One Word for 2020

Each year I try to set a one word “theme” for the year. It’s not a goal, but more of a guiding principle to keep in mind.

Another yearly tradition I try to do is recap the previous year and post the current year’s focus to the blog. In my mind, this is something I do every year, but in looking over my past blog posts, it seems to be less of an actual tradition than I thought. Whoops! (Note to self: Add “Post Yearly Theme Post” task to Things)

So since I didn’t post my theme for last year, I guess I’ll start my 2019 recap by sharing that it was “Intention.”

I had started feeling as though I was just blowing where ever the wind (or people in my life, rather) wanted to take me. As a type-A person, the added spontaneity was initially a breath of fresh air, but over time, my days became increasingly dictated by what other people wanted to do. As a result, I lost any sense of where I was heading. I figured that by being intentional, I’d regain some sort of control and hopefully find some sort of direction in the process.

In hindsight, I think a better name for the year’s focus would have been “boundaries”. It took the better part of the year for me to realize that I was blowing wherever the wind took me because I’d failed to set boundaries. While it seemed easier to go along with what other people want to do, I was losing my own life in exchange for everyone else’s in the process.

If I could pick the most significant takeaway from 2019, it’d be relearning how to “take up space” (as my therapist calls it) in my life again.

I started really thinking about things like:

  • What do I want in life?
  • What do I need?
  • What things am I only doing because other people wanted me to do them?

I still don’t have entirely clear answers on them, but I am learning to be honest with myself and others about what I will and won’t spend time on. This has meant saying no to more things, accepting that not everyone will be okay with my decisions, and most importantly reminding myself that saying no isn’t selfish or rude.

An unintended consequence becoming more comfortable with what I want in life is that I may have indulged myself a little too much towards the latter half of the year. I’d set a well-meaning intention to relax after a long week, but I’d do so by spending the day on the couch mindlessly shopping, snacking, and watching YouTube followed by going out for drinks and binging on mozzarella sticks and nachos while doing so only to feel awful the next day. Comparing my couch-potato tendencies to that of my significant other, who often spends his days playing hockey and ordering salads whenever we go out, only left me feeling more and more sorry for myself.

It was so obvious I needed to start exercising again and start eating better foods, but I’d reached a point where I felt too tired to do either. Instead, I spent more and more time on the couch feeling sorry for myself. By the end of the year, I’d stopped working out entirely and spent the bulk of my 2-week break on the couch.

So with that in mind, my focus for 2020 is health – both physical and mental.

I realize health is a pretty generic theme. Everyone wants to lose weight, go to the gym, eat better, and meditate more in the new year. It’s probably the most cliche theme I could pick, but considering where I ended 2019, I didn’t see any other option.

This year I’m not setting resolutions or goals to work out x number of days or lose a set amount of weight.

I’m simply asking myself, “What would a healthy person do?” whenever I find myself feeling resentful about my behaviors.

Would a healthy person watch YouTube on the couch all day?

Probably not.

But I’m also way too addicted to Gourmet Eats at this point to give up watching it completely. I could swap sitting on the couch for watching it while on my spin bike instead though.

Would a healthy person eat pizza rolls for dinner 5 days a week?

Probably not.

But I’m also generally exhausted after work. Expecting a gourmet meal every night isn’t realistic, but I can stock my kitchen with healthier options.

I usually wrap up my yearly focus posts by listing my specific goals for the year, but as I’ve already said, I’m not doing that this year. In fact, as I’ve gotten better at using my yearly focus to guide my decisions, I’ve been reducing the number of goals I set over the years.

There are a few I still do set like a yearly reading goal, and I obviously can’t ignore my work-related goals set by my supervisor. Aside from that, however, I’ve only set one goal for 2020.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have spotted a hint already in a post from the summer, but I haven’t actually shared anything on this blog yet mainly because I try to keep my private life private.

In any event, my better half proposed last summer, so that’s my one and only goal for this new year – to get married.

Do you set goals or a yearly theme for the year? If so, I’d love to hear what yours are!


For those of you who haven’t read my About page, I’ve spent the last 4 years slowly completing a Masters degree, 1 class at a time. Well, I’m happy to report that the 14 hour days of this past semester are behind me (7:10-9:40PM classes should really not be a thing), and more importantly, so is my degree.

