Resolutions Confessions/Work in Progress

Yesterday I re-read my Resolutions post from 2014.

On paper, last year was chock full of Self-Improvement Projects.

Some goals became ingrained habits, like drinking more water. I usually hit at least 8 glasses of H2O every day, and I even mostly gave up soda without even trying; it just happened.

(Actually, watching the great documentary “Fed Up” also sent me into a spin over artificial sweeteners and helped the soda-quitting cause quite significantly. You must see this film).

I already exercised a lot and managed to diversify what I do to some extent, mostly by adding in strength and core exercises.

Where I totally fell down, though, was in my Big Plan to Stop Online Shopping.

I did really, really well in January.

The first part of February was also perfect.

And then in the last week of February 2014, I was on a trip to Orlando and went to the Splendid store at the Mall of Millenia (a great mall, BTW).

After falling in love with the brand, I discovered that 6PM.com had some serious deals on Splendid.

I am talking half off or more.

There were a few items I was pining for, and I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near a Splendid store any time soon.

That’s when I caved and clicked the “Order Now” button.

Resolutions Verdict: Total Fail before March 1.

The rest of the year was downhill from there.

Sigh.

My closet clean-outs in November and on January 1st helped emphasize that I still own too much stuff and I realized that in particular, the stuff I order online often doesn’t fit quite right (not so bad that I send it back, but not perfectly tailored) and is less appealing in person than what is professionally photographed on a 19-year-old model in a catalog (go figure).

Since I am striving to Live Authentically in 2015, I am not going to put another unrealistic ban on my online shopping habits (although Spouse would probably weep in happiness if this came true), but I intend to Get a Grip.

Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 – Day #1

I love fresh starts, so January 1st is usually a pretty good day for me.

My favorite way to start the year off right is to exercise, and I was happy to be among the masses living out their Resolutions at the gym yesterday.

I’m considering signing up for Fabletics – a subscription workout wear company – as a carrot to keep me motivated. They have some cute outfits and their introductory $25 offer is really tempting.

I also spent a chunk of yesterday cleaning and organizing MGM’s massive Lego collection (two hours there alone), my sweaters, tee shirts, and a jumbled drawer in the master bathroom where I hoard travel sized bath and body products, cosmetic samples and random other freebies.

We even ate a healthy dinner together as a family at a reasonable hour, with hardly any tears. 

Mark this day, People. It likely won’t happen again.

Or, could 2015 be the the Best Year Ever?

P.S. One family member was still in his New Year’s Eve ensemble as of 8 PM on January 1st. Must have been some party.

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100 Day Self-Improvement Project, #2

Last fall, I completed my 100 Day Self-Improvement Project.

Since the goal was improvement, not perfection, I didn’t hit all the marks every day, but there were several habits that just became part of my lifestyle.

To recap, my 8 daily goals for Project #1 were:

  1. Weigh myself every day
  2. Drink at least 8 8-oz glasses of water
  3. Do 25 sit-ups every day
  4. Do 10 push-ups every day
  5. Record the food I eat
  6. Exercise
  7. Avoid alcohol
  8. Reach out and connect with a friend every day

For Project #1, I hit 100% for the sit-ups and push-ups. Next best was the daily weigh-in, where I only missed a small number of days when I was staying in a hotel without a scale in the room.

Water consumption was also a high scorer, about 90%.

I did well with exercising, although I purposefully had a nearly a week of rest before and after running a marathon in October.

The two worst: recording food and avoiding alcohol. Yet these were the two habits that I felt the best about and really made a difference when I was consistently ticking the boxes.

For me, staying motivated usually involves having an external goal, which is why I decided to start a second 100 Day Project.

And with peaking motivation, I decided that there was no reason to wait until January 1st to get started, so I made yesterday Day #1.

Using what I learned from Project #1, I modified my goals slightly for #2:

  1. Weigh myself every day
  2. Do at least 20 push-ups a day
  3. Complete 2 60-second planks every day (I got into planking this fall)
  4. Do at least 25 sit-ups every day
  5. Drink at least 8 8-oz glasses of water
  6. Exercise
  7. Diligently record the food I eat and stay within a budget (this rolls the food and alcohol into one)
  8. Connect with a friend

Let me know if you make your own project!

