5 Goals I Have for Each Day This Summer with Helpful App Recommendations // Ep. 028

 

In episode we’re talking about the five goals I want to meet every day this summer and the apps that are helping me reach those goals! If you’re like me, your rhythms are all out of sync right now and you need a little help remembering what is most important and getting those priorities done each day. And since we’re talking about helpful apps, I’m also sharing four I use every day, three I’m learning to use, and two I almost forgot how to use since we haven’t needed them during the pandemic. I hope my recommendations are helpful to you as we manage our homes and families through the summer months.

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Episode 28, June 15th 5 Goals I Have for Each Day this Summer (and the apps that are helping me reach those goals)

Hi, friends! This is self-care and soul care for the caregiver, and I’m your host, Sandra Peoples. To us, self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. We’re abiding caregivers who want to take better care of ourselves so we’re able to care for our loved ones who rely on us.

This is episode 28, and today we’re talking about the five goals I want to meet every day this summer and the apps that are helping me reach those goals! If you’re like me, your rhythms are all out of sync right now and you need a little help remembering what is most important and getting those priorities done each day. And since we’re talking about helpful apps, I’m also sharing four I use every day, three I’m learning to use, and two I almost forgot how to use since we haven’t needed them during the pandemic. I hope my recommendations are helpful to you as we manage our homes and families through the summer months.

Before we jump into today’s topic, I want to mention the sponsor for this week’s episode! It’s By the Brook, a virtual conference for female caregivers hosted by my friends at Rising Above Ministries! It’s happening soon, so be sure to listen all the way to the end of the episode to find out how to register for free!

I really love check lists, planners, calendars, and proven methods for anything that will get me from point A to point B. And it’s especially exciting to me if I can get from point A to B in the most efficient way possible. If a headline says “5 ways to read more” or “3 steps to be a better friend” or “clean your house in 15 minutes with these timesaving tips,” chances are, I’m going to click it. I am a doer, and I’m married to a doer. If you’re into the enneagram, I’m a 1 and Lee is a 3 and they say no other number combo gets more done than a 1 and a 3.

During the summer months, it’s hard to be a doer. My usual routines and rhythms are thrown out the window. Remember way back in episode 8 when we talked about habit triggers? We said to get into good routines, we needed to stack one action on top of another. Like I would put on my tennis shoes each morning before I took James to therapy so I could stack the habit of walking a mile at the park after the habit of dropping off James. But in the summer, those habits triggers are disrupted, and our routines are out of whack. It opens up opportunities for spontaneity and more fun, which of course we all love. But it also sometimes makes me forget the basics, like spending time reading my Bible.

This year is different from previous years, of course. Our routines were disrupted even before summer arrived. Since we’ve spent the last few months out of our regular habits, I’ve had to find ways to help me not forget what’s most important as we move through our days. Today we’re going to talk about what working for me: setting five goals to meet each day and then tracking those goals. We’re going to talk about a lot of apps today, so let me say right now that they are all linked in the show notes on sandrapeoples.com/thepodcast under epsiode 28. The first one I wna to mention is called Streaks. It allows me to set goals, track them, and program reminders at different times of day. Those reminders are my trigger, so no matter what’s happening, I can make sure what’s most important to me is actually happening.

Let me walk you through those five goals and the apps that help me meet each one!

