To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

goals

July 2018 goals?

JessComment
FullSizeRender.jpg

This goals post is not a goals post—it's an "I need a break from goals" post.

I'm doing so many things to try to "get better," but my mood and emotions have been all over the place for the past month+, and I'm worn out. What if I just AM? Can I just BE for a month?

That's not to say that I'm going to stop therapy or anything radical like that. I love therapy! But I have three therapists at the moment, and three doctors that I’m working with, plus yoga and dance, and I just don't feel like I can handle anything else on top of all that right now. So, a little break.

In other news, I did get my hormones tested (one of last month's goals), and they are all out of whack, so maybe that explains some of what I'm feeling! #blessed

Linking up with Nicole at Feel Good, Dress Better!

Oh, PS—the inspirational quote at the beginning of this post is brought to you by ‘90s General Hospital (naturally). 😂💯❤️

June 2018 goals

JessComment
IMG_8483.PNG

Let's see what's on the white board this month!

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. Try three more new things: GUYS. I thought for sure this would be the hardest goal last month, and I CRUSHED IT! So I decided to give it another whirl this month.

2. Get my hormones tested: I'm really starting to think that my hormones are affecting my anxiety. I've been noticing that my anxiety and obsessive thoughts get worse closer to my period. So while I'm never thrilled for blood work, I'm really curious if it could give me some insight and possibly a path toward relief.

3. Stick to budget for real this time: You'll see below why this one got off track, but I want to give it another try in June.

4. Keep up with meditation: I inadvertently joined a meditation class in May! (I was supposed to teach a yoga class that no one showed up for, and the meditation class was conveniently happening right after, so, hey!) I have a lot (A LOT) of resistance to breathing and sitting still and, well, not distracting, but I do want to give this meditation thing a shot.

5. Secret goal step #1: OooOOoo so mysterious! haha Nah, I'm just not ready to get into this one on here yet. But I think including it will help to keep me accountable (...maybe).

 

And how did May's goals go?

Do three new things (or, at a minimum, three things I don't regularly do): Well, let’s see... I taught a yoga class, drove to two new places, got energy healing, met with a potential private yoga client, went to three new yoga classes, and started going to the aforementioned meditation class. This is huge for me!! 🙌🏻

Get up early to start my day with a Kalyn Nicholson YouTube video: This goal was going along fine until major anxiety derailed a solid week, and I've had a hard time getting up early again when sleep is an alternative, haha.

Make budget and stick to it // pay off credit card: I did pay off my credit card and was doing fine with sticking to my budget until the anxiety storm hit. Then came extra therapy sessions and doctor's appointments and supplements, and I couldn't get myself to do things like, say, getting out of bed, let alone balancing my checkbook. So the budget went off-track. I'm just glad it was due to regular therapy and not retail therapy for a change! 

Self-freaking-care: Hmm... I did make self-care a priority when I was forced to (during the anxiety storm). The next step, I guess, is integrating these things into my life when I'm only feeling low-grade anxiety. 

Taking alone time for myself at home: This did happen sometimes, hooray! 🎉

 

Well, as usual, this month's tarot card was spot-on. Although when I pulled it, I was rather concerned by the number of fiery sticks!

IMG_8489.JPG

Holding my ground? Courage and persistence? Fear about not being able to win everybody over? ✔️✔️✔️ 

IMG_8473.PNG

What are you working on this month? How do you manage intense anxiety?

Linking up with Nicole at Feel Good, Dress Better!

May 2018 goals

JessComment
IMG_7899.PNG

The start of April was a bit of a disaster, so I never got a goals post up. Probably for the best considering my emotional state at the beginning of the month! (Remember my three therapy sessions in three days? Yeahhh...) But it's May now, and I'm not an emotional wreck, so let's see what's on the white board!

FullSizeRender.jpg

Do three new things (or, at a minimum, three things I don't regularly do): My world has become so small, you guys. All I really do is go to work and therapy. I don't think I've talked about it on here before, but I've been wondering if I have a touch of agoraphobia because the fear that something bad will happen often keeps me from leaving the house to do anything optional. (So things like work and therapy are okay.) A few months ago, my therapist was pushing this idea of expanding my world, and I was not into it at all, but now I see and feel that I really need to do it. AND THE UNIVERSE IS TELLING ME THIS TOO SEE BELOW.

Get up early to start my day with a Kalyn Nicholson YouTube video: I don't know what it is right now (because I've watched a few of her vids in the past), but I am just super connecting to Kalyn's vibe and message, and I'm getting lots of energy from it. She's so inspiring and makes me want to tap into my creative side that I so easily squelch. She talks about a lot of things that I want to get back into (like the law of attraction and just generally making positive choices).

Make budget and stick to it // pay off credit card: As I said in my April budget post, April was a bit of a doozy financially. The payment schedule at work changed, and I was scrambling just to pay my bills. Now that the dust has settled, I need to pay off my credit card and make a realistic budget for May that I feel like I can stick to--because if the budget is way too tight, I tend to not even try, as the whole thing feels like a lost cause from the start, you know? 

Self-freaking-care: Eating. Sleeping. Basic things. I definitely didn't make the healthiest choices in April--I skipped meals, and I let myself get to the point of exhaustion because I felt "lazy" taking a nap (even though anxiety has been waking me up way before my alarm). I just need to take better care of myself, period.

Taking alone time for myself at home: I tend to struggle with just doing my own thing if other people are around. And I live with my dad, who is retired and thus often around! I've slowly been making my room into more of a happy place/sanctuary and spending time in there when no one is home, so hopefully, that comfortability carries over. I am an introvert, so I really do need to be able to break away from other people and recharge sometimes.

