You may remember that at the start of this year, I jumped head first into a fresh look at goals and resolutions called 52×7 thanks to inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers, Jon Acuff. The plan was pretty simple: 365 days breaks down pretty nicely into seven 52-day chunks, and anyone can do anything for 52 days. So, I looked at different categories, or areas of life, and set one or two goals in each of those categories, with the plan of carrying out those goals for 52 days. At the end of 52 days, I’d keep the ones that worked well and throw out or adjust those that, well, didn’t work. Easy enough, right?

So, how is it going? Are things still working as well now that we are almost halfway through the year? How did Phase Three compare to Phase One and Phase Two?

Well, it turns out that these things are only easy if you are actually paying attention. Last Thursday, June 6th marked the end of Phase Three, and it blew right past me. Maybe it’s because I was distracted, spending the weekend out of town with family and friends. Or maybe it’s because I somehow had in my head that Phase Three didn’t end until the middle of June. Either way, it came and went.

So, if there’s one word that I could use to describe where I am at in this whole 52×7 journey, it’s this: REBOOT. I feel like things have gone pretty well with the plan this year–like Phase Two, I totally crushed some of my goals this time around, and there are some that I totally neglected. But, now that we’re just about halfway into the year (and even closer since I’ve missed the whole first week of Phase Four thinking I was still in Phase Three), it’s time to mix things up. Time to hit the pause button on life and just take some time to reboot. I’ll get to the new set of goals in tomorrow’s post, but for now let’s stick with some reflection.

So, let’s take a look at those goals I set: If you’d like to see the simplified list, check out the original Phase Three Start post. Here are my thoughts on those goals over the past 52 days:

Financial: Pack a lunch for work at least two out of four office days a week. I think I actually nailed this one. I’ve re-discovered my love for Healthy Choice cafe steamers, and maintained a pretty healthy diet–and even saved some cash in the allowance department, too. Win-win.

Financial: Evaluate when we will be able to realistically resume debt snowballing and determine what debt will be attacked first. I did this really early on in the phase. Spent an afternoon during my day off putting together a wicked nerdy spreadsheet of savings, payoff, etc. So, we’ll meet our minimum savings balance again by the end of July, start snowballing on loans again in August, and if all goes as projected, we will be debt-free except for our mortgage by July 2015!

Physical: Bike 100 miles in 52 days. This was a pretty lofty goal. I ended up logging about 63 miles. And I had several longer rides planned that ended up getting cancelled due to weather. I will definitely be logging more miles in the next 52 days with a Spoke Folk tour and more intense training in the next couple of weeks. It’s been nice to get on the bike more regularly. Plus, I snagged an old Schwinn Le Tour III road bike at the church garage sale at the end of May!

Physical: Lose 5 lbs in the 52 days. This whole get healthy and lose weight has definitely continued to be my biggest focus. I have been super motivated, and so has Scott, which helps a TON. Thanks to bicycling, lots of encouragement from friends, continued success with the My Fitness Pal app, Zumba! classes at the church, and a focus on living a healthy lifestyle, I lost an another 8.4 lbs during Phase Three! And just like that, I am down 20 lbs since January 1st and just over 5 lbs away from my first goal weight!

Social: Gal pal night with Candy & Tara. I suppose technically this didn’t happen until after the end of Phase Three. But, the three of us were able to pull off a gal pal night in the midst of our insanely crazy busy summer schedules, and we’ve already planned a trip to King’s Island later in July. We’ll count this mission: accomplished.

Social: Reconnect with two friends that I don’t see and/or talk to on a regular basis. This one definitely happened. We went to a friend’s wedding in mid-May and reconnected with some of my favorite people in the whole world who I never see–one of whom didn’t even know I would be there! It was a blast. Also, last week when we were up in Cleveland I was able to grab lunch with a former co-worker and friend. It’s actually been a pretty decent season of reconnecting with friends. And, I’m okay with that.

Mental: Read a book. My first thought was that I totally bombed this goal. But then I remember that I totally listened to the audiobook version of Jon Acuff’s book Quitternot once, but twice! So, I guess we’ll go ahead and call this done.

Mental: Update the blog. Period. I actually kept pretty consistent with this up until a couple of weeks ago. And, hey, I updated the blog significantly more in the past 52 days than I did in the previous phase, which was zero. I did discover that I haven’t really found my blogging niche yet, which I think is why I started to struggle after several weeks of fairly consistent, but all over the board updates. Time to start narrowing the focus and working ahead if I want this whole writing gig to really pan out someday.

Career: Host a killer FAITH5 Family Comedy Night on Friday, May 31st. This. Event. Was. Killer. We gathered roughly 125 folks of all ages from three different congregations for a night of food, fellowship and laughter, along with the most epic pillow fight of all times! Oh, and the afternoon workshop with Rich was pretty stellar too.

Career: Finalize the updated Medical Release Form for use starting in Summer 2013. These were just printed a couple of weeks ago and are ready to go! I love the reaction from parents when they see that we’ve gone from one four-page form and a one-page release down to a single form that is one page front and back. It’s pretty glorious. (Plus, I took great pleasure in creating a huge mess when I threw the old forms all over the Gathering Space in an overly dramatic fit of mock rage upon removing them from their pickup location. Don’t worry, though. I cleaned them up immediately afterwards.)

Career: Plan for uses of Youth Dedicated Funds as related to summer trips and improvements to the Unfinished Space. This was done. Pretty simple. There’s not a long-term plan in place for these funds yet, but we were able to offer a campership, set aside some funds for making improvements to our youth space, and our summer mission trip is just about fully funded without needing any additional funds!

Family: Finish building our backyard fire pit and patio, reusing bricks we already have. This didn’t happen, but only because we waited for approval from our homeowners association until the middle of last week. And, since we were out of town last weekend for a family graduation party, there just wasn’t time. This project is up to be done within the next month or so. I can’t wait!

Spiritual: Catch up in the One Year Bible Plan and finish the next 52 days. I have officially fallen off the wagon on this one. I haven’t even caught up on the reading from Phase Two. So, I think it’s time to switch gears, reboot, and try something new.

Spiritual: Spend two days completely unplugged. I’m not sure if this was totally accomplished, but I was definitely mostly unplugged while camping Memorial Day weekend. After all, there’s not much choice when there’s no cell reception–all I could do was play some Candy Crush Saga.

So, there you have it. The summary of my third 52×7 phase for 2013. I am still really digging this goal setting method, and as I look over the reflections above, it really does seem to be working. I made progress on almost every goal during this phase. I’m continuing to learn a lot about myself, and I’m making some serious progress on personal goals. Plus, it’s fun (even when I totally miss the deadline!). My life continues to be enriched by the process, and I look forward to leaning deeper into life in another phase. Stay tuned tomorrow for the next set of goals!


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