Hi 2020, Sorry I’m Late. I was Lacking Motivation

I’m going to be 110% honest, I have had zero motivation for the last week. As a self-proclaimed lover of fresh starts I have gone into this New Year on a more subdued note than usual. Instead of beating myself up about it, I spent a little time reflecting on 2019 and I came to the conclusion that 2019 was a happy little storm of chaos and I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

My 2019 intention of self care in action at Disneyland
Me, driving into the new year.

Somehow 2019 managed to have the highest of highs (Disneyland, moving, promotions, growing this community, Herman settling in, sweet moments with dear friends) and some low lows (family members being sick, the loss of Brenton’s grandma, anxiety, generalized confusion on how to adult, the whole political climate, the fact that we are LITERALLY killing our planet). This year had the making of a perfect season of a teen drama but unlike Gossip Girl I couldn’t turn it off when the plot started to sink.

My 2019 intention of being kind to myself in action at Disneyland.
Living my best life at Mickey’s house

Yet, somehow, by the grace of our own strengths, we all made it. 

When I started 2019, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I set myself the following intentions: 

  • Be patient with myself and others (done)  
  • Shush my chronic imposter syndrome (she could be quieter but we’re improving) 
  • Continue self care through movement, good food, meditation, and general health (done)
  • Continue writing and sharing (done) 
  • Learn conversational spanish (my Duolingo Owl thinks I am a lost cause)

While I may have failed at learning Spanish I’m proud of how well I did on the rest of my 2019 intentions. Not only did I reach my goals but I had fiction and non-fiction published, I bought this blog domain so I could monetize it, I doubled my social media following for the blog (check it out here if you aren’t following along already), and I built my confidence to an unrecognizable state. 

I’m so proud of me! Which means this year I can update my intentions to encompass even more of the woman I want to be (and already am inside). Are we ready? My 2020 intentions are: 

  • To live an authentic life by honoring my whole self and prioritizing my wellbeing 
  • Keep building my blog, social media, podcasts, and writing projects 
  • Stay grounded in the chaos of the world 
  • *Keep at my Duolingo to get my Spanish up and running again 

So how am I going to do it? First, I always set intentions instead of resolutions because they leave room for human error, off days, and they help this former perfectionist sleep better. Then, I usually break down my intentions month by month and pick a few things to focus on. As we ease our way into January I’m focusing on the top half of the list and being selfish with my time by putting all my energy into my side projects. Brenton and I have already launched a Veronica Mars rewatch podcast called Life on Mars and we are working on another one about conspiracy theories called But Really Though. I’ll continue being active on here, on my instagram, and twitter. As always, I’ll be in the gym 5 days a week and working my way through YWA January Yoga Journey. 

I’m excited for my 2020 adventure and after 2019 I’m hanging on tight. I’m sure it will only get crazier from here. 

Happy New Year! 

Goal Setting for Success

Goal setting is one of my favorite things to do. I love sitting down and writing out all the things I want to accomplish and sit in the glory of my imaginary future successes. What I enjoy less is actually putting in the work. Like most humans (I presume), I am inherently lazy and struggle to find motivation, especially during the dark days of winter. Luckily, 2019 me has a leg up on the competition because I have 5 strategies I use to get myself moving towards my goals.

  1. Only set goals that are realistic and only set a couple at a time.  I think most goals should be made up of bite-sized goals that you can check off as you go (more on this in strategy two). That being said, not every goal needs to be a time consuming project to manage. One of my favorite goals that I have continued with from 2016  is to try to meditate more so that I can eventually solidify a daily practice. I don’t expect myself to meditate everyday because life happens, but I prioritize making time to meditate each evening.
  2. Make a plan to get started. Once I decide on my goals I write down a list of things I think I need to do to accomplish them. For example, I want to learn conversational spanish this year. To meet this goal I need to research Spanish schools in my city, sign up for a courses, participate in the courses and study. I then set myself due dates. I must select a Spanish course by the end of this week, sign up by the end of January and begin taking courses in February. From there I can decide if I need to continue taking courses, sign up for a different style of course or attend retreats to practice conversation. I don’t know what the process will look like in the end but I know where I am going and how I am going to get started.
  3. Tell everyone. Once a plan is in motion I have to actually do the work, which is the shitty part. My number one tip to hold myself accountable is to tell everyone. By everyone, I literally mean everyone. My boss, therapist, boyfriend, mother, best friend, and dog are all well aware that I am trying to do more things that scare me this year. This is easy for me, since I am a giant blabbermouth, and it makes me think twice before I skip my meditation or back out of trying something new because it scares me. This also allows others to help you come up with creative ways to meet your goals and it might help set you up with my next tip, an accountabilibuddy.
  4. Accountabilibuddy, not only is it fun to say, but it is also ideal to have one. An accountabilibuddy is someone who knows what you are trying to accomplish, wants you to succeed and will motivate you to continue your journey to your goals (bonus points if they are also trying to reach the same goals). As social creatures it can be important to have someone who knows how hard you have been working when the new goal setting motivation is gone and the new routine hasn’t settled in yet.
  5. Just fucking show up and expect nothing else from yourself. As a recovering perfectionist I have a hard time showing up for something, especially if it is something physical like a workout or class, if I don’t feel like I can perform at 100%. To compromise with this ridiculous trait of mine I have decided that I will no longer hold myself to a high standard when I do not feel up to something as long as I just show up for myself. I know that it is so hard to motivate yourself when you don’t feel up to it but unless your body is telling you no (ie: you are sick or in pain) it’s always better to just try. So what if you fail, at least you tried. A majority of the time that I do this I leave the lesson, session, yoga class or whatever it may be feeling better than I did walking in.

