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How to Create the Perfect iTunes Playlist

| On
January 31, 2014

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about how I organize and sort my iTunes library. I'll admit, it sort of sounds like a boring post, but I really had fun writing it and I know a couple of you found it really helpful! Today, I want to use post as a sort of springboard, if you will, and share how I use the smart settings + ratings in iTunes to create a really balanced playlist to be in the background of my everyday life. 

It sounds silly to write a tutorial on how to make playlists. If you like music + use iTunes, I'm sure you're fully capable of making a playlist. But what about a playlist that needs to be long enough that you can leave it on for hours without hearing songs repeated a bunch? You probably don't want to just shuffle your whole library because let's be honest, there's no way we love every song in our library. 

So what I do is rate all my songs and then have a continuously shuffling mix that is a mix of my 5, 4, and 3-starred songs in a balanced proportion. Here's how it works:

Use the ratings. 

I tried to make a case for using ratings back in my last iTunes post, but I'll try again. Obviously, it's a super overwhelming idea to rate your whole library, right now. Especially if your iTunes library is anywhere near big. So I recommend just making a habit of rating songs as you listen to them. Over time, the number of songs you've rated will grow pretty big. 

I use 5 stars for my very, very favorite songs, the ones I listen to over and over. As soon as I get tired of them, I move them down to 4 stars, which means I really like the song but don't want to listen to it on repeat. 3 stars means that I like the song and enjoy listening to it. 2 stars means I'm tired of the song/don't really know the song. 

So every time I listen to a song (unless I'm really working on something else), I make an effort to choose a rating in my head and then either add the rating or change the existing one to what I think it should be right at that moment. 

Make playlists for each rating.

You can do this by clicking the little half black/half grey box all the way in the top, left-hand corner. Then click new>>new smart playlist. Then, change the rule to 'Rating', 'is' and five stars. Then, add another rule and select 'Last Played', 'is not in the last' and type in 7 days. Then check the box that say 'Limit to ____ items' and type 50 in the blank. That'll make a playlist of 50 of your five-starred songs. 

Then, repeat. But for the four-starred playlist, use not played in the last '14 days' and limit to 30 songs. For the three-starred playlist, use not played in the last '30 days' and limit to 20 songs. 

Put all of these playlists in a folder.

I've titled mine *the system* with the asterisks so it stays at the very top. Now, when you want to listen to music, just go to *the system* or whatever you named your folder. If you shuffle directly from there, it'll play 50% five-starred songs, 30% four-starred songs and 20% three-starred songs, but only songs that haven't been played recently.

Of course, feel free to adjust the numbers if you feel like it, but I find this to be the perfect balance. Plus, you won't find yourself hearing the same songs over and over because once a song gets played, you won't hear it for at least a week.

Think I take my music too seriously? What music do you like to listen to while you work?

How I Use My Daily Checklist

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January 29, 2014
Happy Hump Dayyy! Yeah, I'm never saying that again, ever, in my life. I don't even know why I said that....Allie, you freak.

Anyways, I hope your week has been going swimmingly so far! Since a few of you asked about my new checklist system in the comments, I thought I'd share a bit more about it today and how it works for me. 

I'm the kind of person that is very motivated by lists, checklists, timers, etc. Like I'm kind of incapable of getting anything done unless it's on a list and I can cross it off. So that's both good and bad, because what if I get stranded somewhere without my phone and/or paper and need to get something done? Okay, I'm kidding. But I do really like knowing the way my mind works and how to motivate myself when I need to. 

So I thought I'd capitalize on this little piece of Allie-info and use it to help me accomplish those little goals that are in the back of my head. I created a checklist to help me get done the basics everyday. I'm trying to get in the habit of brushing my teeth three times a day instead of two and flossing and using mouthwash every single day.  Come on, you know you don't either. 

In addition, I like to measure my time in Pomodoros (which, if you're not familiar, are basically 25 minute segments of time). I set a goal number of Pomodoros for cleaning, studying or generally having fun each day. Then, I have space to record my exercise + if I log it on Fitocracy (a sort of workout social media), the points my workout was worth. Lastly, I record what time I go to bed. That's about it! Here you can see mine (click to see it bigger):

I plan on making a 'fill-in-the-blank" style checklist for all your list-motivated people to download in the coming weeks. Maybe it'll help you get stuff done too! 

What kinds of goals would you put on a daily checklist?

