Tall Fashion Blog Goals

Goals and Habits 2016

Can you believe the first month of 2016 is already in the books? I can’t! I’m taking a break from my normal “tall fashion blog” posts to talk about some projects I’ve been working on. I tend to set goals year round, but the beginning of a new year always seems like a good time to evaluate what I’m doing with my life, what I can do better and what I’ve done well.

My 3 goals for 2016 are the same as last year because I feel like they need more work. This year, I’m focusing on creating small habits that will help me accomplish my goals. I find that if I try to make a drastic, time-consuming change, it usually doesn’t stick. I need to take bite-size steps toward accomplishing my goals in order to be successful.

Goal #1 – Focus on Fitness/Physical Health

Like many people, I’d like to tone up my jiggles and also be more consistent with my exercising for my general well-being. Last year, I sputtered along with my workouts but was never consistent. One of the things I tried was the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred videos after learning about the program on Anett’s Tall Girls Fashion blog. I started the program a couple of times but didn’t stick with it the whole 30 days because, quite frankly, I’m just not that self-motivated. I’m the type of person who needs accountability and a workout buddy.

This month, a friend and I started Jillian’s 30 Day Shred Challenge together and I’m so happy to say that I did the program for 13 days in a row before missing a day. Technically, you’re supposed to do 30 days straight…but sometimes life gets in the way. Why did I miss a day? I was in Vienna and dropped the ball on fitting my workout into our schedule on one of the 4 days. Instead of beating myself up about breaking my 13 day streak, I patted myself on the back for 1) working out 13 days straight which is quite possibly a record for me and 2) doing my workout on both Friday and Saturday during my Vienna trip. Sunday is the day that I missed but as soon as we got home from the airport on Monday night, I resumed the program.

The reason I like this program is that it’s only 20 minutes, albeit an intense 20 minutes. I wanted to get myself into the habit of working out every day but knew I’d have to start small. On the days when I REALLY don’t feel like doing the workout, I tell myself “Get your buns in there and start that video…it’ll be over in 20 minutes”! Before I know it, I’m done with the workout and am so happy with myself!

I ended up missing 3 more days because I tweaked my ankle after a little trip-and-fall, but I resumed the program again last Monday and hit the 22 day mark. Unfortunately, I pulled a muscle in my back while doing day 23 yesterday and am having to take a break from the workouts until the pain subsides. I’m super bummed about this latest set back, but I’m determined to finish the 30 days (even though they won’t be consecutive). After that, I will have to decide what my next workout challenge/routine will be.

Tall fashion blog fitness

Love my thrifted GAP long workout tanks!

Goal #2 – Learn a new language

I’ve been “trying” to learn German with my at-home software since fall 2014. I love (and highly recommend) the Fluenz software for anyone wanting to learn a new language. Thanks to that pesky issue of lack of self-discipline, I’ve only completed 37 out of 150 lessons which is “nicht besonders gut” (not especially good). I would say my “survival” German is OK (I can count into the 1000s, can shop, can order food at a restaurant, can buy my bread at the bakery, coffee beans at my fav coffee roaster, just the right amount of fresh cheese from the fancy food market and I know several nouns and verbs etc.), but I’m nowhere near conversational.

It’s not rocket science that in order to be conversational, I actually have to have people to converse with. Novel thought! But before I can converse with people, I have to have something more to say than “I’d like 250 grams of that cheese please”. I’ve decided to take a 4 week intensive course which involves going to class every weekday for 3.5 hours. German will be spoken in the classroom 90% of the time. Will this 4 week class make me fluent? Of course not! But I will have the opportunity to speak in German every weekday for 4 weeks and I think it’ll be just the kickstart I need to feel confident enough to start attending this conversation group I’m interested in. Leading up to the 4 week course, I plan to complete module 2 of the Fluenz software (which means I’ll have 60 lessons total under my belt). After I complete the 4 week course, I’ll continue with lessons 61-150 of my at-home software and might consider taking another intensive.

Speaking of learning German, here are a couple of photos that I took of a beautiful castle in Germany – Hohenzollern Castle.

Hohenzollern Castle Germany

Hohenzollern Castle Lookout
Goal #3 – Focus on Spiritual/Mental Health

Remember my post about how I wanted to cut back on social media because I felt like my memory was going to pot and my brain turning to mush? My goal is to replace some of my screen time with reading, journaling and listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Toward the end of 2015, I set the goal of spending 10-15 minutes reading a short thought provoking snippet from a devotional book in the morning and then writing my happy thoughts, worries, prayer requests etc. in my journal. I don’t know about you but I LOVE journaling. I find the process of writing down my thoughts and musings to be very therapeutic.  10-15 minutes may seem pretty piddly but remember, I’m trying to build a habit and I need to get consistent with a small amount of time before I can graduate to larger amounts of time.

Last week, I started listening to the audiobook The Gifts of Imperfection – Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown. The book is resonating so much with me, that I find myself spending more like 30-40 minutes listening to the audiobook and writing notes, so I’ve already doubled my initial time commitment of 10-15 minutes. Yay! If you’re not familiar with Brené Brown, watch her super popular Ted Talk about Vulnerability. It’ll rock your world…I promise!

