Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mid-Year Goal Check-in

I love reading and writing about goals.  I  read other blogger's goals because it inspires me to new things, plus it's a nosy little peek into their lives.  Maybe that's just me.  I write about my own goals to track my progress, see what I still want to accomplish, and even evaluate if a goal still remains important to me.   I abandoned a few of my goals last year...without guilt!

The first half of the year has flown by and it's time to check my goal progress and, of course, include a few links and photos.  My goals are bulleted while my notes are written in teal.

I accomplished much in the kitchen over the first quarter of the year and I included details and photos in my March goal post.  I still have not started my vanilla, but I continued to bake sourdough bread about once a week.  I've been eating sourdough toast and a boiled egg for breakfast almost every day for the past 2 months!  It's just so good. 

Speaking of  breakfast habits, Brian likes to eat a granola bar and a piece of fruit on his morning commute to work.  After sampling a batch of these granola bars, he declared them far better than store-bought bars so now I try to always keep homemade granolas on hand. The recipe makes a large batch and they freeze well.  Owen loves them, too, and we're experimenting with new add-ins.

  • Eat at Chipotle.  (Am I the only one who hasn't been?!)
I crossed this goal off in February and I talked about it on the blog here, but on the evening before my half-marathon, I got to introduce Brian to Chipotle (and carb-load in the most delicious way!). 

  • Run a 2-mile race with Brian.
I accomplished this goal back in February.  I shared a photo and details from the race here. 

  • Train and run a 1/2 marathon. 
I did it!  I trained hard for over 3 months and then on a cool, clear morning, I ran my heart out.  I shared a few things about the race that surprised me and then I gave a full race report here

I had major let-down when the race was over.  It took time to get my bearings again and set new goals.  Still strong from my training, I decided to run a 5K in June.  I came in just short of my time goal of maintaining a 8:30 pace, but I did win 2nd place in my age category.

In the first half of 2014, I've run 465 miles

  • Build my upper body and core strength.  Hold a plank for 4 minutes.
I started the 30 Day Plank Challenge  last November, but could not get past 2 minutes, 40 seconds.  Brian and I started The Challenge together in February, but we kept forgetting about it and lacked consistency.  At the beginning of April, I forgot.  At the beginning of May, I forgot again.  Sense a pattern?  Finally in mid-May, I decided to jump in and do it my own way.  I skipped the first few days of The Challenge because I already knew I could hold 20-30 second planks.  I also choose not to plank everyday, but I progressed with the ultimate goal of getting to day 30 and holding a plank for 4 minutes, 30 seconds.  

I'm happy to report that on Sunday, June 15, I finished the
30 Day Plank Challenge.  My arms were shaking and my legs were burning, but I did it.  Did you know you could break out in a sweat and get out of breath while holding perfectly still?  You should try a plank.

  • Learn to change the oil in the van and learn to change the wiper blades, too.
This is a leftover goal from 2013 and I will do this someday! Hopefully. When it's not so hot outside.  I'm a wimp.

  • Take each child out individually for a meal at a restaurant they would enjoy.
Accomplished...and I included a few details in my March check-in.

  • Read 50 books-- not including books I read aloud to my kids or books we read for school.
I set this goal with the idea that I would read approximately 4 books a month, maybe 1 a week.  I underestimated myself and set this goal too conservatively.   By the end of June, I will have completed 46 books.

I've added 2 secondary challenges to my goal.  I want to read most of the books from the 2014 Sisters Book Challenge I'm doing with my sister.  I've read 5 of her 10 suggestions.  (It would have been 6, but my June choice was checked out of the library to someone else and I had to wait for it to come in.)  Plus I've chosen 4 classics I want to read by the end of the year.  I picked one to read each season and so far I've read
To Kill a Mockingbird (can't-say-enough-about-it-excellent!) and The Secret Garden (pretty good).

  • Develop a new chores system for the kids, including responsibilities for the two youngest.
I gave a brief explanation of our new system in my March check-in and went into greater detail in a separate post about chores. Our system has been in effect since January and it is working like a charm.

  • Take (or have someone else take) new non-candid photos of my kids. 
My sister volunteered to do the photography for me and she did photo shoots on three Sundays at the end of spring. I chose a favorite photo of each of my kids and have them displayed on my blog's right sidebar. She shared some of her favorites on her blog if you want to take a look.  

Now I need to print and frame some for my house. 

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At this mid-way point of the year, I've decided to tack on a few more goals.

  • Plan our 2014/2015 school year and write a loose daily schedule.
  • Focus on teaching kids to take initiative for their hygiene, school work, and responsibilities.
  • Run a 5K and a 10K in the fall.

I'll do another goal check-in at the end of September.  Did you make any goals this year? How do you plan to accomplish them?


  1. What method did you use for your yogurt and did it turn out the way you wanted it to? I was just telling Stewart this morning that I'd like to make my own but the last time I tried it didn't turn out at all. It was barely thickened... the consistency of store-bought chocolate milk. I want to EAT it, not DRINK it! ;-)
    I read some of the comments on the plank challenge picture. "Can I wear my skin?" "I did this for 8 hours on my back." So funny! I may give it a try but it will probably take me way more than a month to last 4 minutes.

    1. This is what I did for my yogurt. I use 1/2 gallon of whole milk which I heat on the stove. I turn off the heat when it has little bubbles but has not reached a full boil. Then I transfer it to a large bowl. I let it sit on the counter until it cools enough so that I can put my clean finger in the bowl for 5-10 seconds and feel heat but not get burned. (I'm sure it is more sanitary to do this with a candy thermometer and wait for a specific temperature, but oh well.) While I'm waiting for this, I preheat the oven to 250. When the milk in the bowl is the desired temperature, I turn off the oven and put the bowl in overnight with the oven light on. By morning, you should have yogurt. I've made this quite a few times now and twice it was too thin. I ended up rigging up a cheese cloth (actually a thin cotton kitchen towel) with a rubber band over a large bowl. I poured the runny yogurt onto the towel in batches. The whey drips through the towel into the bowl and the yogurt left on the bowl is thick enough to eat. (You can use the whey, too, in cooking and baking.)


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