The Fledgling Journey

Navigating a Good Life One New Experience at a Time

Author: Lauren (page 1 of 7)

Working on it Wednesday – 8/23/17

I have a 30×30 goal/bucket/project list that I’m chipping away at. I ignored it for months and finally realized I need to plan better if these are truly priorities. So I’m checking in every Wednesday, which is helping me keep track of my progress and keeping me accountable.

Progress on August Projects

  • Finish reading Persuasion, start Sense and Sensibility – on page 198 of Persuasion. I have about 50 pages left. Just got to the part where Anne’s friend Mrs. Smith is like “hey this dude who seems like he has designs to marry you (dude’s wife died six months ago and he’s Anne’s cousin) is actually a huge POS.” Intrigue. I mean I already know the story line, but still. Mrs. Smith is being very direct, not in keeping with some of the social customs and norms of the time. Thank goodness I didn’t live in that era. It seems like a lot of social-climbing. But props to Austen for writing something unique compared to her peers.
  • Finish The Catcher and the Rye and The Call of the Wild – on chapter 6 of The Catcher and the Rye and 71% finished with The Call of the Wild. Probably won’t finish The Catcher and the Rye in August, but I’ll continue to work on it. Right now I read a chapter on my lunch break. The chapters are short, so this strategy is working well.
  • Watch a movie from the AFI top 100 list – I signed up for Netflix DVD delivery because I basically had two options A) stream through iTunes for about $4 per movie (and only get access for 24 hours from when the movie first viewed) or B) Netflix DVDs delivered via mail for $8/month with the first month free. I’ve already seen all the movies I’m able to stream over Netflix and have had problems with getting the movies within a reasonable amount of time from the library (and returning them on time too). I think I’ve already paid over $20 in fines since January. Oops. I’m about half way through Ben Hur, which is 3.75 hours long. Too. damn. long. I have to admit the chariot seen is impressive. 
  • Learn to make a Pisco Sour cocktail  + one other cocktailno progress ,also cut out the “one other cocktail” part. Not feasible right now.
  • Work on crossword puzzle skills – no progress
  • Make an Oregonian sandwich – marionberry jam, rogue creamery blue cheese, and Oregon hazelnut butter between 2 slices challah and grilled – no progress. I might need to simplify this and make something similar, like raspberry jam with peanut butter and a cheese on normal bread. Blue cheese really isn’t appealing to me in that sandwich. Progress not perfection.
  • Check for Ellen show tickets – done, request submitted. fingers crossed.
  • Update blog with NYC, Banff, & Switzerland travel pages (kind of a digital scrapbook) – no progress
  • Finish applying for TSA Global Entry – no progress
  • Finish up making sure retirement accounts are on track – no progress
  • Make 3-6 items for Etsy shop (to re-open later this year) – worked on this but not complete
  • Finish researching blog link-ups to take part in – researched some. still working on this.
  • Try a Skillshare class – Done. I finished three classes about blogging and definitely want to keep up with other classes. I’m part way through Writing for Online Engagement and the content is solid. Gives me a ton of ideas.
  • Try paddle boarding or kayaking – eh shelving this for now
  • Write 500 words of fiction per day for 4 days – no progress
  • Do 5 year journal entry done

Strategy

What’s working: The 10 minute timer strategy (pick a project/task, set a timer for 10 minutes, work on it for 10 minutes only…I mean you can keep going if wanted but only 10 minutes are required) is working well. Progress not perfection. <–I will say this 10,000 times. I need constant reminding.

What’s not working: I posted here about breaking down goals into tiny tasks and scheduling them. That proved too daunting and confining. I want a little more freedom from constantly feeling like I’m behind. I also want the flexibility to pursue whichever project I feel like, not being assigned specific tasks on specific days. Accordingly this strategy has gotten the axe. Breaking down larger tasks is helpful, but I think my weekly check-ins are helping with that. I’m glad I broke down the 30×30 list into monthly goals, that’s working well.

Podcast Review August 2017

I enjoy listening to podcasts on my commute and have a few vetted favorites I’ve probably mentioned before. I’d like to branch out and keep track of the ones I like. So, every month, I’ll talk about some of the podcasts I’ve listened to. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Heather Dubrow’s World

   

Category: Entertainment

Summary:
Heather Dubrow was on The Real Housewives of Orange County TV show on Bravo. Her podcast gives weekly glimpses into her life where she discusses about what she’s doing and what’s new. She interviews a guest most weeks and has a beauty tip or “hippest hottest newest” segment with a product or tip that she likes.

