this little thing called ambition

June 25, 2013

...sometimes you hit your goal dead on and sometimes you fall just a bit short...and then, you try again

10,000 steps is a lot of steps!

A few months ago when I was trying to get bikini ready for vacation while still recovering from my foot injury, I was averaging 10,000 steps per day as my workout routine. About 2500 of those were completed at work and the remaining while interval walking in front of my TV. So, when I made this weekly goal, I thought..."Heck, that will be easy!"

It wasn't.

Maybe I should have started with 5000 steps per day and worked up from there? There's a slight possibility I was a little too ambitious on that one.

The important thing about ambition is that you set your sights on achieving something and you create forward progress. Even if I fell short of the benchmark I set...even if I factor in feeling run down during the last few days of my cold...even if I was dizzy on Friday from a "sailing hangover" -- what I call the messed up equilibrium that lingers after a night on the open seas -- the effort was still there. And while it wasn't 10,000 steps, I did manage to complete an average of 7500 to 8000 steps per day. Keep in mind a person who sits most of the day at work (like me!) averages only 1000-3000 steps per 7500 is a vast improvement! I think I'll hover here for a while before moving on.

In related #2 goal from last week was a success in my book! I made it through a week at work as the "stand-in" of sorts for my boss and coworker and didn't freak out, scream at anyone, cry under my desk, or throw my computer out the window. I don't know about you, but I call that a WIN! In this case ambition and self-awareness were my very best of friends and I have more confidence in my abilities to handle stress at the office.

And last but not least, my plan to get up at 7:15 each morning was a complete and utter failure. For some reason jumping from 7:30am to 7:15am is too small of a change to ask of my sleep-deprived brain. So this week I'm going to try jumping all the way to 7:00am. Too ambitious? Maybe. But sometimes, you have to set the bar high and see what happens next.

Here are this week's goals:
1. Wake up by 7:00am
2. Turn the TV off by 10:00pm every night.
3. Continue to walk 7,500+ steps per day

How did you do with your goals from last week? Were there any that felt a little too ambitious? If so, think about what you can do to align your weekly goals with your capacity for time/effort/energy.

If you are new to the weekly goals post, you can read more about them here or here. If you would like to join in on the fun, I hope you will consider pledging a goal or two in the comments section or by adding a thumbnail link to a blog post of your own.

Get your ambition on!

p.s. The sink is still dish-free. The smoothies are tasting better every day. I'm smiling more and making time daily for mental breaks. And two large piles of useless-to-me stuff will be on their way to donation or consignment later this week.

Check out these goals from others around the web...

hey, monday...

June 24, 2013

Wake up sleepy head! That double shot latte won't be enough to kick the fog that is lingering in your mind. Spend some time today working through the noise. Sift through your jumbled thoughts to find out where this "block" is coming from and do your best to clear confused energy before a new month begins.

This week I will do my best to fully recover from a lingering cold, finish projects and goals put on hold in favor of being cozy, and find ways to wake up my mind and get energized. Even on the grey days, I will find small ways to infuse my thoughts summer inspiration. Imagine the feeling of grass between your toes. Set your sights on creating blue skies and interpreting clouds. Keep it simple and let the sunlight in.

July is filled with so much possibility, so keep the momentum going!

Summer Manifesto

June 21, 2013

Sitting here listening to this song which always reminds me of summer...of driving on the open road with the windows down, wind in my hair, on my way to somewhere fantastic...of screaming it at the top of my lungs and tapping the steering wheel with sublime joy. No matter when or where I hear it, my wanderlust kicks in and I instantly crave a road trip.

And what perfect timing! Summer officially starts this week (I think someone forgot to tell the weather fairies here in Seattle because for us it started months ago!) and I'm daydreaming more and more about campfires, mountain hikes, picnics and feeling the grass between my bare toes. In fact, the other day my beau and I made a list of all the things we wanted to do this Summer. I'm aching to start crossing things off.

That's right! It's back!

The Summer Manifesto!

Here is 2013's in all it's glory...

The last one is a carry over from last year because time to "just be" is what I crave and remember the most each summer. 

An easy summer. 

A lazy summer. 

A summer with long moments away from technology and gadgets, TV and couches. 

A summer filled with experiences that reach deeper than we can remember ever feeling before and remind us of the simplicity of life. 

A summer filled with moments that consume us and then come back around again and again at the first note of a song, smell a scent, or warmth of the sun. 

I'm ready to surrender to summer, are you?  


Wishing you love, ease, sun and simplicity this Summer Solstice. 
Have a beautiful summer weekend!

simple joys

June 19, 2013

I'd like to sit under a bright teal sky among the queen annes lace (1), don these neon persimmon ankle strap sandals (2), this pair of simple but sweet teal earrings (3), and take some time to enjoy a snack and good book on this vintage floral picnic blanket (4). What a easy sunny day that would be.

Just a few simple joys filling me with inspiration on this Wednesday morning. I hope you are having a lovely week!

choosing to try try again

June 18, 2013

Sometimes you just need a do-over.

