When reading Sheri Salata’s book, The Beautiful No, I jotted down some notes and ideas about what would be my focus for 2020. I accomplished quite a bit for 2019 , but it is time to look ahead and set some new milestones for myself.
One thing I am realizing is that my days off of work are precious.
I spent 17 years of little accountability for my work time. My days were my own and I had bosses who did not have the time or interest in tracking if I was working, where I was working, etc. I could work from home or whatever hours I wanted, provided I produced results.
Anywhoo, now I have a 9-5 job with a steady paycheck which comes with expectations that I will be in my seat at a certain time and until a certain time. Even though I am exempt, I fill out a time card tracking my hours and the projects I work on. Ergo, my days off or mucking around outside the office have become rarer.
I need to be selfish with my time off. My evenings, weekends and PTO days are precious commodities which have to be used prudently. I need to prioritize what I really want to do.
For 2020, I want to focus on three key areas:
- Money & Abundance
- Adventure/Discovery & New Friends
Health/Wellness. From listening to my podcasts, I recognize that weight loss is a journey and not a number. I need to create healthy habits and create a determined focus on adhering to those habits. These habits will center on honoring my body with good food, movement and medical check-ups.
The tools I will use for this area of my journey include my podcasts for inspiration and encouragement; a nutritionist for guidance and eventually add in a gym for variety and classes. The gym will overlap in my Adventure/New Friends category.
The habits that I will focus on for 2020 include:
- Limit my eating out so I can control the quality and quantity of my food (this also ties into my frugal habits)
- Limit alcohol (not too hard since I only have about 1 drink a week right now)
- Move my body 5x-6x a week for a minimum of 30 minutes (so far, so good because I am doing this now)
- Stretching/yoga for more flexibility
- Water, water, water – make sure I am hydrating enough
- Take a daily multi-vitamin
- Focus on eating a primarily plant-based diet. I will still have meat, but I will work on limiting it to 1 meal a day (eggs may be excluded…)
- I will stop eating 3 hours before bed
- I will sleep a minimum of 7 hours a night
- I will journal about how I am doing with all of this at least 3x a week (it doesn’t mean blogging because I keep a small weight loss journal also).
Other things I will do over the course of 2020 for my Health/Wellness include a full round of medical check-ups. Now I have decent insurance, so I might as well use it.
Money & Abundance. For some reason, the word “abundance” stirs uneasy feelings in me. I think it is because I see abundance as an accumulation of STUFF or DEBT and not an abundance of savings, safety and comfort. I will work on changing my perception during 2020.
I need to stay frugal as a lifestyle and not a short term solution. I need to discover other things to fill my void rather than spending or buying things. I have a tendency to want to solve things with either comfort food or a purchase rather than stepping back and asking myself if it is really necessary.
I want to focus on getting to a debt-free life. I need to pay off all of my debts and create a savings mindset. This is where I will create abundance — through savings, not obtaining stuff.
The tools I will use to help me with Money & Creating Abundance are my worksheets and I have some Facebook groups and podcasts for support. I have to track my money – each and every penny.
My 2020 Money & Abundance habits include:
- Continue with comparing my actual monthly spending to my budgets for accountability.
- Implement the “envelope system” for my groceries and other discretionary spending.
- Login to my bank account weekly to check in on the state of affairs
- Take my lunch daily (this applies to Health/Wellness also)
- Limit my dining out and take-out to only 2-3 times a month (ties to Health/Wellness)
- Learn to love my new frugal lifestyle and creative hacks more than walking into a store.
- Continue to use and develop my free resources (library, free concerts, art festivals) when seeking Adventure.
Adventure/Discovery & New Friends. I need to return to trying new activities. By doing these new activities, I will meet new people and learn more about my new community. I need to learn how to create, nurture and build deeper, lasting friendships. My habits will include:
- Do things and plan things – spontaneity isn’t going to cut it.
- Keep trying MeetUp activities and groups
- Follow up when I meet new people
- Say yes when invited to outings
My goal is 3-4 activities (primarily new stuff) every month.
Accountability: There is no sense in creating new habits for this new portion of my journey unless I am willing to be accountable. I have to track things so I will be able to accurately gauge how I am doing.
For Health/Wellness, I will create a chart so I can track:
- How many weekly 30 minute workouts?
- How many times did I dine out?
- How many plant-based meals per week?
- How much meal prepping am I doing?
- Weekly weigh-ins and measurements including my journaling
- Seek one annual appointment in the following areas: annual physical, flu shot, optometrist, gyn, dermatologist, nutritionist and dentist.
For Money/Abundance, my accountability will be:
- Reconciling my budget versus actual spending
- Using my envelope system
- Tracking my debt reduction on a spreadsheet
For Adventure & Friends, my accountability will be:
- Keeping a calendar, a nice one, that shows my events (past, present & future)
- Making sure I follow up with the new folks I will be meeting
- Throw a party for myself at some point — nothing big, it can be anything, but by next Fall, I should be able to invite local folks to a get-together.
This new roadmap is up to me. I am the CEO of my life. I have to make the decisions and hold myself accountable. The buck stops here. This is the next phase of my journey. I am excited about it. It’s all about me. It’s all about being selfish.