Wedding Update: A Date is Set. (On your marks, get set…)

It’s that moment when you realize you have almost two hours to kill before your next class after smoking your first exam of the semester. It’s when you realize you haven’t been posting and it could be for any reason, the winter blues, too much to talk about, too little to talk about, or just not feeling like you can get your shit together.

So where am I?

I’m sure this belongs in a “Wedding Wednesday” but the most exciting thing as of late is signing the contract and putting the first deposit down for our wedding. This is really going to happen, folks. Also, I don’t know if you remember, but once upon a time I was thinking “Fall of 2015…sometime.” Waiting is for the birds. We will be saying our vows in just a smidge over a year from now:

February 14, 2015.

Yes. I am getting married on Valentine’s Day. Yes, it falls on Saturday. How could we resist? Everything is falling heavenly into place for an intimate, chic wedding and reception. I know what you’re thinking, so let’s get it out the way:

  • No, I will not be using pastel conversation hearts as decor
  • Valentines will not be our save-the-dates
  • Yes, it will be easy for Boyface to remember our anniversary
  • I do know it is pretty darn cheesy; I’m just going to embrace it

Throughout the process, we figured we would let the venue pick the date. However, Fall of 2015 started seeming awfully far away, and while I’m all for long engagements, two years to think about our wedding and change my mind an infinite amount of times was not going to be healthy for anyone. Besides, there are moments when I look at him and think, “I cannot wait one more second to call you my husband.” Which, while it feels weird since I didn’t think marriage was going to happen for me until later in life, also feels oddly comforting.

valentinesweddinginspiration

Why Valentine’s Day? Why not? Winter weddings are not given enough credit. I need to start learning some ancient Indian fluffy snow dances. Valentine’s Day has been remarkably special since we started dating. We’ve gone to the same place each year – even though that meant a 9 p.m. dinner reservation on Thursday last year because I had class that night. My love for oysters was renaissanced at one of our Valentine’s Day dinners. (In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about The Greenhouse Tavern, highly recommended.)

I need to remember to savor the meal and moments this year because next year’s Valentine’s Day will be a bit more hectic. I don’t think ox heart will be on the menu either – it’ll be chicken and salmon, or beef and salmon? Who knows.

It’s daunting how much plans change but somehow what you always wanted doesn’t. I was originally looking to plan a Pinterest-eque barn wedding, complete with drinks in mason jars. Now we’ll be cozied-up inside for a personal, downtown affair with less than a hundred of our closest loved ones. How did that even happen?

We knew from day one we wanted something fun and easy for our guests. We wanted something that represented us as a couple. We wanted as little to worry about as possible. It could have been either but when I opened up to listen to the universe (and a very knowledgeable, close girlfriend) the stars aligned and everything fell into place. Doesn’t it always?

Before you wheel me off in the looney-hippie cart – know there are still a lot of stars for us to align. Off the top of my head?

  • Photographer
  • Emcee – we don’t really need a DJ just a spectacular wedding manager, any ideas?
  • Dessert – Cake or cupcakes? Both? What if I just want a bowl of salted caramels from Fears Confections?
  • Alterations – any Cleveland area recommendations?

Hm, I guess this is a “Wedding Wednesday” post after all. Please excuse my belatedness.

P.S. I have to throw in a big shout out and congratulations to my friends Julie and Justin on their engagement. I just love, love, love them. I remember watching the Ohio State-Michigan game with them two years ago and it was already easy to see how happy they made each other, how much fun they had together.

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A Mindful Friday: Compliments and Posture.

Last Week’s Intention

My intention last week was to pay a compliment to someone each day. A meaningful compliment. I wasn’t initially convinced about how this related to having a more mindful existence. How would giving someone else a boost of confidence play into me being a more present being? My questions did not go unanswered for long.

compliment

To give someone a compliment, you have to be all there. You can’t be thinking about something that happened yesterday or in a meeting an hour ago. You cannot be pondering your schedule for the next day or anticipating what someone is going to say next. You have to be there, with them, in the moment. Your focus is on one thing and one positive thing at that.

