January 17, 2018

Year in Preview

Recently I posted about committing to 2018 and not over-goaling myself. After reading Alyssa's post, In Defense of Resolutions, I took some inspired action and got to work on deciding how I wanted the next 12 months to look. 


Photo by Danka & Peter on Unsplash

I want to have a very focused and committed year. I'm going to let my Type A tendencies take the lead here because the only way these items will be accomplished is if I stay diligent and committed. 

To quote Alyssa {emphasis added}, because she put it so perfectly,
You know what goals are. They're things you will achieve or accomplish; they're changes that will occur. They are things you will do or will not do. They are measurable. Goals are things that tell you what you'll need to work toward on a frequent basis. Goals often have benchmarks along the way or other indicators that help you measure progress. Goals generally don't happen overnight, but rather as the culmination of dedicated, focused work. Goals are things you have to actually give a shit about, because you will have to convince yourself that you should work toward them on days when you don't give a shit about anything. Resolutions historically sound like things you want to do more/less of. Here's how I see resolutions: Actions I want to choose. Not quite measurable, but that's OK. Not everything has to check a box. It's a habit, a routine, something I want to change.

I'm not going to get overly specific with my plans for 2018 as I know what they are and what steps I need to take to reach them. Instead, here is the umbrella topic of my top three goals.

  • Improve financial fitness
  • Improve health
  • Quality downtime
For me, improving financial fitness involves paying off a particular credit card {and half of another if  doable}, improving my credit score, lowering my D/I ratio, building/maintaining my savings, and being more conscientious about how I spend my money. 

Improving my health is something that I feel should always be on a goal/resolution list. I happened to see a commercial the other day that caught my ear. I think it was a retirement commercial {I could be totally wrong} and it was talking about how we are given one life. One set of lungs, one set of teeth, etc. If you want things to make it to 60..75...85... then they need to be cared for. That means continuing to schedule and attend personal training sessions and eating mindfully.  

Downtime is something I think I excel at. I'm great about taking vacations, enjoying my weekends {both doing something and nothing}, and taking "just because" days off. What I mean by quality downtime is that I want to blog more, read more, journal more, travel more.... be more. This also entails getting rid of things that no long serve me - things that have started to feel like an obligation instead of something that brings me joy or happiness. 

I'm really excited about these goals as they are not only goals but priorities and lifestyle changes. And seeing as how for the past year I have been complaint free, I'm more than happy to keep it going! 


January 15, 2018

How I Plan to Stop Over-Goaling Myself

With the new year comes new goals and though I have no shortage of things I want to accomplish in the coming months/year, I am taking a new tact in how I address them.

While sitting with my nutritionist recently she piggybacked off something I said and made the comment that I "over-goal" myself. I immediately recognized that she was right {loved the word} and then as I thought about it more continued to have an a-ha moment.


Photo by Ariel Lustre on Unsplash

Basically, I set so many goal and plans in motion that I'm intrinsically setting myself up to fail because there's no way I'm going to be able to meet every goal. Seeing as how I have some pretty major ones this year I want to be sure that I'm on track and will actually met them as opposed to making excuses. Basically, I'm committing.


1| Keeping the goals per month at a minimum

This is a true case of "less is more". I don't want to over-extend myself by making a laundry list of things to accomplish. This automatically takes away from the quality of the goals and distracts me.


2| Choose goals that are S.M.A.R.T.

This isn't something I typically do. Or I do, but they're usually only specific. Right now, I know what a few of my major goals are {paying off credit cards; improving credit score; getting a new lease...} and while they have S.M.A.R.T. aspects I want to hone in on them so I know in mid-July that I am still on target to hit my goals.

3| Stay Committed

For me, this is by far the most challenging part. It's very easy to mentally set goals but not adhere to them. To avoid this I'm going to write out the major goals I have for this year and then break them down into steps which I can work on each month. This ensures that they stay on my mind and that I'm continuously working towards meeting them.


I'm really glad that she threw out the word "over-goaled" because it made me step back and think about the goals I make and the way I approach them. I realized it wasn't working. Having a refreshed outlook is keeping me motivated and oriented to not only set true goals, but to attain them. And that's the part that matters most.


January 09, 2018

Thoughts on Things

Is everyone over winter yet? I kid. Although it's been single and negative digits here in the northeast I'm still a happy girl. Taking a "Christmas break" was the most genius thing I've done in months and I'm still swirling in the afterglow. 

