I’m SERIOUSLY loving having seasonal to-do lists right now. They are an awesome way to try some new experiences or make sure I make time for things I love, AND they’re a great way to set some self-improvement goals. I am flossing like a champion these days… so you know this is a good process. Take a look back at my summer and fall to do lists if you haven’t already.
Winter is an interesting season! It’s not my favorite, but it has its unique qualities that I love. First off… I was born in the winter! WOOHOO BIRTHDAY PARTAYYY. I’m turning 25 this January… quarter century! There’s also the Christmas / Holiday season which is always fun! I love snow and skiing and SOUP and hot chocolate. All those awesome things. But I don’t love the short days, cold temperatures, or lack of outdoor time. So this year I want to fill my winter with fun activities and a little dash of self-improvement.
- Love Marathon Training – So far so good! I’m two weeks in (I owe you guys a marathon musings actually… later today) and things are going really well. I want to keep up this enthusiasm! I’m working to reframe my mind too. Last time around, I got really negative about all the training I “had to do”. This time I want to keep my eyes on the fact that I chose this goal and it’s going to be totally kick ass when I finish.
- Strength Train at least 2 times per week – I actually really already do this but sometimes strength training falls to the back of my mind. With starting up marathon training, I need to be really intentional about strength training (or it will easily fall off my radar). I’m thinking that I want to do my entire body two times per week… but they might mean breaking it up into shorter bouts in more than two days.
- Read More, Watch TV Less – Straight up… I LOVE TV. I just do. But Mike doesn’t really watch TV, so it’s not really an easy activity that we can do “together”. I don’t want to stop, but sometimes I think I’m doing it just for the sake of doing it. I also find that when I watch TV less, I enjoy it more (delayed gratification). So instead of always resorting to putting the TV on, I want to increase my time doing other activities like listening to music or reading.
- Read a classic novel I haven’t read yet – I didn’t ACTUALLY finish Anna Karenina but I read some and I saw the movie. It rocked btw… go see it. I have read a lot of the classics, but the other day I was scanning the Top 100 Books list on Amy’s blog and I realized there are plenty on there I haven’t read. I love to read but don’t always chose books that really “challenge” me. So that’s my goal for the winter. Besides, what better season to spend a Sunday curled up in bed with Fig, a cup of coffee, and a good book?
- Watch 5 “classic” movies I haven’t seen yet – There are actually a ton of really good movies I’ve never seen. My brother is a huge movie buff, and back in the day I was watching a lot of good movies with him. Recently though, I find myself lacking the ability to commit to a movie. TV is easier for me because it’s shorter. As social hibernation sets in for the winter (it’s inevitable, there are just less things to do socially in the winter than the summer), I thought this could be a good goal. I think I want to start with Dr. Strangelove and Casablanca (yes yes I know I know… I have never seen Casablanca and it’s a horrible sin)
- Read at least three full news articles per day – I am so a product of my generation. I read news headlines on Twitter and Google Reader all day, but I rarely click through and read the entire article. I also watch / listen to morning news at the gym or when I’m getting ready for work, but that’s such a passive way to get information (especially when you consider that my morning news program of choice is about 10 minutes of current events and then 90 minutes of “who got voted off Dancing with the Stars”). I want to challenge myself to read three full articles of interest every day.
- Go to Zoolights – I love the zoo… and I love Christmas lights. This combines both. I went two years ago, but didn’t get out to see it last year. I really want to make sure I do it this year.
- Do at least one additional “Christmas” activity in DC – I had a similar goal in the Fall. I want to make sure I’m taking advantage of everything my wonderful city has to offer. I don’t really know what this will be yet… but I only have a couple more weeks to figure it out so I better get on it.
- Make 2 new-to-me holiday desserts – I’m not a big baker, and really tend towards savory cooking. I’d like to start getting outside of my comfort zone and improving my baking skills. I’ve been invited to a “Christmas Cake” party this year, so I think I will try a gingerbread cake roll for that. From there… who knows 🙂
- Play with Fig and Little Mac a little bit every day – I love our cats more than pretty much anything (except Mike, he’s still my #1). I snuggle and pet them every day, but I notice that recently we haven’t been playing at much as we used to. Sure Fig will get frisky and roll on his back and we’ll have tummy-rub time, but they have a whole crate of toys we don’t use! We had a really amazing cat sitter over Thanksgiving, and she played with them every day while she was there. It really made me think… my cat sitter is being better to my pets than I am! I want to take 5 minutes every day to play with crinkle ball or the laser pointer (they LOVE the laser pointer). Playing with them is good for them, but it also makes me ridiculously happy. It’s really a no-brainer.
