Tag Archives: new year’s resolutions

April Resolutions — How Did I Do?

Happy May, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out past months HERE.) Here’s how I did in April…

April Resolution #1. Spring clean my closets and drawers. 

I don’t know what it is but every Spring I get this terrible, insatiable urge to THROW EVERYTHING I OWN AWAY. Is that weird? Maybe it is something to do with the natural rhythms of the seasons. Hoarding everything away in a little nest during the Winter and then purging once the weather starts to get warmer. Whatever the case, my space starts to feel cluttered.

Instead of tossing stuff willy nilly, this year I evaluated what areas needed decluttering the most and focused my efforts. I hadn’t done a proper Kon Mari (ie. throw everything you own on your bed and go through it piece by piece) clothes clear out since moving to Florida and it was high time. So I definitely wanted to tackle my closet and dresser. Organizing my desk drawers has been on my To-do list foreeever, and so has our linen closet. So those went on the list too.

How did it go? Well, I Kon Mari’d the HECK out of my clothes and was able to rid my room of TWO TRASH BAGS full. (It still boggles my mind where this stuff comes from!) All the drawers are done…save for one pesky desk drawer that accumulates crap no matter what I do. (But doesn’t everyone have a crap drawer? Isn’t that like a law of LIVING?)

The linen closet still hasn’t happened. But there’s always this month!

 

Going forward: Declutter the dang linen closet! Oh, and actually transport those two trash bags that are in the trunk of my car to a donation location.

April Resolution #2. Examine spending habits through the lens of happiness. 

Recently, I signed up for a FREE Money + Happy Bootcamp through one of my fave blogs — Yes and Yes. The whole thing was chock-full of helpful advice about how to navigate spending habits while staying in tune with what brings you joy. (Sound helpful? You can sign up in the sidebar of the site.)

One exercise that really resonated with me asked us to take our bank statement and go at it with three highlighters. Pink, yellow, and green. The pink highlighter was for regrettable purchases. The yellow highlighter was for necessary purchases (like bills and groceries). And the green highlighter was for those purchases that brought about happiness.

Since taking the mini-course, I’ve kept up this highlighter rigmarole and have found the visual wildly helpful. And since I had data for the entire first quarter of the year, I thought April was the perfect time to crunch the numbers, evaluate how I did, and decide if there were changes I wanted to make going forward.

I pin-pointed a few trends. I got a clear picture of how much I’m spending and on what (as well as if the “what” brought me joy or regret).

 

Going forward: I will continue to go through my bank statements with highlighters every month and examine the results more thoroughly each quarter. I’ll try to get my pink purchases down and my green purchases as up as my bank account will allow. 😉

Alright friends, let’s keep things going in May!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Four months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!

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March Resolutions – How Did I Do?

Happy April, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out past months HERE.) Here’s how I did in March…

March Resolution #1. Up my comment game on other blogs. 

I read, or at least scroll and skim, a RIDICULOUS amount of blog posts each week. As I mention in my very first post ever, I’ve been a fan of the medium since the early days. I had an online journal in the early aughts and, when that faded into obscurity, I followed several lifestyle bloggers with cult-like consistency.

When I was settling on resolutions, I tried to find a balance of betterment within every aspect of my life. So when I reflected on how I could make positive changes in how I approach blogging, I realized I need to stop being a lurker and start joining the conversation. (Not to mention, according to The Secret, you get what you give. And I’m tryin’ to get more blog comments, too. #keepinitreal)

So in March, I joined a few blogger Facebook groups and have tried to engage with folks as much as possible. We trade comments and brainstorm collaborations. It’s been a lot of fun!

There are still a TON of blogs I visit on the regs that I don’t often (or ever) comment on. I hope they’re happy to let me continue lurking. Haha!

Going forward: I’ll continue to stay active in the blogger groups I’ve joined. I’ll find a few non-group, new-to-me homies and resolve to comment on their posts with regularity. I’ll respond to the comments on my own posts when I want to keep the conversation going!

March Resolution #2. Keep fresh flowers in the house. Don’t scrimp on the anticipation aspect of travel. 

Yes, I switched this resolution mid-month. Whoops! But hear me out… When planning out each month’s resolutions in my journal I thought committing to a nice grocery store bouquet of flowers on the regular would be a worthy pursuit. Fast forward to every time I went grocery shopping in the first week or so of March and I realized I needed to scrap this idea. As I picked up and put down bouquets and mulled over price tags, I came to the conclusion that these colorful blooms just wouldn’t bring me enough happiness to justify their expense. And I’m ok with that.

