Friday, January 9, 2015

2015 System and Thoughts

Happy 2015 and welcome back to regular blog posts!  I can’t believe how fast 2014 came and went.  Now, the holidays are over and put away, and we’re starting another new year.  I also can’t believe I’m starting my 6th year of blogging.  It’s been a great ride, and I hope it continues for many more years to come.

So what’s happening in the world of Well Planned Life?  A lot, but even still, not much has changed.

My system is pretty much the same as it was throughout 2014 and still running smoothly.  If you remember, I did a complete overhaul of my system, added new and updated current notebooks and binders to help keep my life (in all aspects) on track, and sorted out how all 5 books would work together to keep me organized.  It is a lot to keep up with; I will say that.  But working with all of these books has helped me keep track of my tasks and appointments, as well as my emotional and mental wellbeing.  (My physical wellbeing still needs some work, but more on that in a bit.)

My planner system is still the same and working well.  I’ve made no changes here, though I have thought about looking into some new inserts.  I’ve started that process but am not really sure how this will end up.  Suffice it to say that if any changes are made, they will be announced here.  Also, I do have one new purchase up my sleeve during the next few months, but that won’t be revealed until the process is complete.  I have two new binders and one updated binder to share with you over the course of the year, but I have yet to set them up and get them going.  Those will be revealed and discussed as they are completed.

One thing that has changed drastically is my Starbucks binder.  Yes, I have started collecting Starbucks gift cards.  I’m not sure how this all got started now, but I can tell you it’s still going strong, and my collection has grown by leaps and bounds.  I’m not quite ready to reveal this either, but I will once it’s ready.

I have been thinking a lot about the upcoming year and what I want to achieve in that time.  I have decided not to set official goals or resolutions.  The reason for this simple: I didn’t do so well last year.  I started strong and came up with a rather long list of things I wanted to work on, and I have to say that I didn’t accomplish any of them.  Well, I suppose you could say that I accomplished thinking about them, setting the intentions for them, and worked on them.  But I didn’t achieve the end result the way I had originally wanted to.

So mainly this year’s intention (not resolution or goal) is to continue to work on the most important points that I discussed last year.  What remains from that original list, I believe, will follow suit.

Here are my five intentions for 2015:

1.  Exercise (almost) daily and eat healthy.

I got to a point later this year where I did just that—I exercised most days of the week and was more mindful of the food choices I made.  (Well, okay, I was more mindful that I was choosing chocolate over fruits and/or veggies, but still, that’s an accomplishment, no?)  But along came the holidays and everything was shot to hell.  It’s not that I don’t want to exercise daily, but the reality is not as easy as I’d like it to be.  One thing I have realized is that everything is based on the amount of sleep I get in a night.  If I don’t go to bed at a decent hour, I don’t get up in time to exercise.  And if I don’t exercise, I’m grumpy and feel awful.  And when that happens, I reach for food I shouldn’t eat, making me feel guilty for all of the above.  And the cycle just keeps on. 

As for my food choices—I am an emotional eater.  Every emotion I feel (except for anxiety, which is the only time I cannot eat), I celebrate/drown with food.  This is not to say that I don’t eat healthy foods.  I do.  I just supplement that with bad foods.  Chocolate foods, to be exact.  So the fruits and veggies and other good-for-me-stuff doesn’t really do much because the bad outweighs the good (not necessarily in quantity but definitely in quality).

So yeah, these two go hand-in-hand, and the better I do with one, I tend to do just as well with the other.  I have to get back on that horse, as it were.  While I didn’t lose weight, I didn’t gain any either.  I did yo-yo by a few pounds, but overall, I’m right where I was at this time last year, and that’s better than gaining, I suppose.

2.  Schedule more relaxation time.

This is a HUGE deal for me.  I like to be busy.  I like projects.  I like work.  So it’s very rare for me to sit and do nothing.  On a Saturday evening, it’s easy for me to do—pop in a movie, work on some knitting, and relaxation is complete.  But then, I’m still working on a project, aren’t I, what with knitting during my down time?  Plus, those Saturday nights are few and far between so I really need to focus on actually scheduling more relaxation time—read a book, watch TV, sit outside if the weather is good—with no project in hand.  I need to schedule it, and I need to abide by that schedule, treat it as if it were any other task.  While I enjoy work, the lack of relaxation stresses me out and makes me feel as though I have no time to myself, when in reality, I’m just spending that time doing something.  The problem is there are only so many hours in a day and I tend to choose to finish work over relaxation.  I hate when things hang in the balance.  But I need to start doing this so that I get more comfortable with the hanging, which in turn will allow me to do it more often.  Relaxation helps me feel a little more in control of time, not to mention more rested, which will allow me to get up in the mornings to exercise, thus bringing me back to point number one.

3.  Declutter/Reorganize/Simplify

Most of my house is in an organized state.  But every once in a while, a small area will get out of hand and needs attention.  I have several small projects that I’d like to work on—most are areas in my home, but some are dealing with possessions.  Anyone who knows me knows I love handbags.  Now, compared to some, my collection is small-ish.  But to me, it’s reached its limit.  I have no extra room to store any more, which tells me it’s time to cull.  I feel bad giving up items that I like or that were given to me, but the reality is that if I don’t use it and/or I don’t love it, it’s not doing me—or the item—any good.  So this is one area I’d like to tackle.  This is not to say, however, that I won’t buy replacement bags.  My goal, however, is to really think about my purchases and buy/keep only those items I truly love and serve a purpose for me.  Decluttering will help me see what can stay and what needs to go.

