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November goal review and December goal setting

I can’t believe it’s already December 1st! I think I say this to myself every time we enter a new month. Mostly, I can’t believe that 2011 is coming to an end. It’s been an interesting year, but I feel like I’m ending it on a high note and I feel very blessed.

Anyway, a month ago today I posted my November goals. I’m glad I only set a few because it ended up being another busy month, but let’s see how I did.

My November 2011 Goals

  1. Get at least one more room of our house “finished” – Um, sort of? I did put a lot of stuff away when I thought someone was coming to clean our house (remind me not to buy anymore Groupons for cleaning companies) and I’ve also gotten a good start on Christmas decorating. Nothing is really ever “finished” right?
  2. Send out some handwritten cards – YES! I sent out the two cards I mentioned last time and I’ve also been trying to send encouraging messages to people on Facebook and via text. It’s been good and people really seem to appreciate it.
  3. Bake, bake, bake – I have taken this one to a whole new level. I’ve baked desserts, enchiladas, vegan meatloaf for Thanksgiving, cinnamon rolls from scratch (first time ever), and a lot more that I’m sure I’m leaving out (plus some no bake things too). Very happy with this one and want to continue.
  4. Homemade Christmas presents – I’m working on this one too. I didn’t get started until the week of Thanksgiving but I’ve already got one gift nearly finished and just a few more to do before December 25th, let’s hope I can buckle down!
  5. Rest – I haven’t taken a nap in a few weeks so I definitely need to get on this. I also didn’t do enough fun shopping/browsing but hopefully I can find some small local shops to visit this month (no malls or Target for me this time of year, too much stress). But I have been spending more time at home during the week and I’m learning to say no to things from time to time when I just don’t have the energy to be somewhere.

So, in review, even though they each required a little explanation, I would say I was fairly successful at meeting my goals for November. I could have done better but at least I made some intentions and followed through on all of them to some extent.

Now, what to do for December? Hmm…

My December 2011 goals

  1. Stay active during the holidays – The colder it gets outside, the harder it is for me to stay motivated to go out, get in the car and go to the gym. It’s easy when I’m at work because the gym is here, but we get a little over a week off after Christmas and being away from work (hence, off my normal “schedule”) can make staying active more difficult. But I have plenty of options to use over the break, including a temporary membership to the YMCA and a Groupon for Zumba/Yoga classes, so no excuses. Staying active to me means getting in some sort of movement outside of your normal daily activities at least a few days a week and resting when you need to as well (it’s important to recognize resting needs vs. wants, ha ha).
  2. Keep up with reading/listening – I see a theme here. Keeping up with the things I’m already doing now while I’m off work. In the past few months I have discovered audio books and it helped me reach my goal of reading 12 books in 2011, I’m actually on #13 right now. I buy them at a used bookstore and then sell them back to buy more, but I also live down the street from a public library, so I need to utilize that more. This will be easy to do for most of the month but I think this one will be challenging at home because I won’t be at my desk with headphones on able to listen. Perhaps I will be able to read a “real” book that week! Ha ha. Maybe that’s the real goal here, read one “paper” book. If you are interested in what I read or want to swap book ideas, find me on Goodreads. I have decided to up my goal to 24 books in 2012, eek!
  3. Stay happy – This one is not just for me but for all of you as well. It’s so easy to get bogged down by this time of year. The changing weather and less sunlight can be depressing, or maybe you are just stressed out by the holidays in general, or by your family and friends. Things can get kind of crazy this time of year. My friend Rob wrote a post around Thanksgiving called GrAttitude where he talked about how we “ramp up into higher gear.  Guests coming over, visiting relatives, dinners to cook, houses to clean, games to watch, presents to buy, etc.  The purpose of the holiday gets lost, stress increases, relationships strain…” I agree with him that our attitude really determines how things go. We can make a choice to be angry or stressed out  for whatever reason or we can choose to put it all aside and give thanks to God for all our blessings. We can choose to be grateful and happy. (Disclaimer: I know this “choice” doesn’t apply to everyone, some of you are probably dealing with some very tough emotions right now, maybe you lost a loved one recently or you are just going through a difficult time in life. I just pray you are able to find joy and happiness.)
  4. Send Christmas cards - This is something I haven’t done in years, believe it or not. I just sort of got out of the habit and now that we know so many people I was always afraid that we wouldn’t be able to do one for everybody and then someone would get offended and so on. Another one of my goals for 2012 is to care less about what people think or at least don’t invent what I think people will think because I’m probably wrong anyway. But I plan to send a few or some, as many as I can and to write thoughtful messages in them and not just sign my name to a stack of cards (not that there’s anything wrong with that, ha ha).
  5. See November’s goals – I want to keep up with what I started last month. They were all good goals that I believe can apply all year long.

