Tag Archives: goals

Birthdays And Insights

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So my 26th birthday just passed this Monday on December 1st and along with it came many different emotions. I think this tends to happen around “important” dates and holidays when people’s expectations tend to run higher than any other time of the year.

I say this because this Thanksgiving and 26th birthday is the FIRST time I wasn’t surrounded by a single family member or close friends.

For those of you who have been through this, you understand how unsettling it can feel. I’m new to this and this is why in the past I never imagined I’d move away from family. The funny thing is, my brother Michael is going through the same thing for the first time too. Amazing, similar experiences with completely different circumstances.

Despite this shock I joyfully express my gratitude to the people who have made their way into my crazy life in NYC and have welcomed me with open arms.

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I send a “thank you” to Roxy’s family for having me in the defining month of September and inviting me over for Thanksgiving. And I also send a “warm thank you” to Aleksandra, Giovanna, Jinna and Wendy for being good friends to me in the short time I’ve known them. I would be eccstatic to share another Peruvian feast with you again and again.

After my birthday dinner, me and a friend decided to go out until very late and ended up having a foolish scuffle. The next morning, I was left with a terrible hangover, aching body and some post-birthday blues that were facilitated by the hangover. The foolish scuffle caused me to feel negative emotions and turn introspective.

I’m going to commit to getting to sleep earlier and to stop drinking alcohol because I realized that I HATE the resulting hangover/blues much more than I love the short-lived high of being buzzed.

What’s worse, these negative habits grossly diminish productivity. There’s not a chance I’m going to work out, eat healthy or be alert after those late nights.

I’m afraid this is going to alienate me a little bit because people here generally like to drink outrageous amounts of alcohol and stay out until the sun rises. Either way, I have to do what’s best for me and am confident that I will find people that think and act similarly.

One of the biggest reasons for this resolution is my reading of Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge and the idea that every single little decision you make is either working FOR you or AGAINST you.

An example could be every time you decide to eat that cheeseburger instead of a nutritious meal, hit the snooze button and skip your early workout, or worse – have a long night and lose half of the next day. Basically, it resembles the “compounding” of good or bad choices that end up resulting in your failing or improving health, relationships and finances.

There couldn’t be a better book to read for my current situation than the Slight Edge. The reason why this concept is so treasured by me and all of Jeff’s readers is the simplicity of it all.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”

The 95% majority of people that are struggling are motivated by quick results and instant gratification. The successful 5% are those who use the slight edge to take action with a vision of where they will be and a confidence that their consistent good decisions will make a difference.

So remember, every decision you make counts. Think twice before you decide to skip that seminar, neglect to call your friend who you haven’t talked to in a while, or get that extra drink.

You’re either on your way down or on your way up, I know I’m on my way up.

-Nicole

 

 

 

 

 

An Update On Last Week’s Goals

Fall-Inspired Self Portrait done with colored pencil

Fall-Inspired Self Portrait done with colored pencil

So last week I undertook the project of publicly sharing six ambitious tasks for me to accomplish between Thursday 10/23 and Saturday 11/01. This was an experiment to test the effectiveness of perceived accountability. I say “perceived” accountability because I have no idea how many people or if anyone is consistently keeping track of my blog and its progression. This is fine because its visibility is still public and that puts pressure on me to deliver.

Unfortunately I didn’t complete most of my “weekly big six” because I forgot to consider my mom’s visit to NYC! I am by no means blaming it on her, I am acknowledging the fact that I GROSSLY lacked perspective while planning. I also didn’t know that I was going to be so over-scheduled by my employer.

This is where I got with them:

  1. (Check) Start doing some form of cardio or strength exercise for at least 30 minutes 4-5 days a week
  2. (Check, more work needed) Seek out events and interest-focused groups to attend in Bushwick (probably through Meet-up)
  3. Seek out and attend some exercise or dance class in the area
  4. Buy more towels, a window curtain, trashcans (Check) and recruit my  mom as a decorator (In Progress)
  5. Reach out to at least 2 different resources each day for getting work in my field
  6. (Check and In Progress) Do some awesome things with my mom because she’s visiting and I’m SUPER EXCITED

Although I didn’t put this in my to-do list, I AM very happy with the art piece I created last week. Revisiting my identity as an artist will become the new theme of the year for me, especially now that I’m in New York. This has been unexpected, as art is the last thing on mind when I find myself stressed and I anticipated being highly stressed in New York. This new urge to get back to art has been an utterly pleasant surprise that I am welcoming with a huge embrace. What’s even better? The fact that winter is almost here and the weather is going to be more conducive to me staying in and contemplating an empty canvas.

I’ve also been getting urges to expand my understanding of art into the realm of technology. I know that I’m “young” and expected to really “get” the tech world and all its tricks but I have never been a fan of “screens.” It’s time, it’s time I accept that I can’t run away from these things anymore and I need to learn to conquer them and use them for my benefit in means of graphic design, photography, editing and whatever else I should learn.

Keep Creating!

