1. UnplugI check my phone a zillion times a day. Or ya know, it feels like it. Having this blog and being active on social media because of said blog definitely requires me to have more screen time, but I'm going to try my darndest to not find myself using a phone or computer when I don't need to. I want to set a good example for Watson and not let him see my face in a screen all the time. I want to be in the moment as much as possible.
Here's how I'm working on it... I removed social media notifications on my phone so that I'm not notified when something new happens. I also moved my Facebook and Snapchat icons to the very last home screen page so that I don't see them when I use my phone. This has helped tremendously. When I look at my phone now, I'm not tempted to check those apps because they aren't in front of my face. I'm really thinking about deleting the Facebook app all together, but sometimes I do need that for work things. I deleted TimeHop. I liked checking it, but if I can do without one app, that would be it. I also changed my email notifications so that I am not alarmed when a new email comes through. Previously, I would find myself stopping what I'm doing mid-task whenever I hear that little email "ding" on my phone. I'll be making dinner and hear that little chime... then I stop cutting the tomatoes to check it. (This is also because I have a low attention span and get distracted easily.) I've wondered how much more focused I might be if I'm not constantly distracted by email notifications "dinging" in. So, no more "dings" it is. I'll check my emails when I have the time to consciously sit down and do it with intent.
2. Eat some vegetables for goodness' sakeBut see... I really really like french fries.
3. RestThis is sort of echoing the first paragraph, but when I recently looked in the mirror and saw that my under-eyes are starting to look like sandbags, I decided I need to make it a point to get adequate sleep. When Watson goes to bed around 7:30, it's like my mind just goes free and I think of a million things I need/want to do since it's my first baby free moment I've had throughout the whole day. So I get to doing whatever it is and before I know it, it's one or two in the morning.
Here's how I'm working on it... My parents gave me a Fitbit for Christmas and I've been loving it. One of my favorite features is the sleep reminder. At 10pm, I get a notification on my phone (Ok, I guess this is the one exception to the above!) that tells me it's time to start winding down for bed. If I'm doing something work related late at night, I'm reminding myself that it's okay to not finish it as long as it's not some sort of contractual obligation. Keep telling myself that the way I feel the next day (and reversing my dark circles) is more important than getting the task done a little earlier. And by going to bed earlier, maybe I'll feel like waking up before Watson does. I've started loving mornings more and more as I get older.
4. Try yoga again
I took yoga as a course one semester in college and I got addicted to it because it put me in such a great headspace. And then...I stopped after finals and haven't done it since.
5. Buy Smarter
I've been working on a big closet cleanout and through that, I realized how many things I should never have ever bought in the first place. I did a good job in 2016 of clearing out the junk and clutter, but 2017 is going to be the year of not letting the things that eventually would be considered junk ever into my house.
Here's how I'm working on it... I heard this either in the Minimalism documentary on Netflix or as an excerpt from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but before buying something I'm asking myself "Will this item bring me joy?" If the answer is no, then I won't bring it home. The same goes for free things, too. You know... takeout menus and other paper goods that could amount to mounds of clutter.
6. Buy LocalI'm so guilty of online shopping for everything. It's often cheaper and it surely is a lot more convenient because you can do it from the couch in your PJs. Plus you can get things price matched and returns are usually free at a lot of the big box stores. But it does nothing for my local economy.
Here's how I'm working on it... While I'm not going to give false hope that I'll be giving up my online shopping, I feel like I can make big changes when it comes to supporting local Charleston artisans and suppliers. I just switched my favorite coffee to this one by Charleston Coffee Roasters and it's so delicious. I also just rediscovered a local boutique near my house and have enjoyed buying a few pieces in there. I started working on this a little at Christmastime. We bought locally made Geechee bottle trees for our moms and I'm definitely going to continue keeping local artisans and shops at the top of mind when it comes time for gift giving in the future.
7. Stop being late to everythingBrandon should appreciate this one. I defend my tardiness by the fact that I am very efficient and try to fit as many things as I can into a given time period. But see, then I get carried away and end up being late, so I guess that's not efficiency at all. So here's the issue. If I'm early to something, all I can think about is how I could be getting extra things done! But it's rude and I know that. So I'm going to work on this.
8. Find the goodIt's so easy to highlight the negatives when situations are unpleasant or things don't go as planned. I'm really guilty of often seeing the bad before I see the good. There's a sign near my house that says "A negative mind will never bring a positive life" and I think that's a really good reminder. I also believe that positivity breeds positivity and will make you more happy in general, so I want to surround myself with this energy as well. (This study agrees.)
Here's how I'm working on it... I'm remembering these quotes:
- "The key to happiness is letting each situation be instead of what you think it should be." -Mandy Hale
- “Better to lose count while naming your blessings than lose your blessings counting your troubles.” -Maltbie D. Babcock
- "If it doesn't open... it's not your door."
- "Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious." -Rachel Wolchin
- "I can choose to let it define me, confine me, refine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me."
9. Me timeDon't get much of it these days and I'm fine with that because I treasure all the moments I have with Watson. But the other day, I ran to the store all alone after Watson had gone to bed. I'm telling you, I could have spent forever in there! Just some time to myself felt great.
Here's how I'm working on it... Last week, I signed up for unlimited classes at Pure Barre Charleston for three months and am loving it already. It's not just about the physical rewards (although I can't wait to compare my before and afters), but it's mainly about having that hour for myself. There are tons of class options on the schedule and there are multiple studios in Charleston, so I can never use inconvenience as an excuse to not go. I've been going in the evenings when Brandon can get home to be on baby duty. Also, once a month I would like to do something for myself—a pedicure, a facial, or a morning alone at the coffee shop. Doesn't matter what it is, but I do believe in pampering yourself.