Watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone πŸŽ₯ reminiscing about midnight showings and wondering if deposits at Gringott’s collect interest πŸ§™πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Goals Check In: June 2020

I am focusing on intentional living to better align how I spend my time and energy with my values. Creating and tracking goals are helping me feel like myself through the pandemic. Here is my (belated) June update!

πŸ’° Financial Wellbeing

Save, Save, Save On track! I slightly exceeded my goals.
Spend Less Specifically in the categories Restaurants and Mindless Online Purchases. I did so-so this month. I made two larger purchases, a wetsuit and a Fitbit Charge 4, but stayed away from the smaller things that add up. Restaurant spending remains low while sheltering in place.

πŸ§ πŸ“š Personal Development

Read Every Day & Finish 44 Books in 2020 & Read More Diverse Voices I completed five books, bringing my total to 26.
  • The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang
  • The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Explore New Ideas
  • SKY Breathing by Art of Living - I started this breathwork class offered by my employer, and am finding it somewhat odd. Another coworker mentioned that it felt like a pyramid scheme. I would not be surprised if we were nudged into a teacher training program at the end. I am not planning on sticking with it, but it’s a good reminder of the value I got out of regular meditation.
  • Started Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography on Udemy.
Improve Photography Skills I started a course on Udemy! I have not yet been out to shoot photos, but it’s still on the list.
Complete Predictive Analytics Certificate Program by EOY ‘20 No classes in June - they resume in July.

🧘🌲 Fitness & Outdoor Activity

Spend 1 hr/Week in Nature This month I went camping and scuba diving. It was all in the same week, but it was so wonderful to be outdoors in the forest and by the sea. I camped at a secluded HipCamp site, where I was able to safely physical distance from one other camper on the 125-acre property.
Do Yoga 15x/Month I did yoga 9 times in June.
Home Exercise Routine Fail. I was a potato in June. Such a potato.

πŸ’»πŸ€³ Digital Life

Reduce Social Media Use I got an iPhone and I’m still trying to figure out how best to use the Screen Time report. I averaged 41 minutes per day on the category “Social Networking” which appears to include Instagram and Gluon. I removed Instagram from my phone for nearly a week and it was glorious - until I missed messages from my friend who is currently in Iraq. I need to find out how to keep in touch with her without IG!

Goals Check In: May 2020

I am focusing on intentional living to better align how I spend my time and energy with my values. Here is my (very late) May Update!

πŸ’° Financial Wellbeing

Save, Save, Save On track! Exceeded my savings goals and made donations to the Texas Civil Rights Project and NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund.
Spend Less Specifically in the categories Restaurants and Mindless Online Purchases. Restaurant spending was pretty good, $157 for the month spent for three takeout meals from our neighborhood pizza joint. I did splurge on some house plants and related supplies.

πŸ§ πŸ“š Personal Development

Read Every Day & Finish 44 Books in 2020 & Read More Diverse Voices I completed two books, bringing my total to 21. A few more are nearly done too!
  • Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Explore New Ideas
  • Cocktail How-To with Spirit Guides, covering some home cocktail mixing basics and a few recipes. We’ve been making the Gold Rush at home, super tasty!
  • Completed Playing Big with Tara Mohr, a 4-part women’s leadership development program offered by my company.
Improve Photography Skills I should acknowledge that I am making zero progress. I still don’t want to let it go.
Complete Predictive Analytics Certificate Program by EOY ‘20I finished two classes in May and registered for a summer course that starts after a much needed six-week break. The double class load was tough. I kept telling myself that it was worth it to finish by EOY. But honestly, the added load took away from time I desperately needed to rest and take care of myself.

🧘🌲 Fitness & Outdoor Activity

Spend 1 hr/Week in Nature I spent a little bit more time outdoors this month, including a (socially distanced) day at the outdoor civilian rifle range on Camp Pendleton.
Do Yoga 15x/Month I did yoga 13 times this month! This might be my record. The studio re-opens next month, but indoor practice with strangers does not fit in with my COVID risk management strategy.
Home Exercise RoutineI did such a great job getting in a routine in April, then fell off the wagon mid-May. This was due in part to wrist pain preventing me from doing push-ups.

πŸ’»πŸ€³ Digital Life

Reduce Social Media Use This was absolutely terrible in May. I spent far too many hours scrolling through social feeds and news sites.

Goals Check In: April 2020

I am focusing on intentional living to better align how I spend my time and energy with my values. Here is my April Update!

