HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I know – I’m the worst and I do NOT keep up with my “blog” … Let’s just agree and move on.
Small Changes = Big Wins
Since last year, and carrying into the present, I have been trying to keep in mind that “small changes” are the true key to success. I am working on implementing that mindset every day, in conscious practice(s). Here are some examples:
- Health is not just being thin – I want to make intentional choices that help my HEALTH, not just fitness or aesthetic. Mind, body and spirit.
- I have also committed to 30 minutes of activity each day, for a “majority” of each month. I am being more flexible this year and allowing for “activity” vice strict “workouts” – if I WANT to do a heavy cardio based workout or lifting class I can. BUT if I want to go golfing or for a walk at the lake, I can do that too.
- Walking – I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but as the old saying goes, you have to walk before you run. Or in my case – ANYthing other than run, because I hate that. I need to WALK since I have been in a bit of a fitness hiatus. I need to WALK so I don’t over enthusiastically go forward and injure myself. I need to WALK before I stress my body (and mind) by intense workouts that I don’t enjoy.
- DRY JANUARY – *Sigh* I love a good pub. I love to sip on whiskey and listen to live music. I love a good, freshly poured Guinness with my steak. Alas – this will not be the case in January. To offset the holiday season and overindulgence I actually SORT of enjoy this month.
UPDATE: As of 1/13/2020
I have had one whiskey and one beer. It’s not ZERO, I know – BUT it’s a vast improvement.
For your comparison/understanding: October 2019, I had (that I kept track of) 41 alcoholic drinks. That’s almost 2 per day (and many were all enjoyed at the SAME time/day aka binge drinking).
- Drinking LESS overall – Happy Hours, parties, events, beerfests etc…they all make an impact on my health and my finances sooooo I have vowed to curtail the need to have a “drink with dinner” and work on remembering how much that markup is in a restaurant. It isn’t forever and it isn’t NEVER, just less.
- Conscious spending aka not spending – It’s not that I “can’t” spend my money – it’s just that I have to take a moment, breathe, evaluate WHY I want to spend that money and if there’s a better way to get what I want…and I don’t mean just a cheaper variation of an item – but the end result – the FEELING I am trying to replicate/capture or enjoy. Am I trying to relieve stress? Am I trying to make myself feel better about something that has nothing to do with money? Am I trying to make someone else like me/appreciate me/love me through the use of a gift? Am I trying to impress someone else or make mySELF believe that I am somehow different because of the “thing” I now own?
- Tea – If you know me, you know that I LOVE some coffee. Starbucks has never been my “cup of tea” (pun intended) – however it does prove convenient, and in the office that I work, it is frequent that I am asked to pick up for others. To mitigate this financial impact, whilst “participating” and not seeming like a scrooge, I have done the following. 1) I only order a Venti Hot Tea. I ask for 1 teabag and upon pick up of the drink, I ask for the 2nd tea bag, which I keep for later use. 2) I put $100.00 on my starbucks app “card” at the start of 2020. I am determined to make this last for the whole of 2020. I can have one “treat/drink” every other week under the price of $3.84 …and that doesn’t include “star” redemption/discount, special offers, and birthday freebies.
- Cook – I have formal education/training in culinary arts. I worked in restaurants. For the love of all things holy – COOK, woman! I have set my sights on eating at home more often than not, and eating the food I have instead of letting it go bad/get thrown away.
- Replenish – I am focusing on “using what I have” before I buy anything to replace that item. Food, shampoo, old spices in the cupboard, and more – I am taking things out and trying to find inventive ways to use them, make them more obvious, or put them into use. I know in the past I have been guilty of throwing away partially used products just because I found a newer/shinier/better smelling or whatEVER. No more.
- Mental engagement – Every day I am challenging myself to set a timer and spend (at a minimum) 10 minutes reading, or listening to an audiobook/podcast. I can always spend more time if I feel so inclined – and I’ve found that I almost always do.
- Get the FU** Up – I am NOT a morning person and I don’t hide that fact. However – I recognize that many of the areas of my life that I wish to improve can be benefited by morning activity. I have begrudgingly vowed to get up at 6:15am during the M-F work week, without hitting snooze. I have actually been good about this, and most mornings I have been able to accomplish my mental engagement, 30 minutes of activity/working out AND journaling/meditation before 8am!
- Clearing Space to think and breathe – I admit – I am a bit of a creature of clutter. However, as I have matured – I find less emotional connection to things that I used to love, and I also feel as if I am living in a state of chaos and excess. I have been in the process of, and continue to, calendar a small “decluttering” project each week – so ideally by the end of February 2020 I can have a space that is void of all excess and lets me breathe freely. I have felt suffocated in all the “junk”, bad memories, useless items and general accumulation of crap – sOo time to out with the old and don’t buy anything new!
- With ^ clearing clutter and working on my finances – I have also spent the time to actually list all the nice clothes on Poshmark (it took literally 4 HOURS to do in full). I am also slowly listing items around the house on OfferUp and trying to use this “clearing” exercise to both improve my finances, learn to let go, and move things to new homes versus just throw them in the trash/landfill.
Writing this out – I realize it looks like a lot – however it really doesn’t feel overwhelming, and I have felt much more balanced/self aware. The start of a new year is (to me) always refreshing and exciting. I saw a quote recently that said “every Monday is a mini New Year” and I tend to agree, however I really see every DAY as a chance to start over, do better, forgive myself for falling short and to try again.