My Goals for March

WOW, February was a tough month!  4 major snowstorms dumping about 7 FEET of snow.  Let’s hope that is the end of it!  2015-01-27 14.10.29

These snowbanks will be here for quite a while!  my poor doggie has all but given up trying to go outside!  To give you some perspective, in the background, behind the gigantic snow bank you can see my second floor windows!

But, moving on, as February ends it is time to review my February goals and see how I did. As you may recall, this year I am setting monthly goals or resolutions rather than making a big list of New Year’s Resolutions so that I can actually tackle them one by one.  Hopefully the good habits I’m forming (and bad ones I’m breaking) carry over to future months and by the end of the year I will have a list of positive habits I’ve developed and negative habits I’ve broken.

So far in 2015, my goals have been:

January Goals:

  • Drink 5, 12 oz glasses of water daily — I believe I’ve achieved this at least 80% of the time; I need to keep working on this).
  •  Stop Procrastinating! — I am doing good with this one, getting to things right away rather than leaving them “for later”

February Goals:

  • Go to the gym 3x per week — DONE!  I did it!  There was a week or two when I didn’t’ think I’d get my 3 times in, and I wanted to say, “shoveling counts”!  But I did get my weight training in, and I really enjoyed it and even better, greatly improved my work load (weight x reps x sets).
  • No Extra Spending — Also done!  While I did spend a lot of money (on a planned vacation, and on excess snow removal), I didn’t spend frivolously, I cut down on lattes, didn’t buy and clothes or shoes and managed to stay away from stores in general (perhaps the excess snow helped here!)

So now the trick is to continue with these resolutions and add in some for March.  I am going to amend the gym 3x/week as I need to start adding back in some running and yoga, and so I am going to resolve to exercise 4-5 times per week and include running, yoga and weight training.

March Goals:

  • Positive Habit:  Blog 3x per week.  I actually have 2 blogs, this one and my professional blog which focuses on communication, marketing and social media.  Feel free to check it out!  My goal is to post twice a week here and once a week on the other.  Since it is already Friday and I have only written this post, you will be hearing from me again soon!
  • Negative Habit: Be Less Judgmental, or put more positively, Be More Open Minded to new things, new ideas, new people, new ways of doing things, etc.! I really like this quote from Walt Witman and will strive to live by it!

February!

Happy February…Rabbit…for whatever reason it is we say rabbit on the first of the month.  More importantly, Happy Super Bowl Day (Go Pats!).

Even more importantly, it is the start of a new month and time for a new resolution.  This year, rather than make a bunch of resolutions in January and scrambling to achieve them all at once,  I decided to make one big resolution for the year and then make two monthly ones that I could work on for 30 days to form into positive habits and break negative habits.  January’s resolutions were to

Positive Habit to embrace: Drink 5 12 oz glasses of water a day

I’m doing great with this one!  I actually crave water now if I don’t have a glass in my hand. There are so many important health reasons to drink water: more energy, better digestion, better skin, etc.  but I must admit, the water has made those “wine headaches” stop.  Woo Hoo, now I can enjoy 2 glasses of wine again.  Stay Hydrated my friends!

Negative Habit to change: Stop Procrastinating

While this resolution isn’t easily measurable, I have definitely procrastinated less this month. Several times, I’d look at something that needed to be done and was about to put it off when the little voice in my head (yes I admit, I have those) said,  “Don’t procrastinate” and so I got up and did it!

While I will continue to encompass these two resolutions, I have added a positive and negative one for February:

With a ski trip coming up at the end of the month, my positive resolution is to:

GO TO THE GYM 3 TIMES A WEEK.  No Excuses.  Regardless of what other exercise I do, (yoga, running), I am going to get to the gym for some serious weight training at least 3 times a week.

As for the negative habit, I am resolving:

NO EXTRA SPENDING THIS MONTH!  I finished paying off the Christmas bills, and again I have an (expensive) trip coming up, and for various reasons, my income is taking a big hit this year and so I am resolving to curtail spending on extras.  No shopping for clothes, shoes, makeup, things for the house, electronics, etc.

Here goes, wish me luck!

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

As I am bordering on compulsive when it comes to list making, I thought I’d mix things up a bit this year and NOT make a long list of New Year’s Resolutions.

