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Starting 2012 Off Right!

2 Jan

Image Source: kabun

Hope everyone had an amazing New Years! Ours was extremely low key…dinner with the family and then home to watch The Change Up (hilarious!) and New Years’ Rockin’ Eve. New Years Day was spent cleaning up the holiday decorations and drowning myself a bit in computer time.

But on with my goals for 2012! Last year was the first year I consciously made an effort to make goals and put them out into the Universe (i.e. this blog) and it worked! I accomplished almost everything I set out to do!

So without further ado, here are my goals for an AWESOME 2012!

1.) Practice Yoga Regularly

I started to do this more regularly during the second half of this year and it has felt wonderful! The tricks to accomplish this goal include being willing to go to different gym locations in order to attend yoga classes, starting an at home practice, and/or investing in some sort of membership to a yoga studio.

I’m going to try to keep a note on my calendar of the days that I make it so I can track my progress.

2.) Read More

I’ve always love reading. SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) was my favorite part of school! You can see on my Kindle Reads page that I read 15 books last year. I would like to try to read at least 20 books in 2012. On my must read list include:

 Live Your Yoga – Judith Lasater

Image Source: Amazon

Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Image Source: Amazon

3.) Unplug

This goal is for me as much as The Hubs. I’m going to commit to not checking my phone while talking to The Hubs. This has been one of my worst habits since getting a Smartphone. I’m constantly checking Twitter or my Google Reader or Facebook and I get distracted from whatever he is saying. It really annoys him!

One of my goals is blog related (see #4), so I’m not going to be able to unplug completely. My plan is to set aside an hour a day to do anything computer related. I’ll discuss with The Hubs ahead of time so that perhaps he can pursue his own hobby (running or watching a horror movie on Netflix).

This is going to be one of the most difficult goals for me to tackle!

4.) Finish Projects

There are two projects that need to be finished in 2012 (at least for now…)!

The first is to make both sets of parents wedding albums. Two years and two months later and I still haven’t done it! I need to make this a priority this year.

I’ve heard awesome things about Blurb, so I think I’m going to use that site to create my books.

Photo Taken by Peters Photography

The second project also involves wedding pictures. We have ZERO up in our house, ZERO printed out.

When I saw this small hallway picture project Katie over at Bower Power did, I just knew I needed to duplicate it!

Source: bowerpowerblog.com via Jen on Pinterest

So far I have one frame that’s got nada in it. At least it’s a start though!

5.) Blog Related

I have a couple of goals for the blog this year.

First, I’m in the process of transitioning over to WordPress . The switch has been recommended by many and after seeing the smooth transition Amy over at Dandelion Paperweight had, I figured I would give it a shot. I’m still working on making the blog look the way I want it and adding a few things and I’ll make sure to let you know when when the move is complete, but you can already go ahead and update your Readers now since I plan on posting in both places during the transition. I hope you all will follow me over there as I think WordPress will allow me to connect better with each and every one of you through easy comment replies!

Second, I’d like to put myself out there with the posts I write. I have about 7 posts regarding my journey so far in trying to conceive, but I just haven’t hit publish yet. Perhaps I’ll put myself out there even more and apply to be a recurring blogger on popular blog. Or maybe just a guest post here or there.

This blog has been such a wonderful outlet that I want to do my best to keep up with it the whole of 2012!

6.) Travel

This goal worked out for me last year with our trip to Seattle, so I hope it works again in 2012!

We already have trips planed to Vegas for Garth Brooks and San Luis Obispo for my sister’s graduation.

Image Source: disneybrent

If we can swing it though, I’d like to take one more trip, perhaps to Chicago! I’ve been wanting to go to Chicago forever to visit a friend from grad school. It looks like a beautiful city and I’ve heard wonderful things about it!

Image Source: jarek69 & evelyn

I’m sure these goals may change and evolve as the year progresses (I may even get ambitious and make some new ones!), but for now this is a good start!

I’m sure I may come up with additional goals as the year evolves, but for now this is a good start!

What are your goals for 2012??

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2011 Goal Recap!

31 Dec

With the beginning of this blog, came the start of me consciously setting goals for myself for the year and attempting to actually follow through with them. You see, I’ve always set New Years Resolutions…in my head anyways, but by the time February or March rolls around, I’m one of those people who loses all motivation and lets the resolutions fall by the wayside.

So I dedicated a whole blog post to the goals I would like to accomplish for an AMAZING 2011. And let me tell you, I think that laying out these specific goals for myself (as well as another set of goals for work) and putting the intention of accomplishing them out into the Universe helped me to accomplish almost all of them!

Here’s a recap of how I did!

