Pare Down: January Update

Wow, January has really flown by. It’s been a whirlwind of coming home after the holidays, hitting the ground running back at work, and trying to put my new year’s plans into action day by day.

I wanted to do a quick check-in with how my first month of paring down has gone. You might remember that my focus for 2017 is to pare down on what I don’t love or need to make room for the things that really matter.

So… how did my month go?

I did a huge declutter for my closet

I regularly take everything out of my closet and dresser, sort through my clothes, and put everything back. I do this every 3 months or so, and I usually get rid of 2-5 items. This time, my goal was to really cut back. I only wanted to keep things that I truly enjoy wearing, and that feel the most “me.”

I’m proud to say I filled about three large garbage bags of clothes. One is set aside to sell, and the other two went down to the donate bin in my building. I got rid of clothes, belts, purses, and shoes. I did a quick sweep through my jewelry, too, and pulled aside about half of it to donate or sell, but I have no idea how to donate jewelry other than have friends to give it to, and I am pretty lacking in that department…

There were some items that were given to me that I wanted to hold onto even if I don’t wear them often, so I put those in a bin with some seasonal items. I also kept a ton of T-shirts from high school and college that I want to make a quilt out of once I have some sewing skills. Those were the only items I kept that I don’t regularly wear.

I spent an entire day on this. My boyfriend walked in a few times and was pretty skeptical that I’d get through it all, but once everything  was tidied up, he told me every day for a week how great my side of the closet looks. I know I’m not “done” with my clothes for the year, but this was an amazing start. It was a great kickoff to applying my year’s focus to my physical space.

I started strength training, without planning the workouts myself

I try to exercise about 3 times a week, but I was spending a lot of time planning out workouts, and I have no idea what I’m doing. I was also spending a lot of time worrying about when I’d get my workouts in, and figuring out whether or not I was going every morning and every evening. I stumbled across a 6-month strength training program that only requires 3 sessions per week. Plus, there’s a private Facebook group to talk to other people in the program and get form checks from the program’s creator. 6 months not having to wonder what to do and when to do it? Perfect way to pare down my time.

I also happened across it right when it was closing its doors for the next 6+ months, and it wasn’t very expensive considering you get 6 months of exercises. I’ve gone through the first week, and it was so refreshing to have a plan and schedule set for me.

I know I’m being vague with the details here, I don’t want to post too much now, considering no one else can join it right now. I might write a review of the program once I’m through it, but I don’t normally do fitness-related posts. The point is, I’m getting my 3+ workouts a week with minimal planning and prep time, and I’m set for a while. Win!

I’ve been planning outfits and workout outfits ahead of time

What a time saver. All I have to do is walk over to my garment rack and grab a prepared outfit. I fell out of it a little bit by the end of the month, and man, I could really feel the difference in my peace of mind in the morning. It’s so great not having to make tiny decisions right when you wake up!

I cut back on phone time in the mornings

I used to wake up, grab my phone, and start scrolling through all my feeds. I would regularly waste a half hour to an hour every morning. Now, I get up, grab some water and food, and look through social media while I eat. And with all the political posts at the end of this month, I’ve been skipping Facebook entirely.

Not only have I cut back on the time I spend on my phone, once I’m up, I’m more likely to spend some time with my planner, make some lists, and get my workout in before work. If all else fails, I at least get some quiet time to myself that I wouldn’t normally grant myself.

I still watch too much TV

I’ve certainly cut back on the shows I used to watch only when I’d run out everything else, but I still watch too much. I want to continue the trend of small cuts each month, until I only watch while doing chores, doing cardio, or hanging out with friends or family. If I’m sitting around, I should aim to be productive with that time (writing blog posts, planning videos, doing something creative, etc.).

I fell behind on my videos and blogging

For some reason, I just couldn’t figure out when to film and write. I’m trying to keep my chin up and not get too hard on myself, but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. If I can schedule and plan like I’ve been doing for my workouts, it will be so much easier to keep making progress without getting overwhelmed.

Overall, it was a great month! Here are my goals for carrying the momentum into February:

  • Declutter the kitchen
  • Declutter books, papers, and other random stuff
  • Finish my makeup purge – I’ve got two boxes of makeup that’s either expired or I don’t wear, so I want to figure out what kind of blog post or video I want to do with it, and get rid of it!
  • Keep cutting back on TV and YouTube time
  • Schedule filming and blog drafting time like I do with strength training

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