Saturday, January 24, 2015

Birthday Goals Update

Since today is my half birthday, which may not seem like that big of a deal, I thought I'd briefly go over how I'm progressing on my 24 birthday goals.

1. Run another marathon and ultra marathon.
I'm not planning on running anymore races until after my birthday. I took much too long of a break after AR50 and haven't really been interested in running until this past October. I'm signed up to run the San Francisco Marathon (two days after my birthday), but don't see any ultra races happening anytime soon.
2. Blog at least 5 times each month. 
I'm doing great at this!
3. Sew every month.
I'm pretty sure I haven't sewn every month. That being said though, I have sewn a lot more this past year than I have before. Plus, I plan on sewing through a lot of my garment stash, hopefully really soon!
4. Use up the majority of my stashed fabric (so I can buy more, of course) ;)
Like I said above, I have plans for a lot of the fabric I currently have. I've officially put myself on a fabric-purchasing freeze until I sew through the majority of my stash.
5. Knit and finish at least one project. (I must get back into knitting!)
Several months ago I started (and finished!) an Orchid Cowl for Marissa's birthday, so I can definitely check this goal off my list! I also started a winter hat (which I need to frog), and what is going to be a huge knit blanket (still currently in the making and will be for a long time). In February Lauren and I are going yarn shopping so I'll knit Lauren her super-belated birthday cowl as well.
6. Mail at least one letter each month.
Moving across the country as really encouraged me to send a lot more mail. I think I mailed at least one letter each month, except in December. I just completely forgot, which seems odd. The postal service's biggest delivery month is most likely December because of the holidays, and I didn't even partake in this world wide mailing spree.
7. Take lots of pictures with my big camera as a way of exploring my "neighborhood". 
Basically, I really haven't used my big camera a whole lot. I really need to get on this!
8. Finish my Summer Sampler cross stitch pattern.
I'm almost there! I hope to have it completed by the end of February!
9. Read at least one book per month.
So far I've read a book every month, except in August.
10. Sew at least two dresses, and actually wear them.
This summer I cut out fabric for the Alder Dress. I started sewing it up and made a mistake which developed into even more of a mess because I was so frustrated. Needless to say I haven't worked up the courage to pick this project back up. But I am hoping to get back into sewing soon and whip up a lot of new pieces, dresses included!
11. Try at least one new food item each month.
Honestly, I don't even know. But what I do know is that I've been eating a lot healthier and eating familiar foods in new ways. Let's take sweet potatoes as an example. Before, the only way I would be inclined to dine on sweet potatoes was in the fry form. Now though, one of my favorite dinners to cook is roasted sweet potatoes with other random veggies.
12. Read through all of the magazines I own to clear up some much needed space.
I got maybe halfway through all of my magazines; I seriously had so many of them! One of my August goals was to go through my magazine stash. By the end of August I still had so many left to read, so I decided to just toss the rest of them. I didn't miss anything life-altering by not reading them, and I cleared up an entire corner in my room. That's a win-win!
13. Catch up on all of the birthday presents I owe people.
I'm almost there. All I have left is Lauren's birthday cowl.
14. Run under an eight minute mile.
I haven't really tried to do this yet. I'll be going home to Sacramento in July, so my brother and I will have a mile race and I'm determined to run a sub eight minute mile.
15. Go through and clean up my room at my parents' house.
I talked a little bit about this when reviewing my December goals. But basically, I've come to the realization that my room at my parents' house will never be as clean and organized as I would want. I did what I could with my space, but at the end of the day there's so many other factors feeding into this task that can't be disturbed, so my room is as good as it's going to get. 
16. Create an art/gallery wall.
I hope to start working on this next month. I already have a few pictures that I need to find frames for, and others that I can't wait to receive/purchase/make!
17. Keep plants alive.
When I was living in Sacramento, I managed to keep several different plants alive. When I moved to Philadelphia, I left these plants at Leti's house for her to babysit. After visiting in December, I'm happy to report that my plants are still thriving. Also, when Lauren and I moved to the East Coast, one of the first things we did was buy new plants. We each chose two different varieties to keep on our respective window sills. All of the four plants are doing great!
18. Have at least one vegetable every night for dinner.
Nope. I would say that most nights I have at least one vegetable for dinner, but I know that there are definitely times where I just had a large cup of trail mix to hold me over till breakfast. I have made an effort to eat more nutritious meals though, so that's got to count for something, right?
19. Set a monthly budget and stick to it.
Since moving to Philadelphia I set a monthly budget for myself and broke my total budget into separate categories (rent, electricity, groceries, eating out, fun, misc., etc.). I've been able to stick to my budget every month except for December (Christmas present giving time!). I didn't go over my budget by much, and all of the other months I've managed to "save" a decent amount. So, I consider this a success thus far.
20. Weed through my belongings and donate items I no longer need.
I donated a lot of things in June when I moved out of our Sacramento apartment into Leti's house, when I left Leti's house for Philadelphia, and when I arrived in Philadelphia. Everything I currently own in my Philadelphia apartment are items I actually use. However, the whole "Capsule Wardrobe" idea has really got me thinking about all of the clothes I still own. While I love the concept, there's no way I'm willing to narrow my wardrobe down any further right now. Plus, I don't have the extra space to store the different seasons' pieces. Maybe this summer or fall I'll go through my closest again and figure out what I've actually worn this past year. The things I haven't worn in over a year, I'll make an effort to wear. If I no longer like that item, I'll donate it. That's my new plan!
21. Get a hair cut!
I got a hair cut in September!
22. Make sure I get my daily 10,000 steps, but not make it a chore.
I've done pretty well with my daily steps, thanks to my FitBit. But to track my success even better, I've made this goal one of my New Year's Resolutions and have been marking off the days I do reach my daily 10,000 steps.
23. Try a new physical activity, like yoga.
I've tried yoga and zumba, and luckily enjoyed both but for very different reasons. I hurt my hip a month or so ago and I've found that zumba really aggravates it, so I've been cutting down on that activity. But, I have been going to power yoga twice a week and find that it really helps get some stretching in post-running. 
24. Ride my bike often, while I have the opportunity. 
I haven't rode my bike at all in a few years, and this year isn't an exception, sadly.

It's only been half of a year since my birthday and I already feel like I've made a lot of progress on these 24 goals. Let's see what more I can do in 6 months!