Thoughts: Her life is difficult for me to relate to. Sometimes it’s entertaining and interesting to see how someone semi-famous and very wealthy lives, but sometimes it just seems out of touch with reality. For example, she suggested having a book of pictures of every item in your wardrobe so you don’t forget about any of your clothes, accessories, or shoes. Most people don’t have enough clothes to justify this and if you don’t remember a piece of clothing or part of your wardrobe, it’s time to get rid of it. I also don’t find that many of her guests are particularly interesting, but occasionally she has a good one, such as Dr. Drew, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Fran Drescher, or Sabrina Soto.  I’ve never heard of most of her guests.

Bottom Line: Good for the occasional listen, about 1x a month. Pick one with an interesting guest.

Happier

Category: Self improvement

Summary: Gretchen Rubin is a bestselling writer and former clerk for Justice O’Connor. She writes about happiness and healthy habits. As you would guess, her podcast gives a lot of tips and insights on developing healthy habits and increasing happiness.

Thoughts: I love this podcast and listen to every week. I usually come away feeling inspired. On occasion Gretchen’s laugh makes me cringe because it doesn’t strike me as genuine. Girlfriend is definitely tightly wound. No judgment. I’m sure she gets more done before noon than I do in two days. That’s my only complaint and a pretty weak one at that. I appreciate Gretchen’s motto “accept yourself and expect more from yourself.” She focuses on making happiness and habit strategies work for you.

Bottom line: Subscribe! So many insights and nuggets of wisdom.

Happier in Hollywood

Category: Self improvement

Summary: This is Gretchen Rubin’s sister’s podcast that’s similar to the Happier podcast. Liz and her friend/writing partner Sarah discuss a number of topics ranging from Botox to career advice to eating healthfully. Per their website, they “demystify Tinseltown by making career and personal struggles universal. Guided by blind optimism and a Midwestern work ethic, Liz and Sarah have survived and thrived in Hollywood’s male-dominated entertainment industry. Along the way they’ve learned a lot about kicking ass, kissing ass, and office yoga.”

Thoughts: This podcast is really fun because it has useful information and it’s an inside view of Hollywood. They explain what it’s like to be a writer and all those Hollywood things you’ve heard about but don’t really know much about…like spec scripts, agents, producers, script assistants, how to get an “in,” what to wear to a Hollywood interview, etc. It’s also slightly more irreverent than the happier podcast, which adds a level of authenticity that I crave.

Bottom Line: Subscribe! I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Side Hustle School

Category: Self Improvement

Summary: This podcast discusses various small side business money-making endeavors, explaining how they were dreamed up and what made them successful. The host, Sean, discusses the concepts from each success story and how they’re applicable to a side hustle you might be interested in starting.

Thoughts: I’ve learned from this podcast and gets me thinking about possibilities for a side income. I also appreciate the variety of side hustles covered, from the mundane (beard grooming) to zany (chicken saddles) to the one I want to have in my life (Japanese candy subscription box). They also range from ones that generate a few hundred dollars of income per month to those that generate six plus figures per year. My gripe is that there are too many lame jokes and puns, especially when it comes to ad introductions. I wouldn’t recommend listening to multiple episode in a row for this reason.

Bottom Line: Good for a couple of listens a week. The episodes are only about 5 minutes long and come out every day of the week, so there’s more breadth than depth. The weekly recap episodes are a good place to start because they answer a listener question and cover the highlights from the week.

Working on It Wednesday – 8/16/17

I just got back from a trip to Europe and it was so much fun! There were many ups, a few downs, and I am drinking my weight in coffee to fight jet lag. PS…really excited about the Reese’s coffee creamer. Any other fans out there?

Wednesdays are when I check in on goals I’ve set and projects I’m working on. Since I’ve been out of town, a lot didn’t get done. Progress, not perfection.