1.) Hire a Personal Trainer – ACCOMPLISHED!!
I cheated a bit with this one, as The Hubs helped me out by getting me 8 sessions last Christmas.  I really loved personal training. I totally got my butt kicked and found that my trainer worked me out WAY harder than I would have done by myself.  I became frienemies with the foam roller and kettle bell workouts.  But at the end of my 8 sessions, I ended up opting to not spend the significant amount of money that was required to keep up with it. At the time we were just starting our TTC journey and I didn’t want heavy workouts to influence anything (little did I know we’d still be on that journey a year later…). Maybe some day I’ll hire a trainer again, but for now I’m going to save the money and continue workouts on my own.

2.) Take a Trip – ACCOMPLISHED!!
So proud of myself for actually following through with this one. It was my intention to take a trip and my BIG idea was to go to Seattle (obviously as I used a picture of the Space Needle to highlight this goal!).  I overcame my fear of flying and actually traveled to Seattle where The Hubs and I had an amazing time and were able to take ACTUAL pictures of the Space Needle!

3.) Find 3 Mentors – A bit of a miss…
This was the one goal that I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked to.  I had good intentions of contacting a former coworker to discuss work/life balance, but didn’t really make the effort even though it would have been pretty easy, what with being Facebook friends and everything. I found a few blogs online where I connected with other female engineers including Tessa at Diary of a Working Mother who’ve I really enjoyed following and connecting with online (she’s a fellow SWEster too which makes it even better!). I think this is a goal that I need to carry  into 2012 and really really try to follow through with!

4.)  Take a Class – ACCOMPLISHED
Right at the beginning of the year, I took a meditation class which was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone, but SO worth it.  I then began to explore the mindfulness/body connection by taking yoga classes more regularly, including a Yoga for Fertility workshop.  I’ve really fallen in love with Yoga and think that it has been the one thing that really helped bring about somewhat more calm in my life.

5.) Buy Stuff – ACCOMPLISHED
I’m really proud of myself for this one. The one big thing I wanted to buy this year was a new TV console (again evidence of the picture in my original goal post!) and buy a new media stand we did! The Hubs and I absolutely LOVE it!

We bought a new shower head, which was a long time coming, and something The Hubs and I are enjoying immensely! (Can I say twice a day showers when there is time?? Not exactly environmentally friendly, but oh so relaxing!)

I bought a new glider for the front porch.

And we started the process of making new curtains… Key word is started… That is a project we NEED to finish in 2012!

Whew… I accomplished a lot in 2011 (which is why it was my “word” of 2011!)  and I have SO much to show for it! It makes me SO proud of myself!

I can’t wait to see what next year holds!

Did you set goals for 2011? 

How’d you do in accomplishing them??

January – Goal Update

1 Feb

Can you believe that January is already over? I sure can’t! Even though the work days seem to drag by, time still seems to be flying!

The last day of January seemed like the perfect time to reflect on how I’m progressing with the goals I’ve set for myself for 2011 (plus a few I added along the way) and also how I’m doing without the 11 things my life doesn’t need in 2011 (probably one of my favorite #reverb10 posts!).

Goals Accomplished!

Personal Training – A week or so ago, I finished the 8 personal training sessions The Hubs got me for Christmas. I had a really awesome time learning new workout skills and techniques. Even though I hated being pushed by the trainer while I was in a session, I always felt so accomplished afterward. When it came time to sign up again, the trainer was pretty hard core about getting me to continue, but the true cheap skate in my passed. I feel like I shouldn’t let money stop me in my training goals, but just the thought of dropping $600 – $1000 for a month or so of sessions is really hard for me… We’ll see where this goal goes for the rest of the year. For now, it’s transformed into a resolution to get into the gym 4-5 times a week and doing both cardio AND weights.

Take a Trip – Although we haven’t yet gone on or even planned a big trip for this year, I DID spontaneously plan a trip to San Luis Obispo this past weekend. It was a great way to unwind after what was a crap work week for me. It is amazing how even a short trip recharged my battery, even if it was only a little bit. I think it is probably the reason for me not coming into work today crying my eyes out (which happened pretty much every day last week!).

Avila Beach – Jan 2011

Take a Class – I took a meditation class in the beginning of the month, which I really enjoyed. I do however need to find more time to practice what I learned. I would like to take a class a month, if possible, so I need to start doing research into what classes are available in the topics I want to study.

Buy Stuff – The Hubs and I bought an area rug for the living room…a small step in the right direction (see before and after below). We still need curtains for the bedroom and a TV console, but research has begun in at least one of these areas.

