I decided my "themed" system for monthly resolutions doesn't work, at least not for me, so I'm going to fix it.
To refresh your memory, I had planned to follow this schedule:
- September - mental health
- October - career
- November - gratitude
- December - giving
- January - finances
- February - relationships
- March - physical health
- April - faith
- May - organization
And for Mental Health September, I took on three different resolutions:
- Get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Lights out by 11:30pm on weeknights and 12:30am on weekends. (Yes, I am a night owl.)
- Play at least once a week with my kids, Tom, and/or my friends. "Play" means different things to different people, so I envision a few versions: chess, card games, soccer, Just Dance, Bey Blades, and American Girl restaurant with Will and Hallie, lunch dates and/or date nights with Tom, and some combination of wine, cheese, and chocolate with my friends.
- Manage my stress by consciously stepping away from people, situations, websites, and television and online programming that make me feel worse rather than better. This one is harder to nail down, but my tentative plan is to start with a round of Facebook and Instagram purging and then set aside specific times each day to visit these social media sites.
My first error was thinking I could take on more than one resolution - in this case THREE - over the course of one month. I succeeded with one resolution and did reasonably well with another, but I completely failed at the third; I can't accept those rates of success, so I this month I am reverting back to taking on just one resolution a month.
My second error was assigning each month a category. About halfway through September I decided what I wanted to work on in October, but when I pulled up my list of categories, I realized that this resolution fell no where near the "career" category. I want to be able to take on resolutions with flexibility and as they come to me, so this month I am abandoning my category system.
To be honest, I'm a little disappointed as I think the category idea has great potential for success...just not for me. I know that for me to succeed in my resolutions I need to step back and follow a simpler way of establishing and implementing them.
As I mentioned above, I closed out September having reached varying levels of success. First, I did well at getting back into the school year groove and tallying seven hours of sleep a night. I think I only missed the mark three times, and none of these nights were because of simply staying up too late - one was due to a late night show in Houston, and the other two were cut short because of early wake-up calls. Second, I did horribly at (officially) playing with my kids, Tom, and my friends. I hate to admit it, but I completely forgot about this resolution, which perfectly demonstrates why I can only have one resolution each month. I did play with the kids, go on a date with Tom, and go out for dinner and drinks with friends, but not once did any of these activities remind me that I had pledged to do more. And third, I did moderately well at managing social media stress. I unfollowed quite a few people and sources and sites that regularly made me feel worse rather than better, and I added a few that - at least thus far - lift my spirits.
Moving on to October... This month I plan to use up what I have, specifically beauty and skin care products, make up, cleaning and household products, and food in my pantry and freezer. I have so many freebies, sample-sized "gifts with purchase", and full-sized products I've purchased according to recommendations, and because I want to start streamlining what I buy in each of these categories, the first step is use up what I have and like, and then clear out - sell, donate, or toss - what I have and don't like. I realize I could save a bit of time by gathering everything and either tossing it, donating it, or bagging it up for my next garage sale, but tossing it feels wasteful, I don't like donating products I've opened and/or sampled, and if I wait for an April or May garage sale some of the items will have expired. So, my goal is to use as much as I can throughout October, and then at the end of the month, clear out whatever is left.
Did you resolve to change anything about yourself or your life this year? Last month? This coming month? How are those resolutions going?