Enjoy July

After posting final grades on my June Goals, it's time to set NEW goals for July.  My July will be a little bit less hectic than May and June, so I'm hoping I can enjoy a bit more this month.  The overall aim is less planning, less stressing, less working, and more "just because" and "I feel like it." Maybe I'll be wild and pretend it's actually summer.  What a novel thought!

Speaking of novel, let's start with...

1. READ.  This isn't new for me.  I read a lot.  I fit it in before bed and on trains.  However, now, I have a long book list and a short time to get em done before double-time work kicks in and pleasure reading will likely take a back seat, even more than it already has.  So this month, I will read for 30 to 60 minutes daily, either before bed, on the beach (HA wishful thinking), on the train, or sitting on the couch.

Game Change

What's on my reading list, you ask?  Too many titles, that's for sure.  But here are the four I'd really like to have finished before August:
- Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by  John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (almost done; just about a hundred pages left)
- This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
- The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How irrational beliefs keep us happy, healthy, and sane by Matthew Hutson
- It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig
...If these get covered, then I can start on my novels (both pleasure and work-related) for August. See my other book lists here.

2.  Try some RECIPES!  Too long, I've been bookmarking, photocopying, and pinning recipes that look good. Time to get messy in the kitchen and see if they TASTE good.  Instead of relying on old standbys and living off of this stuff, this month, I want to try at least 2 new recipes each week.  No rules about what kind of recipe. If it's a big fancy complicated meal, fine.  If it's as simple as a new homemade salad dressing, that counts too.  The point (as always) is to ENJOY and try new things.

via Greatist

If you're looking for some new recipes, Greatist recently shared a collection of Quick and Healthy Low-Calorie Lunches, and they do look good!  As a regular brown-bagger without much time for prep, these definitely appeal. 

I'll be scouring some of my favorite food blogs, and will of course let you in on any great successes.  I'll share failures, too. They happen.

3. Continue with regular yoga, including HOT!  Last month, I increased my weekly yoga sessions from 1-2 to 3-5 and enjoyed it.  I'm starting off this week right with yoga this evening at my gym, but I'll also continue using my morning DVD for when I'm short on time.

This month, I got a discounted month-long pass at a hot yoga studio, so I'm really excited try this new experience and see how it affects my flexibility and other workouts.  It will keep my practice regular, because I'm aiming to take advantage of the month's membership and do hot yoga at least twice per week, thrice if I have time and don't get too dehydrated!  


Update: My second hot yoga session yesterday was very different from my first.  
There was a different (end of training) instructor, and the vinyasas came one after the other.  I enjoyed my time there less than my first day, sweat even more buckets and became beyond uncomfortable, and sort of understood why some people say they'll never go back after one try.  I think like all group fitness classes, the experience depends greatly on the instructor, because each one is different.  (Also learned that I definitely prefer wearing pants to shorts. Otherwise my arms slip right off my legs!)  I'll continue going, and see what other sessions have to offer.  Will definitely keep reporting. 

4. Run outside.  Sorry, guys; I've been saying this too long, but I mean it this time. I want to take my run back into the great outdoors.  In March, I thought warm weather would make it easier.  Way back before I became a runner, summer was the ONLY time I would ever lace up and hit the road.  In the fall and early winter, I ran outdoors multiple times a week while training for my first and second 5ks.  However, now, the heat is killer and I've been avoiding it, even though, once I lace up and get out, I always do enjoy my outdoor runs.  Time to take my own advice and heed the heat, while still enjoying some outdoor runs.  My legs need to get used to running on their own again, rather than following the treadmill's lead.  I'm going to make this one measurable by saying I will run at least one mile outdoors at least once each week.  That's low, I know, but it's better than what I'm currently doing, and sometimes the treadmill is simply the better option in conjunction with my other workout schedules.  However, at least once a week, I will run outside and I will enjoy it.

      [...caveat: My ankle may or may not be injured.  
It gets a sharp pain every time it's flexed, every step, even walking.  
If this doesn't go away soon, then goal #4 for running will be scrapped. 

What are your goals for July?  What are your plans for accomplishing them? 

Have any recipes that I absolutely MUST make?  

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