Pretty sure I had a post about this for 2020. I also think I was decent for a while about not getting on Instagram on my phone. However, overall, I decided I was going to have to take more drastic action. I can’t give my life to the Internet like I’ve been doing. I’m starting to implement these things this month, hopefully it will be fully in place by the end of the month.
- Website and app blockers during week and Sunday for social media and anything I find distracting or obsess over.
- Saturday is my day for blogging and scheduling posts, comments, reading blogs, social media, and YouTube, and then only when I’m not spending time with family and probably for a limited time of the day, then the blockers go back on again.
- I’ve gotten good at limiting my email to a certain extent, but there are some more notifications I can turn off, and I can always remain vigilant. I’ve gone back to emailing myself tons of links which builds up.
- Do my digital to-do’s in the morning when I have more self-control.
- No computer time when I get home from work, nothing should be such an emergency that I’ve got to deal with it right then.
Better late than never, also nice to see that I feel like I’ve made some progress on these goals and this is a good reminder of things I need to work on.
To set up for the month
- Transfer old computer programs and docs and such to new computer
- Vision Board Pinterest and journal (actually not going to be too different from last year honestly)
- Set up digital limits and controls
- Fill out the beginning of the Artist of Life Workbook
- Bullet Journal Setup
- Digital clear out (after computer transfer), especially phone, email and Evernote
- Parsley health
- Sugar and dairy fast (maybe next month/in my own place do elimination diet, sugar controls)
- Start doing simple exercise and stretching, get a Fitbit or something
- Work on getting to bed by 9:30
- Work on morning and evening routine, digital limits and controls (I’ll have another post about this)
- Remind to be taught more AP
- Private step #1
- Private step #2
- Set up tech learning plan
- Work on lateness
- Work on no gossip, politics, complaining, cussing, exaggerating set up
- Work on Spanish
- Work on habits, morning, and evening routine
- Increase income streams
- Pay off some short term debt
- Save enough for laser, dermontologist, orthodontist
- I need one month’s rent and security deposit and also a pet deposit
- Build up savings and emergency to a certain amount
- Increase all savings, esp one for car
- Have almost everything I need for my house and some money towards purchasing groceries, toiletries, paper goods, and cleaning supplies
Learn to Live
- Schedule one thing
- Research what is open in terms of facials
- Get back on track with skincare (probably easier to try this once in my own place)
- Work on body care and sunscreen reapplication (probably easier to try this once in my own place)
- Make snowflakes (and this should be FUN, not a MUST)
- finish Mom’s gift
- Build habits, work into to-do list
- 12 book library limit!!!!!
- Order some study subjects books
- Finish The Idiot
- Overcoming Unwanted Thoughts
- The Shadow of the Wind
- Ethel Lina White mysteries
- Hemingway Didn’t Say That
I’m trying to go by seasons and pick a theme. The theme from now until March 20th is Foundations.
- Clean rest on Sunday (I heard this term for guilt free rest on The Perfectionism Project podcast, I don’t listen to it much, I find it hard to listen to, but I’ve received a few really great one point things that really strike me). Enjoy things I liked as a child and teen or similar things: reading, crafts, Legos, models, puzzles. NO screens.
- Speaking of screen time, I’m going to try and lock down my computer and phone with Cold Turkey for Sunday through F, meaning no social media, blogs, Youtube, news. I also will do any self-improvement stuff in the morning. And shut down the computer and put away the phone when I come home from work (overlapping goal with Self-Improvement).
- End each season with a week off or 3 day weekend in a screen free cabin.
- Start exercise and stretch habits, including some fun sport like ice skating.
- Work on my diet. I have eaten a frightening amount of candy at work lately. I might have to detour and walking around the sugar bowl which is right near my desk. I’m starting off with a sugar fast. I’m on day 6th as of Jan 9th, I’ve not had candy but I think I do need to be more careful about any added sugar.
- Find a therapist.
- Try Parsley health, see if there is someone in my state.
- Private plan #1.
- Private plan #2.
- Private plan #3.
- Set up and start on my tech learning plan.
- Break the lateness habit (I need to look up tips).
