new years goals

2017 Goals Check In #3

You know that old “glass half full/half empty” argument that determines whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist? Well I was recently thinking about 2017, and the fact that it’s now ¾ of the way over, and I was thinking that we can look at it two ways:

1) We let it fill us: We started with an empty glass and allowed all the lessons we learned and experiences we had to slowly fill our cup.

2) We let it drain us: We started with a full glass and then watched as the stress and anxieties of the year slowly emptied our cup, leaving us with almost nothing left.

But while it’s easy to identify which is optimistic vs. pessimistic on paper, it’s harder to admit, or even more, to correct how we’ve been thinking about our year. For me personally, I set a lofty list of goals this year, and there have been many times when I’ve sat down on my couch exhausted, loathing every single one of them. And while I think it’s perfectly normal and necessary to have those moments once in a while, it would be a shame to let them overshadow all the good ones. That being said, let us focus on the good moments. The badass moments that continue to bring us closer to the goals we’ve set for ourselves. I wish you luck on yours, here’s how I’m doing on mine:

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1) See Star Wars

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 3/8 (37.50%)

Current Progress: 3/8 (37.50%)

In a way I feel like my lack of progress here is a strategy of sorts. With the new Star Wars movie coming out in 2 months, I have the opportunity to walk into the theater having just seen the last few movies. So this excuses me from waiting so long to watch the rest of them, right? RIGHT?

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2) See 5 WLRA’s

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 3/5 (60%)

Current Progress: 4/5 (80%)

At the end of August my family drove up north to drop my brother off at college. And since my eyes are alwaaays open for WRLAs, I quickly figured out that the World’s Largest Monk was only 20 minutes away from his school. Thankfully, my family understands and supports my crazy mind, so after a somewhat emotional weekend, we pulled off the freeway to check this one off the list.

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3) Try this jean rug DIY

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 25%

Current Progress: 75%

I officially have all the pieces cut and they are patiently waiting to be sewed together. In other words, I’ve done everything I can do before all that’s left for me to do is use my sewing machine…

I’m still slightly terrified, and I’m minorly convinced this is where I’ll ruin the rug, but hey, the goal specifically states to try, right? It doesn’t say make an award winning rug sure to be included in the National History Museum upon your death. So I’m going to give it my best shot. Stay tuned.

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4) Run 1,000 miles

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 474.01 miles (47.42%)

Current Progress: 743.23 miles (74.32%)

GUYS. I’M KIND OF TIRED OF RUNNING. Do I love the way it makes me feel? Yes. Am I continually proud of myself for pursuing this goal? Yes. But am I ready for it to be over? YES. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent calculating miles and scheduling routes. And while it’s obviously paid off, as I’m only about 250 miles away from the Promised Land, I’M READY TO BE IN THE FREAKING PROMISED LAND, OKAY? Wish me and my legs luck as we run these last few hundred miles.

5) Complete The Ultimate Fit Bit Week

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 100%!

This. Was. A. TASK. Read about it here.

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6) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 2/5 (40%)

Current Progress: 5/5 (100%)!

In case anyone is curious, these are the places I volunteered to fulfill this requirement:

While I’m so glad I was able to complete the (minimum) requirement for this goal, I also find it funny that I did so in 5 months. I totally slacked the first half of the year, and I can’t help but think if I had gotten on the ball sooner, I’d have double the volunteer shifts under my belt. This past weekend, as my mom and I were volunteering at Children’s Hunger Fund, I realized how much of a privilege it is to volunteer and I really want to make a better effort to do it as often as I can.

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7) Go to a sporting event of “every” kind (i.e. baseball, football, hockey, basketball, & soccer)

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 1/5 (20%)

Current Progress: 2/5 (40%)

With football officially kicked off, hockey season fully underway, and basketball season only a few weeks out, I have no excuse not to get my butt to a game! If you see a brunette holding a hot dog with way too much ketchup and mustard, animatedly screaming at a group of grown men chasing a ball/puck, there’s probably a 5% chance it’s not me.

