Wednesday, February 29, 2012

spark! Challenge

Happy Leap Day! We have an extra day to think about what it is we want in life and how to make it happen.

I was reminded that setbacks and obstacles aren’t reasons to stop moving forward. We should take them as they are- life lessons, motivations, and opportunities to grow and change.

Anyone who knows me and follows this blog knows that I tend to overdo things during my challenge months and end up lacking the energy to continue the intensity the following month. I have to learn to keep things consistent. Maybe because I’m coming off a “lazy” month that I’m excited for March.

I’m calling this latest challenge “spark!” which means a lot of different things.

Spark is finding your motivation, shining a light on your interests.

Spark is discovering what inspires you and being creative.

Spark is doing what you love, igniting your passion.

Spark is being a light to others, helping one another to achieve the dreams we’ve set out to do.

And “spark!” is one of the children’s writing projects I’m working on.

Whatever “spark” means to you, I hope you will join me. I’ll post specific goals soon and feel free to share yours.

P.S. Because I’m a dork when it comes to these things, I also found the perfect song to go along with the spark! Challenge. The lyrics seemed very appropriate: “So let’s set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.” It's from "We Are Young" by the band fun. I have no idea how to embed a video here so just click on the link:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

First Month Wrap Up

2012 is no longer the new year but something we’ve all gotten familiar with. Perhaps we’d taken it for granted already but hopefully it still holds some promising and exciting things for all of us.

I’ve been trying to tell people that the best time to do anything to improve one’s life is now. Start now- and don’t give up. Try again and again until you accomplish what you set out to do. Life is all about making the choices that will make us happy or set us back on the right track.

I think I did well with my goals.

*Work on blogs. I was able to post weekly on both “The Chronicles of a Children’s Book Writer” and “Library Hopping.” It’s been challenging to come up with content on a regular basis for each blog. But I feel the schedule of one post per week (per blog) is doable and something I’d like to maintain.

*Volunteer 100 hours this year. In January, I was able to rack up 18 hours already. This included being a Hands on Portland Volunteer Leader for The Children’s Book Bank during Martin Luther King Weekend of Service. It was definitely a rewarding experience.

*Lose 15 pounds over the year- or about a pound a month. Exercise 3 times a week with at least one of them being on the elliptical. I decided to combine both of these because there definitely was a correlation between the two. It was rare that I only did the minimum number of exercise per week. And I know I have to make this a more consistent part of my life if I want to continue losing weight.

*Vegetarian Days. No Spending Days. 3 days a week. These were kind of difficult for a couple of weeks but it made me more aware of my actions. That being said, though, they didn’t really make eat healthier or save money, respectively, so I don’t think I will continue doing them.

*Read 60 books a year. I decided to reactivate my Goodreads account. I’m counting 6 books so far, not excluding the picture books. I have a few Reading Challenges going on: Big Books, Newbery Winners, Caldecott Winners, Dr. Seuss, and World Book Night Selections. Luckily, there are some crossovers or I’ve read them rather recently.

*Moving to a new place has been postponed until the second half of the year.

*I’m definitely saving up for a Philippine vacation in December but I’m also saving up to get my citizenship application going. I’ve been slacking on the latter. I could have taken advantage of not needing to attend the 6-week course to send in my application already but it’s just so expensive!

*Things I didn’t do: Get an eye exam. Get a dental exam. Look into IRA’s.

Overall, I did well. I like reflecting back on what went well and what didn’t and adjust things if necessary. For the things I didn’t get to do, there’s always this month.