- Institute a no gossip, whining, dumping (and calling in ranting), and petty politics rule and when someone else brings it up, either don’t take the bait or state my resolution not to talk in this manner.
- Figure out how to ask questions to get people to think, rather than stating my own opinion (usually defensively).
- Work on Spanish.
- Work on habits and morning and evening routines.
- Work on my screen time (overlapping goal with Health).
- Work on blogging and Instagramming more consistently and better.
- Maybe get a weekend temp job to finance some large apartment expenses and pay off some debts.
- Save for a big vacation.
- Keep saving in down and emergency.
- Start a non retirement investment account.
- Have a 2nd source of income from my private career plans.
- Brainstorm a 3rd source of income, preferable passive?
Learn to Live
- Take set of exercise classes such as ice skating lessons (overlapping goal with Health)
- Join an online book group, I’d like to join The Enchanted Book Club deluxe, maybe in March, depends on what they are reading (overlapping goal with Reading)
- Take one craft class.
- Attend one event.
- Do some wintery fun things.
- Work on a certain series of blog posts, maybe.
- Start getting facials if possible
- Start getting laser (in my dreams)
- Make paper, crochet, and maybe tatted snowflakes.
- Finish Mom’s gift by end of January (frame and all).
- Make valentine decorations.
- Finish Harper’s Frog, Toad, and Frances by end of February.
- Finish two more baby blankets by end of March.
- Sunday: Rest
- Monday: Logic
- Tuesday: History
- Wednesday: Geography
Thursday: Christian Apologetics (even though I’m not a Christian, I still find this important)
- Friday: World Religion
- Saturday: Genealogy and Civics
Reading (This Gets its Own Post)
Oops, I forgot to publish this earlier.
I, in boring adult manner, asked for gift cards since I wanted to buy things for my apartment. With said gift cards I bought a bread knife, sheets, mattress cover, and pillow covers.
I also received flatware, glasses, Pioneer woman dish towels, some scrubbies, lots of chocolate, mixed freeze dried fruit, a few office type items, a Christmas blanket, a Christmas tin full of Nutella fudge puddles, a Jane Austen devotional (there are some gems, see photos below). Color Street peel and stick nails (which I meant to put on for Christmas, but per usual, didn’t have time, was still working on presents, most of which I still haven’t finished), pink moscato, organizer caddy, hot chocolate and marshmellows, lotion, soap, shaving cream, socks, a mango, three hand sanitizers (hand soap and hand sanitizers were a more than usually popular gift item this year, I feel like its usually lip balm). A very grown up list of items.
I gave my grandfather an Ancestry DNA test (in his stocking) and a 6 month Ancestry membership. My grandmother I gave our state True South puzzle, the puzzle line I discovered on the Laurel Mercantile site (aren’t they darling?!). I also gave her two of my cinnamon ornaments and an embroidered heart ornament based on this (mine looks more like Micky Ears, I wish I trimmed it down) after my failed attempt to embroider velvet (I’m not beaten, I will embroider that velvet). I loved this so much I want to make one for me! But improved.
I drew my sister in law and got some homegoods from her list. The rest of the siblings and in-laws got belated birthday gifts which were games, two of which were Harry Potter (the theme of my life is lateness if you hadn’t noticed).
I don’t always get my parents anything, Dad just buys anything he wants, Mom often says she doesn’t want anything, but I know she always wants something special which is what I’m working on. This is an idea that I had over a year ago, at least a year and a half. I changed it’s medium this year, months ago, but still didn’t start on it really until, you know, the week of Christmas, actually a couple days before Christmas. My goal is to finish it before the end of the 12 days of Christmas, I’m pretty sure that is possible.
And my niece’s gift, I’d also had the idea months ago, did I start on time, no of course not, that would be practical. I started it last minute and then decide to give it to her when her sister is born. It will be more memorable that way anyway. She was a bit overwhelmed, distracted by the gifts she got anyway. And she got TONS.
I’d as soon as not dwell on the past year. For one thing, I can’t remember a lot or it feels really blurry, and that isn’t just because of all the upheaval, I really think I’m having some short term memory issues. And for another, I’m ready to be rid of it. And yet, I didn’t do too bad on some of my goals.
