Joy and Peace Over Stress and Drain

I have yet to decide how I want to “journal” my 2017 year.

My top ideas are to have a one sentence journal of pen and paper. At least one sentence because sometimes I really can’t find time or I am a bit lazy to sit and write out a whole “entry.”

I also want to connect my personal journal to my blog. I initially had the idea of writing for at least 10 minutes a day to write out some blog posts but I’m not sure if I’d really keep up with that even though it does seem like such a small bit of time.

I need to think of something, a habit I CAN create without much strain in doing so to start with that will give me peace of mind. Rather than feeling guilty or stressed over a certain chunk of time I feel having it start small helps keep to it and just starting is usually the hard part. I’m sure some days I will only write one sentence while others I’ll be so inspired once I start I’ll have a whole blog post written out!

I want my blog to bring me joy not stress. I also want to document moments, emotions, thoughts, ideas, and so on. This I feel can be done by writing at least one sentence a day, that I can always turn back to when I’m in a different frame of mind or have more time to expand on. Sometimes I feel like when I write I’m someone else, because when I read back my words I can hardly comprehend that I wrote them.

Writing is interesting, it can be fun, and sometimes it really does bring peace to my mind and heart to just write it out! I decided to hop on Deb Runs Wednesday Word link-up today but I got carried away with goals as I’m sure a whole lot of us are with the current year nearing its end.

Today’s word is PEACE. I like this word at this time because as a new year comes I’ve often filled myself with anxiety and stress over what I’ve done, what I’ll do, and how much I should do still before the new year! I have to clean, sort, organize, etc. etc. etc. but this sucks out the fun of closing a year and welcoming a new one. I feel defeated faster than I can finish the countdown! So for the remaining days of 2016 I will have PEACE. I have plenty of time to work out my imperfections and make progress towards all my goals, and it is not set by any time, date, or person but ME.

 

Deb Runs

Embrace Your Imperfection

I think I’ve realized I can have (or rather I have) a bit of an obsessive compulsion to be overly organized or structured. I guess you can say I’m halted by a fake vision of “perfect.” Because we all know perfection DOES NOT EXIST!

I’ve been MIA from my blog for 5 months!? Simply because I couldn’t find or make the time to sit down and type out a “post of perfection.” My fear of being disorganized, judged, and imperfect have only stunned my growth and potential! After all we Continue reading

Still Being A Goal Getter & Weekly Chaser

Despite my lack of blogging recently I have not stopped my weekly habit of goal setting and evaluation. I haven’t been as productive as I probably could have these past few months of the year in achieving my goals, but have seen progress still. I’m not completely satisfied with my habits in goal setting and progression quite yet though. I’ve actually been trying to change my tactics by using what I’ve learned and making it my own. Continue reading

A New Month Will Bring New Things

Hello readers! I apologize for my long absence! There isn’t really any specific reason I stepped aside from my little blogging space but the fact that I just let time get away me and failed to plan content in an organized manner. Ultimately this lead to me becoming overwhelmed by blogging, and I ended up avoiding this space altogether.

 
When I first started researching starting a blog a lot of advice in how to get started made it seem easy, simple. “Just Start, just write, just do it.” So I did and I was lucky to be welcomed by the blogging community so positively. I was fortunate enough to quickly learn and discover how to network with other bloggers through Runaway Bridal Planner‘s Blog Hops, which quickly connected me with so many great bloggers with common interests as me.

 
I quickly learned the possibilities for my blog as well as connected with some great new people I started to see as my blogging friends. I learned just as quickly that my original “Just Do It” mindset would not suffice in the growth I wanted for my blog.

 
In order to grow my blog and reach people how I wanted to it was a necessity that I would have to put a considerable amount of effort and time into my online space. I knew that in order to provide the value I wanted to give my readers I knew I could not just write a post to fill this space.

 
As I mentioned before, I became overwhelmed by blogging and rather than get myself organized and working I let it sit neglected on the back burner (for too long). However, my blog, my readers, and my vision for what I hoped to create here has never once left my heart nor my mind.
So here I am again at last! There are many things I hope to share, learn and discuss here on my blog. I hope that you will visit back often, share, and engage in discussion with me.
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How to Make Progress on Your Goals

I believe the flu has finally passed its stay with me! I feel so much better than I did the week before. No more nausea, coughing, and loss of appetite! It is taking me quite a bit to start up a routine for myself so that I am able to hit all my goals progressively every day.

I have a strong belief in “progress not perfection” though and truly feel that at the beginning even disorganized steps towards a routine is better than waiting and waiting for nothing to change. So this week I’m going to be a bit of a mess trying to figure out a rhythm I can keep and then hitting it head on day after day! Things are always hard at the beginning especially.

