My New Years Resolutions aren’t necessarily fitness related, but they have everything to do with health. And yes, I love a new year, a fresh start, and any excuse to set a goal, but my 2018 resolutions were created more out of a necessity than motivation.
The (brief) backstory
In March of 2017 we left all our friends and everything about life we knew as a married couple and drove our little wiener dogs across the country to Portland, Oregon. We started over; a fresh start and new beginnings. Our fresh start was absolutely nothing like this idealist pictured; it’s been really tough, but thankfully still good. While picking up new habits and ways of life, like walking or biking everywhere, I also picked up some ugly habits. After a habit audit in December, my 2018 resolutions were clear.
Getting real about how I spent my time and money
In starting over and purging most of our possessions, I realized I didn’t have anything I needed for this new life. So I went shopping! And then more shopping, and then I shopped some more. No, I didn’t spend much money or actually buy that much stuff. And some of you would literally die at seeing how small our closet is here… but I did give up my freedom and my time.
I was always online looking for something. I put a lot of weight on that “something” too- it was going to make our lives here more complete, it was going to make me happy, or solve a problem. Rarely did it do that, and I guarantee you, with the exception of my waterproof winter coat, no purchase was worth the hours of my life I gave up searching for them.
In trying to shop ethically, it means I no longer can go to Target and buy the cutest new styles for an affordable price. I usually need to buy online, and, in the name of saving our planet, I try to buy a lot of pre-loved items. Thus hours of my life wasted. I still want to buy ethically, but I want to be wiser about how I spend my time.
A little too social
Speaking of my time, the other way I was wasting it was scrolling through my social media feeds all too frequently. I need to be on for my business, but certainly not that much. I’d hide behind the truth that I just left all my friends and it’s a great tool to keep up with them. It’s also a great tool for being addicted, shortening your attention span, and wasting your time.
As I confessed in my habit audit post, I’d manage to get through one small task and need a mental “break” by scrolling through Facebook. Except the “timeline” is endless, and I didn’t have any idea how much time I was actually wasting. My attention span became the size of a gnat, I was stressed about never completing my to-do list, and I knew what needed to be done.
My new years goals this year are all about solving this giant problem of wasting my life. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. But on my death bed I’m certainly not going to care much about that Columbia fleece I scored secondhand online or what the decor for your kid’s birthday party looked like. I like these things, but they don’t need to consume so much of my time.
I can buy only 10 things for myself this year, with the exception of shopping with my mom- because that’s quality time, guys. Socks and underwear don’t count, and I’ll give my hubs the deciding factor on deciding if certain necessities count, like when my 5 year old boots I wear everyday finally wear out.
I’m excited. Will it be hard? Yes- and I’m more materialistic than I’d care to admit, but chances are so are you :)
But honestly, I already feel free. I’m not wondering what’s out there or what’s new or what deal I can score or any of that. And stuff owns you, so it’s nice to not have more to clean or organize or more laundry to do, etc. Free, y’all! Only time will tell if I’m saying that same thing next December, ha…
I’ve been joking with my friends that I’m working on a 5 year social media plan. It’s pretty complicated and I’ve spent too much time thinking about it, ironically. But here’s the gist: take specific actions to limit my time on every facet of social media:
I’ve deleted all social media apps from my phone, except instagram, which I have rules for. I also unfollowed a lot of accounts/people so my scrolling is limited by default. I’m allowed to login to Facebook on my phone once a week to scroll, but the time is limited. On my browser, I’ve downloaded the Kill Newsfeed extension and the Stayfocusd extension so my time is severely limited and my newsfeed is unavailable. The only thing I’m really on is my Fit Tutor accountability group!
Honestly, this has significantly cut down my time wasted. I’m no longer reaching for my phone when I’m bored or after every email, I’m getting way more accomplished- including down time- and my attention span is expanding- hooray!
This is all really embarrassing to admit, by the way, but I’m sharing in case this helps anyone else. Don’t judge me too hard, guys!
Less psycho resolutions
I also have fun resolutions, like read 2 books per month, start the year with my 6 week sculpt program, and keep on in my journey to get off caffeine (OK that one sucks). And we’re heading to Mexico and I want covetable abs, y’all. I hope my body forgives me for just eating out of the peanut butter jar again.
I want to be more intentional, in the moment, and sweat the small stuff less, although I don’t have a specific game plan for those. Getting off my phone and out from behind my computer will help. Lastly, want to learn more about and explore my new city more in 2018!
Extending the invite
Friend, I am tired of claiming to be busy when I’m really just mismanaging my time. Do you have a problem with social media, online shopping, or are you wasting your time somewhere else? It’s not too late for new years resolutions – it never is! – so I’d love to extend this invitation to you. Feel free to adopt my 2018 resolutions, or set limits for yourself where needed, and we can press on together! I’d love to hear what you want to accomplish this year in the comments.
I’d love to encourage you that just because something is a big part of our culture doesn’t mean you have to go along with it. Dare to make a change and be in control of your time – well, as much as anyone can be in control!
Happy New Year!