Ironically, the defining moment of finishing my degree wasn’t walking out of my final class or applying for graduation. For me, the strangest milestone was checking off my final task in Things and removing my School area, which marks the first time I’ve not had a School area in any task manager.

Now that I’m done my degree, the logical question is “What could I possibly do with all my free time?”

Of course, this question couldn’t come at a better time since I like to spend December reflecting on the past year and planning for the next. Thankfully planning comes after reflection because if anything’s clear, I did not slow down as I had intended. If anything I did the opposite, and I’m feeling it as we wrap up the year.

So for 2019, I’m going the opposite direction. I’m purposely keeping things simple.

My focus is on intentionality.

Instead of committing to new things, my intention is to focus on things I’ve already committed to – like all those house projects that have been on my to-do list since I moved in. (Hello, kitchen cabinet doors that are still sitting in the corner waiting to be painted.)

With that in mind, I will be taking a few weeks off, so this will be my last post of 2018.

Before I leave though, I want to say thank you to everyone who’s read this blog over the past year. A year ago, this blog was just another thing to check off on my path to maybe becoming some sort of writer in the distant future. Thanks to some major encouragement from my boyfriend and all of your amazing feedback, I couldn’t even begin to imagine this blog would be where it is today.

Thank you again, and warm wishes for the holidays.

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

A Simple Solution for Integrating Goals into Omnifocus


Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

As each year wraps up, I, like many, start thinking about my goals. What did I set out to accomplish for the year? How did I do? Admittedly, I did pretty well, successfully completing 12 of my goals for 2017.

But there were equally as many that I didn’t get to. A handful of them are simply still in progress or wrapping up, but it was clear the others failed because I just wasn’t tracking them.

This makes me laugh because anyone who knows me knows I track just about everything: tv shows, tasks, activity, sleep, habits, how I spend time on my computer, water consumption… the list goes on…

For 2018, I set out with a plan, ensuring each goal had a way to be tracked. How to track progress on some things were a no-brainer. Tracking my weight is done automatically with Fitbit scale provided I remember to stand on it. Meditating regularly is something that Streaks can track automatically as long as the app sends the data to Apple Health.

It was the larger objectives I was having trouble with – my reading goal, financial goals, interpersonal things. They were things I really wanted to work on, but without some sort of accountability, ensuring steady progress on them was easily forgotten during the day to day activities.

Seeing as I run my life out of Omnifocus, I figured that was the best place to start, but I had a few problems:

  • I didn’t want my goals to get buried amongst my ongoing responsibilities.
  • I didn’t like the added visual clutter of prefixing each project with something like [GOAL]
  • Some of my goals like posting to this blog regularly were just tasks, not full blown projects.
  • I wanted them to live within my existing folder/project/context structure of Omnifocus.

My solution was quite simple. I simply added #goal to the Notes field of each project or task relating to a goal. With that, I created a custom perspective (project-based, grouped by folder, showing any remaining tasks that included the text #goal). The perspective gives me a list of all tasks related to my goals (at least the ones being tracked in Omnifocus) in one list.

I’ve added the perspective to my toolbar, so that whenever I’m in Omnifocus, I can see all my goals in one list. It’s become a valuable part of my daily planning and keeps me focused on ensuring I’m always making progress on my goals.

One Word for 2015

One Word 2015 BannerLast year’s big thing around the new year was everyone’s “one word”. Mine happened to be “simplify“. I’d say I did an okay job. I simplified a lot of things: my make up routine, my computer, my organization systems, etc. The whole “one word” concept was something that really resonated with me, so when the new year rolled around, I knew it was something I wanted to continue.

But that begged the question, “What on earth would my word be?” I loved “simplify”, but that was last year’s word. I obviously had to pick something else.So I thought about it and came up with one I like… drumroll please…

My one word for 2015 is…


2014 definitely ended in a way that shook things up for me. If there’s one thing I learned from it all, it’s that I need a fresh start – a fresh outlook on everything whether it be relationships, my work, or where I’m going in life. There’s nothing like getting a swift kick that forces you to realize you’ve been on auto-pilot for far too long heading in a direction you don’t want to go, and that’s where I’ve found myself.

