life curation · Uncategorized

Welcome July!

Can you all believe that we’re halfway through the year? This was the LONGEST six months ever! How are you all holding up?

It’s been a difficult year for most of us so far. We’ve been challenged with natural distasters, health pandemics, and political upheaval. Yet, we’re still here. We are survivors, and that is reason enough to celebrate.

In spite of the year we’ve experienced up to this point, there is no reason to have a negative perspective for the months to come. We can still plan to have a beautiful summer, a gorgeous fall, and a spectacular winter. There is so much to look forward to: let’s embrace it!

As for me, I’m rewriting some of my 2020 plans, as I have gotten some additional clarity on some of my goals. I’m excited to incorporate more beauty, relaxation, and quality experiences in my life during the upcoming months. The first order of business is enjoying a luxurious picnic as soon as the weather is a little more favorable (it’s far too hot to enjoy outdoor dining at this time).

Do you all have any plans for how you’ll make the most of the remainder of this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

life curation

Will My 2019 Goals Fail?

Happy hump day friends! As I look at my beloved planner, I think to myself how, every week, I set out little goals that will feed into some of that bigger goals for 2019. I’m only a couple of weeks into the new year, but I noticed something that I wanted to share with you all. I’m concerned that maybe my goals don’t have enough “umph” to them.

The problem with tepid goals is that they’ll usually fall flat. That isn’t intentional, of course:  no one sets a goal with the plan to fail. But in my experience, goals that don’t fire you up rarely have enough steam to be fully realized.

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So I had to ask myself, will my 2019 goals fail?

I’d like to think that they won’t:  I’m beyond the phase of life where I’m at I’m okay barely making the mark. At this point, only success or major progress will do.  That brought me to the realization that, for my 2019 goals, I have to find some fire for them.  Specifically, I have to make them bolder and bigger. Everything will have to be taken up a notch if I want to ensure that the goals will be accomplished.

Last year’s goals had a measure of success to them.  Nothing was a complete failure, but they did not have enough fire to keep me working hard on them all year long. I figured that might be somewhat normal:  working non-stop for an indefinite period of time on anything is nearly impossible. One of the reasons that I was really thankful for getting the 21 Day Challenge book was that I figured I could work on anything fervently for 21 days.

But after I took some time to examine my current goals, I don’t even think that 21 day challenges can keep me lit up all year long. So this year, I’m going to take a little more time and figure out exactly how to make my goals bolder than they were last year. I want goals that light me up and that excite me as I discuss them.  I start my first 21 day challenge in February, and I want to make sure that I’m ready and raring to go at the beginning of the month so that the 21 days I pour into a project will be some of the most inspiring days of my 2019.

So I’m going back to the drawing board for my goals, and I’m going to make them bigger and bolder than ever. I can’t wait to share them with you all soon!

That’s all for today. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Making Dreams Come True Using Conscious Creation

Recently, I came across a post from my favorite LOA coach, Jeannette Maw. As it just so happens, she is launching a brand new course titled The Dream Render. Jeannette will be teaching participants how to manifest one of their big dreams in under 30 days. As someone that has personally worked with Jeannette and has seen what she can do, I have no doubt that this course will be a powerful one.

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Jeannette Maw of GoodVibeBlog and GoodVibeUniversity

The course kicks off on September 27, and the best way to take advantage of this awesome opportunity is to join Good Vibe University. I have an annual membership and it’s worth every penny, but there are also monthly options for those that want to test the waters.

To catch up with the latest over at Good Vibe Blog, check out the most recent post, 10 Insights From Studying Successful Creators. This will be a great way to get familiar with Jeannette’s work and perspective. While you’re over there, go ahead and read everything she’s written – it’s all great stuff!

Enjoy your Friday, friends, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

life curation

My Top Three Goals For This Year

I’m still buzzing from the excitement of welcoming in a brand new year of life, but I wanted to share some thoughts I had over the past few days.

It’s easy to talk about the “stuff” that I want, but I spent some time getting real with myself and asking, honestly, what do I REALLY want for myself in the year to come?

My list is brief, but it perfectly captures what I think will be the most powerful things that I can do to create a wonderful new year.

kindness

1) Be more kind and generous

I always strive to be kind but I want to make this my signature personality trait. That will involve me regularly taking a more empathetic stance and avoiding “hasty” reactions. I’ve been working on these things for a while but I can always stand to improve. As far as generosity goes, giving is one of my favorite things EVER! So I’m looking forward to giving even more in the year to come.

