Posted in Goal-setting

2017, leggo!

2017

It’s been a few days since ringing in the New Year and I’m here to review last year’s resolutions before I completely forget. Looking back on the resolutions I made last year…Phew, were they ambitious! Let’s go ahead and break down how each one went:

GOAL #1

So, basically, I wanted to become a morning person. How did that go? Well, even though I got a good morning routine going for a while the truth is…I’m still battling with being a night owl. In fact, I would say my night owl tendencies got a lot worse over the last few months. It really sucks because I truly do think waking up early is amazing and yet…my brain cannot quiet down before 2 AM. I do think that this goal is achievable but that it’s going to take a lot longer than I thought it would and that it’s a lot harder than I thought it’d be. One thing that has helped immensely with getting my brain to shut off is a “wind down routine” which is basically watching ASMR videos. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. The best way I can describe it is pleasant sensory overload (ex. the tingling feeling on your scalp when someone plays with your hair). The first time I heard of ASMR was through a react video and I was just as weirded out as most of the people who reacted to it. To be honest, I even thought it might be some type of fetish at first (I am laughing while I type this because I love ASMR now). The thing is, that react video came to mind one night when I was having a really, really hard time getting to sleep. In my desperation, I went on YouTube and typed in ASMR. I watched a video. I fell asleep. I had the best sleep I had had in a long, long time. From then on, I’ve been hooked. They certainly aren’t a fix-all (again, still struggling with being a night owl), but the videos have become a staple in my wind down routine for sure. I can’t deny it. While I do sometimes experience “tingles” the videos mostly relax me, some even put me in a type of trance. The one video I recommend to everyone who has no clue about ASMR and would most likely benefit from it is by an “ASMRtist” named Heather Feather (you can watch it here). It basically sums up what ASMR is all about in my opinion. I think these videos really help me because I am a naturally anxious person. I deal with my anxiety in a lot of different ways (I can write about that in a separate post if anyone is interested in that) and ASMR is now in my arsenal of tools. If you have trouble sleeping or need to relax, give it a go.

GOAL #2

Cut out added sugar. HA. HA. HA. This did not happen. There, I said it. Moving on…

GOAL #3

Exercise 3-4x a week. So, I was doing really, really well at this the first half of 2016. Until August. I just fell off. I don’t even know why. I crossed off the days I worked out on a huge calendar that I taped onto my closet and did a great job keeping track. I worked out a total of 111 days out of 365 days. I didn’t include the days I was in South Korea (even though I walked over 20,000 steps every other day). To qualify as a workout, it had to be deliberate (and at least 30 minutes-1 hour). If I had worked out 3x a week every week, I would have worked out 144 days. So I fell short 33 days. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, I’m super proud I was so close. This year I plan on getting to 144. One exercise I fell in love with this year was cycling. I try to go to a cycling class once a week at least. One interesting and unfortunate thing also coincided with working out: I gained weight. Not muscle weight either. I think I have been justifying eating more because I was working out and was not checking my weight (barely). Just goes to show that exercise and a bad diet won’t fix anything (unless you’re 18 and have an amazing metabolism because I for sure used to get away with it).

GOAL #4

I would say I’ve kept up so-so on my skin care routine. I ran out of one of my products (it’s been a few months) and it’s hard to track down, but way more money on Amazon. Still on the look-out. Overall, I’ve been taking better care of my skin than in the past, both on the inside and out (more about this in another post).

GOAL #5

Investing did not happen! More like I invested in traveling.

GOAL #6

As far as doing things that scare me, I think I did that for sure. But in a way that wasn’t really “extreme.” And I wouldn’t describe it as “scary” but scary in a way a new thing can be scary. I conquered student teaching and built up confidence over 6 months. It was scary but also exciting, challenging, and fun all at the same time. To add, I decided to use my savings (and the SkyMiles I had saved up) to take a trip to South Korea with my mom for three weeks (September-October). I will definitely write an entire blog post about the experience because it has been one of the best experiences of my entire life and something I have always dreamed of doing. I’ve been editing a video of the trip to share as well. So I’d say I accomplished this goal. Success!

GOAL #7

Filmed a second of every day using the 1 Second Everyday app. Now I still to this day think this is an amazing, cool, ingenious app. But it was pretty hard to remember to film each day (even with the timer) and I completely fell off after a while. However, I do have a compiled video of quite a few days (some videos overlap with my South Korea video, too) so I plan on uploading that soon to share. I still think I’ll use this app, though. Even if I don’t film every day, I think filming even just a bit is such a meaningful way to look back on everything. It’s crazy how much we don’t remember, even after a few weeks!

Well, there it is! A look back at the goals I set last year. I plan on writing another post about what I’ve been thinking about for my goals this year, too. Happy goal setting (or not) and Happy New Year!

