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Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

I’m not really sure why, but October was a bit of a crazy month for me.  Goals were a good thing, even if they didn’t all get completed!  And I already started my list for November!

Here’s the post-month report:

1. Find & purchase at least one bookcase.  No – I located one on Craigslist, but then got the flu and it was gone by the time I was up to trying to go get it.

2. Look for a new dining room table.  Yes – I looked.  Didn’t find anything though. 

3. Find & purchase a photo album for our wedding photos.  Yes, love it!  Also ordered the first 100 pictures & they’re ready for their new home. 

4. Winterize my garden, front flower bed, and both side beds.  No. 

5. Place a ”for sale” ad for my horse.  Yes. 

6. Update boarding ad(s).  Yes. 

7. Complete my barely started knitting project.  No.

8. Mail care package.  Yes.

9. Buy at least one Christmas present.  No. 

10. Figure out our holiday plans.  Partially – hubby’s family knows what they’re doing, but my family likes to procrastinate 😦 

11. Pick up manure in arena & haul at least 10 loads of sand into the arena.  Partially – I’ve hauled 3 wheelbarrows full of poop out, but have a LONG way to go. 

12. Take hubby to Columbus for his now belated birthday weekend.  Yes – and it was awesome.  See pics here

13. Meet up with some old friends at the Circleville Pumpkin Show October 21-24.  No – it rained all day…and have I mentioned that I’m a fair-weather-only kinda person?  I was very bummed we didn’t make it though.

14. Donate to a charity.  Yes – I donated to Robyn’s Nest, a non-profit animal rescue and adoption organization.

15. Read at least 3 books.  Yes – 4, actually.

16. Request absentee ballot for Nov. 3 election.  Yes – voted AND convinced hubby to vote, too!

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Gone to the Dogs by Emily Carmichael

Chic lit, way girly, only finished it ’cause the main character is a Corgi and I’m a sucker for stubby, fox-faced canines.  Nothing wrong with the book, it’s just not my style.

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Best Sookie Stackhouse book yet.  Loved it!  Sookie’s character has never been boring, but I find it difficult to identify with her.  (Blond, busty,  promiscuous, and usually ditzy–not too much in common.)  In Dead and Gone, she jumped off the page a bit more for me.  Now I really can’t wait for book #10 (due out May ’10).

Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas

Urban fantasy filled with buku amounts of old-timey/classic film and lit references.  This book was littered with crassness which–in my opinion–was unnecessary and didn’t add to the story.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with vulgarity when well placed, but I felt the book was cheapened rather than enhanced by the language.  Very unique writing style–which I admire–but ultimately the book wasn’t my favorite.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Another urban fantasy novel, this one featuring Kate Daniels, who by the way just might be my new favorite heroine.  Kate is a mercenary whose specialty is killing supernatural monsters.  She’s kick ass, has a big mouth, and pretty much takes care of herself.  She also has a proper appreciation for good horse, which makes her just about perfect in my book.  In Kate’s world, there’s been a magical apocalypse leaving a conflict between magic and tech (technology).  Sometimes electricity, cars, and such work, but, during magic influxes, the world changes drastically.  I’ll definitely read Andrews’ next Kate Daniels book, Magic Burns.

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I’ve tried to write this post a couple of times.  And so far it’s ended up blank every one of those times.  This time, I’m just going to spit it out.  It may not make much sense, but at least it’ll be here instead of still just sitting on my shoulders.

I was extremely fortunate to have been offered a job almost a year ago which, at the time and for many reasons, served my needs perfectly.  However, I accepted the position knowing full well that it was not a long-term match for several reasons, which I won’t go into because they’re not really relevant to my current conflict.  (My supervisor and I discussed these issues when I was hired and agreed that the position would probably end up being relatively short-term for me.)

I’ve been having the “where do I go now?” conversation with myself a lot lately, for a couple of reasons.  One, my annual review is coming up next month and I’m pretty sure the subject will come up then.  Two, I’m having a mid-life crisis. 

Yes, I have come to the conclusion that I’m having my mid-life crisis at the ripe old age of 26.  Why, I have no idea.  Ok, if I’m being honest with myself, I know.  See, I had this novel idea that I would graduate from college, buy a horse (first things first afterall), find a dream job, and work my way up the corporate ladder to a leadership position.  Tada, career!  I had this notion that hard work, dedication, loyalty, selflessness, etc. all paid off in the end.  I don’t want to sound jaded–I’m not, just more realistic–but I know now that that’s not entirely how the world turns. 

Ok, back to my mid-life crisis.  It’s because my life needs new direction.  I need to have my life/job/career mean something.  You know–I want to make a difference, do something meaningful, all that jazz.  So…

Goal: find new direction for my life. 

