New Years Resolution 2021 + 2020 Resolution Recap

2020 was a wild ride. Between the pandemic, the social unrest, and the overall uncertainty of life, I can’t say I did much to focus on my resolutions. Rather, I just tried to live life to the best of my ability without going insane. I will say however, I think that overall I did end up sticking to my resolutions fairly well considering my lack of focus. I’ll recap that here briefly:

Resolution #1 was Dry January and Better Health – I did complete a Dry January, but my healthy eating habits were pretty sporadic. With the California lockdowns spanning most of the year, many of our meals were take out and not always the healthiest options. You can tell from my blog posts that my vegan meal prepping was going strong until about April – which is when the pandemic really started to ramp up. However, I did workout and practice yoga more frequently than ever in 2020 which somewhat counterbalanced my less than stellar food choices.

Resolutions #2 and #3 were to Go Outside and to Grow that Garden – both of these I accomplished without any problem. Having more time at home made it easy to maintain my garden and be outside as much as possible. My garden this year flourished with tomatoes, eggplants, squash, carrots, beets and so much more. It was really, really nice to be able to water every morning and actually watch things grow day by day. Plus, the lockdown made the urge to be outside greater than ever. I spent much of my year outside whether I was in my inflatable pool in my backyard, or walking the trails by the river.

Resolution #4 was to Shop Less, Fair and Small – this was another fairly easy one to accomplish. Not having anywhere to be made it easy to not shop, especially since many of the thrift stores were closed for most of the middle of the year. Shopping fair and small was also fairly easy since when it did come time to purchase things I really took the time to think about who or what I was supporting with my purchase. My main large purchases this year were jeans from Madewell’s fair trade line and a VR set for our Playstation.

Resolutions #5 and #6 were to Create Everyday and to Try New Things – creating every day was easy at first, but this seemed to get significantly more challenging the longer the lockdown went on. Bouts of depression, boredom and general unease made it difficult to find a creative mindset on certain days. Trying new things, at least the new things I outline in my resolution was nearly impossible since everything was closed. The first three months of the year I did go gung-ho and tried a few new classes including TRX, yoga, Pilates and tactical pistol shooting class, but once April hit it wasn’t as easy to find new things to go do. I thought about taking classes online, but again, some days it was just difficult to find the motivation.

2021 New Year Resolution

I only have one resolution this year – be more intentional. This encompasses so many things for me across my life including the food I eat, what I buy, the choices I make day-to-day and the people I surround myself with. Sure, 2020 was crazy, but it taught me alot – alot about myself, about my life and about the life I want to live. So for 2021 I want to put those lessons into action and make sure that everything I do is done with intention and is done in a way to make my life and myself better. Here’s to 2021!

Dry January Final Check-In

The final day of January is here. Technically, it’s the first day of February, but I digress. I should say, the final day of Dry January is here and I’m happy to report that I made it. I started this trip on January 5th and tomorrow I will have my first drink since the 4th. It’s funny because it felt so long, but now that I’m at the end, I guess it didn’t feel as long as it did while I was in it. I was sick for about the first two weeks, which was miserable because I hadn’t been sick in a while. I think also that the “withdrawal” symptoms from not having cigarettes may have been affecting me at the same time making it that much worse. I made it through though, with only one fancy glass of wine along the way. If there’s one thing that this experience has taught me is that I really don’t like drinking as much as I thought I did.

I’ve gotten so much done these past few weeks. I’m sure most of it has to do with a lack of a social life. It’s funny how your interactions with people can change when you subtract the alcohol. Many of my friends were also doing a Dry January. Perhaps we were all just enjoying a little bit of solitary reset time for the month. January sometimes feels like that. It feels like a bit of a hibernation. Time to reset and refocus your attention on what is going to be important to you this year. The other thing I’ve noticed about the last few weeks is that I’m sleeping better which in turn is giving me more energy throughout the day. I love this part because it’s making me more excited to work out and be active. I’ve been going to yoga the last two Saturdays, working out at home after work and even stretching while I’m at work. It feels good. And my body feels better for it.

