3-Month Wrap Up: Getting Rich In Vegas, White Water Rafting, & Committing One Act of Kindness Every Day

IMG_1987

I miss this place. This blog makes me feel the most me. Whenever I’ve just finished writing a post, I feel like I’m floating on a current of energy, like I’m leaning into what makes me tick.

So I’ve been looking forward to making a return to write this for a while now. I’m sitting here on the calmest afternoon I’ve experienced in a month, sipping hours-old french press coffee (and it’s important that I tell you it’s french press because I have been a lazy, trashy Keurig coffee drinker for a while now and I’m very impressed at this new development in my life), and admiring all the summer-in-Denver that is happening just outside the window.

Today feels deeply good. Life feels deeply good.

And I can’t wait to tell you all about why.

These past few months, I…

1. Left Las Vegas richer than I arrived. (#47, long-term list)

Las Vegas was not a planned thing. One day I was not going to Las Vegas and had no reason to even think about going to Las Vegas, and the next day I had a plane ticket booked up for the weekend.

So Las Vegas happened. More specifically, Las Vegas happened to me.

I knew that leaving Las Vegas richer than I arrived was on my long-term bucket list, and I really, really wanted to cross that puppy off. So amidst all the eating, Lyfting, swimming in the pool, oggling at elaborate buildings and people, and *cough* drinking *cough* that went on, I made a point to hit up a casino.

Here’s the thing. I knew I would never win big. There’s no freakin’ way. Have you seen me? I trip up stairs. I’m not someone with the kind of luck to cash out with major bucks.

My game plan was this: put in a small amount of money, play a few rounds, and the very second I came out even a little bit ahead, I was getting out of there.ย 

So I threw in five bucks. A few rounds of blackjack later, I was up 75 cents.

And I freakin. Cashed. Out.

Never mind that I lost 50 cents of that 75 playing the slot machines. I LEFT LAS VEGAS RICHER THAN I ARRIVED, MOTHA TRUCKAAAAS.

By 25 cents. Someone try and stop me. Maybe I’ll go buy a gum ball. Maybe I won’t. I’m limitless.

IMG_2194 (1)
My playground for the night. ๐Ÿ˜‰

2. Headed to the rapids for some white water rafting. (#3, short-term list)

It’s not often you get the chance to throw your mortal body into some waves crashing into rocks and creating whirlpools of death just beneath the surface with only an inflatable raft (which is really just a glorified balloon, if you think about it) to protect you.

So when a group of almost 20 friends invites you along on a white water rafting trip they’ve been planning for the past year, you take the opportunity.

We drove up to Aspen and hooked up with a few guides who took us out for the ride of a lifetime. Not going to lie, there were a few times I looked at what we were about to traverse and thought there was no way I’d make it out alive.

But I did. And with nothing but pretty trees around you, a big sky above you, and good people beside you, it was a trip for the books. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.ย 

I’ve never felt more Colorado-ian than I did that day. I’m glad that places like this exist.

IMG_1790.jpg
The guides said we were their favorite group that summer.

3. Went camping (#6, short-term list) and soaked in some hot springs. (#7, short-term list)

For my birthday, my friend Amber took me to Strawberry Park Hot Springs.ย Everyone had been telling us that these were the best hot springs the state had to offer, so we knew we had to try it out.

It was nighttime when we arrived, so when we first got out of the car we couldn’t see a thing. But after our eyes adjusted to the darkness, the moonlight was just enough to help us guide our way into the water.

Each pool at Strawberry Park Hot Springs was a different temperature, so you could start off piping hot and move down into lukewarm waters by the end of your time there. It was so relaxing and I can see how people use it as a kind of therapy.

Afterwards, we set up camp nearby and passed out cold in our tent for the night. It wasn’t our first time camping that summer and it wasn’t even our first time camping together – Amber and I had done another trip in July that was super fun too, and I also went camping another time with a good group of folks. There’s something about waking up in the mountains that feels pretty dang cool.

IMG_2127.jpg
What a birthday view.

 

4. Started doing one act of kindness every day for a year. (#12, short-term list; #18, long-term list)

Since I’d finally finished on my endeavor to take a 1 second video every day for a year, I knew I was ready to start up a new daily task. This time I set out to commit one act of kindness every day for a year.

To be honest, this challenge is going to be hard for me. I started it on my birthday but then forgot to do an act of kindness a few days later, so I had to start over. It’s also been hard for me to parse out what I’m doing for the sake of the goal and what I’m just doing in my every day life that I’m attributing to the goal. Let me explain.

For example, the other day I did something I thought was nice, and I said to myself afterwards, “Hey! That will be my random act of kindness for the day.” But is that the point? Is the point to pick out what I’m already doing that’s kind? Or is it to add more kindness to my life?

I think it’s supposed to be the latter. So on days when I’m feeling lazy and I want to attribute something I did that day to the goal when in actuality I would’ve done it anyway, I need to like, not do that.

Hold me accountable, friends.

