I’m Not that Person

I’m not that person who can wake up, read the Bible, take it all in, and apply it the rest of the day. I want to be, but I’m not.

Literally every day this past week I completely forgot what I had read that morning, no matter how hard I tried to just sit there and recall. And that’s okay.  Along with making a fresh breakfast each morning, I’ve found another thing that doesn’t quite work for me. So with that in mind, I’m going to keep trying – just at a different time of the day.

This week, in addition to writing down three good things at the end of each day, I’m going to keep with the momentum I built this last week and read a devotional then. This time I’ll see if maybe my mind will process it better if I give it a whole night to just kind of sit in there and mingle with the rest of my thoughts before I jump into a new day. I’m also looking forward to ending each day on a positive note by writing down good things. 

So, I’ve officially completed one month of mini goals! YAY! 

While I don’t floss everyday anymore, I’m still flossing much more than I used to, and I’m taking the time to really brush my teeth. I didn’t work out three times like I did last week, but I did go to the gym twice and completed some full-ish body workouts! I don’t expect to see any major differences in my body any time soon, but overall, I’ve been sleeping better, enjoying my food more, and feeling a little more relaxed even on busy days, so I’m happy with my choice in keeping up with some of these goals. 

As I mentioned earlier, the fresh breakfast and morning devotional thing didn’t work out for me. And that’s okay! It’s good to try these things and be sure that I’m taking the right course of action for my lifestyle. 

~~I’ve got a quick question readers! I’ve mentioned the fact that I’m a meal prepper a few times throughout this blog, so would any of you be interested in me sharing my recipes in a blog?~~

 

If you’d like to see the complete list of 52 things I’m accomplishing this year, click here to check out my first blog! For now, here’s what I’ve done and what’s to come in the next few weeks:

Last week: Start each day by reading a devotional (if you have to pee really bad then do it on the toilet).

This week: Write down three good things at the end of each day and keep them somewhere to read at the end of the week. 

Next week: Start each day with a jam session. You’ll probably have to do it in the cold living room so you don’t wake your roommate up. But that’s okay. Just dance your heart away for approximately two minutes and 30 seconds. 

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Holy Burning Thighs, Batman!

WARNING: Semi-consistent exercise may bring on sudden onset hunger and sore-muscle-induced naps in the middle of the day. Consult your more athletic friends when attempting to use the walker-jogger machine thing in the gym. Your underwear WILL ride up while jogging. 

Despite all of… that… I’ll count this week as a success! While I only completed three of my four day goal of exercising, it’s still more than I did last semester. Despite being tired and really hungry earlier this week, my sore limbs feel better while I’m moving around and not sitting on my butt. And that was my goal! 

I learned an important lesson this week about listening to my body. I was expecting to feel sore and maybe a little more tired after inserting a real workout into my day, but holy crap was I hungry! And of course I chose this past week to actually follow the recommended serving size of my food when I meal-prepped. So, I ended up eating a lot more than I had planned and prepared, but that’s okay because I had a gift certificate for pizza (don’t judge me). 

My plan is to use this initial momentum to continue doing full workouts each week this semester, even if it’s just once or twice a week. With my crazy schedule, that’s an accomplishment. Once spring and summer hit and I’m (most likely) back home between semesters, I’ll hit the trails in my town and the fun workout doohickey in the park! I’m actually super excited! Mostly because I love the park and casually running into deer and other riverside creatures. 

This next week, I will be starting each day by reading a devotional. That doesn’t mean after getting my clothes on and eating breakfast. It means I will open my devotional app and read God’s word and pray about it each morning immediately after turning off my alarm. 

I’m not gonna lie: it’s going to be difficult for me. I’m a big fan of the snooze button and staring at the ceiling until I decide it’s not going to be that cold once I pull back the covers.

But I’m going to do it, and my hope is that it will be a relaxing way to start my day that will help me get closer to God. 