I wouldn’t say I’m not looking forward to drinking tomorrow, but I am excited to hang out with friends. It will be interesting to see how my tolerance to alcohol has changed. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to drink. I’ve pretty much ruled out beer just because I think it will make me feel bloaty and gross, but moscow mules sound like they could be dangerous too. The most appealing option to me, at least in my head, is white wine. Something I can chill and just sip throughout the day. I don’t want to drink too much, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to figure out what that new limit is. I also don’t want to drink to the point where I want to break down and smoke. I’ve been thinking about getting a vape pen for those moments. I want to feel like I’ve actually quit and not just switched out cigarettes for something else.

Overall, I really enjoyed this experience. It gave me clarity of mind and made me rethink something that I think had become a somewhat normal facet of my life. This isn’t to say that I want to quit drinking all together because, let’s face it, sometimes that fancy glass of wine is nice. I do think, however, that cutting back and enjoying it more intentionally will be good. I may pick up another month along the year, we’ll see, for now, I’m going to look forward to that fancy glass of wine tomorrow. I’m proud of myself for making it this far and sticking to it. Now to get onto the rest of my resolutions… wish me luck.

Day 17: Dry January

Wow, my last Dry January check-in was utterly and terribly depressing. I really was feeling like crap though, so I guess it was my real feelings coming through (ha, sorry). Fortunately, I’m feeling MUCH, MUCH better this week. I still have a little bit of a cough, but I think I’m mostly mended. I think the fact that I’m not drinking and thus not smoking cigarettes actually made it so that my body could heal faster, specifically with the coughing. Anyway, today is day 17 and I feel fantastic. My head is clear, I am falling asleep faster and sleeping longer and uninterrupted which is great except for when I need to wake up early and get my butt to work. I don’t really miss drinking either but I’ll write more about the reason I stopped drinking for a month later in this post.

First, let me start by telling you all the amazing things that I’ve noticed in the last 17 days (well at least the last 7 that I haven’t felt like a total zombie). I’m sleeping better, which is a major plus in my book. I’m not usually great at falling or staying asleep. I suffer from typical female bedtime anxiety. You know, the hour before you try to go to sleep that suddenly becomes the hour in which you worry about everything real and imagined for no reason at all whatsoever. I also typically have a difficult time staying asleep, waking up sometimes several times a night around 2am-4am. This hasn’t happened recently which is amazing. I’m getting at least 8 hours every night which anyone who can do this will tell you, makes you feel like a real normal human being. I do have a confession however; I did have one glass of wine at dinner over the weekend. BUT it was only one glass and it was because the hubs and I went out to a fancy restaurant for dinner as part of a downtown event for charity. I felt like this one glass was excusable because the dinner was so nice and no nice dinner feels complete without a fancy beverage. I am happy to report that the glass lasted me the entire three-course dinner, which never happens, and I think allowing myself the treat made the wine that much sweeter (not in flavor but in feeling).

I will be breaking my alcohol fast on Superbowl Sunday, which seems like not only a good excuse but a good amount of time. You see, I didn’t take on this challenge because I feel like I’m an alcoholic per say, but rather because I feel like I have enough alcoholism in my blood to make it a possibility. This also isn’t to say that I haven’t struggled with alcohol before because I totally have, and it wasn’t really something I had thought about until before this challenge. When I was younger, I would drink ALOT. I would drink so much that I would get terribly drunk, then I would vomit privately and then continue to drink. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “puke and rally”? Well, this was sort of my motto. And looking back what a terrible and embarrassing motto it was. This hasn’t been my mode of partying for quite some time, in fact partying in and of itself hasn’t been in my mode for years, but thinking back to this time made me realize that I could very well develop a huge problem if I allow myself. This Dry January challenge for me was a way of showing myself that I am strong enough to say no to alcohol. I am strong enough to say no to getting drunk. I am strong enough to have a life without alcohol. Now don’t get me wrong, the social aspects of this are huge and can be quite difficult. It seems that these days everybody drinks and everybody drinks together. To be honest, I haven’t spent much time with people since starting this challenge. It’s funny though because most of the people I spend my time with are also not drinking this month so maybe I’m not the only one to blame.

