5 things: habits

five things

We’re well into the new year by now and I’m making some serious progress on my 2019 goals or, rather, habits. That’s right. I’m making ch-ch-changes this year, especially when it comes to spending.

Here are 5 things [habits] I adopted in 2019:

budget tracking and cash flow

I’m not a huge spender, but I’ve become a bit lax when it comes to being accountable for my spending. I decided to change that and adopted a new cash flow app (EveryDollar), combined this with a paper tracker (the Happy Planner budget insert), and returned to a system that worked for me a few years ago: cash budgeting. I don’t use cash for every purchase, but by sticking to a budget, I have a better sense of where my money is going and the purchases that serve me well.

not buying coffee (unless I make it worth my while)

I mentioned this in a previous post, but I’m brewing my own coffee while at work. There’s a Starbucks in my building. The temptation is real and one that led me down the debt rabbit-hole when I was a low-paid college student with a caffeine habit and a credit card for “emergencies”. I’m not saying lattes will destroy your credit, but it’s such an easy habit to adjust. At home, I have a milk steamer/frother and all the coffee-making implements I need for a bougie blended drink. At work, I have a french press, a pack of instant (for when I’m lazy), and my favorite creamer. If I really want a latte, it has to be worth the $5 for the non-dairy milk.

meal prepping

Meal prepping comes with an added benefit: time-saving. I was a big meal-prepper when I was working on food intolerances a few years ago, but I fell of the wagon. Hard. Food is one of the areas where I spend the most money and it’s another one that’s easy to change. Part of my cash budget includes restaurant-spending, so I’m setting a limit that covers me for a few meals/dates each month. All other meals are prepped at home, usually with the help of my InstantPot (a life-changing bit of magic). Going mostly plant-based has also helped because cheaper, faster meals.
re-finding a fitness routine

Much like the meal-prepping, I fell off the regular fitness habit. I have reasons, mostly physical, some mental-health related, but overall, I just felt too tired and achy to workout much when my hormones were out of whack. Now that I’m feeling better (better, not perfect), I’ve started walking longer distances, running (occasionally), and reviving my relationship with yoga. I’ve also been doing the LoveSweatFitness Daily 10 routines on days when I only have enough energy for 10 minutes of physical activity.

outfit tracking

@lifeingminor is a project with a purpose – to document how I use the pieces in my wardrobe and develop a conscious relationship with the clothing that I own. I’ve been posting consistently for the last two months and recently started adding my project pan  updates. It’s another way to take control of my spending and better appreciate the pieces I bring into my home.

 

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life: kicking and re-starting habits

November has been a long, long month. Actually, the last three months have felt longer than usual, and not in a good way. Things have been off-kilter and I’m only just getting back to a semi-normal state. In an effort to make some changes, I’m going to start focusing on two things that have nothing to do with writing.

  1. I’m going to kick my semi-regular Starbucks habit. I go through cycles with this one. It starts, the seasons shift and I let it go, but my trouble tends to be the fall season, when I go a little latte crazy. I need to stop, for my wallet and my waist.
  2. I’m going to start running again. It’s been over a year since my last regular running session and I miss it. I was never competitive or into long distances. I just enjoy the thrill of running. My knees will ache and my lungs will burn, but a little goes a long way and I want to give my self another chance.

There’s so much more I want to change, but baby steps.

What are some of your goals for December and beyond?

life: flow

It’s my third day back on a morning yoga schedule and I’m really getting into the flow of it. My workouts tend to shift with the seasons: when the sun starts to rise a little later and set a little earlier, my workouts shift to morning rather than evening. I still enjoy a post-dinner walk, but I just enjoy the gray morning vibe more. Kitty cat #1 (ie. CaramelCat) also enjoys the morning yoga sesh. I think Adriene’s voice just sounds really pleasant to his kitty ears, so he plops out beside me and licks my forehead as I move into shavasana.

I’ve also been enjoying my new diffuser, I like to use oils when I’m stretching and having it in the bedroom makes it that much more effective (morning yoga is bedroom yoga; whereas, evening yoga happens in the living room – see, shifts in mood and place).

