Happy New Year, everyone!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to kick 2019 off with a bang. We enjoyed a nice intimate New Years Eve with some family and friends playing games and making fun of each other in the best ways possible. You know you’re among people who love you when…
On the subject of New Years…
Last year I made a decision to give up resolutions. I’m really not an intentional person - I have grand ideas that I get excited about, but I never see them through because I rarely do things with intention. That was my big word of 2018 - “intentional”. I decided instead of making resolutions I’d never keep, I would just be “intentional” instead. I decided that when I wanted to do something, I’d think it through critically, plan it out, and then decide if that was a thing I could practice being intentional with or not. If not, it would get put on the back-burner to be revisited later. If so, I would go into the idea with the intention to see if through. I found that I got more large things done in 2018 and took more leaps of faith than I ever knew I was brave enough to take.
In October I quit my job to become a full-time artist. I will never regret that decision. It was an intentional decision to take a huge leap of faith, and it’s paying me back in spades already, and I can’t wait to cultivate that decision with more intentionality in 2019.
Some of you may know this already, but part of quitting my job included budget cuts around the house. So armed with my intentionality, I took a really hard look at myself and my spending habits, and from September through November, I challenged myself.
You can read about that challenge here.
It went so well, and I learned a lot about myself, that I’ve decided to repeat that challenge in the New Year. I spent some time yesterday going through my old list and thinking about how I was changed by my decisions, what I could take to the next level, and what I wanted to bring back into my life.
So, without further ado, here’s what I’m giving up for Quarter 1 (Jan 1 - Mar 31) :
Going Out To Eat
This is a big vice for me. Last year I just gave up fast food and it was really eye opening to me how often I relied on fast food to get me through frustrating days. I also learned that I am not just crippled by fast food, but I’m also crippled by wanting someone else to cook and clean up. The promise that if I forked over some cash, someone would bring me pre-made food and take my dishes away from me is too much to resist. However, a minimum of $30 going out to eat somewhere is not good for the bank, so I’ve decided that I will not go out to eat this winter. I have to start meal planning, keeping healthy foods around the house, and getting creative when I do things like work events out of town. It’ll be an exciting challenge.
Junk Food / Processed Food
To piggy back off of not going out, I don’t want to just fall back on things like potato chips and candy bars because they’re cheap and easy to have around. I did have to define this one a little though. On January 6, I start training for a half-marathon in May so I need to be mindful of what I’m eating daily to ensure I’m getting enough nutrition and fuel to run my best, so this decision is actually a two-fold budget and health decision. I will have a few “processed” things on my shopping list like whey protein and some nutrition bars/packs, so I defined the “processed junk food” as anything pre-made that doesn’t deliver specific nutritional benefit. I’m hoping this will cut down on our grocery budget, and I’m looking forward to exploring Sprouts tomorrow morning to see what I can start getting in bulk. I’m also on an adventure to lower our kitchen waste, so getting rid of pre-packaged food should help.
For the most part we’ve already given this up because of Michael’s acid reflux, but we’ll still go out and get drinks or buy a bottle of wine from time to time. I’m going to see what three solid months of no alcohol at all will do!
TJ Maxx / Marshalls
This one should look familiar. This is my ultimate vice, y’all. I don’t know why I love these stores so much, maybe it’s just the hoarder in me, but I LOVE shopping at TJ Maxx when I’m stressed out. The home goods section makes me feel creative and excited, and while I do get some of my ideas while shopping here, I also lose all of my money while shopping here. I buy things I don’t need, though am arguably happy with, but after a few months I stop using it or it gets repurposed or packed away. I do love to buy my beauty supplies here because they are often the cheapest, but I found that allowing myself one day every three months to re-stock on my supplies and essential oils is plenty.
We pay for Prime, we might as well get our money’s worth right? Well… Amazon usually gets our money’s worth and we end up with a bunch of stuff on our front porch we forgot we even ordered. SO. Amazon is the biggie this quarter. My mission with cutting Amazon is to retune my resourcefulness. When you have the ability to sit down on the couch click a few buttons, and then 2 days later get up and obtain the item you purchased, your resourcefulness starts to wane a little. So, because I’m also a small local business, I’ve decided that in cutting Amazon, I’ll start finding things I really need at local shops to support my community. I also hope to be more mindful of things I don’t need - giving everything I buy a once-over with the thought “is this item worth the effort to obtain, or can I live without it?” This one is going to be a big challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.
If you haven’t picked up on a theme yet…
I love to be challenged.
2019 is going to be full of all kinds of challenges, and if you want to join me on any of them, I’d be glad of the company for a little while.