 

So I happened to pull a tarot card a few weeks ago that was so super relevant to my life right now that I'm going to use it as my card of the month (instead of pulling a Healing with the Angels card).

I pulled this handsome fella, reversed:

IMG_7991.JPG

My tarot knowledge is pretty limited, so I usually marvel over the OOTC (outfit of the card) and then google the card's message. Here is the reversed Two of Wands' message:

IMG_7761.JPG

SO. WILDLY. ACCURATE. I actually pulled the card before coming up with the goal to do more new things, but I've been having that "stuck" feeling for awhile. So I was basically like, "OK UNIVERSE! I'M GETTING THE MESSAGE!"

What do you hope to do in May? Any tips for combating fears of leaving the house? 😬

 

Linking up with Nicole at Feel Good, Dress Better!

March 2018 Goals

JessComment
IMG_6388.PNG

I'm feeling super emotionally and energetically drained right now, but there are some adult-y things that I need to get done, and making them this month's goals seemed like the best way to potentially do them!

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. Do taxes: Yawn.

2. Get car inspected: Mainly to avoid last year's problem of being wanted dead or alive. 😂

3. Plan yoga class: I have to teach my first full yoga class, to the whole YTT group, at the end of the month. EEP! So I need to actually start working on this instead of just obsessively worrying about it like I currently am. When I used to have to do presentations in school, I would write out a whole script and practice it repeatedly, and I think that having something to go back to and envision if my mind went blank really helped me not devolve into fight or flight mode. (I just really want to get through this class without another panic attack if at all possible!)

4: Creative writing: I've mentioned a few times that I have this story/collection of characters rolling around in my head, and I've noticed how much I genuinely feel excited when I get ideas for it. It gives me life! So I should probably stop ignoring it or dismissing it as dumb or unimportant. It makes me happy, and I guess that is important enough. 💖

 

Now February's goals weren't really goals so much as mantras to keep in mind during the emotional rollercoaster that was the last month. "I don't feel okay, but I am okay" was the one that I came back to the most, especially when I would start to feel scared completely out of the blue and didn’t know what to do with myself.

 

This month's Healing with the Angels card is CHILDREN 😮😬⁉️ But, as usual, it’s the perfect card for me right now. The description talked a lot about the Inner Child, which is definitely a key component of my healing work, because she is usually scared, and I'm very good at ignoring her. I bet the sudden, scared feelings that I've been having lately are related to her, if I would just listen to her...

FullSizeRender.jpg

What are you working on this month? 

 

Linking up with Nicole at Feel Good, Dress Better!

February 2018 goals

JessComment
IMG_5943.PNG

Oh hey, a goals post! I didn't do one in January because I just didn't feel like it, whoops. I kind of subbed in Timmi's tarot reading instead (relating HARD to the Four of Cups) and called it a day.

February's "goals" are different than usual because I'm still in this very triggered emotional state and haven't been productive with much else. So this month's "goals" are really things that I need to remind myself of as I work through this.  

IMG_5956.JPG

I’m learning that I spend most of my time bouncing between a state of panic (*hyperventilates*) and shutdown ("I'll never get better, so what’s the point?"). But there's an in-between place (my "window of tolerance") that I need to get to so that I can make measured, thoughtful decisions about my life, rather than just freaking out or giving up. Breathing and not getting swept up in my thoughts (which are typically being colored by my anxiety, depression, and PTSD, rather than reality) are two routes to get there.

(If you want to learn more about hyperarousal, hypoarousal, and the window of tolerance, I found this article to be pretty helpful.)

Mindful breathing is a huge struggle for me, probably because I tend to counteract feelings with constant activity! But I’m starting to see how breathing can be calming--especially if I've already gotten some of that nervous energy out by moving first (like, say, through yoga).

And "I don't feel okay, but I am okay" was something that my therapist suggested when I was like, "What can I tell myself when I'm freaking out?!" It's been my mantra for the past few days when I feel super amped up despite being in a perfectly safe environment. Honestly, I've been feeling like I'm crazy because my emotions have been so intense, so I'm trying to keep in mind that the intensity will pass and that I'm developing tools to get myself back to a calmer, more rational state. And one that isn't totally numb to boot. 🙌🏻

 

What about this month's Healing with the Angels card? It's a new one for me: "playfulness." 

FullSizeRender.jpg

My initial reaction? UGH. But I can see why I might have pulled it. Because I've been so amped up lately, I've been taking everything super seriously and stressing about every little thing I do or say. The write-up on the "playfulness" card says, "When you have fun and laugh, you relax." What a concept! 😂

 

What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

December 2017 Goals

JessComment
FullSizeRender.jpg

I had hoped to have this post up last week, but getting sick derailed that plan, so here we are!

FullSizeRender.jpg

Only one goal on the white board this month because I really want to catch up on my yoga teacher training homework before going back in January... and because I want leave some space for inevitable holiday craziness!

Now let's see how November's goals went:

1. Figure out Christmas cards: CHECK! Bonus that they've all been sent out! (With the exception of yours, Mica, because I want to go to the post office and get the right postage to Australia!)

2. Stick to my budget: Weeeell... this did not go great in November. But I've since paid off the credit card charges I racked up last month, and I've been much more responsible through the first part of December (even transferring some money to savings!😮), so it's all good.

