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What if you start today?

It's that time of year. Some see it as the lazy days of summer. I see it as a time to reevaluate the goals you created for yourself in January. A few years ago, I'd set goals in six areas of my life in January, and by June, I had only accomplished goals in two areas and thought there was no way I could pull off even half of my list. But revisiting them sparked the motivation I needed to restart. By the end of that year, I had finished at least one goal in every area of my life and four of the areas were completely done! From that year on, not only do I use July as a restart, I encourage my friends to do it too!

For the first time, I selected a theme for the year and have been investing in my career, marriage, community, and mental and emotional health for months! One of the most significant undertakings has been participating in Loyola's Women's Leadership Academy. Monthly, about 40 women meet to grapple and grow in our careers together. Within Cohort 4, we are divided into growth groups to help us work through the process together. These women are each amazing in their own right and support each other along this journey. As if that wasn't enough, we received a mentor. A few of us in this cohort have two mentors. Fortunately, I'm in that number. My mentors each provide a unique perspective and are working to help me accomplish my program goals.

I have read so many great books this year that I'm at 80% of my goal! By the end of the month, I will probably be at 90%. While some I read to discuss at our monthly book club, there are many more that I read just for fun or educational purposes. If you're interested in my list, follow me on Good Reads. Due to my current station in life, audiobooks are my primary mode these days, but I look forward to the days when I can physically curl up with a good book and read for hours!

I have excelled at investing in my marriage so far this year. In addition to weekly date nights, Derrick and I had an opportunity to attend a couples retreat this year. If you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and find one! Focusing on us was worth the time, money, childcare arrangements, and gas. The retreat was inspirational, motivational, spiritually uplifting, and unifying. We also get to spend a week in California this month, where we will invest in each other and a ministry we love and support.

While I started with my more complete goals, not every area has received my attention. I'll share my bottom two now. Over the past few months, my journey to decluttering stalled. Earlier this year, we repurposed two rooms and created an exercise room and an office! HUGE win considering that the two rooms were essentially storage rooms. However, I ran out of steam as I grieved a different life change. Fortunately, this week, I started again and even enlisted the help of a dear friend who loves organizing, putting her in a happy place. She has no idea how zen she will be when she leaves my house. While it may not look like it, I am on track to accomplish this goal by the end of the year. I was hoping for this summer, but I'm practicing self-compassion and allowing myself additional time without guilt or shame.

Finally, regarding my physical health, I HAVE NOT made any accomplishments in this department. SO I need to address this over the next few months. With a few other oversized irons out of the fire, I have the time, energy, and mental capacity needed to invest in my physical health. Because I need accountability in this area, I'm in the market for an exercise buddy. I'd love to incorporate water aerobics, walking, and weight lifting into my routine. Previously, when I limited my audiobook usage to walks, it motivated me to prioritize that time. I'll either replicate that system or save my most coveted book for daily walks.

I love revisiting goals. Instead of focusing on what I haven't accomplished, I acknowledge and celebrate the hard work before examining why I haven't started on other pursuits. Sometimes I need help, sometimes my priorities have changed, and other times I do not have the capacity to complete the said goal. Acknowledging the reasons for the lack of progress enables me to find the right approach to forge ahead.

With six months left this year, what could you accomplish if you started today?

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