Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why I volunteer with a dog rescue

Getting into bully breed dog rescue has changed my life. I no longer have any free time on the weekends, but I love it. It doesn't matter if I'm standing outside in the heat at an adoption event, spending all of my gas money driving across the metroplex (south Ft Worth to Mesquite is a LONG drive) transporting dogs, creating newsletters to send, reading adoption applications, or inspecting random people's homes to make sure they are safe for our dogs.

I get messages from friends all the time, asking if I can help a dog they found. Sometimes I succeed and find a home. Sometimes I have to ignore my facebook feed because I can't save all of them. I follow several animal shelters on Facebook, and see all the dogs that need help. I hope and wish for the day when the steady stream of dogs in need of help stops. I cry when dropping one of our dogs back off at the boarding facility because a meet and greet didn't go well. I have had to teach myself to not fall hopelessly in love with every dog, because I can't keep them all. I despise the rules of apartment complexes that automatically say no to a bully breed because of the bullshit "aggressive" stereotype.

Yesterday I drove 2 hours to take a dog to heartworm treatments. I stayed to help the vet give 4 dogs their shots. I did it all over again today. I don't get paid cash for this. I get giant, slobbery dog kisses and butt wiggles. I get to see their excitement over receiving Pupachinos form Starbucks. I know that the effort and time I spend is saving an innocent life. And I'm teaching the kidlet that every life is worth saving.

Even when I'm disheartened by the number of dogs we can't save, I remember the smiles of the ones we have, and it makes me want to continue working towards the day when we won't have to rescue anymore, and I can take a weekend off :)

Monday, August 22, 2016

First Day of School 2016

**CNBC TRIGGER WARNING**

School started today. If you missed my last post, you missed the big news- we're PARENTS! We temporarily adopted my niece.

The last 3 weeks have been a huge adjustment for us. In a good way, mostly. Hubs and I are having a lot of pain issues, but we aren't used to being so active. Either we'll keel over from the pain or our bodies will eventually get used to it.

Getting up at 5:30 to make sure the kidlet is on a bus by 7 is definitely a change of pace from our usual "sleep til 12" schedule, but it was a needed change. I can get a full day's work in and still be home in time to make dinner at a decent hour and bathe the kid. Although it takes time to adjust, I think it's good for all of us.

We are actually having to make 3 meals a day, and I think that has been the toughest. I'm never hungry in the AM, so having to actually set aside time to make food for the kidlet is unusual. I'll have to start making my breakfast smoothies again. She LOVES to cook dinner with me, and I've been teaching her basic skills, like how to cut things and stir. She's got some major work to go on the knife skills, but as long as she doesn't chop her fingers off, I can always go back and cut things the right way afterwards. She adores fried tofu, baba ganoush, hummus and every veggie on the planet. It's been fairly easy to feed her a mostly plant-based diet, which I'm experimenting with to see if it helps out with some of her issues. Don't worry, I'm watching her nutrient intake very carefully so she isn't missing anything.

She got her first library card when she moved in, and checks out the max number of books every week. We read them all before bed. Getting her in bed on time has been an experience, but we are getting better. Since she helps me cook, it takes FOREVER to make dinner lol, and our nightly schedule gets thrown off. Dinner prep is going to have to start earlier.

She told me last week that she gets headaches when she tries to force herself to sleep, so I put some peppermint oil on her forehead, and some insomnia oil too. She liked it so much that she now asks for it every night so she doesn't get a headache. This kid is smart!

With all of the "issues" she has had in the past, I was expecting to run into some problems. We haven't had any at all. We suspect now that part of the problem was being bullied by her twin sister. Although I do believe that she does still struggle with expressing emotions, and that might come out in school as she meets new kids and potentially runs into a bully. I'm not going to worry about that until it actually happens. Instead, we are going to focus on her love of yoga class, her desire to be a ballerina, and just being a happy little kid.

Alright, enough about G. :)

And for any CNBC friends of mine that read this, I'm doing my best to not be too crazy with my kid posts. I know that first day of school pics are rough, so I didn't post one. I did send it to her mom so she could post it, though lol.

Monday, August 1, 2016

This is a MAJOR life update.

Hubs and I did something CRAZY this week. We became parents.

Yes, you read that right. After the years of complaining that we will never be parents, things has changed. For at least a few months, anyway.

My niece, G, is a little crazy, like me. For not being biologically related, you sure wouldn't be able to tell by looking at her mental health evaluations. She has been diagnosed as high functioning autistic and manic depressive, which is the fancy new term for bipolar. We've tried just about everything, from meds to psych hospitals, and nothing has worked well. Then she made a grown up decision to ask her mom if she could live with someone else as an only child for a while, to see if it helps "make her better". The sad part of this? She's 7, and she knows that she really needs help. She has a lot of issues with expressing emotions and feelings with words, so she uses actions, like anger, to try and get her point across. Unfortunately her siblings don't understand this and makes things difficult.