Overall, I’m digging this whole no-drinking thing and I think it’s helping me see the benefit of having it as a habit and not drinking as regularly as I was before. Again, this is not to say that I drank alot before (usually weekends and maybe once mid-week), but I think so far it’s a great reminder of how good it feels not to. Not only do I feel great, but I haven’t even mentioned all the stuff I got done this weekend. I felt so motivated and active I was able to accomplish things I’ve been putting off for months (here’s looking at you pile of clothes to be mended). To say I’m not excited for SuperBowl would be a lie, I do miss a big glass of wine every now and then, but I AM excited for the prospect of a teensy life change. I encourage anyone and everyone to take a sabbatical from alcohol if not for the enlightenment but for the challenge itself. And if you do decide to try and cut it out for a bit, check back in with me and tell me how you feel.

MelissaRose

Day 10: Dry January

Today is day 10 of my first ever Dry January, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m feeling like crap. It’s annoying really. Anyone who has ever done this whole sober-for-a-month thing has told me how “great” I’m going to feel. “Your head will feel so clear”, they said. “You’ll sleep great”, “You’ll have more energy”, “You’ll be happier”. Well so far, not so good. I’m not sure yet whether to attribute my sickness to my lack of alcohol, as I’m sure that’s not the case; however, this blows, and I’m not just talking about my nose. I suppose, in all fairness, being sick is actually making it easier to not drink, which in turn makes it easier to not smoke since that’s the only time that I really crave a cigarette. But all in all, I’d trade in this sickness for the shame of a drink and a smoke in a heartbeat.

I wish I had something better to report. I wish I had an encouraging post about how my lack of alcohol has made the world a better place and I’m farting rainbows and rosey smells, but right now, I just feel like poop. I’m looking forward to not feeling this way and to being filled with alcohol-free inspiration and encouragement. If you’re still reading this, I apologize for being such a pitiful, snot filled sack of sadness. All in all, though, I suppose I should be proud of myself. 10 days of not drinking may not seem like a whole lot but to me it’s feat in itself. I usually drink on the weekends and typically once a week right in the middle of my weeks. The mid-week drink I suppose is the drink I use to get me through the week, and last week I took Friday off due to illness so I haven’t had to work a full week in a while either which helps.

To summarize, yes, I feel like crap-o-la, but I’m trying to find a glimmer of happiness in the fact that I’m still here doing what I set out to do for January. 10 days of no drinks or smokes. I’m also hoping that not drinking and not smoking will heal this sickness faster. It should heal faster after they actually install some filters in the intakes at work too, but that’s another conversation all together, along with the mold in my ceiling tiles in my office. Nothing like a solid cough to help motivate a conversation with management about workplace conditions! If you find it in your heart, say a little prayer, or send a little healing light my way. I’m needing it today.

MelissaRose

2020 Resolutions #4 & #5: Create Everyday and Try More New Things

2020 is off to an interesting start, and I’ve already missed several days of blogging due to being sick – yay. I’m a bit off my game this week but I am ready to jump back on this horse and get things going. Today is my last overview post of my 2020 resolutions which seems fitting since it feels like I’m having to start all over since being sick. I had been doing such a great job the first few days and then BAM like a tidal wave – hello, cold. It’s interesting how it’s hit me in the midst of cutting all the terrible things out of my life, but I guess that’s how life works sometimes. My mom always said that if it seems really difficult to do something you feel is right then it probably is right. In other words, I guess, doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Especially in my case of cutting out toxic crap from my diet and life.

Anywho – my last two resolutions for the year are fairly simple, Create Everyday and Try More New Things. Creating Everyday so far means that I can make a new dinner, maybe do a macrame project, draw something, sew something, basically do anything creative. Do something besides sitting and watching TV or playing on the Switch – which is terribly addicting by the way. I’ve done fairly well so far. Jewelry making, macrame and lots of new recipes have been taking up my time so far. I’m super into polymer clay recently – well, I’ve done one batch so far – but MAN that stuff is fun and so relaxing for some reason. As always, I love to cook too. New recipes are fun because I’m finding more and more ways to make meals I love vegan-friendly. I’m also getting back into drawing on my iPad and having new stickers printed – stay tuned for a giveaway on that. All in all, I’m feeling more inspired the more that I create and it’s a great feeling that makes me feel motivated and happy.

