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Happy Humpday! It is officially t-minus 2 days until the weekend, not that I'm counting the hours or anything. We are already at the end of May, can you believe it? It seems like it was just New Years' Eve and we were making our annual New Years' resolutions for the year. Since we are almost half way through 2016, I thought why not check in on the status of my resolutions/goals for the year? So, I am here to update you on how my goals are going and share a little surprise for you at the end of this post (so stay tuned!)

1. Learn new and challenging recipes

NGL, I am a major foodie, so this resolution is probably my favorite. I have been trying tons of new recipes, especially ones that are on the healthier side. At the beginning of this year, I would usually search Pinterest for healthy meal ideas but now I finding myself constantly finding my go-to meals from Gina Homolka (the owner of Skinny Taste.) Her recipes are so healthy and completely reasonable for the average amateur cook. The best thing about Skinny Taste, in my opinion, is that you can search recipes based on ingredient or course. If you are looking for a quality healthy eating resource definitely check her out!

2. Get back into a running routine

So far, I have kind of gotten back into my running routine, in the sense that I have consistently been adding cross country style workouts into my gym days. Getting back into running after being on a long hiatus is hard, that is no secret. Also, running on a treadmill versus running outside is VERY different. Some days I do get discouraged since it is already May and I haven't started running outside yet, but slow progress is better than no progress, right? 

To ease my body back into the swing of things, I have been adding interval training, running stretches, elliptical workouts and running specific weight training to my weekly workouts. This may sound intimidating but I basically just started doing the workouts that I've been pinning for last few years. I definitely feel like I'm getting into better shape and getting closer to my goal. My next step is to add running outside at least once a week to my exercise plan. So, wish me luck!

3. Set some time every week aside for hobbies/me time

Honestly, I was doing really well at this until recently, but I definitely need to get back to this. Self love and attention is so important to being happy, in my opinion. I was even setting aside time every week for "me time" but life has been especially crazy lately and I've put this resolution on the back-burner. But, this is why I like doing updates on my goals - to keep me accountable. This weekend I am looking forward to some quality craft time with my favorite cup of coffee.

4. Read a new book every month

Okay so I have completely failed at this one. I need need need to try to do this and not to make excuses but I'm totally lost on what the good reads are lately. So, if you have some good recommendations, please let me know! I'm going to try to go on audible this week and do some research on some good books to download. I am determined to not neglect reading this year!

5. Run a half marathon

So, you probably know that I haven't run a half marathon if I haven't even ran outside yet, but there is still time. I might have to amend this goal to train for a 5k. I will be running a half marathon by the end of 2018 though and to ensure I don't chicken out I'm going to register for a half marathon by the end of next year!

6. Take photography classes

This is something I still need and want to do. In my defense, I have been researching local photography classes at the Southwest School of Art. Also, I have been looking up photography tips and tutorials on, big surprise, Pinterest. Photography is something that I have always loved and I know that taking some classes would definitely up my skillset and my general desposition. 

7. Revamp my portfolio

Can I get snaps for this one? I totally revamped my digital portfolio and I am so happy with it! It definitely was a struggle, since all of my work randomly deleted itself a month and a half in, but it ended up even better than I imagined. Definitely go give it look and let me know what you think!

8. Do something outside of my comfort zone

I still need to work on doing more things that push me both professionally and personally, but I have gone a little out of my comfort zone with my blog. I've been trying to post more substantial content on Feather + Steele (meaning that I've been trying to post more advice and journalistic style posts rather than just concert reviews and make-up favorites.) Hopefully, if you've noticed, you've been enjoying the change in my blog style.

9. Spend more quality time with friends/family

It's a bit difficult to spend time with my family since I live about 5 hours away, but I try to make the trip every few months. Also, I talk to them on the phone constantly (but I do wish I could see them more often.) I have been spending time with friends but I do need to make it a habit to schedule a girls night in with my friends a few times a month. Girl talk and wine nights are very important and necessary.

10. Stick to my budget and save more

I have always had trouble with saving money, but recently I have been forcing myself to save money every week. Every time pay day rolls around, I take money out of my account and put it aside. I have made this a habit of mine, no matter what, and I've been pretty successful so far.

11. Try some new hobbies and actually try some of my pinned DIY's

Does following new bloggers and social influencers count? If it does, I have a few new favorites that I think qualify as a new hobby. As of now, my top five are: Chelcey Tate, Mandy Ferrugia, Kelsey Claire, Hannah Shaw, and Estee Lalonde. These ladies not only have incredibly intriguing aesthetics but also speak their mind beautifully and effectively. As for trying DIY's, I am still working on that, but I haven't forgotten completely. I have chosen a few DIY's that I want to try out this month: DIY Desk Calendar, Repurpose Candle Jars, + Spicy Margarita Ice Pops. Keep a look out for my update post to see how these DIY's turned out!

Now, don't get too excited but I do have a small surprise for all of you. Since my music taste is always changing, and I am always looking for new music (especially when it comes to working out) I decided why not share some of my current playlists? Below, you will find my current gym playlist (and I will also list my Spotify if you want to see the other playlists I have/follow.)

