I’m a huge fan of personal challenges and “rules”, as evidenced by things like our month long household shopping hiatus, my sudden decision to go dairy free, a very intentional reduction of screen time, and simple but strict household rules we implemented years ago. I’m not always successful at said challenges, but that’s not the point. As an obliger, it’s very hard for me to casually say something like, “I should drink more water” and actually stick to it. But when I make it a well defined challenge, with rules and lists and accountability partner(s), I’m far more likely to follow through.
So when my husband came home from a guys night out recently and shared that they are collectively cutting out caffeine and alcohol in the month of September, I quickly jumped on board (at least partially), and decided to define a full blown program with rules, lists, and fun accountability checklists.
The Rules to our Fresh Start in September
- No caffeine. This is my husband’s rule only. As a stay at home mom, I’m happy to keep 1-2 cups of coffee in my daily routine. My husband on the other hand has gone completely cold turkey cutting caffeine from his diet on a handful of occasions, and he feels it’s helpful to “reset” himself. So, more power to you hunny.
- No alcohol. Another one for the husband only. No alcohol between Labor Day and the Ryder Cup.
- Water, water, water. I’ve been unsuccessful sticking to specific ounce goals in the past, so I’m not going to implement a hard and fast goal for daily water consumption. But increasing our consumption will be a big focus of ours both in September.
- Dairy free diet. I started this about 3 weeks ago, and am going to bring my husband on board for the month of September to see how he feels.
- Digital free dinners. We’ve been slacking on this household rule lately, but starting September 1: no phones at the dinner table. Simple as that.
- No TV on week nights. As a couple that binges entire shows very quickly, this rule is meant to limit our TV watching to weekends only, and provide us with more time to be productive and reconnect 1:1 during the week.
- Read 2 books. I am not a reader. I want to be a reader, but I read books few and far between. My husband on the other hand listens to books regularly, and given how much he’s in the car, he starts new books pretty regularly. In September we’re setting out to read 2 books each. Some people might crank through 2 books a weekend, but for us, this is a hefty goal! Hopefully our TV free weeknights will make this one easy peasy.
How We’ll Keep Track Of Our Goals
Awhile back when I set out to take daily vitamins daily, as opposed to… once in a blue moon, I created a simple single printable that allowed to me track my goal daily, for twelve months. Now that we’re heading into a single month challenge, but tracking many goals, I wanted to create a new printable that would allow my husband and I to visualize our success (and slip ups) throughout the month.
If you want to track your own goals throughout a single month, click here to download a modified version of my printable that you can use. Simply fill in the boxes along the top with a phrase that captures each of your goals, and then fill in the bubbles for each day that you successfully achieve your goal.
I find this type of goals tracker works best when you physically print it out and leave it someplace central to your day where you’re sure not to miss it. For me, that means clipping the printable into a cute clipboard and leaving it in the kitchen. You might find it more helpful to leave this in your daily planner, or on your bedside table. Whatever works!