Guest Post// October Goals

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Ah, yes. The month of September draws to a close and I’m forced to reflect on my progress with goals I set for myself about 30 days ago. Ordinarily, evaluating how well I accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) my goals is a daunting task. I usually feel like I don’t meet my own personal standards and then end up making similar goals again, only to find I don’t meet them, etc, etc. It’s a vicious cycle, really. This time is different, though. I had my loving cousin by my side to help me work through at least on of my goals for September. That, and I didn’t make an exceedingly long (read: impossible) list of goals to accomplish.

For those of you who remember my little blurb on my September goals, you know that I had small goals in three categories: school, self, and health.

My school goal was the most basic goal you could ever imagine. I wanted to stop my terrible procrastination habits. As the semester progressed and course loads grew more demanding, keeping a well-organized agenda definitely helped me. I didn’t rely on my friends to remind me when I had assignments due. Unfortunately, when it comes to actual procrastination, I didn’t quite step up to the plate. I still did projects and papers the night before or even the day of… BUT! My agenda has every deadline, shift at work, and visit from cousins. I kept up with it consistently and it reduced the stress of procrastination by 1000%. Baby steps, right?

My self goal was to write for myself. I wanted to sit down and get my thoughts on paper before they ate me alive (because Lord knows sometimes they tried). Though it seems like a relatively simple goal, I struggled with writing daily. I spend a lot of my time socializing when I’m not working or studying and it was very hard for me to take time out of that portion of my life to sit down and write something. That being said, I did start writing a little bit more including to do lists, poems, and small thoughts. Even those small tidbits helped clear my mind and give a few much-needed minutes to focus on myself.

My health goal, the hardest of them all, was soda free September. With Brey by my side and my trusty water bottle, I tackled the task surprisingly well! At first, I desperately wanted soda whenever I passed the fountain in the dining halls at school, but eventually grabbing water from the fountain became less of an internal battle and more of a basic habit. I did find myself relying on coffee for my caffeine addiction, but I think that’s okay because my major concern with soda was the sugar overload. I recently wrote an article for The Odyssey Online about my experience with cutting soda out of my diet for the month if you want a more extensive reading on what inspired it and what I learned from it (Insert shameless plug here). I’m planning on continuing this ban on soda for quite a while.

And that brings me to the next chapter this year: October! The month of Halloween, pumpkins, changing leaves, and chilly weather. This month I want to focus more on my health. My start with no soda certainly made a difference in how I felt, but it was just a start. Brey and I decided to team up again for our health goals. Next on the cutting board? Cookies and sweets.

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As I said before, what concerns me most when it comes to health is certainly sugar. I mentioned in my previous post the documentary “Fed Up.” I watched this on Netflix with a few friends and it definitely changed the way I view my food as it demonized the food industry in America and, more aggressively, sugar.

So step one was to remove the liquid sugar: the soda, the juice, etc. Anything that has sugar without the natural protein balance (ie. fruit), had to go. Step two is to now move on to the harder part, ditching cookies and sweets. While I’m not constantly chewing on candy or munching away at cookies, I do have my fair share of sweets throughout the day. Ultimately, Brey and I want to cut those confectionery delights (sad, I know).

My biggest plan of action for such a tough feat is to opt for nature’s candy! When I get a craving for something sweet, that will be what I reach for. The body better processes the sugar in fruit because of the presence of fiber, slowing the process in the liver and stopping it from depositing directly as fat. Again, Brey will hold me accountable through this journey. I certainly think this month might be a bit harder since I’m keeping soda off the menu and taking away my next biggest source of sugar, but I think we can do it!

As far as my school and health goals for October, I simply want to expand my September goals into October. While I made slight progress in both areas, I want to really make a change!

Here’s to following through, not falling through.

-Grace