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My Word Of 2016 (or I’m Going To Be Strong)

I did my first word of the year last year, and I’ve decided to continue the tradition of that this year. I started thinking about what I wanted my word for 2016 to be at the beginning of December and it was tough to figure out what I wanted it to be.

I loved that my word last year was “bold” because it could mean lots of different things in different parts of my life. I wanted another word that was more on the positive side (I think that’s what everyone wants their word to be like) and I wanted it to match and enhance my word from last year.

I spent a lot of time brainstorming and scribbling out ideas. There were a lot of words that seemed good, but for some reason or another they just didn’t feel right to me. Or they might have been awesome, but I could only see myself using the word as a focus on one part of my life. But after a lot of thought, this is what I’ve come up with for my word for 2016.

Strong

I think “strong” is a perfect word for this year. It does go as a nice companion word to “bold” in my mind. And it can have a couple of different meanings for lots of different things that I have in my life.

In my acting career, I want to be stronger in my auditions and meetings. I want to make strong choices and show that I can be a strong actor. This is very similar to being bold, but I think I like strong better because you can be meek but strong at the same time. Sometimes, I need to be a meek performer in the audition room, and I can still feel like I’m honoring the word “strong” while doing that. It doesn’t feel like an act that I’m trying to put on (like bold felt at some random times). This just feels much more natural and achievable to me.

I like having “strong” as a focus word for my workouts for some pretty obvious reasons. I’m trying to focus on getting stronger versus losing weight. I feel like losing weight is such a weird journey and has so many ups and downs (literally). But focusing on getting stronger is much more linear for me. I know when I’m able to use heavier weights for different things and I know when my rowing is at a higher wattage. And I can use that as a focus word for my speed training on the treadmill too. Being strong has become a priority for me in my life, and having it as a focus word for the year is perfect.

“Strong” is a good word for my hopes of getting into recovery with my eating disorder too. I need to be strong to win the battle. I need to be strong in my efforts to track my food, track my feelings, and track my episodes. It’s easy to not track things when the day isn’t going so great, but I need to be stronger than that and track things anyway. I’ve found a new app that I’m using together with My Fitness Pal that is helping. When you track food, you don’t have to see the calories. All you put down is what you ate and you track other things like feelings and other thoughts as well. I’m not switching to that app totally yet because I do still like tracking calories on My Fitness Pal, but I’m open to the idea in the future of not having calories as a focus at all.

I’m really looking forward to making 2016 my strongest year yet in so many parts of my life. I’m really feeling good about the progress I’ve been making lately and I hope that I’m able to maintain what I’ve been doing and just keep moving forward. I’ve got my word up as the background of my computer so I’m reminded of it every day. And I’m looking forward to sharing with you in a year about how my year of being strong went.

My 2016 Goals (or I’ve Got Some Big Ideas This Year)

Happy New Year! I hope that you all got to spend New Years Eve last night with people you love and had a great time (and hopefully not feeling it too much today)! As I’ve done the past few years, I’m sharing what my goals are for this year and what I hope to accomplish.

First is my big workout goal. I want to do 180 workouts in 2016. It’s only 5 more workouts this year than I did last year, but I wanted to make the goal not too much of a stretch. I’d love to pass this goal and do closer to 190, but I also know that life can get in the way and I don’t want to stress out about reaching my goal like I did in 2015. I think it’s very doable and I’ll be tracking my workouts using the same app I did last year (it made this very easy for me). So hopefully in a year I’ll be telling you all how I got this done!

My next goal is to have a new PR for my 5K. This one is going to be difficult for me because I’m still dealing with calf pain, but I think that maybe I can do it. Right now, I have 2 5Ks that I’m planning on doing (the same ones as last year) but I might add another one in there. So there aren’t a ton of opportunities to get a PR, but I will have a ton of time on the treadmill at Orangetheory to work on my speed training. I still have an ultimate PR goal for my 5K (15 minute miles) so I can feel comfortable doing a Disney race, but I know that this goal is very possibly a few years away.

Next on the list is a money goal. Or more like money goals (but I’m combining it into one goal). I want to get my debt down farther, budget better, and even maybe start having more savings than just what I’m saving for my taxes (as a 1099 employee, I will probably owe a lot in taxes). This is not an easy goal. Money is tight and while I wouldn’t say that I have a spending problem, it’s hard to not spend like some of my friends do at times. And those friends sometimes make 4 or 5 times what I make. I’ve been using You Need A Budget for a budgeting app and I think I’ve gotten budgeting close to what I want it to be. However, YNAB just launched a new version and it’s a subscription payment model. I can still use the old version and not have to spend money on the app, but I’m also looking into new apps to use because I don’t want to spend $50/year on a budgeting app when that money could go to something better. I do have an amount in mind as far as reducing my debt goes, but that’s something that I’m going to keep to myself for now.

