Girls with Goals

Freckles

“Career Move Mondays” – Pigeon-holed

Welcome to the new series we’re starting called “Career Move Mondays.” We are each at the point in our careers where we’re looking to get in on the ground floor, looking to get into a new industry, or just make strides in what we’re doing. So this series will be a forum for our adventures and musings in the world of work–something we can all relate to. So here we go…

I’ve barely started my career (or is this just a job?) and already I can easily see myself becoming pigeon-holed into one industry, unable to try something new in the future because everything requires experience.

Unfortunately, aside from blogging about whatever I want, I can’t think of a paying gig (and this doesn’t even pay) that I can create and mold to encompass all my passions.

I love writing. I love teaching. I love decorating cakes. I love psychology. I love people. I love books. I love interior design. I love organization. I love cheese.

And I’m expected to just pick one???

I can’t viably have a new career every month. So how can I prepare myself to be a competitive candidate wherever I choose to go?

I’m thinking of using my entries in the “Career Move Mondays” series to explore various fields that I’m interested in, with the hopes that we all get something from it? What do you think?

Tell me, friends, how were you able to transition to a new field? Did you have to start from scratch–get a new degree, start at the bottom rung in the industry? How were you able to use your experience as a plus when breaking into a new world?

In other news, you’ll be seeing some re-design going on with the site, so don’t let any changes scare you off! We’re just trying to make this as functional and beautiful as possible! We are also implementing regular posting schedule, as well as some creative ideas for our posts. So make sure you stop by more often!

Freckles

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Self-exams

No, this isn’t that kind of self-exam. Sorry to disappoint!

For the last post of 2010, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at the various aspects of my life for which I have set goals. What have I accomplished? What do I need to continue to work on?

Family – I really haven’t set any particular goals toward improving my family life so far, but I really should focus on getting along better with my mom. We can be the best of friends at times, but lately it seems that we’re at odds, and every comment she makes just grinds on me. In 2011, I intend to forge a better relationship–by not taking her comments to heart, or perhaps by respecting particular comments more.

Career – Fortunately I have already made headway on this goal, as I secured my first full-time post-college job just a few weeks ago! I haven’t even been able to properly determine my feelings on the position yet since the first week our office was inundated with last-minute deadlines and was a source of constant stress, but since then most of my co-workers (and most of the work) have been gone for the holidays creating a false relaxed environment. However, I do need to start thinking what career path I would actually like to continue on–more on this in my Education section.

Health – I have really been putting forth a lot of effort toward this goal. In a previous post I mentioned taking ballerobica classes–and I’ve managed to stick with it! A quick tally: first week – 4 classes, second week – 2 classes (my first week of work–very hectic), third week – 7 classes, fourth week – 0 classes (the studio was closed for the holiday), fifth week – 6 classes (and the studio was only open 3 days!). So while I feel like I’m working my butt off, my butt hasn’t gone anywhere. I haven’t lost any weight! I’m definitely starting to think this is more of a medical issue. Hence my new goal (which is much more attainable now that I’ll be back on my mom’s insurance): see a doctor!

Finance – Well, as mentioned, I got a full-time job, complete with a salary! So I feel pretty confident in my finances now. However, I can see myself going on a few shopping sprees in the months to come. So my financial goal for 2011: save that money!

Recreation – For my dad’s Christmas gift, I purchased a Groupon (I can’t say enough good things about Groupon these days!) for the two of us to take glass classes together. We have been wanting to take stained glass classes for a while, and although this Groupon is mainly just for glass fusing and glass blowing classes, I think we’ll really enjoy trying a new hobby together!

Charity – This is a goal that could always use some work. I’d like to find a local organization to get involved with on a regular basis. I’ll definitely be doing some more research–and action–toward this one!

Travel – Here comes that word again: job. I’ve earned a total of about 2 hours of vacation time. I could possibly take a little stay-cation to the next town over! However, my job is currently only funded through the end of June (grant money, ya know), and while my employer is working to get more grant money to keep me longer, I may have more opportunity to travel later this year. My family is talking about doing another cruise–I’m hoping for northern Europe, like Scandinavia and Russia–but I’d also like to visit my good friend in England. And to combine financial and travel goals, I’m setting up a savings account to contribute to each paycheck that will be reserved only for travel.

Education – I thought I had this one all figured out. I just completed two bachelor degrees–journalism and psychology–and last year I even applied to a few graduate programs. However, one thing I’ve learned this past year is that I can’t commit to a graduate program yet because I don’t even know what I want to do! So my current plan: since I work for the university, I can take classes on the cheap. I’m going to take a creative writing workshop class this semester! (Honestly, I am a good writer, I just haven’t exercised my writing juices enough, and this blog is going to be great practice as well, so bare with me if my writing is a little blah for a while).

