Welcome to The Feminist Vegan, where I write about wellness, mental health, and personal growth, all through the lens of social justice.

Summertime Goal-Setting

Summertime Goal-Setting

I'm ready to make this one of my best summers ever. We're on a mission, people, and a killer summer requires some goals. This post was inspired by a couple of my favorite content creators, Sarah Nourse and Victoria/FemmeHead. Each of them published a blog or video about summer goals within two weeks of each other and I took it as a sign that it's time for me to create some of my own. Both of these women are role models of mine as a blogger; they're confident, driven, and creative. I've often heard that the surest way to improve at something is to surround yourself with the pros, so I'm doing that in a virtual sense and you can, too. Sarah even has a handy worksheet on her blog that helped me craft goals that fit the S.M.A.R.T. model: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Get ready for a wild mix of flowers and meditation and history, because my goals span a wide range of interests.

This summer, I want less:

  1. Overwhelm and stress
  2. Refined sugar
  3. Time spent sitting down
  4. Mindless Internet usage
  5. Guilt about money

No one wants to feel stressed or overwhelmed, so I'm sure you can empathize with that one. As for the refined sugar, I've been thoroughly convinced it's The Devil when it comes to our health, so I'm working on minimizing my intake of this type of sugar. I've been consuming less processed food lately anyway, because I feel better in my body when I eat whole foods and because it's hard to find zero-waste junk food. That said, my history with an eating disorder taught me that there is no moral value to food, so while refined sugar isn't healthy, there's nothing wrong with indulging in it from time to time. Another practice that research has shown to be highly detrimental to our health is extended periods of time spent sitting down. I don't know if sitting is truly "the new smoking," but I don't feel good when I sit down for a long time. Since I work a desk job, I'll need to make a concerted effort to stand and walk more throughout the day. I'm hoping that less time sitting will result in less mindless Internet usage - you know the kind I'm talking about. Reading engaging, educational blog posts (like this one) is well worth my time, but scrolling through Twitter for an hour is not.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I don't want to feel confused, guilty, or scared about money anymore. I'm planning a round-the-world trip that will start in five months, and I'm embarrassed that I haven't been more disciplined about my money. I'm no shopaholic, but money intimidates me, and there's no need for that in my life anymore. I'm over it. I'm twenty-five and I'm taking control of my finances, dammit.

Now for the good stuff - this summer, I want more:

  1. Calm and peace
  2. Fruit and veggies
  3. Time outside being active
  4. Reading
  5. Savings and confidence with money

 I created my more list to act as the inverse of my less list; less stress will promote more calm, I'll replace refined sugar with fresh fruit, et cetera.The combination of the less and more lists, along with careful thought about the SMART goal requirements, resulted in the following five summer goals:

  1. Wake up early enough to meditate and write morning pages every day
  2. Eat one serving of fruit and veg each at every meal
  3. Follow a training plan to run a 10k
  4. Read 15 pages a day
  5. Successfully complete a six-month shopping ban

I'll write more about the shopping ban another day, but the gist is that I won't buy anything I don't need. No kombucha on the fly. No chakra-aligning candles. No drinks at the bar (gasp - more on that later). The rest is pretty self-explanatory. I picked up Roxane Gay's latest book Hunger this week and it's one of the best books I've ever read, so reading has been easy. I finished the first seven days of a 10k novice training plan. I'm making smoothies every morning with green powder to fit the veggies in at breakfast, since unlike hardcore old-school vegans I just can't stomach leafy greens that early in the morning. I'm starting the shopping ban today. The final frontier is waking up early to meditate and write, the real challenge of which will be going to bed earlier in the evening. I know I'll thank myself later in the day, though, so I'm committed starting tomorrow.

Victoria's blog on summer goals was less about ticking boxes and more about general trends and activities, so I also compiled a list of small, fun things I'd like to do to take advantage of the summertime. If you see one you like and want to join, let me know!

  • Go to a DC pool (just need my DC ID)
  • Get a bright pedicure
  • Canoe and/or go tubing
  • Kayak on the Potomac 
  • Visit the monuments at night
  • Press flowers
  • Climb a tree
  • Reread my favorite set-in-DC novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu 
  • Make popsicles
  • Make adult snow cones
  • Make tequila watermelon wedges
  • Bike to Mount Vernon
  • See live music
  • Go to a dive bar (Showtime!)
  • Drink/eat on a rooftop
  • Go hiking
  • Watch a movie outside
  • Run a 10k
  • Use my vegan activism stickers
  • Do yoga in Malcolm X Park
  • Dye my hair
  • Do a self-led walking tour of my neighborhood based on the historic plaques and signs
  • Go to a ton of museums: the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, Dumbarton Oaks, the Newseum, the African American Civil War Museum, the Anacostia Community Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Blind Whino, and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

So there you have it: my summer goals. It feels like an ambitious list when I write it all down, but I've been meaning to get more intentional about my leisure time, and I think this is the perfect way to do it. I'll write an updated post at the end of the summer letting you know how much I did and how sunburnt I got in the process. Happy almost-summer, babes!

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