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8) Try every class at the gym

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

I know, I know. I’ve given excuse after excuse after excuse on this one, but this is the last one, I promise! For the past few months I’ve been consistently behind on my running goal, making that my #1 priority. As a result, I haven’t had time/energy/will to make it to the gym and have my ass further kicked by physical activity. However, I’m finally gaining some ground and will most likely start showing my (probably panicked) face at the gym again this month.

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9) Do The Princess Diaries painting

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 100%!

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I’m not sure how many 26 year olds would ask to spend their 27th birthday throwing darts at water balloons full of paint, but I’m glad I’m one of them, and I highly recommend you look into it as well, no matter what number awaits you at your next birthday. You can read all about how we did it here.

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10) Find and try the “Best of” restaurants in LA

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 4/5 (80%)

I’d like to officially issue a THANK YOU to my roommates for helping me out with this goal because without them, I have no doubts I’d still be sitting on a goose egg. In the last few months, we’ve tried LA’s best pizza (Pizzeria Mozza), sandwich (Mendocino Farms), ice cream (Salt & Straw) and burger, the quest for the burger probably being the most fun. We went to the first inaugural Battle of the Burgers, which was an event that brought 11 of LA’s best burger vendors to a park downtown and charged $20 for three beers, a burger from each place, and a yellow ticket to vote on your favorite, thus making it the BEST DAY EVER. My roommates voted for Grill ‘Em All, I voted for Everson Royce Bar, and the winner—who we had all counted as our 2nd place choice—was Beacon Echo Park. If you’re in the LA area, check them out!

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11) Watch every film that has ever won Best Picture

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 11/89 (12.36%)

Current Progress: 28 (31.46%)

This is a slowly but surely, turtle and hare type situation. The turtle being me and the hare being time. I fully realize that my needing to watch 60 movies in 3 months, all of which are riddled with holidays, seems like kind of a shot in the dark, but I have a feeling my competitive spirit will find a way to get this thing done. In the meantime, I’m receiving a mean movie education (or movie-cation for all my Pitch Perfect peeps), and have been talking everyone’s ear off in the process. My top 5 favorite movies that I’ve watched so far (not including the handful I’d seen prior to this year) are: Gentleman’s Agreement, Annie Hall, Rain Man, Driving Miss Daisy, and Slumdog Millionaire.

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12) Learn to Longboard

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

The only excuse I have for not making progress on this one is I’m a little scared I’ll more or less break my body. (You know, casual fears.) However, just as my DIY rug doesn’t have to be worthy of museum display, my skateboarding skills don’t have to resemble those you might find on Tony Hawk Pro-Skater. SO, I’m going to suck it up and do it. Stay tuned.

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13) Learn to do a headband braid

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 20%

Current Progress: 40%

To be honest, I’m not even sure how I’m gaging my progress on this one. At the end of the year, it’s either a can or can’t do it type of situation. Sure, I know more about it than when I started, but is that exactly 40% more? Who knows? What I do know is I could use a few alternative hairstyles, especially with all of the holiday family pictures headed my way, so hopefully I’ll find that missing 60% in the next few months.

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14) Reach the 100,000-mile mark on my car

COMPLETED

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Read all about Jeffrey’s (my car) big milestone here.

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15) Do a bar/pub crawl

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Yeahhhhhhh, about this one. I kind of keep forgetting about it. Good news is, the upcoming months should feature a handful of themed bar crawls I can check out. Look for me in a tacky sweater tavern or a pumpkin spiced lounge or a ghoul-ful pub. Or, if none of those exist, look for me opening a tacky sweater tavern, a pumpkin spiced lounge or a ghoul-ful pub.

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16) Sing Karaoke

COMPLETED

Much to the surprise of my pre-2017 self, I’ve actually done karaoke 4 separate times now, all of which have been about 100 times more fun than I ever thought karaoke could be. That being said, while I’d never pressure anyone into doing something they didn’t want to do, I highly recommend you give karaoke a shot. There are few things more freeing than belting out a Backstreet Boys song, knowing you’re hitting exactly zero notes, and yet not caring one bit.