Today, I'm sharing some tidbits that have been floating around for me lately. 



| Fire and Fury a/k/a The Trump Book
I really want to read this. I'm not 100% sure it's because I have any true interest or because it's a hot button right now. I don't think it's going to reveal anything we're not already hearing - I mean, have you watched  the news lately? - but I will fully admit that my curiosity is piqued. 

| One Little Word workshop
I talked about choosing my word commit this last week. At the time I wrote that I wasn't fully committed to my word{pun not intended, just true} but since then I've realized that the word is beyond perfect and just what I needed. 

| Netflix January Releases
If you're a Netflix junkie then you've probably already seen the list of everything coming to Netflix in January. There are lots of franchises to choose from {Lethal Weapon, Bring It On, Batman, The Godfather} and some others I'll be making a point to watch. The one movie I want to watch but I'm not sure I can pony up: The Lovely Bones. I read this book a few years back and although sad, loved it. I don't know if I can see the movie though. 

| Broken Images
In an effort to clean up my blog, I started scrolling through all posts to minimize the amount of tags I have. I know it's meaningless but it truly annoys me having 20+ tags. I want 10 tops and ONLY 10. Anyway, while downsizing I started noticing that a lot of my old posts - and I mean a LOT - were missing all the images. Naturally I have no idea what the image was since the bulk of the posts are pre-2015. Although they're buried and most certainly are never even read, it bugs me and I've taken to deleting anything that isn't deemed substantial {ie: confessions, lists, fluff}. It's going to be time consuming {like, all year probably} but I know I'll feel better when it's done.

|Change
I feel a big change coming. I'm not sure what it is or what it means, but I feel it and I'm excited by it. I've always enjoyed and respected change. I find it to be necessary even when I don't know what it is or what the outcome will be.




What's been on your mind lately? 


January 04, 2018

Committing in 2018

Dear 2018,

Although I am not the type of person to get all worked up, or nostalgic, over a new year arriving, I do, as usual, have goals and plans for the next 12 months. 

Last year, I found I had a "word of the year" completely by accident. The things I wanted to do, the choices I was making, they were all culminating around one word: LESS. I wanted to buy less, complain less, own less.... it was all about downsizing and doing things from a minimal place that worked for me. 

I loved my word. I embodied it and lived it throughout the year. Especially in my winter break where I cleaned and purged from every room of the house. It felt amazing!

And because that feeling, that mindset is still with me - living minimally - it was hard to release the word and {purposefully} find a new one.

It took me three days but I decided on a word that I knew deep-down was perfect. 2018's word is

COMMIT

As I thought about this word and rolled it around my mouth and brain it became more and more fitting. I don't consider myself a commitment-phobe, but there are definitely things I have great intentions for but usually fall by the wayside almost immediately. I have a terrible habit of making plans only to hope they get cancelled. Or I have great intentions to do fitness or betterment things and then flake out on myself. 

So this year I'm choosing to commit. To myself. To my plans. To my intentions. Whatever they may be. 

To help keep me motivated I enrolled in the One Little Word class by Ali Edwards. 

This workshop is not complicated and it’s not time-consuming. Once per month you will be invited to check back into the classroom for a new creative prompt to help you make your word more visible in your life. Creative prompts generally fall into the categories of writing, photography or collage. It’s simply a way we can come together to share our experience with our words throughout the course of the year.

I'm super excited to dive in and see what this year, and my word, have in store for me. 

It's only just the beginning.... 

December 07, 2017

Live and Let Live

Although I've been MIA from blogland for quite some time, I have been very present in my real life. I've been purging and replacing; saving and storing, and it feels great! Here's what I've been up to.



+ At the end of October I made the leap and bought a new couch. The delivery guys couldn't get it in the house. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because when I went to pick a "back up" I ended up loving it much more and it was delivered mid-November. It's heavenly. I bought the rug the following weekend and now I'm completely in love with my living room.



+ I went to my first Friendsgiving and it was so much. The dishes everyone brought were so, so good and there were so many laughs shared. I can't wait to do it again next year.



+ Mid-month Alyssa and I met up for happy hour and much needed conversation. it was the best day of the week.

+ That same weekend I got my hair cut and treated myself to a free movie {yay!} and redeemed my birthday coupon for free popcorn {double yay!} and went to see Murder on the Orient Express. I'll admit I had never read the story so I found the movie to be very enjoyable since I had no idea whodunit.



+ I took the day before Thanksgiving off {something I've never done} in order to travel stress free. Let me tell you how amazing this was! There was NO traffic and I made it home in less than 2.5 hours. I then had the afternoon to meet up with friends and then picked my niece up from school and took her to lunch. It was a great day. 

+ For my birthday I threw myself a birthday happy hour and invited some of my favorite people. The evening ended with me staying out until 1 AM and then calling out of work the next day because who wants to work on their birthday!? The actual day of was magical. 






All in all, November was a pretty nice month. It passed quickly, much like the rest of the year has, but it was certainly enjoyable!










December 01, 2017

Living Your Best Life

Good Morning from Chicago!!!