4.  Be mindful

Ideally, I’d like to start a mediation practice.  That was one of my goals last year.  I started with just 5 minutes, but even carving out those 5 minutes was a chore.  Sometimes my days are scheduled down to the minute as to what can get done and what can’t.  Meditation just never made it to the top of the list.  So I figured I would start even smaller this year.  I’m going to start just by paying more attention to the task or activity at hand, rather than doing said task or activity while thinking about the next thing.  I can’t fully appreciate anything if I can’t fully focus on something.  So that’s where I’m starting.  I’m hoping this will allow me to see what activities and tasks are truly important in my life and which ones can be eliminated, thus making more time for new things I want to work on, like meditation.

5.  Don’t be so hard on myself

This is the cornerstone for everything else.  Let’s look back at what I’ve written so far: “I didn’t accomplish my goals from last year,” “I can’t seem to work in exercise or healthy eating,” “I need to relax more,” “Pay more and better attention to what I’m doing.”  While each of the above points are positive in that I want to work on them, they are also negative because I’m basically berating myself for not having accomplished them last year.  Yeah, it stinks that I didn’t reach my goals.  But it’s all water under the bridge.  What I didn’t get to yesterday has no bearing on what I can do today.  I need to acknowledge that I didn’t get it done, but I can’t make that an excuse for not doing it today.  So, okay.  I didn’t get those things done.  But today is a new day and a new opportunity.  See, I’m being mindful about not doing what I set out to do but I can move forward without judgment about it, too.  Here I am acknowledging it, learning from it, letting go of the bad feelings, and moving forward in a positive way.  Beating myself up about it or accusing myself of being a failure is not going to get me anywhere.  The only thing it does is make me feel guilty.  And that is not at all helpful.  Or healthy.

Now we’ve come full circle.

So here’s to a new year, a new set of intentions, and new opportunities.  What does 2015 have in store for me?  Let’s find out…

8 comments:

  1. Happy New Year! These all really resonated with me - but especially number 2!! I was literally just having that dilemma this morning: here I am on a Saturday, the first in a LONG time with no obligations other than one quick errand. The hubby is out of town, so I really have everything to myself.

    But still, I can't TRULY relax! I'm sure I'll the tv on quite a bit today, but just in the background while I get the rest of my 2015 pages cut or sew a project I've been thinking about. Almost makes me envious of my friends who post statuses like: "Netflix marathon today - not leaving my couch!"

    Oh well. I suppose we all just have different definitions of relaxation! Here's to a year of good intentions!

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    1. I agree! I get jelous too when people tell me the lounged all weekend, since I never "get" to do that. The truth is, of course, that I just choose not to, no matter how nice it sounds. I always think, once I get through all of my projects, I can do that, but of course new projects always pop up before I'm ever finished. Oh well, J, maybe one day you and I will choose relaxation over projects. :)

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  2. I am always working on time management. I noticed last summer how I seemed to spend a lot of time cleaning the house and I was frankly getting a little sick of it. For some reason I was always finding tasks around the house to stay busy, leaving little to no time for fun projects or relaxation.

    I ended up using a to-do app on my ipad to help me get things done “enough” but not over clean. It took some time to figure out just how often tasks needed to be done but now I am able to do a little each day and stop. The house feels clean to me and I have regained some of my personal time.

    As for knitting while watching TV, I have always worked on a project while watching television and felt productive, but at times overwhelmed. Your post has made me rethink doing both things together all the time.

    Good luck with your intentions in 2015! Thank you for sharing them with us. I also love handbags so I feel for you in regards to having to let some go.

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    1. Ah ha! Just wait until my next post. All about cleaning. ;) Yes, sometimes we have to be okay with good enough. Im slowing learning (and accepting) that idea. I'm not much of a coush potato, and honestly, I wouldn't get knitting done if I didn't do it during movie/TV time. But Im also trying to work in some quiet time, even if it's reading for only a half-hour. Thanks for your comment!

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  3. I know where you're at, especially with the trying to find time to be mindful/meditate. Can I recommend two things:
    1. a book: Mindfulness on the go: Peace in your pocket by Padraig O'Morain
    2. an app: Stop, Breathe, Think (also available via the website: http://stopbreathethink.org/
    Both have been incredibly useful to me - the book gives lots of ideas about how to incorporate mindfulness into daily life;the app has guided meditations/mindfulness practice (and is free).
    Hope you have a good 2015 and try to be less hard on yourself? You only get one life - enjoy it as much as you can.

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    1. Ooo, thank you for the recommendations! I'll have to look into them. I will definitely be less hard on myself this year -- it's adding too much stress on top of everything else and does nothing but make me feel bad. I'm definitel ready to let it go. :)

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  4. Don't be so hard on yourself. Seriously. You are one of my favorite bloggers, and you don't need extra stress.

    http://giftieetcetera.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww, how sweet! Thank you! I have to say that I've always been hardest on myself and the one who is hardest on me. But I (slowly) learning to let go of that habit from both sides. Thanks for the support.

      BTW - your blog is one of my favorites as well -- on my "must read" list!

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