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17) Complete Project Lightbulb

1st & 2nd Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 25%

After it became clear that this goal would be impossible to complete this year, I decided that as long as we made steps towards planning and booking it for next year, I’d call it a win. That being said, we finally made our first step in that direction, as we opened a savings account where we can slowly save up enough money to make this thing happen! Iceland here we come!

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As a whole, I’m just under 58% finished, which again, I’m deciding to take on a half-full mindset about. There’s no use in letting what I haven’t done take the focus away from what I have. I will continue to work my butt off and hopefully come the end of December, I’ll be sitting behind this computer writing up the 4th and final update, feeling filled up with pride for the crazy, hard, and amazing year that was 2017. See you then!

2017 Goals Check In (#2)

The fact that we are already one week into July has me feeling a little bit like this:

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This always seems to happen. One minute you’re ringing in the New Year, the next you’re…ringing in the New Year. Everything—except lines at the DMV, clocks in an office building, and lethargic pedestrians—moves so fast! This year especially seems to be moving quick because I have so many goals I’m trying to keep track of.

Let me tell ya, if you ever want to live a year in fast forward, set a list of specific goals for yourself and watch the time fly by. Sure, it’s a little bit frightening, but it’s also exciting, because alongside all that time travel is a growing list of accomplishments.

Full disclosure: since my last goal update post I did make a spreadsheet to better aid me in my quest of tracking my progress. In other words, over the last three months I’ve leveled up in nerd. #noshame

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1) See Star Wars

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 37.50%

That’s right, I’m down to the .5%, people! You thought I was kidding about the whole spreadsheet thing, didn’t you? You should know me better than that by now. Anyways, yes, I have watched the first three Star Wars movies—and by first three I mean Episodes 4, 5 & 6, because I was told to watch them in order of release date, not episode number—and you can read all about that experience here, here, and here. Did I like them, you ask? Well, let’s just say there’s a C3P0 keychain in my Amazon cart and a Death Star waffle maker on my wish list.

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2) See 5 WLRA’s

1st Quarter Progress: 3/5 (60%)

Current Progress: 3/5 (60%)

I was pleasantly surprised by how well I attacked this quest at the beginning of the year. My sister and I actually worked two WRLA’s into our previously planned road trip earlier this year which ended up being 100% worth it. As of now, I have a few oversized sites in mind to top off this year and am currently in the process of making that happen.

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3) Try this jean rug DIY

1st Quarter Progress: 25%

Current Progress: 25%

This has been kind of a daunting task all its own because, seeing as it’s a project that involves sewing, I have to, you know, learn to sew. And while sewing has been on my to-do list for quite some time—my family was even so generous as to buy me a sewing machine for my birthday last year—I’m still rather terrified I’ll end up sewing my lip to something. HOWEVER, this shall not deter me.

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4) Run 1,000 miles

1st Quarter Progress: 233.84 miles (23%)

Current Progress: 474.1 miles (47.42%)

After taking an entire week off during my vacation in March, I arrived home to find myself terrifyingly far behind schedule. To make matters worse, in that short amount of time, I somehow managed to fall slightly out of shape, so my first run back was frustratingly hard. As a result, I spent many a late night thinking about quitting. A part of me wondered if maybe I should just call it a wash and try again another year. But the other part of me—the competitive, can’t stop, won’t stop part of me—said “hell no.” So, after gaining very little ground in April, I welcomed May with open and determined arms. I was going to catch up and I was going to start immediately. That month, I ran 22 out 31 days, totaling just under 100 miles. It was by far the hardest month so far, but at the same time, the most beneficial. I’m more motivated than ever to accomplish this crazy goal I’ve set and have found myself more courageous and daring in my running than ever before. Plus, with the 500-mile mark right around the corner, I can already taste that Heisman.

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5) Complete The Ultimate Fit Bit Week

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Yeah, nope. Still haven’t gotten around to this one.

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6) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 40%

With the arrival of summer, and the beginning of a new outreach at my church, I was able to find a couple great opportunities to volunteer over the past couple months and already have a few more penciled in for the next couple months, which makes my heart happy. I always forget how rewarding volunteering is until I get back in the groove of it, then I want to volunteer everywhere all at once! In case you’re interested, the organizations I’ve worked with so far are Children’s Hunger Fund and Food Forward. I believe Food Forward only has locations in California, but Children’s Hunger Fund has a few branches across the country, so if you can find one near you, I highly recommend looking up opportunities to volunteer. Also, if you have any places you love to volunteer, I’d love to hear about them!

