Dash of Rose

A dash of rosy positivity

Saturday, January 23, 2016

2016 New Years Resolution: Be Your Best Self

January is coming to an end and I'm already feeling really good about this year.  At the end of last year I decided to make new years resolutions, ones that I feel really strongly about and am committed to see through.  I've wanted to do resolutions in the past but I was not ready and was not serious about them.

As I've gotten older I've learned that many good things in life require a lot of effort and conquering challenges promote growth.  I really want to grow this year and be a healthier, happier, and better version of myself.  This is important to carry through all of life.

Resolution #1: Exercise regularly
This is probably on everybody's resolution list (when they decide to make any) and it's not something I find easy.  In the past, I've not consciously made the effort to improve on this because I used to be generally active and busy walking around with school, activities, and just life stuff.  Now that I am out in the "real world" (I don't think being stuck inside on a computer is really being a part of the world...), I've been a lot more sedentary.  I'm naturally rather petite so I've never felt the "need" to really lose weight but I'm learning more that it's not about what I look like.  I don't feel as energized as I used to and it takes exerting energy to feeling energy.  I tend to go through phases of being good about regularly exercising if there is an event I am preparing for (i.e. a big outdoor hiking vacation) but I really need to just maintain good physical shape throughout the year, regardless of a specific event.  I want to feel good about myself, and feel energized... every day.  To feel that every day, I need to exercise just about every day in some way.

I have begun this year with Adriene.  I've been using Yoga with Adriene's yoga videos off and on for probabably half a year and I just love her videos.  They are light-hearted, challenging, encouraging, and fun!  I don't respond to feeling like I'm being bossed around or intimidated to do anything so I really appreciate Adriene's approach to "Find what feels good" because that is truly what I want in my life.  Adriene's "30 Days of Yoga Camp" has been amazing and I've only missed one day so far (on the worst day of my sinus infection) and feel so much better about myself.  The first week was easy to feel really pumped, the second week started off with my forcing myself to partake in the video...and then I started really looking forward to taking a break from work (perks of working from home!) and spending some time on the yoga mat.

Having a new video uploaded every day makes it so easy because I'm not making the effort to go and search for what I want to do that day.  It feels more like going to a class in person where the teacher is leading me towards better health...and not so much me leading myself.  At some point, I believe I'll be able to be more self-motivated... but it's nice that it's like somebody else is helping motivate me.

To measure my progress, I check off every day in my planner whether or not I completed my daily exercise (right now it's just yoga).

After 30 days I'm thinking of doing Barre3 Online courses... or maybe going through Blogilates? Regardless, I think this will be a great year of energy!

Resolution #2: Eat more "Clean"
Yes...another resolution that is so popular right now.  To summarize, Clean eating is cutting out really processed food and eating foods that are as close to directly from the nature as possible.
Some foods I have been loving...Millet Chia bread from Udis, Noosa yogurt, Spaghetti Squash, Egg+ Avacado on Toast... eating clean is much easier than I thought it would be! I've been inspired by two books: Everyday Detox & 100 Days of Real Food.  The recipes are SO DELICIOUS and easy!  Makes eating at home so much healthier.  And when I eat out, I'm not strict with myself about eating all "clean" food... but I aim to make better food choices such as portion control, not adding all the "extras", and opting for some better alternatives.  I believe that health is largely driven by what we eat and as long as I'm eating quite healthy approx. 80% of the time, I believe I'm making good decisions for my body.

To measure and motivate myself, I write down on each day in my planner a score out of 5 as I'll approx. be eating 4-5 small meals a day.

Resolution #3: Be more creative
I have not been nearly as good about keeping up with my hobbies of crafting/sewing/drawing/etc.  I keep making excuses for myself about time, not being inspired, etc.  Sometimes you just gotta do it.  To help motivate myself I bought some new fabric recently (excited for them to arrive!) and have come up with a new space set-up.  There isn't a great place for me to sew where I don't HAVE to clean it up sometime that day (i.e. kitchen table).  I also have limited space in my apartment (or I just have too much stuff).  Recently I purchased the IKEA Norden Gateleg table.  It's sold as a dining table that folds away but I felt it was perfect to put along the wall, and then set up to have a lot of space for all sorts of creative endeavors!  It does not come with casters which is something I really wanted to be able to move it around with ease without damaging either the table or the floor.  My boyfriend helped with that and installed some 2" casters (4 of them have brakes so they don't roll around) and now I have a great craft table!

To measure: I've made goals to have at least a certain # of hours each month on crafts, to increase a bit over time and at least be maintained.

