Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Resolutions Galore

Cheers to the actual New Year, but also
to round five of monthly resolutions!
For the second year in a row, I started my New Year's Resolutions in September and with the intent to tackle one resolution each month, rather than following the more traditional route of starting January 1st and attempting one or two resolutions over the course of the year. I gave "themed" resolutions a try during the first month, but quickly learned that I need more flexibility than the category system could provide and went back to choosing resolutions as they come to me and according to what I feel I need to work on as each new month rolls around.

I didn't share updates on my November and December's resolutions (as individual posts) because I resolved to do the same things in 2018 as I had done in 2017, but I'll include those updates in this post. So here we go - an October update, November and December recaps, and my January plan!

January Resolution(s): first, write for at least one hour a day. This seems like kind of a silly resolution, since I consider myself a writer and all, but it surprises me how often I get to the end of the day and find that despite accomplishing quite a bit, none of those accomplishments include making significant progress on my assigned posts and articles. Second, complete Emily Ley's 2019 Simplicity Challenge. I'll share more about this process next month, once I've worked my way through it start to finish, but in a nutshell, it's a series of one-a-day steps that can be accomplished in 15 minutes or less and together add up to achieving a more simplified life. You can read about the Challenge on the Simplified Instagram page if you'd like to give it a try!

December's Resolution: read to my kids every night. I resolved to read to my kids every night last December as well; doing so happens less and less as they get older and I wanted to "make" myself get back into the habit of snuggling up next to them and either reading to them or letting them read to me. I loved the precious moments we spent together - and losing ourselves in all of our Christmas books - so I brought this resolution back for a second round. How did it go? Reasonably well. I would estimate that Hallie and I read together two out of every three nights, and Will chose to join us for about half of those read-aloud sessions. As was my goal last year, I am doing my best to continue these reading sessions in January, even though our nights have become both fuller and later.

November's Resolution: write in my gratitude journal daily. Doing so has been my November resolution for the last few years, and because I love intentionally documenting one thing for which I am thankful every day between November 1st and Thanksgiving Day, I kept the tradition alive. How did it go? Quite well! I missed a couple of days as usual, but upon realizing I had done so, and because I remembered the days I accidentally skipped with relative clarity, I was able to go back and update my gratitude journal.

October Resolution: use what I have, specifically beauty and skincare products, makeup, cleaning and household products, and food in my pantry and freezer. I had so many freebies, sample-sized "gifts with purchase", and full-sized products purchased at the recommendation of others, and because I wanted to start streamlining what I buy and use in each of these categories, I decided the time had come to "use it or lose it". How did it go? Incredibly well! I used up multiple lotions, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, makeup and perfume samples, and chapsticks. I tossed lots of items that had reached the end of their lives or surpassed their expiration dates. And I donated a bag of unopened samples, set aside a box of assorted products for my next garage sale, and still have a couple of brand new, unopened, full-size products available. (Anyone need Lemongrass Spa Anti-Aging BB Creme in medium or Pure Haven Essentials Tinted Moisturizer in beige?) I continue to use up the last of a few different bath and body products I have on hand, and expect to be fully cleaned out in a month or so!

September Resolutions: sleep seven hours every night; play with my kids, husband, and friends; and manage my social media stress. How did it go? I did well at 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. Second, I did horribly at (officially) playing with my kids, husband, and friends because...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 to lift my spirits.

Did you resolve to change anything about yourself or your life this year? Last month? This coming month? How are those resolutions going?

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