Today’s practice was the gentle morning sequence, which was perfect. I feel a bit of a cold coming on and the stretch was just what I needed.

april showers revive the muse and the spirit

I’ve been making steady progress on the writing projects and the fitness efforts :). My current process is not as ambitious as it was, but it fits my lifestyle without making me panic at every turn. I wouldn’t call myself an A-type, but I definitely tend to self-reproach when given the chance. I’m presently plodding along at a chapter a week. I can get a solid 30 minutes to an hour of writing done on most week nights. It’s not much, but any progress is good progress. Weekends are catch-up, wrap-up, and plan days. At this rate, the draft should be done by June.

My new fitness routine is also helping. I fell into a slump sometime last fall, and it seriously took a toll on my energy. I won’t go into detail, but I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease as a teen and there are days when it feels nearly impossible to do more than I’m already required to do to be a functioning member of society. Exercise helps, as does eating right. When I let go, my body lets go… and that’s really bad. One of my library friends is on a mission to heal me, but that’s a really long story. Exercise = energy. Energy = writing. Can’t have one without the other.

In other news, I finished my manuscript edits for the academic tome and submitted one of my pending reviews. Next project involves editing a co-authored chapter to be submitted to a library publication. Wish me luck!

Holy colors, batman!

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Ran my first Color Run! I’ve been so eager to join one and now I have and I feel all energized and pumped! Yeah! And it was over some pretty rocky terrain too, so my legs feel all floaty. I got splashed with plenty of yellow and some red and pink, but it was the red that was the hardest to wash off… and let’s not speak of the clothes soaking in my tub. Pity the boy though, he had a red packet and decided to dump what was left of it on himself. He’s in for a long soak.

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in which I become the girl who surprises herself

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running in the early morn. it’s what i do.

I have officially become that person. The person who gets up early and goes running in crap weather, freezing her bum off in tiny tights and a sweatshirt because the idea of not running is worse than the alternative. Yep. Five years ago, this would’ve been laughable. Me, run? No way. The most activity I was getting was trudging around campus from class to class with a massive backpack (seriously though, it was kind of a daily workout). However, now I find the idea of going further and running longer to be the best goal ever. Running a 5k last year really put me in the mood for more…. so I’ve got two lined up for this month and started training in January to improve my time. Am I the sort of person who can run the whole thing straight through? Not yet. Will I? Perhaps some day. Do I want to? You have no idea.

Stamina! That’s all I need. And some inspiration. I’m now a Runner’s World subscriber. How’s that for inspiration?

weighty issues

I have been struggling with bad food lately. Though I hate to fall into the trap of thinking of food as “bad,” eating cake for lunch more than once in the last two weeks certainly qualifies as some sort of poor eating habit. It’s my own fault, of course. I slacked on my usual eating habits because I felt stressed and overworked, leaving me what seemed like little time to plan my usual meals. I have not cooked a proper meal in nearly 3 weeks. That’s never a good thing for me, as I have all sorts of food issues at the moment due to a faulty gallbladder and an under-active thyroid (though under control). Working out has been sporadic at best, and an extra 200 calories a day became a regular thing.

November marks a year since I left my old job, and the much larger campus (and daily 20 minute walk to and from my car) it provided. Before I left that job, I had  maintained my goal weight for months. I set my goal in 2008, after a friend’s sudden battle with diabetes made me take control of my own weight-related risk factors. I lost a lot of weight and reached my goal during a 2 year span. I weighed 135 last November. I’ve been stuck at 145 (this is an average, given usual fluctuations) since April. I blame it on office parties, outings, less space for walking at work, and less time to get a full workout. But it’s really just me. This week, I became fed up with those 10 extra lbs and told myself I would start being more honest about this whole mess. I am going to get back on track and reach my goal weight again. It’s a personal challenge that I plan to keep. 10 lbs may seem like a small amount, but it feels physically wrong to me/on me. Few people who met me post-weightloss can guess that I was ever overweight, and I’ve managed to keep it that way. I don’t want to be that fat girl who lost weight. I want to be fit and healthy for life.