I hope this helps get you started or solidify your plans to reach your goals. 2019 is already off to a weird start, thanks government shutdown, but that doesn’t mean that you have to cave in to the awful energy. Let me know if you have any goals this year and what your plan is to reach them. I cannot wait to watch us all grow together this year.

Starting Fresh & Following Through

I love first days. Whether its a first day of school, first day at a new job, or first time in workout classes, being a newbie is fun. Starting fresh feels good. A new start the ultimate moment for positivity and optimism. No one expects you to master anything on your first day- especially if you are trying something new. The honeymoon period in a new job, relationship or while forming a habit is amazing…unfortunately it can fade rather quickly.

This year, I have set myself a couple goals some tangible and some, like being braver, that are larger in concept than application. To avoid setting myself up for failure I am changing up my goal setting. I paid attention to what worked and didn’t work for myself last year and I want to continue with that. For example, I learned that I am horrible at taking on vague goals without a plan. I cannot simply state I want to get fitter and commit to it, I have to take baby steps. Last year I started by working out one day more a week at a time, then eating better and then trying new workouts. If I had gone cold turkey on my Dominos lifestyle I would have quit by February.

Another observation I made was that rigid goal setting does not work for me. I am fickle; I cannot commit to a Whole30 lifestyle or a work out every day gym routine. Rigid goals make me feel like every slip up is the end of the process. It’s easy to quit when I feel discouraged. To combat this I now set intentions. An example from last year is instead of telling myself that I am going to meditate everyday or else, I tell myself that I intend to meditate everyday. It feels less harsh to me and makes accomplishing my goal of meditating easier. I’m applying it to this year by setting the intention to opt outdoors for at least 30 minutes one day each weekend. It can be a hike, a run or a walk through an outdoor shopping center as long as I make it outside and move.

A third observation, that ties into setting intentions, is adjusting my approach to my goal when things don’t work for me. For example, in an ideal world I would wake up at 6:00 am every weekday and do my morning yoga and set my intentions for the day. Unfortunately, I am not a morning person. I’m horrible at sleeping which makes motivating myself to get up damn near impossible. Instead, of beating myself up for not getting up every morning, or not working out at all, I just adjusted my schedule so I can do my workouts in the evening. A morning cardio session isn’t going to happen most mornings and I’m okay with that. I’ve let it go.  

While the above are all important I believe the essential tactic to not quitting when things stop being shiny and new is finding the why. Instead of focusing on the result I am focusing on the reason. It’s easy to get discouraged when results don’t appear immediately but if I have a good why I stand a better chance of completing my goal. It doesn’t always make it easier but it helps remotivate me when I dwell on why I’m doing something instead of the task itself. That being said, if I don’t have a good reason why, I let it go.

Handstands

With the start of this new year I have started a new job, started a new workout schedule and moved to a new city. I’m relishing in this sweet honeymoon period but I’m also trying to prepare myself for the future. Commitment is hard.

Let me know what goals you’ve set for yourself and how you keep yourself accountable!

2017 Recap, 2018 Ready!

2017 was chaos. The hangover from the clusterfuck of the 2016 presidential election loomed over the first half of my year. I refused to let the commander in cheeto ruin my year completely, but boy did he try. I’ve decided to spin something positive out of it and have put upon myself a goal to practice gratitude and find the positives of 2017 in order to determine my 2018 goals.

I created healthy, well rounded habits in 2017. For my physical self I began exercising regularly, cooking more and not eating things that make me sick all the time (looking at you, gluten). I tried new fitness classes. I did barre, pilates, public yoga classes and I began lifting weights. I also let myself take rest days when I wanted and I occasionally went for the full gluten pizza (sorry tummy). I attempted balance and I made it my mission to get strong physically and mentally.

Emotionally, I dealt with the death of two grandparents, the emotional turmoil of being unsatisfied in my career and my post grad comedown. I let myself feel emotions instead of bottling them up. I refused to settle in my unsatisfactory work place and I got a new job in a new city that I started 1/2/2018. I simultaneously managed leaving my position to take this new opportunity, moving my life 300 miles north and spending Christmas with B’s family (before this year I have never spent Christmas away from my family). I managed my stress by practicing my yoga and mediation more than I have in previous years.

I took baby steps and set manageable goals. Most importantly I made it; and if you’re reading this you made it too.

