Dreammaking: Mid-year Check-in on Summer Goals.

Dreammaking: Mid-year Check-in on Summer Goals.

My favorite library in Paris: bibliothèque publique d'information.

My favorite library in Paris: bibliothèque publique d'information.

In June, I sat down one day in France and realized: I need to better structure my time and list out the concrete steps I'll take to push forward in personal development. With that, I scribbled out a list of daily exercises I would do, as incremental changes toward better habits and time-management.

Here's what that list looked like:

  • Write a blog post a day
  • Sketch one drawing a day
  • Take one photo a day
  • 30 minutes of French practice
  • Swap app time with News for Instagram
  • Send weekly updates to your family

So... how am I doing?

Blogging: A

Some things I've stuck to 100%: since that first day in June, I've published a blog post a day, almost to the tee. My goal here was to get myself to write, without getting caught up on language or perfection. I also wanted a way to keep people up-to-date on my travels and adventures. I feel I've done that. There are definitely things I'm still trying to figure out: how to refine my voice, what topics I should be writing about, and how to touch on a diverse range of issues but stay consistent, to name some. But generally, I'm really happy about the writing I've done in the past few months. 

Illustrations: B-

'B' is a little generous here. Complete one drawing a day, I certainly have not done. Although for the first two months of summer I did work on drawings, at least for 30 minutes or so each day. My goal here was to get myself to make headway in producing new designs for Third Kind. I thought if I created this goal of 'one drawing a day', I would be forced to explore new territory with my designs, and get creative. I think the problem was, I didn't have as great of an accountability system as I did with my blog. Moreover, I never hit that stride of being okay with 'sketching', rather than making sure each drawing was an Instagram-worthy illustration. 

I did make some progress though. I explored new mediums, and made some major headway in learning to work with colored pencils and Copic markers. I tried my hand at cartoon illustrations, in addition to fashion sketches. I've even explored a little into logo typography. More on how to develop better habits here, later.

Photography: B+

I'm gonna give myself some credit here. I think ever since I made the decision to focus more on photography and take advantage of the camera I bought last year, I really integrated the process into my everyday life, and started thinking about how I could present my daily experiences through the lens of a camera. Check out my projects page for some of the better moments I was able to capture this year! 

Not quite an 'A', because, again, I fell off with taking one per day since I landed back in the US. Furthermore, I know that I haven't invested the time to really explore all the features of my camera, to actually improve at what I'm doing. 

French: D

Yeah, this one was hard. I have to give myself credit for my effort while I was in France, but my daily language practice definitely came to an abrupt halt as soon as I boarded the plane for Spain. The good thing about checkin in on this now, though, is that I can remind myself about it and reset moving forward...

News & Down Time: A-

I've actually made a pretty noticeable change in how I spend free time on my phone since I made these summer resolutions. My high-level objective was to browse news articles, every time I felt the urge to scroll through Instagram or Snapchat. And generally, I've done that pretty well. I'm still on Instagram more than I'd like, but I've shifted a lot of my focus to be more constructive. I'm finding brands that I like and pulling photos for mood boards. And my news-reading has skyrocketed y'all, skyrocketed! And I've really enjoyed being better at staying up-to-date with what's going on in the world. 

Family: B

I wanted to be better at keeping in touch with my family, and checking in on the relationships that matter to me most. In general, I did! With my cousin, in particular, we started texting regularly - which has never really been a thing for us before. I'm super happy about where our relationship is at now, where I even call her to ask for advice or get her opinion on topics I feel she knows a lot about. 

In other areas, I could definitely improve. Although, working on and building relationships is generally a two-way street. 

General Reflections...

Overall, I feel like I've actually done a lot this summer to establish better habits that help me work towards my personal and professional goals. There are definitely ways I can continue to improve (stay tuned for that tomorrow...!) but I like these kind of reflections, which make me think about what I've done so far, and check whether I'm on the track I want to be on.

Keep being your very best selves!


- A


The Week in News: Highs and Lows.

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