Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring into April!!

Hey Everyone! March went by so quickly, I didn't even realize that i needed to set new goals for the month of April! Last month, i actually did an OK job at keeping up with my goals. I noticed that making to-do lists became a habit instead of something i was making myself do. It really helped me remember everything that i needed to get accomplished in a given day. Practicing productively came rather easily to me once i sat myself down and actually did it. It was really nice to have more quiet time to myself to focus on my voice and piano assignments. Enjoying failure was something I definitely had to keep reminding myself to do, because i'm usually a person who gets really worked up over small "failures". In the end, i was able to let everything go and remember that failing will ultimately make me a better person. Working smart didn't work out too well unfortunately. I still procrastinate and haven't been keeping up with all my readings for class, but my grades are still looking good, so i'm not worried.

This month's motto is "Lighten Up". I find that I get worked up over small things and i just don't enjoy life as much as a college student should. So here are my goals:

1. Enjoy the process. Lately, i've been getting really frustrated with myself because i've been working on really challenging repertoire for voice lessons and it hasn't come easily to me. I still have a ton of technical issues. The fact is, i know i need to enjoy improving day by day, month by month. I know i've already been improving so much since the beginning of the school year, but i get impatient with myself. This month i will really wath for myself getting frustrated and tell myself to just enjoy the learning process.
2. Do NOT Let Things Get to Me. It's no secret to my best friends that i definitely let little petty things get to me and they really do upset me. It's only when i think about it later that i realize how stupid it was for me to get upset about it. I just need to calm down and take deep breaths and i know i'll be a happier person.
3. Be a Morning Person. Oh man, this is a tough one. Lately i've been waking up later and later to the point where i don't have time to eat breakfast or atleast put on a little makeup to make myself presentable. This month i'm going to try my best to get up earlier and act like i love mornings. Maybe it'll give me more energy to take on the day.
4. Be Nice to Everyone, Especially People I May Not Like. If i don't like someone, i just won't talk to them or anything. I usually don't like someone if they come off a certain way or have been rude to me. But i need to just let any feelings i have for that person go and just be nice. I need to live by the golden rule, "treat others the way you want to be treated". It will make me in a better mood and i'll feel better about myself.

That's it for this month! Hope everyone had a great March!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap into March!!

Hey Everyone!
Looks like February is over and now it's time for me to update everyone on how i've been doing with my goals for February and to share my goals for March!!

I've definitely kept up with my goals (for the most part) for exercising more, drinking more water, eating slower, eating breakfast, and act more energetic which makes me feel proud of myself (i've already lost 20 Ibs. since about mid-January!). I did have a couple problems with my other goal, which was "go to sleep earlier". While for a couple weeks (not including the weekends) I gave myself a bed time and stuck to it, but didn't find that I had that much more energy, so i kind of gave up on it. I actually found that i got more energy from all the exercise I was doing, not from the sleep. I still find that i "binge sleep" on the weekends, which apparently means i'm not getting enough sleep during the week. Ah well, i'm still proud of myself for keeping up with my other goals!

For March, I knew exactly what i wanted to target: my work ethic. For some reason, this semester i've gotten so lazy with my schoolwork. Luckily it hasn't affected my grades, but i think it will if i don't change back to my old habits from last semester. Here are my goals:

1. Make To-Do Lists. This is going to be an experiment for me. I've never really done this before, but i think if I make to-do lists and check off things as I do them, i'll be proud of myself when everything is checked off at the end of the day (which will also make me happier!)
2. Practice Productively. First, i know that i don't practice my songs and piano as much as i should, so i'll lump that in with this goal. Second, when i do actually go practice in a practice room, i know i'm not really concentrating and can't wait to just leave and go back to my dorm room. Practice time is so valuable for us music majors, so i know i really need to take advantage of the time I have.
3. Enjoy Failure. Just a couple days ago i didn't perform a song for my studio class as well as i would've liked to and i got really shaken up about it immediately afterwards. I think we all need to realize that failing in any way makes us a better, stronger person. It definitely makes me want to try harder. I need to stop being afraid of failing and just embrace it as a part of life. As someone once said "if you don't fail, you're not trying hard enough" (I don't remember who said that).
4. Work Smart. There are 3 little goals within this big one. I find that when i don't procrastinate, i'm a much happier person and student because i know my work is done. Another little goal is to keep up with any readings i have to do for my classes. For example, i haven't been reading any of the articles that my Anthropology teacher has been assigning, and i know it will hurt my grade on the tests if i don't do it, but i always get lazy. Third, i should use any little time i have between classes to get some work done. I always make excuses because i don't think i have enough time, but i know i could get a lot done in those little breaks if i tried.

