"A January Cliche" Revisited…

Earlier on this year, I came up with some goals and resolutions that I wanted to accomplish and achieve this year (see the post here).  I thought that now, about midway through March and just a week until the official start of Spring, that I would have a reality check with myself and see where I was in accomplishing those goals.

So, without further ado, let’s re-hash!

My goals for the upcoming year:
1. Write in my blog or write in my novel at least once a day
OK, so I already lost out on this one; perhaps the goal of making a point to write in both more often is more practical…
  • Well, I actually think I’ve written less in my blog now than ever before.  I have been fairly busy with work and school (excuses, I know!) and haven’t taken the time to post travel stories and pictures like I thought I would.  I’m hoping that the spring flowers will help me get in the creative mood as well as provide for some good material.
2. Lose 55 pounds
  • I have already lost over 20 pounds since Dec. 31, 2011…  My goal is to lose another 20 before my next journey in early June!
3. Cut down to three pops per week
  • Check!  To my knowledge, I haven’t had more than three pops per week, sometimes less – and I think this is contributing nicely to #2!
4. Cultivate a cleaner room
  • For a time, yes.  Did I think I would get some more done during Spring Break?  Of course!  But, with working 40 hours this week and having to perform and interview and write an accompanying essay, as well as revise a couple of others, I will have to get back with you on this…
5. Sleep more
  • See above.  🙂

6. Set up a dream board

  • I indeed did!  I set up some inspirational places and things, as well as places I want to go and things I want to achieve/acquire, on Pinterest.  I think it’s helping!
7. Be on time more often!
  • I do believe I am doing much better on this; however, I still do slip up.  I’d say I’m now on time about 80-90% of the time for my first class, which is a huge improvement over last semester!!
8. Continue to travel
  • Depending on how you look at it, I have sort of failed on this front.  I haven’t really taken any trips (big or small; if it was small, it must have been really small because I’ve clearly forgotten about it) so far this year and decided to work during Spring Break.  However, working = more money for future travel!!
9. Learn more Spanish
  • Check, check, check!  I have learned some new words and phrases and reinforced what I already knew – success!  I will continue to learn throughout the semester…  I think a trip to Mexico to use it is surely in order (been watching Q’Viva)!
10. Learn how to shoot better with manual settings on my camera
  • The closest (which really, it isn’t) was shooting with my friend’s 55-200 lens that she let me borrow (thanks, Katy – you’re the best!)…  I still can’t figure out how to focus on something – either my camera doesn’t like me or I can’t figure out how to use the dang thing!
11. Be more helpful and understanding with family and friends (and spend more time with each)
  • I feel like I’m improved a bit on the first, but I have really slipped on the second.  I am going to make sure I take more time to share with friends…  What is life without good friends, and how can you have good friends if you don’t keep up those relationships?!
12. Work out with a renewed frenzy
  • See #2.
13. Get through some pictures and share them
  • See #5.  😉
BIG ONE – Spending more time reading…  CHECK!

Here’s to accomplishing more goals throughout the year!

