Thursday, January 21, 2016

Coulon's Happiness Project 1.1-Boost Energy

Happiness Project 1.1-- Boost Energy

In my own personal Coulon Happiness Project, following the themes Gretchen Rubin lays out in her book the Happiness Project, See my original post on the Happiness Project, I am resolving to boost my energy! Although I think, this was largely accomplished last year when I resolved to eat more healthfully and start routinely exercising. It took me a while to get in the habit, but I finally did. Be that as it may, I think we can always grow and improve. As Rubin says in the last chapter of the book "You hit a goal, but you keep a resolution" So my goal was to eat more healthy and start exercising everyday. But goals can mark an ending or a finish line, and I didn't want to end or finish exercising, I wanted to keep it up! Here is quick excerpt from the book contrasting the goals vs. resolutions:

"It's something you resolve to do everyday, forever. Striving toward a goal provides the atmosphere of growth so important to happiness, but it can be easy to get discouraged if reaching the goal is more difficult than you expected.......with Resolutions, the expectations are different. Each day I try to live up to my resolutions. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate and fresh opportunity. I never expect to be done with resolutions, so I don't get discouraged when they stay challenging, Which they do"

January's Resolutions the Happiness Project:

Go to sleep earlier
Exercise better
Toss, Restore, and Organize
Tackle a naggling task
Act more energetic

I continue to resolve to eat healthfully and continue daily exercise. I don't get it right everyday. Believe me,  I failed miserably at making protein pancakes the other day! I don't get a sweaty, spin-my-head around workout everyday, but I do try to do some type of workout daily even if only a 10-minute ab workout. I noticed that as I incorporated healthier foods in my life and got in a daily 30-minute workout, I had an overall incredible boost in energy. I usually average about 6 hours of sleep a night. I know that now because I monitor my sleep with my new handy, dandy Fit-bit.  I know I need more sleep, but at the same time I don't feel sleep-deprived. In fact, I feel very energized. Probably the best energized I have felt in a long time! I also never nap. I am not much on napping because I noticed every time after a nap I felt this "sleep inertia". I became more drowsy and actually felt more tired and cranky after a nap rather than restored and rejuvenated. So I felt like the first two resolutions I could simply resolve to keep doing, I was already in a habit of it now.

However, the last 3 resolutions to boost energy, I could definitely resolve to do better.

Toss, Restore, and Organize:

Toss: Why do we have so much stuff, and why does it seem to keep accumulating!!

I was off of work on Monday for Martin Luther King Day and decided I would declutter my closets and lurking items that really was serving no purpose and brought no joy. I do this periodically throughout the year when I have some time alone at home. I would say I do a good declutering sweep three times throughout the year, and also right after Christmas, so essentially with each change in season (of course, that is if I lived somewhere that actually has all 4 seasons, but you get the point). So declutering was done after Christmas, but I still felt like we had too many "lurkers". We now had new stuff as well since it was right after Christmas. So "out with the old and in with new, go ahead, and toss a few"! I was able to accomplish my decluttering task on my day off in about an hour. Am I just that efficient!?NO!! Here's why...

Almost 2 years ago, I came across an intriguing blog called the Loving Simple Living. See blog here. I started reading this woman's story about how and why she and her family (2 kids) down-sized from a 2000-sq foot home to a 1 bedroom apartment. In fact, they first went to a larger apartment before down-sizing even further into a smaller one. It took them less than a day to pack up to make the move between the 2 apartments. I couldn't believe it! She has book and a handbook describing how they got rid of things by donating, selling, or giving things away. She also describes what they do, in fact, still own and why they chose to keep those particular items. After being extremely motivated by her blog, I went on to read other stories of simple or minimalist living. Its amazing how these people find genuine peace, freedom, and contentment by owning so little in regards to today's standards.

I never really liked clutter. Clutter always made me feel very uncomfortable, and a mess has always bothered me. I can remember when I was young if I went to a friend's house, I would voluntarily start tidying it up. It was like I couldn't play until their room was clean! I admit I might have been a strange child, but it only proves it's an innate characteristic of mine. I definitely get a good boost in energy and accomplishment when I declutter. So in the summer of 2014 I got rid of a lot of stuff. I donated about half my shoes and clothes, many home decor pieces I was holding on to for no reason, and several kitchen gadgets/items we never used or that we had multiples of in the kitchen.

So what I could improve on this year is to "Keep It Simple". This means that I strive to NOT buy things that I don't need or that I don't love. Do not buy multiples unless its the best pair of jeans I ever put my booty in. Don't buy things that do not serve any type of purpose. The purchase has to be functional, usable, or beautify my home is some way shape or form. If its going to stack, accumulate, jumble in a drawer, or just sit on shelf, then it doesn't need to be bought. Or at least if it is bought, it's given the "one-year" rule of thumb. If its not used to decorate my home, make life convenient, cloth my body, clean my house, or use in my kitchen, then toss!

Restore. I do need to restore some things this year that are just worn out and need to be replaced. My husband and I have been married 8 years, and some of the bath towels we got when we got married are certainly starting to show their wear and tear, as almost thread bare. That would be an example of something I need to restore. I also have to constantly restore the clothes in my kids closets and dressers because they grow out of things so fast. So again every few months (at each changed in the "seasons") I change out their clothes.

Organize. I organize quite often. Ok so I may let mail pile up here and there, but for the most part I try to keep things organized. I go with the "like goes next to like" rule. For Christmas, Dusty got this hamburger making kit from his mom with some seasonings, sauces, and a hamburger press device that is similar to a cookie-cutter, it presses the ground meat into burgers. We didn't really no where to put it in the kitchen because we are starting to get maxed out on space (even with all my attempt at decluttering)! So he causally tosses it in a cabinet above our sink that has our blender and Yedi cups.......yeah, that's not going to fly! I was itching for him to leave the kitchen so I quickly rectify this complete disorder that just took place in our kitchen throwing off the whole "like goes next to like" system. This is just the way I work, its sounds quirky, but "outer order lead to inner calm".

The BIG organization project for me right now is to organize my plethora of pictures form this past year. This resolution involves organizing all pictures and dowloading them all onto my computer and Shutterfly/Dropbox/Mpix accounts from the last year and half as well as stay current on organizing them for this year. I love making Shutterfly photobooks so I know this is something I just need to make time to sit down and do. In order to be a "treasure house of memories" these treasures will be worth the effort. Earlier this week, my daughter, Kora, and I looked at the Shutterfly books of the pictures from her first year of life. She laughed and relished looking at these books of herself. I want to make sure I capture these fleeting moments with them. I can only imagine how she will feel and love looking back at them when she is in her twenties or thirties. I appreciate that my mom makes scrapbooks, and she captured so many wonderful changes and experiences in my life. I need to to pay it forward to my own two kids.

And this leads into the next resolution....

Tackling a naggling task:

This is will be organizing those pictures, printing them, and compiling them into beautiful photobooks. The books are not the cheapest, but they are worth every penny for capturing and holding on to some of my most treasured items, and that is pictures of my kids and family. A moment in time they will never be again, and I don't want to completely lose it!

I will continue on with my January resolutions to "tackle a naggling task" and "act more energetic".......more to week!


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