At the top of each monthly tending list in my PowerSheets, I’m prompted to fill a blank space with some encouraging or motivating words for the month. Typically, I spend an almost embarrassing amount of time after I put together my goals scouring the Internet for a quote or song lyric that captures everything I’m trying to accomplish for that month, then use that to fill the space. This month, it looks a little different. For September, my encouraging words are…

Chill out and enjoy.

When I started thinking about what September’s words of motivation should be, these were the first ones that came to mind. For a few minutes, I considered looking for something a little deeper, a little more creative or intellectual. But I decided to go with my gut. One of my general hopes for the month ahead is that I can destress in certain areas of my life, and taking away the unnecessary expectations I had on myself about coming up with the perfect quote to write in my planner seemed like a good place to start.

I think that sets the stage for this goals recap pretty well, no?

OIfljQCtRW6dMEiU6y+gfg_thumb_711

I can’t wait to talk more about all the chilling out and enjoying that I hope to do in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, let me share a little more about how things panned out in August.

  • Finish two chapters of book. I finished about a chapter and a half. It’s not quite as much quantity-wise as I would have hoped, but I feel really good about the quality of the work, so I’m not going to stress about it too much.
  • Land one new outlet. YES! I actually landed two new outlets. I picked up an assignment for a new print outlet (more to come on that in a few months!), as well as more copywriting and blogging work for another small business.
  • Maintain SSR workflow. YES! I have a really good system down after two full months with the podcast.
  • Submit four (great) pitches to target outlets. I submitted three — not four — big pitches.
  • Investigate podcast ad networks and growth opportunities. YES! After researching some options in August, I haven’t actually taken action on anything yet, but it feels good to have started the process. There are other ideas that I’ve been brainstorming over the last few days that I’m even more excited about, and I can’t wait to explore those further in September.
  • Network for podcast guests and pitch SSR for publicity every week. YES! 
  • Treadmill three times per week. In the final week of the month, I only ran twice. Between move prep and an insane workload, I was just finding rest and other kinds of exercise better for my stress levels! As much as I love to push myself at the gym five to six days a week, I’m trying to get better at listening to my body. I did, however, stick to my treadmill goal three weeks out of the month.
  • Stick to weekly SSR social media calendar. YES! I’m having so much fun with all of the SSR social media. It’s been a really great creative outlet! My personal social media feeds have definitely suffered as a result of all the time I’ve spent coming up with fun ideas for SSR, but I’m hoping to figure out a better balance moving forward.
  • Prioritize a date night every week. With the move on the horizon, Matt and I have been finding date nights more important than ever these days. We missed one week of date night, but with all of the craziness in our lives lately, I still feel pretty good about how much we’ve been able to prioritize each other.
  • Read target outlets more regularly. I’m still struggling to find time for this, but I think being aware of that has been a good first step.
  • Practice focus. YES! As you might remember if you read my last goals recap, I had a lot of trouble with time management in July after I made some big changes to my schedule and workload. I found myself getting even more overwhelmed with projects than was necessary because I couldn’t focus on any one thing for a long period of time. That got a lot better in August, and it allowed me to be really productive and creative.
  • Prepare well for our move! YES! We’re just a few days away from moving into our new apartment, and given all the time we’ve spent traveling over the last few weeks, I think we’ve done about as much as we can to be proactive about the process. The real test will come in September, when we actually have to do the move and transition into our new space and routine!

August was a really great month for me both professionally and personally, and it feels good to have that momentum coming into a new season. (And a new year… September is my birthday month!) Still, setting goals for next month was tricky. I wrote about this quite a bit in my last post about change, but there are so many transitions ahead for us in September — new apartment! new puppy! — that I’m not quite sure what my time’s going to look like or what kind of bandwidth I’m going to be working with. As of now, my plan is to do lots of good work with my current clients and projects (and the podcast, of course), but to lower the pressure I put on myself to constantly be in hustle mode with developing new business. It’s been a crazy summer for me with work, and even if we weren’t going to need a few days to settle into our new apartment or if I didn’t have a new furry, un-trained friend coming to live with me five days later, it would probably be time for me to cut myself some slack.

Anyway, I have no idea how September is really going to shake out. And I’m trying not to have as many expectations of myself. 

Here is my list of goals for the month, which you’ll definitely notice is much shorter than usual.

  • Successfully transition into our new apartment. Moves are always stressful! We’ve front-loaded a lot of the hard work necessary for ours, and now that the actual move date is in sight, I’m ready to channel all of that work into the actual experience of settling into our new space!
  • Finish two or three chapters of my book. As always, keep on truckin’.
  • Continue to research growth opportunities for the podcast. Yes, I love doing the podcast as a passion project, but I am starting to think about ways to make it bigger and maybe even to monetize it. As I mentioned above, I came up with some really fun ideas over the last few days, and I’m going to spend some time in September trying to figure out what’s actually going to be doable and most true to my mission with the show.
  • Secure one new outlet or project. I know I said I was going to pull back on the hustle, but I’d like to lock down onnnnne new opportunity in the next few weeks.
  • Read seven books. I have a lot of podcast recordings on the books in the months ahead, which means I have lots of YA and middle grade books to read! Since we’ll be spending a lot of time at the apartment with the puppy, I think this will also be a good time to knock some other “grown-up” books off my TBR list.
  • Focus on hospitality and celebrations! One of the things I’m most looking forward to with our new apartment is that its larger size will make it a lot easier for us to welcome people into our home. I’ve always loved hosting people, and with so much to celebrate in September, I can’t wait to really embrace that hospitality.
  • Establish good puppy habits! I’m under no delusions that getting a 10-week-old puppy is going to be easy. The first few weeks will be key to ensuring that we can get him trained and keep him feeling safe and happy. That’s a huge priority for me!
  • Read target outlets. There’s still a lot of room for me to establish consistency with this in my daily routine. I’m hoping that pulling back on some of my hustle mentality will give me the headspace I need to make this happen.

Oh – and chill out and enjoy. Because, duh.

Given all of the big changes coming up over here, I think next month’s goals recap is going to be quite interesting… and I’m excited to keep you all in the loop about each milestone in the meantime!

What are you hoping to accomplish in September? Tell me more in the comments below!