 

 

Hope Springs Eternal

Sayonara, 2013!

And don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.

When I look back, it really was brewing from the start, but the end of 2013 – which brought both personal and professional setbacks – really crystallized that I was living in my own version of a “Weepies” song, specifically this one:

Yes, this was Not My Year.

But hope springs eternal, and I’ve got a good vibe about 2014.

I’ve alluded to it before, but I have a ton of resolutions to make. First up: Drink more water. I started this a month ago and so far, so good. I’m cheating and counting herbal tea as fulfilling my daily requirement, but meh. I’ve done worse.

Second resolution: Juice more. (Yes, I used “juice” as a verb). This resolution piggybacks onto #1, and frankly, it’s still pretty low hanging fruit when it comes to personal betterment. It also helps that I just ordered the Vitamix I’ve been pining over, and I suspect that the enthusiasm from using my divine new blender will last until at least February.

Third: Add more variety to my exercise routine. I love to run. Period. But I don’t really like to do almost anything else, especially yoga – which I desperately want to like (“Oh, me? Yes, I got this body from yoga! And now I am so Zen and bendy and spiritual and all that”), but I am so absurdly awful at every pose that I had to hire a personal yogi to work one-on-one with me. It’s been three years and I still can’t do a real down dog.

Ahhh, and here is the hard one, Resolution Four: Stop online shopping. This one’s going to hurt. But of course, this is me talking, so there are many different caveats and rules that I am attaching to this one. Like the fact that I can still shop, but I need to actually try things on and make sure they fit before plunking down the plastic. This isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, since our small(-ish) city doesn’t have many good places to shop and our dying, dated mall from the 80s is for emergencies only. 

And if family members require clothing or other items that need to be purchased online, then so be it. Same for gifts for others. It’s really my personal habit that needs curbing.

Part of this is that I also vow to use up my royal stash of lotions/potions/unguents/elixirs before moving on to the next new thing. Right now we probably have enough stockpiled to moisturize our whole family until 2035 or so.

But … overall this represents a radical shift in my current (bloated) lifestyle and there should be a bit of room for discretion, no? Which is why I give myself permission to consider acquiring this as a birthday present to myself when Neiman Marcus runs a gift card promo:

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Prada Small Double Zip Executive Tote

Which would then enable me to use the gift card for this future purchase:

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So, yes, since you can’t get a personality transplant, I’m still me. Flawed, awful me.

But I’ll start 2014 with another “Weepies” song, which I think summarizes my current mindset rather well:

Prep Work

In light of the numerous resolutions I need to make for 2014 (more on that later), I’ve spent the past two days tackling organization projects around Fancy Pants Ranch that have been woefully neglected.

Project #1 was to sort through all of my pilfered hotel toiletries as well as all of the new potions/lotions/elixirs/unguents I received for Christmas or recently had purchased between Black Friday (when all of the irresistible deals start coming around) and now. They’re safely tucked into the guest bathroom, where I can shop from my own closet for the upcoming year (foreshadowing here, people).

Project #2 was to organize the cupboard housing the kids’ art supplies. This cabinet infuriates me like no other, since it rains down crayons, construction paper and rulers on my head the minute one of the doors is opened even a micro crack. Thanks to some plastic bins from Costco (which miraculously fit just right – Note to self: Measure cabinet next time, you got really lucky here), this is how it turned out:

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Let’s see how long this lasts…

Project #3 (and the last one for today, I’m sick of this) was to organize my Gift Closet. Another one of my many problems is that I love to buy paper products, like note cards, ribbons, etc. And when I see something that would make a great hostess gift or is something I know someone in my life would adore, I buy it. And then promptly forget about it, since my Gift Closet is a total black hole. The closet got sectioned into areas for ribbons (in a repurposed Easter basket), greeting cards, note cards, wrapping paper, tissue paper, gifts, party supplies and seasonal decor. Seriously, I unearthed some really good stuff, plus I discovered that I am set until 2060 or so in the cocktail napkin and straw departments.

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Time will tell how long this organizational streak will last, but I’d give it at least a half hour or so…