I can’t believe that the shortest month of the year has already started AND that we are already four days into it!!! How crazy is that?! I feel like sometimes life just goes by so quickly. It was two months ago that I said I was going to try and take the month of December a little slower and enjoy the holidays. We all know how that turned out. Although life is going by super quick as it usually does, I have been taking time to enjoy things over the past month or so. After reading The Happiness Project (I know, I know I really should stop talking about it. ) I really wanted to change things to enjoy life a little more. Some small, some daily, some a little more daring, but mostly just being able to say no.
I realized I was saying yes to things that I did not particularly enjoy or things that really did me no good. In January, our membership to the rock climbing gym expired. We decided to let it expire. We did not want to renew because we realized we weren’t using it. At first, we were both really torn. We felt like we should renew but we did not really want to. After it expired, we had a little money to ski. That monthly membership fee was no longer coming out and that freed up a little bit of play money. Then we found out we had free skiing at a mountain not too far. Oh man, we have gone skiing at least once a week for the past month. Amazing! It was such a great decision. Not only am I happier but I am getting out more and being way more active than I was with the gym membership. So that being sad, we will be social rock climbers but it is not something that we are desperately pushing for. I said no to something that was just nagging at my brain and said yes to my favorite activity ever! So much happier!
I also started saying no to so many sweets and sodas. I love soda. It really is a weakness for me. One of the resolutions I made this year was to avoid soda 3 times a week. I thought to myself, this should be a piece of cake. No way. I did not realize how much I love soda until I started cutting it out of my diet. This has been the hardest resolution for me to keep. There have been times when all I want is to drink a soda! But I am in week 4 of my resolutions and so far so good! I have managed to avoid soda twice this week so only one more day and its only Tuesday! I know it may not seem like a lofty goal but I find it better to start small and incorporate it into life that try and go cold turkey because then I just get frustrated.
Another thing that I gleaned from the book that shall not be named is she did resolutions each month. She focused on an area each month and worked on it. I have decided to attempt that for February as least. I don’t know if it will continue into the rest of the months but this month it will happen. The rooms that I live in day in and day out tend to get really cluttered and messy. That is only 5 rooms (not counting the basement or Matt’s room) that I need to focus on. I want to de-clutter this place. I want to focus on eliminating items that I don’t use or use up items I forget about and buy something similar in place of. I want less things to end up cluttering up my bedroom floor and to be able to breathe easy after a brief clean-up at the end of the day. So, February is de-clutter month in the Parnell household. I am sure you will hear about my victories and failures throughout or at least at the end.
Anyway, off to look for a car!
I just read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Usually, I take some time to process the book before posting but honestly, I have been processing as I have been reading the book. This book was a really good read! She takes 12 majors areas in her life that she wants to improve her happiness through everyday changes. She makes resolutions for each month and keeps track on how she does everyday. And then when she goes on to the next month, she still attempts to keep up with the previous month but shifts her focus to the resolutions of the current month.
Pros: She made very practical resolutions. They were things that every person could do. She was down to earth and very inspiring. I loved how she took her resolutions seriously but also didn’t and just tried to enjoy life also. She was funny and enjoyable. She had such a great sense of humor. I loved how brutally honest she was about her failures and her victories. It was wonderful! (I also realized I am using the word wonderful a lot!)
Cons: There were aspects of her life that I could not quite relate to. She had young kids and lived in an apartment in NYC. I have pups (which I guess are like kids) and own a house in the suburbs of Denver. Super different. She also made some references I had no idea about but did end up doing a good job of explaining them.
Overall: What a great read! I really do recommend reading the book. It is such a great book to start the year off with. Reading it in January gets you so excited to be a better person and change some things in the upcoming year. I had some vague resolutions for 2014 but while I was reading this book I made them a little more concrete. I started focusing on things weekly. I want to make some changes (moderate) so that I can increase my happiness and well being this year. I would like to say, so far so good! W00t!
I have knocked a couple things off of my To-Do list. Read a couple books and made a few things. Pictures to come soon!
Happy New Year everybody!!! Hope you all had a safe and fun New Year’s Eve! TJ and I just stayed in, had a delicious dinner and watched the Walking Dead marathon that was going on lol. We watched the ball drop and then proceeded to fall asleep watching Modern Family. I know, super exciting!
I love new years. It means a fresh start and I fully intend to take advantage of that in the new year. I have some things that I want to change in the new year. I have some things I want to finish in the new year. I definitely want to dedicate more time to this blog! Thanks for all of your support in 2013! I can’t wait to share 2014 with you!
I know that December and capturing it in pictures ended up being a flop. working retail during the holidays ended up getting the best of my december again. Oh well. Such is life. We had a great Christmas with friends! The majority of us ended up being sick together so that was kind of entertaining whenever someone tried to laugh and ended up having a coughing fit instead.
With 2014, I do have some goals in mind. Nothing too huge. But might as well share a little bit of what I have in mind.
~ pay down some if not most of our debt. No matter what, I want to work to get this debt paid down.
~ Finish my reading list. Obviously I failed at taking care of it in 52 weeks…. but I told you I would finish it, so I’m going to finish it.
~ knock a couple things off of my to do list around the house and just in general. super vague I know but I don’t have anything specific in mind. I just want to try some things that I have been meaning to try and not just waste time.
All of that being said, I do have a book to knock off the list. I just finished reading Eldest by Christopher Paolini. It is the second book in the Eragon series. Definitely a good read if you like fiction. It was a fun read and I got swept away by the story. I don’t have a full review of it today but keep an eye out for other reviews coming your way!
Happy New Year!