Goals Habits life

The year is ~9/24 over

May 17, 2023

Inspired by BLPA . . .

After leading a Best Laid Plans Academy Session yesterday all about seasonal planning, I realized that it was probably time to start thinking about my own seasonal planning for Quintile 3: SUMMER! Laura and I did record a summer-themed episode and our camp spreadsheet is complete (yay), but I will be able to take some time during my little mini-retreat to work on some goals, so I decided to go back and check out my annual goals list.

for the most part: going pretty well!

Things that are going well (or are complete):

  • Running plans/goals (I wanted to set “40s PRs” for the half marathon and 5K. The bar wasn’t very high as I didn’t run very much in my early 40s, but it appears I have done this.)
  • Nail care. My goal was to get a professional mani/pedi every other month and so far, yes! January / March / May.
  • Avoid scrolling. I’ve been better about this than I have been since . . . maybe since I’ve had an iPhone (2011ish)
  • Run BLPA – I’m now almost through the second cycle and it’s been a ton of fun and a lot of learning. It’s mind-boggling to think that this was brand new at the start of 2023!
  • Go to 6 movies. I’ve watched 3, one streaming and two in the theaters: Glass Onion, A Man Called Otto, and Creed 3. Are You There God . . . is on the docket. On track!
  • Library routine. We go most Saturdays and I am happy with this. (PS: the big kids are much more into books this month since they are screen free. I have LOVED seeing this.)

Things that are in progress/scheduled

  • Sunday dinner/routine. I feel like this has gotten better but I have yet to feel totally at peace on Sundays.
  • Mommy days with each kid –> scheduled for three consecutive Thursdays in June/July!
  • Track time one week/quintile — done for Q1/Q2 so far
  • Organizing. I’ve done my desk area + 2 kid rooms. There is a lot more but I feel it is achievable!

Things that have not yet been started: Estate planning


I am happy to report though that about 10 minutes ago, I sent an email with the subject heading “Estate Planning OMG I think 3 years went by” to our estate planning attorney who is also my friend and an all-around awesome person. And actually, she just called me back (because she is the best) and informed me it was more like 5 years. I guess in my defense some of those were rather crazy years . . . lol.

(Fun fact/total digression: I actually have TWO friends who are estate planning attorneys and they even both went to the same Ivy League undergrad and they didn’t know each other!!! But that is a wild digression. And only one of them is actually doing our stuff.)

Things that are looking doubtful, but I feel okay about:

  • Reading plan. I had this wild idea of trying to do 2 nonfiction books a month PLUS 3 novels/month by trying to read 1/14 or 1/10 of each book daily. I haven’t actually falling SO far short book-wise (here’s the 2023 list — I’m at 10 novels / 10 nonfiction so far) but I am realizing that some days I just read more than others, though I tend to be more consistent in my morning nonfiction reading. I’m — as usual — on track for around 50 books this year rather than 60. (50ish seems to be my sweet spot and it’s not a bad number, maybe I should just embrace it!)
  • Taylor Swift. Sad. The next tour I will be so on it . . .
  • Listen to an album/week. I do feel like music has become a more regular part of my life – the kids always want music in the car, and I listen to music during all challenging runs (speedwork, hills, etc) – and that adds up. I also listen to most of the New Music Fridays episodes on NPR’s All Songs Considered and sometimes I get excited to listen to a full album, but definitely not every week.

I am not quite ready to craft my Q3 goals (need to review Q2 first / look ahead + reflect a bit) but I am getting there.


  • Reply Coree May 17, 2023 at 11:17 am

    9/24, love it!

    I put all my summer work to dos (summer is May-August for work) in a big Notion database and it helpful tells me the percentage complete. Midway through May and I’m at 20%. I didn’t weight things, so writing a book proposal is the same value as submitting an expense report, but that’s fine for now.

    I did intend for May to be a clear the decks month so I’m hoping all the admin can get done so the rest of the summer is focused on writing + family fun. I need to write a very long but not particularly taxing report, submit final grades, and will use that % count as a motivator to get all the low-hanging fruit off. Inspired by Laura, I added a bunch of tiny but annoying things on the list – the fact that the proxy for my uni library doesn’t work off campus, my desk drawer is broken, etc…

    From a personal perspective, I really should do the same. I want to catch up on my international reading project this summer which will involve some book purchases, etc.

