Overall Wellness: Checking-In

I skipped last month’s check in because I was slammed with work stuff and my goals kind of took a back seat to everything else. Just getting through the month with all my hair (sans a major haircut) was more important to me. Some months are crazy and it’s just about getting through the month. Other months I can really concentrate on bettering my self.

So to recap, my goals for this year are:

1.) Drink more water – got a little off track on this but reeling it back in to concentrate on this. I somehow keep forgetting that we have one of those water fountains that you can use to fill your water bottle upstairs and I just finish off my bottle of water that I brink (reusable) and just suffer being thirsty for the rest of the day. I don’t know why it just escapes my mind. Perhaps I should put a post-it note up in my office…

2.) Focus on form – I”m really excited about this because I have been working on this quite a bit and I am seeing results. I made a decision not to race at all this year and just concentrate on my form with running and also with lifting. My running has leveled off quite a bit (but now with the nicer weather, I’m more likely to go for an impromptu run) and my times have gone waaaaay up. But taking the time to concentrate on my running form I can tell is going to pay off in the long run (cheesy pun intended!)

3.) Budget and get credit cards paid off – I kind of forgot about this. The budgeting part. And then this morning, I knocked over my drink all over my pile of receipts that I needed to enter into my spreadsheet … so that happened. But I have definitely switched over to a cash based … life? I just have found that using cash works best for me. It really keeps my spending in check and I have been able to cut my spending from about $100/week to $70/week.

4.) Read for fun and research – I have been doing a lot of reading for work and as soon as I finish up some blog posts, I”m going to grab a book and read outside for a bit. I’m really enjoying drinking some coffee and sitting on my balcony and reading with the nicer weather that we have now. I’m still way behind on my goal to read a book per month. I’m almost finished with my second book (one for work) and then I’m thinking I’m going to re-read Harry Potter. Mainly because I have been listening to a Muggle Net podcast that analyzes the books from various academic perspectives and now that I have heard these, I want to go through and analyze the books a bit more.

5.) Laugh, love, and accomplish something everyday – yup. I am. And it helps. Some days, I am accomplishing something big, other mornings I”m happy that I was able to get out of bed.

How are your goals going so far? A quarter of the way through the year, how are you feeling about your goals? Any changes that you have made? Have you added more? Let me know!

Overall Wellness: Check-In

My goals for the year will be the guide for my monthly check-ins this year.

1.) Drink more water. I definitely will need a better way for tracking my water intake. I have been working on drinking more water and less pop, but I can still do better. I actually dropped and shattered my water bottle a few weeks ago. And I immediately felt weird not having one.

2.) Focus on form. I have been doing a better job with this in my weight lifting. I haven’t been running very much lately so I haven’t concentrated on form as much and when I have been running, it’s been outside and in the winter, just staying upright is a success for me.

3.) Budget and get credit cards paid. I have been doing a pretty good job with this. I have moved to spending almost only cash when I go grocery shopping and and any left over cash I can use on other things like grabbing lunch with a friend or something. I haven’t been able to cut the cord on my debit card completely, but I have been working on my budgeting.

4.) Read for fun and research. I have been doing more with reading at night instead of just watching TV. Eric and I have even moved to reading before bed one night a week on the weekends.

5.) Be a well-informed citizen of the world. I have been reading my DailySkimm newsletter and I have been reading LearnVest articles more, but I really need to work on listening to more podcasts and getting more news in my life. Less crap.

6.) Laugh, love, and accomplish something everyday. I have laughed and loved but I think it might be beneficial for me to document what I accomplished that day so I have actual evidence to back this up.


Overall Wellness: Checking In

Today is going to be my check-in post since tomorrow I will set my goals for 2014.

Let’s review December’s goals, shall we?