I’m also hoping to apply fresh to other areas of my life. I want to be more open to fresh ideas and not so set in my ways. Going in a completely different direction, I also want to incorporate more fresh meals into my life. Living alone for these past couple months has definitely led me down a path of prepared foods and things that come out of a box, and I’d like to change that.

So here’s what I’m focusing on big-picture-wise for 2015:

  • I’m committed to becoming debt free as soon as possible. I’m blessed to not have any student loans or a car payment, but the $40/mo I pay in interest alone on my credit cards, in addition to the payments I’m making, would be much nicer in the bank. Based on my current payment plan, I should be debt free (minus the mortgage) by summer of 2016, just in time for my 26th birthday.
  • I absolutely need to figure out where my career is going. If I choose to stick with my current path, I need to reassess how to make it work for me. If I choose another path, I need to figure out what that path is.
  • I want to grow as a person. I cannot be on autopilot anymore, and that means doing things for me and finding out about myself.

Habit-wise, I’ve got a few things on the table too:

  • Journal daily – I’ve been trying to use Day One more, starting primarily as a gratitude journal where I record 3 things I’m grateful for each night before bed.
  • Drink more water – I am pretty sure I’ve been in a perpetual state of dehdryation for about 2 weeks now, and that absolutely needs to change. I’m aiming to drink half my bodyweight in ounces each day.
  • The last is more of a collection of habits related to health including taking the recommended number of steps per day (which I fail at pretty regularly), taking breaks from sitting in front of a computer all day, etc. I jumped on the quantified self bandwagon as soon as fitness trackers came out, yet I’ve never done much with them, and I hope to change that this year.

Well there you have it folks, my one word for 2015, and what I’m focusing on this year.

Here’s to a great 2015.

Signature Update

May 2014 Recap + June Goals

Wow! May flew by faster than ever. So let’s see how I did in terms of goals.

  • Get back on track for my goal to read 52 books in 2014. – I’m now only 5 books behind now, so I’m making progress which is good enough for me.
  • Continue working on my room remodel. – Floors have been picked out. I attempted to hang curtains and decided I better leave that for another day because I majorly screwed them up.
  • Continue running and meeting my daily step goal at least. – I’ve run a few days more than usual but not as much as I’d prefer
  • Get one of the three tattoos on my wish list. – Done. As cliché of a tattoo as it looks, I think got a few double-takes at the tattoo shop when I explained it was for suicide awareness in memory of my dad. Brave Andrea also got her inner conch on both ears pierced. Now I can’t wait to count down the days until the piercings are healed and I can swap the BCRs out for simple studs. Until then it’s wearing my hair down at work for a bit so they aren’t too obvious.

And onto June’s Goals

  • I want to get the flooring put in my room for sure.
  • Run at least once a week in addition to my {now habitual} usual morning workouts.
  • Go out and have some fun. This past weekend was full of cookouts and road trips {much more than usual for hermit Andrea ^_^} and I’m actually pretty pleased with everything. And this view…spending an afternoon on the deck outside this restaurant… it doesn’t get any better than that.IMG_3125

Signature Update

April 2014 Recap + May Goals

Hi everyone!

After a record month of rain here, we’re finally experiencing some Spring weather.

Recapping Aprils goals:

  • Stay on top of keeping my room clean. – Ehh my room is reasonably clean and getting vacuumed on a daily basis thanks (I plan to do a post on this later because obviously lazy me is not vacuuming daily.)
  • Go out and have fun – I managed to take a few days off go on a fun little trip to Atlantic City. I was sick for the first few days, but I did get to enjoy at least looking at the beach and a few chilly walks on the boardwalk. Right now the only thing holding me back from going out more is the fact that my car is making some concerning noise. It also has a leak so I avoided driving it in the rain too much. It goes into the dealer this week though. *fingers crossed it doesn’t have anything majorly wrong.
  • Stay on top of my classes. – Oh boy I failed at this. I had a first draft of my term paper due in April. Thanks to my mini vacation followed by a nasty cold, my paper on the importance of self-motivation in e-learning courses was turned in only hours before it was due. I couldn’t help but smile at the irony that I was scrambling to turn in a paper for my online course about motivation in e-learning courses at the last minute. Maybe I need to improve my own motivation.
  • Get back into running. – I actually did manage to run a few times this month.

So what are my goals for May?

