Saturday, August 15, 2015

Resolutions Checkpoint 2015: June + July

Well, folks, I completely missed my checkpoint at the end of June.

And then again at the end of July...

But it's never too late to reflect and realign! So here we go:

June + July Progress

1. Reach a high intermediate level of French.

I did not do each of the bullet points I'd had in my May Checkpoint post, but I did finish reading "James and the Giant Peach" (in French) by June 15 as I'd wanted to. I obviously continued using and learning French throughout June, but it simply wasn't as structured as I'd planned.

But I have officially reached an intermediate level of French! When I finished my six weeks of class, I got a certificate from my school, and they said I'm at the B1 level (low-intermediate). I have a long ways to go before that'll become high intermediate (I don't even have all the A1/A2 stuff down, guys), but I have a much stronger base (and motivation) to continue learning, which makes it easier to progress.

In fact, I've found that the more I learn, read, and hear French, the deeper my admiration of the language is becoming. While watching an episode of "Fais pas ci, fais pas ├ža" just last night, I was thoroughly enjoying the French way of speech. I delighted in the intonation of each phrase, and the sounds commonly made by the French.

2. Diversify my income to three sources.

Throughout June and July I was only focusing on my principal editing job as far as income goes. While I did also write two paid posts last month, it was hard enough to stay concentrated on one income source when most of my energy was focused on friendships and relationships.

Now that I'm home again and often without any social plans, I'm finally catching up on blogging (among other personal to-do's), and feeling like I can soon branch out and try some of these ideas I've been spinning around in my head for far too long.

3. Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet; improve digestion.

June and July were all right in this regard—not notably excellent or anything—but man, when I came back to the states I just lost any self control. Since my routine was disrupted, I just started eating things around me that I wouldn't have eaten before—even when I lived at home this winter. It all started when I ate ice cream (First time in... a long time) on my first or second day back, and then had a one time better-than-ever digestion experience. So even though deep down I knew dairy was still a no-no, I thought maybe ice cream wasn't an issue after all, and continued to eat it every night, like when I was a kid.

I haven't done any exercise yet either, and before tonight, had only been to the grocery store once since coming back on July 23! All that means is I haven't been eating what I want to and should be eating. But I went tonight and bought more fruits and veggies, so we're getting there.

August Focus

When I have half as much time as usual (just the second half of August), I tend to overestimate what I can get done. I'm also working on plenty of other things that aren't on either of these three lists (like blogging, snail mailing, taking lindy hop dance classes, learning the "Total Immersion" method of swimming, catching up from being 4 books behind in my 2015 reading challenge, regular work, etc.)

So attempting not to be overly ambitious, here are some goals for these last two weeks of August.

1. Reach a high intermediate level of French.

(I listen to French radio—Chante France—any time I'm on the computer, including while working; and I've found a slick way to access Netflix France from the USA, so I can easily watch French shows and movies with French subtitles.)
  • Complete any 10 pages from my grammar workbook.
  • Finish collecting all visa documents, to apply for a long-term French visitor's visa on September 1.

2. Diversify my income to three sources.

  • Make Fiverr gig for ESL editing idea.

3. Eat a whole foods, plant-based diet; improve digestion.

  • No more ice cream.
  • Watch the documentary "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" with parents if possible. [Note: I've found that—and it makes a lot of sense—whenever I'm trying to focus on changing/improving something, it's much easier when I'm either reading a book on the topic or have recently watched a documentary on the topic. That keeps it at the front of the mind effortlessly, so watching this documentary will probably have a much greater effect on my actions than trying to stick to some rule.]

Okay friends, how did you do with your resolutions this summer? Did anyone check in on their own, even without my reminder at the end of June and July?

September is another perfect time for a clean slate, with the fresh school year for school kids and college students. While you can decide to change something in your life at any point, many find it easier to pair it with a new season, like New Year's or back-to-school.

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