So what about you? What do you want to accomplish in December and the final month of 2011?

Vegan no bake cookies!

Even though I have been eating a vegan diet for more than 2 years now, there are still some old favorite dishes and other food items that I have yet to replicate minus the meat, eggs and dairy. One of those is no bake cookies. You know, the yummy ones that show up at just about every holiday party? I haven’t had them in years and honestly hadn’t even thought about them much.

Then we had plans Monday night to visit a friends’ house and we needed to bring a snack. For some reason they popped into my head and I went straight to the internet to find a recipe that contained ingredients I already had on hand at home. Success! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! I also wish I had thought to start taking pictures sooner.

Not only are these super tasty but I love the fact that you don’t have to bake them; although waiting for them to cool and harden is almost as time consuming ;)

I found this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter no bake cookies on the Peta website thanks to Google! It was the first one that popped up when I searched for “vegan no bake cookies” so I went with it. I  followed the directions and ingredients exactly so you’ll have to click the link if you want to try it yourself :) But I promise, they are delicious!


Still enjoying them for dessert a couple days later ;)

November goals

Can you believe it’s already November 1st? That means in two months, it will be 2012! Crazy, right?

Even though yesterday was Halloween, I was still surprised to see the word November showing up everywhere this morning: on my phone, computer, tv, etc. It just seems like the year has flown by, but then again, I think it feels that way every year.

I haven’t done this in a while but I couldn’t help but remember that the 1st of the month is a great time to set some new goals. Not like “lose 5 lbs this month” or “do x number of yoga sessions” type of goals. I have been looking at things a lot differently lately. My goals this month are more in the realm of mental and spiritual as opposed to physical challenges.

My November 2011 Goals

  1. Get at least one more room of our house “finished” – We moved into our new place back in July and sadly, the only thing that’s really done is the basement, which is because my awesome husband spent a whole day down there putting it all together. I’ve just been too busy or tired to get started anywhere else. It makes me feel better to have things in order, so I will remember that as I work on some things this month.
  2. Send out some handwritten cards – I have a couple of cards to send this month and maybe some more if I think about some people I’d like to contact. One is for a family member that is ill and another for a sweet family at my church.
  3. Bake, bake, bake – I made some oatmeal raisin and pumpkin cookies this past weekend to take to the Hootenanny and even though I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on them, they turned out great and it made me want to make some more stuff. We are having a special “Parent Sunday” at the youth cafe this week, so I will get to start on this goal sooner rather than later ;) I also want to practice some holiday dishes I hope to make.
  4. Homemade Christmas presents – Since it’s November 1st, this means I have about a month and a half to get my Christmas presents ready. I plan to make a lot of stuff this year, I’ve already started on some knitting projects and I have some ideas for a few other things. Just need to nail these down, get the supplies and get going. Making things makes me happy!
  5. Rest – Even though the previous things I’ve mentioned are going to take up some of my time, I do want to mainly focus on relaxing this week. I have been busy nearly every weekend over the Summer and Fall and finally, November is here and I have ZERO plans on my Saturdays for the next several weeks. I want to go out for coffee, maybe browse a store or two, then spend the rest at home taking naps and snuggling with my doggie :)

That’s about it over here! What are your goals for November?

Lazy or just on vacation?

Holy mackerel. What happened?!

Well, Christmas was a lot of fun. And I’m off work this week. And I left my camera at mom’s house. And, and, and…

I haven’t really exercised in a few days either. I have a complimentary membership to the YMCA from now until January 3rd but for some reason, I can’t get up the motivation to go.

Suzie is a bad influence.

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I’ve also slept until almost 9:00 every day, pretty much unheard of! I feel lazy, but at the same time, I think I needed this rest.

Did I mention mini-marathon training starts next week? Yikes!

For breakfast, I kicked it old school with my usual (and favorite) oats with banana and PB.

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Also had some coffee with Silk nog. One last taste of the Christmas season :)

I just had lunch which was Amy’s split pea soup (2nd best) and a mini bagel with Smart Balance Light.

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Split pea soup is one of the most unappetizing looking foods that tastes really, really good. I’m so glad I became more open minded when it comes to certain foods!

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Hope you all had a good Christmas and close out 2009 with a bang!

I can’t wait to start working on my goals for 2010. What are yours?

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