  • Get back on track for my goal to read 52 books in 2014.
  • Continue working on my room remodel. Hot items for the month are getting my curtains hung, getting floors installed, and getting a new desk chair.
  • Continue running and meeting my daily step goal at least. I absolutely need to run a 5K this year, preferably by September.
  • Get one of the three tattoos on my wish list. I’m leaning towards the smallest one, a small heart on my left wrist for suicide awareness, but I may get a quote on my ribs instead because I’m really wanting it. I’m also considering getting my inner conch pierced on both my ears. {As a supervisor, I’m trying to continue getting piercings and tattoos without looking unprofessional. I’m convinced it can be done tastefully.}

Seeing the progress of my room {pics coming soon, I promise} and this gorgeous weather, I’m super excited to see where this month takes me.

Here’s to a great month. Happy May!

Signature Update

2014 Goals

Last year, I wrote out a ton of goals and lost them. Somehow I managed to do a pretty good job at completing most of them though.

This year, I went with a different approach.

For 2014, I decided to have 1 main focus and a few goals.

2014’s focus will be to


how I do things.

what I buy.

what I already have.

You get the idea.

Goal wise, the plan is to do the following:

  • Read 52 books
  • Identify {and do} 3 tasks each day
  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Drink 56 oz. of water a day
  • Run a 5K
  • Purchase my bedroom furniture
  • Connect with people and actually go out and live a little
  • and last but not least, not neglect this blog as I have been doing.

Happy New Year! Thank you all for reading! Here’s to making 2014 even better than the last!

Update: Apparently the trend this year is having one word to focus on for this year. I had no idea when I wrote this post, but apparently I’m going along with the trend.

Signature Update

A Look Back at 2013

I’ve never been one to have goals, but there’s a first time for everything right?

I started 2013 with a plan. I had a list of overall goals for my life. I also made a list of specific goals for 2013. I even broke that list down so that I had specific things to focus on for each month {inspired by The College Prepster}. Plan-wise 2013, should have been my year.

At least until I lost my goals…

Word of advice to anyone: If you type up ANYTHING, and especially something as important as goals, don’t save them as an untitled.txt and leave them on your desktop.

I guess even the most OCD, organized computer user has bad habits. In my case, my two habits of not saving files with proper names and always wanting a clean desktop created a recipe for disaster, and my goals were deleted.

Or so I thought…

Today while searching my computer for that wonderful yearly goal planner broken down by month {from Philofaxy}, I found two files:

  • A word document called Overall Goals
  • and a text file called GoalsandProjects

I quickly opened them up, and it was like looking at a time capsule.

My goals for 2013

  • I will read 13 books – Check. In fact, I’ve read a total of 64 as of today.
  • I will paint my bedroom and bathroom. – Check. {Well… I paid someone to paint them.}
  • I will organize my bathroom. – Sort of, but not in the sense I was going for, so I’ll say no.
  • I will participate in at least 1 photo challenge per month. – Massive fail. I couldn’t even make it through one month. On the other hand, I did try to be the one to bring my camera to events {even if I didn’t remember to take pictures… baby steps right?}
  • I will use one, and only one, planner. – You only have to read this blog to know I failed miserably at this one too.
  • I will remember birthdays. – Sort of? Facebook reminded me of most…
  • I will drink more water and less caffeine. – This is definitely a work in progress. I’m back to coffee in the mornings, and I treat myself to ONE energy drink to get me through Friday afternoons/nights, but I’m also drinking much more water.
  • I will exercise at least once a week. – I think it’s safe to say this one’s a success. In fact, I’m probably working out 3 times a week or more excluding my morning mini workouts.
  • I will create a blog. – Well this one’s a no brainer… here it is!

Overall, considering, I pretty much lost these goals and didn’t pay attention to them midway into January, I’m pretty surprised at how well I did. I mean, 6 out of 10, without even thinking about it… That’s shocking.

The Goals and Projects file was a bit more of a brain dump, but it was fun looking back at what I was planning to do like making detailed cleaning schedules to force me to clean {like that’d ever work…}, organizing the house one room at a time, creating a study plan {Ha! Who was I kidding?}.