I’ve come up with three possible options:

     1.   Have a baby.

Because this completely re-focuses your life, correct?  On days when I’m having baby-longings, this seems like the answer to my mid-life crisis.  I mean, a child totally gives new meaning to your life, right?  However, I also have days when I think my main problem is lack of mental stimulation.  On those days, I’m pretty sure having a baby isn’t going to solve much.

     2.   Find a new, more career-oriented job.

Really, this is the solution.  It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.  However, after 3 years of constant searching and a year of “keeping-an-eye-out” searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that there really aren’t any equine/animal sciences/research/veterinary jobs in Dayton, Ohio that fit my credentials.  (Bachelor’s of Science @ OSU, majored in Animal Sciences w/focus in Equine Science, minor in Communication, reproductive physiology research exp.) 

Major Concern(s): This decision leaves me with a requirement: MOVE.  Probably out of state.  Since we just bought a house and are still paying for our wedding, this isn’t really feasible.  At least not right now.

     3.   Go back to school for my Master’s in Equine Reproductive Physiology.

Also a valid solution, providing a Master’s degree can actually help me get the type of job I want, not just land me with more student loan debt.  This was where I was headed in 2005 (when I graduated from undergrad), before a few road blocks fell in my lane.  

Major Concern(s): Same as above for solution #2.  Also, I would have about 20-30 credit hours of pre-req courses I’d have to take before I could even apply to grad school.  And I’d have to re-take the GRE, since my score from 2004 doesn’t count anymore.

Ah, dilemma, dilemma.

Here’s where a few personal stories would be quite helpful.  Anyone care to share a similar story, preferably with your choice and how it turned out for you?

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Breaking things down so I actually get stuff done sounds like a good idea, right?  So, I’m going to give it a try this month.

1. Find & purchase at least one bookcase for my currently semi-homeless book collection.

2. Look for a new dining room table.  (I don’t want to rush this process, so I won’t corner us by saying “purchase”, but perhaps looking will be a step in the right direction.)

3. Find & purchase a photo album for our wedding photos.  (Confession time: our wedding was 5.19.07 .  We have yet to put everything together in a photo album.  Eeek!)

4. Winterize my garden, front flower bed, and both side beds.

5. Place a “for sale” ad for my horse.  (Sadness, but really Pea has so much more potential–currently wasted–as a sporthorse than I ever will have as a rider.  She needs to be ridden and shown regularly and I haven’t been able to give her that.)

6. Update boarding ad(s).

7. Complete my barely-started knitting project.

8. Mail care package.

9. Buy at least one Christmas present.

10. Figure out our holiday plans.

11. Pick up manure in arena & hual at least 10 loads of sand into the arena.

12. Take hubby to Columbus for his now belated birthday weekend.  (Scheduled for Oct. 11th.  The weather got in the way last weekend.) 

13. Meet up with some old friends at the Circleville Pumpkin Show October 21-24.

14. Donate to a charity.

15.  Read at least 3 books.

16. Request absentee ballot for Nov. 3 election.

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Late, I’ve been obsessing over dogs.  Yes, yes, we have two at home.  But, I’ve always (for as long as I can remember) wanted to train a SAR (Search and Rescue) dog and join a SAR team.  I mean, just think–it’s one of the ultimate dog/human relationships.  I think it was the book Michelle and Me by Tom Shelby that solidified my dream.

So, I’ve been wasting a lot of time browsing dogs online lately.  I know I have better things to do with my time, but what can you say to faces like this:

Andi of Buckeye Border Collies

Andi of Buckeye Border Collies

You’d never guess, but the puppy above was actually born blind.  Isn’t it hard to tell?  He has so much life & happiness in those eyes!

I think the ultimate fruition of this dream would be to find a Belgian Shepherd partner.  According to “your purebred puppy” dot com (what the *%# kinda website name IS that, anyway!?), Belgian Shepherds are,

the most honest dog breed you’ll ever find.”

Here’s a photomontage I found and loved:

And this guys is IN LOVE with his job (and very good at it, too!):

OK, my lunch hour is up.  Time to stop drooling and get back to work! 🙂

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

I recently finished ‘reading’ (via audio book, thanks to The Dayton Public Library) Stephen R. Covey’s highly touted book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I’d heard a lot about the book, as I think most everyone has, thus I had high expectations for its contents.

Let me first introduce you to the 7 habits.  As defined in his book, Mr. Covey’s 7 habits are:

1. Be proactive
2. Begin with the end in mind
3. Put first things first
4. Think win/win
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
6. Synergize
7. Sharpen the saw

Of course, there’s much more to these ‘rules of living’–an entire book’s worth actually!

