Positive Momentum: 2015 Bucket List

IMG_4532Ladies and gents, I’m excited to present my 2015 Bucket List! I started crafting this year’s list in about August, and as you’ll see, have already made headway on a few items.

This year is about harnessing the positive momentum. 2014 was an incredible year, and I want to keep the positivity flowing.

Now to briefly backtrack, here’s my reasoning behind annual bucket lists, rather than resolutions: Resolutions start with the negative and then turn into proactive “resolutions” which are hardly resolute; they’re followed for the first couple of weeks of the new year, before they fall by the wayside and all you’re left with is a monthly gym membership fee.

Bucket lists are lists of action items, things I would like to do/learn/accomplish just for the sake of doing/learning/accomplishing them. I hold myself accountable, and regularly check in to share updates, accomplishments, even supplements. So without further ado, my seventh annual list:

TREAT YO’SELF
1. Have my DNA tested (via 23andme or another).
2. Have a real Christmas tree (even if I have to call it a Hanukkah bush). Did this this year :) It’s tiny, but festive!
3. Buy myself a bouquet of flowers.
4. Get a waffle maker☺. AB already got me one for our Secret Santa exchange!
5. Find a perfect purse (currently on the wait list for this one). I got a jumpstart and bought it over Black Friday weekend!
6. Buy a mirror for my living room.
7. Treat myself to a spa day.
8. Re-pierce my ears and buy a pair of earrings to celebrate (love these Kate Spades or a simple pair that goes with everything).
9. Find a new perfume that’s all me.
10. Buy myself new running / training shoes (probs these).

EXPERIENCE IT
11. Free kayaking at the Downtown Boathouse in Manhattan.
12. Travel someplace new.
13. Go to the pumpkin patch, or apple picking.
14. Ride a roller coaster.
15. Have high tea.
16. Shoot a gun.
17. Visit the Museum of the City of New York.
18. Eat a new protein – like reindeer or ostrich (I’m recruiting Captain America for his help on this one!).
19. Find a signature drink (French 75?).
20. Eat oysters (I tried my first recently; need to try more! Apparently there are habanero oysters?).
21. See Shakespeare in the park.
22. Attend an underground dinner.
23. Try dim sum in Chinatown.
24. Go to the Newseum in D.C.
25. Go to a festival / fair.
26. Learn a new card game.
27. Spend a day on the beach.
28. Recreate the balloon project on my birthday (or just for fun!).
29. Do something crazy.
30. Share some of my favorite sights with my soon-to-be-assigned Little!

GET MOVING
31. Go hiking (some great ideas here).
32. Run a charitable race (Fifth Avenue Mile, New York Underwear Run, Empire State Run Up, New Year Midnight Run).
33. Try the 100 pushups challenge.
34. Take a cult fitness class – flywheel or barre or kickboxing.
35. Sign up for ballet.
36. Do the splits.

CREATE
37. Read “The Artist’s Way.”
38. Read something by Proust.
39. Read “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons” before the “Game of Thrones” season 5 premier.
40. Publish something.
41. Host a brunch.
42. Craft something I found on Pinterest.
43. Crochet another headband / ear warmer.
44. Make fried okra.
45. Make homemade yogurt.
46. Do a standup comedy routine (via Peppercomm!).
47. Paint my room.
48. Take a photowalk.

MAKE A CHANGE
49. 12 Months of Meaningful Improvement:
January: Month of using zero disposable cups or bottles.
February: Month of drinking nothing but water (and protein shakes).
March: Month of no television.
April: Month of meatless Mondays.
May: Month of twice-weekly blog posts.
June: Month of morning walks.
July: Month supporting only small / local businesses.
August: Month without shopping.
September: Month without taking a cab.
October: Month without gluten. Just shut up and do it.
November: Month of daily gratitudes.
December: Month of random acts of kindness.
50. Implement Thursdays as a spend-free day.
51. Donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths again! This will also require buying a new hair dryer ☺
52. Learn a new(ish) language.

