Happy new years! I hope you had a good night, with lots of laughs and other joyous things. The husband and I spent the evening at home, just the two of us, with some good wine and food. Apparently I drank too much, and was miserable the entire day after, which is why this post is only getting done now 🙂
Being a new year, I thought it would be nice to write down what I’ve learned this year, and some of my goals for 2017. (wall of text incoming – hah)
What I learned in 2016
Working out is awesome!
I started working out casually in June, once or twice a week. When we went to the states in August, I could see how much my muscles had grown when I looked at pictures of me. So I thought: “If there is a visible difference in how I look, by just working out casually, then imagine how quickly I could see a difference if I worked out strictly!”. When we got home in the middle of August, I started working out steadily between 2 and 3 times a week, following this program. It’s great because I can work out from home, using only a pull up bar (and a yoga mat, but that’s not strictly necessary). I was unemployed from the time we got home from the states, so I had plenty of time to work out in the morning, stress free from having to get out of the door at a set time.
And I felt great! I don’t think I have ever felt better about my body. If someone had told teenage me how easy it was to build muscles, I would have started right then and there. It’s such an amazing confidence booster to see your efforts giving fruit.
Unfortunately, I have been terrible at keeping up with it during December, but I plan to get back on track in 2017.
USA is amazing
This year was the first time I went to USA. We visited my parents in the San Francisco area, and spent some overlapping time with both of my brothers and their SO’s (read all about it here). I had heard lots of amazing things about the states (and California especially), but damn, I don’t think I was prepared for the great weather (a dry heat that can be cool in the evenings), the wicked cool landscapes down highway 1 and the super friendly people. I am definitely coming back to the United States to visit other areas, when we actually have some money to spend on such “luxury” things.
Routine is everything when it comes to keeping a clean home
We moved to our new apartment in April, and I was determined to try and keep it as clean as possible, at all times. My mood is very dependent on the state of my home, so the more mess I have, the worse I feel – I can honestly feel myself get kinda depressed when my house is too messy, so I loose sight of the big picture, and I feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of cleaning it would take to reach some kind of tidiness, so I end up procrastinating the cleaning, and then it just gets worse, until we have visitors coming – then I sprint around for hours trying to reduce the mess (only to settle on some kind of semi clean).
But with the move, I made a schedule – a weekly and a monthly. So each day of the week a have a small chore to do, like vacuuming, doing laundry or cleaning the bathroom, and every month have a list of things to deep clean in a specific room in the apartment (rotating the rooms each month, so the entire cycle is 6 months, since we have 6 rooms). The monthly list has things like cleaning windows, dusting areas that aren’t dusted regularly, and emptying areas that are neglected. And since it’s divided into each room, I don’t get overwhelmed by having to clean 7 windows at once for example.
Since getting these lists done, I feel so much more on top of my cleaning, and my mental health. Sure, sometimes a chore gets pushed to the next day, or next week, but as long as it gets done on time most of the time, I feel so much better. When we get visitors, I still run around like a mad man for hours, but now it’s to make it look nice, and not just to make it look “good enough”.
Generally I want to get back into working out and eating healthy – December has a tendency to mess up any healthy living for me. But there are 2 major points that I want to focus more on going forward.
Work on writing more
This means both on the blog, and on creative writing.
I feel like I have neglected the blog for several months after becoming unemployed (which is totally opposite what I thought would happen. I thought more time = more blogging). So I want to start writing more, maybe even commit to 1 or 2 post per week (I have material for several months of post already, so I definitely need to get started).
The husband and I had a conversation in the fall where I remembered that I wanted to attend journalist school so I could become a writer, which was a huge dream of mine for many years growing up – but I kinda forgot about until that convo. After that I attended some online courses in creative writing on Coursera (that I still need to finish before I forget everything I learned) and found out that it takes a but-load of training to get anywhere decent. So writing short stories, or “writing prompts” on reddit, or even working on a bigger piece, is something I want to do more regularly.
Get more structured when I’m at home
I love making todo lists, but I get so discouraged when I don’t manage to do the things I have written down, so I want to get better at actually doing the things I plan to. Since being unemployed it has gotten worse – I sometimes end up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or another tv show) the entire day. Last year I bought a paper calendar with a day per page and it helped some, but there is definitely room for improvement.
I would love to plan out my day with timeslots for different task, like blog writing from 9AM to 10AM, creative writing from 10AM to 11AM and so on, but I have trouble estimating how long a task will take. But I guess it will come with experience.
Wow, apparently I had a lot on my mind – the post just kept getting longer and longer 🙂
So that’s my thoughts – do you have any goals for 2017?