How to Make Progress on Your Goals

Set your goals. What is it that you want to accomplish or create as a habit?

Set your reasons. Your goals need to really motivate you and pull you forward. They should excite you when you think of them. Really believe in them and think of them to already be true. How do you feel knowing you are debt-free? To be your own boss? Free to travel where and when you please?

Stick to your affirmations. They will keep you going when progress feels slow or motivation is low.

Make a plan of action. I like to think of all the details beforehand, whether you have fitness, finance, or just a personal goal. I always write them out detailed with what I need to do, any tools I need to have, do I need support and help from specific people, who are these people, allocate time slots to work on my goals, and so on.

Have a contingency plan. It helps to be prepared for obstacles and setbacks. First you want to brainstorm what could go wrong and how you can deal with this. I like to emotionally prepare myself for the setbacks I might face. I start by saying this can happen, and if it does I forgive you because you will move forward still. Forgiveness and strength are my two key factors in building and keeping momentum. Too many times I scolded myself over a setback and rather than feeling like I deserved something for my hard work and focusing on all the progress I had been making, I’d only find myself focused on the minor mishaps I had. This ultimately led me down disappointment, frustration, and self-sabotage. So know what can go wrong, and be prepared beforehand in case it does so that you can quickly bring yourself back on route.

Have confidence. No matter what! Every step you make towards your goals is progress. Do not doubt yourself even if others do so. Do not doubt yourself even when you feel the universe is telling you to do so. Sometimes the best things in life are the ones we have to work the hardest for. The road might not be full of sunshine and pretty flowers, but both the journey and end is always what you make of it.

Enjoy the journey. I feel that so many people get discouraged by focusing on the goals they set, and they are constantly looking for results. Some things will take days, weeks, or even years. When we focus on the process we avoid the thoughts focused on where we aren’t or how slow we are moving. Enjoying the journey enables you to appreciate every day, because you will be taking small steps in your daily routine to reach your goals.

For example, I want to be debt free from my student loans by June 2016. I can either focus on the end goal and think how I still have $7K in loans, how I still have so much to pay off, how I don’t feel I have enough to pay off my balance by my goal date. Yet, I refuse to do this, and it really is a exercise of the way you think. I felt these same thoughts for awhile at first. Then when I started focusing on my progress I found myself far more excitable about my goal and the steps I had been taking all along. I was doing the same actions, but changing my mind frame really made a huge difference. Now I focus on the everyday. Wow, only $7K to go from my original $16K. I only had to spend $20 to fill up on gas today, that’s more money to pay off my loan! Praise to not buying that fast food today! I’m staying healthy and saving money in my food budget to pay off my loan! I’m working today to pay off my loans. I feel liberated already from my student debt because I believe in the actions I am taking daily and am grateful for every extra penny that comes my way. Even when setbacks do happen, like how my car battery needs replacement, rather than focus on the oh no less money in my wallet, more money spent. I think to myself great! I only need to replace the battery! It can be worse, and when it is, it is. I won’t let life throw me down because I get to control how I react so that I can accept what is thrown at me, think positively because things will work out, and take action to get myself back on track.

I hope that you find the strength, confidence, and drive to take actions towards your goals. My goals have remained the same since last week, I feel these are very close to my heart and couldn’t scratch one off for another so I ended up adding to my number of goals rather than changing it up again, as you can see below.

  1. Pay off my student loans of $7K by June
  2. Develop a routine/schedule/budget to enjoy life more
  3. Build my running endurance & speed to a 30 minute/< 5k time by sticking to my 5k training.
  4. Live clutter-free by decluttering/cleaning 2x a month and removing all my sale items from my storage
  5. Develop healthy eating habits w/weekly meal prepping and planning
  6. Build strength and complete 21 Day Fix and be able to do a full push-up and pull-up by 2017
  7. Grow my blog by blogging 3x a weekvisiting 2 bloggers daily
  8. Pursue a career in fitness by helping3 people a month reach their goals
  9. Create balance w/daily mediation, weekly yoga/pilates practice
  10. Learn new skills starting with practicing Spanish daily with Duolingo and audio books
  11. Build my social media presence, beginning with Goal: Reach 1K followers by the end of the month by developing a consistent focus with quality photos.

