Happy October, friends! Fall is officially here now. There is absolutely no denying it. I woke up to 35 degree weather this morning. Before we know it, there will be snow on the ground here in Michigan. I’m trying not to think about that.
Fall goes by in a flash here. That’s why I’m loving practicing some fall mindfulness right now. It helps me enjoy fall that much longer. Right now I have a fall candle burning and I’m looking out at some red leaves on an unusually sunny day.
September definitely did not feel like fall to me, but as I said last week, I love warm weather so I definitely wasn’t complaining. My husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary on the 18th. It fell on a Monday this year, so we got a three-day weekend. We spent all Monday doing fun things. Bowling alleys on a Monday afternoon are very strange, I have learned. On top of that, we went out to a few other places in the area we have been wanting to visit.
Last year on our anniversary, we were out in Colorado picking up Koji, our Shiba Inu. So our first wedding anniversary was spent in a car with a puppy for 21 hours. It sounds fun, but it wasn’t as great as you’d think. Needless to say, we were happy to celebrate for real this year.
In addition, I got to team up with my friend Summer over at Coffee With Summer in September. I was so excited to team up with Summer because she has been incredibly influential in my blogging journey. If you didn’t catch my guest post, An Introvert’s Guide to FOMO: 6 Ways to Beat the Fear of Missing Out, don’t forget to check it out!
On top of that, as some of you may have heard through social media (if you’re not following me on my social media channels, you’re missing out on a lot of exclusive news + fun chitchat with me!) that I recently got a promotion at work. I’ve taken on a supervisory position which has been really great. I love my job and I love that this new role has given me the opportunity to help my colleagues grow as well.
But with the new job came an increased workload. I will get into more about my self-care in a bit, but I made the difficult decision to scale back a bit on how much time I spend blogging. I spend on average about three hours a day working on my blog, bringing the grand total time per week up to 15 hours a week or more. That’s a lot of time! I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to take a step back if I wanted to keep pumping out great content and maintain my sanity at the same time. I’m choosing to scale back to posting twice per week rather than three times per week.
My husband has been encouraging me to do so for quite some time, so the idea of cutting back a day has been on my radar. But it wasn’t until my friend Sheila over at In Search of Sheila had announced that she was feeling burnt out and needed to take a week off that I finally thought “Yep. This is definitely the best thing to do.” Taking a step back from blogging feels a lot like failure for me, and I think for a lot of people. For those of you reading who aren’t bloggers, it is astounding how much effort it takes to put together a product you’re proud of, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me. But it isn’t failure. I read a quote a week or two ago that I’m paraphrasing, but I have been using it as something of a mantra since making so many big decisions. “Strength isn’t just about holding on. It’s also about letting go.” I think this is going to be a really great step forward for The Light Owl, and not a step back at all. I’m excited to see how my extra free time and lowered stress levels will make a positive impact on my blog.Strength isn't just about holding on. It's also about letting go. Click To Tweet
With that being said, I have been massively stressed out this month. Today I’m having more medical tests run for the health problems I’ve been terribly vague about. I’m hoping after today I can let you in on more about what’s been going on with me. I feel like September went by so fast that I didn’t prioritize my goals as much as I should have.
September Goals Recap:
1. Focus on Getting Healthier
I have a hard time saying whether or not this was a pass or fail. If we’re talking physical health, I’d say that I didn’t put in much of an effort. I did try to be more aware of my food choices, but I’m also an emotional eater and I love eating sweets and Taco Bell when I’m stressed out. So I can’t say in good conscience that this was a successful month of getting healthier.
2. Prioritize Self-Care
All in all, I think I passed on this one. Not only did I create a 30-day Mind+Body+Soul Self-Care Challenge that I hope you’ve been enjoying, I’ve also been doing more self-care on my own. I’ve been enjoying sensory-focused self-care like lighting candles and listening to calming music. I’ve also been picking up coloring again, which has been so relaxing and enjoyable.