Instead, I am going to make one overarching Resolution this year.  This one came from my daughter who suggested that I learn to play what she has called, The Suggestion Game.  Simply put, rather than keep making the same suggestions over and over to people, make it once.  That’s it.  As long as the persons isn’t deaf, they have heard the suggestion and can either take it or not, as the choose.  They can also ask for clarification if they need it and so there is no need for me assume they don’t understand and repeat the suggestion in different ways.  This is going to be a tough one for me!

Additionally I will make two resolutions each month focused on habits, one good and one bad.  They say that it takes 21 days (3 weeks) to form or break habit.  Let’s see if I can form one good habit and break one bad habit each month.

Here goes…

January

Positive Habit to Grow:

glass-of-water

Drink at least five, 12 ounce glasses of water each day.

 

 

 

Negative Habit to discourage:

When something needs to be done, do it…don’t procrastinate.

As a matter of fact, that might be a good theme for the year, Do It Now!

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Resolution Final Update

As 2014 is drawing to a close, I wanted to take one more look at my 2014 Resolutions.  Some I gave up on or “adjusted” as the year went on, but let’ see how I fared.  I’ve crossed off the ones I have accomplished:

  • Learn the basics of coding and learn to build a website either through an on-line tutorial or through a physical class — NOPE
  • Post at least twice a month on my professional blog, Grace’s Rantings  — Didn’t quite make this one, on 7 posts ALL YEAR!! 
  • Update my website DONE!
  • Train my new puppy — Who knew this was going to be so hard, we are sooo close!!!
  • Paint my downstairs bathroom DONE!
  • Paint my basement steps DONE!
  • Visit with my (grown) children at least every 6 weeks — not quite this frequently, but I did see them a lot during the year
  • Take Kelsey to NYC over the holidays –– adjusted this resolution to schedule a ski trip once I realized how EXPENSIVE the NYC trip would be!
  • Get together with at least 2 friends each month I love completing this one!
  • Write 52 letters in 52 weeks.Well I sent way more than 52 letters/cards, but not necessarily one a week!
  • Exercise a minimum of 3 times a week, preferably more!  HA!
  • Move my dumbbell weights up  from the basement and do at least 4 sets one exercise them daily! I got them upstairs….
  • Participate in the annual Yoga Mala
  • Run a 5k in under 24 minutes and/or a 10k in under 50 minutes Ran 2 5K’s in under an 8 minute mile which is what I really meant!
  • Run a 10 miler or half marathon in 2014  Ran a 10 miler!
  • Bench Press 4 reps at 75 lbs Going to the gym would help with this one!
  • Continue to eat a vegan diet, be more diligent about processed foods and restaurant food DONE
  • Continue to cut out (or at least cut down on) use of plastic DONE
  • Floss my teeth daily DAILY??? What was I thinking?  I did floss a lot but not quite daily
  • Don’t fret over or complain about issues; either act to change it or accept it Yeah, good idea…maybe next year
  • Be grateful every day, keep a gratitude journal! I am very grateful for so many things in my life, but journaling just isn’t my thing.
  • Study more about the Law of Attraction and other philosophies Working on it.
  • Meditate daily Yeah, another good one to carry over
  • See all the movies nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture — I saw quite a few, but not all — Wolf of Wall Street, Monuments Men, Nebraska, Osage County 
  • Consistently blog 2-3 times per week on personal blog. I did a lot of blogging, but then I got very, very busy with work and sort of fell off, but I will keep blogging on!
  • Finish Kelsey’s High School scrapbook (she graduated in 2007!) OK, next year!
  • Organize my vegan recipe book Done
  • Clean out unused items around the house (electronics, food, kitchen gadgets, make-up) DONE

Hmmm, not great, but not bad!  Here’s to 2015

One Last Chance to meet those 2014 Goals and Resolutions

I’m not so sure that I will make New Year’s Resolutions next year.  I think perhaps I am a little bit OCD when it comes to making lists, categorizing things and tracking myself.  But, since I did make them this year I figured I would continue checking on my progress toward my goals.  I have met a lot of these, and I have adjusted some as the year has gone along.  So as we move into the final quarter of 2014, I thought it would be time to check in and see what has been accomplished and what I still want to get done this year!

Career Goals:

I planned to learn the basics of coding and learn to build a website — While I did complete a short online tutorial on basic HTML coding, I have not done anything further.  However, as my work has led me more and more into on-line advertising with AdWords and Facebook, and so I have shifted this goal from learning to build a website to learning all about digital advertising and I am working on becoming AdWords certified.

  • My goal is to complete (and pass) the Adwords Fundamentals and Display Advertising exams to become certified.