πŸ’° Financial Wellbeing

Save, Save, Save Still focusing on sticking to the plan and not getting distracted by the news. Expenses are lower while sheltering in place, and I’m funneling the extra cash into emergency savings.
Spend Less Specifically in the categories Restaurants and Mindless Online Purchases. We’ve settled into a Friday delivery routine. I ordered dinner twice this month with very generous tips for our Grubhub drivers. I allow myself one gift to myself per month. This month was a DrinkMate beverage carbonator, which I am very pleased with. I have replaced my daily can of Spindrift with sparkling filtered water and lemon. If I’m being honest, I also got Jabra Elite 75t earbuds… Debatable if these are a necessary expense or a treat!

πŸ§ πŸ“š Personal Development

Read Every Day & Finish 44 Books in 2020 & Read More Diverse Voices I read every day this month, completing four books including two Hugo winners.
  • Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
  • Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
  • The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
  • The Stone Sky by N.K Jemisin
Explore New Ideas New goal category for miscellaneous courses and areas of exploration! Aiming for 4 monthly.
  • Plant Basics - Can You Dig It with Lord Fierce - a Houseplants 101 workshop covering light, water, soil, and other basics. I am very interested in acquiring more houseplants after we move and took LOTS of notes!
  • Playing Big with Tara Mohr, a 4-part women’s leadership development program offered by my company.
Improve Photography Skills I should acknowledge that I am making zero progress. I still don’t want to let it go.
Complete Predictive Analytics Certificate Program by EOY ‘20 Currently enrolled in two classes. My program canceled one of the core classes at the last minute due to low enrollment. I hoped to knock out the requirements this quarter, but the advisor assured me it will return in the Fall.

🧘🌲 Fitness & Outdoor Activity

Spend 1 hr/Week in Nature I barely spent time outdoors this month besides a few walks with my husband and dog. My mental health is suffering because of this.
Do Yoga 15x/Month I did yoga 7 times this month, all Yin or Restorative. These have not been my go-to styles in the past, but my body is craving the slower pace and deep stretching.
Home Exercise Routine Thanks to DAREBEE, I’m finding a routine that works for me. In the morning, I do wall push-ups and an ab workout. After work, I do a low impact bodyweight program and yoga. I found my stride in the second half of the month in making this a daily habit. When I complete these 30-day programs I’ll roll right into the next level.

πŸ’»πŸ€³ Digital Life

Reduce Social Media Use I reigned in my social media usage this month. My daily average is now around 40 minutes, down from 60+ last month.

Reflecting on Eight Weeks in Place

Eight weeks have passed since we began our stay at home confinement.

I signed up for two classes this quarter because I thought, “What else would I be doing right now? I should be productive!” It turns out that I would very much like to have time to relax, read, watch TV, and generally do nothing. I enjoy the coursework, but reading, homework, discussion boards, and quizzes are gobbling up the free hours that I desperately need to recharge. On the bright side, I look forward to finishing my certificate program before the end of the year.

On the subject of doing nothing - I decided to take two personal days next week. My plan? Read no news, do no homework, stay off Facebook. Maybe I’ll go for a long walk or binge on B-movies. I will dedicate two full days to listening to my mind and body and taking care of myself.

As we approach the transition to “Phase 2” of re-opening life on the west coast, I am encountering a whole new type of anxiety. I oscillate between feeling we’re moving too slowly or too quickly to return to some sense of normalcy. I hope we never find out if Southern California or any other region had or has the potential to have an outbreak on the scale of NY/NJ. Yet, the impacts on the economy and mental health affect everyone. Coming out of this I will deliberately shop local, shop small, and savor hugs with friends.

πŸ“½οΈ Movies this past week:

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) - fun story, characters, and critters.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - not great, it seemed to lack a purpose.
  • The VelociPastor (2017) - silly trash and I loved it!

πŸ“š Finished reading The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the final book in The Broken Earth Trilogy. I generally liked how it wrapped up and felt that things were explained to my satisfaction, without veering off into too much historical detail. I think I liked the first book best.

I realized this morning that I have not been using an alarm. In the past 46 days, sunrise has shifted from 7:09 to 6:10, and my natural waking time has followed. The day has streched from 11h44m to 13h18m in lengh, providing an extra 1h34m of daylight. I love this time of year! 🌞

πŸ“Ί Just finished watching McMillion$ on HBO (also on Hulu), what a story!

