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Welcome 2018 | Should I make make new year’s promises?

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Everyone knows, that around new year it is so easy to make promises of better life and habits, and already during the first days some of these are forgotten. I think one reason behind this is that not enough consideration, in advance, is devoted to figuring out what the changes are exactly and how necessary they are. If decisions are made spontaneously, there might not be enough motivation that would last longer.

I am not cynical about making new years promises. Some of them I have managed to keep, but not all of them. Since I started bullet journalling I have reflected my life more, I mean the way I live my life. What kind of person I want to be. Of course you can make a decision to change your life any day, but when the new year starts, making changes and all the expectations of better are sort of in the air.

Reflections

After xmas I sat down with my bujo, well before the new years eve. I reflected my hopes and wrote things down. My idea was to write down something in order to shape my ideas and later create more concrete plans on how I implement them. I have yet to write the more detailed plans. I feel that shaping my hopes and goals into words is already a good starting point. I intend to create journal pages later to help me implement the changes on the daily level.

This reflection session produced not less than six themes. Yikes! These are money spending, weight management, daily routine, free time and work time balance, house work, meaningful use of time, and healthier living. Well, at least this is a comprehensive approach.

The need for changes

Spending and saving

I wrote:

  • some kind of system to watch and track spending
    • could be a saving tracker, but careful tracking of spending could help to focus spending on smart things
    • savings tracker could be about selling unused things away, not just saving money

I have never been succesful in tracking my spending, so this challenge is a big one. I believe that already writing down all your shopping would facilitate wiser consumption decisions.  When (if) I suceed, I probably do not need a separate tracker for saving, as if I cut off everything unnecessary there should be nothing to save from my spending. However, I could sell unused items that are around our house and storage, waiting for my inspiration to do something. As my kid is already at school, I do not need those baby prams anymore. I am not sure if it would be important for me to sell them rather than to give away to charity, but at least I could try if tracker helps me to start the project.

Weight management

I wrote:

  • reducing weight and managing weight loss
    • 65 kg by the end of May
    • 62 kg by the end of September
    • still 62 kg in December
    • figure out to create a weight tracker for the whole year
    • calculate weight for each month to be in schedule

Weight management is something I cannot overlook because carbs not work for me, and if I eat them, I start gaining weight. A diet without carbs does not happen by itself. I should reduce weight some kilos. During xmas I was off my low carb, high fat -diet (LCHF, a.k.a., ketogenic diet) because during holidays it feels like a good idea, but afterwards I felt I would have not lost much if I would have kept ketogenic diet going. When the ache and inflammation was back I felt this was a very real reminder why I need to keep away from carbs.

Day routine

I wrote:

  • planning my day routine and sticking to it
    • early wake-up
    • early to bed
    • doing things and concentrating – balancing the use of social media
      • cannot be addicted or online all the time
      • social media cannot disturb other areas of my life
      • full isolation from social media is not possible
      • think about how
    • if you want to do something that you normally do not have time for, the answer is waking up earlier

Planning and focusing on day routine has a big impact. Changes in this area require a lot of self-discipline. Funny enough after writing this spread my day rhythm slipped and I stayed late and slept longer in the morning, because I needed to stay up to see the fireworks. I also though that reading in the evening would help me to fall asleep but I stayed up reading in the bed for hours.

Work and free time balance

I wrote:

  • balancing work and free time
    • make sure there is enough leisure time
    • you can sometimes reduce the quality of work a little bit and still the outcome conforms the criteria
    • think if the task should be done by me in the first place?
    • when you have more free-time, first take care of resting and resilience, and only after that expect results with home related projects
    • do not spend more time in the stables than is needed

I often work a lot overtime or pushing long days against a deadline, which is partially a result of inadequate planning in some other area. For instance, I do not go to bed early, I wake up later, start work later, work later… or I cannot say no something that really isn’t my job, and it ruins my schedule. On the other hand, my job is characterized by the need to have long periods of concentration and flow, typically three hours a time. I continue working in the evening when no-one forces me to stop, and end up working really late. I simply haven’t made a proper distinction between work time and free time. I do not have a fixed working hours in my job, and need to be flexible, and there is always more work than there is hours. When I have free time, I do not spend it in a way that focuses on restoring energy, but keep thinking I should be “performing” with some private life project. Then at some point I find myself feeling tired , surprise, surprise! So, I need to focus on resilience, not just on things in my to do -list.

 

Home and living

I wrote:

  • making home should be part of the daily life
    • one step at a time, taking small steps
    • keep doing it daily
    • the best way to decorate a room is just to clean it
    • if not anything else, clean for 15 minutes a day
    • get rid of unnecessary things
      • clear stuff first, then consider decorating
    • think about what you need, and that all those things have a place
      • you need less if you know what you own

A big portion of my free time is spent with my horse at the stables, which means that the energy to keep things neat at home is limited. I am not one of those people who love to unwind by cleaning (honestly, I have a friend who does… her house is spotless). I kind of envy people who decorate their homes nice, but I need to be realistic. Even a bit unfinished pour house is beautiful and the best way to quickly improve the sights is to organize things in those piles to where they belong. No mater how much you decorate, it is not pleasing to the eye if things are everywhere. Yet, I need to get energy to do some house projects too, as the house is far from ready.

Quality time

I wrote:

  • Spend the extra energy that you get as a result of the changes here in a meaningful way
    • blog
    • study and learn
    • read
    • do handicrafts

We all have the same amount of time. I can influence how I spend it. I should spend more time on things that contribute to my life in a meaningful way rather than spend time browsing online for something not even worth my attention.

Heathier choices

I wrote:

  • healthier and better with small choices
    • go the extra mile to reduce the amount of meds needed
    • cook at home and eat well

This fall I started working a lot from home. While I enjoy it, it looks like I forget to take care of my eating as I focus on work. Skipping meals is not good. Also, it is the small choices through the day that make a difference in the end.

Still, it is good to pay attention on the words I used: small choices. First of all, my life habits aren’t that bad, and that’s wonderful. So the changes I want to achieve are not that big, just some continuous improvement. Second, healthier life is based on small choices and small changes, so focus on making good micro-decisions and its goes a long way!

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