The Next 6 Months….Goals

As I mentioned in my last post, in the next 6 – 12 months I want to really focus on me and shaping my life to my vision of happy and success. Here are my (slightly) more specific goals.

Get Healthy

  • Get more sleep – this is by far my biggest health weakness. There are millions of reasons why sleep is good for you. I average 6 hours of sleep my whole life and if I get more than 9 I feel crappy the rest of the day, but lately I’ve barely been sleeping 5 hours a night. To meet this goal I’m going to develop a bed time routine and leave my iPad/laptop/iPhone in another room. Instead I will bring a good book and a notepad to capture all the thoughts that prevent me from going to sleep.
  • Make an exercise plan (and back up plan) – I don’t like going to the gym and I really don’t like running. I do like gym classes like Zumba, cardio/weight training classes, and non-conventional (read – non coordination requiring) sports.  I want to continue rock climbing and start boxing/kick boxing. I need to make exercising a priority and get some buddies to hold me accountable.

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    Oh, did I mention the importance of relaxing?

  • Cook more – this hasn’t been a problem until very recently when I realized that I couldn’t really remember what I had been eating the past 2 weeks. I didn’t eat out a lot, and I don’t have junk food in my house – but I couldn’t remember if/what I cooked or ate. My goal is to cook more meals ahead of time and to buy ingredients that are fast, healthy, and easy to prepare.

Get Social

  • Make a social media plan – I want to learn more about social media tools so I can better apply them to my job, the volunteer work I do, and my personal brand. There are smart ways to use Facebook, twitter, and Google+. They can be used to promote the things I like and care about as well as my personal brand.

Get Smart

  • Do my best in Grad School– This one is pretty self-explanatory. I want to get good grades and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.
  • Spend time wisely – I have a confession: I’m better at making a schedule than committing to a schedule. (Shhh…. don’t tell anyone). With 3 jobs, working out, volunteering, and being a good friend/family member, I can’t afford to not stick to a schedule. There’s no reason I can’t do fun things and hang out/relax, I just need to make sure that I’m also getting everything else done as well and that’s where having a schedule comes in handy.

Get Thrifty

  • Stick to my budget  – I have a pretty good handle on my bills and my income. For some reason it seems that I either go months without spending a penny or I spend a ton of money in a single weekend. I need to pull the purse strings again and stick to my budget as far as eating out and shopping goes.
  • Create a separate savings account – Being thrifty will lead to my ultimate goal of creating a separate savings account for big ticket items that I really want.
  1. Zumba certification class
  2. Jenny Blake’s Make Sh*t happen course
  3. A ticket to World Domination Summit 2014
  4. Travel to Italy and Spain for a week each.

Get Creative

  • Write more -This blog needs some TLC for sure. I think all those 1/2 started stories in random notebooks could also use some love.
  • Find an artistic outlet – I’ve never been super crafty but I used paint-by-numbers (I’m cool – I know) and scrap-booking as a well to relax in high school. I see no reason to not start up again.
  • Redecorate my apartment – I spend an embarrassing amount of time on Pinterest and reading blogs by really creative and awesome people. I always feel inspired, but I never know where to start. In order to get more creative I’m going to redecorate my apartment. This also ties back to being thrifty since I need to redecorate on an almost non-existent budget. Thank goodness that the DIY gods founded pinterest and other cool sites like Brit and Co. and Olioboard to help get inspired and creative.
  • Read more – I have a bookshelf full of books I have not read. The end.

Get Giving

  • Make Friends – I think the biggest oversight for recent grads is how hard it is to make friends after college. I worked in a tech company for a while so I have a lot of amazing guy friends, but not a lot of girlfriends. It’s a little awkward to make friends, but I’m embracing it and trying to be creative with ways to meet people.
  • Be a good friend – My mom always reminds me that sometimes people don’t need advice. I should know this since sometimes I just want to rant and I get mad when people try to ‘fix’ my problem – yet, to my friends I’m often that person. I’m going to work on being a better listener instead of always trying to give advice.
  • Re-commit to ACS – volunteering for the American Cancer Society has been a HUGE part of my life for 5 years now. I joined a new event this year which is being held in Sept and it’s throwing off my usual level of involvement. I miss it. I miss the community and the creative process that comes along with planning a Relay For Life. I already scheduled a meeting with my ACS rep so I’ll be back on track soon. (Amazing article on why giving is the secret of getting ahead – this guy is one of my heroes! I love this)

Wow, that seems like a lot. To sum it up, right now I feel like an octopus with each leg spazzing out in a different direction. These goals are intended to get each leg under control and all the legs moving and working together to swim along to a happier, healthier Chelsey. Does that make sense? (Why do these metaphors always sound better in my head?).

So that’s the plan and I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

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A Mid-Year Review

Today was a good day! I was busy at work planning events and strategizing for the rest of the year (I love to strategize!). I went for a 1.5 mile run and worked-out during lunch, and rocked the quiz in class. Not too bad.