And now let's get nerdy with a science bit! Today, we're going to talk about why plants grow towards sunlight. I'll admit, it sounds like a stupid middle school science fair project, but I think plant hormones and stuff like that are pretty interesting!

The official fancy-schmancy scientist name for "plants growing towards light" is phototropism. The very tip of a plant is called a coleoptile [koh-lee-up-tile]. In the coleoptile, plants hold a hormone that makes the shoots plant grow called auxin. So if you have a plant sitting next to the window, sunlight will hit one side of the coleoptile. The auxin on that side will either break down or move to the other side of the plant. If there's no auxin on one side of the coleoptile, that side of the plant won't grow or will grow less. Meanwhile, the other side (the shady side) of the plant has all of its auxin and a little extra. So that side will be growing faster than the sunny side, causing the curvature.

Isn't that cool?! Okay I'm done. Have a great day y'all!

Weekly Wishes #24

| On
January 27, 2014

Hello loves! Happy Monday! Ew. Mondays. I saw this on Pinterest the other day and just about peed myself since I'm pretty sure that's me on Mondays. Poor lady. Side note: if you ever need a good laugh, the humor section on Pinterest is gold. Gold, I tell you. Last week, I just pitched a hissy fit because I was stressed about my move (which okay, I know isn't for like eight months, but still) and generally made everyone around me miserable. Half an hour on Pinterest? I'm just peachy. You know it's sad when Pinterest cheers you up more than friends...

Annyyyways, I'm gonna attempt to start my week off right with some of those weekly wishes. But let's recap. Last week I made two goals: successfully transition back into classes and stick with my new checklist system. I think I aced both of them! I didn't have to stay up too late with class work and I used my checklist every day but one! And since it seems like some of you are curious about this mysterious checklist system, I'll be sharing it in the next few days!

Moving on, I'm setting a few goals for the upcoming week! Firstly, I've been basically Wonder Woman since last weekend, actually getting things on my editorial calendar and written ahead of time. Someone please congratulate me. I want to continue writing posts in advance so that things can be a little more consistent around here.

I also have a project that I'm working on that I'd like to work on a lot this week. I'm making a drunk driving info site for a local law office + I've got a few more pages and some code to finish up. My goal is to finish or be at least 80% done by the end of the week!

My third and last goal (because even three goals might be more than I can handle) is to practice journaling. I go in and out of phases where I journal regularly and then not at all. All in all, I've more or less decided that journaling isn't the thing for me. I generally get impatient with it and it frustrates me to go back and look at what I wrote in the past. But with the current transitions in my life with moving and all, I think journaling is an important habit for the stage I'm currently living. I've been focusing on just taking fifteen minutes ever day or every other day to reflect on my day, not only the bad things but also the good. This week, I'd like to journal at least a page every other day.

4 Ways to Have a Productive Day Off

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January 24, 2014

You know how all over Pinterest there's that quote that says something like "Beyonce has the same number of hours in the day as you do"? Yeah, this post is inspired by that. This goes out to you, Beyonce. 

So there are two kinds of days off. Number one: you wake up at 8 am, think 'ehh I should get up.' Nope, you go back to bed. Wake up at 10 or 11. Roll out of bed. Do nothing. Shower at 1. Eat leftovers for breakfast (lunch?). Proceed to watch TV/do nothing for the rest of the day. Number two: you get up early, shower right away and proceed into a Beyonce worthy day. 

Have you ever noticed that there's rarely an "in-between" kind of day off? At least in my life, I find that either I have a super productive day, or I get nothing done at all. Sometimes you need those kinds of days. But I've made it my mission to make those days on-purpose-only. 

In my quest for having a more productive Saturday (or any other day off, like this past Monday), I have basically found the secrets of the universe. And I'm going to share them with you. You are welcome.

#1: Start right. 

Okay, okay, I know it's a total buzzkill but set an alarm to wake you up in the morning. Seriously! I'm not saying you need to get up at the crack of dawn. Try eight o'clock. Even nine o'clock is better than ten or eleven. Shower immediately when you get up (if you're a morning showerer). Get dressed, even if it's yoga pants or leggings. If you act like you're getting ready for the day, then you'll end up having a day worth getting ready for.

#2: Set your goals early.

I actually like to do this in bed (mostly because I can buy myself a few more minutes in bed while pretending to be productive). But I set one big goal for the day that might take 60-90 minutes. Then I'll set three small but important goals for the day that I really want to get done today. Then I'll add on a couple other things that I want to get done, but are lower priority.

