This is my second monthly goals post, but before we get into the thick of things, I just wanted to take the time to ask how everyone’s May went? For me, I’d say rather quickly. Compared to April, May kind of got away from me. Yet there were many accomplishments that I wanted to share.
- I decreased phone use significantly, thanks to my habit of deleting Instagram after blog work every day and docking my phone when I got home. I also had added a nighttime lock on all apps between the hours of 9pm and 7am. Lastly, I limited screen time to an hour a day.
- I’ve developed a new habit in the mornings. I somehow couldn’t get myself to keep the humidifier on every night so I’ve actually reverted the habit to mornings and it’s worked better for me. I wake up, light a candle, fling open the windows, and turn on the humidifier, adding a few drops of essential oil. It holds enough water to run until the evening.
- For the blog, I received more views than the previous month (despite failing to post five times a week). I added over an additional 2313 affiliates, of which about 50 are well-aligned with my blog.
- I completed 6 dental CE courses, despite aiming for 16.
- I kept the home tidy and neat. Mike has helped me make the bed every day, and we’ve worked as a team to do a weekly cleaning of the entire space.
- I’ve run five weeks in a row, and have achieved consistently running 5k in under 35 minutes. To give perspective, my lifetime “record” of a 5k was 45 minutes prior to this month. Embarrassing, but true. My fastest mile for the month was 9 minutes and 30 seconds, which is a lifestyle achievement for me. I have only my roommate and husband to thank for pushing me to get out there.
- I reached the goal of increasing my income without increasing the number of days I worked. I made an additional $4,000 this month than the previous month by increasing my production at work. Due to COVID-19’s restriction on dental care being lifted in California mid-May, we were swamped with all sorts of neglected dental care that needed urgent attention. I don’t think I left the office early all of May.
- We stayed under our spending limits this month. This was helped by the fact that Mike’s dad and grandpa live in a 55+ community and receive a weekly box of groceries. Since they have food preferences, Mike and his sister benefited from the left-over excess, which then reduced our grocery bills.
There is one thing in May that I did not accomplish and that was to start writing a book. I planned to create a habit of working on it thirty minutes a day, but my short-coming was that I never scheduled that 30-minute block into my planner. I still want to write a book, so this month, I will try to make it a point to block out 30 minutes a day to just write. I find that the best way to get myself to do something is to do it first thing in the morning. Therefore, I aim to start each day writing at 5:30am to 6:00am.
The Importance of Blocking Out Time
Last time I wrote about habit creation in order to achieve goals. Today, I will briefly note the importance of blocking out time.
My time is greatly structured and organized, which isn’t to say it isn’t fluid. However, it is mostly adhered to and taken very seriously. I set aside blocks for everything I do, even spending time with my husband or family. I know it seems boring to have your whole life planned in such a way, but it is necessary to living a full life. When opportunities present themselves, it doesn’t mean you have to turn them down. It only requires the extra step of prioritizing and pivoting if need be.
In the mornings, I set aside time for tasks such as exercise and breakfast. But I also set aside time for making coffee, turning on the candles and humidifiers, and listening to a podcast. These are things people don’t usually block out time for. I have found that without putting even the most mundane things into the calendar, they can be forgotten or missed. However, the effects of self-care tasks such as these are crucial to the overall picture. If I don’t set aside time to turn on the candle, then I don’t give to myself the calm atmosphere that I thrive in, thereby impeding the quality of my work. Whatever it is you prioritize, you need to set aside time for. Not only does this ensure that your highest goals are at the forefront of your life, but it also makes life easier for you.
You see, when things are scheduled into the calendar, you relieve yourself from the need to remember to do something. You free your mind from spending energy on recall which then allows it to calculate other functions. Additionally, you take away the stress of deciding whether you’ve done enough towards a particular goal. And you can visually see that you have set aside enough blocks for the things that matter. This makes it easier for you to get 1% better every day.
With that little diddy, here are my goals for June.
- Schedule an hour of Mike time a day.
- Block out time to see family once a week.
- Block out time to unwind every evening without technology in hand.
- Aim to publish 3 blog posts per week by working on the blog one hour each day.
- Schedule an hour of CE courses four days a week in order to reach 16 CE courses.
- Get one podcast on the books for the blog by applying to two a week.
- Make the dental office as safe and efficient as possible by grouping certain procedures together.
- Schedule an hour a week to clean the entire home.
- Focus on maintenance rather than improvements.
- Schedule an hour of running three mornings every week.
- Schedule forty minutes of yoga two days a week.
- Do not spend any fun money this month, especially since my birthday will likely yield a few new items to love.
- Increase savings by opening a high-yield savings account.
- Earn more income by funneling more time into the blog.
- Create spreadsheets to analyze where money will be best “invested” – funneled into loans bringing us closer to financial independence or into a rental property to set us up for early retirement?
- Work on a book 30 minutes every day.
I know that the world is hurting right now. It may seem as if I don’t care about the current state of affairs perhaps by posting this but that surely isn’t true. I live in the heart of downtown Santa Ana. We evacuated our home yesterday because we didn’t feel safe. The shops on our street are boarded up and graffitied. My dental office closed early to protect our patients from the protests. I am not above or outside of this. If anything, I am in the midst of it all. I am very active in helping where I can. I messaged the owners who I delivered bread to for a year. I texted my boss to make sure the dental office was safe overnight. We drove around the area this morning to make sure our neighbors weren’t broken into or robbed. I sent positive texts to fellow business owners within a 1 mile radius. I continue to go into work every day as a dentist to treat the marginalized and the lower income community which I proudly call home. I may not be speaking much publicly about what’s going on, but I am listening. At the same time, I don’t believe in being muted for a week so that the online space can work some algorithm. I think the government or an organization will find ways to spread their propaganda regardless of some app equation, and being silent only helps them to do so.
In posting this, I go back to one of my core beliefs that in order to create change, we must start at home and with ourselves. Forgive me for being trite, but writing goals is how I know to make the world 1% better. Because I cannot control what happens outside these walls, only how I act and react. The only way to improve the world is to improve ourselves. That’s what I know how to do.
Meanwhile, I will continue to live believing that my hands are doing daily work. This space included. And that whatever statement that I make about the political state of things online is what’s truly trite. Rather than coming to a full stop, I’m going to keep dealing with the world the way I always have. Through writing. If you do not want to be in this space, you do not have to be.