So, we’ve come to the end of January and it’s time for me to report back about how my One Little Word, Balance, is going so far this year.
My aim for Balance is to work at achieving balance in the many areas of my life. Home and work, time to myself and time with others, working on eating better and exercising, saving money vs spending money when needed, and balancing hobby time and chore time. Balance is something I’ve struggled with for a very long time, since there are always so many things I WANT to do, yet limited time in each day to do them all.
This month I’ve spent some time working through the January prompts, thinking about my word, it’s meaning, and what I want to achieve with this word over the course of the year. At this point, I’ve just jotted down a lot of my ideas, and haven’t really put the project together. I already know that I don’t want to buy anything for this project, at least not at this point, so I am debating whether to do this project digitally, assemble and glue it to 8 1/2 x 11 page protectors or stitch page protectors like I have done for the last 2 years. I figure since I have the main part of the lesson completed (well except for a quote, anyway), I can take the better part of a year to decide!
This month, my main focus towards achieving balance has been knuckling down and getting into a routine of eating better and moving each day, even if it’s just a walk. I already walk to and from work each day, but we’ve now added in Pilates every second day, and running or bike riding for cardio on the in between days, which is a huge improvement! And food wise, while we’re home cooking most of our meals, and taking breakfast and lunch to work each day too! I’ve hit my monthly weight loss goal from it, even managed to lose 1-3 centimetres from each area of my body, and so far, it’s been rather easy and I still have plenty of pasta, bread, milk and cheese, so this has me quite happy!
Saving is also another area that I’ve been working on. I’ve cut out a heap of purchases and spent very little over the last month, and I’ve even put together a budget and spent some time working out where my money usually goes. It’s been quite scary working out how much I spend on groceries and buying food at work, I have to say! But I’ve worked out a way to spend more reasonable amounts on groceries and have cut out spending money on food at work, so both are huge steps for me. Saving is helping me balance my finances better so that I can work towards the goal of paying off our mortgage early (we’re hoping to have it done within 10-15 years, and at this point, we’re on track for that). I may miss out on some stuff now, but in the long-term, it will make a huge difference!
I’ve also started to think about distractions and time wasters that I currently have in my life. Things such as checking social media a lot, and spending endless amounts of time in front of the computer. I have yet to really make any changes in this area, but it is certainly something that I have been thinking about a fair bit, to try to work out what is the right path for me at this point.
Up until now, I don’t really feel like I have had balance in any area of my life. Well that’s a slight exaggeration, since I don’t stay back at work endlessly and can shut off from work pretty easily each day since I’ve relaxed after walking 20 minutes home, but that’s about it. Now, I am fitting in 30-60 minutes each day for exercise and even more time for cooking good food, and to be honest, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything I used to do with that time, so clearly this is a step in the right direction towards balance as well.
At this point, I think my next steps will be working on limiting distractions so that I can fit in more time for creative pursuits. Scrapbooking, sewing, knitting, painting, or anything else that takes my fancy. I have been quite lacking in the creativity department lately, and I would like for that to change going forward. I also want to work more on strengthening relationships and making new friends.
You can see my posts about my 2014 word, Balance, here. If you don’t know what One Little Word is, you can read more about it in this post from Ali Edwards. I will be undertaking Ali’s One Little Word class again this year, and creating an album about my word and the changes it’s manifesting in my life.