Challenge Accepted (and accomplished) : Goal Achievement Part I of infinity

How many of you know or remember the show “The Weekenders”? If you don’t know, this was an American Disney animated television series that centered on the weekend life of four seventh graders: Tino, Lor, Carver and Tish. This show recently popped into my mind after setting my monthly goals. After realizing that New Year’s resolutions do not stick, I decided to research and achieve monthly goals as they are known to be more beneficial. As soon as I thought about doing this I remembered a particular episode of the Weekenders when the teens go to a motivational speaker who is 12 years old. He had gotten very successful at the age of 8 (or something) and became a young entrepreneur. With his odd demeanour he told the crowd in order to be successful you had to 1) Pick a goal and 2) work work work work! (exact words). So with that in mind, I set out to do so. After choosing my said goals I soon realized I had set a major undertaking. Ten goals was maybe a wee bit much. Nonetheless I had set them and I was going to stick to them. Oh my.

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Me looking very sheepish about my goals 

  1. Stay offline 1 day per week

This was tough. If you have seen my twitter you will know why this one was hard for me. I am constantly reading online articles as I love to broaden my perspective so staying offline without access to my buzzfeed dog GIFs was hard. I only was able to accomplish this a couple times (not counting the internet I have to use at work). I see the idea behind it. We all spend too much time in front of a screen instead of doing other more meaningful activities so I think instead of cutting out internet it may be good to just put the phones and computer down and actually go outside and enjoy nature. When I lived in Sweden I went for a nature hike every day for an hour, it was so good for the soul. I’m getting back into that again after doing this experiment.

 

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  1. Read 20 pages of a novel per day

This was one I really wanted to get into. Like all students, we study for years and years and by the time graduation comes we do not want to look at a book ever again, regardless of the topic. Or if we do, we can’t get passed the first chapter. I was definitely in that state until this month. I made it my priority to go to the book store and find some books I have really wanted to get into. It was so nice to finally be able to read and stay focused and interested. I bought Mindy Kaling’s books and they are such a good read. A very good starting point for someone like me. I needed something engaging, light and entertaining and Mindy Kaling definitely hits home. I highly recommend her books (she has 3) and if you’re back from your nature hike I recommend her show The Mindy Project, it’ll change your life. Oops…I’m supposed to be reading, dang it. Baby steps.

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I would love for all my books to be able to lay open while I read them so I can also eat nachos

  1. Exercise 4 times a week

Okay I’ve been a bit of a crazy with the whole fitness thing. I joined the local YMCA and started going to the gym but could only get there about 2 times a week. Not bad, but not great either. I really want to get in shape for my friend’s wedding this year and also my wedding as well next year so 2 days a week would not cut it. I stepped it up a notch by going to a trainer so they could make a plan for me, and that was a great success! I enjoy having a plan for when I go to the gym and I feel less self-conscious because there are others that go who have the same trainer as me and we all do the same silly looking lunges and breathing techniques. We cool.

To change up my exercise regime I added in some recreational sports which has been so much fun! I took up tennis recently and it’s a lot of fun. I’m hoping to develop my Serena Williams like grunt by the end of the summer. I have also signed up for softball which starts in May. I’m practicing my Bautista bat flip as we speak.

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don’t let them fool you

  1. Eat more veggies

Ugh, this one was dreadful. Nothing makes you more hungry than munching on gross raw veggies, but apparently they are the most nutritious. I much prefer cooked veggies but sometimes it’s not feasible for every meal. Off I went to the grocery store to buy as much as I could. Some of them I had never even heard of. My fiancé doesn’t help matters as I will pull lettuce into the cart and he will look at me funny and say “what’s this? What’s la-tooch-eh?” Thanks babe for having my back.

The only way I seemed to really enjoy lots of veggies was by making a stir fry. Stir frys are so delicious and nutritious especially with a little tzatziki on the side. I even got to make a garlic shrimp and chicken recipe which is now one of our favorites.

The lesson learned here was you aren’t always going to like what all those stick models are eating these days, but don’t cut out too much and eat just celery all day. It has to be a balance. Veggies are an important part of a diet and healthy lifestyle, but everything in moderation. You have to learn how to prepare foods the way you like, so that you will actually enjoy what you’re eating. Look up various recipes and start experimenting!

 

See below for my tasty stir fy:

Shrimp and Chicken Stir Fry

 

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 pound medium frozen cooked shrimp,
  • 1-2 chicken breasts cooked
  • Few dashes of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Red, green, yellow pepper
  • 2 cups white rice
  • Tzatziki (as much as you want)

 

Directions

 

In one pan, cook chicken breasts until they are well done. In a separate large skillet, Heat 2 tbsp. margarine over medium heat. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add in peppers and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp and 1/2 tsp. salt; cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining margarine and parsley and chicken. Cook rice in separate pot and add to stir fry once it is done. Serve with Tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!