*** Thanks those of you who have kept up with me and supported me the past three weeks! I don’t think you guys know how hard it actually is for me to share parts of my life with people, especially so publicly. Despite that, everyone has been so respectful of what I’m doing so far this year. I really am glad to hear that so many of my friends are interested in this part of my life! ***

 

If you’d like to see the complete list of 52 things I’m accomplishing this year, click here to check out my first blog! For now, here’s what I’ve done and what’s to come in the next few weeks:

Last week: Exercise four days. Don’t hurt yourself. 

This week: Start each day by reading a devotional (if you have to pee really bad then do it on the toilet).

Next week: Write down three good things at the end of each day and keep them somewhere to read at the end of the week. 

Life Happens

 

The good news is, I ate breakfast every day last week. The bad news is, I didn’t cook a fresh one each morning…

And that’s okay! Life happens and a week where you thought you’d have 7 chill mornings turned into a week of waking up later than planned, the power going out, classes getting cancelled and messing up your routine, and not knowing what to expect over the weekend.

My purpose of having 52 mini goals this year isn’t to perfectly complete them all, but instead to try some new things, find what I like or what is good for me, and stick to it. So, while I didn’t make breakfast each morning, I tried. Sometimes I made it and took it with me to eat right before class. Sometimes I didn’t wake up until almost lunchtime, so I skipped that meal and moved on to the next. Sometimes classes got cancelled unexpectedly because of ice (thank you, Michigan) so I decided my bed was more nourishing than food. 

So, moving on!

This week I’ll be trying to exercise four times. While health and fitness is a common goal this time a year with New Year’s Resolutions abound, my goal isn’t to necessarily “get ripped” or even to lose weight. In fact, I hope I gain weight – muscle weight. My intention in exercising this week is to get my body wanting the movement, which will make it easier to keep going after this week. With my sometimes unusual class and work schedule, I’m not making any promises to myself that I’ll stick with exercising four, or even three days a week. But maybe I’ll get there one day!

For now, here goes my attempt at physical fitness.

If you’d like to see the complete list of 52 things I’m accomplishing this year, click here to check out my first blog! For now, here’s what I’ve done and what’s to come in the next few weeks:

Last week: Cook a fresh breakfast each morning. Yes, that might mean waking up earlier and waking up your roommates when you drop a spoon. You all can deal with it.

This week: Exercise four days. Don’t hurt yourself. 

Next week: Start each day by reading a devotional (if you have to pee really bad then do it on the toilet).

One Week Down, 51 To Go!

As low-impact as flossing sounds for a mini New Year’s Resolution, it was actually fairly difficult to keep up with, folks. 

Just kidding. 

Flossing wasn’t the difficult part of this past week. As far as my mini goals go, flossing is one of the easiest ones and  I succeeded! Never once did I go to sleep without making sure to get all the nitty gritty stuff we hate talking about out from between my molars. What wasn’t easy this week, though, was practicing patience in regards to my overall purpose of completing 52 weeks of stuff. My favorite past time is over complicating things, so as soon as I finished two days of consecutively flossing and brushing my teeth thoroughly, I had to restrain myself from starting another one of my mini goals.

I think that is what’s going to be the most difficult thing this year: not being an overachiever. Normally, I would say, “Yay me! I’m doing so well at this, I’ll add on one more thing.” 

Those “one more thing’s” add up, though. Then, I slowly become burdened with all of these tasks and no room to add what I need to. I’ve sacrificed time with God in the name of artistic skills by calling it “professional development.” While artistic skills are actually professional development for me, that doesn’t mean I have to do it all now. 

In the next few weeks, I know my challenge won’t be the mini goals, but instead balancing everything else in my life. While these 52 things are meant to help me improve personally, spiritually, and professionally, they’re not the only thing going on each week. I now see that these goals will begin to put a lot of aspects of my life into perspective. And boy do I need some perspective.