Following yesterday’s post I want to stay on track for being motivated (or at least pretending to be) and complete a mid-year review. We are half-way through 2013 and there have been some pretty significant changes in my life so far. I’m using a 3 step method from Nicole Antionette at A Life Less Bullshit. The steps were part of her email newsletter but her blog has some amazing resources for setting (and sticking) to goals.

Step One – Create a January – June “Eff Yeah” list 

This is a list of everything (big and little) that I’ve accomplished so far this year, everything I’m proud of, and ‘everything you need to remind yourself to feel good about when you’re all, “I’m not doing anything with my life oh my goddddd.”‘

I had to revert to my Google Calendar, but here is what I came up with:

February

  • Started a new Job at Union College
  • Kept my old job on a part-time basis

March

  • Watched my little brother march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC. Bonded with my family over the miserable weather.
Keeping Busy!

Keeping Busy!

April

  • Got a job as a freelance writer
  • Started classes for my MBA
  • Started work-out classes (aka working out regularly)
  • Visited with sister and old friends

May

  • Hosted Sip Into Summer Fundraiser for the American Cancer Society HopeClub, as co-chair of the event. Most successful year of the event!
  • Volunteered at Gala of Hope ACS event
  • Watched my sister graduate from college
  • Worked at ReUnion weekend and met the amazing volunteers and alumni.

June

  • Finished my first term of grad school with a 3.85
  • Almost mastered a new morning routine that includes making a to-go breakfast sandwich, smoothie, and latte!
  • Started summer classes
  • Visited my sister in DC at her awesome new job!
  • Started planning a kick-ass year at work with new responsibilities and new programs.
  • Continued working out during lunch

Not too bad. It looks like the beginning of the year was a bit slow but the changes that I made were big ones. And I think overall I’m happier now than where I was six months ago.

Step 2 – Identify your top 3 pride moments

My big pride moments were: getting a new job(s), starting grad school, and visiting my sister in DC.

I’m so much happier now. I’m so lucky to have two remote part-time jobs. I LOVE the freedom (and extra money). I am very proud of myself for proving my worth at my old job so that I could stay on part-time, and for having my writing earn me a freelance gig. Changing careers was a risky move for many reasons but now I’m in a field I enjoy, working with amazing people everyday, and I’m only starting to see the true potential of what I could do there.

Starting grad school was also scary. I’d been out of college for a little while and didn’t know anyone else in the program. I was afraid that it was going to be too hard or I wouldn’t have time for all the work. I was able to take 2 classes while maintaining my usual work load, did really well in both classes, and made some pretty cool friends. Now, to be honest – I’m technically non-matriculated. But I signed up today to take the GRE at the end of August!

My sister is one of the most amazing people I know. She is such a hard-working, dedicated, funny, passionate, and beautiful person on the inside and out. We are sooo different, but we balance each other out in a really cool way. Colby graduated at the top of her class, got her dream job as a reporter on technology in the federal government at a crazy cool start up in DC. She left the nest to follow her dreams and she is kicking ass and taking names. Visiting her in DC showed me how resourceful and smart she is (even though it’s not always obvious to her family). Keep your eye out for her because I know she’s going to be famous someday! Go Colby!

Step 3 – Pick your upcoming priority

Nicole suggests you put one thing as your number one priority and that thing shouldn’t be “life balance”, it should be specific. I think I’m going to rebel here for a minute because my upcoming number one priority is going to be ME.

I know that’s general, but I need to focus on my health, dreams, and goals. I need to spend time soul searching about what I really want for my life without asking for tips from everyone else. What do I want my life to look like? Where do I want to be? Who do I want to be with?

Have you done your mid-year review?

Motivation…or lack of

So I write these posts in my head all day, even though I sit at a computer and could very quickly and very easily type them up and post them. I can’t figure out what’s stopping me. I have lists of ideas that I want to write about, even a content schedule of sorts, but I still can’t find the motivation to post on a regular basis.

I’ve never had good stick-to-it-tivness. I would never use the word determined to describe myself and that bothers me. Don’t get me wrong – I can commit. I commit to every relationship I’m in, getting through (and doing well in) school, and my job(s). All those commitments have someone else at stake. Someone else that holds me accountable for getting things done and doing them the best I can. But when it comes to the commitments I make to myself, I can’t stick to it.

The past week or two I’ve been trying to figure out what motivates me. I’ve tried a few different things, but I find that the only thing that really forces me to buckle down and do work are social commitments and relationships. I love hanging out with my friends, meeting new people, and taking advantage of all the fun events going on in my area (especially during the summer). I will work with pure focus to get my homework, or a freelance assignment done if I know that I get to hang out with people afterwards.

But when it’s just me, or what I’m working only affects me (like working out, eating well, blogging, writing, any type of athletic hobby, sleeping, etc.) I can’t seem to stick to it.

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I watched lots of videos and read lots of blog posts about how to get motivated. You can use money, you can tell everyone to hold you accountable,  you can tell one person to hold you accountable, you can promise yourself a reward for reaching a milestone… there are many ways to self-motivate.

As usual Marie Forleo (first link) read my mind and had the perfect video that talked about not waiting for motivation to do the thing you want to do. I’m going to try my best to just start doing the things I want to do. I know it’s a little late but I think I’m due for a mid-year review.