2015, What Do You Have in Store?

For the last couple of years I’ve set new year goals for myself. My goals for 2014 are here if you care to take a look. But I’d rather not dwell on that shamefully unaccomplished list. Instead, I’m going to look forward. This semester has been, well, Hell. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much stress and anxiety as I’ve felt over the last 4 months. But this semester, and this year, have also been good. I’ve learned a lot especially about education and people with disabilities, taught in an elementary school classroom, switched my major to English, learned a lot about myself, lived in Indianapolis this summer, and made great memories with wonderful people.

This year, I’m going to keep my goals simple. I realized that having a long list can be overwhelming. Usually I can’t remember half of them anyway. Also, part way through the year some of the more specific ones tend to be abandoned. So for the more specific goals, the short-term ones, and the ones that arise later on in the year, I’ll make monthly goals. For my yearly goals though, this year I’m going to focus on things that are close to my heart, things I’ve wanted and been working on for a while.

1) Write
I love writing and I want to write more. Ideally I’d like to write something everyday–a blog post, a scene of fiction. I know it probably won’t happen and it would take a while before I get into any kind of habit. But I want to write more and embrace this passion.

2) Pray
I want to work on my relationship with God and being a better person. Daily mental prayer is the plan.

3) Be/Go/Do Something or Somewhere New
I don’t know what this is going to entail. But I have done some fun new things this year and I’ve loved it. So I want to keep going. I’m taking ballet next semester, I might be doing some traveling over the summer. We’ll see.

 

Adventure

This last year, I had a word for the year: joy. And while I hadn’t planned to pick a word for this year, something struck me at Mass today. Adventure. God has led me on a wild adventure this last year and my whole life really. This new year is another step. But I think it’s going to be a big one. Regardless of what happens, life is an adventure. I want to live it and see what this new year brings.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 30) A Goals Link-up, The Book or App Dilemma, Randomeness

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary!

— 1 —

Happy New Year! 2014 is off to a good start for me and I hope it is for you too. I’ve been blogging and staying on top of that. Eating well. Praying. And I even finished a draft of one of the essays I need to write. Still have several more to go though and not much time. There is one glaring omission amidst all this good. But it’s nothing I can’t bounce back from.

— 2 —

New Goals and a goals link-up. My first post of this new year was my 2014 goals. Check it out and let me know what you think! I also joined up with Laura for the first of her goals link-ups. Looks like she plans on doing them monthly as a way for bloggers who set goals to encourage each other. Sounds like a great idea! If you write monthly goals (or want to start) go check out her link-up!
So far my goals are off to a good start. Of course, it’s only been 3 days. And most of my goals won’t really come into their own until I get back to school.

— 3 —

Tomorrow marks the first Saturday of the new year and so it will be the first of my weekly computer-free days. Or at least, it should be. However, I’ve decided to amend that particular goal. Going without my computer is just not feasible nor is it responsible. Take tomorrow for example. I should be writing papers. Additionally, I am supposed to check my email everyday to keep up with ministry work. So. The new goal is to be internet-free (excluding school email and maybe Pandora and of course Netflix and all that) for one day every week. No Pinterest, Twitter, blogging, or Facebook. I’ll still be able to answer texts and FB messages via text though. So yes, tomorrow is the first of my limited technology Saturdays. Wish me luck!

I’ll have to monitor this goal and see if I need to adjust it again in the future. For tomorrow (and probably the rest of my time at home) I’ll try this.

— 4 —

Book or App? So remember how last week I was looking at all these different books I wanted to get? Well I’m also considering buying this one.

Shorter Christian Prayer

It has the prayers for liturgy of the hours morning and evening prayer. But….I already have an app on my ipod that has all this book has and more. Still, it’s a book. I like books. I also don’t carry my ipod with me normally. So is it worth it?

— 5 —

I found it! I’ve been thinking for months that I need a clutch. Something simple for my phone, keys, ID card, coffee shop punch card and maybe a few other things. I was out with my mom today and came across the perfect wallet. On clearance. For $6. I love finding good deals!