I feel like I'm in hardcore blogger mode right now - Starbucks to my right, MacBook on my lap, sitting in an airpot waiting on my flight. I don't think it gets any more official than this. 

As I make my way back into semi-regular blogging I was reading a week or so ago and was turned on to Alexandra's collaboration for living your best life. It was too late in the month to participate but fortunately for me, the challenge has been such a success that they extended into December.



As you may have heard, 2017 has been my Year of Less. I have to say it's been pretty productive and it's absolutely made me feel better and lighter in all aspects. I may be on a plane at the moment {more on that next week} but I'm so excited to dive in and continue living my best life.

In case you've never heard of it, this is what it's all about in Shea's words:

Here's a look at the December prompts.




Each Monday we share our ideas for how we'll complete the coming week's prompts.

I got a jump on the first few days since I knew I was going to be out of town {I'll fill you in later}

December 1 - make hot chocolate: I plan to complete this one my the end of the day today. I had a 5 AM flight and am feeling a bit under the weather so I made a hot toddy on the plane {win!} but I love me some hot chocolate so I know it's coming.


December 2 - shop your closet for holiday outfits: I have a holiday party tonight with the Punishers LEMC so I actually shopped my closet Wednesday and Thursday and put this together. It's nothing too fancy, but I'm happy with it, and I'll be comfortable all night! Black jeans by Levis; shell by Loft; Blazer and necklace from I don't remember; shoes by Steve Madden




December 3 - start a new holiday tradition: My mom and I have pretty much already started this. I can't even out into words how much we scaled Christmas down this year. We agreed that we would buy 1 present for each person (there are 4 of us) and do stockings, and that's it.

December 4 - take a holiday stress off your plate: I'm still on the fence about this one because it's something I've never done buuutt.... I may not put up my Christmas tree this year. It feels very Grinchy but at the same time, it's going to require rearranging the living room, and I'm just not in the mood to haul out all the decor, put it up, and then pack it all away again. We'll see but I think I'm going to just do the other stuff {snow globe, wreath, pillow} this year to keep it easy. 



That's how I tend to kick off December living my best life!  Tell me, are you participating in the challenge? And if not, how can/are you living your life this holiday season?


November 21, 2017

Thoughts on Things

I feel like so much and nothing is going on at the same time. Outwardly, I suppose it's a lot of nothing. Internally and behind the scenes, a lot is taking place. As such, I have some thoughts rolling around my head and figured I needed to use my digital penceive to get them out.



+ This year my family is not exchanging Christmas gifts. Part of me is all are you kidding me!? but another part is saying ok. this is good.  The thing is, my niece is 5 and has ZERO interest in Christmas. It strikes me as incredibly odd but she just doesn't care. She'd rather play in the paper than open gifts. And when you talk to her it's a lot of 'remember when we...' which is honestly the way it should  be. She remembers the things we do and the places I take her and has no care for materialistic items.

+ While watching the news yesterday morning several JCPenney commercials aired. being one of my favorite stores I was half listening to see if they had any good deals for this weekend. Then the announcement came that their doors were opening at 2 pm on Thanksgiving day. I have never been more disappointed in a company. I want to write a letter but I can't even formulate what to say other than shame on you and this disrespectful behavior. 

+ The House approved the proposed tax bill... and I actually read the news on it. It's incomprehensible to me how certain individuals constantly complain about the increasing national debt, yet this very policy they've proposed, and approved, is set to raise the debt by 1.4 trillion dollars over 10 years. And one of the proposed changes - reducing corporate tax from 35% to 20% - will cost 1.5 trillion dollars over that same time period. 

+ I am sooo full of gratitude lately. I stepped out of my bedroom this past weekend and almost started crying over how much I love the way my living room, and entire apartment, have come together. This is now my favorite room in the house. 

+ I've mentioned it here and there about getting my finances in order but I have officially reached a point where the current "story of my finances" is no longer serving me. It hasn't been for a while, but I have finally taken steps to change it. And it feels amazing.  

+ I've always thought that making friends as an adult is difficult. And although I suppose it still can have its challenges, what I have noticed is that the people I would call "friend" today, are people I genuinely want in my life, not because I feel like I'm obligated to keep communication open. Quality over quantity. 

+ Earlier in the season I volunteered to participate in my company's work with NY Cares and buy holiday gifts for 3 kids and a senior. You guys, I can't tell you how full my heart was reading these letters to Santa and being able to buy these kids, and senior, everything they asked for. If I receive nothing else this year, that feeling, of selflessly giving to someone else, and knowing that it will make them happy, was more than enough.

+ I am so excited for the first snow. Like, really truly, super excited this year. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I have someone to do snow things with? I don't know. Either way, I'm praying for snow days.


Those are just a few of the thoughts and things on my mind lately.

How about you?

What have you been mulling over?