Now, I have a confession and a serious question for you guys. I created this space to try to cultivate and adopt a more positive outlook because I'm really a pretty negative person. I'm a pro at getting in my own way and talking myself out of things. So I've definitely fallen off with my Word of the Year "out of hiding." I set these goals at the beginning of the year when I'm all bright-eyed and optimistic, and then they start to make me angry as the year goes on. Like "WHY do I need to venture out of hiding? Eff that!" So we're at that stage in the twelfth month. I've still been going to yoga TT, and I've seen some friends recently, but I've mostly gone full hermit and am belligerent about it. (Like "YOUR MOM should get out of hiding!!" territory. It's not pretty.) I tend to not set bigger goals for myself because I’m so often in that petulant mindset of “Whatever, it’s not like I’m going to do X anyway.” 🙄 Last month's angel card of "freedom" kind of similarly set me off because I don't want to acknowledge that I'M my own jail keeper--I so easily lapse into being angry and blaming other people and things for the state of my life. I'm not proud of it, but it's the dark and twisty truth.

In some ways, I feel like I’ve given up. Not in a suicidal way, but in a "Well, this is my life and I can't do anything to change it" kind of way because change so often turns my anxiety up to 11. (For instance, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I went inpatient three weeks after starting a new job in 2013.) As far as I've come since 2013, I know I need to go further but am afraid to let myself. And then that is usually accompanied by the cycle of anger and self-sabotage. UGH.

So I'm curious: how do you guys set goals and stick to them? How do you quiet the negative self-talk? (I'm especially thinking of you, Bri, because you are so good at tackling big and small goals alike.)

This month's Healing with the Angels card is the opposite of where I'm at right now: serenity. Like "signs" and "freedom," I've pulled this card more than once in the short time I've had my deck. And this is the thing that always jumps out at me when I read the blurb in the booklet:

FullSizeRender.jpg

Huh. I always feel like I need to be calmer/in a better place before I can sit down and meditate etc., but I guess that's not the case. Maybe it's like that idea that the less you want to do X, the more you need to do X. Hmm...

 

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

November 2017 goals

JessComment
IMG_4253.PNG

Since I'm not going to be home the first two weekends in November, and then it's basically the holidays, I'm only setting two goals this month: 

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. Figure out Christmas cards: I know hardly anyone sends Christmas cards these days, but I love them, and it just doesn't feel like Christmas without them! (PS: BLOGGER FRIENDS, let me know if you want to exchange cards!!) I usually try to write them out over Thanksgiving weekend, to really get myself into the holiday spirit--hence the need figure out the card sitch before December

2. Stick to my budget: I did SO WELL in October with not blowing my extra money or putting a ton of charges on my credit card. I really amazed myself! 😂 I have my 11/1-15 budget set up and know what my financial limits are for the next 15 days. I also started writing out known expenses for 11/16-30, so that I know what the consequences will be if I don't stick to my budget right now... and to also see that there is light at the end of the tunnel (since I don't have yoga TT in the second half of November, which cuts down on some of my expenses)!

 

Let's see how my October goals went:

1. Get 8 hours sleep: I didn't do too bad! I pretty consistently got 7+ hours sleep, and even got 8 hours NINE times!! (And not only on the weekends!) 🎉😮

2. Try envelope system and stick with the amounts I budget: As I said above, CHECK! I did go my own way with the envelope system, though, opting instead for colored paper clips for each category of cash in my wallet. 

3. Just show up: I totally forgot this was a goal! But I was somewhat social, and I kept going to yoga TT (without always have perfectionism-fueled meltdowns!), so that counts for something, right?

 

It wasn't too hard to get out of hiding this month, as I had yoga TT twice and also met up with several friends (Timmi! Deena! Paulina!).

 

Last month's Healing with the Angels oracle card was "Signs." Picking just one card for the whole month really helped me to focus on it and in fact see some signs! Such as suddenly having "Free Bird" stuck in my head when it was particularly relevant to a therapy session, and getting tingly when talking about certain next steps with my other therapist. We've also been discussing things like intuition, energy, and signs from the universe in yoga teacher training, so it's all coming together! Oh, and the number 13 has been showing up a lot lately too--it was the lane I went through at the tolls last Sunday, I saw it in someone's tattoo, and XIII is my tarot soul card

This month's card, Freedom, is absurdly perfect for where I'm at. I often feel trapped--it's really a huge source of anxiety for me and has been coming up a lot lately. So the fact that the Freedom card said this seemed like a SIGN (see what I did there?):

 

UGH crushed it 💪

UGH crushed it 💪

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

 

October 2017 goals

JessComment
FullSizeRender.jpg

Soooo I fell behind with my August budget post thanks to vacation, and since I hadn't done any of my August goals anyway, I just rolled them into September and skipped the posting part. Now that it's October, and I've kind of done one of my August goals, I'm ready to admit defeat on the others and set some new ones!

IMG_3789.JPG

1. Get 8 hours sleep: This one is still a work in progress, but it's getting better. I've started getting into bed earlier, which certainly helps!

2. Try envelope system (and stick to the amounts I budget!): I start out with the best of budgeting intentions, but at some point during the month, that usually goes off the rails and then I get all negative and spend more freely than I should. So I'm (sort of) trying the enevlope system--but rather than actual envelopes, I found some dividers on Etsy that I've cut out and put in my wallet, and I plan to use cash for these spending categories, to see if that helps me. (I never usually have cash on me, but it's just so easy to lose track of my spending when using a debit or credit card.)

3. Just show up: Last Saturday (the last day of September), I cried my way through a yoga class and felt old feelings of hopelessness. So this goal is just a reminder to keep showing up in my life, to keep trying, and to keep questioning feelings of despair. And also to just try things (yoga, writing, etc.) with the awareness that it's okay to be mediocre, as my therapist tries to tell me!

 

I decided to pick a Healing with the Angels Oracle card for the month, and this was the one I got:

"Your angels are trying to get your attention--please notice!!" 

"Your angels are trying to get your attention--please notice!!" 

