It is a new month, a fresh start, and a chance to make some changes for the next 30 (well 28 this month) days. I always find January to be an overwhelming time and while I do try to set a goal or two and create a vision board, new years resolutions are not really my thing. For me, change is easiest in small doses and I have found that giving myself monthly challenges or goals is much more effective. Often times too these changes I make in my lifestyle do stick, and if they are something I did not enjoy, well I can ditch them at the end of the month.
The past few months have felt very heavy and overwhelming so my goals this month are centered around creating a healthier mindset and space in my life. I am the type of person who is always, go go go, so starting off this month in a Mercury Retrograde I saw this as an opportunity to slow down and to bring that energy into February. Earlier this year I had my birth chart read and then analyzed for what is to come in the next year and February was a time for me to put a plan together to execute the long term goals and dreams I have. So, I put together this list of habits I am going to try this month along with some goals I want to accomplish.
#1 Use my planner – I go through phases with my planner, some weeks I use it religiously and other weeks I do not touch it. In fact, I did not touch my planner until January 29th last month. So in February I am starting the practice of using my planner daily. I want to start my morning looking at my day and figuring out what I need to accomplish and when. Whether it be something as small as stop by the post office or even what meals I am going to eat that day. Using my planner always helps me feel more organized, for obvious reasons, but it also gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day knowing I checked off everything I needed to get done. Side note, I got my planner from Sugar Paper LA and it has been my favorite for the past two years, highly highly recommend!
#2 Don’t drink on weeknights – This one I am a little unsure about, but I wanted to give it a try. A few of my friends did dry-January which is something I admire but just do not want to subject myself too. I enjoy a glass of cab way too much to deprive myself of it for an entire month, especially a month with my birthday in it. I do have a tendency to have a glass of wine or a seltzer after a hard day at work though and honestly, it never makes me feel any better. Probably because alcohol is a depressant and I am already down at that point so no wonder it doesn’t actually help my mood. So in February I am reserving drinks for the weekend, when I can enjoy them wit friends or over a charcuterie board and movie night. And to fill my weeknights, I have been reading a book and eating chocolate almond bark and toasted vanilla marshmallows instead, which DEFINITELY help my mood!
#3 Workout 3 times a week – I know fitness goals are a huge part of January resolutions and I know a lot of people fall of the band wagon in the first few weeks. For myself, I underwent surgery at the end of December so working out really was not an option but that is about to change. I ordered a spin bike and am so excited to get a quick ride in a couple nights a week. My advice here is to start small, be realistic with yourself, what nights or mornings do you actually see yourself working out? For me it helps to pick the nights at the beginning of the week and write them in my planner. I am also so excited to get back to my yoga and meditation practice. Working out is such a big stress reliever and is something I know will help me feel more centered.
#4 Track my budget weekly – Okay, so I kind of started this last month using Mint but for me the technology was a little confusing with transfers and Venmo so this month I am trying out tracking by hand in an excel worksheet. I have my budget broke out into categories and an amount I would like to stick to for each category. Then I have each week written out and I will be going through on Sunday’s and adding what I spent in each category that week. At the end of the month I’ll be able to see where I stuck to my budget and where I didn’t and then reassess next month. As someone who loves to shop tracking my money is key and something I did not realize the importance of until very recently. It is a good feeling though knowing where my money is going and I feel like it makes me think harder about what I really want. Do I need to grab a takeout lunch or would I rather save that money for a nicer dinner out later in the month? This practice has helped me prioritize and feel accomplished.
#5 Write – one of my goals before I am 30 is to write a book, granted I am still 4 years out from that but it takes years to write a book so getting started now seems appropriate. Do I have any idea what this book will be about? No clue! But I picked up a new journal and set a goal to write a couple times a week and see where it takes me. My life is at such an odd point it feels like right now. I don’t know what I am doing career wise, I just moved into a new place but might be home shopping soon, and I just started going to therapy again! Needless to say, I feel a little lost in space at the moment and somehow writing always brings me back down.
So there you have it! My goals for February are all about doing things for myself that will better my headspace. I challenge you to create goals that will do the same for you and habits that you can try for the next month.