Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January into February

Ok, really?  Is January already over?

Well, the Snowstorm of the Century is hitting us right now.

Here's a picture we took this morning... though it's really hard to tell just how high the snow is here. Oh, and it's still snowing!
Anyway, so onto my goals and such.
January was a great start.
My goals:
1.  Go to Jazzercise 4x a week average
2.  Spend 1 hour a week reconnecting with friends & family
3.  Spend 1 hour a week on hobbies
4.  Spend 2-4 hours a week on Career Advancement

I have to say the workouts are going the best.  I've gotten myself up to 4x a week of Jazzercise and last week I added running 7 miles to that total!  I'm thinking about running a 1/2 marathon in the spring, but beginning training in the winter is not easy (especially without treadmill backup).  Oh, and when it looks like this outside:
2.  Reconnecting with friends & family.  I guess I've spent 1 hour a week doing this, but not specifically going above & beyond to do so.  I'm going to try again next month, but won't hold myself to it TOO much, as maybe now isn't the best time to try to add too many new endeavors to my life.
3 & 4.  Hobbies & Career.  I'm going to say that I accomplished the time for these with all the wedding planning stuff I've been doing lately (which is coming along much better than before!).  Lots more to do, but it's getting there.  

For February I'm going to re-assess.  
1.  Continue with Jazzercise 4x a week average and add running (I've really been feeling AMAZING with all the workouts!)
2.  Reconnect with friends & family.  I'll continue this as I have been, and maybe send out more e-correspondences in the meantime.
3.  Hobbies.  I think I'll keep this 1 hour a week goal reserved for wedding planning.
4.  Career time, needs to happen.  Goal this month is to finish my portfolio and resume updates. 

So there it is.  February is going to be great (and short!), and I already have a TON planned for the month.
Maybe I should add to my goals to blog more?  

How are your goals going?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Can it all fit in one year?

This year is going to be great!  I've just had one of the best weeks ever!

I know I've mentioned my resolutions for this year, but I have some SUPER exciting activities happening as well!

May 2009 - Borough Market - London
Not only do I plan to GET BACK IN SHAPE (which is going well, btw), this year I will:
  • Visit two new countries!  (I should probably start studying languages)
  • Spend an amazing Spa weekend with my college roomies :)
  • GET MARRIED!!  And all of the fun planning stuff that goes with that!
  • Honeymoon in Hawaii (Thanks Oprah!)
Other things I'm hoping to do:
  • Get a new job
  • Learn a new language (see #1 above)
  • Finally flush out my Bucket List (which includes several of the above)
Making this weeks one of the best ever, we booked our tickets to aforementioned new countries (I'll get into that soon), I think I'm finally happy with where the wedding planning is going, and I've been really steady in my workout goal for the year.... soon I'll be able to fit in all my clothes again!
How was your week?  Any exciting plans for this year?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little behind

I know I'm a little behind on my weekly update post from last week, but I'm OK with that!  Glad you are, too :)

Last week was a great START.  I'm all about easing into new ambitions... especially when a long-term change is the goal.  

So here's the breakdown:
  • I made it to Jazzercise (my exercise of choice) twice last week.  Which is only halfway up to speed, but my goal is an AVERAGE of 4 times a week, so I figure I'll more than make up for it.... the plan this week is 5-6 times :) 
  • Healthy eating & meal planning went well.  However, I was out of town for the weekend, and definitely indulged....
  • I reconnected with my immediate family, had some AMAZING dinner conversations with my brother, fiancee, and folks, and really enjoyed spending time with one of my BFFs.
  • My main progress was in wedding planning!  We've been engaged since April 15, 2010, and had an original plan, but that ended up falling through.  I started a blog (Ben & Dorothy Nearlyweds), but I hadn't made any progress there or elsewhere.  Aside from tagging ideas that I liked, nothing much was happening.  Last week we met with a planner, we went to a bridal expo, scouted another location, I've researched wedding dresses, and tonight mom & I will meet with a second planner.  I still have a LONG way to go, but progress is happening!
Overall, I'd say, good week!  It has certainly revved me up for another (even better) week and I haven't burned out from overwhelming myself with too much change & structure.  YAY!
I've also been creating meal plans & weekly to do lists to keep myself on track.  Meals for this week include:
Breakfasts & Snacks:  Ginger-Pear Smoothies, Chocolate Oatmeal & Blueberry Yogurt, Clementine Sunflower Twist, Peppery Pear Crunch 

This is one of my favorite pictures from one of my favorite food & photography blogs:  The Edible Perspective

Lunches & Dinners:  Tuna Pecan Pasta,  Chicken Ginger Stir Fry, Black Bean Tacos, Soup & Salad of Ben's choice, a couple nights out.