In my opinion, 7 habits is a book comprised of 75% common sense and 25% Mr. Covey’s inventive thinking.  Now, don’t get me wrong–I see or hear of people every day who are in need of a good dose of common sense.  And in my opinion there is plenty of room for a self help book based primarily on integrating common sense into one’s routine, thus forming habits.  However, I myself found the book a bit of a letdown.  After all the hype, I was expecting something profound in 7 Habits.  While Mr. Covey was quite ingenious, and has developed said ‘common sense’ quite extensively to get to his 7 habits, I found the WOW factor lacking.  While the book gives everyday examples and solutions, I found that the solutions given were methods that I already know and use.  Thus, nothing profound. 

I read a review that stated, “If you were paying attention in life, you already  know the Seven Habits,” and I agree.  My feeling is that those who are at a level of comprehension and understanding to be reading self help books are probably above the “common sense” level that the book covers.  For the rest of America, this book could be quite helpful.

As an aside, the gentleman who reads the book for the recorded version has an intriguing accent! 

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It’s time for me to set a few goals in order to give myself specific targets to work toward over the next few years.  What it’s all about

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past — frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities. 

Many thanks to Terra for unwittingly inspiring me to get motivated… 

     “If one moves confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”  —Henry David Thoreau

Start date: Today (Sunday, February 17, 2008)

End date: Monday, November 15, 2010

Striked=completed

Bold=in progress

Alverna’s 101 in 1001

Financial 

     1. Eliminate all consumer debt, including: my VISA & MasterCard, our Lowe’s card, my medical bill, and our parents’ generous “wedding expense” loans. 

     2. Put $5,000 in savings.

     3. Acquire a chest freezer so we can buy in bulk frozen foods to cut our grocery budget.

     4. Get overdraft protection on my checking account.

     5. Either expand the Wide Mouth Gifts I started or come up with some sort of on the side income. (See the results here, I’ve been working hard to make it more user-friendly.  Let me know what you think!)

Home/Farm Improvements 

     6. Replace the carpet in the kitchen with the snap together no-scratch slate look tile we’ve got picked out at Lowe’s.

     7. Replace the kitchen sink faucet with a stainless steel one (that doesn’t leak!).

     8. Install a drainage system around our barn. (3/19/08: I may not have been specific enough when I set this goal.  We’ve put in place a temporary solution–basically a sump pump in one of the storage stalls.  It’s helping tremendously for now.  However, I would like to have something better and more permanent eventually.)

     9. Replace the roof on the older half of our barn.

     10. Pick any manure in the arena and move the two sand piles that are currently in our pasture to the arena to improve the footing.

     11. Install a new wood fence section to separate the arena and the dry lot.

     12. Replace the chewed fence boards in the arena.  (March ’08; Thanks to my darling husband!)

     13. Replace the less attractive/functional boards on the run-in shed.  (March ’08; Also thanks to the Mr.–it was a joint goal!)

Career/Educational

     14. Find a job I love…or come to a place where I’m 100% happy with the one I have.

     15. Attend at least four continuing education seminars, at least two being equine-industry related. [0/4]

     16. Start our business, officially.  (3/19/08: It’s very,very close to becoming a reality…)

     17. Move the Bugh Equine Center website from Freewebs to a “real”, hosted website.

Self Improvement 

     18. Re-register to vote–once my name change becomes official.

     19. Locate a nonprofit organization with a cause I feel motivated by and volunteer with said organization.

     20. Lose ten pounds, and keep it off. [10/10]  (3/19/08: I actually lost ten pounds without really trying just because of all the work we’ve been doing on the barn…but I’m not crossing this one off because the goal was to lose AND keep it off.)

     21. Work with my neurologist to figure out the migraine prevention & treatment protocol that works best for me and I’m comfortable with using.

     22. Keep a headache journal for a year.

     23. Find a birth control method that I like.  (Suggestions are welcome ladies!)

     24. Write an article & get it published.

    25. Blog twice a week for at least one month. [2/8] (1, 2)

     26. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy.

     27. Climb a rock wall.

     28. Read the (Catholic) Bible from cover to cover.

     29. Read 25 other books–that I’ve never read before–in 2008. (Book suggestions anyone?) [1/25]  (3/19/08: Completed so far: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Steven R. Covey.  In progress: Equinomics: The Secrets to Making Money with Your Horse Business by Lanier Cordell, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, and THINK and GROW RICH by Napolean Hill)

Read a book a month

     30. Read 30 books in 2009. [0/30]

     31. Read 25 books in 2010. [0/25]

     32. Visit the library down the road.  If it’s “safe”, get a library card.  If not, continue going to the library by our old apartment.  (February ’08; The security guard at the front door made me nervous, but it turns out our local library is OK.)