With all that said, I can’t say I grew too much this past week other than in a hygienic sense… And that’s okay! My teeth feel so clean now! 

This upcoming week, I am starting each morning by making a fresh breakfast. I am a meal-prepper, a practice I picked up due to necessity. With my sometimes unpredictable college and work schedule and lack of study time during the week, I try to cook and portion all my food on Sunday so I can just grab it and eat it when it’s time. This week, though, I’m taking the time to cook something fresh and eat it at home before scurrying around campus. 

If you’d like to see the complete list of 52 things I’m accomplishing this year, click here to check out my first blog! For now, here’s what I’ve done and what’s to come in the next few weeks:

Last week: Floss once each day and brush your teeth thoroughly – no quick scrubs!

This week: Cook a fresh breakfast each morning. Yes, that might mean waking up earlier and waking up your roommates when you drop a spoon. You all can deal with it.

Next week: Exercise four days and stretch three days. Don’t hurt yourself. 

Whatcha Doin?

Well, it’s January 1st, 2017, and time to start a New Year’s Resolution!

Except New Year’s Resolutions suck.

Each year, the people around me talk about their ~one big goal~ and how it’s going to change their life. Fun fact: That’s freaking intimidating. 

I’m not discounting the benefits of setting a goal to see positive change in your life, but I’m not trying to take control of one big thing in my life and be my own savior. I’m taking this year – one week at a time – to do 52 things I think will make me closer to God, and therefore closer to the human I’m being led to be. Some of the things on my list might not seem like they’re about my faith or God, and that’s because they’re not. Some things I just want to try or I feel drawn to because I think they might be worth something and will eventually help me to grow. Other things might seem ridiculous in their simplicity or oddness, but this is my list and I chose each item for a reason.

So, here’s my New Year’s Resolution:

  • Each week of 2017 complete one item from my list of 52 things (see below).
  • The task or process must be completed or worked on each of the seven days of that week to be considered successful.
  • I’ll update the list each week to reflect what order I’m doing each item. Currently, there is no set order for the list because of my unpredictable schedule as a college student. 
  • A reflective blog post must be written and posted no later than Monday evening of the week after completing the item from the list for each and every week. In total, there will be 53 blog posts (if I did my calendar math right).
  • Obvious exceptions to completing an item from the list or writing a blog post on time: Family or medical emergencies.
  • Disclaimer: The list might change at times to reflect what’s on my heart.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment or send me a message through the contact tab on this blog. If you would like to follow along week to week, please follow this blog so you’ll receive updates. If you feel like trying this New Year’s Resolution along with me, just do it! Or contact me if you want a support buddy!

Alright folks! Here’s the list. It’s pretty detailed because if I don’t write down the stipulations, I get as lazy as possible. So enjoy my awkward instructions to myself. 

