2017 Goals: Spring Update

2017 Goals: Spring Update

I know that I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging over the past couple of months, but I needed the time to focus on me. Things have been incredibly chaotic and I’ve felt completely drained and unfocused. In order to be able to hold myself accountable, I decided to do a general Spring Quarter update on my 2017 Goals.

*Goal 1: Exercise more and get better at Cardio

Since February, I’ve been exercising three to five times a week. Which for me and my chaotic schedule, has been my only consistent outlet. I’ve forced myself to go exercise on days where I was exhausted, and I just wanted to go home and watch TV and sleep. Forcing myself to maintain this schedule has helped me physically and mentally. I love the mental clarity I get when I’ve finished a really good workout or that I have an outlet to constructively take out my frustration from external things. I’m getting much better at weight training, and I’ve also been jogging a bit instead of only power walking. I have never been a runner, so this is an incredible improvement for me. This May is also the one year anniversary of getting my boot, so I’m impressed with what I’ve overcome in the past year related to my foot and how my stamina and strength have improved.

*Goal 2: Go to all 50 states before I turn 30

I mentioned in my February update, that I booked a trip to Hawaii. Well I’m currently writing this post on the plane to this amazing destination. I am super excited to explore Oahu, and to document my trip. I bought a camera that can go under water and has all sorts of fun attachments, so look out for some awesome pictures and a post about my trip.

I have a lot of trips planned for this summer, but none of them are to new states. There might be a road trip this summer, so maybe I’ll get a new state during that.

*Goal 3: Budget and Save Money

Budgeting and saving haven’t been going too well. I’ve noticed a correlation between my stress level and desire to eat out. When I’m incredibly stressed out, I just want food that I know tastes good, but probably is more expensive. This is something I have to work on, but I’ve been really good about bringing my lunch and not spending money on that. I am still obsessed with Ebates and Ibotta, so at least I’m earning money when I make purchases. I can admit that I haven’t been shopping as much, so that’s been good.

If you’re interested in Ebates, make sure to subscribe through the link or button on the right and you’ll get $10 for just signing up! If you’re interested in Ibotta, use the referral code onjumjl for $10. This post is not sponsored by either company, but I genuinely think they’re great tools for earning money on purchases you were already going to make.

*Goal 4: Be more politically active

This is a goal I need to figure out how to achieve or work on. I’m still deciding on the best way to do this, but I’m leaning towards volunteering for a campaign. I volunteered on campaigns during high school, and I thought that it was a fun grassroots way to be involved.

*Goal 5: Schedule Time for Self-Care

I realize that I’m adding a goal, but I think it’s a necessary one. The main reason that I haven’t blogged in two months, was because I was over booked (whether it was working long hours or outside activities). Since I was over booked and super busy at work, I wasn’t giving myself the proper amount of time to take care of me. For example, I stopped going to the Chiropractor because I just kept forgetting to call to schedule appointments, and I couldn’t figure out where the appointments would fit in my schedule. I’ve felt super drained and it wasn’t until recently that I started to actively work on making sure that I had time in my schedule for me. Over the past two months, I realized that this isn’t a way to live, so I need to actively remind myself that I need to not be booked all of the time.

I hope that all of you had a great Spring, and I’ll make sure to be more consistent here.

Stay tuned to see how achieving my goals is going for the rest of the year!

 

2017 Goals: February Update

2017 Goals: February Update

So I realize this is a bit late- more like half a month (whoops!), but here are my 2017 Goals update for the month of February:

*Goal 1: Exercise more and get better at Cardio

In the month of February, I exercised 12 times! This is by far the most I have ever exercised in one month, so yay me! Along with exercising more I definitely noticed that I’m getting better at cardio and weight training, and I’m really happy about this. I am working really hard to be present mentally and physically during the entire 60-minute class, which has been difficult after a long work day. This is probably going to be my biggest test for 2017 in terms of perseverance and working hard to achieve a goal.

*Goal 2: Go to all 50 states before I turn 30

I booked my trip for state 39- HAWAII for May! I am so excited to go on this trip. I won this trip back in December 2015 and it has taken over a year to book it. I have never been to Hawaii before, and I am so excited to explore and experience it. If you have any tips or recommendations for O’ahu, please comment below with them! After May, I’ll only need 11 more states to accomplish my goal, which is crazy! I’ve really enjoyed exploring the United States and seeing all the different parts and cultures within it.

*Goal 3: Budget and Save Money

Well I did pretty well saving money, but the whole budgeting thing failed. I am going to have to put together a new plan of attack for how to deal with this and be successful. Seriously, this is a major goal for this year and I am really working on achieving it. Two things I did learn about in February were Ebates and Ibotta. Ebates is a website and web browser plug-in that gives you cash back when you shop online at certain stores- so you’re basically getting free money while shopping! Ibotta is an app that allows you to earn money on grocery store purchases (certain items), some restaurants, and stores. If you’re interested in Ebates, make sure to subscribe through the link or button on the right and you’ll get $10 for just signing up! If you’re interested in Ibotta, use the referral code onjumjl for $10. This post is not sponsored by either company, but I think they’re really great tools for earning money on purchases you were already going to make.