Her mother and I decided that Hubs and I were probably the best people for her to live with while she's trying to learn coping skills to better manage her issues. What better place than with someone who had to learn how to manage the same issues? G already told her mom she was never moving back because she loves us so much lol, but we'll see in a few weeks when she realizes that I'm going to make her do her homework, just like her mother will.

She officially moved in last night. She'll be with us for at least one full school semester, then her mom and I will re-evaluate her to see if she's ready to go home or would benefit from staying the rest of the school year. She's got her own room and a toy box with her name on it! We went to the thrift shop to grab some sheets for her, and happened upon a hot pink rubbermaid tub previously owned and drawn on by a kid with the same name as G - she was SOOO excited!

It'll definitely be an adjustment, with changing sleeping schedules to accommodate school, learning to cook 3 meals a day again, and finding activities that will help her out with fine motor skills.

And Hubs has to learn that he can't sleep the day away, at least not until school starts :P

So wish us luck! I don't want to go crazier while trying to teach a crazy child how not to be crazy. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 2016 Monthly Goals

Here was June's list -
Work:
- Keep up the 6 hour days - Mostly. 
- Work on/finish the freelance web design job now that the client has made some decisions - Worked, yes. 

Health: 
- GET BACK TO YOGA. (This will be on my list until I succeed) - Nope
- Continue meal/batch prepping - Not really
- Keep taking my meds. - YES
- Do the Walk of Hope - YES!
- Do better at staying off oil - Ehhhh... Vegan junk food will be the death of me lol

Personal/Home:
- Clean my kitchen from top to bottom - nope
- Clean the living room, more particularly the zoo area, from top to bottom - nope
- Work another pet adoption event (that'll make 2 for the month!) - Yes!
- Have fun with my niece when she comes to visit! - Yes!
- Start working on next month's surprise :) - Yes!
- Finish reading the self-help books I rented from the library - Still reading

I'm so excited about the July surprise. Only 5 people actually know what's going on, and they are just as happy about it as Hubs and I are. But that's all I'm saying until it has happened and pictures are taken.

Health-wise I don't think June was that great. I did REALLY awesome for a week, lost 5 pounds, then got lazy and ate a roast beef sandwich. It was gross, so I guess that's a good thing. I definitely won't eat it again. Vegan is getting easier since animal products are starting to taste funny. Now that I know I can get good vegan from Pei Wei and Chipotle, it's a lot easier for me to stick to my guns when I don't have a pre-packed lunch. (Although I think I might need to cut back on the quantity of tofu I'm consuming) I'm still not cooking with any oil, so my only problem is snack food, like premade roasted chickpeas, or crispy peas. I need to try and make these in bulk with my dehydrator so I don't buy so much.
I haven't been working out, though, and that's still a problem. Hubs and I did do the 1 mile Walk of Hope, and that was good. I didn't die afterwards, so I could do that more often if it wasn't boiling outside.
I have been taking my anti-depressant again for a few weeks, and I can definitely feel the difference. I'm glad I went back on it.

I've got several freelance jobs with looming deadlines this month, and that makes me happy. Everything should be done fairly quickly, and I can put that money towards my ailing car. I'm glad I feel like I'm starting to back on track.

Here's July's list! It's short, but everything is really important and could greatly influence August's list.

Work:
- Increase workdays to 7-8 hours again (per boss' request)
- Get 2 freelance jobs finished and 1 started
- Continue towards starting work earlier in the day

Health: 
- HOLY CRAP DO SOME YOGA.
- Batch cook at least twice

Personal:
- Work an adoption event
- Get trained to be an adoption coordinator for our fave rescue group!
- Help Hubs get set up as a transport/training buddy for our rescue group!
- Finish planning and enjoy our surprise!
- Finish all the books I have checked out from the library and rent more
- Start planning the DFW PCOS Cysters September Run/Walk/Crawl

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Super Late June 2016 Goals

It's halfway into June and I realized that I never did my monthly goal post. Better late than never! Seeing as how I have missed half of the month already, it'll probably be a shorter list.

Here was May's list:
Work:
- Keep up the 6+ hour days - mostly
- Host a Norwex party - nope
- Finish up a freelance web design job I picked up -no, had to wait for client. 

Health:
- GET BACK TO YOGA. - no. 
- Re-order the supplements I'm out of - Most of them
- Keep meal prepping - yep! I did pretty good last month

Personal/Home:
- Get office and spare bathroom cleaned up/organized for visiting family - YES! Even though that family never showed up.
- Go to 2 rock concerts! - YES! There was some crap surrounding one that caused some major emotional issues for Hubs and I, but we've changed our perspectives and moved on.
- Keep writing in my happiness journal - I stopped midway through the month and need to start again.
- Work an pet adoption event - No, it got cancelled. But there's always June!!!
- Keep reading my friend's novel - Haven't read much of it, need to read more!
- Read the books I checked out from the library - Yep!

So Hubs and I are pretty addicted to the library again. They have started offering adult board games, like Legendary, Pandemic, and Eldritch Horror. It's saving us money to rent them, and we can decide if we really like them before forking out the cash. We make sure to tell the librarians how awesome this new program is so they'll keep it going, and maybe even buy more games.