Resolution #3: Live a more Simple Life
Gosh...I'm pretty bad about this...which is ridiculous to me.  In my mind, I spend way too much money and have way too much stuff.  I've set goals to reduce my expenses by a certain percentage each month (Thanks to Mint app for helping me keep track!).  I've also started reading Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  

Yes, I am WAY LATE to this...I just wasn't ready...I'm still not sure I'm ready.  I'm a bit intimidated to apply her methods of really committing to taking everything out category by category, and going through them and keeping ONLY items that "spark joy".  I do not agree with everything she says so far in the book, but that may also because I have not committed to applying her methods (yet?).  Although, I wouldn't go as far as to say all items have potential to "spark joy" in me, I do agree that keeping things I only feel "okay" about doesn't make me feel great about my surroundings.  She talks about how having things (fewer things) that really fit us and please us naturally promotes tidiness.  I really see this with my living room where I only have furniture that I REALLY like/love.  They're investment pieces and are a lot more expensive that I felt comfortable spending, but my living room feels so put together, tidy, comfortable, and cozy.  I'm not actively putting much effort to maintaining tidiness in this space...It just happens.  

Over the past few weeks I've been pulling out items all around my home that I just either feel meh about, only kept "just in case I need it" but I've had for years, duplicates of items, things that I want to upgrade to investment-quality pieces... and have been donating them.  I don't know why I was keeping this stuff around...because I feel so much more free now.  My closet feels less chaotic, my space feels like there is so much more air (weird, I know).  Maybe I'll find myself really applying the KonMarie method sometime in 2016...but for now, purging things I don't really like/love, and only keeping and investing in great quality items... already feels better.  I just need to keep myself in check and prevent this from completely going against my goals of being financially more responsible... A good problem to have.

Final thoughts
I believe that some real changes will be made this year... and it'll take incorporating better habits in my daily life.  Outside of those official New Years Resolutions... I want to be a better person.

"If you want something you've never had, then you've got to do something you've never done" 
I have no idea where that quote really comes from but it's a perspective I have not consciously held before.

I want to be more...
Understanding, Spontaneous, Kind, Supportive, Encouraging, Appreciative, Confident, Accepting, Trusting, Resilient, Happy, Bold, Selfless, Caring towards myself, Tenacious, Genuine, ...

I don't want my fear of "what might happen" to prevent me from being my best self and having my best life.  I don't want to be content with just being content, I want more out of life, I want to pursue happiness and adventure...I want to chase life. Hello, 2016! Hello to a better me :)
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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Project Life

Happy New Year!

I've been feeling extra nostalgic lately...I suppose now that I'm a year older, I have a little more years to be nostalgic about.  Sometimes this nostalgia turns into feeling a bit blue and during these cold winter months I believe it's important to make more of a conscious effort to be happier and brighter.

The weekend after Christmas, Josh & I drove up to Illinois to visit his grandparents.  I always enjoy these visits because they are such lovely people and have lived so much (not just with age) and have so many stories to tell about their past, their family's past... they have so many documented memories.  It's such a joy hearing them tell these stories, show me the many, many albums... walk through nearly every photo...

I want that for myself too.  Compared to them, and probably my parents generation included... my life is so full of "instant" documentation.  Social media, smartphones... instagram... it takes such little effort to just snap a photo and it's done.  To go through these memories I have to take out my phone (I am way too attached to it) or laptop to scroll through photos.  This is adding to the excessive screen time that is already a part of my life (from work, from keeping in touch with friends and family, pinterest, netflix...television...).  It feels so much less personal when I go through these photos, it feels less tangible and I don't necessarily feel as much joy from looking through them as I think I should.  20 years from now, will I really want to rely on these photos to reflect back on? Not really.  I want to feel that personal connection.  I want to someday show my future children something tangible and personal.

Traditional scrapbooking is daunting.  I don't "think" I have enough time to go through all that cutting and pasting.  I've done it before and was REALLY into it for the first hour or two, getting very intricate and detailed with stickers, nice writing, paper cut-outs, etc.  A few more hours in I was getting really worn out.  It was taking so long to see enough results to motivate me further and towards the end my work was looking more haphazard and minimalist... not cute anymore.

That's why I decided to get into ProjectLife by Becky Higgins.  Print some photos, order photo album layouts and pre-designed decorated cards for accents & notes... and voila! Documented memories, with a personalized touch ... and in a snap!

I ordered a 12x12 album, a large set of album pocket sheets, and a core kit (the design cards) from the website.  I bought some more decorative items from Hobby Lobby and picked up some bits from Wal-Mart.  I didn't realize this stuff is sold everywhere!

I printed out a ton of photos after I organized them by year ... So far, it's been really enjoyable and I'm excited to continue filling out my album!

Here's to a happy, healthy, and memorable 2016!

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