  • Water! You know, I did do a better job at consuming more water but I still rely on soda/pop/diet coke a bit too much. 
  • Continue to make progress on my consulting project. I had big plans to work on this a lot while I was home for the holidays…those plans did not work out. So now I’m scrambling a bit. 
  • Budget! I actually created some excel spreadsheets to use for 2014 to track my spending so I have actual data and numbers to base my budget off of! 
  • And finally, breathe and relax. I took a few “me” days off around the holidays so I got to spend some time doing nothing, which was nice. But now it is time to kick back into high gear. 

Since I will be setting overall 2014 goals tomorrow, I won’t set monthly check-in goals like I usually do in these posts.

Stay safe this New Year’s Eve!!

Overall Wellness: Check-In

Ah yes, tis the time to set a few goals and revisit the previous months goals. Let’s look at November, shall we?

  • Get Christmas shopping done this month. Well, I got my mom and sister done…I had a plan and I ended up straying from that a bit…
  • Fitness challenge. Ah yes, as we start getting into the cooler months, my desire to just curl up and do nothing is increased. So a nice little 30 day fitness challenge is just what I could use. This won’t be like my 50 days of running challenge but rather will be 30 days of “beasting” of killing my workouts. I tracked each day on my personal blog and it was pretty interesting. Up until I left for home, I only missed one day and I hit it hard most days. It was pretty cool to see myself pushing myself again. I will continue to keep pushing. I know it is hard to get motivated to work out in the winter/colder months. 
  • Budget. Go ahead and prepare for this one to probably always be in the mix b/c it is something that I continue to need to work on. Still need more work on this but I did go into Black Friday shopping wanting to spend x amount of dollars and only went over that limit a little bit.
  • Don’t stress. I did … not so well with this. I got really stressed out when I was driving back because I missed a merge onto a different interstate and ended up in a bad part of town and my GPS kept trying to make me turn on a street that didn’t exist. I finally just had to choose a direction and start driving that way and make my GPS recalculate a bunch until it got me where I needed to go. Luckily, I chose the right direction. It was stressful. I missed my merge too b/c my GPS was busy trying to tell me about a traffic incident ahead that didn’t even exist. Annoying. 

Ok! How about some December goals!

  • Water! I do not drink near enough water and I discovered last month that my building installed on the water bottle water fountains up on the ground floor. So this gives me a great excuse to go upstairs and get water. I will get a tiny bit of extra movement into my day plus I will get to see outside…weird! Well, it is for me since I work in a basement.
  • Continue to make progress on my consulting project. A couple months ago I announced that I was going to be working on a consulting project. Well, I took the project on right when work got crazy for me and I was working early and through lunch…sometimes late. Then I went to Kentucky…so the project didn’t start off great but I have steadily been plowing through it. I even had a blog post published on their site! I’d like to complete the first section and get the other section done as well. Especially since I am taking some time off during the holidays. Which will include some time that I am not at work, not at home, and not with das boy. Just some time when I am at my home.
  • Budget! I’m getting better and making improvements. I’d like to get into a good routine so I can start the new year off with strong budgeting skills. Because (I am thinking of my SMART New Year’s goals already) I’d like to get myself out of credit card debt by the end of 2014. So then the only debt I would have is my student loans.
  • And finally, breathe and relax. Work will get crazy again soon and January – March is basically just…crazy. Without getting into too much detail, this is really the last bit of time I get to relax before things get busy again so I need to make sure I take advantage of that. Also making sure that I breathe and relax through the holidays. Does anyone else find that the holidays just stress them out more than not? Just me? Can’t be!

What are your goals for December? Are you starting to plan out 2014 goals? I like to start the planning process in December so I can work on making sure I operationalize my goals and so I can get some clear measures of them!

Overall Wellness: Check-In

Well folks, it’s time for a quick check in on my goals

September Goals Recap

  • Hey Vanessa, BUDGET! BUDGET! AND BUDGET SOME MORE! Get your spreadsheets out and get going!
  • Stick to the fitness schedule and write up a workout to do on the days when I am working out solo and then actually stick to it-regardless of how many guys are in the weight room.
  • Swim a mile.
  • Stay focused on my volunteer work and research with the leadership project.

