February Resolution: take a vacation. Tom and I hope to take a short trip - to celebrate our 15th anniversary - this month, but because we have nothing set in stone (no plane tickets, no hotel reservations, no destination) it would be easy and not terribly out of character for one or both of us to write it off because of time, money, blah, blah, blah. We want to do this, and my parents will be here to take care of the kids, so I'm making a promise and sharing my commitment here so I won't try to come up with any excuses for why we shouldn't go. Now if only we could decide where to go...
I also plan to finish up my January Simplified Challenge - just a few daily challenges left to go!
January Resolution(s): first, write for at least one hour a day. This seemed like a silly resolution, since I consider myself a writer and all, but I needed to give myself permission to focus more on my work and less on other responsibilities. Second, complete Emily Ley's 2019 Simplicity Challenge, which is 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. How did they go?
I did reasonably well with my first resolution, though I would have done even better if January hadn't also contained the nearly-all-consuming Variety Show. I missed a few Saturdays and one Sunday and had to devote a couple of days' writing time to volunteer writing responsibilities (which didn't technically fall under the umbrella of work), but all in all my fingers stayed busy. I didn't do quite as well with my second resolution, at least initially. I have every intention of finishing all 31 challenges, but I intentionally postponed a few that for me will take more than the expected 15 minutes. You can find all of the daily challenges on the Simplified Instagram page (they're brightly colored and easy to spot among the other posts), but here are a few of my favorites:
- Organize your inbox. Search the word "unsubscribe" and remove yourself from non-essential lists.
- Clear the clutter on your computer. Delete unused files and organize important ones. Empty the trash.
- Detox your social media feeds. Follow inspirational accounts. Unfollow anyone draining.
- Dump out your purse. Throw away trash. Create a little bag of essentials.
- Create a birthday list of friends you'd like to reach out to on their special day. (You can update this list and use it year after year.)
- Clean the trash out of your car. Papers. Straws. Receipts.
- Start the habit of throwing a small load of laundry in every morning.
- Walk your house with a donate bag. Schedule a pick-up or drop it off as soon as the bag is full.
- Simplify your phone. Delete old contacts and unused apps. Refresh your lock screen.
- Put two things - just two - that make you happy on your bedside table. You should also have a lamp and a clock.
December's Resolution: read to my kids every night. I resolved to read to my kids every night last December as well; doing so seems to happen 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 wanted to carry our reading momentum into January this year, and while we had trouble doing so in the evenings, Hallie and I found a new time and place to read together: in the afternoons (on the days she doesn't have dance) and in front of the fireplace. Perfection.
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 and set aside a box of assorted products for my next garage sale.
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?