Romance – I have been with my boyfriend for almost 7 years, and I love him to death. I’m not sure what specific goals I have in this department, but I know that our relationship could definitely be improved upon. Lemme think on this one and get back to you.

Relationships – Here’s another I thought I was on top of. However, a few recent events around me have got me to thinking. What kind of friendship am I putting out into the world? Throughout the year I can easily see what my friends could have done better in our friendship, but now is the time to look at myself. I want to be someone my friends will call after a long day to wind down. I want to be someone my friends will come to for advice–whether I’m older or younger than they are. I want to be someone my friends will turn to in an emergency. I want to be someone my friends will call for a last-minute happy hour. Is this the friendship I’m providing? The plan for 2011 is to be that person. I can’t control the kinds of people my friends are, but I can control the kind of friend I am.

So tell me, what goals do you have for the new year? The standard New Year’s resolutions, or more in-depth goals? How can you see the new year being a catalyst for change in your life?

I love you all,

Freckles


Sorry for the delay…

It has been a LONG time since we’ve posted. I avoided it because I was hogging the posts. But where was everyone else in the group? Two of whom you’ve never even heard from?

Well unfortunately the group has come to a little hurdle we’re still not sure if all of us can jump. There are a few things that setting sweet little goals won’t fix. Wish us luck as we attempt to keep the whole group together to 2011!

But while I’m here, I’d like to take a few paragraphs (or perhaps a list–I love lists!) to illustrate what this group is really about:

1. First and foremost, the point is to make and realize goals–no matter how small or big. Want to become a Hollywood A-List celebrity? Great! We’ll help you take baby steps to get there. Want to just be happy for the first 10 minutes of each day (not to say you aren’t happy the rest of the day, but those first few minutes after a restful sleep can be a real challenge to welcome)? Fantastic! That’s a goal that a lot of people haven’t managed to achieve. We’ll help you take baby steps to make that happen as well!

2. Maintain better relationships. Some of us have family members or relatives with whom a supportive relationship is a struggle. Some of us have co-workers of the Dwight Schrute variety, with whom we are required to work on a daily basis. Some of us have friends with whom we haven’t held up our end of the deal–reciprocity. Most–if not all–relationships have room for improvement. Whether that involves righting a wrong by sucking it up and admitting you were to blame, in part or in whole, or by sucking it up and taking that first step, regardless of the situation, these are goals that I’m sure everyone can own up to.

3. Try new things, or learn how to do old things better. Have you always wanted to go sky-diving, but could never take that flying leap? We’ll help get you on that plane. Have you always wanted to be able to hem your own pants when they’re too long? Borrow my sewing machine! Life is about learning, and we’re all privileged enough to know the value of continuing education–whether that means going back to school for a higher degree or taking an underwater basket-weaving class at the local community center. Maybe you just want to learn to program your DVR and to delete episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger that it mysteriously began recording religiously. Or take a stab at putting together IKEA furniture by actually understanding their instruction diagrams!

4. Providing support. Maybe I can’t make my own goal come to life without a few hundred-thousand dollars. But maybe I have a spare bolt from the IKEA furniture I recently put together that will make your machine come to life. I’m here to help. We’re all here to help. This group requires a little humility. We can’t give help if you don’t ask for it.

5. Finally, I want to point out that this group could have a 5-year-old and a 65-year-old, and we should each be able to take the same from this group as we would if we were each born on February 29, 1984 at 11:11 a.m. and were all raised in isolation from the world. I can’t think of a single person who couldn’t benefit in some way from a group like ours. You get from the group what you make of it.

Seems like the end of the year is the perfect time to look back and reexamine what we’re here for as a group. Now I hope we all manage to look back and reexamine what we’re here for individually.

Happy new year to you all, and I hope we see you again in 2011!

I love you all,

Freckles


I’ve always wanted to be a ballerina…

Classic ballet-dancer

Image via Wikipedia

…and this is as close as I’m going to get.

arabesque, demi-pointes, plie

Just like probably 95% of the population, one of my goals has been to tone up. Without getting all TMI on you lovely readers, two years ago I was tiny. Small enough that people would sneer at me and say with disdain, “You’re so skinny.” I couldn’t help it! I could eat 18 inches of a cheesesteak sandwich and not gain an ounce! One year ago I had filled out nicely. I actually liked my body’s proportions. Even six months ago I wasn’t embarrassed to wear a swim suit. One month ago I almost started crying in a Kohl’s dressing room.