My favorite part about last week’s intention was the invitation to find the positive in those around me. I’m not sure why, but it’s been a huge paradigm shift for me to refocus on the bright side of life. I seem to hold onto negative experiences and let the happy ones drift by. On one of my favorite podcasts (You Made It Weird with Pete Homes) the host always asks his guest, “when was the time in your life when you laughed the hardest?” The answers always induce a smile. The smile is doomed to fade because I honestly can’t recall the time in my life where I’ve laughed the hardest. I could take a few guesses but even then I can’t recall those moments like I can arguments and break-ups. I swear I remembered it once; before I had the chance to share or commit it to memory, the recollection passed.

Have you ever unveiled a big reason not to like someone and from there on out everything they do is absolutely despicable? You get crazily annoyed by something you never thought in a million years would bother you, but it does, and it’s because THAT person is doing it? “Gah! I can’t believe he seriously thinks it is okay to walk down the stairs like that. He’s awful.”

I’m starting to think the hateful voodoo described above might work in the opposite direction and may even be more powerful. When I found myself consciously trying to observe the good in people, it was a lot easier to like them. I’m aware of how elementary that sounds but like I said, this is a new thing for me. Instead of being critical, I spent a week giving people the benefit of the doubt. Most people at least, I still don’t mercy people who choose the bathroom stall next to you when the remaining eight are open. I noticed people being gracious road companions, door holders, picker-uppers when you drop things and call-you-backers in a timely manner. So many people do so many decent acts of compassion everyday and yet I trained myself to see the wrong. I’m a big believer in finding what you look for and as a fan of appreciative inquiry; I’m not sure how I didn’t put this together sooner.

I may not be able to always mindfully eat, the intention from two weeks ago, but I think I can keep up giving someone a genuine compliment each day – it’s just too easy not to.

This week’s intention? Posture. Noticing your posture and slowly correcting it each time you notice a slump. I consider myself to be someone with a good posture. Lord knows I had to hear about it enough growing up. Sitting up straight just feels better anyway – makes my head feel less heavy. Yes, that sounds kind of crazy. Also, my torso is unusually long so if I do take advantage of sitting up straight, I’m practically an equal at the table with someone who is 6 ft. tall but leggy. That being said, every time I do a posture check, there are improvements to be made. I tense up my shoulders when I drive, I lean into my computer screen at work, and I curl up on the couch with books. Even with the activities I would mark myself off as “exceeds expectations” there is room for improvement, and that has to be some sort of mindfulness lesson unto itself.

Here’s to sitting up straight and finding the good in others. 

 

Wedding Thursday: I've got my man & my b*tches.

I know, I know. What happened to Wedding Wednesday? I’m sorry! I didn’t make the cut this week but there is so much going on, I can’t help it! We pretty much have the date and the venue and are just working on paperwork. Also – I went to a Bridal Boutique last weekend and can’t wait to review it and talk about some of the amazing vendors I saw, but that will have to wait until next week because today I can’t stop thinking about how excited I am about my bridal party.

The wedding party.

How many? Who? Well…that’s actually about it when it comes to the wedding party. I would be surprised looking back and remembering this as one of the simplest wedding decisions. Five is the golden number, including my maid of (dis)honor. My maid of many honors will be my one and only sibling, my baby sister. Then the rest, my best friends from high school, college, and work, and my future sister! It works out so perfectly and the best part is, they all said yes! I really had to get my butt in gear before Christmas though because when I realized I would be seeing four of the five in person in about a two week span, I knew the time was now or…well, later. It would never be never.

How to ask your bridesmaids?

This was tough. Pinterest may soon become the bane of my wedding planning existence. I love it for ideas but then I hate it because I don’t want to do something incredibly ubiquitous. So basically….I felt like I couldn’t do any of these…

asking

Not that I don’t like most of them. That’s the problem, I’ve loved ALL of these, but I wanted something special, and fun, and within my means. I tend to overshoot in my head what I’m capable of and then the final product isn’t quite what I had in my head.

I found the idea of using a spool and ribbon to “pop the question” to my girlfriends and went with it! I already have a glue gun and a sharpie so I just needed some spools and ribbon in one of the wedding colors and I was set! I’m please to say they turned out as I had hoped, each a little different.

myask

Any lessons learned? I would add some teasers or inside jokes to the beginning of the ribbon and have the question be at the the very end. I would also try to figure out how to not bleed the marker through the ribbon – minor detail though.

How have you been asked or how did you ask?

 

Two Weeks In: How my resolutions are going.