You might recall that Signs was the first Angel card I ever picked, before I even had a deck of my own! Signs definitely fits with my interest in developing my intuition and with my discussion with the tarot card reader.

 

And how about "out of hiding," my Phrase of the Year? Well, I went on vacation and pranced around Disneyland with a birthday pin! 😊 And I started yoga teacher training and went back to the yoga studio near work! 

 

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

August 2017 goals

JessComment
IMG_1467.JPG

I'm revamping the goals a bit this month! I'm going to try to focus on one bigger goal that's geared toward healthier living and then a few smaller but clearly actionable goals that I just keep forgetting to do. When I try to make a bunch of big changes (eat better! no caffeine!) at once, I usually get frustrated quickly and abandon them all. So maybe this method will help

So this month's big goal is *drumroll please*... get 8 hours of sleep a night!

FullSizeRender.jpg

I don't know about you, but I exist in a state of near-constant sleep deprivation. And I don't even have a kid or anything! Back in high school, I started prioritizing schoolwork or other obligations over sleep and have just never stopped. I try to catch up on weekends, which is not great, and I rely on caffeine to get me through the day (especially on weekdays). But trying to go to bed earlier usually makes me anxious because sleep deprivation makes going through the motions so easy--I just have no energy to do anything different. And going to bed before 11:30-12 makes me feel guilty, like I'm not being productive enough. So as easy as this goal may sound, it's going to be a serious challenge for me. I mean, in the last three weeks, I've only gotten 8 hours of sleep THREE TIMES, all on weekends. Yikes. (Thank you, Fitbit, for making this horrifying information available to me!)

So that's this month's main goal. The other two are calling my insurance company to see if I can get one stupidly expensive prescription by mail, and trying to figure out if I can get my gmail associated with my iTunes account. Yippee.

 

Let's see how last month's goals went:

1. Check bank account daily: CHECK! Okay, so I didn't do it every day, but I'm giving myself a pass for doing it 90% of the time, which is a big improvement for me. I set a daily reminder on my phone, and that has been a huge help. I've also been writing down my balance and subtracting transactions every time I check my bank account, which has really brought my bad spending habits to my attention. 😒

2. Do one thing that makes me happy every day: CHECK! I still have a hard time remembering to do it (how sad), but I'm getting better, especially at making time for fun things before work. (In fact, I'm currently working on this post in a Starbucks before going to work!)

3. Creative writing: Hmm. I maybe worked on my story once, but I'm giving myself a HALF-CHECK because I signed up and started doing Shonda Rhimes's (!!) online Master Class. I'm still in the early stages of the course (so analyzing TV shows rather than writing myself), but just signing up is a step toward taking my creative writing more seriously.

4. Keep using the Calm app: HALF-CHECK because I used it faithfully through the first half of the month and then things fell off a cliff. Which is disappointing, since I do like the app and usually feel calmer when I use it. I just have such revulsion toward sitting still and/or meditating that it's easy to talk myself out of doing it.  

5. Less screen time: Meh? I don't know how to grade this because some days I was better about it than usual and some days I wasn't.

 

This was a pretty darn good month for my Phrase of the Year ("out of hiding"): I went to a Fourth of July party that I was invited to at the last minute (last-minute invites are usually the easiest for me to wiggle out of), I brunched with my grad school friends, had an especially social Saturday in which I had lunch with Deena and then saw another friend later that same day (!!), and oh yeah, I drove to the freakin' SHORE! Not too shabby.

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

2017 goals check-in

JessComment
IMG_1264.JPG

Now that we're more than halfway through the year (YIKES), it seems like a good time to revisit my 2017 goals! Or, more accurately, to remind myself what they are because I am really good at setting goals and then forgetting about them (or just blowing them off altogether). 

Goal 1: Work a more normal schedule

This is one that I've actually attempted but found to be disappointing. As appealing as a more normal (i.e. not 11-7) schedule sounds, it also means that I'm commuting at the same time as more people and end up sitting in traffic. I'd rather just stay later at work and breeze home than deal with that.

Goal 2: Stop living paycheck to paycheck

Weeellll... I did not forget about this goal, but it's probably been the hardest one for me. I actually started talking about it in therapy this week because my impulse spending has been way out of control lately. I pay my bills on time and I make a budget, but I end up ultimately blowing off said budget and YNAB. (I like YNAB in theory but can't seem to consistently use it.) I'm starting to realize that I am just not a future-oriented person (in more ways than one), so the idea of putting money aside for next month's bills is kind of unfathomable to me. I'm going to really have to work at it and be more disciplined.

Goal 3: Get new glasses

CHECK! I crossed this one off in early 2017 and can finally see again!

Goal 4: Switch to a fee-free bank

Well, no, but thanks to my tax return, I have enough money in my bank account to negate the fee. So I achieved this goal (for now at least), just without the method I had envisioned.

Goal 5: Have a $1,000 emergency fund

CHECK again thanks to my tax return! The hardest part will be maintaining it because having a safety net makes it easier to do stupid, impulsive things.

Goal 6: Take a vacation

No, but Pops and I are trying to figure something out before the end of the summer.

 

Phrase of the Year

I knew that "out of hiding" would give me a challenge, but it's been even harder than I anticipated, mainly because I thought making it an ongoing goal would push me to actually do it. But no. Doing new things makes me anxious, and being around (most) people makes me anxious, and those are real deterrents for trying to step out of your comfort zone! Feeling self-conscious is a huge obstacle for me too, especially out in public. I have a much easier time doing things with other people because they act sort of like an invisibility shield and also make me feel safer/less vulnerable. So I guess I've learned a lot from having this as a goal, even though the action part of it has been a bit of a fail. 