— 6 —

Only 9 days until I go back to campus! It will be nice to get back early to catch up on some work, and de-clutter my room before the semester starts. I’ve always said it would be nice to be on campus without having anything to do. Sadly, even though I’ll be back with 2 solid days before class I’ll still have things to do, work to accomplish, etc.

— 7 —

Also, Wisconsin weather is not always fun. Wind chills will be dropping to -50 in the next couple days. And snow will be blowing. And you’ll probably loose a finger to frostbite if you go outside. Now I know we’re supposed to be known for our chilly weather but this is unusually extreme.  If you live in the area, stay safe! Better yet, just don’t go out Monday or Tuesday.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

My Goals for 2014

It’s a new year! For me, that means it’s time to set new goals. Yesterday I reviewed my 2013 goals. Now it’s time to decide what I want to do in 2014.

Those listed below will be goals for the whole year. Here’s hoping this will be a great year for all of us!

2014 Goals

1) A Year of Blogging Well
If you’ve been following my blog you’ll have heard of this blogging challenge I’ve given myself for 2014. It involves writing 100 posts during the year, including more pictures, and generally giving this blog some attention.

2) Give Time to God in Prayer Every Day
This might be adoration, rosary, the liturgy of the hours, or just meditation/journaling. The important thing is making a commitment to this. Every. Day. It should be a time for me to lay everything at His feet and just remember that He is the most important thing.

3) Budget–even if it kills me 
I don’t like playing the guessing game of “how much is there now?” when I log into my bank account. I need to keep track of my expenses. More importantly though, I need to be thrifty as I save up for a car (eventually).

4) Be Computer-Free One Day a Week
I can still watch movies on netflix and check my texts. I’m not talking about going completely offline. But I think it’s important for me, and perhaps many of us, to get away from the distraction and pointless noise of computers–and especially the internet. This will be Saturdays for now.

5) READ
Since I went off to college it’s been difficult to read. Most evenings I spend doing homework, watching TV occasionally, and/or who am I kidding mostly (you guessed it) on the computer. I have a list as long of my arm of books I’d like to read. It’s time I got down to it. I miss the days when I would check out 5 books from the library every 2 weeks.

6) Make Time for Other Hobbies
I’d like to crochet again (my roommate and I have been talking about it). I miss drawing too. I love to draw. It would be nice to once in a while spend a lazy Sunday afternoon doing something fun and constructive.

7) Make Exercise a Regular Part of My Life
I know this won’t happen right away. I also know it probably won’t happen at all over breaks. But at least while I’m at school it would be nice to get some exercise. That might mean a workout video or just going swing dancing Sunday night. I could also go to the pool on campus or use the tennis court right next to my dorm (after it warms up a bit)

8) Commit to a Weekly Cleaning Time for My Dorm Room
In general, I just want my life to be more organized and clean-cut. Keeping my dorm room clean should hopefully help de-clutter my life too. It should also help me to not feel like a fail of a roommate. I’m fairly good about not leaving stuff on the floor for my roommate. Instead, my mess stays on my desk (and that area), inside my closet, and under my bed. I’d like to keep these areas tidy. Hence, a once-a-week cleaning time.

In addition to these year-long goals, I’ll also be posting goals for each month. Then I’ll review them at the end of the month when I set the following month’s goals. Some of my monthly goals may reflect or even duplicate my year-long goals, others may be completely unrelated. Before I finish here, I want to list my monthly goals for January too.

January Goals

1) After I get back to school, clean up my room in preparation for this new semester

2) Figure out my schedule in a typical week of this semester (including exercise, reading time, homework time, weekly cleaning etc)

3) Write 8 blog posts

4) Come up with a budgeting plan

In addition, I want to keep up with/work on my new year’s goals: praying every day, no computer on Saturdays, etc

So there you have it, my new goals including 8 things for me to do in 2014. These goals will take diligence. It’s going to be a challenging year but a good one. If I succeed I will have cause to be proud of the person I become. Hopefully, putting these goals down in writing and publishing them here will encourage me to accomplish them. I’ll also be posting them on the wall in my room when I get back to school.

I’d love to here about your New Year’s resolutions or goals. Leave a comment below!

