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In July, I had a thought to post my monthly health reports on the last day of said month, a kind of wins and challenges list. It was item No. 3 of my goals: using monthly check-ins to review what worked and what didn’t.

I haven’t yet shared, so here’s what I’ve learned in July, August and September:

What’s working right now:

  • Workouts: Boot Camp three times a week — bonus points for the fourth day! — and Pilates once a week. Last week I had a make-up class, so I attended Pilates two days in a row. And we used an ab wheel during our Boot Camp circuit on Thursday, so my abs were sore all weekend. As if I had been in a boxing ring and taken several hits to the stomach. In a good way, of course. I haven’t made it to yoga or dance classes, so I’m shelving those goals for now.
  • Healthy Eating: Nightly emails to life coach Lauren have kept my focus on mostly yummy, good-for-me foods, but some sweet treats at my birthday celebration and skimpy meals during the week has my diet a bit imbalanced. This past week, I worked to eliminate coffee in preparation to follow Dr. Mark Hyman’s UltraSimple plan with two of my coworkers starting tomorrow. I’m hoping it’ll help me get back to scheduled, healthy meals.
  • Relationships: The vacation to Colorado a few weeks back was great for Kyle and me to break our usual routine and have quality time to relax and talk. No rushing, no “checking in” between errands, work and appointments. Just time to take in the beauty of nature and dream about the future. And with my birthday on the 12th, I was touched by sweet messages from friends and family. My mom and I visited with my younger cousins and aunt and uncle today, and had dinner with my grandparents. It was nice to connect and gain some wisdom from the three generations.

What’s not working:

  • Stress: I’m still seeking the perfect harmony for work and life, but I’ve come to realize that much of my work will seep into my life because my job is all about living better. Brainstorming story ideas on the weekends or updating my blog in the evenings is bound to happen — and that’s OK. If I’m skipping leisure time or workouts in favor of working later (as I’ve done before), then I need to reassess and reschedule projects. I have to remind myself that working out can only help me be a better, more productive employee, as we share in this month’s issue of the magazine (see “Work Out, Work Better”). Right now, I can use daily meditation and journaling to manage stress, even if I’m only checking in for five minutes a day. I’ve also been missing my weekly acupuncture sessions, so I’ll add those back in for October.
  • Overly ambitious scheduling: I have three calendars, one for work, one for projects and one for all other appointments and events pertaining to my life (this one also includes some work meetings). The latter calendar features an “ideal day” calendar, where I:
  1. Rise early to practice yoga and meditate every morning before walking the dog;
  2. Arrive to work before morning meetings to blog;
  3. Break at lunch for spinning or yoga or a walk;
  4. End the daytime hours with a strength-training workout before heading home to…
  5. Make a healthy meal, watch a little TV and…
  6. Read a book and take a bath, before…
  7. Going to bed “early,” which would be 10 pm for me.
  • I’ll expand more on this above ideal day in another post, but so far, I’ve only been able to complete item 4. Sad. This month I’m going to take active steps to get closer to this vision, but it’s worth reviewing the barriers, perceived or not, in me reaching this dream. More to come on this subject.

While travel was great during the summer and September, it was also a bit dizzying. That’s one of my favorite things about fall: a bit slower pace and time to reflect. I can make some adjustments to my goals and figure out what I’m willing to do — and what I actually can do. Students go back to school, and the rest of us, students of life, can obtain a new education, skill or practice.

Tell me about a goal you’ve had to rework — and how you finally made it happen — in the comments section below, or find me on Twitter: @clewisopdahl.

Thoughts to share?

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