January was a long year. I did a lot in January and it’s almost hard to believe that February is every year. This year I’m making a more conscious effort to write down my goals, reflect more, and be more diligent generally speaking.
In January I:
Rang in the New Year with some of my best friends in Chicago! This was a stark contrast to ringing in the previous new year at such a low-point mentally.
Took my first solo-vacation! I spent five days in San Francisco and fell in love with the city. It was my first time there and after taking a few unexpected financial hits I did the trip on a budget. Here are 7 things you can do in San Francisco that are a lot of fun and budget-friendly.
Started working my way out of burnout. In my first blog post, I talked about how I entered the year burned out and decided to make more time for the things I’m passionate about.
Started graduate school! I finished my undergrad in December and immediately went into grad school. I’m more than halfway through the first course and it’s going so well so far. It’s challenging, but I like it.
Started this blog. One of my goals for the new year was to write more and publish my work. Here it is. I’m planning to post something new every Sunday and Wednesday.
I’m a meticulous planner. I write out meal plans, keep a running to-do list every day, and write down everything. I spoke some of my goals into existence last month and am doing it again. Here are some of the things I want to accomplish in the month of February.
I know fitness and diet are toward the top of a lot of people’s new year’s resolutions. That isn’t necessarily true for me. I don’t have a goal weight or a goal diet necessarily, but I do know that my mental health is at its best when I’m exercising regularly.
That said, I’m the kind of person who will make ANY excuse to not exercise. If I’m tired, have the slightest headache, or have just a little too much work to do, I’ll skip it. My goal this month is to make the time at least 3-5 times a week. This doesn’t necessarily include the brisk walk I take with my dog most mornings. I’m talking about pushing myself to break a sweat. I’m the kind of person who always needs a bit of external motivation so hopefully putting this goal in the public pushes me there a bit.
Read at least 3 books
I actually did a lot of reading in January. Like exercising, reading is one of those things that puts me in a better mood but I push off for just about any reason. In January, I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling(my first time reading through the series), Viralnomics by Jonathan Goodman, Becoming by Michelle Obama, and You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero.
I was aided in that I spent a lot of time at airports or traveling. I took vacation time and had more time to read. I know that won’t be true for February so I’m going to read a little less, but still try to make time for it as often as possible. I’ve already started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but I’m not sure what’s next.
I mentioned on the blog earlier that writing is one of those things that I love but cut immediately when things got busy. Since starting this blog and sharing my work I’ve received a decent amount of positive feedback and it’s felt great. My goal is to write something on the blog every Sunday and Wednesday. This will require a lot of diligence but it is one of those activities I enjoy and haven’t burned out on yet. I’ve created a super-flexible content calendar and came up with ideas to get me through the month, not it’s a matter of sitting down and writing it.
Keep my nose in the books
My graduate program is online through American University. It’s a rigorous program, but it’s pretty flexible. I’ve done a pretty good job at staying on top of everything so far but I do know the program will only get harder as I progress. This is a 20-month program that moves pretty fast. Classes are in eight-week sessions (two classes per semester). I’ve spent anywhere from 6-10 hours per week on school so far and I know I’m going to have to maintain this level of commitment.
It’s no secret that higher education costs a lot of money. Additionally, I’m footing this bill myself (with loans mostly), so I’m even MORE motivated to not waste my money here. School has always come easily to me but with the flexibility and lack of a classroom structure, I’ll have to stay on top of it even more.
(If you’re wondering, I’m getting my master’s in Strategic Communications)
Begin planning another vacation
Less than a year ago I was the kind of person who literally never took a vacation. It’s no secret that I struggle with work/life balance and feel the need to always be working. With school being a little more flexible and not being in an election year I technically have more time to travel. I want to take at least one more trip this year and in February I at least want to start planning out some of the details (place and timeframe). This is self-care and I love planning things—I don’t think I’ll have trouble with this goal.
That’s a wrap! February is going to be another busy month for me but I’m speaking my goals into existence again. If you’ve set goals for February please feel free to share, I’d love to hear them. (P.S. If you want weekly notifications, sign up for the newsletter using the form below. It’s delivered on Monday mornings and is a collection of stuff from the blog, what I’m up to, and stuff I find amusing around the internet. Your information will never be sold, it’s a promise.)