Next is a fun one. I want to travel more and find more ways to spend time with my friends. While I’m ok with saying no to going to parties and things, I like going on adventures and fun outings. So I want to work on figuring out adventures to go on with my friends so that we can have more fun. And for traveling, I’ve got one trip planned for February with my mom and I’m hoping to do a trip with my sister-in-law in March or April. So that’s a step in the right direction.

I’d also like to do another acting class this year. I think it will probably be the next level at UCB, but I’m open to acting classes that fit into my schedule and my budget. While it’s important for me to keep working on my acting skills, I want to be in another class for other reasons. It’s great meeting new actors, it makes me happy because I get an opportunity to act, and I feel like I’m making progress in my career even if I’m not auditioning. So I feel like this is important for me to do and I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to get this done.

And finally, I want to be either in recovery from my eating disorder or on my way to recovery. I’m starting to look at my eating disorder as something to research and educate myself on instead of an emotional thing. I’ve been doing reading, listening to podcasts, and using apps for my eating disorder over the past week and I’ve already felt a difference. It’s still a battle that I lose sometimes, but I’m feeling much better about how I’m approaching things this time. And hopefully in a year I will be posting that I’m either in recovery or I’m getting very close to recovery. That would be such a wonderful thing I could accomplish in this year and if it happens I know that it will change my life.

So that’s it for my goals for this year! I think that I’ve got some good plans in mind. And while they won’t be easy to get done, they are not completely out of my reach. I’d love to hear some of the goals that you have for the coming year and hopefully we can keep each other on track!

Happy 2016!

2015 Recap (or How I Did On My Goals)

It’s the last day of 2015! The year went by super quickly and I can’t believe it’s New Years Eve tonight! First, I want to wish you all a happy new year. And if you are going to be out drinking tonight, please don’t drive.

Now it’s time to look back at my 2015 goals and see how I did.

The first goal that I set for myself was to do 175 workouts this year. Technically, at the time I’m writing this post it hasn’t been completed yet. But that’s because my 175th workout will be at 12:15pm today! I can’t believe that I made this goal! I had so many setbacks with being sick and injured and it seemed impossible for a while. But I really planned it out for the past few months to make sure I got in all the workouts that I needed and I got it done! Not only did I do my 175 workouts (by this afternoon), I made giant strides in my workouts. I’m lifting heavier and my form is so much better. I’m not just working out more, I’m working out harder and smarter. Those are important accomplishments to remember too.

My next goal was to have 4 home cooked dinners a week. This one I kind of failed at. I definitely got less take out and delivery than I have in the past, but I ate a lot of prepared and frozen meals. I guess it is the lesser of two evils, but making dinners myself would have been much better. I think saying that I would cook 4 dinners a week at home were a bit ambitious, but when I started bulk cooking I really thought I had found the perfect solution for me. But then life got in the way and I didn’t do it anymore. While I think that bulk cooking might be great for me, I need to figure out a better way to do it. Maybe only bulk cooking one part of the meal and then mixing it up will be better for me. Or only cooking 2 or 3 meals at a time and not 4 or 5. I’m not giving up on this idea, but I think I need to do some more baby steps.

Next on my 2015 goals was to be down to 2 main day jobs not counting babysitting and the film festival. I’m pretty much there with this goal. I have my 2 main day jobs both from home and I’ve added another sporadic day job doing box office work for an old boss of mine. But technically, I’m down to 2 jobs and I’m finally getting into a more stable place financially (although I’m not making as much as I’d like yet).

Next on the list is something I’m very happy that I was able to accomplish. It was getting into an improv class this year and I finally did it after having it on my goal list for several years! I’m so glad that I took the class at UCB and I keep checking the schedule to see if there is a 201 class that fits into my schedule (nothing yet and I technically don’t have the money yet). But even though I’m not signed up for 201, I still got the first class done and got over my issues with going back into an improv class!

I had also hoped to have traveled more this year. That goal was kind of accomplished by going to Napa and a couple of family trips to San Diego, but I don’t really think I can successfully check this one off the list. I’m taking steps on making sure I travel more in 2016 (I’ve already got 1 trip planned with my mom) but I know that I didn’t do as much traveling as I hoped to do in 2015.

And my final goal for 2015 was to keep blogging, which clearly I did!

I’d say that while I didn’t accomplish everything that I had hoped to do in 2015, I really did get a lot done and I definitely view 2015 as a successful year!

