My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions

My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions

As I mentioned in my 2017 Reflection post, I accomplished a lot last year. But in true perfectionist fashion, I am determined to accomplish even more this year. I’ve never been one for setting strict resolutions, but I do like to set goals for myself to have an idea of what I’m working towards. So here are some of the things I would love to do in 2018….

Write the first draft of my book

Perhaps my most hefty goal, I would love to get started and hopefully write a first draft of a book. I’ve had the idea for it for years now, and have written parts of it on and off for a while now, but I want 2018 to be the year I actually take it seriously. I don’t want to give too many details about it yet, but I will definitely keep you all posted on my progress!

Travel to at least 3 new places

Like I mentioned in my 2017 Reflections, I was lucky to be able to travel quite a bit last year. However, it only made me want to travel even more this year! There are a few places in Texas I still haven’t visited, along with a few other states and countries that are on my wish list. Honorable mentions go to San Francisco, New Orleans, and anywhere in South America. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make it to at least three new places!

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In Crested Butte Colorado during my vacation in July
Find a workout routine

Working out and I have a strained relationship. I tend to go through periods of time where I exercise on a regular basis, and then periods where I don’t so much as go on a walk. I’m hoping to make 2018 the year I finally get consistent. I haven’t decided on a specific schedule yet, but I just want to get on a routine that I feel comfortable with. As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, exercise makes me feel happier as a whole. Happy body, happy mind!

Find a blogging/YouTube routine

Like exercise, I tend to go through slumps in my blogging and, more recently, my YouTube channel. I guess everyone experiences that with resolutions to a certain extent, but I would like to get into a routine with uploading YouTube videos consistently, and writing new blog posts consistently. Again, I haven’t decided on the schedule, but I would just like to stay consistent and have a goal to work towards every week/month.

Try new restaurants in Austin

Despite the fact that I was born and raised in Austin, I sometimes feel woefully ignorant to where the best restaurants are in the city. I always enjoy exploring new places (hence the travel resolution above), so why not explore within my own city? This year I’m hoping to discover some new favorite places to eat. And I will definitely capture them on this blog!

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At Elizabeth Street Cafe for my birthday last year
Learn an instrument

Last but certainly not least, possibly the most fun and exciting resolution I have is to pick up an instrument! I played piano and violin in grade school, and I was in choir in high school. I’ve always loved music, and the past couple of years I have had the urge to start playing an instrument and/or singing again. My dad recently got a ukulele, and I’ve been thinking about getting one myself! Either that or a cheap keyboard to learn how to play piano again. Like my other resolutions, I will keep you all posted on what I decide.

 

I’m pleased to say I’m feeling very optimistic about the coming year. I know I said this last year, but I am determined to make 2018 MY YEAR! What are some of your 2018 resolutions? And what are your tips for sticking to them all year round? Let me know in the comments!

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Rainy Day Essentials

Rainy Day Essentials

It’s raining cats and dogs here in Texas, so I thought I’d share some of the ways I like to pass the time when I’m stuck indoors. One of my main favorite pastimes is of course writing a blog post, but that one is too obvious, so here are four other ways I like to spend rainy days.

Drink a cup of hot tea

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I don’t know what it is about rain, but it always makes me feel like it’s way colder outside than it is. Because of this, I always get in the mood to drink something hot to warm up. My favorite hot drink is tea, but if you prefer coffee, or hot cocoa, go for it! It’s just nice to sip on something warm while you watch the rain fall from your window.

Read a good book

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If I’m stuck inside for the day anyway, I figure I might as well take the time to catch up on some reading! I’ve been alternating between two books lately: Shane Dawson’s hilarious It Gets Worse, and the new Harry Potter script Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Two very different books, but both are just as entertaining to read as the other. I will definitely write book reviews when I finish!

Watch a good TV show

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Books are great, but if you’re like me you’ll get bored after a while and feel the need to switch over to a different activity. That’s where Netflix comes in! I just started watching the show Stranger Things, and am loving it as much as everyone else. I was worried it would be too scary since I usually don’t enjoy horror, but it actually isn’t too bad! And there’s a surprising amount of humor thrown in as well, which I appreciate.

Listen to a mellow playlist

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Like feeling cold, there’s something about the rain that just makes me want to listen to a chill soundtrack. I recently found this playlist on Spotify and have been listening to it non-stop. It’s the perfect background music while writing a blog (like right now), and is also just great to listen to when you feel like you need some background noise that isn’t the rain pattering outside.

 

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what you like to do during thunderstorms. Do you get out of the house and brave the storm, or do you prefer to stay indoors like me?

 

 

Handling Stress

Handling Stress

This week has been extremely busy and stressful. One of my coworkers that I work closely with is out on “paternity leave” since his wife just had a baby, so I have gotten some added responsibilities while he’s gone. Some of the work was expected, but some was quite unexpected. I’ve honestly been really proud of how I’ve handled the week so far, so I thought I’d use today’s blog to share what I have been doing this week to help control my stress.

