Personal Development Success and Failure

I think there’s something really important in trial and error. It teaches us that having desires alone won’t get us where we want to go; we have to maintain motivation throughout the entire journey if we want to succeed. I don’t believe that leaving a goal incomplete is a bad thing as long as you made an effort in some way.

Did I make thirty-one entries in my journal or on my blog? No, but I brought conscious thought to the idea of writing and keeping myself accountable in other ways. To me, that isn’t failure.

However, I do want to continue the mindset of having short and long-term goals and holding myself accountable to moving to reach them. Pausing, inching forward, and dead sprinting are all acceptable; moving backward is not.

At the beginning of the year I set monthly goals for myself both here and in my bullet journal. That’s a practice I miss. I’d like to continue that through the end of the year as a way of “checking in” on my long-term goals to ensure I’m on the right track. These goals usually range from professional, personal, and financial, and completing even one per month is a success to me. Stay tuned.

Do you have a favorite way of keeping track of goals? Do you use sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, journal about them, or just keep them mentally? I’d love to hear others’ ways of keeping track of their personal development!

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February Goals

I’m very happy to announce that in January I completed 8/10 of my planned goals. Not only did I successfully do the 10 I set out to, I also made great progress in creating lasting habits for my health and well-being. It isn’t important which goals I did or did not meet, what matters most is that I was able to achieve more than I thought I would for the month. 

With that being said, I decided on my February goals. I have less on my list this month, and some are the same or slightly different, while some are new. Although I’m doing a lot of focusing on the short-term goals, I haven’t forgotten about the long term; many of my goals I set intentionally to get into the habit of doing it, so I can eventually turn around and utilize them for a longterm plan. An example would be more exercise: someday I want to comfortably complete a full marathon. I can’t do that without consistent running and training (and diet!!) every day. Another would be my writing: four blog posts a month at minimum gives me the practice and experience to someday get paid for writing.  “I want to learn everything I can, and write down everything I see. Golly says if I want to be a writer, I’d better start now…”

  • Publish 4 blog posts
  • Read 4 books
  • Work out 4 days a week
  • Put (and keep) money in savings
  • Continue to clean and de-clutter
  • No soda

I feel good. These may seem like more “to-do” list items, but they mean more than that to me. These goals mean working to become a better person, both physically and mentally. I want to learn, I want to feel stable, I want to feel strong. I’m so ready to be the best I can be. This month I also want to sit down and seriously begin to plan out my long-term life goals, and I’ll be sure to write about it when I know more myself. 

The Bullet Journal

For way too long I’ve struggled with craving organization in my scheduling; although “organized” is the last word I would use to describe myself, I know I need structure. Every year I buy the cutest planner to fit my personality and fill it out with important dates and my work schedule. After that I never look at it again. Occasionally I might remember it exists and cross out months that have already passed and leave it to collect dust again.

I’ve decided my problem with traditional planners is that they aren’t flexible. They’re all the same and don’t  work for me. I have dozens of break slips in my pockets with tasks and to-do’s that have a much more linear aesthetic that I prefer. When I sit down to make life plans in a notebook, it gets listed. For me, boxy calendar views are wasteful in the end. I have at least a dozen notebooks scattered around all containing the same information. I need one main journal to keep track of my plans.

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Given my life currently, I don’t have “appointments” or meetings to need to plan in detail.  My work schedule is saved in screenshots in my camera roll so writing them down is useless. My life is tasks and flimsy plans with friends with no time crunch. I need to know what day bills come out and when my dog needs her heart worm medication and when to refill my antidepressant prescription and plan out my running days.

With all of this being realized, I began looking at a lot of posts of bloggers who use bullet journals. It’s been a thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to try the “BuJo” life, but like most people just starting out, I was overwhelmed at the amount of creativity most of the examples had. Still, in my fresh mindset I have decided to jump in.  Maybe it will work for me, maybe it won’t. Still, I want to give it a try. I’m standing by my statement that 2017 is a year of continued growth and logging that in a bullet journal with a more linear task list might just be the way to do it.

In less than 24 hours, I already learned some things I do and do not like and things I want to add or change in the future. I wish my journal was dotted or gridded instead of lined, for one, but I like the size and quality so I’ll survive. Before even starting, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t compare my journal to the Instagram models; I would allow my bullet journal to grow and evolve with me this year. BuJo would be my friend to learn from week to week and month to month.