  1. Read Scripture – Back in episode 14 I interviewed Stephanie McKeever about self-care and soul care when caring for someone in the hospital. We talked about the discussion Martha had with Jesus, when He gently reminded Martha that her sister Mary had chosen what was truly important—sitting at His feet. What Martha was doing was important also. She had a house of people to feed and care for. But it wasn’t the most Like Martha, I need a reminder to sit at Jesus’s feet and learn from Scripture. So my first reminder each day is to do just that. I use reading plans from the You Version Bible app and usually go through a book of the Bible or a series of books. But I also like to break those up with some of the topical reading plans they offer. I’m currently reading Be the Bridge with Latasha Morrison, and earlier in the summer I also liked The End of Me by Kyle Idleman. If you only set a goal or two for your summer, this is a good choice, in fact, it’s the best choice.
  2. Second, walk 5,000 steps a day. I’ve read the recommended goal is 10,000 steps a day, but in an average day I get 3,000 or fewer, so 5,000 is a good goal for me! To track my steps, I use the step tracker on my watch. It actually syncs with the Streaks app so I don’t have to tell it when I’ve reached the goal. There have been a few evenings when I’ve marched in place at 9:00 pm to get those extra steps in before bedtime though!
  3. Third, connect with a friend. I talked more about this in this month’s self-care newsletter. If you missed it, you can find a link in the show notes. Being a good friend is a big goal of mine, but sometimes it takes a reminder for me to reach out and connect with someone, especially right now when we aren’t seeing each other in person. I primarly text of course, but I also use Voxer and WhatsApp. Voxer is my favorite. It works like a walkie talkie, so you can record messages that your friend can listen to when it’s convenient. It’s easier than talking on the phone because you can record and respond when it’s a good time for you as well. You can also create groups on Voxer and talk to each other throughout the day. WhatsApp is similar. I use it primarily to communicate with friends who live outside the US. Staying connected is important, even if you need to be a little strategic about it, like setting a goal to text or vox someone each day!
  4. Fourth, Pray. I talk to God throughout the day, but I also want a little structure to my prayer time and reminders to pray for things I might not think of on my own. I use the Operation World app to pray for a country each day, that the gospel would transform lives there. Operation World is also a book that I’ve used for years, but the app makes it so easy to learn more about the country of the day and pray along with others lifting up that country as well. I also sometimes use the Daily Prayer app that has a morning, midday, evening, and late even prayer prompt and Scripture reading. If you like even more structure and guidance when it comes to prayer, I recommend it!
  5. Fifth, Read. It’s not so much that I need a reminder to read each day, because reading is my favorite thing to do. But sometimes I do need to remember to read a variety of books. I usually have 3 or 4 going at the same time: a theology or Christian living book, a fiction book, and a nonfiction book. Right now that’s Everyday Faithfulness by Glenna Marshall, A Gentleman in Moscow with my book club, and Marketing Made Simple by Don Miller and JJ Peterson. My theology/Christian living books are usually paperback copies so I can underline in them and share when I’m done. The fiction books are usually Kindle books or library copies. Because I read so much, I use the library for physical copies of books and digital copies. Overdrive is my favorite app for digital library downloads because I can send the books to my Kindle. My county system doesn’t use Overdrive, so I got a card for the Houston public library system, but they were happy to give me one! I didn’t have to have a Houston address. My friends also tell me that they like Hoopla and Libby if you want to check out those, but Overdrive is the only one I’m familiar with.

Those are my five goals for each day this summer and the apps I use to help me reach those goals! I want to spend time in Scripture, walk 5,000 steps, connect with friends, pray, and read. It kinda feels like a lot talking through all of them together, but those are my priorities, and if I don’t make a plan for them, they won’t happen!

While we’re talking about apps, I wanted to share a few more with you that might help make your summer even better! I’m going to share four I use every day, three I’m learning to use, and two I almost forgot about while we were all home during the COVID restrictions! Remember, you can find links to all of them in the show notes at sandrapeoples.com/thepodcast under episode 28.

First, the apps I use every day:

  1. Feedly for reading the blogs I subscribe to. That way if I miss them sharing the links on social media, I won’t miss the post! I like the ways it’s organized and how easy it is to share links from the app onto Twitter.
  2. Timehop connects to your social media accounts and shares what you’ve posted on that day in previous years. I have a pretty long streak going with Timehop, 1146 days as of today. Seeing pics of the boys from when they were little is one of my favorite things to do every morning.
  3. BuzzFeed, ok. I know it’s kind of a silly one. But sometimes you really need to take a quiz to figure out which character on Dawson’s Creek you’re most like (I got Gran, which surprises no one) or what Disney Princess you’d be best friends with.
  4. Visual Timer is one you need to know about if you have a loved one who thrives on routine and gets stressed during the summer when there isn’t one. You can set the timer and it shows the time ticking away. Perfect for when you need them to wait for your full attention or countdown to doing something fun.