- I own a car, my grandfather’s well kept old one.
- I have an emergency fund, a down payment account, and various other tiny savings accounts.
- I’ve applied for an apartment and been approved and put on the waitlist, I’m still shopping around, but I want to live in town (which isn’t a huge city with lots of options, its a manufacturing town in an agricultural area) and most are income restricted (I know I qualify for some of them, but I think it seems easier to find a regular apartment . . . and overall, safer).
- I’ve bought a lot of household goods for the apartment.
- I finished working on business courses and got another associates and another certificate. I know have 2 associates, a bachelor’s, and I think three certificates. And they aren’t worth much. I don’t want to stay in accounting and business, so I’m done pouring money into it.
- I’ve gotten more hours, more work, and a bonus and a raise at my job. In terms of my abilities it is soooooo not a good use, but I don’t have anything to show on paper, and it is ultimately dying in a dying industry. Yet, I can afford to live on my own, it has good benefits although the pay isn’t awesome, and it has a much better environment than I’ve ever been in. And it’s security more than I’ve ever had. It is in no way a dream job, but it was something I needed.
My general resolutions are health, career, and living a fuller life. I’m going to be focusing more detailed plans for the quarters, generally the seasons. I like thinking of fun in terms of season, I’ve skimmed The 12 Week Year, I love reading Hamlette’s seasonal to-do’s, and planning a year in advance is just to concrete and unrealistic. I think breaking it down makes things more manageable. I’m going to be generally following the seasons based on the solstices and equinoxes, but giving myself a break in December. I’ve also got a theme for each quarter.
I’ve got a full list of 10 areas as a framework for breaking down seasonally and then monthly. Health, Career, Self-Improvement, Finances, Relationships, Learn to Live, Beauty, Crafts, Study Subjects, Reading are my areas, and I will try and share the less personal ones each quarter and month.
I’m also going to try not to have nearly as many details, I had WAY too many notes and breakdowns last year. I’m going to focus on seasons, habits, and overall steady improvement, not tons of checklists . . . hopefully, I’ve already got tons of details.
I’m going to be using in addition to Evernote which works really well for me for lists, I’m going The Lavendaire Artist of Life Workbook. I’ve been coveting one for years, and this year it just worked out perfectly. I got the yellow, and its is just the absolute most perfect shade of yellow. I keep it in its box and each time I take it out it makes me so happy.
As usual the last few years, I like to watch New Years planning videos and inspiration, my favorites being Lavendaire (and I finally bought one of her Artist of Life journals, in the lovely lemon shade for a happy feeling, I looooooove it!) and MuchelleB.
10 Easy New Year Resolutions Ideas for 2021 Definitely reminded me that I really ought to tackle my lateness problem. I just. don’t. like. on the dot time expectations. My procrastination and lateness are pathological. I’ve really got to work on it. Just because no one is really waiting on my at work the way it is now and just because it’s pretty casual in a lot of ways doesn’t mean I should be as regularly late as I’ve been, it doesn’t matter how early I get up or how well I plan, I always think of something to do. Previously when I had to be on time in other jobs and other places it always was an effort and by the skin of my teeth (especially I usually REALLY didn’t want to go to those jobs unlike my current job). There is just some fundamental resistance to rules like that with me.
As you’ll notice, I’ve changed to my real name. As a part of living a fuller life, one thing I want to work on is fear and authenticity. Obviously I believe in a level of privacy on the web. But I’ve been paranoid. While in real life once I’m past my initial reserve, I just vomit information. I’m going to try to be more balanced. I might have slightly blurred or looking away photos of myself eventually, but one step at a time.
I was listening to one of the earlier episodes of Not Overthinking where Ali mentions knowledge exposure and how for him and many others certain things seem obvious, but some people haven’t heard or don’t think about them. One of his examples was Thomas Frank’s productivity course which was based on this process and one of the examples was using a calendar.