PROGRESS / SAVE
53. Build up a three-month emergency fund.
54. Ask for a raise / promotion.
55. Invest in something, even if it’s just Kiva.
56. Start contributing to my 401(k) (I haven’t reached the minimum time limit yet).
57. Improve my credit score by 10 points.
58. Join a professional group (PRSSA, New York Women in Communications).
69. Attend 5 networking events.
70. Set a date for my next big trip. Contribute $100 (or ideally, much more) to the fund each month!

Have any ideas for future lists? Want to join me for a few? Leave comments, ideas, and share your own lists – I’m always hungry for new ideas and inspiration!

2014 Bucket List Review

10647114_10152844527323760_2228545618988916624_nAs I build up to my 2015 bucket list reveal, I wanted to share my progress this year! For those new to the game, my annual bucket lists are my favorite tradition, a way to kick myself in the butt and encourage ongoing growth and adventuring throughout the year :)

2014 has been a wild year (though I feel like I say that every year). I moved to New York (Dec. 2013), started a new internship (Dec. 2013), walked in my college graduation (May), found another new job (May), got promoted in fewer than six months (Nov.), moved another 457931 times (Jan., May, August), and never wore any earrings (the horror!!).

I explored my city, vacationed in Maryland (July) and Maine (Aug.), and am bringing AB home for a much-anticipated holidays. Of the 65 items on my list, I completed 50 (woot!); and of the 15 remaining, five just don’t interest me any more, five were pushed to 2015, and five are still contenders for 2014. Hey, I’ve still got some time.

