New Year’s Resolutions, 5 Months Late

I realized I need to really ask myself what is important to me and why. So I’m going to rewrite my list after I go through the old version.

The New List

Physical Health:
1. Eat whole foods only. Well, that’s what I’ll aim towards.

This is important because I get into the habit of snacking on chips, cookies, cereal, Pop-Tarts, and such (I drink way too much milk with these things which isn’t good either), and coffee with sweetened creamer. As I continue my way of eating, my weight and joint pain continue to increase and of course increased weight can lead to a domino effect of other health issues.

2. Drink tea instead of coffee.

As mentioned above, I’m switching because I have no problem drinking plain tea or adding a little juice to it but I cannot drink coffee without sweetened flavored creamers.

3. Drink water throughout the day, especially with each meal and pee break.

This is important year-round but especially in the warmer weather. I know I don’t stay hydrated enough, so this is the easiest way to remember to drink water. Pee = drink water. Eat = drink water.

4. Go to group classes or swimming at the Y 6 days/week (or other exercise at the Y, home, or outdoors such as rollerskating, hiking, kayaking).

This is important for the same reasons as number one. Weight and joint pain.

5. Continue to get to bed by 9:30-10:00 PM.

I’m getting more sleep lately than I had been and I feel much less foggy and sleepy during the day. Even when I felt sleepy during the day, I could never nap even if I had the opportunity.

6. Establish with a new doctor.

This is one thing I’ve put off for a few years now. I liked my last doctor and her small practice that consisted of only her and her receptionist and there aren’t any similar options around.

Mental Health:
1. All of the above.

Diet and exercise, and overall physical health have a lot to do with mental health as far as regulating hormones and mood.

2. Read more books in place of Facebook/Internet on the phone.

I fall down so many rabbit holes when I read online. I want to use my reading time for reading what I want without the distraction of other things to pull me in. I have plenty of novels, memoirs and nonfiction I’ve wanted to read but haven’t yet taken off the shelf.

3. Continue to listen to and practice the motivational/inspirational/positive talks I listen to daily.

These are important because they have been keeping me from slipping into depression. There was a long period of time where it was a good day if I had a shower before Sarah got home from school.

4. Each night, write down gratitude and positive happenings for the day.

As above, focusing on what I’m grateful for and staying positive instead of dwelling on the negative keeps me from plunging into the negative pit of despair where my worry, regret, and feelings of hopelessness thrive and multiply as long as I feed them.

5. Write down and focus on intentions for the next day.

Making a list of things to do and checking off the tasks gives a feeling of accomplishment. If I’m trying to get into a new habit, writing down my intention to do the new habit every day will help me stick to it. It’ll give me a reminder to look at throughout the day.

6. Go to more social activities.
I have attended one Meetup so far and intend to go to more. I went glow bowling with strangers. It was a little weird but fun. The purpose is getting out of the house kid-free to do different activities and meet people. I also plan to go to the waterfront concerts whether alone or with someone else, including with Sarah. She loves music and she enjoyed a lot of concerts the year before last.

1. Continue to work in my current job as long as I remain happy doing it. Stay part-time, as that works out for summer.

I love my job and the people I work with are great. The hospital is really good to its employees and my manager is flexible about my schedule which includes no evenings or weekends. Part-time suits me for Sarah and Ron’s schedule. I’m not stressed out. It’s the perfect job for me.

2. Look at a per diem position I can add during the school year for more hours and money.

By fall I’ll be experienced with the hospital systems enough that I could probably cover other departments in a per diem position, which I would prefer over going full-time because I can turn down hours I’m unable to do.

3. Continue to tutor with Literacy Volunteers.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and knowing I can help someone else learn to better their own life is a good way to maintain a sense of purpose.

4. Set aside at least one hour each day to write/work on a novel.

How does it make sense that the one thing I’ve loved to do and wanted to do since I was a kid is the one thing I always put off?

5. Continue to practice painting with oil pastels and other medium.

I’m going to do more of this because, again, I want to. These all could probably go under mental health as well.

I’m sure I could think of more but I’ll add, subtract and update as needed.

The Old List

1. Couch to 5K. There’s a C25K or a 10K app you can download which talks you through your workouts.
UPDATE: I no longer want to do this. My knees would not agree with this plus running gives me shin splints. I would only be doing it to impress people, realistically. I have never had a desire to run marathons.