 

  1. Send cards and letters to family and friends

I am working on this, I am so sorry friends and family. I will hopefully get my act together and send my favourite people their well-deserved cards and letters written under candle light and sealed with wax. If only I had an owl that could deliver it quickly like in Harry Potter. A howler would be my style because people say I yell when I talk. Stay tuned all.

 

  1. Create photo albums

Okay, I’ve realized that printing photos is very expensive. This I think will be a gradual process.

 

  1. Watch positive documentaries

 

This was really hard to get into at first, especially if you are trying to find a good positive documentary on Netflix. They are all mostly depressing ones. The worst part is the descriptions of the documentaries because they are so brief you have no clue what it’s about. I saw one with the description that said and thought “Oh this might be nice”. Instead it was about people who were physically impaired from getting hit by drivers when they were texting. Hell no. I really wanted something uplifting so no way was I watching Black Fish.

 

I ended up finding a couple neat documentaries everyone should check out. I watched Twinsters first which is on Canadian Netflix at the moment. Oh my gosh the cutest twins I’ve ever seen in my life. I want to be friends with them. It’s about two Korean twin sisters who were separated at birth and adopted. One girl was adopted by a family in United States and the other France. The story shows how they find each other and how their lives change. I highly recommend it.

 

The other documentary I watched was called Happy. It basically talks about happiness and how to be happy and shows some of the happiest places on earth. It was very uplifting. A must watch.

 

  1. Go swimming

I did really well with swimming at the local pool in the fall, but have not been able to make it this winter and early spring. I much prefer swimming in the lake or ocean as there is no schedule to tell me when I can and cannot swim, but yet again then I have to deal with sharks, jellyfish and leeches. The YMCA it is!

 

  1. Read more about Buddhism and the Buddhist perspective

I have recently been introduced to Buddhism by a friend of mine and have wanted to read more about it. I recently discovered the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and his books are absolutely incredible and life changing. I highly recommend all of his books (though  I have yet to read them all). Reading his books have helped me to be less stressed, live more in the present and truly enjoy every moment life has to offer and not take anything for granted. I encourage you to read his books.

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this is what I look like when I find out the library book I want is checked out

  1. Go to the library and check out books

The library in my town is awful. It’s closed on Sundays and closes at 5 most weekdays. I can never get there. I wish chapters had a library version, that way you had access to way better books with multiple copies rather than being on the wait list for a book. I just want to read Pretty Little Liars without having to wait six months, is that too much to ask!?

 

All in all I think I did pretty well on this major undertaking. I realized having ten goals a month is too much, so I think I will limit to 3 per month so it is more attainable. I hope you all have set goals for yourself, because it will really make a huge difference in your year, and by the time New Year’s come you can reflect on all the great things you have accomplished. Seize the day! Our time is now.

Until next time 😉

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New Year’s Resolutions No More

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Who doesn’t love New Year’s Eve? It’s a chance to go out with friends and family, sip some champagne, kiss your sweetie and let’s not forget celebrate the past year and what is to come! With new years comes a sense of a new beginning. A way to start the year fresh and think of all the things we want to accomplish. So what do we do? We set an incredible pressure on ourselves to accomplish what we have been putting off for years. Yes I’m talking about new year’s resolutions. We all do it. We feel we’ve pack on the pounds, haven’t finished that book, or maybe slacked at work or at school. Whatever it is, we feel guilty and thus the resolutions appear and they are extremely hard to keep.

Ever notice that as soon as January 1st hits, there are way more people at your gym than ever? As horrible as it sounds, I wait to go to the gym once January passes and February arrives, as that’s when it slows down again. Why? Because all of those people set their resolution to incorporate more exercise in their daily routine. It’s a tough thing to stick to with all of our busy schedules, but yet without fail every year by February, the gym population slows down.

The problem with setting a major goal like that is that it’s extremely hard to achieve right off the get go. I’ve been there. I wanted to be healthier and exercise so I signed up for an expensive gym membership and my momentum didn’t last long either.

What was key for me to my success was setting multiple short term realistic goals for each month rather than 1 huge goal for the year.  It kept me motivated and I felt less pressured and frustrated in the end.

This perspective works for anything you want to accomplish, not just going to the gym.

However for example say you did want to be more fit and healthy you could set your goal to be:

  • Go to the gym 2 times a week or go for a half hour walk every day
  • Eat more vegetables this month
  • Cut out sugar and fast food

This is more attainable and you will feel great and really see your progress. Keeping a journal is a great way to monitor your goal achievement.

What I like to do is set monthly goals that are all different. It’s nice to have variety of different things.

I hope to accomplish the following goals for the month of April and report on my success!

  1. Stay offline 1 day per week
  2. Read 20 pages of a novel every day
  3. Exercise 4 times a week
  4. Eat more veggies
  5. Send cards and letters to family and friends
  6. Create photo albums
  7. Watch positive documentaries
  8. Go swimming
  9. Read more about Buddhism and Buddhist perspective
  10. Go to the library and check out books

 

Now that my list is complete, what’s stopping you from creating yours?