Aspirations I’ve already kicked off this year

January is always a positive month, even if it may be a slightly hypersensitive sort of positive. We’re trying to develop the right habits we want to continue for the rest of the year after all. While I personally always feel a little more motivated in the spring when life is blossoming once again, I’ve been pretty pleased with some things I’ve done below to to fulfill my personal aspirations:

1. Maintain a “fit log”: from various phone apps, to at one point resorting to an Excel spreadsheet (prior to a big vacation), I’ve tried many ways to maintain an exercise log. Both my flux in physical activity as well as my inability to decide what I wanted to track what I did prohibited me from finding a happy medium last year. Appreciating the powerful formulas one can manipulate in Excel, I’m determined to maintain an Excel spreadsheet that contains each month in a separate tab where I’ll manually track my weekly fitness habits as well as end-of-month accomplishments. Activities like yoga can’t easily be track on the iPhone’s handy Health app so that’s where this calendar will come in handy. There may be better ones out there but I particularly enjoy the clean simplicity of this one.

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A little snippet of what I’ve logged in thus far! I was on vacation for the first week of January, that’s why it’s shamelessly activity-vacant.

2. Read more fiction: this is one I’ve always struggled with a bit. It’s hard for me to completely drown myself in a book unless it’s impeccably well-written, thought-provoking and has a compelling narrative. I picked up an old book from this summer, Rain by Cynthia Barnett (it was on JP Morgan’s Summer 2015 Reading List, after all) and aspire to finish this as I do wish to inform my new work colleagues some of the interesting anecdotes interspersed within its pages. Plus, a book of that title is pretty relevant to the city in which I live, Seattle: the rainy city.

rain a cultural history3. Weekly piano practice: its been nearly two years since I last played the piano (back during my Cornell days) but I recently paid a visit to the Seattle Public Library, a truly artistic building in its own right, and happily discovered a functional (yet electronic) piano. While patrons can only use the music room for 1-hour periods at a time, it was a surprise to discover I still had the “touch” and remembered how to play most of my piano repertoire. Not by memory (yet) but I’m working up to that! Of all the piano books I threw out, I’m glad I kept my Chopin and Schubert. Mozart, I can live without.

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Behold, the public library! Quite different from the Old World Romanticism of the New York Public Library, but energizing and refreshing nonetheless.

Recommended ReadFinding Love: The Power of a New Story

The trick is not to let it define you. Even though it happened, it’s gone; it’s the past. It’s no longer your story. Let go of the story and create a new one.

I found this link from perusing Goop once again after a long hiatus. I always find articles like this inspiring as I’m all for self-improvement and self-growth. For better or worse, it’s only human that we carry our past with us and that we are literally the products of influences of our past. However, it may be time to use that wonderful internal strength called willpower and call for better energy in your life. To let go of the past hurt, as these do nothing but poison your present self. We are made of matter and matter is a form of energy. What sort of energy do you want to attract? Consider that the next time you get caught up in a negative train-of-thought about the past.

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