Home » Year of “Better”- February

Year of “Better”- February

About a month ago, I shared how instead of doing resolutions, I was picking a word of the year and trying to implement a few small habits at the beginning of each month, to try to be in a significantly better place in December 2017 than I was at the end of December 2016.

Last month, I was focused on fixing my budget, reading a few minutes every day, and drinking a glass of water every morning. How’d I do?

Well, we started using the EveryDollar app, and I am still desperately trying to share my experience with the app with you without giving away our entire real budget. I have a great review written, but it’s more fun with picture of the app, right? Anyway, last month was our first month using it, and I am really proud of what we’re doing. We’re talking about money in a more concrete way, and I had a handy chart to refer back to when we were planning this month’s budget. Even with extra doctor appointments we weren’t planning on, and a few other expenses, we were able to keep a zero dollar budget, and it revealed some very interesting things about our spending habits. We also only went to Sonic twice in the month of January, which is basically a miracle, since we were previously going there once or twice a day. Now it’s truly a treat, and I enjoy it much more this way.

Last month I was also able to finish six books, as well as start two more (I’ll talk about one of them more in just a little bit). Last year? I finished one book. One. Book. That’s embarrassing. I look forward to seeing what the total is at the end of the year (and I am definitely in love with the cute spread I have for my completed/started books of 2017. I don’t remember who originally posted it, because I saw about fifty of these on Pinterest, but I’m pretty proud of mine. My visual art skills are basically non-existent, as evidenced by my failed 365 art project from last year).

And as for drinking water every morning? That was a big fail. Whoops. It started out so well, but at the end of the month I had fallen off the water wagon. I just hate water so much. I know I feel better when I just do the thing, but I just prefer drinking everything else today. I actually made drinking water in the morning one of my goals for THIS month, and so far it’s going a lot better. I’ve figured out what I have to do to get me to gulp it down (hint: it involves a reward of the caffeinated variety).

This month, in addition to trying once again drinking water in the mornings (and everything else I did last month), my goals are to read with the kids every day and to write out my morning pages.

Reading with the kids is something I love to do, and they truly love it too, but lately we just haven’t been doing it consistently. I love when they snuggle up next to me while we read. I love when they bring me a book and ask me to read it to them. And I love that it’s an easy way to restart a cranky day, but sometimes I forget about it and turn on a movie instead. While I totally dig watching movies, I think an appreciation of listening to a good book is important, so I knew I wanted to build this habit again. We’ve been reading at different times throughout the day, as well as attending story time at our library. I hope to continue these visits (which teach us how to sit down, usually include a snack and a craft, and let us interact with lots of other moms and kiddos) as well as our habit of reading throughout the day. Right now we’ve been reading a treasury of Beatrix Potter tales, our Good Night and Good Morning yoga books, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, along with several other picture books. When the weather gets warmer, I’ll definitely want to bring back our daily book picnics. Just a blanket, a huge stack of books and fresh air. Until then, snuggle time on our couch is a welcome way to spend our day.

Morning pages are something I have been doing off and on for the past ten years. They’re a tool taken from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love them because they show me things I need to change in myself and in my life, and hate them for the exact same reason. Change is hard. This time it’s especially challenging, as I’m actually going through The Artist’s Way right now with my dear friend, Sadie. 

We’re about a quarter of the way through right now, and some of the exercises we’re supposed to do are especially hard. Especially since I’ve read ahead enough to know that coming up very soon is an exercise called “Reading Deprivation.” GULP. Dustin and I talked about it, and now he knows it’s coming, so he’ll be holding me accountable, too.

Other things I’ve added in this month are: artist dates (another tool from Cameron’s book), dancing with the kids more, getting the clay and crayons out, playing piano, and drinking chamomile tea with lavender every night before bed. With just a smidgeon of honey. It’s delicious and fills me up with the warm sleepies. It also means I’ve been getting better sleep, which means I’ve been happier about waking up super early to do my morning pages before the kids wake up. Everyone wins!

How are your resolutions going? How is your yearly focus going? Let’s keep each other motivated! I love hearing from you.

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