January is over! Could it have been any longer? I actually didn’t feel the lull until this week when my body suddenly decided it was just done. After a nap on Wednesday and a near nap on Thursday, I knew something was definitely up. Thankfully, today has turned out with slightly revived energy and I’m ready to look forward to February.
Towards the beginning of January, I posted my Rule of Life, as well as about 12 habits and goals that I wanted to work towards over the course of the year. For January, I chose to focus on 3 of these habits/goals:
- Greatly reduce the amount of added sugar that I eat
- Do some form of yoga daily
- Build a wardrobe of primarily sustainable, organic, fair trade clothing
Today, I want to look back on how I did with these 3 challenges and look forward to new challenges for February.
1 | Sugar
I thought I did exceptionally well at this one! After a few months of really gorging myself on all the sweets, I thought it would be nice to reset and prove to myself that I’m the master over what I choose to eat. And so, for January, I had no sweets. The only sugar allowed in my diet was: a tiny bit of honey in my tea; an occasional swirl of maple syrup in my fruit or granola; and whatever was added to a packaged/premade food. To reduce the sugar in that third one, I tried not to do too much eating out and cooked a lot of home cooked meals, but I decided not to be too much of a tyrant; so, when friends wanted to go out for a local pizza, I didn’t say no, despite the fact that I’m sure sugar factored in the tomato sauce. This wasn’t so much about eliminating sugar in all its forms as it was just mastering my mindset. What I found is this: I can say no to things that I think I can’t and I don’t miss them nearly as much as I expected to. There were many, many occasions that I was presented an opportunity to snack on sweet junk foods and even an occasion for homemade pancakes; but, I was able to quite easily say no to all. Going forward, I want to remember this control that I have proven I possess. I’m going into a weekend of not one, but three birthday parties plus the super bowl. I know that I’ll have birthday cake, and I’m okay with that. But I want to go forward choosing what is truly worth it and not just eating sugar for the sake of eating it.
2 | Yoga Daily
As I write this, it’s January 31st. I have one day left of Yoga with Adrien’s Home 30 Day Yoga Journey. I’ve attempted Adrien’s January 30 day yoga challenge every year for the last… 3 or 4 years now. This will be the first time I’ve completed it. I’m not going to lie – it was hard. Life gets very busy and it would have been SO easy to just skip it and catch up the next day. But, I know myself and I know that I would have eventually had so much catch up to do that I would just quit altogether. And so, this January found me doing my daily yoga at midnight on quite a few days. It found me dashing to the mat between other responsibilities, squeezing it in. But, it also found my doing it rather happily. Even on the days I really didn’t want to, I always left feeling better. I also gave myself permission this year to truly modify as needed. So, yesterday, after spending two days a bit under the weather, I trooped off to the bedroom to “get it over with” before I succumbed to bed. I had been nearly falling asleep in my rocking chair, my husband’s concern showing as I “wilted” in front of him. Once on my mat, I gave myself some freedom. When Adriene moved into plank, I moved to half plank. When she encouraged us into down dog for a rest, I sat back in child’s pose. When, towards the end, I didn’t know if my legs could handle it anymore, I sank into a squat and practiced spinal flexion while she guided us through forward folds and halfway lifts. Even with all the modifications I made, I crawled off the mat feeling refreshed. When I started talking to my husband again shortly after, he commented “You seem like you feel better.” And I did. So, yes. Daily yoga is a win. I don’t know in what form I’ll continue with it, but I definitely know I want to. I signed up for The Yoga Abbey again, determined to make it worth my money this time around and I spent some time going through all of my favorite YouTube practices, making playlists. We’ll see how it goes.
3 | Capsule Wardrobe
Working on my wardrobe, quite frankly, stresses me out. I’ve had a PDF open in Adobe Illustrator during this process, constantly screenshotting articles of clothing, adding them to my board, reviewing, analyzing, and either purchasing or moving on. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I’ve found that old habits die hard, as something pops up from my ThredUp saved searches and I think, “Oh, it’s only $10 and it’s organic and it’s cute, I should grab it.” No, no, no. I’m starting to realize just how long of a process this could prove to be. Giving myself both a very strict budget AND a very strict allowable fabric/company pool to choose from has made this very difficult. I don’t know that my original time frame will pan out. BUT, as with the sugar and the yoga, I’m realizing that I can take control. I can defy those urges and make conscious decisions. Right now, my capsule looks something like this:
There are loads of holes and I have loads of questions about what I’m going for, but it’s coming (I think!)
Now, onto February! This month, I’m going to focus on:
- Walking 5 times/weekly
- Meditating daily
- Taking one true Sabbath a month
I think most of these are pretty self explanatory. I’m planning to use resources from The Yoga Abbey to aid with my meditations, using both “true” meditations as well as practices like lectio divina to spend some time in quiet each day. As far as the true Sabbath is concerned, I want to choose one day this month (likely a Monday or Friday, since those are the days I work from home) to be entirely off. Without the computer, without social media, without chores, without work. I want to spend that time walking, reading, writing, napping, or whatever else seems freeing. I would like this to become a monthly practice, so February is hopefully just the start!
I’m proud of the intentions I lived by in January and am really excited to try something new in February, while continuing to practice variants of January’s challenges. I’ll be back around in March to check in and decide what’s next! Until then…