Goals, New Year's Resolutions

Summary Saturday: Mindfulness is the Name of the Game

Hi friend!

It’s been two weeks since my last new year’s resolution update.

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And what I’m finding is that pursuing significant life change is more deeply psychological than I initially realized.

Translated: It’s hard.

My existence these past couple of weeks has felt like one long exercise in self control. Mind over matter. Psychology over biology. Discipline. Self-love. Self-forgiveness. It’s pretty tiring. But when it’s going well, it’s also tremendously rewarding and often enlightening.

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So, today’s update is a mix of successes and failures learning experiences.

Here it goes:

Prioritize family time. I’m just going to say it. I think I’m addicted to my phone. When it’s visible (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much all of the time), it has become second nature to pick it up and “check” it fairly compulsively. That quick check turns into a 30 minute YouTube binge, and when I finally come to, all I’ve gained from the experience is the realization that babies and puppies are equally cute and hilarious.

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Between social media and all of the apps that are supposed to make my life easier, I am bombarded with seemingly endless content, push notifications, and the like. Occasionally, I actually use my phone to communicate with other people. But mostly, it’s become a personal secretary/pocket-sized entertainment device that is within arm’s reach nearly every second of the day.

And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t impacting my family life. Not only is it taking away from valuable time I could be spending with my loved ones, but it adds very little value to my life for the amount of time and attention it gets.

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While I have been more mindful about family time overall, I am not satisfied with the near-constant state of distraction that appears to be exacerbated by the presence of my phone.

Therefore, it is time for action. For the next two weeks, my plan is to put my phone away (like…away away) when I’m with the kid and/or the hubs. End of story.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Exercise 4 or more times per week for at least 30 minutes. Doing just OK here. I’ve been pretty active, but in terms of formal exercise, I haven’t quite met the mark. I schedule in time for the gym 3 days a week, but when a wrench is thrown into the plan (somebody gets sick, I have an appointment after work, etc.), the gym takes a backseat.

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To remedy this issue, I plan to look for creative ways to meet my exercise goals even when I can’t get myself to the gym. Like picking an exercise video on Amazon or taking a brisk walk after dinner. Because prioritizing a more active lifestyle equals a happier, more relaxed me.

Stop eating after 8:00 PM. This resolution has morphed into so much more than cutting off my calories at a certain time of night. And I’ve been doing really well. As I’ve mentioned, I’m tracking my calories and learning all about the psychology of eating on Noom. I am down 12 pounds and feeling both physically and mentally lighter. Not gonna lie, though…it’s often super challenging to stick to a calorie budget when you’re used to eating whatever the heck you want.

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You know when I mentioned the “one long exercise in self control”? This is the primary area I was referring to. I feel like I am going through a food awakening and being forced to confront unsavory truths about my eating habits every single day, multiple times a day. And believe me when I say it hasn’t always been a piece of cake. In fact, there’s never cake. Unless it’s made of Play-doh.

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But overall, I feel really good about the changes I’m making and hope to share more with you all as I get more comfortable with the process.

Stick to our budget categories. Yes, still on track. Cooking from scratch as well as batch cooking and meal prep have helped me stay within my grocery budget this month. And being mindful of my other daily/weekly spending has allowed me to stick to my other categories fairly easily as well.

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Plus, because I assign every penny a destination, my budget is not derailed by “unexpected” expenses.

For instance, when my car battery died the other week, we took the money from our car maintenance fund and bought a new one. Hubs replaced it for me, so we didn’t have to pay a mechanic. He’ll do the same thing with the faulty switch that prevents me from rolling down my driver’s side window (a very inconvenient problem to have in the drive-thru lane at Dunkin’ Donuts).

Channel as much money toward our emergency savings account as possible until we hit our target. We have adjusted our target for the time being, and are satisfied with the current state of our emergency fund. This means that the money we were channeling toward this category will now be channeled toward our travel fund. That is way more exciting, don’t you think?

Build up our travel fund. Workin’ on it! At the end of the month, I will take any unused cash from our cash envelopes and stick it into our travel fund. In other words, the less money I spend on unnecessary purchases, the more money we’ll have to spend on our family vacation this summer. Woo-hoo!

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Establish and stick to a consistent schedule for blog posts. I feel myself getting into a nice little routine here. I’m writing about topics that interest me, and enjoying the process very much.

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And that wraps it up!

I’m learning that it’s incredibly difficult to change an ingrained habit. I suppose I already knew that in theory, except I am now realizing the same truth in practice.

I’m headed in the right direction, though. And public accountability certainly helps.

So, thanks for taking the time to check in! What are your current goals? Any successes or challenges as of late? Share in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!

 

3 thoughts on “Summary Saturday: Mindfulness is the Name of the Game”

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