Let’s check in, shall we?

Last week, I started asking myself a very critical question. You’ll be happy to know I haven’t gotten far. Hey, things take time.

As for my resolutions, I do have some updates there.

Write & Reflect

Well – I’m doing it right now? Does that count? I would really love to strive to write a little everyday. Even if it’s just a sticky-note love note to myself. Just a little writing for fun. Just a little text not intended for work or school purposes. There’s a good piece of advice in regard to running – do it even when you’re not in the mood. I think this applies to writing for me as well, because while I may not be in the mood to begin with I’m always thankful I did afterward. And you don’t get better by not doing something.

Discovered an AWESOME quote on Alicia’s blog today.

“If you had started doing anything two weeks ago, by today you would have been two weeks better at it.” ― John Mayer

Be a More Considerate Driver

I’m getting there. It’s just not easy to be super considerate when some a-hole is in the left hand land going 50 mph and everyone else who saw you hit the brakes is whizzing by you to your right. I loathe being passed on the right. I am enjoying being a more present driver – I even noticed some graffiti today I hadn’t before. The side of a building said, “provoke.” I’m having fun contemplating if “provoke” is someone’s pseudonym or a message. Either way I’m getting a kick out the fact I’ve been provoked to ponder that.

One Hour of TV a night (Tops!)

I think I’m 90% of the way there. I have SO MUCH TIME when I’m not self-hypnotizing. It’s incredible. I’m also not sure what I’m missing, so it really couldn’t have been that great. Perhaps my hot and heavy affair with my hubby-to-be’s DVR is finally fading.

Lumosity or other brain exercises

This really might just turn into “keep up with the schoolwork for my three classes.”

Review my finances/budget weekly

Yeppers. Good news is that between school, wedding, and saving for a house, the most complicated financial decision I’ll be making for the next six months is Yellowtail or The Little Penguin?

WineCollage

Completing the Blogilates Calendar

With a combination of waking up early, some crazy long workouts on the weekends, and Captain Planet – I should be on track to achieve this. I should really add the Captain Planet theme song to my workout. I can’t think of many other people I could spend as much time with as I will be spending with Cassey this month, especially since everytime I hear her say, “Hey guys!” my muscles pre-ache. (Both Captain Planet and Cassey have great abs!)

heroes

DietBet (Just for January) & a certain weight # or fitting back into my fave jean shorts this year

Well I’m 78% of the way there for the DietBet so as long as I stay on the straight and narrow, I should make it. Having 17 more days left could be a blessing or a cure. It’s been a great reason to take eating healthy seriously. As for the number I’m hoping to see or the favorite jean shorts – it will be a journey. Now that our wedding is (probably, mostly) set, there is a date I want to look the best in my life on. However, I don’t just want to get in wedding-shape, I want to get in life-shape. Basically, it’s a whole thing for me right now to make sure I’m getting in the groove of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle instead of a crash diet that that I might maintain right up until whatever delicious desserts I choose to have gorge on indulge in at the reception. Still don’t have the Kate Spade’s yet and I just broke my other cat-eye sunglasses – so time is of the essence!

Monthly Reflection on Awake Exec Topic

Well, I can hardly remember what the webinar was on this month, so that’s not a good sign. It was something about reflecting on how we want to feel and getting to that. I still have time, it’s going on the to-do list.

Run 25 miles each month

It’s January 14 and I’ve covered 8 miles so far, this month. That’s not great. Love, love, love Blogilates, but it doesn’t leave much energy for running. A long run on a weekend would go a long way (…pun intended?) but last weekend’s attempt was a miserable fail. I went to yoga at the House of Blues – which, p.s. free yoga every Saturday at the House of Blues – donations are encouraged and it goes to a charity of the teacher’s choice. So. I went to yoga on Saturday, which, p.p.s. was a 75-minute vinyasa flow with a teacher named Joy but I’m pretty sure her middle name is holy-moly-how-did-I-get-my-body-into-this-position-and-how-long-does-she-want-me-to-stay-here. So. After an invigorating yoga sesh, the weather was cloudy 40 degrees and I thought, what the heck? By the time I had run three-quarters of a mile I had almost slipped on ice and ate sidewalk twice and stepped in three puddles. By the third puddle, I said to myself, “aw, hell no,” and turned around. It was a good thing I turned around because as soon as I did, and was running into the wind, of course, it began to pour. I arrived back at the condo, cold, wet, and defeated. I will get the 25 miles in this month. I will.

