goals check-in: first quartile

It’s been three months since I first published my list of goals for 2020, and obviously the world has changed quite a bit since then. Nonetheless, I thought it would be a useful exercise (and let’s be real, a welcome distraction) for me to reflect on my progress. So let’s see how the first quartile has gone thus far…

Q1.1 Improve skincare.

Check! I’ve successfully made collagen supplementation a daily habit, and I’ve switched over to a skincare regimen that seems to work for me. Until relatively recently, I was a very low-key skincare kind of girl–like, the only thing I did to my skin was wear sunscreen and remove makeup with alcohol-free toner. So to achieve this goal, I’ve had to do some research–like, WTF is the difference between a serum and a mask? 

In case you’re curious, my current evening routine is the following:

  • Remove makeup with micellar water or cleansing oil (skip this step these days since I rarely wear makeup at home!)
  • Cleanse with charcoal bar
  • Tone with matte toner
  • Spot treat blemishes
  • Moisturize with anti-aging cream
  • Apply cleansing peels and masks occasionally

The only sub-goal I have not yet achieved is establishing care at a new dermatologist. This one will have to be postponed given the shelter-in-place orders still in effect–definitely doesn’t fall under the category of essential medical care!

Q1.2 Drink more water. 

Finally achieved. This one has been hard. I thought I was all set with my spiffy new Hidrate bottle, but it honestly didn’t help me. The idea is that the bottle glows when you need to take a drink, which is a useful, in-the-moment reminder, but what it doesn’t do is tell you what kind of progress you’ve made. You have to log in to the corresponding app for that info…and I just never did that. So what was supposed to be a self-monitoring exercise just turned into me resenting a stupid water bottle for telling me how to live my life. My water intake was terrible for January and February.

Then I changed tactics. I bought this bottle on Amazon, which is very low-tech but very effective (for me). It’s just a regular 32 oz water bottle with time markings on the side, so if you fill it up twice in a day, you’ve consumed a decent amount of water. When I was at work, the time markings were key; I’d just check on my progress at every bathroom break and chug away. I also like the size–it’s big enough that I am not constantly having to refill but not so large that I feel like I’m lugging around a milk jug. I can routinely drink 64 ounces per day this way, even while working form home, and sometimes I manage to get in a third bottle too. I’m still not great about drinking water before coffee in the morning, so there’s still room for improvement here.

Q1.3 Get creative with cooking.

Meh. Not there yet, but I’m getting better now that we’re home all the time. Not gonna lie, I definitely did not try new recipes in January and February, as those were very busy months for me. However, two things have nudged me in the right direction. First, I’ve discovered that Caleb loves to cook with me. So almost every afternoon, I’ll come up with a relatively quick recipe for us to make together. Some examples include, beet hummus, Greek yogurt pops, raspberry-chia baked oatmeal, and kale chips. Second, with our recent Misfits Market subscription, I’m experimenting with all the produce we’ve received. Tonight, for instance, I made ranch-seasoned turnip fries with dinner.

I’ve been trying to document these cooking adventures when I can, so perhaps I’ll get around to another TICAL post one of these days.

Q1.4 Publish something.

Nope. We’ve entered survival mode at work, meaning the main priority is to keep our current clinical trial going and do everything we can to prepare for the ones we have the pipeline once new research gets the green light. Sooo…publications are not a focus. However, one of our doctoral students invited me to be a co-author on her review paper, so all hope is not lost for 2020.

In a general sense, I’m hopeful that 2020 can only get better from here. So here’s to remaining optimistic that the rest of the year will be full of love, joy…and maybe some personal achievements too.

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