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7) Go to a sporting event of “every” kind (i.e. baseball, football, hockey, basketball, & soccer)

1st Quarter Progress: 1/5 (20%)

Current Progress: 1/5 (20%)

As I stated in the first progress post, I haven’t really had the opportunity to make progress on this one because most of the sports are out of season. However, I do have a soccer game on the calendar for July and football, hockey, and basketball will all be back in the fall.

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8) Try every class at the gym

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Good news! My gym has finally resumed its workout classes. Thus, I can finally start making some progress on this goal a.k.a probably writing posts about how hard/painful the workout classes are. Stay tuned for whiny rants about how my fingers feel like they’re made of glass and how my legs have forgotten how to be legs.

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9) Do The Princess Diaries painting

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Yeah, so, another goal full of goose eggs for me here. However, while I’ve made no progress on the actual painting, I have garnered some interest from friends who want to participate. So, if you happen to see a group of people throwing darts at easels, don’t worry, it’s just me and my friends achieving.

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10) Find and try the “Best of” restaurants in LA

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

Honestly, I have no explanation for why I’ve made no progress on this one. I mean, it’s a goal that involves FOOD. *shakes head in shame*

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11) Watch every film that has ever won Best Picture

1st Quarter Progress: 6/89 (6%)

Current Progress: 11/89 (12.36%)

Fun fact: Netflix DVD (who is not sponsoring me, but totally should) has pretty much every movie ever, so to make progress on this goal, I recently upgraded my subscription and it’s been great. My mailbox has been pleasantly surprised to receive little red envelopes containing musicals and romantic drama-dies from the 40s and I look forward to working my way up to present day Oscar winners.

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12) Learn to Longboard

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

The to-do list on this one remains firm:

1) Buy a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads

2) Wear aforementioned safety apparel with pride

3) Lose all inhibitions.

When I’ve managed to do all three, I’ll have some progress (and probably bruises) to update you on.

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13) Learn to do a headband braid

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 40%

I’ve watched this tutorial on YouTube a few times and have been working to improve my skills gradually. I expect it will still take me a solid while to get it, but at least I understand the concept now. I used to think it was 100% impossible unless you had three arms.

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14) Reach the 100,000-mile mark on my car

1st Quarter Progress: 99,720 miles (99%)

Current Progress: 100%

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THAT’S RIGHT! For those of you keeping track at home, you can officially check off #14. I wrote a whole post about my car, Jeffrey’s, big day which you can read here.

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15) Do a bar/pub crawl

1st Quarter Progress: 0%

Current Progress: 0%

There appears to be an inkling of a plan for this one to happen around my birthday. Stay tuned.

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16) Sing Karaoke

Current Progress: Complete!

Much to the surprise of my pre-2017 self, I’ve actually done karaoke 3 separate times now, all of which have been about 100 times more fun than I ever thought karaoke could be. That being said, while I’d never pressure anyone into doing something they don’t want to do, I highly recommend you give karaoke a shot. There are few things more freeing than belting out a Backstreet Boys song, knowing you’re hitting exactly zero notes, and yet not caring one bit.

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17) Complete Project Lightbulb

Current Progress: Same as Quarter One.

Due to scheduling/financial conflicts, it appears as though the trip that coincides with this project will not be able to take place until next year, thus preventing the goal in its original form from being accomplished. However, I’m planning on shifting it a bit, so as not to punish myself over unforeseen circumstances.  I figure, if we get the whole trip planned to the tee, with everything set and ready to book, if not booked for 2018, I’d call that a success in its own right.

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Adding all of that together, it comes out to about 29% complete. Which is kind of disappointing to look at, especially since it’s only 10% more than the first quarter. HOWEVER, I’ve done more planning and organizing in this second quarter than I did in the first, which has put me on a much better looking path for the second half of this year. So stay tuned folks! These next few months are going to be crazy. See you in September!