Was I Bold? (or Recapping How I Did With My Word Of The Year)

For this year, I decided to do a word for the year for the first time. I was inspired by my fellow bloggers and decided to go for it. The word that I had decided on was “bold” and I really felt like it was the perfect word for me to use for 2015. Now that the year is about done, I’m looking back at my year and trying to think if I was bold.

I worked hard to remind myself to be bold when I could. I used the word as the background of my computer and used a similar graphic without the word as the background on my phone and iPad. So I was constantly reminded of it. There are still times that I feel like I can’t or won’t be bold, but I think I made a good effort at it.

Bold

The place where I think I was the boldest in 2015 was my acting career. I took new risks in my auditions and wasn’t afraid to make a wrong choice. I know that making an incorrect choice is really better than no choice at all. I decided that I was going to make each character strong in my mind and go with it full force. I know that not all my choices were right (and I didn’t book much this year), but I know that casting directors will remember me for being prepared and taking a risk. So many auditions of mine are in offices that I’ve been in before, so I know that they like me as an actor. It just might have been in the past that the part wasn’t right for me.

Not only was I being bolder in my auditions which allowed me to leave the audition room feeling better, I was bold in my actions outside of performing in the acting world. I never would have thought of running as a SAG-AFTRA delegate in the past, but this year when I was asked to do so I said yes before I could talk myself out of it.

Running as a delegate wasn’t always easy (some of the hate messages I got still are stuck in my head), but I’m so glad that I did it. I met some amazing people and I really had the best time at the National Convention. I’m actually sad that the National Convention isn’t every year. I don’t know if I’ll run for local or national board in the next elections (I’ve got plenty of time to think about that), but there’s no question that I’ll be running as a delegate again. The education that I got about the union during the convention was invaluable and I know that it will make me a better union member for it.

I was also bold in working on overcoming my eating disorder this year. I got a new therapist and I’m now trying medication to help me win this battle. I’m still in the depths of my battle and it feels at times that I will never get over my eating disorder, but I’m done being a victim of it. I’m working hard at it and hopefully sometime soon my hard work will pay off.

Finally, I think I was bold in my social life. Not in the sense that I was bold as a person at events but in the sense that I stopped being scared of saying no to an event and staying home. While I’d love to go out every time that someone has a fun event, sometimes I need to be at home for the evening. I might be tired or not feeling well or I might just not feel up for it and don’t want to force myself to go. But I don’t care anymore about missing things. Sometimes I wish that I could go, but I’m not feeling like I’m missing out on things as much as I did in the past. So saying no is a bold choice.

I’m still finalizing what my word for 2016 will be and I’ll be sharing that next week. But I’m really happy how I embraced bold as my word for 2015 and the results that I got from it!

2014 Goals (or Hoping To Get More Goals Done This Year)

So last year, I didn’t accomplish as many of my goals as I would have liked. That’s ok. I picked some goals that were very big stretches for me and while trying to do them I learned a lot.

I’ve thought a lot about my goals for this year. And for some of them, I’d also like to explain why they are worded the way that they are worded.

Continue To Do 5Ks

One of the things that I’d like to do in 2014 is to keep doing my 5Ks. I did 9 last year and that was amazing. But the reason I don’t have a number that I’d like to do this year is because last year, I picked some races that I really didn’t care to do just to see how many I could do in a year. And the races aren’t that cheap. For a while, I thought that it would be cool to make a goal to be 10 5Ks in 2014 (that way I would have raced 31 miles and I’m turning 31 this year). But I don’t want to have that pressure on me. I want to do the races that I want to do and that’s that (plus, each race entry fee adds up!).

Make Spin A More Regular Habit

While I do go to spin pretty regularly, it’s not as regular as I would like. I pretty much go every week, but I still don’t have set days/times that I know I will go. And if I don’t schedule my classes ahead of time, sometimes I’ll schedule other things in the times that I should be going. So I need to sit down with my schedule and SoulCycle’s schedule and pick out the classes that will become my regular ones.

Track My Food/Exercise Better

I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for a couple of years now. It’s easy to track my food on there. But sometimes when I’m eating foods I’m not happy about or overeat, I stop tracking my food for the day. I need to own up to everything I eat whether I’m within my calorie limit or have gone many times over. And tracking my exercise is much easier now that I have my heart rate monitor. I just need to remember to wear it all the time or pack it in my bag if I’m working out after work.

Get Into An Improv Class

Meant to do this last year and didn’t. I’m not going to keep putting it off. Currently looking at the schedule and figuring out which class I can take.

Pay Down My Debt And Not Add More

I know that I can’t stop using my credit card completely. There are some charges, like Netflix, that are charged every month. But I can stop frivolous spending. I need to work on using cash for most of my needs.

