Goals life


March 1, 2022

New month.

The news is still bleak. But while my life seems very small in comparison to what is going on in the world, it is still important on some micro scale: to my family, my patients, my colleagues, our residents. Maybe even to some of my listeners/readers! Thus, while self-care might seem selfish right now — it isn’t entirely.

I am hoping this will be a better month. For me and for everyone.

Overarching Goals

1- Allow myself to receive help from others. This refers to therapy + coaching (both scheduled in the coming weeks), and also to being emboldened to ask for what I need at work and at home.

2- Build in some fun. I am honestly having some trouble looking forward to things right now, but at the same time I think that having things on the calendar that theoretically could bring me joy is important.

3- Care for my body in a more intentional way. I don’t mean this in a wellness/diet culture way. I am referring to just allowing myself the time needed to procure decent food, get enough rest, drink enough water.

4- Really try not to overpack my days. Yes, there’s a lot to do. But I have to slow down my overall pace. Reminder to myself to keep my daily list reasonable and not add to it too much. (My quitting of multiple committees does seem like it will help with this to some degree!).

5 Specific Habits

1- Read every day. 20 minutes is a good minimum goal.

2- Complete Total Strength program (phase 1). This is doable (completed week 1 already and it is only 4 weeks total!) and will hopefully provide a sense of accomplishment and help with #3 above.

3- Take a night entirely OFF from the kid bedtime routine each week, whether that is with the help of Josh or our nanny. Last night I read + journaled + really appreciated the break.

4- Headspace daily. I am not into streaks but I think meditation is helpful for me and I am better off doing it daily.

5- Try some calming playlists in the house and in the car on the way home.

coincidentally turned to this page in Wintering this morning!


  • Reply Coree March 1, 2022 at 6:25 am

    This is really thoughtful. I’m glad you’re asking for help and getting some support. I do find even a few hours to myself incredibly restful. I don’t mind bedtime at all (1 easy kid) but sometimes I just want a few hours on a Saturday, but I feel bad b/c I tend to leave on Sunday afternoons for work. I just want to be in my house alone though, to tackle some projects.

    For me, this month is about making good progress on some big projects:
    1. Finish two articles that have been looming over me, causing significant anxiety because they are so OVERDUE. Going to take a deep breath, finish them, and send them off with my apologies.
    2. Laying the groundwork for 2 new writing projects with different collaborators.
    3. Finishing out my first study abroad nominations season and writing some notes on what worked and what didn’t process-wise
    4. Getting two big home projects done – which allows us to move on the other projects. By the end of the month, we’ll have new flooring in our entry, kitchen, and utility and our stairs prepped to be redone. While it is temporarily very very painful in terms of living in chaos, it’ll be so great to have done.
    5. Finish teaching prep, and most of teaching (term ends at Easter, so just grading after that)

    • Reply Elizabeth March 1, 2022 at 8:47 am

      I hope you are enjoying Wintering! Seems like a great fit for you right now.

      Also, I mostly came to say that in my opinion, self care is never selfish. You cannot be who you want to be for others when you are depleted. To take care of yourself means to prioritize what you need in order to live the life you were meant to. Not the life anyone else has, but YOUR best version of you. I would also argue that it’s extra important when times (both macro and micro) are challenging, as appears to be true now.

      So good for you. Put on your own oxygen mask first and then you can assist those around you.


  • Reply Sharon March 1, 2022 at 9:37 am

    Thank you for sharing your ideas, it’s inspiring. This season of life (working and parenting) is challenging even in “normal” times. Your blog helps me feel less alone.

  • Reply Coco March 1, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    Complete Total Strength program (phase 1) from where? how many times a week? I’ve done some caroline’s workouts and like them but rather intense as I also run 3-4 times a week.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 2, 2022 at 11:09 am

      It’s the Andy Speer Total Strength program through Peloton. There’s a phase 1 and phase 2. Reminds me a bit of LIIFT4. Definitely MUCH easier than Caroline but I wanted something more straightforward to combine with running.

  • Reply Erika March 2, 2022 at 9:08 am

    Hi! Related to a prior post, but would you mind sharing how you found your potential therapist? Do people ask their primary care dr? Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and the process seems so daunting. Thank you!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 2, 2022 at 11:10 am

      I actually just googled around for therapists in my area and picked based on website (mostly location and her interests). In the past, I have also gone through my health insurance which involved getting recs for who was in network.

      That said, I have no idea if it will be a great fit – but I figured worth a try.

      • Reply Erika March 2, 2022 at 8:48 pm

        Thanks! Going to try this method – its daunting but I just need to DO IT.

        • Reply Michelle March 8, 2022 at 9:25 pm

          This is how I found my therapist. I figured out the mechanics first (in network, hours, location) then just started reading their interests. In addition to their treatment specialities, they’ll include how they approach therapy and you may find it may resonate with you (nurturing and compassionate, a positive coach, strong sense of humor). I knew I needed to be able to laugh with my therapist when things got intense. She delivered and I’ve been seeing her off and on for two years. Best of luck! You’ll be so glad to get the scary first step over with.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns March 2, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Having a night off from bedtime is great! I put the baby down every night, but he’s super easy. It’s the 4yo that can be hard, especially during the week when he naps at school. My husband and I trade off and wow do I love the nights I don’t do bedtime, especially week nights. We have given up making him fall asleep on his own without us in the room so we can be in there for a LONG time on week nights when he’s napped. 🙁 But discretely reading on my phone helps.

    I hope you can think of some fun things to plan that give you something to look forward to. I’m trying to do this too. In March, I’m going to a restaurant with a friend to celebrate her 40th birthday. I’m so excited to have something fun to look forward to for a change!

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