#3: Get right to "work".

Pick one of your top four items for the day and get right to work on it. Hopefully, getting up early and right to work will excite you and motivate you for at least a few hours. I've heard otherwise, especially from people who are more productive at night, but this works for me. I use an app called "Hustle" which is basically a timed to-do list. I set enough work/chores to last me about four hours on my days off. I'll put each item into my Hustle list along with how much time it should take me to do it. Then, my goal is to be done by lunch!

#4: Motivate yourself with relaxation or fun activities.

Even though we're being productive here, don't forget that this is your day off! Watch some television over lunch! Take a nap (yes!). Go shopping! Don't forget to let your day off be a time of rejuvenation. BUT, use those fun activities (or lack of activities--hello naptime!) as motivation. Get your house clean + little to-dos done so that you can really enjoy your day off. 

It seems like you could have the most relaxing day off by just skipping the to-do list altogether and watching Netflix all day, right? Well like I said, sometimes we do need those days. But I've found that the more I get done early, the more I feel I deserve my relaxation or fun time. And that means that when I choose to do fun things, I don't feel guilty and I can really enjoy my day off!

How do you have a productive day off? Do you do any of these things?

Rebranding Your Blog

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January 22, 2014

Hey guys! My name is Z and I blog over at Sometimes Z Takes Pictures. Right when I started thinking about my guest post for Allie, I was also in the fledgling efforts of rebranding my blog. Hopefully everything will be set into action in early January, but for now - I'm a bit of a nervous wreck! I figured I could share my thoughts and things to consider when rebranding. Best of luck if it's something you're considering!

1. panic.
Okay, maybe not full-scale panic - but the moment I knew I should rebrand, I really knew. There was a point where I just entirely disconnected with "Sometimes Z Takes Pictures." Not to say I didn't love and cherish my blog and how far it had come...but it simply didn't fit with my vision anymore. SZTP was all about photography and essays, and what I'm trying to go for now is full on lifestyle - still great writing, with an emphasis on all the things I love. Essentially, when you'll need a rebrand, you'll know. 

2. who do you want to read your blog? what do you want them to feel when they glance at your site?
Thank God my mother was involved in marketing, since she helped me come up with a branding statement. Basically, you figure out who you want to read your blog, then adjust all your other branding to fit that "ideal viewer." It all sounds very clinical, but the way I think of it is that your main consumer is YOU. Less of a sell-out way to appeal to someone, and more of a refocusing on your goals. So I settled on college girls who want good advice, funny stories, and a lot of genuine writing. Ever since laying that out, I feel as though my current posts have improved, as well as all my decisions with rebranding.

3. what could be better about your current blog?
There were several things that frustrated (and still frustrate) me about SZTP - certain things about my writing voice, design, and general "atmosphere" of the blog. I had to be specific about all of these things and figure out how I could change or adjust for the new blog. Write down maybe your top 3 or 5 pet peeves and the matching improvements that could be done with a rebrand. For instance, I could never get all my photos to look the same - little did I know I could create a template with my photos and texts to add to each post. How handy!

4. what is you, in essence?
This goes back to #2 - don't beat around the bush. Don't present just the "good" or "right" parts of you. Be ALL of you. Contradictions, juxtapositions, all of it. I see so many blogs on the web right now that are just parts of people...and why not be your whole self? I've been so careful with my online presence - and rightfully so, since a lot of bloggers can get in trouble - but that's strapped my honest persona. I need to always "check myself" for how real I can be.

5. wait for it to click.
Eventually (or, in my case, almost forever), a name will come to you. And then a color palette. And bit by bit, everything slowly shifts together. Be patient and don't be afraid to be a bit of a perfectionist. You want this to be great and LAST. Take as much time as you need and remember - this is supposed to be fun!


Pacific Coast Tour Inspiration Board

| On
January 20, 2014
Today's post'll be short and sweet as I'm dedicating most of my day to design work (YAY). I just wanted to check in with y'all and share some of my life lately. I know this isn't a travel blog, but I'm really excited about my trip to California in June and wanted to show you some of my plans, collage-style.

Have any of you ever traveled to (or lived!) along the Pacific coast? If so, please give me recommendations of where to stay and visit!

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine systems of mammals, oftentimes by taking the shape of hormones, which regulare mood and growth, among other things. They can cause huge disruptions to the body, including cancerous tumors, mental retardation, physical deformities and much more. These chemicals almost always come from pollution.