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2) Deepen my commitment to my writing

I’d like to write a lot more. I already work on my craft frequently, but what if I wrote daily? I’ve decided to commit to writing 1000 words per day. This won’t include blog entries, thought that would be a wonderful way for me to rack up my word count. No, these words have to be in the form of entries in books that I will (hopefully) one day publish. It doesn’t matter if the entries are great or nonsensical: the point is to get in the habit of doing it daily. I decided a day ago to do this, so I’m a little behind. I’m keeping count, however, and I’m aiming to catch up soon. Just for fun, I’ll put the count in the bar on the right side of the page, so you all can see my progress as I go along. The end goal is 365,000 words before August 1, 2019. I can do it!

joy

3) Incorporate more joy daily

Joy is always my daily goal, and I have made it a point to share a lot of my daily joys on this blog. But a bigger commitment to experiencing joy daily is a goal that I can really get behind! I’m open to however it comes – big, elaborate displays, small, interesting surprises, and everything in between – and I am looking forward to seeing how joy shows up in my life daily. Of course, I’m going to make sure that I’m a vibrational match for joy, so that it has no choice but to set up permanent residence in my life!

 

fitness

Days 22 – 28 of My Fitness Challenge

Happy Sunday friends! I’m delighted to say that I think I’ve FINALLY found a really good health and fitness routine for me. I incorporated the elements of this routine at the beginning of the week, and I’ve enjoyed how I’m feeling, so I think I’ll keep it up!

Last week, I mentioned that a friend recommended intermittent fasting (IF) to me, and I gave it a try. This week, I stuck to the IF plan for 6 out of 7 days. The IF routine that I’m following consists of fasting for 16 hours and limiting my food intake to an 8-hour block of time per day (16-8 plan). I usually begin eating at 10 or 10:30 AM and have my last meal before 6 or 6:30 PM. After this time, the only thing I will allow myself is water or herbal tea. Likewise, before I have my first meal, I’ll only have water or tea.

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If all continues to go well, I will eventually transition to a 17-7 plan (17 fasting hours, 7 eating hours). The goal is to eat using the 18-6 plan consistently.

During my 8 hour eating window, I’ve eaten whatever I want, including some junk food. I took off my food restrictions while I tested out the eating times because I wanted to see how my body would react to “cheat day” meals while doing IF. All went well, so it’s time to really kick this into gear. Now that I’ve settled into a routine, I’ll go to the store and stock up on a bunch of good-for-you foods so that I can compound the positive effects of IF.

Speaking of positive effects, I noticed that I slept well and had more energy. I noticed less bloating and even my skin looks a little better. This could all be coincidence, but I’m pretty observant and I notice small bodily changes, so I’m thinking that I can credit all of this to IF.

I worked out five times this week and have already started to see my body beginning to tone up a bit. I used an old trick to get back into consistently working out: I wore my workout clothing to the office. You see, my gym is in the building where I work, so wearing gym clothes to the office practically forced me to go to the gym before I start working. I’ll continue to wear the workout clothes to the office so that I won’t have any excuses for not going to the gym.

Well, that’s it for this week’s update. I look forward to having some more great updates in a week. Thanks for stopping by, and talk to you all tomorrow!

reading list

Book Review: Your Life By Design By Curtis R. Estes

I had to schedule this book review a little later this month, because I had a really hard time making it through this book for the purpose of reviewing it. You’ll understand a bit later why writing this review was challenging.

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The book I selected to read during the month of June was Your Life by Design by Curtis R. Estes. I’ve had this book for several years but never managed to read it – until now. The book is a series of exercises and examples designed to help the reader examine current patterns and choices. After examining the present, the reader is gently lead through the process of creating and executing a new vision – a vision that reflects the reader’s closely held values and desires.

In short, this is a workbook that requires thoughtfulness and time as you complete the exercises. That, by default, makes it a difficult book to “review”, since there are actions required from the reader in order to get the most out of the text and I sincerely feel that these exercises should not be “rushed”.

This book contains many fantastic tips for examining lifestyle balance and harmony. I’m a fan of how this book emphasizes looking at your life and determining how much joy you derive from your activities. For instance, I was intrigued by Estes’ personal calendar, that not only listed out his activities for the day but also assigned an emotional score to each activity (identifying how happy or unhappy he was about completing that particular task) as well as a list of the day’s overall goals and the expenditures required for the day. This holistic view of the day really helps to put individual activities into perspective.

