Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Resolutions: Create a scene in 2016

My parents started created a rhyme to live by for the year in question rather than making resolutions. I've decided to "create a scene" this year. Maybe a little of that, too. I usually have a heap of resolutions, and am actually pretty good at keeping them. Last year's went particularly well.  But this year I'm opting for a different approach.

I'll be focusing my many resolutions into monthly challenges so that I can give more attention to each challenge individually rather than trying to stick to 20 resolutions at once. I'm also hoping this might help me build these goals into habits as well. I'm aware it may take longer than 21 days or longer than a month to build a habit, but within a month I'm fairly confident I can tell if a habit is going to be one I'd like to stick to as well. I haven't assigned specific months to my challenges yet, mostly to give myself flexibility on "what I'm in the mood to work on."

My focus months:

  • Decluttering: I'll be starting here, piggy-backing on December's momentum since reading  Marie Kondo's best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I'll write a post when I make some progress. In addition to this, I won't be shopping this month to make sure I don't invite more clutter into my house before I know what I really need (obviously this excludes groceries, gas, birthday presents, and the like). 
  • Art - The plan is to do art every day for a month. There's no limit to what "art" means - drawing, doodling, mindfully photographing, painting, crafting all count. A stronger focus on drawing, mostly so I can have a drawing journal full of cool stuff by the end of it. The goals? To become more observant of art opportunities every day, to clear space for art in my life - physical and temporal, and to tickle my creative bone every day. Carry (minimal) art supplies with me so that I can do art when/where I'm inspired.
  • Writing - Finish my novel. It doesn't have to be polished, but there has to be a story from start to finish. NaNoWriMo was a huge accomplishment for my writing self in 2015, and while I "won" with 50,000 words, I still want to finish the novel itself. Write 4 new poems (one a week), playing around with different styles or devices. Write one short story. 
  • Mindfulness - Keep a Five Minute Journal every day for 30 days. I stumbled across the Five Minute Journal this past year, and it really helped me keep things in perspective, especially in building gratitude, self-awareness, and positivity. Other goals within this goal: yoga & meditation. It's a bit of a time commitment, so I won't hold myself to it, but I'd like to try 30-Day Yoga Camp with Adriene.  
  • Fitness - Log into MyFitnessPal for 30 days. Get to the gym or play soccer at least 3 times a week. For one week, walk for 15 minutes each day on lunch. Might try this in April or May just as it's starting to get warm and beautiful. At the end of the month, go to the doctor and get you
  • Learning Spanish - I know I've said this for so long, but I am more motivated to do this than before now that I've started using It's easy to stay on track, and you go through short modules that hit on different skills and words. It's like playing a game! Basically, if I can just do this at least 21 times in one month (preferably every day, but let's be realistic), then I think I'll make significant strides. My goal is to be at least 75% fluent in Spanish according to Duolingo's measurements. I'm currently at 41% (HA!). What I'd most like to be able to do is get the basics down so that I can confidently-enough talk to Spanish-speaking families at the library.
Do you get the "create a scene" part yet? I'm actually going to be decluttering, painting, and writing scenes. 


My overseers on this project will be my own fear of failure, my friends and family (read: you), AND my handy-dandy Coach Me app. I started using this about a year ago (when it was called Lift). It's basically a habit-building app, where you "check in" to habits that you set for yourself. It keeps stats for how often you've done something, and you can set yourself goals for how often you want to do something, and reminders to notify you, too. My favorite part? People can ask questions and get support from other users, and the community is so positive and affirming, it's hard not to be motivated.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Staycation Makeover

I'll be honest, I've never liked the idea of a staycation before. My time off is sacred, so why would I spend my time bumming around my own dumb house? But with not a lot of money and zero planning on our side, I was pretty worried that we were going to have a lame week off.  Now, I do know how to appreciate the calmer side of life, and enjoy the fine art of relaxing. BUT I also know that without plans, I'll fritter away the free time that I have and then berate myself for it later. So how to make a staycation fun?
  1. Step up. Stop thinking of all the stuff that will make this not work. Shut up and think about how cool this can be.
  2. Plan it. Create a list of things that you can feasibly do within a day's drive. Zoos, aquariums, hikes, National parks, museums, historic places, theaters, wineries, breweries, theme parks, classes, etc. Create a list of things you'd like to accomplish for yourself that you don't normally get time to do - write, try that new restaurant, read that book, do some art, etc. Build in time to chill - go to the pool, the beach, take a nap. Do not play Candy Crush. Unplug for a bit. And don't forget to
  4. Do it. This is the important part. 

How it went: 

With very little planning - I'm pretty sure we decided the first Monday of our week off- we made  it happen.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Decorating Fever

I'll admit, I was drawn to the title.
I've been hit hard with decorating fever. After looking for houses with my husband in earnest for a few months, and then having to put the entire operation on hold, I decided that the best thing to do was buck up, and make the most of the space I have.

And oh, how I've researched. I'm not the kind of person who considers herself a trendsetter, or someone people look to for style. I will never write a style blog about what I'm wearing, how to wear things, or how to decorate or organize your house. I absolutely will be one of those people who frequents those blogs with the passion of a cat chasing a laser beam. And Pinterest. Dear God. So many late nights spend cuddling with my laptop in the corner of the couch -

Pin, pin, pin. 
Pin, pin, pin.
"Whoa, such a cool idea..."
Pin, pin, pin.

[5 hours later]