Should We Plan Everything?

As the end of January approaches, there has been one area of my life this year that I am focusing on: maintaining a work-life balance. Many times, I have spent more hours at work than I intended and figured I would eventually take time off. That type of hopeful aspiration never happens. What usually happens is I aspire to fulfill these goals, but I get burned out from striving to keep them up. After listening to a podcast from Stuff Mom Never Told You about New Year’s resolutions, I found out why. For years, I had been setting goals, but never had action plans. Last year, I found my commitment to affirmations instead of aspirations worked very well. One of the reasons for this success, I found, is because of my commitment to get where I wanted. In order to continue the spirit of affirmations along with advice from the podcast, I decided I would start out by setting a schedule on Google Calendar to arrange my blog, study, and work schedule. Arranging my calendar, I thought this seemed like a great way to incorporate some of my action steps for keeping up with a work-life balance. Did it work? Well, sometimes . . . There were times when I found myself struggling to keep up or not stay a couple of extra hours at work to finish assignments. Does this mean I should give up and forget about planning entirely? Rather than completely throw planning out the window, I decided to give it a second chance.

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The Best and Worst of My 2017 Affirmations

“How you spend New Year’s Eve is how you spend the rest of the year.” -The O.C., Season 1

December is often equated with memories. Memories of childhood pastimes, family traditions, and moments with friends. My memories also contain something else: reruns of The O.C. Call it a cheesy melodrama full of overacting, but to me, it’s still a way to escape. It’s also one of my favorite pastimes during school breaks, and it’s full of advice that continues to ring true to me no matter where I am at in my life. While watching the New Year’s Eve episode, I thought back to how I spent this holiday in the past and if it reflected how I spent the rest of the year. Most of the time, New Year’s Eve had little to no effect on the rest of my year, but 2017 was different. This past year, I spent time on resolutions that were changed to affirmations after advice from Ecocult. How did my 2017 affirmations go? Did I accomplish and fulfill the sustainable lifestyle I wanted? Here are a few highlights and lowlights from the year.

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My Top 5 Sustainability Documentaries

Sustainability sounds like a huge endeavor. It sounds as though it could be unmanageable or too much to take on. Even though I’m working towards more a more sustainable lifestyle, even I feel overwhelmed at times. When people ask me, “Why do you do it?” I find that sometimes I can’t explain it other than a feeling of purpose. But that doesn’t fully express my reasoning. While looking through my DVD queue on Netflix, I found some answers that give my thoughts more clarity. Looking up documentaries on sustainable-related topics brought up more results than I expected. If there’s a few that really illustrate my thoughts, it’s these five films: Continue Reading ›

November 2017 Affirmations

It’s that time of year again when scary stories come to an end and shopping lists become the priority. Committing to reading books and watching documentaries on sustainability, has unfortunately gotten me behind on my October affirmations, but that doesn’t mean I’m stopping here. Taking out moments to tune into a podcast or open a book that isn’t from my graduate school readings is beneficial to remember why I have a passion for certain ways of living, traveling, and purchasing. Because I still have some books to finish reading and documentaries to watch, I’ll be carrying some of last month’s affirmations into this month. However, the mention of shopping lists has got me thinking about what I can focus on in November. Continue Reading ›

5 Lessons from Sustainability Podcasts

One thing has been adding up on my phone. It’s not the e-mails I need to respond to. It’s the number of podcasts that have added up since I started another semester at graduate school. In the past, I found podcasts as a way to stay informed and to unwind from constant textbook reading. Unfortunately, I’ve had to put podcasts on the back burner, but because of this month’s affirmations, I decided it was time to check back in with some of my favorite podcast hosts. Tuning in, I’m finding there are some ways to look at sustainability that I hadn’t considered. If you’ve seen sustainability as tree-hugging or are apprehensive that those who favor green living are judgmental, here are some of the lessons I’ve uncovered that make me think about sustainability in a different life. Continue Reading ›