All that being said, I HIGHLY recommend the book for anyone trying to create new patterns and a clearer vision for his or her life. The steps are great for creating the kind of changes that will nurture and boost behaviors that contribute to a quality lifestyle. I thoroughly enjoyed this workbook. In fact, I liked it so well that I decided that I would be going through the exercises, individually, in the fall of this year.

fitness

Days 8 – 14 of My Fitness Challenge

This week was so much better! More exercise, better food choices, and LOTS more water, sleep and relaxation.

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You may have noticed that I haven’t been including measurements or weigh-ins. Well, to be honest with you all (and I do strive to be honest), those are good metrics if I just needed to change things for the sole purpose of hitting a weight goal. But that isn’t my plan.

Sure, this started as a “challenge”, and I plan to drastically increase the good habits and decrease the bad ones. But hitting a particular weight is no longer my only goal: now, I want to change my way of being. I’m striving to feel great and look great, so I’m concentrating more on my day-to-day “wins” and letting those accumulate. The more daily wins I experience, the closer I’ll be to hitting my weight “goal” but, more importantly, I’ll be closer to hitting the overall health goals that I’ve set for myself.

For that reason, I think I’ll extend this “challenge” beyond 31 days, and make it a weekly update until I’m inspired to stop recording any progress.I’m also not going to commit to follow the Brittne Babe plan religiously, though I think it’s great for those that are inspired to do it that way. I tried, but I didn’t enjoy it at this point: I’ll try it again, before the end of the year, and I’ll see if I’m more inspired at that time.

Anyhoo, that’s this week’s update. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

My Book is Done!!!

I finally finished my first book!!! This is the how-to book that I’d been revising for some time, and there was just a little work left to be done on it. If you all recall in my most recent Goals Update post,  I had to complete the supplemental/resource material section of the how-to book, and then the text would be pretty much done. I had done the bulk of the work a while ago (as in, over three years ago) but I had been dragging my feet when it came to finishing it.

book

However, a few weeks ago, a friend expressed interest in the book, and just a few days ago, a different friend brought up a topic that confirmed the need for this book. So, after getting those very CLEAR signs that it was time to finish, I spent a little time pounding out the last few pages, and then I whipped up a cover using some copyright-free images. I converted everything to PDF and sent it out for my friends to read.

Sure, this book still needs the critical eye of a professional editor, as well as some spectacular cover art that doesn’t involve my rudimentary photo editing skills. I want it to be GREAT before I offer it on this blog or anywhere else. But that’s neither here nor there, because the book is DONE. My book is DONE, DONE, DONE! I’m so excited that I’m ready to get to work on the next one!

fitness · life curation

A July Fitness Challenge? Let’s Do It!

I’m a little more than a month away from my birthday (August baby checking in!) and I realized that I wanted a major change. I used to be slimmer some years back, but now I’m a little “cuddlier” than I’d prefer. I would love to be more toned and healthier. So I figured I’d try to get back into some sort of fitness routine by trying a fitness challenge.

fitness

Ab goals!

Almost two years ago, I purchased one of Brittne Babe’s 21 Day online fitness packages and, while I tried my hand at the meal planning and exercising, I hadn’t committed fully. So I figured that now would be a good time to kick my fitness goals into gear. I will start my training on July 1st, and I’ll post a final pic on August 1st. Keep your  fingers crossed for me: I love cake LOL! It’s going to take some discipline to remain committed to getting toned and feeling healthy and strong. But I’m eager to see some great results, so I’ll do the challenge! If you want to know more about Brittne Babe’s 21 Day challenge, click here.

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Brittne, looking perfect

Look out for fitness updates over the next few weeks!

international · life curation

Learning a New Language

Hey friends! I’m excited to share my latest learning adventure. Of course, I’m still studying Inside Opera and Cultures and Identities in Europe (I wrote about the courses here and here). But I also took on another learning experience because, well, it felt like a good idea!

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I’m studying Portuguese after visiting the Embassy of Portugal a few weeks ago. I love the language and I’m looking forward to becoming proficient over time. As it turns out, I have a few Portuguese speaking friends that are eager to help me practice, not to mention I have a lot more resources at my disposal than I did when I studied French and Spanish years ago.

For starters, I’m using YouTube, podcasts, digital textbooks, and media to learn Portuguese. Also, there are some excellent groups online (specifically Facebook) that can connect language learners with native speakers to practice or even to ask technical questions. I’m still assessing which resources are the best in my opinion, but as soon as I have a good list of resources, I’ll definitely share them here!

Are you all currently studying any languages? Let me know in the comments below!