     33. Check out eight books on tape/CD in 2008.  Listen to them while driving to/from work. (These can count as the books I’m reading.) [2/8]  (3/19/08: 7 Habits & White Oleander are on CD.  I love this arrangement except–and this is no offense to the book/author–I had a little trouble staying awake while driving while listening to 7 Habits.  Apparently between 7-8am is not my optimal hour for self-motivation, which is good to know!)

     34. Do 100 sit-ups a night for two weeks. [0/14]

     35. Pray daily for a month. [0/30]

     36. Attend mass every Sunday for six months. [1/24]  (Mass 3/16/08)

     37. Attend mass for all Holy Days of Obligation for one year. [0/10] 

Personal 

     38. Take ballroom dance lessons with my husband (his idea, not mine 🙂 ). 

Take a dancing lesson

     39. Find (and buy) a pair of sunglasses I actually like (and that fit me!).

     40. Remove clothes from my wardrobe that I don’t like or don’t fit me.  Replace with clothes I like and will actually wear.  The end result should be a wardrobe I love!

     41. Find and buy functional and attractive sleepwear…then throw out all of the old, over-sized tee’s I usually wear.

     42. Find and buy a dress I can wear in the winter.

     43. Find and buy something slinky and sexy to wear for my husband.

     44. Find makeup that doesn’t make me break out and matches my skin tone.

     45. Mail a postcard to Post Secret.

     46. Get a massage.

Have a full body massage from a professional

     47. Get a facial.

Have a professional facial

     48. Take a cooking class.

     49. Travel outside the continental US.

     50. Take my husband whitewater rafting.

Go white water rafting

     51. Go horseback riding on the beach.  Somewhere warm.  Anywhere.

Ride a horse along a beach

     52. Call or email my mom at least twice a week.

     53. Become a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

     54. Make at least two new, permanent friends in Dayton. [0/2]

     55. Have lunch with at least one “long lost friend”.

     56. Go to a concert.

     57. Have our wedding photos printed & put them in an album.

     58. Put together my cookbook.

     59. Cook 20 new recipes. [0/20]

     60. Visit either NYC or Chicago.

     61. Learn & practice monthly breast self exams for a year. [0/12]

     62. Find 10 new restaurants, coffee shops, or hang out spots within 15 minutes of our house. [0/10]

     63. Go on an overnight mother/daughter trip with my mom.

     64. Give blood at least four times per year. [0/10]

Give blood

     65. Try five new foods, preferably foreign. [0/5]

     66. Take my husband to a strip club, just for the heck of it!

     67. Join a local hobby group.

     68. Buy a quality digital camera.

     69. Go to a drive-in movie.

     70. Buy a new lap top.

     71.  Plan a girl’s weekend road trip.

     72.  Plan a romantic trip for my husband and I.

     73. Go snorkeling.

Try snorkelling

     74. Golf 18 holes…note I don’t have any performance goal!

Try golf

     75. Write and mail 2008 & 2009 Christmas letters.

     76. Show Pea (my OTTB) in-hand and under saddle.

     77. Take Pea to either a RPSI or a Trakehner breed inspection.

     78. Get Pea in foal to a warmblood stallion.

     79. Send a non-special occasion card to someone who’s family and someone who’s not.  (3/17/08: I mailed a “Hope” card to my Grandpa, who’s 82 and fell last week.  He broke a bunch of little bones in his hand…and now he’s grouchy because Grandma’s “making” him walk with a cane so it doesn’t happen again!) 

     80. Finish a knitting or cross stitch project.

     81. Have one of our wedding photos blown up to 16″x20″ and framed…and hang it above the fireplace.

    82. Write my husband a love note every week for a month (email counts). [1/4]

     83. Buy a cute corset–and wear it.

     84. Visit Cheryl, Scott, and the girls in Cleveland.

     85. Learn how to make at least one fancy dessert.

     86. Take a completely spontaneous getaway trip.

     87. Go bowling at least four times. [0/4]

     88. Take my little brothers on a day trip.

     89. Spend a weekend with my oldest brother.

     90. Go to a wine tasting event.

     91. Give a massage.

     92. Ride in a “Hunt” at the Miami Valley Hunt.

     93. Get tipsy in good company.

     94. Ride at least twice a week for six months, providing the weather is decent.  [0/48]

Go horse riding

     95. Face a fear. 

     96. Go naked for a day.

Go naked

     97. Make love outdoors.

     98. Learn one good joke.

     99. Leave work on time every day for a week. [0/7]

     100. Figure out which charity is most meaningful to me.

     101. Donate $5 to that charity for each unfinished item on this list.

        

    

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