  1. Kiss my boyfriend at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Love you AB!
  2. See the new World Trade Center MemorialDid it on my week off! Check out the post here.
  3. Ice skate in Boston Common or Central Park or Rockefeller Center. Not yet, but planning to for the 2014 holidays!
  4. Do some DIY crafting to decorate my new apartment. I made these gold leaf agate coasters!
  5. Walk and relax on the High Line. Did it on my week off! Check out the post here.
  6. Figure out my job… sitch.
  7. Bike through Central Park (again!). I walked a bunch, that count?
  8. See the Lion King on Broadway in Feb. My holiday present from AB—amazing!
  9. Become a member of Kappa’s alumna network. Eh. Not feeling this one for now.
  10. Start my mini book club with Captain America and blog about it.
  11. Exchange guest blog posts with Sugarwoman! Didn’t guest blog for her, but did share some posts on Peppercomm’s RepMan and Innovation Mill blogs.
  12. Visit Coney Island. Did it on my week off!
  13. Go to the Bronx Zoo (Wednesday is pay-what-you-wish day!). Eh. Not feeling this one for now.
  14. Pay off my credit card.
  15. Ride the tram to Roosevelt Island. Did it on my week off!
  16. Go running in Central Park. April 18, 2015. I played with puppies!
  17. Go apple picking and bake something delicious. Pushing to 2015 list.
  18. Visit a museum (or two or three. The Met’s $25 admission is only the “recommended” price; and the MoMA is free on Friday evenings). Did it on my week off! Check out the posts here and here.
  19. Be in a studio audience. I went to see Dolly Parton perform on Good Morning America!
  20. Get a library card, and explore in more depth the New York Public Library.
  21. Slurp up some frozen hot chocolate at SerendipityDelicious :)
  22. Find a restaurant with amazing duck. Not putting it on the 2015 list per se, but it’s still a goal. I miss Parisian duck.
  23. Crochet something. Made this crocheted headband and scarf.
  24. Visit a winery.
  25. Participate in a class or conference. (Like Alt Summit in NYC, or a free online class). I participated in Alt Summit May 8-10! Find a recap here.
  26. Buy furniture (I know some people might not find this exciting but I DO!). Outfitted my new apartment, and got a super pretty new chair for my bedroom :)
  27. Walk at Northeastern graduationMay 2, 2013
  28. Host a dinner party inspired by a show, movie, or fairy tale (ala Heston Blumenthal, or Game of Thrones again!). Not feasible this year. Pushed to 2015 list.
  29. Eat a cronut.
  30. Take a tour or use a big apple greeter and get to know the big city. Big apple greeters are not available to NYC residents, so I count my week off, running around the city :)
  31. Try a new workout fad or class (preferably in the form of a free trial). Ballet, at-home workouts, new lifting routine.
  32. Institute a new workout plan.
  33. Take the “Captain America tour” of the Natural History Museum.
  34. Watch the Olympic Opening Games (I freaking love the Olympics!).
  35. Dress up and go to a speakeasyDecember 2013 (I got a jumpstart!)
  36. Weekend ski trip in March? Went with AB on his company-funded trip!
  37. Learn a little something more about various wines (Are there workbooks for this?).
  38. Send more thank-you notes, in general. Check out my favorite stationary here.
  39. Find a new perfume that’s all me (This one?). Still looking. Pushed to 2015 list.
  40. Keep a monthly budget and stick to it. Monitor pennies and dimes (with some fancy apps, etc.).“Help me, I’m poor.”
  41. Stop. Eating. Gluten. Meh.
  42. Do something worthwhile for the holidays (like volunteer and/or go home!). I’m going to bring my man home for the holidays!
  43. “Zenify” my living space.
  44. Keep to my “Perfect 10” philosophy.
  45. Live like a local, explore like a tourist <3 (more to come!)
  46. Whittle my makeup routine down to only 4 or 5 items.
  47. Buy a lip/cheek stainNot feeling this anymore.
  48. Invest in matching underwear sets. 
  49. Eliminate TV as a remedy for being bored (keep it to regularly watched shows). Read or write instead.
  50. Find a quality tailor and have my suit jacket fitted.
  51. Have my favorite boots re-soled. Love getting them redone!
  52. Hand make holiday gifts/stocking stuffers this year.
  53. Buy brightly colored pants (like these?)
  54. Set myself up to live debt-free in 2015. I’m well on my way!
  55. Make a new female friend. 
  56. Learn something that increases my professional value (e.g. coding, finance, social media). Counting Alt For Everyone!
  57. Purchase or make a new (artsy) camera strap.
  58. Maintain an apartment wish list so I can strategically and intelligently make purchases.
  59. Take before and after pictures of my new apartment. Oops…
  60. Identify and blog about a 2014 theme.
  61. Get a new pair of eyeglasses. Will do in 2015…
  62. Buy a living plant (herbs or topiary or desk plant?) and keep it alive. Meet Arnold here.
  63. Find a pair of work-appropriate jeans.
  64. Re-pierce my ears (After my right hole tore, I’m trying to let them close up). I don’t think they’re ready. Pushing to 2015…
  65. Do something crazy. I’ll never tell…

Cheers to a wonderful 2014! Stay tuned for updates on my 2015 list, but please feel free to share suggestions of items / adventures to include!

A Sneak Peak: 12 Months of Meaningful Improvement

NYE-1 copyI’ve been working diligently over the past couple of weeks to build out my 2015 bucket list, and a lot of the ideas I’ve been stumbling upon have had a 30-day theme… 30 days of going the extra mile, or 30 days of self restraint. So I thought I’d make a year of it. In addition to my standard tasks and dreams, I’m going to spend the year making meaningful improvements.

When I first shared this list with AB, his response was “It sounds like you’re just trying to torture yourself,” so I wanted to explain some of the background and thought process behind each month. Some are or will be harder than others, but as a habit takes minimum 21 days to stick, the idea is that if it sticks, I can carry over good habits into the following months. So as a little sneak peak to my 2015 bucket list, I present 2015’s 12 Months of Meaningful Improvement:

January: Month of using zero disposable cups or bottles. This seems pretty straightforward, but I’m a big fan of being environmentally friendly. I also wanted to start with something doable but still impactful. I will be carrying with me my Klean Kanteen, so I can still make trips to Starbucks and grab some water, but will limit that impact.

