365 days ago, I set 4 goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2018. I’ve made New Year’s Resolutions countless times before and haven’t stuck with them, but this year I was really committed to making them happen. And I did! I met all of them except one, and even on the one I failed to complete I still made progress. What made this year so much more successful than other years? I think two things: 1) I set goals that were a stretch but still attainable and 2) I set goals that I believe in. Here are the 4 goals I set and how well I achieved them over the course of 2018:
Log everything I eat: This I was able to do! I started a nutrition program called the 2B Mindset back in June and I absolutely love it. There are only four guidelines that you have to follow: drink lots of water, eat lots of veggies, track all your food, and weigh yourself daily. Following this program has made logging my food become an automatic thing I just do which I think is a great habit to have. The program is also super sustainable because it’s not some crazy fad diet that’s really restrictive– it’s just a few tweaks that make eating healthy and losing weight easy!
Resting heart rate below 60: I didn’t achieve this one, sadly! However, I did bring my resting heart rate from 71 bpm in January to 65 bpm as I’m writing this at the end of December. It’s not perfect, but it’s still progress 🙂 I think this can be attributed to losing weight, being more active, and lowering my stress by changing my environment and meditating.
Travel to five new countries: Completed! I visited Ireland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Italy, and Austria. 6 countries total and 5 of them were new. I think this is the most countries I’ve been to in a single year. I wonder if I’ll ever top that?
Move to a new city: Done! I moved from DC to San Diego in August and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love the culture, my grad school, my friends, the beach, the weather…pretty much everything!
Setting these resolutions pushed me to be more self-disciplined, to try things outside of my comfort zone, and to ultimately grow in leaps and bounds. It was an extremely positive experience and I can’t wait to set resolutions for 2019 and see how I continue to grow and change!
I am a huge fan of self-care, but recently it’s been turned into a gimmicky marketing ploy used to sell expensive skincare products, weird stones to massage your face with, and $100 candles–all in the name of “self-care.” I was excited to find an art series about “boring” self-care: namely, things that actually promoted nurturing yourself instead of being a self-care consumer. Here are some of the ideas the artist included:
Cleaned the toilet
Realized I could not heal in the place I got sick
Curated my insta-feed to be positive
Opened a window
Brushed my teeth
Picked up my meds
Washed my hair
Drank enough water
Replied to emails/texts/DMs
Booked a doctor appointment
Showed up to appointment on time
Did the dishes
Got out of bed
Remembered to breathe
Survived a day at work
Brought snacks to work/school
Went food shopping
Put sunscreen on
Did my homework
Stuck to a healthy routine for me
Did a devotional
Did not hang with people I don’t like
Got an eye exam
Cut my toenails
Did my skincare routine
Changed my sheets
Let myself cry
Started a budget
Had compassion for myself
Went out in the sun
Said something nice to my body
Went for a blood test
Celebrated my period and took it easy
Did my banking
Attended to my dental care
Woke up and got out of bed at a reasonable hour
Opened my mail
Calculated my spoons
Had a cup of tea
Sorted my paperwork
Opened the curtains
Went to bed at a reasonable hour
Wore day clothes in the day and night clothes at night
Went to a fellowship meeting
Learned to identify when I am self-sabotaging
Took my medicine as prescribed
Put the recycling out
Did my laundry, took it down, and put it away
Made my bed
Was honest about how I feel
Met with friends
Cooked and ate a nourishing meal
Had a shower
Went to therapy
Made that important call I’ve been putting off
Made a list of early warning signs and things that help for my mental illness
This might be a basic opinion to have, but I loooove fall! From the colorful leaves to the delicious seasonal drinks to finally getting to wear sweaters again, I just can’t get enough. Here are the twelve activities I’m enjoying the most this fall:
Apple-picking (and baking afterward!)
Going for a hike or drive to see the leaves
Eating and drinking all things pumpkin
Dressing up and handing out Halloween candy
Going shopping for back to school supplies and new clothes
It is finally fall– my favorite season of the year! Even though we don’t get much of a proper fall here in San Diego 😉 As it is the last check-in of the year before the final sprint towards my goals, here’s where I’m at 🙂
Log everything I eat: going well! I started the 2B Mindset program in June and it’s been so simple and easy to stick to. One of the principles is to log all your food and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, using the Beachbody Nutrition app! Tracking is so much easier when you get in the habit of doing it!