I have pretty much given up on attempting to sell Norwex. I'm just not good at the follow through I need, and I don't know anyone lol. I have a couple of people that have ordered, so I've helped some people, just not enough to try and keep it going as a business.

--

I decided at the beginning of June that I was ready to go back on an anti-depressant. When I went off of them last year, things in my life were fabulous. Since then, I have had some more health issues, lost a very important person (moved, not death), had major financial burdens pop up, and overall felt pretty crappy about my life and situation. I know that there's a lot I can do to make myself feel better, but I believe that if I have the meds helping my head a little bit, I can help myself even more.

June:
Work:
- Keep up the 6 hour days
- Work on/finish the freelance web design job now that the client has made some decisions

Health: 
- GET BACK TO YOGA. (This will be on my list until I succeed)
- Continue meal/batch prepping
- Keep taking my meds.
- Do the Walk of Hope
- Do better at staying off oil

Personal/Home:
- Clean my kitchen from top to bottom
- Clean the living room, more particularly the zoo area, from top to bottom
- Work another pet adoption event (that'll make 2 for the month!)
- Have fun with my niece when she comes to visit!
- Start working on next month's surprise :)
- Finish reading the self-help books I rented from the library

I CAN DO THIS.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May Goals: 2016 Edition

Work:
- Continue working 6+ hours a day - YEP
- Host a Norwex party - Nope, because the hostess keeps forgetting to call people.
- Help my first consultant  get started - No.

Health:
- Work out at least twice a week. - Nope.
- Be consistent with my supplements. - Yes! Now I just need to reorder the important ones that I have run out of.
- Meal prep on weekends so I have food when I don't want to cook - I've done this once, which is so much better than not at all. It was nice to have meals finished for several days.

School:
- Start and finish my Mobile App Development course - Just need to take the exam, which I might not have the cash to pay for.
- Work with Hubs to set a schedule to finish another course together - Nope. Hubs isn't really interested in taking any of the courses that I have paid for, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

PCOS Group:
- Plan April's Dallas event and post details in the group - Yes.
- Plan May's Ft Worth event - Yep.
- Get some FB/Twitter posts scheduled - No.

Personal/Home:
- Cut back on my tv show hours - Yes
- Play more games with Hubs - Yes
- Work on Spike's leash training - Ehhhh not really
- Get our sleeping schedule fixed so I can get up earlier in the AM - Not really, but I am getting to work an hour earlier, so that's a start.
- Clean the apartment - Mostly
- Plant some flowers/veggies/herbs and don't let them die - No
- Proofread a new novel from another aspiring writer friend! - Started! Haven't finished yet though
- Start writing/journalling in the evenings before bed, so I have a written list of the things I accomplished. - I've been doing this consistently for a little over a week. I'm really just writing down what I felt to be good things that happened, and ignoring the bad unless it's important, like physically being incapable of doing something simple. 
- File taxes. - They've been dealt with.


All in all, I think I killed April. Most of the incomplete goals had nothing to do with a lack of effort on my part. I had some good things happen, like a friend asking me to teach him how to cook vegan dishes, lost some weight without really trying, mastered the process of making kombucha... So it's on to May!

Work:
- Keep up the 6+ hour days
- Host a Norwex party
- Finish up a freelance web design job I picked up

Health:
- GET BACK TO YOGA.
- Re-order the supplements I'm out of
- Keep meal prepping

Personal/Home:
- Get office and spare bathroom cleaned up/organized for visiting family
- Go to 2 rock concerts!
- Keep writing in my happiness journal
- Work an pet adoption event
- Keep reading my friend's novel
- Read the books I checked out from the library

I was so stressed/busy in April that I decided May needed to be a breather month. I'm not stressing about classes (although I have several I still need to take). This month it's all about money and happiness.

The Monthly Goals Link-Up

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April Goal Update #2

Another Goal Update!

I'm fairly happy with my goals so far. But first, I have to mention something that is weighing heavily on me today. Prince died. I usually don't get upset about celebrity deaths, but this one really hurts, because I almost met him.

It's been almost 10 years now. My grandparents and I had dinner with Larry Graham, former bassist/vocalist for Sly and the Family Stone. He was a good friend of Prince's, and had told Prince in advance that we were having dinner. This was the same time period that Prince decided to start studying with Larry to become a Jehovah's Witness. Since my grandfather was a JW Circuit Overseer in the Minneapolis area back then, Larry requested that my grandfather attend one of the studies. My grandparents always talked about me, so when Prince found out that I would be in town, he went to Larry's for dinner. Sadly, we had left about 20 minutes before he arrived. When I found out, I was so sad. He has always been one of my favorite musicians. And now I'll never meet him. I'll never see him in concert. The worls has lost a great artist.

Rest in peace, Prince. I'll always regret not convincing my grandparents to turn around and meet you.

---------------------------

And now onto my goal update.