-Nicole

Accountability

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Should I write? Should I draw? Should I finally buy those few things I needed or tackle those important errands that I keep procrastinating on? Should I just do nothing and watch a TV show in the comfort of my bed to give my feet a brake? I feel terribly disconnected, should I call a bunch of people?

Does this ever happen to you? You finally find yourself some free time without any interruptions nearby and you start stressing about how to use it. I don’t know about everyone else but I am extremely susceptible to that sensation since I still don’t know “loads” of people here and I happen to be an over-thinker and analyzer, always searching for a way to improve what is. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel satisfied, this constant urge to search is the juice that drives me to continue learning, experiencing incredible things and meeting wonderful people.

I’m writing this post right now because I want to create some form of accountability that I believe will help me get to where I want to be faster AND I don’t like breaking promises. Perhaps, you can borrow from my approach. So I have been in NYC for 2 months and I’ve made progress in huge strides. It has now been 22 days in my apartment in Bushwick and it’s time I establish myself:

Starting from now until next week (10/23-11/01) I will have:

  1. Started doing some form of cardio or strength exercise for at least 30 minutes 4-5 days a week
  2. Sought out events and interest-focused groups to attend in Bushwick (probably through Meet-up)
  3. Sought out and attended some exercise or dance class in the area
  4. Bought more towels, a window curtain, trashcans and recruited my visiting mom as a decorator
  5. Reached out to at least 2 different resources each day for getting work in my field
  6. Done some awesome things with my mom because she’s visiting and I’m SUPER EXCITED

Sheesh, that’s a long and ambitious list. I can handle it though. When it comes to list-making it’s better to keep it short or it will seem too overwhelming and you might not tackle it at all. In “Train Your Brain for Success”, Roger Seip states that one shouldn’t have more than six items on their daily “to-do” list. These are called “The Daily Big Six.” This is more effective than having a list of 20 tasks that may or may not be urgent or important. I’m obsessed with lists. I think it’s the only way I can stay focused and remember what I have to do with the constant distractions.

Do you have much use for lists? How about accountability?

Thanks for reading, now I have to catch up with some people back home.

Take care.

-Nicole

 

Need An Update?

Victory! Posing  at Central Park

Victory! Posing at Central Park

1) Sublet “Check”

2) Job “Check!”

3) Permanent place “In Progress”

HOORAY! I got a job last week after only a few days of aggressively looking for them. Since I moved to Sheepshead Bay on September 3rd I spent a big chunk of time on preparation rather than action. This includes research on what I wanted and hundreds of edits to my resume. I suppose that’s okay because it relates to the old saying:

“It’s better to take your time and aim at what you want than to shoot in every direction.”

So I got a job as a server at this “Eclectic Mediterranean” Restaurant in Tribeca last week where I totally clicked with the staff, the space, and the food. It might sound “average” to certain people but this is the first time I’ve felt happy at a job for a long time, since I can remember. I mean, these people know how to work hard and have a blast with eachother. Who can say they had an “Office Space Moment” during the monthly team meeting where everyone helped destroy the stubborn office printer!? Ya that happened this Saturday. Anyway, now that I have a source of income I can focus on the search for a place closer to town AND work!

I’m going to officially start my search tomorrow and my place will preferably be in Manhattan so I don’t have to put in so much commute time. Although Sheepshead Bay was a beautiful and good place to start, the one-hour commute to The City each way is painful..and can I mention-unreliable? It must be a coincidence but the Q train I take has been held up 3 times already in the past week! I have to be honest and say that I’m not adjusted to this new dependence on public transportation. In fact, it still deeply frustrates me.

“But whatcha gonna do? Learn and learn some more”

-Nicole

Catching up

Swans in Sheepshead Bay

Swans in Sheepshead Bay

I’m back! I’m guessing you’re wondering what happened to me and the place I was supposed to have set up before my surprise trip to New Orleans.. Long story short, I missed my last chance to snag an option that was relatively cheap AND close to Manhattan and had to rely on my backup sublet which turned out to be the best option I had!

Let me explain: lightening-quick decision making is rewarded here in New York, there’s just too many other people scrambling for the same things and probably expecting less than you are. I was amazed by how quick people were to throw money down. Even after being the 1st pick to see the place in Sunset Park, the 15 minutes I took to “think about it” resulted in me losing the place to someone who had literally come in five minutes after me and offered the cash! This appeared to be a loss but ended up being a blessing since this alternate place turned out to be beautiful and the people I’m sharing the space with are lovely. I acquired this option through my boyfriend’s college friend who lives in Sheepshead Bay.

Just yesterday afternoon I managed to drag all my suitcases down 4 excruciating flights of stairs to a cab (with help from friendly New Yorkers of course) from East Village to the southernmost part of Brooklyn. I received a warm welcome by Roxy and her family who all turned out to be friendly creative types. After conversing with them for a while I went to explore the bay where I witnessed the prettiest sky I have seen since I left California. These were all good signs for what’s to come, I am certain of it.

1) Sublet “Check”

2) Job “In progress”

3) Permanent place “On hold”

Alright not too bad, 1 out of 3 major tasks completed. I’m putting the pedal to medal now because I’m determined to get my life stabilized. Onward and up!

-Nicole