That’s four I use every day. Here are three Apps I’m learning:

  1. Overcast to listen to podcast on. People who love podcast say this is the best option! I’ll let you know if I like it too.
  2. Tody – Have you heard of this one? It helps you keep the house clean by tracking the last time you did certain tasks. I can look at it and see when I last washed the towels in the bathroom or scrubbed the tub. I’m not sure I’m going to like this method better than having a day of the week I always do the tasks, but for things that get done less often, I think it’s going to be helpful!
  3. Sonic – my sister uses the Sonic app and tells everyone how much she loves it. It’s happy hour all the time when you use the app, and since there aren’t many places we can go right now to get out, we do go to Sonic at least once a week. (Side note because it’s a cute story to share, when my son James was younger, he really loved strawberry slushes. And my grandmother wanted to make sure we had money to get him one anytime he wanted it. So she would send $20 in the mail once a month for James’s Sonic runs. It was such a sweet way to show that even though we lived really far away and didn’t see each other often, she cared about James and all of us in that small but important way.)

Finally, here are two Apps I almost forgot how to use over the last few months: Tiny Calendar and Life360. I use Tiny Calendar to sync my calendar with Lee’s so we know what’s scheduled all the time. Of course, for the last few months, not much has been scheduled so I got out of the habit of using it. So last week when he said, “The calendar is up to date with the meetings I have this week,” I remembered how important it is to us! I better start paying attention to it again. We use Life360 to keep up with where everyone is. For months we’ve only been at home or at the church, because it’s close enough to walk there, but as things open up, we’re going more places. I usually check the app to see if Lee is driving before I text him or see how close he is when he’s on his way home. It sure helps the two homebodies in our family (that’s David and me) keep up with the two who are always up for an adventure (Lee and James).

Well friends, we went through a lot of apps in this episode! It makes me pretty thankful to live in a time when we have all these ways to help us reach our goals even when we’re out of our usual routines!

Let’s pray together now like we do at the end of each episode.

God, we echo the words from this prayer from the Puritans that can guide us during the seasons when we are out of our regular routines and need help with our priorities, they write “I wish not so much to do as to be, and I long to be like Jesus;” Help us to grow more and more like Jesus each day, the founder and the perfecter of our faith. And thank You for technology that can help us grow in Christlikeness. We pray for wisdom today as we look ahead to the summer months and may need to set priorities and goals so we don’t neglect spending time with you and loving others. Thank you for caring about the details of our lives and helping us to glorify You in all we do. In Jesus’s name, amen.   

Thanks for spending time with me today! I’d love to hear about your favorite apps since you got to hear about mine! We’ll be talking about today’s episode in our Facebook group, #AbidingCaregiver – Self-Care and Soul Care for the Caregiver and on Instagram where you can follow me at @SandraPeoples.

Now let me tell you more about this week’s sponsor, Rising Above’s upcoming conference for female caregivers called By the Brook! It’s held each summer in Tennessee, but this year it’s open to all of us because it’s happening virtually on June 26th and 27th. That’s coming up soon! Depending on the restrictions where you live, you can participate with a small group of friends in someone’s home, with a small gathering at a church, or individually at your house. Just register for free by visiting www.risingaboveministries.org/bythebrook I’ll be speaking via video Friday night on a topic I know you’re already passionate about—self-care and soul care! Again, remember to register for free at www.risingaboveministries.org/bythebrook

Thanks again for hanging out with me today! I’ll meet you back here next week, and until then, I’ll be praying for you and your family as you abide in Christ and remember that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

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