Work:
I'm working mostly 6+ hours, except on class days. I'd be working longer if I wasn't working on a side project, redecorating a friend's new office. All I have left is to make curtains, but it takes at least an hour to make one panel - ironing folds flat for easier hems is great, but slow. Especially on 9 foot panels that must be ironed on the floor.

I'm supposed to host a Norwex party this weekend - if my grandmother has made the necessary phone calls she was supposed to make. I'll find out tonight. I'm a little worried, but I know everyone that would be attending and they won't be upset if I stumble through the material or don't have all the answers.

Health:
I still haven't been working out as much as I would like, but I was meeting my step goals for the last two weeks, so I bumped them up from 3k to 4k. I know that doesn't sound like a lot of steps, but in the beginning I was doing good to average 1.5k.

I am consistent with my supplements, but I still haven't reorganized them. Meal prep also hasn't been happening because I have been running myself ragged on the weekends. Work, group stuff, new volunteer position with an animal rescue, weekly date with my grandmother... I'm busy.

School:
I've been attending every live lecture for Mobile App Development, and I'm bored as heck. There's almost no coding. We've just been walking through how to install the apps needed to write the code. I've got two lectures left, and I don't have a lot of hope that there will be code.

Hubs and I have not sat down and started other classes. He has decided that he is no longer interested in them, so that was a waste of money. He keeps saying that he didn't want them in the first place, but I wouldn't have purchased them if he wasn't willing to take/use them.

I really want to get back to my Doctorate program, but haven't had the extra cash to buy my next course. I've been taking free or super cheap courses as they come along, but none are with my chosen school. So I might be in school, but not taking the right courses. Hopefully soon I'll be able to purchase my next course. I already have the books, so I could at least be reading/studying them, and that would make the actual class go by much faster. Anyone want to donate to the "Lynne wants to be a Doctor" fund?

PCOS Group:
The April meetup was a bust. No one showed up. I guess that's not a bad thing because the restaurant sucked, but I'm upset that I do a lot of work to put these events on and half the time, no one shows up. It's a waste of my time, so I'm not even sure I'm going to continue the events. I'm sure that will upset people in the group, but I don't think they have a right to get upset if they never attend.

I haven't scheduled any posts, but we are doing an online chemicals and hormones workshop this week. Maybe that will benefit the members.

Personal/Home:
- I think I have cut back on my tv consumption. I haven't really been paying attention, but I've been so busy that it's hard to just watch tv right now. We've been playing games more, but I am still super busy. I'm also reading more again. I've been switching between one of my favorite authors and my friend's books. Some days I want to read without proofreading, so I'm not getting through my friend's book very fast. It's also hard to proofread because it is written in the form of a diary, so I can't make it too grammatically correct. It takes away from the "diary" aspect.

Leash training Spike? Ha! Well he's not too bad, as long as no one else is outside. He loses focus and feels that he needs people to pay attention to him.

I have been getting up a little earlier each day so I can get more hours in at work. It's hard because I'm not really going to bed earlier. Baby steps.

We have been cleaning the apartment, and Hubs is really starting to help out- sadly it's because we know that people will be entering the apartment, but as long as it gets done, I don't care.

I finally started my "Happiness" journal two days ago. I'm only writing about good things that happen. No reason to dwell on the crap, and that stuff isn't going to matter when I go back next year and read this journal again. I found a cute hard spiral journal that says "Do more of what makes you happy" and I figured it was perfect for my happiness journal.

And...... I made kombucha! It came out AMAZING. I had two flavors, peach ginger and black currant. I brought it up to the office so a coworker could try it. She'd never had kombucha before, so I probably ruined it for her. Homemade is soooooo much better than the bottled stuff at the store. Hubs tried it and asked if I would make him a batch with a flavor he chose. "I know that it's supposed to be good for your gut and mine is not happy, so if you can make a batch that's not too vinegary, I'll drink it." WOOHOO! So we started another batch on Tuesday.

Ok, that's it for the updates.

Friday, April 8, 2016

April Goal Checkin

Work:
I've been mostly working 6 hours a day. I had a 5 hour day, and I have taken a day off to deal with some family stuff. But I'm doing really good. I've been getting up earlier so I can get my hours in and be able to do other stuff afterwards.

School: 
I have not started my Mobile App Development course because of missing Monday. I will be getting the two lectures I missed done this weekend so I can start viewing the live lectures next week. My bosses have approved watching them at work, I just have to clock out. I'm glad I have awesome bosses. I've already got some ideas for app development, so it'll be cool to actually put this into practice. It will also come in handy at work, since we are building phone apps for our system.

Personal: 
I went to a "How to Make Your Own Kombucha" class Wednesday, and got my own batch brewed and "cooking" last night. Next Thursday I'll be able to flavor and package it up, then one more week before I can drink it. The last time I tried this, I was told that I needed to let it cook for a month, and that's way different than this class. But I've had Dr. B's tea on several occasions, and it's always awesome. Mom will be happy when this is done, because it'll be sweeter and less acidic than the stuff you can get in the store. My first batch will be two flavors. One is Black Currant Chia - to mimic my favorite Synergy brand flavor, and the second is Peach Ginger. I'm so excited to try this - 2 weeks is too long! But at the end of the first week, I should have two beautiful SCOBYs (the stuff that ferments the tea), and I can increase the amount I make. I'm hoping that Hubs will like this too and I can wean him off of some soda.

