Progress Report #3: 50 Goals Project

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It’s only been a short period of time, but already this project has had a very positive effect on my life.  I’m more open and loving with those around me, and as a result, my relationships are stronger than ever.  I’m also happier and more grounded.  Here’s a look at the goals I set and what I’ve achieved so far:

  1. Take a cooking class.
    • I did some research on local cooking classes, but have not signed up for one yet.
  2. Read a classic novel.
  3. Read the biography of someone I admire.
    • I’m halfway through “I Am Malala.”  Technically it’s a memoir (not a biography), but my intent in setting this goal was to learn more about someone I admire.  It’s an incredible story.
  4. Eat more vegetables.
  5. Watch a documentary about something I know little about.
  6. Learn the basics of a foreign language.
    • I’m still practicing Italian for at least 10 minutes most days.  According to Duolingo, I’m 9% fluent!
  7. Volunteer more.
  8. Grow vegetables from seed.
    • I have researched information on how to start, and plan to begin the process next month.
  9. Meditate more frequently.
    • I am meditating more often with the help of some wonderful apps.  I have used Headspace, Calm, and am currently trying Aura.
  10. Take a photography class.
  11. Forgive someone, even if I don’t want to.
  12. Write more thank you notes.
  13. Spend less time on social media.
  14. Spend at least one day a month technology-free.
  15. Try a new form of exercise.
    • Cycling on the stationary bike is now a regular part of my workout routine.  I am currently trying Cyclecast,  an app with cycling classes I can do at my convenience.  I love it so far!
  16. Express gratitude every day.
    • This is a habit that has improved my life in countless ways.  Now that I do this regularly, I am happier and more aware of the many things I have to be grateful for every day.  I have crossed it off because it is now a habit, but I certainly don’t plan to stop.
  17. Give more hugs.
  18. Give myself a compliment every day.
    • This one needs more work, but simply having it on my list has helped me to do it more often.
  19. Give someone else a compliment every day.
  20. Travel somewhere new.
  21. Watch a classic movie I’ve always wanted to see.
    • I watched The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart.  I have always been a fan of Cary Grant, and this was a movie I hadn’t seen.
  22. Admire a sunrise.
  23. Admire a sunset.
  24. Take a trip to somewhere in my state that I have never been.
  25. Go for a hike and have a picnic.
  26. Call an old friend just to talk.
  27. Get rid of things I no longer need and donate them to someone who does.
  28. Have a “date day” with each of my daughters.
    • I spent Saturday with my youngest daughter, and we had a great time!
  29. Practice mindfulness.
  30. Make a successful sourdough starter.
    • I made my first two loaves of bread this week, and they turned out really well!  I need to experiment with recipes and techniques, but I’m very happy with my first try at this.
  31. Laugh more.
  32. Take time to appreciate the beauty in things.
  33. Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
  34. Publish something new.
    • I am working toward this and using my weekly goal setting to keep me on track.
  35. Research and learn more about my family history.
    • I had lunch with my mom this week and took some time to talk about some of her family history.  I learned quite a bit that I didn’t know before.
  36. Give someone a gift for no reason.
  37. Give a gift anonymously to someone I know is having a hard time.
  38. Take part in an event for a cause that I believe in.
  39. Go to a cultural event to learn about another culture.
  40. Listen more in all of my conversations.
  41. Donate to a cause I believe in.
  42. Tell others what I appreciate about them.
    • My weekly goal is to tell one person each week, and I plan to keep that goal throughout the year.
  43. Take a college course on a subject I’m interested in.
  44. Make a new friend.
  45. Take myself on a date and do anything I want for the day.
  46. Do something that I enjoyed doing as a child.
  47. Have a romantic, candlelight dinner with my husband.
  48. Keep an open mind when I disagree with someone (#40 should help with this!).
  49. Take an art class.
  50. Tell someone “I love you” every day.
    • This goal continues to be a work in progress, but I am expanding it and have been successful at expressing this more often and to more people in my life.