Last week I did pretty well at completing my weekly goals, but with a cold clouding my mind and slowing my pace, I definitely see room for improvement. While I could push forward, I wouldn't be doing myself any favors. The truth is I need more time to incorporate last weeks goals into my lifestyle, especially improving my mood at work, and this week is sure to make that happen. There will be extra things to do and therefore extra stress to be handled. So, this week I am declaring two goals a do-over.

This week I will continue to practice waking up on time and stress reduction techniques, but to that I would like to add some physical activity. I think exercise will be the perfect me more energy to get up and go and naturally reduce stress overall.

Here are this week's goals: 
1. Wake up by 7:15am
2. Smile more and use breathing techniques to reduce stress at work
3. Walk 10,000+ steps per day

How did you do with your goals from last week? Are there any that need more time to complete? Any that you want to improve? Maybe you need a do-over or two yourself and I hope you will take them!

If you are new to the weekly goals post, you can read more about them here. If you would like to join in on the fun, I hope you will consider pledging a goal or two in the comments section or by adding a thumbnail link to a blog post of your own.

Cheers to another week!

p.s. The smoothies got better tasting with this trick and even though I made this reminder several years ago, this is the first time ever I've gone to bed every night with no dishes in the sink. Granted 2 of those days were pretty much freebies because the drain sprung a leak, but you know...

Check out these goals from others around the web...

hey, monday...

June 17, 2013

Just breathe. This week will be all about going with the flow. Focus on putting space between your emotions and the "issues"...staying calm when your instinct says "Fight!" or "Aw, hell no!" And above all, continue practicing how to surrender.

I'm anticipating this week won't be an easy one. Short of staff at the office, much of the daily burdens will fall upon my shoulders. Each day I will give myself gentle reminders to stay on top of tasks, take moments for the sake of "calm", but also make room for the unexpected. There is plenty of time to get it all done and stress/anger/fear/crying under my desk have no place in the mix.

So tie your hair up and get to it. Friday will be here in no time!

looking forward to a new week

June 11, 2013

My once clean coffee table and latest book stack. This is the lifestyle it dreams to live. 

Last week I started at square one with a new weekly goal setting project. Read more about that here.

For the first week, the goals were simple and straightforward, but sadly I must report that I did not earn a 100% on this week's assignment. (It used to kill me to not earn a "perfect" score, but ever since perfection and I broke up I'm in a much better place.) Unfortunately, on Wednesday I came down with a cold and my efforts were severely hijacked.

To recap, last week's goals were to 1) wake up by 7:30am every day, 2) make smoothies for breakfast and 3) purge unwanted belongings and rearrange furniture.

While I did wake up before 7:30am every day, I admit I crawled back into bedland one day out of five for some much needed TLC. (p.s. I'm giving myself weekends off...or let's say they're "optional.") The smoothie making gave way on Thursday and Friday in favor of an enormous intake of juice, but hey...that counts, right? And at this moment there are various "cleaning" piles taking over my apartment instead of a new furniture layout, but I did unearth at least a box of "useless to me" junk for my thrift store donation. I'm not nearly close to done with #3, but at least significant progress was made.  All in all, I'm giving myself a B+.

In the past, when taking on big new goals and audacious lifestyle changes, a week like this would have thrown me off track and I would have given up right then and there. I would vow to start again another day when my pinkie didn't hurt, the light bulb wasn't burnt out, or my acne cleared up. (This is a gross exaggeration of my regular "excuses", but sadly they have just about as much clout.) I'm happy to report that this week is different, and I still feel the momentum. Onward!

Here are this week's goals:
1. Wake up by 7:15am.
2. Strive for ZERO dishes in the sink every night.
3. Smile more and use breathing techniques to reduce stress at work.
Bonus: Try new recipes for better tasting smoothies.

If you are joining me for this weekly project keep in mind that these goals should build upon last week's. Either by improving on last weeks goal (add another baby step) or by altering it if it wasn't working for you. Or you could choose to add totally new ones (like my zero dish and smiling goals) if you feel you are now the Smoothie Master, or the *Insert Your Goal Here* Master. For me, I will continue to work on cleaning out my apartment and making smoothies for breakfast, but felt comfortable with adding a few more to the mix.

How is your list coming? Can't wait to see what you pledge for this week!

*** Link up your weekly goals by pledging them in the comments, or by linking to a blog post. Add your thumbnail link below. Some people disagree, but sharing your goal publicly can often increase your chances of follow through. And remember, I'm rooting for you! ***

Check out these goals from others around the web...

hey, monday...

June 10, 2013

Stop feeling anxious about the little things that are outside of your control.  Use that energy for positive dreaming and for enjoying the every day. Consider why these butterflies exist, but then release them. Inspect the knots, but then untie them. Don't dwell. Just acknowledge and move on.

Lately, I've been wanting to change. Change things about me. No...maybe change is the wrong word for it? Improve. improve things about me. This week I will focus on relaxing, releasing, and (again) on surrendering control. I will practice going with the flow. Instead of ignoring unwanted behaviors I will face them head on. Stare them down and squash them for good. They are simply not wanted around these parts anymore.

weekly love

June 7, 2013

It's Friday! The weekend is FINALLY here! 

