s Word read aloud during worship resonates deeply with me. 

        I miss hearing God’s Word during the more contemporary worship service I attend. Emily is offering a free 7 Day Still Moments audio that comes into your email box. 

        In these 7 still moments Emily invites the listener to intentionally listen and then reflect on the questions. You can sign up to receive the 7 audio files here

        After finishing this 7 day still moments, I plan to continue to read aloud Scripture and then spend time reflecting on the Scripture for the rest of June. 

        4. Reading | June Library Haul

        Recommended by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

        Poolside and beach reading are the ultimate indulgence!  I’ve already shared the Summer Reading Guide link here and am challenged to read my way through this stack in June!

        5.  Giving | A Surprise

        Strawberries are the best!
        It’s my birthday month and I’ve been given so much that this year I’d like to give. During June I’ll be giving in small ways to others.  

        I won’t be sharing it here, but it will be a daily focus on giving to others in celebration of my birthday!  It’s so much fun to do random acts of kindness as well as just give someone an unexpected gift of time, food or something handmade. 

        How do you celebrate June and Summer?  Do you have summer bucket list?  I’d love to know what you’re planning on accomplishing this month!  Join me in the comments!


        May Goals

         
           

        The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things are possible in May.” -Edwin Way Teale

        Happy May!  Springtime has now seriously arrived and trees and flowers are blooming all around!  My allergies can attest to that!  ACHOO!  

        So, here’s where I update on my April goals and document my May goals…because they say that if you write down and share your goals, you’ll be more likely to complete them.

        April Goals Update:

        1.  Complete Clean Mama’s Spring 30 Day Challenge.  If you count the 4 days I did complete, then I’ve finished about 12% of the challenge.  Lucky for me, May also has 30 days so I have another month to get it done.  If you’d like to do this challenge with me, click here.

        2. Complete reading Jeff Goins’ The Art of Work Book and Essentialism by Greg McKeown.  Still working on reading those two books.  Both books are interesting and very helpful, I just tend to get sidetracked by other books!

        3. Have Adventures!✔️ This one I definitely completed!  Not only did we do Disney World and all its parks (as noted by the Disney series blog posts), but I also branched out and rode bikes along our city’s green ways and an awesome bike trail at Mammoth Cave. We live so close to Mamth Cave and it’s an amazing National Park to visit. Here’s a link to Mammoth Cave bike trails. 

        Now, on to May Goals!

        May Goals:

        1. Complete Clean Mama’s Spring 30 Day Challenge.   Seriously going to complete it this month!

        2. Tackle and Complete Outdoor Yardwork & Outdoor Projects! April brought us Spring but here in Kentucky we had serious rain all month. We’re finally catching a break and this week’s forecast is all week sunshine!  I’ve already begun the yardwork… We have a ton of landscaping and a lot to spruce up!

         
          

        Seriously.

        3. Celebrate!! May is the month of recitals, end of school programs, graduations, and Mother’s Day!  We have several celebrations planned and we will be celebrating all month long. Someone once said that your heart will be revealed to the extent you can celebrate others’ joys and successes!  And I believe that sentiment with all my heart!  

        4. Garden.  My father is a master gardener.  Sadly, I kill plants. Regularly. But, this Spring, I will be joining my Daddy in his garden and learning his gardening skills.  I’ll be documenting my progress here so check in often!

        What are your May goals?  Does it help you to write them down and share them with someone to be held accountable?  Let me know in the comments below! 

        April Goals

        Well, y’all I cannot believe April has already arrived! #nojoke  It’s already time to give an account of how my March goals went {clearing throat} and moving on to my April goals.

        1. Read Julia Child’s Life in France.  ✔️ I did it!  A review of this fascinating book will be forthcoming!
        2. Begin reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown ✔️ Although I have begun reading this book, it’s been on the back burner.
        3. Reach my daily Fitbit goals of 10,000 steps and 10 flights of stairs. Y’all, I killed my Fitbit by drowning. Seems it hitchhiked in my skirt pocket through the washer and dryer. I exerted every lifesaving effort on the little guy, but it was too late. RIP my little Fitbit One. Now, I have no idea how many steps or flight of stairs I take each day.  #sadface
        4. Hot Yoga practice 2-3 times a week. I’ve only reached this weekly goal once in March. I definitely need more namaste in my life for April!
        5. Increase my daily intake of water to a gallon a day While I’ve increased my water most days and I’ve noticed an improvement when I do (besides more visits to the bathroom) I’ve only drank a gallon once this past month.  I will continue to work on increasing my water intake in April!
        6. Cheer on UK Basketball✔️ Y’all, this was a gimme goal for me, but I do feel like I earned it after the heart stopping Notre Dame game! #BBN #FinalFour
        7. Work on creativity.✔️ Done and done!  Besides doing art almost daily, I also signed up and took Scarlet and Gold’s free calligraphy class!  Yay!!
        8. Donate blood✔️ Yes, and in the middle of bad snowy roads!  You can read about how it was to donate blood here.
        9. Continue to journey through Lent with “Follow” devotional guide✔️

