Sunday, January 5, 2014

Excited to Join Bloglovin

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Plus, the newest shots for Project365:

Today, January 5

Meet Secura, January 4

Now, for the record, I won't be posting all cat pictures, but the top one just melts me! And since I introduced Ringo to the world, it seemed unfair to simply leave Secura in the shadows!

It is a chilly Sunday here, and the cold makes me so grateful to have a solid roof over my head, working heat, and little fuzzy faces to snuggle up with. I'm making progress on "The Lean" plan. Day one was to drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water, Day two focused on eating a hearty breakfast, and Day three's (today) commandment is to eat an apple. I'm going to stick to these three items for the next few days before moving on to day four to better establish them in my daily routine. I also went to the gym yesterday and ran on the treadmill in a 5:1 minute run/walk ratio. It was difficult, and I'm sore today, but I'm also thrilled to return to running. My next workout is Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to it, although at the moment, my muscles are happy for the rest!

Is anyone else working toward wellness goals right now? What steps are you taking to create a healthier you?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January's Intention

An ice-defying fountain downtown; a little photography fun on New Year's Eve.

Simon and Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy in New York" is my current soundtrack for this blog post, courtesy of a "sunny winter days" playlist on, which is a brilliant online "mix-tape" website. I'm pretty sure the website will provide the soundtrack for my whole year; I can always find a playlist to suit my particular mood and be exposed to great new music at the same time. That's not a plug or ad, by the way, it is simply one of my new favorite things!

Anyway. Onto this month's focus: Intentional Wellness.

That is exactly like it sounds: my particular focus for January is personal wellness, most specifically physical wellness. Now, for the record, this blog is not intended to be a weight loss or health blog (*psst* Its an intentional living blog), but it my come off that way as I work on January's focus. If reading about health and wellness isn't your thing, I encourage to come back in February where my monthly focus will transition to another aspect of life (still deciding on the focus, although I've narrowed it down to a couple).

To help my in my Intentional Wellness journey, I've picked up the book "The Lean," by Kathy Freston. It is a guide to lasting wellness and aims to build healthy habits. I'm going to be candid with you about why I picked this book specifically: Ms. Freston gradually leads her readers to embrace a healthy vegan lifestyle. My husband and I are both vegetarians, and this year we aspire to go "vegan at home." The great thing about this book though, is that it is also about so much more, and it walks you through a 30-day process of adopting healthy habits. She also packs in the facts and research to support each step she suggests, which I love.

I'll be blogging regularly as I go through each day. My health is of critical importance to me, and it is integral to leading a life that I love, which is why it gets all the attention this first month.

Now, in addition to following the 30-day wellness plan, I'm going to start running again. Last spring I ran two 5Ks, and I loved them both. It was invigorating, as well as both life- and self-affirming. Running last spring really just made me feel good and feel grateful for what my body is capable of. Over the hot, hot summer and busy first semester of teaching, I gradually stopped running altogether, but instead of swimming in regret over them, I'm just going to pick it back up and hopefully build up my endurance for some 5Ks this spring. I can't wait!

Finally, as I blog about all this health stuff and embracing the very physical aspect of life, I'll also be trying to keep up with Project365, which I'm attempting for the first time this year. To that end:

January 1st: A message from my love
(Yeah, that's him in the background.)


January 2nd: Meet Ringo. Yes, his face really is that
big and beautiful.

Tell me, what kind of intentions are you setting for 2014?

An Intentional Year

I've decided to dub 2014 the year of intention. I want to live a more intentional, more engaged, less passive, less consumptive life.

Before the new year proceeds too much farther, I'll be removing the blog posts previous to this one to begin anew.

I started Dec. 31st with the idea of making New Year's resolutions, as so many do, but of course, a voice in my head condescendingly reminded me of just how many resolutions fail before January is half over. I contemplated that. I seriously considered throwing in the towel regarding goals for the new year. And then I thought, "Well, that's stupid. Goals are important. They give us direction."

I kept dragging my feet over the resolution thing, however, so, after consulting with my husband and receiving some sage advice, I decided to try a different tactic. For the year of 2014, I'll be setting monthly intentions, with definitive concrete steps and mini-goals to assist me in following through. Very few, if any, months will have "end goals," but each one will have a specific focus. And here is where the blog comes in. I want to write about my progress, to increase my mindfulness of my own choices and experiences, and recreate my habitual writing practice of yesteryear.

Mostly, all of these intentions will support the ultimate wish for embracing the present and living more fully, of being bold and hopeful and ridiculously enthusiastic about this life I'm so deeply grateful for.

In addition, expect to see my experiments with fledgling photography, which is my primary creative endeavor outside this blog. I have a DSLR for the first time, and I'm just loving playing with it and seeing what it can do.

This is going to be a brilliant year, but I don't plan to look too far ahead into it. It is the 2nd of January, and what do we have, except for today? So here's to embracing the present, and I hope you'll join me on my journey to live my most intentional year yet!