 

Year to Date Spending (from budget posts): $694

I don't know why, but I always feel like little bits of money being saved or spent don't add up. Of course, that's not true, and I don't "need" the majority of the things that I buy. I know that and yet... here we are. Plus, the above total does not include July, and I've completely lost my damn mind this month. In 2016, I spent $1,142 in my budget posts, and I don't want to exceed that this year... but there's still five months to go! Eep!

July 2017 goals

JessComment
IMG_0942.JPG

How is it July already? Good. Lord. Here's what's on the white board for this month that I can't believe is already here:

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. Remember how I mentioned in my June budget post that I tend to just avoid looking at my bank account so that I can keep spending irresponsibly? YEAH...

2. Trying to consciously do one thing that makes me happy each day was really helpful for my mood in June, so I want to try to keep that going.

3. I keep feeling the impulse to work on this one story of mine and always shoot it down. So I hope that this goal will allow my mind to be like "Oh, this is legit now. You may proceed." 

4. I've stuck with the Calm app more than any other meditation app or method I've tried, so let's see if I can keep that going too.

5. My screen time, especially on weekends, has gotten way out of hand. And there is no reason to be looking at stupid social media so much... although I do have a problem with wanting immediate answers to every question under the sun, and I don't see that changing! 

But actually...

But actually...

And let's see how my June goals went:

1. Put aside money for July bills: CHECK! Even with me being totally reckless with my spending! The fact that I used to pay my car insurance at the end of the month and am now with a company that charges at the beginning of the month definitely helped.

2. No online shopping: 3/4 CHECK! I did make one Amazon impulse purchase, so that was a fail, but going the rest of the month without succumbing to temptation is not bad at all. And I even talked myself out of a few online purchases by reminding myself of this goal!

3. One happy thing/day: CHECK? I definitely crushed this goal during the second-half of the month but can't remember how exactly it went at the beginning. I think well? (As a result, I've started jotting down my happy things on my bedroom calendar so that I can track them!)

4. Lavendaire's vision exercises: 3/4 CHECK (which is apparently now a thing) I did answer quite a few of these questions but had a bit of a breakdown during question 3 when I realized that I have a total negativity mind block that won't even let me consider my "dream life." We are working on this negativity in therapy now, but for that reason, I didn't go further with the questions. I did get some useful insights before hitting that wall, though.

 

Oh, I almost forgot about my phrase of the year ("out of hiding")! How promising! 😂 I did get out of the house much more, even if it was just to our porch or backyard, so that's good! And I've spent the past two Fridays with a friend, which is unheard of for this homebody!

What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

June goals

JessComment
IMG_0454.JPG

Only four goals on the white board this month because I inadvertently accomplished goal #5 yesterday! 💪

IMG_0512.JPG

1. I'm realizing that I am not a very future-oriented person. Like, I have a bunch of big bills that are due in the beginning of the month, which means that I tend to have more "extra" money left over in the second half of the month when there are less bills. In theory, I could put some of that "extra" money aside for the beginning of the next month so that I'm not broke then, BUT I NEVER DO. AND I'M ALWAYS SHOCKED TO FIND THAT I HAVE NO MONEY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH. Like, come on, girl. In trying to fix my budgeting issues (one of last month's goals), I realized that I've pretty much just been using YNAB as an online version of how I budget in my planner... which is literally paycheck to paycheck. Hmm. So I want to do something toward breaking that pattern, hence putting aside some of this "extra" money (most likely into an account that I don't use regularly so I can't touch it) to use for those beginning-of-the-month bills.

2. In the name of curtailing impulse buys, I want to try a No Online Shop June. I seem to be much more disciplined when I'm physically in a store these days, whereas online, all bets are off. (And that really got me in trouble at the end of April when I ran amok on Glossier and Sephora's sites.) 

3. Ever since Timmi suggested that I try to incorporate something that makes me happy into my days, I've really been trying to do that, instead of just sleepwalking through routine, as I am apt to do. It seems to be making my days a bit brighter and also forces me to live in the moment more, instead of being five steps ahead because I "know" what's going to happen anyway.

4. Remember when I said that I'm not very future-oriented? Well, I recently started watching Lavendaire's YouTube videos again and doing a few of her worksheets to try to figure out what I want to do with my life/what I want my life to look like. She has a few other vision exercises that seem helpful, if only I would make time for them (hence this goal!).

Now let's see how May's goals went:

1. Use my energy as a guide: Hmm, sort of? I got a little better about not putting myself in the cage of "You must do this," which just stresses me out. The "Do things that make you happy" idea helped with this goal too.

2. Revamp budgeting: Half-Check, thanks to doing it entirely in the last few days haha! I haven't exactly "revamped" my budgeting, but I have noticed some flaws that I was oblivious to before and came up with some goals for this month that may help.

3. AM routine: No. Just no. But I've been feeling better in the mornings regardless, so hey, something is working!

4. Yoga: I only went to one or two classes last month, but that does count as "yoga," so I guess I can cross this goal off! I did legitimately miss a few classes due to illness and appointments, but I also just haven't been wanting to go lately. It's one of those things that I know will benefit me, but I just can't motivate myself to do it.

5. Shoulder exercises: Ehh Half-Check? I did the exercises a few times, but I also started using my trigger point massage balls again, which should help with these shoulder issues too.

 

What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

May 2017 goals

JessComment
IMG_6334.JPG

So fun fact: I think my depression came back a bit in April.  👎  But my recent therapy sessions have been really deeply helpful in addressing the negative self-talk that just crushes me and makes me want to hide from life--stuff that would make anyone depressed!