I've played more video games with Hubs this week than I have in the last few months. I know he's enjoying it, but I still hate the disappointment on his face when my hands can't function anymore and I have to stop.

I haven't watched as much tv, because I've been gone! It's hard to sit and watch tv when you are busy doing other stuff, so hopefully I can keep it that way. (Especially since Netflix is increasing their prices!)

I started proofreading that novel, too!

Health:
We went to the park Tuesday evening and walked 1.2 miles. Our favorite park just spent $3 million in renovations, which included a brand new walking path around the pond. It increased from .4 miles per lap to .6, and it's more even, so walking isn't quite as difficult. I used to only make one lap around, but I was able to push through the pain and get a second lap done. I was very proud of myself. We did stop to take pics of the ducklings- my favorite part of that park in the Spring. There were 2 sets, one with 19 babies and the other with 8.


I had planned on going to yoga last night since I missed it last week, but got distracted at home and didn't leave in time. I'm going again next week. No reason to get mad at myself, I just have to keep going.

I've also been taking my supplements regularly, but I haven't fixed my pill box yet. There are some additional supplements, like Vitamin D, that I really need to be taking. I just have to get that box organized!

I did some meal prep last night. I made a huge batch of "nacho cheese" sauce, then used some of it to make broccoli "cheese" soup. I'll need to make more rice or quinoa to go along with the soup, but that's easy. One of my bosses said the soup looked really tasty. Oh, it totally was :P

Conclusion:
That's all the updates I have for now. I have a busy busy weekend, and hopefully I won't die on Monday because of it.

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Goals

March Goals:
- GET MY DAMN DRIVERS LICENSE - YES!!!
- Proofread the novel I didn't do last month - YES!
- Continue working at least 6 hours a day during the week - Mostly. I was sick a lot this month, as was Hubs, so I was only successful about 65-70% of the time. But that's a lot better than nothing!
- Work out at least 4 times a week (SMART goal) - No. But I have attended multiple yoga classes this month, found a great new studio, got a new workout buddy, so things are looking up!
- Be a little more successful with advance meal prep - No. I need to work on this some more.
- Start, and hopefully finish, one of the multiple courses I have purchased - Didn't even look at them. 
- Come up with a name for my Etsy store - No. Changed my mind, and decided that I don't really have the time for my current life, so adding more responsibility isn't a good idea. 
- Cost/pricing structure of potential product options - See previous comment ^^
- Get products photographed for said Etsy store - Same ^^
- Enjoy the last 10 days as a 27yr old - I guess I did. Didn't do anything fancy.
- Don't dread my birthday - I didn't. Actually, this was the first birthday in a while that I didn't care at all. So apathy is better than dread in my book :)
- Start the DDP Yoga program - No. I have it though. And I'm in the DDP Yoga facebook group for motivation. 
- Take at least 1 of the 5 in-studio yoga courses I've already paid for - YES! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the studio, and the instructor I had. I'm making plans to go back next week. 
- Start a meditation challenge (SMART goal) - I made the goal, but didn't even try. 
- Buy summer concert ticket package - No. Life went haywire financially, so I couldn't afford it. BUT... They added a 4th concert to the package, so I'm even more excited! 

Well, I'd say I accomplished most of the goals that were feasible. The Etsy store, while a cool idea, and potentially financially helpful, isn't worth the extra stress right now. I need to focus on work, school and my health before I try to add more businesses to it. I did, however, sign up as a Norwex distributor! I love the products, and had the ability to join for super cheap. I love the discounts, the ability to help people get healthier by removing chemicals from their home, and the extra cash that I can donate to my PCOS group fund is nice.

April Goals
Work:
- Continue working 6+ hours a day
- Host a Norwex party
- Help my first consultant  get started (that's right, I already have someone signing up underneath me this month, and I wasn't even trying!)

Health
- Work out at least twice a week. This can be yoga, walking the dog for a longer period of time, walking around the lake, whatever I can handle.
- Be consistent with my supplements. I'm taking everything out of my pill box and starting over with a drastically reduced amount of supplements
- Meal prep on weekends so I have food when I don't want to cook

School
- Start and finish my Mobile App Development course
- Work with Hubs to set a schedule to finish another course together

PCOS Group:
- Plan April's Dallas event and post details in the group
- Plan May's Ft Worth event
- Get some FB/Twitter posts scheduled

Personal/Home:
- Cut back on my tv show hours
- Play more games with Hubs
- Work on Spike's leash training
- Get our sleeping schedule fixed so I can get up earlier in the AM
- Clean the apartment
- Plant some flowers/veggies/herbs and don't let them die
- Proofread a new novel from another aspiring writer friend!
- Start writing/journalling in the evenings before bed, so I have a written list of the things I accomplished.
- File taxes.