Progress on July Projects

  1. Finish reading Persuasion -on page 180 out of 254. I need to remind myself – 10 pages a day. That’s all it takes to chip away. 
  2. Read a classic book (Catcher and the Rye) -on page 14. Also started The Call of the Wild, another classic on my list. I downloaded that on my e-reader to read on my trip and am 46% finished (according to my Kindle).
  3. Watch a movie from the AFI top 100 list (American Graffiti) – Done! Also watched Singing in the Rain, which I liked
  4. Learn to make a Pisco Sour cocktail – didn’t happen. will do in August.
  5. Work on crossword puzzle skills – Done. Bought this crossword puzzle book and have worked on it some. The guy I’m seeing is really good at crossword puzzles, so it’s fun to do with him. Gonna keep working on this one.
  6. Research the stock market (just to become more knowledgable) – Done. Learned a lot. 
  7. Learn the Aquarius constellation – Giving this one up. It’s too hard with city lights and constant cloudy Seattle weather.
  8. Make an Oregonian sandwich – marionberry jam, rogue creamery blue cheese, and Oregon hazelnut butter between 2 slices challah and grilled – Didn’t do this yet. Will do in August.
  9. Check for Ellen show tickets  – Done
  10. Research/sign up to volunteer to build a  Habitat for Humanity house – didn’t do this. Going to shelf it for now.
  11. Update blog NYC & Banff travel pages (kind of digital scrapbook) – didn’t do this, will do in August.
  12. Apply for TSA Global Entry (I’ve meant to do this for months) – started but need to finish. Need to check on the dates of when I’ve traveled internationally.
  13. Make sure retirement accounts are on track – worked on this. need to finish up the rollover
  14. Make 3 items for Etsy shop (to re-open later this year) – didn’t do this. Will do in August.
  15. Research blog link-ups to take part in (always fun to find and connect with other blogs/bloggers) – did some of this. still want to do more.

August Projects

  • Finish reading Persuasion, start Sense and Sensibility
  • Finish Catcher and the Rye and The Call of the Wild
  • Watch a movie from the AFI top 100 list
  • Learn to make a Pisco Sour cocktail  + one other cocktail
  • Work on crossword puzzle skills
  • Make an Oregonian sandwich – marionberry jam, rogue creamery blue cheese, and Oregon hazelnut butter between 2 slices challah and grilled
  • Check for Ellen show tickets
  • Update blog NYC, Banff, & Switzerland travel pages (kind of digital scrapbook)
  • Finish applying for TSA Global Entry
  • Finish up making sure retirement accounts are on track
  • Make 3-6 items for Etsy shop (to re-open later this year)
  • Finish researching blog link-ups to take part in
  • Try a Skillshare class
  • Try paddle boarding or kayaking
  • Write 500 words day for 4 days
  • Do 5 year journal entry

It’s a pretty long list, so we’ll see how it goes.

Strategy

The strategy I’m going to try this month is the 10 minute timer: Pick one project, set a timer for 10 minutes, work on it for 10 minutes NO DISTRACTIONS, and that’s it. When the timer goes off I can do whatever I want.  Progress not perfection 🙂 I’m easily overwhelmed, so I think it’ll be a good tactic.

Friday Favorites 7/21/17

Today I’m linking up to share my Friday Favorites!

Quitting Books

I’ve decided to get rid of The Cuckoo’s Calling. I read about half and haven’t had the urge to pick it back up in months. I think it’s time to pass it along to someone new. Plus there are so many books I want to read. I’ve realized I need to have a few books going at once, something fun and a classic  (and maybe something non-fiction too). Otherwise I’ll get bored and reading will feel like a chore.

Crash Course You Tube Channel 

I think John Green is brilliant. The Fault in Our Stars was a great read. I avoided reading it for a while because the opening line of the synopsis says something about two teens who meet in a cancer for kids support group. I gave the book a shot and John’s writing style and ability to keep a potentially cliché subject very real and non-sappy definitely impressed me.

At any rate, John and his brother have a few You Tube Channels. John contributes to Crash Course, which is fun and informative and the Hank and John Explain series on the Vlog Brothers channel has interesting content too. I fell into the You Tube hole for a good 45 minutes while watching their videos before sitting down to write today. They have a number of 10ish minute videos that give the gist of broad and complex subjects. The “Hank and John Explain” series mainly focuses on current events, while Crash Course gives an introduction to a range of topics, from WWI to Computer Science.

Dove Promises

Dove Promises were on sale at Walgreens and a few of them after dinner are perfect to satisfy my daily chocolate craving.  My favorite flavor is milk chocolate, but to slightly cut my sugar intake (and ensuing sugar high and then crash) I got the almond and dark chocolate ones. Baby steps. <–Does anyone else think of What About Bob when they hear that phrase?