2017 Goals Check-In

With the end of March also marking the end of the first quarter of the year, and with me having set a hefty list of goals for myself at the beginning of the year, I thought it was a good time to check-in on how I’m doing.

(You can find the original post explaining these goals here)

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1) See Star Wars

Progress: None

I know, disappointing, but it should be noted that after setting this goal, the series has managed to worked its way into far more conversations than usual, which has ultimately caused the intent behind setting it in the first place (to understand inside jokes/to unlock a new level of nerd inside myself/to fit in) to backfire. “What do you mean you haven’t seen them?!?” “I’M WORKING ON IT!”

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2) See 5 WLRA’s

Progress: 3/5 (60%)

If you’ve never taken the time to pull off the freeway to take an incredibly nerdy picture with a miscellaneous object deemed the “largest in the world” in its category, believe me when I tell you: you are missing out! So far this year I’ve seen the World’s Largest Paper Cup, Thermometer & Fishing Fly, and they’ve all been sufficiently worth the side trip.

Here’s a list of all the ones you can find in the US. Find one near you and nerd your heart out!

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3) Try the jean rug DIY

Progress: 25%

I can’t really take credit for the progress that has been made thus far as it’s mostly just the collection of materials, and all of that has been accomplished through the generous donations of my sister. However, as of now I have about 8 pairs of old jeans in a pile on my desk, anxiously waiting to be up-cycled into the most badass rug ever. Be patient jeans! Your potential awaits!

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4) Run 1,000 miles

Progress: 233.84 (23%)

As I stated in this blog post, I’ve most recently started referring to this goal as “winning the Heisman”, due to the qualities it shares with the nearly unattainable sports honor. That being said, this goal has proven to be a healthy combination of challenging, inspiring, impossible and possible, and I think it will remain a melting pot of the four throughout the year.

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5) Complete The Ultimate Fit Bit Week

Progress: None

If I’m being honest, this one probably scares me the most. There’s just so much that has to go right for it to…well…go right. I really just have to go for this one. I just have to wake up one Sunday (because the FitBit week starts on Sundays) and say, “this is the week!” I better get on it soon too, while I still have plenty of weeks left for do-overs.

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6) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

Progress: None

Well, technically none, though I am signed up to volunteer in the next month, and plan on signing up for another event the month after that. So I have some positive progress percentages coming my way, they’re just buffering at the moment.

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7) Go to a sporting event of “every” kind (i.e. baseball, football, hockey, basketball, & soccer)

Progress: 1/5 (20%)

I have a feeling most of the progress with this particular goal will take place closer to the end of the year, because over half of the sports on the list have seasons that come to a close/move to postseason (which I can’t really afford) in the first few months. However, as of last week, I can officially check baseball off the list.

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8) Try every class at the gym

Progress: None

I could probably go ahead and take the heat for this one and say that I’ve been spent most of my time running/being too lazy to go to the gym, but since there’s a small out, I’m going to take it. My gym recently sustained major water damage and all classes have been cancelled for the last month and a half.

What’s that, you say? I could go to another branch of the gym?

Well, umm, hey let’s move on, yeah?

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9) Do The Princess Diaries painting

Progress: None

This one’s on you, winter. Spring & Summer: Me and my paints are coming for you!

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10) Find and try the “Best of” restaurants in LA

Progress: None-ish

This one of kind of the same as #6, I’ve got all the workings for progress, I just haven’t made any yet.

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11) Watch every film that has ever won Best Picture

Progress: 6/89 (6%)

YIKES! Who knew I’d have so much trouble making time to watch movies. On the one hand it’s probably for the best, because I know once I really dive into this one I might not emerge from the house for a solid few weeks and I need to go to work in order to make rent. But on the other hand, I think this goal has the potential to sneak up on me if I’m not careful. I need to write myself a prescription for couch time, pronto!

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12) Learn to Longboard

Progress: None

Again, I hand most of the blame to winter, though I also need to buy a helmet…and elbow pads…and a pair of (figurative) balls. I’ll add them to the shopping list and keep you posted.