Maybe April's list is too long. Maybe it's not. I tried to make my goals fairly simple to achieve. I didn't do so well with the SMART goals last month, but I wasn't trying. This lack of motivation thing is killing me. But finding motivation, that's going to be an unwritten goal this month.

What are your goals? Let's hear them!
The Monthly Goals Link-Up

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SMART Goals

I think that one of the most important lessons in the Personal Nutrition course I took in January was how to set a SMART goal. I've mentioned it in my monthly goals post, but never went in depth.

SMART stands for:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic/Relevant
Timely
(Yes, you might find other words replaced in the SMART definition, but for the most part, it's all the same.)

A word about SMART goals - Because SMART goals force you to set a timeframe, this isn't always the *best* way to set a goal. Sometimes a goal isn't always realistic in the beginning, because you don't have everything you need. For example, having a goal of being a parent is a great goal, but not necessarily a SMART goal - because nature plays a big part in your success, you can't put a specific timeframe on it without the fear of failure. Believe me, I had my parenting goals down before I was a teenager. But life said otherwise, and I'm three years past when I was supposed to STOP having children, and I still have none. When I think of SMART goals, I think of smaller, more reasonable ideas that we can set specific criteria for.

So let's break it down, and I'll show you how I created my two SMART goals for the month.

1) S - SPECIFIC
Setting a goal without a plan is really more like a dream, wouldn't you agree? I can say that my goal is to lose weight, but how do I achieve it? What if I just wanted to exercise more? What does "more" mean? Does it mean 15 minutes more than I have been? Or several times a week? How do I know when I succeeded? So first we need to get specific about what our goal is.

Goal 1: Work out at least 4 days a week
Goal 2: Meditate 6 days a week

2) M - MEASURABLE
How can you track your goal and see that you are headed in the right direction? Give yourself concrete mini-goals, target dates, etc.

Goal 1: Work out 4 days a week
Week 1: Work out 2 days a week, 1 hour minutes at a time
Week 2: Work out 3 days a week, 1 hour at a time
Week 3: Work out 3 days a week, 1 hour at a time
Week 4: Work out 4 days a week, 1 hour at a time
Goal 2: Meditate 6 days a week
Week 1: Meditate 3 days a week, at least 20 minutes at a time
Week 2: Meditate 4 days a week, at least 20 minutes at a time
Week 3: Meditate 5 days a week, at least 20 minutes at a time
Week 4: Meditate 6 days a week, at least 20 minutes at a time

3) A - ATTAINABLE
Can you feasibly accomplish this goal? Will you need assistance? Are you prepared to make that committment? Am I willing to do what it takes to meet my goals? This goes hand in hand with #4, Realistic, so I'll continue my example there.

4) R - REALISTIC/RELEVANT
Will your goal fit into your current lifestyle? If you want to lose 50 pounds and you want to do it in 1 month, is it realistic? Heck no. But wanting to lose 10 pounds in 1 month might be more realistic. Does this new goal fit in with other goals? If you want to lose 10 pounds in a month but do not have access to healthy food, is your goal relevantto your life at present? Can your goal be made even more realistic by choosing what time of day you want to do something? Of course!

My goals, while realistic, are not really attainable and relevant to my current situation. As much as I'd love to work out an hour each day, can I just jump into working out again and push for a full hour? No. So lets update my goals to make them more realistic and attainable.

Goal 1: Work out 4 days a week
Week 1: Work out 2 days a week, 30 minutes at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Week 2: Work out 3 days a week, 30 minutes at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Week 3: Work out 3 days a week, 1 hour at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Week 4: Work out 4 days a week, 1 hour at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Goal 2: Meditate 6 days a week
Week 1: Meditate 3 days a week, at least 5 minutes at a time, when I first wake up
Week 2: Meditate 4 days a week, at least 10 minutes at a time, when I first wake up
Week 3: Meditate 5 days a week, at least 10 minutes at a time, when I first wake up
Week 4: Meditate 6 days a week, at least 10 minutes at a time, when I first wake up

5) T - TIMELY/TIMEBOUND
Give your goal a completion date. Without an end date, your goal does not pressure you to accomplish it. Sure, I can say I want to lose 80 pounds, but without an actual date for success, I can put off a workout, eat an extra piece of cake... "I'll get around to losing weight eventually." But the true point of these goals is to succeed, and you have to set a deadline to do it.