Resting heart rate below 60: In progress! This is probably the hardest goal for me this year because it requires so much consistent effort to make it happen. I know what I need to do though– exercise, stress management, and weight loss will be the keys to success. Just gotta make it happen! It’s actually so much easier to be healthy here in San Diego than it was in DC because there’s so much fun active stuff to do and there’s healthy food everywhere.
Travel to five new countries: done! I visited Ireland with my dad in May and then did a solo trip to Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein over the summer. Seriously so many unbelievable experiences, and I can’t wait until I can travel again! I probably won’t visit five new countries again next year, but maybe one or two. I have this long-term goal of visiting 30 countries before I’m 30.
Move to a new city: check! I moved from DC to San Diego back in August and love it so far. I live in a cute little house about a mile from the Pacific Ocean with some awesome roommates. My job is working in the first-grade classroom at a Catholic school on Coronado and I’m working on my masters to become an elementary school teacher. Moving to a new city isn’t without challenges, but I love it here 🙂
While DC is best-known for its politics, it also has an art scene that is worth talking about! There are a number of concert venues that cater to every possible interest, outdoor music experiences, and quirky theaters for cinephiles. Check out my recs for the best places to enjoy the arts in Washington DC! 🙂
This new concert venue on at The Wharf is a must-visit for a few reasons: 1) they have an amazing lineup, 2) it’s close to a bunch of great restaurants, and 3) it’s right on the water! I went to see The Head and The Heart there this spring and absolutely loved it. Before the show, grab dinner or drinks at somewhere nearby like Hank’s Oyster Bar or Mi Vida.
The Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center is definitely the most famous concert location in DC, and for good reason. I never caught a show here while I lived in DC, but it’s on my bucket list….maybe I’ll go when I’m back in DC for the holidays? 🙂 There are tons of famous ballets and Broadway shows that come through here which can be pretty pricey, but there are also free shows at the Millenium Stage every day at 6pm if you’re on a budget!
Air Force Memorial Concert
Seeing an outdoor concert at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington is a quintessential DC summer activity. The memorial itself is breathtaking (I mean look at this place!), and the music is amazing, too. Check out the schedule here to see when the next concert is.
If you passed this place on the street during the daytime, you’d have no idea that it’s a concert venue. The garage door entrance is pretty unassuming, making it the perfect place for all the *hip* indie bands to perform when they come through DC. If Black Cat were a playlist, it would be called Deep Cuts. If I look at their lineup on any given day, I am lucky if I know even 2 of the bands. I never made it to a show here, but it was always on my list. Do yourself a favor and check this place out!
I love the 9:30 Club. It’s small. It’s intimate. It’s the perfect place to catch a show in the city. The first concert I saw here was Switchfoot in 9th grade and I’ll never forget it (yes, I still listen to Switchfoot!). I’ve also seen The Wombats and Ren Weaver here and enjoyed both immensely. My advice is to go early and head upstairs– there’s a little bar where you can grab a drink and of course their famous 9:30 cupcakes from Buzz Bakeshop!
Meridian Hill Drum Circle
This Sunday tradition has been going on for literally decades and is like nothing else in Washington. People of all backgrounds and walks of life gather in Meridian Hill Park to drum, dance, and be in community together. If you’re interested in joining the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your drum. Otherwise just show up and soak in the good vibes!
Marine Silent Drill Parade
Summer Friday nights are a big deal on Barracks Row. The entire strip of stores and restaurants hums with activity as the community prepares for the weekly Marine Corps Silent Drill Parade. People come from all over the country to see this– how lucky is DC to have it right here! This is definitely an event you’ll want to dress nice for, so go ahead and make an evening of it with dinner at one of the nearby restaurants like Rose’s Luxury or Chiko.
E Street Cinema
This is probably my favorite movie theater in the city. They show some blockbuster hits here, but their specialty is definitely lesser-known titles. Think movies with Oscar-potential that wouldn’t play at Regal Cinemas just up the street. In addition to playing current movies, E Street Cinema also hosts special film events. I went to their Japanese Film Festival in honor of the cherry blossom festival this spring and loved it.
If E Street Cinema is the Indie theater, Miracle is definitely the throwback. This small, intimate location on Barracks Row only shows 4-5 movies at a time, but they’re definitely not ones found in other theaters. I’ve walked past their doors before and seen signs for Harry Potter night, Rom Com throwbacks for Valentine’s Day, and even an Alfred Hitchcock Friday series for the month of October. Not only do they show great movies– they also have the cutest interior ever! It’s what I imagine old movie theaters used to look like “back in the day.” Definitely one of my favorite places to catch a movie in the city!