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 29)

— 1 —

Christmas Day has come and gone. That’s weird. Of course, for us Catholics the party’s just started. It’s 12 days long after all! I had a nice Christmas. Christmas eve with part of my dad’s side, the morning at home, and Christmas dinner with my mom’s brother and his family. So far, I love break. I can rest and not worry if I’m forgetting something I should be doing or a meeting or anything else. For the first time in a while I can actually relax completely.

— 2 —

Speaking of Christmas. While we were at Midnight Mass my 6 year old sister insisted that she be in the procession to bring up Baby Jesus despite the fact that she wasn’t feeling well. She said she had told Father she would. So she did. Later, at one point when the congregation stood up she seemed downright woozy. She had a cold. She was exhausted. And it was quite past her bedtime. I had to tell her she could sit down.
I realized that that little girl has a good sense of reverence and duty. She’s growing up right.

— 3 —

One thing I got for Christmas was an Amazon gift card. Let the planning begin. I’ve been adding to my wish list today. There’s so many books I could buy! I did notice that most of the books I put on my list are either Catholic, women’s health, or both.
For example:

 

Of course, I still haven’t finished Rediscovering Catholicism (which I started in the summer!).

— 4 —

Today I went to see the new Hobbit movie. My dad’s Christmas treat for the family. My youngest sibling went with mom to see Frozen but the rest of us saw Hobbit. It was pretty good. It had Orlando Bloom (and someone who looked like his twin). And I didn’t even think of Sherlock while hearing Smaug speak. 

— 5 —

I have a plan for completing the writing and editing I need to do over break. To be honest, I’m behind already but a goal is a good place to start I figure. I’ve got 8 papers to write, my uncle’s book to edit, and blog posts to post. Hopefully I can stay on top of it and get most, if not all, of it done before I go back to school and classes start back up.

— 6 —

Speaking of blogging, I’d say it’s been going better lately. I know this last semester has been really lame. But break has been good for blogging. And I’m hoping to keep it up over these next couple weeks and as next semester starts up to make more time for blogging.

— 7 —

The new year is right around the corner. That means it’s time to evaluate my 2013 goals and to more importantly set my new goals. I’m considering a blogging challenge to set for myself as one of my goals. Other than that I don’t have many goals yet. But this year I want my goals to be more thought out. I also want to post my goals to my dorm room wall to give myself some visual motivation.

Have any plans for your new year’s resolutions or goals?

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

November Goals

As always, I’m back to review this last month of goals and set my new goals for this month.

October Review

1) Keep to my bedtime

Uh…yeah, no. I did ok some nights, but honestly I’ve never been good about keeping to a consistent bedtime. Overall though I think I was better about getting enough sleep this month than previously. But, on Thursday I was up until 1:30.

2) Eat breakfast every day

Hahaha. I did a little better. If microwaving a frozen waffle and wolfing it down counts as breakfast. But I didn’t even do that every day.

3) Pray every day

No comment.

4) Use my budget

Nope.

5) Draw

No.

Wow. I failed every single goal. That’s impressive.

November Goals

1) Pick a breakfast food that’s quick, easy, and which I will enjoy

This is to help me eat breakfast more often. Also, I need to get up with enough time to eat too.

2) Read through Part 3 of Rediscovering Catholicism

I’m working my way through it in spurts. I read some in the summer and read a bunch last week over Fall Break. Now I want to be more consistent. But I’m trying to be realistic. Part 3 is about 100 pages. So that’s an average of 3 pages per day. I also have the weekends and Thanksgiving Break to read larger chunks.

3) Work on Summer Internships–email archdiocese, pick 3-5 solid possibilities 

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next summer: Totus Tuus? Internship with my diocese? Education internship somewhere? I need to do some thinking about this and get in contact with people.

4) Do an exercise video once a week on Saturdays

Along with Zumba classes twice a week, this will give me 3 exercises every week. The plan is to do this on Saturday with some of my suitemates. Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t count.

5) Make Spanish flashcards

I’d like to do better in that class and since I got back from break I’ve been feeing a little lost in the vocab. So, flashcards I think would be a good idea.

