Saturday, January 31, 2015

Resolutions Checkpoint: January 2015

Resolutions Checkpoint - January

We're already a month into the new year—how does everybody feel?

It honestly hasn't felt like the freshest of starts for me. The midwestern sunless winter is taking its toll, I believe, and I've generally felt unmotivated and unproductive these last four weeks. Editing/writing for so many hours each day for work leaves me with little energy left to work on personal projects in the evenings.

I've normally excelled at putting sustained effort towards long-term rewards, but lately I'm just not finding it in me. I'm definitely overestimating what I can do in the short term, which is causing me to doubt what I can do longterm. But I still managed to make a bit of progress towards each of my three 2015 resolutions, so let's take a look at that!

January Progress

1. Reach a high intermediate level of French.
  • Labeled some items in my bedroom (in French) with post-its
  • Practiced French more days than in December! (But did not track it! Ah!)
  • Watched two French movies, "Les choristes" (The Chorus) and "The Intouchables." (Both are recommended, but "The Intouchables" is highly, highly recommended if you've never seen it. I even got my dad to watch the French drama/comedy, and he laughed a ton!) 
  • Started sending voice chats via Whatsapp to Gregorio, and messaging via Whatsapp/emailing with a Parisian in French.
  • Paid for a monthly subscription to FluentU

2. Diversify my income to three sources.
  • Made my first fiverr gig. Still need to add a cover photo and promote, but I'm starting somewhere!
  • Ordered writer/editor business cards.
  • Added a description to my current position on LinkedIn
  • Attended the "Lessons from Abroad" conference in Chicago today.
  • Decided to stop posting weekly on Have Your Health, in order to focus more energy on other projects.
  • Published "Why I Left Facebook and How I'm Thriving Since" on Culture Glaze to share ideas while simultaneously building my writing portfolio.

3. Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet; improve digestion.
  • Submitted a stool sample to American Gut project.

Background Goals
  • Read two books, one of which was about investing.

Regarding my word create, I have been catching myself when browsing the web or reading blogs, and I'll think (or often say aloud), "You're consuming! You're consuming!" until I close the tab. I've also unsubscribed to several blogs from my Feedly reader, trying to narrow down and cut out more of the buzz to make more room for focus and creation.

February Focus

And here are some specifics to accomplish during February:

1. Reach a high intermediate level of French.
  • Create a chart to track daily practice (10 min/day).
  • Label verbs (in yellow post-its) in my bedroom.
  • Label kitchen items in French.
  • Research language immersion schools in France and choose a program to attend this spring or summer.

2. Diversify my income to three sources.
  • List five books online to sell.
  • List the trombone on craigslist to sell.
  • Spend at least 3 hours/week on my Korean food guide.
  • Brainstorm two more fiverr gigs to offer.

3. Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet; improve digestion.
  • Re-watch "Forks Over Knives" or watch "Simply Raw"
  • Make a new spiralized meal. (I bought a spiralizer in December, you guys!)

Remember, if you didn't make any resolutions last month, you can always start today!
• • •


  1. What a great idea to really keep focusing on your resolutions for the year. To be honest it sounds like such a great start for you.You're so productive!

    1. Thanks! I've really had a lazy, non-motivation feeling all month, and when I wrote this post I was mostly focusing on the facts that I:
      - Haven't started selling any of the books that have been set aside since early December.
      - Have spent only 30 minutes on my Korean food guide all month.
      - Don't have a French study schedule/tracking system yet to follow.
      - Am so behind on blogging—from the Camino back in September/Oct and London
      - The days I spent working from bed this month, or not doing anything once the sun went down...

      But trying to come up with those lists of what I'd done almost helped spark some motivation, I think! I just now got the idea to make lists and add items of things I do, rather than removing items from a to-do list once you do them. That way I'd be able to see what progress I'm making, and focus on that rather than what I haven't yet done.

  2. The book arrived! Thank you! (proper response to follow shortly)
    I looked at your fiver gig and immediately thought that you could target one at parents who have kids going abroad. I don't know if parents are hip enough to find something like fiverr, but I do know that my mom is always concerned about where I am going. At least twice a year (okay, so not really a steady income), I get emails from friends of my parents who have children going to (insert country) who want to know that their kid will survive/be able to call home.

    1. Oh wow, that was fast! I'm glad it got there safe and sound! I haven't even replied to your G+ about it I just realized.
      That's a great idea—I've gotten a handful of emails from parents over the year who stumbled upon my Madrid blog because they had a child going abroad there, so I could probably advertise on that blog. I need to get busy!