The Life: October Goals

by Rachel on October 3, 2011

Remember the good old days when I made new goals every month?

This year…that hasn’t been happening.

I don’t know what it is; I just haven’t felt much need for specific goals each month. I’ve been sticking with my New Year’s verb (“invest”) and letting that be my guide. But I need a bit more motivation right now so I feel like it’s time to get a little more specific.

October goal: stop being lazy.

So over the weekend…there was an incident. A couple weeks ago, there was a weird smell in the kitchen. Then last week, a brown gooey sludge appeared on the floor under one of the cabinets. The sludge started to grow and grow and finally Eric and I opened the cabinet to find the most rotten potatoes — like, oh-look-a-maggot-nursery rotten.

This is a direct result of being lazy. If I cleaned the kitchen more often (or, hell, used all my groceries when I buy them), the potatoes would not have reached that state. I’m usually pretty on top of everything in my life, but over the past  few months, I’ve been letting things slip. And it’s not just my apartment….it’s just a lot of little things. I know it has to do with the heat (it’s too hot to want to cook or get dressed) and the fact that I’m busier now than I was a few months ago, but I’m kind of over it. Of course, it’s not just me…Eric and I have both been lazy. But I’m going to try to set a good example by not being lazy.

Here are some mini goals:

1. Do laundry, iron, put the clean laundry away, and wear real clothes (i.e. not yoga pants) to work least three days a week. I should also devote one Saturday or Sunday this month to cleaning my closet…I started a couple weeks ago and I’ve made progress, but most of my clothes are still in the bins from when I moved in April. (Well, actually, they are not in the bins so much as overflowing out of them.) It’s really quite ridiculous and makes getting dressed each day so annoying, I usually just end up grabbing yoga pants.

2. Do the dishes before the next meal. I have a bad habit of  letting things soak in the sink for far too long. When I lived in NYC and didn’t have a dishwasher, I got in this habit and I just never stopped. It’s really annoying and makes the kitchen really gross. So now when I make something, I’m going to do the dishes before the next time I’m in the kitchen again.

3. Pack my lunch at night. Lately, I’ve been packing my lunch at noon when I go home and then taking it back to the office to eat it. Another ridiculously bad habit! It makes my lunch break totally rushed and stressful and I end up eating weird and random things or buying lunch out, which is a waste of money.

4. Cook more on weekends. Eric and I eat out a lot on the weekends because I don’t really plan any meals for the weekends or get motivated and make anything. I know why I lack motivation on weeknights, but weekends? There is really no excuse! I’m just going to throw something in the slow cooker or make sure we have some turkey for sandwiches so we can stop going to Panera for every other meal.

5. Spend at least 20 minutes a day just writing/responding to non-urgent e-mails. In my effort to unplug more often, I’m letting non-urgent e-mails pile up like laundry, trash, and dishes in the sink…and it’s getting to be more stressful than just being plugged in for a little longer! My goal is to do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night. No biggie, right? And a clean inbox will make me feel so much better about my life.

I feel like things are off to a pretty good start! After dealing with the potatoes, cleaning the apartment, and doing laundry, I feel a lot better. I packed my lunch last night and this morning I put on jeans and flats. I haven’t worn my skinny jeans in a couple months and they were freshly washed, so the dance I had to do to get them on was a little ridiculous, but hey, I’m dressed!

What are your goals this month? And am I the only one who has gone from completely anal to living like a slob lately? 

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dori October 3, 2011 at 9:27 am

You are more like me than I realized. I am the laziest person and it is really, really gross. I can’t begin to list the things I need to do this month… I am overwhelmed just thinking about it.


2 Laura October 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

I had the same thing happen with some potatoes once, and the cabinet unfortunately never recovered from the incident. Even more unfortunately, I owned the house – so I really have no idea how I sold that house with one cabinet smelling permanently disgusting.

Great goals though! It’s so funny how sometimes you just need to set small, attainable goals in order to feel like you are living a normal life. This is certainly the way to go!


