6 Goals for the Year

japan-4744625_1920These last two months have been chock full of travel, adventure, friends, and social time. If I were an extrovert, I’d be living my best life. Since I’m decidedly an introvert, I’ve been spending most of my free time in my room, recovering as best I can. I’ve finally gained enough energy to be social again, this time in more manageable doses.

I’m not a big resolution person. I prefer to create goals along the way, evaluating and adjusting as necessary. But I wanted to share a few things I’ll be working on this year.

1. Use a planner
I love how efficient I am when I consistently use my planner. Unfortunately I’ve fallen off track more times than I can count. I will be working on being more disciplined so I can get a lot of projects accomplished this year.

2. Disconnect 
I’ve recently come to the realization of how much time I waste on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll give myself a time frame during the day to check on them. But I need to stop wasting my time in the evening and spend it more productively.

3. Embrace my hobbies
Because I’ve been wasting time, I’ve been neglecting my hobbies. I want to get back into cooking, crafting, and dance even more this year. That way I can accomplish some of my goals.

4. Head outside
I’ve actually been doing fairly well with this (before it got super cold and wintery). But I want to spend as much time outside as I can. It’s so rejuvenating for me and I always feel refreshed.

5. Find balance & peace of mind
I’m still working to find balance between quiet time and social activity. I’m also working to care less what others think (and obtain peace of mind). I need to stay true to my nature and not allow others to push me around or manipulate me.

6. Minimalize
I’ve been letting clutter pile up at home and it’s starting to bother me. So this month I’ll be starting the minimalist challenge to get rid of the things that hold no value for me.

What are some of your goals?

7 spring & summer goals

pier-569314_1920When it’s cold and snowy out, I like to think of the warmer days to come. I have a number of spring and summer goals and wanted to share them with you. I find that setting regular goals and reviewing them, helps keep me on track and motivated to make changes in my life. Let me know what you want to achieve in yours!

1. Write more.
Specifically blog posts. I really enjoy the creative and cathartic aspect of writing. My goal is to share two written posts per week. In order to accomplish this, I need to carve out time in my day specifically to write, so I’m not scrambling to come up with content for my blog at the last minute.

2. Utilize my planner.
My planner currently sits on my desk collecting dust. As a result, I find that I’m not prioritizing the important tasks and end up rushing to finish things. I will pull out my planner, dedicate time on Sunday to set up my priorities and goals for the week, then follow through.

3. Dedicate myself.
I have a number of work and personal projects that I’ve been putting off. As things (hopefully) slow down a bit, I can dedicate more time and effort to working on the things I’m passionate about. I will schedule in time to work on my photo and video projects at home. I will put more time into my design projects at work.

4. Connect more.
I need people (in manageable doses). I’m working to connect more with those who live nearby, we go for coffee dates or just hang out and it’s been lovely. With technology, I can also connect with my friends in distant places via email and skype. I need to nurture the connections I have with people, even if I can’t see them in person.

5. Go outside.
I love being outdoors. Once the weather has warmed up, I’m going to go for regular walks and runs in the park near my place.  I’ll also plan social activities that centre around being outside: wandering along the river, taking in nature, etc.

6. Feed my creativity.
I love being creative but just haven’t had the chance, or motivation, to work on any fun projects recently. I’m going to do more painting and photography. I also have a video project in mind that I need to storyboard and film.

7. Active recovery.
I’ve really been enjoying my time at the gym. But with hard work comes tight and sore muscles and I need to do more active recovery than I do now. I will incorporate more yoga, stretching, and foam rolling into my daily schedule, even if it’s just a few minutes at a time.

What are some of your goals?

Pursuing my dreams

KyotoI had a lot of dreams as a child. Some were related to my future career, others were things I wanted to accomplish. For a while, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t until grade 12 that I was forced to make a decision about what program to apply to. I chose graphic design, and during my first year of university, I knew I had made the right decision.

I still have lots of dreams. I want to travel, pursue voice lessons, learn more sewing techniques, be creative, make stuff. Photography is another thing I’d like to continue with. I’m pretty happy with where I am right now. I have a job that provides a challenge for me and allows me to use my creative skills from time to time. However, there is one dream (out of many) I’m still working on.

