There are 3 things I want to talk about today. (1) Fitness Friday; (2)
(1) Fitness Friday
I'm going to be real - the week of my birthday was nonsense. I basically ate this for 7 days:
Happy birthday to me!
I ran once last week and none this week (so terrible), so this weekend's half marathon is sure to be painful. Thankfully I have been getting back on track with eating well this week, like so:
J and I also had some discussions about timing/scheduling of workouts, which has been really tough lately and is the main reason why we haven't been working out much. We are going to try to become morning exercisers. For real this time. There's really no way around it; work schedules and after-work activities are making it nearly impossible to fit in workouts after work but still get to bed on time, so I think we're really going to try to become early-rising adults now. Sigh... it had to happen sometime, didn't it? We've been working on getting to bed early this week and it's going well - 10:30 every night so far, which is making it much easier to get up on time. We're setting the alarms a little earlier every day, so hopefully we won't be too shellshocked when we have to get up at 5:15 next week.
(2) Birthday gifts!
Next, as promised - the birthday swag.
Thanks iphone and blinding white light from the bathroom.
I wore this in yesterday's outfit but felt the need to feature it on its own today anyway. Isn't it gorgeous? It's technically from J. Crew Factory, but it is not the same ones they have on the Factory website - this one has gold buttons and different pockets from the factory versions I can see online. It does, however, look exactly like the J. Crew schoolboy blazer. It also has a "schoolboy" tag in it, so I think it might actually be the regular J. Crew version and was just overstock from a nearby store - they seem to do that quite a bit in the outlet around here (the CeCe suede flats, for example - I've gotten a few that are definitely regular J. Crew!) In any case, it's amazing and I love it! For the cherry on top, my mom also got me the red version and the purple versions, which are just as beautiful:
So amazing, I'm definitely a lucky girl! On top of that, I did a bit of shopping at Nordstrom over the weekend and found this pretty pink Vince Camuto blazer on sale, so I had to get it too:
So even though I still have a tweed blazer on my fall wish list, I pretty much have a rainbow of blazers now and can't really justify getting another one... yet... Anyway, my sisters also gave me a few cute things for my birthday that I'll surely be wearing on the blog soon, and I was also lucky enough to get a few awesome new Lululemon items, so I really have no excuses to not get in amazing shape before the end of the year, which brings me to my next topic - wrapping up my 30 Before 30 list of goals.
Wordy McWorderson alert ahead (courtesy page break)! It's definitely a long read over there, so if you can only take one thing from it, watch this video (also linked below).
(3) 30 Before 30, Reflections on Turning 30 (by Jack Handy...), and New Goals
Here's the Original List with updates and comments on what I did, what I didn't, what I'm keeping on my list, and what I'm ditching.
7. Have a dinner party - didn't do, mainly because we don't currently have the space. Stays on the list of things I'd like to do eventually when we get a cool house.
8. Use all beauty products - so close. I have a few eyeshadows left and many nail polishes, but I'm still going to finish this up, hopefully before the end of the year!
9. Watch all AFI top 100 - not quite. It's pretty tough to make it through that many movies in addition to the new ones you want to see, but this stays on the list because I'd like to do it eventually.
11. Wear everything in my closet - Nope. I did learn a lot from this though - it is damn hard to wear all of the stuff in my closet, even within a year. This goal inspired me to use pieces I don't use that much and get rid of a ton of stuff. In the last year, I have probably purged 1/4 to 1/3 of my closet (look for an upcoming post on this soon), and I'm constantly reevaluating what I want taking up space in my closets. It also helped me recognize that buying too much is counterproductive because I already have a hard time wearing everything I own! I'm taking it off the list because I do think I accomplished what I wanted to from adding it in the first place, and it is stressful to keep track; one new goal for this year is going to be reducing stress/be more relaxed, so out this one goes.