3. Find More Balance
Um, absolutely I passed this one. I told Sheila that I felt like I was fighting against a system that I created myself, and it occurred to me– why not just change the system? That realization was incredibly empowering for me. Although I’ve been working more at my job, I’m feeling more balanced once I get home.
1. Continue to Write Ahead
A lot of things happened on the blog this month. My series for my anniversary week fell through because I felt that publishing a travel post on honeymooning in Puerto Rico the day after PR was hit by Hurricane Maria was wildly inappropriate. On top of that, I was struggling to stay afloat on publishing my posts to begin with.
2. Focus on Instagram
This goal was a carryover from August and I actually did worse than I did in August as far as posting frequency. I did put more of a focus on creating valuable content over on Insta, which means I’ve been more selective about my photos, my editing, and my captions, so it wasn’t a total loss.
3. Post more Personal Photos
Verdict: Pass (barely)
So I didn’t post as many personal photos as I wanted to, but you still got a glimpse into my wedding day in my post, 7 Wedding Day Tips to Make your Big Day Unforgettable! I got so many compliments on those photos, all thanks to our wonderful photographer, Sarah from Sarah Pyper Photography. Michigan friends, if you’re looking for a wedding photographer who will make your big day unforgettable, seriously don’t skimp on your photog.
Related reading: August Recap + September Goals
1. Practice at least 30 minutes of self-care daily
I noticed a HUGE difference on the days that I prioritized self-care last month. This coming month, I want to make it even more of a priority by setting aside at least 30 minutes a day practicing some self-care, by myself. My husband and I love to do everything together, so oftentimes I wrap up my self-care for the day into spending time with him, which is great. But as a full-blooded introvert, I still need my alone time. I can’t tell you enough how much that little bit of coloring and soft music did for me on Friday.
2. Be more optimistic
I, unfortunately, tend to be a pessimistic person. It’s hard for me to look on the bright side when I can see so many negative outcomes to just about everything. And that’s where my anxiety comes into play. One of my patients at work schooled me the other day, actually. (That’s the great part of my job: Therapy isn’t just therapeutic for my patients. I learn things too.) He said, “I’ve realized that skills to manage my anxiety are just that: skills. They take practice to get good at them.” There are some ways to manage my anxiety that I’m actually really good at. Managing negative self-talk is not one of them. I’m going to make this one a priority for October.
3. Start working on my 30 by 30 bucket list
Okay so sneak peak: My half birthday is this month! On October 11, I’ll be a year-and-a-half away from turning 30. Lucky for you, my friends, my half-birthday happens to fall on one of the days that I post, so I will be sharing my take on the 30-by-30 bucket list. I can’t wait to share it with you. I want to get a few things crossed off that list by the end of October.
1. Get my new opt-in freebie up and running
This is an extremely lofty goal, but I’m hoping that by the end of October, I’ll have a new opt-in freebie for you all! My opt-in that I have right now was created back in May, with all my old fonts and colors and ideas for what TLO would be. Now over four months in, I have found more of my groove and know more about what y’all like. I don’t want to get away too many details, but I’m going to be putting together a workbook just for you to help you live a more authentic and happy life. That’s all you get for now! If you want to be the first one to receive this subscriber exclusive, make sure you subscribe, because I will be releasing it as an early-bird special for my current subscribers! Keep an eye out toward the end of the month or the beginning of November for this new project!
2. Post more photos
I had a great response to the photos I did post last month. I’d love to share more with you. I want to have more personal photos in my posts this coming month. Don’t forget, if you’d like a more personal look into my life, follow me on Instagram!
3. Host a guest blogger
I’ve been considering hosting a guest blogger for a while now. If you think you’d be a good fit for The Light Owl, please check out my About page for more information on posting for my blog. If you have an idea that you think fits my mission of inspiring millennials toward personal growth, mental health, and authentic living, I’d love to hear from you!
How did you do on your September goals? What are your goals this month for October? Let me know below!
Let’s be friends. I’d love to get to know you better!