So with that in mind, here's what's on the white board for May: 

IMG_6357.JPG

1. Use my energy as a guide: I want to act more in response to my energy levels than my fears and feelings of obligation this month. When nearly everything is a "should," you're basically always forcing yourself to do things, and that isn't very fun. So I'm trying to change my perspective. Instead of forcing myself to be productive (which makes me want to rebel and be totally UNproductive), I'm going to try to notice what gives me energy and take cues from that. I've tried it a little bit already, and re-orienting myself from "Ugh I have to do this thing" to "I am choosing to do this thing" has been really helpful in alleviating anxious feelings of trapped-ness. And I don't have to plan five steps ahead if I know that I can just tune into my energy level at any time and see which available option I feel most excited about. 

2. Revamp budgeting: Another fun fact: I made a real budgeting boo-boo last month. I'm still not entirely sure how it happened, because I even double-checked my account and confirmed that I had available spending money before buying approx one million things online, but in the end, I did not have as much fun money as I thought I did. Eek. In addition to that budgeting blunder, I tend to go through a deprivation-binge kind of spending cycle each month. I don't have much disposable income at the beginning of the month, so I don't really spend any money for fun, and then I go overboard in the second half of the month. So I want to see if I can find a different approach to spending that helps me to avoid that tendency.

3. AM routine: I've started implementing a few small mindful gestures into my morning, and I want to keep it up. Just a few gentle stretches, setting an intention, and drawing one of Doreen Virtue's online cards. I am not a morning person, and this has been helping to keep me from being Major Buzzkill all day, and it's also a small enough change that I haven't immediately rebelled against it.

4. Yoga: Keep going to classes. 

5. Shoulder exercises: My posture is pretty terrible, especially re: my shoulders, and I tend to have a lot of shoulder and neck pain. Well, now that I've been doing yoga again, I can see just how frozen my shoulders are. Like, when we're instructed to stretch out long on the mat, I can't even do goal post arms. Yikes. So I want to try to loosen up my shoulders some this month!

 

And how did my April goals go?

1. Be curious about how things like sleep, diet, caffeine, exercise, water intake, etc. make me feel: Hmm... Honestly, I kind of forgot this was a goal! I mostly noticed how transitioning off of one medication made me feel exhausted. And I occasionally noticed that my questionable carb-centric eating habits made me feel sluggish or gross. 

2. Keep going to yoga: CHECK! The morning hatha class continues to be my favorite, despite forcing me to get up at 6 AM. 😩

3. Try chanting as a way to practice my breathing: Nope. Any sort of designated breathing practice makes me reallllly not want to do it.

4. Pay attention to when I order stuff from Amazon: Check! As I said before, I tend to have less disposable income at the beginning of the month, and sure enough, I didn't order anything from Amazon until 4/15. I didn't think I went too crazy with my Amazon buys, but apparently, I spent over $100 on there last month (mostly due to one bigger-ticket item, but still). Hmm. It's also interesting that I largely avoided Amazon until I had money to spend. And that that first Amazon purchase on 4/15 was totally fueled by anxiety and wanting to shop it away.

5. Go out on the weekend: LOL I forgot this was a goal! Well, I went out to a scary shopping center! AND last Friday, I went ice skating! By myself! At night! At a place I hadn't been to in ages! Totally a HUGE accomplishment! (And really fun too!) This goal also ties in with my Word of the Year "Out of Hiding." (I did go out during the workday to Nordstrom Rack and to get a massage, but there was still a lot of hiding in April.)

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

April 2017 goals

JessComment
IMG_5993.JPG

Let's see what's on the white board for April!

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. Be curious about how things like sleep, diet, caffeine, exercise, water intake, etc. make me feel. Because trying to change any of those things tends to make me react like a freshly awoken piranha plant in Mario 64, I'm just going to try to pay attention to them and see what I can learn this month.

2. So that I keep going to yoga, even though my first-month trial period is now over (wahh!).

3. I've had a hard time sticking with a breathing practice, but the vibrations of chanting have a similarly calming effect while also giving my mind something to focus on. (And my usual word of choice is "om.")

4. Similar to goal #1, I just want to pay more attention to when I order stuff from Amazon, and what I order, and why. Having free two-day shipping makes it too easy to order anything under the sun, and I just want to be mindful of that this month--rather than trying to stop using Amazon altogether, which might drive me to spend even more money on there!

5. Oh, the weekend. The thought of leaving the house on the weekend often strikes me as laughable, as in "Why on earth would I do that?!" which I think really means "Why on earth would I tempt fate by going out when I don't HAVE to?" Especially since I have no problem going out on the weekend if Pops is with me (and driving). Hmm. Going out by myself for a non-obligation won't feel normal unless I do it more and see that the world doesn't end, right? (Bleh.)

Whew! Ok, so how did March's goals go?

1. Do taxes: CHECK, THANK GOD. Getting my taxes done was such a pain in the ass, so I'm really glad they're over with! 

2. Go to yoga: CHECK! I went to six classes in March and want to continue with the early AM hatha class! 

3. Morning Pages: A big nope. I did it a few times, but sitting quietly and forcing myself to write three pages really stressed me out. I had no problem doing my regular journaling, though, so I suspect the structure of Morning Pages is what kept me from doing it more.

4. Write two non-link-up blog posts: Half-check. I got up my Rebirthday post, in addition to the usual link-up posts.

5. Do it now: CHECK! I did think of this phrase often and then go "UGH" and actually do whatever it was that I was about to blow off, which I guess is a good thing?

 

As for my phrase of the year ("out of hiding"), it was a rough month, as you might have gathered from April goal #5! I did manage to go to the mall near work (at night! gasp!), and I did start going to 7 AM yoga, but other than that, I did a lot of hiding. We'll see how it goes in April.

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

March 2017 goals

JessComment
Best purchase ever? High-five, 2014 Jess!

