Simplify Sunday- Annual Goals Update 

  birthday drinks 
I cannot believe it’s been seven weeks since I started my new annual goals. I have no idea how that happened. Counting the weeks has made me feel pretty guilty about how little I’ve done. Still, I have done a couple of things that are important to me. 

As pictured here, I went out for dinner and drinks in a joint birthday celebration with my beautiful friend, M. Our birthdays are five days apart, and we usually buy each other gifts. We do often go out for happy hour as well, but not always. I know that she is big into experiences instead of stuff, so I thought she would be the perfect person to start working on that goal with. 

It helped that it was my birthday, too. It’s a lot easier to say to someone, “Hey, let’s go out and try something fun together to celebrate our birthdays instead of buying tangible gifts” than it is to say “You know how I usually take you out for happy hour and give you a present for your birthday? Well, I know you probably don’t even remember what I gave you last year (and hey, neither do I), so let’s just skip that part and spend a little more money on the experience”. The second way you just sound like a cheapass. I haven’t quite figured out to spin that yet. 

M and I had so much fun hanging out. That’s what sucks about growing up- the more responsibilities you have, the more rare that time with your friends is. We used to hang out a few times a week, and now we’re lucky if it’s a few times a month. I loved going the experience instead of stuff route, and I definitely want to keep that going. 

I automated my emergency fund deposits for each month. I’ve had two go in so far, which is awesome. I have really not saved anything over the last year in my emergency fund, because everything I’ve put in has come out at some point. Last year was super expensive! I also checked my credit, and didn’t see any red flags. My score is the highest it’s ever been, which was exciting!

Maybe I find strange things exciting, but I think those are my biggest accomplishments so far on my list. Simplifying gift giving and saving, but in totally different ways. Anyone else trying anything new this year that they’ve managed to stick to?

Jillian 

My 36 Project

Jillian loves the Packers  I thought about it for a while, and even though I didn’t complete 100% of my 35 Things to do Before 35; I still really enjoyed the process and am going to do it again. Here are my goals to accomplish before I turn 36!

Activities

1. Go to afternoon tea

2. Canoeing at Cook Park

3. Tree to Tree obstacle course

4. Go horseback riding

5. Take a vacation- even if it’s just using the days off to stay home

6. Spa day with Chelle

7. Hike Dog Mountain

8. Go to West Coast Game Park Safari

9. Visit Seattle

10. Volunteer at a homeless shelter

11. Frame my two unframed pictures

12. Do a painting

13. Go to a play

14. Go on a picnic

 

Finances

15. Automate emergency fund deposits- and keep them that way!

16. Invest in stock (any amount, even one share. Maybe Acorn?)

17. Decide if I want to save to buy a house/townhouse/condo

18. Do Suze University

19. Check credit

 

On-going goals

20. Visit grandparents once a month (0/12)

21. Send a card or care package every week (0/52)

22. See a friend once a week (0/52)

23. Practice yoga once a week (0/52)

24. Exercise at least twice a week (0/52)

25. Buy myself flowers once a month (0/12)

26. Do purge of belongings once a month (0/12)

27. Use all four free car details (0/4)

28. Post on blog once a week (0/52)

 

Personal

29. Lose 40 pounds

30. Do a cleanse

31. Use my Happy Herbivore meal plans for at least a month

32. Run a 10k

33. Focus on giving fewer things and more experiences

 

Puppies

34. Take Lambeau to two puppy classes

35. Take Riley to a third training class

36. Adopt Lambeau!

 

Questions to Ask When Looking For a Therapist 

I’m not sure if anyone has really noticed, but I’ve been pretty absent for a while now. I’ve been going through a rough patch, and honestly haven’t had the motivation to put myself out there much. However, I am strong and I have a lot of great support.

I have been working with a therapist, which I think I mentioned before. I was so nervous and intimidated about how to go about finding the right one. I started by checking out who was covered by my insurance, because that just made sense. I knew I wanted to see a woman, so that helped narrow it further. Then I looked at who was conveniently located, and who had availability after work. The last thing I needed was to take time off work once a week!

I also asked my awesome friend, who is a therapist herself, for some advice on how to choose. She gave me these GREAT questions to ask both the therapists I talked to and myself. My favorite part is that she also gave possible “right” answers to the questions. I wanted to share, just in case anyone else is considering therapy, and she gave me her permission.

For me, the first step of looking and calling was the very hardest. I’m not great at talking and honestly still dread going most weeks, but I always feel better after my sessions.

??????? For the therapist 

What theories/frameworks do you use? Why those theories and not others? (You’re looking for why they think it’s effective, not what they personally like.)

While researching about this, I found that there are so many new techniques and ideas. How do you stay abreast of all this knowledge (looking for “attending training, conferences, reading”)

What role do you think medication plays in mental health? (You’re looking for an answer like “it depends”. Some psychiatrists think “non-compliance” to medication regimens is tantamount to revolt)

I know everyone is different, but what is the time-range for this therapy to show effectiveness?

