My birthday’s coming up – this Sunday (the 24th), to be exact. And for my birthday, I’m giving myself a gift. A gift of a better, happier, healthier life. I know that sounds completely cheesy, but it’s true. My life’s not perfect right now – nor do I really want it to be. But it can stand for some minor adjustments that would probably be beneficial. So here are some birthday goals that will (hopefully!) help improve the quality of my life – and allow me to appreciate it even more! =)
1) Set the timer:
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I first started blogging and tweeting last month, I was overwhelmed by the amount of support and networking the online community offered. I was reading health and education blogs, writing my own health/education blog, becoming “friends” and “followers” to fellow bloggers and Tweeters. I registered for weight-loss and healthy-life challenges and groups – there was always something to read, write, comment on – some sort of “online chat” to be a part of. For the last two weeks, I’ve been so overly involved in this online community in fear that I would miss some pivotal or monumental news (I know, how ridiculous). I was nervous that I’d miss a comment or retweet (yes, I speak the Tweet language now). But being so excited about getting healthy and fit and active actually resulted in a lot more sitting and being attached to my computer. Thus, the “set the timer” rule is now going to be implemented. Until I start work, I will limit myself to 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening to read blogs, write my own posts, check e-mails, play on Pinterest, etc. Once work starts, I’ll probably decrease that even more to just 1 hour in the evening. The problem with getting overly involved in this online world is that, for such an extremely attached person like myself, I want to be involved – like 125%, overly-committed kind of involved (
that’s going to be a problem for my husband muahahhahaha). And that’s pretty shitty because then I’m just “talking about” living life – not actually living life.
So there it is – I will actually be setting a timer (alarm and everything) to make sure that I stick to this structured routine.
English: Montage of Southern California images on WikiMedia Commons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2) Make my own adventures and discover my city:
I’ve lived in Southern California my entire life (I was born and raised in Orange County. I went on to UCLA to complete my bachelors in Sociology and then got my teaching credential and Masters in Education at LMU). But despite living here for 26 years, I feel like there is still so much to explore. I’m a creature of habit – if I love something, I continue going there – be it bars, restaurants, running trails, etc. Why do you think my “go-to lunch” is a Subway sandwich?
This year, I’m going to make a conscious effort to try new things, discover new places, and fall in love with this place I call home. Should be easy with all this free time I’ll have since I’ll be setting my timer, right?
3) Follow through with things I start:
I am terrible at this. I have a scrapbook from my first year of college that has yet to be completed (that was 8 years ago, people). I bought an external hard drive pre-LMU to organize my documents, pictures, and music. It’s still sitting in my backpack. I don’t know what it is about me, but I just take on so many different things and never fulfill them because of other obligations or other huge tasks I start working on. I’m giving myself a month from my birthday to pull out all the football tickets, pictures, and notes I’ve collected over the last 8 years and put it in a scrapbook. I have boxes of things and stacks of pictures all over my desk organized by date – it’s just a matter of sitting down and doing it.
4) Lose A Marathon Challenge:
I am participating in the lose a marathon/half-marathon challenge! I’m about 30 pounds heavier than I was in 2009 – that’s NOT okay. Not because I care about the numbers or because I have an “ultimate weight goal” in mind or because my cheekbones have disappeared when I take pictures
(okay that’s partially it) – it’s because I can feel it. I can feel the difference when I run, when I hike, when I play sports. And I hate it. Because I love being active. And there’s an athlete inside of me – it’s just covered by 30 pounds of fat. So I’m committed to this challenge and I’ll have Weight Watchers and my half-marathon training (not to mention the wonderful online community I’ll have access to for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening! ) to keep me on top of it.
5) Half Marathon Training:
Even in 2009, when I love love LOVED running and did it all the time, I had never committed to a race. Maybe I was afraid of failure or maybe I didn’t want it to be a competitive thing because I loved it so much – not really sure what it was specifically, but I never signed up for a race…not even a 5K. This year, I’ve officially signed up for the Long Beach Half Marathon. It’s scheduled for October 7th! I’m following a training schedule I found online and developed my own, simple, idiot-proof training log to write down my time, pace, and all comments like: “Ugh, my feet were killing,” or “Damn, that was a lot of duck sh*t I had to avoid while running.” I’m committed and excited to see this goal through!
6) DO Pinterest Goals:
No, this doesn’t mean find a bunch of goals people have pinned and steal them to call my own. It also doesn’t mean go look for fun things to do on Pinterest. I have already spent a ridiculous number of hours browsing that wonderful time-consuming website and have only made a handful of those recipes and done 0 of the DIY projects. My goal is to make at least one of the recipes and do at least one of the DIY projects on my boards each week. Obviously that’s easy for me to say now when I’m not working full-time, so maybe this will have to be slightly altered once work starts, but for now, that’s what it is. I gotta stop looking and pinning and start doing and making.
7) Turning Off Technology:
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve already set limits on my computer for two hours total each day, but I also want to detach myself from my cell phone. I’ve become ridiculously reliant on Dot (my iPhone’s name. Sister’s is called Polka. Don’t judge us). So for an hour each day, I will not only turn off the computer, but leave my phone at home and go outside – completely unattached. If not outside, then at least away from my phone. I used to love reading (still do), but I just feel constantly interrupted and don’t feel like I enjoy reading in the same way because of it. I gotta change that – I want to crave reading like I used to. I want to curl up in a corner, without interruptions and just read and read and read.
8) Finding Joy in Each Day
I love my life. I am so grateful for the family and friends that I get to call my own. I’ve been so fortunate with all I’ve been given. But, I occasionally fall into a trap of taking things for granted. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world – and I often times don’t take the time to really enjoy it. I have a family that will bend over backwards, forwards, and sideways to do anything and everything for me – but I will, more often than not, forget to acknowledge them for their selflessness. And at night when I’m in bed and reflecting back on the day’s events, I think about what went wrong or what could have been better. From today onward, that’ll change. I am challenging myself to think of 2 things each day – just 2 things! – that brought me joy. Could be my lunch, an unexpected visit or perhaps a new discovery (since I’ll be going on so many adventures now!) – whatever it is, there’s beauty in each day. And I need to acknowledge it and fully embrace it.
Why am I doing this? No, I’m not going through a quarter-life crisis where I realize my life is terrible and I gotta fix it ASAP. It’s because my life’s not terrible. It’s because I’m not really making the most of what I’ve been given. It’s because I don’t want to watch life pass me by without jumping in and playing around a bit. That’s what the goals are for. So I can jump and play and live, love, and embrace my life.
What are your weekly/monthly/yearly goals? What steps are you going to take to ensure you follow through with them?