So How Did I Do?

Tomorrow is my birthday and I set some basic goals (to me they were BIG goals) to work towards to set myself up for more balance in my life as a 40 year old.  I have definitely made progress in the right direction but just like most things in life, it will continue to be a work in progress.  I wanted to take a moment today to reflect on how I have done with all of my goals so that I can continue to grow and work toward making my life into the life that I want for me and my family. So here we go…

Goal 1: Simplify by Decluttering-

The more stuff that you have, the more time that it takes to manage it.  You can either spend most of your time managing stuff OR you can spend time living life and enjoying the people  in your life.  Becoming a mother really made me think about how I was spending my time.  I cherish every moment that I have with my daughter and husband and do not want to waste our precious time dealing with THINGS!  I want her to be a grateful person who invests her time in people and experiences and not one that sits around demanding more and more stuff.  I also do not want to spend her childhood away from her while I have to work longer than is necessary because I have too much stuff to manage.

I have gotten rid of a few boxes of stuff in our house that were donated to Goodwill and removed some of the items that were supposed to be in my classroom by returning them to my classroom.  I spent a day in my classroom pulling out all of the stuff that was in my closet and was able to donate a good bit of it and organized the closet.  I still struggle with this because I HATE wasting things and I spend more time than I probably should trying to find someone who can use it so that I don’t have to just throw it away.  I still have way more stuff than I could possibly manage and know where everything is.  We have so many resources to use that I don’t have enough time to know exactly what resources I have.  This is why I feel like more money is not the answer to the problems that we face in education but that is a whole different blog post!

I will continue to be inspired by the Minimalist Lifestyle and will continue to work through all of the stuff in our home and in my classroom to simplify my life and free up my cognitive space to focus on more important things!

Goal 2: Schedule-

This is probably the area that I have had the most success.  I have gotten very consistent with my routines at home and it has helped me to be more punctual, which makes me feel great!  I still need to nail down routines at school to make myself more efficient.

Goal 3: Health-

I am definitely more mindful with drinking water but I have totally blown it with having a consistent bed time!  I have found myself staying up later and later, allowing myself to get distracted with technology so I need to tighten up on this.

Goal 4: Mental Well-Being-

I have gotten more accustomed to going for walks with the fam around the neighborhood.  I am starting a new work out group when we get back after our break at school so I am looking forward to a little accountability.  I am also looking forward to more daylight to be able to go for walks at the park with my daughter.

As far as hobbies go, I have done more reading for entertainment but I REALLY want to get my art supplies organized so that they are more easily accessible so I can squeeze in some art sessions when the opportunity presents itself.

When I first started looking forward to my birthday I was focused on staying positive about turning 40.  When you watch children battle cancer and other life altering challenges, it is really difficult to sit around whining about being blessed with another day.  But the last few days I have found myself feeling very emotional about it.  The realization of how precious time is is really sinking in and I want to channel that energy into continuing to work to dedicate my time to what is most important to me.  I don’t want to work my life away and miss out on the sweetest moments of having a young child.  I don’t want to buy into the false sense of importance of being busy.  My life isn’t going to be about stuff or stress.  It will be about joy.

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Watch What You Say…

I HATE giving excuses.  If I am in the situation where I am running late or I forgot to do something, instead of giving an excuse, I would default to making a joke about my inability to keep up with things or declare my exasperation at the 3 freaking tractors that were on the road during my morning commute and OBVIOUSLY not in any hurry because why would a tractor be in a hurry?!  Seriously, shouldn’t there be a law about what hours tractors can be on the roadway?  But I digress.

I often had moments where I felt like the Universe was just out to get me.  Little did I realize the subconscious effect that it was having on me.  I honestly think that it was making things spiral further and further out of control.  While I never like to play the victim card, I realized that I was claiming powerlessness by focusing on all of the things that were happening to get in the way.  I was removing any ownership in the whole situation.  Most things are out of my control but I had to have a little Come to Jesus meeting with myself and get a hold of the things that I CAN control.  The FIRST thing was to be mindful of how I was talking to myself!  I HATE when people put themselves down and I have worked very hard to not talk negatively about myself, or at least so I thought.  Coming to the realization of how I was speaking to myself is actually what made me have the idea to set some goals to work toward for my birthday.  I have set myself straight and I feel much better for it!  Pay attention to what you say to yourself and I hope that you will think about speaking more positively to/about yourself!

Progress vs. Perfection

Apparently the universe didn’t get the memo that I’m trying to get my life in order!  My intention was to do an update on my progress that I’ve made toward my goals for my 40th birthday but then Tuesday happened.  Tuesday was just not the best day.  I don’t even remember what all happened to make it a “bad” day but I was in a mood.  So instead of writing an update that would have just put a negative spin on any progress that had been made, I just took a step back at laid low.

I’m a person that’s comfortable with working through a process.  Unfortunately, there seem to be few people around that are comfortable with processes.  But, when you feel like things need to change majorly for not only your happiness, but your sanity/survival, the daily circumstances that surround you can often feel too daunting to overcome and you might feel like giving up.  The most important thing to remember is DON’T GIVE UP!!!  You can never give up on yourself or what you truly want out of your life.

So instead of giving up, I look at what I’ve been doing and reflect on what’s going well and what I can improve.  Acknowledging what has gone well is a far better motivator than casting a critical eye on everything and magnifying what we deem to be a failure.

With 24 days until my birthday, here’s where I stand:

Goal 1: Simplify-I’ve collected 3 boxes of stuff from our house to donate.  (There’ll be MANY more boxes to come!)  I found an old file box that I’ve had since I first started teaching that was SUPPOSED to be my filing system.  There were bank statements from banks that no longer exist and so many other things that were just completely unnecessary and I can’t even tell you the last time I looked in that box!  I consolidated it down to 2 file folders and the rest was shredded.  And to think that I have carried that box with me for 4 moves!

My goal today is to make sure that our living areas are free of extraneous things and to take the boxes to be donated.  We still have cabinets to go through and purge.  We have an entire extra bedroom that is currently serving as a storage room that needs to be purged, but that is a long term project and I’ll have to break that down into smaller pieces.  The more daunting challenge (and the most needed) is tackling my classroom.  I might have to recruit a team to take care of that!

Goal 2: Schedule-I’ve been consistent with my morning routines and making sure that I have everything ready the night before.  Bedtime for baby has been consistent but I need to move my time to work my business to the morning because my brain does not function after baby goes to bed which effects productivity, but it’s still has be an improvement.

Goal 3: Health- I’m pretty sure that I haven’t hit 120 oz of water a day but I’m consistently hitting the 60-90 oz  a day so that’s progress. Being consistent with my bedtime has certainly NOT been consistent, but I think moving my business time to the morning will help with that as well.

Goal 4: Mental Well-Being- I need to go back to my old school days of marking my activity on a calendar.  This is definitely something that I have to make visible to myself.  I’m going to put my jogger stroller in my car and pack workout clothes to go to the park after work and hit the trails with baby because that would do us both some good, but of course that means I have to leave work before it gets dark!

This week I will make a checklist of my Steps for Success so that I can make it visible to myself and hold myself accountable.  I SEE great things happening this week. 🙂