When people hear the words “Spring Break” they typically think of college girls doing inappropriate things on the beach, but (un)fortunately that is not me this year. While I’m a large fan of traveling and doing foolish things*, I’m going to be spending this break focused on my future. To keep myself on track, I’ve set some goals for the next two weeks:
- Prepare at least three home cooked, healthy meals - I haven’t been cooking much in the past few months and I sure as hell haven’t been eating as well as I should. I made the decision that this week I’ll get back into the habit of preparing food at home. This morning I spent an hour at the grocery store picking up some healthy items, then this afternoon I managed to cook two great recipes (with only one major flub, hurrah).
Major thanks to Laura for her delicious bulgur pilaf recipe and to Pinky for getting me hooked on these honey mustard burgers (seriously addictive). I had forgotten how tough it is to make several things in parallel, but it was worth it. Now I’ve got healthy meals for the next few days. Hopefully this is a habit that will last past these two weeks.
- Run three times each week – My running has been slacking since I returned from my races Phoenix. I have a half marathon this Sunday (with the lovely Maggie) and I need my body to be prepared. This morning I was able to get in a short run and I’m scheduling another two into this week. Thursday morning I’ll complete at least five miles and Friday is for speed training. Next week I’m hoping I can get four solid runs in so I can get back to my regular pace.
- Update my portfolio – As a designer, I need to have a portfolio of the substantial work I’ve done. I have started an online portfolio, which needs to be completely updated, and then I need to create a hard copy. This means I need to take some high quality photos of my work, edit them with Photoshop, and create an attractive layout in Illustrator. All in all it is quite an undertaking. Probably why I haven’t gotten to it yet. But the time is now and it will save me a lot of work in the future.
- Look for jobs – The most nerve-wracking of all my tasks. This will require me to scour the internet for positions in the Bay Area. At this point I’m uncertain what type of company I’m interested in working for, but I do know where I want to be. I’m setting a solid goal of finding three viable options and applying before the end of the week. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that it is tough to get a company’s attention through an online application, so I am going to do my best to connect directly with an employee. And of course this means some serious networking…
- Network and continue informational interviewing – I have two great connections in the area and I need to set up times that I can meet with both. Hopefully they will be able to guide me. But I also need to find people I’m less familiar with that could assist me in my job search. This means I need to buck up and attend events in the area rather than staying within my comfort zone. I’m incredibly nervous about going to these events, but recognize that it is necessary.
Of course there are a few other items I need to work on as well, like that hair cut I’ve put off for months and doing laundry, but I see these as minor in comparison with the other items. So here is to accomplishing all of the goals on my list and then some! (Wish me luck, I’ll probably need it…)
What are your goals this month? How did you get started on your job search?
*Okay, I got in a few nights of debauchery in New Orleans this past weekend. More information and a few too many photos to follow.
This quarter I’m taking a class on designing for health change. It is a very creative class in which I get to interact with patients and prototype designs that will help them make lifestyle changes. As part of the class we are reading the book Change or Die which is full of great wisdom on making change in your own life and those of others. The reading this past week really stood out to me and was full of useful tidbits. Here are a few that I found particularly inspiring:
1) We continue successful behaviors and this makes it difficult for us to change. There is nothing wrong with enjoying being successful, but sometimes we need to move beyond our comfort zones.
2) One way to spice up your behavior is to take on challenges that you’ll be bad at for a while rather than returning to pursuits you’re good at. Be proud of the things you are great at, but don’t let them stop you from try out something new. Who knows, you may find a new skill or activity that you rock at. Or you won’t rock. There is nothing wrong with that.
3) If you don’t feel at ease in your environment, change it! Find something you are comfortable with as it will entice you to return. Maybe the gym isn’t for you, but have you tried a kickboxing studio? Don’t be afraid to explore, this will just lead to awesome adventures. Worst case scenario – you have a hilarious story to tell your friends.
4) Find a mentor you respect and a community you enjoy. I can honestly say that if it was not for Kathy, the pace leader at my run club in Ohio, I would not have attempted my first half or full marathon. It was a happy accident that I found her, but one of the best things that happened to me. Because of her constant guidance and belief in me, I gained confidence in my running and was able to push myself further. This leads into the next piece…
5) Have a relationship with people who believe in you and whom you believe in. Do not put up with people who do not believe in you. You are awesome, you deserve nothing but respect and love from those in your life. Find people who make you feel good and avoid those who hurt or frustrate you. Life is too short to have toxic people in your life.
6) Learning and change aren’t one-size-fits-all phenomena. It is tough to read or hear someone else’s story and wish that it would happen to you, but that isn’t how life works. This is something I struggle with constantly, I have to remind myself that everyone finds change and motivation in different places. This doesn’t mean it won’t come, just that it may take a different form.
What have you done to make positive changes in your life? What pieces of advice do you have?