I’ve always dreamed of travelling to Japan. There are many other places I’d like to see as well, but Japan tops the list. I love their culture, food, and music. So this year, I decided to start saving for the trip of my dreams. I want to travel mostly around Tokyo and Kyoto. To see the beautiful gardens, cute shops, hot springs, and experience being inside a country completely different from my own.

As a result, I’ve adjusted my budget to make room for greater savings. It’s forced me to think more about what I’m spending. I look for discounts and savings when I go shopping. It also makes me to think about whether or not I really need something. Its also been motivating me to review and brush up on my Japanese. I’m excited to pursue this dream.

What are some of your dreams?

Image credit: “Kyoto” by Moyan Brenn is licensed under CC by 2.0

My winter bucket list

winter wonderlandThere’s no mistaking that we’re in the midst of winter. I woke up this morning to a new layer of snow blanketing the houses, streets, and cars. Although I love staying in and relaxing when its cold out, I still have things I’d like to do. Here are a few of my plans:

-Finish packing for my upcoming move
-Sip hot chocolate while gazing out the window
-Finish reading the three books I’m currently working on
-Watch the new Star Wars movie
-Start on the sewing project I’ve been putting off for two years
-Write and send letters to my far-away friends
-Walk outside at night and look at the stars
-Make a snow angel and play in the snow
-Bake cookies or brownies and share them with friends
-Go through my stuff and donate the things I don’t use
-Light my candles in the evening – such a cozy feeling!
-Drive up to visit my family

What are some of your plans for winter?

Image credit: “Winter Wonderland” by Agata is licensed under CC by 2.0

A brand new year

tea timeMy last musing was written in the midst of a lot of stress and pressure. Things are going much better this week. Thank you so much to all who provided support and encouragement. Some mentioned things I hadn’t even considered, and really helped me to focus on what I needed to see. Since its January, I thought I’d share a few goals for the coming year.

1. Be content in whatever situation I find myself.
If I find myself in a situation beyond my control, I want to be content and positive. I believe all things happen for a reason, and difficult times often lead to personal growth. Life isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding. At the same time, if I have the power to change something, I will.

2. Spend more time with others.
This may seem a little counter-intuitive as an introvert. But if I spend too much time on my own, I begin to feel lonely and isolated. If I dwell on this too long, I can become upset or even bitter about my situation or circumstances. But spending time with close friends and family in meaningful contact always makes me feel loved. I also want to give my time to others, as long as I have the energy for it.

3. Be more organized, and act on it.
I already have a substantial list of goals and accomplishments for the coming year. I purchased a really neat weekly planner that will allow me to write down everything in one place. Too often I waste precious time doing things that have no value. By writing down my goals, it will motivate me to achieve them.

4. Take breaks, seriously.
When things get busy, I tend to focus directly on the current challenge until its been vanquished. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, if it goes on for too long, I become frustrated and burned out. Even in the midst of a busy day, I can still take time for tea, for a walk, or anything that gives me some quiet time. My body knows when I need a break, I need to start listening.

Do you have any resolutions or goals for 2016?

Image credit: “Quiet Tea Time” by Kirinohana is licensed under CC by 2.0

Reviewing my goals – winter edition

8086562219_9ae24a96cf_zIn September, I gave myself 7 challenges . Its been about three months since then. The link for that post is here if you’re interested. Since its pretty much the start of a new season, I’ve decided to review my challenges, see how I’m doing so far, and adjust if necessary.

Previous goal: push myself physically.
How I’m doing: 4/5
I’m going to incorporate squats, push ups, and burpees into my daily schedule. I’ve started running again and will work on increasing my stamina. I’m going to start doing crossfit workouts again to get ready for the Spartan race.

Previous goal: eat better.
How I’m doing: 3.5/5
I’m going to add more whole grains to my meals. With my increased workouts, I’ll also need to add more protein to my meals and drink more water. At work, I will set a timer to remind myself to drink water.

