(Trigger Warning: this post could be triggering to those who have had experience with eating disorders.)
Early in 2013, I decided life was very complicated and decided to try my best to simplify things. I even tried to implement the theme “simplify” as my mantra for 2013. I am the kind of person that starts projects and never finishes them, but I decided I should see how I did with my #simplify2013 goals, even though they weren’t always top-of-mind.
In 2013, I SIMPLIFIED EATING.
I said that in 2013, I would not be tracking anything — not calories, fat grams, carbs, or sugar. I would to eat when I was hungry.
I did not only meet this goal, I exceeded it. I found out I had food allergies, so eating became complicated again for a while, but once I got the hang of the allergies, eating became second nature. It’s funny that we put so much emphasis, time, and effort into what we put into our bodies, when it’s simple: just eat real food.
In 2013 I attempted to SIMPLIFY MY FINANCES.
I used to use a spreadsheet system, but decided in 2013 that it was redundant since I put everything on a credit card and I have a statement. Boy, was I naïve. What I didn’t realize was that although my spreadsheet system IS redundant, the act of entering in all my expenditures keeps me up to date with how much money I actually have and how much I can spend in the remainder of the month. I kept watching my savings account peter away month by month, even though I had reduced my bills (rent went down, car paid off, and reduced my student loan payment). This year I’m going back to my trusty spreadsheet because it clearly works for me.
I vowed to keep EXERCISE SIMPLE in 2013.
The theme for 2013 basically was this: If I don’t have anything I’m training for, then why act like I’m training?
I became increasingly annoyed with the kill-yourself attitude of bootcamp-style workouts, and the matched escalation in desire for fit bodies. The desire for fit bodies is a replacement for the desire for skinny bodies. Neither desire is healthier than the other. It’s no healthier to be super fit than it is to be super skinny if the things you do to get there are equally unhealthy for you.
Instead of carefully orchestrated workout routines, I tried to exercise for 20 minutes a day. I stuck to this mostly, but ended up resting a lot because of various injuries. My workout routine is much simpler now than it was in 2012, and I’m seeing marked increase in results. I’m seeing strength gains, and for the first time I’m seeing an increase in flexibility. I’ve learned to be patient with myself and that good things come to those who work hard and focus. I unfortunately did not run my marathon last year, but I know now that I can and will run another one someday.
Coincidentally, when I simplified eating by not dieting, and simplified my workout routine by not exercising so damn much, I lost weight and am more fit (feeling AND looking).
I tried to SIMPLIFY MY CLEANING ROUTINE in 2013.
I said I would clean something every day. I totally ignored this whole aspect of my plan. But, I just moved to a place where there is no dishwasher, so I’m washing my dishes as I use them, which usually leads to me cleaning something else. I also don’t have a TV, so I’ve got so much more time on my hands to do those tasks that I used to loathe. I’m finding pleasure in getting the little things done.
In 2013 I wanted to keep my CRAFTING SIMPLE AND PLEASURABLE.
No more sweatshopping items to sell. I didn’t sell one damn thing in 2013. In fact, I think I can count the number of things I made on my hands and feet. I haven’t been able to get my sewing machine out and make anything for fun. The sewing machine still says “work” to me. Hopefully someday soon I’ll move past that, but for now I’m having fun messing with art supplies that I’ve hoarded since college, and I’ve been knitting lots of little things.
I wanted to SIMPLIFY MY SOCIAL LIFE in 2013.
I kept this section as written because I think I need to be reminded of this: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 went round and round with this in 2013, and when I noticed some of my blogger friends doing the same was the time that I finally was able to take the step back that I needed to take.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.
I somewhat succeeded in this. We quit planning get-togethers, but I didn’t see my friends more often. I had some success with one of my friends, who I saw almost once a month, but now that I’m writing this I realize I haven’t seen her for a while, so I should probably see what she’s doing in the next couple of weeks. I spent a ton of time with a newer friend who’s in town, and who actually makes herself available even though she has a pretty jam-packed schedule. I think in 2014 I’m going to come to terms with the realization that friendships change and not let it bother me that some of my friends don’t make time for me anymore.
All in all, I think I did pretty well in 2013. I hope to keep up the positive changes in 2014.
Did you make goals in 2013? How did you do?