Goals for 2013: July Update


The beautiful gardens at Lake Junaluska

Happy summer!  Hope y'all are having a summer full of lazy weekend picnics, freshly-picked flowers, outdoor experiences, and al fresco dining!  It's hard for me to believe the year is half over already - 2013 has been a great year so far.  Here's a little update on my goals.

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1. Run 2-3 times per week and increase circuit to 2 miles once per week Progress: By May/June, we had sort of settled at 1-2 runs a week with lots of walking on our off days.  Confession: Y'all, running is hard for me, especially in the heat.  I have trouble motivating myself to run on a regular basis but I've found it's easier for me when it's colder out (go figure).  Now that it's a little warmer out (in the 90s every day this past week!), we've been looking for a few exercise alternatives.  We rented a tandem bike one Sunday afternoon for a 2.5-hour ride along the canal and we started a new workout regime this month called the Insanity Workout (aptly named!).

2. Find ways to give to others each month Progress: Since April, we made a few donations of household and clothing items; volunteered with RAIHN, a hospitality organization for homeless families in May and earlier this month; and handed out Subway gift cards to those asking for spare change on the streets.

3. Read 6 books in 12 months Progress: I read "7" this spring and am currently reading "EntreLeadership" by Dave Ramsey and "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss, though these are on hold until my summer class is over.  For class, I'm reading "Tell Them Who I Am" by Elliot Liebow, an ethnography on homeless women that has special significance because of our work with RAIHN this year.

4. Study the Word actively Progress: SD and I finished reading the Story - the Bible written in chronological, chapter book format.  I've also been reading through a few plans on YouVersion (most recently, the one about Hosea).

5. Get up at 7:30 a.m. six out of seven days a week Progress: For the most part, yes!

6. Be intentional with rest Progress: I'm trying to be intentional with how I spend my time this summer by setting goals, staying organized, being productive in my working hours, and planning fun things for SD and I to do on the weekends (festivals, time on the roof, trying new recipes, etc.).  So far, it's been a wonderful balance of work and rejuvenation.

7. Make a list of things we are grateful for to display in our homeProgress: I just hung up a new sheet in our kitchen - find the free printable version here.

8. Focus on inspiring influences; purge negativityProgress: This really comes down to social media, for me.  Focusing on inspiring influences means spending less time on Facebook and Twitter, especially on the weekends.  It's amazing what a difference this makes!

9. Eat more whole foodsProgress: We started reading labels in the grocery store and being more intentional with the things we buy.  We also started planning a few meals for the week before we go to the store, to ensure that we have everything on hand each night.  This month, I've had class twice a week until after 8 p.m. so we've made good use of our crockpot with things like Pulled Pork Sliders and Jambalaya.  Delicious!

10. Find ways to add value to othersProgress: I'm finding out that there are so many ways to do this - sending notes to those who are grieving or celebrating an accomplishment, going out of your way to help someone, smiling at people, baking things to give away, pausing to have a conversation with someone.  Recently, I've been thinking about this goal for my studio: How can I add value to my students?


1. Get published Progress: I submitted two papers for journal publication consideration and I had a paper accepted to a research poster session at this year's National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy outside of Chicago!

2. Write a hymn arrangement Progress: I composed a hymn tune for an existing text back in April for a class assignment.  Next up, a hymn arrangement using some of these (and these) skills.

3. Spend more time in the practice room Progress: I practiced 8-10 hours a week during the semester and I managed to keep 2-3 hours in my schedule for the first two months of summer, despite not being at school every day.  I'm working my way through the Well-Tempered Clavier (mostly as a sightreading exercise), reviewing some keyboard skills, and improvising.

4. Create a blog schedule Progress: Summer = less school + more time to write!  This blog schedule helps keep me organized.

5. Update website Progress: I had a short list of things to fix/update on my site at the beginning of the summer and I'm pleased to say I've done just about everything on the list!  I've also been helping Steve update his site - go visit!

I'd love to hear how your 2013 goals are coming along - feel free to share in the comments below or if you post them on a blog, please post the link.  I'd love to read them!

Read more:
Goals for 2013: April Update
Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part I
Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part II
Making Things Happen in 2013 - Part III