Previous goal: find the balance between social life and alone time.
How I’m doing: 2/5
I will give myself time to think about an invitation before accepting or declining it. Knowing I have the choice to say yes or no is very empowering. I need to keep reminding myself that caring for myself isn’t selfish.

Previous goal: go outside more.
How I’m doing: 4.5/5
I will take advantage of good weather to go for long walks or runs in the ravine by my place. This will be a little more challenging in the winter, but we’ll see what happens.

Previous goal: embrace minimalism.
How I’m doing: 4.5/5
I will continue to purge clutter from my home. I will donate or giving away things I no longer use. I will keep up with my favourite website here for inspirational posts.

Previous goal: post more content on my blog.
How I’m doing: 4/5
I will keep posting a few times a week. This will include quote posts and things that have been on my mind.

Previous goal: do things I don’t enjoy.
How I’m doing: 2/5
I will look for opportunities that push me outside my comfort zone. I will volunteer more.

What are some of your goals or challenges? Do you have any tips on holding yourself accountable?

Image credit: “2012 Running Room” by Sangudo is licensed under CC by 2.0

Autumn Reflections – Day 22

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Every few months or so, we’re given a new season. Autumn brings the start of something new. Its the perfect time to review old goals, adjust them if necessary, and create new ones. Autumn gives you a fresh start where you can reevaluate where you want to be and create steps that will take you in that direction. Many people make new year’s resolutions, which is a great idea, but I like to create goals for myself at the start of every season. I need a way of holding myself accountable for my goals, and following up a few times a year is more helpful to me.

Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is is change.
-Edwin Teale

7 challenges for myself

Thank youMy comfort zone involves a blanket, a cup of tea, and a book. Fortunately for me, this is the kind of environment I need in order to recharge. I can spend time this way, without guilt, because I know that I’m giving myself what I need.  But because its so enjoyable, I often spend more time this way than I should.

If I always stayed in my comfort zone I’d never grow as a person. In order to motivate myself to achieve my goals, I have to give myself challenges. I thought I’d share a few of these challenges with you.

1. I’m challenging myself to push my body to its limits. I want to get stronger and grow in confidence. The endorphins are just a bonus 🙂 I’m going to start training for a Spartan race this summer. I’m focusing on building strength. I’m going to start running again. I’ll even throw in some crossfit workouts too, something I never thought I’d do again.

2. I’m challenging myself to eat better. To cut out all processed foods and refined sugars. To make sure I’m getting the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. To consume enough calories not only for maintenance, but for building muscle. And I need to drink more water. I’m going to carry a water bottle around with me, so drinking water will be easier to remember.

3. I’m challenging myself to find the balance between social activity and alone time. To decide how many engagements a week/month I am going to agree to, and to say no to everything else. To go out with friends and enjoy it to the full. And to give myself the time I need to recuperate without feeling guilty.

4. I’m challenging myself to spend more time outside. I love being in nature, it gives me such peace and contentment. I went on a long walk this past Sunday through a beautiful ravine. I spent the whole time absorbed in the beauty around me, the smells of the leaves and the gorgeous colours of the trees. I took some pictures and will likely post them up soon.

5. I’m challenging myself to embrace minimalism. To go through the items in my home and get rid of the things I haven’t used for a long time, or the things that I don’t really like. I’ve already done this with my closet and its given me so much peace of mind. Purging things isn’t an easy task, but its so satisfying, and I really want to get rid of the clutter.

6. I’m challenging myself to post more often on my blog. I still have a lot of summer pictures I want to share, and some ones from autumn as well. There’s a lot of topics I’d like to write about. I’d like to post something (other than quotes) twice a week, starting next month.

7. I’m challenging myself to do things I don’t enjoy. Things like squats and burpees. Like eating things that don’t necessarily taste good but are good for me. To go up to strangers at an event and introduce myself. To finally do things I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the courage. To sometimes say yes to things that intimidate me.

So there are some my challenges. I’m going to follow up at the end of each month, assess my progress, and adjust if necessary.

What are some of your goals/challenges?

Image credit: “Thank you all for supporting me” by Almond Butterscotch is licensed under CC by 2.0