I did better with my budgeting and I have implemented some of my “old fashioned” ways that have helped me too aka I finally went back to have a planner that you use a pen and write stuff down in instead of using just my google calendar/outlook calendar. I struggled a bit with workouts towards the end of the month. I did swim a mile and then promptly got sick a few days later and have really struggled with finding that physical strength and endurance that I had pre-illness. And I have made some good progress withe my leadership project.

I’m going to do just 4 simple goals again for November, because I really enjoyed just concentrating a few things.

  • Get Christmas shopping done this month. I’m notorious for the day before Christmas doing my shopping, partly b/c it really stresses me out and partly b/c I’m horrible at keeping secrets. But by waiting that late, I also get really stressed out because I haven’t gotten everyone’s Christmas gifts. So, I’m going to work on getting everything done with month.
  • Fitness challenge. Ah yes, as we start getting into the cooler months, my desire to just curl up and do nothing is increased. So a nice little 30 day fitness challenge is just what I could use. This won’t be like my 50 days of running challenge but rather will be 30 days of “beasting” of killing my workouts.
  • Budget. Go ahead and prepare for this one to probably always be in the mix b/c it is something that I continue to need to work on. But this is going to be especially important now because I am not getting health insurance (I was under my mom and step dad’s b/c I am 25 or under but I will be turning 26 so now I have to get my own) and retirement taken out of my paychecks.
  • Don’t stress. The holiday season inevitably always brings an insane amount of stress on me. And I know this. So I need to just prepare myself for what the season brings and deal with it.

How are you doing on your goals? How are you doing overall? How do you prepare for the holiday season?

Wellness Check-In: Revisting August Goals and Setting September Goals

August Goals

  • Take my contact out every night—did this and ended up irritating my eyes from using bad contact lens solution, but I bought new stuff and my eyes are recovering from using bad solution. It was really irritating (literally and figuratively) because I bought a two back of brand new contact lens solution that ended up being just horrible for my eye balls.
  • Swim a mile, get comfortable swimming 100s, get comfortable utilizing flip turns –remember when I said you should set realistic goals? This is the perfect example of not setting a realistic goal. How I expected to do this swimming goal when my access to the pool I use was going to be cut off in the month of August (because when you use a free gym, you are on the free gyms schedule and they take off time during the year). So I did not accomplish this at all. But I will transfer this goal to September because I will be swimming twice a week in September.
  • Run with the running club/group every Thursday night—did this except for this past week which was just the Thursday before I moved and I wanted to get last minute stuff ready/prepared for my move.
  • Start prepping for a half marathon in October –I have not done this and likely will not do this. I really want to run this half-marathon, but I need to be more conscious of my finances. There will be a blog post on this later this week.
  • Unplug from the world a little bit more –I did better at this as well, but I would like to see more improvements in this. It’s hard to unplug completely from the world when I rely on social media so much for my wellness blog. But I need to find a happier medium.

September Goals

  • Budget. Budget. Budget. Seriously. Budget my little budget off. With moving to my new apartment which is an increase in rent and utilities plus my car giving me more problems (yes, yes for the 3rd time in 2 months I am having car problems-I think I have seen every warning light that my car has this summer), I just need to be more conscious of my spending and making sure that I am creating a budget and sticking to it. The “sticking to it” part is the hardest part for me. I have created budgets half a dozen times, but I struggle with sticking with the budget.
  • Swimming. I really need to be working on my swimming and with the pool that I use being open for more hours and more days, I think it will help just being in the pool more and working on stuff. So I’m going to carry over my August goal of getting comfortable swimming 100s and utilizing flip turns.
  • Stick to my workout schedule. I made a workout schedule with the boy last night. It looks a little bit like this:
    • Sunday:  Lifting w/ the boy
    • Monday:  Swimming
    • Tuesday:  Fun park workout
    • Wednesday:  My night time lifting/running workout
    • Thursday:  Run club
    • Friday:  Rest
    • Saturday:  Morning bike ride w/ the boy, afternoon swimming
    • Blogging. I feel like August was so hectic that my blog really started to slack so I want to make sure that I keep up the integrity of my blog. Especially since I am going to be in Kentucky for a week, I want to make sure that I have posts ready to go on at least travel days-I learned my lesson the hard way when I was travelling to Colorado.
    • Emotional/Mental wellness. I need to take more time to make sure this is in check. I struggled with this a lot during August. I let stress (both personal stress and work stress) take over my mental wellbeing.

