Goal Setting Tip of the Month: Psychology Tricks Work, So Use Them

April 23, 2016

you might think you've learned your lesson on psychological tricks; that they probably won't work on you.  and sure, you're not white washing tom sawyer's fence any time soon, bu psychological tricks actually do work when it comes to goal setting, so use them!

some you can try out (that i've tested and love myself):

start on a monday, or other clear start date, like the first of the month.  new year's has come and gone, but that doesn't mean the power of the fresh start is gone.  starting a new goal on a monday or first of the month mentally gives you the same gratifying feeling as starting on the new year.

planning helps.  the more you plan, the more likely you will be to succeed. but do not have a backup plan!  having a backup plan leads to procrastination and failure when it comes to goals, because you've already told yourself it's okay not to get it this first time.  example: i want to lose weight by this wedding in may.  but it's okay if i don't, i'll lose it by this other party i have in august.  what are the odds that you'll lose it by may?  none.  whether you'll lose it by august is another story, but having it as a back up is just ensuring you'll miss the first goal date.

bet something to lose (like money).  there's a reason dietbet and other sites like it work so well.  it hurts more to lose something you already have.  if you bet money that you'll reach your goal and then have to pay it if you don't, you'll do anything not to lose.  it's much more enticing and tangible than a mythical amount you'd win if you met the same goal.

break down big goals.  but you already knew that, just from reading this blog, didn't you?  i hope so.  'organize the house' is insurmountable.  'organize the junk drawer' followed by 'organize the dvds' and so on, is much easier and eventually, you'll arrive in the same place.

save your willpower.  it's a finite resource, so don't tempt yourself to see how long you can hold out.  if you're swearing off sugar, get it out of the house.  if you're cutting down on beer, get out of the bar.  the more you have to think about saying no, the sooner you'll run out of willpower.  if you spent all night declining beers, you're going to say yes to the 2 a.m. pizza.

set yourself up for success before you even start in on your goal!

What Day Is It?

April 20, 2016

feels like a monday, pretty sure it's wednesday, i'm hoping for a friday but my head is all over the place so it could be sunday, november 4, 2018 for all i know.  my schedule is all screwed up and i haven't had my usual post schedule to keep me focused.  but i mean, does anyone actually notice when you don't post something to your blog for a week and half besides you?  probably not.  let's skip the apologies and pleasantries and get straight into -

things i've been up to: 

pet sitting my parents dogs, moving things out of my current apartment, scheduling steph and tara show podcasts, watching the blackhawks play dismally, helping holly with her podcast, celebrating betsy's birthday, attending john's cousin's wedding up in wisconsin dells, celebrating our 3 year anniversary, taking a friend to surgery, going to doctor's appointments of my own, planning hawkeye's 7th birthday which is one week from today, you know, life.  i enjoy it being almost street fest season but part of me also hates it because i have way way way too much to do.  everyone wants to make plans when the weather gets nice.

this is from her 3rd birthday and now she's up to 7 candles?! i just can't.

random thoughts and questions i've had lately:

1. we're going on an alaskan cruise in august, i'm excited.  you obviously know i loathe flying so i'm not looking forward to the getting to seattle and back part of the trip, but alaskan cruise has been on my to do list for awhile.  in fact, i searched the blog archives and realized i've been talking about it since at least 2013.  but i know it's longer than that because my law school friend did that for his honeymoon right after our graduation in 2010 and it looked so cool.  have you been on one or been to alaska?  102 days until cruise time and i'm already planning itineraries and making a packing list.

2. i always try to avoid sad stories about pets, but i ended up reading one and the dog died because it got poisoned by the neighbors' kids.  and people call for punishment but straight up - if you mess with my dog, i will murder you and whoever raised you.  whatever age you are, if you harm my animals, i will kill you.  period.  i will go to jail for life or accept the death penalty, no regrets.  that's how much i love my dog.  neighbors, consider yourselves warned.  but our neighbors also have dogs, a pit mix and a little schnauzer-y something, so they're cool.

3. neighbors, you say?  yes, i did say neighbors because... they accepted our offer on a house.  which has also taken up most of my time lately.  i don't want to be posting my address all over the internet, that's crazy.  and obviously i know enough not to post photos from the listing, because google image search, duh.  but a ton of you are close friends, like we send each other christmas cards of our dogs and you'd have my address anyway, so if you're a total home interior stalker, leave me a comment that you want to see and when i e-mail you back i'll tell you the address so you can look it up.  anyway, we're super excited, inspection went well, now it's just getting to the closing date that's stopping us from moving in, so i felt like it's an ok time to mention it on the blog.  any earlier would have been a jinx, of course.

yep, i just snuck that exciting news in there at the end.  see who's reading without a click-baity WE BOUGHT A HOUSE title.  happy whatever day of the week it actually is.

