It’s All About Them Goals

OctMono

Let’s face it. I’m a dreamer and not a do-er by nature. Remember my Pinterest boards? I’m loath to admit that they’re filling up again with all of my projects-to-be. Every day I get on a roll scouring the Internet for new and exciting crafts and recipes, only to be brought back into reality by one of my biggest faults: I’m terrible with follow-through. Take, for example, that basket-weaving kit a former employer gave me over the summer. Where is it now? Half-completed in a plastic bag on the floor in my room. Not much good it’s doing there.

If there’s one thing I’ve gotten right, it’s that I’ve limited myself to just one project at a time. Thus, if I don’t finish the basket or outright hand it off to someone else (any takers?), I am not allowed to move on. My room at home in NH is the place where half-knitted scarves and failed art projects go to die.

Now the holidays are creeping up, and I’m slowly going out of my mind. I want this to be a crafty Christmas, but my mind is seriously jumbled right now. Between Christmas gifts, party planning, travel arrangements, work, writing projects, I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed.

My best solution when I’m overwhelmed? Dig into some Rocky Road ice cream. THEN, I like to get down and set some goals.

Here are the steps to achieving your goals (no joke, I have these written down in my daily planner):

  1. Acknowledge the purpose. Why are you setting this goal, what is it for?
  2. Develop your vision into a solid goal – it needs to be specific and measurable. A good rule of thumb is to write down your goal as though it has already been completed.
  3. Make a plan to reach your goal. You should be specific. If you’re approaching your goal one step at a time, arrange these steps in a logical order, and list the actions you’ll need to take with each. Then, get started!
  4. Work your plan. Spend at least 15 minutes every day to review your goals and steps, inspire yourself, and renew your dedication.
  5. Lastly, it can be helpful to visualize your goal. A photo collage is a great example!

Okay. My first step was to write down every goal I could think of that I wanted to achieve between November and January. It was a fairly long list, but it helped me to divide everything into different categories, like ‘work’ and ‘Christmas’.

Can you tell I love planning?

Can you tell I love planning?

For instance, I want to have all of my Christmas gifts bought early this year. If I get them out of the way earlier on, it’ll be less for me to stress about as the holidays get closer. To make it more specific, I’ll make my goal to have everything bought by Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving). Here’s my plan:

  1. Brainstorm a list of everyone who’ll be getting gifts & cards this year.
  2. Brainstorm ideas for gifts for those listed.
  3. Budget a set amount per person.
  4. Shop!

As a final step, I’m adding due dates for each of these steps to my calendar. I may be a procrastinator, but the only deadlines I’ll be pushing this year are my own.

Happy goal setting!

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Fighting Wednesday Wipeout

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Wednesday

 

It’s Wednesday ladies and gents, and you know what that means. It’s the time of the week where our fuel reserves go from being semi-charged (thanks to the weekend) to desperately needing a reboot. In addition to being someone who could benefit greatly from two naps a day, I am also a sufferer of Wednesday Wipeout, especially now that I’m working full time.

What to do, I pondered Tuesday night. I started to brainstorm all the things that get me charged in a day (besides caffeine and cookies) and it hit me: my nightly workout. I’ve been on a really good streak lately where I head right to the gym after work for an hour long-session of cardio and strength training.

My workouts, however, have been lackluster lately. On Monday night I remember looking at the clock and thinking I don’t want to be here anymore – only after about 20 minutes! We are all, of course, entitled to days where we just don’t feel like sweating alongside a bunch of strangers. But what really made this thought stick is that it’s a feeling I’ve been having for a while now. I used to look forward to using the elliptical in the back whose TV still works and doesn’t make a weird sound when your left foot comes down. I loved staying those extra few minutes to finish that last bicep curl. What happened?

Me enjoying a good sweat. Maybe a little too much.

Me enjoying a good sweat. Maybe a little too much.

My music happened. Rather, my lack of motivating, energy pumping music. What I’ve realized over time is that putting in a full exercise routine at 7:30PM after a full day of work isn’t always the most fun thing in the world. Distractions are welcome to make the tedious parts go faster. For instance, I love reading my Nook on the elliptical during longer sessions. Music has been another great way to keep me moving. You know that feeling when your favorite, bass-dropping beat-pumping insanity-inducing song comes on the radio and all you want to do is jump up and down and scream the lyrics? That’s what I crave at the gym.

What I’ve found is since my last music reboot, I’ve fallen out of love with quite a few of the songs from both of my workout playlists. The result is that I work out to the same ten songs, over and over. The mundanity is killing my good workout vibes and adding to my terrible Wednesday Wipeout.

So! With a little help from the Internet and my roomie, I’ve put together an entirely new 30 minute playlist for days that need a little oomph!