Have you treated anyone with issues similar to mine? What was the outcome? What ingredients were the cause of that success/failure? How will we measure progress?

What’s expected from me? (For instance, are there homework assignments?)

When do you start thinking about termination (ending the relationship), and what will that look like? (e.g. will it be a shared decision, is there a set number of visits and then review, etc)

??????? For you 

Did you feel heard by the therapist?

Did you feel like the therapist respected you?

Was the therapist condescending?

Did the therapist seem like a real person, or were they playing a role?

Was the therapist passive or active in the session? What do you like better?

Does it seem like the therapist will be open to hearing about all your feelings, including frustrated feelings relating to them?

Did the therapist have a positive outlook on life?

Did you feel better or worse after the session?

Did you feel comfortable with the therapist?

Does this seem like a safe place to express your thoughts, concerns, and feelings?

I didn’t ask all of these questions, but even thinking about them helped me realize more about what I was looking for. Good luck in your journey!

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- Women and Friendship

birthday partyI’ve been feeling very introspective this week. I am prone to anxiety and over thinking things, so I try to focus my attention on the now, rather than the past or the future. However, sometimes living an intentional life means self examination.

Last week I mentioned that my favorite part of My 35 Project has been pushing myself to really connect with my loved ones. That’s still true. It has changed my perspective, and reminded me that it’s not selfish to take time out to nurture my friendships and relationships with my family. It’s actually what life is about, the core of it all. It’s easy to feel over scheduled and like spending time doing something for yourself is low priority, but it isn’t.

I was looking through the pictures on my laptop, and found this photo from my 30th birthday. Four years later, I am still very close to all of these girls, and I am so thankful for that. There are a couple of my girls that were missing that night, but they are the core of my support system 🙂 When thinking about what I want to be, what I want my life to mean, et cetera; being a good friend to those I love is near the top of the list.

However, the realization that I have come to through all of this retrospection is that I also need to be my own friend. I need to prioritize myself, and love myself the way I would a friend. This is next to impossible for me, because I judge myself nine ways to Sunday. It’s been said over and over, but it’s so easy to be your own harshest critic. WHY? Don’t we have the rest of the world to judge us? Who is going to love us most, if not ourselves? This week I am vowing to be my own friend and show myself some love and understanding. The most simple concepts can be the absolute hardest, and I think that’s why I struggle with this. I can and will do better.

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- Love and Happiness

jillian and mkThis is me and my love, MK 🙂 We showed up at a party in almost the same dress, but we love each other so much that we thought it was fantastic instead of embarrassing.

Today I’m going to write about a different part of My 35 Project than I usually do on Sundays. Part of what I’ve wanted to do this year is be more intentional about relationships. I am an odd person because if I had to choose, I would say I am extroverted. Maybe I should take a poll and see what those around me say, but I am not afraid to talk to strangers, I tend to be loud in inappropriate situations, and I feed off of the energy of groups of people.

All that aside, I like to stay home and snuggle my dogs. I do make an effort to stay in touch with the people I love, but I’m bad at making plans and sometimes I get anxious when I think about going out in public. I make plans that I really look forward to, and then when the day comes I get anxious. I’m just kind of nuts.

I made goals to see a friend once a week, and to send something in the mail once a week. The mail has been easy and fun. I love writing a letter or card, it makes me so happy. I hope that it makes the person receiving it happy too! The in person visits I am 5/7. I don’t know why I can’t pull it together. Every time I make time to see a friend, I feel so rejuvenated and so much happier to be alive. That may sound extreme, but it’s true. I love to connect with other people, catch up, share a snack, whatever.

To me, that’s what it’s all about. Getting to know other people, finding true friends and love ❤ I guess everything is about priorities in this world, but it frustrated me that I have to constantly revisit mine (just to figure out what I’ve always known). I want to spend my time doing the simple things in life that make me happy- spending time with people I love, exercise, food, sleep… back to the basics!

Jillian

Five Guilty Pleasures That Cheer Me Up

bear nailsSometimes life is exhausting, and this has just been one of those weeks. It’s time to put some effort into becoming myself again; instead of a crazy, stressed out version of myself. Here’s what I want to do this weekend:

1. I adore this manicure by polishpedia.com. Probably because I’m such a girly girl and love pink and bears. I’m not going to apologize. I will say, I’ve done it before, and pink is actually not a great color. If you’re not a super genius artist, the bear will end up looking like a pig. Also, I didn’t actually watch her video, so maybe that’s part of the problem. But I think I’m going to do it with white and gray.

2. A good work out on my rower while I watch Scandal. I still haven’t seen it!! No one can ruin it for me! Please?! This will give me about 50 minutes of cardio, which should definitely give me happy vibes.

3. A long walk in the park with the Shibas.

4. Undoubtedly, an afternoon nap. I just can’t even tell you how much I want this.

5. This is probably not a guilty pleasure, but I’m going to eat a salad and a green smoothie. I need veggies and vitamins, and I know they will perk me up.

Any other awesome ideas? Tomorrow I get to hang out with my darling M ❤ , and girl time is the ultimate pick me up!

Jillian