Run a sub-2 ½ marathon this year

Slated to make my training plan in early February.

Learn to embrace ambiguity

All I have to say to myself here is to remember to be careful what I wish for. I have to be mindful the world has a habit of giving you what you ask for. Asking for ambiguity to embrace is much different than asking to find a cute top for work with elbow patches – which I did find, and it’s fabulous! Ambiguity is coming to me in waves. I don’t mean the rolling gentle kind either. I mean, the ocean waves on a beach that knock you down in a kind of scary way so you’re not sure which way is up and just when you figure it out another one comes crashing down and you go tumbling under again, wondering how you’re even still breathing. I know that sounds horrifying, but just as I remember my tussles with the ocean as a child, I am energized.

Waves and abs - circa. 2011
Waves and abs – circa. 2011

Welcome Mindfulness into my Life (via Training a Wild Elephant book)

Last weeks task was to be mindful when I ate. Just eat. No TV, no distractions, just eat. I would give myself a 5 out 10 on the assignment. I knew it would be tricky and it was. I just very much like watching Jeopardy and eating dinner. It works for us. Having less TV time though did spill into being a more mindful eater though. It was also tough to be mindful when I was eating at my desk. Just saying.

This week’s assignment is to give someone a compliment each day. Not just someone, someone you care about. This is pretty easy for me, I just have to be conscious of when I’m doing it. Like right now, I was thinking I didn’t compliment anyone today, (stranger’s scarves don’t count, etc.) and as I reflect, I sent a really sweet text to a friend without a second thought. Go me. Should probably keep better track of doing this too.

That’s all! Yeah, that’s all, just three pages of text. Oh crap.

How are your resolutions, words of 2014, promises, whatever you did, going?

Exactly where I'm supposed to be to finally ask myself a very important question.

As the days swirl around me, I know things are going to get hectic but I can’t be bothered with that right now. Everything is perfect right now. I 99.9% have a wedding venue and a date. I’m less than one year away from completing the coursework for my MBA. Healthy living is shockingly enjoyable. My better half is at yoga and I stayed after work to run. We just missed each other and right now I’m on the couch. The television is off. Vitamin String Quartet is serenading me and there’s a bright clementine to my left, should I need it.

An immense amount of my time on this earth has been spent trying to fix things, people. An enormous amount of energy has been exerted toward being someone that I’m not; trying to be the person I thought the world needed. Trying to be the person I thought the people I was supposed to care about wanted me to be. I had it all backwards.

It starts with you. If you don’t have a direction, you will certainly be lost and I got lost – so many times and in so many ways. I don’t mean to be vague but I hardly think the shallow examples that are representative of something so much deeper will do any good. It’s astounding to look back and see something so clearly that I couldn’t have seen no matter how sunny the day, back then.

I was a slave to forcing the success of those I thought I loved. I’m not even sure I knew what love was. Love was pounding on someone’s door until they woke up and convincing them to go to class so they wouldn’t fail. Love was pouring hours into a keepsake for someone so they wouldn’t not have something you did. I never fell victim to the usual sweeping rivers. I didn’t (and don’t) rely on boys and best friends to tell me I’m pretty, or skinny, or witty. My mislaid self-confidence was dependent upon them reaching their potential, even if I was the only one of us that saw this so-called potential.

Such a weakness might be called naive but that’s never been a word for me. Wanting what others wanted for me was convenient. I wasn’t comfortable enough in my own skin to ask myself what I wanted. I’ve made a seemingly safe and secure life by wanting what I thought others wanted for me. I’ve done a lot of “shoulds” which could be “want to’s,” but how would I ever know?

What’s the trick to never having to ask yourself what you want to do? Be busy. Keep your schedule as packed with busy as you possibly can. Be so exhausted from being busy at the end of the day you take an hour- or two-long dose of mindless television before you go to sleep to wake up for another day of mind-numbingly busy.