We Mustn't Dwell. No, Not Today.

April 8, 2016

i feel like april 8 is one of my very favorite days of the year - it's Rex Manning Day!  now, i realize that some of you don't know what rex manning day is.  some of you who are new followers that is, because this is certainly not the first time i've celebrated this holiday.

rex manning day comes from the movie empire records, which is hands down my favorite movie of all time.  if you've ever wondered where my blog's name comes from, and never read my about page, it's from this 1995 cult classic. ('hey lucas, is it true you committed the perfect crime?' 'not entirely perfect.')  i cannot even tell you how many times i've seen this movie.  hundreds.  and april 8th is the official day when the rest of the empire records lovers of the world also watch the movie and celebrate.  rex manning is the washed up, overly tanned, mega pop star who comes to visit the record store to draw a crowd and sign albums.  the entire movie is about this one single day.

if you haven't seen it, i don't even know what you're doing with your life.  the time to hesitate is through. and what's with today, today?  well, we're celebrating with a giveaway of an empire records prize pack!  what's included?  the movie on dvd, an itunes giftcard, m&ms, a victoria's secret gift card (ya know, in case you forgot your thingy.  unless you're a guy and prefer jockeys, navy blue, that can be arranged), and more!  get entered here, it's easy:

have you seen the movie?  plan on watching it today?  how many quotes from it are in this blog post?  happy rex manning day!

Three on Thursday

April 7, 2016

welcome back to three on thursday, a post of my weekly (and all time) top three favorites. 

1. new cowboy boots.  they're the ariat heritage, but i ordered them off amazon because they're cheaper there than any other website.  i love all things country but nothing more so than my boots.  okay, our horses, but then boots.  they last forever and my old pair was finally giving out.  getting new ones isn't super fun because you have to break them in and because it's always hard for me to find ones that come in wide width for my wide feet.  cowboy boots tend to be more narrow than other types of shoes, but these come in a wide with ('c' they label it) and they're perfect.  still have to break them in, but once i do, they'll be the coziest shoes ever.  boots with dresses is adorable for spring and summer so i suggest you order you some right now.

2. podcasts!  since tara and i started recording our own podcasts, i've been listening to a ton more.  and it's so much more fun when you know the people talking.  steph and jana are so much fun to listen to (they talk about books), you can find their podcast, the armchair librarians, on itunes.  and holly started up the haunted family podcast, which is perfect if you're into the supernatural creepy things like i am.  i definitely recommend you check out both.

3. cruelty free nail polish for spring.  i've finally tried out the new wet n wild wonder gel polish and i really like it.  i definitely don't think it's like real gels, but for only $5 and no light or other fancy gadgets and top coats needed, it gets the job done for sure.  it lasts longer on me than essie does.  i love this periwinkle color for spring, and they also have cvs exclusive colors so i picked up the white one there.  i have dip powder on my nails right now, but i'll be going back to this after.

happy thursday!  big holiday tomorrow, so stop back in!

My Stripper Name Is Crystal Knox

April 1, 2016

what better on a friday than totally useless facts about me?  you already know the important stuff so i figure it's time for some nonsense.  and although it is april fool's day, i don't ever 'celebrate' it by pulling pranks so i assure you everything on this list is true.
... my stripper name is, indeed, crystal knox.  to get your stripper name, you take the name of your first pet (mine was a westie named crystal, you can see her here.  my parents got her one year before me, and that's my favorite photo of us.) plus the name of the street you grew up on, and our house was/is on knox.  so, crystal knox.  which is like the best of all time, and you know it. 

... after compliments and comments on my hair, i probably get told most often that i open straws like a server.  i get comments on my hair usually once a day, if not more.  i get told i open straws like a server at least once a week.  i don't know why people want to comment on this, but they do.  'ohhh you must have been a waitress!'  i mean, i was, i served drinks at a pool for a summer.  but also it's the only way to open a straw without getting your fingers on it, which are probably full of germs.  don't worry, i'm getting off straws because they're definitely not zero waste.

... i think different colored m&ms taste different.  in fact, i know they do, and if you tried it you would see.  green ones taste the best, for the record.  at least in the regular packs, i have not tested out all the different colors they offer like at easter time and all that.

... i once made my friends play bar golf, and required them to get their underwear signed by strangers, and tara wore extra big underwear so she could get the most signatures.  and that's why she's my best friend.

... i'm typing up a 'most used movie quotes post' and realized that i must talk in quotes for most of my day.  the list is extensive.  does anyone else do this?  i must say 'you're tacky and i hate you' at least twice a week.
... my favorite movie is empire records.  you might already know this, i mention it a lot.  and, my blog is named after it.  if you haven't seen it, i highly recommend you do, because next friday is a special holiday and you should be ready!  i might have a giveaway involved.

so... what's your stripper name?  happy friday!

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