Goal 1: By Sunday April 10, I WILL be working our at least 1 hour a day, 4 days a week.
Goal 2: By Sunday, April 10, I WILL be meditating for at least 10 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

Goal 1: Work out 4 days a week
Week 1 (Mar 14 - 20): Work out 2 days a week, 30 minutes at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Week 2 (Mar 21 - 28): Work out 3 days a week, 30 minutes at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Week 3 (Mar 29 - Apr 3): Work out 3 days a week, 1 hour at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Week 4 (Apr 4 - Apr 10): Work out 4 days a week, 1 hour at a time, as soon as I get home from work
Goal 2: Meditate 6 days a week
Week 1 (Mar 14 -  20): Meditate 3 days a week, at least 5 minutes at a time, when I first wake up
Week 2 (Mar 21 - 28): Meditate 4 days a week, at least 10 minutes at a time, when I first wake up
Week 3(Mar 29 - Apr 3): Meditate 5 days a week, at least 10 minutes at a time, when I first wake up
Week 4(Apr 4 - Apr 10): Meditate 6 days a week, at least 10 minutes at a time, when I first wake up

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March Monthly Goals - 2016

Here were last month's goals.

February:
- Complete my Personal Nutrition final - Done! Finished with Distinction
- Start and finish the Interior Design course so I can decorate an entire house in March - Nope. But the house in need of decorating isn't happening anymore, so no rush.
- Proofread a friend's new novel - Hell no. And this makes me feel bad.
- Set up some SMART goals and achieve them! I need to add more veggies in my diet, and add more physical activity! - Nope. I mean I did eat more veggies and hit my step goals more often, but didn't actually set the goals.
- Do something fun for Valentine's - Yes! We waited til the day after V-Day and saw Deadpool with a good friend.
- Get the February newsletter out fast. - Never did it.
- Start the Couch to 5K program - Didn't even download the app
- Get some more junk out of the house - This was actually successful! Hubs spent a few days rearranging, and we got some crap out. My house is almost liveable!
- Put in at least 6 hour days every day at work - Mostly. I was pretty good about this!
- Finish up the novel I've been reading for months - Finally! Finished it while sitting at DPS.
- Cut back on the amount of tv I watch - I didn't really keep track, but I was productive in other areas, so I think so.
- Work on Spike's leash training (or lack thereof lol) - Nope.
- Do something cool for my sister's level-up day! - Well I invited her to paint with me lol

There are a lot of nopes on my list. But there were some other items that I didn't have on my list that got done, so that's ok. Here's what I did do.

- Completed the writing exam and scheduled my driver's exam for late March so I can FINALLY have my driver's license back.
- Hubs rearranged and sorted all the junk in the bedroom, so now there is a ton of floor space for working out. We even brought the home gym back in! And my boss got rid of a beautiful bookshelf/storage unit, so we claimed it and took it home. It looks wonderful and will really help with the organization.
- I joined DDP Yoga. I always saw that video of Arthur, who couldn't really walk, and now he can run and jump and do whatever he wants - that was an inspiration that I never fully realized. PCOS Diva interviewed DDP about the program and explained why she liked it so much, so I finally gave in. I've taken my before pics, and will be doing measurements today before I start the program.
- Washed, dried and hung up/folded/stored every single wearable item of clothing in the house. And bought 80 more hangers to make sure I had plenty of them. Now I need to go through everything and get rid of some more stuff because I have more clothes than I could ever need.
- Kept my kitchen mostly clean the entire month. Woohoo!
- Found a bird breeder in my area that has the turquoise green cheek conure baby I want, and she's working with me on payments so we can bring one home! We haven't decided if we actually will, since we need to pay off some debt. But our conure needs a buddy, so the happiness of my feather baby may outweigh my desire to get out of debt lol
- Hubs and I have been getting out of the house more. We've spent some time with friends and are slowly lessening our hermit status.

So what's the plan for March? Hubs and I share March birthdays, along with pretty much every other member of our family, so I'm sure a birthday event of some sort is on the agenda. I've also got some schooling to get going on!

March Goals:
- GET MY DAMN DRIVERS LICENSE
- Proofread the novel I didn't do last month
- Continue working at least 6 hours a day during the week
- Work out at least 4 times a week (SMART goal)
- Be a little more successful with advance meal prep
- Start, and hopefully finish, one of the multiple courses I have purchased
- Come up with a name for my Etsy store
- Cost/pricing structure of potential product options
- Get products photographed for said Etsy store
- Enjoy the last 10 days as a 27yr old
- Don't dread my birthday
- Start the DDP Yoga program
- Take at least 1 of the 5 in-studio yoga courses I've already paid for
- Start a meditation challenge (SMART goal)
- Buy summer concert ticket package

I think that's plenty of goals for the month!

Join the link-up below to get support with your goals!


The Monthly Goals: a Goals Linky Party at My So-Called Chaos and A Peek at Karen's World

Monday, February 1, 2016

Another Month, Another List of Goals - Feb 2016 Edition

It's February! Damn. January went by really fast, and Feb will likely go faster, even if it has an extra day this year! So how did January go? Not half bad. I got a lot accomplished, even though they might not have been on the goal list. I didn't spend a ridiculous amount of money. I took Hubs to Mellow Mushroom so he would quit nagging me. I got a FitBit! My support group had the 2nd annual clothing swap and that went well too!

