Hi guys!

How are ya this morning? I hope your weekend was lovely. Despite fighting off a lingering cold (’tis the season) mine was a lot of fun and involved a spin class, a tasty brunch and some painting, but more on that in a second! I managed to cross several goals that I set for November off my list as well, just in time for the turn of the month. I’m not going to lie – I actually forgot about two of them up until a couple of days ago, but that’s why we need to write goals down, right?

Without further delay, here’s how November went down:

monthly goal check-in

1. Complete the Gorgeous Guide to Goal Conquering 2016 – B-

For those who are newer to the blog, or the past couple of years I’ve been creating a resource called the Gorgeous Guide to Goal Conqueringa downloadable guide that walks you through the process I use every year to set and accomplish goals in all areas of my life. It changes a bit from year to year because I’m constantly polishing it up and making tweaks so that it’s even more useful and helpful to you. At the beginning of November I hoped to have it ready by the end of this month. While this project isn’t quite as far ahead as I’d like it to be right now, it’s moving fast and I’m so excited to have it all ready for you guys to see. Stay tuned – it won’t be long now!

2. Do something creative – A

Oh you bet I did – just last night in fact! For a while I’ve been hearing about various friends attending Paint Nites all over North America, so back when I set this goal I decided to give Paint Nite a Google and see what it was all about. The gist is this:

  • You look at their site and pick a Paint Nite event based on the picture you want to paint, your location, and time. The events happen all over the world (not just in North America), wherever local artists decide they want to teach.
  • You purchase tickets online, then show up at the location you chose (usually a bar or restaurant).
  • Paint Nite provides all of your supplies and the instructor
  • 2 hours later, you walk away with a lovely masterpiece, hopefully somewhat similar to the one you signed up to paint!

My friend Danielle and I signed up for this painting:

Here’s how ours turned out…

Danielle and I at Paint Nite

Err, ok.. not quite as bright and cheerful as the original as I hoped, but considering we only had 2 hours (which flew by), not bad right? I have zero art up on the walls in my condo because it just hasn’t been a priority purchase since I moved in. Now I have this, which I’m sure will spur many conversations about the time Danielle and I decided to visit what was quite possibly the darkest pub in the world to splash some paint around while rowdy football fans drank beer and watched the Grey Cup in the next room. All in all, the Paint Nite experience was a ton of fun and I’d highly recommend giving it a try – even if you claim to have zero artistic talent!

The inspiration for trying a creative adventure this month came from this video, which I think you should watch:

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about incorporating more activities purely for the enjoyment of them, not because they serve a productive purpose. Happiness should be a priority, right? Happy people are just more fun to be around. I’ve noticed that doing creative things, whether it’s painting, some sort of graphic design online, cooking, or otherwise, tends to have that sort of positive effect on me. Anyone else feel the same?

3. Create a budget for next year – A+

Oooohhh budgeting. SO not exciting but so highly necessary. This weekend I sat down with my good friend Microsoft Excel and a cup of Banana Nut Bread Tea from David’s Tea (highly recommended and delicious by the way), and got down to business. I truly dislike budgeting because the further I get into it, the more I realize that I need WAY more lines for expenses than income streams! However, if I think about all of this as a game, somehow this makes it more fun.

Macbook iphone and water

Several cups of tea and a long Spotify Christmas playlist later, I now have a plan that I’m going to do my best to stick to next year. This exercise forced me to also do a better job of tracking of my blog/business expenses which means things (should) be a little easier come tax time. Yay for planning ahead! Hopefully I’ll be able to give myself an A+ for sticking to that budget too. 😉

With December coming fast and furious (as in, tomorrow!), here’s what I’ve got my eyes on for the rest of the year.

3 goals for December 2015

1. Finish and launch the Gorgeous Guide to Goal Conquering 2016

This is a pretty high priority item and I plan to wrap it up in the next week. As I said at the beginning of November, I want to have it ready for you guys to start working on throughout the holidays so you can get clear on what you’re going to achieve in 2016 and hit the ground running!

The Gorgeous Guide to Goal Conquering 2016

2. Determine my blog plan for 2016

This goal will involve a long sit at my computer with a lot of tea, but will be far more exciting than the budgeting exercise I finished this month! Those of you who are bloggers out there will know that there’s a whole lot more to it than just writing a post once in a while and taking a few pictures. Of course my main purpose is to provide you guys with whole food recipes, workouts, and other inspiration to live healthy and fulfilled lives, but there are lots of pieces that come together to make that happen.

Blog planning sheets

3. Unplug and enjoy a relaxing holiday in Bahrain over Christmas

I’m super pumped up about this one – the sunshine, the family time, the crazy cheap manicures and pedicures, the food, and the somewhat fantasy land-like lifestyle that is expat living. Every time I go back to visit there are tons of things that have changed and I can’t wait to see what’s been going on over the last year! Oh, and to see these two of course…

christmas dinner - hyatt indian wells la quinta

So tell me…

  • Do you have any goals that you’re working to cross off before the end of 2015?
  • Have you started thinking yet about what you want to accomplish in 2016?