So! Did I accept defeat and call it quits on having 2 resolutions for March? NOPE! Back to the drawing board.

Knowing that I had two upcoming trips in April, I chose to work on something that I’ve recently noticed about myself. I’m not so good at the anticipation aspect of travel. It’s like I know I have an upcoming trip but I tell myself NOT to think about it until the time draws near. This means I’m missing out! According to a 2010 study,  just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it.

I think shying away from anticipation is a holdover from college speech & debate. We traveled to so many tournaments throughout the year that there wasn’t really enough time to put a whole lot of thought into the process ahead of time. We just packed our suitcases and off we went. And then we did again the next week.

But now! I’m leaning into the planning and anticipation of travel. Googling, asking for recommendations, packing lists, “to-do before I leave” lists, etc, etc!

Going forward: I won’t try to trick myself into thinking my trips are spontaneous…I’ll relish in all the happiness they can give me before I even embark!!!

Alright friends, let’s keep things going in April!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Three months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!

A great conversation starter…

Imagine: You’re catching up with a dear friend over a mug of something warm. You’ve already run through the past week and a half of activities, all the annoying things your boss has said recently, and your thoughts on a new-to-you podcast. You’re not ready to part ways just yet but…topics are waning.

What do you do?

May I make a recommendation? Why not ask…

What’s the best thing you’ve won?

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to ask more thought- or conversation-provoking questions, and this one has quickly become a favorite.

Ask your partner when you’re out on a date. Ask your co-workers in those just-got-to-work moments when no-one wants to actually start working just yet. Ask all the guests at a dinner-party and go around the room taking turns telling all. (Hey, it’s not bragging when everybody’s doing it!)

The answers may surprise you.

And YO! There’s no reason I have to keep my convo-startin’ questions IRL, is there? So I wanna know, dear reader (THAT’S YOU!): What’s the best thing you’ve won? COMMENT BELOW and tell me everything. 

February Resolutions – How Did I Do?

Happy March, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out my first month HERE.) Here’s how I did in February…

February Resolution #1. Cut down on correspondence response times. 

I’ve developed a really annoying habit over the years. All too often, when receiving a text message or an email (especially one that most definitely warrants a response), I wait to respond.

Truth be told, in my earlier years I had a bad habit of popping off notes and emails when I was way too angry to approach them in an effective (read: sane) way. And so maybe in an attempt to slow my roll on that habit, I wandered into the territory of taking my time with ALL my messaging.

So here’s what happens: I get an email. Obviously I read it pretty much as soon as it hits my inbox (because let’s be real we’re all attached to our phones and laptops). ….And then I let it sit. Even when it just warrants a couple sentences that I could easily fire back and be done with! Sometimes I even create a bullet point on my daily To-do list JUST TO RESPOND TO THAT EMAIL.

And I’ll bet you can guess what else sometimes happens. Yep. I forget to respond…completely. *cringe*

Now, this problem mostly existed in terms of personal, as opposed to professional, messaging. But sometimes those lines are blurred, and a responsible/healthy approach in BOTH realms seems like a worthy pursuit. I don’t want to let an email with a potential client get buried in my inbox anymore than I want to hurt a friend by not responding to their text for days on end.

This month, my approach has been pretty simple. If I can respond to an email or text right away…I do. But Beth, you might be asking, does this mean you’re constantly interrupted throughout the day? Well dear reader, I too had similar worries. But they were unwarranted. Because this new approach also involves checking my phone and my inbox at set intervals throughout the day. Instead of constantly. Life changing, y’all.

Going forward: I’ll continue to respond to messages as soon as I can (with the understanding that not every email needs to be perfect, just sent). I’ll check my messages less frequently. I’ll gently check back in with slow responders because HEY, I’ve been there.

February Resolution #2. Ask more thought- or conversation-provoking questions.

Similar to Resolution #1, Resolution #2 is all about relying on technology less in order to communicate MORE. Hear me out.

I believe the art of conversation takes practice. And I kinda think past generations were more aware of this then what we got goin’ on presently. So many of the conversations I find myself in revolve around Person A telling Person B about something they saw in an article online or heard about on social media. Not really opinions or insights so much as, “Well, I read about XYZ…” (Do I sound like an old fuddy-duddy yet?)

I think that as water-cooler communicators and happy hour orators, WE CAN DO BETTER. I know I can do better.

So this month, in an effort to spark more enlightening and entertaining conversations, I resolved to ask more thought-provoking questions. I’d much rather find out about where you were during the O.J. Simpson car chase or ask you what you think your dreams would be like if you were blind (<– real convos I’ve had recently that were AWESOME!) then hear about how tired you are today or what so-and-so tweeted. (Spoiler Alert: We’re ALL tired and I don’t actually care.) 

Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t discuss the things we consume online. I LOVE sharing information! But I want FOLLOW-UP questions. What did you think about it? How can we apply this information to our lives? Do you *gasp* disagree? When it comes to everything going on in our (broken) world right now, I want a CONVERSATION not an echo chamber of information.

Going forward: I’ll remind myself that good conversation takes practice and that little inquiries are a way to foster fun communication. I’ll ask follow-up questions. I’ll answer them, too!

Alright friends, onward to March!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Two months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!

January Resolutions – How Did I Do?

brbjshca8d4-brooke-lark

Happy February, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. Here’s how I did in January…

January Resolution #1. Notice when I’m partaking in unproductive screen time and pick up a book instead. 

Have you ever set an intention to minimize time spent in front of screens? ME TOO. And guess what…that sort of vague resolution has never worked for me. How much is “too much” screen time? What if the time spent in front of the screen is bringing me joy or earning me money? I need something that gets a bit more to the root of the habit I’m trying to change.

For me, that’s tapping in to when I know I’m being unproductive on the computer. It’s noticing when I’m scrolling mindlessly through my social media feeds on my phone. And then offering myself a solution–pick up a book.

So how did this new take on an old resolution work out? Not bad. But not as well as I’d hoped.

I found a great “red flag” for unproductive screen time. It’s a little embarrassing but I’ll share it with you in case it might be helpful:

When I visit websites or apps in a rotation. (*cringes*)

If I’m checking my phone and I look at my email…and then Instagram…and then Facebook…and then Snapchat…and then find my way BACK TO MY EMAIL. OH MY GOD, PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE BERGER AND PICK UP A BOOK.

That’s a habit I took great strides in eradicating in January. However, around the 20th of the month (hint, hint) my screen time started to ramp up again. But that might not be such a bad thing. And it hasn’t all been unproductive.

Going forward: I’ll continue to monitor my social media // website loops. I’ll keep a book close by. I’ll take mental health breaks away from my devices when the news becomes to much.

January Resolution #2. Yoga every day. Take the day off if my body needs it but not when my mind tries to talk me out of it. 

I’m low-key obsessed with Yoga With Adriene and her January challenges are always a great excuse to start the year off on the right foot.

I’m also someone who sticks to exercise when I make it a daily habit. If I planned to work-out 3 times a week that shit would never happen. 30 minutes of yoga (nearly) ever single day on the other hand? That I can do.

Sure, I sometimes try to talk myself out of this practice. Especially when I’m feeling grumpy or lazy or “not in the mood.” But here’s the thing. I never feel WORSE after I do it. I usually feel better. So, this month, I didn’t let my mind talk me out of working out.

I did, however, allow myself space to sit days out if my muscles were too sore or if I’d had a crazy, long day of work. I also didn’t force myself to practice yoga if my body wanted another workout. (Um, hello!? Sometimes ya gotta do this one.)

When I did show up for a quick flow? I felt like I was showing up for myself. My body nourished, my mind calmed.

All in all, I rolled out my mat and practiced 30+ minutes of yoga 25 times in January.

Going forward: I’ll continue to show up for myself on the mat. I’ll take note of when my mind is trying to cheat me from gettin’ something good. I’ll incorporate other types of exercise (or other yoga instructors) into the rotation.

Alright friends, onward to February!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? One month down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!

How To Stick To Your 2017 Goals

you-do-you-calendar

Did you get a pretty 2017 wall calendar for Christmas? Still trying to figure out the best way to use it because you are happily married to Google Calendar (or iCal or your bullet journal or phone reminders)? Why not display it some place prominent and use it to track your goals in the months ahead.

It can be easy to stick to resolutions right off the bat. Early days and all that. But it can get a little trickier as your enthusiasm starts to wane. For a jolt of accountability, I love the idea of picking three goals for the year and buying a stockpile of three different types of sticker. Correspond the stickers to a goal and award yourself one for each day you complete your goal. Your goals for 2017 may be big — like training for a marathon or saving money for a down payment on a house — or they might be slight — like packing  your lunch more often or apologizing less. Either way, there’s something so satisfying about watching those stickers add up.

I’ve got my eye on these gold stars (always a classic), hearts, and EMOJIS(!). 2017 – me and my stickers are comin’ for ya!!!

Have you set any goals for the new year? How do you hold yourself accountable? 

(The calendar pictured above is from the Etsy shop cobblestonestudio2 and you can purchase one HERE. 10% of the proceeds from these calendars go to Mental Health America. Which is awesome.)