February Goals and Highlights

Is it finally February!? January has to be one of the longest months I remember but we're one step closer to warmer days! Even though I moved down to North Carolina and this winter has been a million times better than what I'm used to (lots of sunshine, not many days below freezing) I still miss kayaking and biking and just relaxing outside in the warmth. I heard that February is a very rainy month but I'm already looking forward to the 70 degree days I see in the forecast.

Even though January felt like such a long month, I didn't really do much! I stay inside a lot and did a ton of reading (I'll be sharing my reviews later this week) and got to see my sister, brother-in-law and nephew twice! My other highlight was getting a new tattoo, which brings my total up to three. I think I'm done for a while, but what people say about getting tattoos is addictive is definitely right so I'll never say never!

Now let's get into my annual goals and see how those are going-

Spend More Time Outdoors

I mentioned that it was cold in January, so I didn't spend as much time outside as I wanted but still did pretty well on this goal. I only did one run on a treadmill but otherwise all of my miles were outside!
  • 1000 Hours Outside -
    • January - 54 total hours, breaking down to 41 hours running/walking/hiking, 5 hours reading, and 8 hours socializing/misc. Hopefully next month I'll add some biking or kayaking hours to that total.
  • 2,022 Outdoor Miles - 
    • January Running- 106 miles, Walking- 25.97 miles, Biking- 0 miles
  • Visit all the gardens  and free museums in the Triangle
    • Went to the North Carolina Museum of Art. I run at the outdoor museum park multiple times a week but have never been inside the museum! It was such a beautiful place and there were a lot of pieces that I really connected with.

Donate to a Different Charity Every Month

Reminder to check with your company if donations are matched! I was able to double my donation just by submitting this through my work system.

January - Autism Center of North Carolina - improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities. 

Read all the Goodreads Best Books of 2021

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Best Historical Fiction - 5/5. Fun story told in flashbacks and culminating in a disastrous star-studded party in a Malibu beach house.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir - Best Science Fiction - 4/5. Good starter sci-fi book for people who want to get in the genre! Gets a little tedious in the middle but fascinating book about a scientist who tries to save the earth from extinction.

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman - Best Poetry - 5/5. The inauguration poem for President Biden. Beautiful words but even better to watch Amanda perform! Makes me want to get more into poetry.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry - Best Romance - 5/5. Lovely, sweet book to satisfy your wanderlust and just enough cheese for any rom-com lover out there.

Re-launch Etsy!

I made a bit of progress on this in January and am ready to dive right in now that I have a few things set up! For one, I started an Instagram account just for my paintings (which is @GretchPaints if you want to follow me!) Right now I have 49 followers, but one of the reels that I posted got over 6,000 views which was really cool!

I also bought a few new art supplies and have done a few new series on my TikTok and currently have 92 followers and 1231 likes. Hoping to grow my numbers on both platforms and transform that into more sales on Etsy.

My goal for February is to share more original art- last month I posted a few videos and pictures where I followed tutorials by other artists so now I want to do my own projects and eventually sell the pieces. I have two ideas right now- bookmarks inspired by trips I've gone on (I did one just messing around for Dan which is at the top of this post and now I want to do more!) and state-themed watercolors. Let's see how those go!

Let's talk about some of my February goals now-

February Goals

Frugal February

An oldie but goodie! I think I've had this goal every February that I've done goals, and it's always a good re-set for me. As usual, this month I will try to not go out to eat (or drink), will do grocery shopping at Aldi to save money on food, and will not do any online shopping! We're also cancelling our streaming services this month (good timing since Netflix just raised their rates). My only exception this month are a few activities that I'm already signed up for- a race in Charlotte in the middle of the month and a book club meeting.

Leave 10 Reviews

Last year I wanted to "spread the love" in February by leaving podcast reviews, so I'm doing that goal again but for places that I love and visit nearby! I know that restaurants and bars are hurting a lot with another strain of Covid so hopefully leaving positive reviews will do a bit to help. I'll share the places that I recommend in my monthly review next month!

No Caffeine

This month I cut back on the amount of coffee that I drank for a few reasons, but one major reason was that I think it was causing issues with my morning runs! For speed workouts (especially with friends) I get really anxious in the morning, and this got way worse on days that I drank coffee. Instead, I started drinking non-caffeinated tea on those days and I always seemed to feel much better all day and sleep better at night. So- this month I'm going to try cutting it completely and see how it feels.

Organize Spare Room

The spare room in our apartment has kind of become a room where our junk goes to die- it's our guest room / office / gym / storage area and it stresses me out going in there! This month I want to finally go through the leftover boxes we have in there and declutter the room to make it a better place overall.


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