I’ve read about a million 2013 resolutions and goals. Instead of goals or resolutions, I’ve got things I’m focusing on, but, let’s be real, it’s January of 2013. Call it what you want — “goals”, “themes”, or “foci” — all of these are fancy names for the same thing — new year’s resolutions. I’m not going to be one of those jackasses that clogs the gym for the first 3 weeks of January whilst chasing that goal I had no intention of ever achieving.
But I am assigning this theme to 2013: simplify.
And what better day to cement my plans to simplify than the day that I start grad school? I’m taking 2 classes, and working full time. Simplification of my current routine is necessary.
I’m simplifying eating.
Eating should be pleasurable and fulfilling; eating shouldn’t be a chore, and it shouldn’t elicit feelings of guilt, remorse, or anxiety. I’ve spent most of the last 28 years meticulously analyzing everything that went in my mouth, and always feeling empty. No. More.
In 2013, I will not be tracking anything — not calories, fat grams, carbs, or sugar. I’m going to eat when I’m hungry.
I value my health, and the health of the environment, so I’m planning to eat mostly plants, organic whole foods, and humanely treated and locally grown animals/food, whilst avoiding grains and sugar — mostly. BUT, I’m not going to deny food that I truly want to eat based on these confines. If I mostly eat this way, my health and the health of the environment will be positively impacted, but if eating this way turns into a mandated chore, my mental and physical health will suffer.
I want to simplify my finances.
I implemented a spreadsheet system to help me budget and learn how to properly use a credit card, and have since realized those goals. It’s time to simplify my system to meet my current needs. So, instead of my current method of keeping all my receipts and checking all my bank accounts to enter into my spreadsheet, I’ll use one credit card or cash, and keep receipts only for cash purchases. I’ll check my statement and enter things from the statement and the receipts into my spreadsheet. The act of typing in my purchases has proven to keep me more accountable to my budget than just looking at the same purchases on a statement or on mint.com, so the spreadsheet is staying.
I’m going to keep exercise simple.
Twenty minutes a day. I can do whatever I want for exercise. I could go for longer than 20 minutes if I’m enjoying myself, and I can take a rest day if I need. No more meticulously planned workouts sucking the fun out of exercise and leaving me full of anxiety. Instead, I’ll have my bag of workout clothes/equipment with me most of the time so I’m ready for action when the mood strikes. When I have an end goal in mind, like a race, I’ll need to do a few planned workouts, but when I don’t have anything I’m training for, then why act like I’m training?
I vow to simplify my cleaning routine.
Cleaning is a headache. We — the boyfriend and myself, with the dog barking at the vacuum — usually clean when we have to, which translates to when a guest (that cares if our place is clean) is visiting. So, instead of letting things get grossly dirty, and cramming all the cleaning into a day-long clean-fest, I’m going to clean a little bit every day, and will try to do one major cleaning activity each weekend. Our place should be cleaner because we’re constantly doing something to clean it, and the work is
more pleasurable less of a pain in the ass.
I’m going to keep crafting simple and pleasurable.
No more sweatshopping items to sell. I will craft when I feel like making something, and I will make things for the joy of making them. As a result, I’ll be giving more things away, and making a lot of things for myself. And that’s okay. I no longer need the extra income (which actually isn’t extra income anyway as my craft business consistently shows a loss each year), so why bother making stuff to sell? I’ve got a great full-time job and semi-regular freelance design jobs (thanks to a lot of fabulous ladies spreading my work and name).
I must simplify my social life.
This is probably the most important (and unnecessarily complicated) thing on this list. My online social life is crazy-busy. The wrong kinds of online socializing don’t make me happy. Facebook updates about how much others’ lives “suck” are annoying (and petty). Photos of hot bods and others’ training progress make me feel bad about myself. Mountains of unsolicited advice about how I should be living my life have inspired me change directions a million times in the last year. Add in the 450+ blogs that I follow and the fact that my blog and social media outlets have started to feel like a job — it’s a recipe for disaster.
Not only am I going to be more mindful of things I hate reading when I’m writing my own posts (and instead of apologizing for them, I won’t write them), I’m going to revisit my blog subscriptions, and only use the social media outlets that I really enjoy (twitter — #simply2013, pinterest — to bookmark things, not to interact, spotify, and instagram). I quit following blogs that I don’t normally interact with, by commenting on, or pinning from, or those not written by bloggers I know in real life who write things I truly enjoy reading.
I’m going to simplify my IRL friendships by not planning get togethers. Planning them is a pain in the ass, and most of the time half the people don’t show up anyway. We don’t need to plan a huge thing in order to get together. What about coffee, walks, hanging out in my living room playing games or listening to records, or just gabbing like girls do? My apartment will be clean in 2013, and I should have more time on my hands since I won’t be reading 450 blogs, sweatshopping crafts, or forcing myself to run 50 miles a day. I’ve lost touch with most of my friends who live near me and it’s sad, but I think that’s part of life — we don’t have much in common anymore, and part of that is because we don’t get together much. We used to do “girlie Sundays” and I would love to start doing those again, and if not weekly, then a once-a-month guaranteed, same-day-of-the month get together.
There are tons of other things I’d love to simplify this year, but this post has gotten beyond simple, so I’m going to leave it at these major things, or else I’ll have way too many things to think about. Fortunately, most of these things will be really easy because they’ll require less work to simplify than the amount of work I’m putting into them in their current state.
What would you like to simplify in your life?