Monday, February 2, 2015

01.15 Goals Roundup

I've come to the realization that making and completing these monthly goals are helping me recognize what I actually like to do. The goals that I can easily and quickly cross off of my list are things I'm excited to accomplish and don't seem chore-like. On the other hand, there's a few things that I have to will myself to do. Although I know you shouldn't force yourself to do anything you don't want to do, balance is still important. Being a well-rounded individual is something I strive to become. While I love to do some crafty things, being aware of the world around me is also important. Even though I'm sure I could easily stay in my apartment all day long knitting my blanket, I understand how necessary it is to go outside and explore where you live. Initially these monthly goals were meant to encourage me to get things done, now however, I want to use them to make life even bigger.

Sorry for that tangent; my epiphany is over now. Let's evaluate January, shall we?
1. Complete Summer Sampler blocks 16-20: I was able to check this off my list not too far into the month which left a little bit of time to work on another surprise cross stitch project.

2. Read a book: Within the first week of January I started and finished "Family Pictures" which was a pretty good read. It was slow getting into the book, but once I reached the climax of the novel, I had to know how it ended. This was the book I originally bought on Amazon way back in September, hopeful that it would arrive in Sacramento before I moved across the country. Unfortunately it didn't, but luckily Leti held it for me until I came back for the holidays in December. I also recently bought a Kindle which meant that I had to scour the library's collection of ebooks. In the middle of January I checked out "Born to Run" and spent several days at the gym, on the stationary bike, trying to get though the book. Some parts were very interesting, like the descriptions of the American River 50 mile race (since I participated in it), and that held me captive. However, I gave up on the book about half way through. I felt like I was forcing myself to get to the end. After realizing that I was finding excuses why I shouldn't read, I decided to go ahead and let the ebook's check out time limit expire without renewing it. I've heard a lot of great things about this book, especially from my running group, but this wasn't the type of motivation I needed.

3. Use my new kitchen gadgets: I used my new food processor for multiple recipes like: larabars, salad dressing, cheese sauce, and falafel. But, I haven't found the perfect recipes to try with my Ninja chopper. This month though, my chopper will be put to a lot of use! That's for sure.

4. Stick to a running schedule: Lauren, Marissa, Heather, Leti, and I are signed up to run the San Francisco Marathon in July. Lauren and I knew that as soon as we registered for the race, we had to come up with some sort of system to hold us accountable for our training runs. I picked up a calendar from Target's dollar section, and wrote the distance/time we have to run every single day, including when our rest days are. I'm very happy (and a little surprised) that I stuck to this schedule pretty dang well. I only missed one day of running out of the entire month (a 24 minute run), so I consider this goal a huge success!

5. Sew something for myself: I made myself a sleeve for my new Kindle and whipped up a Tova Top that I'm actually excited to wear. I also restarted a Pretty Blouse that isn't quite done yet.

6. Go somewhere new to me: Of course this happened to be food related, and I'm not surprised nor ashamed at all! Lauren and I tried Hub Bub and The Green Line Cafe and love the latter!

7. Take lots of pictures, with people in them: I don't really know anyone in Philadelphia besides Lauren and myself, so when I said that I want more pictures with people in them, I guess I really meant that I wanted to take more bestie pictures. That didn't really happen though. I realized that my aim is to take better, higher quality photos. Yes, I definitely want to take a lot more photos to document everyday life because ten years from now there's a good chance that I won't remember all of the littler fun things I did, like what I did throughout the day. I definitely want to remember that, but I also want to have good pictures in my Project 365 albums. Years from now, I want to be able to look through those albums and think, "hey, that really is a great photo!". So for the rest of the year, I'm striving to take more best friend and family (when they visit/I visit) photos, and better quality pictures with my big camera. I also want to learn exactly how to take better photos with my big camera. That means no more using the "automatic" feature and instead playing around with the shutter speed, f stop, etc. and what those all actually mean.

8. Start a 2014 scrapbook: I sure did! I went through my hoarded paper stash and I trimmed down dozens of patterned and solid papers to make a 50 page book. Next step, slowly getting pictures printed. I think the best way for me to work on the book is by month, so that's the plan.

9. Go to the farmers' market: Lauren and I went to our local farmers' market once this past month. It's not a huge market, but we did manage to pick up some sweet potatoes, parsley, broccoli (which ended up being bad, due to the freezing temperatures), and apples (basically out of season now). As much as I like to support local businesses, I also really enjoy truly good produce. I don't mind paying a little extra for items grown/made locally, nor does it bother me that farmers' market produce appears "different" than "regular" produce from the store, or whatever. However, for example, I'm a picky eater when it comes to fruit and as it's the winter, I'm loving that it's finally citrus season. Living on the East Coast now, we don't really have a local supply of oranges. The grocery store right around the block carries plenty of oranges (from California) that are delicious, and so I end up enjoying those way more than the apples from the farmers' market. Unfortunately, I am pretty certain that farmers' market trips aren't something that's going to become a regular weekend ritual for us right now. Occasionally we will walk over to the park and see what they have to offer, but for now it seems like the best quality produce actually comes from the grocery store.

10. Stretch and go to yoga more often: I've been going to yoga about twice a week and I think it's really helping me stick with my running schedule. There have been numerous times where I'm actually way more sore from yoga than running, but that's good. I'm building strength and working on my balance and flexibility, not to mention reaping the benefits from the included stretching.

Score for January: 8 out of 10.

I think that's the best I've every done on my monthly goals!