How do you feel about someone when you ask how they are and they say, “busy”? Do you think that person is probably really interesting? Do they sound like fun? Is that someone you’d like to be experiencing life with? Me neither. Somehow, that’s who I was evolving into, Busy. Busy with a lot of “have to do’s” and lacking in the “get to do’s.” Truly, everything can be a “get to do” when you re-frame your “obligations” but it’s all about your feelings throughout the day and I wasn’t having any. When, “whatever someone that I think loves me wants me to do” isn’t an answer to “what do you want to do?”, things get tricky. When people who truly love you, encourage and support you to do what you want to do, therein lies the conundrum:

What do I want to do?

Much to my dismay, this isn’t a post about what I want to do. This is simply a piece where I admit to myself this question has been long overdue – fortunately, as the universe happens to work, I know I’m exactly where I need to be. Any meditation step-by-step will tell you to know that too. I’m finally starting to understand all of that crap. Everyday is the first day of your life. Be what you’re passionate about in the world, because that’s what the world needs, passionate people. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, yes, yes.

I’m going to start small. What do I want to do this month? This week? Today?

Today, I want to be grateful. I want to express my many thanks to the forces at be for my family, friends, family-to-be, career, mentors, and even the people who would be the opposite of who I would mention in an acknowledgments section of my first novel, because they’ve been half of the journey too.

Now, I must find a picture of me looking reflective, because that’s what I want to do.

makingawish

What do you WANT to do this year? Month? Week? Day?

Now & Then: Time Warp to 2009

First and foremost, this post title is a shout out to one of my favorite movies ever. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Nothing like little Thora Birch and Christina Ricci singing “Knock Three Times” on bikes that probably have banana seats. So much love for that movie.

Me five years ago versus now. How about that red hair? Outfit is complete with old school No Doubt shirt and Birkenstocks.
Me five years ago versus now. How about that red hair? Outfit is complete with old school No Doubt shirt and Birkenstocks.

So what’s this really about? It’s about me having too much fun looking at old postings of mine. I know I’d have one of those questionnaires out there that really took hold in the era of MySpace but since that has been erased…I did find one as an old, old Facebook note, from nearly five years ago. I’m sure if I kept digging I could find something on Xanga, or even better, Diaryland. This will do for now. Just for kicks and giggles – I’m going to fill this out in present time too (just for scientific comparison, certainly not because I would think it would be any fun.) I also vow to not change any of my grammar/punctuation/phrasing. Gosh help us.

50 (yes fifty!!) things you’ve never been asked….

1. What color is your toothbrush?

Then: Light blue. I think.

Now: Orange (I know)

2. Name one person who made you smile today:

Then: Chris Law.

Now: Alex Ash (thanks for the #sns YouTube video)

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?

Then: Waking up…damn sun

Now: Had been working for over an hour

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?

Then: Napping =)

Now: Was still working…gee it seems like I’m not getting as much sleep as I used to. This work thing must be getting in the way.

5. What is your favorite candy bar?

Then: Hershey’s Cookies and Cream

Now: This could still be true, but I’m more in favor of anything salted caramel…is there a solted caramel candy bar out there?

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?

Then: No

Now: Yes

7. What is the last thing you said aloud?

Then: “hi”

Now: “I still didn’t clean-up the kitchen yet, sorry”

8. What is your favorite ice cream?

Then: chocolate chip cookie dough.

Now: Moose tracks

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?

Then: whiskey sour, at dinner.

Now: Glass of water, oh the hydration. And note to former self-I can’t even remember the last time I had one of those.

10. Do you like your wallet?

Then: I do!

Now: Actually no. Right now my “wallet” is a clutch and nothing is sorted.

11. What was the last thing you ate?

Then: (i’ve been asked this before) fries.

Now: Cottage cheese – what does “(i’ve been asked this before)” even mean, former self?!

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

Then: No, but I have acquired a free shirt and hat from volunteering at the track meet

Now: Yes, and just in time, new wintery-weather boots

13. The last sporting event you watched?

Then: Division III Track Championship!

Now: The BCS Championship Bowl. So tired of football.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?

Then: homestyle.

Now: Still all about the Homestyle

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to?

Then: randi

Now: Shannon Allen

16. Ever go camping?

Then: indeed

Now: On rare occasion

17. Do you take vitamins daily?

Then: no, but i should…

Now: I would say more like, weekly

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?

Then: No, but I’d like to

Now: “                          “

19. Do you have a tan?

Then: Kind of, I’m burnt and hopefully it’ll turn into a tan.

