Monday, February 6

2017 Goals: January Recap

One way I'm trying to remain accountable to my goals for 2017 is to recap each month and discuss how I'm doing! So, let's see where I'm at:

1. Read 12 new books this year
So far, I've finished one book and started on my second! I read The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory, a book J got me a year or so ago that I've (obviously) been wanting to read since then but couldn't find the time. 

Part of the reason I've been doing this reading project for over three years (!!!) is because I love to read and people, rightfully so, get me a zillion books for every holiday and occasion. It takes me so much longer now than it did in high school because I have so many more responsibilities! My ultimate goal is to finish every book I own. 😱

Right now, I'm reading The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees - kind of like with The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, I'm hoping this book will help me organize and create my particular fashion style, and by doing so, I'll be able to downsize my closet quite a bit! As I've said before, I really struggle with professional clothes, so my main goal is to figure out what kind of work clothes are "appropriate" while still actually liking them.

2. Make an effort to connect with nature
I've been buying flowers and leaves at Trader Joe's about every other week to keep in a vase in our living room and it's really had an effect on how homey our apartment feels. I'm now completely obsessed with eucalyptus leaves - I'm going to blame my wedding planner, Maya (@Plum Event & Design) for this, because she made us the most beautiful bouquets with eucalyptus leaves and I totally got the bug, haha. 
They didn't have the type of leaves I wanted on Saturday when I picked up groceries, so I went without (I'm realizing I'd rather have no leaves than leaves I don't like) - but I'm hoping to pick some up this week if I stop by again. 

The weather around Denver lately had been so depressing - it's been cloudy, cold, wet, and totally gloomy. I think it's actually been affecting my mood a lot, too. I've never really been affected by SAD, but I think it's been hitting me really hard this winter. Plus, I used to go on so many walks during the summer and fall; it's hard not to when the weather's begging you to get outside and enjoy it! Lately I've had no desire to get outside. Despite this, I walked home from work on Tuesday, about 2.8 miles. I was going to walk on the treadmill at my gym for a low-intensity cardio workout, but then realized I would be doing just about the same distance, and then would have to uber or lyft home anyway - so I decided to just walk! 

Saturday afternoon, the weather was finally beautiful again: 60's, bright and sunny, with just a bit of wind. I had been so depressed about the weather lately that I knew I needed to take advantage of it, so I went on a long-ish walk to the park and back - just over 4 miles. It felt so amazing to be outside!

3. Blog 3-4 times a week
I haven't been keeping this up as much as I hoped, but hey, I'm still here blogging! I was making two-to-three times a week pretty regularly this month, but managed only like, one post last week. It was a hectic, kind of terrible week, so I think I get a pass on this one. I don't want this blog to become a burden on me or something I dread doing, and it would have felt like that if I'd made myself blog last week. I made a blogging schedule at the end of last month, so I've already figured out what I'm posting and when - I just have to actually write them, haha. Because I've found myself falling behind, I'm trying to write posts in advance so I'm not struggling to keep up and write something the day of.

4. Limit how often I watch tv/Netflix
It's hard for me to say whether I'm doing a better job of watching tv or not - but I'm definitely more aware of what I'm choosing to do to distract myself or relax, so I consider that a win. For example, this past Monday, I was at work until almost 10PM working on a motion.  When I got home, I was exhausted - particularly mentally, but also physically since that's typically the time I go to bed. I decided to watch tv while I did yoga in order to give my brain a break, and it turned out to be exactly what I needed (I was watching Triple D while I did yoga - it sounds weird, but honestly it was awesome). Lately, however, I've found myself choosing to listen to music instead of mindlessly watching something, and it's been really rewarding. At the same time, J and I are making our way through "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in the evenings and I'm so into it, haha.

5. Listen to 30 new music albums
I listened to five new albums in January: (1) Hozier's "Hozier," (2) Lord Huron's "Strange Trails," (3) The Head & The Heart's "The Head & The Heart," (4) The Head & The Heart's "Let's Be Still," and (5) The Lumineer's "Cleopatra."

"Hozier" and "Strange Trails" were A+ albums. They were thoughtful, complex, and emotional. I particularly like the jazz/R&B influences in "Hozier." Unfortunately, I don't think I liked the other three albums. I really like individual songs by The Head & The Heart and the Lumineers, but as albums, I found all three to be really one-note. All the songs ran together and were honestly kind of boring.

6. Eat out once a week or less
We were mostly good about this in January, but this last week was kind of a disaster. I got this massive load of groceries in early January and managed to make it until yesterday without getting more - but this past week, we basically had nothing to eat, so we brought home food two or three times that week. Oops. It was either that or get groceries during the week, and there was no good time to do that sicne we share a car now. Before I went grocery shopping on Saturday, I tried to meal plan in order to figure out exactly what we needed. I think it helped - but we'll see!

7. Become actively involved in a legal organization
I haven't contacted anyone about getting involved in a committee, but I did go to a young(ish) lawyer's networking event a week or so ago! It was specifically for plaintiff and defense employment law attorneys to meet, and I found it really interesting. I feel like both sides tend to demonize or look down on the other, so I think it will be really helpful when I go up against people I've actually met. When you meet people, particularly in a fun, relaxed environment, it makes you humanize them and (hopefully) treat them with respect further down the road because they're not some demonized corporate goon in your mind - they're a real person.

8. Go to the gym at least 4 times a week
I've worked out 4 times a week for the whole month! It's not that it was "easy," because I have a pretty demanding job and since J and I share a car, so it can b
e really difficult to plan time to exercise.  But I've been flexible and made it a priority. This last week was especially difficult to fit it in, but I made it!

9. Balance giving a fuck
All I'll say is, this goal has tested me this month.

10. Encourage my creative self
I haven't really done anything inherently creative in January. I played ukulele once or twice, but didn't record or play anything new. It mostly felt like I was just trying to stay afloat this past month. My mom got me these amazing inky drawing pens for my birthday, so I'm hoping to do some drawing early this month - something I used to do all the time, but haven't done in ages! So, looking in February, I'm hoping to learn a few new songs on the guitar or ukulele and actually record them, and also do some drawing or coloring in my new coloring books!

I didn't have a perfect month, but I'm really proud of how aware I was of my decisions. I noticed when I found myself turning on Netflix to distract myself, or when I chose to prioritize something else over writing a blog post. Honestly, January was a hard month. It was emotional and raw and terrifying, in between all the great, lovely things that happened. J has been an absolute saint all month, and I couldn't be more grateful for him supporting me through all the ups and downs of the last few weeks. 💗 

February's finally here and I'm hoping it will be a better month. It's really hard to stay positive while all these terrible things are happening around us - people's rights are being taken away, I honestly worry about nuclear war now, or some kind of military coup... I hope this doesn't come off as neurotic or paranoid, but I want to be honest here. I know a lot of like-minded people who are feeling really depressed right now, and I feel ya. I can't tell you that everything's going to be alright, but I can promise you that I will be there alongside you, fighting for our rights and human decency and hopefully punching a few Nazis.


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