Sunday, January 05, 2014

Happier in my life 2014

This month for my online book club, we read Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. I already blogged about her first book last year, The Happiness Project, when she inspired me to start some resolutions that I did not keep-shame shame.  This year, I got to read her second book, where she runs a nine month experiment to create happier surroundings.  More inspiration!  Join From Left to Write on January 6 as we discuss Happier at Home.  You can also chat live with Gretchen Rubin on January 7 on Facebook.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. However, I have decided NOT to keep resolutions this year.  I have my "word" for the year *ACTIVE*, but instead, I will make some lifestyle changes...slowly...and add on as the year are some my ideas and tips!

*Tip #1 Always make new changes with another person!
Starting this month, I will drink my 8 glasses of water a day and add more exercise-I plan to work out with a friend. The BEST way to stay on track!  I made it through 4 straight months of 5:30 AM exercise classes because I had a friend waiting for me. Then, fall and school and homework and theater took over our family life. BUT, the good news is that we are planning to start up and I have already reserved a spot in the kickboxing class I tried for a couple week last fall with my neighbor!  I also do a daily exercise thing with a co-worker. It's one of those monthly plans for sits ups and squats. We both have it on our phones and we stay on track that way.  We check in daily together!
 Also, I plan to slowly change my diet. I am that mom who serves her kids chicken nuggets and mac and cheese in the blue box (mom confession #423).  Joe and I went to Trader Joe's today and stocked up on whole wheat pasta, chia seeds, veggies, steel cut oatmeal, etc...ready to start our Real Food Challenge tomorrow. I boxed up lots of processed food we had in the pantry and stuck it in the garage. We're doing this together!  Spencer is planning to try it, too.  I will have a super hard time cutting out white bread-so I bought some whole grain crackers and will eat that instead of bread for my lunches.

*#2  Be reasonable in expectations.  I have stacks of photos and even more thousands of photos on my computer that I need to print or archive someway.  I made a resolution to catch up on my scrapbooks last year. Progress...zilch.  But I am stealing Gretchen Rubin's suggestions and giving myself 15 minutes daily to work on my photos and memory sorting.  Will time myself and stop after 15 minutes.  I will make slow progress, but slow progress is better than none.  Right?!

*#3 Don't add too many expectations for yourself.  I would like to change many things, but the truth is, I am a busy full time mama with a full time teaching job.  I take work home. I carpool. I have bunco nights monthly (yay!).  I try to schedule date time with Joe.  My life is busy and full. I can't make many big changes.  So, I will go slow...add something slowly.  Like drink my 8 glasses of water daily, give up soda, keep on my cleaning plan...but not big things. Can't. Not now anyway.  And that's OK.

It's January 5. I haven't had any glasses of water yet today, drank a coke, skipped breakfast...but it's OK, tomorrow will be better.  Wish me luck!


Wednesday, January 01, 2014


One word...I do this every year....and like practically every other person who does this...forget to focus on this by February 1.  But, once again, here I go.
*My word this year is ACTIVE.  Yes, active in activity-gym, running, etc...isn't that everyone's wish for the New Year??  We have a beach trip planned for Spring Break, so I have less than 4 months to get ready to wear my bathing suit for a week.

But also, ACTIVE in life...want to work on my photography, organize my photos (stealing the 15 minutes a day idea from Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin-blog post on that coming soon), play with my kids, ride our bikes together, work on our diet (hello clean eating...starting Jan. 6!).

I will also try to be more active on this blog, too. I stopped writing for my online book club because life was crazy this fall.  However, I know I can make the time. Reading is so important to me, and I did not read as much as I should have this fall.  I challenged my class to read 3 chapter breaks over this winter break.  I am finishing book three sometime today!  Whoo-hoo! Can't wait to see how they did!
So...that's my word for the year. I promise to keep you updated on how I am doing with it.  Do YOU have a word for the year??

Leaving my family readers with some recent family pics.  The first is from Christmas Eve with my side of the family! The second is from a pumpkin patch trip, and the last one is Spencer & Joe's first time in a show together-Christmas Carol!  They had a blast!