Trying More New Things is more a resolution to get me out of my comfort zone. I want to take more classes – fitness classes, cooking classes, tactical shooting classes, ALL THE CLASSES. I love learning new things, but my anxiety often keeps me from signing up because I’m nervous about walking into a room full of people I don’t know to learn something I don’t know. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I guess that’s how anxiety works. So far I’d love to take the tactical shooting class I mentioned and someone just messaged me today about doing a cookie decorating class. How fun does that sound? I’m also gearing up for a yoga class this coming weekend that my brother is teaching. He’s currently in training to become a yoga instructor so not only am I fulfilling my resolution but I’m supporting him too. I’m excited to find new things to learn as well. Other new things I’m trying are pretty recurring in my life already, such as, new recipes, new craft projects, new restaurants. These types of things come more easily for me, I think because they are more personal and don’t force me to meet new people. I think that, overall, is what I need to be better at.

Overall, I’m excited for the possibilities that these resolutions hold. I’m nervous but looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things and meeting new people. I’m also interested to see what types of projects and creative things I can come up with. All I need to do now is be better at getting to work earlier so I can find more time – ha!

MelissaRose

2020 Resolution #4: Shop Small / Fair / Less

Shopping in 2019 was basically not a thing. I told myself I was not allowed to purchase anything new unless it was absolutely necessary, and for the most part I followed that for an entire year. I did buy a couple of things that were necessary and did buy myself nice things a couple times (literally only twice that I can think of!), but overall, everything I bought came from the thrift store. I even found a can opener at the thrift store, okay? That’s hardcore. This year, I want to continue this thought process but also sprinkle in some fun. Because let’s face it, not shopping for years at a time is no fun, and sometimes ya girl needs to buy something new for no reason.

2020 is about being more intentional with what I purchase. Do I want new towels? Hell yes I do. Am I going to buy them from the thrift store? Heck to the no. BUT what I want to do is set restrictions for myself and try to be more responsible with where I spend my money. I want to shop small businesses and support local companies and people, I want to support companies that maintain fair practices, such as fair trade, no child labor etc., and overall I really just want to shop less. Shopping less doesn’t necessarily mean spending less, let’s face it, unfortunately supporting local and fair-trade companies can be more expensive than the alternative. I thrift shop ALOT. Not as much I did at the beginning of 2019 – yes it was a thing I was working through, I’m over it now. I want to practice only buying things that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, and this includes with thrifting trips.

I have gotten SO MUCH better don’t get me wrong. I think the last time I went to the thrift store I walked out with only three things which is basically unheard of. BUT the three things I bought are absolutely things I’m going to use over and over and over, so I’ll be getting my money’s worth. So far for 2020 I’ve been to the thrift store only once, in aforementioned trip, and I visited the mall to find some new jeans, because jeans are next to impossible for me to find thrifting for some reason. I decided on purchasing jeans from Madewell, which, hello, are pricey. The great thing about Madewell though that I didn’t know until I went into their store is that their denim (and many of their other products) are fair trade certified. This means that their products are made in factories that maintain fair practices, take care of their workers and are all around just better businesses. You can read more about their initiatives here. Not only that but they will take your old jeans and use them to create housing insulation for Habitat for Humanity. How freakin’ cool is that? So I gotta say, thank you to Madewell actually for inspiring this resolution. 2020 is all about intention people, even with shopping. Shopping smaller, with better intention, and overall buying less. Wish me luck!