blog

Link Ups: Weekly Chase via Road Runner Girl and Weekly Wrap via MissSippiPiddlin

Weekly Chase: Progress to My Goals

Crazy how another week has gone by! I love how the weather seems to be getting warmer during the day, especially since the weekend was super warm outside. I’m a summer baby, so naturally the clouds seem to be my enemy and the sun my best friend. For the most part at least, I would prefer to always have a little shady spot to rest under. I’m not too crazy where I’m just up to lay in the hot, blazing sun for hours on end! I just like warmth. Continue reading

Goal Chasing Update

Through my own journey in personal development I’ve realized the importance of goal setting, something I am still working the kinks out to make it work for me but I feel that just thinking about goals isn’t enough. At least in my case I’d set goals and unless they were really close to my heart I never really pursued them. Even those that did get me excited and I felt more passionate about, I often found myself talking myself down and redefining them as unreachable dreams. Yet, as I get older I realize how precious the time I have on this Earth is, and how temporary our time is. So I’ve decided to really commit to learning and improving my goal setting habits so that my goals are not dreams but my reality.

One of the big must dos in goal setting I’ve seen again and again is to not only make SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals but to WRITE THEM DOWN. 

Weekly Check-In

So here is my weekly check-in via the Weekly Chase to keep myself accountable and in my mind. I will be doing this weekly to make sure I am taking continuous steps towards these goals and not forgetting what’s important to me.

  1. Pay off my student loans of $10K by June
    1. Excellent progress for this goal as despite spending a bit over my January budget I was able to part with some extra money saved up and pay off $3,000 for the first month of 2016. In overcoming my debt I am following Dave Ramsey’s method from Total Money Makeover. So aside from my $1000 for savings every other dollar goes toward paying off my debts before saving. After all none of that money is really mine no matter how much I save when I have debts over my head!
  2. Improve my running to be able to run a 30 minute or less 5k and 10 minute mile
    1. I haven’t gotten much cardio in aside from HIT routines, but am starting up my 5k training program this week! And hoping to throw in some hikes, spin classes, and other cardio workouts.
  3. Grow and build my blog by blogging 3x a week consistently
    1. Last week was a good week for blogging! Thank you to all who take the time to stop and leave thoughtful comments or who just give my content a read! I haven’t had much time to plan this week, but hope to still stay on top of my 3x a week goal.
  4. Build strength through workouts and be able to do a full push-up and pull-up
    1. I’ve been successfully working out more consistently lately, especially in the mornings making sure to get in routines that incorporate upper body.
  5. Help others on their fitness journey through accountability groups and support
    1. I’m hosting a year long FREE accountability group for those who want to work on their own health and fitness. I check-in daily with my personal workouts, progress, and motivation. If you want some accountability for fitness feel free to email me at CurlyCaroline27@gmail.com
  6. Learn new skills starting with studying Spanish
    1. I’ve had quite a few people recommend Duolingo for learning a new language, so I have started to set a goal of visiting the app daily. I am also planning to head to the public library when I have time and check out some audiobooks for learning spanish to listen to while I drive.
  7. Maintain a clutter-free life by de-cluttering/cleaning 2x a month
    1. I was able to clear out a few items last week, although they are still sitting in a bag waiting to be hauled out to my local Goodwill!
  8. Develop a routine/schedule to find more time for things I enjoy
    1. I’ve adopted a daily to-do list so far, and need to focus on allocating specific times to focus on getting things done.
  9. Explore outdoor activities and fun workouts classes weekly
    1. I wasn’t able to do any outdoor activities last week, with the rain. I had planned to go to spin class but missed twice because I sadly mixed up the times. BUT! I did get to go bowling TWICE which was definitely fun. I’m not a pro or super great, but I think I’ve gotten quite good compared to my bowling (or lack of) skills when I first started to bowl!
  10. Build my cooking skills by trying a new recipe each week
    1. This was actually a hard goal to chase this week, as our kitchen is being renovated slightly so it’s been off limits mostly. Plus, I’m actually quite scared of experimenting with food for fear of making something wrong or not liking it and ending up wasting food.

Current Goals:

I mentioned before that goals change, and mine are no different. For the most part my goals are almost the same as last week minus one alteration of the last goal.

  1. Pay off my student loans of (now!) $7K by June
  2. Improve my running to be able to run a 30 minute or less 5k and 10 minute mile
  3. Grow and build my blog by blogging 3x a week consistently
  4. Build strength through workouts and be able to do a full push-up and pull-up
  5. Help others on their fitness journey through monthly accountability groups
  6. Learn new skills starting with studying Spanish
  7. Maintain a clutter-free life by decluttering/cleaning 2x a month
  8. Develop a routine/schedule to find more time for things I enjoy
  9. Explore outdoor activities and fun workouts classes weekly
  10. Focus on clean eating w/ weekly meal prepping and planning

There’s a lot of debate on how to set goals, and honestly I think its just based on personal preference whether you make them weekly, monthly, or yearly. Some people have short-term goals and others have long-term goals that can be set to reach even farther than a year. I really think a mixture of all these is great!

