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.

 

loves & latest: February 18, 2019

monday musings

Goals edition

Loves

Reads

Personal finance books 

2019 is the year when I focus on building wealth. Yep. That’s the plan. I have a solid relationship with money and live relatively debt-free (which means, I pay off credit card debt within a reasonable amount of time, generally 1-3 cycles, depending on my budget). I have an emergency fund and committed to using a cash budget for regular expenses; now it’s time to focus on investing, so I’m reading all the things.

Video on my favorites coming in March.

Beauty

Project Pan 2019

More on this to come, but if you watched my makeup capsule, you’ll know that I want to use up what I own and pan at least 2-3 of my products. I have two lipsticks that I’m rotating at the moment (about 80% of the time), and a small eye shadow palette that I would like to hit pan on in the coming months. My goal is to use up what I have and repurchase what I love.

Habits

Using my French press at work

I’m a millennial. I’m destroying my future one latte at a time. (ha!) Jokes aside, $5 a day for my latte habit is not sustainable. To make up for it, I’ve been brewing my own coffee and adding an indulgent creamer (because this is also the year I stop caring about ingredients and start living my best life). Being on a cash budget certainly makes it harder to part with those $5.

Project management

In library land, I always say instruction doesn’t make sense until the point of need. That’s also how I feel about project management tools. I tried to use Trello a few years ago and found it incomprehensible. Now that I’m trying to balance blogging, youtube, podcasting, and writing, it suddenly makes sense. I am addicted and the customizable backgrounds make me happy.


 

Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleWe’ve been busy with a season of sci-fi favorites 🙂

Our most recent episodes include:

If you want to hear three lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts,Google Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

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life: 2016 recap, life changes

The time has come for yearly recaps!

I already went over the good things that happened this year (let’s not speak of the bad again), but today I wanted to talk about the changes I’ve made; these include health, life, and wellness in general, but also little changes, like taking the time to play with the cats every night, or just learning to enjoy the moment.

This year, I completed 3 Whole30s (I’m in reintroduction mode right now). I’ve never followed a health plan, and I have my doubts about some of the methods out there, but the Whole30 just made sense at a time when I was feeling adrift with my health (see my original post, video, and initial reintro). I love the program. It works for me and it helps me reset when I’m not feeling my best. I am currently reading Melissa Hartwig’s Food Freedom Forever and it just makes me feel all kinds of YES!

I started journaling on a regular basis (stay tuned for a journaling update this Friday). Just taking the time to reflect on my day has improved my mental state when dealing with stress (and there has been a lot of that this year).

I dove head-first into minimalism as a serious lifestyle goal. I became intrigued by the idea of the KonMari method when looking to help my mom with her own excess, but I fell in love with the idea of a light, joyful lifestyle that relies on conscious consumerism and intentional living.

These are the big ones, and I look forward to sharing my progress into the new year.

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?

as the sun peeks through the clouds…

It’s been a quiet month. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and meditating, keeping up with my daily journaling, and trying to be more mindful in my everyday living. It’s also been cold! Not frozen tundra cold, but pretty cold for a warm and sunny Miami girl. I always find it a little harder to find the drive to get out and go when it’s cold. I just want to shut down and bundle up. Partly, because my body is already colder than normal, so any drop in the temperature signals the shivers; partly, because the gloomy, gray skies give me the doldrums. However, I’ve made a real effort to stick with my plans for the month. I made my deadline for the draft reading :). I’ve only missed 4 of the now 28 days of yoga. And I’ve managed to find the energy to sort through the things I left at my mom’s place when I first moved out (KonMari to the rescue!). I’m finding new ways to incorporate writing into my day, that will help me continue to push forward with the next draft while allowing me to continue to look after my physical well-being (i.e. step away from the computer and get down with yoga). It’s all coming along.

For now, I’m going to give myself a mini break and read, read, read for pleasure while I prepare my notes for the next 6 rounds of revision (I’ve broken it down, and 6 is the magic number of categories based on my notes).

Ta!   

the gift of gab and other unlikely habits

I took one of those Jungian personality tests last night (for the umpteenth time) and noticed some drastic changes in my results. Suddenly, I seem a much more structured person than I thought I was, but I have to admit that I’ve noticed similar changes in my habits lately. I have become much more structured in my approach to things such as goals and work. I make Iists! Lots of them. Both to do and have done lists. I even joined Lift to track my habits and produce ever more lists. I seem terribly boring all of a sudden :(.

However, another change I’ve noticed has been an increase in my interactions with strangers. I’m a very private person who prefers introspection to conversation (yes, I’m a typical introvert), but I’ve caught myself greeting random strangers and having random conversations with people I barely know. I blame this new habit on my job. As a Public Services librarian, I perform all sorts of tasks (though I often have to remind myself that I’m an administrator too), but my main objective is to be the public face of the library on our campus. I handle events, activities, social media, reference, and all manner of other tasks that bring me in constant contact with people, in person and virtually… which reminds me, I have to add some new virtual chat options to my to do list for our website…

Being in such constant contact with people has made me realize that I really am too much of a humbug when it comes to being personable with strangers. I’ve been learning to be cordial and open, to actively greet people and ask after their day, and it’s starting to trickle into my every day activities. I am much more likely to say hello to someone in line at the grocery store than I ever was before. I’m also more likely to engage in conversation with someone at a party. I still feel as awkward as ever, but I think I’m starting to fall into this role more naturally.

I got the public speaking down when I was teaching. Now, I have no problem going in front of a crowd and improvising when an event speaker doesn’t show up or a colleague can’t make it for an instruction session. I guess now I’m getting the conversationalist thing down… or trying to… I’ll give it a few years yet.