6) Start ministry-related tasks before the day they’re due

I have a tendency to start things the day they’re due. Or the night before, if it’s due in the morning. For ministry-related stuff this sometimes means I’m stressed out the day of.  Hopefully I can remedy that by planning ahead and getting a jump on things.

7) Take my temperature every morning as part of charting

So, charting hasn’t been going so good lately. I have not been on top of it at all.

8) Go to Thursday Mass

I have an adoration slot right after the 12:05 Mass, so it makes sense to go to that Mass. Also, I need to go to a Mass where I’m not an assistant sacristan so that I can appreciate and absorb it.

9) Write my 7 Quick Takes every week and 3 other blog posts throughout the month

I have not been good about blogging lately and I’d like to do more.

 

Check back in next month to see how I did!

2013 Goals: September Review/October Goals

Here we are once again! Time to see how the last month’s goals went and set out my new goals for this upcoming month.

September Review

1) Use my budget

Hm… I did realize a flaw in my itemized budget. It requires me to keep every receipt and categorize every item adding tax as I enter it into my budget spreadsheet. Yeah. Don’t really want to do that. But I did enter some of my receipts so I’m going to count this as fairly good.

2) Be consistent about checking my temperature

The only way to say this is…FAIL.

3) Get organized 

I am less overwhelmed now but there’s a reason for that. Things have calmed down and I dropped that class. I now have some routines with my job as a test proctor on campus and my ministry position. Classes are more manageable and homework isn’t much of a worry.

4) Have a better prayer life

Yeah…I go to adoration and do lectio divina there once a week. I have Bible Study now too with FOCUS and we do lectio there as well. I’ve started praying before I send my reminder emails to people signed up for adoration. But I’m still don’t feel I’m praying as much as I should (ideally I’d like to spend 20-30 minutes a day in prayer) so I’m counting this as a fail.

5) Take care of myself

I did better at this and this month will have specific goals to get me on track, so this was successful.

Overall, not too good. Most of these I made it by the skin of my teeth or simply because external factors aligned. I put almost no effort into my goals this last month. I’m hoping to do better in October.

October Goals

1) Keep to my bedtime

I’m starting a new bedtime routine. I go to bed at 11pm and have lights out at 11:30pm. Tonight however, I’m not keeping to that.

2) Eat breakfast every day

I have developed a bad habit of getting up too late to eat breakfast. I need to stop it.

3) Pray every day

Again, praying. Ideally, I’d like to pray every day. Perhaps 20 minutes of lectio.

4) Use my budget

I need to figure out how to work that. I guess I could categorize everything on my receipt. The goal is to

5) Draw

My roommate and I have been meaning to draw with charcoal. She’s seen some of the work I’ve done with it and wants to try too. So it would be nice to do this some weekend this month.

I guess we’ll see how these go. Check back in next month to see how I did!

2013 Goals: August Review/September Goals

It’s September already! This month just flew past! And I honestly haven’t blogged for quite a bit of it. But it’s been a hectic few weeks. Anyways, it is time to review my goals for the last month and make another set of goals for this month.

August Review

1) Spend no more than 1 hour on the internet each day (Sundays excluded) browsing blogs/news/Facebook newsfeed

I actually kind of forgot about this goal. But I’m just going to pass myself on this one. I’ve probably been better about wasting time online, especially since for the last few weeks I haven’t had much time to waste!

Since I did…I don’t have to cut myself off from “fun” internet for 3 days

2) Write letter to my futures self

Fail. Complete and utter.
Since I didn’t… I don’t get that ice cream I promised myself  😦

3) Do the stuff i should before I head off to school

This is mostly a pass. I paid my tuition bill, helped my brother with the essays he needed to write before the beginning of the school year, packed, and made a road trip playlist.
(No consequence)

4) Take an awesome road trip with my roomie out to school, also see beautiful Colorado

Yes I did. And while I was in Colorado I climbed a mountain 🙂

PROOF
PROOF

Since I did…I got to enjoy that 😉

5) Survive and thrive!

