Tag Archives: monthly goals

A very full February

Time has just been flying by over the past few weeks. And here we are again, at the beginning of another month. It has been a blur and I’m not even sure why things have been so crazy, but they have.

January was filled with grad school classes, lots of planning and implementing new things at work, meetings for fundraiser events to support Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis research, dinners with friends, snow days and a more sick days than I prefer. I always feel that I get very anti-social in January, which is probably usual since we’re all coming off the high from the holidays, but I have been doing my best to stay connected and not just sit around my house all of the time. The thing is, I think I did such a good job at it that I didn’t get all of those things done around the house that I needed to. And I also didn’t spend enough time interacting with all of my friends online.

Getting sick last week really threw me. I thought it would be just a day or two and It’d be gone, but it dragged on for a full week. And not feeling well for all of that time put me behind on so many things that I had hoped to do. I missed my long run last week and didn’t end up doing any sorts of workouts or exercise during the week, but thankfully I was able to still do my four mile run yesterday without too much trouble. I had planned to get some stuff written to post on The Stolen Colon, but that didn’t end up happening. I also haven’t responded to any emails this week. And I have some other volunteer opportunities that have gotten pushed to the side. I’m definitely feeling a little behind.

february monthly goals busy calendar stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blogAnd then I look over February and I don’t think it’s going to be any better. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great things that are going to be happening this month and I am really excited about a lot of them, but it’s not going to make for a very relaxing time. I am going to have to stay on top of things and really push to get done all that I need to. I never cease to be amazed at how much there always is to do and how little time there always is to do it.

Hopefully we won’t have any more snow or colds to get in the way this month! And for tonight, I am simply joining some friends to watch the game and eat a bunch of football snacks. I worry about the rest of the list tomorrow…

  • The Stolen Colon
    • Be more involved in online communities.
    • Plan and write/record some great content.
  • Grad School
    • Start research on my project. (This is something you guys might be interested in, so I will share more once I have it all nailed down!)
  • Work
    • Stay focused and finalize the plan for 2014. Since I’ve only been here a few months, it’s taking some extra time to get everything in order.
  • Training
    • Run 7 miles by the end of the month.
    • Run 3 days per week and do other workouts at least 2 days per week.
  • Personal
    • Don’t get stressed out!
    • Stick to my daily schedule. (It’s the only way I will survive!)

2014: I’m coming for you!

Happy New Year!

Here we are once again… at the beginning a new year. This seems to happen all too often these days. But I do enjoy the opportunity to get myself focused and move past the haze of the holidays and prepare to start off another year. There’s something about the beginning of a year that makes you stop and take stock of where you are in your life and where you want to go from here. I have been doing a lot of that over the past few weeks.

I’m not a big fan of resolutions. I feel like they are just about making some big change that we often haven’t really thought out and considered what all needs to go into that. I would much rather set goals for myself that are focused on moving forward and achieving something.

I do have a tendency to set rather vague goals that aren’t necessarily measurable or within a specific time range, so I am trying to be more focused and specific this year. I am also trying to not do too much or put too much pressure on myself, so I have narrowed it down to my 5 Big Goals for this year:

  1. Implement changes for The Stolen Colon: I actually have some more specific ideas here, but I don’t want to divulge the details of them just yet!
  2. Get organized/save money/stay on budget: Somewhat vague, but I have some actual steps to take like putting together a meal plan every week, saving a certain percentage of every paycheck and I have created a budget sheet to track our expenses.
  3. Stay focused on another semester of grad school: I am taking it one semester at a time and plan to spend one hour every evening studying and reading so I’m not have to cram it in at the last minute.
  4. Run my third half-marathon (this time with Jarrod): Our race is April 13 and I’ve got my training all mapped out. And I already got my first 5K in today!
  5. Plan an amazing vacation: Jarrod and I are planning a trip to Europe this Spring! We’ve been saving and are trying to get all of the details in place. We have already met with a travel agent and hope to get everything nailed down very soon. So excited!

Those are the specific things I plan to focus on in the coming months and throughout the year. However, some of those things will be over with in the first part of the year, so I did some thinking about what I want this year to look like as a whole. We have this thing we do at work where we discuss the previous weeks and work out things that have gone right and things that have gone wrong. Then we put a graph together of things that we want to start doing or stop doing or that we should keep doing or do more of or less of:

pie graph circle start stop do more less of keep doing goal setting resolutions stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blog

Some of these are a bit on the vague side, but these are more of ideas and principles that I want to guide me through the year.


  • stressing and worrying so much
  • taking on too many things

Do Less of

  • sleeping in too late
  • leaving the house a mess
  • procrastinating on school work

Keep Doing

  • making the bed every day
  • putting together a bunch of freezer meals to eat during the week

Do More of

  • meditation
  • date nights with Jarrod
  • healthy eating
  • exercise


  • reading for pleasure again
  • going back to the gym
  • tracking my budget every day

I have often felt in my past that I was always waiting for something to make everything… right. There was always a big “IF.” If I could find the job that I want… If I wasn’t feeling so bad… If I didn’t have to worry about this… or deal with that… THEN I would be happy. It always left me wanting something and never satisfied with all of the amazing things I have in my life. And honestly, I finally don’t have any “IF”s. I am happy and fulfilled and excited about everything that the future holds. This is going to be a great year. Because I choose to make it a great year.


2013 in review

As we all usually do at this time of year, I’ve been thinking back over everything that has happened over the course of 2013. When I look back at the beginning of the year, I can’t believe all that has happened in such a short time.

This has been a big year for me, in both good ways and some bad ways. Here’s my Top 10 major events from 2013, in no particular order:

top 10 list 2013 year goals achievements major events stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ileostomy blog

At the beginning of the year, I was in a cast and had just made the decision to train for my second half-marathon. I had no plans to go ahead with another surgery. I was still just becoming comfortable with everything that comes along with being a health activist and sharing your story in a public setting. I had just gotten back my score on my GRE and was nervous about submitting my application for grad school.

medal half marathon team challenge medal hospital surgery studying grad school 2013 year goals achievements major events stephanie hughes stolen colon crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ileostomy blog

All of these things seem like they happened so long ago. It amazes me to think that in just another year, I will probably be looking back on where I am right now and think that there’s no way it has only been a year.

Thinking back over this year as a whole, even with some disappointments, both in myself and in life in general, I am proud of how this year turned out and how I feel that I have grown during it. I am so thankful for the new friends I made this year and the new experiences I had. It makes me really excited for the year ahead. I am looking forward to making plans and setting goals for the next 365 days. 2014, I’m coming for you!