  1. Yee (Original Mix) - Deorro
  2. C'Mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise) - Tiesto vs Diplo feat. Busta Rhymes
  3. Calabria (Firebeatz Remix) - Rune RK
  4. Blow (Cirkut Remix) - Ke$ha
  5. Gas Pedal (Dave Aude Radio Remix) - Sage the Gemini
  6. Recess - Skrillex
  7. Boy Oh Boy - Diplo, GTA
  8. Tear the Roof Up (Extended Version) - Alesso
  9. I Got My Eye On You - Nari + Marchi, Cristian Marchi feat. Luciana
  10. Uptown Funk (Will Sparks Remix) - Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars
  11. Lose Control - Missy Elliot feat. Ciara + Fatman Scoop
  12. Fergalicious - Fergie,
  13. Gold - Kiiara
  14. Working For It - Zhu, Skrillex, THEY
  15. Never Be Like You - Flume feat. Kai
  16. Power - Kanye West
  17. Lose Yourself - Eminem
  18. 'Till I Collapse - Eminem feat. Nate Dogg
  19. Strange Clouds - B.o.B feat. Lil Wayne
  20. Intoxicated (Go! Running Mix) - Martin Solveig, GTA
  21. Remember the Name - Fort Minor feat. Styles of Beyond
  22. Cobrastyle - Teddybears, Mad Cobra
  23. 212 - Azealia Banks, Lazy Jay
  24. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

{Are you keeping up with your resolutions or have you made any new ones?}

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We are in the age of the Millennials. Millennials who, myself included, are graduating from college, joining the work force, and teaching you about FOMO one do it for the gram post at a time. Another thing that practically all millennials can low key add to their resumes is: professional procrastinator. Key word: professional. 

I still remember a college professor who spent an entire class teaching a room full of half-awake students the difference between being a professional procrastinator and just a procrastinator. His main point was that if you are a procrastinator, you can still be successful, but you have to be a procrastinator that actually thrives. You can't call yourself a professional procrastinator if you wait until the last minute to start working on a project only to produce an end-product with less creativity and passion than what's in your left pinkie. What I took away from his lecture was that if one of your fatal flaws is procrastination, then make it work for you. Which, in my opinion, is advice that everyone should follow. 

The same goes for a lack in motivation. At some point or another, we run out of steam, out of drive, out of the desire to push forward. This occurs more often in some than others, especially if you are running on empty. We all need a pep talk every now and then, so if you're feeling like you need some motivation inspiration keep on reading!

1. Set REALISTIC Goals

This first tip is so important because, honestly, if you aren't setting goals that are practical and achievable, then what is the point of even setting goals. There is nothing wrong with keeping your dreams and your slightly unrealistic goals close to your heart, just dial them down a little when your are setting your goals so you don't get discouraged. 

Always have a list of short term and long term goals. Having short term goals, whether they are goals for the day, the week, or the month, keep you motivated because you can literally see your progress over a short period of time. Setting long term goals are just as important, if not more. Having long term goals is having something to work towards, something to look forward to. Fast success is all fine and good, but working towards something for a longer period of time definitely feels more rewarding in the long run.

No matter what your goals may be, always remember that you are working towards a better you and every day you keep at it is one day closer to achieving your #lifegoals.

2. Be Selfish

Staying motivated is hard, it's just that simple. Some days can feel like a major struggle and with all of the distractions around us, we are pretty much set up for failure. Sometimes, to stay focused and on track, you have to put yourself first. The coworker that wants you to be her wingman for happy hour (for the third time this week), your friend who tries to make every day a cheat day, and your roommate who needs your opinion on which Instagram filter to choose can wait (for at least an hour.) 

Anne Lamott once said, "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." Your lack in motivation could possibly be fixed by simply recharging your batteries. Next time you feel stressed and discouraged try taking a break from life for half an hour.

3. Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Nobody is at the same point in life that you are at this exact moment. So, nobody's progress will be the same as yours. Do NOT compare your goals or progress to someone who is 100 feet from the finish line. As a rule of thumb, I try not to compare myself to others (or at least regularly remind myself to do so.) It is hard to not compare yourself to others, especially when our brains are hard wired to do that exactly, but any motivation or pride you have in yourself will be significantly lower once you start lusting after others' progress and skills. 

The key to success is to focus on your own success; keep your eye on the ball and you might just get a home run or at least headed in the right direction.

4. Do One Thing at a Time

It is so easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated by your list of goals. Especially if you live a hectic life and barely have time to breathe. Rather than trying to do tackle a whole list of tasks at once, dedicate your time to completing one thing that will help you reach your goals per day (or week - depending on what you realistically feel is right for you.) Fully marking off one thing is much better than starting 5 things and not finishing any of them. 

