This is going to be a text-heavy post, so first I'll share some photos from a bike ride Ryan and I went on a couple weekends ago. It was pretty chilly but we were determined to go! I told Ryan I would like going on bike rides more if a coffee shop was our turnaround point, and he delivered! We tried out Holy Grounds Coffee House and it was a warm and friendly place to drink and warm up before making the return trip. I hope the weather starts improving so we can hit the trails some more!
The rest of this post is a reflection of how I am doing with my New Year's Resolutions from January. We are already more than a quarter of the way through 2019, so I thought this would be a good time to reflect. I am totally honest about whether or not they are going well, along with adaptations to improve my success rate going forward the rest of the year!
New Year's Resolutions Check-in
Publish one post per week. On average I am on track with this goal. While my blog posts have not quite been every single week, so far we are about 15 weeks into 2019 and I have published 18 blog posts. For the rest of the year, I would like to continue publishing at least once a week, but have also decided to see if I can publish two posts per week!
Minimal spending challenge. Oof! This one is definitely not going so well! I have been approximately maintaining the amount of money in my bank account. Occasions for spending money keep popping up. My original goals were to not spend money at coffee shops, treat myself at the drugstore, indulge in random groceries, and online shopping. I have failed at every single one of these! To try and make things better, I'm going to revise my guidelines. Going forward, coffee purchases are alright if I am meeting a friend, but if I just want a latte I must make it myself at home. A $4 jug of soy milk will get me eight lattes while a $4 coffee shop latte just gets me...one! Doing the math will hopefully motivate me.
Going forward, I am going to maintain an on-going shopping list for groceries and drug store items on my phone to keep me on track when I am shopping. I am also going to round up all my "feel good" items (face masks, lip balm, etc.) and put them where I can see them with the goal of using them all up before I buy more. I am also going to refrain from buying items I do not need just because I have a coupon or they are on sale! Lastly, online shopping. Again, I will keep a list of items I believe I need to buy online. I will keep my list and budget for one or two items each month. Waiting to buy will not only help my wallet, but make me reconsider whether I really need to make the purchase.
Lastly, going out with friends. This is a toughie! I do not want to limit myself from spending time with people before we part ways for grad school or having fun dates with Ryan. I am going to focus on limiting my spending in non-social areas and give a very vague "be more mindful of spending" goal for when I go out with others.
Decrease sugar consumption. This goal is going well. I made the switch from sugary coffee creamer to half n' half successfully. I have also been pretty good about ordering plain lattes when I go to coffee shops. For the rest of the year, I will continue limiting my sugar in coffee and expand it to other foods I eat. I will be mindful of chocolate serving sizes and also check labels for added sugar when buying groceries at the store.
Meal prep and portion control. This goal has been off and on all semester. I'll be good for a couple weekends, then stop when I think I'm too busy. Overall, the benefits of having my meals ready to go when I am hungry is my motivation for keeping up with the meal prep. In the next couple months, I plan to have developed some of my favorite meal options and will share the recipes on the blog! Refining these meals will be how I carry out my meal prep each week going forward. Portion control is alright, except when it comes to chips and salsa. I have been doing my best to avoid buying them because I will eat them all in just a couple days!
Follow the physical activity guidelines. I have a love-hate relationship with this goal. I like exercising because I want to feel healthier, but not when I feel like I have to. Tracking my minutes in a spreadsheet helps me feel accomplished when I reach my goals, but not so much when I do not meet them. I also have been feeling as though I need to be at the gym to get all my minutes in, which is totally not true! Often times when I am on campus and contemplate going to the gym, I feel a sense of dread. Because of this, for the next part of the year, I am going to focus on walking an average of 10,000 steps each day whether through walking, jogging, biking, or using the elliptical. This gives me more variety depending on how I am feeling each day. I am also going to focus on pilates and yoga for strength and flexibility, which are activities I can do in my apartment. If I feel like pumping iron at the gym, that's great, but I'm also going to let myself be okay with home workouts too.
Complete the 30-Day Minimalism Game. I successfully completed this challenge! I eliminated 495 items from my life. I did stretch it a bit by counting individual sheets of paper, earrings, etc., but I think that's alright. Before moving in June, I want to try and complete an abbreviated version of this challenge by undertaking it for just 15 days instead of 30 with the hope of making it easier to move when the time comes.
Adopt a "one in, one out" rule when purchasing new items. I still have not had the chance to implement this rule. I am playing a relaxed version of the minimalism game and boxing up items for donation as I feel like it and keeping a tally as I go. Since I am attempting to find 120 more items to donate or recycle by the end of June, I have been focusing on that more than "one in, one out." After moving in June, I will use this rule.
You have made it to the end of the post! I hope my reflections inspire you to think back on any resolutions you set at the start of the year. Thanks for reading!
Hi my name is Emilee and these are my adventures as a young adult living in Milwaukee. Here I will share my experiences as I navigate through college. Thanks for stopping by!