What are your goals for September? How did you do meeting your goals in August?

Overall Wellness: Monthly Check-In aka Joey from FRIENDS “How You Doin’?”

I’m going to start a new feature on my blog! A monthly check-in to go through some of the things I said I was going to do and see how I’m progressing with those.

Financial Wellness 

Overall, I did alright this past month with financial wellness. I bought a new set of dishes this weekend for $15 (on clearance down from $35). I ran into a big of snag though when my car decided to … er … do something. I am having to break into my emergency stash of savings which I keep locked up in my mom and step dad’s safety deposit box in Iowa. It’s what I call my “oh shit fund” and this weekend something happened with my car…something with a fan or a ball bearing…I’m not really sure. The boy knows what’s crackalackin on my car so before I take it in I’ll have him (for the millionth time) give me a run down on what needs to be taken care of on my car.

Physical Wellness 

Remember when I said I was going to do the Ultra Iron Man challenge that my grad school was doing? Yeah, I’m so far behind on that…there is no way that I will finish. But the positives of this are that it got me in the pool and swimming. I went from swimming 20 lengths the first time I got in the pool to swimming 50 this past week. I went from a 2 stroke to 3 stroke breathing pattern and even attempted a flip turn last week. I’m not the strongest swimmer out in the pool, but I’m in the pool putting forth a huge effort and starting to get those glimpses of when I was a fairly decent swimmer. I’m glad I pushed myself to get into the pool and start swimming. Because I was terrified to do that.

Occupational Wellness 

I have some exciting news on that front but more of stuff that I’m going to keep mum about for the time being. I hit a major roadblock this month when I found out that CHES deemed me ineligible to sit for the exam in October. But I’m in the process of kind of fighting that/they said I had no classes that would work towards that class and I know I have at least one (if not all…).

Mental Wellness 

One thing that I have been trying to do more of this month is taking some time to stop thinking about the past and planning for the future and just being in the now. I find that I do this best when I am in the pool swimming. I have to concentrate so much on swimming (and not drowning) that I completely forget to think about how many laps I need to swim or how many I have swam or what I did at work or what I need to do, etc. Swimming is the only workout that I have ever done that I can do without music and I don’t get bored. I am constantly thinking about my form or how I can push myself or just staying afloat that I don’t even realize that I have already swam a couple of laps (which also tends to make it a little bit hard to count …)

Other things wellness related

I have officially made it 2 weeks caffeine free! I had a major temptation last week to grab one of the diet cokes sitting right in my office, but I pushed through it and made it without drinking caffeine. In the past two weeks I have only wandered upstairs one day to grab an extra snack.

I think that catches you guys up on pretty much everything…

During July I want to accomplish:

  • Sugar/sweets free
  • Being active everyday (similar to my 50 days of running challenge but without running everyday
  • Swim a mile (about 71 lengths…but I would do even so 72 lengths)
  • Utilize my weekends for more than just napping………(serious problem!)
  • Get my research done and blog post finished that I need to get approved through a researcher in the field
  • Save. More. Money.
  • Get. Away. From. My. Phone. (especially during my vacation!!! coming up SOON!)

I think that covers some of my main goals. I want to know how your June went! And what your goals are for July! Leave a comment here, like my Facebook page and tell me there, email me (wellnessblogging@outlook.com), or tweet me!