12. Reach goal weight - Clearly not, so on it stays.
13. Read all Harry Potters - 1/6 read, still 5 to go.
14. Read & return all borrowed books - only 3 left, and I got through about 7 or 8, so I was pretty happy with this. Still want to finish it though, hopefully before the end of the year.
17. Hiking at Starved Rock - not yet, but still want to do this
18. Go sledding - wasn't able to do this last winter because there wasn't enough snow, but still on the agenda; this and hiking are more of a seasonal bucket list though, so they're off the "goals"
20. Go to the circus - not yet, but it's in town in November, so we're planning to get tickets! Another one that's moving from "goals" to "seasonal bucket list"
21. Organize photo albums/boxes and back up all pics - the bane of my world... got started, maybe I can finish by next year...
22. Get out of credit card debt - one year wasn't really enough time to complete this, but we are on schedule with the extremely aggressive timeline we put together, so I'm happy with the progress
24. Go on a road trip - we went on a few small ones, but I'm still leaving it on a "seasonal ideas" list for next summer
27. Go to Ireland - couldn't afford this year, but definitely still on the list of things to do one day (hopefully next year); did go to Mexico, New York, Kansas City, Miami, New Orleans, and going to go to Vegas in November though, so I can't complain about the inexpensive travel we were able to do!
28. Send a postcard to PostSecret - didn't do it and don't feel that I need to, actually, so off the list.
29. Find my perfect pair of jeans - nope, still waiting on this one.
I accomplished quite a few of them and also did not accomplish quite a few as well. Maybe surprisingly, I'm not bothered by the fact that I didn't finish some, because most of them are well underway or in progress or if they're not, I've accepted that it's just something that's honestly not that important to me. And there are so many things I DID do this year (tons of travel, spending time with new friends I met at work which has been great, spending more time with family this year, blogging, tons of reading for enjoyment, etc.) that I can't really feel too badly that I didn't accomplish every single thing I thought was important on an arbitrary day a year ago. The one thing I do always wish I completed was to reach my goal weight, but after some consideration, I'm cutting myself some slack (on not having achieved it yet, not on continuing to keep it on the goals list). The year before this last one (when I was 28-29) was incredibly challenging and rigorous - I was in my last year of law school, then studied for/took/passed the bar exam, ran the marathon, and was still on track with losing weight (I think I lost about 15-20 pounds during that year). All of those things were great, but were very demanding. I think the year of 29-30 just needed to be a bit more relaxed - I needed a break! This year I started a new job, made some cool new friends, and wanted to have more freedom to hang out and just do what I felt like instead of sticking to a strict schedule like I had during the previous year. Since I realized this, I've become okay with it and have resolved to stop being so hard on myself (not to mention other people...) I'm ready to move forward and strike a balance between those two extremes and reach the new goals I'm setting for myself.
I'm not a huge astrology believer but I do find it interesting, and I recently came across several articles about the "Saturn Return," which happens around the age of 29-30 and represents a time of change and facing reality in one's life (some info here, google pulls up dozens more sites). It's sort of inspiring and empowering to think that this is a time in my life when I can really decide what I'm doing and where I want to go. When I was in my 20s, that was a frightening thought because I didn't know what I wanted and I was always worried that I was going the wrong way or wasting time. Now it's exciting because it doesn't matter if I don't know, I feel like I have the ability to figure it out and keep moving forward. Time's going to pass anyway, so I'm really trying to move into a place in my life where I'm spending that time doing what I want instead of waiting for something else. I'm really trying to get away from the "wasting time" mentality and stop multitasking my way through life to get to some end goal. This video kind of helps explain it. It also helps to think about challenges I'm having/have been having in the last few years as opportunities to grow and learn where I want to go from here.