3 Abby October 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

I have to admit that as someone with OCD, I cringed a little bit at your cleaning situation (not judging anyone buy myself.) Whenever I have more than 10 emails in my inbox, I swear I go into hyper-gnat-on-crack mode and at least read/delete/reply to half of them so it appears to be cleaned up. And the word maggot makes me throw up a little in my mouth, but good lord, there is NOTHING that smells worse than rotten potatoes.

Your goals sound right on track though. Make big batches of rices and pastas to create easy and quick stir-fry lunches/dinners, cut up a bunch of veggies and fruit for snack bags, etc. and have quick meals on hand. Not only does that save time cooking, but you’ll also do less clean-up. You’re on your own with ironing. I just try and buy things that don’t wrinkle (yoga pants do not wrinkle, but yet are not acceptable at work. What gives?)

My goal is to ramble less. So far I’m failing.


4 Natalie October 3, 2011 at 9:33 am

I’m SO with you, Rachel! Even as a native Texan, this year’s oppressive heat has led me straight to the couch. My October goal is going to be “DO IT NOW.”


5 Taylor October 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

I think I should use this post as inspiration. I’ve been so busy with school lately that my apartment is just turning into a huge mess.


6 Jen October 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

Think how awesome your wardrobe is going to seem though when you rediscover all the items you forgot you had…. : )


7 Rebecca October 3, 2011 at 9:51 am

I’m totally with you (especially about blaming it on the heat). But it’s finally feeling like fall here in Virginia and I’m feeling more motivated to get my ass in gear … This weekend I made a HUGE to-do list of random crap to get done before the new year and my main October goal is to work through my list a few things at a time.


8 Jacki October 3, 2011 at 10:10 am

Oh god. You just nailed my life. I’m just gonna bookmark this post and join you because seriously, it has gotten out of hand in my house. I’ve lived there a month and two full rooms are still full of boxes. Not okay!! The laziness is comfortable, and thinking about fixing EVERYTHING is so completely overwhelming that I don’t do anything. Ugh.


9 Eirinn October 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

Run 3 times a week 3 miles each time. Next month 4 miles and so on. Getting ready for a tough mudder! And running is my weakest link. Just because I don’t really like to do it that much. But I have been so on track so far!

Along with study as much as possible for Anatomy and Physiology – I have a really heavy course load this semester and I CAN NOT let this class fall to the back burner just because I don’t like it as much as the others.


10 Cyndie October 3, 2011 at 10:46 am

I can totally relate! Last night I told my husband that I felt like I was living like a frat boy. Our kitchen was littered with dirty dishes and pots, along with empty pizza boxes and wine bottles. SO GROSS. I have a day off work today so I’m going to get the apartment in tip-top shape, but I REALLY do need to get in the habit of a) making sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed, and b) doing the dishes before I sit down to eat. We’ve also been relying on take-out instead of cooking, something I’d really like to rectify.

Oh and we moved in in July but there are still boxes and suitcases with shit in them. Great.


11 Debbie October 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Nothing like a little honesty to bring all us lazy-ass girls out of the woodwork. I am so with you, I have a pile of clothes on my office chair that I have sworn to put away-every day for the last six months. I need to vacuum, clean my bathroom (at least my toilet is clean!), and put my laundry away. I suppose your post should inspire me to great heights of cleanliness, but all it really did was make me feel less guilty for my own laziness. Thanks, Rachel!


12 Brittney October 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I’m in dire need of some closet cleaning as well! I HATE putting away clean laundry and often let it sit in laundry baskets (yes, plural) in my closet rather than putting them away. I need to get that stuff in check, it’s bad!


13 Megan October 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I go through weird stints with cleaning and chores. I’ll let things pile up for weeks and weeks and then one day something in me snaps and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It usually happens when my husband is gone for the day and I’m walking around the apartment bored out of my mind and finally have a minute to see all of his “treasure” scattered about. It all gets boxed up and set in his man cave (why these things were out of the man cave in the first place eludes me), but they’ll eventually fund their way back out over the next month and the process will repeat itself.

My biggest problem is getting my lazy ass out of bed at a decent time when I work late shifts. If I don’t have to work until 2, you can almost guarantee I’m in bed playing on my phone until 12:30. This needs to stop!