5. Started creating a community here in Denver. (#9, short-term list)

Anyone who has moved to a new city where they didn’t know anybody can probably relate to the worries that come with making a new network of friends. I’m lucky to be in a city where it feels like nearly everyone is a transplant, and everyone is looking for a new pal to add to their gang – so I feel like I’m not lacking in social contact at all. It’s also been nice to move into a house with a bunch of girls who are super sweet, funny, and real about life. That’s giving me a lot of hope for what’s ahead. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, and I didn’t expect myself to have community by now. But the people around me these days are nice and friendly and filling me up with great things, and that makes me excited.

6. Did lots of other stuff!

In addition to what’s above, I also ate at Casa Bonita (#4, short-term list), took in the gorgeous views at Rocky Mountain National Park (#5, short-term list), and visited Garden of the Gods (#10, short-term list). But this post is already super long, so I’ll cut it off here. Ask me about those adventures sometime!

IMG_1964 (1).jpg
Garden of the Gods was gorgeous.

What have you been doing lately to check items off your bucket list? What’s next on the agenda? Any advice for building community in a new place?

the-next-seven-1

Advertisements

I Filmed 1 Second Of My Life Every Day. Here’s What Happened.

 

IMG_1747.jpg

In May of 2015, I started taking a 1 second video of my life every day in the hopes that I’d do it for the whole year. It was one of my long-term bucket list goals, something I’d wanted to take on for a while after hearing about the app 1 Second Everyday and learning the founder’s story.

The biggest reason I had my heart set on doing something like this was to commemorate all the adventures I had during the year in a way that didn’t involve me taking 23423408 photos of my friends in the middle of us trying to break it down on the dance floor at our favorite spot to show off our ย sickย ย mediocre moves, The Fat Baby.

Honestly, I just wanted a way to quickly capture some of my favorite moments while not taking myself away from the life I was enjoying. Nobody likes the person glued to their camera when we’re all creating memories together.

And thus, my journey through 1 Second Everyday began.ย  Continue reading “I Filmed 1 Second Of My Life Every Day. Here’s What Happened.”

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.

Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here to Help. #newyears #resolution #city #newyear #2017 #2016

Happy 2017, friends! Last year was such a ride, and I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store.

And of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have goals for the year. If you’ve been following this blog, you’re probably like, duh Amanda. Goals are like, who you are. You are made of goals. Goals basically fall out of your ears.ย 

Um, thanks? I’m not really sure if that was a compliment or an insult, but if I say thanks maybe that means it’s a compliment. Ahem. Continue reading “Worried About Failing Your New Years Resolution? These 6 Posts Are Here To Help.”

A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]

liveout loud (2).png

Jump right to the worksheet by clicking here!

As a therapist, it’s my job to help people achieve their goals. Many of the people I see come into the therapy room with visions for their lives, but they feel stuck or unable to get there. Their dreams seem impossible, so far out of reach that they’ll never be actualized.

My role is to inspire hope. When my clients are leaving our last therapy session together, one of my biggest desires is that they’ve walked away with a sense of self-efficacy, or the confidence that they have everything they need to get started on the road towards seeing their dreams become reality.ย  Continue reading “A Practical Guide To Accomplishing “Impossible” Goals [Plus A Free Worksheet!]”

Weekly Wrap Up: Puerto Rico Explorations, Book Writing, And Ice Skating

IMG_8115.jpg

Hola, amigos! Today I write to you from the warmth of Puerto Rico!

If you know me in real life you may know that I am half Puerto Rican, although I don’t appear Hispanic at all. Most people think I’m your regular ol’ white girl, which I pretty much am in my physical features. But you know I got that Latina blood in me.

Being here these past few days has been aย much needed escape from the hustle and bustle of winterย city life. It’s as warm as my summertime dreams and as beautiful as paradise. My family and I spent a few days on the beach in the southern part of the island, and now we’re up in the mountains on the east side with extended family.

But more on this later. For now we have lots to catch up on! I’ve been crossing off a few things from the bucket list and I’m pumped to share with you.

This week, I… Continue reading “Weekly Wrap Up: Puerto Rico Explorations, Book Writing, And Ice Skating”

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams | #goal #achieve #inspire #motivation #fear #overcoming #reach #dreams

I’ve already laced up my shoes. It’s time to go. The mile goal for the day is farther than I’ve run in years, and I’m physically prepared to conquer it. But I’m still sitting on my bed, staring at the door, wondering if I should take off my shoes and stay home.

I was experiencing Goal Achievement Paralysis, and if my conversations with friends and family members are correct, I’m not the only one who struggles with it. In the case of my decision to runย a half marathon, Goal Achievement Paralysis struck because I’d failed in previous attempts to train for a race when I was injured. But it can (and does!) get in the way of many other kinds of goals as well.

You may be experiencing Goal Achievement Paralysis if you:

  • have all the external means to reach your goals (ex. money, time, and other resources)
  • feel you will never get there
  • are tempted to (or already have) stopped trying

Because I know I’m not alone in my experiences with this debilitating setback, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned about Goal Achievement Paralysis and how I’ve combated it in the past:

fotorcreated1

Pause & Reflect On What’s Holding Usย Back

Whenever I’m feeling helpless or overwhelmed in my attempts to grab ahold of goals, I always take a step back and think. Oftentimes there are underlying reasons why we are feeling stuck that we won’t recognize unless we really reflect on what’s going on internally.