I’ve survived quite a bit this month: 4 days of VBS with my 2nd and 3rd graders, packing and flying to Colorado, climbing a mountain, driving to Kansas with my roommate, a 2 day retreat with campus ministry, a week of training after that, making 2 bulletins, writing various Mass petitions, flying back home for a funeral, the start of classes, a new dorm room….yeah it’ been a bit crazy.

Since I did all that…I’m supposed to get to relax and hang with my friends resting in the knowledge of all I’ve made it through. Well, tonight I had dinner with some of my suite mates and after played apples to apples.

Now onto my goals for this month.

September Goals 

1) Use my budget

I’m starting my budget this month. I have set amounts for different categories of purchases. Hopefully this will help me to watch my spending, especially until I find a job on campus this semester/year.

2) Be consistent about checking my temperature

Because I’m charting with my new thermometer I need to take my temperature every morning when I wake up. This month I had a straight week where I didn’t temp at all. I should be better about that.

3) Get organized 

We started classes on Wednesday and so far I’ve been behind and confused. Also, I haven’t been blogging for a while. I need to get scheduled and organized with my life.

4) Have  better prayer life

Maybe go to Mass every day or say a rosary. Just something to reconnect with God especially in the midst of 18 credit hours, ministry work, home work and possibly work work.

5) Take care of myself

I sometimes sacrifice important things like enough sleep and square meals (or a meal completely) to get stuff done. This is not ok.

I decided I wouldn’t have consequences and rewards this month. I wasn’t coming up with good ones anyways. All right, we’ll see how I do this month. Wish me luck! I’ll see you all next month to see how these go!

2013 Goals: June Review/July Goals

Well, another month has come and gone and the year is half over. (Doesn’t it feel like it just started??) Anyways now it’s time to take a look back at the past month, the goals I had, and how I did and to look forward and plan 5 new goals for July.

My 5 goals for June:

1)Say at least one decade of the rosary every day
Um, I guess I really didn’t do too good at this. I got maybe 10 days out of the month. But overall, I think my prayer life is improving.

2)Finish “How to Find Your Soulmate” and at least one other book–and write reviews for both
Yes and no. I finished Soulmate and you can read my review/reflection here. Bus I haven’t finished my second book. I did start “Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly but I haven’t gotten very far yet.

3)Make a decision about Spanish next semester
This took a back burner as the month went on. I think I am going to take Spanish though. It will be good for me, if I become a teacher and I’ve always wanted to learn.

4)Apply to more jobs, and get at least one interview (hopefully)
I did one better. I found a job and have been working at the cafe for over 2 weeks. You can read more about how I got the job here and about the awkward intersection between faith and my coworkers here.

5)Refresh my math skills (or lack thereof) in prep for my math for teachers class in the Fall
This one is a big no. I haven’t even cracked the book this month. Although, come to think of it, I have been doing math at work…so does that count?

BONUS) Write that letter to my future self
Yeah, no.

Okay, so in all seriousness I didn’t do too good this month. Hopefully I can apply myself more in the weeks ahead. There’s still a number of things that I meant to do this summer that I haven’t gotten around to. And for me, summer ends in just over 6 weeks. So July, it’s you and me and we are going to do this. 🙂

July goals:

1)Work on the following for school: Spanish and math

2)Write essays for application to education department 

3)Get my driving permit

4)Finish “Rediscovering Catholicism” and one other book. Write reviews for both.

5)Write that letter!!

So there we have it. Hopefully I can do better this month than last. It looks like a few of these will require diligence and consistency. Some scheduling is probably in order to help keep me on top of the school-related assignments and possible the reading. Only, I know I don’t stick to schedules without consequences looming over me or rewards being held out like a proverbial carrot. So, this month, I’m going to add a reward or consequence to each goal.

1)Work on the following for school: Spanish and math
If I do…
and get far enough, I get to spend a lazy day wearing comfy clothes, enjoying myself, and relaxing

2)Write essays for application to education department
If I don’t…I can’t go on Twitter for a week or until I’m done writing the essays (whichever comes first)

3)Get my driving permit
If I don’t…(through my own fault) I must tell the whole long blog post on why I can’t drive yet (I’m pretty sure I’m going to get it though).