This reminded me how I really don’t use mine and also highlighted the ridiculousness of my not having phone and laptop calendar synced (I’m not an Apple user at all currently, and I never had only Apple products with the calendars and such automatically synced). I also, in the middle of our densest birthday month, realized I really need to put all birthdays and anniversary dates in my calendar.
I then had to check the calendar box in my Google calendar on my phone so that the Outlook items showed up. Once everything synced, I think put all my family birthdays and anniversaries along with the year of birth/marriage in with an annually recurring event. How simple and smooth. And I don’t have to ask stupid questions about dates I should have memorized.
I wrote this months ago, I’ve not done a very good job at looking at my calendar with any regularity. I still rely a lot on my memory. I need to work on this in the new year. Its usually around this time that I start making New Year Plans, actually often earlier.
Sunday, December 6
- Started decorating my tree and room.
- Pinterest failed on the orange slice garland.
Monday, December 7
- Listened to Bing Crosby’s Christmas on the way to work.
- Watched Hallmark’s A Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas.
Tuesday, December 8
- Started rewatching Hallmark’s With Love, Christmas.
- Finished cleaning and decorating my room.
Wednesday, December 9
- Listened to some Christmas songs. Not really in the mood for that. Just needed something Christmassy for the day.
Thursday, December 10
- Listened to some Christmas music.
- Watched Hallmark’s USS Christmas.
- Rewatched a Hallmark fav, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Friday, December 11
- Listened to some carols. A bit of the struggle during the week to do Christmas stuff if we don’t watch a Hallmark. I’m looking forward to getting my Christmas books from the library.
Saturday, December 12
- We did our family gingerbread decorating via Facebook messenger. I’m going to attempt to build mine today (I’m finishing the post Sunday the 13th). We’ll see, its a bit fragile.
- Watched Hallmark’s A Little Christmas Charm.
- Finished rewatching Hallmark’s With Love, Christmas.
- Watched Hallmark’s Christmas Ring.
I was tagged by Ivy for this tag. Bring on the Christmas people!
1) A favorite Christmas tradition?
There are so many. I think just all of them, we usually go to Christmas Eve with extended family 🙁 Then do those still at home Christmas morning and then our whole family and grandparents.
I also love vegetating and watching Hallmark with Mom many nights
2) Say it snowed at your domicile, would you prefer to go out or stay curled up inside?
Inside, but it might be nice to step out and enjoy the beauty and take photos for a bit.
3) Tea or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate, I’d like to try old fashioned hot chocolate this year, with real bars of chocolate.
4) Favorite Christmas colors (i.e. white, blue, silver, red and green etc)?
I have red and green with touches of gold and cream. My grandmother did her tree a few years with whites, pearls golds, and silvers which I loved. I’d also kind of wanted a blush and rose gold this year, maybe next year. Don’t like a blue theme.
5) Favorite kind of Christmas cookie?
Mom does a cookie exchange, I can’t remember all the cookies we’ve gotten, not all of them traditional. I love gingerbread and Mom has made a chocolate cookie with hugs on top, I think mint hugs. I do like traditional sugar cookies as well.
Aside from the cookie exchange of recent years, we are more of a fudge, peppermint patties, buckeyes, and truffles group for Christmas.
6) How soon before Christmas do you decorate (more specifically, when does your tree go up)?
I don’t like rushing Christmas, it definitely has to be after Thanksgiving. This year, the first week of December, last year I couldn’t budget it in until later. I will also leave it up until after the tradition 12 days of Christmas.
7) Three favorite traditional Christmas carols?
I need to research all Christmas music, I’m sure I’m missing old favorites, but music is not my thing, and I’m not really in the mood. I listen to podcasts all the time at work, and I just feel like I have noise overload, noise pollution, per an old post, I like
“Carol of the Bells”
“Sing We Now of Christmas”
“Do You Here What I Hear”
“Angels from the Realms of Glory”
“Angels We Have Heard on High.”
8) A favorite Christmas song (i.e. something you might hear on the radio)?
See above about my attitude, nerves. “Here We Come A-Wassailing.” This I like because it is sung in Little Women (1994). I like the David Archuleta and Celtic Women version.
“Ding Dong Merrily on High.” Also because of Little Women (1994).