Source. A state researcher measures an alligator to look for stunted growth from endocrine disruptors. 
The alligators in Lake Apopka in Florida are a frequently used example to show the effects of endocrine disruptors. In the late 1970s, it was found that Lake Apopka was heavily polluted with pesticides (including DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls, called PCBs. The presence of the pollutants, which acted as endocrine disruptors, resulted in reproductive failure in female alligators in the mid 1980s. These alligators also exhibit significant reproductive/sexual disorders that impair their ability to have healthy offspring. So that's just a little tidbit about how pollution can affect individual animals!

Have a swell day!

Recent Design: Hannah of The Homesteady

| On
January 19, 2014
Okay I'm all for racial equality (and all sorts of equality for that matter), but thank you dear Dr. King for getting me a day off tomorrow. And for some weird reason, I also have Tuesday off. Thank you holiday forces that be for giving me this mini-vacation! Unfortunately, I'll spend it writing papers and cleaning up the mess that generally accumulates wherever I am. Nevertheless, it's a day off.

Today I want to share with y'all one of my favorite recent designs. Okay, not so recent. Hannah approached back like before Thanksgiving to do a redesign for her blog The Homesteady before she switched to self-hosted wordpress. And write at the end of the email, she wrote "P.S. I think whale sharks are cool, too." So of course, we got along just splendidly. :)

I really really love how Hannah's design turned out. We had a palette of sort of muted jewel tones and balanced a woodsy feel in the type with some watercolor motifs in the navbar hovers in a way that feels really natural. Thank you Hannah for trusting me with your lovely blog!

If you're interested in working with me on blog design, please email me!

What do you think of Hannah's redesign? 

Playlist #20: Elvis

| On
January 18, 2014

Hi all! First off, I apologize for being a little absent around these parts the last few weeks. It's kind of odd to me how so many articles of "blog rules" say that you should never apologize for posting less than usual. And obviously rules are meant to be broken, but I really disagree with that. Obviously, no one needs to apologize with blogging if they don't feel they need to, but I feel like I do. 

As a blogger, I feel like my readers expect certain things from me. You expect a quality post, hopefully one that's interesting or useful. You expect me to answer your emails and comments. And if you're a regular reader, you've learned to plan on 3-4 posts a week. And I haven't been doing that successfully. I don't owe you anything, but I want to build a little relationship with each and every one of you, so in the spirit of community, I want to come out and say that I'm sorry. 

I've been doing lots of planning + mind maps + designing + I'm oh-so-excited about all the lovely-rad things I have planned for us in the coming weeks. So stick around! :) 

Today, I'm doing something that I haven't really done much recently (except at Christmas!): share a playlist! With my music tastes, I really go through phases. I'll have a couple weeks where I can't bear to listen to anything but acoustic or a few weeks where it's all 80s rock or opera or 20s swing or (fill in the blank). 

Lately, it's Elvis. Believe it or not, it all started at my internship last week. (Prepare yourselves, I'm about to nerd out.) I've been working with an environmental department of my county government that deals with the health of streams, rivers and lakes in my area. One day, I was with two guys installing a surveillance camera at a local creek that would basically enable us to watch the stream for flood conditions (overflowing). 

While we were doing that, there were a bunch of guys that would walk by and hang in the streets, just loitering. One guy even asked us if he could see the footage because a car had been stolen there the day before. And so I just casually made some comment about how much I love hanging out in the ghetto. In response to this, one of my coworkers, a big, burly fisherman type of guy responds with a falsetto "in the ghettoooo", just like the background singers in Elvis's song "In the Ghetto". So of course, I had the song stuck in my head the rest of the day, and now I'm on an Elvis kick.

Long story to say, I'm obsessed with Elvis at the moment. Listen away, lovelies.

Anyone else fangirl over Elvis like I do? What have you been listening to lately?

Word of the Year

| On
January 15, 2014
If you've been hanging around here, you know that I love the whole idea of New Year's Resolutions. But in reality? I'm a little tired of them. So I thought I'd try something different. Lately, it seems like setting a "word of the year" is all the rage, so of course I had to be a part of it.

Random interjection--did you know last year's word of the year for America was 'selfie'? Selfie. Just let that sink in. Like I fully take selfies to appreciate the important events in my life like good hair days, but I certainly hope it didn't define my year or anyone else's. 