At night, I don’t want the last thing I see before I go to bed to be a screen, so I either read my book about the life of Renoir or close my eyes and listen to the latest Mitford audiobook – Come Rain or Come Shine.  I’m hoping to eventually increase my night reading to an hour but for now, I aim for at least 15 minutes so that I can build the habit.

Your turn…

Did you make goals at the beginning of 2016? How do you typically tackle them – via small steps or sweeping changes or a different method? Do you know more than one language? If so, what are your tips for learning a new language? How do you feel about journaling?

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  • Reply Andrea@WellnessNotes February 2, 2016 at 3:40 am

    I like your goals!

    One of my goals is also to get back to more “formal” workouts. I have always worked out several times per week (in addition to walking at least 10,000 steps per day), but last year was a tough year, and I didn’t do much besides walking. We started doing the 7-minute workout 2 or 3 times per day most days and really like it. I have also done daily core exercises and additional push ups. I also plan on taking a yoga class again at least once per week.

    I also want to cut back on social media and have done so in the last few weeks. It feels good.

    Good luck with your German lessons! We’ll be in Germany in the summer; maybe we can figure out if we’ll be close to each other at some point and plan a meetup.

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures February 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

      I like all of your workout ideas. They give me some options to think about after I’m done with my 30 day shred program. I have previously tried the 7 minute workout routine and like it since it doesn’t require equipment and can easily be done while traveling.

      Re social media, I’m very happy that I deleted my apps from my phone because I’m enjoying being more connected with and aware of my surroundings. The trick is getting myself away from the computer when I’m home. 🙂

      That’s great that you’ll be coming back to Germany this year. A meet-up would be great.

  • Reply Karen February 2, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Love your post and your goals! Well, you know my goals, but they are partially similar!
    I love your journaling idea though. I love writing on the blog, but that is differen from the journaling I used to do. I might start doing that again. I also hear you about screen time. I defo need to work on that.

    I’ll check out your book. I just finished Marie Kondo ” the life changing magic of tidying up”. That sounds like a boring housewife book, but actually, it’s not. It’s quite inspiring and when I return home, I will implement a few tips and tricks!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures February 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Karen! I’ve taken long breaks from journaling in the past but am happy to be back at it. There’s something I love about writing my thoughts with pen and paper. Thanks for the book suggestion. I like the sounds of it and will check it out.

  • Reply Paula February 2, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Journaling has been so therapeutic for me over the years. At times, I’ve done it everyday, and at other times, I may not write anything down for several weeks. It’s not something I do because I “should”:), just when I feel the need.

    Can’t wait to hear you speaking German!


    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures February 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      I totally agree with not feeling “obligated” to journal. Sometimes, I go weeks or months without doing it as well. It’s not a good feeling when I’m doing it because I feel like I HAVE to…then it just becomes drudgery. Sometimes, I even sit there quietly and do absolutely nothing for those ten minutes in the morning and I love it. I should probably rephrase my goal to say that I’m trying to take 10-15 minutes every morning to be generally introspective and contemplative which can take on many different forms! 🙂

  • Reply Alison February 4, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve been following your blog since sometime before Christmas, and was always curious about where you were living. Now that you’ve mentioned learning German, I assume it’s probably Germany or Austria. I’m an American who moved to Austria (the western-most province) almost 16 years ago. It took me a while to learn German, but now I use it every day, on the job and socially. My boyfriend and I run a language school for adults which we opened 11 years ago. Good luck with your course!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures February 4, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Alison! I’m always happy when I receive comments from new readers. Austria is so beautiful. I’ve been to Salzburg and Vienna but know there is SO much more to explore. We have a few other Austrian destinations on our wish list and I’m hoping we make it to those this year.

      That’s wonderful that you and your boyfriend are running a language school. It seems like it would be a very rewarding line of business and I’m sure the fact that German isn’t your first language inspires your students! Most people speak English where I live in Germany, but I still want to learn as much as possible and become more comfortable and confident speaking it.

  • Reply Caryn February 24, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I share your goals #1 and 2. Have you heard of Tone It Up? They are two adorable and fit women with kick ass videos on YouTube. Check them out! I also downloaded the app Duolingo to help expand my vocabulary in Spanish. I travel to Central America every year and am determined to speak the language better! Let me know what you think.

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures February 27, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks so much for telling me about Tone It Up. I hadn’t heard of it before but will definitely check it out. Some of my friends use Duolingo but I have yet to look into it. Happy to hear it’s working for you!

  • Reply Sara March 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I like that you keep it simple. One of my downfalls is having too many goals each year and therefore only getting through half of them.

    On the subject of learning a language… I recently decided my French had slipped too far away from me (again!) and I downloaded an app called ‘DuoLingo’. It’s 10-15 mins of lessons a day and it’s really helping me to refresh my memory.

    Sara x

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures March 8, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Yes! I’ve learned I have to be simple and start small before I can conquer anything grand.

      Good for you for brushing up on your French. When we go to the tall shopping event in Paris, it’ll come in handy (hint hint). You’re the 3rd or 4th person who has mentioned DuoLingo. I really need to check it out. So far, my German intensive lessons are going very well. I go to class 3 hours every day and am in my 3rd week. Next week is my last week but I can already understand SO much more when I’m out and about and feel more confident speaking. Yay!

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