Living Room – Before
Living Room – After
New Habits Started
Flossing! – I started flossing twice a day at the beginning of the year and I’m happy to report that the habit has stuck! I did skip over this past weekend since we were on vacation, but I got right back on the wagon last night and this morning. It is amazing how quick of a task flossing really is and how much cleaner your mouth feels after!
Making the Bed Daily – I had read on BlogHer awhile back about changing up your morning routine for a better day, so I thought I would start by making sure the bed was made every morning. It takes a little bit of extra time, but I have found that if I start making the bed, The Hubs will usually help out making the process a lot faster. I love that it makes the room look clean and less chaotic. I need to get a habit like this started in the kitchen by dealing with the dishes sooner rather than later!
I haven’t had soda all month! It has helped that we haven’t had any available, but I do know that The Hubs has some in his truck. I almost caved yesterday and had one, but stopped myself before I even had The Hubs go get it.
I have been fairly good about not using plastic bags at the grocery store. I’ve been better at remembering to bring in my reusable ones or I go back to the car to get them if I do forget. One hard part has been remembering a reusable bag when I go to the drug store or to the mall, places where I don’t normally bring them in. I ask for no bag when I have a few things that I can just carry to the car, but this is hard to do at the mall when a bag is necessary if you are going to continue shopping around. Plus, you don’t want people thinking you are stealing things. I’m not quite sure how to deal with this part of it yet…
Celebrity blogs are no longer on my blogroll, but I do occasionally peruse them when I need some mindless thing to do.
Cursing and harboring animosity are still things I’m working on getting rid of, as they are harder habits to break, but I have been trying to be more aware when I find myself doing either one of these things…

I’m still working on getting rid of the other 8 things. I either haven’t had time to get to them or they are substantially harder to do.

I am very proud of what I’ve done so far, although I still have a long way to go and quite a few goals to accomplish and things rid myself of for the rest of the year. Writing this has reminded me of what I want/need to accomplish to make my life brighter and to be a happier person (which is sometimes lacking these days…).
For those of you still reading this, thanks! I love that blogging makes me accountable to all of you for keeping on top of myself to continue growing and accomplishing!
How have all of you done on your resolutions/goals so far this year?

Goal Setting for an AMAZING 2011

1 Jan

Typically, as the first of the year rolls around close friends and family will ask me,”What’s your New Year’s Resolution?” I always respond with typical “New Year’s Resolution” answers and say “Worry and stress less. Live happier. Work out more.” I’ve found that even though I may really try to implement these resolutions into my life during the first few weeks of the year, as February and March roll around I’ve gotten back into my same old routine.

This year, I’ve decided to take a different approach.

For 2011, I am going to set specific, attainable goals, and BLOG about how I’m doing in achieving them so I’m held accountable. 

I’ve never been that much of a “Goal Setter”. Grant it, I had things I wanted to accomplish like get my Master’s Degree, get married, buy a house (all of which I accomplished over the past few years!), but these are all very generic and typical life milestone sorts of things. My goals for this year are going to be more specific and hopefully attainable.

So here are some goals I have for 2011, as we ring in the New Year:

1.) Hire a Personal Trainer
This is something that I have wanted to
do for a long time. Before I got engaged in February 2009, I told myself that when I got that ring, I would get a trainer. Well, that never happened! I always had some excuse like no time or wanting to save money. This year, there will be no excuses! The Hubs got me 8 personal training sessions for Christmas! (Love him!) I want to have a personal trainer because I want to be pushed. I want to see what I’m really capable of in the gym and I don’t think I can reach my full potential alone.

2.) Take a Trip – It is no secret that I’m afraid to fly. Like terrified. I’ve been on a plane only a handful of times (the furthest was to Vegas) and its usually a trying experience for me and whoever I’m sitting next to. Being afraid to fly really limits the places I can go and I HATE that. I’m also frugal, which doesn’t bode well for lengthy or far away excursions. This year though, The Hubs and I are going to take a trip – be it Seattle (where we’ve REALLY wanted to explore), Chicago (I really miss my friend Sophi!) or San Diego (BlogHer ’11 anyone??).

3.) Find 3 Mentors – In person or online, I’m looking for mentors who can help me find the answers to questions I’m having trouble finding the answers to. I want to establish connections with those who may have been in similar situations and see how they approached them. Some of the areas I would love to explore with a mentor include work/life balance, having a career and a family, and figuring out what my passions and how I can use them to make my life more fulfilled. Networking and maintaining relationships with those I meet are going to be big parts of accomplishing this goal. Finding a life coach may also fit in this category.

4.) Take a Class – Photography, Meditation, Cooking, Crafting – whatever. I love to learn new things! It’s one of the things that I KNOW I am passionate about. I believe that taking classes and continually learning will bring some much needed balance and happiness to my life. Added bonus, if I have classes scheduled in the evenings, I’ll be FORCED to leave work on time!