The fitbit story is great. I've wanted one for a while, but haven't been ready to fork out the money for what I felt was an overpriced pedometer. But surfing the facebook garage sale groups can prove beneficial. I managed to score 2 fitbits, with chargers and bands for $40. Yeah, I made sure to type that right. Other people wanted it before me, but when you have a husband that doesn't work, you can make him do things immediately that other people have to wait until after work to do. So when I told the seller that I could have the cash in her hand in less than 30 minutes, I won :P Hubs loves his. He thinks it's so cool to see how many steps he takes. He has started doing more physical activity just so his numbers will go up. I like it for the sleep tracking. It's interesting to see how bad I sleep in digital form. Hubs has always told me I toss and turn all night, but to actually see that the FitBit agrees is surprising. Anyways - I like this thing. So go me!

January:
- Finish my Dyslexia Therapist Course (6 more modules to go) - YES YES YES!!! And I've already been helping people.
- Start and finish my Personal Nutrition diploma - My final exam is this week! 
- Pay for my Chemistry and Nutrition course to start in Feb - No. I paid for two other, unrelated courses instead.
- Have a couple over for dinner. - They cancelled on me :( But that's ok. I tried.
- Go out in public with a crowd - We went to the adult-only Social Science party at Perot Museum. It was pretty fun! We had some issues, mainly because taking my mom and husband somewhere like this together just doesn't work so well. But that's ok.
- YOGA YOGA YOGA. I have 6 classes already paid for, I just have to go! - I wasted one of my paid classes by forgetting to cancel my reservation. I still have not gone.
- Get my 2016 plan finished, with or without Hubs. - Sorta. I have a pretty hefty list of things I want to accomplish in my personal, work and non-profit lives.
- Sell some extra stuff in my continuing effort to clean the house. - Haven't sold anything, but did get rid of a ton of clothing! And I was given some more to donate last night.

What's the plan for February? Well, I started to DietBet.com challenges, so I have to make losing weight a focus this month. I have to lose at least 9.7 pounds to win. That's not too bad, and I can do it if I put my mind to it. The rest of the list isn't hard to do if I actually try.

February: 
- Complete my Personal Nutrition final
- Start and finish the Interior Design course so I can decorate an entire house in March
- Proofread a friend's new novel
- Set up some SMART goals and achieve them! I need to add more veggies in my diet, and add more physical activity!
- Do something fun for Valentine's
- Get the February newsletter out fast.
- Start the Couch to 5K program
- Get some more junk out of the house
- Put in at least 6 hour days every day at work
- Finish up the novel I've been reading for months
- Cut back on the amount of tv I watch
- Work on Spike's leash training (or lack thereof lol)
- Do something cool for my sister's level-up day!


Sunday, January 3, 2016

January Goals 2016 Edition

I didn't get the results I had hoped for, but I didn't really try so I can't expect miracles.

December:
- Finish at least 2-4 more modules in my Dyslexia Therapist course - Well.... I finished 2 more on Jan 3, and it was before I started my goal list for January, so that counts, right? I'm going to say yes.
- Yoga! - Ugh no.
- Finish wrapping all gifts - Yup
- Finish my Christmas card to a special couple - No. But I am sending her a late Christmas present, so I'll send the late card at the same time.
- Visit Hubs' grandmother a few hours away - Nope, we're doing that soon, after one of the board games that Hubs wants to take with us finally shows up in the mail!
- Finish at least 1 week on the McDougall Plan - I did. I'm a little iffy, and still trying to find something that works for me. But it has been very beneficial for me, because I have learned how to drastically reduce how much oil I use in cooking.
- Sit down with Hubs and get our 2016 Plan written - We figured out our ridiculous monthly budget. That's better than nothing. Plus, he doesn't really understand or see he point in trying to set goals for the future like I do, because he's content with whatever happens, as long as we are together. Totally romantic, not so practical.
- Sell some unneeded stuff in the house/storage, like the extra desk and washing machine. - I got pictures ready to post, and some stuff sorted and ready to go, but no actual sales yet.

Obviously December didn't go fabulously, but it was a rough month and we managed to come out the other side without owing any family member extra money. I had to buy exgtra Secret Santa gifts because people in the one I was running decided to flake. The bank closed my credit card without informing me. BUT. I cleaned my entire kitchen and have kept it clean for several weeks - that's a BIG deal. I helped friends across the country, I brought smiles to peoples' faces, and the money issue resolved itself. 2015 ended without major freaking out, and I feel, with the right effort and planning, 2016 will go much better. Here are this month's goals. 

January:
- Finish my Dyslexia Therapist Course (6 more modules to go)
- Start and finish my Personal Nutrition diploma
- Pay for my Chemistry and Nutrition course to start in Feb
- Have a couple over for dinner. (I'm cheating with this goal because I already have the night scheduled.)
- Go out in public with a crowd (Cheating on this one as well, because I bought tickets for the event over a month ago)
- YOGA YOGA YOGA. I have 6 classes already paid for, I just have to go!
- Get my 2016 plan finished, with or without Hubs.
- Sell some extra stuff in my continuing effort to clean the house.

JOIN THE MONTHLY GOAL LINKY! It'll give you some accountability, and reinforcement from friends! Clink the pic :)

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