Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Goals

My first Winter project!
The holiday season is over, and it's safe to say that it's officially winter. With the dumping of snow we got over the weekend, followed by some chilly temps, we just can't deny it any more.

I decided to set some Winter Goals to create some motivation to push me through the lack of sunshine.

Eat: Good, healthy, non-processed foods. Because for the next month, I'm doing Whole30 with a friend. It's time for a bit of a reset after the holidays. It's not so much about weight loss, but rather getting rid of some of my bad habits. We start next week!

Drink: Tea. Delicious tea. Warms me right up on a cold evening, and goes great with the latest book or knitting project.

Read: 52 books this year! I've already finished the first two. To keep it interesting, I'm working on the Pop Sugar Ultimate Reading Challenge. So far I have crossed out: A book with a number in the title, and a book originally written in a different language. I'm working on a book that was made into a movie.

Watch: We started binge-watching Friends over the break and are now on season three. One of my goals is to supplement that with some of the different documentaries on there. Mix in some learning with the fun. I am also hoping to get to the movies a few more times - The Imitation Game, American Sniper, Wild, and Into the Woods are all on my list.

Listen: To the Overdue podcast. It's two guys talking about books. I love books! I just found this recently, and have been listening to the episodes of the books that I've read while I'm cooking or doing the dishes. Then I'm planning to go back and listen to the episodes of the books I haven't read, to get some inspiration for new stuff to add to my reading list.

Wear: After wearing my jammies pretty much all break, it's back to dressing for work again. And this winter, I'm mixing in all of the awesome scarves I have!

Make: A vision board for 2015.

Start: Decluttering. I have a few different organization tasks that I hope to tackle during these weeks when the students are still away. Time to pitch, donate, and refocus on experiences instead of things. Step one is to take down our Christmas decorations.

Finish: My dissertation proposal edits. Still chugging right along, but hoping to focus a bit more.

Stop: Playing games on my phone. It's such a time suck, and keeps me from spending quality time with my husband. I'm working on other ways to decompress at the end of the day, like reading, listening to podcasts, and knitting again.

Go: On walks. Yes, this might sound crazy with how cold it is and the fact that I'm clumsy to begin with let alone when there is ice on the ground. However, I think that getting out into the fresh air for 20 minutes or so every day, will help me to keep from hibernating on my couch all winter long and becoming a grouchy pants.

Find: Time for cooking and meal planning. After the holidays, I'm ready to get back into a regular schedule and eat more meals together at our kitchen table. With Whole30, I have to do a lot of planning to make sure that I'm prepared and don't end up cheating and/or starving. But, I also have a lot more fun with cooking and try new recipes when I put time into our monthly meal plans. It's where I've found some of our favorite things to eat.   

Focus: On being productive. During the Winterim on campus, it can seem like we have all of the time in the world for planning. It really goes by fast though, and I want to make sure I make good progress on my projects.

What are your winter goals?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell to 2014!

As the hours wind down, it's time to say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015.

Chris and I continued our tradition of seeing a NYE movie: Unbroken. I highly recommend both the book and the movie. And now we are back on the couch, ready to watch the ball drop. Our favorite relaxed holiday.

This year. Wow. So many things. So many AMAZING things:

  • We got married. Drop the Mic.

I mean, right?! Nothing will top that.

But I suppose I'd also like to celebrate:  
  • We had the opportunity to see new parts of the world. London, Paris, Dublin, Belfast, Galway - every stop was more to experience. And now I'm hungry to see more of the world.
  • Plus I wracked up a whole lot of US travel miles, both for work and for fun, including stops in Champaign, IL, New Orleans for a FREE trip with Rachel, getting to see my amazing friends Shiloh and Lucy tie the knot in Texas, and a holiday trip to Connecticut to close out the year.
  • A few great concerts, including DMB at Summerfest. 
  • I submitted my dissertation proposal draft to my professor. Finally. I still need to do my oral exams and then I can start my research, but for me, actually putting my work forward for review is a big step. 

There is a quote from Nora Zeale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God that says "There are years that ask questions and years that answer." I used to have a theory about odd years and even years. That even years brought greater challenge, and odd brought greater celebration. That has proven less true for me lately. Now I am leaning more towards believing that every year has the potential to be great. And those with less celebratory moments just may be filled with more opportunities to learn and grow.

We will just have to see what 2015 brings.

Happy New Year y'all. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday/Winter Goals

Our 2014 Christmas Tree!
Fall has come and gone. It's officially December. Which I consider not yet Winter, but Holiday season! (although the snow we keep getting might argue otherwise)

I set some summer goals to help me focus on what was important and to not let the summer months fly by. Knowing that this time of year can be really overwhelming, I thought I would set some for the holidays as well.

Eat: More fruits and veggies. This is hard during the time when I just want comfort food and Christmas cookies. But I am on a mission to avoid the winter colds. And vitamins are key. Go vitamins!

Drink: Hot cocoa. Because yum. And not everything has to be a veggie.

Read: The books sitting on my shelves, both print and virtual. I seem to be hoarding books. And rather than getting a bunch of new ones, I am going to start with working my way through those I have downloaded or borrowed. I love getting some "fun" reading done over the holidays.

Watch: We watched all of the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends, on the Friday after Thanksgiving. One of our favorite traditions while putting up the Christmas tree. Which now means I am ready for all of the holiday classics. I'm a sucker for White Christmas, A Muppet Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and It's a Wonderful Life. We've already watched Love Actually, another Christmas favorite. I also love watching the Harry Potter movies this time of year.

Wear: My gorgeous Aran knit sweater that I got on our honeymoon in Ireland. Sweater weather is the best.

Make: A few new Christmas decorations. I try not to go overboard with the holiday craft projects (ehem, Pinterest), but there are a few that I'd like to add this year.

Buy: All. The. Things. Just kidding. Trying to NOT buy all of the things right now. Just some special gifts for the loved ones. And maybe a thing for me here and there.

Bake: Klejner. It's almost time for our family cookie weekend, one of my favorite annual traditions.

Send: Christmas cards! I won't be hand-making them this year, since we just ordered one with some of our wedding photos. I love both sending and receiving Christmas cards.

Start: Some winter deep cleaning. A messy house around the Holidays is never fun.

Finish: My dissertation proposal edits. Chugging right along.

Find: Some new exercise options for winter.

Stop: Staying up past my bedtime. I need more sleep. This weather makes me a bit groggy. I need all of the energy I can get.

Go: To all of the fun holiday events! Okay, maybe not all of them. But Milwaukee has some wonderful holiday celebrations, like Christmas in the Ward and the Miller Holiday Lights tour. I love celebrating.

Visit: My grandma. She's recovering from a spill on the ice from this pre-Thanksgiving snow we got. When I saw her in the hospital last week, she proudly proclaimed that she made it to 84 before breaking a bone. Not bad. I hope to be so lucky.

Focus: On Joy. It's going to be my 2015 word. Why not get 13 months out of it?

Happy December y'all!

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