Aubrey’s Ragin’ Playlist to Put a Little Twerk in Your Work

  1. Take Over Control, Afrojack & Eva Simons
  2. Wake Me Up, Avicii
  3. Run the World (Girls), Beyonce
  4. I Need Your Love, Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding
  5. Titanium, David Guetta ft. Sia
  6. Dark Horse, Katy Perry
  7. Birthday (Cash Cash Remix), Katy Perry
  8. Tumhi Ho Bandhu, Cocktail (inspired by the Bollywood dance fitness class I’ve been taking!)
  9. Chammak Challo, Akon (also Bollywood inspired)

And if this doesn’t motivate you, you can watch this video of Serena Williams looking fierce and fit as all get out:

Here’s to an inspired & motivated rest of your week! Cheers!

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I’ve Never Seen The Godfather {And Other True Confessions of A Bad Film Major}

Monogram I’ve never seen The Godfather. Or Clockwork Orange. Or Driving Miss Daisy, or Gone with the Wind, or The Hurt Locker. I’ve seen Citizen Kane, but only because I saw it in a class once. Actually, that’s probably the only reason I’ve seen any classic films. My house growing up was about action movies, blockbusters, and comedies that centered around fart jokes (classy stuff). Indiana JonesThe Master of DisguiseTop Gun – just to name some examples. TV was pretty limited too. For a good chunk of my life it was just PBS. When we finally did get cable, we could only watch it after 5PM. My parents were on a crusade to make my brother and I industrious, productive citizens that didn’t need to rely on the TV for entertainment.

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Dana Carvey as Pistachio in “The Master of Disguise”, a film that viewing should be required for.

And it worked. Kind of. Maybe not for my brother, who can quote favorite movies in their entirety. As for me, I enjoyed TV as a nice distraction every once in a while. A little SNL here, a little True Blood there.

And then came film school. The first day of every class started with the students introducing themselves, and their favorite movie or TV show. While I feebly put forth Forrest Gump, people were nonchalantly listing No Country for Old Men, Casablanca, and Metropolis. I was cowed by their discussions of different films’ mise-en-scène, the way they argued over whether Woody Allen was truly an auteur.

Over time, I learned these terms and the theories behind them. But as my knowledge grew, the number of classic and current films I saw…didn’t. In fact, I became a little obstinate, loving the look on a film junkie’s face when I confessed I’d never seen A Streetcar Named Desire.

Now, however, I’ve started to rethink my stance. Sure, I can blame upbringing or my inherent suspicion of anything that looks boring, but when it comes down to it, not seeing these films isn’t making me better at what I do. Which is write for film and TV.

Think about it. We learn history to know what came before us, so we can build off of it and learn from past mistakes. I think this idea can be applied to my film dilemma. How can I be the best writer I aspire to be when I’m not all that familiar with what has already been written? Truth is, I can’t.

Better behind five seasons of Breaking Bad than never! In order to get started on my research, I’ve started to compile a list of all the films and TV shows I’ve been recommended to see by various sources. Like most things in my life, this new movie-watching venture will have to be penciled into my calendar. The plan? Two movies a week (sorry, I don’t have the stamina for more than that) for the month of September. If all goes well, this could be a continuing trend!

Stay tuned to see if I can keep up, what my current favorites are, and how I rate these (so-called) masterpieces on the new Aub’O’Meter here at our new Let’s Get Reel page.

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Films will be rated on a scale of Grumpy Cat to YASSSSS.

Please feel free to list some movies or shows you think should definitely be added to my list down below in the comments!

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I Am the Queen of Pinterest Fails

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You’ve probably seen the article going around, the one that shows the perfect versions of different DIY projects next to their gone-wrong counterparts. The Cookie Monster cupcakes that came out as screaming blue melted not-so-smiley faces. The homemade Play-Dough that stains your fingers and clothes for days, and sticks to everything, especially furniture.

valentinesjelloheartspinterestfail

And I – I am the Queen of it all. Nearly every craft project I’ve attempted has come out slightly askew, be it homemade scarves whipped up for Christmas or glitter art for my new apartment. Something always goes wrong, and my finished project never comes out quite like it should.

But Aubrey, how can you have this sort of bad luck? Once I started to ponder the reasons behind my lack of DIY skills, it became obvious. The contributing factors include:

  1. A lack of patience. When I want to DIY, I need to DIY. Right. Now. It doesn’t matter if I have a party to attend in an hour, I simply MUST paint these Mason jars for my friends IMMEDIATELY. Haste makes waste. Haste also makes Mason jars whose painted designs melt off instantaneously when in contact with water.
  2. An aversion to buying the proper materials and tools. This seems like it would be an important step to follow, but please think back to my first point. When I’m impatient to get a project started, I’m not particular over whether or not I have everything I need. When baking granola, I forwent the pumpkin seeds and halved pistachios, and threw in some sunflower seeds I found in the pantry (luckily, that granola came out delicious – more on that soon!).
  3. I hate spending money. This really only contributes to the second point; I hate having to go out and purchase new things when I can easily use what I have around me. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out well.