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13) Learn to do a headband braid

Progress: None

I need to carve out time during the weekend to do this because there’s just no way I’m going to be able motivate myself (or convince my hands to perform fine motor skills) in the morning before work. Maybe I’ll start practicing while I’m watching all those movies I’m behind on. Braid and binge, Kim, braid and binge.

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14) Reach the 100,000-mile mark on my car

Progress: 99,720 (99%)

After starting the year a 96,700 miles, my odometer currently reads 99,720! I’m almost there! I’m kind of freaking out about it! Is this what it feels like to watch your kids grow up before your eyes? Not even close? Okay, well…I’m still excited!

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15) Do a bar/pub crawl

Progress: None

One does not simply crawl without a plan. One must find a crawl with an excellent path and perhaps an amusing theme. One has not found a crawl matching these qualifications. Thus, one has made no progress.

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16) Sing Karaoke

Progress: Complete!

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That’s right folks, I officially made my karaoke debut this year at my sister’s birthday party, here are the stats from that night:

Drinks consumed: not enough

Songs sung: 2

Number of lives changed for the better by the sound of my angelic voice: infinite

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17) Complete Project Lightbulb

Progress: None-ish

Due to scheduling/financial conflicts, it appears as though the trip that coincides with this project will not be able to take place until next year, thus preventing the goal in its original form from being accomplished. However, I’m planning on shifting it a bit, so as not to punish myself over unforeseen circumstances. I figure, if we get the whole trip planned to the tee, with everything set and ready to book, if not booked for 2018, I’d call that a success in its own right.

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When I calculated it out (with an embarrassing amount of nerdy math that I’m not even sure is correct), it looks like my current overall progress is 19%, which seems pretty frownable. Though, if we’re looking at the year in quarters, I’m only 6% off of where I should be, so I’ll take that as a small win!

Here’s hoping I’ll have a more exciting update for you come the end of June. And for those of you still working on your 2017 goals, I wish you all the best. Never stop starting!

17 Goals for 2017 (List-Cember #9)

For as long as I can remember, my favorite number has been 17. I don’t know why or when it started, it’s just always been that way. Over the years however, it proved again and again be a perfect fit. For example: there are 17 letters in my full name.

As you can imagine, the prospect of becoming 17 was a big deal to me. For years leading up to the event I constantly told everyone that it was destined to be the “best. year. ever.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say it was a very hard year. One I would never wish to repeat and one I don’t often talk about.

BUT, seeing as the New Year is almost upon us and it just so happens to be 2017, I’m hoping it will be redemption for the disaster that was 2007. And to aid the cause, I’m making a point to set fun, challenging and achievable goals for myself. How many goals you might ask?

You didn’t really have to ask, did you?

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1) See Star Wars

I’m putting this first so it is read for what it is: a confession. I admit it, I HAVEN’T SEE STAR WARS! None of them. Zero. Zilch. All I know is that Luke meets his dad and Hayden Christensen has a ponytail. So, this year I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to watch them all, straight up through Rogue One, and then I will finally feel like an accepted member of society (and hopefully receive less dirty looks.)

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2) See 5 WLRA’s

If you’ll recall this post from September, I recently became obsessed with the World’s Largest Roadside Attractions, and set a goal for myself to see every single one in the USA. For this year, I’m shooting for five. I don’t know which ones they’ll be or if I’ll be able to see more than that, but I’m setting five as my minimum. One for each finger.

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3) Try this jean rug DIYdiy-rug-with-upcycled-old-denim-ohohblog-17

I’m big into crafts (a huge understatement) and I tend to have the “I could just make that” mentality whenever I think something is too expensive. Does this often go wrong? Yes. But that didn’t stop me from bookmarking this DIY rug whilst I was searching around for a cheap one on Amazon.

Note: the key word in this one is try. I’m not going to win any awards, but damn if I’m not going to go as Project Runway as possible on this bad boy.

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4) Run 1,000 miles

WOAH. I know, it sounds like a lot. But if I was ever going to set a goal like this, 2017 is the year to do it. I have it in my plans to run a couple half marathons, as well as a 2 day, 12 person relay race this year, and in order to survive any and all of these, I’m going to need to train. I figure adding this extra goal will only make training that more enticing.