Making trip goals has many benefits

The night before my first trip to Europe last summer, I was sitting alone in my hotel room after a great dinner with friends who were going on the trip with me when I decided to get started writing in my journal.  (It should be mentioned that although I love almost all aspects of traveling, being alone in a hotel room is not one of those; you feel unsafe and totally alone!)
After summing up “Day One” of travel – which was really just getting from Dodge to Wichita and all that jazz! – I came up with a list of goals for my trip.  I plan to use this list and revisit it each time I get ready to go on a world adventure.  Perhaps I will add more specific things I want to get out of each specific trip in the future.
Without further ado, here’s the list, with explanations below:
  • Find the best in others. * This was big to me.  I knew I was going to be traveling a with a diverse group of people (around 50 people of all ages and every other qualifier), including some I didn’t think I would enjoy traveling with.  However, by opening up my mind and heart to these people, I was able to more fully enjoy the experience and become good friends with some of those very people.
  • Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible – live it up!  * I always knew that I would go to Europe more than once, but I also knew that I wanted to minimize or completely eliminate any chances of regretting something…  And what better way to make sure you don’t have regrets than by doing something if you had any inkling whatsoever and had the time to do it?!
  • Be safe and think smart. * Unlike so many travelers, I really don’t spend a lot of time overthinking being safe.  As a rule, I know that Europe is probably safer than your average large American city.  And when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, you call more attention to yourself.  That being said, I always keep an eye on my surroundings but wasn’t going to let worry and stress take over my trip.  As long as I have my money belt/neck pouch/whatever, the rest is trivia and can be replaced (but they better not take my damn camera!).
  • Have a good time but know when it’s time to hit the bed, because sleep is an important part of any trip. * Obviously, I wanted to do as much as I could in the short amount of time we were in Europe, but if you’re not awake the next day, what good is staying up late?  This gets compounded when you have fun roommates who like to talk, but one must know when to get to bed!
  • Help others if you have the know-how, and accept it if you don’t. * I consider myself a pretty good and experienced traveler (“This ain’t my first ro-de-o!”) who knows when one should and should not do things, and I wanted to help others like people had helped me before (stay on the right side of escalators, how to navigate airports and subways, that kind of thing), but I also needed to realize that I don’t know everything.  (Sometimes this is tough!)  I didn’t want to look like I was being a total know-it-all!  🙂
  • Keep the trip in God’s hands. * I know from previous posts it sounds like I don’t believe in God, but I believe I do (the whole organized religion thing is what convolutes it all, IMHO), and it doesn’t hurt to let someone else look on over it.  🙂
  • Have fun! * Yes, I wanted to learn and all that on this trip, but what good is a trip or vacation if it’s not fun?!  On this same note, I wanted to learn more about myself and feel that I did.
  • Write in journal everyday, regardless! * Yeah…  Uhm-hmm!!  I got through the first day in Paris, but I’ll have to rely on pictures and memories for the rest.  I will definitely keep a better journal and paste in postcards, tickets, stamps, etc. in my journal next time.  I tend to keep receipts and all that, but they end up getting thrown in a bag or box and nothing is done with them.  Pasting them in each day on that day will help a lot and will remind me of the small things!
  • Take everything in stride – if something doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to happen ; if it does, then it was. * Absolutely my biggest travel “thing.”  Years of disappointment over not being able to do certain things while traveling led me to this philosophy, and I honestly haven’t looked back since (except for now as I reflect!).
  • Have a fabulous time and stay in touch via email! + Stay on Facebook and phone only a few minutes a day – you are in Europe for God’s sake! * I told my family I wouldn’t call them and would only contact them via email if I had a few free minutes during the trip, and I stuck by this.  And since I didn’t have Wi-Fi or data for a good portion of the trip, I only posted on FB a couple of times.  When I’m on the road (at least in Europe), I’m on the road and just don’t think of home very much. (This sounds cold, but it is the best way to do it…  People spend way too much time away from their destination when they are on the phone or on the computer or constantly thinking about home; a little bit is fine.)
  • HAVE NO REGRETS. * See above.
  • Try new foods. * You know me!  When in Rome, do as the Romans do!  (Unfortunately, I haven’t – yet! – experienced this in that place.)
  • Love others and love yourself. * Why the heck not?!
Having these goals in mind kept my priorities straight on this trip and was a wonderful guide when I started creeping into negativity.  I would recommend making a list of goals like this before any major trip – it helps a lot!

A January cliche…

The beginning of the year couldn’t possibly pass without a post about resolutions, could it?!  I suppose I have already broken some of my goals (I prefer this term over resolutions) for the year, but look forward to a year of discovering more about myself and the world I inhabit with billions of others.

To come up with some of these goals, I used the Goal Setting Workshop app on my iPad.  If you know me, if tech is not involved, the likelihood of me doing it gets lesser and lesser (hence why I now have a Kindle for reading convenience!).  The app got me thinking about the things I wanted to accomplish not only this year, but for the next great while.  Below are some of the things – and the reasons behind them – that I’d like to accomplish this year.

My goals for the upcoming year:
1. Write in my blog or write in my novel at least once a day
OK, so I already lost out on this one; perhaps the goal of making a point to write in both more often is more practical…
To advance and keep sharp my writing skills and to keep my creativity going.
2. Lose 55 pounds
To live a longer, more fulfilled life. To feel better and do more things. To become the me and look like the me I’ve always wanted.  – PLUS, it will make traveling easier and more pleasant!!
3. Cut down to three pops per week
To help me lose weight and feel much better. To keep toxins and artificial sweeteners away from my body.
4. Cultivate a cleaner room
So I can be more presentable, have more space, be more organized, and become less materialistic by letting go.
5. Sleep more
So I can be at 100% each and everyday, to be more attentive and active, to feel better and become healthier.
6. Set up a dream board
So I can visualize my goals and dreams, and through doing that visually, know what I want to accomplish and get out of life.
7. Be on time more often!
Unfortunately for me, my first professor of the day last semester didn’t place a lot of emphasis on being on time, so I wasn’t.  This bad habit of being late everyday needs to go away!!

Outside of the above list, I want to continue to travel (if I can find a travel mate, I’d maybe like to see the Chichen Itza in Mexico – being 2012 and all), learn more Spanish through a class I’m taking at college, learn how to shoot better with manual settings on my camera, be more helpful and understanding with family and friends (and spend more time with each), work out with a renewed frenzy (BIGGEST LOSER!!), and finally get through some pictures and share them!

However, one of my biggest goals which is so far working out, is finding more time using some of my spare time to read.  I’m already halfway through a short novel (“Deadline”) and am in the reading mood.  Let’s hope it lasts!

Here’s to a year of goal-making and goal-achieving!!  Happy 2012 – I think it’s going to be a good one.