New Year, Better Me.

As January draws to close, I have come to realize just how much I have achieved this month. Reviewing my list of goals, I have done well at meeting and in some cases, exceeding, those goals. But I still have a long ways to go.

The Good

In the course of twenty five days, I have:

  • Been less judgmental of others. This took a bit of time, but I have really changed my mindset with this one. So what if someone cut me off on my way to work, maybe they really had to pee or were late to a meeting. I have come to realize that everyone’s story is different and I have no reason to judge.
  • Spent less time on my phone. I have not achieved the four hour time limit I was hoping for, but I have cut back from seven hours to around four and half hours a day. I think that is definitely a step in the right direction.
  • Cut back on social media. With my Facebook and Snapchat accounts deleted, Instagram and Pinterest are my only connections with the “social” world. I have set time limits on Instagram and am getting better about mindlessly scrolling throughout the day.
  • Been with nature more. I visited a state park recently. I find myself running outside more (when it is warm enough). I sit out and watch the sunset more, even leaving my phone inside to really admire the different hues in the sky.
  • Saved money. I would like to save more but I am saving as much as I can right now and that is something to be proud of.
  • Kept working out. I have found a great new workout routine with less running that is really making me feel better overall. I love running but it was not giving me the results I wanted and started to cause me pain in the form of shin splints.
  • Drank more water. I have so achieved this goal. I fill my REI bottle up twice a day and still drink more when I get home from work. Water is the best!
  • Drank less alcohol. I feel so much better limiting myself. I still enjoy the occasional glass of wine or cocktail, but I no longer drink just to drink. My body and liver truly seem much happier with this choice.
  • Focused on what makes me happy. A great playlist full of songs I love. Waking up with the sun. Watching the sunrise or sunset. Going on a picnic. Reading about National Parks. In twenty five days I have changed myself from a negative person to a happy and positive person that I love!
  • Spent more time with my family. Spontaneous family dinners. Boat trips. Or even just stopping by my parents’ to say hi. I am truly blessed to have my family nearby and just in general.
  • Learned a new sport. I would not necessarily call rollerblading a sport, but damn it is fun! I am still learning but it has transformed me. Next up, kayaking.
  • Cut back on products full of chemicals. I now buy more produce than pre-packaged food. I buy natural face wash, makeup remover wipes, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. My body thanks me!
  • Read, been active, drawn, or listened to music instead of watching TV. This should be on both the Good and the Could Be Better lists. I have cut back on TV but I have also had two days of bingeing (new season of Grace & Frankie came out and Good Girls is so funny). But besides that I only watch the new episode of Outlander on Sunday’s so major progress!
  • Ate less meat. Sort of. I tried to just eat seafood for two weeks, but my bank account was not too fond of it. I have gone back to ground turkey but have been good about cutting back on red meat and chicken.
  • Wrote down one thing I am grateful for each day. Really it is more like five things each day. I found this hard to do at first but now I realize just how much I have to be grateful for. Doing this everyday has changed my outlook on life.
  • Grow a plant. While my sage and parsley plants are not doing too well (not enough sun), my rosemary is hanging on. Hopefully I can keep this rosemary plant alive all year.
  • Cut out added sugar. Somewhat. During the week I typically avoid added sugar. I stick to fruits if I am needing something sweet and do sometimes splurge on the occasional cookie. My downfall is currently with Almond Milk. I no longer add sugar to my coffee but it is because I bought flavored almond milk. So still have some work to do here.
  • Ate less dairy and carbs. Eating less cheese and cutting out regular milk has changed my stomach and my skin! I try to only eat cheese once a week, if that, and have switched to almond milk instead of cow milk and it has done wonders. I break out less, I am bloated less, I feel awful less. Dairy is delicious but I real do much better when I avoid it.

The Could Be Better

I am trying to avoid negative words, so I feel like “Could Be Better” is a better choice than “Bad”. This is only the first month of the year so I am truly proud of how much I have accomplished in twenty five days. I feel like a new person! However, there is still work to be done. For this portion, I would love any advice any readers out there can offer. I want to achieve these goals, but could use a little guidance.

I would still like to:

  • Travel more. I am in a new phase of my life where a lot of my friends have significant others they would prefer to travel with. That is great for them but it does leave me with a limited amount of potential travel companions. Traveling with my family has always been an adventure, but I really would like to try something new. So, have any of you solo traveled before? It sounds like an incredible opportunity to see a new city and really get to know yourself. I would appreciate any advice on this, such as potential locations or tips!
  • Find a job that inspires me. Do not get me wrong, I love my boss and my company. But I no longer feel challenged at work and I have just started to feel like I no longer belong in this role. I want to go to work everyday and feel inspired or at least more motivated than I currently am. Any advice on looking for a new job, making the most of a current job, or potential career choices? I need some guidance.
  • Treat myself. I have become very dedicated to saving recently because I want to feel secure in case of another recession or if something happens. But at the same time, I could treat myself more. This weekend I am going to have some fun and spend some of my hard earned cash. But besides that, I would like to treat myself to a beach cruiser. Would any have a bike brand or even a specific bike that they love? I am open to all price ranges at this point.
  • Be more environmentally conscious. Do I bring my own grocery bags to the grocery store? Yes. Do I use tupperware instead of plastic bags or wrap? Yes. Do I try to cook at home to avoid takeout containers? Yes. Do I avoid straws? Most of the time. Do I avoid unnecessary plastic wrap? Maybe. Could my showers be shorter? 100%. I have made a lot of progress but I need to be better. I would really like to research more environmentally friendly food choices, clothing companies, and just general green tips. Please feel free to send me any articles that can help!
  • Find a new hobby. I somewhat have with rollerblading, but I am not able to do it enough to really consider it a hobby. So I am still looking to find something that I can easily do or will make the time to do because I enjoy it so much. What hobbies should I try?
  • Live up to my own expectations and not anyone else’s. This is a tough one. I feel like my family, friends, boss, and society in general have their own set of expectations for me. It is hard to focus on what I expect of myself when I want to please so many others. Anyone else feel this way?
  • Learn to graciously walk away from things not meant for me. I am getting better at this. I no longer feel the need to block a guy I no longer want to see on Instagram and delete his number from my phone. I sometimes daydream about walking out of work and not coming back, so I could improve my outlook there. How have you been able to let things go? What steps did you take?
  • Make a 5 year action plan. I still need to figure out what I want to do career wise in the next month. Five years just seems so far off! Has anyone ever made a five year plan that you could stick to?

Here is to achieving more in February and hopefully some great advice from whoever decides to read this!

Thank you!


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