Fun fact: I already started this one last week. You can call this cheating if you want, actually no, no you can’t. See Rule 5 for why.  

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5) Complete The Ultimate Fit Bit Week

To the best of my knowledge, this isn’t actually a thing. If it is, correct me, but if it isn’t, I will now explain the parameters of The Ultimate Fit Bit Week a.k.a TUFBW (obviously pronounced, “tuff-boo”). Essentially, a TUFBW is reaching nearly every goal Fit Bit sets for you in a day, for an entire 7 days. (I don’t count getting a star in sleep because for the most part that’s out of your control.)

I’m talking all these guys are green every day: fullsizerender-8

The steps per hour rainbow is filled every day:

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And by the end of the week this man is running inside a blue pentagon of victory:

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I’ve never even come close to doing this, and aside from running 1000 miles, this will probably be the hardest goal I’ve set. What can I say? TUFBW’s are tough, Boo.

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6) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

I absolutely love volunteering but am ashamed to say I did so exactly zero times in 2016! Yikes! This must change immediately. Let’s stick with 5 again as a minimum. One for each finger on the other hand.

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7) Go to a sporting event of every kind

Well, probably not every kind. That would prove to be impossible. I’m thinking more of the top five: Baseball, Football, Hockey, Basketball & Soccer. One for each toe.

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8) Try every class at the gym

I don’t do nearly enough to take advantage of my gym membership, which constantly leaves me rolling my eyes when the monthly payment charges my card. So, this year I aim to participate in such grand fashion that I can call the guy at the desk Bob, even though that’s not his name, but it will be an inside joke between us because we see each other so often.

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9) Do The Princess Diaries painting

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Need I say more? I think we can collectively agree we’ve all wanted to do this for 15 years now and it’s about time we took the plunge. Also, I may or may not wear a tiara while doing it.

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10) Find and try the “Best of” restaurants in LA

It is so often that I see Los Angeles in the “best of” talks when it comes to eateries. And while I’m not one to try the “experimental” restaurants, I can’t help but have an appetite for something labeled “the best.” That being said, I’m going to stick to the five most important food groups: Pizza, Burgers, Ice Cream, Donuts, and Sandwiches.  I’m going to scour the Internet and find what LA (or surrounding area) restaurant is considered “the best” in each of these categories and pay them a visit.

(Any and all suggestions are welcome)

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11) Watch every film that has ever won Best Picture

A few years ago I made a list of every film that has ever been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, in the hopes that one day I’d eventually have a proper movie education or, what Jesse from Pitch Perfect would define as a proper “movie-cation.” Mind you, as of 2016, that list is 528 films deep, so that goal is no joke. For this year, I’m just aiming to see those that won. So far, of the 88 (soon to be 89), I’ve already seen 7! So uhh…yeah, almost there.

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12) Learn to Longboard

This year on Christmas morning, after my family had finished opening all of our presents, my dad pulled an A Christmas Story and said, “I think there’s one more gift for you, Kim, over in the corner there.” “Is it a rifle?” I asked, referencing the movie. “No, but I think it’s something on your bucket list.” I furrowed my brow in confusion, tiptoed over to the corner of the room, lifted the beach towel as instructed, and then screamed in excitement. Because yes, learning to skateboard has always been on my bucket list, and now suddenly there was a longboard in my house with my name (figuratively) on it. Cue goal 12*.

*Let it be noted that I will unabashedly wear a helmet and elbow pads throughout the learning process, and will undoubtedly bruise my entire body. However, it will all be worth it. Look for me on the beach boardwalk, hair blowing in the wind, or at the grocery store on a milk run, no bag required.

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13) Learn how to do a headband braid

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I suck at doing my hair. My friend and old roommate Kristine, however, is AMAZING at hair. And when we lived together I’d often turn to her to braid my hair when it was lashing out at me. My favorite was the headband braid. It got my hair out of my face and overall made me look pretty put together (I think). This year I’ll learn to do it on my own.