*Goal 4: Be more politically active

This is a goal I need to figure out how to achieve or work on. I’ve considered volunteering for an organization or working on a political campaign, but I haven’t figured out what the most effective technique is here.

Stay tuned to see how achieving my goals is going for the rest of the year!

P.S. I promise to post March’s update on time 🙂

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is a day to reflect upon the importance of women. Despite not being treated equally in numerous ways, we continue to persevere; we work in fields that aren’t compensating us appropriately for the work we do and we continue to put our hearts into them. Today is a day to think about how we contribute to society and the importance of treating everyone the way you want to be treated. If you can’t skip work today, make sure to wear red to show your support of all women. Below is an inspiring speech by Hillary Clinton, and I think it is extremely applicable to the theme of today. I hope that today inspires thousands, and that we continue to focus on improving the future for women around the world. Happy International Women’s Day!

2017 Goals: January Update

2017 Goals: January Update

I’ve decided that instead of writing just an annual update on how I’m progressing on my goals for the year, that I would starting doing monthly ones. So here are the updates:

*Goal 1: Exercise more and get better at Cardio

Well this is probably the goal that I have been most successful so far. Typically, I exercise twice a week, but I decided that I was going to do one of the challenges at Orangetheory. It is a 6-week weight loss challenge (I don’t think I’m losing weight, probably just gaining muscle) and you have to go 3x a week for the 6-weeks to complete the challenge. When I started the challenge I only had the 2x a week package, but since I’m trying to be more fiscally responsible I upgraded my membership to save money.

*Goal 2: Go to all 50 states before I turn 30

In 2017, I have one trip a month from February-September, and two of the trips are to states I’ve never been. I’m going to Nashville, TN for my 26th birthday and Hawaii in May with my family. The other trips I have planned are for weddings and family events. Hopefully, I’ll be able to squeeze in one more trip to a state I’ve never been to in 2017.

*Goal 3: Budget and Save Money

So far I think I’m doing better at this. I’m working hard at not eating out as much, which saves money and is healthier. I’m also trying to go grocery shopping once a week so I have food in my fridge. Another thing I’m working on is not shopping online or in stores until I’ve thoroughly cleaned out my closet. I want to try to sell as much stuff as I can to ThredUp.

*Goal 4: Be more politically active

This has probably been the hardest goal for me to work on. I’ve found the month of January to be too emotionally draining due to the political climate, but I did participate in the Women’s March Los Angeles on January 21, 2017. It was a great way to organize and stand up for what I believe in, and I intend on participating in as many events like that as possible this year.

Finally, I am working on rebranding and writing more content for the blog. I promise I’ll write about some of my travels from 2016 in February. Also, I want to thank all of you for breaking my record for most views in a month in January. I really appreciate you reading and engaging with what I write. Let me know if there’s a topic you want me to cover!

The Year of Me

The Year of Me

Not only have I decided that I need to work on myself personally, financially, and health wise, but I also need to work on myself professionally. Over the past two years I have spent a lot of time applying to over 200 jobs that I could definitely excel at if given the opportunity. I decided that in 2017 I would stop moping around, but I would actually take action. I have signed up for three classes through Udemy: 1) The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0; 2) Microsoft Excel- Excel from Beginner to Advanced; 3) SPSS Statistics Foundation Course: From Scratch to Advanced. I picked these three courses out because I wanted to learn something new, but important or I wanted to strengthen skills I already have. Now I know some of you are wondering, why is a Macro Social Worker learning technical skills? The answer is, well a lot of macro social work jobs I applied to or read wanted some technical skill I didn’t possess, so I’ve decided to change that and I’m going to learn new things.

I also decided to attend a program through Social Brand School to learn more about Instagram, and how to monetize it. My main goals for this are to figure out how to use Instagram to draw readers to my blog, and how I can use Instagram with a non-profit I do some work for.

Some other online resources I’ve looked at to learn new skills are Skillcrush, General Assembly, and Google Analytics. I decided not to do these courses, because I don’t have enough time to dedicate to them; however, I’m still interested in completing them in the future. Once I finish my four classes, I promise to tell you about my experiences with online learning platforms and what I think of them. Happy learning everyone!

2017 Goals

2017 Goals

Well I realize that this is a few days late posting this- sorry! 2017 has been hectic, and we’re only eight days in! I thought I would share some goals I have for 2017, so that way I’m held accountable (we all know accountability is important when trying to achieve something).

