January Recap | Winter 2023

It’s already the end of January 2023 – seriously, where did the time go? When you work on weekends, it can seem like months are passing by three times faster than normal….It can often feel like only a few days have passed since your last weekend. This phenomenon makes it easy to believe that time is indeed an illusion, as this concept supports that belief.

I didn’t work for the first half of January but I worked a decent amount during the second half of January. If you ask any of my friends and family members who I interact with on a regular basis outside of work, they would tell you that I’m rarely ever around from Friday to Sunday. When I’m not sleeping, I’m usually working or studying for some exam thing. During the weekdays, I have typically been more active online and while this has recently become less frequent due to my ever-growing list of tasks, I still strive to spend as much time online as possible. A hectic schedule can make the days seem to fly by, but it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed. To keep up with all my obligations, I’ll be writing monthly recaps – this helps me stay accountable and take a look back at what I’ve achieved.


Seeking Clarity โœจ

Looking back on the month of January, I am incredibly proud to have accomplished a handful of my planned goals that I had set out for myself at the start of the new year. I am doing my best to take life one step at a time and not get overwhelmed by the pressures of looking ahead to multiple months at once. Additionally, I have been facing issues with indecision lately, however, I am expecting February to be the month that brings me clarity and the ability to make the right decisions.

JANUARY GOALS 2022

Career Goals:

  • Do not miss any work days this month I’m proud to say that I didn’t miss any work days this month, despite being ill right at the beginning of January and having to spend New Year’s Day in bed. Nonetheless, I was able to make it back to work mid January and ended up completing a total of 9 shifts! I’m really pleased with myself for managing to do this against all odds and staying productive.
  • Get comfortable with working on new Gen-Med unit Out of the nine shifts I have had so far, six of them were spent on the Gen-Med unit and I am gradually getting more and more comfortable working there. Although I am still not confident with the new admissions and discharges process, I have faith that with a bit of practice and determination, I will eventually master this skill as well.
  • Catch up on emails and work on MLL courses I still have more than 30 modules left to finish by March 14th, 2023. Although I wish I could have been more productive with the MLL modules, I am determined to maintain pace and catch up on them before the deadline approaches. I hate doing things last minute.
  • Start bidding on shifts for February as they become available Yes, I eventually decided to put in a bid for two day shifts. Although I am not overly excited about working days, I will get through it…. but first, steeped tea lol Day shifts can be incredibly hectic and chaotic at times, but they can offer plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month Writing has taken a backseat this month as I’m busy with exercises and language lessons. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in writing, but rather that I just don’t feel as compelled to create unique content currently. This month, I posted the following blog posts in case you missed them. I guess parodies are fun? You be the judge.
  • Publish 1-2 articles on Medium + share articles on blog So far, I have only shared the What Do you Hope to Accomplish in 2023? article on my blog. However, the other Medium articles that I did publish are not necessarily focused on blogging but rather reflect a more broad range of topics and opinions. Do you really care about what I think about the “Follow 4 Follow” Method on Medium? Probably not, right? Thought so!
  • Keep tabs on doctorโ€™s appointments/pending appointments This seems to be an ongoing cycle that never ends, and even though I initially planned to share the details of my new planners for 2023, I haven’t been able to get around to it yet. For now, I am making do with a basic $4 Dollarama planner which does get the job done; but eventually when time allows it, I will upload a picture of the Posh Habit Tracker Planner that I recently bought.
  • Monthly donation to Amref Health Africa For the past twelve months, I have been regularly donating to Amref and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon. I hope that by supporting their good cause, I can help make a difference. Moreover, anyone who attempts to pester me for donations on #Twitter will be reported and blocked without hesitation.
  • Daily Duolingo practice ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช I have managed to form an impressive habit of sticking to my Duolingo practice this month. Additionally, by leveraging the advice from YouTube videos and Reddit forums, I have also figured out an ingenious way to get unlimited hearts without needing to purchase the Super Duolingo subscription. The leagues have been occupying a lot of my time lately; I was able to dedicate 10+ hours to learning German last week! This app is proving to be quite useful for me, so I will continue using it!