- Participate in another blog related “challenge” – I really enjoyed Pile on the Miles in November. I’d like to find another challenge (I know Courtney is doing one right now but I kind of forgot to sign up for that… whoops. Maybe I can just sign up late?)
- Participate in at least three volunteer opportunities – I really enjoy volunteering, but right now I only do it when opportunities find me. This winter I want to get a little more active in seeking out opportunities to give my time / work with others.
- Practice yoga three times per week (even if it’s only for a few minutes) – On my Fall list, I wanted to start a home yoga practice. I’d say that is going “OKAY”. I found a couple good spots in the apartment to practice, but I definitely don’t love guiding my own practice. I’ve been using DVDs and OnDemand videos with much more success. I just like being led through my practice. I feel that allows me to get my head out of it and just let my body move. I’m looking for some new DVDs to purchase so if you have suggestions please let me know! I’m also finally starting to get out of my “all or nothing” yoga mentality. I used to think that if I couldn’t practice for a solid hour it wasn’t worth it. Why not?? Even if it’s just 10 minutes… that’s better than 0 minutes right?
- Tackle the “little tasks” right away (“One minute rule”) – I am currently reading The Happiness Project (it was my intention to participate in PB Fingers Book club this month but I didn’t finish the book in time. I’m still going to do a whole write up on here though because I seriously think this book might be changing my life). One of the items she discussed was the “One Minute Rule,” where she vowed not to put off any task that would take one minute or less to complete. I am such a culprit of this! I get super overwhelmed my little tasks too… in my personal life AND at work. I’ve already started implementing this rule and it makes SUCH a difference. I want to make this habit really stick.
- Go skiing at least three times (weather permitting) – I stopped skiing when I was in high school because I was a really serious athlete and skiing wasn’t encouraged by my coaches / Dad (It just seemed like an unnecessary risk of injury). But Mike loves to ski and he took me back out on the slopes last winter for the first time in 10 years. I was literally terrified riding the ski lift up but by the end of the day I was following Mike down a Double Black Diamond (Granted this was at a ski resort in the Poconos .. I wouldn’t be able to do Double Blacks out west or up in VT yet!). I also remembered how much I loved it! We didn’t have a great ski season last year (too warm, couldn’t keep runs open) and could only go once. I’m really hoping for a better season this year so I can go skiing at least three times.
- Try three new restaurants in our neighborhood – We haven’t tried THAT many, mostly because we’ve been cooking at home. While I do prefer cooking at home (since it is healthier and cheaper), I want to get to know the area a little better. Three over a season seems like a reasonable goal.
- Tackle a new ethnic cuisine at home – I took on homemade pasta this Fall, and now I want to get out of Italy and explore some other ethnic cuisines. I’m thinking that I might try my hand at homemade dosas. I’ve made only very basic Indian cuisine at home, but dosas require a whole different level of effort. I think I might be up for the challenge though.
- Learn more about wine – I literally know NOTHING about wine. Some wines have given me really bad migraines so I’ve been really hesitant to try new wines / branch out. But I’m also realizing that getting wasted on any kind of wine has the ability to give me a migraine. Sipping one glass and enjoying the flavor probably will not. I recently had a glass of Pinot Noir that I loved. I don’t think I’ve drank a glass of red wine in 4 years. I’d like to read some more about different types of wines, figure out what I like, and try some different wines. I’m not going to sign up for a class or anything like that but I am an adult after all. Perhaps it’s time to stop ordering “whatever white wine is the cheapest” at a restaurant 🙂
- Spend Wisely – I’ll talk more about this when I discuss The Happiness Project, but she had an entire chapter dedicated to money that had me completely enraptured. Yes I still completely intend to look for ways to save money and live within my budget, but I want to focus on spending “wisely” instead of just spending “less”. I want to free up my wallet a bit for buying gifts or making charitable donations. This winter I want to focus on spending money on things that make me happy.
- Practice gratitude – I want to remember every day how much I have to be grateful for. I don’t want to start keeping a journal. That’s just not me. I find journals forced and insincere (for me, not necessarily for others). I also don’t want to add another task to my daily to do list, because that will just make me resent it. I decided that every day I’m going to spend a couple minutes of my metro commute making a mental list of things for which I am grateful. It will also have the added effect of making a normally not too pleasant part of my day (metro at rush hour is… trying) a source of happiness 🙂
Wow this list is SUPER long… I better get to work!! Happy Tuesday!