        And now, here are my April Goals:

        1. Complete Clean Mama’s 30 Day Challenge Cleaning a house can be hard and especially for someone like me {scatter brained} overwhelming. Have y’all visited Clean Mama Blog?  You can download her 30 Day Spring Clean Challenge for free!  I appreciate how she breaks down tasks over the course of the month and she has some awesome homemade cleaner recipes that I use that work and save money!  That’s a win-win!! Let me know if you join this challenge too!  Would love some accountability!
        2. Complete reading Jeff Goins’ The Art of Work book.  Jeff was generous enough to offer his brand new book for free and the timing couldn’t be more perfect!  Can’t wait to implement some of his strategies in my life!
        3. Have adventures! Sometimes I hold myself back in life from having adventures.  I say, no more!  I will report here at the end of April for all big and small adventures I undertook!!

        How’s your April shaping up?  Let me know in the comments below!

        March 2015 Goals

        Wow! Although February was short, it packed a powerful punch with loads of snow and bad weather. March is now here and Spring will arrive, whether by ice/snow or warmer rains!   So, here’s my list of March goals to keep me moving forward in 2015! (In no particular order)

        1.  I’m so enjoying reading Julia Child’s Life in France. My goal is to finish reading it in March! by the way, I lurve my nook, first generation and it’s  still going strong!  Any nook fans out there?

        2.  Upon completing My Life in France, I can’t wait to start reading Essentialism, by Greg McKeown. I first heard about this book a few months ago via Whitney English recommending the read  and since then, I’ve seen it pop up everywhere…blogs, Instagram photos, recommended lists.  Let me know if you’ve read it because I would love to discuss it with someone after I finish reading it!

        

        3.  With the mounds of snow and inhospitable weather lately, I’ve not been reaching my Fitbit daily goals of 10,000 steps and 10 flights of stairs.  This March, I’m hitting those goals!  I’m often asked about if using a Fitbit is worth it, and I say Yes!  First, it shows me how sedentary I can be day to day and second, it motivates me to get my steps in!  Who else uses a Fitbit out there?  Thoughts?!

        4.  Sadly, my hot yoga practice suffered last month with weather, etc.  My goal this month is to get in 2-3 hot yoga sessions weekly.  So far, I’m on track this week, as I already have two under my belt.  Besides the health benefits, hot yoga really calms my mind.  Has anyone else found that to be true as well?

        5.  The trifecta of health goals this March is to increase my daily intake of water to a gallon a day.  Besides coffee, water is my jam, but it’s super hard to get in 128 ounces every day.  Seriously.  What prompted the “gallon goal” have been recent articles and my yoga instructor’s amazing weight loss of 40 pounds by drinking a gallon daily.    To help me keep track of my water consumption, I use AddWater app. While there a ton of water apps, I like how this one tracks ounces and not just a “glass”. 

        6. Being March, one of my favorite goals is to cheer on the University of Kentucky Wildcats during March Madness!  Traveling in Paris, France during last year’s amazing run did not keep me from cheering them on! #BBN #IbleedBlue

        7.  Work on my creativity!  Years ago I enjoyed drawing, painting, creating. I’m putting it down here to stop pushing my artistic interest to the side because I’ll have to report to y’all at the end of the month, right?  

        8.  Another March goal is to donate blood.  Several years ago, I regularly donated blood. But then I moved to a different state, got out of the habit, and honestly forgot about it until Hurricane Katrina hit. I went to my local Red Cross and surprisingly was  declined because I had recently traveled to the Guanacaste peninsula in Costa Rica. Several times my travels have kept me from donating, but I kept trying, scheduling another donation appointment once the time period preventing me from donating had expired.  And now I’m happy to say, the Red Cross has changed their travel restriction rules (or at least where I’ve travelled) and I’m able to regularly donate again! Donations right now are desperately needed due to the nation’s blizzards wiping out scheduled donations.  If you’re able to donate, it’s super easy. Just go to the American Red Cross website to find a local blood drive. 

        9.  I am still journeying through Lent and still loving Naptime Diaries’ Follow Lenten journal.

        How is your March shaping up?  Do you  set monthly goals to keep you on task?  What are trying new this month?  Please share in the comments to continue the conversation!!