Monday, June 29, 2015

New Year's Res - midpoint check-in

Somehow the month of June has come and almost nearly gone, which means that 2015 is almost halfway over - so I guess it's as good a time as any to do a bit of a check-in regarding my New Year's Resolutions. Back in January, I made a few bold statements as to what I was going to work and focus on during the year - and while they weren't major, swooping resolutions,  I did identify five small areas that I felt could use some improvement. So how am I doing?

Read more non-fiction
This one gets a resounding yes! I've read 9 non-fiction books since January, which is about 8 more than I usually do. It may be silly, but I made a really focused attempt at loading up my library loan requests with non-fiction choices. I haven't loved everything I've read (but I don't love every fiction book I read either, because, duh), but pleasant surprises include Man Seeks God (read it for comparative religions), Blue Mind (read it for a scientific look at all the water in your life), The War of Art (read it for a creative kick in the pants), and Maphead (read it for the love of maps). I feel like I opened the door on an entire library full of possibilities and I am beyond glad I did so.

Back in January, I worried that this would be the hardest-to-achieve goal, and sadly, I'm proving myself right. Thus far, I've spent exactly one day volunteering - and while it was for a good cause, it was a recurring gig for an annual event - so not exactly a stretch in terms of developing a relationship with a new cause or group. The difficulties haven't changed - my erratic schedule doesn't allow for a consistent block of time in which to volunteer, and outside of that one aforementioned event, isolated and/or one-day volunteer opportunities are few and far between. That being said, there's a chance that my schedule will even out in the near future, and with that will (hopefully) come a wider range of volunteer options.

Get out of culinary rut
I could be doing a whole lot more to fulfill this goal. While I did make a beef stew for the first time in February AND added pickled daikon to my Just Salad the other day, the Chipoltles and mac & cheeses greatly outweigh any other exciting culinary choices I've made this year. The outlook for at least the rest of the summer is good, however, thanks to my one-third share of this CSA. I've already incorporated turnips into two separate dishes, and even though I'm not new to leafy greens, figuring out how to use the massive amount of kale/swiss chard/spinach/dinosaur leaves is proving to be a really interesting challenge.

Make time for doodling
Even though I haven't quite made it to the "sit at a giant empty desk while I mindfully doodle charming and heartwarming designs on a gorgeous sunlit afternoon" stage (what, your daydreams don't look like that?), I have managed to make some (very small) headway on my next knitting project, I finally bought a gym membership and have logged some much needed hours on the treadmill, and I've spent more than a few afternoons turning off the TV and doing nothing more than curling up with a good book. I'm learning that the times in which I engage in an activity that falls along the lines of what I WANT to do versus what I SHOULD do, I end up happier, more relaxed, and more ready to face whatever I do actually have to do later that day. I still haven't filled a notebook with idle doodles, but I certainly have given myself permission do do something just for me, even if it's for only 15 minutes at a time, and it's made a difference.

Quality over price
I get a B+ for this - I did say no to Payless and yes to a pair of Tom's AND I plunked down a few bucks to get some really nice Pyrex bakeware, but I also fell down the Old Navy rabbit hole and bought a bunch of cheap shirts and dresses. So, I still have a bit of work to do. It's just REALLY hard to walk away from those colorful $5 tank tops!

I'm convinced that emails are the cockroaches of the internet. I swear that I hit "unsubscribe" on every last unwanted promotional email that shows up in my inbox and everything is all fine and good for like two wonderful days - and then slowly but surely the "Promotions" tab in my gmail fills up with all sorts of junk. It's a Sisyphean task, but my vigilant unsubscribing has made a noticeable difference, so it's not entirely in vain.

Bonus resolution - Fitbit every day ;)
On January 1, I charged J's old Fitbit that had been sitting in his desk and slapped it on my wrist. Six months later, I've hit the 10,000-step mark 124 times (I use this fantastic goal tracker to log my steps along with the Fitbit iPhone app) and I am a Fitbit fanatic. Irrational choices I've made as a direct result of the tracker on my wrist include: getting off two subway stops earlier to increase the distance I walk to work, choosing to go to the salad place instead of the wrap place simply because the salad place is farther away, and marching in place during commercial breaks to get those last five hundred steps. I will undoubtedly have a separate post solely dedicated to all things Fitbit at the end of the year, but for now I'll say that while I had no idea of the rabbit hole I was throwing myself into, my Fitbit is pretty much my favorite thing ever and I'm considering having it permanently attached to my wrist. (#kidding). Now if you'll excuse me, I have to do some laps around my coffee table.

How are you doing on your new year's resolutions?

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