Make To-Do Lists

I’ve always been a fan of writing lists, as I mentioned in this blog, and I especially recommend this if you’re having a busy or stressful week. It really helps to have something visual to reference when prioritizing your workload. There isn’t much in this world that’s more satisfying to me than crossing something off a list!

Ask For Help

Asking for help, or asking questions, is something I’ve learned to be better at over the years. I used to be afraid of asking for help, and always wanted to try to figure everything out on my own. However, I’ve definitely learned that it’s better to ask if you’re unsure about something. It’s also not a bad thing to ask for some support on something. For example, with my added responsibilities this week, I’ve had trouble keeping up with my normal everyday work. To remedy this, I started delegating work to our interns. They are always happy to help, and it is such a relief when they’re able to take things off my plate for me.

Think of the Future

I’ve found myself thinking “what would Future Shelly want you to do right now?” a lot this week. For example, I went in early to work yesterday, and stayed late today to knock off some of my to-do’s, simply because I knew I would thank myself later. Since I work a salary job, it’s hard to feel motivated to put in extra hours, as I won’t be paid extra. However, I had a lightbulb moment where I realized it’s better to get things over with today as opposed to putting it off. And I have to say, I think Future Shelly will be quite happy I put in the extra hours.

Make a Playlist

I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds music to be very soothing and therapeutic. I like to write down songs I hear on the radio and then make big Spotify playlists of all the new music I find. This week I’ve enjoyed blasting my playlist “Current Faves” on the way to work, on the way home from work, and even a few times at work. I’m one of those people who doesn’t have a problem with concentrating with music playing, and in fact I find it calms me and helps me focus at times. It also is always sure to put me in a good mood. As a matter of fact, I’m listening to my new playlist right now!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading my secrets to handling stress! Can you relate to any of these? Are there tricks you use to relieve stress that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

October Favorites

November has been a great month so far! I started my new job last Monday and I am loving it already. I am definitely looking forward to everything this month will bring, especially Thanksgiving. But before we get too far into November I thought I’d take a quick look back at some of my favorite things from October.

Food

Recently I’ve started making it a habit to actually eat breakfast every morning. That is something that I have always been bad at, because a lot of the time I don’t feel very hungry in the morning. But especially now that I have a full time job, I know it is important to get a good breakfast. My go-to has been making my own yogurt parfait with vanilla yogurt, granola, blueberries, blackberries and some honey. It is really delicious! (The picture below is not one I made, I just found a pretty picture so you’ll get the idea).

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Drink

I have been in a hot tea phase this past month, and I’ve found that I enjoy it much more than coffee. There’s something very calming about sipping on some hot tea while watching TV or writing a blog, for example. Yes, I am currently drinking the cup of tea pictured below.

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Music

I have been obsessed with Pentatonix for over a year now, and they just came out with a new album that is almost entirely original music, and it is amazing! If you’ve never heard of them, they are an acapela band and were in the movie Pitch Perfect 2. They do a lot of great covers of popular songs, but I think this new album with original songs is so cool because it shows they really have what it takes to create their own original music. And I am listening to their album on Spotify as I type.

Pentatonix

iPhone App

My mom introduced me to a really cool app this month called Headspace, which is a meditation app that takes you through 10 minute instructed meditations that basically help relax you and teach you how to clear your mind. I know I personally have a hard time not staying up at night thinking about random things, so I like to use it right before I fall asleep to just get my mind in a more peaceful place.

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TV Show

My mom also got me into my favorite TV show in October: Jane the Virgin. I had seen advertisements for the show but honestly thought it looked kind of stupid. But what I didn’t get from the ads was how hilarious and clever this show is. I love how it embraces the idea of Spanish soap operas, while adding an element of humor and even a bit of parody. I also really enjoy all of the Spanish that is spoken in the show. It makes me feel like I am somewhat using my Spanish minor haha. The first season is on Netflix and I would highly recommend it!

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Book

The most recent book I read and one of my favorites for October is ‘The Girl on the Train‘ by Paula Hawkins. I loved the format of the book because you get to read from the perspective of three different characters, and it also jumps around in time between the characters, so you are trying to piece together the story after reading each perspective. I will definitely write a full book review about it soon!

The Girl On The Train

Memory

A few weeks ago I visited my boyfriend for the weekend (we’re long distance) and we wanted to do something fun and new, so we decided to go roller skating! I had actually never been before, unless you count roller skating on our driveway when I was little, so it was definitely a fun experience. I’ve been ice skating many times and let me tell you, it is not the same at all. I held on to his hand for dear life and unfortunately did not make it through the day without falling. But I only fell once, so I consider that a victory! 10/10, would roller skate again.

I thought this was amusing for some reason. We obviously looked just as graceful as they do!
We obviously looked just as graceful as they do!

I hope you enjoyed my October favorites! Let me know what some of your favorites have been lately.