I also set a goal to update my professional website, and I am on my way to having that completed this year.  I have gotten mew photos taken, updated the copy and I am having it updated to be mobile friendly.  Hopefully once the new site is up and running I will also meet another resolution which was to:

  • Write at least 2 blog posts a month on my professional blog.

Home and Family:

working dogTraining my puppy has been a year long goal.  I think she is pretty much trained, but accidents happen!

I did do some work on the inside of my house this year.  I painted a bathroom and pained my basement steps.  Both projects came out great.

  • Now I have to sand the paint off of my outside steps and re-stain them before the winter

I always set a goal to visit with my (grown) children at least every 6 weeks — unfortunately, I haven’t seen them since June although we talk on the phone, e-mail and text often.  I do have a trip planned to their area in two weeks for a family wedding so that will be a fun visit, and I have made plans to spend Thanksgiving with them at my son’s house.

And I have planned (and almost paid for) a great ski trip with my kids for early next year.  I have booked the condo and the airline tickets and everyone is ready to go!

Friendships:

One resolution that I make and love completing is to get together with  at least 2 friends each month.  So far so good!  Since my last update at the beginning of July, I have gotten together with Jen, June and Diane, Cheryl, Colleen, Carolyn, Deb and Julie at that was just July.  August started out great as I spent a weekend with my old college roommates: Lynne and Cindy, with Rhonda, Jen and Caryl.  So far in September, I have gotten together with Trudy, and  AZ Reunion

I went to a reunion with 28 of my sorority sisters, most of whom I haven’t seen in a very, very long time!

Another way I like to keep in touch has been to set a goal 52 letters in 52 weeks.  I was going along great with this, but I didn’t send many cards or letters this summer, just two in early July.  But I did buy a pack of Halloween cards so I will be sending out at least 8 notes next month.

Health and Fitness:

I have done great with my fitness goals this year.  I have done a lot of running and road races this summer and I have been very please with my times.  I even met my goal of running a 5K at better than an 8:00 minute mile (just once, but I did it).  I always set a goal to finish in the top 10% in my age group and for the most part I achieve that! I even place in the top 3 (in my age group) at two races this year.

As I have been doing a lot of running, my yoga practice has fallen off this summer (as it typically does), but I will get back to it.  I have also started weight training again in preparation for the Seacoast Half Marathon in early November.

Hobbies, Leisure:

I like to set a goal to see all the movies nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture.  I must say that I wasn’t too excited about this year’s picks, but so far this year, I have seen:  America Hustle, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Osage County.  (I watched Last Vegas not that it was Academy Award material!)   I also re-watched Midnight in Paris and Dead Poets’ Society.  Really out of last year’s winners, the only others that interest me at all are Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, and Blue Jasmine

Two goals I have met are to organize my vegan recipe book (both on-line and in paper), as well as cleaning out unused things.  I have been good about getting rid of old make-up, miscellaneous electronics, kitchen gadgets and clothes.  As a new season is approaching, I will be clearing out more unworn clothes soon!

  • One goal that I haven’t gotten to yet is finishing my daughter’s High School scrapbook (she graduated in 2007).  I had set a goal to finish it by June, but maybe by December?  And, now that he has a house with some space, I will bring my son’s scrapbook(s) to him for him to keep!  (Thereby also meeting the previous goal of getting rid of things!)

Mental and Spiritual Health:

Well I really haven’t made any progress of these goals.  I still fret and complain about issues.  And while I am very, very grateful for everything in my life, I haven’t had any luck meditating or keeping a gratitude journal.  (I’ve never had any luck keeping any sort of journal.  It just seems silly to write this stuff down, and I wouldn’t want anyone to read it if I were to “depart”!).

everything in my life, I haven’t had any luck meditating or keeping a gratitude journal (I’ve never had any luck keeping any sort of journal.  It just seems silly to write this stuff down, and I wouldn’t want anyone to read it if I were to depart!).

Image by Tiverylack, courtesy of freedigitalphoto.com

Image by Tiverylack, courtesy of freedigitalphoto.com

  • However, it is never too late to start.  I should be able to simply spend 5-10 minutes a day in stillness and being grateful.

 

And lastly, I had also set a goal to ready and study more about philosophy, and I must admit, in preparation for writing this post, I purchased an audio lecture series on the philosophers and their teaching throughout history.  So far I have listened to the first 3 of the 60 lectures. These lectures series are great, they have them on a ton of topics ranging from fine arts to history to cooking to mathematics.  If you want to check them out here is the link.