And now that I’ve had a full week to process all of the awesomeness that happened at Fitbloggin (and to dive head first into grad school), it’s about time I complete my recap. Right?
Saturday started off with another bang. I dragged Melissa down to bounce on some tiny trampolines. Supposedly it was a fitness class, but it felt more like child-ish behavior mixed with inappropriateness from the instructor. I kid you not, he told us to “hit your bad kitty”. I’m still uncertain what he was referring to. So we jumped, then got on the floor and did some awkward dance moves. Afterward I was shocked at how much I was shvitzing. But I didn’t have much time to relax since it was absolutely necessary to Zumba! Although many people didn’t tramp, I swear that everyone got in on Zumba. It was a huge ball of fun. Who doesn’t love dancing? And let me tell you, all our sexiness rocked that
dance floor conference center carpet.
After a seriously necessary shower, I ran away to the Natural Products Expo next door. Let me tell you, there is nothing life a conference center full of natural food products… I spoke with so many vendors and picked up a bit too much. Fortunately my bunk mates were more than willing to take some free samples with. I met some great companies, who you’ll probably here about in a little bit, and learned plenty about the industry.
Then I jetted back to Fitbloggin so I could LiveBlog for the best (and most teary jerking) discussions of the event – When You Have a Lot to Lose. It was absolutely beautiful to hear each person’s story. It made me really reconsider things in my own life. The rest of the day I spent with the great roomies. We had crabcakes (naturally since we were in Maryland), had a slight fiasco with a patio umbrella, and enjoyed the reception where Robby won a KitchenAid mixer (that will be mine!). We spent the rest of the night relaxing around the grounds. I got picked up by Biggest Loser star Mark. Okay, that is a lie, I jumped into his arm and he couldn’t do much about it. Fortunately he was a good sport.
Our entire room woke up early on Sunday to prepare for the 5k. I had made plans to run with Maggie the day before and she was a perfect running mate. In fact, I’m hoping she’ll pace me for this weekend’s half marathon. Melissa was even kind enough to slow down and stick with us for the entire thing. Somehow having these two awesome ladies around me made me push a little bit harder.
The entire event ended on a high note of hugs and see-you-laters. Then off Pinky and I ran to the airport. It was sad to part from everyone and return back to California, but I knew it was time. The next day I started classes and TA-ing a class with a bunch of rowdy and confused engineering undergrads. This promises to be a very hectic and frustrating quarter. But I’m up for the challenge (as long as I can fit some training and healthy eating into the schedule). I’ve made some changes to my habits, in fact I’m even staying up later these days! But more on that soon.
What are your big plans and goals for October? I’m hoping to rock two half marathons and drop all those pounds I gained this summer.
Now that school has officially ended (as soon as I hand in my research proposal) and the summer is truly beginning, I feel it is only appropriate to set some goals for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had goals throughout the entire year, but they focused on doing well in school for the most part. Since I’ve made it through successfully, I feel that it is the right time to focus on my body and my running. So here are some of my plans for this upcoming summer:
1. This summer I will be running the San Francisco Marathon and I would like for it to be my best yet. Thus far I’ve completed three hillier marathons, so this should fit right in with the elevation changes. This means that I need to start focusing on hillier training and completing my long runs on schedule. I’ve used every excuse not to complete long runs for the previous two marathons (school and such), but now those are not viable reasons. In fact, I am aiming to join a new running club that will keep me honest and remind me what it is to wake up at 7am on a Saturday.
2. Although it isn’t something I discuss much, I’d like to focus on putting better foods into my body and perhaps dropping a few pounds. Life will still be hectic with my new internship, but I should have more time to cook and select healthier options. The main goal is to drop 5 pounds and return to my high school weight. As a reward I’m planning to buy some more “adult” clothing from Anthropologie (I need to stop dressing like an engineer all the time…).
3. I’ll be moving into the city in a week and I want to make the most of what my new home has to offer. This means running in Golden Gate park, visiting some of the local farmers markets, and spending more time outside of my apartment. I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife SF has to offer, so that is a major goal of this summer. If you live (or find yourself) in San Francisco and want to grab a cup of coffee, hit me up!
4. Read more! During the school year I’ve only had time to read a few books here or there (and plenty of psych papers). This summer I’m going to take some time to enjoy the books I have piling up on my shelf. Does anyone have some good suggestions?
I’m sure there are other things I’ll want to accomplish, but these are the most salient. And if I have the time I plan to travel, even if it is just to Marin or Napa.
What are your goals this summer? What tips and tricks do you have for sticking to them?
A brief explanation of what I did over my break.
It was a fantastic vacation full of friends, fun, and plenty of relaxation. Now that the quarter has begun things are again going to be hectic in my life, hopefully this time around I’ll learn how to budget my time more efficiently.
Hope you all had a wonderful hump day!