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! 

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.

Why I Blog & Reaching my Goals

I decided to start this blog with Kate last year and after months of prep and page designing we made it live. Originally, I blogged to make Kate laugh but now I blog to keep myself going with my goals (and hopefully still make Kate laugh).

A huge motivator for my consistency with this blog is keeping me honest about my progress of my goals this year. Truth be told, if I wasn’t sharing all of this information on the internet there is no way I would have ever started my morning routine that I do with B. I would still be BFF’s with Dominos and my flirtations with Taco Bell would be beyond mild.

I also happen to find this process of writing, editing and posting really fun, but without my monthly goals as motivation I don’t think I would have been as consistent as I have been. Lately I’ve been thinking more about why I decided to take this route and what I have learned on my goal setting journey. I wanted to share some of my goal setting tips, successes and failures with you.

StockSnap_TBJ9OPDGMK
My to-do lists never look this organized
First thing I want to address is why I took this to the internet. Sure, in January I could have written down my goals like everyone else and told myself I was going to work on my love and creativity but I’ve been down that road before and it’s never ended well. I needed adult supervision, but I was the adult..so my inner Rory came out and I made a list of ways to be accountable. Sharing everything online seemed like the easiest and blogging about it seemed like the ideal way to keep my Facebook friends from hating me. By spending the time each month to write about what I have done and plan to do I’m force to keep myself accountable.

Another key factor is “the rules are there ain’t no rules” (Grease for all those who live under a damn rock). I set guidelines instead. It is so easy to derail if you are counting every mistake as a failure instead of an opportunity to reroute. I always try to remind my perfectionist brain that it is “progress not perfection”.  This is another action that is easier said than done but I think a healthy relationship with meditation is key for this. The guided meditations that I do always remind me to come back to this moment, bring myself back in from where my thoughts trickled off to. Mistakes happen, life happens, sometimes you fall completely off your morning routine for a week or two…it doesn’t mean you can’t get back into it and it doesn’t mean you have failed your goals.

 I also decided to break the process down month by month. I prefer concise instructions in my life so I needed to give them to myself. This has been essential to my success. Instead of throwing the broad goal of creativity at myself with no guidance I break down the process to love and creativity. It is very easy to say I am going to treat everyone around me with loving kindness but without breaking it down how am I going to practice it? My monthly goals allow me to focus all of my attention on forming a healthy habit (which takes 21 days) and to then try to integrate it into the rest of my life.

 The ability to refocus my goals every month has been a HUGE help to getting where I am. At the end of every month I think over everything I’ve accomplished and rework my goals for the next month so that I am continuing down the path I want to be on. When I feel like I’m not making fast enough progress I stop and review everything I’ve done.

For example, I wanted to grow in creativity in movement and be confident about it in May and by the end of the month (and with a lot of help from Kate) I have conquered the headstand…my biggest yoga fear! Now that I know I can do this move without breaking my neck for June I can take the confidence from mastering this pose to the next move I want to add to my yoga tool kit or into my work/personal life off the mat.

This blog has given me an outlet to celebrate my victories each month. In January I did yoga everyday, in March I started running in the mornings, in April I spent more time with myself, making my current habits permanent and evaluating what I wanted out of this process and now in May I have begun truly working on my creativity. I’m beyond excited to see where my life will take me with this .

What’s my professional (Read: Amateur) advice on goal setting? Make your goals achievable and if they seem to hard, just change them don’t quit on them.

Do not try to start in the middle, this will not work and you will burn out or get discouraged.

Make your goals fun (coloring and yoga are fun af). Always reward yourself for getting shit done and getting closer to your goal (that’s my excuse for spending too much money on workout clothes and shoes).

If you need someone to celebrate your victories with you, big or small, I’m here.

Cultivating Creativity in May

How the f&*k is it already May?!

May

I spent April trying to take stock of what I’ve done to achieve my goals this year (more on this next week). So far this year I have taken action (March), listened to learn (February) and practiced self love and gratitude (January) – all for the goal of cultivating love and creativity.

Now that I have spent time cultivating love for myself through working out, reading more and spending more time appreciating my body through yoga I can feel my creative energy flowing back through my body.

Creativity is something I want to incorporate into every aspect of my life.

I’ve been practicing creativity in my motions by freestyling some of my stretches (using a mixture of my dancer, gymnast and yogi skills) but I plan to take this further. I am going to relearn old dance and gym skills, come into new yoga poses and trust my body to take me on its own journey by turning one or two of my weekly yogas into freestyle.

Along with using my moves for creativity I want to bring more creativity to my writing. Now that I have made it a habit of posting on here weekly, I am going to add a bit more writing to my plate and start setting aside time for creative writing. While I plan on doing this as consistently as I work on this blog I want to take a different approach to my creative writing routine.

For my blog if I don’t feel like writing on a designated writing day, I do a little editing and move on..but for my creative writing I want to accomplish something small everyday that I sit down to write. I plan to sit down to write for at least 30 mins every writing session and see what shows up on the page. I’m allowing myself to do any writing I would like as long as it is outside of my normal blogging zone. Some ideas for this are developing characters, outlining plots, working on some poetry, and writing short stories. If I hit a creative wall I am going to use creative writing prompts I found on Google.

The hardest part of this for me is going to be getting started and not getting hung up on creating something perfect. I struggle with fiction because I want the plot to be perfect, I want the characters to feel real and I want everything to give me the same feelings I got while reading Matilda or Harry Potter for the first time. As a reader I am a harsh critic so I expect the same level of criticism from my potential readers. I want to create something I am proud of…but first I need to just create something. You may not see the fruits of my writing labors for a while (or ever) but I am excited to start this creative journey. I think the most important part of this creative process is getting started and letting the need to be perfect go.

On the days when I cannot muster up the energy to write I plan to do something that stimulates my brain instead. I love doing the crossword in my local newspaper, working on puzzles or coloring in one of my many adult coloring books. If the simple act of coloring seems too hard I will read one of my favorite books and meditate on passages I love for inspiration.

This goal is a big, broad step on my road to creativity. I think the rest and reflection I took in April has reenergized me on my path to love and creativity. I am very excited to see what comes out of this month.

As always, I will keep you updated on my progress!

How are you doing on your goals for the year? Don’t forget to take time to reflect on how far you have come!