Go On Another Vacation

I loved having time off of work and getting out of LA. I need to do that again to help keep me sane. There is a trip in the works right now and hopefully all the plans will fall into place. But if that one falls through, I’m going to try to plan another getaway from LA at some point.

Keep Blogging

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

That’s my goal list for this year. I’m optimistic that it can all be done. And if it doesn’t I know that I’m going to try as hard as possible to do each one.

Looking Back At 2013 (or Where Did The Year Go?)

I can’t believe it’s the last day of 2013! As the title says, where did the year go? I know that when I was little my mom joked how time moved faster the older you got, but this is ridiculous!

2013 was a year of highs and lows. I wanted to look back today at the year starting with my goals that I posted a year ago.

My goals that I had for 2013 were to continue on my weight loss journey, continue paying down my debt, do 5 5Ks, do my first 10K, find alternative income, take an improv class, and keep blogging.

I did continue on my weight loss journey. I’m not as far as I would like to be, but I’m going in the right direction. While I did pay down my debt, I also spent on that credit card which didn’t allow me to pay off as much as I could have (I need to work on that). I did 9 5Ks this year. But I didn’t do a 10K. And I don’t know if I ever will do one. But coming to that realization was a big step for me. I looked for alternative income and haven’t found it yet. But I’m getting closer to finding what else I can do that fits into my schedule. And sadly I didn’t get around to taking that improv class. But I was looking at the schedule for 2014 and I’m trying to decide which day the class would be best for me. And as you all know, I’ve been blogging 5 days a week every week (and plan to continue that).

While I didn’t accomplish all the goals I had, the lessons I learned about those goals and what I really want was much more important to me.

This past year had some amazing highs and some very low lows.

The big lows for me include my mom finding out that she has breast cancer. But she is over 1/2 done with this second chemo and is doing amazing. We have high hopes that she will be declared cancer free at the end of treatment and this will just be a memory for us. Also, the losses of Dante and Chaucer were very tough for me. I don’t know anyone who could go through losing 2 dogs in 6 days without having a breakdown. While I still am very sad about these losses, I’m able to share what happened without crying now.

One of the highs for my family was my brother’s wedding in September. It was a great event and the first family vacation my immediate family has gone on in a long time. And for me, a huge high was discovering SoulCycle and how much I love the class! I never thought I could love a workout like this and since it is low-impact, it is good for my hips.

It’s tough sometimes to focus on the positives that 2013 had since it is ending with a lot of sadness. But I know that 2014 will be a better year and I look forward to all the great things that are in store for me!

Tomorrow, I’ll share my goals for 2014!

Setting Myself Up To Win (or More Preparation)

I do a lot of things to try to make my life easier. When I have late shifts at work, I try to get some extra sleep (because I really do function better on more than 5 hours a night). I know that when I don’t remember to prepare a lunch or a dinner one day, I can always find something at Subway or some salad places near my house. And I try to get things done on my day off so I don’t have to try to squeeze them in before or after an 8 hour work day.

But just because these things are easier doesn’t mean that they are good for me. I’m trying to look at things now as better options, not easier options.

One thing that I’ve been able to do is figure out when I can fit in spin class into my work schedule. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a shift that starts at noon. In the past, I used the late start to catch up on sleep. On Monday nights, there are times that I don’t get home until 10pm and then I still need to have dinner and get work done. But now I’m making going to an 8:30am spin class a priority. I know that this won’t happen every Tuesday/Thursday (yet), but I’m working towards it.

Also, I’m trying (again) to be better at having food prepared so I don’t have to think about what I’m going to do for lunch or dinner. I’ll admit that this week I haven’t been good. I’m going out-of-town this weekend and didn’t want to go to the grocery store if I didn’t have to before my trip. But no matter what I eat, I am tracking all my calories on my app on my phone. I’m holding myself accountable for my good and bad choices.

Finally, I’m allowing myself to make mistakes. I really am an all or nothing sort of person. I didn’t want to start this blog until I knew I could maintain doing it 5 days a week (there’s no way to get yourself ready for that). So when I’ve had slip ups in the past, I’ve allowed myself then to continue slipping up until a determined date/time that I was going to “start over”. There’s no starting over in this now, just continuing on. I’m not letting a speed bump stop me completely.

I’m hoping with this new mindset not only will I be moving towards my goals a bit faster, but I’m hoping that I will not feel so over worked and stressed about being at my day job 6 days a week. I need to allow myself time to have a life and do things that are good for me and I enjoy. I didn’t allow myself that freedom last year.

Of course, I could completely change my mind about all of this next month, but I’m giving it a shot for now.