2019: The year I get smart

‘Tis the season for making resolutions.

For me, sticking to resolutions has almost always been impossible. They’re unattainable goals, like “This year I’m going to get my life together.” What does that even mean? Inevitably I get overwhelmed or discouraged with these huge, lofty goals and two weeks into the year I just give up and keep doing the same things I’ve been doing, and while I’m a very intelligent person, that’s not the smartest way to go through life.

So, this year, I decided that rather than try to tackle all of these insane, insurmountable goals, I’m going to focus on just being smarter. With my time, money, health, writing… basically everything. I’m making small changes that will (hopefully) result in bigger changes down the road.

Time

I’m not good with time management. I’m actually really bad at it. It’s been a problem since I was a kid, and I never learned how to change my time-wasting habits. It’s why I never managed to turn assignments in on time, and effectively torpedoed my intended career as a journalist.

Now that I’m really, truly, an adult, it’s something I need to change, and I know this. Working from home doesn’t really help since I can roll out of bed, walk across my apartment and go to work. I don’t have to plan much, I can sleep in, basically it’s a lazy person’s dream. It also means that I don’t really have a daily schedule or any kind of structure, and I’m realizing that structure is something I need.

So, I’m setting an alarm. I bought a planner and I’ve been scheduling time for work, downtime, etc. I’ve been planning posts, which I’ll touch on more later.

Money

This is a big one.

I’ve never been good with money, and now that I’m in a place where I can pay my bills and occasionally still have money left over, I should start working towards some financial goals, like paying off my student loans. That would be nice.

Smart-buy

While this relates to my financial goals, it’s also related to simplifying and decluttering my life. I have a lot of crap. I have a weakness for makeup, toys, and cute nerd shirts. A lot of my stuff comes to me secondhand so it’s not as expensive or wasteful, but I still own way too much stuff.

So this year I’m going to attempt to use and enjoy the things I already have without acquiring more. The things I can’t use, don’t fit me, or have been in a box for the last five years are being tossed or donated, regardless of how emotionally attached I am to it or how convinced I am that I might need it again some day. The only exceptions I’m making are for a select few childhood toys, some antique books, and some of my old journals. There’s comedy gold in those books.

I’m trying not to be too restrictive about the things I can and can’t buy, since I’m contrary and too many rules will make me rebel, but this is where the “smart” part of this plan comes in. With the exception of things I go through quickly (brow products, mascara, body wash), I don’t need anything. I have backups on top of backups of my favorite products, since I buy them any time they’re on sale, and my makeup collection is more than adequate to get me through the year. Even my perfume collection. something I hardly use, is sufficient for the next year.

This means that I’ve canceled all of my subscriptions. Yes, every single one. Goodbye Boxycharm and FabFitFun, I’ll miss you. I’ve unsubscribed from the bulk of the promotional emails I receive every day. I’m being really selective about the content I watch on YouTube, sticking mainly to tutorials, panning videos and declutters and actively avoiding hauls and reviews. So far, so good.

Health

This one is pretty simple: when I get sick, I will go to the damned doctor. I’ll find a therapist in Albany. I won’t put off things that I know I need to take care of, like blood work and refilling prescriptions. Avoiding these things is dumb and I do it because I hate doctors and want so badly to be a normal, healthy human. But I’m not. I have to accept that.

Work

Working from home is difficult sometimes. There’s so much stuff at home to distract me, and it’s even worse when Dan is here. If he’s home and awake I’d rather hang out with him than work, obviously. As a result I end up starting my day late, which means I end really late, which means that all I want to do when I finish is go to bed. It doesn’t leave much room for the other things I want to do with my day.

So I need to be better about adhering to a schedule and sequestering myself in my office when it’s work time. I also need to recognize when a change of scenery is going to help my productivity. I can work anywhere that there’s WiFi, so occasionally I put on real pants and venture out into the world, and that change helps me focus.

Writing

Writing is something I need to do in order to feel relaxed and whole. Not want, need. I’m a writer, and I’ve finally come to terms with that.

This means that I need to carve out time to actually write, something I haven’t done in a very long time. I’m not just talking about blogging; I love my blog and it’s been a fantastic creative outlet for me over the last 18 months. It’s not something I plan to abandon. But I would like to spend some time writing other things. Short stories maybe, or picking up some freelance work. Even if I just spend an hour a day typing stream of consciousness nonsense, it’s still writing and I’m still exercising my word muscles.

With regard to the blog, I’ve realized that the most time consuming part is coming up with post ideas. I haven’t been in the habit of planning posts; I just sit down and start writing. Occasionally my well of ideas runs dry or I don’t have time to sit down and really figure out what I want to say, and that’s when I get inconsistent with my posts. That’s not great. So now, I have a spreadsheet. I can’t even believe it. It’s got post topics, dates, links, and gives me an idea of where to start when I sit down to write. I kind of hate that I didn’t think of it before. I’ve also been thinking about goals for the blog and other projects I might want to work on, but that’s overwhelming so it’s on the back burner for now.

Are you someone who makes resolutions? What do you want to accomplish this year?

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9 thoughts on “2019: The year I get smart

  1. If it makes you feel better, none of us “normal, healthy humans” are really that healthy either. Or, godforbiddit, normal. πŸ˜€ Having said that, though, going to the doctor is really, truly a smart thing to do. I’m rooting for you, sweetie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done for being honest with yourself and trying to effect real change! All big changes start small. Once the smaller changes become habit, add another level of change and keep working towards your goal(s) – you can do it! Make sure to set intermittent goals so you can reward yourself – and make the rewards worth attaining the goals (e.g., working M-F for your intended hours gets you a nice dinner out with Dan Friday night, etc.). Update us on your goals through periodic blog posts once per month or once per quarter to hold yourself accountable. It’s too easy to say you’ll let us know how it goes once we hit 2020, but it may very well keep you in line if you feel like you’re confessing a sin by admitting you didn’t accomplish one or more changes along the way. Honesty, accountability and rewards – a winning combo!

    Liked by 1 person

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