February: Month of drinking nothing but water (and protein shakes). AB made the caveat about protein shakes, because I would otherwise be lacking in my post-workout protein intake. But this means no coffee, no alcohol, no high-calorie drinks, no afternoon diet Coke, etc. It’s something of a cleanse, and I’m also hoping it saves a little money, too. I’d really like to limit my alcohol intake in the coming year. I find that while I enjoy a little wine or whiskey at home, I’m really tired of going out.

March: Month of no television. I wholeheartedly acknowledge that this will be the most difficult month. I watch a few shows with AB and may or may not keep watching these (technically, they’re online). However, I want to eliminate my habit of turning on the TV and browsing the web, post-work. I will instead read, write, draw, cook, clean, or call loved ones.

April: Month of meatless Mondays. My food philosophy tends to be “meat-on-the-side” anyway, but I want to make a conscious effort to limit my meat intake for a slew of reasons. Meat is expensive, detrimental to the environment, and can cause some serious health issues. Now, I don’t have a poor or meat-dense diet, so I’m not particularly invested in being veggie again, but I think that limiting my intake will help encourage me to be mindful of my consumption.

May: Month of twice-weekly blog posts. It’s pretty clear I’ve been struggling to post regular content here – really for about a year. I attended Alt Summit last year, which was super inspiring, but I don’t feel that I have a niche for MSW anymore. I want to actively combat that – to fake it ’til I make it by posting regular content.

June: Month of morning walks. I haven’t yet figured out how this will impact my morning workouts – it might be that my walk from the gym to the office counts, but really I just want to get out and spend some time in the daylight. Walking was always a good opportunity for me to reboot or foster creativity, and I’d love to challenge myself to get outside and enjoy a little fresh air. It might instead mean taking a walk at lunch… we’ll see.

July: Month supporting only small / local businesses. This will be hard for me, because it means to chains and no Amazon. I’ll still be buying groceries, as usual, but want to limit any discretionary spending, and force myself to be more conscious of how I spend my month.

August: Month without shopping. I know, I know. The blasphemy. Emergencies and food (from the grocery store) are allowed. Beyond that, I’m skimping.

September: Month without taking a cab. This is both to encourage myself to walk, and to save money. I spend a lot of money on cabs.

October: Month without gluten. Just shut up and do it. Ughhh. I know going gluten-free is super trendy right now, and for the past several years. I’m not in it to lose weight. Really, I think that gluten intake impacts my allergies. And I don’t want to be itchy all the time. I’ve tried out gluten-free and felt amazing but it’s an INCREDIBLY difficult diet to maintain. It takes a lot of planning.

November: Month of daily gratitudes. In brainstorming these months, I noticed a lot were about limiting myself. But during the month of Thanksgiving, I want to emphasize everything I’m grateful for – even the small things. This might mean journaling about my “gratitudes,” it might mean just saying a silent thank you at the end of the day, or it may mean doing “high-low” – a game of sorts where each person lists their high point and their low point of the day – over dinner

December: Month of random acts of kindness. And in the theme of the holidays, I want to extend my cheerfulness to others in the form of random acts of kindness. Everything counts – it doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture. Donating when prompted at checkouts, holding the door for a stranger, surprising a coworker with coffee. Should be a wonderful year?

Inspired to try some meaningful months yourself, or write an annual bucket list? Share it with me or in the comments – I’m always looking for new ideas.

2014 Bucket List: New Year, New York

times-square-1024x768I recently published a list outlining what I did and (more likely) did not cross off of my 2013 Bucket List. My bucket lists are my favorite tradition, started New Years 2009, before I graduated high school. Here’s my reasoning behind bucket lists, rather than resolutions: Resolutions start with the negative…

I’m too fat.

…and then turn into proactive “resolutions…”

To lose weight, I will go to the gym four times a week.

…which are haphazardly followed for the first couple of weeks of the new year, before they fall by the wayside and all you’re left with is a monthly gym membership fee. Bucket Lists are lists of action items, things I would like to do/learn/accomplish just for the sake of doing/learning/accomplishing them. So without further ado, my sixth annual bucket list: Continue reading

2011 Bucket List

Remember that first post in July? This may look familiar…

Jumping right in, I’m not a believer in New Year’s resolutions. I just think they tend to revolve too much around losing weight and looking better and petty bullpucky that sparks a temporary spike in gym and diet industry revenues and doesn’t budge the scale a notch. Plus, I’m don’t have enough will power to diet, so I take a different approach to the New Year.