2020 Resolutions #2 & #3: Get Outside & Grow That Garden

These next two resolutions go hand in hand – Get Outside and Grow That Garden. Getting outside to me means a few different things. The first of which is stop being such a big baby and enjoy the outdoors, even when it’s cold. I don’t like the cold much. I prefer to be warm but that shouldn’t mean that I hibernate all winter long and coop myself up indoors. I am determined to enjoy the outdoors more, even when it’s not perfect weather outside. This is important too for gardening because of where I live. Our gardening season starts soon here in zone 9b, and that means I may have to brave the cold if I want to get certain plants started at the right times. I’ve got my rain boots and my gardening jackets/sweaters/socks/gloves/scarves ready. Okay, but seriously, we don’t have horribly cold weather. I really am just a big baby.

The Grow That Garden resolution is going to be tougher this year than last year. I have a ton of work to do before I can even start planting anything. My planter beds are falling apart, my soil is terrible and so I basically have nowhere outside currently to put any plants. I’m hoping to enlist the help of my amazing hubby to build the beds, but I also want to create an entirely new backyard garden space in the process. I have a vision of a fenced off area with maybe four beds to start. I have to fence the area off this year because my stinky little weiner dog was jumping into the garden beds last year and eating all my veggies! Not only that, but I think he was teaching the others to do the same which means if I don’t close off the garden I may not get any vegetables at all. So on top of building new beds, I need a fence. I’d also like to be able to plastic/tarp off the grass/weeds on the ground and add rock making it a completed garden space. Wish me luck!

Before I get started on the outdoor space, I can get started on seedlings. I started my garden from seeds last year for the first time ever, and overall it was fairly successful. I plan on using the same methods as well as many of the same seed varieties and containers that I used last year. This part is so fun because it’s a quick process that shows results within just a few days. I will most likely start pre-sprouting some seeds this weekend, which means I’ll have some seedlings going by the end of the month. It’s going to go by so fast!! I need to get started on those beds dang it!!

I am very excited to spend more time outside this year gardening and otherwise. I even went on a run yesterday – which I haven’t done in years! It felt so great that I’m planning on going again today. I love how encouraging the body can be in getting you to do things that are good for you. In addition to after work runs, the hubs and I have been exploring new hiking/walking trails in the area each weekend. The last two weekends have been two separate river walks which were so beautiful! Each were about 3 miles long so it’s great exercise along with a great view and a great time with the pups. I’m so looking forward to continuing this trend and rocking this resolution!!

MelissaRose

2020 Resolution #1: Dry January + Better Health

Every New Year it seems I am trying harder and harder to make promises to myself to take better care of my body. Last year it was a two week detox from alcohol, smoking and sweets, this year I’m tackling an entire month (well, most of it). It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but to be honest I’ve been excited about the possibility of how great I’m going to feel once I’m done. I’m also hoping to be encouraged to stop certain things altogether and to cut back on everything else.

I feel like alcohol is such a huge part of having a social life. Why is that? Is it just a social norm? What do people do when they don’t drink? This is something that I had been thinking about when I decided I wanted to go a month without alcohol. I want to find better ways to fill my time, better ways to spend time with family and friends. Now, I’m saying I am going a full month but I guess I’m actually doing a bit less than that. Because of vacation schedules and holidays this year I decided to start this challenge today, January 6, instead of on January 1. However, I did take it fairly easy in between, I drank a few beers on New Year’s Eve, had wine with friends on New Year’s Day and attended a concert on January 4 where I had a couple of drinks as well. Writing this out now, it sounds like alot which makes me even more excited to cut back. The challenge will end with the Superbowl which is February 2, so all in all I’m only a couple days short of a full month.

The most difficult part of this challenge for me will be not making excuses. Someone is having a birthday party, a friend wants to go for drinks, family is coming to town – none of these should be viable reasons to stop the challenge. I want to be strong and consistent throughout the entire term mostly because I don’t want to smoke. Smoking lately has totally grossed me out UNLESS I am drinking. Drinking is the main time I want to smoke and lately has been the only time that I do. But it stinks. It’s expensive. And yes, it’s deadly. I had an epiphany recently where I woke up on my hair and it reeked of cigarettes. I immediately decided I wanted to change. This will be difficult for sure, but not as difficult as if it would be if I weren’t cutting out drinking as well.