Now: Not even a little bit. Embracing the pale.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?

Then: yeah.

Now: Still an affirmative

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?

Then: I don’t really drink pop.

Now: Still don’t really drink pop

22. What did your last text message say?

Then: ok =)

Now: Eiii! Thank you!! Perfect cat eyes, here I come!!

23. What are you doing tomorrow?

Then: driving home to tburg.

Now: Working

25. Look to your left, what do you see?

Then: my cell, perfume, and a check from the Y

Now: My cell phone on the couch next to me, I must like to have it on the left…

26. What color is your watch?

Then: white

Now: Different watch, still white

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia?

Then: kangaroos?

Now: Foster’s

29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?

Then: I prefer drive through, but if it’s busy, I totally go in.

Now: Drive thru – though hopefully I’m not going to any fast food anytime soon.

30. What is your favorite number?

Then: 17

Now: 17

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone?

Then: Shannon Mc

Now: Nicholas

32. Any plans today?

Then: ummm, hangin with Sarah and Mike, then ???

Now: Avoiding the freezing cold

33. How many states have you lived in?

Then: one

Now: Still one

34. Biggest annoyance right now?

Then: people taking a long time to get ready.

Now: People talking crap about new people being at their gym or classes

35. Last song listened to?

Then: Paranoid Andriod, radiohead.

Now: Comeback Kid – Sleigh Bells

36.Can you say the alphabet backwards?

Then: yes, slowly

Now: I think I still can…

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house?

Then: Nope

Now: Still nope

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

Then: my leopard print birks.

Now: Studded black loafers – I really miss those birkenstocks!

39. Are you jealous of anyone?

Then: meh

Now: Envy is not a positive emotion and not one I’m welcoming into my life right now.

40. Is anyone jealous of you?

Then: doubt it

Now: This is a really weird question. Are we stretching to ask 50 questions? Seems like it.

41. Do you love anyone?

Then: Yeeeees

Now: Definitely

42. Do any of your friends have children?

Then: yeah

Now: Yes – and it’s socially acceptable too.

And ladies and gentlemen, there it ends. With no trace of why only 42 answered questions instead of the 50 initially promised…guess I always keep them guessing.

My Summary

This makes me want to pull out my old Radiohead albums and rock out. I was in a good place in 2009 but I’m even happier with where I am now – despite the apparent less sleep I’m getting. I may be a grown-up now but I’m having a really great time doing it.

 

 

2014 – Hopes, Goals, and Resolutions.

Sometimes – you just need to get your resolutions out there without too much fuss. This year, I have a few more than usual, some more specific, others more vague. 2014 is going to be a great big year for me. I can feel it. Below are the resolutions (subject to amends) and below below is some ramblings about them.

2014 Resolutions

Daily

  • Write and reflect
  • Be a more considerate driver
  • 1 hour of TV (tops!)

Weekly

  • Lumosity
  • Review my budget/finances

Monthly

  • Complete Blogilates calendar each month
  • DietBet (this month)
  • Reflection on an Awake Exec topic (book, webinar, etc.)
  • 25 miles per month

Within the year…

  • A certain weight or fitting back into my favorite jean shorts
  • Run a sub-2 half marathon
  • Learn to embrace ambiguity
  • Welcome mindfulness into my life (Complete “How to Train a Wild Elephant)
This is how we rang in the New Year - headstands and cheese. How could this year not be wicked awesome?
This is how we rang in the New Year – headstands and cheese. How could this year not be wicked awesome?

Thoughts on my “daily” goals.

I need to be writing daily. It makes me happy (always) and I’ve stopped writing if I don’t think it’s important. When I read my journaling from over a decade ago – it’s the random things, the seemingly trivial aspects, of my life I treasure looking back on. I’m only cheating myself if I don’t get steppin’ about writing.

As for driving – I spend over an hour and half on the road each day I commute to work. That’s an incredibly big chunk of time to be ticked off for every day. I’m very punctual and I always give myself more than enough time to get to work and home or to class, so, what’s the rush? I’ll never be a driver who can go 10-under but I don’t need to be the guy going 10-over and ruining everyone’s day who gets in the way, either.

