Low-Level Summer Goals
“Grace says you don’t have to do everything at once." —Sophie Hudson
I took a break in May from my newsletter to join in Laura Tremaine’s #OneDayMay writing prompts. It was good, and gave me many ideas for things I want to delve into in my writing here, and personally. I’m happy to resume my regular-ish newsletter writing this month.
One of my favorite online people, Sophie Hudson, coined and introduced me to the phrase low-level goals.
Hudson describes low-level goals as “ordinary aspirations” to move toward. Low-level goals motivate us, without exhausting or overwhelming us. They provide a framework of re-imagining how we measure success. They offer an expansive vision of what a fruitful life looks like, instead of just seeking something big and shiny to make us feel accomplished, but leave us exhausted and possibly neglectful of other aspects of our life.
“Grace says you don’t have to do everything at once,” Hudson explains. And I just love that.
So with that in mind, here are my five low-level goals for the summer.
Establish a 5 Minute Tidy habit as a family.
I recently re-listened to “How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind” by Dana K. White (so good!) and realized I and my family need a reset ritual for our home. We’ll experiment with different times to make it happen, and yes, I know, it will be about the process not the result with children in tow. Mini M&Ms have been procured to celebrate the establishment of this habit.
Read with people.
“Jane Eyre” with women from my church (dreams really do come true!). “10 Things to Tell You” with my community group. A stack of picture books with my kids. Suggestions from the Currently Reading podcast alongside book-ish friends.
Enjoy an afternoon break.
My daughter still needs her afternoon rest, but sometimes has a tough time finding it. But there’s one way that she’s guaranteed to nap: if I lay down in her room at the beginning of rest time. So, after I lay my son down for his nap, my daughter and I snuggle and read and chat, then she lays down in her bed and chats herself to sleep while I read and doze on the bean bag for a bit. Once she’s settled, I sneak out of her room, head downstairs and keep on with my day.
I used to feel conflicted about doing stuff like resting when it wasn’t my ideal situation for rest or absolutely essential for my well-being. But now, I just receive it as the gift that it is, knowing that our schedules will ebb and flow, my work will still get done, the house will be clean enough, and I’ll remember this sweet routine she and I have found for years to come.
Memorize 1 Peter 4:7-11.
The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
Drink iced tea.
Go big or go home, am I right? Give me all the tea and ice this summer.
I need to go brew some vanilla mint pu-erh to make an afternoon tea latte. But tell me below, do you have any low-level goals for the summer?