The most detailed section was work by far, and I have to say, it’s truly amazing to see how far we’ve come. Working in customer support, it’s really easy to get caught up in the day to day routine. Meetings become monotonous, and you really don’t notice all that your accomplishing until you look back at a list and realize that thing you take for granted today was just an idea in your mind a year ago.

Finding 2013’s goals was a great way to look back at the year. 2013 might not have gone as expected, and it was definitely a hard year for me in every way possible, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve changed so much in such a short amount of time, and I’ve grown in more ways than I could imagine. Now it’s back to the drawing board to work for 2014’s goals, and this time, hopefully I won’t lose them.

Signature Update

November 2013 Goals

Hello lovelies!

I’m still in shock that it’s already November! Where did the rest of the year go? Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of goals post, so today I’m back with my goals for November.

#1 – I’m participating in Monica’s (from Run Eat Repeat) 2013 Pile on the Miles Challenge. My goal is to run/walk a total of 118 miles this month. Now that I have a treadmill, I really have no excuse to get myself in shape to be able to run a full 5K. For those of you who do run, you’re probably laughing that my goal is a 5K, but this girl has never even run a full mile in her life. {True story: In middle school, I was the one to discover that I could walk a mile not run and still qualify for the President’s Physical Fitness Award. P.E. class was never the same again.}

#2 – Now that I have an actual bill for this treadmill, reality has sunk in that I really want to pay off my credit cards and also pay off this treadmill well before they start charging me interest. That means I need to stop buying everything under the sun. Wishlists are not “BUY ALL THE THINGS NOW” lists, but that’s how I’ve been living.

#3 – I will wake up every morning and complete my Bootycall. For those of you who don’t follow Tone It Up, it’s not what you think. It’s basically waking up and getting your body moving first thing. For me, the most I’ve been successful with is 10 minutes of HIIT, but hey, it’s something, and I feel great. On the weekends, I’ve been typically swapping it out for a run.

That’s it for November. Three goals this month. {I’m trying to set myself up for success.} There’s also a bit of a fitness theme for this month which has been a huge part of my life lately.

Good luck to everyone in completing your goals, and happy November!

Signature Update

May 2013 Goals


April was pretty hectic for me so I’m going to make May’s focus on getting my life back on track.

  • I want to start using my planner more. To be totally honest, I didn’t really use my Filofax in April. It was probably pretty apparent to any of you who read my {My Week} posts or look for me in Philofaxy’s Web Finds. I have some big changes coming up which I’ll discuss in some later posts.
  • Along those same lines, I’m continuing my time management improvements. Instead of reading 9 books a month, I need to start paying attention to and whittling down this media overload that I have right now. Total count as of the first week of May is 61 articles in Pocket, 114 videos to “Watch Later” on Youtube, 4 books to finish, and of course the usual Netflix, Blockbuster, and DVR queues to work through. (I am going to cancel Blockbuster though so that will be a few less movies to watch.)
  • Eating healthier. It’s no secret that I’ve become an avid Tone It Up follower. My mom has been saying she wants to lose weight, but Tone It Up workouts are totally out of the question for her since she’s recovering from shoulder surgery and has bad knees. The next logical solution, eat better.I had considered buying the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan but that price tag is pretty steep. (If anyone’s tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!) The next best solution was actually free. Our library has a free subscription to the online version of Clean Eating magazine. What do they put in there? Meal plans and shopping lists. Our fridge is now stocked with tons of fresh fruits and veggies rather than microwaveable burritos, and I after only a few days, I already feel better, hopefully she will get more on board too.
  • Working out more. I’ve noticed a pretty significant correlation to how I feel and working out. No workout = no energy for me, and that’s just not okay. In keeping with the Bikini Series, I’m going to try it as closely as possible. My motivation is having a rocking bod to show off on vacation next month.
  • The room. I absolutely need to get my room painted this month. No excuses. My room is in shambles right now. There’s a step-ladder in the middle of the room, paint buckets on the floor, rinsed out paint trays in my shower, and a gigantic cat tower sitting in the middle of my room that I have to climb around every day. Oh, and my cats love bopping me in the head as I walk past them too…
  • The blog. Last but not least, I have neglected this blog tremendously. My stats have reflected it, and I just feel like I’ve let not only readers down, but myself as well. I promise to get back on track and remember why on earth I love this blog so much.

What about you? Do you have any goals or big projects coming up this month?