I’ve tried daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals and have struggled in being overwhelmed by the slow progress. Patience is much needed in working towards your goals because even with a great amount of effort it can be a slow process. At the moment I’m focusing on the process and successive steps I can take to reaching my goal. Focusing on the small victories along the way really help me feel accomplished and feeling like my goals are possible. For example, my goal of paying off my loans by June. I could focus on the end goal and see the balance as daunting and never decreasing or I can focus on the progress I am making by sticking to a monthly budget, which frees up money to go towards my debt. I can focus on my inability to do a push-up or pull-up all the way or I can add on more upper body workouts to my rotation and feel good about increasing the weight I use. Even though I still can’t do a pull-up unassisted at least I know that focusing on building my upper body strength is bringing me closer to this goal of mine.

Link Ups: Weekly Chase via Road Runner Girl and Weekly Wrap via MissSippiPiddlin

From Couch to …. My Reveiw of C25K

Welcome to my weekly Thursday Tryouts link-up! A weekly post I share with you my thoughts and experience of things I’ve tried out. Whether you had a positive or not so great experience, feel free to link up your own blog posts of tryout shares by adding your link to the link-up button at the end of this post. Plus don’t forget to mention the link-up in your blog post and link back her Now on to my topic for today!! Continue reading

Let’s Inspire Optimism!

Today I’m linking up with Deb Runs for Wednesday Word, a fun link-up any blogger can join in on where we share our thoughts on the “word of the day.” I think today’s word, optimism, is perfect to bring into perspective with the nearing end of the first month of 2016.

One of the main things I want to focus on in my blog is goals and goal setting. I admit I’m no expert in this field, but that’s one of the main reasons I’ve decided to share on this topic! I feel that everyone should have an idea of where and what they want in life, as well as a plan of action and an optimistic mind to do so. I honestly have faith and believe that anyone can change their lives and create the life they want for themselves. This is precisely what I am committing to doing! So I hope in sharing my journey I inspire others to do so too, to forget thinking of them as too ordinary and incapable because I too have had those feelings. We don’t have to be millionaires, celebrities, or highly celebrated individuals to live life by our own definition of greatness.

A whole month of the New Year has come and gone and many people will begin to contemplate over what they have achieved or accomplished over the past month. It is easy to fall victim to feelings of inadequacy or become discouraged when one realizes the goals or resolutions they excitedly created at the beginning of the year have gone neglected or not quite progressed as hoped. I’ve realized that we have to constantly alter our methods and sometimes even our goals in order to achieve the things we want in life. Something that takes effort, time, and a great deal of optimism!

The most important step in achieving a goal in my opinion is just to be positive about your abilities and begin. Accept that you might not find the success you want instantly and might let yourself down at times. This is something I struggled with especially with the fitness challenges I always find myself attempting. In the end I would find myself feeling pressured to perform to every detail and became overwhelmed, ultimately giving up completely.

I finally got tired of feeling like I was always failing and have accepted that my journey will not be perfect. I want to be real and honest with myself, so I don’t let myself fall into an unrealistic image of success I will not find. So at the beginning of the year, I happily reviewed the pain, the soreness, the guilt, the mistakes, and everything else that I would find ahead of me and forgave myself at the start. I’ve chosen optimism in aiming for my goals because with a positive mind I’m able to look at the hardships I might face and see them as challenges that will only make me stronger. I’m able to take control of the one thing we are able to take control of, our minds and choices.

We must all find optimism even when we feel there is none. I’ve struggled immensely with depression, feelings of inadequacy, anger, loneliness, hopelessness. Sometimes I feel so drained at the end of the day or with where I am in life that I just sigh and begin to think of all the things I wish were different. Yet, focusing my energy on what I don’t have and thinking negatively really doesn’t do anything for me but create a bigger, deeper hole for myself. I am not perfect and I don’t ever expect to have no frustration or sadness in things that might befall on me, but I have committed to always finding something positive in times of despair and forgiving myself when needed. I feel in doing this I will allow myself to see the good that does surround me and take the responsibility in acting on those that I wish to change.

What thoughts do you struggle with?
How do you stay optimistic even in a not so positive situation?

Share some optimism with me! Name one thing that you have to be proud, happy, or thankful for!

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ― Winston S. Churchill