I Actually Like Working Out

Thursday, September 16, 2021

I didn’t think that I would fall in love with working out in 2021, but here we are. I’ve always known that working out is good for you, but forcing myself to take better care of myself truly changed how I felt.

Going into working out regularly, I had to take the focus away from the numbers. I didn’t want to look at a scale and see if I lost weight. I didn’t want to work out to change my body to fit a certain standard. Body size doesn’t determine if someone is healthy or not. The only focus I wanted was to simply move my body and make it stronger.

1. I feel good emotionally, mentally, and physically
Aside from having more energy on a regular basis, I found that I was happier and calmer than ever before. The time I took everyday for working out allowed me to destress in a way I had never done before. This was especially helpful on days I had a rough workday. I began to use working out to release the tension stored in my body which was an amazing feeling.

2. I sleep better
I was initially nervous about working out at night since I’m not a morning person. But I didn’t have anything to be worried about. I began to sleep extremely well on the nights I worked out right before going to bed. My body felt good, but the tiredness really helped me relax.

3. It’s time just for me
There is nothing I hate more than when people try to talk to you when you’re working out. I am the kind of person who needs her phone and headphones to get through a workout. I want to watch a show or catch up on YouTube videos and forget about the world. It’s actually amazing to take time out of my busy day just for me.

Again, I want to make it clear that I am not working out to lose weight or to change the shape of my body. I am truly doing it because I'm a lot more stationary than I should be. Any and all of the changes that I am taking note of have nothing to do with how my body works.
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What I Learned From Journaling Everyday for 30 Days

Monday, September 13, 2021

In July of this year, I decided that I would try journaling for thirty days straight. I have journaled on and off since I was very young but I have never kept up the habit like this. I knew I wanted to try and document everything that was going on in my life. I wish I had started doing so when 2020 first began, but better late than never.

Since I knew this challenge wouldn’t be an easy one, I had to figure out ways to make this process as easy as possible. Here are the three things I did:

1. Journaling questions and prompts
While I initially only wanted to create a list for 30 days, I decided to go all out and create a list of 365 prompts and questions. While I didn’t think I would use them everyday, I knew that having this document handy would be very helpful.

2. One page a day
This was the only restriction I put on myself. I knew that doing any other restriction wouldn’t be helpful. I did know that I needed something to keep me accountable. One page a day was easy to remember and enough space for me to actually write about the day.

3. Journals and pens
If I was going to challenge myself to such a task, I knew that I had to have some fun with it. As a lifelong writer, I have an immense love for journals/notebooks and pens. So for this challenge, I got out my journal that I love and made sure I had my favorite pens handy.

Now that I had those three aspects of this challenge figured out, the next step was simple: actually write in my journal. This turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. I am the kind of person who has to handwrite my journal. The permanency of journaling by hand, I have come to find, is terrifying. This is probably why I have not always written in journals in the past. Once the words are down on paper, you don’t have many options. You can rip out the pages but then you know the pages are gone. If you cross out all of the words, you can see that result on paper. You get the idea.

In the end, I pushed through it. I found that I loved having the questions/prompts because it gave me some direction. If there were days where I was exhausted, I simply looked to see what I had to write. Once I moved past my initial hesitation, I found that I truly loved journaling. So, here are the five things I’ve learned since journaling everyday for 30 days.

1. Writing is truly how I process my emotions
While I have a variety of self care habits that help me process my emotions, I found that nothing worked better for me than writing in a journal. Whether it was answering a question or just venting about my day, the process was truly cathartic.

2. This forces me to take time to simply be
In true Aries fashion, I love to move. Whether it’s dancing or walking or going to the gym, I am not the kind of person who likes to stop unless I’m sleeping. Journaling every day forced me to take at least thirty minutes out of my day to actively stop, sit and contemplate. I learned that I usually put too much strain on my body and that it needed a lot more rest than I was giving it.

3. The mundane moments matter
Reading back to some of my entries now, I have come to truly appreciate the random little moments of life that happen. It could be as simple as what I ate for the day or what my commute to work was like, but I found that it was important to write down. I had to consider how I spent my free time and if it was actually beneficial to me.

4. I wish I had been consistent earlier
This is the one aspect of journaling I wish I had learned earlier. I wish that I hadn’t allowed my fear of permanency to get me to stop writing down my life moments. Obviously, this is not something I can change from my past, but I can absolutely make a difference in my future.

5. I can see the progress
This actually surprised me when I look back at my words from early July. I wasn’t in the best mental state for a variety of reasons, but I could also see how much change had occurred in my life in just 30 days. I can’t wait to see what my progress is going to be like in the future.

I am excited to see how far I can go with journaling. I decided after a while that I would try and actually write everyday for an entire year. I want to be able to look back on a year’s worth of journal entries to see the progress. I want to be able to see where I was emotionally, mentally, physically and professionally. At this moment I am getting very close to 100 days of journaling everyday which is absolutely wild to me. I can’t wait until I reach the 365 day mark. Maybe I’ll even share some snippets on the blog in the future.
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The Writing Diaries (5): Starting Over

Thursday, September 9, 2021

At the beginning of the year, I had two writing goals: one, I want to plot my historical romance series, and two, I want to have two completed manuscripts. Thus far, I have only plotted out hlaf of the series and haven't finished a single manuscript. That is what I want to work on changing. Here's three things I am changing in the next couple of months to reach this goal. At the time of writing this post, Septmeber 3, we have 121 days left in 2021. I want to make the most of them.