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I think that’s my favorite part about the Bullet Journal model: complete freedom. If I try something one week and hate it, I’m not committed to it. I’m in an open relationship with my planner. As I was coming up with my pre-plan, I didn’t think I wanted a daily log. I started off with the blank spread, trying to decide what would work best for me. Then I realized i could do both: on weeks where I know I have a lot going on, I can do a daily log, and on weeks where I’m not doing much, I don’t need to waste the paper. I love the potential lack of waste that comes with this process. If my Thursday is packed, then I’ll do a Thursday log and skip the other days, lumping all my tasks into my weekly tracker.

Some collections that are unique to me are my long-term goals and tasks with no time constraint, things like cleaning out my iTunes library and running a marathon; I have a collection of dreams such as buying a new mattress and getting married; my favorite personal collection is my list of dates I go on, complete with a rating system and where we met. A few collections I added are inspired by others I saw online. Gift ideas, favorites of the season, bills and habit trackers, along with a few others are all a part of my bullet journal.

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Something I plan on gaining from this (besides structure) is strengthening my handwriting. This is a big joke, I know. My handwriting has always been horrendous, but I hope that through. My bullet journal I am able to at least have legible scrawl. In the short time I’ve spent making my first spreads, I’ve found a new acceptance for my lack of artistry and cursive/print hybrid penmanship. I discovered that although it isn’t easy coming up with my own doodles, fonts, or borders, I can copy the basic idea from what I find online and make it fit my needs.

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A trend I’ve noticed in the Bullet Journal community is finding a word to motivate or describe the upcoming year. I didn’t think much of it until I kept using the phrase “year of growth” whether it be in my blog, private journal, or even just my thoughts. I mentioned in my last post that “growth” is the word I plan on returning to throughout the year, and I stand by that. Even in the few short weeks of this year I’ve felt a great sense of growth within my self in many ways and I hope to use my new Bullet Journal to continue that feeling.

If you’re curious about how to start or need more inspiration, Modern Mrs. Darcy has some great posts about her own Bullet Journal and her posts include even more links to great resources. Of course there’s the official Bullet Journal website if you want to learn more from the creator himself. For me, I love the flexibility and casualness of this style of planning and I can see myself using it for a very long time.

January Goals

I could very well write about New Year’s Resolutions and how I plan on maintaining long-term goals throughout the entire year. But we all know how resolutions go, and I hate admitting that I’ve failed at something. Instead of writing about the long-term, I’ve decided to break down my goals into smaller, month-sized pieces and share them as the year goes on. Many of my goals may be the same month to month; this makes it less of a resolution and more of a continuing habit.

With all that being said, here are my goals for January

  • Drink more water
  • Run 3 times a week
  • Lose 5 pounds
  • Complete a “75 Push-up Challenge”
  • Complete my half marathon without dying
  • Enjoy my trip to Disneyland without stressing out about money
  • Continue reducing the items I own
  • Crack down on a good skin care routine
  • Publish at least 4 blog posts
  • Read at least 4 books
  • Maintain a private journal
  • Focus on more photography

I tried to make goals that were diverse. Some are health-related while some are personal goals, and some are just good practices to get into. I spent a lot of December thinking on these and making strides to begin my new habits.

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Both in this blog and in my personal journal I’ve
mentioned that 2017 is the year of growth, and I plan on returning to that word throughout my year. Everything I do this year is all based around personal growth. Expect that to be a reoccurring word in my posts.

What are your thoughts on forming New Year’s Resolutions? Do you stick with them through the entire year or do they fizzle out? How do you separate a “resolution” and making new habits, or is there a difference at all? I’d love to know your opinion on this, and I hope you join me through this year of blogging.

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What Does it Mean to Be Healthy?

I’ve written a lot of posts about rebooting my health goals. Like, a lot. Like here, here, also here, and you get the picture. It’s not that I just stop caring about my health; it just gets hard. Even when I stop eating what’s good for me or lower my activity level, I’m constantly thinking about how good I felt. But let’s be honest with ourselves: “health” isn’t just diet and exercise.

I’ve done a lot of diets and workouts and weigh-ins and measuring and counting. That’s great if that’s what you want or need. To me, my health is not defined by numbers anymore. It also isn’t just about food. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

What does “healthy” mean to me?

  • not biting my nails
  • keeping a consistent schedule
  • hydration
  • not eating only junk food
  • raising my activity level
  • giving myself love and grace
  • not hitting the snooze button

These don’t sound like the epitome of health, do they? But listen, they’re all steps. Having scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast is better than ice cream (I may or may not have done that yesterday) and even opting out of my daily soda at lunch is a step to making my body happier. Making a turkey sandwich for work instead of stopping by McDonalds saves calories and money–a two-for-one deal!