“Last Christmas” The Brit Nicole version.
9) A favorite Christmas movie?
This is hard. I’ve not seen all the classics, but the favorite classic I’ve seen is White Christmas. We also watch Narnia. For Hallmark, we have several favorites. I’m going to do a post about those soon.
10) Have you ever gone caroling?
Yes, mandatorily years ago at nursing homes for church.
11) Ice skating, sledding, skiing, or snow boarding?
Ice skating. I’d love to get my own skates and take lessons, I’ve been meaning to for awhile.
12) Favorite Christmas feast dish?
Thanksgiving is more of our feasting, Christmas is lighter with more emphasis on the desserts. We usually have ham, last year we had hors d’oeuvres as a meal both for Christmas Eve and Christmas. I love this! We always have deviled eggs.
Since if one wants a unique or really just any advent calendar, one must start looking in SEPTEMBER and since I haven’t scored a sort of choose your own adventure from a thrift store (my mom has found a lovely sort of advent calendar cabinet, and I’ve seen a too expensive log house version, still hoping for a reasonably priced gem), I decided that doing a Christmassy activity every day was the way to go.
Tuesday, December 1
- Watched Hallmark’s Christmas Waltz
Wednesday, December 2
- Watched Hallmark’s If Only I Had Christmas
Thursday, December 3
- Wrapped Christmas presents
- Put away Fall decor
- Helped decorate our family tree (I think it’s one of, if not the prettiest, we didn’t overkill on the decorations and the colors were more cohesive, also it’s a new faux tree that is super realistic looking)
- Watched Hallmark’s Holiday Engagement
Friday, December 4
- Bought my little real tree!
- More Hallmark
Saturday, December 5
- Watched I’ll Be Home for Christmas on Disney+(they have quite a few Christmas movies to choose from). Its funny how you can have 90’s nostalgia without having seen the actual 90’s movie itself.
I had Thursday and Friday off for a four day Thanksgiving weekend, and I spent most of it watching Friends in bed and at least 4 Hallmark movies with Mom.
I’ve never been out for Black Friday, I don’t like normal Saturday shopping, so I didn’t miss anything this year. I did some online Black Friday shopping, but I get analysis paralysis, and I think I missed the best tech deals which I still think are on Black Friday online, not Cyber Monday when I actually ordered my new laptop. Oh, well. Hopefully I will remember that in future. It’s hard to balance what sites have better Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, what sites just make it a four day sale, etc. I did (after some bumps) manage to buy a vacuum 55% off! Yay for being an adult where vacuums are important (fyi, I’m Monica in Friends).
Those were the main two things, hopefully January will have good sales too since I still need and want more for my apartment. Oh, yeah, I’m on the list for an apartment, hopefully mid January-February. Anyway, I also bought some Christmas and belated birthday gifts. I’m getting a couch from my brother that his family no longer needs, so I bought some fabric to cover it. I also bought some Kitchen knives (Victorinox, didn’t know they made cooking, knives but they were reasonably priced, and rated highly), I’ve got a knife class on Craftsy that I started watching ages ago, and I’m determined to only have a minimal amount of quality knives (chef, paring, bread and steak), not a block full plus more. That is way too many.
I also got myself an Ancestry membership again as well as an Ancestry DNA health upgrade, I just think that would be useful to know. We know some issues, but I don’t know what is DNA and what is external factors. Genes and my poor health choices are starting to show up in me, I think I need another kick in the pants.
Christmas Eve is normally extended family, and we won’t be doing that either. But I’m determined to be as Christmassy as possible this month. Since I forget that you have to order advent calendars in like SEPTEMBER, I decided that my countdown will be doing Christmas stuff every day. And not only Hallmark Christmas stuff either.
So, I meant to post a Thanksgiving post with photos of what I made, but clearly I just stuffed my face instead. We opted not to do the extended family Thanksgiving, so we all divided up our favorite dishes to make ourselves (its usually a potluck). I made my usual dish (cranberry conserve, super easy) along with my favorite missing extended family dish (broccoli casserole, except I did the Ree Drummon version sans the manufactured cheese, note, taste and salt, mine didn’t have enough but still was awesome).