One hour of TV a day – when I type that, it still sounds like a lot of TV – seven hours a week? What could be so interesting that I need to watch that much TV? The answer is not much – but I do it anyways. I’ve abused having cable and a DVR for far too long now and I’m out of excuses. When I watch less TV, the condo is magically cleaner, and somehow, I snack less, work out more, and am more mindful of tasks I need to complete. It’s a funny thing really. (This may or may not include sports – as long as they’re on mute and in the background of what I’m doing. That’s fair.)

Weekly

I say Lumosity but I mean doing something to improve my brain skills each week. I really am “that girl” when it comes to forgetting and running into things. Clumsy and absent-minded. It’s nearly lethal.

Review financials/budget. This just makes good sense. With a lot going on (saving for a wedding and house) the more cognizant I can be of my accounts and spending, the better. The key for me about spending is to keep looking at it.

Monthly

Health is a BIG theme for me this year. I don’t want to be a bride crash-dieting a couple months before the big day. I’d much rather get to wear I want to be in a healthy and (most importantly) sustainable fashion. My habits are complete crap. I haven’t been on a long run since the half-marathon I ran in October. I’m also teetering on weighing the most I ever have in my life in addition to not fitting into some staple closet items the same way. Something has got to change. There’s a number I really don’t want to ever see and I’m tip-toeing dangerously close to the edge. It would be one thing if I hit that number but I’m a lean, mean, muscular, fitness machine, but I’m not. I’m a fluffy, processed food, sweet tooth, lazy-ish black hole. So – as always, I know it’s not all about the numbers, but it’s a number I’ve reach through sloth and gluttony, not hard work and perseverance.

So about these monthly goals.

Blogilates calendar & DietBet- each month, my favorite online fitness guru, creates a calendar with recommended workouts each day. I want to complete all of the activities on the calendar within the month. I might not be perfect, I might get behind or even ahead but I want to do it all! I could really use some structure in my fitness-life and I think Blogilates will be just the thing. I’m also participating in the Blogilates-sponsored DietBet…just another check and balance. For the millionth time, I know it’s not just about the number, but my number is a number I’ve never seen before and I’d like a little kick in the butt to stop snacking and drink a little less. To “win” my diet bet for the month, I need to log a 5.9 lb. loss by the end of January…totally manageable if I stick with some of these other goals. It’s all about the ripple effect.

Awake Executive Reflection – I made a big step in my personal/professional development and joined a group that I think will help me grow. There are different topics monthly and my goal is to write a reflection (at least one) each month.

Run 25 miles – It was hard for me to come up with a “miles-a-month” goal but I’ve settled on 25. Running is a form of exercise I’ve grown to love over the past few years and I want to make sure it remains a staple in my fitness exploration. This would tally up to 300 miles in a year and I like that a lot. 365 is the stretch goal.

Within the Year

A certain weight or fitting back into my favorite pair of jean shorts. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

Run a sub-2 hr. half marathon. I had my first taste of running a half-marathon last year and I want more! Not more distance though, a faster time. I don’t feel like I pushed myself and I had a two-twenty-something. The goal was to finish. Now, the goal is to finish in under two hours. I’m aiming for the Cleveland Rite Aid but if that attempt falls short – I will keep signing up.

Learn to embrace ambiguity – This goal is a little more vague and I’m not sure how I’ll know when it’s been accomplished but I’m sure there will be scenarios to test it. For a really, really long time I was convinced that I was a “Type B” personality, and spontaneous, and could go-with-the-flow. I’m not sure what opened my eyes but man, have I been wrong. I don’t enjoy surprises and I don’t like uncertainty. I like to have a plan. I get upset when people are not on time. I cause myself a lot of unnecessary stress and grief by being so anal. I want to be comfortable saying “yes” to plans that aren’t more than twenty-four hours ahead of time.

And last but not least, welcome mindfulness into my life. Very much connected to my previous goal, I want to be in the moment. I want to know how to be present and then to be it. To put something measurable with this goal, I want to finish reading/completing the “How to Tame a Wild Elephant” book. I was really becoming a more focused and mindful person through it and I want to continue that journey – this week’s challenge is to “just eat” while you’re eating. This could possibly be the hardest chapter for me. I was originally doing this with my friend, Julie, and here’s her post on the food challenge.

I know it sounds like a lot but I think a lot of these will lend to the others. 2014 is going to be a great year, I just know it.