    You’ve prompted me to look at my annual list and things are going pretty well –
    I’ve got 10 hours of volunteering next month which will bring me halfway through my target hours, my cycle mileage is on pace, we’re seeing Anna Karenina at the theatre Saturday which will be the second play we’ve seen this year. I need to figure out dates to do a few days in Paris with my best friend, but that’s dependent on teaching schedules, and I wanted to host a casual party but didn’t get around to it. I think that’ll get pushed to January 2024 – a “it’s dark, everyone is skint and bored, let’s get together” type thing. I do need to find adult swim lessons and get my ears pierced, both things that stress me out slightly.

  • Reply DVResident May 17, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    I have 18 more days of call block for PGY2 and 410 or so more days of residency. Not that I started a countdown clock on D1…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 17, 2023 at 2:02 pm

      Oh I TOTALLY get that!!!!

  • Reply heather May 17, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    I suspect this has been asked before, but I’d love to know what advice you’d give to a parent of younger kids re: screen time. I’ve got a 3 year-old and a 1 year-old, and the older one watches a show maybe 3x per week. If you could go back to these ages with your kids, would you have done anything differently? I’m wondering if we should start some hard and fast rules from these earlyish days, like a firm rule of no shows on weeknights or only something on individual screens if it’s a travel situation, or what. Thanks for any input!

    • Reply Sarah May 18, 2023 at 7:31 am

      Heather-not Sarah who writes this blog, but a different Sarah-I have an 8 and 10 year old and a baby. If I could go back in time, we wouldn’t do an iPad at all. I actually took it away when the oldest was 5 and we never reintroduced it except for on airplanes. Although she only had access to “learning based games,” (pbs kids, etc.), I think there is something particularly rewarding about that 1:1 technology that they can hold and touch that does something wacky to their brain. For our kids, we didn’t like what we saw. And though we used to allow some daily decompression with a show or movie, we have switched to less and less technology in general as they have gotten older.

      Our family rule for the last few years has been tv on the only tv (in living room) for about 2-2.5 hours on the weekends (Sat, Sun) and tv on vacation and when you’re sick. Otherwise, our kids don’t watch tv. They can opt to switch some of that weekend screen time for computer learning games (they have some subscriptions through school). Our one with dyslexia can practice on her online reading game daily if she wants to. (I let her lead.) They don’t have a personal device.

      Most of my 10 year old’s friends have their own device and have data/the internet. To each his own but I am really concerned about research on phones, social media, and the adolescent brain. We aren’t going to do them for quite some time, and my 10 year old is very angry about this. I to allow her to FaceTime or text her friends (who are known to me) on my phone in limited spurts. I may be the uncool mom, but I feel like less is better…there are just better uses for their brains. But at the same time, use it when you need it.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2023 at 9:49 am

        Sarah this makes total sense and seems like a wise approach.

      • Reply Heather May 18, 2023 at 1:32 pm

        Thank you, Sarahs!

  • Reply Amanda May 17, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve been starting to think about this a little more too. My 4.5 year old has always done pretty well with just watching some TV here or there and not seeming too dependent on it, so we haven’t had firm rules. But, most days the TV stays off (by most I mean 4/7). However, my 14 month old who just happens to be around when the older one is watching is now starting to point to the TV and ask for it, and then cry if we don’t turn it on! So, I’m wondering if we’re going to need more strict “rules” with her. Always curious to hear how others handle screens with littles.

  • Reply Chelsea May 17, 2023 at 2:20 pm

    Now that my kids are 5, 8, and 10, my thinking about screen time for littles (and even bigger kids) is “let it serve you”. If you need to take a breath while you cook dinner, let that be screen time. If you just want to connect with your partner after dinner, let that be screen time. If your kid wakes up at 4:30am, let that be screen time. If everyone is puking, let the whole day be screen time. For us, I suspect my kids are fairly introverted, and we do screen time right after school. They seem to do better later in the afternoon/evening if they can just disconnect from everyone and everything for a bit.

    • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 17, 2023 at 4:25 pm

      This is kind of the approach we have taken. We let our 5yo have his iPad during his younger brother’s naps starting around age 4 when he dropped his nap. That way everyone gets a break (meaning I can read or nap). He only has access to ABC Mouse and PBS kids shows/games. We all get home around 5ish, eat dinner, and usually play outside or in the basement and then we all watch Wheel of Fortune together – it’s on at 6:30 and the toddler goes to bed at 7 so it’s a nice transitional activity and I tell myself it helps with letter recognition. 🙂 We also let the boys watch a movie on weekend mornings when it’s cold/raining. That said, my kids are only 2 and 5 so we have a lot of change ahead for us!

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