Longitude Books

I listen to the Happier podcast by Gretchen Rubin, and one episode suggested preparing for and extending a vacation by reading books about or set in your vacation destination. To search books by subject/setting location, there’s a great website, Longitude books. I think it’s a great idea to mentally extend a vacation.

World’s Most Comfortable $18 Flats

From Amazon. Free prime shipping. I actually like these better than my Tieks.

 

Working on it Wednesday 7/19/17

Working on it Wednesday

Happy Wednesday. Wednesdays are where I write about my progress on goals I’ve set. Actually, I want to call them projects, not goals. Somehow that sounds better I want to enjoy the process. I once read that Olympic medalists are often difficult to work with in a professional office setting because they are so goal-oriented that they have a laser-like focus and tend to forget the bigger picture.

I don’t really consider myself a goal-oriented person. In fact, I’ve considered myself an anti-goal person in the past, because the goals and deadlines I’ve set seem arbitrary and I don’t usually stick with them. Sometimes I set a New Year’s resolution because it’s a tradition. But like most people, I’m off-track and forget about my resolution by mid-February. I’ve learned that for me, goals need to have specific meaning and the deadline needs to make sense.

When I say “specific meaning” I mean that I have to be really excited about the goal and see the point in completing it. I initially set out with a 30×30 list and ignored it for a while. Then I got kind of stressed about it because I knew it wasn’t going to all get done. I debated doing away with it altogether, but decided some of the goals are worthy of pursuit. Having these projects to work on keeps things interesting and gives me something to look forward to. I like to learn and I don’t like being bored. I want to improve.

I also need a deadline or else I’ll put the goal off indefinitely. The deadline is kind of a rough target intended just to keep me going. I don’t want it to feel too rigid or restricted. I still want it to be fun.

Today I thought I’d share what I’ve worked on in the last week.

Editing the Goal List

I edited my 30×30 list for some of the reasons I explained last week. I’m not quite ready to share the new list and it’s longer than 31 items, so I’m not really sure what to call it. Updates on the editing and new list are coming soon.

Breaking Down Goals/Projects Into Chunks

I broke the new list down into what I’ll work on each month, through the end of 2018. Most of the goals were just randomly assigned a month, except the ones that are seasonal, like learning to paddle board. Obviously that will need to take place in a summer month. I mentally gave myself the right to experiment and edit and adjust, so a goal can be moved to another month, it can be changed, or it can continue into the next month. The end of the month isn’t a hard deadline, the idea is just to get started. And obviously checking in here helps keep me more organized and accountable. Even if zero people read this post, it’ll keep me accountable to myself when I have to analyze my progress and organize my thoughts in writing.

July Projects

  1. Finish reading Persuasion
  2. Read a classic book (Catcher and the Rye)
  3. Watch a movie from the AFI top 100 list (American Graffiti)
  4. Learn to make a Pisco Sour cocktail
  5. Work on crossword puzzle skills
  6. Research the stock market (just to become more knowledgable)
  7. Learn the Aquarius constellation
  8. Make an Oregonian sandwich – marionberry jam, rogue creamery blue cheese, and Oregon hazelnut butter between 2 slices challah and grilled
  9. Check for Ellen show tickets 
  10. Research/sign up to volunteer to build a  Habitat for Humanity house 
  11. Update blog NYC & Banff travel pages (kind of digital scrapbook)
  12. Apply for TSA Global Entry (I’ve meant to do this for months)
  13. Make sure retirement accounts are on track
  14. Make 3 items for Etsy shop (to re-open later this year)
  15. Research blog link-ups to take part in (always fun to find and connect with other blogs/bloggers)

Budgeting Time

I assigned each goal/project to a month of the year.  I’m a pretty visual person, so I’ve broken the month’s goals into steps and scheduled each step for a day this month. The goal is progress, not perfection, so I reserve the right to move things around because things always come up. July’s schedule is below, or you can open as a PDF here.If something from the list above isn’t on the calendar, it’s probably because I’ve already completed it. As you can see, I didn’t schedule anything for the end of the month, because I have way too much going on. I also didn’t start really solidify this strategy until around the 11th and rather than wait until August, I figured I would jump in mid-month. Some progress is better than no progress.

So that’s what I’ve been working on. Next week I’ll give an update on how July went, what worked, and what didn’t. Wish me luck. I will definitely need it 🙂

Older posts