All the recipes are from Cinch!  which was featured in Shape magazine this month.  The book is written by a Shape editor, Cynthia Sass, the same woman who wrote the Flat Belly Diet.  I'm not too familiar with her first book, but I checked out Cinch! from the library and am currently reading and deciding how in depth I'd like to go into the program.  It's interesting, the food/combinations are delicious, it seems like something that could be maintained over the long term, and I'm already feeling great while eating the more natural foods! 

Song/Artist I can't get enough of right now:  Ida Maria

What new songs or artists are you listening to right now?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Yeah Buddy!

I made the Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque as planned tonight.  It was...hmmm.  Well, it needed something (or had a little too much).  I guess that's what I get for quick, easy & healthy meals.  Ha.  I should stick to 2 out of those 3 :)
I'll still have it for lunches, I think I'll need to cut it down with some more water.  If I made this again, I'd probably add 1/2 the amount of peanut butter. Oh well.

Otherwise it's been a successful Pre-NYE week!  I made it to workout twice (which is still only halfway to the four times a week I'm going for, but I've got to ease in... right?  RIGHT?!)

Ok, ok.  So I have some work to do, BUT I did have one extreme success!  I finished a project I started on several weeks (months?) ago!  
 Oh yeah!  I bought a frame at Salvation Army, took the picture out, sanded & primed the frame.... and that's as far as I made it before stopping.
So Friday (since I only worked a half day), Ben & I finished it up!  We added the hooks along the bottom for necklaces, painted the whole thing (with the cool spray paint gun Ben bought me), then added the screen to hang earrings!
I love it.... though I've realized that I either need to buy more earrings, or find the ones I own.
Regardless, now I have a place to put all my jewelery!  I'd say that's a success at finishing something I've started :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Meal Planning is for Nerds

Well, maybe meal planning isn't really for nerds... not sure how you could over-generalize the population of people who take on the task of meal planning.  Regardless, this is something I'd like to get into more in the coming year.  Along with tackling my aforementioned goals of 2011, I'd really like to be better organized in the kitchen.  
In the Fall of 2010, I took on a huge task.  Along with my regular full-time job (which I'll get into later), I thought I should try my hand at teaching.  I taught two Interior Design classes at Scott Community College.  While I really loved it, it was way too much to do on top of another job, I had no time to get anything else in my life in order, and I basically felt in complete disarray throughout the end of summer and fall.  I chalk it up to an excellent lesson.  I learned that I really enjoy teaching, and will keep it in my arsenal for future endeavors, but tackling something so huge really wears on my overall health & sanity.
My fiancee and I love to cook together.  In fact, I think I fell in love with him in the kitchen.  I guess.  I don't know... I do know that I miss spending time with him in the kitch.  Also, I've been tagging millions of recipes that I want to try.  Get to it already!  My main focus is to make sure I have lunches ready in advance that are healthy, balanced, and aren't pre-packaged messes!  But I also want to tackle some dinner recipes I've been eying as well, perhaps with a Ben & Dorothy amp-up.  I mean, how good does this from Fork Spoon Knife look?!

OMG for realz!
So to get started, I'm tackling this thing one week at a time.  I've organized some recipes & meals for the week of January 3 - 9.  Though we'll be out of town this weekend, so it's a short-planning week (definitely a good one to start on).

Breakfast options:  Green Monster Smoothie, Oatmeal, Curreal & Fruit... always with a cup of coffee on the side

Lunch options:
Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque:  Eating Well
  • Egg Salad - I have a bunch of eggs that need to be used, so this will be a great option for several days.  I think I'll have this on top of some salad greens, alongside a grapefruit, with 1/2 a whole wheat english muffin?
  • Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque - I love hot meals, and soup is perfect!  I can make a big pot on Sunday or Monday (for dinner) and eat throughout the week for lunch!  I'll eat this alongside a salad with vinagerette as the recipe suggests.  Love it!
So you may notice that both of these are from Eating Well.  That was the website that really spurred the desire to get back to meal planning, we'll likely be seeing lots more from them in the coming weeks (assuming these two recipes are winners)!