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14) Reach the 100,000-mile mark on my car

I would like to think this is an inevitable achievement this year because I’m already at 96,950, but I’m sticking it on here because it just wouldn’t be my lucky year if me and Jeffrey (my car) couldn’t celebrate 100,000 miles together.

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15) Do a bar/pub crawl

I’ve never actually done one and I just think that walking, talking, and drinking beer with good people sounds like a grand old time.

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16) Sing Karaoke

This could probably go hand in hand with the last one, especially since I’d have a little extra courage to do so. Now all I have to do is figure out what my go-to song will be.

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17) Complete Project Lightbulb

For my dad’s birthday in November, my family and I typed up a mock itinerary of a trip we hope to take to Iceland—the codename for which was “Project Lightbulb”. My dad has always wanted to see the Northern Lights, so we finally took those first steps towards making it happen. And since life often tries to get in the way of plans like these, I’m making it a priority to take this trip, or at least have it completely planned and booked, this year!

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So yeah, 2017 is going to be no joke. I can’t wait!

If you’re interested in following along, I’m going to post my progress here as well as on my Instagram. With any luck, a year from now I’ll be writing about what a badass I was during 2017. I’ll have showered my list with checkmarks and will be typing with that proud, sassy tone I usually get when I do my laundry before running out of underwear. Here’s hoping!

Miss a List-cember post? Find them all here.

5 Steps to Setting Goals for the New Year (List-cember #8)

Can you believe we’re already in the last week of December?! Every year it seems like the day after Thanksgiving we start powering forward towards Christmas, putting every drop of our energy into all that it entails, and then suddenly it’s over and we’re sitting on December 26th like, “what do you mean the year is over in 5 days?”

To make matters more stressful, with the end of one year comes the beginning of a new year, and all the pressure associated with that. How can I make the coming year better than the last? What can I change? What can I cut out? What dance move do I need to learn?

It’s a lot to think about.

So, for this second to last installment of List-cember, I give you the 5 steps to setting goals for the New Year.

 

1) Set Goals, Not Resolutions

At the beginning of this year, I wrote this post after being inspired by another blogger to no longer make New Years Resolutions. In her post, she explained why it is important to instead set goals, as they are specific and concrete (i.e. read 30 books) while resolutions are much more vague (i.e. read more). The article really struck a chord in me and immediately after reading it, I wrote a list of goals for the year. As it turned out, the blogger was right. Having my goals spelled out in front of me made it easier to achieve them. I had numbers and dates involved and that gave me much-needed deadlines. It also prevented me from finding loopholes. With “read more” I could have rationalized any number as the “more”, while “read 30 books” (which by the way was actually on my list) is pretty bulletproof. (Ps- I did end up reading 30 books)

 

2) Pick absolutely anything

Your goals are just that, your goals. Don’t let anyone else tell you what they should be and don’t be ashamed of anything you want to throw on that list.

 

3) Don’t be so serious

Piggy backing off of #2, goals don’t always have to be these deep, philosophical creatures. When I was trying to get ideas for my list, I started sifting around for inspiration and kept finding these vague, heavy statements like “love more” or “attract more positivity”. And while those are great, and in some cases very necessary for someone looking for a fresh start, I didn’t feel like I really connected to any of them. At first this worried me. Does this mean my list is stupid? No! It just means the list is mine.

 

4) Find a balance between challenging and achievable

To give you a sports metaphor: think of Michael Phelps, a.k.a the greatest Olympian of all time. He set incredible goals for himself, many of which he appeared to achieve. This is because he found that balance. He was always pushing himself to do more, while still respecting what was possible. Imagine if his goal would have merely been to “make the swim team” or if it was to “win gold in every single swimming event at the Olympics.” He would have never become the champion he is today. This is why that balance is so important, it gets you in tune with what you are capable of, and even more, what you can be capable of if you put in the work.

 

5) Go for it

Once you set your goals, get after them! Don’t feel like you have to wait for anyone’s permission. Don’t even make yourself wait for January 1st! Just go for it. Achieve achieve achieve and then set more goals and start all over.just-do-it

 

What’s on your list this year?

 

Miss a List-cember post? Find them all here.