14 Bridget October 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm

My roomie left a sweet potato in a cabinet for the entire summer. It turned into a liquid mess that had the worst smell I have ever experienced in my life. It still haunts me.

I’ve gotten super lazy with my eating. I either barely eat or eat only junk food or don’t make meals or anything else that isn’t good for me. I kicked my own butt and made a grocery list out of recipes I’m going to make.

It’s so easy to stay lazy but who wants to be easy?

On a different note, are you still into running? I know it’s becoming prime running time in Texas so just curious if you were going to train for anything.


15 Rachel October 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I’m not currently into running but I feel like I could be again soon, given the weather changes. I’m loving yoga and not washing my hair, but I also feel like running + yoga might = killer bod, and there is a nice track like 1 minute from my apartment, so I can see myself doing it a few times a week. I can’t imagine training for anything anytime soon though. Races are pricey and kind of a pain in the ass (waking up at 4 AM on race day?!) so unless it’s another marathon, I kinda don’t feel like going through the hassle. Which brings us back to…I’m lazy.


16 Bridget October 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Well if I move back to Austin, you can crash at my place and run the half marathon in February!

I’m a pusher, Rachel, I push people.


17 Heather October 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Oh, dear. I think I could adopt every one of your goals as my own and my life would improve drasticly. (Although, I am fairly certain I have some oddity about myself: I LOVE DOING DISHES. Especially first thing in the morning. Often times, I wake up, bound out of bed, pee, brush my teeth, and then RUSH back to the kitchen to scrub the dishes. Seriously. Who do I get this from? )

The rest of the goals, though – I could totally add to my “make the fall better” list. Especially the non-urgent emails! (as you know from personal waiting forever for an email from Heather experience)



18 Deva @ Deva by Definition October 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I love that you rush to do dishes in the morning. I do that, too. I love coming home after work to an empty sink, clean countertops, and a clean kitchen floor. My biggest goal for October is to straighten up my living room every night before bed. I’m terrible about it and it drives me CRAZY when my living room/dining rooms aren’t tidy.


19 Jennifer October 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I feel like I’ve been kinda sloppy lately too! Luckily I have a lot of houseguests this month, so the cleaning HAS to happen on a regular basis. And I made a pact with myself that if I got my hair dyed again, I’d have to style it at least 4 times a week, rather than the wash ‘n go to work I’ve been doing. I’m also trying to do better with laundry…there are clothes in my closet I haven’t worn in a YEAR because they have to be ironed. Ridiculous!


20 Carrie @ No More Tomorrows October 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I was never anal about cleaning. i’ve always been somewhat lazy, except for those random days where I snap into my nesting mode and get things cleaned. Those rarely happen. With my guy staying with me at the current time I’ve been forced to at least keep the kitchen clean on a daily basis. I hate dishes. He hates dishes. He typically cooks more, so that leaves me with the dishes. And if I let them pile up, then I’d rather just throw them away than wash them (which I’ve done in the past) so to avoid them getting gross, I do dishes daily. Now I just need to train the man to put the dishes in the empty dishwasher as he’s done using them. My biggest annoyance is coming home to an empty dishwasher and a full sink. REALLY??!


21 Alexandra October 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

This is SO me lately. After stacking another dish on the Mt. Everest sink pile, I found a rotten onion in the pantry. I live in yoga pants; they make me feel sporty/motivate me to workout (I’m laughing as I type this because I just finished eating chocolate cake…wearing my yoga pants). I’m so sporty.


22 Rachel October 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm



23 Kaytee October 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Ugh, laundry. The bane of my existence. I need someone to explain to me how men can create so much dirty clothes.

I also want to work on getting out of bed before 9 o clock every day. It’s way too easy for me to be lazy now that I’m funemployed.


24 Dee October 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Got the basic household chores under control. I’d like to be better about doing things for the next day before I go to bed. Things like – setting up the coffee, picking out my clothes, packing my lunch. All those things to make the transition from out of bed and into the car easier and quicker in the early mornings. I like the idea of cooking more dinners and using the leftovers for lunch instead of eating a peanutbutter sandwich like I did tonight. I also would like to keep focus on running a couple of days a week and get back into yoga. I hope to also find a way to feel more in control of my time and life and less like it is flying by me.


