May 2022 goals

2 May 2022

If it’s not happening, make it smaller. This is my paraphrase of one of the techniques in Jon Acuff’s book Finish, and of course it’s something we talk about constantly at Cultivate (little by little!). Sometimes there’s another reason, but more often than not, if a goal hasn’t happened for more than a month, it’s because it feels too big to get my arms around.

These unfinished goals still matter, though, so as I move into a new month, I’ve bringing them with me – but cutting them in half (or more). Maybe completing a bite-size chunk will motivate me to keep going, or maybe I’ll just complete the one bite. Either way, it’s better than nothing :)

On my calendar this month:
— I am finally making good on June’s Christmas present of an American Girl doll! We’re heading to Charlotte overnight to pick her out and I can’t wait. (Sleeping in the hotel bed with mama and swimming in the hotel pool might end up overshadowing the doll, though, ha!) Which one will she choose?!
— Picking all the strawberries. We’ve already been twice and made this famous strawberry cake last night. Delicious!
— A Bulls game with John’s work!

What I’m loving right now:
— As a lover of the “government action/thriller” genre of movies/television (Enemy of the State, Air Force One, Homeland, 24, you get the drill), season one of Reacher was sufficiently adjacent to be right up my alley. I really didn’t enjoy the Jack Ryan series, but I loved this one.
— We put this coloring book in Shep’s Easter basket and I think it might be magic?! He basically colored it for six hours straight on the drive to Jekyll Island with nary a peep of complaint. (This is not normal.) Highly recommend for any 3-4 year olds in your company!
— As a patriot who loves her country, it’s refreshing to see someone take a nuanced look at what patriotism can be and why it’s important, and that’s what this article (WSJ) did. Still turning it over in my mind several weeks later.

As a reminder, you can find alllll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!

What I read in April:
The Power of Fun | I was absolutely primed to love this book (recommended by someone I trust, just seems like my jam), but I found it a bit torturous to get through, and I’m not really sure why. I agree with her thesis, her writing is good, the research is interesting, and the suggestions are solid, but maybe it just felt exhausting to dissect fun in such detail? It felt like it could have been half as long…
The Midnight Line | After we finished the Reacher TV season, I was curious to read one of the plethora of Reacher books. It’s been a long time since I read something like this – mass market, thriller, not particularly geared toward women? – and it was fun! The writing took a beat to get into, but I read it on vacation and enjoyed it.

My reading list for 2022, if you’d like to follow along!

Revisiting my April goals:
Cull and sort the first six months of 2021 photos
Design and print camping tees for our tenth-anniversary trip
Choose format for EFM book and complete years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 (Absolutely not, ha. I decided to use Blurb but haven’t gotten farther than that.)
Write down 2-3 weeks of “brainless” meal plans
Choose a way to serve at church on Sunday mornings
Make a final kitchen contractor decision and get a start date on the books (Made decision and waiting to hear on start date! Thinking it is going to be July or August based on what they told me when we first met.)
Clean out kitchen cabinets in advance of our kitchen project (Made progress! Still some to go.)
Take our first bike ride as a family of five!

May goals:
— Download Blurb software, get familiar with it, and complete 2008 in book
— Start to memorize 1 Corinthians 13 with June
— Edit Annie in April, Volume 1
— Go on a family bike ride once a week
— Add bookshelves to our loft and Shep’s room
— Add artwork bulletin boards to the loft
— Write out one spring/summer “brainless” meal plan
— Cull and sort January 2021 photos

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2022 goals!

Favorite strawberry recipe? I would love to hear! So far this year we’ve scooped chopped berries on pancakes and brownies in addition to the cake, and next I want to try the shortcake recipe on the back of the Bisquick box :)

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May 2, 2022 9:10 am

I also found The Power of Fun not that fun to read, hah! I would still recommend it to the right reader, but I don’t think I was the target audience.

May 2, 2022 9:48 am

We were gifted an ice cream maker as a wedding gift. I love making fresh strawberry ice cream. I never buy strawberry ice cream at the store anymore because homemade just tastes so good. it’s pretty time consuming though, not as easy as shortcakes, so it’s not something I make all the time.

May 2, 2022 11:50 am

Strawberries and Cream Quick Bread is always an easy hit!
This cake recipe uses strawberry Jello (you could do plain or even the SK cake) but the addition of the sour cream in the cool whip with strawberries on top (I also do a layer between the cakes) is delicious! So light and refreshing and summery (our strawberry season is early June!)
I felt the same way about the Power of Fun book. It took me a while to get thru, though I found the information so interesting! It was a good refresher on screen time (something I need to remain vigilant on) and also I really liked the part about analyzing your time, learning from it and finding ways to apply your finds to everyday. I’m working on adding little elements of fun to my days instead of only focusing on big stuff like vacation or holidays.
Thank you for the reminder of little by little! Two of my bigger goals for the year (weight loss/health and decluttering) are seeing very little progress so I will go home tonight and see how I can break my goals down even further!

May 2, 2022 12:00 pm

“If it’s not happening, make it smaller” is just what I needed to hear heading into May! Thanks for the reminder!

May 2, 2022 1:54 pm

The bisquick shortcake recipe makes me think of my childhood! Thanks for the reminder to finish Reacher…I’m liking it but need to pay closer attention (no more than one screen, ha!) I too was surprised how much I liked the Jack Reacher books. Would never have picked one up except my dad gives me his books when he’s done and once I was in between reads and desperate so I gave it a try. Now I’ve read a handful and consider them good palate cleansers and/or good for jumpstarting my reading momentum. Also, when I saw the photo in this post, I remembered to add “plant flowers” to my May goals :) Along with “spring cleaning” for the third month in a row (definitely sounds like something I can make smaller!)

May 2, 2022 9:01 pm

Mm, strawberry recipes! We can’t get enough around here. My inlaws have an old family strawberry pie recipe that is easy and delicious. I can text you the recipe!
As for books, I recently read and enjoyed Aggressively Happy by Joy Clarkson (I think I loaned it to Stephanie, actually!). This isn’t really the same as the topic fun, but similar.
Your overnight trip to Charlotte sounds so dreamy!! May have to recreate this idea with my girls. They would love it.

May 3, 2022 9:42 am

So interesting on the Power of Fun. I listened to it as an audio book and I LOVED it. My word of the year is fun, as I think having a baby in April 2020 took some of this away and the book has been life changing. I think potentially it is more engaging in audio.