august | small goals

Well hello there, August! I know I'm the minority here, but August has always been my favorite month--even more than my birth month. I wish I knew why. I think it's the feeling of running around with the fireflies as the sun is just barely setting on a sticky Austin evening. Maybe it's back to school shopping, tax free weekend, and new school supplies. Maybe I'm addicted to nostalgia and it's fun to look back on the things I did this summer with that sepia tint of favorite memories. Whatever the reason, I'm glad it's here. August, feel free to take your time.

Last month was pretty freakin' great, as far as goals are concerned. Not only did I accomplish almost all of my July goals, but I finally took care of a big goal I've been putting off every month this year: I found a therapist. I've had two appointments, and I'm still feeling both the therapist and therapy in general out as far as what I want, what is and isn't right for me, and what I hope to gain from the process. I didn't include it as a July goal, but I really wanted to take a second to pay myself on the back for doing this, because it's been one of the most challenging things I've done. If there's anything I've learned in the past few years, it's that taking care of yourself is about maintenance, and it's not always easy; it's constant and unrelenting. It's also highly rewarding.

Anyway, let's see how I did on my actual goals for last month.

1. write 2 essays for my memoir | womp womp. I did not work on this even a little bit. However, I did write about why it's been so challenging. Does that count?
2. visit Briley at camp in Amarillo | done! Read about it here.
3. Read Wild by Cheryl Strayed | done! Loved it! I hate to say this, but I can't wait for the movie!
4. limit my shopping and work with what I've got | yes! I'm so glad I made myself do this. It felt awesome to have some money left over from this paycheck to pay my speeding ticket with, and also to spend more time being creative with the clothes I have. I'm really considering buying myself gift cards, as I mentioned, because it makes me shop much smarter. Have you ever tried this?
5. play outside in Austin | I spent so much time outside this month! I went on lots and lots of walks and even had a picnic to honor a friend's new chapter in her life.

I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself for accomplishing 4/5 goals. I know I was accomplishing the same number of goals when I was setting 10, but it just feels better to have done almost all instead of almost half. Thanks, Dago, for being the most brilliant always.

Here's what I'm aiming for in August:

1. finish The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison | One of the friends who recommended Wild also recommended my next read, The Empathy Exams. It's a great book of essays all focused on understanding empathy, a virtue that is extremely important to me, my work, and my writing. I can't wait to finish it so I can talk to people about it!
2. complete a 7x7 remix challenge | One of my dearest friends asked me if I'd be into doing a collaboration for the blog soon, and I had the perfect project in mind. I've been really wanting to photograph a 7x7 remixing challenge using the workwear pieces I bought earlier this summer. So excited to put it together and show you the finished product!
3. focus on eating healthier | The word healthy has always been a tough one for me. Everyone thinks it means something different, and there's so much judgment around not conforming to each and every idea. For me, I want to focus this month on training my body to know when I'm full. I'm also trying to eat more salad. Not necessarily less pizza, but more salad--for balance!
4. give therapy a real shot | After my second appointment, I started to worry that maybe therapy wasn't going to work for me because I work in the helping field. I wondered if my therapist just wasn't a good fit, or how I could be a better fit for her. I'm putting a lot of stress on "making it work" so I think I'm just going to chill out and let therapy do its thing.
5. write more poetry | I mentioned last week that I've been writing poetry again and that I'm wanting to share it here. It excites me to have that outlet again, so I'm hoping to really tune into that and write some good stuff.

What goals are you setting this month?


  1. Good work, lady! Sounds like July was a great month for you.
    I've always liked August, too. It's been SO nice here in Seattle and so August is growing on me even more.
    I've always been interested in therapy, but feel like because I'm in a helping field that I'd be in a similar position to you where I have a hard time giving it a real shot. I think many of us helping profession folks could really use some more self-care, which might include therapy. After listening to others' issues/situations and assisting them all day, I think it's only natural that we need to vent in a healthy way about how we process everything we experience.
    Please post some poetry! I used to love writing it and then went through a phase where I was like "this is embarrassing, I can't write poetry." I'd love to get back into it! You can be my inspiration.

  2. Congratulations on completing most of your July goals! Your August goals are fantastic. I'm totally with you on not eating less pizza but eating more good things to balance it out. Healthy is all relative!

    Good luck with your goals this month!

    Becca | Ladyface Blog

  3. Congrats on getting so many of your goals done and good luck with this month's. August is my birth month but I always feel a bit apprehensive about it since it signals so many changes, such as heading back to school (I work in education), so much of it seems spend preparing and waiting for that. Which isn't a bad thing, going back to school, but anticipating those changes makes one antsy!

  4. I like the idea of purchasing gift cards! Never thought of that.

  5. Girl check you out! Nice work. I am right there with you on trying to eat better. I have found that for me, it is SO important not to deprive myself (actually in regards to eating AND shopping, etc.) so by all means, eat the pizza! Just have a bigger helping of salad and less pizza. That's what I'm trying to do with carbs. But I looveeeeee them!

    Also- love that you were able to spend so much time outside! I love doing that as well, it's amazing how you can feel content with a day spent outside doing nothing, as opposed to staying inside.

    Re: poetry- SHARE IT! I write some myself but I wouldn't dare share it. I would love to read yours!

    I have a few groups of visitors in town this weekend so one of my goals for the month is showing them a kick-ass time in Nashville! You understand.


    ♥ perfectly Priya

  6. Get it! You did good last month! And this month sounds like it's going to be a winner too. I need to get back into my serious writing game too. Good idea to set some solid goals to work for each month in that department. Also, I keep meaning to get Wild from the Library and forget every. time. ugh.


  7. Sounds like you were very busy last month! Can't wait to read your poetry.

  8. girl you are awesome. i love your eating healthier goal. for me thats what its all about, trying to balance. i've started drinking 1-2 fruit/veggie smoothies in the mornings and i think its always a good start to the day.

  9. July sounds like it's been pretty productive! Spending more time outside must have been awesome, it always makes me feel so much better :) Eating healthier is high on my list of goals too! Not less food, just less junk I guess xx

  10. 4/5 does feel so much better than 4/10. I'm really bad about overdoing it when setting goals, too. I love your August goals! You are so right about eating healthy. I feel like science just doesn't have all of the answers, and different things are better for different people depending on how your body processes food and what you grew up eating and what foods are essential to your happiness. I've gone back and forth on how important eating healthy is in my life, but definitely eating more vegetable and drinking more water are always good things, and I always feel better when I do those things too. I'm so glad you're writing poetry again, and glad to hear about therapy! I know both of those things have been on the backburner for a bit, so I'm glad you found some time and mental reserves to make them happen. It always feels good to do good things for yourself.


  11. Nicole, to be honest, I never even thought about making monthly goals until I started reading your blog! I've really found it to be beneficial though; no matter how trivial the goals seem, checking just a few of them off makes me feel so much more "on track." Thank you!


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