I’ve never been a “snoozer.” I don’t know what happened recently (actually I do), but I don’t want to get out of bed when I have to. I reset my alarm for a later time and get ready for work at the last minute. I always feel so much better when I just get up and start my day, plus I get to have time to write before work.

Like I said, my health is not defined by numbers. I don’t need to lose a certain number of pounds or eat a certain amount of calories or run this many miles a week. That puts too much pressure and anxiety on me if I don’t meet those numbers. I see nothing wrong with people who need those numeric goals, it definitely works. But that isn’t the best way to motivate me personally. My Fitbit step goal is really the only number I care about.

I’m so incredibly proud of the race medals I’ve earned. Even though I didn’t do as well as I wanted, running a half marathon or a 5k is a huge achievement for anyone. It’s like the quote that says, “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.” And that’s what I want for myself. Running is so rewarding to me, and after running (mostly walking) a half marathon last November, I got a little taste of the person I could be. I didn’t train like I had wanted to, and that is my biggest regret as far as my health goes. If I could comfortably run three or four miles, that would mean everything to me to be able to work harder for longer races.

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Last night, Enthusiasm asked me how badly I want to meet my goals. It made me think a lot about my past attempts. I won’t call them “failed,” but they were forgotten. Disney costumes are so unflattering, and I’m tired of looking down and seeing my stomach in the pants I wear at work. I know how to dress my body on my own time, but I want to feel better at work. I don’t want to hate myself or feel down about myself for one emotional reason or another. I want pretty fingernails again. I want to be happy and energetic again. Diet, activity, mindset, and consistency are all equal factors to finding peace with myself and my health.

Being healthy, both emotionally and physically, is hard. Creating and keeping healthy habits takes time, but I know just as well as anyone else that it’s so incredibly worth it. So here I am, starting again. I’m picking up where I left off with my health and doing my best to make a better physical and emotional situation for myself.

Two Years

Tomorrow marks two years since checking into my Disney College Program. In two years I have “earned my ears” five times, learning two different roles, three attractions, and two systems. My time working at Walt Disney World has been contained to Magic Kingdom, with the exception of a few merchandise shifts picked up here and there. But for two years I have been statused to the most magical of all the parks at the WDW Resort. I’ve had a lot of great times here, and I’ve dealt with my share of heartache here as well. 

In those two years, I have loved what I do, but I have also struggled with coming to work. During my time here, half has been in a place I consider home away from home, while the rest has been less-than-desirable. I know I’m able to be an A+ Cast Member, because I’ve been that before. Currently, I feel as though I waver between being a C and a B- Cast Member at best. I’ve become the person who shows up to work and collects a check. 

I see nothing wrong with having that kind of job. A job is meant to support you and yours financially and it doesn’t have to be fun. But I’ve had jobs that I loved, and I’ve had that at Disney, and I believe that I still can. Recently, I’ve been in a major depression that has affected how I am at work and how I see my position with this company. For a while, it seemed as though I was going to be stuck here for the rest of my life–and that isn’t the way I wanted to think about a job with Disney. I thought because I came to Florida to work for Disney that it was the only career option I could ever have now. I have come to realize that, yes, Orlando did call me here. But it doesn’t mean I have to be stuck. Just making that connection with myself has made all the difference. 

With that, I’m making a change in my Disney career. I’m going to try to find my place here again, and I think going to a different park may be the best thing for me right now. Too many thing in Magic Kingdom remind me of the past and I think it’s prohibiting me from moving on. Not only am I going to try and find my place in a different park, I’ve also made the decision to allow myself to leave if I don’t find my place. I used to think I would be a failure if I quit Disney because that’s why I moved here. Now I know that is not the case. As long as I don’t leave on bad terms or get fired, I can always come back. I can come back front-line, or I could come back professionally once I finish school. All I know is I’m not tied to anything. 

I genuinely hope that I find home again. But I’ve made peace with myself to not feel so much pressure about it. All I want is to feel happy going to play at the parks for fun and to not hate my job. Life is too short to hate your job, especially when you work for Disney. 

In the meantime, I’m going to send in my college transcripts and work on a degree and see where that takes me. Life is so vast and at times scary, but I will never regret the experiences I have had in Orlando and I hope to have many more adventures here. So happy two-year anniversary to me, and here’s to whatever future time I spend here. 

  

Relocation and Change

Hello, friends.