5.) Buy Stuff. Specifically, things for the house. We NEED to get a TV console to put the TV on and hide the hundreds of cords we have on the floor. I’ve also been thinking of getting some new lamps (for the living room and bedroom), curtains for the bedroom, furniture for in front of the living room window, an area rug for the living room, frames to put up pictures in the hallway, the list goes on and on. Indecision and being cheap have stopped me before, but not this year!

I think I’m going to try to do a similar goal setting exercise at work too. (My company isn’t big on specific goals, more like general “make more money for the company” goals, which really aren’t that helpful!)

Do you have any goals for 2011? How do you plan on achieving them?

Happy Goal Setting!

P.S. – After I wrote this post, I find an article on Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project about 5 Questions to Make Effective Resolutions. I think I did a pretty good job of addressing these questions without having even seen them! 🙂

Image credits: 24 Hour FitnessSeattle Luxury, Shutterstock, Noshzilla, Amazon

Day 28 – #Reverb10 – Achieve

28 Dec

Prompt: Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.
Author: Tara Sophia Mohr, The Women’s Seder Sourcebook: Rituals & Readings for Use at the Passover Seder; @tarasophia

Being an overachiever, I’ve already got a post scheduled for New Year’s Day on a few specific goals that I would like to accomplish in the coming year.

For this post though, I’m going to come up with a more far reaching achievement. One of those pie in the sky ideas (at least that’s how it feels) that I’d really like to work toward achieving….

I’d really like to become a less emotionally reactive person.

What does this mean exactly?

Well, it means remembering that if things do go wrong, not to freak out prematurely and to realize that everything WILL be OK. It means recognizing when I’m getting agitated or upset, breathing deeply, and really thinking about what my next step, emotion, or action will be. It means not constantly dwelling on every. single. worry. that pops into my head and having the feelings associated with worry creep into my daily moods. In general, I want to have more positive reactions to situations.

In doing this I imagine that I will feel LIGHTER (being emotional is hard work!) and hopefully HAPPIER.

What can I do to experience these feelings today?

1.) Just Breathe. (My mantra for the last 10+ years that I don’t always follow…)

2.) Don’t dwell on things that can’t be controlled.

3.) Be grateful.

4.) Exercise whenever negative emotions may be brewing (if possible).

5.) Get a big hug from The Hubs.

What thoughts can I think to experience these feelings today?

1.)  Am I reacting reasonably to this situation?

2.)  Things aren’t as bad as you think they are.

3.)  You have so many positive people and things in your life. Remember this!

4.)  Believe in yourself! You will find a solution if something does go wrong.

5.)  Everything happens for a reason.

Image Credit: Heylovedc, spitfirelas

Merry Early Christmas to Us!

24 Dec

The Hubs got an early Christmas gift this year. A really really AWESOME gift!

HE PASSED HIS FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGINEERING EXAM!!!!

For those non-engineers out there, this is the first step toward becoming a Professional Engineer (PE).

It’s also a big deal since he worked so hard in the three months leading up to the test by studying every night and going to Exam Prep classes on the weekend. He sacrificed so much to accomplish this goal!

I’m so proud of him!

We’re having Christmas Eve with my family tonight, so be sure some big time CELEBRATING will be going on!

Day 21 – #Reverb10 – Future Self

22 Dec
Prompt: Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) 
  
(Side note – Check out Jenny Blake’s blog, it is a great source of career information from a young women who is SO very successful!


This is a very timely post as just yesterday I was thinking about writing a letter to my younger self. I was going through the blog archives of Kaileen (one of the #reverb10 founders) and found that her note to her younger self was featured on City Girl Lifestyle. I think that to give each “self” equal opportunity, I’m going to split them up into separate posts

This post will focus on advice my future self would give my current self for the year ahead…

Dear Current Jen,

As you enter 2011, know that everything is going to work out the way it is supposed to in the coming years. Don’t worry needlessly, over analyze, and over plan. Just take things as they come.

Work hard this year to achieve your personal and professional goals as the journey will be such a rewarding experience.

Don’t forget that most of the things you are worrying about right now, will be insignificant (and forgettable) in five years.

Cherish the important things…family and friends. Play with your children and pets.Working long hours will only cause burnout and will not necessarily help you advance your career.

Keep searching for your passion. Take steps in you professional life to align your passion with your career. You are a good worker and successful, take the necessary risks to find a way to make yourself happy professionally.

Maintain healthy habits including eating well, working out and taking care of your mental health. Take vacations as they are great way to recharge both physically and mentally!

Stay happy, just breathe, and remember to be thankful for all that you have!

Love,

Future Jen