Health Goals:

  • Treadmill on my days off + Accountability I was successful in maintaining a consistent routine throughout the month of January. Despite being slightly under the weather at the start of the month, I was back on my feet and on the treadmill in no time. On my days away from work, I made sure to allot at least one hour for exercise on the treadmill, doing a minimum of 300 calories burned and at least 3.2 miles/hr. I realized however, that this strict schedule might not be sustainable for the long-term as I have a tendency to quit.
  • Track water intake on Water Llama app I am terrible at consistently tracking my water intake, no matter how hard I try, unless I am always conscious of it and track it 24/7. Sadly, I could have done a much better job of monitoring my water intake if I was more diligent about it.
  • Track steps on Pikmin Bloom app The nice thing about this app is that it syncs with the step-counter on my iPhone, which also syncs with my Apple Watch. This app only works when I am carrying around my phone though, and I don’t want to be a slave to having my phone in my pocket all day. I upped my step count for the month of February – more on this later.
  • Healthy/clean eating 80% of the time Although I’m quite conscious of my diet, I still indulge in unhealthy snacks. To make sure my lifestyle is balanced, I opted to reduce the amount of fast food intake, particularly from McDonald’s. Additionally, I abstained from purchasing donuts at Tim Hortons.

And there you have it! Do I feel more confident and positive about myself? Absolutely! Did I successfully achieve the goals I had set out to do in the month of January? Yes, indeed! Will I continue this positive trend of setting monthly goals for personal growth and development? Definitely! Will I be posting a Monthly Goal Blog Post for February? Potentially. It is likely that it will be similar to my January list as my goals have not changed.

Finally, if you want to drastically improve your life and have been procrastinating on setting New Year’s Resolutions, goals, etc., then I highly recommend that you take some time to read What Do You Hope to Accomplish in 2023? I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to read this article, as it can be a key factor in jumpstarting your journey towards achieving all the goals you set for yourself and making meaningful progress towards creating a better life for yourself, starting now.

Did you achieve your January goals? Please let me know in the comment section below โ†“ Also, if you’re not already following me on #Twitter (@serene_hilz), I’m tracking my progress and you can get real-time updates about my journey there!

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

Salad Dressings ยป3 Waysยซ

Here’s a funny joke:

Q: Why did the tomato turn red?

A: Because it saw the salad dressing!

*cue laughter*
โ™ก Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

The Art of Salad Dressing

I typically don’t make salad dressing, as my mom makes better salad dressing than I do. I purchase Kraft salad dressings only when I am lazy or busy because they are easily accessible and convenient. However, homemade salad dressing is way better than store-bought ones – even my mom agrees. My mom lives halfway across the country, so I can’t show up at her house every day for freshly made salad. So that leaves me with two options: a) keep eating the Kraft salad dressings or b) learn how to make my own.

Iโ€™ve compiled these recipes so that you can enjoy more freshly made salads, and make salad a part of your diet. Many salads are healthy, but people don’t always like them because they’re so bland. If you dress the salad up with an interesting dressing, not only will it be more appealing to people’s taste buds, but it can also give their bodies all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. The best thing about this recipe is that it is all ready for you to use in just a few minutes and can be made using ingredients that are probably already in your house. I’m confident that these salad dressing recipes will be helpful to you, as they have been to me.

Salad Dressing Science: Salad dressing is a process where two liquids – oil and water or vinegar – are mixed together. Normally, liquid drops of oil and water remain separate from each other. If you start with just the oil and the vinegar, they won’t mix well until you add an emulsifier, which helps them to combine more smoothly. You can mix and match ingredients to create your perfect salad dressing.

๐—›๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด!

SALAD DRESSINGS ยป3 WAYSยซ

Servings: 1 mason jar each                         Time: 10 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

1. BASIC B* VINEGARETTE

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

2. CITRUS SUNSHINE DRESSING

  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

3. SWEET HONEY VINEGARETTE

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients and mix them well using a whisk.
  2. Slowly add a little bit of oil while continuously whisking the mixture. Once you have added a small amount, start to whisk faster.
  3. Toss the dressing with a green salad, or add it to a mason jar for storing in the fridge.

โ™ก Image #1: Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

โ™ก Image #2: Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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