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Posted in Goal-setting, Life

My Morning Routine: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

So, if any of you remember, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to–essentially–become a morning person. I will break down, a little over mid-way through the year, how that’s been going:

THE GOOD

My morning routine, as of late, looks like this:

  • Wake up at 6:00am
  • Declare my daily affirmation, “This is going to be the best day ever!”
  • Breakfast, including a cold glass of water and caffeine (a must)
  • Read that day’s daily meditation from a book my very good friend gifted me called “Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul” by Melody Beattie (I also highlight the day’s date and a sentence or two I connected with when I’m finished; they are very short little passages)
  • Practice meditation for ~10 minutes (currently using Calm, but Head Space is good, too, as well YouTube)
  • Write my Morning Pages (my favorite part of my morning, besides my caffeine)
  • Declare another daily affirmation, “Love, serve, and remember. Remember what? Remember to love and serve.”
  • Read a chapter of a book, read a passage of scripture

I love this routine! Morning Pages creates a way for me to write out my feelings upon waking, as well as jot down my To-Do List for the day and a brief Gratitude List as well. Just thought I’d elaborate a bit on that.

THE BAD

Originally, I was trying to use Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning routine, which looks similar to what I’m already doing. The truth is, though, I just wasn’t ready to commit all those months ago. It felt so overwhelming and daunting. AND, I tried easing into it. If this experience has taught me anything, it is that easing into it does not or has not ever worked for me. It’s cold turkey, all or nothing. Eventually, I just gave up and went back to waking at various times in the morning with no routine at all besides eating something. Another huge learning hurdle? This routine is impossible without caffeine. That was not emphasized enough in Hal Elrod’s approach. Caffeine is LIFE. There is no way in hell I’d be able to do this without caffeine. When I was student teaching and subbing, I didn’t drink coffee most days and I have no clue how I got through in the morning. I was a total zombie, that’s how. For some reason, I wanted to reject caffeine because I thought it was bad. A horrible drug, which I would only indulge in later in the afternoon when I was crashing and came in the form of soda (completely illogical, I know). I make sure I drink a glass of water and some type of caffeine in the morning with my breakfast. Never again will I not drink caffeine in the morning. There’s just no way I could personally do it.

THE UGLY

I’ve only been consistently doing this for two weeks now, and recently fell off because of a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Univeral Studios Hollywood (amazing, mindblowing, a dream come true) for my best friend’s birthday where we stayed out super late and my body was physically drained. And once you’ve fallen off? Y’all, it’s hard to get back on. Consistency is key. In my early 20s, this routine would never have been possible, which is probably why it never happened. Nothing was consistent. Going out almost every single night, coming home in the AM hours. That was my life for two years or so, and even after that, it continued that way just with less frequency. I’m at a time in my life where I can actually make this change because life isn’t as “spontaneous” or, let’s get real, batshit crazy no-fucks-given as it used to be. I love it. I loved it how it used to be, too. Right now, though, consistency is a must. Yet there will be nights you don’t get to bed before 11 or 12, and that’s okay, but it is hard to readjust.

At the end of the year, I will update how it’s going again. Hopefully, back on track the majority of the time. It’s hard, but it is so worth it. The feeling I get in the morning, where it feels like you’re awake before anyone else? Seriously…it is one of my favorite feelings. Everything feels more beautiful. It is life-changing.

 

Posted in Goal-setting

Hi there, 2016!

I have ambitious goals for 2016. In this post, I’ll be talking about each one briefly, but they’ll be covered in further depth in later posts. 🙂 They aren’t so much New Year’s Resolutions, which always seem to be temporary, as they are lifestyle changes. Each of my goals will challenge me to live my life with intention and continue to grow as a person.

GOAL #1

Practice Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning every day. I have never, ever been a morning person. This book has given me the motivation to embrace mornings and I would recommend it to anyone whether you’re an early bird or a night owl.

GOAL #2

Cut out added sugar from my diet. I plan to accomplish this goal by being gentle with myself. If I slip up, I slip up, and everything’s going to be alright, chill. I also plan on allowing myself one cheat day a month to treat myself as well as letting myself enjoy added sugar on special occasions. This goal has been completely inspired by Naomi Davis of Love Taza.  I’m very excited to see her future posts on this topic.

GOAL #3

Exercise 3-4 times a week. I have a simple, easy method I started last year to track the days I exercise that I’ve been continuing to use this year and hopefully I can get to a 4-times-a-week average by 2017.

GOAL #4

Establish set skin care routine. I want to take better care of my skin. I’ve read that skin starts to lose its oil production and dry out in your 20s. I’ve found this to be very true! Anti-aging begins now.

GOAL #5

Start investing. Finance is a huge interest of mine, which, granted, is a little strange considering I was a history major. I took a Finance 101 class in college and became enamored. I always say if I didn’t want to work in the field of history, I would have been a computer engineer or financial adviser. Don’t get me started on the beauty of compounding.

GOAL #6

Do things that scare me. I know in my heart of hearts that fear is an illusion. I also know that it can stop us from doing things we can benefit from. I’m not about that. I want to do things this year that make me anxious and fearful and master fear to use as a tool and not a hindrance. I got this idea from Jess Lively of The Lively Show, one of my modern-day gurus and host of one of my favorite podcasts ever. I am so, so, so excited to see how she tackles her own fears in the coming year.

GOAL #7 

Record one second every day and compile it into a short video using the 1 Second Everyday app. I cannot wait to see how it turns out! I’m thinking this would be so amazing to do every year, but we’ll see if I can get through this year first.

These are my seven goals for 2016. Let’s get started!