Aaaanyways.  Coming up with my word of the year was really difficult actually. I hate to say it, but I don't have any "big" changes that I feel I need to make in 2014. I mean, I need to exercise more and yell at people less, but those didn't really seem fitting. I've got to have a nice, pretty word, right? One that I can put on my wall or something. So that kind of ruled out 'treadmill' and 'tongue-biting' as candidates for word of the year. 

At church on Sunday, I wasn't even looking for a word. Not even really thinking about it. But somewhere in the service (I think it was just a word in a song), I heard the word 'open'. And it clicked. I immediately knew that was my word. 

I truly believe that in a sense, the word 'open' chose me. I mean, when I realized that I had found my word, I was a little disappointed. Open?! That sounds so boring. It's not even a pretty word. Why couldn't I have gotten something cool like "bloom" or something? But nevertheless, I'm confident in my choice.

When I got to thinking about it, 'open' is the perfect word for me in the coming year. As I've just briefly mentioned, I'll be moving to a new state in August. I tend to get anxious when I'm alone in new places. I don't make new friends well because I tend to not let this crazy personality show if I'm trying to make someone like me, but then I'm just awkward. So I want to be open to change, open to new friends and new places and open and unashamed with others about myself. 

And healthy or not (not), I also tend to keep a lot of secrets. This blog is one of them from most people in my life. It's not tha I'm lying, I just tend not to mention things that I'm passionate about around other people if I feel they won't understand. As part of being 'open' in 2014, I'm coming out of the blogger closet. In the fall, once I move, I plan on printing calling cards with my blog address on them that I can share with friends. Why should I keep my favorite hobby a secret?

In 2014, I want to go with the flow, taking all of the changes in even strides. I want to learn to take genuine pride in my uniqueness. I want to be honest, I want to be genuine, I want to be real. 

I want to be open. 

*this art was made with a Nikko G nib and Higgins permanent black ink.
**Linked up with the Creative Collective at The Nectar Collective


Weekly Wishes #23

| On
January 13, 2014

Oh man, I hate to say it but I am not looking forward to today. After a long Christmas break, it's back to classes. I have to say, I really don't like starting off a day on a bad note or without anything to look forward to, but to be honest, I'm not looking forward to anything about today before I go to bed. Oh well.

But anyways, it's, of course, Monday, so I'm sharing my weekly wishes! Before that, let me recap last week's wishes. I made two wishes: give H a random compliment everyday and dance with him at the wedding we were going to last weekend. 

H and I liked to be silly-sweet with each other so giving random compliments wasn't hard, I just had to be intentional about it. But the other one, dancing at the wedding, was going to be super hard for me. Luckily for me though, there actually wasn't even any dancing at the wedding at all, so I didn't achieve my goal but I didn't exactly fail. I will admit, I'm just a teensy bit disappointed since I had really gotten myself mentally ready for looking like an idiot, but I think I can deal. 

This week, like I mentioned, school starts back up. And while I usually love most of my classes, I'm just not feeling it this week. So #1 I want to make a smooth transition into classes. I'll be working hard to stay away from procrastination so that I can get things done without stress or enormous amounts of gummy bears (which I sometimes adopt as my coping mechanism of choice). 

My #2 goal for the week is to stick with my new checklist system. I made this big checklist just yesterday to help me keep track of various good habits in my life, from flossing to exercising to sleeping early. So my goal for this week is to not worry about checking off every box, but mostly just remember to keep the checklist accurate and updated. If the system works for me, I'll be sharing it with you in the next few weeks! Sorry if this project sounds super vague so but just know that I'm super excited to see how it'll work!

What are your wishes for the week?

Printable: Plan a Productive 2014!

| On
January 12, 2014
I'll admit it: I really, really love the New Year. As someone who loves making goals and plans, the new year presents all these exciting new things that don't seem possible in the middle of the year. So of course, embracing all things New Year related, I almost always make New Year's resolutions, and I have for as long as I can remember.

But this year, I've decided not to. For some reason, I've grown sort of disillusioned with the whole idea of the resolutions. Sometimes I think we put so much thought into making up these supposedly meaningful goals that we expect to last for a whole year that we feel like we've achieved our goal just in making them up. And I think New Year's resolutions set us up for failure because we have a deadline to come up with these goals (January 1!) and in our rush, they may not even be valuable or realistic goals. So all that to explain why it's mid-January and I'm still talking about the new year and will continue to for another month or so. 