I’ve found that a lot of the time, my Goal Achievement Paralysis is based in some kind of fear. It’s tempting to simplify this fear by saying we feel we “just won’t be able to do it,” but it’s important to dig a little deeper than that to get at the real, concrete root of why we are afraid of failure, such as:

  • I’m afraid to train for this half marathon because I’ve failed at it before, and I’m worried that another failure will speak to my inabilities as a human being.
  • I’m scared of traveling abroad to Paris because I have never been that far away from home, and I’m worried I won’t be able to handle separation from the familiar.
  • I am worried about reaching out to my brother to create a better relationship because I fear he will reject me.

Even these examples above could be granted greater depth. To continue to find depth, I always ask myself “why.” For example, consider this breakdown of how someone might unpack their reasons for worrying about reaching out to their brother:

“I am worried about reaching out to my brother.” Why are you worried? “Because I fear he will reject me.” Why do you fear he will reject you?ย “Because I have felt rejected before in other relationships I’ve had.”

We could go on and on with these “why” questions, and I think it’s good that we do. Once we identify our fears around our goals and why we have them, we can start to work at overcoming these fears and achieving our aspirations.

Overcoming Fear: How To Combat Goal Achievement Paralysis & Reach Our Dreams | #goal #achieve #inspire #motivation #fear #overcoming #reach #dreams

Consider The Outcomes

As soon as we’ve locked down our fears and understand where they come from, it’s time to undo them. I like to do this by asking myself three questions intended to help me get over my fears and get going:

  • Consider the worst case scenario: If I start to strive for this goal, what’s the worst thing that could happen?ย 
  • Consider the best case scenario: If I start to strive for this goal, what’s the best thing that could happen?
  • Consider the chancesย of each scenario occurring: What’s the likelihood that this scenario will happen? What about the other one?

Once we’ve established the best and worst case scenarios, we can decide whether it makes sense toย move forward or not.

For example, if the worst case scenario when I train for a race is that I end up being unable to do it, there isn’t a ton of loss there. If the best case scenario is that I complete the race and accomplish one of my goals, that’s a motivation to try. Plus, the likelihood that I do finish training is high while the likelihood that I don’t is pretty low.

FotorCreated3.jpg

Get Equippedย & Get Started

Now it’s time to start striving. But it would be unrealistic to expect that fear won’t start creeping in again in the middle of working towards our goals. So I like to arm myself with some phrases or reminders I can keep on hand whenever worry strikes.

For example, I often use these phrases in the middle of running when I start to get tired and wonder whether I’ll be able to finish:

  • “What, just because you’ve never done it before means you can’t do it at all?”
  • “Do what you can. That’s all you can do.”

Other people like to have reminders on their walls or small tokens in their pockets that remind them of their ability to succeed and their decision to keep going.

After equipping ourselves with reminders of the mental attitude that will sustain us when the going gets rough, we’re ready to start. I always ask myself what I can do today or tomorrow to begin on my journey towards my goal. Then I go do it, no excuses. This helps me take that first step, and once I’ve done that, I can’t stop.

We are human beings with the capabilities, intelligence, and internal means necessary to achieve big things. We can’t let fear get in the way of living well.ย 

I can’t wait to hear all about what you do!

What’s kept you from achieving goals in the past? How did you overcome it, or how will you overcome it in the future?

the-next-seven-1

Before You Put That Goal On Your Bucket List, Ask Yourself These Questions

Before You Put That Goal On Your Bucket List, Ask Yourself These Questions | #bucketlist #bucket #list #goals #questions

In general, I think being a good human being means asking a lot of questions. Interrogating ourselvesย and the systems around usย is the first step to promoting growth, both at the individual and societal level.

And when it comes to bucket lists, I think asking ourselvesย questions is crucial.ย  Continue reading “Before You Put That Goal On Your Bucket List, Ask Yourself These Questions”

5 Strategies To Guarantee You Accomplish Your Bucket List Goals

10689422_1595500784040809_8719506275767412477_n
One of my goals was to attend graduate school, and now I’m here!

Back in the dayย I used to be really, really bad at accomplishing my summer bucket lists. I remember when I was in middle school I had a summer “to-do” list scribbled into my journal that included having water balloon fights, reading certain books, and finishing whatever Nancy Drew computer game had come out that year (because I was a mega-nerd, and proud of it, thankyouverymuch).

But I didn’t really finish much on my list. I remember flipping back through my journal at the end of the summer to see what I’d accomplished and feeling disappointed that I hadn’t made time forย most of the things I wanted to do.

There have been other times in life when I worriedย that this disappointment wouldย be a theme and I would not achieve everything I wanted to do before it was too late. I was worried I’d settle down and have kids or get a super intense job and forget all about my life goals in the swing of a ย mundane daily routine.

So I’ve done some things about it. Continue reading “5 Strategies To Guarantee You Accomplish Your Bucket List Goals”