If you haven’t noticed already, I’m kind of a freak about lists. I read once that writing lists is the best way to naturally combat ADHD… maybe I’m undiagnosed? whatever. Anyway, I write lists all the time because it makes the brain clutter (which sounds something like “BZZZZZZZZIHAVETODOALLTHISCRAPANDICAN’TSORTTHROUGHMYTHOUGHTSENOUGHTOCOHESIVELYFIGUREOUTEXACTLYWHATI

NEEDTODOBZZZZZZZZZ”) and it makes it all pretty too. When I write lists, I’m more proactive. Case in point? Lists=shit gets done.

Anywayyyy, for this year’s bucket list, I compiled 80 things I wanted to do and am already working on many. Given my new address, there’s much to explore. I’m determined to fall in love with this city, even if I have to trip myself to get to that point. Bygones.

2011 BUCKET LIST

  1. Move to New York.
  2. Do something crazy.
  3. Visit the South.
  4. Dance on a table.
  5. Host a dinner party.
  6. Write a letter to a political figure.
  7. Raise $500 for a charity.
  8. Sing karaoke.
  9. Send poetry in to get published.
  10. Find the best coffee house in the city.
  11. See a show.
  12. Try speed dating.
  13. Learn to photograph.
  14. Buy myself a Michael Kors watch.
  15. Spend a weekend in D.C.
  16. Take a roadtrip.
  17. Find an excuse to wear a tiara.
  18. Read 5 books on my list.
  19. Design an outfit.
  20. Make business cards.
  21. Volunteer a week in Costa Rica.
  22. See Austin.
  23. Have a shower beer.
  24. Perfect my dougie.
  25. Have frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity III.
  26. Go to a concert.
  27. Skinny dip.
  28. Spend a Sunday volunteering with The Breakfast Club.
  29. Picnic in Central Park.
  30. Toast our Sep. apartment with champagne.
  31. Skateboard to class.
  32. Get a Boston Athenaeum membership.
  33. Go to a BRUINS game.
  34. Go to the top of the Empire State Building.
  35. Slow dance.
  36. Visit every Manhattan bridge.
  37. Learn something new.
  38. Have lunch on the Staten Island Ferry.
  39. Wear fake eyelashes.
  40. Waitress.
  41. Have three differently themed dinner parties.
  42. Buy myself some letters.
  43. Visit Canada.
  44. Get better at French.
  45. Send Amanda a care package.
  46. Take a dance class.
  47. Spend a day on the beach.
  48. Watch all the epic movies that I never did.
  49. Plant an herb garden.
  50. Write my number on a bathroom stall.
  51. Help make Thanksgiving dinner.
  52. Send in a Postsecret.
  53. Write a note and leave it in a book.
  54. Learn to master a stick shift.
  55. Do a cartwheel.
  56. Kiss someone under the mistletoe.
  57. Pay for the person behind me in a drive thru.
  58. Sneak someone into the Webster.
  59. Get a massage.
  60. Bartend.
  61. Create a poster memorializing random quotes.
  62. Take a CPR course.
  63. Take a ride in a town car.
  64. Make something for the apartment.
  65. Start a journal (again).
  66. Create a drink.
  67. Give someone a piggy back ride.
  68. Shake hands with the Editor in Chief.
  69. Take myself on a date.
  70. Talk someone into going to school.
  71. Buy myself a dress without a reason to wear it.
  72. Find a place to wear said dress.
  73. Dress like Jackie O.
  74. Play an intramural sport.
  75. Try a new Ben N Jerrys flavor.
  76. Blog once per week.
  77. Get to know someone in every Greek organization.
  78. Force a guy to come over and put up shelves (ha).
  79. Start a tradition.
  80. Read every night M-Th.

Here’s to an awesome year!! Happy New Year!