There are a lot of changes going on in my life–past, present, and future. These changes are mostly within myself that are expressed outwardly in attitude and decisions, etc. In order to continue with these (I hope positive) mental and emotional changes , I’ve decided to relocate my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I’m doing this so that eventually, when finances allow, I would like to own my own domain.

I’m extremely passionate about writing, and I want to take a chance and start writing more to be able to grow as a writer. Maybe writing professionally isn’t for me, but maybe it is. And I’m sick and tired of being afraid that I can’t achieve the deepest desires of my heart because I don’t think I can survive on writing alone. I have an entire post in the works just on this topic.

Originally, I was just going to make a Facebook status and share the link to my blog. It got real wordy real fast, so why not publish it here? This post is very much just an extension of a Facebook status, without the “continue reading” tab. No one likes to click those. Facebook statuses are supposed to be longer than Tweets but not as long as a full-on blog post. At least that’s my opinion.

Continuing on. I’m working on myself to find inner peace with who I am and what is going on around me. I want my blog to reflect the growth and progress (and the difficulties) that are coming with that mindset. I’ve been reading some amazing books and have had conversations with amazing people in the last week that have given me so much insight to who I want to be and how I want to see myself getting there.

All of this seems pretty vague right now, and that’s because I have future blog entries that will explain in detail what I mean. For now, this is a quick update before I need to get ready for work. Future entries of these subjects will be planned and edited and proofread, whereas this is very by-the-seat-of-my-pants and rushed.

I just wanted to share that this is where my blog now resides. I’ve heard wonderful things about WordPress, and as I grow, I would like my blog to eventually reflect that. It’s still in the works; I’m tweaking and adding and formatting as best I know how, but I’m content with it. If anyone has any suggestions on things to add, I welcome them. Or just encouragement on this journey to see what I’m called to do next.

Thank you for reading, and subscribe via e-mail over to the left (or via Bloglovin’!).

Yours,

Hannah

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When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange who you are and what you’re gonna be.

What Do I Want To See From This Blog?

I’d like to talk for a minute about what I would like to see from my own blog.  Mostly, I want to write this, because I want to discover for myself what I want out of this outlet. I believe self-expression is very important, as is the skill of writing. Every time my class meets, we are taught how important writing is in PR. Not only is it important in PR, but it is important in life. So, secondly, that is why I want to continue this. Not only this, but I want to find my voice. So there are three things at least that I want to see from myself.

Okay, so reasons one and three are basically the same thing. They are the same thing. But that means it’s important to me. I want to be able to have an opportunity to say what I want to say, how I want to say it, and not care if anyone reads it or not. I spent too many years of my early life feeling like I couldn’t be myself. The thought that I couldn’t believe what I felt was right for me, for fear of rejection. I’ve learned in the last three or four years that I don’t really care. Sure, I care a little bit, but generally, haters gonna hate, and they can de-friend me or unfollow me or whichever they please.  In the long run, it doesn’t matter. No one will ever believe the same thing about any topic, so why get pissy about it?

My entire life, I have adored writing. Whether it be letters, papers, or stories, writing has been a passion I have never relinquished. I have ideas for more formal blog posts, complete with actual introductions and points and supporting ideas. I have so many story ideas that I really should develop into outlines. Writing is a skill I would love to work on further and what better way than a blog?

I guess another reason I want to be a blogger so badly is to document my (boring) life.  Especially when it comes time to move to Florida and become even more independent than I already am. I would like to use this to keep friends and family updated with my life, along with texts and phone calls and tweets. Kind of like a dorky family newsletter, but it’s just me. At least I’m still dorky. When I get to Disney, more than anything, I want to be an awesome cast member. I want to be able to share moments I see guests have, or that I might be able to help guests achieve in whatever attraction I am set in.

Not that I think I’ll have any kind of great story that will be of any interest except to my mom, grandma, and maybe a friend or two. But If I can just have this as a memory for myself, I’ll be happy.

Health and Lifestyle Updates

So many things I want to talk about…and knowing me, I’ll probably forget half of them before I publish this post. But I’ll write what I can and either edit later or just write a second post. I HAVE ADHD, OKAY!?!!

First off, I completed the first week of the ShayLoss Five Week Challenge! In reality, the “challenge” is more of a motivation to continue what I have already been doing since May than any actual challenge. It’s been a way to keep going, and stay accountable because I’ve been blogging more and making videos about weight loss.  As far as any extra exercise, I haven’t been doing it. I’ve really just been doing everything gradually and seeing what is going to work for me in changing my lifestyle.