As usual, I will let you all know how i do with these goals and make new ones for April at the end of the month!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Starting My Year Devoted to Happiness off Right!!

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Rachel. If you want to know more about me, see the "About Me" section on the left side of this blog. I was inspired to do my own Happiness project after i only read the first chapter of Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project. I highly suggest that you all read this book if you want to fully understand the reasons to do a project like this. Also, Gretchen is a great writer and the book is so easy to read. Basically, the book is about how Gretchen decided to take a year to make herself happier after realizing one day that "the days are long, but the years are short". Each month, she has a different thing (parenthood and work, for example) that she wants to accomplish certain things in. Gretchen has definitely done a ton of research on happiness and how to make yourself happier. I may quote the book from time to time simply because it's a great reference. Before you decide to start your own Happiness Project, you should know that this is for people who are relatively happy. If you are depressed, i think you should definitely get some help because i don't think this project is a miracle that would get you out of your depression. If you want to learn more about the Happiness Project, feel free to go to Gretchen's Happiness Project Blog.

For the month of February, i decided to really tackle something that i've needed to work on for a while: my health. I can't say that i'm a very unhealthy person, but before i started going to school at LSU, i had horrible eating habits, hardly ever drank water, and didn't exercise as much as i should've been. These were habits that i have had my whole life, and they were definitely showing since i'm not a skinny girl by any means. I know that following these goals will make me happier because i've tried some of these already and have found that i'm already a happier person. So without further ado, here are my main goals for the month of February:

1. Exercise more. Starting last month in January, i've been going to the gym about 4-5 times a week, so i just want to keep that up. Basically I do a cardio workout (like Zumba) 3 times a week and a strength/flexibility workout (like yoga or pilates) 2 times a week.
2. Drink more water. When i started going to LSU, i drank more water because as a vocalist, it's essential for keeping your voice sounding great. Now i just want to keep drinking more water (I would love to get 8 glasses a day like what is recommended by pretty much every diet book).
3. Eat slower. I've always been a person who eats extremely fast. This is really bad because when you eat fast, your body doesn't have time to tell the rest of your body that you're full, so you end up overeating. I don't have a goal about eating healthy because I've pretty much been doing that for a while now. My basic diet is to avoid simple carbs (such as white bread, pasta, and potatoes) and to eat as many vegetables and fruits as i can. I highly suggest everyone (especially women) to read The Dorm Room Diet by Daphne Oz because it is an amazing diet book for people in college or are on a budget. I try to follow that book pretty religiously when it comes to eating right.
4. Go to sleep earlier. Since being in college, i've gotten in the habit of going to bed after midnight, which is not good when i have really long days going to class, going to the gym, and doing homework/studying. Gretchen has wonderful tips in her book about this goal, such as "try not to do any activites that you need to be alert for (studying, etc) right before bed" and "keep the lighting in your room dim before heading to bed".
5. Act more energetic. This goal goes in conjunction with going to sleep earlier since getting more sleep gives you more energy. Gretchen found that acting more energetic gave her more energy, so that is what i'm going to try doing this month. I know this will definitely help me get through the long days as a college student.
6. Eat Breakfast. I know it's important to start the day off with a nutritious breakfast, but i always wake up when i only have time to get dressed, put on makeup, etc. so i always skip out on breakfast. Eating breakfast kicks starts your metabolism for the day, so it can help you lose weight!

I will put up another blog post at the end of the month to let you guys know how I kept up with my goals and I will set my goals for March.


P.S. If you have any questions or comment, feel free to leave a comment under this post! :)