I don’t know what happened between now and then (I do have a theory, but it’s not a topic for good company). My diet hasn’t changed–if anything it has improved. My level of exercise hasn’t changed much–I hardly exercised before because I never needed to. However, sitting here contemplating Why I Jiggle has surprisingly produced little–if any–results.

These past few months I’ve tried a few different work-out routines, some more whole-heartedly than others. I worked out at a gym twice. I got bored and knew I wouldn’t be able to commit to such a chore. I’ve tried various Jillian Michaels DVDs, and even made a daily routine of them. While I liked the idea of sweating and panting in private, I also got lonely. And bored again.

Along came Groupon.com. The day after I signed up, a coupon for one month’s unlimited classes at a ballet fusion fitness studio chimed in my inbox. I took five years of tap, jazz and hip hop dance classes through junior high and high school, as well as both salsa dancing and yoga/Pilates in college. But I had never taken ballet because I started dancing so late that I would have been in a beginning class with all four-year-olds. Would’ve made for some darling recital photos!

Anyway, today I tried out a Stretch and Tone class (leg, arm, and ab work from a ballet barre), as well as a Ballerobica class–the fusion of ballet strength and stretch techniques and an aerobics work-out.

This is a program I can see myself sticking with. Adult, beginner, social, supportive, rigorous, effective. And I’ve only had two hours!

Now, readers, here is where you come in. Although I say I can commit, I want you all to make sure I do! Yell, berate, scold, and give me the evil eye. I want to lose 10 pounds by my birthday, January 14. Help me out!

What work-outs have worked best for you? How did you get yourself to actually do them?

I love you all,

Freckles


Acheived: Biggest goal yet

Well, friends, my top priority goal is now a reality! I got my first post-college full-time job!

I’ll be working at the state university planning events for an organization that focuses on improving mathematics education for K-12 students.

Wish me luck!

Freckles


Gluttony

Tomorrow is the LA Girls’ next official meeting. So naturally we plan to order plenty of expensive drinks and too much food. And a decadent dessert will go a long way to ensuring that our weight loss goals pose more of a challenge. Gluttons for punishment, or just gluttons for chocolate?

We’re going to “weigh in” with our accomplishments. We’re going to hold each other accountable for the goals we haven’t worked toward. And we’re going to go off on tangents and remember 20 minutes later what we were supposed to talk about.

And I’m up late the night before, writing down ideas for our group, planning what we need to talk about, deciding if I need to bring my computer tomorrow to do a mini “tutorial” on how to use WordPress.

And all I’ve learned is that I’m a nerd. And I like making PowerPoint presentations of the items on my Christmas list. To bring this post full-circle, I really am a glutton for punishment.

I love you all,

Freckles


Extreme DIY Makeover: Closet Edition

If you’re at all like me, you have once been afraid to step foot in your closet. Not because of monsters (the Sully and Mike variety are so cute, anyway!), but because you might be swallowed whole by all of the crap treasures you’ve accumulated.

In my case, my jewelry and other accessories threatened to swallow the rest of my room whole–this isn’t to say that all my clothes aren’t currently planning a bloody coup, but I felt the accessories would be the easier battle.

So one of my recent goals was to cleanorganize…VANQUISH my closet.

Since my dad is far more handy than I am–but I can certainly hold my own–in fact I have more tools than my boyfriend and his 2 guy roommates combined (all they have is a miniature hammer)–he was nice enough to hang the pegboard for me. Here’s just a brief description of the materials/steps: we (and I’m using that term lightly) spray painted a 4’x8′ pegboard white, and screwed thin strips of wood onto the back, right at the edges, as well as a thin chunk of wood in the center. These ensure that the pegboard does not sit flat against the wall, and you can easily arrange and rearrange your hooks. And the small piece keeps the center from caving in.

 

 

Anyway, I bought a few sets of assorted pegboard hooks, as well as some separate pegboard organizing pieces from Lowe’s and went to town. This kit comes with curved hooks, straight hooks, pliers holders, parts bins, shelf brackets, double prong hooks, various tool holders, etc. Plus I bought a set of baskets.

I feel like I’m part of Young House Love being so crafty and economical!

A place for all my necklaces…and room for more.

My bracelets have been upgraded from the bottom of my jewelry box.

Even my earrings have a versatile home!

Baskets and containers for odds and ends like hair ties, headbands and rings.

Gloves (because it does actually get cold in Arizona) and clutch purses.

No more trying to make room for belts in my dresser.

I’ve even put up more pegboard on other walls of my closet (above the door and shelves) to contain more of my purse collection.

Do you have any savvy home improvement projects you’ve done?

P.S. Sorry for the photo-heavy post today (but maybe you all like that?).

I love you all,

Freckles