So I was sent this monthly challenge for January by a friend. I loved it! It seemed so doable and right up my alley! “Lets do this!” my brain immediately yelled and I was super gung-ho about it.
Spoiler alert: I was not able to keep up. Another spoiler alert: not keeping up opened my eyes to what is not necessary or truly doable in my life and what is. It opened my eyes to the ebb and flow of the reality of life, and how I can still fit in self care into it and what that looks like for me.
Lets have an authentic breakdown of each of these monthly goals:
- Put effort in appearance: this was something I was already doing since last year when I started the Messy Bed Chronicles so it was easy to carry over.
- 45 minute workouts: it was unclear as to whether these needed to be every day, but I can tell you right now, that’s impossible with my schedule. What I found isn’t impossible is finding the time to workout. So every time I did workout this month, it’s been for 45 minutes. And it’s been amazing + so therapeutic to be running again. I didn’t have to make excuses about how busy I am, I just had to ask to be given the time. Who would have thought.
- Drink 2 liters of water daily: excited to report that I did this almost the entire month, an it radically improved my overall health. I didn’t wake up feeling like I couldn’t possibly function…unless I didn’t have enough water the day before. Game changer.
- Two solo dates: I really wanted this one to work. It’s what I had been craving for a while now, so I immediately got to work planning them. I wanted simple: coffee/breakfast at a cute place, reading my new book (see a couple of goals below), and then going shopping at TJ MAXX without a time limit (I always have to rush because I have work, or have to pick up Luna, or insert any other responsibility here). I’m a simple girl. Happy to report that I had this day. It was a lovely few hours just for me, and I loved it. I scheduled my next one that would look similar but include plant shopping. The week leading up to this second date, Luna had a very difficult time. We had to broach a lot of difficult topics with her and I felt like it was particularly tough for her. I know it was for me. I decided to sacrifice my solo date to take her out on one, and made it extra special (If you want to see what we did, you can find the reel I put together here). This made me realize that although working on yourself and making yourself a priority is a great concept to always carry with you, you also have to move to the backseat plenty for those you love, and that is OKAY too. Because in sharing that day with my daughter and knowing she felt loved, it filled up my love tank too (yes, I did use a Housewives reference). And maybe even more than sipping on expensive coffee in silence while reading a book without interruptions or buying the perfect Monstera.
- Buy yourself something nice: I’m going to be real honest here and tell you that I always buy myself things. I am a huge consumer and love to shop: in person or online. Something I don’t do often is buy myself something NICE (as in costly). I told myself I would this month. But it came in a different form. I didn’t buy myself a designer purse, or really nice shoes or a piece of furniture. I gifted myself the pure joy of travel and decided to expedite my passport after putting it on hold for the past 2 years (I’m not kidding). Nice things don’t have to fit into a certain category. Nice for you may have been a LV bag. Nice for me is as many plane tickets as possible. That is very nice.
- Read a self love book: I have a love/hate relationship with self help books. They usually make me feel worse because why can’t I do any of these things after so and so touts the most annoying line in the world: “If I can do it, so can you!” But I looked up reviews and snagged Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster. Here is pure honesty again. I only got 1/3 of the way through the book because I much rather sit on the couch with my husband every evening and actually talk to him. Or share one of our favorite shows together. And that’s okay. Because Tara was saying some wise stuff, but it was coming from the mouth of a 20-something single girl, and lets be honest…it was nothing I didn’t already know. It’s nice to have a reminder but also not nice to read how you can “fix your life” from someone that doesn’t balance running their own business, marriage, parenting, home life and a child in competitive sports without “a village.” I don’t need self love books in my life, and I found that out. I do want to incorporate more reading into my life, but have found infinite more joy in fiction. Specifically, YA romance novels. I’d say judge me, but I don’t care. I freaking love them and they make me happy. Find your happy, friends.
- Two “no social” media days: I literally do this all the time because my days are so hectic most of the time there are several days a month I never look at Instagram (the only social media I use). Easy.
- No phone usage after 9pm: so this is great, if you have time to use your phone at any other time. Unfortunately, by the time my work day is over, I’ve exercised, picked up, run errands and done all the mom things, I flop on the couch at…you guessed it: 9pm. That is exactly when I catch up with text messages, DM’s and the like. The habit I did pick up was once I am done “catching up,” I set my phone down on the couch for good for the rest of the evening.
- Only speak positive about yourself: probably the biggest challenge! Thankfully this has been in the works for a few months so I had some tools in my belt and when I felt the self loathing monster approaching, I would immediately tell it to go F off. Doing the work to accept every part of you – even the shitty ones – is the key. I kept thinking I attracted a certain kind of strange person until I had the eye opening revelation: I don’t attract them. I am one of those strange people. And that’s totally fine because I don’t want to be anyone else.
- Write yourself an appreciation letter: I did this on my phone, while sitting in a car waiting for Luna to finish a dance private. It was oddly so therapeutic. When your parents are not present to tell you they are proud (I say parents because it always feels like it is the most validating source – it shouldn’t be, but that’s a whole other post), you don’t hear your praises much. I take compliments very poorly like any other good millennial, but coming from myself this time, at 41, it felt legit. I actually believed it for a second. It made me realize that maybe I should be speaking to myself like this often. It doesn’t have to be a letter, but an inner monologue of love and praise instead of hate and criticism.
I’m really excited to jump into another month with all this new knowledge and also have decided to make my own, personal challenge for myself, tailored after what I’ve discovered after attempting this one. Looking forward to sharing a little bit more about all this on my podcast, My Favorite Thing, very soon!