  • Monday can be Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque  I'll probably serve this along side some type of protein for the Man's sake.
  • Tuesday I have a haircut appointment which happens to be right next door to my favorite falafel place ;)
  • Wednesday we go out to dinner with my folks.
  • Thursday - fridge scavenge.  Update to come
  • Friday - Sunday we'll be out of town! 
That was easy, heh.  But like I said, I want to make sure I'll have lunches ready to go & well thought out (stop grabbing a package of Ramen... have you looked at the sodium... yes).  
Awesome.  I'll update with the results of the meal plan week! :)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Reward Zone

I generalized my 2011 goals in the last post, but I also should mention that I'm all about rewards!  It's not like I just love shopping & spending money on myself... it's actually quite the opposite.  I have no trouble purchasing food, or necessary items... I love buying gifts for others ('specially at Christmastime), but I'm really good at rationalizing myself out of getting anything for little ole me!  And sometimes, as a result, I start to get bothered by this fact.  
That said, I love setting goals and giving myself rewards.  I set up savings accounts for big purchases, because I think it feels so satisfying to be able to purchase something when I have the cash for it

A few things I keep in mind when I come up with rewards for myself:
  • I can't reward myself with food, because I'm already indulgent enough.
  • I like to set a dollar amount for each goal.  When I meet that goal, I save that amount of dollas until I can afford my desired reward.  
  • Clothes are great rewards for exercise & weight loss goals, as I always need new clothes, and it's more fun to buy clothes when I feel great!
I'm sure there are more, but that's good enough to start.  
I'm going to save $5 a week for each week that I achieve all my goals.  I may decide to increase after a certain point, but we'll see.  I work on a Monday - Sunday week for tracking, so at the end/beginning of each week, I'll track with an update!

For a little teaser, here's the reward I'm going for first (approx. 6 weeks).

This is the coordinating print to one I received for Christmas from my lovely friend.  Available here.

Isn't it awesome?!  That outta keep me going :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Getting Ready to Kick off a New Year!

I LOVE reading blogs, and have attempted to start my own, but I'd really like this to be more of a journal to myself.  Maybe I'll spread the word of the blog (if I can manage to keep it up).  Maybe I won't.  But I really want to keep myself accountable! 
I've figured out my goals for 2011, along with some big life changes (wedding), this is going to be a BIG year, and I'd love to keep track of it to reflect back!
Without further ado... here is my list of goals for 2011:
  • Jazzercise an average of 4x a week.  I've worked out the math, and this will put me at 150 classes mid September, just in time for an October wedding & honeymoon!  A few years ago, I was the Jazzer-nazi (as my friend & mom so lovingly put it), and I was a powerhouse.  I FELT GREAT!  I want to feel that way again (and fit into my clothes better).  This is the best way I know how!
Inspiration College (2008)
  • Spend 1 hour a week reconnecting with friends & family.  And by this I mean specifically going out of my way, mindfully, reconnecting.  I read about this idea on another blog (in the comments), and it really hit home with me.  I always mean to keep in better touch with my friends from college, family out East, etc, but never make the effort to do so... then it feels like we need a several hour long conversation to fully catch up.  So this year, I'm going to set a time every week and make some phone calls, write some emails, send Grandma a letter, etc.  While facebook is great for stalking people and 'feeling' like you're in touch, it's just not the same.  
  • Spend 1 hour a week on hobbies.  I have a list a mile long of craft, DIY, organizational, etc. projects that I want to do, and though 1 hour a week may not seem like enough to tackle this list, I think just making the conscious decision to get started will spur much more time spent on these endeavors.
  • 2 - 4 hours a week on career advancement.  Specifically on those tasks to find a new J-O-B.  I'm at the perfect time in my career to move forward... I just need to search out and get to the point where I'm doing just that.  I've already updated my resume, and now it's on to portfolio.  I'll even track my progress on portfolio here to keep myself accountable!  
Along with those specific goals, I'd like to take more pictures (I figure the keeping myself accountable for the blog will help), and be more mindful in day-to-day life.  Reflecting at the end (or beginning or middle) of a day will really help me with this.  I want to create a bucket list, as well as shorter term goals.  

Here's to a GREAT year in (and of) advance!