25 Eunice October 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm

The rotten-potato-maggots happened to me. I’m glad to hear there are people here who have also been through it. I’m still recovering.


26 Elina (Healthy and Sane) October 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Your goals are exactly what I need this month as well. Your little potato story could have happened to me… in fact it sort of did. Not maggot level but definitely wet liquid coming out of them. Bleh
The laundry + email goals are right on as well. I wish there was more time in the day for all of this!!


27 Jess-The SemiAbnormal Gal October 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Here is my trick for doing the dishes/not eating a ton of leftovers after eating a full meal:

I serve my plate, then go a head and clean up the kitchen/put the leftovers away, while my food cools a little anyways. It’s win-win, and then I only have to deal with a plate and a bowl in the sink, not the whole shebang!


28 D October 4, 2011 at 6:48 am

I am so with you on this goal! I’m a grad student living in a tiny studio and I don’t have a dishwasher, so I’m the exact same way. Yesterday I did like 2 weeks worth of dishes and it was so mothereffing disgusting. I do this ALL THE TIME and every time I’m like, “Okay, this is a lesson. Never let it get this bad again”. I also have been letting my laundry pile up recently, going to bed later (because I’m too lazy to get my ass up and wash my face, take out my contacts…) and so on.

I have a question for you though! How do you stay organized with this sort of stuff? I’m considering buying an old fashioned planner, but I don’t know if they have the right amount of room to write daily, weekly, monthly tasks/goals and they’re always so expensive. I want to be able to keep track of daily things (classes, a research job and a part time job), weekly (like what days I’m going to work on certain assignments, or errands that need to be done) and monthly (goals like you made here). I usually like to write things down but that’s maybe because I haven’t found the ideal way to keep track on my laptop. I like things to look nice and organized when I’m planning. Thoughts?


29 Rachel October 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

I used to write everything down, because even though I loved the idea of doing a calendar on my computer, I wanted something that I could always have with me. Then I got my Droid last fall and could easily access my Google calendar my phone, as well as at work or on my home computer. It’s been amazing. I have five different calendars on the one calendar (workouts, coaching, personal/bills/big work commitments, my blog, Hollaback), and I can look at all of them at once….or one at a time, when I don’t feel like dealing with everything.

I mainly do a to-do list on paper still, because I have yet to find the perfect app for it. I want to eventually get it all synced up on my phone for sure!


30 Ariel October 4, 2011 at 7:05 am

1) Try to stay as calm and focused as possible for these next two busy weeks of work/school + parent visit.
2) Clean up the little things. I’m pretty good at staying on top of the bigger things (cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, etc), but the little things are piling up. My desk is a mess, my drawers are messy… I need to start taking the time to actually put things away.


31 Aly October 4, 2011 at 8:37 am

I’m doing the same thing! Traffic around here is ridiculous at certain, random times (I know Houston is bad too) that I feel no motivation to buy groceries and meal plan,etc. I’ve been making an effort to change and meal plan better so I don’t waste food or get a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really satisfy me.


32 Katie @ peacebeme October 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I think making the goal to cook more on the weekends is a good one! I do the same thing, plan for the week and then we go out on the weekend but we need to save money so I want to make a goal to cook one night each weekend!


33 Emma October 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Did you happen to catch HowSweetEats post called “365 Days” where she outlines her day? I don’t normally think of full-time bloggers as having such intense schedules, but hers impressed me. And made me feel incredibly motivated to…stop being lazy. I’ve been hardcore using my Google Calendar again for the past two weeks, and while I’m not 100% (more like 65%) sticking to it, I’ve definitely been more productive.

And with that, I’ve also been employing your idea of not needing to work out (or work out as much) when I’m doing all of these mini-active, not-being-lazy things like packing meals, doing dishes, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, etc. (I realize all of those examples are in the kitchen… I spend a lot of time in there. But I know it extends beyond that room, too!) And I like it. Great posts!


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