  • One of my 2016 goals was to exercise more, and while I tried to accomplish that goal, it was a bit unachievable starting in March. In March, I started noticing that I had a pain in my right foot, and while I thought it was nothing it turned out that when I went to the doctor in May I had a stress fracture. So, from May-July I was basically immobile because I wanted my foot to heal correctly the first time, and not to fracture or break. Once I could move again and my foot didn’t hurt, I tried going back to yoga, but that only irritated it with all the different positions. Then I went back to spinning, which was better, but not great (still would get pain, but the instructors were really understanding and encouraging). In October, I found Orangetheory fitness and realized that I was super out of shape, and I ended up getting a membership there so I could get a full body workout twice a week. My goal for 2017 is to get better at cardio. Cardio has never been something I’ve been good at, so I decided to set a high goal that I really have to work hard to achieve. I’m already working on it, because earlier this week I got five splat points when I typically only get one or two. I’m also still using my Fitbit as a way to hold me accountable.
  • On my 25th birthday, I decided that I am going to attempt to travel to all 50 states before I turn 30. I know that this is a big goal, but I think that with careful planning it is completely achievable. I only need 13 more states, including two that I have trips planned for (Hawaii and Nashville, TN).
  • My next goal is to work on budgeting and saving money. I need to learn how to set and stick to a budget. I am currently still using Mint to help me budget, and then I found that using the Digit App is a great way to save. It takes small increments of money out of my account, and keeps it in a Digit account. This is a better system for me, because I don’t see the money in my actual savings account and want to spend it.
  • My final goal for 2017 is to be more politically active. Since the election did not go the way I had hoped, I think it is important to stand up for what I believe in and to work with amazing organizations that are going to fight for the rights of so many vulnerable populations.

I’m going to work hard at accomplishing my goals for the year, and I really want to know what all of you are trying to achieve in 2017. Let’s work on our goals for 2017 together, and I hope the year is off to a great start!

P.S. I am also going to work on blogging more consistently and to catch up on posts that I didn’t get to in 2016. 🙂

Travel Goals

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States I’ve been to are circled in red 🙂

In my post 2016 Goals, I mentioned that I wanted to travel more. When I turned 25 in February, I set the goal of going to all 50 states before I turn 30. Growing up we did a lot of road trips, so it wasn’t a daunting goal to me. Since then, I’ve been to Maine, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Texas, and I booked a trip to Hawaii! I know that I’ve been bad and posting about my trips, and I promise that I’m going to post about my favorite things from each trip or place. If any of you have recommendations for the states that aren’t circled, please share them with me!

Chef Time

Recently, I have been working on improving my cooking skills. In the past, they have been one of my most abysmal skills that I possess. Deciding that I was going to start attempting to cook again definitely brought up some road blocks, but I knew that I had to try. I decide to try making Lamb Chops and Pasta Salad, and both recipes came out amazing. Here are pictures and recipes:

Lamb Chops

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Recipe

Rinse & place on broiler pan; if you want, you can put a little aluminum foil under it to make cleaning easier afterwards. You can bake them at 350 degrees for 20-30 min., then turn, put some oregano on, and cook for another 20-30 min. OR you can broil them – you have to watch carefully so they don’t burn.  It’ll probably take 5-10 minutes per side.
Cooking time can vary, depending on how thick they are.

 

Pasta Salad

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Recipe

Boil a full bag of bow tie pasta. Once it’s done, you rinse the pasta in cold water, then drain it. Put pasta in large bowl so you can stir. Chop up half a cucumber and half a red pepper [I used tomatoes instead of red pepper] or other various veggies and throw into the pasta bowl. Add balsamic vinaigrette or dressing of your choice to pasta, stirring so the dressing is coating all of the pasta and veggies. Leave pasta in fridge for one day and serve next day!

To improvise I added some feta to the pasta salad 🙂

Both recipes are super easy, and taste amazing.

Bon Appétit!

Make Herstory

Hillary Glass Ceiling

In the past week, we made history by voting for Hillary Clinton. She finally became the first woman to win a party nomination. Until recently, I was never a Hillary Clinton fan. As a fellow Hilary/Hillary, I have gotten endless jokes related to her since I can remember. Due to the endless joking, I sincerely hated sharing my name with her because it’s annoying. However, once the candidates for each party became clearer, I became incredibly scared of the Republican Party and the views the candidates had. Then I looked at the Democratic Party, and while I loved a lot of the ideas Bernie Sanders has, I just didn’t think they were feasible in this political climate. This left me with Hillary Clinton, a strong female candidate with a variety of experience in politics and serving others. I was faced with a 20-year-old battle, between my years of jokes and people spelling my name wrong or voting for the best candidate in my opinion. I picked the second option, and while the jokes have gotten increasingly worse this political season, I am proud to say #ImWithHer. Also, today Oprah endorsed Hillary Clinton, and it’s awesome to see other powerful women supporting each other.  I am so excited to have the possibility of a woman president, and I really hope it happens.

Here’s a speech Hillary gave at her college graduation, she was the first ever student speaker. You can already tell that she was going to be an amazing leader in the future!

 

Happy 10th Birthday to the Hills!

the-hills

Today is the 10th Birthday of the only reality TV show that I like, The Hills. The Hills marked a change in TV, and created the genre called Reality TV. Since it was the first reality TV show, it was probably the most real at the beginning. There have been numerous BuzzFeed posts about The Hills, and this one is by far my favorite because it shows how real the Hills was at one point. The protagonist and my favorite person on the Hills, Lauren Conrad, has made quite a career for herself since leaving the show. This Levo post discusses some of her biggest accomplishments. But really, thank you MTV for developing the Hills and Happy 10th Birthday to the Hills!