Best purchase ever? High-five, 2014 Jess!

It's that time again! Let's see what's on the white board for March:

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. Unexciting and self-explanatory. 

2. When I went to yoga last week, I decided to sign up for a one-month trial at the studio. Because signing up and paying for last Thursday's class in advance was the only thing that finally got me through the door, haha!

3. I stumbled onto Lavendaire's YouTube channel last week, and she reminded me about Morning Pages, something I've tried before, enjoyed, and abandoned. I want to give it another shot this month, although I'm not exactly sure how often I'll be able to do it, as I discovered in February that the key to getting to work earlier is apparently getting out the door shortly after I wake up. The longer I hang around the house, the less I want to leave it. So, yeah. 🤔

4. The only blog posts I got up in February were for link-ups, which isn't bad or anything, but I do have other posts I'd like to write. Hopefully, this goal will motivate me to do it!

5. I'm really good at blowing things off til later. And, of course, when "later" rolls around, I don't want to do it any more than I did earlier. So I might as well get it over with now. BLEH.

 

How did February's goals go?

1. Get to work by 10:50: Ehhh no. Not consistently. Although I did manage to get to work in the hour of 9 a few times, which was HUGE. Interestingly, trying to move the time back slowly seemed to stress me out more than making a huge change and leaving for work significantly earlier. Who knew.

2. Continue with YNAB: Check! I still need to fine-tune some things, but I was able to stick with it for another month and even put some money aside while planning ahead for things in March!

3. Move more: Ehh not so much, although I did finally get out to said yoga class before month's end! Hopefully, the trial month at the yoga studio will help to move more in March!

4. Print tax docs: Check!

5. Pick up glasses: Check!

 

As for my Phrase of the Year ("out of hiding"), I ventured out to a few new places by myself (such as the new yoga studio, the Ulta near work, and the Sheetz), and I drove a semi-familiar, multi-highway route for an hour+ at night! 🎉 It's the little things!

 

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl! 

February goals

JessComment
IMG_5350.JPG

Somehow, I went way overboard with this "new year, new you" nonsense in January. (I usually hate that phrase, so it was truly a new me!) I started using an alarm clock, meal prepping my lunches, reading before bed (!!), and using YNAB. Like what? Adulting (or insanity?) at its finest! 

Anyway, here's what's ~officially~ on the white board for February:

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. I was actually successful in getting to work by 11 every day, which was one of my January goals! But most days, I only juuust squeaked into work before 11, hence February's goal of getting in by 10:50! (Baby steps!)

2. Thanks to Mia's post (and my reader Molly's encouragement!), I tried YNAB this month. I'm still easily confused by the interface, but I like the premise, as it's geared toward breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, which I definitely need to do! YNAB encourages you to allocate all of your income for different expenses, not just your bills, and I found that to be surprisingly helpful. (Usually, I just figure out how much is going toward bills and then pray I won't spend more than the meager amount that's left over!) Because it forced me to set money aside for inevitable but non-bill expenses (like gas and groceries), I didn't feel deprived on the YNAB system--in fact, I felt less panicked about money overall. So I'm curious to see how Month #2 goes.

I did not meet last month's goal of "switch to a fee-free bank," but that was intentional after I started researching my bank options. I don't have direct deposit at my job, which makes hold times a big deal. So I think I need to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle before I start dealing with a new bank and potentially longer/more erratic hold times. 

3. My job is 100% seated, and I've been feeling basically like a gross lump lately, so I want to try to move more and incorporate basic exercise into my day. I'm legit scared to go to a work-out class or gym, so maybe following along with some YouTube videos this month will be a good start. 

4. and 5. Self-explanatory. 

 

As for my phrase of the year ("out of hiding"), I did pretty well! I went to dinner with friends in the city! (I'm terrified of city parking AND driving at night AND unfamiliar driving routes! I went to Target after work! I went to Nordstrom Rack at lunch! I met up with friends from my old job! (Which was perhaps the biggest accomplishment because it was a last-minute invite, and that's almost always an automatic "no.") 

I was not able to push through anxiety to go to the Women's March, though, so that's a bummer. :( In general, I still have a hard time getting myself to out of the house for non-obligatory things, but at least I broke that pattern a little bit in January.

What are you working on this month? 

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

2017 and January Goals

JessComment
How fantastic is this confetti thrower that Timmi got me for Christmas?!

How fantastic is this confetti thrower that Timmi got me for Christmas?!

I don't think I ever talked about my goals for 2016 ~the year~ on here, which is fitting because I ignored them! Well, except for "buy a car," but I wasn't talking to anyone in advance about that! Aside from that terrifying goal, the others didn't interest me much, so they were easy to ignore. My 2017 goals aren't exactly thrilling, but I have enough energy around them to WANT to do them on some level, so that seems promising:

Plus "out of hiding," which I plan to acknowledge in future goal updates. 💜

Plus "out of hiding," which I plan to acknowledge in future goal updates. 💜

Like, "Hey, not being broke after I pay my bills would be awesome." And "It would be sweet to get home from work before 8 PM." Seeing tangible benefits like that seems to really motivate me. That was certainly the case when I attempted driving again. When I got my license (reluctantly, of course) at 19, driving was easy to avoid because I was in college and living on campus. Driving only intrigued me ten years later when I clearly had something to gain from it--like a greatly reduced commute. So now we'll see if this motivation theory holds true for my 2017 goals!

