November Wrap Up: Motivation, Chicago, and Library Books

Okay, so is it just a natural part of the aging process to say every month omg I can’t believe it’s *insert month here* already!?! It’s December 1st!?!

You know, it’s almost comical that I somehow thought I was going to accomplish all of this in November…

(and I quote)

“In November I am planning to start and finish the dresser makeover for our guest bedroom, get my office space organized (it currently, no joke, is a room of Unfinished Projects… literally, there is furniture piled in one corner), and finally get around to painting our stairs (ughhhh).” – quote directly from my October Wrap Up post

REALLY, ERICA? Or is it more comical that I didn’t actually accomplish one of those things!? Not even one! 

Comical… pathetic… one of the two. Oh well, at least Dani doesn’t judge me.

Goldendoodle with fall leaves and snow in early winter

November has flown by, as per usual. It’s been a busy but a good month. My office still isn’t organized, I haven’t touched that dresser, and HAHA I thought about painting our stairs, but my thought was something like this: Man, I really need to paint these stairs, it’s pretty pathetic that I still haven’t done it… Oh well. *moves on to something else*

WHAT I READ

After finishing The Happiness Advantage in October, I read/listened to The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. It’s all about pushing yourself to do the things you want to do, do the things you think you should do, do the things you have been putting off. How? When you get a feeling or urge or thought to do something, instead of overthinking it, putting it off, or talking yourself out of it, you literally count backwards in your head… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… and DO SOMETHING. It seems incredibly simple, and that’s because it is.

From seemingly small things like getting out of bed each morning without hitting the snooze button, to facing your fear of flying, to having a really difficult conversation, it’s a simple tool to help you take action and step out of your comfort zone. It’s about teaching yourself to listen to your instincts, trust your gut, and giving yourself an extra little nudge to go for it. Narrated by the author, this was a great book to listen to. She gives a lot of extra tidbits in the audiobook and is super relatable.

I personally have been using the 5 Second Rule to make myself get up in the morning when I really want to stay in my warm bed, to tear me away from my mindless moments of social media scrolling, and to stop procrastinating. I’m still working on it (obviously – see above re: not getting even one of my projects done that I had planned on) but this is one of the tools I’ve been using to help me develop and stay in a more positive mindset, and it’s been a lifesaver.

(If you want to read more about positive mindset, you can read my post here: 5 Ways to Develop a More Positive Mindset. Or you can download the cheat sheet PDF version below!)

WHERE I WENT

This month I finally made it to Chicago to visit my BFF! Yay! It was a fun weekend filled with fancy cocktails, window shopping, brunch, and ridiculous television. In other words, exactly what I needed!

We also explored Chicago’s Christkindlmarket with mulled wine in hand. It was wonderful.

Mulled Wine at Chicago Christkindlmarket

WHAT I DID

A lot of driving, Thanksgiving-ing, Christmas decoration-ing, and job interviewing. That about sums it up. In the midst of all that, though, Justin and I took a Saturday to force ourselves to chill. the. eff. out. Yay!

A couple weekends ago we headed downtown with no plans but to just walk around. After wandering for a bit, we decided to head into the Grand Rapids Public Library just to check it out. Wow! Why aren’t public libraries more of a thing, you guys? Yeah, you know, you can get a library card for free and actually just check out books!? What a concept!

We perused the shelves just for fun and I decided to get a library card and check out a book called The Little French Bistro (an example of stepping out of my comfort zone, I felt like a total noob figuring out how to actually go about getting a card and checking out a book). We then continued wandering, and stopped at a coffee shop to chill for a bit. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and force yourself to slow down and enjoy the small things, right?

Book The Little French Bistro at a Coffee Shop with a Latte

WHAT I WROTE

Goals for December:

Alright, I’m going to try to set some realistic and achievable goals this month, considering how busy it will be.

  • Take it easy and don’t stress about ridiculous things
  • Make and post some DIY Christmas gift projects
  • Sell the coffee and end tables that have been sitting in the corner of my office for months…

How about you? Do you have any specific goals this month? I’d love to hear them!

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