  1. Floss once each day and brush your teeth thoroughly – no quick scrubs!
  2. Cook a fresh breakfast each morning. Yes, that might mean waking up earlier and waking up your roommates when you drop a spoon. You all can deal with it. 
  3. Exercise four days. Don’t hurt yourself. 
  4. Start each day by reading a devotional (if you have to pee really bad then do it on the toilet).
  5. Write down three good things at the end of each day and keep them somewhere to read at the end of the week. 
  6. Start each day with a jam session. You’ll probably have to do it in the cold living room so you don’t wake your roommate up. But that’s okay. Just dance your heart away for approximately two minutes and 30 seconds. 
  7. Have a water bottle of lemon water by 10am each day . Apparently you’ll feel a difference by the end of the week. *shrug*
  8. Read Anatomy of a Disciple for 15-ish minutes each day.
  9. Start each morning with squats and increase them each day. Who knows? Maybe you’ll notice a difference after a week.
  10. Learn about and try graphic design for at least 30 minutes each day. You know you need to figure it out for your future job. 
  11. Only listen to Christian music – feel free to find some new stuff that’s not replaying on the radio. Spotify is your friend.
  12. Listen to a podcast once a day. It can be while you’re eating, taking a break, waiting for class or work to start, or before bed. 
  13. Wake up on time and get right up each morning. 
  14. Wake up on time: The remix.
  15. Do breathing exercises each day. First, look up breathing exercises…
  16. Pray before each meal. Maybe it will taste better?
  17. Spend 30 minutes each day alone in your bedroom doing something non-electronic (read, sit in silence, etc.).
  18. Spend 20 minutes learning French each day. 
  19. Write a thank you note to a new person each day. And probably mail it? They might want to read the nice things you have to say. 
  20. Try a different source for news each day – be an informed citizen!
  21. Spend 15 minutes each day for five days pulling together the recipes you’ve found, print and three-hole-punch them on the sixth day, and organize them into a binder on the seventh day (<< that all sounded vaguely Biblical). Go forth and meal prep!
  22. Read a chapter from Thrive each day. Feel like the strong independent Godly woman you are – or are striving to be. 
  23. Color for 30 minutes each day either in silence or with music – no tv necessary.
  24. Go on a walk for at least 30 minutes every day.
  25. Read a chapter from the Narnia series each day. Remember the nights when Mom read you to sleep with the books.
  26. Try not to interrupt people. Resist the urge you annoying youngest child. You can do it – or at least suffer internally trying. 
  27. Only watch documentaries or Ted Talks if you feel the need to watch anything at all.
  28. Text or call one person each day to catch up and ask how you can pray for them. You should probably start with your grandparents.
  29. Keep a food journal. Just do it. Maybe it will help you?
  30. Stand or walk around as much as possible instead of sitting doing nothing. 
  31. Do stretches for 10 minutes each day. Work on that flexibility, girl!
  32. Shower every day. Don’t worry about your hair, but wash your stinky pits girl!
  33. Free-write for 30 minutes each day. It doesn’t have to be a story, just get some ideas down on physical paper.
  34. Ask someone about their day each day and really listen. Maybe tell them you not responding verbally while they talk is part of an exercise you’re trying… Otherwise they might get uncomfortable. 
  35. No watching tv or movies. At all. I’m serious. Just sit there and eat your soup, Gwen.
  36. Recite affirmations to yourself whenever you’re alone in the car. Yes, you’ll feel really stupid, but maybe you’ll start to feel better by the end of the week.
  37. Actually go over notes or rewrite them after each class. Supposedly it will help you retain more information. 
  38. End each day with a brain dump free-write for at least 15 minutes. 
  39. Dress really nice each day. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a dress, but you might consider it.
  40. Make your bed each morning, right after waking up. No excuses. Your roommate will stay asleep while you move a freaking blanket. 
  41. Sit up straight. Try to remember this in class, while you’re eating, and even while you’re driving.  
  42. Clean something small each day (counters, toilet, vacuum, sinks, sweep floors, dust surfaces, tidy bedroom, tidy kitchen, tidy living room).
  43. Leave no dirty or drying dishes out at the end of each day. 
  44. No makeup. Make sure to choose a week where your hormones won’t screw you over, though.
  45. Only listen to instrumental or electronic music.
  46. Sit in silence for 10 minutes each day. You might have to kick your roommate out for a little bit or do it at 1am. That’s okay. 
  47. Drink half of a whole water bottle before 9am each day. Yes, you’re going to have to pee really bad probably right after class starts. Deal with it. 
  48. Go vegetarian. Still eat eggs if you feel like it, though.
  49. Get eight hours of sleep each night. Don’t worry about the homework you need to do, the shower you didn’t take, or the dishes left out. Just. go. to. sleep.
  50. Try drawing one thing from your how-to-draw book each day (Or work on Christmas gifts… kill two birds with one stone).
  51. Wear makeup every day. Learn how to do eyeliner, dang it!
  52. Relax.