Today is the first day of the challenge, which of course is easy. It’s Monday, I’m back at work after a long weekend off and I have no worries. I will try to continue to post daily or regular updates of how I’m doing and feeling. Like I said, this is going to be challenging, but I can’t wait to see how I feel at the end. For the rest of the year, this resolution basically just means to be better to myself. Walk more, exercise more, eat better. I feel like I made leaps and bounds with this last year, especially eating better and practically vegan, and I can’t wait to continue it for this year as well. I think another thing I’d like to really press upon myself is to wake up earlier as well and get a small yoga flow routine in in the mornings. I was doing it for a couple weeks before the holidays and felt amazing. I need to get back into the swing of waking up early – this will be one of my biggest challenges for sure. Wish me luck!

MelissaRose

New Year’s Resolutions 2020

2020 is here. There is no more running, procrastinating or delaying. The New Year is here, and it’s here to stay… at least, until the next one comes around. Last year, I used this blog as an accountability-type place to record my progress on my 2019 resolutions. I found that it certainly helped in keeping me on track but also was helpful in being able to look back and see the encouraging growth I’d been able to accomplish. If you want to read more about that year, click here. If you want to find out what’s up for 2020, keep reading.

Last year, my inaugural post was basically a run-down of what I believed my 2019 resolutions would be, which I will do this year. Afterwards, I will break each resolution down into it’s own post, if necessary, to provide more detail such as any restrictions, exemptions or otherwise. What’s fun about resolutions too is that they can change throughout the year. Maybe it turns out that the resolution should be more challenging or, let’s face it, less challenging. I believe failure is completely a part of growth and altering your expectations in the moment isn’t always a bad thing. Anything that happens of this nature will also be posted here. I am excited for a new journey and expanding upon many of the things I learned last year as well as trying a few new things too.

Resolution #1: Dry January + Better Health

Dry January is a pretty popular thing around the New Year it seems. The theme of better health maybe even more so. A fresh year is the perfect time to jump a fresh start and take control of how you treat your body. This one is going to be tough, but I think it’s going to be so worth it. Starting, January 6, 2020.

Resolution #2: Get Outside

Being outside makes me so happy! So why don’t I do it more? Our area has so many trails to offer and overall wonderful weather too. It’s time to put the excuses aside and find more time to be outside whether it’s for an exercise or a hike or just a cup of coffee on the back patio.

Resolution #3: Grow That Garden

Last year’s garden was fairly successful. This year is going to be more work because my planter beds are falling apart, and I need to find a solution for keeping my hungry wiener dog out of the garden. It’s going to be way more work, that’s for sure, and is going to require quite a bit more planning, building and budgeting.

Resolution #4: Shop Small / Fair / Less

One of my resolutions last year was to not buy anything new unless absolutely necessary. Overall, I did fairly well, only purchasing a few things that I felt I needed to buy new. This year, I don’t want to completely cut myself off, but I do want to shop less overall. When I do shop, I want to continue to either purchase from thrift stores, small stores or fair stores, no matter the cost. 2020 is all about being picky with purchases and focusing more on quality.

Resolution #5: Create Everyday

This resolution is another one that I am kicking myself over because creating makes me so happy! Although, maybe I am being a bit too hard on myself as I do create a lot already. But this year I want to create at least once a day. I’m not quite sure what that exactly means yet. Does a blog post count as creating? Or does it need to be an actual piece of art? I’m not sure yet, but I am excited to figure it out.

Resolution #6: Try More New Things

This year, and specifically during Dry January, I want to try more new things. So many times anxiety holds me back from taking a new class or going somewhere new, this year I want to change that. I want to force myself out of my comfort zone and learn new things, go new places and have a great time along the way.

These are what I believe to be my resolutions for 2020. I am also going to continue to post about certain topics from last year, such as sustainability, food, random ramblings, but they won’t be posted under the resolutions section of the blog. I look forward to this journey and blogging it for accountability but also to track my progress as I go into the New Year.

MelissaRose