November Goals and Currently

This year, inspired by Gretchen Rubin's book, I've been doing a Happiness Project, focusing on one important aspect of my life every month. Last month, my focus was mindfulness, while November's goals center around contentment. The idea is that the months should build on one another and the habits formed in one month should continue into the next and so on. Each month I share my wins from the previous month, as well as goals that fit the theme of the current month.

I'm also joining Anne for her monthly Currently linkup to share what I'm up to at the start of this month of thankfulness.

The picture of contentment right here :) 

{october wins}

My mindfulness goals for October were a bit of a challenge to quantify, but here are a few that I would consider wins.

- Practiced guided meditations for at least 5 minutes a day. I started this practice a few months ago and continued through October. As of right now I'm no longer doing this, because it started to feel like another thing I was checking off my list, which isn't really the point. However, it is something I plan to do again, just not on a schedule.

- Created positive mantras to repeat. One such mantra I've been repeating lately is "I wouldn't change a thing," which has been a good perspective shift, especially during challenging parenting moments. (Violet just turned two. There have been several.)

- Made an effort to be present. I tried to put my phone down more, to really play with my kids and pay close attention to what they tell me, and to set aside my computer when talking to Aaron. It's still a challenge, but I'm continuing to work on it.

- Started The Power of Now. I had hoped to read this last month, but the book had its own enlightenment journey--getting lost in transfer at my library. I'm finishing it up now and will share my thoughts in next month's reading recap.

{non-mindfulness wins}

- Read 8 books. Great month for reading!

- Had a book club meeting at a new book-themed venue. Becky and I discussed The Secret History at Afterword Tavern and Shelves, a new bar and bookstore in Kansas City. (Takeaways: book, meh; bar, excellent.)

- Enjoyed a girls day out, including brunch, shopping, and relaxation.

- Celebrated Violet's second birthday with a superhero-themed party.

- Attended our first parent-teacher conferences for kindergarten. Jona's teacher had great things to say. After a rough start with lots of teary drop-offs, he is absolutely loving it now.

{november goals}

November is all about contentment, which to me goes hand in hand with the month of Thanksgiving.

- Start a family gratitude practice. Last year during November, at dinner we started saying something we were thankful for. I hope to continue that tradition this year, and it should be pretty entertaining to hear what Jona and Violet come up with. Especially Violet... she's not yet old enough to understand the concept but will no doubt mimic her brother or shout out random things.

- Share my appreciation. I try to think about the people and things I'm grateful for often, but I'd like to get better about making sure the people in my life know how thankful I am for them.

- Be intentional about starting the day off right. Getting my day off to a positive start is an important factor for me for overall contentment. I would like my morning routine and overall attitude--especially once I have to get two reluctant children to hurry--to help foster a sense of peace and contentment for the day.

- Create a cozy space for relaxation. Having a warm, comforting place to come home to will make me look forward to quiet evenings at home, even if I wish it were warmer and brighter out.

{currently: november}

Other than goal-setting, here are a few other things I've been up to so far this month.

Fall trees and Christmas photos via Unsplash

{appreciating} gorgeous fall weather. After feeling short-changed about the lack of spring this year, I am soaking up the beautiful fall we've had so far. The trees have been so pretty, and I couldn't have asked for better weather this time of year. I know that winter is just around the corner, but for now I'm soaking up fall. 

{researching} lunch packing ideas. Jona has become a daily lunch-bringer, and his pickiness can be exasperating. I've been trying to come up with lunch options that go beyond peanut butter sandwiches and cheese roll-ups, so that he gets a bit of balance in his diet. I've found some great ideas on the site What Lisa Cooks, and so far some hits have been a muffin lunch (I made these healthy Applesauce Muffins from Mel's Kitchen Cafe) and homemade "lunchables." He still isn't great about eating fruits and vegetables, but at the very least he's branching out a little bit. It's a work in progress. 

{posting} Live Your Best Holiday Life updates. If you saw my post last Thursday, you saw that Alexandra and I are back with #LYBHolidayL for 2018. This year we aren't doing daily prompts, but instead we have lists of ideas for infusing more self-care, budget-consciousness, and festivity into your holiday season. We'll do a few updates on our blogs, but mostly we will be sharing on Instagram (and Instagram Stories) so be sure to follow along! (@shealennon and @simplyalexandra12

{getting} into holiday planning mode. With commercials and store displays it's impossible to forget that the holidays are coming up quickly. I'm working on my game plan for getting ready for Christmas, from gift lists and budgets to plans and activities to prioritize. I don't want to feel overly stressed during the holiday season, so for me planning ahead really helps. 

{cooking} all the comfort food. When the weather turned colder, I felt the urge to make soup, casseroles, and other comforting classics. A few weekends ago my mom came over and we made homemade chicken and noodles, something I rarely take the time to make. There is nothing like a homemade noodle. For me that is the ultimate comfort food. Other comfort foods we've enjoyed lately are Chicken Parmigiana, potato soup, turkey noodle casserole, and lots of crock pot soups. 

What has November brought for you so far? 

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