Technically, I “made” a few resolutions at the start of 2015, but didn’t really write them down or take them particularly seriously. There was so much going on in January: the start of my last semester in college, family was in town, and Rick and I took a trip to Florida. Now that my life has slowed down (somewhat), I finally made a vision board.
I heard once that Ryan Seacrest, Ellen Degeneres, and Oprah all use vision boards to map out and keep in mind their goals for the upcoming year. It’s supposedly a great visual reminder of the things you want to accomplish, whether it be making a certain amount of money, losing a certain amount of weight, trying something new, whatever. Plus, not only are those three of my favorite people, they’re also three of the richest people in the entertainment industry. So it’s safe to say that they’re a good model to look up to. I’ve got nothing to lose except the $5 I spent on posterboard and 5 hours of my life I spent cutting things out of magazines.
Since it’s more than halfway through the year, it was time to finally buckle down and do the vision board. Not that I have a clear vision of where my life is going, but I can scrape together a few hopes for the next few months.
I included 5 goals (I’m not calling them resolutions since most of the time people don’t follow through on resolutions.) that I want to accomplish in the next few months, but most of them aren’t a one-stop-shop anyway, and I should be working on them for the rest of my life. I also cut out various headlines, quotes, and pictures from magazines that represent what I want the rest of the year to be filled with or that inspire and interest me.
I’m sure you’re just dying to know what my 5 goals are, so here you go:
1. Save 70%. Getting a full-time job by the time 2016 rolls around isn’t a goal- it’s a must. So that’s not on my list. I’ve heard that you’re supposed to save 90% of your income and only spend 10%, but I have a Target habit that I need to kick before that ever happens. Since I’ve been making minimum wage for the past 2 years working at Towson and working for free at Baltimore Style, I basically spend 110% of my income right now.
Between my WeddingWire income and some other side-gigs I have going on, I’m making more than I have before, so I need to start saving. Unfortunately, working in DC means spending $125 a month to park, so that’s already a sizeable chunk out of my monthly income, and I joined a gym so I can work out, which takes another $20 a month. (Also to help with goal #2, which we’ll get to in just a second.) Saving 70% of my current and soon-to-be full-time income will be a huge step- and also a huge struggle- for me. Hence why it’s goal #1.
2. Lose 30 pounds and be confident. This goal is a goal most women can relate to and struggle with on a daily basis. I’m already proud that over the past year, my confidence and self-love has grown greatly. This is partially thanks to a BF who always encourages me and compliments me, (thanks, Rick!) but also thanks to a constant and conscious effort not to expect to look like Kim K or another celeb who doesn’t ever eat real food and is, realistically, almost a foot shorter than me. Being confident is more important to me than the actual weight loss, but I do need to drop those lbs in order to be at a healthy weight again.
Being confident and loving who you are as you are is so important, and it’s a constant growing and learning experience. But it’s a lot easier to love myself and be confident in myself when I know I’m at my best. A little more than a year ago, I was in a car accident (damn those deer in Carroll County) and couldn’t work out for more than 6 months. I had been going to the gym daily and was in the best shape of my life before the accident, but totally blew it eating junk and not working out for half a year. I gained 20 pounds in that 6 months, and I need to get back to my best.
But here’s a bit of honesty for ya. My best is not, and never will be, 120 pounds. My best will never be 130 pounds. My bones alone weigh that. My best is a solid 145-150, and my best is a 9 minute mile. Someone else’s best may be a lot less than that, someone else’s may be a lot longer than that. But you know what? I’m 5’8 and have the knees of an 80 year old, so I know that 145 and nothing less is a great weight for me. I also know that if I’m ever chased by zombies, I’ll die.
Now that my weight is on the worldwide web, I’ll move on to my next goal. Oiy.
3. Leave my comfort zone. I spent 2 years at Towson, and I really spent them in my bubble. I really think that life is about doing things you’re scared of and things that make you feel a little uncomfortable, and I haven’t been doing that. I want to go outside of my comfort zone in every aspect of life: I want to go out and meet new people, I want to take on tasks that challenge me, and I want to go new places that expand my horizons.
My wonderful friend Andrew texted me after reading my last blog, and sent me to read “The Man in the Arena.” It’s an excerpt from one of Teddy Roosevelt’s speeches, and it encouraged me not only to chase my dreams in my future career and life path, but also to make every day worthwhile.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…”
I would like to leave my comfort zone to chase my dreams and a life of happiness, or leave my comfort zone just to say hello and how are you to a co-worker I don’t know in the bathroom. I may make an error or come up short, but at least I know I tried.
4. Give back. Serving those less fortunate than I am is a huge part of my heart, but it’s something I don’t act on nearly enough. I want to focus on and sincerely put time and effort into it. Two of my good friends, Hannah and Shelley, both went on mission trips to El Salvador this summer, and seeing the passion they have for serving really inspired me to put my money where my mouth and heart are. One of my attempts to do so was adopting a little girl through WorldVision, a Christian organization that I love.
If you follow my social networks, you know that I have 8 kiddos in my life that mean the absolute world to me. I would give them anything or do anything for them at the drop of a hat. I want nothing but the best for them because I love them so dearly. When I came across Darina’s picture, my mind jumped to her family. This sweet, sweet 4-year-old girl has a family that would do anything for her at the drop of a hat too, but they don’t have the resources to. I do. I have $34 a month that will provide clean water, food, education, protection, and equal opportunities for this girl. How could I not give it to her?
The world we live in tells us to keep the money and spend it on Chick-Fil-A or Netflix or a $50 sweater at J. Crew. But the reality of it is that there are millions of kids– babies — that don’t have any food, any running water, or enough clothing. I am determined to remember those kids, whether it’s across the world or right in downtown Baltimore, and to be a part of changing their lives. If you’re still reading this long-winded post, I encourage you to do the same.
5. Stop cursing. Basically, when I’m angry (aka driving to work), I curse way too much. I’ve got to get that under control. (In my head, I thought “I’ve got to get that s— under control,” so that just proves my point.)
I have other goals too, like finish all the seasons of One Tree Hill and wear my contacts more often, but they didn’t make it on the board. Priorities, baby. One of my dreams since I was super young was to visit LA, and I’m actually finally doing it! I’m so excited to visit Hollywood in August that I may never leave. We’ll see what happens.
Now that my vision board is complete, I’m setting out to live a fulfilling and honest life for the next few months. I hope that every time I look at it, I remember that smart is beautiful, that I can blaze a trail, and that life is about being happy. And also that I did a really awesome job making it, because I think it looks great.
Of course I have my girl Jen Aniston on there, because she’s the hottest woman ever. Duh. She’s beautiful inside and out, and she wears sunscreen. All good things to admire. I’ve got Kim K. because THAT HAIR. I need it. Ivanka Trump looks confident and happy in that pic, and, THAT HAIR. Plus, I’m no ballerina but I can totally work on my legs. In fact, I’ll go do that now. Thanks for reading, friends!