I’m a Gamer

Okay, so I lied. I am not a huge gamer, especially when it comes to single player games, but recently I’ve fallen in love with Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee! on the Nintendo Switch.

As I mentioned before, I’m not good at playing alone. If I am going to do a solitary activity it is usually passive. My favorite solitary activities are reading, taking baths, watching Youtube and scrolling through Instagram when I should be doing something else. Doing something interactive with a computer is not usually my jam I would much rather hang with humans (or Herman).  

Normally, when I play video games I get stressed. The gamer life is not ideal for my anxiety ridden self. Having to make real time decisions in a virtual world is overwhelming; isn’t it bad enough we have to do that in reality? As a pacifist in reality and virtual realities, I would much rather watch someone play a fighting game then play it myself.

But lately, this has all changed. I’ve become a Pokémon addict (dare I say, MASTER). Granted, I think a lot of my enjoyment comes from the sense of nostalgia since I loved watching the show as a child. But within DAYS of purchasing the game I had spent well over 24 hours with my Eevee. In true gamer style I struggled to put it down. I managed to find the game relaxing, entertaining and methodical much like the old Pokémon games we all played on Nintendo

What makes this game so calming to me is that battles are all turn based, meaning that I have time to plan my next move instead of just pressing random buttons and hoping I manage to hit my opponent. I find the story, especially the time spent exploring the cities and talking to other characters, engaging and exciting. My favorite part of the game is going on mini adventures to help townspeople in the places my Eevee and I visit.

There’s also a charming method to the game. In every city Eevee and I visit, we explore, go to the Pokémon gym and get a new Pokémon. The method to completing the game is very intuitive and it is literally impossible to do it wrong.My favorite aspect is that you can PET YOUR EVEE and it will give you presents. It’s like having a tamagotchi that doesn’t need to be fed or a furby that doesn’t yell at you to rock it to sleep in the middle of the night. I named my Eevee Herman, after our dear sweet corgi boy, and nothing brings me more joy than simultaneously petting Herman irl and Herman the Eevee at the same time.I will note that this game is designed for children which makes it the most fun for adults like myself who are not well versed in the video game tricks.

I am absolutely loving this game and struggle to put it down each night. I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to try video games but isn’t ready for something fast paced. If you’re in possession of a Nintendo Switch and want something mellow and enjoyable give this a try and let me know what you think. Now I got to go, Herman needs some virtual pets!

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.

Resolutions

Setting my goals for 2019 has allowed me to reflect on the last four years and how much my life has changed. My first couple years as a fully functioning college graduate were exhausting. In 2015-2016 I had no idea what I was doing or how anyone got to the point where they did not dread going to work everyday. I had no idea what I enjoyed or even who I was. I did not physically or mentally recognize myself. So in late 2016 my cousin and I started this blog and I thought of the project as an adventure to find something that brought me joy. My blogging partner restructured her priorities early 2017 so I decided to keep the platform and use it as a way to keep myself accountable for my 2017 goals of love and creativity as well as write about whatever the fuck I felt like that week. I desperately needed structure and to focus on myself so as part of my new year’s resolution in 2017 I set myself monthly goals and documented them here.

Flash forward to today and I am in a much better place. I live in a city that I love, with the same boy that I love and our baby boy that we love obsessively (please don’t tell him he’s a dog, he has no idea!) I’m more confident (thank you Sarah Knight for the Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck), I’m capable of so much more love, and I am insanely grateful for the hard work I have put in to be in this happier and healthier position.

In 2018 I set myself the goals of exercising frequently (done), meditating daily (I still missed days throughout the year but I definitely solidified the habit), reading and writing more (highly recommend this goal to anyone who is a former bibliophile looking for some joy in their lives), and living at my own pace with intention (a work in progress but it triggered a lot of self reflection and growth). Last January I specifically set myself the goal of finding new doctors in the city and completing the YWA January yoga challenge. I am happy to report that I now have a doctor for every aspect of my life and I am ecstatic to begin another YWA January yoga challenge this Tuesday.

I spent the last part of this year ruminating in the growth. I cultivated for myself being grateful for all of my progress and now I am ready for fresh goals and new breakthroughs as well as maintaining my progress. Ready for my newest goals?

In 2019 I want to:

  • Be present and patient with myself and others.
  • Shut down my chronic imposter syndrome and self doubt.
  • Continue my self care through the gym, yummy food, yoga, and meditation.
  • Continue working on non-career related milestones like reading, writing, dancing, tumbling, and community service. (Please sound off in the comments or DM the insta with any suggestions on this!)
  • Learn conversational Spanish.

The last one may be ambitious but what’s life without a challenge! Are you ready for the new year? Leave some of your goals in the comments!

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!

But Really Though Tries- Pilates with the Reformer

While visiting B’s family in Southern California for Christmas (a fate I would not wish upon my enemies WHERE ARE THE SEASONS SOCAL?) we were invited to try a Pilates Mix class on Christmas Eve. I jumped on this opportunity because I have always wanted to play with the pilates machine (formally known as the REFORMER, sounds scary doesn’t it?). Prior to this, my only pilates experience has been through Cassey Ho or the tragic time my mother asked me to help her with WindsorPilates at home VHS (she still hasn’t forgiven me for taking her request to straighten her leg so literally). So you could say I was walking into the class blind.

The studio was doing a free 8 class pass so we bought the passes online (for a $5 initiation fee smh) which seemed reasonable enough if you were a local and able to use the pass in its entirety. Pilates rule number one is apparently that you have to wear weird little toe socks so I borrowed a pair. After we got set up, we set foot (well butt actually) on the reformer. The reformer is the most fun I’ve ever had using a machine in the fitness world. It may look intimidating but it’s really just a flat slide. The machine itself is a lot of fun and seems like it would lend itself to some crazy intense workouts.

The instructor was nice but it kind of felt like she was phoning the class in (in her defense it was Christmas Eve and she probably pulled the short straw to be there). Usually, when I try a new fitness class the instructor spends some time asking about fitness levels and explaining the machine but she had us just hop right on.

Even though I was most excited to try the reformer, my favorite part of the class was actually with a different piece of equipment called a springboard. This is literally just a board on a wall with numbers and springs to use for resistance. See image for a better idea of what it is and how it works.

Unfortunately for B and I the class we chose was a little calmer than the usual pilates class. We left with tight cores but definitely not sore. It was a lot of fun, but it was only 50 minutes which wasn’t enough time to work up a sweat with the movements chosen for that class. I would definitely take the class again but I would probably try for a different instructor or a different style of pilates. I like my workout classes to feel like they kicked my butt.

Have you ever tried pilates? What are your thoughts on the reformer? Do you think I can by a springboard somewhere? Let me know!

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!