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Progress Report: 50 Goals Project

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It’s been a week since I created my list of 50 goals for my 50th year, and I’m happy to say I’m off to a great start! I printed my list and posted it in my office so that I could reflect on it daily.  Then, I created some weekly goals that relate to the list.  Here’s what I have accomplished so far:

#3:  Read the biography of someone I admire.

Weekly goal:  Choose a biography to read.

Result:  I chose the biography of Malala Yousafzai, and will start reading it when I have finished my current book (Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, if you’re curious!).

#6:  Learn the basics of a foreign language.

Weekly goal:  Spend 10 minutes each day learning Italian with the Duolingo app on my phone.

Result:  I chose to learn Italian because there is a chance I may travel to Italy this year (fingers crossed!). Thanks to the Duolingo app, I get a daily reminder.  I didn’t manage to practice every day, but I did get started!

#9:  Meditate more frequently.

Weekly goal:  Meditate after I exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for 10 minutes.

Result:  I meditated with the Headspace app on my phone 3 times.  It felt great and was a great way to end my workouts.  10 minutes seems like the perfect amount of time for now.

#28:  Have a date day with each of my daughters.

Weekly goal:  Spend a day with my oldest daughter this week, before she returns to school.

Result:  We had a fabulous day!  We spent a day shopping, having lunch and working on a craft.  I think I may have to change this goal to plan these dates more often – once a year is definitely not enough!

#50:  Say “I love you” every day.

Weekly goal:  Say “I love you” to one person each day.

Result:  This was an easy goal because I’m fortunate to be surrounded by people that I love.  Making a point to express it felt great, and I plan to work on doing the same with people in my life that I may not think to say that to as often.

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50 Goals for my 50th Year

Having a birthday often causes us to reflect on who we are, what we have achieved and what we have yet to accomplish in our lives.  When it’s a birthday that ushers in a new decade, that tendency is even stronger.

With that in mind, in honor of my upcoming 50th birthday, I decided to create a list of 50 things that I would like to prioritize or achieve this year.  The items on the list are things that I hope will broaden my horizons, strengthen my gratitude, and make me a better person.  Like a fine wine, I would like to improve with age. 🙂

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Secret Ingredient Tuna Salad

I love tuna salad for its protein-packed simplicity.  There are many different ways to make it, but this recipe is my current favorite.

Tuna SaladThe secret ingredient?  French fried onions!  They add a little crunch and great flavor.  The ingredient list for the Trader Joe’s brand is simple:  onions, vegetable oil, and wheat flour. I try to avoid vegetable oil most of the time (I prefer nutritious oils like olive, avocado or coconut) but since a few sprinkled on top is all you need, I’m willing to make an exception for this recipe.

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How to Stick to Your Resolutions in 2017

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2017 is going to be a great year.  Your resolution is to get healthy, so you bought a gym membership, new workout clothes, and a giant tub of protein powder.  You’re ready!

You arrive at the gym and circle the parking lot for 10 minutes until you finally find a spot. You hurry inside, excited for your first spin class, but quickly discover that all of the bikes are taken.  You sigh, get on the only available treadmill, and force yourself to keep moving for 40 minutes.  It’s not fun, but once you’re done, you’ve worked up a sweat.  You decide to try your protein shake, but after one sip you wish you hadn’t bought that giant tub.  It’s terrible!

After a few weeks, your attendance at the gym is dropping off, and you only sporadically remember that you even set that resolution.  You’ll work out when the gym is less crowded.  Or maybe when the weather is nicer.

Sound familiar?  This scenario is common, but there’s something you can do about it!

Here are 5 steps to take to stick to your resolutions in 2017: Continue reading

Don’t Feel Like Exercising? Here are 5 Simple Tips to Get You Moving!

Get up, get moving and reap the benefits!

You hear your alarm buzzing and quickly reach over to turn it off.  It’s barely light out, and you can hear the rain pouring down.   Your bed is warm and comfortable, so you snuggle back under the covers.    It’s too cold and too early to be thinking about moving your body.

As much as you want to go back to sleep, you know you’ll feel so much better if you get up and get moving.  Here are 5 simple tips to help you fight the urge to stay in bed the next time your alarm goes off:

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