I also made Pumpkin cake pop truffles, successfully. Last year I didn’t realize our shortening was rancid (I know, I know) and made icing and mixed it in without tasting it until after I’d mixed it in my pumpkin bread (taste, woman, taste your concoctions, sense a pattern?!). This year I decided to buy a can of icing instead, so it was pumpkin bread crumbled and mixed with icing, this dough was made into balls and frozen and dipped in chocolate. Notes for next time, make balls smaller and earlier so that that are solidly frozen and make sure you have enough chocolate and cream in it to really dip rather than smear over. Regardless, these were a hit.
Pumpkin and spices are a divine combination. Except in pie, anyone else love almost everything traditionally pumpkin, except pie? Bread, muffins, cake pops, scones, pancakes, not pie. Not ice cream either, have you tasted that, its so wrong. Not gross, just wrong.
Anyway, we had Thanksgiving food all weekend along with the various leftover dishes one makes with the leftovers, such as Turkey rollups (stovetop stuffing, turkey, and sausage in flour tortillas, I just ate the filling), cranberry/turkey sandwiches (there is a name for these, but I don’t like them), and cream of turkey noodle soup. I had the soup for work Monday, I think almost everything was gone by then. We didn’t have extra mashed potatoes, but one of my sister’s did from earlier and she brought mashed potato quiches.
I think started an HBO max trial to watch the Friends Thanksgiving episode which led to me just basically watching Friends all weekend.
Let’s end with Trey Kennedy’s version of Thanksgiving 2020. Be thankful your thanksgiving is NOT like this.
This is tied to digital minimalism, information excess flows into digital excess.Too much info, period, plus saving things for reading later. I need to realize that like Sherlock, I can’t store everything. I also don’t need to access everything. And re-accessing, maintaining, and organizing are not a great use of my time. I spend more time doing that than creating. Actually my creating is taking a deep dive anyway.
To many emails, daily. I think I’ve managed to cut my emails down considerably. And have a better archiving process in place. I’m trying to unsubscribe from marketing emails once I’ve received the discount. I also have a habit of emailing myself something I want to read later, This is often useful, but again, so much information from so many sources, I can’t be interested and keep track of it all, and I often leave items in inbox as a reminder so I don’t forget rather than acting on things immediately, so I still end up with a lot by the weekend, but a much smaller load that before I did a big unsub effort. Still could use work.
Blogs. I miss having more high quality blogs, I have many favorites, but I wish there were more. I think I need to unfollow some that I don’t really read much and then continually reevaluate. And then there are my drafts, which I’m working on now. I think I had 80 something at the beginning of this year, and I had 40 something this week which I’m working on.
Youtube. I really had to pare down people I follow on youtube, I was wasting sooo much time. I put many on an overflow list in Pinterest so I don’t forget them. I still feel like I watch too many.
Instagram. I like Instagram, but I still waste to much time on it. I delete it off my phone for weekdays although I still get on it on my computer sometimes, need to work on that. I also need to unfollow lots more people, esp. the impersonal big accounts.
- Facebook. I got back on FB after I think like 5 years. I wanted access to marketplace. I did however, immediately unfollow a lot of people who post a lot. I think I also need to delete from phone.
- Pinterest. I do find Pinterest useful as a visual search engine, but I don’t think I need to curate more pins, but rather look at those I have. I also find it useful to use Pinterest boards as planning boards and vision boards. Again, balance.
- Bookmarks. I have many bookmark folders, some I do refer back to and others I could use more, but I think I need to delete some, brb. Oh, and again the “oh, I’ll read this later.” Yeah, either set aside a time, read it now, or delete.
- Word. I have tons of scribbles in Word that I’d like to develop into blog posts or move to Evernote.
- Evernote. I’ve managed to minimize and empty all my sticky notes. I’m trying to really only use Evernote. To keep all my thoughts and potential blog posts, etc. in Evernote. I then need to make the time from scribbling them to publishing in blog post shorter.
- Other apps. I like the deleting until needed concept. I think I need to do this more strictly.