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Local Grub Hou

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My "Do Something" Year

Here we go again, another New Year, another list of things we want to improve on. Save money? Of course. Lose a few pounds? Sounds like a plan.

But what about those goals that will not only improve your life, but other lives as well?

I am using this question as my jumping off point for my "Do Something" year. For too long I've just read the articles on my newsfeed that highlights local issues, thinking some day I would help in some way. But "some day" never came, and here we are, a new year with new possibilities. So why not now? I have made it a goal of mine to do a few things each month to help improve the lives of others, in addition to improving mine.

Below I have divided up my goals with resources on how you can join me and help make Houston a better city!


Volunteer More

This has always been something I've wanted to do more of, but I always thought I would need at least one or more people to volunteer with me. But in an attempt to grow more individually, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and volunteering on my own. I have found a few websites that help connect you to volunteering opportunities locally. (listed below) My goal is to try and do at least one event a month, if not more. My first event will be on Saturday, January 21 with the BBP Community Clean-Up, which takes place at Buffalo Bayou Park from 8:30 - 11:30 am. (and you can still catch brunch after)

Houston Volunteer Websites:
VolunteerHouston.com
VolunteerMatch.com
AllForGood.org


Run More

Back in the day when I had time, and money, I used to run a lot. I ran a few half marathons and some 5K's in between. Not only was it a fun way to stay in shape, but it kept me motivated and usually came with a free t-shirt and medal. (who can say no to a free shirt?) Sure, they can get expensive, costing about $25.00 - $45.00 for each event - But if I plan ahead, that's basically one night of not going out. There are so many small 5K's and fun runs in Houston, so I knew I wouldn't have an issue with trying to do one a month. My first one will be on Saturday, January 14th for the ABB 5K. Until the Expo day, it is only $35.00.

Houston Running Event Websites:
HoustonRunningCalendar.com
RunningInTheUSA.com
Active.com



Learn More

I feel ashamed when I think back on the past two years post college and think about how little I've continued my education. Yes, I've been to a few workshops here and there, read a few books when I had the time, and watched my fair share of Netflix documentaries, but I didn't do any of this with a goal or end game in mind. So with that said, this is the year to really learn more and continue my education, and not just in the marketing field. I recently came across the series Brain Games on Netflix and - just wow. Re-learned a few things I forgot but also learned a few new tricks that I am pretty proud of - felt good to actually learn something new other than a short cut in Illustrator.


So when it comes to learning more, I plan on going about it three different ways:

Daily: I recently found this App called Peak - Brain Training, and you can set alarms to remind you to train each day. I set mine for 6:00 am, which is when I wake up, and I play a few brain games first thing in the morning. It keeps track of the games you play and shows you where you need improvement, and where you are excelling. Takes me maybe 10 minutes max, and I love getting my brain working that early.

Monthly: Watch at least one new documentary. As much as I am on Netflix, you would think I could spare more time to watch a new documentary, but sometimes I just have to catch up on Scandal. Even though I wish Ancient Aliens counted, I reserve these documentaries to have some kind of historical or scientific basis.

Bi-Monthly: Find a luncheon or workshop that is related to my career field and see if my job will sponsor me, if not, the events are usually only $25.00 - $35.00, worth the lunch and networking. Since I am in the marketing field, I use AMAHouston.Org for their event and luncheon information. Which ever career field you are in, there should be an organization in Houston that will help point you in the right direction for continued education.


Save More

This may not be that unusual, who doesn't want to save more? But just as it seems that simple, the not simple part is laying out a plan and sticking to it. Over the years I have found only one method that has worked for me, and although I've been slacking, I am ready to get back on and (hopefully) never fall off. Now, I could talk forever about the Dave Ramsey Envelope System, but I'll save that for a different post. For now, I give you the website as a starting tool. Perfect time to do it because the system allows you to save up for Christmas all year so by the end of the year you don't have to worry about relying on your bonus or making funds tight.


Exercise More

For the first time - probably ever - I got a jump start on this one. In the beginning of November I joined Planet Fitness with the intention of taking my time to figure out a good workout routine, time of day to go, etc. And that I did! I found that the perfect time for me to go is in the morning before work, and I have started to dedicate days to arms, abs and legs, in addition to my daily cardio. I don't go every single day but I do have a time set aside each day for just working out. Once you find time and space in your schedule, you have no excuse left and let me tell you, after doing it for more than 21 days, you build a habit, and you won't want to stop! But don't think that since it's January, you HAVE to start now. Start slowly, do your research and decide what options are the best for you and find what fits best with your schedule. If I can motivate just one person to start a new workout routine and a healthier lifestyle - I've done my job.


Communicate More


This one might just be the most important. I almost want to rename it "Communicate Better" because that is something I've wanted to work on personally for a while. Not just with friends and co-workers, but with family and new people. Sending small thank you notes, mailing post cards to long distance friends to let them know I am thinking of them and calling my grandparents more than once every 6 months. But it's more than just the increase of communication, it's learning to communicate better. Learning to listen - just to listen, instead of listening to respond. And saying no, that's been a hard one for many years, but sometimes the best thing you can do is put yourself first and say "no."


If you take away anything from this post, I hope you take away the inspiration and motivation to "Do Something" this year - wether it be volunteer, run, learn or communicate - I wish for you a wonderful year full of life, love and happiness. May this be the best year...yet!


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