2. Bodyweight strength train, abs, and other daily workouts.
UPDATE: Well, actually I did start and then my entire left arm (and then my right when I started resting my left) hurt. The arm issue was a combination of bad form doing curls, a lot of typing last minute papers for my classes, and holding my phone up too much watching Netflix. This is mostly resolved but returns every so often. We do now have a family membership at the YMCA. I have not gone as much since starting my job, but I’m going to keep this as something I want to continue to do. I’m going to rewrite my goals and make this a step for achieving rather than a goal itself.

3. Stop drinking my calories. I always drink lots of coffee and flavored sweetened creamer in the morning and I’m finding that’s almost 300 empty calories in the morning.
UPDATE: I need a vice, but have cut back a lot.

4. Drink water. I just don’t drink enough at all.
UPDATE: See above. I am going to be more specific about the drinking water goal. I will drink water every time I eat and pee.

5. Continue to track calories on MyFitnessPal. It’s eye opening.
UPDATE: I have no interest in calorie counting. It’s too much work and takes up too much time. I’m going back to the way I lost weight the last time – whole foods, no refined carbs, less meat, rare treats.

6. Go to bed earlier, get more sleep. I go to bed sometimes as late as midnight or 1:30 am (although I could fall asleep much earlier – I keep dozing off writing this post and it’s only 9:30 pm). I’m up between 6 and 7 in the morning so sometimes that’s only 4 or 5 hours of sleep by the time I get in bed and actually fall asleep which may take half an hour. I generally doze off in the livingroom but then once I get into bed, can’t fall asleep. I need to be in bed by 10:00.
UPDATE: Due to Ron’s work schedule and Sarah’s reduced sleep needs, most nights I’m in bed by 9:30/10:00 and up by 5:00 with Sarah. So I’m getting 6-7 hours. Sometimes she gets up once in the middle of the night and I may or may not get back to sleep (and sometimes it’s not her getting up to pee, it’s me), but for the most part, I’m getting more sleep.

7. Rollerskating. Use my rollerskates I bought a few years ago.
UPDATE: I had started skating in the house. Outside on the pavement, I’m really to0 shaky. I went to a roller derby informational meetup. It’s just too much of a time and financial commitment. So yeah, that lasted about two weeks. Skating in the house is lame. Going to the rink hasn’t been in the budget – money or time wise, however, I think I may start going to adult skate Sunday nights now that Ron’s schedule has changed and things are better financially.

8. Get a new primary care doctor. Still haven’t replaced my doctor who closed her office last May.
UPDATE: I still have not done this. Ugh.

9 Smile at strangers, compliment people.
UPDATE: Get real. 😛 This purpose of this was really to put myself out there more, meet people, and be a positive light that potentially reflects back at myself. This falls under trying to keep myself from sinking back into depression.

10. Text someone different each day, to keep in touch now that I’m off Facebook.
UPDATE: Haha. How about keep get in touch with reality? There just isn’t anyone I want to keep in touch with that I’m not already in touch with and I’m not going to force interactions to save things that should not be saved. Before Facebook, we wouldn’t keep in touch with the random people we do now. It used to be that people entered and left our lives for reasons and then we would hold memories of those we used to know and think of them fondly on occasion. Now we’re subjected to every mundane detail of their lives and their Candy Crush scores. We don’t get to miss people and wonder where they are now.

11. Pick one band a week and listen to their entire library on Spotify.
UPDATE: I didn’t exactly do this but I do discover different bands (self-improvement coaches, conspiracy theory “truthers”, hypnotists…) on YouTube and sometimes binge watch YouTube as much as I do Netflix. Radiohead and Social Distortion are couple of bands I started listening to and couldn’t believe I never had before.

12. Write for at least 30 minutes – more is okay – per day whether it’s for the blog or something else.
UPDATE: I started out okay, but nope. I even had a BDN Blog but archived it because it just did not feel like my blog was appropriate for a newspaper. Why is it the hardest to do exactly what I want to do?

13. Choose and work on one creative project per month and work on it for at least 30 minutes per day.
UPDATE: I started playing with my old oil pastels and created a few paintings but there’s been a lull in that for the last few months.

