starting 2020 off on the right foot.

y’all, somehow I’ve kept this blog alive for a whole year! and I blogged at least a handful of times every month… which is honestly pretty impressive considering how wild last year was. I started this blog with a post about resolutions and executive dysfunction so it seems fair to revisit that in the new year.

(cw: weight loss, body image issues, debt, mental illness, executive dysfunction)

last year, I chose to do three things and, overall, it went pretty well—even if I fell short of the actual goals I had set for myself. I wrote more than I had in any previous year; I really improved my finances; I improved my self-talk. great wins! so, for this year, I’m hoping to continue working on two of those and add three new-ish things.

behold, this year’s goals (vague on purpose, as I have sub-goals for each that I will be tracking privately):

1. create a writing routine. last year’s goal, to write every day, was just not feasible for me—so I’m not going to go ahead and set myself up for failure again. instead, I’m going to work to create a writing routine that works for me so that I’m building the habit and just writing more regularly. the dream is to be writing daily at some point but, since I have to share my writing time with dissertation work right now, there’s no way I’m going to be writing creatively every day. I also think that, since I’m trying to create routines for other things in my life, that this seems like a more successful approach. fingers crossed!

2. be responsible with money. last year’s goal, to be better with money—which I did break down into more specific goals for myself—was pretty successful, but I know have to maintain that work. for this year, I know I want to make more conscious consumer choices… I’m not going to go full minimalist, but I know I want to change my relationship with possessions and I’d like to buy fewer, better quality things. I’m also gearing up for my student loans going into repayment soon and a move in 2021 (location TBD), so I want to make sure I’m setting myself up for success and saving as necessary to be prepared. at this time last year, I had closed almost every remaining credit account I’d accumulated in the previous decade, taking a huge credit hit at the time, with the goal of paying them all off before my student loans hit repayment. I’m officially just a few accounts—and about $5K—away from that and I’m on track to reach that goal by my birthday.

3. make better health choices. this one is huge, although I do get more specific about it in the next two goals—but it’s probably my #1 priority for this year, which is why it’s the first thing I’m adding to my goals. one of the things I included in my 30 for my 30s list was to take a dance/yoga class, but I know that my body is not in a place where I would be able to do that comfortably because of my largely sedentary existence. I also had a couple of health scares this year that made me hyper-aware of how important it is to treat my body better. I have had a love/hate relationship with my body for years—the obvious result of being a fat woman in a culture that hates bodies like mine—and, while I have finally learned to love and appreciate my body, I haven’t been very kind to it. so this year I’m hoping to continue getting my vitamins, drink more water, be more active, eat better (more vegetables, less processed food, less sugar), and actually take care of my skin. oh, yeah, and sleep better (see #5). I’ve actually preemptively sunk a fair amount of money into this one—there’s a fitness membership, I’m continuing my HelloFresh journey, I bought some cute workout clothes—so I’m hoping my commitment to being better with money will force me to follow through here as well!

4. unplug from social media on Shabbat. I tried this for the first time during Yom Kippur this year and I realized that it was actually significantly harder to not look at/talk about social media than it was to not eat! as a result, I’ve decided that I want to do it more often and really take time to disconnect and breathe. I want to recenter myself on Shabbat and focus inwardly, so unplugging from the rest of the world for about 24 hours seems like a great start. I’ve actually been test-driving this for a couple of weeks now with the help of an ad-blocker, and it’s been really lovely! I’ve been much more present in my conversations with people and have actually done things, rather than just sitting and scrolling through Twitter getting more and more angry about the state of the world.

5. start a nighttime routine to wind down (at 10PM). this is going to be huge because I am notorious for not heading to bed until midnight and then not falling asleep for another hour or so… but my health has been rough this past year, and most of my doctors agree that my terrible sleep habits and high stress levels haven’t helped at all. for my routine, I’ve got some things I want to try out—meditation, journaling, maybe Torah study?—as well as some non-negotiables, such as flossing (which I’m terrible about) and washing/moisturizing my face. I sometimes like to take a sheet mask and wear it in bed while I wind down, so I’m thinking I might have a meditation or a classical playlist or something of the sort to listen to while I do that so I’m not tempted to just scroll through social media and get sucked into something for too long. the hope is that I’ll be actually in bed by around 10:30 and then I can try to fall asleep from there… but we’ll see!

and now that that’s all written, I’m off to set up my bullet journal for the year so I can try to get back on that wagon. until next time!

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