Every month we set goals for changing our habits and then at the end of the month we review our progress. We're determined to improve our habits and so we choose 1-2 goals each month for each category we have here on the blog (Healthy Mind, Body (Fitness & Nutrition), Social Life & Relationships, Financial Wellbeing, and Lifestyle). Then we work to incorporate these healthier habits into our daily routines by proper planning and also by practicing mindfulness.
The start of January usually signals the mindset of "a new beginning." Lots of folks get caught up in making their firm New Years resolutions and 6 weeks later they are forgotten or abandoned. Why? I believe it is because people don't give themselves enough wiggle room. It is all black or white with no shades of grey but that isn't how our brains work. It takes determination and constant reworking to get a habit down and that's what we're doing here. So without further ado let's see how we did this month! Just click on the plus "+" and minus "-" signs to open and close the content below
1) Pacifica App & Check-ins
One of our goals was to check-in to the Pacifica app more consistently (2-3 times a day) to track our emotions and we sort of flopped on this one. Not entirely, though. We seem to be able to get one check-in a day but more than that has been a problem. How do we get ourselves to do this more? Trying to sync it with meals isn't really working because we don't always remember to eat. We'll need to brainstorm on this one. If you have any suggestions, we'd love your help!
2) Gratitude Journaling
We also wanted to start gratitude journaling and we did great the first week or so but then we stopped because we weren't giving ourselves enough time in the evening. Maybe we should try to do this in the morning?
1) Nutrition - New Cookbook Recipes Challenge
For our nutrition goal this month we decided to check out some whole food cookbooks from the library and plan our meals from the recipes in the book. We chose one book to keep things simple. It was called The China Study Cookbook. It is a plant-based plan but we ended up adding some chicken to some of the recipes.
We tried multiple recipes but only one of them was a "keeper" for us. The other ones just didn't work out as planned and one of them I added WAY too much chipotle (I didn't even think that was possible!). This was a definite WIN for the month but I look forward to trying different cookbooks.
I learned a lot from this challenge. The most important thing (besides the chipotle lesson) was that when you're starting a new diet it is best to ease into a few recipes instead of a whole bunch at once. This is because you probably don't have a lot of the ingredients and so your grocery bill can get sky high.
2) New Morning and Evening Routines
We also started a new morning and evening routine. We planned each hour out to give us a framework with the foreknowledge that we'd need to be flexible. We decided to get up at 5 AM and get to bed no later than 9 PM each night.
The first week or so was awesome. We stuck to it and I was noticing that I was feeling better after a week but then we started to stay up a little later and get up later. Each day we started noticing our new routine was starting to slide off into old habits. We struggled to get up and moving and getting to bed early enough. So, just last night we decided to set an alarm across the room and button down our evening routine again in the hopes this helps make it stick. We don't quite have this new habit down and that's ok. We're noticing some great benefits to it and so we're going to try again throughout February. We still consider this one a WIN because we nearly had it.
3) Get Some Exercise
We also wanted to start exercising during our new morning routine for 15-30 minutes a day. We tried a couple mornings to do some free yoga classes online for beginners. Unfortunately, we found out we're not beginners... we're whatever comes before beginners. With my current weight, holding my body up during downward dog just about wrecks my wrists. After feeling pretty down about not being able to handle a beginner class, I did some research online and found DDP Yoga and it has modified beginner classes so we'll be trying the program out in February along with some walks when it isn't raining.
1) YNAB App Budgeting each payday
We used YNAB to great effect this month. The bills got paid and we knew how much we had for shopping with just a glance at the app. I didn't always do the budget on payday but I did it by the weekend after so I could probably improve this but, overall, this one was smashed!
2) The Big "B" - Status Nearly Filed!! Finally
We really had to bug the lawyer quite a bit this month to work on our case but we are really close to being filed. We've approved the petition changes, sent over our signatures, and now we're waiting on word from our lawyer to let us know it is done. So we say this is a WIN!
1) Four Social Outings
We didn't get out quite as much as we hoped this month. Our goal was for 4 outings and we made it out 3 times. We went to the Diagon Alley Project in Ballard, WA for my birthday which was fun but also brought up some pretty rough social anxiety but we went anyways. We also visited a friend for gaming and went to the board game meetup.
2) Reconnect with family & friends
We both did great at reconnecting with friends and family. We both called or met up with friends 3+ times! We were trying for two. So, we're making some great strides here in halting our isolation habits.
1) Emily - One Page IllustratedI was pretty bummed to not get a page worked on again this month but I also made the decision to start over *GASP* I know...but the art just isn't right for a 3-year-old. It is too realistic. So I'm starting over next month and I'm going to just have fun with it. Maybe that will make it easier to do also?
2) Devin - Apply for Part-Time JobDevin is doing AWESOME with getting his applications out. It isn't easy to job search after taking time off for your health but I'm so very proud of him for doing this. It is really going to help our pocketbook and make it possible to take a vacation.
That seems like a bit much, doesn't it? I didn't even realize we had set that many. The cool thing though is we did well with 6 of them - that's over 50%! WOOT! But, it also shows us that we may have tried to take on too much last month which may be why we didn't do as well in some of the areas. So our plan for February is to reduce the number of habit changes and come up with some new strategies to make these habits stick!
What are you planning to change for the better next month? We'd love to know and cheer you on!