Friday, October 29, 2010

link love

Halloween is on the horizon, so it felt fitting to share some spooky-themed links with you this week:

MACBETH. No seriously, one of the scariest stories and who can resist busting it out around Halloween? Or, if you're not into reading Shakespeare you can always watch one of the hundreds of film adaptations. Hopefully this witch scene from the PBS Great Performances (with Patrick Stewart) scares the crap out of sways you >.> They're streaming the whole thing online here!
♥ One of the best costumes ever.  Who wouldn't want to be a piranha plant?

Witch cupcakes from Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet!

The Walking Dead airs on Halloween on AMC -- Super pumped to watch this!

♥ I want to build a Samus arm cannon ._. A father and son are building one for his Halloween costume! Oh, how I long to have crafty skills. But really, how awesome of a Dad is that? And how awesome that costume is going to be!

♥ I'm adamant on the 'shoot me before they can eat me' position, but not being flexible, this is the closest I'll get to being zombified (unless you count days I forget to bring coffee on the bus).

Pretty cute alternatives to carving a pumpkin via Apartment Therapy. I used to be adamant that pumpkins must be carved and not painted, but this post might have me making an exception.
What fun links have you found this week?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things I Love Thursday

Changing
♥ Getting excited for NaNoWriMo! National Novel Writing Month doesn't officially start until November 1st, but as long as you're not writing actual words until then, brainstorming plot ideas and character design are fair game! I don't know how I expect to pull off writing even 100 words with my schedule this fall, but a girl can dream. I'm feeling something post-apocalyptic, urban fantasy-esque this year. What are your favorite/most interesting/weirdest words you know?

Yoga before bed is amazing. Yoga to begin with just opens up all of my muscles and joints and my bones feel wonderful afterwards. It's a nice and guaranteed way to de-stress after running around all day and claiming "no time" in my life. Not to mention I can get a few different workouts via Instant Netflix Queue right on my tv! And my lovely new pea green yoga mat makes sure I don't slide slowly backwards into my dresser >.>

♥ I love that I'm so close to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. And I also get in free thanks to Pitt. So lately I've been stopping in just for a half hour or so when I have some time to kill and it's so calming and wonderful. Yesterday I spent almost an hour or so before my test and just perused the Hall of Architecture. I'm surprised I remember so many details from my Art History class 4 years ago! Now I need to go to the Louvre. Birthday goal 2011! Not to mention the wiggly marble tile in the floor :D Eerie! I'd live in the museum if I could. Maybe I will!

little loves
Saturdays off ♥ fuzzy blankets ♥ the start of hockey season ♥ pumpkin muffins ♥ vacations in the mountains ♥ The Sacrifice DLC for L4D ♥ pumpkin pasta ♥ Japanese ゆず hard candies ♥ counting down for Deathly Hallows ♥ falling leaves ♥ mini-golf ♥ N+

What are you loving lately?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Set Goals for the Future

LWYL Special Edition 2010
hijirik )

My mother is notorious for tearing out clippings and forwarding me emails regarding professional tips, seventeen different uses for a coathanger, inspirational stories from Reader's Digest, animal rescue petitions and tips for the care of my beloved basil plant. It's like having a combo Mum and tailored and sentient Google Reader around. She recently clipped an article for me about Suzy Welch's "10-10-10-" rule and it got me thinking about how hard making decisions really are, especially when it seems like one false move can send your entire present and future self into chaos.  If you're anything like me, you worry and stress over things that are either out of your control or are just plain silly - not cleaning the coffee maker RIGHT THIS SECOND is not going to send your world spiraling into anarchy. And as I approach the seemingly more adult age of 20, my future comes more sharply into view, becomes more of a reality. And damn, is it intimidating. So I've found and ruminated on some tactics for organizing your thoughts and sifting through the important and the not-so-much to not sweat the little things as you realize that you can't have Peter Pan Syndrome forever.

The 10-10-10 Rule
"Here's how it works. Every time I find myself in a situation where there appears to be no solution that will make everyone happy, I ask myself three questions:

What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes?

In 10 months?

And in 10 years?"

I think this idea is genius. For the chronic over-worrier, it's important to take into consideration if your concerns are justified. Honestly, a lot of times I worry over things that won't matter in 5 minutes, let alone 10 but hearing it from someone else really opened my eyes to the fact that we all need to weigh our decisions. Of course there are things that take precedence, but sometimes it's necessary to stop and say "Is this worth my energy to stress over?" If it's not, spend that energy elsewhere, getting something else done, or baking some muffins.

You can read Suzy's full article over here. I can't say it any better than she herself.

Leave it. At the end of the day, take home only what you have to. Co-worker stress, an unpleasant person you ran into at lunch, all of these things don't have to come home in your bag.

Make a tangible list. It sounds so rudimentary but never underestimate the power of organizing your thoughts on paper and being able to cross things off with a sharpie as you complete them. Some of my favorite list tips and dilemmas?
  • One list, Two list, Red list, Blue list - I'm the biggest culprit of making multiple sticky note lists, writing lists in the margins of my notes for class, making notes on my phone that later sync to my email...Some people I know strongly advocate 1 list and 1 list only and in the case of making just multiple lists for the same things, I can get behind the 1 list rule. If you're writing down the same things in twenty places all you're doing is making more work for yourself, to find, keep track of, and cross off tasks. I can give some leniency to making different lists - a list for cleaning, a list for assignments, a list for reading that needs done but DON'T GO OVERBOARD. Don't write it if you don't need it. The simpler, the better.

  • Pad your lists if you need some motivation. Now, this can quickly get out of hand. I love the feeling of checking things off, but often I can't bring myself to get started with a blank slate of accomplishments. It's a little bit of a cheat, but putting things I need to do anyway - like shower - on my list gives me the kick I need to really start hacking away at my list.
Imagine yourself in "insert-number" years and all the things you've accomplished. It's hard to believe in yourself if you're working towards something you don't quite have anything to show for yet. But imagine how good it will be when you finish that degree in 3 more years and can finally take that month long Tahitian adventure you've been planning. Maybe you want to intern at Google, eventually be hired into the company, move into a seaside condo and have enough money to fund a new pair of Tiffany's diamond encrusted glasses every month by the time your 23. No dream is too big, but it helps to visualize. My latest walking bible of optimism - "The How Of Happiness" recommends you sit down and write a little paragraph about your "best possible self". Perhaps that you is one who is more confident and outspoken, outshining the competition and scoring that prestigious new job. Or maybe that best possible self is a 33-year old you who resides in the Hamptons and eats a strict cupcake diet. Wherever you see yourself, what's important is focusing on the you you want to be. So sit down and write/draw/write a song about it - seeing it clearly can help you get there!

The moral of the story is that planning and visualization are awesome tools - but overdoing can be a hindrance, not an asset. So balance your planning and focus on what's really going to matter and get you where you want to be!

How do you set goals for yourself?