1. Going back to the basics
Recently I had a renewed desire to write fiction. I kept thinking about certain characters, their stories, and how much I wanted to tell them. So, I took out a notebook and blue pen and began writing. There was something magical in putting pen to paper because I ended up writing several pages of a story. While this was a random scene that had come to me, I loved the process of writing them down. They were no logner in my head.

So, the first thing I'm doing is going back to the basics. As much as I love typing and using my phoen and laptop to tell stories, I function best with pen and paper. Specifically, a notebook with college ruled paper and a blue pen. I always use my favorite pens of all time, the PaperMate Profile 1.4B, for any and all writing things. As much as I appreciate gel pens, these pens have changed writing for me.

2. A little goes a long way
After I went back to the basics, I had to understand that I couldn't go at the writing pace of anyone else but me. Aside from the fact that I love having an outline, and knowing that I need an outline no matter what, I wasn't the fastest writer. Writing by hand takes time, yes, but for me it was more than that. I needed to put more thought into the words I put on paper. I try my hardest not to edit as I go, and I've gotten really good at that, but I have to like the words I use.

Which is all to say that I don't force myself to write too much every day. I write about 200-500 words a day or at last 5 pages front and back. I love having a goal to meet but I also don't like when the goal to too confining for me.

3. National Novel Writing Month 2021
My goal this year is to finish an entire manuscript during NaNoWriMo. I think that I'm going to try an adult romance but I don't know the genre as of yet. While I work through writing another manuscript up until NaNoWriMo, I am getting excited for this writing adventure.

I am hoping that I can write two manuscripts in the time remaining in 2021. While I wish I had started earlier in the year, and I hate that I didn't, there's nothing I can do to change that now. I'm excited to keep everyone updated on what I choose to write.
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The Legal Diaries (1): Starting The LSAT Prep...Again

Monday, September 6, 2021

Before I left for China in 2019, I took the Law School Admission Test aka the LSAT. While I had studied for it for months, I didn't realize how ineffective it was until I got my score back. It was...not a good score to be sure. I was very disappointed in myself and it impacted my ability to see myself being successful in this area. But hingsight is 20/20 because I now recognize that I didn't give as much time and effort into learning the exam as I should have. I didn't spend as much time studying as I should have and I most definitely didn't give it my all.

I now have a more concrete study plan that I thought I could share here. There's nothing like sharing things on the internet that pushes you to actully hold yourself accountable.

1. Study for 15 hours a week.
I wanted to start consistently studying for the exam without during myself out. 15 hours a week is about two hours a day which is pretty doable for me. I want to take the exam in Janaury 2022 and I know that I have to put effort into my studying.

2. Keep track of my progress
I hate the idea that I'm not actully retaining what I am studying because it makes me question why I'm doing it to beging with. So hopefully this helps alleviate that anxiety by having numbers that show how much I'm improving.

3. Don't stress over it
Considering the fact that this exam costs $200 to take is reason enough to stress over it, I find that it doesn't help me. I have to think of taking this exam has an investment into my future. I already know that I'm not the best test takes, and standardized exams are even worese for me. But if I truly study my hardest and give this exam my best, there is no reason for me to question my ability.

In the end, if going to law school is what's meant for me, then it will happen. I will have to find the time and energy to study for the exam and make it happen. Maybe in the future, as I continue to study for this exam, I'll relaize that this isn't meant for me. For now, this is the path I am choosing to pursue.
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How to Start Again

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Trying to make a comeback with blogging and writing turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. I had to really plan and think about what I was going to do differently in order to not burnout anymore. So, here are some of the ways in which I am doing this comeback differently than others in the past.

1. Mind shift change: Consistency over Perfection 

 Being a lifelong perfectionist, this has been one of the hardest shifts to make in my life. Not just with blogging, but also in other aspects of my life. In terms of blogging, however, I had to understand that consistently posting was more important than not posting for months because a post wasn't perfect. For example, I try really hard with my grammar but I know that I make a ton of mistakes. Making mistakes is human and I don't know anyone who has perfect grammar at all times. Obviously, I don't want to post filler content but I have a tendency to be far too strict with the topics I post.   

2. If at first you don't succeed, try again and again and again 

 I mean, this is an age old saying but in all seriousness, it applies so well to blogging. We are only human and we all make mistakes and we aren't always successful. For example, I failed miserably at the 365 in 365 posts challenges I had. Failing at that challenge, however, didn't mean that I can't continue to post regularly on the blog. This is what I'm doing now. 

3. Do it at your own pace 

As seen with the first point, I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to blogging. This leads to me having a ton of anxiety and self doubt when it comes to the content I produce. I want to keep up with other bloggers. I want to try and have a successful blog where people read the words I write. And this can lead to me wanting to keep up with other bloggers at their pace and not my own. 

So, there you have it! Three things I'm trying to do regularly to start blogging again and to keep it up! 

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