I’ve come out of 2017 emotionally spent but still optimistic for the future. I took emotional strength inspiration from my fellow feminists. I ruminate on the power I felt watching coverage from the Women’s March. I have faith in the common decency of the US even if those in power are only working from a place of self interest. #MeToo brought to light that victims of assault are unfortunately common and will not hide in the shadows anymore. The anger and activism has brought a voice to women. I have learned so much about myself, my views on feminism and intersectional feminism. I’ve learned about the importance of amplifying the voices of those who are not heard. I put a lot of energy in improving myself in 2017 and I want to stay on the same path.

My goals for 2018 are a little abstract again. I want to do more of what makes me happy which includes exercising frequently, attempting a daily meditation, reading books and writing. I want to use my reading and writing to expand my vocabulary; my post grad verbiage is weak. I’m going to continue posting on this blog but I’m going to take it slower and not force myself to put something up when I don’t have honest inspiration. The world doesn’t need more pointless noise. I also want to manage my money better and start saving for future travels. I handled this decently while prepping for my big move but I know there is room for improvement. I want to continue facing my fears (like flying, driving on freeways and doing things that I’m not a natural at) and take every difficult task as an opportunity to grow instead of a road bump.

First things first; I’m going to build on my yoga. I’m doubling down on my 30 days of yoga challenge and I am participating in both Alo and Yoga with Adriene’s January challenges. I’m also setting myself the January goal of settling into my new city which includes finding a new doctor, optometrist and dentist. I’m going to test run a few gyms and snuggle into my new normal in my new city.

StockSnap_TVEUBLIOSK.jpgI’m starting 2018 filled with hope and excitement. I created change for myself in 2017 and I’m happier for it. Here’s to a significantly better, especially on the political front, 2018.

Happy New Year!

Finishing at My Own Pace

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated everyone on my goal of cultivating love and creativity this year. 2017 definitely threw some wrenches in my plan but I managed to meet so many of my goals this year.

I did not adhere to my monthly goals perfectly through 2017 but I learned what worked and what didn’t for me. I was able to sit back and watch how I react to a crazy workload, how I act when I am stressed to the gills and how I react to being underwhelmed.

I’ve learned that a once a week posting schedule may sound simple but it is still a lot of writing. With all that happened this year I had to learn to go easier on myself. I let myself fail, take a couple weeks or even a month off and the best part is that I was okay. Not conquering everything the way I intended to did not kill me (crazy, right?)

1197079A lot of growing feels like failing. It is learning what works for you and what does not.

My mantra for this year has been “just because it does not work for you does not make it wrong”. By removing the emotion from what works for me and what doesn’t I was able to look at things in a more loving way.

I realized that the most important part of cultivating love was having it to give.

I’m spending the last month of 2017 healing from a surgery and getting ready for a big change. I figured out that my current position was no longer serving me and it is time for a change of scenery. Letting go of what does not serve me and moving on to something better is the biggest act of self-love. Because of this B and I are relocating to the bay!

With all of this change rapidly approaching my only goal for December is to continue getting comfortable with my self-love and the channel my creativity into something fun, decorating my new living space. After the rapid changes of 2017 I’m ready to slow down.

See you in 2018 with my new goals.

July/August Recap & September Confidence

In June, I kept near my goals but fell off my routine a couple times (my morning workouts got moved to afternoon, I did not listen to others or my body well and battled my brain for control of my life). I was in desperate need of an emotional and physical reset. After working my ass off to get back to my regular schedule this August I’ve decided that I should accompany this reset with some confidence.

I’m going to get back into daily meditation. In June, I got lazy about my regular practice and my mental health suffered. I was easily triggered, not a good look for someone who works in HR. Through the latter half August I’ve gotten back into yoga and meditation and it’s really helped me keep my cool.

I’ve decided it’s time to make my workouts harder. I’ve decided to bump up one of my 3 mile runs to 4-6 depending on the week.I plan to wake up on time so I can stretch before I run to prevent injuries from flaring up. I also have started going to a public yoga class instead of only doing yoga at home. I even bought B and I 5 class passes for a nearby studio (it is easier for me to stick with something if I have a partner). So far we are loving it there! B was even told that he had a “beautiful practice”. He’s been on cloud 9 since. I am also going to continue incorporating new equipment and heavier weights into my workout. I’ve really started to fall in love with lifting. I think weight training has brought back some of the confidence I had when I was a dancer. I love being in awe of my own body’s capabilities.

I’m going to have confidence in my writing abilities. It doesn’t matter how creative I am if I am too afraid to write anything to share. I’m going to take control of my craft. I’ve been lazy with my writing lately but I am going to use my confidence in myself to really channel my emotions and create.

I’m going to take my confidence into the workplace. Asking for the resources I need. Contributing ideas with confidence. I am going to start taking complete control of my career. I’m going to be cautious about riding the line between confident and cocky.  

Being confident in myself is definitely going to lead me to my goal of love for the year and hopefully it will help me channel more creativity.

My end of summertime burnout is still here but I’m not going to let it stop me from trying to find love and creativity this year. I want to find confidence in my self love. I’ve been struggling with presenting myself with pride, confidence is definitely an act of self love.