Sunday, January 20, 2013

Your Better Self

I Googled something random the other day. I don't even remember what it was. Something like "how to live better" or "how to change your life" or something. Well, I spent pretty much the whole day clicking through links to blogs and articles. I don't know why, but I became enamored with finding ways that people have bettered themselves, and seeing what others think of as positive change.

I found a handful of sites that I really liked, and some ideas that I want to take to heart and try out. I thought I would go through those sites/blogs/articles and put them all into one convenient post so you guys don't have to spend an entire day searching them out. Unless that's what you do for fun... like me... you know....

Most of the sites that I like are about changing your habits, making better choices, tips for bettering yourself, and ways to renew and relax. There are a couple, though, that don't fit that category. Let's talk about those first.

One site that I was on said that learning a new language is a good change to make in your life. Learning something new is fun, it can be useful, and it's on my list of 30 things to do before turning 30. This site popped up: Open Culture. It's a list of free sites and podcasts for learning a new language, or brushing up on one.

How to Get From a 7 to a 10 talks about how you shouldn't settle in life. If you feel like you're stuck in a rut, or your life isn't as great as it could be, it might not be an easy road, but you can change it.

The rest of the sites and articles that I found are about changing your habits, which I am constantly trying to do. I'll admit that I have plenty of bad habits, vices, and things about myself that I would like to change.

30 Days to Success is a great method to keep in mind when trying to give up a vice or pick up a new healthy habit. Heck, even just making yourself stick to something for a week or two can give you an idea of whether or not you like it.

One of my biggest problems is getting up in the morning. Now, it's not necessarily something I want to change about myself... I would rather change my job to one that doesn't require me to rise before the sun. But, since that is a daily struggle, I've found that these articles were actually kind of helpful: How I Won the Battle of the Bed and Mind Over Mattress.

24 Daily Habits has some good points and ideas. They're probably not all for me.... For example, I most likely won't be rewriting my goals and blogging every morning before work. I have been trying to wake up earlier, though, and attempting to exercise and read every day. This is kind of a pick-and-choose list.

Who doesn't want to look and feel better? Besides just losing weight, I like looking for ways to relax and feel better about myself. 24 Powerful Relaxation Techniques and 25 Fun Ways to Pamper Your Body are both great lists of ways to pamper yourself and feel better

Anyone out there have more tips or techniques for self-improvement? I'm all ears!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Juicy! Apple Cleanser

I got a juicer for Christmas! My amazing mother got me a Hamilton Beach wide-mouth juicer and The Big Book of Juices by Natalie Savona.

 I have wanted a juicer for a long time, and I've wanted to do a juice cleanse for even longer. It's even on my 30 Before 30 list. I don't know when I want to do my first cleanse or how long it will last, but I can do it now!

For now, I'm just going to try a bunch of juices and figure out what I like and what I want to become a staple in my life. My plan was to make a juice every morning for breakfast, but I'm usually running around, trying to get ready as quickly as possible so I can get to work on time. So juicing might be a night thing for now.

The night before last, I made an "Apple Cleanser".

It's 2 apples, 1/3 of a cucumber, 1 stalk of celery, 2 kale leaves, and 1/2 of a beetroot. It was an excellent choice for my first juicing attempt. It's delicious!

 ^ Before stirring, it's super pretty.

^After stirring, it's still super pretty. The beet color takes over, but the taste is largely apple, with a little earthiness from the other fruits and veggies.

Plus, the pulp it leaves behind is super pretty. Weird observation? Maybe. 

 So that's my first adventure in juicing. I had way more fun that I should have. I felt like a mad scientist making a potion or something.  So if you have a juicer, you should try this. I'll be trying a ton more, and I might even blog about my favorites!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

It's 2013! I hope everyone was able to celebrate last night. I was scheduled to work until midnight, but we got out early, so I got to ring in the New Year with some great friends and free champagne!

2012 was a lot of ups and downs...

I got a new job in an area I love, but that meant moving away from my friends and family in PA.

My dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, but was the model patient for his esophagectomy and everything seemed to be working out. Then there were a few cells that all of the chemo and radiation missed, and we lost him in June.

I've made some great friends and have learned a ton while working at BG, but I've come to realize that this isn't the long-term career that I'm looking for.

I think all-in-all, I'm going to have to hope that 2013 turns out to be a better year than 2012. A little less emotional turmoil, maybe?

I don't even want to talk about resolutions. I'm not making any concrete ones this year. I'm just going to say that I want to try to be a better, happier, healthier me. My resolutions from last year were these:

1) Get in shape. Yeah, yeah. Shut up. At this point, it's about not having a heart attack before I'm 30. I have a new workout routine mapped out. Let's see how long I stick to it.
2) Become more socially active/active in the community. I joined the community band this past year, but I really don't have anywhere to go or anyone to see. I need to crawl out of my cave once in awhile.
3) Travel more. There's so much to see and do that wouldn't even cost anything. I just need to get in my car and go. If I want to see the world, I have to leave my house.
4) Read more. I said this last year, too. I get on kicks where I read constantly, but then I go days or even weeks without cracking a book.
5) I'm not sure how to word this one, but I need to purge my life. I guess "live less materially" or "live more simply". Basically, I need to get rid of a lot of crap.

Let's discuss.

1 - I'm down 20 pounds since moving to VA, but that's mostly because of how active my job is. I'm leading as unhealthy a lifestyle as ever. I joined a gym and I've been a few times, but I have to make it a regular thing. Also, lay off the fast food. 

2 - I'm totally more socially active. I go out with friends at least once a week, usually even more often.

3 - I mean... I'm living in a new state, so it's like I'm constantly traveling, right?! Maybe not. I would still like to get out and see more things in the area. Maybe I'll make a list of things to see around here. Maybe it'll be a blog post. We'll see. There is also discussion of going to stay with a friend in Florida for a couple of days when I'm off in February. I'll have to see what my money situation is like, but it's looking like a good possibility!

4 - Yeah, I haven't really been reading much. I did get a few books for Christmas that I'm excited about, though, and I've started one of them. I also still have my list of 100 Books Everyone Should Read, that I'm working through. I just haven't really made much progress on it lately....

5 - I would like to say that I've purged my life a bit. When I moved, I cleaned out a lot of stuff and donated a lot to the thrift stores. I definitely have a ton more that I could/should get rid of. I just like pretty things. What can I say?

So, yeah, this year, there's no list of resolutions. I just want to become a better me. That's going to be my motto for this year. I have a ton of books, the means to travel some, an active gym membership and I got a juicer for Christmas. I have the tools to change for the better, I just have to work up the motivation and willpower.

Bring it on, 2013!