14. Volunteer – Examples: Manna, Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House, Hope House. Sarah’s school.
UPDATE: Here’s something I did finally do but since getting my new job, this has been on the back burner. I trained and worked a few days at the Ronald McDonald House and I took the 6 week training course for Literacy Volunteers. This was during the time I was waiting to hear about a job and then when job training started, I felt the other things were too much. I did eventually begin tutoring a student but I have not been back to RMH. What I really wanted to do there was occasionally cook a meal, not man the phone and do intake and register guests. That feels too much like a job. 😛

15. Outside of classes, pick a subject to study each quarter.
UPDATE: I didn’t do this. I basically just read and listen to educational and self-improvement articles and videos everyday.

16. Read a book a month. Check library for groups. Check out books instead of buying.
UPDATE: I can’t remember the last book I read, and have not been to the library or a group. I read articles and blogs.

17. Plan meals ahead for the month, shop to avoid small trips through the month.
UPDATE: I did this once. There are still always small trips through the week.

18. Now that Sarah’s approved for respite, get set up with a respite provider and plan time with Ron. 24 hours per month.
UPDATE: Finding people is the issue now. We did have someone doing 2-4 hours 1 or 2 days a week. The times were unpredictable but we liked her. Unfortunately, she took on a job that cut into the hours that were useful to us. Same deal with Section 28 providers. Since February, we’ve had three providers who each lasted a month or less, so we have not been able to get them trained and settled into a routine with Sarah.

19. Associates degree in May. Need to start looking and applying for things and think about whether and when I’m going to continue further.
UPDATE: I got my AS in CIS and I’m satisfied. I wanted a college degree, set my goal, reached it, and now I’m done. Definitely not continuing. I wouldn’t completely rule out the idea at some point but as of right now, I’m done.

20. See number 13 and generate ideas for things to sell on website/Etsy.

21. Learn and teach Sarah signs. She’s using the eat sign a lot lately so maybe she’ll take to it now.
UPDATE: We focused on other things. She received a communication device so we started working on that. Now it’s become mostly a device for watching music videos and cartoons on YouTube but we put some games on it for her as well. The games are to help with working on pointing to make choices. She tends to just hit the whole screen, not point.

22. Get my kayak on the water in the spring.
UPDATE: The kayak has not been out since we had the van, which had a roof rack. I really miss the feel and sound of the paddle pushing the water.

23. Join or start a Meet-up.
UPDATE: I did join a few groups. There isn’t much around here. I did hear of the roller derby meet-up through this site and went to one to check it out. The people were great and I’d love to do it, it’s just too much of a commitment. I met another group for glow bowling. It was pretty fun. I just feel so awkward and invisible. Somehow both at the same time. I guess invisibility would seem advantageous if you’re being awkward but… I tend to overthink. I’m not sure yet if the intent of the group is to always have a group to schedule activities with through Meetup, or to meet a few people you might actually do things outside of the group.

24. Take Jamie somewhere for mom and Jamie time once a month.
UPDATE: We went out to eat and saw the Peanuts movie. Neither of us was really impressed. We’ve gone out to eat a couple other times since, but now that she’s working, I’m working, plus she has a boyfriend, and then there’s always Ron’s schedule, there isn’t a lot of time.

25. Add, subtract, adjust as needed.
UPDATE: Lots of subtraction.

26. Adding STOP BITING MY NAILS. I did that last year. Sadly, that only lasted a couple of months.
UPDATE: Just give it up already. I’m not the Jamberry type anyway.

27. The internet is a problem for me. It wasn’t just Facebook because I still read everything I used to read. It wasn’t really people’s statuses or interactions with people that was the problem, it was the constant overload of information. A thought pops into my head and I Google it, or I read an article in my NEWS ONLY Facebook Newsfeed, I read an article then see another one and another and another… Same as when I binge watch YouTube videos. It’s ridiculous. I know I should do something else. But, I rationalize, I’m learning things. I’m discovering new ideas and shit. Bull. I’m consuming the crap someone else made and put out for consumption rather than creating my own crap. Then I come to my blog, put a few of my own words on the screen, and feel creative for a few seconds. Oh boy, this is not how life is supposed to be lived.
UPDATE: I have a thirst for knowledge. I’m curious, inquisitive and I like to read. Leave me alone. I do have more of a regular Facebook now but haven’t added most people back on and don’t use it very much. I try to keep positive pages on it. Also, the articles and YouTube videos I tend to read/watch are about positivity, self-improvement and motivation.

What goals have you set for yourself? What improvements are you making/bad habits are you breaking?

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