To come up with new goals, I've been ruminating a bit this week and trying to figure out what feels really important to me right now, and honestly, it's not "things" like I had on last year's goals list; it's more attitudes, feelings, and patterns, for lack of better words. What seems real and important to me is something like "be more relaxed," "establish good habits," and "stop treating daily chores/life like it's an inconvenience that's getting in the way of some end goal." I want to enjoy life more while still being productive. Those are my hazy, indeterminate goals/feelings, which aren't quite SMART, so I tried to turn them into doable things while keeping in mind that this year I'm only adding goals that are actually thoughtful and important to me. So without further ado, here are my new goals - the list is intentionally shorter and more intentional so I can focus more on doing these things well and enjoying life rather than just checking things off (don't get me wrong, I still love the ole to-do list, but I'm looking for more balance and less stress this year!)
Goals for 2012-2013
1. Manage my time better to do the things I enjoy and be productive. I bought myself a new planner to help with this (splurged on a custom Erin Condren in the new Union Jack pattern in navy and pool, can't wait to get it!). I need to schedule in workouts, plan errands and other chores so that they don't eat up valuable free time during the week, and I'd like to at least do weekly dinner planning to save time too (I have been doing this sometimes on the frame I made, but I haven't kept up with it like I want). This includes scheduling days off and times that I don't need to do anything - the point is to get the other stuff scheduled and done so I have more free time!
2. Be more flexible by doing the following: (a) doing 1 unplanned thing per week; (b) letting chores wait until the weekend or other free time instead of feeling pressured to finish everything everyday; (c) making a weekly "to do" list instead of letting a daily list, and using it only as a reference rather than a rulebook.
3. Listen to music in the mornings. I used to do this all the time and it helped the morning rush be more fun and relaxed, so I'd like to get back to it.
4. Establish a nightly bedtime and actually stick to it (eventually I hope to also be a regular morning exerciser).
5. Reach my goal weight eventually by continuing to follow and establish healthy habits, including doing exercise I enjoy and eating food I like. This also includes setting and following through with running goals for this year.
6. Be more relaxed by doing the following: (a) practicing yoga (in class or at home) at least 1 time per week; reading more books for enjoyment (not just on the bus); (c) learning to feel comfortable with not finishing something if it truly does not interest me. I'm a compulsive finisher, even of things I dislike (like, I will finish movies/books I hate, for example), and I'm trying to let myself step away if I don't care.
7. Take classes in things I'm interested in - doesn't have to be brand new, could something I've been wanting to pick up again. Current ideas are: taking an acting/improv class at Second City (took some general acting classes in high school and loved it); taking a dance class (I did take classes when I was younger but haven't in a long time), and/or a cooking class.
8. Continue to improve photography and take more pictures daily (both iphone and DSLR).
9. Be less frustrated about unimportant things. Not sure how to accomplish this one - any tips?
10. Try a new recipe at home at least once a month. Fits in with #5 nicely.
11. More quality social outings and less non-quality social outings: Date night with J once a month; girls night once a month; family night once a month or two; but learn to say no to events that aren't that important to me and will cause time-crunches/stress.
12. Get out of credit card debt. On schedule to accomplish this by early next year, but I wanted to add it again because it's going to feel so damn good to cross it off.
Leftovers from the original list are: finish using all beauty products, watch AFI Top 100 Movies, read all Harry Potters, read all borrowed books, go to Ireland, and find my perfect jeans. No timeline on these, they just stay on as things I'd like to accomplish eventually. I'm sure I'll have short-term goals pop up throughout the year as well, but in keeping with the "less stress" theme, I'm fine to let those come up whenever instead of racking my brain to think of something now.
So that's it. Anything else is just icing, because these are the things that are truly important to me. And finally, I'm allowing myself the freedom this year to modify the list at my leisure - maybe in March I realize that I don't care that much if I try a new recipe every month, and that's okay (Stuart Smalley alert!). Anything that starts causing stress instead of enjoyment is going to be out this year, because the ultimate goal is a more relaxed, enjoyable life.
Whew, that was a long one! If you made it all the way through, thanks for reading! :) Did you have any goals this year, and how are they going? Do you do New Year's resolutions or start your goals at different times?