Reflecting on Six Weeks in Place

I am finding alternatives to procure groceries and supplies without stressful in-store visits. A pickup order from Pavilions supplemented by milk and cheese from a local restuarant will get us through this week. We will run out of TP this week though, so a Target trip is in the cards. Masks from Etsy are in the mail so I can retire my improvised bandana mask. I also ordered two olive drab masks that my husband can wear to work and two fun brightly colored masks for my mom. I think we’ll be wearing these for a while, so I’ll be happy when we all have good ones.

Goals Check In: March 2020

I have been focusing on intentional living in order to better align how I spend my time and energy with my values. Obviously the world is not what it was a few weeks ago. Plans and routines are disrupted. I found restaurant spending and reading much easier this month, while social media and time in nature were a challenge.
Anyways, Here is my March Update!

πŸ’° Financial Wellbeing

Save, Save, Save With the economy in the shitter, I am grateful that I am still employed. I am also proud that I’ve had the discipline to stick with my savings goals. Focusing on sticking to the plan (current focus is building emergency fund) and not getting distracted by the news.
Spend Less Specifically in the categories Restaurants and Mindless Online Purchases. LOL @ restaurant spending while we’re sheltering in place. We’ve still been ordering takeout around once a week, but costs are lower (no drinks or spontaneous dessert). I spent a whopping $27 on restaurants in March against my goal of less than $100 which I rarely meet. I am allowing myself one “treat myself” gift per month which gives me time to be thoughtful and order things that spark joy without going overboard trying to buy away my boredom.

πŸ§ πŸ“š Personal Development

Improve Photography Skills It looks like we won’t be traveling in June or much this year at all, which was a main motivator for this.
Complete Predictive Analytics Certificate Program by EOY ‘20 Starting two more classes next week! On track to finish in December.
Read Every Day & Finish 44 Books in 2020 & Read More Diverse Voices I successfully read 30 out of 31 days in March and completed five books, including two Hugo winners.
  • The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
  • The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin
  • Waking Up by Sam Harris
  • Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

🧘🌲 Fitness & Outdoor Activity

Spend Time in Nature Spent 3 days snowboarding in Park City, Utah before everything shut down. Also took Peppy to zoom around at a baseball diamond before they locked the gates.
Do Yoga 15x/Month I did yoga 9 times this month. Not great, but I’m adjusting since my yoga studio closed.
Get in Hiking Shape On hold due to shelter in place order, since trails are closed and treadmills are locked away. Instead, next month I will be focusing on getting a good home excercise routine.

πŸ’»πŸ€³ Digital Life

Reduce Social Media Use Social media use is through the roof, much to my detriment. I’m averaging ~1hr/day on Instragram and probably similar on Facebook. I’m also reading way too much news.

I’m doing Zero Hero + Power Up on the donation-based fitness site DAREBEE and realizing that I’m really weak in a lot of muscle groups I usually forget about. Finding my home fitness groove πŸ˜…

Now is a great time to look at where you are not spending money while sheltering in place and stash it away in a high interest savings account that earns 1.5% or higher. An emergency fund covering 6-12 months is “best,” but new research from JP Morgan Chase shows 6 weeks should be enough to weather volitility in income and expenses (they also made this handy calculator).

My monthly expenses in March were ~$500 lower since I’m not currently paying for gas, tolls, restaurants, or a yoga studio membership. While I am currently employed, my job is not very recession-proof, so every extra dollar is going into emergency cash savings.

Playing 🎲 Throw Throw Burrito, watching πŸ“Ί Dracula (2020), and daydreaming about grocery shopping like things were normal.

πŸ“½οΈ Tonight’s movie: Idiocracy (2006)

Forced myself to take the dog for a longer walk and do “Gentle Yoga” πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ on Down Dog. Sunshine and movement do wonders for my mood, which needs all the help it can get these days.

πŸ“Ί Caught up on Westworld this weekend, really enjoying the premise of this season!

πŸ“š Finished reading Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, Book 7 of The Dresden Files.

πŸ“š Finished reading Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris.

Celebrating my birthday by sheltering in place and watching Earth Girls are Easy πŸ“½οΈ

πŸ• Happy one year Peppy-versary to our sweet energetic pup! Marjory is still unimpressed.

Progress: Somewhat limited my news intake and spent “only” 45 minutes on Instagram yesterday, which noticeably improved my mood and sleep.

πŸ“š Finished reading The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.

Reframe β€œI am stuck inside” to β€œI can finally focus on my home and myself”… Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself.

Aarti Gupta, PsyD

πŸ“½οΈ Now watching: Tammy and the T-Rex (1994) πŸ¦–