Reflecting on my “Month of Me” – I accidentally took almost two months off

The last blog post I wrote was over six weeks ago, my “Month of Me” post. When I declared May the month of me and wrote that post I didn’t mean to take any time off from this blog, let alone nearly two months, but looking back at it, that may have been a good thing. Even though I love writing and I love sharing, and I love writing this blog, taking the pressure of having to write every week gave me the opportunity to fully commit to my month of me and prioritize some other things. And I think I came out of the month with some good habits in place.

Before I reflect on the last six+ weeks as a whole and where I’m at now, let’s look at the goals I outlined for myself.

  • I am setting boundaries and sticking to them, especially around work. Last year when I decided to leave the security of the corporate world and freelance, I knew it was going to be hard, and stressful, and scary, and I also knew allowing the lines between work and non-work hours would not be good. I knew that separation was vital for my sanity and, well, I let that slide. I started working at night, checking emails and notices on my downtime, and working hours I wasn’t billing for. No more! That stops this month. No more checking emails or notices outside of my work time. And most importantly NO MORE NIGHT-TIME WORK. It takes me forever to shut down and working past 6 or 7 at night means I’m going to be thinking about work when I should be decompressing from the day. I actually did a really good job of sticking to this one, even though it was so hard, and I think it really helped me do better work and feel less stressed. I’m at probably about a 90% success rate with this one. I’ll occasionally check an email or a notification outside of my work hours, but there has been a huge improvement.
  • Along with that, I am going to work on restructuring my days. Right now I try to do a little bit of everything every day. I spread my projects and work out little by little throughout the week, but I think that may be adding to my stress. I think this is making so I can’t give anything my full attention and I am constantly thinking about what I was doing or what I need to still to do. So this month instead I am going to try to dedicate certain projects and work things to specific days and other projects to other days. Instead of trying to get hours done, get assignments done, clean house, work on my passion projects, and whatever else I have to do, certain days will be work days for specific jobs, other days will be work days for other jobs, and specific days will be work days for what I want and need. And of course, certain days will be days off. This goes hand in hand with the last point, so yeah I did this and it really helped. I feel like my work improved and I was able to get more done. I was also able to relax more (of course I was still feeling guilty that I wasn’t working while I relaxed, but it was a step in the right direction).
  • I’m prioritizing my own work and passion projects. The things that make me happy. Yes, I need to pay the bills so obviously the jobs that pay me need to come first, but once I’ve finished what I’ve committed to I need to make time to work on my projects and chase my dreams. There’s still a lot I want to do to live my dream life and I haven’t been giving those things enough attention. This one is complicated and I will be writing a blog post about why fairly soon, but this was a hard one. I made some really good plans in May, I know the things I want to focus on and build now. I haven’t really had the chance to start working towards or executing those the way I would like to have, but I know the direction I want to go and thanks to some unexpected changes, moving in that direction is hopefully going to be happening sooner rather than later.
  • I’m recommitting to meditation and specifically the Z technique for the first few weeks. I’ve never been fully committed to mediation. I do it on and off here and there. I’ve only stuck with it for an extended period of time a handful of times and every time I have I can feel the difference in my body. Usually, I just use Headspace or my FitBit but because I’ve been reading Stress Less, Accomplish More this month I’m going to be trying out the Z Technique. I don’t want to go too much into that, we’ll see how it goes and then maybe I’ll do a blog post about it, but I do recommend if you are interested you go check out the book. It sounds almost too good to be true, but it can’t hurt, and either way, it will get me back into a daily practice no matter which technique I end up with. This one was a win. It was hard to commit to and I did miss a day completely and a few second meditations, but for the most part I was able to sit down and meditate twice a day every day and I have continued to do so. I’m not sure if it’s actually working or has done anything, but it feels like things have shifted. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it or if it is even the meditation that caused this shift, but 30 minutes a day of nothing isn’t too bad and it can’t hurt to keep going.
  • I’m also getting back into face yoga. I really loved what face yoga was doing to my skin and my mood when I was committed and like meditation and so many other things, I just let that all float away. Starting today, face yoga is coming back as a daily thing. I did this on and off. I still love it and it makes me feel good, but I was working on so many other things, adding 15+ minutes to my shower routine, was personally asking too much of myself, so I let it slide. Eventually, I’d like to make it a regular thing, but for now, I’m happy doing it once or twice a week.
  • No more weighing myself, at least not for 30 days. I don’t want to give up weighing myself completely because it is one way to measure progress, but it is not the most important one and doesn’t give the whole picture. Because I can feel my old habits creeping up and the temptation to skip meals becoming more and more tempting, I need to move away from the scale. And also, while I would like to drop a few sizes, that’s not the purpose of my working out this time around. This time I am working out for my health (physical and mental), my mobility, and to get strong. Getting strong and getting skinny is not the same and don’t read the same on the scale. I need to get my mind in a place that can understand that. This was also a failure, but not in a bad way. I did continue to way myself, although not weekly, but every other week, if I remembered. I wasn’t committed to I have to weigh in, and I didn’t beat myself up if I didn’t lose weight, which I didn’t, but I did continue to weigh myself because I upgraded from a FitBit to a Garmin at the beginning of the month and I wanted to input as much information as I could as often as I could so it could get to know where I was physically the best it could.
  • Giving myself something to look forward to. Building a community has been something I have talked about countless times on here and I do an ok job at it, but I could do better. On top of that, I am a planner and I like having things to do. Summer is right around the corner so what better time to start planning some fun activities? I already have a few camping trips and concerts on the calendar, but I want to plan some BBQ’s, movie nights, and more camping trips to really make the next few months something to be excited about. Another slight failure, but my husband and I did talk about it a lot and I hope to still get some things on the calendar, but again as I hinted earlier some changes may have thrown a wrench in those plans, at least temporarily.

So how was the Month of Me? Overall I think it was a good experience and it forced me to analyze some things and create some good habits. I’m still very stressed, very uncertain about what I’m doing or how I’m going to make it, but I’m not panicked. A rare occurrence for me, but I’m telling myself that it’s ok to not have it figured out, and as long as I’m working towards something every day, I’m ok.

The meditation and the boundaries were huge takeaways from the past month and will probably be lifesavers for me going forward.

Besides the goals I set forth for myself the last month (six weeks) was filled with a lot of cooking. One of the things we are doing is really trying to build our garden IG account and we are doing so by expanding its content to include sustainability, cooking, and homesteading. (We also have some fun plans for the cat’s page.) I also worked out a lot. As I mentioned, I haven’t lost any weight but I am by far the strongest I have been and both my husband and I now feel weird if we take more than a day or two off of working out.

I also watched a lot of movies this past month, part of those boundaries. Since I wasn’t constantly being pulled in a million different directions and had dedicated days to relax I got to enjoy myself. We watched a bunch of movies at home and we even went to the movie theater for the first time post-COVID.

And on top of all that, my husband and I spent a lot of time discussing the future, income, creativity, and where we want to go and how. We now have some ideas and action plans that will hopefully help us get to where we want to be.

I ended the Month of Me post with a video that felt right for my head space, so let’s do that again!

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