My two goals for January are both related to my bigger goals for the year:

FullSizeRender.jpg

1.) Switching to a bank that doesn't charge those annoying monthly fees would be one way to save a little money--getting closer to my "Stop living paycheck to paycheck" goal. I've also been trying to find a budgeting app or program that I don't hate, but the search has been unsuccessful thus far. I can never stick with Mint, and I found YNAB super-frustrating to set up. Any suggestions? (Maybe the problem is that I don't know what I'm really looking to gain from one of those apps, since I already track my bills and spending on paper.)

2.) Getting to work before 11 is a start towards working more normal hours. Anxiety usually keeps me from leaving the house earlier, and, as I mentioned here, my anxiety typically only signs off on obligations, so by making getting to work earlier an obligation--in baby steps--there's a prayer that I might actually do it. I usually get to work between like 10:50 and 11:10, so my thought process here is to nudge that time back. Like, if I am able to get to work consistently before 11 this month, then I want to try to get in by 10:45 next month, etc., until I'm sort of naturally on a better schedule.

Pro tip: Understanding how to trick yourself into doing things is key. 😝

What are you working on this month, or in 2017 as a whole?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

December goals

JessComment
IMG_4159.JPG

Sorry, this is a bit of a fake-out because I'm not setting any goals for December! The holidays (and being out of my normal routine) are stressful enough--I don't want to add to it. In fact, I want to try to enjoy the holidays (how novel!).

Anyway, here's how November's goals went:

1. Christmas cards: CHECK! Not only did I come up with an idea for them, I actually executed it and filled out/mailed them! (Thank goodness because it is December now lol.)

2. Christmas gifts: CHECK! I still have a few to get, but I made some good progress and totally finished two people's gifts!

3. AM Facebook fast: Half-check. I would still mess around on fb (and my phone in general) in the morning, but I've been better about limiting it, so, progress. 

Are you setting goals this month?

PS- Blogger friends, let me know if you want to exchange Christmas cards! :)

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

November goals

JessComment
IMG_3801.JPG

It's never a good sign when the goals post sneaks up on you! I'm actually not setting too many goals for November because I know there's a good chance they'll be totally forgotten in the holiday chaos!

That does say "Christmas cards," although all I see now is "Christmas carols"!

That does say "Christmas cards," although all I see now is "Christmas carols"!

1. I like to send out Christmas cards, and I usually make them through Snapfish. But my creativity is currently at a zero. I need to get those creative Christmas card juices flowing! 

2. Christmas gifts. Because I need to spread that expense out over two months so as to not go broke! 

3. I tend to start messing around on my phone (particularly with Facebook) as soon as I wake up... which means that I basically disconnect from my body and emotions as soon as I possibly can. That's typical for me (I'm a constant motion, constant stimuli kind of person), but it's not healthy. I tend to feel stressed before I even get out the door in the morning. (Probably because I get sucked into the fb vortex and then am running behind, but a million posts and articles about the election can't help either.) Instead, I could focus on my breathing, do yoga, journal, read posts by my blog friends, blog myself... There are so many brighter ways to start my day. So I want to try them on days that I don't have a new blog post (because I do post those to fb in the morning--that's legit!).

 

So, how did October's goals go? (If not for one very productive day, this recap would be sad!)

1. Put away spring/summer clothes and shoes and get out fall/winter clothes and shoes: CHECK!

2. Frame two posters: HALF-CHECK! But I'm ok with this because I realized that I really need to commit to custom framing or trim the mat on poster #2 (there are just no frames in its current size).

3. Leave for work earlier: No. Just no. 

4. Choose two adventures from my list: CHECK! Ok, I did choose two adventures, but only one from my list. I'm going to count the M83 concert as adventure #2 because I had really wanted to go (I bought the tickets in August!), but I had massive anxiety the day of the concert. Pushing through that and getting out of my comfort zone would constitute an adventure, I think! 😊

5. Those dang blog info pages: No. Just no. That goal may never happen!

October goals

JessComment
IMG_3244.JPG

I have no awareness of what day it is any more, let alone what month. How on earth is it October already?! Sheesh! (Naturally, I typed "September goals" a billion times while writing this post!)

Let's see what's on the white board in October... (Two of September's goals were kind of a fail, so they're back in October for a second try!)

FullSizeRender.jpg

1. Put away spring/summer clothes and shoes and get out fall/winter clothes and shoes (😭).

2. I have two posters that I've been trying to frame for at least a year. No joke. It's sad. I've even made this a goal of mine TWICE before, and I still haven't done it! 🙈 (Third time's the charm?) I did recently get a frame for one of them, so I should be able to finally accomplish half of this goal at least, ha!

3. I have such a hard time getting out the door in the morning. I can work whatever hours I want, so my AM slowness is not a big deal, but I've been getting home at 8 PM, and that's kind of a bummer (especially now that it's dark at 8 PM!).

4. Choose two adventures from my list. Maybe two different ones this time? (Weeell, let's not push it!)

5. Those dang blog info pages!

 

All right, let's reflect on September's goals:

 

1. Do the research for the Choose Your Own Adventure list (such as finding out places' locations, hours, admission fees, and distance from my house). CHECK! List complete! 

2. Do two things from the Choose Your Own Adventure list. (Eek! I'm really curious to see if this sort of planning helps to get me out the door. And how doing new things does or doesn't reduce my anxiety.) Hmmm, this wasn't a total fail... I just chose the same adventure twice, ha! (I went to one of the state parks near me.) Having the list has not made me more willing/less anxious to do stuff, which is kind of a bummer. BUT I hadn't been to that state park in at least ten years, so I guess the Choose Your Own Adventure List wasn't a total fail!

3. Update info pages on the blog. HALF-CHECK I did jot down a bunch of thoughts and ideas for these, and I managed to update my Blog Love page, as well as my Shopping Wishlist for fall/winter. I still have a few more pages to update, but hey, progress!

What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!