So, how did your week go? Mine was messy, and fun, and enlightening, and full of small victories. In other was perfect. 

Here are just a couple of my "loves" from this week and a few things for you to possibly fall in love with over the weekend. Make it a good one!

This bowl of refreshing cucumber and sweet melon.

Catching up with a dear friend.

This post about encouraging each other to be the women we want to be.

Quiet moments with miss CoCo.

This analogy between Google GPS and our lifetime goals.

Relieved to find out that I am already authentic.

Cleaning mounds of paperwork out of my drawers & cabinets!

I think I'm going to try this recipe this weekend.

or maybe this one

Taking the sexy out of goal setting.

And last but not least, this post on learning to dream big.

See you next week!

***This blog post is part of the Weekly Love Project hosted by Love Dream Act. Visit the Weekly Love Project page for links to more love-lists or to share your own!***

starting at square one

June 5, 2013

This week I am starting at square one of a new practice. Every Sunday I will sit down and write out 2-3 small goals for the week. Ideally, these goals should build on one another from week to week until they are full grown, big-girl goals set to whip my life into shape!

Here's an example...This week I will strive to wake up by 7:30am every day. Then, next week I may change that to 7am. The week after that...maybe even a little bit earlier. Eventually, with the extra time I am gaining before work, I will go for a morning walk or kick start my creativity with some morning pages. (For those of you who don't know what "morning pages" are, it is a commitment to journal a few pages every morning.)

With the completion of each goal, small adjustments will be made to my daily habits until I am living the lifestyle I truly want. The lifestyle that I keep envisioning, but then tell myself I will start somewhere down the know...when I have more time, when I lose weight, when I figure out how...

I simply want to stop making excuses and be the person I want to be.

(Don't know what I mean by that? I suggest this blog post by Dani. She hit the nail on the head!)

But when faced with the list of all the things I want to change about my daily routines and the way I move through this world (eat breakfast, go to yoga, take my vitamins, lose weight, clear out the clutter), I quickly feel o!-ver!-whelmed! And in trying to tackle them all at once I would automatically set myself up for failure.

Instead, I've settled on simply adding a few goals every week (we've talked before about breaking goals into bite sized pieces) and leaving room to change my mind if something just isn't quite as great/helpful/magical/enlightening as I dreamed it would be.

So, for this first week I'm going to start by taking the following daily steps towards (my definition of) living a joyful life.

1. Get out of bed by 7:30am
2. Make smoothies for breakfast
3. Purge unwanted belongings and rearrange furniture

Simple, right?

Funny how most of these things - at one point in time - were part of my daily routine, but eventually gave way in favor of more time for something else. You would think that getting up before 7:30am would be an easy change, but regardless of what I tell myself when I go to bed at night, or that the label on my alarm says "Seriously...get out of bed!", I still struggle with this every single day.

So this week...that all changes.

I would also like to extend a sincere invitation for you to participate. Each week (or as you can),  I hope you will pledge your weekly goals in the comments section. OR, if you are a blogger, I encourage you to write out your goals (either before you start or in review of your efforts) and use the link up feature below to add a thumbnail link to your blog post. By sharing your pledge with others, you increase your chances of follow through. And for you bloggers, this is a chance to increase your traffic AND improve your day to day life! How's that for a win/win? here we go...

Let's get this show on the road, shall we? Next stop... the joyful life.

monthly music

June 4, 2013

It's time to unearth the youthful energy within. To jumpstart the things that make us feel connected, alive, fulfilled and soulful. Whether it is a lifestyle you once lived, or one that you desire to have, find ways to infuse, stimulate and rejuvenate in order to let the light back in. 

1. Breezeblocks - Alt-J
2. Hurricane - MS MR
3. The Beauty Surrounds - Houses
4. Saturday - Tim Noyes
5. Be There In Bells - The Pines
6. Breathe Easy - Rachel Sermanni
7. To Just Grow Away - The Tallest Man On Earth
8. The Ghost On the Shore - Lord Huron
9. She Lit a Fire - Lord Huron
10. Hero - Family of the Year
11. Ashes Like Snow - Lily Kershaw

hey, monday...

June 3, 2013

Start today. 

Make a list of all of the projects, tasks, chores, and to dos that you have been putting off, ignoring, hiding, or making excuses for and start at least one of them today. It's time to get the momentum going, to plant the seeds, and move on to bigger things. To wipe the slate clean and make room for everything you want to do, you can't wait to do, you desire to do so you can enjoy that journey guilt-free and well prepared. Whether it be mental, physical, or spiritual clutter-cleaning, set a few minutes aside today to just begin.

This week I will make a list, place my feet at square one and finally take the first steps towards a simplified and more joyful life. I will set up a game plan, plot my course, and divide and conquer all that has been hanging around on these shoulders for weeks/months/years of 'someday I wills'. (When does this "someday" actually occur, anyway?) It's time. A new way of thinking, doing, and being starts today. Not then or when or later.