This year, I'm trying a couple different methods to set goals. Instead of just writing down vague goals on a sheet of paper and instantly feeling like an accomplished person, I'm trying to make my goals into specific and mostly "one-time" goals, like 'read this book' versus 'read everyday'. 

So to guide me in the goal-setting process, I created this printable, which you are welcome to use. Post it in a visible place so you can be reminded of your plans for the year!

new year's goals printable
(Click to download. Prints best at 600 dpi and at a half-page size.)

In 2014, I will...
+break this habit: sleeping in late on Saturdays.
+make this habit: eating healthy snacks like veggies/cheese/yogurt before chips!
+read this book: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
+watch this movie: Blackfish--the killer whale documentary!
+learn to code! (and continue learning calligraphy)
+visit: Sequoia National Forest + Big Sur in June!
+remind myself that: as I transition to a totally new home (remember...I'm moving in August!), people come in + go out of our lives for a reason and it will be okay. 

Do you like setting New Year's resolutions? How do you achieve success in your goals?

6 Weeks of Wellbeing Project Recap

| On
January 08, 2014

I did not expect this project to be hard. I honestly thought it'd be about spending more me time. More time blogging, resting, reading, with the boyfriend. And I did just about all of those things. But I found out most of all that cultivating a lifestyle of wellbeing is more than just doing things to make you feel good. It's more than that. 

I don't pretend to know all about how to love a happy-healthy life, but I'd like to think that I'm learning. And the hardest things I've learned is that the things that really make me feel good don't make me feel good. By that, I mean that the most fulfilling, worthwhile things that I can do with my time bring happiness over time or at a later date. 

Let's take volunteering for example. I'll be brutally honest and say that I don't actually enjoy volunteering a lot of the time. I work with snotty kids and change a lot of diapers (okay, I love them, but you know I'm right). But when I focus on the value in what I'm doing, it brings me happiness in the long haul and confidence in myself as a person. 

The second thing I learned I sort of already knew. Taking time for wellbeing doesn't have to take long. I know you know this but let me just park on this for a sec and give you some ideas for upping your wellbeing. 

Do good to you. 
: eat clean, drink water, exercise. 
: go to sleep earlier, get up earlier. 
: spend time outside
: take time off of technology, even if it's turning your phone off while you sleep or for an hour. 
: forgive yourself. For whatever you need to. 
: stretch or meditate
: clean up that area where you always put stuff when you don't want to actually put it away. 

Do good to others. 
: find a place to volunteer. Commit yourself to volunteering at least once every month. Choose an organization that you can build a relationship with and support over time. 
: say thank you. To your mailman, the lady who served your lunch, your children, anyone that you usually forget. 
: give a random compliment. 
: call your grandparents. 
: write a far-away-friend a letter

I'm sure you can come up with lots more because you're certainly an intelligent human being. So as I end my official project on wellbeing, I'm going to do my best to make sure I don't forget my well being. And I challenge you to do the same by valuing your relationships with others and yourself. 

Six Weeks of Wellbeing: Weeks 4 and 5 Recap

| On
January 01, 2014

First off, the obligatory happy New Year! I hope your 2014 will be lovely + bright. Don't worry though, I love New Year's Day and will be celebrating it for weeks on the blog. I'll be sharing some of my goals + plans for the year in the coming weeks! 

Today I'm recapping the last two weeks of the Six Weeks of Wellbeing project because last week was Christmas + I was too busy stuffing my face with pfeffernusse (a family fave) to write out this post. #sorrynotsorry.

My sort of game plan last time I checked in with y'all was to do good things that are hard. Meaning those things that aren't fun to do, but are good for you or pay off later. I practiced doing things right away--laundry, thank you notes, even replying to texts. I practiced making time for things I need to do but don't enjoy, like cleaning out my desk + room. I found that oftentimes the dread of doing something unpleasant is often a lot worse than the actual activity. I realized that I usually put off doing laundry for days, when I could just get it over with in a few hours. As a smallish goal for 2014, I want to focus on not putting off unpleasant chores or activities.

This coming week, the very last week of the project, I want to focus on learning way to make wellbeing a sustainable lifestyle. I'll be using a lot of the actions I shared in a previous post (Get Happy in 10 Minutes or Less) like writing random thank you cards, going outside, and stretching. Leave me a comment with suggestions on how you take time to do good for yourself!

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