5. Don't Throw in the Towel

The hard and fast truth is that life is a struggle. You are going to encounter obstacles and challenges on the road to success. If you gave up every time you had to deal with a problem, you most likely wouldn't be standing where you are today. I had a good friend of mine give me some incredible advice a few years back. She told me to think of myself as the GPS in my car. When your GPS sees that the original route is no longer possible, it reroutes so that you can reach your destination. Life is going to throw you curve balls and the best thing you can do is to keep rerouting until you have reached your destination.

When all else fails to keep you motivated, playing The Middle by Jimmy Eat World on repeat always does the trick. 

{What are some things you do to keep your motivation up or some ways you turn your flaws into assets?}

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I, for one, am a major advocate of "Sunday Funday" activities. I truly and wholeheartedly believe that there is nothing better than waking up at noon and enjoying a refreshing mimosa (or three) poolside with your friends. What we don't think about when we're living it up on Sunday, is sleeping through our alarms on Monday morning and skipping that crucial cup of caffeine and starting your week with a serious case of the Mondays. 

For me, mornings are hard. That's just something that I have accepted and I have learned that making my Sunday Funday more productive really helps start my week off on the right foot. I feel more relaxed and focused during the week and ready to tackle the many challenges that life tends to throw our way during that 8-5 grind. 

I am a big planner so attempting to stick to these 7 ways to make my week less hectic has been a huge help in my life.

1. Sunday Is The New Monday

While I was in school, Sundays were that last taste of the weekend that seemed to be over before it begun. Maybe that had something to do with me getting such a late start in the morning and lounging around all day. Either way, I was always finding myself extremely unprepared when Monday morning rolled around, and stressed because of it. Once I began starting my week on Sunday, Monday didn't seem so daunting. I found that if I got up at a reasonable time and made sure to eat breakfast before noon, I would get so much done. Making Sunday my new Monday was one of the best things I could do for my work life as well as my personal sanity.

2. To-Do Lists Are My New Best Friend

When you are always multi-tasking and taking on multiple jobs and projects, things tend to get hectic and can easily spin out of control. I live by to-do lists. At the beginning of each week, I like to create a short-term and long-term to-do list. I got this idea from YouTube blogger, Ingrid Nilsen (who is one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers and if you haven't heard of her you should definitely look her up.) Check out her video on how she makes a DIY Inspiration Board with her goals and check lists (both long and short term.)

3. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

This is especially important if you work from home. I don't work from home, but I find that if my home desk is cluttered I am less likely to 1.) do anything productive over the weekend 2.) feel refreshed as I am getting ready for work. I will take one look at that messy desk and immediately began to get stressed out. I also make sure that, every day before I go home, my desk is clean and organized (it literally takes 5 minutes.)

4. Tidy Up

During the week, I am definitely not in the mood to clean when I come home (minus the necessary dishes and taking out the trash.) Making time for tidying up around the house on Sunday is a game changer. I wholeheartedly believe that starting the week off with a clean environment gives you a clear mind and prepares you for whatever the week may bring.

5. Hydration Is Key

While I'm at work, I'm pretty good at staying hydrated. My water bottle is with me at all times and I probably refill it about 4 or 5 times throughout the work day. I also find that the fitness tracking app that I use helps so much because of the water reminders (and how adorable the water glasses are when you fill them up.)

Now, while at home I have to try harder. It's just so easy to forget to drink water over the weekend and so I mainly use my meals to regulate my water intake. I try to drink a couple of glasses of water every time I eat a meal or a snack and I find that I have constant energy throughout my day.

6. Plan Ahead

If there is one thing that I would recommend doing on Sunday to jump start your week it would have to be plan. I like to plan out my meals for the week. I don't usually meal prep but I come up with a sort of menu for the week before I go grocery shopping (since Sunday is usually my grocery shopping day.) Sometimes, if I'm being extra detail oriented, I will even put the meals into my calendar. I will usually only buy groceries for dinners (since the leftovers usually are my lunches), but I also like to pick up sandwich fixings and frozen meals (my favorites are the Smart Ones from WeightWatchers.)

Occasionally, I will remember to plan out my outfits for the week. When I do remember to do this, future me is basically worshipping the ground I walk on. Let me just say when you're in a rush and the one outfit you had your mind set on is dirty or wrinkled that can pretty much throw off your entire day. I mean, personally, I like feeling confident in how I look and my confidence definitely impacts how I preform in my daily life (especially when it comes to work.) Also, picking out my outfits for the week helps me narrow down what laundry needs to be done.

7. Get Some Fresh Air

My exercise goal is to fit in at least 4 workouts (ideally 5) per week. Sometimes life happens and I'm not able to workout as much as I would like during the week. The weekend turns into my catch-up days. I used to think that I needed to at least do an hour of intense sweating and pumping iron for a workout to count. What I've learned is that any exercise counts. If all you can do, or want to do, is going for a walk and enjoying some nice Sunday weather than that's awesome! Even if it's just walking your dog or taking a walk around the block, you will feel so refreshed. 

I'm not a super human and we don't have 40 hours in one day to always do everything we would like to do (especially on the weekend), but if you find that you can squeeze in 1 or 2 of these tips that stood out to you than let me know if they helped you get a head start on your week!

{What are some tips that help you start your week off right?}

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