When its come to my new apartment, though, I’ve tried to handle things differently. My roommate and I moved in during the first days of August; in the month that we’ve been here, I’ve had to bite my tongue to keep from screaming. It’s September, and I don’t have a bed yet?! Where can we get that coffee table we need? How much longer must I eat sitting on the counters?

Luckily, I’ve convinced myself that it would be a waste of money if I just went out and bought the first thing I saw simply to fill empty space. Additionally, furnishing an apartment from scratch is hella expensive, and I only very recently got a job. One day, this apartment will be just the way we want it – we’ve just got to be patient.

This newfound attempt at calm nearly went out the window, though, when I realized how horribly messy my room was getting. With no furniture, I was still living out of suitcases. As in, every morning I would tear through my suitcases and scatter clothes everywhere. A solution needed to be found, and quick.

Where else to turn, I thought, but to Pinterest? Right. Because that’s worked so well before.

Soon thereafter I had found my inspiration:

Minimalist Apartment Closet Ideas

A cutesy, organized closet! Just what I needed! My closet is very deep, but wastes a lot of space because it’s one bar and shelf are set against the wall, leaving few options for storage. So I decided I would make my own storage.

A How-To Guide for Making A Cutesy Closet

Step 1: Acquire a skinny, tall bookcase for stacking things. Browsing Craigslist, I see one from IKEA being offered for $20. The owner tells me the height, and I rejoice. It’s perfect!

I arrive. It’s not from IKEA, it’s from Bed Bath & Beyond. No matter, it’s still perfect. I lug it home. I prop it up in the closet. It’s too wide, and doesn’t fit under the bar.

Step 2: Shave down the too-tall bookcase. The roomie and I head to Home Depot, where someone eventually takes pity on us and (after we had ripped the thing apart) cuts a few inches off each side. Now it doesn’t have a base, but that will be fine. Right?

Wrong. The cheapy bookcase is even more rickety than before and refuses to stand up without help.

Step 3: Find some tension rods to stick on either side of the rickety bookcase. This way, there is more storage space, and it will stay up!

So far so good...

So far so good…

The tension rods are in place. Everything seems solid. I begin to place hangers on the rods. I turn my back. EVERYTHING COLLAPSES IN A HEAP WHY IS THIS HAPPENING I HATE EVERYTHING.

WHY CRUEL WORLD

WHY CRUEL WORLD

I recover. The roomie assists in making the rods extra tight.

They collapse in minutes, even without any weight on them. In fact, the slightest shift causes everything to fall.

I compose myself. The roomie tells me to give up, try something new, but I refuse. I want to shed this crown of being Pinterest-fail royalty. 

Step 4: Go back to Home Depot, purchase a set of wooden pole sockets. I borrow a drill from work, charge it up for a day, and then convince my roommate it’s an excellent idea to start this at 10:30PM.

Dyl and I preparing for our power tool debut

Dyl and I preparing for our power tool debut

Once we finally figure out how to switch out the drill bits (it took longer than I’m willing to admit), he holds the thing steady while I manage to drill the sockets in place. We put up the rods. I hang my shirts back up in silent protest that this thing had better work. Or else.

Getting everything in place. Notice I refused to shower from the gym until this was over.

Getting everything in place. Notice I refused to shower from the gym until this was over.

Drilling!

Drilling!

Glamour shot sitting confusedly in the closet.

Glamour shot sitting confusedly in the closet.

Tension rod sitting contentedly in its new home.

Tension rod sitting contentedly in its new home.

It has been fifteen minutes since I hung everything up. I’m waiting to hear the sound of things crashing down, but so far, so good. If it lasts the night, I will consider this a victory.

You know what? I already consider this a victory. Let the darn thing fall down again. Let all my shirts lay on the carpet. I’m proud that I’ve seen this project through two weekends, that I haven’t given up like I’m so apt to do when my crafts start to go awry. Planning, patience, and using an actual drill instead of a fork have gotten me this far; just think of what I can do if I keep on it!

TA DA!

TA DA!

So bring it on, closet. I am now the Queen of Continuing {After All the Horrible Curveballs You Have So Rudely Thrown At Me}.

p.s. As of this morning, everything is still in place! Fingers crossed.

p.s.s. Many thanks to Dylan for the…interesting pictures, and my mother for the idea for the wooden sockets ❤