4)Finish “Rediscovering Catholicism” and one other book (probably the book on St. Kateri). Write reviews for both.
If I do…I get to read the “Freedom Writers Diary” (which I’m looking forward to) next in my Summer Reading.

5)Write that letter!
If I don’t…I can’t eat  chocolate for a week (ouch!)

So there we are. 5 goals. 2 rewards. 3 consequences. 1 month.

Assessment of 2013 Goals: May. And New June Goals

Here I am again! It’s that time again: time to take a look back on the last month and see what progress (if any) I’ve made on my goals for this year. As always, I’m here to look back, evaluate, keep myself accountable, and spur myself on.

But first…

Life changes. And our goals for life change too. Sometimes you need to re-evaluate.

I’ve noticed several bloggers do monthly goals: picking new things every month and reviewing themselves at the end of the month. I think that format may be something for me to try. It would be a way to keep things fresh, add new goals when I need to, and break down denser goals into more manageable bits.

I did, however, tell myself I would stick to the 13 goals I made at New Year’s, so I have a rule regarding this new goal system format thing.

All of the original 13 goals still stand and will stand unless they are now or in the future become obsolete

 

So here are the original 13, and the progress I’ve made on them this month.

1) donate blood.  Did this in April! And I recently got my donor card, so I actually know what bloodtype I am.

2) get my license.  Nope. That’s a bit more complicated than I thought it would be. It’s contingent on things that I don’t get to decide. But it should still happen by the end of the summer.

3) write a letter to myself to open in the future. Haven’t done this either. And why not? I really should just do this. This is probably a good time to do it. I’m done with my freshman year of college, I just had a birthday… I should do this.

4) figure out how I can study/travel abroad. I’ve actually been working on this one. But the “how” has turned more to “if”. The cost is particularly not helpful. I’ve made a spreadsheet to compare different abroad programs with what I would pay at BC. There’s one in Northern Ireland that’s looking promising, just not so sure about going it alone.

5) work on learning Spanish (unless I’ve chosen Italian). This depends on where and whether I study abroad. Of course, I could still start on Spanish. But I haven’t.

6) create melted crayon art. Nope. Fall project with my suitmates when we get back to campus??

7) go on a shopping adventure. This month I actually did have a fun shopping trip with a friend. But I also want to do something more, like take my sister into the city for the day, just us girls. But we’ll see.

8) get a summer job. Working on it….

9) take a summer class or 2. I actually decided I didn’t need to take any classes this summer. So this goal is obsolete.

10) read 5 new books. I’ve started one. Look for a review of “How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul” by Jason and Crystalina Evert soon. And look at other books I’m hoping to read over on my summer reading list.

11) visit a religious community/ go on a retreat with one.  Nope.

12) write more. I’ve actually been blogging a lot more since being home. As for fiction writing…well, I was having some writer’s block. It’s hard to get back into it and actually, I’m not sure I really want to.

13) be a better person.

a) pray more. For this one, I think it will be a bit of hard work and diligence before I’m in a good habit. I really should put in the effort, especially since I have so much free time right now.

b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously. This is one I’ll have to work on for a while, maybe always to maintain the balance. But using my rose-colored glasses as I look at the past, I think maybe I have gotten better at this.

c) laugh more, worry less. I worry. Always.

 

Now here are my 5 goals for June:

1)Say at least one decade of the rosary every day

2)Finish “How to Find Your Soulmate” and at least one other book–and write reviews for both

3)Make a decision about Spanish next semester

4)Apply to more jobs, and get at least one interview (hopefully)

5)Refresh my math skills (or lack thereof) in prep for my math for teachers class in the Fall

BONUS) Write that letter to my future self

As you might be able to tell, most of these goals are taken from the 13 goals–some are just more manageable pieces of the larger goal.

I think I’ll like this. Instead of the same old 13 big goals I’ve had all year I now have 5 or 6 more manageable goals in a fresh, new format. I’m going to put these on a electronic sticky note on my laptop so they’ll be there all month as a reminder.

We’ll see how I do at the end of the month…