Halfway There: A 2016 Progress Report

We are now at the halfway point of 2016. As such, I thought this an appropriate time to report my progress (or lack thereof) regarding the goals I set for this year. I will preface by saying that this year has included more change and social events than I ever would have anticipated, which honestly made me even forget what my goals were; earlier this week, I had to dig through old posts to be sure what my goals were..not a good sign, I know. Without further ado, though, here's an update on the 2016 goals I set for myself.

Be kinder to myself and to others
My logic with this goal was that I (A) ranked fairly low on the empathy scale and (B) was harder on myself than I should ever be. I would consider my empathy levels higher than they were in December 2015. Even though I often still make snap judgments, I catch myself and ponder more on the situation in order to determine what a person's motivations, reasoning, and background had to do with what I judged them on so thoughtlessly. Do I always understand in the end? No. Some people are hard to discern, but all I can do is give them a chance. Everyone deserves a chance.

As for being kinder to myself, that one is a toss-up. Although I still expect nothing less than perfection from myself - and end up frustrated more often than not - I have been kinder to yours truly in other ways: I regularly exercise now, and that has boosted both my strength and self-confidence; I have willed myself to see the positive side of things, which has decreased my stress levels; and I spend more of my time with people who never cease to cheer me up and motivate me when I need it most. If those aren't considered acts of kindness, though, I don't know what is. 

Cook and bake more
My kitchen goals were straightforward – cook a legitimate meal once a week and bake a dessert once a month. To be honest, I’ve not kept track of the former, but Tadd and I have done a good job of eating at home more than we eat out this year. While I’m at the gym, Tadd goes to the grocery store to ensure we have groceries to cook with for the week. It's a good system, and it means we're eating healthier. Very recently we’ve had a lot of events to attend, so we haven’t cooked at home as often. Hopefully we can get back into the culinary swing of things soon. Where the latter is concerned, my baking game started off strong and has only lately started to struggle. In January, I made two desserts for my mom and best friend's birthdays. February featured chocolate peanut butter lava cakes for Valentine's Day, whereas I made zucchini muffins (and didn't blog about or photograph it) in March. In April, I made the most delicious apple tart, and I practiced - and shared - my mom's banana nut bread recipe in May. June, however, was a waste of potential, because I got a stand mixer (aka a dream come true), and I have yet to take it on its maiden voyage with a baked good. I'll try to use that wonder of a stand mixer and bake twice in July to make up for June, maybe something 'Merica themed? Overall, though, I'm pleased with my cooking and baking progress this year. 

Fifty percent of the year still remains, so I still have time to better myself and my kitchen practices. Huzzah! Also, although it wasn't an official 2016 goal, I still endeavored to continue my 24 books per year competition with myself. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, that goal isn't going very well (by "isn't going very well," I mean it's at a complete stand-still). But again, I have six months to catch up, if I try hard and believe in myself. How are your goals going, Hipsters? Let me know in the comments section, and hopefully we can motivate one another to succeed!

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