July resolution wrap up and introduction of August’s goal

I’m very likely the odd ball, but August is by far my favorite month of the year. August is celebrating my grandmother’s birthday (she’ll be 102 this year), it’s having a beer on the patio and watching the sun set, it’s long days, it’s cicadas singing, it’s getting ice cream and sitting on a bench with nothing else important to do. August is the perfect month to simply be.

My resolution for July was to evaluate and reconfigure our family’s routines, schedules, and goals. This happened without much stress or anxiety. One night my husband and I sat at our kitchen table and reviewed what routines we’d been following, identified which ones were no longer meeting our needs, and then created a new routine chart. So far, the new routines are working well and our house is back to running smoothly.

Our family routines include meal preparations, meal cleanup, meal planning, laundry, trash, yard work, exercising, getting ready for the day and bed time, general pick up around the house, room-by-room intense cleaning, paying bills, mail processing, pet care, and running errands to the grocery store, bank, and gas station. If you do not have routines in place for these recurrent activities, check out the article “Establishing routines” for some guidance.

We went through the same evaluation process with our work schedules and our family goals, and we’re back to feeling like we have a handle on our time. It’s nice to know where you want to go and how you plan to get there.

My goal for August is to get our “In case of …” files up to date. Since we moved, some of the information in my file is no longer accurate and it needs to be updated. Since no one, including me, likes to think about “in case of …” situations, it’s best that I do it during a month that I find especially cheerful.

If you do not have an “In case of …” file, let me recommend that you make one in August. If you have one, this month might be a good time to review the file’s contents to ensure they’re fully accurate. Your loved ones will feel more comfortable knowing this file exists, and so will you.

What are your resolutions and/or goals for August? How did you do with any resolutions or goals you made for July? If you have annual resolutions instead of monthly resolutions, how are these advancing? Are you on track to accomplish what you are hoping to by the year’s end? Share your experiences in the comments.


Erin’s 2011 monthly resolutions: January, February, March, April, May, June, and July.

12 Comments for “July resolution wrap up and introduction of August’s goal”

  1. posted by Sue G. on

    Erin, do you have an example of a routine chart? Obviously, it can be something fictitious, but it would help me to have a visual example. The steps you laid out in “Seven Steps to Creating…” (7/7/11) were very helpful, but I’m having trouble putting my chart together and making everything fit. I’m sure part of the problem is too many things in a finite space, but I’m also having trouble conceptually. In any case, thank you for your insight and guidance as always–much appreciated. And Happy August!

  2. posted by DawnF on

    For us, August is a bummer month! Maybe it’s because the average high temperature here lately is about 104 degrees. Or maybe it’s because our son only has 1 month of summer vacation left before it’s Back To School time. Or maybe it’s both. LOL!

    Our plans are to enjoy lots of fun activities together (back to school shopping is complete – school supplies and clothes are ready to go). We have had a great summer and it’s always kind of a bummer to see it end.

    I realize more and more as time goes by what a blessing it is to live an uncluttered lifestyle – it gives us so much more “free time” doing what we love and less time digging our way out of chaos and clutter.

    Let’s hope the August clock goes by slowly! :)

  3. posted by Jenna @ NeatFreakWannabe on

    We will need to re-evaluate our routines in August as my better half starts fall semester classes this month, so thanks for the reminder! I also need to make an “In Case Of” file, but that might have to wait until the end of the year.

    My July goal was getting my kitchen organized, and I’m about 80% of the way there, mostly because I need to hunt down a few last organizers.

    So, my August goals are to finish up the kitchen and also get my hall closet organized. Since the first one is started, and the second one is a small space, I am optimistic about accomplishing both!

  4. posted by Amy on

    This month we’re just concentrating on getting ready for back to school. (Our district starts when the weather is hottest – mid August. Why? I will refrain from answering, because I can’t say it nicely.)

  5. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Sue G. — If you can get your hands on a copy of my book, pages 98 and 99 have a complete chart. Our family routines are still very close to this chart: Unclutter Your Life in One Week — http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/

  6. posted by Nellie on

    I started a new job today, so my goal in august will be an overhaul of my usual lazy routine once I get back home. Instead of slumping on the sofa and aimlessly surf the net until bedtime, I am aiming at tidying up my apartment, wash up right after eating and get everything ready for the next day. I hope this new routine will free up time to do something pleasurable before bedtime — such as reading a book, which I never seem to find time for — and help me keep my home relatively tidy by the end of the working week. There’s nothing more depressing than waking up Saturday morning amid chaos and the prospect of spending the weekend doing household chores.

  7. posted by Keter on

    My area has the 104 temps, too. OMG, this is weather that can, and does, kill. Right now, due to remodeling, I have air conditioning in only one room of my house, so I have moved all chores in other areas to early mornings and late nights, and use the one room for cooling off between chores and sleeping. I spend almost all of my non-chore, non-sleep time in my office, which is in a nicely air conditioned office building. So I’m using the extended office hours to scan in all of my old paperwork. I have four boxes here to be processed and another four at the house. I find scanning/PDFing to be horrendously tedious, but it will be nice to be rid of all of those boxes, and it beats doing anything out in that heat.

  8. posted by Sue G. on

    @Erin – thank you! I actually read your book, but it was when it first came out. Now that I work FT & do grad school PT, my memory isn’t so great. ;) Thanks for the reminder, I will check it out (again)!

  9. posted by Kate on

    Honestly, I’m trying to use August to just really enjoy myself within the limits of my budget, particularly enjoying being outside. Obviously, I’m one of the very, very lucky ones who is NOT living in hot temps. So I may as well enjoy it, since others are stuck inside sweltering.

    The Fall not only brings shorter days, but my busiest time of the year in job terms, which of course flows right into the holiday season. In addition, I’m facing both a double-whammy this Fall: pay cut AND a rent increase! Ouch.

    So my August resolution? Well,l I’m determined to jsut enjoy. I have a “staycation” planned for the last week of August and am very excited about all the cool things I’m doing right in and near my city — things I haven’t done although I’ve lived here for 2.5 years!

    Happy August everyone. Stay cool out there.

  10. posted by Kate on

    Actually, I changed my mind. My resolution is to read comments for typos before I hit “submit.”

  11. posted by Joke on

    My great-grandma will turn 102 this month as well :)
    Congratulations to your grandma!

  12. posted by Amy on

    August is great! In the mountains of Colorado, September can bring winter unexpectedly, so August is our last month of guaranteed summer. It makes me sad when I hear people bash August. Bring on the heat, August – I love it!

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