It’s 11 days into February and 11 days since I made some personal goals to improve my general satisfaction in life. While this blog is primarily a coffee blog, it’s still a personal one and I intend on posting items such as, say, my recipes on cured salmon & braised pork belly.

Number 1. Fitness goal: to work out with the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD on days I don’t work in the coffee shop. Since I’m on my feet for the whole shift at the shop, I count that in as exercise. The five other days I don’t work in the shop, I’m committing to the one woman I both love and hate: Jillian Michaels. “Ripped in 30” gives half-hour exercise routines, making them incrementally more difficult each week, four weeks in total. While I may not look like I need exercise (thank you, genes), I still recognize the importance that exercise has in staying healthy and having a positive outlook in life.

How am I keeping up with this? One: taking a book out of elementary school. I’m giving myself a gold star for each workout day on a hand-drawn calendar. The written ones are days that I had a coffee

And to keep me in line, I have two friends who I scheduled a coffee date with on March 2. If I make all my goals, we celebrate with coffee. If I don’t… then I buy them coffee. As you may be able to see from the photo, I’m on my second week of this DVD. On days following the workout, I’ve noticed a higher energy level… and higher desire for food. While I’m not on a diet, I am writing down everything I eat so I can see what nutrients I’m missing.  I’m not only eating better now and feeling healthier, I’ve also learned that having others to keep me in line gets me to achieve my goals.

Number 2. I finally decided on my 2013 resolution! #CodeYear is my goal. I recently signed up for Codecademy, a site that gives free, interactive tutorials on HTML, Javascript, Ruby, and coding topics. My goal for 2013 is to complete all tutorials and use my learning in a way that will tie in coffee & tech. So far, I’ve finished 4 courses and am enjoying the way that Codecademy approaches each tutorial. Coding is a hard skill and it’s getting more and more in demand. If you’d like to join me in #codeyear, find me at username “jennchen.” P.S. How is it that I’m the first one with my name on the site? Come on, every other Jenn Chen out there!Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 8.25.35 PM

Number 3. Home goal: Keeping my place tidy. I bought the app Home Routines on my phone to assist me in all the daily/weekly/monthly tasks that go with living on my own in an apartment. I used to ignore clutter & go weeks without wiping down the counter. Now, I take small steps (max 5 min each) each day to address clutter and it’s been much more soothing to wake up and go to sleep in a tidy place. Because my home office desk looks out into the rest of my studio, having a less distracting view (i.e. “oh dang, I still need to wash those dishes) helps me be more concentrated on my work. I like the Home Routines app, because it allows a lot of customization. Each day of the week, I focus on a zone (home office, bedroom, etc.) and tidy things up according to a starred checklist I made. At the end of the month, the stars are wiped out. Even better? There’s a 15 min timer so you can race against the clock while you’re cleaning.

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If anyone would like to discuss any of these goals with me, I welcome encouragement and fellow fitness & #codeyear participants.