Things I’ve changed this week:

  • I started doing weight workouts. 
            I hadn’t been concerned at all about doing weights, mainly because I haven’t known exactly what to do or how much to do it. Pinterest has been a great help for that and now I am adding arm workouts at home or at the gym to my activity. 
  • I started juicing.
           Obviously, I’ve blogged about this and made videos. But This is MY update, and I can say what I want.  So I started juicing after visiting our AWESOME juice bar. It’s also a way for me to get more vegetables in my diet. I really love it and it fills me up even more than my morning smoothies seem to. 
  • As I have been since May, I’ve started cutting back on portions.
           When I first began this change, I started with just doing smoothies. After I felt comfortable with that, we got rid of packaged foods. Once I got comfortable with that, we substituted things or got rid of things altogether, etc.  Today I decided to try and not snack quite so much. I felt like I snacked a lot yesterday, even if it WAS better snacks, and would just like to do better.  So the next best thing is just to re-evaluate how much food my body ACTUALLY needs me to consume. 
My eventual goal would be to do more juicing or something equally intense and good. Be able to cut out bread (even Ezekiel Bread) just a little bit more than I already am, and see what happens. I’m trying to do research about juicing while training for half marathons, because I don’t know whether or not I should wait until after my Tower of Terror Run to do anything TOO intense, or if juice will still give me what I need. 
I found a GREAT idea on Runningonjuice.com that I think could be very doable for a meal or two, and maybe still eat a “normal” meal in between. They juiced, then put it in a blender with protein powder, coconut water, and CHIA SEEDS. I will definitely be trying this in the morning. I know Chia Seeds are SO great for you. 
Another thing I found in my research are some good quotes:

“My body is THRIVING (not surviving!) on freshly extracted juice from a wide array of fruits and vegetables.”

“…think of juicing as a ‘gateway drug’ to better health and eating clean.”

I also found the idea to “reestablish a RELATIONSHIP with clean food.” That’s something I’ve never had: a RELATIONSHIP with clean food. Isn’t that a neat thought?!?!

This evening, I was watching old ShayLoss videos in the kitchen and Shay said, “If you want to be fat, do what fat people do. If you want to be skinny, do what skinny people do.” My mom and I just thought, “WOW.” It’s such a “duh” idea, but to hear it SAID just made it click.

Mom also said, “We’re going to look so different in our family pictures at Disney in October. We’re going to be THOSE people. The people who DID IT.” And I can’t wait to be THAT person. To look back at this journey and say, “I’m SO GLAD I didn’t give up when I wanted to.” I already feel like such a better person than I did five weeks ago.

Since today on ShayLoss it was an update day, here are my measurements. I wanted them side-by-side the old ones, so if there are two, it means there was a change. If not, I stayed the same in that area. Made some good progress in a week! I’m definitely proud of myself.

Like I said…I knew I would forget my thoughts. But there’s a great deal of them!! 

ShayLoss day 2

Day two!

Woke up at the buttcrack of day to help my parents un-decorate a house, which was a good workout in and of itself. 😉 Came home and went to the gym and was on the treadmill for a little over an hour! Teton Crest warmup for 20, then 46 minute run.

My run was not a super official run, I did a lot of walk/run/walk/run etc. But I felt good and was able to go as far as I had wanted. 3.25!! Very proud of myself. Never in a million years did I think I would be able to do anything remotely similar to running that far.

After running, I came home to make lunch, because it had been about 7 hours since I’d had breakfast. There was nothing in the kitchen to eat! So I went to the store and got a basket of GREAT food choices. Nothing is better feeling than going through the grocery store with GOOD food in your basket. It’s empowering to go past the cookies and cakes and muffins and goodness and knowing, “I’m going to be thin. Cookies will not make me thin. The things in my cart WILL.” Not to say that I’ll NEVER have a cookie again, because HELL NAW would that ever happen. But to not be quite as tempted is great. I’ve done too well making this lifestyle a habit to blow it on sugar.

  • Bananas
  • Ezekiel Bread and tortillas
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Organic, natural peanut butter (literally, it’s JUST peanuts)
  • Almond milk
  • Organic apples
  • Organic turkey lunch meat (no preservatives! No chemicals!)
  • Cheese
  • Organic eggs
  • Lemon juice (we like to put it in smoothies sometimes)
  • Coffee creamer
Now, the coffee creamer is really the only thing that I bought that isn’t great. But we can’t give it up. Milk and sweetener isn’t the same. But other than that, our kitchen is healthfully stocked!
Here’s my dog thinking I’m in the floor to cuddle her. I was trying to stretch before my run. 
And here’s me goofing off. XD