Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Reflection & Rejuvenation: February!

And with that, we are already 1/12th of the way through 2014!

It feels so good to be back in the habit of setting monthly goals again. It feels good to envision something and then make it happen. I feel like this month's process has worked particularly well. The goals weren't too ambitious, and I put them into my weekly electronic action plan (I use a OneNote binder uploaded to SkyDrive) so I was constantly looking at them. It can be discouraging when there are too many goals or when I don't look at them until the end of the month and suddenly have to fit everything in.  

January has been a good month. Here's what I was aiming for: 
  • Plan Henry's birthday party: Yes! Evite was created and sent out. We are hosting a wear-your-pajamas-and-build-forts-pancake-and-waffle party at our house. Good times! 
  • Plan my birthday party: Yes! We headed to Houston for a weekend of visiting our favorite friends and places. 
  • Set up a housecleaner: This one got put on the back burner because our nanny share unraveled and we had to hire a nanny by ourselves. We cannot spend extra money on a housecleaner right now. I owe you a post about the nanny share situation. 
  • Get a robotic vacuum: Yes! We got one has a Christmas present from Matt's parents. Thank you!
  • Join the YMCA: Yes! I joined during January when the joining fee was waived.
  • Get security system installed: Womp, womp.
  • Request addresses and birthdays from dear friends: Yes!
  • Get whiteboard hung: Yes! I owe you a post about this one...
  • Plan dinner party with Diana: Yes! 
  • Run at least 12 times and go to yoga or Pilates at least four times: I ran 6 times and didn't go to yoga at all. It feels like a start!
  • Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day: I neglected this one early in the month but then did it faithfully! 
  • Add at least one new meal to our weekly rotation: Yes! Mexican mac-n-cheese.
As for my goals for this month! First I need to revisit my yearly goals:

I want to strengthen my habits of health and wellness:  
  • run at least three times a week and go to yoga once 
  • drink at least 80 ounces of water a day 
  • add new meals to our weekly rotation 
I want to continue to put down roots and connect with those around me: 
  • attend church potlucks 
  • sign up to support people by delivering meals, etc. 
  • regularly invite people over  
  • send birthday cards 
  • completely organize our house 
  • finish our front- and backyard landscaping 
  • get house completely organized 
  • do service learning with Henry 
  • start a garden 
I want to create the kind of school I want to send my own children to. 

Based on those yearly goals, what do I want to accomplish this month? (I'm also going to look back at the list of monthly goals I already started to create so that I'm planning things in advance throughout the year.)
  • Run at least two times a week and do three sun salutations at least three times a week: I'm lowering this goal to make it more realistic for me right now. I hate exposing Tate to all the germs in the YMCA childcare room. But I don't really have any other options right now. 
  • Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day 
  • Incorporate more practice life into our schedule
  • Add at least one new meal to our weekly rotation 
  • Get our front and back landscaping completed
  • Plan my presentation for the American Montessori Society conference
  • Completely finish our white board 
I honestly think that's all I can tackle at this point. I feel pushed up against the edge of my capacity right now. It's a combination of sleep deprivation and a big deadline at work (our student recruitment process ends on February 27th and the lottery is March 3rd). My mantra for the year is "Make a Clearing." I've got to keep focusing on that! 

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Anonymous said...

You are so focused and driven Sara, you're a real inspiration : )

Meghan said...

I'm focusing on making clearings this year too, and it feels so good.
Good luck with all of your goals for the month. I agree that you are a real inspiration!

Kate said...

What does "more practice life" mean?

Allison El Koubi said...

Love the idea for Henry's birthday party! You probably have a favorite recipe for waffles (or just may be using bisquick). But if not, this recipe has served me very well over the past few years - the buttermilk definitely makes a lighter waffle, in my opinion :)


So exciting to see the development of your school. If we lived in Austin, that is definitely where we would be trying to send Marc! Maybe someone will want to open one in Lafayette...which is pretty limited on both the Montessori and charter school front...

Aimee Fagan said...

What and when are you presenting at the conference?

My newest habit has been waking up at 6 to work on writing, it is the only "extra" time I have.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks so much for your comments, Everyone! It feels great to connect with you.

Oops, I meant "practical life," like cleaning with Henry.

I'm presenting a session called, "Teaching the Test without Teaching to the Test." I think it's Saturday in the afternoon. Are you going to be at the conference?

Aimee Fagan said...

I am so happy that I commented last night! I didn't realize I was logged in with google and it linked to my old blog.

Yes, I will be at the conference. I haven't been to one in about 5 years, I always leave with such a renewed energy.

I can't log it with wordpress, but this is my current blog


Shawn said...

I would love to hear more about what your mantra "making a clearing" means to you. I think making a mantra is a great idea - I'm going to give it some thought. Any tips for how to come up with something meaningful? Thanks for your continued inspiration!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Shawn! This year is going to be so big for me in terms of the school opening up. I want to be an effective principal and a good mom. In order to take on those two really big things (alongside taking care of myself and maintaining my health and wellness), I feel like I need to make a clearing in my life. I need to let go of extraneous commitments and make wide, open space in my life to focus on these two big things. Andrea at Superhero Journal is the one who inspired me with a yearly mantra. She and Kelly Rae Roberts talk a lot about the concept. Best of luck to you!

Aimee, I hope you stop by and say hi at the conference! I met a blog reader/kindred spirit last year in Orlando and she was awesome!

Shawn said...

Thanks so much, Sara! That totally makes sense. I'm trying to focus on improving some things with my health and in the short term, it seems like a sacrifice and inconvenience to miss some work to go to appointments, etc. However, I think the idea is the same - I really need to focus on clearing space in my life for such a priority so I can be at my best in all other areas!

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