Some of my favorite times of the week is when I get to hang out with Mike. Doesn’t matter if we’re going grocery shopping, cleaning the house, or even just sitting on the couch watching TV (even if one of us is doing something other than watching what’s on). I just enjoy being around him. And I’d like to think that he feel the same.
But times haven’t always been rosy. He’s stuck by my side through a number of episodes, a lot of mini-episodes/”blips,” and just some straight sucky times, mentally speaking.
I’m very lucky.
Not to change the subject… (ok, I do mean to change the subject).
I came to the realization this week that very little of my time is my own. I schedule myself to the teeth between work, things that need to be done, time with friends… but there’s very little time just for me to sit on the couch and read a book, especially with no one else around.
Instead, I blog, I crochet, I cook, I clean, I study. I need to learn to take a break. But I really don’t know how to do that.
I’ve been stuck on Go since I was young. I’ve always been over-involved, over-scheduled, over-burdened. I think part of the reason why was so I always kept myself busy, the bad thoughts and feelings didn’t come in when I exhausted myself every day to the point of passing out. It was a form of self-medication in a very unhealthy way. That’s a scary thought to have.
Ugh. I hate my brain. I hate being inside of my brain.
I need a vacation. (I say that now, but if I actually had a vacation it’d be chock full of stuff to do and not at all relaxing.)
I’m not a big fan of resolutions. At least not in the way that most people associate with New Years. Saying “I want to lose 40 pounds” is all well and good, but how are you going to do it. I think that making a plan and having it in place before the 1st is the only way you’re really going to succeed.
And I’m not really a fan of the word “resolutions.” I prefer goals. Goals are attainable. A resolution, to me, sounds like something that’s talked about in the House of Lords.
So let’s talk about some of my goals. (And for the first time in three years “find a new job” is not on them. Score.)
- Lose 40-45 pounds through diet and exercise.
This isn’t going to be easy. I lost 25 last year, and then gained 8 back in the months since starting the new job just because I couldn’t figure out how to balance my time to do things like workout and meal prep. There was always something in my field of vision that seemed to require my attention. And to be fair, a lot of the time I was just too stinking tired. So I’m recommitting to tracking what I eat/portion control using the LoseIt app, and working out both at home and I joined a gym that just opened. At home, I like the workouts by The Body Project on YouTube. They have their own site that you can join and pay for more videos, but I’ve found the ones on YouTube are more than sufficient for me. They get me moving and sweating, and I’m that glorious just-worked-out-sore in the morning.
- Save at least $1000.
This is going to mean being frugal. I’ve already signed up for a program through my bank that if you use your debit card however times in a day on a specific account, they transfer that same number from that account to the savings. I’ve also set up direct deposit of $25 every week when I get paid into the savings account. I am choosing not to count my personal portfolio or IRA through Stash as part of this savings goal. Those are longer term projects. This $1000 is just to have a cushion.
- Run a 5k, even if it’s on a treadmill.
I used to run in high school. I mean really run. I feel like this would give me a great cardio burn in terms of training as well as giving me a solid goal to shoot for. I’m going to use the C25k (Couch to 5k) app to help me in this endeavor. Ultimately, I’d like to do something like the Tough Mudder this summer, but I don’t know if I’m going to be totally ready for something like that. I’m trying to be realistic, here.
- Blog consistently.
Up until recently I’ve been managing to do this. But up until recently, it seemed there was always something on my mind that I wouldn’t mind committing to paper, even if it was just to help me through my thoughts. I’m going to be looking at other blogs and see what they’re writing about for inspiration. So far this blog has been very heavily about my mental health, and it will stay that at it’s core, but I want to branch out and talk about books that I’m reading, things that I’ve seen in the news, the progress on these goals, etc. I’ve set a task on a habit tracker I use called Productive (too bad this isn’t a sponsored post – I’ve mentioned, what, three apps already?). It will remind me to update three times a week.
- Read at least 30 books.
I managed 34 last year, and I think I can do at least that. This is easily attainable so long as I manage my time. I’ve found that if I primarily read on my lunch break I can move pretty quickly through books, but I don’t know with this new position how much of a “lunch break” I’m going to get rather than more of a working lunch. So this is going to mean carving out some time in the mornings or evenings when I’m not working, as well as days off. I’m shooting for at least a half an hour 5 times a week (thank you, again, Productive). Sometimes this means I’m going to have to make the hard choice and put down Reddit and pick up a book, but this is important enough to me to sacrifice mindless scrolling.
- Take time to relax
This is going to be hard. I’m not a sit and relax kind of person. So I sat down and thought about it – what relaxes me? Reading! Yes, that does it. Crocheting! Cross-stitching! Baking! Gardening! Getting caught up on movies/shows! Skin care! Ok, maybe this won’t be that hard.
- Take the certification exam for the Six Sigma Green Belt.
The stupid prep book has been sitting under the coffee table for six months. It’s time I do something about it. I have the educational background, and this could be a big feather in the cap for career progression. Time to get serious and do it.
- Get and stay organized.
I tend to be organized. I can be very type A about it, to be honest. And by that I mean aggressive. But I’m retaking that bull by the horns this year. I bought an 18 month Erin Condren Life Planner last July and have been keeping track of schedules and to do lists and what not, but I haven’t been utilizing it to it’s fullest potential. So I spent a few evening last week making trackers, charts, lists, etc. to help keep me on track and organized. I’m still playing with some ways to do things in the meat of the pages, but that’s going to be trial and error until I find something I like and that works. Another thing I did this week was buy a nice 4-tier wire cart from Walmart to keep my crocheting stuff, my cross-stitch stuff, my study books for the Six Sigma exam, and all of my stationary stuff (mostly for the planner, if we’re being honest), to get everything off of the coffee table and couch and into something that I can easily put away if company is coming over, but helps keep everything together. I plan on tackling the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the laundry room, the bonus room in the basement, and the garage, in that order over the next few months. I want to get everything cleaned up, put everything in a specific place and get this house the hell in order. Our longer than expected but still temporary roommate should be moving out this year, so I’ll be utilizing the space in his closet to keep everything in the upstairs tidy.
So that’s it. My year in advance. I’m hoping things like actually utilizing all of the functionality of this planner will help keep me on track for a lot of things. Making visuals that show how much weight I’ve lost, how much money I’ve saved, what books I’ve read, etc. will help keep me motivated.
I’ve got this.
So what are your plans for the new year?